Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The astrological chart of Alexander the Great

What is it that makes Alexander the Great such a unique figure in world history? Why out of so many legendary conquerors he apparently holds the most prestigious place? The obvious answer would be: because he accomplished marvelous deeds, such as no other human being has ever accomplished! At age 20 he became king of Macedonia. Under his command he led an army of 30.000 men to the ends of the then known world, into exotic and dangerous lands conquering every single one of them! Side by side with his soldiers, he fought more than one hundred battles almost never losing one! He created an empire 40 times bigger than the one he inherited - actually he formed the greatest empire ever formed by a single individual! And finally he died at the zenith of his glory not having completed the 33rd year of his life.

But apart his marvelous deeds, there is something more to Alexander. Some very unusual charisma seems to ever emanate out of this unique personality, a charisma which we can still feel today, 2300 years after! Actually, there are so many heroic and - at the same time - tragic archetypes enacted in Alexander’s saga that we tend to transform this man into a mythical figure, into a sort of Achilles! But while Achilles is probably no more than a fictitious character, a “cartoon” Alexander has been a real, “flesh and blood” person like us! I think that Alexander has been somehow transmuted in our collective unconscious into some kind of martyr, into a martyr of the human race! He was young, handsome, strong, charismatic and audacious, but still he was a mortal like us. Thus, he became a representative of our race who surpassed the threshold of human dimensions and almost reached divine domains, a man who dared to confront himself with the divine and perhaps for this reason perished.

For all of us dealing with astrology it would be obvious to ask whether the astrological chart of Alexander the Great has been preserved. Could there be, for example, any archaeological finds in Macedonia, in the fatherland of Alexander the Great, related to his horoscope? The fact is that neither in Macedonia nor in any other part of Greece have elements of that period (even remotely alluding to astrology) ever been found. Personally, I have meticulously observed hundreds and hundreds of ancient statues, urns, stelae, coins etc. - while in the same time I have read or browsed the works of hundreds of classical philosophers, dramatists, comedians etc. - and in none of them have I encountered astrological symbols or even a single word explicitly related to astrology! I am convinced that until the end of the fourth century B.C.E. astrology was not rife in Classical Greece (although it was more so in Archaic Greece, as I have suggested in another article). This astrology vacuum is rather inexplicable, because Greece lies rather close to the Middle East and to Mesopotamia, to the cradle of western astrology that is!

However, all this changed by the end of the fourth century B.C.E. due to an extraordinary event, an event that turned out to be very significant in the history of astrology: the expedition, primarily martial but to some extent also cultural, of Alexander the Great into Asia and particularly into Mesopotamia, the cradle of astrology. I should emphasize here that Alexander, being the child of a priestess and the spiritual child of the philosopher Aristotle, was not interested just in conquering nations but also in learning their culture. In point of fact, his army comprised many Greek scientists (geographers, historians, botanists, astronomers, philosophers etc.). His fervent wish was to explore, conquer and then UNITE all the people, all the countries, all the known then world! Alexander was intelligent enough to know that if he were to succeed in his cause he had to demonstrate tolerance towards the religion and the culture of each country and allow the free flow of ideas in his empire. 

So, by the time Alexander’s army entered victoriously into the city of Babylon, astrology (in its non - horoscopic form) had reached full growth in Mesopotamia. The Greeks took an immediate interest in astrology. They somehow became heirs of the vast astrological notions accumulated throughout the centuries between the two great rivers. With their philosophical and inventive minds they revised those notions, they applied mathematical and geometrical principles to them and finally transformed the Mesopotamian astrology into the horoscopic astrology we know today. And it all started with Alexander the Great! Of course the promotion of astrology was not his main priority when he campaigned against the Persians in the Middle East. However, as far as we know astrology was not contrary to his beliefs.

Alexander was initiated in various mysteries so he probably had some knowledge of astrology. And as he was mostly following the local traditions he must have had astrologers in his court (the Persian kings before him habitually kept royal astrologers in the palace). Actually, we have some very tangible testimonies on Alexander’s belief in astrology, coming out not just from one but  from three different sources (Plutarch, Arrian and Diodorus Siculus). Diodorus is the most descriptive of all: 

“When Alexander was about to enter Babylon, the so called Chaldeans came to meet him. These Chaldeans gained much fame and glory through astrology, as they could predict - by the means of their age long observation of the stars - the future events! And the Chaldeans predicted the death of the king in Babylon”2. Now, as all historians account, Alexander took very seriously into consideration this prediction, as if he really believed in astrology! Thus, I am fairly sure that he kept astrologers in his court, astrologers which cast the “chart” of Alexander and consequently passed on his planetary positions to other astrologers too. The astrological identity of this supreme blonde conqueror that came from the west must have been a matter of prime interest among the Babylonian - Persian astrologers of the time. However, to date no “Alexander’s Perso- Babylonian chart” has been found.

The fake Alexander’s charts and the quest for his true birth date

Not having in our disposition a "first hand" chart of Alexander the Great we must necessarily turn our attention to any available "second hand" ones. Two such alleged Alexander’s charts were published in the 17th century. The first one was cast in 1652 by the Italian Andrea Argolo (the so-called "little Ptolemy"). On it we can read: "Genitura Alexandri Magni, 12 Augusti 355 Anno Christum, 16:40 P.M.". From the very first moment I laid my eyes on this chart I fervently sought to verify the planetary positions displayed on it. As soon as I found the means to do so, I noticed that the planetary positions in this chart are generally correct (there is only a deviation in the zodiac positions of the Moon and Mercury). This however cannot be the genuine chart of Alexander, because we are quite sure that he was born in 356 B.C.E. and not in 355 B.C.E..

You may read the full article here

Thomas D. Gazis

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The shenanigans of the Greek astrological community - and the Thomas Gazis "dismissal"

                         (picture from the still existing temporary committee's blog:  )

Prominent Greek painter "Tsarouchis" once said: "In modern Greece you are (professionally, socially) whatever you claim to be". Laws are rather loosly applied in my country. Combine this with the fact that Greece is the poorest country in Western Europe - going now through a huge crisis - and with the fact that astrology renders VERY WELL in Greece - twice to thrice the average wages and in several cases 5 - 10 times the average wages!) then you will realize why so many crafty people claim today TO BE ASTROLOGERS in Greece! Thus, a huge circuit of lucrative, uncultured "astrologers" is dominating the scene, putting aside, marginalizing, calumniating and even intimidating the (actually few) cultured Astrologers (who are seen as a major threat to these people's' interests). Needless to say that in Greece there is no Astrological Federation or Association (how convenient to the self-proclaimed "astrologers")! You may read below how the Greek lucrative astrological circuit devised a particular plot in order to silence my "annoying" voice - as I have been for many years fervently professing a cultured astrology in modern Greece: 

It all began on the 15th of May 2009, when for the first time in modern Greek history 32 astrologers (and "astrologers" as you will see) gathered in Athens in order to discuss the establishment of a formal association of Greek astrologers (still in 2010 we don't have one). True astrology, the cultured one is almost nonexistent in Greece and the scene is completely dominated by lucrative "astrologers" - see also the article 'Why has quality astrology declined. The Greek grim case"  here.

Personally, I have been working for the promotion of cultured astrology in Greece since the early 90's, while I have been always stressing  to my Greek fellow astrologers the need to create an astrological association (I have written hundreds of relative articles on the Internet). So I was glad when I received a phone call from my former student Evita Zachariadou who announced me that with some other astrologers they had organized this special meeting. I went to it experiencing a strong heartbeat, as if I were a young boy in love. I was thinking that the dream was about to become true, as the Greek astrologers were finally meeting and beginning procedures in order to establish - at last - an astrological federation.

When I arrived at the venue I noticed that the "big-shot" astrologers (the celebrity astrologers of the TV and media) were not present, although they had received an invitation. This did not surprise me much, as I knew that these people's main concern is their (huge) personal interests, which they put above everything else and a decent Greek astrological association would just reduce their profits, fame and might. There were two semi-famous astrologers (Christos Paizes and Perikles Karaminas) along-with their students. Paizes and Karaminas - apart from coming to the specific meeting - did not participate further in the cause of creating a Greek federation. They rather preferred to be "observers" in the whole procedure. All in all, the procedures in this meeting were democratic. Whoever wanted it, could express his/her point of view in his/her turn. Consequently it was decided to establish - by a secret vote - a preliminary seven-members committee that would work out all the relative details and prepare the big convention, that would finally bring us to the establishment of the Association of Greek astrologers.
To my astonishment (most of the people that were present I didn't know personally)  I was voted for this preliminary seven-members committee. The composition of the committee is alphabetically listed below:

- Gazis Thomas 
- Galanou Mary 
 - Konti Vasia
- Rizopoulos Ioannis (John) 
- Panagiotopoulos Ioannis 
- Sotiraki Smaro 
- Zachariadou Evita 

From the very first moment I started working for the purposes of the Committee, assuming that everybody else was doing the same. The committee convened four times in the very next weeks and then sometimes via "skype". I was present at all the meetings, dialoguing constantly and fully collaborating with all the other committee members. I did translate in Greek the whole statute of the Italian Federation of Astrologers (C.I.D.A, federation which I am representing it in Greece). We agreed that this statute would constitute the pilot upon which we would build the Greek statute. In common with the other members we were defining the articles, proposing additional ideas, commenting etc. Simultaneously we were taking care of other aspects of the future Federation, as the code of ethics, the certification of the professional astrologers, subscriptions etc.). My personal point of view was that they should be certified only those astrologers who would pass the relative exams, proving thus their knowledge and their general formation. But the members of the committee Evita Zachariadou, Vasia Konti and Mary Galanou were opposing this thesis, claiming that the basic premise for an astrologer to be certified should be him/her working for more than 5 years in the astrological phone line services or seeing clients for more than 5 years. If somebody covered this premise then s/he should be certified as an astrologer without taking any kind of exams!

At common request of the committee, I created an Internet forum - on its behalf - so that we open a channel and inform the public about our actions and works, we receive suggestions etc. Due to lack of resources, I selected a "free" (no cost) type of forum. With much work done from the part of my wife and mine personally we finally designed the forum, which from the very beginning was completely accessible to everyone ( For practical reasons, I was asigned to function as the administrator of the site, but every action of mine was done with the previous consent of the committee (with which I was constantly in touch, continuously calling by phone each and every member. I NEVER wrote or deleted any post on my own initiative, without having first the approval of the other members of the committee). I was generally defending the right of everyone to freely express his/her views in the forum, as long as they were not offensive and insulting.

A crucial detail here: back in 2005 I created with my wife a (non profit)  greek astrological site for the promotion of the cultured astrology in Greece. It turned to be a rather succesful site and among the many members we had 6-7 very active individuals who were continuously posting. Although they never admited it publicly these individuals were actually members of the same "clique" (as I discovered later on).  And the fact is that from some point on they tried to control our site and write whatever THEY wanted! They even tried to pass on some VERY DARK points of view and when they met resistance from my part  they started collectively discrediting me in any possible way. Actually, from that moment on I became a permanent target of prejudice and manic furor from these people - who are actually running the so called "Bandits" blog (Bandits = Simmoria in Greek). The important thing is that these individuals (Koronakis, Saloniki, Matsotas, Bardopoulos and their "friends") are tightly related to certain  members of the here mentioned committee! And their furor is such that they even started (on July 2010) an International smear campaign against me (please click the following link to see a relative post of theirs in English: ) 

A few days after this meeting a man who was actually acting as a "torpedo" remotely controlled by "The Bandits" - Simmoria" group, John Bardopoulos, began writing provocative posts on the committee's web forum. Supposedly he was only interested in questioning the administrator and the procedures of the forum, contesting how democratic they were, but in reality he was skilfully and methodically discrediting personally me. You have to note here that the "torpedo" man John Bardopoulos has been for decades an intimate friend to the two main members of the "Bandits" group (Koronakis and Matsotas) and to the member of the Committee Ioannis Rizopoulos - who is also tightly related to "The Bandits".

                                                            (the Simmoria's "torpedo" man John Bardopoulos) 

The first thing I did when I saw the subversive posts of Bardopoulos was to ask for the protection of the seven-member committee - although I could easily delete them by myself, as I was the forum's administrator. As I explained though, I was always acting with the consent of the other committee members. And at this stage I was utterly surprised by the fact that Evita Zachariadou, Yianis Rizopoulos, Vasia Konti and Mary Galanou bluntly refused any protection to me!

The above four were of the opinion that Bardopoulos' subversive posts should remain as they were on the forum! Thus, a paradox was created: a third person was entering undisturbed in the site of the committee, steadily calumniating a member of the committee, which on his turn was barred by four of the committee's members (by the majority that is) and thus could not publicly defend himself! This "quartet" not only was opposing any eventual deleting of the Bardopoulos subversive posts - despite the fact that these posts were actually dynamiting the very foundations of the future Greek Astrology Federation - but they were also leaving a fellow-member of theirs completely exposed to the constant mudslinging of a third party! When I asked Evita Zachariadou why they do this she replied "because Bardopoulos is a "colorful" character and eventually he will be isolated by the Greek astrological community". Bardopoulos though not only is not isolated but today he is a close friend to both Zachariadou and Konti! From my side I did just what I was elementary entitled, once the quartet Rizopoulos, Zachariadou, Konti, Galanou (which as I explained had the majority in the committee) left me totally exposed. I wrote a post responding to the accusations of Bardopoulos. But as soon as I did that the above four fell over me, as if I had committed a crime!

It is at this point that the Rizopoulos, Zachariadou, Konti and Galanou quartet issued an announcement in which they announced my dismissal from the Committee, on the ground that "I was not collaborating with the other members but only litigating, promoting my personal interests and generally scheming!" But this whole announcement is a HUGE and UNHOLY LIE! I believe that nobody else in this Committee has worked so much as I did for the establishment of the federation of Greek astrologers! Nobody collaborated so closely and unpretentious with the other members of the Committee as I did. The tragic-comic thing is that my vulgar dismissal - and my replacement by astrologer Bella Kydonaki - has been the only "work" that this committee ever accomplished. Obviously Ioannis (John) Rizopoulos, Evita Zachariadou, Vasiliki (Vasia) Konti and Mary Galanou presumed that once they dismissed me they would have no more obligations towards those who voted them and towards Greek astrology. Thus, they did not conclude any other work at all and soon - by their own initiave (or rather by the lack of any initiative from their part) - they silently dissolved the committee - selling thus out the cause of a Greek astrological federation!

Obviously these people cared more for their own personal interests and profits. I was just an "annoying" voice to them. A vulnerable voice (not "connected", not famous to the general public,not rich) which they knew they could easily annihilate professionally, socially, morally and psychologically - without (or with very little) consequences for themselves. As they were many against one and as they were taking advantage of the formal vestiges of the committee to accuse me, they thought nobody would ever believe me - they are still claiming today that I am a liar, a psychopath etc. The fact is that the bluntly lucrative astrologers in Greece (who constitute the absolute majority) see me as a lonely "annoying voice" which they can easily silence. I know that I am powerless in front of the countless crafty people who are bluntly profiting out of astrology in Greece but I will keep raising my voice. Each gang of astrologers - bullies (as "The Bandits" - "Simmoria") can easily mock me and "trample" me socially - the public in Greece is not aware of their low "quality". The public's way of thinking is rather simple: "so many Greek astrologers against just one, Thomas Gazis! Then Thomas Gazis must be the bad guy..."! In any case, the greek astrologers-bullies will never succeed in demorilizing me! I will keep exposing their unethical actions no matter how hard they try to intimidate me and annihilate me!

Sometimes I feel my self as a lone "Don Quixote" who is romantically raising the banner of Cultured Astrology in a "deserted" country like Greece, abounding with people who make lots of money vulgarly exploiting astrology, a "Don Quixote" in a landscape woven with various kinds of interests of too many lucrative and unethical people and almost a total absence of that critical mass of people who would be truly interested in Astrology - supporting thus the cause of a Cultured Astrology in Greece.

Regarding now the (still unborn) Greek Astrological Association, the overwhelming majority of the Greek astrologers does not honestly wish it to be materialized - especially if it will be a democratic association and not controlled by their cliques and "circuits". The majority of the Greek astrologers feels fine without an association,  because under the present conditions and within the current "anarchic" frame they better promote their personal interests and profiteer without complications. It's not a coincidence we still don't have a "panhellenic" astrological association in Greece but only private astrology "clubs". The fact is that with this "low vibrations" current astrological community there is no immediate future for Astrology in Greece, for many years to come... It is sad because 2000 years ago the Greeks (or at least the Alexandrian Greeks + middle eastern scholars) gave birth to the very horoscopic astrology, the one we are practicing now!

2011 Addendum: In 2011 the very same individuals who are responsible for the "silent dissolution" of the committee - for the formation of a (national) Greek Astrological Federation - founded a private (and apparently lucrative) astrological club named "Pame Astrologia". At the nucleus of this club we encounter the names of Dimitris Koronakis, John Rizopoulos, Katerina Saloniki, Thanasis Matsotas, John Bardopoulos, Evita Zachariadou, Vasia Konti, Mary Galanou.

Thomas Gazis