5 Jun 2024

D-Day 80th anniversary

I'm reblogging the post I wrote 10 years ago, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day on 6th June 1944. You can look at the original here, or you can read this reblogged post which I've updated. 

This commemorates the 80th anniversary of D-Day, which is currently very much in the news. Sadly, Richard Llewellyn - featured in this post -  is no longer with us but it feels right to honour his input as a naval officer in the D-Day landings. Several years ago, Richard was awarded the prestigious French Legion d'Honneur for the part he played in the liberation of France, and always spoke warmly of the welcome he and other visiting veterans received from the French people when he was there.

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D-Day 70 years on (first published in 2014)

70 years ago, on 6th June 1944, the World War 2 Allied forces launched their invasion into Nazi occupied France, landing on the beaches along the coast of Normandy. The battles fought there were fierce and bloody. Many lives were lost on both sides, and as this year marks the 70th anniversary of this event, ceremonies of remembrance to honour those who took part in the D-Day Landings, also known as Operation Overlord, will be held to commemorate the bravery and sacrifices of those who were there.

Naval ships stood off the beaches, their task being to bombard and disable the guns of the occupying forces. Gliders brought paratroopers who dropped in behind the lines, many of them blown off course because of strong winds. Aircraft bombed from overhead and soldiers were packed into landing craft which headed for the shore. But the weather was so bad that the operation had to be delayed for 24 hours. It was originally planned for 5th June. One of the criteria for the operation was that there should be a full Moon; the exact full Moon was on 6th June, shown in Sun/Moon opposition in the chart.
Chart set for 6.6.1944 at Longues-sur-Mer, Normandy coast, 05.15



Richard Lewellyn, D-Day veteran
I've set the chart for 05.15 for a specific reason. My colleague, friend and fellow astrologer, Richard Llewellyn, who founded the Astrological Psychology Assocation in 1983, was there. A young Midshipman on board HMS Ajax, he took part in the bombardment and disablement of the occupying forces' guns at Longues-sur-Mer on the Normandy coast. This began at 05.15. Richard was a D-Day veteran and he returned to Normandy for the 70th anniversary commemorative ceremonies.

A few observations on the chart: the overall image or chart picture suggests a target, with a focal point at the position of the Moon. The red/blue Ambivalence triangle takes the eye, and the focus is on the direction of this funnel-like shaping. Being ambivalent in nature, the focal point could be the Moon as the target of the bombardment. Or it could equally well symbolise the aim and fire of a gun turret from the Moon's position, with the other pinning planets of this aspect pattern - Sun/Venus/Mercury and Mars/Pluto - coming under fire. Most of the activity is going on in the lower half of the chart, as if under the cover of darkness, with bellicose Mars/Pluto in Leo close to the IC.

The second chart is set for 2 hours later - 07.15 - which is the time Richard recalled the landings could start as the guns along the coastline at Gold Beach, where he was positioned, had been disabled. The Sun had risen and was in 12th house; the Moon was setting and fell into 6th. The focus had changed. Saturn was close to the AC, indicating the importance of organisation and plans. Mars/Pluto were in the mutable zone of 2nd house, at the "escape" point of the Ambivalence figure, suggesting that the only way out of the conflict (the symbolic red opposition aspect on the 6/12 houses of existence) was to fight.

Utah Beach by Joyce Hopewell
So many lives were lost, so much bravery was shown, and it's right to remember and honour, 70 - and 80 years on -  those who took part in D-Day. To remember and honour those who returned and those who didn't. The Normandy beaches  - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword  -  are interesting but sobering to visit. What happened there in 1944 is part of our world history and for me personally it's worth honouring, remembering and thanking Richard and the countless others who were there on that day in June.

Richard in London. Image zimbio.com

In Richard's own words when he was interviewed, on that 70th anniversary at a commemorative gathering of veterans in London, attended by Prime Minister David Cameron: 

 " When people say thank you, it makes me feel very humble, because you know I was just doing my duty, quite literally as most of us were, and it's wonderful for somebody to say thank you because I hope it gives them pleasure in being able to do that, and for me, it makes me feel proud, I suppose.. I'm not very good at feeling proud.." 


Richard, I'm very proud of you, and even though you're no longer with us, this is another "Thank you."

 

31 May 2024

Pluto in Aquarius 2024 - 2043

 


Pluto has entered Aquarius, and it's almost as if it quietly slipped in under the radar of global bad news about Ukraine, Gaza and Israel, along with the growing clamour of interest and concern about our climate emergency. All that rain...all those landslides, floods and heatwaves...all those devastating tornadoes....all those crops going rotten in the wet ground....

In view of the current volatile state of the world and the line up of dominant hard-right world leaders, plus the growing proliferation of AI, it's not entirely comforting to speculate on what might be around in the years ahead. Pluto moved from Capricorn into Aquarius in January 2024, and will hang around near the doorstep then drop back into Capricorn for a final last look around in September/October before taking residence more decisively in Aquarius, where it will stay until 2043. Then it begins to dither on the doorstep of Pisces.

But that's a long while off. And as 2024 to 2043 is one helluva long time, a lot could happen given where things are at now. For me, Pluto in Aquarius and the rapid development of AI seem to go hand im hand, not neccessarily in a good way. It depends who is using the AI, and how.

I'm not going to attempt to interpret what could happen - but I'll throw out a few suggestions of what the Pluto in Aquarius years might hold, based on key words and characteristics of Pluto's energies and Aquarius' traits. You can think about them, speculate and combine them for yourself. And please share them in feedback too.

Pluto

All the manifestations and energies of the planets can be viewed, experienced and expressed at different levels - asleep, waking and awake. 

Pluto asleep (unaware, at it's most basic) can be manipulative, power-driven, using personal will to dominate and control others (does that ring bells with certain world leaders...?). Waking and awake, there will be greater acknowledgement of power and it's uses and application - for the greater good to benefit humanity rather than for personal aggrandisement. Pluto energy is also about transforming, bringing about change by clearing out the dross and leaving behind what is no longer relevant or useful. This could be a tough call. What might fall by the wayside? Over to you reader, for thoughts and suggestions on this.

Aquarius

Qualities and traits for this sign are independence, freedom, "don't pin me down", new ideas/inventions which will ultimately make things easier for all, scientific advances (AI and all it's manifestations fall into the Aquarius arena), quirky thinking outside the box, a tendency towards fixity (fixed ideas - how might that work with Pluto asleep?), co-operation with like-minded people. How might some of these traits combine with Pluto at the different levels. Once again, over to you. Can you come up with some positive takes? The more negative ones could be scary.....

Yet on the plus side, it's really down to us as individuals to shape the way we want the world we live in to be, and we can only individually do this in small ways. And it's vitally important that we do it. That we use our power of one (Pluto on the personal level) to speak up/about/ for and against, vote for what we believe is right, not what is "expected" of us by anyone else, and that we participate in some way to express our feelings. 

This might be to write a letter to powers that be, be brave enough to take a stand, go on a demo or march, support a positive cause or movement - there are endless options that require a bit of energy which will combat any feelings of helplessness that might be around. 

These are just suggestions and a few rambling thoughts that have come up for me whilst considering Pluto in Aquarius. If you have thoughts on this too, feel free to share them.

 

5 Apr 2024

Solar Eclipse 2024 – an astrological/psychological view

 

Image courtesy of NASA

In the days leading up to the 2024 eclipse, which will cover much of the USA, I’ve been pondering on how the physical eclipse – when the Sun is obscured by the Moon, from our viewpoint on Earth, along and either side of the line of totality – could be looked at from an astrological/psychological point of view.


The Sun represents the individual’s sense of self in the natal chart. The Sun is symbolic of the mind and the will, of the ability to make decisions, to take the lead, to assert oneself, to be an individual, to choose and yes – to shine and stand out in some way.The Moon represents the individual’s feelings, their emotions, the need to be loved, to have those emotional needs met, and the inner child, who might be impish or fun-loving or scared, shy and vulnerable.


If – and only if – we’re travelling along the path of personal growth and self-understanding, we’ll already be reasonably aware of our own strengths and vulnerabilities – all good Sun and Moon stuff. So shifting away from the incredible experience of physically seeing and feeling a total eclipse, and viewing it astrologically, how might it be experienced in real, everyday life when our Sun/light/sense of self is eclipsed, clouded, hidden and darkened by our Moon/feeling, sensitive/needy self?


When something happens in life where our feelings totally take over and block out our more rational mind, does our thinking go haywire? Do we have a knee-jerk emotional, irrational response, perhaps tapping into a previous traumatic event and triggering reactions similar to those we had then? If his happens, our sense of self – the Sun – takes a knock as we temporarily forget that we are OK just as we are, and that we’ve come a long way.


If this happens, it’s a personal eclipse and, unlike the real physical eclipse, it can happen any time. In a total eclipse, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking the Sun’s light for a short period of time. But it’s a temporary thing, and the transient experience of darkness and chill passes….as these effects can when we’re plunged into a personal life event “eclipse”.


With a real solar total eclipse, viewed from a location on Earth, there’s always plenty of notice of the event as excitement and anticipation build up ahead of the event. It’s predictable, whereas on a personal level, it may be less so if something or someone comes along, bringing experiences which swamp our sense of self and our rational mind. We forget that we can choose, can use our will (be it good will, strong will, or skilful will) to temper our emotions and ride out this temporary, personal eclipse.


Sun and the Mind

We gain a sense of self of the mind through the Sun, which, in the chart, represents our autonomous self - awareness. With its Cardinal quality, the Sun is our drive to be assertive, go-ahead and initiatory. The Sun is the sense of self we gain through our ability to make decisions and use the mind. It’s our capacity to choose, our capacity to make conscious choices and ultimately take responsibility for ourselves.

Whichever role you cast it in, it represents how we direct and use our will based on the decisions we make. It leads the way, and the rest of the planets, our psychological drives, follow. The Sun signifies our strength and power and this is involved when we discriminate and judge, when we think, form ideas and tap into our innate creativity. 

 The Sun, the sense of self and the will   

Closely linked with the Sun is the use of the will. We can draw on

 · our strong will which gives us determination and the capacity to keep going

 · our skilful will which endows us with sound common sense and the ability to be flexible and adaptive as we work towards our goals, and

 · and our good will which enables us to include others and to work selflessly for their benefit as well as our own.

The use of the will helps us to be goal-oriented and better able to go after what we want to achieve.

When we’re seeking to achieve the goals we set ourselves, it’s useful to remember that energy follows thought. Using the Sun/mind, we form our ideas and go on to make these real, to make them manifest. Doing so, we can be truly creative.

Our capacity to use our will, to be aware that energy follows thought and to find practical grounding in our everyday lives for our ideas and creativity can be developed and should be encouraged. It can help us strengthen the Sun and gain a greater, more centred self-confidence, and ride out the temporary effects of a personal “eclipse”.

16 Mar 2024

Coming of Age


Coming of age is usually thought of as a rite of passage of some kind, such as being old enough to vote or going though a cultural ceremony marking the onset of adulthood. The transition from being a child or teenager to being an adult is generally regarded, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, as "the time when that person legally becomes an adult and is old enough to vote, the time when someone matures emotionally, or in some other way."

I've highlighted those words as there are so many variables in the life experiences of individuals that a real coming of age is a moveable feast, and something that can happen whatever age we are. Astrologically, the first Saturn return (the time when Saturn completes one circuit of the Sun) is generally regarded as a significant growing up point. As Saturn takes 29 years to return to the same place it was at when we were born, age 29/30 often brings with it a big "growing up" jolt. Something happens which forces us to change, grow, and mature.

In the context of Age Progression and LifeClock, at that particular age we will have - between the ages of 24 and 30 - gone through the psychological phase of testing out life experiences, maybe "playing the field". Between ages 30 and 36 there's more emphasis on coping with and establishing our existence.

A summary of the psychological phases, as described by Bruno and Louise Huber, is set out in my co-authored new book The Second Time Around:

  1. Formation of ego, sense of "I"
  2. Creation of personal life, importance of possessions
  3. Learning/education
  4. Moving on from parental home
  5. Testing out life experiences
  6. Establishing existence/working alongside others
  7. Learning about self in relationships/partnerships
  8. Mid-life crisis, change, transformation
  9. Forming personal life philosophy
  10. Self-realisation, individuality
  11. Finding like-minded people, chosen relationships
  12. Withdrawal, finding solitude, accepting old age/becoming an Elder

A pychological and emotional coming of age can happen at any time on the LifeClock. We can experience something as an adult which triggers memories and feelings we've suppressed, and which now demand attention. It's like an echo from the past, and having the courage and willingness to work through old and sometimes painful stuff from our earlier years - maybe from childhood, maybe as an adult - can be a real coming of age process as through it we grow and develop more self-awareness.

Such an experence offers the opportunity to let go of something that's been bugging us for years, but was never really resolved. Then we can move on, no longer stuck with the baggage of a particular situation at, say, age 3,15, 24, 36, 57.... or whenever it happened.

If we are on an upward spiral as we journey through life's physical and psychological stages, letting go and moving on from being stuck and held back by the past can take place at any time. It's useful to remember that we can come of age at any stage of life. The development of self-awareness and spiritual growth is an on-going process.

"The Life Clock can indicate where we are in life and how we can make the best of current influences in the light of problems past, present and future" - a quote from Bruno & Louise's book LifeClock.

2 Mar 2024

Never "too old"

 "I'm too old for that". If you've ever said that, or had someone tell you that you were "too old" for something, I hope your inner rebel came out and disagreed!

 


It's the kind of thing people say when encouraged to do something new or outrageously different, go somewhere new, dress in an uncharacteristic way, or behave in a manner which might be out of their normal range or comfort zone.......you get the gist. It's an "Act your age" thing. It's about risk - doing something different - and age appropriateness, along with the expectations of others in your immediate circle, or in the social setting you find yourself in.

What has this to do with astrological psychology and Age Progression? In truth, quite a lot. It depends on where you are, what "time" it is on your individual LifeClock and what psychological life phase you're moving through.

A couple of recent real life examples come to mind. The first is of the two 14 year-old girls I talked to about Hallowe'en last year, asking if they were going to dress up and go trick or treating. At 14, both are, by Age Point, astrologically in the 3rd house/area of life experience. Between the ages of 12 and 18, the focus is on puberty and growing up, and peer groups and friends take precedence over family; it's important to conform, fit in and be connected to current trends and events, especially at this stage of life when young people are feeling their way and finding the peer group where they belong. My expectations were that they could, by this age, be past the Hallowe'en ritual, but I was wrong. 

Being into their teenage years, fashion, make up etc. they were going for it big time. One of them said she was going to dress as Super Mario even though she was nearly 15. The other one dressed herself glamourously as a witch with a dark draped costume over black leggings, topped off with a large witches hat. Both wanted to be in on the fun of dressing up and were going trick and treating with friends. Rather than be "too old" to dress up and enjoy the annual trick and treating sugar-fest, they were actively embracing the opportunity to - in this case - act their age.

A few days later I watched a film made in 2015 of a meeting between the Dalai Lama and Archibishop Desmond Tutu. It was simply entitled "Joy" and watching it gave me 45 minutes of pure happiness and joy seeing these two men, both in their 80s at the time of filming, laughing and expressing their joy in life. Like two small boys they held hands, hugged, giggled, and shared insights and views on life and their respective faiths, all interspersed with much laughter, gentle teasing, love and respect for each other.

The Age Point of both men, when this film was made, was in the 2nd house, relating to ages 6 -12 years, where collected treasures and possessions are important and the child soaks up new information. Both men had been there before and this time, as seniors and Elders, they were revisiting this area of life experience, but for the second time around. With maturity, wisdom and life experience to draw upon, they were at home and comfortable being exactly who and what they were. Rather than possessively hanging on to things, they had been able to let go of all expectations regarding what they "should" be like and were at ease being just themselves, in the moment. They had no need to hold on to anything and "act their age", because they were doing so from a higher turn of the spiral, backed up by wisdom accrued along the way.

Both had found their personal style in life. Both had inner peace, expressed love, acceptance and kindness towards others, together with a strong spirtual outlook on life.This second circuit of the circle enables us, in later years, to revisit the energies, optimism and outlook of our younger selves, but on a higher turn of the spiral as we move away from being what others expect of us and towards who and what we truly are.

The Second Time Around, the title of my co-authored book with Barry Hopewell, covers Age Point experiences of real people who, like me, are on the second circuit of the LifeClock.