This blog 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!

Ask an astrologer a question

Astrologers are always being asked questions. By open-minded members of the public. By closed-minded-members of the public. By one’s friends and family. By clients. By students. By interviewers for various media outlets. I set up this blog in June 2013 ( can it REALLY be that long ago?! ) and thought it might be a good idea – whilst I am recovering from having been flattened by truly the worst flu I can ever remember – to repost the very first post, slightly edited and updated to reflect contemporary events.

Here is the very first question:

Would it be fair, then, to say that astrology is descriptive rather than predictive? It occurs to me that much of the fascination with newspaper ‘astrology’ columns is related to their use as fortune-telling!

……from Linda Leinen, USA…….and my favourite blogger at the wonderful The Task At Hand.

****

It’s fair to say that astrology is both descriptive and predictive. There are many facets to this statement. However, just a few examples should throw at least some light on Linda’s interesting question.

Descriptive

 A properly drawn up horoscope using your date, place, and time of birth can allow me to provide you with a clear description of the characters who are acting out the play of your particular life, to use a familiar but useful analogy.The Sun represents only one character, thereby revealing right away how limited popular Sun Sign astrology is. The other characters are represented by the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (recently demoted by astronomers, but remaining very potent symbolically!).

The astronomical relationships between the nine planets plus the moon, when drawn onto the horoscope (see picture below – click on the image to enlarge) show the conversations, debates, disagreements and compromises happening between the major characters on your life’s stage.

donald-trump

Donald J Trump

Their action takes place against the backdrop of the twelve Houses of the horoscope, each representing a particular sphere of life. Then I have to take the Ascendant (how you appear to the world) the Midheaven (speaking of vocation/life direction) and several other factors including Chiron (where both wounding and healing take place)) into account. In addition, I need to consider and feed back what the interactions between all those factors are.

Reading a horoscope effectively needs both an experienced, self aware, sensitive astrologer and a client who truly wishes to reflect on their gifts, pains, preoccupations, fears, motivations etc in an honest and open way. A horoscope can be seen as the static drawing of a pattern of living energy ie a human being.

Thus, as an astrologer, I am working with explaining and discussing a number of different levels of manifestation which can and do arise from each symbol. Your birth horoscope is determined by your date, place and time of birth – factors over which we apparently have no control. This can be seen as the fated dimension. But what you do with those energies depends, to a considerable degree, on the levels of self awareness you bring to the choices you make as life unfolds. Therein free will probably lies….

However – you really have to experience a quality astrology reading fully to understand its power and value.

Predictive

Yes, any competent astrologer can predict very accurately when planetary influences from the unfolding energies through time and space, both in the present and in the future, are going to engage with the energy patterns which can be read from a birth horoscope. S/he can also plot out with complete accuracy how long this engagement is going to last; anything from a few days to several years.

But one can only speculate about the level of manifestation of those energies….

 A simplified example: Venus in your natal horoscope represents relationship(s). The planet Uranus represents the urge to break down old patterns and is unpredictable, disruptive in its impact. If this planet is going to be exactly engaging with your natal Venus, eg for the whole of 2017, then I think you can work out without me telling you that this will not be the most peaceful uneventful year in your relationship life!

I can in this way predict the core of Uranus’ (or any planet’s) impact on any part of a client’s horoscope.Working out what the branches of manifestation arising from that core might be, however, is not something which can be done exactly. Of a few guesses, one might be accurate.

Then there is the danger to the client that if I choose a specific branch which I think might manifest, this could well collapse a whole range of possible outcomes into one only. In this way, I as the astrologer may be helping self-fulfilling prophecy along the way.

Personally, I think it is sufficient to describe the core manifestation of a planet’s impact, and work with the person regarding what they will do with this information.

A concluding observation on prediction. It is an inexact pursuit for all who attempt it, from economists through weather forecasters through astrologers.

The latter failed to spot that World War Two was about to break out, for example, although there are many examples of astrologers delivering exactly the right level at which energies would manifest (ask google about this, especially the famous prediction about the death of Henry the Second of France….).

Also, in the recent USA election, astrologers’ predictions regarding whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would become president, were both right AND wrong. Most predicted that Mrs Clinton would win, and were correct since she won the popular vote by around 3 million votes. However, Trump got the Presidency – because he won via the Electoral College system by which Americans elect their president.

Science teaches us that we live in a universe which conducts a great dance between order and chaos, where probability and indeterminacy, not exactitude, are the order of the day. I like that!

There is a great deal more that can be said. But I hope this is sufficient to give my readers a thought-provoking introduction – and to stimulate more astrological questions on any aspect of astrology.

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013/2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

A new venture for a New Year! Check out “The Astro-View from Scotland” in Dell Horoscope

I’m most happy to be joining a team of quality astrologers who write for USA’s distinguished Dell Horoscope Magazine. As from January 2017, you can read my thoughts on a diverse range of topics – no, I’m not going to tell you what they are. Subscribe to the magazine, either by print or e-subscription, and you will find out!

dell-horoscope-january-2017

dell-horoscope-january-2017

And – New Year Greetings and a big Thank-You to all my readers, likers and commenters who have made keeping this blog for the last few years such a fun project. Do keep dropping by, as this year – full of jaw-dropping uncertainties set in motion by the last one – gets under weigh.

And – got any really interesting questions for me to tackle in 2017? If you do, let me know and I will do my best to find an answer for you.

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

150 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

As the Capricorn New Moon dawns: honouring the old moon’s 12th House phase…

Having been born in Moondark just before a Leo New Moon, I have long been aware of the 2-3 days before any New Moon as a special time – a 12th House time: of retreat, contemplation, a time when I have felt more fragile, more sensitive than usual, a time when peace and silence calls. Life being what it is, however, peace and silence may not be possible when one needs it! 

So, in honour of the waning Sagittarian moon’s 12th House phase, this year occurring in that liminal time after the 2016 Festive Season but before the New Year of 2017, here are some of my thoughts on the core of the 12th House, ie our connectedness with the Sacred, the numinous, that which lies beyond the ordinary compass of the everyday.

For me, when I was younger, the Sea, that other Great Universal, brought me a sense of the sacred, a sense of peace. Going to the sea was my equivalent of going to church.

photo: Anne Whitaker

I was born by the sea. The stripped-down Presbyterianism of my native Hebridean island certainly spoke eloquently to many, but did not speak to my Romantic temperament: it was a form of worship too spare and verbal for a soul whose longing for the Divine needs the engagement of all the senses.

The remote beaches of the Hebrides are perfect for communing. In some places no mark of human hand can be seen anywhere. You could be in any epoch.

The endless ebb and flow which soothes your spirit is millions of years old. With the cries of wild birds, and the sound of the wind ( no shortage of that !) the sea weaves music which carries you beyond time. The rich smell of ozone, salt and bladder-wrack is overlaid with a delicate scent of wild flowers. Sea splashes leave salt tastes on your skin. Sunlight on the sea’s surface creates diamond sparks. God/dess is right here.

Natural beauty calls to us, confirming that the Holy Spirit which we sense in nature includes us all. Sand, sea, sun and solitude evoke a sense of our infinite smallness in relation to the vastness before us. Yet there could be no sea without each drop of water, no beach without each grain of sand.

Church on the face of it is very different, being a contained space. But it is a space charged up with collective worship, where the cadences of liturgy and participatory ritual also evoke a feeling of Divinity’s vast presence in relation to our precious smallness.

The mind-calming, meditative facets of sea, and centuries-old church ritual, can lull us into peace, calming the heart and uplifting the spirit. Both sea and church in their differing ways can restore a sense of the balance and interweaving of matter and spirit – “spirit is a lighter form of matter, matter is a denser form of spirit” –  and provide a reminder that the small, limited, mundane world which we inhabit is set to the compass of Eternity.

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Winter Solstice: a poetic invocation for the Sun in Capricorn

Today the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, the zodiacal backdrop to our journey through the dark heart of  winter each year. 

We humans in the Northern Hemisphere, beset by darkness and cold, have from long antiquity needed light and celebration to lift our spirits in the bleak midwinter, no matter how much the grimness of world affairs or the pains of everyday life hold us down: 2016 has been a particularly harrowing year. 

We have, also, long needed ritual to guide our lives through the passage of all kinds of seasons: seasons of the year, seasons of our lives, seasons of joy, seasons of mourning…these rituals give significance, dignity, to the archetypal processes of life and death, then rebirth to new life in one form or another. 

All families across the world have their own variations on seasonal ritual. An annual event in our house is to flick malt whisky symbolically onto our Xmas Tree, the modern version of the ancient Sumerians’ Moon Tree, and to read Susan Cooper’s wonderful Winter Solstice poem aloud. I do hope, somewhere, somehow, she knows this.

Happy Solstice, Everyone! 

Our Midwinter Tree

Our Midwinter Tree

THE SHORTEST DAY’ BY SUSAN COOPER

 

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!

******

In the bleak Midwinter...

In the bleak Midwinter…

350 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Susan Cooper 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Jupiter opposes Uranus, Boxing Day 2016: Bring it on!!

On Boxing Day, 26.12.16, we have a dose of dynamic disruption for our world community and for those of us ‘plugged in’ via our horoscopes to 20-27 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn: the first of three exact opposition aspects on 26 December 2016 (20 Aries/Libra), 2 March 2017 (22 Aries/Libra), and 28 September 2017 (27 Aries/Libra).

The Jupiter/Uranus combination can represent the very best in human aspiration, exploration, inventiveness and the sheer exuberance of being alive. However, arrogant conviction of their own rightness when working together can make this combination inflammatory, hubristic and downright destructive. We should therefore see both the positive and negative sides of this unique combination during the Jupiter/Uranus opposition year ahead.

cartoonbig-copy1

Jupiter meets Uranus – from http://www.cainer.com

I have form when it comes to astrological obsessions! During the 1997-8 conjunction year when those two planets met at 5-6 degrees Aquarius, I ran a research study into the lives of 17 people whose charts were ‘plugged in’ to the above numbers, set in the context of world affairs at the time. The resulting book, vividly depicting their extraordinary year, was published in 2009 by the American Federation of Astrologers. The Jupiter/Uranus cycle is 14 years long: during the subsequent conjunction in Pisces/Aries during 2010-11, my Jupiter/Uranus obsession struck again, resulting in further research, this time conducted via the Web. Once again, a new group of 10 trusty volunteers had a year like no other. I published all this research in one e-book in 2015: you can download it HERE for free, with my compliments.

Whilst we wait to see what this especially dynamic, disruptive Jupiter/Uranus opposition year will bring, I thought I’d whet your appetites by re-posting the article I wrote in 2010, ten days before the second Jupiter/Uranus meeting (the first, at 0 degrees Aries, occurred on 8.6.2010) : by this time, the key themes were taking clearer form, and as we have seen in the last 6/7 years, have unfolded (allied with the longer-term Uranus/Pluto square in Aries/Capricorn) in a way which has radically changed our world.

Enjoy the read – and any comments always welcome, especially personal feedback regarding your Jupiter/Uranus experiences!

cropped-j-u-header-w

“…You don’t have to be a very sage astrologer to work out that one of the likely backdrops to this upcoming 19th September 2010 Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 29 degrees Pisces (the second of three in Pisces and Aries during 2010/11) is going to be that perennial sustainer, challenger, inspirer, executor and persecutor of the human race – religion –  as a new 14-year cycle unfolds.

And sure enough, it is shaping up in bold primary colours already.

A major row has been rumbling in the USA since the end of August 2010 over the proposed location of  a Muslim religious centre close to the site of Ground Zero. Check out HERE:

Last week the UK’s most prominent and respected scientist Stephen Hawking grandly announced that God was not necessary in coming up with an explanation for the origins of the Universe. This could be found in the laws of physics. The book “Grand Design”, set for release on September 9, has him saying: “because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing….”

New Hubble Image: Carina Nebula

In recent days, it has become world-wide news that the pastor of a small church in Florida, Terry Jones, is planning a less than conciliatory act of remembrance of the 9/11 atrocity by burning 200 copies of the Koran on the 11 September. This plan has been roundly condemned from USA Secretary of  State Hilary Clinton downwards. See  HERE

(NOTE: it just caught my eye in Google’s news headlines as I was signing off after publishing this post and doing some emails, that the pastor in question has called off his protest. How interesting that this should occur on the very day that Jupiter slips from combative, fiery Aries into the soothing waters of Pisces….)

And here in the UK, that anti-messiah and self-appointed High Priest of Atheism, the scientist and polemical writer Richard Dawkins, had planned to arrest the Pope when he visits the UK during 16-19 September, just at the exact point of the second Jupiter/Uranus conjunction.

“Campaigners supported by Prof Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist, had hoped to have Benedict XVI held over his supposed cover-up of child abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

But leaders of the Protest the Pope coalition now admit that the Pontiff cannot be arrested as Britain acknowledges him as a head of state, granting him sovereign immunity from criminal prosecution.” Read more

The fingerprints of the Jupiter/Uranus combination in Pisces are all over these events. First of all, Jupiter and Uranus are planets associated with the ‘masculine’ dimension of life regardless of a person’s sex: outgoing and action-oriented.

Then, if we think of the mythology of Jupiter and Uranus, we have the arrogant and combative Olympian god Jupiter, who was always right, enjoyed laying down the law, (fundamentalism anyone?) and who threw thunderbolts from Mount Olympus at unfortunate humanity cowering down below. His ally Prometheus (I follow the Richard Tarnas view that Uranus in action most resembles the Greek god Prometheus) was an innovator who taught humankind the great arts of astrology, science and music.

He also decided that the gods’ fire was just what the human race needed to make them all-wise and powerful (without actually consulting any of them to see if they wanted this equivocal gift!) and proceeded to steal that precious substance, hidden in a fennel-stalk. Unfortunately he got caught and spent eternity chained to a rock having his liver pecked out by an eagle.

As I point out in my book ” Jupiter Meets Uranus “ (AFA 2009, updated FREE e-edition 2015) the Jupiter/Uranus combination can represent the very best in human aspiration, exploration, inventiveness and the sheer exuberance of being alive. However, arrogant conviction of their own rightness when working together can make this combination inflammatory, hubristic and downright destructive. We should therefore see both the positive and negative sides of this unique conjunction during the Jupiter/Uranus year of 2010/11.

The Jupiter/Uranus combination works out of the ‘left field’ more than any other combination of planetary energies. Its cycle is 14 years long.

In 1969 Man stepped on the Moon for the first time under an exact Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Libra. In 1983 with the conjunction in Sagittarius, the world’s first artificially made chromosome was created at Harvard University. In February 1997 with the conjunction in Aquarius, Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned animal, was announced to the world.

2010/11 is gradually revealing unique developments too for good and ill: the Large Hadron Collider’s vast experiment and what it may reveal. Craig Venter’s company’s creating of  the first artificial living cell – using highly sophisticated computer technology. The worst man-made oil spill in history. Scientists making hubristic statements about spiritual matters which go inappropriately beyond their reductionist terms of reference. Religious (and anti-religious) fanatics behaving in ways that no-one could have guessed or believed…..

Bring it on, Jupiter/Uranus!

We are waiting with bated breath for more left-field events: with a mixture of  fascination, awe, humour (sometimes if you don’t laugh you just end up crying….) dismay and disbelief. Well, given that Pisces is involved, the word ‘belief” has to feature somewhere.

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

12o0 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010/ 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Some thoughts on Millennials…will they change the world for the better?

A Baby-Boomer comments on Millennials…how brave is that?!!  

But I also talk about planetary cycles…so it’s not ALL about them. My thanks go to astrologer Jessica Adams for our recent email conversation, which got my  braincell ticking on the ever-fascinating topic of the upcoming Millennial Generation.

As ever, let me know your thoughts!

I still recall with great clarity my first encounter with planetary cycles, in 1983. In the early days of a developing obsession with astrology, still grappling to acquire reasonable fluency with natal patterns, my focus – of necessity – was still limited to unlocking the complex symbolism of natal horoscopes. I had no idea that the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 6-9 Sagittarius that year, trining my 12th House Mercury from the Fourth House, was about to provide a wake-up call.

charles-harvey

Charles Harvey

It came via a wonderful lecture on mundane astrology by the late, great Charles Harvey. “Time is the flowing Image of the Eternal…and the planets are the instruments of Time”, began Charles, quoting Plato’s ‘Timaeus’. That hour passed in seconds, or so it seemed. I was riveted. The idea that each horoscope is a unique ‘chip’ of the prevailing planetary pattern, which also symbolises the ebb and flow of collective and world affairs, was a revelation. Although no great expert in mundane astrology, my fascination with the great planetary cycles’ timing of the unfolding of collective and personal life, and their interweaving, has never waned.

The mighty Neptune/Pluto cycle of 500 years begins whole epochs: the most recent conjunction in the 1890s in Gemini began the Information Age. The Uranus/Neptune cycle of 172 years, from 2-3 Capricorn in 1821 to 18-19 Capricorn in 1993, produced seminal thinkers such as USA’s Transcendentalist philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1817-162) and Germany’s Karl Marx (1818-83), a political philosopher and writer whose socialist ideas changed the world.

Neptune longs for a new, perfect vision of how life could be; Uranus  breaks down the old order in ways never before envisaged, letting those new vistas take shape, paying little attention to the ensuing chaos. Those long cycles are change-makers, ensuring that nothing stays the same shape for long, either in our tiny personal lives or the patterns of the Big Picture.

The start of the last Uranus/Neptune meeting saw Karl Marx’s birth and growth to maturity. The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, when Saturn joined the ending of that cycle and the seeding of the new one in 1993, saw the collapse of the Communist system birthed by Marx’s ideas.

Each generation bears its own stamp… The most recent Uranus/Neptune group began to appear with the applying conjunction in 1986 in late Sagittarius/early Capricorn, staying in range throughout the signs Capricorn and Aquarius until 1999. They are the ones now rising with the new Millennium, as we Pluto in Leo baby-boomers sink slowly into decrepitude and irrelevance…no doubt kicking and screaming as we go…

The Millennials are the future. So – what can they expect, and we expect from them, as the new world order recently birthed by Uranus/Neptune arises and takes shape? I wonder who will prove to be their Marx equivalent? I wonder who will be their Thoreau? Here are a few brief thoughts, which I hope will stimulate yours!

a-millennial

The 20 year Jupiter Saturn conjunctions, the “Great Chronocrators,” or Rulers of the Ages,  are ‘concerned with the formation of our sense of social purpose and direction, our quest for concrete achievements in the world’ (Greg Bogart). The next Jupiter Saturn conjunction in 2020, growing closer and closer in late Capricorn throughout that year, finally reaches exactitude at 0 Aquarius at the winter solstice. (The most recent one, at 23 Taurus in May 2000, was the last in the earth element for around 800 years).

Next up, Pluto shifts from Capricorn into Aquarius in 2024, beginning a long trine aspect to the 1892 Neptune/Pluto conjunction in Gemini. More air. The next Uranus/ Neptune conjunction, in 2165, will take place in early Aquarius, their first meeting in the air element for a thousand years. 

Thus, since 1980, when the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 5-8 Libra  entered the air element for the first time since its last entry in the twelfth century A.D, we have been moving gradually into an air-dominated era, with the sign of Aquarius in high focus. We are moving from an emphasis on material development and planetary exploitation  which characterised the Industrial Revolution and the whole materialist culture arising, to one of global social development – that of ideas, information, communication, and relationships – expedited by technology, for the coming 200 years or so.

This upcoming Uranus/Neptune generation, with its Capricorn/Aquarius mix, are a challenging bunch.They aren’t inclined to be gullible: Saturn’s influence – via his rulership of Capricorn and Aquarius –  sees to that. They like proof.

My 23 year old nephew, just finished a Politics degree, currently doing a Masters in Overseas Development, is very much like that. He is interested in astrology and very open-minded, but I have to present the subject to him with grounded clarity. I like that challenge! The young folks whose charts I have read are having to learn to dance on a wobbly board, as it were: Capricorn craves order, whilst Uranus is bored by it and Neptune loves to dissolve it, see what lies in the open spaces of spirituality and imagination.

This generation will thus be arriving at maturity as the energy patterns dominating collective life shift from an earth element base to an airy fundament. The dominant sign energy, as we have seen, will be airy, collective, revolutionary, idealistic Aquarius. We are already seeing the early brushstrokes of this upcoming era, with the fast rise of the Internet and social media over the last decade, and with it young people who are expert at surfing those new cultural waves.

Let’s hope this Millennial generation arising, then their children, will slowly create a new kind of global interconnectedness: perhaps, even, a way of living which is not rooted in the despoliation of Mother Earth…

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

950 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Just how stubborn is Taurus?

I am feeling the need for a rest for a bit from writing long articles! Here is a quick question from ‘Mandy’ (not her real name): 

I was born on the 11th May and am therefore a Taurus, I was also born in 1973 which is the year of the bull in the Chinese horoscopes (which is also of interest as I lived in HongKong for a while). 

How do both areas of astrology combine? And am I really as stubborn as a ‘double bull’ would indicate? 

Taurus

Taurus

Hello Mandy

since you have kindly provided your date and year of birth, I have taken a peek into that favourite reference book of astrologers, The American Ephemeris for the 20th Century. It lists the midnight positions of all the planets for a hundred years and I’d definitely not be without it on a desert island (yes, ok, I’m mad!) This is where we astrologers begin the process of calculating horoscopes, although the TIME of birth is needed to reveal the whole picture.

The Ephemeris tells me that on 11 May 1973, in common with everyone else born on that day, the Sun was indeed to be seen occupying that 30 degree sector of the sky called Taurus. However, Mercury, planet of mind and communication,  and Venus, planet of relationship, harmony and beauty,  were also there on that day! So – having three of the ten key characters on your life’s stage in the same sector or sign emphasises the characteristics of that sign very strongly. The answer to your second question, therefore, is an emphatic YES based on Western astrology alone.

However, there are other things in your horoscope which both modify and contradict this strong stubborn streak. A full horoscope reading, for which you would need to provide your date, place and all-important TIME of birth,  would put all the key characters on the stage, enabling you to get a better ‘handle’ on what drives you….

As far as the combination of Chinese and Western astrology is concerned, after more than 30 years as an astrologer I am still getting to grips with the Western tradition (!) so have only a very superficial knowledge of Eastern astrologies. However, I turned to our ever-present friend  Google – which, incidentally, told me that the Chinese year for your date of birth is,in fact,  the year of the Ox.

Astrowiki has an interesting and informative page on Chinese Astrology for any readers who wish to pursue the topic further.

 Many thanks for your question, Mandy. Your feedback would be welcome. And – ask me another any time ! 

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

450 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page