Category Archives: An Astrological Miscellany: of cusps, virgins, atomic scientists, Muhammad Ali and much, much more…(13 articles)

How significant is astrological Pluto in the horoscopes of atomic scientists?

I’ve just read this brilliant article about the significance of Pluto. Do read it!

“…Pluto was discovered in 1930 and astrologers soon began to notice its prominent placement in the birth map (horoscope) of scientist Wilhelm Roentgen, the discoverer of X-rays. The planet also showed up prominently in the horoscopes of other atomic scientists and the event charts for the first sustained nuclear reactor start-up in Chicago, the first atomic bomb tests, the bomb’s subsequent use in World War II and in reactor accidents since then.

For example, when a lunar eclipse occurred very close to Pluto in April 1986, Crawford wrote: “If you don’t feel this one, you’re probably not alive.” That was truly prophetic as the Chernobyl meltdown four days later raised background radiation levels world-wide…”

To read the rest of this article, click below:

Astrology News Service




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Can astrology define whole generations? Yes it can, says Guest Blogger Ellis Nelson…

Ellis and I ‘met’ via our blogs last year. Since then we have reviewed each other’s books, shared a range of esoteric interests, commented on one another’s blogs and even Liked various items of personal and intellectual interest on Facebook. I have been happy to observe Ellis’ growing interest in astrological symbolism, and I’m really pleased to be able to re-blog this astute and insightful post on the astrological generations. Since the beginning of my astrological studies, teaching, and practice I have been utterly fascinated by the way in which planetary symbolism plays out not only in our individual, but also our collective lives. “As above, so below” as the ancient maxim states.

As Ellis rightly observes, the outer planets including Pluto take so long to traverse a given astrological sign that they symbolically define generations rather than individuals. However, when those generational planets connect with the personal planets in your or my horoscope, the collective becomes very personal!

For example, you will read Ellis’ summary of the key characteristics of Sagittarian energy as manifested by the group of young folk born whilst Pluto traversed that sign from 1995-2008...” Sagittarius rules religion, philosophy, long distance travel, and foreign countries. This generation should have a keen interest in these areas …” For those members of that generation with Pluto in Sagittarius triggering off personal planets, ie the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars in their personal horoscopes or birth charts, the collective becomes very personal indeed, and those young folk become particular exemplars and exponents of Sagittarian energy in action!

Enjoy this post…and do share your own thoughts with us. We’d be especially interested to hear from those of you with young folk born between 1995 and 2008.


Pluto with satellites Pluto with satellites

Recently I watched an episode on Gaiam TV where Regina Meredith was interviewing an astrologer. I’ve been interested in astrology off and on since I was a teenager, but over the past year or so that interest has become more intense and I watch quite a few YOUTUBE astrologers as they explain what’s going on in a given month. It is fascinating and personal.


What resonated with this interview concerned the movement of Pluto and how these long transits (248 years to circle the zodiac) influence generations. With Pluto in a given sign anywhere from 11 to 32 years, it defines a whole generation. In a way, this is the opposite of personal because I share influences with everyone in my age group. As a writer for young people, this idea intrigues me. It especially drew me in as the astrologer talked about my adult children’s group…

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The Deeper History Of Christmas

Seasonal greetings and thanks to all my  readers and commenters, and every good wish for 2015. It has been a most enjoyable year for me on Astrology: Questions and Answers. Do keep your ideas for posts coming in, and do keep dropping by with your thoughts and questions!

Whilst reading the recent issue of the UK’s Astrological Association on-line monthly newsletter In the Loop I found this interesting, well-informed and reflective seasonal piece by writer and researcher Andy Thomas. Andy has been kind enough to let me re-publish it here. What  are your thoughts on this subject? Do leave a comment and let us know!

“…Although generally known for discussing unexplained mysteries and hidden histories of many kinds, in recent times I have found myself giving presentations with the above title in an effort to inspire some meaning back into a festival that deserves perhaps more respect than it is sometimes given in these cynical times.

Christmas is hardwired into us. For all the modern grumbling about the stresses of the season, the ancients didn’t mark the ascent from the lowest point of the sun’s annual journey for nothing, and the symbolism of light-in-the-darkness still has currency today. Every little plastic light twinkling amongst the decorations in essence represents our star, and the return of its warmth in northern climes.

Stars have always been an inherent part of the Christmas story. There has been much debate over the origins of the star that guided the wise men, for instance, men who were plainly astrologers. Most scholars agree that the most likely candidate for the Christmas star would have been the very close Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of 7BC. This would have been seen in some quarters as very portentous, and the beginning of some kind of new era. The traditional placement of the wise men in painted nativity scenes – two together and one apart – may even represent the three planets which would have been visible in the sky in 7BC, with Jupiter and Saturn close and Mercury as the loner. Others have equated the ‘three kings’ (although they only become ‘kings’ in descriptions from later centuries) with the three stars in the belt of Orion. There are many potential layers of astrology and astronomy buried in the Nativity story, with other echoes going back even further, to the earlier madonna-and-child mythology of Isis and Horus.

In terms of its celebratory nature, the Roman feasting times of Saturnalia and Kalendae, celebrated respectively in December and January, plainly influenced the path of the later Christmas festival, which in itself was superimposed onto the 25th December birthday of the God-man Mithras. The celebration has undergone many changes over the years since, absorbing other cultural festivals along the way, not least the originally Germanic and then Viking feast of Yule (Jol). Many of the British traditions that still remain in at least basic form, such as ‘Wassailing’ – i.e. toasting with drinks – or the sense of anarchic ‘misrule’, such as that still seen in seasonal pantomimes, have their origins in these earlier forms of celebration.

That entrenched sense of misrule and jollity was not welcomed by the rise of the Puritans, naturally, and their resistance to such frivolities saw Christmas, incredibly, actively banned in 1647 (in the wake of the deposing of Charles I), to much protest. It would not return until the restoration of the monarchy with Charles II in 1660. Even so, the festival had been damaged, and the eventual rise of the industrial revolution, which took many families out of the country and into the unforgiving rigours of the factories, saw the decline of many Christmas traditions, to the point that around 1800, ‘The Times’ newspaper didn’t see fit to even mention Christmas in at least twenty of its supposedly seasonal editions.

The arrival of Prince Albert into Queen Victoria’s life around 1840, brought with him many of the still vibrant Germanic Christmas traditions, the popular portrayals of which inspired a strong revival of the festival in Britain, something strengthened further by the publication of Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. Many elements of what we now see as the ‘traditional’ Christmas – trees, cards and crackers – began around this time, and the Santa Claus mythology also started to solidify its own fascinating (and long) evolution. In essence, we still celebrate the Victorian Christmas now, for all the echoes of more ancient times.

Rampant commercialisation and the horrors of the arrival of ‘Black Friday‘ shopping riots, with all the other attendant strains of preparing for Christmas, have created an unfortunate cynicism towards the festival in recent years. This seems a shame, and it becomes us all to perhaps make a separation between the abuses of the season and the true meaning of its symbolism. The little plastic stars can still remind us that this time of year was always about the return of light, either genuinely or metaphorically, along with the acknowledgment of the key role that the cycles of nature and the heavens still play in our lives.

The idea of a long, dark winter without Christmas, in truth, would be unthinkable, however much some people might think otherwise. Humankind created the festival because it needed it, and when Puritan authorities took it away, people fought to get it back. We still need it now, and to a degree, it comes down to it being what we choose it to be. Do what’s necessary, but then have the Christmas YOU want, and find a place in your heart, in some quiet moment of your choosing, to reflect on what we are really marking when we celebrate it. As the classic Christmas song by Greg Lake has it:

‘The Christmas you get, you deserve.…”


About Andy Thomas…

Andy is a well-known mysteries and truth issues researcher, and author of the acclaimed books ‘The Truth Agenda’ and ‘Conspiracies’. He has made many radio and TV appearances, and is married to the psychological astrologer Helen Sewell. Find out more about Andy




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Bev’s Question: Can I get an accurate chart without knowing my time of birth?

I have a question for you Anne…is it possible to get an accurate chart without knowing the time of birth? There is some mystery around my birth…I was told that I was born in the Grave Hospital in Ottawa, but when I paid the fee to the hospital to have my records checked for the time of birth, I was told I wasn’t born in that hospital.

Hi Bev

Well, the most accurate horoscope or birth chart you can have is when you can provide an exact birth time, along with the date and place of birth. This enables the astrologer to find the precise degrees of  the Ascendant or Rising sign, the Midheaven point and the twelve houses or life sectors e.g. home, career, relationships etc. From this one can derive very clear descriptions of the key characters (as it were) on the person’s life stage, and their interactions both in terms of harmony and conflict. One can also apply accurate timings to life events. 

Without a birth time at all, there are two measures I – and probably other astrologers – use. One is to cast a Sunrise chart for the time of sunrise on the day of birth, which places the Sun on the Ascendant point. The rest of the planetary positions, houses and the Midheaven point can then be seen in relation to that time.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Alternately, one can cast a chart for noon on the day of birth, which places the sun at the Midheaven or noon point which dictates where the rest of the planets are placed on this particular horoscope.

I have been fortunate enough to be based in Scotland where birth times are written on Birth Certificates – a great advantage for any astrologer practising in this country. So I have mostly had accurate times to work with, and have not been at all keen on doing readings without a reliable birth time. However, I have done a few charts over the years for people with no known birth time, casting either Sunrise or Noon charts for them. 

I have used Sunrise charts when clients are more concerned with personal and relationship issues: this is because the Ascendant/Descendant axis relates to I / Thou matters. If clients are more focused on career/direction, then I have used noon charts. This is because the Noon or Midheaven point, the highest point of the Sun in the sky, concerns a person’s direction and vocation.

This fairly simple rule of thumb I have found to work quite well, and to be quite accurate as far as it goes. And there is the point that the positions of the personal planets (with the exception of the Moon which moves 14 degrees per day) from the Sun to Mars move very little from one day to the next. One can thus gain valuable insights just by looking at the relationships between the planets on the day of birth.

So, I hope this information is useful to you. I don’t do horoscope readings except in person, but can recommend a colleague who would give you a good reading using one of the options I’ve described. Just email me if you want to pursue this! 



500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

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The Cardinal Grand Cross – astrology as a healing and a wounding art

Commentaries are piling up throughout the astro-blogosphere. Angst-ridden people with greater or lesser degrees of astrological knowledge are winding  themselves up. What will the impact on our lives be, as the dramatic  Grand Cross pattern builds up in the heavens to its point of exactitude on 23rd/24th April 2014 ? To see what’s building up collectively, just read the papers. Political turmoil across the world, disasters on air and sea – these are just for starters…

Cardinal Grand Cross

Cardinal Grand Cross

To read the rest of this post, and comments, click below:


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Who’s afraid of the big bad comet….? Answering Mem’s question

“Here in the southern hemisphere we have a comet “Ison” appearing on the horizon at dawn in the constellation Leo… any thoughts about the representation of this comet? Or comets in general appearing?”

Cheers Mem Warren

Comet Halle-Bop

Comet Halle-Bop

Now that Comet ISON is heading for a close encounter with the sun in late November 2013, the Internet is again abuzz with UFO ghost tales, not to mention doomsday theories, mysticism, and miscellaneous strange ideas that go bump in the night.

Comets have inspired dread, fear, and awe in many different cultures and societies around the world and throughout time. They have been branded with such titles as “the Harbinger of Doom and “the Menace of the Universe.”

They have been regarded both as omens of disaster and messengers of the gods. Why is it that comets are some of the most feared and venerated objects in the night sky? Why did so many cultures cringe at the sight of a comet? To find out, click HERE

Then click this link to see wonderful pictures of the current Ison comet streaking through Leo!…

And check out this link for a very thorough discussion of every aspect of comets:

Now you know!

ps……and I have a very personal memento of the Halle-Bop comet of 1997. At that time we had an artist living next door. He knew I was an astrologer, and loved sky-watching, especially following the lunar cycle. One evening, he appeared at the door with a very special painting – his own version of the Halle-Bop, including the crescent moon – especially for me. He is dead now, but I still cherish that picture. Here it is:

Halle-Bop/Crescent Moon

Halle-Bop/Crescent Moon



300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

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When we relocate, do we get a new horoscope? Rian’s Question

Dear Anne,

I have a question for you. When a person moves far from their birthplace (as so many people do these days), do we cast a new chart for them with the new latitudes and longitudes? Or, what DO we do, if anything. Thank you for your consideration.

Hello Rian

nice to hear from you again! I am currently taking a rest from blogging because of tendonitis in my left hand. So, a brief reply….

Asian Tsunami Dec 2004

Asian Tsunami Dec 2004

There is a whole branch of astrology known as AstroCartography, in which your natal Birth Chart is projected onto the map of the earth. From this, one can deduce where in the world it would be best to live to get the best out of different energies in our natal charts – or where it might be best to avoid. eg John F Kennedy‘s Pluto line ran right through Dallas, Texas.

Here is a link to a reputable UK site which will tell you more about this fascinating and complex subject

Also, it is indeed possible to cast a new chart for the latitudes and longitudes of your current place of residence and compare it with your natal chart to see what the different emphases are as a result of those changes. To use a very simple example, someone might marry and settle down in a different location, then find that the planet Venus was much more prominently emphasised in their horoscope there than in the natal horoscope for the birth location.

It’s a very interesting topic – not one with which I have worked either personally or with my clients. I wouldn’t want to find out that my five twelfth house planets would be conjunct my Midheaven, bringing me fame and fortune – but only if I relocated to Ulan Batar!


300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

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Why is the zodiac sign of Virgo called the virgin?


 from  ThatHairlessBaby :

Why is the sign of  Virgo called the virgin?

My Answer:

This question raises the interesting issue of how the usage and meaning of words changes from one historical period/cultural phase to another. Within our current culture the word virgin when applied to humans generally means sexually intact. However, in ancient times when matriarchal religions were practised, the word virgin and the astrological sign of Virgo held a deeper and more complex set of meanings.

For example, the priestesses who served the ancient virgin goddesses Atargatis and Artemis were anything but virgin in our contemporary sense of the word. They were women who belonged to themselves and the goddess(es), whose duties to the temple were paramount and who owed allegiance to no particular male partner. Indeed,it was commonplace with those priestesses who had children to foster them out. They were too busy with their sacred duties to have much time for motherhood. (Virgo’s contemporary association with perfectionism, attention to detail, and devotion to work began a very long time ago!)

The eminent astrologer, writer and teacher Dr Liz Greene expresses the essence of what the sign Virgo is about in her “Astrology of Fate” p 215:

“….this issue does not deal solely with sexual matters, but embodies an entire view of life….I would understand it more as an openness to the flow of life, a willingness to trust the natural order, an acceptance of penetration and change….”

In the chapter “Myth and the Zodiac, pp 211-220, Liz Greene offers a very full account of the complex, paradoxical mythology and symbolism connected to the sign of Virgo. I commend it to you!

If you’d like to read some more factual aspects of this topic, try this Wikipedia link:

Thanks for your stimulating question!

Many thanks to my increasing band of new visitors, Followers and commenters out there. Drop by with your observations….. and, of course,  your Questions !


350 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

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Ophiuchus – is there a thirteenth sign?

Sheilagh’s Question: Who the heck is Ophiuchus?

I’m surprised you’ve never heard of the constellation of Ophiuchus, Sheilagh. Ever since I’ve been an astrologer, every few years when they have nothing better to do, the media decide to indulge in a bit of Sun Sign astrology-bashing.They announce that astrology has been totally discredited by the existence of a thirteenth sign, ie Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer.

Here is a fairly mild offering: ( note the misspelling of Sagittarius….)

Now, here are some astronomical facts:

Ophiuchus is one of thirteen constellations that cross the ecliptic. It has therefore been called the ’13th sign of the zodiac’. However, this confuses sign with constellation.

The signs of the zodiac are a twelve-fold division of the ecliptic , ie the 360 degree great circle in the heavens against which the planets are plotted in their orbital paths.Each sign spans 30° of that great circle, approximately the distance the Sun travels in a month, and (in the Western tradition) is aligned with the seasons so that the March equinox falls on the boundary between Aries and Pisces.

Constellations, on the other hand, are unequal in size and are based on the positions of the stars. The constellations of the zodiac have only a loose association with the signs of the zodiac, and do not in general coincide with them. In Western astrology the constellation of Aquarius, for example, largely corresponds to the sign of Pisces. Similarly, the constellation of Ophiuchus occupies most of the sign of Sagittarius.

 So now you know!

AND – New visitors and Followers out there! Do drop by with your observations….. and, of course,  your Questions….on any astrological topic.



250 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

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