Update Online Courses
Scroll down to go straight to the blog.
I started running online courses about 18 months ago, as a way of filling students’ needs for the winter months. Now that the Summer School has been cancelled for May and June (rescheduled provisionally for September, info after the blog) these courses will be running all year.
What Students Say
I asked some of my students to send me a few sentences about their experience of online studying and here is what they have to say. I should add that if I were to write testimonials in return they would be just as glowing. I just love teaching and enthusing, and my wonderful students are the highlights of every week, and even more so now in these lockdown days. By your students you’ll be taught is also so true, every time I take on a new student and do these phone tutorials I learn something new. We never stop learning J
I completed the online Tarot course and it was so great that I decided to carry on, and am now just finishing an astrology course. Joanna has been such a wonder teacher. Her knowledge and experience of these subjects are phenomenal. I’ve gained more insights and learned more in these few months with Joanna than I have in the 10+ years I’ve been studying. She has changed my life and given me the confidence I needed to move forward with my own goals in astrology and tarot. She is an angel, she is a friend.
- Marquita – Talking Tarot and The Astrology of Relationships
This has been such a positive experience for me. I’ve done several online astrology courses before, but have never found such an inspiring, approachable and knowledgeable teacher as Jo. The phone tutorials were invaluable, not just for the one to one contact with Jo and the ironing out of anything I may have struggled with, but also because Jo’s enthusiasm is infectious. Jo is such a fantastic teacher, she continually ‘tailored’ the course to suit my knowledge and skills, and I have gained so much knowledge and confidence.
- Sue – Perfect Timing in Predictive Astrology
Being able to study at my own pace was a big plus for me, it really gave me time to absorb what I was learning. Jo’s lessons were clearly structured and full of information and insight. I really enjoyed the one to one tutorials and the course overall has deepened and enriched my own tarot practice.
- Rebecca – Talking Tarot
I cannot recommend Joanna’s online tarot course enough. Before starting, the volume of the task seemed daunting so I procrastinated for ages only to find, once launched, that Joanna had set the level of each module so well that I loved doing them. I could feel my knowledge and interest growing week by week. This does wonders for your confidence and the whole process was fascinating and fun. Joanna also pitched the phone tutorials just right and there was a lot of laughter, which is how I learn – and retain learning – best.
- Greta – Talking Tarot
NEW PRICE STRUCTURE
Apparently I wasn’t crystal clear about this last week. In short, forget the previous pricing of online courses that used a sliding scale of costs depending on how many modules you chose to do. For the rest of this “lockdown year” all courses are the lowest price, as quoted for 10 modules, but you simply pay for two modules at a time as you go along. This means that you pay £85.00 to get started on any course, and that you don’t have to commit to a whole course and you can stop or continue at any time.
The Astrology Blog 6 April 2020
Keeping Love & Dreams Alive, Full Moon Balancing Act and Mercury’s Fresh Starts
All times in BST
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Maya Angelou – 4 April 1928, born on a Sun conjunct Jupiter in Aries, Full Moon in Libra
It’s another big week as Mercury, back up to full speed since last Monday, plays into the major Jupiter – Pluto conjunction. These are Mercury’s final aspects before changing sign at the weekend, and they also coincide with the Full Moon, a symbol of culmination, so this suggests more “peak” symbolism but also indications of real transition.
Let’s start with a quick recap of the Jupiter – Pluto combination, as the aspect was exact for the first time yesterday and we have two more to go later in the year. These two planets are the “lockdown” astrological signature and you can read my full feature about this on Soul & Spirit magazine’s website –
To put this into further perspective remember that Pluto is the slowest moving body in our heavens, orbiting through the 12 signs once every 248 years. Pluto entered Capricorn 25 January 2008 and will travel through this sign up until 21 January 2024.
By contrast Jupiter spends a year travelling through each of the 12 signs, is therefore in Capricorn once every 12 years and has now caught up with Pluto. So as I said last week it’s all things Jupiterian that are now being “cancelled out” by Pluto’s relentlessness, and especially within the Capricorn framework of business –
Jupiter – main principle is expansion, rules anything that makes our life bigger and better. He is known as the Greater Benefic, the bringer of freedom, liberation, opportunity, luck, good fortune, abundance and generosity. Jupiter also rules long distance travel and all matters or people related to overseas.
Pluto – main principle is endings/beginnings, often starting with loss, finality, death of the old and the birth of the new, transformative processes, darkness, absence, invisibility, starting from scratch, deep healing, resourcefulness and secrets. His nature is absolute, uncompromising and disempowering.
Within hours of sending out last week’s blog there was a massive and unmistakable showing of this symbolism as it was announced that Easy Jet weren’t just cancelling selected flights but had grounded their entire fleet. In terms of “pinpointing” (Mars) the timing, this news was announced just before Mars changed sign, and was therefore at 29 degrees of Capricorn, and then joined up with Saturn at 0 Aquarius.
Both 0 and 29 degrees are known as “critical degrees”, not usually in the sense of danger or emergency but as symbolic of new or closing concerns. If you have planets or Angles at 0 or 29 degrees of Aquarius in particular (or Leo the opposite sign) or any sign in general, then the beginning of last week may well have brought tough transitional moments for you.
With action man Mars at the end degree of Capricorn, sign of enterprise, business and empire building, this massive company built on the concept of flying millions of people easily around the world (Jupiter), came to a screaming halt (Pluto). Later in the week a similar and expected story also broke for British Airways and no doubt countless other airlines. At the very beginning of this pandemic one of the first projections in the business world was that airline losses would run into billions. It’s clear that those who don’t get government support will almost certainly never take to the skies again.
What’s Happening this Week?
At full speed Mercury whizzes along and changes sign every two to three weeks, but because of the recent retrograde period he’s been sloshing around in Pisces since 2 February, and don’t we know it. This is also one of Mercury’s signs of detriment so this in itself is apt symbolism for two months of experiencing the Winged Messenger with clipped wings, drowning rather than flying, not being able to circulate, not being able to make plans or decisions and having to surf the tsunami waves of terrifying information and statistics. It’s been a disorientating time of great confusion, anxiety, uncertainty and grief.
Mercury is reiterating the Jupiter – Pluto messages between now and midweek, coinciding also with Mars’ next aspect, a square to Uranus.
Tuesday 7 March
- Mars 5 Aquarius square Uranus 5 Taurus 19.51
- Mercury 25 Pisces sextile Pluto 25 Capricorn 22.27
Wednesday 8 March
- Mercury 25 Pisces sextile Pluto 25 Capricorn 03.21
- Full Moon 19 Libra 03.36
Mars (action) square (friction) Uranus (wild child) can be explosive and amounts to going a bit crazy, which of course is also a hallmark of a Full Moon. Whether you are coming out of legal quarantine or whether you’re just desperate for some freedom and social life, or feeling at breaking point with confinement, restrictions or irritation with those in your household, the beginning of the week is when all of those feelings are likely to be intensified. Try to ride it out!
The bigger picture of Mars in Aquarius (groups, mankind, humanity) squaring up to rebellious Uranus (the planet that co-rules Aquarius) speaks of unrest, and especially bring to mind the problems around crowd control and social distancing. Worldwide this message appears to be getting through but there are many poverty stricken areas where keeping a physical distance is literally impossible. Those of us who are privileged to have space must make the best use of it.
The collective takes precedence now because it has to, but on a personal note that doesn’t mean that we’re not experiencing overwhelming feelings of personal loss and deprivation. This whole pandemic is a bereavement at so many levels, the Plutonic death of the life we all knew, but with every crisis there is a factor of balance/acceptance in which lies the real healing. There is a whole line of thinking out there that links this crisis to the world being out of balance in the first place. The ecological healing already happening bears thought provoking testimony to this.
In terms of our current losses and quest for balance it’s worth nothing that a lot of psychotherapy is based on the premise of validation. In other words, what an individual feels is of paramount importance, regardless of what those feelings might be or the reasons why they might be feeling them. It is not the therapist’s job to sit in any kind of judgment but to “unpack” those feelings and find out where they came from.
Every astrologer also wears the therapist’s hat in their work and I therefore work within these parameters, but for now I also think that part of the necessary balance needed is hugely rooted in perspective. Again, in the world of therapy, a lot of the work springs from the fact that others suffering more than we are may be a fact but it doesn’t help. For example, just because another person has had a messy divorce doesn’t mean that our own relationship breakup is any the less painful.
But as I said a few weeks ago, try not to take the huge impact of this pandemic personally. None of us are being targeted for personal hardship and when we think of ourselves as part of the collective, part of the whole world, it’s a reminder not to allow ourselves to go into overwhelm with our own feelings. Pay attention to your own feelings, and of those closest to you, but on this occasion knowing that we really are all in this together can be a source of comfort, and a touchstone of sanity.
The Full Moon
On that subject the times of the Full Moon is associated with the opposite – insanity, craziness, wolves and dogs baying at the Moon and all sorts of emotional debris being swept out from under the carpet. The Full Moon sensitizes and this one falls in Libra, the sign of The Scales. This automatically lights up the theme of balance that is beginning to feel increasingly important.
In horoscopy Libra rules the 7th House which is where we locate partnership of all kinds – major relationships, marriage, business partners, all significant one to one connections. Thus the Scales take on an extra dimension of symbolism, representing the two sides to a relationship, illustrating how what one side does always affects the other, and how the skills needed to keep the relationship in balance are ever present. Apart from things going nuts Full Moons are times of illumination and things coming full circle. In other words, this Full Moon puts love stuff in the full glare of the spotlight.
The theme that is obvious in my client work and in the experiences of those around me is that lockdown is turning that spotlight into a merciless scrutiny. It’s not such a big deal for those who are thankful that they have their other half and who have many years of experience with regard to sharing and living together. But for many the lockdown is revealing that they don’t actually know their partner in the way that they thought they did, or that they can’t talk to their partner in the way they need to or, worse, that their partner is someone that they don’t actually like very much!
Those who normally spend their lives buried in work, in a social whirl and a stack of other activities are the most affected as habitual denial and normal escape routes are sealed off. The things that could easily be ignored or diluted, sometimes for years, are now glaringly obvious. It’s interesting that everyone who’s said that they’re quite enjoying at least part of the lockdown experience, and some say they feel guilty about this, are all single.
If the China model is anything to go by then the separation and divorce rates will start going up when the worst of this is all over. So if you’re having a relationship wobble, and you don’t want to be a statistic, then the message is to make allowances during these tough times but only up to a point. Don’t ignore the obvious cracks in the wall. If things are really precarious then try to view this as an opportunity to get closer emotionally, and pay close attention to what surfaces for you during the first couple of days of this week.
If you’re single and searching then obviously it’s much harder to meet anyone new right now, but regardless of the circumstances love in a corona climate can still happen! This Full Moon is promising for clarity about what you really do or don’t want in a partner, it could bring in a new face, or make you aware of someone as a potential partner or make it clear that a new attraction is getting stronger on both sides. Watch this space!
Jupiter is known for having silver linings, even when the situation looks impossibly bleak. This planet often features in stories of 11th hour luck, which is a hallmark too of the Jupiterian personality. There’s something about Jupiter people’s positivity that manages to see a problem as an opportunity rather than the other way around, so in this respect they actually create their own luck too rather than it always being something that happens “to them”.
Jupiter is the bringer of joy, not exactly in abundance right now. But as we struggle on through this joyless experience it’s not all gloom and doom. On the plus side I’m getting a lot of feedback about the positives to be found in having to learn a new kind of life. Many are realizing that they don’t need what they thought they needed, that they realize in fact how much they’ve got, and how their relationships and friendships have taken on a deeper value.
As noted earlier, we’re all going through a form of bereavement and these are the kind of feelings often experienced by those who face terminal illness. Remember the article that I’ve posted several times before, written by a hospice nurse, about the top 5 deathbed wishes? Number 4 is –
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
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.
I think these words ring true more than ever. How wonderful that we could all learn this lesson now rather than when it’s too late?
Hopes and Dreams
For many of us the hopes and dreams that made up our New Year resolutions – really only three months ago? – have inevitably fallen by the wayside, and nobody’s year has so far worked out in the way intended. In fact in three short months everything has changed to the point of bearing no resemblance to how life was at the beginning of January.
As I write (yesterday, Sunday 5th) I should have been in London running workshops over the weekend, seeing clients and catching up with family and friends. If you’re de-motivated or plagued by feelings of pointlessness then you are far from alone, and I had to do battle with those demons myself as I also watched my May and June Summer School disappear. My three busiest months of the year were suddenly empty.
But it’s our psychological strength that is being tested and the astrology unfolding as we approach the weekend is brilliant for fresh resolve. Mercury not only finally changes sign but moves into Aries, first sign of the zodiac, and aligns with Saturn, newly arrived in his own sign of objective, inventive and systematic Aquarius. There is no better symbolic moment for getting fired up and acting on the strength of determination, reshaping our plans and visions and finding a new way forwards.
Mercury in Pisces speaks of sensitivity and an understanding of suffering, but the flipside can be victim role, which let’s face it is pretty easy to slide into at the moment. Mercury in Aries, ruled by warrior Mars, snap his fingers in our face, and it’s back to the drawing board with a fighting spirit –
Saturday 11 March
- Mercury ingress Aries 08.49
Sunday 12 March
- Mercury 1 Aries sextile Saturn 00.59
Mercury is going to charge through Aries these next two weeks, up until 27 March, and all sorts of things that had seemed impossibly stuck could get moving again. Mercury is the mind planet and it’s our attitude that can make a difference. Aries is great at being single minded and finding the quickest A to B route to anything. This weekend will be ideal for straight talking, in personal or business affairs, or for decisions that you can act upon immediately. Decide on what you want to say or do, and swing into action as best you can.
If you’re in lockdown or quarantine with no work and nothing to do then top of the list for using the mind planet’s new cycle is to learn something. Apparently learning a new language ticks loads of boxes for keeping the brain agile and staving off dementia! Or volunteer for something where you’re needed and can do good. Aries is also fantastic at any work that involves campaigning or looking after those who are vulnerable. But if there’s any subject that has always intrigued you but you’ve never had the time to do it, make the most of this opportunity.
To finish, I’ll just return to the bereavement issues for a moment. I’ve written about this before, that when I lost my twin sister that my lovely student from Egypt, healer Rasha Osman, opened my eyes. When I said sadly, time is the healer, she said, “No Joanna, acceptance is the healer”.
She was so right. Acceptance of course comes with time, but it’s when we stop shaking our fists at the heavens that we move into true healing. This made me think of my favourite of Shakespeare’s sonnets that I’ve posted in full below – his way of saying count your blessings and only love matters!
And remember that you’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home. And remember the mantra, this isn’t forever – it just feels like it!
With love from Greece
Shakespeare’s Sonnet XXIX
When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.