Category Archives: Astrology Article Archive 1 – “Not the Astrology Column”

Can we foretell the future accurately?

Prediction has been around for a long time. Economists do it. Weather forecasters do it. Politicians do it. Physicists do it. Futurologists do it. 

Most of the foregoing direct scorn and derision at the people who have done it for longer than anyone else: astrologers.

Astrologer and Client - mediaeval style

Prediction – Mediaeval style

Read my musings on prediction, including a stunningly accurate one I was given when I neither invited nor wanted such a thing, on this week’s Mountain Astrologer Blog.

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When we relocate, do we get a new horoscope?

Dear Readers And Followers
I have been lying low for a while for reasons you will see below. But do keep dropping by as you have been – there is plenty to read on this site! I will be back ere long…..
In the meantime, here is an extract from yesterday’s post –
on Astrology: Questions and Answers.
Do drop by and have a read!

Dear Anne,

I have a question for you. When a person moves far from their birthplace (as so many people do these days), do we cast a new chart for them with the new latitudes and longitudes? Or, what DO we do, if anything. Thank you for your consideration.

Hello Rian

nice to hear from you again! I am currently taking a rest from blogging because of tendonitis in my left hand. So, a brief reply….

Asian Tsunami Dec 2004

To read the reply to Rian’s Question, click HERE

Born on the cusp – which sign am I? Astrologers’ most often asked question….

Latest post on the new blog answers this question, and more besides!

http://astrologyquestionsandanswers.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/rians-question-born-on-the-cusp-which-sign-am-i/

Baby X

ps Followers who are interested in finding out more about astrology in depth, do call by and Follow http://astrologyquestionsandanswers.wordpress.com – regular posts there from now on.

Astrology – what Sun Sign columns CAN’T tell you….


Always being keen to demonstrate that the great and ancient art and science of astrology has much more to offer than its popular face in the sun sign columns would suggest, I thought I’d re-publish the following article which appears on this site on the “Not the Astrology Column” page, but which a number of new readers may not have come across. It is written for members of the general public with an open-minded interest in astrology.

Check it out, and let me know what you think! 

11th Century Horoscope

11th Century Horoscope

My career as an astrologer began in a launderette in Bath, England, in the 1970s – although I didn’t realise that at the time ! Befriending a little girl who came to chat whilst I did my washing, I met her parents, Gloria and Seamus; they were astrologers, they said, and would I care to come back to their place for a cup of tea? They’d like to draw up my horoscope, to thank me for entertaining their child.

Well, I remember thinking, nothing better to do for the next hour…….at that  stage I was  scornful and dismissive of astrology, basing my judgement on the Sun Sign material in the media which struck me as general, banal and trivial. I did not know then that  there was a subject of great depth and power beyond  the Sun Signs.

I was puzzled  by my new  friends’ dismissal of  the Sun Sign columns – wasn’t that what astrology was all about ?. “We’re proper  astrologers” they said firmly. “ Your Star Sign (Leo, in my case) only puts one  character on the stage of your life. It’s impossible to describe who you are from only one factor.”

They wrote down my date, place, and apparently vital TIME  of birth, produced various reference books and did complex-looking calculations. Then they drew up my Birth Chart or Horoscope : this was a map of the heavens for the precise time I was born. It was apparently an unusual chart  – lots of planets in the twelfth house, whatever that meant, and strong Pluto, Saturn  and Uranus influences. So what, I thought.

Anne W’s Horoscope

Then came their interpretation into character analysis of the planetary symbols in my Birth Chart, in considerable depth and with a high level of accuracy. The experience shocked me to the core. How could they be so accurate about my career aspirations? How could they know what my deepest fears were ?How COULD they manage to describe my parents’ core characteristics and some of the key effects they’d had on me ? How could they describe so vividly the restless spirit  which drove me ? I had met them less than an hour ago. They knew nothing of my personal history or life experience.

Worse was to come. “You tell me you’re a total sceptic,” Seamus chuckled . “But your Horoscope shows that you have a deeply sensitive, spiritual side to your nature which you’re currently refusing to acknowledge, preferring to identify with the intellectual and the rationalist in yourself. But I can see from your Chart, and where the planets will be in a few years, that in your early thirties the spiritual dimension will come calling. You are very likely to end up doing something like this yourself.”

What nonsense, I thought. But I had no acceptable way of explaining in rational terms what had happened. Uneasily, I filed the experience away in the pigeonhole reserved for the many incidents occurring in my twenties which did not fit my existentialist  world view.

Fast forward to my early thirties, having forgotten all about Seamus’ prediction. For my birthday that year, a friend gave me an odd present considering my scepticism – an astrology book. It was intelligently and sensitively written; I found myself compelled. My feelings were an uncomfortable mixture of attraction, rejection, fascination and embarrassment. What COULD I say to my friends and family?

Saying nothing, I carried on reading. After a year, astrology still fascinated me. By this time – and by a series of odd coincidences – I had found out about the Faculty of Astrological Studies, based in London. It offered a year-long correspondence course with some lengthy exams at the end of it, leading to a Certificate of the Faculty.

I embarked on my studies in an empirical spirit. If astrology WAS indeed merely superstitious nonsense of little value, at least I would have arrived at a conclusion based on knowledge and practice, rather than ignorance and prejudice. I had moved on sufficiently from intellectual arrogance to the awareness that it was very unscientific, and highly irrational, to dismiss a whole body of knowledge without ever having studied it. I obtained my Certificate in 1983, by which time my studies had demonstrated to me that the astrological model had worthwhile insights to offer.

(I was to further my studies much later on, at the Centre for Psychological Astrology,  by commuting by plane from Glasgow to London from 1995-1998 to complete a three-year Diploma in Psychological Astrology with renowned teacher writer and astrologer Dr Liz Greene.)

The teaching and practice of astrology became a major strand in my self-employed career from 1985 until 2001 when, following a long health crisis, I gave up all work (except writing!) for seven years. In May 2012, after a very long sabbatical, I returned to my astrological work part time. It feels good to be back!

This wonderful universe

This wonderful universe

Working with the symbolic descriptions of collective and personal life provided by astrology was, and continues to be, a source of much insight.  It offers a route towards integration of the rational dimensions with the intuitive, symbolic and spiritual. Time and time again my clients used to tell me that their Readings helped them to see and to accept who they were more clearly –  and to make better use of the gifts they had been given.

Good astrological practice encourages people to take responsibility for their own lives, and supports their courage to be themselves.

We have not yet found anything which provides the ultimate answer to the puzzle of our  existence on this earth. Astrology is no exception – although it is a fine way of asking intelligent questions  about  what life may mean. It is NOT  a religion. The insights it offers do not interfere with whatever religious beliefs individuals may hold. But  its perspective offers two very important things.

Firstly, a picture of an holistic universe in which our movement through space and time is not  random,  but meaningful. Astrology’s great insight is that the shaping forces or archetypes which govern all of life including human experience, are symbolically connected with the planets and their movements in the heavens as time unfolds.

Secondly, from the horoscope drawn up for the date, place and exact time  of birth, astrology can give individuals very useful insights into the characters who are enacting the drama of their individual life story. But it cannot tell who the director is, what the exact details of the plot are, or what the outcome of the play will be. Astrology, like quantum physics, can only deal with ranges of probability. The rest  is as it will probably remain a profound mystery. 

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Like to book a reading or some individual/small group tuition?

For a full brochure with details of my approach to astrology, qualifications, experience, supervision, memberships and fees, click anne-whitaker-astrologer.pdf

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1250 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013 Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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ask an astrologer a question….

….and who knows what the answer will be!

Astrologers are always being asked questions. By clients. By students. By interviewers for various media outlets. By open-minded members of the public. By closed-minded-members of the public. By one’s friends and family. The list is endless, the questions multifarious, the answers….? Well, that depends….

If you want to find out, drop by The Mountain Astrologer Blog, where I am guest blogger this week, presenting several of the most typical questions asked of me over the years – and some of my answers. Enjoy!

And – for those of you who have not yet discovered it,

The Mountain Astrologer

is recognized as the best astrology magazine in the world. Each issue has a student section, articles by and for professional astrologers, a forecast section, daily aspects, the astrology of world events, astrological data and more.
Order a SUBSCRIPTION, RENEWAL or SAMPLE COPY

Feb/Mar 2013

Highlights of this issue:

  • Silent Spring and a Frankenstorm Fall
  • Beyond Compatibility: What Really Makes Relationships Work
  • Preparing for a Relationship Analysis Consultation
  • Pluto, Uranus, and the Financial Crisis Part II: Collapse in the West?
  • Fortune and Spirit: Reclaiming Astrology’s Lost Archetypes
  • The Centaurs Part 2: Okyrhoe….and more
  •  200 words copyright Anne Whitaker/The Mountain Astrologer 2013
    Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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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

Stories from the coal face! Saturn in Scorpio Part 2

All powerfully charged dimensions of life belong to Scorpio: that stage of the human journey challenges us with those facets of life which most powerfully compel us, attract us, repel us, scare us – and transform us….

To read Part 1, click HERE. In this second post I will be having a look at some personal stories…..what is beginning to take shape for individuals as the planet Saturn settles into its 2012-5 symbolic journey through the thirty degrees of the sign of Scorpio? What is beginning to emerge from the murky depths of what we don’t want to face? Where do potential transformations lie?

image:  Cafe Astrology

Helena‘s feedback shows clearly that her work has already begun. In her birth horoscope Chiron, the asteroid signifying both wounding and healing, is placed at 4 degrees of Scorpio. The planet Saturn, noted in its traverse of Scorpio for purging and cleansing deep-rooted old patterns which only serve to hold us back, currently transiting Helena’s Chiron, will not have finished its work there until a year from now:

” Early in September 2012 I caught a nasty cold from my granddaughter which kept returning, bringing with it headaches, wheezing and sneezing, and as it continued, low energy, tiredness and low mood.My usual enthusiasm for life felt much diminished. By the end of October I was still unwell, and had decided I really must DO something about this. So I visited a reputable nutritional specialist one of whose approaches was to test for food intolerances.

I am a sceptic ( in the open-minded sense of the word!) but felt I had nothing to lose by doing this. In sum, she provided me with a professionally administered boot up the ass regarding the toxins which were affecting my energy and well-being (despite my having a more than averagely healthy diet) and gave me the motivation to begin, in essence, a detoxing regime which I anticipate will take around a year since I want to do it gradually.

So – I decided to cut out sugar apart from what occurs naturally in fruit and vegetables, reduce dairy foods by two thirds, and cut out tomatoes altogether. The gadget she had attached to my left middle finger by which she measured my body’s energetic response to a wide range of substances, positively shrieked when it encountered tomato. Exit tomatoes from my life.

Result? Within thirty six hours the draggy cold had dried up and gone. My energy levels quickly improved dramatically. And my catarrh has virtually gone. I sleep better because of this. One month on, I feel better than I have for years.

But for the first three days of the new diet regime, as I detoxed from sugar in particular, I felt wretched. Headaches, feeling weepy – and anger, accompanied by very old feelings of family pain from issues belonging to childhood. And as I write – very aware of family of origin issues in the present, manifesting through younger members of my family……time to face more emotional challenges rooted in the past, as well as purging my diet of toxins. I feel this Saturn  transit over Chiron, very powerfully on several levels……”

Saturn by transit has not yet reached Flora‘s Scorpio planets, as we will see shortly. Nevertheless, she is beginning to see the possible shape of  things to come, emerging from the murky depths….

“I have Neptune conjunct Venus in Scorpio (8-12o).  Over the next year Saturn will transit the conjunction.  In 2002 I almost had an affair – it was very traumatic and confusing: transiting Neptune was squaring that Neptune conjunct Venus in Scorpio at the time.

During the recent Saturn in Libra period (Autumn 2009-Autumn 2012) my (long) marriage has been tested again, although I have been finding things hard going for some time. I have a lot of respect and love for my husband, but I am finding that we have less in common as time goes on and that he is more and more restrictive and smothering.  Sex has been a very intrinsic part of my marriage as one might expect of the conjunction being in Scorpio – there is a lot more to be said about that but I do not wish to write too much.  Suffice to say it is a highly important aspect of our marriage to him.

About eighteen months ago when Saturn, transiting through Libra, was conjunct the Sun/Moon midpoint I met someone. He is married with children and of course so am I. We care deeply for each other and have even spoken of being together one day.  Whether this happens or not remains to be seen as the obstacles to doing so are perhaps too much. But I do feel this year may well bring all that into focus….”

Tough realism is needed, and willingness to confront some of the less attractive facets of ourselves, others and our family history during this Saturn in Scorpio transit. It helps to remember that whatever we have to face is not unique to us, but part of collective human suffering. Self pity should be strictly rationed! Considerable clarity and growth can be the reward if we persevere with self honesty, compassion and patience with self and others.

Never more so than when travelling through Scorpio, Saturn challenges us to separate out from what we are not – in order to become more fully who we were meant to be.

I’d like to give the last word in this post to Scottish poet Christopher Whyte, who has several planets in Scorpio:

” Forgiving life and, in the process, forgiving oneself, is one of the toughest enterprises of all.”

This statement for me sums up the essential challenge of Saturn in Scorpio, whatever our personal stories ….

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Many thanks to those of you who sent in your feedback but which I have not had the space to feature. It is my intention from time to time to post some individual stories, since showing how astrological symbolism plays out in real lives demonstrates more clearly than anything else the validity of the astrological model as a means of attempting to understand ourselves both individually and collectively. So – do continue to send in your stories! But please, only disclose what feels comfortable for you to reveal. And by all means use anonymity. Helena and Flora are not the real names of the contributors featured in this post.

1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2012
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page