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Glasgow West End: Pat's Guide (Home)

Anne Whitaker, Not the Astrology Column

a trip beyond the star signs by Anne Whitaker - March, 2002

"......six thousand years ago, when the human mind was still half asleep, Chaldean priests were standing on watchtowers, scanning the stars......." (1)
This memorable quote from Arthur Koestler shows that human beings have been on a quest to decipher the meaning of our links with the starry heavens since the beginning of civilisation. That quest is as compelling as ever, and astrologers are still pursuing it. In the first column in autumn 2001, I described the entirely unexpected route which led to my career as an astrologer. This second column looks in more detail at what we astrologers actually do!

Beyond the Sun Signs

Popular "Star Sign" astrology which appears in the newspapers and magazines can only describe in a very general way the character and life pattern of the millions of people in the world of all ages who were born, for example, when the Sun was moving through the sector of sky called Pisces, where it just happens to be located at the moment in March 2002.

To draw an individual picture, or horoscope, requires mathematically plotting the positions and relationships of all nine planets plus the Moon against a 360 degree imaginary circular band in the sky called the Zodiac, which is divided into twelve thirty degree sectors called Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on.The correct TIME of birth is then vital in giving a personal tuning to the planetary positions on any given day. The complex circular diagram thus produced is like a picture of a stage, with a whole cast of characters on it portrayed by each of the planets, waiting for the curtain to go up and for the script to unroll the action of the drama.

Using the Horoscope

The astrologer then uses this picture to describe to you the main characters living out your personal story.

Thus, for example, I recently saw a client in her thirties, who has gone through her life knowing only that she has the Sun in the sign of Sagittarius, which is renowned for its fearless, optimistic, restless drive to treat life as an adventure, and cheerful willingness to take risks. But she could never understand why that clashed all the time with a rather cautious and fearful response to the call of adventure. Her preference for knowing she had enough in the bank before embarking on any change in lifestyle or direction, frustrated and irritated her more adventurous side. The horoscope revealed that the Sun was indeed in Sagittarius, but the Moon, representing her emotional response to life, was in the sign of Capricorn, which is known for its caution, practical good sense, and aversion to risk-taking.

As a stranger with no knowledge of her prior to our consultation, which is the way I prefer to work, I was able to describe this basic contradiction in her character at the very outset of our session. She found it very helpful to have this conflict affirmed by an outside source. I was able to confirm that there was nothing "wrong" - that was simply how she was ! We then went on to look at how she could give both those important characters an equal, if contrasting, role in her life.

Most of us tend to deal with contradictions by identifying with the part we like best, or which will win most approval from the world, whilst trying our hardest to ignore the other side. But that rejected part always makes its appearance in our lives, for example in our subject's case through her cautious, sensible partner whose criticisms of some of her grandiose ideas she felt to be unnecessarily restricting. Through the reading, she was able to see that her partner was living out for her a part of herself she didn't really accept and preferred to push to one side, usually to her later detriment when she made rash decisions which were tripped up by the intrusion of life's practicalities.

Often, the inner wisdom in a person leads them into ways of using their energies which very well reflect who they are. This woman works as an accountant with a travel firm, which channels both those contradictory characters most constructively !

I have given a very simple example of how a Horoscope reading can be of great practical value - one can also tackle very much more complex issues whose description is outwith the scope of this short column.In nearly 20 years of reading horoscopes, people have told me over and over again that the great value of their reading has lain in its ability to confirm who it is they actually are,, gifts and pains alike. This supports their courage to be themselves, rather than wasting energy on punishing themselves for their faults, or trying to be someone else in order to please others.

The unfolding picture

The second great value in a horoscope reading lies in helping people to place their lives as far as possible in tune with the unfolding energy pattern of the time in which they are living. Astrology, used constructively, can help clients to set their sails to go with the prevailing wind, rather than wasting energy in futile attempts to sail against it. This brings us right up against the issue of prediction - but you'll have to wait until the next Not The Astrology Column to read about that !


(i) from " The Sleepwalkers" by Arthur Koestler, first published by Penguin Books 1964, p 20.
(This article is an edited version of "Have you heard it's in the stars?" which appeared in Connections magazine in August 2000)

Anne chairs Aquarius Rising a new astrological association in the West of Scotland, providing talks, information and an opportunity to meet and share ideas. Our next meeting takes place on Tuesday 26 March 02, 7.15 for 7.30 pm, at Rokpa House, 7 Ashley Street, Woodlands, Glasgow G3 6 DR .Members : £1.50 (Annual Membership £10 ) Non members : £3.50 This month[base ']s topic promises to be fun - " Music Men " with Steve Livingston.
Steve will present profiles of three great rock icons : Freddie Mercury, Bryan Ferry and Boy George. Which is your favourite? Can this be worked out from your horoscope? Come along and find out !
(Steve is Chair of the Scottish Astrological Association, the longest running astrology group in Scotland, based in Edinburgh since 1974.We are delighted to be welcoming him to Aquarius Rising.)

If you would like Anne Whitaker to write a Not the Astrology Column for your publication, contact her to discuss what you would like. Contact details below:

Contact details :

Mail : LTS, 74 Victoria Crescent Road, Glasgow G12 9 JN, Scotland, UK Tel : 0141-337-6144 (office hours)
Email : [email protected]
Website :

Not the Astrology Column- a trip beyond the star signs - by Anne Whitaker

My career as an astrologer began in a laundrette in Bath in 1974 - although I didn't realise that at the time ! Befriending a little girl who came to chat, I met her parents, Pat and Elias; they were astrologers, they said, and would I care to come back to their place for a cup of tea? They'd like to draw up my horoscope, to thank me for entertaining their child.

"Why not"?, I remember thinking."Nothing better to do for the next hour". It puzzled me that my new friends dismissed the newspaper columns - wasn't that what astrology was all about ?. "We're proper astrologers",they said firmly. "Your Star Sign only puts one character on the stage of your life. It 's impossible to describe who you are from only one factor."

They wrote down my date, place, and apparently vital time of birth, produced various reference books and did complex-looking calculations. Then they drew up my birth chart or horoscope : this was a map of the heavens for the precise time I was born.

Then came their interpretation into character analysis of the horoscope's planetary symbols, in considerable depth.The experience shocked me to the core. How could they be so accurate? I had met them less than an hour ago. They knew nothing of my personal history or life experience.

"You tell me you're a rationalist," Elias chuckled."But I can see from this horoscope, and where the planets will be in a few years, that in your early thirties the spiritual dimension will come calling. You are very likely to end up doing something like this yourself." What nonsense, I thought, uneasily filing the experience away. In time, it was forgotten.

For my 33rd birthday, a friend gave me an odd present considering my scepticism - an astrology book. It was intelligently and sensitively written; I found myself very attracted, but embarrassed. What couldI say to friends and family? Saying nothing, I carried on reading.

A series of odd coincidences led me to the well-respected Faculty of Astrological Studies, based in London, which offered a Certificate correspondence course. I embarked on my studies in an empirical spirit. If astrology was merely superstitious nonsense, I would come to that conclusion based on knowledge and practice, rather than the usual ignorance and prejudice. But my studies showed me astrology's clear value. I have been teaching and practising the subject ever since obtaining my Certificate in 1983.

An astrological perspective offers a route towards integration of the rational dimensions with the intuitive, symbolic and spiritual. Time and time again my clients tell me that their readings help them to see and to accept who they are more clearly - and to make better use of the gifts they have been given. Good astrological practice should encourage people to take responsibility for their own lives, and supports their courage to be themselves.

We have not yet found anything which provides the ultimate answer to the puzzle of our existence on this earth. Astrology is no exception - although it is a fine way of asking intelligent questions about what life may mean. It is not a religion. The insights it offers do not interfere with whatever religious beliefs individuals may hold. But its perspective offers two very important things.

Firstly, a picture of a holistic universe in which our movement through space and time is not random, but meaningful.This is enormously comforting to those of us who cannot bear the idea that the turmoils and struggles of this life are capricious and pointless. Secondly, from the horoscope drawn up for the date, place and exact time of birth, astrology can give individuals very useful insights into the characters who are enacting the drama of their individual life story.

But it cannot tell who the Director is, what the exact details of the plot are, or what the outcome of the play will be. Astrology, like quantum physics, can only deal with ranges of probability. The rest is as it will probably remain - a mystery known only to the Deity.

( this is an edited version of an article which first appeared in the Glasgow Herald in August 1996)


Interested in exploring quality astrology ? Here are some reputable astrology sites, organisations, schools, journals and book stockists to get you started:



Contact details :

Mail : LTS, 74 Victoria Crescent Road, Glasgow G12 9 JN, Scotland, UK Tel : 0141-337-6144 (office hours)
Email : [email protected]
Website :

Anne Whitaker - Westender. Find out more about Anne and her work in the field of astrology.

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