Tag Archives: William Blake

As Jupiter transits Scorpio: asking The Big Why question…and honouring the late Dawn Bodrogi

I was shocked and upset last evening to hear via astrologer Leah Whitehorse on Facebook that one of my first friends on the Web, astrologer  Dawn Bodrogi, had died. As yet, I do not know the circumstances of this (to our minds) untimely passing; Dawn was only 61 years old. Last evening, via Leah’s post, I shared Dawn’s Summer 2017 Newsletter, the last posting on her site, on my Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page. It is a moving, eloquent piece of writing in which it is clear that much of her energy in recent times has been taken up in caring for her very ill mother.

Dawn Bodrogi

Dawn Bodrogi

In it, she also disclosed that she was coming up to a progressed New Moon in Scorpio, conjunct her progressed Ascendant, and talks of a ‘new life’. It is not for us to know what form that new life will take. However, she leaves this life with our gratitude for the depth, brilliance, humanity and accessibility of her teaching.

Working with Secondary Progressions was her speciality. In my recent article on progressions published in the UK’s Astrological Journal,  I commended her work on progressions thus...’… my USA colleague Dawn Bodrogi in my estimation has done the finest recent work on the topic…’

Dawn’s Sun/Jupiter conjunction exactly conjoined my Virgo Ascendant, so philosophising was a favourite activity of ours in the early days of our blogging careers, when we spoke via skype from time to time. Her changed circumstances in recent times have unfortunately meant that we hadn’t spoken for a long time prior to her death, although we had a brief email exchange last year re my referencing her work in my article.

I thought, therefore, that a fitting tribute would be to share some of our philosophical musings via an article I wrote on my first blog Writing from the Twelfth House  to which Dawn contributed a brilliant guest post. The link to her contribution also takes you through to her site.

Dawn may not have been one of the most high-profile astrologers on the Web or social media. But she was undoubtedly one of the very best: a true astrologers’ astrologer. Here we are, musing on the antagonism which needlessly exists in our current cultural phase, between:

 The Measurers and The Metaphysicians.

William Blake ' Ancient of Days'

William Blake ‘ Ancient of Days’

http://www.artrepublic.com.

From Anne

‘…Lord Rees, president of the UK’s premier scientific organisation the Royal Society from 2005-10,  made a provocative public statement some time ago in a Sunday Times (UK) interview, featured in an article by Jonathan Leake in that newspaper on 13.06.10. He ‘suggests that the inherent intellectual limitations of humanity mean we may never resolve questions such as the existence of parallel universes, the cause of the big bang, or the nature of our own consciousness.’

Rees is ‘one of Britain’s most respected astrophysicists’. His warning, reports the article, is ‘partly prompted by the failure of scientists working on the greatest problem of modern physics – to reconcile the forces that govern the behaviour of the cosmos, including the planets and stars, with those that rule the so-called microworld of atoms and particles.’

To read this fascinating  article by Jonathan Leake, which is bound to stimulate heated debate, click ‘D’oh, we may never decode the universe’

I found it heartening: to read about such an eminent scientist exhibiting some humility was most refreshing.

In my view, we all need to be humble in measuring what little we actually know against the vastness of what we contemplate. We need all the help we can get in our attempts to make sense of a vastness which a great and respected scientist has just admitted may be beyond our comprehension. (He could be wrong, of course!) We need to co-operate with one another, as we all go about honing and sharpening the particular lenses through which we look out at mystery.

We need the perspectives of rationalist, reductionist science. But we also need the perspectives of those non-rational dimensions of the ceaseless human journey towards understanding where we came from, why we are here, and what, if anything, it all means. The great myths, the great religions, the arts – all these also give us a partial glimpse of  The Big Why.

So my Really Big Why is this: WHY can we not learn to respect each other’s different lenses/disciplines, instead of – as so often happens – descending irrationally to the primitive level of the tribal carnivores from which we have slowly evolved over the last 100,000 years, and taking up fundamentalist, tribal positions – in which the futile attempt to declare only one lens right and all others wrong, is doomed forever to utter failure?

The great and ancient art and science of astrology has combined those realms of logos (reason) and mythos (imagination, story-telling, creating of metaphors which help us to live with our deep flaws as humans, as well as celebrating our wonderful creativity) for at least six thousand years, since, in Arthur Koestler’s vivid words from “The Sleepwalkers”:

“Six thousand years ago, when the human mind  was still half asleep, Chaldean priests were standing on their watchtowers, scanning the stars.”

So I find it most refreshing, as a life-long appreciator of the wonders of science, to read Lord Rees’ admission that we may never be able to decode the universe. But let’s pool all our knowledge, shall we, on both sides of the current mythos/logos divide, and concentrate more on what unites us – rather than what divides us.

*******

At this point I would like to hand over to my friend and colleague from New York, fine astrologer, Renaissance woman (check her Bio on her site!) and keeper of The Inner Wheel blog Dawn Bodrogi, my latest Guest on “Writing from the Twelfth House”, who has just written a deep, well-informed and eloquent piece on the very theme which has been preoccupying me even more than usual of late! Over to you, Dawn…..

William Blake "Ancient of Days"

William Blake “Ancient of Days”

The Measurers versus The Metaphysicians

Dawn says : ” I don’t often get angry if I meet folks who find astrology incredulous, or even ridiculous.  I find their worship of science and technology as the answer to everything faintly ludicrous, and am happy to agree to disagree about fundamental life views.  I know my method makes sense, they know theirs does, we’re all happy.  Science is a system which proposes to impose meaning on the random and chaotic.  So does astrology. The mandate of astrology is that life has an underlying pattern we are trying to discover. So does science.  Astrology declares that there is an underlying direction that can be discerned by understanding astrology’s laws. So does science, with its laws. Both are based on mathematical principles. Looked at through a slightly skewed mirror, astrology and science have a lot in common…..”   To read the rest of this article, click HERE

******

1150 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dawn Bodrogi 2010 & 2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Advertisements

The Sagittarius New Moon – how was it for you?

I woke early this morning to a clear sky, deep blue turning light, and a lovely sight: the bright, waning crescent of the Sagittarius New Moon, born on 22nd November, Full on 6th December, now preparing to fade into Moondark in anticipation of a new birth. The Capricorn New Moon arrives with the Winter Solstice on 22nd December this year…thus the weave of our tiny solar system  unfolds within the vastness of the Universe, challenging each of us to find our place, our sense of meaning, our purpose…

waning crescent Moon

waning crescent Moon

Cycles govern all our lives, from the vast unfolding of the life and death of stars to the tiny monthly dance of Sun and Moon with our beautiful blue planet Earth.  The same basic stages apply to all cycles: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, dying back in preparation for the new, into that three day period of seclusion the Ancients knew as Moondark. Any New Moon represents the emerging energy of possibility from Moondark’s womb. The first fragile, beautiful waxing crescent appears in the night sky 2-3 days into a new cycle, indicating that fresh potential is taking form.

This image is especially appropriate in evoking the Sagittarian New Moon, which in the unfolding cycle of the Sun and Moon’s yearly journey through the twelve signs of the zodiac emerges from the unfathomable depths of watery Scorpio into the fiery, mutable brightness of Sagittarius, that restless seeker after wisdom, truth, and above all ultimate MEANING.

Visionary poet and painter William Blake – himself a Sagittarius Sun –  describes Sagittarius’ reckless, abundant courage, openness to experience of all kinds across all beliefs and cultures, and great capacity to distil joy and meaning from even life’s worst adventures, so well:

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”.

This most recent New Moon in Sagittarius on 22nd November 2014  carried a particularly powerful creative and exploratory ‘charge’ since the Sun and Moon met at 0 degrees 07 minutes of Sagittarius that day. Planets at zero degrees are highly potent! So – this was a great month for bathing in the abundantly rising energy of inspiration, and for working to give it form across continents and cultures…

Foreground energies : Uranus square Pluto

However, it is important to recognise that life on planet Earth is complex. Contemplating the core meaning of each month’s New Moon can only ever provide broad brush strokes. In order to form a more detailed symbolic picture of the energies of any given month, we have to take the whole planetary picture into account. For example, the 13th December 2014 saw the sixth exact square of the explosive, disruptive and tempestuous Uranus/ Pluto combination, its first major encounter since the turbulent 1960s and an increasingly dominant major planetary pattern since it began its journey towards exactitude way back in 2010/11.

Here are some of its immediate mundane effects: in Australia, a cafe siege resulting in the deaths of three people including the gunman. In USA, a family tragedy involving a deranged man shooting dead six members of his ex wife’s family. And most ghastly of all, today’s breaking news is of a revenge attack by the Pakistan Taliban on a Peshawar military school, leaving 132 youngsters and 11 of their teachers murdered. Truly horrific.

In Russia, meanwhile, tumbling oil prices are taking a devastating toll of the economy, with the rouble falling to almost half its value against the U.S. Dollar amid rising panic.

And on a brighter note my own small nation, Scotland, is once again a world leader. Today gay marriage became legal here, with the backing of an estimated 68% of the Scottish public. 

From the Big Picture to individual lives: creating meaning

The inter-relationship between the Big Picture of our collective lives and the tiny individual lives of humans, as explicated by planetary symbolism, has been a source of enduring fascination for me right from the beginning of my astrological studies. In this short article I have chosen only to focus on one planetary combination and its impact, set within the context of the Sagittarius New Moon.

There is of course Saturn preparing to move into Sagittarius, thereby beginning a year-long square to Neptune, whose ancient ruler was Jupiter – modern ruler of Sagittarius. And exuberant Jupiter himself is placed in fiery Leo, spending much of 2014/5 in a dynamic trine to the great disrupter and techno-futurist of  the zodiac, Uranus.

Jupiter in Leo

Jupiter in Leo

In sum, there is a huge charge of Jupiterian energy in our Sun/Moon/Earth system at present, both for good and ill – as is always the case. The challenge for all of us this soli-lunar month has very much been this: HOW do we take whatever inspiration has come our way and create meaning from it? What are our truths, and how do they shape our lives?

We have seen some of the appalling effects this month of deluded people living out in our world what they see as the truth  – with devastating inhumanity. In this we see Sagittarian energy’s dark and deadly shadow. We struggle with the idea that such ghastly events might have any meaning whatsoever…

So – what have we done this month, even in small ways, to bring some light and inspiration into our personal world? What positive energies have come our way, no matter how difficult things may be, to give us heart and make us feel that life is worth living? 

I do hope some of my readers will respond to this by leaving some comments with personal examples. Let me start you off by sharing some of mine. There are some dark and difficult things going on in our overall family life (Saturn is on my IC…) but I have had some great feedback over the last three weeks regarding my writing, return to teaching, and the astrological work I do.

And the inspiration for this post? A new writer and artist friend who lives in Hawaii (she contacted me, having read an article of mine in The Mountain Astrologer this summer) needed an astrological perspective on the Sagittarian New Moon. On the day of that new moon, she had embarked on an artistic venture linking writing, art and poetry with a new friend of hers – also met via the Internet. I was happy to write a short astrological piece for her. That has formed the core of this post…

“As above, so below” . How profound. how TRUE!

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Jupiter in Leo 2014 -15: what will it bring ?

Click on the links for detail on the Jupiter 11-12 year cycle, and Jupiter in Leo, the first two articles in this series. This third article explores the 2014-15 journey of Jupiter through the sign of Leo, in relation to the twelve houses of the natal horoscope.

What does the Jupiter in Leo year hold?

What does the Jupiter in Leo year hold?

I thought I’d kick off this article with an exchange a few weeks ago on this site between my blogging friend Ellis Nelson and myself:

ellisnelson Jupiter moves to the 9th house for me and I’m looking forward to it!

Sounds great! Jupiter in his own house adds an extra ‘woosh!. So –  teaching in any sphere, embarking on Higher Ed yourself, long distance travel – and, can it be (??!! ) book promoting and publishing. Enjoy!

Ellis is a fine writer; her blog, ellisnelson, is well worth a visit. Here is her credo: Mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write. (WB Yeats): I do not know her horoscope, but would expect from what I know of her writing that the planet Jupiter is a powerful influence.

You can see from her comment and my reply, in broad brush stroke terms, what that year-long transit of Jupiter in Leo through her Ninth house is likely to bring.

In my own case, Jupiter has just moved into the Eleventh house; I am about to begin teaching my first astrology class for over 12 years (a whole Jupiter Cycle ago!). It is a ‘refresher’ class for some students I have taught over a number of years, whose astrology has become ‘rusty’ and needs a polish. Jupiter in Leo is up for the task!

The Eleventh House concerns all activity connected to one’s link to the human family, one’s family of origin, and the groups and friendships in which one is involved. So I can expect a year where my wider connections with people grow, develop, and (hopefully!) bring me and those with whom I come into contact some measure of inspiration, broadening of perspectives – and fun.

A broad picture 

As ever, it is important at the outset of a general article like this 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 here which can offer some perspective: both to readers with some astrological knowledge, and to those of you with little or none who are curious to know more.

One of the great gifts of astrological understanding is the help it offers in setting our sails, metaphorically speaking, to the prevailing winds of our lives.

Thinking ‘big’ with Jupiter in Leo

So, by considering which house the larger-than-life planet Jupiter is traversing at any given time, we can gain a good general idea of what to expect, and plan accordingly. Jupiter in Leo is theatrical, dramatic and expansive. It needs stimulus, fresh perspectives and challenges, bringing a quality of restless creative energy to whatever house it graces with its benevolent presence.

It is also well worth mentioning Leo’s strong link with matters to do with children: your own, or other people’s, eg as a teacher. So, look out for this dimension in whatever house has Leo on the cusp, as Jupiter passes through that sector over the next year.

You need to ‘think big’ with regard to the affairs of the house of Jupiter in Leo’s year-long residence. But not too big. As I discussed in the second article in this series, Jupiter is prone to excess. As William Blake’s famous line puts it:

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” (i)

…well, not always! One of the perils of Jupiter’s residence in any house is a tendency to overdo things.

Unfortunately, my advice to be careful of excess during this Jupiter transit is, I realise, unlikely to be heeded – especially by ME as I sit here at 6 am (I am not normally, at all, an early riser), typing away furiously in order to inform and entertain all you Eleventh house folk, my readers, out there. …

Pairs of Houses

It’s important here to point out that the houses, like the signs, operate in complementary opposites, in pairs. Ellis’s Third and Ninth houses are stimulated by Jupiter’s transit of the Ninth. Thus gathering a variety of types of information and experiences (Third) and placing them in the context of the Big Picture (Ninth) on a bigger scale than usual, describes the essence of her Jupiter through Leo year.

My Fifth and Eleventh houses are up for challenge and expansion. Thus my creative impulses (Fifth) are focused and directed through sharing learning and new perspectives with the groups and friendship networks (Eleventh) in which I am involved. You’ve already seen how this has begun to work out!

If you have an early degrees of Aquarius Ascendant or Rising Sign, then your Descendant or point of significant others is in Leo. Jupiter has just crossed that point and is now traversing the Seventh house, highlighting the First house also. This is the Me (First house ) in relation to You (Seventh house) pair.

Thus Jupiter travelling through your Seventh house strongly emphasises your need for challenge, excitement and new developments on the relationship front. I’ve often seen this core meaning express through the branch of clients becoming involved with a new partner from another country and/or culture.

Generally speaking, it’s a transit which brings new and growth-enhancing relationships into one’s life.  You are also likely to encounter more than one significant new person whose Sun Sign is Leo…But watch it! It can also bring over-optimism: seeing in A.N.Other what you want to see, rather than what is actually there.

So – always be aware in considering the impact of transiting Jupiter (or any other planet by transit) through the houses, that the opposite house is also involved, although the ‘weighting’ is always in the house in which Jupiter is its year-long visitor. In fact, quite often it may feel as though the house in which Jupiter is resident draws energy away from its opposite house.

For example, Louis, focusing on renovations on the home front (Jupiter transiting 4th House) could feel his inclination towards putting energy into his career (10th House) temporarily diminishing.We will meet him again at the end of this post.

Meeting friends along the way

Some houses are empty of natal planets (although NOT lacking in importance – this is the subject of another article in itself!) . Others, on the other hand, are tenanted natally by anything from one to several planets.

Let’s imagine that Uranus, in Leo,  lives in your Tenth house of vocation, career, direction. In essence, this indicates that you are a person whom a conventional, structured, rule-bound career would not suit at all. You are in your mid-thirties, have already had three career changes, and are feeling bored and restless. (note: third Jupiter Return approaching!)

Jupiter swings by your Tenth House for a year, spending some time hanging out with Uranus in Leo. A work colleague takes you along to a seminar on astrology given by a charismatic astrology teacher. You are completely bowled over, spend a year reading everything you can get your hands on concerning this fascinating new subject. Three years later you have changed career again, having gone freelance: guess what the new career is, folks?!

Someone else, let’s call him Mark,  has four planets in Leo in the Twelfth House. He works very hard as a social worker specialising in welfare rights  (Aquarius on the Sixth House cusp). Jupiter enters the Twelfth House, and Mark feels a strong creative pull toward his spiritual life, towards retreat and reflection. He is due some sabbatical leave, so embarks on a three-month retreat in a nearby Buddhist monastery.

Conclusion – and Louis’s story

I hope that this brief exploration of a range of possible means of expression  stimulates you to reflect on the House in your horoscope currently tenanted by Jupiter. If you are new to astrology, why not have your chart calculated by one of the reputable services such as Astrodienst, so that you can find out? Or better still, go and have an astrology reading with a qualified, experienced and reputable astrologer.

In reflecting on that highlighted house, and considering how best to direct Jupiter’s energy there, bear in mind, whatever the house is, what I said earlier in this article:

Jupiter in Leo is theatrical, dramatic and expansive. It needs stimulus, fresh perspectives and challenges, bringing a quality of restless energy to whatever house it graces with its benevolent presence.

I hope you can make the best of the opportunities and challenges which Jupiter may bring into your life in the year ahead. As ever, it would be great to get some feedback, since putting real flesh on the bones of the symbolism is how we all, beginners or experienced astrologers alike, become fluent in our craft.

I’d like to conclude the article with some brilliant feedback given to me a few days ago by a friend, who I’ve named Louis.

Jupiter entered Leo on 16th July 2014. Louis’s IC, beginning his Fourth House, is at 0 degrees 49 minutes of Leo. The Commonwealth Games began in Glasgow, Scotland, UK on 24th July 2014, just as Jupiter by transit crossed Louis’s IC, beginning a year-long transit of his Fourth House. For the two weeks preceding this major event,Louis and his friends were hard at work renovating and decorating an upstairs flat in Louis’s house in order to let it out for the Commonwealth Games.

He first let the flat out on 23rd July, and it was let continuously to three different lots of visitors during the ten days of the Games. In this way, not only did Louis cover the cost of the renovations: he now has a regular source of income which he can draw on by continuing to let out that flat, thereby improving his financial position.

Another issue cropped up at exactly the same time, which may well result in Louis having an inheritance or profound gain of some kind – not necessarily material. Jupiter first crosses his Pluto at 16 degrees Leo early in October 2014, again in mid-February 2015, before crossing for a third time and moving on at the end of May/beginning of June 2015. We shall have to wait and see whether this plays out in concrete material terms, or as powerful gain of some other kind.

I’ll let you know! In the meantime, if any beginning astrologers are reading this: tell me why I put forward those possible outcomes from Jupiter crossing Pluto in Leo in the Fourth House. Any offers?

 And – feedback on your experiences of Jupiter in Leo through any of the Houses/over any of the four Angles of your horoscope, is always welcome.

References

(i) from William Blake’s  “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, one of the “proverbs of Hell”.

Zodiac

Zodiac

1850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page