The Astrology of the Philippines

On astrology and national identity

Carl Lorenz Cervantes
9 min readApr 17


Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

This is a transcript of a conversation I had with Thea Lizardo-Custodio, a shamanic astrologer. Please remember that although astrology can give us guidance as to how we might be able to understand ourselves and other people, our fate is not in the stars, but in our own hands. Consider these thoughts as interpretations of dream-images, and not as the final authority regarding the fate of the nation and its people. Take only what resonates, and question what does not. Thea also adds: “We must understand that the sky is alive and not fixed, and thus we cannot fixate on one chart. We must attune to how our ancestors moved in response to the greater cosmic dance and how we continue to contribute to the grand orchestra.”

The chart of the Philippines begins on 12 June 1898, the Philippine Independence day. The flag was first unfurled at 4:30PM in Kawit, Cavite. This interpretation uses both the sunrise chart and the 4:30PM chart. The sunrise chart, which sets up the energy of the day, indicates a moon in Pisces and a Cancer rising. At 4:30, the moon moved into Aries. The Philippines is a Gemini sun.

Carl: I’ve known you as someone who really listens to the patterns of the heavens. I always look to you for guidance when it comes to these things. Every time we talk to each other, you always give me so much rich insight on myself, because you also know my chart. Whenever we talk, it’s filled with metaphor and dream-images, as well as vibrance and beauty, especially when it comes to the esoteric mysteries of the cosmos. When I posted about Philippine culture and spirituality, you sent a message saying, “That makes sense because of the astrological chart of the Philippines.” That’s something I want to understand further. I don’t know where to start, so why don’t you begin wherever you like?

Thea: First off, I am very honored. Hearing your words, I am melting in my seat and soaking up what you’re saying. So, thank you for receiving. We can just flow into this. Just a little background about me and how I orient with the world. I practice shamanic astrology. It’s a branch of astrology that focuses on the living sky, which lives as we are also alive. The observable reality is based on how the observer witnesses it. We must also consider that the observer is part of the whole. We are not separate from it. It is the illusion that we are separate that causes all this dissociation and disease. I truly appreciate how the Filipino diaspora is getting more interested in their heritage and culture. I am also appreciating more and more how each of us are slowly entering into the promise of the chart of the Philippines.

Carl: Did you start with the Independence Day?

Thea: I did. But I look at other things. For example, I was born in Negros Island. And as part of my healing and my journey to connect with my roots, I go back to the history of the closest neighbor of my town. I casted the chart of the nearby town when it was established by the Spaniards. Observing their chart, I also see how trauma has been imprinted on its citizens and how decolonization is important. It’s just so fascinating because the research never stops. There is a revelation from the cosmos with regard to where balance is needed.

Carl: That does make sense. Even in folk healing, there is that concept of itim and puti — black and white — and it’s not necessarily evil and good, it just means healing and disease. Without disease, you wouldn’t know what health looks like. One is necessary for the other to exist. That balance is beautiful.

Thea: Yes. Now, there are parts of the chart that I really focus on. For example, the moon. It represents how we feel, our connection with the mother, our connection with things and situations that make us feel safe and protected. It also has to do with boundaries and digestion, that is how we feel “nourished” about what we digest. Of course also the sun as our ego-identity. Another element is Chiron. This is an asteroid. Its archetype is the wounded healer. It shows us our wounds and traumas as well as the key to our healing. For the Philippines, our moon is in Pisces. This is what I was telling you about. It makes so much sense that there is so much music and talent, and so much interest in mysticism and the occult. Filipinos are also very warm and caring. There was this one research content that you released that really fascinated me, about the different traits of Filipinos…

Carl: Yes, there was this research that was done that looked into how Filipinos represent themselves.¹

Thea: From those three types, I was already giving you so many ideas… The sensitive type, for example, is explained by the Pisces moon! The moon, in mundane astrology, represents the people. So, as a general populace, whether we’re born here or not, there is a certain correspondence to that Piscean trait. That is also the zenith of the Philippine chart, what was at the highest point of the sky, when we were inaugurated.

Carl: In my mind, my understanding of the moon is a feminine energy. What’s beautiful about our spirituality is that it’s also connected to the motherly side. There’s so much Marian devotion. I also keep seeing Mary with stars and the moon.

Thea: I have a lot to say about Mary and the moon, but I think that could be another episode! But yes, definitely. Anyway, we have a Gemini sun.

Carl: Before you say anything about that, I just want to drop my thoughts right now. Gemini represents the twins, which usually means “two-faced”, but I would like to think of it as “split-level.” Fr. Bulatao said that the Filipino has “split-level Christianity”, in the sense that there is the level of Catholic authority, but also a level of indigenous experience.² When folk practices started using Catholic imagery, we called it “folk Catholicism”, but it might as well be “Christianized animism.” Our anitos just became saints! They have the same powers. They’re kind of like demigods. I know some people may disagree with the idea that saints are ancestor spirits as well, but since they have been humans before, they might be considered ancestors as well. Anyway, this idea that there is that split-level connects well with Father Bu’s idea of Split-level Christianity. Ang ganda!

Thea: What you said earlier was beautiful, that we have to understand dilim (darkness) and liwanag (light)

Carl: Itim and puti. But it’s the same thing.

Thea: We have to understand this polarity, just like Gemini. One is immortal, the other is mortal. The sign of Gemini is two towers, connecting a line above and a line below.

Carl: Just like the baybayin symbol for KA!

Thea: The glyph of Pisces is represented by two fish facing different directions, but are tied by a chord in the middle. That chord is love. We are multi-faceted. We are very talented. We are very spiritually oriented. Neptune is also close to our sun. That’s called a conjunction. When sun and Neptune are conjoined, the Piscean energy is even stronger. Father Bu’s ideas is a good representation of a Pisces-Neptune archetype.

Carl: I don’t actually know his chart. I think he was born in September 1922.³ I would like to know his chart eventually. Anyway, the line that connects Gemini reminds me of KA. The symbol for shared experience — two spirits connected by a line. The wavy line that represents HA, or hangin (wind, spirit, breath), is connected to another HA, and that becomes the symbol for KA. KA is the prefix of many words that refer to relationships: ka-patid (sibling), ka-sama (companion), ka-ibigan (friend)… I love the term kaibigan in particular because it means KA (sharing) and ibigan (loving): sharing in the act of loving! That’s just wonderful! And now you’re saying that the Philippines has a Gemini sun, which is symbolized by two towers connected by a line!

Thea: Here’s the thing. The nodes of the moon represents what we’re here to work on or integrate. The South nodes represent what we are born with and are comfortable with. The North nodes represent the ones we need to do if we want to progress. These are what we need to incorporate more of. The South nodes are very close to Venus, so again, it’s very mothering, loving, and giving. It wants to please people and keep the peace. It wants beautiful things and yummy food. But our North node is in Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn. It’s all about living in integrity, knowing our power. Going back to the roots of our ancestors. Growing up in the provice, it was a matriarchal culture that I grew up in. What others say about patriarchy is something I never experienced. I had strong women figures who I looked up to. That’s the axis of Cancer and Capricorn. We are integrating a more yin sovereignty, a soft strength. I see it a lot. I don’t think it’s a culture that is unique to my experience; I think it’s shared by various cultures. It’s the West that made us believe in “patriarchy.” This is how I work with the nodes. That’s what we have. As a new generation of ancestors, we have a responsibility to embody this fierce, graceful strength. We must remember that we are “maharlika”⁴ and not just “The Land of Philip.”

Carl: So many thoughts are coming to the front of my brain that I don’t know where to start with. I’ll start with “soft strength.” I read this interesting thought online: patriarchy has done a great job removing the fangs of the mother archetype. We have to “rewild” the feminine and masculine. Not in the sense that “wild” means reckless and imprudent. “Wild” as in natural, and the strength that comes with it. Going back to the Marian devotion, the strength of the mother archetype is perseverance and fortitude in the face of suffering, while being so close to the divine that a simple “Please, will you?” is enough to bridge universe and material. If you look at folk Christianity, the symbol of the divine feminine is a flower that grew on top of God’s head, as he was thinking of what to create. This flower became a co-creator of the world. Before God could transform spiritual to material, the flower said, “Are you sure? Maybe this or that is better?”⁵ Also, I was reading the Boxer Codex, which is a documentation of travels in Asia, and they talked about the spiritual practices of the early Tagalogs. The priests were men in women’s clothing, and almost indistinguishable from the women. There’s that power there! They were described in the book as “swishy.” It reminds me of the flow. You said Pisces. It’s connected to the fact that we are an archipelago. The bridge between islands is through boats, through water. Ganda.

Thea: Oh my gosh, yes! I feel like when we keep this awe, this curiosity to keep searching, we’ll see that it’s right under our noses. We don’t have to search too far. All the secrets and codes trying to claw its way back to our modern minds… it’s all there. We just have to remember. We are all embodying these traits, it’s innate in us. For those who are deep in healing generational trauma, the act of discerning where the trauma came from is healing in itself. If we remember the thread of KA, we see that we share these experiences. When we say “decolonization”, it’s easy to focus on the blame. That we were colonized, that they were colonizers. It’s easy to get stuck in that wave of hate and blame. That thread of love and pakikipag-kapwa-tao (sharing in humanity) is innate in every Filipino. It would be beautiful to start there.

  1. See Madelene Sta. Maria, Filipinos’ Representations of the Self.
  2. Father Bu was a psychologist who was an important figure in the history of Philippine psychology. He was known for his studies on indigenous spirituality.
  3. Father Bu was born September 22, 1922, and died February 10, 2015.
  4. Maharlika is thought to mean the noble class, but William Henry Scott revealed that it actually just means “freemen.” That is, those who were not slaves. It is more accurate to say, therefore, that maharlika refers to the masses. Yet, it is used here to invoke the spirit of nobility and honor.
  5. See Melencio T. Sabino, Karunungan ng Dios, or Prospero Covar’s Potensia, bisa, at anting-anting (Decoding Belief System Encoded in Folklore).



Carl Lorenz Cervantes

Writer, researcher, and teacher.