From 9th May 2016 this blog is now an archive. Do drop in to the extensive trove of articles which you will find on this blog, where you can still purchase my books, enjoy the Posts I Like and RSS feeds, email me, and make contact  HERE should you wish to book an astrology consultation/tuition – or HERE  for short-term counselling/mid-life mentoring.

New material now appears on this blog’s  Facebook Page, where I publish all kinds of stuff – blogs, videos and articles from leading bloggers and writers for instance  – in fact anything which takes my fancy and I think might interest YOU, dear readers, who share my preoccupation with questions of meaning, mystery, pattern and purpose. Do go over, visit for a while, leave a Like or even better, a comment. See you there!

After eight years, big changes at Writing from the Twelfth House…

I spent the whole of 2007 wrestling with a dinosaur-like resistance to embracing the new technological world unfolding and wrapping itself around us all whether we liked it or not. Eventually, I decided to go with creative openness and joined it, setting up “Writing from the Twelfth House” in May 2008. I still can’t quite believe how things have opened out from that early start.

Anne and Friend compose the latest blog post....

Anne and Friend compose the latest blog post….

image by Paul F Newman

I’ve written masses, made a number of good new internet friends and contacts, had heartwarming exchanges with more folk than I can count – to which the comments on my blog posts are testimony – published four e-books, and much, much more…it’s been, and continues to be, a blast.

However, I am now specialising: focusing on my blog Astrology: Questions and Answers, its Facebook Page, a bi-monthly column for the UK’s  Astrological Journal, a USA  bi-monthly column beginning in Dell Horoscope magazine in January 2017, regular reviewing, and articles for quality astrology magazines like the Mountain Astrologer and in 2015, publication on the Astrodienst site.

And – despite my love of variety and challenge, I can’t do everything!

So – do drop in to the extensive trove of articles which you will find on this blog, now an archive where you can still purchase my books, enjoy the Posts I Like and RSS feeds, email me, and make contact  HERE should you wish to book an astrology consultation, tuition – or short-term counselling. New material on the same core themes of “Writing from the Twelfth House” will from now on be appearing on its companion Facebook Page.

NOTE: I have quite a number of Followers of this blog who are primarily interested in my astrological writing. If you folks would care to drop by Astrology: Questions and Answers, and sign up for emails/posts from that blog, you will be able to continue reading my astrology posts.

And finally – a heartfelt THANKS to all you good people who have inspired me and livened up my days by reading, commenting and emailing me over those last eight years. Without your support, I would probably have packed the whole thing in ages ago!

Spiral of Rebirth

The Circle of Life

400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

 

“I am the Soul of Nature”…

“…I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters,

I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.

From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return…”

(from ‘The Charge of the Goddess’ Traditional, by Doreen Valiente, as adapted by Starhawk)

There are very few clear evening skies in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. If you’re rushing up Byres Road on the way home on one of those rare nights, especially when you cross the Queen Margaret Drive bridge, look out for a small woman standing still, gazing at the sky. That’ll be me, admiring the wonderful, fragile beauty of the waxing New Moon.

 Even in the city, in the increasingly hurried pattern of 21st century life, it is possible to maintain a connection to the cycles of the seasons and the rhythms of nature. It’s increasingly recognised that regular contact of this kind is an important component in establishing and maintaining the kind of inner balance and peace that promotes happiness.

One of the many advantages of living in a small country like Scotland is that access to the great outdoors is not difficult – half an hour out of Glasgow, for example, it is possible to disappear into lovely countryside and forget the existence of the city very quickly. Try it !

It doesn’t matter how stressed you are, how much angst you are carrying. A couple of hours of  tramping across the hills, often in rain and wind, focusing on nothing more complex than  where you put every footstep in order to avoid disappearing up to your waist in a bog, is guaranteed to purge out at least some of it.

Over many years of  walking, I have offered the hills both my joys and my sorrows, and  have found validation for the former and solace for the latter. In homeopathic medicine, broadly speaking, you treat an ailment with a very dilute form of the toxin which caused it.

I have found the homeopathic principle works very well with bleakness of the soul or spirit. That condition can be effectively treated by choosing weather and landscape to match your mood, and immersing yourself in it for a few hours. Meeting bleakness with bleakness has a powerfully cleansing effect.

Complementary to this is the powerfully life-affirming effect that natural beauty can have.

"I am the Soul of Nature...."

“I am the Soul of Nature….”

Standing on top of a favourite hill on a sunlit day, looking at stunning panoramic views, listening to the joyous song of a skylark, feeling at one with the wind and the landscape, has on numerous occasions made me feel so glad to be alive that I have wept for joy.

These experiences may fade in the face of the rigours of an average life. But if you repeat them often enough, you develop a sense of being part of the great round of nature, where joy and sorrow, youth, maturity, decline, death and rebirth all have their part. You also learn, slowly, the importance to being a happy person of being able to  “grasp the joy as it flies”, celebrate the moment, “seize the day.”

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ENDNOTES

(This is an edited version of an article first published in “Self & Society”(The Journal of Humanistic Psychology) (UK)Vol 27 No 5, November 1999, then http://www.innerself.com : Innerself Magazine (USA), and most recently – March 09 –  in ‘ The Drumlin’, the Newsletter of Glasgow Botanic Gardens as “Happiness and the Healing Power of Nature” . )

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Surprise, surprise! Our communities prefer grass to concrete…

Following the North Kelvin Meadow/Children’s Wood campaign’s recent great success in having New City Vision’s plan to build on our precious piece of open community land in Maryhill, Glasgow, UK, “called in” by the Scottish Government, an important part of the campaign’s thrust continues to be the establishing of links with diverse grassroots initiatives in order to connect and share ideas.

Save our wild land!

Save our wild land!

I very much enjoyed reading Priya Logan’s account of her trip to Copenhagen in March to help further this process. Do have a read! It’s inspiring – and a great antidote to all the grim politics and general doom and gloom around at present.

100 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Priya Logan 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

 

An Aztec prayer: celebrating our loving connections with one another in a time of darkness

Like most people with any humanity at all, I have  been caught up in the ripple of horror, grief, fear and utter disgust which swept the world in the week leading up to and including Easter 2016, which revealed once again the depravity of which humanity at its worst is capable.

At a personal level, too, life has been tough: not for me, but for close family and friends. We spent the last days of Lent waiting for death to release a suffering family member. A close friend fell, cracked bones, and is in hospital. Other friends have had  traumatic issues to deal with.

There has been no shortage of life crucifying us, both collectively and personally.

How do we cope with all this? My response to personal and collective pain has always been to turn to the natural world which at present is full of the beautiful vibrancy of fresh daffodils – and to poetry, which never fails to offer consolation. I was looking through my archive of quotes and found this one, which I found helpful to read today. I hope you do too…

.  “ There is an ancient Aztec Indian prayer that reflects on the preciousness of life and the fleetingness of it. As the Aztecs thank the Creator for their life and breath, they acknowledge that they are only on loan to each other for a short while, and just like the drawings that they have made in crystalline obsidian fade, so, too, will their life quickly be gone.

‘Oh, only for so short a while you have loaned us
to each other, because we take form in your act
of drawing us.
And we take life in your painting us,
And we breathe in your singing us.
But only for so short a while have you loaned us
to each other.’ ”

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(from p55, PRAYING OUR GOODBYES The Spirituality of Change by Joyce Rupp 1988)

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350 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


Can we have more Doubt and less Certainty, please?

I have long appreciated  Richard Holloway’s deep probing writing on questions of faith and doubt as he looks steadily upon the ever-present gifts and frailties of humankind – admiring his blend of humour, erudition, compassionate feeling and dispassionate analysis. Since this is the Christian season of Lent, I thought the following quote would be an appropriate one to offer as food for thought. 

We are living through a time where fundamentalist certainties in science, politics and especially religion are creating various kinds of turmoil and havoc worldwide. Perhaps the leavening humility of more doubt and less certainty would be of ultimate benefit to us all?

Spiral of Rebirth

The Circle of Life

Because there is such an intrinsic connection between faith and doubt, the Church ought to be big enough to contain both sympathetically… Since it is possible to believe and to doubt for the wrong reasons as well as the right ones, and we don’t always know the one from the other, we need the constant challenge of the other tendency to keep us honest. This will make life uncomfortable, of course, but the work of our purgation demands it. Growth is painful, but no element in our nature is exempt from the process of  sanctification.

The Church….should be as inclusive as possible. It should be big enough to hold Thomas the empiricist, as well as John the mystic, and Peter, who was often baffled and confused… There is a faith beyond faith, which is deeper than trust in our own trustfulness and is an abandonment to the ultimate graciousness of the universe….This is the trust beyond trust that says ‘yes’ even to the night…

Light - and Dark....

(from Anger Sex Doubt & Death by Richard Holloway, SPCK Publications, 1992, UK, pp 81-82. I realise this is quite a lengthy extract! Should Richard Holloway or SSPK object, please let me know how many words I can quote and I will edit accordingly….)

Richard F. Holloway (born 26 November 1933) is a Scottish writer and broadcaster and was formerly Bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal Church. To read more about him and his writing, click HERE

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350 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Richard Holloway 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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On the startling effects of eclipses…

An intriguing personal eclipse tale on Astrology: Questions and Answers:

http://astrologyquestionsandanswers.com/2016/03/10/quitting-smoking-the-solar-eclipse-way/

650 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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The Pisces Solar Eclipse: 9th March 2016. What will it bring?

Read about next week’s solar eclipse. What does it hold for you?

http://astrologyquestionsandanswers.com/2016/03/04/some-thoughts-on-the-power-of-eclipses-and-a-personal-tale/

New Moon Solar Eclipse

New Moon Solar Eclipse

 copyright Anne Whitaker 2016
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page