Review of ‘The Stellium Handbook’ by Donna Cunningham

Master astrologer Donna Cunningham succinctly sums up the purpose of this very practical, very comprehensive two-part handbook thus:

“….consider this book a long-term guide to increasing self awareness by using the tools youll encounter here.

The Stellium Handbook by Donna Cunningham

To read my review, and download a free sample of Donna’s excellent new book, click below:

The Stellium Handbook by Donna Cunningham

Zodiac

100 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Donna Cunningham  2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Strange tales from Mercury’s Retrograde Realm….

 

Capricious Mercury

Capricious Mercury

Here he is again, just in case you didn’t see the previous post: Mercury – isn’t he gorgeous?! However….

….in the spring, summer and autumn/winter of each year, the planet Mercury does something strange. It appears to slow down in its orbital pace, stop, then start to move backwards. This is known as retrograde motion. It is of course an illusion. Otherwise, we’d have fallen off the solar system aeons ago.

However, the effects down here on Earth when Mercury is in its 2-3 week retrograde phases are anything but illusory. For years, I studied this phenomenon in my own life, the lives of family, friends, and astrology students. In sum, communications of all types become strangely awkward and hard to manage during those times.

I learned to look forward to having some rest during Mercury Retrograde, since my referral rate dropped. Normally clients always turned up for appointments, MR periods being the exception. Cancellation rates increased.

Once, a client called to cancel because her house had just caught fire (yes, she called the Fire Brigade first!).Two clients often turned up at the same time. Cheques invariably got lost in the post, or clients forgot to bring cash.

One summer I moved office during MR, becoming involved in a dispute of byzantine complexity with the telephone company which took almost a nervous breakdown on my part to sort out.

As MR periods approached, I used to entertain my students by looking at their individual horoscopes, which enabled me to be more specific regarding possible MR effects. I told one student, a lawyer, that a female helper in his workplace was likely to have communication problems which would impact on him.

His feedback?  His secretary sprained her wrist, and was unable to type during the entire MR period.

Mercurial people, ie those with the sign Gemini strongly emphasised  or the planet Mercury  dominant in their horoscopes,  are most affected  by Mercury’s retrograde phase. Anyone involved in the business of communication can look forward to a less than smooth three weeks.

A good example is my old friend Ronnie who runs a first rate copying and web design business here in Glasgow; Mercury’s retrograde havoc wreaked on his computers one year convinced him that “There’s definitely something in this astrology business, Anne!”

What can mercurial folk do, then, to maximise advantage and minimise disruption when Mercury is retrograde? MR is a positive time for going back over all matters to do with communication, and cleaning up.

Some examples: if you’ve been putting off a purge of your filing system, do it now. If your accountant has asked you nine times for your last year’s papers, use this 2-3 weeks to update them.

Dig out and finish some of those half-worked articles if you are a writer.  If you’ve been writing furiously and the brain/wrist is seizing up, have a break. Catch up with some reading. As we know, fallow time is creative.

The don’ts? If it is not feasible to avoid or delay taking important new initiatives or completing existing processes, eg signing contracts, leases, etc, try to accept complications or thwartings philosophically.

Also – be prepared for delays, eg when travelling, especially long distance.  Don’t sit under the mailbox waiting for cheques. And please, don’t arrange for a phone installation!

“Come on then !” I can hear you shouting as you search for my phone number or email. “Tell us WHEN !”

….oh, all right. I’ll tell you.

The Mercury Retrograde periods for 2014  are:

i) Retro 6/2/14, Direct 28/2/14.

 ii) Retro 7/6/14, Direct 01/07/ 14.

iii) Retro 4/10/14, Direct 25/10/ 14

Enjoy the next three weeks! And do let me know YOUR strange tales….

Zodiac

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

Fasten your seat belts! Mercury is reversing…..

Why have I been feeling S-L-E-E-PY all day today? Could Mercury turning retrograde tonight at 21.38 UK Time, conjunct Neptune, have anything to do with it, I wonder? 

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury – Gorgeous or what?!

Help, however, is at hand. Fellow Scottish astrologer Anna Estaroth has kindly shared a link for a 2014 Mercury retrograde periods calendar with us on Facebook. Plan your times for slowing down, re-visiting, re-linquishing, re-storing, re-working, re-connecting….anything needing going over and sorting out (get down to doing those accounts from last year, freelancers out there!) can productively be addressed during Mercury retro periods. Go for it!!

http://www.astrologyhoroscopereadings.com/2014-mercury-retrograde-calendar.html

Do tell your stories over the next three weeks…..if you can stay awake long enough!

Zodiac

150 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

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

2014 Astrology Student Conference London UK

This looks like a brilliant upcoming event!
Check it out, astrology students out there, and go if you can: 
Astrology Student Conference, London
The London School of Astrology and The Mayo School of Astrology came together in 2008 to create a unique astrological weekend event: The Astrology Student Conference (ASC).

What are the major planetary events of 2014? Question answered here!

As any year draws to a close, I find myself being asked the same question: “What’s happening with the planets next year?” Well, thanks to Louise Vergette-Lynn of the Exeter Astrology Group who recently posted on Facebook the list which appears below, we have a detailed answer from a technical point of view. Many thanks, Louise!

2014 astro events

Lunations, eclipses, planet ingresses, major aspects and stations. (Times are either Greenwich Mean Time or British Summer Time )

Zodiac

Zodiac

And ” What does it all mean?” is sure to be the next question. Well, astrology students out there, go and work it out for yourselves! If you want some help in doing so, there are many excellent astrology sites who will be reflecting from varying perspectives, on what the complex planetary picture for 2014 is likely to symbolise for us both as a collective, and at a personal level.

Here are a few for starters:

StarIQ

The Mountain Astrologer Magazine and The Mountain Astrologer Blog

Astrology News Service

The Horoscopic Astrology Blog

Enjoy your research! – and do leave any useful information pointers on this topic in the comments section. Thanks and all good wishes for 2014 to everyone!

Zodiac

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200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

The Astrology News Service: a wonderful resource for exploring contemporary astrology

This site is a wonderful resource for everyone, from astrologers to open-minded members of the general public, with an interest in astrology – beyond the Sun Signs! Check it out….

Solar System

Solar System

.http://astrologynewsservice.com/

Contemporary Astrology and the Big Picture: Linda’s Challenge

This comment on my last post from Linda Leinen, a faithful and much appreciated supporter, is so interesting that I thought I’d turn it into the next post! Linda blogs at The Task at Hand and her writing is brilliant. Check it out….

From Linda:

This isn’t a criticism, or even a cogent observation, because there’s too much I don’t know about all this. But my sense of things, after my years in Africa, is that some differences in culture and world view are so fundamentally different that a synthesis, a grand, overarching explanation for human behavior, just isn’t possible.

Part of the difficulty may also be an irony. The worldview of many Liberians I knew more closely resembles that of antiquity than of our modern culture. We no longer speak of the gods controlling every aspect of human behavior and worldly events – but some of my friends saw gods everywhere, determining almost mechanistically what was possible.

If I framed it as a question, I suppose it would be – how does modern astrology deal with cultures that haven’t even made it to pre-modern, let alone post-modern? It’s really an interesting thought.

******

And an interesting question! I have been so busy dealing with the demands of the ‘real’ world this week that I haven’t had time to address your question in the virtual world until now.

Whilst reading the introduction to a new book pulling together the perspectives of a range of modern astrologers on Transpersonal Astrology, I came across this statement which strikes me as relevant in responding to your question:

“The emergence of a transpersonal perspective  (bringing together insights from the fields of psychology, progressive spirituality, the human potential movement, non-reductionist science, and philosophy), is reflected….in....an increased awareness that life is far more complex than can be appreciated by our immediate senses…..There is a palpable eagerness to seek alternative ways to understand the human condition and to expand our experience of life’s great mystery…..

As humans.we are clearly enveloped within a system not of our design but of an intelligence that transcends and includes us, as if we are each nerve cells in a larger brain. Incorporating the transpersonal perspective is an act of yielding to this broader reality instead of choosing to couch the phenomena of astrology in only familiarly personal ways….”

(Transpersonal Astrology Explorations at the Frontier (2013) Produced and Edited by Armand Diaz, Eric Meyers & Andrew Smith, pp 1,2)

This transpersonal perspective can be seen as flowing into the broad category of ‘archetypal cosmology’ which I talked about in the previous post. This mode of seeing proposes that the great archetypal patterns shaping human behaviour both at the individual and collective level, patterns revealed in the inter-relationship between planetary cycles and earthly life, are  in fact fundamental to the cosmos itself.

Viewed in this way, perspective on human culture in the broad sense, and individual life in the tiny sense, changes its locus from the personal to the transpersonal.

Thus the “grand, overarching explanation for human behavior” which you talk about in your question shifts: from the human world with its many, continually evolving viewpoints – depending on geographical location and mores –  to locating all life on tiny planet Earth within the vast teleology of an unfolding and evolving Cosmos.

Thus a truly contemporary astrology  can play its part, as Diaz, Meyers and Smith so eloquently put it, through “….  yielding to this broader reality instead of choosing to couch the phenomena of astrology in only familiarly personal ways….”

To ground this reflection in actual practice: as a contemporary, transpersonal astrologer I find it deeply supportive of my attempts to lead a meaningful life, to see the interweaving of the symbols in my personal horoscope with the ever-changing energies of the solar system in which we are temporally located, as an unfolding pattern charged with meaning, set in the context of a much Bigger Picture.

This challenges me to live out my tiny spark of energy in this vast Cosmos with as much conscious awareness and positive choice as I can manage.

My experience of clients coming to me for help is this: assisting them in seeing that this life’s grapples take place within a context of larger meaning where every positive effort – although we may not see its immediate fruit – helps the Bigger Picture to unfold, is greatly supportive to them.

Having a sense  that our tiny lives are a potentially useful and creative part of …. life’s great mystery….may not remove life’s difficulties, but it certainly empowers both me and my clients in coping with whatever life on planet Earth chooses to throw our way.

Linda, I hope this goes some way toward answering your question! It may be a little longer than you were expecting….

Zodiac

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Armand Diaz, Eric Meyers & Andrew Smith 2013

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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