Astrology & the Magical Equilibrium

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! For this months main post and the last of 2018 I will be sharing with you on the relationship and application of astrology to magical initiation.

golden light

This is a huge area on both sides of the fence, magical and astrological, and so whatever you learn from this sharing can only be the tip of immensely unseen icebergs. What you read here should be considered an introduction to the subject only, and a very basic one at that. Those who are interested in delving deeper into this rich and very rewarding area must ultimately find their own way, even if it is with the guidance of others. The most important reason for this being the case is the fact that we are all individual and unique, factors which are at the core of both astrology and the attainment of a magical Equilibrium and which makes commentary on both somewhat hamstrung by over generalisation where there is a need for specific application. In other words, to really get to the bottom of all this you have to dig into your own self, your own experience, because your relationship to both astrology and magic is utterly unique to you and can only be known by you.

When the impetus to write this article came to me earlier this month one of the first things which began to present itself in my mind was that there is an apparent lack of other people writing in this area. There are and have been plenty of great minds (but not nearly enough!) dedicated to understanding the relationship between astrology and magic and sharing what they have learned with others, but as far as I’m aware I am the only person writing about the relationship between astrology and the magical Equilibrium which is a prerequisite for attaining magical capability. As far as I know I am the only astrologer who is also a practitioner of Bardon’s “Initiation into Hermetics” and who is sharing what they have learned with others. I’m not particularly comfortable with this monopoly or seeming monopoly, precisely for the reasons I’ve just stated about the uniqueness of everything that exists. I don’t want people to think things like “well, David said this so it must be this way”. So while I can say some things in general about this topic, I caution you not to take it too seriously and instead to just accept what resonates with your own experience while leaving the rest for your own experimentation. Indeed your own experimentation is vital if you wish to truly succeed in applying your experience of astrology to your path of magical initiation, and indeed with initiation in general. VITAL.

I’m also aware that there will be numerous people coming across this article who do not understand what I mean by magical Equilibrium and why it would be necessary before true success in magic is possible. So I must devote some time to explaining these things as part of this message. In doing so while I will be referring heavily to the work of Franz Bardon I’m not in any way implying that this is the only path to a magical Equilibrium, only that in my experience it is the most reliable one. In fact what will become immediately apparent when we understand what a magical Equilibrium actually is, is that the practice of astrology itself has the same goal. This shared goal is what makes them true lovers in the art of initiation. In other words, it is possible and in fact it is the intended purpose of astrology for people to reach a magical Equilibrium through astrological awareness, and astrologers have been helping people to do that for thousands of years without using that terminology.



The physical realm is inter-penetrated by other realms which the average person is not fully consciously aware of. While there are many such realms coexisting with the physical realm, we can conceptualize two primary ones which help us to understand the overall hierarchy, these being the astral realm and the mental realm. There are also non-physical realms which correspond to the physical planets in the solar system, so that there are astra-mental realms corresponding to the physical Sun and Moon as well as the Earth and all of the major planets. Although astrology encompasses all three of these metarealms – physical, astral and mental – it is primarily focused on the astral realm. 

The astral realm, like the physical realm, is a restless place where things are continuously in motion and are subject to time. Just as the physical realm can be seen as a continuously shifting sea of physical substance and energy, so too the astral realm can be seen as a continuously shifting sea of astral substance and energy. However, wherein the physical realm that substance is formed by matter and its energy in the astral realm the substance is formed not by matter but by what we can call significance. Certain things like colours, numbers, symbols and feelings convey this substance as a currency more directly but all things in the physical realm are bound to the astral realm and therefore communicate significance. Artists know this realm intimately as all art emerges from muses in the astral realm, but the practice of astrology and its efficacy lies in its ability to read the significance within the astral realm from the physical positions of planets which represent the current state of affairs in the astral sea (at least as it applies to life on Earth).

So we have a continuously shifting sea of significance into which all physical things are placed and made subject. We cannot directly perceive significance in the same way that we can directly perceive physical matter – it cannot really be touched by our physical hands – but we know it is there as we experience it regularly in our lives. When someone dies we are hit with a profound wave of significance as their presence departs from the physical realm. When we walk into a room full of people, each one of them has a different significance for us. When we look at a painting or listen to music, we are touched in a uniquely significant way. All our lives we navigate through this invisible sea without ever seeing that it is there, as vast as the physical universe is and even more unexplored.

Well, not all of us – both astrologers and magicians know that it is there and that our interaction with it is the most significant thing of all. Both know that the ever-changing nature of the sea means that the journey is forever, or until death, and that navigating it successfully requires awareness. Just as a ship needs a map, a knowledge of the stars and fair weather to cross the ocean, so too the human vessel can be equipped with the necessary tools to make its passage over this vast and wild expanse. There are living beings in this realm, just as varied as in the physical realm. The aforementioned muses are among them, but the inhabitants of this realm are truly as varied and diverse as life in the physical universe is. At different stages on our journey, our course through life destines us to encounter some of them at specific times. All of this is readable from the positions of the planets in the solar system in relation to the Earth and its inhabitants, which is to say through astrology. Yet while astrology can know the movements and actions and behaviours of the astral sea it has long lost sight of the living inhabitants, the spirits which magicians are fully aware of.

We are born as physical beings at a specific moment in time and at a specific place and thereby we “inherit” a particular resonance, a particular significance which is present at that moment when we are born. This unique significance attaches itself to our unique physical body and is anchored there through our breath and other mechanisms which tie the astral and physical realms together. From that point forward, we are subjected to both the effects of the physical plane and the effects of the astral plane combined and will be forced to deal with the reality of changing circumstances as we are subjected to time. The astral ocean into which we are born continues to shift relentlessly and so it’s resonance with us changes as time passes. Life becomes a process of adapting to an ever-changing tapestry of physical changes and shifting tides of significance. We fall in and out of love and despair, move from one occupation to another, travel from one location to another, endlessly voyaging through and into experience and its attendant significance. In many cases it is we ourselves who assign significance to our experiences and so we build up a personal body of significance, an astral body. 

The principle local controller of this astral ocean and its rhythmic tides is our closest neighbour in physical space, our Moon. Like our planet Earth, She has an astral body and a spirit or mental body as well as a physical body, and so She is alive and aware of Her own existence. This intelligence is not only the controller of the physical tides but also the astral tides of our world. As the Moon orbits the Earth it dives into and out of the energetic field of the Earth, astrally transmitting influences into the earthly sphere from the other planets and the Sun and so stirring up the astral realm. This creates the need for every living thing on the Earth to move in response, the need for Equilibrium.

While the fact that every living thing is unique means that it’s Equilibrium is also unique, there are some general features to its nature which mean we can actually talk about it. The primary one is that the awareness is no longer controlled by this external astra-physical environment – the ever shifting nature of the astral ocean (described by our astrology) no longer has the power to control or direct our actions. Instead our actions are now intentional choices which we make in response to the external environment and the astral tides. The only way in which this is possible is for us to know our own part of that astral ocean, to know and master ourselves so well and so intimately that it cannot manipulate us without our conscious awareness. Whereas before when we ran for the last bus only to watch it drive away seconds before we reached it and were overcome with anger, now we have such presence of mind that when the circumstances that would trigger anger arise, we are in control of how we react. So it’s essential nature is internal and not external, the Equilibrium being attained when we have mastered our own reactions to the ever shifting nature of astral reality and physical existence. We may still get angry as the bus drives away, but if we do so it will be an intentional choice, not something that is thrust upon us.

The self awareness we need in order to avoid being manipulated constantly by the relentless motion of the astral ocean means that we must dive into our own character and our own significance – we must know ourselves in order to know the nature of our responses, many of which have been programmed into us by past experiences and our unconscious has warped them into bad habits. This diving into ourselves involves coming to know our character in all its gritty details. So we have to know our own inner nature so that we can understand how we are affected by external and environmental factors.

However the Equilibrium requires not only that we acquire this self-knowledge but that we have eliminated the most negative qualities which easily overpower our ability to choose how we react. These negative qualities lie at the root of our astral nature and must be pulled up and transformed intentionally into something which does not dictate or control our behaviour. This means that in the example above if anger is at the root of many of your negative habits, then you have to resolve the anger before you will attain your own Equilibrium, and that means diving into what causes it and how it began as a pattern of negative behaviour in your life. In all likelihood, it has nothing to do with buses.

Once the majority of your negative habits are transformed in this way you begin to gain greater control over how you react to the astral ocean and therefore greater mastery over your direction in life, and if new negative habits or behaviours emerge from within the infinite ocean you are able to control how you react immediately. Equilibrium does not require you to have eliminated all of your negative qualities so that you live as a perfect saint, only that you have uprooted and transformed all of the major negative traits and that the other less significant negative traits are always in your control when they arise. Additionally your depth of knowledge of your own nature and its subjective perception of reality means that your subjective perceptions no longer act to cloud your objective perception of reality. You can identify what you are subjectively bringing to your experiences and in doing so you can screen it out so that you can more clearly see what is really there. This clarity of perception becomes vital when it comes to interacting with intelligent living beings of a non-physical origin (spirits), and it makes it much more difficult for you to be deceived. The important thing however is that you are now in control of how you react to the astral ocean and this gives you an initial power of command over the ocean itself which makes possible your ability to wield magic in a reliable and consistent way. Before the Equilibrium any success at magic is hit and miss and it is mostly miss, especially if you have an immature understanding of your own astral body.

Students of astrology and its practice who have no experience with magic may at this point be wondering if this is even possible since it seems to represent an extremely high degree of mastery over the birth chart and its patterns and influences. And indeed this attainment is definitely not easy, but it is greatly assisted by a structured and systematic approach such as the one provided by Bardon in his book “Initiation into Hermetics”. Through a gradual process involving physical, astral and mental exercises the ten steps of instruction Bardon provides lead the initiate to attain this Equilibrium in its primal state by the beginning of step four. How long this takes is an open question that depends very much on the individual and their commitment. Astrology can also lead people to attain an Equilibrium, but it is less likely to be lasting and more subject to fail temporarily. Part of the reason for this is really the chaotic and diverse approach to using astrology in practice, something which is of course both a strength and weakness in the field. Simply put astrological practice is not as structured as the system outlined by Bardon and it is this structured approach aimed at attaining the Equilibrium that makes it more readily attainable.

Ultimately this means that astrology can become an even more powerful tool in the hands of the magician than it is in the hands of a practiced and professional astrologer, especially with regard to the magicians own being and experience, not only because they have attained this mastery over the reactions they have, but also because they are now prepared to begin consciously encountering the living intelligences of the astral realm, something which astrologers in practice cannot do without similar training or natural gifts. Eventually the magician will be able to travel freely throughout the diverse astral realms at will, just as most of us can travel about the physical world at will by moving our bodies, taking them far beyond what any astrological training of today can offer.



The primary tool in astrology is of course the birth chart itself but it may surprise many people to know that as far as initiation is concerned you do not really need a birth time as the data supplied merely by your birth date is often usable straight out of the ephemeris without a time. An astrological chart with no time still reveals the psychological nature of the individual which is what we really need in initiation. We do not need the granular higher resolution of the houses/temples although if we have them the greater detail they provide will certainly help enormously.

The birth chart shows the imprint of astral significance on our astral body, the way our astral body was “programmed” at the moment of our birth. Our personality (which is an expression of our astral body) will not be fully developed at this time but its potential will be present. As time goes by our astral nature develops as we are exposed to changing tides and circumstances, as significance emerges for us it shapes our character and our personality emerges as a result of our responses to the changing significance. Yet we are always innately conditioned to respond in a certain way from birth, and if we are not fully conscious of this conditioning – and none of us are when young, at least today – then we develop bad habits around those things which we do not carefully tend to. We become more like automatons in certain areas, reacting as a result of our past conditioning. The early stages and steps of initiation are concerned with thoroughly investigating our own astral nature and personality so that we can identify these neglected areas and bring them under our control. Thus for the magician with a knowledge of astrology this entire process is greatly clarified as there is an objective blueprint – the birth chart – which accurately describes their own astral nature, albeit in symbolic form.

By investigating the birth chart in the early stages of initiation the whole process of identifying the astral nature is given a massive boost and a single consultation with a good astrologer can potentially cut years of work from the process of getting to grips with your own astral character. It is even better than going to see a psychiatrist in this respect because a psychiatrist must start by getting to know you whereas an astrologer only has to get to know the chart, which is being completely open and communicating everything significant that there is to communicate about your experiences. The astrologer only has to open a dialog with you and listen carefully so they can come to an understanding of where and how you are resonating with your specific symbolism. When this becomes clear the astrologer (whom you just met) can perform a literal act of magic and tell you things about yourself that you know to be true, sometimes things that even surprise you about yourself or which clarify things you have long tried to articulate, and they can even accurately advise you about your future as they can see how the astral ocean is moving around you at any given time in your life simply by checking the positions of the planets at those times. To most people this shouldn’t work and it’s a profound and sometimes even disturbing shock that it does, it breaks reality as we think it to be. The more context you give an astrologer about your past interaction with your particular symbolism, the more accurate they will be able to pinpoint the patterns you will experience in the future. A good astrologer will advise you how to react positively and healthily with whatever is emerging from that vast ocean, whether it is a titanic beast of the deeps or the gentle song of a mermaid on a sunny afternoon.


PLANETS – the What?

Some specific components of modern astrology have certain specific implications for initiation (the process of attaining and maintaining the Equilibrium). I’ve already mentioned that the birth chart itself expresses the innate astral nature of the person that was imprinted upon them when they were born into the physical world, and that it is therefore the principle tool in the box for the magician using astrology. Know the birth chart and you Know Thyself. The Lights (Sun and Moon) and the planets of the birth chart represent the dimensions of awareness available to all Earthly life. Everything is able to feel and to think (Mercury and Venus) and it has an individual will driving it (Mars) and so on. In this respect everything that lives upon the Earth is the same, however the planets are only one of four main layers present in the birth chart and these other layers introduce all the individuality and an infinite variety of scope and expression of these dimensions of awareness. These layers are the signs, the aspects and the houses/temples. Additionally, beyond the birth chart itself and an understanding of how the astral nature was imprinted by the astral realm at birth, astrology can also reveal the condition of the astral realm at any point in time and so bring guidance on the unique path that each being must take to reach the goal of Equilibrium. Astrologers have an arsenal of techniques with which to do this, a truly staggering array of methods, but in modern astrology the two most commonly used in the west are progressions and transits. I will now look at each of these areas of astrology in turn and explain some of their significance to initiation.


SIGNS – the How?

Whereas planets symbolise our access to the dimensions of awareness which are open to life on Earth, the divisions of the sky which we call the 12 signs of the zodiac represent the ways in which we can process that awareness. I have written extensively about the signs of the zodiac in this journal (just search for a sign in the archive) and will complete that series of articles about them very soon, and in my book I have given as precise an account as I can of what the zodiac actually is, but here I will share some thoughts on the significance of the zodiac signs for someone seeking the Equilibrium through a magical initiation.

The first thing to note is that the signs are divided into the four Elements, with three signs given for each of the Elements. These Elements are the same Elements that Bardon talks about in his books. That is to say, the signs of the zodiac belong to the Elements, not that the Elements belong to the signs of the zodiac. The zodiac is an expression of the four Elements. The majority of its inhabitants are animals or symbolised as animals because the zodiac is a living thing, one big Elemental animal that lives in the sky if you like.

So there is an immediate correlation between the exercises of initiation in which the qualities and traits of the character have to be assigned to one of the four Elements and the birth chart which assigns each of the planets to one of the four Elements. If you calculate the relative weight of each planet according to which Element it is in in the birth chart, you can come up with a numerical score which roughly communicates the essence of your innate Elemental balance. What this means is that just by doing a quick calculation with the birth chart you can identify where your strengths and weaknesses lie according to the quantity of connection to the four Elements.

Aside from this the signs allow us to begin understanding qualitative detail related to the astral character because each of the signs express particular qualities or traits more than others. For example, Virgo is often quite logical and helpful while being prone to worry and fuss, while Leo is charismatic and exuberant while being prone to arrogance and pride. With this means is that at a glance an astrologer can see the character traits we are inclined to have, especially if there is a particularly obvious emphasis on a particular sign.

The expression of a particular planet or light (dimension of awareness) will be filtered in a particular way by a particular sign, with some signs strengthening the expression of a planet and other signs not or doing the opposite and undermining its expression. So the astrologer can also begin to see which planets are strengthened in our awareness and which are lying dormant in addition to the aforementioned insight into the types of character traits we have. All of this can come merely from looking at planets in signs. Importantly it does not replace the work that the initiate must do in introspection or self examination, but it greatly assists it especially in the beginning stages when there is a great deal of subjectivity regarding this matter. In many cases it also adds important details to what the magician has already uncovered from the introspection they have done, details that may have taken many years to identify but which astrology provides a shortcut to because its symbolism reveals them.  This happens more times than I can count in my professional and personal interactions with people. 

In addition just the knowledge of planets in signs alone can be highly effective in the timing of magical rituals and other activities which are connected to the process of initiation (such as the practice of certain exercises) since it is an easy matter to use transits and progressions (see below) through the signs to time specific activities. In effect this initial layer of planets in signs opens up access to a vast range of potential for any practitioner of initiation and seeker of Equilibrium, but especially to a beginner. You could stop here, making use of planets in signs alone and diving no deeper into astrology and still find a lifetime of useful application for what you know and will learn.


ASPECTS – the Inner Conversation

Just one more level in deeper however and you come across aspects, the utility of which cannot be underestimated. A whole series of articles on the subject matter of this message could be written about the aspects alone, and there are many good books and lectures by astrologers on the nature of the aspects which are worth reading for their insight and practical advice.

Simply put, aspects are the relationships that arise from the different positions of the planets. More technically, they are what give the Moon its different phases – as all the planets move around the zodiac and orbit the Sun in their own orbits, they form relationships with other planets just like the Moon does with the Sun, but She shows it visibly in how much light She is reflecting to us. When the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, then She is Full but when She is on the same side as the Sun then She is New. As She moves around the Earth the Moon forms different relationships with the Sun which are shown on the Moons surface clearly by the amount of light and its position on the surface of the Moon. Similarly all of the planets are perpetually in motion and forming relationships with one another, which are called aspects. For example when they are 90° apart from one another they are said to be in a square aspect because this aspect will form a square shape when repeated inside of a circle. We can think of aspects as the circuitry and wiring which connects the planets in signs to one another.

For initiation aspects are very powerful to know about. Certain aspects are said to be harmonious because they combine signs which have compatible Elements while others are said to be inharmonious because they combine signs from Elements which are not compatible. For example the trine, an aspect of 120°, is said to be a harmonious aspect because it connects signs which belong to the same Element – a Fire sign with another Fire sign for example. The square on the other hand is said to be an inharmonious aspect because it connects signs from incompatible Elements – a Fire sign with a Water sign for example. In the astrological scheme Fire and Air are compatible with themselves and each other and the same for Water and Earth. So the astrological scheme has an underlying principle which emphasises the Electric and Magnetic Fluids, just like Bardon’s system, since the Fire Element is all Electric while the Air Element is mostly Electric and the Water Element is all Magnetic while the Earth Element is mostly Magnetic. The harmonious and inharmonious nature of astrological aspects is therefore based upon the nature of the Fluids as they express themselves through the four Elements. 

Since the aspects reveal how the different planets interact with one another, relate to one another or are connected in our awareness, and also comment on whether or not this connection is inherently harmonious or inharmonious, and since planets in signs provide us with traits and character qualities as well as a measure of their quantity, aspects essentially reveal the complexes of the astral nature, what we would call personality complexes. During the process of initiation the initiate will discover that certain character traits relate to other character traits and that those character traits then relate to other character traits, so forming a web of interrelated character traits. This is a personality complex, a dynamic arrangement of traits within the astral nature. What differentiates a personality complex from a simple dimension of our personality is that the personality complex is more sensitive so that whenever it is influenced by the astral ocean all of its connected parts react at once. It makes it more difficult for us to understand the behaviour behind our reactions because there are many layers to them, but the advantage they bring is that when one part of the personality complex is transformed it has an effect on the entire complex and in the case of powerful negative complexes which have existed for a long time this is a serious advantage! It means that by working on one part of it really well you don’t have to work on the others so hard because the transformative energy will flow through your astral nature along its natural predetermined paths. To put this in a practical example let’s imagine that you have Mercury in Scorpio in a square with both Venus in Leo and the Moon in Aquarius. This complex is a quarrelsome one wherein those three dimensions of awareness find it very difficult to agree with one another and will tend to pull us as a person in different directions. This will be quite a vulnerable spot as far as a reaction to the astral ocean is concerned. However if we concentrate our effort on transforming our mental attitude  (Mercury) and bringing it more in alignment with the highest nature of Scorpio, then the work that we do with our Mercury in this case will inevitably make its way to that Venus in Leo and Moon in Aquarius as well, and so the changes we make in our thinking through working on our Mercury will cause changes in our emotions (Venus) and our astral awareness (Moon) as a result.

Conversely, of course, aspects and their associated personality complexes can also be the places where the astral ocean really gets to dominate our reactions because some places will be quite sensitised by them. For example if the Moon is receiving several square aspects and very few harmonious offers of support, it will be a place of extreme difficulty and challenge. In this case we will probably struggle a lot with the astral exercises. It just won’t be easy for us in some way or form to make progress in those areas or in some other area which is connected to the Moon. Yet what this means is that these are the sensitive places where we need to do our work to attain Equilibrium and so astrology again can make it very easy for us to identify this and can accomplish what would otherwise take many months or possibly even years within a very short time, possibly even a few minutes in some cases.

Additionally harmonious aspects can show where we might have strengths and talents which we are not using or not using as effectively as we could, and these will show up just as easily as the complexes which are challenging and which describe weaknesses. The aspects can then show us what strengths we have at hand to easily apply to our weaknesses. For example if the chart has Venus in Cancer in a harmonious trine with Mars in Pisces (both of which are Water signs), then it will be clear that there is an ability to apply the will to intentionally sympathise and empathise with others, especially the vulnerable. This is already a very detailed and specific insight into the astral nature, but if we are also then to consider that the same chart also has Saturn in Aries, which is in a square relationship with Venus in Cancer, we begin to see that there is an inhibition or fear of expressing the Venus side, it is being restrained somehow, and we can conclude that the qualities of Mars is providing something helpful that can contribute to remedying this issue.

In other words, aspects are the magic of our secret alchemy, the astral chemistry which makes us and the universe tick. Through an understanding of aspects we come to understand the nature of astral dynamics, how the astral ocean that we exist in operates and the mechanisms which drive it, we learn when and where the storms approach or the calm waters lie and we discover the ways in which we can transform more effectively and powerfully and where (and when) we should focus most of our attention and energy in terms of that transformation. These are immensely powerful tools and insights which remain useful throughout every stage of initiation and only grow in usefulness the farther we progress, like much of what we learn with astrology.


HOUSES or TEMPLES – the Where?

The houses or temples are physical spaces in the sky into which objects can be placed according to the orbit of the Earth on its own axis. To put this simply, the same chart for the same moment but on an opposite side of the world will take place at a different time of day (perhaps night instead of afternoon) which will mean that the Sun is in a different part of the sky, and so be in a different temple. It will be in the same sign in both charts no matter where the chart is located because the position of the Sun in signs is dependent upon the zodiac which is independent of both the houses and the rotation of the Earth on its own axis.

For houses or temples we need an accurate birth time and so this is not always possible, but when it is the inclusion of this layer acts to bring everything above into a much sharper focus. What we have been unable to see from all of the above so far is where in life experience all of this will be happening. Of course the truth is that it is all happening within us as part of our own astral nature but some of it will externalise itself for reasons of karma or because we or others make it so. With the inclusion of the 12 houses or temples we will be able to see where in terms of life experience everything will tend to externalize itself, so we will be able to see for example whether or not there is a great emphasis on career matters or traveling to far away places. Previously the planets, signs and aspects have only intimated or suggested these things, but with the inclusion of houses or temples the astrologer can be more confident about this factor.

Thus, this layer of astrology is not only about the externalisation of our astral nature in life experience and as a life path, but is also deeply karmic because there are good reasons for the planets to be in certain houses, reasons that have to do with life experiences that we are here to gather. The temples act to literally earth the entire chart by assigning things to earthly experiences.

This means that the position of the planets in certain houses/temples reveals to us how specific dimensions of awareness are especially empowered or active in specific arenas of life experience. For example, Jupiter in the 7th means that the presence of Jupiter and all that it signifies in our birth chart will be encountered most directly in our closest relationships and partnerships such as our marriage. It may mean that our partner has particularly Jupiter-like qualities for us or that in order to manifest enormous potential in the arena of relationships we have to develop and mature our relationship to whatever Jupiter represents in our chart by its sign and aspects. Essentially it means that when we explore relationships our life path brings us face-to-face with Jupiter and its attendant beings.

Obviously all of the houses are of interest but as far as initiation and the Equilibrium is concerned some have a particular relevance. The 9th house/temple is concerned with spiritual experience and spiritual maturity and initiation in general and so if there are planets in this area of your chart it can be extremely significant for initiation. You will have to satisfy some kind of agenda with that planet as part of your initiation. Strong astrological presences in the 9th can also indicate the influence and even the guise of the Greater Self as you progress further. The 12th house/temple is also important, especially in the early stages of initiation. This area of the chart pertains to the content of the unconscious and the subconscious and to all forms of meditation, inner reflection, absolution or retreat from mundane concerns. For all of these reasons it is an important place for any student of magic. The 4th temple also connects to the unconscious as well as past experience, especially in childhood. The 8th house/temple can reveal deep astral complexes or conditions which are carried over from previous mortal coils and can sometimes communicate our darkness and need to transform it and the 1st house/temple as well as the 5th house/temple relate to our creative potential and our ability to express ourselves healthily. I have written 3 long messages about the 12 temples which you can find in the archive if you need more information. 

The inclusion of this layer also helps an initiate to align themselves with the flow of time. Since each of the 12 temples relates to a specific life activity or area of experience, the initiate can use transits or progressions (see below) through the temples to discern fortuitous times to engage in specific life activities. They can effectively forecast the weather of the vast astral ocean and can therefore navigate it with far greater confidence. They can tell when they are luckier at certain things or not and when it is wise to make a decision and when it is not or when the power of a particular planet will be strong and available for a ritual. Knowledge of the houses/temples becomes important when using astrology in the creation of talismans or amulets because the placement of planets in specific houses/temples is a major factor in using astrology to empower them. 

When you are beginning with initiation knowing which planets are in which houses can just add a layer of confusion rather than clarity and since for the purpose of initiation and reaching the Equilibrium it is not really necessary to know this level of detail, the effort may best be spent elsewhere (such as in understanding aspects and planets in signs). However if you do include your knowledge of planets in houses the overall effect is that your clarity on your life path will be enriched and you will gain the beginnings of your insight into your karma and your purpose.



As previously mentioned there are many techniques within astrology to forecast the condition of the astral ocean at any given moment but the primary ones used in western astrology are progressions and transits. The important thing to point out here initially is that all of the techniques no matter the method are designed to achieve the same goal which is to delineate the nature or condition of the astral ocean at a specific moment and how it relates to certain individuals with their unique resonance and thus their unique way of interacting with it. All of the above – the planets, signs, aspects and temples/houses – are present in the birth chart and represent the basic language blocks of astrology, but the techniques which are aimed at forecasting or predicting are things which are applied to the birth chart and the delineation comes from how the birth chart responds to whatever is being applied. Human relationships can also be examined in this way as you can compare one chart with another and thereby give a delineation of the chemistry between them, but this is not as directly useful to initiation and the attainment of the Equilibrium as forecasting techniques are. In fact this may be the single most useful astrological tool for attaining and sustaining a true magical Equilibrium. 

Transits are simply the current positions of the planets applied to your chart (or if we are not dealing with looking at the present day they are the future or past positions of the planets as applied to your chart). Here we are simply looking at the current state of the solar system or its state at another time and noting the positions of the planets before relating them back to the birth chart. In this we are directly looking into the current state of the astral ocean, first trying to see what is actually there and then relating this back to the way the birth chart interacts with it. It is literally looking at the symbolism of the bus as it drives away and leaves you stranded and angry but doing so a month or two beforehand so that you can see the symbolism of that moment happening before it happens. You won’t be able to see the bus in the symbolism but you will be able to see the angry moment and the frustration it presents you with. When that period comes around you might then go a bit earlier fearing that you will miss the bus, which might mean that you actually catch the bus and avoid the anger, or (more commonly) you will still miss the bus or something similarly frustrating will happen but your foreknowledge of the potential for you to be angry at this time and your determination in initiation to deal with your anger issues may actually combine to give you a golden opportunity to change your life forever. The important point here is that a character trait can only be transformed when it arises, not after or before (although you can of course prepare for that beforehand and learn from it afterward). The golden moment we have to transform our character is that moment when we are standing in the rain cursing the fact that the bus has just disappeared from view, and the anger begins to rise up… but we arrest it and we replace it with a deep breath, and make other plans.

Some transits are bigger than others, they express greater significance because they occur less frequently. This is an important point to bear in mind. Essentially it means that the slower a planet moves through the zodiac the more impact its transits have on the ocean. Eris and Pluto for example have long orbits through the zodiac and so bring profound effects which affect the entire global situation, while Mercury who is very fast can disrupt airports and trains for a few weeks and create blips in the global economy from time to time but has no lasting impact on the global status quo compared to the other two. However there is one exception to this rule as far as sustaining the Equilibrium is concerned – the transits of the Moon are paramount, as Her monthly orbit of the Earth acts to communicate every astrology aspect with every planet into the Earths astral realm, and so trigger every part of what the astral ocean is holdfing for us at that time. In other words, the Moons transits are what the magician has to deal with in maintaining their astral Equilibrium. This is so huge for initiation, but few make use of it. Another important point to bear in mind is that transits arise from an external causation, since they are drawn from the continually changing positions of the planets in the sky, which are the same for everyone (even though they affect everyone differently). They can still bring internal rather than external happenings but the source is external, it originates from within the astral ocean itself. The tapestry of transits are therefore the same for everyone at the same time. 

This is not the case with progressions which are drawn from the way the positions of planets in the birth chart change positions in the sky for about the first 80 or 90 days of life and so are not the same for everyone. With progressions there is an internal causation as the seed planted in the birth chart germinates and grows through life. Again, they can still cause external happenings even though they arise from an internal astral source. If transits are the weather and the features of the landscape of the ocean we must navigate through, and the birth chart is a representation of our vessel and its course, then progressions are how the crew change and develop as the journey unfolds. In terms of initiation and the attainment of the Equilibrium these factors are equally important as transits are, because we must learn not only how to control our own reactions to the environment and external effects and become the master of our emotions and negative traits but we must also do so as we ourselves grow and evolve as people and our unique resonance changes as a result. This is what progressions are showing us, the way the birth chart will germinate and mature as time passes.

Unlike with transits, it is the faster moving objects which carry greater significance in progressions, because they will move the furthest and therefore be the most active in the three months following our birth from which progressions are drawn. In three months, slow-moving Eris and Pluto will hardly move at all and so their progression throughout life will not vary significantly from its birth chart position. Mercury however will zip through the zodiac in this time, and so have greater significance because it will undergo a major journey by progression. In the case of Mercury, that journey will relate to the evolution of the mental awareness and the intellect and how it interacts with the astral ocean. As an example you may be born with Mercury in Gemini and start out in a very talkative and inquisitive mental state as a child but end your life with progressed Mercury in Virgo, it having progressed all the way through Cancer and Leo and thus having gone through several major stages of development in terms of your thinking. You will always be by default in some way a Mercury in Gemini person but you will have adapted that template according to your later experiences and thus the expression of your Mercury will be different and it will interact with the astral ocean differently.

For this reason, just like transits are, progressions are a key tool to understand and use when it comes to attaining or maintaining the astral Equilibrium, mostly for maintaining it. Since our astral nature is not a static being but is continuously adapting according to its progressions and our reactions to life, it is important if we want to stay in command of our responses to the astral ocean that we understand the changes that we go through internally as we mature in time. Progressions can also alter or modify the innate astral balance of the Elements that our birth chart expresses, always by adding. For example the aforementioned Mercury in Gemini begins life with an innate attunement to the Air Element, but at some stage when it progresses into Cancer it modifies that connection to the Air Element with a new connection to the Water Element. As each of the Lights or the faster moving planets (Mercury, Venus and Mars) as well as the angles of the ascendant and midheaven move by progression fast enough to change signs more than once (and in the case of the Moon and angles can orbit the entire zodiac numerous times) in the course of one lifetime, the innate Elemental balance with which we are born with can be very strongly modified by these factors. Thus a knowledge of the progressions of these faster moving parts of astrology in the signs and thus through the Elements can be a significant help in navigating the lifetime of your Equilibrium. This can also help you identify periods in the year when it is auspicious to work at developing your relationship to certain Elements as the progressions of the ascendant are especially potent in this respect.

As I said at the beginning of this message, this can only serve as an introduction to a vast subject but I hope that I’ve been able to give you some guidance in this area and that you have enjoyed reading. There are many other messages in the archive on magic and astrology if you wish to read more. If you’d like to support this journal in the future please consider becoming a patron.

I wish you all the best in 2019 and thank you for reading!


The Mysterious Moons of Stan Lee

Greetings! Welcome back to Journeys. Today I am going to share some tips about what to do when you do not have a birth time to work with. For this we will be using the chart of recently deceased comic mogul, Stan Lee.


The recent death of the legendary Stan Lee, the soul, personality and voice of Marvel Comics, gives us all pause to reflect on the power of entertainment. As easily dismissed and seemingly trivial as a comic book might seem to be, in the hands of Lee the medium became a channel through which a universe was born which has shown it has the power to change individual lives and which leaves a lasting legacy for the world of art. As is often the case when a prominent and well-known figure leaves the world I pulled up Stan Lee’s chart from my database to look at it.

I do this not because that story is complete or over, because I’ve learned over the years with astrology that actually some influence of it persists even after we are dead. It may not affect us personally any more, but significant transits and progressions can indicate things emerging connected to us and our life story after we are dead. For example, the recent reburial of Richard III in March 2015 (after being disinterred from beneath a Leicester city car park in 2012 and later confirmed to be his remains in February 2013 – coincidentally, the remains lay almost directly under a roughly painted ‘R’ on the tarmac) is a good example of this kind of thing happening. This event caught the Uranus/Pluto squares of that decade, with Pluto in Capricorn square Richard III’s Sun/Saturn in Libra and his Mars in Aries, as Uranus was also conjunct that Mars and opposing his Sun/Saturn.

As an aside, this is a genuinely striking configuration that raises important questions – does some shadow of our astrology persist in the astral realm beyond our own passing from the mortal coil (as the Egyptians expressed in their belief in different parts or aspects of the soul), and could the life of this part be connected to how long the memory of our life exists in the collective, i.e. for as long as our life is remembered? Could this be in part why our ancestors placed such great importance on their own ancestry, on remembering their own ancestors, and why we still remember the dead at certain festivals? Could the living forgetting to honour this be why we sometimes get ghosts, haunted fragments of memory from lives gone by seeking recognition? I put these questions on the table for your consideration. 

Speaking of the dead, nor do I look at the charts because I’m looking for something astrological that might have triggered the death, although that sometimes does present itself without being the kind of thing that could have been predicted.

Really I do it because it’s a way to connect in some way with that person in that significant moment, a way to remember them. It’s like putting on their music or looking at their art. This process can deepen our feelings of loss, but at the same time it connects us with the undying parts of them, and this is comforting. 

In this case, it also presented a puzzle. I won’t be doing a detailed analysis of Stan Lee’s astrology in this piece. Instead I will be talking about his chart as an example of my thought process when handed a chart with no time of birth. When this happens and I am unable to find physical evidence of the time of birth the first thing is that this is not completely devastating – you can still get a lot of helpful information out of the chart without knowing the time of birth. The focus of much of this information will be on the psychological character and personality dynamics of the individual, what will be missing is the interpretation of the chart in terms of the houses or temples which means that we won’t see how that character and personality will express itself as a life path with experiences. We will be able to tell for example that a certain chart has an angry or frustrated or short tempered quality to it, but we won’t be able to tell where it will express that or encounter it in life. It could show up directly in their own personality and identity (a 1st house/temple manifestation) or it could manifest in their choice of partners (a 7th house/temple manifestation) for example. Basically without a time we lose some of the specifics of how things manifest but we still know the essence of what is manifesting.

Here is the chart for Stan Lee with no birth time:

Stan Lee

As a general rule when I do not have the birth time I set it to midday of the day in question. Then I will interpret the chart ignoring all of the temples including the ascendant and midheaven. Those elements are discarded. Instead I will focus on the planets in signs and the aspects between the planets.

In this initial look at the planets in signs and their relationships with each other, things will often stand out and the placement of certain parts of the chart in certain temples will suggest itself based on what I know of the individual and their life experiences. For example, if the chart is evenly divided with many oppositions in a single pair of signs (such as a bunch of planets in Taurus all opposing a bunch of planets in Scorpio) and I know that the individual has long struggled in life with family and career matters being the main sources of stress, I will start to wonder if either Taurus or Scorpio are on the midheaven or the IC at the cusp of the 4th and 10th houses, since this would fit. To figure out whether Taurus or Scorpio are more likely in this case I will consider that Taurus on the midheaven probably means that Leo rises while Scorpio on the midheaven probably means that Aquarius rises. If either of these two signs looks more like the rising sign it suggests one or the other possibility. If the rest of the chart then fits I know I have found a potential candidate for the birth time – it may be somewhere within the range of time that causes that particular rising sign to rise at that particular location (usually a range of about 2 hours).

When looking at the planets in this process there is one in particular that is of special interest and significance and which I will look at first, and that is the Moon. The first thing to say is that the Moon will normally make some aspects over the course of that day, and if those aspects are telling enough it can really help to narrow things down to a particular time of day. But before that I eyeball if the Moon is near the beginning or the end of any of the zodiac signs because that will mean that I’m dealing with a day when the Moon probably changes signs at some point during the 24 hours. In these cases, the Moon sign becomes a helpful and important clue in determining what the birth time might be, since the personality will show one kind of Moon sign or another. Sometimes this is problematic because there are other objects present in those signs and it can become tricky to distinguish the influence of those planets from the influence of the Moon. For example, you might have a chart with Sun in Capricorn and Mercury and Venus in Aquarius, and you are trying to figure out whether the Moon is in Capricorn or Aquarius. That’s a tough call and you have to look closely at the personality involved to pick the different strands apart but even then you can’t really be certain. In other cases, however, the Moon is alone or isolated enough for this not to be a problem. This is the case in the chart for Stan Lee, and I will now explain how it helps us to identify potential birth times.

The first thing to do is to figure out when (to the minute) the Moon actually changes from one sign to another. You look this up in an ephemeris for that day. In this case Stan could have either the Moon in Aries or Taurus and so we need to just find out when on his birthday (December 28th 1922) the Moon changed from Aries to Taurus. In this case this happened at 6:13 AM. So now we know that if Stan Lee had Moon in Aries it had to be before this time, in other words between midnight and 6:13 AM. Every chart after this time will have the Moon in Taurus. If you were a betting person, the odds would greatly favour Taurus by about 3 to 1. 

Having done this I will then take the smaller section of time, in this case the time when the Moon is in Aries. I will look at the ascendants that are possible for this period of the day. Between midnight and 6:13 AM the ascendant of New York travels from 5° Libra to 19° Sagittarius. This means that only Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius can be the rising sign for this Moon in Aries. The personality archetype of Moon in Aries is in this specific case married to these three rising signs and one of them must be his ascendant if the Moon is in Aries.

If the Moon is in Taurus instead, his rising sign can be anything but Scorpio. It includes Sagittarius because after 19° of Sagittarius rises, the Moon will be in Taurus. It includes Libra because right at the end of the day Libra begins to rise (another way of saying this is that if he has Libra rising and Moon in Taurus, he must be born very near the end of the day).

amazing spder manWhat this research helps with is eliminating a portion of the day as a viable period. If it seems to us more likely that Stan Lee has Moon in Aries (brash, bold, combative, never bashful) then we have to put more weight on a time somewhere between midnight and 6:13 AM. If however it seems to us more likely that he has Moon in Taurus (cautious, practical, slow, simple and uncomplicated) then we have to put more weight on a time after 6:13 AM. It’s possible of course that the qualities I have just listed arise from other chart factors (for example the Aries qualities might arise from his Mars) and this is where an understanding of the aspects between the planets in a chart is helpful. If there are no aspects or planets in signs which supply similar qualities, the evidence becomes more concrete.

In this case I would note the conjunction of Mars with Uranus in Pisces (since this can be somewhat hyperbolic, volatile and even combative) and the opposition between the Sun and Pluto (which could also produce a brash and intense personality) as well as the potential opposition between a Moon in Taurus and Jupiter in Scorpio (hyper-exaggeration) which would happen at the end of the day. In the case of Stan Lee we also have to account for several things in any chart which we eventually settle on as being accurate:

  • Hyperbolic language
  • Rags to riches story
  • Questionable business decisions
  • Legal battles
  • Creation of an artistic universe
  • Reinvention of an artistic medium
  • Mass appeal to a global audience

Given all of this data I will then begin to look at all the potential candidates for a birth time, and I will select one that best seems to account for what I know about the person. Events from their life (about 10 spread apart in years) are matched against the charts, especially against the ascendant and midheaven and the Moon. This is where a lot of the detective works goes on. 

In this case after a day or two of work I decided that as far as I can tell at this stage Stan was probably born sometime in the early hours after midnight, giving him a Moon in Aries (in the 7th) with Libra Rising, possibly with Saturn on the ascendant. Mars conjunct Uranus in Pisces is in the 5th, Jupiter in Scorpio is in the 2nd in a grand trine with Mars/Uranus in Pisces and Pluto in Cancer in the 9th but conjunct the midheaven, while the Sun is slightly off the IC and into the 3rd. Other possibilities are also very strong (Sun and Mercury in 3rd with Jupiter in Scorpio rising and Neptune in Leo in the 10th, for example) but most of the most promising charts had a Moon in Aries and therefore indicate a birth time sometime before 6:13 AM. But I consider myself on very shaky ground and would still focus on planets in signs and aspects over houses and the angles if Stan were here asking me questions. 

To continue this work further I would study all the potential charts starting with the most likely and match them against ALL known events in life paying particular attention to the four angles of the chart in question to see what was happening in those places at the time of those events. If nothing major is happening at any of those angles or to them in most of the known events, and no other way to account for that event presents itself (for example, a major Pluto transit to the Moon or Sun) I will consider discarding the chart or at least move on to studying a new one to see if it fits better. If it is a near fit sometimes I will tweak or adjust the angles in the chart, trying to make it fit the timing of known events like a shoe. If I find instead that major things are happening in the angles of that chart in most of the known events I will consider it a very strong candidate and I will then study it much more closely to see if it manages to account for all of the known major life events. If it manages to do so, I will consider it a practically accurate chart.

For me it is not important to completely identify your own birth time to the precise second and minute even in many cases, it is usually only necessary to get into the ballpark figure area because in most cases this is all you really need to practically work with your own chart. The temples will fall into place and the timing of forecasts will be accurate enough that you won’t be able to tell the difference in many cases between the rectified chart and one for which the birth time was accurately recorded at the moment of birth, and in cases where the birth time is way off the practical approach to astrology I suggest taking means that you will soon find out that your own chart is inaccurate. 

The Golden Orchard: On Virgo

Greetings! 🙂 And welcome back to Journeys. I took a break this month to take care of a persistent cold but I am back now to share with you an end of month post on Virgo. If you enjoy this post, please show your support by becoming a Patron.


“The devil is in the details” (Old phrase)
“God is in the details” (Older phrase)


To know Virgo is to be blessed in the way that we are all blessed when we know we are being cared for by another. Virgo is a sign with a simple and clean exterior behind which lie far more complicated realities. Of all the 12 signs it is the one that requires a little more careful and diligent meditation and reflection before its inner nature becomes clear. Part of this is because the symbolism of Virgo, the Virgin, acts to conceal its mystery – our attention is directed to chastity and the mostly negative connotations of not having had sex in a highly sexualized society. However, the precise and analytical mindset of this sign requires a high degree of quality control. Once this quality control is enabled, the naked form of Virgo reminds us not of a humiliating inexperience and naivete but of purity and the immaculate.

For this is truly a Maiden more than she is a virgin, it is a powerful young woman who is fruitful and untainted by the corruption of the adult world or the sexual advances of men. She is a bearer of fruitful gifts in all of her depictions, almost universally reaching forth with her hand/s bearing a symbol of harvest time. Mindful of her duties, attentive and observant of nature, She understands that harvesting the bounty of beauty from nature is an ongoing labour. In this, she is both a tree bearing fruit and a blacksmith hammering away at an anvil. Virgo is a sign which teaches us how to produce things and how to optimise and improve them, and it’s virgin nature is more about reaching an elemental purity of method and solution than it is about anything that does or does not happen between the sheets.

Below I have presented you with some examples of the qualities of Virgo as they might appear in a person’s character. Always remember that these examples are only meant as a guideline to get you started on your own inner reflection and your own observation of what Virgo means in your life.



Sense of Duty


Self Deprecating
Anal Retentive
Over Analysing
Unending Servitude
Detail Fixation













As the image above shows, I wrote this post as Venus was with Spica in Virgo.

The northern hemispheres spring equinox occurred in the constellation of Virgo 15,000 years ago and many date the constellation as having an even older history. The stars of Virgo have taken the shape of a maiden goddess or a furrow or plough in human awareness for many thousands of years and are considered among the oldest of constellations. Some think that they are part of the inspiration for the modeling of the Sphinx, which bears the form of both Leo and Virgo.

Around the 10th century BC in the Babylonian culture the constellation is divided into two parts, named “The Furrows” and “Frond of Erua”, both of which have the same imagery we use today for Virgo, an agricultural instrument and a woman holding forth a palm frond. The Furrows were anciently connected to the goddess Shala and her ear of grain. Shala is an ancient Sumerian goddess not just of the harvest and grain but also the principle of compassion, for the ancients believed that a bountiful harvest was provided at the mercy of the gods. She is wife to the fertility god Dagon and was often depicted associated with lions. Today a mountain on Venus, Shala Mons, is named after her.

To some of the ancient Egyptians Virgo was the literal body of the goddess Isis, sister–wife of Osiris and mother of Horus (embodied in the constellation Taurus, especially by its red eye Aldebaran, while Osiris himself was in turn thought to inhabit the constellation Orion). This identifies her as the giver of the magic of agriculture and planting as well as the mother of magic in general. She is shown in the earliest known bas-relief zodiac depiction found at the Temple of Denderah, now on display in the Louvre, as a wingless but radiant woman holding a sheaf of wheat, offering humanity the magic of agriculture and the harvesting of crop. Particles dropped from the sheaf were believed to form the Milky Way.

The Greeks, as is often the case, offer several incarnations of the celestial. Early Greek astronomy associates the constellation with Demeter, goddess of the Earth, and here the stars seem to gain associations with tragedy and loss when her daughter Persephone is stolen away by Hades, leading to her decision to withdraw her grace from the Earth during the winter months. Thus these stars were a highly significant factor in the initiations of the Eleusinian mystery schools. According to her tale Persephone is the inspiration or spirit of spring and at one time the surface of the Earth was a garden of perpetual springtime. When Hades the King of the Underworld falls in love with Persephone and abducts her, the Earth turns into a frigid wasteland. Zeus intervenes to save mankind, forcing Hades to return Persephone to Demeter. But when Hades gives her a pomegranate Persephone violates a stricture from Zeus that she must not eat the food of the Underworld, and so she is bound to return to it and to Hades for four months of every year, these months being the four months when the constellation of Virgo is not visible in the sky at night, the nights of late autumn and winter time.

The Greeks also associate her with Erigone, a dark fated maiden whose father, a follower of Dionysus, is killed by shepherds who drink his wine and think they are poisoned. Erigone is led to her fathers grave by her faithful hound, Maera, and when she discovers what has happened she is so overcome with despair that she hangs herself, and Maera jumps off a cliff. Too late, Dionysus sees them and sets them in the heavens, Erigone as Virgo and Maera as Canis Minor, the Puppy. So at this time they are accruing a darker, more tragic significance (which is perhaps a reflection of the decline of Goddess worship and the rise of monotheism).

These darker themes are also present in the stories associated with Dike, the goddess of Justice, who was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Here the notion is much more clearly about a fall or descent of humanity into a more barbaric state. According to Aratus’ account of the constellation’s origin Dike was, like Persephone, a goddess who lived upon Earth during the Golden and Silver ages, when there were no wars or diseases, people lived bountifully and did not yet know how to sail on water. These early humans grew greedy, however, and Dike was repulsed by this. She proclaimed, quite prophetically:

“Behold what manner of race the fathers of the Golden Age left behind them! Far meaner than themselves! but you will breed a viler progeny! Verily wars and cruel bloodshed shall be unto men and grievous woe shall be laid upon them”. — Aratus, Phaenomena 123

Dike then departed the Earth for the sky, from which, as the constellation Virgo, she watched the decline of the human race into the Bronze Age, when war and diseases arose and they learned how to sail.

Virgo is also firmly linked to the Greek goddess of innocence and purity, Astraea. Astraea is a minor but important goddess from Greek mythology. Known as the “Star Maiden” or “Star Goddess”, she is best known for being the last immortal to live among the humans on Earth before leaving in disgust of humanity’s brutality and wickedness. According to the creation myth, Zeus sent Pandora down to Earth as a punishment to man. Because of her curiosity, she opened the box the gods had warned her not to, and let the plagues of hate, envy, sickness, etc. out into the world. Of course, Hope did not escape, but the Earth was just unbearable. One by one, the gods returned to the heavens to live. Astraea was the last to leave. She became the constellation Virgo, and according to legend, when the Golden Age comes again, Astraea will return to the Earth.


During the Middle Ages Virgo becomes firmly religiously associated with the Virgin Mary, and also in this period the constellation formally adopts its huge pair of wings which engulf the sky around it. Although this is not the first time the virgin nature of these stars has been emphasized it seems to be the time when the modern conception of the figure began to lean in this way. Agricultural magic became less important for common folk to possess after the Industrial age and certainly into the Information and Computer age.

In our mythology Virgo has represented fruitfulness and fertility for tens of thousands of years, but this wondrous constellation has also proved its fruitfulness in ways undreamed of by the ancients. We know now that this constellation is the home of an immense cosmic cluster, a nexus made up of many thousands of galaxies some 65 million light-years away, but still visible here with a telescope. There are currently 35 verified exoplanets orbiting 29 stars in Virgo and it’s also home to the first quasar (an extremely luminous and active galactic nucleus) ever to be identified.

Two stars of Virgo have more cultural significance than the others, Vindemiatrix in the right wing or hand (which lies about 109 light years away and is a giant star ten times bigger than our Sun) and Spica, the bright star in the outstretched left hand (a binary star system about 250 light years from Earth). The name of the former star is from the Greek for ‘grape gatherer’ because in classical Greece the appearance of this star as a heliacal rising star was the signal to gather the grapes. This has led the star to become astrologically associated with wines, things which ripen and the ripening time for all things, even today after thousands of years when the star no longer gives this seasonal signal. Spica, one of the brightest stars in the sky, is the gift of wheat offered by the goddess, the instruction in the practical magic of spells and control over Elemental nature.

The Irish goddess Brigid also has a powerful connection to these stars, being a goddess of both fertility and the forge, two of the principle analogies of Virgo. It is possible that these stars were involved in ceremonies for Brigid or some of her earlier forms (she seems to be a triple goddess), but to date I have been unable to uncover any evidence of this. Brigid is said to have been one of the Tuatha, the mound builders who visited this world through the sacred sites of Ireland. 

So, tracing the lineage of this constellation, again and again we encounter the same symbolism across all major cultures – this is a woman with all the magic and power that comes with it, and she bears with her in her hands gifts, precious things which allow us to cultivate nature and elevate ourselves. She has been associated with most goddesses simply because she is the lone female figure of the zodiac. As Isis, she grasps the ankh and the secrets of magic. As Mary, she holds the innocent child. And as Persephone or other harvest goddesses, her arrival brings nourishment and a renewal of life. These stars are in resonance with the discoveries of agriculture, the earliest farming techniques and harvesting of resources before winter time, the secrets of seed planting and the magic of making things flourish and ripen. This is a practical magic that yields fruits and grains, wines and cornucopia of all kinds. Its connection to reason and intellect and to goddesses of justice and law arises because these matters require careful evaluation, weighing and a harvesting of facts from opinions and accusations that facilitates practical and dispassionate judgment. So our zodiacal sign Virgo is connected with all these qualities and they have developed through the zodiac into an expression of the Earth Element that is tidy, neat, orderly, precise and calculating, yet also helpful, polite and pragmatically intelligent. The chastity and innocence have become simplicity and shyness and the knowledge of the magic of the harvest have become the light of reason and the gifts of scientific thinking. Her transition from being a powerful and mighty sorceress and a Goddess with the magic to change the shape of the land to a symbol of chastity and innocence and finally one of reason and the benefits of logic is a telling journey which symbolically depicts the relationship of humans to the cultivation of the fruits of the Earth.



Virgo is the second sign in the Earth triplicity (Taurus and Capricorn complete the triad) and it is the mental plane focused Earth sign, so it’s appropriate that the ruler is Mercury. It is a Mutable/Reactive sign, thus it is innately changeable and flexible, as well as an Earth sign, signifying it is characteristic of the Earth Element in an experimental state that is in an adaptable flux or mutation, specifically one of purification or refinement. Reactive Elements are more pliant and malleable than other manifestations of the Elements. These signs are the times of year in which the seasons are in transition from one state to another. They can be visually perceived as spirals of energy which reach both into the past (the sign before) and the future (the sign following), with the more Electrically inclined signs (Gemini, Sagittarius) tending towards futurism, and the more Magnetically rooted ones (Pisces, Virgo) inclining to evaluation of the past.

Virgo is conscious, then, of the hard, practical work that has gone and must continue to go into things to create perfection, working integration, wholeness and purity. A strong Virgo nature is work conscious, helpful, meticulous, discriminating, pure, logical, practical, health conscious and hard working when there is something to harvest at the end of a season. It wants to help or assist and often provides aid or charity in immediately useful and measurable form. Its virtue is its innocence or purity, the Maiden of course representing this in human terms with her implicit virginity. The Maiden is of old a symbol of the youthful face of the triple Goddess, a figure of innocence and purity and this was reflected in the many fertility rites which took place in cornfields and meadows during the Virgo month (the leaving of offerings from the harvest for example). Virgo is the innocent and pure awareness of the young or adolescent, the method of the seed planter, the discriminating intelligences that instinctively obey the physical laws of time and nature, an energy which sifts, dilutes, purifies and refines raw materials under a microscope of natural laws. The innocence of Virgo is really its innocence in the face of the ways of the flawed adult world with its complex machinations and manipulations, and its keen mind is really an acute observation of physical nature. Virgo is simple and natural. It prefers no artificial flavourings or preservatives, literally and figuratively. It relates to people by taking them at face value, but it often quietly analyses their words and actions, sometimes excessively.

Among the signs positive qualities are a purity that stems from this innocence and simplicity, a love of improving things in a helpful way, an astute and precisely tuned objectivity and an ability to bring method to any madness. Its changeability is in its willingness to incorporate new facts and to revise a hypothesis. According to hermetic philosophy all things move and change, in many different ways. Everything vibrates, and its vibration is a unique signature. The Earth Element is no exception; it is just slow to human perception. Not always, though – sometimes it simply buries whole towns or cities, even countries. This is one of its more obvious forms of mutability, when it is liquidated by excessive Water (flood) or Fire (quake) and turns to mud or an avalanche of dust. But there are other, more subtle, movements of Earth which give rise to its mutability. Particles of dirt on the wind brush up against mountains and change their faces over the crawl of eons of millennia, and rocks make epic journeys that last millions even billions and trillions of years, just ask any of them.

woman-159549_1280Yet these are literal manifestations of the Earth Element using a literal analogy – weight and density. The reality of the Earth Element is not so limited – it is the architect of shape and structure, the manifest potential of all 4 Elements and their cohesion into a magical form. Reactive Earth is both supple and substantial, being a dense and thick Element which is tensile and can be distilled, or purified. Virgo can be likened to celestial grain passing through a cosmic sieve, or Light splitting through a prism. This distillation – where a slow heat (the carefully applied attention) gives off vapours (pure thoughts, stripped of flaws and faults) that condense (become manifest) into methods and forms is the pattern of behaviour Virgo identifies with. It is akin to analytical process, to scientific processes that pare away the spoiled and corrupted materia to leave only the virgin essence. It strains away imperfection through logic like Spock but emotionally it is not fully aware that it is doing it and so sometimes strips away the nutrients, the essential meaning.

Virgo appreciates an order of things above all else and works practically to ensure things run smoothly and that purity is not compromised. They are purists in the truest sense being attuned to the harvest time in nature when corn and wheat are gathered representing the distillation of all previous hard work by the workers, who must now separate the spoiled from the unspoiled. It is a practical sign that knows how to cultivate, harvest, measure, ration and store things. Generally, it takes great care and pays diligent attention to details, tends to be methodical and analytical, and is very precise and detail oriented. It represents a need to be of service to society and therefore positions its intellect and hands in areas where they feel most helpful. Virgo is perfectionist and capable of making very fine distinctions and discriminations. It radiates analytical intelligence and a clean edged vital energy (that is, a kind of Earthy wholesomeness or healthiness), and is keen to mend and constantly improve and self perfect, to align with essential pure values. It has simple, modest needs but is frequently shy or humble about sharing them. Strangely it does not often seek help or enjoy being helped, as this strikes it as somewhat unnatural, it being an intelligence that prefers to be the helper.

The sign is systematic in developing and executing ideas. To the Virgo perception quality supersedes quantity, perfection is the goal, and flaws are best eliminated (and chances for success logically rise) when all the fine points are scrutinised under a microscope. There is compassion, but it is not sentimental. Virgo hardly ever acts without considering the ramifications and consequences for other people, and if it does so it sees it as a mistake. This is a deeply natural form of altruism more commonly associated with Pisces, with the difference that Virgo compassion and sensitivity to others is not emotional and transcendent but pragmatic and physical. To Virgo we are all tiny but critical parts of a whole, the whole being society, whereas to the Pisces the whole is something more ethereal.

With Virgo in the limelight there will typically be a lot of books and papers and many writing tools. A desk or study area will often be a much lived in spot, so the sign helps make natural writers, editors, analysts and students, but also healers, organisers and helpers. Gemini is frequently on the midheaven or involved in the 10th temple when Virgo rises, often bringing about such talents, but it is really the observant, detail oriented nature of Virgo that gets the work done. The dry nature of Virgo creates a detached mental perspective that is able to shrewdly and crisply analyze and present ideas, give advice or supply care with diligence but without mushiness, and it is especially good when dealing with facts so the sign often produces excellent researchers too. There is often a love of studying and learning for the purpose of becoming knowledgeable and being able to inform others more helpfully. Generally a very tidy, hygienic and neat sign, tending to be minimal and to favour earthy tones like green and brown and with an uncomfortable dislike of clutter, Virgo can also go the other way and live in chaos but it will still be uncomfortable and will actually make itself ill more often this way – the sign is very much sensitized to the mind-body relationship. Frequently there will also be a beloved pet. Virgo just loves to take care of things.


Virgo is supported by and supportive of objects in the other Earth signs, Taurus and Capricorn, as well as the two Water signs Cancer and Scorpio. It clashes most dramatically with the other Reactive signs, finding a polar opposite in Pisces and a messy set of challenges with the puzzling Gemini and Sagittarius.

Taurus and Virgo are an extremely productive team as both of these signs harmonise with the others intention to get busy with work. The conservative nature of Taurus agrees with the assessment of Virgo that things are best saved for later rather than indulged in excessively now, and the high physical yield of Taurus gives Virgo plenty of resources with which to do what comes naturally to it – dividing up the spoils and ensuring that they are used efficiently. With Capricorn, the relationship is more about order and productivity. Both signs are dear to responsibility but Virgo (unlike Capricorn) does not like to assume it. The two signs work well in managerial roles and at making sure that things run as they should and on time and with respect to the rules. They also find their talents combine well together in planning and in organising structures and systems. The dryness of Virgo finds an easy remedy in both Cancer and Scorpio. The analytical and intellectual caring nature of Virgo which wants to help finds in Cancer a partner with a natural instinct to protect and care for others but with greater awareness of the emotional needs. So, while Cancer often needs to know more practical ways to help people improve their situations, Virgo often needs to understand how they are feeling and the two signs excel at teaching one another a way of being which draws on both. With Scorpio, however, the chemistry is concerned with the observant and perceptive nature of both of these signs. This combination can result in a perfect detective, someone who is able not only to deduce the correct solution to a puzzle through an exacting and methodical analysis of the facts but who is also able to make intuitive leaps verging on the psychic and uncover insights into the hidden psychological dimensions and motives of the people and the problem, especially in the emotional area where Virgo is lacking. These combined qualities not only make good detective skills but also analytical skills and research skills in almost any area.

Problems arise with Gemini because it is too restless and jumps to conclusions in the perspective of Virgo, while to Gemini, Virgo just doesn’t know how to have fun with facts, people or ideas. The argument between these two signs boils down to the question of whether or not there is an ultimate answer to anything, with Gemini always producing more questions and Virgo disregarding many of those questions as irrelevant or impractical. However the two signs energise one another in the pursuit of knowledge. With Sagittarius the clash is less intellectual and more existential, and highlights the difference in approach between detail oriented research and general umbrella oriented research. Virgo is a number cruncher that assimilates facts into practical working knowledge, while Sagittarius is a roaming vagabond of philosophical inquiry that wants to understand the universal and general principles of things rather than the minutiae of how they work. Sagittarius seeks to encompass greater and wider horizons of experience, often leading to God or some higher intelligence, while Virgo is busy in the chemical and sub- quantum realms trying to crack the God particle. Yet both are in essence seeking something pure and elusive – truth.

Holism is analogous to Virgo, for Virgo is seeking the clean and whole in all things, and being a sign of Mercury this is often in a scientific way, experimenting, comparing and recombining individual experiences into new theories, systems and routines, testing them against established facts and raw data, and continuing the refinement, always elaborating on the details and methods involved and always sharing what it learns to improve the whole. It is a wholesome sign given to the love of natural methods. This holistic analogy is part of what connects it with its polar partner in the zodiac, Pisces, which takes a more mystical approach of merging into a whole through uniting with its essence. We can say that on a simplified level these two signs are the polarity “I want to believe” (Piscean) and “Where is the proof?” (Virgoan) – Mulder and Scully. These approaches appear opposites, but on a subtler level they are unified because the believer also wants the evidence and the one wanting the evidence also wants to know what to believe. They differ only in approach and form, not essence, like all polarities. Virgo/Pisces I define as the refining processes, the natural processes through which things are made to be more essential, pure and undiluted expressions of their own uniqueness. These are Reactive Earth and Water Elements, which means they are both very responsive, sensitive signs that mutably adjust to their surrounding stimulus. There is often a theme of order vs. chaos in their interaction. They act to protect, shield, conserve and nurture the supply of essential meaning as it moves from one state to another and thus we find that in serving others by helping them to embrace the compassionate and the essential we educate our bodies in healthy behaviour, learning about the physical and astral and gradually but unceasingly mounting in wisdom. As Virgo experiences show us the way we become more pragmatic in applying the most abstract and mystical of physical lessons; the mystery adds up, the puzzle pieces fit into place and the present moment becomes the place where perfection is forged like a blade in the smithy.



Virgo is symbolically associated with all forms of grain and all seeds for planting, as well as with the tools and agricultural infrastructure of farming, with instruments of the forge and industry (mills, turbines), with small creatures including microbes and other microscopic life as well as even smaller units of life, with trees that bear fruit, with animals that humans have domesticated, with soft rock, clay and mud as well as fields and meadows lacking in flower and with all animals that are known to help others (dolphins aiding swimmers for example, but look at the details and you will soon find things like monkeys grooming one another, bats which feed their sick to help recovery, ants which link their bodies together to form ladders or rafts across water, and many other examples of biological altruism). Many animals also have healing abilities (dogs, cats, bees and even snakes since their venom can be used to treat blood clots and strokes) and almost all animals with a strong sense of smell have an ability to sniff out disease, all of which is symbolically connected with Virgo. Study and learning, dairies, libraries, accountancy, cleaning and repairing are also analogous with Virgo and its herbs and plants are of the dominion of Mercury and include maidenhair, dill, celery, azalea, bryony, wild basil, carrot, mulberry tree, parsley, parsnip, oregano, hopclover, coltsfoot, fennel, myrtle, reeds, beans, aniseed and valerian. The sacred trees of Mercury are the Aspen, Walnut, and the Hazelnut.

The essence of Virgo energy is the harvest which is founded upon the practicality and productivity of the Earth Element when it is stimulated by the rapidity and ingenuity of Mercury. In the human body this is analogous to gut reactions (instincts) being stimulated by intellectual rationality. This sign naturally relates to the solar plexus chakra (as the capacities of classification and analysis, conformity, selfless serving and devotion) and the abdominal region including the intestines and gut, the spleen, bowels, diaphragm and belly, the process of digestion in the large intestine and the act of chewing things over and over, breaking them down into smaller and smaller bits whilst retaining an instinct for the taste of the whole, the colours of golden and yellow-green as well as all muted and subtle Earth tones and shades, the direction south west, the musical note G, the Hebrew letter Yod (‘Hand’), the magic of The Hermit, the Kabbalistic Path from Tiphareth to Geburah (called the consciousness of Disposition), and with complex yet ordered orchestral compositions. It’s alchemical process is distillation while its astrological process can be described as refining, externalising, form building, reactive and rooted in the mental plane.

Geographically it is the Sun sign of the current charts for Poland (1989), Russia (1991), Uruguay (1825), Trinidad and Tobago (1962), Qatar (1971), Brazil (1822), North Korea (1948) Malaysia (1963) and Venezuela (1830). Generally Virgo is connected with all natural locations low down and connected with agriculture (such as farms and fields, dairies, granaries and breweries etc), while inside it is connected with generally lower ground study areas, books and libraries and places where grains or writing implements are stored (including typewriters, word processors and computers used for these purposes), places where accounts are made or kept and with cupboards and other storage areas, medical cabinets, food storage, and with places where things used to restore physical objects are kept such as sewing machines and DIY kits, as well as with the servants quarters of large houses.

Virgo sun sign can be seen in the charts for Elizabeth I, Goethe, Tolstoi, Dante, Stephen King, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Augustus Caesar, Roy Castle, Peter Sellers, Mary Shelley, Charlie Sheen, and Buddy Holly. Virgo Moon sign can be seen in the charts for Alexander Graham Bell, Dolly Parton, Dustin Hoffman, Henri Mancini, Cheiro, Jack Nicholson, Jodie Foster, Sean Connery, John Travolta, L. Ron Hubbard and Madonna. An accurate Virgo ascendant can be found in the charts for Mozart, Woody Allen, Elvis Costello, Raphael, Charlotte Bronte, Peter Sellers, Oprah Winfrey, Marlene Dietrich, Harold Lloyd, Walt Disney, David Copperfield, Yoko Ono, Barbara Stanwyck and Howard Hughes.




When the Virgo nature is un-equilibrated or shadowed it can be hyper-critical, petty, fussy, dull, tediously unsatisfied, boring, over-skeptical, constipated and perfectionist. Virgo tends to find fault in things as it searches for ways to make them pure and serviceable, but by only looking for the cracks it can actually lose sight of the natural purity that pre-exists in everything. The donut is the thing, not the hole in its middle. A fixation on method and detail leads perception away from essence and source – on making the hole a perfect circle, not on the taste of the dough. An innate desire to be of help and service can become perverted into an attitude that always knows best and finds endless things wrong with the way things are actually being done. A need to be perfect becomes perpetual imperfection. Method then becomes obsessive order and the need for clean tidiness becomes distaste or hatred of mess, mud, chaos and dirtthe emotions of the self included. Purity becomes impurity and unworthiness. The awareness then spends all its time inefficiently correcting things that others would consider insignificant details (no detail is insignificant to Virgo) and never being content with the end results. It drives people away.

So the quest for physical perfection and exactitude must often be re-oriented away from the criticism of others and of physical matter itself, and redirected as positive personal qualities such as exactness, adherence to facts, and so on, and the need to help and service others must come from a humble place born of the recognition that nobody ever possesses all the facts. In other words, the critical nature must be largely confined to the self (unless solicited) and only the helpful nature given to others.

Wherever Virgo falls in a chart there will be a tendency for ‘splitting hairs’ – making ever more precise and refined distinctions and comparisons about the differences between things. It can become lost in this mind maze just as surely as a Gemini, led astray by the endless splendour of Mercury. The negative display of Mercury here is in the signs corrosive qualities like perfectionism, fussiness, problems with organisation (too much is just as bad as too little) and a niggling and annoying sense that nothing is pure or perfect. An overemphasis on this sign can make a person come across as a pointy headed intellectual, blocked by their own analytical processes or constantly worrying over tiny matters to which they attrribute great importance.

This is a constipated sign – meaning it tends to over digest and retain things, unlike Gemini the other sign ruled by Mercury – and this over digestion often turns to worry and anxiety about things going wrong because they are not (and never will be) exactly ‘right’. For this reason Virgo is the most hypochondriac of the 12 zodiac signs, given to thinking and worrying so much about that little pain or rash that they come to believe it is something far more serious than it is, and this belief can have such a substance to it given the power of the Earth Element that thought leads the body in that direction. So one of the most important things that Virgo has to overcome in its darkness is the capacity for its analytical and critical mind to reveal so many flaws and imperfections that constant worry and anxiety disrupts the health. This can develop an extremely negative vicious circle from which Virgo cannot escape until it recognises the involvement of mind with matters of the body. Virgoan planets are obsessed with studying details and putting right impurities which can become a great asset in dispelling its darkness once this connection and its practical importance is realized.

Chaos of all kinds is also extremely disruptive to this signs well-being, and so it is a sign given to being carefully prepared when darkness looms or danger threatens. It keeps the larder well stocked and the medicine cabinet useful in an emergency, and when the blood is on the floor it has a cool head that can save lives. Given the worrisome nature of the sign it may miss important opportunities from procrastinating or analysing, fussing over details or perceived imperfections instead of just leaping into the spirit of the moment and abandoning cautions to the winds. When all else fails, logic of some description is often the guiding spirit for Virgo, and where logic fails the most immediately practical approach is the next preferable alternative – in other words when you don’t know what to do, do something immediately useful, even if it just running for help.

Logic is a potent tool of comprehension but when used alone it becomes as potentially destructive as its absence, for it then opens itself to two dangerous assumptions about the Universe –

a) That what has not been can therefore never be, and
b) That what has been will therefore always be.

The word ‘therefore’ in this analysis being the point of contention, for it often though not always obscures the reality of the whole truth, which to pure logic is infinite in its incomprehensibility. Logic, to be purely effective, must become part of a dual system; for when paired with sensible imagination it makes possible a true ascent like the two wings of the great mountain eagle which lift her to the summit of the sky.


So there is a pragmatic attitude to helping others, a genuine desire to be of service to other people and to improve social conditions because they reflect the whole. This leads the Virgoan person to see many ways in which the order of things can be improved. On deeper analysis, however, this essential pragmatism breaks down utterly…a case in point; were I to mistype the word Virgo for ‘Vergo’ or ‘Viergo’, it would stick out and jar in the Virgo mind. This may itself seem like a minor detail but it is not, and to Virgo the overall intellectual strength of the arguments in this message will be significantly weakened. The desire to correct a mistake to make something better is admirable, but the kindness to automatically overlook and forgive others’ unintentional mistakes without feeling the urge to point them out is also a quality the sign should strive for.

Likewise, the inability to stop counting problems and worrying about them does us no service. Paying such attention to worries often only feeds them energy, draining us of confidence by revealing flaws and fractures in reality everywhere we look. Virgo must learn to separate its natural perception of imperfections and flaws from seeing that something needs work doing to it. It equates them, but it doesn’t have to – a thing can need a great deal of work doing to it, yet it can still be perfectly expressing its essence in form. Perfection is Divine (unaltered by time) in nature and origin and therefore it pre-exists as infinite potential in all created things, which are in the unending process of self perfecting. There is no end result at which perfection is absolute for Virgo to strive for. The relative perfection of a thing is attained when it fully expresses the uniqueness of its individual (innately Divine) nature, and since the individual nature is always revealing more of itself this is not a process with a definitive ending. So Virgo needs to understand perfection as a process more than a goal. All of the rough lead in us is in the process of becoming liquid gold, because of its contact with the Divine within us.

Virgo is often self apologetic, humble and meek in individual expression and has an awkwardness when confronted with highly emotional situations that causes it to shrink back more quickly into the background. All of this can keep them out of public recognition. This may be out of a healthy self image or it may be out of emotional blockage, the Virgo spirit having judged itself or others flawed or imperfect in the past and suppressed the resentment and anxiety beneath a veneer of discriminating detachment. Elimination is a key principle in the health of the Virgo spirit, which can become constipated in many ways, so it is often necessary to purge and purify the mind and body and heart of foolish and demeaning feelings of inadequacy, guilt and frustration.

Others often feel uncomfortable under a Virgos gaze, as if scrutinized for flaws and analysed for imperfections. At the same time Virgo frequently but very quietly wants to be seen as perfect by others and by itself, at least on some level. It has some notion that it must be an exemplar or epitome of some kind carried over from past experience. It can make us feel tremendously gratified when others ask us for the answers to questions, or when they show sincere interest in our opinions or appreciation for the help we provide. Cunning adversaries can play on this. It can also lead us into a form of habitual behaviour where we cover our drive for perfection by being oh-so-lowly, meeker and more self-effacing and humbler than anyone else.

So it sets very high standards for us – often too high. In fact at times it can make us feel our behaviour should always be exemplary and when it obviously isn’t we will get down on ourselves for this ridiculous ‘failure’. In such circumstances we may need to ask why we should set ourself above the rest of mankind when we are so accepting of their faults but not our own. This attitude also detaches and distances Virgo from other people. It may become defensive when questioned and keep useful ideas and opinions to itself out of the fear of criticism or being wrong. So that it may be accepted Virgo can sacrifice integrity, which later makes us feel guilty or sinful and this again puts a degree of distance between us and the world. When the Virgo in us can relax standards not only to others but also towards ourself many barriers to closeness simply disappear. A key approach that I have seen working again and again in this respect with Virgo is to willfully turn attention away from details and onto outcomes. What does it matter if some small detail is missing or flawed, if the overall desired effect is achieved or put across? Try to confine ideas to how things could be improved, not how fake or flawed they are.

This trait of emotional control can become self repressive if feelings are kept locked behind an intellectualized exterior, as Virgo will cut itself off from inner needs and emotional promptings. We can end up dissecting everything we feel in the search for what makes it tick, leaving it in pieces, ultimately feeling ourself to be only a dry and sterile personality. Some things are not improved by taking them apart to see what makes them tick. They are more than the sum of their parts, their essence arising from the way they integrate and interact together. Love is the prime example of this, but art and beauty and concepts like truth also qualify.

The Virgo area of the body equates to the area between the stomach and the hips (especially the bowels, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, spleen and small intestines) and with the functions of assimilation, absorption and the selection and utilization of vital energy from food. Poor health in these areas, such as belly aches, indigestion, constipation, etc. will often be related to this sign. The best and most effective treatment for Virgo afflictions lies in restoring the sense of whole self and its relation to the body, something modern medicine is ridiculously ill equipped to do, but it often involves making changes to diet and thought. The single most important thing that Virgo can do for the bodies and overall health is to think in terms of vitality instead of disease, purity instead of flaw. Herbalism and other natural treatments may be especially helpful too.



Apart from the obvious associations with agriculture and the magic of fruitful, growing things and their harvesting, Virgo has numerous magical properties and powers, many of which remain hidden from humanity awaiting their discovery at some point in the future. As a symbolic representation of the way rational and scientific thought progresses towards conclusions and the improvement of human life Virgo holds the key to many future technologies currently beyond our grasp. One of these, for example, involves the secrets of controlling gravity and the technology which it unlocks (interstellar travel, interdimensional travel, time scrying, temporal and spatial manipulation, force fields, invisibility, teleportation). Although such futuristic technologies are often connected with Aquarius it is the many failed experiments and subsequent analyses and improvements of Virgo leading up to the breakthrough moment that make the breakthrough possible.

Virgo is also connected to the way invention mutates or forces adaptations upon human morality and brings it into some kind of purification. For example, when it is possible for us to turn on our mobile devices or screens and not only watch what is happening elsewhere in the world but also what has objectively happened at some point in ancient history without any recording device being involved (time scrying arrives), then all the lies that have ever been told about history will stand revealed. It will become possible for everybody to view exactly what has happened and to form their own opinion and the media will become irrelevant as we understand it today. Coming alongside this we will have to deal with the fact that so many lies have been told and it will be much harder for conspiracy theories to take root in our consciousness. All of this will force a moral adaptation upon us. Google “trans-humanism” and you will see some good examples of this kind of thing. The development of AI will also be such a development. So, the magic of Virgo is not the flashy, astonishing magic of Aquarius as these things break, it’s the much more subtle and behind-the-scenes magic of how they confront us with moral situations which collectively mature us (at least that is the plan).

In alchemical work Virgo is purification, the process of purging impure qualities from a base substance to bring it closer to perfection. It must go through a process delineated into precise and methodical stages in order to reveal the quintessence, and the mutations and permutations necessary to achieve this come from Virgo and its mutable quality. Virgo is also connected to the magic of corruption and decay – the awareness that everything in the physical universe breaks down and eventually ceases to be is the ultimate end result of Virgo logic. This awareness is what brings meaning to the work we do with the Earth Element while we are here and it is what makes Virgo humble. Additionally, there is a strong connection between Virgo and the magic of the forge, for example with deities like Hephaestus and Vulcan.

Virgo can get worn down or irritated and its astral equilibrium disturbed much more deeply and swiftly by chaos, confusion, a lack of clear objectives, people who are ‘waiting for the right time’ before they do things, by abstraction, lack of definition, lack of relevant details, things getting broken or in need of minor repairs, signs of any physical imperfection, failure, humiliation, being thought of as stupid or dull, the drudgery of routine, a lack of mental rest and constant self criticism. It is uplifted and equilibrium is restored more swiftly when we do something helpful for others, when others do something helpful for us, when work is getting done, when plans start coming together, by intelligent words, fact, logical reasoning and puzzle solving (or just by puzzle piece collecting), when we see vulnerable, sick or helpless people being assisted, by keeping things clean, neat and tidy, by getting organized, and by working with Earth. The deeper our knowing becomes of what Earth signifies for us, the deeper our connection with Virgo can go.


Image by R. Clark

All Earth signs give Form to the Unity. This is why all three of the Earth signs placed on the Gra Tree of Life move in a direction from the middle pillar (the pillar of Unity) towards the pillar of Form. They also are shown moving in a downward direction representing a projection of a seat of awareness deeper into a particular realm. For example, Virgo is the path moving in a downwards direction towards the pillar of Form from the central pillar realm called Tiphareth. This means that at the level of Creation Virgo represents the projection of the spirit through the mental plane towards differentiation – it represents the fact that everything that ever exists is uniquely different to everything else and that the closer we examine it the more of these differences and individual quirks we see. In other words, Virgo is the emanation of the individual spirit as a thing with unique qualities and quantities, specific things which make it different to other things. The essence of Virgo is therefore towards defining things in very precise terms. In human terms, this leads to an emphasis on method and the perfection of method. On an occult level however it represents the magic of defining the powers which are inherent to our individual awareness – in other words, mastery of the mental Elements. It establishes Form on the Mental plane and facilitates the projection of the individual uniqueness and Beauty of the spirit as distinctiveness of Form.

In ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation’ Franz Bardon attributes the 30 spirits of the Earth Zone given to Virgo with the following magical powers: political events in the physical world (1°), inventions (2°), art (3°), flowers (4°), love, harmony and beauty (5°), teaching (6°), speech and writing (7°), protection of the poor and suppressed (8°), alchemical magic and astral immortality (9°), alchemical secrets (10°), success in business, trade or profession (11°), relics, holy places, temples, and all religions (12°), religious rites, rituals and ceremonies (13°), medical doctors (14°), success in business matters (especially with paper, textiles, furs, skins, leather, etc.) (15°), vegetation, agriculture and forestry (16°), sagas, fairy tales and stories (17°), architecture and the art of structural engineering (18°), magical scents (19°), everything connected to physical water (e.g. ships, swimming, diving) (20°), fortune and luck in games, competitions and at the stock exchange (21°), material laws and justice (22°), the mantic arts and the laws of analogy (23°), protection of property (24°), vehicles and means for transportation on dry ground (25°), human consciousness (26°), animals of the air (27°), aeronautic invention and the secrets of gravity (28°), intellect and knowledge (29°), true wisdom and magical secrets (30°). It must be remembered that Bardon repeatedly states that these are just the Heads of the degrees of the zodiac and that many other beings operate beneath them, additionally Bardon has not fully described all of these beings capabilities but has instead provided us with one of their primary magical analogies. In many cases this differs vastly from the astrological ones. In others it does not.

In essence the work of Virgo is in purifying the individual self so that it is equilibrated through acts of helpful compassion – a shared power with others that provides common benefit through practical means. It involves purifying perfectionism and refining criticism and fussiness. The emphasis is on using the Earth Element to reach the ultimate and perfect essence of things. It is a path to comprehending the whole by understanding all the ins and outs, the mechanics of things and how they break down or get repaired, but mostly how they operate as an integrated and healthy whole being.

Child of the Inner Light: On Leo

Greetings and welcome back to Journeys for another in depth post. This month I am sharing with you some thoughts on the sign of Leo. You can find further writing about Leo here and here. If you enjoy this article please consider showing your support for more like it in Patreon


For Dinara

“The cat . . . is for the man who appreciates beauty as the one living force in a blind and purposeless universe…the cat is such a perfect symbol of beauty and superiority that it seems scarcely possible for any true aesthete and civilised cynic to do other than worship it.”
― H.P. Lovecraft, Cats and Dogs

Remember the last time in your life when everything seemed to be passing through darkness? Perhaps it is now, perhaps years ago, but we have all been through such times. Times when dawn is an eternity away, the endless expanse of the night sky with all its glorious stars is completely smothered by gloomy grey clouds, and there seems no end in sight. Depression and sorrow have their own gravity wells which can suck us into a spiralling vortex of despair.

Now, think of something you did to entertain yourself during such a period, something you did to cheer yourself up. Remember the last cartoon or comedian who somehow magically managed to pop your bubble and release you, even if just for a moment, from your personal hell. Remember the last performance you saw by an actor or actress that managed to reach out to you and speak to you about your personal situation without ever really even knowing what it is or even actually existing as a character in real life. Remember the last song that made you want to sing and dance on a day when you didn’t think you could get out of bed. This is the power of Leo. In our darkest hours, when all hope seems lost, Leo rises like the Sun dawning on a new day to remind us that the future is always brightening for the young at heart and the brave. It teaches us about the art of living, the magic of being alive and the many roles we play in life’s strange but often comical dramas.

Yet make no mistake, this beast is red in tooth and claw. It is the consummate predator of the zodiac, regarding itself as the king of the beasts and possessing the qualities to back that up. It is feral and wild at heart, and not a solitary creature but a communal one, dependent upon the notice and company of others. To Leo, it is as if life forever holds up a mirror into which it gazes and its reflection of its own spirit becomes both an bewitching enchantment and a path to self-awareness and enlightenment.

Below I have presented you with some examples of the qualities of Leo as they might appear in a person’s character. Always remember that these examples are only meant as a guideline to get you started on your own inner reflection and your own observation of what Leo means in your life.


Self Respect
Self Love
Self Expressive
Born Leader
Artistic Flair
Hot Spirited
Trust in Life


Your Superior
Attention Seeking
Unable to Share a Spotlight
Burned Out












For about three thousand years, between 6,000 and 3,000 BCE, the stars of Leo were those which were the last seen to rise in the night sky in the east before dawn (heliacal rising stars) on the summer solstice of the northern hemisphere. This period is literally the beginning of recorded history with the emergence of writing, but it also sees the beginning of the Bronze Age and our modern world of agriculture and animal husbandry, with both of these taking root globally and transforming every culture.

As prominent stars of this time they were thus hailed as stars of summer, light, heat and radiance and were of great significance to the Egyptians. At this time of the year in that era the Nile would flood, bringing life back to the parched lands and sustenance to the people. To facilitate and honour this, the Egyptians constructed lion heads through which the gushing waters would be channeled and pour, and this is the origin of the commonly seen lion heads on many fountains today. It is an extremely ancient tradition going back millennia to a deeply magical society.

So there is an early connection with light, summer and waters which bring life (note that opposite these stars, its celestial partner, are the stars of Aquarius the Water-Bearer). For as far back as we can trace, these stars have been symbolised as a lion. It is the later Greek/Roman Nemean Lion (slain by Heracles/Hercules as the first of the 12 Labours), but it was also known to the Mesopotamians, Turks, Indians and Jews as a sacred or divine lion and has mythic and astrological origins stretching back beyond our memory of history.

In the Greek story of Heracles and the Nemean lion (which has an impenetrable hide and lives in a cave where it abducts young women) we seem to have an allegory for the powerful breaking of certain ‘pagan’ cults by an authoritarian religious pantheon – the lion is symbolic of feminine wisdom which was held within these cults, a wisdom which was being supplanted by a patriarchal shift towards masculine strength in world culture. So ‘Hercules’ may be the villain of the story, being a warrior (or series of them) sent out to subdue pagan practices by killing their priestesses and breaking the back of the transmission of their sacred lore. In essence I am saying that there was a time when the anciently great magical and social power that women held in society waned, and the matriarchal rulers were supplanted by predominantly patriarchal ones, and this period is connected to these stars. This breaking of a primarily feminine wisdom is associated most strongly with the star Zosma (Delta Leonis) in the back of the Celestial Lion. The heart, Regulus, is that part of the lion with a ferocious will to fight, but one that is tempered with grace and charm.

So there is in the stars of Leo a possible connection to the tragic mis-balancing of genders – the ‘breaking of the backbone’ of feminine mystery schools and the skewing of our notion of what constitutes strength towards raw, muscular force, an occult mystery which, in part, is what is being encoded in the imagery of the Strength Arcana of the tarot. To be clear; this is a feminine strength and power we are dealing with, not a masculine one. This is clearly shown in all feline characteristics, facial and body features, which are remarkably feminine (unlike those of dogs). We must also bear in mind the matriarchal hierarchy of lion society. This is a Lioness. It needs nothing so crude and course as brute strength to accomplish its will. It needs only its inner light of conviction, its generosity of spirit and its development of poise in the universe.

The star Regulus which serves as the heart of the constellation is a major star in magical tradition and may be regarded from this point of view as a stellar ambassador of the pristine Fire Element, or ‘Divine Light’. For centuries the light of this star has held watch over the births and coronations of imperial and royal families, making it a star whose power is well known in the establishment, particularly in Freemasonic circles. Across the world it is heralded as an influence that brings success, honour and recognition as well as spiritual power, but the ancient astrology of the star (going as far back as Persia) bring warnings about any success being taken away and swift ruin if a nemesis is not avoided at all times, this nemesis being the spirit of revenge. It is certainly a kingly star (and also a queenly star) but its resonance and mythic significance often attach themselves to rulers who are sorely tested and lose all their honour through acts of vengeance. In Persia the tragic king is a legendary figure called Freydun and his story is that he was a beloved and respected ruler of the entire world for over 500 years until his death. He divides the world, giving the two eldest sons the Greek and Roman lands (the west) and central Asia and China (the east), while bequeathing the central kingdom of Iran to his youngest. When his two eldest sons attempt to take the inheritance of their younger brother by killing him Freydun takes revenge on them by giving away everything to his youngest sons grandson, with the result that this great grandson plots additional revenge against the eldest brothers and the spiral of vengeance then brings the kingdom (and thus the world) to ruin. This mythic theme of a noble king being tempted to take terrible vengeance with their power and suffering the loss of everything if they do has occurred in other forms, one of the most popular and well known being the tale of King Arthur, but there are also similarities with the tale of Osiris and other legendary rulers. Disney’s popular animation ‘The Lion King’ is also very resonant with these stars.

So in reality Regulus is a star with heavy karma attached to the misuse of power and thus is a star which punishes those who do so, often spectacularly. Additionally the warnings about not using our power to take revenge would not be necessary if we were never placed in a situation that sorely tempted us to do so, and so the star is not all brilliance and glory but is instead a harsh taskmaster that demands a noble attitude. This is the will that drives the burning heart of Leo – to ennoble and exalt itself, to rise above the petty and embody the majestic. Its spirit is cast down by indignities and crushed by the use of its power to punish those who have wronged it. It can be a soft and generously affectionate pussycat or a ferocious and savage lioness, but it is always a ruler, a sovereign over its own internal light, the light it seeks to share with the world and thereby make it a better place. Little can extinguish its sense of poise in the universe and few things can diminish its development.

In Egypt, the deification of Cat took Earthly form in Bubastis, a major city of worship southwest of Tanis on the eastern banks of the Nile, although the height of its power was not until much later around, 1000-500 BC. Herodotus describes it to us then as follows:

“Temples there are more spacious and costlier than that of Bubastis, but none so pleasant to behold. It is after the following fashion. Except at the entrance, it is surrounded by water: for two canals branch off from the river, and run as far as the entrance to the temple: yet neither canal mingles with the other, but one runs on this side, and the other on that. Each canal is a hundred feet wide, and its banks are lined with trees. The propylaea are sixty feet in height, and are adorned with sculptures (probably intaglios in relief) nine feet high, and of excellent workmanship. The Temple being in the middle of the city is looked down upon from all sides as you walk around; and this comes from the city having been raised, whereas the temple itself has not been moved, but remains in its original place. Quite round the temple there goes a wall, adorned with sculptures. Within the inclosure is a grove of fair tall trees, planted around a large building in which is the effigy (of Bast). The form of that temple is square, each side being a stadium in length. In a line with the entrance is a road built of stone about three stadia long, leading eastwards through the public market. The road is about 400 feet (120 m) broad, and is flanked by exceeding tall trees. It leads to the temple of Hermes.”

Bast or Bastet is the feline goddess of the Egyptian pantheon who is not only the protector of cats and of people but also a deity of warfare in earlier traditions. Many cats lived alongside the people in beautiful Bubastis and were regarded as sacred. Many were mummified and the site is the principle area where mummified cats are found in Egypt. An oracle of Bast dwelt within the temple to the goddess and there was an annual procession and celebration in honour of her which eventually drew many foreigners for visits during the festival. Herodotus (considered a reliable witness by historians) also tells us about this festival, describing it in this colourful way:

“Barges and river craft of every description, filled with men and women, floated leisurely down the Nile. The men played on pipes of lotus, the women on cymbals and tambourines, and such as had no instruments accompanied the music with clapping of hands and dances, and other joyous gestures. Thus did they while on the river: but when they came to a town on its banks, the barges were made fast, and the pilgrims disembarked, and the women sang, playfully mocked the women of that town and threw their clothes over their head. When they reached Bubastis, then held they a wondrously solemn feast: and more wine of the grape was drank in those days than in all the rest of the year. Such was the manner of this festival: and, it is said, that as many as seven hundred thousand pilgrims have been known to celebrate the Feast of Bast at the same time.”

Here we can see some of the imprints passed onto Leo as a zodiac sign with the festival of Bast clearly being a celebration of life and light and joyousness, celebrated through feasting, dancing and the entertainment arts. And it happens in front of a huge audience of 700,000 pilgrims who have come from all over the ancient world. Add in the countless revered cats, and you have what must be heaven to all true Leos.



Leo is a Fixed (or Stable) Fire sign, an emanatory expression of the solar Electric Fluid as forces of externalization, expression and individual life. It is innately creative and noble, heart-centred, regal, courageous, gracious, merciful, artistic, vibrant, flamboyant, generous, confident, self-assured, charismatic and commanding in its presence. The primary virtues of Leo also include (but are not limited to) stellar confidence (i.e. confidence in the unique talents and gifts of ones spirit or nature), spontaneous creativity (improvisation), a bold flair for colour and design, warm humour, talent in entertainment and drama or theatrics, inner radiance, dignity and poise, power being carried gracefully, nobility of spirit, honesty and integrity.

These are some of the key positive qualities that inform the zodiac sign of Leo, but they can result in many effects when cast through the prism of the zodiac. The spiritual child of this Celestial Lion, Leo the zodiac sign, the Stable expression of the Element of Fire, can be easily perceived in our physical world in a flames (or stars) intention to keep burning as brightly and as long as it can. Leo is therefore willfully motivated and wants to hungrily outshine everything around it gloriously. But this is not mere ego (although it can be); it is also exceptionally generous – it wants to shine in order to warm the world into life and, despite having the feral lioness in its heart, it is both soft and romantic for the Leo intuition is that all things want to be adored and most deserve to be. It seems like a fairy tale, and to Leo that is fine. It just knows this is the way it is, and does not care a bit what the rest of us say about it or how things actually work in the grittiness of the world. It knows, in the core of its being, that we are all unique and thus all special, and we deserve to have a chance to show that off in life.

Whereas Earth signs are connected with physical matters, Water signs are connected with emotional matters and Air signs are connected with mental matters, Fire signs are innately connected to the most sublime and subtle of currencies, the substance of life itself. Leo is connected to the inner spark of life within each individual thing which informs it that it is unique and therefore has unique gifts to share with others. It is the part of the Fire Element which embraces life as a creative process but which needs an audience of others in order to witness and receive the emanation of inner light. As a Stable or Fixed sign, this process is about an accumulation of an Element, in this case the Fire Element, which means that the emanation of the inner light in a continuous and ongoing illumination of life does not deplete it but instead there is a feedback loop which actually strengthens the presence and power of the Fire Element as it is emanated. One simple way to understand this is to imagine yourself as a performer on the stage – when the audience reacts to you when you feel connected to the audience because you have their attention, their energy feeds back into your performance and helps to enhance it. Without an audience to watch you, there is no feedback loop and you are left shining into an empty, dark space. The Stable nature of Leo is a chain reaction of creative forces like a nuclear reaction that builds in power the more it receives input (especially adoration) from external sources. This is why it needs to command some kind of spotlight in life, because without it the connection to life itself begins to wither.

Leo is the singular sign of the Sun, an Electric and radiant expression of the spirit as a bright, commanding and self-confident display from a centrally fixed depth point. The creative urge of the Sun given to Leo seeks to warmly animate things to life, to bloom and glamorize them, to illuminate and reveal their beauty. It is a sign that is externally focused and directed toward activity in the mental plane where its spirit is most radiant. The action of Leo is to consolidate and focus individual power and light upon itself and then to radiate that quality outward in all directions as charismatic, impressive and generous creative acts, like the way a lion roars from the depths of its heart when touched by the dawning Sun. It burns with an inner light which refuses to be extinguished and a spirit of dominion which seeks to establish some kind of territory to prowl and shine upon.

Attuned so directly and centrally to the light of the Sun, planets in Leo instinctively sense the divine majesty and power within them, the power to co-create with life, and in some way will seek to consciously channel this into some form of creativity for which they can be recognised and beloved. Another way of looking at this is to say that Leo never really loses the essence of the inner child, and for this reason it engages life in a spirit of play and a sense of the sheer joy of being alive. Leo seeks to reunite with this inner child throughout life, by playing games, expressing it artistically, or showering others with generosity, which they can do, because generally these people look at life as an abundant playground. This is not to say they are not serious – when Leo is aroused to anger, you’d better believe they’re serious! Lion’s claws are savage and direct, giving new dimensions to the phrase ‘brutal honesty’.

So kindness, playfulness and an awareness that life is meant to be enjoyed and even celebrated are also at the heart of Leo. Leo is radiant and utilises the Fire aspect to shine forth an inner light that warms and melts the iciest heart. This sign is the sign of the kitten that pounces as much as the lion that roars, and the two can change places quite quickly. Often the lion will emerge when pride is injured, integrity is questioned or when there is no other option but an all out ferocious attack. At most other times the sign is by default ‘fluffy’ and cuddly in its attitude.


Fortune shines on Leo because it has an innate positive outlook; as the Sun infiltrates the darkest shadow so it also puts Leo in the light and shines a path in hard times, opening new fields of action when it looks as if no visible solution to problems is apparent. Here dwell spirits who are living proof that the power of conscious will and intent is the co-designer, the co-director and the co-creator of our experiences. Life itself always has the ultimate say, and it is also the producer, but Leo sees itself and knows that it is also part of life, and so can determine its own destiny. It embraces this task with gusto. When trounced by life – dumped, made redundant, sick – the spirit of Leo pounces back as soon as possible because it knows this as the best remedy. The immense courage of this creature has nothing to do with the reputation of the lion as a predatory beast, for what courage does it take for the lioness to kill the deer? That is a different instinct. The courage of Leo instead has to do more with the sheer and irrepressible spirit of play in life, the way the kitten immediately runs back to play some more after it is frightened by a noise, and by the indomitable will which is able to resist and overpower that of more villainous and less noble creatures when it is necessary.

Given that the sign must seek some kind of spotlight and given also its Fixed or Stable nature and the Fire Elements predilection for power, Leo is often drawn to leadership roles. Like the Sun, Leo is drawn to take command in a dominant position around which other objects are in orbit. This is why it has a long association with royals and stories of families of divine or special origin. Unlike Capricorn which is drawn to power out of the sense of responsibility, seeing itself as the only one capable and dependable enough, Leo is drawn to power out of the basic need for attention and praise and because it’s natural charisma leads it to believe that the adoration of people will be enough to secure its position. It is rarely the case, especially in the modern age. To win respect as a leader Leo has to avoid falling into its pitfalls of darkness (described below), for if it does not it will quickly draw only resentment, which it cannot be sustained by.

Leo is strongly harmonious with both of the other Fire signs, Aries and Sagittarius, and also with the two Air signs nearby, Gemini and Libra. It is most inharmonious with Taurus and Scorpio and has a polarised and opposing nature with Aquarius. Fixed (Stable) Fire is a modality of Light like Sagittarius and Aries, and as I have pointed out earlier the substance or currency of these signs is the experience of being alive and of life itself. All of these signs thrust themselves at life and are filled with vital life-giving energies. Leo is by far the most creative of the Fire signs, and the one with the most focus on other human beings. Gemini and Leo are buddies because Air always feeds Fire, and the gentle ongoing and restless enquiry of Gemini is often both communicative and flirtatious as well, qualities which Leo is fanned by (literally, this is probably the best place for Leo to find a fan), while Gemini is often impressed by the innate charisma and charm of Leo with its ability to warm and entertain people. Libra and Leo on the other hand are brought together by their shared need for other people, one in terms of partnership and the other in terms of audience. Both signs also possess considerable charm and persuasiveness which the other finds different to their own but equally effective. They make fantastic creative partners and work well together in anything artistic.

The problem with Taurus is essentially that it is too cautious and not spontaneous enough for Leo, which lives life more in the present and has to be spontaneous in order to appeal to its changing audience and to be true to its muses. Taurus is also very materially focused while Leo is focused more on security for the spirit through self-expression rather than accumulation of stuff. With Scorpio, the Leo urge to always seek the spotlight is directly at odds with the Scorpio need to avoid it and cling to the shadows, while the eternally optimistic and sunny disposition of Leo brushes aside and refuses to admit the existence of the dark, complex, emotionally disturbing world of Scorpio. Taurus, Leo and Scorpio can agree that change needs to be strictly controlled and directed, but not on how it should be done. The relationship with Aquarius, the polar opposite of Leo in the zodiac, shares core similarities around which cluster many opposite approaches and differences. If Leo is the performance then Aquarius is the collective reaction. If Leo is the unique capability of the individual, then Aquarius is the networked power of those unique individuals when they are combined in the formation of a collective or group. If Leo is the monarch, then Aquarius is the people. Leo and Aquarius I call the emanatory processes, because both are Elemental processes which either emanate from inside to outside (Leo) or from outside to inside (Aquarius) through a process akin to empathy but these being Fire and Air signs this is with a more Electric charge or nature than we usually think of in association with empathy. Yet it is there, taking the form of generosity (Leo is very generous in general spirit, and Aquarius is very generous ideologically and mentally, with its inspiration and utopianism).


The creatures of Leo include not only all felines and cats of every description but also every kind of creature which organises itself into a commune with the central leadership taken by individuals. It is analogous to the life of the cell itself. The playfulness of animal life, the ways animals entertain themselves, all belong to this sign, so particularly playful creatures have an affinity with its spirit. It is the fire of a sunny day, the bright light of the spotlight or the camera flash, the colourful expression of plant life in flowers and dramatic displays, the tail of the peacock and other visual mating signals designed to lure and attract, all creatures which laze around in the Sun and grow lethargic and languid in the heat, dry and parched places but also places where nature puts on some kind of show, steam vents and other places where thermal activity builds up, places where life is vibrant and the living is good. It is connected to gold, sunstone, amber resin and all precious gems, to crowns, laurels, coats of arms, robes of office, laurels, rings of power, all the flowers of the Sun (sunflower, heliotrope, etc), and the things which glitter.

Leo is the sign of high summer (northern hemisphere) and the radiant ruler of the heart centre (where it is analogous to openness and brightness of heart, courage, generosity, sincerity and emotional warmth), but is also analogous to the solar plexus (as charisma, power, strength of being and general warmth), as well as the spine (Leos have ‘backbone’), Its colours are golden and yellow, its direction is southwest, its musical note is F, and in the Hebrew Tree of Life it is associated with the 11th Path of Wisdom, the integration of individual empathy with individual consciousness, producing the Scintillating consciousness (“…the essence of the veil which is placed before the ordered arrangement of the powers. Who walks this way acquires a special dignity – he can stand face to face before the Cause of Causes”. – The 32 Paths of Wisdom). This Path is analogous to the letter Teth (‘Snake’), the task of which is for the initiate to consciously cast their coiled “scintillating consciousness” and attain the magic and arcana of the Strength tarot card (Mastery of the mental fluids). In plant alchemy Leo rules digestion, a process in which gentle heat is applied to a substance over an extended period of time. This is the first stage of the fermentation operation in which decomposing essences are reabsorbed.

Geographically it is the Sun sign of the current charts for Greece (1974), Netherlands (1581), Jamaica (1962), Bolivia (1825), Ivory Coast (1960), Singapore (1965), Bahrain (1971),South Korea (1948) and Estonia (1991). In general Leo is analogous to all grand or majestic places such as theatres, palaces, stately homes, public speaking halls or spacious public parks, in the wilderness where wild and predatory animals roam, while inside homes it is the place near the fire or source of heating or where the most luxurious furnishings, clothes or jewelery are situated.

Leo Sun sign can be seen in the charts for Neil Armstrong, Orville Wright, Amelia Earhart, Andy Warhol, Henry Ford, Mata Hari, Petrarch, Coco Chanel, Alexander Dumas, H.P. Lovecraft, Alan Whicker, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Claude Debussy, Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Haile Selassie and Mae West. The Moon is in Leo in the charts for Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ezra Pound, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Jeane Dixon, Elena Ford, Mark Rockefeller, Stephen Fry, Charlotte Church, Karen Carpenter, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Winston Churchill and Marilyn Manson. Leo rises in the charts for Frida Carlo, Henri Matisse, M.C Escher, Donald Trump, Pablo Picasso, Maya Angelou, Anne Frank, Richard Branson, Elton John,Tina Turner and Meryl Streep.


“In all the scriptures, the guru is described to be as good as God, but the guru never says ‘I am God’.”

—‘The Science of Self Realisation’,
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Praphupada

The primary darkness of Leo is not difficult to see – a creature that craves attention and thinks of itself as the centre of creation is on a slippery slope toward flaws like pride, vanity, resentment of others success, arrogance and self centeredness, pomposity, the will to dominate all others, a superiority complex or a need for excessive praise or attention, jealousy and envy, predation on the weak, tyrannies, controlling behaviour and childishness. In extreme cases Leo becomes very narcissistic, which is defined as a self-centredness arising from the failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

The tyrannical pushiness and bossiness of Leo is well known, as is its vanity and arrogance. These qualities tend to dominate the description of the darkness of Leo in modern astrological thinking, whereas in earlier times it seems to have been viewed more destructively as a hungry force of nature constantly on the prowl for prey. An overdramatic and exaggerated sense of self-importance and a craving for a special role can become easily distorted into a perverse need to outshine everyone and everything in every possible way. Ego trips and domination are also potential pitfalls of the sign which can get rapidly out of control if the hunger for them is fed.

Pride, vanity and ego can swell to epic proportions, especially if the Leo in us suddenly find itself the centre of attention. What Leo forgets at these times is that it is not the only beloved child of the Universe, that each created thing is equally unique and so has equally special gifts to offer, and that the Great Spirit sees no distinctions of greatness. In the quest to express talents – and Leo planets always have many creative gifts – Leo objects can lose sight of the importance of compromise and team efforts, because they want to direct everything according to their own view of ‘what is best’, which is what, in their view, is best for everyone. The natural aptitude for organising, motivating, leading and enthusing can make them appear domineering, bossy, inflexible and ego centred; some of the most zealous fanatics in history have been born under this sign, as have some of the most charismatic and radiant leaders and artists.

Another weakness of the sign is how easy it is to pacify, even when it is enraged. The simple truth is that mere flattery cools the Lions wrath even when that flattery is transparently insincere. Leo is easily manipulated by soft words and compliments, and deep down they have a need to make up with those that they fight with because they prefer things bright and sunny. Brooding and sulking like children when resentful or when they can’t get what they want, Leo can be a difficult person to be around when they are not receiving enough attention but most of the time they are already looking for a way out of it because they don’t like to sit around in the doldrums. More serious and lasting hurts or slights that the Leo will hold onto are often connected to their cubs, their actual or metaphorical children. Insult or harm these, and the claws will probably stay out.

This creature is truly ferocious when it is genuinely enraged as we would expect. It launches powerful and forceful attacks intended to cripple and incapacitate its foes as quickly as possible. The basest nature of this beast literally delights in the gush of hot blood over its jaws as its favoured prey falls beneath it. The glory of victory and the admiration of the gladiatorial arena are the meat and drink of this sign and its competitors are often intimidated by boastful and braggart behaviours designed to unsettle and humiliate them. Leo can tolerate no equal in its position as king or queen of its territory except perhaps in matters of love, where it is often able to share the spotlight. In most other cases contenders for the crown must be taken down and taught a lesson about who is really in charge, a lesson that will have to have an audience in order to be truly effective. Yet it is swiftly defeated when its reputation is attacked or degraded, as the source of its power is undermined. When Leo loses its followers it begins to lose faith in its ability to win battles. When its reputation is not to its liking, it lacks the tools it needs to achieve its ambitions. A monarch without a people is just a person with a pretty crown and no real power.

This tension – between the Leo need to be completely self-sufficient and dominant in its environment and the recognition that it’s existence depends upon the respect of others – is a major conflict within the sign itself, a conflict which is often a source of creative sparks but more often a source of temper and overcompensation. The glitter and glamour of the sign which is well-known (in both men and women Leo is attracted to adornments of all kinds) is also frequently an ugly trap which leads the Leo into greed, envy and covetousness akin to that of Taurus, but with less interest in the actual monetary value and more interest in the way these things attract eyes and hearts. Taken to extremes this urge results in a tasteless attempt to turn homes into gaudy palaces displaying wealth and opulence and symbols of power and authority to those who visit. Behind all of this there is always a devouring hunger for love and affection and attention, a hunger which regrettably only repulses and repels those who might offer it but who cringe because of an attitude of superiority and entitlement.

There is also often great integrity which refuses to be compromised and thus a somewhat inflexible code of honour which can be an attractive or repulsive quality depending on how it is applied. The rules of engagement in relationships and partnerships may be too ego-centric, sacrosanct or domineering, too inflexible to the way things are for other people because it is too fixed on the way they are for Leo. Bright ideas and feelings which excite can be overpowering and lead the Leo in us to disregard the creative input of others. In most situations the darkness in Leo will assess others according to one of two categories very quickly upon initially meeting them – either they are a threat to the role and position and territory that Leo regards as its own, or they are a subject of it, someone who can potentially supply them with the loyalty and respect they deserve. It even comes as a surprise to Leo sometimes that other people resent being categorised this way, for it sees its need to identify its rivals as a natural right while its subjects are privileged by its generosity. So the virtues of Leo described previously – its generosity, its integrity and its confidence – can easily become some of its more unattractive qualities when it becomes too myopically focused on the grandeur of its own existence.

In the modern age of Aquarius, Leo becomes the shadow side of our collective psyche. It seems abundantly clear to us now that the Age of Aquarius is dawning as a technological age, an age in which the technological advances humanity makes will lead to some kind of new era of human existence. Probably the primary development will be the development of artificial intelligence at some point in the relatively near future, but it may also come about as a result of contact with extra-dimensional or extra-terrestrial beings or through some significant breakthrough in our understanding of physics which transforms human society. Whatever it is, the shadow side of this is represented by Leo, which is the loss or the degrading of the soveriegn power of individual uniqueness. It is clear, for example, that if human beings develop an artificial intelligence or meet with intelligent life beyond this planet then our central role in the theatre of life as the sole and dominant sentience will be threatened. The Leo in humanity itself will find a serious contender for its own spotlight. The technological advances which are rapidly overtaking our ability to keep up with them also threaten our individual expression by putting us all under surveillance and shepherding us towards conformity. These are some of the ways I think we are already beginning to see the shadow side of Leo emerge as a dominant theme for the next 2000 years. If we look at the previous Age of Pisces, the shadow side of Virgo is clearly there in the form of an overemphasis on rationality and reason and a gradual rejection of intuitive and spiritual pathways to understanding human experience. This unbalanced shadow side of Virgo reason led to the creation of world-threatening scientific discoveries. If a similar dynamic were to occur in the Age of Aquarius, then we will be heading towards totalitarian, dictatorial, nationalistic rulers and governors as a shadow reaction towards the collective and globalist trend. This also seems to be happening in the present day. In essence we have to overcome the shadows and darkness of Leo collectively instead of fleeing to it in safety. The entire dynamic of the Age of Aquarius seems to depend on us overcoming the shadow of tyrannical rulership in order to prevent the emergence of a controlling world order that uses world changing technology against the interests of its people, while at the same time grappling with the existential question of our overall role in life when that role is irreversibly changed. And at the moment, in these early decades, we have as much idea about what that role is changing into as the world in the decades following the crucifixion did about what religions would mean today.



As this article should by now have made clear, the magic of Leo is intimately connected with charisma, command, leadership and rulership, life-giving power, artistic creativity, renown and reputation, notice, charm and all the power of the Sun. A secret of the Sun is that it burns so brightly and so blindingly not for attention but simply because it just Is, and it emanates that Is-ness to everywhere and everything around it at once, never faltering or varying its illumination. So too must Leo become like a brilliant star that shines through all eternity as a jewel of bright light in the heavens of time. Sometimes Leo will give to be admired, but at others it will give simply because it can, and it is the latter giving that brings it the greatest joy and the only lasting satisfaction. This is the secret it needs to understand and put into play. Life is a performance without rehearsal, and we each have a starring role of our own to play in its drama. It is not to be taken lightly for it is a serious journey and a precious gift which we must do justice to by being what we are and shining the light we have been given by life to share with life. All that we give is given to life itself and all that life gives us in return is given to itself.

Leos discover that their true strength has nothing to do with popularity, the number of admirers or level of glory and fame, but that it comes from the recognition that we are all stars, embodied in human form. The spirit is eternal because it is a part of the Creation, and must exist for as long as Creation itself. Furthermore, the central lesson of Leo is that every created thing is the majestic light centre of its own universe, and therefore all of the Creation is present in each thing, as either potential or substance, and therefore each role we play is as significant as any other. What actually matters is not how bright we shine but what and why we shine.


Image by R. Clark

This innate process is expressed in the Gra Tree of Life as the path connecting Tiphareth with Gedulah, meaning it is shown as the way the individual spirit connects with larger forces, with a sense of meaning bigger than its individual self, and this places things into a more majestic and often sunnier context. Along this path the Great Tree of Life projects the inner light of the core individual self, the temporal mental body or spirit, as a radiant light which emanates “downwards” on a path which leads it to form a “kingdom” of its own, a realm in which it is connected to other individual selves through strands of empathy and alikeness. The King or Queen is a symbolic figure who represents all of the people, and in the same way the individual self finds that it is like others and this similarity is what feeds it what it needs to shine. This is the process of Leo expressed in Kabbalistic terms. It establishes Force of Meaning on the mental plane by projecting the individual uniqueness and beauty of an individual life or spirit as commonality and similarity. Here is the esoteric reason for the need Leo has for an audience. It reveals that Leo is the magical expression of individual Light as empathy, integration of consciousness and symbolic essential meaning and therefore a key to attaining mastery of the mental Fluids.

In ‘The Practice of Magical Evocation’ Franz Bardon attributes the 30 spirits of the Earth Zone given to Leo with the following magical powers: the Fire principle (1°), the power of the Sun and Electric Fluid (2°), the origin of passions and the astral body (3°), magic of the Elements and the ElectroMagnetic Fluid (4°), the tetrapolar magnet (5°), the propagation of all seed (6°), the Air principle (7°), magical breathing (8°), mystical love and holiness (9°), resistance to fire (10°), ecstasy and trance (11°), divine theurgy and kabbalistic mysticism (12°), the way to perfection in accordance with the laws of creation (13°), synthesis of all religious systems and philosophies (14°), connections between the mental, astral and physical worlds (15°), omniscience and divine intuition (16°), magic of cosmic love (17°), occult anatomy of humanity (18°), talismanic magic (19°), metal alchemy (20°), prophecy (21°), esteem, power and wealth (22°), yoga and religious initiation (23°), reading of events in the Akasha (24°), sphere magic without separation of the mental body (25°), mediumistic phenomena (26°), wish realisation (27°), magic formulae of the Elements (28°), magic of water (29°), and protection against thunderstorms and gales (30°). It must be remembered that Bardon repeatedly states that these are just the Heads of the individual degrees of the zodiac and that many other beings operate beneath them, additionally Bardon has not fully described all of these beings capabilities but has instead provided us with one of their primary magical analogies. In many cases this differs vastly from the astrological ones. In others it does not.

The principal magic of Leo is Light. Much like the heart circulates warmth and life around the body, so Leo acts to focus and collect the power of the limitless Great Spirit, to release it in some life enhancing, life affirming way. That life affirming life enhancing way is you, me and everything that is created by its grace. It is in effect the supreme leader, this Great Spirit, and Leo is aware of its presence wthin its breast to the degree that even when it cannot articulate that to itself, it seeks to do so for others. The role we play in life which is such an integral part of the nature of this sign is ultimately an expression that this Great Spirit has pre-designed us for, and when we connect with its presence within us it effortlessly instructs us in how to become it. Beauty is what happens when we playfully shine our unique Light of being upon the Creation, encouraging it all to do the same. 


On conjunctions and Lights

This week I share with you some thoughts on the nature of conjunctions and the way the Lights interact from one conjunction to another.


A conjunction is the most intimate relationship two or more planets or objects can have with one another in astrology. Planets which are found in the same sign as one another share a kinship in that they are ‘with’ one another, in much the same sense that people who are in the same room are with one another. Planets or points which are conjunct together and in the same sign are even closer than this and metaphorically represent couples or family members in the same room. These relationships are the closest that can exist because they are a fusion of separate principles into a single whole – a synthesis. The magic of this relationship is the basis of the synthetic astrology of ‘The 26 Keys’.

It is also important here to point out that when astrology measures conjunctions (or any aspect) it is usually only measuring the position of planets in the tropical zodiac which is a zone demarcated by the Earths orbit of the Sun. This measures the planets through a horizontal plane of space degrees of the zodiac, or position along the ‘track’ the Sun makes in the sky over a year, but it does not measure them in a vertical plane (declination north or south of the equator). This means that planets in conjunction in the tropical zodiac are in the same general region of the ‘track’ that runs through the sky but not necessarily in the same spot viewed from Earth – one could be above or below the other, or some way off to the side. They need to be in parallel as well as in conjunction to be visibly next to one another in the sky. When this happens with the Sun and Moon, there is a solar eclipse.

A further factor which determines how powerful and effective a conjunction aspect can be is the dignity of the planets involved. If the planets dignities are strong then they will produce a greater quantity of effectiveness and the aspect will be more conventionally expressed and well supported, we will feel more familiar with it too. Conversely a lack of dignity will dis-empower the conjunction, or favour one side over the other. The Sun gains its strongest dignity in Leo and Aries, while the Moon gains it in Cancer and Taurus. All things being equal, for a New Moon the Sun will dominate during the day and the Moon during the night.

Aspects can generally be placed in either a Magnetic form building (trine, sextile) or Electric energy releasing (square, opposition) category. Since a conjunction is a fusion of principles, its essential quality is Neutral and concerned with synthesis. Aside from this it has no other inherent nature, and is neither a form building nor energy releasing aspect, but often both, and its qualities will be largely determined by the essential nature of the planets involved, their signs and any other aspects which are made to the conjoined pair. Some planets conjoin together more easily (in human terms) than others, some imply a form building quality when fused and others an energy releasing quality. When the Lights are conjunct they are dynamically energy releasing in nature and become even more so when they are in Fire and Air signs during the day. If the Moon is the more dominant partner in the conjunction the aspect will be in Water or Earth and during the nighttime, the then the conjunction takes on a form building character.

The almost universal problem of a conjunction is that we are unable to separate the conjoined principles from one another: where one exists the other is also, and so we cannot distinguish between them easily. This means that in terms of magical initiation part of our work will be to separate out these principles so that they can be examined individually and then conjoined together again into a more expressive and well integrated whole. The times when this will be forced upon us by circumstances are shown in our keys (the principles involved in the conjunction).

The conjunction is also a store of power in much the same way that two beings increase their power when they unite. Conjunctions show planets which are reinforcing each other within our energy field. The collecting and merging together of 2 planets (sometimes more) creates a locus of energy in the chart, increasing that areas significance for us. This has varying and numerous effects on the astral and mental planes and on the expression of the conjoined planets – every conjunction is different and its essential nature depends on the nature of the conjoined planets in relation to the context of the whole chart.

The New Moon is the beginning of the Sun-Moon cycle which lasts about 28 days. At the beginning of this cycle the Electric and Magnetic Fluids are more mixed together and cannot be easily separated, in other words it is a stable ElectroMagnetic field around the Earth. As time moves on and the Moon begins to appear again after emerging from the light of the Sun she builds up her energies, accumulating a greater Electric charge, with the greatest amount of accumulation occurring around the First Quarter Moon (the waxing half-Moon) when she is about 90° away from the Sun. This charge continues to build until the Full Moon, whereon the Magnetic Fluid and the Electric Fluid are fully ‘separated’ and attract each other across the conductive surface of the Earth, creating a powerful ‘high tide’ for both Fluids. The Moon then begins to discharge Electric Fluid rather than gather it, with the greatest discharge occurring near the 3rd Quarter Moon (the waning half-Moon) when she is again about 90° away from the Sun but growing dimmer. As she grows in darkness She then rejoins the Sun at the New Moon where she is recharged and the cycle begins anew. This happens once or rarely twice every month, with the Sun and Moon usually being in different signs each time the New and Full Moons occur.

The Zodiacal Microscope

Greetings and welcome back to Journeys! This week I am sharing with you about one of the more useful tools in my practice, a simple but very insightful tool which reveals your personal connection to each zodiac sign in greater detail. If you have Solar Fires software you can generate this information in a report for yourself, while Patrons of this blog can write to me and request one to be sent to them for free. With some time and some work, you can also create this report for yourself. 



Every person or thing has a unique and individual relationship to each of the 12 zodiac signs and all of the planets including the Lights. The work of an astrologer, that is someone who makes a study of astrology whether it is casual or professional, is to understand what that relationship is and where possible how to transform it to empower and uplift the life. The beginning of this work is about becoming familiar with the symbols which astrology uses as its alphabet and vocabulary, the four primary categories of which are usually planets/Lights, signs, houses and aspects. This can take some time and it is often further complicated by some ambiguities in astrology which have been built-in, such as the overlap between the qualities of certain signs and certain planets or houses, or the way in which certain aspects can emphasise the qualities usually attributed to certain signs, houses or planets. This is necessary because as a symbolic language astrology must be able to express meaning through various levels of significance at the same time, and while confusing for a beginner it deepens the richness of the power invested in astrological techniques.

Signs of the zodiac can be particularly difficult to pin down in terms of what kind of qualities they express in our lives. Overall, signs clearly depict general energy patterns or paths which the planets must walk in order to communicate and express themselves to us upon the Earth. The qualities of each sign are very diverse. Taurus can be both patient and stubborn, and Aries can be both angry and bold, for example. Astrologers, often at the initial stages of learning the craft, will focus on the presence of planets in signs as modifiers to the way this plays out, for example a person with a Sun in Aries that has square aspects from Mars and Saturn will definitely tend towards the angry and frustrated side of the Aries Sun sign, while one which has trine’s or sextiles from those planets will tend towards Aries Sun sign courage and determination. Sometimes astrologers will also make a judgement about a sign and its qualities by looking at the dignity of a planet in that sign or the rulership of that sign.

However, there is a different way of using aspects to examine the tendencies within a particular sign of the zodiac and even within a particular house. This method is called the sensitive points listing. To calculate it you find all the major aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition) to all of the planets and the Lights in your chart, And then you merge the entire haul of data and arrange it into zodiacal order for each sign. For example, if your Sun is at Taurus 15°, then it has:

  • two squares at Leo 15° and Aquarius 15°
  • two sextiles at Pisces 15° and Cancer 15°
  • two trines at Virgo 15° and Capricorn 15°, and
  • an opposition at Scorpio 15° as well as a conjunction at Taurus 15°

If the Moon in your chart is then also at Cancer 10°, then it will have:

  • two squares at Aries 10° and Libra 10°
  • two sextiles at Taurus 10° and Virgo 10°
  • two trines at Scorpio 10° and Pisces 10° and
  • an opposition at Capricorn 10° and a conjunction at Cancer 10°

If you repeat this process with every planet including the ascendant and midheaven in your chart and then combine all of that information together and put it in the right order in terms of the order of the zodiac, then you have your sensitive points listing. If you wish, you can add the cusps of the houses according to the house system you use to this final listing. In this way you can see the content of the sign or other house in your chart according to the nature of the aspects that are formed whenever something moves through it. To gemerate this quickly in Solar Fire open up the chart you want to work from and select Reports – Sensitive Points from the menus and drop down boxes on the right of the screen:

sf sensitive points report instructon


The Solar Fire report genertaed does not include house cusps.

Here is an example from real-life using the chart of the United States which I have previously discussed and which also provided some example of sensitive point listings in practical use (there are no houses cusps added in this example, just the ascendant and midheaven, and I added the Part of Fortune at Cancer 24°).


So here you can clearly see the structure of each of the zodiac signs according to the aspects which are triggered at various degree places in each of the signs. Each sign becomes more like a musical progression of some kind with squares and oppositions indicating an increase in tempo and energy (perhaps the drums are playing or the music is more like a battlefield between the instruments – see Capricorn in the USA chart) while sextiles and trines generally indicate a softer and quieter tempo (perhaps these are flutes or violins, or the instruments are talking to one another in a way which is harmonic rather than discordant – Scorpio is a good example of this for the USA, with the exception of Scorpio 27°, but it’s masked by what’s surrounding it). Some signs are filled with squares and oppositions and conjunctions which increase drama, while other signs are filled with trine’s and sextiles and conjunctions which increase reconciliation and unity. The same can be said of the three decanates which divide each of the signs into three distinct parts like the Acts of a play, or of the houses which then illustrates the tempo involved in a particular kind of life experience (relating for the 7th house, for example, or income for the 2nd). The planets which are involved in a particular aspect also obviously influence the quality of that part of the sign. An aspect with Saturn usually indicates the time to pause and not to rush ahead, while one with Mars usually indicates exactly that.

Because aspects have orbs of influence – a range of degrees around them which are also able to transmit the power of the aspect – it’s not just the degrees where the exact aspect occurs which matters but a handful of degrees around them. For practical purposes it’s best to focus on the 3-4 degrees which are before the exact aspect occurs because it’s in this window we often have an opportunity to influence how it will manifest itself in our lives. After the exact aspect occurs is often time to learn from it, because its already happened.

With a sensitive points listing you can basically do away with any need to read your horoscope in a periodical column except for entertainment or education purposes because the sensitive point listing provides you with your completely personal repeating annual horoscope (just use the current zodiac position of the Sun and check it against the sensitive points listing for the aspect, assuming two or three days before the exact day when the Sun forms the aspect as a window of opportunity to influence its manifestation), your completely personal monthly horoscope (just do the same with the zodiac position of the Moon but assume only a few hours before the exact time when the moon forms the aspect as a window of opportunity to influence its manifestation) and even a completely personal hourly horoscope if you wish to, since you can now obtain simple apps that show the position of the ascendant at your location throughout the course of the day. You can also use the sensitive point listing for the slower moving planets like Jupiter and Saturn or Pluto so that you can see the rhythm of the kind of experience you have when those activators are moving through a particular sign, and this can be especially useful in the work of The 26 Keys because you can see what kind of other aspects are surrounding the conjunctions of the keys in your chart and this gives you further information about the nature of the experience that you encounter when there is an activation of that key. For example at the time of writing Pluto is at 18° of Capricorn which means that it is currently approaching a square with the United States natal Chiron position at 20° of Capricorn. This is the next event in the chain of events that Pluto is bringing to the United States at this time and it becomes exact in December. Later, when Pluto reaches its own natal position of Capricorn 27°, which will happen in 2022, it will also be experiencing the effects of Pluto trine the midheaven which occurs at 28° of Capricorn and this shows a quality of looking forward hopefully and expectantly during a time of tribulations and upheavals.

Like the tools provided in The 26 Keys, your sensitive points listing is a tool that grows more effective and powerful the more you observe its operative nature in your life. The more you understand the patterns that the sensitive point listing is describing and how they manifest in your cycles, the more understanding you will gain of those cycles and this understanding translates into the reward of being able to transform your life experiences. 

On a deeper, more meditative and reflective level, the existence and nature of the sensitive point listing prompts us to contemplate the nature of the circle itself, the circle of life and of dynamic cycles of time bound within an eternal loop. In nature, a circle has no beginning nor any end and each point upon its circumference is connected to each other point with minimal energy being invested in a correction of course (there are no sudden corners or angles). Contemplative astrologers will realise that the holistic nature of a circle means that every planet in the chart is in aspect to the entire chart and that the aspects we use in astrology are simply the ones which strongly emerge from amongst all of that unified interaction. The soul of a human being or the soul of a nation is the container or vessel in which infinite variations of the One Self manifest as consciousness. 



Neptune in the Libation

Greetings, and welcome to the first weekly post from Journeys! These weekly posts will look at current topics and miscellaneous things of interest that are on my mind at the time. The first of these is on what is currently going on in the stars of Aquarius and its significance for magic, music and all kinds of inspirational seeking, and some ways to  make use of it in practical life. 

Neptune in the Libation

The image above shows the constellation of Aquarius on Monday September 24th 2018. You can see the large form of Aquarius (The Great One) with Neptune positioned in the areas where the water is conceptually pouring in a stream from the urn. The Moon has just passed through the same stream of water, just as it will do each month. 

Neptune is a very slow moving planet and so it will remain in this area of the sky for many years, and has already been there for some time already. It will remain in this area of the sky until about 2022, when it reaches the early to mid 20° of zodiacal Pisces. 

What this imagery with Neptune communicates is a powerful flow of inspirational energy that can be tapped into to bring a refreshing or awakening force to things. The flow of water from the urn symbolizes the vitalizing and enlivening power of the astral realm as it pours into the physical universe, and Neptune’s presence here causes the flow to increase and to fountain, perhaps to the point where it becomes a kind of madness. It’s said that there is a fine line between genius and madness and this imagery conjures that line as an ever shifting shoreline which we must carefully keep an eye on if we are to play in its waters. Both delusion and dreams come true can be found in the flow.

For works of art the distinction between these two outcomes is somewhat irrelevant as the inspiration that flows from Neptune towards fantasy and Dreamtime is a benefit rather than a snare, but for other situations the ability to discern reality from illusion becomes paramount. This theme is also supported by the zodiacal position of Neptune in the middle of Pisces, a sign renowned for such confusions. However there truly is a potential for dreams to become realities with this omen, in an almost faery tale like manner. 

In magic and in astral transformation the support from Neptune at this time can be captured in acts which connect artists with muses and deep spiritual wellsprings of inspiration and vision, especially within music, visual arts, poetry and mysticism. Fantasy and science fiction dreams are in the air and being poured down so that receptive vessels can receive them. Psychic abilities and dreams open up wider as conduits for insight and talismans can be created to harness the power of Water, Air and all the analogies of Neptune. Given the imagery, this influence is especially useful in the creation of libations, oils, potions and other liquid condensers as well as in encouraging success in alchemical tinctures. This influence also supports connection to the ocean and rivers and waterfalls and all aquatic life and can be directed to clean and heal our physical water.

A reliable and commonly accessible way to access this energy is via the Moon, which acts as a messenger to the Earth from the rest of the solar system. Simply put our Moon is a satellite that transmits cosmic sms messages to the Earth. When She crosses the flow of the urn She collects the libation from Neptune and delivers it to our receptacles.

These receptacles can be the forms we choose to create for them to inhabit – our talismans, works of art, mystical meditations, etc – or the ‘antennae’ we all possess that naturally pick up on astrological influences, the planets in our natal chart. In this case, any planet at about Pisces 14° is in prime position to pick up the transmission, but other places in the zodiac have some ability to collect and transmit the inspiration, in particular Cancer and Scorpio 14°

Waxing Moons are better for magic which builds and which accumulates or brightens. Recently the Sun moved into Virgo which means that as far as this area of the sky is concerned the waning appearance of the Moon concluded and the waxing form of its appearance began. The Moon will meet here with Neptune each month from now and be in a waxing phase but it will be steadily decreasing in light. The flow starts off strongest  with a Full Moon and diminishes gradually before ending with a New Moon. This means the next months are a good time to capture the essence of Neptune.

Look for times when the Moon enters Pisces and is free of the sextile with Saturn in Capricorn, and be wary of after November when Jupiter enters Sagittarius and introduces a square to Pisces. In essence use October and November wisely, as things get less promising after because of this trouble with Jupiter. Try to find a chart where the Moon rises or is on the midheaven. The midheaven is slightly better for magic here because the Sun will also have set. Focus on that time.

You can experiment with your own ways of tuning into this flow of awakening but dreamlike energy from Neptune simply by trying to connect with it when the Moon is around Pisces 14-16° and passes Neptune. These dates (in GMT) are given below.

October 21 2018

November 17 2018

December 14 2018

January 11th 2019

February 7th 2019

Because Neptune will remain here for some years, and because the cycles of the Sun and Moon are regular, the same opportunity of waxing phase Moons appearing in this area of the sky between the time of Sun in Virgo and the time of Sun in Pisces each year remains available. To find good times for tapping into it, look for times where Jupiter or Venus aspect the Moon by a trine or sextile, and put the Moon on the ascendant or midheaven of the moment. Avoid the Moon in square, opposition or conjunction with Mars or Saturn. 


The nearly global aspect: Chiron opposition Uranus

I do not usually make posts on specific aspects, but this month I am making an exception and sharing with you some important information about Chiron in opposition with Uranus. The time has come for me to share with you all something that I have been researching and pondering since around 2010.

journey deeper…