6 Aug 2009

The language of astrology

I wrote this post 7 years ago in 2009, a few days after I'd completed my one hour on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, as part of artist Antony Gormley's "One and Other" project. I'd been randomly selected from those who applied to stand on the plinth (my dear daughter entered my name without me knowing!) and on reflection it was one of the most memorable things I've ever done, although it was pretty scary and challenging at the time. My granddaughter - first grandchild - was born while I was on the plinth, making the event even more significant, but looking at the words of the different qualities I read out while I was up there, it seems fitting to be reminded of them at these times of upheaval and change.

While I was up there I read out most of the 94 words sent to me by family and friends saying what they would like to see more of in the world. Everyone involved offered words which have qualities and meanings that are universally understood and go beyond the personal. These words can be applied to the qualities and energies we refer to as astrologers when explaining the symbolic meaning of the planets, especially when they are operating at the highest level. Here are just a few of the words I read out:

How do some of these relate to planetary qualities? Cardinal ( go ahead, initiatory) planets are shown in red, Fixed ( stable, maintaining) planets in blue, and Mutable ( changeable, fluid) planets in green.

The Sun embodies Goodwill, Understanding, Integrity and Respect. The Sun represents the mind and the will, our ability to think and make decisions in our lives.

Through the Moon we gain a sense of ourselves through our feelings, emotions and how we interact on a feeling level with the world around us, so the words Caring, Empathy and Consideration could all be associated with this planet.

Saturn can give us a sense of the physical manifestation of ourselves through the body, because we are grounded, real and tangible, so Health - one of the words that cropped up - would go here. Saturn is also associated with Commonsense and Responsibility.

Venus embodies qualities such as Harmony, Discernment and Friendship. We use this planet to form relationships and maintain a balance in our lives as well as it being the planet associated with taste and discrimination.

We look to Mars for energy and drive, leadership qualities and also Courage and Enthusiasm, two words which were sent to me by family and friends.

Jupiter embodies qualities such as Generosity, Truth and Justice, and Equality - remember we're looking at each planet operating at its highest level, so forget "luck" being a Jupiterian thing. Luck doesn't happen on its own; we often have to take risks and seize opportunities in order to get lucky.

Neptune, one of the transpersonal (beyond the personal) planets, embodies qualities like Love, Compassion, Selflessness, Inclusiveness and Peace. You can read more about planetary qualities in my books "The Cosmic Egg Timer" and "The Living Birth Chart".

Addendum: While I was up on the Plinth reading out these words, I heard news that I'd become a grandmother for the first time. Here's what the One and Other blog had to say about this, together with a link to the article about this event which appeared in my local newspaper that week:

The stories behind the plinthers

by Holly, one of the orgainsers: 22:11 GMT, Saturday, 8 August 2009
There's been a lot of debate and discussion about what our plinthers do with their hour, but not much about what goes on in their lives outside that hour. Happily, one plinther's hour coincided with her private life, when she discovered that her grandchild had been born while she was 22 feet high! You can read the full story here.


Posh said...

Interesting Post. It definitely makes a lot of sense in my life.

Joyce Hopewell said...

Thank you Posh.

Would you like to add your own word (with astrological connections?) at


Joyce :-))