Friday, 1 May 2020

The Age Of Aquarius - Part 1

The Age of Aquarius is something that astrologers have debated, discussed and argued about for decades because they could never agree as to when it would begin. An astrological age is based on the motion of the Earth, known as the Precession of the Equinoxes because the position of the zodiac that the Sun occupies on the Spring Equinox moves backwards by one degree every 72 years. This means that approximately every 2,160 years, the Sun’s position has moved into a new constellation on the zodiac circle. As this process happens gradually, it's hard to pinpoint the exact moment of changeover. However, many astrologers consider the 20th century to be the pivotal era in this transition - in particular the 1960s, and specifically the year 1962.

On Monday 5th February 1962, there were seven planets - Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - situated in the sign of Aquarius. Mars and Saturn were conjunct each other at the beginning of the sign and the other five had formed a very rare configuration called a Grand Conjunction in the middle degrees. Not only that, but the Sun and Moon had formed an Eclipse. This was the first line up of it's kind since 1821 - except back then there were only four planets and they weren't in Aquarius. The cumulative effect of this 7-planet line up was to exert an influence so strong that it reverberated through the rest of the decade, into the 1970s and beyond. As a result, the changes that took place were phenomenal.

The chart is for the exact moment that the Solar Eclipse happened on Monday 5th February 1962. The time was 00:10 - just 10 minutes after midnight. The place I've used is London, England, the nearest to Greenwich, the place where all time zones are measured from (Greenwich Mean Time) and also because this was to become the location for something very significant when this chart was reactivated five years later. The Solar Eclipse in Aquarius is opposite the Midheaven and this is indicative of important upcoming events well into the future.
Click to enlarge image

As you can see from the chart, there are several opposition aspects from the Aquarian planets to the Midheaven and North Node in Leo. These oppositions are further extended into a T-square with the asteroid Ceres, and are also squared by Neptune in Scorpio. Thus forming another configuration called a Grand Cross. Ceres symbolises fertility, the natural world, agriculture, nurturing  and the four seasons. Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter area symbolise love, happiness and friendship while the Sun, Moon, and Mercury represent youth and this configuration was alive with the promise and potential for optimism, prosperity and peace.. 

In October 1962, two very pivotal events took place which would change the course of history. Firstly, the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although the potential threat of a nuclear war only lasted for 13 days before strategic political discussions alleviated the tension, there were lessons to be learned which are still relevant today. Typically, Aquarius brings shocks, surprises and out-of-the-blue events. Therefore, the sudden threat of World War III certainly resonated with this as the Aquarian planet line-up included a separate conjunction between Mars and Saturn which symbolises military affairs. This conjunction was activated in October 1962 by an opposition from transiting Mars. 

Secondly, the arrival of an up and coming young band called The Beatles who had their first hit with the song 'Love Me Do'. Driven by the combined creative talents of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, they were destined to become one of the greatest bands the world had ever known. The Aquarian line-up of February 1962 resonated strongly with the charts of Lennon and McCartney. All seven planets were situated in sector five of Paul McCartney's natal chart - the area which symbolises creative energy, performing and being in the spotlight. The North Node was conjunct his natal Moon, indicating popularity and tuning into the public mood, being in the zeitgeist. Also, the Mars Saturn conjunction was opposite his natal Mars Pluto conjunction bringing an intense passion to achieve his strongest desires and striving to reach his full creative potential. 

Five of the Aquarian planets were in a positive trine aspect to John Lennon's natal Sun - again a very creative influence. Also, the Mars Saturn conjunction of February 1962 was aligned with his natal Moon Pluto opposition. This brought a very profound emotional connection to the Age of Aquarius - albeit on a subconscious level.  All of this planetary energy resonated deeply with both Paul and John and led to an extraordinary phenomenon five years later in which they would play a very major part.

Part 2 coming later in the year.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

The Power Of Music

Music has a very important role to play in our psychological and emotional well-being. This fact came to my attention back in the mid-1980s and again in the early 1990s while I spent several months in hospital. I was undergoing major surgery at the time, followed by intensive rehabilitation. After each operation I was confined to bed and had to remain flat 24/7 - no sitting up allowed. When you can't move it's difficult to keep mentally stimulated. Lying flat with tubes coming out of both arms makes it virtually impossible to read a book when it literally has to be held above your face. Back then there were no smartphones and no tablets, so the only alternative to the book scenario was watching television or playing music. When I was feeling down, bored or in pain, I'd put on my headphones and close my eyes, instantly transporting my mind away from the clinically alien environment of the hospital and off into another world.

Because my surgery has usually involved only the lower half of my body, I have been able to remain awake throughout most of it by having a spinal anaesthetic (similar to an epidural but injected deeper) Back in the 80s we (the patients) were given a Sony Walkman with a choice of cassettes to listen to. Then, lower body numbed and headphones on, the surgery began. The first time I experienced this, my operation lasted five hours and during that time, I listened to Elton John. Yes, FIVE hours of non-stop Elton John! Must have been some kind of record!(no pun intended)

Music not only appears to make time pass more quickly, it also has a positive effect on many other levels. By remaining awake and listening to music while undergoing surgery, the patient is much calmer, they feel more in control and require fewer drugs. This is not just beneficial for the patient. During one operation I had no personal stereo as the surgeon played classical music throughout the entire procedure to keep everyone in the theatre calm and to help them focus.

Many scientific studies have been done on how music effects the brain. Levels of the feel-good chemical Dopamine can be up to 9% higher when listening to music. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released in response to pleasurable activities such as eating and sex. Although blood pressure can be increased by listening to fast tempo or very loud music, listening to slower tunes has the opposite effect. Relaxing music can be as effective as diazepam in reducing signs of anxiety. It has been found that Mozart has more of an impact on relaxation than other classical composers such as Schubert or Beethoven. 

A growing number of music therapists and psychologists are investigating the use of music in medicine to help patients dealing with pain, depression and possibly even Alzheimer's disease. Music also improves the body's immune system function by increasing production of the antibody 'Immunoglobulin A' and the natural killer cells that attack invading viruses. and also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Interestingly, all of these therapeutic effects only occur if the person selects their own choice of music.

Because the sound of music is rooted in vibration, a music professor at the University of Toronto, along with several researchers is exploring whether sound vibrations absorbed through the body can help ease the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, painful conditions such as fibromyalgia, and depression. Known as vibroacoustic therapy, it involves using low frequency sound to produce vibrations that are applied directly to the body through a bed or a chair embedded with speakers that transmit vibrations at specific computer-generated frequencies.

So, as we express our gratitude, admiration and appreciation for all those who serve our communities and country during the coronavirus pandemic, there is another group of people, who although they probably don't realise it, have an important role to play throughout the lockdown - musicians. To all those who write, play and perform our favourite music - THANK YOU. 


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

COVID-19

There probably aren't many astrologers who didn't foresee that 2020 was going to be an extremely tough year. This was because of the conjunction on 12th January between Saturn and Pluto, an influence so strong it was going to reverberate throughout the entire 12 months. These two astrological heavyweights represent power, control, world politics, the economy, and they also symbolise death. In astrology we observe cycles and when a major planetary aspect occurs - or is about to occur - we look to see when it happened previously and what the historical implications were. From that perspective, the politics, power and death scenario of the Saturn Pluto conjunction in Capricorn looked like a major catastrophe, possibly a war. We didn't comprehend for one minute that it would be a world-wide plague. However, the fight against coronavirus is a war.....

One thing had puzzled me since the coronavirus outbreak began. Why would we experience a global pandemic just because Saturn and Pluto were in conjunction? Don't get me wrong, this would have brought a major drama anyway, but these two planets are conjunct approximately every 34 years and although we have the usual political calamities, a new disease sweeping the planet isn't normally part of the equation. So, what's different this time around and why have our everyday lives been turned upside down so drastically? The answer lies not only with Saturn and Pluto, but also with two other major players in world events - Uranus and Neptune.

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Neptune is the planet which symbolises contagious diseases, contamination, infection, and the drugs we use to eradicate them. It rules the immune system - which, of course, due to the absence of both a vaccine and a cure, is the only thing we currently have to fight coronavirus. The influence of Neptune is all about the things we cannot touch or see, and it's also about going beyond physical boundaries. 

Neptune had to be implicated somehow. It couldn't just be sitting there doing nothing when everything it stands for was becoming a reality. So, what was the connection? Transiting Neptune has been situated in the sign of Pisces since 4th February 2012. When a planet is in a certain sign its influence becomes much more powerful and everything it symbolises is accentuated. Neptune rules Pisces, therefore it is at its strongest there. When Neptune was last in this sign, during the 1850s, millions of people died in a Cholera pandemic. But why now, in 2020, when Neptune has already been in Pisces for eight years? There has to have been a trigger, an aspect from another planet. There is, and that other planet is Uranus.

Situated in the sign of Taurus since 7th March 2019, Uranus symbolises sudden, shocking, unexpected and traumatic change which disrupts the status quo. This is the planet of anarchy and rebellion as it triggers social unrest and upheaval. So, what was the connection from Uranus to Neptune? 

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In September 1991, three suspected measles cases were reported among athletes from New Zealand participating in an international gymnastics competition in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. More than 60,000 people were potentially exposed to the virus, including athletes and coaches, trainers, and managers from 51 countries, as well as volunteers, staff; international media, families, employees; and spectators attending the competition. As a result, the subsequent epidemic which followed killed thousands of people that year. Throughout 1990, 1991 and 1992, transiting Uranus and Neptune were in conjunction. The conjunction is classified as a 'hard aspect'. 

In 2019, Uranus began to form a hard aspect to Neptune called a semi-square (45°). When this occurs, it triggers changing states of consciousness affecting most people through issues which embrace the whole world. There are many physical and world events associated with the semi-square aspect including earthquakes, hurricanes and epidemics. Uranus connected to Neptune almost always brings the threat of disease.

The semi-square aspect was at its strongest in December when the emergence of COVID-19 was announced. On 31st December 2019, the government in Wuhan, China confirmed that they were dealing with a new virus that had infected dozens of people. On this date, the Sun (drama, vitality) and Jupiter (travel across continents) were conjunct the South Node (loss). The Moon was in a semi-square aspect to Saturn and Pluto, and a few hours later it was conjunct Neptune. Mercury (medical matters) was conjunct Chiron (healing). On January 11th 2020, Chinese state media reported the first known death from an illness caused by the virus - on the day after a Lunar Eclipse, the day when transiting Uranus went direct after months of retrograde motion and the day before the only exact conjunction between Saturn and Pluto. There was no way coronavirus was not going to be a global event....



Right now, the coronavirus is winning and is a force to be reckoned with, but hopefully with sensible behaviour,.forward planning and a rational co-operative attitude we will overcome this period of uncertainty and fear. Yes, there will be deaths. Yes, there will be financial and political upheaval. But the human race has been here before. There have been countless plagues, natural disasters and wars throughout our history. We have survived before - and we will survive again. Saturn brings patience, perseverance, resilience and stoicism. Pluto brings willpower and the ability to rise above circumstances and situations. 
Under the effect of Uranus in Taurus, there's no doubt we have all been in a state of shock and forced to come down to earth, back to basics, putting value on everyday requirements like food and toilet paper, and abandoning our usual, sometimes obscenely extravagant lifestyles. We have more equality at the moment - everyone is in the same situation, facing the same threat, and having to take the same precautions. This planet's nickname 'The Great Awakener' encapsulates what is happening right now. We are being shown the error of our ways. We must change. 


Neptune has brought fear and confusion, but this is also the planet of compassion and sacrifice. It enables us to shift the focus of our lives from purely selfish concerns to a vision of the greater whole of which each of us is a part. There are very profound lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and if we accept this experience, our future - and the future of our planet - will be assured. If not, perhaps we have reached the point of no return. As a friend of mine said recently, "Reality just got more real." This is a challenge for the human race. Let's face it together and win the COVID-19 war. 









Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Hello, Sweden!

Interesting changes going on in the blog today. All my old Q&A articles are suddenly back in the Top 10 most popular posts list. Also, most of my readers are from the USA and the UK - but in the last 24 hours they have been overtaken by Sweden. Almost 1400 hits in just ONE day! Anyone have an idea as to what's going on? If you're one of my Swedish visitors, please pop in and say 'Hello'.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Beyond Astrology - Welcome To My World

As the blog is fast approaching its 7th anniversary, I've decided to diversify by including additional themes apart from astrology. Don't worry, there won't be any less of the usual astrological analysis, but I thought it might be a good idea to introduce other subjects which I have developed a strong interest in over the years. 

This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Although astrology is my absolute passion, and is a large part of who I am, it's not the whole story. Recently, I feel the blog has become stale and I have become its 'robotic' author churning out the same old articles month after month. So, it's time for a revamp! 

During 2020 I'll be adding a more personal flavour to Ephemeral Arc by writing articles on topics that mean a lot to me and which have shaped and altered my attitude and outlook on life. 

I have many ideas and I'd love to hear your suggestions too, so don't be shy and post your comment below.

Sue x

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

February 2020 - Leaping Ahead

February is the shortest month of the year and the only month with fewer than 30 days. It has 28 days in a normal year and 29 in a Leap Year. This is to keep the calendar year synchronised with the astronomical year because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days. By inserting an additional day into the year, the anomaly can be corrected. Having only 28 days, February can sometimes pass without having any Full Moon. This last happened in 2018. 

February is a fascinating month. It was named Februarius by the Romans, from the Latin word for purification - februum - and they held a purification ritual named Februa on the 15th day of the month. January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, circa 713 BC. At that time, each year officially began in March and there were only 10 months. Adding January and February increased it to twelve. I actually think the Romans had the right idea beginning the new year in spring, and of course, this coincided with the first sign of the Zodiac - Aries. The Spring Equinox is still considered by astrologers to be the 'Astrological New Year'. February remained the last month of the calendar year until circa 450 BC when the start of the year was moved to January.

As an astrologer, I'm often asked how being born on 29th February affects someone's chart. It doesn't actually make a lot of difference. The Sun on the 28th February is positioned at approximately 8° Pisces and the following day on 1st March it is 9° Pisces. In a year when the 29th is the final day of February, the Sun is at 9° Pisces and on the 1st March it's 10° Pisces. This change in astrological degree continues for about two years then gradually returns to its original position before jumping forward again at the next Leap Year. 

I'm also often asked another question by people who were born on 29th February: "When should I celebrate my birthday? Every four years, 28th February, or 1st March?" Some people think, for accuracy, they should only have a birthday every four years. I disagree. Technically, you were born on the last day of the month, so keep it simple and celebrate your birthday on the 28th February. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Harry & Meghan - Update 2020

Harry and Meghan's Composite Chart (both natal charts combined as one) portrays them as a couple who will attain global influence. I never understood this when I first looked at the chart just before they married two years ago, After all, it's Harry's older brother William who is in direct line to the throne and who will, one day, along with his wife Catherine, become the head of the British Royal Family. But with everything that's been happening during the last couple of weeks, it's now becoming very clear what this chart means! There are many hard aspects, particularly squares an oppositions, and this indicates quite a few challenges but also the necessary determination to overcome them. These two will not be content to drift along - going with the flow is not an option.

With Venus, Mars, Juno and the Nodes all situated on World Points, Harry and Meghan could very well become major icons. A square aspect between Mercury and Jupiter hints at over-confidence, poor judgement or indiscretion, so a tell-all TV interview would probably not be a good idea and this planetary aspect also explains why they have taken to suing the media. They also have Saturn in conjunction with Pluto - which is currently being triggered by a square aspect from those same two planets in transit, so a big drama was to be expected. 

As a couple, Harry and Meghan are a very dynamic pair. With their Composite Ascendant in Aries - the sign of new beginnings -  they present a confident and enthusiastic image. They want to do things their way and they want to do them now. Living for the moment and not accepting any real responsibility can be a negative trait of this sign as it tends to be impulsive and spontaneous. Harry and Meghan will have to learn that knowing what they want is not enough, they need to consider the consequences too.

With the composite Sun in a square aspect to Uranus, this relationship is bound to be exciting, stimulating, and sometimes controversial. They are an unconventional couple in lots of ways, and being bound by traditional rules will have made them feel trapped and restless. With this planetary influence they will be determined to free themselves from limiting situations or ideas.

Harry and Meghan's Composite Moon is in the sign of Cancer and in sector four of the chart, so family is important to them both - although right now that's hard to believe since they have both alienated their loved ones. The family they have created themselves seems to be their priority - Archie and any future siblings he may have. This position of the  Moon indicates a very strong need for privacy and in opposition to the Midheaven, a definite clash with their public image, duties, etc. So, in their eyes, their private lives and their professional lives just do not mix. There can be no compromise. This opposition will be triggered by transiting Jupiter and Saturn at the end of this year, so expect big news in December 2020!

With the composite Moon in a square aspect to Saturn and Pluto, the relationship between Harry and Meghan is intensely emotional but a fear of losing one another could be a big issue in this partnership, particularly from Meghan's point of view. They will need to take care not to allow this feeling to undermine the trust and commitment they already have. this planetary combination shows that their relationship started suddenly and also uprooted one or both of them from their past. Obviously that refers to Meghan but now with the move to Canada, it's Harry too.

On a personal level, transiting Jupiter has just crossed Harry's natal Ascendant and will spend the next 12 months in sector one of his chart. This influence will bring more freedom to enjoy new experiences, to travel and explore foreign lands and cultures. So, it's no coincidence that he emigrated at this point in time. New people entering his life will make him feel positive and optimistic. The only problem is that this positive phase will only last until February 2021 - so what will happen after that?

However, the scene is not quite so rosy in Meghan's chart. Transiting Pluto began to oppose her natal Ascendant in March 2019. This is a long-term planetary influence which will continue until December 2022, bringing tremendous pressure, significant challenge and possible changes in her relationships - personal or professional. It's possible that Meghan may be affected by circumstances beyond her control that will cause a crisis in her relationships, or perhaps even bring them to an end. Official contracts and agreements will be very important during the next three years and she will have to beware of unfair tactics or manipulation in any potential business deals. There's a chance that she may have to contend with very assertive opponents, competitors, or rivals who will openly challenge her to the point of becoming involved in legal battles. 

It's clear from Harry and Meghan's Composite Chart that their decision to move to Canada was just the beginning. There's more to come - it's not over....