The Wheel of the Year
By watching the Wheel of the Year we are acknowledging the ever changing seasons, with all the gifts they offer, and also a rhythm known through time by our ancestors and also those still to come. It is both logic and magic. It gives us time and balance. And connections …
I’m Alison & this is why I use the Wheel of the Year
December 2019 and we moved to a place that had been on the cards for us for many years. The actual house move had been fraught and filled with all of the twists and turns of a great thriller, and our move took place over three days, however the joy of realising those dreams was huge.
And I realised that, amongst many astrological aspects at the time, transiting Mercury was opposite my natal mid-heaven and inspirations and insights ensued!
And so we celebrated Winter Solstice, and the sun rising into Capricorn, in a new land and yet one that we recognised on a deep level.
Sun-rise on the morning of the Solstice.
The key to working with the Wheel of the Year is to fully appreciate the turning of that wheel. That every moment of every season has joyous intent for life moving forwards. Every festival honouring the turn of the seasons holds within it an appreciation of agriculture and of the stars. And also holds within it sustenance on every level – physical, emotional, spiritual and connections with others.
I invite you to watch the wheel of the Year as it turns and turns about.
This is written in the Northern Hemisphere and all is opposite for the Southern hemisphere … absolute balance of our planet!
Winter Solstice – around the 21st of December
The shortest day of the year and the longest night. A time for the earth to begin to waken. And yet it is the darkest and coldest time. Families indoors making do with whatever they stowed away before the weather turned.
This is a festival of the light with candles & fires burning to encourage the Sun to return. And a festival of love as those inside took care of each other and the animals.
Re-birth of the Sun as, astrologically, the Sun moves into Capricorn.
Imbolc – Beginning of February
The Sun is in Aquarius.
Snowdrop festival. The first lambs are born and the first spring growth appears.
A strong agricultural festival as our ancestors celebrate the return of crops growing and light returning – what a special time this is!
Spring Equinox – around the 21st of March
The Sun moves into Aries and the green year shows us Spring in all of her natural glory. Abundance begins.
Day and night are equal and light balanced. Equinox is balance.
Beltane – Beginning of May
The Sun is in Taurus and we celebrate the first day of Summer usually on May 1st. Flowers of different colours are picked and ribbons attached to trees ready for dancing.
Bees are occupied with spreading pollen and making honey.
Friends & Family.
The longest day of the year and the shortest night. The Sun moves into the sign of Cancer and the Sun is high in the sky.
This is another festival of the light with candles & fires burning to honour the Sun as it will begin to draw back in light.
A joy-full time of warmth and unity.
Lammas – Beginning of August
The Sun is in Leo and it is time to start properly the Harvest. Children are out of school to help and the weather is still warm and usually dry.
The first bread and cakes are baked using newly harvested crops and the celebrations take place often on the first of August.
Autumn Equinox – around the 21st of September
A time of equal night and day in perfect balance. The Sun moves into Libra and nature begins to withdraw back into the earth.
Harvest is at highpoint as the crops need to be brought in safely before the weather turns and stored.
This is the time to honour and celebrate our gifts both actual and symbolically.
Samhain – usually celebrated on October 31st
The Sun is in Scorpio and these will be the last days when travel is easy. Families gather together.
October 31st and the veil between worlds is at the thinnest. A custom is to set an extra place for evening meal and this may be for someone who has passed or for a late-comer to the table.
Ancestors & families gather.
And then a new Winter Solstice …
The ever turning Wheel of the Year.
A rhythm for us to know and to remember that we are a part of nature and have a part to play in the dance of the seasons.
As always, with love, from Alison
Tickets here for Summer Solstice Seminar
Summer Solstice – Celebration of beauty of the Sun
Retrograde planets are a fascinating mix of both real and not real! They appear, from our perspective here on planet Earth, to be stationary just before moving backwards.
Backwards as they appear! An illusion. Nothing that we see in our universe can really do anything much other than burn out, collapse or move forwards! In other words … there is always some form of activity with action taken. However, due to our Earth careering through space at a different speed to other planets and stars (plus our Earth has a wobble on its axis), occasionally it seems as if other planetary bodies are moving in ‘different to expected’ ways.
Our Universe is wonderful and beautiful and constantly achieves different patterns of energy available to us all at all moments. As each planetary body moves at a different speed, so the way that patterns are created are completely unique and never to be seen again. As you began to read this article the planets had arranged themselves in a certain pattern which already, now, is different and will never occur again! Think of the tide moving and the ocean creating different patterns in the sand with every wave.
All energy is there to be accessed and to give us more information as to our choices and potentials as we, ourselves, move forwards through life. And so it is useful to look at the difference in energy from a planet moving forwards in motion in a normal way to then what happens to that energy when we view the planet in a different way from our Earth. The subtle adjustment (and, to be fair, sometimes not so subtle!) gives us an opportunity to grow in a different way.
Mercury has much to offer us all when his orbit changes and he also then becomes the most mis-understood planet of all. During a retrograde Mercury it may well be that out tech issues become apparent and our washing machine breaks down. However those things would have happened in any case. A Mercury retrograde gives us the opportunity to check that things are working correctly.
Contracts arriving during a Saturn retrograde will require all the “i”s dotted and the “t”s crossed. Of course legal work will be around at any time but how useful it is to know that the planets are giving extra emphasis and clarity for just plain re-reading them through at certain times!
And there is one of the main “retrograde” keys within astrology!
During a retrograde energy it is useful in the way of any word beginning with ‘re-…’. So revisit, re-read, rewind, repair, rethink, recover and receive – and feel free to add your own!
During a Mercury retrograde, which aspected my own Sun & Uranus, I signed up for, and leaned so much from, a crystal healing course.
What will you do the next time you hear a planet is retrograde?
The Key to Time …
Time only moves forwards. We grow and evolve and choose how to live. And so …
And no apologies for asking you again!
What will you do the next time you hear a planet is retrograde?
What action will you be inspired to consider? And how will you receive the nudges from the Universe and respond?!
As always, with love, from Alison
PS – remember to book your call with me to see how knowing where your birth planets are is helpful when looking at what the planets are doing now!
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!
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.
PS Join the free Facebook group for more insights! Click here
“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!
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
Free Facebook group Walking your Talk join here!