Tag Archives: Anne Whitaker

My Really Big “Why?”

In my view, we all need to be humble in measuring what little we actually know against the vastness of what we contemplate. We need all the help we can get in our attempts to make sense of a vastness which a great and respected scientist has not long ago admitted may be beyond our comprehension. (He could be wrong, of course!) We need to co-operate with one another, as we all go about honing and sharpening the particular lenses through which we look out at mystery.

We need the perspectives of rationalist, reductionist science. But we also need the perspectives of those non-rational dimensions of the ceaseless human journey towards understanding where we came from, why we are here, and what, if anything, it all means. The great myths, the great religions, the arts – all these also give us a partial glimpse of  The Big Why.

So my Really Big Why is this:

WHY can we not learn to respect each other’s different lenses/disciplines, instead of – as so often happens – descending irrationally to the primitive level of the tribal carnivores from which we have slowly evolved over the last 100,000 years, and taking up fundamentalist, tribal positions – in which the futile attempt to declare only one lens right and all others wrong, is doomed forever to utter failure?

An example of a body of knowledge which seems to attract such fundamentalist irrationality is the great and ancient art and science of astrology.

It has combined those realms of logos (reason) and mythos (imagination, story-telling, creating of metaphors which help us to live with our deep flaws as humans, as well as celebrating our wonderful creativity) for at least six thousand years, since, in Arthur Koestler’s vivid words from The Sleepwalkers”:

“Six thousand years ago, when the human mind  was still half asleep, Chaldean priests were standing on their watchtowers, scanning the stars.”

So I found it most refreshing, as a life-long appreciator of the wonders of science, to have read Lord Rees’ admission that we may never be able to decode the universe. But let’s pool all our knowledge, shall we, on both sides of the current mythos/logos divide, to enable us to  concentrate on what unites us – rather than what divides us.

Reaching for the Moon....


Please note: comments on this post are welcome, but abuse and ranting have no place on this site and any such comments will be deleted.

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400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Big Picture series Part Seven: Jupiter/Uranus greets the Future!

To read Parts One,Two, Three, Four, Five and Six of the Big Picture series, click on links below:

Spring 2011 and The Big Picture: what Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions may reveal

Big Picture series Part Two: Jupiter/Uranus and the new world order?

Big Picture series Part Three: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements

Big Picture series Part Four: Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions through Aquarius

Big Picture series Part Five: the Aries Point meets the Void

Big Picture series Part Six: Jupiter/Uranus, Aries, Pisces, entropy……

 

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

CONTINUING….

Conclusion

We always have the option of being pessimists, optimists – or a mixture of both – when contemplating the state of our small personal lives and/or the bigger picture of world affairs. Despite an entirely understandable level of collective pessimism in response to current geo-political turbulence and upheaval of an extraordinary nature, I think there is nevertheless room for a reasonable degree of optimism as we survey the future, from whichever lens or range of lenses we choose to view Earthly and planetary affairs.

As an astrologer I have been fascinated and awed by what the behaviour of just one planetary pair, the combination of Jupiter and Uranus, has revealed at a symbolic level in casting light on the patterns and rhythms of both ordinary and deeper time.

It is in our nature as human creatures to be forever moving forward in restless pursuit of knowledge. The historical behaviour of the Jupiter/Uranus cycle describes this well in symbolic terms. Short of being knocked off our orbit into annihilation by a large chunk of lethal inter-planetary rock (always a possibility,we have been discovering, as astronomical knowledge advances!), we will carry on moving forward in terms of the expansion of knowledge, one way or another.

Because we continue emotionally to be tribal carnivores, it is very unlikely that we will ever stop internecine struggles for dominance: so  – ongoing warfare to a greater or lesser extent seems inevitable. Because we are imaginative, and appear as a species to be “wired for God”, it is unlikely that we will ever stop annexing whatever Deity our particular tribe favours, as an excuse for attempting to eliminate the opposition whose Deity is perceived as being inferior.

Whether the Ultimate Truth our particular tribe perceives is religious, scientific or political (worst case scenario, all three!) doesn’t really appear from the evidence of history to matter much, in terms of outcome. We stagger on, and will – probably– continue to do so.

However,  on the very positive side, we seem to be returning at a number of levels to a profound and world-wide awareness that all life is inter-connected, that we are all ultimately dependent on one another and on our Mother Earth for survival. As the ancient astrologers put it : “As above, so below”. Resources are running out, especially fossil fuels. We must find new ways of surviving on our planet. Hopefully that will – through what looks like increasingly turbulent times in the immediate future – lead to greater co-operation, inspired by  an increasing recognition that, in Chief Seattle’s oft-quoted words, “What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves”. Perhaps this is the unfolding future to which that dynamic and innovative Jupiter/Uranus planetary duo is pointing….

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This seven part series is part of an extensive archive of studies of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions, set in their historical and mythological context, with special focus on the 2010/11 conjunctions and their impact on the lives of ten individuals at different stages throughout 2010-11. Please do browse this archive and take what you need from it for your studies or personal interest. You may reproduce short extracts, as long as any material is reproduced under my name, and with a link back to “Writing from the Twelfth House” www.anne-whitaker.com

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Biography

Anne Whitaker is a writer based in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. She has a long background in adult education, social work, counselling, supervision and the teaching and practice of astrology. She is the author of “Jupiter Meets Uranus” (AFA 2009) and “Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness – a sceptic’s take on paranormal experience” – for details see her website “Writing from the Twelfth House” – www.anne-whitaker.com

750 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Big Picture series Part Six: Jupiter/Uranus, Aries, Pisces, entropy……

To read Parts One,Two, Three, Four and Five of the Big Picture series, click on links below:

Spring 2011 and The Big Picture: what Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions may reveal

Big Picture series Part Two: Jupiter/Uranus and the new world order?

Big Picture series Part Three: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements

Big Picture series Part Four: Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions through Aquarius

Big Picture series Part Five: the Aries Point meets the Void

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

CONTINUING….

Summarising the patterns

In Take One, following the conjunction through the four elements over 2,500 years, we see two fire/air peaks: the rise of the Roman Empire, then a thousand years later the rise of European and later American colonial Empires: waves cresting, then sinking.

In Take Two, we see a clear innovative technological peak via the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, followed by a slow decline (the 500–1000 CE period had 3 Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in Aquarius) into the Dark Ages with only one Aquarian conjunction.

The 7 Aquarian conjunctions of 1500 – 2000 CE correlate with the rise and dominance of European and American colonialism: with that, the most breathtaking scientific and technological breakthroughs and advances ever known. However, if this Aquarian conjunction’s behaviour is an accurate predictor, we have already entered a 500 year period of what looks like pretty sharp decline, with only one conjunction in Aquarius – backed up by the backwards shift of the conjunction generally into earth and water from 2050.

This date seems to have cropped up often in recent years across the news media, as a time when amongst other ills, it is estimated that oil will run out if we carry on consuming at an undiminished rate.

Take Three, the movement backwards in time from Aries to Pisces, offers a similar picture, with the two Aries periods in two thousand years roughly correlating with the rise of  world-dominating Empires.

What next?

Those symbolic pictures when looked at over long periods of time hold a profound contradiction. If followed “on the face of it” they reveal dynamic forward motion as the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in our examples – viewed through fire and air, then through Aquarius, then Pisces and Aries – reveal the ‘growth and awakening of human consciousness’ as they unfold to the pulse beat of  their 14 year cycle through the twelve zodiacal signs. The last conjunction was in Aquarius in 1997. This one is in Aries/Pisces in 2010/11. The next one is in Taurus in 2024. The one after that, in Cancer in 2037/8. And so on, forward, forward….

But as we have just seen, the underlying movement in deeper time, as the conjunctions retrograde from 29 degrees to 0 degrees of the signs under examination, is backwards. What could this mean?

In the broadest sense, from a scientific point of view, this could be a symbolic pointer to the process of entropy, the progressive running down of all systems. Over time, everything becomes increasingly disordered. As humans and other living beings are born, mature, decline and die, so do all the great cycles of time: so does the universe. At the end of  time, points out Professor Cox in his recent UK Sunday times interview from which I quoted earlier, the “growing chaos of entropy” will stop. Then, he says, There will be nothing. Nothing for ever.”

From a spiritual perspective, the movement backwards could  symbolise the “return to the Sourcewhich mystics across religious traditions have talked about for millennia. All things arise from the Source, and return thence. Theistic religions may call this Source Krishna, for example. Or the Goddess. Or Allah, or God. Non-theistic religions like Buddhism might call it Emptiness, the Void. And modern science might call it the Quantum Vacuum.  Take your pick……

At a more mundane level other possible interpretations of backwards motion, as illustrated by the planetary cycles under discussion, may be put forward:

By the time Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions return to occur only in earth and water, roughly from 2050 to 2400 or so, we may have to use our exploratory and innovatory energies in the service not of “progress” as was the case from 1500–1850, but of survival. We may by then be a species on a planet seriously damaged by the shadow side of the Jupiter/Uranus combination: arrogant pursuit of exploration and innovation regardless of the physical, emotional and spiritual cost.

On the other hand, taking a more upbeat view, the conjunction’s move back through earth and water may bring a paradigm shift involving reinterpretation of what it actually means to be human, resulting from changes wrought by the revolution which is already taking place in genetic modification and cloning. Perhaps we will see the beginnings of the evolution of a new humanoid species where micro-technology implants into the human body, and genetic tailoring, will vastly extend the range of which we are capable?

Given life’s eternally paradoxical nature, we can probably expect to see both those facets unfolding simultaneously……

Conclusion:    TO BE CONTINUED

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Big Picture series Part Five: the Aries Point meets the Void

To read Parts One,Two, Three and Four of the Big Picture series, click on links below:

Spring 2011 and The Big Picture: what Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions may reveal

Big Picture series Part Two: Jupiter/Uranus and the new world order?

Big Picture series Part Three: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements

Big Picture series Part Four: Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions through Aquarius

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

CONTINUING….

One day a few months ago, I happened to return to Michelsen’s “Tables of Planetary Phenomena” to indulge my curiosity regarding the historical pulse beat of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in Aries and Pisces. I had been reflecting on the contradiction inherent in the conjunction’s first pass at 0 degrees Aries, a point of huge power and surging cardinal force, followed by its slide backwards into the deeply mysterious, diffuse Piscean tides. Aries, the dynamic beginning of the cycle of life: Pisces, the ending – great dissolver of all earthly action back into the great Universal, the Void, the Quantum Vacuum, God, Allah, Krishna, the Goddess, the Divine……what does this contradiction mean, in essence?

Our world, as ever, has been vividly reflecting this prevailing planetary symbolism, as illustrated by just three Big Picture examples – from sea, scientific exploration and social  upheaval:

Undersea disruption has been a major feature of this period, producing the world’s worst oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, a few weeks before the 0 degrees Aries first meeting of Jupiter/Uranus on 8 June that year. This caused huge damage both to the marine environment and to the local economy until the spill was finally capped on 19 September 2010,  and the conjunction’s retrograde meeting at 29 degrees Pisces.

So has the success of the incredible power of the CERN Large Hadron Collider in beginning to collect data which delves into the mysteries of eg dark matter. To quote the populist UK scientist Brian Cox:“ The LHC is operating in a space where our understanding of physics breaks down……we don’t know where mass comes from, and we don’t know about dark matter. There are lots of theories that predict what it should be and that LHC is designed to find out.” (UK Sunday Times, 27.2.11)

There also seems to have been a rise in aggressively militant atheism, which requires its shadow opposite of equally angry and destructive religious fundamentalism to keep both poles energised. There is a sense that religiosity, a sense of the numinous, is still as alive in the human soul and the human community as it has always been. The problem is that old forms seem to be raging and dying as they dissolve in the tide of rising secularism and scientism. What is to take their place?

With those thoughts in mind I delved once more into the vast range of data in Michelsen’s “Tables of Planetary Phenomena” (a book no research-minded astrologer should be without!). What I found backed up the general picture of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction’s behaviour viewed first through the lens of the four elements, then the sign of Aquarius: a pattern of  rise and fall, initiatory energy for several hundred years followed by dissolution, all against an overall backwards motion.

Looking at the period from 76 CE to 2010 CE, roughly two millennia, a definite picture emerges. The conjunction retrogrades from 29 degrees Aries to 0 degrees Aries between 76 CE and 588 CE, roughly spanning the time of the Roman Empire.

By the end of this period, Europe had begun its long dissolution into barbarism and darkness, symbolised by the conjunction retrograding from the end of Pisces to its very last appearance at 1 degree Pisces in 1334 CE. 29 degrees Aries had re-appeared around eighty years before in 1264 CE, representing the beginning of Europe’s climb out of the Dark Ages toward the Renaissance at the end of the 13th century, when wisdom carefully preserved by Muslim culture during the times of darkness began to seep into a Europe exhausted and depleted in the aftermath of the Crusades which lasted from 1095-1291.

That long and bloody period of religiously-fuelled savagery occurred during the latter part of the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction’s long sojourn in Pisces.

The next journey of  the conjunction through Aries, begun in 1264 CE, completed in June 2010. This spans the rise and dominance of  European and American imperialism. But, as the conjunction begins its long period of dissolution into Pisces which will last several hundred years (Michelson only takes us to 2093 and the 24 degrees Pisces conjunction!) we are seeing the decline of  European and American power, as economic dominance shifts to the east.

We are also seeing the rise of the shadow side of our rational and secular age: worldwide, organised terrorist activity running on the politics of hatred and division, fuelled by economic disadvantage  – and fundamentalist religious belief. As Bob Dylan pointed out in one of his great sixties songs “God on our side”: that ancient human habit of annexing God (or whatever name under which the Divine appears throughout the cultures of the world) to justify appalling cruelty and destructive inhumanity, is still alive and well in the psyche of our species.

Summarising the patterns:

TO BE CONTINUED

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850 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Big Picture series Part Four: Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions through Aquarius

To read Parts One,Two and Three of the Big Picture series, click on links below:

Spring 2011 and The Big Picture: what Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions may reveal

Big Picture series Part Two: Jupiter/Uranus and the new world order?

Big Picture series Part Three: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

CONTINUING….

Take Two: the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius

In “Jupiter Meets Uranus” I made a strong case for the conjunction in Aquarius being “the one most powerfully connected to particularly radical and disruptive social, political and technological shifts”.(p.33) I then returned to examining the Big Picture from 500 BCE to 2500 CE for a second time, creating a table on this occasion which revealed the number of these Aquarian conjunctions throughout each 500 year block. My results were very, very interesting.

The time block which had the most Aquarian conjunctions, ie 7, was 1500 – 2000 CE:  “the most innovative, expansive, technologically sophisticated and disruptive in human history!” (p.37)

The runner-up for the most conjunctions in Aquarius was 0–500 CE, with 6. This time roughly spans the period of the rise, dominance and fall of another highly sophisticated technological civilisation already mentioned: the Roman Empire.

And the 500 years with the fewest Aquarian conjunctions? There was only one Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius from 1000 to 1499 CE, roughly spanning the time known as the Dark Ages in Europe, which included the Black Death which wiped out a third of the population in the fourteenth century.

Perhaps rather worryingly, in the three millennia I surveyed the only other period with one Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius lies ahead – between 2000 and 2500 CE at 2 degrees Aquarius in 2080. This is the last of these Aquarian conjunctions for another 677 years.

Take Three: the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction shifts from Aries to Pisces

Ever since doing the intriguing research briefly described above, I have been reflecting on what the symbolism may be telling us as a human community. Then from the summer of 2009 I began writing what has turned out to be a series of articles, and a research project asking for accounts of the experiences of 10 volunteers “plugged-in” to the three conjunctions at 0 degrees 18 Aries on 8 June 2010, 28 degrees 43 Pisces on 19th September 2010, and 27 degrees 02 Pisces on 4 January 2011.

I will shortly be publishing their assessments of what the year of Spring 2010-Spring 2011 has brought their way. Their stories thus far? Turbulence, disruption and unpredictable change to a high degree for most of them. (and me, as an unofficial participant with Mars/Uranus in the Tenth house triggered by the conjunction’s three passes!)

One day a few months ago, I happened to return to Michelsen’s “Tables of Planetary Phenomena” to indulge my curiosity regarding the historical pulse beat of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in Aries and Pisces. I had been reflecting on the contradiction inherent in the conjunction’s first pass at 0 degrees Aries, a point of huge power and surging cardinal force, followed by its slide backwards into the deeply mysterious, diffuse Piscean tides. Aries, the dynamic beginning of the cycle of life: Pisces, the ending – great dissolver of all earthly action back into the great Universal, the Void, the Quantum Vacuum, God, Allah, Krishna, the Goddess, the Divine……what does this contradiction mean, in essence?

TO BE CONTINUED

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550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Big Picture series Part Three: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements

To read Parts One and Two of the Big Picture series, click on links below:

Spring 2011 and The Big Picture: what Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions may reveal

Big Picture series Part Two: Jupiter/Uranus and the new world order?

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

CONTINUING….

Take One: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements: 500 BCE to 2500 CE

I first selected the conjunction’s traverse through the four elements, the basic platform on which any astrological analysis rests, whether one is preparing an individual horoscope or looking at  a chunk of historical time.

The conjunction occurred only in earth and water signs during the period 500-76 BCE. What are we to make of this ?

The above period roughly covers the time of the huge conceptual shift which occurred as mythological consciousness gave way to a more rational, objective view of the world and our relationship with the Divine.  The work of the great  Greek  philosophers, culminating in Plato, which emerged during this period, had a huge influence on the course of Western civilisation from that point on.

Symbolically, the movement of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions through the stabilising elements of earth and water could be read as significators for a time in history where the existing foundations of civilisation, and continuity of beliefs and the social order, were utterly disrupted at the most fundamental of levels.

75 BCE to 146 CE saw the conjunction going through a mixed transition period featuring all four elements, until the last conjunction in the earth element in 146 CE. This could be seen as the period where the struggle between the old order (earth and water) and the new (fire and air) was particularly potent, exemplified in the West by the battle between rising Christianity and the old Pagan beliefs of the dying matriarchal religions.

A much longer period from 160 to 588 CE saw the conjunction taking place only in fire and air signs. This can be envisaged as a time  when, in Robert Hand’s vivid phrase

“ the past has minimum hold upon the present, but the present has a maximum hold on the future.”

It roughly covers the rise of the Roman Empire: its colonial expansion, bringing civilisation of an entirely new level of technical innovation and sophistication to large swathes of the known world, its Christianisation, and its fall in the fifth century CE.

A great leap forward….and….

The next time that the conjunctions take place only in fire and air is from 1500 to 1845 CE.

This period of history, set within the context of the mighty 500 year Neptune /Pluto cycle which began in 1398, is renowned for its optimism, creativity, faith in human progress, and huge  scientific and technological leaps forward. There was the rise of European colonialism beginning with the great sea voyages of discovery. As already mentioned, we had the Renaissance, Reformation, Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions, and American and  French Revolutions all during this time.

Most significantly of all, in the eighteenth century we had the weave of the unfolding Scientific Revolution with the European Enlightenment, birthing a view of life more influenced by scientific materialism than religion for the first time in human history.

Since 1845,  we have been in a mixed transition period again which will last until about 2045.

There is increasing realisation that the fire and air march forward into an exciting, rationally and scientifically based future has a hefty price tag attached to it. That is the literal survival of earth and water: the root of our being, the Earth itself. At the start of this new millennium, scientific progress rushes on ever faster. But disquiet increases, as evidence of the cost to our planet and our collective health becomes more and more compelling.

From  around the  middle of  the 21st century we will once again be moving into a period where the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions occur only in earth and water for 350 –400 years.

In the first example I gave, there was a move from an earth and water period, to a mixed element period, to a fire and air period. In the second example, there has been a move backward: from fire and air, to the  mixed element period we now occupy, then earth and water still to come.

Take Two: the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius

In “Jupiter Meets Uranus” I made a strong case for the conjunction in Aquarius being “the one most powerfully connected to particularly radical and disruptive social, political and technological shifts”.(p.33) I then returned to examining the Big Picture from 500 BCE to 2500 CE for a second time, creating a table on this occasion which revealed the number of these Aquarian conjunctions throughout each 500 year block. My results were very, very interesting.

TO BE CONTINUED

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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“And finally….” : The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 5

This is the last part of a five-part series presenting the conclusions I drew from my 50,000 word original research study of  The Moon’s Nodes in Action. To read the first four posts, scroll down to the end of this one.

4. The Nodes in relation to other chart factors

I started out with certain questions. Do the Nodes say something specific, or do they act as a reinforcer for information which can be derived from other chart factors ? I think I have demonstrated quite clearly that the Nodes and their attendant planetary/Angular links can be used on their own to sketch out a clear picture of  the basic structure of a person’s life path and the archetypal energies which need to be responded to and brought into the journey, for that person to be all they can be.

It seems that strong outer planet links, especially Pluto’s conjunctions or squares to the natal Nodal axis, and strong prevailing major patterns eg Uranus conjunct Pluto opposite Saturn conjunct Chiron linked to the Nodes, bring some people a more challenging life than others. Mary Shelley’s chart is a very good example of this, with Uranus, dispositor of Pluto conjunct MC, conjunct her Sun and square her Nodal axis.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

I have distinguished between minor and major Nodal activity in transits and progressions, and demonstrated that the major effect  is what appears to be present when turning points  occur. This would suggest that  in contemplating the unfolding picture of a person’s life, the combination of Nodal activity with the foreground presence of outer planets, especially Pluto, points out that something really special is going on and should be carefully noted.

I also asked whether astrologers are missing something important by not  paying attention to the Nodes, natally and as life unfolds. I think the answer to this is yes, with particular reference to the transitting Nodal cycle and the eclipse seasons which accompany them. The pair of houses highlighted by the transitting Nodal axis and eclipses should be carefully observed, especially if the pre-natal eclipse degrees crop up in the form of a returning eclipse, or a current eclipse is triggering natal patterns linked in to either of the pre-natal eclipses.

I appreciate that we all need to earn our living and there are a multiplicity of interpretive factors available  which would take all day to prepare if they were to be included in every reading. We have to be selective.

But having done the research for this thesis, I think that, in preparing a reading, if the clustering effect I have been discussing is in evidence, it is important to pay particular attention to that person’s natal Nodal pattern and the current Nodal/eclipse picture. The client is then likely to be bringing matters of a life-changing nature to us for discussion, which offers us roles both as observers and midwives; human agents in the here-and-now  of those mysterious ‘watchers by the threshold’ whose  numinous presence in our lives is symbolically represented by the Moon’s Nodes in  Action.

Nodal Axis

Nodal Axis

Thanks to the many readers of this series for your interesting emails in response to those conclusions regarding the significance of the Nodes. Any other responses continue to be welcome. I have archived the series (see Categories on Home Page) for easy future reference. I will also at some point be publishing, over several installments – may even give it its own blog – my long case study on Mary Shelley’s authorship of “Frankenstein”, bringing in charts of all the significant figures influencing her writing of what has become a modern myth at the very young age of 19 – and her first Nodal Return.

Previous Posts in this series:

The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part One

Major and minor chords: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 2

This ground is holy: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 3

“In my end is my beginning….” The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 4

plus….

Mary Shelley: modern myth-maker

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600 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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This ground is holy: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 3

2. The Nodes and the numinous

In allowing some images to rise which might help me pull the the threads of the  thesis together, the one which most persistently presented itself was that ghostly picture of a man’s head and shoulders which must be the world’s most famous photographic negative – the one which appeared when the photograph taken of the marks on the shroud of Turin was developed.

For many people throughout the world, this is a sacred image of the crucified body of Christ, and a central symbol representing the Christian era. Regardless of one’s religious stance, it is not hard to see how this single awe-inspiring one-dimensional image conveys the symbolic essence of  what Christianity means.

It functions as a kind of spiritual hologram; in itself it is a one-dimensional holographic plate.(ii) But when the light of faith is shone on it, a three dimensional picture – physical, emotional, and spiritual, of  what Christianity means, arises for the observer.

Turin Shroud

Turin Shroud

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/File:Shroud-of-turin.jpg

In contemplating the outcome of the research into the lives of both Mary Shelley and Marc, the idea of the natal Nodal pattern representing a symbolic  holographic plate has taken shape.

The true turning points  in life seem to leap into three dimensions – emotional, physical, spiritual – from the holographic plate on which the basic pattern of the person’s destiny is etched. That pattern is most appropriately carried in the Nodal structure. It holds images of  the light  of the quest for meaning through the Sun; reflection and containment of that light through the Moon; and grounding in Life’s unfolding process through their orbits’ particular relationship with the Earth’s plane.

In every synastry in Mary Shelley’s case; in every key event  in both Mary’s and Marc’s  lives, running backwards and forwards in time and in the symbolism of all the birth charts, one can see, shimmering through the really critical turning points,  the ghostly, but quite distinct holographic plate of both Mary’s and Marc’s natal Nodal patterns.

The four Nodal Moments, though sketchier because of their being only one section cut through each subjects’ unfolding life pattern, nevertheless also carry within them the basic shape of the natal Nodal blueprint. Robin Heath’s comment is apposite:(iii)

“……….astrology appears more and more to behave like a hologram. You can perform almost any technique with the data, turn the chart inside out or slice it up, and still the symbolic pictures remain.”

Perhaps that  powerful spiritual image of the sacred Shroud arose for me because in reflecting on the meaning of what I had seen at the core of all the different ‘takes’ on the Nodes at work in a range of people’s lives, I felt myself to be in the presence of the numinous, the sacred.

I find it impossible to describe adequately my feelings when I realised that  in Mary Shelley and Marc’s lives, with each synastry and every major event and turning point,  the natal Nodes and their attendant patterns had been painted, not faintly or casually, but in bold primary colours that could not be missed. I had a powerful sense of being in the presence of something ‘Other’ , something which was not circumscribed by the mortality of one individual in one lifetime.

The resonances over long periods of time which were so evident in linking Mary Shelley’s Nodal pattern with the contemporary controversy over how far we humans should overstep our limits in altering the very building blocks of life, focused by the appearance of Dolly the Sheep – and the links I found with my own horoscope, hers, and the time I had chosen to write about her – really struck me.(iv)

I did not expect my research into ‘The Moon’s Nodes in Action’ to present me with such a strong  suggestion that we all have our destiny, that certain potent times in life present events and turning points which are initiations into  the furtherance of that destiny – or that outwith our lives there may be  some intelligent ‘Other’ observing and/or guiding  that  movement. But  that is the feeling which persists in me as a result of this work.

I have always reacted with a degree of impatience to the theorising, usually with little empirical evidence to support it, which takes place about the Nodes – now I’m rather more respectful! But it feels good to have done a fairly substantial piece of practical exploratory work demonstrating the theory in action.

As the Indian astrologers have been telling us for centuries, the Moon’s Nodes really do seem to be connected to the workings of Fate in the shaping of personal destiny.

Nodal Axis

Nodal Axis

References and Notes

(i) The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol 12, p 55

(ii) a hologram is “an image produced on photographic film in such a way that under suitable illumination a three-dimensional representation of an object is seen”. Oxford Paperback Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 4th Edition, 1994

(iii) The Mountain Astrologer, Issue 78, April/May 1998, Letters p 11

TO BE CONTINUED

Previous Posts in this series:

The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part One

Major and minor chords: The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 2

and next….

“In my end is my beginning….” The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 4


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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Licking a blackberry problem…

Greetings to my loyal followers from underneath the January Linus blanket (large, warm, covers me all over). Since I am currently dealing with protracted computer hassles of mind-frying tedium, I have not got a post ready this week. Don’t go away!

(All messages of support welcome whilst I sort out broken links, lost files, et bloody cetera.)

To keep you entertained as January grinds on, steeped in recession with the spectre of inflation looming and political disruption ramping up across the globe (do I exaggerate? I think not….), here are two of the UK’s funniest comedians being consummately ridiculous – courtesy of YouYube, via my husband Ian. Enjoy!

http://www.flixxy.com/my-blackberry-is-not-working.htm

The Hermit, that's me in January!!

The Hermit, that's me in January!!

120 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
 



Constructive criticism: can we do without it?

Where would we writers be, without constructive criticism?

One of the most useful pieces of advice I was ever given came from a newspaper editor I once worked for, a crusty old chap who called a spade a spade. “You’re too wordy, my girl!” he observed. (this was in the good old days, before my even thinking he was being offensive might have got him arrested….) “I’ve never known any piece of writing to get anything other than better by the removal of 25 per cent of its wording. Now – take “How I was left on the shelf and found true happiness” away, and chop it!”

Honestly, I did write an article with that title, for the Spring Brides feature of a provincial Scottish newspaper a few decades ago. And yes, dear reader, it actually did get published, minus 25% of its wording. Somewhere in my files I have the cutting to prove it….

Another piece of even earlier straight-from-the-shoulder feedback has just found its way to the front of my braincell. Picture the scene. Aberdeen university, the infamous Sixties. I had left my seriously overdue history essay till the very last possible evening before my second exasperated extension from my usually genial tutor had expired.

I finally stopped procrastination and began writing at one am. Many cups of coffee and cigarettes later, at 8am, the task was completed. It had to be handed in by  9am or I would not receive my History class certificate. Without that, I could not sit my degree exam. Serious business.

Burning the midnight oil....

I ran most of the way to my tutor’s office. It was pouring with rain. On the way, I somehow managed to drop one of the essay’s ten pages into a puddle. It was only rendered semi-illegible – and only the bibliography, I thought, thankful for small mercies. Made it by 9. Just.

A week later I visited my charismatic and much loved, but somewhat fierce, history tutor – Owen Dudley Edwards. He glared at me as he thrust the dishevelled bundle of paper that was my essay back at me. I scanned the title page. “Phew!!” I thought with relief. Fifty per cent. A pass!!

“This essay on ‘The Origins of the American War of Independence’ ” Owen Dudley said severely, in words I have never forgotten, “bears all the hallmarks of the triumph of native intelligence and writing ability over little if any credible content.” There was a long pause. ” The bibliography – I had cited Winston Churchill’s  ‘History of the English Speaking Peoples’ having once flicked through it – I assume is a joke….”

There was a frosty silence. I left, not feeling as chastened as the good Mr. Edwards had intended.

“Mmmmmm” I thought to myself as I headed off to the refectory to buy a much needed bacon sandwich, ” maybe I should be a writer if I ever grow up.

That crusty newspaper editor is probably long dead. Owen Dudley Edwards is still with us, and still giving out his straight from the shoulder opinions. I know this because I heard him on the radio a couple of months ago. I am grateful to both of them for their never-forgotten feedback. It was direct, it pulled no punches. It let me know where I stood. Grit in the oyster, it helped me become a competent writer.

However, in recent times, constructive criticism seems to have morphed into something altogether much less forthright, much more timid, much more inclined to dish out indiscriminate praise and affirmation regardless of performance. Is this helpful to young people’s education and development?

My colleague Emily Cutts,  psychologist and independent thinker, has her serious doubts. Read Emily’s forthright views, published today on MoreBitsFallOff.com :

Emily Cutts: Constructive criticism is a gift

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

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