Monthly Archives: November 2018



Until quite recent times “speak of the devil and he appears” expressed a popular wisdom. Nowadays the devil and the dark side may get increasingly spoken about in Hollywood and especially the music industry although – apart from among death metal groups – it’s often obliquely. It can announce itself with something like a wink and a nudge, or a giggle and a smirk. This more light hearted treatment goes back to perhaps Marianne Faithfull who has often maintained the devil is the most fun person at any party. It was her love of the Bulgakov novel, The Master and Margarita in which the devil does visit a party, that influenced Mick Jagger’s ill fated 1969 Sympathy for the Devil song.

Communication with the dark side, or hints of it, can even add a touch of glamour and mystery to a performer; it’s something to gossip about on a talk show or sensationalize in a magazine like Complex if there’s report a person like Lady Gaga says she wears hats against attacking demons or Ariana Grande declares devils met her at a graveyard in Kansas or that a sinister blob was beside her hotel bed.

Lady Gaga can sound serious when she speaks of haunting and tormenting demons, but overall,   it is the non-committal, half witty approach is more common and  has given more rope to what might otherwise be dismissed as dark, sick or, as in the case of Grande’s hit song God is a Woman, profane – other faiths, especially Islam, would never tolerate that particular production. But does not Grande say to  any criticism, “it’s all art”? I will suggest that yes it is art, but it can still be something more about which Grande, Kate Perry, Lady Gaga and other artists along with their innumerable fans and followers, are less aware.


It’ s an undeniable fact that the horrifying 2015 massacre at the Bataclan theatre in Paris began when the audience raised hands in homage, even if it was mock homage, and joined in the song “Kiss the Devil”. It had been Mick Jagger’s Sympathy for the devil preceded a murder (as a result of a scuffle with Hell’s Angels!) at the Altamont rock festival in 1969. While it cannot be said that the Manchester Bombing of 2017 began amid any songs to the devil, it is a fact that before the bombing, in the latter part of the concert starring Grande in her “Dangerous Woman” tour,  (and Grande looks and acts more cute than dangerous), she had sung from her “Side by Side” album the words “cuz tonight I’m making deals with the devil, and I know it’s going to get me into trouble”.

Well, it didn’t get her into trouble, and with even something of the proverbial luck of the devil she posted what was the most tweeted tweet in tweet history declaring she couldn’t find words to express how sorry she was for what had happened. Clearly neither she nor her fans imagined her as even remotely responsible for events, and certainly not in the way her mother, as Grande admitted to Billboard magazine, had peculiar fears about her daughter as someone who might grow up to be murder associated.

The reason no negative connections were made is almost certainly because Grande portrays herself, and is perceived as being, some kind of cutie liberator in service of especially women’s empowerment.  Today any will to inclusiveness, diversity and toleration of minorities covers a multitude of possible sins in the public mind. But the same public mind risks being duped, Faithfull style, by ideas that the devil as the original outcast is ally of all and any  outsiders and  minorities, rather as Santa Muerta (Saint Death) in Latin America is the patron of narco bosses!

Easy picturing of Grande as liberator is unquestionably how and why controversial material like “God is a Woman” got through so easily, when in fact and normally  no religion should have to suffer quite the misrepresentation and parody of its core beliefs on the scale involved.

Misrepresentation was particularly marked when, as in the MTV Awards version of the song, the Christian Last Supper is turned into an orgy of lesbian groping overseen by a female Jesus rubbing her crotch and declaring her disciples will know she’s god after they have been touched (had sex) with her. Above the stage is an eye of Horus (much associated with Satanist Crowley’s notions of 666 and the coming age) and a vaginal portal to the heavens.   Religion apart, there’s such a thing as democratic fair play and respect. In a free society you may not like or approve people’s beliefs and you are certainly free to criticize them, but not merely abuse or radically misrepresent them to the point of inversion of the entire picture.


…And in parenthesis let it be said that despite frequent use of religion’s “he” pronoun that’s receiving pop culture’s rejection, in fact, not even the Bible declares God a man as opposed to a woman. There are passages, especially but not uniquely in Isaiah, where God is imaged as a woman. Essentially however God is not “man” or “woman” but rather Spirit (Joh 4:24) and Grande’s play of images is less an original bit of modern theology than indulgence of a rather high level of narcissism.

It may be assumed that the reason the male aspect of God is regularly stressed, is because in the universal ying/yang of energies whether material or more spiritual, male energy is more likely to express as initiating, female energy as reactive to and  containing of it, so God as Creator is almost inevitably going to receive some male imagery.

There is also the fact that, biblically, deity seen as a hard to approach  fire or invisible Spirit is contacted primarily through  faith, not more materially by touch. What “God is a Woman” is effectively asserting is that belief will or should follow upon the proofs of touch, the material, touch being primarily the realm of the female. (Also relevant, if you accept astrology, is that the bible’s Old Testament was composed during the era of Aries, the hyper-patriarchal sign).

As it is possible to get caught up amid the claims and counter claims of “artistic” practitioners of occult paths and various Christians and rationalists who oppose their influence , where possible I like to see if there is any kind of objective evidence to support the idea  real beliefs and energies rather than pure fancy are at stake. I will do that here by a means especially some Christians would call itself occult, but which I claim isn’t, but anyway weights the evidence rather to their side in the assumption Grande intentionally or unintentionally evokes the dark side.



Astrology is guide and witness to more than people imagine. I expected to find and did so that Grande, born (26th June 1993,  Boca Raton, Florida USA at 9.16 pm)  under the Great Mother sign of Cancer with asteroid Babylon closely trine her sun, is all of a Lady Babylon.  And with Theotes (Godhead/Trinity) on the Galactic Centre, a point associated with events in religion, she can influence images of God and religion for good or ill.

“God is a Woman” was released this year under Grande’s sign, Cancer, which is also the birth sign of America, undoubtedly the most religiously feminist nation in the world. It is even said that witches in America now outnumber Presbyterians, and certainly ideas and images promoted by Grande  would contribute to the massive wicca trend,  the growth in which some  even see an end of era feature (1).

Grande is nonetheless telling the truth when she says of her ideas and beliefs  “it’s all art”, because with the two mystically relevant planets, Uranus and Neptune, conjunct but making  easy trine to Venus, she can and will turn spiritual themes to art (and money). However, with Venus opposed to Pluto (nearest to any planetary symbol for the Creator or  any force majeure), what is done can be “against” the divine and like much of the chart bespeaks challenge and tension of some sort.

The Cancerian sun is in tension square to the moon (habits, emotions, the mother) and to Jupiter (beliefs, religion) this pair conjuncted  in the sector of beliefs and religion in the general arts sign Libra,  Ariana’s theatre for her ideological cum theological contentions. Conjunctions are very for or against something, so this one  reflects  the kind of things Grande admitted to Billboard magazine, such as childhood weirdness, her  early tensions with religion and with her mother who had strange fears for her daughter – specifically that she might become a serial killer. (That imagined potential is reflected in the undoubtedly rather dangerous Mars opposite Saturn aspect).

Assuming the birth time is quite exact, ascending over the horizon was 20 Capricorn and conjunct on that degree were Uranus and Neptune. Since the ascendant is the persona and as Uranus shocks and reveals and favours individualism while Neptune dreams and hides, Grande’s freakiness from almost the outset is reflected here, along with her early turn towards her own highly idiosyncratic vision.

But because Capricorn rises at birth if follows that sign’s ruler, Saturn, “rules” the whole pattern. And Grande’s Saturn (itself the traditionally “unfortunate” and restrictive planet, once widely associated with the devil) is closely conjunct Lucifer .  (This remains the case for any birth time and since the conjunction is in Pisces, the image of Lucifer could easily run to that of victim).  Lucifer is the devil as light. Another asteroid, Malin, French for devil (but in context more the devil as darkness) makes opportunity sextile aspect to the distinctive ascendant pattern. The hell asteroid Hella makes easy trine to Mercury, the communicator.

These signs have affinities for the  tricky chart of Marianne Faithfull, a pioneer of the new showbiz attitudes towards the demonic. Marianne’s  Lucifer makes easy trine to her  Mars/Sun conjunction in the religion house while at the top of the pattern, Malin conjoins her destiny and reputation Midheaven.

There is an obvious suggestion  of a potential in Grande’s chart for simply channelling the dark side in nice and arty Libran ways and  for “sympathetic” Piscean reasons. And given that Veritas (Truth) is in affliction to her Mercury which communicates, it looks like Grande  could  have a hard time recognizing, telling or communicating truth, especially through media given that  Veritas falls in the media sector. More might be said, but sufficient to indicate here that it looks as though Grande might need to sort out her worldview rather more constructively for her own good and that of  fans. It’s possible because In most areas of life, nobody is completely free or fated by the celestial patterns that describe and affect them  under certain conditions.


Whatever one makes of the above data, in conclusion I should say that what I have pointed out is not a mere one – off fluke.  That “the heavens declare” and “night to night utters knowledge” (Ps 19: 1,2) is a potent truth hid from the eyes of many people, including insistent fundamentalists. Truth about  people  really can and will come out  celestially; and even when the data is only suggestive as opposed to outright  conclusive (which is sometimes is), it is still powerful to raise questions.

The strangest case I have dealt with and which was sufficiently controversial for it to be published years ago in a NZ magazine and not in UK (where it was feared too much offense could be caused), was the strange case of an alleged visit by a group of people  to hell in April 1995.  I remain conflicted by the story, especially as I am convinced of what’s called elements of  “cultural contamination” in certain details and claims of the vision, a characteristic found to occur in many cases over time…but even so.

Some South Americans claimed to have been taken by Jesus to hell where they encountered among others, John Lennon. These people would  never acknowledge astrology, and even if they did, they could not invent the details I am able to derive  from the time and place they claimed their inferno journey began. Why in heaven’s name would the pattern for the time the vision began, reveal the Christ asteroid conjunct Lennon in astrology’s traditional hell passage, the eighth house, which also contains The Part of Revelation, itself on an axis to Veritas (Truth). That and other things have  to look like  the improbable meeting represents some kind of genuine reality.

I made the experience into a poem The Hell Passage: Inferno Cantos for Today, which both in the poem and in notes on it, I seek to make sense of. Perhaps because, like truth, I don’t have the proverbial luck of the devil, the poem never went anywhere, though Howard Storm, former atheist and bestselling author of My Descent into Death, considered it noteworthy – not because he liked it in any ordinary way, but because he felt it true to the kind of horror he had experienced in his own reported experience of hell.

Unlike Storm, I make no claims to have visited hell, but certainly  it doesn’t sound like the place another dark side singer, the late Freddie Mercury of Queen, insisted one would prefer to go to and because it’s the destination of more interesting people. He must  have forgotten interesting souls would necessarily  include Hitler and Stalin; and he may have been unaware it seems you communicate with effectively no one but yourself once arrived! Popular artists are a poor guide to ultimate issues and people really shouldn’t listen to them. (For some comments on Freddie Mercury, see The Saint, the Devil and Freddie Mercury

Note (1) “For they did not repent of their witchcraft” ( Rev 9:21). It’s a rather unexpected statement and one of several  suggesting the author did not expect the events forecasts to take place in his times because witchcraft was rather strongly opposed and outlawed under the Roman empire.