Tag Archives: UK’s Astrological Journal

The Aquarian Age: are we there yet?

“When the Moon is in the Seventh House

and Jupiter aligns with Mars

Then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…”

As predictions go, this one is not impressive. Offered in 1967 via the smash hit rock musical ‘Hair’,  it suffers from it own internal contradictions. For a start, the Seventh House can sometimes be the ‘house of open enemies’. Moreover, if you think an alignment of Mars and Jupiter augurs peace in our time, check our former UK  Prime Minister Tony Blair’s horoscope, with Mars rising, conjunct Jupiter…

There is furthermore the annoying problem that contemporary evidence doesn’t quite support the theory that the Aquarian Age is ushering in an era of peace and love. As we settle in to a new millennium, it is rather noticeable that a maniacal death cult, whose avowed aim is to bring down western civilisation and hasten the Apocalypse, has arisen and spread with frightening speed in the last few years. 

Also, opinion regarding the fate of Planet Earth is divided. For example, in 2013, the thinkprogress.org website produced impressive statistics appearing to demonstrate that life is getting better globally, despite the foreground picture of wars and global warming. On the other hand, many scientists think that we are already in the period of the Sixth Mass Extinction, human agency being largely culpable this time.

Moreover, the former Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks, stated a few years ago in relation to the self-oriented culture which is rising worldwide as traditional religious belief is declining, that we humans are engaging in the largest experiment in mass selfishness that the world has ever seen…

Respected astrologer and historian Dr Nicholas Campion, in his fascinating book ‘Astrology, History and Apocalypse’ (CPA Press, 2000) describes belief in the Age of Aquarius as “…one of the great cliches of modern astrology…” (p131).

His having collected a list of  almost one hundred dates from around 1260 AD to around 3000 AD “…at which the Age of Aquarius can begin…” (p127) lends weight to Campion’s view that the Age of Aquarius is a myth, reflecting our ancient human need to believe that the corrupted old order is collapsing, a wonderful Golden Age being just around the corner. The technical term for this is millenarianism; do read Nicholas Campion’s erudite ‘take’ on that vast and complex subject.

Campion (p83) refers to an essay of Carl Jung’s called ‘The Sign of the Fish(from vol 9, Part 2 of Jung’s Collected Works) – a must-read for anyone with more than a passing interest in what the Aquarian Age may be, and what it might signify.  In essence, Jung concludes that “…the course of our religious history as well as an essential part of our psychic development could have been predicted…from the precession of the equinoxes through the constellation of Pisces…”.

The first point of Aries precesses backwards through a whole constellation during a period of roughly 2,000 years. It is currently somewhere between the first star in the constellation of Pisces and the last star of the constellation of Aquarius.

When the Aries point shifts from one constellation to the next, according to Jung, our image of the Divine changes. I was bowled over by this idea, first encountered in a Liz Greene seminar during the 1990s, and have been reflecting on it ever since, watching the wider world to see if there is evidence of this shift taking place.

I think there is. We are going through a vast technological revolution. Science has made fast strides in recent decades: mapping the human genome, beginning to alter the very genetics of life on earth.The magnificently durable Hubble telescope has hugely expanded our view of the Cosmos. And – much of the population of the Earth is now linked to the Internet, via mobile phone technology.

We even have a new religion: Scientism, which has risen to prominence in recent times complete with our local UK High Priests: Aquarius’ old ruler Saturn as Richard Dawkins, and its new ruler Uranus as Brian Cox. The new paradigm emerging carries with it, as has been the case throughout history, the arrogance of new beliefs: superior – of course! – to what went before. Fifty years ago, to be called ‘unChristian’ was a pretty hefty challenge. Today, being called ‘unScientific’ has largely taken its place.

Caught on the cusp of crumbling old world beliefs and the new world order arising, we are a liminal population, projecting the Divine onto enticing promises of a better future offered by scientific progress. This new future needs a name. Why not just call it the Age of Aquarius?

Exciting, revolutionary, disruptive – certainly. Ushering in a new era of love and peace? I don’t think so…what do YOU think?

Endnotes:

This post was first published as my fifth Not the Astrology Column in the March/April 2015 Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.

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850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

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Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions: Past, Present – and Future

During 1997/8, I became so obsessed with Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions that friends and students began to avoid me in the street (I jest, but only slightly!) The obsession resulted in a research study concerning that brilliant, disruptive, futuristic boldly-going planetary combination. Then 2010/11 came, bringing a new Jupiter/Uranus conjunction which resurrected my obsession, this time resulting in a whole blog devoted to commentary and research. All that research, I’m happy to say, is republished in electronic form and is available to download free from this site. 

Jupiter Meets Uranus

Jupiter Meets Uranus

The obsession has calmed down, but this year’s Jupiter/Uranus opposition has seen me revisiting my extensive Jupiter/Uranus archive. Already this year, the UK’s Astrological Journal has re-published an interview I gave to the American Federation of Astrologers on the subject of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions, then called “Jupiter, Uranus and the Purple People of Planet Zog”.  

Part of the research involved taking a very long view of what that unique combination of planets which meets every fourteen years, described in “Mundane Astrology” as connected to the ‘growth and awakening of human consciousness’ , could tell us about the past, our present – and our possible future as a human community.

I used a wonderful researcher’s tool – Michelsen’s Tables of Planetary Phenomena – to explore the long historical pulse beat of that fascinating combination of planets. What I found blew me away, and continues to excite me when I reflect upon what it has revealed about where we have come from – and where we may be  headed.

So – do join me in this series of posts in which I share my exploratory journey, propelled by Jupiter/Uranus’ extraordinary energies… 

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In sum, I took the period 500 BCE to 2500 CE, divided it up into 500 year chunks, and analysed the pattern of appearance and disappearance of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions. I then attempted to correlate this pattern with a very broad historical timeline – taking three complementary ‘takes’ on the movement of those unique conjunctions. (All the tables can be found in ‘Jupiter Meets Uranus’ )

Take One: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements: 500 BCE to 2500 CE

I first selected the conjunction’s traverse through the four elements, the basic platform on which any astrological analysis rests, whether one is preparing an individual horoscope or looking at  a chunk of historical time.

The conjunction occurred only in earth and water signs during the period 500-76 BCE. What are we to make of this ?

The above period roughly covers the time of the huge conceptual shift which occurred as mythological consciousness gave way to a more rational, objective view of the world and our relationship with the Divine.  The work of the great  Greek  philosophers, culminating in Plato, which emerged during this period, had a huge influence on the course of Western civilisation from that point on.

Symbolically, the movement of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions through the stabilising elements of earth and water could be read as significators for a time in history where the existing foundations of civilisation, and continuity of beliefs and the social order, were utterly disrupted at the most fundamental of levels.

75 BCE to 146 CE saw the conjunction going through a mixed transition period featuring all four elements, until the last conjunction in the earth element in 146 CE. This could be seen as the period where the struggle between the old order (earth and water) and the new (fire and air) was particularly potent, exemplified in the West by the battle between rising Christianity and the old Pagan beliefs of the dying matriarchal religions.

A much longer period from 160 to 588 CE saw the conjunction taking place only in fire and air signs. This can be envisaged as a time  when, in Robert Hand’s vivid phrase

“ the past has minimum hold upon the present, but the present has a maximum hold on the future.”

It roughly covers the rise of the Roman Empire: its colonial expansion, bringing civilisation of an entirely new level of technical innovation and sophistication to large swathes of the known world, its Christianisation, and its fall in the fifth century CE.

A great leap forward….and….

The next time that the conjunctions take place only in fire and air is from 1500 to 1845 CE.

This period of history, set within the context of the mighty 500 year Neptune /Pluto cycle which began in 1398, is renowned for its optimism, creativity, faith in human progress, and huge  scientific and technological leaps forward.

There was the rise of European colonialism beginning with the great sea voyages of discovery. As already mentioned, we had the Renaissance, Reformation, Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions, and American and  French Revolutions all during this time.

Most significantly of all, in the eighteenth century we had the weave of the unfolding Scientific Revolution with the European Enlightenment, birthing a view of life more influenced by scientific materialism than religion for the first time in human history.

Since 1845,  we have been in a mixed transition period again which will last until about 2045.

There is increasing realisation that the fire and air march forward into an exciting, rationally and scientifically based future has a hefty price tag attached to it. That is the literal survival of earth and water: the root of our being, the Earth itself. At the start of this new millennium, scientific progress rushes on ever faster. But disquiet increases, as evidence of the cost to our planet and our collective health becomes more and more compelling.

The struggle between the old order (earth and water) and the new (fire and air) is once again potent, and once again involves religious strife – this time between rising secular humanism and traditional religions. We are also seeing the rise of a virulent strain of terrorism using religion as its excuse for depradations and violence world-wide.

From  around the  middle of  the 21st century we will once again be moving into a period where the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions occur only in earth and water for 350 –400 years.

At this point, taking some perspective from the last time this occurred between 500-76 BCE, we may expect…’the existing foundations of civilisation, and continuity of beliefs and the social order…to be  ‘utterly disrupted at the most fundamental of levels’. We might well be using our considerable technological expertise in the battle to save a polluted planet from extinction. Another possible manifestation is that Artificial Intelligence, already making great strides, creates huge disruption to what we consider it is to be human.

In the first example I gave, there was a move from an earth and water period, to a mixed element period, to a fire and air period. In the second example, there has been a move backward: from fire and air, to the mixed element period we now occupy, then earth and water still to come.  Analysing the pulse beat of just one planetary combination over very long periods really does seem to provide a glimpse of  where we have come from – and where we are headed.

In the next post, Take Two: the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius, I make a strong case for the conjunction in Aquarius being “the one most powerfully connected to particularly radical and disruptive social, political and technological shifts”. Watch this space!

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1200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Returning to astrology – a lesson in ‘never say never’

In the Spring of 2003 I packed eighteen years worth of astrology teaching notes into a large cardboard box and sent them to Belgrade. It cost me £96( $120) in postage. I still have no idea whether it ever arrived, at a destination whose address I no longer recall. Why did I do this? Because I had decided my career as an astrologer and astrology teacher was over, that there were plenty of astrology teaching notes in English cluttering up the UK, and that I’d find someone in Europe who was keen to have some. I did. That was that. Or so I thought…

Fast forward to December 2011. It had taken me from 2001-8 to recover from severe burnout following a long family crisis which stopped my career in its tracks. During the whole of that period, I had resolutely said “NO” to all requests for astrology consultations or teaching, initially because I barely had the energy to get out of bed, latterly because I must have got into the habit of saying “No”.

However, that December I said “Maybe” to a young woman who had just embarked on a Faculty of Astrological Studies course and emailed me asking for some back-up tuition. I suggested we meet for a coffee and informal chat. After an hour Alicia (not her real name) who is a senior lawyer by profession, fixed me with a very beady eye and said “You cannot possibly keep this knowledge to yourself”.

I went home, somewhat shaken up, to check the Ephemeris for the first time in a while. My astrological career had begun following the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of 1983. In December 2011 the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of 2010/11 was separating; transiting Uranus – having gone direct at 0 Aries on the day of our meeting was squaring my natal Mars/Uranus conjunction in the 10th House. Yes, Reader, you’ve guessed it. I gave in, resuming my astrology practice in May 2012 with Alicia as my first client. Saturn was in late Libra – where it had been in 1983, the first time around…

Alicia moved on to explore other esoterica after a while – very Mercurial, that woman! – but we have become friends and every so often, with a chuckle, she reminds me of that kick-ass moment. There was more to follow.

Early in 2014, one of my former students came for an update astrology reading. As she was leaving, she looked at me and said, with a winning smile, 

“There are a few of us who would love an astrology refresher course, starting from the beginning again. Why don’t you think about it?”

“ No, I don’t think so,” was my reply. “I sent all my teaching notes to Belgrade in 2003 – can’t be bothered making up Beginners handouts again. I’m getting on a bit, now, you know…”

“That is no problem”, she retorted, ignoring my attempts to pretend I was a bit past it. “I have all your old notes, filed in order. Why not copy them?”

Our refresher astrology class, an exact Jupiter cycle from the time I posted that cardboard box to Belgrade in March 2003, duly began in August 2014 – the very week my progressed Moon moved into Aquarius in the Sixth House, with transiting Jupiter conjunct Mercury (my ruling planet) in Leo in the Twelfth House.

This October we returned for the 2015-6 session. My students, as usual, were in sparkling form. “Face it, Anne,” one of them said. “You are stuck with us. We can always push you along to class on your zimmer, if you get too decrepit…” They tell it like it is, here in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

It feels great to have been drawn back, albeit in a part-time manner. I am no longer interested in ‘building a career’ – just want to offer out some knowledge, inspiration and of course entertainment for however long Urania (1) decides is long enough.

I find it humbling to contemplate the striking astrological symbolism describing my departure from, and return to the practice and teaching of astrology. Yet again, it would appear, “…To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”(KJV: Ecclesiastes 3:1). I had no conscious intention of returning to my former career. But that former career had other plans, taking the form of those persuasive women who gave me the right push at the right time.

Through one small individual’s experience, then, one can perceive the much bigger reality which those of us versed in astrology’s language are privileged to glimpse: Time – in as far as we are able to grasp it – moves in a vast teleology of patterns and cycles of which we are all part, whether prepared to acknowledge that reality or not…“as above, so below”…

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Endnotes:

(1) Urania: in Greek mythology, the muse of astronomy and a daughter of Zeus by Mnemosyne: also a great granddaughter of Uranus.It is the asteroid associated with astrology: in my First House, exactly sextile Third House Jupiter…

This post was first published as my fourth Not the Astrology Column in the January/February 2016 Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.

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850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

Questioning popular astrology (1) : Anne Whitaker challenges media astrologer Victor Olliver

In recent months I’ve had the pleasure, thanks to Facebook,  of ‘meeting’ astrologer Victor Olliver, the new Editor of UK’s long established Astrological Journal and star sign columnist for The Lady magazine. As well as sharing a love of astrology (and a very black sense of humour), we have already collaborated on several writing projects. This is proving to be great fun as well as being most stimulating.

One of the things I like about Victor is his love of a good argument. So, I decided he was just the person with whom I could raise my various doubts about the merits of popular astrology. I wrote to him, airing my questions and objections at some length. Here they are. Victor’s response will follow in the next post.

Dear Victor

I have always refused invitations to write popular astrology columns, feeling that to do this would be to throw my lot in with the ‘entertainment wing’ of astrology. Those of us who are trained and experienced astrologers know that there is a profound, ancient and some would say sacred art hidden behind this popular mask. Some of us who know this – like yourself – still manage to combine in-depth astrology practice with writing astrology for the popular press, apparently without feeling any particular discomfort at straddling both worlds.

I suppose my big problem is that the astro-dismissers are almost invariably people who have never gone into astrology in any depth, because they never get past the shallow waters of popular astrology where they find plenty of ammunition for their scorn, much of it valid when you have a look around a lot of the astro-stuff published in the world’s media.

Personally, I see off any astro-dismissers by fixing them with a keen gaze, enquiring very politely whether they have ever studied the subject in depth, and responding to their evasions (very few direct admissions of ignorance are forthcoming) by suggesting they go away to study the subject in depth for a couple of years then come back to resume our conversation. As a ‘serious’ astrologer, I have to admit to feeling defensive when asked what I do, invariably saying that I do in-depth stuff which has very little to do with the astrology to be found in the popular press.

Is there any way round this problem? Should we all just accept that astrology of whatever shallowness or depth will simply never be taken seriously within our current materialist culture, and cheerfully get on with it, whatever kind of astrology we do? Would it be helpful if ‘serious’ astrologers who also do popular astrology were to admit that for many of us, the gap between the public face and the private reality of astrology and its practice is a very hard one to bridge?

What are your views on this, Victor? How do you justify occupying both worlds to yourself and others – and what do you suggest those of us do (apart from go boil our heads) who feel uncomfortable at having our commitment to serious, in-depth work ridiculed by people who have taken their stance from perusing the shallow material available in much of the popular press?

Do feel free, dear Readers,  to leave some observations  of your own on this contentious issue – as long as you understand that anything abusive will be binned without mercy!

To read Part Two, click HERE

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600 words copyright Anne Whitaker  2015

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Pag