Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Uranus and Eris are both disruptors, and they are making a conjunction, which only happens every 90 years or so. Not much is known about Eris, so this rare conjunction is a good time to start to get to know her.

Eris is a goddess. The main story we know about her is that because she was a trouble-maker, she wasn’t invited to a wedding. Pissed off at being excluded, she threw in an apple that said ‘For the fairest’ on it, and this led to a competition between the goddesses that resulted in the Trojan War.

So Eris is the disruption that is caused by those who feel excluded. And Uranus is the disruption caused by a new paradigm trying to break in, by creative ideas, ideas that are not simply a re-arrangement of the old but contain something entirely new – hence the disruption. But in the case of mundane astrology, these new ideas might not be ones we value.

Put these 2 planets together, and you have a double disruption. The Wall St Crash, which began in October 1929, and which was followed by the great Depression then the Second World War, occurred at the very end of the last series of Uranus-Eris conjunctions.


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The 2 obvious events so far around Uranus-Eris are the Brexit vote and the election of President Trump. Both of these events have shocked the system, and the balance was tipped in both cases by people who have been at the raw end of the de-industrialisation of the last few decades, left unemployed and with no prospect of employment, their plight ignored by the politicians.

Uranus and Eris will be within range of each other for another couple of years yet. Events that shock the system, reflecting something that has been building up.

The internet, on which we have so quickly become globally dependent, is fragile. Last week an amateurish virus brought down a sizeable part of the health service in the UK, as well as many other institutions around the world. It was quickly cleared up, but it points to the possibility of something much more major. And who might do that? Who feels excluded, but has developed, and continues to develop, cyber-terrorist capabilities? Russia, perhaps?

And there are the ongoing bombings and ‘terrorist’ attacks we are experiencing in Europe, that largely have an IS flag associated with them. (The early 70s, during the opposition of Uranus and Eris, saw the height of political violence in Northern Ireland.) Each of these events shocks us, and they are carried out in the name of an Islam which is a minority in Europe, and under the yoke of western powers in the Middle East.

Economically, there are no shocks at present – rather, a bit of a stock market bubble brought about in the USA by expectations for the Trump Presidency. Astrologically, this bubble has been brought about by a combination of Saturn in Sagittarius (expansion, hope) and Jupiter square Pluto and opposite Uranus (wealth – Pluto; bubble-Jupiter; instability - Uranus).

This astrology will soon change. Jupiter will move on, and Saturn will later this year move into the sharply realistic sign of Capricorn. (Remember how the stock market hit the skids as soon as Pluto entered Capricorn in January 2008?) I think from August onwards, as Saturn starts to slow down and change direction, and Jupiter starts to move away from Uranus and Pluto, the stock market will begin to correct.

Trump Inauguration
Remember also the unaspected Sun of the Presidential inauguration chart. This could have 2 meanings: that the President, not being joined up to the rest of the chart, will be unable to get much done; or that he will be a bit of a wild card, who brings about change in unexpected ways. I think he’s proving to be both. But economic change doesn’t do well under the ‘wild card’ approach, if only because it will be hard to get Congress to agree to anything. So come the autumn, I think people will by and large have lost faith in Trump’s ability to bring economic change.

So I think the economy will go into a bit of a dip. Being a stock market it may swing wildly for a while, but the underlying move will be guided by the upcoming Saturn-Pluto conjunction: a sense of realism and proportionality. The West cannot go on growing forever, and this realisation may be contained within that conjunction, that some other way of valuing our economies needs to be found.

Last time Uranus conjoined Eris, in the late twenties, it was the precursor to a square from Uranus to Pluto – the earth tremors that signified, that prepared the way, for the earthquake that was to follow. This time, Uranus is conjoining Eris as the Uranus-Pluto square concludes. We have already had much of the upheaval. But much of it has been subterranean - the growing dissatisfaction, for example, of the population disenfranchised by globalisation. Uranus-Eris has been functioning as the catalyst, the enabler of those changes. And Uranus-Eris is also acting as a precursor of the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn in 2020.

This Saturn-Pluto is about governments taking control, giving shape and laws to the new world that is coming into being. Uranus-Eris is revealing where it will need to take control: over the internet, which is still the Wild West in many ways, and while that has a lot going for it, is too potentially disruptive for governments not to act (this issue is addressed in the Conservative manifesto of the current election campaign in the UK); the Islamic ‘terrorism’ needs to be acted on; while economically, the underlying issue is a shift of wealth and power from West to East, and so governments will want to protect the wealth and jobs that we have. So Saturn-Pluto is also likely to see a rising protectionism and control of borders, precisely the issues that Donald Trump was elected on.

Please don’t assume I am a supporter or non-supporter of any of the political developments we are seeing. My job as an astrologer is not to take sides, and to try to describe what is happening and what may happen.

Emmanuel Macron
As for the EU, the election of Macron in France is, in a way, just as desperate as the election of Trump in the USA. The guy is an untested 39 year old. He was elected for the same reason that the unknown Obama was elected: hope being projected onto someone unsullied by a track record. We don’t know what sort of President he will be. He may just be unexciting like Obama, and not much good at getting change to happen. But Macron has also been elected in the teeth of the zeitgeist. He wants to keep building the EU as it has been, despite the tide of feeling against it. An EU that, with the UK’s departure, will be increasingly dominated by Germany, rather than the partnership that Macron imagines it to be.

Incidentally, I predicted that Marine le Pen would win the French election. I was wrong. Her astrology, however, was very favourable. I think what this meant was that she did much better than she might have done. I don’t think astrological prediction occurs in a vacuum. Context matters. In the USA, it was a more equal contest, Trump had the more favourable astrology, so he won. I did not consider this context sufficiently when I made my prediction.

The chart for the EU (or rather the EEC, as was) has Angles at the end of the mutable signs. This is a propitious time for endings, not beginnings. Neptune will hard aspect these Angles starting in about 6 years time. Politically the EU is governed by the 1993 chart, the Treaty of Maastricht. Uranus will be hard aspecting its Sun, Moon and Angles over the next 6 years, beginning next year.

Putting these together, I think the next few years will see a last-ditch attempt to keep the EU-as-was, in the face of political change and uncertainty (1993 chart). And after that will begin an unravelling of the economic basis (EEC chart) on which it was founded. Note the descriptive 8th House Moon of that chart: the shared (8th House) economic activity (Taurus) of the people (Moon).

Thursday, May 11, 2017


In March I wrote The Robots are Coming, a piece about Pluto in Aquarius. Here are a few more thoughts:

I think the greatest danger from Artificial Intelligence is not that it will surpass us, but that we will dumb down to its level. Every time we answer a multiple choice character quiz on Facebook, or select options from a machine on the phone, we are becoming part of a world that tries to reduce what we think to simple, discrete categories of someone else's choosing. A world that has no place for thinking outside the box, or for just not having an answer. In this way AI becomes one more means of keeping the population docile.

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We've got rid of our gods by proving their non-existence. And I think that's part of what this drive towards Artificial Intelligence is about: filling that gods-shaped hole with something that surpasses us. But which, in this case, we fear will also destroy us. A bit like the Old Testament God, maybe. It's like we can't help but live out the old patterns underneath our shiny new technologies.

The thing about Artificial Intelligence is that it thinks in boxes. And developing AI amounts to giving it more boxes to think with. But they're still boxes, and that is why it is artificial. Humans have to make an effort to think in boxes, because our minds are more like a stream of water - that's on a good day, and like a stagnant puddle on a bad day.
But it still all connects up, it's all one thing. And when we think, we're being informed by this thing called feeling, which is primary and which you can never get to the bottom of. And to some extent feeling can be modelled and predicted, particularly when it's a stagnant puddle. But when it's a stream there's this other thing that can't be predicted. People surprise us. It's the Mariana Trench connection. And that is why robots will only ever be cleverer than us in certain ways, and we'll always be able to draw in something from somewhere else that outsmarts them.

Sunday, April 09, 2017


This Trance Dance I've been running, I thought I'd change the name to Spirit Dance. And in so doing, present it in a way that is closer to how I see it. So below is the new description.

In a traditional setting, a spirit dance would be an invitation to the spirits to dance with us, through us – even, in some cases, to possess us. It is a ceremony. And the spirits are called in for the benefit of the whole village.

The spirit world is always with us. But most of the time our minds are, by necessity, on the everyday. The spirit world – the sacred – presents itself when we step out of the normal: at night, when we sleep; in the solitude of wild places; at sunrise and sunset; when lightning strikes; indeed, anywhere or anything that jolts us out of the dream of waking existence.
The next Spirit Dance is on Sunday 23rd April at 2pm,  Jubilee Hall, Chagford. £10. No need to book. (And then on Sun May 21st and June 18th) I'm at BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk Tel 01647 253241
What I mean by the spirit world needs a broad interpretation. It is whatever appears, whatever comes through us when we step out of the ordinary. And the spirit dance is set up, like any ceremony, to invoke that non-ordinary consciousness.

There is the rhythmic music, the movement, the intention to visit the spirit world, and there is the blindfold. All of these take us away from the linear, rational self and bring us to quite a different place, that is hard to put into words.

But it is where we go to meet ourselves in a bigger sense, and in a closer sense. And we can bring anything we want to the dance. 

In a traditional setting, we’d begin with a sense of gratitude to the natural world for all the good things in our lives. And to the spirits for being present and for nourishing us and for being willing to help us. And we can bring whatever is on our minds: a desire for guidance and clarity; a wish to heal some of those troubled sides that most humans seem to have; help for a physical ailment; and help for others. Above all, perhaps, we bring a desire for a deep connection to Spirit.

And we have fun. The spirit world is not a church. Things are informal, there is humour. And dancing is a good thing to do. There is no-one watching (because of the blindfolds), and no particular way of moving. If you’re moving at all. It’s wherever the music takes you.