Monthly Archives: December 2010

“Dazzling Darkness” – job done!

“Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness:a sceptic’s take on paranormal experience”

is now published in full, after appearing as a serial for most of 2010. The memoir has been laid out in a form which is easily accessible for people who wish to ‘dip in’ to the various true stories, as well as for those who wish to read the whole book.

It has been important to me that I have told those stories, partly to ‘make peace’ with many very unsettling experiences for which the contemporary reductionist paradigm has no satisfactory explanation. As a stubbornly sceptical (in the open-minded sense of the word!) rationalist, whose spiritual life and occasional but persistent paranormal experiences did not retreat as a result of being ignored, I finally decided that the way forward was openness.

Carl Gustav Jung 

Carl Gustav Jung

“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.”

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To ‘dip in’ to the memoir, or read it in full, click HERE

Jupiter Meets Uranus: next up, 4th January 2011….

……for a whole series of articles on the  Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in Aries & Pisces 2010/11, check out my blog section “Jupiter meets Uranus which also features articles, interviews, reviews etc of my research study “Jupiter Meets Uranus” published by the American Federation of Astrologers in April 2009.

Jupiter meets Uranus - from http://www.cainer.com

Jupiter meets Uranus - from http://www.cainer.com

As the energy of the triple conjunction began to build  towards its first meeting at 0 degrees Aries on 8 June 2010, I began recording self-reported events in the lives of ten volunteers from across the world. This research continued right through the 19 September 2010 second conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus at the end of Pisces.

Readers who are interested in the impact of  powerful, disruptive planetary energies on ‘ordinary’ human lives can find that research feedback HERE.

I will shortly be sending out another questionnaire to my patient and dedicated volunteers, to see what the left field has been delivering to their lives during the autumn equinox  to winter solstice period of 2010 – and the upcoming third and final pass of the conjunction in late Pisces on 4 January 2011.

Watch this space and follow their stories!

It would be interesting also to hear via comments left on the upcoming posts, or  via emails sent to me, how these unique planetary energies have impacted on those of you out there who are ‘plugged in’ to the conjunction’s degrees though not part of  the research project.

I  am ‘plugged in’ myself – through a Tenth House Mars/Uranus conjunction. Life, to put it very mildly, has not been dull thus far!

"Jupiter meets Uranus" by Anne Whitaker (2009)
“Jupiter meets Uranus” by Anne Whitaker (2009)

300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


Festive Greetings from Scotland’s winter wonderland!

Yes, I know that all the snow has been highly disruptive economically, socially,  and personally – especially to those of us struggling to join loved ones over the festive season.

But as I sit here gazing out at the snowy wonderland below me, thinking of my readers who have loyally followed “Writing from the Twelfth House” all this year, wondering what to say  by way of greetings, I am totally aware of the silent beauty of this clear, frosty Christmas Eve….

Jupiter sits high in the night sky, winking through the fleeting clouds. We will shortly be going out to celebrate Midnight Mass. I feel very, very fortunate.

My greeting is this snowy picture of the wintry local landscape, taken this morning. It is a reminder of the duality of all our lives: an interweaving of dark and light, always.

River in winter -  from a city bridge

River in winter - from a city bridge

photo: Anne Whitaker 24.12.10

Thank you, kind readers, especially to the many of you following this site who were students and clients of mine in my former incarnations! I have so appreciated your supportive messages, emails and cards. Festive blessings to you, “old” and new friends, some known, most unknown. May the year ahead be rich and full. May you find consolation for what pains you, may you grow through the challenges the year will bring. May you find experiences which bring you fulfillment and joy.

And do remember to keep dropping by!

 

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250 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Chase the Higgs – or zap a pigeon?

Some of my readers are bound to have noticed that I have a new hobby. It’s a great distraction from the daily climbing out of the permanent snowdrift currently blanketing Scotland – I exaggerate, but not that much!

Having abandoned my resistance to social networking in recent weeks, I am now attempting to be joined at the hip to the whole cyber-world – now I really AM exaggerating….

My very able and savvy assistants in this quest have been John, Craig and Angelo at the AppleMac shop in Glasgow, Scotland UK  (no, I don’t get paid for the PR – yet….)

Today’s fun was exploring http://www.diggit.com, to enable me to share mind-broadening, inspiring and entertaining material from across the Web with my readers at “Writing from the Twelfth House”.

How about this for a brilliant cartoon, illustrating a fantastic article by Dan Satterfield at  Dan’s Wild Science Journal?  Enjoy the cartoon, and follow the link below it. Accessible science is what I hunt for……this is it!

 

Catch the Higgs - or a pigeon?

Catch the Higgs - or a pigeon?

http://blogs.agu.org/wildwildscience/2010/12/13/neil-degrasse-tyson-5050-odds-the-lhc-will-discover-the-higgs-boson/

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“……That is why the Large Hadron Collider was built. To find the Higgs, IF it’s there to be found. Peter Higgs may be wrong, but so far everything the theories of the worlds greatest scientists have come up with say it should be there. The Higgs theory led to the predictions of two other particles, and they HAVE been found……”

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “50/50 Odds the LHC Will Discover the Higgs Boson”

Posted by Dan Satterfield

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300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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No theory of evolution here! Swimming in a secret sea (v)

She was so electrified by religious fervour that her wiry red hair almost stood on end. I was fourteen, she was enraged.

“ Miss Anne Whitaker, how dare you ask me if I believe in the theory of evolution. If YOU believe in the theory of evolution, you will be damned to hell everlasting !!”

I believe that was the last time I asked a question in R.E.

Ardmore beach, during the summer holidays a few weeks later. I was just beginning to develop my pilgrimages, being at an age where I could slip away for a bike ride without that attracting too much parental protectiveness and restriction. I had such a deep need to be alone, quite often. Sharing a room with my six year old sister, I had no private space in my parents’ home.

Here at Ardmore it was usually deserted. There was a rumour that World War Two mines lay buried in the sand. This may have been propaganda designed to keep people from wandering around the perimiter of  the nearby airport. I didn’t believe the story about the mines; moreover, there was a great place between the dunes to leave my bike where it would not be seen.

Tern on patrol

Tern on patrol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roseate_Tern

The beach was about a mile long, approached through dunes spiked with marram grass and patrolled by terns. Here, I could walk, forage for interesting objects cast up by the tide, have solitude. The endless timeless rhythm of sea breaking and ebbing on the shore hypnotised me.

The sound I heard would have been the same a million years ago – would probably be the same a million years hence. This realisation was too big and awesome for my mind to hold for long. As I strolled, finding a slow rhythm, the tensions and tightness in my body generated by the lack of peace at home began to unwind.

I now understand that I would fall into a meditiative state on these walks, taken as often as possible from that summer until I left home at seventeen. In that state I felt just like a grain of sand on the beach – minute, but an integral part of a great Wholeness.

In those days as puberty began to thrust my body, mind and spirit from the cocoon of childhood, I found the Holy Spirit in the wildness and expansiveness of sand, sea and sky. It was certainly not present in my  secondary school Religious Education class on the religion-obsessed island on which I grew up……

Night Sea Journey

Night Sea Journey

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/magnusvk/166233536/)

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To read the first four parts of “Swimming in a secret sea” click HERE

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(note: inspiration for the title of this series of posts was taken from a book which I read a very long time ago but whose haunting title I have never forgotten: “Swimmer in the Secret Sea by William Kotzwinkle)

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500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Harry Potter and the Joyful Child, Part 3: A midlife paradox

To read the first two parts of the Joyful Child series, CLICK below:

The Sun, the Saturn Cycle, Harry Potter – and the Joyful Child

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Part Three

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The Sun God  - spark of immortality

The Sun God – spark of immortality

http://www.maverickscience.com/saturn.htm

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Point of entry

From the Saturn return at 29-30 onwards, the major underlying task changes: from discovering the overall shape of who you are in relation to your own life, to beginning to use the platform you have built as support in offering your unique contribution to the wider world.

By this stage, the balance achieved between necessary realism and the joyous, inspirational, creative aspects of life is crucial to how the next 15 years unfold. The poet Dylan Thomas senses and honours the presence of the child he was,  in his marvellous

“Poem in October”, written on his thirtieth birthday:

“ And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s forgotten mornings……where a boy…..whispered the truth of his joy

To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.”

 

In the poem’s last verse, he writes

“And the true

Joy of the long dead child sang burning

In the sun.”   (iv)

For Dylan Thomas, as for many poets and even more of us ordinary citizens, being in nature can powerfully evoke that within us which never ages, which rejoices in being alive, and is powerfully connected to the endless cycle of birth, maturation, decline, death and return.

The thirties and forties are decades where a major challenge lies in the grinding process of reality testing our hopes, wishes, dreams and ambitions against the world as it is. Most of us eventually get to the Saturn opposition of the mid-forties: we are still here,  we may still be functioning tolerably well, but we’re not young any more.

Midlife

From the mid-forties on, we only have to look in the mirror, or realise that our idea of a good Friday night  is increasingly of going to bed early, not with a hot lover,  but with a good book, to be aware of the relentless advance of mortality

It becomes harder at this stage for most people to keep in touch with the Joyful Child, keep its energies flowing. For many people, brutalities of  an environmental, political, social or personal nature have borne down so hard that the vital spark of life borne by the Joyful Child can now fuel only the dogged survival instinct.

I have found that one of the compensations of middle age is deeply paradoxical, and was first alerted to it a few years ago by a comment made by my late mother-in-law, then approaching eighty. The way she dealt with an old age full of physical infirmity was inspiring. She had a lively sense of fun and humour, maintained great interest in the wider world as well as that of her own family and friends, and kept up a prodigious correspondence right up to the end of her life.

The Joyful Child in her  was alive right to the end, sustained in her case by a strong, ecumenical religious faith. “You know”, she said,“occasionally when I’m not thinking about anything in particular, I catch sight of my face in the mirror and get an awful shock. I see an old woman’s face looking out at me – but inside I don’t feel old at all – I feel just the same as I did when I was young.

The paradox is this. The body ages to the point where you are faced with increasing physical evidence of the passage of time; but an opportunity can also slowly arise to perceive, with a clarity not possible in youth, that this aging body has been carrying something else through life which is different, ageless, separate from the physical – that spark of immortality which comes in sometime before birth, flying free at physical death.

Thus, as mortality’s approach becomes more and more difficult to ignore, a major compensation can be offered by that  which is clearly immortal becoming more and more evident by contrast.

Midlife can be a depressing time. Vitality declines, children have either flown the nest and you miss them, or have their own problems which can bring yet more responsibility to you at a stage in life where you are tired of being responsible. Careers can pall. Dear friends die. You realise how fleeting life is, and how little of it you have left. But as always, there are choices. The paradox noted above brings a great opportunity for reorientation and renewal.

Increasing trust in the immortal spark within, that Joyful Child which has survived the batterings of life and still retains a sense of the importance of making a creative response, can strengthen existing belief that life continues in some form when the body dies – or help that belief to grow.

Conclusion

I would like to conclude this essay by returning to what I have called the Otherworld, that magical domain which is the natural habitat of the Joyful Child. Its importance was highlighted in the 18 March (2000 – AW) copy of the magazine The Week, where Jolyon Connell was writing about  a current  “golden age for children’s fiction” with reference to an article by S.F. Said. (v). The success of current children’s authors led by Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling, “owes much to the way they appeal to grown-ups as well as children – and not just for nostalgic reasons.” .

Connell’s observation a decade ago is still very much relevant now. He observed that in those writers one finds good old-fashioned storytelling, strong plots, and that quality which is present in all the best children’s books, but often missing in adult ones, ie a sense of wonder, of  “being alive to the world.”

He concluded by putting forward Said’s view that  many adult readers to their own children are discovering afresh, through the works of  Dahl and Rowling, what great writers have always known: children’s stories can touch “those parts of us that haven’t yet become bored, damaged or embarrassed by existence – and can help those parts that have.”

A prescription for  helping to keep the Joyful  Child alive ? Go and read the Harry Potter books…….. ! Then go check out the latest of the movie series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” –  currently breaking box office records across the world.

References

(iv) “ Poem in October “ from Dylan Thomas Collected Poems 1934-52, Aldine Press, 1972 Edition, pp 96-7

(v) in  The Daily Telegraph, week beginning 13 March 2000. Quoted in The Week, 18 March 2000, p 3.

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To read the first two parts of the Joyful Child series, CLICK below:

The Sun, the Saturn Cycle, Harry Potter – and the Joyful Child

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1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker  2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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