Monthly Archives: July 2016

The ethics of astrological practice: a Question needing an Answer…

I like it when the day throws up a compelling hot topic for my blog first thing – even if I am still half asleep at the time! A particular exchange of questions and answers with two commenters on this blog’s Facebook Page woke me up very quickly. (Their names have been changed)
The Zodiac

The Zodiac

Angela: Do you do astrology ?I would love to have mine done sometime but I don’t know who does it? Any ideas?
 
 Ryan: I’ve stumbled upon dozens of bloggers who give readings, you just have to look…
 
Me: Ryan, it may well be the case that one can stumble upon lots of bloggers doing readings, but Angela needs to be careful to choose someone who is well experienced and qualified, preferably with their work insured and supervised, with an adequate degree of experience in reading horoscopes, counselling training and a well developed sense of awareness of the power and responsibility that is taken on by virtue of reading people’s horoscopes.
 
Donna Cunningham, if you care to visit her excellent blog, has written about the negative and irresponsible things that some people can say when reading their fellow citizens’ charts.
It would be instructive for anyone contemplating booking a reading to go over to Donna’s blog and read about some of this alarming material, which by its existence emphasises the importance of  prospective clients choosing carefully if they wish their charts to be read constructively and responsibly.
Here is a short quote from Donna Cunningham’s 4.12.2014 post, which supports my response to Angela and to Ryan:

“…For many years, I had a monthly advice column in Dell Horoscope Magazine, a Dear Abby type column in which readers wrote their problems and I answered based on their astrology charts. Part of the job description for that column seemed to be putting out fires that other astrologers have set, for I got many letters from readers who were devastated by the way their chart reading was handled.

These letters pointed to the need for true and responsible professional training in our field and the need, especially, for a certain amount of counseling training. Like it or not, counseling is what an astrologer does each time a client comes for a reading….” from Awful Things Astrologers Say to their Clients

Anne W's Horoscope - drawn by hand!

Anne W’s Horoscope – drawn by hand!

I have been an astrology practitioner, teacher and writer for over thirty years now. However, I remain awestruck by the power that astrology holds, when used responsibly with compassion and sensitivity, to offer creative and constructive guidance to clients as their lives unfold.

It is incredibly affirming to be able to say – either directly or by inference, depending on what that particular client needs at that time – “Here is your unique little chip of the cosmos into which you were born. Use the energies therein as best you can, given the gifts and limitations we are all handed at the outset – which I will try to convey to you as honestly and constructively as possible. Try to work with those energies well enough to be able to hand your chip back with a little more light shining through it at the end of your days.”

Feeling connected to an unfolding, meaningful energy weave where each of us has a thread to contribute, is a wonderful antidote to the feelings of anomie, disconnectedness and wondedness which so many people feel at this time of great turbulence and upheaval.

However, the task of placing another person’s life in a context for them which makes their life’s current challenges easier to bear, helping them to work with often very painful circumstances as constructively as possible – how many people come for astrology readings when life is bowling smoothly along? Not many, in my experience! – is not straightforward, easy, or to be embarked upon lightly. It should not be embarked upon lightly or casually.

I can still recall, in the early days of my astrology practice, being extremely grateful that I had had a number of years of social work, psychiatric work, and counselling practice in which to ground my work as an astrologer. There is nothing quite like having to face the limitations of your capacity to help other people, which is a major dimension of social work, to ground you and keep you humble when taking upon yourself the power that being an astrologer brings.

I was fortunate enough to have been a student of Liz Greene’s for most of the 1990s. An entry requirement to study for the Diploma in Psychological Astrology which I completed in 1998, was that all students be in therapy for a year. It was made clear to us, in Liz Greene’s inimitable way, that we should not take upon ourselves the responsibility of  being astrological practitioners without having the experience of a long seat in the client’s chair ourselves.

So, Ryan, I do hope that my response to your casual comment, with which no doubt you meant no harm,  has not left you feeling too winded! And I thank you for making it, thereby giving me the opportunity to put forward my own thoughts regarding the great capacity for doing ill as well as good that astrologers take on when they read their fellow citizens’ horoscopes. “At least do no harm” is the bottom line of the medical profession. It should be ours too.

Angela, if you are reading this, do not be too put off. There are many good, competent, compassionate, realistic, empathic astrologers out there. Just take your sweet time to make sure you seek out a good one!

Zodiac

Zodiac

950 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

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

 

 

 

 

Why do TWINS hold such fascination? Astrology offers some clues…

This week, I’ve been feeling quietly pleased – and somewhat amazed– to realise that I have been running this blog now for three years. It has been a truly pleasurable experience to share some of my astrological enthusiasms, and experience gained both from client work, student teaching – and Life, the greatest teacher of all. It’s been great to have had such an enjoyable and informative dialogue with commenters, making quite a few new blogging friends along the way. Creating the Facebook Page for the blog has also brought a whole new dimension, with a whole new spectrum of readers and commenters. Thanks, everyone! Keep reading and commenting!

Here is the most popular, most widely read post of the whole three years. What is it about TWINS that fascinates us so much?

Helene’s question:

By email: 16.6.13
How does it work when you do a birth chart for twins? Or two babies born the same minute at the same hospital?  Can two people have the same horoscope!?

Twins

My Answer:

During many years of teaching astrology classes, I found that the above questions came up very frequently.

It is important at this point to emphasise to readers who are familiar only with Sun Signs that to get ‘beyond the Sun Signs’ requires an individual’s horoscope to be drawn up for the date, place AND time of birth. Human beings are complex and contradictory. It’s not possible to approach any satisfying symbolic exploration of that complexity through the Sun or Star Sign alone.

A number of years ago, I decided to address the typical questions students asked about twins (summed up by Helene’s questions here) via one of the tutorial classes I ran for my more advanced students, all of whom had a good grasp of the basics of astrology, and some of whom were already practitioners in their own right.

One student – let’s call her Anna – was the devoted aunt to a set of twins in their mid teens, a boy and a girl –  let’s call them Angus and Miriam. These two had been born less than fifteen minutes apart and had almost identical horoscopes.

I had formulated a theory about twins and astrology which I wanted to test out, so I obtained permission via Anna from Angus and Miriam’ s parents as well as the twins themselves, to calculate their horoscopes and discuss them anonymously in class.

My method was to put up on the board only one horoscope since there was so little difference between the twins’ horoscopes, and ask the students to take an hour to prepare along with me a basic outline of the key characteristics revealed by this one horoscope. We did the preparation as though we were preparing a birth chart for just one person.

The class knew nothing about either of the twins, and I asked Anna to observe us, but not to make any comments at all.

Once we had written up the outline, we spent the next hour discussing our findings with Anna, who knew her nephew and niece well.

I am writing this after a gap of about twenty years and no longer have the notes for detailed reference, so can only give a summary of the essence of what emerged from our discussion.

Anna found our summary from the one horoscope of the basic characteristics of both her nephew and niece to be very accurate. What was very clear was that certain traits were held in common, but that the rest were, as it were, divided up between the twins. To put it very simply, looking at a range of traits: 1,2,3 and 4 were recognisable in both; Miriam manifested traits 5,6 and 10 whilst Angus lived out traits 7, 8 and 9.

This very interesting and enlightening experiment does not of course constitute any kind of proof: but it bore out my impressions from reading about the similarities and differences in the lives of twins about whom I had read, as well as my own observations of twins I had come across from my own experience, as well as the few horoscope readings I had done for individuals who were twins.

What was this impression? Coming back to the analogy of the horoscope revealing the characters poised on life’s stage, waiting for the moment of birth to kick start the action of the play, it seemed that twins unconsciously chose which characters on their joint stage they were going to live out jointly – and the ones which they were going to live out separately.

The experiment which I did all those years ago with my students, Anna and her nephew and niece certainly bore out my theory….

After writing this piece I googled ‘astrology and twins’ to see what came up, and was pleased to find on my favourite astrology site, Astrodienst, that other astrologers including Dr Liz Greene had come to much the same conclusion.

As far as two people born at the same time in the same place is concerned, yes, they would in effect have the same horoscopes.  You would certainly see considerable similarities if you studied both their lives over time. But each character on the stage at a given moment in time has a range of possible modes of expression. Thus the influence of different family circumstances and different opportunities, etc, would call forth a range of possible responses from the same basic character.

To read much more on this topic, do go over to master astrologer Donna Cunningham’s  blog Sky Writer, where she has an excellent piece on the astrology of  twins.

Then come back and let me know what YOU think!

Zodiac

Zodiac

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013/2016

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

The Moon’s Nodes, Pluto, Fate and the UK’s Brexit….

I have been having an interesting exchange on Facebook today, having Shared this link, a Brexit post-mortem in which, in an open memo to the outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, former Canadian High Commissioner to the UK, Jeremy Kinsman, describes in detail just how badly the Remain campaign failed. My introductory comment was “This does not miss, at all!”

The link and my comment elicited quite a few interesting and well-informed responses. Astrologer Tony Dickey , ably illustrating the old cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words, had this to say in reply: Neither does this”. The picture below, in astrological terms, posted by Tony, certainly says it all:

(click image to enlarge) 

David Cameron the UK, the Nodes - and Pluto

David Cameron, the UK, the Nodes – and Pluto

My response to the above bi-wheel chart, in which David Cameron’s horoscope at the centre is overlaid with the Brexit announcement’s chart on the outer rim, was as follows: “Thanks very much for this, Tony. The Moon’s Nodes/Pluto double link both by transit and natally, confirms the key result of my research into the Moon’s Nodes ie that the most fated time in anyone’s life is brought by the Moon’s Nodes/Pluto combination.” To which astrologer Cindy Chapelle replied: “Interesting, Anne, Have you read Jeffrey Wolf Green’s work on Pluto and the Nodes?”

I replied thus: “Yes, a very long time ago. What I did was test out the Nodal theories (ie  re the Moon’s Nodes) of various people in the actual realities of people’s everyday lives. You can download the research free from my blogs, or via astro.com where ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’ was featured last year.”

The above exchange, coming as it does just as I was planning to post a series on the conclusions of my Moon’s Nodes research on this blog, has prompted me to offer a taster, which is highly relevant to the symbolic interplay between David Cameron’s horoscope, the Brexit announcement, and the position of the North Node at this fated moment both in David Cameron’s life and the life of the UK. Here it is, edited from pp 156 and 157:

The Moon's Nodes in Action

The Moon’s Nodes in Action

“…My research has confirmed both the traditional view of the Nodes’ connection with birth, death and rebirth, and my own impressions gained over many years’ practice…

…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….

…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…”

The most cursory of glances at Cameron’s chart at the time of the Brexit announcement vividly illustrates the validity of those conclusions, from a study conducted in the 1990s (when Cameron would not have been long out of university). There are multiple Pluto/Moon’s Node links, both natally and by transit.

It is also worth noting, chillingly, that a prominent, often angular Jupiter has been identified in the horoscopes of many Nazi leaders – it is also rising, conjunct Mars, in Tony Blair’s chart. Transiting Jupiter in the Brexit/Cameron biwheel is rising in the Twelfth House, conjunct the transiting North Node which itself is conjunct Cameron’s natal Pluto/Uranus.

This Jupiterian significator has been associated with prominent people, often ideologues, who are not only convinced (often against the advice of better informed and more pragmatic people) of their own rightness – but who are also prone to pushing their luck and thinking that they can get away with it.

The ancient Greeks had a word for this: hubris, the giving of god-like attributes to oneself. This usually led to a fall from great heights. Perhaps Mr Cameron should have read the myth of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, and thought twice about calling that referendum which has split our country apart…

Zodiac

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