Saturday, August 26, 2023


 I recently wrote a piece in which I generated some astrology around the 2 main modern Creation Myths: the Big Bang and Evolution. But then I realised that Evolution is not truly a Creation Myth. It tells us how human beings came about, but not how life itself came about. For that we have no story, for we have no idea beyond improbably complex and unknown events in the primeval soup. This is remarkable. What culture apart from us has not had a story about how life came about? We do not know where we came from, and as such are truly impoverished. I do not wish however, to damn modern culture. We have a lot going for us.

As ever, Astrology can provide a story where Science cannot. Astrology is bigger than Science, for it uses all 4 elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water to describe the universe, as opposed to Science's limited emphasis on just Air and Earth (theory and data.) Science is the younger brother of Astrology, and needs to defer to it if it is not to get out of balance.

In my previous post, I talked about the Big Bang from the point of view of the year it was theorised (1931). Before that, I also wrote about it as the combined action of Uranus (the creative spark, the blue touchpaper), Neptune (the primordial imagination that dreamed a universe into being) and Pluto (the tremendous power contained in that tiny singularity that keeps the universe unfolding even now.)

By the same reasoning, we can create an astrological mythology around the beginning of life. What are these stories other than mythologies? The universe is dreamed into being - it is, if you like, an artefact of the brain - there is in reality no special realm called 'fact' that Science likes to pride itself upon.

The Universe was dreamed into being by gods - Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. And so was Life itself, but with consciousness, the inner dimension of matter, having more primacy. Uranus was the spark when, as it were, God reached out and matter awakened. It then dreamed forms for itself - Neptune - with an irrepressible drive to live and keep unfolding (Pluto).

With this kind of mythology behind life, how can we possibly reduce its continual unfoldment to the brutal and reductionist 'survival of the fittest'? Ruthless Pluto might not blanche at such a mechanism, but Neptune, with his feeling for beauty, would certainly have something to say. As would creative Uranus, offended by his reduction to blind chance.

I had a dream some years ago in which I was shown a peppered moth, perfectly adapted to his surroundings (the classic example used in biology lessons.) But I was also told that the mechanism we are given for evolution only describes a very thin slice of how this moth came to be this way.

My criterion is, in a way, aesthetic. The true is the beautiful, and vice-versa, as Keats declaimed, and to which pure mathematicians would readily assent. There is nothing beautiful about 'survival of the fittest'. It is brutal, and reflects the Victorian capitalism of its time. It also reflects the one-sided mythology of 'nature red in tooth and claw' (Tennyson), but leaves out the Rousseau-ian mythology of benign, pristine nature (which can itself be one-sided, if we look at modern environmentalism and its revulsion at human impact upon the natural world.)

There is no way that the very slow and haphazard micro-changes of 'survival of the fittest' is adequate, even scientifically, as a description of the ongoing unfoldment of life and the rapid flowering of new species. We accept it because it 'has' to be that way. How about the idea that life unfolds according to the beautiful (Neptune) and the co-operative (Uranus)? And where does that irrepressible impulse to survive come from if not Pluto?

So let us have another look at the chart for the publication of On the Origin of Species (time of day unkown) from the point of view of the origin of life itself.

Sun in Sagittarius, which is perfect for a Creation Myth. Sun opposite Uranus: there is the divine spark in the primeval soup that started life. Sun trine Neptune and Jupiter: the dreaming (Neptune) that creates a multitude (Jupiter) of species. And then there is Pluto, unaspected. The power is missing. In other words the mechanism of 'survival of the fittest', which is very Plutonian and central to Darwin's thesis, does not provide the power to move life forward. QED 😆

It is archetypal forces from deep within consciousness that created, and continue to create, life. Matter and consciousness cannot be separated. Previous cultures understood this. As I said earlier, I don't want to damn modern culture, that is too easy and we have a lot going for us. But in our technological triumph we have lost our archetypal bearings. Astrology, through which the universe continues to remind us of who we are, speaks the language that we have lost. I think it is a language that speaks to everyone, for what is more basic and ancient than our relationship with the sky?


Meanwhile let us have faith, that even in the midst of the huge transition that humanity is undergoing, with its extinctions and environmental degradations, that the outer planets have their bigger schemes: the renewals of Pluto, the re-dreamings of Neptunes, and the new opportunities of Uranus.

Thursday, August 17, 2023



I am bringing my own views in here quite strongly, so you could say I am declaring an interest :)

The astrologer Liz Greene has suggested Dionysus as a more appropriate figure than Neptune as the ruler of Pisces. Dionysus was driven mad by Zeus's jealous wife Hera. If you reject him, as did King Pentheus, you are liable to be torn to pieces by the train of Maenads who follow him.

Pluto abducts you, and Neptune possesses you. As Neptune comes to the end of his own sign of Pisces, so is the western world possessed by collective madnesses: net-zero carbon and transgender ideology. As well, more broadly, by 'wokeness': the authoritarian, sentimentalised over-protectiveness and over-prioritisation of minorities.

Instead of saying yes, we will need eventually to replace oil with nuclear, and we can adapt to, and probably even benefit from (which we have a genius for) climate change, we are cutting our own throats by attempting in short order to get rid of what has become our lifeblood, fossil fuels, and calling anyone who questions this narrative a 'climate-denier'.

It could be enormously damaging, particularly for the poor and the developing world: indeed, mythologically one could read net-zero as the sacrifice (another Neptunian theme) of the poor and the 3rd world to assuage the guilt of white liberals for their sins against pristine mother nature. There is a hatred of human impact behind net-zero that feels like a leftover from Christianity. It is also, you could argue, the Far Left's version of the Far Right's Gotterdammerung. No politician currently dares stand up to this narrative, though one can discern their private doubts.

As for 'transgender', instead of saying yes, we need to allow men to be more feminine and vice-versa, to even live as the opposite gender if they wish, we are collectively in the grip of a corrupt medical fantasy that says that men can BECOME women and vice versa. Again, no politician dare stand up to to this fantasy, nor directly oppose the resulting mutilation of teenagers, which does not bear thinking about. Even wanting to protect women from predatory 'transwomen' will get you labelled a 'transphobe'.

Transgender surgery, particularly on teenagers, is a Pluto in Aquarius theme. In attempting to help humanity through science, Aquarius can become inhuman: this is the shadow/Pluto side. It is something I find dreadful.

The pushback from questioning either of these madnesses is currently vicious. You can lose your job, your reputation and your friends. I hope it doesn't cost me my Facebook account!

The Chinese and Russians must be scratching their heads and wondering what has happened to the West.
(We are, of course, still experiencing the economic consequences of the madness that was Covid, when most of the world shut down over a relatively minor disease. It was like a herd of horses bolting, that could not stop once they had started.)

My hope is that as Neptune enters a new sign - Aries - in a couple of years, and is joined by Saturn, we will start to wake up from these nightmares.
The further a planet is away from the Sun, the greater its transformational power. Pluto holds pride of place in the transformation stakes. On average. But because his orbit is elliptical, he is sometimes the same distance from the Sun as Neptune. As he has been for some decades now. So they have arguably been packing the same punch during that period.

If we look back to the last Saturn-Neptune conjunction, in 1989, we see that it took place 4 days after the Berlin Wall came down, precipitating the end of the Cold War. That event was every bit as powerful as a Saturn-Pluto conjunction – the last of which, in 2020, occurred at the start of the Covid panic. This idea could be tested historically, if someone fancies some mundane research.

Saturn gives the outer planets the ability to manifest. He acts as a bridge, and we see their pure power. The terror of the Saturn-Pluto opposition at the time of 9/11. The bursting of the communist dream (Neptune) in 1989 and the awakening to economic realities (Saturn). The Berlin Wall was built in 1961, and it came down on its Saturn Return. Saturn is walls, you couldn’t make it up.

So we need to be talking about the upcoming conjunction of Saturn and Neptune at the beginning of Aries in 25/26, just as much as if it was Saturn-Pluto. 
Politically, you could say we have been living in the post-Cold War World since the last conjunction, and its outcome has been a new polarisation with Russia.

The last time Neptune entered Aries was in 1861, as the US Civil war began. Just as we have a ‘culture war’, so too did the US have one over slavery, that precipitated that war, an Aries showdown, which the North eventually won.

Just as Saturn-Pluto ushered in a new world 3 years ago, so too are we likely to see another new world in 2026, and possibly the year before, when the conjunction will be almost exact. What astrology teaches you is how just unpredictable the future is. Who could have guessed Covid, or the prolonged conflict over Ukraine?

But what we do know as astrologers is that something big is on the way. And probably a new start in some way, because it will be the start of Aries. There are tensions starting to boil: nuclear-armed Russia’s ongoing humiliation over Ukraine; the culture wars over transgender, historical slavery etc and left-wing authoritarianism generally (as in ‘woke’); and perhaps the biggest one of all, net-zero carbon, which I don’t think the average voter is going to stand for once what it entails starts to impact on their lives: that may leave room for a new and pragmatic political vision, based on the material abundance that we actually have. Saturn-Neptune at the start of Aries speaks strongly of a new dream. But that may require wreckage as well.

On a personal level, if you have anything in your chart at the beginning of the cardinal signs, then that aspect of your life will be affected in a big way. You will be possessed, maddened and ultimately re-ensouled :) You will begin to seriously notice it towards the end of 2024, as Neptune and Saturn go Direct and start to move towards their almost-conjunction of 2025.

Friday, August 11, 2023



For indigenous peoples worldwide, the self is seen as relational rather than as autonomous, which is how we tend to see ourselves in the modern world. Hence the right way to live is by finding balance between oneself and the world, for they are not separate.

This perspective was held - or should I say experienced, for it was a reality for those people - by the creators of horoscopic astrology. ChatGPT is very definite about this! It also makes the point that astrology "is inherently relational, as it posits that human beings are connected to the larger cosmos and are influenced by cosmic forces." Well said Chat GPT!

Of course we do our best to cram astrology into a free will/autonomous/psychological model, because for us that is reality. Given the choice, I always go with the universal outlooks of early peoples. That is why I am also Shamanic. I have faith in those ideas.

So we distort the foundations of astrology when we emphasise free will and choice. It is Fate that needs to be emphasised, in the sense of that which is writ in the stars, the reading of which is our job as astrologers. Fate in this sense is magical rather than deterministic. It says "the universe knows you", and that is a moment of enchantment for the client. You don't, in a sense, need to tell them anything about themselves they don't know already. Just the fact you are able to say things about them they consider to be true enchants them, and that is sufficient. And it shifts them from being isolated and autonomous - which one could view as a modern disease rather than as a valid alternative - to being relational. And we breathe a big sigh when we experience that connection with the universe.

The Fates were living presences for the ancients

In this way astrologers are healers. As well as teachers and goads: showing people their callings, why it is the universe wants them here (our callings are not personal), and nudging them to have the courage to live them.

Free will is doing gladly and freely that which one must do (CG Jung).

So where does that leave the planets? Are they different bits of us, as I admit I usually say in readings? No, they are not, and I must change that. They are gods and goddesses, forces at large in the universe, and the chart shows the pattern of callings that they make upon us. It is not ours to question why we have been given that pattern or - reductively and I think falsely - reduce that pattern to our childhood experiences.

Our demons are in the chart, they have been given to us, and it is our job to come into relationship with them and let meaning and perspective reveal themselves over time.

You have your own unique chart. But Mars is not 'your' Mars. He is much bigger than that, he is vast, and if you honour him, he will work well for you.

So I would see the real purpose of the chart to be religious rather than psychological. It is not so much about understanding yourself in a narrow sense (though that has its place) as it is learning to honour the gods that call upon you. They are your friends, your allies, your sky spirits, and an element of awe is always required if our approach to them is to be balanced.

The self which we cling on to so tightly is, from this point of view, a necessary but illusory prop in a much bigger cosmic drama. As any decent mystical tradition will tell you.


Uranus is starting to trine Pluto, the latest unfoldment in a long cycle that began with the conjunction in Virgo in the 1960s. The power (Pluto) of technological (Virgo) inventiveness (Uranus). The trine, which won't be exact for 3 years, could be seen as the natural outcome of past efforts, catalysed by the square of 10 or so years ago.

In recent years an enormous amount has gone into areas such as sub-atomic research, nuclear fusion, renewable energy, AI, space telescopes, quantum computing, DNA technologies and theories of everything. We could be entering a golden era of scientific and technological advance. When the trine is exact, it will have moved from Cap-Taurus to Aquarius-Gemini. Pluto in Aquarius especially suggests powerful new inventions.
Creation myths sit at the foundation of who we are. And we are probably the first peoples in history for whom our primary creation myths do not have magical or miraculous elements. For the material universe, we have one story: the Big Bang. And for life we have another story: Evolution.

I once asked a Native Canadian guy if his people (the Chippewa-Cree) got fundamentalist about their Creation Myth, and he said no, because they had more than one story, and they contradicted each other. Which I thought was a great answer.

We don't just have a story. We have a 'fact', what 'actually' occurred, leaving room for no other stories, and creating rigid minds. The tyranny of facticity, that is what I call it. As if everything is not the Great Mystery, in the last analysis. IMO, it is better to believe in both the Big Bang/Evolution AND the Biblical Creation rather than just one of them.

The Biblical Creation

Preamble done, I thought it could be interesting to try to generate some astrology around our 2 creation stories.

Evolution came first as a theory. Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species was published on 24th November 1859. We don’t know the time of day, so I have done a midday chart. What is immediately striking is the New Moon at the beginning of Sagittarius. Both the New Moon and the early degree suggest the start of something. The mutability suggests the new start comes out of the dissolution of something rigid (the sign before – Scorpio). The Moon may still have just been in Scorpio, we do not know, but it was about to leave, at any rate.

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Sagittarius declares loud and clear that Darwin’s book is a religious narrative. Which it is, for it tells us where we came from. The Sun is opposite Uranus: that is perfect too, for it was a deeply disruptive and controversial thesis. No prizes for guessing that Darwin was an Aquarian. He most likely had Moon in Capricorn – one foot in the past, straddling 2 ages. And a Mercury-Pluto-Jupiter stellium in Pisces: a mind (Mercury) that delved to the root of things (Pluto) in the sea of life (Pisces) and found a new meaning/story (Jupiter).

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The Big Bang was first proposed in 1931 by George Lemaitre, a Belgian Catholic priest. He said that the universe began with a ‘primeval atom’. We do not have a date of publication of his paper, so I will have to make do with the year itself, through the whole of which there was a t-square between Saturn in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Cancer. As a divinatory astrologer, I trust in the fact that I have just been given a year, forcing me to focus on the outer planets.

Lemaitre claimed that his theory had nothing to do with religion, and as a scientific theory, I am willing to accept that. But emotionally/intuitively/metaphysically, I think it had everything to do with religion. How could it not? Religion comes from a root meaning to bind together, and that is exactly what creation myths do: they give a point of reference, a foundation, for the whole people.

To digress, one could argue more widely that the scientific quest with its particular kind of truth is itself an essentially religious quest, with its origins in Christianity. “The truth shall set you free”: that is the religious belief behind the scientific endeavour.

So, the Big Bang and Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. Start with the outermost and most powerful planet as overall meaning and context for the others: Pluto in Cancer. Cancer is the mother, the womb of life. That is why Cancer is a cardinal sign, which begins things. And Pluto is the tiny but immensely powerful seed out of which the universe grew. Jupiter was conjunct Pluto until July 1931. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, and arguably declares this to be a religious event.

Uranus in Aries was the divine spark that began this process. We take the universe for granted, it is just what is there. But if it wasn’t there, who could have imagined it? That is the genius of Uranus. And, being in Aries, maybe this is the first time a universe has happened? That is what Christianity would have us think, at any rate. Maybe it is indeed the case.

And then Saturn in Capricorn. Saturn is the planet that makes stuff happen. Until he intervenes, you just have the outer planets doing their profound cooking in the alembic. Saturn is in his rulership in Capricorn, so it was easy for him to let the energies of Pluto and Uranus flow through him and to create a universe.

Scientifically, the Big Bang was a purely material event. But as Terence McKenna said (paraphrase), “Everything suddenly coming out of nothing? If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is. Science’s attitude is give us one free miracle, and we’ll explain the rest.”

Lemaitre was born 17 July 1894. He had a Cardinal t-square (and probably Grand cross, if you include the Moon in Capricorn) that overlaid closely the t-square of the Big Bang. It was like he was born to do it, the universe was using him to give us a new story about itself.

You could argue that, by showing that astrology applies to the Big Bang and to Evolution, magic has been introduced into those theories 😊 Certainly neither of them are very provable in the usual scientific way. Maybe they get a bit of a free pass because they are Creation stories.

Monday, August 07, 2023


I've got a new handle on X: @theXastrologer. Quite pleased to have got that one before anyone else took it. 😀 You can find me on threads and instagram as the_x_astrologer.


If something occurs that is unusual, then for indigenous people it is sacred, because it takes us out of the ordinary and the everyday. So lightning is sacred, dangerous animals and poisonous plants are sacred. And so are the Two Spirits, those unusual people who feel themselves to be both genders, though being of one biological sex. For Native Americans, it has always been accepted that some men want to live as women, and vice-versa. These people are looked to as leaders and healers, because they have both gender perspectives, each to a high degree.
It seems to me like such a mess. We have taken a gift from Spirit and turned it into a curse, and an epidemic amongst teenagers who do not yet know who they are. And we have also reduced it to sexual orientation, when it is about something much broader: 'gay' is a wholly inadequate term for what I am talking about.
There is maybe a lesson here in what happens if you try to make the sacred ordinary. There is a difference between a man living as a woman, and a man claiming he has become a woman. The former has an element of the sacred, the latter is a violation of nature, of what is possible, and people are not necessarily prejudiced to feel repelled by it.
The quest for the other gender is natural in both men and women in the second half of life, if not earlier. I deal with it regularly in the astrology readings I do. Men are seeking Venus: learning to listen, to themselves and to others. And women are seeking Mars: no more people-pleasing. It is a sterotype because it is so commonly the case. And it is not just about adding on new pieces to the personality. It is a soul journey to the divine feminine or masculine. Mars in a woman does not look the same as in a man, it is not about becoming like a man, it is about something different and bigger: there is an archetypal, sacred dimension to it. And the same for Venus in a man. It is a compelling journey of the Spirit. We find these opposites on the East-West of the Medicine Wheel, the Blue Road, the road of Spirit, that is not under our control. It is about gifts of Spirit that become our inner path.
People for the most part need simple categories with which to understand the world. The sacred moves us out of this black-and-whiteness, but it needs to be approached with caution, or you'll frighten the horses. With our transgenderism, we are trying to make the sacred normal, and it has resulted in dogmatism on one side, and revulsion on the other.
I am thinking out loud here, because I don't think there are any easy answers. But I think there is a case for doing away with surgical transitioning, which I think is the literalising of a spirit gift. And for people who want to live as the opposite gender to be seen as part of a sacred calling, as monks and nuns are. We have, by and large, done away with the sacred, and that is perhaps a big part of the problem.
Saturn is still getting used to not being the boss planet, since the advent of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. He keeps his job of providing form and boundaries and making stuff happen, while the outer planets get on with deeper alchemies. But Saturn frequently messes up by not yielding, creating madness, addiction and terror respectively, or variants thereof.

I am thinking of the current transit of Saturn through Pisces. This sign is ruled by Neptune, and the transit involves giving form to the formless. That is not easy, because Pisces is not tangible. If you can open yourself to channelling the whole universe - not my Will but Thine - then you are in with a chance. More than a chance: this is as powerful as it gets. But it probably takes many years to be an adequate vehicle for this kind of energy, and not attempt to appropriate it as one's own. It is great for divinatory astrology, and it is interesting that I changed the name of this group under this transit.

Boris Johnson is a good example of natal Saturn in Pisces. He could win elections, because he could communicate a collective vision, whether or not you agreed with it. But on a personal level, he had little in the way of discipline, and that was his downfall. With his second Saturn return underway, he is experiencing the consequences of his actions, via censure from Parliament. I think this illustrates quite well the 2 ways this placement can go.
Men need to yield to Venus; women need to claim Mars. This can be catalysed through relationship. It is the anima/animus journey that Jung writes about.
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As astrologers, we are essentially helping people find their genius. And to see Fate as a living, guiding thing, that enchants the universe by showing us that it knows us: through the chart, all those gods with their callings on us. And the difficult process of incarnating them: Saturn.
There is nowhere that can give you a certificate in your own genius: etymology - spirit attendant from birth. What you were born to do. It gradually reveals itself, as long as you keep doing the next thing. Don't worry about the long-term plan, that is taken care of: Fate, a living principle for the ancient Greeks. And Nordic peoples. 

Astrology shows us that we belong to the universe, not to ourselves. As such it is a remedy for modern individualism. Politically, it would tend to lean us towards responsibilities (transpersonal) over rights (personal).