In The Loop January 2016

In The Loop is the Astrological Association's monthly email newsletter. To get it delivered to your inbox every month, subscribe here.

In this issue we start with a short intro to 2016 from our president Roy Gillet, followed by a very interesting article by astrologer Donna Taylor - Manifesting your vision under the Saturn Neptune square The energy between these two planets is a very important topic at this point in time.

Local astrology groups are so special in furthering astrological knowledge that we are keen to include articles from a selection of these groups. This month Eileen Richardson writes about the Dorset Astrologers and Lucinda Tinsley informs us about the Southport Astrology group.

Christine Chalklin

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This month's articles

2016 can be far better than anticipated

Readers of Working with the Planets in the January 2016 Astrological Journal will be aware of Andre Barbault's dire warning for the year ahead and my advice that we see and re-direct negativity into opportunities to understand others; so finding healing pathways towards unshakable security.

My article also anticipated a challenging start to 2016 and through the year, as the approaching Mars perihelion/perigee stirred and drove the crossed purposes and misunderstanding of the Saturn/Neptune square.

Do not be disheartened. Never give up! Whatever happens in these early days and those that follow, Donna Taylor's article that follows gives sound advice on how to marshal our dreams and train our hopes for the future into better outcomes for everyone.

Throughout history, the dreams of great people have inspired breakthroughs to amazingly good possibilities. May it be so in 2016!

~ Roy Gillett

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The importance of Local Groups

Local astrology groups are vital to keeping astrological practice alive and well. There are over 25 groups, both large and small throughout the UK. All the wonderful people who run and attend these groups work really hard to promote astrology and we are grateful and thank them for all their efforts. The Astrological Association encourages and supports Local Groups by offering them free listings on our website, a current speakers list and with the promotion and assistance of Event Days.

Although 2016 has only just begun and the annual astrology conference seems a long way in the future, preparations are already underway! This year a very special offer will be available to give members of local groups the chance to come to conference, to be a part of the astrological community and enjoy the amazing speakers from all over the world. More details will be available shortly. Please keep watch on the local groups page on our website

Christine Chalklin, Local Groups coordinator

DORSET ASTROLOGERS

Dorset Astrologers was formed on 31 March 2014 at an inaugural meeting held at my home, near Wimborne, following my return from a long holiday in Australia. We're a small, friendly group meeting monthly to discuss, teach and learn Astrology. The group ranges from professionals, to avid students, and our topic nights are diverse, covering the requests of our members. Paul Newman has given us presentations on both the Black Moon Lilith and Declinations, the subjects of his well-researched and informative books. Recent meetings have included topics on Relationships and Medical Astrology. For our December meeting we will explore and have some fun with the Sabian Symbols. We are still growing, looking for new members in order that we can eventually move from my home, to a more suitable premises and continue to expand. Dorset Astrologers formed following the demise of the Wessex Astrology Circle at the end of 2013, which Gloria and I officially opened on 15 August 2001, see www.wac-uk.blogspot.com

I used to write an annual Newsletter, with the help of Bernadette, circulated to members, one of which still remains on the website www.wac-uk.blogspot.com (see under latest Newsletter 2008). Gloria, who now has total control, runs the website and has moved the venue to Poole Christian Spiritualist Church where she is very much involved, in order to hold occasional events.

Much had been achieved through my time with the Wessex Astrology Circle. I'd started a group library, which is still in existence and run from my home. I'd started teaching beginner level astrology classes to help bring in more members to our group. We'd attracted many well-known speakers; our venue in Broadstone had been packed to capacity on some nights. The group was very much alive. Astrology in Dorset had been blooming and I'm truly hoping for a fresh revival of interest.

This area of Dorset has a long astrological history, as the late Charles E O Carter had his family home in Poole. One of my astrology students lives in the top floor flat of the old family home of the late Charles Carter, known as 'The Hermitage'. This summer, I spent a glorious afternoon with her having lunch, and sitting in the Tower where Charles himself used to do much of his work. The 'Hermitage', which was built in the late Victorian era, is a quirky, delightful property built on many levels, and the highest level, the Tower, is accessed from a winding staircase. The 'Spirit of Place' is very much here in Poole, the highest spot with views for miles over Poole Harbour, the Purbecks and many other wondrous views. For further information, see www.charlescarter.co.uk researched by the old Wessex Astrologers Group.

The old Wessex Astrologers Group, run by Kate Lobley, closed following the cardinal total eclipse of 21 June 2001, prior to myself, Gloria and other keen members gathering together to start the new Wessex Astrology Circle, and rebooking the same venue in Broadstone.

With our strong Astrological heritage, I feel it important to 'Keep Astrology Alive and in its Spirit of Place'. For further information, please email me at Astroeileen@gmail.com

~ Eileen Richardson

Southport Astrology Group

It all Happened like Magic!

It was simply by accident that the Southport astrology group began. In 1988 Diana Moore contacted the Astrological Association to find out if there was any astrology groups in the area. Diana was keen to pursue her interest and was looking for an astrology teacher. When she received the next AA journal she was astonished to see her name listed as running a group on the subject. From this other local groups, such as Blackpool and Bolton, began to connect with her and were helpful in giving her names of speakers and their mailing list.

Diana says: "It all happened like magic", as everything just fell into place. She was able to rent the local library for a small fee and a family relation was the editor of the local paper and allowed her to post adverts for free. The head of Blackpool group came down to teach the subject and she began to book speakers. We have had such greats as Sue Tomkins, Babs Kirby, Penny Thornton as well good local astrologers.

It was such a wonderful time for Diana as the Universe seemed to support her efforts in establishing 'Full Circle Astrology' in 1989. It did not stop there, for in 1991 her friend opened up a bookshop of all metaphysical subjects. This became known as 'Rainbows End' and the astrology group moved to this venue. This became our home and centre for other group meeting such as Theosophy and Qabalah.

We are a friendly group with different levels of knowledge and experience. We have wide discussion each month, covering most areas of astrology. It is so good to be able to work with our charts and talk about a subject that is not widely appreciated or understood.

In our 26 years we have had many people come through the group, bring their charts and taking about other branches of astrology. One chap introduced us to old traditional astrology and another brought the Huber method, which is psychology based. Lucinda pursued this method, giving us a wide range of the subject, which we continue to explore and experiment with through our own charts.

Recently we had we had a very interesting talk by Catherine Blackledge. She has written a book about William Lily, the famous horary astrologer. Prediction was the heart of William Lily's astrology and he became the leading figure in this field in 17th-century England. This was very insightful as we learned about his life and how he used astrology. We are looking to have more speakers next year to expand our knowledge and interest.

After an accident in 2009 Diana stood down and I took over running the group. Diana still maintains her interest in the group and we are thankful to her and the universe for establishing Full Circle Astrology group. Long may we continue in our efforts to explore the fascinating subjects of astrology. There is always a warm welcome to anyone wishing to join us on the first Wednesday of each month. Email me at lucindatinsley@talktalk.net

~ Lucinda Tinsley

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Manifesting your vision under the Saturn-Neptune square

By Donna Taylor

'Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.' Gloria Steinem

The cycle of Saturn and Neptune is one of the most interesting of planetary combinations to observe, associated as it is with major developments in the world. The collapse of the Berlin Wall for example, during the conjunction of Saturn and Neptune in 1989 perfectly epitomises the dissolving of boundaries that we might expect from Neptune and Saturn. Aside from that one positive example however, Saturn and Neptune represent many of the bleakest moments in humanity's journey, and a quick stroll through the archive of events corresponding with the Saturn-Neptune cycle makes for depressing reading.

World War One claimed 8.6 million lives during the Neptune-Saturn conjunction in 1918. Also in 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic infected one fifth of the world's population and killed 25 million people. The first hydrogen bomb was detonated in 1952 under the subsequent conjunction, which was followed by further heavy nuclear testing with devastating effects for the south-western states of America. One of the worst manmade environmental disasters ever known - the spillage of 11 million gallons of oil into the sea from the Exxon Valdez tanker - occurred under the Saturn-Neptune conjunction of 1989. It is no wonder then that Neptune and Saturn have become synonymous with the dark night of the soul.

In natal charts the effect is much the same. When these two form an aspect, the result is often one of sacrifice and suffering. Cruel traumas seem to befall Saturn-Neptune people resulting in heavy crosses to bear. Psychologically, a Saturn-Neptune person is particularly attuned to this dark night of the soul. When Neptune aspects Saturn by transit or vice versa, we often see the individual's mental state taking a turn for the worse, with guilt, anxiety, depression and a lack of will and purpose becoming the order of the day. Why is this and is there anything we can do about it? How can we find the positive jewel in the crown? (There's always one - even with Saturn and Neptune.) When Neptune and Saturn work at their best, they give us the opportunity to dissolve a block, barrier or disabling boundary that previously rendered a person isolated or separate. They also enable us to manifest a vision; to take a dream and bring it into concrete reality. This may seem easier with the trine, sextile and conjunction, but as we know, squares give us the grit to make things happen, and so potentially this current Saturn-Neptune square brings with it the forces necessary to galvanise us into action.

As astrologers we are perfectly placed under this Saturn-Neptune square, to dream our charts into being and help our clients to do the same. We can do this by focussing on our vision and getting really clear about what it is that we want. It may help at this point to check where Saturn and Neptune are in your chart, both natally and by transit to get an idea of the areas of your life that are currently under the influence of illusion, dissolution and the dream waiting to be birthed. The next step is to get this dream or vision down in concrete form. One way of doing this would be to write your vision down. This could be a detailed plan or it could take the form of a spider chart where random words and phrases are jotted down.

Given that creative and artistic methods of manifesting one's intent work really well with Saturn-Neptune energies, you may want to manifest your vision in a visual way. Creating a collage (or treasure map) of your vision through photographs and images from magazines, and then putting it where you can see it each day is a powerful and magical way of dreaming your vision into being. Alternatively, try your hand at a mandala. This doesn't need to be along the lines of the complex intricate mandalas that we're used to seeing in books. The true purpose of a mandala is to simply allow yourself to doodle or place words, shapes, colours or images into your circle. That's it - simple. And yet, when you study your mandala for meaning, it can be very revealing. Both these methods: choosing images that you're drawn to from magazines (or other sources of imagery) or letting your hand draw whatever it wants to, are ways in which you can allow your unconscious to speak and show you what needs to be your 'vision' now.

Saturn and Neptune call for a transcendental approach, making art, dance, music and meditation ideal ways to navigate the energies. But don't expect the process to be easy - this is after all a square and a closing one at that, so we might have to deal with a little disappointment before we can begin to mould our reality into a more pleasing shape. We may for example, have to let go of an aspect of our dream, or admit that what we thought we wanted was an ego based illusion. Don't be disheartened therefore, if something doesn't appear to be working because the chances are, it's not meant to. If you allow time and space for your unconscious to show you the way forward, it's very likely that an opportunity will emerge that enables you to create something that is more true and real.

Dreamwork Working with your dreams and the messages they give you can also be particularly insightful during a Saturn-Neptune transit. Dreamwork can also be very therapeutic if we find ourselves suffering from the big Saturn-Neptune malaise: anxiety. I often notice in clients who are having a Saturn-Neptune transit that unconscious fears float to the surface, but just far enough out of reach to prevent identification and clarity. Under Saturn-Neptune our focus remains hazy and any dark shadows skulking around in the basement are difficult to shine a light on, leaving us feeling out of sorts, depressed or vaguely anxious without knowing why. Sleep can be troublesome, but rather than reaching for the sleeping pills, trying natural alternatives such as Valerian could help, whilst paying attention to what your dreams are trying to show you could illuminate those shadowy figures. Keeping a dream journal during this time is highly recommended, as whatever is lurking in your unconscious will make itself known through your night-time images and stories. You may also notice a particular theme relevant to the positions of your natal and transiting Saturn and Neptune.

The Saturn-Neptune cycle It can be useful to look back at previous Saturn-Neptune transits and see what was going on for you. This will help to focus your mind on what your big theme is and what you need to do. Depending on how plugged into the Saturn-Neptune energies you are will determine how big a role their cycle plays out in your life, but even if it's not especially relevant for you, the chances are that it will be for your clients or members of your family. For people who have Saturn-Neptune aspects in their charts, or Saturn-Neptune themes such as Saturn in Pisces or the 12th house, Neptune in Capricorn or the 10th house, the Saturn-Neptune cycle will have more relevance. The Neptune in Sagittarius generation will also be sensitive to the current cycle, as will people whose Saturn is being aspected by Neptune. People who have planets in the early to mid degrees of the mutable signs will also be affected. Therefore, vast numbers of people are likely to feel the influence of this transit, and as astrologers we can help our clients as well as our family and friends by giving them constructive tools to work with which will enable people to better deal with the potentially disorientating energies.

This particular Saturn-Neptune cycle began with the conjunction in 1988/9. It is likely that something was initiated at this time, whether externally in the form of an event or internally in the form of a psychological/emotional state. The first square occurred in 1998 and could have brought a test or a breaking down or dissolution of whatever was begun at the conjunction in 1988/9. The opposition occurred in 2006 and would have likely represented a crisis in movement. Under this opposition people would either have allowed their fears to stall their progress or bravely pushed on into uncharted waters. Which did you do? If you got stuck or lost your way, don't despair (another Saturn-Neptune word!) for this closing square brings an opportunity to haul up the anchor and set sail once again.

Given that this is a closing square and considering that Neptune is in Pisces, there is an element of finality or closure about this particular transit (2016 is also a 9 year in numerology, further adding to the sense that we are in a time of completion.) And yet both Sagittarius and Pisces are associated with vision. Sagittarius looks to the future and aims for a brighter outlook whilst Pisces believes in the dream. So maybe under this closing square we need to let go of something: perhaps our fear, our guilt or grief, or a defeatist 'what's the point?' attitude, and believe in our vision - whatever that vision may be. Collectively, we would do well to combine Saturnian realism with Neptune's idealism and not give up hope of a better world, but to not forget the importance of putting the effort in to create what we want to see. So if we want a world without fracking (definitely a negative manifestation of the Saturn-Neptune transit if ever there was one) we should take action: sign the petition, form a group, educate people. It's not enough to have a vision - we also need to put the work in to manifest it. As Lailah Gifty Akita said, 'With determination, discipline and hard work all dreams become a reality.'

Ultimately, this Saturn-Neptune transit asks us to face our fears and delusions - even if we don't know what they are - and to push forward anyway through the vague sea of anxiety and set sail towards that which we might not be able to see yet, but which feels right in our hearts. By combining realism with imagination, by allowing ourselves to dream and wonder, whilst at the same time applying patience and perseverance, we may yet find that the next 12 months yield some impressive results.

Donna Taylor creativeastrologyservices@gmail.com

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