Astrological Inspiration

Astrological Inspiration for November 2015

full moon This month’s New Moon falls in the sign of Scorpio at the nineteenth degree. To be clear, there are thirty degrees in every zodiac sign, which are numbered 0-29 (think about it and it makes sense – the first degree is 0 to 1; the last degree is 29-30 – that’s really all we need to know!) The wisdom of ancient astrology includes a focus on what are known as ‘Critical Degrees’ and nineteen Scorpio is one of them. In fact, ye olde astrologers termed it “the accursed degree of the accursed sign” which, personally, I think sounds a bit harsh. Some of my most respected friends and colleagues are Scorpios! (that is, the Sun was in that sign on their date of birth). They are lovely people with amazing wisdom.

However, the astrological sages of olden times had their reasons and whilst they didn’t always go much into the logic of them, they did explain how a problem could manifest. Basically, under a nineteen degree Scorpio new Moon, new projects might not have the entire blessing of the universe. Does that mean we should scrap them or postpone? Not necessarily – although if your gut instincts have already been saying that, please don’t ignore them. That intuitive part of you deserves some air space. However, if you are definitely going to go ahead with something, I suggest drawing on the strength of other planets to help you. The New Moon happens to be near the messenger planet, Mercury, so a little more communication may help. But make sure not to load it with raw feelings.

If you receive an email or phone call that rubs you up the wrong way, find a way to create a gap so you can process the ‘stuff’ that has just been tapped into – because you can be pretty sure it’s to do with the past and an earlier experience, at its core. If you can pinpoint that one, then you can take the Scorpio sting right out of the present reaction, give the new project the kiss of life and move forward with renewed vigour, confidence and glee!

The Healing Edge


Photo by digital cat, München

For some people, the emotional hangover from the past is to do with deep-seated trauma, which can have a variety of causes. Anything from a car crash or physical accident to childhood abuse, attack, rape, bullying and witnessing murder or brutality – plus a whole host of other incidents in between. These experiences, whether one-offs or a collection of episodes, come under the general term of PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder. And a therapeutic treatment gaining increasing ground in treating this is EMDR. Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming sounds like a rather technical and unexciting title, yet the treatment is highly powerful for countering long-held stress and anxiety reactions and can change a person’s life experience dramatically for the better.

Finding the right practitioner is important; some of the most dedicated therapists travel to the USA to gain the latest training at first hand (the US is 10-15 years ahead of the UK, currently carrying out successful treatments for soldiers returning from Afghanistan), which may include specialised auditory equipment only available from Asia. Edward Sim, with a well-established practice in Uckfield, Sussex, has up to the minute information and further resources. A general outline of EMDR can be found here.

Writing and Publishing Trends

sad woman walkingIncreasingly, I receive more and more memoirs for appraisal and editing and frequently the authors relate very tricky incidents that they have witnessed or been subject to. I often suggest that survivors of traumatic situations consider whether the public arena of a published memoir is the right place to elaborate on what has happened to them. For some people, speaking to a counsellor, or undergoing a treatment such as EMDR might be appropriate. But for some authors it is important that their history and life experiences are documented in a more public way. In this regard, my role is to help the author to shape the writing in a way that helps the reader to want to keep reading. After all, not everyone wants to hear about difficult, shocking or painful events. However, handled in the right way, the writing may be inspirational, heart-warming, educational and compelling.

My current favourite is a bereavement memoir by Tara J Lal: Standing on my Brother’s Shoulders; making peace with grief and suicide, addressing the multiple difficult areas of early loss of a parent, male mental health issues and suicide in the family. Tara’s book has received praise for her beautiful writing and for providing such a sensitive and balanced account of difficult subject matter – and rightly so, in my opinion.

Reflection for the month: Curses or Flowers?

Returning to the astrological focus, thinking about the so-called “accursed” degree made me also think about curses (and how to lift them!). What are curses exactly? We might think about childhood fairytales of witches able to cast spells and lay curses on others. The Oxford dictionary defines a curse as: a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something. In other words, there is usually an active component of nasty intention behind a curse.

There can also be superstitious beliefs around the existence of a curse as a sort of jinx, such as in the area of sport. Wikipedia, for instance, mentions the Crucible Curse, whereby it has been noted that no first time winner at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre has been able to defend his title since its inception in 1977. In either case, what is significant is that a curse can really only hold power if people give it power – and this is done through the strength of belief. So yes, if we are to lift curses, we need to hold on to positive thinking, self-confidence and courage and not allow the power of fear to make us cave in. After all, we might not even try at something if we allow fear to take the lead.

As for casual curses – next time you wish that something bad would befall someone you don’t feel very positive about, perhaps consider that you’re laying something of a curse. They may not notice, but you may feel the worse for having done this so that, every time you think of them, you don’t feel quite so well or contented.

pink roseWhat might be better is to consider what positive action on your part could put the situation on a better footing, even if only in your thoughts. Making this transformative, alchemical change will affect the chemical activity in your brain and body and help you to feel lighter. So, mentally send pink roses without the thorns next time you want to manage some negative thinking! Or at least think of someone you’d like to send them to. It will help your own health and peace of mind in the long run a lot better than brewing up a resentment scenario – because resentments, apart from making us feel churned up, place us as victims. Who wants to be a victim? Not Scorpio, that’s for sure. But being bitter and getting even is not necessarily the best way forward. Not only is it not very spiritual, but it engenders an inner poison that won’t help the digestive system one little bit.

Remember: the Scorpion has the ability to sting itself, too! Pink roses it is, then. And why not send a beautiful bunch of them to yourself as a reward for all your hard work – and to acknowledge the beautiful soul that you truly are.

Tarot Cross Check

In my client consultation practice I offer something called a Combination Reading, which literally involves combining two divination tools together, to see what insight is shown. More often than not, one seems to ‘confirm’ the message of the other; occasionally it adds something new. Either way, I think of it as a cross check, rather like the situation in an aeroplane, where the flight assistant does a ‘cabin cross check’, before take-off. Looking at the tarot for the new Moon this month, which we find through the numerology of the date figures, the relevant numbers and cards are: 11 = XI Justice and 19 = XIX The Sun (this is using the popular Rider Waite Smith system; for fans of the more traditional Tarot de Marseille, 11 = XI Strength).

starsI think the RWS cards match the mood of the Scorpio New Moon very well; Justice has a karmic feel to it, in the sense that we get back what we give out. If we can manage to balance the scales shown in that card and find our own, inner centre, we can make calmer decisions and act in fairer ways all round. I like the idea that through this alchemical balancing act, we then get in touch with our creative source again, as represented by the Sun. This card shows a child riding naked on a white horse, symbols of creative, innocent energy, freedom and purity; the idea that if we are free of negative vibrations, we can connect more powerfully to our essential nature, which is naturally in touch with the creative wellspring of life. This in turn heals us and helps us to find more happiness in the future, potentially attracting more joy and peace into our lives.

Wishing you happy star-gazing, joyous healing and inspired writing!