Wednesday, 23 December 2015

First the Ocean, Now the Sky

I've woken up this morning with the distinct feeling that the universe cracked while I was sleeping. And maybe it did. Yesterday the Moon-Venus opposition was on my nodal axis and the midpoint of transiting Mercury and Pluto were on my natal Jupiter.

I knew something profound was about to happen yesterday at 1:22pm (astrologers always take note of these things). I had been contemplating going to the beach but I had this uneasiness about what the ocean had to say. It wasn't a fear, it was just an uncertainty about how much change one person can tolerate in such a short space of time.

As I was thinking this, a small feather floated from the sky--and I kid you not--landed near my feet. My first thought was of my grandmother. So I picked up the feather and thanked my ancestors. Like a good Ojibwa. And then I was overcome with such intense homesickness--the first bout I've had since being away for so long--that tears sprang to my eyes.

Home. Where is that, I wondered.

I'm such a bad Cancerian (or so I thought) that I couldn't even answer that question. I've been wrestling with a certain terror that I've managed to scatter the people I love all over the globe and the only way I can communicate with them is via Facebook. I felt ashamed. What the hell am I doing? I need to go home.

And then the sky spoke. This feather, this feather that floated from the sky from the wing of some unseen  bird, reminded me that I am home. This is it. Home. I am home. Wherever I lay my hat.

A few hours later and I'm on the beach with two South African Sangomas watching the first sunset of the Summer Solstice. One of the sangomas had not worn shoes in over 20 years and he made me wonder what it would be like to feel the earth under one's feet for so long without the barrier of shoes. He also had long, uncut hair. I asked him if it was in his tradition to cut hair in grief as it for the Ojibwas. My own hair was pretty much down to my waist when I lost relatives and cut my hair very short. I wore my grief and was reminded of it every time I went to pull my non existent hair from my collar. My hair is just starting to grow back but I still remember my grief when I look in the mirror. The sangoma told me that he last shaved his head when his father died. Then we both laughed at our good fortune to have growing hair. How fleeting life is and how long is the recovery from grief. But now we can laugh because we understand what it means to regrow from loss. 

The sangomas had brought me to a place to watch the sunset. It felt like the edge of the world. Behind us were "The Twelve Apostles" hills and before us was the ocean. There was a very light mist as the light of the dying sun turned the atmosphere to lavender. When it was getting dark, I took my shoes off so I could feel the rocks beneath my feet.

And I knew I was home.

And I also knew that wherever life takes me I am home. Here. Now. I am safe, balanced and far heartier than I had thought.

And the other thing I know is that I too am a sangoma. It might be known by a different name in different languages but by the Great Goddess, I now know I am--and have always been--a sangoma. I had just forgotten.

And it's great to be home.

I know this because a seemingly insignificant feather floated down from the sky and landed at my feet.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

On the Nature of True Intentions

So as I'm on a writing frenzy, I've been spending a lot of time at the charming Cape to Cuba restaurant near to the Hemingway Bar (and no, I don't tend to drink during the day!). My line of thinking was that being in a place named after one of my favourite (and I have so many) writers was going to be good for the creative thinking process.

After spending so much time sorting through heaps of my writing and realising that most of it is useable, I'm now pretty much convinced that I am indeed a writer.

I used to be very reluctant to call myself a writer but I remembered this week that the first time I called myself as such was a year or so ago as a I sat in a beautician's chair waiting to get my hair cut.  I hate getting my hair cut: I hate the expense, I hate the process and I hate the small talk with strangers who have the power to transform my appearance into something I'm going to love or hate for the next several months. For many years, I had avoided hairdressers and had let my hair grow long enough to almost sit on. But in the Ojibwa tradition, hair represents your life and its growth. It's only cut to demonstrate grief. I had been having a pretty awful year. I was in grief--I had lost a beloved aunt and uncle with weeks of each other--and I was so unhappy in my job. When the inevitable question of "What do you do for a living?" came up, I blurted out: "I'm a writer" to avoid saying I was a teacher (I almost never tell strangers I'm an astrologer--but that's a story for another day). I then thought: "Blimey, I had better make a note of the time for that!" 

I had always resisted any temptation to call myself a writer. It just seemed so pretentious. But when one declares something--whether it is planned (elected in astrological terms) or it just happens, it is an important moment. And often very, very revealing.

This is the chart of that moment with today's transits along the outer circle in green:

Now there were several things I knew about the astrology of the moment without looking up anything. I knew that Jupiter had just finished its final return to its natal position in my chart a few weeks before when I had felt so antagonised that I walked out of my job. And I vaguely knew Jupiter was transiting my natal Moon but that's pretty much it. I had absolutely no idea that the asc/des axis was at 0 Libra, nor did I realise the Moon was in Virgo in the 12th house and ruling the MC! And look at the Sun in Gemini in the 9th!! Jupiter in Cancer in the 10th!! Mercury in Aries in the 7th! A dignified Venus!  I don't think I could have elected a better chart for a writer. I could have done without Saturn in the 2nd opposing said Venus but hey ho, all charts have to have Mr Misery Guts somewhere (like Prince Charles who has it in his second too). 

Transit wise, Jupiter, ruling the 3rd, is on that Moon in Virgo, about to cross the ascendant. It's a Mars conjunction picking up that cardinal T square I had been warning everyone about a couple of days ago. Good old Uranus--bang on my natal part of self (told you I was a stroppy cow) with the god of writing, Mercury transiting. Saturn is transiting the 3rd house--what a great place for a hard working writer. Pluto in the 4th I have natally as well but it is opposite my natal Jupiter. And look at Neptune in the 6th!! The writer loses herself in her work.

It really is time for me to get my stuff "out there" so I'm going to open up the field a bit by posting some fiction here. It's a short story called A Cappella and is about a musician who finds her voice. "A Cappella" comes from the Italian for "in the manner of the chapel". It's unaccompanied or solo music. I like the way it fits in the Jupiter themes of my experience of life these days. And I think the story fits the transits.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Writer's Life

I have FINALLY had the time to sort through my blogs (I have four) and website. And what a job it was--about two weeks worth of sorting. Dear God, I write a lot--and yesterday I did another 4,000 words on my upcoming book.

So this might lead you to ask: what on earth are you going to do with all that material?

Well I'm glad you asked.

About a year ago, I started writing daily horoscopes as an experiment. Up until that point, I had always been very snotty about Sun Sign astrology but once I saw what it did to my viewing stats, I had a change of heart. The results of my experiment are here. However the downside was that the daily column was clogging up my blog and Facebook page so I decided I was going to have a separate blog, twitter account and Facebook page for them. And then I got the grand idea that I was going to bring out 12 little year ahead books and I got as far as the New and Full Moons before life just took over. But it's all stuff I can still use but I decided to keep it free. You can pop in daily for updates using the links below. I aim for a short and punchy style.

Here are the links (and don't even get the idea into your head that I'll be doing this every day):
Aries featuring Susan Boyle
Taurus featuring Princess Charlotte
Gemini featuring the divine Barry Manilow
Cancer featuring Tom Hanks
Leo featuring Whitney Houston
Virgo featuring Buddy Holly
Libra featuring The Big Bopper
Scorpio featuring Margaret Mitchell
Sagittarius featuring Anna Nicole Smith
Capricorn featuring Mel Gibson
Aquarius featuring Paul Newman
Pisces featuring Steve Jobs

Then, frustrated with not being able to promote my book as much as I should at the same time I was teaching, I started a Growing Pains blog in June 2015. The idea was to write about Jupiter and Saturn using celebrity profiles, updating research on the peculiar and particular problems in adolescence and just generally spouting off about how brutal the teaching profession is. You know like questioning why some fool gets paid stupid money for kicking a ball from one end of a field to another while the female dominated careers of teaching and nursing are paid shit and the workers are treated like shit. Of course, like this blog, things got put on the back burner. But I've been updating daily as part of the book writing--and I'm working on three updates for Growing Pains: a teacher's edition, a pupil's edition and a parent's edition. They are coming out in March 2016. Note the optimism.

As I said, I write a lot. And this includes fiction. So I have another blog that I was using for the National Write a Novel in Month (NaNoWriMo) 2013. There's a full novel there that I wrote in a month. Yes a month. 2000 words that I did on a daily basis in November 2013. And there's a hell of a lot more fiction that I've yet to work out what to do with. Watch this space--I'm going to self publish some more stuff.

That leaves this blog. It started out with jokes about aspects and my "give me any aspect and I'll give you a joke" challenge with a few personal observations thrown in. I don't know--I looked down on Sun Sign columns but would tell corny jokes at the drop of a hat. Anyway, I've outgrown all that and this blog has evolved into something I'm glad to have the space to keep going. So this is my personal blog with updates about what I'm getting up to, where I am and where I'm going to. I was bowled over by how much material had accumulated in 7 years and by how much is actually quite recyclable. Saturn squares, eh?  They do challenge you to examine your work.

Work wise, I'm seeing clients, promoting myself (yeah, the Leo in me loves that) and I'm meeting the locals by doing tarot and palm readings. In other words, I've come full circle, back to the days when I did Psychic Fairs and the like. Back then I didn't have the confidence to make the leap of faith to actually make a living out of it but we'll just have to see how I get on. Thank you Transit Pluto opposite my natal Jupiter for the kick up the jacksy.

When I'm not living the writer's life hunched over my laptop, I'm in the ocean getting all salty, looking for dolphins under a backwards sky and a very hot Yuletide season. Cool eh? I'm not thinking about Saturn on my descendant (actually that is a lie).

So what writing have done today? I hear you ask breathlessly.

Well I resurrected a blog about the Titanic as Kate Winslet is saying how difficult filming was as Saturn is on her Neptune. I'm always pleased when the transits are so satisfying: astrology has never let me down. I also did a chapter on the Trudeau family--originally because Justin is so hot but then because it made such a great story on family dynamics and astrology.

I'm also maintaining the other Twitter and Facebook pages, Don't Sweat It, Planet and Growing Pains so do pop in and give me a like and a share.

And of course, I'm gearing up for India next month and Australia mid February. I'm back in London to collect my FAS diploma for the Equinox. I think I'll be teaching for the summer term so I want to be sure I have an established routine of writing and posting. I'm hoping to get to the FAS Summer School in August again and the Astrological Association's conference. Then I'm off to the US for the ISAR conference in October and hopefully SOTA in November. I'm going to be speaking at the Breaking Down the Borders on-line astrology event (also in November,) heading to Florida in January 2017 to speak at the Kepler Conference and then to Portugal for their International Astrology event February 2017.

So keep up, eh?

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Seriously, all is well

If you know me at all, then you know how much I love social media (especially Facebook). Most people comment on how quick I am to respond to private messages--and how chatty I can be. So this is a quick (and maybe slightly lazy) way of letting you know all is well.

Lately I've been a little bit behind on social media. And it's because I've been DELUGED with questions about whether or not I'm actually OK. Convos go a bit like this:

friend: OK, Alex, are you OK?
me: of course, it's going really well here in cape town
friend: no REALLY
me: yes, really, I'm fine

Seriously, I'm fine. I've had my head down a bit as I frantically re-organise my various articles (both completed and in progress). Sheesh. . .I write a lot. I have enough for a little something every day which I'll be posting from my Growing Pains blog. I'm also trying to get back to the daily horoscopes on the Don't Sweat It Planet blog. As I've said, I don't particularly find them edifying but it drives traffic to my website. So I'm back to using this as my personal astrological blog (as opposed to putting everything up here) I'm also working on a couple of new books--and at long last, I think I've made my website a much happier place. Check it out at

In short, yes, I REALLY am OK. I am doing stuff I've meant to do for a very long time and I'm doing a very slow switch from being a full-time teacher to a full-time astrologer. I've been recruited by a couple of magazines to write for them, my 2017 calendar is filling up nicely and I'm contentedly busy with other new projects. It takes time to complete a career switch and I'm just very grateful I've been given space to get stuff together.

Seriously, I'm good. I mean just look at this blissed out face:

 That's the face of someone who is really good.

Thanks for asking xx

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Full Moon in Gemini

“And ye shall know The Truth. And The Truth shall set you free.”--John 8:32

As a consulting astrologer, I am used to working with clients who, for whatever reasons, have shunned traditional therapies. Some time ago, I met a client who had been involved in (she so hates the word ‘victim’) a very violent crime.

Be warned: This is a description of a violent sexual crime and its impact on the client. It is not an entire transcript and is published at the request of and with full consent of the client.

Both the astrologer and client post this recount as a testament to the power of astrology—not only as a predictive tool but one to allow deeper insight into and facilitation of the healing process. Both also felt the timing was appropriate for the journey of the Moon from its New Moon phase in Scorpio to its Full Moon in Gemini opposite Sun in Sagittarius.
Event Chart
The client reports she has been living with a terrible secret and is now ready to discuss the event which up to now she has refused to do in any detail. Upon discussion with the astrologer, she agrees to decline public disclosure of natal details because “the chart speaks for itself”. Transit Pluto’s opposition to the Chiron of the event suggests a wound that needs to healed: indeed the client describes feeling as if “shrapnel were making its way to the surface.”

The client begins her story by describing the effect the crime has had on her: self-loathing, bouts of self-harm, debilitating panic attacks and an overall feeling of a lack of safety. With the Moon opposite to Uranus, both square to Mars in the event chart, it is apparent—without natal details—that the event was a traumatisng one and perhaps one that makes the client, in her own words “very, very angry”. The symptoms became fewer and further apart in time but would not lessen in intensity, periodically returning as if the crime had only recently happened. What might startle the average person could lead to a full blown panic attack for the client. Over time, the client was able to manage symptoms with self administered cognitive behaviour therapy but was still—and is still--vulnerable to severe anxiety and what the client now recognises as acts of self-hatred.

The client blames herself for the event, indicating she had verbally retaliated to a shoplifter who had been sexually suggestive as she worked alone on the night shift in a convenience store. Jupiter opposite to Saturn, both square to Mercury could possibly indicate the sense of false security the client felt as she stood up for herself as well as her decision to fail to immediately report the shoplifting crime as per company policy.

Venus and Pluto are both in Scorpio, trine to the Moon and Jupiter in Cancer, speak of the over-confidence in checking suspicious noises in the back of the store. The client had thought she would be chasing off raccoons, not the heavy-set, bearded customer she had chased out of the store hours before. She describes that he jumped on her out of nowhere and forced her to her knees.

“His weight and strength were overwhelming,” she says. As she struggled to push him away, she heard the unmistakable click of a trigger.
 The client stops talking for a minute as if gathering her thoughts.
“I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew I didn’t stand a chance of getting away, that this guy was pissed off and was going to show me what happens to girls who run their mouths.” She recalls being angry with herself because she had forgotten to wear a belt with her uniform trousers. The whole shift she had been annoyed at having to keep pulling up waistband and now her forgetfulness was what made it so easy for him to rape her.

With her head pressed on the concrete floor, her arms and legs immobilised, she could do absolutely nothing as she heard him spit on himself. The client mutters that even as she was being raped, she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Mercury conjunct Mars is the apex of the T square. Between gritted teeth she asked: “Is that all you got?”

For a second, she thought she had gotten to him and that it was all over. He withdrew from her, then roared. In the event chart, Mars in combust: the shock and shame of what had happened next ensured she would never speak of the crime to anyone.

He pulled her head back by her hair and bit her hard in the shoulder as he came. At some point he had dropped the gun (she had been terrified he would accidentally pull the trigger) but it remained out of her reach. He slapped her several times around the head and pushed her away as if he were the one who was disgusted by what had happened. He laughed at her as she dressed. He picked up the gun, kept it aimed at her the whole time, and told her repeatedly that if she told anyone he would be sure to tell the details of what had happened in a public courthouse. As if to punctuate his point, he stepped up to her quickly. The client shielded her face, thinking she could protect herself. His kick (with heavy boots) landed squarely between her legs and before he left, he promised her she “wouldn’t be able sit for months.” She didn’t doubt him.
On his way out, she heard he had simply hit the ‘no sale’ button on the register, emptied it and some seconds later the bell of the front door indicated he had left. He got away with around $50.

The client says she knew immediately that she had to cover up the sexual aspect of the crime. The movie “The Accused” had come out recently and she was well aware of how rape victims were treated. A medical exam would reveal the extent of her injuries. She did not want to have to give public testimony to what had happened and the thought of putting her parents through such an ordeal was what had gotten her to her feet, to the bathroom to clean up and partially wash away the evidence and later lie to the police about the full extent of the crime.

The Moon conjunct Jupiter trine to Venus should have indicated the client would find solace in women. Instead the client insists that she felt the women police officers had tried to psychologically bully her into admitting there had been a sexual assault. During the interview, the client remembered she had been on her period during the assault and was only reminded of this during a bout of severe cramping caused by the deeply wedged tampon. The women police officers had questioned why the client requested to use the bathroom, implying it was to perhaps wash away evidence. The client had stoically stayed in her seat even though it was—as the perpetrator tacitly promised—excruciatingly painful. As time went on, the client felt that telling her story would provide an opportunity for other women to judge her—this extended to her own mother with whom she had a very troubled relationship. At the time of the assault, the client had been having a sexual—and experimental--relationship with another woman. The client never spoke directly to her girlfriend again. She said for several years she was repulsed and frightened by other women, a feeling only alleviated after the birth of her first child which she describes as an “unquestionable commitment to the female sorority.”

Like the mythological rape of Persephone, reflected by the event chart’s Venus-Pluto conjunction in Scorpio, the client was very aware that there was no going back to the way things had been before. The client is quick to point out that she had happily disposed of her virginity several years before the event and that sex had been a happy and even joyful activity with male friends. She had never felt uncomfortable or coerced and that she shared a bed with the men in her life in exactly the same manner she might share a beer or a laugh or a game of sport. The client was fascinated with the weakness men had when it came to sex and that she had never felt she understood a man until she experienced him in the throes of an orgasm. The “girlfriend phase” had been fairly platonic and more for the shock value than anything else. The client could not bear the thought that her girlfriend would be able to intuit what had really happened—hence the reason for the abandonment.

Neptune conjunct Saturn possibly explains the extent to which the client was prepared to deny she was having difficulties dealing with the aftermath of the ordeal. She began to drink heavily to quell the panic of being alone in small or enclosed areas. Sleep was intermittent and unsatisfactory. It was several weeks before the internal injuries had healed enough for the client to feel ready for further sexual encounters. She was keen to get a move on as a means of proving she had not been affected by the rape. One evening, fuelled by vodka, she publicly and crudely propositioned a former lover. This led to a loud and violent confrontation with a potential partner of her former lover, an arrest by campus police and a referral to the drugs and alcohol abuse centre. For the eight weeks of the compulsory outpatient treatment, the client refused to engage with counsellors, vigorously refused medical help for the frequent and severe anxiety attacks (which the client felt she was able to pass off as anger) and completely denied there were any problems.

Uranus opposite the Moon can mean emotional isolation and possibly the fear of emotional encounters.  The client says that she held everyone at an arm’s length away. When she wasn’t drinking, she was studying for her university diploma in open, public areas. Eventually she realised she had completely closed down emotionally and upon graduation, moved to a different city for a fresh start. The physical distance from the scene of the crime meant she could live even further in denial.

The client was uncertain about what to do with her story for some time. She felt it was far too sensational for publication and was concerned about burdening friends and family with her own emotional baggage. Yet she now feels that living with such a secret has allowed her to avoid facing up to this life changing event and that this in turn continues to give power to her attacker. There remains a very strong inherent issue of control: the client feels that any sign of pity would “severely piss her off”, does not want what she disparagingly calls “professional help” from conventional practitioners and is fairly preoccupied with not wanting to be seen as a victim.

“I feel enough time has passed that I can cope with what happened to me. It’s all a part of my story and has made me who I am. I survived it and I have lived to tell the tale. But I’m just not sure telling other people the tale serves any useful purpose other than to be something mildly scintillating to read.”

 Nevertheless, she felt the time was right for the truth to finally set her free.

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound research and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via or leave a message in the comment section.   

Friday, 20 November 2015

Zeus on the Loose

Well as I've literally turned my life upside down, I thought it might be fun to do my Mercury retrograde thing and reflect on how I came to this decision. 

It's as simple as this:

I invoked Jupiter and when he appeared, I took his hand. I didn't ask questions, I didn't try to get him to commit to staying with me and I didn't fasten my seatbelt. I let him take me wherever he wanted and I didn't worry about looking silly, being afraid or not having enough of anything. I threw my head back and laughed at his jokes. I looked him in the eye and told him I loved him, that I was grateful for our adventure and before we  even recovered from one dare, I let him know I'd be up for it all over again. I don't have a grand plan (I realised this morning) and I'm not going to make demands. I'm just enjoying being with Jupiter and when he decides he's tired of me, I will let him go with grace.

I never asked Jupiter to take me to India or South Africa but he took me.

I never asked for the love and respect of wonderful friends but he brought them to me.

I sure as hell never had the cheek to ask him to get Rob Hand to ask me to sign my book for him. And yet he delivered these gifts--and so many others--to me.

One doesn't "handle" Jupiter. One dances and laughs to his drumbeat. And one takes the leap of faith.

So here I am, all antipodean like. Dancing and laughing with Jupiter. . .and I even jumped on a trampoline with him.

I'm in a great space now and I want to share Zeus with you. . .Skype me on AstroAlex1984. That's not a demand or request, it's an offering.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

A Nakshatra Story

When I was doing the FAS diploma, I forbade myself from taking any other astrology course until I finished the diploma. It nearly drove me crazy but since completing the course in June, I've done a course on Hellenistic astrology and took Deb Houlding's horary and electional courses. Still thirsty, I've been eyeing up Vedic astrology.

I was slightly put off Vedic astrology mainly because it just seemed so complicated (all those complicated words, the sidereal system, what the hell is a Nakshatra)--yeah, you see where I'm going with all of this.

So on Saturday a copy of Dennis Harness' book, "The Nakshatras" was sitting on the counter so I picked it up. My astro buddy Ian Waisler was sitting next to me. Suddenly, I just really wanted to get a grip on Vedic astrology and said so out loud. Ian and I began looking at each Nakshatra, writing the keywords, the ruling planet and the tropical zodiac position. Ian piped up and told me that the Nakshatras measure out the distance the Moon travels in one day. And BOOM, I'm hooked.

The next thing I did was a little mnemonic device (this was followed by some shopping in Cape Town with Ian) to help me remember the order of the Nakshatras. There's 27 of them and no, I haven't mastered the Hindi word for them but I'm working on it.

By the way--and I'm sorry if this takes away from the Nakshatra story--but please don't nick my stuff without asking. It's rude. If you'd like to use the story, just leave a little comment and then I won't mind. My natal Moon is in the Magha Nakshatra after all.

So without further ado. . .here's the Nakshatra story:

A man brought a horse's head in the hope he could score some Yoni. But as he journeyed, he was distracted by a flame and took a chariot to a castle that displayed an antelope's head and a human head. With his quiver of arrows, he was able to protect the udder of a cow from a coiled serpent.
In the meantime, a woman passing by in a palanquin returned home and took her infant from a swinging hammock and placed the child on a bed but as she stood up, she stubbed her toe on the legs of the cot. Instead of swearing, she opened her hand and in the palm of her hand were a pearl and a piece of coral. She stood in the archway of her home and sat in the lotus position. While fiddling with her earring, she saw the roots of a plant. It was hot day so she used a fan to cool herself. There was an elephant's tusk near her and she put it to her ear and heard a musical drum. The cadence made her imagine an empty circle. When she opened her eyes, she caught a glimpse of a sword, resting on the back two legs off a cot, piercing the drum.

Here are the Hindi Nakshatras to match the English symbols:

Horse's head: Ashwini
Yoni: Bharani
Flame: Krittika
Chariot: Rohini
Antelope's Head: Mrigshira
Human Head: Ardra
Quiver of Arrows: Punarvasu
Udder of a cow: Pushya
Coiled serpent: Ashlesha
Palanquin: Magha
Swinging Hammock: Purva Phalguni
Legs of a cot: Uttara Phalguni 
Palm of the Hand: Hasta
Pearl: Chitra
Coral: Swati
Archway: Vishakha
Earring: Jyeshtha
Roots of a plant: Mula
Fan: Purva Ashadha
Elephant's Tusk: Uttara Ahaha
Ear: Shravana
Musical Drum: Dhanishtha
Empty Circle: Shatabhisha
Sword: Purva Bhadrapada
Back two legs of a cot:Uttara Bhadrapada
Drum: Revati

By happy coincident (like I believe in coincidences), I've just found out that it's Dennis Harness' Shasti Purti Puja! A great celebration of the year when Jupiter and Saturn make their return in the natal chart at the same time. If you are familiar with my work, then you will know that I regard this conjunction as the entering of Wisdom. I'm so delighted to discover this is celebrated in such a magnificent way in Jyotish--as it should be!! What a great and dare I say Divine validation of the commencement of my Vedic studies. Komilla Sutton, I will get to your book next xx


I got to meet (and even have dinner with) the wonderfully charming Dennis Harness at the International Society for Astrological Research conference in Costa Mesa, California. Here we are with my astro brother Ehsan Khazeni:

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

When it's time to say good-bye

I used to think that good byes kinda sucked. And of course good byes do, in fact, suck quite a bit. But I wanted to say good bye to my pupils as best as I could so we could all have closure and move on to bigger and better things. So I made this short good bye video (took me ages to post it because uploads take a bit of time I didn't have here in Cape Town).

When the filming was done, I played it back for a friend to make sure it was OK. And we both ended up crying. I hadn't intended on creating something sad but rather something that would teach the boys that behind every goodbye there is a hello and welcome. It might not be exactly how we wanted things to end or be when we wanted to end them but sometimes we need a kick up the ass. I now know that is what I needed. About half an hour after I dried my eyes, Rob Hand asked me to sign my book for him. 

Now THAT is some crazy stuff right there.

How many of Rob's books do I have on my bookshelf? Lots. If I were at home I would count. Rob Hand is the astrologer we have all learned from: his books are classics, he's a genius and to have him sit through my lecture on Astrology and Adolescence and say it was "brilliant" had to be the high point of my career as an astrologer, writer and teacher.

Rob's endorsement was not what persuaded me to wave good bye to my return flight to London later that day but it did give me confirmation that it was time for me to step up to the plate.  So yes boys, say good bye. I really did love teaching you and if circumstances hadn't forced me, I would have committed to staying with you until I was old enough to retire. But now I have this great opportunity to bring astrology to the classroom (bet you didn't even realise I was using astrology!), to prisons, to struggling parents and to unhappy adolescents. It's my way of trying to make the world a better place. Say good bye but wish me luck too.

If you'd like to get your hands (a-hem) on the book endorsed by Rob, here's the link.

And watch this space for further developments.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

I went to the beach to live deliberately. . .

With apologies to Henry David Thoreau. . .

I went to the beach because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.

I am having the most extraordinary time here in Cape Town. Every astrology conference is special but to live in a beach house and to be able to swim in the Atlantic Ocean pretty much whenever I like makes this conference totally remarkable.
And of course, this boy (Nick Dagan Best) who makes me laugh. . .and blush 50 shades of red:
And this man (Rob Hand) who attended my lecture on astrology and education and said it was brilliant:

And this man (Ehsan Kh) who blows this horn when he's happy and wants me to help him translate some Persian scholarship into English:

And this woman (Naomi Bennett) who is the only person I have seen on four different continents:
My peeps (Ehsan Kh, Michelle Gould, Samuel Reynolds, Richard Fidlar, Ana Carrapichanno) who I am so blessed to know and work and play with:

And these beautiful peeps. . .

I'm having such an extraordinary time that when my school told me (via email to the supply agency) they had found a cheaper replacement, my only regret was that I had bought a return ticket to London.
But now I'm not going back to London. At least not just yet.
Those last two sentences took a lot of vacillation until I came to the realisation everything was going to be okay here in South Africa. And I don't have to leave this beautiful place just yet.
But it has taken some time to make a decision.
What do I do when I feel I can't make up my mind? I head to water!
So today I went to the beach, took my shoes off and let the Atlantic Ocean talk to me. I saw a pretty shell that I picked up to admire, went to wash the sand off--and a wave knocked it out of my hand. I was disappointed but resigned myself to the fact it was not going to come back to me.
So I walked on.
And a few steps later, I found an even bigger, prettier shell. I picked that one up and rinsed it. But I managed to hold onto it. In fact, I brought it back with me to remind me that there are bigger things out there if we can let go of the smaller things. There are bigger things for me here. I have bigger work to do and I know that teaching was exhausting me mentally and I needed space to make things work. I know I could return to London and walk into another supply teaching post at any time. But I am not going to do that. I am going to do readings and workshops here in South Africa until I feel I am on the path I am meant to be on. I will not be afraid and I will not let doubt defeat me.
So today I went to the beach because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

And I will take this pretty shell with me to remind not worry about small losses.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Saturn in Sagittarius: Taking the Centaur by the Bollocks

I'm going to start this blog post with a little confession: I have Neptune in Scorpio in the 6th house (don't worry, the interpretation will soon become clear). Now, to anyone who has ever seen any of my three desks (home, school and portable) after a busy day, this will come as no shock. I live a rather hectic life and if I don't keep on top of things, well chaos ensues. I can also be a little, ah, obsessional with whatever I'm working on until I get what I want to do completely done. I'll do things like get up in the middle of the night (ahem) and work until 4 or 5pm before I realise I haven't eaten anything. Yeah I do stupid shit like that because structuring my day into something sustainable just doesn't occur to me. 
So yesterday, after a very hectic week of conferences and travel, was one of those days that I got little intense. The focus of my intensity was trying to complete a newsletter that my new and technogeek friend Tony Howard convinced me was absolutely essential to "drive traffic to my website". Now there must have been some glimmer or something in Tony's eyes that persuaded me to do a newsletter as soon as "You should totally do a newsletter" was out of his mouth. I was like a woman possessed. The problem was--and here is where Neptune in the 6th becomes even more clear--I had no idea what I was doing. Don't get me wrong: I know what a newsletter is (and Tony and I agree that I will have no problem coming up with content for the next 50 years), the problem is I haven't got a clue about format.

Did I let this stop me?

Hell no.

I carefully demonstrated a perfect mastery of my Saturn in Pisces via Publisher by adding links, beautiful photos and lalalala to my newsletter but it wasn't until I was proudly showing Tony the results of my work that  I realised I had created something pretty useless for the purpose that I wanted to use it for: mainly to send it out to the good folks on my mailing list.

This is pretty funny. Yeah, I get that. Haha, she works all day and creates something completely useless.

I'll just wait until you stop laughing.

Anyhoooo. . .I converted everything to a jpeg and posted it here. Nah it ain't what I wanted but I hate to waste my pretty work. I'll have to manually add in the links (again) another day and as I'm flying out to see my buddy Tim later today, the links aren't likely to appear any time this weekend. But there's always Monday when I'll be between long haul flights (LA to London and London to Cape Town if you're curious) at some airport or another (it's all rather blurring together now).

The gist of what I'm trying to say in my newsletter is:

1) I'm having a great time living a jet set lifestyle which I have always wanted to do
2) I'm so lucky to have such cool people to hang out with
3 I am up to a lot of shit (woohoo!)
4) I write a lot of shit (here's some teasers for bigger articles on my website)
5) And oh, here are some star signs
6) By the way, I'm available to do astrology, tarot and palmistry readings--here's a million ways to contact me if you're interested

Perhaps that's all I needed to say.

You're welcome

Saturn in Sagittarius link


Alfred Hitchcock link

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Astrodienst at last!

Every now and again, I wake up far too early and get the urge to do some writing and reflecting. I've resigned myself to the fact that teaching knocks the writing energy right out of me most of the time so I am actually loving it that I'm wide awake at 4am on a Saturday morning with the need to hit the keyboard. And of course, I need to update my blog. . .

It's hard to believe summer is over with--but what a productive time it has been. On top of being a monitor for the FAS Summer School, doing a webinar with the spectacular Samuel F Reynolds (a bit of a learning curve but so much fun--and very successful) and taking Deb Houlding's School of Traditional Astrology course, I also spoke at the fabulous AA Conference.

But the very best news is that I FINALLY made it into Astrodienst!! This has been a goal of mine since I became a serious astrologer and to have achieved it is certainly one of my proudest moments--especially since it features my research into astrology and education. A huge thanks to the editor of the Astrological Journal for all his support and encouragement--and for putting my name on the front cover of the Journal not once but twice! Here's a lovely photo of us at the AA conference--the very first time we had met in person. I reckon we look like an old married couple. . .

In the eco-hut!!
Is my banana radioactive?
What happens when you stay in one department too long!
In teaching, after weeks of struggling to keep one step ahead of the boys in Science, I finally came into my own in the astronomy section of Physics. I could actually see the boys' hair blowing back as I talked about nuclear fusion and stars. Someone should have told me Science was so much fun: I've been a chemist, a biologist and a physicist--and often all of them in the course of one day. It's been a bit of a struggle and challenge but I'm loving it! I just have to keep reminding myself my strongest subjects at school were Physics and Music.

I'm super proud to announce I'll be presenting my astrological research at the Kepler Conference in Florida, January 2017. It's a scientific kind of conference so I feel enormously privileged that I have something sensible to contribute. I still hope the value of astrology in education will be appreciated one day.
Turning iodine to an iodide with a few drops of OJ

In other news, I'm preparing lectures for SOTA, Chicago (to visit the incredible Madame Zolanga), Portland (a webinar with Tony Howard and Astrology University) and Halloween in LA. As always, I've scheduled some down time to see friends and family in the USA in between public appearances. After the US, I'm flying back to London then I'm off to Cape Town!! After that, a few more weeks of teaching and I'll be spending a couple of months in India, then Australia and Asia topped off with a week in Hawaii with my old buddy Tim. Yes, I'll be circumnavigating the globe this year ;)

A final bit of news is that I am finally returning to my tarot and palmistry roots and resuming psychic readings. I charge £50 per hour plus travel costs and offer discounts for group work. Contact me via this blog or at : for more info or to book.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Me and my mad schedule

One of the things on my extensive to do list this summer was to try to maintain this blog a bit better. But what can I say--except that I am happily productive on quite a few projects.  And so this blog entry is rather like a crossed off "to-do" list. Whilst my "teacher's brain" was being given a brief rest (haven't ended an academic year so refreshed since I started teaching), I was tying up a lot of loose ends and unfinished business along with preparing FIVE conference lectures as well as producing a few lecture trailers. It's rather phenomenal how many cool things gravitate towards one's way when there's so much more fun stuff going on. So I will try to summarise with appropriate shout outs to all the right folks.

I FINALLY passed the final paper for the Faculty of Astrological Studies. You can read my account of my FAS adventure here. Immediately upon learning I had passed the FAS diploma, I became a member of the APAI , thus gaining two sets of initials behind my name: DFAstrolS and MAPAI.   That's right. . .I am now Alex Trenoweth MA (CAA), MAPAI, DFAstrolS. I have no intention of letting you forget it. From 21-28 August, I will be a room monitor for the FAS Summer School. Exciting times.

With the FAS done and dusted, I also promptly signed up to Deb Houlding's Horary course starting from 28 August. This is an eagerly awaited learning opportunity I had denied myself until I finished with the FAS.

The Club of 27 Reunion went without a hitch. Starting with an interview session at The Hawley Arms on the anniversary of Amy Winehouse's death and ending with dinner at Sarastro's, we finally got around to inducting Amy into the Club of 27 astrology site. Just to remind you, the ASTROLOGERS were the first to coin the term "Club of 27". The Wikipedia entry came about six months later.

I've been a a guest on Radar Radio a few times this summer. How awesome is that? It's always nice to be welcomed by non-astrologers and to be given the opportunity to share what I've been up to. I've also been a guest on the Jupiter Rising Show with fellow astrologer Eileen Grimes. The archived recording can be found here.

I'll be speaking at the Astrological Association's Conference on 13 September. The lecture trailer is here. 
The big news is that I'm returning to SOTA in Buffalo where I'll be delivering a workshop on midpoints. From SOTA, I'll be travelling to see family then to see my buddy Madam Zolanga in Chicago. From there, I'm taking a slow "author's train" across the northern part of the USA to Seattle where I'll be stopping in to see a few astrologers. No trip to the US would be complete without seeing my buddy Tim.  And the REALLY big news is that I'll be visiting South Africa for the Astrology Restored Conference 6-11 November in Cape Town. My heavy duty academic-y article on astrology and the renaissance can be found here. At some point, I need to finish off my research paper for the American Federation of Astrologers. . .but it's coming on.

This all on top of aforementioned journeys to Australia at the end of this year and a return to India in early 2016! Of course around all this excitement is another term at an all boys' school--and the school has been both wise and generous in working around my travelling schedule. This time I'll be teaching GSCE astrophysics--can't wait to blow up stuff and blame the kids!

As always, I'm still pushing "Growing Pains" (contact me directly for a better deal than Amazon), always have room for astrology pupils and have a little room for clients until the end of the summer. Leave a direct message below. . . or contact me via