Monday, 24 November 2014

Astrology and Medicine - Time For A Reunion?

Different astrologers specialise in different areas of interest when it come to the subjects/people that they choose to profile. A fellow astrologer who loves analysing politics and politicians recently drew my attention to something really interesting. A British politician who has been Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare since 2002, and is a supporter of astrology - especially the use of it in medical practice - caused controversy in November 2009, when he spoke at a meeting organised by the Astrological Association of Great Britain by advocating that astrology be integrated into the National Health Service. 

To be honest, I agree with him. During it's 5,000+ year history, astrology was always bound up with medicine. Indeed, even today, doctors must swear allegiance (Hippocratic Oath) to Hippocrates, the Greek physician born circa 460 BC, who became known as the 'Father of Medicine'. He revolutionised the way patients were diagnosed and treated, and was famously quoted as saying, "A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician". Anyone who practised medicine had to learn astrology first, as diagnosis and treatment was dependent upon the position of the Sun, Moon and planets. The most famous astrologer in history - Nostradamus - was a doctor as well as an astrologer. By the 17th century, physicians in Europe were legally required to calculate the position of the Moon before attempting certain procedures such as surgery, or using a popular technique at the time - bleeding. The reason for this was because around the time of the Full Moon, patients are more likely to haemorrhage profusely. Interestingly, this has since been proved by medical surveys and statistics.

So, how exactly would modern medics use astrology to assist them in their work? As someone who has had medical experience, I have thought about this often. Ideally, health professionals would study the natal chart of the patient, but without full understanding of astrology, this would be highly unlikely to be of any practical use. One area in which astrological knowledge would be beneficial to doctors would be in communicating with their patients. Doctors have often been criticised for not talking to people properly - either patronising them, blinding them with science, or even insulting them. Nowadays, most doctors are far more down to earth and have a good rapport with the patient, allowing them to ask questions and making sure they understand exactly what's going on. But there are still some who could do with improving their bedside manner. 

Now, I'm sure most medics would throw their hands up in horror or fall over laughing at the thought of having to learn both medicine and astrology. It would complicate their training, and health funds do not allow for professional astrologers to work in hospitals. But, nevertheless, I know that many astrologers actually do both, and a while ago, during a casual browsing session in an astrology forum, I actually came across quite a few medical professionals - a cardiac surgeon, gynaecologists, and even vets - who had a deep interest in astrology. One doctor told her colleagues about it and suggested that using patients' birthdates could assist them with diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, most of them laughed at her. It seems like remerging astrology and medicine remains a distant dream.... 

Friday, 31 October 2014

War Of The Worlds: Astrology versus Astronomy

The human brain is an organ contained within the skull. It weighs roughly three pounds, is composed mostly of water and is the main part of the body's nervous system. It contains approximately 80 - 120 billion nerve cells - called neurons - which coordinate and control all the functions of the body by electrical impulses, and is fuelled by 20% of the daily calories consumed. 

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun. It's weight is more than 300 times greater than Earth, it is composed mainly of gases - primarily hydrogen - and is the largest planet in the Solar System. It contains a core of ice, rock and metal and is orbited by 67 natural satellites - called moons. Jupiter has a powerful magnetic field and emits it's own radiation. It is situated 778,330,000 km from the Sun and takes almost 12 Earth years to complete one orbit.

Why am I saying all this on a blog about astrology? Have I lost the plot? No. It's because a few weeks ago I had the intensely irritating experience of reading an article written by an astronomer. A very angry astronomer who appears to have 'issues' with astrology, using inflammatory phrases such as "Astrology doesn't work". If it didn't work, I wouldn't be doing it. "It has no basis in reality". It's part of reality. He also claims that it's just a con trick to make gullible people part with their money. He seems to zone in on Sun-sign astrology being particularly bad - which I actually agree with. It's one of the reasons why I set up this blog. Sun-sign and magazine/newspaper horoscopes give astrology a bad reputation. They are vague and misleading. That's why I advocate real astrology. It's personal and unique. As for astrologers taking money off people, it's true, there are some unscrupulous astrologers - just like in any other profession - but there are also astrologers who have to make a living by charging for their work. I personally do not take any money for my chart readings.

Don't get me wrong, I have always loved astronomy and long before I 'discovered' astrology I actually wanted to be an astrophysicist. All genuine astrologers have astronomical knowledge and we all respect astronomers. That's why it's such a shame that our respect is not reciprocated. The article I read - entitled 'Time's Up For Astrology' - was written with the sole purpose of denigrating astrology and all those who practise it. In fact, the author was totally against anyone who had any interest whatsoever in the workings of the zodiac. 

Now, I'm perfectly used to people criticising my subject, or belittling my work. In fact, when some people ask what I do, I occasionally just tell them I'm a counsellor - which is basically true anyway. You just know that you're going to get a hard time from certain, misinformed, narrow-minded individuals, and unless I'm in the mood for a 'lively debate', I tend to avoid arguing against ignorance. What annoyed me about the article was the fact that, in the 21st Century, it's hard to believe that people are still getting the wrong idea about astrology, and for reasons known only to themselves, astronomers continue to have a problem with astrology - and astrologers.... 

A quick history lesson: Originally, there was only astrology. Ancient astrologers observed the motion of the heavenly bodies and through these observations they discovered that the Sun, Moon and planets exerted an influence upon Earth depending upon their relative positions in the sky. They found out that this influence had an effect on the personality, physicality and behaviour of human beings. They also learned that by observing the cycles of movement in the sky they could predict future events. They knew the universe had a purpose, a soul, an intelligence. As more knowledge of the universe became available through modern technology like telescopes, astrology was overtaken by astronomy. You could say that astrology gave birth to astronomy. It was the precursor to this new science. The foundation. The root knowledge. But why do astronomers continue to deny that astrology has any value? They are almost paranoid about it. What have they got to be afraid of? Why do they feel threatened by it? Maybe it's because they only see the universe as a purely physical entity. 

Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. The descriptions of the human brain and the planet Jupiter are their basic, physical functions. But we all know that there is more to the brain than just water and electrical impulses. The brain gives us our inner identity, character and personality. Without it, so many wonderful, yet abstract phenomena would not even exist: art, music, mathematics, language, humour, compassion, love. A physical description of the brain would have you believe that its only function is to control the body, but we know that's not true. The brain doesn't just control - it also creates. 

The same is true for the planets. Jupiter is a fascinating study of facts, figures and statistics - as are the other bodies in the Solar System. It's dimensions are awe-inspiring, it's chemical composition is astounding. But, as we astrologers know, it is so much more than just a giant sphere of rock, metal, ice and gas. Someone once said, "The stars were not placed in the sky just to be admired". This is the philosophy of astrologers. We believe the universe is a mechanism. A fully-functioning machine. A cosmic computer. Maybe one day, astronomers will open their minds and appreciate just exactly how amazing the universe really is. 'Time's Up For Astrology'? Definitely not. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Onwards & Upwards

Under my blog title there is the phrase: 'Real astrology for the 21st century'. This is a cause close to my heart as I firmly believe that, although astrology has been studied and practised for thousands of years, it's important that astrologers make sure that it continues to evolve. 

Throughout history, astrologers have taken the chance to include new astronomical discoveries in their work. The three outer planets - Uranus, Neptune and Pluto - are, historically speaking, fairly recent additions. As are the thousands of minor planets and asteroids we now have access to. These bodies are now fully integrated into astrological calculations and have proved to be invaluable to advanced chart interpretation.

However, it's not only the amount of planets which has to be updated but also astrological terminology. I cannot believe that in this day and age some astrologers still use statements such as 'Lord of the 7th house', etc. I respect tradition but these out of date expressions from centuries ago are taking things a bit too far. Is it any wonder that some people continue to think that astrology is mumbo jumbo and the people who practise it are a bunch of weirdos?

I remember doing a horoscope for someone years ago and when she'd read it, she said to me, "It's very good, but why do you keep mentioning houses?" Exactly. The chart is a circle divided into 12 equal segments - like cutting a cake into portions. These segments are called 'houses'. Until very recently, possible halfway through this blog, I was still referring to 'houses' but now I prefer to call them sectors. It suits me better from a personal point of view and also seems like a more straightforward way of explaining something to my readers and clients.

As an astrologer, I'm also passionate about astrological research and because of this I have worked consistently to discover new methods and techniques - such as Annual Degree Projection and Initial Indicators. Moving with the times is crucial to the credibility of astrology. If it gets stuck in the past, no matter what we astrologers say, we'll have no hope of our work being taken seriously. There will be no recognition of what we do by astronomers or other scientists. As astrologers, we respect astrology, so it is our duty to ensure that everyone else does too. Only by advancing and modernising can we possibly hope to achieve this aim.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Predicting Pregnancy

As an astrologer, I'm often asked to predict certain events in someone's life. When will I meet a new partner? When will I get married? How can I find my ideal job? One of the most frequent requests is: When will I have a baby? All of these questions are a tough call for any astrologer as they require a lot of extra time spent on calculations and chart analysis. However, they are also the kind of challenge that most of us (astrologers) cannot resist!
There are many indicators of a potential pregnancy in a chart. Transiting planets in the 5th sector of the natal chart or the Solar Return chart, aspects between the Sun, Moon, Venus or Jupiter. These are just a few examples of what to look for, but with 21st century astrology, we have a lot more options, particularly using asteroids. One asteroid is very useful - Ceres. This asteroid symbolises motherhood and nurturing.

At the beginning of this year I was looking at the chart of Julie, a family friend. I noticed a few planetary connections in her chart which suggested she was - or soon would be - pregnant. Transiting Jupiter (expansion and increase) was in conjunction with her natal Moon (family, conception, female hormones). In the Annual Degree Projection chart the Sun (pregnancy and children) was conjunct natal Ceres (motherhood, nurturing), and Uranus was conjunct natal Venus. These last two are actually planets which symbolise fertility, so if they're active, this is a very good clue. Although I don't have Julie's birth time, and I'm therefore unable to calculate her natal chart fully, these planetary aspects were bang on! She announced her pregnancy a few weeks later and the baby is due in September.

Another interesting thing to look for is a transit from Mars to Jupiter in the chart of the woman's partner. This is very common when a man is due to become a father, and it often appears close to the date of the baby's birth.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury goes into retrograde motion three times every year, and it began a new phase on 7th June which will continue until 1st July. It doesn't actually move backwards, of course, but gives the appearance of going in reverse from the perspective of our position in the Solar System. However, this optical illusion does bring problems in connection with the affairs ruled by Mercury - or any of the other planets in a retrograde phase.

Mercury retrograde does seem to affect us all in one way or another. This is because, of all the planets, Mercury is the one which is connected to so many of our everyday routines. Phones, computers, transport, talking, reading, writing, etc. It's the planet of communication and commerce. So, when Mercury changes direction things go haywire! Phones malfunction, computers crash, cars (and other vehicles) break down. Exchanging information becomes dodgy too - letters get lost in the mail, or maybe you send the wrong email or text message to the wrong person. Say something, and it's more likely than usual that other people will misinterpret your words, or the meaning behind them. It's equally likely that you will take other people the wrong way too. Be careful what you say, read and write under this Mercury influence. 

So, how can we 'survive' this period without going mad? After all, in the 21st century, when we rely on electronic gadgets more than ever before, a broken phone or a wonky computer tends to spell disaster for most people. Well, to ease the pressure, it's important to realise that Mercury Retrograde can actually be a good influence. It's all about reviewing your situation. 

Imagine that you're driving along a road. This is symbolic of Mercury moving forwards. Now imagine slowing down, stopping, then doing a u-turn and driving back along the same road in the opposite direction. This is the real effect of Mercury retrograde. It's not about going backwards - it's about retracing your journey and taking another look at where you've been. Then, you can reassess your progress and decide whether or not you're actually on the right road.  

In essence, Mercury - or any retrograde planet - is not about beginning anything. It's important not to start anything new under this influence, and particularly with Mercury, don't sign any important contracts or documents. Mercury retrograde is not about doing - it's about re-doing what has already begun. It gives us the opportunity to stop and think about where we're going and what we're doing. A second chance to do the right thing. And that's why it can be a very positive influence.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Mars Attacks

No, not really, but I couldn't resist the title! However, Mars did go direct on the 19th of May, after nearly three months of being retrograde, and transiting the sign of Libra since the 7th of December 2013. So it's 'all systems go' as the planet of action takes off around the zodiac. 
The really interesting part will be when Mars revisits the other planets which formed the Grand Cross - Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto - in mid June. As is often the case, it's the final contact which really triggers the energy of the planets involved, so it will be interesting to see what happens. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Astrology In Action

Astrology is used by many people to help them improve their lives. Even just being able to pinpoint why you're going through a rough time can be enough to make you feel better. Finding out what - or who - is causing your problems, the reassurance that it won't last forever, and the news that good times are just around the corner can alleviate a lot of worry. I know this because I've had so much positive feedback from people who have contacted me for advice. I also use astrology in my own life - I do practise what I preach!

However, astrology is not just for people. Some astrologers do horoscopes for pets. As long as you know your pet's date of birth anything's possible. But you don't have to be a living thing to have a horoscope. Inanimate objects have charts too. Years ago, I even did a horoscope for someone's car. Everything has a 'birth' chart because everything has a beginning, a starting point. The most famous example is probably the chart of Titanic. I don't know any astrologer who hasn't done that one. And it is extremely fascinating.

Another area of astrology is called Mundane Astrology. In this context the word 'mundane' doesn't mean ordinary or boring. It comes originally from the Latin word mondanus, meaning 'world'. So it's all about worldly events: disasters, earthquakes, wars, politics, etc. The recent Grand Cross and Eclipses during April brought a record number of serious earthquakes. On average, we would expect to see one or two earthquakes per month that are 6.5-magnitude or higher. But in April there were 13 major earthquakes, five of them higher than 7.8.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), April was 'easily a record'. It started with a huge 8.2 magnitude earthquake in northern Chile, followed by another huge earthquake that hit the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. And that's not all. There were isolated larger-than-normal quakes all over the world - in Nicaragua, Mexico, Canada, and even an unusual one in the South Atlantic.

Astrology is always active, influencing everything and everyone, all the time.

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Meaning Of Love

Nowadays, whenever the word 'love' is mentioned, most people automatically think about romance or sex. But love has many meanings, and one of the things you learn when you begin to study astrology is the many ways in which people express affection. The concept of love has been analysed for centuries, and still no-one can say for sure what it is. From my years of experience analysing charts here's my take on this complex subject.

There are many different varieties of love: passionate love - the kind that sends you out of your mind and is called being 'in love'. Joie de vivre - the love of life. That feeling you get when you're healthy and happy, and you don't need anyone else to make you feel that way. Cool, platonic love - the kind you feel towards, and from, your friends. Then there's the natural, instinctive love you feel for your family. And ethereal love - if you're religious, you'll know how this feels. But, even if you're not religious, you can still experience this by being spiritually aware.

Although love itself is intangible, there are quite a few regulations surrounding it. For example, with romantic/sexual love you can, under the normal rules of society, only have one partner at a time. But with platonic love, you can have as many friends as you want. Maybe that's one of the reasons why platonic relationships often last much longer than romantic ones. Friendship is a no-strings attachment. A sexual relationship is all-or-nothing. The concept of love is confusing at times because different people have different views about it. Love is often a collection of different feelings: admiration, respect, passion, desire, etc.

I often see really interesting love connections when I'm analysing people's charts. One thing I'm often asked about is the theory of soulmates. Do they exist - and if they do, does that mean that reincarnation also exists? After all, this is the basic premise for 'soulmates' - people coming back from beyond the grave to reunite with each other on earth. Bizarrely enough, astrology definitely seems to back up this theory. The Lunar Nodes are said to represent karma and past lives, so does Neptune and the 12th house.

I recently had an amazing experience involving two young (straight) men who love each other very deeply. They have this intense, powerful, emotional bond. They only met just over five years ago, so it's not as if it stems from a lifelong affection which was forged during childhood. When I studied the charts of these young men I was blown away! They both have Gemini Ascendants, which would give them a great mental rapport. They also have something astrologers call Polarity, which in chart comparison between two people, indicates a strong relationship. It's found in more than 80% of marriages and other committed, long-term partnerships.

Polarity occurs when a highly personal planet or point in one person's chart is in opposition - polarised - to a personal planet or point in the other. The points and planets used for this are Sun, Moon, and Ascendant. Any combination is relevant: Sun opposite Sun, Moon opposite Moon, Sun opposite Ascendant, etc. The combination in this particular case is Sun opposite Moon. The effect of this would be to make these two men feel drawn towards each other like magnets! 

However, the most interesting connection of all was that the Ascendant/Descendant axis of one chart exactly in line with the Nodal Axis of the other. To be precise, the South Node (past life karma) is in conjunction with the Ascendant. Astrology indicates that these two young men must have known each other in a past life, and when they were 'reunited' by meeting for the first time, they experienced an instant and powerful rapport. If you believe in reincarnation they're soulmates, although I must admit I'm still not sure whether I believe in it or not.... Whatever it all means, the Nodes are a very powerful force in love connections.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Venus In Aquarius

After an unusually long trek through Capricorn, Venus enters the sign of Aquarius tonight. It's true that some signs bring out the best in certain planets, and although being in Capricorn brought out admirable qualities like 'commitment', the sparkling glamour of Aquarius is a wonderful place to be when you're the planet of love and beauty!

So, until 5th April, prepare to find love in unexpected places, at unexpected times and with unexpected people! Are all your friends strictly platonic, or is there a special someone lurking within your social circle? And don't be surprised if the person you're in love with now seems to cool off a bit - that's Venus in Aquarius too. The contradictory side of Aquarius brings electrifying attraction to friendship and turns lovers into friends.

Anyone born under the sign of Aquarius will benefit greatly from this planetary influence. You could have some very pleasant encounters and your positive mood will affect the people you meet. This period is the perfect time to attend parties and social gatherings. Socially and romantically, you'll be on fire!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Beware The Square!

If you were planning a special event you would check the weather forecast for that particular date, wouldn't you? Well, astrology works in the same way. It's like a cosmic 'weather' forecast. The problem with pre-arranged occasions, like weddings, for example, is that they are planned several months in advance, and therefore, the weather cannot be predicted until approximately five days before the event is due to take place. Astrology doesn't have that problem - the positions of the planets can be checked weeks, months, years or even decades in advance. That's why it's a good idea to consult an astrologer if you're planning to set an important date for some point in the future.
This year, there is a very difficult planetary configuration taking place which could cause problems for a lot of people. Since the beginning of 2014, a group of four planets have been slowly forming a Grand Cross - or Grand Square. This occurs when two planets are in opposition to each other and are also being squared by another pair of planets which are also in opposition. The four planets involved are: Pluto (in Capricorn) opposite Jupiter (in Cancer) both square to Uranus (in Aries) opposite Mars (in Libra). This tough planetary influence ends in mid-May, but it reaches its peak of activity during the last week in April. If you're planning anything around this time, I would advise you to postpone it, if possible, to a later date. Anything which is begun under this astrological influence could prove to be extremely stressful, potentially dangerous and probably accident-prone.
Please don't worry if you can't get out of a pre-planned activity - just be extra careful around the end of April and take safety precautions. Don't take unnecessary risks. As the saying goes, 'Forewarned is forearmed'!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Under The Moon Of Love

It will be Valentine's Day on Friday. Whether you have someone special to share it with or you're still 'looking' for a potential partner, this could be a very auspicious date.

The reason for this is that, this year, there will be a Full Moon on 14th February. Each sign of the zodiac experiences one Full Moon per year (on rare occasions two) and this one lands in the sign of Leo - the most romantic, sensual and generous of all. So, expect luxurious gifts and big, showy expressions of love. Leo is also the sign that symbolises jewellery, and with Venus now in Capricorn (commitment) and Mars in Libra (marriage) I wouldn't be surprised if this Valentine's Day results in more proposals than usual....

The last time a Full Moon occurred on Valentine's Day was in 1968 - so make the most of this romantic cosmic alignment!