SUMMER SCHOOL 2022 – 20th SEASON!
The starting date for each course is a Wednesday, the day you fly in. Return flights are the following Wednesday. Each week comprises of four study days, so you also have plenty of free time, and there are group meals organised for the evenings. You don’t have to be alone at any time unless you wish to be.
Do get in touch asap if you want to put your name down for a place, and especially if you want me to sort out accommodation for you – places are booking up fast for what is going to be a very popular season on Lefkada.
25 May – Elisabeth Brooke
5 of 10 places available
1 June – Elisabeth Brooke
5 of 10 places available
31 August – Joanna
4 of 10 places available
7 September – Elisabeth Brooke
6 of 10 places available
8 June – Joanna
8 of 10 places available
14 September – Joanna
0 of 10 places available – FULL
The Astrology Blog 14 March 2022
All times in GMT
“For me, liberalism simply means, live and let live. This is a splendid slogan”
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Polonius giving advice to his son Laertes, in Hamlet
Anyone can receive their own personalized copy of the weekly blog straight to inbox on Monday mornings. It’s free and also includes all updates on events for the year ahead, especially The Greek Island Summer School which is entering its 20th season. A variety of astrology and tarot study/holiday weeks, for all levels, in May, June and September. Nothing in July and August – way too hot!
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So regular readers will know that this blog is written for the astrological student but also in such a way that the non astrologer can pick out the general picture. It essentially covers the two key ways that astrology works, the particular (the life of the individual) and the universal (things that show for all of us, like world events). These words also matter enormously in accurate chart interpretation – eg Venus is primarily love, money and pleasures (universal), but which House in your horoscope does Venus rule? What or who does Venus signify in your life (particular)?
There are many other ways of using astrology such as horary (casting a chart for a question) or Elective Astrology (choosing a date and time for an event), casting your Lunar Return (flavor of the month) or your Solar Return (flavor of the year) and so on. But wherever your interests lie, essential principles remain the same.
All astrological craft operates on the symbolic correlation of “as above, so below”. In other words, in some magical and unknowable way the planetary activity is like some vast celestial mirror, reflecting back to us the matters unfolding in our own life, and also human evolution on a much bigger scale. This is subtly but crucially different from saying that astrology is “causal” – that signs/planets make things happen. Rather, they show us what IS happening.
But another vital starting point is to understand the concept of “natal promise”. In other words, your own horoscope is definitely the hand you were dealt and you can’t cheat, for good or ill. In that natal picture is the “promise” – or indications if you prefer – of the type of life experiences that lie ahead.
In my own student days I always remember the late great Derek Appleby taking this to its ultimate conclusion, saying categorically that an earthly event cannot happen unless and until it is indicated by celestial activity, and his example to our group about the importance of the natal picture – if you haven’t got a good chart for money then no amount of lucky Jupiter transits are going to make any difference. Oh. Really? Really.
Derek worked tirelessly on our own horoscopes to illustrate how our life events were all shown as natal indications that came to pass under the relevant timing measures. This was a revelation to me at the time, as I sat wide eyed at his feet, and a definite turning point in my studies. I was still at least partly at the stage of staring at charts and glazing over. Yes, it happens to us all! It’s actually a vital phase.
But I’ve discovered again and again how that key astrological principle holds true, not just with money but in all areas of life. Of all the things he taught us in that group the importance of the natal picture as the frame, I would say, was the most crucial as it led me to trust the astrology at work in any given horoscope. It works, it speaks, it belongs to that person. My own students will vouch for my love of saying that the chart is the client, the client is the chart. Same thing. You can’t separate them out. You can’t throw away one side of a coin.
RAIF BADAWI – Natal Promise & a Predictive Technique
On Friday my heart sang when I read the news that Raif Badawi had been freed. In 2013 he was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes by a criminal court on the initial charges. The following year an appeals court made matters even worse when they upheld the conviction and increased the punishment to 10 years in prison and 1,000 public lashes. When he suffered and somehow survived the first 50 of these it caused such a massive global outcry that the rest were never carried out.
No time of birth for Raif so we can’t know the all important Ascendant (Rising sign) but I would put money on it being Pisces, sign of suffering and sacrifice. Jupiter is currently travelling through this sign and by transit to an Angle, especially the Ascendant – Descendant axis, often shows as liberation eg divorce, getting out of sticky situations.
A Pisces Ascendant would give Jupiter and Neptune as the chart rulers, or maybe Sagittarius which would give Jupiter as the chart ruler. I could speculate forever! You can see how such musings take the astrologer into the world of “rectification”, the art of arriving at the time of birth through matching the horoscope to the life. Magical and massively time consuming!
The real point – I’m getting there – is that regardless of whether or not Raif has a Jupiter ruled Ascendant he natally has a Jupiter – Neptune conjunction. These are slow moving planets, they hardly shift in the space of 24 hours anyway, so regardless of the time of birth he has Jupiter 28 Sagittarius conjunct Neptune at 29 Sagittarius. Without the time of birth we just don’t know which house this conjunction occupies.
Regardless of other predictive factors if you NATALLY have a particular configuration – in this case a Jupiter – Neptune conjunction – then when that is repeated in the heavens it indicates a top date for you. If these are slow moving planets it’s unlikely to be a date to the actual day, but it will be very close. If they’re faster moving planets then the window of time becomes smaller.
In last week’s blog I wrote about Neptune – to recap:
This planet is gathering strength in terms of importance –
- The Sun – Neptune conjunction is once a year (this one exact yesterday 13 March 23 Pisces)
- The Jupiter – Neptune conjunction is once every 13 years
- The next Jupiter – Neptune is fast approaching, will be exact 12 April (next one after that 23 March 2035, at 21 Aries) https://astrologyking.com/jupiter-conjunct-neptune/
- Saturn will make the minor semi-sextile to Neptune 17 May, and repeats this 6 January 2023
I have a sense that this week’s Sun – Neptune conjunction will be paving the way to the far more important Jupiter – Neptune. So, as ever, pay close attention to what unfolds for you this coming weekend as events could be packed with clues and pointers with regards to a personal matter, or to things that will make more sense in a month’s time.
THE PROGRESSED CHART
At the time of his arrest Raif had a rare progression, slow moving Neptune almost exactly conjunct Mercury. It’s a clear showing for the event, being called to account for his strong spiritual (Neptune) beliefs (Mercury) and his insistence on his right to say and write (Mercury) what he believed. Raif was imprisoned on charges of “insulting Islam” in his blog and then also of apostasy (renunciation of a religion), which mercifully was unproven as that would have been an immediate death sentence.
That progression supports the importance of Neptune in his natal chart. The other progression was Mars conjunct Saturn – the lesser and the greater malefic coming together. That was never going to be anything nice or easy. It’s like hitting a brick wall.
He paid a very heavy price for staying in the brutal (Mars) regime (Saturn) of Saudi while his wife, in fear of her own life just before Raif’s arrest, fled along with their three children to Lebanon and then found asylum in Canada where she’s been living and actively campaigning ever since. In this context it’s his wife who clearly embodies the Jupiter – Neptune in Sagittarius (Jupiter/Sag/9th House – where we locate the higher mind, philosophy, religion, freedom and all things/people overseas.)
Raif is now on Canada’s list of high priority immigrants for humanitarian (Jupiter – Neptune) reasons but it remains to be seen if Saudi enforces a ten year passport ban. The astrology suggests that a way out will happen as Uranus is poised to oppose his Saturn, and possibly conjunct his Moon (need a time of birth for exact degree of the Moon).
That’s another essay! But the Moon – Saturn opposition is the natal promise for years without his wife and kids, for the death (Saturn) of his mother (Moon) at an early age, for a strict upbringing by his father who reported him for parental disobedience (a crime in Saudi) when he was only 13 and which landed him in a teenage detention (Saturn) centre for six months where he was flogged – for the first time – part of a brutal indoctrination process to “restore pure monotheistic worship”. On his Wikipedia page it’s reported that this scarred him deeply, presumably both physically and mentally.
If you have a Moon – Saturn combination of any kind in your own horoscope then this doesn’t mean that you too are fated to experience such brutality BUT you will have your own story that fits the symbolism that links to things like a curtailed or restricted childhood, emotional starvation, an overly strict upbringing, a physically or emotionally absent professional parent, and so on. Making sense of such hardships astrologically can be hugely therapeutic.
Final word on Raif’s chart is that astrologically his tough start in life also links to the other major natal conjunction in his horoscope – Mars 1 Scorpio conjunct Pluto 2 Scorpio. Again, this aspect doesn’t mean that he would be horribly abused, but it’s the showing for the fact that he was, having come up against the relentless power of his own society.
If you have any Mars – Pluto combination in your own horoscope and don’t live in a dictatorship of any kind then the chances of your being incarcerated and flogged are zero, but there will be some experience that fits the Mars – Pluto symbolism with its themes of aggression, use or abuse of power/control, painful losses or absences, often in the formative years.
Raif’s story is especially pertinent right now in the context of the invasion of Ukraine, and how this is affecting life in Russia too, where a new “state betrayal” law has come into force. Anyone expressing support for Ukraine could face jail sentences of up to 20 years. One interviewee stated that “the only way we can protest is to leave the country, take our skills and money with us. Almost everyone in our circle has made a similar decision.”
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
For those of us lucky enough to be living our lives in freedom, and how conscious we all are of that right now, this is the week that we travel towards the Spring Equinox, the moment when the Sun enters Aries –
Sunday 20 March
- Spring Equinox Sun ingress Aries 15.35
This is an especially welcome prospect as we haven’t any presence of the element of fire since Mars exited Sagittarius on 24 January. This has shown at a literal level in the Northern Hemisphere, freezing cold weather and severe storms, just last week Athens was deep in snow again and here on Lefkada we’re back to minus figures at night. At least in Greece we know we’re going to get a summer and we’ll spend at least 4 weeks of it complaining about the heat lol.
So symbolically the Spring Equinox is the moment when the Sun enters his sign of “exaltation” (best placing), Aries being the first sign of the zodiac and the official beginning of the astrological New Year. It’s fabulous for individuation – in other words, anything that gets you back to you, anything that reconnects you with your sense of self, a healthy ego state, positive self esteem and a sense of entitlement.
Hence the choice of quote this week from Hamlet, in support of Raif Badawi’s belief in personal truth, and Aries link to the self/ego. Great for health issues too, the Sun being the life source and force.
In terms of themes reflecting your natal chart this is extra good stuff if you have a 1st House Sun (me) in any sign. This is called Accidental Dignity – ie Sun in the house that naturally correlates to his sign of exaltation.
So applying same rule, the other personal planets are in Accidental Dignity here, regardless of sign –
- Moon – 2nd House (Moon is exalted in Taurus)
- Mercury – 6th House (Mercury is exalted in Virgo)
- Venus – 12th House (Venus is exalted in Pisces)
- Mars – 10th House (Mars is exalted in Capricorn)
- Jupiter – 4th House (Jupiter is exalted in Cancer)
- Saturn – 7th House (Saturn is exalted in Libra)
But for all of us 0 degrees of Aries is the ultimate spark of the life force and the clean slate. Stoke that fire in your belly.
Getting through the rest of the week first though we have Mercury picking up Venus and then Uranus, in other words, playing into and paving the way to the square between these two planets which, again, will be exact at the weekend –
Monday 14 March
- Mercury 8 Pisces semi-sextile Venus 8 Aquarius 23.52
Thursday 17 March
- Mercury 12 Pisces sextile Uranus 12 Taurus 12.14
Saturday 19 March
- Venus 12 Aquarius square Uranus 12 Taurus 11.17
Monday 21 March
- Mercury conjunct Jupiter 18 Pisces 06.08
This is lively stuff and all very fast moving as both Mercury and Venus are at full speed (having both recently completed retrograde phases and both well out of shadow too). First on the list is a minor aspect but even so I’ve noticed many times on any Mercury – Venus combination that they’re great for love talk, girl talk, helpful info or financial goodies.
Uranus in the mix is of course the loose cannon as ever, look out for plans going haywire at the end of the week at worst, changes at best, stay flexible, especially as the aspect to Venus is the friction loving square.
If you have personal planets at or very close to 12 degrees of the Fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) then you can expect more drama or to be the one caught up in the middle of things like disputes. Putin has a 1st House Venus at 12 Scorpio, what next, just saying ….
Uranus also rules the collective, humanity on the big scale and groups on the smaller one. I don’t have anything at 12 degrees of the Fixed signs but for me this seems to be showing clearly as it’s the week of trying to organize accommodation for visiting students later in the year. It’s such a popular season, everyone seems determined to travel, so I need to get my act together this week for those still waiting for rooms and chase up the people who are not getting back to me!
But Mercury’s last aspect for now is the annual conjunction to Jupiter at 18 Pisces (next one is in Aries at the end of March of next year) which generally amounts to good (Jupiter) news (Mercury) in whatever shape that might take – eg info, happy decisions, opportunities, travel plans and so on. Pay special attention to anyone coming into your life at this time as they’ll be good for you.
THE FULL MOON
Just before that Venus – Uranus finale we also have the month’s Full Moon, in the late degrees of Virgo and therefore exactly trine Pluto who is now also in the end degrees of another earth sign –
Friday 18 March
- Full Moon 28 Virgo 07.19
- Sun 28 Pisces sextile Pluto 28 Capricorn 19.35
Nearly every month I get asked, do Full Moons really mean craziness? Well, yes, in terms of things boiling up and reaching the point of being at full stretch. I have it direct from at least three people in the police force that it’s accepted without question that the station will have a busy night. As one guy puts it, during his time on the beat it was always “get ready for the domestics.”
So if you’re in a tetchy relationship with anyone about anything or, worst case scenario, if your marriage/relationship is already in a tailspin, then this Full Moon does rather carry the price tag of make or break. That’s Pluto’s job, especially where control issues are concerned. One thing’s for sure, if key issues don’t get aired and resolved within the next couple of weeks then they will simply repeat … and repeat.
I’m always extremely wary of using the keyword “transformation” with Pluto. Endings come first and they’re not easy ones either. At a global level he’s the threat of nuclear power (remember the Mars – Pluto conjunction 3 March when Putin’s army attacked and seized a nuclear plant in the southeast of Ukraine, a “projectile” hit a training centre, but not any of the six reactors, by luck or design?) so there is the worry of another display of Putin power.
But in our day to day lives pay close attention to what comes to light for you at the time of the Full Moon, whose job is at least partly about illumination as well as tipping points, and make any necessary changes no matter how huge they might seem. If the word transformation counts at all it’s our ability to take a leaf out of the Scorpio/Pluto book and reinvent ourselves when necessary in that “I regenerate” Phoenix style. Don’t be afraid to start from scratch in any situation that has had its day.
Finally, the love planets Venus and Mars are still travelling side by side in Aquarius, now and for the rest of the month, lovely for blossoming friendships or relationships, but it will be Mars’ turn to square up to Uranus next week. We’ll also have Mercury on his homestretch through Pisces, including the annual Mercury conjunct Neptune, before following the Sun into Aries, more on all of this next time,
With love from Greece