The Essential Guide to How the Planets Orbit … and why this is useful information to know!
The Universe creates a special pattern every moment by the way that the planets orbit our Sun. Our planet Earth takes around 365.3 days to orbit. The Moon takes around 27.3 days in its orbit around the Earth. Those 2 particular pieces of information are not only well known but give us our sense of time and rhythm of the weeks, months and years. For thousands of years (maybe longer), and now, we observe the changing months and seasons in relation to the position of us and the Sun. And the Moon’s cycles help us understand our night time skies and, amongst many other things, planting crops.
However … might it be useful to know about the other planetary orbits?
And how do the signs of the zodiac fit in with all of this?!
In astrology we talk about the signs of the zodiac and these are the names given to 12 constellations of stars that envelope our planet Earth. From Aries through to Pisces, the clusters of stars give us insights, points of reference in the sky and specific themes as we observe and note the passage of the Sun together with the planets appearing to move through each of those constellations. The energy of the Sun moving through the sign of Taurus will have a completely different flavour to the passage of the Moon through Leo … and this is where astrology gets exciting! Think of all of those potentials for ‘what if’s’ and ‘I wonder what’ or even ‘should I do this or do that?’!
Looking at maps
In a birth chart (map of the stars for the moment of arrival here on Earth) all of the signs of the zodiac are shown. And then the stars and planets are plotted and added in. From the date, time and place of birth we establish exactly what was happening in the sky above just at that moment of birth down on Earth. And, most amazingly of all, there will never, ever be another map identical to that one.
Mercury has an orbit of around 88 days which means that he travels around the whole zodiac about 3 times in one of our calendar years. Together with a Venus orbit of around 225 days and Mars at approx. 687 days (each year) these planetary phenomena are easy to watch and to apply their circuits to our birth charts.
The longer term orbits in years are: Jupiter 12 years; Saturn 29.5 years; Chiron 50 years. This is so very interesting as we see longer term influences unfold for us as these planets (and yes … Chiron is an asteroid but a VIP in asteroid lore!) as they offer their incredible energies to us at significant points in time. And in seeing how this dance of planetary bodies above us interacts with ourself down here on Earth adds so much information for our daily life and indeed our Soul’s evolution.
Shall we take just one of those planets for instance? Understanding a Saturn energetic influence is a key to our long term plans for career, how we work and our Soul Path. We consider where he is at a moment of birth and then (as a broad example) when he forms an opposition in the sky roughly 14-15 years on or indeed returns to the same placement approximately 28-30 years after birth. And of course a Saturn return can occur 3 times in a lifetime currently.
And then …
With Uranus taking 84 years to return to the place where it was at the moment of birth we see more people have their Uranus return than ever before. This can result in people in their 80s making quite life-changing decisions such as a move of house, major travelling or even going into a new business. In our life time we will not see people having their Pluto returns (a 248 year cycle!) or even opposition at age 124, however I have no doubt it will happen at some point. And think of the deep insights that could very well emerge.
You may like to read this article about exactly what a transit is and how the planets ‘talk to each other! Just click here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short guide. Let me know and keep in touch!
As always, with love from Alison
PS – download my guide to inspiration by clicking here!
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The Planet Mercury when retrograde has resources for us to use in a very different way to when the silver messenger is carrying out his duties in the more usual manner!
A Mercury retrograde is a very special moment in time. And it is worth remembering that nothing actually goes backwards in this Universe … Oh yes … and it is also worth remembering that we have choices of reactions!
And so here are a few ways that we can all super-charge our choices and maximise the potential for a Mercury retrograde!
- Nothing in our universe actually goes backwards. However, and due to certain astronomical movements, sometimes it appears to us as if a planetary body is moving in a different manner. A retrograde, a still or a jaw-dropping backwards motion. And the energy changes. It is different.
- When Mercury energy changes it is giving us space. Space to breathe into our thoughts.
- If we choose to use the energy it becomes a time to Pause, Reflect, Discard, Ponder and be ready to find new insights.
- We have opportunities to revisit our core values, messages and our deeply held purpose. To listen to our inner language.
- And also to remember those who have helped us along the way. As we evolve we take forwards wisdom from our ancestors as well as our own!
And one extra!
6. What to talk about? A Mercury retrograde will rather listen than talk. And will write from the heart of the matter. We all have value and we all have a purpose here to connect through our hearts and souls.
Continue to share your message and walk your pathway of evolution. And enjoy the space that a Mercury retrograde gives us.
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“So just what is an astrology chart reading? And how does it apply to me?”
“I know what a coach does but have no idea what an astrologer does.”
“Do the stars really dictate to me what I should do or be …”
I seem to have found my mission for ‘now’ and that is to take some astrological myths, particularly around what an astrology chart reading actually is, and bust them completely out of the water!
In no particular order …
Do the stars really dictate to me what I should do or be …
Nothing is fated or destined. We have free choice and free will at all times. What is truly amazing about this universe in which we live is that we are offered extra energies to make use of if we wish. And, in addition to our normal senses, we also have intuition. So we are able to be so much more than we realise!
For an example – the Moon exerts a powerful force which helps gravity and our tides. You may well feel more (or less) tired at certain times of lunar activity and even dream differently. But it is entirely your choice if you wish to tap into the extra insights or possibilities. And the same goes for the other planets when they are making aspects in the sky and to your natal chart.
We all have free choice and free will.
We can be so much more by working with the planetary flow.
I know what a coach does but have no idea what an astrologer does …
A coach will offer you ways of expanding, or growing into, what you do and who you are. They may give you exercises or prompts especially if we think, for a moment, of a sports coach. There will be an end result that you are aiming for.
Similarly a mentor will nudge you along a chosen path to help you get to your destination.
An astrologer will, before anything else happens, ask you for your time, date and place of birth. Or the same details for a significant date of setting up a business of a wedding date etc.
At every moment the stars and planets are unfolding their patterns in the sky in a ‘completely unique to that moment’ way. There will never be a repeat of a pattern in the Universe. With the birthing details a chart, or map, is drawn up to give a snapshot of the pattern that existed (or will exist) for that moment in space and time.
And then the astrologer begins to unlock that chart. To unfold the mysteries, possibilities and potentials that are held within because that knowledge offers purpose and strength to our every decision and choice. The chart holds the keys to the best possible choices, decisions, potential and core purpose of each individual or event.
Your birth chart will offer you great possibilities and potentials.
The chart of your business will show how it can develop and good energetic times for growth.
So just what is an astrology chart reading? And how does it apply to me?
During an astrology chart reading you can expect to be ‘walked’ around the chart. Each part of the chart will be explained to you so that the positions of each sign of the zodiac and planet (or star) becomes clear. In the initial look at the chart often a brief summary will be given before a more in depth interpretation is carried out for the area you are particularly interested in.
By looking at your birth (or natal) chart we can begin to uncover a rich tapestry of your own unique potentials and then see how you can bring them to the surface (or not … remember you have choices). And the stars above us right now also have a part to play in this mystery of life. They are creating patterns that make patterns with our natal chart. And so some aspects are accentuated at a moment in time!
Say, for instance, that you are planning a launch of a business offer or a special event. A chart will be drawn up and considered. Is the Moon giving maximum visibility for that moment in time? Or maybe there are some better dates/times. The planet Mercury has great communication skills and so, especially for a launch, it is useful to see where in the sky that planetary body is and what influence is available!
A chart is a map of the stars for a moment in time & space from our perspective on Earth.
The stars are always changing and unfolding their wonderful patterns of energy.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this. Do not hesitate to contact me for more details! And please read my blog 5 Ways to Astrology right now for ideas of how you can start to see how working in flow with the stars and the moon is so helpful!
As always, with love, from Alison
PS I have a free Facebook Group Walking your Talk ready and waiting for you to join!
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A glimpse of behind the scenes with me!
This is me in consultation at a Mind, Body & Spirit Fair a couple of years ago. But a lot went on behind the scenes to get me to that particular seat, opposite a client, discussing her birth chart and projected planetary transits.
I am a Leo Sun. I never felt like a Leo Lion was supposed to be. No roaring for me and you would usually find me in a corner of the playground hoping break time would be over quickly and that I wouldn’t have to speak to anyone. I decided at quite a young age that astrology was not for me. I just was not a Leo lion! And then, a lot of years later, I learnt how to read the symbolism of tarot and decided to give astrology a chance. What a life changing decision. My chart was duly drawn up and read for me by a leading (at the time) astrologer. Well …
Light bulb moment! So much suddenly made sense. My Leo Sun is in a particular position in the sky inspiring me to help others shine. And as to all of my other planets – it was as if someone had suddenly given me a manual to understand me!
And, ever since then, my respect for astrology has grown along with reading, writing and experiencing it!
Back to our behind the scenes glimpse and these are a few of the ‘myths’ I hear …
“But surely It’s all on computer …”
I learnt astrology before computer programs were the norm. And there are still courses out there that teach astrology using paper, pens, tables of houses and ephemeris. Drawing up a chart is an amazing thing to do and, even though I use a computer for the basic birth chart calculations now, I find so many more insights when I sit and draw it by hand. So I will often copy a chart from my screen and draw the planets, stars, asteroids and planetary movements. It becomes a work of art, my craft, and truly fitting for the honour of interpreting a chart for someone.
The best advice I give to anyone who really wants to understand astrology (a life long process I can tell you!) is to watch it unfold. After initially learning I very quickly began reading charts 1-1, at camps and at festivals all over the country. I have given workshops and talks over the years and added in learning from talking to people. Curiosity is probably one of the best traits to have as an astrologer!
A computer will, very quickly, give you a chart and even offer generic interpretations.
It is up to the astrologer however to
a) check a chart is correct
b) look at it as a whole and not just individual planets etc
c) offer interpretations
d) apply planetary transits from the past to begin to make sense for the now and future trends.
“I had my chart done years ago – no need to get it done again”
The stars, planets, our earth and the Universe are constantly moving around and changing their patterns. And so a unique pattern of the stars in the sky is available for every birth. It may be that you wish to know more about the birth of yourself, the start of a business, a purchase you are about to make or the launch of a book or course. All of those ‘births’ will have a chart available for the moment. And that natal chart will remain the same. It is the blue-print and map of all potentials and possibilities.
However the stars move constantly and send out ripples of energy towards us here on planet earth. And we can choose whether to be in flow with those energies … or not!
Your/the birth chart remains the same. But the planetary energies and influences change giving more opportunities for growth and … well … choices!
And, as if looking at planetary transits (the patterns made) isn’t a big enough deal … We can learn so much about ourselves by seeing what happened during a previous and similar pattern made and so be prepared for what is to come.
“Can you tell my future”
Astrology is not predictive for detail and no astrologer will be able to offer a fortune telling service! What we are able to do is to show the planetary movements ahead and give an idea for general trends or great uses for the energy. As an example. Ben asks when he will meet the love of his life. Now he obviously (!) is asking about romantic relationship love and when that will appear. We may well be able to see a beautiful Venus & Moon aspect lingering in his birth chart relationship area and perhaps even a strong Uranian new beginning highlighted. However there may also be some other aspects which lead us to offer that Ben may well meet someone or – and this is the crucial part – make changes which lead him towards someone or something truly great.
Planetary energy is there for us to make the best possible choices and decisions as we walk on this planet of ours. And that is where astrology opens so many doors for us.
“So how do you do it?”
Behind the scenes and my ‘tools of trade’ are:
almost 30 years of reading charts, studying, giving talks and workshops, working professionally AND of course using astrology daily for myself!
my own daily practices of watching the stars unfold their amazing stories;
100 year + 50 year + individual yearly ephemeris (see photo above);
pens and pencils for writing my notes down and re-creating the charts;
an excellent computer program called Time Passages from astrograph.com which has basic through to professional packages and has brilliant customer service.
I hope this has helped you and please do contact me with any questions you may have.
As always, with love, from Alison x
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5 ways to astrology right now!
Is “5 ways to astrology right now!” a surprising title? Well I’d like to invite you to just read on and think about putting some simple actions in place. It may, just as it did for me, open up a curiousity and awareness of this amazing Universe in which we live.
Astrology really is very easy as we are all natural astrologers because it’s in our psyche! We have it inbuilt within us all to look at the stars and use what we see for time-keeping and navigation. For example our ancestors watched the patterns and cycles of the moon and the sun to gauge the time passing, seasons, festival times. And also sailors navigated by the stars. Structures were built to measure and keep aware of the sunrise at significant times of the year. We know that the lunar cycles affect our oceans and tides. And, as we are made up of a large percentage of water, It is not such a great leap of logic to understand the connection between the moon and our own bodies … and then maybe the other planets have affects too!
So how about those 5 ways …
Would you like to experiment with 5 ways to experience astrology right now?
- Find out the phase of the Moon by going outside and looking. The lunar cycle begins with a sliver of silver at new moon and from then the light grows (waxes) towards the full moon. After fullness the light lessens (wanes) towards the dark of the moon and then new again. A cycle that we know takes place.
- Look at the moon at night and marvel at the sense of mystery and awe that has placed that moon in the universe for us. It’s a connection with our ancestors and with each other.
- Find out the sign of the zodiac that the sun is currently in. Every month the sun enters the next sign of the zodiac, always moving and making different patterns in the sky with the other stars and planets.
- Consider how that sign relates to your own birth (star) sign. As an example a Leo Sun sign will have Aquarius opposite. There is a treasure trove of understanding as we consider our own Sun sign and then where the Sun is in the sky right now.
- Look at the sky at night and ponder on the other planets out there … and maybe life!
5 ways to astrology right now and to being in wonder at this amazing Universe. This is our home, planet earth, and that makes us a part of the Universe too. We are all connected with the planets and the stars and with each other. Our planet Earth forms the centre of our astrological charts as it is from here that we view, and experience, the planets, stars and asteroids.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you get on with your own astrology. Let me know and, if you are curious to read more blogs, click here!
Would you like to join my new Facebook group Walking your Talk? Just click here and I’ll be really pleased to welcome you in.
As always, with love, from Alison
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