Tag Archives: Dolly the Sheep

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

In this series of posts, I am confining myself to presenting conclusions based on my original research study as described in  The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part One.

I am thus assuming at least a beginner’s familiarity with the astronomical and symbolic significance of the Moon’s Nodal axis, and its 18.6 year retrograde cycle through the Zodiac with the accompanying twice-yearly eclipse seasons.

For readers who need to be brought up to speed regarding the basics, check out Wikipedia on The Lunar Nodes for the astronomy, and Cafe Astrology for a typical explanation of the Nodes’ symbolic meanings.

Before setting out my conclusions, it might be useful in context-setting to offer a  brief description of the content of the 50,000 word research study upon which these findings are based:

1) Preface, in which I outlined my personal reasons for becoming fascinated by the Nodal axis and bringing it increasingly into my teaching. 2) Introduction, in which I set out my reasons for embarking on the research. 3) Chapter One: Astronomy and Symbolism of the Nodes. 4) Chapter Two: Case Study One: Mary Shelley, ‘Frankenstein’ and a sheep called Dolly. 5) Chapter Three: Case Study Two: ‘Marc’ (age 51) : a life through the Nodal Lens. 6) Chapter Four: Case Study Three: Four “Nodal Moments” – key turning points analysed in the lives of two men and two women, two famous (Princess Diana and astronaut John Glenn) and two unknown, Anna (age 44) and Andrew (age 34). 7) Conclusions. Finally…. Bibliography, References and Notes, Charts used and their provenance.

Nodal Axis

Nodal Axis

http://www.astro.com/mtp/mtpt5_e.htm

My main research questions were these: How significant is the Nodal axis? Are astrologers missing something really important by not delineating it in their readings, both natally and in terms of its transiting cycle? Does it say something specific? Or does it act as a reinforcer for information about a person’s life pattern which can be derived from other chart factors?

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The Conclusions

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1. ‘ Major’ and ‘ minor ‘ Nodal activity

Transits and progressions weave in and out of life – there may be years for example which are dominated by Pluto, others by Neptune, or very heavily  Saturnian years. There are the few occasions eg where a planet changes sign by progression, or the MC  progresses over Uranus, or the Moon.

But there is Nodal activity of  some kind going on all the time, as the Nodal axis regresses through the horoscope, transits come to the Natal or progressed Nodes, and progressions touch off the natal Nodal pattern. The Nodes appear to me to function both as witnesses (the Sun) and midwives (the Moon), symbolic translators of the archetypal energies of the  planets into the medium of Life as it is lived in the Sun/Moon/Earth system.

Where, then, does this leave the contention that Nodal times have a particularily powerful, fateful “charge” to them? That can’t be true of every year in life, surely? If it were, the intensity of it would pretty quickly reduce people to  cinders! What,  therefore, distinguishes those special moments or turning points in life where either at the time, or later, we realise we have crossed an important threshold?

From the research done on Marc’s life in particular, I have concluded that there are two kinds of Nodal activity : major and minor, as it were. As  already discussed, there is always some “minor” Nodal activity going on.

The really powerful “major” times on the other hand, which are few in any lifetime, are characterised by not just one or two, but a cluster of transits and/or progressions involving the natal, and/or progressed, and/or transitting Nodes. The outer planets, especially Pluto with its strong “fated” feel,  stand out. This was an impression I had  already formed after 15 years of chart reading – but I’d never tested it out in formal research before.

Pre-natal  eclipses are very much  part of the weave, as can be seen from the case study material. The most striking  example is seen in Mary Shelley’s horoscope where the pre-natal solar and lunar eclipse degrees appear as the actual Ascendant and South Node degrees in her horoscope, and the charts of  all the key people and events in her life with reference to her authorship of ‘Frankenstein’. (Mary will be getting a post all to herself, complete with horoscope, as part of this series! Maybe my obsession isn’t quite burnt out, after all these years….)

I’m quite clear now, as the Nodal axis regresses through the chart, identifying via the highlighted houses the overall territory up for change, that the transiting eclipses function as “battery chargers”, gradually building up the energies of the person’s life in preparation to receive major change.

An image  comes to mind here from the female menstrual cycle, of the egg gradually being primed and prepared until it is at its maximum point of readiness to receive the male sperm, conceive and begin new life. I think the eclipses begin their work of charging-up as soon as the relevant eclipse season begins, which may be as long as eighteen months before the turning point in the person’s life appears. (i)

References and Notes

(i) A very clear example comes to mind from my own life, linked to the Virgo/Pisces eclipse season of Spring 1997-Autumn 1998. In the Spring of 1997 I decided to hire an office out of my home to create space, mainly to write this thesis. My Asc/Desc axis is 9 degrees Virgo/Pisces.

The Virgo/Pisces eclipse season started on 9 March 1997 with a total solar eclipse at 18.5 Pisces, opposite the asteroid Urania at 19 Pisces in my First House, clsely linking in Mary Shelley’s and Marc’s North Nodes at 19 and 21 Gemini respectively. It was at this time that I chose Marc as a main case study subject along with Mary Shelley.

On Friday 7 March I saw the office I decided on 10 March to rent, paying for it for a year from an insurance policy I had taken out 18 years previously. At that time, I had a feeling I might need money for a future adventure of some kind – long before I knew anything about  either astrology or the 18- year Nodal cycle. My bank manager, of course, thought I was mad….

The middle period of that eclipse season saw me well settled into the writing as the 9 Virgo eclipse fell exactly on my Ascendant in the Autumn of 1997. The following year, the day before the total solar eclipse (7 deg 55 min Pisces) of February 26 1998 fell on the Sixth House side of my Descendant, I had a call from my landlords saying they needed to know by the next day whether I was going to renew my lease, which ran out on 9 May 1998, since the building was being sold. I decided to renew for 6 months and sent my rent cheque off just before the lunar eclipse on 13 March 1998 at 22 Virgo.

The lease ran out on 7 November 1998: the day I graduated with my Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology!

Follow the series by reading

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

Nodal Axis
Nodal Axis

TO BE CONTINUED

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1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part One

For many years I had a Moon’s Nodes obsession: perhaps not unconnected with the North Node exactly conjunct my Midheaven at 29 degrees Taurus, square a Twelfth House Sun/Moon conjunction……I read somewhere in my very early years of studying astrology that the South Node conjunct a Scorpio IC indicated having been burned as a witch in a previous life. This piece of conjecture gave my MC/IC axis a kind of dark, scary glamour.

However, I burned out that obsession during 1997-8 whilst completing the third and final year of  my Diploma in Psychological Astrology at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, where I had the good fortune to study with Dr Liz Greene and the late, great mundane astrologer, Charles Harvey.  How did I do this? By writing a 50,000 word research study called “The Moon’s Nodes in Action”. After that, I’d had enough of the Moon’s Nodes.

A big part of my obsession that year concerned the links I found between the horoscopes of Mary Shelley, author of ‘Frankenstein’, and that of Dolly the Sheep, the first cloned mammal, created in their research laboratory  by Dr Ian Wilmut and his team in the Roslyn Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland and announced to the world in February 1997.

I take strange pride in being probably the first person to have written a detailed synastry between a dead human and a live sheep! Never a class went by for that whole year without Dolly and Mary Shelley being mentioned. By the end of the year, and the completion of the research study, my students had taken either to giving me presents of pens, etc, with pictures of sheep on them, or to crossing the street when they saw me approaching! ( I exaggerate, but only slightly….)

Spring 2011 - Natural Zodiac

Spring 2011 - Natural Zodiac

That was twelve years ago and I moved on to other things. However, in the last week, like everyone else with any interest in world affairs, I have been watching with fascination, horror and a certain excited anticipation of possible positive change as a wave of  protest – mainly from the young – has swept the Middle East. The iron grip of dictatorial rulers has been snapping in a domino chain of nations rising in revolt.

As the Nodal axis crosses Pluto, approaching the final stage of the August 2009 – July 2011 season of eclipses in Capricorn(North Node point) and Cancer (South Node point) and Colonel Gaddafi loses his grip on Libya amidst scenes of bloodshed and mayhem, I have been prompted to dig that almost-forgotten research study out of its dusty drawer.

Why?

Because I remembered my overall research finding:

 times of most profound and radical change come in collective and individual life when the combination of the Nodal Axis and Pluto is triggered.

Having re-read that 1997/8 study, I have decided to publish the final chapter here as a series of posts over the next week or so. I know that many astrologers share my fascination with the Moon’s Nodes: I hope what I have to say will be both interesting and illuminating in its own right. It  may also be supportive of  what many other astrologers have concluded from their own practice.

(note: I have illustrated this post with a chart for the time of the Aries Ingress of 2011, set on the Natural Zodiac which refers to our whole world community. The high focus of Pluto, and the Moon’s Nodes, by then having just slipped into Sagittarius/Gemini but with one more solar eclipse in Cancer due to occur in July 2011, shows clearly in this chart.)

TO BE CONTINUED

To read Part Two, click HERE

To read Part Three, click HERE

To read Part Four, click HERE

To read Part Five, click HERE

PLUS

Mary Shelley, Modern Myth-Maker

(a study of her Nodes in relation to her authorship of ‘Frankenstein’)

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

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An Astrologer at Work: Part Three

(This is an edited version of a longer interview, published in Connections magazine,
Scotland, UK  in February 1996. It appears on the website in three parts – click An Astrologer at Work
to read the first two installments.)

extract from Part One….” The purpose of the “Not the Astrology Column” theme on this website is to introduce open-minded readers to the in-depth astrology which lies behind the entertainment facade offered by the Sun Sign columns. We are living in a time where awareness of the ‘interconnectedness of all things’ is fast returning to the forefront of public consciousness across the world. The evidence is piling up increasingly starkly: what happens in one part of our biosphere impacts everywhere.

The ancient maxim ‘As above, so below‘ has thus never seemed more relevant. The art and practice of astrology has been based on that maxim for at least six thousand years. Astrology links what happens in the individual and collective lives of human beings to the movement of the planets through the solar system of which we are part….”

Now read on!

The Principles and Practice of Astrology

“Connections” Editor Ian Holland interviews Anne Whitaker

Part Three:

AW: One of the many fascinations of astrology is how it shows the ever-changing patterns of the planets symbolically reflecting different kinds of energies in our collective life. If you as an individual are strongly plugged into collective patterns – which you can assess through comparing the natal horoscope with prevailing planetary positions in the here-and-now – it seems as if you are given a wee chip of the current pattern to work with in your individual life.  Let me give a specific example. From the end of 1992 until the beginning of 1995 there was a particularly difficult combination of planets, which  when it shows up tends to symbolise warring, destructive energies at work in our world. I’m talking about the Saturn/Pluto combination.

Every time these planets have connected this century the collective context has been war – they were linked at the start of World War 1, then at the end of the Second World War  when we were confronted with the horrors of the two holocausts, Nazi and nuclear. This combination formed a key part of the planetary backdrop to the Arab/Israeli war (the State of Israel was born under the Saturn/Pluto conjunction of  1947/48) in the Sixties; the Falklands war in the Eighties; and 1992 saw the upsurge of the Balkan War. Over the following two years we saw in Europe a fierce and brutal period of terrible carnage – as well as genocide in Ruanda and various other horrors at different locations.

(2008 update: the atrocity of 9/11 took place during the subsequent major Saturn/Pluto combination in the autumn of 2001)

From 1992 to early 1995, I observed individuals, whose horoscopes showed them to be strongly plugged into this pattern, going through deeper and darker traumas in their personal lives, much of it involving family fate issues, than I had ever seen before. Because my own horoscope involved this pattern, I had to go through some very painful and difficult times regarding my own family of origin. It seems to me that I drew to me, as a practitioner, clients plugged into the same overall pattern as myself.

Thus I was aware of having to struggle hard to keep a balance between compassionate feeling and dispassionate judgement during this period – the danger of projecting my own experience was high. But at least I was aware of that fact. This is an illustration of how astrologers need both professional supervision and, when appropriate, personal therapy to ensure that they are fully aware of their own issues and avoid as far as possible projecting them into their astrological work.

You know the Shakespearean quote – ‘there is a tide in the affairs of men’…..if you practice astrology often enough, and for long enough, you can see the tides of history, the changing patterns of the times, running through the lives of individuals whose charts you read. It’s fascinating…and awesome.

IH : you were telling me earlier that on the 16 Feb 1997  there’s something pretty spectacular coming up for us all ?

AW : (laughs) Yes! There is no doubt in my mind that astrologers can look at the unfolding pattern of energies through spacetime, cut a section through any point or moment  of the past, present or future, look at what the essence of that moment is, and speculate regarding what some of the branches manifesting in the wider world, or in individuals lives, may be.

What they can’t do is see how they’re going to manifest exactly.  Our track record on hindsight is much better than it is on foresight, historically!

There have been some spectacularly accurate predictions made by astrologers in the public realm over the centuries; a famous one was made by Luc Gauricus in 1555 to the effect that King Henri the Second of France ( then aged 37)  was in danger of death in his 42nd year, by a head injury incurred in single combat in an enclosed space. And five years later Henri duly died of a lance splinter which entered his eyes and pierced his brain.

Mediaeval Knights Jousting

Mediaeval Knights Jousting

There have also been some spectacular failures, eg to predict that the Munich agreement of 1938 would lead to World War Two.

We do much better at describing the essence of a pattern – identifying the exact branches is much more hit and miss. Personally this cheers me, since it appears to suggest a  creative balance between fate and free will in the universe – chaos theory in contemporary physics also has strong parallels with the astrological paradigm. Not everything  is pinned down  – both the language of astrology and the language of contemporary physics tells us that!

So you can perhaps see that I am very hesitant about both the accuracy of prediction and the wisdom of doing it at all, especially for individuals, in any more than a “describing the core and speculating about the branches” kind of way. Predicting that a specific branch WILL manifest, in my opinion closes down options rather than opening them up, also taking us into the realm of self-fulfilling prophecy….

But there are some very interesting patterns coming up, including the one you referred to a moment ago. So perhaps we can have some fun as we move to the close of this interview by playing with some possibilities !

In Feb 1997 the planet Jupiter, which  concerns expansion, growth, development and opportunity, meets Uranus which symbolises the urge to break through to new levels of experience. Of the 360 degrees of the zodiac, the exact conjunction takes place at 6 degrees of Aquarius from 15 to 17 of February.

What that should mean collectively is some kind of major step forward being announced in human development and awareness at that time. Jupiter/Uranus in Aquarius is a combination which has a strong feeling of technological  & scientific breakthrough about it. Here are some examples:

The first powered aeroplane flight on 17 Dec 1903 took place in Carolina, USA. There was a significant link between those two planets then. On the day of the moon landing in July 1969, there was an exact conjunction between those two planets. What we might expect is something which takes us boldly where humanity has not gone before. ……

What I’d urge your readers to do is keep an eye on the news around that time. And to further tantalise and tease everybody, I want to give a special message to people who were born when the sun was at 6 degrees of Aquarius in any year – ie those of you whose birthday is 25, 26, or 27 January – this applies to every year. All those people  should experience, in a variety of different ways, the same essential unusual, unexpected opening-out and development in their life’s path. Something quite out of the ordinary !

I would like people born on those days, whatever their age, to get in touch with me with their DATE, PLACE and TIME of birth, which I will then log into my computer. They could then contact me after  the 15-17 February 1997 and let me know how it was for them! If I get sufficient feedback I will write it up, anonymously, as a research project.

IH :  Great! I’m sure our readers will be only too glad to oblige.

(2008 update: The major event occurring a few days after the exact conjunction was the announcement to the world of a truly boldly-going scientific achievement – the creation of  Dolly the Sheep, the world’s first cloned animal, by a team of Scottish scientists led by Dr Ian Wilmut. Read all about this, and other exciting developments around the same time, in Anne Whitaker’s book on the Jupiter Uranus conjunction of 1997.

The book, including the researched experiences of 17 people who participated in the project, is now published (April 2009) as “ Jupiter meets Uranus : from erotic bathing to star gazing” by theAmerican Federation of Astrologers. If you would like to read a brief summary of its content in the meantime, click on BOOKS where the back page blurb is displayed.)

1500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2008
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page