Dissing the Dismissers…an astrologer speaks out…

I know of what I speak, being a reformed dismisser myself. Readers of this blog may recall the tale of my being stopped in my dismissive tracks by a startling prediction – made as a result of a chance encounter with astrologers in a launderette in Bath, England – that I would in fact become an astrologer, too. They were right. You can find the full story in the Fate section of my latest book “Postcards to the Future”.

Moving from ignorant dismissal of a tradition going back at least six thousand years, to gradual acceptance of its validity based on study and experience, was one of the most profound and humbling processes of my entire life.

In this 8 minute reading, “Astrology is a load of rubbish!” Please, NOT that tedious old trope again…” I present the third spoken extract from “Postcards’ … sixty essays, articles and columns I’ve had published in a range of websites, magazines and journals since 1995 including Astrodienst, The Mountain Astrologer, Dell Horoscope, and the UK’s Astrological Journal: my ‘Mercurial Musings’.

I hope you enjoy what I have to say!

I’m so pleased that “Postcards to the Future” has been collecting great reviews so far – all five stars. Here is the most recent one, from master astrologer Steven Forrest, USA:

Like a long talk with a wise friend . . .

Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2022

Verified Purchase

…Reading Anne Whitaker’s book felt like having lunch and a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation with a friend, only to look down at my watch and realizing that cocktail hour had arrived. Time flies, in other words. I’ve been in the world of serious astrology for a long time and most of what I read are things I have heard before. Such books serve a purpose, but at this point I don’t get much out of reading them myself. Not Anne’s book! I found myself turning the pages as if it were a novel, and rarely did ten pages go by without me learning something new or thinking of something in a new way. She’s not only had a lot of experience, she’s has digested it and turned it to real wisdom. My only frustration was that she wasn’t sitting there with me so I could interrupt and say, “You know what THAT makes me think of!” Thank you, Anne — with these luminous pages, you have advanced our cause…’

Steven Forrest and
“Postcards…”

Thank you so very much, everyone who has reviewed, promoted in various ways, and purchased “Postcards…”. I am so grateful to you all!

••••••••

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

“Postcards to the Future” : four reasons to be cheerful…

As you can see from the photo, I’m feeling really cheerful – serene, even! – despite this unremittingly horrible, wet, dreary, cold Monday in my home city of Glasgow. The reason? In recent days I have had no less than FOUR more great pieces of publicity for my latest book “Postcards to the Future”.

A five star Amazon review from Steven Forrest (which I’m sharing here below); an extract from “Postcards…” ie ‘The ethics of astrological practice: a Question needing an Answer…’ (pp 92-8) which appeared in that excellent new on-line magazine “Timelords”; Brian Clark’s lovely review in “The Mountain Astrologer Magazine” ; and today, ‘An Astrologer’s Job Description’ (“Postcards…” p 84) which has just appeared on Astrodienst

Steven Forrest‘s Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars

Like a long talk with a wise friend . . .

Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2022

Verified Purchase

…Reading Anne Whitaker’s book felt like having lunch and a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation with a friend, only to look down at my watch and realizing that cocktail hour had arrived. Time flies, in other words. I’ve been in the world of serious astrology for a long time and most of what I read are things I have heard before. Such books serve a purpose, but at this point I don’t get much out of reading them myself. Not Anne’s book! I found myself turning the pages as if it were a novel, and rarely did ten pages go by without me learning something new or thinking of something in a new way. She’s not only had a lot of experience, she’s has digested it and turned it to real wisdom. My only frustration was that she wasn’t sitting there with me so I could interrupt and say, “You know what THAT makes me think of!” Thank you, Anne — with these luminous pages, you have advanced our cause…’

Steven Forrest and “Postcards…”

Thank you so very much, everyone!

400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

New Moon in Aquarius: Astrology Speaks!

This morning I did an hour’s housework: an event sufficiently unusual in itself to qualify for an Aquarian stamp. Disproportionately pleased considering how much hadn’t got done, I headed out for a bracing walk, narrowly avoiding being blown over by periodic gusts of wind. 

Hurrah! Black Pine Coffee, my favourite Glasgow West End coffee shop, as of today was once again allowed to admit sitting customers. However, the message couldn’t yet have got around, since the place was unusually quiet, giving me more of a chance than usual to chat with the owner, Pete, and his assistant Sandi (real names with permission). 

We agreed we were glad January was now over, it not being the best month for single minded enthusiastic focus on the tasks in hand, to put it mildly.… Personally, if at all possible I prefer to spend that month with a metaphorical blanket over my head. “I like January though,” said Pete. “It’s my birth month, after all.” I remembered that he had told me this some time ago ( I do drop in here quite a lot – great coffee, fun chat) and I had remembered the date as being close to that of my late husband Ian on 30th January. “I was born on the 28th”

“That makes you an Aquarian, Pete,” said Sandi. “Funnily enough, I have an Aquarian Moon. My mum’s friend drew up my birth chart when I was born (1995). I still have it in my baby book.” It was beginning to occur to me that you couldn’t make this up: here I was, a few hours into the Aquarian New Moon, talking to a Sun Aquarius man and an Aquarian Moon woman.

“Well, Anne”, said Pete, turning to me as he made my coffee, “you’re an astrologer. What would you say were key Aquarian characteristics?” So of course I gave my usual spiel about it being impossible to mirror back accurately the complexities of any human using purely one lens, eg that of the Sun sign or the Moon sign, and how you needed the full birth horoscope based on time, date and place to do that. 

“Yes, yes, you’ve told me that before,” persisted Pete, grinning winningly. “But go on: name just a couple!” 

‘Very stubborn, very charming, somewhat left field’ I replied. 

“Yep, that’s me!” said Pete.

Sandi by this time was looking at me expectantly…clearly my spiel was not having much impact as yet. ‘Aquarian Moon – give me space!’ said I, quite happy to play the game with such great young folks. “Oh yes – too true, that’s me!” she said.

By now, some other customers were drifting in, so I settled down to drink excellent coffee and catch up with my phone emails. However, during a lull some minutes later, Sandi tentatively asked “Do you have any astrology apps on your phone?” Very shortly afterwards we were deep in contemplation of our mutual TimePassages app, with me explaining to her how to navigate it.

 Noting her Aquarian Moon in the eleventh house, and a strong emphasis on the ninth, I suggested she contact Aquarius Rising, the West of Scotland Astrological Association which I had founded with a group of my students in 2001 and is still going strong on-line, ably Chaired by D-L Gordon. I also steered her in the direction of Astrodienst – pointing out that she could obtain a quality synthesised written astrology interpretation there via one of Dr Liz Greene’s AstroIntelligence reports.

I also recommended one or two of my astrology colleagues if she wanted an in-person/zoom reading of a high standard from astrologers who are reputable, experienced, know what they are talking about, and  take their responsibilities to clients seriously.  I strongly suggested she be very wary of the vast array of  ‘astrologers’ enabled by the ease with which one can acquire a smattering of astrological knowledge on-line these days – but without a firm grounding in either experience, in-depth study, or an adequate awareness of the responsibility inherent in calling oneself an astrologer and taking on both teaching and practice of such an ancient, powerful art. 

Sandi is clearly very very interested in astrology – I did my best to point her in some quality directions, and she clearly appreciated that. Who knows where her interest may take her? I hope I get a further opportunity to find out! 

It was a delightful encounter: totally spontaneous, completely unexpected – and a brilliant manifestation of the Aquarian New Moon’s current energy field drawing the three of us together ‘in the moment’ and offering a shared experience very much of the nature of that moment. 

But that Aquarian Moon wasn’t finished making its presence felt in my life today. On the way home, I ran into a journalist friend I hadn’t seen for quite a while – someone with a strongly Aquarian vibe. 

“How’s your book doing?” she asked. 

‘Really well, getting lovely reviews’, I replied. 

“Is there anywhere local I can buy it, rather than from Amazon?”

‘Sure – the lovely Opal Moon, just round the corner from you…’

“Oh brilliant, I’ll call by and get a copy on my way home!”

‘Do that, and I’ll treat you to a coffee and sign it…’

“Deal!! See you soon, then…” 

Off we both went, much cheered by our encounter. It had been a most Aquarian, New Moon sort of day. And – it was still only 1pm! 

Yes, since you ask – there was more in similar vein to follow. 

But that’s a tale for another day…

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

Astrology in Action: trans Jupiter trines natal Uranus, brings a wonderful surprise…

>….ie today, a fantastic review of my new book ..’Postcards to the Future‘ by Karin Hoffman of the world-renowned Astrodienst website:

Astrology Shop, Covent Garden, London
Photo supplied by Alex Trenoweth,

author of “Mirror Mirror”

Karin says: ...”Present and future astrologers will find in this deep and varied collection nuggets of pure gold, forged in a lifetime, collected and polished for display and – most importantly – for enlightenment and use…”

To read the whole review – and hopefully treat yourself or a friend, student of astrology, or interested member of the public who wants to know more about the depths and delights offered by astrological knowledge to a copy of ‘Postcards…’ – here it is:

https://www.astro.com/astrology/in_rev_awpostcards_e.htm

Thank you so much, Karin and Astrodienst!!

Photo from Alex Trenoweth

250 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Astrodienst 2021

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

Some thoughts at the Winter Solstice:

 
……a quotation from “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach states……
 
“ Gloom we have always with us, a rank and sturdy weed, but joy requires tending.”
Barbara Holland
 
 
Winter Solstice 2018 by Anne Whitaker
Winter Solstice 2018
by Anne Whitaker

This has never seemed truer as we approach the end of what has been a very difficult year, our human community across the world riven with even more – and more angrily polarised – conflicts than usual.

It is becoming much harder, since young Greta Thunberg’s resolute pounding on the door of our resistance to facing the truth of our planetary crisis, to avoid facing certain harsh realities. It’s been a year for being confronted with those, both individually and collectively. Many of us are feeling pretty dispirited, exhausted, lacking in optimism for the future.
 
So, what to do?
 
Having an astrological perspective is a great help, at least in being able to stand back and realise that we very clever 21st century folk are not immune to the turbulence which has followed the unfolding of the human story throughout history. The planetary cycles are telling us quite clearly, as I outlined in my recent article on Astrodienst, that we are at a time of extraordinary, epochal change.
 
 
For the old order to die, and the new one to emerge, we need to go through a form of collective death and rebirth.
 
 
How can we help this along, and in our own small way contribute to a more positive world in the future?
 
Personally, I find it helpful always to return to Jung‘s view: if there’s something wrong with the world, with society, with nation or with family, then there’s something also wrong with ME; so, taking responsibility for who I am and where I’m at, is the first step in changing the world for the better.
 
In other words, start where you are, and do what you can, to bring some light into the dark both at this solstice time of year, and during the year which is fast approaching. As the wise quote says, we need to keep ourselves from becoming too gloomy, and cultivate joy wherever we can.
 
Today, I had a lovely experience of doing just that. I met up with a young friend who has just completed her first term at university. After many very difficult years, she has gradually found a firm place on which to stand in her life: in a mutually supportive relationship, she knows what her future vocation is now, and her studies are focused on some very clear goals. She is fizzing with enthusiasm and excitement, and has done extremely well in her first term’s exams.
 
It made me feel joyful to share her enthusiasm and her optimism for the future. As an older person, being able to support young folk like her is a simple and positive way to keep the rank weed of gloom at bay, and cultivate a positive approach to whatever our future proves to be.
 
So – what’s your recipe for cultivating joy as 2020 approaches? Do share!
 

Winter Solstice 2018 by Anne Whitaker

550 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

 

 

Taking a break from Saturn/Pluto turmoil…

Some of you will have read my recent article on Astrodienst, Some Notes on Cycles in a Time of Crisis, which sets the turmoil, violence and complexity of our home planet at present in the context of the great planetary cycles which symbolically describe the turbulence of a changing world order so graphically. 

astrodynamics.net

astrodynamics.net

In the meantime, we poor wee human individuals caught in the Saturn/Pluto/Nodes grinder are trying to survive it all, and if possible make some sense of it. One of the undoubted gifts of the Saturn/Pluto combination – and I should know, with the exact conjunction conjunct four personal planets – is the capacity to endure, and to be brave in tackling what must be faced and dealt with.

Beyond that, in my view we leave the rest to Spirit, the Unseen, the Divine – whatever name you wish to use in reaching out to that which is forever beyond our human grasp. I came to the practice of astrology a long time ago, seeking some kind of proof that we lived in a meaningful universe, that all the turmoils and struggles of life meant something – that we are not all mere butterflies pinned to the board of Fate within a random, meaningless cosmos.

And I did find pattern – meaning too. The great cycles tell us that we are part of a vast pattern charged with meaning. Each of us, tiny chips of the prevailing energies of our date, place and time of birth, products of our era, has our small part to play in the unfolding of the great cosmic Pattern.

In times of difficulty, I have always taken consolation from contemplating the Bigger Picture, taking refuge in a sense of the sacred. I know from my own, my friends, students and clients’ lives at present – avoiding mentioning the state of our nations eg in the UK and the USA! – that times are hard for so many of us.

So – tonight,  feeling meditative, I thought I’d share a favourite quote, which every time I read it walks me gently into Mystery, brings me some refuge, some peace…

“….in this journey of the spirit, I and others still walk that steep uphill road….And all our religious edifices, which serve first as staffs to help us on our way, in the end become crutches which we must discard….And the doctrines which we espouse and which we hold dear are only smooth shining stones which we pick up on the road and place in our baggage. With each new dogma and doctrine, the baggage grows heavier, until we discard these pebbles, one by one, leaving them on the roadside for others to find and carry a little further. And in the end we have need of neither doctrine nor creed, nor to name that which we worship – for it is beyond all image and words….”(i)

Endnote

(i) ‘Women in Search of the Sacred ‘ by Anne Bancroft (Penguin Arkana 1996) pp 120-121

*****

astrodynamics.net

500 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Anne Bancroft 2019
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

Most frequently asked questions: how does astrology explain twins?

A very frequent question!

How does it work when you do a birth chart for twins? Or two babies born the same minute at the same hospital?  Can two people have the same horoscope!?

Gemini the Twins
Gemini the Twins

My Answer:

During nearly twenty years of teaching astrology classes, I found that the above questions came up very frequently.

It is important at this point to emphasise to readers who are familiar only with Sun Signs that to get ‘beyond the Sun Signs’ requires an individual’s horoscope to be drawn up for the date, place AND time of birth. Human beings are complex and contradictory. It’s not possible to approach any satisfying symbolic exploration of that complexity through the Sun or Star Sign alone.

A number of years ago, I decided to address the typical questions students asked about twins via one of the tutorial classes I ran for my more advanced students, all of whom had a good grasp of the basics of astrology, and some of whom were already practitioners in their own right.

One student – let’s call her Anna – was the devoted aunt to a set of twins in their mid teens, a boy and a girl –  let’s call them Angus and Miriam. These two had been born less than fifteen minutes apart and had almost identical horoscopes.

I had formulated a theory about twins and astrology which I wanted to test out, so I obtained permission via Anna from Angus and Miriam’ s parents as well as the twins themselves, to calculate their horoscopes and discuss them anonymously in class.

My method was to put up on the board only one horoscope since there was so little difference between the twins’ horoscopes, and ask the students to take an hour to prepare along with me a basic outline of the key characteristics revealed by this one horoscope. We did the preparation as though we were preparing a birth chart for just one person.

The class knew nothing about either of the twins, and I asked Anna to observe us, but not to make any comments at all.

Once we had written up the outline, we spent the next hour discussing our findings with Anna, who knew her nephew and niece well.

I am writing this after a gap of about twenty years and no longer have the notes for detailed reference, so can only give a summary of the essence of what emerged from our discussion.

Anna found our summary from the one horoscope of the basic characteristics of both her nephew and niece to be very accurate. What was very clear was that certain traits were held in common, but that the rest were, as it were, divided up between the twins. To put it very simply, looking at a range of traits: 1,2,3 and 4 were recognisable in both; Miriam manifested traits 5,6 and 10 whilst Angus lived out traits 7, 8 and 9.

This very interesting and enlightening experiment does not of course constitute any kind of proof: but it bore out my impressions from reading about the similarities and differences in the lives of twins about whom I had read, as well as my own observations of twins I had come across from my own experience, as well as the few horoscope readings I had done for individuals who were twins.

What was this impression? Coming back to the analogy of the horoscope revealing the characters poised on life’s stage, waiting for the moment of birth to kick start the action of the play, it seemed that twins unconsciously chose which characters on their joint stage they were going to live out jointly – and the ones which they were going to live out separately.

The experiment which I did all those years ago with my students, Anna and her nephew and niece certainly bore out my theory….

After writing this piece I googled ‘astrology and twins’ to see what came up, and was pleased to find on my favourite astrology site, Astrodienst, that other astrologers including Dr Liz Greene had come to much the same conclusion.

As far as two people born at the same time in the same place is concerned, yes, they would in effect have the same horoscopes.  You would certainly see considerable similarities if you studied both their lives over time. But each character on the stage at a given moment in time has a range of possible modes of expression. Thus the influence of different family circumstances and different opportunities, etc, would call forth a range of possible responses from the same basic character.

To read much more on this topic, do go over to the late master astrologer Donna Cunningham’s excellent blog Sky Writer, where she has an excellent piece on the astrology of  twins.

Then come back and let me know what YOU think!

 

Gemini the Twins
Gemini the Twins

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

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

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

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

image by Paul F Newman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spiral of Rebirth
The Circle of Life

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