The Traditionalism of Hilaire Belloc – Astrology Musings

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Hilaire Belloc was a notable Anglo-French writer who died in 1953.

A Sagittarian ascendant befits his stradling of two distinct European cultures and a man of wide interests.

His ruler Jupiter in Gemini in house 7, shows his multi-faceted approach, eclectic relationships (he married an American) and variable writing topics; he wrote books for children, about travel, plays, essays and books on mainly history and traditional issues.

Saturn in his first house (in a loose opposition to Jupiter in house 7) could symbolise his generally conservative outlook. Saturn trine Neptune in house 5 hints at the idealism which he attached to his conservatism, expressing it creatively.

Wide interests

His Sun is conjunct Mercury (house 10 ruler) in Leo in house 9. Here is a powerful and creative individual with a strong interest in philosophy, extensive travel and foreign culture. This was always likely to be part of the basis of his life direction and career.

Belloc’s traditional stance is also very much emboldened by his full house 8.

The Moon conjunct Uranus in Cancer in this house reveals an emotional and somewhat unique attachment to deeper issues of life and culture. He was an ardent Catholic and traditionalist who hated to see old lifestyles disappear.

More than this, his Venus (MC ruler) conjunct Mars in Cancer in this house too, shows an ardent love of home, family and traditional values, the energy he put into getting back to their roots, and in trying to preserve and regenerate them. This too, became part and parcel of what he stood for.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

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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

Today’s Astrology Musings: The sign of Cancer

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I feel the water signs get a pretty bad deal in general, that there is, somehow, something uncool about them.

Even Cancer, the cardinal or dominant water sign, is often described as overly emotional or ‘touchy’. All of this is unfair. Maybe it is to do with the fact that they are all classed, traditionally, as ‘negative’.

So what is the sign of Cancer, the first of the water signs? I see it in its clear relation to the fourth house, which sits visually at the bottom of the birth chart.

Foundations

Cancer is associated with home and family and the protection of them. How is this ‘negative’? It is fundamental, the foundations of our whole existence; very little can be achieved or sustained without it.

We all need a base to our lives and Cancer and the fourth house gives indications as to the quality of that in our birth charts.

Cancer, because of its associations with the family, is also about our roots and the past, another very important base of our lives. Look at the huge interest in genealogy and DNA analyses these days. Yes, of course, they’ve been marketed, but for a good reason: we all want to know where we come from. It’s important to us.

Spirituality

And this has spiritual connotations too, all to do with the Cancer/Capricorn axis and its association with birth and rebirth, reincarnation. Cancer can be see as the gateway into life, in human form, Capricorn the way out.

Of course we can also see this mapped out on the earth, if you will, in the two tropics of Cancer in the north, and Capricorn in the south, the two extremes of the path of apparent path of the Sun around the earth.

The summer solstice, which traditionally marks the beginning of summer in the north, also marks the start of the sign of Cancer, the beginning of the Sun’s fall southward, symbolically showing the soul’s descent into matter.

Glyphs and symbols

But why the crab symbol? I think it’s all to do with protection, the hard outer shell. In earlier medieval astrology, Cancer was often represented by a crayfish, which would have been much more evident in the streams and rivers of Europe back then.

Maybe the Cancer glyph, the 69, represents the crab’s pincers. And the Moon’s rulership of Cancer is beyond doubt, its phases and associations with water being key here.

Walking on the Moon

It’s also interesting to note that the first Moon Landing hit our screens in the year 1969, co-incidentally incorporating a suggestion of the Cancer glyph – and on July 20-21, as the Sun was leaving Cancer for Leo.

My own musings lead me to speculate that the 69 glyph may represent the Sun’s turnaround at the summer solstice (which means sun standstill); in other words, the 6 flips over to become 9, symbolising the beginning of the return south for the Sun. Just a thought and I’m probably not the first to say this.

Associations

If Cancer is ruled by the Moon, Jupiter is said to be exalted in the sign, bringing out the best of the Jupiterian positivity in nurturing ways.

However, Saturn the ruler of Capricorn, is said to ‘fall’ in Cancer, and Mars is in his detriment because Mars is exalted in Capricorn.

So, here in a few words we can see that Cancer (and the water signs) are far more interesting we realise. And Cancer due to its prominent placing on the ecliptic (the zodiac), is in fact most fundamental – literally.

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Astrology Musings: Jupiter, time for re-appraisal?

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As we are rapidly approaching the Summer Solstice and the Sun’s entry into Cancer, I wanted to contemplate Jupiter and his traditional exaltation in the Cardinal Water sign.

For some time, I have thought that not enough is made of Jupiter, astrologically speaking. Here he is, the so-called Greater Benefic, but astrologers seem to spend so much time (myself included) hand wringing about Saturn, the ‘outer planets’, the minor planets, asteroids and comets, anything it seems except poor old neglected Jupiter.

Psychological angst

It’s as if anything that is potentially ‘good’ can’t be worth examining closely, nor would it make a ‘good’ subject for a book or an article.

The emergence of so-called psychological (and Sun sign) astrology is probably the reason for this, over the last 70 years or so.

Have we become so obsessed with pain and misfortune as life’s necessary harbingers of psychological growth, that we forget to enjoy ourselves? What ever happened to accentuating the positive?

Time for a Reappraisal

So what is Jupiter? The largest planet, we are told. He spends around a year in each sign, part of his 12 year cycle around the zodiac. He is, traditionally, associated with opportunity, expansion, good fortune, optimism, joviality, but also an overblown wastefulness and ‘devil-may-care’ attitude in difficult aspect.

When I think of Jupiter, I can hear the composer Gustav Holst’s wonderful take on the big planet, the happy, strident, jovial musical themes, the touch of patriotism, and the ocean of opportunity and expansion – all linking to Sagittarius, Pisces, and his exaltation in Cancer (patriotism).

The Greater Benefic

So why is Jupiter exalted in Cancer? Well, it was considered that his benefic qualities were best shown through caring, protective and nurturing ways. Not a bad thing.

However, as the Greater Benefic, surely he is potentially good in any sign? What about Jupiter in Aquarius, for example. If Aquarius stands for humanitarian ideals, with which it is often associated, then a well aspected Jupiter in Aquarius should be mighty fine, you would think. That sounds pretty exalted too and doubtless there are examples of prominent humanitarians who have had such a Jupiter position.

Of course, if Jupiter is challenged through aspect, one might expect to see some rather less positive tendencies.

Out of control

I once knew someone who had Jupiter rising in Gemini in difficult aspect to Mars. Though very generous and fun to be with, when he wasn’t talking or boasting or gambling, he was drinking. His life was indeed a mess, his birth chart had few ‘grounding’ indications, like, yes, a prominent Saturn perhaps or several planets in earth, for example.

Right now Jupiter’s in his own sign of The Archer (retrograde), so he ought to be overall benefiting long distance travel, philosophy, growth in general, depending on where he might be transiting in individual charts, though Jupiter in Sagittarius really ought to create an overall sense of optimism. Are we feeling it?

The Good News

However, with Saturn and Pluto conspiring together in Capricorn and Uranus threatening to turn a few things over in Taurus, it’s very easy to forget the good things.

I have often thought over many years that we do not make enough of Jupiter. Perhaps we should have ‘good news’ astrology, with a concentration on Jupiter and Venus? Only joking.

And there’s one word that isn’t used enough in regard to Jupiter: Opportunity.

See Blue Sky

When Jupiter does not bring good fortune to us when we might be expecting it, perhaps we are missing the boat. Jupiter can represent blue sky thinking – but you have to do more than think, you have to act and get out there into it. Go for it.

Opportunity is what it is, but you must act upon it and not wait passively.

So here’s to Jupiter, the old king of the gods, our jovial friend. Cheers and good health and good fortune to us all.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Astrology Musings: Mercury conjunct Mars in the Crab – Take It Easy!

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Today marks the meeting of Mercury and Mars in Cancer: Communication and energy combine in an emotive, sensitive way.

Mercury in Cancer in itself may tend to favour, or promote, more emotional thought, less emphasis on rationality. The poets among us might be just that bit more inspired right now, perhaps by family, nostalgic or patriotic concerns.

Combining with the Martian energy, this may be a time when issues to do with the home, family, our countries, become that bit more inflamed and vocalised, such as the long running Brexit situation, for instance. So we might expect to see more emotive output in the media right now.

The conjunction also occurs almost exactly opposite Pluto in Capricorn, so this probably only increases the tendency for political stirrings, speculations and perhaps secrets to be exposed in quite sensational ways. The Moon’s presence in Capricorn right now also brings emphasis on political and business issues.

Short distance travelling, or commuting, and our neighbourhoods too, are likely to become more active than normal, even aggravating, which may make us more prone to loss of temper due to the emotive influence of the Crab.

And as Cancer is a water sign, maybe travel by that mode, either by river or ocean, could be that bit more of an issue.

It might be a good idea for all us to exercise a little bit of caution in such circumstances.

My DNA Results – So, Am I Surprised?

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A few days ago I received my long awaited DNA results from 23andme.com.

The process was relatively easy; they kept me up to date with how it was going with regular emails. In total it took around five weeks from ordering the kit to receiving the results.

So it was with a little excitement, and a some trepidation, when my finger finally clicked the email link which took me to the website login.

It has long been contended within my family that there might be some more, shall we say, far flung genes within our pool. What might they be?

Geordies

All of the family I’ve known have been British, mostly, though not exclusively, English. My Geordie (Newcastle area born) Grandmother, for instance, had a Scottish maiden name, which nevertheless did not prevent her from occasionally casting one or two harsh words aimed at her genetic cousins just a short distance north of the border. Borders are always areas of contention.

My mother’s side of the family were largely dark haired, often with dark eyes too. I myself have dark brown hair with hazel-green eyes, which appear to come from my father.

Pure Speculation

On top of this there was some speculation that there might be Irish, or perhaps Romany blood. I don’t know where such speculation might have started though.

To put it another way though, I would not have been surprised to find some such significant traces in our family history.

Imagine my surprise then when I read down the composition of my ancestry according to the research based on my sample of saliva. Here it is in basic terms:

100% European.

97.9% Northwest European.

59.8% British and Irish – the strongest hits being Greater London and Glasgow, with lesser ones in the north midlands, north west and north eastern England, perhaps Cornwall. In Ireland it was found that Limerick, Dublin, Roscommon and County Wexford also represent some significance.

The above is to be found mostly within the last 1-3 generations, down to my great grandparents.

12.1% French and German. No actual place name hits could be found here, though looking at some of those within 23andme.com (my ‘relatives’ or possible distant cousins) with small percentages of similar DNA, Germany seems to come up quite often, whereas France does not. This may be misleading, however.

This DNA would most likely be found in generations 4-7, from my great great grandparents backwards.

‘Viking Blood’

3.6% Scandinavian. No actual place name hits here either, though once more this is a large area, with the best chance of finding it within generations 4-7.

22.5% Broadly Northwestern European. This generality is explained by significant migrations over longer periods of time which might ‘smooth over’ more specific areas of placement.

Maybe these ancestors tended to live in or around seaports (where there’s more influx of people – my speculation), anywhere from Germany to Iceland, from Norway to France. This is a significant percentage, almost a quarter of my DNA, so it would be nice to narrow this down, if possible.

1.6% Southern European. Another generality.

0.5% Broadly European.

All the other tested populations came up with zero percentages.

Irish Eyes

I knew of the Scottish connection, though not of Glasgow, I assumed it was more to do with Edinburgh, the Lothians or the Borders. I had speculated about the Irish. It would be great to follow up both of these with more investigation.

The London connection is a great surprise, however. I know of only one family member, a great grandmother on my father’s side, who was born anywhere near London, South Weald in Essex. I don’t think this would be enough to score the highest hit. So there might be one or two things to investigate here – maybe the London connection is indeed stronger than I think.

Exciting

And as for the French, German, Scandinavian, and southern European links I simply have no idea, so that’s exciting in itself. It’s at times like this I wish I’d asked my parents or grandparents more questions about family related matters.

However, one of the great things you can do with 23andme is link up with others of similar DNA strands and share information, if both parties are willing to do so. You can display as much or as little information as you wish. This can and does often lead to revelation, I am told.

Is It Worth It?

So is it worth around the ninety pounds I paid in all?  If you are seriously interested in family history, then yes, definitely.

And don’t think these results are the end – this is only the beginning. They are continually updated; if you’re prepared to participate with other members, plus also to join up for further research, such as in health, then this process should keep you intrigued and consumed for many years to come.

In the future, I hope to visit some of the places my DNA has been linked to, to visit Scotland and Ireland again, to go to parts of France, Germany and Scandinavia I’ve never seen.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

Astrology Musings: The Third House

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Sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. Actually it’s fundamental, if you don’t have a base, there’s nothing to build on.

So as the sun is in Gemini at the moment, I thought I’d have a quick look at its mundane house equivalent, the third house.

Gemini is of course the first of the air signs, and is mutable or changeable in quality. It’s ruled by Mercury.

Big Subject

The third house, therefore, is to do with communication – but that’s a big subject, right?

Communication can cover all of this: speaking, writing, office work, learning, education, reporting, walking, riding a bike or motorcycle, driving a car, delivering, local business, visiting…

But it’s also to do with our nearest relations and neighbours; brothers, sisters, cousins etc. and our local community in general.

Phew! It covers quite a lot, which we perhaps might suspect with the airy and mutability associations.

An Example

So what might it mean in practical astrological terms?

One example from the past that I can recall was this lovely lady, sadly long gone now. She had the Sun in Libra conjunct Venus and Mercury in the third house.

I didn’t know her until she was well into her sixties, but she retained a youthful air; quite tall, fast walking and nimble, always smiling, courteous, never having a bad word to say about anyone.

And she could never do enough for her neighbours, simply visiting, chatting, getting groceries, perhaps driving them to the shops.

Embedded in the Community

She was a retired teacher, though still ran evening classes where she lived. She was a big organiser of local events, often for charity. And she had never married – she’d simply been too busy!

She had dedicated her life to the local school for thirty five years, then fully engaged with her community in other ways when she retired.

As you can see, that Sun, Venus, Mercury conjunction in Libra, in the third house, pretty much encapsulates a large part of her life.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

*If you would like a personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for details.