Category Archives: Guest Posts 2015/6 (6 articles)

A Clinton White House (again…) in 2017 ? Some thoughts from astrologer Victor Olliver

Here is that classy, sassy, pin-sharp astrologer Victor Olliver’s ‘take’ on Hilary Clinton and the White House. Will she return?

As Victor memorably puts it in this very perceptive analysis both of her natal chart , Election Day 2016 and Inauguration Day 2017: “…That Hillary Clinton seeks ultimate power there can be little doubt. She didn’t join Twitter on 10 June, 2013, just to share her thoughts on pantsuits….” 

Enjoy the read. And do share your own thoughts!

https://victorolliverblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/hillary-clinton-in-2016-more-pantsuits-or-the-us-presidency/

AND

the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver,  is now available on line! To obtain the latest issue, jam-packed with fascinating articles by an international variety of top astrologers, just click HERE 

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100 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Victor Olliver 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Called from the Bar to the Stars…Why Victor Olliver became an astrologer…

Last Spring, I had the fun of Victor Olliver’s company as a Guest blogger whilst we slogged it out – in a civilised manner, of course! – over the merits and demerits of Sun Sign astrology. This January, I am delighted that he has returned to help kick start my blog for 2016. 

A recent article in Harper’s Bazaar, in which four women talk about why they chose to become astrologers, inspired me to tell my story a couple of weeks ago. I then decided to run an occasional series this year, inviting leading astrologers to share theirs. It is my great pleasure to have Victor Olliver, astrologer, author and editor of the UK’s Astrological Journal, tell his tale with his  unique combination of  cheek, challenge, verve – and depth. Over to you, Victor!

Victor Olliver, Barrrister

Victor Olliver, Barrrister

“…It never occurred to me that astrology was rubbish. Such were the many oddities of my early life – born of an Anglo-Italian mismatch into a world of wars that sang love songs while I played playground peculiarity (sorry about all the pees) yet looked like angelic jailbait and had a posh voice despite working class pedigree – that my mind was ready to accommodate exotic and weird notions not readily explained in school physics textbooks.

The sky lab technician who created me in his/her cosmic test tube prepared me well for a world that is essentially, profoundly inexplicable. We dream our way through life and pride ourselves on our logic. Paradox is to be found in everything as we pretend to follow highway codes. We feel our way through life and engage in the charade of decision-making. Yet one by-product of all this chaos and melodrama and hallucinating is that we (many of us) still manage to pay our bills while getting better on prescription drugs.

So, in the beginning, astrology was for me less a ‘topic’, more an arrangement of images in a book, without any unifying thought. Frankly it all looked comfortingly bonkers. At about the age of 12 I’d won a book voucher at school for being clever after years in the dunce stream. I now know that at about the time of my first Jupiter return and not long before my first Saturn opposition, my brains started to grow. The book voucher added to my reputation for being odd (and probably queer – though what did fellow kids or idiot teachers know?) when I exchanged it for a huge coffee table tome about mythology; Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, you name it. That copy is still in my library.

What intrigued me was that inanimate humanoid forms made of stone or paint, sometimes winged, diaphanous or bearded, ruled worlds temporal and spiritual. These days such undead powers are called brand logos – so, through the likes of Coca Cola and McDonald’s marketing, I understood by association the idea of mysteries having mastery.

Thanks to those modern sages Russell Grant and Linda Goodman, the stone/plaster/paint gods migrated in my head to astrology where Jove, Mercury, Venus/Aphrodite and others still lived despite the progress exemplars of TV game shows and penicillin. The gods lived through the ‘zodiac’ and those much-maligned media Sun-sign columns, the then top dog of which was Patric Walker (more about whom just below). Incidentally, he was wrongly suspected of murdering his predecessor ‘Celeste’ at Harpers & Queen magazine in order to grab her stars column.

None of this was enough to persuade me to follow in Patric’s footsteps. Instead I took a 25-plus-year detour and became a barrister before embarking on a career in journalism, as you do. But astrology was not ready to give me up. Around the time of my fifth tr Jupiter-Jupiter square (with tr Uranus on my Saturn – and astro scepticism on a high), a glossy magazine commissioned me to interview…Patric Walker. His reputed Libran charm took leave of absence that day as he sat in his hotel bathrobe firing off the odd barb he thought I did not catch. Librans can be so Arien, don’t you think? My acid write-up repaid his put-downs. I concluded he was a right bitch trying to chat me up – but he knew his stuff. I stayed in journalism.

By the time of my 4th Jupiter return, my curiosity about astrology had reached the point where I felt it was time to do or die of boredom. I enrolled at the Mayo School of Astrology and fell under the guiding and sane influence of tutor Wendy Stacey.

This coincided with one of those events that in retrospect one calls ‘fated’. Yes, I didn’t fall in love. That is to say, I started a brief relationship with a notable astrologer called Henrietta Llewelyn Davies (called ‘Henri’ by her friends) – sadly no longer with us. Our eyes met across a crowded room at London’s Groucho Club – an opiates dungeon for doped up media types and their whorish hangers-on. Henri had done well: columns in Cosmo, Woman’s Own, TV Times – astro stuff in The Times. She was psychic, too. She talked a lot about her work, I was fascinated. She encouraged me to learn the art and craft of horoscopes.

And at this time a clairvoyante medium told me that my dead father was with her. Or as she put it: “He’s saying do something with those, oh, they look like, well, whatchamacallit, horoscopes”.

I lost my job, graduated with a distinction diploma in natal and mundane astrology, landed the role of the first-ever stargazer on The Lady magazine (by another misadventure) and then ascended to the heavens of The Astrological Journal editorship.

In other words, the career I should have first pursued flowed like a dream with scarcely an impediment. In contrast, enter a hostile place and all you experience are gremlins and gargoyles. Astrology on the other hand had the air I breathe and the vistas I appreciate. It presented me with a perspective which, in its predication on the unknowable yet adherence to systemic thought and practice, summed up the paradoxes I’d suffered and experienced in other life departments.

I had arrived in Astro-Wonderland. Mad Hatters aplenty.

I couldn’t care less which system of astrology you prefer, or whether you think luminary orbs should be 12 or 15 degrees. It’s all background chamber music to me. No matter what the astro academics like to propound, I know astrology is half instinct, half method.

Without that first half I may as well have been a lawyer…”

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Victor’s website is: Victor Olliver Astrology

Victor Olliver, Astrologer

Victor Olliver, Astrologer

Victor ’s book Lifesurfing: Your Horoscope Forecast Guide 2016 is available exclusively from Amazon in eBook and paperback formats.

Lifesurfing 2016 cover

Lifesurfing 2016

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Zodiac

Zodiac

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Victor Olliver 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Steven Forrest writes on the Uranus/Pluto square

Here is master astrologer Steven Forrest’s in-depth ‘take’ on the Uranus/Pluto squares: on March 16, 2015 Uranus and Pluto formed a square aspect in the signs Aries and Capricorn.”…  the final exact square in the long series of seven, which began on June 24, 2012…”

http://www.forrestastrology.com/newsletters/470-march-2015-newsletter

Questioning popular astrology (2) : media astrologer Victor Olliver’s robust reply…

Yesterday, I posted Part (1) : Questioning popular astrology, listing my challenges and questions regarding the merits – or otherwise – of popular astrology. True to form, Victor responded thus: “…feels like a bull fight and you’ve just flicked the red cape…”

Read, react, enjoy – and REPLY!

( nb anything offensive will be ruthlessly binned)

Uk's Astrological Journal Jan:Feb 2015

Uk’s Astrological Journal Jan:Feb 2015

Thanks for inviting me to contribute to your wonderful site, Anne. Though I’m the editor of  The Astrological Journal, and The Lady magazine’s resident stargazer, I am still relatively new to professional astrology and only recently have become a lot more aware of the huge psychological gulf between serious and popular astrology. This surprises me because in all worlds there’s a spectrum of expression, from public face to purist core and in between. Why not in astrology, too?

Take the fashion world, for instance. Expensive haute couture and pret-a-porter are showcased at the international collections and these in turn inspire high street looks for ordinary budgets. The cheaply-produced mass market is as much a part of fashion as Anna Wintour’s Vogue. But we don’t say that the clothes in shop windows are not fashion or that these looks are embarrassing. Indeed, without the retail outlets there would be no fashion except for the super-rich.

Likewise, in another sense, in astrology. Many practitioners of serious or scholarly star-gazing disdain the popular expression, namely in media Sun-sign horoscope columns; and some even doubt the validity or credibility of the solar chart. Others are shamed by the apparent crassness and simplicity of these media columns and try to ignore them.

This really is self-defeating in my view.

The actual ‘enemy’ of astrology is prejudice. It comes in a number of forms. Chiefly, the prejudice of many secularists and what I call science cultists can be dismissed quickly. We know who they are. They rubbish astrology yet know nothing about it. They laud science yet respond most unscientifically to something they’ve never studied or researched.  Then there’s prejudice in the world of astrology against popularisation. Serious astrologers fear that the Mystic Megs are letting the side down and making it easier for science debunkers to debunk.

But here’s the truth: debunkers/doubters/science cultists are not interested in whether your astrology has been assayed by the laboratory’s finest geeks or simply dreamt up by fake stargazers. No matter how learned the astrological study and compelling the results, nothing will sway the know-all who’s certificated with a science professorship. They believe astrology is rubbish. So in their case, media Sun-sign horoscopes is a non-issue – it’s just the thin end of the fraudulent wedge. We need not concern ourselves with determined nay-sayers. We waste our time trying to play up to them.

Nonetheless, I fully support those astrologers who bring academic rigour to the subject and seek to find mainstream respectability – not because I think a professional debunker can be turned, but for the sake of a better appreciation of astrology. Science itself will in time gradually move towards a greater understanding of the nature of the cosmos, possibly through quantum mechanics – you’ve written about this yourself – and the time will come when the intellectual climate for astrology will be a lot more receptive than it presently is.

Now, what about Sun-sign astrology. Is it valid? That’s the real question. Let me quote the brilliant late astrologer Dennis Elwell who was known to be highly critical of ‘trivialising’ media horoscopes. This is what he actually wrote in a 1975 essay titled ‘Is There A Solar Chart?’: “I do believe in the basic validity of solar chart transits but that is not to say that they can be relied upon to produce readings every day, week or month, depending on how often a particular journal happens to be published, or that they are always interpreted correctly.”

Elwell was quite idealistic in his expectation of constant ‘reliability’ and perhaps forgot McLuhan’s well-known dictum: “The medium is the message”. In other words, a mass market entertainment magazine is not likely to play host to a discursive, learned, nuanced forecast from the house astrologer. Newspapers and magazines usually seek snappy one-liners that can be digested at a glance. The ‘house style’ is what matters and the astrologer must seek to fill the allotted space as well as she or he can.

A great many media astrologers these days are actually trained astrologers, such as myself. The ‘simplistic’ solar chart, with the relevant Sun-sign cusp placed at the ascendant point, is all about transit ingresses and aspects. To state the obvious:  if we accept that transits-to-birth chart speak to us then transits-to-transits have something to say also – an idea that’s no problem to, say, electional astrologers. The challenge is less the solar astrology and more what is selected for the column and how it is written up.

My approach to the solar chart, interpretively, is more-or-less the same as to a natal chart. My professional media grail is to find a form of words that is both entertaining and true to the spirit of the moment for each sign. It was Elwell who wrote so beautifully (in his book Cosmic Loom) of how an aspect can find concurrent expression in a multiplicity of ways in life and events, from the ridiculous to the sublime. We’d be wise to keep our minds open to this feature of astrology which even now we do not properly comprehend.

Astrology is a flexible thing: it communicates its wisdom no matter the house system, national culture, computer programme, dubious birth detail or oblivious opposition.

Anne, to answer your question: there’s nothing to justify. If one’s mindset is dead against popular expression, then avoid reading the Jonathan Cainers. Avert your gaze. If you fear that Sun-sign astrology is polluted by the Shelley von Strunckels, then here’s a comforting thought: in the minds of science cultists, astrology is already polluted. It’s dead! And if certain persons judge astrology by their cursory reading of Mystic Meg, you can rest confident that they probably skate over a lot of life’s other treasures of the spirit. Perhaps their preference of depth is cricket or crochet.

Contrary to what many scholar-astrologers think, media horoscopes are the main bridge to the public, just as a short chic affordable jacket in Marks & Sparks may resonate with fans of high-end Chanel. We should be grateful for the enduring need for ‘irrational’ advice from our nation’s stargazers. As Nick Campion has averred, the Sun-sign column – for a great many people – offers the only one moment in the day when time is taken to consider the general shape of the life (or Life) or to question the point of doing something. In a materialistic world, this is a form of spiritual awareness, albeit rudimentary in many instances. But don’t knock it.

And, Anne, next time you’re offered a Sun-sign column, take it. And aim to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. The experience may prove both humbling (in the challenge to bring high minds down to earth) and rewarding (as in, er, bank balance). 

Victor Olliver

Victor Olliver

Victor Olliver’s Lifesurfing: Your Horoscope Forecast Guide 2015 is available in Kindle or paperback on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lifesurfing-Your-Horoscope-Forecast-Guide-ebook/dp/B00KHUE6US/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424635718&sr=8-1&keywords=lifesurfing+2015

Victor Olliver is the editor of The Astrological Journal and media officer of the Association of Professional Astrologers International, and has a distinction diploma in natal and mundane astrology from the Mayo School. Before turning to the study of astrology back in 2008, he was an entertainment/lifestyle editor, journalist and writer. He has worked as an editor for, among others, IPC Magazine, Mirror Group and Daily Mail & General Trust. As a freelance writer he has contributed to many publications including The Sunday Times Magazine, Australia Women’s Weekly and Marie Claire. He currently lives on the south coast in West Sussex.
Victor Olliver
volliver5@aol.com
Twitter: @VictorOlliver
Facebook: Victor Olliver Astrology
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To read Part 3 of this debate, click HERE

Zodiac

Zodiac

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1350 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Victor Olliver  2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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.

ellisnelson

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.

Scorpio2

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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2015’s first Guest Post: from Emerging Pattern…” Fear – Saturn transiting Sagittarius”

Emerging Pattern writes eloquent, thoughtful posts which truly put flesh on the bones of astrological symbolism. Here, she writes about the changes in her life wrought by the recent shift of Saturn into Sagittarius. Saturn has recently crossed my 29 Scorpio IC ( EP and I share an IC/Mercury link! ) – beginning a long transit through my 4th House: I am busy re-structuring my working life by moving my astrology, counselling and teaching practice into a lovely new office, right next to a favourite local park. So – I’ve been too busy these first weeks of 2015 to post on this blog. I am more than happy to share a fellow astrology blogger’s insights in the meantime. Enjoy this post – and have a trawl round some of the other perceptive astrology posts on Emerging Pattern’s blog. I’ll be back soon!

Anne W's new office

Anne W’s new office

emerging pattern

Saturn moved into Sagittarius 23.12.2014, so by now we can get an idea what he is going for. In the mundane the terror attack in Paris sticks out for sure, and yesterday, when Mars in Pisces was (and is still) squaring Saturn in Sagittarius, Switzerland surprised the financial world by removing the cap of Sfr1.20 per euro to stop the currency’s appreciation.

On a private level Saturn passed my natal Mercury at 29° Scorpio and is moving towards my natal Neptune at 7° Sagittarius. Depending on house system, both could be placed in 12th house, or Mercury could be still in 11th house. For now it feels like he already arrived in my 12th house.

For more than a week I feel anxious, sometimes almost panic, without an outer reason.

I am busy in my art studio and putting everything into place. My love builds me a fantastic high rack…

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