Exeter Astrology Group
Exeter Astrology Group was formed in 1996. Our first meeting occurred in October, following the AA Conference in the city. Roy Gillett, the Astrological Association's chairperson at the time, made the announcement at 11.28 am on 8 September after a plenary session. We have adopted this time for our foundation chart. The group horoscope responds very actively to transits and progressions.
Founding members included Ed Gillam, Clanice Clarke and Catherine Griffiths. Ed took responsibility for running the group for the first three years. In 1999 the memorable and powerful August 1999 solar eclipse occurred on the group's MC: other people began to help run the group, and we formed a committee to share responsibilities. Long-standing members Louise Vergette-Lynn, Charlie Linton and Richard Burch began attending the group around that time. Each of them has played an active role in the group.
We started our group website in 1997. Ed designed early versions of the site. The website was probably one of the first local group sites in the UK. Over time, others have taken on responsibility for our web presence. Louise has ensured that we've been on Facebook since 2007. We started our public Facebook page in 2013, and our website was re-launched using Blogger. The site is now more interactive. Different group members contribute to the blog and blog posts are shared to Facebook. Our internet presence is essential to promoting the activities of the group. It is the primary way in which we attract new members.
Richard designed the EAG Logo. He's an artist with an interest in horary techniques and political astrology. The eagle motif reflects the group's Scorpio ascendant. Richard has also been the group's treasurer since 2007.
Louise took over the role of Chair in 2012. Louise's particular interests are natal and experiential astrology. She manages social media for the group as well as teaching beginner's astrology locally. She is also social media coordinator for the Astrological Association.
Other active group members include Val Belcher, Deb Jefferson Zhao, Jennie Fernyhough, Moragh Mason and Ursula Salter. All have supported the group actively by taking up key roles such as Chair, Treasurer, Secretary or deputising for the key office holders as needed.
With a prominent Cancer Moon conjunct the ruling Mars, we are a feisty but close-knit group. This, combined with the Scorpio Ascendant, give us emotional tenacity and staying power and contributes to the group's longevity. There is a Moon-Neptune theme, with the opposition in the group chart being reflected in the charts of many of the prominent group members.
Since 2012, the transiting Uranus-Pluto square has been hitting the group's Jupiter in Capricorn, Saturn in Aries and nodal axis. The group has been re-thinking its structure and has drafted a Constitution. Latterly, Saturn has been transiting the group's Ascendant at 6° Scorpio; the November solar eclipse also highlighted this area of the chart. The presence of Uranus and Saturn has been evident in themes of old and new, change and status quo, structure and freedom, the past and the future. The group has been re-defining itself and making changes to ensure a sustainable future. True to Saturn this has not always been easy! The constitution was finally signed on 22nd May 2014 at 13.13.
The Group is run by its members and anyone with an interest in astrology can join. The emphasis of the group is on social interaction and mutual learning. We want to bring astrologers of all levels of experience together for friendship, support and discussion. Beginners are very welcome.
The Friends' Meeting House in central Exeter is our venue, on the second Sunday afternoon of each month. Meetings start with a talk on a specific topic. This is generally led by one of the group's members, or occasionally a visiting speaker. After tea break we look at charts more closely. The charts vary according to what everyone wants, sometimes a small group will look at each others' charts, while others might work with horary or mundane charts. Some of the group then move on to George's Meeting House in South Street, just around the corner for chat and astro-talk. In addition, we meet at George's halfway between the monthly talks, for a social get-together. Check the group website for more details.
We have group outings - for example visiting our neighbouring group in Plymouth for their annual seminar, outings and workshops, or travelling to Bath for a CPA seminar or for the Sophia Centre Conference.
We also hold a yearly all-day seminar, generally in March or April. On these occasions we invite a visiting speaker to lead an intensive workshop. In the past we've enjoyed sessions with Maggie Hyde, Bernadette Brady, Nick Campion and Melanie Reinhart. These day seminars attract around forty participants. Many local astrologers use them as a chance to catch up with colleagues and spend time learning with a professional astrologer.
With regard to the year ahead: More details about Melanie's Reinhart's seminar will be available soon. Alex Trenoweth will be our guest speaker in February, talking about the astrology of adolescence. We would also like to start a self-led Hellenistic Astrology Study Group. There are plans to develop our relationship with Plymouth Astrology Group further too. Louise has been working to promote greater contact and relationships between local astrology groups in the UK generally, and she is hoping to develop this work further in 2014. Ed will be giving a talk at the forthcoming Astrological Association Conference.
For more information about the group, please contact us. We would be delighted to hear from you or to see you at one of our meetings, and in the meantime wish you all the very best for 2014.