Sunday, September 25, 2022

AN OFFER YOU DARE NOT REFUSE

So here's the deal. You buy my book The Medicine Wheel by Barry Goddard from Amazon, coming out this week, and leave a review (one nice word will do). In return I will give you a free astrology or tarot reading. It is win-win for you, better than Bitcoin or the Godfather could ever manage. :) PM or email me for the free reading at BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk
 

Here is the moment I put finger to keyboard and began writing: 
 

 
And a couple of endorsements from published authors:
 
Barry has created a meditation on meaning, a most interesting discourse on the Medicine Wheel tempered with Jung and other interesting philosophers, matching and mixing and extracting clarity and knowledge. I hear Barry as I read, his voice is clear and direct, there is no bull here but challenging discussions on teachings and the real meanings behind them. I have just read his lovely piece on aging, a subject I am deeply involved in through necessity, and I feel encouraged, emboldened and enlivened. It is like that through this book, Barry weaves teachings together from Jung to Winnie the Pooh in a most encompassing and enlightening way, always grounded and useable. A really good read! I heartily recommend this book as a good addition to texts on the Medicine Wheel and the mysteries of life.
 
Leo Rutherford, author of The View Through the Medicine Wheel and Principles of Shamanism
 
The Medicine Wheel affirms Plotinus’ dictum that ‘the native motion of the soul is circular’: as we move around the Medicine Wheel’s four (or eight) directions, each of which provides a different perspective on ourselves, we approach the four-fold wholeness of the Self so beloved by C.G. Jung. A sensitive and sensible guide to our circumambulation, Barry Goddard offers us telling suggestions and practical advice on how to understand ourselves and to manage life’s waywardness. We trust him because he doesn’t lay down the law so much as let us in on his own tribulations with endearing honesty and refreshing humility. The lessons we feel he has learnt the hard way are passed on unassumingly – even chattily – until they add up almost imperceptibly to more than the sum of their parts: a kind of wise Middle Way which may owe as much to his Buddhist background as to Aristotle’s Golden Mean.
 
Patrick Harpur, author of The Philosopher’s Secret Fire and Daimonic Reality
 
PS  Patrick Harpur is one of my favourite authors.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

THE PASSING OF AN ERA

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On Thursday 8th September at around lunchtime, the country was informed that doctors were concerned for the Queen's health, and that close family were on their way to see her in Scotland. This was code for the likelihood that she was on her way out, so I whacked up a chart, and this is what I found.

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My first thought had been to look at Jupiter, because that is a planet traditionally associated with the end of life: Jupiter, king of the gods, reaches down and pulls you back up to his realm.

And sure enough, there was the Queen's Jupiter at 22 Aquarius, due to experience a conjunction with the Moon later that afternoon: at 5.26pm, to be exact. The Moon, as the fastest moving planet, is the main activator of the chart in medieval astrology. And like any aspect, it is most potent before it is exact. The Queen's death was announced at 6.30pm, and there is no clear information as to when it actually occurred, but it seems to have been between about 4 and 4.30pm.

One astrologer, in reference to my Facebook post of the above chart that afternoon, commented that it is 'unethical' to predict death. So dear reader, do you think what I did was 'unethical'? I did not insist she was going to die. I simply laid it out as a distinct possibility, given the transits and what we had been told about her health.

What is it with some astrologers calling it 'unethical' to predict death? To me, that just seems like avoidance. People are always grateful that here is one astrologer, at least, who is willing to talk about that possibility, either for themselves or for people close to them. Death is not something 'bad'. It is something we learn to trust. It draws us into the Great Mystery of things, and into the love that the universe has for us.

In fact prediction itself can be a no-go area for many astrologers these days. It is as if they are trying to make their craft seem respectable in a so-called rational world. My view is that there is nothing rational about astrology. There is absolutely no reason it should work, from a scientific point of view, and from its narrow conception of what constitutes rationality. 

(Rational comes from ratio, meaning balanced, in proportion. A worldview that excludes the whispers from the gods is not balanced, not rational. It is in fact science that is, in this sense, irrational.)

I think astrologers may as well be hung for sheep as for lambs, and keep predicting. In the spirit of the laying out of possibilities, as I did with the Queen, rather than a judge from above laying out certainties. We can never lay out certainties, for that would be laying claim to what the gods have in mind. And that is hubris, inviting a downfall. But we can see shapes in the mist, that much the gods allow us to see, and that can be helpful for people in getting a sense of their way forward in life.

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I do astrology and tarot readings. Or I will just sit and talk things over with you. All in this reality or in virtual reality. If asked I may even do some of my shamanic wizardry to help shift the difficult stuff (not online). I live in Devon, UK. I work on a donation basis, whatever is affordable for you. Email BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk.

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 On the announcement of the Queen's death, we immediately had a King, in the form of Charles III. But there had, in another sense, already been a new Queen that week, in the form of Liz Truss, who had become Prime Minister, with the Queen's blessing, just 2 days beforehand.

It was a remarkable archetypal coincidence, and to me emphasised that the UK is passing into a new era. It has been a long, slow and painful birth, with our leaving of the EU as the central event. The UK is on the other side of a series of hard Pluto transits to the Sun, Moon and Angles. Last time that happened, in the 1970s, we joined the EU. We served our time and, it seems, the gods declared it was time to leave. That does not make it good or bad. It is not our job as astrologers to make those sorts of judgements. But leaving was the right thing to do, from the point of view of the will of the gods. That series of transits was mega, and demanded fundamental change of some sort. Leaving the EU was the only game in town that could describe that depth of change.


 

So this is our job as astrologers: to describe, or interpret, the will of the gods. It is not our job to let our petty political preferences, however strongly held, interfere with that. As though the outer planets 'must' be pointing the world towards liberalism (the usual bias.)

So with those Pluto transits disappearing into the past, with the man who carried their will forward probably more than anyone, Boris Johnson, gone at almost the same time as the Queen, it really is time for a new start. We can put the past and the old divisions behind us.

 

UK Progressed Chart

As if to emphasise the point, the UK had a Progressed New Moon in Leo a year ago. The royal sign, harbinger of a change of monarch, as well as a new identity for the British. The Progressed Moon will move into Virgo from Leo in about 10 days. The first inbreath of the Progressed New Moon cycle.

If the monarchy isn't your thing, fair enough. It is kind of bizarre. But what is the alternative? That elected political leaders start to acquire the attributes of royalty. The Clintons, the Bushes, the Obamas and more have the status of royal families in the USA. Treating the President as royalty does not help him or her do their job. They are often prone to that kind of inflation, because they are human. You and I would be prone to it also.

Leo is the sign of royalty, and just look at it in the charts of recent US Presidents: Clinton Sun, Bush Asc, Obama Sun, Trump Asc. Americans want royalty, that is the clear message from the astrology. The sign of Leo tells us what it is that people are seeking in royalty: a connection with the divine. For that is where Leos acquire the abundant life that shines through them: from their own unique connection with the universal.

People need something on which to project the divine, until they are able to incrementally find it within themselves. Far better that it is projected onto a politically and religiously neutralised figure like a constitutional monarch. Our monarchy may be ideologically distasteful to many. But it works.

Speaking of monarchs and Leos, Liz Truss, the new PM, has Sun in Leo. Just as well we have a monarchy IMO. Margaret Thatcher ("We are a grandmother") had Moon in Leo on the MC. We don't know much about Truss yet. She has the ability to lead of a Leo. 


But then there is her Moon in Pisces in a t-square with Venus in Virgo and Neptune in Sagittarius. What are we to do with that? She is a Tory, after all, and it does not do to attribute compassion to a Tory. They don't have any, do they? The Venus in Virgo is evident in her cool delivery. There was little warmth in her announcement of the Queen's death. I noticed myself beginning to judge her for that, then I thought no, this is Liz Truss being who she is. I need to find out who she is, rather than begin by judging her for not being the type of person I think she ought to be.

Liz Truss

 

The astrology says that she does care, very much so. Too much, maybe. But she ain't going to show it easily, not with Venus in restrained Virgo. What do you reckon from her picture? The thing about right and left politically is that they both care, they just have different strategies. The left favours direct support of those who need it, financial or otherwise; the right favours helping people to help themselves. Both have their place. As a Tory, Liz Truss is probably the latter. Her political beliefs, and her coolness, will make it hard for many to see that she has compassion. But I think the astrology tells us very clearly otherwise. How interesting.

Liz Truss's father is a left wing emeritus professor of mathematics. Liz began as a liberal democrat, and gradually moved to the right. When she first campaigned to be a Tory MP, her father would not support her. According to some reports, he found her campaign to be Tory PM deeply dismaying, and could hardly bring himself to talk about it.

Liz, in moving her political position over the years, would appear to be the more flexible of the two. If my son wanted to be an MP, I might not agree with some of his beliefs, but I would be able to see his idealism, and I would support that. 


Prof Truss has Sun in Aries. as well as Mercury, Mars and probably Moon. That is the sign more than any other that divides the world into right and wrong, and what they call discussion can mean helping the other person see the truth that they already possess. The Prof seems to be behaving like Aries at its worst, laudable as some of his ideals may be. More than that, his Sun is square to Saturn in early Leo, bang on top of his daughter's Sun. So their Suns square also. Liz's Chiron in Aries is bang on her father's Sun. His Chiron squares her Sun. Her Uranus exactly opposes his Sun: she brings a generational demand to think outside of the box.

There is wounding, righteousness, expectation and rigidity in this relationship. I favour Liz as the daughter. It is not the parent's job to oppose that which is genuine in your offspring, but to support it. It shows how political beliefs can distort relationships. He is too old, in my opinion, to be identified with his political beliefs to this extent. That is something that young people do, and that is a good thing. It shows they care. But Aries can take a long time to grow up.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

THE SHAMANIC ROOTS OF ASTROLOGY

 I stopped writing regular astrology blogs some years ago. I seem to have started up again. The reason I stopped is that I had used the writing to clarify what I thought about many aspects of astrology, and that process seemed to reach a natural conclusion. In 2016 I began a shamanic blog: http://shamanicfreestate.blogspot.com/ It's still going strong, and you can sign up to the free email list.


Astrology is a sky-based path, shamanism is earth-based. Between them they encompass earth and sky. To call astrology a path, however, is I think misleading, just as it is for shamanism. The idea that we are on a path is modern and linear and rational. The purpose of shamanic ways is to live in balance, moment by moment, with the natural world. It doesn’t have to be going anywhere: that experience of balance is where the sense of meaning, of a properly-lived life, comes from. It is the same with astrology: it shows us how to live in accord with the will of the gods. It is not going anywhere.

Shamanism is based on the experience of the cyclical nature of life on earth, of the seasons returning and repeating, of life itself continually dying back in order to emerge renewed. Astrology is primarily based on the cyclical nature of the heavens. Both ways place humans in the context of cycles of the natural world. We are intimately, viscerally connected to those cycles. It is why I have some reservations about the idea of ‘evolutionary’ astrology – a modern linear model, sitting uncomfortably within an ancient cyclical model.

The experience of belonging to nature is something we have been forgetting for the last 2500 years, as we have incrementally distanced ourselves from the natural world. By the early 90s, this distancing from nature (via Buddhism) had personally made me ill, and shamanism was a sweet and irresistible corrective to this.

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I offer Zoom astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk. My books, Surfing The Galactic Highways and The Medicine Wheel are available for pre-order on Amazon (or by post from me now.)
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Astrology easily retreats into intellectualism, partaking of that downgrading, even demonisation of the body that we have inherited from Christianity. Last night, with the writing of this article in mind, I had a dream about an academic astrologer from the Cultural Astronomy and Astrology faculty who was horrified at the idea of entering a sweatlodge. Point noted.

Astrology began to lose its direct connection with the sky 2000 years ago, with the arising of the astrological chart, and moved in the direction of mathematics.


In shamanic cultures, everything has a spirit. Everything is alive, rocks and water included. This is a natural and immediate experience for indigenous peoples. I think the onus is on science to show that rocks do not have consciousness, rather than for humans to have to prove that their direct experience is real. You could say that consciousness is the subjective pole of which matter is the objective pole. Which is why science will probably never be able to explain consciousness, because science is a technique for examining the world as object, rather than as subject.

It is not just everything on earth that has a spirit. Everything in the sky also has a spirit, and that was how astrology began. Stories from the sky spirits about our lives on earth, and how to live them well.

If you work shamanically, then you may have the experience of spirits, of presences around that want to help. If you are an astrologer, then some of your helping spirits are in the sky. There are dozens available to you. We may attempt reduce the planets to ‘principles’, to ‘archetypes’ that are ‘really’ projected outwards from the human psyche. But astrology is not fundamentally rational in this way, nor does it originate from a culture that saw the individual as autonomous and separate in the way that we do. For indigenous peoples, the self is relational rather than autonomous. This modern rationalisation of astrology as a ‘projection’ of the human psyche onto the sky assumes that the individual is not also the universe itself. Any half-way decent mystic will confirm that each of us is also the whole universe.


So the planets are helping spirits in the sky, who are intimately connected to us. A good astrologer will be able to tell you what they are saying. They will feel your sky spirits in their body.

Shamanism has helping spirits. It also has the Great Spirit, the great mystery at the heart of things whose designs are infinite and beyond our grasp. The helping spirits give us whispers of that vaster intention, they are a medium for it. It is the same with astrology.

I want to say something about the outer planets from this kind of perspective. You could say that the outer planets came in as God went out. They represent a return to a less authoritarian and more fluid way of experiencing the ultimate nature of the universe.

The inner planets, from the Sun through to Saturn, represent our conscious endowment, the different forces that we grapple with and try to bring into balance on a day-to-day level. They are not under our control, for they are gods. They are much bigger forces in whose dance we partake. We approach them with awe.

A fortiori the outer planets, who are in no sense to be managed, but surrendered to. They are the Great Spirit showing itself through three different ‘transpersonal’ lenses. My job as an astrologer is often to talk about this attitude of trust and surrender that is required. It goes against the prevailing cultural attitude of rationality and planning and will – even what might be called ‘responsibility’. It is a case of “Not My Will But Thine”.

Major outer planet transits always have the nature of an initiation into a new type of consciousness. We cannot carry on as we were, much as it is our human instinct to do so. We suffer because we are trying to continue as before, even though it is no longer working. There is something new that we cannot conceive of, because we have not experienced it, that we nevertheless need to remain open to, and allow it to change us from the ground up. These transits also drag us firmly out of the modern sense of the individual as autonomous, and into the indigenous relational self: the self as part of the human community and part of the universe itself. Our life works best when it is seen as serving that greater whole, rather than focussing on what I want for ‘my’ life.

Uranus, Neptune and Pluto: creativity, ensoulment and renewal respectively. That, at least, is one way of describing what it is they want us to surrender to, to trust in, and to allow to transform us. And surrounding it all is mystery. We do not know why this is happening, or what the larger design is. Well, we may get glimpses.


But really our task is to learn how to be with these transforming forces, and to be open to whatever outcomes are necessary. And the processes can go on for years, for the changes are deep. This is one of the gifts that astrology brings: stories from the heart of the universe that show the meaning of what can be very difficult and long-lasting periods of our lives.

I guess my purpose in writing this is to set astrology in something of its original context, of the shamanic cultures from which we all come, which were the norm for 99% of human history, and the same in principle the world over. In our rush to rationality and technological progress, we have separated ourselves from the natural world, and that is something we need to find our way back to, for it is reality. A natural world that is inspirited, and that will help and guide us, if we listen. Astrology is shamanic in this sense, for it is based on an original experience of the universe as alive, with spirits that speak to us, in this case from the sky.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

BORIS JOHNSON (AGAIN): URANIAN BEGINNINGS and THE INFLUENCE OF JUPITER-NEPTUNE

You might have noticed that I keep returning to the question of whether Boris Johnson will survive as PM in the longer term. The recent vote of confidence, in which 40% of his MPs voted against him, has damaged him hugely. Neither Theresa May nor John Major lasted very long after 'winning' theirs. For Johnson, it is not just a matter of 40% of his MPS voting against him: it is also a matter of how many of the ones who voted to keep him also had strong reservations? 

The basic principle of astrology is that beginnings contain the map of the future. Leaders who last a long time are generally powered through their time in office by major transits from the start, and leave office when those transits come to an end.

If we look at the transits to the charts of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, the two long-lasting PMs of recent history, it can be seen that they had powerful transits when they first became PM.

Margaret Thatcher had Pluto conjoining her Sun, Saturn conjoining her MC and Uranus conjoining her Asc. 

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And Tony Blair had Neptune conjoining his Midheaven and Pluto opposite his Asc. What more do you want for powerful beginnings?

 

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Boris Johnson, by contrast, was merely at the tail-end of an opposition from Uranus to his Moon, which rules his Midheaven, and Saturn opposite his MC. There was gravitas required of him (Saturn) but also creativity (Uranus). And there was the concomitant instability of Uranus. It was more like he was there for a specific reason and time. He certainly didn't have the major Neptune and/or Pluto transits powering him forward that Thatcher and Blair had.

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He came in at a very unsettled time, while Parliament was paralysed over the Brexit legislation. His time as PM has been characterised by Uranus: he quickly won an election and on that basis moved Brexit on speedily. But then Covid and lockdown happened, and now there is the cost of living crisis, as well as the crisis over his leadership. There has been crisis management, but little stability.

This autumn his major transits begin. Pluto will start moving towards an almost exact square with his Scorpio Moon, and Saturn towards his second Saturn Return. These will probably be the defining transits of his downfall, because it was transits to the Moon and from Saturn that began his premiership. They could, technically, speak of renewal, especially with Neptune coming up to square his Sun soon afterwards. But given the importance of beginnings in astrology for characterising what comes later, I think it means the end of this unstable period and of his time as PM. Johnson was elected in an emergency, when a particular issue was pressing, and then another, and he was able to deal with them. That is the achievement he will be remembered for. He seized the helm at a time of huge transition and successfully negotiated its first stage.

But he will also reap the consequences (Saturn Return) of what many have felt to be a personal betrayal (Pluto squaring his Scorpio Moon) by allowing partying among his staff to continue regularly during lockdown. 

Exactly when he will go is not clear to me. But I think something could happen this autumn as Pluto and Saturn go Direct. 

A further piece of astrology is the influence of the Jupiter-Neptune opposition in Johnson's natal chart. The reason I mention it is because Uranus had just made his first pass over the Jupiter end of it when the vote of confidence, which was a sudden event, occurred. So it is clearly implicated. Uranus will make two more passes over his Jupiter-Neptune between now and March 2023. My guess is that he will go sometime between late Jan 2023, when Uranus goes Direct, and early March, when he crosses Jupiter for the 3rd time.

I hadn't previously considered Johnson's Jupiter-Neptune, because it doesn't make much in the way of personal aspects. But it clearly contributes to him being the larger than life character, full of big promises, that he is. Johnson has a heavily tenanted 9th House, of which Jupiter is the natural ruler. Also, he is a public figure, enmeshed with the collective, and I think in that situation the less personal planets (and Jupiter is on the edge of the personal: along with Saturn it used to be one of the 2 great mundane planets) can be seen as players in their own right. The part that Johnson's free-floating Jupiter-Neptune has played in the no-confidence vote has been a point of astrological interest for me, and a pointer towards using those planets towards an understanding of the whole of his public life.

Friday, June 03, 2022

CHIRON'S 'INCURABLE WOUND'

Chiron is said to be ‘the incurable wound’. I think that is an existential statement. It is the discomfort of existence itself, caused by it not going the way we would like it to. ‘Discomfort’ is putting it mildly. There can be terrible amounts of suffering in this embodied earthly life. I guess I used the word ‘discomfort’ to make the point that however good it gets, it is never perfect. This is where the Buddha starts in his 4 Noble Truths, with the idea of ‘dukkha’ as the basic characteristic of existence. It is often translated as ‘suffering’, but that puts it too strongly, because we are not always suffering in an obvious sense. The word ‘dukkha’ refers to an ill-fitting chariot wheel that gives a bumpy ride. That is more like it.

You’ve got to watch what you emphasise, because this existence is something to be embraced joyfully, not escaped from. What effect has it had on the whole of western culture to have had the image of a guy being tortured to death on a cross as the central religious symbol? It certainly fits well with the idea of this world as being the devil’s domain, and the sooner we can escape it, the better. No wonder Christianity eventually failed as a collective religion.

CHIRON (Kheiron) - Elder Centaur of Greek Mythology 
 
Existence is only inherently unsatisfactory to the extent that we treat it literally and embrace it in the wrong way: embrace it as something that can always fulfil our desires in the way we want, our desires that have a ‘right’ to be satisfied these days – something that the natural world does not recognise. Does a gazelle on the Serengeti have a right to life and happiness? No, it had better watch out or it will get eaten.

This is where we can learn from Chiron. Mythologically he was a teacher, as well as eventually having an incurable wound that could only be assuaged by giving up his immortality. This tells us all we need to know: the Chironic wound is only healed by reference to something beyond embodied, conscious existence and its desires. Chiron orbits the Sun between Saturn and the outer planets. He therefore acts as a bridge, as does Saturn, to those greater aspects of life that we are not ordinarily conscious of: the 'invisible' outer planets.

To use another analogy, Chiron is like a crack in the earth, up through which the lava of the outer planets can flow, and Saturn is like an rig at the surface, giving form and shape to that lava.
 
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I offer Zoom astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk. My books, Surfing The Galactic Highways and The Medicine Wheel are available for pre-order on Amazon (or by post from me now.)
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Chiron shows us where we need to listen to the outer planets if we desire the joy and meaning that ordinary existence can never provide: the ordinary existence that is lived through the ego and its desires, rather than through a surrender to the universal spirit that runs through the cosmos, which is really what we are.

Chiron surrendered his immmortality in return for Prometheus being unchained from the rock in the Caucasus, where he had his liver pecked out every day, as punishment for bringing fire to humanity. This suggests a sympathy on Chiron’s part for what Prometheus had done, bringing us spirit and imagination – if you like, bringing us the outer planets. And also the trouble it can cause.

We see this trouble at the time of major outer planet transits, when new life is trying to be born, either through the creativity of Uranus, the ensoulment of Neptune, or the death and renewal of Pluto. Humans like what is familiar, what is known, and at these times we will often hang on to what we know, trying to fix our lives so that they keep working as they always have done, to avoid what can seem like the madness that is trying to enter our lives. This hanging on to the old can cause a lot of suffering: it can make us ill, it can even kill us.

The outer planets mean business, they embody the Necessity, capital N, for life always to be moving on and unfolding. Chiron is here the pain we experience when we resist this call: but he is also the joy and wholeness we feel when we answer it. Chiron is half horse, he is both human and animal, he represents the joy of that union: spirit (human) and body (animal), the joy of incarnation, which is what we are here to do.

So Chiron on the one hand tells us that embodied existence is inherently uncomfortable, even deeply painful; but it is a pain that teaches us deeply and in an ongoing way; and that we are here paradoxically to embrace that unsatisfactory embodied existence, the pain is not something to be shied away from. That pain is something that can keep us embodied, it is like an anchor, that can stop us attempting to float off to some heavenly realm. Chiron is an antidote to spiritual bypass.

So wherever Chiron is in your chart – assuming he is somewhere of significance – then that is where you need to listen to the outer planets. If you don’t, then your life will probably not work in that aspect. If you try to do ‘normal’, then you will feel wounded, inadequate. A wound that is incurable on its own level.

A good example is the soul illnesses that many people get, those ones that are hard to diagnose and demonstrate and cure, so that you can often suspect you might be malingering! In fact you are not, it is real, but it will not be healed by conventional medicine, which does not have a concept of a soul dimension to the illness. You need to listen deeply to the spirit within you if you want to get well, it needs a slow revolution in who you are, a different basis from which to live meaningfully.

If you have Sun conjunct Chiron, say, then your whole identity needs to be based around listening to the Spirit, to the outer planets. It is not a part-time thing. This is not easy. If you have that conjunction in Aquarius like I do, then the sign itself gives another shove away from conventional existence. It is much easier to do what everyone else does, the tram lines are well laid down and you get all sorts of benefits like belonging and acceptance and certainty.

So Chiron is not easy. He educated some of the Greek heroes, like Jason of Argonaut fame. So he demands heroic efforts from us to rise to his challenges. You might sometimes feel it is too much, that when you chose this life – assuming that is what happens – that you bit off more than you could chew. I think it only feels too much when we doubt the outer planets. They are what give us the superpowers to rise to the occasion. You cannot be a hero by willpower alone, something that is bigger than human needs to be working through you. That is why we can't help admiring heroes and heroines.

The one thing not to do is to identify with the wound and to blame your parents for it. Parents have much less effect on who we are as adults than we are led to believe (see The Nurture Assumption by Judith Rich Harris.) Don’t blame anyone for it: it is there in you to be grappled with, wherever it came from. It can take a lot to understand Chiron and to rise to his challenges. We may make lots of wrong turnings along the way, we may spend years wallowing in his pain.

 
 
I’ll bring in a political example. Politicians are not notable for their self-knowledge, for they are more motivated by outward events. Tony Blair has a wide Chiron-Midheaven conjunction in Capricorn (as well as many other aspects to Chiron.) If any career needs to be a calling, this is it. And you saw it with Blair. He never said it, but he felt he was doing God’s Will in invading Iraq. He formally converted to Catholicism soon after stepping down as PM – Chiron in the 9th, Capricorn here being traditional religion.

At the time of the Iraq War in 2003, Blair was nearly 50, just starting his Chiron Return, and over the next couple of years it also crossed his Midheaven. This was the time when he became ‘toxic’ to voters, because many felt he had misled them over the real reason for the war. They felt he had the blood of our dead soldiers on his hands.

So you can see the kind of weird Chironic mix that was going on. Blair couldn’t help but turn it into a calling – part of his wider project of saving the world from nasty dictators through military intervention. But being a politician, he didn’t have the attunement to his own deeper motives, the ability to be honest about them, that is required to listen to the outer planets: the voice of God, if you like, to put it in Blair’s language. What he thought was the outer planets was very mixed with his own motives.

I won’t attempt too much of an analysis of them, because it is hard to know. It is interesting how certain many people seem to be of politicians’ motives, when really we don’t know, it just takes a bit of honesty to see that. In Blair’s case, I think it is fairly safe to say that mixed in to the brew was his wish to go along with America, whatever it was they were doing. And, of course, his personal ambition, which is not a crime, you need it to get anything done, unless you are a saint. But he no longer seemed able to listen to dissenting voices, a sign that his ambition, his desire for a ‘legacy’, had got out of balance.