Tag Archives: Writing from the Twelfth House

Festive thanks to Followers, commenters, and friends old and new!

In the bleak Midwinter...

Midwinter…ethereal beauty…

Just having a quiet time of retreat from family chaos (very mild, very welcome!) and reflecting on how much I have enjoyed this particular year at Writing from the Twelfth House. Thanks to everyone for your support of my postings during 2014, and a special thanks to my family of regular commenters. I hope I’ve managed to be inspiring now and then, informative – and entertaining. The tougher the world becomes, the harder we all need to hold fast to the people and experiences that nourish and guide us. Blessings to all who drop by to read my blogs – and every good wish for this Festive Season and the year to follow. 

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Photo: courtesy of Margo Cline, shared on Facebook.( Sorry, don’t know who the photographer is to give a well-deserved credit!)

100 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Night Sea Journey – and Return

“One does not discover new land without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time”

Andre Gide

It is 530 am: birds are singing their hearts out in the park near our home. I can hear the river running. It’s been a wonderfully warm, sunny summer in Glasgow. Usually the rain capital of Scotland, we are being granted heat and warmth for what promises to be a joyous, welcoming Commonwealth Games here in the city.

 I feel vital, alive, engaged – full of gratitude for my sense of well-being. So my wish is that those of you out there currently going through dark times may take heart from what I write today. Life has its profound rhythms and cycles, which at times clash brutally with how the Ego thinks it should be.

Going through my “night sea journey”, to use Jung’s terminology, took seven long years. I have referred to this 2001-8 period in several different articles on “Writing from the Twelfth House” : check out ‘Just let me get old, ok?’ if you wish to find out more.

At several points I very nearly drowned – symbolically speaking –in darkness without any apparent navigation points. But the steadfast love of those closest held my head just above the cold dark sea, and I called for aid to that level which I have learned to trust, but which I cannot name. Every time, my call was answered, one way or another. Every time, the deepest message was  ‘Hold on. Try not to be afraid. Be patient. This is necessary – but it will pass. You will be all right’. And I am all right, all right and deeply enriched.

Night Sea Journey

Night Sea Journey

Perspective on a prolonged ordeal which removed me from the world shifted and changed as the journey went on. I reached the heart of my own darkness, understood it, accepted how my life had been both blighted and enriched by conditions in place from the beginning. Quite quickly after that act of acceptance, I returned to being well again.

I recognise now that a lengthy retreat from the world was requisite for the kind of person I am – it is not necessary for most people to go through a mid-life summing up of such drastic dimensions, thank goodness! Periodic bouts of retreat seem to be part of my necessity. One of the great advantages to being an older person is that one has several decades to look back on, in attempting to make sense of one’s own patterns.

Gradually regaining the strength, energy and inclination to lead a “normal” life , along with a profound sense of gratitude that my good health has returned, I am left awestruck at the sheer power, depth and mystery of the human psyche.

The sense I already had of being woven into a meaningful cosmos – tiny thread though I am – has been amplified and deepened by many of the experiences I had whilst on my ‘night sea journey’. These experiences certainly challenged my rational, sceptical self. The added perspective gained by wide reading in spirituality, religion, mysticism, science and cosmology enables me to sum up what I now believe in one sentence:

We live in a meaningful, multi-dimensional cosmos where anything is possible.

The last couple of years of the retreat were spent in a state which I recognised from before, which one might call liminal: not quite having emerged from one life phase, not quite having entered another. This felt uncomfortable and frustrating at one level. But at another, it offered an opportunity to practise the art of trusting to the unfolding process of life, or Spirit’s call, to put it another way; knowing that, in due course, the shape of the next phase would become more clearly defined, the time to take action become evident. As indeed it has. I have been back at work now, part-time, for over two years. But I’m still writing!

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700 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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After the Night Sea Journey….

“One does not discover new land

without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time”

Andre Gide

Going through my 2001-8  “night sea journey”, to use Jung‘s terminology, took seven long years:  a nightmare experience of very slow recovery from total burnout triggered by a year-long family crisis. At several points I very nearly drowned, in darkness without any apparent navigation points. But the steadfast love of those closest held my head just above the cold dark sea, and I called for aid to that level which I have learned to trust. Every time, my call was answered, one way or another.

Every time, the deepest message was  Hold on. Try not to be afraid. Be patient. This is necessary – but it will pass. You will be all right.’

And I am all right, all right and deeply enriched.

Night Sea Journey

Night Sea Journey

http://www.flickr.com/photos/magnusvk/166233536

Perspective on a prolonged ordeal which removed me from the world shifted and changed as the journey went on. I reached the heart of my own darkness, understood it, accepted how my life had been both blighted and enriched by conditions in place from the beginning. Quite quickly after that act of acceptance, I returned to being well again.

I recognise now that a lengthy retreat from the world was requisite for the kind of person I am – it is not necessary for most people to go through a mid-life summing up of such drastic dimensions, thank goodness! Having practised as an astrologer for nearly twenty years by the time of my collapse, I could see from my horoscope, when I was well enough and brave enough to reflect on it again, that periodic bouts of retreat seem to be part of my necessity. One of the great advantages to being an older person is that one has several decades to look back on, in attempting to make sense of one’s own patterns.

Gradually regaining the strength, energy and inclination to lead a “normal” life again, along with a profound sense of gratitude that good health has returned, I am left awestruck at the sheer power, depth and mystery of the human psyche. The sense I already had of being woven into a meaningful cosmos – tiny thread though I am – has been amplified and deepened by many of the experiences I had whilst on my ‘night sea journey’. These experiences certainly challenged my rational, sceptical self. They are all recorded. The added perspective gained by wide reading in spirituality, religion, mysticism, science and cosmology enables me to sum up what I now believe in one sentence:

We live in a meaningful, multi-dimensional cosmos where anything is possible.

The last couple of years of the retreat were spent in a state which I recognised from before, which one might call liminal: not quite having emerged from one life phase, not quite having entered another. This felt uncomfortable and frustrating at one level. But at another, it offered an opportunity to practise the art of trusting to the unfolding process of life, or Spirit’s call, to put it another way; knowing that, in due course, the shape of the next phase would become more clearly defined, the time to take action become evident. As indeed it has.

Having spent four years on the Web runningWriting from the Twelfth House”, then a year as a part-time university student  – something I will continue for the sheer pleasure of learning  –  I have now just completed a two-month process of re-contextualising my former professional life. I’m happy being a writer, a teacher, an astrologer and a counsellor/mentor.  It feels good to be reaching into a lifetime of experience, to offer what modest help I can to fellow pilgrims along the road.

So – I feel full, happy,  grateful, sitting writing this post tonight in my adopted home town of Glasgow in Scotland. After months and months of interminable cold and rain, summer has at last arrived. It is a clear, balmy summer’s eve with just  a hint of a cooling breeze. We live high up, overlooking the Botanic Gardens and the river below. Leaves are rustling faintly; I can just hear the river’s flow. Luminous against the darkening blue sky, the delicate sickle of a Gemini new moon beguiles me.  I will keep on writing, of course….

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750 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2012
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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

To read Part One of the Big Picture series, click on link below:

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

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

Spring Equinox: 20.3.2011

CONTINUING….

Less of the doom and gloom!

There is a lot of doom and gloom around just now – hardly surprising, given current world-shattering geo-political upheavals. As usual, we are starting to project our ancient fear that something will come to annihilate us, onto the next big planetary event: this time it appears to be the Winter Solstice of 2012, supposedly denoting a major ending in the Mayan calendar.

Last year, as hysteria built up about the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction at 0 degrees Aries on 8 June 2010 in the context of the first of three Jupiter/Uranus meetings between June 2010 and January 2011 and the Cardinal Grand Cross, I wrote an article on 18th May 2010 called Jupiter meets Uranus, sky falls in: Yes,no….or merely maybe? We are still here.

Before that, it was the dreaded Millennium Bug. We survived that, too. I seem to recall another Mayan Calendar biggie in August 1987 or thereabouts. That co-incided with the beginning of the end of the Cold War.

Leaping way back in history, there was a massive line-up of planets in Pisces in the sixteenth century. The Western world cowered, fearing a reprise of the biblical Great Flood. What it got was a symbolic Great Flood – the Reformation: preceded by the Renaissance, followed by the Scientific Revolution and European Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A mere three hundred years, a flash of an eye in the context of Deep Time, has produced stunning scientific, religious, social and cultural changes which have impacted across the globe.

A new world order beckons….?

Are we moving into a new world order, as old certainties crumble and new ways of reflecting on human consciousness and our relationship with planet Earth emerge amid a worldwide pattern of growing instability? Increasing numbers of very well informed people at all levels of life think that we are. For a start, the race is undoubtedly on to develop and secure new sources of energy as the oil upon which our modern world depends, runs out. This situation alone will change everything.

When I was writing Jupiter Meets Uranus”, I decided with the help of a wonderful researcher’s tool – Michelsen’s Tables of Planetary Phenomena” – to explore the long historical pulse beat of that fascinating combination of planets which meets every fourteen years, described in “Mundane Astrology” as connected to the ‘growth and awakening of human consciousness’. What I found blew me away, and continues to excite me when I reflect upon what it has revealed about where we have come from – and where we may be  headed.

In sum, I took the period 500 BCE to 2500 CE, divided it up into 500 year chunks, analysed the pattern of appearance and disappearance of Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions, and attempted to correlate this pattern with a very broad historical timeline – taking three complementary ‘takes’ on the movement of those unique conjunctions. (All the tables can be found in ‘Jupiter Meets Uranus’ )

Take One: Jupiter/Uranus through the four elements: 500 BCE to 2500 CE

I first selected the conjunction’s traverse through the four elements, the basic platform on which any astrological analysis rests, whether one is preparing an individual horoscope or looking at  a chunk of historical time.

The conjunction occurred only in earth and water signs during the period 500-76 BCE. What are we to make of this ?

TO BE CONTINUED

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

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“And finally….” : The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 5

This is the last part of a five-part series presenting the conclusions I drew from my 50,000 word original research study of  The Moon’s Nodes in Action. To read the first four posts, scroll down to the end of this one.

4. The Nodes in relation to other chart factors

I started out with certain questions. Do the Nodes say something specific, or do they act as a reinforcer for information which can be derived from other chart factors ? I think I have demonstrated quite clearly that the Nodes and their attendant planetary/Angular links can be used on their own to sketch out a clear picture of  the basic structure of a person’s life path and the archetypal energies which need to be responded to and brought into the journey, for that person to be all they can be.

It seems that strong outer planet links, especially Pluto’s conjunctions or squares to the natal Nodal axis, and strong prevailing major patterns eg Uranus conjunct Pluto opposite Saturn conjunct Chiron linked to the Nodes, bring some people a more challenging life than others. Mary Shelley’s chart is a very good example of this, with Uranus, dispositor of Pluto conjunct MC, conjunct her Sun and square her Nodal axis.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

I have distinguished between minor and major Nodal activity in transits and progressions, and demonstrated that the major effect  is what appears to be present when turning points  occur. This would suggest that  in contemplating the unfolding picture of a person’s life, the combination of Nodal activity with the foreground presence of outer planets, especially Pluto, points out that something really special is going on and should be carefully noted.

I also asked whether astrologers are missing something important by not  paying attention to the Nodes, natally and as life unfolds. I think the answer to this is yes, with particular reference to the transitting Nodal cycle and the eclipse seasons which accompany them. The pair of houses highlighted by the transitting Nodal axis and eclipses should be carefully observed, especially if the pre-natal eclipse degrees crop up in the form of a returning eclipse, or a current eclipse is triggering natal patterns linked in to either of the pre-natal eclipses.

I appreciate that we all need to earn our living and there are a multiplicity of interpretive factors available  which would take all day to prepare if they were to be included in every reading. We have to be selective.

But having done the research for this thesis, I think that, in preparing a reading, if the clustering effect I have been discussing is in evidence, it is important to pay particular attention to that person’s natal Nodal pattern and the current Nodal/eclipse picture. The client is then likely to be bringing matters of a life-changing nature to us for discussion, which offers us roles both as observers and midwives; human agents in the here-and-now  of those mysterious ‘watchers by the threshold’ whose  numinous presence in our lives is symbolically represented by the Moon’s Nodes in  Action.

Nodal Axis

Nodal Axis

Thanks to the many readers of this series for your interesting emails in response to those conclusions regarding the significance of the Nodes. Any other responses continue to be welcome. I have archived the series (see Categories on Home Page) for easy future reference. I will also at some point be publishing, over several installments – may even give it its own blog – my long case study on Mary Shelley’s authorship of “Frankenstein”, bringing in charts of all the significant figures influencing her writing of what has become a modern myth at the very young age of 19 – and her first Nodal Return.

Previous Posts in this series:

The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part One

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

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

“In my end is my beginning….” The Moon’s Nodes in Action: Part 4

plus….

Mary Shelley: modern myth-maker

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

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Jupiter Meets Uranus: next up, 4th January 2011….

……for a whole series of articles on the  Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions in Aries & Pisces 2010/11, check out my blog section “Jupiter meets Uranus which also features articles, interviews, reviews etc of my research study “Jupiter Meets Uranus” published by the American Federation of Astrologers in April 2009.

Jupiter meets Uranus - from http://www.cainer.com

Jupiter meets Uranus - from http://www.cainer.com

As the energy of the triple conjunction began to build  towards its first meeting at 0 degrees Aries on 8 June 2010, I began recording self-reported events in the lives of ten volunteers from across the world. This research continued right through the 19 September 2010 second conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus at the end of Pisces.

Readers who are interested in the impact of  powerful, disruptive planetary energies on ‘ordinary’ human lives can find that research feedback HERE.

I will shortly be sending out another questionnaire to my patient and dedicated volunteers, to see what the left field has been delivering to their lives during the autumn equinox  to winter solstice period of 2010 – and the upcoming third and final pass of the conjunction in late Pisces on 4 January 2011.

Watch this space and follow their stories!

It would be interesting also to hear via comments left on the upcoming posts, or  via emails sent to me, how these unique planetary energies have impacted on those of you out there who are ‘plugged in’ to the conjunction’s degrees though not part of  the research project.

I  am ‘plugged in’ myself – through a Tenth House Mars/Uranus conjunction. Life, to put it very mildly, has not been dull thus far!

"Jupiter meets Uranus" by Anne Whitaker (2009)
“Jupiter meets Uranus” by Anne Whitaker (2009)

300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


Harry Potter and the Joyful Child, Part 3: A midlife paradox

To read the first two parts of the Joyful Child series, CLICK below:

The Sun, the Saturn Cycle, Harry Potter – and the Joyful Child

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Part Three

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The Sun God  - spark of immortality

The Sun God – spark of immortality

http://www.maverickscience.com/saturn.htm

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Point of entry

From the Saturn return at 29-30 onwards, the major underlying task changes: from discovering the overall shape of who you are in relation to your own life, to beginning to use the platform you have built as support in offering your unique contribution to the wider world.

By this stage, the balance achieved between necessary realism and the joyous, inspirational, creative aspects of life is crucial to how the next 15 years unfold. The poet Dylan Thomas senses and honours the presence of the child he was,  in his marvellous

“Poem in October”, written on his thirtieth birthday:

“ And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s forgotten mornings……where a boy…..whispered the truth of his joy

To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.”

 

In the poem’s last verse, he writes

“And the true

Joy of the long dead child sang burning

In the sun.”   (iv)

For Dylan Thomas, as for many poets and even more of us ordinary citizens, being in nature can powerfully evoke that within us which never ages, which rejoices in being alive, and is powerfully connected to the endless cycle of birth, maturation, decline, death and return.

The thirties and forties are decades where a major challenge lies in the grinding process of reality testing our hopes, wishes, dreams and ambitions against the world as it is. Most of us eventually get to the Saturn opposition of the mid-forties: we are still here,  we may still be functioning tolerably well, but we’re not young any more.

Midlife

From the mid-forties on, we only have to look in the mirror, or realise that our idea of a good Friday night  is increasingly of going to bed early, not with a hot lover,  but with a good book, to be aware of the relentless advance of mortality

It becomes harder at this stage for most people to keep in touch with the Joyful Child, keep its energies flowing. For many people, brutalities of  an environmental, political, social or personal nature have borne down so hard that the vital spark of life borne by the Joyful Child can now fuel only the dogged survival instinct.

I have found that one of the compensations of middle age is deeply paradoxical, and was first alerted to it a few years ago by a comment made by my late mother-in-law, then approaching eighty. The way she dealt with an old age full of physical infirmity was inspiring. She had a lively sense of fun and humour, maintained great interest in the wider world as well as that of her own family and friends, and kept up a prodigious correspondence right up to the end of her life.

The Joyful Child in her  was alive right to the end, sustained in her case by a strong, ecumenical religious faith. “You know”, she said,“occasionally when I’m not thinking about anything in particular, I catch sight of my face in the mirror and get an awful shock. I see an old woman’s face looking out at me – but inside I don’t feel old at all – I feel just the same as I did when I was young.

The paradox is this. The body ages to the point where you are faced with increasing physical evidence of the passage of time; but an opportunity can also slowly arise to perceive, with a clarity not possible in youth, that this aging body has been carrying something else through life which is different, ageless, separate from the physical – that spark of immortality which comes in sometime before birth, flying free at physical death.

Thus, as mortality’s approach becomes more and more difficult to ignore, a major compensation can be offered by that  which is clearly immortal becoming more and more evident by contrast.

Midlife can be a depressing time. Vitality declines, children have either flown the nest and you miss them, or have their own problems which can bring yet more responsibility to you at a stage in life where you are tired of being responsible. Careers can pall. Dear friends die. You realise how fleeting life is, and how little of it you have left. But as always, there are choices. The paradox noted above brings a great opportunity for reorientation and renewal.

Increasing trust in the immortal spark within, that Joyful Child which has survived the batterings of life and still retains a sense of the importance of making a creative response, can strengthen existing belief that life continues in some form when the body dies – or help that belief to grow.

Conclusion

I would like to conclude this essay by returning to what I have called the Otherworld, that magical domain which is the natural habitat of the Joyful Child. Its importance was highlighted in the 18 March (2000 – AW) copy of the magazine The Week, where Jolyon Connell was writing about  a current  “golden age for children’s fiction” with reference to an article by S.F. Said. (v). The success of current children’s authors led by Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling, “owes much to the way they appeal to grown-ups as well as children – and not just for nostalgic reasons.” .

Connell’s observation a decade ago is still very much relevant now. He observed that in those writers one finds good old-fashioned storytelling, strong plots, and that quality which is present in all the best children’s books, but often missing in adult ones, ie a sense of wonder, of  “being alive to the world.”

He concluded by putting forward Said’s view that  many adult readers to their own children are discovering afresh, through the works of  Dahl and Rowling, what great writers have always known: children’s stories can touch “those parts of us that haven’t yet become bored, damaged or embarrassed by existence – and can help those parts that have.”

A prescription for  helping to keep the Joyful  Child alive ? Go and read the Harry Potter books…….. ! Then go check out the latest of the movie series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” –  currently breaking box office records across the world.

References

(iv) “ Poem in October “ from Dylan Thomas Collected Poems 1934-52, Aldine Press, 1972 Edition, pp 96-7

(v) in  The Daily Telegraph, week beginning 13 March 2000. Quoted in The Week, 18 March 2000, p 3.

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To read the first two parts of the Joyful Child series, CLICK below:

The Sun, the Saturn Cycle, Harry Potter – and the Joyful Child

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1100 words copyright Anne Whitaker  2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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