Tag Archives: horoscopes

Guest Slot : ‘Unruly Tricksters of the Twelfth House’ by Jude Cowell

The planet Mercury – my ruling planet – has certainly earned his tricksterish reputation in my life, never more so than when he turns retrograde, this time in Virgo. Just as he quit dancing around my 9 Virgo Ascendant, disappearing into the Twelfth House this week, I decided to re-visit some articles in my Writing from the Twelfth House blog, an archive since May last year. Just on cue, up popped one of the most frequently read posts on that site: all about trickster Mercury and the Twelfth House!

I love it when astrology does that…

Gorgeous Mercury

Mercury, by Praxiteles – isn’t he gorgeous?

So –I am delighted to be re- publishing this topical article by prestigious and prolific USA fellow blogger, my friend from Georgia, Jude Cowell. During that season of three weeks (13/8 – 5/09 2017) when the ultimate planetary trickster, Mercury, turns retrograde and challenges us all with communication conundrums, Jude poses and answers a few mercurial conundrums of her own…

” Having astrology’s trickster planet, Mercury, or Mercury-ruled Gemini or Virgo, associated with one’s natal twelfth house can be quite a ‘tricky’ proposition for anyone to manage.

When one considers the unconscious nature of the twelfth house and Mercury’s rulership of our thinking and communicating processes, the picture becomes fraught with possibilities for confusion, doubt, and awkwardness.

In fact, in similar fashion to this blog’s creator and author, the gracious Anne Whitaker, I am communicating with you from the twelfth house right now, with sixteen degrees of a mercurial sign directing the show from behind the curtain.

As you know, repressed energies of the twelfth house (12th h) are identified by planets posited there, and by those which are connected by sign and aspect to the house of Self-Undoing and Karma, the 12th h of the Unconscious.

But when fleet-of-foot Mercury is involved, we can be certain that unbidden thoughts will frequently float up into consciousness from the watery depths of the Neptunian realms of the unconscious – some useful and to be acted upon, others not as useful and to be disregarded.

Mysterious Mercury

Mysterious Mercury

A 12th house Mercury may give a tendency to talk to oneself, and the old caution that it’s ‘okay as long as one doesn’t answer back’ may be moot with Mercury involved in the house of the Unconscious – for talk back the trickster will, and often out loud at the most inappropriate times or in awkward ways.

“Foot-in-mouth” syndrome is a common manifestation of the predicament of having connections between the Unconscious psychological 12th house and our thinker-communicator planet.

Plus, ‘The Fool’ card in the Tarot deck illustrates neutral Mercury’s brash characteristics quite well as he/she haplessly opens mouth to insert foot – and usually at the worst of moments…the ‘speak first, think later’ tendency.

Yet that is where Astrology can aid us in understanding these mercurial 12th house dynamics and learning to make productive use of them so that we don’t mistakenly shoot ourselves in the very foot we placed in our mouths. Now that would be a definite ouch!

Directing mercurial 12th house energies outwardly into the wider world may produce a writer or other type of artisan who draws upon knowledge from the collective unconscious and expresses it on behalf of mankind, while remaining the private sort of person that a mercurial 12th house requires.

But before projecting them outwardly, it’s important to replace self-defeating attitudes (such as the repeating loop in our heads of mother’s old discouragements: “oh, you can’t figure that out,” or “what would you know about it?”, etc.) with a more positive attitude; for after all, neutral Mercury can ‘go either way’ – so why not take the high road? Especially since we know that decision-maker Mercury, in his Hermes disguise, is the mystery guide at the crossroads of life, isn’t he?

So aspects to planets in, or associated with the 12th house (or its cusp), show us how and where to use these repressed, unconscious energies to best advantage by ‘tricking the trickster’ and turning them into the talents they truly are.

And developing our verbal and non-verbal creative work is one of the better ways to manage these unruly mercurial scamps of the 12th house while benefiting the collective simultaneously; attempting to push these energies further beneath the oceanic 12th house surface only causes them to fester and become even more distorted than they were from being stifled during childhood by the adults around us who had their own 12th house issues to deal with. And perhaps they didn’t manage it as well as we, with Astrology’s instruction, may now.

So rather than setting ourselves up for subliminally undoing ourselves from the unconscious 12th house, I say: let the 12th house trickster breathe freely, romp with the other kids, take up his quill or paintbrush, and reveal mercurial insights for the benefit of all! “

Zodiac

Zodiac

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(Written for Anne Whitaker to use, with Jude Cowell’s  permission)

700 words Copyright Jude Cowell /Anne Whitaker 2017

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

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Check out Stars over Washington for Jude’s outspoken astrological and political commentaries on USA’s current affairs….and Jude Cowell Astrology for her varied astrological writings.

Jude Cowell

Lifelong artist Jude Cowell is a native of Athens, Georgia and an Astrology novice since 1996. She attended Atlanta College of Art in her younger years where she studied Fashion Illustration, Layout, and Design, and has exhibited her artwork in Athens, Augusta, and Atlanta, Georgia. She now displays her colored pencil drawings exclusively online.

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All Scorpios: look away now!

It’s now almost the end of February – anyone else delighted? Don’t all shout YES as once – and as I celebrate the return of vibrantly fresh daffodils to our local Botanic Gardens, I can detect an improvement in my very grumpy, ‘blanket over the head’ mood of recent weeks. So – I thought I’d continue with my ‘cheering up my readers’ mission ( thanks for your response to my ’20 Questions and a Selfie’ post: the bacon sandwich writer’s bribery tip got a lot of you going!) by sharing my favourite astrology cartoon. It’s a reminder to us all, astrologers or not, that we should not take ourselves TOO seriously…

With apologies to Scorpios...

With apologies to Scorpios…

This lugubrious chap clutching a newspaper is staring at his television which is saying: ”The practice of astrology took a major step toward achieving credibility today when, as predicted, everyone born under the sign of Scorpio was run over by an egg lorry”.

Now, before any thin-skinned Scorpios leave me annoyed comments, I hasten to add that you are free to assign any sign you like to the above unfortunate fate. I’m a Leo…the egg lorry awaits…

Zodiac

Zodiac

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200 words copyright Anne Whitaker/2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Hallowe’en drama: all fall down!

Yes, I know, this is  very definitely an astrology blog. However, it is almost Hallowe’en, and everyone loves a creepy tale. Knowing how discerning my readers are (a little flattery goes a long way, does it not?!) I decided to add astrological legitimacy by looking up my transits today for the time of the tale I’m about to tell... Well!… Transiting Pluto was triggering my natal Mercury/Neptune sextile, sitting right on natal Neptune. Transiting Mars trine Uranus was triggering natal Mars, as Mars returned to its natal place in the 10th house. And – transiting North Node conjuncted my third house Jupiter in Scorpio. The astrological stage was set, although I knew no astrology at the time...

Fly-by-Night

Fly-by-Night

This very spooky Hallowe’en story is set towards the end of  my restless twenties, a period where I earned my living as an adult education teacher. Here, I learn with my students that many an episode in this life of ours lacks a rational explanation….

Ever on the move, I had just given up a full time post as a college lecturer in scenic Wiltshire, England, UK,  to “be a writer”, returning to my native island to do so. However, living with my parents, a mutually unsatisfactory arrangement, was followed by my moving to a small Scottish town that autumn to live with a poet friend who had a creative writing fellowship at the local university. Sharing her house, I hoped, would provide an appropriate creative stimulus. It certainly provided more than a few hangovers!

With my usual facility for obtaining employment in those days, I soon had several part-time teaching jobs including a few hours a week teaching drama, having acquired such experience “on the hoof” in my last full-time job, officially teaching English to A level students. The new drama teacher had failed to turn up at the beginning of term, and my head of department had assigned me the job thus: “You seem the dramatic type, Anne. I’m sure you’d love a weekly Drama class….”

Back then, education was a much more laid back and less regulated pursuit than it is now!

Hallowe’en that year thus found me teaching a Thursday twilight drama class from 4.30 to 6.00 pm in a fairly new brick and glass college building situated on a hill with stunning views out to sea.  The drama studio was a great space to work in: a clear light empty area with polished wood floors and a couple of heavy, six or seven foot high wooden stage sets free standing at the back wall.

I was sitting in a circle on the floor on the opposite side of the studio, with a class of lively young women in their late teens – working with them was exhilarating and fun. Through the huge picture window we could see the city of Dundee spread out below us, the local river, the ‘silvery Tay’, catching late glimmers of waning light. Outside was a clear night with a hint of autumnal frost. Inside, the studio was quiet, warm and low lit.

Hallowe'en

Hallowe’en

It being Hallowe’en, I decided to set aside our usual programme, asking them if they would like to tell spooky stories instead. They enthusiastically agreed. I no longer recall what order we worked in, nor what the stories were. Most of the girls had a strange tale to tell, then it was over to me.

“Go on, Miss, tell us one of yours !”

I can no longer remember whether I told them one of the chilling stories  handed down by my mother from her side of the family, or whether it was one of my own experiences. But I do recall with vivid clarity what occurred next. At the climax of my creepy tale, both the stage sets fell forward, clattering onto the bare floor of the studio with a deafening crash…..

After we had recovered somewhat from our shock and fright, the students and I went over to examine the stage sets. With some difficulty, since they were heavy and hard to manoeuvre, we restored them to upright positions. They were perfectly stable. There was absolutely no reason why they should have fallen over, none at all. There had been no vibrations, or wind. It was not possible for someone to have come into the studio without our noticing. Had anyone been hiding in the studio and pushed the stage sets over, they could not have got out without being seen.

Subdued and silent, we left to go home in a tight little group, furtively glancing behind us until we reached the comfort of the well-lit streets. I would be willing to bet that none of those present with me that night have ever forgotten it!

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To read more ‘weird’ experiences, check out my recently updated memoir

“Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness : an open-minded take on paranormal experience” 

wisps-from-the-dazzling-darkness#2

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

The Moon’s Nodes: should we bother? The Moon’s Nodes Part 5

To gain the most from the Moon’s Nodes series, please do read Part 1,  Part 2 , Part 3 and Part 4  

And now, Part Five…

5. How significant is the Nodal Axis?

I started out on my research with certain questions:

How significant is the Nodal axis? Are astrologers missing something really important by not delineating it in their readings, both natally and in terms of its transiting cycle? Does it say something specific? Or does it act as a reinforcer for information about a person’s life pattern which can be derived from other chart factors? 

 I think I have demonstrated quite clearly that the Nodes and their attendant planetary/Angular links can be used on their own to sketch out a clear picture of the basic structure of a person’s life path and the archetypal energies which need to be responded to and brought into the journey, for that person to be all they can be.

It appears that some lives are more touched by the hand of Fate than others. It seems that strong outer planet links, especially Pluto’s conjunctions or squares to the natal Nodal axis, and strong prevailing major patterns eg Uranus conjunct Pluto opposite Saturn conjunct Chiron linked to the Nodes, bring some people a more challenging and Fate-directed life than others. Mary Shelley’s chart is a very good example of this, with Uranus, dispositor of Pluto conjunct MC, conjunct her Sun and square her Nodal axis.

I have distinguished between minor and major Nodal activity in transits and progressions, and demonstrated that the major effect is what appears to be present when turning points occur. This would suggest that in contemplating the unfolding picture of a person’s life, the combination of Nodal activity with the foreground presence of outer planets, especially Pluto, points out that something really special is going on and should be carefully noted.

I also asked whether astrologers are missing something important by not paying attention to the Nodes, natally and as life unfolds. I think the answer to this is yes, with particular reference to the transiting Nodal cycle and the eclipse seasons which accompany them. The pair of houses highlighted by the transiting Nodal axis and eclipses should be carefully observed, especially if the pre-natal eclipse degrees crop up in the form of a returning eclipse, or a current eclipse is triggering natal patterns linked in to either of the pre-natal eclipses.

I appreciate that we all need to earn our living and there are a multiplicity of interpretive factors available which would take all day to prepare if they were to be included in every reading. We have to be selective.

But having done this research, I think that, in preparing a reading, if the clustering effect I have been discussing is in evidence, it is important to pay particular attention to that person’s natal Nodal pattern and the current Nodal/eclipse picture.

The client is then likely to be bringing matters of a life-changing nature to us for discussion, which offers us roles both as observers and midwives; human agents in the here-and-now of those mysterious ‘watchers by the threshold‘ whose numinous presence in our lives is symbolically represented by the Moon’s Nodes in Action.

You are most welcome to download the full research study from which my conclusions are taken: it is FREE but if you wish to give a charitable donation as a thank-you, that would be most welcome!

The Moon's Nodes in Action

Download moons-nodes-book-7:16 now [3.27 MB PDF]

Zodiac

Zodiac

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

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

Conception, beginnings and endings: The Moon’s Nodes Part 3

To gain the most from the Moon’s Nodes series, please do read Part 1 and Part 2.

And now, Part Three…

Moon's Nodes

Moon’s Nodes

3. “In my end is my beginning….” (1)

The Nodes have also struck me as having strong connections with conception, beginnings and endings, of either a literal or more often a symbolic kind.

I found it intriguing, for example, that in the two of Marc’s Turning Points which concerned the beginning of the two key relationships with women which would most powerfully affect his life, the charts for the conception points of the relationships were more powerful than those for the actual start of Marc going out with Beatrice (first wife) and then Caitlin (his long-term partner).

In Mary Shelley’s case, the chart for the waking dream in which she could have been said to have conceived the idea which led to ‘Frankenstein’, was very powerful.

All of the key moments in all the case material concern conception, beginnings and endings: in the case of Princess Diana, her physical death. Andrew’s Nodal moment concerned the dramatic end of a relationship, but also of certain pathological ties to his family past, leading to the beginning of an altogether more positive stage of his life.

Anna’s Nodal moment represented the beginning of a whole new cycle of her life; the date of the interview whose successful outcome would see her re-locate to another continent, 11 October, was also the anniversary of both her mother’s and her sister’s death. John Glenn’s Nodal moment concerned his rebirth as an astronaut in October 1998 at the age of 76 – the second Nodal Return from his original space voyage in February 1962.   He returned to Earth safely, complete with his record of being the oldest person to venture into space.

Marc’s first Turning Point represented the end of his youthful image of himself as an intellectual achiever, and a very painful initiation into experiencing the more brutal aspects of life as a necessary part of his life path. The election of Margaret Thatcher as UK Conservative Prime Minister in 1979 , when he was 33, represented  another major Turning Point: the end of his political hopes for Scottish Independence at that time – he had been a Scottish Nationalist all his adult life. The whole period since then for him has been a long struggle, for a man who needs the inspiration of belief to guide and focus his considerable energies and gifts.

In my own case, as described in the preface to the research, critical endings  on the first and second Nodal returns bracketed a long journey from spiritual alienation to deeper connection with a sense of meaning and purpose. I had needed to find this spiritual connectedness in order to become all I could be in the next stage of my vocational life .

My research confirmed both the traditional view  of the Nodes’ connection with conception, beginnings and endings and my own impressions gained over many years’ practice.

Nodal Axis

Nodal Axis

Endnotes:

(1) Headline quotation is from East Coker, No. 2 of ‘Four Quartets’ by T.S.Eliot

To Be Continued!

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You are most welcome to download the full research study from which my conclusions are taken: it is FREE but if you wish to give a charitable donation as a thank-you, that would be most welcome!

The Moon's Nodes in Action

Download moons-nodes-book-7:16 now [3.27 MB PDF]

Zodiac

Zodiac

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

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

Advice on responsible astrological practice – from Donna Cunningham

I believe that it is important for practising astrologers every so often to get on their shouty soapbox on the topics of  what constitutes ethical practice and how does one become a responsible consultant astrologer.

 I have been doing this in posts during July and August 2016 – and I’m glad to say that both here and over on the blog’s Facebook Page, a great deal of interest revealed in Likes, Shares and thoughtful comments has been the result. In concluding the series for the time being ( I’ll be back on the soapbox again some other year!) I could not do better than share with you master astrologer Donna Cunningham’s excellent article on working responsibly with both the natal chart and transits. Donna has read and commented on the above posts, and has generously given me a copy of

A Responsible Approach to Clients’ Tough Transits

to share with my readers. Feel free to download and share, says Donna. The article also lists many of Donna’s other articles on good practice which would be beneficial for all practitioners whatever their level of experience to read. 

This article, an extract from Counseling Principles for Astrologers,  is a treat: practical, sensible, humane, humorous and clearly the work of a very experienced astrologer in which she shares her approaches to a range of challenging  issues which practitioners face every day in reading charts for their fellow citizens. Here is a flavour:

“…We live in very difficult times, and the world at large is in turmoil. The transits are difficult ones, too. Many astrology clients are fearful about their future but hope for good news, while astrologers struggle to make helpful predictions. Sometimes, however, the things we say can leave them even more anxious than they were before. What, then, would be a healing and empowering perspective on the concerns they bring to a session?

It’s extremely important that astrologers and their clients both understand astrology’s limitations. Natal chart features and transits to them may suggest what’s going on, but they do not set the outcome in stone. Any given placement or combination has many expressions—some challenging, some positive, yet all related. There’s no way of predicting precisely how people will express those features, for much depends on their character, history, spiritual evolution, and choices. What a consultation can do is to help them become aware of their options.

Most of us work from the heart and do the best we can to help our clients. As in any service field, the better prepared we are to understand their emotional responses—and our own—during the session, the better we can serve…”

One of my thoughtful commenters pointed out that many brilliant astrologers have evolved – and practice – without formal teaching or certification. She also made the point that going through formal certification can be so arduous, time and money consuming that it leaves little room for the actual practice of chart reading.  Her view is that stating clearly on one’s publicity where one is coming from as an astrologer, and the considerable effort and commitment it has taken to get there, is going to be enough for her.

I can see the validity of all those points. Nevertheless, I think that having the common sense and humility at least to complete a basic counselling skills qualification, to have experience of being a client oneself in whatever therapeutic context seems relevant, and hiring an experienced fellow astrologer for regular supervision sessions to offer a supportive outside view on the joys and sorrows and challenges of one’s practice, even if it takes one several years to put those conditions in place, should be a minimum aspiration for all astrologers – no matter how brilliant or self-taught they may be.

With those few comments which I hope add up to a series of posts which will be challenging, helpful and inspiring, I send out my very best wishes to all prospective astrology clients, astrology practitioners and students – not forgetting interested members of the public who may be following this series.  May your encounter with the great, ancient art of astrology be inspiring and life-enhancing.

Zodiac

Zodiac

700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

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

 

 

Quitting smoking – the solar eclipse way…

I concluded my previous post by stating that I had another intriguing eclipse story to tell. Here it is, with a shout-out to master astrologer Alan Oken, a central figure in my tale as you will shortly see!

 Alexander Ruperti’s  wise observation in his wonderful Cycles of Becoming could not be more relevant as an introduction to the tale:

“Eclipses simply measure intense confrontations with all those things in human nature which hinder spiritual progress by keeping one in a rut, albeit a comfortable and happy rut. They are opportunities to use the past and the present – all that one has previously acquired, as well as where he stands at a given moment – in order to build a more creative future. Since they always challenge an individual to discard all limiting influences and to start something new, they may be stressful times.”(i)

it was the last weekend of March, 1987. I was in London, staying in Belsize Grove with my brother-in-law’s fierce old cat Tadzio, my in-laws being away at the time. The purpose of the trip was to attend Alan Oken’s Esoteric Astrology weekend – I no longer remember its location. The last day of the event fell on Sunday 29th March 1987; the day of a solar eclipse at 8 degrees Aries – exactly opposite my natal Neptune, I had noted with some interest. At that point, I didn’t know much about eclipses.

Alan Oken, however, was very exercised by this solar eclipse, which was due to  be exact at 12.48 pm, just before we broke up for lunch at one o’clock.  “You should take advantage of the energy of this eclipse if you can”, he said to our large group. Having got us all settled down, he began leading us through a short guided meditation. “Think of something you want to let go of, something impeding your Path through life,” he suggested.

“Well’, I thought,” I am thoroughly sick of being a smoker, quickly surveying the last decade of my life which had been punctuated by failed attempts to quit. “Maybe a meditation on an eclipse opposite Neptune might help me break this addiction!”

I clearly recall my lack of advance conviction that anything would happen of any significance either during or following the meditation. At that time in my life, I was not much in touch with visual imagery arising unbidden in my mind/imagination.  However, I was stunned, as we moved through the core of the eclipse, to experience wave upon wave of vivid colour behind my closed eyes: wonderful translucent greens, purples, golds…like being IN the aurora borealis.

After the short meditation I tottered out into the street, still shocked by the total unexpectedness of the experience. “Right! The time has come!” I said to myself. With that, I took out a half full pack of Marlboro Lights, dropping it into the nearest rubbish bin. It was around one fifteen pm on a cold, grey, drizzly London afternoon.

Twelve hours later, at around one thirty am, I found myself wrapping up to brave the semi-deserted, wet streets of North London until I found a corner shop where I bought a 20 pack of Marlboro Lights. Tadzio hissed menacingly at me on my return. He obviously didn’t approve either. “Well, so much for that”, I remarked to him, blowing smoke into his grumpy face. “I’ll have to find something stronger than guided meditation to stop ME smoking.”

Two weeks later, there was an eclipsed  Full Moon: three days after that, on Good Friday 1987, I smoked my last cigarette. I have never smoked since.

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ENDNOTES

(i) Cycles of Becoming by Alexander Ruperti, CRCS 2005, quoted in The Moon’s Nodes in Action by Anne Whitaker (Writing from the 12th House e-publication 2015), p 7

(ii) I found the wonderful set of eclipse images on Ronnie Grishman’s Facebook Page this morning. Thanks, Ronnie!

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

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