Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Mercury Retrograde

Amidst one of the regular three annual bouts of Mercury retrograde - and thank fully the last one of this year - I find myself marvelling yet again at just how much seems to "go wrong" under this particular transit!

What is a retrograde planet anyway? Well you may or may not already know that it relates to an illusion - that a planet is moving backwards in the sky. This never truly happens of course. But the illusion is compelling because it's just the same as that sensation that we get when sitting in a stationary train, whilst another moves out from the station. Oddly, it suddenly feels as though our train is moving backwards whilst the other is moving forwards (I think that's how it works anyway, from memories of trips in and out of London's Waterloo, Victoria and London Bridge stations over the years, as a student and working in the West End!).

Never mind the technicalities though, what's the symbolism involved in Mercury retrograde? Well this is the planet of the mind, of thought and communication, the so-called "Winged Messenger" of ancient mythology. Joanna Watters, one of the respected teachers of astrology at the Company of Astrologers - who kindly allowed me to interview her and review her books Astrology for Today and Tarot for Today - always emphasised the way that Mercury retrograde was linked with words that begin with the letters "re". Here's a list of examples:

revisit; review; regret; relate; reignite; relish; remind; revert; reverberate; renew; rekindle; reactivate; remit; restart; revivify; rejig; reverse; redeem; reveal; retro; reintroduce; reconcile; remember; rebate; return; research; regurgitate; reflex; rehash; recollect; remake; replant; rectify; retort; resell; remorse; revolve

As you can see, even this short list covers quite a bit of ground. Mercury retrograde periods or cycles in the zodiac calendar last for about three weeks each time they happen. During this period we typically experience reversals of all kinds and all sorts of mess ups in our plans and relationships. Misunderstandings in friendships, arguments in close relationships and things going awry in family situations all seem to be rife. Then there's the long list of mishaps with travel plans, room bookings, transport arrangements, changed appointments, postponements and machinery doing all sorts of weird things it doesn't generally do, as a rule.

What on earth is this all about? Nobody really knows, of course. But one pet theory I quite like is that this is spirit's way of evening up the karma - short term karma, that is. It's generally a way of reminding us of things forgotten or overlooked, in the deep unconscious part of the mind. Maybe we've been meaning to replace the computer or the kitchen appliance for some time and now, under Mercury retrograde it becomes more obviously broken and urgent!

Or maybe we knew that a friendship didn't hold quite the promise we'd hoped for and, somehow, there was always a sense that it could not be fulfilling; under this "backward" transit of Mercury in the skies, all our good work to build a meaningful relationship suddenly unravels, to reveal gaping craters. We wonder if there was really any meaningful connection to start with! For anyone who's got caught up in a big argument on an email list or similar, it's all part of the same type of situation. And remember that with anything related to technology the effect seems to intensify.

Why should that be? It might well be something to do with the channel of energy that we call electricity. Another pet theory I quite like is that this is a channel for "spiritual" energy. Well, whatever it is, there certainly seems to be something weird working along that channel during Mercury retrograde phases! And that also applies with radio waves, mobile phones and the like.

Is there anything positive to be pinpointed during these times? Well, actually, possibly, yes. It may seem fairly annoying at the time, when the car breaks down, the toilet won't flush, the washing machine/dishwasher goes wrong, to name a few examples. It may be upsetting when your friend or partner gets the wrong end of the stick or when you end up having an almighty bust up in a community you thought was safe and sound. But maybe these things demonstrate where some sort of review or renewal is needed? When an attempt at reconciliation might be handy, or where a flame can be rekindled and regrets should not be allowed to rule the day....

A Mercury retrograde cycle may seem like a down time. But remember it's part of a three way pattern of the planet being in forward motion (direct) in apparent backward motion (retrograde) and then direct again. So when Mercury goes direct it's often possible to "put right" much of what seemed to go wrong during the retrograde phase. Or to simply move on and forget about the mess up.

The current retrograde cycle began on September 24th and ends on October 15th. Then we can relax until January 11th 2009, when the next retrograde cycle begins!

Do feel free to share about your Mercury retrograde experiences or mention any "re" words that you think are, er, relevant.... Remember, they may easily revolve around some of the feelings and events conjured up by those "re" words!

Celestial wishes

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Paul McKenna's Birth Chart

Born 8 November 1963 Enfield 8:10 AM— Sun & Rising Sign: Scorpio

Paul McKenna has always been an impressive and unique person and continues to be immensely successful. I read an article about him in a quality coaching magazine last year and thought to look at his chart, which prompted me to also write about him and his work. In the coaching publication he was noted for his use of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and I was reminded how far he has come. Paul feels like a contemporary to me as we are about the same age. I clearly remember when he had a public image as a clever and quirky stage hypnotist. He has travelled an amazing personal journey as well as developing his career along particularly healing lines. This includes coping with a difficult court case where his reputation was under threat, to now being the noted and respected author of “I can make you thin” - a book and tape series that has now got various spin offs, including his latest offering “I can make you rich” - tapping into the recent craze for every angle on increasing abundance and prosperity.
The interviewer of the coaching article made a joke about the next one probably being titled “I can make you God” which certainly gave me a giggle!
Jokes aside, though, does Paul’s chart reveal who he is and his destiny? I should say so! Firstly, he has the showy Sun, mystical Neptune and Mercury, planet of the mind, all in the 12th house of “the unconscious “ - a perfect signature for stage hypnotism as well as the kind of behind-the- scenes hypnosis methods that people might use at home to help them with weight-loss, self-confidence, and so on. Secondly, Venus rises in Sagittarius reflecting the concerns with beauty and the body (weight gain/loss issues) - I note that whilst Paul’s rising sign is Scorpio, Venus is in Sagittarius, linking with Jupiter, planet of abundance—to me this speaks of the issue of putting weight on (Venus in Sagittarius: excess weight gain through sugary and indulgent, high-fat foods) and the need to burn it off and lose it— Scorpio issues of elimination and metabolism through the planetary rulers of the sign, which are Pluto and Mars. Note also, Mars in Sagittarius in the 1st house representing the drive to achieve great things. Together, these two planets represent the drive towards riches (Venus) and results (Mars).

Paul has the Moon in the showman sign of Leo, which is also perfect for his public profile and stage shows. It is in the 9th house which reflects his focus on the spiritual path; although he claims to be not religious, he objects to being termed an atheist and does strive to include the spiritual in his work. This is also underlined by his planets in Sagittarius and Scorpio, which focus on a deep and expansive search for meaning. Last but not least, Chiron, the healing asteroid, is in the 3rd house of thought and communication! He works to heal through use of the mind….. Paul McKenna’s chart shows clearly the link between character and destiny. Bio: http://www.answers.com/topic/paul-mckenna?cat=biz-fin

Celestial Wishes....!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Astrology and Health: Quadruplicities

Astrology and health is a pet study hobby of mine. Having grown up around people with various trying health problems and having wanted to understand more about my own constitution, astrology has proved a fabulous reference point. As with my approach to the subject in general, I don't believe that planets have a causal relationship for humans (or pets!) but I do believe that astrology can reveal something otherwise hidden - not available to us through usual information channels. With diseases of the mind and body we already know that it's hard to diagnose, because so much is hidden from view. Modern technology helps in many ways but, frequently, even the most gifted doctors with the finest instruments are baffled by people's health problems. There is a history of medicine which has involved the use of astrology as well as knowledge of a wide range of natural remedies - most of which has been lost from everyday usage since the introduction of modern pharmaceuticals and establishment of a stronghold on areas such as physical surgery. No doubt there are many benefits to modern medicine but, it seems to me, it is a pity that the baby seems to have been thrown out with the bath water in modern medicine's negation of much that has gone before. There are no doubt many reasons for that, including a high dose of internal politics! It does not appeal to me to become highly embroiled in politics, but I would like to share, from time to time, pieces of sound astrology that relate to the subject of health.

There are some great astrologers writing on the 'Net at the moment, one of whom is Pat Geisler, who contributes to one of the Yahoo discussion groups that I belong to. I noticed that Pat has posted a great article on the Moon and Health, the link for which I will copy below.


Apart from listing complaints specific to each Moon sign, Pat emphasizes how the quadruplicity of the Moon is also relevant. This relates to specific zodiacal "Qualities" or Modes: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. They go like this:

Cardinal: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
Fixed: Taurus. Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
Mutable: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces

As you can see, if you know your zodiac, they involve signs that are in opposite pairs. If a person happened to have a planet in each sign, at similar degrees, this would make up a cross formation and, in an astrological chart, this would be termed a Grand Cross. It would specifically be described by its Mode or Quadruplicity - eg a Cardinal Grand Cross, Fixed Grand Cross etc. If an astrologer sees this term or notices such a cross in a chart, visually, he/she knows that there is a strong predominance of that Mode showing up for this person (or for the situation/country etc in, eg a Horary or Mundane chart).

What Pat Geisler is referring to, when she talks about the quadruplicity factor in relation to the Moon is not exactly a Grand Cross, but a sort of shadow effect of a Grand Cross. To my way of thinking, it's a bit like saying that here is type of family showing up in the chart and, when one member of the family gets ill, another member of the family does their best to rush in and pick up some of the slack, which can be of great support. Occasionally, of course, what is meant to be support can make matters worse - in which case maybe the ideal balance isn't struck. At other times it's simply a matter of knock-on effect. So, if one member of the family gets a contagious disease, they are all prone to getting it! From a mechanical or biological angle, if a physical problem related to a planet in say a Mutable sign occurs, there might be some related affect with regard to an organ or function represented by another Mutable sign.

Do look at Pat's article if you have time as it's really interesting how much the Moon covers and how the Quadruplicities can be relevant in health questions. Wisely, the author reminds us that nothing should be considered in entire isolation in the chart. But, if you know your Moon sign, it's interesting to look up and see if your typical health issues do relate to the typical kinds of astrological associations give. The article is at the Zodiacal Zephyr website, which I think is going to have to go into my Favourites section here, soon!

Cestial wishes to you all!

If you are interested in learning more about astrology in a friendly email/online format or face to face in the Surrey/Hampshire area, feel free to email Celestia to receive details of courses currently being offered - just click the View My Complete Profile link beneath the About Me section to find the email link

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Uranus into Aries in 2011

A fellow astrologer friend, Mick, recently mentioned that in the group he attends they had been discussing the ingress of Uranus into Aries, which will happen in March 2011. And that this signifies the old ways dissolving and entirely new ways of looking at things, on a large scale. Uranus has an 84 year cycle and Mick identified the last time that Uranus was in Aries at 1927. He was wondering what happened then, if this was a time of growing spirituality and whether Eastern ideas were coming into the West. I did some research for the list on which we were discussing this and have posted a copy below of the post with my various findings and related web links. It will be interesting to hear other ideas and input re Uranus leaving Pisces and heading into Aries, between now and 2011! I have also mentioned at the end some information regarding the current backlash against holistic alternatives in medicine, which I see as a more Jupiter/Pluto in Capricorn with Saturn in Virgo type of theme...but it came up in the other discussion, so I have included it here for now. There's a group focussing on this at Facebook now - if it interests you, you may like to join - the link is at the end! Celestia

(Start of original post:)

1927 - interesting year that, Mick. Just generally, the 20s was a time when motorisation was happening - a real leap into modern times. It also makes me think of Flapper girls and the way that women were becoming somewhat more liberated. They had the vote at least!

I did a Google search on that year and came up with a timeline - see below - some of the events it lists are:

Volvo motor company launched - modern world theme, moving increasingly away from an agricultural life to a more urban and mechanised one - the pace getting faster

first electronic instrument (not sure if they mean musical, but maybe...) - electricity is a Uranus phenomenon

Charlie Chaplin got divorced; I don't know his full bio but, presumably, this was a very public event and divorce was not commonplace back then. But it's a very Uranian theme!

First commercial radio included in a motor car

Some themes around "outsiders" too - in Bavaria there are camps to incarcerate gypsies, apparently

And Trotsky is expelled from the Communist party - interesting this, as I seem to remember, from Sociology studies, that Marx emphasised the issue of alienation in his theories and rebellion and Communism was probably meant to address this in some way. Was Trotsky a bit of
a wild card, by the party's standards?

Anyway, lots of Uranus themes seem to be here: electricity, modernisation, greater mechanisation and alienation from the "means of production"; outsiders, electricity, divorce....


Spiritually - was this the time of Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society? Ah no, just checked, she was earlier. But Alan Leo, further down the line from that line of astrological
tradition, founded the Astrological Lodge in 1915, a couple of years before his death (or Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society, being the full title). So that's about a Jupiter cycle before 1927.


There is some discussion of the philosophy of psychoanalyst Lacan, at the following link and the author addresses the issue of spirituality from a wider perspective and taking into account more authors. From what I can gather, in Freud's writings of that time (1927 is quoted),
he rejected what religion had to offer as a sort of false mother/father situation. Here's the relevant paragraph:

"Following the Enlightenment, a long list of distinguished psychologists and social scientists have developed concepts and theories in search of a purified religion compatible with scientific
rationality. This work accepts the modern enlightenment critique of the dark side of religion and views Freud's work on the subject as a necessary psychology of such phenomena. It is well known that Freud (1907) labeled religion the obsessional neurosis of humanity and that
he was inclined to interpret spirituality as a defense against sexual and aggressive drives. Freud's materialistic stance follows from the eighteenth century scientific paradigm which had mistakenly predicted the demise of religion and spirituality. He (1927) dismissed the
consolations provided by religion as either infantile symbiosis with the mother or infantile dependence on a providential father."


Zen Buddhism is also mentioned in that article and it made me wonder when that came to the UK, as it strikes me as having a strongly "modern"-religious feel to it that would fit with Uranus in a new sign. I Googled again and found the Buddhist Society (link below) which was founded in 1924 - quite close! Here's an interesting quote too, as it cites 1926 and talks about published
books in the "earlier Buddhism" phase - so presumably some sort of "later Buddhism" happened in the West from 1927?

"In the early days, much emphasis was placed on publishing and some of the books published in that period remain in print today, notably our founder-presidents Buddhism: An Introduction and Guide, which, published by Penguin Books has been in continuous print since 1951.
The tradition of publishing continues, with the Society acting the part of an occasional publisher. Especially noteworthy in this connection is the Society's internationally respected quarterly The
Middle Way, as the earlier Buddhism in England, has a publishing history going back to 1926."


Great idea to look into this, Mick! Thanks for mentioning it from your group discussions.

Something that's been a point of discussion in a group I meet with has been the backlash at the moment in relation to alternative medicine and I have wondered if this will filter over to the Spirit part of Mind-Body-Spirit. I kind of hope not, but the Capricorn focuses and Saturn in Virgo just now make me feel it could happen. It's an area close to my heart, naturally and a friend in the US who knew I was getting stirred by it encouraged me to start a group with
her on Facebook to make this information known, as I'd noticed a very "anti alternative" book recently published - rather upsetting and I wonder if it's the start of a phase of this sort of thing.
Anyone is welcome to join the group, by the way - our hope is to attract strength in a pro-holistic direction. But it's not meant to be anything heavy. Anyway, the link to the group, in case anyone may be interested, is:


It will be good to keep note of what develops with the new Uranus focus coming, Mick, with all these various themes - and any more you can think of, you, Lucy and anyone else interested in astrology. I guess that the Cardinality of Aries emphasises the new trend factor of Uranus and that feeling of "leading the way" and people branching out on their own - the whole theme of the individual must be very well emphasised with Uranus in Aries?

(end of original post)

Celestial Greetings!


Monday, 3 March 2008

Tarot Timing

I am just starting to collect together links to various articles on a number of subjects. For this post the theme is Tarot Timing. With this in mind, some time ago I drew up a Tarot Timing Calendar and the details were published in the Tarot Association of the British Isles' Ezine in Spring of 2004. Past issues of the e-zine are available to view online in PDF files. If you would like to read the article it can be found on page 20, via the following link - just click on the title of the article: Tarot Timing Calendar, in the contents section, to go straight to the article:


If for any reason you cannot access the file, feel freel to email Celestia for a copy in another format.

Happy timing!


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

And so the story begins....with the eclipse

It's no good. I can't wait a whole week to add something of interest to this new blog! I have thoughts every day, several times a day, to do with astrology. If it's not in my blood, it's certainly in my brain! Some time soon I will explain how I ended up in this strange place of being constantly fascinated by a subject that attracts such mixed reactions from so many different quarters. For now I want to focus on the dynamics of the February 2008 eclipses and, in particular the 21st February lunar eclipse.

If you know anything about eclipses then you may have come across the idea that they represent dark and light together. In other words the eclipse involves a meeting of the Sun and Moon, which are the two "lights" in astrology. The Sun represents bright, day light and the Moon, of course, dark, night light. The Sun has broadly masculine connotations in astrology and is linked with the conscious, rational mind and therefore the left brain. The Moon, on the other hand, has feminne connotations and is linked with the unconscious, imaginative/creative, right side of the brain. When an eclipse happens there is a symbolic greater merging or distance of these two areas.

How does it work and how do these differences occur? That's easy. When we have a solar eclipse, it's the time of the New Moon and so the Sun and Moon appear to be in the same place. This is the great merging and with an eclipse the New Moon becomes not just a coupling but a complete meshing - so that an apparent blot-out occurs. The two become the one - it's spiritually very symbolic, of course.

When we have a lunar eclipse, this relates to the Full Moon when the Sun and Moon are as far apart from one another as can be - 180 degrees, in complete opposition. They are polar opposites, effectively. We know that there are statistics for higher crime rates and activity in mental hospitals at this time; when the Full Moon becomes an eclipsed full Moon - a lunar eclipse - even relatively sane people may seem less well adjusted! So, if your borderline friends seem to have been edging over the border this month, the eclipse will have been reflecting this.

Remember: it's about the two sides of the brain merging or being more distant, symbolically. Because that's what astrology is: a language of symbols. I think of it as being like the ticker tape of life. Life happens and we can see its events and nuances recorded in symbols, if we care to examine them. So, what are we saying when we say that the left and right sides of the brain are interacting in this different way during eclipse periods? It is my beilef that, at these times, one side of the brain (usually the left, logical side) is allowed greater access into the right, creative side. In this right side we experience the language of dreams, another symbol area. Here we also experience all of our feelings and memories, including past and present laughter, fears, anxieties, hopes, desires, doubts, shame, guilt, joy and tears.

Sometimes - often, in fact - in life we have to suppress the fullness of our feelings. We don't always notice we are doing this and it leads to what Freud would have called repressed emotions - or repressed memories. If some of these remain repressed and unaddressed we can develop strange behaviours to compensate - compulsions, addictions and other learned, bad habits. Which is why, when eclipses occur - and the doorways of the mind seem to be more open than usual - our habits can run riot. Or we may see the light, undertand them better and resolve to do something about them. Sometimes it's only about actually feeling those stored up old feelings. Well, isn't that a relief!

There are many more expressions of eclipse energy but, time after time, I notice that these kinds of mental and emotional insights are available to us around the eclipse periods - and sometimes for weeks and even months aftwards. Feel free to share your eclipse stories and observations here. And keep an eye out for the next lot this year, which will be on August 1st (solar eclipse at 9 degrees Leo) and 16th (lunar eclipse at 24 degrees Aquarius). Do they touch on planets in your chart? The February eclipses are: 7th (solar eclipse at 17/18 Aquarius) and 21st (lunar eclipse at 1/2 degrees of Virgo).

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Welcome to Celestial Spot

Hello & Welcome to Celestial Spot!

This blog is intended for those interested in astrology, angel cards and tarot. These are the tools I use in my work on a regular basis in giving readings to others and which continue to hold, for me personally, a constant fascination. I hope to share some of my passion for these interests with you here.

I am also a teacher of astrology and a writer on alternative health and the metaphysical; I will post more information on courses and writing later on. For now I just wanted to introduce myself and welcome you to this new blog.

Over the months ahead I plan to post charts and interpretations, comment on current planetary activity and any spiritual observations - and share more on tarot and angel card themes. When I get used to using this blog I plan to include some nice, colourful images, too, but whilst I find my feet please bear with me!