Thursday, December 21, 2006

0 Degrees Of Capricorn - Season's Greetings

In the northern hemisphere, when the Sun begins its journey through the sign of Capricorn it's the Winter Solstice, and the 2006 Solstice takes place on 22nd December, at around 12.15am GMT. The Winter Solstice has always been a time of celebration, as it marks the spot of the longest night, and the beginning of longer days. The Sun is reborn at this moment, to grow in strength until the Summer Solstice in June, when the cycle of shortening nights repeats again. Different cultures and different religions have had their own way of celebrating this time for thousands upon thousands of years. Some of the traditions have merged with others, some remain unchanged, but the celebrations continue to be an important part of people's lives everywhere.

It doesn't take a great amount of google searching to discover the origins of Christmas link to the Winter Solstice. Research certainly indicates that the story of the birth of a son to a virgin is a lot older than 2000 years. According to Achayra S in The Christ Conspiracy, there's a long list of deities who share a similar story, many of whom were born to a virgin on or around the 25th December (old calendar Solstice time), visited by wise men, and who grew up to be healers and saviours. Some of the more famous ones she includes are Mithra, Buddha, Krishna, Dionysus, Hercules and Horus (Her theory is all these characters, Jesus included; refer to an original solar myth with astrological correspondences).

I mention this not to get the backs up of Christians who are Christmas story devotees, but because it fascinates me that this Solstice based tale has stayed with us so strongly through the ages, in its various forms, and across so many cultures. To me this means it's vitally important to us that it stays in our conscious awareness. Why that is, I don't know. I know why it's important to me, being an astrologer with a passion for the cycles and seasons I live within; but I don't know why it's had such a hold on the collective psyche for so many thousands of years, with all its diversity of belief and interest.

Is it because it expresses the deep magic and mystery of the human condition? or is it something more astrologically mundane, and simply our collective response to the story, expressing according to the nature of the sign the celebrations fall under? Or is it both? A mix of mystery and mundane?

The adherence to tradition and ritual that has stood the test of time is very Capricorn. Time itself is related to Capricorn, so it would be appropriate to be celebrate it's seasonal passing. It's also in the nature of this sign to be a bit of a humbug about enjoying the festivities. Way back when the Romans celebrated this time as Saturnalia (Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn), Seneca complained that "the whole mob has let itself go in pleasures", while Pliny the Younger retired to his room to avoid the celebrations. This is also the season of the lecture about materialism, consumerism and the perils of excess, maybe because Capricorn is associated with limits, discipline and restriction. There's always a cry from someone to return to the good old days, when people celebrated with appropriate modesty, respectfully mindful of the 'real' message (back to that ever present solar deity myth); though when that was I don't know, as there's always been an associated history of hardcore merry-making. Finally of course, there's the extensive preparations for the holiday season - there's nothing more Capricorn-esque than a step by step, stressful build-up to fulfilling a goal. Preparation, pressure, and planning; it's all Cappy territory.

There's more on the rich tradition of Solstice time here.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sun Meets Pluto And GC On 18th December

Just ahead of the New Moon in Sagittarius on the 20th, the Sun travels across the degree that Pluto is currently occupying. It's something that happens once a year, so that's not unusual, but this year Pluto is slowly travelling across the degree that the Galactic Centre sits, and this hasn't happened for nearly 250 years.

Pluto has a formidable reptuation for the intensity of impact in a chart, and Pluto conjunct Galactic Centre is a long-term influence because it moves so slowly. This means there's lots of time to ponder the effects, but the addition of the Sun's presence over the next few days just might shine a light of understanding onto your own personal relationship with this energy.

Kathryn Cassidy has an inspiring post on the current astrology energy, and its evolutionary potential. She says:

"Any evolutionary leap won't make news headlines. It is not something we will visibly witness. However an event in the world, or an event in your life around December 18th 2006 could be a trigger to something, which in retrospect (days, weeks, months or even years to come) we shall note signalled the beginning of major change - a new era in history."

Read her full article here, and be sure to check out the video clip included!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Astrology Of Blogging

There’s a great meme on the go, originating from a post by Twilight, on the astrology of blogging. Her theory that astrology bloggers might show a combination of dominant Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter energies is being put to the test by bloggers offering their chart details to see how they match up. I’ve been tagged by Lynn and April to offer my contribution (two tags! it must be all this Gemini energy!), and it appears I’m a classic case according to the theory:

- I have Sun, Mercury and Mars in Gemini, in the 9th house (9th house is associated with Jupiter)

- Mercury is a couple of degrees from the Midhaven, so is angular, square Virgo ascendant

- Mercury is sextile Saturn in Aries in the 7th

- Mercury is also sextile Jupiter in Leo in the 11th

I can't say that writing is an easy thing for me, despite all that Mercury energy. It's a bit like pulling teeth at times, searching for ways to communicate my thoughts on the subject (Neptune in 3rd inconjunct Mercury?), and I'm a devil for editing and reworking, in my Virgo ascendant quest for the perfect post :-)
Yet there's a compulsion to keep going with it. Like Lynn I'm drawn to astrology to investigate the deeper connectedness, how the bigger picture fits together - I have Mercury square Pluto, and also square Uranus in the 12th. Sometimes I feel that astrology chose me, which is a characteristic feeling when experiencing that kind of outer planet energy, and blogging is my way of channelling all the 'wow!' energy when I get a good glimpse that connectedness.

Great post Twilight, and thanks to Jeffrey for starting the tags. I'm loving reading what everyone's got to say about this.

My turn to tag

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tornado Hits London

At first I thought it was my favourite Guru, Blowing Her Miscreant Wind; but no, it really was a freak tornado that tore up a London street today, leaving devastation in its wake, and luckily no serious injury. You know what us Brits are like, we just don’t do tornados. Especially not in middle of London, in the middle of December; so what’s that all about?

Listening to the news reports my astrologer brain automatically highlighted keywords that I could identify with planets and signs: the devastation – there’s a Pluto word if ever I heard one. Sudden, freak, unexpected, shock – they’re all Uranus words. Structures and buildings; there's Saturn. I reached straight for the astrology charts, and looked at what was happening in the UK chart (1st January, 1801 - using a midday chart as exact ‘birth’ time is not known), at the time of the tornado (11am)

The UK midday chart has an Aries ascendant, which makes Mars the chart ruler. Mars has just moved into Sagittarius, right next to expansive Jupiter, making a square aspect (dynamic or challenging) to Pluto in the UK chart. The UK also has Uranus at 2 degrees of Libra, which links up with Mars and Jupiter exactly.

Meanwhile Venus and Pluto are currently meeting in the skies, also in Sagittarius. Venus and Pluto link exactly to the Aries ascendant, and all together link to form a triangle aspect to newly retrograde Saturn in Leo. The UK is experiencing a Saturn return at the moment, so UK Saturn and current Saturn sit together here.

This triangle aspect of planets is a Grand Trine, a pattern of easy, flowing energy. Some people often make the mistake of assuming the ‘easy’ aspects bring only ‘good’ events, and the more challenging aspects like squares or oppositions forecast difficulties. But the ease refers to the ease of energy flow, which clearly in this case was effortless due to the sheer power of the storm.

The planet keywords were also visible in the coincidence that the street hit was the home of a well known female tv news reporter (Venus in Sagittarius meeting Pluto). As luck would have it (Jupiter), she'd taken the day off work, and so was well placed (in the local hairdressers!) to be at the centre of the action (mars), and straight back to work on tv (Saturn retro in Leo).

The last tornado to hit a highly populated area of Britain was last year (29 July), in Birmingham. Weirdly, Mars had just gone into the sign of Taurus that time, and was squaring Saturn (then just fresh into Leo), as well as Jupiter in the UK chart.

Read more about the London tornado here

Monday, December 04, 2006

Full Moon In Gemini

... at 13 degrees. Over the weekend I was checking planet placing for two of my close relatives, who are visiting New York this week for the first time since their last holiday in September of 2001. I noticed this full moon takes place over the degrees of the Saturn/Pluto opposition at that time.

September 11th was the final day of their holiday, and they'd planned to start it by having breakfast at the Trade Centre. The plan was to take the subway the short distance and then catch the elevator. But in the subway they hit delays. The ticket machine was broken, and everyone they asked was incredibly unhelpful and rather brusque ('No, I don't have change; no, there's nothing I can do'). So, hot and bothered, and cursing the lack of manners and delay to their schedule, they set off to walk instead, yet it was the delay and the unhelpful strangers that meant they met with the events of that day from a relatively safe distance.

Back in England we didn't know if they were safe or not, it was hours before we could contact them. They arrived home a week later understandably thankful the whole traumatic time was over for them. No one would have blamed them if they never got on another plane again, but within months they were off on another holiday and have continued to fly regularly and enjoy travelling. I told them I don't know how they do it; I don't know how I would have coped with that experience and come to terms with what happened. The 'what if's' would have driven me mad - how do you find peace after an experience like that? How to ascribe a meaning to it that doesn't make you second guess every seemingly inconsequential move you make, for fear that this time you're on the wrong side of 'coincidence'? Especially in the climate of fear that has descended since then.

My relatives said no terrorist was going to stop them doing what they wanted to do, or going where they wanted to go. They believed their time wasn't up that day, and until it is, they intend to carry on enjoying life just as they did before. They had always planned to return to New York, and had talked about it often, but wanted to wait until the time felt right for them. They wanted to make some new, happier memories of New York, and lay to rest the old ones. Full Moons are turning points, where we say 'enough!' to something. 'Enough talking about it' (Gemini), 'lets take that journey' (Sagittarius), my relatives have said.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Thanks to Sue Turner at Tumblewords for letting me know about this fantastic free program - it's a planetarium! Set the co-ordinates for where you live and get exactly what's going on in the skies represented by your computer, in true as above so below style.

It's realistic, easy to use, informative and addictive. Find out more here