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!

Teaching astrology: the magic of the moment…

You never quite lose that magical feeling of being a tiny but unique part of a meaningfully shifting, dancing pattern of interconnectedness which immersion in the symbolic world of astrology brings. However, it does tend to recede into the background as time marches on and your connection spans a few decades. Then every so often, the sheer potency of what practicing astrology means, can knock you sideways.

This happened to me – and my tutorial students – on  the morning of our resumed classes ten days ago.

Astrologers at Work

Astrologers at Work

Being an orderly group (as astrologers go…), we had decided on our schedule before taking a break for the holidays. We would continue with our exploration of the progressed Sun/Moon cycle, using our own charts and lives as our research material. I have known those students for a long time; it was their persuasion that drew me back to astrology teaching after a long break. So we are happy to share our life experiences with one another in the interests of learning.

Just before the class, however, I decided that a recent, shocking private death which had resulted in a very public, prolonged outpouring of grief, ie that of David Bowie, would make an unmissable topic for part of our class discussion. I duly prepared David Bowie’s chart, then added the transits for his death day by hand.

David Bowie + Death Transits

David Bowie + Death Transits (click on image to enlarge) 

The most striking features to hit my eye were David Bowie’s natal 12th House Capricorn line-up squared by a 9th House Neptune: Mercury 8, Mars 16, Sun 17, squared by Neptune at 9 Libra. The transiting Uranus/Pluto square had been triggering that line-up for some time, now almost exactly via his Mars/Sun conjunction as January 2016 advanced. Saturn had crossed his natal MC for the last time in November 2015, and was conjunct his South Node at the time of his death, that whole axis also being squared by Neptune’s transit. What a powerful emphasis on Saturn/Capricorn, I thought. Saturn always gives, and takes, what is due…

I love my Io software and have been using it for twenty years now ( no, Io hasn’t paid me to do a commercial! ) – Io Sprite is a great programme to have running as background to astrology classes, enabling you to comment on the moment arising, at any relevant point during a class. Just before the class began I opened it up.

Here is what we saw:

Tutorial Class Start 26.1.16

Tutorial Class Start 26.1.16 (click on image to enlarge)

The MC for 26th January 2016 at the start of the class was almost 15 Capricorn, exactly conjunct newly-direct Mercury, with Pluto at 16 Capricorn – all closely conjunct David Bowie’s Capricorn natal and transiting planets, and with Mars at 12 Scorpio  squaring Bowie’s Saturn/Pluto conjunction. The Moon for the start of the class was 3 Virgo – exactly conjunct David Bowie’s 8th House cusp.

We all fell silent– awestruck– as we regarded this line-up, so powerfully and appropriately symbolising the topic of our opening discussion. There wasn’t much I needed to say by way of  elucidation: the moment was speaking to us, most powerfully, of the fundamental inter-connectedness of all things. “As above, so below – vividly illustrated right there in front of our very eyes.

We went on to have an intense, in-depth discussion about David Bowie’s death, and its timing two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his acclaimed last album, Blackstar. Was it co-incidence? Was it planned? One student, who is in the music business, observed using Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson’s deaths as examples, that an artist’s death was the best possible promotion for his/her music. I leave you readers to decide what conclusions we came to, with Mercury/Pluto conjunct the Capricorn MC of our class horoscope that day…

As we went on with the class, the Mercury/Pluto/MC /Capricorn overtone continued. It’s worth noting that the IC ruler of this class horoscope for 26.1.16 at 11 am,  is the Moon. So, with Capricorn MC/Cancer IC, what was our main planned topic, decided in mid-December 2015, several weeks before the class?  It was to follow the progressed Moon through Capricorn in all of our Secondary Progressed horoscopes.

This arose from one of the student’s enjoyment of her progressed Moon’s journey through Sagittarius, and her apprehension at the prospect of its imminent move into Capricorn. She had had a difficult time 28 years previously with a very Capricornian relative as the progressed Moon traversed Capricorn, and feared that something similar might happen once again with the same relative.

We were of the view that much of her apprehension was projection. She was much cheered by that analysis, especially since the feedback we all gave from our own experiences of the progressed Moon through Capricorn at a variety of different ages and life stages, centred round becoming more organised, taking on greater responsibility and often promotion, becoming grandparents, buying or renovating property, becoming more responsible about money, etc etc. Nothing too grim there, just very typically Capricornian!



Although some astrologers give more credence to the progressed Moon’s travels through the houses in terms of ‘delivering’ corresponding meaning than they do with the signs, we certainly found in our small piece of research that both sign and house ‘delivered’ recognisable symbolic correspondences between the progressed Moon’s positions and our reported life events .

For example, in my own recent case the progressed Moon entered Capricorn in the Fourth House in the early summer of 2012, just as I was re-organising myself with professional indemnity insurance, supervision arrangements, promotional materials and web stuff, etc as I returned to my astrology practice. (The progressed Moon entered Aquarius in the Fifth House in August 2014, the same month in which I returned to astrology teaching.)

Further illustrating the Mercury/Pluto/MC /Capricorn overtone of the day was not only the depth and seriousness of the topics which came up, but also that famous ‘graveyard’ humour which is the realm of any Mercury/Saturn/Pluto combination. Despite the intensity of our discussion around not only Bowie’s chart but also our own experiences, we had quite a few laughs– albeit of the black humour type.

And where was the Moon by transit, as I (very slowly !) drafted this post on Friday 5th February? Yes, you’ve guessed. It was in Capricorn…

I’m sure the experience I have described here of the energies of a particular moment in time clearly mirroring what was taking place in that moment, is something which is pretty familiar to most astrologers. I can think of quite a few other outstanding examples from my teaching and practice over the years.

There was the autumn in the 1980s when I – with transiting Pluto in the Third House beginning to square Mercury, then all the rest of my Leo planets – attracted a Beginners astrology class in which most of the ten students had very strong emphases on either Scorpio, Pluto, or both. It was like teaching a black hole! My classes are usually lively, communicative events. This lot hardly said a word – just sucked in information as though their very lives depended on it. The horoscope for the start of the class, needless to say, was very, very Plutonian..

I would be most interested to have examples from other astrologers of the kind of experience of interconnectedness which I have been describing here. If we were conscious all the time of the full power of astrological symbolism to describe in symbolic terms the intricate weave of which we are all part, we would probably burn out mentally pretty quickly. So it’s healthy to ‘tune out’ of full awareness much of the time. But every so often it is magical, powerful, to be pulled into unfiltered direct experience of the meaning-charged energy field into which we are all woven. What do YOU think?



1300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page



The common Ground between in-depth astrology and quantum physics…

Well, well, well…the word is at last getting around that quantum physics and in-depth astrology may actually in different ways be describing the same underlying Ground….thanks to Courtney Roberts Conrad for this fascinating article:

The Solar System

The Solar System

Roberts concludes her article thus:

“The Kepler Conference is a driving force in this astrological Research Revolution, pressing forward with the post-modern, evidence-based, big data version of what astrologers have been trying to do all along.  When you consider all the potential good uses for reliable astrological information, maybe the stars are finally aligning for astrology!

Let’s all go next year, shall we?!!



100 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Courtney Roberts Conrad 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Re-enchanting Neptune…with Erica Jones on Astrology: Questions and Answers

It is one of my pleasures in running this blog, to present interesting and stimulating work from other astrologers. Real Imaginal online magazine, dedicated to the re-enchantment of Neptune, is run by Erica Jones whose work I have been most happy to encounter recently. This week, “…Welcome to Le Neptiste, a regular column of the Real Imaginal online magazine, dedicated to the re-enchantment of Neptune…”

The Universal Sea/12th House

The Universal Sea/12th House

Real Imaginal

Welcome to Le Neptiste, a regular column of the Real Imaginal online magazine, dedicated to the re-enchantment of Neptune.

The planetary archetype of Neptune carries the impulse to create art, to experience divine beauty and its play of creativity which longs for expression in our lives and in our world. Neptune is to dream, to imagine-that is, to bring into existence that which doesn’t exist; to birth or to witness, and to be enraptured; to access the divine spark, the love which animates the cosmos. Neptune heralds the mythic dimensions’ endless giving birth through planet Earth, beckoning all beings to drink of the imaginal.

Le Neptiste features interviews with artists, examining their natal charts, transits and work in some depth, with a focus on both the fulfilling and the problematic sides of embodying Neptune in a disenchanted world.[1]

This is the fourth part of our first series featuring…

View original post 1,865 more words

Called from the Bar to the Stars…Why Victor Olliver became an astrologer…

Last Spring, I had the fun of Victor Olliver’s company as a Guest blogger whilst we slogged it out – in a civilised manner, of course! – over the merits and demerits of Sun Sign astrology. This January, I am delighted that he has returned to help kick start my blog for 2016. 

A recent article in Harper’s Bazaar, in which four women talk about why they chose to become astrologers, inspired me to tell my story a couple of weeks ago. I then decided to run an occasional series this year, inviting leading astrologers to share theirs. It is my great pleasure to have Victor Olliver, astrologer, author and editor of the UK’s Astrological Journal, tell his tale with his  unique combination of  cheek, challenge, verve – and depth. Over to you, Victor!

Victor Olliver, Barrrister

Victor Olliver, Barrrister

“…It never occurred to me that astrology was rubbish. Such were the many oddities of my early life – born of an Anglo-Italian mismatch into a world of wars that sang love songs while I played playground peculiarity (sorry about all the pees) yet looked like angelic jailbait and had a posh voice despite working class pedigree – that my mind was ready to accommodate exotic and weird notions not readily explained in school physics textbooks.

The sky lab technician who created me in his/her cosmic test tube prepared me well for a world that is essentially, profoundly inexplicable. We dream our way through life and pride ourselves on our logic. Paradox is to be found in everything as we pretend to follow highway codes. We feel our way through life and engage in the charade of decision-making. Yet one by-product of all this chaos and melodrama and hallucinating is that we (many of us) still manage to pay our bills while getting better on prescription drugs.

So, in the beginning, astrology was for me less a ‘topic’, more an arrangement of images in a book, without any unifying thought. Frankly it all looked comfortingly bonkers. At about the age of 12 I’d won a book voucher at school for being clever after years in the dunce stream. I now know that at about the time of my first Jupiter return and not long before my first Saturn opposition, my brains started to grow. The book voucher added to my reputation for being odd (and probably queer – though what did fellow kids or idiot teachers know?) when I exchanged it for a huge coffee table tome about mythology; Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, you name it. That copy is still in my library.

What intrigued me was that inanimate humanoid forms made of stone or paint, sometimes winged, diaphanous or bearded, ruled worlds temporal and spiritual. These days such undead powers are called brand logos – so, through the likes of Coca Cola and McDonald’s marketing, I understood by association the idea of mysteries having mastery.

Thanks to those modern sages Russell Grant and Linda Goodman, the stone/plaster/paint gods migrated in my head to astrology where Jove, Mercury, Venus/Aphrodite and others still lived despite the progress exemplars of TV game shows and penicillin. The gods lived through the ‘zodiac’ and those much-maligned media Sun-sign columns, the then top dog of which was Patric Walker (more about whom just below). Incidentally, he was wrongly suspected of murdering his predecessor ‘Celeste’ at Harpers & Queen magazine in order to grab her stars column.

None of this was enough to persuade me to follow in Patric’s footsteps. Instead I took a 25-plus-year detour and became a barrister before embarking on a career in journalism, as you do. But astrology was not ready to give me up. Around the time of my fifth tr Jupiter-Jupiter square (with tr Uranus on my Saturn – and astro scepticism on a high), a glossy magazine commissioned me to interview…Patric Walker. His reputed Libran charm took leave of absence that day as he sat in his hotel bathrobe firing off the odd barb he thought I did not catch. Librans can be so Arien, don’t you think? My acid write-up repaid his put-downs. I concluded he was a right bitch trying to chat me up – but he knew his stuff. I stayed in journalism.

By the time of my 4th Jupiter return, my curiosity about astrology had reached the point where I felt it was time to do or die of boredom. I enrolled at the Mayo School of Astrology and fell under the guiding and sane influence of tutor Wendy Stacey.

This coincided with one of those events that in retrospect one calls ‘fated’. Yes, I didn’t fall in love. That is to say, I started a brief relationship with a notable astrologer called Henrietta Llewelyn Davies (called ‘Henri’ by her friends) – sadly no longer with us. Our eyes met across a crowded room at London’s Groucho Club – an opiates dungeon for doped up media types and their whorish hangers-on. Henri had done well: columns in Cosmo, Woman’s Own, TV Times – astro stuff in The Times. She was psychic, too. She talked a lot about her work, I was fascinated. She encouraged me to learn the art and craft of horoscopes.

And at this time a clairvoyante medium told me that my dead father was with her. Or as she put it: “He’s saying do something with those, oh, they look like, well, whatchamacallit, horoscopes”.

I lost my job, graduated with a distinction diploma in natal and mundane astrology, landed the role of the first-ever stargazer on The Lady magazine (by another misadventure) and then ascended to the heavens of The Astrological Journal editorship.

In other words, the career I should have first pursued flowed like a dream with scarcely an impediment. In contrast, enter a hostile place and all you experience are gremlins and gargoyles. Astrology on the other hand had the air I breathe and the vistas I appreciate. It presented me with a perspective which, in its predication on the unknowable yet adherence to systemic thought and practice, summed up the paradoxes I’d suffered and experienced in other life departments.

I had arrived in Astro-Wonderland. Mad Hatters aplenty.

I couldn’t care less which system of astrology you prefer, or whether you think luminary orbs should be 12 or 15 degrees. It’s all background chamber music to me. No matter what the astro academics like to propound, I know astrology is half instinct, half method.

Without that first half I may as well have been a lawyer…”


Victor’s website is: Victor Olliver Astrology

Victor Olliver, Astrologer

Victor Olliver, Astrologer

Victor ’s book Lifesurfing: Your Horoscope Forecast Guide 2016 is available exclusively from Amazon in eBook and paperback formats.

Lifesurfing 2016 cover

Lifesurfing 2016




1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Victor Olliver 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


R.I.P David Bowie 1947-2016: astrologer Tim Burness reflects on his horoscope

Here is Tim Burness’s thoughtful take on David Bowie’s horoscope, with thanks to the Astro and Psyche Facebook Page…

David Bowie 1947-2016

David Bowie 1947-2016

David Bowie: a true Capricorn

David Bowie: a true Capricorn

How I became an astrologer…against all the odds…

It has been most interesting following  social media reactions to this recent article in Harper’s Bazaar, in which four women talk about why they chose to become astrologers. So – I thought I’d share my story of how a dismissive sceptic – me! – turned into a devoted practitioner. Enjoy! And remember – never say never…

Anne W's Horoscope - drawn by hand!

Anne W’s Horoscope – drawn by hand!

My career as an astrologer began in a launderette in Bath, England, in the 1970s – although I didn’t realise that at the time ! Befriending a little girl who came to chat whilst I did my washing, I met her parents, Gloria and Seamus; they were astrologers, they said, and would I care to come back to their place for a cup of tea? They’d like to draw up my horoscope, to thank me for entertaining their child.

Well, I remember thinking, nothing better to do for the next hour…….at that  stage I was  scornful and dismissive of astrology, basing my judgement on the Sun Sign material in the media which struck me as general, banal and trivial. I did not know then that  there was a subject of great depth and power beyond  the Sun Signs.

I was puzzled  by my new  friends’ dismissal of  the Sun Sign columns – wasn’t that what astrology was all about ?. “We’re proper  astrologers” they said firmly.“ Your Star Sign (Leo, in my case) only puts one  character on the stage of your life. It’s impossible to describe who you are from only one factor.”

They wrote down my date, place, and apparently vital TIME  of birth, produced various reference books and did complex-looking calculations. Then they drew up my Birth Chart or Horoscope : this was a map of the heavens for the precise time I was born. It was apparently an unusual chart  – lots of planets in the twelfth house, whatever that meant, and strong Pluto, Saturn  and Uranus influences. So what, I thought.

Then came their interpretation into character analysis of the planetary symbols in my Birth Chart, in considerable depth and with a high level of accuracy. The experience shocked me to the core.

How could they be so accurate about my career aspirations? How could they know what my deepest fears were ?How COULD they manage to describe my parents’ core characteristics and some of the key effects they’d had on me ? How could they describe so vividly the restless spirit  which drove me ? I had met them less than an hour ago. They knew nothing of my personal history or life experience.

Worse was to come. “You tell me you’re a total sceptic,” Seamus chuckled . “But your Horoscope shows that you have a deeply sensitive, spiritual side to your nature which you’re currently refusing to acknowledge, preferring to identify with the intellectual and the rationalist in yourself. But I can see from your Chart, and where the planets will be in a few years, that in your early thirties the spiritual dimension will come calling. You are very likely to end up doing something like this yourself.”

What nonsense, I thought. But I had no acceptable way of explaining in rational terms what had happened. Uneasily, I filed the experience away in the pigeonhole reserved for the many incidents occurring in my twenties which did not fit my existentialist  world view.

For my birthday that August, a friend gave me an odd present considering my scepticism – an astrology book. It was intelligently and sensitively written; I found myself compelled. My feelings were an uncomfortable mixture of attraction, rejection, fascination and embarrassment. What COULD I say to my friends and family?

Saying nothing, I carried on reading. After a year, astrology still fascinated me. By this time – and by a series of odd coincidences – I had found out about theFaculty of Astrological Studies, based in London. It offered a year-long correspondence course with some lengthy exams at the end of it, leading to a Certificate of the Faculty.

I embarked on my studies in an empirical spirit. If astrology WAS indeed merely superstitious nonsense of little value, at least I would have arrived at a conclusion based on knowledge and practice, rather than ignorance and prejudice. I had moved on sufficiently from intellectual arrogance to the awareness that it was very unscientific, and highly irrational, to dismiss a whole body of knowledge without ever having studied it. I obtained my Certificate in 1983, by which time my studies had demonstrated to me that the astrological model had worthwhile insights to offer.

(I was to further my studies much later on, at the Centre for Psychological Astrology,  by commuting by plane from Glasgow to London from 1995-1998 to complete a three-year Diploma in Psychological Astrology with renowned teacher writer and astrologer Dr Liz Greene and the late great mundane astrologer, Charles Harvey.)

The teaching and practice of astrology became a major strand in my self-employed career from 1985 until 2001 when, following a long health crisis, I gave up all work (except writing!) for seven years. In May 2012, after a very long sabbatical, I returned to my astrological work part time, and then to teaching in 2014. It feels good to be back!

Do you have a story to tell regarding your involvement with astrology? If so, I’d be delighted to hear it !

My first astrologer - self portrait

My first astrologer – self portrait

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page




A must-have book for astrologers’ libraries: Alexander Ruperti’s “Cycles of Becoming”

Alexander Ruperti, 1913-1998, author of one of the definitive books on planetary cycles, “Cycles of Becoming”, was one of the great astrologers of the Twentieth Century. I have just found this fascinating interview with him on astrologer Lynn Bell’s website. Do read it, and after that, buy his book. It’s an essential for all astrologers’ and students’ libraries. Come to think of it, my 1983 copy is now falling to bits. Lynn, you’ve just inspired me to go buy a new copy!…/32-astrology-s-place-in…

Alexander Ruperti

Alexander Ruperti

100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page