wounds and noble lineages

The Education of Achilles by Chiron. 18th.century. The Italian School.

Chiron is an interesting figure in both mythology and astrology.

He is the noble centaur, a mentor to heroes, a healer, astrologer and wise teacher. He also gains a wound which won’t heal.

In astrology Chiron is again connected with healing themes, and with the inner wound that we just can’t shake, that torments us repeatedly, and that in a sense we have this tendency to re-open, and rewound ourselves with. It’s one of our big challenges (but also opportunities) on the road to wholeness.

The reason that Chiron’s wound wouldn’t heal is because it was the result of a venom tipped arrow head which should have killed him, but due to his immortal nature it couldn’t. So he had to suffer until a deal was done on his behalf with Zeus that he should give up his life for the freedom of Prometheus.

The reason that Chiron is immortal is that he is a son of Saturn. Astrologically this should tell us something about the theme of our persistent wound, the pain we can’t seem to let go of or escape, or apparently escape visiting. This wound, which can seem like a curse or an obsession, is actually linked to our inherent divinity, our deepest connection with the life force, with our sense of meaning and value. This is why it is so hard to let go of, because it carries a clue to our deepest value, even as it seems impossible of happy fulfilment. It is a curse because it is a blessing we know deeply, but can’t seem to live ourselves. Anything less valuable would not cause such pain in its denial. Anyone less valuable would be killed by such a wound. And there is the gold in the riddle of pain. Only one touched by the divine would suffer and bear such a thing. And we are all touched by the divine, at a place in ourselves shrouded by the wound.

I think here we can also learn from Chiron’s parentage. To understand Chiron’s place in our natal chart we need to also look at our Saturn, his father and source of his divinity. Indeed, there is a definite resonance between Chironic and Saturnine experience. Just think of how Saturn affects the experience of the house it is in, or the affairs of the sign for that matter. But Chiron is a centaur that traverses the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, so brings the awakening potential of the latter. Another resonance here is that Prometheus, who Chiron ultimately liberates, is himself such a Uranian figure.

In any case, it shows the power and intensely personal meaning of the healing journey, and its universal connection at the same time.


bad girls and crimson lads

Astrology can be a very rewarding study, as it deals in a psychological language that subjectively correlates with our inner and outer lives. It does this in a way which is not rationally explainable, but due to its potency it seems to dig down into Nature. For the receptive astrologer it can illuminate principles that structure experience, and elements of identity in a luminous manner. It is not a science, nor a rational study, but it is real in the same sense that poetry and artistic meaning are. Its archaic interaction with our lives is one of the reasons I consider it akin to magick and divination. Magick and astrology both inhabit an intermediate, ensouled world between matter, body and psyche.

Astrology uses the planets and other astronomical bodies, and associates these with principles which it links to the gods of mythology (most commonly, though not exclusively Roman). These might not be understood in the way that a hard polytheist would, but they nevertheless carry an influence which can follow mythological themes and structures, in poetic recombinations. This is why exploring your natal chart can almost seem like the discovery of your own, personal sacred themes, as if you were discovering an unwritten mythology, which yet resonates with larger themes, but without absorbing or replacing the individual life and its meaning.

I’ve had some interesting experiences with this kind of thing. One of the challenges in my own chart lies in a square (90° aspect) I have between The Moon and Venus (the latter being on the IC). The square is generally consider a “difficult” or challenging aspect, as the planetary energies have conflicting modes of expression, due to the signs they are in. So for instance one may express impulsively and spontaneously, and the other express cautiously and sensitively, but being linked, they have to learn how to get the combinations of their energies “right”. In the case of the Moon and Venus, these are both archetypally feminine energies, and very compatible simply as energies, but the square aspect creates an awkwardness, with my responsive and reflective, receptive Moon nature being independent and spontaneous, and my more romantic, sensual and relating nature being protective and nurturing. I’m very Moon-Venus by nature, but it takes work to understand my own awkwardnesses and sensitivities, insecurities etc.

The challenge is further elucidated by my Moon being conjunct both Eris and Black Moon Lilith*. It’s important for me to be able to reconcile both my Venus (which is also my chart ruler) and the complex of Moon, Black Moon and Eris, for me to be myself most deeply, and have a full life where I fulfil my nature and “purpose”.

Recognising the necessary relationship (for squares are powerful relationships, and as necessary as any other) between Black Moon Lilith/Moon and Venus has itself been very important for me in understanding myself. Darkstar Astrology says the following about the conjunction:

“Moon conjunct Lilith fuses two ‘moons’ together. So we get the mother and the anti-mother in one being. I think it becomes rather like the Black Madonna, it is extra potent and a Virgo archetype. This combination has to successfully merge the paradox of the virgin and the whore or the very worst manifestation of Lilith can surface. At its best this is sheer priestess and occult ability at the highest level. The conjunction can work as a hard or soft aspect, so when it is good it is very good, but when it is bad it is terrible”

Darkstar Astrology

Yup, I get that. In fact it’s been one of the themes of my life, first surviving (in my earlier life), and then understanding this, and its meaning for me.

The connection with this in perception came about after I had come to relate to a deity that isn’t found in astrology at present though, the Thelemic goddess Babalon. This itself was accompanied by events in my life, which led me to search inwardly. Our lives are driven from deep within us at crucial points. Babalon is based upon a reinterpretation of The Whore of Babylon, and she is both a Venusian goddess, and also a transformative spiritual agent with “demonic” (or daemonic) associations. The above mentioned merging of “the paradox of the virgin and whore” is apparent in her qualities, for she is both deeply sexual and powerfully spiritual, and evokes Virgo’s self-possession, but with Scorpio’s transformative and taboo inheritance thrown in.

I knew Babalon was important to the person I most deeply was, and knew I had to become. Now I can see it in my natal chart, and the patterns fall into place still more. Love, nurturance, sexuality, spiritual transformation and the most raw forces of life and desire are all called forth, to confront shadow, and truly love.

Virgo and Scorpio are placed either side of Libra, the Venusian sign most associated with relationship and balance. In terms of astrological rulerships of signs, we have the planets Venus and Mars, combined under the auspices of Mercury/Hermes.

Babalon is an archetype of the “Scarlet Woman” in Crowley’s system, but this same energy can and does manifest through males. I like to call the male counterpart “crimson lads”, but that’s just a little poetic license.

In astrology, if you follow intuition, feeling, instinct and creativity, you can come to listen to its language more personally. At the right time, this can help to illuminate our authentic experience and natures.


Star of Babalon

* I’ve written before on the subject of Black Moon Lilith, and this “imaginary Earth” is a fascinating astrological point that can resonate on many levels.

moving on

I think it might be time to ease off on the politics a bit for the blog, as it just gets too negative and draining in some ways. Not that it isn’t necessary sometimes, but analysing mass-spectacles does end up tiring, even if things like the shearing apart of the populace and the old media and political classes are interesting.

In fact a great deal of what has happened recently has some astrological backdrop. In part it is the drawn out end of the Uranus-Pluto square, but it has also been the Saturn-Neptune square which has just disengaged, which is an aspect of mass disillusion (and there has been a lot of disillusion). Political institutions are seen as corrupt, ineffective and unaccountable. The media is seen to be lying and peddling a kind of glamour that is out of touch with reality. We’ve had the migrant crisis, Islamist terrorism, a turning against the EU, and the weirdest US election I can remember. Waters (Neptune in Pisces) without a map (square Saturn in Sagittarius). People want authenticity (Uranus in Aries) rather than established power (square Pluto in Capricorn), and disentangling the effects of the original Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the mid 60s can surprise with exactly what is what. Threats and supposed discrediting of reputation, or calling on the moral clichés of 4 decades, aren’t working to control people’s choices, and that also makes astrological sense in fact.

The Saturn-Neptune square is essentially over now though, and the Saturn aspect that now takes over is a trine to Uranus. This is a progressive (in the real sense), workable, reconstructive aspect, and deals in answers that work, ideals that can be made concrete. It’s good news for a good deal of the rest of Saturn in Sagittarius, and for the end of the Uranus-Pluto square.

So maybe this is a good time to drop some of the politics (not promising mind you), and focus on the important stuff of our lives.

Ottoman surrender of Jerusalem By American Colony (Jerusalem) (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ottoman surrender of Jerusalem By American Colony (Jerusalem) (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons – digitally altered

the train out of tripsville

Wolves and Roses

Next Full Moon is 16th October 2016. Here’s the chart:


This is one to keep simple. Being a Full Moon it is by nature quite polarised, with a strong tendency to involve relationships (and possible projections). This is further emphasised by the Sun being in relationship-oriented Libra, with the Moon in self-motivated Aries. Emotions can run high at Full Moons, and here the emotional, responsive Moon in conjunct Eris and Uranus. This gives quite a touchy, disruptive undercurrent, not at all to the taste of Libra’s preference for peace, harmony and etiquette (or at least diplomacy and due process in conflict). So deep breaths may be in order, and a bit of holding back and waiting, observing. This is further inflamed though by the squares from Mars conjunct Pluto. There’s rather a lot of frustration and need for change, release, and tearing things down here. And emotionally, it’s all a…

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alchemy and realism

Wolves and Roses

New Moon was yesterday, in Libra. Here is the chart, and it will influence the next month, and especially the next two weeks.


It’s a pretty simple chart, and its backbone is the nodal axis, with North Node opposite Neptune, forming a T square with Saturn. This has been a theme over recent months; dreams, reality, inspiration, realism. Growth versus stagnation. Coming to terms.

Another theme which has been persistent is that of healing. Mercury in Virgo opposite Chiron in Pisces. Making conscious our need for healing and integration. And doing the work to heal inwardly.

With the New Moon being in Libra, and Jupiter having moved into Libra recently, the thread of relationship is prominent in this picture, and it benefits from the realism of Saturn. On the other hand, the passionate planet Mars, now in ambitious Capricorn, has something of a backseat that causes an…

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walking through ripe fields

Wolves and Roses

Our next Full Moon is a lunar eclipse, and it occurs on 16th September in the UK. Here is the astrological chart:


Lunar eclipses are always Full Moons of course, as that is when the shadow of the Earth can get cast on the face of the Moon, but they are Full Moons with an extended length of influence, as if transmitting at a different frequency and time span. Darkstar Astrology describes lunar eclipses as “a super menstrual, wolf-howler version of a full Moon”, which is a description I love, though they don’t always feel like that. But yes, they can bring up stuff from the unconscious and make you really aware of what needs to be purged, and they can be harbingers of transformation, all of which is good for your wholeness and ultimate well being.

This one gives a pretty clear indication of the kind of things to…

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walking with the wolf

Mars retrograde

Wolves and Roses

There is something pleasant about planets in retrograde motion. Who wouldn’t love it, or at least be curious, when Nature goes backwards. Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall (or through the mirror).

The one that is happening this Summer (now in fact) is Mars. A few other planets are also going retrograde over this period, but let’s focus on the red planet. Mars retrogrades happen about every 26 months (and last roughly 10 – 12 weeks).

I think Mars is somewhat underestimated, being both a personal planet, and the “malefic” that we haven’t done so much to redeem. I think that is because it is personal, yet it is also the first step outside of the Earth’s orbit, and has a key part in the transformation of personal energy (which is one of our species stumbling blocks). This energy is basically what we get all our…

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