It was about three weeks ago when Ken Warren and I had one of our weekly astrology sessions. Ken was my student, but it was never work with him. It was more like some co-mingling of spirits in an ongoing dialog into the mysteries of the chart, logos, creation and God. Ken had an uncanny knack for deconstructing charts while forging a language uniquely his own. Those of us that were close to him are all too familiar with that wonderful syntax of discovery.
He reminded me of Derrida or Deleuze, both of whom had perfected a type of hyper-speak of the ineffable but the difference with Ken’s glossolalia of the spirit was that it always fed back into a tributary of wholeness and not some sort of commentary on the fragmented self and the encroachment of a dystopian meta-culture. Ken’s phraseology always invoked warm feeling, bringing it all back into the mother tongue of source itself.
I had never met anyone who was capable of doing this at a high level, so consistently.
It is extremely rare to be born with a Chiron/Mercury conjunction and Ken was alternately blessed and cursed with this alignment and the responsibility that came with it. It was exact at 15 degrees Capricorn in the 7th House. Mercury is the manifestation of the mind in the chart. It’s how we think, share info, and make ideas into language. It transmits the quality of the mind based on the sign it is in. Ken’s Mercury in Capricorn is the grand administrator of the zodiac. Mercury in Capricorn is also a timeless mind, able to comprehend antiquity, and stretch itself into the future. It’s ruler, Saturn is serious, sober, dour and often remote. It does not traffic in sentimentality.
For a director of a Library in a major American city it was an appropriate setting.
The Lakewood library was a manifestation of Ken’s mind.
Capricorn isn’t here to make friends, it is here to administrate and run the civil and social structures of our lives and that is what Ken did, because even though one could be accused of being officious, the 7th House placement made bonding and the sharing of thought on an intimate level, an imperative. I didn’t know Ken outside of our connection, which was tightly wound in fiber-optic burst and maps of stars, but it’s clear that he had very close friends and supporters that spanned a lifetime, also a trait of Capricorn.
Mercury needs the other in the house of personal relationships.
Then there’s Chiron.
Chiron is called “The Wounded Healer” of the chart. Ken’s Chiron channeled sensitivity to his mind that equaled the force of authority he brought to bear on his diverse canon of collective thought and it’s various viziers and scribes. Whatever criticism he received as a public servant, you can rest assured that it wasn’t easy for him with Chiron gashing away. He could suffer fools, but only for a greater cause, that they themselves would never know, and attribute it to some unresolved authority issue, a bad deal with daddy.
That Chiron/Mercury conjunction was assembled at birth so that there could be a healing operation of the mind as it related to the hierarchical structures of our time. To beat the man, you had to at first be the man. But pure power is not the goal of this conjunction. It exists to heal the rift between Psyche and in the 7th House, Eros.
Ken was first and foremost a lover, but you wouldn’t know it unless he let you in.
Weeks ago, we were talking about his chart and I noticed that transiting Pluto was exactly conjunct his natal Chiron and Mercury. I was startled just slightly. Pluto is the planet of death, sex and transformation. It is what Ken would call, “Thanatos” at one stage, then the “Phoenix” at yet another. This transit would initiate a complete change state of the mind. There is no Gray area when we deal with Pluto. There are no backroom deals. No bargaining. We are brought to the limits of our powers, no matter how profound or cultivated we have become.
Then I looked across the chart and there was Kenneth’s natal Uranus in Cancer, in the First House, the radical nurturer. This was Ken’s angle of Punk, but not for Punk’s sake. Here is where the revolution begins; A radical approach to self and the urge to nurture, care and grow. Ken was a life giver and as well as a lover, but not in the traditional sense and the opposition to Mercury and Chiron must have confounded him as much as others at times. How could one person anchor the role of authority and public servant while wanting to tear it all down for a deeper feeling and a greater flow into the Mother Heart? Here was Ken’s radical anima that he frequently spoke of and a lifelong quest for resolution in opposition. I can only imagine what went on in his heart as his occasional detractors took swipes at his leadership, knowing full well that what he was doing was not out of ego, but love and the preservation of knowledge.
Transiting Pluto in Capricorn, already claiming his angled mind was tugging at that natal Uranus, hard, like a moon being sucked out of its orbit by some greater force.
The Pluto/Uranus opposition is about liberation and breaking free from both personal and social restraint. It is a potent force that seeks to disrupt the gravitational field of one’s habituation, but sometimes, it can portend something more. Transiting Venus in Cancer was also direct on Ken’s natal Uranus on the day he passed. Venus opposite Pluto is the sudden death of relationships and connection for some greater configuration and alignment of relating.
If that weren’t enough, transiting Uranus in Aries was in opposition to his natal Neptune in Libra, in the 5th House, which is the House of Leo, which rules the heart.
He died of a massive heart attack last Thursday morning.
This tug-of-war between these two planetary titans is about the dynamic polarity of creativity. Neptune is the Spirit and Uranus is the Rebel. Something new had to come out of this transpersonal split.
If we put all of the aspects together, Ken was experiencing a Grand Cross in his chart, all in Cardinal planets, which herald a new beginning. Ken’s life was stretched across the four corners of the zodiac. This was a major aspectand at the time, I knew it. I spoke of it indirectly, metaphorically, because astrologers don’t talk about death in a literal sense—it’s in poor taste. In fact, I had looked into Pluto in Cap at 25 degrees, roughly five years out as the time that Ken would undergo a major trial and ordeal that would impact his vitality and ego and we spoke of that, but it appears that the Grand Cross became the divine crosshairs for Ken’s transcendent moment.
The outer planets were locked in on his coordinates.
I was stunned when Daniel, his friend and sorcerer’s apprentice called me and told me the news.
I was on Town Lake in Austin on a kayak. My son was with me. He was on a paddleboard and I brought my phone on the lake thinking I would need it if someone called. Ken’s Mid-heaven was in Pisces and transiting Neptune was sweeping in like a slow moving tidal wave, ingressing from the 9th House. There we were on a lake that would flow into the Colorado River, which would deposit itself into the Gulf of Mexico, the Piscean symbol that flowed from the roof of Ken’s chart to the Divine Logos itself.
I cried a bit and tried to gather myself for my kid.
We rowed towards the First St. Bridge, where the mother bats fly up from Mexico to hatch their blind young. On our way, a white duck attached itself to us and paddled about a half mile like he was part of our rowing party. He seemed quite pleased and very happy.
Not a care in the world for Mr. Duck.
When we got back on land, I looked up the symbolism for the duck and discovered that one of its meanings is “transition.”
I am sure that this was Ken, co-habitating with nature in the realm of the spirit, telling us he was just fine.
He was always a quick study.
We live in very dark and uncertain times and while I will miss him, he won’t have to face the very gritty and real elements of this planet’s birth into something new, whatever that new is and the elemental pangs of it’s deliverance, played out against the timeless scrim of good versus evil.
Ken has been spared that cosmic drama, at least on this plane.
He had completed his mission and was called home.
But knowing him, he’s working the magical angle from the other side and is probably even more potent in the distribution of Gnosis and eternal love, wherever it’s taken him.
You, will be missed by many.
To find out more about Kenneth Warren, I have linked to two of the shows that we did together and the Amazon link for his book.