Tag Archives: astrology

The Bells! The Bells!

"... it tolls for thee."

“… it tolls for thee.”

Happy Solar Return to me. When this time of year comes around, I have mixed feelings about calculating my Solar Return chart, because it will supposedly show whether the forthcoming year ahead will be a good or a bad one. Thus with trepidation I crunch the numbers into my astrology program…


Ahem. Sorry for that outburst. It’s just that I notice that at the precise moment of the return, the Sun is conjunct Venus, of which it is said:

You will have opportunities for romantic relationships. One person (or several!) may court you intensely. You will receive innumerable invitations, and the choice of accepting will be yours.

Moreover: the Moon, which represents where my heart will lie, is in its exaltation in Taurus, a notoriously marriage-prone sign, in the Seventh House – the house of Marriage.

This is a complete disaster! For years now I have been relying on my obnoxious personality to fend off the thousands of women who solicit my time and attention. Can it be that the stars have other ideas in mind? CRUEL FATE! WHY DO YOU MOCK ME???


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It’s Friday 13th, a Full Moon AND Mercury is Retrograde. What could possibly go wrong?

The Olsen Twins

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, born 1986, are celebrating their 28th birthdays on Friday 13th 2014. Oops :(

First the good news. “Friday the 13th” as a superstition is actually a load of spurious nonsense. There are no historical indicators that people thought it superstitious before the late 19th century, and it only really took off just over a hundred years ago. The whole fuss of the Templars being arrested on Friday the 13th? A modern ret-con!

Insurance companies have found that often, Friday 13th is less unlucky than other days of the year – because people are going out of their way to be careful. So whilst 13 is allegedly an unlucky number generally speaking, I have argued on this blog that in Qabalistic terms, it is in fact quite the opposite.

That being said, however, I notice a lot of talk on social media that Friday 13th June 2014 (a date alleged to associated with bad luck) is occurring during a Mercury Retrograde (also alleged to be associated with bad luck) and on the same day as the Full Moon (associated with Witches etc). Speaking as an astrologer, I would say that the world is not going to end that day. However, the planets on that day do feature some “interesting” alignments (as in the old Chinese curse, “May you live interesting times.”)

Chart for 12 noon on Friday 13th June 2014, London, UK.

Chart for 12 noon on Friday 13th June 2014, London, UK.

In the above chart, which shows the horoscope for Friday 13th June 2014, all of the red-lines denote relationships which are potentially problematic. There are three main sets to consider here:

  • The Sun + Mercury retrograde vs Moon opposition;
  • The Saturn retrograde vs Venus opposition; and
  • The Mars / Pluto / Uranus “T-formation.”

As regards the first: a retrograde is where the energies of a planet are directed inward rather than outward. Mercury, however, being a faster-moving planet, is never retrograde for too long (it is actually turning direct on 1st July). Hence, the period of a Mercury retrograde is an excellent time for planning what schemes you will commence next month – so long as you make sure you don’t actually commence them until next month.

Unfortunately, retrograde Mercury, the planet of communication breakdowns, is opposed by the Moon, the planet of how well we get on with other people. This combination presages arguments, quarrelling, misunderstandings, social awkwardness, and major faux pas! This will be especially the case in relation to self-esteem issues (i.e. the Sun’s influence).

As regards the second: miserable and overly-cautious Saturn is putting a serious damper on favourably placed Venus in Taurus. Marital upsets or frustration of marriage plans ahoy!

As for the T-formation, irritable and impulsive Mars is likely to fly off the handle at Uranus being an awkward sod. Meanwhile, devious Pluto is offended by Mars’ bolshiness and is secretly stirring up Uranus to be even more contrary – thus exacerbating the situation! This may sound like bad news: however, one may console oneself by noting that these three are relatively slow-moving planets, which means that this description applies to the times generally i.e. this Friday may be shit, but it will be no more shit in this regard than what has been occurring recently.

BUT… do you need to be worried about any of this?

Generally speaking, no – unless it happens to be your birthday that day. For most people, the energies of that day will pass with that day. Best to be overly cautious, like the drivers who manage to cause less accidents when it’s Friday the 13th! However, for those whose birthday is the 13th June, there is a theory in astrology that the position of the planets at the exact moment that the Sun returns to its position in one’s natal chart point out what you have to expect in the coming year. Thus the Moon/mercury, Saturn/Venus oppositions and the T-formation will conspire to leave a long shadow over the forthcoming twelve months.

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New Beginnings

Saturday March 1st 2014 is an auspicious date, astrologically speaking. The previous day, Mercury will have turned direct again after its most recent retrograde period. Whilst in the early hours of Saturday morning (GMT) is the precise moment of the New Moon.

Saturday 1st March 2014, the day of the New Moon and Mercury turning direct.

Saturday 1st March 2014, the day of the New Moon and Mercury turning direct.

What better day than to start some new adventure? Indeed, and I myself shall be marking the day by hitting the road to promote the print edition of my latest* book Taromancer. On that Saturday I shall commence my nation-wide tour of the United Kingdom with a book-signing / tarot-reading session in Manchester. The print edition is available from Amazon, although I will be bringing along a limited number of copies myself.

Please get in touch if you are interested in coming along and I will keep you informed as to the precise time and place!

* When I say “latest” I mean I came out with it on Kindle as long ago as December 2013. Yes! Believe it or not I am still on the promotional trail of the last book, unlike some writers I could mention! ;-)


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What the Stars Have In Store For… The Golden Dawn

What with prominent people in cyberspace suddenly renouncing the Golden Dawn tradition – although, when it is convenient to them, not renouncing the Golden Dawn legacy – bethought myself that there might be something astrological going on? I therefore decided to cast a chart for the Golden Dawn itself, and investigate.

The Birth of the Golden Dawn

The three founders of the GD signed the original warrant for Isis Urania temple on 12th February 1888 (so immediately we know the GD is Sun Aquarius, Moon Pisces). I was not able to find a time or place this took place, but I am willing to bet that it was at Westcott’s house. According to The Golden Dawn Scrapbook, this was 396 Camden Road, London, England. Thanks to Google Maps I was able to get precise latitude and longitude for this.

As to the birth time, I was going to use an approximated time… but then a thought occurred to me. The Golden Dawn received unwanted public attention on two notable occasions – the Looking Glass Trial in 1911, and the publication of “The Golden Dawn” by Israel Regardie, the last volume of which came out in 1940. A twenty-nine year gap separates these two years i.e. the length of the orbit of Saturn. Hence, Saturn would have been transitting the same part of the Golden Dawn’s “chart” on each of these two occasions.

I therefore decided I could use this information to create a Rectified chart for the Golden Dawn. Receiving unwanted public attention is one of the by-products of Saturn transitting the MC. On the day the Looking Glass trial was reported in the papers, Saturn was at 9º 16′ of Taurus, whilst in 1940 it would have ranged from 5º to 17º Taurus. I therefore decided to pick an arbitrary figure of 10º Taurus, this being a nice round number which makes the “best fit.”

Crunching this into Solar Fire, I got the following:

The Golden Dawn

Time (Rectified): 17:02

Date: 12th February 1888

Place: 51º 13′ 10″ North, 0º 7′ 20″ West.

Ascendant (Rectified)Leo.

Sun: Aquarius.

Moon: Pisces.

Rectified birth chart for the Golden Dawn, based on the MC being 10º Taurus and the warrant being signed at Westcott's house.

Rectified birth chart for the Golden Dawn, based on the MC being 10º Taurus and the warrant being signed at Westcott’s house.

What appears to have happened, therefore, is that Westcott, Woodman and Mathers founded the Golden Dawn over sherry one evening! But what does it all mean?

Birth chart interpretation

Of the combination Sun Aquarius / Moon Pisces, it is said:

[This] … produces a mind that is very original and able to grasp the most vague, ethereal and extreme concepts.

And also:

You are a person who is naturally persevering and conscientious, being interested in detail, method and order. Your way of reacting to the world is very interesting. You can spend days just dreaming and speculating. You are fascinated by the unusual and the abstract, finding it interesting to take up studies in any number of bizarre topics. Loving to read and study, you may become very well informed on a wide variety of subjects. You lean heavily on your hunches and way out ideas, and you’re easily distracted from routine work. You dream a lot and you have an utter faith in the dreams you dream.

Moreover, given the fact that the Sun and Moon are both in the seventh house, this ought to be ideal for a large group of people who all want to work together and get along with one another – would it not?

However, a warning bell is sounded by Mercury in the 7th house – of which Cafe Astrology says: “You might attract partners who are not especially sincere or downright duplicitous.” Also, the fact that both Mercury and the Moon are in Pisces would indicate that the GD had a tendency to dwell in illusion and perhaps being economic with l’actualité – telling its members what they wanted to believe, not what was strictly accurate – whilst in a stressful situation  it would react with throwing out a haze of disinformation and deceit.

Leo, being the rising sign, would indicate a propensity for drama and performance – thus fitting in well with the GD’s use of dramatic ritual. However, Cafe Astrology says of those with Leo Rising: “[t]hey are given to rash decisions, temper tantrums, and excesses.”

What this means for the modern Golden Dawn movement

Oh irony of ironies! Saturn was again transitting Taurus back in 1999 – right in the middle of the flame wars involving HOMSI and David Griffin proclaiming his supposed Golden Dawn Reformation. Obviously it would be a churlish for me to suggest that this was a public scandal just as damaging to Golden Dawn as had been the shenanigans involving Crowley and Regardie, so I won’t.

Looking however at the present, the following transits are occurring roundabout now / the not too distant future.

Saturn will be square to the Golden Dawn’s Ascendant (as established above) on 14th February… then it will go retrograde and form an exact square on 19th March, before going direct again and making another exact square on 25th October. This indicates current key relationships being put to the test, and some GDers wanting to break down old structures. October will be an especially testing time as the planet will also square the GD’s natal Sun, making the movement feel as it is undergoing an endurance test. An opposition to the natal Neptune in November 2014 will appear to shovel more grief on.  However… the good news is that it is entirely possible for the members of the GD to overcome these difficulties, by sticking to their core ideals and especially concentrating on spiritual studies.

Jupiter meanwhile, being square to the GD’s natal Uranus (exact on 25th December 2013 and 13th May 2014), indicates people feeling irritable and wanting to break free of past restrictions, and even causing rebellion. Separately, Jupiter is in opposition to natal Venus, signifying difficulty in relationships. Already around Christmas 2013 we have seen Nick Farrell and Sincerus Renatus each say they want to get out of the GD tradition. Come August Jupiter will be squaring the rectified Mid-heaven, indicating some difficulty in juggling public and private responsibilities: this will follow on from a square with natal Mars in June 2014, indicating that some GDers will be overly-assertive to the point of aggression in trying to achieve their goals (no doubt leading to more arguments, etc).

However, transitting Jupiter does form harmonious aspects with natal Mercury (good for writing projects);  Saturn (good for achieving balance with ones responsibilities); and Jupiter (optimism, opportunities).


So all in all, I believe that there is sound evidence to support the rectification arrived at above. Moreover, recent events within the GD community would indicate that there is an astrological impetus for them.

BUT… seeing as the whole point of spiritual development in the GD tradition is to transcend the influences of the stars and planets, being prey to their influence is hardly Hermetic, now, is it?


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Foretelling the Future – How Not To Do It

Astrologer poking his head out of the sphere of fixed stars to see what lies beyond

“Help! I’m stuck!” ;-)

In an article in the forthcoming Journal of Consumer Research, researchers report that the way people react to a prediction of the future (e.g. an astrological forecast), depends to a large extent on the extent to which they believe in fate. In some circumstances this may lead to seemingly counter-intuitive behaviour. (NB: this story was misreported in the Daily Telegraph today under a headline luridly suggesting horoscopes may be bad for you, despite the fact that technically speaking, no actual astrology took place during the study concerned.)

The gist of their findings is this: if you give a prediction of ill-omen to someone who believes fate is malleable, that person is likely to choose a “virtuous” course of action (i.e. in an attempt to avert the omen). However, if you give the same prediction to someone who believes fate is fixed, they are likely to just thing “F— it,” and just go do something self-indulgent. In such a situation, trying to use the prediction as a warning to them to mend their ways will end up having the opposite effect that which is intended.

This has potentially important implications for those of us who practice divination, either in the form of Astrology, Tarot, or some other method.

In order to make use of divination as an effective tool to help someone, it is necessary first to make them understand that their Fate is not fixed, that they still have free will and therefore the choice to either avoid or accept the message being given to them. There is an old saying: the stars impel, they do not compel. This rather goes back to the ancient Hermetic view of the universe, which was that it was possible to rise above the influence of the stars and the planets if one were to ascend in consciousness – to “free one’s mind,” in other words. Divination – typically in the form of astrology – was thus the key to achieving this freedom, as it enabled the individual to be fully informed of the route he or she needed to take in life – rather than be imprisoned in a deterministic, mechanistic universe.

This approach can be applied by analogy to other forms of Divination, e.g. the Tarot, which releases intuitive insights from the consciousness of the reader. Instead of predicting the future, per se, the divination is in fact pointing out present causes: and, indeed, present opportunities. These only create a “fate” where the querent is unwilling to take responsibility for his or her own actions.

My tarot themed novel, Taromancer, is free until December 11th 2013. Hurry to download a copy now!

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What Kim Jong-Un Has In Store For The Stars

Imagine a world where if you hear a song on the radio, and you hate it so much that you literally want the person who sung it to be taken out and executed. Well imagine no longer – it’s actually happening in North Korea! According to today’s Daily Telegraph, Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s answer to Mr Bean, has actually gone and done what other people only dream of doing, and executed a whole load of pop-stars. And he’s started off by executing one of his ex-girlfriends.

Now it would be churlish of me to say that must have been one hell of a bad break-up, so I won’t. Also, given that the stated reason was because she was allegedly involved in making a porn film, one might be sorely tempted to speculate the real reason as to why they split… but I won’t do that either. Instead, it is at times like these that I recall that I blogged about Kim Jong Un back in April, so it would be interesting to see what I predicted. I wrote:

Mars, however, does form a challenging angle with Mercury, suggesting that the current publicity KJU is generating is essentially posturing and rhetoric. More worryingly, though, it may also indicate the violent repression of freedom of the press, communication,  and writers in general – so don’t expect any of my books to be available in North Korea any time soon.

Violent repression of… communication. Mercury is, amongst other things, the planet of performers, including musicians. Thus, the current news from North Korea is an ongoing manifestation of the astrological forces I identified over three months ago.

Moreover: we should also note that in the chart I drew up for Kim Jong-Un’s regime, Mercury is conjunct the Moon’s True Node. Hence, these murderous outrages will actually characterise Kim Jong-Un’s rule all the while he remains in power.


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Sun Sign Astrology vs Mathematics

The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction, by Nate Silver

Reading The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Predictionby Nate Silver, the other day (a book which has nothing to do with the occult), it occurred to me – how would Astrology stand up against analysis in terms of Bayesian Probability? Bayesian Probability is the art of updating original estimates of probability in the light of new evidence. This can be expressed in the following terms.

Let X be the estimated probability of The Outcome which we had before we had the new Evidence (the “Prior”);

Let Y be the probability that the Evidence is conditional upon the Outcome being true;

Let Z be the probability that the Evidence is conditional upon the Outcome being false.

The probability of the Outcome given the Evidence (the “Posterior”) can therefore be expressed as:

Bayes' Theorem

Now let us suppose the following hypothetical situation:

Let us suppose that by some fluke someone has obtained evidence tending to prove that people with Sun in Leo do in fact behave like typical Leos 100% of the time. The probability that people born with Sun in Leo behave like typical Leos in the light of this evidence is not 100%. This may sound counter-intuitive, but real astrologers who know the limitations of the Sun-sign astrology – the kind that gets published in newspapers and vapid glossy magazines – will begin to see why. We can quantify actually quantify these limitations by using the Bayesian formula above to work out a more accurate probability. I.e.

Let X be the probability that we would have ascribed a person with Sun in Leo behaving like a typical Leo, had we not had the new evidence. Logically, by pure chance alone we know that this can be no lower than 1/12.

Let Y be the probability that the results of the evidence are conditional on our Prior being true. Now here is where the Skeptic will depart from the True Believer. The Skeptic will claim that Y = 0, on the basis that he would not accept the evidence nor indeed any evidence as tending to support the reality of Astrology. The True Believer, on the other hand, will want to argue that Y = 1.00, i.e. that it definitely does support the reality of Astrology, and moreover, the correlation in our hypothetical situation is 100%. Let’s assume – for the moment at any rate – that we are not Skeptics, and that we accept that Y = 1.00.

Let Z be the probability that the results of the evidence are conditional on our Prior being false.  Duh, well where did the evidence come from then if this is so? This is where the limitations of Sun-Sign astrology come in. The real Astrologer will be aware that a person could display some Leonine-characteristics if any one of the planets fell in Leo on their chart – or if one of the major angles such as the Ascendant or Mid-heaven were in Leo. So along with the Ascendant and MC there are ten other planets in Astrology: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Therefore we could say that Z = 11/12, the probability that it was caused by either the Ascendant, MC or at least one of the other planets falling in Leo. This of course is an approximation: a quick look at world demographics by age will tell us that not everyone on the planet can have seen the slowest moving planets pass through all 12 zodiacal signs: even the world’s oldest human being has only seen Pluto move through half the zodiac during her lifetime.

Anyway, if we crunch these figures, we will find that even if we are True Believers and we have the best evidence possible, our updated probability only works out at 9.08% – which is only a little better than by chance alone (the prior, 1/12, by comparison, is 8.3%). The Skeptic however would have arrived at a figure of exactly 0% i.e. impossible, because anything multiplied by zero is zero.

Or to put it another way, if you are reading your daily horoscope in the paper and it’s written by a competent astrologer who knows his or her stuff, and has evidence to back it up, there is still only a 9.08% chance it will apply to you! And that’s being generous!

However, we now know how to scientifically test the proposition in order to come up with more realistic figures. Take a sample of any amount (e.g. 1000) who are all the same sun sign (e.g. Leo). Calculate the Horoscopes of each one - this will give us a more representative Z figure, because then we will know to what extent we can exclude the influence of other planets in the results. Devise a test to see whether the test subjects react in a way typical of that sun-sign, and if so to what extent. This will give us a more representative Y figure.

What we would expect to see is that once the influence of the other planets in each person’s chart has been been determined, the resulting Z figure would probably be lower than 11/12. However, there is also no reason to suppose that the Y figure would be as high as 1.00. If the test results turn out to be less than 100% – which, except in the case of a sheer miracle, will be most likely – the maximum possible value of Y would decrease accordingly.

If we then crunch the numbers according to Bayes’ Theorem and come up with any number greater than 8.3%, that would be a justification for further investigation. If however the Posterior comes to less than 8.3% (the prior, what we would have expected by chance alone), then we know that the hypothesis has not been proven.

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The Placing of the Elements In A Golden Dawn Temple

This is a follow up post to The Elements and the Four Cardinal Directions by Aaron Leitch. The question naturally arises – why are they where they are? And: should they ever be changed?

As to the first, there are actually several plausible reasons. The first is that the stated reason in GD documents is that they are placed according to “the winds.” As I understand it this refers to Tetrabiblos, a second century work on Astrology by Claudius Ptolemy, thus:

East Dry Spring Air
South Warm Summer Fire
West Moist Autumn Water
North Cold Winter Earth

Whilst Ptolemaic Astrology is thus the proximate cause of the placing, it does enable several layers of symbolism to be interpolated into a temple arranged in this manner.


Now, I have actually seen some exponents of Alchemy claim that Fire is the most volatile of all the elements. However, when learned Alchemy, I learnt differently – that Air is the most volatile. Trying to figure out why these differences occur, I came to the conclusion that those in the Fire camp were taking their cues from Jean Dubuis, of the Philosophers of Nature, whilst the chap from whom I learnt Alchemy was instead inspired by Frater Albertus, of the Paracelsus Research Society.

After the Chaos has been prepared, the elements are separated from it in the order of Most Volatile (requiring only a very gentle heat), Second Most Volatile (requiring a slightly more vigorous heat), Third most Volatile / second most Fixed (requiring a fairly robust heat), and finally Most Fixed (requiring the fiercest heat of all). The Order out of Chaos, as I learnt the elements is

First, Air, the Subtle part of which becomes the Mercury;
Second, Fire, Sulphur;
Third, Water, Salt; and finally

Hence, in this manner, starting from the East and circumambulating Deosil, one encounters the elements in the order they come out of chaos, from most volatile to most fixed.

Adonai vs Jehovah

Pentagram (approximately) drawn on the belt of the Zodiac.

Pentagram (approximately) drawn on the belt of the Zodiac.

The “Fire-first” school however do not rest there: taking the Air and Fire flipped around, they apply the order of the elements to the Tetragrammaton, hence: Fire, Air, Water and Earth = Yod Heh Vah Heh. This is in contrast to the GD view of the matter, which holds that the Tetragrammaton is based on Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

I believe the confusion arises because the Fire-first fail to consider the following point:

The YHVH formula is based on Astrology, and is reflected in the Hexagram Ritual, the placing of the Elements on the altar in the Vault of the Adepti, and the order in which you would see the Cardinal signs rise above the Horizon if you got up at dawn on the Spring Equinox: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn – Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. The YHVH formula (actually the Yeheshuah Formula) is also the reason the for the assignment of the elements to the particular points of the Pentagram.

The placement of the elements in the Outer order of the GD, however, is not based on the YHVH formula but on the ADNI (“Adonai”) formula – which is identical to that of the Four Winds of Ptolemy. What what what? There’s an Adonai-formula, I hallucinate that I hear you ask? Well, yes, actually. There are twenty four  combinations of Aleph, Daleth, Nun and Yod, which each refer to one of the 24 seniors of the Book of the Apocalypse. The Adonai Formula is not generally known amongst English-speaking occultists as it comes from continental Europe. This is what Macgregor Mathers referred to when he mentioned the significance of “ADONAI” in his paper on the magical formulae of the Zelator grade (see: Pat Zalewski’s Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn).

The late Robert Ambelain mentioned it in his book Practical Kabbalah, until his publishers decided to force the translator to take the English edition off-line. Hence I cannot in any good conscience encourage you to search for it online, despite the fact you may feel curious to do so.

Embedded commands aside, the applicability of the Adonai formula to the placing of the elements is thus:

ALEPH Elemental AIR East
DALETH Venus, a planet associated (according to Eliphas Levi, amongst others) with FIRE South
NUN Fixed WATER West
YOD Mutable EARTH North

The Fire-First school of thought thus tries to bang their own placement of the elements into the YHVH formula like a Hollywood film producer trying to bang the wrong actor into the role of Batman: everyone know it does not fit, and it will only upset people. However – by removing the assumption that one necessarily has to work with the YHVH formula in all circumstances, and by learning that there are other Qabalistic formulae which are better suited to the task, a much more elegant solution is provided.


The Human Aura


Just as an aside, I would like to point out that at this point that the order Air – Fire – Water – Earth, is also the order of the elements as they are attributed to the four lower Chakras in Yoga: Air – Anahata (Heart); Fire – Manipura (Solar Plexus); Water – Svadisthana (Groin); and Earth – Muladhara (Base). Hence one is working the Pentagram ritual one can be said to be opening the four lower Chakra, in succession.

Should the Order of the Elements Ever Be Changed?


In Golden Dawn ceremonies we get to travel through time and space, and across dimensions!

Sometimes I hear people opine that when casting the four quarters, the elements should be changed to fit local circumstances – for instance, a number of people who live in the Southern Hemisphere think that Fire and Earth should be flipped around, to match the course of the Sun as seen from their perspective.

Now, what various pagans choose to do in their own traditions is up to them: but what about the Golden Dawn? Should the placing of the elements be changed in a Golden Dawn temple working in the southern hemisphere?

In my opinion, there can only be one answer – a categoric NO. And I say so for the following reasons:

A Golden Dawn temple physically located in England or America, is not operating in England or America;

A Golden Dawn temple in (e.g.) Australia, is not operating in Australia.

Both of them, despite being on opposite sides of the world, are actually operating in one and the same place. The magical inner-workings of the Golden Dawn ceremonies take the Temple, and astrally transport it through Time and Space and across dimensions – to the Hall of the Duat, in the Egyptian otherworld.

Hence, the correct placing of the elements should neither be for the Northern Hemisphere, if your temple is in the Northern Hemisphere, nor for the Southern Hemisphere if it is physically located there, but for how the elements would be placed in the Hall of Judgement in the Egyptian otherworld. And according to the GD tradition, that is: Air, East; Fire, South; Water, West; Earth, North.


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Written in the stars… Why do we put our faith in horoscopes?


Simon Singh claims he will give £10k to charity if any newspaper astrologer can acquit him / herself in his rigorous tests… but he doesn’t say what the astrologer has to donate if the astrologer doesn’t make it.

Is this Simon Singh guy a raving loony or what? Come on guys,this is a quick way to raise ten big ones for charity, at no cost to yourselves!

And before you say “what about my reputation?” – hey, I’d do it, I’ve done silly stuff for Comic Relief before, so I wouldn’t be losing anything that I haven’t lost already. ;-)

Originally posted on Metro:

SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC.. Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn,  Aquarius and Pisces. Zodiac Icons --- Image by   Denis Scott/Corbis

The signs of the zodiac (Picture: Corbis)

Looking at the science, I’m inclined to be a bit of a sceptic when it comes to horoscopes. But then I would say that – I’m a Cancerian.

My cynicism might also be on account of Neptune being in retrograde, of course. And then there’s the gravitational pull of Uranus.

Interestingly, however, whatever your star sign does say about you, it isn’t likely to determine whether or not you’ll believe in astrology in the first place – Mystic Meg is a Leo, Russell Grant an Aquarius and Jonathan Cainer a Sagittarius.

Patrick Arundell, an astrologer for 16 years, writer of Metro’s horoscopes and an Aquarius, said: ‘Many people no longer see astrology or a daily horoscope as being about neat prediction as much as an account of planetary angles on any given day.

‘They know the astrologer is keen to give them a…

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The Astrology of Earth Day

Earth Day was first instituted in the United States on April 22nd 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Representative Pete McCloskey, and a number of other concerned individuals including one Julian Koenig, a PR Executive. The idea was that every University and School would set aside one day each year exclusively for teaching its students about the Environment. Since its beginnings 43 years ago Earth Day continues to be marked as an unofficial Environmental awareness day.

Why, though, was it held on April 22nd? According to Wikipedia:

Senator Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an “environmental teach-in”. He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet as it did not fall during exams or spring breaks. Moreover, it did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22.

It also happened to be Mr Koenig’s birthday!

However, when Your Humble Blogmaster first heard about this Earth Day business, I did not have access to the historical detail as related above. What I did see, however, was the influence of forces beyond mortal ken at work. Specifically: April 22nd is when the Sun first enters Taurus – the sign of Fixed Earth. So, either Senator Nelson was secretly into astrology as well, or in fact Earth Day is decreed by the stars!


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