Monthly Archives: November 2014

The art and practice of astrology: educating the dismissers!

As those of you who follow both this blog and Writing from the Twelfth House will know, I returned in May 2012 to my astrology practice after a very long sabbatical. It is great to be back. And even better to be back teaching, after a small group of my former students asked me – so persuasively that I could not refuse – to set up a ‘refresher’ class for them. We began in late August 2014 ( just as my progressed Moon moved into Aquarius: how literal is that?! ) and are all loving the experience.

It’s been challenging and satisfying to bring many of the insights gained from those ‘retreat’ years of  reading and reflection, into my renewed astrology practice and teaching. I have greatly benefitted from the work of open-minded contemporary scientists, and the developing discipline of archetypal cosmology into which archetypal astrology neatly fits, in conveying to both clients and students at least some of the excitement I feel in realising that there is a new paradigm emerging.

Reaching well beyond the reductionist limitations of materialism, that ancient tenet “As above, so below” is being reframed for our contemporary world – to include astrological symbolism as a valid model for explaining in non-material terms how our world works.

However, in the meantime, in the ‘real’ world, what do we do to counter the Skeptics (sadly, that excellent word “sceptical” has in recent years acquired a very narrow meaning) who dismiss astrology as rubbish? As an aside, I returned very happily to work with my former supervisor, whom I have now known for over 20 years. She remarked to me “Well, Anne, we were regarded as weird before you went into your retreat period. I can assure you that we are regarded as even more weird now!”  

Personally, I have never had much of a problem with this. If challenged, I make a clear distinction between the entertainment wing of our art to which Sun Sign astrology belongs, and the in-depth stuff astrologers practice which crucially depends on date, place and precise time of birth.

If the dismisser persists, I then very politely but persistently enquire for how long that person has actually studied the astrology about which I am talking. When they either directly or by evasion/omission admit that they are dismissing that of which they know nothing, I then suggest –with continuing politeness, since this is crucial – that they go away, do some in-depth study for a few years and then by all means return to the discussion.

This approach has always worked very well for me. Perhaps having my ruling planet Mercury in close conjunction with an exact Saturn/Pluto conjunction, all squared by a third house Jupiter, has something to do with it!

I would be very interested to have some feedback from my readers and Followers regarding their experience of this situation. Do leave a comment with your stories!

Whatever our experience or length of immersion in astrology and its practice, we all need a bit of help in presenting our great subject in an informed and well-thought out way to the world at large, which is often either ignorant, hostile or both. And  brilliant new book has just appeared which will help us to do just that. Here to introduce the book is Armand Diaz, books and articles editor for the Astrological News Service, a joint project of NCGR, ISAR, and AFAN:

Astrology Considered

Astrology Considered

“…Enter Astrology Considered: A Thinking Person’s Guide, a compilation of articles from the Astrology News Service (ANS), an organization devoted to publicizing the true value of astrology. Astrology Considered offers a variety of perspectives on contemporary astrology that show astrology is not a simplistic system but a sophisticated way of viewing intrapersonal, interpersonal, and global dynamics. Happily, it is also an easy read for those who do not speak the sometimes-complex astrological language….”

I have immediately put this book on my Christmas Wish List, and will be sharing the details with my students when I meet with them next week. I do hope lots of you reading this post will follow the link above, and take advantage of a very special offer! And on a practical note, for UK readers the book is available now on Amazon UK, both as Paperback and Kindle Editions.  And many, many thanks to ANS for producing this wonderful-looking collection.




700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


As Neptune turns direct, some thoughts on interconnectedness…

One of the many intriguing things I have found about astrology is this: even when you are not being particularly attentive to exactly what is going on with the planets, you are still living out the energy patterns they describe in symbolic terms.

During my long 2001-8 retreat, when I simply did not have the physical energy to engage with astrology’s power ( does this sound strange? That’s exactly what it felt like ) I did not practice as an astrologer and rarely looked at an Ephemeris, although I maintained an interest in the subject in which I had been immersed for the preceding twenty years.

Nevertheless, there were certain days when I would feel energies which I could only express in planetary terms, would check the Ephemeris, and sure enough my felt sense of eg Mars crossing my Descendant (stay out of my way today, friends and partner!), or the Moon triggering my Saturn/Pluto conjunction (ouch!) would prove to be correct. This used to make me smile wryly and say to myself : ‘Well, you may take the girl out of Astrology, but taking Astrology out of the girl is another matter altogether!’

Today I have had a similar experience. It has felt right in the last couple of days to begin to move forward in promoting my memoir and analysis of thirty years’ paranormal experiences, ‘Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness’; I have begun asking Friends and colleagues as well as astrology students past and current, for some help in PR which I am not best at doing.

I wondered why this felt like the right time to be embarking on the task of promoting this piece of work: I wrote the book from my conviction that it is important for all of us who know we live in a multi-levelled, interconnected Universe to speak out against the stance Scientism, and its offshoot Skepticism takes, ie that anything which cannot be explained in reductionist terms not only does not exist, but cannot exist.

“I wonder when Neptune turns direct?” I thought this morning. “It feels like that kind of energy right now.” Neptune has been transiting my Sixth house of work, health and service for a very long time and is due to cross into the upper hemisphere of my horoscope over the next couple of years. So I checked the Ephemeris: Neptune moves so slowly that I don’t check its daily position very often.

Sure enough, Neptune turns direct tomorrow…..and Neptune as we all know is the planet which connects us to the mysterious, ineffable, spiritual and symbolic dimensions of our existence.

Have any of my readers had similar experiences which they would like to share? I would be most interested to hear from you!




400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page