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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 Third 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

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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

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450 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Some thoughts on prediction…

Prediction post-mortems have abounded throughout all media in the wake of the shock result of the USA election which will see Donald Trump inaugurated as 45th President in January 2017. A large majority of astrologers predicted a Hillary Clinton win. She DID win the popular vote, by a majority of 1.4 million according to the most recent reliable estimates. But Trump secured the Presidency, thanks to the Electoral College results. So – were the astrologers’ predictions of a Clinton win right, or were they wrong? 

Mulling over this conundrum, I thought it might be of interest to repost an article I wrote some years ago on the topic of prediction. Let me know what YOU think!

Mediaeval Stargazers

Mediaeval Stargazers

The question of whether it is possible to foretell the future is one which has preoccupied humans ever since we evolved into self-conscious beings and began to conceptualise past, present, and future — now thought to be around 80,000 years ago. Prediction has been around for a long time. Economists do it. Weather forecasters do it. Politicians do it. Physicists do it. Futurologists do it.

Most of the foregoing predictors direct scorn and derision at the people who have done it for longer than anyone else: astrologers.

There is several thousand years’ worth of recorded empirical evidence — much of it stored on clay tablets, as yet undeciphered, in the basements of museums across the world — demonstrating that the movements of  the planets in our solar system correlate with particular shifts in “the affairs of men” (Shakespeare’s term, not mine!).

This empirical observation continues into the present day in the consulting rooms of astrologers across the world. For example, a number of politicians and economists consult astrologers regularly. They are mostly unwilling to admit it, though we astrologers know who they are!

What we can, and cannot, do

Both astrologers and astronomers, via planetary observation, can look at and correctly plot the unfolding pattern of energies through space-time. After that, astrologers step into a different realm than that of observation of the external, material, planetary world. By looking at a section of any points or moments of the past, present, or future via a horoscope, they can examine the essence of that moment in terms of its meaning, and speculate with moderate accuracy about what some of the branches manifesting in the wider world, or in individuals’ lives, may be.

What they can’t do is to see exactly, and with consistency, how those branches are going to manifest. Historically, our track record on hindsight is much better than it is on foresight!

There have been some spectacularly accurate predictions made by astrologers in the public realm over the centuries; a famous one was made by Luc Gauricus in 1555 to the effect that King Henry II of France (then aged thirty-seven) was in danger of death in his forty-second year, by a head injury incurred in single combat in an enclosed space. And five years later Henry duly died of a lance splinter which entered his eyes and pierced his brain.

There have also been some spectacular failures, e.g., to predict that the Munich agreement of 1938 would lead to World War II.

A new model slowly emerging

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; 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 Armand Diaz, Kieron Le Grice and Bernadette Brady — have been of inestimable value to me. I urge any readers of this blog who are keen to expand their own perspectives to explore their work.

Consciousness holds the key

My view, based on my personal experiences and those of clients and students over 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. 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.

My personal prediction story

Having just made what I hope is a coherent case for specific prediction being a practice of dubious merit and only intermittent accuracy, here is my own striking experience of being on the receiving end of a specific prediction I never asked for, at a time when I was a typical astrology dismisser, i.e, I considered that astrology was rubbish without ever having taken the trouble to study it.

Bath, Somerset, England, June 1974: I was engrossed in the Sunday evening chore of doing washing in the launderette on the London Road, near where I lived. It was a liminal time in my life. After having resigned from a lecturing job, I was preparing to leave Bath. A return to the Outer Hebrides was imminent.

A strange looking couple came in, accompanied by a little girl of about five years old. The woman was tall, slender, with long dark hair, a very scruffy Afghan coat, and a distinct look of Cher (of Sonny and Cher fame). The man was smaller than her, slight, with unruly greying hair and a mischievous face.

I carried on with my laundry. The little girl was chatty; soon, she was putting money into the dryer for me, I was telling her stories, and we had become great friends. I met her parents. They were both artists and astrologers. (note:“Seamus” and “Gloria” are fictitious names.)

“Not the kind who do that stuff you see in the papers,” said Seamus scornfully, having noted the fleeting look of disdain which crossed my face at the mention of the word astrology. (I had given one of my mature students a very hard time a couple of years before for her public devotion to what seemed to me a subject unworthy of someone of her intelligence.) Seamus said, “We are the real thing.”

Twenty minutes later, I was sitting in their cramped basement kitchen, drinking tea, and being charmed by Seamus. His combination of erudition, intensity, conviction, humour, and blarney was irresistible.

An unsuspecting client . . .

“Do you know your birth time?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied. “Why are you interested in that?”
“Because I am going to draw up your horoscope”, he replied. Whether I wanted such a procedure embarked upon or not was of no consequence to him. So slain was I by his charm that I didn’t offer any resistance.

As I watched, interested in spite of myself, Gloria and Seamus assembled a hefty tome, a slim pamphlet, blank sheets of paper, a calculator, a fountain pen, and a newly sharpened pencil. The tome was an ephemeris, they informed me —  a list of the planets’ placements everyday at noon for the whole of the 20th century.

Seamus took a blank sheet, carefully drawing a circle freehand in its centre. He then proceeded with great rapidity and fluency to insert squiggles — “Planets!” — and numbers around the inner edge of the circle. He then drew lines within a smaller inner circle — “Aspects, or links between the planets at the time you were born.” He and Gloria then sat back, gazing with silent preoccupation at the image they had created.

Anne W's Horoscope - drawn by hand!

Anne W’s Horoscope

I can still recall very, very clearly what followed.

Seamus, looking at his drawing and only briefly at me, gave an astonishingly accurate description of my father’s complex, domineering, idiosyncratic and wayward character. That was bad enough, not least because it reminded me of certain aspects of myself! Worse was to follow.

“You are a person rich with creative gifts,” he said. “But you need to know and face more clearly the more difficult facets of your own nature. It’s time to do that, since you are approaching 30 and your Saturn Return.” With that, he forensically summed up those parts of myself which I knew were there, but had tried very hard to avoid facing or admitting to anyone — a very common and human failing that Saturn transits expose and challenge on a cyclic basis throughout our lives. I was feeling by this time as though I’d been hit on the side of the head with a sock full of sand.

Then, with true rhetorical skill, he delivered the punch line. “You tell me you are a total sceptic now,” he said. “But stop fooling yourself. You have a deeply spiritual nature, which needs to find meaning and connection with something greater than yourself. Until you manage that, you will be driven by the same restlessness that still drives your father, and you will not find inner peace.”

There was a long pause.

“And I can see, from where the planets will be in about seven years’ time, that the Big Picture is going to come seriously calling at your door. In your early thirties, you’re going to end up either doing what I’m doing now, or something very like it.”

I was utterly shocked. I had known those people for less than an hour, most of which had been spent walking back from the launderette to their flat and organising cups of tea. They knew nothing about me of any significance. How could they produce such specific and accurate material from marks on a piece of paper? I couldn’t even begin to get my head round the prediction. It seemed beyond absurd.

Slowly, I carried my laundry home. There was no way I could find to make sense of the experience I had just had. There was no file inside my head into which it could fit.

Seven years later

Seven years later, a friend gave me a copy of Alan Oken’s ‘Complete Astrology’. I had no idea why, but had enough respect for that friend and his opinions to begin reading. About three pages in, I had the strangest sensation of someone pulling me into the book, saying “Come here, you’re for me…” I still have this battered old copy with my signature on it — February 1981.

And my transits at the time? The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Libra exactly conjunct natal 2nd-house Neptune and exactly sextile natal 11th-house Mercury (my ruling planet); Uranus crossing the natal IC; Neptune beginning a long opposition to the natal 10th-house Uranus-Mars conjunction, and trine to the natal 12th-house Sun; Pluto trine natal Uranus and sextile natal Sun; North Node conjunct natal Mercury. A summons, pretty much . . .

In February 1981, that prediction, (which I had never quite forgotten), and the feeling of fascination, compulsion, and exhilaration which Alan Oken’s book triggered in me came together in a way that has profoundly shaped the whole of my subsequent life.

Concluding thoughts

It’s good for us all — especially people like me, with seven planets in fixed signs! — to get jolted out of our positions now and then by experiences that don’t fit our frames of reference. Hopefully, the jolt will have the effect of breaking down some of our old defences and letting new experience and new knowledge enter our lives.

I re-interpreted Seamus’ prediction in the light of my own subsequent astrological knowledge; it was pretty obvious by then how he had got there, as was the timing of it.

I still think about the encounter with him, his child, and partner over 40 years later. Did his prediction, at some subliminal level, point my life in a direction that it would not otherwise have gone? I will never know. But I do know, as a result of our encounter, that whatever my reservations are about the wisdom of offering such specific outcomes to people, astrologers sometimes have the power to do just that.

Whether they should do it is another issue altogether!

Astrology Consultation

Postscript:

Yesterday, I read a most interesting editorial by Edward Snow, on the excellent Astrology News Service, which had this concluding comment from astrologer Armand Diaz which I thought I’d share, since it illustrates my own belief:

“As an astrologer, I often think of the story of King Croesus, who asked the oracle at Delphi if he should attack Persia. ‘If you do,’ the priestess replied, speaking for the god Apollo, ‘a great kingdom will fall.’

“Enthused, Croesus attacked, and indeed a great kingdom fell – his own. I take that story as a reminder that there is always something mysterious and unknowable, a trickster’s play, running through the Cosmos,” Diaz said.

Amen to that…

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Endnotes

An earlier  version of this article was posted on The Mountain Astrologer blog on 28.8.2013

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Zodiac

2,500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Astrology Student Conference 2017: the 10th anniversary special!

I don’t know about you – but my thoughts  are beginning to turn to what inspiring pleasures 2017 may hold. After the year it’s been, we certainly need some inspiration! One for my diary, and hopefully some of my students, is a very special astro-event which I’m delighted to promote here. 

The Zodiac

Last June 2016, I had the great pleasure of attending, along with two of my students, the 9th Annual Astrology Student Conference, ably organised and run in central London by UK astrologers, writers and teachers Frank Clifford and Wendy Stacey. It was a truly pleasurable event, as this comment from one of my students, Kathleen, made clear:

“ In February, when Anne mentioned the Astrology Student Conference, its location sold it to me. Covent Garden. Shops, galleries, restaurants. I’d attend what I fancied from the programme and slope off for the rest. That chocolate box picker approach went out the window when I got there. Although the talks varied in relevance and engagement for me, I just didn’t budge. For the full two days. I’ll be back next June…”

A strength of the conference programme lay in its broad appeal: each of the varied selection of  topics, as befitted a student gathering, offered an introduction to a whole sphere of astrology. At the same time practitioners of varying degrees of experience and knowledge had an opportunity to revisit already familiar topics from a different angle, or indeed to delve into entirely unfamiliar territory.

The June 2017  Astrology Student Conference takes place in London, in the comfortable and very central location once again of Brown’s Hotel, Covent Garden.  It’s an extra special occasion, this being the Conference’s 10th Anniversary: to mark it, Frank and Wendy have organised a line -up of world-class speakers including Tad Mann, Lee Lehman, Komilla Sutton, Bernadette Brady and Darby Costello.

Looks like an unmissable event, folks! See you there…

Check out the programme below for full details:

10th Astrology Student Conference

Astrology Student Conference 2017

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

 

Scorpio’s Season: a meditation on darkness, power and poetry ….

 What better glass, darkly, through which to view life’s fleeting nature, its fathomless depths, than that of the sign of Scorpio?

Scorpio New Moon

Scorpio New Moon

Now is Scorpio’s season

The thirty degree band of the sky as viewed from Earth, occupying from 240 to 270 degrees of the 360 degree zodiac, is the sector called Scorpio, the beginning of the final quarter of the zodiacal year. The Sun, our marker for the unfolding of the year and the changing of the seasons, entered Scorpio this year on the 22nd October, and leaves it for Sagittarius on the 21st November – heading for Capricorn and the winter Solstice on 21st December: the Sun’s most remote point for us in the North.

The astronomy leads us to the symbolic meaning of Scorpio. It is the time of late autumn: in this season the clocks go back, making darkness come earlier. It is the time of grass dying off, trees being stripped bare of leaves, a time of retreat: warmer clothes, more heating, putting things off, often, “….until the New Year”. Energy is lower. Winter flu scythes away many of our old folk. In Greek myth, the goddess Demeter goes into mourning for her beloved daughter Persephone, abducted to his Underworld realm by Hades, king of darkness. The Upper world mourns with her.

A Scorpio poet’s view

However – descent into darkness harbours its own deep, creative purpose. The Scottish poet Christopher Whyte, born with several planets in Scorpio, expresses that purpose with profound eloquence in this extract from his poem Rex Tenebrarum (King of Darkness), an English translation by the poet himself of a poem written in Scottish Gaelic:

……How heavy the earth is above the seed

that struggles and thrusts, looking for nourishment

from the sun, and showers to freshen it!

But if it wasn’t rooted in the darkness,

in a warm, enclosed place filled with worms,

it could do nothing with air or light…..

King of the darkness, king of the world,

when I saw two faces in the mirror

superimposed, made one, I understood

that you have to be reconciled.

Unless the sapling knows

where its roots are sunk, and the whole

plant admits that life

and nourishment come from darkness;

unless it has unequivocal

love for what bore and raised it

how can there be a rich

summer flowering for our hopes? “

The astrological writer Paul Wright reveals in his fine, acclaimed book  The Literary Zodiac, the way in which “writers express cosmic patterns in their creative work….”In the above extract Christopher Whyte’s deep roots in the sign of Scorpio have enabled him powerfully and accurately to capture and express the essence of that sector’s meaning and challenge to us.

All powerfully charged dimensions of life belong to Scorpio: that stage of the human journey challenges us with those facets of life which most powerfully compel us, attract us, repel us, scare us – and transform us.

Another poet very strongly rooted in the sign of  Scorpio, Dylan Thomas, talks about ‘deaths and entrances’.  Thomas was born, fittingly, in Scorpio’s season: on the 27th October 1914, the year of the start of the Great War.

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.

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What does this New Moon, ushering in Scorpio’s season, mean to you? Do share your thoughts and feelings!

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Christopher Whyte 2011

Christopher Whyte

Christopher Whyte has translated Rilke, Tsvetaeva and Pasolini into English. He published four novels between 1995 and 2000 and his fifth poetry collection, in Scottish Gaelic, appeared in 2013. His translation of the work of the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) “Moscow in the Plague Year” was published in 2014 (New York, Archipelago Press 2014). He lives in Budapest, Hungary and writes full-time.

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Zodiac

700 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Christopher Whyte 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Hallowe’en drama: all fall down!

Yes, I know, this is  very definitely an astrology blog. However, it is almost Hallowe’en, and everyone loves a creepy tale. Knowing how discerning my readers are (a little flattery goes a long way, does it not?!) I decided to add astrological legitimacy by looking up my transits today for the time of the tale I’m about to tell... Well!… Transiting Pluto was triggering my natal Mercury/Neptune sextile, sitting right on natal Neptune. Transiting Mars trine Uranus was triggering natal Mars, as Mars returned to its natal place in the 10th house. And – transiting North Node conjuncted my third house Jupiter in Scorpio. The astrological stage was set, although I knew no astrology at the time...

Fly-by-Night

Fly-by-Night

This very spooky Hallowe’en story is set towards the end of  my restless twenties, a period where I earned my living as an adult education teacher. Here, I learn with my students that many an episode in this life of ours lacks a rational explanation….

Ever on the move, I had just given up a full time post as a college lecturer in scenic Wiltshire, England, UK,  to “be a writer”, returning to my native island to do so. However, living with my parents, a mutually unsatisfactory arrangement, was followed by my moving to a small Scottish town that autumn to live with a poet friend who had a creative writing fellowship at the local university. Sharing her house, I hoped, would provide an appropriate creative stimulus. It certainly provided more than a few hangovers!

With my usual facility for obtaining employment in those days, I soon had several part-time teaching jobs including a few hours a week teaching drama, having acquired such experience “on the hoof” in my last full-time job, officially teaching English to A level students. The new drama teacher had failed to turn up at the beginning of term, and my head of department had assigned me the job thus: “You seem the dramatic type, Anne. I’m sure you’d love a weekly Drama class….”

Back then, education was a much more laid back and less regulated pursuit than it is now!

Hallowe’en that year thus found me teaching a Thursday twilight drama class from 4.30 to 6.00 pm in a fairly new brick and glass college building situated on a hill with stunning views out to sea.  The drama studio was a great space to work in: a clear light empty area with polished wood floors and a couple of heavy, six or seven foot high wooden stage sets free standing at the back wall.

I was sitting in a circle on the floor on the opposite side of the studio, with a class of lively young women in their late teens – working with them was exhilarating and fun. Through the huge picture window we could see the city of Dundee spread out below us, the local river, the ‘silvery Tay’, catching late glimmers of waning light. Outside was a clear night with a hint of autumnal frost. Inside, the studio was quiet, warm and low lit.

Hallowe'en

Hallowe’en

It being Hallowe’en, I decided to set aside our usual programme, asking them if they would like to tell spooky stories instead. They enthusiastically agreed. I no longer recall what order we worked in, nor what the stories were. Most of the girls had a strange tale to tell, then it was over to me.

“Go on, Miss, tell us one of yours !”

I can no longer remember whether I told them one of the chilling stories  handed down by my mother from her side of the family, or whether it was one of my own experiences. But I do recall with vivid clarity what occurred next. At the climax of my creepy tale, both the stage sets fell forward, clattering onto the bare floor of the studio with a deafening crash…..

After we had recovered somewhat from our shock and fright, the students and I went over to examine the stage sets. With some difficulty, since they were heavy and hard to manoeuvre, we restored them to upright positions. They were perfectly stable. There was absolutely no reason why they should have fallen over, none at all. There had been no vibrations, or wind. It was not possible for someone to have come into the studio without our noticing. Had anyone been hiding in the studio and pushed the stage sets over, they could not have got out without being seen.

Subdued and silent, we left to go home in a tight little group, furtively glancing behind us until we reached the comfort of the well-lit streets. I would be willing to bet that none of those present with me that night have ever forgotten it!

******

To read more ‘weird’ experiences, check out my recently updated memoir

“Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness : an open-minded take on paranormal experience” 

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

The Moon’s Nodes: should we bother? The Moon’s Nodes Part 5

To gain the most from the Moon’s Nodes series, please do read Part 1,  Part 2 , Part 3 and Part 4  

And now, Part Five…

5. How significant is the Nodal Axis?

I started out on my research with certain questions:

How significant is the Nodal axis? Are astrologers missing something really important by not delineating it in their readings, both natally and in terms of its transiting cycle? Does it say something specific? Or does it act as a reinforcer for information about a person’s life pattern which can be derived from other chart factors? 

 I think I have demonstrated quite clearly that the Nodes and their attendant planetary/Angular links can be used on their own to sketch out a clear picture of the basic structure of a person’s life path and the archetypal energies which need to be responded to and brought into the journey, for that person to be all they can be.

It appears that some lives are more touched by the hand of Fate than others. It seems that strong outer planet links, especially Pluto’s conjunctions or squares to the natal Nodal axis, and strong prevailing major patterns eg Uranus conjunct Pluto opposite Saturn conjunct Chiron linked to the Nodes, bring some people a more challenging and Fate-directed life than others. Mary Shelley’s chart is a very good example of this, with Uranus, dispositor of Pluto conjunct MC, conjunct her Sun and square her Nodal axis.

I have distinguished between minor and major Nodal activity in transits and progressions, and demonstrated that the major effect is what appears to be present when turning points occur. This would suggest that in contemplating the unfolding picture of a person’s life, the combination of Nodal activity with the foreground presence of outer planets, especially Pluto, points out that something really special is going on and should be carefully noted.

I also asked whether astrologers are missing something important by not paying attention to the Nodes, natally and as life unfolds. I think the answer to this is yes, with particular reference to the transiting Nodal cycle and the eclipse seasons which accompany them. The pair of houses highlighted by the transiting Nodal axis and eclipses should be carefully observed, especially if the pre-natal eclipse degrees crop up in the form of a returning eclipse, or a current eclipse is triggering natal patterns linked in to either of the pre-natal eclipses.

I appreciate that we all need to earn our living and there are a multiplicity of interpretive factors available which would take all day to prepare if they were to be included in every reading. We have to be selective.

But having done this research, I think that, in preparing a reading, if the clustering effect I have been discussing is in evidence, it is important to pay particular attention to that person’s natal Nodal pattern and the current Nodal/eclipse picture.

The client is then likely to be bringing matters of a life-changing nature to us for discussion, which offers us roles both as observers and midwives; human agents in the here-and-now of those mysterious ‘watchers by the threshold‘ whose numinous presence in our lives is symbolically represented by the Moon’s Nodes in Action.

You are most welcome to download the full research study from which my conclusions are taken: it is FREE but if you wish to give a charitable donation as a thank-you, that would be most welcome!

The Moon's Nodes in Action

Download moons-nodes-book-7:16 now [3.27 MB PDF]

Zodiac

Zodiac

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

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