In the Spring of 2003 I packed eighteen years worth of astrology teaching notes into a large cardboard box and sent them to Belgrade. It cost me £96( $120) in postage. I still have no idea whether it ever arrived, at a destination whose address I no longer recall. Why did I do this? Because I had decided my career as an astrologer and astrology teacher was over, that there were plenty of astrology teaching notes in English cluttering up the UK, and that I’d find someone in Europe who was keen to have some. I did. That was that. Or so I thought…
Fast forward to December 2011. It had taken me from 2001-8 to recover from severe burnout following a long family crisis which stopped my career in its tracks. During the whole of that period, I had resolutely said “NO” to all requests for astrology consultations or teaching, initially because I barely had the energy to get out of bed, latterly because I must have got into the habit of saying “No”.
However, that December I said “Maybe” to a young woman who had just embarked on a Faculty of Astrological Studies course and emailed me asking for some back-up tuition. I suggested we meet for a coffee and informal chat. After an hour Alicia (not her real name) who is a senior lawyer by profession, fixed me with a very beady eye and said “You cannot possibly keep this knowledge to yourself”.
I went home, somewhat shaken up, to check the Ephemeris for the first time in a while. My astrological career had begun following the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of 1983. In December 2011 the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of 2010/11 was separating; transiting Uranus – having gone direct at 0 Aries on the day of our meeting – was squaring my natal Mars/Uranus conjunction in the 10th House. Yes, Reader, you’ve guessed it. I gave in, resuming my astrology practice in May 2012 with Alicia as my first client. Saturn was in late Libra – where it had been in 1983, the first time around…
Alicia moved on to explore other esoterica after a while – very Mercurial, that woman! – but we have become friends and every so often, with a chuckle, she reminds me of that kick-ass moment. There was more to follow.
Early in 2014, one of my former students came for an update astrology reading. As she was leaving, she looked at me and said, with a winning smile,
“There are a few of us who would love an astrology refresher course, starting from the beginning again. Why don’t you think about it?”
“ No, I don’t think so,” was my reply. “I sent all my teaching notes to Belgrade in 2003 – can’t be bothered making up Beginners handouts again. I’m getting on a bit, now, you know…”
“That is no problem”, she retorted, ignoring my attempts to pretend I was a bit past it. “I have all your old notes, filed in order. Why not copy them?”
Our refresher astrology class, an exact Jupiter cycle from the time I posted that cardboard box to Belgrade in March 2003, duly began in August 2014 – the very week my progressed Moon moved into Aquarius in the Sixth House, with transiting Jupiter conjunct Mercury (my ruling planet) in Leo in the Twelfth House.
This October we returned for the 2015-6 session. My students, as usual, were in sparkling form. “Face it, Anne,” one of them said. “You are stuck with us. We can always push you along to class on your zimmer, if you get too decrepit…” They tell it like it is, here in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
It feels great to have been drawn back, albeit in a part-time manner. I am no longer interested in ‘building a career’ – just want to offer out some knowledge, inspiration and of course entertainment for however long Urania (1) decides is long enough.
I find it humbling to contemplate the striking astrological symbolism describing my departure from, and return to the practice and teaching of astrology. Yet again, it would appear, “…To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”(KJV: Ecclesiastes 3:1). I had no conscious intention of returning to my former career. But that former career had other plans, taking the form of those persuasive women who gave me the right push at the right time.
Through one small individual’s experience, then, one can perceive the much bigger reality which those of us versed in astrology’s language are privileged to glimpse: Time – in as far as we are able to grasp it – moves in a vast teleology of patterns and cycles of which we are all part, whether prepared to acknowledge that reality or not…“as above, so below”…
(1) Urania: in Greek mythology, the muse of astronomy and a daughter of Zeus by Mnemosyne: also a great granddaughter of Uranus.It is the asteroid associated with astrology: in my First House, exactly sextile Third House Jupiter…
This post was first published as my fourth Not the Astrology Column in the January/February 2016 Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.
850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017