Tag Archives: Colin McPhillamy

“…The new Direction of Time…”

Solstice News December 2020

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Talking with Faye Blake
  3. Book Review
  4. Looking at a Chart
  5. A solstice gift

Where are we Now?

If you follow any astrology at all, you will know that today, the 21st December 2020 is a big deal. Jupiter and Saturn conjoin at zero degrees Aquarius.

Every 20 years or so these two mighty planets which astrology tells us govern social trends, appear to be in the same place in the sky from our point of view here on earth.

For about 200 years (usually with one exception) they meet up in a sign of the same element. So for the past 200 years beginning in 1801 this conjunction cycled backwards through the zodiac starting in Virgo, then Taurus, then Capricorn and repeating that sequence with one exception in 1980 when they met in Libra (air sign, preview of the coming 200 year cycle).

And for the next 200 years these social planets will meet starting today (December 21st 2020) in Aquarius, then Libra (2040), then Gemini (2060), and repeating the sequence in that order.

What might this mean?

I think D H Lawrence had something when he wrote Song of a Man Who Has Come Through, here are the first two lines:

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.

And here is a recording of me reading it.

The Wind reference is appropriate because Aquarius is an AIR sign. For the past 200 years  Jupiter and Saturn have been meeting in EARTH. … which according to some astrological thinking may explain our species-wide rapacity and exploitation of earth resources.

Consider the element of AIR. It pervades. Aquarius carries social connectivity, and along with the other AIR signs is to do with the mental realm. New thinking anyone?

Talking With Faye Blake

If the internet is anything to go by, interest in astrology is going galactic. Astrologers of all kinds abound. The splendid Astrology Podcast gives long form discussions with accomplished practitioners. But if you haven’t got the spare 2 hours or so to listen regularly, I’m starting a short-form series.

The idea here is a 5 to 7 minute excerpt from a conversation. If the material interests you, there are links where you can discover more…

I’m delighted to welcome Faye Blake as my first guest in this series. A thoroughly accomplised astrologer, she has an extensive website with all kinds of content and featuring her “Monthly Planet” newsletter which is excellent reading. Faye has several specialities. Among them is expert knowledge of the heavenly body, Ceres. From an astrological point of view Ceres is hugely relevant to us now given the environmental crisis of our times.

Here are a few references from the talk which may be useful:

Rupert Sheldrake: very well worth looking at his material if you don’t know him already, easy to find on YouTube and other places. A holistic scientist.

Demetra George: wrote The Asteroid Goddesses, pioneering work.

Ken Wilbur: a spiritual psychologist, wrote No Boundary

Nick Campion: astrological historian and academic

And here is Faye’s post on the Great Conjunction mentioned above.

Another area of Faye’s expertise is career counseling. She is well versed in all the usual ways to explore vocation but with the added deep personal insight offered by the astrology. If you are looking to re-invent your work life in these challenging times or just for general interest you might like to check out her book.

Faye’s website again: www.fayeblake.nl

Book Review

With a Gemini Moon in the 9th it’s not surprising that I am reading too many books at one time. At the moment my bedside astro-reading stack includes:

Evolutionary Astrology by Jeffrey Wolf Green, The Hades Moon by Judy Hall, Understanding Karmic Complexes by Patricia L. Walsh, The Astrology of Love and Sex by Annabel Gat, Vocational Astrology by Faye Blake

I review Faye’s book here


Looking at a Chart

This is the natal chart of D H Lawrence, the guy who wrote the poem that I recite above.

And here are are few things that one notices immediately.

First off: Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, source of many things, but among them, personal power, in Mercury-ruled Gemini in the 8th House of the hidden, the deep, the intense – read some more of Lawrence’s poetry and tell me if you agree that that seems to fit?!

And talking of Mercury, the writers’ God, he is elevated in the 10th House of career in his dignity in Virgo, and from there Mercury also rules the Sun/Jupiter conjunction in the very visible 11th House, and the Sun is widely conjunct the north node of destiny, which is itself widely conjunct the planet of originality, Uranus.

Mars is the chart ruler, placed in the 9th. Learning about sexuality perhaps? But not without difficulty because Saturn is there too. And it’s Mars in Cancer – a noted feature of that placement is a tendency to fight for causes.


But it’s the 12th House that grabs me. Before we get to that, notice that everything is in the Southern Hemisphere in the chart. Would there have been a what-you-see-is what-I’ve-got quality to the man? But all of that behind the watery smokescreen of a Scorpio ascendant, so if you knew him personally you might not really have had any idea what was going on with him.

So here was a man, as we know, a powerful writer – so frightening to the authorities that they banned one of his books, Lady Chatterly’s Lover for about four decades. But if ever a man was in search of the divine feminine, I nominate D H Lawrence. Consider a few of his titles to start with: Women in Love, The Virgin and the Gypsy, Sons and Lovers, 

The Moon in the 12th, in touch with the secrets of the deep subconscious, rules Mars as stated above. But notice please the relationship between Moon and Venus, with Venus conjunct the ascendant from the 12th, and now notice Ceres conjunct the ascendant from the 1st – here is Maiden, Mother, Crone – as referenced in my talk with Faye above. I like that. I had not mentioned Lawrence to Faye, I chose his poem because of the “…fine wind…” and the Great Conjunction, and I did not know that Ceres in Lawrence’s chart sits conjunct his rising sign until I asked the software to add her in to the mix. One of those minor synchronicities that I enjoy!

A Solstice Gift

So I’ve slightly revamped this site (ongoing). You might like to take a look at the new Resources Page. This newsletter will now offered on a quarterly basis. If you’re new here and you find the content interesting by all means enter your email for a low-impact way to stay in touch.

And … if I have already read for you I will be contacting you early in the New Year.

Meanwhile, If you would like a reading, if you make a booking with me by the end of the year, to be taken anytime between now and the spring (northern hemisphere) equinox on 20th March 2021, I offer it on a donation basis with a $1 dollar minimum.

It takes me between 2 and 3 hours to prepare to read for someone, so this is not something I can afford to do all the time! But if you’d like to take up this offer then:

  1. Email me at Colin@galacticfragment.com with Solstice in the subject line before December 31st 2020.
  2. Include your birth stats: Date, time (if you know it), location
  3. Your preferred appointment date – anytime (subject to availability) between now and  March 20th 2021. If I am booked that day I will get back to you with alternatives.

Happy Solstice!

Shakespeare and Astrology

I’m delighted to let you know that I will be guest speaker on Tuesday June 30th 2:30 pm Eastern USA/7:30 pm UK at:

Aquarius Rising: West of Scotland Astrological Association

My topic is:

Shakespeare was an astrologer

(or if he wasn’t he knew people who were)

Here is the blurb:

This talk is an astrological exploration looking at the chart of the Bard and his work. For example, it’s well known that the seven ages of man speech in As You Like It takes us from the Moon through to Saturn in order of orbital period. But did you know that there is a Jupiter signature in The Tempest, or a Saturn one in Romeo and Juliet, or that Sonnet 15 echoes the Duke’s speech at the top of act 3 in Measure for Measure? Mars figures in all the history plays, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream is as lunar as it gets. Shakespeare was at home in the solar system and he wrote the plays to prove it!

If you’d like to attend as a guest (no need to join the group although you are welcome if astrology is an interest), here is the zoom link and the date again is, June 30th 2:30 pm Eastern USA/7:30 pm UK https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82665096141

They do ask for a donation of five quid!

Please pay here https://paypal.me/aquariusrisinggla?locale.x=en_GB

See you there!

What is the collective noun…

… for a group of astrologers? A conjunction perhaps, a stellium?

I’ve lately returned from a week long course in northern Spain, run by Sue Tompkins. Sue’s splendid books, The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook and Aspects in Astrology, should be on any aspiring astrologer’s reading list. They are what inspired me to go.

The course was held at Torre de Dalt (latorrededalt.com) an old style villa about an hour and a half north of Barcelona, near the city of Girona, complete with pool, views, and a wide terrace with a long table at which the company took meals.

The first part of the week was loosely focussed on medical astrology with classes on sign and planetary rulership of body parts and organs, followed by chart analysis of case studies. In the second part of the week we looked more at general chart analysis and met with a client from the locale to whom we gave a reading.

The course and its content was fascinating and interestingly presented, but a lovely feature of the week was the very relaxed atmosphere. We were a range of types, a mix of professional and domestic backgrounds as you might expect in a gathering of a dozen and a half people, but united by serious interest in astrology. Wine and conversation flowed after the evening meal (delicious vegan cuisine supplied by Kim Farley, also an experienced exponent of the art astro). Over the week stories and personalities emerged easily. Everyone seemed available.

Maybe when a group unites temporarily in receptive study there can be a raising of the collective vibration? I don’t know. But to me the week was a graceful experience, notable in troubled times, of how human beings can be with each other.

Oh, and as my wife pointed out, I was the only guy on the course.

“Really?” I said, “I hadn’t noticed.”

Suetompkins.com for mailing list and details of further events.

Taking a Breath

It’s been a little more than a year since I began posting on the astro correspondences in tarot. See my latest book review here.

This is a fascinating subject and brings these two mighty symbolic systems together. Almost perfectly. But not exactly. The seven planets of the ancient world are matched to the twelve zodiacal signs. Each sign has three periods of ten days, called a decan. Here is the arithmetic.

12 (signs) x 3 (decans) = 36

But 36 (decans) ÷ 7 (planets) = 35 with a remainder of 1

So Mars appears one extra time. The Two of Wands is Mars in Aries and all the way around the zodiac to the Ten of Cups we have Mars in Pisces. A double dose of Mars.

Fair enough, maybe those esotericists of The Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn who came up with this method of ascription wanted a deliberate imperfection in the wheel?

I don’t know.

In any case I am taking a breath before I move on to another aspect. So the next post will be at about the winter solstice (northern hemisphere). Meanwhile if you are interested to know more about this fascinating mis-match check out the book I recommend here.


Tarot Telesummit

The Tarot Telesummit is an amazing resource. Twenty experienced tarot professionals each giving a seminar on some aspect of the cards and how to work with them.

But wait! There’s more!

Yesterday I did a talk on the astrological correspondences in tarot. There’s a system that is basically very simple. Click to get the free re-play today (August 2nd 2016) only – after today there is a charge.



All The Tarot You Can Eat

servicesI am excited to tell you that I have been invited to be a guest speaker at Telesummit 3 Tarot Wisdom It’s quite an honor as the field of experts includes some of the best known names in tarot today. I’ll be talking live on Monday August 1st at 1pm Eastern time, USA.

My subject is the correspondence between the cards and the planets of the ancient world. My talk is called ‘The Stars in the Cards’ and will include a step by step demonstration of how this technical knowledge can greatly enhance your readings.

Click the link to register for free. Access 20 tarot specialists.

And This Happens Three Times a Year … !?!

… And it happens to however many billion of us there are on the planet at the moment, but when the following occurs, it’s hard not to think the planet has singled you out:


  1. I got an excited message from the admin office at my actor’s union, telling me that several thousand dollars in repeat fees were waiting to be claimed. I returned the call. After a brief discussion, the lady explained that there was a mix up. A little later I received a check for $10.97
  2. After several grueling sessions with the filing, the paperwork, my own temperament, I went to see my accountant only to find I had forgotten to bring a vital sheaf of papers.
  3. I will do a Tarot and Astrology presentation with a good friend and colleague in Winston-Salem next week. We sent out a flyer with a typo in the contact details. We wondered why the phones were silent!

But yes, the splendid astrologer extraordinaire Ms Sheila Roher, lately of New York City now relocated to North Carolina, and I, will be hosting a fun evening talking about the cards and the stars on Wednesday 18th May in Winston-Salem.

If you know anyone who might be interested, please contact me for details.

But What Does It Do?

The Page of Swords is one who likes to question, to gather information: … Here we continue the occasional ongoing conversation …


So … these readings …

Yes …?

How do they work?

Both these methods are an intuitive lens which can focus inquiry, and gain insight that empowers you.

But what can you do specifically with tarot and astrology?

Stimulate thought, elevate feeling, refine choices …

Sounds okay. But can you give me answers?

Sure. Like what is one plus one?

No, like who should I vote for?

Well, … we could talk about that if you like.

But you can’t tell me what to do?

The reading is more about connecting you with your own wisdom.

So you can’t tell me if I should marry John or Joan, or Tom, Harry or Dick?

You mean can I answer the questions only you can answer …?


Not so much.

Then why would I come to you?

Again …

‘To Cease Upon the Midnight …’ Keats

When the death card appears in a spread, the reader will often tell you that it’s not really about actual death. It’s about  transformation, or the close of a cycle or some other easier thing … and I agree with all that.

Still, death remains the great taboo. Not to be discussed at dinner parties. Sex was once. Neither prohibition makes sense to me. How is it smart to go fearful or ignorant to something which awaits all who live?

People die. You will. I will. 

Walt Whitman put it brilliantly:

And to die is different from what anyone supposed, and luckier.

A User-friendly Guide. Volume 1. Number 1. Page 1.

A Page of Swords type called me on the phone the other day, seeking information. The conversation went a bit like this:



I’m thinking of booking a consultation with you but I want to ask some questions first. Okay?

Sure … go ahead.

Can Tarot foretell the future?

It can, in the sense that with yes or no questions it has a precisely 50% chance of being correct.

Can Astrology foretell the future?

It can, in the sense that anyone who can read an ephemeris can predict with pinpoint accuracy where any planet will be anytime over the next many several years.

So, if neither of these methods can give me the winning numbers, what use are they?

Good question.

Are you saying that Tarot and Astrology do not tell fortunes?

I admit nothing.

Well what do they do?

They raise awareness.

Oh. Like mind-altering substances?

Not exactly.

Well what then?

Okay, since you ask, both methods are sophisticated psycho-intuitive lenses that can penetrate below the surfaces of life. One can gain information about personal process, personal struggle and personal opportunity. This can greatly assist in the understanding of one’s strengths and vulnerabilities, and what creative responses are possible to the life-challenges that all of us face at times.

Isn’t that just New-Age psycho-babble?

Maybe … Maybe it’s better than that.

So, let me get this clear, you’re not a fortune teller?

No, you’d need a licensed professional for that … All this, in accordance with the law, is for entertainment purposes only.

Then why should I come and see you?

We’ll have fun.

Is that enough of a reason?

You tell me.

Oh, and by the way, is the Psychic Fayre still happening next week?

No. It was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.