Tag Archives: mundane astrology

Saturn enters Aquarius: prequel to a new world order…

Saturn entered Aquarius on Sunday, 22nd March, 2020 at 3:58 uk time. On Mothering Sunday (i). That symbolic ‘co-incidence’ really struck home. The planet is our Mother, and we humans have been abusing her for a very long time.

To me, the symbolism (and the corona virus with its attendant worldwide consequences) is saying clearly to our human community (Aquarius) that it is time to take responsibility, accept widespread restrictions (Saturn), for the sake of our communities – and our planet.



The very next day, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston told the nation in no uncertain terms that we are now in lockdown ( another vivid manifestation of  Saturn’s entry into Aquarius), following the actions of other countries from China onwards in attempting to limit the spread of the corona virus. 

Saturn in Capricorn

Saturn entered Capricorn on 20th December 2017, beginning his long march towards a grim summit with Pluto, coming within close orb of their conjunction during the spring and early summer, then the winter of 2019.  Since that entry, intensified hugely by the conjunction, all our organisational systems from nationhood, to politics, to health, to education, to formal religious institutions, to finance and business, have been tested to their very limits, and been found seriously wanting one way or another.

At the conjunction’s closest point in April 2019, their symbolic danse macabre with the South Node in Capricorn gave rise to Greta Thunberg – the youthful feminine voice of the Great Mother? – and the Extinction Rebellion movement. To an astrologer’s symbolic eye, the North Node in Cancer was now forcing us to pay attention to the crisis point which our planet has reached and pointing us in the direction we needed to go in actually dealing with it instead of our politicians world wide indulging largely in ineffectual posturing or downright denial. “Crisis – what crisis?”.

That much-feared Saturn/Pluto conjunction took place exactly on 12 January 2020; we are now at the outset of a drastic but hopefully positive, if painful cycle of restructuring culminating in the next Saturn/Pluto conjunction at 13/14 Pisces in 2053/4. I am not alone in thinking that a major instrument of that reconstruction arrived in the shape of the corona virus, now shaping up as a world-wide pandemic.

As a consequence, all our complacent ways of living are now being upended. Everyone is feeling the pain, one way or another. Anyone could die of this virus, even Trump or Bolsonaro…( hmmmm…) 

We have found out in recent days that Boris Johnson and several members of his team spearheading management of the pandemic in the UK are now self-isolating, having tested positive for the virus. Prince Charles, UK head of state in waiting, has also contracted it – more manifestations of Saturn in Aquarius, as male leaders fall prey to an affliction crashing like a malevolent wave through the world-wide human community.

Capricorn and Aquarius

Both Capricorn and Aquarius are ruled by Saturn, Saturn being Aquarius’ ‘old’ ruler. I take some comfort from this as I watch events unfold, stunned and awed as usual by the symbolic accuracy of the planets’ unfolding patterns. Saturn is at its potentially most constructive as it moves through those collective signs.

The transit through Capricorn has been saying, in essence ‘I have checked out all your systems. They are not what our Mother planet or its creatures need – although much of it may be what some humans want: eg no minority on the face of this Earth needs to accumulate billions whilst many of the majority go hungry – so I have given these systems, and the illusions and denials that go with them, a good kicking. I have joined forces with Pluto and the Nodes – since a good kicking is apparently not enough – and sent you the highly unpleasant gift of corona virus. Great for the planet, but awful for humanity. Let’s see if that’s enough to make you pay attention to what needs to change…’

Saturn in Aquarius

And now we have Saturn in Aquarius: he dips in for a while, then returns to Capricorn from July until the end of 2020. Saturn has just told us that the old order represented by Capricorn is no longer viable – it’s long past its sell-by date, so to speak. Aquarius is a forward-looking collective sign, more concerned with the hidden potentials hovering in the future than with the past. Uranus, its ‘new’ ruler, amplifies that with its brilliance in developing new technologies in service of the human project. So – we can look forward to new, as yet undreamed-of solutions to the problems threatening us all with possible extinction in the present time.

A much bigger context, though, is this: there is a vast epochal process of turbulence and change happening which reaches a major developmental stage when Jupiter meets Saturn at 0 degrees of Aquarius on the winter solstice of 2020. What does this portend? Baigent, Campion and Harvey in “Mundane Astrology” describe this powerful twenty-year recurring cycle as  ‘…the ground base of human development which marks the interaction between perception of ideas, potentialities (Jupiter) and their manifestation in the concrete world ( Saturn).’ (ii)

There is more. The symbolically world-shaping duo of Jupiter and Saturn take over 800 years to go through the four elements, reflecting changing epochs as they go. I’ve written about this in some detail in ‘Some notes on cycles in a time of crisis’, published last year on Astrodienst if you’d like to take a look.

The Materialist Era

For now, let’s just look back to 1802. That was the year of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction’s early entry into the Earth element, where it was to remain for over 200 years, its last meeting in Earth taking place at 23 Taurus in May 2000, its final departure in December 2020. That 1802 date co-incided with the Industrial Revolution’s gathering pace and impact at the beginning of the nineteenth century, as the materialist age of exploitation of our Earth’s natural resources for material gain began.

Let’s not get too holier than thou’, here, though. Political philosopher Thomas Hobbes in the mid seventeenth century posited that in the state of nature people’s lives are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short …”(iii) and there is no doubt that the lives of a massive number of humans – especially in developed Western  countries – have gained hugely improved health, longevity, quality of life and opportunities for personal fulfilment as a result of  our astonishing progress in harnessing the forces and resources of Nature.

However the point would appear to be that, at the very end of Jupiter/Saturn’s sojourn in the Earth element, we have been brutally made aware especially in the last couple of years that the costs of ‘the march of progress’ now heavily outweigh the benefits, to the extent that the very survival of our lives on planet Earth is under threat…

The Airy Future…

I find it fascinating that the years since 2000, if you like the 12th house phase of the long Jupiter/Saturn traverse through the Earth element, have offered us more than a glimpse of what the impending shift of the conjunction into the Air element may look like. The appearance of the first iPhone in June 2007 and its spread – like a virus! – until smartphones became ubiquitous technology across the globe in less than ten years, has revolutionised the way we live. The generation born from the Millennium on are the first in human history never to have known what a life without airy inter-connection was like.

Astrologers have known for a long time that the year 2020 was to be one like no other: it is the first year for over 200 years of ‘…the transition of the (Jupiter/Saturn) conjunction from one element to another – the ‘Mutation Conjunction’ – has always been considered to be of particular importance marking a major shift in emphasis and orientation in the world…’ (iv)

Thus far, as we live through stormy turbulence at the beginning of 2020, we can see the emphasis and orientation’ of the approaching Air era becoming clear. One major consequence of the corona virus pandemic sweeping through our world as Saturn shifts into Aquarius inviting us to live differently and more responsibly as humans, is already very obvious. In the last couple of weeks, there has been an explosion of collective Zooming, Skyping, WhatsApping, etc as we set about working from home and transferring our individual and group lives to the airwaves.

Still to come after the Mutation Conjunction into 0 Aquarius on the Winter Solstice of 2020 ( how’s that for a Fated-sounding date?!) – Pluto’s shift into Aquarius in 2024.

Fasten those seatbelts, folks. We’ve been selected to be present at the dawn of a new epoch…


(i) Mothering Sunday is celebrated by Christians in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other English-speaking countries… It is increasingly being called Mother’s Day, although that name also belongs to the American and Canadian secular holiday which is quite distinct from the original Mothering Sunday. (c/f Wikipedia)

(ii) Baigent, Campion and Harvey in “Mundane Astrology” (publ. 1984, 1992,1995), p184

(iii)…from…”Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil”, commonly referred to as “Leviathan”, is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651. 

(iv) Baigent, Campion and Harvey in Mundane Astrology” (publ. 1984, 1992,1995), p185



1500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2020

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

What is an astrology reading? Why should I have one?

 Occupying the collective mind currently, and forcing us to start changing the way we live, is the corona virus crisis. As the fear-inducing Saturn Pluto conjunction of 12th January 2020 grew closer during 2019, the environmental crisis forced its way to the forefront of public consciousness, via the efforts of climate change activist Greta Thunberg which have given rise to the Extinction Rebellion movement. 

 We are living in a time where awareness of theinterconnectedness of all things’ is now at the forefront of public consciousness across the world. Evidence is piling up increasingly starkly: what happens in one part of our world 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. As contemporary astrologer, writer and philosopher Prof. Richard Tarnas so eloquently puts it:

“It is astrology’s extraordinary insight that these complex, multidimensional archetypes which govern the forms of human experience are intelligibly connected with the planets and their movements in the heavens, an association that is observable in a constant coincidence between specific planetary alignments and specific corresponding archetypal phenomena in human affairs.” (i)

Popular Sun Sign astrology as found in the media can only give a general picture of one dimension of the person. It’s simply not possible for this astrology to describe fully who you are, since it focuses only on where the Sun is (ie in Pisces, Aries, Virgo etc) on your birthday. It’s like trying to tell the story of a complex play with reference to only one character on the stage.

Using this analogy, you  can only get a view of all the characters on the stage of your life from the map which an astrologer draws of the heavens at the particular TIME and PLACE, as well as DAY, of  your birth.

This map or Horoscope or Birth Chart can then be used as a tool to mirror back to you, as lucidly as possible, with great care for your sensitivity and level of awareness, what the different characters are on the stage of your life and how they interact with one another.

After many years of doing readings professionally, I think the central thing that an individual gains from an astrology reading is confirmation of who they actually are: what their  strengths and weaknesses are, what are their gifts and their difficulties. It gives them more confidence and courage to be themselves. It is a very powerful and potentially spiritual experience to have a stranger, who knows nothing of you, describe your essential qualities accurately from a map drawn of the heavens.

The other great gift that astrology can offer is that of saying: ” This is your moment in time, through which you are connected to a process which was unfolding aeons before you were born, and will continue long after you have departed. You are a unique strand in the weave of life, you have a contribution to make, using the energy that you have been given as fully and as creatively as possible.”

Astrology readings, done with compassion, skill, sensitivity and professionalism are a significant way of contributing to promoting that sense of connectedness.

Feeling meaningfully connected to relationships, family, community, and whatever Big Picture sustains you – as countless contemporary research studies in psychology, education and other related fields have shown – is an effective antidote to those feelings of alienation and pointlessness which our materialist culture seems to be amplifying rather than reducing.

However, given the explosion of astrologers and astrology sites – often of highly dubious quality – across the internet in recent times, it is perhaps as well to sound a note of caution, as highlighted in the late great astrologer Donna Cunningham’s article on Awful Things Astrologers Say to their Clients.

That old maxim “You get what you pay for” almost always applies, across the board. Before signing up for an astrology reading, do your homework. Ask for recommendations. Read some of the writings of astrologers whose approaches you admire, to get the ‘feel’ of whether their approach might suit you.  And – be prepared to pay a proper professional rate which reflects the experience, training and integrity of the person you consult. In that way, you are maximising your chances of engaging with a uniquely creative opportunity to enhance your self awareness – as well as the way you live your life.


(i) “Prometheus the Awakener” (1993, p8)

800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2020

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

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)

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….


800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2020
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 

Saturn/Pluto and the fear it raises: contemplating astrology as a healing and a wounding art…

A week or so ago, there was a question on one of the astrology discussion groups I drop into from time to time – from a newcomer to astrology. This person was very concerned about how to deal with ‘transits and predictive work’, commenting on how anxiety-inducing it was for so many people when they contemplated upcoming challenging transits eg Saturn/Pluto, both in relation to themselves and how they could talk about tough upcoming patterns with their clients.

Chiron - Wounded Healer

Chiron – Wounded Healer

This reminded me of an article I had written some time ago for the Centre for Psychological Astrology’s in-house magazine Apollon on that very topic. It is called “Astrology as a healing and a wounding art”(i) and deals precisely with the anxieties that everyone has to face who begins to dig beneath the surface of the Star Sign column level of popular astrology.

In the article, which you can access via the Endnotes to this post, I decided to interview a number of my astrology students who had been studying/practising astrology for some time, regarding what they thought were both the healing and the wounding aspects of astrological study and practice. The results were most interesting. I hope you find reading the article useful – do feel free to leave your reactions via comments.

As you may imagine, there were a number of responses to the worried astro-newcomer’s questions and concerns. Here is what I wrote, which struck me on re-reading it as having quite a Saturn/Pluto tone to it. Hardly surprising, since I have a Mercury/Saturn/Pluto line-up in my own horoscope…but I think that there are certain tough realities which need to be faced if you are going to take up the practice of astrology. Maybe those of us who have been practising for a long time don’t spell them out clearly enough…

“…I used to start my astrology classes by pointing out to students that 99% of the human race had got through history and their lives without knowing any astrology and had managed to get by. I also used to point out to them that while astrology is archetypally predictive, its track record on actual specific prediction is historically pretty unimpressive.

I also told them the story of Prometheus, who stole the fire of knowledge from the gods and was severely punished as a result.

Astrology is a wounding as well as a healing art, and if students/practitioners can’t make their peace with that reality in such a way that they can be of constructive value to their future clients, they should take up something non-threatening like e.g. stamp collecting…”


(i)“Astrology as a healing and a wounding art”

Note: the link will take you through to the pdf Issue 3 of Apollon – scroll down and the Contents page will tell you where to find my article. There is also a brilliant article by Liz Greene called ‘Wounding and the will to live’ –  about Chiron – which I would urge you to take the time to read.

Apollon Issue 3

Apollon Issue 3

500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2019

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see About Page 


The Cardinal Grand Cross: some thoughts on astrology as a healing and a wounding art….

Commentaries are piling up throughout the astro-blogosphere. Angst-ridden people with greater or lesser degrees of astrological knowledge are winding  themselves up. What will the impact on our lives be, as the dramatic  Grand Cross pattern builds up in the heavens to its point of exactitude on 23rd/24th April 2014 ? To see what’s building up collectively, just read the papers. Political turmoil across the world, disasters on air and sea – these are just for starters….

Cardinal Grand Cross 2014

Cardinal Grand Cross 2014

Rather than add to the current air of nail-biting tension– addressed in his usual humorously ascerbic way by astrologer Matthew Currie, I thought I’d take off in a somewhat different direction by contemplating both the healing and the wounding aspects of the practice of astrology.

We don’t hear much about the latter dimension! But large scale panics over eg the End of Millennium Eclipse of 11 August 1999, and the Winter Solstice of 2012 (folks – we’re still here….) vividly demonstrate that  contemplating the symbolic patterns of the heavens frightens as well as enlightens us, even in this supposedly secular age.

Wounding, healing and the art of astrology

(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.)

Astrology itself neither heals nor wounds. Having  arisen aeons ago from attempts to create a meaningful context to human life through observation of the physical movements of the planets in the heavens, whether such a framework is experienced as wounding or healing is heavily predicated upon the attitude of the individuals who choose to use it:

“The fault, dear Brutus, is  not  in our stars,
But in ourselves, that  we are underlings.”

(W.Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2)

It is easy enough to talk about the positive healing benefits of an astrological framework, providing as it does a major defence against meaninglessness and insignificance. Feeling connected at a personal level to loved ones and friends is recognised as a major factor in promoting and maintaining physical, emotional and mental health and happiness.

Feeling connected at a more cosmic level lets us see that  we are not random accidents in time and space, but threads in the weave of a greater pattern – very small threads perhaps, but contributors nevertheless. This awareness promotes a sense of spiritual well being.

There is also the sheer fun, excitement and intellectual discovery which the study of astrology brings.

Every bright light, however, has a dark shadow; in the promethean nature of our art  lies its shadow too. It is all very well to steal the gods’ fire, as Prometheus did, with the noble intention of  liberating humanity from some of its bonds with the powerful enlightenment which that fire brings.

But fire burns. It is impossible to light up the darkness of our human limitations of perception, without the hand that holds the illuminating fire being burned by it. It’s not so easy to talk about that. But it does less than justice, in exploring the impact of the astrological model on human consciousness, to concentrate on the healing aspects of the interaction,  whilst glossing over the wounding dimensions. Exposure to the model brings both.

I  always attempted to restore a sense of perspective on this issue by pointing out to my astrology  students that for the whole of human history most of humanity has managed to stagger through life without the benefit of astrological knowledge.

On one occasion, I asked a small group of my  tutorial students, who had studied and practised for long enough to experience both the light and the shadow facets of our great art, to write something about its healing and wounding dimensions. I was delighted by the honesty and perceptiveness of their feedback. Here is what Charlotte, 35 at the time of my asking, had to say.



(not her real name – data withheld for confidentiality)

 I’ve never really been asked to consider the wounding aspects of astrology in such a direct way before. I did have a bit of a job focusing on the question without the more positive aspects coming up all the time! I think the serious study of astrology knocked me out of the idyllic vision I had had of my family background. I had to accept that my parents weren’t perfect, and the overall effect of this was enlightening but also disappointing. It kind of knocked me into the real world and showed me things as they were which I found quite hard to come to terms with.

Seeing things in black and white on the astrological chart  led to a lot of resentment on my part, raising a lot of difficult questions which I’m still working hard to understand. I think this can sometimes sidetrack me and stop me getting on with things, and lead to some disasters which might not have occurred otherwise – although I would say I do have a natural tendency to analyse things anyway. Astrology just provides more scope for this.

There is also the question “ why me? Why did I have to have this chart?” which may be quite childish, but did lead at one time to some resentment at the apparent unfairness of it all. Especially when you are grappling with hard Pluto and Saturn aspects. You know you have your work cut out for you, and that life is not going to be easy. The prospect of living your life with these aspects can be quite daunting and depressing, and lead to a lot of despondency at times.

Another factor that’s hard to take on board is that you are responsible for yourself. You can’t go around blaming other people for your misfortunes all the time. You have to take responsibility for your part in the drama. It’s your stuff, and you’re the only one who can deal with it. This can lead to a lot of self criticism on my part, and a good deal of depression if things aren’t working out.

Looking at  it from a promethean point of view, Prometheus stole fire from the gods. He knew he would suffer for it, but he also, I think, knew on some intuitive level that he was doing the right thing. And in the end he was released from his suffering. Personally, I couldn’t not know. Otherwise I wouldn’t have pursued the subject as long as I have. I just hope it works out for me in the end too”.

This is one person’s vivid perspective on the implications of knowing her natal horoscope. I’d be interested to have comments on this issue from my readers, either by email, or via comments left on this post. And of course  – how was that  Cardinal Grand Cross for you? 

1150 words copyright Anne Whitaker/”Charlotte” 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Some astrology questions and answers….

Here are some interesting questions I was asked not long ago. If you would like to ask me any more, to keep the middle aged braincell from teetering into the abyss (all help gratefully received!) , please leave them in a comment and I will reply – provided they are genuine of course! 

Astrologer at Work - Mediaeval Style!

What transit always shows up for you in surprising ways?

They all do, especially the long-lasting ones. The deep challenges that force our growth lurk in the realms of the unconscious, just waiting to hitch a ride on the nearest really tough transit. For example, I didn’t think that ten years of Neptune transits was going to involve an enforced descent into the Underworld for most of that period! However, the good news is that I have now emerged, much improved (unless you ask my husband….!) with enough notes to keep me writing for a further ten years.

What is your funniest transit or retrograde experience?

There are several, not all of which can be aired publicly! The one which comes immediately to mind is the occasion, in March 1985, when Saturn turned retrograde on my 28 Scorpio IC. In the middle of lunch with an old friend who at that time was a bank manager, without warning, I passed out. Just then, a friend of his, who was also a bank manager, was passing by the restaurant window. I came round and insisted on going home – very groggily, with a bank manager holding me up by each arm. Very Saturn in Scorpio, don’t you think?!

Would you rather be ruled by Uranus or Jupiter? Why?

What a question! Both those planets are strong in my horoscope, Uranus in the tenth house leading an eastern bowl shape, with Jupiter in the third closing the bowl, and the two in bi-quintile aspect. My Ascendant is also on the Jupiter/Uranus midpoint. However, if forced to choose I would go for Jupiter, provided the aspects weren’t too difficult. My reasons are probably dictated by the stage I’ve got to in life: that disruptive, eccentric, unpredictable, stubborn individualism characteristic of a Uranus-ruled life feels too tiring to contemplate now!

Jupiter’s boundless energy and optimism, ability to inspire others and be inspired by the more positive dimensions of  life, and willingness to be open to a sense of meaningful connectedness to that which is greater than oneself, are especially attractive to me at this point.

What advice would you give to someone learning how to read their own chart?

One, there are dozens of ways of evading personal responsibility – resolve at the outset never to do so by blaming your horoscope or your transits for your difficulties in life.

Two, realise that objectivity is something to be aspired to, which can never be achieved by mere human beings. This being the case, try to recognise that you can be most objective and therefore most helpful by reading the horoscopes of strangers, provided you have appropriate training and supervision. When approaching your own horoscope, or those of your loved ones, you will inevitably colour the planetary picture before you with your own hopes and fears.

Three, the illuminating light which is gradually cast as your understanding of  the symbols in your chart grows, will be wonderfully helpful in shedding light on your gifts, pains, motivations and aspirations. But bear in mind that possessing astrological knowledge has a shadow side – for example, I have never known anyone including myself who didn’t look at upcoming transits, especially of Saturn and Pluto, without a certain amount of fear. To help my astrology students with this,  I used to point out that 99.9% of the human race from the beginning of time has managed to stagger through life without the aid of astrology! So – enjoy the fascination of  deciphering the astrological map of your life. But don’t get too precious about it – and be aware that this wonderful knowledge has a double edge….

What astrology books do you re-read or use the most?

The two astrologers who have most inspired and educated me have been Liz Greene and the late Charles Harvey, with both of whom I was fortunate to study – unofficially from the mid-1980s and formally between 1995 and 1998. As reference books for my interest in mundane astrology, my three favourites are: The outer planets and their Cycles by Liz Greene,  Anima Mundi – the astrology of the individual and the collective by Charles Harvey, and Mundane Astrology by Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey.

My copy of Stephen Arroyo’s Astrology, Karma and Transformation , that wonderful in-depth companion on the ‘stormy journey of the soul’ is now so well-thumbed that it is starting to fall to bits – and when I feel like some outrageous, light-hearted, funny, but deadly accurate astrological analysis I turn to Debbi Kempton-Smith’s Secrets from a stargazer’s notebook.

And….this Christmas 2011, I was given the brilliant present of “A History of Western Astrology” Volumes 1 & 2, by well-known and respected astrologer and historian Dr Nicholas Campion.  I am really looking forward to reading them!


Anne Whitaker has been an astrologer since the 1983 Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius. She also has a long background in adult education, social work, counselling and supervision. Anne holds the Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology where she studied with Liz Greene and Charles Harvey (1995-98 London, UK), an MA degree, and postgraduate diplomas in education and social work. Based in Glasgow in Scotland, she is now studying part-time at Edinburgh University on an MSc programme, and planning to set up a small astrology practice again this year after a ten-year gap spent reading, writing, blogging, and regaining her energy.

(thanks to The Know It All Astrologer who originally asked the questions)

900 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011



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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

750 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011


Summarising the patterns

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

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

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

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

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

What next?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:    TO BE CONTINUED


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summarising the patterns:



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


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

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

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

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

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

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011


Take Two: the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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