Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A BIT OF JUPITER-SATURN ZEITGEIST

Jupiter and Saturn were implicated in the start of the Covid crisis, so it is no surprise that we have been having another surge as these 2 planets conjoin. Because they didn't exactly conjoin previously, this surge may be considerably higher than last time. The surge will pass as the 2 planets gradually separate over the next month or two. The sign of the conjunction, Aquarius, points to the new technological solution - the vaccine - that has been created.


Jupiter and Saturn will both be squaring Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, in the coming months. So amongst other things, we can expect more progress through technology: the environmental issue, and government measures around that, seem a fairly obvious outcome.

Saturn will be squaring Uranus into late 2022 - in a sense this square began in September 2020 when Saturn changed direction - so we are likely to see developments in government (Saturn) that are both 'progressive' and/or separational. So in the US a Democrat has been elected President, and in the UK Brexit is finally occurring, and in a better way than we might have expected. Watch for developments around Scotland and Northern Ireland pulling away from the UK. Maybe even the Welsh too. And the Cornish! And Hay-on-Wye 😂

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

THE SATURN-JUPITER CONJUNCTION

Among the signs of the zodiac, Aquarius often carries a positive projection, just as Scorpio often carries a negative projection. The 1967 hit song Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In includes the lines: 

 
Then peace will guide the planets 
And love will steer the stars 
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius...
Harmony and understanding 
Sympathy and trust abounding 
No more falsehoods or derisions 
Golden living dreams of visions
 
Maybe it is not such a bad thing to have these hopes, illusory as they no doubt are. In reality, our vast collectives keep buggering on in the same old unconscious way, with a different flavour from time to time.
 
The Age of Aquarius is a big deal. These ages only change every 2500 years or so, and no-one quite knows when we will back into this one from Pisces. Maybe the fact that we don't know, and that we are going backwards into it, is significant.
 

So I am saying all this because we are about to have a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction right at the start of Aquarius. This is also a big deal. Jupiter and Saturn used to be the outermost planets, before Uranus, Neptune and Pluto came along. In a sense, they still are, if we just mean planets visible to the naked eye. So with the advent of the outer planets, the meaning of Jupiter-Saturn acquires a tighter focus. The outer planets refer to factors beyond our control, to the deeper movements of the spirit. A human life that has depth involves an ongoing process of coming into relationship with these planets, and learning not to try to control them.
 
Jupiter and Saturn are, however, more under our control, inasmuch as these awesome gods ever can be. Maybe this cycle now shows where we humans are responsible for our destiny, the degree to which our problems and opportunities are man-made.
 
And this brings us slap-bang into the climate issue. Aquarius is a sign of the future (which is why we project our hopes onto the sign) and of humanity and technology and democracy. It is a 'progressive' sign (though that can be a politically loaded and subjective term itself.) 
 
Climate change does seem to have a large human-made component. To insist it is just human-made is a kind of inverted hubris, for which we should be punished 🤣 Whatever your views on it, it undeniably highlights our out-of-balance relationship to the natural world. 
 
So it seems very likely that this will be a theme of the coming Saturn-Jupiter cycle, as the US signs up again to the Paris Agreement, and the UK government announces a slew of environmental initiatives around housing, transport, farming and wind farms.
 
This will, however, be a collective at work. The movement towards a greener future is also likely to acquire rigidity and ideology. This is the shadow of the Air element. We saw it with the 1981 Saturn-Jupiter conjunction in Libra: the rise of free market ideology (with its increased propensity towards boom and bust, and rising inequality) and a heightened Cold War polarity and tension. With Saturn-Jupiter now in Air signs for the next 200 years, ideology may be a long-term theme.
 
So take off your rose-tinted Aquarian glasses! (If indeed you were wearing them in the first place.) The madness of collective humanity is not a place to put our hopes and our despairs. It is what it is. Whether it 'improves' over time is imponderable. It depends what you mean by improvement. 
 
As astrologers we can watch the collective and the way in which its themes and directions are reflected in the stars, and learn from that. But, to paraphrase Kipling: 
 
If you can meet with hope and despair 
And treat those two impostors just the same...
 
I think it is a kind of foolishness to place much hope in the collective or even in outcomes within our personal lives. Hope is something we can have for ourselves individually and within. Indeed we need to have it, a basic faith in ourselves and in our unfoldment. We humans are magnificent once we can step outside the collective illusions that give life a certain kind of security and certainty, and take ourselves seriously, look after that thing in ourselves that we are here to look after.
 
So this is Aquarius at its best: the sign of humanity in its magnificence, god-like. That is the injunction of the coming conjunction: have faith (Jupiter) in your god-like nature (Aquarius) and incarnate it (Saturn).

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

GEMINI AND THE TRUTH

A while back both our PM and leader of the opposition were Geminis, as is Donald Trump. And it is interesting to look at them all from the point of view of their relationship to truth and lies.


Corbyn is rigorously truthful and reasonable, and he says what he thinks, even if it will cause problems. So he said he thought the anti-Semitic problem was exaggerated within the Labour Party, and that got him suspended from the Party. But I think he was probably just being truthful by his own lights.

Boris Johnson does both truth and lies, though the lies seem to have largely stopped since he became PM. But he has always also got in trouble for telling the truth. When he was Foreign Secretary, he said that the Saudis were funding proxy wars in the region. Which was true, but which no-one was saying, and it was diplomatically a blunder. And then yesterday he described Scottish devolution as a disaster. Again, this is truthful inasmuch as it is his real opinion. And it has been noticeable during the Covid crisis the lengths he has gone to communicate regularly to the nation what is going on and why, in a way that we don't usually see from PMs.

And then there is Trump, who is the sort of Gemini who will say anything that suits him, who has very little regard for the truth. Within that, he has as a businessman certain longstanding convictions about the US, which is why he was elected - conviction is appealing in a politician. Such as his concern about the trade imbalance with China and its unfair practices, which to his credit he took on, and which Obama never did.

The opposite sign to Gemini is Sagittarius. Gemini is facts and information, Sag is truth and belief. They can each be the shadow of the other. Which is why we need to find the opposite and balancing sign to our Sun in ourselves, or both will come out as shadow. And it is interesting the different forms it takes in each leader. A lot more could be said. But I'll just say one thing about Corbyn: I think Sagittarius is his shadow, inasmuch as he is guided by old-style socialist beliefs in quite a rigid way, beliefs that were tried out decades ago and left the country in a mess.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

TRUMP'S TRANSITS: A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE?

It looks like Joe Biden is going to win the Presidency. That was my personal preference, though I had predicted that Trump would win. Under normal circumstances, the strength of Trump's transits would decisively empower the re-election of a sitting President. Trump currently has Neptune squaring his Sun, Moon and Node, Nodal Return and Pluto starting to oppose Venus, ruler of his MC.


Biden, by contrast, just has the final stage of Neptune conjoining his IC and nothing major to come - it is like he is whispering in, and I think will be gone in a couple of years, as Uranus re-enters his House of Health and Saturn squares his Sun. His Vice-President Kamala Harris, who has some huge transits over the next few years, will take over.


So in that case, what do Trump's transits mean for him? I think there may be a clue in his announcement that major electoral fraud has taken place. My sense was that he really believes this, and I also do not think it is true. In other words, I think his Neptune transits are making him (even more) delusional. His grip on reality was never very strong. I think he may spend the rest of his life telling anyone who will listen that the election was stolen from him. It is the only way such a fragile guy can deal with what has happened. I think there has been something of a mental health issue all along, and it will now start to take over.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

OUR COVID UNDERWORLD

When people come to me for readings, there is usually some major transit going on, and that is why they have come, though they usually don't know that. And an important part of my job is talking about how to BE during that time of transit, and that is related to whether it is Uranus, Neptune or Pluto that is at work.

Whichever it is, the outer planets operate from outside of ordinary waking consciousness. They are not part of the conscious endowment that the inner planets represent and which we can get to know and use effectively. If you want to learn effectively, look at your Mercury to understand your particular way of learning. And so on.

However, our daily life with the inner planets can give us the illusion that we are in control of our lives. We are indeed in control, but only of the small daily picture. There are greater forces of the Spirit that sweep through us and sweep through humanity, and that is when people come to us for readings. These are times when the old no longer works, because it has had the life withdrawn from it by Pluto, or Neptune is showing us that what seemed so real is illusory, or trickster Uranus is upsetting those certainties to which we had anchored ourselves.


The only way forward is to tune into these greater forces for change and surrender to them, sense the alembic in which we are being slowly reduced to what is essential, the chrysalis in which we are being magically transformed, and to dwell in the not-knowingness of that. The not-knowing place, 'negative capability' as Keats put it, is difficult for us, for we like our certainties, but they are illusory. The outer planets show us this, they initiate us into what is real. And when we are tuned in to these deeper processes, sense and meaning can return to our lives, but not in a way that is obviously graspable. Being open is of itself meaningful.

And what is true of the individual can also be true of a collective, though whether the outcome has greater value than what came before is a moot point. And since the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of this January, the world has been plunged by the coronavirus into Pluto's Underworld. And there we remain. As is usual, Pluto leaves enough for the processes of daily life to continue in a limited way, but not much more than that. All else is in the alembic, the crucible, the chrysalis, being re-shaped. And as is also usual, this Underworld experience seems to drag on and on. It is not a time for most of us for moving forward and being outwardly creative. It is a time for sitting with what is, surrendering to what is, and feeling the possibilities of the new brewing slowly beneath the surface.

I can only speak for the UK, but we have been in this Underworld for a long time, ever since the Brexit referendum in 2016, whose outcome destroyed a major part of the identity of so many people – that of EU citizen – which is why the backlash was so strong. At that time Pluto was coming up to oppose the UK Moon, having hard -aspected our Sun, Angles and Node in the preceding years. Pluto doesn’t care about human values. He is not on the left or on the right. He is on the side of renewal, and that renewal and rebirth may not be something we find ourselves in agreement with!


So we have had the Underworlds of both Brexit and Covid. And our Charon the ferryman is Boris Johnson, who has Moon in Scorpio and was himself dunked into the river Styx by Covid, but who managed to clamber back on board. A guy who many of us cannot stand and do not trust. Maybe that is why Pluto chose Johnson. So maybe we need to look again.

I am writing this piece because ever since Saturn then Pluto started moving forward a few weeks ago, I have been feeling out of sorts. I was thinking maybe I need to see more actual people. Or maybe I need to do more. But I was OK a few weeks ago. And I am also thinking that Saturn and Pluto are now starting to move us out of this double Underworld, and I am feeling that. But we are also still in it. And when I remind myself of that, all seems OK again. I have learnt about being in the Underworld over the last 28 years.

So the Covid Underworld was catalysed by the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn on Jan 12 this year. Saturn will move finally into Aquarius in mid-December, definitively away from Pluto, and I think we will look back and see that as the beginning of the end of the Covid crisis. Already the cracks in the lockdown are appearing, as not just Wales and Scotland, but the north of England start to go their own way. And this ties in nicely with a theme of Brexit, which is the fragmentation of the UK into its constituent parts. And the reunification of Ireland (which is strongly suggested in the 1922 UK chart relocated to Belfast.)

So for now, the astrological message seems to be that we will remain in the Covid Underworld for the next couple of months, so be patient, watch the horizon for those glimmers of the future, but do not strain towards them just yet. In December, not just Saturn but Jupiter too, which played its part at the start of Covid, will enter Aquarius and begin a new cycle for the world. It won’t be all at once, but we will be on our way out, at last. And for the UK, we will definitively be leaving the Brexit Underworld too.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Saturn, Pluto and the Postponed Recession

At the end of September, Saturn will start to move forwards again, closely followed by Pluto. Jupiter will have gone direct a couple of weeks earlier. These 3 planets conjoined in January, and marked the beginning of the Covid crisis. So we will be entering a new phase in a month, and I think that will mark the transition to a recession proper. So far it has been held at bay by government furlough schemes and, probably, by the public spending much of the money it saved during lockdown.

By paying the wages of struggling businesses, governments are saving them from going bankrupt. But they can only do this for so long, and Covid shows no sign yet of going away. So I think the theme across the West this autumn will be the winding down of furloughs and subsidies, increasing numbers of businesses going under, and unemployment rising. The recession proper will have begun, as Saturn's forward motion in Capricorn brings a dose of realism to world economies.

The hardship for many that this will involve is the price we will be paying for the lives saved by lockdown. How much this has also been a postponement - of people dying from Covid later rather than sooner - remains to be seen, as does our view of the lockdown as it ends, and whether it was worth it. At present this discussion is hard to have because many people have been frightened into thinking of Covid as a deadly disease, rather than the nasty bug with a low mortality rate that it actually seems to be.

We have been trained to think of recessions as bad, and booms as good. But recessions reflect the natural need to go inward and reconsider and attend to our underlying values, after a period of outward expansion. In this way Saturn embodies natural law.  

The current recession began with lockdown, and has been given added transformative power by the presence of Pluto. This is no ordinary recession. Saturn-Pluto is a powerful transit that marks a transition from one era to another. It will be a different world that we will be waking up to at the end of this year, as Saturn finally moves into Aquarius and away from Pluto. The Saturn-Jupiter cycle, which begins anew in December, also marks the beginning of a new era.

So, come the new year, we will be thinking about life as before and after Covid. Already we see the huge boost that this has given to the big tech companies - Apple is now worth more than the top 100 UK  companies combined - while the High Street spirals downwards as people shop more online. Fear has stalked the land in a way not seen in Europe since WWII, and this will be burnt into the collective psyche for some time to come.

Political eras will come to an end, inevitably, as the world moves into its new phase. Merkel is on her way out anyway. It is hard to see Trump surviving with his consistent trailing in the polls, and the likelihood of the recession becoming more real between now and the US election. Is Boris Johnson part of the new order, or part of the old order? He has at least another 4 years in office - short of a resigning issue like Suez arising - and I think he is strategically too sure-footed for that, flawed as he is in the details of day-to-day management. Starmer is not a performer - a vital ingredient for political success - and Boris (like Blair before him) will have Neptune on his side in the coming years. So I think that Boris is part of the new order. 

The US will undergo its Pluto Return in 2022. This will be in its 2nd House (Sibly Chart). So expect a big psychic wobble about its place in the world, as China emerges from Covid hotter on America's heels than expected. What is it to be American if you are not No 1 in the world?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

PRESIDENT HARRIS?

Donald Trump, at the time of the US election, will have Pluto moving forward and about to make his first opposition to his natal Venus (ruler of his MC), having opposed his natal Saturn, which is next to Venus, this year. This does not look good for him. Venus in a politician is popularity, and he is trailing badly and consistently in the polls. I will declare an interest at this point, which is that I want him to lose the election; but that did not stop me, correctly, predicting he would win last time.

More than that, Neptune will square Trump's Sun and Moon next year. Normally such strong transits are empowering in a leader. They would suggest some kind of landslide in his favour. That is clearly not going to happen, so I am thinking he will lose, which for a sitting President is a considerable failure. And Neptune can also describe that.
 
Joe Biden's chart is interesting: Neptune is about to oppose his MC for the 3rd time, and next year Uranus will enter his House of Health (the 6th). Meanwhile, Kamala Harris has an almost ridiculous amount of powerful transits in the next few years: Pluto square Sun and Moon, Neptune square Asc, second Saturn Return followed by Saturn conjunct MC. She is being propelled somewhere very big.
 
Putting all this together, I think the probablity is that Biden will win, and after a year or two will have to stand down due to ill health, and Harris will take over. At this point Saturn will be squaring both the ruler of Biden's MC (Mercury) and the ruler of his 6th (Venus). Pluto will also be starting to square his Moon, our embodiment, so that further suggests health issues. Jupiter will cross his IC in March 2022, you can draw your own conclusions from that.
 
The initial Neptune opposite Pisces MC transit that could propel Biden into the Presidency also has a theme of loss and sacrifice around it, the sacrifice needed to end a dark Presidency.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

THE SOLAR ECLIPSE

Sunday's solar eclipse in Cancer will be a powerful trigger for any changes to home and family that are in the offing - and that have maybe been brought to a head by the Lockdown. What it is that nourishes us (Cancer) is the question to ask. The eclipse is given extra power by the fact that it is occurring within hours of the summer solstice, when the Sun goes into Cancer and the world starts to shift on its axis, moving (in the northern hemisphere) towards shorter days and longer nights.


Outcomes are delayed by the number of retrograde planets in the sky - Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. Practically, that refers to the need to wait for lockdown conditions to ease more fully (when Saturn goes Direct in late September), as well as the need to think things through calmly, to which the pressure cooker effect of the lockdown may not easily lend itself. But changes are on their way.


The esoteric ruler of Cancer is Neptune, which will be conjunct Mars in Pisces. So a good time too for magical acts, in which the emphasis is on creating a space for the divine will, rather than your own will, to have effect.

Monday, June 08, 2020

THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY

If you are an astrologer, then you are inevitably thrown up against the ideas of Fate and Free Will, and their apparently contradictory nature. I don't think they are contradictory. Both are true. And it is a good exercise to sit with them, like it is always a good exercise to sit with contradictory ideas, without reaching after certainty - Negative Capability, as Keats called it. It enables us to sit with the Great Mystery that is behind everything, because really we know nothing. I wrote a blog on this subject some years ago.

Meanwhile, I have been re-reading a wonderful memoir "The World of Yesterday" by Stefan Zweig. He is a vivid and compelling writer, and this book is richly descriptive of Europe from a cultural point of view, from the end of the 19th century to the early 1940s.

And here is what he says about Fate: "Only in youth does coincidence seem the same as fate. Later, we know that the real course of our lives is decided within us; our paths may seem to diverge from our wishes in a confused and pointless way, but in the end the way always leads us to our invisible destination."

Or as Heraclitus said: "Character is Fate."

Or as Jung said, "Free Will is doing gladly and freely that which one must do."

Sunday, June 07, 2020

SATURN-PLUTO and THE ENDING OF THE PANDEMIC

The lockdown restrictions started easing as Saturn changed direction in early May: it is the nature of retrograde motion to undertake a review. This phase will conclude at the end of September, when Saturn goes Direct. There may well be restrictions left at that point, but they are likely to be ongoing, such as a restriction on large gatherings of people where there is little space between them; and a requirement to wear masks on eg public transport.

Since the pandemic started under the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, we may not see 'normality' return until Saturn starts to put some serious distance between himself and Pluto. That will be mid-December this year, when Saturn will be 7 degrees from Pluto, and in a different sign. That, at any rate, seems like the earliest point at which Covid will no longer be the main point around which the world is revolving.


Indeed, with the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction occurring in Aquarius a few days later, on the 21st Dec, 12 hours after the winter solstice, that is likely to be the time when we seriously begin to discover, or re-imagine, what world we are living in post-Covid. This excites me Aquarius is the sign of the future, moving beyond the outworn traditions of Capricorn.


It is interesting that the 2 solstices this year are so powerful: the summer solstice on 21st June occurring on a solar eclipse, and the winter solstice so close to the new 20-year age of the Saturn-Jupiter cycle. This really is a year of turning points.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Mars in Pisces

Mars is in Pisces for another 3 weeks. Definitely a case of 'Not my will but thine'. And nicely descriptive of lockdown, when we can't do many of the things we would want to do. Add to this the retrograde movements of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, with Mercury joining them on the 18th, and we do not have a time for moving life forward, but for going within and allowing the new to emerge when it is ready.

Friday, May 08, 2020

SATURN-PLUTO: GOVERNMENTS VS THE MULTINATIONALS?

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The last time that Saturn and Pluto conjoined in Capricorn was in 1518, 3 months after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door at Wittenberg and began the Protestant revolution against the transnational power of the day: the Catholic Church. 

Saturn and Capricorn both describe governments and the establishment, and Pluto describes a major power shift within that. So what are the equivalents today? 

The transnational power of today within Europe is firstly the EU, and Brexit formally took place a couple of weeks after the conjunction in January. So because of the astrology I think we have to read that event as pre-figuring a major shake-up of the EU and its power structures. I am stating this as a factual inference, not as a judgment in favour of or against the EU (it is very hard not to be taken as such these days.) This major shake-up will be reflected in Neptune's hard transit to the EU Angles, which will be exact in 4 years. 

The other major transnational powers of today are the multinational companies, which are increasingly difficult for individual governments to control, even the mighty USA. Though I don't expect China has quite the same problem.
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And this is my main point. With the coronavirus outbreak, individual governments have taken a lot more control of their countries, and this includes their economies. They are taking care of their people. And they may continue to take more care of their people as we emerge from the outbreak, a process that could take a long time. 

The priority of multinational companies is not about taking care of people. They are amoral beasts that need to be regulated. Their priorities lie in where their products can be made the most cheaply, and creating markets where their products will be bought, whether or not they are truly needed.

In the major recession/depression that seems likely to follow on from coronavirus, the priority of governments will be to ensure that basic needs are met and that people have jobs. And that may be a habit they get into. The multinationals may not continue to have it their own way to the same degree. The governments may say if you outsource those jobs to the Philippines, we will tax you, we need people to be employed at home. They may say to Amazon and Google and Chevron we are broke right now, you have to start paying taxes.

I am not an expert in how these things work. But I am wondering if the 'new normal' will involve more power to national governments working in their people's interests, and less power to the multinationals working in their own interests.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

TRUMP'S EARLY-STAGE DEMENTIA?

According to this article, "Most GOP (ie Republican) Congress members recognize that Donald Trump is a pathological narcissist with early stage dementia and only peripheral contact with reality." And that is what his allies think. (It doesn't make him all bad either.) I think that most of us can see that his cognitive abilities are declining. The article contains a video interview with him from the 80s, and the cognitive contrast with now is very striking.
At the end of the month, Neptune will exactly square his Nodal axis, and will square his Sun and Moon next year, when Pluto will also oppose his Venus (popular appeal). He may well get re-elected this year due to lack of a charismatic opponent, and because Neptune can be that political charisma (as well as the dementia.) But will he be removed from office, due to increasing incapacity, in his 2nd term?
With his Progressed New Moon in Virgo last September, he is personally entering a new phase, probably autumnal, of his life.

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I offer skype/FB video astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

CONSPIRACY THEORY and THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD


When events occur that disrupt our settled sense of the world, that is difficult for many people. For some, it is an opportunity. The curtains are, briefly, open, because the world was of course never settled, it was always fluid. But that is also why conspiracy theories intensify and proliferate in times of crisis.
The word 'conspiracy' comes from the Latin meaning 'to plot': ie someone has done something to you, whether it was 9/11, the death of Diana, or Covid 19. In this way the anxiety of living in an uncertain world is relieved by blaming it on someone else. So strong is this need, that facts are overlooked. This is shown by the constant refrain of the conspiracist for others to 'look at the evidence', which is exactly what they are not doing. To be concrete, some of the theories proliferating at present include linking Covid 19 with 5G, Bill Gates and deliberate engineering by the Chinese in order to gain economic advantage over the US. Or that the whole thing is a hoax.
There is a theory that Coronavirus escaped from a lab in China. That seems like a possibility from what I have read, but probably not the case. However - and here is the key - if I was a conspiracist I would be insisting that the lab escape was the case, and that it was deliberate. There is little room for doubt in conspiracy theory.
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 Another avenue to look at is 'agency'. I think that conspiracists feel they are acted upon, rather than acting, in their lives. At least, to an extent. I know conspiracists - and I won't mince my words when I say that what they talk in this respect is nonsense, disturbed, bonkers - who are clearly agents in their own lives at quite a deep level, they may be quite long in the tooth, yet when it comes to how they think of the collective, and governments and big business especially, they feel they are acted upon to a degree that is irrational: they are convinced they are being manipulated by powerful people and forces that I can never quite pin down, and usually they have an evangelical desire to 'wake others up', which is in itself revealing. They feel certain they have the hidden truth that the 'sheep' do not see (for myself I find it hard to be certain about anything!) And these people and forces acting on them are BAD GUYS, they make these big simplistic judgements on them that they would never make about people they actually know (and most of us do that with politicians, don't we?) More than that, there may be forces that are alien in origin that are manipulating us.
I don't know what to do when people start to come out with this stuff, because there may well be other ways in which I respect them. The one thing I know I can't do is discuss it with them, because I am up against a need to believe. But for me it is a big limitation in my relationship with them, because I like to think about the world and what is happening in it without someone insisting that Bill Gates - who has given away $30 billion - means harm. Gates may be misguided, but that is a different matter, and I have my own reservations about him in this respect.
The collective noun for lemurs is a conspiracy. (And therein lies a nickname for conspiracists). And 'lemur' is from the Latin meaning 'Spirits of the Dead'. Wow! I think etymological and mythological connections need to be taken seriously. So conspiracy theory is the Spirits of the Dead speaking. Have you seen the Judgement Card in the Mythic Tarot? 
It shows the dead arising, and means old gifts emerging. It points to what I was saying about agency. Whenever our power, our gifts, are suppressed, they come out in wonky ways, often projected in negative form on the world outside. So this is my case. The conspiracists' urging of others to 'wake up' is really a message to themselves to wake up. To claim whatever it is in themselves that they are not claiming.

Monday, April 13, 2020

BORIS JOHNSON'S ILLNESS


It will be interesting to see how the virus has affected Boris Johnson. Illnesses often change us, and as he said, it could have gone either way. 
 
With his loaded 9th, and a Nodal Return in Cancer in the 9th happening now, I think it has been incredibly significant for him. To do with what gives meaning to his life. And to do with compassion. People who have worked under him say he is a good boss. I think it may be that he turns out more compassionate than what you would expect from a Conservative leader.

With Chiron in Pisces conjunct 6th cusp, and Neptune still conjoining that, his illness has also been a sacrifice in service of the collective. And the story of the Fisher King comes to mind. Whom does the Grail serve? It has a mythological dimension.
 
Boris changed almost overnight on becoming Prime Minister, from the previous bumbling clown persona to something much more weighty and serious. This is reflected in his Solar Return chart, which began last June, and which has a Moon-Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in the 10th: you don't get more gravitas than that! It can also suggest the near-death experience he has had, further indicated by Pluto's opposition to Mercury in the SR chart, ruler of his 6th House of Health.
 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

THE BOGEYMEN BEHIND COVID 19

Saturn-Pluto is a time when the collective shadow (Pluto) is likely to be making an appearance in the world (Saturn). 

Not many people have the psychological strength to remain with their own darkness and fragility. That is why collectives create bogeymen. It creates a kind of stability and reassurance. Hence the witch-burnings in early Europe, Nazi anti-Semitism, and McCarthyism in the US. You see it also with Donald Trump - a fragile individual if ever there was - attempting to create bogeymen out of the Mexicans, the Muslims and the Chinese. 

Whenever there is a major event that upsets our little world, you see the process at work, whether it was 9/11, the death of Princess Diana, or now with Covid 19. If Covid 19 was just a virus that had mutated, there would be nothing to carry the stress it has created. So, we are hearing, it was deliberately created by the Chinese, and somewhere Bill Gates and 5G were involved. Watch for Jeff Bezos to be dragged in too. It is pitiable and it is insane, but it is how collectives work, we should not be surprised. 

What convinces people is not evidence, but other people's belief, because it is a herd thing. But from the point of view of the individual, it can seem like an epiphany, like they have had their eyes opened, balance has been restored, and it is everyone else who appears like a sheep. It has a lot in common with fundamentalist religion.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Rebellion, Conformism and the Lockdown


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All those planets in Capricorn: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. I think there are plenty of people secretly enjoying the lockdown rules. They like to be told how to live. They are the ones getting most righteous about anyone who might possibly be infringing the rules, particularly if they seem to be enjoying themselves.
Now that Mars and Saturn are in Aquarius, we are seeing the rebellion by those who can't handle being told what to do, in the form of conspiracy theories about Covid 19. David Icke being probably the most notable case in point. And some of us have a more balanced attitude to authority and don't take it as a personalised reassurance, or something to react against.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

SATURN-PLUTO, AUTHORITY and THE STOPPING OF THE WORLD

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AUTHORITY
The Saturn-Pluto conjunction isn't obviously descriptive of the Coronavirus pandemic - that is more Neptune's realm - but the unprecedented state control that has come in as a response is perfectly described by that conjunction, especially in the sign of Capricorn.

You generally need a bit of hindsight to get a sense of these challenging aspects between outer planets, as their themes gradually unfold over a period of years, and re-define the character of the world we live in. But I don't think that state control will necessarily be an enduring theme of this conjunction: after all, the current control is just a measure to contain the pandemic, and will end when it ends - if you live in a democracy, that is, where any government that tried to maintain the controls would not find that going down well at the polls. But it will now be there in the background as a possibility. 

We no longer knew, and maybe governments no longer knew, just how powerful they can be when they choose. That can of course be abused, but it is also a security for us, it means that governments can protect us, and it is easy to overlook this because collectively we are quite paranoid and thankless in relation to authority. We are childish in this respect. The danger in this is that while we concentrate on our dark fantasies, a government could sneak something in while we are looking elsewhere. Balance, not paranoia, is the best way to keep an eye on governments.

Having experienced the benign side of government control, attitudes may shift. And particularly in the UK, where the government exercises a light touch - be thankful for that! Appreciate that aspect of being British! So this would be a great outcome of Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn: the collective ability to give authority trust where trust is due.

I think the presence of Jupiter alongside Saturn and Pluto points to an over-reaction on the part of governments. The numbers of dead can seem striking on their own, but in the larger scheme of things - in the UK, for example, about 600,000  people die every year - it is quite marginal. We don't know all the reasons yet as to why the governments have acted as they have done. But as I say, because of Jupiter, I think it will with hindsight be seen to have been an over-reaction.

I think the deeper meaning of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction will start to become clearer through the nature of the aftermath of the pandemic, and how it will change the way we live.

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I offer skype/FB video astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk

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STOPPING THE WORLD
Coincidentally, I am re-reading the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. (I highly recommend the trilogy this book belongs to). It is set at that particular intersection where traditional tribal life was still being lived, but the modern world was starting to impinge. D’Arcy McNickle’s novel Wind from an Enemy Sky is similar, but set in North America rather than Africa.


I say coincidentally because of course Things Fall Apart is exactly what this coronavirus is doing to the world. In the book, there is a period of the year between the harvesting of the yams and the planting of the next crop where there is not much to do. Life in its usual busy sense comes to a halt. For them, this is normal. For us, our world is built in such a way, it is so busy, so extraverted, so fragile for all its economic power, that a major recession is being brought about, that will probably take years to recover from, by what is still just a few weeks of stoppage. Major Pluto aspects usually produce recessions, Pluto being a god of wealth. So I was kind of expecting one, but couldn't see why there should be. Now we know!

“What is this world, if full of care, we have no time to stop and stare,” sang the Welsh hobo William Henry Davies. 

WH DAVIES
To stop and stare, amidst the anxiety of which there is no shortage, is I think what we are being asked to do.  It is in this sense a natural balancing that is occurring. But because we are so out of balance, the remedy is extreme. And it is a remedy that we are collectively choosing, it is not just happening ‘to’ us. No-one is forcing the governments to shut everything down. We could have just carried on as normal, but with a higher death count. The governments have chosen not to. The governments are, ultimately, ourselves, they are a function of the collective, as Tolstoy was at pains to point out in War and Peace. Is this shutdown out of care for the older and more vulnerable people, or because the body count would look bad when it comes to re-election, or out of an exaggerated fear of death and of the unknown? Who knows. Probably all of those reasons and more.

What we do know is that collectively we have chosen this time to STOP, and therefore to align ourselves with what is within. An extreme of extraversion has produced its opposite, and I think this has an inevitability to it. Just as the boom times produce regular recessions, where we are forced to examine the imbalances of what has gone before. This seems to me to be the deepest reason that the world is stopping, and it has been our collective choice, as I am taking pains to point out! Somewhere, some deep part of our collective wants this. Hallelujah!
And this is Saturn in his role as guardian, instead of the denier, of the inner life. Saturn is usually the worldly taskmaster who is fond of telling us that only that which is observable and measurable has value. In this extraverted world of ours, it can be a lifelong struggle for introverts to feel the value of who they are. Remarkably, we are having a rare collective moment where slowing down and re-assessing is required. And maybe this will point to an enduring meaning of Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn: a time of proportion, of living more according to our means and our needs instead of  according to demented fantasies of unlimited growth and consumption. Jupiter, the planet that describes where we find meaning, has appropriately come up alongside Saturn and Pluto.
Now for a Shamanic interpretation, read no further if that is not your interest!

This is where, on the Medicine Wheel, healing begins: through the East, with an intervention from Spirit that we cannot directly cause, only prepare the ground for. That has been the coronavirus. We then have the choice whether to try and ignore that intervention, or to turn towards it. 
 

With that inward turning, which we have chosen through the lockdown, we can begin to move round the Wheel: firstly to the South, to the place in us that is wounded, in avoidance of which life has become so frenetic. So this will be the next stage of the coronavirus stoppage (perhaps): a sense of the inner lack that has been driving our thoughtless, thankless, taking attitude to our Mother, the Earth, and therefore to ourselves, for we are part of her, we are nothing but her.




And that will lead to the West, the Earth: incarnating those inner realisations. It is already clear that many more people will work from home in the future: this is slower, more reflective, and puts less pressure on the environment through travel requirements. And then to the North, the gradual integration of these new ways of living into our philosophies, into the ways we understand the world.

Monday, April 06, 2020

THE SHAMANIC BOOK CLUB

The title of this post is self-explanatory, an idea coming out of these lockdown times - though it is something I have kind of had in mind for a while. Once a month we will discuss a book on Zoom. The books will all, in one way or another, have shamanic or indigenous themes. My own interest is not so much in books about shamanism by modern westerners (though I don't want to exclude that), but rather books that are by native people, or which record or give reliable accounts of them. I expect that for now I will make the choice of book, with input from others. The first book is a novel by Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves. She is from the Ojibwe people, and is one of my favourite novelists. Her books are set on the reservation, and reflect the blend of modern and traditional ways in which her people now live.
She is from the Ojibwe people, and is one of my favourite novelists. Her books are set on the reservation, and reflect the blend of modern and traditional ways in which her people now live. 

We will first meet on Sat 9th May at 7.30pm BST. Here is how to join: 

Barry Goddard is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Shamanic Book Group
Time: May 9, 2020 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/594690646…
Meeting ID: 594 690 646
Password: 312637
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I offer Shamanic consultations, usually by skype, in which we can talk over anything you want to talk over. I may use the Medicine Wheel, Journeying, Astrology, Tarot or anything that works. And it centres around listening to ourselves in a deep way. I work on a donation basis, and I am happy with whatever is easy for you: I love this work. Contact: BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk


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