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 Other Side of Paradise

If it is true to say that there are, in an esoteric, but nonetheless verifiable manner, no ‘easy’ aspects, then this ought to be simply demonstrable; let us find a chart which evinces no hard aspects, and gaze agog at the cosmic realisation that perhaps we have been looking at the entire puzzle of the nativity from a flawed perspective; that rather than seeing things in a binary manner, as in good versus bad, what we are instead witnessing are stylistically differing itineraries leading to a common destination. To digress for an instant: in spiritual terms we are all engaged...
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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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D.H. Lawrence and the Astrology of Outcasts

David Herbert Lawrence is one of the great writers of our time. His major works are considered to be among the finest literary works of the modern age, which when you consider his beginnings in working class obscurity during Britain’s late industrial age, and the relative fleetingness of his life – he died aged just 45 – marks him out as a truly remarkable character. And even within the scope of his successful years, he was continually attacked for the subject matter of his novels, viewed with suspicion and hostility because of his pacifism and his marriage to a...
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Hadean Planets and Spiritual Work

How do we work with Pluto, and his co-rulers of the Underworld, to emancipate ourselves from difficulty, and to do the spiritual work that is our life's purpose? I would argue that it is, like so many spiritual methodologies and paradigms, at once incredibly simple and most decidedly difficult, but that we all have the power to make simple choices that will curb the darker temptations of Pluto and lead us into the light. All we have to do is decide. This discussion will take up about 40 minutes of your time, and if you would prefer to download the...
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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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Poor Reception: Our Fatal Flaw

One of the most fundamentally oversimplified concepts in astrology is that of mutual reception. It is a complex idea that is generally assigned a crude remit. That is to say, a simple reception confers benefit because each planet has access to it’s native domain. We all understand this. As a simple rule, we can infer that an otherwise ‘ordinary’ placement might have recourse to a smoother mode of operation. And this is true so far as it goes. What this perspective lacks is an appreciation of nuance. This is most likely because we do not stray beyond the rule for...
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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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Continued: Who is Donald Trump?

If you are reading this, then thank you, sincerely, for your support. To understand this chart, or any chart for that matter, we need to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of the placements. Just as a matter of process, these can be calculated by hand but it is laborious, and I have written an app to calculate these for you, and all you have to do is subscribe and you can use the calculator to determine the relative planetary strengths and weaknesses. I am also in the process of writing an accompanying guide to these scores, but suffice...
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Who is Donald Trump?

Few individuals divide opinion and promote disagreement as intensely as Donald Trump. Americans in particular, are deeply divided on his merits, while, for the most part, the rest of the world looks on, perplexed. He is a man of singular views, voiced unreservedly and this is possibly the major driver of both his popularity and... Continue Reading →

Superpowers and Kryptonite

One observance that the keen witted will have already pondered is that whilst we can identify and lend advocacy to a point that measures highest in a nativity, there may also be one or more points which are especially weak. It is not inevitable that a point of especial debility exists, but usually it is... Continue Reading →

The Almuten Conundrum

As you may well have heard, it is generally regarded as “a good thing” if a planet falls within a compatible sign! The logic being that the positive qualities of the celestial power can be more easily and more potently expressed and the soul within is lent that celestial power, and his or her life... Continue Reading →

Ikigai and the Earth Houses

Searching for Ikigai is a life’s work for many people, and that’s even before they get started on the actual task that has been found to be ‘the one’. It is little surprise therefore that it is one of the areas for study in which I am most frequently consulted in my work.

Pluto: Cycles of Horror

For a few years now, I’ve pondered a theory that Pluto’s sojourn in the signs is reflected in society’s horror tropes. Let's take a look at how your Pluto generation most enjoys scaring themselves.

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