Tag Archives: Mary Wollestonecraft

Reviewing the Spring Equinox 2021 as the Summer Solstice approaches…

Is it Covid, or is it me? Or you? I am finding, these days, that Time seems to drag interminably on the one hand, and whizz by at warp speed on the other. Coming round slowly as usual over my morning cuppa (not a morning person, me…) I was jolted awake by realising that it’s almost Midsummer. How did that happen? It seemed like it was the Spring Equinox about five minutes ago. Much has happened/not happened since then…depends on what level of lockdown you’ve been enduring where you are, I guess!

So, I thought I’d revisit the post I wrote for the UK’s Astrological Journal at the time of the Spring Equinox 2021: taking stock, as it were, of where we were then, and where we are now, as Midsummer approaches. Your thoughts, as ever, are most welcome!

Normally, I don’t have too much bother coming up with a column topic. The idea usually lands in my mind either days or weeks before the deadline. If it refuses to go away and bother someone else, I know it’s mine to tackle.  Either that, or final deadline looming has a miraculously stimulating effect on my inert capacity for creative cogitation. 

Not this time.

I have been in what can best be described as ‘zombie slug’ mode, as the latest covid lockdown has deprived all of us of most activity involving direct social contact with our fellow human beings. I share the apprehension of many worldwide who have been shocked at the full frontal assault on democracy provoked by Trump in the dying embers of his less than successful presidency. Tomorrow, 20th January 2021,  is Inauguration Day in the USA. 

What shape is 2021 going to take? The astrology of the new Air Era which began on 2020’s Winter Solstice has produced much commentary from me and fellow astrologers across the globe. I feel dispirited at the thought of coming up with anything relevant to say in my current mood. 

However, dragging myself out into the dank, cold, grubby murk of a city morning for the usual walk, I found the cheery defiance of new season’s snowdrops sprouting merrily in the local park more inspiring than ever before. Their simple yet powerful reminder that Life goes on despite the antics of humans, cheered me up.

‘I know!” I thought. “I’m going to have a look at the 2021 Spring Equinox horoscope – and not allow myself to be intimidated by knowing that knowledgeable and erudite commentaries from experienced mundane astrologers are even now being penned the length and breadth of lands various…’. ( yes, I know no-one pens anything very much any more…it’s just a figure of speech)

Later…

After three days’ procrastination, a much cheerier mood prevails as I begin perusing this year’s Spring Equinox chart.  The USA now has a presidential President in Joe Biden; despite the pall of covid hanging over us all, he set the tone for an inspiring Inauguration. 

And the women – wow!

 First off, we now have the first black/South Asian female Vice Ppresident: two firsts rolled into the formidable Kamala Harris. Next up, the accomplished Dr Jill Biden as FLOTUS. Then Lady Gaga’s knockout rendition of the USA’s national anthem. And the magnificent poem performed superbly by 22 year old Amanda Gorman. 

Also: in the roll-call of  Biden appointments, this from CNN on Inauguration day:

“At least six major news networks have assigned women to lead White House coverage of the Biden administration, raising the profile of female journalists in an institution long dominated by men” (i)

But more on the women shortly…

This Spring Equinox horoscope certainly holds some cheer for us: Jupiter is closely conjunct the Aquarian MC, trine Gemini rising, as he moves away from Saturn. Both Saturn from the 9th house and Jupiter from the 10th are trine a 12th house Moon/North Node/Mars combination in Gemini. This suggests some cautious optimism and focused energy arising behind the scenes in our world-wide community, with plenty new ideas coming slowly to the fore – hopefully as the covid infection and death rates slowly fall with the gradual rise and impact of mass vaccination programmes. 

That Jupiter on an Aquarian MC does suggest that rich male benefactors with a social conscience might divert some of their squillions toward the common good – eg helping to get the world vaccinated. Come on, Besos and Musk. Step up!! ( ps 8.6.21: They haven’t as yet…what a surprise.)

Meanwhile, we are in for a whole year of Saturn square Uranus, which first kicked off from March to July 2020. This year, their squares are exact at the following points: February17th (7 deg Aquarius/Taurus) + June 14th (13 deg Aquarius/Taurus) + Dec 24th (11deg Aquarius/Taurus). Much has already been said, and will be repeated as 2021 unfolds, concerning the intractable and potentially violent taking up of intransigent, polarised positions politically and culturally from which we have suffered so much in the year just gone. 

 However, as I reflected on the many variations on the battle between the old and new order arising already from this alarming square, my eye fell on the Venus/Neptune conjunction, sitting right next to the equinoctal Aries Sun. 

 I realised that its 24 deg Pisces midpoint fell on the Saturn/Uranus midpoint. Suddenly – honestly, I’m not making this up! – a vivid image came to me: Gustave Moreau’s 1866 painting of ‘Venus Rising from the Sea’. I’ve always preferred this version of the mythical birth of Venus (from the severed genitals of mythical sky god Uranus castrated by his mythical offspring Saturn and cast into the briny, supposedly off the coast of Cyprus …) to Sandro Botticelli’s much more demure Venus, painted sometime in the 1480s, arriving onshore draped prettily within a seashell. Moreau’s Venus, as can be seen from the accompanying image, is much more authoritative, tougher- looking in her beauty – pretty formidable, in fact. 

(No – I could not resist checking my battered copy of Michelson’s wonderful Tables of Planetary Phenomena to see what was going on in 1866. Yes – in July and August that year, there were significant Saturn/Uranus aspects: with Saturn at 6 deg Scorpio waxing trine Uranus at 6 deg Cancer + Saturn at 7 deg Scorpio waxing trine Uranus at 7 deg Cancer. Some co-incidence, eh?!) 

Now –  back to the formidable, authoritative women who are very much part of our current world picture. 

In 2019, we had Greta Thunberg coming to the fore with the South Node conjunct Saturn/Pluto in the Spring, taking ineffectual male politicians to task in the face of a building world-wide climate crisis, and winding up as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. She succeeded in turning vague anxieties about the planet into a worldwide movement calling for global change.

My Jan/Feb 2021 NTAC column concerned the provocative ‘silver blob’ commemorative statue to Mary Wollestonecraft, arguably the world’s first publicly influential feminist via her famous 1792 tract ‘Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ and mother of the prescient Mary Shelley. Shelley warned us – via ‘Frankenstein’ published in 1818 – of the consequences of science being allowed to run unchecked by either compassion or ethics. 

That statue, unveiled on 10th November 2020, succeeded in raising the ire of women across a wide spectrum – in the same week that Kamala Harris made history by becoming Joe Biden’s Vice President. The horoscope of the statue’s launch – which includes the four key female asteroids Ceres, Juno, Pallas, and Vesta – shows strong, combative female energy being very much to the fore, reflecting in microcosm what is currently going on across the world. Female leaders from Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon to New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and Germany’s Angela Merkel are generally making a better job of leading their countries through the covid crisis than their male counterparts.

I was powerfully struck by the arrival of Moreau’s formidable Venus in my mind’s eye as I contemplated the Spring Equinox’s Venus/Neptune in Pisces in relation to that intractable-looking Saturn/Uranus square. It strongly suggested this to me: if  the angry and dangerous stances of opposing camps are to be slowly dissolved and gradually transformed into more constructive, co-operative positions as this (yet another!) crisis year for the world unfolds, it is likely to be the energies of formidable, authoritative, powerful, compassionate women which play a significant part in enabling such a transformation…

Endnotes

(i) Via Twitter:www.cnn.com 05.31 20/01/21. 

(This post is an edited version of my 34th Not the Astrology Column featured in the March/April 2021 Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.)

1500 words Copyright Anne Whitaker 2021

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

Some thoughts on…a sassy silver statue, four asteroids, and future female power…

It’s time I introduced my readers here to that excellent Scots word: stooshie(i).

People tend to create a ‘stooshie’ about something that irritates them, no matter how serious or trivial. You could reasonably argue that the Internet is the most potent stooshie-enabler on the planet.

Anyway, a considerable stooshie erupted in the UK early in November 2020, following the unveiling of a statue, titled… ‘…“A Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft”: the piece is “for” not “of” her. It was never meant to be a straightforward depiction of Wollstonecraft herself…’… but… ‘…a piece of abstract art inspired by her life and work…’(ii) 

By the artist Maggi Hambling, ‘…it does not depict the women’s rights advocate dressed in a bonnet and skirts, perhaps reading or writing. Instead, it shows a small, silver, naked female figure emerging from an abstract mass….’(ii) 

Memorably, The Telegraph called the statue ‘a flimsy, Barbie-like embarrassment’ Check out this link to see the statue….

https://artreview.com/why-is-maggi-hambling-mary-wollstonecraft-statue-so-weird/

Any students of mine from 1997/8 reading this column may remember my Mary Shelley obsession of that period: I got very excited about the links between Mary Shelley and Dolly the Sheep (Professor Ian Wilmut, the cloned creature’s creator, was called “Frankenstein in a woolly jumper” by Time Magazine) (iii)). Having patiently endured my going on about this all year, they presented me with a clicky pen with a woolly sheep on it, and matching woolly sheep brooch, at the end of term…

So, not having astro-obsessed about Mary for some while – apart from in my recent article in TMA, that is  –  I was delighted to have an opportunity to do so, albeit indirectly, via the stooshie surrounding her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and that statue. In essence, it was roundly criticised and in some quarters raged over. Womankind was generally speaking, not happy. We failed to see why the eminent, feisty, early feminist author of “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (1792) should be associated with a tiny female nude on top of a large untidy-looking silver blob.

Having put up sunrise charts for both Mary W and for 10.11.2020, the statue’s a.m. Launch day, I was knocked out by the correspondences.Here, I’ve picked out briefly only the key ones which struck me. No doubt readers will find more.

Asteroids:Mary W Statue

Asteroids:Mary W Statue

The prominent presence of the four major asteroid goddesses Pallas, Juno, Vesta and Ceres in both charts is striking – as is Eris, the goddess of strife. The latter forms a turbulent T-square in Mary’s chart, linking with the waxing Uranus Pluto square which was to come to its opposition at the time of the French Revolution. At this point Mary – a vibrant, argumentative, notorious public intellectual and unmarried single parent  – tucked her baby daughter under her arm and set off to check out the Revolution for herself.

At the time of the statue’s Launch, Mary was experiencing an exact Jupiter Return. This involved a close conjunction with Pallas, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in the Launch’s chart, squaring Mary’s close Mars/Pallas conjunction, which itself is closely conjunct Launch chart’s Eris and widely conjunct Mars (which turned direct on 14th November 2020). Mary was born with Eris conjunct Pluto at 22/25 degrees of Sagittarius.

Asteroids:Mary Wollestonecraft

Asteroids:Mary Wollestonecraft

Given the very long return cycles of Pluto and Eris, 248 and 556 years respectively, it’s an amazing piece of synchronicity that this Launch statue has waited to appear in the collective for Pluto and Eris once again to form a major aspect – this time, a waning square.

Adding to the radical turbulence and challenge to the status quo indicated in the charts, we also have Uranus at 8 Taurus currently transiting Mary’s 6 Taurus Sun – probably her Sun/Moon conjunction too. This indicates, amongst other things, passionate political rejection of the physical form in which this controversial statue is offered. (Sculpture as an art form very much resonates with Taurus.) Its idealised version of the female nude is precisely the kind of objectification of womankind against which feminism has struggled ever since Mary’s pioneering lead over two centuries ago.

In essence, the stunning combination of those two charts speaks eloquently of Mary’s continuing impact on the world – the rise of the Me Too movement being a recent offshoot – as well as the hugely strong feelings the appearance of this statue has provoked. This will ensure Mary Wollestonecraft and her significance reaches a whole new upcoming Millennial audience, as Mars’ direct motion slowly triggers off the major challenging planetary links between the two charts over this coming winter of general worldwide turbulence.

The 11.6 years Jupiter Return cycle at 11/12, 23/4, 35/6, 47/8, 59/60, 71/2, 83/4 when people are living, continuing as all cycles do – even when we have shuffled off this mortal coil –always opens up new horizons, new learning and teaching opportunities. This November 2020 Jupiter Return of Mary Wollestonecraft’s is especially powerful, given the collective planets and goddess asteroids with which it combines.

To me, this signifies wider significance than a small, albeit provocative event playing out in a London park from 10th November 2020 might suggest.…

Who knew, for example,  that the publication of ‘Frankenstein’ by 20 years old Mary Shelley on New Year’s Day 1818 would prove to be such a prescient warning of the consequences to us of science being allowed to run unchecked by either ethics or compassion for our planet and all its creatures?

Asteroids:Mary Shelley

Asteroids:Mary Shelley

Or that another very young woman, Greta Thunberg, by embarking on 20th August 2018 on a solo school strike in Sweden at the age of 15, would instigate the worldwide Extinction Rebellion movement which seeks to challenge substantial world-wide political inertia and denial in the face of an acute climate crisis? Shelley’s and Thunberg’s horoscopes have stunning links, as I have pointed out in my recent TMA article.

One of the many fascinations of astrology lies in how one can look at the horoscope of a ‘small’ event in the present time, and get a flavour of the future on the larger scale. Albert Einstein pointed out that past, present and future are all part of one continuum, the distinction being part of a ‘stubbornly persistent illusion’(iv)

The Sunrise 10.11.20 chart of the unveiling of a controversial statue to an 18th Century woman whose influence has had a long reach to the present moment, in my opinion offers a strong flavour of increasingly female challenges to the status quo of the passing 200 years Earth era as we move into the new Air era described so vividly by Jupiter and Saturn’s meeting at 0 Aquarius on 21st December 2020.

This Sunrise chart has a close Vesta/Moon conjunction right up on a 7 Virgo MC (conjunct Mary Shelley’s Mars/Sun/Uranus conjunction, incidentally!) trine Uranus in Taurus. The major asteroids are strongly linked in with dynamic planetary patterns already mentioned. There is a very strong emphasis on powerful, mould-breaking female energy in this chart which links so closely with both Wollestonecraft’s chart and her daughter’s.

In the very same week, we heard that Kamala Harris, a woman of Jamaican/Indian origins, has been elected the first ever woman of colour to be Vice-Pesident of the USA. Who knows, when Pluto moves into Aquarius in 2024, the year of the next USA Presidential election, she may end up being elected President. 

Isn’t it interesting? That ‘stooshie’ in a London park, its fallout currently ongoing, may prove to be a major early harbinger of a very different future for us all…

Endnotes:

(i) Etymology obsessives, feel free to research!

(ii) Ellen Peirson_Hagger, in The New Statesman, 12.11.2020

(iii) From the Science (Biology) Section of Time Magazine’s Time Annual The Year in Review (Time Books 1998) p116.

(iv) from Einstein’s letter of condolence dated 9.6.1937 to the family of his late friend Michele Besso

(This post is a slightly edited version of my 32nd Not the Astrology Column featured in the January/February 2021 Issue of the UK’s Astrological Journal, edited by Victor Olliver.)

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft

1350 words ©Anne Whitaker 2021

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page