Beautiful Medieval Wall Art, Castor Church, near Peterborough, England

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We recently visited the beautiful church of Saint Kyneburgha, near Peterborough in the English midlands.

The church stands beautifully on a hill, on the site of an old Roman settlement and palace.

In fact, the name of Castor is derived directly from the Roman/Latin name for a fort or castle. This village is situated near to an important Roman settlement called Durobrivae, or Water Newton in Egnlish, just a few miles west of present day city of Peterborough.

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The church is noted for its surviving medieval wall art. Before the Reformation in the 16th century, all churches had such wall art, which was then whitewashed over. More recently, as in this example above, some of these illustrations have been revealed during restoration.

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Castor church’s appellation is Saint Kyneburgha, who was the daughter of King Penda of Mercia, the last pagan king of that English kingdom in the midlands.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

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Stockhausen: Neptune, Uranus and the Nature of Genius. Astrology Musings

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Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of the most important composers of the 20th century, was also one its most controversial. The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are generational in influence, but if one or more of them touch sensitive parts of our birth chart, they can put us in touch with powerful trans-personal energy.

According to his known birth data, he was born with Leo rising, with a Leo Sun exactly conjunct Neptune.

A fount of inspiration

Here is a powerful, creative individual, with a personal connection to the numinous through Neptune, with all the inspirational, spiritual qualities associated with that planet. He was certainly a major visionary in musical terms and has had a huge influence on jazz and popular music as well as classical.

As we have seen previously, Neptune is invariably prominent in some way in the birth charts of creative artists, but he was clearly no idle dreamer.

Practical application

With Mercury and Venus in Virgo in house 2, the latter trine Jupiter in Taurus in house 10, he was very keen to apply his undoubted inspiration practically, effectively, in detail, and to disseminate it, not only in way to earn a living, but in building a successful career out of it. Indeed, he was also a fine writer and communicator too, teaching his ideas successfully. Without this grounding effect, his genius may well have been lost to the world.

What is more, revolutionary Uranus was very close to the MC (midheaven) in Aries in house 9.

The shock of the new

This midheaven point is traditionally associated with the career or life direction and with Uranus in Aries activating this very personal angle of his chart, we can see the unusual, avant-garde, revolutionary and pioneering qualities he brought to bear in his career. Revolutionary literally means turning upside down: he essentially did this, being a pioneer in the sphere of electronic music.

More than once, his music has been described as ‘disruptive’ (Uranus) and unfathomable (Neptune). He also has Mars in good aspect to Uranus, bringing much supportive, instigating energy and (in Gemini) variability to his repertoire.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Britain’s New Prime Minister! – a more positive vibe? Astrology Musings

 

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While Britain was baking in the searing heat of the afternoon of July 24, Boris Johnson met the Queen in the relative cool of Buckingham Palace to officially become the new Prime Minister.

Within a few short hours, the old Cabinet was gone, and a new team stuffed full of Brexiteers was assembled. But already many are asking if these drastic changes will make any difference at all to the outcome of Brexit and the course of the country in general.

I thought I would take look at the chart for the exact time the Prime Minister met with the Queen, when he officially took over that office of the realm.

Positive dynamism

Well, my first impressions are that this is indeed a more positive chart. Using the ‘whole signs’ house system, the ruler of the chart, Mars, is in Leo in the 10th house along with the Sun. This is a sure sign of positive, dynamic leadership.

Indeed, the 10th house, in mundane terms, is about governing; so this Mars will add great energy, drive, dynamism and determination to the government’s purpose.

A growing economy

Mars is also in good aspect to a retrograde Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 2nd house, perhaps hinting of some good fortune along the way, especially in financial terms, so we might see some interesting trade deals in the offing, too.

Or it could also mean that a so-called ‘no deal’ will not be anywhere as problematic as was once thought – good fortune through the back door, so to speak, as perhaps befits a retrograde Jupiter, a way of counting our blessings.

Either way, this Mars Jupiter link bodes well for the government in general and for the economy.

Difficult decisions

However, the Mercury (retrograde) Venus conjunction in Cancer in the 9th house, although might tend to favour reasonable negotiating possibilities in foreign policy, particularly with Brussels and the EU, is also challenged by an Aries’ Moon in the 6th house.

The retrograde Mercury fixed in this chart is a problem, rendering it difficult to make concrete decisions. Mercury turns direct again on August 2, so this should help, so long as the Johnson premiership continues full steam ahead.

It’s also especially worth remembering that Mercury also rules the midheaven sign of Virgo and the 11th house in this chart, so its being retrograde and in square aspect to the Moon will also bring difficulty to the government’s stance, particularly in regard to legislation and the nature of the House of Commons.

Expect the unexpected

There is also the presence of Uranus in Taurus in the 7th house of diplomacy. All these factors to me suggest, not surprisingly, that the roller coaster ride of Brexit will continue, with delaying tactics, more sudden twists and unexpected turns (Uranus), particularly in relation to the EU’s negotiating stance in regards to financial settlements (Taurus), again making it quite difficult for the government to keep the public on board.

It might be that any compromise deal that is hatched to prevent a no deal, for example, will simply not be enough for most of those who simply want out of the EU. For me this is symbolised by the fiery, impatient Moon in Aries in the 6th house square to the Mercury Venus conjunction.

Brexit before October 31?

The new PM has said that the UK will be leaving on October 31 2019. Can he deliver? Well, he has made a very decisive start, but I think he should remember, as any PM should, to expect the unexpected, as Uranus’ position shows.

It might be that one of the unexpected happenings is beneficial, creating a window of opportunity to leave earlier than expected. The Mars trine Jupiter aspect hints at a luck factor in the government’s favour. Jupiter itself turns direct again on August 11, joining Mercury going forward.

Very interestingly, Mercury turns retrograde again on October 31, so I think the government’s best chance of success is to deliver Brexit before that date, somewhere between August 11 and October 31, possibly around the September new moon on the 28th.

Drastic political changes

If the UK does not leave by October 31, it’s difficult to see when it actually will. The forthcoming Saturn Pluto conjunction in Capricorn early next year is already casting its long term effect on all existing political structures. Capricorn is very important to the UK, as seen 1066 chart for England, for instance, which resonates to this day.

The clear out of the old and the beginning of a new political era could make Brexit seem quite irrelevant going into next year. And as some believe, Pluto could be seen as the co-ruler of this chart, making the next few months and years even more significant.

So, bearing all this in mind, I think the best chance of Brexit ‘success’ has to be carried forward by the positive, dynamic leadership revealed in this chart and to deliver it sooner rather than later.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Milly Reynolds – English Crime Fiction Author

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Here are some quintessentially English ebooks for you to read this summer, or at any time, by British based crime fiction author, Milly Reynolds.

These books won’t break the bank, they are not too long, and they are relatively easy reading – perfect on your kindle (and elsewhere) for that up and coming summer vacation, or at any time.

The main character is Mike Malone, now sleuthing the relatively quiet streets of Lincolnshire in the east of England.

However, just underneath this rather pleasant, amiable veneer of a peaceful small market town and its outlying farms, lie hints (sometimes stronger hints) of his murky and tragic past, which have a way of bubbling to the surface.

Here too, the sense of the tranquil, gentile country lifestyle, is misleading; it’s always vulnerable to some quirky crimes, leading Mike Malone on a ‘merry dance’ around his patch, seemingly in pursuit of tea and good home cooking as much as the murderer.

There are other books too, with a wide range of characters, such as Jack Sallt, a detective with a distinctly harder edge to his personality.

Milly Reynolds books on Amazon

Milly Reynolds on Smashwords

Milly Reynolds Blog

Milly Reynolds Website

Birth of the USA: Astrology Musings

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July 4 is rapidly approaching and as mundane astrology is one of my most favourite fields within the discipline, I thought it about time to take a look at the ‘birth chart’ of the most powerful country on the planet – The United States of America.

Now in any birth chart the exact time is critical and the timing of this event is disputed. Independence was formally declared on July 2 1776.

So which chart?

What did occur two days later on July 4 was that Congress finally approved the declaration’s wording, possibly around 5:10 PM in Philadelphia. This is the information often used to calculate the USA chart. However, it would appear that the actual signing took place on August 2 1776. So what do we use?

I’m going for the one that I’ve seen most commonly used and am most comfortable with, July 4 5:20 PM in Philadelphia.

On this chart, the mutable fire sign Sagittarius is rising.

Go West

I think this is quite fitting, Sagittarius likes to push boundaries, always moving on and exploring.

It also suits many of the national myths, the Louisiana purchase, the pushing westward, the continual expansion of states, plus America’s strong interest in the world – and beyond. It also suits the nation as a whole, being a ‘nation of immigrants’ so to speak, with a vast mix of cultures and peoples. Very Sagittarian.

Family Values

Nevertheless, the ruler of the chart, Jupiter, is in Cancer in a very full 8th house. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer and is also conjunct Venus, bringing images of happy, emotive and serious patriotism, and a love of home and family – and Mom’s Apple Pie.

This could explain the enduring sense of pride most American’s have in their homeland, despite more modern trends.

Investment of Sentiment

The full 8th house also includes the Sun and Mercury in Cancer. This indicates just how deep these patriotic sensibilities go, that much time has been invested in this over two and a half centuries. American identity is very much wrapped up in this.

Interestingly too, the strong 8th house emphasis in a wider sense is indicative of America’s strong involvement in international finance and multi-national corporations.

Jupiter also rules the 4th house of this chart, showing that in areas like the rural and agricultural communities, there will always likely be a strong investment in the patriotic cause and the promotion of home and family values.

With all the Cancerian influence in this chart, a look at the Moon is essential. It’s in Aquarius in the 3rd house, which shows the ‘humanitarian’ ideals brought to bear in education, in local communities and the systematic promotion of the family and home.

The Patriot against Hard Business

However, there is a challenging square aspect between the Sun and Saturn in the 11th house. The overall course of the nation, this strong sense of patriotism, often clashes with more hard headed, conservative or otherwise, trends in the elected assemblies and legislature.

Neptune in the 10th house reveals the strong idealism of national aspirations, though it is in difficult aspect to Mars in Gemini in the 7th house. In diplomatic matters there often a tendency to high verbosity, which may not smooth the course of negotiations to say the least, and this would tend to clash with the higher ideals governmental institutions effuse. The latter also symbolises the kind of conversation going on at the time of the agreement of the Declaration text.

Intriguing future

Looking to the near future, transiting Pluto will soon complete its 248 year cycle in the 2nd house in Capricorn. In other words, it will be reaching the point it was when the Declaration was being created. Maybe it could symbolise the slow, albeit painful, rebirth of the nation?

It is quite clear that the next few years will be fundamentally difficult in governmental, financial and security issues and will mark a major turning point for the nation, with many changes, much intrigue and political skullduggery. 

Even before then, sometime around January 2020, when Saturn and Pluto conjoin in Capricorn, it’s also likely to culminate in some major event or decision affecting these areas.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Churches: Images of Spalding Parish Church, Lincolnshire. Part 1

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Inside the church dedicated to Saints Mary and Nicolas in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

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It has one of the most stunning interiors in the whole county.

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And some beautifully made traditional banners.

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copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Northern Ireland, Small is Beautiful

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Recently we spent a few days in Northern Ireland.

We were based in Belfast, an up and coming city with a proud industrial heritage, particularly in ship building. It was here, of course, where the legendary ocean liner, The Titanic was built.

In more recent times, though, Belfast has been blighted by what was called ‘The Troubles’. Thankfully, those days are long gone but the scars remain. I won’t talk about those times right now.

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No, I want to talk about the County Antrim coast road, which takes you around the northern tip of the island of Ireland.

I have scarcely seen such beauty, anywhere; the fantastic vistas out to sea, atmospheric views across to Scotland and the Mull of Kintyre; the wonderful, secluded, almost deserted beaches.

And then of course sensational spots like the Giants Causeway.

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In fact, words almost fail, except to say that property sales particulars were consulted. Simply wonderful.

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There will be more pictures to follow in future pieces on the fabulous little corner of the world.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019