Tag Archives: Centre for Psychological Astrology

Some thoughts on Twins: do you have an astrological one?

I’ve been feeling celebratory over here at Astrology: Questions and Answers in recent days. It has dawned on me that I’ve kept this blog going for four whole years!

It’s time to say a few “Thank you” – s: firstly of course to you, my lovely readers, who keep me going with your lively comments both on my actual posts and on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook page.

Next, to Mary Plumb of the Mountain Astrologer blog who kindly invited me to be Guest blogger there on 18th February 2013. I decided to write about some of the most memorable questions I’ve been asked as an astrologer over the years, and was so pleased with the lively responses to that post that a seed was planted in my mind, from which  has sprouted this now well-established blog! Thanks, Mary!

And to Louise Vergette-Lynn of  the Exeter Astrology Group here in the UK, who was so encouraging a couple of years ago when my first rather faltering attempts to set up a Facebook Page promoting the blog made me feel like giving up. I didn’t – thanks to her….

So – to mark the occasion I thought I’d re-publish the very first post – on that topic of perennial interest, Twins. My writing on this topic has come very near the top of my stats list every single year. Here, I am talking not about blood twins, but astrological twins, and how via astrological symbolism we can see how we unconsciously ‘twin’ with those people who complement our own energies.

Twins

Twins

Linda’s Question: Submitted on 2013/06/27 at 5:43 pm

I’ve always found twins fascinating. What’s even more fascinating is the kind of relationship that develops between people who aren’t blood relatives of any sort, yet seem to be “cut from the same cloth”. We talk about being “simpatico” – has anyone ever done any studies on such people to see if there are similarities in their charts?

My Answer:

Well, most regular practitioners of astrology do this kind of research at least informally as part of both their work and their own lives.

For example, I used to wonder why most of my close friends and associates, work colleagues and bosses were Sun Virgos, Pisceans and Aquarians. Then I had my horoscope drawn up.

I found that a key axis in the horoscope, ie the Ascendant/Descendant which describes how you meet the world, the persona you present to that world, and key relationships you draw to you – was in the signs of Virgo and Pisces. Thus quite unconsciously I was drawing to me relationships with people whose solar energies symbolically complemented my own….

Furthermore, the sign opposite to Leo in the zodiac wheel is Aquarius, and you know the old saw about opposites attracting!

Anne W's Horoscope

Anne W’s Horoscope

(click on image to enlarge)

Time and again I have known marriage/relationship partnerships where one person is Sun Leo and the other Aquarius, or vice versa.  Or Sun Taurus and Sun Scorpio. Or Sun Capricorn and Sun Cancer. And so on, all round the opposite pairs in the Zodiac circle. I am married to an Aquarian, and his Aquarian brother also has a Sun Leo wife – so we are one small illustration of this!

Also, when I got around to drawing family horoscopes, I discovered my father and mother both had Virgo as their Ascending signs. My brother and sister both have the sign of Virgo strongly emphasised in their horoscopes. My husband has a Virgo Ascendant, as does my (Sun in Pisces) stepson, and my stepson’s stepfather, who used to be married to my sister (work that one out….)

Any set of family horoscopes has similar variations on key themes, where the planetary placements and the zodiac signs in which they fall symbolically tell a vivid story of interweaving energy patterns, both clashing, compulsive and harmonious – as in life lived out.

Furthermore, in nearly twenty years of teaching astrology classes to a very wide range of students ranging in occupation from bus drivers to consultant psychiatrists (who both turned up in the same class one year) I found over and over again that the planetary pattern of the horoscope which I always drew up for the date, time and place of the start of the class was reflected in striking ways in the horoscopes of the students who turned up.

One year stands out in my memory. I began the class when there was a line-up of several planets in the dark, intense and powerful sign of Scorpio. The class composition that year was like no other before or since: all ten of the students had a preponderance of planets in Scorpio and/or strong emphases on the planet Pluto, ruler of the sign Scorpio.

I enjoyed teaching the class , an intense and powerful bunch of people who absorbed every word I said ( I think….!) but said very little. It was exhausting though. Like teaching a black hole!

On a totally contrasting note, there was another year where the dominant energies of the horoscope for that class were much, much lighter and “buzzier”.

The sun and other planets (as I recall) were concentrated in the signs of Virgo and Libra, with the planet Mercury dominant. This symbolism was expressed in a hardworking, charming and co-operative, and highly communicative  group of students who were very easy to work with.

Two students from that group, Doreen and Sheilagh ( just in case they happen to read this – I know they will not mind being mentioned! ) had such similar horoscopes that I asked them to sit beside each other, commenting that they would find a great deal in common. Nearly a quarter of a century later, they are still very good friends…..astrological twins in spirit…..

I hope this gives you a flavour of what it is like observing, through the lens of astrological symbolism,  the shifting dance of interconnected energy comprising our small earthly world. AND –

 Do, please, share your stories!

Zodiac

Zodiac

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013/2017

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

On becoming a responsible astrologer: how do you get there?

Well!  22nd July’s post on the ethics of astrological practice,  a topic to which all we astrological practitioners should return from time to time in my opinion, generated a great deal of interest over at this blog’s Facebook page. My dialogue there, with thoughtful astrologer Sellieve Ezra Neptune, made it clear to me that the question of responsible astrological practice needed to be pursued further.

EthicsEthics

The Question

Here is Sellieve’s challenging question: “I do have a question for you Anne 💚. If you tell people that they should only get a reading from an astrologer who has lots of experience reading charts, how does someone get that experience if someone inexperienced isn’t worthy of giving readings yet? It’s that same catch 22 of, “can’t get a job without experience, can’t get experience without a job”. I am an aspiring professional astrologer, with a decade of learning under me, but the number of professional readings I have given is not too many…”

This is a very fair question, Sellieve, and it does indeed look as though I’ve presented a Catch 22. The last thing I want to do is discourage potentially effective astrologers like yourself from ending up as serious professional practitioners.

There are a number of ways from which to approach this question, and I do not claim to have all the answers – a brief post can only cover a few key bases. However, here goes! I should state at the outset that I am based in the UK, so am not very familiar with the specifics of what constitutes professional regulation in other countries.

Mainstream v Maverick

The advantage of belonging to one of the traditional professions recognised by mainstream society e.g. medicine, the law, teaching, accountancy etc is that one has to go through pretty rigorous training and professional licensing in order to be able to practice. This does not rule out bad practice, but it does mean it is kept to a minimum, and offers legal redress to people who have been on the receiving end of such practice.

However, astrologers especially in this reductionist age are very much NOT regarded as being in the mainstream of professional practice, and it is possible for anyone to set themselves up as an astrologer with no training, regulation or background counselling experience whatsoever.

In an ideal world, it should not be possible for people to do this. But as we all know the world we live in is far from ideal. I think the reality is that it is never going to be possible fully to prevent people from abusing their fellow citizens as described by Donna Cunningham  in my earlier post, ie  Awful Things Astrologers Say to their Clients

Increasing public awareness

However, it is my hope that the public is more aware these days of the difference between responsible, quality astrologers and dangerous amateurs. In recent  years, much progress has been made in training and monitoring astrologers through such reputable bodies as eg  OPA, ISAR, NCGR and the AFA in the US, where very high standards are set for what is expected of practising astrologers. Likewise, eg  The Mayo School of AstrologyThe London School of Astrology, Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology, the Faculty of Astrological Studies and the Centre for Psychological Astrology in the UK.

I studied with both the latter bodies, and am a member of the Association of Professional Astrologers International to whose ethical codes I  subscribe.

In order to protect ourselves legally, the APAI advises its members thus in dealing with clients:

  1. Explain briefly and in general what astrology is and what astrologers do.
  2. Explain the limitations of the techniques employed, for example: astrology is a symbolic language and offers a balance of probabilities rather than specific certainties.
  3. Describe the service(s) to be provided, for example: character analysis, compatibility assessment – and the scale of fees.
  4. Emphasize that astrology is not scientifically proven and that no reading can be 100% accurate.
  5. Explain, nevertheless, that APAI astrologers will work to the best of their knowledge and abilities in the preparation and delivery of the services to be provided.

How we begin…

Most of us who end up as astrologers have a similar route. First, we encounter astrology in a range of different ways depending on who we are and what our context is, this encounter leading us to being fascinated and compelled to take our interest further.

In my case, I encountered a couple in a launderette in Bath, England in the 1970s who took me home with them, did my chart, and told me I was likely to end up studying astrology or something very like it in seven years’ time. At that time I was both engaged in another professional life, and a dismisser of astrology from the dismissers’ standard base of knowing nothing at all about it. However, they were right…

Then we practice, on friends, family, anyone who would like their chart read – hopefully sticking to the basics of Sun, Moon, Saturn, Ascendant and Midheaven, and even more hopefully, having some awareness of when one is getting out of one’s depth – not going too far into wounding other people through our own lack of expertise and knowledge.

From amateur to professional

It should take quite a while of doing this before one’s thoughts turn to whether becoming a professional astrologer is a realistic possibility. In a follow-up comment to her original question, Sellieve partially answers it herself, by pointing out the following:

“…Not everyone comes to an Astrologer looking for serious advice, sometimes they want a theatrical presentation of their personality, or they find astrology interesting but don’t want to study it themselves… In this such case I think it is better to refer these kinds of clients to less experienced professional astrologers, people like me and other millennials. If someone wants to see an astrologer for counseling, if they want light brought onto a difficult situation, then it is best to refer them to a psychological astrologer, or someone with more impressive credentials than me…”

In the end, how much one gradually realises through this process of initial dabbling the amount of power and responsibility one is taking on by reading peoples’ charts is dependent upon the degree of self-awareness, experience and maturity one has acquired by this point. Personal integrity, which no-one can teach, is also a major factor in determining the path people take when they realise they wish to practice as professional astrologers.

I think that the best possible start for a would-be astrologer is to place themselves at the outset within a clear framework of ethics and guidelines which all the reputable training and monitoring bodies provide and follow those guidelines to the best of their ability.

An excellent recent book to acquire in helping this process along,  is OPA (the Organisation for Professional Astrology) ‘s  The Professional Astrologer which is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of setting up an astrology practice. Do acquire this book, Sellieve, as soon as possible! Master astrologer Donna Cunningham’s Counseling Principles for Astrologers is also an excellent guide for astrologers at this very important stage of their careers.

One of the best books I know which covers the practical, ethical, moral, psychological and spiritual dimensions of being an astrologer is  The Astrologer, the Counsellor and the Priest. by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke, based on a seminar given at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in 1996,which I had the good fortune to attend, and which was comprehensive, practical, and thought provoking.

Setting up a practice – some practicalities

Sellieve has added some more comments over on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page regarding how to go about setting up an astrology practice to which I responded as follows:

” …I think that you probably need to look around a few astrologers’ consultation/tuition web Pages – you are welcome to look at mine for some ideas –and set up a professional web page stating your approach, what you do and don’t do, qualifications, background relevant experience, and fees. And join a reputable professional organisation eg OPA,  if you haven’t already. And set up a professional email only to be used for your practice. [You will also need to think about how you wish to be contacted initially, where you are going to practice with attendant privacy, recording policy, etc etc.]

I think if you set a context for yourself so that you know clearly what you are doing, who you wish to draw to you by way of clientele, and what your professional boundaries are, then get out there doing a few talks and maybe offering a small beginners class for starters, all that will help.

I set boundaries by saying to people who want me to comment on their charts, that I only do that within the boundaries of a professional consultation. It’s a sacred art, after all, so it should be practised with appropriate respect for both yourself, your client, and astrology. If people want a reading, they can go to your Page then get back to you. That saves a lot of time and energy.

And of course, if people are enthusiastic and open minded without trying to get bits of a reading from you informally, then talk astrology with as many people as wish to hear about the Real Deal as opposed to eg playing ‘Guess my sign!”. Something I never do, incidentally…”

Disclaimer – or not?

One of Sellieve’s later comments concerned the question of adding a disclaimer to one’s publicity, advising that astrology is “for entertainment purposes only”, something which she found disquieting in the same way that I or anyone else would who considers that what they do as astrologers goes into a considerable degree of depth and can not be described as entertainment. Here, I can only speak for myself: I would never add such a disclaimer to my publicity, since I consider a high standard of practice to be my greatest protection against any likelihood of legal action.

She adds “…astrologers could potentially find themselves in a predicament when a client takes an astrological prediction very seriously and it doesn’t come true, or if the astrologer gives advice about what to do in a relationship, the client can hold the astrologer responsible for anything that goes wrong…”

Here we come slap up against the reason why, in my view, anyone wishing to take themselves seriously as an astrologer, or be taken seriously by members of the public as a responsible person, needs to get themselves at the very least some  counselling skills training  (if full counselling training is not at first a realistic option for whatever reason, often finance) as well as having the experience of being in the client’s seat themselves.

Many counselling/therapy training courses will offer cut-price counselling sessions with trainees in supervision. In this way, counselling or therapy of a satisfactory standard can often be obtained without too great a financial outlay.

An important part of an an astrologer’s job is to combine the natal  horoscope with transits, progressions, and other directions in the heavens at the time of the consultation to help clients clarify situations in which they find themselves, so that they can then make their own decisions regarding what to do.

Making definite predictions and advising people what to do diminishes clients’ free will and confidence in themselves, although in the short run it might afford them some temporary relief to hand over those choices to the astrologer – upon whom they can later dump the blame and perhaps threaten legal action, when things do not turn out according to either predictions or advice given.

In conclusion…

This is but a brief sketch. I hope readers will flesh it out for themselves –  starting with the suggestions made for organisations to join and reading to do, enabling them to become clearer about what taking the first steps to becoming responsible professional astrologers involves.

There is far more support available now for the Millennial generation of emerging astrologers like Sellieve, than there was when we baby-boomers started out. That’s great, and how it should be … one of my great pleasures at this stage in my life is to pass on some of what I know and have learned – usually the hard way! – to the generation of talented young folk now arising.

And – thanks so much to Sellieve Ezra Neptune for prodding me into action on this most important topic!

Zodiac

Zodiac

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2000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The attraction of new horizons…what is the Jupiter Cycle?

Optimistic, expansive and meaning-seeking Jupiter has been in the sign of Virgo since 11th August 2015, driving us all crazy ( well, me, anyway…!) with its cheerfully relentless insistence on work, work, work, and detail, detail, more detail.. . I jest, but only slightly….  Excitement is however, already building in anticipation for Jupiter’s shift into Libra on 9th September 2016, where he will remain until 10th October 2017; try googling ‘Jupiter’s shift into Libra’ and you’ll see what I mean.

Nearer the time, there will be torrents of words offered across the web regarding what this shift is likely to bring for all of us in general, but folks with the Sun and other planets in Libra in particular. However, for today I want to concentrate on  Jupiter’s 11-12 year cycle.

What is the Jupiter Cycle?

As ever, it is important at the outset of a general article to stress that one can only really judge in detail what the essence of any planetary shift is likely to be from consideration of the whole horoscope or birth chart. However, it is certainly possible to sketch out a broad picture which can offer some perspective: both to readers with some astrological knowledge, and to those of you with none who are curious to know more.

Each of the planets, travelling through the twelve signs of the zodiac as viewed from Earth, has a cycle of differing length. Pluto, currently in Capricorn, will take 248 years to traverse the 360 zodiacal degrees, returning to that sign long after we are all dead and gone!

Saturn’s cycle, on the other hand, is a much shorter 29/30 years. This is known as the famous Saturn Return, returning to the place it occupied at our birth when we are 29/30 years of age – inviting us all to grow up. 

Jupiter and Saturn together form a symbolic, complementary whole: as its cycle unfolds, Saturn helps us to be realistic and to set limits without which no maturation or growth can take place. Jupiter creates contrast and balance to this. It energises that optimistic, expansive part of us which reaches out to the pleasure of new experience, new learning and understanding. Its natural exuberance can make life a fun, joyful experience.

It can also cause us to over-reach our limits, expect more than life can realistically deliver. That facet needs to be watched carefully when Jupiter is very active in our lives…

Jupiter’s cycle is 11-12 years: 11.6 years to be exact. It’s an easy one to track, being accessible both to those of you who know some astrology and those of you who don’t. Everyone can track though their lives, measuring the Jupiter cycles: Jupiter returns to its location in your birth horoscope at 11/12 years of age, 23/4, 35/6, 47/8, 59/60, 71/2, 83/4 in a currently average lifetime.

What do we look for in the Jupiter cycle? In essence, the start of each cycle represents the opening out of a whole new learning period, whose archetypal purpose is to expose us to new experience, new learning – all kinds of travelling within both inner and outer life. 

Real life flesh on symbolic bones…

These experiences may and do vary hugely from one person to another, taking their flavour from the zodiacal sign and house in which Jupiter was located when you were born. It’s important to colour theory with some lively examples of what actually happens to real people when those shifts take place. I already have some interesting material to share. Let’s go!

 At 23/24 (Jupiter in Sagittarius in 9th house) you might take off to Australia to do a postgraduate Diploma in Adult Education. Your friend (Jupiter in Capricorn in 6th house) might not travel anywhere, but concentrate on mastering a new skill like carpentry which enables him after a few years’ apprenticeship to set up his own business.

In the meantime, my neighbour down the street (Jupiter in Cancer in 5th house) might marry at 23/4 and have three children in rapid succession before the age of 30. In a real-life example, “Alexa” said: “My second Jupiter return, aged 24, coincided with me buying a house – natal Jupiter is in Cancer, which is appropriate, of course, and the house was bigger (Jupiter) than we needed for just the two of us, so we could have space for lodgers.” 

These are very different branches, Jupiter in differing signs and houses of the zodiac at birth: but the same underlying principle of expansion and growth of experience, understanding, and (hopefully!) some wisdom, shines through them all.

You can also detect the archetypal lifelong themes provided via Jupiter’s placing by sign and house in your personal horoscope, as you follow the Jupiter cycle’s unfolding throughout your lifetime. For example, I have Jupiter in Scorpio in the third house of my natal horoscope. It’s not hard to work out from this (and Jupiter’s strong links to most of the planets in that horoscope!) that an intense preoccupation with gathering and sharing all kinds of information and placing it in contexts which expand one’s understanding of life’s deeper meanings, might be rather important to me…

The Jupiter cycle: unfolding in one lifetime

At 11-12, I passed the “Quali” (the long defunct Scottish entrance exam to determine one’s level of entry to secondary education). At 23-4, I completed a post-graduate Diploma in Education, having already been an adult education teacher for two years. At 35-6, I studied for and passed my first astrology qualification, the Certificate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (UK), prior to beginning a career as an astrologer.

 At 47-8, I began the Diploma in Psychological Astrology, studying with Liz Greene and the late Charles Harvey at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. In completing this course, I commuted by plane for three years, earning myself the nickname of “The Flying Scot”. The year after the 59-60 Jupiter Return,  I stepped into cyber-space via “Writing from the Twelfth House” my first blog, now a well-stocked, varied archive of articles on the broad theme of  “…mystery, meaning, pattern and purpose…”. My first book, a research study called “Jupiter Meets Uranus”, now e-published as a FREE download, was published the following year. And so on…

Perhaps this personal account will encourage you to track through a few of your Jupiter cycles, and see that there is indeed a thematic unfolding of a specific kind of experience…

Fate, free will…or what?

The question of what the balance is between fate and free will has preoccupied humans for millennia. It remains unresolved. However, as an astrologer it is important to have a view. Decades of astrological practice; much reading especially in recent years including what I can grasp of probability theory and chaos theory; my own efforts to become a more conscious person: these have all led me to the view (not original at all – many astrologers take this standpoint!) that there are certain givens in this life, as shown by the characters standing on a person’s life stage when the horoscope is drawn up. Those characters, the horoscope’s symbolic, archetypal patterns, are ours for life.

 However, the evidence of observation and experience appears to suggest this vital point: the more conscious we can become of what our motivations and drives are, and how they impact on our inner and external life, the wider becomes the range of possible avenues of expression to which we can have access in choosing how to make our particular life’s drama as positive and creative as possible. 

Bearing this in mind, let’s return to the Jupiter cycle and see how we might work creatively and consciously with its 11-12 year periods. 

Working with cycles

All life cycles, whether we at looking at a gnat, a human, or a galaxy, go through the same process: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, dying back in preparation for the new. So it is with the planetary cycles.

Think of the tiny monthly cycle of the Sun and Moon. The New Moon takes place in darkness. Only when that first magical waxing crescent appears after 2-3 days, does the energy of the cycle begin to build. After a week, first quarter, things are taking shape. At full moon, the cycle’s energy is in full light, at its most obvious. A week later, on the waning square, the Moon is shrinking, the month’s energy on the wane. Then the last, waning crescent precedes Moondark, those 2-3 days in which the energy of the completed cycle sinks back into the Void, waiting for the energy of the next New Moon to arise.

Applying the same template to the 11-12 year cycle of Jupiter, it takes a year or so for the initial upsurge of desire for new expansive challenges to stabilise and take definite form.

Jupiter in action: a real-life example

 Let’s use the person with Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 9th House as our example. At the age of 23, off she goes to Australia, completes her Diploma, and obtains a good teaching job in Melbourne. She works there for a couple of years, then relocates to Sydney (first quarter phase, Jupiter now in Pisces) since she wants to take up sailing and she has a friend there who runs a sailing school.

 Three years later (full moon phase, Jupiter in Gemini) she agrees to take on a teaching job at the sailing school where she has been a student. Another three years go by, and she begins to become dissatisfied and critical (last quarter phase, Jupiter now in Virgo). She is becoming bogged down in admin and paperwork. Not her style! 

She puts less and less commitment into her job, and after over ten years in Australia, she has itchy feet again (moondark). Nearly twelve years after arriving, full of enthusiasm, she is off to work in the Greek Islands. She has fallen in love with a Greek Australian and decides to return with him to his home island of Rhodes. She is nearly thirty-six years old. A new Jupiter cycle is about to begin…

Working with our Jupiter cycles

I’ve always found that astrology students and clients are fascinated when you consider their major cycles with them, as well as finding it helpful in understanding the unfolding pattern of their lives. The Jupiter cycle is a particularly easy one to which to connect. The rhythm of the cycle, looking back, can usually be tracked.

In the last year or two before a new 11-12 year period begins, one can generally perceive a certain dissatisfaction, boredom, loss of any great interest, and desire for a new challenge in the sphere of life indicated by the sign and house placement of Jupiter natally. If Jupiter is a very strongly placed and emphasised ‘character on the stage’, the overall effect is of course amplified.

With Jupiter in Scorpio in the third house, I clearly recall my boredom, restlessness, and desire for a new educational project towards the end of my fourth Jupiter cycle when I was forty-six or forty-seven. “Alexa”, with her Jupiter in Cancer, bought a house at the start of the second Jupiter cycle when she was twenty-four, “… bigger (Jupiter) than we needed for just the two of us, so we could have space for lodgers.”

Are you a year or two into a new Jupiter cycle? Or three years into it? After five or six years, the cycle is at its Full Moon phase, its peak of energy. By nine years, impetus generally is on the wane, and restlessness setting in. By the Moondark phase of the cycle, it really feels like time for a new project, a new venture. But you know, if you are familiar with this cycle’s rhythm, that it will probably be another year or so before the new idea has taken shape and translated itself into a fresh, exciting direction. 

One of the great gifts of astrological knowledge is the help it offers in setting our sails, metaphorically speaking, to the prevailing winds of our lives. It is useful to get to know your Jupiter cycle, in planning those times in life when your Spirit is calling you to open up your life to new experience. I do hope this introductory article has given you some useful food for reflection – and impetus to action!

It would be helpful in the meantime if any readers feel like sharing their experiences of Jupiter cycles. In this way, we all expand our understanding…Thanks!

Zodiac

Zodiac

2000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

Scotland’s Horoscope

 The most commonly used chart for Scotland is that of the crowning of Malcolm the Second at Scone on 25 March 1005 at noon (see DATA at end of article). In this chart can be seen quite clearly some of the main themes which the wider world associates with Scotland. In a brief piece like this, one can only cover the most obvious.
Scotland's Horoscope

Scotland’s Horoscope

The first thing to strike the eye is the powerful emphasis on fire, with Leo rising , Aries MC, and both rulers in Aries in the tenth house.  Mercury Venus conjuncts the MC from the Ninth House. This conjures up a picture of an exuberant, creative and confident nation not wishing to keep its talents to itself but  launching them (in the shape of its people) out into the wider world.

Scots are to be found everywhere, and every modern Scot has relatives in Canada, America and Australia in particular. Some of the world’s most famous explorers were Scots, David Livingstone and Alexander MacKenzie, who named the MacKenzie river in Canada, being two examples.

Uranus, ruler of the Aquarian Descendant, is placed in the Ninth House in a watery grand trine with Saturn and Pluto. This conjures up a powerful image of strongly inventive and imaginative abilities which can structure the natural forces of nature in innovative ways: James Watt whose steam condenser leading to the steam engine drove the Industrial Revolution, and John Logie Baird who invented television, come immediately to mind.

Uranus’ conjunction with Mercury, Venus, the MC and trine the Leo Ascendant  combines restless travelling with innovative writing and artistic expression: Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, neither of whom ended their days in their native land, but both of whom exerted powerful influence as writers and artists, fit this pattern well.

Overall, Scotland is a country which has contributed to the positive dimensions of human endeavour quite out of proportion to its small size.

Inevitably, there is a darker side to this bright picture, as with any nation. Saturn rising in Cancer in the Twelfth House is the powerful starting place from which to explore the painful side of Scotland’s complex sense of national identity. That identity under threat from an oppressive aggressor nation is a strong picture which arises from the square between the Twelfth House Saturn in Cancer, and  Mars in Aries in the Tenth.

There are many examples of this oppression by England over the thousand years since Malcolm was crowned at Scone. Memories of the brutal putting down of the 1745 rebellion against English rule, the infamous Massacre of Glencoe and the suppression of the Gaelic language which followed, and the Highland Clearances which forced thousands of Scots to emigrate in the eighteenth century, still fester in the national psyche.

Mars in Aries in the Tenth is exuberant, bold and adventurous; the square to Twelfth House Saturn in Cancer shows the undertone of rage and pain at  being torn from one’s deepest roots which lies behind that bright spirit. Poverty and oppression in many cases were the driving forces behind the Scots’ wanderlust.

One of Scotland’s many paradoxes is that a great, and justified, sense of national pride seems to co-exist with angry feelings of resentment and a hidden inferiority complex; symbolically, this fits well with the square sitting behind Leo rising.

If you are in any doubt about this, try keeping company with Scots who are the worse for drink, particularily if the location is England! One of the most unattractive facets of contemporary Scotland seems to be the need to put down (with the exception of Sean Connery !) those who have done well, rather than praising them.

Scotland’s passionate and at times tortured relationship with the spirit at its different levels can also be seen from this chart. Look at the dominant grand cross involving the Cancer/Capricorn Nodal axis with Neptune, crossing the MC/IC axis T-square involving the prominent Sun and Venus.

This is a highly imaginative, spiritual, musical, passionate,cultured, artistic, adventurous, justice-seeking, visionary pattern in its bright face. It speaks of the many gifts this small nation has given to the wider world, and through which its own national life has been, and is, a rich experience for many of us who live here.

But its dark face is that of the maudlin drunk, abandoned by God, oppressed by England, singing exiles’ songs in some parochial bar, longing to return to the unchallenging safety of the womb/home – or failing that, the oblivion of alcohol.

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The 1005  chart  reflects well  the momentous changes which were going on, as we moved towards electing the first Scottish parliament for nearly three hundred years on the 6th May 1999.

Prog Uranus at 4 degrees Aries is crossing natal Mercury and Venus (IC ruler) in the Ninth House, with prog Asc at 20 degrees Pisces close to natal Uranus, also in the Ninth. Prog Sun (Chart Ruler ) is conjunct  Prog MC at 28 Sagittarius, both falling on the natal Part of Fortune – all indications of the radical nature of those changes, and the nation’s optimism and expansive spirit as it prepared for its first step towards self-government  for nearly 300 years.

Transits reinforce this. As the time of the elections approached, Jupiter crossed all the Aries planets at the top of Scotland’s horoscope, as well as the MC.

During the whole period since the sweeping New Labour victory in May 1997 made a Scottish parliament a reality instead of a romantic nationalistic fantasy, transiting Pluto in Sagittarius  opposed Scotland’s Jupiter in the 11th in Gemini, square the 2nd House Virgo Moon. Scotland’s Sun/Moon midpoint at 8 Gemini was also opposed by Pluto from Spring 98 until the end of 1999.

These were very appropriate significators for the debate centred around beliefs and values and the proper allocation of resources which had been going on; also, there is a death/rebirth process going on in Scotland’s ties with England and the UK. The outcome of that is by no means clear, many Scots wanting nothing less than the end of the long marriage with the UK. 

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DATA :

Scotland:

25 March 1005,  Scone, Scotland, Noon (traditional symbolic time for the coronation of the king). Coronation of Malcolm Canmore, aka Malcolm the Second. Source/s: this date is given as the start of the year 1005 in the Annnals of Ulster, as quoted in Early Sources of Scottish History Volume 1, p 521, covering AD 500-1296. This work was collected and translated by Alan Orr Anderson (1879 -1958) and first published in 1922 by Oliver & Boyd (Edinburgh). A corrected edition was published by Paul Watkins in Edinburgh in 1990.

(note: the Horoscope in this article is set for Perth, a latitude and longitude so near Scone as to make no difference to the horoscope’s planetary positions, Ascendant or Midheaven – the computer hadn’t heard of Scone, apparently! And – the date changes to 31 March when calendar adjustments are made from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar)

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PS: 11.9.2014: The Scottish Referendum vote

To read my thoughts on the Scottish Independence Referendum, viewed through the lens of the larger, and extremely turbulent, contemporary world picture, click HERE

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Zodiac

1200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 1999/2014/2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

How I became an astrologer

It has been most interesting following  social media reactions to this recent article in Harper’s Bazaar, in which four women talk about why they chose to become astrologers. So – I thought I’d share my story of how a dismissive sceptic – me! – turned into a devoted practitioner. Enjoy! And remember – never say never…

Anne W's Horoscope - drawn by hand!

Anne W’s Horoscope – drawn by hand!

My career as an astrologer began in a launderette in Bath, England, in the 1970s – although I didn’t realise that at the time ! Befriending a little girl who came to chat whilst I did my washing, I met her parents, Gloria and Seamus; they were astrologers, they said, and would I care to come back to their place for a cup of tea? They’d like to draw up my horoscope, to thank me for entertaining their child.

Well, I remember thinking, nothing better to do for the next hour…….at that  stage I was  scornful and dismissive of astrology, basing my judgement on the Sun Sign material in the media which struck me as general, banal and trivial. I did not know then that  there was a subject of great depth and power beyond  the Sun Signs.

I was puzzled  by my new  friends’ dismissal of  the Sun Sign columns – wasn’t that what astrology was all about ?. “We’re proper  astrologers” they said firmly.“ Your Star Sign (Leo, in my case) only puts one  character on the stage of your life. It’s impossible to describe who you are from only one factor.”

They wrote down my date, place, and apparently vital TIME  of birth, produced various reference books and did complex-looking calculations. Then they drew up my Birth Chart or Horoscope : this was a map of the heavens for the precise time I was born. It was apparently an unusual chart  – lots of planets in the twelfth house, whatever that meant, and strong Pluto, Saturn  and Uranus influences. So what, I thought.

Then came their interpretation into character analysis of the planetary symbols in my Birth Chart, in considerable depth and with a high level of accuracy. The experience shocked me to the core.

How could they be so accurate about my career aspirations? How could they know what my deepest fears were ?How COULD they manage to describe my parents’ core characteristics and some of the key effects they’d had on me ? How could they describe so vividly the restless spirit  which drove me ? I had met them less than an hour ago. They knew nothing of my personal history or life experience.

Worse was to come. “You tell me you’re a total sceptic,” Seamus chuckled . “But your Horoscope shows that you have a deeply sensitive, spiritual side to your nature which you’re currently refusing to acknowledge, preferring to identify with the intellectual and the rationalist in yourself. But I can see from your Chart, and where the planets will be in a few years, that in your early thirties the spiritual dimension will come calling. You are very likely to end up doing something like this yourself.”

What nonsense, I thought. But I had no acceptable way of explaining in rational terms what had happened. Uneasily, I filed the experience away in the pigeonhole reserved for the many incidents occurring in my twenties which did not fit my existentialist  world view.

Fast forward to my early thirties, having forgotten all about Seamus’ prediction. For my birthday that year, a friend gave me an odd present considering my scepticism – an astrology book. It was intelligently and sensitively written; I found myself compelled. My feelings were an uncomfortable mixture of attraction, rejection, fascination and embarrassment. What COULD I say to my friends and family?

Saying nothing, I carried on reading. After a year, astrology still fascinated me. By this time – and by a series of odd coincidences – I had found out about the Faculty of Astrological Studies, based in London. It offered a year-long correspondence course with some lengthy exams at the end of it, leading to a Certificate of the Faculty.

I embarked on my studies in an empirical spirit. If astrology WAS indeed merely superstitious nonsense of little value, at least I would have arrived at a conclusion based on knowledge and practice, rather than ignorance and prejudice. I had moved on sufficiently from intellectual arrogance to the awareness that it was very unscientific, and highly irrational, to dismiss a whole body of knowledge without ever having studied it. I obtained my Certificate in 1983, by which time my studies had demonstrated to me that the astrological model had worthwhile insights to offer.

(I was to further my studies much later on, at the Centre for Psychological Astrology,  by commuting by plane from Glasgow to London from 1995-1998 to complete a three-year Diploma in Psychological Astrology with renowned teacher writer and astrologer Dr Liz Greene.)

The teaching and practice of astrology became a major strand in my self-employed career from 1985 until 2001 when, following a long health crisis, I gave up all work (except writing!) for seven years. In May 2012, after a very long sabbatical, I returned to my astrological work part time, and teaching in 2014. It feels good to be back!

My first astrologer - self portrait

My first astrologer – self portrait

 

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850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

 

Free Book – ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’

e-publication by co-occurrence

e-publication by co-occurrence

“… this book is about….  Nodal Returns, Nodal synastries, Nodal ‘trawls’ and Nodal moments.  A knowledge-gathering journey through the lives and charts of the famous and not so famous – yet with the excitement of a personal quest and the inestimable benefit of coming through the pen of a gifted writer. Herein are facts – not theories – that you can use to enrich your own astrological interpretations and personal understanding of the Moon’s Nodes in Action….”

Download the book HERE

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Zodiac

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100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Mercury Retrograde status report: the pain – and the gain!

Well, this so far is the most tricksterish, troublesome Mercury Retrograde I’ve had for many a long year –a little post asking for feedback on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page has validated this impression.

Mercury’s fellow travellers Mars and the Sun also in Gemini – opposing Saturn  square Neptune – do, I feel, explain this amplification. Such a complex, contradictory energy pattern also accounts for the accompanying confusion, lassitude, lethargy and feelings of being oppressed by tasks with which which one can’t quite come to grips… 

Gorgeous Mercury

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury rules my horoscope, and aspects every planet, so I knew things might be a little tricky…the torture started on Tuesday morning, mere hours after Mercury went retrograde, with my losing my office keys.There followed frantic searching – husband helpfully went through all my handbags and coat/jacket pockets in my absence and could not believe how many pairs of gloves, lipsalves, emergency cash, pencils, notebooks, tissues etc etc inhabited those arcane corners of my life.

The keys turned up, eventually – in the cafe in the park across from my office where I’d been with a friend last week. Then, two days later, I had walked half way to work when I discovered I had left my office keys behind and had to trudge all the way back home ….there’s more, there’s more! 

In the last week, I have had to conduct a skype astrology reading over mobile phone because something happened my end and skype did not work. My client seemed much less phased by this than me, and wants to book another half hour very soon. Thank goodness I only do half hour sessions at present –I think I might have passed out if I’d had to do a whole reading between here and the USA over a mobile!

I have also got crossed wires with friends re timing of meet-ups, and offered people appointments which I later had to retract because of double booking. ( I am normally very well organised). And – how used I was to this feature of Mercury Retrograde in the days before my long 2001-8 sabbatical – my client/student cancellations and re-schedulings began just as Mercury stationed, prior to turning retrograde.

Today’s arrangements with two friends – I have given myself a writing day with no clients or students, worn out with the nervous strain of trying to keep my practice on an even keel – have been so interrupted and disrupted I cannot face describing what has happened. I haven’t even mentioned Web and computer glitchiness of which there was plenty. Advice: do not attempt to link your PayPal account to your bank account at these Retro times…

However, lest you readers out there imagine that Mercury Retrograde is all bad news, let me stress a fundamental principle of working creatively with planetary energies, whatever they may be. To quote Liz Greene in one of her 1990s Centre for Psychological Astrology Seminars:

“You have to give the god what the god wants. If it’s Mars, don’t offer a bunch of flowers!”

Capricious Mercury

Capricious Mercury

I have never forgotten this witty, sage advice. So – what should we offer Mercury in his retrograde phase? First of all, philosophical acceptance that, the more Mercurial one is, the more day to day screw-ups on the communication and travel front one is likely to have. Just allow more time to do everything, and don’t expect too much to flow smoothly if it is anything to do with communication or manual dexterity.

And of course, paying attention to the Retro part gives you a clue that going back over matters to do with communication/writing is a constructive use of this time.

I am now beginning seriously to contemplate getting to grips with my next book. So I used last Friday to dig out some material I had put together off and on over the last three years – and discovered that I have actually drafted an outline of my core idea, as well as having already conducted and recorded one of the case study interviews. I spent a happy couple of hours re-reading, refreshing my memory, and re-inspiring myself for the task ahead.

Also, on Monday I got down to completing one of my least favourite chores in the whole world: preparing my previous year’s accounts to send to my accountant. This involves going through receipts in excruciating detail, etc etc too boring even to list. My husband swears he simply has to utter the phrase “Tax Return” to me and steam immediately starts pouring from my ears…BUT…I did it!

So – how have you Mercurial folk out there been getting on this first week? Do let us all know – assuming you can get the Comments box to work!

Zodiac

Zodiac

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page