A Tender Twelfth House Tale…

“…where do we go when we sleep? Where do we go when we give up the fight? Where do we go when we drift, allowing fantasy to take over? Where do we go when we die? Where DO we go when we give up struggling within Saturn’s realm and allow Neptune’s flow to take us over? Astrology has a name for this inchoate territory where everything dissolves into the primal waters.

It is called the Twelfth House…”

The Mountain Astrologer

The Mountain Astrologer

In the August/September issue of ‘The Mountain Astrologer’ magazine, I was very happy to have my long-gestated ponderings on that most mysterious of all the astrological houses, the Twelfth House, published as one of their leading articles for that issue. Called “Contemplating the Twelfth House: an optimist’s take on self-undoing”, it must have struck a deep chord with some readers. I have never before had so many powerful, moving, poignant responses to anything I’ve written.

Picture the scene: a lady is standing in a slow health food store queue in Hawaii. She is looking for something to pass the time. She picks up an astrology magazine (The Mountain Astrologer) reads my article whilst she is waiting, goes home and immediately emails me. Her comments on what she has read are affirming and much appreciated. One phrase in particular, “…we are all particles poised to slip back to the wave…” resonates so deeply that she asks me if she can use it for a very special purpose?

She has just lost a dear friend to cancer, and plans to make a collage to give to her friend’s family at the funeral, to be held in a few days. May she use my phrase around which to create the collage?

“Of course you may” I said, deeply touched by this request. She thanked me most graciously. “I’ll send you a copy when it’s done.”

The lady was as good as her word. Here is the beautiful collage she made, which I shall always treasure. Both of us, I know, will also treasure the “One World” circumstances of our contact. The Twelfth House is that place in space where all differences dissolve, back, back, back to the Source. Our joint experience across seas and continents is one tiny validation of that truth.

Rashani Réa, unique, gifted lady – thank you for including me in your world.

we are all particles...

we are all particles…

******

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Zodiac

4o0 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Uranus, Pluto and the Scottish Independence Referendum

In our minute corner of the Milky Way galaxy, in that barely noticeable solar system of which our tiny Earth is part, ingenious humans aeons ago devised a symbol system, based on observation of the relationship between planetary movements and human behaviour. They were thus able to unlock what the meanings of those energy shifts might be. We astrologers are still observing – and what an especially interesting time this is in which to be doing so!

Astrologers, however, do not have an observational monopoly. Songwriters have a pithy way of capturing behaviour patterns too: ‘Birds do it, bees do it, Even educated fleas do it, Let’s do it, let’s fall in love…’ Cole Porter was probably an optimist – or he never experienced the scouring, disruptive force of Uranus/Pluto in action.

Since the turbulent 1960s conjunction, the first exact squares of those two planets (moving gradually towards exactitude since around 2007/8) have been ripping across the world from 2012 onwards. The Aries/Capricorn combo is currently just past the fifth of seven exact squares. A highly notable effect has been massively disruptive and often violent falling out of  love between established nations, their leaders and populations.

Uranus/Pluto in action worldwide

The most dramatic, extreme expression of this is the ‘Arab Spring’ which has been sweeping across the Middle East since December 2010 in Tunisia. Street trader Mohamed Bouazizi’s despairing self-immolation in that country triggered off massive popular uprisings which swept away dictators like Egypt’s Mubarak and Gaddafi in Libya.

Its current major manifestation is the ghastly civil war in Syria which shows no signs of abating in its grotesque destructiveness. In the meantime, Libya is descending into a chaos of fighting factions, whilst Egypt appears to have replaced its democratically elected civilian president Morsi, swiftly deposed by people power, with yet another military-backed president and government. (NOTE: I completed and submitted this article on 14.6.14, before the subsequent flare-ups of severe disruption in Ukraine, Gaza, and Iraq where ISIS/ISIL erupted with brutal, shocking violence)

Be careful what you wish for…

Arrival at reasoned compromise is not one of the most notable manifestations of the Uranus/Pluto combination. With this particular square, Pluto in Capricorn’s archetypal thrust is towards the destruction of  institutional and political structures which have outlived their usefulness.

Uranus in Aries is immediate and not very nuanced in its headlong pursuit of a new, ideal social order which is – per se - bound to be better than the old, discarded one. Nothing short of revolution, achieved by force if necessary, is its aim. Caught up in the passion of the moment, a leap into the unknown is acceptable, exciting.

Reasoned, hard-headed contemplation of consequences is not high on revolutionary agendas.

Uranus: the revolutionary egg breaker

Liz Greene offers a succinct caveat regarding the Uranian archetype in action, thus:

” But Uranus doesn’t recognise the value and nature of time, or the importance of slow growth and compromise. Nor does it recognise the reality of individual human feeling. The vision of the future must happen now, and anything standing in its way must be annihilated or, at best, reformed. This can result in enormous suffering, for individuals as well as for the collective. The basic philosophy of Uranus is that, to make an omelette, one has to break eggs. The problem is that the eggs are the emotional and instinctual needs of individual human beings. Revolutions always have a way of going out of control.”(1)

We are all caught up, tossed about every which way, by the shifting energy patterns of a restless cosmos. Both individuals and nation states are, as it were, given a chip of prevailing energy patterns to act out.We are run far more by the dark tides of those turbulent energies than we may care to admit. Uranus Pluto waters run deep in ‘passionate intensity’, shallow in temperate rational analysis.

Uranus/Pluto strikes Scotland

Scotland's Horoscope

Scotland’s Horoscope

Bearing this in mind, let’s turn to Scotland, one of the four countries making up the United Kingdom. At the UK general election of May 2011, the Scottish National Party headed up by First Minister Alex Salmond won a sweeping mandate from the Scottish people. Many Scots voted SNP not out of a desire for separation, but because as a minority government from 2007, they had appeared to be doing a more competent job of running the country than the Labour Party, whose long domination of Scottish politics had led to terminal disillusion on the part of much of the electorate.

With this strong mandate, the big push to a referendum vote on Scotland’s future was on. On 18th September 2014, Scots will go to the polls to answer a simple question:

“Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Scotland’s Horoscope: from 1005 to 2014

In 1999, the year Scotland gained its own parliament for the first time in nearly 300 years, I wrote an article presenting and briefly analysing Scotland’s horoscope.The most commonly used chart for Scotland is that of the crowning of Malcolm the Second at Scone on 25 March 1005 at noon (see DATA at end of article)

In this chart can be seen quite clearly some of the main themes which the wider world associates with Scotland. On contemplating both the natal horoscope, along with its progressions and transits for 1999, I was amazed at the accuracy with which this thousand year old chart seems vividly to describe Scotland’s complex national character. Furthermore, the transits and progressions summed up the state of play in 1999 very clearly.

You can read the article here: http://anne-whitaker.com/2014/02/12/scotlands-horoscope-2/

I concluded by saying “…there is a death/rebirth process going on in Scotland’s ties with England and the UK. The outcome of that is by no means clear, many Scots wanting nothing less than the end of the long marriage with the UK…”

Fifteen years later, we know the answer to that speculative statement. After the Independence Referendum on 18th September 2014, there is a credible chance that the UK will formally cease to exist in March 2016.

The current picture

In this article I have chosen a limited focus: to set the political turmoil going on in one small country, Scotland, in the context of a bigger world picture dominated by two disruptively transformative planetary archetypes i.e. Uranus and Pluto, frequently present at key revolutionary moments in history.  I look forward to the appearance of a swathe of detailed mundane analyses, very much extending the narrow scope of this one, and bringing in both the UK’s charts and that of the redoubtable Mr Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister (whose birth data I have included at the end of the article). 

Let’s look now at Scotland’s natal chart (see above); then Uranus/Pluto as it links to the same chart with its hand-drawn overlay of secondary progressions (in green) and transits (in red) for that fateful date of 18th September 2014:

Scotland's Horoscope 18.9.14

Scotland’s Horoscope 18.9.14

The position of the Uranus/Pluto square could scarcely be more prominent. Uranus has been crossing Scotland’s Aries ninth and tenth house planets and Aries MC since 2010/11, and is currently squaring the progressed MC/IC axis from the tenth house. Pluto sits right on the progressed MC, along with the progressed Sun and Neptune –  AND Scotland’s natal North Node. (note: Alex Salmond’s North Node, Sun and Mercury are at 5, 9 and 13 degrees of Capricorn respectively – the UK’s North Node, Sun, MC and ASC are 14 Aries, 10 Capricorn, 9 Cancer and 7 Libra)

It’s also worth noting that transiting Neptune is opposite Scotland’s Moon at the time of the referendum, reflecting the longing of the population for some kind of future independent Eden – along with uncertainty and confusion, inability to know where the post-referendum truth may lie, whatever the outcome…

These significators depict a heady mix of  energies: a nation suffused with idealism and longing for a radically altered structure to its national life and role in the wider world, urgently prepared to demolish the old order, inspired by a pioneering vision of a radical new future.

Which way forward?

So – which way will it go on the 18th of September? Astrology has its range of successes and failures to show, as have other practitioners of the predictive arts eg  physicists, economists and weather forecasters – remember the failure to predict the Great Storm of 1987? We do much better at describing the essence of a pattern, but identifying the exact branches is much more hit and miss. Personally this cheers me, since it appears to suggest a creative balance between fate and free will in the universe.

However, it is possible to see some clear pictures emerging from this contemplation of the stripped-down meanings of the Uranus and Pluto archetypes, and by observing how they are clearly playing out right now across the world. The seventh and final exact square takes place on 17th March 2015 at 15 degrees Aries/Capricorn, gradually fading in intensity over the next three to four years. Hopefully after that, the dust should start settling; we can begin at that stage to assess what the possible political costs and benefits have been.

A few things seem clear from reflecting on Scotland’s horoscope for the 18th September 2014 and thereafter through the lens of this Uranus/Pluto square. Regardless of the outcome of the referendum, the old order is now untenable, is on its way out. The scouring forces of change, for good, ill –or both – will have their way. Scots want more of a say in how their nation is run. They will have that, one way or another.

Be careful what you wish for

Uranus being Uranus, consequences that no-one could have predicted are on their way both for Scotland and the whole UK. Fasten your seat belts, everyone. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!!

*********

DATA:

Scotland:

25 March 1005,  Scone, Scotland, Noon (traditional symbolic time for the coronation of the king). Coronation of Malcolm Canmore, aka Malcolm the Second. Source/s: this date is given as the start of the year 1005 in the Annnals of Ulster, as quoted in Early Sources of Scottish History Volume 1, p 521, covering AD 500-1296. This work was collected and translated by Alan Orr Anderson (1879 -1958) and first published in 1922 by Oliver & Boyd (Edinburgh). A corrected edition was published by Paul Watkins in Edinburgh in 1990.

(note: the Horoscope in this article is set for Perth, Scotland, a latitude and longitude so near Scone as to make no difference to the horoscope’s planetary positions, Ascendant or Midheaven – the computer hadn’t heard of Scone, apparently! And – the date changes to 31 March when calendar adjustments are made from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar)

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland:

31 December 1954, Linlithgow, Scotland, 16:30 GMT

Source/s: A Multitude of Lives A book of astrological data and biographies. Paul Wright, Parlando Press, Edinburgh, 2009, p220

*********

References and Notes

1)Liz Greene, CPA Seminar Series, Volume 7:

The Art of Stealing Fire, p 3.

BIO:

Anne Whitaker lives in Glasgow, Scotland. Her background is in adult education, generic and psychiatric social work, and private practice as a counsellor, counselling supervisor, and mentor. She has worked as an astrologer, teacher, and writer since 1983. Anne blogs at www.anne-whitaker.com, where her e-book Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness — an open-minded take on paranormal experience — can be purchased.

Contact Anne at  info@anne-whitaker.com

(NOTE: this article was requested for the Association of Professional Astrologers International’s Newsletter, where it was first published in June 2014. It was subsequently re-published in the UK’s Astrological Journal in its September/October 2014 issue.)

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19o0 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

The Tarot: a psychological approach…

Although this is a blog about astrology, many astrologers also use the Tarot as a way of working with their clients, so I thought I’d post this link to the two-part article I am currently running on my main blog on that topic.

http://anne-whitaker.com/2014/08/15/introducing-the-tarot-a-psychological-perspective/

The Tarot

The Tarot  

TreeHouse interviews astrologer, writer and blogger Anne Whitaker

TH: What initially drove you to create the Astrology: Questions and Answers site at http://www.annewhitaker.com?

AW: Answering questions about astrology is something I have done both for my students and for myself for a very long time! Then a couple of years ago, I was invited to run an astrology blog from a popular local site here in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. I thought it would be fun to call it  Astrology: Questions and Answers, since by this time my astrological writings on Writing from the Twelfth House were attracting various kinds of correspondence via comments and emails from readers. Inevitably, questions were a big part! The local site proved too limiting, so I set up my own Astrology: Questions and Answers blog.

To read the rest of the interview, click HERE

TreeHouse

 

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2o0 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
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Jupiter in Leo 2014 -15: what will it bring ?

Click on the links for detail on the Jupiter 11-12 year cycle, and Jupiter in Leo, the first two articles in this series. This third article explores the 2014-15 journey of Jupiter through the sign of Leo, in relation to the twelve houses of the natal horoscope.

What does the Jupiter in Leo year hold?

What does the Jupiter in Leo year hold?

I thought I’d kick off this article with an exchange a few weeks ago on this site between my blogging friend Ellis Nelson and myself:

ellisnelson Jupiter moves to the 9th house for me and I’m looking forward to it!

Sounds great! Jupiter in his own house adds an extra ‘woosh!. So –  teaching in any sphere, embarking on Higher Ed yourself, long distance travel – and, can it be (??!! ) book promoting and publishing. Enjoy!

Ellis is a fine writer; her blog, ellisnelson, is well worth a visit. Here is her credo: Mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write. (WB Yeats): I do not know her horoscope, but would expect from what I know of her writing that the planet Jupiter is a powerful influence.

You can see from her comment and my reply, in broad brush stroke terms, what that year-long transit of Jupiter in Leo through her Ninth house is likely to bring.

In my own case, Jupiter has just moved into the Eleventh house; I am about to begin teaching my first astrology class for over 12 years (a whole Jupiter Cycle ago!). It is a ‘refresher’ class for some students I have taught over a number of years, whose astrology has become ‘rusty’ and needs a polish. Jupiter in Leo is up for the task!

The Eleventh House concerns all activity connected to one’s link to the human family, one’s family of origin, and the groups and friendships in which one is involved. So I can expect a year where my wider connections with people grow, develop, and (hopefully!) bring me and those with whom I come into contact some measure of inspiration, broadening of perspectives – and fun.

A broad picture 

As ever, it is important at the outset of a general article like this to stress that one can only really judge in detail what the essence of any planetary shift is likely to be from consideration of the whole horoscope or birth chart. However, it is certainly possible to sketch out a broad picture here which can offer some perspective: both to readers with some astrological knowledge, and to those of you with little or none who are curious to know more.

One of the great gifts of astrological understanding is the help it offers in setting our sails, metaphorically speaking, to the prevailing winds of our lives.

Thinking ‘big’ with Jupiter in Leo

So, by considering which house the larger-than-life planet Jupiter is traversing at any given time, we can gain a good general idea of what to expect, and plan accordingly. Jupiter in Leo is theatrical, dramatic and expansive. It needs stimulus, fresh perspectives and challenges, bringing a quality of restless creative energy to whatever house it graces with its benevolent presence.

It is also well worth mentioning Leo’s strong link with matters to do with children: your own, or other people’s, eg as a teacher. So, look out for this dimension in whatever house has Leo on the cusp, as Jupiter passes through that sector over the next year.

You need to ‘think big’ with regard to the affairs of the house of Jupiter in Leo’s year-long residence. But not too big. As I discussed in the second article in this series, Jupiter is prone to excess. As William Blake’s famous line puts it:

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” (i)

…well, not always! One of the perils of Jupiter’s residence in any house is a tendency to overdo things.

Unfortunately, my advice to be careful of excess during this Jupiter transit is, I realise, unlikely to be heeded – especially by ME as I sit here at 6 am (I am not normally, at all, an early riser), typing away furiously in order to inform and entertain all you Eleventh house folk, my readers, out there. …

Pairs of Houses

It’s important here to point out that the houses, like the signs, operate in complementary opposites, in pairs. Ellis’s Third and Ninth houses are stimulated by Jupiter’s transit of the Ninth. Thus gathering a variety of types of information and experiences (Third) and placing them in the context of the Big Picture (Ninth) on a bigger scale than usual, describes the essence of her Jupiter through Leo year.

My Fifth and Eleventh houses are up for challenge and expansion. Thus my creative impulses (Fifth) are focused and directed through sharing learning and new perspectives with the groups and friendship networks (Eleventh) in which I am involved. You’ve already seen how this has begun to work out!

If you have an early degrees of Aquarius Ascendant or Rising Sign, then your Descendant or point of significant others is in Leo. Jupiter has just crossed that point and is now traversing the Seventh house, highlighting the First house also. This is the Me (First house ) in relation to You (Seventh house) pair.

Thus Jupiter travelling through your Seventh house strongly emphasises your need for challenge, excitement and new developments on the relationship front. I’ve often seen this core meaning express through the branch of clients becoming involved with a new partner from another country and/or culture.

Generally speaking, it’s a transit which brings new and growth-enhancing relationships into one’s life.  You are also likely to encounter more than one significant new person whose Sun Sign is Leo…But watch it! It can also bring over-optimism: seeing in A.N.Other what you want to see, rather than what is actually there.

So – always be aware in considering the impact of transiting Jupiter (or any other planet by transit) through the houses, that the opposite house is also involved, although the ‘weighting’ is always in the house in which Jupiter is its year-long visitor. In fact, quite often it may feel as though the house in which Jupiter is resident draws energy away from its opposite house.

For example, Louis, focusing on renovations on the home front (Jupiter transiting 4th House) could feel his inclination towards putting energy into his career (10th House) temporarily diminishing.We will meet him again at the end of this post.

Meeting friends along the way

Some houses are empty of natal planets (although NOT lacking in importance – this is the subject of another article in itself!) . Others, on the other hand, are tenanted natally by anything from one to several planets.

Let’s imagine that Uranus, in Leo,  lives in your Tenth house of vocation, career, direction. In essence, this indicates that you are a person whom a conventional, structured, rule-bound career would not suit at all. You are in your mid-thirties, have already had three career changes, and are feeling bored and restless. (note: third Jupiter Return approaching!)

Jupiter swings by your Tenth House for a year, spending some time hanging out with Uranus in Leo. A work colleague takes you along to a seminar on astrology given by a charismatic astrology teacher. You are completely bowled over, spend a year reading everything you can get your hands on concerning this fascinating new subject. Three years later you have changed career again, having gone freelance: guess what the new career is, folks?!

Someone else, let’s call him Mark,  has four planets in Leo in the Twelfth House. He works very hard as a social worker specialising in welfare rights  (Aquarius on the Sixth House cusp). Jupiter enters the Twelfth House, and Mark feels a strong creative pull toward his spiritual life, towards retreat and reflection. He is due some sabbatical leave, so embarks on a three-month retreat in a nearby Buddhist monastery.

Conclusion – and Louis’s story

I hope that this brief exploration of a range of possible means of expression  stimulates you to reflect on the House in your horoscope currently tenanted by Jupiter. If you are new to astrology, why not have your chart calculated by one of the reputable services such as Astrodienst, so that you can find out? Or better still, go and have an astrology reading with a qualified, experienced and reputable astrologer.

In reflecting on that highlighted house, and considering how best to direct Jupiter’s energy there, bear in mind, whatever the house is, what I said earlier in this article:

Jupiter in Leo is theatrical, dramatic and expansive. It needs stimulus, fresh perspectives and challenges, bringing a quality of restless energy to whatever house it graces with its benevolent presence.

I hope you can make the best of the opportunities and challenges which Jupiter may bring into your life in the year ahead. As ever, it would be great to get some feedback, since putting real flesh on the bones of the symbolism is how we all, beginners or experienced astrologers alike, become fluent in our craft.

I’d like to conclude the article with some brilliant feedback given to me a few days ago by a friend, who I’ve named Louis.

Jupiter entered Leo on 16th July 2014. Louis’s IC, beginning his Fourth House, is at 0 degrees 49 minutes of Leo. The Commonwealth Games began in Glasgow, Scotland, UK on 24th July 2014, just as Jupiter by transit crossed Louis’s IC, beginning a year-long transit of his Fourth House. For the two weeks preceding this major event,Louis and his friends were hard at work renovating and decorating an upstairs flat in Louis’s house in order to let it out for the Commonwealth Games.

He first let the flat out on 23rd July, and it was let continuously to three different lots of visitors during the ten days of the Games. In this way, not only did Louis cover the cost of the renovations: he now has a regular source of income which he can draw on by continuing to let out that flat, thereby improving his financial position.

Another issue cropped up at exactly the same time, which may well result in Louis having an inheritance or profound gain of some kind - not necessarily material. Jupiter first crosses his Pluto at 16 degrees Leo early in October 2014, again in mid-February 2015, before crossing for a third time and moving on at the end of May/beginning of June 2015. We shall have to wait and see whether this plays out in concrete material terms, or as powerful gain of some other kind.

I’ll let you know! In the meantime, if any beginning astrologers are reading this: tell me why I put forward those possible outcomes from Jupiter crossing Pluto in Leo in the Fourth House. Any offers?

 And – feedback on your experiences of Jupiter in Leo through any of the Houses/over any of the four Angles of your horoscope, is always welcome.

References

(i) from William Blake’s  “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, one of the “proverbs of Hell”.

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Zodiac

1850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

More about Cycles: planning your autumn with the Sun/Moon cycle

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (i)

Since my recent popular post about the Jupiter Cycle, I have had a few requests to write about other planetary cycles. My blogging friend, Linda Leinen, is interested in hearing about the effects of the planets on plant growth. I aim to track down a former student, Janice Sharkey (are you reading this, Janice?!) who is a specialist in astrological gardening, to contribute a Guest post on this fascinating topic. 

 In the meantime, I thought it might be useful to introduce the fundamental regulating cycle of life on Earth – the cycle of the Sun and Moon. I’ve included a light-hearted ‘guide’ on how best to use the upcoming energies of the autumn new moons in Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.

The Sun/Moon Cycle

The Sun/Moon Cycle

marianneohagan.com

Sun and Moon – heavenly partners

Astronomically, we know that the Moon is a small satellite of the Earth, and the Sun is the great cosmic life-giver, much, much farther out in space. By a planetary quirk, the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun, but 400 times nearer the Earth, so we see them as the same size.This is why eclipses can occur, since at the time of a solar eclipse the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out its light totally if the angle of observation is exact.

Astrologers distill symbolic meaning from the astronomical facts of our solar system. They see the Sun and Moon as of equal but complementary importance in the quest to understand the ever-shifting dance of cosmic energy, and where we fit in.

The Sun is rather like the Greek hero Jason, setting out on his quest for the Golden Fleece; the Moon, the unfolding pattern of the quest and the experiences which arise from it. The Sun is cerebral, seeking to create meaning from experience. The Moon is the body, receiving and interacting with that experience of everyday life from which meaning can be distilled.

The monthly weaving

The movements of all nine planets plus the Moon are plotted throughout the year against a 360 degree imaginary circular band in the sky called the Zodiac, which is divided into twelve thirty degree sectors called Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on.

The Sun and the Moon have a 29.5 day cycle of relationship with each other, beginning with a conjunction at the New Moon, when the Sun and Moon occupy the same part of the sky. On 25 August 2014, for example, the New Moon takes place in the Virgo sector, which the Sun will occupy for most of September. After about three days the beautiful, fragile waxing crescent moon appears, indicating that the energy of a new cycle of earthly life has begun to take shape.

 

The Moon moves much faster than the Sun. Within a week, it has moved on to Sagittarius. The Sun and Moon are now at an angle of 90 degrees to each other.The Moon has become fatter, more substantial. Equally, the energy of the cycle has established itself in concrete action. Two weeks into the cycle, we have the Full Moon, with the Moon now in Pisces, opposite the Sun.

The energy of the cycle at this point is at its most potent and visible. In ancient times, the full moon point was an important one, eg in the timing of rituals. Symbolically, the energy of that point had a charging-up effect on whatever was being enacted. The contrast between the forces of light and darkness, birth and death, masculine and feminine, was at its most amplified and potent. Even in this era of electric light and rational analysis, many people can detect a heightening of their energy and emotions at the time of the full moon.

By the last quarter, a week before the next New Moon, the Moon is visible in Gemini, 90 degrees apart from the Sun again, returning this time to meet it.The energy of the month’s cycle is fading. The splendidly full moon has diminished markedly in girth. Like the autumn of the year, the efforts of the earlier phase of the cycle have produced results which are now being harvested, for good or ill.

The next New Moon falls on 24 September, in Libra. 21-24 September represents the very end of the cycle which began in Virgo. This period was known to the Ancients as Moondark – a time of ending, as the old cycle dies, and the new one prepares to be born from the dark womb of the night.

Personal timing – some practical tips

Farmers do not plant their corn in the autumn. That is the time for reaping, just as sowing should occur in the spring, when new life is beginning to surge up from the earth refreshed by its long winter rest.

Thus we can use the Sun/Moon cycle in a very practical way, to help us set our own activity in the context of the natural waxing and waning of the energy of life through space and time.The guidelines which follow can only be general; for specific detail we each have our individual life blueprint or horoscope.

The horoscope or birth chart shows, in symbolic form, the characters who enact the play of our lives as the script, ie the ever-changing movement of the planets, unfolds the action of the drama. Nevertheless, the Sun/Moon cycle offers a useful structure in broad terms. Let’s explore how this can offer an aid to planning over the next few months.

Autumn Guidelines

If you are intending to initiate something, eg a business, a marriage, a new project in the home, try to wait if you can until there is a New Moon which reflects the nature of the enterprise.The new moons over the autumn of 2014 are in Virgo on 25 August, Libra on 24 September, and Scorpio on 23 October.

Virgo is an earth sign, its energies strongly service oriented, practical, and good at managing detail. It is also extremely hard working, and analytical.So – the Virgo new moon would be an ideal time to start that blitz on your admin system which you’ve been putting off all year, or for putting special effort into re-organising and cleaning up the garden.

Libra, another air sign, is connected to the arts, the aesthetic side of life, and to relationship. Thus the Libran new moon would be ideal for re-decorating your home, taking up an arts-related hobby like painting or theatre-going – or setting that wedding date…

Scorpio is a water sign, very much connected to emotional intensity and passion.It also has strong links to all those aspects of life which carry a powerful charge: sex, death, psychotherapy and money being just a few. So if you want to embark on a passionate affair, make your will, sort out a deep-rooted emotional problem which has been left to fester, or persuade your bank manager to give you that big loan, this is the month to do it!

At the New Moon point, life’s energies are still fluid, unformed, and the Moon itself is invisible. Initiatives are best taken between three and seven days later – from the first waxing crescent to the first quarter.

Moondark is the last three days of the cycle.The Moon disappears then, as the energy of the month wanes. It is wise to avoid initiating something important during this time; it is best used for winding down, withdrawal, contemplation and reflection, stock-taking, preparing for the new.

Many readers will know some of the stories of King Arthur, the legendary king of ancient times. He ruled just as the old pagan beliefs were being superceded by the rise of Christianity. When he married Guinevere, he did so in a Christian ceremony at Moondark. The pagan priests were appalled at this. “No good will come of it ” was their view.They were right. The marriage of Arthur and Guinevere was barren, and she spent most of it in love with another man, the knight Sir Launcelot.

Applying the cycle to the Big Picture

The metaphor of the monthly Sun/Moon cycle can be used as a template for helping to understand the much longer cycles of human life. The biggest cycle astrologers work with is the Neptune Pluto cycle: those two planets meet only once every 492 years, and this New Moon point symbolises the start of a whole epoch of human development.

The most recent one took place in 1891/2 in Gemini, ushering in the communications revolution which in a hundred years has radically altered the way we conduct life on earth. The previous one, also in Gemini, occurred in 1398/9, prefacing the Renaissance and the Reformation, two major shaping processes in European and world history.

But whether the cycle is huge, like the Neptune Pluto one, or small, like the monthly Sun/Moon one, the same basic stages apply: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, dying back in preparation for the new.

At a deep unconscious level, we all live out the unfolding energies of our era, sensing inner timings without the help of any astrologer. But astrology is valuable in its ability to offer a symbolic framework from which individuals can gain greater clarity, conscious awareness, and confirmation of their personal connection with the Big Picture.

Good astrological practice should support people in their courage to be themselves, help them to see that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

References

(i) The Bible : Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 Verse 1

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Zodiac

1600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Questing fire meets creative fire: exploring Jupiter in Leo

Jupiter is now settling into in the sign of Leo from 16th July 2014 – 11 August 2014.  To read the first of my series of articles exploring various facets of this lively spell of planetary “weather”, click on What is the Jupiter Cycle?

When questing, philosophical fire – Jupiter – dons the clothing of fun-loving, dramatic, look-at-me, creative fire – Leo: what  could be the result? Over the next year, we will all find out! 

Jupiter in Leo

Jupiter in Leo natally

Here are a few well- known examples of people born with Jupiter in Leo: Bjorn Borg, one of the world’s most successful tennis players. Ian Fleming, author of the famous James Bond spy novels,  known for being a bon viveur and womaniser. Simone de Beauvoir, one of the earliest feminist writers and lifelong partner of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund and eminent child psychoanalyst in her own right.

Edward Kennedy, member of a famous American family and well-known politician, not known for restraint in his personal habits.… Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s greatest philanthropists. Alan Leo, famous Victorian astrologer who invented mass-market astrology. Pope John Paul the Second, the most widely-travelled pope in history. 

Broad brush strokes – and first principles

Not everyone is born with the exuberant, restless planet Jupiter in Leo, the most playful, creative sign of the zodiac. However, we all have Leo somewhere in the twelve houses of our natal horoscope. It’s important to stress that in a general article like this, one can only offer broad brush strokes of what this exuberant energy will bring to the highlighted house or houses through which Jupiter will be journeying over the coming year.

I will be looking at some of the possible ways in which Jupiter will be lighting up those highlighted houses – hopefully with some more examples from readers! – in the next article in this series. One of the many gifts offered by astrological knowledge is this: used wisely, it can help us to set our sails, metaphorically,  to the prevailing winds of our lives. 

For now, in preparing to reflect on what this particular transit may bring for us personally, it’s a good idea to return to first principles, to consider the archetypal core of the energies we are contemplating.

It’s always worth remembering that from the core or root, many branches arise. So it’s always more creative and constructive, in my opinion, to pay most attention to those core meanings – and to align oneself with them as best we can when considering what transiting planets might bring into life at any given time.

We can never quite know what branches will manifest: this is down to an interaction between the essential nature of those energies which are currently ‘live’ in our lives, our levels of consciousness, self-awareness, the choices we make – and the x factors in life which no-one can ever predict with reliable accuracy….

Having said this, let’s look at the core principles of the Jupiter in Leo combination, bearing in mind that the planet is always the key driving force, with the sign its particular “tone”, colouring or clothing.

Jupiter - the Great Benefic

Jupiter – the Great Benefic

Jupiter, the “Great Benefic”

Astrological Jupiter is known as “the great benefic”, the planet  bringing opportunity: personal wealth, political prominence, high social position, professional success – “kingship” of various kinds as befitted mythological Jupiter’s role as king of the Olympian gods. As  Charles Harvey puts it in “Orpheus” : (i)

“ he was seen as the greatest good and his blessings were everywhere invoked. No one can doubt that his message of life, vitality, hope, growth, optimism, faith and the call to meaning are profoundly desirable.”   

Psychologically, though, all forms of over-confidence, inflated sense of one’s own importance, arrogance and hubris were also assigned to the realm of Jupiter. These represent the shadow side of Jupiter’s undoubted blessings of robust faith in life’s essential value and goodness, the longing to know and to grow in wisdom, and the ability to have fun and inspire other people.

The restless drive to grow, to expand, to live a life rich in meaning, to push the boundaries of knowledge and experience as far as possible, lies at the core of astrological Jupiter. So does its shadow: restlessness which cannot and will not accept the limits set by age and time – Saturn’s domain…

Thus Jupiter’s energy brings great force, vitality and optimism. But watch out for its shadow, as set out above! There is always a tendency to overdo things with Jupiter: spending, eating, sex, consumption of drugs and alcohol, and generally “biting off more than one can chew”. 

Leo

Leo

Leo

The three fire signs: Aries the first sign of the zodiac, Leo the fifth, and Sagittarius the ninth, represent in essence an arising, development, and focus of the life force. Mars-ruled Aries is raw, primal energy, effective but not very subtle. (Sorry, Aries people! No offence meant…) In Sun-ruled Leo, the energy is settling, looking for creative outlets. And in Sagittarius, Jupiter’s own sign, it is time to pull the energies of the zodiacal journey into a framework of meaning (Please don’t stay on that soapbox too long, Sagittarius!) .

Thus Leo is self-consciously aware of its specialness, its gifts (time to be rude to Leos now: ‘ok, you’re special – but not THAT special! ‘ note: I’m allowed to say this, with my embarrassing number of planets in Leo…) and in order to flourish and to grow, needs to be encouraged and allowed to shine, to contribute something unique.

Leonine creativity doesn’t necessarily need to operate in the obvious creative arts, although it often does: drama and performance art, writing, painting and graphics, dance, musical composition, making beautiful objects e.g. jewellery, are just a few of the obvious outlets.

But  rearing stable and happy children, being a warm and loving partner and/or friend, shining Leo warmth and exuberance wherever one works, plays, and socialises: these are also wonderful ways of making people feel better, feel special themselves, as Leo shares that sunlit energy with the wider world. 

Bringing the two together

Jupiter in Leo creates a bright, strong flame. This demands – and at best, ensures – that the person in whose life such a torch is lit bears it into new, creative endeavours which are not only life-affirming, but also productive of an enlarged perspective: both for the person bearing the torch, and for those illuminated by the light. 

In collective life, which is usually less controllable than one’s personal domain, this energy can spill over and become destructive rather than illuminating. As I write this in late July 2014, with Jupiter establishing itself in Leo, we are currently witnessing in several world contexts the dreadful consequences of  polarised positions where both sides are convinced they are in the right – and more literally, of the destructive use of firepower.

In individual life, how this flame works depends on the whole set-up of a person’s horoscope. But in the general terms of this article, as we have seen, the flame brings great potential for creative development and for understanding more deeply what being a creative person in the world means, as well as opportunities coming one’s way to bring that about. 

Personal examples

As I write this, an image arises of a room full of astrology students, one moment laughing as their Leo teacher (me!) entertains them, another listening intently as the sheer magic and mystery of what astrological symbolism can reveal, penetrates their hearts and fires their imagination. I had to give up all my teaching and indeed all my work, at the end of 2001. Although I had largely recovered by 2008 and resumed part-time work in 2012, I never thought I’d teach again.

Now, as the New Moon in Leo backs up Jupiter’s entry into Leo, preparing to cross all my Leo planets (not telling you how many – but fortunately they are mostly in the Twelfth House!) over the next year, I am planning to set up and run a small refresher astrology class at the request of some of my ‘old’ students. That educational urge, along with the urge to entertain and perform, is proving irresistible as Jupiter moves into Leo, shining its light first on my eleventh house, the house of group activity and collective action. In my small way, I hope to make a bright and illuminating contribution.

I hope also to receive some more feedback on how my readers are experiencing the early entry of Jupiter into Leo. In the meantime, here is some brilliant, very illustrative feedback sent to me by a friend and fellow astrologer, extracted from an email she sent to a friend of hers. Jupiter in Leo, 12 years ago, was transiting her first house, and making a square (challenging aspect) to her Mercury: 

 “… I’ve been in a strange state of mind for a while now. Not bad, just strange. In fact quite positive really, I think – very much as if my brain has gone into overload – I’m always reading (usually 3 or 4 books at the same time) and writing and thinking about stuff, and researching stuff… it’s bizarre. And all sorts – astrology, archaeology, history, metaphysical, philosophy, occult stuff…. all sorts… constantly buzzing around in my head. It’s strange because I’m so hyped with it all that I can’t sleep at night – my head just keeps on going! Very wired….So my brain may explode really soon!!!! Aaaaargh! Still…. I’m never bored!!…”

I love this feedback. Says it all, really, about the combination of Jupiter, Leo, Mercury, and the first house…

Conclusion

Jupiter is expansive, buoyant and also excessive, so whilst enjoying its energy charge, try not to overdo it! I need to take my own advice! This is the second article generated by Jupiter’s entry into Leo. Last time I discussed the 11-12-year Jupiter Cycle. This time it’s been Jupiter in Leo. I’d like next time to spend some time exploring the effects of Jupiter in Leo through the houses, then follow that by checking out the repeating 12-year Jupiter through Leo cycle. This could go on for a whole year! See what I mean about excess? 

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NOTES:

i) Charles Harvey from ‘ War of the Worlds : Jupiter & Saturn,’ essay  in  Orpheus -Voices in Contemporary Astrology (Consider, 2000) pp 103-4

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Here is the third article in the Jupiter series: 

http://astrologyquestionsandanswers.com/2014/08/11/jupiter-in-leo-2014-15-what-will-it-bring-2/

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Zodiac

1800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page