Today and Tomorrow are days of “The Devil”

UnknownWith the Sun in Scorpio (obsession) and the Moon in Taurus (lust), today and tomorrow are days of “The Devil”.

Usually when you mention the Devil, you’re referring to temptation – temptation that will get you into serious trouble unless you’ve the strength to resist. This in turn generates apprehension and fear as well as – go ahead – admit it – just a touch of curiosity?

The Devil might have made him ‘do it’  – but ‘it’ could never happen to you – right?

It’s not that easy and you know it so why are you so hesitant to agree or disagree?

Because in Christian communities, the Devil is considered as the summum malum – the sum of all evil – and as the result, its energy is believed to be as dangerous as it is unfathomably complex.

I’m no more certain what that really means than you are.

But I do know that today and tomorrow we’re each dealing with ‘it’ – our personal unconscious – at the height of ‘its’ power (the full moon is exact at 15:17 GMT on 17 November at 25 Taurus 26) and that scares the hell out of us for reasons we’d each prefer to ignore.

We all know from Carl Jung that in our unconscious lies buried treasure of tremendous value just waiting for release – but as all myths and fairytales tell us treasures like this must be guarded by monsters and dragons – dangerous adversaries who will stop at nothing to prevent us from recovering the coveted prize.

In reality, these monsters and dragons are nothing more than our own fears – the actions, motives, wishes, intentions thoughts, and qualities that we find most embarrassing  – that which we dread we might someday be forced to face.

Yet on a day of “The Devil” that is precisely what you can expect. The most unloved sides of your personality can be expected to surface – lust for power, money, drink, what have you – causing such havoc in the outer world that you too might be tempted to retort  –  “the devil made me do it”.

And in some respects, you’d be right.

But the trick to dealing with the energy of today and tomorrow in the most constructive way is not to blame the devil or anyone else – but to be humbled and accept these limitations and embarrassments as none other than your own.


My ‘Writerly’ Solar Return for 2013-14

astro_32gw_03_debra_20131110.44231.21411Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar about solar returns with Lynn Bell right here in Oxford (compliments of the Oxford Astrology Group). As usual, Lynn was brilliant.

I was also fortunate enough to have my current solar return (SR) chart used as a example in class – I say fortunate – tongue in cheek – for what it bodes for the coming year may prove difficult.

Keeping in mind the SR chart is a set of instructions showing what I need to accomplish during the year and how best to do it, I start by looking at the SR Ascendant at 15 Sagittarius.

This falls into my natal 6th house – so for me, it will be a 6th house kind of year – suggesting lots of hard work to be integrated into my daily routine. For more information, I look to the placement of Jupiter – the chart ruler of this SR.[1]

Jupiter (JU) is exalted (highly elevated) in Cancer and conjunct the Moon (MO) which not only rules Cancer but is also in Cancer. This little (mutually receptive) conjunction is extremely powerful and bodes well for emotional happiness and security.  JU/MO is also an aspect of the fertility goddess and because at my age it’s not likely that I will become pregnant, this probably has to do with my ‘creative child’ – my recently finished novel – The Curve of Capricorn.   Not only that, but according to Lynn, MO/JU is about wish fulfilment = this year I can make my dreams come true (agents and publishers take note!).

This wish-fulfilment theme is echoed by Chiron (the wounded healer) making an almost exact trine (TR) to my SR MO.  Chiron is in the 3rd house suggesting writing as a healing aspect and of course JU/MO in Cancer suggests healing as well.

HOWEVER – that MO in Cancer is also caught up in a cardinal grand cross (four planets in square aspect with each other) which signifies frustration and tension big time. Because it is a cardinal grand cross, I will have to actively take control else I suffer at the hands of those who would control me. [2]

The planets forming this cardinal grand cross are heavy hitters – the Sun (SO),  Moon (MO), Pluto (PL), and Uranus (UR) and in this configuration they spell a frustrating attempt to free myself from my prior identity (as a lawyer) in order to honor my new writerly ‘self’ (as symbolized by the SR SO in opposition to UR  suggesting the need to adopt a new self-image).[3]

This theme of the new ‘writerly’ self image is echoed with SR SO in the 9th house (publishing) about to conjunct the MC (profession and public image) in three months. [4] Once that SR SO crashes through into the 10th house of career, there is a reasonable chance I’ll have some claim to ‘fame’ – exactly what that will entail  is suggested by the MC in Libra (LI) and the placement of its ruler, Venus (VE), which is conjunct the fixed star Zubenelscemali (which associated with the Northern Scale in the constellation Libra, is translated into ‘The Price to be Received”).

While the Southern Scale in Libra is a true malefic (sounds bad and doubtless worse than it sounds), the Northern Scale (and with it Zubenelscemali) is considered a very fruitful and prosperous star – associated with riches, honor and good fortune.

All this sounds fantastic – but that cardinal grand cross suggests it comes at a price and because my SR has a predominance of water planets (Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio),this will be highly emotional.

That 11th  house VE is in conjunction with Saturn (SA) in Scorpio – suggesting the only way to deal with it is through serious emotional transformation at the deepest levels.  Because I have little water in my natal chart, emotions have never been my forte.

But because of all the water in my SR chart, I have a unique opportunity in 2013-14 to accomplish emotional integration and because the SR chart ruler is JU, I’m thrown back to that JU/MO in Cancer in the 7th house of relationship.

Because JU/MO are in conjunction, there’s a real chance for success – and because of its placement in the 7th house – doubtless this has something to do with my marriage.  I can’t forget that JU/MO is very healing – especially in Cancer which itself suggests care and support.

Also because the SR MO is almost exact with SR UR, Lynn has suggested that my SR goals would be best accomplished by renegotiating the parameters of my husband’s and my existing relationship and building it anew on firmer emotional grounds.

Stay tuned as my 2013/14 SR unfolds over the course of the next ten months.


[1] Some astrologers use relocated solar charts especially if the indiviudal is living far away from where they were born.  Lynn suggests looking at both – but gives precedence to the SR chart calculated for place of birth. Also in my experience, place of birth has much to tell regardless of where you are living.

[2] PL square UR is a current transit for everyone – and it’s the opening or waxing square (reactive and expanding – heading for culmination with the opposition in 2046-2048) for the PL/UR conjunction in VI (1963-1966). – As Liz Greene puts it (The Outer Planets and Their Cycles) – these two planets together suggest an urgent need to destroy old forms and attitudes – a striking out for freedom (UR) that will be obsessive and quite possibly violent (PL).  In other words, whatever isn’t working can no longer last and to facilitate change in this regard, ‘control’ is the by-word.

[3] SR Mercury in Libra (LI) is in the SR 10th house – reinforcing my self-styled image that I be known or identified as a writer – and because Lynn suggests that SR charts be read much like horary charts – the fact that my SR Mercury is conjunct the Arabic part of ‘sudden advancement’ would suggest that as a ‘writer’, I’m about to become known.

[4] Lynn advises progressing the faster moving planets toward perfecting their applying aspects as one would do with a horary chart.


Will the Literary Agent that just asked for a partial decide to represent me?

I’m not as good at horary astrology as I might like to be, but every once and awhile, I do give it a try.

I’ve just finished my first astrological novel – The Curve of Capricorn (not quite like the Booker Prize winning The Luminaries, but just as good if I might say so myself).  In the process of sending out query letters to a few literary agents, I’ve just received a request for a partial.  For those familiar with the publishing industry, this is encouraging – but much could still go wrong.

So I asked the ‘stars’ if the agency who requested the partial would ultimately decide to represent me – and this is the chart I got:


1)   Because I’m the querent, the planet ruling the Scorpio ascendant – MARS – represents me (note in horary – the traditional rulers are always used).

2)   Because the literary agents are ruled by the 9th house where Leo is on the cusp, the SUN represents them.

3)   Sadly MARS (in the 10th house of reputation and fame – YEAH) is making a  SEXTILE (good) aspect to the SUN that is separating rather than applying. This indicates that the desired representation deal will never PERFECT (i.e. it will not come to pass).

4)   BUT THEN – I recall the principle of TRANSLATION OF LIGHT (the astrological bucket brigade) whereby if – MERCURY – a faster moving planet than the two significators (MARS and the SUN) connects with both MARS and the SUN in a favourable way, it can actually restore the action of the separating aspect – in other words (especially since MERCURY is in Scorpio which because MARS rules Scorpio is in essential dignity) me and that literary agent might still do a deal.

5)   Well, wouldn’t you know it – good old MERCURY is leaving it’s (still within orb) SEXTILE (good) with MARS (me) while applying for a CONJUNCTION (also good) with the SUN (the literary agency) – all within orb.

6)   Even better, as required by Lilly, because MERCURY is in Scorpio, it’s in essential dignity to the first significator – MARS.

7)   The only trouble is that dear old MERCURY is in RETROGRADE- which while not disastrous isn’t really the best either.  This suggests some back and forth to-ings and for-ings – missed communications or changing of minds.

So if you happen to be the literary agency who just asked for a partial for The Curve of Capricorn, hang in there – MERCURY goes DIRECT on Sunday, 10 November 2013 at 21:13 GMT.


The Pinch of Pisces

pisces-tiny-blueAccording to mundane astrologers, the conjunction of Neptune/Pluto heralds transformation on a mass scale – old empires dissolve and ancient institutions crumble.

Almost overnight art, science, and religion change direction and people change their whole outlook on life. Although the effect will be felt immediately, it will take well over 100 years until the seeds sown at the conjunction will have fully sprouted with the incoming square (the average synodic cycle of Neptune/Pluto is 492 years).

The current Neptune/Pluto cycle commenced in the 1880’s-1890’s when perceptions of ‘reality’ underwent an extreme makeover: for example – Sigmund Freud published Studies in Hysteria (a significant breakthrough in the study of the human mind) and William James published The Principles of Psychology, another boundary-pushing landmark in humanistic psychology.

In The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption, Liz Greene suggests that the Neptune/Pluto expresses itself primarily through religion.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that in 1882 (The Gay Science), Nietzsche proclaimed that ‘God is dead’?

Imagine that it’s now 2063 and that incoming square is upon us.

Not only has post humanism made redundant our most fundamental assumption that God is superior to man but also that man is in turn superior to nature. This leaves nothing left but nature and the funny thing is that the distinctions were all manmade in the first place.

If you want to learn how this all turns out, the follow this blog as, building on the work of William James, I commence my next novel  – The Pinch of Pisces.

As one character will so aptly put it:

“Today, the idea that there’s a separate God, or whatever you like to call the numen driving the universe, is clearly bunk.  It’s all a matter of perception.”

Cosmology and Divination

Troilus and Cressida or a good, hard look at the footprint of something short of an idealised and benevolent God

Last night, my husband and I attended the RSC & Wooster Group’s production of Troilus and Cressida.

It was brilliant – if not a bit weird – and it is that niggling weird bit upon which I decided to blog.

In their synopsis, the theatre companies describe their play as one of disillusionment.

And indeed, it would appear that’s true.  After seven years at war, neither the Greeks nor the Trojans remain certain about the value of that for which they’ve been fighting. Even the innocent love affair between Troilus and Cressida ends in betrayal and despair without apparent rhyme or reason.

Plays are often expected to sort of life.  We want them to take the random and contradictory events that we experience and make them seem ordered, natural, inevitable. (Mark Ravenhill – Writer in residence at the RSC)

When a play doesn’t do that, it’s considered a ‘problem’ and interestingly it appears that perhaps Shakespeare planned it that way.

If we can create something that is inconsistent in tone, unreliable in information and driven by contradiction then maybe we can create the realistic theatre that Shakespeare was looking for.  (Mark Ravenhill – Writer in residence at the RSC)

And that’s just the point.

Many don’t like realistic theatre.  We don’t want to pay good money to see a story where (unlike our everyday lives) the loose ends are not tied up.   Such untidiness threatens our personal cosmologies – i.e. the carefully constructed psychologically spatial orientation through which we view the world.

Yet if we can sit for awhile with this tension – i.e. the niggling weird bits –  we might come to discover that instead of having been sadly parted from our hard-earned money, we’ve been given privileged glimpse of something which just might revolutionise our world.

I suggest that something is perspective (or in less polite circles, a good, hard look at the footprint of something short of an idealised and benevolent God).


Today is a Nine of Cups Day – be careful you might get what you want?

With the Sun in Taurus (hedonist) and Moon in Scorpio (healer) –combining in a big, fat, full moon at 3:36 GMT – today is Nine of Cups day.

The Nine of Cups is an enigmatic energy.  Although it looks pleasant enough, there’s more here than meets the eye.  If you can come to grips with this, then you’ll do well with this energy. If not, forewarned is forearmed.

You see a man with his feet planted far apart, cross armed, sitting in front of a tall table stacked with nine full cups. He wears a red hat with a red plume and red socks – red – the colour of blood  – red – the colour of passion and desire.  The man is smug and why shouldn’t he? The Nine of Cups reminds us to enjoy the good things in life.

But sadly, he’s alone. Is there no one with whom he wishes to share his bounty?  And why is the blue tablecloth so long? Is something hidden behind it?

When dealing with this energy you must remember that Kabbalistically, the Nine of Cups falls under the influence of the sefirah, Yesod, which is associated with the Moon and the watery flux and reflux of the unconscious.

Yet as Dion Fortune reminds us in The Mystical Qabalah, Yesod also represents the foundation of the universe, established by great strength such as found in the Nine of Wands.

Fluid foundations?  How could this be?

Fortune reminds us that if one likens the kingdom of earth to a great ship, Yesod would be the engine room.  Because it partakes both in the nature of mind and matter, Yesod is the all-important energy with which one works all magic designed to take effect in our physical world.

Desire – underlying as it does all magical work – comes as much from your unconscious as from your conscious – indeed – perhaps even more so.

Therefore the trick to dealing with today’s energy is to carefully examine – and re-examine – that which you desire and why – before reaching out for it.   For as with the man in the Nine of Cups – it is your unconscious – hidden from view behind the blue tablecloth – that drives your truth – red hat and red socks notwithstanding.


Spiritual Lessons of Aries

Aries heralds the coming of the vernal equinox.  The bleakness of winter is past. As daffodils bloom and new buds of life appear, nature seems to have found renewed hope.

In the northern hemisphere, where Western astrology was developed, the light has triumphed over darkness and with it, life over death.  It is fitting then, that Easter usually occurs in Aries for Easter is a time of rebirth when, as Christians, we begin spiritual life anew.

Aries too speaks of beginnings and turning one’s back on the past. Perhaps if we’re struggling with how to implement our renewed spirituality, it is to Aries that we might turn for help.

Ptolemy, whose work reflects the traditions of Western astrology, listed the following as positive Arien qualities: spirited, powerful, venturesome, keen, headstrong, active, with the qualities of leadership.

Indeed these are the qualities we associate with Aries today.   Aries is the successful entrepreneur, the captain of industry, the true pioneer among men.  What then might Aries have to offer besides a place on the FTSE 100 or one’s name in Who’s Who?

All spiritual traditions emphasize the importance of making that initial decision to live the life of the spirit and warn us that we can’t wait for proof that God exists or that the teachings of our religion are true.  Yet today, many of us do just that.  For as children of the Enlightenment, we have learned to believe only in that which we can measure.

Yet if spirited, venturesome, powerful Aries is prepared to take uncalculated risks in order to reach for his stars, then perhaps we could as well.

And what better time to do so than in Aries when ‘the sun (is) mounting with those stars that with him were, what time the Love Divine, at first in motion set those beauteous things.’  *


* From Dante’s Inferno reflecting the ancient belief (Albumaser, writing  in the 9th century) that Creation took place when the seven planets–Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn–were in conjunction in Aries.


Uranus in Aries – (or why I’m so angry…)

Dear friends,

It’s time to explain why there’s so much anger in my recent posts.

Uranus is in Aries = anger is in the air.

But more specifically, transiting Uranus in Aries  (in my–very public– 10th house) is now making a direct opposition to my Libra sun (in my–very private–4th house).

  • Keywords for Libra are ingratiating and amiable.
  • Keywords for Aries are assertive and angry.
  • Now is the time for my anger to go live.

According to Howard Sasportas, in his excellent book, The Gods of Change, my Uranus – Sun transit suggests a time when I am in accord with my inner need to develop and expand in ways I’ve not done before.  Astrologically, I’m in the mood to open up and experiment with life.

Because Uranus is in opposition to my Sun,this comes at the price of upheaval and pain. I can  also expect to feel restless and bored–trapped by circumstances beyond my control. My inner Self is demanding change and if I deny it, my world may collapse on my head (or worse I will get ill). But if can go with the flow, then I can make way for a brand new me.

My Uranus–Sun transit is also about finding “the father inside me”– i.e. the ability to take charge and direct my life, rather than adjusting (as I always have done)  to others’ needs. The anger generated by Uranus in Aries allows me to do this.  For the first time, I’m standing up for myself big time.   If this seems abrasive, antisocial, and discourteous, then so be it – to apologise would be too Libra – and that’s not what I’m meant to be about right now.

So until December this year, when my Uranus-Sun transit comes to a close,  please support me as best you can.

If I can accept this new influx of energy, and make the necessary changes in my life, then I will have taken a major step forward in the process that Carl Jung has coined, individuation.  In other words, I will have done nothing less than to have discovered the Divine in me.



For more information on the process of individuation see


What if Greece goes Bankrupt? Astrology suggests this might be for the Best!

What if Greece were to go bankrupt?  Astrology suggests this might well be for the best.

Using the Greek national chart of 13 January 1822 (based on the date of Greece’s Independence declaration from the Turks), we find that since 2010, transiting Pluto has been putting direct pressure on Greece’s natal Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn.

According to Liz Greene (The Outer Planets & Their Cycles, CRS Publications, Sebastopol, CA, 1996, pp 63-64) , Uranus/Neptune represents  ‘… the fantasy of the perfect state which is like a benign mother-god taking care of each individual and free of greed and aggression.’   Liz further suggests that with this conjunction the political system is really a religious vision.

Enter Pluto.

Pluto is about natural evolution.

Pluto is the Great Goddess ‘Necessity’; ignore her at your peril.

Pluto means survival of the fittest.

The Greeks have nothing to fear from Pluto if they’ve been dealing honesty with themselves by weeding out the deadwood as they’ve gone along.  But if they haven’t, then anything past its ‘sell-by’ date will be swept away.  If they fail to let go gracefully, Pluto will rape, steal, and pillage.  Pluto is an outlaw.  Pluto isn’t pretty.

To my mind, this suggests that Greece’s problems have little to do with finances and debt and getting these under control.  Instead, it has everything to do with changing the unrealistic expectations of a society which had become accustomed to a vision of  ‘Messiah’ in the form of a government that will be all things to all people.

Another EU financial bailout would only perpetuate this delusion a bit longer.

It’s time to let Pluto have her way.



Today you can win back your dignity and self respect

With the sun in Aquarius  (breakthrough and reform ) and the moon in Libra (  harmony and peace), today is Six of Swords Day.  It is also the first day we’ve seen the sun in Oxford for some time.

The Six of Swords is not a happy card.  Yet it does suggest some sense of harmony resulting from coming to terms with yourself.  Each of us has strengths and weaknesses.  But in today’s world of constant competition, it is all to easy to identify with what you do wrong rather than what you do right.

The serene state suggested by the Six of Swords does not spring from the tranquil heart as it might do with the Six of Cups, but rather from a tranquil mind.

In his essay ‘Answer to Job’, Carl Jung suggests that physical reality is just one kind of reality.    If someone holds a belief (regardless of whether it is possible or not of physical manifestation) and such belief holds meaning for that person, then that belief is as real as anything else.

Scary – when you come to think about it.

Even scarier if you’ve come to believe that you don’t measure up.

I win – you lose.   For better or worse, this is the world in which we live in today.

On a Six of Swords Day, you can utilise your mind’s capacity for understanding to help come to terms with the negative beliefs you’ve piled on about yourself.   On a Six of Swords Day,  you can win back your dignity and self-respect.

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