Tag Archives: Dell Horoscope Magazine

“Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new…”

…the last line from John Milton’s poem, Lycidas. And a great line to quote, when you feel you’re done with one thing, but not too sure what the next one will be!

Both the delight and the pain ( mostly to my nearest and dearest ) of having all those fiery Leo planets squared by third house Jupiter is that I go through periodic spells of boring everyone by theatrically declaiming, hand to forehead, “What am I going to DO with the rest of my life?”

You’d think at my age this mode of being would have subsided. But no. It hasn’t.

Running my blogs for the last eleven years – and this one since 2013 – has been a blast ( Jupiter Return, anyone? !) but I have now at least temporarily run out of steam. I’ll be keeping out of mischief by continuing writing my columns for Dell Horoscope Magazine, The UK’s Astrological Journal, Infinity Astrological Magazine, and hopefully having more articles appear in The Mountain Astrologer Magazine and Astrodienst in due course. So – you’ll find me there, and I will of course be continuing to share all kinds of work by astrologers I admire – and dipping into my own archives – on Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page. 

Do keep visiting there!

As well as all that, I’ll be taking time out over the summer to put together a collection of my essays, articles and columns with a view to publication sometime in 2020 – and planning a new website. Come to think of it, maybe I DO know what I’m going to be doing…at least for the next while…

Thanks so much to all you loyal followers and commenters over the years, both here and over at my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page. Without you, I’d probably have got bored and moved on to pastures new, on a galaxy far away, long before now.

Bye!

Anne xx

Tomorrow to fresh woods – with The Fool in the Tarot

350 words © Anne Whitaker 2019

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

A tale of Saturn, Capricorn, Nodes, and family history….

 My Aquarian husband loves mountains. His ruling planet Mercury, and Mars, reside resolutely in Capricorn. He has climbed all 284 mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet –– named Munros, after the first person to map them, Sir Hugh Munro, born with Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler, square his Aries North Node. 

Reader, here is a clue regarding this column: it’s about the long reach of family fate, centred on the signs of Aries and Capricorn.

Jungfrau and Munch, Switzerland

Jungfrau and Munch, Switzerland

photo: Anne Whitaker

Picture this scene. My maternal grandfather Calum, with Capricorn Sun square the tenth house North Node in Aries, was a true adventurer. In his young days he was employed as a sheep herder in the Cascade Mountains in Canada. Dropping in on Patagonia, he fetched up eventually as a cattle rancher in Argentina, South America. Returning briefly home to marry the comely, dark-haired Mary Ann, he left her to bring up their first child in her parents’ home in a remote village on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

At last he returned, bursting with excitement. “Mary Ann, Mary Ann, we have a wonderful opportunity to make our fortune!”

“And what would that be, Calum?” she enquired.

“I have done so well with the cattle ranching that my employer has offered me a senior position on his ranch, with my own land and a herd of cattle thrown in. You and our son will love Argentina! What do you say?”

There was a long pause before my grandmother Mary Ann finally spoke. “ I will come with you, Calum” she said slowly and deliberately, “ as long as we bring my coffin along too.”

That was the end of our South American connection…

My mother, their last child, was born with the Sun in Aries, exactly square her Capricorn Moon. For most of us, drawing up family charts is a compelling early step in the astrological adventure. When I saw my mother’s chart my heart turned over,  the vivid family story I’ve just related leaping out of the symbolism. Calum saying “Yes!!”  and Mary Ann saying a mournful “No”: clearly encoded in that Sun/Moon square.

My father had an Aries Sun too, trine Saturn: he combined a responsible professional life as a senior local government officer with being the most notorious poacher our island community had seen for many years.  My mother’s attitude to his exploits was summed up in her Capricorn Moon square both their Aries Suns…

Eventually, I married…with my family history, and a fiery Sun/Moon conjunction linked with Saturn, I was in no hurry. When husband Ian’s progressed Sun entered Aries, he took up serious mountaineering, and I took up serious worrying about him – I’ve alluded to this in a previous column.

However, I don’t have a tenth house Mars/Uranus conjunction for nothing. He went up North to do mountains, I went down South to study astrology with Liz Greene. This kept everything in balance for years; not everyone’s solution, but it worked for us.

Fast forward to April 11th 2018. Most of us that week were feeling pressured one way or another, as Mars separated from Saturn, advancing toward Pluto in Capricorn. Saturn retrograding, Chiron entering Aries, and the Aries New Moon would all occur the following week. Not very relaxing…

We were due to set off to Switzerland on 22nd April, the day Pluto would turn retrograde in Capricorn. Mars would be transiting Pluto for the whole trip. Our goal? My husband loves trains and mountains; venturing to the highest railway station in Europe near the top of the Jungfrau mountain had been his aim for many years.

The previous autumn, he’d been knocked down by a cyclist in our local park and struck his head. Dealing with the consequences of this had taken up the whole winter and spring. He was probably well enough now to withstand all the rail travel involved from Scotland, via London and Strasbourg, until we eventually got to Switzerland. But I was seriously worried. Then, on Wednesday 11th April, he injured his back, always a weak point.

Sitting at our kitchen table in tears, I now wanted to cancel the trip but knew how devastated he would be. Then something dawned.This day was my late mother’s birthday. Her Sun was at 21 Aries, her Moon at 21 Capricorn. Pluto, sitting by transit exactly on her Moon, was being triggered by the Sun at 21 Aries.

I was being faced, in essence, by my grandparents’ life-changing dilemma. Ian desperately wanted to go on a longed-for adventure. Being fearful, I wanted to stop him. The power of this realisation was astonishing.  Would I repeat family history, whose consequences had profoundly shaped my grandparents’, then my parents’ marriages? Or would I let go of intense fear – trusting to Fate that Ian would fulfil his dream, and we would be ok?

Stopping crying, I offered the situation up to the Divine: Jupiter, who rises at 18 Virgo in our composite chart, was linking both our natal charts to currently transiting Jupiter at 21.5 Scorpio, sextile Pluto at 21 Capricorn. Amidst all the really challenging energies of this time, my core feeling, beneath the fear, was that Ian would be fine. He was. We had a fantastic trip.

Being able to decode and confront a significant piece of my family inheritance via the medium of astrological symbolism, was deeply moving and awe-inspiring. For those of us who have been given both challenging horoscopes and a willingness to examine ourselves and our motives with as much honesty as we dare to muster, I have long felt that a significant task in this life is to try to redeem some of the pain and limitation which our ancestors have unwittingly handed on to us, along with their gifts, talents and strengths.

By saying “Yes” to my husband, despite the fear, I like to think that, in a small way, a painful part of that family past was honoured – and partly redeemed.

Endnotes

This post is a slightly edited version of my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’  from the November/December 2018 Issue.

Jungfrau and Munch, Switzerland

Jungfrau and Munch, Switzerland

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2019

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

 

Moon’s Nodes, Saturn/Pluto ….and a ‘just war’?

It was an arresting sight. A wide dark blue ribbon of uniformed, chattering, excited schoolkids carrying home-made placards. Escorted by teachers, they were weaving their noisy way through our local Botanic Gardens, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Students in Sydney demand action on climate change

 Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Sydney, Australia

I quickly jerked awake from the (usually) semi-somnolent half hour stroll to my office, finding a way through the stream of youngsters, giving them thumbs-up as I went. Of course! They were taking part in the Friday morning schools protest as part of the Extinction Rebellion movement. ‘…and getting some exercise too!…’ remarked a passing teacher cheerfully.

To me, this was a significant moment. Although of course like everyone else I’ve been following the Greta Thunberg story with admiring interest, and reflecting a great deal on the power of one determined enough person to bring about significant cultural, social, political change, this was my first direct physical and emotional encounter with the ordinary grass roots reality of what is clearly happening at ground level at present….Uranus in Taurus is shaking the political and social ground under our feet.

Our changing culture…

From UK’s The Guardian newspaper, 14.3.19‘…Children at tens of thousands of schools in more than 100 countries are due to take part in the walkouts which began last year when one teenager – Greta Thunberg – held a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament. Since then the climate movement has snowballed with schoolchildren on every continent except Antarctica taking part….There are 1,659 climate strike events planned worldwide…’ On 15 March 2019, an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world joined her call. This is an astonishing achievement.

In that small Friday morning moment in our small country, I felt very keenly the power and magnitude of  a major shift in public consciousness which has begun in recent months, and is coming into sharp focus as the Saturn/Pluto conjunction at 20-23 Capricorn arrives at exact alignment with the Moon’s Nodes during April and May 2019.

In my original research study, The Moon’s Nodes in Action, I presented my findings on both the individual and collective significance of changes linked to the Nodal axis linked with Pluto. As I write this piece on the day of the Taurus New Moon, Saturn is exactly conjunct the South Node. Clearly, both Saturn and Pluto linked with the Nodes are pointing to our being at a deeply significant turning point collectively.

The Fixed Grand Cross horoscope 

Fixed Grand Cross (click image to enlarge)

The Leo /Aquarius polarity can be clearly connected to individuals – in this case, children and young folk, a major expression of Leo energy – rising up to demand a better future for our human collective. The Taurus/Scorpio polarity can equally be connected to our Earth through Taurus, and Scorpio through the current deep crisis our planet is in, requiring urgent collective purgative action.

Does this suggest the astrological fixed cross to anyone? it certainly does to me! I have been reflecting on its profound metaphorical significance for some years now, as our collective moves into an era of increasing turbulence and disorder. I’ve also written about it recently in my ‘Astro View from Scotland’ column in Dell Horoscope Magazine.

Have a look at this symbolic horoscope with Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and the Moon’s Nodes placed within the fixed cross, with 0 Aquarius as its Ascendant, and 0 Scorpio as its MC. I have placed Aquarius on the Ascendant, not because I believe that we are entering a new age of universal siblinghood, peace and love – check the current evidence, people! – but because there seems little doubt now that we are entering an era of unique interconnectivity for both good and ill ( plenty of that…) expedited by astoundingly rapid technological changes in recent times.

The world is connected like never before. Let’s use that for the common good if we possibly can.

There is much to say on this powerfully metaphorical horoscope. I’ll concentrate for now on the key points.

Let’s look first at the North Node in Cancer in the sixth house of this chart, with the South Node exactly conjunct Saturn and closely conjunct Pluto in the twelfth house. I have been doing much reflecting on these Cancer/Capricorn Nodes since they moved from Leo/Aquarius last November 2018, both in reference to my own personal life, and our collective lives.

It strikes me as supremely apt that the Nodes should be in Cancer and Capricorn as they join up with Saturn and Pluto  – the ruler of this chart’s MC in Scorpio  – at a time when we are mourning the damage we have done to our mother Earth (Cancer, ruled by the Moon) and fearful of what the consequences are going to be (Capricorn, ruled by Saturn).

We are increasingly unable to avoid facing the consequences of our actions, from the whole period when Pluto was last in Capricorn at the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present time, as we realise that an economic system rooted in exploitation of the resources of the Earth cannot continue without dire consequences.

The South Node conjunct Saturn and Pluto in the chart’s twelfth house offers graphic symbolism of the deep fear of our past actions’ consequences slowly rippling in a frightening tide throughout our world’s undercurrents. Sir David Attenborourgh’s masterly, informed, passionate and frightening account of the damage we have done to the world’s oceans has gripped the collective imagination.

We are now beginning to pay attention, take action eg on single plastic use and on trying to clean up the oceans’ plastics infestation caused by humans’ usage of our once-pristine seas as a dumping ground. But this combination also points out that we need to face what we have done, and take action. Saturn/Pluto lets one off with nothing, either personally or collectively.

The North Node’s position in Cancer in the sixth house of our everyday environment, powered by that relentlessly judgemental twelfth house Saturn/Pluto conjunction, shows that we ARE now beginning to take the problem seriously. A major resource in this is the idealism and spirituality offered by second house Neptune in Pisces, making an encouraging and softening, but practical trine and sextile to the Nodal axis/ Saturn/Pluto combination.

This chart’s ruler, Uranus, in the fourth house conjunct the IC in Taurus, is shaking up the whole fixed grand cross from the core. Things can not, and will not, stay the same. Recent severe storms, cyclones and floods in Africa and the Indian sub-continent have pointed that out graphically to us in recent weeks.

Eleventh house ruler Jupiter’s presence currently in Sagittarius in the tenth house speaks of collective optimism that we can effect changes in our value and belief systems which will help to move us in a more constructive direction.

This optimism, allied to the grimly persistent Saturnian determination of campaigners like Greta Thunberg, seems at present to be spearheaded by young school and college students. The future belongs to the millennial generation upcoming – time for the baby boomers to get off the world stage and let those young people get on with it.

I am really struck by how much that symbolic fixed cross horoscope accurately reflects the currents of our time.

Concluding  – with Saturn/Pluto

The Saturn/Pluto return cycle of between 33 and 38 years has a pretty grim reputation. Here is an interesting summary of its essential qualities both positive and negative:

‘…Plutonian power resembles a tank of unstable nitroglycerin stored in the back of a old pick-­up truck finding its way down a bumpy dirt road. It must be used with care and balance, with respect for individual human rights and liberties. (It)… can function both as lifeblood of a free people and as the destroyer of liberty; it can lead a people into the deadness of bondage or into the happiness conferred by freedom. Applied with care, with consideration for the prerogative and good and free will of others, within the form-giving and ethical intent of Saturn, this synod can give birth to a high civilization…’ (i)

I included the term ‘just war’ (ii) in the title of this post. The Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Cancer in the second decade of the Twentieth Century was linked to the First World War; in Leo in the 1940s, to the Second World War and its aftermath; in Libra in the early 1980s to the rise of AIDS and the Falklands War.

Perhaps, though, this new Saturn/Pluto cycle beginning in 2020 will bring, not the kind of mass warfare that people fear, but a ‘just war’ – the battle to save our planet from our own folly.

One could make several hard-headed criticisms of the Extinction Rebellion movement and its youthful leaders and protagonists, eg how on earth do we turn our economic system around by 2025,as they are demanding, without causing massive economic disruption and collapse?

Nevertheless, as a member of the older generation, seeing the movement’s rapid rise in recent months has made me feel optimistic. Let’s hope leaders like Greta Thunberg with Extinction Rebellion can put such worldwide pressure on our politicians that they are forced to take constructive action. And in the meantime, we can all do something to bring our lifestyles more in line with protecting rather than destroying our Mother planet.

“Start where you are, and do what you can” is my favourite Saturnian mantra. What’s yours?

Students in Sydney demand action on climate change

Endnotes:

(i) Here is a very interesting article exploring historical perspectives on the Saturn/Pluto cycle:

http://www.historicalastrology.com/planetary-synodic-cycles/saturn-pluto-conjunction/

(ii) Principles of the Just War.  A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified. … A warcan only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pol116/justwar.htm

1700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun conjunct Mercury: shall we talk about Twins? And Epigenetics?

Every so often, I take a vow not to buy any more books. As I left our excellent local charity book store in full vow mode a while ago, a book cover stopped me in my tracks. On the back, in large white letters on a dark blue background, it said: “The realisation that an individual genetic code can result in multiple different outcomes is at the heart of epigenetics – the most exciting discipline in biology today.”(i)

image.jpeg

Gorgeous Mercury

‘Yes!!’ I said, perhaps not entirely to myself judging from the pained look from a fellow browser next to me. Remembering the vow for a moment, I scanned the back page with my smartphone app. Then, feeling mean and irresponsible, I bought the book. Reader, it was worth it.

By now you are probably wondering ‘Where on earth is she going with this?’

To in-depth astrology, that’s where. Both the hard sciences including genetics and the symbolic arts including astrology are attempting to put comprehensible frameworks round a vast puzzle: why are we here, and how can we best cope with the unpredictable and often brutal uncertainties of life?  This being the case,  I find it deeply dispiriting that they have increasingly been at odds with one another since the dawning of the Scientific Revolution. We need complementary disciplines, surely, to help us live as constructively as possible on our beautiful, fragile planet.

My excitement at the back cover quote from “The Epigenetics Revolution” therefore arose from the link it instantly made for me between the practices of both genetics and in-depth astrology. Most astrologers would agree that the complex patterns revealed in an individual’s horoscope can express themselves in a range of possible manifestations from the same core. That quote regarding the genetic code struck me as being remarkably similar to what astrologers find in their practice.

In effect, two individuals with identical DNA can and do manifest both similar and different lives…In a chapter titled “Why Aren’t Identical Twins Actually Identical?” author Nessa Carey states that “…The differences between identical twins have certainly captured the imaginations of creative people from all branches of the arts, but they have also completely captivated the world of science…”(ibid. p75)

(click on image to enlarge)

This is certainly the most frequent question which students, clients, friends and the general public have thrown at me over the years. If identical twins born no more than a minute apart have identical horoscopes, how come there are usually significant differences both in their personalities and their life patterns, as well as undoubted similarities? Epigenetics would appear to provide the answer from a scientific point of view. ( for an astrological perspective, read my articles HERE)

Geneticist Nessa Carey is a very clear, entertaining writer. She uses vivid analogies from everyday life to illustrate an incredibly complex web of varied influences – both before and after birth – carried by infinitely subtle chemical messengers, which modify our DNA epigenetically to produce, as she puts it, considerable variations on life’s basic script.

  Using Shakespeare’s famous play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as one example, she points out that in the hands of two different directors ie George Cukor in 1936 and Baz Luhrmann in 1996, … “ Both productions used Shakespeare’s script, yet the two movies are entirely different…”(ibid. p2)

Theatrical analogy is also very useful to astrologers. Along with, no doubt, many of my astrologer colleagues, I invite my clients to think of their horoscopes as a stage with the planets representing the characters standing quietly on it, waiting for life’s script to unfold from their birth moment.

I explain that I can certainly portray accurately the essence of each character illustrated by the ten planets, their ‘style’ as illustrated by the sign they occupy, and their location in terms of which houses are tenanted. I can also describe their dialogues and interactions, pointing out how different the conversation is between eg Moon square Saturn and Mars sextile Uranus.

However, I tell them that I cannot describe with unfailing accuracy the whole range of possible branches which arise from each core character or archetype. I have seen, often enough, how for example one person’s Moon square Saturn expresses very differently from another’s – this is true of every other horoscope pattern. This is also true in observing clients’ varying responses to the challenges and shaping influences of transits and progressions.

It can be difficult – if not impossible –  to work out why one person emerges battered but strengthened from eg a lengthy Pluto transit to several planets, whilst another of the same age, with a very similar horoscope, emerges battered and beaten. Neither has epigenetics, as yet, come up with a full explanation of why some genetic variations occur in some circumstances, but not in others of remarkable similarity.

I have long grappled to understand at least something of the essence of what quantum physics has revealed regarding the contradictory vastness of the energy field in which we exist, and the patterns arising therefrom which appear to interact to create the whole of life of which we are part. My conclusion is that practitioners of both the hard sciences and the symbolic arts are considering the same vast energy field, and attempting to describe in different but essentially complementary ways, those mysterious patterns that shape our lives.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could share our knowledge?

Endnotes

This post is a slightly edited version of my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’  from the September/October 2018 Issue.

(i) Nessa Carey “The Epigenetics Revolution”, Icon Books,  2011

Image result for mercury astrological jpegs

950 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2019

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

Fate, Uranus – and the astrologers’ degree…

Anyone who has ever written a regular column will know that there are times when inspiration is – not to put too fine a point on it  – notable by its absence. At other times, so many ideas are flying around that catching one by the tail to pin it down is, to say the least, tricky. And – you never know, as the last deadline is met and you can now relax for a few weeks –  which set of conditions is going to prevail the next time.

So, Reader, there I was, new deadline appearing over the horizon, and…nada. Nix. No–thing. At all. Braincell dry as an old chewed-up bone. In this situation there are generally two options: blind panic – or blind faith. I have six fiery planets. This is often a curse, let me tell you, but in the matter of column deadlines, it is a blessing. So, armed with nothing but blind faith, I headed for the office.

To pass time sitting on the bus, I check my phone. Ahah – there’s a message on Messenger. A colleague is beginning a new project for the international company he works for, an unusual company where his boss is an astrology appreciator. He is making a podcast series on Turning Points:  asking people to talk for five minutes on the one decision which changed their lives forever. He is inviting me to contribute. ( To listen to the resulting 5 minute interview, click HERE)

“Ping!!” went the braincell, hit by a mini bolt of inspiration. I had my topic. I’d ruminate on what it was that inspired me to take up, and continue, the long-term study and practice of astrology. That decision certainly changed MY life forever.

So – what was it ?

Was it my youthful awe as I watched the Northern Lights enacting their glorious colourful dance, just above the skyline near our house? Perhaps it was lying cosy in bed, listening to the roaring gales of January tearing the world apart – wondering what the Power was behind that raging wind. Was it the growing excitement, as I grew up, of being able to spot familiar constellations in the clear, unpolluted night skies of my native island?

Or – maybe the Fates had already decided, leaving me a clue to be decoded many years later, via the placement of Uranus, the astrologers’ planet, at 25 Degrees of Gemini,  in the tenth house of my natal horoscope?

I have recently been revisiting the significance of the placement of Uranus’ discovery degree, ie  24 degrees 27 minutes Gemini,(i) in the horoscopes of those drawn to the practice of astrology. A dip into my horoscope collection, lifting out three male and three female birth charts, found that all six prominent astrologers chosen have this degree either conjunct, square or opposite natal planets, Nodes or Angles: the lately deceased and much-missed Donna Cunningham, Michel Gauquelin, Liz Greene, Isabel Hickey, Johannes Kepler and Noel Tyl. (ii)

Johannes Kepler Asc 24deg 25 mins Gemini

Johannes Kepler Asc 24 deg 25 mins Gemini

Furthermore, when I was 27 years old, progressed Sun crossed asteroid Urania, placed at 19 degrees of Virgo in my first house, square tenth house Uranus. That year, as mentioned in an earlier column, I had a totally random encounter with a pair of astrologers who predicted my future astrological career.

So – did I choose that career or did I come in with it already chosen? Was it Fate, or free will? We will, of course, never be able to answer that question. MY conclusion, hardly stunningly original, is that we dance to the tune of both. There are times when the power of Fate feels strongly present. Other times, the unglamorous wrestle with inertia, poor judgement, and other ills to haul our lives into a reasonably satisfying shape feels very strongly to be determined mainly by our own conscious efforts.

In the latter case, a major ingredient in the shaping process, in my opinion, is the power of inspiration. At twenty-four years of age I was fortunate enough to have what I later realised was a mystical experience, something which has continued to inspire me. This may well have created a spiritual backdrop for the subsequent encounter with astrology as foreground; when I met those astrologers I was going through a crisis involving wondering what, after all, my life was FOR…not an uncommon state for one’s late twenties!

Their accurate reading inspired me to investigate astrology further, initially via the UK’s Faculty of Astrological Studies. On discovering that I, too, could produce accurate and affirming feedback from those strange marks on a piece of paper which seemed helpful to people trying to understand themselves better, I was hooked. For the rest of my life.

Astrology has continued to inspire because it continues to challenge me. It challenges me because we are working with living energies, patterns whose essential meanings we have established over millennia, but whose manifestations are endless and only partly predictable. Despite decades of experience, I still get that tight anxious feeling before every new client I see, being very aware of my responsibility at least to do no harm, at best to help the person before me see their life in a more constructive, bigger context.

I am, of course, always curious to find out what inspires people to engage with astrology – and to keep going once they get there. There is an occasional series running on my blog, in which astrologers tell their interesting, unusual tales of inspiration and  – of course! – an inevitable amount of perspiration…

Want to share your story? Go on…

–––––––

Endnotes:

(i) and (ii) : all charts available free from Astrodienst: http://www.astro.com

This post is a slightly edited version of my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’  from the January/February 2018 Issue.

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950 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2019

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

Pluto cycles, Martin Luther, collective revolution…

Martin Luther has been bugging me for weeks. No, he hasn’t been trending on Twitter. In fact, he has been dead since 1546. So – why my preoccupation now?

Here’s why. Looking round our highly unstable world – at the parlous state of the planet, the rise of China and the East, the malign interference of Russia in other nations’ affairs, the Trump factor, the disastrous incompetence of UK politicians in attempting to carry out our narrow vote to leave the European Union with huge attendant turmoil, the continuing clamour for Scottish Independence – my spinning mind has turned once again to contemplating the big planetary cycles.

I need some detachment, some perspective…

This turmoil feels as though we are undergoing a collective revolution at a number of levels, given how interconnected the world now is –  hence my thoughts turning to Martin Luther, one of history’s great revolutionaries.

As you read this post, Jupiter has recently moved into Sagittarius, with Saturn advancing toward conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn in 2020.… very apt imagery for that defiant, outspoken Scorpio cleric Luther nailing 95 objections to church policy onto a hard church door on All Souls Day 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany.

It is doubtful whether Martin Luther ever physically did this – but there is no doubt that his standing up to the corrupt might of the institutional Catholic Church, the year after Pluto moved into Capricorn in 1516, triggered off the Reformation, a religious revolution that changed the world.

Fast forward to the period 1762-1778, the next time Pluto traversed Capricorn. This saw a great expanse of European colonialism, as well as the American Revolution followed by the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

However, arguably the most far-reaching changes of the period came through Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer James Watt’s improvements to steam engine technology: the primary driver of the Industrial Revolution. This led to the massive expansion in industrial and technological advances which have given us the world we have now.

Two Pluto through Capricorn traverses  – two world revolutions. Going further back in history through Pluto in Capricorn cycles reveals similar patterns of deep upheaval both in terms of our planet and human culture. Astrologer Michele Finey’s recent summary is worth checking out for more detail on this topic.

Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008, triggering a narrowly-averted meltdown of the world’s precariously balanced financial system. In the last decade he has purged his way relentlessly, exposing the rotten foundations of most worldwide institutional structures, social and political as well as financial: exposing for example the sexual abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic Church. But Pluto in Capricorn is not finished dredging …

According to a recent report by the charity Oxfam,  basing its research on the Forbes rich list and data provided by investment bank Credit Suisse, the world’s eight richest people have same wealth as the poorest 50%…the vast majority of people in the bottom half of the world’s population are facing a daily struggle to survive, with 70% of them living in low-income countries. 

“From Brexit to the success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, a worrying rise in racism and the widespread disillusionment with mainstream politics, there are increasing signs that more and more people in rich countries are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo,” the report said.

Signs of this unwillingness to tolerate the status quo abound. The recent transit of Jupiter through Scorpio, one of the other significant planetary patterns adding to Pluto in Capricorn’s revolutionary impetus, has seen the worldwide MeToo grassroots anti-abuse movement; young people in the USA in mass protests against school shootings and the gun laws expediting them; and youthful protests worldwide against climate change.

Just recently, the UK’s incomparable David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series, shown world-wide, has graphically presented to all of us the devastating damage being caused to our seas by plastic pollution. We are at last beginning to take collective responsibility for this huge problem.

Humans have had to live through the pain, turmoil and upheaval of revolutionary change since the beginning of time. Why should we 21st Century folk think ourselves exempt? However, as part of the departing baby-boomer generation who will not live to see the shape of the new world order arising, I take great comfort from the increasing bottom-up challenges we are seeing to a world too long managed from the Top Down.

In the midst of our current chaos, the Millennial generation arising, bred on interconnected technologies, is using them to push for a less materially exploitative, more equal world order.

Recently I had the good fortune to meet two dynamic young women friends for coffee: one (about to hit her Saturn Return) returning home to Saudi Arabia. She is intent on using her chemistry PhD to make an impact on the increasing global threat of antibiotic resistance.

The other, a Scottish community activist and parent who has achieved great things locally in bringing children, parents and teachers together outside to enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature. This has involved strenuous bottom-up community efforts, attracting worldwide support as the Children’s Wood campaign grew – thus preventing our local authority from selling off a precious bit of local wild land to developers planning to build expensive housing there.

As a means of containing my own little chip of collective anxiety in the face of this current Pluto in Capricorn revolution, I have taken their Millennial motto to heart:

“ Start where you are, and do what you can…”

How very Capricornian…

Endnotes:

This post is a slightly edited version of my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’  from the January/February 2019 Issue, now out.

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

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

 

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.

Zodiac

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

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