Why we are all here

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month we dive into the heart of the power of the astral and its relevance to astrology, magic and life.

This is a topic I have been talking about a lot lately with the people close to me. What I have to share will be useful to all readers, no matter their knowledge level of the subjects, but it may be especially interesting for people who are turning their Keys or involved in a system of magical initiation like Initiation into Hermetics. For everyone this message represents advice on how to improve every aspect of your life and it will help you to understand what life is for. For people turning Keys (as per the instructions in The 26 Keys) what follows can help to clarify the relationship that exists (and develops) between the practitioner and the various intelligent components of astrology that they interact with via conduction – the bonds and connections that form between you and the Lights, planets, signs and temples. Astrology is an astral language and so understanding the astral also illuminates what astrology is. For magicians this information will help them to understand the powerful role the astral plays in mediating between the mental and physical, particularly in manifesting desires, as well as providing a perspective (mine) on what the astral equilibrium is, how you know it, and how to stay in its flow. It will also venture into discussing the mental equilibrium and the connection all this has to astrological practices.

To venture deep here we need to understand some things about the invisible, or occult, universe we are always immersed in and the relationship this has to the physical. Astrology is fundamentally based on the universal law of ‘as above, so below’, sometimes called the principle of correspondence or the law of analogy, but there are actually other universal laws being expressed by astrology. Two fundamental ones we need to understand that relate to this in this journey are known as the principle of vibration and the principle of mentalism. The Kybalion (1908, ‘Three Initiates’) defines these as follows:

The principle of mentalism: “The All is Mind; the Universe is Mental.”
The principle of vibration: “Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”

A third principle, the law of attraction or manifestation, arises in part from the interaction between these two principles and it is this law of attraction that I want to explore with you here. To state it simply this law of attraction is that giving and receiving are one, that you receive what you put out, you get more of what you give. In essence the law of attraction is a manifestation of the other two principles so we need to understand these first. We also need to understand how the law of attraction operates differently in the mental and astral plane.

The first principle is an important one. The ‘Mind’ being referred to is not the ‘mind’ of personal thought. It is the universal mind, hence the capital ‘M’. A more modern word for what it represents (but still an inadequate one) is consciousness – so, everything is consciousness, the universe is conscious. Consciousness, as an experience, is the awareness of being, which is the awareness of being alive, of existing. We mistakenly think of some things as non-conscious (rocks, for example) because their physical form does not display consciousness in the ways we recognise (yet), but they are still conscious. There are no exceptions, either in the physical universe or anywhere beyond it. Everything has an ‘I Am’ awareness, although it may not think that as thought, lacking words or a brain that thinks.

The subtlest manifestation of consciousness that humans commonly recognise is its presence in the mental plane, a conceptual plane where it is experienced as a continuous flow of thought and ideas. However, consciousness itself is just a vehicle for thought and pure consciousness is without thought. This is the state of mind we attain naturally when we sit in meditation, empty and open and spacious, so that our awareness can encompass the timeless and formless presence of pure consciousness, alignment with Mind, our source and true being. Thought, and the mental plane, serve to focus consciousness. This focusing of pure consciousness into thought, once disciplined, is a key skill in magic of any tradition. It is through the ability to focus the mind on thought without distraction, with the knowledge of the co-creative universal power which is present in all things, the power to create things through the mind when it is a channel for Mind, that the magic is made to flow in the desired direction. Another way to put this across is to contemplate on the fact that no matter how the universe began or what it is, at this present moment in its existence it has evolved consciousness and self awareness in us, and that we and everything else that is conscious now are therefore literally the consciousness of the universe.

The principal of vibration is again universal but we perceive it’s activity more in the astral plane than in the mental or physical. In the astral plane the thoughts and concepts of the mental plane are translated into vibrational reality, their formless mental essence being given a shape in the form of symbols. The concept of joy, for example, expresses itself symbolically as smiling (among other things). It’s important to note that these symbols are specific to personal perspectives – humans smile to symbolize the expression of joy, but apes do not. For them it symbolises a different thing. Human beings have an occult anatomy that interacts with the astral plane primarily through their feelings and emotions – we sense it and perceive it this way most of the time. We do have astral senses that are the equivalent of our physical senses – so there is an astral vision, an astral hearing, etc. However, these senses are largely dulled and overpowered/obscured by our focus on what our physical senses provide. When we learn to focus on the senses of the astral body we develop psychically, becoming able to translate the vibrational reality of the astral with our physical and astral senses simultaneously.

Because of this relationship between human emotions and the astral realm we can say that the primary indicator we have for our astral condition – the astral vibration we are currently resonating with – is our mood, and also that emotions are the most symbolic things we know. However the astral plane is not just a realm of emotions but more accurately one of vibrational significance – everything vibrates and these vibrations interact so that they affect one another in an endless ocean of waves and pulses and rhythms – an energetic ocean of resonance, of things buzzing and triggering reactions in an endless feedback loop. When you walk through the forest your vibration merges with the vibration present in the forest and you sense it as your vibration shifts to be more aligned with that of the forest. Then you get in a car and go to work and your vibrational frequency shifts again, probably to a more tense feeling. The part you’re probably not noticing is how the forest and car and workplace are also shifting to align with your vibrational frequency. The astral body is more porous than the physical body, so unless you seal it off with a shield or a cloak you are continually interacting with the vibration of your environment in an intimate way. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it is what allows you to feel what you feel when you walk through that forest. It is important to note, however, that how you feel is the indicator of your astral vibration in every case and that you retain the ability, in most situations, to shift your mood at will simply by focusing on things.

Because the mental plane is closer to pure or undifferentiated consciousness than the astral plane is, thought naturally leads to or gives birth to feeling. What we focus on in the mental plane – what we think about – causes corresponding vibrational frequencies on the astral plane ‘below’ it – it brings feelings related to those thoughts. If we maintain our focus on a thought, the feeling or vibrational power of it on the astral plane increases. Focusing on an idea also causes other ideas which are similar to it to be drawn to it on the mental plane – if you think about the concept of colours, for example, it is not long before you are also thinking about red. This is the law of attraction on the mental plane. It causes things which are similar to one another to be drawn together when focus is applied. This is how ideas ‘add up’ and evolve, by gaining traction. It is also the secret behind mental transference, the ability we have to transfer our awareness into different things. By focusing our thought on a tree, for instance, it is possible to join with its awareness, to become the tree, because our own mental awareness is able to assume its shape through the focused application of creative imagination.

In the astral, the idea of the colour red is symbolically experienced by human perception as being resonant with or symbolic of blood, and there is a strong emotional response to this. In a nonhuman body where the appearance of blood is not red, red does not have that significance in the astral realm. This is an example of what I said earlier about symbols being specific to personal perspective. However, in the astral plane the law of attraction polarises as a quality into attraction/repulsion because every feeling we have is actually both a desired and a not desired state or condition. Whereas the law of attraction on the mental plane draws like to like, forming chains and clusters of ideas and concepts with similar meanings to collect into larger entities, on the astral plane the same law encompasses the qualities of both repulsion and allure, and quantitatively all topics are vibrationally defined by a lack or an abundance – there is the feeling of not being loved and the feeling of being loved (or of having money, or health, or etc.), and these polarities are astrally connected. Every topic that exists as a pure concept in the mental realm (in other words everything) is experienced personally in a unique way by everything in the astral, and as a having and not having, a wanting and not wanting. You might like the colour red, it might make you feel really good, but I might feel uncomfortable with it. For you, red is alluring and for me it is repulsive. We can agree that neither of us is right, right and wrong have no place. We can argue and discuss the topic in attempts to shift the others view and thus the feeling they have about the topic, and this might occur, but we cannot fundamentally change the fact that there is a range of personal reactions to the colour red, some people will want it and some people will not want it. In the astral, every topic is like this, it is either something we want or something we do not want for ourselves. It’s either a feeling that makes us feel good or one that makes us feel not so good. Obviously, our personal history is a big factor in how we feel about everything – that is why the astral body is also what we call a soul. The soul is a vibrational body composed of how we feel about everything, and everything we have felt strongly in the past in this life or another is stored there vibrationally. The primary vibration, though, what we really feel and always will in the core of our being, is alignment with all that is, because it is our default state, our factory setting. We are just not focused there. In meditation, when all the vibrational activity settles because the absence of thought causes it to become calm and peaceful, we feel the vibration of the indescribable love of creation pouring into and out of us, the natural vibration of the soul. It’s just that most of the time we are not focused there and are frequently resistant to receiving it. The good news is the universe doesn’t care, it just keeps coming at us full tap knowing that one day our resistance will be surrendered. This is a genuine case of resistance being futile. There is an eternity for us to get it.

The astral serves the same purpose for the physical that the mental realm serves for the astral – it gives birth to it. The vibrational or energetic reality behind the universe of physical matter is its mother. The astral is therefore in between, so to speak, the mental and physical universe. However, everything beyond the physical universe is fully integrated with it in the present moment forever. These astral and mental realities are not ‘higher’ in the sense of being more distant and therefore remote. They are fully present in each moment of the physical universe at all times and in all places. In that sense, we can’t go there because we are already there. It is all around us, all in us. We can ‘go’ there only when we leave the physical body behind us, either by dying or finding a way to shift the focal point of our awareness into a separated astral or mental body. The way we ‘go’ or travel there all the time in everyday life without noticing it is the way our emotions and thoughts move us internally throughout the day – and boy do most of us go on epic journeys, even from one second to the next!

There are some important things we need to observe about these facts at this point. First, we can discipline our thoughts and learn greater and greater focus for our consciousness. Most people ramble in the mental plane, wandering all over the place and being drawn from one thought to another without much consciousness. This creates many thought forms with many different directives – beings I have described in a previous journey on psychic protection. Most of these beings are as feeble as the thoughts that organise them. Focus and repetition, however, can create powerful clusterings of thought. Some of these beings grow self aware through the law of attraction – a person (or culture) keeps thinking a particular thought and after a while it has grown from this idea and then this idea being drawn to it and added to it, until eventually it attains enough meaning that it is like a huge snowball rolling down an endless hill of snow, just gathering, gathering, until it becomes self aware, an intelligence to be reckoned with by anyone in its path. Entities take on substantial symbolic forms as astral beings at such points. Roleplaying gamers, painters, writers, performers and anyone who has felt obsessed by a living idea knows what this is like. Imaginary things come alive and start dictating their own desires, outcomes and destinies. Such beings often come back to us seeking to be fed more, they are after all our children in the mental plane. Novelist Anne Rice created one of these when she dreamed up her character Lestat, and in interviews she seemed to be aware of that. He would literally haunt her into writing more about him, and she would eventually give in. So, focus is powerful!

Following on from this it is clear, as I pointed out earlier, that since we can always choose what we focus our thoughts upon we can always also control our mood, and thus our vibration. If something we are thinking about makes us feel bad we can always choose to think about something else. We would do this more often except for the fact that some thoughts come with very powerful negative emotions and those emotions overwhelm our will and dominate our awareness. When we think about how such and such a person lied to us, for example, we don’t feel good about that but in that moment we don’t choose to think about something else to feel better either because of the strong emotion that carries us along with it or because we feel right and being right is too important for us to choose to feel better. We might be right, of course, but the point is we don’t choose to feel differently when being right feels bad. It is not loving to ourselves. If we cared about how we feel more than about our opinions and being right, we would choose to be happier immediately. In fact when you realise that some thoughts always make us feel good – for example, think of the cutest or most special animal you have ever known and notice the feeling – then you also have to admit that much of the time we suffer unnecessarily by thinking of things that make us feel bad, often to the point of wallowing in them, especially when they are not happening in our present but either in our past or some dreaded future. A lot of our suffering could just be disposed with.

We can also understand from this that the more frequently we think a thing the stronger and more powerful its vibration in our astral body becomes. This is part of the reason why some thoughts come with such overwhelming power over our awareness – we have simply thought that thing so many times that it’s vibration in our astral body is intense and dense enough to temporarily overpower our will and ability to choose to think about something else. This is how mantras and some talismans work – mantras through the act of repetition and the activation of the vibrational frequency of the mantra as its words lose their meaning and merge into a continuous sound, a resonance field that shifts consciousness (birdsong is similar and has a magical effect on all of the nature in audible range, for instance encouraging flowers to grow), and talismans through the powerful will of the magician impressing meaning into the object so that it becomes effective as a vibration when worn or held.

Here is the essence of the teaching, then – by maintaining our focus on thoughts that make us feel good, the universe creates a path forward toward our desires, and because we are listening for those signals without resistance in an expectant and calm manner, they come quickly and we notice them. As we act on that inspiration, which always feels uplifting and exciting, we move closer to what is desired and the momentum builds so that the next step, the next signal, is bigger, clearer. And all of this happens without effort or struggle because the process is one of feeling good as often as possible, whatever that involves for you. It is not required to stay feeling good all the time. Instead it’s required that we develop the habit of choosing to think in ways that make us feel better again whenever we notice that we are feeling bad.

The vibrational reality of the astral attracts and repels and so every feeling or desire that we have situates somewhere along the continuum of these absolutes – we like it a lot or not at all, we hated all of it, we are lukewarm, etc. This matters and is a gift because it helps us to clarify our desires and become more brilliant individually. When we came into this incarnation we knew this, we had the understanding that all of the things in the world we don’t like would clarify for us what we really do want for ourselves and each other, and we knew that by focusing the magically creative power of our consciousness through thoughts with strong desires, the vibrational laws of the universe would draw towards our physical orbit all of the experiences we needed to have to manifest that desire, provided it intended no harm. However, we also understood, each of us, that while in the physical universe we would lose sight of the vibrational reality we were swimming in and that we would need to rediscover this as well as use it for our benefit. We knew that all of the things in the world that we did not like would potentially become traps because by focusing upon them we would simply be re-creating them vibrationally in the present moment. In other words, we knew that if for example we focused too much on the loneliness of the lack of a lover in our lives then that is what we would get and we knew that having lost sight of the vibrational reality of the astral we would not realise that in order to break out of the trap of no lover in our lives we would have to change the way we feel about it and reach for a different vibrational frequency, in other words we would need to learn to focus on what we do want, not what we don’t. This means using the creative imagination to imagine the vibrational feeling of having a lover already being in our lives, conjuring that and building it up until its vibration is a match for what you have previously put out, and then gets stronger. Instead of waiting for a lover to give you a reason to feel happy, you focus on the happiness of how good it feels to be loved.

The universe is intelligent and therefore knows the best path for us. It knows what we want and responds with love to every desire we have for our happiness. The infinite astral universe moves around us to lead us on a path to the fulfillment of that happiness, often communicating to us symbolically what the next step is. However, because we are so focused on the material universe and on what is already present and very often focused on the lack of things that we want, we are not positioned to be receptive to the signals. We either miss them or refuse them because we are not vibrationally receptive to them. This is because we focus too much on the lack of what we want. If we are thinking a lot about the lack of that lover, we are not receptive to any signal the universe sends about meeting one. In fact, if the negative power of how we feel about not having a lover is intense enough, we wouldn’t even accept them if the perfect person came up behind us and goosed us cheekily – we simply wouldn’t believe it could happen to us and would dismiss it. However if we are thinking about how good it will feel with that lover in our lives, or if we are not thinking about that situation at all and are instead thinking about something else that feels good, or are just sitting peacefully and calmly in meditation, then our consciousness will be receptive to those signals when they come – and they will, because the universe will match it vibrationally, adding more and more inspiration to the pile – and if we take the action those symbols inspire we will move towards the experience of physical reality that matches our astral one. If we stay feeling generally good and calm and not blocking what we want by mismanaging our mood, the path is always laid before us and more importantly we will be able to recognize it and accept it. Any feeling of being unworthy or of not deserving happiness is delusional.

The fact that the astral universe moves around us (like the physical) leading us on a path to the fulfillment of happiness, often communicating to us symbolically what the next step is, is clearly relevant to astrology. It is a symbolic language we use to divine the way to happiness. It is also very much a vibrational science and art, displaying the intricate and complex mechanism of the solar system within us. Two planets, Venus and Mars, symbolize desire – Mars the pursuit of desiring and Venus of being desired. Mars is also symbolic of the specific vibration of desires we put out (I want this specific thing) while Venus is about the power or capacity of our vibrational ability to attract, specifically our capacity to feel (I want it so much because it will feel so good). The Moon symbolically represents our own astral vibration, the kinds of things and issues we vibrate or resonate with personally, and thus what we are naturally comfortable with (or sometimes in the case of difficult aspects, what we deny ourselves the comfort of vibrationally). The Sun is symbolic of the individualized expression of Mind within us, the creative power of our conscious focus of being, while Mercury reflects the focusing of that consciousness through different kinds of thoughts and ideas. The entire inner solar system plays a symbolic role in the way the astral realm of vibrations and the focusing of thought cause physical things to manifest into being through the law of attraction. Jupiter and Saturn play broader more general roles – they are principles of abundance and lack, of the overflowing cup that the law of attraction is and how open we are to its flow (Jupiter) and the experience of a lack of things, the necessities of which lead to us formulating efforts that restructure our vibrational output into something that creates a more stable framework for our own happiness – the redemption of the souls karma, its vibrational foundation (Saturn). The signs and houses and aspects of the ancient planets, the 7 visible planets, all shape the expression of the law of attraction in us in the physical universe. This is one of the things that distinguishes the ancient planets from the more modern ones. This means that we can actually make a very detailed map or blueprint of our relationship to the law of attraction from studying the birth chart. This map is not a static one, something we are stuck with from birth, because the inclusion of transits and progressions allows us to trace its development through time.

Relationships of all kinds also shift our vibration. We are in vibrational relationship with the entire universe but primarily with the Earth and the solar system we live in. Relationships are worlds. We enter into them and gradually create a private, intimate world that exists only between those in the relationship. This is a vibrational world, an attunement to one another that, if kept healthy with unconditional love, will only serve the growth of both. This is also true of our relationships with other worlds, with the planets. But unconditional love must begin within us, we must be unconditionally loving towards ourselves first because we cannot give what we have not already received. This means we have to love ourselves enough that we choose to think differently about the things that bring us pain and in some cases to choose not to think of those things – to choose loving thoughts and feelings regardless of conditions. Everyone who has suffered from depression at some point knows that it becomes like a bottomless pit, the more you think about the things that bring you depression the more depressed you feel and the less likely you think it is that it will ever end. The solution is not to drown it out with tablets, spend hours and hours in therapy talking about it, or tell yourself to just snap out of it – it is simply to put your mind consistently on things that either make you feel better or just not bad, such as going for a walk in a forest or going dancing for a while. Even the smallest thing – deciding you would enjoy a cup of tea and making it – begins the process. When there is only a glowing ember of the love of life left in you, you have to really milk that experience with the tea by focusing on it and the feeling it brings. Whatever uplifts you or takes your mind away from focusing on the things that are dragging your mood down is where you need to focus. Sometimes we need a good friend to come along and force us to focus on something that makes us feel better, even if it is something small. The power that some thoughts have over our emotions, the vibrational power of certain experiences we have, can set us up for quite a journey, which is what we call the healing of trauma. It’s often not possible for us to make the vibrational leap from feeling like we want to kill ourselves to feeling ecstatic joy – that leap is just too vast. We can however get there eventually if we move from depression to anger and then to something that feels slightly less bad and so on. And if we expect to get there because we focus on the abundance of things that are good in our lives (Jupiter), starting with the tea if necessary, instead of the limitations and burdens of what we lack (Saturn) then the universe will lay the path before us step by step in more and more significant ways. We just have to stay focused on managing the way we feel and following its guidance. When we feel bad, it means we need to think about the topic differently if we can, or think about something else that is good to think about if we can’t, and about nothing at all if we can find nothing good to think about. We should also observe the same guidance regarding what we say and write.

Sometimes the traumas we have experienced are distant enough that we can handle them or we can think of those things without the negative emotion or fear being so strong that it overwhelms our awareness. In these cases we don’t have to avoid thinking about those things entirely we can instead try to come at them from a fresh angle, perhaps extracting lessons and wisdom for the future, which causes our vibration on that topic to shift and thus allows healing and transformation. If someone has wronged us we may eventually be able to understand the reasons for it or we may not but what we can always do is realise that nothing gets to determine whether we are happy or not except ourselves. We can reach for better experiences by setting our astral vibration, by using our creative imagination to conjure the feeling of that better experience before it happens or just by choosing to dwell upon things that are fun or pleasing, things that are working out. This ensures that we will eventually escape the negative vibration we feel and the circumstances and thoughts that are attracted by that vibration.

What does all of this mean for students of Franz Bardon and “Initiation into Hermetics”? Simply put the astral equilibrium is the clearing of our own astral vibration so that it becomes receptive as a conduit for magical creation to occur through us. Fundamental to this attainment is that we acquire self-determination in how we respond to the constantly shifting ocean of resonance within the astral, internally and externally. We remain calm and in control of all of our emotional responses. If circumstances arise which cause us to feel (for example) anger at something then the presence of the astral equilibrium means we always get to choose whether or not we will express that anger (attaining the mental equilibrium means we won’t choose to express it because we know it is not in alignment with how the Greater Self perceives things). With the astral equilibrium there is never a loss of control over the astral response. However, more fundamental to the experience of the astral equilibrium is that it feels good. This is because we are being the best version of ourselves that we can be in that moment and we are also focused on the positive within us and in all of our experiences. In fact, if we choose habitually to interact with things that make us feel good, that uplift us emotionally and that keep us expectant of more good things happening in the future, we will naturally attain and stay in equilibrium. The simple but powerful truth is that you know you’re at least moving in that direction if you feel good about life and being who you are, and the more you know about who you are the more deeply and completely you can feel this joy of being you.

Furthermore, the Greater Self or Higher Self, the you of you, your Guardian Angel, wills your happiness at all times and is therefore always leading you to your greatest good. This means that when you feel good and are unconditionally loving towards yourself you are aligning with how your Greater Self feels about you. Aligning with how your Greater Self perceives you and by extension all of the universe is the result of the work of attaining the mental equilibrium. Therefore, by aligning with good feelings and their vibration you are aligning with your spiritual guidance and being led on a path that maintains or establishes the mental equilibrium as well as the astral equilibrium. Ultimately the inner spiritual being within you knows that all is well, and when you align with that thought you feel good because you are coming into alignment with that inner being. It is the discord in vibration between us and our Greater Self that causes us to feel bad. Therefore all of the bad feelings we have can be taken as signposts pointing us in the direction of our Greater Self, of enlightenment, of equilibrium and re-alignment with the universe.

On this path we choose to do things and think things that make us feel good and when other things arise that do not feel good we receive them as indicators that show where we are not yet in alignment with how our Greater Self perceives things. We try to perceive it differently, in a way that feels better to us, so that we move closer to alignment on that topic, or we choose to focus on something else that does feel good and is working out knowing that in doing so our situation is shifting on that difficult topic anyway because it is our vibration now that the universe is responding to now. Eventually it may shift enough that we can see a solution to that troubling topic where we could not before. Instead of focusing on the negative feelings we have about our now reality – the lack of money, of love, or health – we focus instead on the now-ness of our vibration, on what we are feeling now. Instead of having to figure out and hack the path to the manifestation of our desires – figure out which course to take, figure out which college to go to, study hard and attain degree, find ideal job (factors which can set a vibration that feels discouraging from the start) – we instead focus on the feeling of how good it will be to have a satisfying, fulfilling and rewarding career, we feed that thought and let its astral vibration, the good feeling, gather momentum, and when the inspiration to act comes, which is always coming, we follow through excitedly. And the joy, the true happiness of this path, is not the way it feels when we finally attain the material manifestation of what we desire, it’s the magic of the journey as we get to see the path laid out before us in synchronicity, coincidences, magic and surprises, the joy of seeing the power of creation moving through us into manifestation. Because that’s the wondrous experience we all came here for.

Moon Maps

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month I share with you a method of working with transits that I call the Moon map.

The Moon map is something I came up with for Patrons at my $5 or more tier and is part of the monthly musings I send them on a variety of topics but mostly on the coming months astrology. It is both a method of sorting information on transits and of narrowing the timing of the effects of slow moving transits. It focuses on identifying the most dynamic or harmonious days of every month, days when the power of major transits are activated. For this reason, the days identified by a Moon map are often quite potent ones where significant things happen. I will show the method I use for creating both maps which is essentially my method of creating monthly forecasts.


It will be helpful to understand the principles upon which the map is based first. The essential idea, which is a traditional one in astrology, is that the movements of fast moving planets activate the power of slow-moving planets, especially when they are in aspect. For example, when Saturn and Jupiter are conjunct, the conjunction gains power and is activated when the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus or Mars make an aspect to that conjunction. The Saturn and Jupiter conjunction will last at least a couple of months due to orbs of influence and in that time the Moon will definitely activate it several times, while the other fast moving planets may also do so depending on their positions. The Moon is actually the major timing piece for these slow-moving aspects since it makes every possible aspect to every object in the solar system once a month – hence the name Moon map. This lunar feature of forming every aspect with all objects in the sky every month is the basis for the method of magical interaction with astrology I call Magnetic conduction.

Another principal upon which the map is based is that while aspects occur between planets the signs are also in aspect to one another – Aries is forever in square to Cancer and Capricorn for example. While planets in exact aspect to one another have very tight and powerful effects that manifest acutely and sharply, planets who are in aspect to one another by sign but not by orb of aspect still manifest the nature of the aspect between the signs they are in. For example, if Jupiter is in Aries and Saturn is in Capricorn but there is no square aspect between them because they are too far apart in terms of degrees there will still be a square like relationship between what the two planets are signifying – Jupiter will be pushing for bold expansion and Saturn for conservation and caution. These tensions can be picked up by fast moving planets which manage to bridge the gap of degrees between the two slow-moving planets quickly, highlighting the differences between them.

This aspect relationship that signs have to one another is also the basis for the sorting of the information and its presentation as well as the means by which either a dynamic or harmonic map is created. Dynamic maps will be formulated on the basis of the 3 Modes (i.e. they will be sorted according to whether a sign is Cardinal/Active, Fixed/Stable, or Mutable/Reactive) while harmonic maps need to be formulated on the basis of either the 4 Elements (i.e. they will be sorted according to whether a sign is Fire, Earth, Air or Water) and/or the 2 Fluids (Masculine/positive/diurnal/Electric signs or Feminine/negative/nocturnal Magnetic signs). This is because of course the dynamic aspects, the square, opposition and conjunction, are all formed between signs in the same Mode while the trines, the most harmonious aspect, are formed between signs of the same Element and sextiles, the other harmonious aspect, are formed between signs which share a Fluid but not an Element.

Influences will be described as either harmonious/harmonic or dynamic/discordant. This does not imply in any way good or bad. It is simply a measurement of how easy it is for us to accept a particular influence. Certain dynamic influences literally force us to take action because they are so unacceptable. Conversely, certain harmonic influences that need to be regenerated just keep going because we see no need to change them. Dynamic influences include the conjunction, square and opposition while harmonic influences include the sextile and trine. Venus, Jupiter and Neptune tend to be harmonic influences regardless while Sun, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto are more dynamic.

A fifth and important principle to bear in mind is that when slow-moving planets change signs there are transition periods caused by retrograde motion which cause complications in the Moon maps. For example we recently had Saturn and Pluto change signs. This leads to new patterns as new signs means new aspects, changing the overall themes in the sky that fast moving planets interact with. Then, when either or both of the slow moving planets retrograde, the overall themes shift again. It needs to be kept in mind that when the slow-moving planets are near sign boundaries we are in transition periods where the overall themes in the sky are shifting between states for a while. Often this manifests as the old themes gradually wrapping themselves up while the new themes are setting themselves up but sometimes it manifests more chaotically as one slow moving planet stays in one sign while another moves out. These periods are the more complicated ones to map. 2023 is one of these transition periods so I will explain the creation of the Moon maps for June 2023 as an example, when Pluto changes signs.

The Moon map will show us which days of the month specific astrological aspects are transmitted astrally from the Moon sphere to Earth. One important complication here is that the Earth is spinning which means that we have time zones that delineate different times of day at different places for the same moment. This means that, for example, it can actually be one day in Australia and the previous day in America. The most obvious example of this is seen on New Year’s Eve.

Since the Moon takes around 2 1/2 days to move through a sign the days in which it activates any particular aspect occur in a sequence of two to three consecutive days, e.g.on the 7th, 8th and 9th or 12th, 13th and 14th, but because of the effect of time zones in some places the dates might be the 6th, 7th and 8th or 13th, 14th and 15th instead, for example. Essentially the days at the beginning and end of the cluster of dates might shift because of time zones while the date/s in the middle is fully reliable. Which time zone you are in will also determine whether it is night or day and this can have an effect on what you experience, for instance if you are asleep you might have the astrology manifest in your dreamscape, while if you are awake you may have to handle its external manifestations more.

The Moon map can also be helpful in identifying additional days of the month which are significant when conducting activations of our Keys, since it will pinpoint all the days in which the activation we are working with is transmitted astrally towards the Earth. In the dynamic map we see all the challenges and turning points while in a harmonious map we see all the support and encouragement we can be receptive to.

So, let’s begin Moon mapping!


The first thing to do is to check the positions of the slow-moving planets for the period in which we want to construct the map. We are looking for any major aspects between them that occur either by degree or sign. The slow-moving planets I use are Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris. Eris is super new and so its inclusion is more for research rather than forecasting purposes.

Here are the positions and directions of these planets on June 1st 2023:

  • Jupiter: 03° Taurus, direct motion all month
  • Saturn: 7° Pisces, direct motion, but turning retrograde this month
  • Chiron: 17° Aries, direct motion all month
  • Uranus: 29° Taurus, direct motion all month
  • Neptune: 27° Pisces, direct motion until last day of month.
  • Pluto: 0° Aquarius, retrograde motion that goes back to 29° Capricorn
  • Eris: 25° Aries, direct motion all month

The major aspects between these positions and signs in June are as follows:

  • Jupiter is conjunct Uranus by sign and square Pluto in Aquarius by degrees and sign. Jupiter is also trine Pluto by sign when it moves back into Capricorn (while still being square Jupiter by degrees) and sextile Neptune by sign and Saturn by sign and degrees all month.
  • Saturn is conjunct Neptune by sign. It is sextile Jupiter by sign and degrees and sextile Uranus by sign all month as well as becoming sextile Pluto by sign when it is in Capricorn.
    Chiron is conjunct Eris by sign and possibly degrees. It is sextile Pluto by sign until it leaves Aquarius, then it is square Pluto by sign.
  • Uranus is conjunct Jupiter by sign and square Pluto by sign (but trine it by degrees) until Pluto leaves Aquarius, then it is trine Pluto by sign. It is sextile Neptune by sign and degrees and sextile Saturn by sign.
  • Neptune is conjunct Saturn by sign. It is sextile Uranus by sign and degrees and sextile Jupiter by sign. When Pluto enters Capricorn it is sextile Pluto by sign and degrees.
  • Pluto is in Aquarius is square Jupiter by degrees and sign, square Uranus by sign, sextile Chiron by sign and sextile Eris by sign and degrees. In Capricorn Pluto is trine Jupiter by sign (but still square by degrees), sextile Saturn by sign, square Chiron by sign and square Eris by sign and degrees, sextile Neptune by sign and degrees and trine Uranus by sign.
  • Eris is conjunct Chiron by sign. It is sextile Pluto in Aquarius by sign and square Pluto in Capricorn by sign and degrees.

Since data on Eris is for research purposes I find it helpful at this point to gather all of that information into a separate category, which has the added benefit of cleaning up and focusing the list, and we can then tidy it up further by removing all the doubled up aspects:

Eris Research

  • Chiron is in the same sign as Eris.
  • Pluto in Aquarius is sextile Eris by sign, Pluto in Capricorn is square Eris by sign and degrees.

Remaining Themes

  • Jupiter in the same sign as Uranus (Taurus) and sextile Saturn (in Pisces) by sign and degrees and sextile Neptune (in Pisces) by sign. It is square Pluto in Aquarius (sign and degrees) and trine Pluto in Capricorn (by sign)
  • Saturn in Pisces is sextile Uranus (in Taurus) and conjunct Neptune (both by sign). It is sextile Pluto in Capricorn by sign. Also see Jupiter.
  • Chiron in Aries is conjunct Eris by sign. It is sextile Pluto in Aquarius and square Pluto in Capricorn (both by sign)
  • Uranus in Taurus is sextile Neptune (in Pisces) by sign. See also Jupiter and Saturn. It is square Pluto in Aquarius (by sign) and trine Pluto in Capricorn (by sign)
  • Neptune in Pisces is sextile Pluto in Capricorn by sign and degrees. See also Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.
  • Pluto in Aquarius, see Jupiter, Chiron and Uranus and in Capricorn see Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto enters Capricorn on June 10th.

We can see here that as I pointed out earlier the fact that Pluto changes signs this month creates complication in the map as the general themes change according to its position. This means we will have to account for this issue in the maps. From this list of the essential themes of the sky for the month we can choose to focus if we wish on those which are in aspect by both sign and degrees as these will have much more impact. In the list above this would lead us to focus on Jupiter sextile Saturn and square Pluto as well as Neptune sextile Pluto. However this only gives us three themes to work with and we gain a more complete picture by including sign based aspects as well. As I explained earlier, fast moving planets will be able to bridge the gap between the slow-moving ones, especially the Moon. This will have the effect of blending the two tones together in an aspect like relationship, at least as far as human experience goes.

With these themes in hand it is time to begin putting together a general interpretation of these themes. This will help us to understand the overall terrain of the month. Later we will add some contours that help us to identify where in the month these particular themes will emerge. Here we should probably start with the themes that are in aspect by degree and sign. In June, Jupiter sextile Saturn suggests a blend and ease of exchange between growth and cutback, expansion and contraction, a harmony between our urge to grow into new spaces and the necessity of creating new boundaries as a result. The signs of Taurus and Pisces might have something to do with how this theme expresses itself. If one of these planets is either poorly or well dignified by essential meaning (in a good or bad sign for its nature) then that can affect which side of the aspect will have dominance over the other. In this case, neither Jupiter nor Saturn appear to dominate that way. They might become more dominant if they receive other aspects from other planets, especially if those aspects are squares or oppositions, as more aspects means the planet is more active. Saturn looks pretty chill (in the same sign as Neptune and sextile Uranus) compared to Jupiter who has to contend with squares with Pluto and being in the same sign as Uranus, so it might be that Jupiter dominates here. So then we would push the interpretation more towards Jupiter in Taurus where it takes on financial, agricultural, physical and earthly forms rather than spiritual ones.

We do this process for everything else in the general themes for the month, including those themes which are caused by planets in sign-based relationships with one another. This becomes the basis for our interpretation of what is going down overall for that month. However, we need to know which days in the month these themes are going to be transmitted to the Earth and it is the inner planets, the fastest moving objects in the sky, especially the Moon, which we now need to add to find this. In doing so we will contour the terrain and the timing of things as well as acquire further information on how they trigger. I find the graphic ephemris of Solar Fire to be an amazing help here:


First, we look at the position of Mars. The position of Mars will often act as a trigger on its own, forcing action and reaction to that action, etc. For all the fast moving planets we need to know how far they travel in the month, not just their starting positions and directions. Mars can vary in speed quite dramatically, for example recently he spent 6 months in Gemini and is only in Cancer for a couple of months. Retrograde motion causes this variance. In June, Mars will begin at 6° Leo and finish at 24° Leo, in direct motion the whole time. This means it will activate everything in the Fixed/Stable signs (by conjunction, square or opposition, in other words dynamically) and everything in Fire signs by trine, while also being sextile to planets in Gemini or Libra. When we go back to our themes we see this interacts with Jupiter (in Taurus), Uranus (in Taurus), and Pluto (in Aquarius). The most significant part of this journey is when he makes a square by sign and degrees with Uranus in Taurus on June 26th. On this day, he will be powerfully triggering everything connected to Uranus in the sky, but in quite a pushy and trouble-making way as he will be square to Uranus. If we give the square a 6° orb of influence, this influence actually ends up covering June 15th until the end of the month with June 26th being the nucleus. So we now know the latter half of June triggers everything Uranian in a Mars square like way, with Mars in Leo. This is his main role in the sky for June. We make a note of this:

  • Uranus in the same sign as Jupiter (Taurus), sextile the signs of Saturn and Neptune (Pisces) and trine the sign of Pluto (Capricorn) is dynamically and forcefully activated by Mars in Leo in the second half of the month, culminating on June 26th.

Notice that we had to know when Pluto changes signs (June 10th) to be able to figure out that he would be in Capricorn (trine Uranus by sign) for the latter half of the month. The focus of this Mars activation is Uranus in Taurus, as he will be exactly square it in the sky, and so this becomes the foundation for the interpretation (shock, upheaval, challenge, trouble, surprise or ambush).

We might also note that with Chiron in Fire there is something to smooth the journey of Mars in compensation. He will be trine Chiron in Aries on the 23rd, shortly before the square with Uranus, and with orbs of influence this will begin around June 12th and stay in orb all month. Mars/Chiron trines can be about making progress in quests or heroes journeys but they can also lead to a flowing of powerful healing forces. The Fire Element comes to the rescue when the Mars/Uranus drama unfolds. Mars is moving and shaking things this month but the Chiron contact helps to forge a path, a bridge over the troubled waters. Additionally because Uranus itself is in harmonious aspects (conjunct Jupiter, sextile Saturn and Neptune, trine Pluto by sign), we can expect it to be easier to adapt to whatever changes are being forced. If Uranus were not so well placed itself the changes would become very difficult to accept. We also now know that from June 12th onward, Mars is harmoniously smoothing out the general themes of Chiron:

  • Chiron in Aries (conjunct Eris by sign and square Pluto in Capricorn by sign) is harmoniously energised by Mars in Leo from June 12th, culminating on the 23rd.


We have added our first contours to the general themes of this months Moon map. The next step is to add the solar trinity – Sun, Mercury and Venus. It is helpful to think of these bodies as a connected trinity as they are astronomically and astrologically bound together. Mercury and Venus are never more than 2 signs away from the Sun but they can be either ahead of it or behind it as well as being in the same sign as the Sun. In June, for example, Venus is ahead of the Sun and the Sun is ahead of Mercury. Venus is therefore the leading edge of the trinity and Mercury its tail end. This in itself is significant information – the transits to all the slow moving planets are beginning as emotional experience (Venus activates first) and ending as intellectual ones (Mercury activates last). Should Mercury or Venus retrograde – they do not in this case – they can serve to bring strong emphasis to a general theme connected to the sign they are in or things they aspect by degree. The Sun is, like Mars, a powerful triggering mechanism for the general themes, it brings them to life, while Mercury and Venus represent what we think and what we feel about these themes, but with retrograde emphasis they can also act more like the Sun. In June, the solar trinity journeys as follows:

  • Venus is in front starting at 25° Cancer and ending the month at 20° Leo. She switches signs on June 5th.
  • The Sun goes from 10° Gemini to 08° Cancer, changing signs at the solstice on the 21st.
  • Mercury travels from 15° Taurus to 08° Cancer, changing signs on the 1th and 27th.

Notice that Mercury catches up with the Sun – it is going to overtake him, changing the order to Venus, Mercury, Sun for the following month. This is a more foresighted trinity (we feel and perceive or analyze things before they come to life) while June is going to be more about hindsight – figuring things out after they happen (Mercury is behind) – but as we near the end of the month this hindsight diminishes and vanishes as we reach a point of thinking our way through things as they happen (Sun conjunct Mercury), a place where wits and reactions are sharpened and Mercury is invigorated, like a torch being re-lit before he races away with it. Hindsight this month is transforming into foresight for next month.

The next thing we do is map the trinity onto the general patterns just as we did for Mars. I find it helpful to focus only on degree based aspects here and to break the month into three parts for this operation, each of around 10 days:

  • In the first 10 days of June, Mercury stays in Taurus and the Sun in Gemini but Venus leaves Cancer for Leo on the 5th. Mercury will be conjunct Uranus in Taurus on the 4th, dynamically activating everything Uranian in the general themes with an intellectual or mental energy. It will also make a sextile to Neptune in Pisces on the 10th, which helps to calm the mind and stimulate conscious imagination. The Sun in Gemini sextiles Chiron on the 10th. So we can say that the first ten days see dynamic activation of the Uranian themes by Mercury and a harmonious activation of Neptune themes as well as a harmonious bringing to life of Chiron themes around the 10th. The other main feature here is the transition of Venus from a sign where she is exalted to a sign where she has no essential dignity and her trine with Neptune in Pisces on the 3rd. The emotional atmosphere is high and quite positive for the first 4-5 days of June as a result. Result: dynamic activation of Uranus and harmonious activation of Neptune by Mercury, harmonious activation of Chiron by the Sun, elated emotions for first 5 days.
  • In the middle ten days of the month, Mercury and the Sun are in Gemini with Venus in Leo. Mercury actually enters Gemini on the 11th. The Sun heads towards a square with Neptune in Pisces (19th) while Mercury heads towards a square with Saturn (15th). This is therefore a difficult period for all of the Saturn/Neptune themes. Venus also squares Jupiter in Taurus (11th), dynamically amping up the emotional power of all the Jupiter themes this month. Result: Dynamic activation of Saturn by Mercury and Neptune by the Sun, dynamic activation of Jupiter by Venus.
  • In the last ten days or so of the month the Sun and Mercury enter Cancer (the 21st and 27th) and Venus remains in Leo. The last three days of June emphasize Cancer as the Sun and Mercury conjunct there. There is a square between Mercury in Gemini and Neptune in Pisces on the 26th, the follow up to the Sun/Neptune square on the 19th (here is where we attempt to figure out what we think about what happened then, but it is confusing as a Mercury/Neptune square presents a lack of clarity). However Mercury is also sextile to Chiron in Aries on the 23rd and trine with Saturn in Pisces on the 30th with the Sun trine to Saturn on the 29th. Venus also makes a trine with Chiron in Aries on the same day. There is some ease at the end of the month because of this. Result: dynamic activation of Neptune by Mercury (26th), harmonious activation of Chiron (23rd) by Mercury, and of Saturn by the Sun (29th) and Mercury (30th), harmonious activation of Chiron by Venus (29th).

At this point I like to add these dates to the general themes information:

Remaining Themes with Inner Planet Activations

  • Jupiter in the same sign as Uranus (Taurus) and sextile Saturn (in Pisces) by sign and degrees and sextile Neptune (in Pisces) by sign. It is square Pluto in Aquarius (sign and degrees) and trine Pluto in Capricorn (by sign). Is activated dynamically on the 11th (Venus).
  • Saturn in Pisces is sextile Uranus (in Taurus) and conjunct Neptune (both by sign). It is sextile Pluto in Capricorn by sign. Also see Jupiter. Is activated dynamically on the 15th (Mercury) and harmoniously on the 29th (Sun) and 30th (Mercury).
  • Chiron in Aries is conjunct Eris by sign. It is sextile Pluto in Aquarius and square Pluto in Capricorn (both by sign). Is activated harmoniously by Mars (from the 12th, peaking on 23rd), Sun (10th), Mercury (22nd), Mars (23rd) and Venus (29th).
  • Uranus in Taurus is sextile Neptune (in Pisces) by sign. See also Jupiter and Saturn. It is square Pluto in Aquarius (by sign) and trine Pluto in Capricorn (by sign). Is activated dynamically by Mars (from around the 15th, culminating on the 26th) and Mercury (4th).
  • Neptune in Pisces is sextile Pluto in Capricorn by sign and degrees. See also Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. Is dynamically activated by the Sun (19th) and Mercury (26th) and harmoniously activated by Venus (3rd) and Mercury (10th).
  • Pluto in Aquarius, see Jupiter, Chiron and Uranus and in Capricorn see Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto enters Capricorn on June 10th. While in Aquarius Pluto is dynamically activated by Mars and Venus (5th) and harmoniously by Mercury (11th). In Capricorn it is unactivated.


With this step complete we are now ready to finish the Moon map by looking at the Moon itself. At this point we need to decide whether we are creating a map which is more focused on dynamic or harmonious influences i.e. influences which are challenging to adapt to and those which are easy to handle. This is because the Moon will activate everything in every possible way each month, so its more useful to know whether that is a dynamic or harmonious activation. To create a dynamic Moon map we will filter everything through the Modes and to create a harmonic one we will filter it through the Elements. This filtering is made from a list of days in which the Moon enters each sign for June:

  • Scorpio: Jun 1st
  • Sagittarius: Jun 3rd
  • Capricorn: Jun 5th
  • Aquarius: Jun 7th
  • Pisces: Jun 9th
  • Aries: Jun 11th
  • Taurus: Jun 13th
  • Gemini: Jun 16th
  • Cancer: Jun 18th
  • Leo: Jun 21st
  • Virgo: Jun 23rd
  • Libra: Jun 26th
  • Scorpio: Jun 28th
  • Sagittarius: Jun 30th

To create a dynamic map we simply sort all these according to whether the Moon is in Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable signs:

  • Cardinal (Moon is in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn): 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th, 28th.
  • Fixed (Moon is in Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius): 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th.
  • Mutable (Moon is in Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces): 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 30th.

To create a harmonious map we do the same but sort through the Elements:

  • Fire (Moon is in Aries, Leo or Sagittarius): 3rd, 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 30th.
  • Earth (Moon is in Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn): 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th.
  • Air (Moon is in Gemini, Libra or Aquarius): 7th, 8th, 9th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 26th, 27th, 28th.
  • Water (Moon is in Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces): 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 11th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 28th, 29th, 30th.

The dates in bold are the middle dates in which we do not have to think about time zones as mentioned earlier.

With the dynamic map we can see all the days in which the Moon is transmitting the overall themes of the month to the Earth in ways which are extremely active and potentially difficult to control. We apply this information to these general themes in this way. For example in the general themes Jupiter and Uranus are in Fixed signs, actually both are in the same sign, Taurus. This means that on the 2nd, 8th, 14th, 22nd and 29th and the days either side of those the Moon is stirring up and transmitting all of the Jupiter/Uranus themes, including the fact that they are in the same sign, and its doing so in a way that could mean trouble for us but its potentially also filled with energy that gets things done (Taurus). We can cross reference this with the inner planet contours we put down – the movements of Mars and the solar trinity – for more details. In this way, certain dates in the month will really stand out as overlapping transmitters for particular themes generated by the slower moving planets. For example, we have discovered that Uranus in Taurus is dynamically activated by Mars from the 15th, peaking on the 26th, and when we cross reference this with the Moon map we see that the Moon dynamically activates all Fixed signs on the 22nd and 29th, bracketing the peak Mars activation on the 26th. So we start to see the terrain of the 22nd-29th as being especially dynamic and Uranian. This is likely a turbulent week.

With the harmonious or harmonic map we see all the days in which the Moon is transmitting the overall themes of the month to the Earth in ways which are much easier for us to handle or in forms which we are more receptive to. Again, we apply the information to the general themes in this way but we should probably focus more on the sextiles and trines within those general themes. For example, Jupiter and Saturn are sextile by degrees and signs all month long. Jupiter is in Taurus (Earth) and Saturn is in Pisces (Water). The filtering by Elements gives us the following days in which the Moon, being in an Earth or Water sign, transmits this sextile directly towards the mundane realm: 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 29th. Again we can cross-reference this with the inner planets. The trining of the Sun and Mercury in Cancer to Saturn in Pisces at the end of the month (29th and 30th), harmoniously activates the same general theme of Jupiter sextile Saturn, meaning that the 29th is especially powerful as a transmitter of this theme as the Sun, Mercury and the Moon act to transmit it. Dynamic activations can also cause things to kick in or be stronger, especially those of Mars, so we could use the dynamic dates as triggers for harmonious themes – for example, with the Jupiter/Saturn sextile we know that it is activated dynamically by Venus on the 11th and we also know that it is being harmoniously activated by the Moon (in a Water sign) on the 10th and 11th. It is quite likely that on the 11th the Jupiter/Saturn sextile is strongly felt, as the dynamic transmission of it by Venus (through the emotions) is harmoniously transmitted by the Moon (it becomes a personal experience). Remember that dynamic influences just cause things to change or to be more energised and active while harmonious ones keep them on course or make things easier to accept.

You can also create a harmonic map based on the sextile, but you need to create that based on the signs the slow moving planets are in, for example to create a harmonic, sextile based Moon map for the Jupiter/Saturn sextile you need a list of all the days when the Moon is in Taurus or Pisces, the signs of Jupiter and Saturn, or the signs that sextile Taurus and Pisces (Cancer and Capricorn). In our example that gives us the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st. Cross referencing this with the information we have on Jupiter and Saturn for June also highlights the 11th (we see a dynamic activation of Jupiter by Venus in Leo at this time) and this suggests that the 11th will powerfully transmit the Jupiter/Saturn influence as an emotion. We also see the 15th as a time when Saturn is dynamically activated by Mercury, which synchronises with the 15th in the list we have just generated – both Moon and Mercury are transmitting the Jupiter/Saturn sextile mid-month, but Mercury, being square to Saturn, is adding complications and saying no to things, while the Moon, the astral transmitter that make things personal, is helping us to deal with that. The mood we have is good enough that we can handle the twists.

I hope this explanation was clear enough to enable you to venture into the process of making your own monthly Moon maps and studying what occurs on the days that become highlighted by this method. If you’re interested in the topic you can get a free monthly Moon map by subscribing at the five dollar or more tier on Patreon. Thank you for reading and see you next month!

Spatial Astrology

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month we look into the astrology of space and location.

Just over 10 years ago I opened this blog with a post titled “Journeys with the Astral Light” in which I discussed the concept of astrolocality, the idea that a chart manifests itself geographically in specific locations, using the astrology of Paramahansa Yogananda as an example. In this inaugural post I briefly explained the use of culminating, anti-culminating, rising, setting and paran lines and made some suggestions for their use in magical practice with astrology. Today I want to expand on that, adding what I have learned since then as well as diving more deeply into the topic than I have before. I want to show you this very exciting and very powerful technique which opens up many fertile areas of research, and will likely become an important element of future astrology. Using this technique we can add a new sentence to the meaning of any particular part of our chart – I can say, for example, that I have Neptune in Scorpio, Neptune in the 10th house, Neptune in conjunction with Moon and Venus, and I can also say I have Neptune in Berlin. This last statement may seem strange at first but it is as valid as any of the others and in my case it also describes my experience with Neptune more aptly than the others and is more concrete, less symbolic. When I first came to Berlin I was profoundly drawn to a particular fountain in the city centre, the Neptune Fountain showing Neptune surrounded by aquatic creatures and water nymphs. It sits just next to the tallest building visible anywhere in the city, the (very phallic) TV tower which can be seen anywhere and provides the most elevated view of the city. I didn’t know it then, but through astrolocality I have Neptune on the midheaven in Berlin – it picks up the energy of my natal Neptune and transfers it to the highest point in the chart, the midheaven, a place which can also be said to fountain, in a way, much like the invisible TV transmissions (Scorpio?). I met with a literal manifestation of the astrology in the landscape. Interesting though this is, however, it’s just the beginning of the discoveries awaiting astrologers who venture into this field. So let’s explore!


Firstly, this use of astrology isn’t new, but in modern times it is being radically reinvented. This is due to the late astrologer Jim Lewis who pioneered the innovations in the late 1970s and patented his system as astro-cartography (ACG). The idea of astrolocality has been a traditional one for millennia, with the practice being to simply change the location of birth, keeping the time and date and thus all of the planetary aspects, and to interpret the new chart both independently and in comparison with the natal chart. If, for example, you are born in Rome then to find out what kind of conditions you meet in any given place we would recast your birth chart for that place instead of Rome and if the new chart put Venus or Jupiter on the ascendant or midheaven, and those planets were not terribly afflicted in the natal chart, then it would be seen as a beneficial place to visit, marry into, do business with, etc. Conversely, if Saturn or Mars was on the ascendant or midheaven, war or adversarial conditions might be expected, especially if these were planets that were harshly aspected in the natal chart. Houses and angular cusps become important in this interpretation as these are the ways in which planets change from one geographic location to another – for instance, today (March 29th) the Moon is in Cancer. It will be in Cancer wherever we are in the world (also with the same aspects), but our location will place it in one of the 12 houses. If that placing by house is also angular (conjunct the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th house cusp) it will be especially powerful in that geographical place, just like it would be if it were so in a natal chart.

What this means is that if, for example, you have ever wondered what it would be like to have had the Sun on the ascendant, or Venus on the midheaven, you can. It’s possible to simulate and thus cultivate it by living in a place that carried that resonance at birth. Or, lets assume you have Venus in Libra, a good placement for relationships, but she is in the 12th house of your natal chart, something indirect that brings a feeling of loneliness and isolation or shyness, and you have always wondered how it would be if she were instead more powerfully placed on the descendant, the cusp of the 7th, which is all about direct, open relationship. Again, you can have that experience, you just have to know where in the world you can find it. This is what astrolocality does. The reverse is also true – there are some places that we do not thrive in. Saturn/Pluto for example can be very harsh, like hard labour and extreme transformation that comes with a heavy price. If we have a Saturn/Pluto hard aspect in our natal chart, moving to a location that makes it angular could be devastating.

Importantly this does not negate anything in the birth chart, that remains our primary pattern, but what occurs when we travel is that we encounter our chart in the larger body of space that is the Earth, which is in effect a meta-body for everything that lives here, an expression of our being on a higher level. We are part of the life and body of the planet Earth and are entangled with it at the astral level of being, just like the solar system is. Also importantly, we can encounter this resonance in two ways, by going to it or having it come to us. That 12th house Venus person seeking a loving relationship may not have to travel to a place where Venus sets, they might just meet someone from there. Conversely, doing business with a company that has its head offices in that Saturn/Pluto location may not be a great idea.

Traditionally this practice has been limited by the fact that a new chart needs to be drawn for every location. Additionally, the traditional approach did not (really could not, practically speaking) take latitude into account – only zodiacal longitude was used, which is important because the true rising and setting of planets are also determined by how far away they are from the celestial equator (you can read more about this here). The use of computers and the work of Jim Lewis means we have now transcended these limitations and in the process we now have many new astrolocality techniques available, with further advances in technology still ahead suggesting that this will become a hot field of study in the future once more people catch on to it. The biggest transformation by far is that we can now project the entirety of our astrolocality onto a global map where the contacts planets make with various places emerge as continuous rings or lines that wrap around the globe. Essentially we can now visually see all of our astrolocality at once, as well as being able to filter and sort it. In the journey ahead I will explain the lines and present you with some examples of their importance. There are four types of lines to understand and work with, with two of the types splitting into two further subgroups each:

Planet Direction Lines – lines that amplify a planets natal position
Rising/Setting Lines – lines that simulate a planet being on the ascendant or descendent
Culminating/Anti-Culminating Lines – lines that simulate a planet being on the midheaven or IC
Paran Lines – lines that bring planetary relationships into manifest potential

The spatial power of these lines varies according to the dignity of the planet and (I suspect) the type of line, with rising and culminating lines gaining the edge, and lines connected with the Lights and a chart ruling planet having greater presence, but as a general rule of thumb a radius of 500 miles (about 800km) is average, with something like up to twice that range for a planet in rulership and on the ascendant in the natal chart. This is a long way so be sure so keep it in mind when looking at maps, as a simple natural or national border does not stop astral resonance! However the closer you are to the line, the stronger all effects become. Also, bear in mind that the geographical surface of the planet has changed considerably in human history – not only do national borders and identities change but the land too (most of Europe and North America were covered in ice up to about 12,000 years ago, for example) – something that is especially important when studying places for potential past lives, which are often the lines connected to the Lights (as symbols of life), Saturn and the Dragon (as symbols of karma).


Imagine that you are transported back to the time and place of your birth and that as you stand there you turn 360° scanning the horizon. The various planets in your birth chart will be positioned in certain directions. The Moon, for instance, might be located directly west of you. A planet direction line is a line that is created if you were to walk in the direction of a particular planet from this position. It’s the simplest line to understand as it is literally the direction in which the planet is located from the place and time of your birth. This is literally what the three wise men did in following the star (a bright Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Virgo) to Bethlehem. If you keep going west following that Moon or star, you will of course eventually just circle the world and return to where you started from the east. When plotted onto a flat map of the Earth these lines appear to curve but they are in fact perfect circles which encompass the globe. Take a look at the image below:

This is a map of the southeast of the USA and these are the planet direction lines for Elvis Presley (January 8th 1935, 4:35am, Tupelo, Mississippi) who was born with Sagittarius rising and chart ruler Jupiter in Scorpio on the cusp of the 12th. Jupiter is also ruler of his 4th house. Jupiter was a big issue for Elvis (the rhinestones, sequins and sexually charged flambuoyance should give that away – his Jupiter rising line, explained below, goes through it). The place where they all fountain from is his birthplace. Notice the blue line that is connected to Jupiter that extends in a north-west and south-east direction. It goes directly through Memphis Tennessee, the location of Graceland, his ostentatious home. Presley died and is buried there, as are his parents, paternal grandmother, grandson, and daughter (Jupiter in Scorpio, a palatial mausoleum). Presley’s Sun and Mercury in Capricorn in the 2nd house, as well as his Pluto in Cancer in the 8th, have lines that pass through the Hawaiian islands where he made many financially successful films. The same lines also go through San Diego where he performed on live television with grinding, sexual movements that seemed shockingly vulgar at the time.His Moon in Pisces line goes through Paris, where he used to take leave as a soldier while posted as a young man in Germany. His Neptune line goes by New Orleans which greatly influenced his musical style.

Below you can see the planet direction lines for Cassius Clay (better known as Mohammad Ali), born January 17th 1942 at 6:35pm in Louisville, Kentucky:

His natal Saturn in Taurus in the 10th goes through Miami, Florida (where he won the heavyweight title aged 22 and declared “I am the greatest!”) and his Capricorn Sun (chart ruler with Leo rising) and Chiron (in Leo in the 12th) both go through Zaire (“The Rumble in the Jungle” where he regained the title through taunting his opponent into a knockout). His Mercury in Aquarius, which is closely conjunct his Moon with both square his midheaven and tightly opposite his Pluto and Chiron, leads all of these lines directly through New York City (“The Fight of the Century” where he suffered his first professional defeat, although he refused to accept the result and called it a ‘white mans decision’).

The literal interpretation of a planet direction line is “go here to meet me”. These lines carry the energy of the natal chart, so they embody all of the aspects as well as the sign and house of a given planet, basically amplifying the total natal effect of that planet and making it easier to manifest in concrete ways. It is like there is no getting away from that planets significance. On the opposite side of the world to where we were born these lines will all converge just as they do at our birth place, but I have no experience to share with you on that as nobody I know has visited such a place (often they are in the middle of the ocean anyway). Such a place might offer us an interesting new perspective on the totality of our life, as if seen in a mirror or upside down.

For practitioners of the approach I set out in The 26 Keys these lines can help you to locate places to go if you’re seeking to explore a particular activation. For example, if you want to get more out of a Saturn activation of the Moon key, interact with or travel along the Moon direction line, or possibly Saturn, at the appropriate time. They can also be good places to explore your natal planets even when there isn’t an activation of their key happening.

Another way you can use these lines is as a type of Feng Shui in the planning of your home and interior spaces such as altars or temples – simply transfer the lines onto a plan of your dwelling and place objects in the appropriate directions that act to capture and express (or perhaps contain and limit) that planets energy. For example if your Moon line heads west, think about aligning either your bedroom or the bed itself in a westerly direction, or placing plants of the Moon in the western parts, or if you have Jupiter in the 2nd house and its line moves northeast, place a pot of coins or some other symbol of income in the northeast. These objects then become your ritual tools for interacting with specific planetary energies in your birth chart. Colour and decoration can be creatively employed here too. In a way, this is a form of bringing the location to you rather than going to the location. You will notice however, that each planet will have two directions, and they will be opposite one another, since the world is a globe while your home is (probably) not spherical. In other words your Moon line will go west and east, your Jupiter line northeast and southwest, etc. You have to adapt the situation to the location, perhaps placing different but analogous things in the opposing directions (such as Moon plants in one area because it is a garden and moonstone at the other as it is a mantel over a fireplace). This duality can actually be a useful feature if you place objects with an affinity for the two binary Fluids as well as a planetary resonance, for example a masculine/force and a feminine/form object or thing for each planet.


Probably the easiest way to grasp what these lines are is to think for a moment about the fact that because the Earth is round, it is always sunrise and also sunset somewhere on the surface at any given moment. Right now, it is dawn somewhere and dusk somewhere else, as well as being midday and midnight in other locations. With rising/setting lines we are looking for the places where the planets were rising or setting elsewhere in the world for the time and place of your birth. So if you are born at dawn then your Sun rising line will pass through your birthplace and if you are born at sunset then your Sun setting line will pass through your birthplace. Being born at other times of day means the Sun was rising or setting somewhere else and it is this line that your Sun rising and setting lines will follow. By interacting with these lines you can have an experience of what a particular planet is like when it is placed on the ascendant or descendant of your chart instead of where it actually is. This is how you can have that experience of Venus in Libra in the 12th transferred to the 7th house – you travel to or interact with the locations along your Venus setting line, for example.

Rising lines can affect our appearance (like the kind of clothes we wear), our health and our identity. In evocation work the rising line for a planet will facilitate a more powerful manifestation of beings from the relevant planetary sphere, but it also useful for invocation. These lines are possibly the most powerful of all since they have an innate ability to manifest a planet’s potential in ways we consciously recognise as well as in physical and material space. They can be overwhelming if the planet is particularly strong in our natal chart, causing our identity to become flooded with the planets significance as well as heightening it. If we are seeking a closer merging of our identity with a particular planets function or a healing or rebirth experience with that planet this an ideal line to work with.

Setting lines often manifest themselves through our relationships either in the people that we meet who are connected to these locations or in the way influences from these places shape our relationships and empathy. They also shape our need for relationship. They have an astral power that externalizes itself in our interactions and therefore have greater objectivity than the rising lines where our identity merges with the planet, setting lines allowing us to instead have some kind of intercourse with that planet, a face-to-face confrontation, which makes them also useful in evocation, especially with troublesome entities that require control. If we have a strong Venus the setting lines will make ideal locations for things like honeymoons or romantic getaways or artistic inspiration. A strong Mars will instead make for thrill and adventure and the need for confidence on its rising line while its setting line might bring us into conflict and competition with others more readily.

These are the rising and setting lines for Queen Victoria of England (May 24th 1819, 4:15am, London UK):

The black lines are setting lines, the white lines are rising lines. Her Eris setting line goes through India, which rebelled against her and which she enslaved, similarly her Sun and Moon rising lines dominate the parts of Africa her empire extended into. Australia is dominated by both Saturn and Chiron setting. She inherited it as a penal colony but phased out and eventually ended this practice while seeking to unify the colonies, for which she is still remembered there. She also established the continents first university, in Melbourne. Her Uranus and Neptune rising lines lead toward Canada and the United States – she united Canada for the first time (thereby becoming the Mother of Confederation for Canadians) and while her relationship with the States was fraught with economic rivalry and suspicions following war she was committed to good relations and expressed personal interest in the inventiveness of Charles Morse (known for his development of the telegraph industry, not for inventing Morse code – that was Samuel Morse) and Washington Irving (author of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Rip Van Winkle’). These are very apt Uranus/Neptune connections!


These lines are the same conceptually as the rising/setting lines – they pass through all the places where a particular planet would be either on the midheaven or on the IC of the chart, the cusps of the 4th and 10th houses in many systems – but they differ in form because these circles circumnavigate the globe north/south rather than east/west and thus on a flat map they appear as straight lines that run from top to bottom. Here the energy of a particular planet is again heightened because it is angular but on the culminating lines which relate to the planet being on the midheaven there is a strong focus on attainment, ambition and public status and so these lines are very strongly connected with career interests and also with reputation or notoriety, with how we are seen by the public, while the anti-culminating lines are concerned with planting things, laying down foundations and building bases as well as with uncovering matters of the past and exploring family, national, cultural or clan identity. Culminating lines can provide a clear or higher perspective on a planets significance, clarifying its meaning in the mental realm, while anti-culminating lines ground and earth planetary energies and make ideal locations for temples, geomancy, the burial of ritual objects, burial of the dead, or giving things to the land. These are astra-physical places that also resonate with ancestry and past lives.

Albert Einstein (May 14th 1879, 11:30am, Ulm, Germany) moved to the USA from Switzerland and became a professor of physics at Princeton University – his culminating line for his natal Moon in Sagittarius (university) passing directly through the location.

Born in Europe, Audrey Hepburn (May 4th 1929, 3am, Ixelles, Belgium) became a beloved Hollywood icon and a humanitarian activist after moving to the United States. Her natal Neptune (film, humanitarianism) in Leo (glamour, spotlight, cats) moves to the midheaven there (one of her most famous photographs, the poster for “Breakfast at Tiffanys” literally shows her in glamorous evening wear with a cat on her shoulder):

Ernest Hemingway (July 21st 1899, 8am, Oak Park, Illinois), born with a powerful stellium of Saturn/Chiron/Uranus in Sagittarius, has this configuration transferred to the IC and grounded in 4th house concerns in Cuba, where he moved to spend much of his later life and where he wrote some of his most famous works, including “The Old Man and the Sea,” which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Hemingway’s time in Cuba is reflected in his writing, which often captures the rhythms and moods of the island’s culture and people:


Paran lines are easier to explain visually, so look at the image below:

These are the rising, setting, culminating and anti-culminating lines for Frank Sinatra (December 12th 1915, 3am, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA), but only the Sun and Moon lines are shown to make it easier for you to see what a paran line is. Turn your attention to Rio in Brazil and you will see that his Sun rising line (a wavy white line) passes almost directly through it. Notice also that there is a Moon anti–culminating line (a dotted straight line in purple) running north to south which bisects the Sun line just south of Rio. At the point of the intersection a solid straight yellow line extends in a ring East/West around the globe – this is a Sun/Moon paran line. A paran line forms at the intersection of any two of the rising, setting, culminating and anti-culminating lines, provided the planets are different ones. Notice that another paran line is generated just south of Japan (at the intersection of his Moon culminating and Sun setting lines) and that this line is the same distance from the equator as the previous line – paran lines exists in a mirror relationship with the equator as the mirroring line. Also note that a second pair of lines emerge from the intersections of his Moon rising/setting and Sun culminating/anti-culminating lines, located in Russia and the extreme South Pacific ocean. Notice how these yellow Sun/Moon paran lines highlight Hong Kong, Brisbane, Miami, Lisbon, Paris and London – all places where he gave memorable performances, mostly away from home. His Sun/setting line also passes close to Beijing, China, where he gave a concert that opened the way for other western musicians.

Paran lines are always horizontal and always come in pairs positioned on equidistant sides of the equator as explained and they can also be formed between planets and stars (or stars and stars) which opens up powerful possibilities for research into stars and their effects. I gave some examples of this in my analysis of the coronavirus pandemic. These lines indicate a potential for a planet to be at one of the angles in a 24 hour period (one rotation of Earth) using the degree of separation between these angles at the birth place (i.e. in the natal chart) as a basis. This means that if my midheaven is at 15° of Scorpio and my ascendant is 15° of Capricorn then an angle of 60° (the distance between them) will be used to figure out paran lines, but the software will do more than this as it will also take into account more complex factors which determine where planets are seen to rise, culminate, etc. Consequently these lines vary greatly from chart to chart in what is potentially possible as a paran.

An important word in the above is “potential” – a paran carries the potential for both objects to be angular, the potential for enhancement. This potential translates into practical experience as well, since around these lines we have to do something to coax out the influence, it won’t emerge to meet us unless it is being activated by another more fundamental nearby line, including planet direction lines. So they tend to activate or trigger more powerful lines, especially when there is a matching resonance (for example when a Venus paran line bisects Venus setting, or a Venus planetary direction line) and at other times they require us to make some effort to activate the potential that exists. They become stronger when there is a natal aspect between the two planets as the paran will then work off of that innate potential, especially when the aspect is a square, conjunction or opposition. This makes them quite important in working with both challenging aspects as well as transits, and to show this I will present two case studies that include all of these lines with transits – the mysterious disappearance of Amelia Earhart and the destruction of Pompeii.


Amelia Earhart (July 24th 1897, 11:30pm, Atchison, Kansas) was an American aviation pioneer who developed a fascination with flying at an early age and in 1921 began taking flying lessons, soon becoming an accomplished pilot. She set several aviation records over the course of her career, including becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932 and records for altitude and speed, and was known for her skill as a navigator and her courage in the face of danger. In addition to her achievements as a pilot Earhart was also a tireless advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. Tragically her life was cut short when she disappeared on July 2nd 1937 while attempting to fly around the world. Despite an extensive search, no trace of Earhart and her navigator or her plane were ever found. This is Amelias natal chart:

Note the difficult squares, especially the Moon/Pluto/Venus/Neptune conjunction in Gemini square Mars/Jupiter in Virgo and the stubborn-minded Fixed grand square involving Sun/Mercury/Chiron/ascendant and the Dragon. She did not have a troubled life, although being a tomboy (and possibly lesbian) in that era must have been challenging at times. She was instead raised in a family that moved a lot (her father worked in the train industry) and had parents who encouraged her passion for exploration and adventure instead of fearing it, bringing out the more positive potential in such squares. Also note the conjunction of Saturn with Uranus in Scorpio.

Earhart and Noonan had encountered a number of challenges and setbacks on their journey, including technical problems with their plane, difficulty navigating over long distances, and poor weather conditions. Despite these challenges, they had successfully completed most of their journey and were just a few thousand miles away from their final destination and completing their journey when they disappeared. They were last seen in Lae, New Guinea:

The location of Lae is circled. The island is about 1000 miles across, so even lines on the far western side could be factors in Lae. We see that her Moon/Pluto/Venus/Neptune conjunction in Gemini is setting (the four black lines – is this Gemini setting symbolism not an apt omen of falling from the sky?) and her Mars/Jupiter in Virgo has moved to the midheaven (technical failure?). The location captures and manifests the square between these parts of her natal astrology, making it immediately dangerous. We also see yellow paran lines going directly through Lae – Sun/Chiron and Chiron/Dragon – bringing out the natal square between Sun in Leo and Chiron in Scorpio (and Dragon and Chiron) – and north of these lines we see Moon/Mars and Moon/Jupiter parans (again highlighting those natal Moon squares from Gemini) as well as another Sun/Chiron paran. To the south there are also Mars/Pluto and Jupiter/Pluto lines, which are also quite threatening. It looks like a very difficult location indeed when you consider it in the context of her natal chart.

The location where they both disappeared is somewhere near to Howland Island, approximately circled to the right of New Guinea in the map below:

We see Chiron in Scorpio moved to the top, the MC, the Sun and Mercury in Leo setting, the Dragons Head in Aquarius rising and paran lines for Saturn/Uranus in Scorpio. Lots of Scorpio, indications of overheating, fuel problems or engine failure (Sun/Mercury square Chiron in Scorpio and Saturn conjunct Uranus in Scorpio all being emphasised). Its very likely the aircraft ran out of gas and that they were both killed in the water or from an explosion or fire, or the consequences of both fire and water. When we add the transits that were affecting Amelia at the time the picture is even more concerning – she was having Uranus in Taurus square Mercury in Leo and Mars in conjunction with Saturn/Uranus in Scorpio (and it was retrograding over them, which helps to explain the previous troubles in the journey). So those Saturn/Uranus in Scorpio paran lines were being energised by Mars while the Mercury setting line over the area of disappearance was being squared by Uranus. Radio communication was disrupted during their last contact with the world.

Pompeii was an ancient Roman city located near modern-day Naples, Italy. It was destroyed and buried under volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The eruption occurred on August 24th and it is estimated that around 16,000 people were in the city at the time. The event was sudden and violent, with a column of ash and pumice reaching heights of up to 33 kilometers (20 miles) in the air. The ash and pumice from the eruption were carried by the wind and the volcanic cloud traveled as far as the eastern Mediterranean and parts of the Middle East. The city was buried under a layer of this ash and pumice, which preserved many of the buildings and artifacts as well as the (sterilised) bodies of the people, many of whom died instantly. Here is the chart for the eruption (we only know from ancient reports by Pliny who witnessed it that it began sometime in the afternoon of August 24th, but one look at this chart set for 2pm leaves little doubt as to the approximate timing):

It is very striking – a Mutable grand square with the Moon rising in Sagittarius, squared by an opposition of Uranus in Pisces and Mercury in Virgo, and opposed by Jupiter in Gemini (a huge plume of smoke obscured the Sun for days afterward). The Sun in late Leo also manages to add to the heat by being in conjunction with Mercury. Additionally, Mars is in Aries and angular, conjunct the Dragons Tail, and he is finding an easy way out into the world through a trine to the Moon and ascendant. Its all so hot and gaseous! The Moon rising in Sagittarius is a critical time-piece that triggers the pent up tension of Mercury/Jupiter/Uranus. I think this chart not only captures the eruption event but also the panic of people hastily fleeing the area.

Here we can see the same chart expressed on the map, with paran lines added:

The scale of this map from east to west is just over 1000 miles, the location of Pompeii circled in red. We see that Moon rising in Sagittarius line close by, and about 300 miles to its left is the black Jupiter setting line with the Mars/IC line (the red dotted straight line, north to south) about the same distance to the right, along with the Dragon MC/IC line. But we also see two very strong paran lines, Venus/Eris and Eris/Neptune, both just about 20 miles from Pompeii. The addition of Eris energy is very interesting, especially as Eris is in Scorpio, but the Venus/Neptune is a bit mysterious until you remember that the sterilization and preservation of the bodies in their moment of agonizing death is actually a unique and macabre kind of art. With Venus in Cancer, the destruction turned into an emotion tugging glimpse into history.

Pompeii was rediscovered on April 12th 1748, nearly 1700 years after it was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The rediscovery of Pompeii was accidental and occurred during the construction of a summer palace for the King of Naples. While digging a well, workers uncovered the remains of ancient walls and buildings, which were eventually identified as the lost city. During this time, Pluto in Scorpio was square the Sun of the Pompeii eruption chart (thus also in reach of a square with Mercury and square the position of Pluto in the eruption chart) and Saturn in Scorpio was square the charts natal Saturn in Aquarius – a powerful energy of Saturn in rulership and a powerful Pluto transit led to the discovery of the preserved bodies. What is more Mars was also in Taurus, squaring the eruptions Sun and Pluto.

There are many more things to discover in astrolocality and as technology enables more and more ways to display information we may well see a surge in the popularity and interest in this field. If you would like to explore your astrology in this way with me, I am open for business at astralvisions.org. Patrons at the 5 dollar or more tier are also welcome to request maps to be sent to them at any time. Thanks for reading!

Squaring the Circle

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! Following up last month’s exploration of aspect interpretation I have some specific thoughts about the interpretation of the square aspect for you to consider.

The square, as might be expected, is an angle of 90° separating two objects in a chart. With the addition of standard orbs of influence (6°) this gives a range for the square aspect of between 84°-96°, however even if planets are not within this range of distance from one another they can still behave as if they are in a square-like relationship if they are in signs which naturally square one another (signs which are three signs away from each other). The essential quality of the square aspect is one of difference as the two placements have very little (but not nothing) in common with one another. This fundamental essence of difference causes or often leads to conflict, both internal and external, as two factors relentlessly try to force adjustments upon one other.

As a general rule, I ask myself three questions when looking at a square –

What does each of the planets want that the other denies, and how might this manifest?

How can their common ground get them to operate together?

What does this bring to each of the planets once accomplished?

The little that these objects have in common stems from their shared connection to one of the three Modes of the zodiacCardinal/Active, Fixed/Stable, and Mutable/Reactive – which describe how a particular Element is behaving, its mode of behaviour. We can say that the Cardinal/Active signs all initiate things, the Fixed/Stable signs all build things and the Mutable/Reactive signs all mutate and explore things. I will elaborate on this in the sections below, but remember that squares naturally involve signs of the same Mode, and have that in common. Thus the placements in this aspect are behaving similarly at a basic level but that is as far as it goes, since they are using a different Elemental approach to express that behaviour. Fire and Air signs always square Water and Earth signs, and vice versa, but both signs in a square will share a Mode. We can see then that the fundamental difference at the Elemental level is between the two Fluids, as the Electric signs (Fire/Air) square the Magnetic signs (Water/Earth). Thus the essential difference and conflict is between energy which is being radiated (or expressed as force) and energy which is being drawn in (or expressed as form). This detail alone can help you to interpret the square, for example a square between the Sun in a Fire sign and Mars in a Water sign has something to do with the way solar energy is radiated (as force) and the way Mars energy is drawn in (and put into forms).

The problem of the square is that the two Elements clash until and unless there is a true or partial equilibrium of Elements in the soul. This equilibrium, as far as the square is concerned, is based on the innate connection to that shared way of behaving (initiating something, building something or mutating/exploring) since it can become the basis for cooperation once the soul has matured to the point where it can integrate the differences and so unlock the enormous energy potential of the square. At this point, with the conflict being resolved, both placements will then greatly energise, motivate and push one another in less disruptive ways. There will still be pushiness between them but this has now been disciplined and has come under conscious control.

This means that in charts with many squares in operation there are two typical manifestations, one where the person is beset by many stresses and challenges, both internal and external, and one where the person is a dynamo of energies, a true force to be reckoned with, and frequently we see a bit of both and some see-sawing between them in the life. In fact there is often a direct relationship between the two as the stresses and challenges, once met, are what transforms the person into that force to be reckoned with. Conversely, charts lacking in squares can seem to have an easier time in comparison but it can get boring quickly and they can lack the impetus to do much of anything in life. The question for the astrologer and whoever the chart belongs to is how to unlock the creative power of the square, how to bring the differences into alignment. The overall context of the chart, as explained last month, is always an important consideration, as well as the houses of the planets in square and of course the nature of the planets themselves, but in this journey we are going to focus on the signs and what they bring to the basic interpretation of the square.

To organise this journey I will group all squares into the three groups of Modes, and I will cover all the squares of that mode. Each square will be considered twice, because I’m going to consider it from the point of view of an object placed within a particular sign. For example, there is a square between Aries and Cancer, but instead of just covering it once I’m going to talk about it twice, once from what the square is like from the point of view of an object in Aries and once from the point of view of an object in Cancer, because there is a subtle difference. Everything I write about each square is just an example to guide you, there are many ways a square can manifest, but this will show you that each sign has more than one kind of square that it generates, and they have very distinct qualities, and it will hopefully get you going with your own interpretations. One final point here to know is that dominance can be important in determining which planet “wins” or “loses” the conflict inherent in the square – a strong planet in its own sign (for example, Saturn rising on the ascendant in Capricorn) in a square with a planet in a sign of debility (Mars in Libra, for example) will probably dominate and oppress the urge represented by its weaker partner.


Cardinal/Active signs are about planets trying to initiate things, they are about what an Element does when it is active, its essential energy (raw force). Thus planets in square via these signs are trying to get very different things under way or the same thing under way using very different energies. They tend to try to override or directly attack one another and push us in different directions.

Aries/Cancer and Aries/Capricorn

Raise your shield or draw your weapon? Strike now or at the optimal time? Devastating and crippling blow, or turtling defence? Take a risk, or preserve what you have? Help by fighting off threats to the vulnerable, or by supporting them? These are some of the core issues in Aries squares, regardless of which sign it squares.

Forwards in the zodiac, from Aries to Cancer, the clash is between the will and emotions. The expression of the will stirs up opposition in the form of emotional reaction from others, in our own mood swings (we change how we feel about what we want in the early stages of going after it), or in situations where we struggle with timidity and conflicting instincts, for example. Internally there is insecurity about pursuing what we want because we are too sensitive to hurting the feelings of others, or conversely there is not enough sensitivity to hurting others feelings. Once unlocked the potential of the Aries planet is tempered by incredible instincts to protect bordering on the psychic and it also increases tactical acumen.

Backwards in the zodiac, from Aries to Capricorn, the clash is between the will and realities. The hot will or primal urge of the Aries planet meets with cold rules and traditions that constrain it and force it to obey, to potentially sap the life out of it. It feels the need to seek permissions. Internally it is often at war with itself because there are either too many rules or too much discipline placed upon the Aries planet or because the Aries planet wants to demolish the rules, to blast them out of the way. It can be tempted to cheat the rules out of contempt for them, something offensive to both Aries and Capricorn, leading to self loathing and disgust as well as to clashes with authority figureheads. Once such issues are resolved the Aries planet achieves much more because it knows how things get done in reality.

Cancer/Libra and Cancer/Aries

Get your own house in order or set things right elsewhere? Hide away or get out there in the field? Defend/armour against your attacker or disarm them? Be guided by tradition and habit or creativity and current fashion? These are some of the core issues in the Cancer squares.

Forwards in the zodiac, from Cancer to Libra, the clash is between the gut feelings/instincts and the intellect or mind and its reflection in social mores. Cancer/Libra squares raise questions like care for you, or care for me? Express loving devotion through carefully chosen words or through a warm meal? Hug and comfort, or weigh up the fairness of it all and try to set things right again? Let instincts be in balance with the judgment of reason, or let them be led by the gut? Issues are about what the right way to give and receive care might be, how to open up emotionally to others and how to be receptive to their feelings (without making them your own), mother issues, finding the right boundaries in relationships, dealing with tidal forces (up, down, back and forth), see-sawing moods and the need to seek confirmation from others. Internally there is a problem making choices that impact other people. Once the creative power here is unlocked it enables powerful abilities related to relationships of all kinds and a dynamic gift for peacemaking.

Backwards in the zodiac, from Cancer to Aries, there are passive-aggressive dynamics, a conflict between offense and defense, and an internal issue of confidence or security. Do we want to be a defender of the peace or a warrior of love? Float, or swim against the current? Armour that looks comfortable, or is spiked and threatening? Emotional compromise with competitors/rivals/enemies or shrewd, tactical strategies against them? Issues here are about assertion, with the central conflict being between the feelings and the will. Problems are often connected to a conflict between wanting to go at things directly (Aries) and sneaking up on them from the side (Cancer), which can result in a timid anxiety and paralysis. The Cancer planet feels confronted and threatened a lot and this can create great oversensitivity, over-protectiveness and defensiveness. Once this is overcome the caring side of the person becomes more active, courageous and powerful.

Libra/Capricorn and Libra/Cancer

Central to the Libra squares are choices and dilemmas which impact relationships, questions of where loyalties and priorities lie, methods by which lasting equality and harmony can be established, parental issues and the balance between following the rules as written and compassionately enacting them with sensitivity.

Forwards in the zodiac, from Libra to Capricorn, the clash is between the reasoning power of the mind and the way things are and have always been, between the need for relationship and the need for autonomy and self sufficiency, between the comforts of money and the comforts of love or art. Issues have the tendency to be father or authority related, to stem from too strict an adherence to rules and laws or not enough, and to be connected to a see-sawing between skepticism and trust in things turning out alright. The Libra planet is trying to understand the laws and rules that the Capricorn planet is dictating and is either feeling forced to adapt to them in ways that crush it or is trying to get the rule books re-written. There must be an inner realisation that fairness and wisdom must always temper the implementation of the rules, especially in relationships, and usually some relaxing of the rules. Once these squares stop being disruptive the person becomes a force to be reckoned with because they usually come to represent some kind of well regarded authority figure.

From Libra to Cancer the conflict is between the intellect and the emotions with the usual result that there is anxiety whenever it comes to making a choice that will affect others and insecurity in relationships. The Libra planet finds it has great empathy for the suffering of others and wants to nurture and care for that but it does not intuit the right way to express that affection. Consequently, this square often makes the person too protective of their loved ones or not nurtured in the way they need, with the same dynamic feeling like it applies to them as well. Issues are about not trusting the intuition or instincts enough, always questioning them and so diluting them, and when this issue is resolved this square becomes highly effective at discerning the truth through both intuition and reason as well as being a powerful diplomat and peace-keeper.

Capricorn/Aries and Capricorn/Libra

Here the squares are connected to issues of isolation and ‘loneliness at the top’, the pressures of responsibility, the sometimes harsh effects of a stern father or other authority figures, the need for extra effort and patience and the problems of desire or need for material things.

From Capricorn to Aries there are problems when it comes to enacting our plans, strong opposition to our designs, grueling marathons and ongoing situations that drain energy, issues with impatience and frustration, fatalistic defeatism, angry attacks on the authority of the Capricorn object and sometimes persecution and the effects of tyranny. The Capricorn planet is placed under pressures which hurry it up when it wants to proceed slowly and according to plan, there is an ongoing sense of urgency or time running out and an inner conflict between careful planning and bold action. When resolved these squares can unleash the enormous discipline of the Capricorn planet and put its wisdom into action.

From Capricorn back to Libra there are mental and social conflicts that can lead to isolation and loneliness, an inability to trust in relationships, difficult choices with no easy way to be fair to everything, miscarriages or travesties of justice, inequality issues making it difficult to rise to the top, the lack of fairness in government or reality or frigid indecision and impartiality. The Capricorn planet here is often split in some way by the Libran one, perhaps forcing it to operate by two different rulebooks. Issues are often connected to difficulties in truly opening up to others, always seeing both sides of the coin as dull, having to deal with the reality of a particular truth or the need to make adjustments to the way things have always been as a result of relating to other people. The Capricorn planet becomes empowered by an ability to consider and carefully weigh opposing points of view and in its capacity to relate.


Fixed/Stable signs are about planets trying to build with or collect/gather its Element into form (accumulation into form). They tend to accumulate blockages as resistance between the two placements becomes stubborn since they try to overpower the other by obstinate refusal to change and persistent attempts at control and dominance.

Taurus/Leo and Taurus/Aquarius

Central to the Taurus squares are issues of stabilization, energy or resource regulation and dependability. There is no quiet life for the Taurus planet to retreat into here and the squares generate many interruptions to normal routine. It’s like a bank account that fluctuates wildly from red to black or a forest filled with noisy wildlife day and night. Blockages accumulate (and as blockages will do, eventually explode) through efforts to impose standards or from excessive materialism.

From Taurus to Leo the issues are often connected to egoic stubbornness, resistance to any change to the status quo, with excessive pride or the lack of pride in ourselves, struggles with poverty and health, damage to property from fire, glamour seeking and gaudy love of showing off beauty or success (jewels, make-up, partying, etc.) or with matters of status. Blocks tend to stem the flow of vital energies and willpower. The Taurus planet has difficulty switching off because when at rest it feels it should be active, doing things, drawing attention or progressing, and so when the conflict is equilibrated the square becomes highly productive while at the same time learning how to allocate its energies robustly and resourcefully.

From Taurus to Aquarius there is instead a burning need to break the rules that conflicts with practical matters. Issues here are more often about our attitudes to society and humanity at large, the way resources are distributed, the constant invasion of chaotic forces into routine procedures, radical fluctuations of basic resources like cash or food, humanitarian issues, sharing and loans, inner conflicts arising from fractured value systems, stubborn rebelliousness or the need to break free of something. Blocks can be interpersonal, placing barriers between people and maintaining an emotional distance. The Taurus planet takes on too much work, scatters its vigor, is hit by quakes and beset by unpredictable storms, undergoes more than its share of chaos and looks hard for a reliable rock but cannot find one. It needs to find a way to work with the changes of the Aquarius planet, beyond which it finds its power, resources and energy greatly multiplied.

Leo/Scorpio and Leo/Taurus

The Leo squares concern self confidence, ego control issues and power or dominance struggles. The will seeks to secure itself emotionally and materially in grasping ways, thriving on challenges and defeating opponents, emphasises its own achievements and creates blocks by hogging attention and the spotlight or hoarding its power. However, once more positively expressed there is true champion and leadership potential.

From Leo to Scorpio the square is more vindictive, predatory and ruthless but also beset with more messy complications in expressing itself. The Leo object wants to shine and draw attention to itself or to be in a commanding position of leadership but the Scorpio planet hides and wants to operate in the shadows. Confidence in self-expression becomes complicated by mysterious emotions that require investigation, intensity and passion or zeal become fixations, victory and success are tainted with suspicions and internally there is too much attachment to the power of what we feel and hunger for praise. When this square is positively expressed the Leo planet is empowered by the passion and intensity of the Scorpio planet rather than bragging or being challenged, compromised and dimmed by it.

From Leo to Taurus the problems are often simpler but more dense and difficult to resolve, situations are strained by a lack of resources or funding, confidence or security are affected, the Leo object is confronted with the need to work hard to gain the brightness it craves, the need to have to do the unglamorous labour, its own inability to change or adapt (especially when things don’t work out) and creative or material blocks that refuse to budge. The Leo planet wants to spontaneously express itself in a creative light like a sunflower but the Taurus planet slows it down and dampens its inner fire with buckets of ordinary mud. The inner potential here is for the person to become extremely busy and productive, a creative powerhouse, and to behave in dynamic ways that lead to the generation of wealth and resources – a field of sunflowers after the physical effort has been put in.

Scorpio/Aquarius and Scorpio/Leo

The Scorpio squares are more about interpersonal and emotional issues, the need for revenge or a rematch, being unable to accept any defeat, feeling hungrily driven for more power or control and with intense emotions and the struggles to contain them. Strong feelings ripple from the Scorpio planet into the astral realm, drawing conflict, something to test their mettle against – in Leo it will draw a charismatic icon and in Aquarius, a mob.

From Scorpio to Aquarius the square is challenging because the emotions and passions are not only intense but multitudinous and thus more disorderly and chaotic. The Scorpio planet wants to focus in so that it can penetrate to the depths but the Aquarius planet wants to spread-sheet the awareness onto multiple targets at once and correlate the results. Conflict also arises because the Scorpio planet wants to conduct its investigations in private while the Aquarius planet needs to socialize and broadcast. Both of them, however, share common interest in the unknown or taboo and can use this as the basis for cooperation. When operating positively these squares bring powerful connections and persuasive skill, insight beyond the ken of other mortals, transformative inventions, breakthroughs and liberation.

From Scorpio to Leo there is too much focus in the Scorpio planet on itself, an inability to encompass other emotions and other equally passionate points of view, challenges that feel like life or death struggles, blockages arising from too much egoic stubbornness, retention of anger or negative feelings like spite, killer instinct that can lead us to extreme action or a burning need for the last laugh. The Scorpio planet wants to explore the darkness and probe the mysteries of the night but the Leo planet refuses to cooperate out of the sense that doing so will kill its light. The turning point of this square from the Scorpio angle comes when the need to control things is relaxed, allowing the Scorpio planet to just enjoy life more. This unlocks a lot of vital strength, psychic power and the ability to take command of ones own life (or lead others).

Aquarius/Taurus and Aquarius/Scorpio

These squares are commonly connected to change issues – the chaos of constant change, the resistance to change, the need to make it happen, the way we force change, etc. They also involve the way we interact with community and group awareness as well as generating challenges for our identity. Aquarius must have something to kick against, and, aside from Leo, Taurus and Scorpio make for its prime targets in the zodiac.

From Aquarius to Taurus the problems are things like not being basically trained in all the miracles we want to pull off, needing to constantly demolish normalcy so that normal life never materializes, draining your resources through too many projects, not being grounded enough, pushing for institutional change and meeting with great resistance, dealing with the effects of poverty or lack of basic supplies in a community, scientific ossification and dogma and physical issues that affect cognition or socialization. The Aquarius planet want to travel through hyperspace, worm-holing its way from one distant point to another, but the Taurus planet wants to walk there on all four hooves, slowly, taking in the view. Once equilibrated these squares bring about the ability to manifest radical new ideas into established methods without causing so much chaos that things break.

From Aquarius to Scorpio issues of freedom from bondage arise with the urge for independence and detachment in the Aquarius planet being undermined by the deep need for connection and control in the Scorpio planet. Messy emotional complications, temptations for forbidden or outlawed experience, jealousy, conspiratorial paranoia, suspiciousness and mental trauma are some of the characteristic challenges here. The Aquarius urge for freedom of movement gets blocked by Scorpio bonding, by the complication of having feelings that can’t be broken away from. The Aquarius planet need to accept these deeper feelings of attachment as parts of its freedom. Many occult and magical faculties can stem from this square and it can also positively manifest as great power to influence the masses, or on a more intimate level as a powerful network of loyal friends.


Mutable/Reactive signs are about planets using their Element in adaptable and explorative ways, in combinations or mixtures, and how an Element responds to change (transmutation). They tend to generate chaos and instability as the placements cause volatility in one another like chemicals reacting uncontrollably in a beaker.

Gemini/Virgo vs. Gemini/Pisces

The Gemini squares focus on challenges that arise in gaining clear answers to questions, problems with excessive change or chaos, social instability, edginess, nervousness/anxiety and mental clarity.

From Gemini to Virgo issues arise from too much attention to details and specifics, a cataloging of little fact-lets and trivia leads to infoglut, analysis paralysis, anxiety and nervousness, caustic words, excessive criticism of self or others and reducing everything to simple sums. The Gemini planet wants to diversify and to learn but it is confronted by a dull need to study and improve itself first, especially in the mental arena (both of these signs are ruled by Mercury). Constant micro-adjustments to thinking lead to constipation and confusion, experimentation goes awry, lessons have to be relearned and sometimes there is an interfering need to give friendly advice or help. When this square is operating more positively the Gemini factor is not overwhelmed by details because it has learned to discern and prioritize the pertinent facts, the most practical ideas and choices, and it usually displays a high level of intelligence in multiple intellectual topics.

From Gemini back in the zodiac to Pisces the emphasis shifts from too much attention to details and specifics towards an overemphasis on the essence of information with the Gemini planet trying to extract an overall meaning in answer to its questions but finding little that is concrete and lasting to hang them from. Whereas the Gemini/Virgo square is interested in every single detail the Gemini/Pisces square wants to know what the experience felt like and how it changed you. It is more chaotic than Gemini/Virgo is. Issues here are about more nebulous confusions concerning what we feel or others feel, what the purpose of suffering or the truth of mystical experience might be, impressionability and extreme emotional sensitivity to what other people say or feel, quagmires and quicksands, getting lost or feeling adrift at sea, leaks, being blown by the currents because you have no firm direction or issues with lying and deception or an overactive imagination. The Gemini planet needs to open up emotionally so that its reason can be guided by intuition, after which it finds its ability to grasp the essence of interactions and a strong talent for reading the room, sensing the movements of things and evasion, among other things.

Virgo/Sagittarius vs Virgo/Gemini

Squares involving Virgo generate challenges connected to efficiency, physical changes (especially things like reaction to allergies, diet, treatment and training), purity and helpfulness. Sometimes there is an excessive degree of humility, the person finding it challenging to take credit for anything, or a sense that what we do in service is unappreciated or taken advantage of, and quite often too much fussiness and worry.

From Virgo to Sagittarius there is a volatile exchange between Earth and Fire that can cause things to melt and mutate, a lava-like flow that can dislodge and disable, abrasive or burning bluntness, conflicts between the need to do things in a particular order and the instinct to race ahead, a lack of safety precautions, discontent and moralizing about right and wrong. The Virgo planet wants to improve and refine itself, to examine itself in detail, but the Sagittarius planet is a generalist, disinterested in the boring minutia compared to the bigger picture. Clashes arise from this dynamic. If the Virgo planet can look up from its microscope from time to time to wonder at the stars the Sagittarius planet will be satisfied and supply it with an archers keen instinct for the bullseye of truth.

From Virgo back in the zodiac to Gemini worry and constant flip-flopping of opinion are among the common issues, but it also produces various problems connected with being a busy-body, mental burnout, digestion (physical and mental), intellectual pedantry, too much complaining, moaning or whining, the chaos of too many cooks around the broth and sometimes issues with gaining appropriate social care. Too much inventiveness can be the problem – here the Virgo planet wants to categorize and order things but the Gemini planet keeps inventing new labels for them. When the issues of the square are resolved the energy released to the Virgo planet enables it to make faster calculations and evaluations and to recall all kinds of relevant facts when needed.

Sagittarius/Pisces vs Sagittarius/Virgo

The Sagittarius squares relate to the chaos that can come from exploration and discovery. These squares uncover things that shift overall meaning, thus forcing changes in what we believe, expose us to exotic material which mutates, cause us to change our overall direction frequently, increase our restlessness and can make us dogmatic.

From Sagittarius towards Pisces the square is highly volatile, the Fire and Water producing steam and cloud. The truth gets harder to see as mist covers it, the side effects of a clash between the driving will to know the truth and an overactive imagination. Idealism, crusading, preaching, indoctrinating and indulging can become issues and the Sagittarius/Pisces square is also a bit of a vagabond, a flirty nomad with a lover in every port. Everything is conceived on too large and grand a scale. The Sagittarius planet is driven by a spirit of adventure, it wants to strike out and explore, but the Pisces planet is too timid and passive to have adventures, it prefers the shelter of the coral rather than the vulnerability of the wide open ocean. When empowered this square can become extremely psychic and intuitive, able to perceive astral currents and therefore where things are going.

From Sagittarius to Virgo there is a sense of an instinct for roving becoming confined by details, a tendency to make mountains from molehills, conflict between our belief or philosophy and our need to serve and a high degree of talkativeness. Common problems involve dryness or soreness, giving insensitive or inappropriate advice, unintentional offenses (putting your foot in it), chaotic schedules, unfinished projects and a lack of confidence when left without backup. The Sagittarius planet here wants to expand horizons and open up the world while the Virgo planet wants to dissect it and then put it back together in a better state – one is geared towards being open to exotic and new materials, the other wants to examine them in a detached way. When positive this square serves the Sagittarius object with greater practicality, enabling it to venture even further than before.

Pisces/Gemini vs Pisces/Sagittarius

Pisces squares are connected to mysterious challenges without clear origins or solutions, boundary issues, psychic disturbances (most often from unconscious use or extreme sensitivity) and problems with emotional stability and calm. Sometimes there are existential challenges, conflicts that concern the meaning of life and spirituality, most often in finding ones path.

From Pisces to Gemini constant change is the nemesis as the square is like a storm at sea – high winds and forces that move things around are in full swing. A lack of center, excessive pliancy, sentimentality and too much flexibility foster high levels of chaos. Choices can be paralyzing as they stir up muddy emotional waters so there is a need to clarify and communicate what we feel more clearly. The square is also naturally able to see the various sides of issues, resulting in a lack of conviction generally. The Pisces planet wants to transcend words and touch the numinous in silence but the Gemini planet needs to talk about and comment on things. When positively expressed these squares produce new ideas out of the ether very easily as the imagination leads the intellect toward the insight it seeks.

From Pisces back in the zodiac to Sagittarius issues are more connected with belief systems and dogma. There is an excessive idealism or Utopian dreams without much thought or the resources to back them up. Issues here often relate to chronic impracticality, bending or warping truths to suit agendas, judgmental righteousness, mysterious bad luck (unconscious attitudes are at work), being too difficult to pin down and high levels of emotional restlessness. The Pisces object here wants peace and the Sagittarius planet is always ready for war. When the square operates more effectively the Pisces planet receives inspiration and guidance, its moral fibre is more robust and it senses danger instinctively with great ease.


One final note – planets can still be in a square relationship but not in these signs if the square aspect takes place at the cusp (beginning or end) of a sign since then one planet can be in a non-matching sign of the zodiac. These squares are not as archetypal as other squares and therefore less “square” then they are but they still carry issues of conflict that need resolution. In these cases I generally place more emphasis on the nature of the planets that are in square rather than the nature of the signs.

Interpreting Aspects

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys and into 2023! To start the year I have been inspired to write something about the interpretation of aspects in astrology.

Aspects, the angular distances between planets in a chart, are one of the four main tiers or components of Western astrology, the others being planets, signs and houses or temples. Of these four main components aspects are arguably the more complicated and complex part because they come in so many varieties. Learning about 12 signs, the same approximate number of planets and 12 houses is fairly straightforward if also being heavily nuanced and filled with depth – Venus for example is pretty easy to grasp as a principal and the problem of interpreting her position in a sign or a house is made easier by the fact that there are only 12 of each. However, the number of major aspects Venus can potentially form are staggering. If we include the modern planets Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and the centaur Chiron as well as the midheaven and ascendant of the chart, the challenge for someone beginning to explore and learn about astrology is very definitely in the arena of what any particular aspect signifies simply because there are so many.

In the beginning it is like learning the alphabet before learning how to form words and then complete sentences. You learn the alphabet – Venus is emotions, squares are stress or energy, Leo is pride or confidence, the 2nd house is income, etc – and you try to understand an aspect this way, like lego bricks, but sometimes this method leads to a dead end or just no clue. Aspects are daunting for beginners and frequently puzzling for experienced astrologers, too. In fact a large part of the intellectual fun of working with astrology is figuring out what particular aspects signify. In this journey I will present some of the things I have learned about interpreting aspects, whether they are in a natal chart, synastry, a transit or progression or something else. I will take you through the thought process that has evolved for me over the decades of looking at charts and figuring out these kinds of questions. This isn’t a cookbook of aspects where I delineate some interpretations for all of the possible aspects that exist, instead it’s a toolkit and a guidebook for answering the question “what does this aspect mean?”.


The first thing we need to understand is what an aspect is, other than its technical definition of being an angular separation between two objects in a chart. As I written before, aspects represent the relationships between the planets. It’s also worth pointing out here that they are also, and more fundamentally, the relationships between the signs of the zodiac as in fact it’s the relationship of the signs of the zodiac to one another that form the basis of aspects, not the planets. The planets represent factors operating within everything, just as the signs do, but the planets are wanderers who roam the sky and are therefore free to form relationships with other planets without restriction – only Venus and Mercury have any such restrictions because they are bonded to the Sun, but even then these restrictions only apply to the aspects that can form between the Sun, Mercury and Venus, essentially making some of the aspects between these 3 objects impossible. By contrast, the zodiac signs have their relationships with one another fixed, as well as their relationships with the planets. Aries and Cancer are always in a square relationship with one another and are always ruled by Mars and the Moon respectively, for example.

So the first thing we can say about the nature of aspects is that they are not only the relationships between the planets but how the planets express the freedom that they have to form relationships to other planets, and that the signs are the fabric or blueprint that then enact those relationships. Therefore it is critical to consider the sign as well as the nature of the planets. In modern astrology this is not made very clear because so many books on aspects focus on the planetary side and ignore the influence of signs which is understandable because if you were to offer a delineation for every possible aspect between every possible combination of planets and also include every possible combination of signs which those aspects could be occurring in, your cookbook would turn into a monumental gastronomic archive. Additionally, it would be impractical and ultimately useless except as a reference work for providing inspiration because each and every aspect in each and every chart exists in context with the whole of that chart, in other words with all of the other aspects and all of the placements of planets in signs and houses. All of those things come together to also shape how the aspect expresses itself in the end result. This is the main reason why aspects can manifest in so many varied and surprising ways even though they always do so according to the particular archetypes that they express. Again, it is worth considering the liberty that planets have in forming relationships compared to the complete lack of liberty that signs have in doing so. Planets are agents of free will much more than signs are. Planets can wander and also grow and evolve, and in doing so they can access different frequencies or lower or higher qualities found within the signs. This is because planets represent dimensions of awareness – thought, feeling, etc.– whereas signs delineate the ways in which those dimensions of awareness behave, like verbs to a planets noun. Aspects, on the other hand, reveal how one dimension of awareness interacts with or regards another dimension of awareness, for example how feelings regard thoughts, and vice versa. So we can say that the power that planets have to form relationships with one another is actually the power of that dimension of awareness to interact with other dimensions of awareness and that signs are the archetypal relationships that are available to everything.

To offer an example for clarity, it is actually impossible in our solar system for Venus to be in opposition with Mercury in a chart. This is because they are always close to the Sun from our perspective on Earth and can therefore never be on opposite sides of the zodiac. It is therefore impossible for the personal thoughts and personal emotions to be polarized at birth. They cannot exist separately. In everything Earthly, thought and emotion are innately bonded. This relationship cannot be sundered. However, in another solar system where the principal of Mercury is represented by a planet far away from the Sun (or Suns) and the equivalent of Venus is close to the Sun (or vice versa), then it would symbolize a system where these two dimensions of awareness, thought and feeling, could operate completely independently of one another and any life would then operate in truly alien ways. Such beings might well find it natural to seperate their awareness from their physical bodies in various ways, for example. This different solar system would also interact with human awareness in alien and unpredictable ways.

Aspects have a deeper metaphysical reality to them, then, since they express how the various dimensions of awareness operate upon one another, both in potential (which comes from the arrangement of planets in the solar system and is the same for everybody) and in practice (which comes from which aspects are actually present in your birth chart). Additionally, through progressions and transits and other movements of objects in the natal chart, planets can have temporary relationships with one another which form periods in which the different dimensions of awareness within us go through shifts in terms of their behaviour and their relationship to other dimensions of awareness. Once understood, this makes aspects one of the most powerful magical tools in all of astrology.

So how do we unlock their secrets?


First of all, it is important to understand the context of the aspect which involves understanding each of the parts at either end independently of one another. This is basically using the alphabet or lego brick approach again and again, layering the interpretation with additional meaning each time. As an example let’s take a chart with the Sun in a square with Mars. The first step here will be to look at the Sun and try to understand it by its sign and house position, also its dignity and any other details that do not involve aspects. Then you repeat this process for Mars. The goal here is to understand the parts of the aspect first, starting with the planets involved. Ask yourself, what is this placement about and meditate on what it brings. Do this in steps bit by bit. For example, let’s say we have a chart with the Sun in Cancer. That’s protective, nurturing, shrewd and on the negative side we can add suspicious, defensive, smothering. Let’s imagine that the Sun is in the 2nd house. Now we start to see those qualities concerning themselves with income, material security and possessions. We can stop there but if we want more we can look at the degree position of the Sun for its dignity. It’s time to look at Mars. We know that this is a square between the Sun and Mars, and that the Sun is in Cancer, but that means Mars could be in either Aries or Libra and if the square happens at a sign boundary, near the end or the beginning of signs, then potentially it could also be in Pisces, Taurus, Scorpio or Virgo as well. This is a good example of why signs are important because the square will be different in each case. So let’s imagine that Mars is actually in Aries. That’s willpower, courage and directness while on the negative side it’s rage, impatience and selfishness. Mars is also probably in the 11th house, which implies something to do with friends and companions, or something communal. Mars is obviously extremely strong in its own sign and so therefore we might suspect that this side of the aspect will overpower or dominate the other side.

Already we have the basis of a good interpretation for this aspect. We only have to compare these two things, remembering that a square relationship between anything indicates a basic difference or conflict between them (thus also indicating stress as different parts of ourselves relate to one another at a level of conflict) but also a source of dynamic energy. A strong, potentially selfish drive and willpower or just rage can overpower this person’s innately caring and cautious side. The square makes it difficult for the person to control this. The houses also suggest that this might come into play when lending or borrowing money or possessions with friends. However if they master the square the positive potential emerges – the courage and drive of Mars in Aries then works in perfect tandem with the care-giving and astute tactics of Sun in Cancer, creating a dynamic engine. Mastering the square means that the negative potential has been transformed into the positive potential and so the positive potential of both planets and signs have been activated while their negative qualities have been transformed. This turns the warning about sharing money with friends into a blessing that helps the person enrich their own life and the lives of their friends. The energy just goes into income or alliances. The person gets brave friends, or nurturing bank managers or some other expression of the qualities of the signs and houses. The square is still a square and never fully under control but what does come under control is the persons responses to it. Their mastery of those responses is what unlocks the dynamic power and banishes many of the more negative manifestations (which arise from poorly managed stress levels, as from every square).

So even at this first step where we just identify what the individual principles of the two planets in aspect are, we get working results so long as we can identify something about each planet involved. If we cannot, it may be time to expand our concepts concerning a planet and try again. This is enough, really, and I think many people get this even at the beginning stages of learning about astrology. It’s intuitive and logical at the same time. It’s also a much better place to start than the description of what planet X in aspect to planet Y means according to what someone else has written. I think many people move on from this stage to look up such interpretations by others because they don’t know which steps to take next, or they are really stumped by something that they cant crunch down using this initial process. This latter situation seems to happen more often with the outer planets or with Jupiter and Saturn. I think the reason for this is that it’s much easier for us to understand the pop psychology that comes with the aspects of the inner planets whereas the larger concerns of these slower moving planets throw more curve-balls for people.

One thing that addresses both of these issues and helps you to continue putting together your own interpretation is understanding the context in which the aspect takes place according to 2 conditions – the other aspects and the nature of the chart as a whole and the hierarchical position of the planets involved. These are not as tricky as they sound once you understand some simple concepts.

What I mean by the context of the other aspects and the nature of the chart as a whole is simply this: zoom out from your focus on a single aspect, form an impression of the chart as a whole or some other part of it, and then apply this context back to your interpretation of the aspect. You do not need to go into great detail here, just ask yourself a few simple questions – what is the Sun sign, and how does that potentially shape the aspect? Similarly, what is the context provided by the Moon and its sign? Is there something prominent that leaps out, for example a planet on the ascendant or midheaven? If so what might that do to the way that the aspect plays out? Even if these objects make no contact with the planets you are considering in aspect, they are powerful enough to affect everything in the chart strongly. As an example using the same aspect of Sun in Cancer in the 2nd in a square with Mars in Aries in the 11th, consider how different this is for a person with the Moon in Cancer as well. Suddenly the 2nd house has become more personal and extremely sensitive. The strong Moon in Cancer acts to ramp up the power of the Cancer side of the square to match the previously dominating power of the Mars in Aries side. We can’t be so sure anymore that the potentially selfish side will overpower the caring and nurturing side, but instead there is now the possibility that the defensiveness and anxiety will crush the courage and it seems likely that it will swing back and forth, with one side overpowering the other in an exhausting self conflict. Now let’s instead imagine that the person has the Moon in Leo. What we see here is that the Mars in Aries side of the conflict is getting even more support from the Moon. It bolsters the confidence and increases the courage making it easier to draw upon in an effortless flow. Now, the Sun in Cancer is really in trouble. The qualities of the Moon sign can add context by themselves, they do not have to make an aspect to “plug themselves in”.

Taking this path leads you into considering aspect patterns which leads naturally into seeing the chart as a configuration, a whole. For example, if in our example the Moon is in Libra, in opposition to Mars, it forms a T – square pattern with the Sun at the stress point (square both Moon and Mars by sign). So you begin to see a single aspect as being part of the overall chart by seeing shapes in the chart, shapes formed by the aspects. It fine tunes and sharpens the interpretation in an ever more specific direction. Try not to get too hung up on the “official” aspect patterns, nor on whether exact aspects are formed by degree or orb, remember that signs have relationships too and exact aspects just bring them into sharper focus. Look for shapes and dynamics, not just aspect patterns. The Grand Square or Cross, the Grand Trine, the Kite, etc., are all major aspect patterns that deserve attention but every sequence of aspects, every shape in the birth chart, is an aspect pattern. You just have to unlock it piece by piece. Always focus in on one piece at a time and then zoom out to consider the context of everything you know so far and incorporate it. If you get stuck, one trick or technique is to ask yourself a hypothetical question in response to a real situation, something like “if I were this planet in this sign how would I have reacted to losing my keys yesterday?”, or “how would this aspect jive with the themes presented in that movie?”. These kinds of mind games and inquiries can often produce inspiration that gets you moving forward with your interpretation. And they teach you about yourself, too.

What I mean by the context of the hierarchical position of the planets involved, the second thing that I suggest can help you move forward in your interpretation, is simply this: is one or both of the planets a Light (Sun or Moon), an inner world (Mercury, Venus and Mars), a gas giant (Jupiter and Saturn), an outer world (Uranus, Neptune, potentially also Pluto, etc.) or something else (ascendant, node, Chiron, etc.)? For example in the case of Sun square with Mars that is a square between a Light and an inner world. This is quite different to a square between, say, a Light and an outer world.

What is this difference? Essentially the Lights are the seats or centres of awareness that exist within all beings with the Sun representing the spirit (or conscious being, presence) and the Moon the soul (personal consciousness or personality). They represent the planes (the mental and astral) through which awareness is spread. The three inner worlds represent fundamental psychological realities – the emotions or instincts, the mind or intellect and the will or volition – and the invisible worlds that lie behind these psychological states of awareness. The gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, are mediators of the natural order, Giants who regulate the evolution of life and awareness according to the universal laws and principles. Fundamentally they connect us with larger concerns than mere psychological growth. The outer worlds which we are still discovering represent the transcendent dimensions of awareness being opened by our exploration, both inner and outer. They are fundamentally more collective and tribal than the other worlds because they act to shape generations of people similarly.

As an example in practice what this means is that if you have a Light in an aspect with an outer world, you become somehow a focal point for a collective, tribal or generational trait arising from a shared astrological influence, a zeitgeist if you will, because the aspect, no matter what it is, directly influences the way you express your Sun or Moon and what you experience of it. As an example, during the 1960s almost everybody born up until near the end of that decade was born with a conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. During the 1970s when they were teenagers they spawned the punk era and many of them dyed their hair outrageous colours, cut it in tribal styles, and pierced their noses, lips and other body parts with safety pins, studs and other adornments, which shocked their parents. This was an expression of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction. In cases where this conjunction made contact with the Sun or Moon in a chart those individuals took the look to heart or kicked against it violently – they were personally and directly shaped by the collective as it manifested through their peers and this conjunction.

The context provided by this planetary hierarchy can be important in helping you understand those often trickier to understand outer planet and gas giant aspects. With the outer planets as I said there is a collective level to what is going on and the contact will be very strong if the aspect involves a Light, as explained, but also very strong if it involves one of the inner planets as these are also quite personal, acting to channel the collective zeitgeist for a particular dimension of awareness (the will, the intellect or the emotions). The type of aspect – square, trine, etc. – is really just describing how easy or difficult it is for us to integrate and accept the power of the outer planet. In the case of the inner planets this will often manifest in some way as a muse which guides a person in a particular way, for example an aspect from Neptune to Venus will frequently turn up as an artistic muse in the life of an artist while an aspect from Neptune to Mercury will frequently show up as some kind of abstract or fantasy theme that shows up in the life of a thinker. What is happening in both cases is that the collective impulses of Neptune are being transmitted into the intellect or emotions (or in the case of Mars, into the will) of the person. Suddenly the collective atmosphere that they are born into as an environment is something that they are breathing as well, or perhaps even producing. The gas giants have a particularly important role in this hierarchy because they are in effect mediators or middle men between the inner worlds and the outer worlds. What this means is that in terms of aspects they are able to work equally well with both groups and to translate between them. This is an interesting factor to consider in aspect patterns, for example when the Moon is in a sextile with Jupiter and Jupiter is conjunct Uranus, it’s an indication that something is going on relating to the transmission of whatever Uranus represents to whatever the Moon represents, in this case through Jupiter (expansion, enlargement and opportunity but also potential waste), via a sextile (stimulation, hype, arousal, excitement). A simple way to think of Jupiter and Saturn is as increasing the flow (unfolding it) or slowing it down (ordering it). In this way we can understand aspects involving Jupiter and Saturn as either increasing the flow of meaning from the outer worlds to the inner worlds (or Lights) or slowing it down and organizing it into structures. When the gas giants form aspects with the outer worlds (e.g. Saturn square Neptune) they are integrating transpersonal energies into their agendas (which modifies how they are expressing themselves) and when they are forming aspects with the inner worlds they are enacting those agendas in nature and mundane life (generally, modifying the way those planets express). Aspects are always two-way, but there is a natural order to their significance.

The hierarchy of the solar system that we live in is actually more complex than these tiers suggest but this is the most practical one to use, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the notion and are just beginning to use it in aspect interpretation. In my book The 26 Keys I present a more detailed discussion of this hierarchy which I will share with you below for reference:

The Astro-Cosmic Structure (from the most mundane to the stellar)

The temples: Realms and arenas of experience in which we encounter all that follows below personally. Structurally, arises from our localized perception of the daily rotation of the Earth (primary motion).

The zodiac: The Elemental processes of life on Earth, through which all that follows below is expressed. A co-creative relationship between humans and the beings of the Lights and planets expressed as native Elemental processes, particularly the processes of the seasons, therefore, partially human in creation and reflective of different cultures and ages of human societies. Astrological aspects are of the zodiac, being the harmonic interaction it contains, its geometry, and the Lunar nodes are also part of this structure (see Dragon’s Head & Tail). Structurally, arises from our perception of the rotation of Earth around the Sun (secondary motion), but has its earliest roots in the patterning of stars (see below).

The Lights: The essence of life on Earth expressed as consciousness (Sun, the mental awareness of meaning, existence and life, the focus of our individuality) and astral awareness (Moon, the personal awareness of significance, the focus of our personality). The conductors of the celestial music of life on Earth.

The inner worlds: The solid, visible worlds of the personality – intellect (Mercury), feeling (Venus) and will (Mars). However, Mars is also involved in an individual process of aligning our personality with our individuality (he is an architect and enforcer of the mediators and inner worlds who decides which ideas and feelings to act upon).

The asteroids: The minutiae of the specific material of the personality and individuality which must be made integral and assembled into a harmonic whole. Our relationship to the many details of the personal and individual world which we must discern and integrate. Harmonizing Mars with Jupiter is an important overall aspect of this process because this places our seemingly vast and fractured individual differences in context with our greater quantity and quality of individual similarities. Largely invisible and therefore astra-mental in causation.

The mediators: The gaseous worlds of the individuality, the guardians of the natural order, endless expansion (Jupiter) and endless crystallization (Saturn). They are mediators between the zone of the Lights, inner worlds and asteroids (the inner zone) and the zone of the outer and mythic worlds (the outer zone), therefore, mediators between the personal/individual and the collective or transpersonal. Visible, therefore able to create a physical causation directly.

The centaurs: Emissaries and bridges to the collective and transpersonal, our ties to what lies beyond the mediators and thus escorts to the outer and mythic worlds. We must always go to the outer and mythic worlds and bring back what we learn for the collective, individual and personal worlds. These are our guides and companions for that journey, they are teachers and the givers of knowledge from beyond, the threads which connect the individual to the wider collective or spiritual and thus bind them together. Any other objects found among the centaurs and named for hybrid or mythical creatures will also serve a similar function of introducing us to the outer or mythic worlds. Not visible with the naked human eye, therefore astra-mental in causation, but still capable of condensing a physical effect through the geometry of the zodiac.

The outer worlds: Uranus and Neptune, representatives of the collective human awareness that we are all one mind, and the universal awareness that all existence is one mind. Uranus hovers on the edge of visibility with the naked eye like some of the asteroids, but is more effective on an astra-mental level than a physical one, like Neptune. Again, this does not mean they cannot create physical effects, only that they always begin with an astra-mental one. Shapers of generations of people.

The mythic worlds: Pluto and other invisible worlds beyond Neptune; concern the emergence of mythic archetypes and are heralds of realizations and states emerging in the collective human awareness as it encompasses more of its infinite nature and the universal consciousness. Transmuters of the collective and representatives of aspects of the universal consciousness. Transcendental portals through which consciousness touches the infinite and eternal. Shapers of fate.

The stars: Underpin all of the above with pure essential meaning through Quadrapolar relationships to the Earth (see advanced material). The essence and font of pure astral and mental meaning which becomes clothed in and expressed through the planetary fabric of our solar system. Stars represent influences over the creation of a (temporal) spirit. Constellations relate to the facets of the Greater Self (the immortal spirit) as it turns its infinite face through physical eternity, therefore to the turning of celestial ages.

This hierarchy is just another tool for you to use in coming up with an interpretation for your puzzling aspect, it’s a jumping off point for new investigation. Don’t feel that you have to include it, but do think about it and know that it is there if you need it. Really this hierarchy, as far as aspects interpretation is concerned, is just another detail that you can add to the essential meaning of the Lights and planets.


Another factor at play in every aspect is the potential for one planet to dominate or submit to another, something I have touched upon above. Dominance arises usually from one or both of two considerations or conditions:

A) One of the planets is angular, with the ascendant being the most powerful angle, the midheaven the next most powerful, the descendant in third place and the IC in fourth. Any planet near or at one of these places is in a throne of power and command over the chart. Just being in the house also helps a lot. Alternatively, one of the planets is the chart ruler.
B) One of the planets is in rulership or exaltation while the other is not or is in fall or detriment. Alternatively, if one planet is very well aspected (has many sextiles and/or trines, some conjunctions with the benefic planets (Venus or Jupiter) or the chart ruler, or is in an overall better position, this can confer some dominance, especially if the other planet is in a difficult position. However, the reverse can also occur when one planet in the aspect is heavily stressed by squares and oppositions and assumes dominance by default because it becomes so loaded with issues.

Receptivity, the capacity to be open to receiving influences, usually arises from:

A) The nature of the planet itself, with Venus and the Moon as well as Neptune being highly receptive because they are usually more passive.
B) The Water and Earth Elements and their signs, which make all things more receptive
C) Trines and some sextiles confer greater receptivity and passivity
D) Planets in cadent houses are more receptive because they have less power to act (9th, 3rd, 6th, 12th, with the 9th being the strongest cadent house and the 12th the most inactive).

Dominance and receptivity are also related to the hierarchy outlined above – planets at higher levels have dominance over planets at lower ones with the exception of the Lights, which are both almost equally dominant and receptive, with the Sun having the edge in dominance and the Moon in receptivity but both having such power by nature that they transcend the hierarchy. Saturn is frequently very dominant in his aspects because he is the final planet that we can clearly see with the naked eye, so the buck stops here effectively. Spiritual karma is the ultimate determiner of whatever happens. Sometimes dominance is obvious and at other times not, usually because it is volatile and changes hands under certain circumstances. For example, Mars is often the dominant factor if the aspect tends towards anger or frustration, Saturn if it is gloom and limitation. It’s important to understand that what is happening in terms of dominance is that one aspect of our awareness is exerting excessive force or control over another. Even the so-called benefic planets, when made too dominant, produce undesirable effects such as insatiable desire or excessive Pollyanna like ignorance of reality. Similarly, the so-called malefic planets can produce positive effects when they are dominant. Saturn can help us bring order to things and Uranus can help us reinvent them.

You can often deduce dominance from within a chart using the pointers I have provided but understanding which planet is dominant in any given aspect can also be inferred from watching people and then that information can be brought to the chart. A very sober and disciplined person who tends to be looking on the pessimistic side of things a little too much will probably have something going on in their chart with Saturn. If you get to see that chart you would then immediately hone in on the position of Saturn, looking for the reasons why it is so dominant. Perhaps you don’t find a strong Saturn but instead find a pileup going on in Capricorn, its most sober sign. In this case you would switch to looking for the strongest planet in Capricorn, the one that is producing all that strong saturnine energy. You could then begin to build up your interpretation of the chart from a place of certainty and the aspects of that planet would become important ones for you to work on, at least initially. In this way your observation of planetary dominance in life around you helps to inform and guide your astrological learning by proceeding from known and observable realities rather than guesswork. It can also teach you, as in this case, about the often blurry distinctions between planetary qualities and sign qualities. Both of Saturn’s signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, display Saturn-like qualities, but there is a difference between the influence of Saturn and the influence of his signs, and both signs express their planetary rulers nature differently. This is not an easy distinction to put into words but using the above method you can discover it for yourself and this can also end up being extremely useful in aspect interpretation. The best way I have of describing it is as I have said earlier – the planets represent dimensions of awareness (nouns) whereas signs represent processes of awareness (verbs, adverbs and adjectives) which those dimensions engage in. Again, a dominant or receptive relationship between planets in an aspect represents a dominant – submissive/receptive dynamic in part of us.

This raises the interesting question of whether an aspect is primarily internally or externally experienced, in other words whether it will manifest as events, happenings and the activities of other people around us or as an interior experience, a state of being. Actually the answer is that it always manifests as both because there is no separation between the interior and exterior except in our perception, but the question that remains is which way it will tend? The nature of aspects themselves have a strong role to play here – squares and oppositions tend to be external in their effect whereas sextile and trine aspects tends to be internal. With conjunctions, it’s mostly internal but that can change depending upon the nature of the planets with more active and forceful planets like Mars making for more externally focused conjunctions. The Moon is always very interior and the Sun always radiates into the exterior. Another factor that plays a strong role here is angularity – anything that connects with the angles, especially the ascendant or midheaven, always has an external manifestation that is quite strong. Recently for example I have been talking to a woman with Venus in Gemini on the ascendant who is a speech therapist. The 12th is the most interior house and the 1st the most exterior. The question of whether an aspect will manifest in the exterior or interior experience is a judgment call I make based on these kinds of considerations but really I prefer to gather this information from direct interaction with the person and then use it as context to fine tune my interpretation of the rest of the chart. We must always remember that the chart is like a garment that the person is wearing, and not the person themselves. People inhabit their charts as consciousness and then express it according to their degree of consciousness and the choices they make.

I hope that these words have helped you to work with all kinds of aspects, please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or observations of your own that you would like to share and thank you for journeying with me! Before I go I would just like to mention that starting this year I will be sharing some simple magic spells each month with my $5 or more patrons on Patreon, alongside the monthly forecast. These will cover a wide range of topics and be provided for personal use. If that sounds interesting to you please join us!

The Astrology of 2023: II

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys for the final time in 2022 as following on from last month we usher in and take a deeper look into 2023.

The three slower moving outer planets of the system, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (we are still calling Pluto a planet for the purposes of astrology) define and delineate the overarching themes that the world experiences collectively. Uranus for example takes 7 years to travel through one particular sign, Neptune twice that much and Pluto varies but is slowest of all. What this means is that within, for example, that 7 year period in which Uranus is in a particular sign, that every birth chart and other chart that is created has something in common – Uranus in that sign. Furthermore, because these planets are slow moving, when they aspect one another the aspects also stay in effect for longer periods of time which means that, for example, if you are born in any year where Uranus is in opposition to Pluto then that’ll remain true for many years and so everyone born around the same time period as you will have Uranus in opposition to Pluto. This then becomes a feature of an entire generation of people. In the same way, already living human beings experience these transits as ongoing situations which affect the entire global population in various ways.

These influences transcend single forms. As an example from recent times, the transit of Uranus through Aries (2011 to 2019), which resonates with uprising and rebellion, saw the widespread unrest known as the Arab Spring, the Egyptian revolution and everything that followed it, as well as the triumph of Trump over the establishment in the USA, among other things. With the passage of Uranus into Taurus in 2019 we entered a volatile period of global financial instability and shock, and soon after we had lockdowns and global trade was disrupted more than at any other time in recent history, and most have been or are now facing economic hardship, collapse, inflation, rising prices, a sudden lack of common supplies like toilet paper and antibiotics, etc. What this means is that when slow-moving planets change signs it represents a shift in the global mindset and collective experience, one which may arrive suddenly and shockingly or alternatively it may creep in like a fog changing our view gradually. This becomes especially important this year in relation to Pluto, which dips into Aquarius for the first time after having been in Capricorn since 2008, and its entrance is a giant bang to the drumbeat of Mars and Jupiter.

Here is the graph from last month for ease of reference:

Unlike recent years going back to the middle of the last decade the skies of 2023 are less troubled by major planets forming aspects that hang around for long periods of time. This means that the overall tone of the year is not about situations dragging on as it has been in previous years but is actually more about new things kicking off, something that is driven very strongly by Jupiter in Aries (see last month) at the start of the year. The shift of Jupiter into Taurus (once it clears its square with Pluto) and Saturn into Pisces later in the year is very significant and helps to calm things in general, but the upcoming conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus in 2024 could well see those themes of economic upheaval exploding dramatically. Nevertheless, the skies overall do look less turbulent and grueling, as we are finally freed from a gruelling 5 years of strong Saturn in major conflicts which has brought us so much collective isolation and hardship.

URANUS in TAURUS (14°-23°)

This year Uranus moves between 15° – 23° of Taurus, retrograding in August back to 19° and therefore placing strong emphasis on 19° – 23° Taurus from August onward. His only major encounters are with Mars – a helpful sextile from Cancer in April and a trine from Virgo in August, with the more disruptive meetings taking place with Mars in Leo (end of June) and Mars in Scorpio (mid November). This means that, generally, the craziest and most volatile times of the year (in which change tends to have immediate, unforeseen consequence or backlash but which also creates exciting adventures and major, dynamic breakthroughs) are at the end of June and mid November, while efforts to create change will flow more controllably and smoothly in April and August. If you have the Sun, Moon or other important objects at 15° – 23° of any Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), this is especially significant. By Sun signs, this includes everyone born around February 3rd – 13th, May 5th – 15th, August 7th – 17th or November 7th – 17th. All of these people are among those who will experience some kind of major life change in 2023, one that is meant to push them towards more freedom and independence, but they have to be extremely careful about acting selfishly in this pursuit as it will carry many consequences. Many new things will emerge for these people.

I have written an extensive article about Uranus in Taurus and its history. Essentially this influence disrupts the normal way of life in such a radical way that it never returns. Uranus in Taurus is a global lesson that nothing is changeless and that all things are required to undergo radical shifts. There was a time, for example, when people hunted their food. This lasted for millennia until agriculture began to develop, forcing what was assumed to be a forever way of nomadic life into radical change. The development of inventions drives much of this change. Uranus in Taurus was probably strongly involved in these transitions. Today we have a hugely complicated, electronically powered global economy in a similar state of radical transition, this time the machines are growing intelligent enough to replace us at our manual jobs and labors, having evolved from the plough into semi-aware robots. This is calling into question the viability of future jobs and even the sense of carrying on with the same financial structure. It will globally disrupt the status quo irreversibly. This problem won’t go away when Uranus leaves Taurus in a couple of years, it is being just initiated and established in our awareness now and from my perspective the oncoming new space race will just add to it. Just next door in the asteroid field between here and Mars there is a dragons dream of a treasure hoard in the form of gold, silver, exotic materials and other commodities. The asteroid Psyche is commonly quoted on the web as having gold worth approximately 10 quadrillion dollars (enough to make everyone a billionaire, but this wouldn’t happen because gold would suddenly be rendered virtually worthless), and this is just one rock. The existence of these resources – not just gold – throws the entire capitalist system into chaos, and we are now able to drag them here. These are the future seeds being planted now by Uranus on Taurus.

Ultimately we are presented with the necessity for change by Uranus and in this case, in Taurus, that change happens to the things that we place physical and material value on. Money, is of course the number one thing that we place value on, but stretching back this includes all jewels and shiny things, and even deeper and more fundamentally a well-stocked supply of food, fresh water and the security that comes from a stable, flourishing Earth. The Earth is clearly in a state of turbulent change, regardless of the causes. Interruptions of basic supplies and even an ongoing disruption of the natural order as the planet adapts to change seeking a new equilibrium must be accepted. We have not seen much of it yet, but I believe Uranus in Taurus will not only permanently reshape national borders politically (for example the war in Ukraine) but also environmentally. There are a couple of years left for this to transpire, if it will.

Uranus has cleared its exact squares with Saturn in Aquarius but the hangover if you like of those squares is still with us for as long as Saturn stays in Aquarius. This shift occurs in early March, marking a significant but subtle shift in the way Uranus is behaving in our skies from that point on. He is no longer trying to undermine authority and overthrow oppression as directly, his agenda shifts and at first it is not altogether clear where it is going since he forms no major aspects with other planets this year. The closest he comes to one is a sextile with Neptune in Pisces, which he gets 3° away from in October. There is an interesting dance to this sextile with Neptune – they draw close together this October then pull apart, they draw closer still (just 1° apart) in October of the following year but then pull apart again, they try again in 2025 but just before Uranus catches up with him Neptune leaves Pisces and moves into Aries, evading him. Uranus himself then leaves Taurus for Gemini, looking to make a sextile in different signs. However, both Uranus and Neptune then retrograde back into Taurus and Pisces to finally make the exact sextile in November 2025. It is almost as if Neptune plays a few unexpected vanishing tricks on his brother in a game of hide and seek. This has the feel of something that keeps trying to manifest or of a steadily increasing buzz or hum that bursts into music, with the first rhythms appearing in October of this year and then repeating in October annually until 2025.

It’s not until 2024, however, that the new agenda of Uranus in Taurus starts to unroll in the form of major aspects. This year it is likely a wrapping up of what has been going on in the last few years with regard to the conflict between freedom verses rules or responsibility. While the other placements this year (Jupiter in Aries and the Pluto collision with Mars and Jupiter in May) do not exactly generate quiet times, as far as Uranus is concerned, he’s pretty quiet.

His first meeting with Mars is on April 28/29th with Mars in Cancer. This is a sextile that helps us to break out of bad habits in unorthodox or lateral ways. It helps us to move forwards but not directly, more sideways like a crab, so it helps us to tackle problems from new and unexpected angles. Often these positive combinations of Mars and Uranus stimulate new directions and new activities and are good for either shaking up our convictions in refreshing ways or pushing us to experiment boldly. His next meeting while in Leo (June 26th) is not nearly so easy-going. This is the kind of influence people lose their temper under very quickly, becoming bossy and domineering and forcing their will upon those around them. It can bring out the predatory side of Leo, the bloodied tooth and claw and the red matted mane. On the positive side though it can help us to stand our ground against an offensive, especially when we believe in the cause and have allies. Mars then encounters Uranus in Taurus on August 16th while in Virgo, a trine, which is probably the best time in the year to plan a major change around since the flowing interaction between these two will allow you to make progress quickly. This is also an extremely productive period that is fundamentally good for anyone wanting to get the work done and put in hours or make tangible improvements. His last encounter with Uranus in 2023 comes when he is in Scorpio, and it is likely the most problematic. This takes place on November 11th and can lead to power struggles in relationships and upsets in the balance of power generally, it makes people more pushy and aggressive, more possessive and driven to get things their way, but it’s also potentially offering a major emotional, physical or financial breakthrough for people who have been working hard or diligently. Most encounters with Mars will last at least a week to arise, climax and then fade out, some longer.

The last instances of Uranus in Taurus between 14° and 23° occurred over 1938/39, 1854-1856, and 1763-1765. These have ominous resonances in history – the outbreak of World War 2, the Crimean War (which decimated Russia and redefined Europe), and the end of the Seven Years War (a global conflict that involved most of Europe’s powers). The grim historical theme is clear – global warfare, poverty and high prices/unavailability of basic goods, turbulence and disruption to the balance of power in Europe. If things go awry for us in 2023 it is because of this karmic interaction with Uranus in Taurus and the events involving Pluto in May. We are about to re-experience the consequences of these times and the way things have always been done before will undergo even more radical change than they have already. This also seems to centre around the conjunction of Jupiter with Uranus in Taurus, but that does not manifest until April 2024 (this year the closest they come is 7°- 8°, in the third quarter).

NEPTUNE in PISCES (22°-27°)

Neptune spends 2023 floating in the 3rd decan of Pisces, preparing to make shore with Aries in 2025. Even though Saturn is now in Pisces and is slowly gaining on him, the two will not join in a conjunction in Pisces. Instead Saturn will meet Neptune in Aries, also in a couple of years. As with Uranus, Neptune makes no major contact with other slow-moving planets, only interacting with Mars (and of course the Lights, Mercury and Venus interact with all the slow moving planets on an annual basis). The closest it comes to a major aspect is the sextile with Uranus (described in the previous section) that almost happens in October but has to wait 2 more years before it finalizes. Positive or easy to handle interactions with Mars/Neptune are placed in the middle of May and the middle of November while the more tricky aspects occur in mid March and August and at the very end of December. Interactions between Mars and Neptune essentially relate to refinement and the importance of subtlety in the way we express our drive, willpower and desire nature. They help us to imaginatively assert ourselves and gain insight and greater clarity into who we really are and what pushes our buttons. They can also be useful in developing the psychic will, the capacity to create forceful impact with the imagination.

Although Neptune in Pisces has occurred a number of times in recorded history having a cycle of just slightly than 150 years it is an extremely subtle and difficult to define or pin down influence, its nature being related to the intangible and ethereal as well as the unseen world. What Neptune in Pisces does essentially is alter the astral field around us rather than the physical field and this is not something that we see recorded in history books very often if at all. There are aspects of Neptune in Pisces which affect the invisible world and the spirit world and the way it interacts with us, for example the way that we have destroyed and removed the habitat of many nature spirits, harming them or forcing them to move on, and the way that the ocean life around us is being affected with only the most visible signs showing up on our shores. These effects gradually accumulate under Neptune in Pisces like drops of water in a bucket or grains of sand in an hourglass, eventually manifesting themselves physically all at once and making people wonder about the mystery of it all and where it came from.

What the historical record shows is that Neptune in Pisces has powerful effects on what we believe and how human belief is expressed. Going back to the excommunication of Henry VIII and the creation of the Church of England, then the spread of Christianity and Catholicism into the Americas, leading (the last time Neptune was in Pisces) to the publication of ‘The Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin, what we see is an evolution of the human idea of God or Creation and its mysterious implementation in the physical world. The importance of Darwin here is that he shows that Neptune in Pisces is not really concerned with religion but more with what is believed about existence. The form of things is largely irrelevant with Neptune. It just permeates them whatever they are. This is a quality it has in spades while in Pisces. Something permeates the imagination which seeds it with a new level of consciousness or alters the way that collective human belief is expressed. In the past Neptune in Pisces has represented a waning of power for those in positions of religious or spiritual authority – the Pope loses England, the priests of South America are overthrown and destroyed, the grip that religious thinking has is loosened by scientific theory and discovery on a remote Pacific island, etc. We see similar things happening today with the scandals arising in the Catholic Church, the (probably foireign power instigated) rebellion of women in Iran, the reaction from many religious Americans to what they perceive as a corrupted and condemned society, etc. We still have two years of Neptune in Pisces to play out and it is unwise to try to summaries it before then but it also seems strongly connected with the pandemic outbreak and developments in epidemiology and health care. Neptune in Pisces brought us Florence Nightingale and the initial observation about cholera breaking out in a contaminated water pump in London that led to the modern understanding of epidemics. Florence especially is an example of the way that Neptune in Pisces raises compassion and empathy and brings charity and kindness into play, sometimes though this emergence of greater compassion comes through an experience of unbearable suffering and sacrifice as we see in the story of the slave ship Hannibal. Flooding is also a theme of Neptune in Pisces – it’s not just floods of water but floods of emotion.

Esoterically Neptune in Pisces awakens the third eye or psychic senses, the creative imagination. This has both good and bad effects because it means that people are more willing to believe in things that are only imaginary while also opening their minds. It makes the entire world feel more surreal. What is needed with Neptune in Pisces is a strong grounding (astrologically this means a good connection with Saturn or the Earth signs) because the visions are so enchanting or the surrealism beyond parody, beyond farce. Certain spiritual truths are so sublime that they transcend words and some situations so surreal that they defy reality and this is the experience that Neptune in Pisces stimulates and leads to. Those who are consciously working with this impulse find themselves able to develop their psychic potential through empathy and compassion very rapidly and smoothly while those who are needing to become more discerning about the nature of material reality often grow extremely confused and tired. To integrate the higher energies of Neptune in Pisces we need to be in an altered state of consciousness and this is why many people find it hard to stay awake during these times. However it is not enough to simply alter our consciousness, we also have to learn how to do this consciously which means without the aid of things like drugs or sleep. Neptune in Pisces involves us in all of these issues, which can lead us deeper into addiction if we are not aware of it. Really we have to develop and clarify our discernment of what reality is first and then Neptune in Pisces becomes a powerful boon to the awareness.

Mars first meets with Neptune as he is leaving his long passage through Gemini in mid March (15th). This encounter is problematic as the symbolism fosters confusion, clumsiness, awkwardness and a kind of slippery evasiveness or outright deception. There is a fogginess to communication and an inability to clarify what we intend but also potentially a turning point in which we overcome self-deception or delusion about who we are and what we want. If the roads are icy at this time it is not a good idea to travel because of the literal slipperiness of this square. A couple of months later in mid-May (15th) the two meet again, this time on far more friendly terms with Mars in Cancer. This is one of the better times in the year to express what we feel and to assert or somehow act upon our intuition or imagination but we need to overcome any shyness. In particular this aspect helps us to empathise with those whom we are emotionally invested in taking care of as well as the vulnerable in general. However there is little directness and forthrightness to this aspect so it can be more difficult for us to say what we really mean and easier for us to fall back on passive-aggressive behaviour in getting what we want. Overall this is a good month for working on the emotions. On August 22nd Mars and Neptune meet again, this time in opposition, their most direct antagonistic relationship this year. Mars in Virgo pulls us towards activities which emphasize and empower the desire for the facts while Neptune in Pisces pulls in the other direction looking for the essence and the invisible undercurrent, not the actual words or deeds but what is written between the lines. This is the essential conflict here but it can manifest in different ways, for example as a contradiction between the perceived facts and evidence (Mars in Virgo) and the instinct and intuition (Neptune in Pisces). Mars then gives us a second Water trine with Neptune, this time from Scorpio in mid-November (17th). This one is more forceful because Mars is in a sign that he rules and it avoids the passive-aggressive problems but replaces them with more overt passions and temptations of desire. However overall this is a very strong aspect for expressing the emotions and allowing them to flow as well as transforming them by taking control of them when they are destructive and cleansing them. Pursuit of peace is still a pursuit that Mars can get behind and there is powerful regenerative and restorative power available here. To end the year (December 28th) Mars in Sagittarius gives us a square with Neptune, a tricky aspect that can throw spanners in the smooth running of things, disrupt or confuse long journeys or quests, lead to slippery slopes where dogma drives a crusade, create confused arguments or lead into a hidden ambush, trap or snare of some kind. On the positive side we can perhaps use this aspect to realise that some of goals are too ideal, visionary or impractical and then make the necessary adjustments.

Neptune was last in this area of Pisces (22° – 27°) in the years 1859 – 1860, 1694 – 1696 and 1530 – 1532. It was in 1860 that Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species” and the first Neanderthal bones were discovered in Germany. This is also the time when John Snow began the science of epidemiology and Florence Nightingale founded her school for nurses. The period in the mid-1690s saw a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the founding of the Banks of England and Scotland, the completion of the Potala Palace in Lhasa and the horrific voyage of the slave ship Hannibal which ended with the deaths of nearly half of the 692 slaves aboard. In the early 1530s Rome was engulfed in a flood, the Knights of Malta were formed and the Church of England was created after King Henry VIII of England secretly married Anne Boleyn. In almost archetypal Neptune in Pisces style a portrait painting of Saint Dominic was gifted by ‘three ladies of wonderful appearance’ in Soriano Calabro, Calabria and was deemed a miraculous gift from St. Catherine, Mary Magdelene and the Virgin Mary.

PLUTO in CAPRICORN and AQUARIUS (27° Capricorn – 0° Aquarius)

This is the last significant year of Pluto in Capricorn. In May he makes a short visit into the beginning of Aquarius before retrograding back into Capricorn for the rest of the year. In Capricorn, the closest he comes to a major aspect is a near sextile from July until around October, but the real action happens while he is briefly in Aquarius in May as he opposes Mars in Leo and squares Jupiter in Taurus, both of whom also newly arrived in those signs. His positive interactions with Mars occur in late August when Pluto is in Capricorn and Mars is in Virgo and in mid-November with Mars in Scorpio. He not only clashes with Mars in Leo (when Pluto is in Aquarius) in mid-May but also with Mars in Libra (when Pluto is in Capricorn) in the first half of October. May could be a month in which there are extremely dynamic but stressful breakthroughs, while the first half of October is problematic because it tends to create arguments in relationships, often over money. Both late August and mid November provide energy bursts for whatever you need it for, with Mars and Pluto providing the raw power to stick to our guns and forge ahead.

As we reach the end of Pluto in Capricorn we can begin to look back on what has happened in the world since the time it entered the sign in 2008 seeking insight into what it has brought. Quite obviously, this has been a time of economic turmoil with huge bailouts and desperate rescue plans for entire nations, many of which have been broken as a result. We’ve also seen a tightening of the grip by authorities and an escalating threat of environmental destruction, fatalism concerning capitalism and the material way of life, many revolutions in many countries and governments, the concentration of greater power and wealth in the hands of the already super wealthy and the emergence of the first corporate superpowers (Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Disney, etc). Quite likely, 2023 will see us reviewing all of these matters and attempting to draw lessons and meaning from them as this period draws to a close. It is time for the final arguments and moves on these matters to be made before they are replaced by startlingly new but even more urgent matters. Very likely this involves the imminent emergence of advanced artificial intelligence and robotics, key themes of Aquarius. The talking points this May and which develop more next year will help us to foresee what the major talking points of the next 20 years will be in the same way that the near financial apocalypse of 2008 forecast the talking points of the next 15 years.

There is an interesting suggestion in the historical record of Pluto moving from Capricorn into Aquarius that already has some resonance for us today and that is the it tends to coincide with the sudden death of a monarch, institution or ruler followed by some kind of radical reformation. Back in the mid-1770s this was the American War for Independence, in the early 1530s it happened at Chichen Itza with the arrival of the Conquistadors and in the mid-1280s there was the coronation of the last King of Jerusalem and the sudden death of the Scots king when he fell from his horse. Things happen to people at the top, usually bad things, there is a vacuum and it is quickly filled by something radically new. My thoughts here are not only on the UK with the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II but also on Russia, China and the USA because Aquarius has powerful effects on all these nations. In Russia and China this connection to Aquarius is expressed historically as communism and a strong emphasis on communal identity while in the UK and United States the emphasis is being placed on individual freedom and independence, at least notionally. The rift between these nations will probably widen under Pluto in Aquarius as it will both transform and intensify the different paths they have taken. Or perhaps Aquarius will play its trump card and reshuffle the entire deck and all hands in a completely surprising way.

The action in May is also intense. As Pluto dips into Aquarius (May 23rd) he encounters both Jupiter (May 18th) and Mars (May 21st/22nd) in early parts of Fixed signs and this creates a T-square, an explosive opposition between Mars and Pluto that is exaggerated and enlarged upon in scope by Jupiter. Mars-Pluto oppositions are sometimes connected to horrific war crimes and Jupiter elevates the potential to a mass scale. The fact that Mars is in Leo does not help because it implies that egos will be involved while Pluto and Aquarius looks like some kind of humanitarian outrage. Aside from its implications for war and destruction, this arrangement could also bring about a sudden overthrow of power, not just in one place but in many places, it has the quality of people having had enough of hard conditions or demanding more pay (Jupiter in Taurus) starting a violent revolution (Mars/Pluto in Leo Aquarius). We might also see some kind of geographical or environmental disaster – a huge eruption, the loss of an ice shelf or a powerful earthquake for example. If we are looking to draw some positive advantage from this potential in May we should first of all be prepared to back down when we feel that we are absolutely in the right because this configuration can blind us but also encase us in stubborn ways that we need to break free of violently. If we are already trapped in a suffocating or life destroying situation then this configuration could help us to finally smash our way through it but likely not without a high cost. It is a very risky sky to gamble under or to guess with – chance can lead to profound ruin. Perhaps the best path with it is to accept that sometimes growth depends on sacrifice or the greater good depends upon us giving up upon or changing what we want and to work on figuring out how that applies to us. If a metaphorical bomb goes off in your life during this time it is perhaps some comfort to know that this situation will not stretch on as it emerges in May but vanishes very quickly from the sky and does not return. It is, however, probably a trailer or preview of how Pluto in Aquarius will interact with you over the long term starting next year.

The opposition with Mars in Leo on May 21st is Pluto’s first clash with Mars this year. In general we have to be very wary of getting involved in power struggles and power plays under this aspect as well as perhaps having to rein in some of our more compulsive desires. Pushy, bossy and domineering behaviour towards the people around us will very likely cause an intense backlash at this point. There are strong opinions around about what is best and who to follow but this aspect challenges us to transcend that and to seek within for the light that will allow us to courageously express our own unique and deeply considered opinions while allowing others to do the same. The next tussle between Mars and Pluto is on October 9 with Mars in Libra which creates a dynamic that can cause arguments between us and our partners, especially over matters of finances and security, but also it tends to create a need to choose between two different ambitions or to divide time and resources between two goals. Problems can arise when we take into consideration what our partners want as it may conflict with our long-term goals or plans. Potentially this square enables couples to renegotiate the rules of their relationship. The positive interactions between Mars and Pluto come from Mars in Virgo (August 25th) and Mars in Scorpio (November 22nd). The August interaction is productive and efficient, able to make select and precise changes that have profound impacts. It is good for tidying or arranging things and getting things in order as well as for stabilising them or streamlining them. However, it can be a bit nitpicky. The November sextile with Mars in Scorpio is more erotic and arousing, stimulating sensual and emotional desire but keeping it controlled so that it becomes like steam. This is also good aspect for money spinning ideas or activities and it can help when we need a strong will for something.

The last time Pluto was in the last degrees of Capricorn and moving into the beginning of Aquarius were 1776-1777, 1531-1532, 1285-1286. Some of the events that we see occurring in this period are the American declaration of Independence and the formation of the Bavarian Illuminati (secret societies seem to be connected with Pluto in Aquarius but for obvious reasons their activities are hidden from the historical record), the famous appearances of the Virgin Mary in Mexico City, Guadeloupe (visions and miraculous events that have profound impact also seem to be connected to Pluto in Aquarius), in the 1531-2 period the Comet Halley suddenly appeared in the sky, causing consternation and wonderment (perhaps Pluto in Aquarius has something to do with threats that come from space or dark omens related to the sky), and Kublai Khan made extensive plans for a final Mongol invasion of Japan but then had to call it off when he didn’t have enough money or resources (Aquarius often involves last-minute changes or reversals being forced upon us).

That’s all for this month and for this year, thank you for journeying with me, I look forward eagerly to our next year together! Blessings and peace to you all.

The Astrology of 2023: I

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! To round off the year I’m exploring the astrology of 2023 in two parts, this first part focusing on Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron.

There are many ways to approach the task of analysing the astrology for a particular year. Last year I published a forecast delineated according to what was happening in each of the 12 signs and previously (almost a decade ago actually) I have talked about ingress charts. I’ve also used the graphic ephemeris quite often, a very handy visual tool provided by Solar Fire which I will use again here. In writing up the signification of planets in various signs, for instance Uranus in Taurus, I have also tracked their history, showing the commonality that emerges from that placement. In this years forecast I will use that method of tracking in combination with the graphic ephemeris. This is an especially important year to do that in, as the results will show that we are now living through a repeat of and reaction to the astrology of the 1930s and early 1940s according not only to the placement of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, which we come to next month, but also Jupiter and Saturn. Chiron is instead in the same position he was in the 1920s, approaching Taurus which he was last in as the 20s turned to the 30s, so he is also riffing on that period in history.

Once again the astrology is clear – in 2023 the karma of the 1930s and early 1940s is afoot. Something else is happening too, though – Pluto is dipping into Aquarius for the first time in April and May, a huge shift that will be covered next month in more detail but the indication here is that we’re getting a preview of the long-term future in these two months. So we are both looking forward and backward in 2023. One other notable feature of the overall picture, as can be seen in the graph below, is that there is only 1 major new interaction between the heavy hitting slow-moving planets. This is probably something to be very thankful for at this point but unfortunately the single clash is a huge one. The big troublemaker in the sky is actually in May when Pluto is in early Aquarius, Jupiter in early Taurus and Mars in early Leo. This is a very worrying picture. Pluto is retrograding, going back into Capricorn in June, and Mars and Jupiter do not dally or retrograde, so this is a situation that arises quickly (probably mid May) and ends quickly but the sky is not entirely clear of it until the end of June. Aside from this, the rest of the troubles of 2023 stem from Mars as he interacts with everything else. There is a potentially painful point when Jupiter and Chiron conjoin in Aries in March, but the Saturn – Uranus square finally terminates and no major new ongoing conflict between the planets emerges to take its place. In short, if we get through the spring into late June without wider war breaking out, we are lucky. The period from mid May to the end of June is the time we have to watch this year.

This graph shows the positions of the slow moving planets and Mars (the red lines) throughout the course of the year as curved or straight lines. Mars is included because it acts as a trigger mechanism and also because (excepting the Moon) its movements are less predictable than the other inner planets because Mars is not as bound to the Sun. Along the left-hand side of the growth you can see the degrees that the planets are in from 0° at the top to 30° at the bottom. This means that when a line reaches the bottom of the graph at 30°, it then changes signs and goes to 0° of the next sign, reappearing at the top of the graph (you can see Pluto, the grey line, doing this as he moves between Capricorn and Aquarius in March and June and Jupiter, the blue line, does it in May as he moves from Aries to Taurus). When the lines fall back and start moving towards the top of the graph the planet is retrograde, and when they curve back towards the bottom again the planet is going direct. You can see that most clearly in the blue line which represents Jupiter – it starts to curve back at the start of September moving towards the top of the graph, meaning that Jupiter has turned retrograde. You can also see it quite clearly in the black line representing Saturn. When one or more lines cross one another there is the potential for a major interaction between the two planets, it will depend upon which of the signs those planets are in since some signs do not form major aspects with other signs. Most of the time, however, there is some kind of result. For example, the blue line from Jupiter crosses the black line for Saturn in June. Jupiter is in Taurus and Saturn is in Pisces, and these two signs to form a major aspect with one another, a sextile. Therefore, this is a major interaction between Jupiter and Saturn. On the other hand if we look at the magenta line representing Uranus we see that it also crosses the blue line for Jupiter in March, but Jupiter is in Aries and Uranus is in Taurus, signs which do not form a major aspect and so there is no major interaction between Jupiter and Uranus in that time.

So let’s look at Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron for this month, in the course of which we will touch upon the positions of the other planets which I will examine more completely next month.


Throughout the course of the year Jupiter moves almost entirely through Aries from January to mid May and then through half of Taurus before turning back in early September to retrace its path in retrograde motion through the first half of Taurus at the end of the year. It ends the year slowing down in the first decan of Taurus before stationing and turning direct, exactly at the years end.

This path leads it to meet with Chiron and Eris and to almost clash with Pluto while in Aries (first 4 months), only to clash with both Mars and Pluto immediately as he enters Taurus instead (May). He then exchanges a sextile with Saturn in Pisces (June) and accelerates towards a potential conjunction with Uranus only to turn away from it temporarily until next year when he turns retrograde and retraces his path (early September). Instead he clashes again with Mars, this time opposing Mars in Scorpio, in late October. He has a more constructive relationship with Mars in Virgo at the beginning of August.

Overall the main feature is of some kind of massive event in May involving Jupiter in Taurus, Mars in Leo and Pluto in Aquarius around the first few degrees of the signs. This is particularly significant for everyone who is born in the early days of any Fixed sign i.e. everyone born around the beginning of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius and equally significant for anyone who has an important or significant planet, the ascendant or midheaven in the earliest degrees of the Fixed or Stable signs. There will be some less acute but still significant overflow of this effect for people born at the end of Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) and with people with planets or angles in these places. For all these people May of 2023 holds something both surprising, perhaps shocking, and profoundly transformative. It’s important not to let this foreknowledge frighten you but to instead let it prepare you for some kind of major transformation. Most of the problems stemming from these kinds of patterns arise from our resistance, denial, fear or other negative reactions to them. Aligning yourself with the need for transformation as you go into the year and especially as you enter into May is wise and will not only make whatever emerges easier to handle but also shape it in more positive ways. Fundamentally this is a situation arising from Pluto in Aquarius, a condition which we are only being given the briefest taste of this year as Pluto returns to Capricorn in June, something which defuses any potentially explosive situation that has been set off. Something may still have been radically and irreversibly changed, however. It’s possible given this larger picture that we are being given just a preview in this period of what will become a major theme next year when Pluto more fully enters into Aquarius and begins to present those themes more forcefully, especially in February, June, and July 2024. However, his aspects in 2024 are easier than what happens this May, by far. The picture is of something that happens in May being extremely difficult for people to handle, but it doesn’t last too long and the consequences of whatever happens play out in ways that are easier for us to handle in 2024.

Jupiter’s role in all of this is (as usual) to enlarge the scope of it and the crux of the issue is the opposition between Mars and Pluto. I will say more about this when we discuss Pluto next month but an opposition between Mars and Pluto is a violent one involving a clash of wills and power struggles as violent forces are unleashed. This can manifest socially, as unrest and rebellion, the toppling of authority figures or the ruthless crushing of calls for freedom and so on, politically as the sudden death or removal of leaders or the rise of tyranny and civil dissent, militarily as bombs and explosions or the outbreak of wars, economically as major crashes, burst bubbles and blowouts, geographically as changed landscapes, scientifically and technologically as paradigm shattering breakthroughs or discoveries that shatter reality as we know it (for example commercial space flights) or environmentally as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, fires and drought or collapsing ice shelves and flooding that displace huge numbers of people, as well as all kinds of human-made catastrophes. Whatever it is it is something big and the fact that this is not the long drawn out aspect but one that arrives quickly and leaves quickly enables us to pinpoint its location in time more precisely as likely to e mid May but possibly also between then and the start of June. After that, the pattern dissolves and does not return, it only leaves its consequences. This is quite unusual for Pluto situations as they tend to grind on. It happens because he is at the borderline between two signs which act as a kind of on-off switch and also partly because both Jupiter and Mars are in fast direct motion and move on quickly.

Jupiter in Aries (January 1st to May 16th) sees Jupiter race through Aries starting at 1°. We had a long previous period of Jupiter in Aries in 2022 from May 10th to October 28th but this is the main event because Jupiter only reached 8° of Aries before retrograding back and re-entering Pisces. Jupiter is neither especially strong nor weak in Aries although the first 6° are his terms or bounds according to both Ptolemy and the Egyptian system. This means that he may be stronger in January when he is in the first 6° of Aries. The positive potential of Jupiter in Aries is about fresh starts, new growth, colourful creativity, spirit of enterprise, building the confidence, self-esteem and willpower, making a spiritual effort in life, the expansiveness of the power of the Fire Element, springing into action, launching something big, warmth and heat which nurtures life, tapping into greater energy and perceiving the simple and fundamental, primal truths of life. Its negative potentials are a warlike aggression, rage and destructiveness, persecution, righteousness and judgmentalism, hot-headed impulsiveness, inflammatory actions, burning and explosion, wildfire, volcanoes and drought or excessive heat.

Jupiter meets with Chiron in Aries at 14° on March 12th. The aspect starts to build in mid-February and fades out in the first half of April. This is the only major aspect Jupiter makes while it travels through Aries. Chiron has been in Aries for some time now, with the sign being confronted with the need for healing, and this aspect brings that journey into focus and allows people to move on in ways that are productive and generally fortunate provided they have been doing the work of healing leading up to this time. If we have been ignoring this need or not noticing it then this conjunction can bring about a painful realisation as the need becomes obvious, but Jupiter is gentler than Saturn with this duty. Jupiter and Chiron conjunctions can also bring teachers, gurus and mentors of all kinds into our lives and in Aries these tend to be people who challenge us or motivate us to act as well as those who help us to develop our Aries qualities.

Jupiter in Taurus certainly cools things off, or it would do if it were not for the interaction in May. Jupiter in Taurus is again not particularly well or poorly placed although it does have some terms/bounds between 14° (15° according to Ptolemy) and 22° of the sign. It’s only in those degrees in August and September and the earliest part of October. The positive potential of Jupiter in Taurus is economic and financial prosperity, fruitful gardening and agriculture, cultivating patience, simplifying things (un-complicating them), building something, material growth and expansion, receiving spiritual inspiration from nature, grounding the spiritual laws in work, putting in a massive effort through persistent labour, saving and conserving, sharing of the riches of the Earth, embodiment of compassion, people working together and the growth of support structures and stability. The negative potential is great stubbornness, greed, avarice and envy, land grabs, excessive materialism, possessiveness, mudslides, sinkholes, super high inflation, excessive cost of living and huge prices.

As noted the arrival of Jupiter into Taurus (May 16th) is probably the big event of the year as it coincides with Mars and Pluto entering Leo and Aquarius. The square with Pluto comes first (May 18th) followed by the square with Mars (23rd), all at 0°. These squares ignite things, in this case the opposition between Mars and Pluto. After that though it is relatively smooth going with Jupiter for the rest of the year except for an opposition with Mars in Scorpio. After the fireworks in May when he enters Taurus he moves to make a sextile with Saturn in Pisces at 7° (June 19th). As noted and explored in a previous journey the interaction between Jupiter and Saturn recently entered a new 200 year cycle and this sextile is the first aspect they make in building the structures that will persist throughout that period. This sextile begins to build in late May early June and separates by mid-July. It supports the ability to create a fortunate balance between fun and work, the building of confidence and competence or expertise, good judgment in making decisions that have the potential for long-term success, tapping into wisdom, business dealings, being treated fairly or generously by institutions and authorities, creating moral government and laws that are not Draconian and treating the gloom or depression but Saturn in Pisces can bring with a measured but significant material gain or comfort. The essential quality of a sextile between Jupiter and Saturn is of the natural law of expansion and the natural law of contraction or limitation operating in ways that positively stimulate both so that there is a healthy, invigorating pulse. We are neither overwhelmed by excessive growth nor suffocated by overwhelming restriction and find it easy to build things up.

After he separates from the sextile with Saturn in early to mid July his only other interactions this year are with Mars. He first makes a productive sextile with Mars in Virgo at 13° (August 1st) and then a more problematic and challenging opposition with Mars in Scorpio at 11° (October 28th). The sextile helps us to work diligently and to build up resources and information as well as infrastructure and organizational systems. The opposition makes us too daring, too willing to push risks to far with disastrous consequences, too entrenched and intractable in our dogmatic position, more aggressive and likely to act in rudeness or ruthlessness, but it has the positive potential of spurring us onward to bigger and greater things and of finding a new balance between our desires and our spiritual beliefs as well as a potential for earning money or acquiring things through effort.

Jupiter was previously transitioning through Aries in the following periods: 1904/5, 1916/17, 1927/28, 1939/40, 1951/52, 1963/64, 1975/76, 1987/88, 1999/2000 and 2010/11. It was transitioning through Taurus just after these periods in 1905/6, 1917/18 and so on. However we must remember that it only travels through half of Taurus in 2023. Essentially this means we are mostly looking at the periods 1904 and 1905, 1916 and 1917, et cetera. We can see the connection that Jupiter in this area of the sky has to the start of World War 2 (1939 and 1940) and the middle of World War 1 (1916/17), it’s connection to the time of the dot-com bubble and the feared millennium bug (1999/2000), as well as to the time of 20s peak boom just prior to the Great Crash (1927/8), the Korean War (1951/2), the discovery of the first extra-solar planet, the beginning of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and a critical year in the development of the web (1988, the first virus and the first permanent intercontinental link between the US and Europe), China detonating its first atom bomb and the Kennedy assassination (1963) and more recently the eruption of an Icelandic volcano that disrupted global travel and the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and worlds worst ever oil drilling catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico (2010). 1904/5 saw the First Russian Revolution and the Great Baltimore Fire (while Jupiter in Taurus, 1906, brought the San Francisco quake and fires). Jupiter in this area of the sky has proved to be nothing but action packed in the course of recent history.


In yet another significant change in the sky this year Saturn finally leaves Aquarius, starting the year at 22° and leaving it on March 7th. He then remains in Pisces for the rest of the year retrograding on June 17th at 7° of Pisces, then reversing again this time turning to direct motion on November 4th at 0° Pisces and ending the year at 3°. This places a lot of emphasis on 3 to 7° Pisces so that people born in the first week of the sign are getting a heavy dose of Saturn this year and anyone born in the first weeks of the other 3 Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius) are being presented with significant challenges and some difficult or slow changes. All of these people need to take care to boost and increase their energy levels and keep on top of any gloom or despondency this year. The other Mutable signs will have to deal with this later, in 2024 or 2025, so it is a good idea for them to also begin building up their vitality and energy levels in order to meet the demand and drain that Saturn can bring.

This path does not lead him into any interactions with the other major planets, but he encounters Mars 4 times – first, he trines Mars in Cancer at the end of March, then he opposes Mars in Virgo in July, trines Mars in Scorpio in October and finishes with a square to Mars in Sagittarius in late November. Compared to the drama of the last few years when we have had Saturn in Capricorn conjunct Pluto and much more (2020) and Saturn square Uranus (2021/2), 2023 is a quiet year as far as Saturn is concerned. We are also losing Saturn in rulership, the strongest kind of Saturn we can experience by sign, the heaviness and seriousness we have been living with since 2018. This also means that, along with the end of a strong Jupiter this month and the end of a strong Saturn early next year, things are really shifting up there and there will be a sense of that in and around. Magically this means it if you want to work with Saturn for some reason the ideal time that is left is between now and March 7th, and you wont get another opportunity like it for over a decade.

The end of Saturn in Aquarius is about wrapping up business and concluding themes that have been playing out for the last 2.5 years – to name just a few, the rapid building up of web services, social distancing, mass vaccinations, blatant totalitarian and authoritative measures and fear of the outsider, whether they be communists, strangers with unclear vaccination status or some other aliens, and other threads. It doesn’t make these things completely go away but it moves them offstage where they become less central and less a feature of everyday life. Instead, Saturn in Pisces frequently denotes a thick gloom or sadness, a connection to sorrow and tears and the hardship of watching others suffer and not being able to do anything about it. It is like a heavy cloud that hangs over us making it difficult to feel the warmth of the Sun for a while, and coming out of a strong Saturn since 2018 it is partly the emotional reaction to everything we have all just gone through. There is still a lot of grief for people to process, to many it seems an entire world has died. Saturn in Pisces is very likely about processing that and feeling stuck in it for a time while struggling to give expression to the depths. We should prepare for this time by watching over the vulnerable, not just those who are on the edge or close to taking their lives but also the sick and lonely. For people struggling with feelings of loneliness or sadness it is likely to be a somewhat difficult couple of years as the soul learns to grapple and overcome these feelings, hopefully maturing in the process.

With Saturn in Pisces we have a collective tendency to become trapped in whimsical fantasy, evasiveness, nostalgic memories and an overactive imagination which may cause fears where there is little or no justification for them (paranoia). On the positive side it fosters a high degree of emotional understanding and compassion and the willingness to work hard on behalf of the less fortunate. Deep meditation and reflection on the feelings will make possible profound spiritual insights into the nature of reality and helps to dissolve the potential for limiting confusion and illusion. We need more peace and quiet, time in tranquil solitude and must make a strong effort to avoid self pity. We must learn to take responsibility for what we feel now and have felt in the past and progress in understanding the ways we block our own emotional and psychic expression. The karma of the way we have treated others is a major issue that we need to face. We may need to let go of something, as Pisces often involves sacrifices and Saturn brings things to their appointed ends in time, but that letting go need not be a sadness it can instead be an unburdening, or both at once. Pisces is a dual sign capable of crying with joyous laughter and heartbreak at the same time – it is emotionally transcendent in this way and the exact definition of what it feels is often elusive because of this, a nebulous conglomeration of different states, and Saturn can actually help sort this out. Key to Saturn in Pisces is learning how to create and maintain healthy emotional and psychic boundaries, between us and the external world and within our own interior. Pisces also emphasises everything connected to the ocean and so the worrying news about coral bleaching and ocean toxicity looks like it will get far more serious and sad in these next two years. We may also learn something important about the deep sea floor, as Saturn rules depths and pressure. Saturn traditionally also represents a need for and lack of something, and so water looks set to become far more scarce in some places while washing and flooding out buildings in others – both of these are Saturn in Pisces events.

His first encounter with Mars takes place on March 30th with a trine with Mars in Cancer, at 2°. Mars is not effective at being Mars in this sign (it is his Fall), which leads him to behave more softly. It begins to arise on March 7 as Saturn enters Pisces and fades away around April 11th or 12th. The easy combination of Mars and Saturn results in an ability to understand the rules and to put them into action. It rewards persistent effort with a growing sense of confidence, pushes us beyond limitation and boundary where necessary, decreases the possibility that we will act rashly without thought for the consequences, helps us to understand what makes us different not as a thing that separates us but as a thing that defines us, helps to develop composure and resolve and overall enables us to put the Water Element into constructive effect or to make progress in wielding it successfully. There is a very defensive quality to this trine. If there are issues with this trine it is maybe that everyone feels very set in their ways and sure of themselves, or perhaps that with things getting easier we let the opportunity to progress slip by, but it could also be that we wall ourselves in and fortify seeking safety and comfort.

He next encounters Mars in Virgo, an opposition, at 6° of the signs on July 20th. It begins to form around July 13th and fades out around July 28th, Not only is this a more difficult aspect but Saturn is also retrograde at this time which tends to more problematic expressions as things are more intractable and less progressive . A prominent quality of this opposition is the feeling of failure and futility, the experience of our will and intent meeting with some kind of immovable obstacle, or of being spent with nothing left to give. We do not measure up to perfection (Mars in Virgo) and this results in gloomy and heavy feelings of being burdened (Saturn in Pisces). It can bring a feeling of oppression, unbearable pressure, grueling hardship and frustration. Anger, bitterness and self recrimination that has been suppressed can suddenly emerge. Our efforts to help and support others (Virgo/Pisces) meet with extra tough challenges and periods where we must just endure and bite through. The positive potential here is that we make constructive adjustments in the way that we express the will, learning important lessons about its tempering and how to discipline it, as well as the rewards of meeting a major challenge and working hard to see it through.

The trine with Mars in Scorpio at 0° on October 13th sees Saturn almost at the end of his retrograde (November 4th) in very slow motion. This trine is the companion to the Cancer trine of March 30th, but Mars is much stronger in Scorpio, at one of his peak performance levels and so this version carries more power and force than the other one. We know what we want and are not shy about going for it. Therefore this trine is similar but has more potential to actually achieve things and make progress, provided we have the discipline, dedication, persistence and patience called for by Saturn. It is, however, more inclined to ruthless and selfish decisions and actions as well as forcing the will on others, which the trine makes easy to do or justify, especially by playing the victim. This trine arrives strongly when Mars enters Scorpio on October 12th and fades away after October 22nd.

Finally, Saturn squares Mars in Sagittarius at 0° on November 25th. This square also emerges strongly as Mars enters Sagittarius on the 24th and it concludes rather quickly by December 3rd. Whereas the opposition with Mars in Virgo in July is more like meeting an immovable obstacle, the square with Mars in Sagittarius is about needing to find another way by deviating from the planned path. The direct, swift path to the destination or target (Mars in Sagittarius) is obfuscated by a thick fog or bog we get lost in (Saturn in Pisces). We learn that we were mistaken and this means we have to apologize for our insensitive actions, we meet with a rude authority who tests the limits of patience, we let dogma or propaganda inform our actions, or we act impulsively out of fear. Sometimes the will needs to be denied – not everything that we want is good for us! Every square has the potential to enable us to turn a corner and the square helps us to do that with the way that we express desire and spiritually it assists us in shaping the individual self according to the desires of the conscience.

Saturn was previously in late Aquarius and early Pisces in 1905/ early 1906, late 1934/ early 1935 and 1964/ early 1965. Once again we see the astrology reaching back to the 1930s period of history, the Great Depression and the political rise of Hitler being key events. This time also saw the spread of television and colour film and the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. We also see it connecting to 1905 like Jupiter in Aries and Taurus (First Russian Revolution and the Great Baltimore Fire). 1905 was also the year in which Einstein published four papers which influenced modern physics for the rest of the century and early 1906 brought on the San Francisco earthquake and the increased use of submarines in warfare. Lastly, we also see it involved in the astrology of 1964 just like Jupiter in Aries/Taurus. 1964 saw a significant escalation of US Armed Forces in the Vietnam war, the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in the US, the first supercomputer and the discovery and confirmation of cosmic background radiation which eventually led to the emergence of the Big Bang theory as the origin of the universe as well as the emergence of the cassette tape. The inventions which record things that come through Saturn in Pisces (colour film, television, cassette tapes, etc.) come about as manifestations of the recording of everything in the astral Akasha (Saturn in Pisces).

CHIRON in ARIES (middle decan)

Chirons journey this year takes him from 12° of Aries out to 20° and then back by retrograde movement to 15° at the end of the year. It is essentially the time in which he focuses on the middle decan of Aries, which includes people born in the ten days in the middle of the Aries period – the start of April. He stations and turns retrograde on July 23rd. Like Jupiter he then stations again at the very end of the year on December 27th, turning retrograde for the last few days of 2023 nd the start of 2024.

The major encounter he has on this path is a conjunction with Jupiter in March, the last major aspect Jupiter in Aries forms before entering Taurus. Aside from this he meets with Mars five times, in mid February, late April, late June, late September and mid December. The meetings in late April and September are the more painful or difficult ones.

I have explored Chiron in Aries in a dedicated journey back in April 2016, and if you are interested in learning more about its signification I recommend you read that as I also go into greater depth on the historical connections it has. A major feature of this passage is that everyone born between 1968 and 1977 is having their Chiron return, and this year it is especially focused on people born in the middle of that period, around 1973. Being born as an Aries person in the early 1970s makes you especially sensitive and aware of these energies, with the most acute experiences happening to Aries people born in early April 1973 (but including 1971 – 1975 as well). We are still learning about Chiron, having only been studying it since the late 1970s – ironically, our awareness of Chiron itself is having Chiron return right now, the first that we have observed as a collective. What we have seen of Chiron in Aries recently supports many of the points I made in my journey six years ago.

Here is a summary of the main points identified in that journey:

  • New horizons being breached or penetrated by heroic pioneering efforts, often with immediate consequences and being exploitative of a power source found there.
  • Hardship, struggle against adversity, desolation of the will and the spirit and struggles for survival
  • The death or loss of warriors, people who come to symbolize bravery, courage, a spirit of valour. Additionally, dangerous, villainous figures also emerge as part of the dark face of this resonance.
  • A connection to human ancestry and particularly bones
  • Themes of heat, ruptures and the harnessing of the natural laws of light
  • ‘Tribal’ styles (body piercings, facial tattoos, Mohican haircuts, etc.)
  • Overcoming obstacles leading to self awareness and spiritual identity
  • The quest for true and genuine self confidence and self determination
  • Needing to fight for something but having to know who you are first
  • Existential pain, the notion that being alive hurts

As far as the March 12th conjunction of Chiron with Jupiter at 14° is concerned it can go two ways – either Jupiter provides some form of remedy to pain or it exacerbates the pain, enlarging it so that attention is drawn to the need for healing. This latter outcome is considerably less likely than the former and usually applies when the need for healing has been denied or blocked for too long. Jupiter can bring in teachings in the form of people or lore and so this is a good time for people involved in learning about the healing arts. The overall interaction between Jupiter and Chiron here makes it easier for us to directly comprehend and experience the truth of holistic healing, the natural laws that govern the interaction between the physical, astral and mental bodies which taken together create the conditions for health or disease. We can see, for example, that when we change our interior emotional state that physical healing takes place, or that when we use affirmations to strengthen the health of our mental body, we feel better as the astral body is affected and eventually get better as the physical body must follow the natural order of things. Experiences like these come to us more readily at these times containing what we need to know about the laws and truths of healing. Since Aries emphasises the will, that may be an important part of this teaching. This conjunction begins to build around February 6th, reaches its peak on March 12th and fades away around April 12th.

As far as Mars is concerned trouble comes in late April (27th) in the form of a square with Mars in Cancer and in late September (24th) in the form of an opposition with Mars in Libra. Chiron troubles with Mars can make healing journeys more difficult. The situation in April starts around the 16th and concludes around May 9th. The square takes place at 17° and is likely to bring something emotionally painful, perhaps through sensitivity or defensiveness. There is increased resistance to transmutation – the thought of suffering, pain or the necessary rite of passage that leads from pain to healing can become overshadowed with aversion. The natural instinct for self preservation takes over and leads to chronic anxiety or lashing out in pain. This can lead to paralysis, an inability to act in the face of extreme hazards and threats, such as when a deer is caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck, or a wilder, more feral reaction. The key to handling it is to stay calm and not over-react to anything that hurts our feelings or bodies. Sometimes we just have to push through pain and this may be one of those times. The September opposition at 18° is more argumentative and inclined to cause disruptions in relationships as we encounter very different people with very different ways of doing things or somehow inflict hurt upon the people we want to help. Relationships can get painful when people want different things, and this is a possibility with this opposition. A key truth that must be learned with this Mars is that power over others will not make us safe or truly secure our goals – the damage this does unravels it. Only by joining our power in cooperation with others can wounds be healed and the splits mended. There is always a sense with Mars oppositions that righteous indignation at injustice must be aggressively confronted and fought, that something must be done to put something right, but this attitude only opens up more wounds. Instead, what must happen here is an acceptance of the pain first and then a willful effort to see the pain the other is in too. The opposition begins to arise around 17th September, peaks at September 24th and fades away around October 1st or 2nd.

The other three interactions are easier for us to handle and help us move forwards in healing journeys. The first is a sextile with Mars in Gemini at 13° (February 11th). It covers the whole of January but really begins to build once Mars turns to direct motion (January 12th) and doesn’t really abate until March 2nd. This aspect is a bridge building and road building energy that enables us to move forward along some kind of path. It stimulates healing through communication and discussion and increases the desire for healing. Next comes a trine with Mars in Leo (June 23rd) at 19°. This energy starts building around during June 12th and lasts until around July 3rd. It’s more powerful than the sextile and increases the healing power of the Fire Element. The ability to command and direct the will in a focused and powerful way is being stimulated and supported with the result that is easier to build up confidence and self-esteem but with a slight danger of going overboard and being egoistic and bombastic, a braggart. The life force or vital energy – the will to live – also gains a powerful healing potential. A second trine, this time at 15° with Mars in Sagittarius, completes the journey of Chiron for the year. This trine starts to build starts to build around December 8th, peaks on December 15th and fades out around December 23rd. Similarly increasing the healing power of the Fire Element, this trine differs in that it is more motivated and optimistic as well as more martial than the Mars in Leo trine. It increases the adventurous spirit, especially the desire to explore nature, and the healing power that comes from the wilderness, in particular from contact with wild animals. It facilitates swift momentum on the healing path and can sharpen the instinctive intuition.

Previously, Chiron was in Aries 1723 – 1732, 1771 – 1780, 1868 – 1878, 1918 – 1927, 1968 – 1977 and its current passing through is 2018 – 2027. This connects it with the Moon landings, the first Ebola outbreak, the death of rock music icons (Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison), the death in exile of Napoleon, the “Lost Generation” following WW1,the flapper era, the punk era, the first television transmissions and face-lifts, the discovery of Antarctica and the moons of Mars and the launch of the Voyager deep space probe, among other things.

We will pause here for now and next month we will continue deeper into the solar system and look at Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in 2023 – see you there!

Interview with Perseus Arcane Academy

Hello everyone!

I was recently interviewed by the Perseus Arcane Academy, an online school offering magical and occult instruction and training, and the interview has just been published! In this interview I talk about the relationship between astrology and magic, the core components of western astrology, what I am up to lately and in the foreseable future, and a few other things. You can read it here:

Persueus Arcane Academy Interview

A New Website!

Hi you guys! Surprise second visit from me this month 🙂 I am very happy on this birthday occasion to announce the arrival of a new website, Astral Visions, where you can read a bit about me and book personal consultations over zoom. This is a baby site that will grow in time to include online courses that I will offer on the topics you read about here. I expect it to drive up readership here too, which is great! It is also a home for my books – only one at the moment, but there are others cooking! My Patrons are the ones responsible for this, so blame them! My eternal gratitude to each and every one of you, I love you all very much and I look forward to meeting some of you in this next phase of growth.


On Psychic and Magical Shields

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This Samhain, popularly known as Halloween, we will look at psychic self defence – why it is necessary and how to do it.

The word occult literally means “hidden”. Within the world of the occult, then, it should be no surprise that it is full of hidden things. These things range from the familiar – our own soul and spirit for example are hidden from normal awareness and therefore occulted – to the utterly unfamiliar and strange, including the many invisible and intelligent entities we call spirits. In the Western magical tradition this time of year is known as the time when the veil between our physical and material existence and the occult world – the astral and mental planes – thins, allowing greater sight in both directions and permitting spirits greater freedom to roam in our realm for a period of time. In the past among these traditions this was a time of lighting lamps and candles in windows to guide the spirits, especially of the recently departed, but also to ward them away from human domiciles. It was a ritual acknowledgment of the invisible, hidden world that surrounds us. Scorpio takes much of its connection to the occult from this festival.

In the bright, modern world of neon lights and the internet and constant connection to others through wireless technology this belief may seem quaint at best, more like superstitious nonsense for dark autumn nights, but the reality is that we are constantly immersed in a hidden world where hidden influences interact with us without our awareness and some of those influences are not welcome ones. There is far more hidden from our perception than what we typically perceive around us (if we even notice that, given our current pre-occupation with looking at screens). To make matters worse, the vast majority of human beings have minimal defences against these factors and their bodies natural defences are also coming under constant assault in the modern environment (from pollutants, modern stresses, etc.). If we were to lift the veil on the occult world we would see that it is a major factor in many social ills such as addiction, suicide, violence, mental health disturbances and emotional disorders as well as many physical ones. It isn’t just hauntings we are dealing with here. It is, quite literally, in every facet of society and culture and all of the troubles we meet with in the course of life that these occult factors play a significant role. Many animals have not lost their senses as we have, and so pet cats and dogs often form a front line of defence that keep many such unwanted and unseen influences at bay, but many wild animals do this too. Wolves, coyotes, crows, owls (indeed most birds), for example, use sound to ward areas or harry spirits they do not like. They also help us to relax and unwind, which helps us in other ways as the lessening of tensions reduces the potential we have for creating personal entities, thought forms that feed on our anxieties, hurts, etc. Many traditions also hold lore concerning the innate protective properties of certain plants, for example onion and garlic are renowned for their ability to absorb negative or toxic energies and would sometimes be strewn about a home for a while and then burned.

The sources of negative influences are varied. Sometimes (most often it seems to me) they are initiated by other human beings, sometimes they are locked into certain locations or spaces or objects like curses or hauntings, sometimes they arise from our own karma, sometimes from the interference of entities, of which there are also many varieties. Sometimes this source will be obvious, like a creepy painting or a body buried under the floorboards, but more often it is occulted. Even weak spirits have a strong self preservation instinct just as we do and this is in many cases a primary motivation for their activities, meaning they tend to conceal themselves, especially in the presence of someone who can recognise and deal with them. Fortunately, it is often not necessary to identify the source of whatever is involved as even more fortunately they can almost always be dealt with in the same way. In other words, you only have to learn one way of creating your occult shield and that one way will probably be all you ever need as it will be effective against every kind of threat whether it is a curse or a spirit. The only thing your shield will not protect you from is your own karma or stupidity. However the power and strength of your shield is a factor that needs continuous attention.

Before getting to that, however, I would like to talk about the things your shield is protecting you from because the understanding of what you are dealing with is itself a form of protection. Ignorance is most definately not bliss in this area.


As I said above most attacks come from people, with intentional psychic attack being pretty rare – many attacks are to some degree unintentional. This becomes even more the case once you understand the nature of many of the invisible entities that we deal with, as I will explain shortly. In my experience about 80-90% of cases where people feel that they are under psychic attack arise from their own imaginations or the unconscious, in other words we attack ourselves most frequently. We have unhealthy mental and emotional habits that manifest our magical potential in hidden, unwelcome ways – how often do you hear yourself or other people saying “This makes me sick!” with real passion, for example? Such thoughts and words contribute towards eventually making us sick. Better instead to express “I don’t like this”, or something less impactive to our being. In extreme cases, this factor can easily be so severe that it seems no different to a curse or a spirit. In reality it often is all of the above as spirits and curses operate effectively through our unconscious and are drawn toward thinking that is alike to their own nature. Identifying a source can therefore be problematic, like a chicken and egg conundrum.

However regardless of the source the key aspect of the attack to deal with is always at hand because it is within us. All forms of astral and mental assault exploit weaknesses in our own psyches. Our own negative qualities, our darkness, is what enables the attack to land and take root. An entity or thought-form in the vicinity of humans will seek out a resonant mental or astral body, looking for a match like a human on a dating app. If we do not have such a hook in the first place the attack will be repelled and if it lands and we then later uproot its hold over our psyche it will stop affecting us. For example a being that feeds on anger will gravitate towards the angriest people in its vicinity, while those who have mastered their anger will be immune to its attachment, and an angry person who works through their anger issues will cause any entities that feed on that anger to migrate, just like any animal. This means that the key to never being psychically attacked at all in the first place is self awareness and self-knowledge as well as the commitment to work through our own negative character qualities. Unfortunately, nobody is perfect and the psyche is immensely complex and so we always have to deal with the potential for the unconscious to expose us, and so the use of a magical shield to guard against such situations is necessary. However it cannot replace the real work of making ourselves invulnerable to such attacks – self tranformation towards a better version of ourselves. Its function is merely to supplement and support that work. Aside from a purity of being the bedrock of any impenetrable psychic defence is the conviction that you cannot be attacked at all. If you have no belief in the power of a curse, for instance, not even an unconscious one, it cannot land before that conviction is shaken or removed. This means that many people who do not believe in any supernatural or occult factors have some degree of natural defence but it is a very fragile one that can be easily negated. The strongest forms of psychic defence are based not on ignorance but on knowledge, self knowledge. Working to the point where you have transformed the majority of your unknown darkness into known darkness and then into something positive and developing a strong will is not only essential to effective psychic defense but to progress in magic as well. Ultimately with self knowledge we reach the realisation that the unity of our consciousness with all other things makes the very idea of an attack itself utterly void. The idea of evil as an external force also disintegrates.

Ultimately you are a sovereign being which means that you are always in a position of control, but many ‘dark’ entities will try to convince you that this is not the case as a way to get their hooks into your psyche. By generating experiences of terror, helplessness, fear and doubt, by sowing dissent and playing little tricks, by displaying violence and power, or simply by slowly leeching you of life and vital energy, such entities not only feed on what they create (growing more powerful) but also use it to erode the sense of control people have which is a key part of the attack. Once this sense of control is removed the person (or group) is much easier to manipulate and it is much harder to deal with the issues. For this reason it is also quite difficult for many entities to attach themselves to people with strong willpower, composure, self discipline and will to live such as members of the Armed Forces, emergency services, or similarly trained individuals – once the initial connection is made with the psyche it will take longer for the entity to wear down the will and the sense of sovereignty and control over life situations. However the exposure to negative or traumatic situations such people often have and the way those experiences are suppressed also makes plenty of fertile ground for that initial connection to be made.

Many places where people work are crowded with negative beings, additionally hospitals, prisons and places where people grieve or suffer like war-zones. Such places used to be more protected by the spiritual traditions of their cultures, but this is no longer the case. Cities everywhere are similarly crowded with negative beings for what I think should be obvious reasons but which will become clearer once I explain what we have to deal with spiritually. People seek the solace and comfort of nature on regular vacations for many reasons. Moving through such spaces on a regular basis with unregenerate and unknown darkness within us we become like sponges soaking up these entities, which ultimately helps to create more. Some places become breeding grounds. Beings can also hitchhike on us from these places back into our homes or other locations where we spend time or migrate from person to person like birds moving their nests from tree to tree. Especially sensitive, empathic and unconsciously psychic people (Pisces or Neptune attuned souls especially) can have severe issues with this situation and never know why. It is possible for this problem to become chronic enough to affect us physically, disturbing our sleep, draining our energy generally and potentially harming the organs of the body as time passes. All of this is often extremely worrying and concerning for people to learn, leading to fear and paranoia, but really there is no reason for that, you might just as well spend your entire life worrying yourself sick about the influence of microscopic bacteria everywhere. These creatures are a part of the natural way of things and we are better off being aware of them and taking appropriate precautions, measures that serve to increase our self confidence, not reduce it.

The beings of the astra mental universe or ‘spirits’ are literally infinite and beyond description but we can understand that vast scope according to certain types of entity that exist in close proximity to us. In the Step 6 physical training of ‘Initiation into Hermetics‘ Franz Bardon groups these beings into elementals, larvae, phantoms and phantasms or shadows, in Step 7 he discusses elementaries (which are magically distinct from elementals) and in ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation‘ he discusses the hierarchy of Divinely created Intelligences in the spheres that make up the astra-mental universe surrounding the Earth. There are also beings outside of this framework who are either inhabitants or travelers through the astra-mental realms such as magicians wandering in their astral or mental bodies and visitors from other physical worlds. All of these things can be categorized as ‘spirits’ in some sense or another. Of these the most relevant to psychic attack and defence are larvae, phantoms and phantasms. Some of these entities are extremely ancient, having been fed collectively for many thousands of years, others are modern arrivals or beings with very little relative power. What follows is a brief description of each of these types.

Larvae and Elementals are both formed by human beings and represent a vast number of the problematic beings we deal with on a regular basis. Larvae are more common than elementals. They are practically identical with the only difference between them being that larvae are created unconsciously while elementals are the same type of being created consciously by a magician. These beings are formed on the mental plane and live out their existence there but if they gain enough density they are capable of manifesting astrally and even physically as well – some orbs of light that people see are elementals or larvae. Larvae are the problem entity here but, like all negative forces, once properly understood the nature of these beings reveals itself to be a spiritual teaching for the soul since the presence of a larvae in your life serves to teach you about yourself. It has attached itself to you because you were somehow a match. Human beings are continuously creating these entities, which some traditions refer to as thought forms, through their passions, excitements and the intense empowerment of their thoughts through the feelings – it is a natural thing that humans cannot help but do all the time but the involuntary nature by which we do it becomes a major problem when coupled with the darker urges in the human psyche. These beings feed from a particular thought-feeling, the substance which created them, and their self-preservation instinct causes them to seek richer and greater sources of that substance so that they can grow in size and power. Aside from this they are mostly mindless, unintelligent entities with purpose but no life force of their own, akin to parasites in the physical world except that they can grow very large. The form of a larva symbolically reflects the substance which created them and which they feed from, for example larvae created from loving feelings may appear as a cupid or as a love heart while hate as arrows or flashes or burning light. This form, along with the mental force needed to create it, is drawn from the unconscious of the creator of the larva. Thus the form of the being not only reveals its nature but also potentially the identity of its original creator and in the mental realm we witness a constant stream of larvae being created and sustained by human beings, the larvae interacting with human mental bodies in ways that stimulate the mind of the person in a particular way, usually by drawing attention to the subject matter it feeds upon. We can notice the coming and going, the constant traffic of these entities in our awareness, simply by being present and taking note of the train of thoughts arriving and bringing with them various emotional attachments. Through mental discipline such as that gained through meditation we learn to take control of this phenomena and to lessen its negative impact not just in our lives but in the entire world, and the universe. Bardon mentions these larvae in connection with the Inquisition and the burning of many innocent people as witches, but this is clearly just a horrific example (as well as a warning to fellow magicians) and not a special case. The early and ongoing life process of initiation, which involves continuous self reflection and introspection and grappling with the soul seeking to transform and master it, leads to the natural purging of these negative entities from the magicians bodies, since they no longer find a source of food to sustain them and either die or detach themselves. Thus the key to dealing with destructive larvae is to transform the negative character trait that acted as bait or as a creator for them in the first place. The science of affirmation, hypnosis and other methods can help here. Stop telling yourself that terrible thing and replace it with something that feels better for you.

Phantoms or spectres are similar to larvae, being created by humans in a mostly involuntary way, but instead of drawing their forms and life force from the unconscious mind of their creator they draw it from the conscious imagination of the person, from their dreams and fantasies. Hence there are many of these with an erotic charge to them, beings who have been created through the constant fantasies of people sleeping with specific celebrities or ‘sex symbols’, for example (traditionally a type of demon called a succubus or incubus, depending on their apparent gender), but there are many other kinds formed from all kinds of conscious fantasizing. Players of role playing games create such beings as ways of exploring their own psyches and authors do the same with characters they imagine – even with worlds. Some of us create epic phantoms that try to take over our lives and they often succeed because we are willing. When these beings grow strong enough they can start dictating their own stories, taking control of the stories they are in – our story! Other, darker, phantoms are created from horror movies and the minds of serial killers. These beings have more intelligence than unconsciously created larvae because of the involvement of a degree of conscious imagination. They are bound by the rules of the imaginer and behave as they have been imagined to behave. They can interact with us more cleverly, using our dreams for example to stimulate activity that feeds them, and then cause an orgasm in order to feed on the vital energy, which can be very draining for the person. They can therefore be very dangerous. Bardon gives two examples of these entities, one concerning a situation in which a perfectly mundane and not at all magical person is mistaken by another person for a black magician because of the way they look (clearly, this poor dude is a Scorpio!), leading to the eventual suicide or mental degeneration of the second person as the phantom created by their thoughts grows stronger, only for the soul to realise after death that they have committed an elaborate kind of magical suicide. The other example given is of a succubus or incubus. Other examples of this entity are doppelgängers (doubles of people we know that appear when the person is far away, often when they are in some kind of trouble) and beings born out of memes or urban legends. Entities we would think of as demons are very often just powerful phantoms bloated and gluttoned by millennia of collective imagination – ‘the devil’, for example. Some of these entities can become powerful enough to enact forms of possession on the most vulnerable human beings. They have no existence outside of the human world but they are powerful enough to be real to us and that matters. They are obviously a major problem in our society, like larvae, but like larvae they also serve to teach us about ourselves, since we actually created them all. Think of what we could do with elementals and phantoms if we were all responsible with it.

Phantasms or shadows/shades are similar to phantoms but their image is drawn from that of a deceased person, specifically from the remembering and mourning of the deceased by the living. These are the beings that most frequently manifest themselves to spiritualists and mediums (sometimes to different mediums in different places at the same time). They are quite intelligent and adept at trickery. Bardon tells us that it is very sad that these phantoms are always mistaken for the real dead persons by the spiritualists. They have the same memories as the people who remember that person (who are its creators) and due to the long time in which people are remembered they can exist for centuries, even thousands of years. Statues, monuments and images of ancient dead rulers were specifically designed to create powerful shades that would then be used to guide and influence cultures after their deaths. Mummification magic, in which the astral body is preserved alongside the physical body, is different to the creation of a phantasm but related. In mummification the objective was to preserve the astral body, which would disintegrate following the physical body’s death, enabling the spirit of the departed to influence the physical world for a time after its passing. However the vast majority of people pass beyond this world immediately following their death and the apparitions which we see of them after that point are mostly phantasms. Not always, as the departed may still be contacted through the Akasha, but in the majority of cases, contact with the dead is actually with a shade. Phantoms and phantasms can also be consciously created by magicians but their employment in intentional psychic attack is rare.

Elementaries are intentionally created beings that differ substantially from elementals. Elementals are composed of consciously condensed mental light while an elementary is composed of the Elements and therefore has a more complex occult anatomy with more potential, and it is invested with life from its creators life energy. The creation of an elementary is an act of magic and is only possible by a well trained initiate. A physical representation of the beings body – like a doll – is constructed and ritually prepared so that it is brought to life astrally and mentally. Many varieties exist, from the crudest and simplest (corn dolls and scarecrows used by magician farmers) to the most advanced and mystical. A Golem is an advanced and extemely powerful type of elementary that has been imbued with Divine power through ritual kabbalah and evocation so that its physical form is animate, for example. Despite the prevalence of this trope in horror stories the practice of creating elementaries is very rarely an issue in psychic attacks as it requires a well trained black magician. Most people are attacked instead by larvae or phantoms.

Intelligences are Divinely ordained entities not created by human beings. They have a role in the natural order, a function and meaning that they embody and personify. These come in countless types but they exist in a hierarchy. In hermetics this hierarchy of Intelligences is expressed as spheres that are named after the objects in the solar system – the Sun sphere, the Moon sphere, etc Included in this category are the Intelligences of the Elements (from which magical elementaries are created), beings of the pure Elements such as the gnomes and sylphs and many nature spirits. These are different from the phantasms humans have created by imagining these beings – another reason why dealing with the spirit world requires a keen discernment. Magical shielding will protect you against these if it is ever necessary, but only if it is not karmic for you to deal with it. Specific magical shields can be crafted for resisting the oscillations of these spheres and are some of the secrets first learned by magicians from these spirits in evocation. There are positive entities and negative entities, with the negative ones being called contra-Intelligences and representing the opposite of their positive counterpart, the destructive power of their principle. These beings are part of the natural order of things (things have to be destroyed as well as created) and assist us in our incarnation but not necessarily in ways we would like. Many of them are aware of us and can interact with our world in various ways, sometimes even visiting it or even taking us to visit theirs (faerie lore is full of such encounters, for example). They take forms that express their innate being, what they are in essence, but also ones that communicate that to us specifically through symbols, thus it is possible for two people (or cultures) to see the same Intelligence differently, even at the same time.

Curses are actually quite common, since they can be placed upon people through the unconscious creation of larvae and phantoms, but as I hope I have made clear most often we have done so to ourselves, not to another human being, and we can also see that many curses arise from repeated use of a building or place for acts which generate and nurture such beings. Objects can also carry residues from human use, persistent influences that bring either good or bad luck. The same principle is used by magicians in the conscious creation of a talisman or amulet and you can employ the same idea in your psychic shield.


There are as many ways of doing this as there are traditions – they exist for every kind of religion, mysticism, magic, culture, etc. In finding your own occult shield I suggest you begin where you are comfortable meaning that if you have a particular leaning towards a particular spiritual tradition then you should examine how that tradition views psychic self protection and shielding and become familiar with the symbols that tradition uses in this respect. For example if you are drawn towards the Egyptian tradition then consider using the Eye of Horus, while if you are drawn towards the Norse tradition then use Thor’s Hammer as a warding symbol, if you are Christian, use the cross instead, etc. Animal totems, religious icons, magical sigils, mantras, words of power, gestures, incantations, guardian spirits and whatever your personal tradition provides can be involved in the ritual you design to create your shield. The magical power of symbols is in what they signify to us, so select symbols that speak directly to you. This also means creating your own is a wise strategy but these will lack the weight and substance of centuries of use by other humans, which can be considerable. A self created, original symbol relies more on the power that we invest into them, meaning they are often better for those with more practice in the occult. Whatever tradition we use it provides a framework and a support structure for our shield, anchoring it in that traditions power and philosophy, in its history as a successful counter to unwanted influences. Employing no tradition at all frees our creative power but leaves the shielding dependent on the power of our own will, our conviction in the protection, and without a strong support structure backing it up. This is part of why many banishings, exorcisms and wardings follow a strict ritual process. You don’t need to learn any of these to create an effective magical shield, though.

The process of creating a magical shield is relatively simple and can be accomplished without much effort or training, however its effectiveness will dramatically increase if you do have some skill in meditation and mental discipline as well as creative imagination. If you lack this skill or feel that your shield is not strong enough you will need to continuously replenish it to offset this weakness. Additionally there are certain extra steps you can take to strengthen and empower your shield as well as to make it easily accessible in an emergency. You do not have to follow all the steps outlined below, you can just concentrate on the creation of the shield itself if you wish, but if you do follow these steps your shield will be much more effective.

Preparations: Banishing, Cleansing and Blessing

Before you create your shield it is a very good idea to dismiss from yourself or the area you are shielding any negative influences that already dwell there. If you do not do this you run the risk of shielding yourself in with something, especially if your shield is to encompass your home or vehicle. This would lead to a psychic battle with that entity. In the case of a personal shield being made for your own bodies a cleansing and banishing ritual prepares your space and will give the shield a stronger basis to ground itself in.

If you are clearing a space such as your home or vehicle then the first part of the banishing and cleansing is to literally clean up the physical space, removing all clutter, dust, webbing, untidiness, garbage, etc. If you have to, let go of old objects anchoring things to you or your space – have a clear out and pass things on. Then your space should be astrally and mentally cleared of influences, something that is often accomplished through incense, music and chanting or through the creative imagination of a bright, cleansing positive light filling the space or surrounding your body and driving out anything negative that is hiding within. However you do it the key point is to summon all of your conviction and all of your willpower and shoo all negativity away. It’s worth noting at this point that there are other things that act as banishing and cleansing factors – humour and laughter is an incredibly powerful force here, as are wild parties and celebrations, sometimes. It depends on the party. However a party thrown with the intent of banishing away evil spirits is a time-honoured way of doing this. I’m often amused that the materialistic expression of Samhain as Halloween, a time of crazy and fun parties, laughter at the spooky side of life and sweet treats, seems designed with the lurking fear of the truth in the back of the collective mind. Try as we might, we cannot stamp out the natural instincts that tie us to the invisible world. After all, as I have hopefully pointed out already, many of its local inhabitants are our spiritual kin or the spiritual children of our ancestors, and such familial bonds are of the strongest kind.

If you are creating a shield for yourself then I would recommend that before the first time you do so you have a ritual magical bath, if possible. This is a powerful banishing and cleansing ceremony in which you bathe not to clean your physical body but your astral and mental bodies. You shower and clean your physical body before the bath, making the focus the process of cleansing your subtle bodies. You can employ bath salts, candles, oils, incense, music and other ritual elements as you wish. I cannot do better than point you in the direction of Kaitlin Coppocks article on this subject: https://sphereandsundry.com/lo-a-step-by-step-guide-to-ritual-bathing-personal-energetic-cleansing-w-astrology/

In her article you will find a most excellent and extensive set of instructions on magical baths, including what to do if you have no bath. I recommend you read it and create your own version of it with the tools you have at hand or can obtain in a reasonable amount of time. Undergoing a magical bath before you create your magical shield will greatly enhance your experience and empower your shield to be more effective. If you do not have the time or the means for a ritual bath then instead you can perform a banishing and cleansing of your bodies using the simple method of imagining yourself in a universe filled with white light that drives away all darkness, or you can use the more involved meditation that follows (you could also make this a part of your magical bath ritual if you wish):

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and begin to relax, focusing on your breathing. Breathe normally and naturally as you relax each of the muscles in your body in turn, noting where the greatest tension lies. When you are ready begin to imagine a golden light above your head beginning to descend into its top. As this beautiful golden light descends into your head it gradually fills up the inside of your body like warm golden honey. Take your time feeling it moving slowly into every crevice inside your head. The pulsing, warm light continues to pour down and the golden liquid gradually descends into your throat and shoulders, chest and upper arms, flows over your elbows and into your stomach and abdomen, trickles towards the end of every finger and over the edge of your hips, down towards your feet, until your entire body is filled with this golden fluid. As it passes through your body it takes with it all negativity and all disharmony and dysfunction and breaks it down until it is nothing. When the inside of your body is entirely filled from head to tips of toes and soles of feet, imagine that the liquid begins to transmute and ooze out of the tips of your toes as a gaseous golden mist that begins to float upwards. This beautiful golden cloud returns to your head slowly, filtering through your astral and mental bodies and your aura as it does so and removing negativity and disharmony from them and your space. When it reaches the top of your head where the light began to descend into your body it seals you completely in a bubble, front and back, left and right sides, leaving you wrapped in an egg shaped golden mist and all negativity has been removed from your being. Give thanks that it is so.

These examples exist alongside many other methods of accomplishing the same goal of banishing and cleansing. You might go to see a professional such as a shaman or a medical practitioner such as an acupuncturist to accomplish the same ends.

Creation of the Magic Shield around a Person

Once again, sit or lie down in a comfortable position and relax, focusing on your breathing. I prefer to be sitting because the spine is straight and vertical, but comfort for you is the main thing. Before you begin, affirm silently in your mind that this process will bring an increase in self confidence. Be certain that your shield is not established based on fear or paranoia but instead is founded on empowerment. Additionally, and perhaps even before you begin, give some time to contemplating how your shield will behave toward negative influences. Does it drain them, reflect them back at their source, make you invisible to them, trap them, destroy them, notify you or not, does it give you an option to let them in so that you can examine them? How long is it meant to last for, and in what situations or places is it meant to be present? Does it behave differently toward different entities or sources of attack, for example does it notify you when it specifically comes from an individual known to you or does it destroy one kind of entity but trap another? This is an important design step that should be a reflection of your intentions and also your morality. These are after all, living beings like us – many are our unwanted children! Human beings do an enormous number of negative things but that doesn’t mean all entities need to be destroyed.

The shield you will be creating utilizes a very common energy source for this purpose, the universal Light. It relies on the fact that every individual human being (indeed, all beings) has a connection to the highest spiritual realms that they can call upon at any time. The Light will be drawn down from above your head into your bodies and circulated around them with the instruction that it protect you as you intend it to. When the process is complete you will then ensure its supply of energy by connecting it to the universal storehouse of Light from which it will be continually replenished.

Begin by relaxing deeply, then imagine a white light above your head beginning to move down into your crown from which it begins to overflow like a fountain. As this white light flows from above into and out of your crown it begins to move in a clockwise direction around the top of your head, very slowly and gracefully. Affirm that as it does so it protects you in the way that you have intended and be sure to continually press this idea into the Light as it moves. Be sure to visualise and feel its movement around the back of your head as it crosses in front of your eyes and brow, ears, nose and mouth, and finally wraps itself around your chin and neck. It makes contact with your skin because it envelopes you internally as well but its boundary extends slightly beyond your skin into the space you consider your own personal space. With the shield now formed as a kind of hood or helmet around your head region pause for a while and again affirm your will and desire that the shield protect you in the way you design it to. It begins to broaden out to encompass the space around your shoulders and then spirals down your upper arms to your elbows and around your chest and back, wrapping your upper body. Take your time and be sure to continually focus on the idea of your magical shield and its protection. Breathe normally and naturally and feel the protective layer of the shield encompassing the whole upper half of your body. When you’re ready mentally affirm once again the purpose of the shield and remind yourself that it will lead to an increase in confidence as you direct the Light to continue circulating in a clockwise direction around your abdomen and lower body, shielding your belly and stomach, and wrapping itself around your hips, always pressing the intention of the magical shield into it as it passes around you. You want to calmly know that absolutely no negative influence can get past it. Continue to let the light circulate in this way until you reach the soles of your feet. At this point, sit within your shield and feel its presence, try to get used to its energy so that you can recognise it when it is activated. Enjoy being in the safe space for a while. When you’re ready, simply instruct your shield to begin drawing its energy from the universal storehouse of Light that is available at all times in all places. Imagine that the original portal to this Light above your head slowly fades and disappears and place yourself in an entire universe of this Light stretching in every direction. Instruct the universal Light to then begin to pour into your shield from every direction continuously, and include the thought that this connection can only be severed by you. Know that this is true. Now go and have a cup of tea or coffee and watch a movie or read a book – anything that takes your mind off the shield for a number of hours, so that you forget about it. This helps the shield to establish itself. Beyond that, from time to time give attention to your shield and replenish it by repeating the ritual.

If you wish you may repeat the process two more times, making the first shield for your mental body, the second for your astral body and the third for your physical body. The process is exactly the same, all that changes is that you make sure to impress the shield with the idea that it is protecting a specific body. A single shield works to protect you on all three levels but separate shields allow you to distinguish more between influences that affect different bodies and the act of repetition makes them generally sturdier as well.

On that note there are other things you can do to make your shield even stronger. First, learn to utilize all of your astral and mental senses in the shields creation, not just visualizing it but smelling, hearing, tasting and feeling it as well. For me this is actually the really fun part of the process where you get to employ the creative side of your creative imagination. What is the smell of protection for you? Look back into your memories and you will find an archive of aromas and odors that you have mostly ignored in favour of visual stimuli. These are literal treasure troves waiting assignment to some kind of magical operation, all you have to do is consciously recall them with your imagination. The journey of just discovering these things is itself a magical one. For example, most people have a long buried memory of the smell of their mother’s skin when they were babies. If you can remember this smell and creatively imagine it as the smell of your shield while you are wrapping it around you it will greatly empower that shield (unless perhaps the shield is for use against your own mother!). Similarly, give your shield a presence in imagined sound (an instrument, a musical tone, birdsong, an alarm bell, etc.), a taste and a feeling as well (hard, smooth, rough, spiky, hot, cold, etc.). You can also instruct your shield to bring these sensations into your awareness under specific trigger conditions, for example you can instruct it to give you a bitter taste or the sound of an owl when a specific entity tries to interfere with you. These are more advanced shielding techniques for people more familiar with the practice but in the beginning simply personalizing your shield by adding all of your senses in these ways is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to increase its strength and effectiveness. The more personal your connection is to your own shield, the more it protects you. Always keep the personal details of your shield a secret to preserve its power.

Secondly you can ground your shield, giving it a material object to root itself in. Very often this will be some kind of jewellery, a ring or necklace that you wear that is specifically worn only as a part of your shielding and which you do not have to take off in bed or when washing. By touching the object you can activate the shield at will or strengthen it. By turning it or otherwise physically manipulating it you can also cause your shield to enter different configurations. The problem with this is if you lose the object. At that point you have to construct a new shield for yourself or modify the old one so that it is not dependent upon the object if that was the case. Losing our protective items is sometimes a profoundly deep lesson for us. Specials words or phrases can serve the same functions as can certain hand gestures. Grounding your shield can also be done in another way, by planting a magical tree or plant which you nurture as its physical form. Fruit trees can be especially useful in this respect as their fruit can be eaten and their seeds given to others or planted in a protective circle around an area.

Creation of the Magic Shield around a Space or Object

When it comes to creating a shield for a location or object such as a vehicle or something that is to be sent in the post the process is exactly the same but you must ensure that the Light is circulated around the object itself, from whatever its top seems to be to its bottom. Special attention must be given to all of the doorways and windows, chimneys, vents and any other entrances into the building or space as well as the four cardinal directions of east, west, north and south. Don’t forget that many things come into the home through the computer and the internet now – we have portals into digital spaces and the news isn’t good lately. It is customary and beneficial to begin with the east (where sunlight becomes visible each day) and rotate the Light in a clockwise direction from there (or in the direction the Sun travels in the day), so around the space from east to south, south to west, then west to north and back to the east again. Make sure that you cover underneath the area and above it so that is encompassed in a sphere. Begin at the top of the area or structure and rotate down into the ground beneath it. If you have land or a garden, extend the protection to the boundary and not just the building walls. If you have a garage or parking space treat that as part of the boundary of your shield and make sure it covers them too. You can do this room to room or cover the entire building and location in one go as you wish. Afterward or during it is a good idea to ground the shield by placing symbols or guardian objects in the cardinal directions or entryways of your home, over the doors or facing them or on window sills. I like to use wooden objects because wood is alive in a very special way for me.

If the object is to be used as a grounding object and a material representation of your shield, like a ring you want to wear, you simply have to hold the object in your hands while you perform your shielding and from time to time remember to put your attention on the held object and instruct it to behave in the way you wish. Make sure that your object is saturated in the universal Light of your shield.

The creation of a shield around your space constitutes a clear signal in the astra-mental planes that says “Caution! Conscious humans live here!” and this alone serves to protect you. The vast majority of our abodes, with no such spiritual protection placed around them, appear to many entities as open territories that they are free to move through at will, perhaps even live in. By establishing a boundary and signaling that it is our own astra-mental territory many negative entities are discouraged from coming near. If this seems familiar to you it’s because it is – it’s the tradition of lighting jack-o’-lanterns in your windows on Halloween, an occult tradition that is ironically itself heavily occulted. The lantern can become the object which grounds the shielding of your home, the pumpkin and its face the spirit of your home itself, warding intruders away, the candle flame the Light. This is why the tradition involves making the lantern a fun activity with children, because their natural magic is invested into it. As I have said before, adults may have largely lost (actually, misplaced) their psychic senses, but not entirely. They operate through the unconscious until they are consciously re-claimed and trained. They are occulted but still there. If you want to make this a true magical operation involving your children, I suggest you leave them to hollow out the pumpkins while you focus on impressing the Light of protection into the candles that will be used.

That’s all for now, be safe out there and don’t be afraid, one of the things I hope you take away from this post is just how powerful we all are. Let’s realise it together. In a previous journey I have discussed the use of astrology in warding and banishing magic and I suggest you read this article after this one if you’re interested in learning more about that.

My love to all of you!