Harbingers Of The Modern World

An astrological treatise on the asteroids 944 Hidalgo, 55 Pandora, and 1181 Lilith, authored by Mark Andrew Holmes.


Hidalgo, asteroid 944, was discovered on 31 October 1920 by Walter Baade at Hamburg, Germany. He named it for Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811), a Mexican priest known as "the father of Mexican independence,"as a thank-you gesture for Mexican hospitality in allowing German astronomers to view a solar eclipse of 10 September 1923 that was total in Mexico.

Father Miguel Hidalgo.

Father Hidalgo was the parish priest at Dolores de Hidalgo(then Dolores), Guanajuato in north-central Mexico. Born of Spanish stock in Mexico, he was known for encouraging his parishioners to grow silk in defiance of a colonial Spanish law which required all silk to be imported from the mother country. He became involved in organized unrest arising from Napoleon I's conquest of Spain and a desire on the part of Mexico to be independent from that country. On September 16, 1810, Father Hidalgo rang the bell of his church to summon his parishioners to rally for Mexican independence--el grito de Dolores (the cry of Dolores)-- which resulted in a popular uprising against the Spanish colonial authorities. Although the uprising failed due to lack of adequate military training and weaponry on the part of the mostly poor peasants who composed Father Hidalgo's army, and Father Hidalgo ended up first defrocked and then executed, the movement toward independence for Mexico proved inexorable once set in motion, and it became a separate nation in 1821. September 16, the anniversary of el grito de Dolores, is celebrated as Mexico's Independence Day.

The name Hidalgo comes from modern Spanish, is a contraction of the Spanish hijo de algo (son of somebody), and originally referred to a member of the lesser Spanish nobility who was the lowest-ranking type of man entitled to use the honorific "Don" in front of his name.

944 Hidalgo has a highly elliptical orbit steeply tilted to the ecliptic that takes it almost to the orbit of Mars at perihelion and past the orbit of Saturn at aphelion and takes 14 years to complete. It spends most of its 14-year, 51.1-day cycle in the signs Scorpio to Aquarius; spends about a year in Libra going out towards aphelion and in Pisces going in towards the Sun again, and races through the signs Aries to Virgo, spending only about six weeks apiece in Gemini, the sign of its perihelion, and in Cancer.

Hidalgo represents the principle of imperativeness. It impels to assertion, advocacy, and promotion on behalf of self and others, ambition and the desire to dominate, defend and protect, and also sometimes to an affinity for globalism, things Spanish or Latin American, revolutionary ideologies, and dark subcultures. Hidalgo energy requires a certain amount of skill, resourcefulness, forethought and control to manifest in an altogether constructive manner and may impel to self-damage, sacrifice or martyrdom if improperly handled. Afflicted Hidalgos in particular often act in a hard, domineering or rash manner. While there seems to be a macho component to Hidalgo's influence(refer to J.Lee Lehman's The Ultimate Asteroid Book), it is not a purely macho factor in the chart. The emblem of Father Hidalgo's rebellion was the picture of the Roman Catholic patron saint of Mexico, an aspect of the Virgin Mary known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared in 1520 near Mexico City to a poor Indian named Juan Diego and commanded him to build a chapel on a hill sacred to Tonantzin, the Aztec earth goddess who is a counterpart of the Greek Demeter and Roman Ceres. Hidalgo expresses Ceres energy through the mask of a patriarchal religious tradition and a masculine archetype, but does not manifest exclusively as a desire to dominate or subjugate, in which males have no monopoly in any case.

The North Node of Hidalgo is at 21 Aries 39. The Aries-Libra influence of Hidalgo's nodal axis suggests the necessity of the union of decisive action and adequate forethought, and that action may be exalted by who or what it benefits, either the self or others. The Sabian Symbol for 21 Aries is "The gate to the garden of desire", underscoring Hidalgo's adventurous streak. Gemini, Hidalgo's sign of perihelion, is further indicative of Hidalgo's "fast-moving", action-oriented influence, and also suggests that "the pen[Gemini] may is mightier than the sword," or that brain[Gemini] may be superior to brawn.

The year of Hidalgo's discovery saw, among other things, the consolidation of power by the Communists in Soviet Russia; pacifist agitation inspired by revulsion against World War I and the formation of the League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations, by which all nations may advocate for themselves and one another in a peaceful and cooperative manner; the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave American women the vote; and the election of Warren Harding to the U.S. Presidency over James Cox, an election whose results were reported by radio.


Pandora,asteroid 55, is a moderate-sized main-belt asteroid with a cycle of 4 years, 211.7 days. It was discovered on 10 September 1858 by George Searle at the Dudley Observatory in Albany, New York, USA. He named it for a well-known figure of Greco-Roman mythology, Pandora, a woman fashioned by the Olympian gods whose innocent curiosity in opening a box she had been expressly forbidden to open loosed all that is evil upon humanity. She slammed shut the box too late, and found nothing left inside but Hope, by which all evil may be conquered. The sister-in-law of Prometheus, Pandora was a left-handed gift from the gods of Olympus to Prometheus's brother Epimetheus and was intended to punish humanity for receiving the gift of fire from Prometheus. All the gods had contributed positive attributes to her makeup;Pandora in Greek means "the all-gifted one."


This was the Greek version of the Judeo-Christian Adam-and-Eve legend. Pandora also ties into the Greek version of the Flood legend. She and Epimetheus would have a daughter named Pyrrha, who with Prometheus' son Deucalion would survive a great flood in an ark and repopulate the world from the rocks on the ground. Deucalion correctly interpreted a cryptic command by the Titan Themis to "veil their heads and cast behind them the bones of their mother" to mean they should veil their heads and throw rocks(the bones of Mother Earth)behind them. The rocks thrown by Deucalion became men when they hit the ground, and the rocks thrown by Pyrrha became women. The race of strong humans thus created had what it took to recreate the world.

The legend of Pandora and the box contributed the expression "Pandora's box"(a prolific and uncontainable source of troubles, i.e., a "can of worms") to the language. The name refers to an incident involving a man who published an astronomical journal at the Dudley Observatory at the time of the asteroid Pandora's discovery; he got into a dispute with the observatory's owner and was ejected by hired thugs.

The asteroid Pandora represents the principle of impact . It impels to curiosity, restlessness, turbulence, adventurousness, a desire to make a difference or a splash, the urge to "be all one can be," unintended consequences and a process of change, and often indicates many abilities. This is very suggestive of the qualities of Aries, the sign of Pandora's perihelion. Patriarchal distrust of female power led to the ancient Greek demonization of Pandora and, through her, women in general, as the ancient Hebrews and Christians demonized her counterpart Eve. When afflicted, Pandora acts more easily in a socially inappropriate or destructive manner.

Pandora's North Node is at 10 Aries 50; the Sabian Symbol for 10 Aries, "The president of the country," indicates self-sacrifice demanded of anyone who would become the creative representative of eternal value on the one hand, and on the other, an often well-meaning but usually destructive assertiveness or vain pretense. I.e., the positive use of power requires discipline.

The year of Pandora's discovery saw rising unrest over slavery in the U.S., the publication of the highly influential polemic novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and a general mass urge toward reform and invention.


Lilith, asteroid 1181, is another main-belt asteroid whose cycle is 4 years, 128 days long. It was discovered on 11 February 1927 by Benjamin Jekhovsky at Algiers, Algeria. He named it for the French composer Marie-Juliette-Olga "Lili" Boulanger (1893-1918), sister of the equally talented and better-known musician, composer and conductor Nadia Boulanger. Lili Boulanger was a musical prodigy who dazzled Europe in her time;she was never in good health and died of the intestinal disorder Crohn's disease at the age of 24. She derived her nickname from Lilith, first wife of Adam in Hebrew legend, who was created from the dirt like him, asserted equality with him, left him rather than be subservient to him, and was demonized:

Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told

(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve)

That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,

And her enchanted hair was the first gold.

And still she sits, young while the earth was old,

And subtly of herself contemplative,

Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave,

Till heart and body and life are in its hold.

The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where

Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent

And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?

Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went

Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent,

And round his heart one strangling golden hair.

--Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The House Of Life, Sonnet 78: Body's Beauty(Lilith)

Lilith, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti; a painting also known as Body's Beauty. This painting inspired sonnet 78 of The House of Life.

Lilith(in Hebrew, "evil woman") is descended from the Mesopotamian Lilitu, a she-demon who lurked in waste places and abandoned buildings and menaced travelers, young men, infants, and pregnant women, and was acquired from Mesopotamian mythology via the Babylonian Captivity. Lilitu in the Cuneiform language of Iraq's ancient peoples such as the Sumerians and Babylonians means "whirlwind." Lilith has long been a feminist icon and has sometimes been used as a girl's name.

Lilith the asteroid(not the same as two other Liliths which are hypothetical planets)represents the principle of integration. It rules all kinds of things people don't want anything to do with but which are part of the world nevertheless, and that which forces them to deal with this reality, including media such as television(whose first broadcast occurred in San Francisco on September 6 in the year of Lilith's discovery)and the Internet. Lilith impels toward learning to cope constructively with the non-rational, victimization, difficult decisions and persons and things which one really doesn't want to deal with, learning to handle occultism in its various forms, repression and complication, marginalization, the release of suppressed anger and other negative psychological energies, and the destruction of beliefs based on rationalizations and prejudices, and may be an indicator of racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry.

Martha Lang-Westcott says Lilith is an indicator of gender stereotypes, favoritism, divided loyalties, triangulation(playing both ends against the middle, co-opting others' issues to undercut their support from others), competing, use of sex or rejection for dominance, selection and rejection, and decisions with regard to angles or aspects, all of which reflect the negative Lilith tendency to be less than even-handed in dealing with others.

Afflicted Liliths usually tend to be more difficult in their manifestions.

Lilith perihelions in Taurus, underscoring this asteroid's concern with values and the desire to possess(or its antithesis, to reject).

The North Node of Lilith is 20 Sagittarius 59, underscoring the Lilithian Gemini-Sagittarius conflict between what is within one's everyday experience versus what is outside it, between knowledge and values. The Sabian Symbol for 20 Sagittarius is "A labor demonstration", indicating a consistent courage in attacking major problems at any cost of minor well-being or inconvenience on the one hand, and futile ill will and bluster on the other. Hate--that is, indignation--may be harnessed to attack major social problems, i.e., labor demonstrators, civil-rights activists who are victimized by bigotry attacking the problem of bigotry.

For information on how to order "Harbingers of the Modern World," e-mail me at my Yahoo e-mail address (mahtezcatpoc).

1999 by Mark Andrew Holmes.

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