Tuesday, May 31, 2022


I've got Mars square Mars in a couple of weeks. It is time to own my own power and malevolence 🤣 Noted I was feeling irked (Mars) today by the liberal shadow, which projects its power and malevolence onto politicians (especially Tories), and which I'd say most of my friends partake in to some degree. They think it's insight.

You can spot the projections, because they attribute unrealistic powers to politicians and governments and business people, and assume bad faith - malevolence - on their part as the starting point in any 'analysis'. It's simplistic, like a comic book. There's no arguing with it, because it's a projection, and so seems utterly real to the person concerned, as Jung pointed out. This projection makes themselves the 'good guys', and they're not having that taken away from them. Or the 'conscious' guys. The counter-culture needs to own its Mars. Yes, we could all be concentration camp guards in different circumstances, as Jordan Peterson has claimed, and taking pleasure in it too.

DH Lawrence pointed out the liberal shadow 100 years ago. It found fertile ground in the counter-culture of the 60s, and persists, as polarised as ever, today. We are all in this together, it isn't us vs the capitalists etc: that goes nowhere.


You never know with Johnson. He defies political gravity. It can be hard to get a rational discussion about him with people identified with the Left, to whom he appears as some sort of devil incarnate. Which of course he isn't. It's just the usual projection. I will try to be rational about him.

Partygate has left him tainted, electorally toxic, just as the Iraq War left Blair electorally toxic - and hated by many ever since. It is not about policy, it is about the man, and that is much harder to shake off.
Admittedly, having illegal parties is trivial compared to taking the country to war on a false basis, even if Blair believed otherwise. Truth and lies are typical issues for political Geminis, whether Sun (Johnson) or Rising (Blair). It is Johnson's personal hypocrisy which rightly sticks in the throat of voters. 

Why did he allow the parties to happen? With a Sun-Venus conjunction and Libra Rising, Johnson almost can't help being a people-pleaser and having a keen sense of enjoyment himself. He didn't want to upset his staff by banning the parties. As a Gemini, he thought it is was just a detail that didn't matter. Mutable Gemini often doesn't think things through. Saturn in Pisces is only responsible when collective matters are to the fore, not personal ones. If he survives, maybe he will learn to pay more attention in this way. 
It is possible that much of the electorate will eventually put the matter aside, admittedly still with a bad taste in their mouths, in the interest of the larger issues, which is where Johnson's strengths lie, albeit still with his Geminian (and Saturn in Pisces) lack of attention to detail. But that is often the way of it: people who are open and creative are often not very conscientious. And the opposite too. Look at Theresa May, so buttoned up and correct, unable to get the NI deal through Parliament because she lacked imagination and the willingness to do the necessary fudge to make it happen. And so fiercely critical of Johnson, in an unseemly way for his immediate predecessor.
This autumn, Saturn and Pluto will go Direct, and begin their run-in to Johnson's second Saturn Return, and Pluto square Moon (all but), the Moon ruling Johnson's MC, his career point. This is the time of the Conservative Party conference, and perhaps their last chance to get rid of him before the next General Election.
Johnson certainly won't go of his own accord. The Saturn Return, all of next year, will be a time of the reaping of consequences. But he will reap the consequences too of his achievements. Getting Brexit finally done, which needed to happen, whether or not you agreed with it. Taking the country through Covid. Injecting a new energy and optimism for the future around sustainable energy and North-South inequality. Giving the country a sense of leadership at a time of momentous change.
My guess is that many voters will hold their noses and still vote for him, because his failings have been more personal than governmental. And who else are they going to vote for? Unless Labour gets rid of Starmer and puts someone in charge who can lead, like Andy Burnham, there doesn't seem to be much of a choice. And Johnson has so far always had luck: next year he will have a Jupiter Return.
Then in 2024 Johnson will properly begin a long series of major transits, which I think will keep him in power for many years. Pluto square Moon. Neptune square Sun, Venus, then North Node and his Angles. I reckon he will be with us until the early 2030s, when the major transits come to an end. This is often the pattern with leaders.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Embodying the Sky Spirits

 I do Astrology. And I also do Shamanism. They are both in my bones, and they don't feel separate. Shamanism tells us that we belong to the natural world, and that world is alive, it is inspirited. That includes rocks and water. And the sky: that is where astrology comes in. If you are an astrologer, then your spirits - at least, some of them - are in the sky.

The ancients knew this. The sky spoke to them. Nowadays, we have to make a case for it. The sky spirits tell us stories about ourselves. When we do a reading for someone, we are passing on some of those stories, because we have the gift of listening to the sky. The sky stories about other people also speak to us. There can be sky stories about the world too: that is mundane astrology.

In a way, it is no different to reading a novel or watching a film. They too tell us stories, they may be about other people, but they are also about ourselves, which is why they grip us. The novelists and film directors are also passing on stories from the spirits, but they wouldn't put it like that, not nowadays. Maybe they don't have words for where the stories come from, or maybe they call it the Unconscious. Whatever they call it, it is a special place, a sacred place, even, that creative centre in you from where the stories come unbidden.

As an astrologer, you get a sense of the planets speaking through you. You can't pin it down, and you can't say exactly what came from your head and what came from the planets/spirits. It's not like that. But they are there as presences, one way or another. This is inspiration, which means to breathe in: we are breathing in spirit.

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.)

Astrology easily becomes cerebral, because it is a complex subject. There are ten different planets, 12 Houses, 12 Signs, and a range of aspects between the planets. There are also any number of asteroids and techniques.

Complexity gives us more information, it gives us nuance. But it easily also takes us away from the felt symbolism. The stronger you are feeling the symbolism, the more the sky spirits can speak through you. In a way, you don't need more than the Sun and the Moon. We have such a strong relationship with them, that goes back hundreds of thousands of years. When we tell sky stories, we are also drawing on their collective power that has built up over time, which is a mysterious and wonderful thing. 


 If you call your chart to mind, and picture where the Sun and the Moon were on the sky at the moment you were born, that will tell you something that is both simple and powerful. You may not have words for it, but in a way that doesn't matter. It is the feeling of connection to that powerful god and powerful goddess that matters.

 Everything you need to know about yourself is in that felt sense. That sense of the planets is physical, visceral. This is something we can be shying away from in the retreat into complexity. It is easier to juggle concepts in our head: the felt sense makes demands of us, and maybe we can only take so much of that.

 For myself, this is where Shamanism comes in. Shamanism takes the spirits seriously. It would have no truck with anyone attempting to make astrology 'scientific', as though these magical stories can be reduced to simple, repeatable concepts that validate our art. That is a grotesque idea. It disrespects the spirits. It is hubris.

But even with Shamanism, we are limited by our cultural background, that in the Middle Ages divided Body and Spirit, and then perpetuated that division through the modern scientific split between Body and Mind. The split came about because people used to dance in churches. I kid you not, it seems so unlikely. But that is what they did in the Middle Ages, alongside the priest. (See 'Dancing in the Streets: a History of Collective Joy' by Barbara Ehrenreich.) When you dance, you become inspirited, you feel your own connection to the divine. And if you are trying to control people, as any religion worth the name will attempt to do, you can't have people making their own connection to the divine. So dancing was banned, and the body became the realm of the devil. Or, nowadays, the 'dead' matter that is the vehicle for our consciousness.

Not only did they ban dancing. Astrology too was proscribed as a practice that summoned demons. And of course, they were right. Astrology done properly does indeed summon the spirits, the gods, and they were seen as competition by the church.

Modern Shamanism exhibits the Body-Spirit split through the way contacting the spirits is taught: through lying still while a drum is beaten. It works, I am not dissing it. But Shamans in the far East dance when they go to the spirits: or rather, the spirits dance them.

Any kind of ceremony we can do honouring the sky spirits before we do a reading, or even look at our own chart, will invoke this felt sense of the planets, which is also a sacred feeling. We don't talk about it lightly, and certainly not to those who dismiss astrology.

You can let the planets-as-gods move through you through movement or 'dance' (which isn't quite the correct word). If Pluto moves through you, welcome him, but be also in awe: he doesn't come lightly and is liable to be ruthless, even brutal, in the way he changes your life. But always so that new life can push through.

Pluto and Neptune are the two outermost, and most recently discovered, of the astrological pantheon. One is below ground, ruling the Underworld; the other is the Ocean. They are also, obviously, in the sky. But part of the meaning of their arrival, perhaps, is to take astrology away from an ascensionist model, and into one of immanence, of incarnation, of embodiment, in which Saturn also plays a key part.

I will be co-leading a 5 day event in North Wales from 22-27 June 2022, entitled 'Embodying the Spirits', in which we shall, hopefully be edging out of the old cultural divide between Body and Spirit and into the spirit dream of our bodies. The spirits love to be embodied. It is suitable both for people who work shamanically and astrologers, since we all work with spirits. There are still a few places left

This retreat will combine embodiment journeying, dream sharing, ceremony and walks in Snowdonia.

The venue will be Cae Mabon, a magical and jaw-droppingly beautiful eco-retreat in North Wales: a fairy-tale village hanging on a steep hillside, with stunning views across to Snowdon.

Barry Goddard has been involved with shamanic practices for 25 years, and before that Buddhism for 16 years. He has recently published two books: The Medicine Wheel, and an astrological book, Surfing the Galactic Highways. He lives on Dartmoor.

Emma Edgington lives near London where she teaches shamanic journeying and healing and is the creative director at Knowing Healing Hub.

Prices vary from £299-£369 p/p with the option to camp or book shared accommodation. A 50% deposit is required to assure your booking. Prices include food and accommodation.

For all enquiries and bookings please email Barry at BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk