You may or may not share his political allegiances, but Tory MP David Tredinnick, who represents Bosworth in Leicestershire, must surely be respected for being so open about his belief in astrology. In an interview in the latest Astrological Journal, the magazine of the UK Astrological Association, Mr Tredinnick, who sits on two parliamentary Select Committees (Health and Science & Technology) states his view that astrology, and complementary medicines, could save the NHS money. He also argues for more research.
Needless to say, his views have attracted the usual opprobrium from the press, scientists and some members of the public, though he has also had many private messages of support. He is also the subject of an online petition to unseat him from the two Commons Select Committees he sits on (Health, and Science and Technology).
From diagnosing illness and suggesting treatments, to modern astrological counselling, astrology has from its inception been used for healing. As a counselling tool, astrology provides a rich symbolic language that helps clients talk about themselves, their relationships and life-choices freely and from a more enlightened perspective, whilst imbuing the passage of their life with a greater sense of meaning. This can lead to greater self-acceptance, calm and emotional resilience, all components of good mental (and therefore physical, since they are intertwined) health.
Astrologer Alison Chester-Lambert, who gave a fascinating talk a few years ago at Aquarius Severn, on the subject of the raft of newly-discovered outer planets such as Eris and Quaoar, has written a counter-petition in David Tredinnick's defense, and in support of healing therapies.
If you believe that Mr Tredinnick should have the right to sit on both committees, and that astrology may have a valuable contribution to make towards mental and physical health, please sign Alison's petition and send a vote of support.
What could be more appropriate for a man who's made his name campaigning for independence of his native country than a first house Jupiter conjunct Uranus in Cancer ? But what will be the effect of his current Saturn return - maturing of authority or a realisation of disappointment ? Whatever the referendum result, his subsequent transits start to look tricky.
In our discussion evening yesterday Kris and I looked at the forthcoming referendum, to be held in Scotland on September 18th 2014, which asks the following simple question: Should Scotland be an independent country?
We looked at plenty of horoscopes that Kris had prepared, including those of England (the coronation of William The Conqueror in 1066), Scotland (the coronation of Malcolm II in 1005), The 1707 Act of Union and the disastrous Darien Scheme that led to it, as well as the charts of the SNP, Alex Salmond and the New Scotland, should it be voted for. In addition, we looked at the two previous Scottish devolution referenda in 1979 and 1997, the latter of which gave rise to the Scottish Parliament which was opened in July 1999.
It was notable how little transit activity there will be in September in the country charts, though quite a lot in Alex Salmond's personal horoscope.
Finally, we examined the chart cast for the close of polling on the day of the referendum, set for Edinburgh (shown below). Given that the chart ruler, Mercury, is a fitting planet for the act of putting a cross on a paper, and is in democratic Libra, the chart would seem to be radical, i.e. appropriate for the event in question.
Those present noted the Jupiter-Uranus trine in fire signs - a positive indication of a 'yes' vote, set against the idealistic but rather scattered Mars-Neptune square in Sagittarius/Pisces. Both of these outer planet aspects are applying (building up in energy) in the days before the referendum. In addition, Uranus, symbolising independence, is perhaps unfortunately placed in a fairly wide conjunction with the Moon's South Node, perhaps symbolising the perception that the spirit of independence might also be linked to a hankering for the past.
The Moon, symbolising The People in a mundane horoscope, is strong in its own sign of Cancer, suggesting that security and the future of their families will be paramount in people's minds when they come to vote. It was also noted that the chart ruler Mercury is in the sign of reasoned judgment, Libra, indicating that many people are undecided, as they try to weigh up the arguments in a rational way based on facts. However, Mercury's square to the Moon shows that strong feelings will influence or even get in the way of purely rational decisions.
Once we concluded our discussion of all the charts in question, the audience was then asked to vote with a show of hands on whether they thought Scotland would leave the United Kingdom. The result was a unanimous 'no', though most agreed that the result would be very close, thanks to the ruling planet being in Libra, the sign of perfect balance. It must be noted that the audience was predominantly English, so this may have biased the result.
From tomorrow (April 17th 2014), Uranus, Jupiter and Pluto will form a T-square at 13 degrees of Aries, Cancer and Capricorn respectively.
Next week however, on Wednesday April 23rd and Thursday 24th, Mars will join them at 13 degrees Libra. This highly unusual line-up of planets is called in astrology a Grand Cross, and usually indicates a state of great tension, stress and conflict, though with the possibility of creative resolution and transcendence. This can come about through finding a deeper common ground beneath the apparent conflict, or by undergoing a paradigm shift in which the conflict no longer assumes the importance it once had. In an individual's natal chart this can, at its worst, be a marker of great inner conflict, and its highest, of genius.
Given the nature of the planets involved and the fact that this is another milestone in the unfolding drama of the series of 7 Uranus-Pluto Squares, this pattern is fraught with potential conflict, though Mars, the astrological significator of aggression, is perhaps at it's weakest at the moment, given that it is both retrograde and in the sign of its detriment, Libra.
It is interesting to note how tied in to this patten is the birthchart of he leader of the Russian Republic, Vladimir Putin, given the escalating tension in Ukraine since their revolution in February this year. Putin's Sun at 13° Libra has been hit by Uranus and Pluto over the last few months, will over the next week be squared by Jupiter (inflating his sense of self) and then on the 23rd and 24th by Mars. Perhaps we can expect him to be at his most belligerent and warlike at this time.
The United States is also triggered by this pattern, having its Sun at 13° Cancer and Saturn at 14° Libra. Although both planets are under great stress, the Sun is at least temporarily supported by Jupiter crossing it, whilst its exalted Saturn in Libra may come down firmly on any Martian attempt to threaten its interests.
Let us hope that the tensions already apparent in the lead-up to the Grand Cross will be resolved creatively and intelligently, and that its potential for chaos not be unleashed.
Individuals with planets at 13° of cardinal signs may also be experiencing great tension at the moment, and given that these signs are associated with decisive action, this is the best way of handling such astrological energies. Anything that reduces stress, such as exercise, running, martial arts, sport, dance, massage etc will also help dissipate the tension and avoid unnecessary conflict with others.
Last Thursday Mercury ground to a halt, or at least appeared to, if you had been lucky enough to see it each night. This was its Retrograde Station, and it is now in its retrograde phase for several weeks, until Feb. 28th (longer if you include its 'shadow' period).
Mercury is not only retrograde however, but is in the sign of its fall and detriment, Pisces, which is ruled by Neptune, God of The Sea. On top of this, Mercury was also conjunct Neptune the day it went retrograde. Put together this suggests this suggests the idea of water causing disruption on a large scale, and, as usual during a Mercury Retrograde period, disruption to travel and communications is the order of the day.
Why is the UK experiencing this Mercury retrograde so intensely? Well maybe it has something to do with the retrograde station (and therefore Neptune too) being conjunct the UK 1801 chart's Pluto at 3 degrees Pisces. Thus the retrograde phase, and it's preceding and following 'shadow phases' (Jan 22nd to March 20th) could have been expected to bring chaos, transformation and tests of survival in addition to the blurring of boundaries between people and places.
No ordinary Mercury retrograde period for us in the UK, but one that touches a deep strand of feeling, calling forth a both a deeper sense of community, a Plutonian transformation in attitudes towards climate change, and a powerful response from the government. Whether these take place is in the lap of the gods howewver - or should I say Mercury?
There are some great workshops coming up in Oxford and Bath, with well-known astrologers Bernadette Brady, John Frawley and Maggie Hyde.
15 February in Oxford, Bernadette Brady will be showing how you can Chart Your Life Story from your birth chart.
23 and 24 March in Oxford, John Frawley will be spending the Saturday explaining how questions can be answered using Horary Astrology, while the Sunday ail be devoted to Understanding the Fixed Stars.
For details of these click here.
On 1 March, Maggie Hyde will be in Bath, presenting a day workshop titled The Symbolic Attitude, using astrology, the Tarot and the I Ching to explore how a divinatory space can be created that turns an individual towards truth. More details here.
A recording of Allbeing channelled by Tony Neate at our talk on 19.9.13 is available for download. Go to the 'Recent talks and events' section of our website and the entry for 19.9.13.
Discount for Aquarius Severn members. Oxford Astrology Group is hosting a series of upcoming seminars at Trinity College Oxford, with top astrologers, including John Frawley, Bernadette Brady and on 9th. November, Lynn Bell, who will be sharing her knowledge of solar returns. We are pleased to announce that OAG are offering Aquarius Severn members a £10 discount on these workshops. When booking, select the concessionary rate.
On Sunday (August 18th), marine historian Paul Barnett led a group of us on a walk along the river Severn to visit The Purton Hulks - boats deliberately beached in the early twentieth century in order to form a defense against erosion of the riverbank, and in so doing to protect the Gloucester-Sharpness canal which runs alongside the river at this point.
It was a lovely sunny evening and Paul was an interesting and enthusiastic tour guide, full of stories about the place and its conservation. The hulks looked atmospheric as they loomed out of the grass, or were almost completely submerged by it. Definitely to be recommended as a tour. As Kris pointed out, it was an appropriate time to be visiting a watery graveyard, with Saturn being in Scorpio and part of a grand trine in water signs!
After the walk most of the group drove a couple of miles to The Lammastide Inn at Brookend, where we enjoyed a tasty, good value meal and conversation. We caught a glimpse of Venus before she set in the west, and a hazy Saturn higher in the sky later in the evening.
On August 4th a group of us enjoyed an unscheduled boat ride up the beautiful Wye Valley, with shamanic healer Maxine Smillie, pictured below in pink. Unscheduled because it was pouring with rain, so a walk along muddy pathways suddenly seemed less appealing! On the boat we heard about the history of the river and the buildings along it from the ship's captain, whilst at the end of the journey we were allowed to stay on the boat for a while whilst we performed a simple shamanic ritual under Maxine's guidance.
Maxine persuaded the Rose Tree Tea Room to stay open for lunch (they were going to close because of the inclement weather in the morning), during which Maxine recounted the deeper history of the place and its fascinating association with healing down the ages.
After lunch the weather cleared and we had an enjoyable walk by the riverside, under the shelter of the trees to the wire footbridge bridge near The Biblins. Maxine shared stories and insights about healing and we practiced walking mindfully in the landscape. All in all, an enjoyable and interesting day, despite the vagaries of the weather.
More pictures from the field trip, including walking the earth with intent …
Kris Lee and Graham Boston are astrologers who help run Aquarius Severn.
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