The Astrological Journal March 2019
Victor Olliver's Editorial
Astrology and imagination
It's a huge honour to bring you Brian Clark's new essay 'Heaven in a wild flower: reflections on imagination'. The first part of the title is a line from William Blake's poem Auguries of Innocence which, among other things, invites us to embrace mystery and find beauty in natural commonplace things. "For artists, including astrological artists, imagination is another way of knowing and perceiving. It is a means of seeing through the world of literality," writes Clark - and, of course, this point goes to the heart of his essay. Astrology has its many techniques to draw on logic and intellect; but is this enough for a deeper understanding of what is the mystical (or even mysterious) language of astrology? "While an intellectual agility and confidence is needed to be creative," Clark observes, "empathy, intuition, perception, sensation and feeling are also essential. But what is also needed is an appreciation of the value of not knowing and uncertainty." This is a timely articulation and celebration of the art-part of astrology, and to me at least, a welcome reminder that astrology's power resides less in dogmatism about techniques (and the pointless controversies about which is better than the rest) and much more in the magic of symbol which, like the simple wild flower, can be the hitherto overlooked doorway to universal awareness.
The worlds of Leo and Lilly
Journal always seeks to cover all approaches to astrology, so it's a great pleasure also to bring you both Maggie Hyde's extensive appreciation of William Lilly's Christian Astrology - arguably the 'bible' of certain recovered traditional techniques - and an extract from Kim Farnell's new biography of Alan Leo, father of modern and Sun sign astrology. Hyde takes no prisoners in commending Lilly's classic work to astrologers - or as she puts it: "If you are serious about your astrology, you have no option but to buy this book. When you buy it is another matter, and although written originally for beginners, it is today a volume for the committed astrologer". Farnell's Modern Astrologers: The Lives of Alan and Bessie Leo sheds new light on how the couple lived, and on such things as his heavy work schedule in putting together his magazine Modern Astrology. He was also capable of completing a new book every three months and was known to work 15-hour days. In these two pieces by Hyde and Farnell we gain a better understanding of the motives and passions behind major developments in the factionalised history of astrology.
Aries ingress charts in mundane astrology
We can discuss the art of astrology, but this is not to forget the importance of techniques as rational gateway to the horoscope. So, I am happy to welcome back João Medeiros whose essay (Part 1) guides us through interpretation of the Aries ingress chart in relation to major events from 1900 to 2019. Of especial interest to mundane practitioners is his identification of what he calls the 'Saturn years', the 'Jupiter years', 'the Mars years' and so forth, and how these planetary phases correlate to pertinent themes in our recent history. In Part 2 (set for May-June 2019 issue), Medeiros explores the Aries ingress chart in other ways, with a focus on 'Moon years'.
This is the editorial from the March 2019 edition of the Astrological Journal, the UK's premier astrological magazine.