This site is now a home for in-depth astrology. I’ll be posting my musings here – as and when the mood takes me. I’ll also share some comments from my astrology Facebook page on posts – for those folks not linked to me on Facebook.
However, my astrology Facebook Page is where I regularly publish all kinds of astrological stuff – blogs, videos and articles from leading astrologers for instance – in fact anything astrological which takes my fancy and I think might interest YOU, dear reader. Do go over, visit for a while, leave a Like or even better, a comment. See you there!
There is a considerable archive going back to 2008 which you will find at the bottom left sidebar of the Home Page. It is aimed at ‘…those writers and readers who share my preoccupation with questions of meaning, mystery, pattern and purpose…’, so you may well also find articles there, including some on astrology, which are to your liking!
Analytical Hypnotherapist and Psychological Astrologer Ana Isabel has interviewed a number of well-known astrologers on her brilliant Lightways podcast, including Christina Rodenbeck, Victor Olliver, Alex Trenoweth, most recently Steven Forrest – and here is my interview with Ana which we did on 12 July. I am still amazed at how much she got out of me!! (I’m a Mercury conjunct Saturn/Pluto person, not known for giving away much…)
So – grab a coffee, (or something stronger!) kick off your shoes, put your feet up, and have a listen. We really enjoyed ourselves. Hope you do too!
And – Leo New Moon blessings!!
100 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Ana Isabel 2022 Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
In a stimulating wander this morning round our thoughts on the current turbulent state of a world in transition, my colleague Christina Rodenbeck of The Oxford Astrologer and I were immersed in reflecting on the upcoming shift of Pluto into Aquarius in 2023/4.
Suddenly I remembered I had written about this momentous astro-event in a 2017 post: my words seem highly relevant now, beginning with a description of The European Extremely Large Telescope…:
“…It will …perform ”stellar archaeology” in nearby galaxies, as well as make fundamental contributions to cosmology by measuring the properties of the first stars and galaxies and probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy. On top of this astronomers are also planning for the unexpected — new and unforeseeable questions will surely arise(my emphases) from the new discoveries made with the ELT. The ELT may, eventually, revolutionise our perception of the Universe, much as Galileo’s telescope did, 400 years ago…’ (1)…
Now – here is the bit that made me sit bolt upright, almost spilling my tea:
…First light, ie the first use of a telescope (or, in general, a new instrument) to take an astronomical image after it has been constructed, is currently planned for – 2024…(2)…”
To read the whole post including my thoughts in 2017 re what the 2023/4 Pluto into Aquarius shift might bring, clickHERE…
243 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022 Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
I thought I’d celebrate this special astrological point in the year when the Sun hits the highest point in the heavens as in enters the sign of Cancer, by storytelling: here, the strange tale of how a serious astro-dismisser ( myself, many years ago ) had a highly Uranian encounter in a laundrette in Bath, England, and in the process received a prediction which accurately foretold a major change in the direction of my life.
I also give you some of my Thoughts on Prediction ( decidedly mixed) by way of introduction.
So- pull up a chair, grab a coffee/glass of wine, and have a listen.
And – by the way – the latest lovely review of “Postcards to the future”. Thanks, DL!
5.0 out of 5 stars : from DL Gordon, Chair, Aquarius Rising, Glasgow UK.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 June 2022
“…I’ve found this book absolutely captivating from the first page! Anne’s writing has such depth and richness, it’s a joy to read and I think could be enjoyed even without any great knowledge of Astrology. The Astrological insight and wisdom is an added bonus for Astrologers. A book that’s difficult to put down and will no doubt be revisited again and again :-)…”
Sister-in-law Julie, visiting daughter Ciara in London, found time to drop by The Astrology Shop in Covent Garden, check out ‘Postcards…’, and say “Hello” to the Shop’s proprietor (and legend) Barry Street. Thanks all!!
(from Dr Armand Diaz, published Spring 2022 in the USA’s NCGR MemberLetter)
When was the last time you curled up in your favorite chair and opened up an astrology book that you knew was going to be informative, entertaining, and would really get you to think?
Pretty often, if you’ve been reading the books I’ve been reviewing in this and past editions of Memberletter. But Postcards to the Future offers something different, because it’s a collection of essays on a wide range of topics, from specifics like the cycles of the planets, to professional issues like ethics, all the way to the “Big” questions about astrology, life, the universe, and everything.
That’s a tall order, but Anne Whitaker is up to it, as she takes a heart-centered and thoughtful approach to the topics. The essays contained in this book were also written over time, so that they are the products of the author’s reflection and consideration. One outstanding characteristic of her writing, to me at least, is that Whitaker doesn’t come from one hundred percent within the realm of astrology. As much as she is an astrologer, and an accomplished one at that, and as much as she has extensive knowledge and experience, she comes across as curious about astrology, and that curiosity leads to an openness that is very refreshing. There’s no dogmatic insistence that she has the right answer, and no tacit understanding that the reader will agree with everything she says.
One of my favorite essays is on “The Art of Astrology: Healing, Wounding, Or Both?”, an extended discussion of how astrology helps, but also how it can wound. Encouraged by the report of a one-time client she had seen years ago, Whitaker asks her long-term students to write about their experiences with astrology. Typical of her style, the author assumes little going in, and is cautious in dealing with the (encouraging) results.
Science and astrology is always fertile ground for debate, and Whitaker doesn’t disappoint. After a brief introduction to the topic, she states – correctly – that “I know it’s not like me to rant.” Her first short essay in this section should be required reading for astrology students, not because it will help convince skeptics (it will not), but because astrologers themselves need to understand enough about why astrology can be valid while not fitting into the scientific-materialist paradigm.
There’s so much more. A section on the Moon. Mundane transits, like Saturn’s ingress into Aquarius. There’s a section on fate, and one on teaching. Throughout all the many topics, Anne Whitaker’s friendly, comforting, insightful style pervades, inviting discussion. She’s probably out on a walk in the lonely Scottish landscape, and you’re curled up in your favorite chair. Have some tea. And read this great astrology book.
Mercury is now in Gemini, going retro on 10th May 2022, and doing a merry dance ( or rather, slow waltz…) over my 29 Taurus MC/North Node conjunction for the next six weeks, and we’ve just had the first solar eclipse of the Taurus/Scorpio eclipse season. And it’s May Day!
S0 – perfect timing for another bout of promoting my latest book, “Postcards to the Future”, subtitled Mercurial Musings 1995-2021.
“Postcards…” has been in whimsical mood today, as you can see from the image below – dropping in on the Kingdom of Faerie:
“Postcards…” has been getting great reviews: here is the most recent one from Moon Zlotnick which appeared in the Spring 2022 Issue of The Career Astrologer. Thanks so much, Moon!
POSTCARDS TO THE FUTURE by Anne Whitaker
‘…,Part memoir, part anthology, and part deep musings about everything from ethics in astrology to the chart of Mary Shelley, Whitaker shares her ideas thoughts and experiences from over four decades of professional involvement with astrology. Having studied with many well-known astrologers including Liz Greene and Alan Oken, and also read and studied Carl Jung, her musings are deeply psychological and profound.
The subtitle of the book is “Mercurial Musings” and it does move lightly from subject to subject. The book is comprised primarily of essays and columns written for The Mountain Astrologer, Apollon, FAA journal, Dell Horoscope, and more. In one chapter she is interviewed by someone from the AFA about her book Jupiter Meets Uranus, while in another she reviews a book by Liz Greene. There is a chapter of an exchange of very lively letters between her and Victor Olliver. This book is never boring, as each new chapter covers different areas of astrology.
Her tone is conversational at times, educational at others, and even deeply philosophical in some chapters. Throughout the chapters she includes very personal experiences and anecdotes that relate to transits and progressions in her birth chart, leaving the reader with the distinct feeling of having entered the inner sanctum of her life.
The book begins with a discussion of critical degrees and then illuminates what it means to be born on a cusp, and follows with a classroom experience studying the chart of a set of twins, a study that confirmed my own theories, partly from my own twin studies, but more from being a twin myself. She continues with an interesting look at cycles, particularly the Saturn/Pluto cycle culminating in 2020.
One of my favorite parts of this book is how Whitaker includes her students and clients’ feedback. In the chapter called “Ingresses” she chronicles four of her students’ lives as Jupiter entered Libra in 2016. After giving us basic chart information she includes quotes from her students illuminating both their inner and outer experiences, a true hands-on learning experience. In the chapter called “Healing and Wounding” she includes letters from her clients describing the healing impact astrology has had on their lives. Each one of these case studies is a gem.
The final section of the book looks to the future and expresses Whitaker’s ideas on the supposed “Age of Aquarius” with the Jupiter/Saturn 20-year cycle having moved in December 2020 into Aquarius – and the Air element for the next 200 or so years, and Pluto due to move into Aquarius in 2024.
I skipped around while reading this book, and read several chapters over and over, finding new gems and insights all along the way. If you’re a seasoned long term professional like me, or someone who is early in your studies there is much to be enjoyed and learned from Postcards to the Future…’
‘…Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery…’
Easter Eve always finds me in a meditative, introspective, usually melancholy mood. The powerful metaphor of crucifixion as Good Friday approaches seems even more grimly appropriate this year, as we contemplate the terrible suffering of the people of Ukraine with horror and disbelief – and reflect on that which has brought those of us fortunate enough not to be caught up in war and persecution, nevertheless to our own personal pain: for Life crucifies us all, one way or another. If we are fortunate, we eventually emerge, hopefully deepened and strengthened.
This year, I have returned for solace and perspective to a favourite book “Women in Search of the Sacred” by Anne Bancroft, from which that wonderful header quote by Annie Dillard is taken. Where lies the sacred, in which our deepest solace is to be found? What are the ways that lead us to its discovery? To some, organised religion is the path to a spiritual life, while to others the natural world reveals the transcendent within the everyday, the holiness of what is. This fascinating book surveys the careers of ten very different women and examines the ways in which they have developed their spiritual lives.Those skilfully and sensitively interviewed by Anne Bancroft include Iris Murdoch, Susan Howatch, Sheila Cassidy, Vivianne Crowley, and Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and nature mystic. The book, though published in 1996, is still available…I truly recommend it as an inspiring read this Eastertide.
I can also still clearly recall the profound, uplifting impact many years ago of reading Annie Dillard’s account – in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ – of what is, essentially, a mystical experience. She was only 27.
“…..Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The lights of the fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had my whole life been a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only rarely seen the tree with the lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam…..”
–Annie Dillard, ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ (1974).
‘….I’m still spending the power….’ I know what she means. I was fortunate enough to have a mystical experience myself once, at the age of 24 – out of the blue, on a clear, starry autumnal night with Venus rising over the Perthshire hills in the Scottish Highlands. It has sustained me through many difficult experiences, and in Annie Dillard’s unforgettable words,‘…. I’m still spending the power….’
Here is another lovely review of my latest book ‘ Postcards To The Future’ this time from Trish Marin of the Astrology Quarterly magazine, from the January/March 2022 Issue, Vol 86, No 4.
Thank you, Trish!
“…Anne Whitaker’s mercurial musings weave through the last quarter century, unpicking some of the highlights of astrological patterns and mundane events. Postcards To The Future reveals the correspondences and synchronicities between our everyday lives and planetary movements in a convincing display of astrology of the moment.
The book is an entertaining compendium of some of Anne’s prolific blog posts and articles published over the years by a wide variety of sources. Broad in scope, it whizzes authoritatively through planetary cycles, notable conjunctions, typical beginner’s questions, interview Q&A and correspondence, while scattering generous gems of astrological wisdom.
As an astrology teacher and meticulous researcher, Anne provides clear explanations of some complex concepts presented in an engaging and memorable way. As she explains in the book, she was initially a sceptic, until her ‘encounter’, described here in humorous detail. Throughout, the astrology is brought to life with witty and amusing examples and stories from her own life experiences and those of her clients and students. Sprinkled with literary references and philosophical reflections it makes an enjoyable, illuminating read.
I felt compelled to reach for the ephemeris and to look again at the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions and the part they played in my own past adventures. Secondary progressions had always seemed a rather subtle, internal influence but I was prompted to re-examine their impact with some unexpected insights.
Anne admits to being obsessed by Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and has written of her synastry with Dolly the Sheep, as Frankenstein’s real-life enactment. Furthermore, Mary Shelley has a twenty-first century counterpart who, like her, is sounding a siren for the future of the earth; Greta Thunberg, born nearly two hundred years later, carries her message forward.
A mercurial book, suitable for both beginners and experienced astrologers, delivered in bite sized chunks it can be dipped into or savoured in larger portions. I highly recommend it to all our readers…”
From the depths of antiquity right through until the general advent of electric light in the early part of the twentieth century, humans have been powerfully influenced by the 29.5 day cycle of the Sun and Moon.
The power of the Sun/Moon cycle
They hunted in daylight, made long journeys by the light offered by the Moon as it moved to full illumination of the night sky 14-15 days into the cycle. They timed their most powerful magical/religious rituals to coincide with the Full Moon. Ancient peoples gradually came to understand, as the age of agriculture took root and developed, that the time to plant their crops was when the Moon was waxing in the early part of the 29.5 day cycle, and in the Spring, or waxing, part of the year.
Out of those practical observations of the heavenly bodies, so fundamental to survival in humanity’s early days, came the realisation so beautifully put in the Bible:
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” (i)
The planetary cycles, from the tiny 29.5 day Sun/Moon cycle to that powerful regulator of human affairs, the 20 year Jupiter/Saturn cycle, were recognised in antiquity as weaving all life including that of human beings into an observable rhythm which brought a context of order, structure, and some comforting predictability to the patterns of life on Earth.
But whether the cycle is huge, like the Neptune/Pluto 500 year one which was not known in antiquity, or small, like the monthly Sun/Moon one, the same basic stages apply: seeding, germinating, sprouting, flowering, ripening, harvesting, dying back in preparation for the new.
All cycles’ 12th House phase
Moondark describes the end of any cycle – the 12th House phase – whether we are contemplating the monthly Sun/Moon one or the epoch-defining Neptune/Pluto cycle. It is the time of withdrawal and dissolution of energy – think of wintertime, the stripped trees, the cold, barren earth – a time of dark power in which the old order dies at a number of different levels, so that fertile energy can emerge from the womb of the night: indeed, a time of “dying back in preparation for the new.” Thus, every year, the time from the New Moon in Pisces to the New Moon in Aries can be seen as the 12th House phase, the Moondark time, of the entire zodiacal year.
Moondark has fascinated me for a long time. I may first have encountered the concept in my twenties, through the agency of Marion Bradley’s magnificent novel “The Mists of Avalon”, set in the time of druidical Britain in the era when Christianity was sweeping through the Roman Empire and the Old Religion of the Druids was being violently challenged as a result.
The legendary King Arthur, disregarding the advice of his Druid priests, married Guinevere in a Christian ceremony – at Moondark, the very end of the Sun/Moon monthly cycle.Since Arthur was a king, getting the symbolism of his marriage right was much more important than it would be for us ordinary mortals! “Woe, woe, no good will come of this!” was the view taken by the Druids. They were right. The marriage was childless; moreover, Guinevere spent much of it in love with Lancelot, one of the knights of King Arthur’s fabled Round Table.
Each year’s Moondark
We tend to think of the annual 20th March equinox, the day that the Sun enters the sign of Aries, as the symbolic beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. But you could argue that the true beginning of spring is when a New Moon takes place in the sign of Aries. In 2022, that celestial event occurs tomorrow on 1st April, both Sun and Moon meeting at 11.5 degrees of Aries, the fiery first sign of the zodiac. The degree of their meeting varies from year to year: in 2021, it was 22.5 degrees Aries; in 2020, 4 degrees Aries; in 2019 15 degrees Aries; in 2018, 26 degrees Aries.
I find it illuminating and helpful to think of each year in those terms. Thus – as we wait for the fresh energy upsurge of the Aries New Moon tomorrow, we are symbolically waiting in Moondark. This year’s Moondark has been especially potent; it has run from the 12 degrees Pisces New Moon on the 2nd March 2022, making a conjunction with Jupiter at 16 degrees Pisces which is already approaching its powerful conjunction with Neptune, due on 12 April 2022 at 24 degrees Pisces. Much is already being written and discussed across the Web regarding the implications of this planetary duo.(ii)
Events of a collective and personal nature have been powerful, dark and traumatic this Moondark: the Pisces New Moon’s conjunction with Jupiter, as that planet approaches conjunction with Neptune, hascertainly brought Ukraine experiences of symbolic crucifixion (iii) via the sweep of war at Russia’s instigation, and its attendant suffering as millions flee their homeland in search of whatever kind of safety can be found. Along with a world-wide Pisces/Neptune response of compassionate desire to help, manifesting in donations of clothing and other supplies, and money pouring in to various charities, there is a general mood of disgust, shock, world-weariness and exhaustion.
All those reactions are typical Pisces/Neptune responses from all of us world-wide who have been through years of acute political upheaval and turmoil, increasing awareness of the climate emergency we now face – then two years of a pandemic, not yet over, which has upended our whole way of life.
All that most of us wish is peace. We are now having to find ways of being creative, constructive and hopeful in a world in turmoil and transition from an old materialist world order clearly long past its sell-by date…
The uses of Moondark
Moondark is at its best a contemplative time: a time to take stock both collectively and personally. We live in an increasingly frenetic 24/7 society where ‘time out’ is increasingly hard to find, and is not supported by the culture as a whole. Those of us who wish and need to retreat regularly to preserve our balance and well-being tend to be regarded as odd by mainstream society.
But humans have always benefited from times of quiet contemplation, in whatever way suits them best: listening to music, doing yoga/meditation, praying to whatever Higher Power sustains them, making or contemplating art, walking in Nature –especially by the sea, that great universal symbol of dissolution and emergence.
Even half an hour a day of retreat time on a regular basis is nourishing for the spirit. In ancient times, women used to retreat together monthly during menstruation time which was seen as a period of potency, and hidden power – a liminal time to link through dreams and ritual to worlds unseen.
It would be good if individually we could get into the habit of using the time from the Pisces New Moon each year to find some retreat space in whatever way suited us: to take stock of the year that was coming to an end, ponder our successes and our failures, and set some realistic intentions to pursue for the zodiacal year ahead. In a time of unprecedented turmoil, taking retreat time to work out how to cope best with the world we now inhabit, seems more important than ever…
Have you been taking stock ? I certainly have…and your thoughts on what has emerged for you, would be most welcome as we emerge from Moondark and begin a new zodiacal year.
iii) the six-week Christian season of Lent, with its Piscean themes of prayer, reaching out to the Divine, compassion, renunciation and sacrifice, runs this year from the day of the Pisces New Moon on 2nd March, right through to 14th April, just before the first Full Moon of the new astrological year
1300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022 Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
In this six minute reading from my latest book “Postcards to the Future” – a collection of 60 essays, articles and columns published between 1995 and 2021 – I tackle one of the most frequent questions astrologers are ever asked: how does astrology account for twin differences when especially with identical twins, they both have almost identical birth charts or horoscopes? I formulated a theory based on my own observations over years, then tested it out with my students. I think you’ll find the results fascinating. We certainly did!
I know of what I speak, being a reformed dismisser myself. Readers of this blog may recall the tale of my being stopped in my dismissive tracks by a startling prediction – made as a result of a chance encounter with astrologers in a launderette in Bath, England – that I would in fact become an astrologer, too. They were right. You can find the full story in the Fate section of my latest book “Postcards to the Future”.
Moving from ignorant dismissal of a tradition going back at least six thousand years, to gradual acceptance of its validity based on study and experience, was one of the most profound and humbling processes of my entire life.
‘…Reading Anne Whitaker’s book felt like having lunch and a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation with a friend, only to look down at my watch and realizing that cocktail hour had arrived. Time flies, in other words. I’ve been in the world of serious astrology for a long time and most of what I read are things I have heard before. Such books serve a purpose, but at this point I don’t get much out of reading them myself. Not Anne’s book! I found myself turning the pages as if it were a novel, and rarely did ten pages go by without me learning something new or thinking of something in a new way. She’s not only had a lot of experience, she’s has digested it and turned it to real wisdom. My only frustration was that she wasn’t sitting there with me so I could interrupt and say, “You know what THAT makes me think of!” Thank you, Anne — with these luminous pages, you have advanced our cause…’
Thank you so very much, everyone who has reviewed, promoted in various ways, and purchased “Postcards…”. I am so grateful to you all!