Tag Archives: Colin McPhillamy

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.


How I Got Involved

Why should a United_Statesmiddle-aged, British/Australian character-actor living in the USA, be involved with this kind of hocus-pocus?

I’ve had a couple of significant experiences with divinatory systems. Aged 15 I was at North Sydney Boys High School in Australia, and the maths teacher offered to do a palm reading for each of us in exchange for being allowed to keep a print of our hands. I accepted.


I’d been at the school for about 3 weeks and had never spoken with this man. He began the reading by saying, “The first thing that struck me about this was — an actor.” It hit me between the eyes. How did he know?

About 7 years later in London I went to a psychic. When I sat down he said, “There’s a big Australian flag above your head.” Later he told me, “Your life is Greek myths in the suburbs.” And so it has proved to be.


Again later, I became friendly with an elderly Scottish sculptress who used to read tea-leaves. To sit with her in positive, energized, creative presence was a lovely experience, and she was the sort of person who seemed to know “the mystery of things”.

From an early age, I knew that there were “more things in heaven and earth …”

I’m no more than ordinarily psychic, by which I mean that I believe we all are, to greater or lesser degree. But I reckon intuition to be an equal function with intellect. And I take the view that daily life is full of information that could be useful to us. If we knew how to read the clouds, the stars or the wind, we might be able to expand our ability to influence the path of our own lives.

Tarot and Astrology are compatible lenses through which we can view circumstance, and look for meaning.

At one point in my youth I had a job in a bookshop. One of my co-workers gave me a deck of tarot cards, saying, “Here, I think you might be interested in this.” This was a puzzling event. I left the bookshop soon after, and lost touch with the giver of the cards. I would pore over the deck (The Marseille Deck) wondering what any of it meant. I didn’t know it then, but in gifting the cards he was following a tradition.

There were other experiences which were also like pointers. Just before my first Saturn return I read Liz Greene’s book: Saturn, a New Look at an Old Devil. I admired the book as having a depth of scholarship, and some academic weight. I had similar feelings of relish and pleasure at finding a piece of code that explained a facet of mystery, as when previously reading Ouspensky.

And so on …

It was a while though before I began to study seriously. Presently, I have opposing but not contradictory experiences: on the one hand, the more I know and understand I’m aware of how endlessly much more there is to know and understand. On the other, every piece of understanding gained is like a signpost on a return journey.

What about you? Do the cards or the stars call to you too?