André Barbault - At the Crossroads of Time

André Barbault

by Lynn Bell

This article was published in 2018 and we are posting in memory of André Barbault who passed away this year

I remember my first encounter with André Barbault’s work on mundane planetary cycles. I was sitting on the floor of the library in the Centre Pompidou in Paris, poring over one of his books, Les Astres et l’histoire, and grasping the remarkable precision of the Saturn–Neptune cycle in world history. A thrill went through me. The excitement I felt, and the insight gained, lifted me all at once into a totally new dimension of astrology. I had not seen this work anywhere else, and it was a revelation. Barbault had found the larger picture by plunging into the painstaking work of history and scholarship — detailing cycles with great rigor in the charts of countries, politicians, and world leaders.

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Cutting down the Overgrowth, Saturn Conjunct Pluto

Originally published in the 2020 edition of the Wellbeing Astrology Guide in Australia.
As the two heavyweight planets of the solar system move into a perfect conjunction, it’s important not to lose our sense of humor. Think of it this way: the dark lord, Pluto, is dancing - his partner, Saturn, holds the scythe. They are merrily swinging through our lives, cutting down the overgrowth, as we watch open mouthed and voiceless. Will it be as bad as some say? There may be no way of knowing ahead of time.  We can work ourselves into a fright, or feel our way towards what is ending, acknowledge and honor those aspects of our world that will fade away. As Alfred Hitchcock used to say “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” We are at a time of collective ending, already glimpsed in powerful environmental disturbances, political extremes, wild inventions. It is the ending that precedes a new beginning.
Called by Destiny
Some of us will have a role to play in laying foundations for the new cycle. Those born between the 12th and 17th of April, October, July and January may be singled out by destiny. This can take the form of testing, being exposed to stress and pressure that can break or make an individual. It is a rare moment of intensity, and worth moving through layers of doubt, of fear, to step into greater power, a larger potential. A particular destination may be sealed off, irrevocably blocked. Others will find that a new path beckons, and have only to take the first steps as it reveals a shift in focus. How we respond to the unlooked for changes in our lives will in many ways determine what comes next. A rare strength can emerge in each of us, followed by heightened opportunities, since Jupiter, the planet of abundance is also present in the same sign. The dates above are based on the position of the Sun in a birth chart but there are many other points that can be affected besides these.  Having a detailed birth chart based on an exact time of birth, will reveal much more.

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Notre Dame and the Great World Cycles

I am still grieving the fire at Notre Dame, feeling a soul ache around the burning of the great cathedral, which has always lifted spirits to beauty from her place in the center of the city. She is the sacred feminine in all her glory. At the same time, the powerful outpouring of donations, the universal desire to see her rise again, gives us hope. A friend who works with stone masons told me almost everyone wanted to spontaneously offer their time to restore her. Perhaps it takes a fire to bring us together right now, to create a sense of purpose. The conjunctions at the end of 2020 are calling forth an urgency around community.

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Called to Meet the Past: The Nodal Axis Enters Cancer/Capricorn

This article originally appeared in the OPA journal

On November 15, 2018 the mean nodal axis shifts into Cancer/Capricorn ( November 7 for the True Node). These signs invite us to consider the past; they call us back to ancient events, both collective and personal. Even more significantly, as the nodal axis shifts into Cancer/ Capricorn it will move backwards into connection with Pluto, then with Saturn. The old authoritarian temptation is heightened by the south Node’s entry into Capricorn, the desire to find a ‘’big Daddy’ who will decide for everyone, and ‘take responsibility”

The ancestors call to us to step up and finish what they could not, to repair an error, to pay a debt. Sometimes we are pulled into circumstances reminiscent of another era, another time. The Nodes here ask us how to honour the past without being caught up in it.

Since April 2017, the South Node has been in Aquarius. One of the most striking tendencies during this period has been a powerful connection to ‘groupthink’. Whether on the ‘fake news’ side of the equation or classically liberal, many of us have been pushed into stronger identification with those who think the same way. A few rare individuals have taken a stand, breaking with their cohort, to call out for truth. The North Node in Leo asks for this kind of individual courage, invites individuals to speak out against a powerful tide of group mind. The recent death of John McCain highlights this polarity and is seen in the outpouring of admiration and tribute to his courage and strength of conviction. It is fascinating that this man, once honoured and admired, an incontestable hero, had begun to lose support, as chanted slogans replace thought. An us-versus-them mentality can be seen as a degraded expression of the Aquarian impulse to find like-minded souls.

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Women Usher in a New Era in US Congress

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Over one hundred women have been newly elected to Congress, marking a new generation of women in politics, and among them two Native Americans, and two muslims; a former refugee. For the first time, close to one hundred of the house Representatives will be women.

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Uranus Enters Taurus - The Difficult Marriage of Heaven and Earth

by Lynn Bell
first Published by Well Being Magazine 2018 Australia

In 2018 Uranus will enter Taurus for the first time in 84 years. Uranus is linked to the sky, Taurus is fixed earth, and as Uranus enters this sign, the electricity of the heavens reaches deeply into earth element. Earth resists, Uranus shocks. The pulse of the unfamiliar sets stones dancing, it can bring the inert back to life, or send cracks jolting through our foundations. Taurus is a sign or rooting and grounding, it helps us feel at home in our bodies, and in our lives. With Uranus in this sign, well-being may come to mean something different than it did in the past.

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Whistleblower Hervé Falciani - Uranus Square Sun

Hervé Falciani

Originally published in The Mountain Astrologer. Reprinted with permission.

Herve FalcianiOn December 22, 2008, the Swiss police took systems engineer Hervé Falciani in for questioning, then released him with instructions to return the next day. Instead, Falciani rented a car and fled with his wife and children to France. There he downloaded 5 CDs of data stored on remote servers, which he had garnered from his employer, multinational corporation HSBC’s private Swiss bank in Geneva. Those CDs, containing the encrypted data of more than 130,000 account holders in 200 countries, have been a slow-burning fire for the Swiss banking industry, and their contents have reaped billions in lost tax revenue for France, Spain, and other countries. This represents the most significant insider banking data ever leaked. The real story may be unfolding now, as the emphasis shifts from individual fraud to the banking system itself.

As in many whistleblower cases, Falciani’s motives have been called into question. Falciani traveled to Lebanon under a pseudonym in early 2008, and it is alleged that he tried to sell his lists to bankers there. He lacks the communication skills and clear humanitarian stance of an Edward Snowden. Falciani said of himself, “I’m no white knight, but there is something beautiful and exhilarating about establishing the truth.” (1) In his chart, Uranus at 18° Libra is exactly square his Capricorn Sun — perhaps the key aspect in his willingness to take such a risk (see chart).

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Lynn Interviewed by Kay Taylor

Lynn BellKay Taylor: I’m really delighted I could meet with you today. Let’s just start at the beginning with how did you come into being an astrologer?

Lynn Bell: I was a vociferous reader as a child, and would read anything you put before me, including cereal boxes and newspapers. So I discovered my horoscope when I was very young. I was desperately looking for some way to explain the behavior of people around me! I think astrology was the first thing I found that helped me. In the beginning I just read the horoscopes. Then  my mother, who liked to go to garage sales,  must have brought home Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs or some other astrology book. I started noting the birthdays of everyone I knew, and by the time I was eleven or twelve I was certainly aware of what a sign was and what they meant.

I got more seriously interested in astrology a little later. I bought the few astrology books I could find,   then ended up learning palmistry because I found  Bentham's  Laws of Scientific Hand Reading.  It was a back door into the language of planets.There weren’t any esoteric bookstores in the neighborhood I lived in, and I didn’t really meet an astrologer until I was much older. I was conflicted,  I would give my books away, then wonder where a particular book was, and ask for it back! But I couldn’t let go of it. It was never my intention to become an astrologer. It wasn’t on my radar. It was just too strong for me not to do.

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The Twin Mirror

hurricane IrmaIn a year where the world has been spun around, turned upside down, where shock and surprise seem almost constant, Nature has now delivered a mirror for the destructive energies in the collective psyche. Hurricanes north of the equator spin counterclockwise, a direction in many indigenous traditions for the undoing of things, the dissolving of what has been built, the destruction of order.

At times, the insight that comes from astrological reflection can be disturbingly accurate. The specter of multiple fires in the West, and unbreathable air, the record-breaking heat, the twin hurricanes bearing down on highly populated regions of the US, fill us with dread for those whose safety and security will be upended, whose lives may be in danger. These twinned destructive forces parallel the dangerous split in the American political psyche. In the heavens, Saturn has been stationing opposite Mars in the chart for the Declaration of Independence. Mars is both courage and war, while Saturn often brings us face to face with the consequences of our actions, and with fate. President Trump has his Gemini Sun exactly there, conjunct the US Mars, with Moon opposing. This connection to the warlike Mars archetype of the US chart is not unusual in US presidents, but combined with his own powerful and uncontained Mars, conflicts of all kinds have been heightened.

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Living With Family Connections

family chartOriginally published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine. Republished with permission.

Tolstoy once famously said that all happy families are alike, while every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. This provides us with clues when we look at family heredity. Gifts tend to repeat in straightforward ways, while difficult patterns twist into varying forms of expression. In this article, I look at a few of these patterns as a way of encouraging reflection on the myriad possibilities that connect us to our family of origin using an astrological context. When doing this kind of work, I pay most attention to similarities in individual horoscopes over generations — resonances shared by members of the same family. These may be house placements, similar aspects, or repeating signs, and will describe an inherited pattern which, once identified, can illuminate family dynamics. In this work, it makes sense to use wider orbs — up to 9° for conjunctions and oppositions, 8° for squares and trines, 5° for sextiles — since they describe a more inclusive connection between a large number of charts. When I venture further into individual compatibilities or entanglements, I look more closely at the charts’ inter-aspects, as one does in traditional synastry.

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The Cloud of Possibilites

Stormy Skiesby Lynn Bell

The world emerging in front of our eyes is one many of us could not have imagined.  When the team at the Oxford English Dictionary chooses “post-truth” for its word of the year, it ripples through the solidity of our world. Our pluralism used to be a cause of celebration. Now it feels slightly dangerous, divisive. As author Michael Lewis recently said, “the world is a far less certain place than our mind is prepared to be in.” Quoting Amos Tversky, he adds “Reality is not a point; it’s a cloud of possibilities.” Our clouds have suddenly shifted into unexpected patterns.

New eras are born when the old certainties die, and the collective imagination goes into overdrive. We seize on new myths that help us deal with uncertainty. Astrologers recognize this as the archetypal influence of Neptune, a planet that generates dreams and possibilities, those motors of collective human behavior. The emotions underlying those visions are also part of Neptune’s influence, vague feelings of longing for a golden age, the desire to be connected to the divine, the collective hysteria of a mob.

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