My mother said I didn’t want to be born. As sidereal Pluto conjunct tropical Moon semi-squared the Ascendant that winter day I was wrenched into a war-torn world that held more surprises than I could ever imagine.
Over the past seventy years it is the impact of Pluto on my birth pattern that has corresponded most vividly with the major events of my life. These are always transitional, always a challenge, often a blessing in disguise. Sometimes they have brought me close to death.
Three movements of Pluto are at work: the tropical transits conjunct and opposite tropical, sidereal and draconic radix lights and angles, the sidereal transits to the same points, and the Solar Arc alignments to each planet and angle in the natal chart. The transits seem active within 2º30', both applying and separating. Draconic Pluto, moving close to the speed of the Dragon’s Head and thus too quickly, cannot be considered a major transit.
With sidereal Pluto on the tropical Moon in the 10th at birth my life hasn’t really been my own. There has always been the sense of having to go where I’m put. This started at age three as Solar Arc Pluto opposed Mercury in 1947, Dad was promoted, and the family uprooted from the Midlands to a flat in Glasgow. Sidereal Pluto then transited the draconic IC from 1948-1950 and moved us back south to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. During this period at the tender age of seven Solar Arc Pluto opposed my Sun; I remember being very ill, so ill that I heard my mother ask (my father? The doctor?) if I was going to die. During that time, the significant development was writing my first poem, a tiny verse about a tiny flower, the Heartsease. In 1950 off we all went again from Newcastle to Manchester. Dad had made it to his top job, and we managed to stay put for nine whole years.
So in early 1951 at the age of eight I was in a new town, at a new school while Solar Arc Pluto moved opposite Venus. I was bullied. Not physically, but picked on by the local girls for having a posh voice and being the youngest and brightest. I was miserable. So I raided the classroom bookshelf and cheered myself up reading the Greek, Roman and Nordic myths. Sidereal Pluto came uncomfortably to the rescue from winter 1952 to summer 1954 in opposition to my tropical Sun; I went into hospital, and then, despite achieving the highest marks in Manchester in the 11-plus, was kept back for a term while the older, unkind girls moved on. This meant that at last I was with girls my own age who didn’t resent me, and I had lovely, funny friends. That spell in Wythenshawe Hospital for plastic surgery on a bat ear confronted me for the first time with profound suffering; the only spare bed was in the children’s burns ward. I saw miracles of healing there.
When tropical Pluto conjoined my draconic Sun from the winter of 1958 to July 1960, just as sidereal Pluto opposed 5th House tropical Mercury, life completely changed once again. My father - whose draconic Sun conjoins mine and was also on Pluto’s hit-list - resigned from his post to work in London. So Mum and I spent that first, icy, spectacular winter in a Victorian flat near our old house while I finished my GCEs and Dad found us somewhere to live in the commuter belt. Weather and trees enchanted me. Poems flew from my pen. Once settled in leafy Bucks the time at High Wycombe High School was sheer joy, and with the energy of that super-charged draconic Sun it set me on paths I would follow for the rest of my life. Thanks to the school’s rich culture I did my first programmes with the BBC, conducted a winning choir, became Prospero in ‘The Tempest’ and won prizes both for my writing and - unusually - for enterprise! 1960 was the year I first fell in love, discovered astrology, and spent an unforgettable month in France.
The next big hit came in 1967. I had spent two years at Drama School, another two working at an antique map and print shop opposite the British Museum, had married and moved to the Kent coast. Pluto moved right onto my Ascendant as the Moon joined Pluto by Solar Arc. Over the winter of 1966/67, under Pluto, I conceived my first son. He was born in the autumn on Pluto’s second transit. Everything went wrong - I developed toxaemia, he was a fortnight overdue and had to be induced; then I needed a last-ditch Caesarian. Blood poisoning (from the dirty hospital) and a paralysed bowel sent me into a coma and for the second time in my life I was dimly aware of parents and now a husband bracing themselves for my demise. Except that even in that state I remember thinking, ‘I am not going to die.’ And I didn’t. But in two weeks I had wasted to skin and bone, and once home struggled to walk again with the support of the pram. The wound festered. There were excruciating adhesions. I would always have problems - but I was alive. As Pluto paid its last lingering visit over the spring and summer of 1968 my son spoke his first word - and then withdrew into strangeness. He was autistic.
Sidereal Pluto straddled the draconic Sun from winter 1969 to August 1971. Again I conceived in winter; again a son was born by a last-minute Caesarian, in the autumn of 1970. This time the hospital was clean, there were no further complications, and my son was normal. And I finally stepped firmly onto my path; after a flirtation with coffee-table astrology, a friend found Olivia Barclay a short walk away across the fields, and thanks to her kindness I joined the AA and began my Faculty studies with Jeff Mayo.
From winter 1976 through to 1979 sidereal Pluto overwhelmed my tropical Ascendant. Its square to the tropical MC had moved us to Medway; now I was to meet the man with whom I would spend the rest of my days. At the end of this turbulent period - after yet another family move, to Cornwall - I made the difficult decision to start afresh in a second marriage, which has turned out to be deeply rewarding for more than three decades.
In 1981/82 tropical Pluto arrived on the draconic Descendant. It brought that marriage, opened up past lives, and moved us into the house where we would study, heal, counsel, write, teach, and with kindred souls build our church for the next twenty years. When the Solar Arc Pluto reached my Ascendant in 1987, ‘Draconic Astrology’ was published. Two years later I was back in surgery - by 1989 tropical Pluto was squaring Venus. As bits of me were removed, I lost six pints of blood and nearly perished again. More lessons in faith, love, and healing.
Then my Mum died. It was 1992. By Solar Arc, Pluto had combined with the MC. With the small legacy she was able to leave me, I bought my first PC and Matrix’s Blue*Star. By the autumn, inspired by the Draconic, I had found Jesus’ nativity. Tropical Pluto was now on the sidereal IC, taking my ill and grieving Dad from me in 1993. It was changing my life and my work for ever.
When tropical Pluto transited tropical IC from early 2002 to autumn 2003, our hectic life in Kent had to come to an end. Pollution, vibration and noise on the A2 had become intolerable. We upped sticks to the champagne air of North Wales amid the usual Pluto perils and dramas. It was again a major transition; nobody here seemed interested in astrology. Paid work, apart from long-standing clients, dried up. The emphasis was now on writing, email and broadcasting, and - after our ostracism in Kent - a surprising welcome from the local churches.
The following years were eventful, climaxing in 2010 when everything went crazy as tropical Pluto hit my sidereal Sun and draconic Uranus. After years of frustration my website theholytwelve.co.uk went online, I caught the Ancestry bug; and the BBC - who had already filmed me in Coventry for ‘Songs of Praise’ under the Pluto/ Mars transit in 2005 - wanted me back again for the ‘One Show’, retelling the story of Dad’s work during the Blitz. I was also preparing the life of Jesus for the website, and drafting a book on Interdimensional Astrology. At the start of that year, twiddling my fingers, I had started lessons in Esperanto, but by late spring Life - courtesy of Pluto - got in the way, and there was no time spare to continue the course. In 2012 the momentum did not slow; and now in late 2013 with friend Pluto rolling towards the opposition of Moon, this website, The Adventurous Astrologer, has been born to replace the outdated format of The Holy Twelve (although the original site will remain online for a good while.) It has been a very good year creatively; I have my fingers crossed for 2014 ....