Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Solstice

The end of the world has been predicted approximately 183 times over the last 2,000 or so years, so there’s no reason to worry that this 2012 prediction malarkey will turn out to be correct. In fact, if you're an email subscriber, you will probably be reading this AFTER the appointed apocalpyse time of 11:11 GMT.

21st December is a very important date though, because it marks the Winter Solstice (Summer Solstice below the Equator). The Winter Solstice is the shortest day, it’s a celebration of the return of the light (return of the son / the Sun). It’s Yule in the pagan calendar.

That’s worth celebrating, taking a bit of time out from Christmas consumerism to give thanks and count our blessings.

Joyce Mason over at The Radical Virgo has a wonderful piece full of ideas for the Solstice, which she describes as a time to release the old, recognise your accomplishments and embrace the new. Check it out here.

Here’s A Coffee at the end of the World my look at the Solstice chart, which in astrology is used as a good predictor for the season to come, at least until the Spring Equinox.
Lua Astrology also has some great insights about the Solstice chart here, focusing on its powerful Yod (Finger of God) aspect.
Also see Orcus author Jeremy Neal's take on the Solstice Chart over at Chirotic Journal.
And finally, In The End of the World Scheduled For Friday, Eric Francis gives us his irreverent and satirical take on 2012.

Here's wishing you a happy Yule, Chrismas etc, with many more to come.

With love,

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Coffee at the End of the World

So, 21st December 2012 is almost upon us. A whole industry has grown up around this date, which apparently marks the end of the Mayan calendar.
Will the world (as we know it) end? I’m so sure it won’t, I’m meeting a good friend the day after for a coffee to celebrate the continuation of the status quo. We always meet on the last Saturday before Christmas, at the same coffee shop and order the biggest, sweetest coffees on the menu, topped off with a tower of squirty spray-can cream.
It’s an indulgence which, though unspoken, celebrates another year of our enduring friendship. We’ve been doing it so long it’s turned into a tradition.
Tradition of course, is associated with Capricorn, the sign the Sun moves into on 21st December. The Sun's ingress into Capricorn marks the Winter Solstice (the Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere). The chart for the Solstice is traditionally used as a predictor for the season to come, at least until the Spring Equinox.
So what message is the Solstice chart carrying?
December 21 Solstice, set for London (Click to Enlarge)
The first stand out is Mars in Capricorn. Mars is strong in Capricorn, exalted. We are expected to respect and look up to whatever Mars in Capricorn is symbolising. If we’re looking at this chart from a collective perspective, then Mars here represents those in authority - leaders, organisers, decision makers, action takers. Bravo Mars!
But look a little more closely at Mars and all is not as it first seems. Mars is unaspected, making no major aspects to any major planets. Mars in this position wants to do its own thing, unchallenged. But here’s the rub. It’s void of course, meaning that it won’t make any more aspects before it moves into egalitarian Aquarius. (its exact Sextile to the Nodal Axis occurred three days before the Solstice). All this means that by the time of the Solstice, Mars in Capricorn has already completed its work and has nothing else to do. Because, of its exaltation in Capricorn, however, it will still arrogantly cling to its sense of self importance and fail to see the impotence of its position.
Draw whatever conclusions you want, but it seems assured that those in positions of authority in society will find they are not able to Get Things Done in the way they would like during the coming three months or so.
Mars is a masculine energy, so we need to look elsewhere for the feminine. There is a clear pointer in the Solstice chart towards a positive surge of balancing feminine energy. Juno joins the Sun at 0 degrees Capricorn - the Aries point degree, where a great rush of energy projects outwards into the world, seeking manifestation. Juno symbolises the union of the masculine and feminine, including the legal union of marriage. Juno also stands for primal feminine power and issues of equality, a useful counterpoint for the male power represented by the Sun. Interesting that the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK is currently on the political agenda. We will also hear more about female inequality in the workplace (the Sun-Juno conjunction falls in the 10th House for the UK), with female unemployment reaching an all time high in 2012 and with mounting pressure on corporations to promote more women to the Board.
The first major aspect to become exact after the Solstice is Saturn’s first Sextile to Pluto on 26 December (it will also fall exact in March and September 2013, with its influence stretching from November 2012 to November 2013).
Saturn in Scorpio is in mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn, meaning that Saturn and Pluto fall in the sign of each other’s ruler. Planets in mutual reception support each other. They can be powerful allies as the world and individuals work towards positive change. Just as easily though, Saturn and Pluto can become dangerous partners in crime. It remains to be seen how this will go, but it’s likely we will see both extremes. The opportunity during this Sextile, if we choose to take it, is to push the relationship towards its more positive expression.
Probably the most significant pattern of this chart is the exact Yod, with Jupiter in Gemini making Quincunx aspects to Saturn and Pluto in Sextile. In Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, Bill Tierney describes a Yod as a fork in the road, the finger of fate, the opportunity to follow a new direction. Uncertainties may be felt and adjustments may need to be made, but change is necessary. He goes on to say that with Jupiter at the apex, the opportunity is for an expansion of consciousness and the broadening of a social vision.
This is a Yod charged with aspiration, optimism and idealism, which has the potential to make a big social impact. Jupiter in Gemini wants freedom of speech, freedom of mind and freedom of movement. Jupiter is in detriment (meaning that it’s difficult to operate to its best potential in Gemini), so it might be easy for the more negative side of Jupiter to find expression: over reaching; impractical and excessively moralistic. We will need to tap into the more positive energies of Saturn and Pluto to be reminded that real and lasting change requires time, effort and patience. 
The chart also gives us Saturn Trine Neptune. If we are being optimistic we can predict peaceful resolutions, treaties, new understandings and a more compassionate idea of morality. This is an opportunity to show we care and to do something practical about it. If we want to be cautious, we should be wary of those who merely pay lip service to compassionate actions and humanitarian causes, while surreptitiously pursuing their own agenda.
Looking at this from the perspective of the 2012 predictions, Jupiter in detriment in Gemini in the Yod can all to0 easily make him a false prophet, the witting or unwitting spreader of fear and overblown, baseless theories and rumours. The Saturn Neptune Trine also has the capacity for deception. We need to keep our wits about us if we suspect others are using our fears to control and manipulate us. Putting fearful energy into our endeavours and reactions can create a strong negative force. Refusing to panic and facing our fears (if we are called to do so) can, if done with self compassion and care, become a powerful healing energy.
The key to facing our fears is keeping them in healthy perspective. Our guides for this journey are Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn, who together push us to the edges of our worst fears and force us to stare down into the abyss, with the purpose of offering us freedom from them. My e-book on Saturn in Scorpio deals with the issue of fear, control and keeping safe in detail. Here’s an exclusive extended excerpt from the book.
There’s no doubt the world is constantly changing, but it’s an evolution that is slow, ongoing, complex and multilayered, as reflected by the long cycles of the outer planets: the 493-year Neptune-Pluto cycle; the 120+ year Uranus-Pluto cycle and so on.
As the planets turn and connect, we are still here, working out the same old Karma. Now if that is not enough to help put things in perspective, I don’t know what is!
Happy 2012 Solstice.

With love,
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Monday, 10 December 2012

The It's-Not-The-End-Of-The-World Playlist

21st December 2012 is almost upon us folks. Yours truly doesn't buy into the whole 2012 end of the world hype. It may be the end of the Mayan calendar (allegedly), but there is a calendar for 2013. I've seen them in the shops, so it must be true! Some of them even have pics of One Direction on them!

However, as a lover of symbol and ceremony, I think it's only right to mark the date. 21st December is after all a Solstice and even though we have two Solstices every year (summer and winter), it's still a significant astronomical/astrological/symbolic event in itself.

So, in the first of two, maybe three, posts about 21.12.12 (or 12.21.12, if you're west of the Altantic),  I would like to share Jon Fortgang's Apolcalypse Playlist. I'm sure you'll agree that every honest to goodness Day of Judgement wouldn't be the same without a rocking soundtrack to accompany it. Here's Jon's cracking intro, followed by a link to the songs:

The world has been ending since the start of recorded history, and probably on a fairly regular basis before that.

Zarathustra was the first not to start making long-terms plans, somewhere around 1,200 BCE in modern Iran. More than 200 specific dates for the Great Reckoning have been posited over the last two millennia. There were around 100 confident predictions of the end of the world in the twentieth century alone, though anyone who lived through the industrial conflicts of the last 100 years may feel that, in every meaningful sense, the world did actually end in 1914, again in 1940, again in 1945 and on a weekly basis thereafter.

In his book Apocalypse: A History of the End of Time, John Michael Greer chronicles the viral life of the apocalypse meme in the run up to 21 December 2012, which may or may not be the point at which the Mayan calendar comes to an end and there are no more days to count.

In fact, says Greer, there is scant evidence to suggest that this date has ever been of any significance whatsoever to ancient Mesoamerican cultures – or to anyone else. Just one reference to it was found in a minor Mayan temple and no one's quite sure how the numbers there work out anyway.

We do, nevertheless, recognise the perversely seductive appeal of apocalyptic thinking round here. Imminent cataclysm introduces a fairly acute sense of drama. ('Catharsis' - purification through tragedy – shares with 'cataclysm' the Ancient Greek root 'kataklysmos' – a washing away of things).

Acceding to the apocalyptic meme makes the adept feel exclusive, elect, terrible and significant. Heroes come forth in the wasteland. And after the apocalypse there's the whole Mad Max, po-ap thing: a literal leveling of the social order with, in the movies anyway, a bizarrely carnivalesque undertone. ('Carnival', which has the same Latin root as 'carnage': a removal of flesh or meat.)

In fact, of course, the world – and the rest of the universe - will probably conclude with the heat death of the Sun in around four billion years' time. We're unlikely to be here to see that. But it does introduce some helpful perspective.

Anyway, to celebrate the fact that the world is not going to end in three weeks' time, we are assembling the Apocalypse Playlist: 20 songs about the end of the world at the rate of one (or possibly two) a day, until we get to 21/12/12...

Now click here to follow Jon's suggestions, guaranteed to be more fun and more surprising than an Advent Calendar, although I can't promise a chocolate behind every video window.  

Jon Fortgang is a London based journalist, writer and editor.

With love,

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Friday, 7 December 2012

The Pull of The Moon

This awesome picture of the Moon is from NASA and I just couldn't resist sharing it here.

The colours show variations in the lunar gravity field. If you want to learn more, there's a video here>

There's no doubt that the Moon has a strong influence over us, both actually and symbolically.

If you follow the Moon's movements, you might be interested to know that over at my website there's a lot of useful and up to date Moon content:

Monthly Moon Phases
This page includes the phase of the Moon, the sign and degree of the Moon and the Sun and a brief explanation of each Moon phase and how its energy might best by used.

Monthly Void of Course Moon Times
Knowing when the Moon is Void of Course can be a useful planning tool. The chart, updated monthly, also lets you know exactly when the Moon changes signs. If Void of Course is a mystery to you, then it's all explained here>

The Moon through the Signs
This page explains how best to use the energy of the Moon according to the sign it's in. Try following the Moon for a month and see if you can feel the subtle vibe changes as it moves through the zodiac.

Each page also has a widget that shows you what phase the Moon is currently in.

I hope you enjoy working with the Moon, I know I take great comfort from knowing she's up there in the sky, watching over us.

With love,

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT/GSFC

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Curse of Mercury in Sagittarius

Sometimes you don't make the connection straight away. A seemingly random idea or thought enters your brain and keeps returning to grab your attention. Eventually, if you're lucky, you can connect the dots and see the bigger picture.

So a few things happened that made me feel like nobody was listening to me. I knew I was right, but everyone disagreed, or worse, ignored me. This brought to mind the archetypal disaster movie hero. You know that guy, the one who predicts the unthinkable turn of events but nobody believes him? When the worst happens, it's usually too late for those who most vehemently disagreed with his prognosis of events. They were the ones who could only see things from their own narrow, material and self-serving point of view. They could not see the bigger picture.

The movie archetype comes to us from the Greek myth of Cassandra. Cassandra was granted the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but when she refused his amorous advances, he added a curse to the gift -  her prophecies would not be believed. Famously, nobody listened when she foresaw the destruction of Troy, with tragic results.

So why did I feeling like nobody was listening to me or believing me? I'm guessing because Mercury in Sagittarius turned retrograde on my natal Descendant, that chart point where we most immediately connect with the public, the other.

So what does this mean? What astro-insight is up for grabs if I connect the dots? Mercury in Sagittarius is in detriment, meaning it's in a sign where it can't operate to its best potential, where it needs a bit of help and support. Like that disaster movie hero, assistance might be hard to find. Mercury, as you know, is all about communication. It's the planet that needs to heard, needs to connect to others. Sagittarius is arguably the most righteous sign of the zodiac and it loves the bigger picture, but with Mercury in this sign it's not going to be easy to get the point across. Perhaps it's Mercury in Sagittarius' curse to always be right, but never to be believed? Maybe Mercury in Sag is astrology's Cassandra?

I should mention that I have Mercury in Sagittarius in the seventh house natally. It's square Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. No wonder I feel like nobody gets it that I'm right about everything! Thankfully, the fate of the world isn't depending on me being heard and believed! Right?

Post script: A certain Dr Zamenhof had Mercury in Sagittarius. He invented Esperanto with a grand vision of creating an easy-to-learn, politically neutral language to transcend nationality and foster understanding between people with different languages and cultures. The word Esperanto translates as "one who hopes". So utterly Sagittarius. The problem was nobody was interested in learning it. So totally Mercury in Sagittarius!

Mercury entered Sagittarius on 29th October 2012. It turned retrograde on 6 November at 04 Sagittarius 18, re-entering Scorpio on 14th November. It turned direct on 26 November at 18 Scorpio 10, re-enters Sagittarius on 11th December 2012 and leaves Sagittarius on 31st December 2012.

Click here for December's Void of Course Moon times and Moon sign changes
Click here for December's Moon Phases
Click here for details of Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark, Mandi Lockley's timely new ebook
Image: Cassandra by Evelyn De Morgan, 1898

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sex, Savile & Crisis at the BBC

The BBC Director-General Resigns
Saturn in Scorpio can be an extreme placement. One of its darkest themes is the abuse of power, particularly by those in positions of authority in society. This, unfortunately, includes sexual abuse.

The arrival of Saturn into Scorpio also signals social shifts in attitudes to sex. Collectively, we find ourselves dancing around the line between sexual freedoms and sexual controls. Some historical and current examples of this are explored in Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through the Dark.
Another key facet of Saturn’s transit through Scorpio is that we are shown, all too starkly and dramatically, the results of past sexual behaviours, freedoms, controls and abuses. This phenomenon of exposure is linked closely to Pluto’s relationship to Saturn in Scorpio. For example, in the 1980’s, when Saturn in Scorpio conjoined Pluto in Scorpio, the devastating HIV/AIDS virus came to our attention. At the height of the scare it seemed that sex equalled death, quite literally.

Fast forward to 2012 and we have Saturn in Scorpio with Pluto in Capricorn. In mutual reception1 and in Sextile1 by sign, Saturn and Pluto are enjoying a relationship which makes it easy for Saturn to act as filter and conduit for Pluto’s energy to manifest. As we’ve already established, Saturn in Scorpio can be about the use and abuse of sex by those in authority. Pluto in Capricorn is about exposing and holding responsible the past wrong doings of individuals, corporations and institutions which have held power.  From here, it’s a very small leap to suggest that once Saturn moved into Scorpio, the past sexual ‘crimes’ of those in power and authority would be exposed.
Saturn moved into Scorpio on October 5. Just TWO DAYS ahead of this ingress, a documentary was shown on ITV in the UK, entitled Exposure - The Other Side of Jimmy Savile2 which investigated allegations that the late entertainer had sexually-abused vulnerable teenage girls.

Karin Ward, now 54 and recovering from cancer, went on camera to reveal how she and others were sexually abused by Savile while they were pupils at a school for emotionally disturbed girls. Ward was only 14 years old. After over 40 years of Savile apparently getting away with it, this was all it took. The floodgates were opened and what followed has been extreme. At the time of writing, police investigating the abuse have found 300 potential victims. Two other TV stars from Savile’s era have been arrested and bailed following allegations that they abused teenage girls along with Savile3 There have even been rumours that Savile enjoyed necrophilia.
The UK nation is shocked and horrified by the scale of abuse by Savile, but actually not that surprised. Nobody is defending him. Former colleagues are speaking openly about the rumours that surrounded him at the time and numerous former complaints against him have come to light, some of which were investigated by various police forces across the country. It seems that nobody joined up the dots. Complaints were dropped, ignored or brushed under the carpet. In answer to the question why didn’t you say something at the time, Ward and other alleged victims have pointed out that Savile was a big TV star and a huge supporter of children’s charities. He had power, while they are were just kids and ‘bad’ kids, at that. It’s alleged that he made threats to prevent them from coming forward. Who was going to believe them anyway? It seems that Savile was able to hide in plain sight.

What this scandal has also ignited is a major crisis at the BBC.

Firstly, it seems that the corporation appeared to look aside while the abuse was going on under their roof. This calls into question the culture at the organisation during those years, that so many seemed to know what was going on. It appears that they either accepted it as part of the culture, or, if they did feel uncomfortable with it, felt powerless to act.
Secondly, it’s come to light that in December 2011, BBC’s Newsnight is said to have pulled out of broadcasting the findings of their own investigation into Savile’s sexual abuse. Had the story ran, it would have coincided with lavish BBC tributes to the recently deceased Savile. The BBC has offered no feasible explanation to why the story was pulled, but Newsnight’s editor has stepped aside.

Thirdly, the BBC have been forced to apologise unreservedly after Newsnight implicated a Tory peer as being involved in organised sexual abuse of children at care homes in North Wales in the 1980’s. As a result, Newsnight, a bastion of probing investigative journalism, is facing editorial controls and restrictions. (This is a case unrelated to Savile, but which has been resurrected after allegations that a previous inquiry into the abuse had not uncovered its full scale and that powerful politicians may be involved in covering up a paedophile ring which included some powerful figures)4.
These developments have shaken trust in the BBC, one of the UK’s most trusted institutions, so much so that George Entwistle, the BBC Director-General has resigned. He was only in the post for 54 days.

Chart for the BBC. Click to enlarge
The BBC company was founded in 1922, but it was on 1 January 1927 that it became the British Broadcasting Corporation, by Royal Charter, making it the significant and accountable organization it still is today. Using this date as a birthday with a midnight birth time (which is appropriate for the birth of an organization), gives the Sun at 9 degrees Capricorn Conjunct South Node at 7 Capricorn, straddling a 9 degree Capricorn IC. Transiting Pluto in Capricorn is therefore making a series of conjunctions to the BBC’s Sun, South Node and IC and opposing its MC and North Node. Transiting Uranus, Pluto’s current partner in crime due to their ongoing series of disruptive, game-changing Squares, is making a series of Conjunctions to the Descendant in the BBC’s chart, which is at 7 Aries.
Whether they like it or not, the BBC is being forced to undergo a serious transformation that will shake it to its roots (IC) and affect its relationship to the public (Descendent) and its reputation (the MC) and bring in big changes at senior management level (MC). Saturn in Scorpio has just entered the BBC chart’s second House, challenging the corporation’s values and purse strings. Saturn will oppose natal Mars in Taurus in the 8th from the end of 2012 through 2013. Mars in Taurus is not going to yield to change easily, but what is certain is that questions will be asked about how the BBC is funded, how it manages its resources, what its core values are and how it expresses them. The corporation will be held ever more responsible in these areas.

Then, in 2015/6 the BBC will experience its Pluto half return when transiting Pluto opposes its 10th House Pluto in Cancer. We shall see a very different ‘Auntie Beeb’ by the time these transits are over.
Speaking at a recent conference5 Lynn Bell described Saturn in Scorpio as taking us to the place of nightmares, challenging the boundaries of our world. Something is opened up, Pandora’s Box-like. This is certainly the case here. Once it all comes out, it’s what you do with the toxic ‘stuff’ that counts.  We can hope that out of the darkness comes some light, healing and positive transformation.

This is something that we need insist upon as the Savile scandal, the North Wales care home abuse scandal and the BBC crisis all play themselves out. For Savile’s victims, the first crucial step of the healing process has been taken. They have spoken and they have been listened to. Now the authorities dealing with this scandal need to do everything they can to ensure that the victims receive help to accept and maybe even forgive what has been done to them, if that is possible6. Not only that, but it should be made easier for all of those who have been, or are being, abused by someone in power or authority, to come forward and to be believed and taken seriously.
The culture at the BBC and at all big corporations needs to change so that this can never happen again. It’s about breaking down the poisoned structures and building new, better structures in their place. This would be a powerfully positive use of the mutual reception and Sextile energies of Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn, as well as positive expresson of Uranus Square Pluto.

We also need to nip the panicked witch hunt in the bud, to ensure that innocent people aren’t smeared with the paedophile tag and to avoid more sacrificial head rolling at the BBC and elsewhere. Saturn, Uranus and Pluto will not be satisfied until the REAL perpetrators are held to account.
As noted at the top of this article, Saturn in Scorpio signals cultural shifts in attitudes to sexual behaviour, redefining the rules of what is and what isn’t acceptable. When Karin Ward said in a recent interview with The Daily Mail, “he was just like any other bloke in the mid-Seventies and at the time I never even thought of it as anything other than normal behaviour. He grabbed a handful of bum and went to grab a handful of boob...”7, we realise how far we have come, because that sort of behaviour in any workplace is totally unacceptable now8. That it has taken us so long to acknowledge how prevalent this kind of behaviour was, the devastating effect it can have, and allow some healing and recompense around that, makes us realise just how far we still have to go.

1Two planets are in mutual reception when each are in the sign of the other’s ruler. Planets in mutual reception tend to work together easily (strong allies or partners in crime). When planets are in mutual reception they tend to dominate the horoscope. Planets are in Sextile aspect when they fall within 60 degrees (two signs) of each other. Sextile aspects enjoy easy expression and are said to offer opportunity.

2Jimmy Savile was a TV and radio broadcaster from the 60’s and 70’s who became a household name. During the 80’s he became known for his charity work and in the 90’s he received a Knighthood, one of the highest honours in the land. Savile died in October 2011.
3For full details and a timeline of events see

5The Annual Conference of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, September 2012

6Saturn In Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark, Mandi Lockley's timely ebook discusses issues of healing, acceptance and forgiveness in relation to Saturn’s transit through Scorpio.

8I’m just about old enough to remember the days when, if a woman objected to being wolf-whistled or to having her bum pinched etc. she was told there was something wrong with her, that is was only a bit of fun. It was widely accepted that an ambitious women had to put up with this kind of thing if she wanted to get anywhere in her career. At the same time, she would be vilified by other women if it was perceived that she had ‘slept her way to the top’.
A note about Jimmy Savile’s Birth Chart

I don’t have a birth time, but his date of birth was 31st October 1926 in Leeds UK. At the time of the ITV documentary, transiting Saturn at 29 Libra was approaching a conjunction to his Venus at 2 Scorpio. Venus is conjunct his Sun at 7 Scorpio. At the same time, transiting Saturn was in an exact opposition to Savile’s natal Chiron at 29 degrees Aries. The revelations of his abuse of young women are indeed fitting for Saturn in Scorpio conjunct Venus and the transit to Chiron perhaps suggests the healing that now needs to be done. I can’t find a birth date for Karin Ward, but certainly she fits the wounded healer archetype.
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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Callie's Story

I'd like to share details of a new ebook by a wonderful lady - Callie Carling - who has recently been through a very difficult time and emerged stronger and wiser.
Callie's Story takes the reader on a journey that begins with what every woman fears, the diagnosis of breast cancer. Callie, though, didn't take the news lying down and by sharing her very personal experiences she wants to prove to women everywhere that there is life after breast cancer.
Callie's publisher, Tempest Press UK, says "Callie's journey and her frankness about each facet of the experience is fascinating, poignant and relevant" and I heartily agree. 
It's a deep and honest account, uplifting even as it deals with very difficult subject matter. It's short enough to read in one sitting, so put the kettle on, download it and get reading in the knowledge that proceeds from the sale of the ebook are being donated to The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres. 
About Callie:
Callie Carling is a Playfull Genie Facilitator. A trainer, writer, creativity coach & mentor with boundless energy, she is devoted to helping people cherish and tickle their playful selves. She is a joyful advocate of the power of creativity coaching, journalling, storytelling, laughter and art therapy processes in transforming lives. Her light-of-heart inspiration can be discovered through Callie adores decadent afternoon teas and creates magic with mixed-media.

With love, Mandi

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Pluto in Capricorn Encapsulated

Sometimes it's those who are non-conversant in the language of astrology who unwittingly say it best.

The following is an excerpt from yesterday's London Evening Standard, which neatly encapsulates the effects and the themes of Pluto in Capricorn:

We live in an era of  institutional fragility. Parliament [in the UK] has been rocked by the expenses scandal, the press by the hacking controversy and Leveson Inquiry, and the financial sector by the crash, the bailing out of the banks and the loss of faith in capitalism. These experiences have been traumatic, and not only for those under investigation.

A society's institutions are its guard-rails, the bodies that enshrine its values and continuities. To shine a bright light on their flaws, decay and outright dilapidation is intrinsically unnerving. But it has to be done. If those institutions are to heal and renew themselves for the future. The stables have to be cleaned.*

The article the quote above comes from, talks about the crisis at the BBC (another great British institution), brought on by the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

More on this scandal and how it pertains to the ingress of Saturn into Scorpio and Saturn's mutual reception with Pluto in Capricorn in an upcoming post.

Mandi Lockley's new e-book, Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark is available now and covers all the major themes of Saturn in Scorpio, along with detailed sections on Saturn in Scorpio through your natal and houses and to your natal planets.

To read excerpts of the book see here and here. For a review, see here.

It is available to download at Amazon now at £3.80 (UK), $6.17 (US) and equivalent prices in other currencies (see your local Amazon site for details). A PDF version is available direct from Astroair Astrology at £7. To buy, click on the Buy Now button to the right. Please note, PDF orders are sent out manually. We endeavour to send out all PDFs within an hour or two, but sometimes it might take a little longer due to time zone differences.

*Article by Matthew d'Ancona 24.10.12 

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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Saturn in Scorpio ~ Dealing with Intimacy Issues

Building and maintaining intimate relationships is very important to our emotional health, yet so many of us have fears and issues which can get in the way of feeling close to others. Saturn in Scorpio* presents us with an opportunity to acknowledge the defensive barriers we put up which get in the way of true intimacy and work to improve our most important relationships.

Here’s an excerpt from Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark, which explores this subject:

It is universally agreed that emotional intimacy plays a central role in our life experience.  We seek it out because we need it. Those we are emotionally intimate with (not just lovers, but family and friends) provide us with our tribe and fill us with a sense of belonging and the feeling of being loved and cared for. Intimate bonds are formed when we share our secret thoughts and expose our hidden desires and when that sharing and exposure is reciprocated. This self-disclosure leaves both parties vulnerable, but it is, or should be, a healthy vulnerability, based on mutual respect. 
With Saturn in Scorpio, it is a good time to explore intimacy more deeply. Do we truly have intimate relationships? If not, what barriers have we have put up that prevent us becoming intimate with others? Why do we have those barriers? What happened in our early life to make us defend ourselves so strongly against letting others get too close? Were we betrayed, hurt or rejected in the past and is this preventing us from forming new bonds? These are big questions indeed.

What kind of intimate relationships do we have?  Saturn in Libra’s lesson was around creating and maintaining healthy boundaries in our relationships. It was about finding the right balance of give and take. We learned that a healthy intimate relationship is one where there is a strong emotional attachment, a feeling of closeness, but at the same time an awareness of separateness, where both parties are good for each other without being totally dependent on each other.

When the balance of emotional sharing isn’t right between two people, the relationship can easily become unhealthy. The person who dumps all their emotions on the other is felt as needy and smothering. Conversely, the person who holds back comes across as cold and controlling. Jealousy and possessiveness also gets in the way of an intimate relationship.
Saturn in Scorpio is our guide through these more shadowy aspects of intimate relationships. We have defined intimacy as a relationship where both parties disclose ‘secrets’ that could make them vulnerable. A partnership or friendship quickly becomes problematic if one or both parties use those vulnerabilities to control or manipulate the other, or to cause emotional pain. When this occurs the relationship cannot sustain itself and the intimacy quickly breaks down. Even if the couple stays together physically, emotionally the bond is damaged.

Problems can also occur when one person opens up a lot more than the other, leading to an unbalanced relationship, one that is not truly intimate. This can be down to a number of reasons. Perhaps one person opens up too quickly, before the other is ready or sure that they want a close relationship. The wary partner is easily frightened away at this tender stage which can leave the person who has opened up feeling hurt and rejected. It takes a fair amount of emotional intelligence and awareness to read this type of situation correctly. Intuition and experience need to be used to make a judgement on whether to persevere, pull back and slow down or whether to simply lick one’s wounds, let go and move on. It’s hard not to take it very personally when we feel rejected and it’s easy to take that feeling of rejection forward to the next relationship.
Perhaps the other person doesn’t open up because, consciously or unconsciously, they can’t face it? Becoming intimate with someone means that we expose our shadow. This puts us in danger of being rejected if our physical desires or emotional needs are exposed as too dark or too extreme by our partner. For some, Saturn in Scorpio will bring a need to face your fears around releasing control, sharing your feelings and letting yourself trust someone enough to expose your true desire nature.

Strategic relationships also belong in the realm of Saturn in Scorpio. This is where one person gets close to someone else because they want something from them. Marrying for money or status is the most obvious example. Sometimes one partner isn’t aware of the strategy and comes away feeling used. Often, the using is mutual, even if it is not openly acknowledged. In these kinds of partnerships both stand to benefit in some way. The danger is that these relationships tend to be fragile and easily break down if there is a disagreement or misunderstanding, or if one partner loses the thing (be that money, looks, youth or power) that the other wants or needs.
Finding true intimacy requires us to be willing to let down our emotional barriers before fulfilling bonds can be formed and sustained. We need to be empathetic, compassionate and understanding, with ourself as well as with our partner. On the path to intimacy Saturn in Scorpio can be a harsh teacher, often making us experience that which is not genuine intimacy so that we can better recognise the real thing when it comes along.

*Saturn moved into Scorpio on 5 October 2012. On 23 December 2014 Saturn enters Sagittarius. Then, on 15 June 2015 Saturn in retrograde re-enters Scorpio, before finally settling in Sagittarius on 18 September 2015 (all dates use GMT time zones).
An excerpt on Keeping Safe, another theme of Saturn in Scorpio, is available to read at Donna Cunningham’s Skywriter Blog here>

Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through the Dark is available at Amazon on Kindle or direct from Astroair Astrology in PDF format. Click on this link to find out more about what’s in the book, plus details about to purchase. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

What I'm Reading

With Saturn just in Scorpio, dark themes are to the fore so we may as well embrace them. Here is some recommended reading:

Auntie Moon unwraps the Saturn themes in Lars von Trier's Melancholia:
"If you watched the movie Melancholia by Lars von Trier and made it through the excruciating wedding scene that makes up the first half of the film, you saw a masterful representation of what transiting Saturn’s approaching conjunction to a natal planet feels like..."
Fixed star Algol, Taurus: The Sexual, Emotional, & Psychological Drives of Heterosexual Men with Algol
Abella "Jucy" Arthur explores the psychology of men with fixed star Algol strong in their charts:
"The object of the Algol male’s desire has intense sexual power over him that he fears yet is tremendously excited about. But he also feels he may be inadequate — can he live up to her and her desires? If he senses the woman might emasculate or leave him, he may begin to automatically and unconsciously behave in ways that are considered mean, destructive, evil, and ruthless...."
I'm only halfway through Neal's groundbreaking new book about Orcus, but would very much recommend it. If you don't want to take my word for it, here's what renowned astrologer Steven Forrest has to say:
"Jeremy Neal's masterwork about Orcus is a major contribution to the advancement of astrology. Facing the real significance of these newly-discovered trans-Neptunian bodies is not work for the faint-hearted. This is a courageous book that carries the reader into the heart of darkness. Fortunately, it also carries us out again! Neal faces painful subjects unflinchingly, and yet never loses sight of the higher ground. I enthusiastically welcome his voice to the conversation."
With love, Mandi
Mandi Lockley's new e-book, Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide To The Dark is now available from Amazon on Kindle or direct from Astroair Astrology in PDF format. Click here for details. 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark

Astroair Astrology is thrilled to announce the publication of Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark.

Find out how you and your loved ones may be affected by Saturn in Scorpio.

Saturn entering the intense, inscrutable and controlled sign of Scorpio on October 5 may feel worrying, especially given the disruptive and unsettling changes the world and many individuals are facing.

This new book from Mandi Lockley - Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark - is designed to help you successfully navigate the cold and deep waters of this transit and tap into its healing and transformative potential.

The major themes of Saturn in Scorpio are explored in-depth including issues of safety, fear and control; sex and intimacy; the power of love; rejection, anger, vengeance and forgiveness; the power of the unconscious and money, debt and taxes.

Discover how these themes and more may be relevant to you personally and how best to cope with them, but also discover how they will be reflected in the wider world.

Anxious about your Saturn transit? Saturn in Scorpio’s transit to your own birth chart is covered in detail, including its transit to your natal houses and planets and there's an extended section on those all-important Saturn to Saturn transits. Many books and websites deal with astrological Saturn in general and Saturn transits in particular, but this book is specifically tailored to the unique experience of Saturn in Scorpio.

This comprehensive astrological guide also examines how Saturn in Scorpio fits into other current and upcoming major planetary alignments including the ongoing revolutionary and disruptive Uranus-Pluto Squares and the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune Grand Trine of 2013. Find out how we might see these energies manifest in the world around us.

Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark also includes a bonus chapter on the Secondary Progressed Moon cycle - an important and very personal cycle of emotional maturity - and explains how it links with your personal Saturn cycle.

This book is suitable for all levels of astrological knowledge. Whether you are a beginner to astrology, a serious student, or a consulting astrologer working with clients, Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark will be a valuable resource to help you through this challenging transit.

For the beginner, the book has instructions on how to calculate your Saturn transit and includes a Saturn in Scorpio ephemeris, for quick and easy calculation.

For excerpts of the book see here and here. For a review, see here (thanks to Donna Cunningham and Auntie Moon).

Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark is available for download at Amazon now at a special introductory price of £3.80 (UK), $6.17 (US) and equivalent prices in other currencies (see your local Amazon site for details).
The book is in Kindle format. If you don’t have a Kindle device you can download free Kindle reader apps from Amazon for PC; Mac; iPad; iPhone; iPod Touch; and all other major smartphones and tablets. Just search for Kindle in the app store on your device.

If you would prefer a PDF copy, this is available at a cost of £7.00. Click on the ‘Buy Now’ button to pay. Once your order has been processed, your PDF will be delivered to your inbox.

Please note, all PDF orders are sent out manually. We endeavour to send out all PDFs within an hour or two, but sometimes it might take a little longer due to time zone differences.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark

I'm very excited about my upcoming book:
Saturn in Scorpio: Your Guide Through The Dark
Saturn’s upcoming ingress into Scorpio may feel a little worrying, but this new guide has been put together to help you successfully navigate the cold and deep waters of this transit.
The major themes of Saturn in Scorpio are explored in depth including issues of safety, fear and control; sex and intimacy; the power of love; rejection, anger, vengeance and forgiveness; the power of the unconscious and money, debt and taxes.
Find out how these themes and more may be relevant to you personally, but also discover how they will be reflected in the collective.
Concerned about how Saturn in Scorpio will affect your own birth chart?  Its transit through your natal houses and to your planets is also covered in great detail.
This unique guide also examines how Saturn in Scorpio fits into other current and upcoming major planetary alignments including the Uranus-Pluto Squares; the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto Yod of December 2012; the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune water Grand Trine of 2013 and much more.

There's even a bonus chapter on the Secondary Progressed Moon cycle.
Coming in one week in e-book format! Subscribe now to receive full details in your inbox.
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Monday, 13 August 2012

Olympic Inspiration in the Stars

The 2012 Olympics are over and didn’t London put on a spectacular Games? With the Paralympics to come, the talk now is of legacy and of inspiring the next generation.

So, if you’re feeling motivated to take up a new sport, look to your Sun sign for inspiration. Just for fun, here are a few suggestions.

It’s got to be the sprint. Fast off the mark and over in seconds, you’re bound to cross the finishing line in first place. Boxing is another good option for burning up all that Mars energy and aggression.
Slow to start, but with enviable endurance, Taurus is best suited to the long races, like the Marathon or the 10,000 metres. If you can be bothered to get out of bed to train!
Any racket sport that requires good hand-eye coordination is good for Gemini. Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis. Because you’re the sign of the twins, the doubles matches might be your best bet. Then again, Handball might suit. How are you ever going to make a decision?

You like to ensure you’re heavily defended at all times, so any sport that involved wearing protective armour is good for you. Why not give Fencing or Taekwondo a try? If ball sports are more your thing, you could try Football. In a defensive position, natch.
You’re ruled by the Sun, that big gold disc in the sky. Because of this, you don’t care what sport you do, so long as you get the gold medal at the end of it. You’d rather just have the medal and not do the sport. No pain, no gain, Leo!
You’re the master of the little things, so Table Tennis is for you. Dinky bat, tiny ball and a small table. Perfection!
For the chance to show off your grace and beauty, it’s got to be the Synchronised Swimming or the Artistic Gymnastics. And you get to compete wearing full make up and a pretty sparkly costume.
Because your co-ruler is Mars then the martial arts are great for you, so why not give Judo or Taekwondo a go? More than just competitive sports, they are about control, mastery and self-defence, three things Scorpio naturally excels at.
Your symbol is half-man half-horse with a bow in its hand, so it can’t be anything other than Archery or Equestrian for you. Or, because you’re a forward thinking soul, why not try the Modern Pentathlon. It includes both arrows and horses and more besides.
You’re used to working through obstacles, so why not give the 400m Hurdles a try? Failing that, how about weightlifting? You already carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, so what difference will a few more kilos make?
Team sports are the most obvious choice for you. How about Basketball, which will also have you flying through the air? If you prefer something more individual (and a bit weird) then the Pole Vault is also a bit like flying!
You’re the fish of the zodiac, so take your pick of anything in the water. Swimming, Diving, Rowing, Sailing, Canoeing, Water Polo. Give them all a go, water baby.
All pictures from wikimedia commons. Gymnast pic by Tomtheobald, Hurdles pic from by Thomas Faivre-Duboz.

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