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February 2015

23 February 2015 – Saturn’s serious love stuff, Neptune’s dreams, Mercury wakes us up – and Astrology workshop in London (11 April)

The Astrology Blog – 23 February 2015

All times stated are in GMT

Be Your Own Astrologer – Unlock the Secrets of the Signs and Planets is the title of my new book and also of the workshop in London on Saturday 11 April. The venue has now been booked for this event and you’ll find further details after the blog. If you’d like to receive more information about this workshop just reply to this newsletter or start a new email with London workshop, please add me to the mailing list – in the Subject box.

What’s happening this week?
Mercury is now shaking off restraints and, as I wrote last week, astrological messages work on the principle of “as above, so below”, so look out for things picking up speed in your own life. I liked the image that a friend gave me this week, that during the period of Mercury being retrograde life felt like a river dammed up with logs, but now those logs have shifted and everything is flowing again and increasingly quickly.

Breaking news over here is that Easy Jet is coming to Lefkada! Scheduled flights into our local airport of Preveza start mid May. This is fantastic news as the island has been crying out for a budget airline for several years, to combat the ridiculously expensive charter flight tickets. To give you an idea a return that would normally cost between 400 to 1,000 pounds is currently advertised with Easy Jet at 200/300 pounds. This is a huge bonus for the villa industry – ie for those tourists who don’t need packages – as there is now an affordable way of flying out a family or a group.

Mercury is back in the news at the end of the week but, for the first half of this week, Saturn is the major player. So in spite of Mercury’s general trend of onwards and upwards there are other scenarios of the slow or difficult kind to deal with first.

Saturn is the last of the so called personal planets as, before the discovery of the modern planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, he represented the end of our known solar system for us earthlings – which resonates with his symbolism of boundaries, endings and all things related to time and age. What else is Saturn about, and especially now that he is in Sagittarius, a Jupiter ruled sign? Here’s an excerpt from my new book –

Saturn’s main principle is contraction – the opposite to Jupiter’s expansion. If Jupiter is “yes”, Saturn is “no”. He is the bringer of solemnity, restriction, obstacles, boundaries and endings, ultimately death. Saturn is the enemy of the “Lights” of life, the Sun and Moon, being in detriment in their signs of dignity, Cancer and Leo. He rules authority, career, duty and responsibility. His nature is pessimistic, realistic and serious.
Saturn in Jupiter’s masculine sign (Sagittarius) presents the conflict of two opposing forces or beliefs. Saturn’s nature is to restrict, Jupiter’s is to learn and liberate, so here we find the serious philosopher, philanthropist or freedom campaigner. Che Guevara, Bruce Kent (CND) and Abraham Lincoln all represent the battle for the sanctity of human life in their own way.
Studying the horoscopes of those with a particular planet in a particular sign is a great way to learn more about any combination that interests you, or which is current. Saturn in Sagittarius (where he is now) seems to indicate a very important time for human rights issues generally. At a more personal level the above description signals the kind of things to expect, so this week doesn’t get off to the easiest of starts as Saturn’s first roadblock comes in the shape of a square (inharmonious) to the Sun –
Monday Sun square Saturn (13.57)

Both the Sun and the Moon are known as the Lights in traditional astrology (Sun, light of the day and Moon, light of the night) and Saturn is an enemy to both. Saturn is in detriment in Leo (the Sun’s sign) and also in Cancer (the Moon’s sign). The Sun is the life force so this aspect is the “slow down” sign, so guard against burnout and don’t push yourself beyond your bodily limitations. In fact, don’t try to force anything that is stuck. If you come slap up against a barrier of any kind it is there for a reason. With authority issues you will definitely have to think outside of the box. Similarly don’t be surprised if you just feel down. Those Monday morning blues will hit hard for some. “Square pegs in round holes” comes to mind. Or it may be that the week will just get off to a slow or boring start.

Relationship issues are high on the agenda as both Venus and Mars also move into this picture –

Tuesday Venus trine Saturn (14.59)
Thursday Mars trine Saturn (03.10)

The harmonious trine aspect happens when planets align in the same element (exactly 120 degrees apart), in this case the element of fire as both Venus and Mars are now in the early degrees of Aries. Think “being in your element”. In this respect the trine bodes well for putting all love issues into a clear framework and onto a firmer footing. These aspects augur well for new love in particular, there’s a sense of starting as you mean to go on or knowing that you will be with this person for a very long time.

However, Saturn can be a taskmaster even under positive aspects, and for some there will be questions around being with the right/wrong person, or being in love with someone who is unavailable or who has to make major changes in their own lives first. These aspects can therefore be paradoxical – feeling passionate and single minded (Venus and Mars in Aries) about someone but having to play the waiting game (Saturn).

It’s worth noting the other struggle between Venus and Mars that is ongoing while they are in Aries, leader of the zodiacal pack, sign of the ego and strong personal identity. This is Mars’ sign of dignity – one of the signs that he rules and he is therefore at home – but it’s one of Venus’ sign of detriment. In psychological terms this makes sense as masculine Mars is the god of war, ruling our sense of drive, purpose and how we fight for what we want. Egotism and awesome self belief are helpful ingredients. On the other hand feminine Venus is goddess of love, ruling our relating skills, and can come unstuck in “me first” Aries. So it’s a good time for a health check on the give and take ratio in your relationship.

Back to Saturn, in the physical body he rules the bones, knees and teeth. If you need to book appointments with your dentist or osteopath now is the time to do so. I have major dental appointments starting first thing tomorrow which, obviously, I’m not looking forward to in the slightest but at least I know the problems will be fixed. The endurance test will be worth it! For all health issues these Saturn contacts are also great for any kind of self discipline or for finding the right expert to help you.

In total contrast to the rest of the week the Saturn contacts are followed by a major Neptune aspect –

Thursday Sun conjunct Neptune (04.56)

Neptune is incredibly slow moving (his orbit around the zodiac takes 176 years) so the Sun catches up with him only once a year. At the moment Neptune is on the long slow journey through his own sign of Pisces and this conjunction takes place at 7 degrees of this sign. This aspect will therefore be especially significant for you if you have planets or angles at 7 degrees, especially of Pisces or the opposite sign of Virgo. Here’s the usual link to check the signs and degrees of your natal planets –

Neptune is Poseidon, god of the sea, and rules the boundless watery realms of our emotional and spiritual worlds. It’s a great aspect if you’re falling in love – fusion and the urge to merge – or if you’re embarking upon any creative project. As the Sun’s role is to illuminate listen very closely to your inner voice and value your instincts. This is a chance to make a dream come true and it’s a good time to remember that many wondrous things start with the power of the imagination.

As with all the outer planets, however, there’s always a flip side! Look out for plumbing or water related problems, and be extra careful with any kind of medication. Neptune rules drugs, and also alcohol. Neptune can signal times when we feel swamped by our emotions – the whole gamut from love to grief – so look out for anyone who’s drowning their sorrows or be mindful if you’re drowning your own, such as making sure that you’re in a safe place and with those who’ll look after you!

But here’s a lovely alcohol showing of the Sun – Neptune union, the gift of some lovely wine from my dear friend Ingrid in Cape Town to celebrate the publication of my book. She couldn’t send it to Greece – too complicated, including the need for a liquor license – so she’s sending it to London where I’ll be at the beginning of April and I know that she’ll be placing the order this week. Looking forward to sharing that with my good friends Paul and Vincent, especially as Paul is one of the people to whom the book is dedicated, so that all feels very satisfying.

There’s one more difficult aspect at the end of the week –

Friday Jupiter quinqunx Pluto (23.33)

As I’ve said before this is an awkward name, awkward aspect – formed when planets are exactly 150 degrees or five signs apart – and it signals blind spots, misalliances, ne’er the twain shall meet disputes, hidden issues and a higher risk of illness or accidents. As this quinqunx is being formed between two major planets it ranks higher on the importance list and it’s wise to avoid any kind of risk taking.

Once this is out of the way the rest of the weekend is much lighter and livelier as Mercury takes over again, starting with –

Sunday Mercury sextile Uranus (15.56)

This is an important aspect as it’s the last of a series. You may remember that the same thing happened last week with the Mercury – Saturn aspects, and I posted –

Mercury has a role to play in this scenario, not only because he is picking up speed again but also because he makes the third and final aspect to Saturn on Thursday. The other two sextiles happened on 5 January and 5 February. If these dates coincide with any ongoing matter in your life then you can now expect resolution. This is the stuff of final decisions and closure of all kinds. Similarly, any matter that has been slowly taking shape can now be finalized and put into action.

Fittingly last Thursday was the day that I finally received my author copies of my book after a courier fiasco that created several frustrating days of delay – my books were finally tracked to a tiny post office in a village at the top of a neighboring mountain! But from being commissioned to writing a book, to putting in all that work, time and effort, to the moment of holding the finished product in my hands was the perfect last link in a Mercury – Saturn chain. However, this episode just goes to show that even by good aspect Saturn can still signal delays and timing issues.

We now reach the end of the Mercury – Uranus sequence –

First sextile exact on 14 January
• Mercury then turned retrograde a week later and travelled back to repeat the aspect on 28 January
• Mercury then turned direct 11 February and now makes this third and final sextile

Again, these dates may bracket a specific development, or you may simply arrive at a finale moment that has its roots further back in time. Serious Saturn is about closure and resolution, but the nature of Uranus is, in many ways, the exact opposite.

Uranus is the rebel, the innovator and the bringer of surprises or shocks. He has the unexpected or spontaneity factor. Combined with Mercury, winged messenger of the gods, this applies to news, decisions and all things that come under the communication and travel umbrella. Whereas Saturn slows things down, Uranus can speed things up, sometimes in head spinning ways. After the somewhat complicated feel of the rest of the week this feels like a breath of fresh air.

For me this aspect will coincide with finding out about the local flight summer schedule so that I can then work out my connections for flying to the UK at the beginning of April. Then I can actually book all my flights. So look out for the last piece of a jigsaw or follow your gut instincts. This feels very much like a dose of early spring fever and the need for change, movement and “something different” is likely to be very strong. As much as I love Lefkada there is always some point in the winter – usually February – when I start to suffer from island fever and I’m really looking forward to my trip away!

Mercury is the mind planet so something that you’ve been pondering for a long time is now ready to move out of thought mode and into action mode. Snap decisions are in the mix, especially those that you can’t explain rationally but you “just know” that it’s the right thing to do. This is underlined by Mercury’s other aspect that follows just a few hours later –

Sunday Mercury opposite Jupiter (21.16)

This is the classic “big idea” aspect. It might be something over the top, or something that at first feels overly ambitious or too expensive, but you’ll want to do it anyway. This is definitely an aspect of “where there’s a will there’s a way”. As Jupiter is headed for a major alliance with Uranus at the beginning of next week, which I’ll be talking about next time, it taps into the restlessness and readiness for change theme already on the bubble. So no matter what difficulties life may throw at you this week there’s every reason to stay optimistic, and to let the unexpected do its work.

Until next week,
With love from Greece

16 February 2015 – Setting goals, making transitions and the Venus/Mars new love cycle

The Astrology Blog – 16 February 2015

All times stated are in GMT

Regular readers and followers of astrology will know that the big event last week was Mercury turning direct. So he’s out of mischief mode and back on track, although will take a while to pick up speed again. It’s a bit like a plane coming into land – the plane has to slow down to make its descent rather than just drop out of the sky – or pick up speed after takeoff. Someone asked about this on my Facebook group page, The World of Astrology –
– to which I posted the following answer:

I think you may be referring to what is known as the shadow period. Here’s how it works:

21 January Mercury turned retrograde at 17.04 Aquarius
11 February Mercury turned direct at 1.18 Aquarius
3 March Mercury reaches 17.04 Aquarius for the second time

So the shadow period lasts until 3 March and then Mercury is officially back up to proper speed.

As ever the principle to work by is “as above, so below” so look out for things picking up speed in your own life. And just in case you were thinking mmm, she’s gone very quiet on the diet story, that applies to shifting the pounds here, now close to that first half stone/3 kilos. I never thought I’d be able to walk past the croissants in the Lidls bakery section, so fresh and warm from the oven that the cellophane is all steamed up, but I do… for now! Dieting as I said when I started is, I find, very Mercurial. It’s a mind thing. And it’s not dissimilar to writing a book! When you start with a flat plan it seems like the unclimbable mountain but you tick off the pages as you go, and it’s the same feeling as watching the digital figures decrease each week. It makes me think that, at heart, the human nature is very goal orientated. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be the ambitious type what’s your current goal? No matter how great or small it may be this is a great week to set out your stall.

And loved a comment from my niece who has her work cut out for her with three and a half year old twins – during retrograde Mercury she said her life felt like Groundhog Day, but she’s now got extra nursery time which is life changing for all of them. Here’s the list of key issues that I posted last week, the kinds of things to expect that will tell you that Mercury is getting back to business:

• Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
• Light bulb flashes of insight
• We stop talking/thinking about something and realize that we need to make decisions
• People get back to us or make decisions
• We feel more courageous or determined to make something happen
• We stop pretending
• We stop avoiding
• We tackle/say the things we’ve been putting off
• We get back to a matter that was first important three weeks ago
• Important information comes to light
• Memory kicks in and we deal with what or who has been off our radar
• Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
• We find the right person to deal with the problem beyond our own expertise
• Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
• Secrets are revealed
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• Lost objects are found – or we find what we have been looking for

I was heartened to read the day before Mercury turned direct (last Wednesday) that it was reported that Prince Charles had raised the issue of jailed blogger Raif Badawi during his first meeting with Saudi Arabia’s new king –

Prince Charles had been urged by human rights campaigners to discuss Raif’s case with King Salman and, although the details of the talk weren’t released, “Sir William Patey, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, earlier told the BBC that Prince Charles had a way of raising human rights issues that did not make the Saudis “bristle”.” This fits perfectly with Mercury turning direct in rational Aquarius, known for being cool rather than heated, and for ruling all humanitarian concerns.

From the political to the personal my own big news is that exactly on the day that Mercury turned direct the first copies of my new book Be Your Own Astrologer landed on my editor’s desk at Cico Books in London. Amazon UK listed the book as ready to pre-order but in fact everyone who ordered a copy got it the next day, so it’s up and running! Perfect Mercury symbolism. I should add though that in terms of picking up speed that is also showing as I haven’t received my author copies yet, so still waiting to hold the new baby in my own hands!

The book is still listed for pre-order only at the moment on but you can find it on Wordery, with free delivery to Greece within 5 – 12 working days:

Or, for those in Greece, you can wait for the my own book launch here and buy your own signed copy at the party, date to be decided but it will probably be towards the end of March.

So Mercury, planet of language and the written as well as the spoken word, rules books – and blogs! My thanks to Lynne Stainthorpe, my expert web mistress, for tidying up this newsletter. The layout and the links are now clearer and easier to see to follow.

Be Your Own Astrologer Workshop – London Saturday 11 April

The other event brought forth by Mercury was an invitation to visit friends in London before they move, so the plan is to fly over for the Easter weekend for about ten days. Again with the theme of things taking a while to get up to full speed the local flights to Corfu – where I can connect with Easy Jet – don’t announce their April schedule until 1 March so I’m holding on till then so that I can plan my journey around those connections (thereby taking 5 hours of road travel out of the equation!) However, one way or another, I will be there (and that will coincide with the big event of Jupiter turning direct, more on that nearer the time) and am planning to do a workshop based on the new book. Venue and details all work in progress at the moment but do let me know if you’d interested in attending. This will be a fun workshop, including lots of work on your own horoscope which I will prepare in advance for all participating students, and it will be suitable for all levels, including beginners/refreshers.

If you’d like to receive more information about this workshop just reply to this newsletter or start a new email with London workshop, please add me to the mailing list – in the Subject box.

If you want to talk you can email or text me (0030 6976 296085) a landline number and I will arrange a time to call you.

What else is happening this week?

This week’s first big event is the New Moon and, just to hark back, for the blog w/b 19 January I wrote:

This New Moon is part of a highly unusual sequence. We have three New Moons in a row that all fall at 0 degrees of their sign. Astronomically this means that the Moon, who zips through all 12 signs every month, actually enters the sign at the same time as the Sun three months running –

22 December New Moon at 00.06 Capricorn
20 January New Moon at 00.09 Aquarius
18 February New Moon at 00.00 Pisces

I need to revise this. In actual fact this week’s New Moon falls literally at the very end of Aquarius – even though in the Ephemerides (the table of planetary movement, compiled by NASA) it is listed as 00.00 Pisces. However, strictly speaking this isn’t astronomically possible as a New Moon is the moment when the Sun and Moon are exactly conjunct to the degree and minute. Both the Sun and the Moon enter the next sign of Pisces in the couple of minutes after the moment of the New Moon – here’s the sequence –

New Moon at 30.00 Aquarius (23.48)
Moon ingress Pisces (23.49)
Sun ingress Pisces (23.51)
It’s always important to note that any astrological event is especially powerful when it occurs at 0 degrees. In terms of the last two New Moons I wrote last month –

This means that they occur at the very beginning of their sign – and especially with New Moons, it doesn’t get more “new” than that. If you have any planet in your own horoscope positioned at 0 degrees of any sign you will find that this planet symbolizes something/someone very special or powerful for you. Events that unfolded on or around 22 December may prove to be the first link in a chain of change.

This New Moon misses that 0 degree status by just three minutes (of time) which poses its own interesting interpretative challenge. To me this feels intriguingly paradoxical. New Moons symbolize beginnings, but the last degree of a sign symbolizes endings. So it feels as if whatever is new is not something that is simply a new beginning all by itself, but will be somehow wrapped up with ending something else first. That sounds rather longwinded but, putting it another way, it feels like rebirth rather than birth. If you have unfinished business with any matter in your life this would seem to be the ideal time to deal with it, or events may evolve in a way that will resolve it for you. Either way, and especially if you have planets in your own chart at or close to 30 or 0 degrees of any sign, this New Moon resonates with this week’s themes of transition.
Remember that if you don’t know the sign and position of your natal planets you can find them here in a matter of seconds – just tap in your date, place and time of birth –

You will see the visual of your horoscope, all the planets positioned on a wheel. By hovering your mouse over the glyph (symbol) for each planet you’ll be able to see which planet it is, what sign it is in and what degree of that sign it holds.

Mercury has a role to play in this scenario, not only because he is picking up speed again but also because he makes the third and final aspect to Saturn –

Thursday Mercury sextile Saturn (13.07)
The other two sextiles happened on 5 January and 5 February. If these dates coincide with any ongoing matter in your life then you can now expect resolution. This is the stuff of final decisions and closure of all kinds. Similarly, any matter that has been slowly taking shape can now be finalized and put into action.
The theme of endings/beginnings is currently very strong and is dramatically underlined by the big event at the end of the week. Mars and Venus both enter Aries on the same day and make an exact conjunction on Sunday –
Friday Mars ingress Aries (00.12) and Venus ingress Aries (20.07)
Sunday Venus conjunct Mars at 1 degree Aries (05.14)
Venus and Mars are often referred to as the love planets, for obvious reasons, and the fire sign of Aries is the first of the zodiac so this is all about new unions – of the passionate kind. If you want to breathe new fire into your relationship then this coming weekend is the time to get passionate. If you’re unattached and ready for a new relationship, or if you want to get up close and personal with someone you’re already nuts about, then this weekend is your chance.

In essence this Venus – Mars double act is a red hot starting gun. Don’t even think about staying in, get out there and enjoy yourself! Every year I hear from friends how Valentine’s Day is not exactly a bundle of laughs when you’re single, although it was fine for me as Sue and Mike (my newly married sister and brother in law with whom I share the house) didn’t float off on a pink cloud all of their own and I wasn’t left to dog sit! Sue was remembering some years back, just before she met Mike, when a friend rang, “Sue, I feel awful asking you this, but would you be free to babysit for us on Valentine’s night?!” To which she replied, “Sadly, yes.” And then she met Mike, of course at a time and place when romance was the furthest thing from her mind. Doesn’t it so often happen that way!

And if you’re battling with the challenge of dating, hankering after someone special, wondering if you should call or the will he/she call, where you might meet someone new and how will you know and all the other agonies connected with new love, I leave you with the words of feminist cartoonist Jacky Fleming who is always guaranteed to reduce Sue and me into hysterical laughter –

“There is some confusion over which is sex and which is love but on the whole sex is less confusing than love, lust is less confusing than sex and chocolate is less confusing than any of them. Sex is when chocolate won’t do. Love is when sex won’t do. And lust is when almost anyone will do.”

That’s an excerpt from her Falling in Love book – if you want to put any cynicism about love into a humorous light then do yourself a favour and get a copy. See you next week!
With love from Greece

Astrology & Tarot courses 2015 at the Greek Island Summer School

The Greek Island Summer School – Astrology & Tarot
May, June and September 2015

The Summer School in Nidri, on the beautiful Ionian island of Lefkada, provides the perfect study/holiday combination. We’re just a three hour flight from the UK with a transfer time of 45 minutes to the island that is joined to the mainland by a causeway.

On the course pages on this site you’ll find on the drop down menu the highly descriptive and personal feedback from the many students who have taken part over the last 13 years. Click on testimonials.

If you would like to talk just email me a landline number, or text me (0030) 6976 296085 and I will arrange a time to call you.

Scroll down to find more details about this year’s courses –

11 May – The Crystal Zodiac with Judy Hall. Suitable for all levels.

• 8 June – Be a Better Tarot Reader. Suitable for all levels.

• 8 September – Synastry: The Astrology of Relationships. Suitable for students who have completed any kind of beginners course.

All courses comprise 17 hours of study time and here’s how the schedule operates for each week:

Flights arrive in Preveza throughout the day so you’ll be here anywhere between early afternoon and early evening. As there are no ferry links the coach or taxi transfer from the airport to Nidri is just 45 minutes. I meet and greet everyone and organize a group meal for the evening if required or recommend places to go.

The study hours are designed to finish at 3.30pm each day so that you have plenty of time to sunbathe, swim, siesta before meeting up again for the evening meals.

Study hours 11.00 – 1.00
Lunch/swim at the villa 1.00 – 2.00
Study hours 2.00 – 3.30

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
Study hours 10.00 – 12.30
Lunch/swim at the villa 12.30 – 1.30
Study hours 1.30 – 3.30

Free Day for relaxation or exploration – boat trips, car hire – or book a private reading.

Free day and last night group meal.

Return flights home.
You can also read more about how I came to Greece and the experiences that led to setting up the Greek Island Summer School on this link, my guest blogger spot on Avril Price’s new website –!Introducing-Joanna-Watters/cvif/C853C56D-58EA-45C0-80C7-FBC50E6217FF



The Greek Island Summer School courses are all about combining the fascinating subjects of astrology or tarot, or both, with a week’s holiday on this beautiful Ionian island of Lefkada. There are all kinds of accommodation to choose from in the village of Nidri – contact me to find out more and about the UK tour operators who do summer package deals.

2015 will be the 14th year of the Summer School and you can book to join a group or do private tuition by arrangement from May to October.

Email me for all enquiries or bookings on:

All courses are Sunday flights from the UK, with return flights on the following Sunday. I’m now taking bookings for the following courses:

11 May 2015
The Crystal Zodiac
(13 of 20 places available)
This is a fantastic opportunity to work with crystals expert Judy Hall who has been a past life therapist and karmic astrologer for over 40 years. Judy is also a healer and psychic as well as an internationally acclaimed author and her books have been translated into fifteen languages. She recently appeared in the Watkins Review of the one hundred most spiritually influential authors. Find out more about Judy’s work on her website:
The Crystal Zodiac is a course based on Judy’s bestselling book of the same name. Judy will teach how crystals and astrology can help you to understand and heal the past and move forward into the life your soul has planned. All students will need to send their own birth data in advance of the course – date, place of birth and time of birth as accurately as possible – so that I can prepare everyone’s individual horoscope. Throughout the course you will be working on your own chart, specifically in relation to your Sun sign, your Moon sign and your Ascendant.

Plenty of time is being factored in for experiential work on your own chart but you do not need to be an advanced student. Judy and I will both be working with everyone throughout the week to ensure that the course material and chart interpretations are tailored to meet all individual levels. Judy will also be using the Zodiac Pack images to create a visual chart so that people can have the experience of sitting in their chart, feeling the energies and holding the crystals that will help them to heal blockages and imbalances.

Suitable for all levels.
This course is already booking up fast, so contact me direct if you want to reserve a place and also for details of flight and accommodation from around £300.00. The course fee of £295.00 for the week includes lunch and all teas, coffees and soft drinks on the four study days, and all transport from the village of Nidri up to Villa Jorgos where the course will be held. No hidden extras.

8 June 2015
Be a Better Tarot Reader
(8 of 10 places available)
Discover how the tarot really works, learn the traditional and modern day meanings of the 78 cards and how to choose and use the best spreads to answer all life questions relating to love, vocation, guidance and purpose.
Suitable for all levels.

7 September 2015
Synastry: The Astrology of Relationships
(7 of 10 places available)
Discover how your horoscope holds the keys to understanding the nature of your relationships. What type of partner will you meet and when? Why do you connect with one person but not another? Learn how comparing your horoscope to another’s describes your points of both conflict and compatibility. You will need some familiarity with signs/planets/houses so suitable for students who have completed any kind of beginners astrology course.

The Greek Island Summer School is ideal for those travelling solo.

Although some students come along in pairs, most in fact come alone, to seek out the company of like-minded people and enjoy the sun and fun of the beautiful Greek island of Lefkada. You never have to be on your own, unless you wish to be, and optional group meals are organised for every evening.

Discovering Astrology
Beginners / Refreshers
There may not be the space to run this course this year in Greece. However, there is a possibility of a London workshop around Easter time or in the summer so if this is of interest to you just let me know and I’ll keep you posted.

If you have a particular area of astrology or tarot that interests you I am always open to ideas. Just get in touch and let me know what you would like to study, and if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced level.


‘Be Your Own Astrologer’ by Joanna Watters
Cico Books 2015

Everyone knows their Sun sign, but this is actually just one part of your personal horoscope. This book is designed to show you how astrology really works and is also a “cookbook”, offering a “take” on all the planets in each sign. This means that you can read about your Moon sign, your Mercury sign, your Venus sign and so on, and assemble all the astrological parts in order to understand the whole. You can then move on to study the horoscope in action, comparing your birth chart to the movement of the planets, in order to reveal the key events of your life in the past, present and future.

I loved writing this book as it was my chance to write up all my personal findings. You won’t find these interpretations in any other astrological literature – all the examples are taken directly from my own client work and research over the last 30 years, including stacks of celebrities known to us all from the worlds of film, literature, sport, politics and monarchy.

Chapter 1 – Sun Signs
Chapter 2 – The Planets through the Signs
Chapter 3 – The Houses and the Ascendant (or Rising Sign)
Chapter 4 – Aspects and Aspect Patterns
Chapter 5 – Prediction – Cycles, Returns and Transits
Our mailing address is:
Joanna Watters – Astrology & Tarot Author and Teacher
Athos Hotel
Nidri, Lefkada 31084


9 February 2015 – Mercury gets us back on track, what really matters, and my new book!

The Astrology Blog – 9 February 2015

All times stated are in GMT

If you read the blog last week you may remember that I was praying for a break in the heavy clouds currently massed over Lefkas, just for a sneak peak of the glorious Full Moon in Leo conjunct Jupiter on Tuesday night. Happily that happened, and I did make a wish – hope you did too. Thank you to friend and fellow astrologer Ingrid Hoffman from Cape Town for reporting this showing of the event –

The Leo Moon conjunct Jupiter attracted over 3 000 people to the beach for a mass meditation and the lights on Lion’s Head mountain sparkled like fairy lights!

This is such enjoyable “as above, so below” symbolism. Jupiter is planet of faith, protection and spiritual connections as well as joy, and loves doing things on a big scale. A mass gathering for peaceful purposes in a lion named place fits the bill to perfection. The recent Venus – Jupiter opposition was the applying (in the process of becoming exact) aspect on 18 January, when a record breaking 6 million people turned up for the Pope’s mass on the last day of his visit to the Philippines.

Moving on, some weeks are so packed with astrological activity that it’s a real challenge to sift through it all, unravel all the threads and then pull them all together again as a meaningful framework. Other weeks, like this one, are noticeably “empty” in terms of planetary aspects being formed, and this week we have only two major events. However, both are extremely weighty in their own right, the Venus – Chiron conjunction in Pisces that I’ll come back to, and Mercury turning direct. Hurray!

Mercury – winged messenger of the gods, planet of communication in all possible guises – turned retrograde at 17.04 degrees of Aquarius on 21 January. Thank you to Marc Heine for sending me this link –

This article itself encapsulates the retrograde Mercury theme, especially in scientific Aquarius, as it addresses the eternal battle between astronomy and astrology, quoting Rick Fienberg, communications (!!) director of the American Astronomical Society who of course says that astrology is “a whole lot of bunk” and that “there are no known, no conceivable effects that the planets can have on our behavior.”

He’s absolutely correct. Planets do not affect us. (I can hear my English teacher mother jumping onto the correct use of effect and affect!) This argument will rage on as long as people cling to the positivist take and insist that astrology is literally related to astronomy in this way, instead of examining how astrology works on the level of the symbolic. (From Wikipedia: Positivism is the philosophy of science that information derived from logical and mathematical treatments and reports of sensory experience is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge, and that there is valid knowledge (truth) only in this derived knowledge.)

If you’re interested in this debate then look no further than The Moment of Astrology (Penguin ISBN 0-14-019369-3) by Geoffrey Cornelius. Robert Hand writes that this work is “one of the most important astrological books of our time… a well-reasoned presentation of a position that can allow astrology not only to defend itself, but to go on the offensive against the prevailing reality paradigm.”

So, Mercury is now “stationing” (appearing to stand still) as he gets ready to switch back to direct motion this week –

Wednesday Mercury turns direct at 01.18 degrees of Aquarius (14.58)

Right on astrological cue, the first print run of my new book is on its way to the Cico Books warehouse and I should receive my own first copy in the post this week. It’s always a thrilling moment to hold the new baby for the first time so this is an important event for me. Sticking my neck out here, my book coming out under a SD (stationary direct) Mercury is a good omen! But frankly, Mercury, you OWE me, and for all the mayhem of every retrograde period I will truly relish the moment of reward!

In the UK the RRP is £14.99 but you can preorder from Amazon for £12.15 on this link –—step/dp/1782492011/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1423302530&sr=8-2&keywords=be+your+own+astrologer

The book is also coming out in America and Canada, RRP $21.95 but you can pre-order from Amazon for $19.76 on this link –—step/dp/1782492011/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1423344799&sr=1-2&keywords=be+your+own+astrologer

You can also read more about how I came to Greece and the experiences that led to setting up the Greek Island Summer School on this link, my guest blogger spot on Avril Price’s new website –!Introducing-Joanna-Watters/cvif/C853C56D-58EA-45C0-80C7-FBC50E6217FF

What does Mercury turning direct mean?

This is simply the reverse of Mercury turning retrograde, so anything that has been a muddle or a struggle will now start to move towards resolution. Here are the kinds of things to expect:

• Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
• Light bulb flashes of insight
• We stop talking/thinking about something and realize that we need to make decisions
• People get back to us or make decisions
• We feel more courageous or determined to make something happen
• We stop pretending
• We stop avoiding
• We tackle/say the things we’ve been putting off
• We get back to a matter that was first important three weeks ago
• Important information comes to light
• Memory kicks in and we deal with what or who has been off our radar
• Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
• We find the right person to deal with the problem beyond our own expertise
• Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
• Secrets are revealed
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• Lost objects are found – or we find what we have been looking for

You may already have had a taste of some of the above. Whether you have or not pay close attention to unfolding inner and outer events throughout this week. Something that had seemed impossible or irrational could suddenly turn out to be a no-brainer. In love retrograde Mercury is like Niles (Frasier) who spends at least the first half of the series eating his heart out for Daphne who remains oblivious, whereas direct Mercury is that Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally) moment, “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Putting it another way, if you want serious answers about your love life – or any other area of your life – then Mercury turning direct is the most likely time to find them.

I’m indebted to one of my regular readers, psychologist Sharman Hague, for her brilliant take on my washing machine event of last week. As a symbolist she saw beyond the reality paradigm (of the “batty” bit!) and dug under the surface. In the spirit of Mercury then still being retrograde I can’t share it because of the discretion factor and a promise I made that no one would hear it from me. But, with just a couple of questions related to how the numbers involved related back to my own horoscope, she hit a nail bang on the head and moved into poignant interpretation. The whole issue accurately reflected the astrological picture of the frustration of retrograde Mercury and the current “mixed reception” of the Sun – Uranus that I talked about last week, the moves that would have to be made. It was actually quite spooky. And it just goes to show that being an astrologer doesn’t automatically mean that we have problem free lives or know the answer to everything! Thank you Sharman.

It’s worth noting that astrological interpretation, like dream interpretation, does need “unpacking”, and often this takes input from another person to get the process going – akin to the power of psychotherapy. Also as I was saying a few weeks ago this refers to what Jung identifies as the difference between a sign and a symbol. The former is clear and immediately obvious (blatant), the latter is bursting with meaning that has to be teased out (latent). When you arrive at the right interpretation however this then becomes blatant. It has the ring of truth about it and smacks you between the eyes. A message from the unconscious, or from some other magical source, has got through.
Honesty is a main psychological issue when Mercury turns direct. Language conceals (lies/silence) or reveals (truth/speaking up) and the lies we tell ourselves are in the mix – eg I don’t care, I can’t, there’s no point, it doesn’t matter, oh well, he/she doesn’t mean it, I’m fine etc. I especially liked Barry Goddard’s post this week on his UK Professional Astrologers Facebook page –
“Know thyself” was inscribed in the forecourt to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. This suggests that the function of oracles – and therefore of astrologers – is to help people gain self-knowledge. It is, you could say, to help people ask the right questions of themselves, rather than to give them answers.

This automatically made me think of Socrates and “the unexamined life is not worth living”. In other words, without honest self scrutiny, it is impossible to live an authentic life. Without self knowledge we can only ever blame other people or outside factors for our lack of fulfillment. In this respect I believe astrology to be invaluable. To understand the cards you have been dealt in this life, and to work out how best to play that hand, when to hold back and when to move on, or to know when fate will step in, all of this knowledge and more is embedded in the horoscope.

This leads me into the second major feature of the week –

Monday Venus conjunct Chiron at 15.38 degrees of Pisces (17.02)

Chiron is the archetype of the Wounded Healer as, unable to use his healing arts upon himself, Chiron gave up his god status in order to die and thereby end the eternal agony of a poisoned arrow wound. When I was writing my book and reached the section on Chiron I contacted Melanie Reinhart, a recognized authority on Chiron. She wrote that his importance lies in –

how he points to the issues that accompany the path of awakening, such as health crises, life-changing experiences, meetings with teachers, recapitulation of old trauma or major insights”.

In true retrograde Mercury fashion an oversight on my part was to forget to mention the Mars – Chiron conjunction that came first, also at 15 degrees of Pisces on 31 January. This was tragically the day that Bobbi Kristina Brown (Sun at 14 degrees of Pisces, and also born on an almost exact Uranus – Neptune conjunction) was found face down and unconscious in her bath at home. Pisces, co-ruled by Neptune, god of the sea rules everything to do with water and the difficult side to this sign/planet relates to escapism, such as the altered states of consciousness found though drug or alcohol abuse. The deep family wound is echoed in her mother’s chart too. Whitney Houston – Ascendant 5 Pisces, Chiron in the first house at 14 Pisces, conjunct her daughter’s Sun – her own Sun in Leo opposite Saturn in Aquarius the 12th house (the natural house of Pisces/Neptune) both forming a fixed T-Square to Neptune in Scorpio.
We all have Chiron in our charts, we all have our wound. Studying Chiron in your own chart can reveal what needs to heal. As Melanie Reinhart also pointed out to me the full power of Chiron’s message is captured in his “rebirth”, being returned to source and immortalized in the constellation of Centaurus. With that in mind on this Venus (love) Chiron (healing and rebirth) union, along with Mercury turning direct, it seems apposite to post the below. I’ve posted it before, but it is powerful stuff and really does make you think.

And to kiss goodbye to retrograde Mercury until the next time and for a real bellyache laugh the last piece of this blog is priceless for children’s views and spelling mistakes!
Wishing you joy and strength on the road to fulfillment,
With love from Greece
5 Top Deathbed Wishes – written by a hospice nurse…

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.




2 February 2015 – A weird and wonderful Full Moon, making a wish and decoding Mercury’s messages

The Astrology Blog – 2 February 2015

All times stated are in GMT

Just a reminder that this year’s Greek Island Summer School will start with The Crystal Zodiac week beginning 11 May with visiting author and tutor Judy Hall. It’s a beautiful time of year to be in Greece, sunny days and the magical fireflies out at night. Go straight to the page on this website on this link to read more –

Astrology Courses

Well, if there were ever any doubt about how disruptive retrograde Mercury can be here are some of my favorite stories from the feedback this week – not favorite in terms of what has happened to people, but in terms of the symbolism! Remember that everything that comes under the large umbrella of “communication and transport” is Mercury’s domain, so here are some quotes, my notes in brackets –
– I have been off work since pulling the ligaments in my ankle (Aquarius rules the ankles in the physical body), went back to work too soon, had a massive row with my new bully of a boss, got signed off sick with ankle and work related stress. I have had HR on my case contacting me asking to meet me to discuss row with boss every week since. (Aquarius as organizations/humanitarian concerns, but Mercury retro in this sign can lose sight of the personal – here showing as Human Resources department who just want to fill in their forms, and legally speaking this is not seen as harassment because the absence is partly work related)
– My husband asked me if Mercury was retrograde as our computer mouse had stopped working and I’d left my phone at the gym
– (One of my students trying to book to do a course here in Greece starting on 11 May) I’ve been on the website and have now just spoken to Olympic Holidays to try and ascertain flight details etc but they said they aren’t running flights to Preveza until June! (This was cause for panic as I already supposedly had about 8 students booked with Olympic Holidays for this date! The website came up as blank for May availability. However if you called up June options first, the May ones then came up, and a second phone call to a different staff member confirmed all was ok….)
– What a week this has been! Clients in melt down, power cuts, my computer which was working perfectly well at six this morning suddenly “died”… then my husband backed our car into a wall and the whole side is crunched up, so a huge bill and no car for three days, so literally grounded, then a huge bill from the physio charging me for things that I did not even have…
The strangest event of the week here – make of this what you will – happened in the house early in the week. I grabbed a good weather moment and gathered up all the cats’ bedding from the boxes on the porch (cat hotel!). Came back to the washing machine later but the digital display said still 15 minutes to go. I stood there for a couple of minutes, musing on how wonderful washing machines are and how much work this would have been without one, feeling grateful to the friend who had recommended this particular brilliant machine which has worked perfectly for the past few years (I realise that probably sounds batty but it’s the kind of thing you do when you try to practice mindfulness!) when it suddenly stopped, in front of my eyes. The digital display then changed to 19 minutes. I left it for a while but nothing happened. I tried the time honoured method of switching it off and back on again. Nothing. A friend of mine who I stay with in London swore blind that we went through a period when every time I stayed with them something blew up or broke down and that this was definitely linked to me! Now why, at the precise and only moment that I was marveling at my washing machine, would it stop working and start counting backwards?? In the end I had to put it on a different program and it’s been used several times since and of course is working fine. Paul, I am sure you have an answer!
So, retrograde Mercury can speak of strange occurrences so maybe there’s something in there about thinking outside of the box, and for being reminded that life doesn’t work just at a physical or technical black and white level. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
“Foot in mouth” disease is a symptom of retrograde Mercury (someone should have warned Kim Sears) as are events that are entirely out of our control – like power cuts. But it can also bring events in our lives that knock us off centre, make us lose confidence and start to doubt ourselves. So it’s timely now to remember that we are supposed to be questioning things far more than usual, from the minutiae to the bigger issues, and that this is “astrologically normal” until Mercury turns direct again next week. In the meantime, keep your wits about you, especially midweek when Mercury makes the second of three contacts to Saturn –
Thursday Mercury sextile Saturn (11.40)
The first sextile was 5 January and the third and final one will be 19 February. Here’s a reminder of the write up for this aspect that I posted on 5 January –
Mercury in good aspect to Saturn augurs well for firm decisions, agreements, putting things down in black and white, establishing your goal posts and mapping out work that is governed by deadlines. Just be careful not to bite off more than you can chew!
Mercury – Saturn aspects are normally conclusive but, because of the backwards and forwards movement to come, there will be some element at work that will make you realise at a later date that something was not as cut and dried as it seemed. Or, you may already realise that a situation is not going to be as easy as you would wish, and the February dates are ones to circle for an ongoing debate, project, plan etc when you’ll be looking at matters in the light of new information or having to rework things in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated earlier.

Saturn is Lord of Time itself – and he’s also a “malefic” – so be prepared for “bad timing”, don’t over commit yourself, or accept that a heartfelt wish is one that cannot be instantly gratified. However, whatever your main concern may be at the moment, the bigger picture suggests that it will be worth the effort and the wait. It’s a good time to remember that success usually comes after hard work and not the other way around!

So, look out for developments with anything that is work in progress and which reflects these themes.
What else is happening this week?
Regular readers or students of astrology may be familiar with the phenomenon of the “mutual reception” which occurs when two planets occupy each other’s signs – eg at the end of last year we had the Sun in Sagittarius (Jupiter’s sign) and Jupiter in Leo (the Sun’s sign). We currently have what is called a “mixed reception” – the Sun in Aquarius (Uranus’ sign) and Uranus in Aries (the Sun’s sign of exaltation). Receptions symbolize moves that can be made, a swapping over, exchanges that can lift us out of a weakened state/place/relationship/job etc and into one that is much stronger, one that brings out the best in us and which has that “meant to be” quality. The reception must express the symbolism of the planets involved – in this case the Sun (the life force, health, sense of self, identity and purpose) and Uranus (the rebel, breaking free, the dramatic, unexpected or innovative).

This particular reception will be in operation until the Sun moves on into Pisces (18 February) but is most likely to show, or show at its most meaningful, when the two planets in question move into alignment which is actually now –

Monday Sun sextile Uranus (12.30)
This harmonious aspect (two signs apart) happens when both planets reach 13 degrees of their respective signs. As always, with any major aspect, it will be significant for you if you have natal planets at or close to the same degrees, in this case 13 degrees of any sign but especially in Aquarius (or the opposite sign of Leo) or Aries (or the opposite sign of Libra). You can check out your natal planets on this link –

You will see the visual of your horoscope, all the planets positioned on a wheel. By hovering your mouse over the glyph (symbol) for each planet you’ll be able to see which planet it is, what sign it is in and what degree of that sign it holds.

The big event of the week is the Full Moon –

Tuesday Full Moon at 15 degrees of Leo (23.10)
Full Moons illuminate or bring matters full cycle. This one is pretty dramatic, not only because it falls in Leo (big bold fire sign of drama, creativity and love of life) but because both Uranus and Jupiter are in on this act. This Full Moon falls within a couple of degrees in sextile to Uranus (13 Aries) and also within a couple of degrees conjunct Jupiter (who is currently also retrograde, hence the degrees and minutes of his exact placing below are decreasing rather than increasing). The exact Moon – Jupiter conjunction happens 6 hours after the Full Moon, and the Sun opposite Jupiter falls on Friday –
Wednesday Moon conjunct Jupiter at 17.58 degrees of Leo (05.32)
Friday Sun opposite Jupiter at 17.38 degrees of Leo (18.21)
If you have clear skies – disappointingly not here, the weather is vile as we’re in the middle of severe storms, it’s a total myth that Greece is warm all year around btw, but I’ll be keeping fingers crossed for a break in the clouds – you’ll see the beauty of Jupiter sparkling away next to the Full Moon. Don’t forget to make a wish, regardless of whether you have Leo planets or not! Jupiter is the planet of luck and good fortune, and is the opportunity maker. Jupiter in Leo, astrological royalty, says be regal and claim your sense of entitlement.
A Sneak Preview – as Jupiter and Uranus are both in aspect to the Full Moon it follows then that they are in aspect to each other as well. Both in fire signs of Leo and Aries respectively these two major planets made a “trine” (harmonious) to each other in September of last year but then Jupiter turned retrograde early December, so is on his way back to repeat the pattern. The second trine will be exact next month, the third and final one will be in June. Jupiter – Mr Big of the skies – and new age Uranus are therefore working as a dynamic team. It’s the stuff of glorious revolutions or life changing events. If these aspects link into your own chart it’s a bit like winning the lottery – but not necessarily a financial one! Watch this space.
The final aspect for now sets the tone for the weekend –
Sunday Venus sextile Pluto (05.52)
You may remember that Venus changed sign last week and is now travelling through Pisces, her sign of exaltation. This doesn’t, unfortunately, mean that all love issues suddenly become easy but it does signal a stronger likelihood of feelings being more intense and more important. The emotional tides run high at the time of a Full Moon and also with any planet in Pisces being part of the picture. Throw Pluto into the mix, who just loves to strip everything right back to basics and the result is, well, emotional! Pluto is “death and rebirth” stuff so this is a wonderful aspect if you’re in love, but a painful one if you’re breaking up or missing someone. If you have a relationship to rescue now’s the time to put in the work. Either way it has an all or nothing quality.
At a less psychological level Venus – Pluto combinations are notorious for losing things – Venus being loved objects and Pluto being black holes. Along with Mercury still being retrograde the risk is doubled. As I’ve been saying this last couple of weeks, be vigilant when you’re out and about. It’s a bit like that travel announcement at the end of a journey, “make sure you have all your belongings with you.”
Overall I do like the feel of this week, it feels more cheerful than last week and there is a sense of things gathering momentum or at least the chance to sow a lot of seeds. I’ve started to put things to look forward to in my diary which always lifts my spirits. Mercury will be turning direct again 11 February so I’ll be talking about this event in detail next week. Until then, whatever is unfolding for you, don’t take your eye off the ball,
With love from Greece

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