An astrologer cranks up her brain cell for 2013….

After a very long sabbatical spent resting, reading and writing, I am happy to have returned to working as a consultant astrologer and teacher since 1st May 2012. I have done a number of interviews over the years. This one was particular fun to do, since Wendy of that excellent site The Know It All Astrologer sent me a list of questions which I was not expecting at all! The unexpected, of course, is useful for jolting one’s remaining brain cell into something approaching dynamic action….and boy, at the start of 2013, do I need all the brain-galvanising help I can get….

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Anne Whitaker

Anne Whitaker

What transit always shows up for you in surprising ways?

They all do, especially the long-lasting ones. The deep challenges that force our growth lurk in the realms of the unconscious, just waiting to hitch a ride on the nearest really tough transit. For example, I didn’t think that ten years of Neptune transits was going to involve an enforced descent into the Underworld for most of that period! However, the good news is that I have now emerged, much improved (unless you ask my husband….!)

What is your funniest transit or retrograde experience?

There are several, not all of which can be aired publicly! The one which comes immediately to mind is the occasion, in March 1985, when Saturn turned retrograde on my 28 Scorpio IC. In the middle of lunch with an old friend who at that time was a bank manager, without warning, I passed out. Just then, a friend of his, who was also a bank manager, was passing by the restaurant window. I came round and insisted on going home – very groggily, with a bank manager holding me up by each arm. Very Saturn in Scorpio, don’t you think?!

Would you rather be ruled by Uranus or Jupiter? Why?

What a question! Both those planets are strong in my horoscope, Uranus in the tenth house leading an eastern bowl shape, with Jupiter in the third closing the bowl, and the two in bi-quintile aspect. My Ascendant is also on the Jupiter/Uranus midpoint. However, if forced to choose I would go for Jupiter, provided the aspects weren’t too difficult. My reasons are probably dictated by the stage I’ve got to in life: that disruptive, eccentric, unpredictable, stubborn individualism characteristic of a Uranus-ruled life feels too tiring to contemplate now!

Jupiter’s boundless energy and optimism, ability to inspire others and be inspired by the more positive dimensions of  life, and willingness to be open to a sense of meaningful connectedness to that which is greater than oneself, are especially attractive to me at this point.

What advice would you give to someone learning how to read their own chart?

One, there are dozens of ways of evading personal responsibility – resolve at the outset never to do so by blaming your horoscope or your transits for your difficulties in life.

Two, realise that objectivity is something to be aspired to, which can never be achieved by mere human beings. This being the case, try to recognise that you can be most objective and therefore most helpful by reading the horoscopes of strangers, provided you have appropriate training and supervision. When approaching your own horoscope, or those of your loved ones, you will inevitably colour the planetary picture before you with your own hopes and fears.

Three, the illuminating light which is gradually cast as your understanding of  the symbols in your chart grows, will be wonderfully helpful in shedding light on your gifts, pains, motivations and aspirations. But bear in mind that possessing astrological knowledge has a shadow side – for example, I have never known anyone including myself who didn’t look at upcoming transits, especially of Saturn and Pluto, without a certain amount of fear.

To help my astrology students with this,  I used to point out that 99.9% of the human race from the beginning of time has managed to stagger through life without the aid of astrology! So – enjoy the fascination of  deciphering the astrological map of your life. But don’t get too precious about it – and be aware that this wonderful knowledge has a double edge….

What astrology books do you re-read or use the most?


The two astrologers who have most inspired and educated me have been Liz Greene and the late Charles Harvey, with both of whom I was fortunate to study – unofficially from the mid-1980s and formally between 1995 and 1998. As reference books for my interest in mundane astrology, my three favourites are: The outer planets and their Cycles by Liz Greene,  Anima Mundi – the astrology of the individual and the collective by Charles Harvey, and Mundane Astrology by Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey.

My copy of Stephen Arroyo’sAstrology, Karma and Transformation , that wonderful in-depth companion on the ‘stormy journey of the soul’ is now so well-thumbed that it is starting to fall to bits – and when I feel like some outrageous, light-hearted, funny, but deadly accurate astrological analysis I turn to Debbi Kempton-Smith’s Secrets from a stargazer’s notebook.

However, in keeping with my re-engagement with work as an astrologer and teacher, I am now moving into re-framing my relationship with astrology in keeping with the ” new paradigm…. emerging in Western civilisation, led by transpersonal psychology, chaos and general evolution theories, and the human potential movement…. ” in the words of Armand Diaz, a fine writer and author of Integral Astrology which I am currently reviewing. I have also greatly enjoyed reading Bernadette Brady’s book Astrology a place in chaos – which also re-contextualises astrology for the contemporary world. And – have been given The Archetypal Cosmos by Keiron Le Grice for Christmas and am really looking forward to reading it!

(permission to re-publish this interview was given by The Know It All Astrologer)

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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6 responses to “An astrologer cranks up her brain cell for 2013….

  1. Huh! I also have natal Uranus in the 10th House. I think, maybe, I was drawn to astrology in an attempt to understand some of the chaos of my young life. I guess it helped me understand that there was a bigger picture to my life – that there was some sort of order to the universe, therefore, my life. None of the “adults” or health care professionals in my life had many positive insights to add to my understanding. I needed something totally outside the box of my Buckle of the Bible Belt/White Bread world.

    Do you read much Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson or Vivian Robson?

    Beverly P.

    • Hi Beverly

      thanks for dropping by! Well, you have just stated exactly what drew me to astrology too.

      I have heard of both writers but must confess have not read any of their work. There is a new book out – The Archetypal Cosmos by Kieron Le Grice – which I have begun reading and which brings myth, science and astrology together: a necessary synthesis in this quantum age….and I will see what I can find by the authors you suggest. Thanks!

  2. Didn’t I laugh when I saw your title! You have rather more than one brain cell, I should say!

    Of course much of this is completely beyond my ken. However, when I got to the section on “advice”, I was immediately at home, and in complete agreement with the things you were saying. With some slight adjustments, the same advice could (should) be given to anyone seeking to live a full and responsible life, whether they be consulting charts, holy books like the Bible or the teachings of the Buddha. Responsibility, sensitivity, and caution are qualities much lacking today, and if a person learns them through natal charts rather than a religious tract – it’s fine by me.

    I’ve been thinking about something a little mysterious recently. My current post is about the “birth” of my blog – how it happened, and how it got its title and tagline. One commenter asked if I’d ever written any poetry other than the poem that gave the title to my blog, and this was my response:

    Actually, I know I was writing poetry in high school, because I was elected Class Poet. It’s a bit of a strange story. I forgot about that honor for decades and only remembered it after I started my blog. I didn’t have a copy of the poem I wrote for graduation, so I had to call the high school. They found it in the yearbook, and a nice administrative assistant sent me a copy.

    Isn’t that the strangest? In 1964 I’m class poet, but it’s not until 2008 that I write another poem and start my blog. And I still can’t remember ever writing in high school, except for the fact that I have the proof now in the form of that class poem. I wanted to be an English major in college, but was talked out of it – not practical, and all that. Just strange. Clearly, I have a bit of talent for writing – I wonder what would have happened if I’d recognized that and nurtured it from the beginning. No way to say now, but it’s still very interesting.

    • Hi Linda

      a Happy New Year to you! I am finding it difficult this year to crank the ageing cerebellum into some form of coherent activity, having had the most relaxing Festive Season for many a year: no family dramas or crises for a change, and the height of our excitement being my 12 year old nephew’s unexpected gift of a tortoise of whom his owner had grown tired. (Perhaps it was the lack of meaningful dialogue?) We called this creature Bolt, after Usain Bolt the Olympic Gold medal winning runner. Now this is the type of excitement I like these days, after a lifetime of more than average turbulence and unpredictability.

      Your 1964/2008 story has pointed up interesting similarities between us. In 1964, the year I left school, I was deputy editor of our school magazine which had published several of my writings over the years, including poetry. My adolescent fascination then was with archaeology and social anthropology – the dusty back shelves of our local library were haunted by me on a weekly basis, hunting whatever I could find on those topics. However, it being 1964 and my being a daughter, any expressed desire to follow one of those careers was simply ridiculed. So my departure to university (a family first) became an escape route from home rather than the first step in a chosen career. Had anyone told me then that I would subsequently have four careers, all eventually interwoven, including one as an astrologer, I would not have believed them. The consistent thread running through my whole life has been writing. In 2008, like you, I started a blog.

      I leave you with a few lines of poetry which seem relevant, from one of my favourite poets, Anne Stevenson, whom I was privileged to know during the 1970s. These lines probably refer to us all:

      “That’s how you remember
      the alternative lives.
      You saw them, could never have lived them.
      A ribbon of birds is pulled raggedly over November.
      You’re pulled between now and the way you will not escape.”

      ( from Fire and the Tide, a poem in the collection Enough of Green, from Selected Poems 1956-1986 )

  3. “So my departure to university (a family first) became an escape route from home rather than the first step in a chosen career…”

    The similarities truly are interesting. I was the first to go to college on either side of my family. It also was an escape route from home. As it turned out, it took rather longer than I’d imagined.

    I’m completely befuddled by your receiving “Lamb, Loom and Seed”. I can’t figure it out – I didn’t forward it to you. I certainly hope there’s not some wonky wordpress bug that’s going to start doing strange things. Ah, well – time to go to work. That’s understandable!

    • Maybe we should start a 1964/2008 creative writers’ club…..

      Yes, befuddled and wonky sums up my week with technology rather well…..pretending it hasn’t happened and hoping for the best seems to me to be the best approach meantime!

      Looking forward to dropping by chez toi when thinking/reflecting time appears, hopefully before Saturday.

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