Tuesday, April 28, 2020


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.

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

 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


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


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


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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.


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

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. 

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 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
Meeting ID: 594 690 646
Password: 312637

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