The Fascinating Moral Dilemma of Antigone w/ Astrologer Christopher Renstrom
Sun square Neptune
This is your Horoscope Highlight for the week of December 12-19, 2022 with world-class astrologer, historian, and author of The Cosmic Calendar, Christopher Renstrom.
This week features an impactful Sun-Neptune square. To illustrate the significance of this aspect, Christopher recounts the ancient play, “Antigone,” and the moral dilemma at its center. In particular, this story reveals the complexity of the moral dilemma, the relationship between morality and custom or habit and the clash between earthly and divine law.
0:34 Sun-Neptune Square
1:43 Story of Antigone
16:35 Moral Dilemma of Greek Tragedies
24:54 Sagittarius/9th House vs. Pisces/12th House
30:13 More on Sun-Neptune Square
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This podcast episode is brought to you by AstrologerConnect, your premier source for quality Astrology readings. Hi there and welcome. This is Amanda, the founder of Astrology Hub, and you’re listening to our week ahead snapshot with world class astrologer, historian and author of the Cosmic Calendar, Christopher Renstrom. This show is designed to give you a quick overview of the week ahead,
enabling you the gift of choice and how you navigate and weave these energies into your daily life. Enjoy. Hello, My name is Christopher Renstrom, and I’m your weekly horoscope colonist here on Astrology Hub. And this week I wanted to talk to you about the upcoming Sun Neptune Square taking place on December 14th. Now, these Sun Neptune squares are pretty famous. They’re generally regarded by Astrologers as being a sort of illusion disillusionment crisis that takes place.
In other words, you were sort of enthralled to something or you believed something to be true. And then because of this Neptune Sun square, you’re going to be disabused of any notion. There’s a sort of waking up from having been under the spell of something, not unlike an audience member waking up from a hypnotic spell where they’ve been made to squawk like a chicken and from an over a roaring crowd for the last five minutes,
these Sun Neptune squares often leave people feeling embarrassed and a little bit ashamed, and that’s pretty much the typical interpretation of them. I happen to think that there’s a little bit more going on with the Sun Neptune Square than is often acknowledged in, in, in astrological readings. And to me, what a Sun Neptune square represents, especially a Sun Neptune square taking place in the Jupiter ruled signs.
The Sun will be in Sagittarius, Neptune will be in Pisces. So for me, what this Sun Neptune square represents is a moral dilemma. Something that comes to mind when I think of moral dilemmas is the wonderful Greek tragedy written by philosophically the tragedy entitled Antigony. Antigony is basically one of those plays where you’re kind of divided between the two side that are involved in this great conflict,
and that I think is really the key to understanding how the square works. Antigony is the story of a 14 year old girl. She is the daughter of Oedipus Rex. You may be familiar with the story of Oedipus Rex. He is the fellow who kills his father and marries his mother, and upon learning that blinds himself and throws himself into self exile.
Well, he had a few children by his marriage to his mother, his wife, and his mother. Her name was Jocasta, and he had a few children by her, and one of his children was Antagon, who is the protagonist of this play. Now, Antigony, as I said, is a 14 year old girl, and the play opens with two bodies,
basically laid on stage. And these are the bodies of her two slain brothers, Attles and Polyus. Now, the reason that they’re dead on stage is that there has been a civil war that has just been fought in the city state of Thes. The kingdom of Thes was ruled by EDUs and EDUs, you know, out of his shame when he exiles himself leaves the two brothers in charge of the city.
The two brothers, Eddie Les and Pallas Athene nis immediately have a civil war. Eddie Ales is on the side of Creon, who’s basically the brother-in-law to EDUs. And so he’s fighting for things to stay the same in the city after the passing of his father. And Pallas Athene Nis is in revolt against his brother. He doesn’t feel like the government is,
is is just or good, and he feels like he has a a claim to the throne. And so the two brothers are going to have it out, and they actually wage an enormous war, which brings a great deal of difficulty to the city. The climax of this war is when the two brothers engage in single handed combat and they kill one another.
As I said, a les was fighting for the thieves that had been ruled or being currently ruled by Creon Ed’s brother-in-law. And Pallas Athene Polys was fighting to declare his right, his claim to the throne. Both of them are dead on stage at the beginning of the play. Now, Creon, who is now the regent power of following the death of the brothers,
has declared that at les’s is to have a proper burial. That he was a champion of the city of thieves, that, that he was trying to protect the people within its walls. And in honor for his heroism and his valor, he is to be buried, given full ceremonies of theban society. Now, Pallas Athene, on the other hand, is branded by Creon as being the rebel,
as being the person who was stirring up trouble, someone who was trying to basically stage a coup and overthrow his brother. And so Creon dictates that Poly’s body will be left out on the battlefield where it fell left out on the battlefield to become the food of carrying birds and feral dogs and worms and other creatures that prey upon corpses. Needless to say, it’s an undignified end to prints of the city,
but more importantly, it’s basically regarded as a crime. A crime. It’s a crime against the gods. Now, the argument on Creon side is that he declares that polys body will not be buried because he was a traitor, and he should have the fate of a traitor. And so his body is left, left unburied to be preyed upon by dogs and birds.
But it was a custom in Greek society that all bodies were to be buried, that all bodies were to be buried, because it’s only when a body is buried that the soul can properly depart the body and enter into tarus or enter into the underworld. For a body to be left exposed was to basically doom the soul of that body to an eternal exile,
an eternal exile where it existed between worlds, the world of living and the world of the dead. And Antigony, being sister to both brothers feels a fidelity to polys that he be buried as well. And so that is her intent. But she runs a fo of Creon who dictates that not only is the corpse of poly to be left rotting on the battlefield,
but that anyone, anyone who attempts to bury the body of poly will, will immediately be condemned to death. So Antigony tries to get her sister on her side to, to bury the body. And her sister is like, well, I, I, I want to, and I support you in this effort, but our uncle and Creon is, is indeed because he’s the brother-in-law to EDUs the brother to Jaa.
Our uncle has decree that this isn’t to be done. And, and, and maybe we should honor that, maybe we should obey that. That is civic law. You know, he is the, the king of of thieves. And then taken, he says, I’m not hearing anything of it. I’m not hearing anything of it. Pallas, Athene might have been fighting on the opposite end of the battle,
but what’s happened here is a tragedy. It’s the death of our two brothers, and we are bound by blood. We are bound by blood to bury our brother Pallas Athene, will you come with me? And her sister says, no, no, I I cannot come with you. And if anything, I think you’re being too extreme. I think you’re being too passionate.
You’re only a 14 year old girl. And what we have to remember about Greek society at this time is that women had a lower rank than men. They did not have the right to vote. They did not have a voice in the government, and they were basically seen as subservient to the men in Greek society. So for the Greek audience watching this Greek tragedy,
and Teagan is a little bit of, well, not a little bit, and Teagan is very much an alarming figure. She’s a 14 year old girl unmarried who is going to go against the king of this society. And no matter, even if she is doing right by her brother, certainly the laws of society, the laws of government supersede her own particular aims.
And in this regard, and Tegan is really kind of the predecessor to other young girls who, who go against this system like Joan of Arc, for instance, or Greta Thunberg. You know, there are these girls who are going against society that people regard as maybe being too impassioned, you know, and, and, and maybe they should dial it back a bit or something along these lines.
But Antigony will not be anti, will not be compromised. She will not be muted, okay? And she insists on burying her brother, and she goes out in, in, in the night to bury him. And of course, she’s discovered and exposed and brought in front of Creon where they have this argument. And it’s this argument, it’s this debate between the two sides.
C is saying, you have gone against my, my, my law, my will. I am the ruler of the city. Everyone must, must, must obey what I have to say. And, and, you know, later audiences kind of find him tyran and really kind of like the evil figure, but you kind of have to cut Creon a little slack.
Oedipus family has caused a lot of problems for the city of ths, okay? You know, Oedipus himself killed the former king and married his wife, and then came to a discovery of this after Sirening children. So he really became this plague, this shame to, to thieves. EDUs then has these children, ales and Pallas Athene who fight a civil war over over the city and cause even more grief and hardship to the city.
And so Creon, you know, not really being a blood relative, is stepping in and bringing order to a society that has been out out of kilter for a very long time. And now he’s faced with this 14 year old girl, this 14 year old girl who was saying to him, quite defiantly, I answer to a higher power. I answer to a higher power,
and I am answering to a power that is higher than yours. Uncle Creon. And Creon says, well, what power are you answering to Missy? You know? And she responds, I am answering to the gods. And she’s right. She is answering to the gods to leave a body. Unburied is not only an insult to or humiliation to the,
to the deceased, but it goes against nature. It goes against the laws of nature. And the laws of nature are the laws of the gods and the gods insist that all bo bodies be buried so that the souls can be deposited in the underworld. This is, this is the understanding, and these laws must be obeyed. And so anti defies her uncle,
and she says, yes, I buried him. I tried to bury him, and I’m answering to a higher authority, an authority that’s higher than yours, uncle, you know? And, and so he says, well, you know, Antigony, you leave me no recourse. I’m going to have to condemn you to, to death. That was my decree.
And I am going to condemn you to death. I am going to condemn you to be walled up inside of a cave. And in that cave, you will eventually die. You will lose oxygen. There will be no air, air circulating. And, and, and you will, you will die. And she says, yes, fine, do it.
You know, and so, again, this is why Antigony is really quite famous through the generation. She stands up against authority in this way. And so she’s hauled off to the cave, and an enormous boulder is rolled up in front of the mouth of the cave, and she is left there to perish. Well, it so happens that Antigony is the fiance of crayons,
son Haman. Okay? And so Haman is the first one to come to crayon and, and plead with him and say, father, father, this is my fiance that you have walled up in this cave. Can you please, can you please show her some sort of mercy? Can, can you make an exception this time? Can, can you show mercy?
I know that this is the letter of the law. This is why I’m coming to plead to you, because as the king, only you can revoke the law. Only you can show clemency. And Creon is hardhearted. He w he’s having nothing of it. He’s, he’s saying, no, no, she’s broken my law. And this is what I,
this is what her punishment is. And then that, that blind prophet tyres shows up. Tyres always shows up, okay? Like whenever something is going afoul and Fis, okay? And Tyress is a blind prophet. He’s led by a boy, and he, and because of his blindness, he can see the things that we cannot, that, that we typical people cannot see.
And so Tyres says to Creon, you are not heading down a good road. You are actually heading down the road of disaster. You have defied the laws of the gods, and the gods are very angry with you, and you have set into motion things that will bring about your downfall. I plead with you because you are the king. You know that you can revoke this law,
that you can make an exception, that you can show mercy, that you can show clemency your laws, your, your law, your absolute punishment, your punishment of the body not being buried. Your punishment of antigony goes against the natural order, and you will not come to a good end. So I bee you to really change your position. And at that moment,
Corion actually does change his position. He says, yes, perhaps I was too harsh. Perhaps this goes against the laws of the gods. Let’s release anti, please, please, soldiers run off and, and, and release her. And of course, it’s a tragedy. And no sooner do the soldiers get to the cave and they roll away the boulder that has imprisoned anti inside that they find the dead body of Antigony.
What Antigony has done is that she has hung herself. All right? And so this idea of incarceration and hanging herself while incarcerated, this is, this is the scene that the soldiers come upon, you know? And of course, they’re all like, you know, couldn’t she have waited or, or whatever. But you know, whether it was defiance,
whether it was fear, whatever the reason, Antigony has hung herself in, in the cave where she was condemned to die. And as a result, Haman her, who deeply loved her, kills himself and Korean’s wife, she, she kills herself because her only son has killed himself. So she kills herself. And in the moment that she kills herself,
she spits at Creon and she curses him. And so Creon is left, Creon is left with, with nothing. Okay? He’s left with, with nothing. Now, this is what’s fascinating about Greek tragedies. When I was studying them and, and performing in them at the Juilliard School of Drama, we were always told that, that the appeal of Greek tragedies was to create catharsis in the audience,
you know, to get the audiences to go, you know, and, and to experience the feelings of the characters in themselves and have this kind of cathartic moment. My feeling about Greek drama, about Greek tragedies has changed over the years. And, and, and it’s kind of changed because of my understanding of Astrology. What a Greek tragedy demonstrates is a dilemma,
okay? What what it demonstrates is a, a moral dilemma, okay? In which there’s something right to both sides of the argument and something very wrong to both sides of the argument. There’s no one clear winner. And then there’s this kind of like inevitability of events that are, that are sent forward as a result. And what is the result? The result is usually poor judgment on the part of the protagonists in the drama,
okay? They, they, they’ve been seized and, and, and there’s a blindness. They show poor judgment in understanding the events that are taking place in their lives. It doesn’t incriminate them, but they suffer as a result of that. And that is sort of, kind of the kernel of, of tragedy. So, you know, anti’s argument is that she is following the God’s law,
and the God’s law is higher than the law of the state, okay? And she’s following the God’s law that dictate that people must be buried. But she’s also, there’s a personal investment at the same time. There, there’s, there’s her, her personal understanding of the God’s law. I mean, the gods haven’t appeared to anti in a vision or sent signs in omens,
or even dictated a scroll that was dropped beside her pill in the morning or something like that. And Tay has taken this entirely upon herself to, to bury her brother, which defies the law and what she, and, and she’s ready to die for it. So what we also see here in the story of Antigony is a true martyr. Perhaps you can begin to glean or,
or recognize the Pi Piscean themes that are beginning to come out here. And, and so she, she basically stakes out the moral high ground. Now, moral, we understand morals as, as basically things that are passed down that teach us to understand and recognize the difference between right and wrong. This is morally correct, this is wrong or morally abhorrent,
but morals, it’s, they’re the word moral. It’s etymology comes from moray. And moray has been generally understood as customs that have been passed up, particularly through the family customs that, that children are taught, you know, as to be proper behavior. But moray also means habit. Okay? So, so it’s a habit. It it’s a habitual way of being.
Okay? So, and, and this, and, and the domain of morals was really the family, because this is where the customs or the habits, or the proper way of seeing good and evil were taught the, in ancient Greece, it’s, it’s the domain of the family, okay? Whereas the public or the civic domain, this is the domain of the institution,
okay? This is the domain of the regent power or the ruling power who can make or unmake laws. And the laws are geared to rule over society. Not everyone may agree that the laws are good, and not everyone may agree that the laws are bad, but laws are put in place, and the expectation is that they be followed. So the idea is that one’s moral conscience,
okay? And a moral conscience is, is our general understanding of it, is, you know, good and evil. If I’ve done something bad, oh, you know, that makes me feel bad and uncomfortable, and I must seek rep repentance or repentance in some way, or I’m just a horrible human being and I don’t follow my moral conscience. Okay?
So, so that’s moral conscience. It’s almost like a personal thing. And then there are the laws of the state, which are not personal. They’re impersonal. They’re, they’re, they’re fashioned to ensure the proper running of the state or the proper running of society. So when anti basically takes this higher moral ground, she is pitting her interpretation, okay?
Or her, her moral conscience, she’s pitting her moral conscience against the state, okay? Against the laws of crayon. And she’s saying, I’m answering to a higher power. I’m answering to the power of the gods. I’m answering to good versus evil. And this is higher than anything you would decree. And this is what I’m answering to. This is what’s right.
It’s right to bury a body after, after it’s been, after it dies. Okay? And so Creon is like, you know, inflexible. He’s, he’s, he’s inflexible, but he’s not inflexible because he’s like an obstinate, you know, stubborn person. He’s inflexible because he’s protecting the interests of society that have been upset by the, by this family drama that’s been going on,
on EDUs side of the fence. And so has he come down too hard on this? Yes. Yes. He has come down too hard on this, you know, and it’s often understood that, you know, in, in the centuries that antigony, you know, has, has been passed down to us. You know, it’s often seen this,
this argument, this debate between Creon and Antigony as, as, as tyranny, you know, or, or absolute, you know, totalitarianism, that’s the word I’m looking for as totalitarianism versus anarchy. You know, that, that, that, that, that if we were to follow the whims of, of anti or our own moral conscience and, and,
and disregard everything else, then, then we’re aren’t anarchists. We’re, we’re, we’re, were, were without order, we’re without civic responsibility. And so this is a conflict that’s that, that the Greek audience very much understood. And even though Antigony was, to them an an abhorrent figure, you know, a 14 year old girl lost of the low in society,
who is she to question a king? This is awful. You know, at the same time, the king has gone against the will of the gods. He’s gone too far, you know, in his punishment. This is not, this is not a good thing. And so the audience members already know this isn’t going to end well, and it doesn’t end well as,
as I stated. But what remains to us is this clash, is this conflict. And of course, the god’s punish creon because you don’t leave a body between worlds, okay? And, and this is kind of like, you know, you sort of think it’s, it’s more plutonian, but it’s actually very neptunian, okay? There is the, there is the world of the supernatural.
You know, there’s the natural world which wine can take as Jupiter, okay? And then there is Neptune, which is the supernatural world that also has its laws or its taboos. And so Creon breaks the laws twice. He breaks the laws by not burying the body of Polynesia. And he breaks the law by walling up antigony in a cave she’s buried alive.
And so that is also a perversion, okay? You don’t bury people who are alive. So she’s buried alive. And again, she is between, she is between worlds. And this, this is what brings down the wrath of the gods on, on, on Creon. So, so basically, you know, what I’m sort of showing here at demonstrating hopefully,
is that, and Taken is often seen as a play about civil disobedience. It’s actually the first example of civil disobedience. But it also illustrates the difference between Sagittarius and Pisces, or rather the difference between the Ninth House, which we often associate with Sagittarius, and the Twelfth House, which we often associate with Pisces. The Ninth House, you know, we associate to higher,
higher education, wisdom, philosophy, spiritual pursuits and things like this. But to medieval Astrologers in particular, and to older ones as well, the Ninth House was pretty much understood as the church, okay? Definitely in the middle age period, the Ninth House was understood as the church, okay? And the institution of the church, as in the Catholic church in Europe.
And remember that Astrology is one of Astrology chief patron in the middle ages is the Catholic church. That’s where the books of Astrology are housed and curated, copied, and taken care of. If it weren’t for the Catholic church, we wouldn’t have Astrology, all right? Or if it weren’t for the universities of, of Persia, we wouldn’t have, or the academies of Persia,
we wouldn’t have Astrology. Cuz that’s where those books were kept as well. So, so, so this, this wisdom, this knowledge, Astrology as we know and practice it has been preserved by religious institutions, all right? Since, since its inception, really. And so, so that’s kind of the Ninth House. These are the rules, these are the laws.
These are the things that you do, that you obey to not only be a good person, but because this is the realm of the Ninth House. But to be a proper citizen, to be a proper civic citizen, these are the rules and the laws that you obey in order to be a upstanding member of society might be the current way that we might put it.
And so this is religion as, as an institution and as scripture, the impulse of the Twelfth House, or the domain of the Twelfth House is very different. The domain of the Twelfth, House is the domain of the supernatural. It’s the domain of the mystic, okay? And I’ve, I’ve probably mentioned on, on these episodes before, mystics in the history of religion were eyed really quite suspiciously.
And very rarely, because on one hand, a church, a doctrinal church, needed mystics with their visions and with their messages from the divine. They needed that to prove that the miraculous still appeared in this world, okay? That, that, that the church hadn’t dead into everything under the weight of scripture, but that you could still have these epiphanies,
you could still have these visions, you could still have people who were seized by, by the spirit or the divine, and that they were seen as, as being wiser than the wise, than, than the learned in religion. And so they were celebrated in, in, in regards, but at the same time, they were also feared because mystics could go a little extreme,
okay? Mystics could say, overthrow the Pope, he’s taking money for your soul and limbo. And, and, and no one decides these things, but God so overthrow the Pope, fight back against religion and all these sorts of things. And, and, and, and this is what mystics could do. This is why Jonah arc was burned at the stake.
And this is why Greta Turnberg makes officials at different international conferences, very uncomfortable, okay? It’s, it’s, it’s someone who seized the imagination of the crowd, of the people and is now, you know, and, and is answering to a higher authority. You know, in Greta’s case, she’s answering to the higher authority of mother nature herself, okay?
And, and, and, and wielding that against institutions, corporations, governments around the world. So, so mystics, even to this day, have a very powerful voice and are again, regarded in this very mixed way. On one hand, you know, you know, if you’re for Greta, you’re walking out of school, your job or whatever you’re protesting,
you’re, you’re, you’re trying to raise awareness, you know, and, and stop, and stop the, stop the end of our planet, you know, which is, which is being brought about by greedy corporate people and things like this. And then if you’re on the side of government or, or institutions, you look at Greta as a frightening figure because she’s going to upset the way that you run things or the way that things are processed in society.
She’s not really recognizing that there’s a protocol or there’s etiquette and, and these sorts of things. So this creates attention. Hundreds of years ago, they might very well have burned Greta at the stake. So, so, but nowadays that will not happen, you know? And, and, and that’s, that’s a good thing that shows progress on our part.
So what we have with this Sun in Sagittarius, okay? Which is very much about belief, you know, and beliefs and the, and, and beliefs are meant to be reinforced, okay? Beliefs aren’t up to questioning. If you take it to the ultimate, you know, if you take it to the ultimate extreme, beliefs are not to be questioned.
They’re to be believed. Okay? And so, and, and, and beliefs when they are questioned, will respond by either getting more dictatorial or, or dogmatic, I guess is the more proper way of saying it. But beliefs, when questioned or challenge can also sprout extraordinary rationales and, and, and, and, and excuses and reasons to believe like this.
You know, beliefs become a sort of self-fulfilling, you know, ideology. But that’s not the Twelfth House. The Twelfth House exists in a place without belief. It ex it exists in a place of mystery and experiences and experiences of mystery and experiences of wonder. And the, it exists in that place where you’re standing on the threshold between the known world and the invisible world.
And some people may say, oh, you know the truth. And other people might say, you sound like you’re insane. Okay? So this is the area of the Twelfth House, and this is what’s being brought into square this week. So what I want you to think about in terms of the square, and it may be some, it may end up manifesting as something very simple as disillusionment.
You know, the, the scales falling from your eyes or the rose colored glasses being taken off. That’s, that’s a very real and, and, and, and, and, and recognizable possibility and probability. But what I really want you to reflect upon, to meditate upon with this approaching square is the nature of the square itself between what is seen and believed and is right,
you know, maybe even a duty to your society. And then what is moral? What exists beyond that? What is true to whatever you would regard as a higher power, which may be in conflict, okay? To what the expectations are in society. Now, squares we will often tell you as Astrologers are combative, they can be competitive. But my feeling about a square is that it’s very much about a struggle between two planets that have two very determined points of view.
And we tend to see struggles and fights as in terms of who wins and who loses. But what we don’t always often recognize or respect is what a struggle brings about and what a struggle brings about with these two planets. The Sun and Neptune is a raising of consciousness, not its resolution. And that’s what I want you to think about when these planets square this week,
you know, to sort of embrace the process of your consciousness being raised beyond something that requires simple answers or immediate resolution. Hi there, I’m Amy Escobar, a producer of the Horoscope Highlight Show with Christopher Runstrom. Thanks for tuning in to the Astrology Hub podcast network. If you love the show, please take a moment to subscribe, rate, review, and share it.
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