Tag Archives: Zodiac

Do you find astrology – or does it find you?

Continuing the theme of how we came to astrology, stimulated by Frank Clifford’s brilliant guest post last week, here as promised are edited extracts from some of the varied and interesting stories my readers kindly shared. I’ve also included a couple of my own replies, the latter of which should leave you with no doubt regarding my misspent youth!  I love the  variety of these stories, and really appreciate readers’ having taken the trouble to share them. Space precludes me from sharing them all here  – but you can find some more intriguing tales on my  Astrology: Questions and Answers Facebook Page.

The post concludes with a five-minute interview I did a few weeks ago with Lush Radio’s Andrew Paine, confessing that I too was an ignorant astrology dismisser – until the day I encountered the real thing, a day which was to change my life, although I didn’t realise that at the time! 

Talking astrology, mediaeval style!

Talking astrology, mediaeval style!

Carole Bone, from Glasgow, Scotland, UK:

‘…It was great to read Frank’s story and so amazing that it is illustrated so beautifully in his chart. My path was first stimulated by that wonderfully ostentatious icon of popular “Sun Sign astrology”, UK’s Russell Grant. Having acquired a small book of his that described planets, signs, houses, rising signs, nodes etc I was intrigued to find that my Virgo Rising Sign and Cancer Moon sign was soooo accurate. I had never resonated with Sagittarius, my Sun sign, though that did irk me somewhat for some reason… it all makes perfect sense now I’ve “grown in to my Sun sign”… as you do…’

Brenda Lee Johnson:

‘…My early childhood was in northern Canada, in the province of Manitoba. My parents had what would almost be considered a trading post. I found it very difficult to be inside the house and spent much time outside looking at the sky, the magic of it, the darkness, the mystery. We had many animals around, domesticated and otherwise. A very elemental upbringing. Considered to be “unorganized territory” yet so rich in texture. Not “organized” or ” civilized”. In other words it had a “wildness”, a freedom. To find out later, in shamanic Astrology training that my moon was in Scorpio and that indicated a shamanic past, made so much sense. My orientation thus, was to be the explorer of the cosmos and live in the world using those early developed senses to try to understand how people and the world worked.

I first began with the Linda Goodman versions then proceeded to go deeply into Astro psychology with Liz Greene, Dane Rudyar, Reinhold Ebertin, etc. All filled a gap in thinking at different times. I studied shamanic Astrology near my Chiron return, realizing Chiron was conjunct my Moon but in Sagittarius rather than Scorpio. I am continuously in awe and wonder of this powerful symbolic system, much of which to me is unexplainable – although eg James Hillman, Stanislav Grof, Richard Tarnas certainly bridge understandings…’

Lunar Cycle

Lunar Cycle

Lindel Barker-Revell:

‘…I was fascinated to read Frank’s astrological journey too. I admire his work and have attended a few of his lectures here in Oz. It’s strange how we are led to our path. I grew up in Tasmania where a dim view was taken of anything outside of a fairly rigid religious norm. However, the 60s did even reach Hobart and we had an influx of different thinking and beliefs. I met my first palm reader in 1969 and I began to learn what I could. I moved to Sydney in 1974 and after a few years I began to learn astrology at the first “school” in Paddington. What a journey!…’

Anne: Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving this interesting feedback, Lindel. I, too, grew up in a part of the world where there was a strong fundamentalist (protestant) ethos: but the wildness of the landscape and weather, and the clarity of the night skies and stars, invoked in me from early on a decidedly pagan sensibility which has never left me, leaving me open to all kinds of perspectives on interconnectedness. So I guess it was inevitable that astrology would eventually find me…

Rena Hdesign:

‘…Reading these, I feel I must share my story too! After spending the bulk of my life fighting my way through the challenges of the particular archetypal energies indicated by my birth chart, it is no big surprise that astrology finally claimed me heavily about 5 years ago. My 1st big step into the “occult”, (as it was known in the bookshop’s section back then) was to have an astrological reading. Although I don’t remember much – the astrologer’s reaction to my chart scared me a bit – I was fascinated and tried to begin studies. But it wasn’t time and there were too many fears dogging my mind to be able to maintain the type of objectivity necessary to do justice to the symbolism – so I went into massage and energy work.

Working with people at that level forced me out of the mental/intellectual and I spent many years learning to hold internal silence/space for others as witness to their processes as I gradually got through the personal challenges. Twenty five years later, being in a good place in life, there was obvious need for a further challenge – and that is where I finally found Dane Rudhyar, Liz Greene, Bil Tierny, Stephen Arroyo and many others through people like Anne Whitaker, Dawn Bodrogi and Frank Clifford’s guidance & stellar example…’

Questions, cosmic questions!

Questions, cosmic questions!

 David A Jones:

‘…My parents had my chart done when I was born, but I never got much of an interpretation. When I was 16 I took my first pay check from my first “real” job and bought half a dozen astrology books; from there I taught myself, math and all…’

Anne:That’s impressive, David. What a good way of spending your first wages…much better than booze, clothes and cigs which I seem dimly to recall was mostly what I did with mine in my early days!

AND – here is my five minutes of fame on Lush Radio:

http://player.lush.com/radio/turning-point-anne-whitaker

Zodiac

Zodiac

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker

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

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Cheer up: solar eclipses aren’t all doom and gloom…

The writer Ernest Hemingway once memorably observed that all writers need a built-in, shockproof crap detector. Those of us who inhabit the Otherworlds of palmistry, I Ching, tarot, astrology, politics (!) etc need one of these too, in my opinion. An opening gambit of mine during the years of teaching beginners astrology classes was usually this:

“Don’t necessarily believe a word I say, exciting, interesting and persuasive though it might sound  – always test it out in your own experience…”

This has always been, and remains my attitude, probably explaining why I have done so much astrological research. I’ve never taken the word of authority of any kind on trust.

Now – what on earth is the relevance of the above to this week’s topic?

Your days are numbered, pal…

Scroll back thirty years with me. It is the 29th March 1987, London, UK, just before lunch; the final day of a weekend workshop on Esoteric Astrology led by astrologer Alan Oken. I am feeling tired, suffering from information overload, not very receptive to any more new input, much less a new experience. Unbeknownst to me, however, I am poised to have one.

Alan informs us that there is about to be a solar eclipse, at 8 degrees 18 of Aries. I’ve not paid much attention to eclipses yet (that was certainly to change as the years went on!) and am not hugely interested. Nevertheless, it dimly registers that the eclipse opposes my 8 degrees 53 Libra natal Second House Neptune which is closely sextile natal Mercury at 9 degrees 03 Leo in the Twelfth.

He then invites us, having briefly outlined the significance of eclipses, to focus on something in our lives we wish to leave behind – as he leads us through a meditation at the exact time of the eclipse. I have never been keen on guided meditations and am not at all visually oriented where imagining things is concerned. However, it seems churlish not to join in. I duly adopt an appropriate posture: closing my eyes, beginning to breathe slowly and deeply as instructed.

What did I want to leave behind? Smoking, that’s what. I’d been trying and failing on that one for about ten years. As Alan talked us through, I focused on dropping my last fag packet into a bin – forever. The ethereal sceptic permanently resident on my left shoulder – my pet crap detector – was taking the view that I’d tried everything else, so why not?

To my amazement, as I participated with the group, waves of colour began to appear – a wash of sea greens and purples, almost like the Northern Lights – behind my closed eyes. The waves peaked with Alan’s voice, then died away as he gently led us out of the meditation.

I was astounded by this experience, awed – and chastened. Something powerful had clearly occurred, despite my scepticism. As we all filed out for lunch, I had a strong urge to take my cigarettes and drop them in the nearest bin. So I did. “Goodbye, smoking” was my thought. “I’m done with you!”

Half past two the following morning saw me, sleepless, twitchy, and angry, slipping out of my in-laws’ flat into rainy North London. Heading for an all-night grocers, I bought twenty cigarettes, smoking the first one on my way back. My only company for that weekend was Tadzio, my brother-in-law’s ferociously unwelcoming old cat. “Well, Tadzio,” I remarked bitterly to him as he hissed at me on my return. “Don’t ever bother meditating on an eclipse”.

However, dissatisfaction at my inability to break that smoking habit continued to gnaw at me, especially since my husband, an even more dedicated smoker than I, had managed to stop that February, aided by a severe bout of mumps which (fortunately!) only affected his throat. He could barely eat or speak for several days – and could not bear to smoke. (Chiron just happened to be sitting on his MC at the time…inconvenient benefic, indeed!)

On my return from  London, I could see that he was struggling. Suddenly I had a bright idea. “How about this,” I said. “If you can stay off the fags until the Easter weekend, I’ll stop then too.”

“Right,” he said through gritted teeth.

Two weeks after that ‘failed’ meditation, three days before the Easter weekend, I had a lightbulb moment. (Lunar eclipse, anyone?) A Leo one, shot with my usual Leonine melodrama…“I’m going to die as a smoker on Good Friday”, I announced to my rather sceptical Aquarian husband. “And be reborn as a non-smoker by Easter Monday.”

And so, Reader, it duly came to pass. I have not smoked since.

Endnotes:

If you’d like to read some of my recent writings on eclipses, click HERE

This post was first published as my 13th Not the Astrology Column in the July/August 2017  Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.

Zodiac

Zodiac

********

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

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

Neptune, poetry, and August’s melancholy…

I have always loved August, that month where a particular coolness in the morning air on stepping out, a papery rustle tingeing the wind blowing through the trees, intimates that Summer is losing its hold upon the year, that Autumn is ascending…sensing this brings on a very particular mood, a mood dominated by the atmosphere of Neptune, that most poignant, sensitive and poetic of energies.

Step with me for a moment into Neptune’s world…

August is my birth month. There is a poised melancholy about it which fits my temperament well. From a very young age I have been very aware of the transience of Life: for all its challenge, turmoil, joy, grief and seemingly endless possibility, its manifold excitements, loves and pleasures, it is soon gone: a frail leaf drifting down to the river of Time which carries everything mortal to the great Universal Sea.

Whilst in a pleasingly melancholy August mood today, I dipped into a favourite inspirational book and found this gem, which I thought I’d share, from Katherine Mansfield…

Death of a Rose…

“…It is a sensation that can never be forgotten, to sit in solitude, in semi-darkness, and to watch the slow, sweet, shadowful death of a Rose.

Oh, to see the perfection of the perfumed petals being changed ever so slightly, as though a thin flame had kissed each with hot breath, and where the wounds bled the colour is savagely intense . . . I have before me such a Rose, in a thin, clear glass, and behind it a little spray of scarlet leaves. Yesterday it was beautiful with a certain serene, tearful, virginal beauty, it was strong and wholesome, and the scent was fresh and invigorating.

To-day it is heavy and languid . . . So now it dies . . . And I listen . . . for under each petal fold there lies the ghost of a dead melody, as frail and as full a as a ray of light upon a shadowed pool. Oh divine sweet Rose. Oh, exotic and elusive and deliciously vague Death..”.(i)

______

Endnotes

(i)  Katherine Mansfield: The Death of a Rose (from The Virago Book of Spirituality, Edited by Sarah Anderson, published 1996,  p276 )

photo: Anne Whitaker

400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twins

Twins

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

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

My Answer:

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

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

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

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

Anne W's Horoscope

Anne W’s Horoscope

(click on image to enlarge)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Do, please, share your stories!

Zodiac

Zodiac

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013/2017

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

Mars opposes Pluto: feeling the burn…

Well, are you feeling it? I certainly am. 

My 10th House Mars return took place just after Mars entered Cancer on 5th June 2017, a few days after the most recent terrorist atrocity in London on 3rd June, and not long before the appalling fire disaster at Grenfell Tower in London on 14th June 2017. As I write, Mercury at 18 degrees Cancer  is exactly opposite Pluto at 18 degrees Capricorn. Mars opposes Pluto on Sunday 2nd July 2017.

I don’t know about you, but as I contemplate the UK’s Moon at 19 degrees of Cancer in the nation’s 10th House about to be exactly opposed by transiting Pluto through the UK’s 4th house, I am anticipating more burning, of a literal or a metaphorical kind, not just in the UK or the USA, but in other parts of the world. The Mars/Pluto combination is not called the War Monger for nothing…

A mood of public anger has been very evident in the UK recently and is growing, as Mercury, Mars and lastly the Sun travel through Cancer, amplified by Jupiter squaring them all in the middle degrees of Libra – and by the upcoming full moon on 9th July 2017 at 17 degrees Capricorn. Anger re our recent shambolic general election, terrorist attacks, and that terrible fire disaster, are the most recent flashpoints for UK citizens’ rage.

Crumbling institutions’ incapacity to meet the needs of the communities they are supposed to be serving is not just a local but a worldwide problem. How must many of our USA friends be feeling, for example, regarding the prospect of having their healthcare removed? Just have a look at Facebook and Twitter and you will find out.

I have been sharing in this public mood: not normally given to ranting about the state of the world in general or our national politics in particular, in recent days I have been doing just that. No doubt having been in London on the weekend of the most recent terror attack there has helped to wind up my anger.

But the other morning’s local news tipped me over into taking that anger onto Facebook, something I do not usually do. Some of you will know of our local successful Children’s Wood’s campaign –with international support, thanks! – to keep developers off one of the last bits of wild land in the city, well used by all sectors of our community including 22 local schools. That morning I found out that a local well-loved and well-used Scout Hall in Kelvindale near where we live is to be cleared at the end of the summer, along with tree-rich land next to it, to make way for developers.The community is fighting this. Good for them!!

childrens-wood-protest-1

childrens-wood-protest-1

photo: Anne Whitaker

Pluto’s long transit of Capricorn from 2008-2024, aided by revolutionary Uranus in hot-tempered Aries,  is slowly doing its work of battering on the doors of all established structures and taking them down.  No wonder we are all feeling insecure, battered and bruised by the turmoil and disruption going on – which has hit so many of our fellow citizens across the world so brutally and with so much destruction.

As our sclerotic, archaic institutions are increasingly unable to cope with the modern world in which we are actually living, community power is becoming the way forward in so many areas of contemporary life.

In this, I have been getting a strong flavour of the upcoming Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, due to take place in 2020 at 0 degrees of Aquarius. Pluto heads into that community-oriented sign by 2024.The upcoming generations are busy laying the foundations for a new world order, centred on our world community thanks to the rise and dominance of the Internet.

Pluto was last in Capricorn from 1762 to 1778, the time when the foundations of a world-wide economy predicated upon material exploitation of the planet’s natural resources including many of its people, were laid. That era’s days, the days of Big Oil etc, are numbered….Let’s hope that what replaces it is an era of fairer sharing of the Earth’s increasingly diminishing resources, more international co-operation…and less bloodshed.

In the meantime, back to our  currently especially energised, turbulent, stroppy, anger-charged personal lives. ( I’ve been having a trawl round comments on Facebook in recent days. This energy field has been burning up lots of us in various challenging ways.) Wherever in your horoscope Mercury, then Mars opposes Pluto at present and in the upcoming week, that pair of houses is where you will be ‘feeling the burn’.

Here is a live example: a friend of mine is making a train journey of several hours’ duration to come and visit us here in Glasgow. As I am writing this post, with Mercury exactly opposite Pluto today, she has just texted to say her train has been cancelled, and there is no word as yet re exactly how she and her fellow passengers are supposed to get here.

Do let me know how it goes with you – and try to channel that energy and anger as best you can in the week ahead.

850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

Moon’s Nodes, Midsummer, and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”…

I have noticed over the years that having natal horoscope planets, Angles or Nodes around 0-5 degrees of Cancer (Midsummer), Libra (Autumn Equinox) Capricorn (Midwinter) or Aries (Spring Equinox) tends to bring significant inner or outer events into the lives of clients, students, friends and family at those key times of the year. It certainly happens with me, with Mars at 1.5 Cancer in the tenth house of vocation/career.

It happened big time with Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, whose Asc was 2 degrees Cancer, square her Mercury at the end of Virgo. Scroll back exactly two hundred and one years to Midsummer 1816, when Mary was still only 18 years old, and experiencing her first Nodal Return. Resident with husband Percy Shelley, the charismatic, amoral and scandalous Lord Byron and various friends and family members, at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva, during a stormy night Byron challenged them all to write a ghost story…the rest, as they say, is history.

Mary went to bed that night and dreamed Frankenstein…

Inspired by Mary Shelley’s life, her Moon’s Nodes, and her authorship of Frankenstein, I wrote an article to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of that event for The Mountain Astrologer which they published last June. Here it is. I hope you enjoy this Midsummer tale!

Dreaming ‘Frankenstein’

250 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

The Cycles of Saturn: Growing up time!

Today’s Neptune turned newly retrograde in Pisces, conjunct the Moon as I write, has brought an interesting wave of returns:  lovely feedback for my writing, some money due, an old favourite track “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” playing real good, loud and free in Kelvingrove Park, and my return to a favourite lunch haunt being livened by a gaggle of very drunk, very loud, very happy young women.

And here, with kind permission of  The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, is another recent article of mine – stepping aside from that Neptune wave: my exploration of those vital formative cycles of that planet who rewards honest self-examination and patient, realistic effort over time. A slow burner, but a giver of rewards truly worth having…

saturn

saturn

Cycles of Saturn: forging the Diamond Soul

As ever, your comments, observations and shared experiences are valuable – and welcome!

150 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page