A Zen Slap from the Awakener

Look out………!!! Before we know it all the lights are going to go out and something is going to happen in the darkness that will change everything…..will we be ready?! That impeous mischiever and master of the cosmic joke Mercury is going to make sure of it!

Yes, Mercury has turned retrograde and is going into super quick time as he runs the gauntlet of Pluto, the Dragon’s Head, Pallas, the Capricorn cusp, the Sun and the Galactic Center before skidding to a halt, spinning on his heals and re-reprising in fast forward….his current phase is the fastest that he travels in retro and while we may feel the usual characteristic challenges to our communications, activities and thinking that this brings, the emphasis this time is on his heyokah medicine…he wants us to stop taking notes and take notice!

….and heres a clue : before we know it, he will be sitting right on top of that astral corridor of deep illumination, the GC, with perfect timing as the Sun flicks the off switch on us all – LUNAR ECLIPSE

Ok….so what on earth does that have to do with us…..?

Well, its panto season and this years big production is SLEEPING BEAUTY – um, ok, and redefining our reality according to the degree to which we are awake. And the big news is that Mercury is preparing us for a special appearance – and we don’t miss that do we – ‘oh yes we do’ – oh, no WE DON’T! Because its US…

Now, if you are a regular reader at ‘owlmirror’ you will know that there are occasions when the rhetoric gets a little weird, but, rest assured, there is method in this madness and over the coming few weeks the lunacy will reveal the strategy, literally….FIRST, look around…..

The recent New Moon brought out smoking mirror medicine and the view is fascinating, hypnotic even – so, quick lets snap out of it while the world is obsessing with Wikileaks, exposure of government deceptions, ongoing revelations of the wholesale buying off of peoples assets to fund wars, fear mongering and the manipulation of our well-being to keep the ‘big guys’ on top, and this while the rich minority turn their backs on the starving majority (would you like a GM candy dear?) – are we not being asked to ‘wake-up and ‘take-up’? Do we need anymore incentives to picking up the beat??

The chrysalis has cracked wide open and no amount of hasty heavy-weight tarring and feathering is going to cover over the cracks, hide the fact that the old shell is de-funkt or make the ugly truth look beautiful to our blinking eyes.

We had the ‘dreaming in the cocoon’ phase of the October New Moon in which the energy to become lucid within the dream became available…..moth medicine’s magic dust….

This was preceded by the shaking of the World Tree throwing the health of our internal balance into perspective – our need for integration, female/male, right/left hemispheres, east/west…..we are whole and free to go forward, or we are asleep and trapped in the karmic dross.

Those Ten Billion Drums are still reverberating and gave an almighty surge to the global wake-up call that Jupiter and Uranus in conjunction swept into our midst (which also provided the fuel for the launch of this blog) – its all been building and getting set for whats about to happen next…..

…..which brings us back to Mercury.

Pluto in Capricorn will continue to test the power base of our world with deeply transformative forces in ways that are now becoming apparent for all to see – Mercury transiting Pluto will further wake us up to our own perceptions of this (have you noticed how the ‘web’ is tightening – will the lights go out on those who ‘serve’ us?)

And, none are exempt – the more vested power, the greater the exposure and pressure to change – if you are in a position of power, you have a choice :
1. love it,    2. use it, or    3. lose it
For the ‘power-over’ merchants the use of power will be most under the spotlight; for the rest it means personal empowerment to bring radical change – ‘power’ itself is being shaken loose and 1 and 3 are the way 2 will be defined, either way. This will be an ongoing story, and how we experience it will depend on how awake we are…..to our purpose.

The Moon’s North Node is the place of our great collective challenge to become what we always knew we came here to be. When Pluto sat on this karmic point we were given notice of the need to re-evaluate our personal paths in depth, according to how much our past achievements and alliegances aid or restrict us from entering the uncharted territory of our soul making destinies – and, to put this in perspective – Mercury transiting Pluto retro will offer us the chance for a stock take – love it, use it or lose it….and make the necessary adjustments as he skims the Dragons Head. He also wants us to get ready for the border issues at the heart of the story….we will need to be light and fleet of foot!

The Capricorn cusp is the demarcation point between being led by the light of our ideals and leading through grounding them as workable strategies in the world – Merc flies backwards over this zone with a wink to the wise for he knows that the thorny issues this raises are due to neglect and slumber – they are all surmountable with a sharpened sword of awareness and a trusty steed of instinctive and truthfull knowing – we can all see the brambles surrounding ‘the Castle’; we need to be honest to overcome them – even then, will justice be done?

Well, first he will meet with the wise gatekeeper, Pallas, who stands true to her station guarding the collective wisdom that is promised to us all – that wink to the wise will catch the owl’s eye for sure (in divination the ‘owls eye’ is our clairvoyance!). In her we trust.

And will he stop to bow at the Sun…….more likely steal some of his fire and shower sparks into the great beam of cosmic knowledge with which our Solar system is now aligning, the Galactic Center…..and then we will have that moment of pure magic, the Lunar Eclipse, but, more on that in the next post…its enough just to keep up with the guy – don’t forget, he’s got winged feet…..

(and what of Mars – we’ will bring him into the picture in the next post too)

In the meantime, here’s a small taster from Merc’s view in the saddle, of what will be going down on that Solstice Moon; he will be reminding us that in our consciousness we are riding the Centaur of Sagittarius – ready, aim….; to open our inner sight even more and take us to a higher level he will be calling on Pegasus in whose constellation Jupiter and Uranus will be exact conjunct, waiting for the final flashing drive; to further alert us to the task in hand he will be sounding the clarion to call to ‘the people’ that announces the returning inner light, as the Moon is eclipsed in his homeland of Gemini; and he will be sending the rolling thunder and flashing sword of enlightenment across the void to Juno in late Virgo – she will bring the field alive with her powerful ‘song of attraction’, to our inner selves and our selves in others – the words to her song are simple, ‘In Lakech’

Thats a grand old square dance of a kind that will throw a brilliant light upon the old order and its ivory towers, enough for us to decide, once and for all…..

And on he will charge until, on December 30th, after a brief pause, Mercury begins his return run up to join in the royal awakening of the Solar eclipse on January 4th….in the Castle of Capricorn! The smoke effects in the auditorium will be lifting by then, the safety curtains will draw back and…..

Sound like a pantomime?? Dim the lights, shhhh…………look out, he’s behind you!!


owl goddess owlmirrorThis lady has been a great guide and talisman over the years – one of the very few pieces of antler work I have made for myself, she came through into the physical with real purpose, beyond the sheer joy of making and dreaming from which she emerged……

Fact is, ironically, Owlwoman has spent more time with other people than with myself, and, in the course of time I have come to see how that purpose of hers is working in the world.

Being a figure of only 18cm, she is intimate and tactile and is carved in Pere David deer antler, a material that is a good ivory substitute. Pere David is a-typically solid through to the center so this kind of antler can be carved in deep relief and in the round. Owlwoman also represents the kind of work that I am most commonly commissioned to undertake as a carver.

On reflection, Owlwoman’s role, her particular medicine, carries a call to find powerful centering and to get in touch with the inner stories, the ones that we have come here to tell, that only we can tell – I guess thats why she came to me as, after I had finally set aside the carving tools, I felt protected and ‘on track’…….she also helped me to understand, on a more personal level, that it is the story in the art that pushes it into manifestation. It needs to be told……

The whole idea that stories might need us so that they too may have their life helps to deepen the connection between medicine path and arts practice – within this is an honouring of the duende, the living spirit within the story being told through the art – the artists role is that of the carrier and courier, functioning as a gatekeeper.

With spending so much time out there in the world, Owlwoman has always brought back stories to accompany her return – people with whom she has spent time tell of re-finding their center, their power, and of renewal – she has brought courage and calmness in the face of adversity, the feeling that we are never so far from home as our challenges might have us to believe – others have said she has brought a wild wisdom, a spur to move forward with energy and dignity, trusting in their own vision, a powerful and steady wind in their sails.

Owlwoman does have a deeper level too – woven into her are symbols that have their own story, that connect to navigation and orientation on the earth plane – these tie-in to ancient methods of keeping track with natural cycles, angling to the directions and the stars in time and space – they also connect with the tracks of ancestral knowledge that reach back more than 10k years into Eurasian indigenous culture, with the seeds of dreaming that they have sown in our times.

She is enigmatic for all this – a gate keeper at the portal of death/re-birth and a magical envoy carrying a pilot light for the soul. She is still out there in the world…….


A New Moon arrives on 5th December – remember that dark shiney obilisque in Clarke’s ‘2001’……and the follow up, ‘2010’?

Smoking Mirrors are about revealing the deceptive misuse of power, the truth behind the illusion and the unseen machinations of another’s intentions. Things are getting radical!

We live in an unsustainable state on Earth – and this Moon is an irridescent orb of intense and mysterious power that will highlight the need for all of us to break free of those habits, patterns and fantasies that do not and have not supported us – ie. the very things that have led to this unsustainability. And, yes, we can add the disproportionate distribution of wealth, the massive abuse of Earth and the overt and covert misuse of power to that too. This is our wake-up call to cut through the foggy haze of our cultural miasma and get a clear view of our future….but, we will need to do more than that, we will need to act on it, or we might just be shaken awake, in no uncertain terms…..look at the world around us and see where you can find this happening now, in international, national, local and personal terms – and there are our choices……now take a look in the Smoking Mirror

On 5th December the Sun and Moon join at 13d29′ of Sagittarius – with this doorway for new action, initiating our drives for new enterprises in the world, we need first check whether we are going forward on the energy of our idealism and blind faith alone. The message of the Sabian here is “The Power of Spiritual Ancestry” – this is our collective power, that which has funded our present incarnation and which, with Pluto still pulling on the Moon’s North Node, is yet being transformed and returned to us from the hands of the users and abusers, the power-over merchants who have been running the show for far too long. This New Moon’s conjunction with the fixed star Sarin will give added edge to the power of the Smoking Mirror and make our use of it all the more crucial. Don’t let them con you into thinking we are still watching the show, they’ll mug you and try to blind you further (Sarin) – we are all in this….together; and this ain’t Broadway, its on the World Stage now – Smoking Mirror….

The only planet in aspect to the New Moon is Saturn at the mid-point in Libra – the karma behind our compromises and outer diplomacy is in the dock. Deep strategies must come out into the open with this Moon – politics, war and the future of our planet are truly in the balance. Saturn will crystallise this New Moon and make of it an obsidian shield for our protection, or exposure…..

Again, Pluto feeds a powerful incentive to cut the chatter and start walking our talk – Mercury conjuncts Pluto in the 5th degree of Capricorn – we brought out the Sabian for this degree in ‘Pluto Rides the Dragon’s Head’ : “It suggests that AGGRESSIVENESS may be a necessary ingredient in the activation of the potential of growth inherent in any social group.” Tough realistic talk and radical intervention…..time to cut the crap and get moving!

Venus sextiles this Pluto Mercury conjunction from early Scorpio – our inherited wealth is being brought into focus – how much more does it take to break out of our current refusal to find new ways to use it – is conflict the answer….is global currency? Or is it that the Ancestors are hopping mad at us and it is they who will cut through the waste-land and snap us out of our hypnosis….watch your dreaming, it is going to get down to the nub – and we will feel it! But, with Venus trine Neptune and Chiron we could always learn to love our vision and heal our wounds with compassion and care…..

Jupiter and Uranus are teaming up again for the third and final conjunction in their present cycle and feeding slowly by square aspect into the N Node – this is their final push to create a crack in the karmic doorway that will allow us to get our feet across the threshold. The opportunity to ride the strong building catalystic energy of their union will be streaming in over the next two weeks as we head for the December Full Moon, which will be a Lunar eclipse of fiery and inflated dimensions. The expansive insights and higher mind Ju/Ur energy will continue through to the January New Moon and then we will see Jupiter doing a reprise of his Aries run earlier in the year – a whole big new picture awaits us.

Mars is heating up the eclipse energy field in this N Moon within one degree of the eclipse point. In very late Sagittarius he is in a closer square to Jupiter and Uranus than the N Node, and is also sextiling Neptune and Chiron who are close on exact conjunction in late Aquarius – this looks uncompromising and sharp. Why? On top of the straight up fiery energy of Mars this degree hosts the fixed star Acumen which, along with its twin cluster Aculeus, is in the tail of the Scorpion constellation, the sting – notorius for the blindness of scientific fundamentalism, or for taking sight to a new level of penetration and acuity….the choice (hopefully) is ours!

And the latter part answers the Neptune Chiron smokescreen of how do you cut fog with a sword? The Jupiter Uranus connection is the thunder and lightning that will do it! This is the flashpoint that will shake the world-tree – events in the world will tell us whether it will ignite or not – the terrible waste of War will be reflected in that Smoking Mirror and the healing vision will prevail either way. The high side of Mars would have us heal the wounds of conflict, turn the poisons into a healing elixir and aid the Smoking Mirror in exposing the deceptions.

So, what of Neptune and Chiron – can we ignore their messages any longer; their low side, which this Moon is asking us to get real about, is all about the damage that addiction, fantasy and deception can do to the collective; the fog – their high-side is breaking out of the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ fairytale that our technologies have created and realising that ‘WE are the experiment, the technology and the future’…..(oh, and Smoking Mirrors are both fascinating and deadly to Vampires, so, if you know any, psychic or otherwise, make good use!)

And will there be a handsome Prince to deliver the heroic kiss….?

We are tied down by the symbolic brambles of our solid state technology – our minds work fine, when they are not being drugged by the low-side of IT, the media and western culture! Our spirits make light work of connectivity when we wake up, and realise our true nature….the Ancestors knew all about this. Way back before religions, politics, global economics and corporate power, a Seed was sown within our DNA that has been waiting for this time…….


2010/11/29 I’ve updated this post to include mention of the latest Wiki-leaks which is the perfect example of smoking mirror medicine at work – exposure of the judgemental underbelly of the politians, heads of state, money magnates and power mongers will serve to back up the New World Order’s gradual denouement – I don’t usually like to use such terms as NWO as they are loaded with hyped up energy and conspiracy theory neurosis, but, the reality is there for all to see, no matter what we call it…..the REAL crisis will be that experienced by these world ‘leaders’ when they realise that the people know how to be free to live our lives according to the power of choice, and not their dictates – Smoking Mirror also gives us personal empowerment, and that is without a doubt its greatest gift; its only when you try to use that personal power over others, whether in an overt or covert way, that the flip-side of the medicine kicks in – the continued suppression of this will now expose its own machinations and so, further empower us with the choice to excercise free-will – the vision will prevail…..


Deepening our Life Purpose and emptying the Cauldron……the challenge of the current transit of Pluto to the Moon’s North Node.

The choices we make now are pivotal – on both individual and collective levels; we either move forward and consciously evolve or we become more and more deeply embedded in the karmic residue of the past – the former will open as an unchartered land before us in which collectively and individually ‘creating the path will be the path’; the latter will see us held at the crossroads, bound to the signpost, until we are released from subservience to being directed, the prison of our unsustainable old ways

Pluto can offer us the gift of total renewal – only, it is an offer we cannot refuse – change will come, our real choice is whether we align ourselves with the energy of change or not. And if we do the hidden wealth of Pluto will be expressed though the vision of our new soul purpose. Pluto the nourisher can also be the Great Mother……Hades was no Hell, it was the time out of time, the holding ground for rebirth.

The Cauldron, the symbol of culture here, will be upturned, but, neither is this about throwing out all that is good – the old indigenous ways, our closeness to the Earth, our mother planet, will all become more relevant than they have ever been – but, they must be grounded within and hold the new vision, be held with respect, for their roots and their keepers, be of now and capable of sustaining us on our collective journey. And we must be strong enough to recieve the Uranic blasts of inspiration that will be following as Uranus squares with Pluto through the following year…..

So many other astrological factors feed in to this radical change : Jupiter, soon to go direct, will lead the way with expansive pioneering energy through re-entering and transiting Aries; Neptune and Chiron, both now direct, will move slowly through to the radical borderlands of late Aquarian energy that promise a transition into Piscean holism; eclipses pepper the karmic field with gateways for revision and release – yet, for now, let us focus on Pluto and the Dragon’s Head…..

We have been here before. Perhaps as an example of the kind of upheaval we could expect…….

……..the last time Pluto was in Capricorn (1762-79) the American nation birthed itself through independance from the control of the British Monarchy – out of this struggle were born the Declaration of Independance, the Bill of Rights and Articles of the Constitution. The American War of independance lasted 8years from 1775 – that it spilled over 4 years into Pluto’s transit into Aquarius is worth remembering. 10 years later we saw the French Revolution begin. And now we have come full circle…..

This spilling over of the thrust for change is to be expected when Plutocratic structures are involved – Pluto will challenge us to take the journey out of Hades before we can claim our true freedom. The next time Pluto enters Aquarius will be in 2023, and echoing that 4 year carry over, Pluto conjuncts the Moon’s north node exact in Aquarius at 4d57’ in November 2027. The Sabian symbol for this degree is worth noting  (my italics) :


KEYNOTE: The Root foundation of past performances which power and sustain whatever decision is made in a crisis by an individual.

The whole past of mankind stands behind any individual effort, especially in times of critical decisions. Every individual is far more dependent upon the strength of their ancestors’ achievements — or oppressed by their failures and lack of vision — than they usually believe. This can mean a hidden foundation of individual strength, or the inertia of a tradition unable to transcend its limited origins.

This is the last symbol in the sixty-first five-fold sequence. It suggests that in many situations RELIANCE UPON PRECEDENTS will enable the aspirant to greatness to tap the power of their deepest roots. “  

We must learn from our past, mistakes and all – and in this we will find our empowerment, we are all leaders.

Contrast this with the unknown qualities hinted at in the degree of Pluto’s current conjunction with the N Node in Capricorn :


KEYNOTE: The ability to use natural resources and basic skills in order to achieve a group-purpose.

……….the start of a journey undertaken by a cohesive group of people, who perhaps together have built this large canoe. Thus we see here a common enterprise which may be an answer to the need for a change of locality. A social group more strongly than ever reveals its homogeneity and common will when it decides to move away from its familiar habitat. The zodiacal sign Capricorn brings this common will to a focus in concrete actions. It does so in terms of socio-political expediency and under a definite type of executive direction, even though the decisions are arrived at by common consent.

As this is the fourth symbol in the fifty-fifth five-fold sequence, we find in it a hint of how to do something concrete. The “canoe” may also have a special technical meaning, as it uses water in order to move. A common feeling-response to a specific situation may be implied. The main emphasis is nevertheless on GROUP-ACTIVITY in circumstances implying a need for change. “

The Sabian for the following degree has some of the people in the canoe rowing, the others doing a war dance…….energetic means towards a common goal maybe, even if we must take up arms?

Once again the Dalai Lama shows us the way, and shows that the heart of the Buddhist vision carries the promise – the ‘simple monk’ has gifted us a clear example of the highside of the meeting between the Hadean Lord of rebirth and the soul potential of humanity…..in the last few days the Dalai Lama has been in Hiroshima attending the gathering of Nobel Lauriates – he gave a speech in which he expressed in clear and unequivocal terms the desire and prerogative for a world free of conflict, the instruments of conflict and the nuclear bomb in particular – he was giving shape to the gift of vision within Pluto on the Moon’s north node.

As I write Aung San Suu Kyi has been released by the Burmese Military Government – it is symbolic of this energy of change not only that this great and inspiring leader is now free within her own land, but, also that the question remains “can the Military be trusted to allow her to act upon her freedom?” She is, like the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, to whom she has been rightfully compared, a wise and indefatigable spirit who desires a peaceful revolution (by which she means non-violent “radical change”).

A peaceful revolution, maybe, but a deep cleansing of karma, certainly……..will we be burning off the aggregates as we head for rebirth?

The dance with the Moon’s nodal axis is itself no quick transit – we are in its midst and it will now flavour our decisions with sustained compelling intensity. With this long transitory process Pluto enforces by necessity searching inner journey’s – these may feel like life missions – crucial and determined, guided by ancient forces, challenging us in the extreme to be in the present, yet fundamental to the very core….at either end of the nodal axis we have Capricorn and Cancer.

Fundamentalism and ruthless exploitation are the downside, collective and individual responsibility for birthing a new Earth the upside. We ‘the people’ are being challenged on our ability to manage change and, in doing so, to demonstrate once and for all that we are capable of doing so free of being subjected to power-over.

Within this, we are challenged to transform the Cancerian ties of family, tribe and ancestral tradition into meaningful alliances. The alternative is a deepening of division, with its inherent threat of escalating conflict, and the rise of extreme polarities of governance, and we are not lacking in examples from history to illuminate our karmic truths – such conflict and political extremism may yet embody denial of our mistakes. Yet, within the ravaging effects of such a denial all that stands in the way of admittence will be highlighted and, of course that includes all the corporate and regulatory powers that are currently holding the old paradigm in place.

Capricorn will be Pluto’s home until the restructuring of our political, trade, economic, environmental and power based actions in the world are transformed – our very relationship to power is being called into question, and through it our understanding of our existance. Following this impulse will also be our challenge and brings with it the question of realising our manifest consciousness – we can no longer descry our brutality while employing brutality, no longer support and rest upon those structures that enforce difference while shirking responsibility for the dualistic world we have created. The fruited seed of dualism is conscious unity. Pluto can also lead us to the Phoenix…..

It is no accident or coincidence that the Mayan calender entered its last Tun at the exact time of this conjunction – this Tun will bring us to the end of the evolutionary process in collective consciousness that the calendar describes – this process is fully set when the calendar culminates on October 28th 2011. The media fed hype around 21st Dec 2012 has created an apocalyptic vision that feeds our fear….and yet, the question must be asked : if we choose to see this as the end of the cycle we may have left things too late – why??!!……..

Many respected astrologers have been saying the period of change within which we can begin to ground our vision and lay the real foundations of a new Earth will culminate in 2020. The year following the culmination date in late 2011 will be the testing ground in which we will have full consciousness of our responsibilities towards realising the evolutionary vision. We will be challenged to match our means to our vision – in a pragmatic sense this will bring the tension and pressure on old and outmoded systems of governance and exchange to an hightened state – if the old ways and structures persist, so will the vision, until it is realised – such polarisation can only go so far. Change is inevitable. So is the necessity of striking deals and establishing workable and lasting relationships. Having been within minutes of arc from Scorpio in the first half of the year Saturn will finally enter Scorpio on October 5th 2012. By end 2012 we will be fully cogniscent of the truth – only, our ability to act upon it, whether the choice still remains, will have become the overriding question, and by then, the world may already be providing us with the answer. Compassion will be the key…….


The future is ours for the making….

In this second part to The Tibet Solution we will explore through divination the essential relationship between the Dalai Lama and the People’s Republic of China- the results and implications are surprising and back up the question of whether a turning point is now within sight

Focusing on a few of the key elements in their horoscopes will reveal how symbolic of our times and the global shift in consciousness the Tibetan Solution can be……”can be” – there is no certainty, but, there is opportunity……

The Dalai Lama’s Sun in 1st house Cancer is blessed with the energies of Sirius – he is a spiritual leader of humble beginnings who’s light is far reaching and connects him with the ancient mystery traditions, which he both embodies through re-incarnation and through being a protector – Sirius’ esoteric function has been described as the soul of our solar system’s Sun and, as such, connects us to the galactic mind.

As a spiritual leader HH’s chart shows us Saturn in the 9th house in Pisces opposite Neptune conjunct the Moon and Dark Moon Lilith in 3rd house Virgo with Chiron forming a T square from 12th house Gemini – crystalising the Piscean energy and reflecting the occult visionary soul the Dalai Lama’s Saturn is opposite China’s 7th house Virgoan Saturn in synastry – China’s restrictions on the communal potential communicated through Tibetan Buddhism bring a new karmic structure that challenges to both contain and resonate with the soul of the “other”.

The Dalai Lama’s nodal axis shows Pluto on the South Node in the first house – we can identify him with a deep and transformative karmic legacy – he is a re-incarnate soul who has brought his roots into this life to become a leader amongst “others”….”amongst”, and not of a ‘political’, but, grounded beneficient nature…..where-as, his NNode, conjunct China’s 12th house Jupiter in Capricorn, the undoing of his leadership, and break from the past that China’s revolution brought, reveal the context of this, with the promise of benefits that would resound deeply within the Chinese communist psychology.

It is a context fueled with a fierce passion for the question of ‘home’ as HH’s 4th house Libran Mars conjuncts China’s 8th house South Node – he is in a sense bringing the ‘spiritual warrior’ archetype into the struggle for Tibetan autonomy – and yet, he is a powerful strategist, leading not through agression but through a higher order of love, a blessing on the community, as found in his 3rd house Venus in Leo.

The nodal axis in these charts are nearly squared off – being only 5 degrees from a true square – and China’s South Node is closely conjuncted by Neptune and Mercury – for the communist regime the love of the past is in its traditions, which includes the historical and judicial right for occupation within Tibet, a right it persists in citing. With its North Node in 2nd house Aries China is seeking to initiate a new internal context within which to manifest this, a soul purpose at odds with the Dalai Lama’s North Node which seeks to manifest a leading role within the world, a global grounding that has pitted the ‘West’ against China’s enforced occupation of Tibet. China will be seen as the ‘heavy’ so long as the regime persists in bringing the low side of its Mars conjunct Pluto in the 7th house into its relationship with others – the high side would see the opportunity for deep healing and in this context the Chinese nation could also be leaders amongst others…..

So, what of the healing, the Tibet Solution?

Now we enter complex yet magical territory! And, Uranus in China’s chart gives us a way in….

In both charts Uranus is at 4d 58′, China’s is in 5th house Cancer, the Dalai Lama’s in 11th house Taurus – these energies manifest the sextile through creative and worldly innovation. For China, the revolutionary force of the people was compelled to find a new identity that would both break with its historical traditions and create a paradigm shift in relation to how its people relate to its past – one that could both heal through new ideals and bring the necessity of forceful political reform to the fore – this is expressed in the yod formed by Moon on the AC, Chiron in the 10th in Leo both in quincunx to Uranus, the yod’s apex. Chiron is square the Pluto Mars conjunction. We will shortly return to China’s Uranus placement.

We find Uranus in the Dalai Lama’s chart in a square to China’s Moon – he will challenge the notion of ‘the people’ in relation to China’s revolutionary revision – it is itself in a quincunx to China’s Chiron as well as China’s Sun! which makes the Chiron placement in China’s chart very sensitive around the issue of China’s identity and forces the issue onto the negotiating table. Remember Chiron squares Pluto and Mars in the China chart! This is further compounded for China as its Sun squares its Uranus and, to add the clincher, China’s Uranus is conjunct the Dalai Lama’s AC!!

The threads of this web are strung taught and bind the two in a set of challenging aspects that express the devastating effect that China’s revolution was to have on both the Dalai Lama and Tibet. This is a diplomat’s nightmare, and yet……

To his credit the Dalai Lama has retained a desire to see Tibet remain within the context of China’s new identity – perhaps it is the exact sextile between their Uranus placements that makes this possible – more likely, it keeps the two sides in full awareness of their differences, and it is reconciliation that is being sought by both sides, but, on different terms – it will be hard won……

There is a solution…….the Dalai Lama’s Chiron squares both Saturns, sextiles China’s Mars + Pluto and trines China’s Mercury + Neptune. If the balance between the two is to find form it will be through his bringing the high side of China’s political potential, the upside of the powerhouse behind its revolutionary appearance within the world and the vision of the collective into synchronous understanding of their commonality, roots and shared future – he can appeal to China’s intellect, its roots and vision – he can help the Chinese people understand more deeply their traditional relationship with Tibet through their respect for the past – he must be careful not to provoke the Chinese State into bringing the darker side of its purpose into a conflict with its own self interests and self esteem – China has Dark Moon Lilith on its North Node and this is itself quincunx to its own Venus close to the MC. HH’s vertex is conjunct China’s Mid Heaven – as fateful a relationship as ever there was. Yet his Uranus and Part of Fortune are quincunx both China’s Chiron and Sun – they must work for a common solution that will benefit them all. And this may be surprising…..

…China has Juno conjunct the vertex in the 7th house in Virgo – it is sextile HH’s Sun – a renewed mutual contract of partnership would benefit the Dalai Lama and, no doubt, initiate a higher order of healing within China (HH’s PF quinc China’s Chiron), if he can bring the Chinese around to the compassionate view – the Chinese Venus is quincunx HH’s Mercury – he is compelled to bring this into negotiations, to appeal to the deeper side of reason and love of the higher mind. All rests on this.

With Mercury accompanied by Chiron in his 12th house in Gemini, the Dalai Lama will know that the end of his mission here will be to bring the power of compassion to bear both in China and in the world – his Venus is conjunct one of the four royal stars, Regulus in late Leo – this is a mighty power that will lead all – with his Juno conjunct China’s N Node it could just work.

It would be simplistic to suggest that our worldly solutions are presaged by the synastry in these charts, and yet, they contain the symbolic seeds of both our current East/West relations and our progress towards a unified world of common consciousness and concensus. We are all challenged to face our differences, political and spiritual, mundane and sacred, as a call to reconciliation – quality of mind, not difference, is at the root of our current global transformation – a new consciousness is achievable through compassion and acceptance. The ‘middle way’. The Dalai Lama’s middle way calls upon every individual to manifest this within themselves – this is where he differentiates his message from political idealogy or dogma. What is in the higher self can be the leader, in each of us – for Chinese and Tibetans alike. For us all it is a true blessing to be alive to witness the dignity of this struggle as personified in the Dalai Lama and his global championing of the Tibetan cause through kindness and energetic realism. No less for the Chinese regime, should they find the ability to become leaders, globally respected and demonstrably capable of embracing the holistic view of humanity, well beyond the idealism of communism – it is within their grasp, should they recognise the gift and opportunity for reconciliation. For a rising number of intelligent and well placed people within China this is becoming the obvious way forward – they are warming to the Dalai Lama’s message and it would do well for the Chinese government to listen – and to allow the energy of this groundswell to emerge. The sad fact for China is that repression is at the heart of their regime – a last astrological sting in the tail: China’s Part of Fortune is conjunct the fixed star Algor, described as the most ‘evil’ star in the heavens, harbinger of death, mass murder and dis-ease – it is at the root, on the IC in China’s chart – if ever compassion were to have a goal here it would be to bring all its healing and illuminating force to bear on this unfortunate factor within China’s nativity. There is at least one person on this planet capable of being the powerful lens needed for this force – with the power of Sirius, Regulus and the millions who support him we may yet see a great healing in our times…….the more support we give to this emergent global focus the more we are likely to see it happen, if we all take up the cause and manifest the ‘middle way’.


Astrological Afterword

Due to technical difficulties (in the shape of a beloved old iMac) I have been unable to post charts at the time of publishing – I hope to rectify this asap – apologies for the inconvenience – nevertheless…….

Seasoned astrologers will be able to pick the bones of these horoscopes, their synastry and my reading and reset them according to their deeper knowledge and experience                  

about this……….I make no bones!

Moth Moon Rising

A Dark Moon is rising on the wings of change……Moth Moon will shake off the dust of ages

……as we venture to break out of the cocoon of the ‘old world’ and unfold the wings of our collective future Pluto is transiting the NNode in Capricorn and squeezing the soul juice out of our old attachments, fertilising the ground of our becoming – soul and soil, a syllable apart, U and I
– can we throw off the husk and ?

On the very degree that Mars and Venus were joined on the previous New Moon, deep in Scorpio the Sabians say this Solar Lunar implosion challenges to manifest communion after seperation – the bed is still warm in the secret bridal chamber, and yet, the Champion and his Amor are going their seperate ways….Mars, unaspected, out in the world, Sagittarius warrior, floods the field with courage (power of the heart)……Venus, looking inward, retraces her steps, pregnant with the healing vision of Love (trine Chiron with Neptune), poised to force the expansive change (quincinx Jupiter and Uranus) in rebirth that will reveal hidden new strategies to shake down the old balance (Scorpio into Libra) with the laws of the heart

Moth Moon will brook no compromise (semi-sextile Saturn in Libra) – the old ways of communion will not hold – the old talk is over – a new language of the spirit earthed within the heart is our only choice, for, without communion there can be no communication….

…..and what of Mercury! The sting in the tail (Mercury in late Scorpio) – we walk our talk, or perish……

……and whom, by what means?

The people are wise and will rise in renewing our ancient bonds of knowing, ‘cunning with magic’ (NM sextile Juno in Virgo, trine Lilith in Pisces) – handfasted through spiritual sexuality

The power hungry are trapped in their phallic ivory towers, doomed by their own lustful attachments to fall on the swords of their own hubris (Saturn quincunx Lilith, Pluto on the N Node, Saturn semi-sextile Pallas) – the renewed collective contract (Saturn at the NMoon Juno midpoint) will bring them down by their own design, their own dis-owned shadow…..

And what of the talk we must walk……

Our spirits within our hearts are our guides as we enter the unknown – we all carry the flaming sword – we will explore all the energies of this inner collective cosmos on our journey, as this Moth Moon flies towards the November Full Moon

……we will begin to speak our sacred truths anew that we may know each others heart as she transits Mercury – we will take up the flaming sword and begin to wield the power of our ideals as she transits Mars – we will begin to know our deepest purpose as she transits Pluto on the North Node and we will begin to ground our vision in balance as she transits Ceres, fresh from teaching Pluto a lesson in parity and the cyclical ways of feminine wisdom – we will become initiates, knowingly wearing our wounds as a cloak of attainment, woven of the spiritual power of our visions as she transits Chiron and Neptune – we will enter the coven of the crones and taste the amniotic elixir of Life, of Love, as she enters the Lilith corridor and transits Jupiter and Uranus, quincunxes Venus – we will challenge the guardians of the old Laws to release the new feminine consciousness within as she opposes Saturn, as Venus turns direct – we will dream of our beloved as she opposes Venus – and we will awaken from our dream pregnant with the vision seeded in our psyches, feeling the spiritual embryo turn within as she stands before the Sun

……we will sing the body electric when the old patterns have been broken – and they will begin to tumble, when Jupiter strikes out into Aries and Uranus follows, returning to challenge Pluto, cracking open the chrysalis – only those who cling to the shards of the old will perish in the flame – and, even then, empowered, visionary, ensouled, we will be stepping into the unknown……


So heres a fine thing – while passing through and surviving the whelter of Zombies, Witches, Darkling Angels, Faerie Folk, Underworld Agents, Skeletons, Trick-or-Treaters and other suitably garbed Halloween revellers who have been joyously spewing out of the closets, graves and imaginations around our culturally endorsed celebrations of ancestral and otherworldly connections on All Hallows Eve, or Samhain, if you have the knack of it, I spied none other than SUPERMAN!!, wearing a cowboy hat and looking very pleased with himself – and he was not alone – ALLADIN was not far behind…..followed by METALLICA lookalikes, DARTH VADER and a certain tall beefy person clad in little more than green fishnet tights…………fol-de-rol and other such gewgaws……

Meanwhile, over at Facebook, the (seriously) wonderous and sage Caitlin (and I do mean ‘seriously’) had posed a magnificent conundrum that hit the nail right on the proverbial – the gist being, and this is not a direct quote, ‘if you had burning questions for the Ancestors that would be able to sate our cuiousity, calm our doubts and provide us with useful and pragmatic insights into our relationships with them in the answering, what would they be??’

Never the one to shy from the nutshell, Caitlin’s chestnut stands in ever so stark contrast to Superman, Alladin and Metallica…..or does it (Darth and green fishnet tights not withstanding) ?!?!

Confused? Well I wonder what ancestral hubbub would be kicked up if Superman, Alladin, Metallica and Big Darth turned up at the hearth of the eternal flame burning at the center of their great indigenous village in the sky (this is not neccessarily the location of the Ancestors folks – Ed.)…..send your answers etc…

Fact is, apart from having a belly wobbling good laugh with the unexpected guests and passing round a few overflowing flagands of nectorous mead into the bargain, they would probably wait until all the fuss had died down (no pun intended) and then call a meeting, in the wee small hours of the twighlight world, in order to find out WHAT ON EARTH is going on and WHAT IN THE NAME OF ETERNITY they can do about it – and, the sad fact is that we would be the ones expected to provide the answers – ho hum…..

Anyhows, to cut to the chase, I don’t know about you, but, the vast western majority seem to love the whole darn thing – and, lets face it, no matter what you choose to do, be, wear, there are some serious psychoses (plural) at the center of our burgeoning global culture, and so, bringing all the fabulousity of our magic making celebrations into an apex of absurdity may just be the best way of shaking off the canker of neural burnout that we are so often clad in and, in so doing, help heal the wound that has created such an impoverished old spider’s thread of our once magnificent umbilical connection to the glorious and inglorious ones who have gone before us, whom we lovingly and sometimes, oft-times, unlovingly, but, universally know as and call our Ancestors. (you cannot be serious – Ed.)

OK, BUT…..you’re right Ed., this could just be mistaking the symptom for the cure….for, be under no misapprehension dearly beloved, we have seriously gotten our work cut out if we don’t want to be trapped in an eternal hell of neurotic burn-out with the prospect of a repeating pattern of foam cast devils masks, plastic pitchforks and stuffed satin horns to become the accepted and beyond questioning heritage of our children and their children’s children….not to mention CHRISTMAS (you said you wouldn’t mention Christmas! – Ed.)

And, as a brief afterword to the above, for readers in the UK, just whose bright idea was it to move Bone Fire Night from the 31st of October to the 5th of November and call it Bonfire Night thus tieing it in to an attempted political act of assasination that would have seen off the reigning King James the 1st in the hope of restoring a Catholic monarchy in Britain?!!! Now renamed Fireworks Night millions celebrate by burning an (in all likelihood unknowingly) Catholic effigy on blazing beacons and sending millions in hard earned wonga up in spectacular smoke, noise and light displays while quaffing barbequed sausages, baked potatoes and tinnies of every description….WE LOVE IT…..but

(is that it….?? – Ed.)

No Ed. – theres more – look at the state of our selves on this beautiful planet and, picking up the Ancestors baton, ask “what on earth is going on, and what in eternity are we doing about it?”

We all want our kids to have the best, enjoy Life and know the ecstacy of celebration, who would ever deny them this – if we were seriously to ask of ourselves and the Ancestors how we can make sure they, our kids, will have a good shot at continuing to partake of such incarnate pleasures when we are gone, what do you think the answers might be – and, one last thing, when we have become the Ancestors how would we like our children and their children’s children to relate to us?………

(Ok Ed?……..Ed!?…..)


Support is growing for HH The Dalai Lama in his peaceful mission to help bring about the return of freedom to the Tibetan people. Currently visiting Canada, HH is revealing a significant growth in interest from a surprising source….could the solution to Tibet’s enforced occupation at the hands of the Chinese State finally be making visible the crucial critical mass – is the turning point in sight?


China took control of Tibet through seizing power, ‘power over’. Although, prior to the Chinese occupation of Tibet, both countries had been negotiating an agreement on Tibet’s status within China as an autonomous region, the two sides had failed to resolve their differences. The People’s Liberation Army crossed into Tibetan territory on October 7th 1950 and by October 19th, 60 years to the day at the time of writing, the Tibetan army was defeated defending its homeland. Although the Chinese state ordered the army to halt its advance towards the Tibetan interior, proclaiming the “peaceful liberation’ of Tibet, thus was initiated, by use of force, the occupation and subjugation of Tibet. What followed changed everything……

Freedom cannot be enforced…….it is a natural state, manifest within the scope of human rights, and ‘diversity’ manifests the field within which it becomes defined. In the interim period up to the Dalai Lama fleeing Tibet in 1959 the country became divided and internal conflict undermined the pragmatic negotiation of peace. Following the 1950 defeat the Dalai Lama had the chance to oppose the ensueing Seventeen Point Agreement of 1951 that China negotiated with Tibet, and in doing so he would have had the backing of the USA – but, the USA, through the CIA, had been arming Tibetan militants who strove to resist land reform and the imposition  of the treaty. The Dalai Lama chose to go with the 17 P A. With emergent indigenous opposition both to the Tibetan government and to the Chinese occupation erupting, HH’s decision looked to be catalytic – ironic, as his long term view must have told him that preservation of the Tibetan spirit, in keeping with his pursuit of peaceful means, above physical confrontation, would be the only way forward, towards freedom. In fleeing Tibet he repudiated the agreement saying it had been made under duress and was not valid (there are specific grounds upon which this claim can be upheld) and entered the path towards collecting global support for the Tibetan cause. It is a path that has become a powerful transformative and enlightening example to the world – HH has been described as the most influencial person of the C20th (Time Magazine). This influence is pervasive and manifestly continues to grow.

Albeit cautious, a significant and optimistic wave of support for the Tibetan cause is now emerging from within the heart of China itself. In an hour long interview with Rick Westhead of the South Asia Bureau at Canada’s Star newspaper online the Dalai Lama spoke of his meetings with several hundred intellectuals, academics and high ranking officials within China who expressed the desire to align themselves with his ‘way’. The Dalai Lama advocates ‘the middle way’. Autonomy for Tibet can be achieved, HH believes, while his homeland remains a part of China – the freedom to protect and cultivate the self determination of Tibetan culture and identity within this context is central to this path of development, a path that Chinese State policy towards Tibet continues to block. And yet, for those respected free thinking individuals within China to express their support for the Dalai Lama in this context is to expose the internal discrepancy between State policy, attitudes and thinking, and the quality of mind that will produce a peaceful, intelligent and realistic solution to the Tibet problem. The Dalai Lama seeks to restore the balance of power to the Tibetan people through sharing, ‘power to’. By comparison this approach is very revealing. 
The ‘middle way’ offers a bridge…….

The emergent support within China is a sign that, at its heart, amongst the people, China’s sentient and intelligent soul, is waking up to the truth – change will come. The announcement of China’s deputy premier Xi Jinping being given the key post from which he is likely to succed Hu Jintao as premier in 2012 has been greeted with great interest globaly, and provides further indications that reform may infact come to China. Little is known of Xi Jinping – he is credited with cleaning up corruption, which is equally a code for enforcing top down control – the need for internal reform is likely to be high on his agenda. However, at present this looks likely to be focused more on maintaining internal stability rather than making sweeping structural changes. Within China the tension between centralist and regionalist tendencies, as well as the struggle between elitist and populist factions is likely to come to the fore – many regions choose to develope individualistic relations abroad through trade agreements. The speculative view is that Xi Jinping will be more open to developing foreign ties, particularly through trade. Infact, openess is a word that has already been attached to his personality and approach. And he will not be alone in bringing change to the face of Chinese officialdom – seven out of the existing nine members of China’s core decision making body will be replaced.

The coming two years will be pivotal as we head towards the time when the Chinese leadership changes hands. Internal struggles are considered unlikely to subvert the regimes overall control – the continual increasing growth of  the military’s influence both as enforcer and agent of inland security (particularly in the face of natural disasters and the regionalisation of business and industry) will make sure of that…..the next generation is going to be key.

Latest news; since this article was published, unrest amongst students at restrictions upon learning the Tibetan language is coming to light – a language belongs to a people, it expresses their soul and, as we know from internal reports, Chinese control upon Tibetan culture is very strict – watch this space!

In the recent past China has deveoped a reputation for standing back from engagement with and exerting influence directly upon world relations outside of its borders, and this has born criticism. However, with China’s profile in the world increasing, environmental events and issues hitting the country directly, the focus on human rights and increasing scrutiny of how this nation influences and relates to the rest of the world, the pressure for change will, inevitably, increase. How at home with impermenance are the two sides?


Even in the most mundane sense, the impermanence of the manifest world is an understanding that is at the foundation of the Buddhist approach.

Quality of mind has the power to bring change, great change. The Chinese regime has a tremendous determinist grip on change within its borders, control through the implimentation of political ideology, an ideology that may appear to be diametrically opposed to spirituality. And yet, the ongoing conflict of interests is not about Communism v Buddhism – it does, however, highlight the inherent differences in quality of mind.  ‘Quality of mind’ as an expression of the use of ‘power’ contrasts with ‘quality of mind’ as the means of liberation from suffering.

While China has only been under communist rule for 71 years it is the power of communist politics to eclipse all other ideologies within its borders that shows clearly how the Chinese State mind exercises and relates to power. Inspite of apparent inclusivity there is a puritanical streak to the State’s mundane methodology and orientation – this is conservatism as control, structure that seeks to contain change. Astrologicaly Saturn plays a significant role within the natal chart for China’s communism, as it does in the Dalai Lama’s chart – we will look at the significant synastry between these two Saturn placements in the upcoming second part to this post.

For all the well defined intellectual qualities of the authorities within China there is little humour present within the public face of the Chinese regime – by contrast, the Dalai Lama, while he is known to be both astute and intelligent, is also known for his humour and mischevious nature. And they do say that humour, as well as money, makes the world go ’round.

Intolerance towards independant free-thinking that goes counter to the Chinese regime’s ideologies is indelibly burned on our consciousness – remember Tianamen Square. Little evidence of compassion is ever displayed. For Buddhists worldwide compassion is at the root and is the vehicle for dissemination of its own ideology. Compassion, as the manifest face of an enlightened mind, recognises the impermanence of attachment.

There is no doubting the power of the ‘simple monk’, as the Dalai Lama has described himself. His ability to maintain a relentless schedule of meetings with world leaders, giving  talks, continuing negotiations and meeting spiritual obligations speaks of a tremendous energy at work. When we look at the astrology of the man the source becomes clear – for example, his first house Sun is conjunct the brightest star in the skies, Sirius – the ‘Dog Star’. This star has been known as the harbinger of fame. It is also connected with doubling the heat of the Sun and fearlessness within nature – we will go into the significance of this in more detail in the next post.

Chinese traditional belief considers dogs to be fortunate, the ‘Fu Dog’ bringing good fortune and happiness. Infact Chinese culture abounds with spirituality and pragmatic superstition. This is a culture rich in an indigenous heritage that has been successfully carried by Chinese people to all quarters of the globe. This has been one of China’s greatest exports. The domesticaly embedded a-spiritual nature of the communist regime would at first appear at odds with this heritage. It is perhaps because of the resiliance and astonishing depth of the old culture, as well as the wiley adaptability of the Chinese people, that the spirit of ancient China remains so virile an underlying presence. There is also within this a propensity to embrace change…..

The internal paradox does find expression though – the Dalai Lama has been labeled as a ‘devil’ by the Chinese authorities. This, in the light of the roots of Chinese culture, is a clear projection of ‘shadow’. First accounts of Buddhism entering Tibet include the marraige of the Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo to the Chinese Tang dynasty Buddhist princess, Wengchen; Chan Buddhism came to Tibet from three sources, including China. Tibetan Buddhism continues to this day to be practiced within North East China and Mongolia, whose own struggle for independance from China is well known – the roots of this conflict run deep. A main feature of Chinese assertions that Tibet is a part of China rests on the idea that the region has been under continuous Chinese governance since the C13th Yuan dynasty. And for all the history that is claimed as an integral part Chinese claims on Tibet we are faced with the reality of our changing world – borders change, politics evolve, peoples continue to be subjected to the imposition of ideologies that do not reflect their true nature.

The Dalai Lama fled the country in 1959 – faced with the immediate threat of incarceration and the inevitable consequences. Amidst the increasing destruction of Tibetan culture, freedoms of its peoples and the stifling of the Tibetan spirit, he chose to preserve the potential for his role as spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, a role which has enabled him to win the support of millions worldwide – undoubtedly this has been crucial in keeping alive the spirit of Tibet and ensuring that the plight of the Tibetan people remains a pertinant issue within our global consciousness. Interestingly this factor is also revealed in the astrology and we will return to this too in the next post, the other side of the upcoming October Full Moon.

In the next post we will bring the astrological examination of this meeting of minds more into focus and look at how the stars reveal the inner tensions and dynamics of the situation. We will focus on some of the intrinsic characteristics of the charts for China and the Dalai Lama and look at their synastry for further indications of the Tibetan solution, a solution for us all.



A few years back I began work on ‘bringing out’ images of Elders – they became an ongoing theme – here are just four from the series that emerged, along with a little background on their evolution and info on how the images are made….. 

GRANDMOTHER  ‘tender heart’: ELDER SERIES 1998

white and black inks on paper – 13 x 13 cm

…..this old grandmother was the first to show up, full of love and an ancient tenderness that just blew me away – she also reminded me very much of my maternal grandmother Florence, who was a healer and diviner – Florence introduced me to divining when I was just seven years old, so maybe there is something of her intitiatic energy in this Grandmother……..

it seems there is no accident in this work coming about – for a couple of years I had been engaged with ancestral healing within a communal setting – I was also working with some of my own ancestors – our links and communications became stronger as a natural consequence of this – amongst other things the healing process helped clear up unfinished business, which is always present as a potential blockage until resolved – subsequently, it seems, a renewed energy was released out of  which the Elders Series grew – and it really did feel as though there was new sap flowing up from the old roots of our family tree, an irrepressible force for new life…

…..thinking on this, it became clear that a potential creative route for healing was being opened up, one that could be shared – as a visceral process it promises to reach across time and could bring the present as well as the future into more harmonious relationship with the past  – after having studied creative work in contexts of ritual, ceremony and healing for some years, everything suggested that this development had to be good for us all, contemporising and further earthing collective healing…..

exploring this impulse the images that followed ‘tender heart’ became more visceral too and literally grew,  needing to be expressed on a scale that would hold their energy – but, Grandmother was the first in line and I found that the seed energy that she had brought with her needed to evolve on the physical plane – this led to more experimentation and exploration of different media – I had to wait nine years before her companion appeared and, when he did, he also initiated a new impulse……..

GRANDFATHER ‘tender heart’ 2007

compressed charcoal and natural chalk on canvas  –  67 x 67 cm

Grandfather marked a big transition point – he was the first of the Elders to be exhibited – making the transit from the healing (or ritual) space to the ‘public’ – there is a powerful aura around him that emanates not just from the physical size of his image, but, also from an intensity that he shares with the initial Grandmother, his partner  – he is clearly from the same spiritual root as Grandmother

by the time Grandfather arrived the techniques I was using had developed and changed – they had come from a specific approach to drawing that I learned shortly after Grandmother came along – it is a free-from technique that employs a mild trance state to allow the drawing to take shape and the image to emerge – it is akin to a shamanic state of consciousness, and yet, it is the physical nature of the drawing process that facilitates it – one thing that is particularly appealing about the process is that it can be used in virtually any therapeutic context, from the most agnostic to the most spiritual…….

……….the technique was shown to me by an indigenous healer who told me that all the faces (and images) that come through belong to people (and times) whom we have known in previous lifetimes 

 in the course of time, this process has developed and can be successfully passed on to others – it brings a creative beauty and tangibility to both ancestral and past life healing – we get to see what otherwise might remain hidden or latent, and, at the same time, get to keep artwork that can at times be astonishing and inspiring on both a personal and collective level 

in the years between the two Grandparents many other peoples showed up – the collective aspect of the work also began to come to the fore – I continued exploring the technique, applying it to illustration and other settings and applications, and out of this drawings with two or more people in them began to appear – ‘friends’ was one of the first………


compressed charcoal and natural chalk on paper  105 x 88 cm

I have the sense that these two have known each other for many years – as well as the sharing that they appear to be engaged in there is an inner conversation going on as well – perhaps they are sharing memories or the common ground of experience – whatever it is, they seem to have completely dissolved their boundaries and have a unity of spirit that we find so often with old friends – I found this to be very healing as an emergent image

in this image you can see the bare bones of the process more clearly – the whole starts with a basic spherical structure around which everything hangs – the initial lines are produced in trance and appear rather random – and yet, after some minutes, there appear nexus of energy within the creative graphics – it is out of these that the features emerge – when two faces are emerging the energy of their interaction feeds into the image and this further brings out their individuality on a different level, one of relationship, of identity within relationships – this development brought a deepening and refinement to the solo images 

it has also, quite naturally, led to the exploration of specific qualities within people – again, between the times of the two Grandparents, I began to frame an intent to meet people through the drawings who had clearly specific roles within in their community – I was particularly interested to meet with artists, healers and diviners and invited them to come through at the beginning of the drawing process –  one of my favourite characters to come through as a result of this refinement is the Seer – she is also one of the largest of the drawings – she fills the space with a wild and effulgent energy and this is so strong that I keep her safely tucked away most of the time………


compressed charcoal and natural chalk on paper  –  105 x 124 cm 

I was walking across the Avebury Downs when I first got the Seer’s calling to come in – I was collecting the natural chalk that I use for these drawings at the time – it is a lovely dense, fine and slightly wet stone that seems so alive in the hand – at one point, my partner and I entered a spinney (small hilltop woodland) that surrounded an ancient mound just north of the ‘Sanctuary’ within the land surrounding the Avebury complex – as I sat next the mound and gazed out across the fields towards the great circle and Avebury village I felt a shift, a wave of energy – a presence, warm and yet enigmatic – later, as we left, I almost felt as though this presence was walking with us

I had been wanting to invite a diviner to come through the drawing,  and so on my return I invited someone with this energy and focus – as the image took shape I knew this was the same presence I had felt up on the Avebury Downs

 She/he, for this one is ambiguous in their sexuality, has both a fey and earthy quality – they are otherworldy and at the same time wiley – wise to the ways of the world – more than anything else though, there is a quality of feral  magic, a certain look in the eyes – the Seer has a wild joy that holds our attention – its as if they are tangibly infusing the physical dimensions 

some of these images are best only brought out from time to time – they have the potential to change the contours of space and time when in their physical company – they can bring healing to the maker and the family line – they can equally inspire creativity, and, as they do not rest on artistic ability for their effectiveness, are accessible to many – with some care and respect they will maintain their power, and have their voice – I hope you will enjoy meeting them………….

through finding form the Elders remain strong within our lives – their presence fills the void where their voices could be – for this reason I feel this work is worth every ounce of energy that we can give it – it is available to all and through it, in the course of time, the importance of the elders and ancestors will be born out, remembered and embodied – if you are interested to find out more please send me an e-mail or post a comment……….all blessings

respectfully, please feel free to copy these images for your own personal use and, if you wish to share them, please give them attribution to the author – many thanks


Rob Purday wishes to be identified as the author and copyright holder of the ‘Elder Series’ images, as reproduced in The Elders’ article above, and,  in relation to this, reproduction of these images for commercial or promotional use, in any form, is strictly prohibited without permission and consent of the author.


apologies for any automatically generated material appearing below………

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