In The Loop April 2015

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Welcome to the April issue of The Astrological Association's (AA) monthly newsletter, In The Loop. Please feel free to forward this on to friends, peers, students and anyone else you think might want to read this information or subscribe to the e-letter.

This issue the AA are giving an article from the AA Journal archives free. Read about The True Nature of the Moon by Alan Oken. Mark Cullen, the Chair of the Scottish Astrological Association writes an interesting article about the history of the association. Also included are articles from two local groups, one in Glastonbury and the other in Glasgow.

There is also the usual free download for you to listen to. I hope you enjoy In the Loop and if you have any feedback you would like to give, please email

Christine Chalklin

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This month's articles and news from local groups

The True Nature of the Moon by Alan Oken Read it here

The Scottish Astrological Association (SAA Ltd) By Mark Cullen.Read it here

Aquarius Rising: The West of Scotland Astrology Group Read it here

The Glastonbury Astrology Group By Carolina Lamus. Read it here

This month's free audio download

The Crosses in Medical Astrology by Jane Ridder-Patrick, speaking at the 2005 AA conference

The Scottish Astrological Association

by Mark Cullen

I suppose with a title like Scottish Astrological Association (SAA) it is a bit of a give-away that our group's ambitions, at its foundation,were somewhat grander than just being a local astrology group. We were the first astrology group to be founded in Scotland way back in 1974. (Foundation chart 16/02/1974, 12:26 GMT. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK). There is no doubt there was a fantastic amount of energy and enthusiasm around the study of astrology that accompanied the launch of our Association in 1974. The main catalyst in that process was undoubtedly our first Chair Cameron Greig. Cameron was actually the astrological teacher for many of the Association's early members. He also drafted our original constitution. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to describe him as the founding Father of the group. He elected our foundation chart. Perhaps not surprisingly our foundation chart has a strong synastry with Cameron's natal chart. Both charts have a strong Aquarian focus while Cameron's Moon in Cancer was conjunct the Cancer rising of our foundational chart.

Cameron certainly elected a chart to last. All that fixed and Saturn ruled Aquarian influence in our chart has given us a lot of endurance as a group. Like his foundational chart Cameron was not a fly by night character and he served no less than 12 years as Chair! Since that time a further 12 people have fulfilled the role of Chair at the SAA

I recently did a quick survey of all our previous Chairs for our 40th Anniversary celebration and discovered by Sun sign our Chairs over the years by Sun comprised four Aquarians, three Librans, two Virgos, one Scorpio, one Aries, one Cancer and one Taurus. So we still have a few signs to get round!

I took over the role of Chair in early 2011. As yet another Sun Aquarian and the 13th Chair I guess I am a fairly typical of the sign which means my mind naturally turns to science fiction references at the drop of a hat. So the obvious connection here for me is Doctor Who. That's right Doctor Who! For the uninitiated Doctor Who regenerates every few years with each new incarnation. Similarly, each association Chair brings a new focus and energy to the role and to the group as a whole group.

The big difference though is that an Astrological Association is never a one man or one woman show. Instead it is only kept going by the dedication and hard work of numerous people serving on its committees over the years. Key functions that have been performed for the Association are every bit as important such as Treasurer, Secretary, Programme organizer or Librarian.

As a relative newbie (I only joined the Association 12 years ago!) I have long heard stories that in the old halcyon days when the group was young and psychedelic we could easily fit between 20 to 40 people in each week without a speaker. Remember, this was in the days long before the advent of association websites and email reminders! People just turned up and were hungry to learn astrology. Clearly, regular numbers are nothing like that today. So have we gone astray somehow?

I don't think so. Times have just changed. There is now a spiritual supermarket out there with a vast array of options available to people to take up that never existed decades. Astrology has to compete in that increasingly crowded marketplace. Moreover, despite the advent of computers and easier chart calculation it still takes a good deal more study and commitment to master astrology than some other divinatory tools such as Tarot. Equally, people often choose to learn astrology in very different ways today from the past. The internet is a tool all of is utilise for astrology but some people choose to learn the art as a solitary practitioner without much interaction without other astrologers.

Culturally, the societal context astrology operates in has changed radically since the still hippy influenced 1970s. Organised religion and especially the Kirk is no longer the force in Scottish Society it once was. Society has seen a significant degree of secularisation. Today the main philosophical challenge for astrology in society is not from religion but rather the growing dominance of a scientific materialist mind set and the scepticism that often accompanies it. Astrology therefore struggles to find an accepted social context beyond the Sun sign column and Psychic Fair.

As an Association we have successfully adapted to changing needs and interests of our members over the years and done much to keep our meetings relevant and interesting and I hope fun. We said farewell to our acetate slides and introduced a data projector over a decade ago. We have managed to maintain a fortnightly meeting schedule for decades. To provide variety we tend to alternative speakers with themed discussion evenings. The latter provide a context were newer or more inexperienced members can bring along their data or that friends, family, celebrities for a more informal discussion around a specific topic.

Demographically, being very far from the heart of the UK astrological activity in southern England our group has had to adopt a proactive approach to inviting speakers to run weekend workshops and seminars for us. Over the years our list of visiting workshop speakers sounds like of a veritable who's who of famous astrologers over the decades. A small selection of the outstanding astrologers who have come north to speak to us over the decades include: Liz Greene; Robert Hand; Robert Zoller; Donna Cunningham, Karen Hamaker- Zondag; John Frawley; Frank Clifford; Deborah Houlding; Ben Dykes and Geoffrey Cornelius. In recent years we have tended to coordinate such events with our sister group Aquarius Rising based in Glasgow.(See below)

Being one of the oldest established astrological associations in Britain it is inevitable I have reflected a lot on our history here. However, since becoming Chair in 2011 one of my major priorities has been to build a foundation for the future by ensuring that a new generation of people are trained in astrology. Hence I am delighted we have been able to run beginners classes for newer members over the last couple of years.

Looking at our planetary transits as an organisation we have been through our first Saturn return and two nodal returns. We also went through a Pluto square to our foundation Ascendant as it went into Capricorn a few years ago. That period was accompanied by the saga of taking the step to incorporate as a Private Company Limited by Guarantee to protect our members against potential litigation. We also adopted a new Association constitution at that point. Our chart for incorporation as the new Scottish Astrological Association Ltd was 10/09/2012 , 19:36 BST, Edinburgh. The Aquarian of our foundation chart has been replaced by a Sun Virgo and cazimi Mercury. I elected that chart with Pisces rising and Moon in the 5th in Cancer in part to balance that all that hard working Virgo with a sense of fun and also to keep a healthy attendance down the pub after meetings!

So if you are ever up in Scotland please do get in touch and come along to our one of our fortnightly meetings or maybe offer to give us a talk?

Mark Cullen, Chairperson, Scottish Astrological Association Ltd, Tel: 01316569295

Aquarius Rising: The West of Scotland Astrological Association

Aquarius Rising is a small, dedicated group based in Glasgow to serve and promote Astrology in the Western Astrological tradition. It was founded in 2001 (data 28.8.01, Glasgow UK, 19.38 BST) by Anne Whitaker, a local astrologer, astrology teacher and writer who holds both the Certificate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (1983) and the Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology (London)1998. Its founding committee still runs the group: Pam Blair (Chair), David Cochrane (Treasurer) and Carole Bone (Secretary).

Aquarius Rising creates a regular meeting place where anyone interested in Astrology can gather to discuss all aspects of the subject and share knowledge. Our ethos is to provide a platform for good speakers to share their insights, and for its members to enjoy stimulating discussion, ask questions, debate, and make new friends. We also endeavour to work in tandem with our sister group in Edinburgh, the SAA, to host events bringing renowned astrologers from home and across the world for talks and workshops.

We embrace as many aspects of astrology as possible, welcoming all levels of ability. Topics range from basic subjects to suit the beginner or refresh the more experienced astrologer, to more complex and profound topics and themes. We consider it important for us not only to enjoy exploring the deeper, more esoteric aspects of the subject but also to encourage new students who wish to expand their knowledge.

Astrology is a multifaceted and rich subject, which can give profound and illuminating insight into our place in the cosmos, translating how we fit into the grand scheme of things at a mundane level. The deepest purpose of Aquarius Rising is to add our very small thread to the weave linking individuals to a sense that they belong to a meaningful cosmos.

We meet on the last Tuesday of the month at 93-97 St Georges Road Studios, Glasgow, near Charing Cross - at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. There are ten meetings a year with breaks in July and December. Entrance fee is 2 for members and 4 for non-members; membership is 10 yearly. The venue has excellent bus and train links and ample free main street parking on St Georges Road. Contact us via Carole on moblie 07769558769 and see our latest programme details on our website

The True Nature of the Moon by Alan Oken

As integrated ego structure is essential to a healthy life, it is the anchor on which the rest of our being is grounded. The soul is our intelligent and inclusive Love Principle, which when joined and fused with the ego produces a whole person, one who is definitely greater than the sum of his or her parts. It is the nature of this relationship between the soul and the personality that is the core of soul-centered astrology.

Four primary areas in traditional, personality centred astrology are most important for us to discuss in relationship to the moon. These are: the area of instinctive response to events (especially in regard to one's basic physical and emotional survival); the psychological roots and subjective patterns upon which we build our life (the "psychological foundation stone"); what we have inherited through our family genes in a personal sense and through our racial or ethnic background in a more general sense (our "biological karma"); and finally, our relationship with our mother, the female aspect of ourselves and with women in general (the "anima" principle). To this we add another factor, one that is applicable more to soul-centered astrology. The position by sign and house in the natal chart reveals to the esoteric astrologer that area in life from which we need to create astral detachment so that we may nurture life more consciously.

When a person is operating on the level of the soul "mommy" becomes "the mother" In essence, the person is free from these personalised emotional habit patterns that still bind him or her to the psychic umbilical cord of the past. Attachment and identification with the Moon on the level of the personality is such that one is still the child of one's parent, possessing and continuing all the biological karma that this status indicates. The person is subjectively and to some extent (more in some cases, less in others) unconsciously, attached to his or her subconscious, psychological root patterns.

In the words of the Tibetan Master, D.K., the individual is then a "prisoner of the planet," the heart chakra is closed and the person is still swimming in the waters of the collective astral plane - emotion is often commotion and feelings are primarily egocentric in orientation and expression. The spiritual path eventually allows us to reorient our (un) consciousness from its responsive attachment to our biological parents to a conscious awakening within the bosom of the Mother.

Once this state is reached, we are freed from the narrow perspective of life that leads to religious and tribal warfare. We no longer have enemies - all of humanity is perceived as One Family and we are brother and sister within that collective entity We no longer celebrate or suffer through a sense of separateness. We have opened the heart centre (the none directly above the solar plexus) and as a consequence are moving toward the Crown centre - that facet of our being that allows us to glimpse the true nature of Spirit. We have graduated from the never-ending thirst for the nourishment of the flesh and are instead being consciously nourished by and nurturing others through the true nature of the illuminated heart. This is true freedom. The Moon is the esoteric ruler of the sign of Virgo. Virgo represents the Virgin Mother. Her acts of purification and her road to perfection are undertaken so that she may birth the Christ Child within Her. If you count nine signs (nine months) backwards from Virgo along the precessional equinox, you will come to Capricorn. In soul-centered astrology we say, "Virgo culminates in Capricorn." But the Virgin is herself also the Christ! We should not and cannot forget this. Each one of us has this potential of perfection evolving within us.

The sign opposite to Virgo is Pisces. The mark of the Fish was two thousand years ago, and still is now, the mark of the Christ. In Latin, the ocean in which the Fish swim is Mare and the names Mary and Maria come from this root. It is the same root word that means "mother! In the Latin languages 1 Madre (Spanish and Italian), Mere (French), Mae (Portuguese). In these languages the word for "sea" "sesa" is respectively: Mar, Mare, Mer, Mar!

Mare is also connected to the word mater, from which we get our word "matter" as well as "material, maternal, matriarchy, etc." Is not the sea the mother of all forms of nature, and is not nature in astrology ruled by Virgo and the Moon? The "matter" of Virgo is closely connected to the Mother of the Ocean, Mary. The origins of this name are even older than Latin. It is maya in Sanskrit (meaning "Ocean", but taking on the connotation in esoteric philosophy of illusion") and "mayim" in Hebrew (meaning "water") from which we get the name, Miriam. Indeed, I would venture to say that the word for "mother" was probably the first word ever spoken by the first human being; in most cases it still is. The Moon, the Divine Feminine, is omnipresent, thank god(dess)! In all of history and mythology she is almost always the Sun's (Sprit/Father) consort, daughter or sister. The Moon is the Great Mother who has nurtured and given form to the seed of life implanted in her womb. This is the significance of the New Moon in astrology. The Sun and Moon meet and conjoin. The Moon is dark at this time, for her womb is empty, but then at New Moon the Sun implants the seed of creation for the new month/moon. This seed is symbolised by the degree of the zodiac in which this conjunction takes place. As the Moon travels from New to Full the seed matures, and at Full Moon the form of the seed comes forth. It is then distributed into the collective consciousness where it is gradually absorbed (the Moon's phases from Full back to New) until at New Moon , Luna is once again impregnated by Sol. The cycle is never ending.

In Egypt, as in India, she is frequently depicted as the Cow Goddess (is not the Moon exalted in Taurus?). Among the Hebrews, the male and female aspects of Divinity are merged into One Supreme Being - Jehovah. But this sacred Word for God is a combination of "Jeh" (meaning Male) and "Eva" (meaning female). Eve finds her way to Turkey, where the word for "house" (Cancer, the Moon, the mother) is "ev." ( And in English, do we not have "eaves" around our houses?). Many churches call their place of worship a "house of God," for it is the place (soul) in which the spirit dwells. Even the Vatican itself was built on Mount Vaticanus, an ancient mother goddess shrine. As the female aspect of Divinity, the Moon is the progenitrix of all cults that have as their object of worship a goddess of fertility or agriculture. She was Nana to the ancient Chaldeans (is not "Nana" still a word commonly used to mean grandmother?").

She is the Roman goddess Ceres, and Ceridwen to the Druids. He is also the goddess of the virgins, Vesta, from which originated the cult of the "Vestal Virgins." In the Christian calendar, the fifth month of the year is May (maya, Mary, mayim!) and is dedicated to Her. In occult symbology, the pentagram (five-pointed star) is traditionally associated with the female, and with Venus in particular. Venus in soul-centered astrology is the ruler of The Fifth Ray and sister to Earth, to whom the Moon is Mother. The Fifth Ray is the energy of the Mind. It is said among esoteric astrologers that it is the Earth that gives Mankind its form, but it is Venus that gives us our human essence. It is interesting for us to note that the word "Man" comes from the Sanskrit manas, meaning, "mind". This is Hu-Man a creature of Mind, whose essence comes from the gift of the female goddess of beauty and balance, while all forms and all matter are sons and daughters of the Moon.

Note: 1 Our own word "mother" has its root in the Germanic mutter which is also related to the Latin roots "mater/material" or mother/matter.

From The astrological Journal, Volume 50, Number 2, March/April 2008

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The Glastonbury Astrology Group

By Carolina Lamus

Almost a year to date I decided it was time Glastonbury had its very own astrology study group. In a town where a wide range of therapies, beliefs, and forms of spirituality are available, it was odd to think that astrology would be under represented.

Despite the fact we have two experienced astrologers running one and two year long astrology workshops, it seemed to me that a weekly meeting was needed in order to make astrology accessible to those people who would not otherwise have the time to commit to a long course, the opportunity to still benefit from the insights we gain from looking at the movement of the planets on a regular basis. After all we live in a town famous - amongst other thing s- for the Glastonbury Zodiac landscape, the Tor being in the Aquarius section, and Wearyall Hill, in the Pisces section of the zodiac.

And so it was in this way, that I started to run a ninety minute session every Tuesday afternoon for approximately five months. It started off as a very small group, just myself and a couple of friends who had always wanted to know a bit more about astrology and saw this opportunity as the perfect way to get familiarised with a fascinating subject. A few weeks later a couple of other people joined in, one of them an already knowledgeable astrologer with an interest in The Vedic tradition, giving the sessions richness and depth which we all thoroughly enjoyed. However, running a group in the day time proved a bit tricky for laid back, totally relaxed Glastonbury, so I made the decision to try an evening instead.

We have been meeting weekly on Thursday evenings since October 2014, and though the group is still fairly small, it is steadily growing with more people joining in and expressing an interest in it on a regular basis. Our sessions are held in a beautiful venue where my first astrology tutor first taught me and still teaches astrology courses to a wide range of people. We start the evening exploring the current transits of the week which we then relate to our own charts in order to get insights as to how the planets are influencing our natal planets and houses. The structure of a session is flexible however, and I have started to incorporate the teaching of basics, for instance, house meanings, aspects, the elements etc. and sometimes we explore topics at the request of our members.

For example, a few weeks ago we discussed the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 60's, as this is an aspect present in a few of the members' charts. Another interesting aspect I am adding to the group, is the introduction of guest speakers - we have our first international astrologer visiting this autumn! - as well as dedicating an evening a month to explore the sign the Sun is in; in March we were chatting all things Aries.

I am very proud of our group's achievements and involvement with the astrological community so far, and although it is still very early days, I am confident we will keep growing and networking with other regional/national groups to promote astrology as a wonderful tool for growth and self-development. Please get in touch if you would like to know a bit more about us and what we do and do join our Facebook group for updates.

Star Blessings, Carolina Facebook group

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