I’ve always been fascinated by religion.
I was born into a C of E family but as a youth I was happy to follow it. It seemed fairly innocuous compared with other religions that I was dimly aware of at the time. It felt like going along with it was like choosing the sensible option when faced with Eddie Izzard’s ” Cake or Death ? “.
But there comes a time for every relatively normal person when the conditioning handed down by your parents has to be rejected. This is generally at the age of 14 / 15 when the Saturn Half Return kicks in.
When Saturn is opposite its natal position, the things that you have been taught to believe as the natural restraint of a civilised being are now consider to be an outrageous imposition by repressive authority figures.
So it all goes out of the window. For many that’s it, it stays out of the window.
In my early twenties I came back to it after studying the true path of serious astrology. Not the tea and cake with the vicar stuff obviously. I was drawn to meditation.
I was very taken with the writings of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff – Capricorn Spirituality who made it fairly clear that everything that I used to believe was religion was simply politics, with the invention of a Mister God figure to get people to tow the line of the power possessing beings of the time.
Over the years I have sometimes described myself is Buddhish because while acknowledging the basic truth behind this view of the Universe, I find it hard to join any form of religion that can be organised.
Also like many so called religions the state Buddhism prevalent in much of Asia has views of women that are positively neanderthal, a position that has far more to do with Freud than God.
So when asked what is my religion, I would struggle to define it. I would generally avoid such questions. But when I joined Facebook I decided put my entry as Taoist Sympathiser.
The wonderful thing about Taoism is there is no such thing as good and evil. No one has to choose one or the other. All opposites are an essential part of the whole of life.
Which fits perfectly with an astrological view of the Universe.
Astrology is all about the complementary nature of opposites. Day / Night, Summer / Winter, Sun / Moon, Mars / Venus – it’s all there.
There is no positive or negative. Even the signs that hold those terms are equally valid.
Suffering only comes when someone does not totally accept the indications and themes of their natal chart and tries to fight their true nature or envies someone else who was born at a different time and so should have different experience.
These days my main opportunity for meditation is when playing golf.
Don’t laugh. In fact I believe this is the main appeal of the game for people, even if they don’t realise it.
More than any other sport it is a game entirely played in the head.
It has been calculated that the actual amount of playing time in a 4 day golf tournament is less than half an hour. The rest of it you are walking, waiting, assessing and for most of us agonising over the last missed shot.
Because that more than anything is where it all goes pear shaped.
In all sports there is the idea that you play the ball in front of you not the scorecard. But in most of them there is still plenty of room for falling from this lofty mental state of being present.
In golf – no chance. The slightest aberration on a golf swing can put you many yards away from where you need to be. And any distracting thought can cause that – even the natural desire to hit a good stroke.
My view is that the sport is one part Jupiter to four parts Saturn. Everyone is looking for that perfect drive – you can even hear it when you hit one. The ball goes perfectly where you want it to go without any apparent effort on your part. It is a sublime feeling. But those experiences are few and far between. For the most part, it’s a very frustrating experience.
Rudyard Kipling understood this problem very well. “ If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same ”
Kipling certainly understood this because he had an exact conjunction of Jupiter with the Sun in Saturn’s sign Capricorn.
When it comes to transits the most significant pair of opposites are Jupiter and Saturn.
Jupiter expands, Saturn contracts. Jupiter brings opportunities, Saturn restrictions.
So what should golfers expect this year when the big two are in conjunction ?
For myself, my move to Australia at the end of November brought a problem with my set of clubs. To ship them from England would have cost more than they were worth and would have taken 6 weeks followed by a quarantine period, which given the current circumstances would probably still be in operation.
So I bought some new ones. Not to play straight away in an Australian summer. I ‘m not daft. I’m a triple Capricorn, I don’t volunteer to be incinerated.
I thought I’d wait until the end of summer. Just long enough for the coronavirus lockdown to rule out any play altogether.
As I said, one part Jupiter to four parts Saturn.
Still, that’s nothing like as frustrating as the situation facing English golfer Tommy Fleetwood.
Fleetwood has been one of those golfers talked up as being the next big thing over the last few years. He won the Race to Dubai ( the award for a golfer who has won the most money on the European tour ) in 2017 and finished 2nd in the US Open the following year.
But he still hasn’t won a major.
This year with Jupiter conjunct his Sun would be his best chance, particularly with the Augusta Masters or US PGA in April and May.
I even backed him early for the Masters to ensure decent odds in case he won any tournaments in the run up to Augusta.
But of course, Fleetwood not only has Jupiter conjunct his Sun this year, he has Saturn doing it too.
And a quick look at his chart shows you which of the big pair is the strongest.
A natal very close Sun / Saturn conjunction in Capricorn gives Fleetwood a more than passing familiarity with the trials of the dark planet.
Given that the sign are natural pessimists he would probably expect his best ever chance of winning a major to be lost to a global pandemic.
But I’m sure he will treat these impostors just the same.
In fact given that he has a Pisces Moon maybe his experience this year will make him retire from golf and become a Taoist monk.
One thing is very clear.
When you have oppositions in a chart you can’t choose one or the other, you have to express both.
With Mars in Taurus in opposition to Pluto in Scorpio, our Tommy will have to face the ultimate question.
Cake or death ?