Sunday, 29 May 2011

Astrology and Self Empowerment

What is astrology for? What can it do? Can it tell me what’s going to happen to me? These are common questions that even seasoned astrologers ask themselves from time to time.

One of the major criticisms of astrology is that it can’t make accurate predictions. I agree that it can’t, but rather than putting astrology on a back foot, I think this is one of its strengths and I’ll try and tell you why I think this.....

Take any birth chart and look at the aspects. Say the birth chart has a tight Venus-Saturn opposition aspect. What assumptions do we immediately make? Amongst other things, we might presume that the owner of this aspect has difficulties with relationships. In a lot of cases we would be correct in this assumption, but can we really say much more than this without some background information and some feedback from the person with the aspect? Not really. We need some context before we can unravel the mystery of what this aspect means.

Does the chart belong to a man or woman? How old are they? What kind of family do they come from?  What is their socio/economic standing? What culture/religious background do they come from and how does that affect how relationships are conducted? All of these things and more will have an impact, as will the rest of the chart.  However, it is only really when we meet and talk to the person and hear their story that we can truly see how that Venus-Saturn opposition has played out in their lives.

This is because everyone’s lives are determined by one thing that the birth chart can’t tell us.  We always have the Free Will to make choices and to act upon them.

I am a big believer of free will. If some things seem ‘fated’ aren’t they usually just consequences of past actions? Didn’t the ‘fated’ event arise from our past actions in some way, however convoluted the path from cause to effect might be? If you take the modern spiritual perspective you may even believe that you choose to come in at a certain time and face certain issues in order for growth and development on a soul level.

Now, back my point, which is to tell you why I think astrology’s failure to accurately predict is actually its strength........... the answer is simple. If astrology can’t tell you exactly what is going to happen...... then ...... your Venus-Saturn opposition DOESN’T HAVE TO condemn you to a lifetime of relationship difficulties. Moon conjunct Pluto doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome ‘mothering’ issues.  If you have Sun square Neptune it isn’t inevitable that you’ll face a life of confused goals and self destructive escapism. You can’t escape the aspect, its energies will always be with you, but YOU CAN CHOOSE what you do with it. The same principle also applies to transits excepting of course that transits are temporary.

Each and every ‘difficult’ aspect or transit holds within it the key to living it out creatively and constructively. Each one presents an opportunity for growth and healing. They all invite you to take the higher road. They do not promise that it will be quick or easy or that you will be 100% ‘cured’. In fact they do not make any promises at all. It is up to you to seek the true meaning of every aspect and transit AS IT RELATES TO YOU AND YOUR STORY. Then you have the choice of what you do with the information. 

The astrologer can’t tell you what will happen, because she doesn’t have all the answers. All she can do is hear your story, discuss it with you in relation to your chart and perhaps give you a few pointers. She must respect that you have free will and not take that away from you by trying to make concrete predictions. If she has done her job well, she has opened you up to the positive potentials and made you aware of the possible pitfalls before she sends you on your way. A bit like a weather forecaster, she can tell you whether to pack your sun-block or your thermals (or both) as you head off on your journey. Where you go or what happens after that is up to you.

And that is the magic of self empowerment through astrology.

With love,

"Character is fate" Heraclitus

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Good News Transits ~ Jupiter and Saturn

Everyone loves a bit of good news and I have been heartened to hear quite a few glad tidings recently from friends, family and colleagues. It’s certainly been a welcome lift after the doom and gloom of the last few months.

Where can we find good news in our horoscope?

The first and best place to look to is our transits. Here is part one of a light hearted summary of the good news that transits of Jupiter, Saturn and the outer planets can bring into your life. Yes, even Saturn and Pluto!


Joy, hope, optimism, good luck, opportunity. Jupiter transits promise a lot but doesn’t always deliver! So how do we make the most of them to make sure we turn them into good news?

 Opportunities don’t usually appear out of thin air, we have to go out and find them. If Jupiter is transiting your MC for example, this can spell good news for your career. Perhaps you are after a new job or chasing a promotion? It is unlikely to come if you don’t at least meet the universe half way. Letting your boss know that you are ready to move up or applying for a few new jobs is the obvious thing to do. I started a new job when transiting Jupiter was conjunct my MC, but it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been very actively looking.

 If you’re very lucky and an opportunity comes your way without you pursuing it, then you will still probably need to put in a bit of effort to capitalize on it. The good feelings that often come with a Jupiter transit can sometimes make us lose out on opportunities because we're too busy having a good time to follow up!

 Put yourself in the right place at the right time. Staying home and not connecting with other people just won’t cut it!

 Hang out with Jupiterian type people – magnanimous, adventurous, jovial people can really lift the spirits, infuse us with optimism and make us believe that anything can happen!

 Broaden your horizons - study a new subject, travel to somewhere new, explore other faiths and cultures. It could mark the start of an exciting new life journey.

Jupiter is currently in Aries. Here’s an exploration of the themes of Jupiter in Aries which might provide food for thought if Jupiter is currently making a transit to one of your chart’s planets or angles: Jupiter in Aries Brainstorm


Obstacles, limitations, delays, hard work, fear, caution. On paper, Saturn transits don’t sound like much fun at all! How can we turn that Saturn frown upside down?

 Saturn transits call for hard work and taking responsibility. Doesn’t sound like much fun? Remember that hard work, tenacity, responsibility and putting in the hours form the basic building blocks of success achieved over time. That's good news, so hang on in there!

 Saturn is the planet of structure, so a Saturn transit is the perfect time to re-structure parts of your life that aren’t working, so make the most of the opportunity and you'll reap the benefits in the long run.

 Slow down, be patient, take your time, stop rushing, don’t cut corners and do it right! This applies to any kind of task or ambition during a Saturn transit. We all love a bit of instant gratification, but when you’ve really, really worked at something, isn’t the satisfaction sooo much greater when everything finally comes together and you get what you've earned and deserved?

 Hang out with the old and the wise. When we’re younger we think we know it all! As we get older we realise how naive we were and how much we still don’t know! Whatever age you are, spending time with older people can be very rewarding. They’ve been through everything you’ve been through and probably worse! Their wisdom and advice could prove invaluable.

 Put it all down to experience! Saturn transit getting you down? The good news is that Saturn transits give you invaluable experience and a real opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Then one day you'll be a wise elder others come to for advice.

 If you get any kind of reward during a Saturn transit, know that you have really, really earned it, with no luck or fluke involved. ‘Maria’ was disappointed to be passed over for a promotion she felt she deserved. One year and a whole lot of hard work later, Saturn crossed her IC (opposing her MC – the career point). Not only did she get the promotion, but she won the employee of the year award! Now that's Saturn!

Still struggling with your Saturn transit? Here are some very useful and healing articles that might help: Look After Saturn and Saturn Will Look After You.

Saturn is currently transiting Libra. Here’s a look at the Saturn in Libra's transit through the houses.

Next up, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

With love,

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Astrology for May

Welcome to May.

I love May. It’s such a ripe month here in the northern hemisphere. The days are long and we’ve had a little taste of sunshine, so the promise and hope of a warm summer is upon us. Here in the UK, we are just coming down from the royal wedding, an event so full of romance and optimism.

The sky on the May 1st, magical May Day, offers us Neptune in Pisces and Mercury direct, following a rather tense retrograde in April. The Sun is in sensual Taurus, a stubborn Sun, steady in the face of Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus, all in fiery Aries! Had enough of all the heat? Well, this May, the inner planets start to join the Sun in the earth sign of Taurus, helping us to connect to something a bit more tangible than hot air and rash impatience.

Here’s the low-down on April's main action...

Taurus New Moon
May 2 (American time zones) or 3 (European/Asian time zones)
As the Sun and Moon join in practical Taurus, it’s time to make a plan. Taurus likes nothing more than security, so issues of both emotional and financial security come into focus now. The build up of planets in Aries provides the energy and drive to get us started and the steady tenaciousness of Taurus helps us to follow through. Pluto’s easy trine to the New Moon helps us to find the resources we need, but Saturn in an awkward quincunx to the New Moon reminds us to consider others as we push through with our planning.

Mars Enters Taurus
May 11:
Had a great idea or started a promising new project last month while Mars was in fiery Aries? Now that Mars enters the steady, tenacious, productive sign of Taurus, you should be able to find the right kind of energy to follow through on that project or idea. So long as you don’t give in to laziness! This is a sensual Mars and simple pleasures are what it is all about. This is a great ingress for enjoying nature or for doing what comes naturally. Enjoy! Mars is in Taurus until June 20/21 (depending on your time zone).

Venus Enters Taurus
May 15:
Lovely Venus joins Mars in Taurus. Venus is very happy in the sign of the bull. This is an especially warm, physical and creative placing for Venus. In Taurus, Venus expresses affection easily. We can appreciate the good things in life when Venus is in this sign – food, luxury, beauty, comfortable surroundings. It is also a good ingress to have a look at our finances. We love the things that money can buy, but do we have the money to buy them? An earth sign, Taurus will help us to stay down to earth and realistic when it comes to our expenditure and also help us to understand that some of the best things in life are free. Venus is in Taurus until June 9.

Mercury Enters Taurus
May 15:
One the same day as Venus moves into Taurus, Mercury does the same. With Mercury in Aries, shooting off at the mouth without thinking was fine, but with the communication planet in Taurus, we need to be more careful with what we say. Mercury in Taurus is a practical thinker, so applying your mind to finding functional solutions to problems is a great use of this energy. It’s also a good time to think about the power of words, to really savour what you say and how you say it. It’s also pretty good for whispering sensual sweet nothings into the ear of the one you love. Mercury is in Taurus until June 2.

Full Moon in Scorpio
May 17:
Taurus is about desire and possession and this is what it has in common with its opposite sign Scorpio. For both Taurus and Scorpio, to possess something - whether it’s a person, an object or a big bank balance – is to have security: emotional, financial and material. Desire is an expression of a need to connect to something other than the self. Desire for Taurus is a sensual, earthly pleasure. For Scorpio, it’s a deeply felt, highly controlled emotion. Balancing Taurus desire with Scorpio desire is key this Full Moon and paves the road to the security that these two signs need.  A Mercury, Venus and Mars conjunction, all in Taurus, will help us to voice our desires and a connection to the Full Moon from Neptune lends a bit of magical alchemy to the mix.

Sun in Gemini
May 21:
A Gemini Sun has us striving to connect and communicate with others. The magic is in the detail with Gemini, but the danger is of being pulled in all sorts of directions as we follow the whims of the moment. All in all though, Gemini is a fun placement for the Sun, a time to come out of yourself and look upon the world with curiosity, then head off to explore it. We never know where the Gemini journey will take us until we start out. We are bound to meet many forks in the road, we just won’t be sure which on to take!

Ongoing Events: A Reminder of the Bigger Picture

Pluto Retrograde
Pluto turned retrograde on April 9. It spends over 40% of its time retrograde and has a retrograde period of approximately 160 days, so this is not a retrograde to get too worried about.  It turned around at 7 degrees 30 minutes of Capricorn and from a personal perspective this will be a significant retrograde transit if you have planets or angles at 7-8 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. A deep review of your emotional and material life could be called for, as well as dealing with issues around power and control and self-sabotaging habits. Pluto transits are not easy, but in the final analysis can signal the start of positive change. See Notes From A Pluto transit for a personal account of what a Pluto transit can be like.

Neptune in Pisces
As the Moon starts to wax, increasing in light and energy we start to dream of something magical and mystical came our way…Neptune, after 14 years in Aquarius, dipped its toes into watery Pisces on April 4, the sign it feels its most natural affinity with.  This ingress brings with it themes of compassion, philanthropy, suffering, idealism, spirituality and sacrifice. Some of these are explored in my article Neptune in Pisces Miscellanea

Neptune retrogrades back into Aquarius on August 5, re-entering Pisces on February 3, 2012, after which it will stay in Pisces until 2026.

Uranus in Aries
Exciting, rebellious Uranus is now very much settled in warrior sign of Aries… There’s lots of stuff about Uranus in Aries at Astroair Astrology…here’s a selection of the most popular articles…

What’s the Aries Point and what does it mean for Uranus? 
Rush of Energy ~ Uranus at the Aries Point

How Uranus in Aries might affect you?
Uranus in Aries Transits

Key phrases for this exciting transit & tips for handling the fiery energy

Uranus in Aries Brainstorm

Find out how Uranus in Aries will wake up your Mars

Uranus in Aries and your Personal Mars Sign

Saturn retrograde in Libra
Saturn’s been in Libra since 2009 and is currently in its second retrograde period of three during its time in the sign of the scales. It turns direct in June, so we still have May to do some Saturn Libra Retrograde’s a few suggestions for using the retrograde to review your relationships:

Saturn transit getting you down? Here are a few helpful articles from last year’s blog-a-thon:

Void of Course Moons for May
You can see a Void of Course Moon table for May here….along with an explanation of what Void of Course is and how to use it.

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With love,

Quincunx, Aversion & Venus in Libra

I always have great fun recording the Academy of Astrology UK weekly podcast, hosted by the wonderful Rod Chang. It's never scripted, w...