Reflections on the Super Full Moon in Aquarius: The Horoscope of Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine was an 18th-century radical who wrote pamphlets including Common Sense and The Rights of Man.Super Full Moon in Aquarius: Yesterday evening I found myself reading an article on Super Moons – they really are hard to avoid. The term was coined in 1979 by American astrologer, Richard Nolle, who writes “SuperMoon describes a new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth… SuperMoons are noteworthy for their close association with extreme tidal forces working in what astrologers of old used to call the sublunary world: the atmosphere, crust and oceans of our home planet – including ourselves, of course..” SuperMoons actually occur regularly which might in part explain the buzz that surrounds them.

The Super Full Moon in Aquarius:  I have a hard time understanding Aquarians, so the excellent documentary that the BBC sent out last night on the life of Thomas Paine, could not have been better timed. Paine was born on Jan. 29 1737, at 11.30 am in Thetford, England – and has Sun, and Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius.  Paine – originally a maker of ladies corsets (almost visually depicted by the glyph for Pisces which is where Venus is placed in Thomas Paine’s horoscope!) – was destined to become the animating spirit of the American and French Revolution.

The Super Full Moon in Aquarius: In 1774 by chance, Paine met Benjamin Franklin who was living in London at the time. Franklin was impressed by Paine and encouraged him to emigrate to the US giving him a letter of introduction which duly opened the doors to the corridors of power. Paine’s political pamphlets  ‘Common Sense’  (1776) -which sold a quarter of a million copies in the US alone the equivalent of selling 35 million copies today – “The American Crisis’ (1776) and ‘The Rights of Man” (1791), were written in the language of the people which perhaps explains their extraordinary ability to incite to action. Incidentally Paine donated all his considerable royalties to George Washington in support of the cause. Paine’s ability to strike a chord is evident. Barack Obama ended his own inaugural address with a lengthy quote by Paine, a quote which incidentally George Washington himself ordered read to his troops when things were not going good for the Colonies:  “Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive … that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it.)”

The Super Full Moon in Aquarius: Thomas Paine was drawn like a magnet towards Revolution. In the 1790’s – he lived in France and at first supported Robespierre. However Paine was a humanist. As a child he had witnessed public hangings and was totally opposed to the death penalty (to the slave trade and favoured voting rights for all men). Paine argued against the execution of Louis and Marie Antionette – whereby becoming an enemy of the revolution, for which he was imprisoned and sentenced to death. Not for the first time, fate intervened on Paine’s behalf. Though his execution date was set for the following morn, the guards opened Paine’s cell door to let in some air – and the cross mark placed on the door of those to die next day, was mistakenly painted on the inside. When the door was shut – the ‘x’ was no longer visible and Paine miraculously escaped death.

The Super Full Moon in Aquarius: Unable to return to England, where, during his absence a death sentence had been handed out to him for sedition, it was to America that Paine returned upon his release from prison. However times had changed. In his pamphlet ‘The Age of Reason” (1794) Paine had expressed strong opinions against organized religion. Though Paine was not an atheist – he was in fact a spiritual man – he was viewed as one. In America his old friends and the Establishment abandoned him. Paine died in America in 1809 – almost forgotten  – only six people turned up at his funeral !

The Super Full Moon in Aquarius: Paine’s Aquarian character shines through most brightly when he is supporting and giving voice to humanitarian causes. His deep and sincere commitment to a sense of  ‘common humanity’, his disregard for personal advancement and ambition, subsumed as it was in his unwavering belief in doing ‘the right thing’. Paine’s inability to compromise, the way in which he ‘stuck to his guns’ made him many enemies. He was a man of principle who could not be moved. When asked about his religious beliefs Paine replied “There is one God…. my religion is to do good.” Paine labored for a democratic society, argued for  ‘a welfare state’, spoke out for full human rights for all members of society and the right to freedom of conscience. While Thomas Paine had difficulty in maintaining ‘one on one’ and intimate relationships which undoubtedly was a source of great personal pain and suffering, there is no denying he had a unique gift when it came to voicing the concerns of the collective.

The Super Full Moon in Aquarius: So reflecting back on the Aquarian Full Moon today… I think this is a good day to spend some time thinking about core life principles – while at the same time placing them in a wider social context. This might involve a commitment to recycling your plastic, to eating less meat, or to visiting a lonely neighbor. Aquarius reaches beyond the personal concerns we normally attach to the Moon-  towards a collective sphere where our own actions impact on others, or the planet. Leo is a big sign – which celebrates the individual and his/her achievement and joyful presence in life – Aquarius on the other hand is able to rise above the uniquely personal and look for meaning towards a larger whole.

The horoscope of Thomas Paine

thomsas paine

Over Liz Hathway

Liz Hathway is a British born astrologer currently based in Amsterdam. Liz studied astrology at the Kosmos in Amsterdam, at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London and with well known horary astrology John Frawley. Liz also holds an MA (with distinction) in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, from the University of Wales, in Lampeter, and was short-listed for the 2016 Alumni Association MA CAA Dissertation Prize.
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