Tuesday, 14 June 2016

China's Bordeaux: winemakers turn desert into vineyards


Dionysus – god of wine


This,” says Emma Gao as she races through the sun-scorched countryside of north-west China in a dusty Nissan Livina, “is la Route des Chateaux.” “There are almost 40 different entrepreneurs – maybe more. Every day it is changing,” the Chinese winemaker explains, slaloming between French, English and Mandarin as she tours her 70-hectare (170-acre) vineyard at the heart of a region government officials are calling China’s Bordeaux. Gao, a 40-year-old who trained at Bordeaux University’s oenology institute, was one of the first vintners to set up shop in this arid corner of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, more than 600 miles west of Beijing. Armed with a 300,000 yuan (£32,000) loan from her parents, she founded Silver Heights, her award-winning boutique winery, almost a decade ago.  June 14, 2016 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/14/china-bordeaux-wine-region-desert-ningxia-vineyards-gold-rush







Astrology is the study of human complexity, of the multiple paradoxes interwoven into the fabric of our being. One of the great contributions of astrology is its ability to wed symbolism to the various dichotomies of the individual and collective psyche. Of all the contradictory and clashing symbols of astrology, the pairing of Saturn and Neptune suggest life’s greatest paradoxes [1]. From late 2015  to late 2016, the planets Neptune and Saturn  form a square aspect three times. This particular alignment is the most important alignment of the current period. A chart for the second, June 18, Saturn-Neptune square drawn for Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is shown here. Notice that the square occupies the angles and is, therefore, significant for the place.

All planetary aspects are about integration. Saturn  rules dry, parched places like deserts [2]. Ken Johnson and Ariel Gutman, in their book Mythic Astrology, make a strong case that the astrological Neptune’s secondary archetype is Dionysus, god of wine and ecstasy. A high expression of integrating Neptune and Saturn could be to use rigor and discipline (Saturn) to achieve a dream or realize an ideal (Neptune). Emma Gao has done just that  and succeeded in planting vineyards (Neptune) in the desert (Saturn)! Further on the Ascendant of the chart is the asteroid Bacchus (Dionysus) - god of wine!!





Since the news comes at the First Quarter Moon, its chart adds further detail. At Ningxia, the meridian makes semi-square aspect to both the luminaries. The Moon [22vi] is conjunct the star Alkes [24vi]. Alpha (α) Crater, Alkes, is a 4th magnitude orange star in the base of the Cup.

Manilius described Crater as 'gratus Iaccho Crater' (Iaccho is Roman Bacchus who is identified with Greek Dionysus), "so using the mystic, poetical name often applied to Bacchus" (Allen, Star Names).
"He [those influenced by the Crater in astrology] will join your vines, Bacchus [translator's note; 'grapevines for the production of wine'], in wedlock to your elms; or he will arrange them on props, so that the fronds resemble the figures in a dance or, allowing your vine to rely on its own strength, he will lead it to spread out its branches as arms, and entrusting you to yourself will forever protect you from the bridal bed, seeing how you were cut from your mother (Semele, daughter of Cadmus)".
[Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, book 5, p.318-321].



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