Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Strictly No Go

If the John Sergeant affair didn't ruffle enough feathers, "The Results Show" or should I say, "The non-Results Show" has ruffled a few more. In truth they could have been the same feathers ruffled twice.

The three couples entered the semi-final expecting there to be a dance-off at the end of the show between the lowest scoring two couples. The judges scores had placed two of them in joint first place which precluded a dance-off after the public vote had been counted. The production team hadn't realised this before the voting began and so at the start of the show it was announced that the vote had been stopped. No big deal you might think, especially as it was made clear that the votes already cast would be 'rolled-over' to next week's final. Ultimately it was decided that all three couples would go forward to the final.

If you were thinking that there was
nothing wrong with that, in my own opinion you'd be right, however eighteen hundred Strictly fans thought otherwise and complained to the BBC. Whoever said that the British weren't very good at complaining should think again – we can complain when there's nothing to complain about, in fact we'll make something up if necessary. It is said that a little education is a dangerous thing, well, a little power is a tiresome thing; there's probably some interesting psychology there about feelings of being disenfranchised or something. Perhaps I should mention that millions watch this programme and, probably, vote, so eighteen hundred is a tiny proportion.

The chart for the beginning of the show is stunningly descriptive. The announcement was made within a minute and a half of the show's start, so this time is fine.

The Sun, the ruler of the Ascendant, is conjunct the 5th cusp of entertainment with the Moon of the public vote in the 11th. The Moon holds interest here because it is unusually fairly strong and I take this as the huge number of those participating and their influence in the matter (reassuring perhaps for those who felt that their vote was being ignored or carried no weight). However, for all that, spoilsport Saturn is stronger and is in a square with the Sun, both in signs of long ascension easing that square. The show wasn't cancelled and neither was the vote, it was just delayed and the show finished ten minutes early, so all is not lost. The Moon is void of course and so cannot be effective and certainly cannot prevent the vote being stopped and the show being disrupted in this way. I suppose that if you watch the show to see who will win rather than how they dance, this could be a tad frustrating. It's hardly the stuff of headlines.


Here is a brief, but interesting, discussion from the BBC's "Newsnight" programme.


Monday, 15 December 2008

How the Mighty Fall

On the 16th November I published a prediction here relating to the Jupiter-Saturn trine of the 21st which highlighted Mars in the 10th house. I suggested that some financial scandal might well ensue and on Friday last it was announced that Bernard Madoff was suspected of fraud. The alleged amount is said to be £33bn and today he has been arrested on that charge. One commentator stated "This is the biggest financial scandal, probably in the history of the markets..." (notice how many superlatives have been used during this crisis). I should say that I had expected this type of event in the UK, but with globalisation it doesn't really matter, it's effect will be worldwide. As you will see if you follow the link, a number of UK banks are known to have been affected.


You might note that there is a hint in that article to a need for further regulation, to which I also referred in my post of 16th November. I don't know much about finance and stock markets, but it is suggested that this scandal might be tha last straw with regard to hedge funds. With the coming of the conjunction in Aquarius, I suggest that this isn't all that comes to an end pertaining to financial speculation, etc.

I also stated that the trine would have separated by the end of November, but this isn't so of course because the joint moeities of their orbs will not be completely separate until 15th January or thereabouts. My apologies, I leaned on the software a little too heavily there.

Saturday, 13 December 2008


The following chart shows the approximate time that a fire began on the roof of a Waitrose supermarket in Surrey. Police are investigating the cause of the fire which they are treating as suspicious. They were no injuries, but the building was destroyed.This case caught my eye because the Full Moon of that night was the largest and brightest for 15 years. Once the chart was erected, something else attracted my curiosity, but more of that in a moment.

The Moon is high and in Gemini which I believe describes the fire starting on the roof. It opposes the Sun, of course, and is separating, the Sun is the ruler of the Ascendant. Mars of destruction by fire, and ruler of the 4th, is combust as we might expect and is applying to that combustion, so is getting hotter. If we accept Mars as signficator of the building, its application to the Sun can be taken as its path to obliteration. If we take Mars and the Sun as the fire itself we can extend the signification they provide just a little further. They are diposited by Jupiter which is on the cusp of the 6th house; Jupiter is disposited by Saturn in the 2nd house which is in mutual reception with Mercury dispositor of the Moon. On page 158 of "Christian Astrology", Lilly lists the causes of damage to a ship and looking at Mars in Sagittarius we find "The Mariners themselves". Four of these six planets are in double-bodied signs. From this we might deduce that there may have been at least two arsonists, Saturn older, Mercury younger, at least one of whom is or was an employee of the supermarket. The Sun applies to the square of Saturn in the 2nd, and shows financial losses for the company and this may well have been the goal of the arsonist or arsonists.

The question that arose was regarding the Moon: why should it be so malefic? It is separating from the square of Saturn and applying to the opposition of Mercury
(this configuration, by the way, is known for lies). So the connection between Mercury and Saturn is reinforced and so is the connection of the 2nd and 6th houses, or the 7th house of known enemies. Janus software reports that the Moon is conjunct the fixed stars Alnilam (within 5') and El Nath (within 58'). It occurred to me that the problem of numerous fixed stars at a significant point is often a problem – which to use? Alnilam is in the constellation of Orion and thus is given the nature of Jupiter and Saturn; El Nath is in the constellation of Taurus and has the nature of Mars. The latter is tempting for obvious reasons, but it is further away from the Moon in zodiacal longitude.

I checked the Moon's declination (a measurement north or south of the Ecliptic) and found it to be 27° North, but Alnilam's declination
is 1° South, whereas El Nath's declination is 28° North; these positions are all approximate. It occurred to me to see what this actually looked like in the sky and from that image (shown below) the positions of these stars relative to the Moon is quite clear.

I don't know if it is an accepted argument to take declination into account or not and I can think of at least one reason why it wouldn't be. When using primary directions, specific natal points are directed to certain positions, for example, to house cusps, terms and fixed stars. I can see no reason for using anything other than zodical longitude in this particular reckoning, but then I haven't given it a great deal of thought. So, at least when looking at non-symbolic positions and thus excluding primary directions, I wonder if the use of declinationsn in this regard is effective. It would seem to be so in this particular case, but it requires more than this to prove a point. Interesting though.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Mundane Astrology

In the forthcoming issue of The Tradition, as mentioned before, I will present a paper in part regarding the current financial situation, but it's main aim is to encourage the use of the Jupiter-Saturn cycles in Mundane work. I am hoping to demonstrate that the accuracy of the Traditional system by means of Jupiter and Saturn far outweighs any other. This might seem like arrogance of the first order, but I have been amazed by the descriptive precision and predictive capacity so many times that I am confident of the method's efficacy. The range in terms of time can be as wide or as narrow as the circumstances of examination require: 20 years, 200 years, 2000 years, or longer, it doesn't matter. The Jupiter-Saturn cycles cover all of these and more.

I am probably not the best person to be holding forth on Mundane matters and I am certainly not the best informed, but there is little information available about the application of the Traditional system, and so I will add my little bit. Hopefully, this will encourage others to do a more thorough and detailed job. Unfortunately, in order to be thorough and detailed, a lot of work is required and here, as elsewhere, I understand the reason for use of the new planets. Their extremely slow movement seems to coincide with so-called "generational" shifts, and examining the transits of these three is hardly challenging. Whereas applying the Jupiter-Saturn cycles requires certain 'overviews' of other cycles outside the narrower one; in my article I call it the 'Russian Doll' effect. It can be complex, but if we are truly to understand the world in which we live, we must also understand the larger cycles of Creation. This has a grandiose sound to it, but we might also be interested in whether or not the current situation will deliver its payload without damage to ourselves, because Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions can also be applied to the nativity.

The state of the national economy might also be of interest, but this is only one of the subjects covered by these cycles. War, health, trade, social concerns, political matters all fall within their remit, as do the rise and fall of civilisations, political systems, nations, leaders and many, many more. Anything of historical interest or importance can be found within these cycles and if we can read the past and, of course, the present, then we can necessarily read the future.

Of interest to some might be my paper Uranus, Neptune and Pluto: an investigation into the sources of their symbolism (available through my web site – see link to the right) where I investigate, as the title suggests, the derivation of the symbolism of these planets. It is of interest to those who might undertake Mundane work, but again, I fully accept that a Traditional astrologer such as myself was not the best person to carry out this investigation. Still, you might find something of interest there.

It might be as well to remember that just because this astrological system is very old, that doesn't make it redundant. As Olivia Barclay used to say, "Arithmetic is very old, but 1 and 1 still make 2."

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Feudal System Ends

For those who, like me, didn't know it still existed, you may be interested in the following charts. Today, for the first time in 450 years, the inhabitants of the island of Sark in the Channel Islands will vote for their first democratic government.

By following this link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/guernsey/7774140.stm you will find some interesting information about the island and how it was ruled. Sark is famous for allowing no motor vehicles except tractors, even the Fire Service is powered by tractor.

About 600 people live on Sark and there are 28 parliamentary seats available and there have been 56 nominations.

So, this little piece of political history is found in the following charts for the opening and closing of the polls - I'm showing both for those who like one or the other in these matters.

The Moon's application by trine to Saturn perfects just before the close of polls. Do we think Saturn will win? Plus ca change?

For more information on Sark and its governance follow this link:


Friday, 5 December 2008

Intuition and Study

As I've been discussing the intuition recently, I want to make a few points from the student's perspective.

There is rarely anyone these days taking up a formal course of study in astrology who hasn't had some exposure to it previously. This is not an ideal situation because there are preconceptions and learned information that may be incorrect. Apart from having to undertake an Un-learning process (just to add to the difficulties of this study), there have been occasions when some of these students, having studied for a short while, feel that their ability to judge a horary chart has been diminished.

There are two main reasons for this: they often have to unravel most of what they have learned and, where they have relied on intuition, it retreats as new directions are laid down.

For those who have not followed a formal course of study but have been practising horary with some success we have to ask how that is possible. As a very long term student, I know how difficult it is to reach a stage of any security in judgement. So, when an astrologer is achieving good results with their early attempts, I don't think it's right to put it down simply to beginner's luck. I'm sure that there's more to it than that.

For a student to make any real headway, a natural aptitude is required. This can take many forms, for example, they may have a profound philosophical bent, or they may have a clear and logical mind. whatever it is, it can be of great help to them. If, however, they have a strong intuitive faculty, this can be a hindrance. That might seem a strange thing to say, but the early successes I mentioned above are often sourced in the intuition. At that early stage, with an untrained, undisciplined intuition, successes often lead to failure and, perhaps, giving up astrology altogether. There is, of course, the other danger, that success without very much effort leads to ego-inflation and then the inevitable fall.

So, having had a number of successes without too much toil, the brave student takes on the task of formal study. Then everything seems to fall apart, apparently unable to judge even the simplest of horaries. This happens because study requires the intellect and the intellect restrains the intuition. The situation isn't helped because in the Traditional Horary Course we expect students to be able to support all statements with hard astrology and just getting the right answer isn't enough, it has to be for the right reasons. This runs counter to intuition, but if the study is pursued and if it is done thoroughly, the intuition will fall into step and respond to the right stimuli, instead of just when it feels like it. Patience will usually answer most of the questions.

The symbols work their magic and impose onto the intuitive part what it needs in order to become reliable. It takes some time and this varies from person to person, but it will happen. The degree to which it acts depends on the intuitive capacity of the astrologer, again this will vary. It will happen IF the ego is kept out of the way because that will corrupt the student and then fancy replaces knowledge and intuition.

To undertake formal study in a magical art, such as astrology, puts the intuition under the student's conscious direction and that has to be worth a little hard work, or even a lot, don't you think?

Monday, 1 December 2008

Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-126

I had intended to write about this before the shuttle's return to Earth, but missed it, nevertheless the chart shows some interesting descriptions which may be of interest.

The chart is set for the moment of lift-off and the Ascendant and its ruler signify the shuttle and its crew. We see the Moon just above the horizon showing the ship rising off the platform and away from Earth.

The Ascendant also indicates the point of departure, the 10th the journey to the destination, the 7th the destination itself and the 4th the return journey. Looking at the angles, we have Venus in the 7th of destination and the stated aim of this trip was to improve the living quarters on the space station (it was nominated as "extreme home improvements"). Certainly Venus would be associated with making something or somewhere more pleasant, but in Capricorn Venus doesn't seem to be offering anything luxurious. You can read about the nature of the improvements by following the link below, but part of the work was to install new toilets and a system for purifying (Venus) urine and sweat (Capricorn).

Saturn is placed in the 4th of the return and we know that this was delayed by one day and that the landing was changed at the last minute due to bad weather at Cape Canaverel. It had occurred to me that Saturn's position there might indicate a bumpy landing, but in this chart it has over 20 dignities, so not as bad a result as might be expected. The Moon applies to Saturn by square in 2 degrees which is a little short of the anticipated 15 day trip which turned into 16 days. Still, a nicely descriptive chart from which you might be able to extract more information.


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Strictly Nonsense

I have to admit to being one of the millions of viewers of the hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing on a Saturday night. One of the most controversial surviving competitors is the political broadcaster John Sergeant. This is because his dancing is atrocious, but the viewing public appear to love him, so he has been kept in the competition week after week by the public vote. However, it has become clear that the joke has been wearing thin, especially when it was the very popular Cherie Lunghi who left the show in Sergeant's favour. Cherie's professional partner asked that the public vote on the basis of the celebrity's dancing competence only. After this, I couldn't imagine that Sergeant would stay in the show, surely honour would dictate that he withdraw. And so I asked the following question:

Will John Sergeant quit Strictly?

I took the Ascendant for Sergeant of whom I know nothing other than his public persona, but even taking the 7th the answer doesn't change because both Sun and Saturn are void of course. He will proceed no further in the competition. Another reason for favouring the 1st for Sergeant is that the South Node is placed there and I do think that he was in danger of undermining the gravitas for which he is known - people were laughing at him as well as with him. I also think that the sign of Scorpio goes a long way to describing him physically.

The Moon applies to the opposition of Jupiter which rules the 5th house of entertainment, perfecting in about 3.5 degrees. I believe that the show's producers must have been questioning the value of the situation, they could lose as much if not more than they gained. So, if they didn't actually encourage Sergeant, I don't think that they were very upset when he announced his resignation today. He will dance once more during this week's programme - a sound political move on the part of the producers - and then he will leave.

Readers might be able to find more, but I'm not sure that the subject is worth the effort. Asking the question was something that occurred to me on Sunday morning and I promptly forgot all about it, the following news bulletin reminded me.


How do we sleep at night with all this worry?

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Cold Comfort Farm

Following the recent fall in the value of the pound, a not altogether unwelcome event according to some commentators, I thought that it was probably time to look at the astrological indicators of what is to come. I will be presenting an article on the effects of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in the next issue of The Tradition (see link right), so my thoughts here centre only on the forthcoming Jupiter-Saturn trine and will be brief.

The trine of which I speak is the last in a series of five which have occurred over the last eighteen months or so. It isn't unheard of to have this number of repeating aspects between conjunctions, but it isn't common either. The last one perfected on the 8th of September and the events of that month need no further comment. The trine currently in action perfects on the 21st of November, and I want to explore the possibilities a little. The chart for the perfection of the trine is set for London, but it could just as easily be set for New York, or Tokyo, or your stock market of choice.

The 1st house is ruled by Saturn in Virgo and intercepted in the 7th house; it is the strongest planet in the chart. This gives some resilience and fortitude and the North Node in the 1st also offers some benefit. However, what caught my eye in the first place was Mars conjunct the MC in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter. So the two most important angles are ruled by the two planets causing all the financial rumpus.

But, to Mars. The trouble will be very public, although having little power and so little duration. A flash in the pan, but it will still cause some damage. Mars is rarely quiet in its doings and in Sagittarius will spread the news far and wide. As Jupiter is in the 12th, I suspect another scandal which will affect the economy because Mars rules the 2nd house. Perhaps there is something nasty in the woodshed after all. Saturn in Virgo, in my opinion, is bureaucratic and petty, interventionist and interfering (looking like it's been sucking lemons!). Here it brings those characteristics to its naturally deflationary and restrictive essence. A trine with a well-placed and dignified Jupiter might have loosened its stays a little, but unfortunately Jupiter is disposited by Saturn and in Fall. Jupiter is the natural significator of wealth and Saturn of poverty - in this case Saturn wins. With the Moon closely applying to conjunct Saturn, we have public pressure on the Government to act ("something should be done about this..."), hence yet more restrictions, interference and red tape.

Cold comfort, indeed, but once this trine has separated at the end of November, we have some time to recover before we have to face a series of oppositions beginning in May 2010. Announcements suggest that the recession could last for about a year, but I suggest that it will be a little longer.

A brief comparison with the chart for the Aries ingress proves unreassuring. The 2nd house ruler is Venus, inflated by exaltation; it is in a separating opposition with Saturn, a separating trine of Mars, and detrimented and fallen Mercury of trading runs fast to catch up. with the Moon activating all but the Sun, each has its part to play in this unfolding drama. Venus of the trine chart is deflated in Capricorn and is void of course which I take to mean that we will not be able to buy our way out of this and perhaps trading being stopped. Interestingly and unsurprisingly, both positions of Venus are in the 12th house of undoing, loss and scandal. With Mercury so obviously connected with the crisis in both charts, it might be worth considering the accusation by some commentators that the media is 'talking up' the size of the problem. Going by Mercury's condition in these charts, I would agree that there is less substance in the reported crisis and we should take care to consider the evidence rather than the interpretation.

The 'Gold Rush' has ended in tears yet again, but we will recover as we always do. Our long journey through the infertile Earth triplicity began in 1802 and will not end until 2020, perhaps by then, with the sobering and more productive Air of Aquarius, we will have learned that materialism isn't everything.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Intuition and Astrology

I have no intention of arguing whether this faculty truly is a faculty, I simply accept that it exists and each one of us decides if this is true or not from a subjective point of view. The following brief comments explain, to some degree, my point of view based on my subjective experience. In many ways this opinion can only have relevance for me, but it might be of some assistance to you.

There are many ways of defining intuition and all are as true as they are false. All we might say with any safety is
that there is an 'inner' way of gaining knowledge. This inner way can bypass the intellect wholly or in part, and is not dependent upon material facts. We have been conditioned through many generations that only the intellect and reason can be trusted, that this is the only way we might garner information and knowledge. This part of us is ruled by Mercury, also known as The Trickster, so can we really trust it? I would say that we cannot. The intellect serves a very useful
purpose, of course, but it is only a way to understanding - wisdom as it was once called - it is not understanding in itself. The Sun is the centre of our universe, it is the Lord of the Heavens and is symbolic of the Creator and as such is the centre of all wisdom. In the human body, the Microcosm, it corresponds to the heart, the symbolic centre, and so it also represents that same centre of wisdom. So, the understanding of which I speak occurs there, in the heart, but how does this process occur and what must we do to stimulate it?

Astrology is a divinatory art and, if that is accepted, immediately implies another way of gathering information than by
way of the intellect. In my opinion, this is indeed true, but not to the extent that it requires no input whatever from the intellect. When we say that we are studying astrology, we are training ourselves (please note the latter word) to be able to interpret the Word of God. We must train our intellects and, by so doing, we train our intuitive parts. This occurs almost automatically, because what we are studying is a symbolic language, a magical language. Astrological symbols are not merely shorthand expressions, but, in some senses, seem to have a life of their own. They will make changes to the practitioner who exposes him or herself to them and who attempts to plumb their depths. There are conditions, of course, and one of those is that the practitioner has a "fear of God" which can be interpreted in many ways. Fundamentally it means a respect for a power greater than our own which, in turn, implies humility.

We must study astrology and for that we need our intellects, we must learn all those correspondences and we must do so
in an orderly manner. As we do this the intuition is placed in abeyance for a time, and this is how it should be. The intuition is known to be a slippery and often unreliable faculty because fancy or wishful thinking can disguise itself as intuition; it, too, needs to be trained. It needs to be trained to respond to certain stimuli and in our case it needs to respond to astrological symbolism. This happens if the student sincerely wants to learn and remains receptive to that learning. If the student manages to keep arrogance and pride at bay, gradually the intuition begins to respond and to assist. In the early days it might simply open the mind to possibilities, helping the student to remember. With time it will inform every delineation, but not in any startling way, but softly and quietly; it makes things very obvious. Nevertheless, the astrologer will be able to explain, using astrological symbolism, how they arrived at their answer.

You might notice that I haven't referred to any external agency in the gaining of this 'extra' information. There are no
voices in your ear, no thunder and lightning, no angels, or demons for that matter, giving you messages; the process is internal - INtuition. It is achieved through hard work and honesty, there is no glamour and no mystery. If you learn this art properly and sincerely, you will train your intuition to behave likewise.

So to answer my own questions:

Do we use intuition in astrology? If so, should we use it?

Given the above-mentioned conditions, we can't help but use it, it is a natural development of the process of learning a magical art. However, the learning process, study, must come first for it to be reliable and sustainable.

How much do we use it?

This increasingly becomes impossible to answer, because as astrology becomes part of one's life, so too does the use of the intuition.

Can we use it on demand?

This is answered by the previous comment. We use it "on demand" every time we expose ourselves to the correct stimuli: the symbols and their correspondences.

What are we doing when we do use it, i.e. what is the process?

We are reaching the part of every human being that corresponds to the Divine, the part that can know everything. But we can't cheat this part of ourselves, the process has to be gone through properly, there are no shortcuts.

If there are any questions relating to my remarks, then please feel free to ask them.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Intuition and Astrology

In a few days time, I'll post some thoughts on the following questions: do we use intuition in astrology? If so, should we use it? How much do we use it? Can we use it on demand? What are we doing when we do use it, i.e. what is the process?

In the meantime, if readers find this interesting they might like to consider these questions for themselves and how they might answer them.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Astrological Periods

I doubt that there is any point in my trying to name these – they seem to be changing on an annual basis – so for my purposes here I will delineate them as Early (Greeks, etc.), Middle (Arabs, etc.) and Late (Renaissance, etc.), where “etc.” means “any other descriptive term”. It seems reasonable to suggest that all advocates of whatever period agree that a line is drawn at around 1700 AD, at least regarding the UK, for reasons that I won’t enter into here.

We have packaged astrology into three distinct periods and I’m not sure why other than for reasons of convenience. History overruns unnatural barriers, the river of time flows on. Still, it is sometimes useful to section off lumps of time and call them ‘ages’ or ‘periods’, nevertheless an overview of the continuing flow of ideas and developments should be maintained. So, when does an Early astrologer become a Middle astrologer, or a Middle astrologer become a Late astrologer? A fallacious question really, since it is more likely to depend on which author or authors one is studying and the period to which he or they belong.

The questions for me are: what is that we are trying to do in this regard? Is this merely a subjective choice; settling on a period that suits the individual astrologer? These are genuine, if simplistic, questions to which I would greatly appreciate information from others.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross

"The Information Superhighway", do you remember this epithet? And it's true to a certain extent. The internet is said to be a huge democracy where anyone with a keyboard and a connection can give their opinion. Again, it's true to a certain extent. However, if we put the two ideas together, we might expect it to result in widespread 'informed opinion', but instead often what we find is 'uninformed reaction'.

I have availed myself of the so-called wonders of the internet for many years, and its advantages have not yet been outweighed by its disadvantages, although it has been a close-run thing on occasion. In entering into the world of web logging, I have opened the door to both the informed and the uninformed commentator; I'll leave it to the reader to decide which group frequently holds the majority. As an example, I present the chart for the moment that the Russell Brand Show (BBC Radio 2) was broadcast.

For details of this story follow the following link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7694989.stm

Following this broadcast, it is said that two listeners complained, as of 30th October, over 20,000 have complained. This implies that at least 19,998 of these complainers hadn't actually listened to the original broadcast. Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross are known to sail very close to the wind in terms of social acceptability, nevertheless they are very popular and successful. Their risqué humour and repartee is why they are never short of work - the reason that they are booked. Personally speaking, I find them sometimes amusing and sometimes not, silly perhaps, but not outrageous, not by today's standards at least. The latest news is that Brand has resigned from his radio show and Ross has been suspended and none his shows, TV or radio, will be broadcast. So, what is this all about? The show ran for two hours and had been recorded on the previous Thursday; no information is presently available as to why, if it was so offensive, that part was not removed.

The chart for the time when the programme went 'on air' unsurprisingly shows the Moon in airy Gemini; the duality of the sign possibly pointing to double trouble and perhaps another agenda. This may be more so since it separates from that arch complainer, Saturn, whose position in Virgo makes it vocal and easily offended (this isn't to say that what Brand and Ross said and did is excusable, but we have heard and seen worse and complained less). It's interesting that the Moon is in the 12th house which is a strange place for a broadcast with several millions of isteners. It's true that Brand and Ross were the authors of their own undoing, but I wonder if this was an example of them at their worst - I doubt it. (Note also the South Node of scandal - and treachery - on the 3rd cusp.) Likewise, I doubt that they were entirely responsible for the fact that it was broadcast. Mercury disposits both the Moon and Saturn, in Libra which is full of hot air, its angularity gives it more importance and greater influence, but it has little essential dignity. Although in the 4th house, it is not in the same sign as that on the IC, which suggests a description of all those who were outraged and offended, but didn't in fact hear the original broadcast. However, I favour Jupiter as an indicator of the huge protest. Jupiter in fall in Capricorn, or connected with Saturn puts me in mind of the proverbial lead balloon which is an expression aimed at entertainers who are not well received. But the other effect of this position is that it inflates gloom, and we have only to consider the current economic crisis, placed firmly at the feet of Jupiter and Saturn, to see a further example of this.

Jupiter afflicts the Ascendant by opposition and is in an applying trine with Saturn to reinforce the rest and, as ruler of the 10th, shows immoderate action by those in authority (this matter was raised in Parliament, as if we don't have more important matters to worry about). The strongest planet here is Mercury in Libra and it is in mutual reception with Saturn by exaltation both in the 4th. The complaints I've mentioned have not caused the complainers any great expenditure of time or energy - no-one was picketing Broadcasting House. They sat in a place of safety and hit the keyboard or keypad: easy. With Saturn so busy in this chart and in Virgo, I have to suggest some jealousy or envy at play here. The Moon in Gemini is mischievous in the house of mischief-making, this certainly applies to Brand and Ross, however it is disposited by Mercury. As mentioned, Mercury is in Libra, an Air sign, and so is more than usually significant of the media. In mutual reception with Saturn it implies not a reaction of disapproval, but something more calculated than that. There is a darker aspect to this than a bad joke gone wrong. I don't know which newspaper led the field with this story, but once a story makes the headlines in one, the others usually follow. And in the same way, the British public appear to have been convinced that if it is in large enough print, it must be important (...and true, but that's another story).

The 4th house is the darkest angle, the 12th is a dark house and Mercury is working with Saturn = surreptitious censorship. There is a definite flavour of control and restriction which, in fact, is contrary to the nature of the British who are losing their sense of moderation and appear to have been doing so for some years. But the media should be careful, too, because the 'freedom of the press' is endangered by their own excesses. In my view, this is clearly seen by fallen Jupiter, the planet of moderation, made unfortunate by its position in carping Capricorn. It becomes excessive, extreme in its attempts to enforce moderate action - bans and prohibitions, and in this case, sackings. Moderation cannot be enforced, the two are mutually exclusive.

Let's concern ourselves with how many ways we can force individuals to be part of the herd. The politicians like this very much: how much better it is that we worry about Brand and Ross, than that we concern ourelves with the situation in Afghanistan or Iraq or Pakistan, or the dire economic situation... Astrologers might do well to read again pages 439 to 442 of Christian Astrology: "If Presbytery shall stand?" and consider Jupiter in Capricorn in an applying trine to Saturn in Virgo. Notice also how this enforced moderation in all areas is denoted "education", all for the public good of course.

The Moon applies to a trine of the Sun in about 5 degrees, so perhaps this combination will perfect its promise and "reveal all".

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Historical Context

Since I began my studies in Traditional astrology, many old and ancient works have been translated, or republished, or reprinted. This has been of some help for those interested in the Tradition. However, what has been entirely neglected, so far as I know, is any attempt to place these texts in their historical context (I use this phrase in its broadest sense). It is my opinion that without such knowledge our understanding of the astrology of any period is seriously lacking, and we cannot expect to understand.

I have a longstanding interest in the Second World War, and over the years I have made myself aware of the complexities of life during that period right down to reading contemporary cookery books. In the last few years I have become aware of modern commentators who criticise those who fought during that war, or who were actively participant in other ways. From the safety of a public broadcast or freely available newspaper, well-fed, healthy and not in fear for their lives, they criticize those who did not have such privileges or freedom. And yet this refers to less than 70 years ago. If we have difficulty grasping historical context when we still have oral testimony, how can we hope to understand the writings of many hundreds of years ago.

It is essential that each one of us purporting to be a Traditional astrologer (or Classical, or Hellenistic, or Medieval, or whatever) immerses him or herself in the astrological period of choice. The briefest of investigations into society, politics, religion, philosophy, architecture, design, food, music and so on, will provide historical context and help us to understand the motivations of those astrologers of old.


I am an unlikely web logger and probably not a very good one. I seldom have much to say about astrology unless asked and struggle to find subjects to write about. Even when I do, it seems that it can be said in very few words. The internet has made it possible for everyone with a computer to express an opinion about anything and everything – I won’t find it difficult to restrain myself from that.

There are a number of reasons for my ‘coming out’ in this way, the main one being that it seems the best medium for those “few words” I mentioned earlier. The other benefit is that I do not have to continue if I choose not to and it isn’t necessary to prepare a full-blown article. We’ll see how this progresses.

It is not my intention that this space should become a forum or ‘talk shop’, although there may be times when readers’ comments may be included, particularly where those comments contribute to the subject in hand. The content here will largely be that which is of interest to me and if readers also find it of interest then so much the better, but I anticipate neither agreement nor disagreement.

So, to begin…