Astrology: a practice centred in Mystery…

   ‘ The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.’ (Albert Einstein) Engaging with mystery, which piques my curiosity into embarking on processes of exploration and discovery, has been a key feature of my somewhat wayward life. 

The most striking example of this was a chance encounter with astrologers who drew up and read my horoscope, stunning me with the depth and accuracy of the picture they were able to paint. I simply could not understand how drawing symbols on a piece of paper could provide a key to my – or anyone else’s–  inner world. Determined attempts to penetrate that mystery led me to to the astrological career which I have pursued to this day. 

Another mystery, which as a writer I especially love, is how the strands of our lives quietly weave themselves into a pattern without our noticing until much later, sometimes by decades. During my late twenties, a major preoccupation was whether life did in fact mean anything at all. Emerging from many years of nihilism, I found myself unable to sustain a belief that our struggles in this life were meaningless. 

On cue, came that life-changing encounter with those astrologers. My astrological studies were partly about unravelling the mystery held by those symbols on that powerful piece of paper. They were also about proving to myself that life was not a random meaningless accident in space/time, but was charged with mystery, meaning, pattern and purpose. 

As an astrologer I work ‘blind’ with no information about the client’s life beforehand apart from their chart, allowing my guide on our journey of exploration to be the client’s answer to the question “Why are you here today, and what do you hope to gain from our meeting?”. I realise, a long time later, that this mode has arisen from two formative strands. 

The first was the original experience of that ‘blind’ reading of my horoscope, which had such a powerful impact. The second was further affirmation gained from those early studies and practice, aimed at proving astrology’s validity: not just by the time-honoured mode of most of us, i.e. practising on willing friends and family, but also by doing a substantial number of my own ‘blind’ readings. 

The latter practice, in particular, provided me with the proof a demanding mind required. With Mercury ruling my chart, conjunct Saturn/Pluto, glib explanations have never cut much ice. As my skills and fluency grew, I found myself able do the same thing for complete strangers that the astrologers had done for me, thereby arriving at the stage to which all sincere and dedicated practice takes us: knowing that astrology works. 

Sitting here in morning sunshine, writing and contemplating, I am aware with gratitude of the debt owed to six thousand or more years of tradition in which my practice is rooted. What has astrology done for me, as well as providing an endlessly fascinating career? What do I try to do for my clients and students as a transmitter of that tradition? 

Primarily, it has provided a context of meaning where I can perceive my life as a small, but useful strand in the Big Weave. I often say to new astrology students: “ Think of your horoscope as a tiny symbolic chip of the universe’s energy pattern at the time you were born, which Someone handed to you, saying ‘Here – do the best you can with this.’ Your job is to hand it back at the end of your life with more light shining through it than there was at the beginning.” 

At a more practical level, my horoscope showed me that, far from trying to iron out my contradictions – a futile pursuit for much of my twenties – I needed to understand them, make peace with them as far as possible, and stop punishing myself for the parts of which neither I nor our wider culture particularly approved. Gradually, I discovered that those darker energies could be channelled creatively, with help from the insights offered by my horoscope. Plutonian power drives come to mind here… I have five planets including Pluto in Leo in the twelfth house, all squared by a third house Jupiter, with Virgo rising. Boy, did I need all the help I could get in making peace with that lot!

 In essence, I try to offer my clients and students what astrology has given me. The biggest help people can gain from a horoscope reading, I have found over many years’ practice, is being able to take a step forward in accepting themselves as they are. This can release energy, formerly used in self-punishment, denial or lack of confidence, to be channelled into using their gifts and strengths more constructively. Continuing this work remains a great joy, although these days I concentrate mainly on student mentoring, occasional zoom interviews, and writing

Yet mystery still remains. One can describe the symbolic patterns of the birth moment,  those characters on the stage of a person’s life, with considerable accuracy in essence; nevertheless each pattern has an infinite range of possible manifestations. We can never know until the client begins to tell us their story what level of consciousness they bring to the living of their unique life. Very often, this is what determines how the patterns play out in practice. But beyond that, lies mystery. As Carl Jung so wisely put it ‘… learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul…’  The nature of that miracle lies in mystery – as such, forever beyond our reach.

*****

This piece was published (May/June 2017 issue) in my column The astro-view from Scotland which ran for the final three years of Dell Horoscope Magazine: USA’s leading astrology magazine for over 80 years until the Spring of 2020.

©anne whitaker 2023

Neptune transits: opening the door to ‘Otherness’…

As an astrologer, one of my favourite quotations is from Nobel Prize-winning German physicist, Max Planck (April 23 1858 – October 4 1947) :

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die…”

Do come in…

This strikes me as an observation pertinent in its essence to most of us, arising from amongst other things fear of the unknown – and desire to keep IT ( the Shadow) out, keep the light on. However, psychologist and mystic Carl Jung took the view that the major task of our lives was the reconciliation of those great opposites. Light and Dark run through the whole of life: we need them both, collectively and as individuals. Without the bleak apparently barren darkness of Winter, we cannot have the life-affirming beauty, light and energy of Spring.

Identifying too closely with either pole inevitably calls forth its opposite…at its worst, there are too many examples scattered throughout history: a perennial (and contemporary) example being religious and/or political persecution – and war – arising from one side knowing the Light of Truth and having Right on their side, being prepared to destroy those unfortunate enough to take a different view: in order to save their souls from the darkness of Hell – metaphorical or otherwise.

Those splits are especially acute in our era. Saturn in Aquarius is slogging it out with Uranus in Taurus, as Pluto concludes his long dredge through Capricorn mercilessly exposing the rotten underpinnings of a ubiquitous culture rooted in a materialistic set of values and practices which are severely damaging our mother planet, and intolerance runs rampant everywhere.

Another contemporary variation on this theme is the bitter split between materialist reductionism which posits scientific perspectives as the only Reality, and the recorded accounts of very many people over centuries and longer, who willingly or otherwise, have experienced decidedly ‘other’ versions of reality which simply do not fit the current prevailing reductionist paradigm.

I am one of those people. For a long, long time, despite being a decidedly rational individual – sceptical in the open-minded sense of the word – I experienced intermittent and unpredictable intrusions into my everyday Reality whilst going about being a stable and productive member of society. A period of unwelcome, intermittent and uninvited episodes of ‘otherness’ began when I was nearly 24 years old, with Neptune transiting my IC conjunct South Node in Scorpio. It took me a very long time, but eventually I was able to come to terms with and make peace with that ‘other’ side of myself.

Thirty years later, during a long Neptune transit in Aquarius opposite my six 12th house planets, I began writing the book in which I recorded those 37 ‘other’ experiences. Having completed the book and published it in PDF form, the episodes came (mostly) to an end. Here I am, talking about ‘Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness” and related topics with my colleague Ana Isabel – another open-minded rationalist who is no stranger to experiences of ‘otherness’ herself. I’m planning to incorporate ‘Wisps…’ into a longer memoir provisionally titled ‘Swimmer in a Secret Sea’ to be published in print and as an ebook sometime in 2023. Watch this space!

In the meantime, kick off your shoes, grab a coffee – or something stronger, and have a listen to this recording we did recently for Ana’s In the Light podcast.. I’d be most interested if you felt like sharing your experience(s) of episodes which reductionist science says do not exist…

Opening the door to ‘Otherness’…

©Anne Whitaker/Ana Isabel 2023

Some brief notes on Order and Chaos: what are the planetary cycles saying?

In trying to make some sense out of current uncertainty and turbulence, it can help to check out what the planetary cycles are saying. Here are some brief notes summing up the essence of the present day planetary picture.

Carl Jung “In all chaos there is a cosmos,

 in all disorder a secret order.”

We know several things astrologically at the moment which describe crisis in the world in general :

We are moving from one world era to another: from a period between 1803 and 21st December 2020 when the twenty-year long Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions were travelling through the Earth element  – describing (in shorthand terms) the era of capitalism. This era, simply put, owes its ‘success’ to heedless exploitation of our mother planet, and a way of living which is increasingly obviously no longer sustainable as we continue metaphorically to saw off the branch on which we are all sitting as the climate crisis takes off.

Crisis = threat+opportunity

That conjunction’s journey shifted to the Air element for the 200+ years following 2020’s Winter Solstice, when Jupiter and Saturn met at 0° Aquarius: early evidence being an airborne covid 19 pandemic which has upended the way we live, and the fact that our culture is taking a major shift into conducting itself on Air e.g. via zoom, proliferating social media, and increasingly sophisticated advances in Artificial Intelligence or A.I. 

This first 20 year cycle of the Jupiter Saturn combination through the Air element between 2020 and 2040 is going to be critical in setting the terms of reference for the new world order into which we are moving. 

The USA is currently undergoing its Pluto return at 27 Capricorn in 2022, with attendant turmoil, and there is a major war taking place in Ukraine which began in the Spring of 2022, showing no sign of coming to an end any time soon. Pluto’s cycle is around 248 years; we have seen, since his entry into Capricorn in 2008, every institution on the face of the Earth dredged and purged with all its unresolved crap coming to the surface. Until Pluto finally settles into Aquarius on 19th November 2024 – just after the next USA Election on 5th November 2024 – the purging and dredging which began in 2007/ 2008 will continue. From all of this you can see that the time over this winter is going to be especially critical worldwide as the Lord of the Underworld returns to Aquarius on March 23rd 2023, for the first time since the revolutionary decade of the 1770s. Astrologer Jessica Davidson has done a fine historical survey of Pluto’s Aquarian ingresses – and impacts – over a long historical timeline. Read it HERE

 However, I take comfort from my knowledge of that historical timeline, however sketchy it may be – cultures have always alternated between periods of chaos dominating, out of which of arise new ways of humans organising themselves – as order gradually reasserts itself.

Learning to live with uncertainty, trying to find our personal balance in an era in which chaos (Neptune) is increasingly more evident than order (Saturn) seems to be what we are all challenged to do at present. 

My personal motto is ‘start where you are and do what you can’ as positively as possible, in order to make some small individual contribution to the birthing of a more constructive world order from the old one: an order which is clearly deeply corrupt and well past its sell by date…

Crisis = threat
+opportunity

Some thoughts on Prediction at the Summer Solstice…

Solstice Greetings, Everyone!

I thought I’d celebrate this special astrological point in the year when the Sun hits the highest point in the heavens as in enters the sign of Cancer, by storytelling: here, the strange tale of how a serious astro-dismisser ( myself, many years ago ) had a highly Uranian encounter in a laundrette in Bath, England, and in the process received a prediction which accurately foretold a major change in the direction of my life.

I also give you some of my Thoughts on Prediction ( decidedly mixed) by way of introduction.

So- pull up a chair, grab a coffee/glass of wine, and have a listen.

And – by the way – the latest lovely review of “Postcards to the future”. Thanks, DL!

5.0 out of 5 stars : from DL Gordon, Chair, Aquarius Rising, Glasgow UK.

Captivating!

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 June 2022

“…I’ve found this book absolutely captivating from the first page! Anne’s writing has such depth and richness, it’s a joy to read and I think could be enjoyed even without any great knowledge of Astrology. The Astrological insight and wisdom is an added bonus for Astrologers. A book that’s difficult to put down and will no doubt be revisited again and again :-)…”

••••••••

Anne Whitaker’s new book ‘Postcards to the Future: Mercurial Musings 1995-2021…’ is available everywhere on Amazon, here for Amazon UK , locally in Glasgow G20 at the lovely Opal Moon, in Glasgow G3 at The Yoga Extension, in London at The Astrology Shop and Watkins Books – and from The Wessex Astrologer

Anne is on Facebook at Anne Whitaker, Twitter @annewhitaker, Instagram @stargazerh12,  and on her website www.anne-whitaker.com

Summer Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge…”

300 words ©Anne Whitaker/DL Gordon 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

Mercurial Musings on May Day…

Mercury is now in Gemini, going retro on 10th May 2022, and doing a merry dance ( or rather, slow waltz…) over my 29 Taurus MC/North Node conjunction for the next six weeks, and we’ve just had the first solar eclipse of the Taurus/Scorpio eclipse season. And it’s May Day!

S0 – perfect timing for another bout of promoting my latest book, “Postcards to the Future”, subtitled Mercurial Musings 1995-2021.

“Postcards…” has been in whimsical mood today, as you can see from the image below – dropping in on the Kingdom of Faerie:

Photo: Anne Whitaker

“Postcards…” has been getting great reviews: here is the most recent one from Moon Zlotnick which appeared in the Spring 2022 Issue of The Career Astrologer. Thanks so much, Moon!

POSTCARDS TO THE FUTURE by Anne Whitaker

‘…,Part memoir, part anthology, and part deep musings about everything from ethics in astrology to the chart of Mary Shelley, Whitaker shares her ideas thoughts and experiences from over four decades of professional involvement with astrology. Having studied with many well-known astrologers including Liz Greene and Alan Oken, and also read and studied Carl Jung, her musings are deeply psychological and profound. 

The subtitle of the book is “Mercurial Musings” and it does move lightly from subject to subject.  The book is comprised primarily of essays and columns written for The Mountain Astrologer, Apollon, FAA journal, Dell Horoscope, and more. In one chapter she is interviewed by someone from the AFA about her book Jupiter Meets Uranus, while in another she reviews a book by Liz Greene. There is a chapter of an exchange of very lively letters between her and Victor Olliver. This book is never boring, as each new chapter covers different areas of astrology.

Her tone is conversational at times, educational at others, and even deeply philosophical in some chapters. Throughout the chapters she includes very personal experiences and anecdotes that relate to transits and progressions in her birth chart, leaving the reader with the distinct feeling of having entered the inner sanctum of her life.  

The book begins with a discussion of critical degrees and then illuminates what it means to be born on a cusp, and follows with a classroom experience studying the chart of a set of twins, a study that confirmed my own theories, partly from my own twin studies, but more from being a twin myself. She continues with an interesting look at cycles, particularly the Saturn/Pluto cycle culminating in 2020. 

One of my favorite parts of this book is how Whitaker includes her students and clients’ feedback. In the chapter called “Ingresses” she chronicles four of her students’ lives as Jupiter entered Libra in 2016. After giving us basic chart information she includes quotes from her students illuminating both their inner and outer experiences, a true hands-on learning experience. In the chapter called “Healing and Wounding” she includes letters from her clients describing the healing impact astrology has had on their lives. Each one of these case studies is a gem. 

The final section of the book looks to the future and expresses Whitaker’s ideas on the supposed “Age of Aquarius” with the Jupiter/Saturn 20-year cycle having moved in December 2020 into Aquarius – and the Air element for the next 200 or so years, and Pluto due to move into Aquarius in 2024.

I skipped around while reading this book, and read several chapters over and over, finding new gems and insights all along the way. If you’re a seasoned long term professional like me, or someone who is early in your studies there is much to be enjoyed and learned from Postcards to the Future…’ 

Photo: Anne Whitaker

‘Postcards to the Future: Mercurial Musings 1995-2021…’ is available everywhere on Amazon, here on  Amazon UK , locally in Glasgow G20 at the lovely Opal Moon, in London at The Astrology Shop and Watkins Books – and from The Wessex Astrologer – as well as Glasgow G3 at The Yoga Extension

Anne is on Facebook at Anne Whitaker, Twitter @annewhitaker, Instagram @stargazerh12,  and on her website www.anne-whitaker.com

Anne W 2021

Writing from the Twelfth House Publications

700 words ©Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

An Easter Meditation

 ‘…Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery…’

Easter Eve always finds me in a meditative, introspective, usually melancholy mood. The powerful metaphor of crucifixion as Good Friday approaches seems even more grimly appropriate this year, as we contemplate the terrible suffering of the people of Ukraine with horror and disbelief – and reflect on that which has brought those of us fortunate enough not to be caught up in war and persecution, nevertheless to our own personal pain: for Life crucifies us all, one way or another. If we are fortunate, we eventually emerge, hopefully deepened and strengthened.

Leaf with Lights…

This year, I have returned for solace and perspective to a favourite book “Women in Search of the Sacred” by Anne Bancroft, from which that wonderful header quote by Annie Dillard is taken. Where lies the sacred, in which our deepest solace is to be found? What are the ways that lead us to its discovery? To some, organised religion is the path to a spiritual life, while to others the natural world reveals the transcendent within the everyday, the holiness of what is. This fascinating book surveys the careers of ten very different women and examines the ways in which they have developed their spiritual lives.Those skilfully and sensitively interviewed by Anne Bancroft include Iris Murdoch, Susan Howatch, Sheila Cassidy, Vivianne Crowley, and Annie Dillard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and nature mystic. The book, though published in 1996, is still available…I truly recommend it as an inspiring read this Eastertide.

I can also still clearly recall the profound, uplifting impact many years ago of reading Annie Dillard’s account – in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ – of what is, essentially, a mystical experience. She was only 27.

“…..Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it.  I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame.  I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed.  It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance.  The lights of the fire abated, but I’m still spending the power.  Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared.  I was still ringing.  I had my whole life been a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.  I have since only rarely seen the tree with the lights in it.  The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam…..”

–Annie Dillard, ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ (1974).

‘….I’m still spending the power….’ I know what she means. I was fortunate enough to have a mystical experience myself once, at the age of 24 – out of the blue, on a clear, starry autumnal night with Venus rising over the Perthshire hills in the Scottish Highlands. It has sustained me through many difficult experiences, and in Annie Dillard’s unforgettable words,‘…. I’m still spending the power….’

Leaf with Lights…

550 words ©Anne Whitaker 2022

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

“Postcards to the Future” : bringing astrology to life…

Here is another lovely review of my latest book ‘ Postcards To The Future’ this time from Trish Marin of the Astrology Quarterly magazine, from the January/March 2022 Issue, Vol 86, No 4. 

“Postcards…”

Thank you, Trish!

“…Anne Whitaker’s mercurial musings weave through the last quarter century, unpicking some of the highlights of astrological patterns and mundane events. Postcards To The Future reveals the correspondences and synchronicities between our everyday lives and planetary movements in a convincing display of astrology of the moment. 

The book is an entertaining compendium of some of Anne’s prolific blog posts and articles published over the years by a wide variety of sources. Broad in scope, it whizzes authoritatively through planetary cycles, notable conjunctions, typical beginner’s questions, interview Q&A and correspondence, while scattering generous gems of astrological wisdom. 

As an astrology teacher and meticulous researcher, Anne provides clear explanations of some complex concepts presented in an engaging and memorable way. As she explains in the book, she was initially a sceptic, until her ‘encounter’, described here in humorous detail. Throughout, the astrology is brought to life with witty and amusing examples and stories from her own life experiences and those of her clients and students. Sprinkled with literary references and philosophical reflections it makes an enjoyable, illuminating read. 

I felt compelled to reach for the ephemeris and to look again at the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions and the part they played in my own past adventures. Secondary progressions had always seemed a rather subtle, internal influence but I was prompted to re-examine their impact with some unexpected insights. 

Anne admits to being obsessed by Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and has written of her synastry with Dolly the Sheep, as Frankenstein’s real-life enactment. Furthermore, Mary Shelley has a twenty-first century counterpart who, like her, is sounding a siren for the future of the earth; Greta Thunberg, born nearly two hundred years later, carries her message forward. 

A mercurial book, suitable for both beginners and experienced astrologers, delivered in bite sized chunks it can be dipped into or savoured in larger portions. I highly recommend it to all our readers…” 

To read more five star reviews, click HERE

••••••

‘Postcards to the Future: Mercurial Musings 1995-2021…’ is available everywhere on Amazon, here in UK for Amazon UK , locally in Glasgow G20 at the lovely Opal Moon, in London at The Astrology Shop and Watkins Books – and from The Wessex Astrologer,

‘Postcards…’

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

What is astrology?…since you ask…

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

(Arthur Koestler from The Sleepwalkers)

Where we live...
Where we live…

The story of humanity is one of an unending attempt to create some recognisable order from the chaos of our earliest origins. In order to survive and evolve as a species, we have  created contexts for ourselves over many millennia from our interpretations of the world around us.

Modern science has shown us that we are part of an interconnected universe of mind-boggling complexity, in its minutest essence a vast energy field, ever moving and changing to the shifting dance of waves and particles – chaos and order forever interweaving, forever returning to and arising from the Quantum Vacuum, or in Buddhist terminology the Void, or in Western spiritual terminology, the Ground of our being.

The vivid quotation from the philosopher Arthur Koestler illustrates the origins of the ancient art and science of astrology – literally ‘the study of the stars’, whose basic precept “as above, so below” demonstrates that our modern understanding that we live in an interconnected cosmos is not a new idea at all.

It has been around ever since we fragile humans, vulnerable to the vagaries of a tempestuous earth with its storms, earthquakes and floods, began to evolve a context of meaning by plotting with increasing sophistication as time went on, the movements of the heavenly bodies in the starry skies above us.

From observing the regular patterns and cycles followed by those heavenly bodies, and recording with care what links there seemed to be between such movements and the ebbs and flows of human life, the early astrologer/priests began to be able to determine (with varying degrees of accuracy – prediction in any field of endeavour has never to this day become an exact science!) the fate of the king and the nation according to the movements of the planets.

Personal horoscopes plotting the patterns of individual life were unheard of then. Individual personal horoscopes are not to be found until the fifth century BCE: the oldest known personal horoscope is from the year 410 BCE.

Modern-day astrology is very different from the fate-ridden pronouncements of the past. The twentieth century saw big shifts in our understanding of science, history and culture which moved us from the Modernist era of  ‘grand narratives’  describing with confidence and conviction the way we are as humans, to an altogether less certain set of perceptions.

Just as modern science has shown us that there can be no absolute objectivity since the presence of the observer can be shown to influence the outcome of the experiment, so we now live in a Postmodern era where we understand that we are embedded in the unfolding action of the plot of life on Earth. Thus we shape our ‘reality’ even as we are living it – and indeed recognise that there are probably many ‘realities’. Absolute truth is not what it once was!

Astrology, too, has moved with the times although there are still many reputable and respected practitioners who stick closely to traditional methods of interpretation and prediction rooted in antiquity. Knowledge of astrology doesn’t result in harmonious agreement – even if it is to differ! – amongst astrologers. Far from it. In that respect, we are just as riven with conflicts and disagreements as any other human group.

Modern psychology, rooted in the great insights of Freud and then Jung who was basically a mystic, more eclectic and open minded in his knowledge base than Freud, has had considerable impact on how astrology is now taught and practised.

In antiquity, the planets were seen as gods whose interaction with and action upon humans’ lives determined their fate. Jung’s great contribution to the modernising of astrology in the 20th century was his formulation – from the study of universal myth – of the concept of the collective unconscious, an updating of the ancient idea of the World Soul.

This collective unconscious comprises a group of energy patterns or archetypes, an idea taken from the Greek philosopher Plato, which are present in all cultures across the world and which shape every aspect of human behaviour.

Jung’s view was taken up by the first of the great psychological astrologers Dane Rudhyar in the middle decades of the twentieth century, and further developed by other astrologers, most notably well-known Jungian analyst, astrologer and author Liz Greene whose fusion of mythology, Jungian psychology and astrology further shaped the model known as Psychological Astrology which has become very influential in the thinking of many contemporary astrologers, myself included.

To be continued….

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800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2020
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