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

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