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.