Friday, 15 December 2017

Saturn in Capricorn: The Hard Reign

A beautiful school in Kolkata
Saturn will soon be in Capricorn and everyone's talking out it. OK, the astrologers are talking about it.

It's big shift all right and usually some sort of symbolism makes its way to the front pages of the international newspapers when Saturn changes signs.  Remember "Je suis Charlie?" just as Saturn lurched back and forth over the cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius at the end of 2014? Saturn in Sagittarius began with our need to speak our Truth and it will end with a lot of us wondering what the point of all that truth seeking was about. The planet is a mess, politics are mess, the internet is a mess. . .now what do we do with all this "truth"?

Articles about Saturn ingresses are plentiful and I sure do have my hands full here in India with our astrology conference coming up. So I hope no one minds that I don't rake over the usual stuff. Instead I want to write about something far more important: the educational system.

Most people come to me for astrological advice because they want something to change. No one comes to me to tell me how wonderful life is. For example:

1) My child won't behave. How can I get them to behave?
2) My classes are a nightmare. How do I get my pupils to behave?
3) My husband/wife is doing x. How do I get them to stop?

My answer, in short, is to turn those questions on their ear. Instead of looking to the other person, look to oneself. At the very least what a client comes up with are a few options, some of which will be far more reasonable than others. An astrologer will no doubt hear the client's Saturn speaking (always an amazing thing to behold). The client will soon realise that they are not as disempowered as they had assumed. There's work to be done!

And this really is what Saturn is all about: stepping up to the plate, eyeballing the pitch and then deciding how to play it. It's taking on the responsibility for one's own actions. Saturn isn't about making life cozy. It's looking at problems and deciding what to do about them.

This is rather going to be the theme as we approach Saturn in Capricorn season.

However, as I see it, the Saturn in Capricorn ingress will bring with it huge changes in the educational system.

And it's about goddamn time.

Look around at social media. There goes a teacher complaining about workload (sorry), there goes a parent complaining that their child's learning needs aren't being met, there goes a politician complaining that they're not getting enough bang for their buck from teachers so it's time to change the curriculum (again), there goes a child complaining about bullying (in whatever form), boredom and homework whose voice falls on the deaf ears of parents, teachers and politicians who are too wrapped up in their own concerns to do something about it.

Let that last point be the one that bends your disbelieving knee to the call of Saturn.

Saturn is the co-ruler of Aquarius. I know our Aquarian friends like to boast about their Uranian qualities but for thousands of years before Uranus was discovered, they too were ruled by Saturn. Under their zaniness lies a deep fear (Saturn) that their contributions are not as useful as they would like them to be.

Here too is another key to understanding Saturn: the need for practicality.

As we approach 2020, the year of the next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius (ruled by BOTH Saturn and Uranus), I really do think there will be huge reforms in education. This structure we have upheld for hundreds of years cannot continue to stand as it is. And the changes will be profound. . .

1) Currently pupils suffer under the factory model school system originally meant for workers of the industrial revolution. We teach them that "being good" is about sitting down and shutting up. That we must all work at the same pace and reach the same objectives.
2) Currently parents are kept in the dark about their child's real progress. "Being involved" usually means coming to the school's Christmas concert or showing up at Parents' evening rather than understanding how the curriculum works and where their child's aptitude does or does not fit into it.
3) Currently teachers are expected to put up with outrageous working conditions. . .because it's the only system they know too!! The "standard" school teacher (under 30, female and for whatever reason deemed not suitable for management) manages 30 children at one time, dances to the tune Ousted* plays (oh don't get me started on Ofsted!) and has been conditioned to keep quiet about injustices.

Whispers of outrage have already begun and please dear Goddess let me have the strength to lead the astrological charge!! Hear my Saturn in Pisces speak??!! And I wasn't even trying. . .(haha).

To get more good teachers, we need to treat them better!! We need to ask why only 45% of them stay in the profession 5 years after qualifying. More teachers=smaller classrooms. More home-based (online) education= parents understanding their own child's learning needs. More lessons that truly cater to a child's learning needs= adults who become independent thinkers rather than drones who are punished for opening up about what they want!

Saturn in Capricorn urges you to get to grips with your own Saturn, to face up to your fears and know that they are not insurmountable. Saturn in Capricorn urges you to accept your limitations and to do something about them. Saturn in Capricorn looks at the current structures that we have always relied on and realises the foundations are showing signs of collapse.

It's time to come in like a wrecking ball!!

You have two choices: Get up and fight or roll over and die!

There will be no comfort as we fight the good fight. As the old (slightly modified) saying goes: you'll have al the comfort you want in the grave!

A hard reign's gonna fall but personally I can't wait for the flowers.

Alex Trenoweth
Copyright 2017

Got some questions? Want to step up to the plate? Drop by my new and improved website . .or leave me a comment and tell me about how you would like to see the educational system improve!

* "Ousted" is a typo for "Ofsted" or the managing body of teaching inspectors. I was going to correct it then thought it was extremely fitting! Or maybe even wishful thinking!

Alex Trenoweth, Agent 144 of the Cosmic Intelligence Agency, is currently hard at work in India preparing for the IVC/KIA astrology conference. In addition to her astrological practice, she is also a fully qualified secondary school teacher campaigning for better working conditions for teachers thus bringing about a better learning environment for children. Alex is also the author the newly re-published "Growing Pains" about the astrology of education and the soon-to-be-released "The Wolf You Feed" about Saturn cycles (both titles by The Wessex Astrologer). When she isn't tearing around the globe speaking at astrology conferences, she enjoys the company of her cat Mr Bubbles, playing the trumpet and writing fiction.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Jai Ho!

I'm finally in India!

It's been a hectic but exhilarating week. I feel like I really belong and I'm doing something I've always wanted to do. No doubt this is because my Sun is conjunct my MC here in Kolkata: for the first time in my life, I have my own office, executive desk and a driver (!).  It's all been pretty intense with the conference just under two months away.

But that doesn't mean there isn't time for fun!

After 24 hours of travelling was I ever glad to see these guys!
I was greeted at the airport by my new office mates and taken to my new home. I'm happy to report that even though I travelled during Mercury Retrograde and a Super Full Moon, I had no problems whatsoever. So there!

Gopal Bhattacharjee and his lovely wife Churni (who I haven't seen in nearly two years) and I had a fabulous dinner and got caught up with all our news. It's amazing how Gopal and I have very similar views about bringing the two zodiacs together. Both of us passionately believe that the only way to address "the big question" in astrology is by talking about it. And the best way to talk about it is at an astrology conference!

As we were musing about this (at 3am!), we drove over a bridge and I suddenly got a bright idea.

"Stop!" I shouted. One of the many things Gopal and I agree about is that we are building bridges, not walls. We needed a photo of us on that bridge.

East meets West on a bridge at 3am!
We stopped and piled out and Gopal and I posed for this photo. So there you have it: East meeting West on a bridge (at 3am)!

One of my tasks here is to design a Western Astrology course for Jyotish students and boy, did Gopal ever do well with getting a professional teacher to do this task. I developed a curriculum, designed the prospectus, did the lesson plans, assembled the resources and delivered my very first class all in the first week. Super exciting times.

Being introduced to a new astrological perspective can be something that can be a little frightening. I clearly recall the moment I had my tropical chart converted to a sidereal one. I was at an Indian restaurant with a group of Jyotish astrologers and I walked through the door and into the meeting with a plate of food, declaring that I just couldn't possibly be a Taurus rising! These days I'm far more happy with my sidereal ascendant because it is in the Nakshatra of Rohini. In Indian lore, Rohini was the favourite wife of Soma (a Moon deity) whose other 26 wives got a little jealous. They conspired to have a curse put on Soma but changed their minds. The curse was pulled back but Soma did not escape completely so he now waxes and wanes. The star of Rohini Nakshatra is Aldebaran which is said to bring riches and honours. And one of its symbols is a Banyan tree! In the UK, it's kind of fashionable to name classes after trees and I have taught a few "Banyan Tree" classes! It just seems so synchronous!

The pupils of one of my classes
The ascendant of a horoscope is the starting point and to convert a tropical chart to a sidereal one means subtracting about 23 degrees off of the absolute longitude of every planet. So a lot of planets are likely to change signs and therefore rulers. My final exam question will ask my pupils to explain and justify which zodiac they think suits them. I can hardly wait to see what they have to say!

The best part of teaching is that I'm also learning alongside of my students. Oh and we don't wear shoes indoors! I couldn't resist taking a photo of our shoes:

I'm barefoot most of the time! These are the shoes of my pupils.
I usually get a little nervous teaching adults because they are so quiet, but these guys really are the creme de la creme. They are all preparing to compete for a place to speak at the conference--a tradition of Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology since it began nearly a Saturn cycle ago. I LOVE this idea of creating opportunities for new astrologers. There are also writing competitions for their magazine that is distributed to 20,000 people. Yes! 20,000 people!! It's a huge honour for them and it's no wonder so many prizes are given out each year.

Gopal, Churni and I also checked out the conference venue. I've been to this particular hotel before but I didn't realise it had so many lecture rooms. And by "lecture rooms" I mean HUGE lecture rooms! Check this out:

One of the "smaller" lecture rooms
This is one of the "smaller" rooms!! I keep telling Western astrologers to be prepared to speak to a huge crowd here in India. Even at the bigger conferences in the US, there is just no comparison to what it's like in India! And the luxury! It's just so mind blowing! And the food? I'm not much a sweets person but not even I can resist the Kolkata specialty Rasgulla! Like a lot of things, the outside appearance can be very deceiving: buildings that look like factories are so elegant and beautiful inside and desserts that look bland and uninteresting can explode with flavour.

Rasgulla. Have it! And register for the conference here

This seems a little trivial given all the other stuff that's happening but  have a new website. Check it out. It really is the BOMB!! And all the lovely testimonials from astrologers around the world about my re-published book (The Wessex Astrologer darling) are there too. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter so you can keep up with all these developments happening in India!
And there's LOTS to keep up with in India!

I'll sign off with the ad that's going to go in an awful lot of newspapers. We're so excited to be leading the call for astrologers to focus on what we have in common (a love of the sky) rather than how we a re different. There's so much to learn from each other! And thank the gods that be for a decent photo of yours truly!

By the way I'm learning to speak Bengali! In London, I have many, many pupils who speak Bengali and I'm looking forward to seeing their faces when I speak their language!

PS "Jai ho" is a Hindi phrase meaning "Let Victory prevail"