Thursday, December 14, 2017

In Brief

Jupiter in Scorpio: the Red Spot has deep roots, at least 200 miles deep. 


Mars in Scorpio, soon to square Trump's natal Mars Rising: the groper is in trouble for groping, has yet to peak. Trump's chart seems particularly sensitive to transits of Mars to his Angles. So far we have have had Mars conjoining his MC and Asc/natal Mars. Both involved sabre-rattling over North Korea. Expect more of the same.

Saturn entering Capricorn: a check on Bitcoin, maybe on the stock market itself. Saturn is moving from a sign of optimism and expansion (Sagittarius) to a sign of reality check. 

Also, the nitty gritty work on Brexit begins, as Saturn starts its sweep across the UK Sun, Moon and Angles. Theresa May will probably find herself having to satisfy many parties in the negotiations - it is the whole UK chart that is involved - rather than just one faction getting its way.

Pluto opposing the UK Moon: all of next year. The Moon is the people, we will need a Brexit that has broad popular assent. The seeds of the rebirth, what comes after the long dark tunnel of the negotiations, will become clear when Pluto starts to move forward next autumn.


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Thursday, December 07, 2017

Warriors and Weeds



My friend Moira Lake, who is also an astrologer, is running  this shamanic course next year in Devon, UK. Recommend 😃



Warriors and Weeds: the sacred alliance between plant spirits and humans



A one-year course in which you’ll work in deep collaboration with plant and other spirits of nature, and with Earth herself. An integration of personal healing, collective healing for all beings, and sacred activism.

Three modules during 2018:
May 11th-13th; June 29th-July 1st; September 28th-30th
with Moira Lake - shamanic worker, energy healer,
plant spirit healer and astrologer for over twenty years

**Early booking price before 31st December 2017: £450**
Full price thereafter: £500
Contact moira@hearthstarhealing.com, 01803 863185
www.hearthstarhealing.com

Monday, December 04, 2017

DREAMS AND THE NON-SELF

Dreams have always been an important means by which I am shown things. And one of the good things about that way, for me, is that there’s no doubt about it, I didn’t make it up: I know there’s something pressing itself at me, an offering of knowledge about my life. There are messages to be found, but the dream is not the message, the ‘meaning’. With our so-called ‘rational’ minds we can think that dreams are about their ‘meaning’, and once we have found it, then we have fulfilled the purpose of the dream. But what we are then doing is trying to contain something with the rational mind, that is bigger than that. The dream is itself, like a painting, it cannot be reduced in this way. This is why it can be good to write them down: we are honouring the spirit, the ‘dream-maker’ who has come to us, building a relationship; and it gives us a means of coming back to that spirit and staying with it, mulling it over, perhaps over many years, even decades.


Last night I had a recurrent dream, and it really is recurrent, it’s been coming to me every few months for at least 35 years. It’s about being back at university and not knowing what I’m doing there. In real life, this was what happened, but I was too young to say OK, what do I need to listen to here; rather I viewed it as a problem to be struggled against. In the end I scraped through with a 3rd.

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So in a way it’s a dream about not knowing who I am. This is an important theme amongst the Native Americans. A Native friend once told me about a white guy given a Cherokee name that meant a ball of cotton that gets blown about here and there, because that person did not know who they are. This guy has since claimed various forms of native ancestry and used this as his ‘medicine name’, apparently not realising the meaning and the humour and teaching within the name. And done some good teaching – we are such mixed creatures!


So what would it mean to know who I am? It’s a big question. It can seem to have a fairly straightforward answer, and I know plenty of people who have always known what they wanted to do - life is not a problem for them. Life is, in a way, as it has been presented to them.

For me, it is more complex. The university dream points to a system with a narrow and ‘aspirational’ definition of who we are. And that works for many people. It is ‘normal’. And maybe one layer of that dream is about questioning the sense of self that system engenders, that if I think in that narrow way then I will never know who I am. The dream keeps reminding me not to think in that way. It involves a way of comparing myself to other people, in which I am doomed to forever feel inadequate.


For this shamanic way, this medicine path, a very different sense of self is required. A non-self. We need to step out of this never-ending need to define ourselves. And that is a lifelong quest. It is why so many Native stories are based around a trickster figure: the ego, the desire to build ourselves up, is so basic, and it creeps in everywhere. And the way the stories deal with it is through humour. That is how to deal with our self-importance: laugh at it

I need to laugh at myself every time I get hung up on other people knowing the ‘right’ way of doing things and me not; of other people having a connection to spirit and me not. It is the inverse of people who suggest themselves as ‘elders’, and bang on about how much experience they have and their native connections. We are all in the same boat, unsure of who we are. It is the human condition. 

And, like the native peoples, we need to laugh our way out of the boat. Laugh our way out of building ourselves up and tearing ourselves down. I’ll be 60 in February. How long am I going to keep this up, this ongoing attempt to define and compare myself? I have had a perfectly good dream (which I won’t relate here) telling me how to live.

There is that thing, that vast thing that we all belong to, that wants to work through us for the benefit of everybody, that knows far better than we ever can what people need and what the world needs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SATURN-PLUTO in CAPRICORN: 1518 and 2020


I wrote about the next big alignment, the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction, a few weeks ago, and I feel inclined to go at it again, but from a different angle. The conjunction will be in Capricorn in early 2020, and I suggested it would reflect an era of big business, when the multinationals would gradually become the biggest political force in the world, more powerful than national governments.

And maybe there’s another possibility, if you consider this: the last time there was a Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was in January 1518, 2 months after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg and began the Protestant Revolution.

But firstly, the natures of Pluto and Saturn.

Pluto is death. He is also power. His meanings are quite raw. He is sex. He is taboos. And he is not under our control. We can propitiate him by recognising him, and by yielding to his demands – and they may be to give up everything we have, in the interests of something that is truer about who we are. Pluto doesn’t care if things are comfortable in mere human terms. He is Necessity, that deep impulse in life to slough off the old and to renew itself. It is a process that can take years. It just seems to drag on and on sometimes. And it may not be that we are holding back, it’s that the new isn’t ready to be born, we are in the chrysalis phase.

But when we are ready, it is definitely a new power to live that surges up: something that was always there, but not yet ready to be lived.

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And if you watch your Pluto transits, or recall them, and enter your experience with that lens, you’ll start to understand astrology on your pulses, it’s real knowledge on which you can build. Learning the signs and houses etc is necessary, but it is seeing it work deeply for yourself, that is the real initiation into this esoteric knowledge. And all esoteric means is seeing how things really work, seeing through the illusion of our all-consuming sense experience to the dreaming behind it.

And these transits can occur on a collective, as well as a personal, level.

And then there is Saturn. Saturn is the worldly taskmaster. We often find him difficult when we are young, because he’s a planet of age: patience, discipline, practicality, responsibility, finding your place in the world. These aren’t necessarily easy things when we’re young, and they’re certainly not cool. And that’s why Saturn can seem difficult. But when we’re older, we’re often onside with all that stuff, and Saturn becomes our friend, a planet of abundance: but earned.

So Saturn gives form and shape to things: you put him next to the energy of an outer planet, and things happen. Outer planets, which are not visible to the naked eye (hence their late discovery), aren’t a part of our conscious endowment. They come from somewhere else. They certainly stir the pot. But it can be a difficult process translating that, integrating that into who we are. Put Saturn into the mix, Saturn who lives in the liminal zone between the inner and outer planets – one foot in this world, one foot in the other – and bang, you have Uranus, or Neptune, or Pluto transmitting their vast energies onto this plane.

Bet you hadn’t thought of Saturn as having a foot in the other world? He seems to be so much a planet of this world, in fact he often seems to deny the other world, that is his shadow. “You are what you earn”, rules Saturn.

Saturn needs to be turned into the protector, instead of the denier, of the inner world. That is the task of the US, with her Sun in square to Saturn, her Protestant Saturn that gives no-one a moment’s rest.

But just think about it astronomically. Not only is Saturn’s form-loving nature perfectly designed to be a bridge between the outer and inner planets. But one side of him inevitably faces towards us, the inner planets. And the other side faces fate, destiny, the outer planets. The demands of Saturn, at his best, aren’t just the rules of the world. They are tinged with our destiny, those things we need to do.

So when we put Saturn and an outer planet together, there is an immediate channel for those outer planet energies, you’re not waiting for years for the outer events. At the end of 1989, Saturn conjoined Uranus-Neptune, and the Berlin Wall came down.  In 2011, Saturn opposed Pluto, and we had 9/11. And in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door.

SATURN OPPOSITE PLUTO
Pluto energies either empower, or overturn, the entrenched status quo. Pluto is about new life, a new paradigm. It isn’t necessarily something we attach value to, particularly on the collective level. I think the outer planets show that there ISN’T a collective evolution going on. How would one judge that anyway? Was the world post 9/11 ‘better’ than what came before? This may be the case on a personal level too. We always have the choice to resist the deeper truth that Pluto wants us to live by. America, for example, could have seen 9/11 as its chickens coming home to roost, as Obama’s erstwhile mentor the Rev Wright later put it. That would have been a collective insight. But she chose, by and large, not to see this obvious truth (and this includes Obama):  her response instead was to lash out at Afghanistan.

So because the collective tends to be unconscious in its responses, the events around Saturn-Pluto can just be a swing in the opposite direction. The last conjunction at the end of 1982, in Libra, could also be seen in these terms. It was the beginning of laissez faire economics, the empowerment of (relatively) rule-free capitalism. Essentially that was just a reaction to the rules around finance that had been brought in as a result of the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. Libra, losing our hard-earned balance. And of course the result of that was the Great Recession.

But it doesn’t have to be all bad! And maybe the good stuff doesn’t always get seen. Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn can be an empowerment of the rigid structures and hierarchies. But it can also be a revolution against them. This was what Martin Luther did to the Catholic Church. His actions contained a very powerful seed, which is often the way with Pluto.

If we look at the Saturn Pluto conjunctions of 1518 and 2020, they both have the Sun at 21/22 Capricorn. This suggests a connection between the 2 conjunctions, and that the successful opposition to entrenched establishment - in that case the multinational church - could, in 2020, see the beginning of a successful movement against multinational companies whose only interest, like the church at the time, is themselves. Below are the charts for the 2 conjunctions.

So I think the coming conjunction is likely to be both an empowerment of big business – there is no obvious way of controlling it as it gets bigger – but also protest against it.

There is a choice we can all make about what dream we live by. The big business dream is one of them, and seems to be getting stronger. But Saturn-Pluto also gives the chance to create other dreams, and make them practical (this is a very practical conjunction, with both Saturn and Capricorn present.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Saturn, Realpolitik and the Brexit Negotiations

So what happened when the South of the USA tried to secede from the Union? The American Civil War. Countries don't like losing bits of themselves. They have less power and size and influence as a result. So of course the Brexit negotiations are going to be difficult, because it involves the EU losing power and influence, and this is a visceral issue. 

Only last week there was a threat to push Catalonia out of the EU if it split from Spain: this is bullying, but it is also realpolitik. The EU does not want its member states fragmenting. I think there has been a lot of misplaced idealism about the EU in the UK - as well as misplaced demonisation. (Personally I think there were good reasons to stay and good reasons to leave, no-one was 'right'). 

The EU is a state-in-the-making, and like any other. So we need to expect the EU to make leaving very difficult for the UK, if only to warn off any others who might want to leave. As well as because they are seriously pissed with us. And that's not making the EU the 'bad guys': as I said, it's just how things work.

When change happens to the UK, it tends to be big and over a short period. This is because the main points of the chart - the Sun, the Moon, the Node and the Angles - are within 12 degrees of each other in the cardinal signs. So when an outer planet hard aspects the UK Ascendant (at 7 degrees), it will go on to hard aspect all those other points in the ensuing years.


UK 1801 Chart
The UK is at the end of Pluto performing this journey. He last did so from Libra in the 70s, when the UK joined the EU, an interesting symmetry around the transformations of identity that Pluto often brings about. His culminating transit is an opposition to the Moon, which will be exact during 2018. This may be a bit of a difficult and dark underworld journey for the British, but within that will also be the seeds of who we will be next. This is about Necessity, not right and wrong. Pluto takes us on a journey that we have to undergo, and I think that is what is happening to the UK. It took Boris' charisma and loose relationship with the truth, and it took Corbyn's ambivalence to make it happen, but Pluto will use whatever tools he needs.

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Saturn will move into Capricorn in January 2018, and he will spend 2 years hard aspecting the major points of the UK Chart. So this is perfect for the Brexit negotiations. Saturn is a planet of manifestation, of working through obstacles. And this is exactly how it is going to be. Uranus is no longer transiting the UK chart, so I do not expect we will suddenly crash out of the EU. 

Theresa May (time unknown)
And Theresa May, who has Moon square Saturn-Node, and Venus square Saturn, is the sort of character that is needed. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman. She is Saturnian, so she is not very appealing and not very imaginative, but she has a job description, which Saturn loves, and she is dogged and will see this one through to the bitter end. I wouldn't vote for her as leader, but I admire her tenacity and commitment to seeing this through, particularly with such a difficult government to lead. Pluto is also part of her Moon-Venus-Saturn-Node aspect set. And I think this gives her that superhuman Pluto quality that will survive the nuclear war, survive whatever. She is like the Black Night in Monty Python, however much you wound her, she'll keep going. Like her opposite number, Jeremy Corbyn, who has Moon-Mars square Pluto, and possibly square Saturn also. They are both very tough.

So the next 2 years will be difficult, as Saturn transits the UK chart, and Pluto takes the people (the Moon) to the Underworld, from where we can be reborn. Poorer, quite probably. But also with a renewed vision for the country that will begin to heal the divisiveness and tumult of Brexit.