AA journal editorials
by Pam Bennett (now Pam Crane)
Assistant to Editor Zach Matthews
Vol. XVII No. 4 Autumn 1975
St. George meets the Dragon
As Pluto moves away from its contact with the Cardinal points, and thus with the Sun at each of the major Ingresses, perhaps the present period of world upheaval will lose its intensity, and countries and statesmen will be given time to settle into new roles and relationships after the probes, the purges and the power-struggles.
It is a tortuous time for our kingdom; for several years these potent ingress patterns have been forming closer and closer aspects to both Sun and ASC/MC of the 1066 and 1801 maps with Pluto's approach to these degrees by squares and opposition, the period made more crucial by the concurrent sign-changes of Uranus and Neptune. Curiously enough, there are still people who will not acknowledge that the U.K. is now approaching the peak of the kind of crisis that in the life of an individual can spell life or death, and demands the most total reappraisal, the most drastic and irrevocable change of attitude and personal image of which the entity is capable. Where vision and co-operation are lacking, through defiance, ignorance, or apathy, the individual is rendered impotent, he is deprived of his power to choose, he is compelled by the relentless force of circumstances to turn from his primrose path and confront the Shadow.
There are people of vision in our land; there are those (many of you, no doubt, among them) who are examining their lives in depth and making critical adjustments, who are managing resources in new ways, and attempting to spread a deeper understanding of the origin and purposes of human life, each according to his ability. Pluto is now dispositor both of Uranus and the Dragon's Head; this may signal a more communal awareness of the nature and purpose of the crisis and of the individual's role in working towards a constructive outcome . . . but if the mass of the people remain inert, then St. George must confront a nest of dragons —Greed, Complacency, Waste, Moral Weakness, Corruption, Gigantism, Inflation, Cynicism, Exploitation, Spiritual Stultification—armed with little more than a prayer for poor souls he may fail to save.
Clearing the Air
It is sad to see that these tense conditions are still affecting the astrological fraternity in certain areas, provoking situations of political schism and in-fighting among individuals or groups who would better deploy these wasted energies in more concentrated pursuit of their research programmes, educational efforts, and the healing of their fellow men and women through the level of counselling the astrologer is privileged to offer . . . not to mention a little public relations work to repair the damage invariably done to a discipline such as ours in terms of public understanding, when the interested layman, seeking a little enlightenment and inspiration from us, apparently finds instead of Aquarian good-fellowship and cohesion of purpose the discouraging symptoms of negative Uranus. Indisputably, there have been real problems; and it is rarely easy to handle them with appropriate objectivity and grace—but an attempt should be made in such circumstances to avoid embarrassing colleagues at home and overseas who are not involved in the temporary conflict, by fostering a partisan attitude intentionally or otherwise. The atmosphere must be clear if we are all to work together well—and as communications world-wide link the astrological community ever more closely this becomes all the more essential. If we are to ask our clients to seek their highest potential, then we, the counsellors, have a moral duty to do the same.
Vol. XIX No. 1 Winter 1976/77
With this Winter issue, a fresh volume of the Journal, and a change of voice in the Editorial—Zach Matthews is celebrating Christmas in Kathmandu, returning in the Spring.
First, apologies are due to all readers of the Journal for the late appearance of the Autumn issue; this was caused by circumstances beyond our control, and we hope that by Spring publication will be back on schedule.
Secondly, programmes for the 1977 Conference will be sent out soon, and as numbers are limited to 250, members and friends are advised to send their bookings in as early as possible. We shall be back in Cambridge, at Churchill College, from 2nd to 4th September under a promising sky; our speakers including Michel Gauquelin, Dr. James S. Williamsen. Al H. Morrison, and Alexander Ruperti.
The 1976 Conference is reported in this issue, and this time we have departed from the usual format of one person's view of the gathering by collecting together reviews of the lectures and workshops from a number of delegates. My own impression is that the Conference as a whole held to its theme of New Beginnings quite well, catalysed a good deal of fresh thinking, and saw the inception and confirmation of several promising working relationships.
Fellowship and Vocation
Charles Harvey's opening address was moving and inspiring; he put into words what many of us feel about the essential unity of astrologers everywhere, whatever our differences of philosophy or technique, our backgrounds, allegiances, languages and personal aims. This is something I feel very strongly, and that has never failed to impress me—the sense of profound fellowship between individuals and groups at any astrological gathering, whether personally known to each other or total strangers, that surpasses the mood of any other kind of meeting I have attended, since the values shared by so many of us, and the curious experience we have in common, are rarely a vital part of the life of professional groups, and not always found among the vocational.
Astrology is a vocation. Once you have come to the banks of your particular Rubicon, and stood in awe, even fear, of the unfamiliar and dangerous-looking waters, and then taken the dizzying plunge through to the far shore, there is no going back—only onwards. It can be a glorious journey, and a painful one; you cannot accept the implications of astrology into your life without accepting unreservedly the processes of change, the Uranian experience, which make of life and study a continually enriching progress. It is not easy, however, to marry these changes into the structures of home and habit that have already been building; those of us whose circumstances do not clash more or less frequently with our lives as astrologers are indeed blessed, as there are few human activities so isolating as serious study, vocational commitment, concentrated thought. Most of us have families; few of us are professional astrologers and able to devote our entire working lives to the practice of a loved discipline; many of us—perhaps especially the married women with children to bring up—may find it at times acutely hard to combine these almost irreconcilable priorities, both study and children making such heavy claims on the attention that even timetables are useless and the energies are alarmingly drained. This is not a problem unique to the astrologer of course, particularly at this epoch of Pluto in Libra, with the woman world-wide breaking through her old conceptual boundaries and beginning to tap her mental and spiritual powers as never before, often at great cost to the balance of relationships.
Astrologers under Stress
What are we to do? . . . the 'fringe' people, the oddballs, we who see the entirety of life and history on this planet in a unique perspective that either means nothing to the majority of our fellows or lingers as a scarcely-acknowledged drift of wishful thinking in the limbos and stratospheres of unmapped minds. Sometimes we cannot bridge the regeneration gap; old ties weaken and break as we are drawn ever more strongly toward the new life now building. How are we to feel, as we look back at the puzzled eyes? What is love to do, with its new language, in its new land, if the others won't follow?
There can be no single answer to this dilemma; but one thing is certain—our business here together is not for ourselves alone, but for those others who think we are crazy, or lost, suspect or selfish ... if we cannot bring something back for them from this adventure, we are all these things, and the protective bounds of Saturn were better unbroken. Most of us surely watch the workings of the patterns in our lives; we watch ourselves passing through the experiences of challenge, of joy, of separations and acute pain, of achievements, or intolerable frustrations; and in many cases these things appear to have to be happening— freedom of choice seems to evaporate as we are propelled from one situation into another.
Why? What is the purpose of the stresses we encounter between our new and our old lives? Are they inevitable? Are they chosen for us, or by us? What use are all the delays, and the blind alleys? What good is the shock doing to us as we change atmospheres and fight to readjust? These words must sound very strange to some readers, whose lives have continuity—but others will recognise the pattern, in which sometimes painfully we are being taught to survive as double beings—the new Aquarians, children of Saturn and Uranus, bilingual and equipped to form an essential bridge between the old ways of humanity and the new, translating what we are coming to understand is our roles in the Universe into those terms a world can comprehend.
To see ourselves as alien to the society into which we have been born is, I am sure, a mistake; rather, we are explorers and settlers of strange land—and like such men and women we have that sense of community that is fostered in joint endeavour and shared difficulty, similar ideals, and a singular identity. Or you could say that we represent the growth of a new organ of sense in the body of man, once dormant, and now beginning to function; though distinct in form and character from all other organs in that body, ours cannot work without support from the rest of the organism, nor has it any effective usefulness if it conveys no stimulus or information to the whole.
Bringing Life to Astrology
And a healthy organ, or community, will thrive on change. If we are to help people confronting tomorrow's world to free their minds and hearts from stagnation, then astrology too must shed its dead cells and make way for healthier tissue. We must wake up our own minds: complacency is a death. Astrology has never faced such a period of vigorous growth as it does now—some of its new directions are obvious and need no mention, but these have led to other byways that open on vistas that we are still ill-equipped to examine. The potential applications of our discipline become exciting. Here and there, the body of man begins to use its new sensor the better to adapt itself to a crisis-ridden world. Unused, like any organ, astrology will decline and atrophy. Each one of us, whatever our status or level of study, has a part to play in keeping humanity in touch with its astrology—and astrology intimately in touch with humanity. The Aquarian, with the Sun, his central Fire, ruling the 7th cusp, may move as a solitary through life, wedded only to himself; or he may give his heart freely to every soul he meets on his path, knowing he is the other, and the other is he. Most of us, whatever our ideals, respond somewhat unevenly to our fellows; but the better we can love, the more light and life we shall bring to the quickening of astrology.
Vol. XXI No. 4 Autumn 1979
Having something of a bee in my bonnet about the Draco zodiac ever since Dennis Elwell unearthed it for us from a mound of forgotten literature, I would like to offer a few comments on its activity in the Association chart, following on the Editorial in the Summer Journal.
As this celebrated 21 years of the Astrological Association, both the Editor and John Addey had some interesting things to say about the radical chart, the Solar Return, and the 21st Harmonic chart, now operative. What I propose is that the development of understanding of astrological principles in terms of harmonic analysis is shown very clearly indeed in the Draco pattern: as with the harmonic charts, the value of Draco lies as much, if not more, in the cross-contacts between it and the natal, Vernal chart, and the AA chart shows Draco Saturn in 23TA33, 0°24' conjunct vernal Venus in the 5th, while Draco Venus lies close to the Jupiter,, MC/ NN midpoint in 25LI40.
Now, in my experience, not only does an emphasised Venus indicate a strong aesthetic sense at some level, but an earthy Venus, and especially an intimate linking of Venus with Saturn, opens one to the understanding of beauty of forms and rhythms, particularly through music. There is often a taste for percussion, which is after all a quickened appreciation of the rhythmic possibilities of sound. In our increasing concern with Cycles, we are working with perhaps the most fundamental physical and metaphysical rhythms of all; in Harmonic research, astrology is moving toward an understanding of the meaning of Frequency, which expresses as tone and pitch in the musical world. It is no accident that music crosses all barriers of race and culture as a universal language; it is no accident that our own language is rich in musical metaphors and idioms, referring to people, for example, as 'highly-strung', or to an interview as 'low-key'. We all live in a musical world; nothing is still, all manifest phenomena are built upon frequencies, whose harmonious interplay generates forms in space and time that we may recognise as efficient, or as beautiful. 'Be thou therefore perfect, as thy Father in Heaven is perfect'; the role of astrology is clearly to help life toward its own perfection, clarifying through increasing wisdom the ways in which human souls can better make their own music.
Saturn rises in Sagittarius, Jupiter culminates with the Dragon’s Head and Draco Venus in her sign Libra, and Draco Sun is in 1SG36; the Association has authority to teach, and a duty to its own purposes to grow in its understanding of the greater and subtler harmonies. The meeting of Saturn through Draco with Venus in Taurus in the 5th stresses the need for creativity, and always to relate back to the physical world through education, through entertainment, through the responsibility we have in the whole field of human relationships; to show lover, parent and child the way toward a more enduring joy, the inner serenity of right being. Draco places the Aries Point in 1VI43 with 8th-house Pluto, square to the Draco Sun, indicating that it is through pooled resources and the most painstaking research that our role is to be fulfilled.
And the 21st harmonic chart suggests that this year is a peculiarly important one: not only is there this alignment of Sun/IC, Jupiter, Pluto /MC, with radical Sun and Mercury , but Asc/Desc aligns with the natal Nodal axis. Venus conjunct NN falls on radical Venus and Dr Saturn, and there is a Saturn/Jupiter opposition. Draco positions of the 21st Harmonic planets bring Dr Mars exactly to Dr Mars radix at 12VI00, and effect some fascinating interchanges; Dr Saturn is square vernal Neptune in 21st, Dr Neptune in 21st opposes natal rising Saturn, to be triggered by the transiting Saturn/Neptune square. Draconic Moon in 21st falls on 8th-house natal Uranus in Leo, while Dr Uranus in 21st conjoins 8th-house natal Leo Moon! Dr 21st Sun opposes natal Neptune in Scorpio; 21st vernal Moon opposes natal Dr Neptune in Aries. 21st vernal Neptune falls opposite natal Fortuna.
Now, dear Readers, why not make your contribution to our Year of Destiny by spring-cleaning your files and tossing our way all those silly ideas and unlikely observations that could clearly be of interest to nobody but mice and spiders? There might be more of value in your three lines than in a dozen articles. "They don't make diamonds as big as bricks! " as they say up North. It was Frank Hyde at the AGM who urged us all to 'log our own lives meticulously' — this was the proving-ground of astrology, our own research laboratory.
Frank also entreated the membership to help him in handling the AA's Public Relations, by letting him know whenever a talk was being given, or an interview with the Media, or an article commissioned, or an exhibition staged — he wants to know of any activity bringing astrology before a section of the public, any fresh incursions into the fastnesses of Academia, so that he can inform the 'people who matter', ensuring an optimum of fair publicity, and further promoting Astrology's good name. Incidentally, it is just possible that at long last BBC TV may blow the dust off the 'Horizon' film made a few years back on the subject of the AA chemical experiments (see Nick Kollerstrom's articles in past Journals) and include it among forthcoming programmes. Well, with all this Saturn-Neptune activity, and T Pluto crossing Jupiter/MC, the time could be said to be ripe!
Talking of ripe times, though, can I just treat you all to one of the prettiest sets of Daily Progressed Angles I have yet seen? The day of Margaret Thatcher's surprising acclaim at the Commonwealth Conference in Lusaka, August 6th 1979, was marked in the UK (1801) map with DPMC 7¾ Leo conjunct p. Jupiter, opposite p. Moon in 7+ Aquarius, and conjunct T Venus. At London, DPASC was in 28 Libra, conjunct UK Draco Neptune . . . adjusted for the 15S25 latitude of Lusaka, DPASC moved to 17 Scorpio,conjunct the UK vernal Neptune and T Uranus!!! Surprise, surprise — the Lady is a success! . . . but will it really work? . . . and when you set up the 178th harmonic chart for the UK, there she is, right at the top — Woman at the Helm — MC, Moon and Uranus conjoined in Taurus, square Mercury . . . and the trio, given the Draco treatment, transfer straight to the UK natal Cancer MC! The 178th Jupiter conjoins the UK radical Moon for good measure. How remarkable!
Returning to the AGM (sadly under-attended, by the way; where was everybody?) Charles Harvey brought along the copy of Neil Michelsen's 'American Atlas' which now belongs in the research library at Bromley, and recommended any members who wanted really first class, up-to-date Time and Co-ordinate reference to make full use of this new resource.
White little curly clouds
Blue sky of morning
As the hockey sticks clack
Up at the High School playing field ,
Down the wing
Sweeps the April Girl
Rocketing her rough way through
Her laughter on the morning air.
Bucktoothed and blue eyed ,
(And some say Pretty Hot Stuff she)
Down the wing again
Chin forward and botty back
Singly riveted To Here and Now.
That the hard white ball
Bumps well goaled
Against the white board.
She surges back to the centre circle
Arcing crisply at a blade of grass or two,
With a backhand swing
And a busy song
Bubbles up from her being.
Vol. XXII No. 4 Autumn1980
Our Editor has very kindly invited me to write the editorial for this, the Autumn 1980 issue of the Astrological Association Journal, as it is the last with which I shall be involved as Assistant Editor. Instead, I shall be helping Gerard Crane with the Tape Library.
I have greatly enjoyed working on the Journal with Zach, and gained a lot of experience over the last five-and-a-half years that I value, and for which I thank you all. One of the most pleasant things about Journal work is that one is drawn into correspondence with many people world-wide who are interested in Astrology and have heard of us here, as well as a large number of A. A. members. I am convinced that the publication and exchange of first-rate astrological literature goes a very, very long way towards fostering the kind of brotherhood and goodwill that we Uranian souls so treasure, and wish to see spread more widely in the world. I have met this warmth and open fellow-feeling in two other groups of people — the Musicians, and the Magicians (I refer to the prestidigitatorial variety!) of whom I have been meeting a considerable number lately, both here and overseas. Interesting — just to digress for a moment — that the Musicians are generally open to Mystery, and the Magicians are so often totally closed to it, as they believe so many things mysterious are simply some form of self-delusion or trickery! Healthy this, though, where it forces us to be firmly critical of our desire to believe in what we wish to be true ... a pity though where it becomes obsessive and impedes the flowering of the soul.
And if there is anything that is needed desperately in this struggling and potentially lovely world at the moment, it is the flowering of the Soul. The more we all work at our better natures, the more we smile from the heart rather than frown, the more we cherish the power of Love in the world and each other and seek to abandon the love of Power, whether in great things or in little, the more we help to lift ourselves and our fellow men and ease the world's burden. Let us all work to strengthen the ties between astrologers serving humanity in all nations!
I will end by thanking everyone who came along to our Conference at Reading University in September and helped to make it such a friendly and enjoyable weekend. I have the Conference photograph now — it has come out very well indeed! —and suggest that you order your copies direct from the Photographer, C. E. MAY & SON, 26 Crawford Close, Reading, Berks. (Telephone Reading 62244.) 12in x l0in mounted (Type AM) £1.40; unmounted (A) £1.10; 10in x8in mounted (BM) £1.10; unmounted (B) 90p; 8in x 6in mounted (CM) £1.00; unmounted (C) 50p; 8in x 7in mounted (DM) 50p; unmounted (D) 60p. God bless! P.B.