Astrology Conference Book Available for Preorder

From the announcement:

The ‘Astrologies’ conference, organised by the Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on 24-25 July 2010 was the first gathering of academics working in the history and culture of modern astrology. The range of topics explored in the publication of the conference proceedings is broad, and reflects the strik ing diversity of techniques and underlying philosophies which underlie the enduring human perception of meaningful relationships between the heavenly bodies and life on earth. Although astrology has been treated in many scholarly works as a monolithic entity, all of the papers in this book demonstrate one of the paradoxes of astrological thought and practice: the existence of a relative ly stable tradition of cosmological and astral representations and ideas combined with a adaptability that has enabled astrologies to meld with different  spheres of human endeavour in a variety of cultures. The papers are grouped into three basic themes: the symbolism of astrologies, the history of astrologies within different cultural con texts, and the practice of various astrologies from both ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ perspectives.

Contents and ordering information here.

Making Retrograde Mercury Your Friend

I’ve been reading Diana Rajchel’s “Mercury Retrograde Boot Camp Series” (this is no. 9). Some good stuff there.

For this, the practical and metaphysical reason is the same:

You clear your path from things that were scattering your attention. Now, the things that need your attention get it faster. That’s immediately more time, attention and energy you can use for a) the people you want to give your attention to and b) for yourself.

I actually am usually productive during these periods. It is just that everyone else is so damn slow.

Esoteric Poetry Competition Announced

News release:


YOU ARE INVITED TO SEND short poems of up to eight lines (not including the title) on an esoteric subject. These may refer in a general sense to ‘inner’ knowledge, this may be esoteric in the sense of inner knowledge as in:





but may also be understood in relation to the experience of seeking an understanding of an unending number of life’s challenges or disciplines: justice, plumbing, child rearing and the perfect omelette spring to mind.

Poems may for example reveal hitherto unknown secrets, conceal them, or relate to the subject matter in another way. All poems will be judged solely on literary merit

Competition sponsored by
The Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

In conjunction with Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, UK
and Waterloo Press

1st £300
2nd £150
3rd £75

ENTRY PAGE for details of terms and conditions and how to enter.

Prize winners will be announced at Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge, UK Thursday 18th November 2010 and on this website later that evening and by email the following day. Winners unable to attend the heffers prize-giving evening at heffers will be sent their prizes via paypal in GBP. CLOSING DATE FOR ONLINE ENTRIES: 15 SEPTEMBER, 2010 midnight GMT

see JUDGES PAGE for details of the judges
Daniel Healy
Helen Ivory
Jon Woodson
contact: Sophia Wellbeloved:

Dr Sophia Wellbeloved
Director, Lighthouse Editions

Director, The Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

CCWE is  independent of any academic or esoteric communities, the co-ordinators share an interest in the need for a wider dialogue between scholars and practitioners in the field of Western Esotericism and in the establishment of a secular space in which an interdisciplinary network can thrive.   From 2009 CCWE has operated within Lighthouse editions Limited, a small publishing company Directors: Dr Sophia Wellbeloved, Jeremy Cranswick – see

Mercury is Retrograde–Use It

For the astrologically minded among you, Mercury went retrograde today, meaning that its apparent motion as view from earth is the opposite of normal.

Every time this happens, the Colorado Pagan email group gets a few “Horrors! Mercury is retrograde!” messages. Astrologers like Lynn Hayes have a standard message:

Meanwhile, Mercury turns retrograde on January 11th where it will remain through January 31. Mercury Rx periods are famous for communication glitches and machinery failures. Often these are due to user error, as our brains function differently during the three weeks, four times a year, when Mercury is retrograde. If you must enter into a contract or begin a new job or project during this period, do everything you can ensure that all agreements are clear and in writing. Read all of your instruction manuals, and don’t be surprised if your phone messages don’t reach their intended destination. Just shrug your shoulders and laugh: “Mercury is retrograde!!”

I find retrograde-Mercury periods refreshing, actually. As someone with a Mercury-ruled horoscope (and therefore an expert, no?) I offer this alternative reading:

In my experience, this is a great time to clear your desk. Write that difficult letter that you put off writing. Tie up loose ends. Keeping plugging along at ongoing projects. Complete some task that you have been meaning to do since whenever.

This is your second chance.

Astrologers on the Presidential Race.

Astrologers meeting in Denver talked a lot about presidential politics. One of them said McCain will win.

If predicting elections is your thing, here are some birth data from the linked articles:

Barack Obama: Aug. 4, 1961, at 7:11 p.m.

John McCain: Aug. 29, 1936, at 11 a.m.

The astrologers seem to blame the Clinton campaign for concealing her birth time. Surely it is public record somewhere. Conference website here.

UPDATE: Other astrologers attending picked Obama. What, you expected unanimity?