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.

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Astrology Musings: The Virgin Queen?

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By Formerly attributed to William Scrots – wartburg.edu, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=686176

The reign of Elizabeth I is, I suspect, as much about propaganda as it is truth.

After all, the time of her coronation was decided upon by none other than Dr John Dee, magus, diviner, astrologer, the inventor of what came to be known as the British Secret Service. He was also the instigator of the notion of ‘The British Empire’. More of that in another piece.

But what of ‘The Virgin Queen’s’ nativity, her birth chart. Being a royal princess, her birth time was duly noted, even though Henry VIII was reputedly less than happy that Queen Anne Boleyn had dared to give birth to a daughter.

Fecundity and Popularity

Quite fittingly, the Virgin Queen, as she became known later, was indeed born under the sign of Virgo, the Virgin. It was right up high in the ninth house, so she was always likely, thanks to her birth, to be well known abroad (ninth house foreign affairs), often notoriously amongst her enemies.

The Moon in Taurus in the fourth house, close to the nadir of the chart, also comes into play here, I feel. Taurus is fertile and the Moon is well placed here. Is this the origin of the myth of her fecundity? I think it certainly stands for her popularity with her own people.

Queen of Heaven

She was also portrayed as Astraea, queen of the heavens from ancient pagan myth – not Christian at all, but this was very much in vogue at the time with the likes of John Dee and other Renaissance men plucking the strings, through their magical science and the giants of creative literature, such as Marlowe and Shakespeare.

Her ascendant is Capricorn, and therefore her ruling planet is Saturn, the great taskmaster. Capricorn rising brings responsibility, often hardship, privation, a willingness to see things through for some greater prize; in this case, we are told, it was England itself, its preservation from outside rule.

An Unhappy Place

Saturn in Cancer in the seventh house reveals the equally serious and responsible attitude she had in her dealings, diplomatically, but also in her relationships. Saturn in Cancer is in its ‘detriment’, its not a happy place.

It symbolises a potential lack of family, caring, loving, nurturing – but it also creates a dogged hardness of spirit, purely through harsh experience, a resigned sense of making do emotionally.

Here we see also the coldness that was dealt her when she was a princess. Her mother was executed when she was little more than a toddler. She was imprisoned and came pretty close to being executed herself, it would seem, during the reign of her half sister, Mary.

So in many ways it’s surprising she ever made it to the throne.

Intelligent

It transpires too that Elizabeth was one of the most intelligent rulers England has ever had. She could debate with the best of men, speak and write several languages fluently.

For this we should look at Mercury and Venus high up in Libra in the tenth house of career. Mercury is trine Mars in Gemini and this creates a ready wit, mental versatility, a charming, diplomatic manner and intellectual potential, all of which could be put to good use in her reign, as it was. She was the epitome of pragmatism, which became her method of survival in a man’s world.

And in Love with Love

Venus in Libra is all about love, diplomacy and indecision. She was in love with love, if you like, and so high up in the chart, there was also a danger that it might get out to the public. At times the love and diplomacy melded into one, sometimes in the most bizarre ways. In the end she could not decide.

Nevertheless, the harsh screening of that Capricorn ascendant, Saturn in Cancer in the seventh house too, would always manage, somehow, to keep some kind of reign on her romantic flirtations and dalliances. In her heart, we are told, she devoted herself to her people and to England: that’s Venus in Libra.

And Saturn in the seventh house could mean of course, a lacking in the marriage, or even the denial of it.

 

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

 

Astrology Musings: A Political Leader in His Element. Who’s For Boris?

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The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I mean, who would want it – really?

One of the names touted around for some time is the former Lord Mayor of London, former British Foreign Secretary, leader of the Brexit campaign in 2016, prominent journalist, editor and author, Mr Boris Johnson MP.

Does he have what it takes, astrologically speaking, to lead United Kingdom PLC? Well now he’s thrown his hat in the ring, here’s my take on it, my musings.

Lots of Air – but where’s the Fire?

Let’s begin with the chart basics. There’s lots of air: Libra on the ascendant; Sun, Mercury, Venus (the chart ruler) and Mars in Gemini in a pretty full ninth house; Moon in early Scorpio in second house, but still trine the Sun and Venus conjunction.

There is a lack of the fire element. 

So what might all this mean?

Obviously the birthchart of any leader will necessarily apply itself to the fortune’s of that nation. So who do we have here?

Affability

Libra rising and all that Gemini; the affable, likeable, quick-witted, humorous fellow we all see. Nevertheless, this outer affability should not disguise the significant substance within: this is no ‘shallow’ Gemini.

He’s obviously great company, as well as a serious intellectual, with a penchant for foreign matters and history, especially classical history – all ninth house affairs.

He is a particular operator from the higher mind, though always approachable (Libra, Gemini), intelligent, able to give full, well argued, discursive answers, probably without notes, all delivered with humour (lots of Gemini), argumentative fervour if need be (Mars in Gemini ninth house) but with grace (Libra rising).

Communicator

He’s charming, a naturally enthusiastic communicator, who could make you be interested in virtually anything. He might have been a salesman in another life.

But he’s also a diplomat, a negotiator (Libra) and probably a very good one, too.

And at the end of the day, that Sun conjunct Venus in Gemini will always make him likeable, even to many of his political enemies. The Sun Venus trine the Moon also means he’s pretty much at peace with himself, too, I think.

But let’s look at that lack of fire. As a potential leader, I would be happier to see some Aries or Leo, or a prominent Mars, so this may be a problem. I don’t see here a natural leader, but he understands both sides of an argument, with persuasive, intellectual power in droves. He’s very comfortable in the heady world of intellectual debate (Air signs, ninth house): He may have to rely on it.

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So what might a Johnson premiership be like?

Well, with all that ninth house activity, he will naturally gravitate towards foreign affairs, and this area of UK policy is not going to change very soon. No surprise there, you might say. The difference being, I’m pretty sure, is that the EU negotiators this time would know they’ve been danced with, so to speak. He’s no pushover when it comes to arguing over a point.

Libra (on his ascendant) has a reputation for indecision, yet it is often prominent in charts of leaders and generals. The key factor here is weighing up, literally the balancing of options, a fundamental part of deciding on any action.

Fence Sitting

His ruler (Venus) in Gemini might even seem to exacerbate this tendency for fence sitting; maybe this is why he’s waited until now for what he sees as the appropriate time, rather than trying to oust the incumbent premier earlier.

With the emphasis on Gemini and the ninth house, he would be able to respond quickly to events, have a broad grasp of any situation. These are good qualities.

In recent times he’s published a biography about Winston Churchill. Most interestingly both men have a prominent Saturn Uranus opposition, Boris Johnson’s almost exact.

Here we might see the fundamental problem that would face any leader at the present time though, and perhaps particularly a Johnson premiership. Saturn represents the existing order, Uranus stands for a radically new one that may be thrust upon us without warning. They are fighting each other, and we can see similar situations in Europe and the world, as well as within individuals.

Not a Firebrand

In his own chart, this plays out in the sixth/twelfth house axis, but could be highly significant for the country’s health if he’s leading it, how it functions as a nation, and whether it can face the deep psychological rifts that may be going on with Britain’s changing status in the world.

There is another near exact opposition also between Jupiter and Neptune in the second/eighth house axis. This hints at financial and security instability, confusion.

So to summarise, he’s not a firebrand, inspirational type leader. He leads with reasoned argument, persuasion and oodles of wit and charm.

And sometimes luck comes strongly into play. If Mrs May could be described as being unlucky, maybe taking the job at precisely the wrong time, perhaps Mr Johnson’s timing is spot on. We shall see.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

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

Astrology Musings: JFK born 102 years ago

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Many articles, volumes, films and TV series have been written about the life, and death, of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

So what, in astrological terms, might be deduced from his birth chart – why is he such an icon, even now?

Potential or fate?

I believe astrology is largely about potential, not necessarily fate. There is freedom of choice. But choices have consequences.

When he was born, Libra was on the ascendant. His ruler, Venus, is in Gemini in the 9th house, along with his Gemini Sun nearby.

So in basic terms, this pretty much describes the man and the President we know. The easy charm, the affability. He is intelligent, sociable, diplomatic, approachable, highly inquisitive and able to relate to a wide range of people. Not bad qualities for America’s first TV President.

Diplomacy

This also correlates with his successes in diplomacy, his liking for peace. Examples of this are the creation of the Peace Corps, his seeking of detente with the Soviet Union following the Cuban Missile Crisis, his willingness to try to accommodate all sides most of the time.

And his Sun and Venus in the 9th house indicates the importance of foreign matters and the world at large to him, as a man and a President.

But of course, he was also known as a great speech maker, a prerequisite for any politician who want to go places.

Great Speech Maker

If we look to his Mercury (speaking/communication) it is conjunct Mars in Taurus (the Bull rules the throat) in the 8th house. Jupiter is nearby too and is ruler of his third house of communication.

Here are the strong, optimistic, expansive, yet ultimately practical mental qualities he was noted for, like, for instance, setting America on course for the Moon.

Here also is the powerful, ‘bullish’ voice we have all heard, one of the most distinctive political voices of the last century.

Few Presidents made as many famous speeches in three short years, such as the one in Berlin in 1963. Here too, is his bravery and generosity; from the 8th house he was willing to speak up about difficult policy decisions that might change the security status quo.

Grasp of Detail

This conjunction is trine the Moon in Virgo in the 12th house. This hints at an inner fastidiousness to the nature, that could be put to good use mentally; a great need for, and grasp of, detail. Again, a perfect quality for a successful politician.

So, we can see that underneath the easy charm, there is a practicality and courage too. He wanted to get things done.

Some have said that if he hadn’t gone into politics, he might have become a famous writer. Well, he did write some books, but had he chosen this other career path, I think one can see he might well have been famous for that too.

Saturn is fairly close to the midheaven (career) in Cancer.

Saturn Weighs Heavy

Saturn is not ‘happy’ in Cancer, hinting at potential for emotional struggles, especially positioned quite prominently high up in the chart. This would tend to bring very hard, demanding difficulties and responsibilities that could expose the individual at times.

This is a difficult position for any well known individual, but here we’re looking at the most powerful man in the world.

Had he lived, assuming he would have gone onto a second term, my bet would be that he would have dedicated himself to writing – quite possibly his first love.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

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

Astrological Musings on Mercury – “Stop fidgeting, boy!”

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In astrology Mercury is associated with the signs Gemini, Virgo and the corresponding third and sixth houses of a chart.

Mercury, closely following the sun at all times, is said to represent the mind, how we think, communicate, our nervous system, their strengths and weaknesses depending its conditioning.

Take Luke (not his real name which is protected), a former teacher who’d taken early retirement a while ago. He came to me wanting to know why he’d become so restless and nervous. He explained that he’d always been a bit restless, but especially of late. He knew his birth time to within about five minutes, so I calculated his birth chart.

Raised Eyebrows

Immediately, one of the ‘reasons’ he described himself as restless leapt out at me from the computer screen. His Mercury was closely conjunct a Capricorn ascendant, trine Mars in Taurus, sextile Jupiter in Scorpio. There were no so-called difficult or hard aspects, no squares or oppositions to Mercury. He seemed curious as to why my eyebrows were raised. At the time he came to see me, transiting Pluto had been lurking with intent around his native Mercury for a few months.

Over the years I’ve found it remarkable (a lot of the time) how people ‘speak’ their charts. In Luke’s case Mercury here was doing all the talking!

Mercury in Capricorn represents a practical mind, that likes to spend its time productively; teaching would be one good outlet. Close to the ascending degree and energised by Mars and Jupiter, one might expect the native to be a little fidgety – he was, constantly scratching his head, re-arranging his seating position. He just had to be doing something!

Positive Energy

So with all that positive energy from Mars in Taurus, which only increases the pressure to ‘do something’ practical like making money, and from Jupiter in Scorpio, encouraging him to go deep, plumb the depths of knowledge, it’s probably not surprising that Luke was a bundle of unresolved, nervous energy which now ceased to have a proper outlet or channel.

“Can you write?” I asked, rather glibly, picking at Mercury’s communicative qualities.

He nodded. “Yeah, I do it all the time.”

“Professionally?”

He shook his head and laughed. “Just jot things down and scribble, you know.”

But I could see something opening in his eyes, some kind of realisation.

“Don’t get me wrong,” I said, tentatively, “I can’t advise you to do anything but what might help is to find a project, a writing project, to really get your teeth into, to fill the gap that teaching filled. Something like that.”

Second Career

He seemed interested, but with all that earthy mental energy, I figured that creative writing might not be the best outlet for him. “Serious themes, perhaps,” I continued, “history, religion, psychology, geography…”

“Ha!” he exclaimed, “I taught geography for thirty five years!”

“OK, apart from teaching it, have you written about it, expressed our own ideas, opinions? Have you done research, for instance?”

“Not since university.”

Chance Meeting

It was around six months later when I met up with him again by chance, not in my house, but in the high street outside a butcher’s shop of all places.

“You were right about the writing, by the way?” he said, smiling nonchalantly.

“Really?”

“I’m a regular contributor to a science magazine now… and I’ve started giving talks on geography and geology for adult education locally. In fact, I’ve been invited up to Sheffield next week to give a talk.”

I tried to disguise my own smirk. It would seem that his native Mercury, which may have given him the impetus to become a teacher in the first place, had now inspired a second career in his retirement, as a writer and speaker. Pluto’s close proximity to his native Mercury at the time, may just have done a little prodding from behind the scenes.

Ultimately, I think this example also shows a need to look for the obvious, stand out features of a birth chart first. “Keep it simple, boy!”

Musings on Pluto’s Mask of Invisibility

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By NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71082408

I have done a little research on and off for a few years now regarding the ‘outer planet’ Pluto and his supposed effects. Put it this way, I have not been satisfied with terms like ‘transformation’.

I shall not go into it too much here as it is ongoing, but suffice it to say that I find I’m in agreement with many these days who think that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the so-called outer planets, only really come into serious play by their placement, their relationship if you will, by either being angular or in close aspect to the true planets, or both. I don’t believe (yes, it is a belief) that Pluto rules Scorpio, for instance.

Demotion

Of course Pluto was demoted from planet status several years ago, it being essentially classed a kind of minor binary system involving a sibling called Charon (the ferryman of Hades in myth), with whom Pluto does this merry dance in the remote, dark reaches of this solar system. Yet, despite this, there doesn’t seem to be any lack of interest in him in astrological circles.

Pluto was first discovered officially in 1930 and many have attributed the dark, ‘underground’, extreme forces that were appearing in the world at the time to the planet’s arrival in the mainstream.

Does he have a name?

Then of course we have the name of the planet. I mean why call him Pluto? The work of Percival Lowell led to the discovery of Pluto, and of course his initials are the first two letters of the name. Then of course we have Mickey Mouse’s dog, Pluto, named after him.

So the question is, did the recognition of each ‘outer planet’ reflect the time of its discovery?

I have seen it said that Uranus, discovered in the late 18th century, coincided with the American and French revolutions, plus the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Well, I suppose Uranus has a reputation for turning things over.

Neptune was discovered in the mid 19th century, though it is far less clear what was going on then (spiritualism?) which we could call Neptunian – but maybe that’s just Neptune being Neptune, hard to make out really.

Synchronicity

And then Pluto around 1930 and the rise of fascism, communism: I get the point. Pluto is the Roman name for the Greek Hades, king of the Underworld. In mythology Hades had a helm, cap, or mask, which reputedly made him invisible, sometimes also called the Helm of Darkness. All these are what we might associate with Pluto. Either way, the mask allowed the wearer to disappear, or be undetectable, a bit like Pluto on his 248 year travail around us. I’m not sure I believe in synchronicity.

But the mask of invisibility only belongs to Pluto/Hades, others wore it to become undetectable, it is not Pluto himself. So maybe, to conjecture, in astrological terms Pluto by close aspect lends secrecy to whomever he is masking/aspecting? I don’t know, it’s something I’m looking at.

Can you keep a secret?

Nevertheless, we all know how dangerous and devastating secrecy can be, hiding true intent, a bit like the cloaking device used by the Klingons in Star Trek, or even like a ‘bird of prey’ using extreme speed (peregrine falcon for example) to disguise its final, devastating kill.

As an example, take a native with Mars closely conjunct Pluto, might the interpretation be that the Martian energy has the potential to be hidden, yet also potentially more focused and dangerous as a result? And if that energy is hidden, suppressed even, then there may be deep psychological implications too. If Neptune were conjunct Mars we might expect dissipation of that force; with Uranus we could see sudden, violent outbursts of energy.

I will leave the musings there but I intend to try and use living examples in later posts. I’m trying to keep an open mind, with the understanding that the whole truth can never be known. Thanks for your patience – these are just my musings.