Wednesday, 23 December 2015

First the Ocean, Now the Sky

I've woken up this morning with the distinct feeling that the universe cracked while I was sleeping. And maybe it did. Yesterday the Moon-Venus opposition was on my nodal axis and the midpoint of transiting Mercury and Pluto were on my natal Jupiter.

I knew something profound was about to happen yesterday at 1:22pm (astrologers always take note of these things). I had been contemplating going to the beach but I had this uneasiness about what the ocean had to say. It wasn't a fear, it was just an uncertainty about how much change one person can tolerate in such a short space of time.

As I was thinking this, a small feather floated from the sky--and I kid you not--landed near my feet. My first thought was of my grandmother. So I picked up the feather and thanked my ancestors. Like a good Ojibwa. And then I was overcome with such intense homesickness--the first bout I've had since being away for so long--that tears sprang to my eyes.

Home. Where is that, I wondered.

I'm such a bad Cancerian (or so I thought) that I couldn't even answer that question. I've been wrestling with a certain terror that I've managed to scatter the people I love all over the globe and the only way I can communicate with them is via Facebook. I felt ashamed. What the hell am I doing? I need to go home.

And then the sky spoke. This feather, this feather that floated from the sky from the wing of some unseen  bird, reminded me that I am home. This is it. Home. I am home. Wherever I lay my hat.

A few hours later and I'm on the beach with two South African Sangomas watching the first sunset of the Summer Solstice. One of the sangomas had not worn shoes in over 20 years and he made me wonder what it would be like to feel the earth under one's feet for so long without the barrier of shoes. He also had long, uncut hair. I asked him if it was in his tradition to cut hair in grief as it for the Ojibwas. My own hair was pretty much down to my waist when I lost relatives and cut my hair very short. I wore my grief and was reminded of it every time I went to pull my non existent hair from my collar. My hair is just starting to grow back but I still remember my grief when I look in the mirror. The sangoma told me that he last shaved his head when his father died. Then we both laughed at our good fortune to have growing hair. How fleeting life is and how long is the recovery from grief. But now we can laugh because we understand what it means to regrow from loss. 

The sangomas had brought me to a place to watch the sunset. It felt like the edge of the world. Behind us were "The Twelve Apostles" hills and before us was the ocean. There was a very light mist as the light of the dying sun turned the atmosphere to lavender. When it was getting dark, I took my shoes off so I could feel the rocks beneath my feet.

And I knew I was home.

And I also knew that wherever life takes me I am home. Here. Now. I am safe, balanced and far heartier than I had thought.

And the other thing I know is that I too am a sangoma. It might be known by a different name in different languages but by the Great Goddess, I now know I am--and have always been--a sangoma. I had just forgotten.

And it's great to be home.

I know this because a seemingly insignificant feather floated down from the sky and landed at my feet.


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

On the Nature of True Intentions


So as I'm on a writing frenzy, I've been spending a lot of time at the charming Cape to Cuba restaurant near to the Hemingway Bar (and no, I don't tend to drink during the day!). My line of thinking was that being in a place named after one of my favourite (and I have so many) writers was going to be good for the creative thinking process.

After spending so much time sorting through heaps of my writing and realising that most of it is useable, I'm now pretty much convinced that I am indeed a writer.

I used to be very reluctant to call myself a writer but I remembered this week that the first time I called myself as such was a year or so ago as a I sat in a beautician's chair waiting to get my hair cut.  I hate getting my hair cut: I hate the expense, I hate the process and I hate the small talk with strangers who have the power to transform my appearance into something I'm going to love or hate for the next several months. For many years, I had avoided hairdressers and had let my hair grow long enough to almost sit on. But in the Ojibwa tradition, hair represents your life and its growth. It's only cut to demonstrate grief. I had been having a pretty awful year. I was in grief--I had lost a beloved aunt and uncle with weeks of each other--and I was so unhappy in my job. When the inevitable question of "What do you do for a living?" came up, I blurted out: "I'm a writer" to avoid saying I was a teacher (I almost never tell strangers I'm an astrologer--but that's a story for another day). I then thought: "Blimey, I had better make a note of the time for that!" 

I had always resisted any temptation to call myself a writer. It just seemed so pretentious. But when one declares something--whether it is planned (elected in astrological terms) or it just happens, it is an important moment. And often very, very revealing.

This is the chart of that moment with today's transits along the outer circle in green:

Now there were several things I knew about the astrology of the moment without looking up anything. I knew that Jupiter had just finished its final return to its natal position in my chart a few weeks before when I had felt so antagonised that I walked out of my job. And I vaguely knew Jupiter was transiting my natal Moon but that's pretty much it. I had absolutely no idea that the asc/des axis was at 0 Libra, nor did I realise the Moon was in Virgo in the 12th house and ruling the MC! And look at the Sun in Gemini in the 9th!! Jupiter in Cancer in the 10th!! Mercury in Aries in the 7th! A dignified Venus!  I don't think I could have elected a better chart for a writer. I could have done without Saturn in the 2nd opposing said Venus but hey ho, all charts have to have Mr Misery Guts somewhere (like Prince Charles who has it in his second too). 

Transit wise, Jupiter, ruling the 3rd, is on that Moon in Virgo, about to cross the ascendant. It's a Mars conjunction picking up that cardinal T square I had been warning everyone about a couple of days ago. Good old Uranus--bang on my natal part of self (told you I was a stroppy cow) with the god of writing, Mercury transiting. Saturn is transiting the 3rd house--what a great place for a hard working writer. Pluto in the 4th I have natally as well but it is opposite my natal Jupiter. And look at Neptune in the 6th!! The writer loses herself in her work.

It really is time for me to get my stuff "out there" so I'm going to open up the field a bit by posting some fiction here. It's a short story called A Cappella and is about a musician who finds her voice. "A Cappella" comes from the Italian for "in the manner of the chapel". It's unaccompanied or solo music. I like the way it fits in the Jupiter themes of my experience of life these days. And I think the story fits the transits.


Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Writer's Life

I have FINALLY had the time to sort through my blogs (I have four) and website. And what a job it was--about two weeks worth of sorting. Dear God, I write a lot--and yesterday I did another 4,000 words on my upcoming book.

So this might lead you to ask: what on earth are you going to do with all that material?

Well I'm glad you asked.

About a year ago, I started writing daily horoscopes as an experiment. Up until that point, I had always been very snotty about Sun Sign astrology but once I saw what it did to my viewing stats, I had a change of heart. The results of my experiment are here. However the downside was that the daily column was clogging up my blog and Facebook page so I decided I was going to have a separate blog, twitter account and Facebook page for them. And then I got the grand idea that I was going to bring out 12 little year ahead books and I got as far as the New and Full Moons before life just took over. But it's all stuff I can still use but I decided to keep it free. You can pop in daily for updates using the links below. I aim for a short and punchy style.

Here are the links (and don't even get the idea into your head that I'll be doing this every day):
Aries featuring Susan Boyle
Taurus featuring Princess Charlotte
Gemini featuring the divine Barry Manilow
Cancer featuring Tom Hanks
Leo featuring Whitney Houston
Virgo featuring Buddy Holly
Libra featuring The Big Bopper
Scorpio featuring Margaret Mitchell
Sagittarius featuring Anna Nicole Smith
Capricorn featuring Mel Gibson
Aquarius featuring Paul Newman
Pisces featuring Steve Jobs

Then, frustrated with not being able to promote my book as much as I should at the same time I was teaching, I started a Growing Pains blog in June 2015. The idea was to write about Jupiter and Saturn using celebrity profiles, updating research on the peculiar and particular problems in adolescence and just generally spouting off about how brutal the teaching profession is. You know like questioning why some fool gets paid stupid money for kicking a ball from one end of a field to another while the female dominated careers of teaching and nursing are paid shit and the workers are treated like shit. Of course, like this blog, things got put on the back burner. But I've been updating daily as part of the book writing--and I'm working on three updates for Growing Pains: a teacher's edition, a pupil's edition and a parent's edition. They are coming out in March 2016. Note the optimism.

As I said, I write a lot. And this includes fiction. So I have another blog that I was using for the National Write a Novel in Month (NaNoWriMo) 2013. There's a full novel there that I wrote in a month. Yes a month. 2000 words that I did on a daily basis in November 2013. And there's a hell of a lot more fiction that I've yet to work out what to do with. Watch this space--I'm going to self publish some more stuff. Thank you Victor Olliver for your encouragement but dear God, you might come to regret it!

And it's a good thing other people are interested in my writing. I'm contributing to magazines--The Astrological JournalInfinity Magazine, collaborating with the Mysterious Madame Zolanga and writing monthly horoscopes for Ethical Hedonist magazine.

That leaves this blog. It started out with jokes about aspects and my "give me any aspect and I'll give you a joke" challenge with a few personal observations thrown in. I don't know--I looked down on Sun Sign columns but would tell corny jokes at the drop of a hat. Anyway, I've outgrown all that and this blog has evolved into something I'm glad to have the space to keep going. So this is my personal blog with updates about what I'm getting up to, where I am and where I'm going to. I was bowled over by how much material had accumulated in 7 years and by how much is actually quite recyclable. Saturn squares, eh?  They do challenge you to examine your work.

Work wise, I'm seeing clients, promoting myself (yeah, the Leo in me loves that) and I'm meeting the locals by doing tarot and palm readings. In other words, I've come full circle, back to the days when I did Psychic Fairs and the like. Back then I didn't have the confidence to make the leap of faith to actually make a living out of it but we'll just have to see how I get on. Thank you Transit Pluto opposite my natal Jupiter for the kick up the jacksy.

When I'm not living the writer's life hunched over my laptop, I'm in the ocean getting all salty, looking for dolphins under a backwards sky and a very hot Yuletide season. Cool eh? I'm not thinking about Saturn on my descendant (actually that is a lie).

So what writing have done today? I hear you ask breathlessly.

Well I resurrected a blog about the Titanic as Kate Winslet is saying how difficult filming was as Saturn is on her Neptune. I'm always pleased when the transits are so satisfying: astrology has never let me down. I also did a chapter on the Trudeau family--originally because Justin is so hot but then because it made such a great story on family dynamics and astrology.

I'm also maintaining the other Twitter and Facebook pages, Don't Sweat It, Planet and Growing Pains so do pop in and give me a like and a share.

And of course, I'm gearing up for India next month and Australia mid February. I'm back in London to collect my FAS diploma for the Equinox. I think I'll be teaching for the summer term so I want to be sure I have an established routine of writing and posting. I'm hoping to get to the FAS Summer School in August again and the Astrological Association's conference. Then I'm off to the US for the ISAR conference in October and hopefully SOTA in November. I'm going to be speaking at the Breaking Down the Borders on-line astrology event (also in November,) heading to Florida in January 2017 to speak at the Kepler Conference and then to Portugal for their International Astrology event February 2017.

So keep up, eh?