Chiron in Taurus, the Wound of Insecurity

When the centaur Lord Chiron is in the sign of Taurus, the woundedness manifests in the realm of comfort, security and self-esteem. Indeed, the pain of Chiron here is likely to be felt as discomfort, insecurity and low self-esteem. As with all matters of Venus’ realm, there is a sharp dichotomy between material and spiritual manifestations of the placement. Venus rules both money (material) and love (spiritual), and to some extent, you will dictate which expression of Venus’ domain is expressed through the pain of Chiron here. This does not mean that you will be immune to one or the...
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Frida’s Forge

Frida Kahlo is well known as a trailblazing artist. She was, for example, the first Mexican artist to have a painting displayed in the Louvre. But her passion for painting was discovered almost by accident. Well, literally because of an accident, that nearly killed her. In 1922, a bus she was embarked upon collided with a car, and she was flung clear of the wreckage and impaled upon a metal handrail. She later claimed that the length of steel entered her flank and exited through her vagina, this was perhaps untrue. She also broke her collarbone, two ribs, her leg...
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Hephaistos through the Signs

Throughout these delineations I’ve been careful to not over-assign roles in the relationship dynamic that typifies Hephasitos in the chart. But generally speaking, in the context of Hephaistos as a kind of minor chord of Chiron, it’s entirely likely that you will take on what might be termed the “lacking” role. So, for example, if you have Hephaistos in Capricorn, then the chances are that you will project your lack of Capricorn quality onto your partner and feel inadequate in that archetypal metric. So, it’s most likely that they will seem serious and measured and you will feel that you...
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Hephaistos, the Misfit Archetype

According to Carl Jung, marriage is prone to archetypal dysfunction. The myths are but representations of experience learned ten thousand times over and more through all of history and humankind, and these patterns are accessible to each of us through humanity’s collective unconscious. They are like old comfortable clothes that just seem to “fit”. And after the first blush of love’s carmine rose is faded a little, the temptation is to try them on. Why is this? It is because the old clothes are comfortable and – at first – they do not constrict. Also, because creating new clothes is...
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Making Sense of Makemake

When I was researching Orcus, I made a breakthrough after watching an interview with Stacey Keach where he talked about his "trilogy of wardens". What a great turn of phrase. As a Sun Gemini, closely conjunct Orcus, you would expect multiplicity or ‘many-ness’ to be a feature of his persona. A multiplicity of prison wardens for a man who played Mike Hammer, a kind of precursor to Marvel’s Punisher, and who had himself been to prison for a time, seemed to implicate him in a kind of archetypal dance, one where he was not the leading partner, but was following...
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The Shadow part I: the Conundrum of the Luminaries

The Shadow is the collection of unresolved, unrecognised and unreconciled facets of personality. It is accepted that integrating the Shadow into one's consciousness can have enormous creative and healing benefits, but this unexamined self is difficult to apprehend, for precisely the reason that it is hidden from consciousness, and when revealed, uncomfortable to gaze upon. Add to this the distortion of subjectivity, a liberal measure of childhood scripting, the occasional resurgence of the panicked inner child in times of distress, all these factors and many more, and you have a confusion which makes it supremely awkward to get any easy...
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The Story of Vesta: pt. I

Fire is essential to human life. Water is too, and earth to build all things material, and air to breathe. Of all of these though, fire is the most ephemeral, because we might live without it. But we cannot live well without it. In earlier times, when fearsome beasts roamed the land, fire ensured, light and warmth and safety. Fire is embedded deep in our DNA, because it brought humankind out of the dark, and into the sheltering, protective penumbra of the tribe. It was symbolic of belonging. And in perhaps only the last 200 years has fire become relegated...
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Aspects in Balance

Here is another perspective too on the nature of Jupiter and Saturn, and the received wisdom about those planets. Specifically, it allows us to reframe the simplistic idea that Jupiter is good, and Saturn is bad. It is better to say that Jupiter is easy, and Saturn is hard. But as we all know, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, and it is commonly held by almost everyone, that while they did not choose the great hardships and challenges of their lives, they would invariably not choose after the fact, to have not lived through them. Often, the...
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Vladimir Nabokov: No Rest for the Wicked?

Vladimir Nabokov was a sensitive and complex man. Highly intelligent and with an exotic past he was born into the Russian aristocracy before being forced, in fear of his life to flee his homeland in the 1917 revolution and spent his remaining years wandering the earth, never truly finding his home. He is best known for his novel Lolita; about the foolish love a middle-aged man has for a young girl. It is a taboo subject. Nabokov wrote it very skilfully, and the book is perceived to be a moral tale which exposes the cruel tragedy of its protagonist’s...
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The Astrology of Healing

Feature image: A Visit to Aesculapius 1880 Sir Edward Poynter 1836-1919 Aesculapius is identified by the snake curled around a staff. In a scene taken from a poem by the Elizabethan Thomas Watson, Poynter shows him being consulted by Venus who has a thorn in her foot. Venus is identified by the doves, which are... Continue Reading →

The Law of Karma

Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle. F. Scott Fitzgerald   Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Whilst we all tend towards disparaging our ill-fortune, I think we would all agree that suffering does indeed build character, and that those who have endured considerable hardship are often the first to engage life with empathy, compassion and kindness. True, it is not always the case. There are many who, unable to rise above their...
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Final Thoughts on Planetary Ease

There are a few more observations that we can make in order to complete our study of the ancient and profoundly insightful principles of dignity and debility, after which I hope we can close the topic as a study focus and move on to other things. What we are trying to achieve is an insight into how and why the rules of dignity that we follow work as they do, and what it means in practical terms. Therefore, we need to cover all of the principles so that we at least understand what the considerations are. Once we understand, we...
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The Retreating Sea of Faith

And we are here as on a darkling plain, Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,Where ignorant armies clash by night. From Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. The closing lines of Arnold’s masterpiece remind us that, no matter our own propensity for thoughtful introspection, we nonetheless, like the peaceful denizens of a placid shore,... Continue Reading →

Not Enough Pluto

Not enough Pluto. Yes, it really can happen, and it's potentially devastating. We have looked closely over the years at several cases where a person is born with a surfeit of Pluto energy. The principle is that to have sympathy with an energy does not always mean to have more of it, indeed, Pluto is subtle, deep and most of all hidden, so to have Pluto in positive, outgoing and extrovert signs, like Leo, Libra and Sagittarius is uncomfortable for Pluto, who enjoys Scorpio for precisely the reason that he can remain subtle, deep and hidden. The cautionary tales...
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Too Much Pluto…

Join me for a relaxed half hour of discussion on the phenomenon of having too much, or too little Pluto. How to tell if you have just enough (or too much / too little) Pluto and what the likely effects will be in either case. We also take a view on ancient vs. current ideas about what is a "good" placement, what malefics are, and how to tell, just by getting the feeling for the unwritten rules of dignity, which planets are strong. This gives us an ability to take a more educated guess at which planet is the real...
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The Rising Sun of the Montmarte

As we have seen from our recent study of US President, Donald Trump, issues of paternity are of supreme import in understanding matters of identity. Identity is an ever-evolving and ever-elusive construct that has to be understood by the astrologer in order that they can help an individual refine and conceptualise their sense of self. It is arguable that there is no greater mission in all of astrology. Roman theatre masks. Carl Jung first devised the concept of a ‘persona’ as a psychological term of reference. Originally, it was a Latin word for an actor’s mask, which presented the...
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The Power of Gentians

Dark, shadowy, little understood; the Hadeans, even under the most intense scrutiny, give away almost nothing of their true nature. Pluto, the best known of the Triumvirate of the Underworld, is so fundamentally dimensioned that despite countless studies and analyses, we cannot ever be sure if we have truly burrowed to his dark essence. Like... Continue Reading →

Planets Unaspected, Feral, Peregrine.

  (An excerpt from my forthcoming book.) The term peregrine is much misunderstood in astrological practice. Nicholas DeVore in his Encyclopaedia of Astrology defines it as being “Foreign, alien. Said of a planet posited in a sign where it possesses no essential dignity: where it is neither dignified nor debilitated. ... However, no planet is... Continue Reading →

The Astrology of Oblivion

What a delight Neptune is, with his glorious, undermining illusions.

A few months ago, somebody asked me to look at the case of an aging relative who was becoming ‘confused and forgetful’. We talked about it for a while, science, in the form of a kindly, but ultimately noncommittal doctor had no answer to the problem, nor any advice it seemed, except to “monitor the situation”. The fear was, naturally enough, Alzheimer’s.

The Dream Dealer

I believe that Neptune is given a fabulously good press by contemporary astrology, and one that is scarcely deserved. Certainly, Neptune’s reputation is enormously positive compared to his brother Pluto’s, and yet I am endlessly sceptical about how deserving of his many generous epithets Neptune truly is. Like the ocean, Neptune seems beautiful, yearning and restive, a vastness of potential and a personification of a gentle eternity, but it seems that way from the perspective of the safe shore. Anyone who has been beyond sight of land in a black and angry sea understands that Neptune’s power is just as dread as his brother’s; equally as alien and inhumane.

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