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The dramatic week of the terrorist attacks in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the Kosher grocery store, Jan. 7-15, 2015, closely coincided with eight days during which Mercury and Venus were in a Planetary War, with Venus (planet of politics) winning over Mercury (planet of speech) due to its superior brightness. This Planetary War ran from Thurs. Jan. 8th at 4:23 am (Paris time) to Jan. 15th at 2:56 pm – the day the first issue of Charlie Hebdo was released since the office shooting.  At mid-day Jan. 7th tr. Mercury and Venus were within 1 degree 10 minutes of arc of each other.  Coincidentally, one of the two Charlie Hebdo terrorists, Cherif Kouachi, had natal Mercury and Venus in a Planetary War. He was in Rahu-Mercury Dasha in January 2015.

The challenges facing comedian Robin William's which ended in his recent death by suicide has a reflection in his natal chart. Robin Williams was born on July 21, 1951 at 1:34 pm CST in Chicago, IL.[1] His chart shows a plethora of hard aspects and difficult configurations.

The astrological chart configuration termed a Mystic Rectangle has, ostensibly, a rare and special case configuration called Lucifer's Rectangle. Like a Mystic Rectangle, Lucifer's Rectangle is formed either by two trines or two opposition aspects that are conjoined with two sextile aspects. Unlike a Mystic Rectangle, Lucifer's Rectangle must have the entities composing it (planets, asteroids or points) located only in the following four signs: Pisces, Taurus, Virgo and Scorpio. Additionally, a Lucifer's Rectangle must be only in earth and water elements.[1]

The Twelve Letter Alphabet, sometimes called the twelve “Archetypes,” underlies much of the presentation of planets, signs, and houses in modern Western astrology.  In my view, this has led to the distortion of much of astrology’s fundamental symbolism. Many other astrologers have come to the same conclusion, yet this system persists.
This article, the result of many years of frustration with the conventional presentation of astrology, has as its goal that astrologers question their explicit and implicit use of the Twelve Letter Alphabet.   A case can be made for putting this system away forever, and I attempt to make that case here.  For newer students I’d like this article to be a “patch” to decrease their confusion and help them think things through when they encounter different versions of astrological symbolism.  For more experienced astrologers and astrology teachers, I would like to stimulate some long-overdue conversation.