26 Jan 2021



Arnol Blackhouses, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides


This article offers a practical exploration of Saturn. Readers  - you do not need to have any prior knowledge of astrology, or of what the planet Saturn represents - although what I've written here will give you some ideas to mull over.

Do you check the weather forecast before you leave home to see if you’ll need an umbrella, carry a train timetable with you when going to the station, and make sure you have a map in the car when setting off on a journey to a new destination? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you were probably drawing on your own resources of Saturnian energy.

In astrology, the drive associated with Saturn is for Security. Saturn is concerned with structure and form, always seeking to organise, preserve and maintain things within manageable limits. In our solar system, Saturn is the furthest planet that can be seen by the naked eye.  Before the outer planets were discovered, following the invention of the telescope, Saturn’s position marked the outermost limit of our knowledge of the solar system, so it is not altogether surprising that astrologically it symbolises limitation, boundaries and our own security drives.

It is the planet that swings into action when we need to know just exactly where we stand, so having social structures, guidelines and rules to abide by are all part of Saturn’s realm. Saturn gives the physical sense of self which we gain through the body. The structure, organisation and limitation associated with Saturn are present in the various systems in the body - the respiratory system, the circulatory system, and the digestive system, to mention just a few. The skeletal system provides a firm, solid physical structure around which the other systems are organised. As all these systems are interdependent, their clear-cut organisation is vital. The skin - our own boundary which marks our physical outermost limits - contains them all.

Saturn helps us to become responsible and reliable as individuals; if we live within the rules and guidelines of society then we reap the benefits of feeling safe and secure. Saturn is the perfect foil to  unfettered over-expansiveness and behaviour which can get out of hand. If not contained, our excesses can take us beyond the limits of acceptability.

Saturn helps in curbing what might become outrageous behaviour by giving us a sense of caution and responsibility. Taken to extremes, this sense of caution can become fear,  holding us back and restricting us in everyday life, so it’s important with Saturn that we get the balance right, and that we don’t allow our fears to hold us back from doing what is important for us. 

Because it symbolises such qualities as  responsibility and caution Saturn may not sound like much fun, so it’s important that we understand its positive attributes. It’s value should not be underestimated as it plays an essential role in our psychological make up. Like all the planetary qualities and energies, it can operate at different levels of consciousness, sometimes dormant and inert and responding in a habitual manner, but at its highest level Saturn will endow us with the ability to act with dignity and maturity

Then we can live with a clear conscience, accessing the deep learning of life we have developed, and become a mentor and benefactor  to those who seek our help, support and advice.

19 Jan 2021


"Freedom" comes under my understanding as being one of the transpersonal qualities - we know what it is but it's not always easy to pin down or define. We know it when we see it or experience it. And we know when our freedom is being compromised is when we can't do exactly what we want, or go where we want, say what we want, wear what we want or read what we want, just to give a few examples.

Right now, many people are finding their freedom is limited because of the various lockdown restrictions we're living under, depending on where we live. Extended family in France tell me that they're under a curfew from 6pm to 6am, so there's no chance of going out socialising; when you're in, you're in for the night. Not so difficult to deal with as we go through the dark days of winter, but still felt as a restraint of freedom. On the other hand, I understand that in France it's OK to travel around and visit family - but not during the hours of curfew.

Here in the UK we have different rules which affect our freedom of movement,  rules which are somewhat vague and open to interpretation, so deciding exactly what is "local" becomes a conundrum devised by our government to keep us guessing or confused. One person's definition and understanding of "local" might differ greatly from another's. 

Then there's Brexit and the changes to our freedoms. I've lost my smooth, easy, streamlined freedom of movement if I want to visit extended family in France. I have to take a gigantic retrograde step back to the early 1970s, with all the paperwork involved, if I want to go to Europe. I'm not pleased about that. 

My dog's Pet Passport is no longer valid, so if I want to take him too, I've got to go through the same beaurocratic hoops as I did with my previous dog, back in the  early 2000s, before the EU Pet Passport was introduced. I'm not pleased about that either.

And as I travel in a campervan, there are going to be restraints on the kind of food I pack into the cupboards and fridge in my van if I want to go to Europe (not possible right now anyway but that's beside the point). Customs will be checking on food being imported if it's dairy or meat; if it contains either, it will be confiscated. Crazy, like going back to the dark ages.

The only comfort I gain is that those who voted to leave the EU will be subject to the same regulations, restrictions and restraints, and their previously-held freedoms will be compromised too.

Back to freedom, as that's what this post is about. With freedom comes responsibility; some restraints are obviously needed to make society work and be safe, and many of the current restrictions in place are to help us overcome the current pandemic. Yet it's not hard to understand how difficult living under these restrictions is for many people. Go out, and walk past people talking (socially distanced of course) and you're likely to hear just one topic of conversation - coronavirus. There are concerns too about the mental health of those living alone, or who are shielding; compromised freedom affects everyone and is uppermost in their minds.

I've turned to the words of Roberto Assagioli, whose philosphy and psychosynthesis make a lot of sense in our current situation, where our freedom is compromised. Assagioli was imprisoned in Italy in1938 by the fascists for his anti-war and internationalist views. He put into practise his ideas about collaborating with the inevitable as he realised that the only an attitude of conscious acceptance would help steer him through this situation. He wrote about this, saying:

" I realised that I was free to take one of the many attitudes toward the situation, to give one value or another to it, to utliise it in one way or another....I could rebel inwardly and curse, or I could submit passively, vegetating; or I could indulge in the unwholesome pleasure of self-pity and assume the martyr's role; or I could take the situation in a sporting way and with a sense of humour, considering it as a novel and interesting experience.......I could make it a rest cure or a period of intense thinking....I had the clear, pure perception that this was entirely my own affair; that I was free to choose any or several attitudes and activities....and that I was fully responsible.........."

11 Jan 2021

Nancy Pelosi

I'm updating and re-blogging this post on Nancy Pelosi, which I wrote back in 2007, as this lady is currently very much in the news, especially in the US.

We usually don’t hear too much about Nancy Pelosi in the UK, but she's become quite prominent right now, following the riot and insurrection at the Capitol in Washington DC last week. She's calling for the speedy impeachment of Trump, following his role and subsequent disgrace as he egged his supporters on to break into the Capitol building on 6th January, looting and damaging as they went.

It's difficult to establish her time of birth (the chart is set for noon for 26.3.1940 in Baltimore MD) so I thought I’d take a general look at her chart but with specific interest in the Striving Figure aspect pattern it contains.

Pelosi’s chart is visually striking. The orientation would change if her time of birth was known, but I couldn’t help fantasising about turning the whole aspect structure upside down so that the chart image would resemble a crown. She does bear a crown of sorts, as on November 16th 2006 she was unanimously elected as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, making her the first ever female Speaker and the highest ranking woman in the history of the US government. 
As Speaker, she is second in line of Presidential succession after the Vice-President and she was the first woman to be this close in line. Now, she is joined as a high ranking female politician by Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris.

Readers in the US will know a whole lot more about her than I do - you can watch her on TV, read about her in your newspapers etc. I know she’s a Democrat, the mother of 5 adult children, a glamorous grandmother, is wealthy, comes from a political background and is regarded as a liberal. Visually, she’s also rather striking, like her chart, and for an 80 year old, she's looking extremely good - apparently without recourse to botox!

Her chart shaping shows a predominantly Fixed motivation, with an interesting Linear offshoot involving Sun, Saturn and Pluto. With a colour ratio of 4 red, 5 green and 5 blue aspects she has an excess of mutable, adaptable energy at her disposal which could have the effect of making her ultra-aware and sensitive, not satisfied until she’s got to the root of something and unafraid to search out answers. Sun and Jupiter in Aries could make her a formidable opponent; I wonder how intuitive she is and if she’s willing to take risks? The stellium of Venus, Mars and Uranus in Taurus suggests an ability to maintain and preserve as well as creative flair and an inherent sense of quality, taste and balance.
Striving figure

Venus and Uranus are part of the Striving Figure in her chart. Striving Figures are not that common. This figure is sometimes called the “Green Kite”, for obvious reasons, as it has green aspects all around the outside. These up the ante as far as sensitivity and awareness of the surrounding environment are concerned. Pelosi’s Striving Figure involves Jupiter and Mercury along with the Venus/Uranus conjunction. These planets between them form the Ear/Eye part of the figure, and as such they will cooperate to gather in information. With Mercury and Jupiter in this part of the whole figure, communication will be emphasised ( what could be better - she is the Speaker!). The Ear/Eye gives intuitive interpersonal skills. The Hubers say of this figure in “Aspect Pattern Astrology” that “the sextile provides receptivity and a unifying force, which means that the information obtained by the Eye can be assimilated and used for long-term objectives”.

People with this figure aim high, often seeking their objectives via the planet at the apex. In Pelosi’s case, the sharp end of the figure is not pinned by a planet, but by the North Node. It’s placement in Libra gives some clues to what she may be aiming for - justice, fair play, equality, balance - all qualities which could be associated with a Democrat. But a real understanding of her North Node in this position in the Striving Figure would only be possible if we had her time of birth. This would show which House, and therefore which area of life expression and experience that Pelosi would need to develop in order to really activate the potential of the Striving Figure and realise her goals.

You can read more about the Striving Figure (bearing in mind I’ve only touched on a few points about it here) in Aspect Pattern Astrology by the Hubers, and Using Age Progression by myself. Both books are available from Amazon.


7 Jan 2021

Is this the dawning of the Age of Aquarius?

"Water of life, poured forth for thirsty men" - esoteric seed thought for Aquarius

When the Moon is on the seventh house

And Jupiter aligns with Mars

Then peace will guide the planets 

And love will steer the stars....... 

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius etc.etc.

So go the words of this famous song from the musical "Hair", first performed in the late 60s/early70s. We've not got there yet, nowhere near. The Age of Aquarius, as described in the song, is still  long way off, but it just might be starting to glimmer a little.

There's a dearth of peace with more divisions and inequalities than ever in society. I write this the morning after the insurrection and storming of the US Capitol by Trump supporters, resulting in four dead. Shocking, yes, but then I've been keeping an eye on the current planetary movements and know that Jupiter and Saturn have already moved, arm in arm, into the sign of Aquarius with Pluto backing things up in Capricorn - you can read my thoughts on this here.

What's of interest right now is that the planet Uranus, associated with revolutionary tendencies and bringing about swingeing change, has moved into a postion in the earthy practical sign of Taurus from where it sits comfortably away from the front line while it prods, pokes and fires up Jupiter and Saturn. Something's going on here - and it's easiest (if you're a non-astrologer) to look at it from the point of view of a spot of stirring going on from afar. 

Imagine an ageing hippie, maybe a biker (no disrespect to bikers!), with greying long hair and beard, urging a younger generation into action and protest as they seek change. That's how I see Uranus in this situation. The qualities of Uranus are distruption, the ability to revolt against the laws in use, turn things upside down, drag the rug of security away from under our feet and force us (by "us" I mean society as a whole) to find new, innovative ways to organise ourselves in order to restore security and stability.

So some things have to go, some set-in-stone edifices have to be tumbled. But with Uranus comes the ability to look to the future and use intellect, ideas, innovative technologies and scientific discoveries to make the things that have been overturned work better and more efficiently for all. Uranus is not associated with revolution for nothing - a revolution is the turn of a wheel - what is dumped is restored in a new, innovated way. Almost like recycling.

And Pluto is still there in the background, getting on with the real clearing out until 2024.

In 2021, Jupiter continues on its way through Aquarius for the rest of the year, leaving Saturn behind but in contact with Uranus where they can get on with the job of finding new ways to ascertain our security. Remember, Uranus is seeking security but does so via revolution; Saturn wants to hang on to security. Working together, these two might just be able to offer that glimmer of hope hinted at in the song.

21 Dec 2020

The Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction - and watch out for 2021


Our star, the Sun, setting over the sea

They're calling it The Great Conjunction because in astronomical terms, it's pretty impressive. 

Not since 1632 have these two planets - both of them mighty, large, heavy masses - been this close together, so close that they appear as a very bright star in the sky. It has long been speculated that a conjunction of these two heavies were the "Star in the East" which was seen and followed by the Three Wise Men (bear in mind if you will, that these guys were probably astrologers/astronomers so they knew what they were seeing and the possible significance of this rare event).

Fast forward to the Winter Soltice (that's today) of 2020, when the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be as close and extact as it can be. Both planets have been edging closer together as they move though the home strait of Earth sign Capricorn to cross the fininishing line and enter Air Sign Aquarius today, 21st December. Slap bang on the Winter Solstice, when the Sun (from Earth) appears to stand still. What we experience here on Earth (in the northern hemisphere) is the shortest day and the longest night; a time of wonder for our early ancestors who lived their lives closely attuned to the seasons, to the environment, the movements of the heavens, and the position of the Sun, our star.

I've previously written about significant planetary movements in 2020, and you can read about it here.

But what is happening right now, as we hurtle towards 2021? The cases of Covid-19 are alarmingly on the rise, a new variant of the virus has emerged and in the UK stringent new lockdowns have been established in large areas of the country. The vaccination programme is in the initial stages of being rolled out, and the UK teeters towards the real possibility of a no-deal Brexit with stuttering on/off negotiations on a trade deal with the EU. Many countries have already closed their borders with the UK for fear of the virus spreading beyond our shores, and lorries carrying goods from continental Europe are backed up for mind-boggling miles into the county of Kent, triggering fears of shortages. Merry Christmas? I don't think so.

So let's look at the qualites and energies of this significant Jupiter/Saturn conjunction and how they might throw some light on current events and set the scene for 2021. The pair of them together remind me of the "Push-me-Pull-you" animal in Dr. Doolittle, each side tugging in different directions which are mostly completely opposing.

Jupiter qualities are concerned with largesse, big gestures, adventuring, like the Star Trek mission statement of "boldly going forth where no-one has gone before". Jupiter sees the big picture and takes in the potential of the whole, but may not always look before it leaps, so Jupiterian actions can be risky. It's great on vision, on looking ahead and seeing fresh ways to go, but a touch of casual sloppiness can creep in whilst it's in pursuit of new horizons. With Jupiter, think big, and listen to Holst's Planets Suite, where Jupiter is tagged as "The bringer of jollity". The usic speaks of this and Holst knew what he was writing about here as he had studied astrology - albeit the more traditional style, not the Huber Method.

Saturn qualities on the other hand are almost the complete opposite. Saturn is renowned in traditional astrologky for being the grumpy old killjoy of the solar system, associated with the stiffness and stuffiness of old age (Holst's piece in Saturn is tagged "The bringer of old age", the music correspondingly slow and on the gloomy side). But where would we be be without Saturn, with its qualities and energies of restaint, caution and risk-aversion? Saturn offers structure, form, systems, shape, boundaries (but don't let them become high brick walls), organisation, and a scientific approach so we don't leap in without first checking out the facts, or dangers and drawbacks. There are some pretty useful qualities around there.

So - we have the go-ahead/hold-back aspects of this conjunction going arm-in-arm into the Air sign of Aquarius, itself famous for it's forward-thinking/let-it-all-hang out stamp, thanks to the musical "Hair" and the song "The Age of Aquarius" (and that show was around in the late 60's/early 70s). There's nothing new here - this may be the moment we've been waiting for.

Aquarius, as an Air sign, is concerned with ideas, thinking, communication, freedom, shared-interest groups, independence, science, incongruity - you've probably got your own pet thoughts about this sign and you'll get the drift. But place Jupiter and Saturn, both with the potential to bring out the BEST of their own qualities in on this sign, and we could be in for some more interesting times in the year ahead. 

In the Huber Method, planetary energies and qualities are viewed as being able to operate and be expressed at three levels. These, in astrological psychology, are evident in observable human behaviour; the levels as Asleep, Waking and Awake. So Jupiter Asleep would be indolent, lazy, over-indulgence, but Waking or Awake it could be an astute, clear, inclusive and forward-looking vision of the future and an innate wisdom of how things could be.

Saturn Asleep would be fears, doubts, hanging on to what feels secure, being stuck and not wanting to budge. Waking or Awake it could be carefully researching ways of obtaining better security, ensuring that any safety nets required are of the highest quality to do the job and being like a wise mentor, helping others by sharing knowledge.

Put these two planets operating not at the lower, Asleep level, but at one or both of the higher levels of Waking and Awake, into the "Age of Aquarius" sign that they'll be travelling through together for the best part of 2021, and we have a potentially formidable duo who could work wonders - with, of course, the co-operation of we humans if we are are capable of rising to the challenge of these trying times to help steer way through for us all; the vaccines are already being worked on or rolled out across the world. 

But bear in mind Pluto, still hanging in there in Capricorn, which Jupiter and Saturn have now left, although Jupiter does bob back there a couple of times in 2021, but it moves faster than Saturn and goes on its way into Pisces a year from now. That leaves Saturn to continue more slowly and sedately, perhaps laying down firm structures and systems, based on the adventuring vision of Jupiter. Something our sparkling duo in this conjunction share is the capacity for WISDOM, maybe something to hang on to as a positive on this darkest day of the year.

Pluto stays in Capricorn until 2024, quietly getting on with the job of clearing out the old, outworn and no longer relevant attitudes, structures and organisations that have become crystallised over a long period of time. It's as though Pluto is riding postillion to Jupiter and Saturn, bagging and dumping the "unwanted on board" stuff as it goes. Expect some establishments to fall. In the UK, Scotland is urging for Independence and with a General Election in May the result will be interesting to say the least. In May, Jupiter moves off into Pisces for a short while, maybe after it has prepared the way for the vision of Scottish Independence - and that would certainly involve Pluto's transformative qualities as postilion rider.

These are simply my thoughts on our current situation. I'm not a mundane astrologer so I've viewed the current conjunction, the solstice, and the Zodiac signs involved through a more general lens of what all of this might mean for some of us. It's not a prediction, just my take.

Comment if you like, add to the pot, but only if you have something valid, valuable, relevant and respectful to say.