Category Archives: Dell Horoscope ” The Astro-View from Scotland” (5 articles)

Cycles end, new ones begin…hovering with Jupiter in Scorpio…

I always seem to have a favourite word. Maybe that’s one of the hallmarks of being a writer. It’s probably tiresome for other people when I cram it into conversations. By now, I’m sure you are quite desperate to know what the damn word is this time.

Ok. It’s ‘liminal’. From the Latin ‘limen’  meaning ‘threshold’, it refers to that stage in life when one is hovering…departing from what is in the past: not quite at home here in the present: not quite arrived there, in the future…it’s an uncomfortable, fluid state to be in, but highly creative and full of potential.

How about this contemporary usage, definition from Wikipedia: ‘…More recently, usage of the term has broadened to describe political and cultural change… During liminal periods of all kinds, social hierarchies may be reversed or temporarily dissolved, continuity of tradition may become uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted may be thrown into doubt…’

I don’t know about you, but this to me sounds just like where we are collectively on planet Earth at present.  Let’s hope in the long run – which we baby-boomers likely won’t live to see – we end up with something better than the mess we have now.

‘As above, so below’ : no contemporary astrologers have come up with a pithier definition of the essence of our art than did fabled Ancient Egyptian sage Hermes Trismegistus in the equally fabled Emerald Tablet. Hermes was conceived as apparently hovering between the divine and human worlds.

Down here in that all-too-human world, thinking about Hermes in relation to the world ‘liminal’ is providing me with some inspiration; much needed in my case, as I hover uncomfortably and uncertainly between the end of one 12 year Jupiter cycle, and the beginning of  a new one.

Jupiter cycles have always been a big deal for me, since third house Jupiter at 19 degrees 07 Scorpio squares all six of my Leo 11th and 12th house planets. I wrote about the dubious but transformative delights of this astro-lineup in my very first column for Dell.

This idea of hovering between the divine and human worlds might be of some comfort and inspiration also to those of you readers who are ending one cycle at present, without being able to see how the energy of the next one is going to form. Standing in this liminal place, one cannot bully, cajole or entreat the new order to reveal itself. There is divine time, and there is human time.

This may sound pretty mystical, but my feeling – from both personal and professional  experience– is that the deeper wisdom of our soul knows the direction in which we need to proceed in order to become all we can be, and how long it may take to get there.

The astrological cycles can put us in touch with that spark of divinity within each of us, offering profound insights into what a waning cycle has been about, and what the newly-forming one might bring. They also teach us that ‘… there is… a time to every purpose under the heaven…’ (i) .

Our egos, located in human, ordinary time, can often rail against this when we don’t like what we see of the shape of things to come, or how long a particular transitional period is going to take. Try consulting your ephemeris, as I did at the end of 1998, to realise that I was about to have a series of sixth house Neptune oppositions to twelfth house planets lasting from 1999 until 2012, as well as the ending/beginning of five major cycles.

It was some immersion, I can tell you. Did my ego rail against it? You bet. I had to quit my career in 2002, and did not begin to surface, via writing on the Web at first, until 2008, not returning to consulting and teaching until 2012.

But guess what? I now look back on that period, when I felt liminal approximately twenty-four hours a day for years, as the most soul-enriching of my entire life.

One of the many lessons I took from that period was to pay close attention especially to the feelings of restlessness, dissatisfaction and uncertainty which herald the end of, for example, the 29-30 year cycle of Saturn which we all share. Many of us recall – or are experiencing now! – the turbulence and pain of the end of our twenties, from which most of us emerged or will emerge by around the age of thirty-three with a much clearer idea of who we are, and most importantly, who we are not.

Those difficult feelings and experiences occurring in the twelfth house phase of any major cycle are part of the dissolution of the old order of that part of our lives. An ending must take place– so that new energy may arise, taking us forward to the next stage of our unfolding.

Astrology’s great gift is to show us that we are not random butterflies pinned to the board of Fate. We each have our small, meaningful strand to weave into life’s vast tapestry.

In the end, it was consent to my tough and frightening period of liminality, patient waiting, the love and support I was fortunate to have, and trust in the wisdom of the Unseen that got me through.

So, my liminal fellow travellers, take heart. The old order may be waning, but something fresh and new is surely arising…

Endnotes:

(i) Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 King James Version (KJV)

This slightly edited version of my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine first appeared as  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’ in the May/June 2018 Issue.

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1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

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

New Moon Eclipse in Cancer…the old order changes…

The only certainty in life is change…Jupiter this week turned direct in Scorpio and is soon to surface from those murky depths, entering his  fiery, adventurous home sign of Sagittarius early in November 2018, just two days after the North Node enters Cancer, thereby ending the Nodes’ eighteen months sojourn in Leo/Aquarius.

This first eclipse of the Cancer/Capricorn polarity, therefore, is an early herald of changing planetary weather as this especially turbulent year begins to wind down from the Midsummer peak. The Web is full of opinion and prediction regarding this Cancer solar eclipse. I have just shared Virginia Bell’s fine reflection on that very topic over on this site’s Facebook Page. 

However, in my usual contrarian style, I feel it’s time to look back a little, at the Leo/Aquarius Nodal journey and an interesting personal tale – told earlier this year – which illustrates its core meaning very vividly. 

‘...Unless you live in a cave far far away – with no wifi – you will have noticed that Jupiter is still in Scorpio, with the Moon’s Nodes travelling retrograde through Leo (North Node) and Aquarius (South Node). It’s time for a story weaving all those symbolic energies together. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

A fascinating conversation recently with a friend about individuality, lineage, and tribe – apt for Leo/Aquarius – evoked a long-buried memory. Many years ago, I took my good friend Emma (not her real name), then recovering from a serious illness,  for a restful holiday to the Hebridean island of my birth. Transport links were poor, we were young and adventurous; hitchhiking to the remote places and beautiful beaches I wanted to show her seemed the best option.

“What you need to remember,” I said to her solemnly as we set out for one of the wild outlying areas on the Atlantic coast where my Macleod ancestors had lived, “ is that I have been away for such a long time that I don’t really know anyone in those parts any more.”

We were soon offered a lift from a man aged around sixty – a total stranger. As we drove through increasingly wild, starkly beautiful countryside towards our destination, after chatting amicably about this and that, he looked quizzically at me and said, head to one side: “ You wouldn’t be any relation of Calum Curlach (Calum of the curly hair) I suppose?”

Startled, I replied “Yes. He was my grandfather.”

Later that day, with rain pouring down and us getting soaked, whilst trudging past some houses on a hillside overlooking a stunning beach wreathed in sea mist, I said to Emma “I’m fed up of this – a cup of tea would be a good idea. Come on, I’m going to knock on the first door to ask if we can come in for shelter till the rain goes off.”

“You can’t do that to complete strangers!” she said.

“Watch me,” was my reply.

She had never experienced the tradition of Celtic hospitality in which I had been raised.

Five minutes later, we were warming ourselves by a peat fire whilst the lady of the house fussed around, making tea and sandwiches. After a few pleasantries had been exchanged, she asked me what I recalled as a very traditional Hebridean question: “Who are your people?”

On finding out that I was Calum Curlach’s granddaughter, she added scones and cream to the sandwiches. We spent the next hour eating, drinking tea and hearing stories about my distant relatives which I had never heard before. Emma sat there listening in open-mouthed amazement.

Heading back to town some hours later, on one of the very infrequent local buses, she remarked with a grin:

“You lied to me! I thought you didn’t know anyone here any more?”

“Well, I don’t, in any personal sense” was my reply. “ I was known today by lineage and by tribe, not for who it is I actually am.”

I added that I did not know whether to be comforted or disconcerted by what had occurred.

Many years later, as an astrologer reflecting on the above events – whose memory was evoked by that recent conversation with the friend who had been recognised in a similar way herself – a realisation dawned. In that strange engagement between my individualistic urban self and the Celtic community into which I had been born and raised, I had encountered the Leo/Aquarius polarity in a very striking form.

Leos – I have the Sun and several planets in Leo, in the twelfth house – need above all things to be recognised and affirmed for their unique individuality. Aquarians, on the other hand, are quite comfortable with an identity shared with whatever the tribe is to which they consider they belong.

I find it quite fascinating that our conversation should have occurred during the present Leo/Aquarius Nodal/eclipse season; also, I am writing this column just after the much-hyped Super Moon lunar eclipse on January 31st – which triggered natal Pluto, ruler of my 29 degrees Scorpio IC/South Node..

Furthermore, checking back in the ephemeris, I found that in the summer in which the experience described had occurred, the North Node was transiting my Scorpio/South Node IC.  As a further thread in the weave of lineage,  I had discovered some years ago that grandfather Calum Curlach’s progressed IC was 29 degrees Scorpio in the year I was born…

Natal Jupiter is in my third house in Scorpio right now. I am currently at the end of one 12-year Jupiter cycle, awaiting the challenging new possibilities for learning and development which the new one will bring, as it will to all of us Jupiter in Scorpio folk.

In keeping with this, I had been thinking a great deal before that conversation about my grandfathers, wonderful old men, who both died during my first Jupiter Return. I was then approaching twelve years of age. Their passing opened me out to an understanding of some deep truths: all human life is finite; love and loss are but two sides of the same coin.

There is a story, too, about my other grandfather. This involves his Victorian rose gold watch chain, and my choice to have it melted down and made into golden crescent earrings and a ring – which I collected just two weeks ago, several Jupiter Returns after he died, during this Leo/Aquarius Nodal season. But that tale is for another day…

Endnotes:

This post first appeared in my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’ in the July/August 2018 Issue.

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1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

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

Jupiter in Scorpio, astrologers and Prometheus – a cautionary tale..

Since sharing When Transits Bring Suffering by Dana Gerhardt on my Facebook Page a few days ago, I have been reflecting yet again on the reality that the Cosmos’ unfolding energy patterns – from which astrology helps us to extract meaning – offer us darkness as well as light as the Wheel of Fortune turns… I ruminated on this topic recently in my column for Dell Horoscope Magazine, offering a striking example from my own life by means of illustration…

“…The Titan Prometheus was a pretty arrogant fellow, in my view. According to Greek myth he stole the fire of knowledge from the gods, hidden in a fennel stalk, to give to humanity for our enlightenment. Did he consult any humans beforehand, to see if we wanted such a double-edged gift?

To the best of my knowledge, he did not. He thought he knew best. For this blatant act of hubris, ie thinking you are as smart as the gods, he was savagely punished by Zeus, their king.

You probably know the story, but it bears repeating, just to remind us that hubris is not a good idea. Chained to a rock, Prometheus had his liver pecked out by an eagle on a daily basis; it regrew overnight – the punishment never ended.

In astrology the planet Jupiter, named for the king of the gods in Roman myth, rules the liver. In the Prometheus myth, the liver was chosen as the focus of torture because the ancient Greeks regarded the liver as the seat of life, soul, and intelligence.

So – wherever Jupiter is in your horoscope, that’s where you are compelled to seek to broaden your experience, widen your horizons, deepen your knowledge. However, the myth would appear to suggest that you need to be careful with the results of your quest and its impact on both yourself and others.

Jupiter has very recently moved into the sign of Scorpio, ruled by the Lord of the Underworld, Pluto. Wherever Scorpio is in your birth chart, that’s where the soul-enhancing benefits of deepening your understanding and experience within that dark terrain can be gained over the next year.

Jupiter in Scorpio crops up often in the horoscopes of astrologers, as do Jupiter/Pluto aspects, or Jupiter in the Eighth House. This should not be a surprise, either to astrologers themselves or those who know them. Astrological knowledge is powerful  – as such, it is potently attractive to those of us prepared to do the in-depth work required in order to become fluent enough to practice as astrologers and/or astrology teachers.

However, with such deep knowledge comes a warning, which Prometheus should have heeded; one which astrologers should note, if they have the wisdom and humility to do so: fire burns. By acquiring such powerful knowledge, hidden from most people, we are procuring the gods’ fire. That fire can burn us as it did Prometheus. It can burn our clients and students too, if we are not careful.

Consider this example from my life last year: late in May 2017 I was preparing to attend the Student Astrology Conference in London on 2-3 June. There had recently been two major terrorist attacks on the UK: one in March in London, the second in Manchester just over a week before we were due to set off. One of the key transit patterns common to those attacks was the long square between Saturn in late Sagittarius and Chiron in late Pisces.

I have a Uranus/Mars conjunction in late Gemini/early Cancer in the tenth house. Observing the ephemeris with increasing disquiet, wondering what unpleasant collective events might be triggered by transiting Mars moving through Gemini and once again setting off the Saturn/Chiron square, I suddenly realised that I was ‘plugged in’ to this pattern.

Mars would be exactly triggering my Uranus/Mars midpoint, opposing Saturn transiting the fourth house and squaring transiting seventh house Chiron. On the London Conference weekend.

Given the overall picture, I was worried to say the least. What should I do? Should I tell my husband, thereby alarming him? (Fortunately he is an Aquarian, and not easily intimidated!) Should we cancel our trip? It certainly looked as though some unpleasant surprises were coming our way. In the end, having decided that all this difficult symbolism was contained within an overall protective grand kite pattern involving my horoscope and transiting planets, I concluded that things would be difficult, but not directly involving me or us.

So it proved. One hour before we departed on 1st June, a close relative called me to say his wife was going to have surgery soon for breast cancer. At Euston railway station in London, tired from travelling, we got into a black cab with a driver who blasted us with the full force of his rage against the world for the full half hour it took to get to our hotel. And on the night of 2nd June, less than a mile away from our hotel and the conference venue, there was a devastating terror attack on London Bridge.

My foreknowledge of the broad picture, but not the detail, undoubtedly caused me distress. I could give many other examples as I am sure could my astrologer colleagues, of being burned by this wonderful knowledge we have – which can also be so constructively helpful and illuminating both to us and to our clients.

What would you have said to an astrology client with the planetary line-up described, if they had asked you “Should I go to London next weekend?”  I am still thinking about that one. But in the end we have to trust the sacred space of the consultation, our link to the Divine, be humble – and  strive to do no harm…”

Endnotes:

This post first appeared in my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’ in the November 2017 Issue.

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900 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

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

A new venture for a New Year! Check out “The Astro-View from Scotland” in Dell Horoscope

I’m most happy to be joining a team of quality astrologers who write for USA’s distinguished Dell Horoscope Magazine. As from January 2017, you can read my thoughts on a diverse range of topics – no, I’m not going to tell you what they are. Subscribe to the magazine, either by print or e-subscription, and you will find out!

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And – New Year Greetings and a big Thank-You to all my readers, likers and commenters who have made keeping this blog for the last few years such a fun project. Do keep dropping by, as this year – full of jaw-dropping uncertainties set in motion by the last one – gets under weigh.

And – got any really interesting questions for me to tackle in 2017? If you do, let me know and I will do my best to find an answer for you.

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150 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page