Tag Archives: Zodiac

Jupiter in Scorpio, astrologers and Prometheus – a cautionary tale..

Since sharing When Transits Bring Suffering by Dana Gerhardt on my Facebook Page a few days ago, I have been reflecting yet again on the reality that the Cosmos’ unfolding energy patterns – from which astrology helps us to extract meaning – offer us darkness as well as light as the Wheel of Fortune turns… I ruminated on this topic recently in my column for Dell Horoscope Magazine, offering a striking example from my own life by means of illustration…

“…The Titan Prometheus was a pretty arrogant fellow, in my view. According to Greek myth he stole the fire of knowledge from the gods, hidden in a fennel stalk, to give to humanity for our enlightenment. Did he consult any humans beforehand, to see if we wanted such a double-edged gift?

To the best of my knowledge, he did not. He thought he knew best. For this blatant act of hubris, ie thinking you are as smart as the gods, he was savagely punished by Zeus, their king.

You probably know the story, but it bears repeating, just to remind us that hubris is not a good idea. Chained to a rock, Prometheus had his liver pecked out by an eagle on a daily basis; it regrew overnight – the punishment never ended.

In astrology the planet Jupiter, named for the king of the gods in Roman myth, rules the liver. In the Prometheus myth, the liver was chosen as the focus of torture because the ancient Greeks regarded the liver as the seat of life, soul, and intelligence.

So – wherever Jupiter is in your horoscope, that’s where you are compelled to seek to broaden your experience, widen your horizons, deepen your knowledge. However, the myth would appear to suggest that you need to be careful with the results of your quest and its impact on both yourself and others.

Jupiter has very recently moved into the sign of Scorpio, ruled by the Lord of the Underworld, Pluto. Wherever Scorpio is in your birth chart, that’s where the soul-enhancing benefits of deepening your understanding and experience within that dark terrain can be gained over the next year.

Jupiter in Scorpio crops up often in the horoscopes of astrologers, as do Jupiter/Pluto aspects, or Jupiter in the Eighth House. This should not be a surprise, either to astrologers themselves or those who know them. Astrological knowledge is powerful  – as such, it is potently attractive to those of us prepared to do the in-depth work required in order to become fluent enough to practice as astrologers and/or astrology teachers.

However, with such deep knowledge comes a warning, which Prometheus should have heeded; one which astrologers should note, if they have the wisdom and humility to do so: fire burns. By acquiring such powerful knowledge, hidden from most people, we are procuring the gods’ fire. That fire can burn us as it did Prometheus. It can burn our clients and students too, if we are not careful.

Consider this example from my life last year: late in May 2017 I was preparing to attend the Student Astrology Conference in London on 2-3 June. There had recently been two major terrorist attacks on the UK: one in March in London, the second in Manchester just over a week before we were due to set off. One of the key transit patterns common to those attacks was the long square between Saturn in late Sagittarius and Chiron in late Pisces.

I have a Uranus/Mars conjunction in late Gemini/early Cancer in the tenth house. Observing the ephemeris with increasing disquiet, wondering what unpleasant collective events might be triggered by transiting Mars moving through Gemini and once again setting off the Saturn/Chiron square, I suddenly realised that I was ‘plugged in’ to this pattern.

Mars would be exactly triggering my Uranus/Mars midpoint, opposing Saturn transiting the fourth house and squaring transiting seventh house Chiron. On the London Conference weekend.

Given the overall picture, I was worried to say the least. What should I do? Should I tell my husband, thereby alarming him? (Fortunately he is an Aquarian, and not easily intimidated!) Should we cancel our trip? It certainly looked as though some unpleasant surprises were coming our way. In the end, having decided that all this difficult symbolism was contained within an overall protective grand kite pattern involving my horoscope and transiting planets, I concluded that things would be difficult, but not directly involving me or us.

So it proved. One hour before we departed on 1st June, a close relative called me to say his wife was going to have surgery soon for breast cancer. At Euston railway station in London, tired from travelling, we got into a black cab with a driver who blasted us with the full force of his rage against the world for the full half hour it took to get to our hotel. And on the night of 2nd June, less than a mile away from our hotel and the conference venue, there was a devastating terror attack on London Bridge.

My foreknowledge of the broad picture, but not the detail, undoubtedly caused me distress. I could give many other examples as I am sure could my astrologer colleagues, of being burned by this wonderful knowledge we have – which can also be so constructively helpful and illuminating both to us and to our clients.

What would you have said to an astrology client with the planetary line-up described, if they had asked you “Should I go to London next weekend?”  I am still thinking about that one. But in the end we have to trust the sacred space of the consultation, our link to the Divine, be humble – and  strive to do no harm…”

Endnotes:

This post first appeared in my bi-monthly column for Dell Horoscope Magazine  ‘The astro-view from Scotland’ in the November 2017 Issue.

Zodiac

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Dell Horoscope Magazine 2018

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

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Saturn and the Sun in Capricorn: some thoughts at the Winter Solstice

Tomorrow the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, the zodiacal backdrop to our journey through the dark heart of  winter each year. This year its entry, and the Winter Solstice, is lent especial significance by Capricorn’s ruling planet, Saturn, having come home to its own sign today. I have been feeling the gravity of this, as I am sure have many of my readers.

2589725-midwinter-winter-solstice

In essence, my feeling about the period we are moving into from Winter Solstice 2017 is this: Saturn is the planet which dispenses strict justice, telling us that what we sow, we reap – for good or ill. As he moves slowly towards conjunction with mighty Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, at 22 degrees Capricorn in 2020, a meeting which only occurs every thirty-five years or so, we are being reminded that environmentally, politically and financially there is a collective reckoning on its way. Jupiter’s presence in Capricorn that year further amplifies the encounter’s significance.

The consequences of our actions are looming; there is a rebirth coming which hopefully in the long run will challenge us as a human community to behave with greater integrity in our dealings both with one another and with our precious mother planet. So, the turbulent times ahead will force us to confront our failures and shortcomings, both personally and collectively.

But they will also offer us satisfactions and rewards in those areas of our lives to which we bring integrity, personal responsibility,  patience, persistence and honesty. The choice is ours – as always. 

It’s important to give profound times their due. But we also need comfort and distraction, especially in the ‘bleak Midwinter’…

We humans in the Northern Hemisphere, beset by darkness and cold, have from long antiquity needed light and celebration to lift our spirits in the bleak midwinter, no matter how much the grimness of world affairs or the pains of everyday life hold us down: 2017 has been a particularly harrowing year.

We have, also, long needed ritual to guide our lives through the passage of all kinds of seasons: seasons of the year, seasons of our lives, seasons of joy, seasons of mourning…these rituals give significance, dignity, to the archetypal processes of life and death, then rebirth to new life in one form or another.

 An annual event in our Scottish household is to flick malt whisky symbolically onto the Christmas Tree, the modern version of the ancient Sumerians’ Moon Tree, and to read Susan Cooper’s wonderful Winter Solstice poem aloud. All families across the world have their own variations on seasonal ritual.

I hope you find comfort and joy in yours.

Ancient Akkadians honour their tree of life

Ancient Akkadians honour their tree of life

THE SHORTEST DAY’ BY SUSAN COOPER

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!

******

In the bleak Midwinter...

In the bleak Midwinter…

600 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Susan Cooper 2017

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Anne, how do you feel Astrology is best learned?

Anne, how do you feel Astrology is best learned? Through books, lectures, classes, or ?

I received this message from Judith on this blog’s Facebook Page several days ago, replying to say I’d deal with it when I had time. But it’s a good, BIG question, more deserving of a thought-out answer than merely via a Facebook comment. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought; there are dozens of ways to respond!

My astrological colleagues will have their own way of replying – I’d be happy to hear their views, and those of current students or folk who are thinking about studying. I spent a happy half hour with one such person on Thursday 30th November 2017, responding to his question about Mercury Retrograde. His fascination with the whole subject was a joy to be around…

In the meantime, here are my thoughts…

My husband Ian, who in his earlier life was a professional actor, once asked a seasoned professional what it took to be a serious member of the profession. The older man replied rather grandly : ” My boy, all you need to be an actor is three boards – and passion…”

Passion

So let’s start with the passion.

Picture this scene. There I am, sitting at a cramped old desk in the bedroom of our new house, having just moved, acquired a husband (not ever part of my life plan, by the way!) a half share in his two children, his elderly cat, and his ex wife who at that time lived round the corner from us. Oh yes, and having just changed  jobs.

In front of me is an astrology text book: Margaret Hone’s Modern Text Book of Astrology (most recent imprint 1954 or thereabouts). I am already scared stiff by Margaret, although I have never met her. I am at Chapter Six: Computation. It’s a struggle to understand the maths, never my strong point to put it mildly.

There are mascara stains half way down the page. Mine. “I’ll never ever get this!” I wail to the new husband, who is looking bemused. Less than a year later, having sat a whole week of exams in May 1983, I discover that I have gained my Certificate of the UK’s Faculty of Astrological Studies – with a Distinction in the Calculation paper.

That’s where passion, allied with her much less glamorous but more useful sister persistence, can get you. So that’s where you start, if you really want seriously to engage with the art of astrology. You need to be passionately attracted to those seductive, mysterious, elusive symbols whose sliver of meaningful light cast on your life – very often, first of all,  through the Sun Signs – compels you to engage with a landscape whose depth and richness becomes increasingly evident the further you venture within.

Finding the way 

It’s fascinating to find out how well-known astrologers found their way: HERE are some of their stories, including my own, which is set in a launderette in Bath, Somerset, England; a very long time ago. Then, I thought ( based on the usual total ignorance of the subject) that astrology was a load of old rubbish. How wrong could a person be…

People vary greatly in how they arrive at a reasonable degree of competence and fluency in interpreting astrological charts. This is where persistence and discipline come in. Without those, you are going to remain on the margins: a dilettante, “into” astrology but with no real grasp of the subject. That’s fine, if that’s where you wish to remain. But you won’t get to the heart of the subject without persistent application.

I think my own pattern was fairly typical. First, I had an unexpected encounter with astrologers the accuracy of whose reading of my horoscope stunned me. It came at a time when I was seriously questioning what my life was FOR – and whether life itself was intrinsically meaningful, or not. If strangers could describe my inner world and external life patterns so accurately, I thought, that certainly suggested the likelihood of something meaningful going on in the grand scale ….but the challenge provided to my agnostic resistance wasn’t at that point ripe enough to propel me into exploratory action.

Then seven years later, a friend thrust Alan Oken’s The Horoscope, the Road and its Travellers into my hand saying “I think you should read this.” In order not to offend him, I did, and was instantly compelled to begin studying first of all symbols, planets, signs, houses, aspects. I still have that old, battered notebook with all my handwritten notes in it – and the book with my name in it “Anne Whitaker 1981”.

Next, feeling lonely as a self-directed solo student, I decided to attend a local astrology group.Great,” I thought. “At least here I can get away from everyone who knows me but doesn’t know I’m interested in this weirdo stuff…”

“Hello, Anne, fancy meeting you here!” said the woman collecting entrance fees. It was a colleague from psychiatric social work. My cover was blown from day one. Attending the group led me to joining a class run by Carole Wilson (are you reading this, Carole?!) who held the Diploma from the Faculty of Astrological Studies.After that I just told people I was studying astrology, eliciting the usual mixture of responses from the incredulous to the dismissive, with a very liberal dollop of ” Wow, great – can you do my chart?”

Taking it further

Saying “Yes” and embarking on short, limited chart readings  very quickly revealed two things. One, that I too could study marks on pieces of paper and feed back accurate information to their owners. Two, that there was a great deal of power, and responsibility for using it, vested in the process of reading horoscopes and the person who took on that task. Feeling committed but daunted, needing some consistent high-quality teaching to take me on from Carole’s excellent introductory class, I signed up as a  Faculty of Astrological Studies correspondence student and in due course obtained my Certificate.

But you never can get to the end of  astrological knowledge: it’s too wide, and too deep. I was to further my studies much later on, at the Centre for Psychological Astrology,  by commuting by plane from Glasgow to London from 1995-1998 to complete a three-year Diploma in Psychological Astrology with renowned teacher writer and astrologer Dr Liz Greene and the late great mundane astrologer, teacher and writer Charles Harvey.

I consider myself most fortunate to have spent most of my twenties as a college lecturer, and most of my thirties as a generic and psychiatric social worker and counsellor, since both those strands wove into and greatly supported my work as an astrologer. I was also used to having my professional work supervised: thus, when I went freelance with writing, teaching, counselling and the practice of astrology – on the first Saturn square after my Saturn Return – it was a natural step for me to set up regular supervision for my astrological work.

So – returning to Judith’s question by way of conclusion: Judith, as you can see from this post, you answered your own question in the way you posed it!

Passionate interest, for whatever reason, kicks the whole thing off. Then it’s as you say: books, lectures, classes … and preferably some disciplined study with a reputable, recommended school, leading to a qualification which is recognised in the astrological world – that’s if you wish to establish some credibility as a practitioner and teacher.

There is a great deal more to be said on this topic, including the fact that many well-respected astrologers have no formal qualifications. You can find some of what I have previously discussed HERE if you want some food for thought regarding the professional and ethical dimensions of being an astrologer. I’d like to put on record here my appreciation of the work of the late, great master astrologer Donna Cunningham, who as you will see features very much in the first post in the series you will find by going through the above link.

Enjoy the browse – and many thanks, Judith, for inspiring this post!.


Zodiac

Zodiac

1350 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

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

 

 

 

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

As Sun and Jupiter meet in Scorpio: a tale of darkness – and healing powers arising

The Harvey Weinstein scandal broke as Jupiter was moving into Scorpio on 10th October 2017, triggering a tsunami of allegations and revelations of sexual misconduct from harassment to rape across social media. The #metoo movement began (i) on social media after a call to action by the actor Alyssa Milano, one of Weinstein’s most vocal critics.

Facebook said that within 24 hours, 4.7 million people around the world – men as well as women – engaged in the #MeToo conversation, with over 12m posts, comments, and reactions. The issue has rapidly become about much more than Harvey Weinstein. It is about  “…the ubiquity of sexual assault…” in the words of UK’s Guardian newspaper columnist, Suzanne Moore.

I contributed a couple of my own stories to the thread which developed on astrologer Leah Whitehorse’s Facebook Page, when she bravely came out and told a very frightening story of her own in which, fortunately, thanks to her level head, she was not physically harmed. When I was much younger than I am now,  on two occasions, in the cinema and then on the street in broad daylight, I hit two different men who tried to assault me.

They were so astonished at this that the first one got up and left the cinema, and the second one just stood there, his jaw having (metaphorically) hit the floor in utter shock. I realised afterwards that this had been a risky strategy. But I do have an aggressive streak if unfairly treated, and there were other people around.

The tale I am about to tell, however, could have had a very different outcome…a combination of progressed Mercury currently stationing on my third house Jupiter, and an impending Jupiter Return next year, has made me more inclined than usual to descend to Scorpio’s dark realms – as anyone perusing my current reading material would realise! But the outpouring evoked by  #MeToo has dredged up from the depths of memory an episode from my younger years which still chills me to recall.

It was mid-June, 1974, Sunday evening, around 7 pm. It had been a day for chores. I was strolling along with my washing to the launderette on the London Road in Bath, the very place where, not long before – as a young Marxist unbeliever in anything mystical or spiritual ( or so I thought then) – I had had an encounter with an astrologer which was to change my life.

A young man around my own age passed me in the street. I paid him no attention. Then I heard a voice, and turned around.

“I am so lonely”, the young man said. “If someone doesn’t talk to me, I’ll go crazy.”

As a woman, I’d always been aware of the need to protect myself, considered myself streetwise. Normally I would NEVER respond to a strange man addressing me in public like that. But there was something about the pleading, the desperation in his eyes I simply could not ignore.

“OK”, I said.” I’m heading across the road to do my laundry. You can sit there with me and chat for a bit.” He appeared grateful to the point of tears.

Almost an hour later, he had told me his story: very deprived childhood, children’s home, ran away at 16, joined a circus, worked there, travelling a great deal, for years. Fell into bad company. Drugs and alcohol, petty crime. Unemployed, on the streets. Hit rock bottom. Then found Jesus. Now saved.

“Jesus loves you,” he kept saying. “Jesus saved me too.”

To me, he didn’t look very Saved, and I was beginning to wonder what to do next. I didn’t want him to know that I lived nearby. “D’you fancy a pint?” I said. “There’s a nice pub just up the road.” Safety in numbers, perhaps. He was delighted, and off we set, walking slowly whilst he talked some more. I hadn’t asked his name, nor told him mine. It was cold, rainy, no-one about.

Suddenly, before I could register what was happening, he grabbed me, dragging me into a dark alley running off the main pavement. He pinned me to the wall. I went cold. Fortunately that’s what I do if I’m ever in a crisis. I didn’t scream, didn’t struggle. Instead, I put my arms up behind him, and started gently stroking his back, saying quietly:

“You don’t need to do this, you’re just going to scare me. We still have lots to say to each other. Please just let me go…” I repeated this a couple of times more, and his hands, which had been on my throat, dropped to his sides.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!” he kept repeating tearfully. “I don’t know what came over me…”

“It’s ok”, I said calmly, whilst mentally calculating what the hell to do next. “You’re just tired. Let’s go and have that pint.”

As we continued our walk to the pub, and he continued to talk, I worked out a plan. I’d get our drinks, then tell him I always called my parents on a Sunday night; would he mind looking after my washing whilst I nipped out and made a quick call? Then I’d phone my friends Sue and Hugh who lived in the next street to the pub, and hope like hell they were at home.

The plan worked, and my friends were in – I almost cried with sheer relief to hear Hugh’s voice.  “Get round to the pub right away, it’s an emergency – will fill you in later. When you see me with a dishevelled-looking young guy, look very surprised and ask what was I doing drinking the night before going back to work. Ok?”

I pretended to be just as surprised as they were. My guest looked most uncomfortable, excused himself to go to the toilet, and disappeared. Sue and Hugh escorted me home to my flat just across the road, offering to stay the night, which I declined. Security was good in the flat, and I would call them if anything untoward occurred.

Having slept pretty fitfully, I turned on the radio at 7am as usual, to help me surface and get ready for work. The first item on the news was this: in the early hours of the morning, a young woman had been murdered in Bristol. They gave a description of the man they wished to interview in connection with the incident. It fitted my last evening’s companion exactly.

By this time, I was shaking so hard I could barely get myself to the college in which I was teaching English at the time. I told the Principal, who gave me a severe dressing-down for my folly – as he saw it. We then called the police, and I gave a statement. But they never contacted me again. Although I listened intently to the news for many weeks afterwards, to the best of my knowledge the man who murdered that poor young woman, was never found.

16 June 1974

Anne W: 16 June 1974. Progressed Outer, Natal Inner wheel ( click to enlarge)

This week is the first time I have ever looked at the astrology of that fateful Sunday. I remain convinced that if I hadn’t somehow kept my cool and reacted as I did, I would have been the one who died. It is an extremely uncomfortable feeling to be grateful for your own life, knowing that the way you reacted may well have paved the way for someone else’s death…

The astrology, I think, is very graphic both for the darkness and dangerous challenge of the situation and for the ‘healing powers’ which meant that I survived. I’ve only put up the progressions with my natal horoscope, because although I’m pretty sure it was mid-June, it may have been mid-May which would have altered the transits but not the progressions  – apart from the Progressed Moon by about one degree.

Clearly, with the Progressed Moon on the Mercury/SaturnPluto midpoint, I was in for some potent, dark,  potentially life-changing encounters – you can see the potential peril in those significators. However, years later when I knew some astrology I truly thanked my natal Mercury SaturnPluto conjunction. If anything gives you the tough-mindedness coolly to survive most of what life chucks at you, that line-up does!

But the links with natal third house Jupiter in Scorpio tell a very different story. The first house Sun/Venus conjunction makes an emotionally supportive sextile to eleventh house Mars in Cancer, and they all together form a Minor Grand Trine with Jupiter. In the wonderful words of the German poet Holderlin, no stranger to dark experiences himself:

“…Where there is darkness, the healing powers also rise…”.

 I was probably foolish that day in the kindness I offered to an unknown, troubled stranger. It may nearly have cost me my life. But I do believe, looking at the astrology, that my protective angels were watching over me in that encounter. They certainly manifested that day in the shape of my good friends. I have long lost touch with them, but I will never forget them.

___________

Endnotes:

(i) from  Lisa Meyerson on Leah Whitehorse’s Facebook Share of  the above post yesterday 26.10.17: “This is great. I have one correction, if you don’t mind. The #metoo campaign was originally started by a woman named Tarana Burke:https://www.democracynow.org/…/meet_tarana_burke_the…

 

 

Zodiac

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

1550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2017

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