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Sinclair Research

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Sinclair Research Ltd
Limited company
Industry Computing
Founded Cambridge, England, UK (1973)
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people
Sir Clive Sinclair, Founder
Nigel Searle, Director (1979 to 1986)
Jim Westwood
Rick Dickinson, Designer
Products Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Sinclair QL
Revenue £102 million GBP (1985)
Number of employees
140 (1980s)
3 (1990)
1 (1997)

Sinclair Research Ltd is a British consumer electronics company founded by Clive Sinclair in Cambridge. It was originally incorporated in 1973 as Westminster Mail Order Ltd, renamed Sinclair Instrument Ltd, then Science of Cambridge Ltd, then Sinclair Computers Ltd, and finally Sinclair Research Ltd in 1975. It remained dormant until 1976, when it was activated with the intention of continuing Sinclair's commercial work from his earlier company Sinclair Radionics, and adopted the name Sinclair Research in 1981.

In 1980, Clive Sinclair entered the home computer market with the ZX80 at £99.95, at that time the cheapest personal computer for sale in the United Kingdom. In 1982 the ZX Spectrum was released, becoming the UK's best selling computer, and competing aggressively against Commodore and Amstrad.

At the height of its success, and largely inspired by the Japanese Fifth Generation Computer program, the company established the "MetaLab" research centre at Milton Hall near Cambridge, in order to pursue artificial intelligence, wafer-scale integration, formal verification and other advanced projects. A combination of the failures of the Sinclair QL computer and the TV80 led to financial difficulties in 1985, and a year later Sinclair sold the rights to its computer products and brand name to Amstrad.[1] Sinclair Research Ltd still exists as a one-man company, continuing to market Clive Sinclair's inventions.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Founding and early years
    • 1.2 Development of the ZX80
    • 1.3 Commercial success and home computers
    • 1.4 Mid-1980s developments
    • 1.5 Amstrad acquisition of assets
    • 1.6 Spin-offs
    • 1.7 Return to invention
  • 2 Products
    • 2.1 Cancelled projects
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 Further reading
  • 6 External links


Profit and turnover data[2]
Period Profit Turnover
1980 Increase £131K £640K
1981 Increase £818K £4.6m
1982 Increase £8.55m £27.17m
1983 Increase £13.8m £54.53m
1984 Increase £14.28m £77.69m
1985 Decrease −£18m £102m
1988 to 1989 Decrease −£183K £8K
1989 to 1990 Increase £618K £5K
1990 to 1991 Decrease −£272K £5K
1991 to 1992 Decrease −£593K £1K
1992 to 1993 Decrease −£169K £380K
1993 to 1994 Decrease −£195K £511K
1994 to 1995 Decrease −£304K £436K
1995 to 1996 Decrease −£123K £256K

Founding and early years[edit]

On 25 July 1961, Clive Sinclair founded his first company, Sinclair Radionics Ltd. in Cambridge. The company developed hi-fi products, radios, calculators and scientific instruments. When it became clear that Radionics was failing, Sinclair took steps to ensure that he would be able to continue to pursue his commercial goals. In February 1975, he changed the name of Ablesdeal Ltd (a shelf company he had bought in September 1973 for just such an eventuality) to Westminster Mail Order Ltd. The name was changed to Sinclair Instrument Ltd in August 1975.

Finding it inconvenient to share control after the National Enterprise Board became involved in Radionics in 1976, Sinclair encouraged Chris Curry to leave Radionics, which he had worked for since 1966, and get Sinclair Instrument operational. The company's first product was a watch-like Wrist Calculator.

Development of the ZX80[edit]

In July 1977, Sinclair Instrument Ltd was renamed Science of Cambridge Ltd. Around the same time, Ian Williamson showed Chris Curry a prototype microcomputer based on a National Semiconductor SC/MP microprocessor and parts from a Sinclair calculator. Curry was impressed and encouraged Sinclair to adopt it as a product. In June 1978, Science of Cambridge launched its MK14 microcomputer in kit form.

In May 1979, Jim Westwood, Sinclair's chief engineer, designed a new microcomputer based on the Zilog Z80 microprocessor. Sinclair Instrument Ltd introduced the computer as the ZX80 in February 1980, as both a kit and ready-built.[3]

In November 1979, Science of Cambridge Ltd was renamed Sinclair Computers Ltd.

Commercial success and home computers[edit]

ZX Spectrum (1982)

In March 1981, Sinclair Computers was renamed Sinclair Research Ltd and the Sinclair ZX81 was launched. In February 1982, Timex Corporation obtained a license to manufacture and market Sinclair's computers in the USA under the name Timex Sinclair. In April the ZX Spectrum was launched. In July Timex launched the TS 1000 (a version of the ZX81) in the United States. In March 1982 Sinclair Research Ltd made an £8.55m profit on turnover of £27.17m, including a £383,000 government grant to develop a flat screen.

In 1982 Clive Sinclair converted the Barker & Wadsworth mineral water bottling factory at 25 Willis Road, Cambridge, into the company's new headquarters. (Following Sinclair's financial troubles, the premises were sold to Cambridgeshire County Council in December 1985.)

In January 1983 the ZX Spectrum personal computer was presented at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. In September the Sinclair TV80 pocket television was launched, but was a commercial failure.

In 1983 the company bought Milton Hall in the village of Milton, Cambridgeshire, for £2m, establishing its MetaLab research and development facility there.

In late 1983 Timex decided to pull out of the Timex Sinclair venture which, due to strong competition, had failed to break into the United States market. However, Timex computers continued to be produced for several years in other countries. Timex Portugal launched improved versions, the TS 2048 and 2068; that company also developed and launched the FDD 3000, a floppy disk system, although it was not well received by the market.

Mid-1980s developments[edit]

The Sinclair QL was announced on 12 January 1984, shortly before the Apple Macintosh went on sale.[4] The QL was nowhere near as successful as Sinclair's earlier computers. It suffered from several design flaws,[5] and Your Sinclair noted that it was "difficult to find a good word for Sinclair Research in the computer press".

Fully-working QLs were not available until late summer and complaints against Sinclair regarding delays were upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority in May of that year. (In 1982 it had upheld complaints about delays in shipping Spectrums.) Especially severe were allegations that Sinclair was cashing cheques months before machines were shipped. In the autumn Sinclair was still publicly predicting it would be a "million seller", and that 250,000 would be sold by the end of the year.[6] QL production was suspended in February 1985, and the price was halved by the end of the year.[7]

The ZX Spectrum+, a repackaged ZX Spectrum with a QL-like keyboard, was launched in October 1984 and appeared in WHSmith's shops the day after release. Retailers stocked the machine in large numbers in expectation of good Christmas sales. However, the machine did not sell as well as expected and, because retailers still had unsold stock, Sinclair's income from orders dipped alarmingly in January. The Spectrum+ had the same technical specifications as the original Spectrum. An enhanced model, the ZX Spectrum 128, was launched in Spain in September 1985, with development funded by the Spanish distributor Investronica.[8] The UK launch of this was delayed until January 1986, because retailers had large unsold stocks of the previous model.[9]

At the January 1985 Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Sinclair re-entered the United States market, announcing the "FM Wristwatch Radio", an LCD wristwatch with a radio attached.[10] However, the watch had several problems and never went into full production.

Sinclair had long had an interest in electric vehicles, and during the early 1980s he worked on the design of a single-seater "personal vehicle", eventually starting a company called Sinclair Vehicles Ltd in March 1983. He launched the Sinclair C5 electric vehicle on 10 January 1985, but it was a commercial disaster, selling only 17,000 units and losing Sinclair £7,000,000. Sinclair Vehicles went into liquidation later the same year. The failure of the C5, combined with those of the QL and the TV80, caused investors to lose confidence in Sinclair's judgement.

Amstrad acquisition of assets[edit]

Clive Sinclair sold the brand name to Alan Sugar's Amstrad in 1986

On 28 May 1985, Sinclair Research had announced it wanted to raise an extra £10m to £15m to restructure the organisation. Given the loss of confidence in the company, the money proved hard to find. In June 1985, business magnate Robert Maxwell announced a takeover of Sinclair Research, through Hollis Brothers, a subsidiary of his Pergamon Press.[11] However the deal was aborted in August 1985.[2]

The future of Sinclair Research remained uncertain until 7 April 1986, when the company sold its entire computer product range, and the "Sinclair" brand name, to Amstrad for £5 million.[12][13] The deal did not include the company itself, only its name and products.


Sinclair Research was reduced to an R&D business and a holding company, with shareholdings in several new "spin-off" companies formed to exploit technologies developed by the main company. These included Anamartic Ltd (wafer-scale integration), Shaye Communications Ltd (CT2 mobile telephony) and Cambridge Computer Ltd (Z88 portable computer and satellite TV receivers).[2]

Return to invention[edit]

Inventors of the A-bike, Sir Clive Sinclair and Alexander Kalogroulis

Since 1986, the company has continued to exist, but in a completely different form. In 1993, 1994 and 1995 Sinclair made continuing losses on decreasing turnover. Investors became worried that Clive Sinclair himself was using his own personal wealth to fund his inventions. By 1990 the company's entire staff had been reduced to just Sinclair himself, a salesman/administrator, and an R&D employee. By 1997 only Sinclair himself was working at his company.

In 1992, the "Zike" electric bicycle was released, Sinclair's second attempt at changing people's means of transport. It had a maximum speed of 10 mph (16 km/h), and was only available by mail order. Much like the C5, the "Zike" was a commercial failure, and sold only 2,000 units. In 1999 Sinclair released the world's smallest radio, in the form of the "Z1 Micro AM Radio".

In 2003, the Sinclair "ZA20 Wheelchair Drive Unit" was introduced, designed and manufactured in conjunction with Hong Kong's Daka Designs, a partnership which also led to the SeaDoo Sea Scooter underwater propulsion unit.

July 2006 saw the release of the A-bike, a folding bicycle invented by Sinclair, which was on sale for £200. It had been originally announced two years previously. In November 2010, Sinclair Research announced the X-1 two-wheel electric vehicle, which failed to reach production.


Wrist Calculator

The Wrist Calculator was released by Sinclair Instrument in 1977.[14]


The MK14 (Microcomputer Kit 14) was a computer kit sold by Science of Cambridge of the United Kingdom, first introduced in 1977 for £39.95.


The ZX80 home computer was launched in February 1980 at £79.95 in kit form and £99.95 ready-built.[3] In November of the same year Science of Cambridge was renamed Sinclair Computers Ltd.

Timex Sinclair 1000, a U.S. version of the Sinclair ZX81

The ZX81 (known as the TS 1000 in the United States) was priced at £49.95 in kit form and £69.95 ready-built, by mail order.

ZX Spectrum (1982)
ZX Spectrum

The ZX Spectrum was launched on 23 April 1982, priced at £125 for the 16 KB RAM version and £175 for the 48 KB version.


The TV80 was a pocket television. Launched in September 1983. It used a flattened CRT unlike Sinclair's previous portable televisions. The TV80 was a commercial failure selling only 15,000 units and not covering its development costs of £4m.[citation needed]

Sinclair QL

The Sinclair QL was announced in January 1984,[4] priced at £399. Marketed as a more sophisticated 32-bit microcomputer for professional users, it used a Motorola 68008 processor. Production was delayed by several months, due to unfinished development of hardware and software at the time of the QL's launch.[15] Hardware reliability problems and software bugs resulted in the QL acquiring a poor reputation from which it never really recovered.

ZX Spectrum+

The ZX Spectrum+ was a repackaged ZX Spectrum 48K launched in October 1984.

ZX Spectrum 128

The ZX Spectrum 128, with RAM expanded to 128 kB, a sound chip and other enhancements, was launched in Spain in September 1985 and the UK in January 1986, priced at £179.95.[9]

Computer peripherals

Sinclair created various peripherals for its computers, including memory expansion modules, the ZX Printer, and the ZX Interface 1 and ZX Interface 2 add-ons for the ZX Spectrum. A number of QL peripherals were developed by other companies but marketed under the Sinclair brand. External storage for the Spectrum was usually on cassette tapes, as was common in that era. Rather than an optional floppy disk drive, Sinclair instead opted to offer its own mass storage system, the ZX Microdrive, a tape-loop cartridge system that proved unreliable. This was also the primary storage device for the QL.

X1 Button Radio (1997)
X1 Button FM Radio

In June 1997 Sinclair Research released the X1 radio for £9.50. This miniature mono FM radio, powered by a CR2032 battery, had a fixed volume and was inserted in the ear. The X1 radio had three buttons, an on/off switch, a Scan button, and a Reset button to restart the scanning process. It came with a short length of aerial and a detachable ear hook.[16]

Cancelled projects[edit]

The following computer products were under development at Sinclair Research during the 1980s but never reached production:


Standing for "Low Cost Colour Computer", the LC3 was developed during 1983 by Martin Brennan and was intended to be a cheap Z80-based games console implemented in two chips, using RAM and (non-volatile) RAM cartridges for storage. A multi-tasking operating system for the LC3, with a full windowing GUI, was designed by Steve Berry. It was cancelled in November 1983 in favour of the QL.[15]


Intended to be a 68008-based home computer, equipped with built-in ZX Microdrive, joystick, RS-232 and ZX Net ports. Sinclair's SuperBASIC programming language was originally intended for this model but was later adopted for the QL. SuperSpectrum was cancelled in 1982 after the specification of the ZX83 (QL) had converged with it.[15] This project is not to be confused with Loki, which was described as the "SuperSpectrum" in an article in the June 1986 issue of Sinclair User magazine.


This was to be a portable computer with an integral flat-screen CRT display. Initially to be ZX Spectrum-compatible with a faster Z80 CPU, a built-in ZX Microdrive and a new 512×192-pixel monochrome video mode. Due to the limited size of flat CRT that could be manufactured, a series of folding lenses and mirrors were necessary to magnify the screen image to a usable size. The project was cancelled after the Amstrad take-over, but the Pandora concept eventually transformed into the Cambridge Computer Z88.[17][18][19]


This project was intended to create a greatly enhanced ZX Spectrum, possibly rivalling the Commodore Amiga. Loki was to have a 7 MHz Z80H CPU, 128 KiB of RAM, and two custom chips providing much enhanced graphics and audio capabilities. After the Amstrad buy-out in 1986, two engineers who had worked on the project, John Mathieson and Martin Brennan, founded Flare Technology to continue their work.[18]


According to Rupert Goodwins, this was a project to produce an add-on floppy disk drive for the ZX Spectrum.[20]


This codename was assigned to a QL follow-on project running from 1984 to 1986. Among the features associated with Tyche were increased RAM capacity, internal floppy disk drives, the Psion Xchange application suite on ROM, and possibly the GEM GUI.[21]


This name has been associated with a design concept for a "Super QL" based on wafer-scale integration technology.[18][22]


This was rumoured to be a hypothetical portable version of the QL similar to Pandora.[23]

Sinclair X-1

In November 2010 Sinclair told The Guardian newspaper that he was working on a new prototype electric vehicle, called the X-1, to be launched within a year. "Technology has moved on quite a bit, there are new batteries available and I just rethought the thing. The C5 was OK, but I think we can do a better job now."[24] The two-wheel X-1 was to have been available on July 2011 at the price of £595,[25][26] but failed to reach production.[27]

See also[edit]

  • Sinclair BASIC
  • Sinclair C5
  • Sinclair Executive
  • Sinclair Radionics
  • Sinclair Scientific
  • Sinclair Vehicles
  • Timex Sinclair
  • TV80
  • Sinclair President


  1. ^ John Minson (May 1986). "Sir Clive Sinclair resigns from the home computer market". CRASH (28). Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sinclair: A Corporate History". Planet Sinclair. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  3. ^ a b Clarke, Jerry (27 October 1980). "Micro Industry in U.K. Shows Stiff Upper Lip". InfoWorld. 2 (19): 1, 35. ISSN 0199-6649. 
  4. ^ a b Sue Denham (March 1984). "Sir Clive Makes The Quantum Leap". Your Spectrum (2). Retrieved 2006-04-19. 
  5. ^ "QL News / SinclairWatch". Your Spectrum (5). July 1984. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  6. ^ Roger Munford (September 1984). "Circe". Your Spectrum (7). Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  7. ^ "Timex/Sinclair history". ZQAOnline. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  8. ^ "Kept in the Dark". CRASH (22). November 1985. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  9. ^ a b "Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128". The Center for Computing History. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "FM Wristwatch Radio". Planet Sinclair. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  11. ^ "Sinclair to Sell British Unit". The New York Times. 18 June 1985. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  12. ^ Graham Kidd (May 1986). "Amstrad has bought Sinclair Research". CRASH (28): 7. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  13. ^ "Amstrad axes QL in Sinclair sell out". Sinclair User. May 1986. p. 7. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  14. ^ "Wrist Calculator". Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c Ian Adamson; Richard Kennedy. "The Quantum Leap - to where?". Sinclair and the 'Sunrise' Technology. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  16. ^ "Planet Sinclair". Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  17. ^ Rupert Goodwins (12 May 2002). "Re: Sinclair Loki Superspectrum". Newsgroup: comp.sys.sinclair. Usenet: Retrieved 2006-11-23. 
  18. ^ a b c "Loki, Janus, Pandora: The Unreleased Sinclair Computers". Planet Sinclair. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  19. ^ Rick Dickinson (16 July 2007). "Pandora to Z88". Flickr. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  20. ^ Rupert Goodwins (18 August 1999). "Re: Does anyone remember the Spectrum to Spectrum+ upgrade?". Newsgroup: comp.sys.sinclair. Usenet: 7pf9kh$ih1$ Retrieved 2006-11-23. 
  21. ^ Tony Tebby. "Q-Emulator 2". "ql-users" mailing list. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  22. ^ Rick Dickinson (16 July 2007). "QL and Beyond". Flickr. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  23. ^ Rupert Goodwins (26 October 1999). "A little piece of Sinclair history.." Newsgroup: comp.sys.sinclair. Usenet: 7v3mp3$5u2$ Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  24. ^ Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian (13 November 2010). "Whose bright idea was that?". London. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  25. ^ Coxworth, Ben (5 November 2010). "Sir Clive Sinclair's X-1 pedal-electric hybrid". Retrieved 5 February 2017. 
  26. ^ Sinclair Research - Sir Clive Sinclair. "Sinclair Research". Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  27. ^ Dunn, Michael (8 December 2014). "Sir Clive Sinclair interview". EDN. Retrieved 5 February 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Adamson, Ian; Kennedy, Richard (1986). Sinclair and the "Sunrise" Technology. London: Penguin Books. 224 pp. ISBN 0-14-008774-5.
  • Dale, Rodney (1985). The Sinclair Story. London: Duckworth. 184 pp. ISBN 0-7156-1901-2.
  • Tedeschi, Enrico (1986). Sinclair Archaeology: The Complete Photo Guide to Collectable Models. Portslade: Hove Books. 130 pp. ISBN 0-9527883-0-6.

External links[edit]

  • Sinclair Nostalgia Products
  • The Sinclair Story book extract
  • Planet Sinclair
  • 'Pocket TVs failed before. What's changed?', BBC News Magazine article
  • ZX81 Online Museum
  •, 1000BiT Sinclair's section

Pandora—the Astrology of Temptation

by Boots Hart, CAP on April 1, 2012

Asteroid Pandora - astrology of temptation

The first mention of Pandora in Greek mythology comes to us from Hesiod’s “Theogony.” We don’t have specific birth and death data for Hesiod, but scholars put his work in the arena of 750-650 BCE. So it’s old indeed—and more importantly for the astrological understanding of same, this myth is distinctly pre-Christian.

So, what did Hesiod say about Pandora? He simply said she was the “first woman”…which makes it no surprise that when you dig around, her name comes up linked to (or compared to) that of Prometheus, the fellow who stole fire from the gods, enraging Olympians with the thought that humans too would be able to go outside and have a BBQ.

According to Hesiod, Pandora was created “by the gods”—which may give us some perspective on women being considered “heavenly creations” by some, particularly since this myth comes to us from a highly male-dominated time (the very yang Age of Aries was very male-oriented indeed!).

Furthermore, according to Hesiod, each of the Greek gods contributed to this creation. Hephaestus (later known to Romans as Vulcan), god of the forge and all things molten and malleable, was ordered to make this woman out of earth as part of a punishment for the aforementioned Promethean act of having given fire to mortal earthlings—after which, all the other gods were ordered to endow Pandora with gifts guaranteed to seduce.

Seduce whom? Men. Remembering that all this happened in a time when a crowd was counted only by the number of men in said crowd (how Age of Aries, right?) this is the classic sort of Greek conundrum which says okay…you don’t want to adhere to the law of the gods? (spiritualism) Then live your earthy, earthly life—see what that gets you.

This tale is told over and over again in ancient myths all over the ancient world long before it was formalized by Christians or anyone else as soul-staining “sin.” The ancient form of this question is all about getting rooted in one or the other without sufficient balance.

And balance would seem to be the key here, no matter which version of the Pandora tale you want to embrace. For when this “beautiful evil” (as Hesiod called her) tormented men with the “wonder” which arose in their minds at the very sight of her, the question is not whether Pandora herself is good or evil, but whether those who perceive her can maintain their sense of judgment.

Okay…so maybe it’s not “wonder” those men are feeling, and maybe it’s not something arising in their “minds.” Granted! But the bottom line is still the same: on a mythological or metaphysical level, Pandora remains the image of our own ability to be tempted or to get out of balance with ourselves—and that has nothing to do with others. She herself is not evil…it’s our unwillingness to hold ourselves to standards which is our undoing.

And thus we come to the jar. Apparently in the original it’s not a “box” Pandora unscrews, but a jar. Contemplating this from an ancient point of view, the “jar” would be a container which preserves things. So Pandora refers to our containment and the choices we make when curiosity—not malice—causes us to “open ourselves” to things we cannot control.


Pandora, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1881)

All this becomes very interesting astrologically when we consider where asteroid Pandora resides. Pandora is an “outer main belt” asteroid. This means that in the broad gap between Mars and Jupiter, Pandora orbits towards the outer (Jupiter) edge of things.

Astrologically, the asteroid belt separates the inner/personal realm of things (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars) from the outer reaches of our life (Jupiter and Saturn as the points farthest from Earth visible with the naked eye). There are literally thousands of asteroids and they all represent things we “meet up with” on our way from the point where motivation causes us to “do” something (Mars) to the point where we achieve understanding of what we’re doing or dealing with (Jupiter) and have a chance to convert that to real achievement (Saturn).

Where objects cycle in that asteroid belt tells us about where in our process we’re likely to meet up with any given issue. So that Pandora orbits near the outer edge of the asteroid belt tends to say either it’s one of the last hurdles we come to on our way to something. That Pandora’s actions come from curiosity and not malice tends to echo that old saying: be careful what you ask for, you might get it!

Does this sound a bit like asteroid Medusa—another image of “fearful truth” or “fear of the truth” or “fear of what we go through when learning the truth”? Perhaps yes, though Medusa—through her mythic association with Athena, dispassionate goddess of intellectual wisdom, is hardly as earthy as Pandora.

And maybe that’s part of the point too. Pandora’s myth is plainly earthy (and earthly) and she’s very pointedly referred to as an image which throws men (not women) off base. (I somehow doubt I have to say anything more here to illuminate such a concept.) Pandora is emotionally based, obviously. Even more to the point, she may be biologically based and thus echo ideas more commonly associated with points like TNO Typhon (basic/baseline instincts). As the “first woman” Pandora would certainly be—in part—about procreation. It would also be about male temptation and the ability of to tempt males—though in this tale the temptation is fashioned “by the gods” and therefore is something each person has to take responsibility for.

Would it be tempting (so to speak?) to blame it on whoever’s tempting you? Absolutely! But would that be correct? Probably not if, as this suggests, the ability to be tempted is all about your own relationship to whatever you think Divinity (karma, spirituality, existence, etc.) is.

The last part of the original myth which we modern readers evidently having gotten the “scoop” on is the fact that in Hesiod’s version, Pandora releases all the evils from the jar then recaps it, retaining hope inside. Plainly, hope remains within. And while this can be a good thing, buoying us in difficult times, because hope is defined as being “contained within a jar” it may also translate as that reluctance many have to put themselves to work finding their own solutions.

Discovered on September 10, 1858 when retrograde at 6 Aries, Pandora carries with it a quality of Self which sometimes too late recognizes the need—and validity—of others throughout its 4.58-year-long orbital cycle. Six Aries is a degree known for worldly ambitions which involves relationships which though functional, fail to satisfy on any deep and nurturing level.

But still, we have hope, right? Yes—and it may well be that it takes coming to that place where we realize not just that “ills of the world” are abroad but that we have (to whatever degree) unleashed them in our lives…through being dazzled by something which overcomes us at a totally visceral and personal level and learning how that alone will not cure our ills…thus we come to hold onto the hope left inside.

Also worth note: Pandora is not only the name of an asteroid, but also the name of one of Saturn’s moons. Lest we think astronomers don’t squabble about such things, there was some debate about whether both the moon and the asteroid could have the same name. And obviously the answer is yes, giving us a clear metaphysical indicator that there is a “connection” between “orbiting our goals” (Saturn) and working towards sufficient understanding or mastery of circumstances (Jupiter) as to be able to reach those goals. That one Pandora is on the way to Jupiter and the other orbits Saturn suggests that the closer we get to our (Saturn) goal or achievement, the more we should be aware of what we do.

Still, (and here we look merely to the asteroid) that Pandora’s perihelion—its closest approach to us (2.359 AU)—is rather in sync with the perihelions of Amphitrite and Daedalus tells us that we can win through, IF we keep our wits about us (Daedalus) and carry through on well-thought-out plans and IF we are willing to recognize when we are being overcome by emotions, emotionality, or even habitual (unconscious) thinking (Amphitrite).

So why bring this up now—here in April, 2012—while the world is in flux?

That’s precisely the issue. Next month (on May 15, to be precise), Venus goes retrograde. It will be going retrograde in the Mercury (thought/mentality) ruled sign of Gemini. Venus will then be in retrograde for about six weeks. This is a sure sign of reflecting on choices. And where Venus is concerned, it’s often likely that some of those choices involve things we have done in order to garner admiration or approval from others. In making this turn-about at 23 Gemini, Venus will automatically be raising the 3rd decan (degrees 20-29) issue of critique/reaction from others.

Then we have the concept that any planet in retrograde—being that the planet is physically on the other side of the Sun during retrograde—that “cuts us off” from “normal” avenues of expression or connection vis-à-vis whatever symbol is in retrograde. With Venus, that would be being “cut off” from positive support of various kinds.

But then we add in Pandora. Pandora is going direct on May 17. So either way, given that astrological stations (direct-to-retrograde or retrograde-to-direct) are given two-day allowances, these symbolic shifts are tied together.

Oh—and did I mention that Pandora will be going direct in Virgo, Mercury’s other sign of rulership? AND that Uranus will be rolling through 6 Aries (the degree at which Pandora was discovered during late April and early May?).

But wait—there’s more! Come May 20, there’s a Solar Eclipse at 0 Gemini…as if we needed to underscore mental issues and questions of how well we think, how well balanced our thinking is…or isn’t?

Those who are willing to change, who are willing to grasp where their thinking has been unbalanced or detrimental to their own interests or those of others have an opportunity to get ahead of this curve now. And that would be the reason for discussing Pandora here in April, 2012. Are changes easy-peasy to make? Probably not. Are they necessary? Maybe not in external terms, but Pandora’s inclusion in this mix suggests that each and every one of us—no matter our gender—needs to balance what we do in, and with, our life. There’s an obvious quality of warning where we live “on the surface” or for surface values: those who think they can hide behind some surface, beware. Those who think all that matters is what you look like or where you live, beware. Those who think acting strong or weak is the do-all, be-all of life, beware.

We do have a chance now to start anew. And many people—you’ll see them here and there—will be taking the opportunity to do just that in/with their lives. So long as balance is part of the mix and maintained or put into place, while positive results may be slow in coming (solar eclipses tend to evolve over a 36-month period) they’ll be there in time.

In his writing “Human, All Too Human,” Friedrich Nietzsche wrote this—which is altogether applicable to Pandora:

Zeus did not want man to throw his life away, no matter how much the other evils might torment him, but rather to go on letting himself be tormented anew. To that end, he gives man hope. In truth, it is the most evil of evils because it prolongs man’s torment.

For those who won’t change, and for those who think they’re “entitled” to be insensitive (which in the end becomes insensitivity towards Self), April 2012 is the moment when the jar lid starts coming undone.

But don’t worry…you’ll still have hope.

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