Alex Sumner Turns To Crime

You may notice a change in appearance regarding my website. It’s to do with the fact that I shall shortly be releasing new material, which shall less to do with occult fiction and more to do with crime fiction. For more news, watch this space! And please subscribe to my website if you have not already done so.

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How To Predict The General Election 2015, part two

Following on from my previous post regarding the nature of the problems facing the next Government of the United Kingdom, I now turn to predicting the winners / losers specifically. This I have done by looking that the birth charts of the leaders of six main parties, and comparing the transits made with the horoscope for the election. I use this information to calculate whether they will be celebrating or not come close of polls on Election Day, and hence infer the fate of their party therefrom.

David Cameron – Conservatives.

David Cameron

David Cameron

Cameron (9th October 1966, London) has a lot of favourable influences going for him that day, mainly thanks to the planet Jupiter. This is sextile his natal Sun, Venus and Mercury, signifying it is a good time for new opportunities, making a good impression, and for promoting himself and his ideas. The one warning sign, however, is transitting Saturn square to his natal Mars, which suggests he will not be victorious outright.

Ed Milliband – Labour.

Ed Milliband

Ed Milliband

Milliband (24th December 1969, London) will also be experiencing Saturn squaring his natal Mars – like Cameron. Unlike Cameron, however, the planet Jupiter is not so conspicuous. The minor planets such as Venus and Moon suggest he will experience some transitory good news on the day of the election, but this will not last into the new Parliament itself.

Nick Clegg – Liberal Democrats.

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

Clegg (7th January 1967, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks) has a rather nasty T-formation caused by a transitting Mars / Uranus opposition square to his natal Sun. Clegg will be the subject of much anger, also the forces of change will be proving difficult for him to make any headway. Also, Saturn transitting his natal Moon signifies that it will be a good time for Clegg to be alone, and to realise his flaws and weaknesses.

Nigel Farage – UKIP

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage

Farage (3rd April 1964, Downe, Kent) will be having an auspicious day come May 7th. Transitting Saturn is trine to both his natal Sun and Mars, suggesting he is mature, responsible, and projects confidence: also he is able to meet his responsibilities. Moreover, transitting Jupiter is also trine to his Sun, signifying new visions of the future and new inspirations are likely to come along – an increase of good fortune. However: transitting Saturn opposes his natal Venus, suggesting he would do well to rid himself of delusions when it comes to close partnerships (such his relations with other members of UKIP).

Natalie Bennett – Green Party

Natalie Bennett

Natalie Bennett

Bennett (10th February 1966, Sydney, Australia) has quite possibly the most disappointing chart of all the leaders of the major parties – not because it is particularly disastrous, but because it is totally unremarkable one way or the other! The only transit of interest is that Uranus, representing the forces of change, are in opposition to her natal Moon, signifying that she will be disappointed by the result of the election. The day will be pretty much a non-event for her.

Angus Robertson – SNP

Angus Robertson

Angus Robertson

“Duh, Alex, I thought Nicola Sturgeon was leader of the SNP?” Yes, but she’s not standing in the Westminster Parliament! The leader of SNP’s Parliamentary Party, however, is Angus Robertson MP (28th September 1969, Wimbledon, London), who is confirmed as the director of the SNP’s 2015 general election campaign. I have therefore decided to use his details rather than Sturgeon’s. As it happens, Robertson’s chart has a lot of good points to say about it: Jupiter is sextile his natal Jupiter, showing that he will find it easy to work with his own natural talents for ensuring success. Moreover, transitting Saturn is sextile a natal stellium of Sun, Mercury and Uranus, indicating that he has a more mature grasp of his own capabilities, and projects a more responsible, perhaps serious, and self-assured personality to others. Progress he makes during this transit period is likely to bring him rewards in his career, whilst the forces of change are generally working in his favour. The only warning note is transitting Saturn square to his natal Venus, suggesting that he will have a tough time working on improving his manner as well as the things that he offer to others in partnership.

Conclusion.

I shall therefore put my neck on the line and make the following predictions as to the result of the election:

  • The Conservatives will be the largest party in Parliament, but without an absolute majority. David Cameron will stay on as Prime Minister, this time of a minority Conservative government, not a Coalition.
  • Labour will be the second largest, but will experience a loss of seats, mostly to the SNP, but also to UKIP.
  • The Liberal Democrats in general, and Nick Clegg in particular, will collapse.
  • Both the SNP and UKIP will see significant gains in the numbers of their seats. The SNP will find it difficult to hold the balance of power though, as the other parties will be reluctant to work with them. UKIP will go through a period of reform where they are forced to jettison the more extreme elements of their party.
  • The Green Party will be neither better nor worse off after the election than before.

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How To Predict The General Election 2015, part one

After having successfully predicted a Con-Lib Coalition, and the retirement from politics of Gordon Brown (remember him? Yeah, me neither!) back in 2010, I return with my prognostications for the next British General Election, which has today been confirmed as taking place on Thursday 7th May 2015.

In drawing up a chart I have selected 10pm that evening (British Summer Time) as the “birth time,” as that will be the moment the polls close – and hence seal the fate of the election. For the place of birth I have used Westminster, i.e. the location of the Houses of Parliament. A chart drawn up using these data looks like this:

Chart for the moment the polls close (10pm BST) on 7th May 2015, @ Westminster UK

Chart for the moment the polls close (10pm BST) on 7th May 2015, @ Westminster UK

It is therefore possible to forecast the influences which will affect the new Government – whichever it happens to be – to wit:

The Government itself (Sun)

Government will try to effect Judicial reform, and to enact further measures which encroach upon the Church of England, e.g. by extending gay marriage rights. Both the Judiciary and the Church of England (nb: both represented by Jupiter) will be upset by this, and try to resist the Government’s efforts.

The People (Moon)

Material prosperity will generally stabilise (Moon in Capricorn in 1st House). However there will be public unrest regarding foreign relations (Moon opposition Venus) – i.e. a general opposition to seeking peaceful solutions to disputes which arise with foreign countries – in particular, Russia, China and North Korea.

The Armed Forces (Mars)

The Armed forces will be very active during the term of the new Parliament: but War does not seem likely. Instead, military personnel will be key to helping combat a major epidemic. There will be at least one strike in the Ambulance service where the Army is called upon to operate the Ambulances.

Bankers (Jupiter)

Bankers will continue to resist the Government attempting to scrutinise their activity – this will lead to an impasse, as the bankers will find themselves in a strong position.

The Press (Mercury)

The Press will play a key role in stirring up public opinion against Russia, China and North Korea (Mercury square Neptune). There will be a major initiative to curtail Press abuses through increased regulation (Mercury opposition Saturn).

BUT… who will the new Prime Minister be? And who will form the new Government? Stay tuned for part two!!!

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How does one stop the mental chatter (such as the narration of their dreams and random songs) from running through their head all night w…

Answer by Alex Sumner:

  • Lead a healthy and vigorous sex life – full of Love, and free from any negative emotions such as guilt, etc. Seriously, there are scientific studies which show a positive correlation between having good sex and having a good night’s sleep immediately afterwards.
  • Meditate before going to bed. Mentally review the events of the day like a movie going backwards before your mind’s eye, going back as far as you can go. This has the result of “releasing” memories of the day just gone so they don’t need to be processed by your dreaming mind. Adepts of the tantric arts could do this meditation whilst carrying out the preceding step.
  • Observe regular sleep patterns – not just the right amount of sleep (i.e. 8 hours for young/middle-aged adults) but following the body’s natural circadian rhythms as well.
  • Do not go to bed drunk or high on drugs.
  • Do not eat foods which are hard to digest soon before going to bed. If you do have an evening meal, try to eat it early enough that it fully digested before you attempt to retire. The old saying about eating cheese before going to bed is a superstition: what matters is whether or not your digestive system will disturb you during the night.
  • Undergo regular psychotherapy or similar, so that your sleeping mind is not plagued by old neuroses.
  • Live in Peace with all beings. More especially, do not get into conflict with others, and try to resolve the arguments that you gotten into peacefully. Not only will you get a good night’s sleep, you will also help make the World a better place.

How does one stop the mental chatter (such as the narration of their dreams and random songs) from running through their head all night w…

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How To Create Your Own Tarot Deck, part two

This is a sequel to a post I wrote last year. So I finally went and did it: I put my money where my mouth is, and used one of the sites mentioned in my previous post, makeplayingcards.com, to convert a set of tarot cards I had designed into an actual deck. It will not be commercially released, for two reasons: firstly, it is far too derivative of other well-known decks, so there would be a rights issue if I tried to do so; and secondly and more importantly, I don’t claim to be a great artist.

Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Tarot trumps. Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

The Majors and the Court Cards I created from the BOTA deck, which is deliberately printed black and white for the purpose of colouring in – as one learns about the colour correspondances of the Tree of Life. I didn’t paint the actual cards, but large scans thereof, which I then re-scanned once finished. The pip-cards, on the other hand, were mostly done with Photoshop (except for the suit of Cups). Incidentally, the pip-cards on the BOTA deck are a bit of a let-down compared with the art-work of the rest of the deck. I ended up photoshopping scans of the Rider-Waite: not only re-colouring them, but also altering the background imagery to suit my own particular interpretation of the symbolism.

Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Wands. Fire. Atziluth. King Scale. The Spiritual Experiences of the Sephiroth.
Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Cups. Water. Briah. Queen Scale. Archangels. Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Cups. Water. Briah. Queen Scale. Archangels.
Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Swords. Air. Yetzirah. Prince Scale. Choirs of Angels.
Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Pentacles. Earth. Assiah. Princess Scale. The Gods as they are ensouled in the material universe (or in other words, “the Planets”).
Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Ten out of the seventy-eight cards ended up being original compositions, not based on any pre-existing tarot card. For the back, I printed the text of the invocation used in the Golden Dawn at the start of every tarot reading, for the practical reason that if I put it there, I wouldn’t forget it!

Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

Back view. Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

I have to say that the emotional satisfaction of getting this project completed – which is no small thing, subjectively speaking – is the exclusive advantage of this method of acquiring a new tarot deck. It is neither a costly nor timely method. Quite apart from the effort in trying to assemble all the images necessary, the website I went with, makeplayingcards.com , outsource their manufacturing and distribution to China. Not only did this add considerable time to the shipping, I discovered they stopped work over the Chinese New Year period, which of course is a major holiday for them.

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BBC News – Sir Terry Pratchett, renowned fantasy author, dies aged 66

Sir Terry Pratchett

So, farewell to Sir Terry Pratchett – an author whose books I certainly enjoyed (as did millions of others). Speaking as a writer myself, Pratchett to me is a perfect example of an author who achieved superstar status by working steadily and sticking through tough times at the start of his career before eventually achieving his destiny. He is therefore a far more realistic model of success for aspiring writers than e.g. the J K Rowlings of this world.

Speaking as a magician, Pratchett holds a special interest for me in that it is quite obvious from a careful reading of his Discworld novels that he knew perfectly well the kind of pretentions that occur within the real-life Neo-Pagan, Occult, and RPG communities, and often subjected them to good-natured ribbing. Or – if you are a fluffy-bunny type without a sense of humour – he  harshly mocked them and subjected them to cruel and merciless satire. ;)

BBC News – Sir Terry Pratchett, renowned fantasy author, dies aged 66.

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How does the Tarot relay to the tree of life?

Answer by Alex Sumner:

Ten of Cups: Copyright Alex Sumner 2015

From the late 18th century onwards, occultists retconned the story of the Tarot to make it appear to have an ancient Egyptian origin, or to be associated with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, or both. The way this has been done, e.g. by the Golden Dawn, does make for an appealing set of correspondences from the point of view of a modern occultist, but a very traditional Kabbalist might equally say “They’re not related at all. The Tarot is foreign to the Kabbalah.”

That being said, however, the basic scheme is as follows:

  • The four worlds of the Kabbalah – Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah – correspond to the suits Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles;
  • The pip cards correspond to the ten sephiroth, i.e. Ace = Kether, 10 = Malkuth, etc;
  • In addition the court cards are assigned King to Chokmah, Queen to Binah, Prince (Knight) to Tiphereth, and Princess (Page) to Malkuth;
  • The twenty two trumps correspond to the twenty two paths linking the sephiroth.

The Golden Dawn system uses the Athanasius Kircher Tree of Life, and gives “The Fool” as Trump 0, Strength as trump 8, and Justice as 11 (in older versions of the Tarot, Strength was 11 and Justice was 8, whilst the Fool didn’t have a number but was poked between the last two trumps).

How does the Tarot relay to the tree of life?

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Astrology on the National Health Service

David Tredinnick MP

David Tredinnick MP

News this week that a British MP told an astrology journal that the NHS would be improved if Doctors knew about astrology. This has provoked outrage in the gutter press, with many publicly calling for the MP in question, David Tredinnick, never to be made a minister! They are conveniently ignoring that the fact that Tredinnick was forced to renounce any possibility of a ministerial career many years ago: which is probably why he is not afraid to speak out on issues which he feels are important.

As an astrologer myself I must say that I have great sympathy with Tredinnick. However, in my opinion, it will be unfeasible to incorporate astrology into our National Health Service, and it’s not for the reasons that the Yellow Journalists trot out. To wit:

Firstly, whilst there is such a thing as “medical astrology,” it is my understanding this is used for long-term chronic concerns, not conditions which arise from referrals from Accident & Emergency, or which arise in circumstances of urgency. Unfortunately, it is just such cases which form the majority of the workload of the NHS. “Medical astrology,” if it were to be used at all, could only really be used for general health check-ups.

How the NHS sees new patients...

How the NHS sees new patients…

Secondly, there is the peculiar way in which funding is allocated in the NHS, which is basically that the money follows the patient. An unpleasant side-effect of this is that it encourages NHS workers to visualise patients as if they have £ signs stamped on their foreheads – which further encourages different fund-managers (e.g. different GP practices, different primary health care trusts within the same local area, etc), within the the NHS to compete with one-another for the same patients. Hence, if one GP refuses to offer astrological consultation but another down the road does, there is the danger that the first GP will dissuade the patient from transferring to the second one not on scientific but on financial grounds.

And before you accuse me of scaremongering, I actually once worked in the NHS many years ago, and I was firmly told by management that if a potential patient came through our door who we would not ultimately be able to treat ourselves, we were to get him on our books anyway before transferring him to an external agency, instead of redirecting him to the external agency straightaway – precisely for this “money follows the patient” principle. This sort of shit does go on.

Thirdly: if NHS professionals do give astrological readings to patients, it would force the NHS to stop treating patients as statistics but as people – because, astrology, as properly done, is a skilled art which needs great sensitivity and tact on the part of the astrologer. NB: astrologers will get the point immediately, but non-astrologers ought to be aware that the kind of thing that Tredinnick was talking about was not the daily horoscopes which appear in the newspapers, which are not real astrology anyway, but a full reading which involves drawing up and going through the patient’s entire birth chart.

Thus the irony is that although we may not see Astrology on the NHS in its current state, the effort involved in trying to introduce it would inevitably shake up our health service and cause radical reform in terms of quality all the same.

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Why does astrology still exist?

Answer by Craig Weinberg:

I also wondered why astrology was taken seriously by anyone, until I took the time to actually investigate what it is and what it is not. What I found, and what anyone who is able to study astrological systems should find if they are able to view it with scientific objectivity, is that confirmation bias, like the placebo effect, can go both ways.

Just because it is easy to be fooled by the vague generalities of astrological interpretation does not mean that there is nothing at all of value there. To the contrary, divination systems such as Astrology, Numerology, Tarot, and the I Ching are among the most insightful ontological tools that I have ever encountered, and represent the sum total of the wisdom and philosophy of pre-scientific history.

After doing hundreds of charts for people I know, interesting world figures, and periods of history, I can say with confidence that anyone who thinks that astrology is nothing but scientific illiteracy and fraud does not really know very much about astrology. Not that there is not a tremendous amount of illiteracy and fraud out there, especially in the psychic-horoscope market, but again, popular abuse of something is not an argument against proper use. Looking at the charts of a family, the number of unlikely coincidences and meta-coincidences among the natal charts of the family members has never failed to blow me away. Every chart tells a story, and every family is a like a quantum mechanical ensemble of stories and themes.

Astrology still exists because neither science nor religion offers a comprehensive theory of identity and history which respects the subjective qualities that actually matter in such considerations. It provides a language to talk about esoteric themes within personal and social experience, as well as a compelling framework with which to analyze historical events.

The mistake that people make is to assume that the purpose of astrology is prediction. While astrology can indeed be of some predictive value, it would be a mistake to try to use it that way intentionally. Astrology doesn’t predict events, it maps the coincidence of psychological themes to the coincidence of planetary configurations.

Applying those coincidences can invite apophenia (delusional projection of patterns), but when attended to with maturity, they can also be used to cut through mental clutter (associated with activity of the prefrontal cortex) and pick up on deeper, more intuitive sensitivity to the flow of our personal lives.

In recent years, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) theory has become popular, and enjoys more respectability than astrology among highly educated audiences. MBTI was based on Jung’s work on personality types, which itself was based on astrological dichotomies.

Why does astrology still exist?

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Which book by Israel Regardie would be advisable for a complete novice?

Answer by Alex Sumner:

If the operative words are “complete novice” I would say The Middle Pillar followed up by Foundations of Practical Magic (I would also have recommended “How To Make and Use Talismans” if you can get it, but it appears to be out of print).
The Golden Dawn is advanced reading, though ultimately highly rewarding.

I have to confess I didn’t actually like The Tree of Life as I found Regardie’s language rather pompous, and it didn’t actually cover anything that had already been done better elsewhere (e.g. by Aleister Crowley or Dion Fortune).

Which book by Israel Regardie would be advisable for a complete novice?

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