A compelling read for the season of Hallowe’en – with a dash of astrology !

Well, it’s Hallowe’en …time to curl up with a good book which tells compelling stories, then explores and places within a framework of rational analysis one person’s accumulated experiences of the uncanny and the conventionally inexplicable:

 “…I had to face the fact that a series of experiences had accumulated over the course of thirty years which I had largely kept to myself. Why?

Because they did not fit the parameters of what our culture defines as normal. But memories of these experiences did not go away because I had tried to ignore their existence. They simply lurked, permanently provoked by my refusal to attend to them.

Furthermore, a career I had never aspired to in my wildest dreams, ie that of being a professional astrologer, had been correctly predicted for me in my twenties when I was not at all receptive to, or welcoming of, that type of information.

Through my studies of astrology I discovered a universe replete with correspondences, and saturated with meaning. I embarked on those studies for one major reason: the notion that you could read the significant patterns of a person’s life from marks on a piece of paper set my innate curiosity, and my rational pragmatism, a challenge I simply could not resist…”

 ( extracted from “Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness” p82)

My memoir “Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness” – an open-minded take on paranormal experience – is now published as an ebook and available  HERE.

 

Dazzling Darkness

Dazzling Darkness

“…. I was immediately taken by the compelling nature of your words, the honesty, the authenticity and the simplicity…..Your work is incredibly important because you address these issues very clearly and simply and with grace…” ( charty at fablefoundation.com)

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

 

 

Honouring the Scorpio Solar Eclipse…

“……A poet very strongly rooted in the sign of  Scorpio, Dylan Thomas, talks about ‘deaths and entrances’. If we can face and grapple with our deepest attractions, compulsions, power drives, fears and repulsions, then we can experience – through staying with the struggle, seeking support where we can, having faith in the transformative dimensions of life – the symbolic death of aspects of the ‘old order’ holding us back from entry into a more complete and authentic expression of who it is we actually are…..”

Season of Scorpio

To read the rest of this post, click below:

http://anne-whitaker.com/2012/11/11/scorpios-season-a-meditation-on-darkness-power-and-poetry/

Zodiac

Zodiac

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100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

What are astrologers for?

Every so often, someone – usually an open-minded member of the public who has just found out what I do – asks me what my job as an astrologer is, and what the values and perspectives are are which I bring to my practice.  Here is my response. 

(Other astrologers may well have a different take on this topic. So – any practitioners, clients or students of astrology – or open-minded members of the public reading this – are most welcome to add their comments!)

Astrologer at Work

Astrologer at Work

My  job as an astrologer is to help other people understand themselves more clearly, in order to assist them in leading lives which they experience as being both fulfilling and useful. I don’t know what the balance is between fate and free will any more than any one else does. But the Birth Chart or Horoscope suggests strongly that we come into this world, not as tabulae rasae  (blank slates)  but with certain characters on the stage poised to live out a complex drama as the process of our life unfolds from birth to death.

Both astrologers and astronomers, via planetary observation, can look at and correctly plot the unfolding pattern of energies through space-time. After that, as an astrologer I step into a different realm than that of observation of the external, material, planetary world.

By looking at an individual’s horoscope, I can examine the essence of that moment in terms of its meaning, and then speculate with moderate accuracy about what some of the branches manifesting in that person’s life may be. Identifying the exact branches through which the energies symbolically represented by the planets in a horoscope may play out in the everyday world, 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; chaos theory in contemporary physics also has strong parallels with the astrological paradigm. Both the language of astrology and the language of quantum physics tells us that not everything  is pinned down.

Indeed, a view and a model are slowly emerging, despite considerable resistance from the diehard defenders of reductionism, which can demonstrate convincingly that the lenses of astrology and quantum physics are focusing on the same underlying, all encompassing Reality.

The perspectives offered by contemporary writers, astrologers, depth psychologists, and scientists, such as Richard Tarnas, Liz Greene, the late Charles Harvey, Stanislav Grof, Brian Swimme, Rupert Sheldrake, and others — including recent books by astrologers of the quality of , for example, Armand Diaz and Kieron Le Grice — have been of inestimable value to me in the last few years. I urge any readers of this blog who are keen to expand their own perspectives to explore those writers’ work.

My view, based on my personal experience as well as those of clients and students over more than 30 years, as well as extensive reading and study, is that the key dimension in determining how a particular planetary pattern will play out in a person’s life is the level of consciousness at which they are operating at the time the inevitable challenges of life come their way.

Most astrologers have had the humbling experience of looking at the horoscope of a client which looks so difficult that the impending consultation feels very stressful, but upon encountering the client, they meet someone who has faced, dealt with, and grown through hard experiences that would have flattened a less aware person.

Anne W: Example Horoscope

Anne W: Example Horoscope

We can never predict the level of awareness of a client we have never met, although we can have a pretty good idea that, e.g., Mars conjunct Saturn conjunct Pluto square the Moon is going to be no walk in the park.

I am personally very hesitant about both the accuracy and the wisdom of predicting at all, especially for individuals, in any more than a “describing the core and speculating about the branches” kind of way. Predicting that a specific branch will manifest may well close down possibilities rather than open them up, which also takes us into the realm of self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, when Uranus was about to cross my Pisces Descendant in 2005, beginning its seven or so years’ traverse of my 7th house, I became concerned about what this might mean for my marriage. The rather problematic implications of Uranus’ impact on the relationship realm that practising astrologers see every day in their students’ and clients’ lives, as well as their own, worried me.

However, a profound, totally unexpected spiritual experience on my husband’s part linked both our spiritual journeys into walking the same path at the same time. This has had a supportive, deepening effect on our marriage and not one I could possibly have envisaged before Uranus crossed my Descendant.

I think that effective astrologers in consultation are poised on the interface between fate and free will – on the one hand helping clients to confirm who they are, which they probably already know, if they are honest with themselves; but on the other hand helping them to see, and to broaden, the range of possible expression of the energies with which they have been born.

The astrologer’s ego should have a minimal influence on the process of reading another person’s Horoscope. It’s impossible to keep ego completely out of it. It’s impossible to be completely objective, to avoid making mistakes; but what the person takes away should be as much theirs, and as little the astrologers, as is possible.

To maximise this outcome I feel it is very important to have my work regularly supervised by an experienced and well-qualified colleague. I am fortunate in this to have  the support of a very experienced astrologer who is also a psychodynamic psychotherapist.

The main focus of my astrological work now is in vocational guidance, and in helping people who feel themselves to be on a developmental path which is rooted in whatever their sense of meaning may be, to gain an enhanced sense of clarity and perspective. Having been very much influenced by Buddhist philosophy in the last decade, in my own life I try to practice living in the present as effectively and mindfully as possible. ( Not easy…but well worth the effort!)

I’m only interested in working with clients who are prepared to take responsibility for themselves in relation to the way in which their inner world is connected to the unfolding of their outer life. Astrology appropriately used should enhance the sense of personal responsibility – not take it away and hang it on the planets, or even worse, on the astrologer !

In my view it is important for people not to become too dependent on a symbolic context – astrology and astrologers like relationships, drugs, sex, alcohol or the national lottery can become highly addictive. The great symbolic arts, eg astrology, tarot, palmistry , I Ching, should be consulted with deep respect, and with considerable restraint.

                    In sum – I think it is my job to send people away feeling more able to operate constructively and honestly in their world than when they came in, by supporting their courage and confidence to lead their own lives using their own judgement. 

However, I also consider it important to have a refer-on list of reputable therapeutic practitioners of varying disciplines, if it becomes apparent from our reading that the person consulting me needs some form of ongoing help. In assessing this, a long background as a counsellor as well as an astrologer I regard as being of immense help to me – and therefore, I hope, to my clients….

Zodiac

Zodiac

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1300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

What happens when Uranus, Neptune and Pluto cross the I.C?

I’m often asked about what clients/students can expect when the biggies, ie Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, cross the Imum Coeli or I.C. Well, here is an account of one person’s experiences, ie mine! Do not worry, those of you in the throes of one of those heavy duty, life changing transits. I’ve had all of them cross my I.C and I’m still here…( as far as I know…)

Although this article was written and published in the mid/late 1990s I thought it was worth posting on “Astrology: Questions and Answers”.. It’s been the most-read-ever article on my other blog ‘Writing from the Twelfth House’.

It would be most interesting, and educational for other readers, if any of you felt like sharing YOUR experiences regarding any of those great collective planets crossing the I.C. point.

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Liz Greene once wryly observed in one of her seminars that, if you wanted a relatively quiet and peaceful life, you should arrange to be born when the outer planets were as far away from the personal planets and Angles as possible. I wish! say many of you reading this, as indeed does the writer, who has all the outer planets bolted onto all the personal planets and has had anything BUT a quiet life. (Encouraging note for the similarly challenged – I’m not young any more,  but I’m still here –more or less! – and pretty happy with what I have been able to make of my time on this earth to date).

In similar vein, many people – depending on the horoscope yielded by their particular date, time, and place of birth – will never even experience one of the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto crossing their IC ( for non-astrologers reading this, the IC symbolises the point of origin, roots and core of a person’s life).

However, I have had the lot – and am still here to tell the tale. Here it is….

The Underworld - Ancient Egypt

In my horoscope the IC is conjunct the South Node at 28 degrees of Scorpio. Pluto, its ruler, is placed in the twelfth house conjunct Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Moon and Sun in Leo. As a child I would lie in bed watching the roses on the wallpaper turn into malevolent  faces as daylight faded; I had to make bargains with them before they would let me sleep.

I read voraciously, and particularly recall the works of Victorian novelist H Rider Haggard whose myth-steeped descriptions of his characters’ adventures in Africa last century fascinated me. But da Silva, the Dutch explorer whose frozen body was found centuries after his death in a cave high up Mt. Kilimanjaro, transferred himself from “King Solomon’s Mines” to the wardrobe in my bedroom, on and off, for a couple of years. Getting to sleep was no mean feat with an imagination like mine!

King Solomon's Mines First Edition

My ‘real’ life – eating, sleeping, going to school – was incidental to my inner life which was full of what I felt were the really interesting questions : why are we alive, where do we go after death, do we live on several planes of existence at once, what is happening in other galaxies, if there are x million Catholics and even more Buddhists and Hindus, how come they are all Wrong and Damned and a few thousand members of the Free Church of Scotland are Right and Saved ?

And what would happen if you unwrapped an Egyptian mummy and I wonder if I could make a shrunken head like the Jivaro Indians and why did people paint pictures on cave walls thousands of years ago?

These were the issues which preoccupied me for years. No-one knew about them except my maternal grandfather. He had spent time taming wild horses alone in the middle of Argentina before World War 1, and in later life was the only Church of Scotland missionary to visit ill or injured foreign sailors of all religions in the local island hospital, despite the disapproval of the Free Church. “We are all God’s children”, he would say firmly to his critics – and to me. He died when I was eleven, after which I spoke to no-one until I grew up and left home about anything which really mattered.

As Pluto squared 12th house Venus, Moon and Sun, then crossed the IC conjunct South Node from 93-95, what was left of my family of origin fell apart in a particularly painful and tragic way. I had to make choices in order to protect myself from the destructive urges of other family members which involved separation from loved ones which is probably permanent. The major decision I made during those years was that the blood tie does not give others the right to destroy your life. I was indeed fortunate in having an astrological framework, which helped to provide a meaningful context for the pain.

As part of trying to process what was happening, I decided to compile a family history, returning to my native island to collect some oral material from old people who knew my family back a couple of generations. The day I sat down to write it up, transiting Pluto was exactly conjunct the South Node, within half a degree of the IC.  During the same week, I looked back through some old writings of my own, finding two unpublished pieces.

The first was written in July 1970, six months after the start of Neptune transiting the IC. I had no knowledge of astrology then…….

“…….My sister and I decided to take the dog and walk from our house, just outside the  town, to a beach very exposed to the sea, well beyond the harbour. It would be a long walk, but it was a beautiful briskly windy sunny day – snatched from the usual bleak incessant rains of  a Hebridean July.

We took a curving route through the town, then via an outlying district overlooking the navigation beacon. This landmark had winked its electric eye reassuringly at the mouth of the harbour for as long as I could remember. Approaching the district cemetery, my sister walked on by, but I slowed down, never having passed through its gates. Only men attended funerals in the Outer Hebrides when I was growing up.

“The sun is shining on the dead today!” I called to my sister. “Let’s go and pay our respects.” She wasn’t too keen. “Have you ever visited Granddad and Granny’s grave?” I asked.

“No,” she said. ” I suppose we could do that.”
We pushed open the heavy creaking gate. The graveyard, beautifully tended, sloped gently down to within a few hundred yards of the sea. I realised that I did not know where my father’s parents lay.

” I remember where Daddy said it was,” my sister said. “Follow me. With our English name, it shouldn’t be difficult to find.”

Our  paternal grandfather had been posted to the Outer Hebrides before the First World War, meeting our grandmother on his first trip ashore. English gentlemen were a great rarity in these parts; very desirable “catches” to aspiring island girls like Granny, who had by all accounts been a handsome, strong and wilful young woman. He was well and truly caught; apart from a period of war service he remained in the Outer Isles for the rest of his long life.

His death devastated my grandmother. They had been married for fifty two years. I remember sitting with her in her bedroom, she who had always turned herself out so elegantly propped up in bed, an old singlet of my grandfather’s failing to conceal her droopy, withered breasts from my young eyes. Up to then I had never known the desolation of not being able to console another human being – or that old people ever cried. She wept and wailed and moaned, repeating:
“I don’t want to live any more. What’s the use, what’s the use now he’s away? “

Live on she did, doggedly, for nine years, lightened only by a late addition to the family. I was fifteen when my brother was born. Granny was eighty two, and half way senile. The child was called Frederick, after Granddad; as the novelty wore off Granny slipped into senility, a querulous fractious husk, and finally just a husk, and a medical miracle, carried off at eighty six with her fourth bout of pneumonia.

I was at university when she died, having become so distant from her by then that  I felt nothing but a vague sense of relief ….

“I’ve found it !”
I had fallen behind my sister in my reverie. She was standing about twenty yards away; I hurried to the spot. It was a plain, simple grave. A low railing ran round it. The headstone was in sandstone, with only the facts of their births and deaths etched on it in gold lettering. Noting with satisfaction, which my grandmother would have shared, the absence of ‘fancy versification’, I stood and looked at the grave.

Without any warning, for I had felt quiet and composed, there was a rush and a roar in a deep silent centre of my being; a torrent of desolation and grief swept through me. I wept and wept and wept, quite uncontrolled.

There they were, half my being. Where had it all gone: the passion of their early love; the conception of their children; her sweat and blood and pain as she thrust my father into the world; their quarrels, silences, love, laughter, loneliness and grief; their shared and separate lives? And this was it. On a hot beautiful day with the sea lapping on the shore and the seabirds wheeling and diving, a few bits of cloth and bone under the earth, an iron railing and a stone above.

I was not weeping just for them. Overwhelmed by  total awareness of my own mortality and that of all human beings before and after me, I had never felt so stricken, so vulnerable, so alone.” (i)

The second piece, however, written in the autumn of 1971, at the end of the Neptune transit to the IC, whilst Neptune was 0 Sagittarius, shows that something else was now emerging from the underworld which would offer me inspiration and support :

(The ‘pibroch’ referred to is the music of lament played on the Scottish bagpipes)

“ It was a clear autumn evening. Peter called just after seven; he was going out to practice some pibroch. Would I like to come along? It was a rare time of balance – in the weather, in the satisfaction of work which was still new enough to be stimulating, in the fact that Peter and I were falling in love.

Peter drove several miles out of town, winding slowly up deserted country roads to a hill above a small village. Taking out the pipes he began to blow them up, and after much tinkering began to play. To avoid distracting him, I strolled slowly down the road. Peter was standing on a bank of grass at the top of the hill; on his left was a little wood. On the other side of the road was a ditch thick with whin bushes.

Beyond the ditch was a rusty, sagging fence; on the far side of the fence, smooth, mossy moorland dotted with whins, their vivid yellow colour fading into the deepening dusk. In the distance I could just see the  Highland hills, purple and rust, gathering shadows in the autumnal twilight.

Venus Rising

A myriad of stars, taking their lead from Venus, was growing bright with increasing intensity. A mellow harvest moon was slowly rising, casting a glow on the hills. The air held a hint of cold. I could feel the melancholy music of the bagpipes flowing through me like a magical current.

Reaching the foot of the hill, surrendering myself completely to the intensity of the moment, I lay down in the middle of the road. Spreading out my arms, I gazed up at the stars.

A gentle breeze blew over my body, soughing through the reedy grass. Drifting with the music through the night sky, slipping away from awareness of myself or the present, I was a timeless spirit of the air, travelling the vastness of space on the notes of the pibroch. An unobtrusive rhythm, a pulse, began to beat; growing more and more steady, it became a whispering message in my mind :

‘ There is nothing to fear,’  it said. ‘ There is nothing to fear.’

An image of my lying dead, under the earth, came to me. Such images, occurring at other times, had filled me with panic and disgust. Now, there was none of that. I could gladly have died at that moment; my flesh would return to the earth and nourish it, my spirit would soar to infinity. The pulse continued, flooding me with its light :

‘ There is nothing to fear, nothing to fear, nothing to fear….’

At that point of spiritual ecstasy, I felt the absolute reality of my soul.

Such a moment might have lasted a second, an hour, or a hundred thousand years; but the music ceased, and the chill which was gradually taking over my body drew me back gently into the present…….” (ii)

The knowledge that such a vitalizing sense of connectedness was possible, glimpsed during the above experience, kept me going through the long struggle to believe that  life had an overall meaning, and to find my own way of offering my energy creatively in the years which were to follow.

When Uranus crossed the South Node/IC in 1980/81, I began to study astrology,thereby fulfilling a prediction made by an astrologer I had casually encountered in a laundrette in Bath in England in the early 1970s. I also met, moved in with and later married my partner – his Scorpio Moon is conjunct my IC and South Node, and he has an Aquarian Sun and Venus. All very appropriate symbolism for the timing of the Uranus IC transit !

His steadfast support, combined with the deep awareness of teleology which many years’ practice of astrology brings, have been vital for my personal and professional growth and development from the time Uranus crossed the IC until now, (ie end 1995-early 1996) as Pluto moves off that point.

When Pluto was still transiting the IC, but from Sagittarius, I applied and was accepted for a major astrological study course. The very day that Pluto was exactly on the South Node and about to cross the IC for the last time saw me beginning the first year of study. I felt a powerful sense of standing on firm inner ground after the turbulence and trauma of the last few years – of being in the right place at the right time, of having done what I could, for now, with my family inheritance – of being ready to move on to the next growth cycle.

Now that the outer planets have crossed the IC and moved into the Western hemisphere of my Horoscope, I feel liberated from much of the pathology of the past, and  more able to use directly in the world the undoubted creativity inherited with it. Nor do I need any longer to make bargains with the shadowy figures who emerge when the light of day is dimming….

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i & ii : Both extracts have been published both together and separately  in several articles in the USA, the UK and  Australia, eg in “Of Cerberus and Blackest Midnight Born” which appeared in the UK’s Astrological Journal, 1996,  and was then reprinted in Considerations magazine (USA) in the same year.

and –

“Of Cerberus and Blackest Midnight Born” is a quote from ‘L’Allegro’ by the English poet John Milton

Zodiac

Zodiac

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2500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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

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!!

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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

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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.)

Zodiac

Zodiac

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