For all enquiries, including tuition and booking astrology consultations, my email address is info@anne-whitaker.com

Please note: as from 2018 I will be continuing to offer appointments to former and existing clients, mentorees and students. I will not, however, be offering any appointments meantime for new astrology readings. Students studying with reputable courses seeking mentoring as support for their studies are however still welcome to contact me.

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!

Guest Slot : ‘Unruly Tricksters of the Twelfth House’ by Jude Cowell

The planet Mercury – my ruling planet – has certainly earned his tricksterish reputation in my life, never more so than when he turns retrograde, this time in Sagittarius, trining my Twelfth House Mercury. Inspired by this link, I decided to re-visit some articles in my Writing from the Twelfth House blog, now an archive. Just on cue, up popped one of the most frequently read posts on that site: all about trickster Mercury and the Twelfth House!

I love it when astrology does that…

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury, by Praxiteles – isn’t he gorgeous?

So –I am delighted to be re- publishing this topical article by prestigious and prolific USA fellow blogger, my friend from Georgia, Jude Cowell. During that season of three weeks (this time in November/December 2018) when the ultimate planetary trickster, Mercury, turns retrograde and challenges us all with communication conundrums, Jude poses and answers a few mercurial conundrums of her own…

” Having astrology’s trickster planet, Mercury, or Mercury-ruled Gemini or Virgo, associated with one’s natal twelfth house can be quite a ‘tricky’ proposition for anyone to manage.

When one considers the unconscious nature of the twelfth house and Mercury’s rulership of our thinking and communicating processes, the picture becomes fraught with possibilities for confusion, doubt, and awkwardness.

In fact, in similar fashion to this blog’s creator and author, the gracious Anne Whitaker, I am communicating with you from the twelfth house right now, with sixteen degrees of a mercurial sign directing the show from behind the curtain.

As you know, repressed energies of the twelfth house (12th h) are identified by planets posited there, and by those which are connected by sign and aspect to the house of Self-Undoing and Karma, the 12th h of the Unconscious.

But when fleet-of-foot Mercury is involved, we can be certain that unbidden thoughts will frequently float up into consciousness from the watery depths of the Neptunian realms of the unconscious – some useful and to be acted upon, others not as useful and to be disregarded.

Mysterious Mercury

Mysterious Mercury

A 12th house Mercury may give a tendency to talk to oneself, and the old caution that it’s ‘okay as long as one doesn’t answer back’ may be moot with Mercury involved in the house of the Unconscious – for talk back the trickster will, and often out loud at the most inappropriate times or in awkward ways.

“Foot-in-mouth” syndrome is a common manifestation of the predicament of having connections between the Unconscious psychological 12th house and our thinker-communicator planet.

Plus, ‘The Fool’ card in the Tarot deck illustrates neutral Mercury’s brash characteristics quite well as he/she haplessly opens mouth to insert foot – and usually at the worst of moments…the ‘speak first, think later’ tendency.

Yet that is where Astrology can aid us in understanding these mercurial 12th house dynamics and learning to make productive use of them so that we don’t mistakenly shoot ourselves in the very foot we placed in our mouths. Now that would be a definite ouch!

Directing mercurial 12th house energies outwardly into the wider world may produce a writer or other type of artisan who draws upon knowledge from the collective unconscious and expresses it on behalf of mankind, while remaining the private sort of person that a mercurial 12th house requires.

But before projecting them outwardly, it’s important to replace self-defeating attitudes (such as the repeating loop in our heads of mother’s old discouragements: “oh, you can’t figure that out,” or “what would you know about it?”, etc.) with a more positive attitude; for after all, neutral Mercury can ‘go either way’ – so why not take the high road? Especially since we know that decision-maker Mercury, in his Hermes disguise, is the mystery guide at the crossroads of life, isn’t he?

So aspects to planets in, or associated with the 12th house (or its cusp), show us how and where to use these repressed, unconscious energies to best advantage by ‘tricking the trickster’ and turning them into the talents they truly are.

And developing our verbal and non-verbal creative work is one of the better ways to manage these unruly mercurial scamps of the 12th house while benefiting the collective simultaneously; attempting to push these energies further beneath the oceanic 12th house surface only causes them to fester and become even more distorted than they were from being stifled during childhood by the adults around us who had their own 12th house issues to deal with. And perhaps they didn’t manage it as well as we, with Astrology’s instruction, may now.

So rather than setting ourselves up for subliminally undoing ourselves from the unconscious 12th house, I say: let the 12th house trickster breathe freely, romp with the other kids, take up his quill or paintbrush, and reveal mercurial insights for the benefit of all! “

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(Written for Anne Whitaker to use, with Jude Cowell’s  permission)

700 words Copyright Jude Cowell /Anne Whitaker 2017 and 2018

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

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Check out Stars over Washington for Jude’s outspoken astrological and political commentaries on USA’s current affairs….and Jude Cowell Astrology for her varied astrological writings.

Jude Cowell

Lifelong artist Jude Cowell is a native of Athens, Georgia and an Astrology novice since 1996. She attended Atlanta College of Art in her younger years where she studied Fashion Illustration, Layout, and Design, and has exhibited her artwork in Athens, Augusta, and Atlanta, Georgia. She now displays her colored pencil drawings exclusively online.

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Jupiter enters Sagittarius, a new cycle begins…

Just published on www.astro.com,

via https://infinityastrologicalmagazine.com/

Feeling restless, dissatisfied, antsy, looking for a new goal, ready for a new adventure? If so, it could be that you are beginning an 11/12 year phase which kicked off the last time Jupiter was in Sagittarius from November 2006 to December 2007. If you are around 23/4 years old, or 35/6, or 47/8, or 59/60, or 71/2, or 83/4 – it’s you I am talking about. You were born with Jupiter in Sagittarius, Jupiter is back in that fiery, restless, optimistic sign this November 2018 – and you need a big new challenge!

Jupiter:Sagittarius

Jupiter/Sagittarius

 

To read the rest of this article, click HERE

 

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100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

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

 

 

 

 

Scorpio’s season, Hallowe’een, Dark Matter…

Strange things delight me – for that I blame Jupiter in Scorpio (mainly…). The other morning, I sat bolt upright in bed, almost spilling my tea, on hearing this: Hallowe’en is to be celebrated as Dark Matter Day. Such startling information triggered a whole stream of thoughts and reactions, so strongly that I have had to emerge briefly from my third house retro Venus in Scorpio retreat in order to share them.

Dark Matter etc

But where to start? Perhaps with Dark Matter, for those of you for whom the term is as yet unfamiliar. Here is one definition:

Dark matter is a huge part of the Universe that scientists’ calculations tell us exists, but that has never been observed. Yet, together with dark energy, scientists believe it makes up 95 percent of the total universe. What we can see, and the matter that scientists can account for is just five percent of the Universe, the rest is a mystery. (i)

Please pay great attention to that last sentence. Science can offer an explanation for just 5% of the Universe…the rest ie 23% dark matter and 72% dark energy, is a mystery. This being the case by modern science’s own admission, I have been at a loss for decades to understand why by and large most scientists operate on the reductionist principle loudly and vehemently declaimed by the likes of the UK’s Professors Richard Dawkins and Brian Cox – that if it can’t be seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched or proved through the application of the procedures of contemporary science then it simply does not exist.

Non-existence, reductionist science style

Here are just a few examples of the ‘it’ that does not exist or is of no credible value:

all types of paranormal experience eg precognitive dreams, telepathy, premonitions, mediumship, seeing ghosts, mystical experience – well documented by a vast range of people and cultures throughout the world for millennia

the myths of all cultures throughout the ages – (the modern definition of a myth is ‘an untrue story’ ) – which through their symbolic stories have offered guidance to humans re how best to navigate the complexities inherent in every facet of life

all religions, which no-one would deny have considerable flaws and deficiencies but which have at least tried to address the unquantifiable facets of human experience and offer us teachings through which we might ‘do as you would be done by’

the great symbolic arts, for example astrology, the i ching, palmistry, and the tarot, which have evolved over lengthy time periods for the guidance of us fallible humans as we try to make our way – all of which especially astrology have largely been dismissed as rubbish by scientists who have never taken the trouble to study in any depth that which they are only too happy to condemn.

It should be obvious to any reasonably sentient, rational person that a stance of ignorant dismissal of whole bodies of knowledge which have been embedded in human culture from the outset does not and should not command any respect whatsoever. I can imagine what Prof Dawkins would say, were anyone to dismiss the whole of physics from a standpoint of wilful ignorance…

Ooops! Must not fall into ranting…I can feel one coming on…so…

Where do I stand on the science v religion/symbolism issue?

I am in total awe of the magnificent achievements of science since the rise of the Age of  Reason around the middle of the 17th Century, and have been an avid reader of popular science books since my teens in a long attempt to understand the complexities thereof, especially those of quantum physics which have gradually revealed to us a Universe at an energetic level which is paradoxical, deeply strange, and only partly predictable.

I have also read widely and thought deeply – as well as practising – within those dimensions of life I have just listed which modern science largely dismisses as invalid and not worth taking seriously.

However, 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 eg astrology and quantum physics are focusing on the same all encompassing energy field which generates our tiny existence on planet Earth.

Astrology maps this energy field in space/time through the movements of the planets in our solar system, a rational measuring process which is also conducted by mariners and astronomers. However, it goes much further than those disciplines, by ascribing symbolic meaning to those planetary movements based on observations over millennia of the correspondences between life on Earth and the movements of the planets in their orbits.

My personal view is that both the scientific and the symbolic arts have their complementary roles to play in exploring and explicating the fundamental mystery of why we are here, and what we should do about it.  We need all the help we can get, after all, and should be pooling our collective human knowledge for the benefit of us all. As the atomic physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer so wisely put it :

These two ways of thinking, the ways of time and history and the way of eternity and timelessness, are both part of man’s efforts to comprehend the world in which he lives. Neither is comprehended in the other or reducible to it. They are, as we have learned to say in physics, complementary views, each supplementing the other, neither telling the whole story. (ii)

Dark Matter meets Hallowe’en in the 95% field

Given the kind of prejudices I have been describing from a profoundly dominant and influential group of people, ie the scientific community, at first I was pretty annoyed to see that the 31st October, ie Hallowe’en, had been designated as Dark Matter Day, especially as its first event last year had been billed in some quarters as First Ever Dark Matter Day in Hallowe’en Takeover. The inference in this headline is pretty clear: the choice of day represents an attempt by the scientific community yet again to attack and dismiss what they see as mere superstition which has no place in the contemporary world.

However, on reflection, I realised that the scientific community could have unwittingly created a bridge between the two worlds of the non-rational and the rational by holding Dark Matter Day on Hallowe’en.

When I first came across the compelling notion of the division of the Universe’s energy, as far as science can ascertain, into 5% matter and the rest dark matter and dark energy, my immediate thought was this: ‘Wow, so we only have direct access to a thin slice of  Reality…then what goes on in the 95% we know is there but can’t as yet access via the methodologies of reductionist science?’

On further reflection,  maybe the 5% could represent our conscious, practical  relationship with the familiar world. Dark energy might be what Jung called the collective unconscious, home to those archetypal patterns shaping our myths, religious beliefs and cultural values as well as what we broadly call the realm of the paranormal. And – dark matter could represent individuals’ personal unconscious, the liminal territory which acts as a filter through which images of all kinds from the collective unconscious make their way to the light of day, ie to the 5% that science can explain.

Thus the 95% dark matter/dark energy ‘field’ could be the non-rational dimension which is rich in creative energy of all kinds, energy giving rise (in partnership of course with the rational dimension of life represented by the 5%) to eg great art and music, and also to those unquantifiable but essential attributes which represent the best of humanity eg love, compassion, humour and kindness.

But, as we all know only too well from our collective and individual lives, there is a very dark shadow side to this non-rational dimension, one of whose manifestations is fear of the unknown, especially death.This has given rise rise historically to all kinds of superstitious beliefs and practices designed to ward off evil spirits and placate threatening supernatural beings – territory which is commemorated and engaged with each year in the shape of Hallowe’en.

We need constructive outlets for those dark fears and impulses, and Hallowe’en provides just that. I find it most interesting that, far from our reductionist-dominated culture stamping out all forms of irrationality, cultural practices such as Hallowe’en have become more mainstream in recent years.

Thinking about this calls to mind a brilliant  – and brave – book written by the well-known UK journalist Bryan Appleyard, who risked all kinds of opprobrium by exhaustively researching and writing about Aliens and the UFO phenomenon, setting the whole thing in a long historical context. His eventual conclusion, simply put, was this: if aliens didn’t exist (and he remains personally agnostic on the topic despite extensive research) the human mind, needing irrationality to maintain some sort of balance, is such that it would need to invent them…

So, scientists, you have I think made the right decision in aligning your Dark Matter Day with Hallowe’en – although probably not for the reasons you had in mind!

And– First Ever Dark Matter Day in Hallowe’en Takeover – it could ONLY happen in Scorpio’s season…

Endnotes:

(i) from the Web on 1st November 2017 in an article entitled First Ever Dark Matter Day in Hallowe’en Takeover, which also has some interesting follow-on links if you wish to research this fascinating area further.

(ii) Stuart Holroyd ‘The Arkana Dictionary of New Perspectives’ published by Arkana (Penguin Books Ltd) 1989, p154, quoting from Lawrence LeShan’s book ‘The Medium, the Mystic and the Physicist’

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1600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

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

 

All Scorpios: look away now!

Having just emerged almost brain dead but triumphant from a serious bout of deadline-itis, I am finding that the remaining braincell is rebelling at my attempts to cudgel some new inspiration therefrom. So, just to reassure my readers that I haven’t resigned from regular blog posting whilst I take a couple of weeks’ break, here is something which should amuse most of you – even the Scorpios.

This is my favourite astrology cartoon. It’s a reminder to us all, astrologers or not, that we should not take ourselves TOO seriously…

Feel free to share your own favourite astro-jokes / cartoons. We all need a laugh these days…

This lugubrious chap clutching a newspaper is staring at his television which is saying: ”The practice of astrology took a major step toward achieving credibility today when, as predicted, everyone born under the sign of Scorpio was run over by an egg truck”.

Now, before any thin-skinned Scorpios leave me annoyed comments, I hasten to add that you are free to assign any sign you like to the above unfortunate fate. I’m a Leo…the egg truck awaits…

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200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

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

 

Honouring Jupiter in Scorpio, Saturn in Capricorn, and “mummy wheat”…

“…If Jupiter and Saturn meet,
What a crop of mummy wheat!…” (i)

As regular readers of this blog will know by now, in my horoscope a third house Jupiter in Scorpio squares no less than six planets in Leo in the eleventh and twelfth houses. Whether I like it or not – and often I do not! – the Big Picture issues of why are we here, and what is it all for, and what can we do to inject meaning into it, have been a lifelong preoccupation.

With the above line-up, the shadowy borderland between life and death has always intrigued and fascinated me more than many other people, most of whom sensibly appear to prefer to dwell on more concrete and less threatening matters.

In my case, I have noticed over the years that significant events of an in-depth Scorpionic nature seem to bracket the beginning and ending of the 11-12 year Jupiter in Scorpio cycles. I would be most interested to hear from readers if this has also been the case for them!

At the start of my second Jupiter in Scorpio cycle,  having been fascinated for a couple of years previously by Egyptian mythology (ii) and the question of where we went after death, both my beloved grandfathers died within a few months of each other when I was eleven years old. This was my first conscious encounter with grief and irredeemable loss, and the recognition of how fleeting human life really is.

And now yet another Jupiter in Scorpio cycle, the one which began in 2006, is coming to an end for us intense Scorpionic types. I have to confess that I am beginning to look forward to Jupiter’s ingress into fiery, optimistic Sagittarius in November 2018.

Early in September 2018, with another personal Jupiter in Scorpio cycle ending along with transiting Saturn in early Capricorn opposite 10th House Mars in Cancer, the sign of home, family and roots, I did something I have never done before, and will probably never do again. I returned to my native island – to visit and honour the graves of my ancestors.

On the 2.5 hour ferry crossing, as I gazed pensively out to sea, those lines from Yeats quoted at the beginning of this post came strongly into my mind, and stayed there…I’ve learned over the years not to question fragments floating up from the unconscious which refuse to leave until I have paid full attention to what they mean – although their full significance often takes some time to manifest.

Firstly I visited my sister’s grave – she died two years ago the day after my birthday. Then my parents’ grave. Then my Whitaker grandparents. I brought a beautiful simple bunch of purple and white, long-stemmed flowers, placing some from the same bunch on each grave – thus linking the generations. This simple ritual felt deeply meaningful.

Ardroil Cemetery, Uig

Ardroil Cemetery, Uig

My husband and I then drove to the wild, beautiful Atlantic coast of my native island where my Maclean and Macleod ancestors are buried, being fortunate to have fine weather for this part of the pilgrimage. There at Ardroil is a stunning sweep of beach, above which the cemetery sits. I picked some wild flowers, including delicate purple harebells, laying a few flowers from the bunch on each family grave as we located it. My Macleod grandparents including beloved Grandpa Calum, and my mother’s brother and sister with their spouses, are all there.

It is quite something also to be able to view the burial stone of your great-grandparents; I especially honoured my psychic great-grandmother, known to all and sundry in our family as ‘Granny Uig’. My memoir “Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness” which gives an account of my own paranormal experiences, is dedicated to her.

It also occurred to me, as I contemplated all those graves, that one word encompasses two significant branches of the essence of Jupiter in Scorpio combined with Saturn in Capricorn: gravestone.

The day we were due to leave, I went with some cousins to visit an exhibition called ‘Blazing the Trail for Stornoway Women’, a celebration of island women held to commemorate the centenary of them getting the vote. A star of this show was my feisty grandmother Bella Whitaker, the first woman ( in 1907) to make the main speech at her own wedding, and one of the  first two female town councillors ever elected in Stornoway – they were fearless in taking on the patriarchal dominance of local authority affairs at that time.

Then I left, feeling proud, realising something which felt very powerful: not only had I been honouring my ancestors, but had also been letting them know silently, symbolically, that I had done my best with what they had handed on.

Sitting gazing at the sea on the return journey, I understood why that Yeats quote had been inhabiting my mind for weeks: the ‘mummy wheat’ symbol of death and regeneration from  ancient Egyptian myth is a powerful way of describing how we arise both physically and in spirit  from the lives and deaths of our ancestors…

Endnotes

(i)

This quotation is from the first verse of  ‘ Conjunctions’ from one of W. B. Yeats’s most obscure collections of poems, the “Supernatural Songs.”
And, for a definition of ‘mummy wheat’: from the Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (2nd edition): ‘…mummy wheat — a variety of wheat, _Triticum compositum_, said to have been produced from grains found in Egyptian mummy cases…’ If anyone is sufficiently excited by the notion that wheat can indeed be grown from Ancient Egyptian tombs, here is the link to follow: http://stupidquestionarchives.blogspot.com/2008/03/mummy-wheat.html

(ii)

There is no complete text of the myth of the Ancient Egyptian god Osiris’s death and his restoration by his sister/wife the goddess Isis. However around 3000 years ago, ‘….In the early dynastic period Osiris became identified with new grain that rises from the earth, nourished by the waters of the Nile. He is pictured lying as a mummy beneath the grain which sprouts from his body, while a priest pours water on him. It’s interesting to note that at this time mats of earth with sprouting grain were placed in tombs of the dead, therefore making the connection between grain that rises yearly from the earth and immortal life…’ 

To read the full text of the article to which the above quote belongs, click HERE.

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1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018

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

 

Anne, how do you feel Astrology is best learned?

Whilst my head is down getting three columns done by the end of this month ( aaargh!) , I thought I’d repost some of my thoughts on how astrology is best learned, inspired by astrologer Fernanda Paiva’s thoughtful recent post Saturnian Sobriety:

Thanks once more to Judith Burke for her searching question, and please feel free to post your own thoughts.

“Anne, how do you feel Astrology is best learned? Through books, lectures, classes, or ?”

Talking astrology, mediaeval style!

Learning astrology, mediaeval style!

I received this message from Judith on this blog’s Facebook Page several days ago, replying to say I’d deal with it when I had time. But it’s a good, BIG question, more deserving of a thought-out answer than merely via a Facebook comment. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought; there are dozens of ways to respond!

My astrological colleagues will have their own way of replying – I’d be happy to hear their views, and those of current students or folk who are thinking about studying. I spent a happy half hour with one such person on Thursday 30th November 2017, responding to his question about Mercury Retrograde. His fascination with the whole subject was a joy to be around…

In the meantime, here are my thoughts…

My husband Ian, who in his earlier life was a professional actor, once asked a seasoned professional what it took to be a serious member of the profession. The older man replied rather grandly : ” My boy, all you need to be an actor is three boards – and passion…”

Passion

So let’s start with the passion.

Picture this scene. There I am, sitting at a cramped old desk in the bedroom of our new house, having just moved, acquired a husband (not ever part of my life plan, by the way!) a half share in his two children, his elderly cat, and his ex wife who at that time lived round the corner from us. Oh yes, and having just changed  jobs.

In front of me is an astrology text book: Margaret Hone’s Modern Text Book of Astrology (most recent imprint 1954 or thereabouts). I am already scared stiff by Margaret, although I have never met her. I am at Chapter Six: Computation. It’s a struggle to understand the maths, never my strong point to put it mildly.

There are mascara stains half way down the page. Mine. “I’ll never ever get this!” I wail to the new husband, who is looking bemused. Less than a year later, having sat a whole week of exams in May 1983, I discover that I have gained my Certificate of the UK’s Faculty of Astrological Studies – with a Distinction in the Calculation paper.

That’s where passion, allied with her much less glamorous but more useful sister persistence, can get you. So that’s where you start, if you really want seriously to engage with the art of astrology. You need to be passionately attracted to those seductive, mysterious, elusive symbols whose sliver of meaningful light cast on your life – very often, first of all,  through the Sun Signs – compels you to engage with a landscape whose depth and richness becomes increasingly evident the further you venture within.

Finding the way 

It’s fascinating to find out how well-known astrologers found their way: HERE are some of their stories, including my own, which is set in a launderette in Bath, Somerset, England; a very long time ago. Then, I thought ( based on the usual total ignorance of the subject) that astrology was a load of old rubbish. How wrong could a person be…

People vary greatly in how they arrive at a reasonable degree of competence and fluency in interpreting astrological charts. This is where persistence and discipline come in. Without those, you are going to remain on the margins: a dilettante, “into” astrology but with no real grasp of the subject. That’s fine, if that’s where you wish to remain. But you won’t get to the heart of the subject without persistent application.

I think my own pattern was fairly typical. First, I had an unexpected encounter with astrologers the accuracy of whose reading of my horoscope stunned me. It came at a time when I was seriously questioning what my life was FOR – and whether life itself was intrinsically meaningful, or not. If strangers could describe my inner world and external life patterns so accurately, I thought, that certainly suggested the likelihood of something meaningful going on in the grand scale ….but the challenge provided to my agnostic resistance wasn’t at that point ripe enough to propel me into exploratory action.

Then seven years later, a friend thrust Alan Oken’s The Horoscope, the Road and its Travellers into my hand saying “I think you should read this.” In order not to offend him, I did, and was instantly compelled to begin studying first of all symbols, planets, signs, houses, aspects. I still have that old, battered notebook with all my handwritten notes in it – and the book with my name in it “Anne Whitaker 1981”.

Next, feeling lonely as a self-directed solo student, I decided to attend a local astrology group.Great,” I thought. “At least here I can get away from everyone who knows me but doesn’t know I’m interested in this weirdo stuff…”

“Hello, Anne, fancy meeting you here!” said the woman collecting entrance fees. It was a colleague from psychiatric social work. My cover was blown from day one. Attending the group led me to joining a class run by Carole Wilson (are you reading this, Carole?!) who held the Diploma from the Faculty of Astrological Studies.After that I just told people I was studying astrology, eliciting the usual mixture of responses from the incredulous to the dismissive, with a very liberal dollop of ” Wow, great – can you do my chart?”

Taking it further

Saying “Yes” and embarking on short, limited chart readings  very quickly revealed two things. One, that I too could study marks on pieces of paper and feed back accurate information to their owners. Two, that there was a great deal of power, and responsibility for using it, vested in the process of reading horoscopes and the person who took on that task. Feeling committed but daunted, needing some consistent high-quality teaching to take me on from Carole’s excellent introductory class, I signed up as a  Faculty of Astrological Studies correspondence student and in due course obtained my Certificate.

But you never can get to the end of  astrological knowledge: it’s too wide, and too deep. 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, teacher and writer Charles Harvey.

I consider myself most fortunate to have spent most of my twenties as a college lecturer, and most of my thirties as a generic and psychiatric social worker and counsellor, since both those strands wove into and greatly supported my work as an astrologer. I was also used to having my professional work supervised: thus, when I went freelance with writing, teaching, counselling and the practice of astrology – on the first Saturn square after my Saturn Return – it was a natural step for me to set up regular supervision for my astrological work.

So – returning to Judith’s question by way of conclusion: Judith, as you can see from this post, you answered your own question in the way you posed it!

Passionate interest, for whatever reason, kicks the whole thing off. Then it’s as you say: books, lectures, classes … and preferably some disciplined study with a reputable, recommended school, leading to a qualification which is recognised in the astrological world – that’s if you wish to establish some credibility as a practitioner and teacher.

There is a great deal more to be said on this topic, including the fact that many well-respected astrologers have no formal qualifications. You can find some of what I have previously discussed HERE if you want some food for thought regarding the professional and ethical dimensions of being an astrologer. I’d like to put on record here my appreciation of the work of the late, great master astrologer Donna Cunningham, who as you will see features very much in the first post in the series you will find by going through the above link.

Enjoy the browse – and many thanks, Judith, for inspiring this post!.


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1400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017/18

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

 

 

 

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 again on “Astrology: Questions and Answers”.. for my new readers. It’s been the most-read-ever article both here, and on my other blog, now an archive,  ‘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 the Underworld, Ancient Egyptian style…

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

King Solomon’s Mines

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

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….

Endnotes:

This article was most recently published on Astrodienst in 2017

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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2600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014/17/18

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