Some astrology questions and answers….

Here are some interesting questions I was asked not long ago. If you would like to ask me any more, to keep the middle aged braincell from teetering into the abyss (all help gratefully received!) , please leave them in a comment and I will reply – provided they are genuine of course! 

Astrologer at Work - Mediaeval Style!

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….!) with enough notes to keep me writing for a further ten years.

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’s Astrology, 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.

And….this Christmas 2011, I was given the brilliant present of “A History of Western Astrology” Volumes 1 & 2, by well-known and respected astrologer and historian Dr Nicholas Campion.  I am really looking forward to reading them!


Anne Whitaker has been an astrologer since the 1983 Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius. She also has a long background in adult education, social work, counselling and supervision. Anne holds the Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology where she studied with Liz Greene and Charles Harvey (1995-98 London, UK), an MA degree, and postgraduate diplomas in education and social work. Based in Glasgow in Scotland, she is now studying part-time at Edinburgh University on an MSc programme, and planning to set up a small astrology practice again this year after a ten-year gap spent reading, writing, blogging, and regaining her energy.

(thanks to The Know It All Astrologer who originally asked the questions)

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011

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8 thoughts on “Some astrology questions and answers….

  1. My question is: how did you get in astrology? What happened that triggered your interest?

    In my own case, when I was young, my father used to be very moody, and one day I discovered that some of his angry days were 28 days apart. I suspected it was the moon. Later when I was 18, I also noticed how a depression was getting worse around every 28 days. It was a couple of years after that when I got first into astrology: I wanted to check whether people born in a specific month would share or not similar traits, so I did that for all my friends, and to my surprise I discover I worked. In the case of me and my father our moods get stronger every time the Moon transits our ascendants.

    1. Hi segurelha

      good to hear from you and thanks for this very interesting feedback! There is a whole study to be done ( maybe it has been, anyone? ) on the two questions you have asked me, and it would be interesting indeed to hear from other people regarding their triggers for beginning astrological studies.

      For me, the answer probably goes back to when I used to lie tucked up in bed as a child growing up in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, listening to the wind tearing the world apart as it roared across land and sea in the autumn, winter and spring gales. I would always wonder ‘What is this power? Where does it come from? What lies behind it?’.
      The impact of those childhood experiences of the sheer power of nature – with the clear night skies, starscapes, and the magical Northern Lights which appeared often on crisp winter nights – contributed greatly to my lifelong preoccupation with questions of meaning, mystery, pattern and purpose.

      I was nevertheless for a long time, being of a sceptical bent, one of those ignorant people who dismissed astrology without knowing anything about it. Then in my late twenties I met a strange little fey Irish artist in a launderette in Bath, England who read my horoscope without knowing anything about me. The impact of that experience is described here . And in my early thirties, a friend gave me, for reasons I could not work out, a copy of Alan Oken’s “The Horoscope, the Road and its Travellers”. Reluctantly I started to read it. And very shortly beyond the first chapter, it felt as though Someone or Something reached out of the book and pulled me into an entirely new and compelling landscape. And that was it…..

  2. Is there an online course in Astrology available? Also, do you ever make comparisons between the Western Astrology and the Eastern?
    From the little study I’ve done (and I’m just scraping the surface) it looks to me like the two are parts of a larger formula.
    They seem to carry complimentary, or perhaps more like strategic zones of information about a person. What gifts they have, where their motivation is coming from, how they apply those gifts in service to their motives, etc.
    Do you see that as a valid possibility?

    1. Hi emaria

      there are a number of online courses – here is a very long established and reputable UK School – the Mayo School of Astrology - I trained initially with the Faculty of Astrological Studies, established since 1948 and UK based. Not sure what their on-line status is but you can check them out at
      And you couldn’t get much better than the USA based but online Kepler College –

      Let me know how you get on. I think that starting with a basic but thorough grounding in Western astrology is probably best since that (I am assuming) is your cultural background. As your understanding grows, you can then move into the differing but complementary perspectives of the East.

      Personally, I never felt I was sufficiently fully immersed in Western astrology to surface and plunge into the astrological wisdom of the East. But it surely holds equal and complementary wisdom….

  3. Hi Anne, I found your response to the first question you were asked really interesting. Part of your response to it (“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”) leads me to ask you another question. Do you believe that the planets CAUSE things to happen deep inside ourselves and in our lives, or are they just a reflection of what is happening anyway? I know my answer to this question, but it would be interesting to hear yours.

    1. Good to hear from you again, Wizron! I have done a great deal of reading,thinking and observing over the years;that key question you pose which all astrologers have probably asked themselves, and most of my astrology students have asked ME, has hovered over it all…..I think now that the either/or question is irrelevant, except as a starting point for reflection.I love the insights that can be derived from quantum physics and from cosmology (although very aware of the limits imposed by my not having a background in the sciences) and I think that the underlying Ground about which both scientific and astrological theories and metaphors speak is much the same – everything is part of a vast sea of energy from which all manifestation arises, to which it all returns. I see our tiny lives, both collective and individual interwoven, as diamond sparks arising from that energy sea. I also believe that the Ground to which we belong is alive and charged with meaning. The great gift of the astrological model is that it offers us a means of deciphering what that meaning might be. So cause and effect are not really relevant here in my view.

  4. Thanks for the Info Ann.
    As for which system of astrology I am more familiar with, that is a tough one..
    I got pulled into astrology through a little tiny book in the children’s section of the Salt Lake City Library on Japanese Astrology, which led me to Chinese Astrology. My older brother was born on an eyes of spring cusp, and his description wasn’t right in the Japanese astrology, but was dead accurate in the Chinese with the movable year end point.
    I have ten other siblings to compare astrological traits with, and they were all accurate, as far as I could tell, in the Chinese, with the ascendant, and the season, and the elements taken into account. So I stayed with that.
    Later, I looked at the differences with the Western astrology, taking into account the rising sign with the month, but that is as far as I got with that. Not very deep as you can tell. From that I thought it looked like the rising sign dictated most of the physical shape, and the Month determined the things one was most concerned with protecting or developing, but not necessarily how one would go about it.
    I will be very interested in seeing what I can find out about taking the online courses you have directed me towards.

    1. Hi Emaria

      it’s so interesting to hear from other people what ‘pulled them in’ to this great subject. Thanks for your feedback – and good luck with your studies. If I have a long enough life I may yet get into Eastern and Indian astrology…..

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