In the run-up to major astrological alignments, the word gets out and people start to get worried. And then…. Nothing happens. Or not much more than usual happens. And the fact that very little happens gets forgotten about, and people get worried all over again the next time there are some major alignments.
We’re in the middle of one of those periods right now. There is a Cardinal Grand Cross in the sky that will peak on 23rd April , and there are lunar and solar eclipses in the middle and at the end of the month respectively.
Astrology is not a mechanical thing. This is my beef with the way mundane astrology – the astrology of countries and politics and world events – is often practised, as though it can be reduced to a set of rules.
Astrology is essentially divinatory. In spirit it brings us back to ancient times when the seer would be posed a question or a problem, and he or she would head off and go into a trance or go to sleep and dream and would consult with the gods or whatever powers there were, and then would come back with advice. And the advice from that sort of realm is always about how to live well, maybe you are given some insight into a situation, or get told how to go about something, or given a cure for a medical problem.
That kind of consciousness, which is opaque to much of modern thought, is the context in which astrology arose.
With that perspective, it becomes absurd to separate the astrologer from the chart being read, and reduce it to a set of rules that can predict the future. We do not need to be told the future. What we do need as humans is to be reminded of the wider forces, natural forces that surround us, which we tend to forget but which need to be taken into account and which can also guide us.That way we will live well. We forget those powers because the business of everyday living can be so demanding, or because we get inflated or depressed. So part of our job as astrologers is to remind people of that, not in a pedagogic way, but through the experience of those powers at work.
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So when some major planetary alignments come up, they do not necessarily mean anything at all. You need an astrologer functioning beyond the rules to see their meaning, and his or her job is not really to portend catastrophic events, which is what people get most worried about. (It’s not just worry though, is it, we also want interesting, dramatic events to happen.)
I looked up an interpretation of the 2 coming eclipses by Bernadette Brady, and she writes: “… wasted energy or misdirected motivation… There can be sudden inspiration but this is potentially unfulfilling. No real action should be taken.” 
That was kind of synchronistic for my theme. Some of her interpretations have a lot of action around them. But this one could be summarised as not a lot is going to happen!
I had someone ask me if they should be worried about the Cardinal Grand Cross, and my answer was well it doesn’t interact with your personal chart, so you can probably ignore it!
To some extent, of course, astrology can be reduced to rules. We need them, they are the launch pad. And to some extent astrology-as-rules works. But what tends to happen when you use those rules repeatedly to generate a particular meaning is that it gradually stops working!
There is a trickster at work: Mercury, the messenger between the gods and this world, gets in the way. I suspect it is the same with homeopathy, for example: you cannot separate it from the practitioner, the who and the how is just as important as the pill itself, the diagnosis is not in that sense ’objective’. 2 homeopaths could prescribe the same pill in the same situation, but one pill may work better than the other because of where the homeopath ‘went’ to find the cure.
And for astrology to work well, there needs to be a real question, or a real issue. We know that through doing readings. You can be coming out with good standard interpretations of a chart, but somehow it’s not really going anywhere, you’re not connecting with the other person, and you’re interpretations aren’t that good as a result. And then bam! you find why the person is there for the reading, you connect with them on that level, and the chart opens up. I had an experience recently where I hit the issue, and it was exactly what the other person didn’t want to talk about, and wouldn’t give me information on it, but I kept coming back to it because that was where the chart was pointing.
So this brings me back again to the major alignments that people get concerned about, which I suppose belong to mundane astrology, because it is world events, floods and earthquakes and military invasions that vaguely seem to worry people.
Are people really worried, or just enjoying the thrill of potentially ‘interesting times’? Is there a real question? And where the worry is real, is that because of a particular way of looking at astrology and the heavens, as though the will of the gods is a mechanical thing that exists independently of the participation of the astrologer/seer/priest/witch doctor?
OK, many of us are prone to superstition at times, which is a kind of determinism. And astrology as it has come down to us is maybe the worst offender in this respect among the divinatory arts. And the offence comes from the idea that the heavens have a meaning that can be divined, that exists independently of the divinatory consciousness of the astrologer. And this is not the case. Why else would every astrologer have a different take on a chart? But nor is it just a ‘subjective’, whimsical act on the part of the astrologer. Every reading is particular and individual and dependent on the astrologer being able to go to that place in him or herself that the divination emerges from, and being able to bring the other person along.
It is an experience that you and the person you are reading for and the planets are all ‘inside’, it is a particular message from the gods, and if you try to stand ‘outside’ that – as we moderns tend to – then that essential sense of participation is lost. 
 As Mars moves from applying to separating in its opposition to Uranus
 Predictive Astrology p332
 Some of the ideas in this piece have been augmented through reading Geoffrey Cornelius’ ‘The Moment of Astrology’. I didn’t know about him until recently, and my response has been wow, at last, an astrologer who thinks like I do!