Monthly Archives: February 2017

All Scorpios: look away now!

It’s now almost the end of February – anyone else delighted? Don’t all shout YES as once – and as I celebrate the return of vibrantly fresh daffodils to our local Botanic Gardens, I can detect an improvement in my very grumpy, ‘blanket over the head’ mood of recent weeks. So – I thought I’d continue with my ‘cheering up my readers’ mission ( thanks for your response to my ’20 Questions and a Selfie’ post: the bacon sandwich writer’s bribery tip got a lot of you going!) by sharing my favourite astrology cartoon. It’s a reminder to us all, astrologers or not, that we should not take ourselves TOO seriously…

With apologies to Scorpios...

With apologies to Scorpios…

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 lorry”.

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 lorry awaits…

Zodiac

Zodiac

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200 words copyright Anne Whitaker/2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

20 questions and a selfie: A day in the life of 12th house astrologer Anne Whitaker

 Whilst I am in hiding in my office, catching up on deadlines, I thought it might be fun to republish this interview conducted two years ago between me and that excellent writers’ site ” Stuff Writers Like” : it’s one of the most enjoyable interviews I have done to date. Any comments welcome!
And yes, I know I look like a mad escapee from somewhere,  in this photo, but it’s the only selfie I’ve ever done. …over to you, Editor Gary:
For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with Anne Whitaker, astrologer, writer, teacher and mentor.
Anne Whitaker - hiding in the hills...

Anne Whitaker – hiding in the hills…

Though the uninitiated may be intimidated by, if not downright skeptical of, the apparent mysticism of astrology, Anne’s practical approach makes learning and interpreting the signs of the zodiac more accessible, even to a complete novice. Her qualitative research reveals fascinating and compelling correlations, if not causality, between planetary cycles and psychological, physiological and social change.

Almost from the outset, I became utterly captivated by astrological symbolism. Captivated by its ability to reveal the relationship between that tiny, vital spark of an ordinary human life and those bigger pictures of family, nation, culture,” she writes.

“Realising the profound weave which exists between the symbolic and practical manifestations of every kind of life on Earth, I was awestruck.”

You can connect with Anne on Twitter @annewhitaker and on her website, www.anne-whitaker.com. ( 2017: now an archive, folks – but lots of interesting articles there on a variety of topics. My main site is the one you’re on, ie http://www.astrologyquestionsandanswers.com

Our 20 questions with Anne start now:

1) What is your full name?

Anne Whitaker

2) What is your professional job title?

Writer, Teacher, Mentor, Astrologer

3) Describe your organization.

Writing from the Twelfth House is a one-woman band where I do all the things I love to do—and get paid!

4) Describe your surroundings right now.

three floors up in a handsome Victorian red sandstone tenement, listening to the river flowing below us. Hand clutching teacup. Biscuit.

5) What was your first paid writing gig?

“How I was left on the shelf and found true happiness” for the West Lothian Courier’s Spring Brides feature. “Unromantic” said the editor.

6) What was the last thing you wrote?

“How to travel without going anywhere…if Kant could do it, why not you?” for www.anne-whitaker.com

7) What is the next thing you plan to write?

Immediate present: haven’t a clue, but will by tomorrow. Long term plan: writing my fourth book, on the theme of “Descent and Return…”

8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …

to wake up at 5.00 am, unable to sleep, so that I can get up and have two hours’ peace and quiet, listening to the river and writing …

9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?

A brass Moon calendar carriage clock, a miniature of Rodin’s “Thinker”, two digestive biscuits, mug of tea, box of tissues, heaps of clutter

10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?

A crispy bacon sandwich, lashings of butter wrapped in foil, left to cool on my laptop overnight. Not allowed to open until 500 words written

11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …

reductionist scientists banging on about how nothing can possibly exist outwith the remit of our five senses and the material world …

12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?

Up to date and synched laptop, IPad, IPhone. Social media especially Facebook and Twitter. Great backup from expert local web company

13) First book that comes to mind? Go!

Stoner” by novelist John Williams. Wonderfully well written, poignant, elegiac depiction of a quietly heroic life. Reading it just now.

14) What are your favorite smartphone apps and why?

Ibooks to carry reading around and read anything, anywhere. The Night Sky to stretch my imagination. TimePassages to check daily planets

15) What have you always wanted to write?

a book of people’s experiences of the ‘dark night of the soul’ which links with ancient myths of descent and return, affirming myth’s value

16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?

Read widely and daily if possible. Write every day. Have a JFDI notice clearly displayed (JUST F—ing DO IT!) Keep a journal. Persevere!!

17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!

Terry Pratchett. I love his mad Discworld for light relief reading—favourite character is the orangutan librarian at the Unseen University

18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …

that the world of the imagination which I can enter whenever I like is totally uncluttered by the hassles, and limitations, of everyday life

19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?

I just LOVE Faber-Castell pencils, the ones with rubbers that really work on the end, are a delight to hold, and are fabulous for writing!

20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …

‘…it is undoubtedly true that…’

Zodiac

Zodiac

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker/’Stuff Writers Like’ 2015/2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

The Leo lunar eclipse: anyone else feeling restless?

I have been feeling restless, bored (despite having ongoing creative projects on the go) and very much in need of a new angle on ‘What do I do with the rest of my life?’ ever since the Aquarian New Moon at the end of January 2017, dropping in on my 6th House, heralded the new Leo/Aquarius eclipse season, starting right now – just after midnight ( GMT) on 11 February 2017 with a lunar eclipse at 22.28 Leo running right through to the last in the season, another lunar eclipse at 0.52 Leo on 21.01.2019.

Leo Lunar Eclipse 11-2-17

Leo Lunar Eclipse 11-2-17

The Nodal axis travels backwards through the zodiac at 18 months per sign, pulling twice yearly solar and lunar eclipses with it as it goes. The final eclipse of the Virgo/Pisces season is due on 26th February 2017 at 8.12 Pisces. That season began on 20.3.2015 with a solar eclipse at 29.27 Pisces.

What does it all MEAN, though? A quick trawl through google will reveal dozens and dozens of astrology sites offering all kinds of opinion. It seems that we humans still get excited by eclipses, which have been dredging up fear, excitement, anticipation and predictions since the earliest days of civilisation if not earlier.

I can still clearly recall the fuss, during the last Leo/Aquarius eclipse season, over the Big Solar Eclipse of August 1999, which picked up on a great deal of collective fear as the Millennium approached. Predictions, from the end of the world as we knew it to Paris going up in flames, ran rampant. As you may have noticed, the world is still here, and we still have Paris. If you’d like to read what I wrote about it all then, just click HERE.

Making sense of eclipses

How, then, do we make sense of eclipses and relate them to our own lives in ways which are going to be useful? There are choices to be made regarding this question. My own view, for what it’s worth, is that getting worked up about individual eclipses is all very well, but we need to put some kind of context in place for the information we extract to be of much value.

The biggest possible context is that of placing this and subsequent Leo/Aquarius eclipses over the next couple of years, in the context of the Saros Series of eclipses, which run in vast energy waves from North to South across the globe, repeating every 19 years, for varying periods of up to a thousand years or more. Each eclipse belongs to one of the Saros Series families of eclipses, each of which has a specific core meaning rooted in the very first eclipse of that particular series. If you want some in-depth research by Dr Bernadette Brady, the book to acquire is “Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark . A free 17 page download introducing the Saros Series is also available from her website HERE

If you don’t quite have the time, energy or inclination to pursue this truly fascinating context, then the next one to consider in which to set this eclipse and the upcoming Leo/Aquarius season, is the 18.6 year returning cycle of the Moon’s Nodes, which governs the appearance of both solar and lunar eclipses.

(For readers who need to be brought up to speed regarding Nodal   basics, check out Wikipedia on The Lunar Nodes for the astronomy, and Cafe Astrology for a typical explanation of the Nodes’ symbolic meanings.)

As the Nodal axis regresses through the chart, identifying via the highlighted houses the overall territory up for change, the transiting eclipses function as “battery chargers”, gradually building up the energies of our lives in preparation to receive major change.

An image  comes to mind here from the female menstrual cycle, of the egg gradually being primed and prepared until it is at its maximum point of readiness to receive the male sperm, conceive and begin new life. I think the eclipses begin their work of charging-up as soon as the relevant eclipse season begins, which may be as long as eighteen months before the turning point(s) in  life appear.

Life changing times

The really powerful “major” times in life are characterised by not just one or two, but a cluster of transits and/or progressions involving the natal, and/or progressed, and/or transiting Nodes.The outer planets, especially Pluto with its strong “fated” feel,  stand out. To read the research on which I based those conclusions, you can download my book The Moon’s Nodes in Action HERE for free.

A powerful recent example of this can be seen from the the Virgo/Pisces season, which began on 20.3.2015 with a solar eclipse at 29.27 Pisces, and ends with another solar eclipse on  26th February 2017 at 8.12 Pisces.

As the Moon’s North Node retrograded through Virgo, pulling the eclipses with it,and connecting with the Saturn/Neptune square which transited 10-15 degrees of  Sagittarius/Pisces from November 2015 to its last exact square in September 2016, those powerful, difficult energies triggered the natal Uranus conjunct Pluto in Virgo opposite Chiron in Pisces natal configurations of people born from 1963/4 right through to 1968.

Many people had a particularly difficult time during 2016 as a consequence of being ‘plugged-in’ to this energy pattern combining natal planets, Nodes, eclipses and Pluto and producing events of a life-changing nature in many cases. I saw this in a number of clients’ charts and lives, in members of my own family – and their challenges directly impacted on me, since I have 9 Virgo/Pisces as my Ascendant/Descendant degrees.

The dominant transiting pattern for 2016 was Saturn in Sagittarius, squaring Neptune in Pisces. Everyone with planets/Asc/MC/ Nodes/Chiron in the early to middle degrees of the mutable signs triggered by this Saturn/Neptune square would have found 2016 tougher than usual, with family of origin pain, loss, low energy, confusion re life direction, and often, health issues in the mix.

I’d be really interested to have feedback from any readers whose horoscopes fit this natal and transiting pattern, and whose lives were impacted accordingly. It’s been a tough year or so! However, it is to be hoped that the solar eclipse on  26th February 2017 at 8.12 Pisces will one way or another, draw a line under the particular themes of spring 2015-2017.

What lies ahead for the Leo/Aquarius eclipse season?

Leo Lunar Eclipse 11-2-17

Leo Lunar Eclipse 11-2-17

Overall, the birth chart for the starting eclipse of this season looks altogether more buoyant than the preceding Virgo/Pisces one. For starters, Nodal/eclipse energies are moving from earth and water to fire and air, lightening things up and bringing in greater potential for moving forward as a result of creative opportunities coming our way through group contacts, if we are ‘plugged-in’ to the Leo/Aquarius axis via planets in our birth charts.

For example, I’ve just had dinner with my 23 year old nephew, who has Leo rising and Jupiter conjunct his Libran IC. He is full of all kinds of  plans for his studies, and for placement and internship applications to further his future career in overseas development. He does not know at all at present which way any of several dice are going to fall.

The eclipse falls exactly on my Sun at 22 Leo, so his excitement and enthusiasm has helped to get my creative fire going. Why else would I be mad enough to be sitting writing a blog post at 10.30 on a Friday night?!

As can be seen from the above chart, there is a Grand Kite pattern draped around a Jupiter/Uranus opposition.  As the Nodes and eclipses regress through Leo/Aquarius, they will be picking up that opposition, and Uranus’ trine to Saturn, sextile Jupiter, for much of 2017.

So – a combination of restless desire to break new ground via the Jupiter/Uranus opposition, held in check by Saturn and offered fruition by the Jupiter/Saturn sextile, is the prevailing Nodal/eclipse pattern for 2017. Since the North Node always pushes us to be the best we can be, and this North Node is in Leo, have a good look at the pair of houses which will be highlighted in your horoscope by the North and South Nodes and their attendant solar and lunar eclipses. These are now about to be the areas up for major change in the year ahead.

Good luck with it all! And feel free to leave feedback. That’s how we go on learning…

Zodiac

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1350 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Astro-Guide for 2017

Can’t quite believe it is the first day of February! I THINK I am now coming round from a particularly dozy January – not helped at all by a long bout of winter flu or whatever the hell it was…

I greatly appreciate the efforts of those colleagues who every new year, compile most helpful lists of the major planetary events. Last year, I posted Leah Whitehorse‘s very comprehensive list. This year, my thanks to that wonderful resource The Astrology Podcast: here is their list. I have mine printed out and pinned up on my office wall. Hope you find it useful!

Zodiac

Zodiac

Main Signatures for 2017

  • Leo eclipse in August, and that axis shifting from Virgo-Pisces to Leo-Aquarius in general.
  • Venus retrograde in Aries/Pisces, echoing back to 8 years ago.
  • Jupiter-Uranus opposition off and on most of the year.
  • Final phases of Saturn in Sagittarius, followed by start of Saturn in Capricorn.
  • Saturn-Uranus trine
  • Jupiter-Neptune trine

Full List of Major Alignments for 2017

  • Mercury direct at 28 Sagittarius January 8
  • Jupiter stations retrograde at 23 Libra February 6
  • Venus stations retrograde at 13 Aries on March 4
  • Saturn stations retrograde at 27 Sagittarius on April 5
  • Mercury stations retrograde at 4 Taurus on April 9
  • Venus stations direct at 26 Pisces on April 14
  • Pluto stations retrograde at 19 Capricorn on April 20
  • Mercury stations direct at 24 Aries on May 3
  • True Node moves into Leo on May 9
  • Jupiter stations direct at 13 Libra June 8
  • Neptune stations retrograde at 14 Pisces June 16
  • Uranus retrograde at 28 Aries on August 3
  • Mercury retrograde at 11 Virgo on August 13.
  • August solar eclipse everyone talking about.
    • August 21
    • Occurs at 28 Leo
    • Shadow moves over entire continental United States
  • Saturn stations direct at 21 Sagittarius August 25
  • Pluto stations direct at 16 Capricorn on September 27
  • Mercury stations direct at 28 Leo on September 5
  • Jupiter moves into Scorpio on October 11
  • Saturn moves into Capricorn on December 20.
    • Preceded by a Mercury retro in Sag that stations direct around same time.
Questions, cosmic questions!

Questions, cosmic questions!

And ” What does it all mean?” is sure to be the next question. Well, astrology students out there, go and work it out for yourselves! If you want some help in doing so, there are many excellent astrology sites who will be reflecting from varying perspectives, on what the complex planetary picture for 2017 is likely to symbolise for us at both a collective and a personal level.

Here are a few for starters:

StarIQ

The Mountain Astrologer Magazine and The Mountain Astrologer Blog

Astrology News Service

The Horoscopic Astrology Blog

Enjoy your research! – and do leave any useful information pointers on this topic which you may wish to add, in the comments section. Thanks and all good wishes for  2017 to everyone!

Zodiac

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450 words copyright Anne Whitaker/The Astrology Podcast 2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page