Our NCGR Group Insights

by Robin Armstrong

This fall we have added two new degree systems to our collection. These are Esther Leinbach’s “Degrees of the Zodiac”, and Sybil Leek’s “Lunar Degrees”.

            Esther Leinbach’s book has been part of astrological literature since 1972. She was a practising astrologer and astrology teacher. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her symbols came from a compilation of what went before. We were positively impressed with the Leinbach degree symbols. We were able to relate and identify with most of her interpretations. She does not give a specific symbol for each degree, but rather an explanation of the energies residing therein.

            We chose Sybil Leek because she is a well known witch and has publicized herself as America’s foremost astrologer. She has written many books and has a large circle of followers. Her degree symbols were presented as a chapter inside her book “Moon Signs: Lunar Astrology”, where she suggests they should be used specifically for the Moon.

            Unfortunately, her degrees did not find approval with our group. We found her interpretations shallow and often irrelevant. She seemed to have quickly picked them up, adapting them from other degree systems, without doing much justice to them. In fact there was not much that was uniquely the Moon’s domain in these degrees. It is important to remember that there were not many books on Moon Signs then. They are still few in number. Leek’s book did open some doorways and present new challenges, however, when it came to the degree meanings they fell short of expectations. Not everyone found her degrees unacceptable. Several members could relate to some of her meanings. The exercise was not a loss. Her degree work remains part of the evolution of degree meanings.

            We changed the format of our meetings and decided to include special case studies. The case study we chose was one that concerned twin events, rather than people. We got the idea from an article by Sally Cleveland, “A Comparison of Coincidence”, which had been sent to us by Ken Negus. The two events occurred on the same day , Sept. 22,1993, at close to the same time, but in two different places. This challenges the distinction of degrees to see if they are valid for events. It is a great idea. The first event was the Amtrak railway disaster that killed 47 people when a damaged railway bridge collapsed and a train fell into the alligator infested waters of the Big Bayou Canot, near Mobile, Alabama. This event happened at 2:53 AM CDT. The second event was the first safe nighttime landing of the space shuttle “Discovery” at Cape Canaveral at 3:56 AM EDT. This was a stimulating degree application. We encourage you to check it out yourself. In future issues we will publish our findings.

            We also began the study of fixed stars, stimulated by the arrival of Iain McLaren-Owens’ book “Astro-Degree Tables: Zodiac Data”. This is an area we have been moving towards for some time. At the meeting we only used the traditional 110 fixed stars and observed who had which stars accentuated and how many accentuations there were in each of our charts. This marks a new beginning. Watch for new material in upcoming journals.