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Six things I love about astrology 

(i)
 “Six thousand years ago, when the human mind was still half asleep, Chaldean priests were standing on their watchtowers, scanning the stars.”
(from The Sleepwalkers by Arthur Koestler)
I love knowing that the rational, mythical, symbolic, and empirical art of astrology has been around for at least six thousand years. Our increasing contemporary awareness of the interconnectedness of all things was well known in antiquity: the ancient maxim “As above, so below” still applies. Astrologers operate on the margins of our fragmenting, reductionist culture. But we represent an unbroken line to a time that, in many ways, was wiser than ours is now. Being a tiny thread in that weave gives me a deep sense of pride, connection, and rootedness.

(ii)
I love being able to look out at the night sky, seeing the beauty of the lunar cycle and the visible planets in their ever changing, ever repeating patterns, knowing that being an astrologer offers one the privilege of perceiving not only astronomy but also symbolic meaning out there. I can still recall the exhilaration I felt on a freezing cold, clear night in January 1986 on a visit to the Outer Hebrides. My brother, a Merchant Navy captain, was able to point out Saturn to me – the first time I had ever seen that venerable planet with the naked eye. Saturn’s meaning was also present that night; we were on our way back from the wake for an old uncle who had just died.

(iii)
I love the fact that I started out as a dismisser of our ancient art and ended up its devoted practitioner. I had set out to confront my embarrassment at the inexplicable fascination I had developed for a subject that I considered to be beneath my intellectual consideration! This is the typical position of ignorance combined with arrogance from which many people dismiss astrology, not realising there is a subject of great depth and power beyond the Sun Signs of astrology’s public face. I embarked on a course of study with the Faculty of Astrological Studies in the early 1980s to prove to myself through study, rather than ignorant dismissal, that there was nothing to astrology. I have kept up an unbroken interest since then for nearly 30 years. If you want to read the strange story of how my astrological career began in a launderette in Bath, England, UK, check out this link!

(iv)
I love how literal astrology can be. Saturn met Neptune in November 1989 and the Berlin Wall came down. There was a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Libra in July 1969 when a huge co-operative effort of unique scientific endeavour put the first human on the Moon. The day Pluto first went into Sagittarius in January 1995, there was a massive earthquake in Japan and the city of Kobe went up in flames. At that same time, John Paul, the best-travelled Pope ever,  preached to an open-air audience of over a million people in Manila in the Philippines. To lower the tone somewhat, I was having lunch with a bank manager friend of mine on March 7, 1985, the day Saturn turned retrograde on my Scorpio IC. For no apparent reason (being sober at the time!), I passed out, just as another bank manager and friend of my friend was passing the restaurant window. They both ended up carting me home between them.

(v)
I love the impossibility of ever getting on top of, or to the end of, one’s astrological studies. I have never applied myself to Chinese or Hindu astrology, not yet feeling I have enough of  a grasp of the Western tradition into which I was born….and you can do hundreds or thousands of horoscope readings, teach hundreds of classes with thousands of students, and someone will STILL come up with a  manifestation of Venus combined with Saturn, or Mercury combined with Neptune, that you have never before come across or thought of.

(vi)
I love astrology for the help it has given me (and countless other people who are willing to look within and try to be honest about themselves) in understanding the quirks and complexities, the gifts and pains, of my personality and life pattern. My studies began as the next step in a lifelong quest to prove that our existence has some meaning, that we are not just butterflies randomly pinned to the board of fate, that we are each here because we have something unique to contribute to the Big Picture. Astrology has provided me with that proof. For that, and to that unbroken line of students and practitioners of our great art stretching right back to those ancient Chaldeans on their watchtowers, I will be forever grateful.

Thank you.

copyright Anne Whitaker 2010

Anne Whitaker lives in Scotland. She obtained her Diploma in Psychological Astrology from the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, UK, after studying with Liz Greene and the late Charles Harvey from 1995-8. She has had many articles in print, including in TMA, over the years, and in 2009 her first book Jupiter Meets Uranus was published by the American Federation of Astrologers. Anne is currently studying for a Master’s degree, and planning to return to her astrological career after a ten-year break – courtesy of a long bout of Neptune oppositions to her six twelfth house planets……

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12 Responses to "Six things I love about astrology "

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  • teri maurice says:

    A wonderful essay. My feelings exactly. Thank you.

    • Thank YOU, teri. An interesting ‘coincidence’ – today I gave my 11 year old nephew who is coming up to his first Jupiter Return, his first ever (and impromptu) astrology lesson, based on his own chart. It was my first bit of astrology teaching for a very long time. “Well,” he said, in response to my asking him what he thought. “This stuff is pretty mindblowing!” The baton passing to the next generation?

  • That’s a great list, Anne. I say that because…well, it’s essentially my list, too, though even before discovering astrology, I knew there was something “magic” (for lack of a better word) out there.

    Thanks for sharing your intro to astrology in the article and the story about your nephew. He’s quite right.

  • Hi cj

    it’s good to get your feedback – glad you enjoyed the ‘Not the Astrology Column’ article and my nephew’s comment too. What you said about magic jogged my memory – I actually managed to find where the quote below was hiding out in my (non-magical) filing system! I think it’ll appeal to you….

    ‘The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.’
    Eden Phillpotts

    Isn’t that brilliant?!

  • Thank you Anne for this tribute to the art of astrology. I feel the same way, and especially love how its historical roots cover so many generations of humanity and that we are the latest but not the last.

    I’ve been working on a comparison of the double entries of Pluto, Uranus and Neptune into their new signs and have discovered one thing they all have in common. From January 25, 2008 (Pluto’s first ingress of Capricorn), through February 3, 2012 (Neptune’s 2nd ingress of Pisces), the 6 ingress charts all have Saturn in an opposition aspect. In the 1st chart he is opposed to Borasisi, a transneptunian object named for the mythical Sun in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Cat’s Cradle. Borasisi threw away his children because they didn’t turn out as he had hoped. Borasisi was conjunct Herecles, known for overcoming obstacles.

    In the next Pluto ingress chart Saturn is opposite Uranus who is “different”, and in the next ingress chart it is Uranus’ first entrance into Aries. This time Saturn is opposite Jupiter who “broadens and expands” and who also conjuncts Uranus. The next ingress chart is Uranus’ 2nd entry to Aries and Saturn once again is opposed Jupiter.

    In the 5th ingress chart when Neptune first entered Pisces on April 4 2011, Saturn was opposite the Sun who represents “consciousness” as well as Jupiter, and the last ingress this month of Neptune to Pisces once again has Saturn opposite Jupiter.

    Looking at the 4 years of transition the 3 trans-personal planets represent as they change signs we see Saturn representing the structure and stability of our world, opposing first something that has been “made up” but has strength. Then he goes on to oppose something “different” and then something that “broadens & expands”, and finally, he opposes “consciousness that expands”.

    I believe this is the underlying theme of these times of transition; a battle between the known and the unknown, or fear of the unknown. Astrology always keeps me searching for answers and always I am rewarded for the effort.

  • Anthony Burns says:

    I know from years of experience that astrology works – and I used to be a physics teacher! I have Saturn conjunct Uranus in my chart, and I find that whenever transiting Saturn makes a ‘hard’ aspect to my Saturn-Uranus I go through an ‘eventful’ phase in my life. (‘Critical’ is too strong a term to use here – ‘eventful’ is about right.) The system is perfectly dependable, and I thus know when to expect the next ‘eventful’ phase.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Anthony. The astrologers of ancient times’ observations of what happened to their kings and kingdoms in response to the shifting alignments of the visible planets are stored on clay tablets distributed in museum storerooms across the world, much of which is yet to be deciphered. And here we moderns ( or rather, post-moderns!) are, still doing the same thing, still accumulating data from both our personal and collective lives – except that we now store it rather differently, eg here as with you and barbk, on comment forms on astrology blogs. It all carries on that great tradition validating “As above, so below.”

  • Hi everyone,

    So nice to have Anne’s participation and all of your comments..

    Be well everyone, and thanks for stopping by..

    Mary