Elizabeth Clare Prophet

Zip Dobyns

Elizabeth Clare Prophet is a well-known guru who led her flock from Malibu, California to Montana in anticipation of a nuclear attack on the United States by Russia. The group bought land just north of Yellowstone National Park and built a bomb shelter to survive the anticipated attack that was to come soon after 1975. When the prophesied attack failed to materialize, some members of the religious group were disillusioned, but others stayed on to form a spiritual community that sought to preserve the land with ecologically sound farming. As would be expected, many of the local neighbors were deeply distrustful of the newcomers with their “strange” beliefs, but gradually the group has won over many of them by trying to be good neighbors and not proselytizing.

Prophet’s chart was discussed in the Summer 1990 Asteroid-World, but I am including it with current progressions in light of the news on November 25, 1998 that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. Prophet was noted for her channeling of some of the same “ascended Masters” who supposedly spoke through Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy. A number of other psychics have carried on and amplified the belief system formulated by Blavatsky on Hindu roots, including Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy, Alice Bailey, the Ballards, and Elizabeth’s first husband, Mark Prophet. Psychic sensitivity can be a two-edged sword. Over-sensitivity can threaten the physical health and/or the psychological stability. The asteroid Pythia was named for the priestesses who gave prophesies at Delphi. Prophet has natal Pythia conjunct her Part of Death in 15 Virgo, though this may simply point to her contacts with non-material beings as part of her job.

According to her birth certificate, Elizabeth was born on April 8, 1939 at 11 A.M. in Red Bank, NJ. I have added many asteroids to my collection since discussing her chart in 1990, including Aletheia, the goddess of truth, and Kurtz and Skepticus, named for debunkers of anything paranormal. Nagasaki and Hiroshima were named for the Japanese cities destroyed by atom bombs, so they could be prominent in her chart in light of her fear of a nuclear attack. Teller was a promoter of hydrogen bombs. Several asteroids were named for healers, so their aspects may signify healers, healing, or the need for healing. Of course, we also have asteroids named Elisabetha, Russia, Montana, and California among many others of interest.

Kurtz was named for the philosopher devotee of materialism who founded the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and the asteroid Skepticus was named for his debunking organization. Elizabeth Prophet was born long before these two asteroids were found and named, but at her birth Skepticus was on her Sun at 17 Aries 34 and Kurtz was on her IC at 2 Libra 24 retrograde. They could not have been more prominent! We could interpret their emphasis in her chart as an indication of her battle with materialists, as well as a clue to the need for a little more genuine skepticism on the part of both sides of the contest. Kurtz and his associates are, of course, not skeptics. They are as much “true believers” as Prophet and her followers. They believe in materialism, so they have to ignore all evidence for astrology and psychic experiences, while Prophet was obviously too ready to believe in her channeled messages of coming catastrophes. The human search for “final truth” too often leads to premature closure, to thinking we have “arrived.” Jupiter, Sagittarius, and the 9th house symbolize the search for absolutes, but they invite us on a journey which never ends. The Absolute is bigger than our minds can comprehend.

The asteroid Nagasaki was also extremely prominent, conjunct her Descendant at 20 Capricorn 33. P Nagasaki had turned retrograde and was very slowly moving on Prophet’s Saturn/north lunar node midpoint and opposite Pluto. It also squared her Saturn/south node midpoint and Prophet’s P Antivertex (an auxiliary Ascendant for personal action) had reached Pluto to reinforce the T-square. As our readers know, I see the Saturn-lunar node midpoints as keys to lessons. Once we have learned whatever the lesson involves, Saturn, the nodes, and their midpoints point to areas of life where we have something to give the world.

Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and especially after the economic collapse of Russia in the summer of 1998, Prophet obviously could no longer maintain her faith in the reliability of her psychic sources. Sociologists and psychologists have carried out a number of interesting studies of the reactions of religious groups when the prophecies of their leaders failed to materialize. Usually, the initial reaction is a postponement of the predicted time for the coming events, but eventually most followers give up and abandon the guru and his or her beliefs. An alternative reaction is to suggest that human consciousness has become more “spiritual” and has prevented the predicted catastrophes. In recent years, many devotees of Prophet did drop their financial support of the Church, and she hired a business manager to cut staff and expenses. A primary figure in the Church hierarchy was Murray Steinman, an astrologer who largely wrote Prophet’s books, which included astrology. Steinman is seeking to become a legal guardian of Prophet’s affairs, but her grown children are objecting to this. Ultimately, the courts will decide.

I am not familiar with any in-depth psychological studies of a “guru” after he or she has been disillusioned, but physical and/or mental illness seems to be a common aftermath. Prophet says she will no longer play a managerial role in her Church, but she will continue to channel the “Ascended Masters,” so she is clinging to her faith at this point, apparently choosing to abandon the world rather than to abandon her faith.

Returning to Prophet’s chart, Hiroshima was retrograding in 24 Leo 4 and her P East Point (an auxiliary Ascendant) ended a two-year conjunction with it about 4 months before the announcement of her health problems. She would have been trying to “come to terms” with her beliefs during these years. To repeat the message, Prophet’s P Ascendant was conjunct P Hiroshima for the previous two plus years and remained in a one-degree orb. Natal Teller was conjunct Prophet’s personal name asteroid, Elisabetha, in 16 Capricorn, and Moira, one of the “fates”, was also in 16 Capricorn. Our character (habits) creates our fate. P Hestia and Prophet’s P Montana East Point were in 17 Cancer, moving through oppositions to Teller, Moira, and Elisabetha during the preceding years. Hestia is the Greek name for Vesta, and carries the same Virgo significance. Health problems often stem from work frustrations. When the subconscious side of the mind is unable to attain the sense of accomplishment needed by Virgo and/or Capricorn, it may produce illness as an excuse for failure, to escape the loss of self-esteem without guilt.

P Neptune has maintained a lifetime opposition to Vesta across the Virgo-Pisces polarity, connecting idealism and work and hinting at the risk of illness in the event of failure to achieve the ideals. Jupiter was just over two degrees beyond Vesta, greatly intensifying the commitment to spiritual work. Moving to Montana put Prophet’s local Ascendant in an exact T-square to the Vesta-Neptune opposition, reinforcing the mutable dilemma of the ideals versus what is possible in the material world. Showing the current challenge, P Vesta in 16 Aries had reached a conjunction to Prophet’s natal Sun just about a month before the announcement of her illness. It was also conjunct P Hel, a death goddess, and square the trio in 16 Capricorn, including her name asteroid. The placement of her personal name in the Virgo house, the details of one’s job, and in the sign of Capricorn, one’s career in the larger sense of our role and status in the society, shows how invested Prophet was in her work. Her identification with her career was also shown by her Mars in Capricorn in the Virgo house and by her Sun, a ruler of the Leo in the first house, being placed in the 10th house. The Sun connects her ego and self-esteem to her work, while Mars symbolizes basic identity, our right and power to do what we please. Failure in one’s work can lead to a sense of powerlessness, and can seriously impair the immune system.

An additional clue to a crisis in Prophet’s career and status is shown by her P local MC conjunct Saturn. Earth in general and Saturn (and its sign and house) in particular call for being realistic about the “rules of the game” of life in a material world. In current patterns, letter 10 shows a time of feedback in how we are doing in handling the “rules of the game.” If we are working successfully with the rules, Saturn periods can bring increased success and power in the world. We may start a business or a profession or move up a notch in a management hierarchy. If we have not been “grounded,” we are apt to fail in our aspirations, to “fall” in some way.

Prophet’s P MC from her birthplace, another expression of the Saturn principle, is fascinating. It is in 29 Taurus with a grand trine to Saturn/north lunar node and P Nagasaki in 29 Capricorn and to P Kurtz, which is now direct in 29 Virgo. She needs to learn to handle the earth principle, and the trines show she has the capacity to do that, learning something from her materialistic opponent if she is willing to learn. P Venus has recently reached a conjunction with P Skepticus, to repeat the theme. Only time will tell whether she is learning to be more discriminating in her acceptance of her psychic inputs.

Of course, Kurtz also needs to learn about the reality of the psychic dimensions of life, but the odds of that happening are small to vanishing. As previous readers of The Mutable Dilemma will remember, Kurtz’ associate Carl Sagan died in a hospital of cancer and pneumonia—all connected to Neptune. I believe that his death was due to his inability to handle the Neptune principle, to enlarge his faith beyond materialism. At birth, Sagan had an exact Mars-Neptune conjunction in Virgo. He was torn between his spiritual needs and his scientific materialism. His P Sagan, the asteroid named for him, opposed natal Mars-Neptune and was quincunx P Mars at his death.

I have recently added Veritas, another goddess of truth, to Aletheia, which has been in my default collection of about 600 asteroids for some years. Prophet’s Aletheia was in 2 Gemini square her Veritas, which was retrograding in 2 Virgo. Obviously, squares show inner conflict and Prophet has some kind of conflict involving truth. P Juno and P Moskva (Moscow) are forming a T-square to them from 1 to 2 Pisces, and P Daedalus (the father of Icarus) and P Helio (a sun god for fame) add emphasis in 2 Virgo. P Hiroshima is within one degree of P Helio in 3 Virgo, and P Ascendant in 4 Virgo is still connected by overlapping orbs, highlighting the issue of truth which has been confronting Prophet in recent years. P Aletheia in a T-square to Vesta, P Neptune, and P Pythia, repeats the mutable dilemma, and P Veritas in 6 Virgo square natal Ceres and the Antivertex says it again. The mutable factors signal the mutable issues of truth, faith, ideals, and morality, which need to be prioritized and integrated with material world limits. All of the asteroids in 2 degrees of the mutable signs are also octile or trioctile Prophet’s factors in 16 to 17 degrees of the cardinal signs. The latter include her Sun, Skepticus, P Hel, Elisabetha, Teller, Moira, P Hestia, and P local East Point, which have been previously mentioned. Prophet’s identity, self-esteem, and recuperative (fire) power are on the line!

Many other asteroids could be mentioned. Prophet was identified with motherhood with Demeter, the Greek name for Ceres, on the Ascendant, and she had children who questioned some of her beliefs. As mentioned previously, her children are currently involved in deciding her legal status, and in its usual incredible way, astrology shows the situation with Prophet’s P Montana Ascendant conjunct P Demeter. They are also square the mean P lunar nodes, fitting the relationship tensions, and the true P nodes square Avicenna, an asteroid named for a healer. Several other healer asteroids are also highlighted, including P Avicenna on Prophet's local MC in 22 Aquarius, P Paracelsus on her Ceres and Antivertex, P Panacea on her P Sun and P Mercury, and P Podalirius on her P Uranus and P Pallas (for the litigation potential).

Two intriguing asteroids are progressing over Prophet’s Ascendant; Atlantis and Kassandra. Prophet, like most occultists, believes in the material reality of Atlantis, a mythical continent, which sank beneath the ocean. I have found the asteroid highlighted in cases involving power struggles or the abuse of power, the theoretical cause of Atlantis sinking. Richard Nixon had P Atlantis on his Ascendant during the Watergate litigation, which led to his resignation of the U.S. presidency. In Prophet’s case, it might mark the struggle between her staying in control of her life versus Steinman or her grown children gaining legal power over her.

Kassandra angered Apollo, who gave her the gift of prophesy but ordained that she would only predict negatives, would always be right, and would never be believed. Like many current channelers, Prophet has mostly predicted catastrophes, but the predictions have often been wrong and a limited number of individuals have believed her. P Elisabetha is retrograding in 19 Capricorn opposite P Atlantis and P Kassandra. Her name asteroid has left the opposition to the Ascendant and the square to Saturn, which would have been in effect as the disability was developing. P Kassandra has reached the square to Saturn and P Atlantis will move into it for the ongoing power struggle over her ability to control her own life.

The biggest problem with asteroids calls for knowing when to stop, since there are always more which are relevant. Prophet’s natal 8th house cusp, which is associated with endings, including death, is on Moskva (Moscow) and Medusa, who turned those who saw her into stone. Natal Russia was in 17 Taurus 27, so Prophet’s P Uranus was conjunct it for many years and P Pallas is just finishing its passage over it. Russia was just within a one-degree orb of a square to Juno, a Plutonian asteroid in the 8th house, to fit her fear of Russia as a source of death. Prophet’s Sun/Moon midpoint was also involved, conjunct Juno and square Uranus. Her P Moon was sextile the natal Moon and approaching the Sun/Moon midpoint and Juno when the announcement was made of her health condition. In December 1998, P Moon is currently trine P Sun and P Mercury, square Uranus and P Phaethon (overreach), which is also in 16 Taurus, semisextile Elisabetha and forming aspects to many different factors in her chart. I would not attempt to predict the outcome of her confrontation with power and the mutable dilemma.

Copyright © 1998 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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