When to call your astrologer…

… and what to ask.

First and foremost, astrology is meant to help you to put your mind at ease, to understand how the turning wheel of world fortune relates to you.

For example, when you’re going through a tough time, it’s healing to be able to mark the day in your calendar when it should all be over. Equally, there are times when doors in our lives open easily and times that they remain stubbornly shut. Astrology helps you to know in advance when is the best time to launch your plans as well as advising when they remain only half-baked.

WARNING

Always have an advance idea of what you want to achieve in your astrology reading. Pure speculation is never helpful and can even be dangerous. Likewise, if you have a fixed outcome in mind as to the result of the reading, don’t expect astrology to simply confirm your plans. If you’re not prepared, at least in part, to think differently as the result of a reading, then don’t book it.


There are basically two types of readings; general and topical.

GENERAL READINGS – sketch out the narrative arc of the story that is your life. Imagine how much better you will function when you have a good understanding of who you are and what you want?

But as with any sketch, the devil is in the detail and this is where mixing astrology and coaching techniques comes into its own. There’s no sense walking away from the reading filled with fabulous information that you’ve no idea how to use.

  • Psychological astrology informs your most prominent personality traits, the way that you’re most likely to see and experience the world. With this, you can walk away from a 90-minute astrology session having learned more about yourself than you might in years of therapy. Coaching helps you decide what to do with what you’ve learned.
  • Before moving forward, it’s sometimes useful to look backwards. For example, before remarrying you might want to explore reasons why your first marriage failed. Equally, you might benefit from understanding why during a particular time in your life you flourished more than at other times or why you keep repeating the same ‘mistake’ time and time again.
  • Themes tend to repeat especially when they’ve not yet been adequately dealt with.  For those believing in reincarnation, it’s not hard to see how such themes carry through multiple lifetimes. For the historians and/or geneaologists, it’s not difficult to see how these themes carry on along family lines. And how about the mysterious mix of ideas, hopes, and dreams that you share with others of your generation? What’s that all about?
  • Have you ever wondered why you behave differently with some people than with others? Do some people know just which buttons to push whilst others seem to have no idea? Why does one person respond to your entreaties whilst another ignores them? Why are you to one person and not another? Relationship astrology answers these questions and more.

TOPICAL READINGS – consist of a question or series of questions usually relating to an important decision that you’ll soon take. Naturally the more you know about the topic in question, the more informed will be your decision making.

  • Astrology mixed with coaching helps you to clarify the question and your options as well as to evaluate how, for each of those options, events are most likely to unfold.
  • Horary astrology even allows for yes and no questions – i.e. should I take this job? But please keep in mind that although astrology can provide you with all sort of insight, it can never make the decision for you.

Chapter ONE:

On 26th December at 5:18 AM GMT, we will enjoy the new Moon in Capricorn and with it, arguably, the biggest planetary aspect of the month, a powerful solar eclipse.

There’s a huge line-up of planetary energy in Capricorn – so basically, there is no place to hide.

You should – no, you will – do something with this energy although some (with planets or angles 2-6 degrees in the cardinal signs – i.e. Libra, Cancer, Aries, and Capricorn) folks will feel this more than others.

This is not so much a dark energy as it is something to be taken seriously – not the least because you now have an honest opportunity to make a new beginning – start a brand-new chapter – in some important aspect of your life.

This must be approached in a realistic, grounded manner, taking into consideration everything you’ve learned up to this point about life. Yet still you’ll be feeling excited – enthusiastic – about what’s opening up for you  – and it is good stuff because you’re going to make it so. It’s also going to be a long-hard slog to the realization of this new opportunity – this new project – this new chapter in your life – so prepare to be persistent and patient and do whatever it takes!

In this regard, you should consider:

  • Committing publicly to the project, telling your family and friends as much as possible about your plans;
  • Creating a plan of action and start actioning the points – ticking them off one-by-one – taking baby steps at first until the ball gets really rolling;
  • Recruiting support, be it a coach or a colleague or even a friend who understands your goals;
  • Establishing milestones – book appointments with yourself in advance to review how far you’ve come and how far you have yet, to go and a word of advice – don’t cancel these appointments – even if you’ve got nothing to report to yourself, be honest about that and use the time to think about how you will make it different next time.

Fine Old Wine

Recently I was thrilled to tour Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate in South Africa dating back to 1685.

This special place is touted as a top tourist destination – boasting award-winning wines, world-class eateries, and extensive well-manicured grounds framed by stunning scenes of natural, rugged beauty. Indeed, this wonderful winery still has in its possession the original purchase order from Napoleon, who required thirty bottles of their award-winning Grand Constance (still in production) – a sweet and smooth fine wine with spicy undertones – to give him comfort during his exile on St Helena Island.


This is the essence of Venus in Capricorn.


In Capricorn, Venus is not in dignity but equally, she’s not debilitated. This means that she is comfortably able to express her Venusian essence as long as it is in keeping with that of her host, Saturn, the natural ruler of Capricorn.

Capricorn is not only a feminine sign, but also an earth sign. In so many ways, this is Venus’s favourite placement. She loves nothing more than to create and enjoy beautiful & sensuous things and the earthy signs provide her with the perfect tools to do it.

Saturn is not only ambitious but also patient and hard-working. Saturn will do whatever it takes to succeed in the task at hand. With Venus expressing herself through the lens of Capricorn, she’s also willing to work as hard as is necessary to achieve her goals and one of her most passionate goals is to create satisfying, gratifying relationships.

What might this mean for you and your relationships?

If you or your beloved have Venus in Capricorn, then the advice is to play to these particular Venusian strengths.

For the rest of us, whilst Venus is in Capricorn, look to make your relationships more robust, more structured – more EARTHY. Yet at the same time, remain always soberly dignified and like the vintners at Groot Constantia, play this like you’re in it for the long game.

Just Plain Nasty

From the end of November 2019 to the beginning of January 2020, we’re confronted with some just plain nasty energy as Mars moves through his home sign of Scorpio. Of course, it doesn’t have to be nasty but there’s a pretty good chance that it will be and to learn why, please keep reading.


But first, let me give you a taste of what it might look like:

 …. my husband and I were driving from Oxford to the Lake District on the motorway known as the M6 and the traffic, unpleasant at the best of times, was worse than usual. But it all came to an ugly head when a dark BMW cut us off moving last minute and without indication, into the fast lane and my husband, who has Mars in Scorpio, didn’t hit the brakes but instead accelerated. Despite some unpleasant gesticulation between my husband and the driver of the BMW, we didn’t collide but I think you can see the potential for disaster when two powerful cars (my husband drives a black Audi A5) engage in a proverbial ‘pissing contest’ at 80-90 mph.

Welcome to Mars in Scorpio.

When a planet, like Mars, is in a sign it rules, in this case Scorpio, it readily expresses itself in way that is keeping with its essential nature.

As the god of war, Mars does war-like things: he fights, cuts, thrusts, and initiates. Mars is also associated with valour and courage and so when Mars is behaving well, we might expect Mars to be the proverbial knight in shining armour, fighting for a just cause. But when Mars is behaving badly, we might expect him to be excessively combative and aggressive, often for no readily apparent reason.

Every planet is both a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ side, at least ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in keeping with societal norms and values. Often, it’s difficult to predict which side will manifest and this is especially the case with planets like Mars, which are considered to be ‘nocturnal’ in their essential nature.

‘Nocturnal’ is associated with the feminine and so in classical astrology, takes on characteristics associated with being variable and receptive. Nocturnal planets like Mars are even more variable when they are in the feminine signs they rule, in this case Scorpio.

In the northern hemisphere, Scorpio is decidedly autumnal – the light of the Sun is in slow, yet steady, decline until fully dissipated with the winter solstice.

This symbolism, which informs much of western astrology, suggests that Mars in Scorpio is more likely than not to behave in a dark, destructive, dissipating way. Because Scorpio is a ‘fixed’ sign – i.e. ‘holding the fort’ – Mars in Scorpio is often highly defensive whilst at the same time on the offensive – hence witness the recent ‘road-rage’ incident on the M6 when the ‘space’ occupied my husband’s black Audi A5 was ‘invaded’ by the dark BMW.

A great fall …

At the beginning of December 2019, Jupiter entered Capricorn, the sign belonging to Saturn. He will remain in this sign for the next twelve months, an entire year.

What might this mean?

First consider that Jupiter and Saturn are natural enemies.

Jupiter expands whilst Saturn constricts, contracts, and constrains. Both these planets represent archetypal ways of being and as the result are fundamentally unable to be changed. Nonetheless, when Jupiter is in the home, or domain, of Saturn, he must find a way to expand in a Saturnian fashion.

This suggests that during the next twelve months, successful growth and expansion must be undertaken with concrete commitment, due diligence, and unwavering discipline whilst still maintaining an optimistic attitude. Don’t be surprised if this happens in fits and starts – one step backwards for every two forward. The point is to stay with it – plow ahead – with full faith in the future. If you can do this, then chances are good that by December 2020 (when Jupiter moves on to Aquarius), you’ll have achieved something of lasting value.

Beware, however, that as with everything, Jupiter in Capricorn carries a dark and dangerous side.

Jupiter, the planet of optimism, faith, and, yes, risky ventures is not happy in Capricorn, the zodiac sign of its ‘fall’. When any planet is in the sign of its ‘fall’, then that’s exactly what we may expect – a fall – of some kind- be it from grace or power or some other great and lofty height.

This should prove a warning – especially to politicians and those similarly regularly in the public eye – there is potentially a great price to pay for trying to fly (Jupiter) too high in the face of reality (Capricorn/Saturn).

Reinterpretation

Last evening, Ms A kept pushing and pushing until I finally got angry and told her off. Then she played the victim, visibly hurt by my ‘inability’ (or unwillingness) to control my anger, leaving me to stew about whether it was me or her, who’d been wronged.


Upon reflection, I ought not to have been surprised this happened.

That’s because Mercury (in detriment in Sagittarius) is forming a square aspect to Neptune (strong in Pisces). This aspect perfects (completes) on Friday, 20th December, but we’ll be feeling now through to Sunday, the 22nd December.

To understand what’s in play here, let’s drop back to basics:


MERCURY

Mercury is the god of communication and interpretation; this last point is important and one we tend to forget.

When Mercury makes an aspect with any planet, we’re given an opportunity to reinterpret a situation and the message delivered in keeping with the nature of that other planet.

Because Neptune is involved, we are invited to revisit, revise, and reinterpret that situation/message to ensure that we are grasping the truth of what it was meant to convey.

NEPTUNE

Neptune is associated with illusion and delusion, the natural enemy to truth (however defined).

It is also associate with victim consciousness, which in my understanding is a dysfunctional way we allow life to happen to us instead of being an active participant in making it happen.  

There are many reasons why we fall into this and if you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend Barry Weinhold’s book, How to Break Free of the Drama Triangle & Victim Consciousness.

But for now, let’s accept that whenever we are busy playing the role of the victim, we’re probably not in a very happy or healthy truth.


What messages might you expect to receive this week from Mercury/Neptune?

Quite possibly, you’ll have some experience like mine where you’re shown how easily you and others slip into victim consciousness. Accusations fly, blame ensues, and everyone feels worse for the encounter.

Equally, you might experience the conflict completely within yourself – sitting back and feeling sorry for yourself that because of ABC, XYZ hasn’t turned out as you’d wanted or planned.

In such cases, we can thank our lucky stars, or in this case, the planet Mercury, for giving us the opportunity to drop back and reinterpret the situation or experience in silence, in sacred time and space.

Luckily, I’ve got a couple of weeks before I’ll see Ms A again and so plan to use as wisely as possible my own sacred time and space.

If, as the result, I am willing and able to see and accept the ‘truth’ about my own role in the episode – then I stand in good stead to put it behind me and move on healed and renewed.  

If you can do the same, whatever experience/message you receive during this time, then you’ll most certainly benefit too.

Cut bait or Continue?

Situation

Today and tomorrow the Sun is in Sagittarius and the Moon is in Aries.

The energy favors those who are energetic, resourceful, pioneering, and adventurous.

This is because Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, contributes to our sense of confidence and optimism as well as providing opportunities for expansion and growth.

In combination with Mars, the ruler of Aries, we adopt a ‘can-do’ attitude and actively and enthusiastically pursue ventures.

The problem comes when things don’t work out as planned.

Issue

This brings us to the more negative expression of Mars and Jupiter in combination.

Sure enough, you’re all fired up. This is precisely with Jupiter/Mars is all about. But because these planets currently form no aspect together (i.e. no communication/connection), its going to be really difficult knowing when to stop.

Anyone who has ever been involved with any project or relationship, be it business or personal, knows the story. What once started out as promising has now hit the rocks.

Yes, with a just a bit more money, time, and effort you might be able to turn things around. But then again, maybe, not.

Advice

Research shows that we often seem almost programmed into getting locked into a losing propositions. The question now becomes why on earth would sensible people like you and me do something as silly as that?

  • Information Bias – most of us have an uncanny ability to see only that which accords with our beliefs and so (unconsciously) turn a blind eye to any and all evidence that runs contrary to expectations.
  • Reinforcement theory – the more you perceive you’ve been rewarded in the past for sticking it out through hard times, the more likely you are to keep doing it again and again and again.
  • Self-justification – the more time and effort we’ve already expended in the project/relationship, the more likely we are to justify those expenditures by continuing to push forward.
  • Social pressure – no one wants to appear incompetent or foolish and so the more we’ve personally identified a positive outcome the more likely we are to continue to the bitter end. By the way, at least in the West we’re socially programmed to do this anyway – consider culturally embedded messages like ‘when the times get tough, the tough get going’.

The upshot is that when when faced with a decision whether to ‘cut bait’ or continue, ask yourself the following questions and if you get a ‘yes’ to one or more, you may consider getting some outside help:

  1. Would failure with this project/relationship radically change my self-esteem or self-image, the way that I think about myself?
  2. Am I honestly open to hearing the concerns of others about this project/relationship?
  3. Do I evaluate the competence of others and/or the strength of their commitment/friendship based on their continued support for my project/relationship?
  4. Do I sometimes feel that if this project/relationship ends, there will be no tomorrow?

Surviving Sagittarius

Jupiter (Zeus) is the ruler of Sagittarius. Astrologically, this is where we feel rich, lucky, and blessed; with Jupiter we will always have enough, if perhaps, not a bit too much.

Mythologically, Jupiter is the consummate patriarchal archetype, the powerful king of the gods. Adept at strategy and forming useful alliances, he won at everything that he undertook. When it came to the ladies, Jupiter was equally successful although, in this regard, the success of his exploits came at a huge price. Jupiter fathered many children through numerous liaisons with divine and mortal women alike and his wife, the equally powerful goddess, Hera, was not best amused. Thus his marriage was a constant thorn in his side, his philandering the subject of many struggles and stories.

If you want to make a favorable impression on your Sagittarius boss, ensure you never lie, cheat, or otherwise indulge in what he or she would consider unfair play.

This may seem unfair in and of itself because, by contrast, Sagittarius feels that he or she is above the law, always free to follow his or her own star. Remember that in myth although Jupiter cheated on Hera, she never cheated on him. There’s a reason for this. Both Jupiter and Sagittarius demand complete and utter loyalty.

The good news is that unlike with Scorpio, if you make a mistake with Sagittarius, you always know where it is that you stand. Not prone to pussy foot around the proverbial bush, Sagittarius just says it like it is. Although some might find this habit of being rash and outspoken annoying, the good news is that Sagittarius is generous with rewards and praise.

Unlike Scorpio, Sagittarius will never stay angry for long and is oft quick to apologize, holding no hard feelings.

This brings us to yet another key point regarding the nature of Sagittarius. Think for a moment about the symbol for Sagittarius – the Centaur, half man and half horse. Mythologically, centaurs were a rowdy bunch, prone to drunken brawls and overindulgence. Yet at the same time, Chiron, the head of the centaurs was a revered teacher, healer, and lover of wisdom.

Likewise Sagittarius. The reason goes back to Jupiter being astrologically where we feel lucky, blessed. When times get rough, Sagittarius turns to a higher power, finding faith in his philosophy, his religion, his moral and ethical beliefs.

The great strength of Sagittarius lies in his or her vision.

As the king of the gods, Jupiter (Zeus) sat on Mount Olympus – at the top of the world. Thus he always enjoyed the biggest picture. Like Jupiter (Zeus), Sagittarius can thus see the potential in an idea or project and inspire others to follow in his lead. There are benefits to strategy and alliances.

If your love interest is Sagittarius, here are a few words of advice.

Regardless if the object of your passion is male or female, resist the temptation to fence him or her in; he or she will escape. Instead, be adventurous – eat, drink, and be merry – Sagittarius needs a lover, not a parent. The female of the species appreciates lovers who are both casual and flashy, as her mood suits. To win her heart, keep her guessing and make the whole process lots of fun.

Finally, if you have any doubts about what it takes to survive your relationship with a Sagittarius, consider, carefully, the following:

Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.

Victor Hugo

Dreamers

Situation

With the Sun in Sagittarius and the Moon in Pisces, today and tomorrow may be tricky.

It’s one thing to daydream, building castles in the air but something entirely else to build them in reality, in the here and how.

Issue

Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius as well as the traditional ruler of Pisces. Add to the mix Neptune, the ‘new’ ruler of Pisces. Jupiter and Neptune in combination is the classic signature of the dreamer/visionary who harbors a foolhardy naivety about life and what it takes to get by.

Ironically, there is also a certain ‘magic’ with Neptune and Jupiter; positive thinking can work wonders, and the operative word here is ‘can’. At best this combination may get you something for nothing but at worst, you may gamble away the proverbial farm and be empty-handed.

So here’s the million dollar questions – what makes the difference?

Advice

We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking; it’s the key tenant of excellence in 21st century self-management. Encouraged by employers, friends, and coaches alike, we cheerfully take on the ‘yes, we can’ mantra.

But recent research suggests that you probably can’t, at least not in the sense that positive thinking helps as much as we’d like to think. The bottom line is that – across the board – research shows that those who positively fantasize either make the same or even less progress in achieving their goals than those who don’t.

Key to understanding this is the vital difference between you ‘will succeed’ and you ‘will easily succeed’.

Only when you combine your positive attitude with an honest assessment of the challenges that await do you have an honest chance.

Don’t just visualize about success but instead visualize the steps necessary to achieve success and then start taking those steps little by little in real time.

Set a goal, sharpen your will power, and build your stamina. Consider this like going to an exercise class or visiting the gym – the mantra in the 1980’s was ‘no pain, no gain’ and well, I’ve come to appreciate there’s a whole lot of truth to it.

And, oh yes, please remember to ask for help along the way.

Even trainers need trainers and coaches need coaches.

I’ve got mine, you got yours?

When you wish upon a star…

Situation

With the Sun in Sagittarius and the Moon in Aquarius, today and tomorrow are days of The Star.

In the tarot, the 22 cards comprising the Major Arcana, of which The Star is number 17, are oft seen an archetypal pattern for the whole of our life journey, the opportunities and challenges, which, over time, we all will face.

Issue

The Star represents the challenge and opportunity inherent in possessing confidence. This is not an external ‘in your face’, extrovert kind of thing. True confidence is much more subtle.

In this respect, confidence is not wishing for a positive outcome but instead having an honest expectation of it and taking action appropriate to make it happen.

With confidence, you’ll be motivated to go the extra mile, to put in the time and effort to accomplish your goals. Without confidence, you’ll either give up too early or perhaps not get started at all.

Advice

To build and maintain confidence, avoid these common traps:

  1. Self-defeating beliefs – if you believe that you can’t do something, then you can’t, full stop. For example, if you think your chances of promotion are minimal to nonexistent, then they are because you’ll behave as if that were a foregone conclusion.
  2. Goal setting – you’ll get further by taking baby-steps instead of great leaps. Confidence comes from small wins occurring on a regular and constant basis. A five-year plan may be great – but to accomplish it requires doing something every single day.
  3. Declaring an early victory – consider the dieter’s dilemma: at long last, she’s lost a few pounds and feels so good about it that she rewards herself with some high calorie goodies. Imagine how bad she will then feel about herself when the pounds start to slip back on again. Being on a winning streak feels great but it can’t and won’t continue without continuous, applied effort.
  4. Going it alone – well, the honest truth is that you can’t, so stop acting as if you can. Every movie star needs a supporting cast behind her so get some folks on board and keep them strong and sweet.
  5. Blaming others – sure enough, someone has let you down and there’s nothing you can do change that – but you still do choice about what you will do next. Blame is an easy and popular game to play but it will never get you to the goal post.
  6. Over-confidence – know your strengths as well as your weaknesses and keep both in mind at all times. Confidence requires the right balance between despair and arrogance. Don’t allow yourself to tip into either.