This blog now has its own Facebook Page, where I publish all kinds of astrological stuff – blogs, videos and articles from leading astrologers for instance  – in fact anything astrological which takes my fancy and I think might interest YOU, dear reader. Do go over, visit for a while, leave a Like or even better, a comment. See you there!

As Saturn returns to Sagittarius: meditative contemplation from Mary Plumb at the Mountain Astrologer blog

I really appreciated this wise, calm, beautiful post on  Saturn’s recent entry into Sagittarius from Mary Plumb at the Mountain Astrologer blog. I’ve also found it  personally helpful, as I prepare to work with the forming Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune energy by re-entering Buddhist meditation practice again after a gap of some years.

Do take time to read and reflect. Mary has inspired me to go away and write a post of my own on this powerful planetary shift which will affect us all, both individually and collectively. Watch this space!


Born on the cusp: which sign am I?

This is easily the most frequently read post on this blog! So – thought I’d repost it for the benefit of new readers – with thanks to Rian, who asked the original question.

Could you talk a little bit about cusps? How much does a person with their sun at 29.5 degrees take on the next sign? Or is it black and white. I think it might be a fade-out/ fade-in, but I’ve never found anything written about this. Thank you. 

Anne’s Answer: I’m glad you asked this question. It’s one astrologers are asked A LOT !I’ll answer it in two stages.

Firstly, let’s imagine someone out there is due to give birth mid to late June 2013 in Glasgow, UK, and is wondering whether their baby will have the Sun in Gemini or Cancer.

At midnight GMT on 21st June (1.00 am UK summer time), the Sun is at the very end of  Gemini:29 degrees 48 minutes. By midnight GMT on 22nd June (1.00 am UK summer time), the Sun has moved to the next sign and occupies the very beginning of Cancer: 0 degrees 45 minutes. Thus our imaginary child arriving on 21st June 2013 some time after midnight GMT  in Glasgow,  UK would be in popular terms, ‘born on the cusp’.

However, as anyone who takes their interest in astrology ‘beyond the Sun Signs will very quickly realise, there is a lot more to astrology than its popular Sun Sign face would suggest. With an accurately calculated horoscope which uses the date, place and vital TIME of birth, an astrologer (or, these days, anyone with access to a reasonable computer programme ) can work out to the minute where the Sun is on that child’s birthday.

To illustrate this, look at the image below. (click on it to enlarge). Our imaginary cusp Baby X, born in Glasgow UK at 6.00 am British Summer Time ( 5.00 am GMT ) on Friday 21st June 2013, will have the Sun in Gemini – at 29 degrees 59 minutes. If this child  is born only five minutes later, however, he/she will have the Sun in Cancer – at 0 degrees 00 minutes.

Baby X

Baby X

Thus, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as ‘born on the cusp’. Our Baby X, horoscope accurately calculated,  is either – in Sun Sign terms – a Gemini or a Cancer.

However, Rian, your guess was quite correct. Someone born with the Sun at the very beginning of the 30 degrees of any zodiac sign has a stronger, more vivid and obvious  ‘charge’ of the sign’s energy than someone born at the very end.

Imagine you are standing in a favourite room which you have occupied for a long time. You are becoming a little bored, jaded with what that room may have to offer. Suddenly, a door you’d never noticed before opens slightly. A shaft of new light streams through from another room. You step forward, intrigued. Could this be a new adventure? Or, to conclude our analogy: the Sun in fickle, restless Gemini is becoming stale – the prospect of entry into a journey through another sign, watery mysterious Cancer, beckons….

The second stage of my answer, though, brings in a little of the more complex picture which more in-depth astrology has to offer.

Take another look at Baby X’s horoscope, featured above. (click on it to enlarge)

Even those of you with very little knowledge of astrology should be able to imagine the 360 degree zodiac circle before you as a stage. Stand in the centre, and look around the circle.

You will see various symbols, representing the planets. Humans have been standing on Earth, looking out into the night sky, plotting the planets’ positions against an imaginary 360 degree great circle, the zodiac, for more than six thousand years. That view has never changed, despite our knowledge for several centuries that the Sun, not Earth, is the centre of our solar system. We still look out from the same Earth to the same  celestial view.

On the left of the circle, just above and below the horizontal black line,  fall the sectors of Gemini and Cancer. Our Baby X may be a Sun Gemini – only just! – but very close to that Sun is Jupiter (desire to connect to the Big Picture)   and not far away is Mars (action). This gives our Baby X a very strong emphasis on the Gemini theme.

However the horizontal black line is his/her Ascendant or Rising Sign, revealing the way s/he will appear to the world in general. This is in the sign of Cancer. Just below this point, squashed together on 22 degrees of Cancer, are Venus (urge to relate) and Mercury (drive toward communication, expression). Thus Baby X will have five out of the ten planets (or characters on the stage), and Rising Sign, occupying only two of the twelve signs of the zodiac.

This places a very strong emphasis on the signs of Gemini and Cancer, rational air and emotional water. Thus, at a very simple level – full interpretation has to take all the characters, their locations and interactions on the zodiac stage into account – Baby X will have the gifts and pains of that classic Shakespearian clash between reason and passion, to wrestle with and reconcile, be driven by–  for as long as  s/he lives.

A long answer for a short question! But I do hope it sheds some light – and reveals in the process a deeper astrology ‘beyond the Sun Signs’. Do let me know what you think!

And you new visitors and Followers out there. Drop by with your observations….. and, of course,  your Questions….



900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013/2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

Why Saturn has as much to do with Success as Jupiter

Anne Whitaker:

Enjoy this ‘taster’ from master astrologer Donna Cunningham’s upcoming ebook “CAREER choices and challenges”: I have for a very long time, really valued Donna’s grounded wisdom and humour which can put even the most difficult planetary patterns into a context which enables one to make the most of them. I agree with every word she says here about Saturn – and Jupiter…

Originally posted on Sky Writer:

(c)2015 by Donna Cunningham, MSWCareerChoicesChallenges-cvr

The following is an excerpt from my ebook, Career Choices and Challenges: An Astrological Guide, due for publishing in October.

If you’d like to be notified when it’s available at sign up for a subscription in the box at the top right hand box of the front page of this blog.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  – Thomas A. Edison

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

Thomas Jefferson

I’ve been a fairly lucky person all my life, and once, after a run of especially good luck ion my career, I set about analyzing it. I felt that perhaps by understanding my luck, I could not only increase it for myself, but perhaps also teach my heretofore un­conscious “methods”…

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A selection of FREE downloads from Anne W and selected astrologers she admires

I’m happy to be able now to offer some of my work to readers for free. All I ask in return – apart from feedback as, when, and if it suits you – is that I be given full attribution for any extracts published, and a link back to this site:

Also, from time to time, I will add to the list articles, recordings and videos by leading astrologers whose work I admire. Scroll down to find Donna Cunningham, Dr Bernadette Brady, and Steven Forrest in conversation with Mark Jones,  at the foot of the page.

More to follow…





Does astrology wound as well as heal?

Wounding, healing and the art of astrology

It is important at this point to emphasise to readers who are familiar only with Sun Signs that to get ‘beyond the Sun Signs’ requires an individual’s horoscope to be drawn up for the date, place AND time of birth. Human beings are complex and contradictory. It’s not possible to approach any satisfying symbolic exploration of that complexity through the Sun or Star Sign alone.

Astrology itself neither heals nor wounds. Having  arisen aeons ago from attempts to create a meaningful context to human life through observation of the physical movements of the planets in the heavens, whether such a framework is experienced as wounding or healing is heavily predicated upon the attitude of the individuals who choose to use it:

“The fault, dear Brutus, is  not  in our stars,
But in ourselves, that  we are underlings.”

(W.Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2)



It is easy enough to talk about the positive healing benefits of an astrological framework, providing as it does a major defence against meaninglessness and insignificance. Feeling connected at a personal level to loved ones and friends is recognised as a major factor in promoting and maintaining physical, emotional and mental health and happiness.

Feeling connected at a more cosmic level lets us see that  we are not random accidents in time and space, but threads in the weave of a greater pattern – very small threads perhaps, but contributors nevertheless. This awareness promotes a sense of spiritual well being.

There is also the sheer fun, excitement and intellectual discovery which the study of astrology brings.

Every bright light, however, has a dark shadow; in the promethean nature of our art  lies its shadow too. It is all very well to steal the gods’ fire, as Prometheus did, with the noble intention of  liberating humanity from some of its bonds with the powerful enlightenment which that fire brings.

But fire burns. It is impossible to light up the darkness of our human limitations of perception, without the hand that holds the illuminating fire being burned by it. It’s not so easy to talk about that. But it does less than justice, in exploring the impact of the astrological model on human consciousness, to concentrate on the healing aspects of the interaction,  whilst glossing over the wounding dimensions. Exposure to the model brings both.

I  always attempted to restore a sense of perspective on this issue by pointing out to my astrology  students that for the whole of human history most of humanity has managed to stagger through life without the benefit of astrological knowledge.

On one occasion, I asked a small group of my  tutorial students, who had studied and practised for long enough to experience both the light and the shadow facets of our great art, to write something about its healing and wounding dimensions. I was delighted by the honesty and perceptiveness of their feedback. Here is what Charlotte, 35 at the time of my asking, had to say.


(not her real name – data withheld for confidentiality)

 I’ve never really been asked to consider the wounding aspects of astrology in such a direct way before. I did have a bit of a job focusing on the question without the more positive aspects coming up all the time! I think the serious study of astrology knocked me out of the idyllic vision I had had of my family background. I had to accept that my parents weren’t perfect, and the overall effect of this was enlightening but also disappointing. It kind of knocked me into the real world and showed me things as they were which I found quite hard to come to terms with.

Seeing things in black and white on the astrological chart  led to a lot of resentment on my part, raising a lot of difficult questions which I’m still working hard to understand. I think this can sometimes sidetrack me and stop me getting on with things, and lead to some disasters which might not have occurred otherwise – although I would say I do have a natural tendency to analyse things anyway. Astrology just provides more scope for this.

There is also the question “ why me? Why did I have to have this chart?” which may be quite childish, but did lead at one time to some resentment at the apparent unfairness of it all. Especially when you are grappling with hard Pluto and Saturn aspects. You know you have your work cut out for you, and that life is not going to be easy. The prospect of living your life with these aspects can be quite daunting and depressing, and lead to a lot of despondency at times.

Another factor that’s hard to take on board is that you are responsible for yourself. You can’t go around blaming other people for your misfortunes all the time. You have to take responsibility for your part in the drama. It’s your stuff, and you’re the only one who can deal with it. This can lead to a lot of self criticism on my part, and a good deal of depression if things aren’t working out.

Looking at  it from a promethean point of view, Prometheus stole fire from the gods. He knew he would suffer for it, but he also, I think, knew on some intuitive level that he was doing the right thing. And in the end he was released from his suffering. Personally, I couldn’t not know. Otherwise I wouldn’t have pursued the subject as long as I have. I just hope it works out for me in the end too”.

This is one person’s vivid perspective on the implications of knowing her natal horoscope. I’d be interested to have comments on this issue from my readers.




1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker/”Charlotte” 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Meditation on the Leo New Moon…

Whilst having a summer break, to enable me to catch up with a series of writing deadlines to the end of August, it has been my pleasure to share posts which I have enjoyed reading. Here is a lovely, meditative post by Emerging Pattern – since I am a Leo with the New Moon just fallen on my Sun/Moon conjunction, this affirmation of creativity and its joys really appeals…hope you enjoy it too!

Moonlady - reaching for the New Moon

Moonlady – reaching for the New Moon

Jupiter in Virgo and Phoenix-Time for Gen-X: To Serve or Not to Serve

Anne Whitaker:

Some deep words of analysis, wisdom comfort and affirmation for the Uranus/Pluto in Virgo tribe, as Jupiter enters Virgo today…from Jamie over at Sophia’s Children. Thanks, Jamie!

Originally posted on Sophia's Children:

Jupiter and Juno, by Gavin Hamilton (1723-1798). Pubic domain image due to date prior to copyright term. Jupiter and Juno, by Gavin Hamilton (1723-1798). Pubic domain image due to date prior to copyright term.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

~ Gospel of Thomas, Saying 70

As Jupiter readies to shift its expanding essence from the yang-fires of Leo to earthy-Feminine Virgoan fields,we may find remedy for what ails us (and culture) in the authentic service of the ‘my cup overfloweth’ variety.

Or by Phoenixing, but more on that in a bit. First, The Service Thing. Then the Gen-X Phoenix Thing.

Real service (vs. the deadening, soul-draining martyr-ish kind)comes only when we bring the freshly activated whole-heartedness of risen-Leo and root it in the taproot of the sacred, aligned with and tending the Holy Divine in…

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