Monthly Archives: June 2015

Astrology: is it a descriptive or a predictive art?

From your comments on the Facebook Page, this blog, and emails, this month of June 2015, nearly over, has been spent by lots of you in a Mercurial, Saturnian and Neptunian fog. You will have read that yours truly’s highlight – as Mercury went direct and Neptune turned retro – was almost being blown up during a domestic gas leak whilst engaged in a podiatry session, which we completed on the pavement outside our building. I don’t give up easily…

A consequence of a period of exceptional fogginess and disruption was that I missed a very important anniversary. Two years ago, on 1st of June 2013, was the date of my first post on Astrology: Questions and Answers.

This new blog was birthed in May 2013 on a page on  Glasgow, Scotland,UK’s popular West End Website, a brilliant local community resource. However, the response via questions and comments was so positive that I decided to set up a whole blog dedicated to Astrology Questions and Answers. Here, then, to celebrate our second anniversary, is the very first question, which is having its very first airing on this site, having first appeared on the West End Website. Enjoy, and many thanks to all you readers, commenters, emailers and questioners for making those first two years such fun!

Questions, cosmic questions!

Questions, cosmic questions!

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

……from Linda Leinen, USA…….and my favourite blogger, at the wonderful 

The Task At Hand.

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

Descriptive

 A properly drawn up horoscope using your date, place, and time of birth can allow me to provide you with a clear description of the characters who are acting out the play of your particular life, to use a familiar but useful analogy.The Sun represents only one character, thereby revealing right away how limited popular Sun Sign astrology is. The other characters are represented by the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (for latest on this contested planet’s status, click HERE ).

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

Charles Dickens

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

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

Thus, as an astrologer, I am working with explaining and discussing a number of different levels of manifestation which can and do arise from each symbol. Your birth horoscope is determined by your date, place and time of birth – factors over which we apparently have no control. This can be seen as the fated dimension.

But what you do with those energies depends to a considerable degree (impossible to work out exactly – no wonder reductionist science finds astrology so provoking!) on the levels of conscious self awareness you bring to the choices you make as life unfolds. Therein free will probably lies….

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

Predictive

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

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

Speculation, Mediaeval Style

Speculation, Mediaeval Style

 A simplified example: Venus in your natal horoscope represents relationship(s). The planet Uranus represents the urge to break down old patterns and is unpredictable, disruptive in its impact. If this planet is going to be exactly engaging with your natal Venus, eg for the whole of 2015, then I think you can work out without me telling you that this will not be the most peaceful uneventful year in your relationship life!

I can in this way predict the core of Uranus’ (or any planet’s) impact on any part of a client’s horoscope.Working out what the branches of manifestation arising from that core might be, however, is not something which can be done exactly. Of a few guesses, one might be accurate. Then there is the danger to the client that if I choose a specific branch which I think might manifest, this could well collapse a whole range of possible outcomes into one only. In this way, I as the astrologer may be helping self-fulfilling prophecy along the way.

Personally, I think it is sufficient to describe the core manifestation of a planet’s impact, and work with the person regarding how best to use this information.

A concluding observation on prediction. It is an inexact pursuit for all who attempt it, from economists through weather forecasters through astrologers.The latter failed to spot that World War Two was about to break out, for example, although there are many examples of astrologers delivering exactly the right level at which energies would manifest (ask google about this, especially the famous prediction about the death of Henry the Second of France….).

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

Zodiac

Zodiac

******

1050 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Mercury stations – enter domestic mayhem!

At this moment, with Mercury preparing to resume direct motion at 11.35pm BST on Thursday 11th June, I am sitting writing in my Glasgow office – wondering whether we will be spending the night here…. No matter how long one has been studying and practising astrology, there are times when its accuracy in describing the prevailing energy field of a given time period is simply breathtaking. So – sit back, fasten your seatbelts, and let me present you a case in point!

This is what I wrote on this blog’s Facebook Page on the evening of Tuesday 9th June : “Well, is everyone looking forward to Mercury resuming direct motion, at 11.35pm BST on Thursday 11th June? Or are you now – like me – too spaced out to care much? Tomorrow and Thursday sees our local Electricity Board replacing an electrical cable in our building, then linking it to the supply of each of our community’s ten flats.

I can barely contain my enthusiasm about this…how many bets that the whole job will go smoothly? No, I thought there wouldn’t be many! We are due to have our supply cut off from 830 am to 430 pm tomorrow (10th) and Thursday (11th) so that essential work as described above can be completed. Somehow, I don’t get the feeling that the Electricity Board knows anything at all about Mercury Retrograde…. Watch this space!…”

I just KNEW there would be complications, with the current planetary pattern linking Mercury with the prevailing Saturn/Neptune square…I just didn’t realise how bad it would get…

Mercury Direct Glasgow UK

Mercury Direct Glasgow UK

Day One went ok, apart from the Electricity Board’s workers discovering that “the wrong kind of scaffolding” had been erected on our third floor landing ( the building has four floors). This means that the job cannot be completed in the two days stated. So the whole rigmarole of alerting and informing all of us in writing, with accompanying instructions, arbitrary date and attendant inconvenience will have to be gone through all over again at some hitherto unknown date.

Day Two...well…picture the scene. Our podiatrist Lydia visited us this morning, weaving her way up through the building site that is our close in order to get to us. She had done Ian’s feet, and was half way through doing mine, when Ian burst into the room. “We all have to vacate the building, NOW!” he shouted. “There’s a gas scare!”. The strong odour of gas accompanied us as we hastily grabbed a few essentials for the day, Lydia hastily packing up her podiatry equipment as she ran.

Gas was pouring from the wall outside our second floor neighbour’s door. On the street, surrounded by neighbours, curious passers-by and stunned-looking Electricity Board workers, we discovered that they had accidentally sliced through a gas pipe which they had not expected would be embedded in the wall.

The emergency gas services had been alerted and half an hour later were allegedly on their way. There was absolutely nothing we could do, apart from pray that a random spark – the electricity supply apparently could not be turned off since it was too risky – would not result in our building being blown up.

I am not a person who panics in an emergency, or gives up easily (thanks, Mercury/Saturn/Pluto!). I turned to Lydia, who was standing beside her car on the pavement opposite our house. “Shall we finish the job?” She is not a giver-upper either. So I sat on the driver’s seat, feet resting on Lydia’s knees as she balanced herself on the pavement and coolly carried on beautifying my feet – quite a task at the best of times, it has to be said!!

We attracted quite a bit of  passer-by attention – I’m a Leo, no problem there! – and a very kind, chatty lady from the next street offered us coffee and a seat in her garden for the rest of the day, if we were going to remain homeless. So kind! Emergencies do indeed bring out the best in some people. In the course of our conversation I did such a good PR job for Lydia and her podiatry skills that the lady went away happily with one of her cards, promising to book a session for her son, a sufferer from bad feet.

The neighbours, who know me well enough to expect occasional bouts of left-field entertainment, were most diverted by all this from our collective worry that the building might blow up. It still might…but it hadn’t done so by the time the emergency services at last arrived, and Lydia, Ian and me went on our respective ways.

Being an astrologer, of course, absolutely everything no matter how dire is a potential astro-learning experience. You could scarcely make this one up: stationary Mercury square Neptune and Saturn: sliced-through gas pipe and interrupted podiatry session. Moon in Aries applying to the Uranus/Pluto square from Aries to Capricorn – threat of gas explosion in building.

Well,  I do hope you have found this dramatic tale interesting! I’d love to hear how any of my Readers have fared during these few days. Do let us all know! And I will post an update on this blog’s Facebook Page. Will we have a home to go to tonight? Watch this space…

Zodiac

Zodiac

******

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page