On Shame

Before I begin today’s article I want to thank everyone who has commented, emailed or written to me over the last couple of weeks to express their support. I can happily report that Teddy can see, albeit (we think) not very well. His eyes have stopped wandering so much, and he certainly recognises faces now, providing they are a few inches only from his nose! We are therefore very hopeful that it is just a slow development. We have an appointment with the ophthalmologist at the end of this month when we hope to have a better understanding of the situation.

Many years ago I knew a man who went by the name of Pete Woolly-Hat. I have no clue as to his birth name, but he was so known because he wore a woolly-hat wherever he went, rain or shine, winter or summer. He was a musician and probably (at that time) in his thirties, but I could not be any more precise than that. He was not a close friend of mine but I saw him regularly enough because of our shared musical interests, we were both members of moderately successful local bands and through arranging gigs at various venues we had come to have this association. As he learned to relax in my company, he became more open and communicative, he was a shy and quiet type upon first meeting, and then, one day, after many months of acquaintance, he finally removed his woolly hat in my presence.

To reveal a completely hairless top of the head. I was surprised, but only because the dark hair that protruded from under the band of his woolly hat suggested a profusion of follicles that the hat’s removal immediately disavowed. Pete was mostly bald. Personally, he looked to me to be just fine without his hat on, but it clearly did not appear that way to him. Somewhere in the journey of Pete’s life he had learned about shame. Shame is so powerful that it can distort your entire apprehension of life; indeed, in Pete’s case, he was quite literally identified with his shame: he was named for it. Pete felt so uncomfortable with his baldness that he became named for his method of hiding his shame. I feel a frisson of compassion for him even now as I write this, because he was a truly gentle and kind man.

There is an inversion of this exact theme that is germane here. Last weekend I was staying in a hotel at the foot of Snowdon, one of Britain’s highest mountains. The hotel was busy because the Saturday morning saw the start of the Snowdon marathon, a race in which extremely motivated people run up and down the mountain competitively. As I made my way to breakfast on the Saturday morning I was passed by a great procession of grim-faced individuals in running gear. One young man bounded down some steps past me and he had the most incredibly muscular legs I had ever seen; his thighs were enormous. The vast majority of runners had donned clothing appropriate to the cold, rainy and windy Welsh weather: they wore lycra leggings, tracksuits, technical fibre body stockings and so forth; this man, almost exclusively wore uncomfortably small seeming running shorts. One simply could not fail to notice his powerful and muscular legs. Later that day as I visited a local town I passed another man with very powerful biceps. He had obviously been ‘working out’ quite a bit. He wore a vest-top even though the day was cold, wet and blustery. At the same time, a woman walked along the street in a short skirt, she was drawing male attention from all around with her long, slim legs.

All of these people understand shame.

That may seem like a strange statement to make, because (one might argue) surely it is good to take pride in your ‘good’ features? That is part of being strong and confident? I think actually that the opposite is true; much as in classical psychological thought a superiority complex is simply an inferiority complex that has turned in on itself, so are these statements of ‘physical pride’ nothing more than expressions of inverted shame. Jimmy Carter said:

A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It’s a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity.

A truly confident person would be content to know that they had ‘good legs’ without needing to display them to the world, because at this point the legs become a statement that requires the attention of others to have positive feedback, it is a validation of sorts that is reflected in the astrology.

I have struggled over the years to get a rounded sense of the variegated shades of archetypal male energy that is heralded by the placements of both Sun and Saturn and I have arrived at one’s relationship to shame. Whilst this might appear, superficially to be a simplistic or even bizarre conclusion, I nevertheless believe that it has this fundamental import. In a spectrum of male teaching, which ought to be passed from father to child, Sun is self-belief and Saturn is shame. A strong Sun is required to counterbalance a strong sense of shame and a strong sense of humility is required to counterbalance a fragile ego, which are respectively the most positive and negative of those fundamental male energies.

I have considered this extensively. I have never been especially comfortable with the dichotomy between traditional and ‘evolutionary’ astrology. I was recently labelled an ‘evolutionary’ astrologer by another astrologer whom I greatly respect and I had not the first clue what it meant (I now understand it to mean a person influenced by the Jeff Green approach to the transformational process view of astrology). I am not at all comfortable with rejecting though (for example) the import of traditional methods of dignity and debility: indeed it is one of the first things I look for and I believe it to have truth. I also believe that we can transform our astrology and become better, more rounded and more intrinsically spiritual beings, through application and effort to (primarily) Buddhist methods of self-development, right-living, right-livelihood and so forth.

So when I read that a person has an essential dignity score for their Sun placement of +5, then I consider that person’s father to have done a good job with them. (It is a self-fulfilling scenario and actually this ‘philosophy of dignity could rightly fill a book, it is that nuanced, and I don’t pretend to have got it all yet). When a baby is born they attract power according to these very scores: I truly believe it, in fact I see it! I actually see people responding to the astrology of a baby, because (clearly) a baby has no power to express their nature at this early stage. Teddy (my lovely boy) has a Sun score of +1 and a Saturn score of +9. Because Sun has no exaltation, unless you’re born a Leo, then it’s quite tough to get a good essential dignity score for your Sun. Teddy was born with Saturn in its exaltation, its triplicity and its term: hence the very high reckoning of essential dignity. These scores both rise to +3 and a whopping +23 respectively when accidental dignities are factored in. Let me tell you a remarkable thing, when people meet Teddy for the first time, they treat him with the greatest respect; he simply commands it, even though he behaves no differently to any other well-cared for baby in the world.

That is the innate power of planetary dignity. It is a little like being a superhero, you are born with certain ‘powers’, and they are just there, helping you to be super. (The same can be said for debility, but that’s a different discussion which is so fabulously fascinating, but I don’t have time to write that today). Now in my own situation, I have essential dignity scores of +3 for both Sun and Saturn (and those scores rise to +8 with accidental dignity factored in) even though they are both in fall; what’s more, they are opposing each other, with Sun rising precisely on the Ascendant. Now my father abandoned me (and my mother) when I was a few days old, but by the time I was three and a half years old, at precisely the month that my Saturn opposition Sun perfected by Solar Arc, I was adopted by the man who became my father. He was a gentle and loving man who missed no opportunity to give me confidence in myself. Indeed, because of him I never learned what shame was.

Throughout my life therefore I have struggled time and again against people who have determined that I should be ashamed of who I am. Sun is identity, and that essential dignity score reflects the innate reality that I simply do not believe people when they try to tell me that I am shameful, or that I should be embarrassed about who I am or what I do. These are both important components of identity and my Saturn opposition brings me up against people who test my innate belief in myself by trying to give me their shame. That is Saturn, you see, shame.

Pete Woolly-Hat understood shame, he had accepted it, subscribed to it. He had learned, either directly from his father or due to his father’s unwillingness or inability to protect him from it, that he had to be ashamed of who he was. More basically even than that, he had a low essential dignity score for Sun, or an over strong Saturn with no counterbalance from the Sun. The Sun protects, it gives innate confidence, it creates an immunity to shame, that is its super-power and the source of the question which came first, the high essential dignity score or the good father?

Chicken or eggisms aside, our sense of identity and our sense of shame are connected. If we are confident in what we are then we don’t need to agree to be shamed by others, nor do we need to attempt to shame others in our interactions with them. We don’t need to hide our baldness under a woolly hat, nor do we need to show the world that we have good legs or powerful biceps. We just are as we are, take it or leave it. That does not mean that we do not make mistakes, or take responsibility for our mistakes, but getting it wrong need not be connected to shame, and when somebody insists that the two concepts are connected, well, they are speaking through a kind of existential Sun-Saturn opposition. It is not how it should be. Mary Pickford said:

You may have a fresh start,
Any time you choose,
For this thing we call failure,
Is not the falling down,
But the staying down.

If somebody insists that you must stay down, then respectfully decline.

The Sun projects what we believe ourselves to be, and over a lifetime we might eventually conform to that inbuilt expectation: if our father told us that we are perfect just as we are, then we won’t need to wear a woolly hat or really small running shorts. If on the other hand he told us that we were not good enough, that we don’t measure up, then (usually if we are female) we are going to put on that short-skirt and stride down the high-street in our high-heels and try to bolster our sense of self-worth with some male attention. Those projections say more about what we believe ourselves to be than any overt “I am” statements we might care to make. Maybe it is even worse for a woman with an ashamed father, because then she marries an ashamed man and calls him husband. Sylvia Plath realised her mistake when she wrote in Daddy:

And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look
And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.

Sometimes, when we wear certain clothes, adopt certain postures or profess certain beliefs, then while we might believe that what we are doing is simply ‘being ourselves’ or asserting our individuality, what we are unconsciously engaged in is the business of expressing our shame. Most people with low Sun scores do this and usually, by their late 30s or early 40s they have begun to understand that they learned this pattern from a weak father figure. (The only exception to this in my experience are those who have strong Sun-Neptune contacts; these people seem to misinterpret the paternal script even in the opposite direction; they might have ‘good fathers’ as reflected by a strong essential dignity score, and yet they think their father failed them.) If our father taught us that we should be ashamed of what we are then, by all means, the situation is far from hopeless, we can remedy this unquestioned identity crisis, but the first step in this process must be to reject the notion that we should be embarrassed about what we are, or ashamed of ourselves, providing we live according to a sound spiritual philosophy, another important component of the Solar script incidentally, indeed, Sigmund Freud, in Totem and Taboo (1953) wrote that:

The psychoanalysis of individual human beings teaches us with quite special insistence that the god of each of them is formed in the likeness of his father, that his personal relation to God depends on his relation to his father in the flesh and oscillates and changes along with that relation, and that at bottom God is nothing other than an exalted father.

I am not a Christian, but my father did me a good service, and his own job well, when he knelt at the end of my bed every night next to me and we said our prayers together. His faith was not judgmental or punishing, it was forgiving and warm. It made me feel very close to him and it made me feel that the Universe made sense, because my Dad, through his actions, expressed a loving and gentle faith in the Universe which has stayed with me. My god is not punishing or judgmental, because my father was not.

I am lucky in that respect (you should see my Moon score though!) but it is not the same for everyone. Some people experience a father that professes to love unconditionally, and yet that same father criticises them relentlessly, or espouses a judgmental and punishing spiritual philosophy that leaves their child’s core identity damaged. Other fathers fail through no fault of their own. Their marriages fail and they cease to be able to be effective in protecting their children from people in their lives who demand that they be ashamed. And too, the job of protecting identity is not – in totality – a father’s remit, Saturn’s shame can be experienced through any important authority figures, older relatives, people in positions of responsibility within that child’s life, but a father has unparalleled power to armour his children against these assaults.

If you are a father, the message of astrology is simple. Never tell your children that they are not good enough. It’s a parent’s duty to lovingly guide their child when they have made mistakes, but the day you tell them that they don’t measure up is the day that you have damaged them, perhaps beyond repair. That is the day that you have taught them shame.

Dignity and debility and the fine art of furniture making.

With Sun in Libra and Moon in Scorpio, the nativity of the 39th President of the USA, Jimmy Carter did not lend him great advantage, but he understood something about how to make a table...

With Sun in Libra and Moon in Scorpio, the nativity of the 39th President of the USA, Jimmy Carter, did not lend him great advantage, but he understood something about how to make a table...

Ancient astrologers placed enormous emphasis on dignity and debility in the nativity. Any proficient astrologer will be well aware of the classical assignments, but fundamentally the theory of essential dignity suggests that planets are considered to be more ideal in some signs than in others. Of course, this mode of thinking is relativistic and leans ultimately toward determinism, it becomes entirely too easy to consider one given placement as being “better” than another, and traditionalists in astrology to this day consider dignity and debility to be profoundly relevant.

Of course, to some extent this is true, but it fails to account for reality. It is true that when it comes to expressing Solar energy that ideal is most easily expressed through the signs Leo and Aries and least easily through Aquarius and Libra, however, if the world were populated solely by Sun in Leo types I think it would be be less enjoyable to live in than it is currently. If everyone had Mars in Aries then certainly there would be much more assertion and forthright self-expression, but the qualitative experience of life collectively would be impoverished by it, because nobody would have to struggle to make themselves heard and no ingenious, creative or lateral solutions would ever be found to the problem of getting one’s views across.

But it is true that those with a glut of essential dignity in their nativity seem to fare better in life when compared with those whose nativities are characterised by essential debility. It is profoundly misleading however, to maintain that dignity is in any way better than debility. Dignity is very often a double edged sword. To use an analogy, it is rather like the difference between buying a table and buying a bag of tools and some wood to make a table. The individual whose astrology is characterised by dignity has bought the table. They get to go home, plonk the new item of furniture in the middle of the kitchen and start enjoying the benefits right away. There’s no problem with that of course, and indeed it’s expedient, easy and uncomplicated. The debilitated type however has to get busy. He has to carry all this stuff home, and start to fashion the furniture himself out of the rather more crude raw materials. He might have little experience or skill with making tables too, or with using the tools, and it could even transpire that his table is a disaster: it wobbles or worse, it breaks! Then he has to try again to make a functional table. As you can perhaps see, there are certainly disadvantages to being debilitated, but also, there is the potential of a great benefit too. Now most people, mindful only of creating something functional, will devote the bare minimum of effort to constructing their table, but innate in the necessity to make this item of furniture is the potential to discovering craftsmanship. This person could – if they are determined and focused and committed – discover a means to turn the disadvantage of not being able to buy a “ready-made” table to their ultimate advantage and become a master table maker!

Now it is true – and this analogy bears further extrapolation – that there is no guarantee that the would-be table craftsman might not be able to create a better table than the one that can be bought from the showroom, but even if his home-made table is not more beautiful, sturdier or in any way more desirable than the shop-bought model, the fact is the committed craftsman understands something about table-making that the mere shopper does not. Certainly – and crucially – his table is not better, it may indeed be worse, but his understanding of that table is undoubtedly better.

Thus the individual with Sun in Leo might be much more impressive somehow than his counterpart with Sun in Aquarius, but the chances are, because of that very difference in facility, the Aquarian might well have a better understanding of the mechanics of the solar principle as a result, assuming that he has focused himself upon that process of attaining craftsmanship.

Now in the vast majority of cases, the classical principle bears out. Dignity confers advantage and very often those whose nativities are marked by especial compatibility between planet and sign do usually seem to do “better”. Life simply appears to run more smoothly and benefit is often accrued more easily and it is as simple as that. In the converse situation the home-made tables are turned for the most part, and a measure of struggle seems to enter into the equation.

It is my decided view that debility does not always denote a lost-cause of expression in that arena of life-activity. The individual with Mars in Libra is not doomed to be walked over and ignored, providing they are focused upon the craftsmanship of assertion and standing firm. It will not be easy for them, and it might take many years to attain any great skill with Martian qualities: but every sign contains the seed of its polarity. Libra understands Aries innately, but it is focused on the far end of the spectrum, albeit – and crucially – the focus is maintained within a common spectrum. Libra has more sense of Aries than any other sign in the zodiac, and vice versa. If you have Mars in Libra then you have a more innate grasp of how to assert in an Arien manner than any sign other than Aries itself, but you have to consciously aim for mastery, for craftsmanship. If you simply go with the flow then your natural tendency will be to avoid conflict, to opt for diplomacy and to avoid the fight altogether in an attempt to maintain the ideal of harmony. On the other hand, understanding that harmony for all is best preserved when everyone’s rights are respected – including one’s own – there is a definite logic to learning to stand up for oneself even if in the short-term there is some risk of upset or distress in pursuing this objective.

As an example, consider Isabel Hickey whose astrology evinced an astonishing array of dignified placements: Sun in Leo, Moon in Cancer, Mercury in Virgo, Venus in Libra, Mars in Scorpio, Jupiter in Pisces and Saturn in Aquarius! Her essential dignity score is off the charts! Contrast this with Stephen Arroyo who with Sun in Libra, Venus in Scorpio and Saturn in Leo has much less ease at his disposal. Which of these two was/is the better astrologer? Having read almost everything each of these luminaries in the field has penned there is no question in my view which holds the greatest insight and ability. Arroyo is a bona fide genius whereas Hickey, although marked by the quaint and undemanding astrological zeitgeist of her age, is merely competent. Indeed, Hickey for me is quite typical of the essentially dignified type. She undoubtedly had ability, but somehow it appeared to have propelled her much further than you would have expected were the yardstick for success ability alone. And whilst such considerations might appear – superficially at least – to be churlish, there is no question that it is a principle which so often bears out in my own experience that it simply cannot be ignored.

As far as practicalities are concerned it is undeniable that dignity and debility are significant in the process of interpretation. As a generalisation it is entirely fair to conclude that a nativity characterised by a general condition of dignity will render the life-experience easier because any planet in a compatible sign works more effectively without any requirement for mastery. With Saturn in Capricorn you are simply taken more seriously than the individual with Saturn in Cancer weherein all other factors are equal, but there is a great danger here in making an assumption because you might be dealing with a craftsman who through a long process of struggle has learned the underlying principles of responsibility and gravitas and is able to work with them consciously.

What this does push to the fore though is the realisation that the reversal of debility requires experience and mindfulness and it is therefore unlikely to manifest in youth. In this astrologer’s view it bears comparison to the principle that all aspects are squares: and certainly with age it might become evident that the dignified chart devolves through a lack of necessity to develop inherent mastery (or craftsmanship) while the debilitated native has instead been forced – if they have not been laid low by the struggle of early life – to attain a great skill or facility with their limited starting resources which ultimately catapults them above and beyond the benighted realms promised them by the mechanical accumulation of mere scores.

Peregrination: the Movie.

Among the greatest misconceptions in astrology is the exaltation of rules above principles, because it is all too easy to forget that the rules are derived from observed principles, not the other way around. The astrologer that comprehends the principle that underpins the rule is then able to discard the rule-bound logic of the mind, and enter into a dialogue with the illimitable.

I talk a great deal about peregrination, and I receive emails on that subject telling me that I have misunderstood the rule of peregrination completely, with perhaps some explanatory text concerning Ptolemy and his great treatise. There are of course peregrine degrees in the zodiac but broadly, peregrination is used traditionally to denote a state of essential debility. I use the term essential in its truest sense, to express a profound, integral quality; thus the essential debility of Saturn in Aries is based upon the fact that natives with this placement struggle at a fundamental level to promote self-reliance, independence and courage in their lives, most especially in the affairs of that house where it is placed.

Technically the definition of Peregrine degrees is derived from Lilly:

A Planet is then said to be Peregrine, when he is in the degrees of any Sign wherein he hath no essential dignity, As Saturn in the tenth degree of Aries, that Sign being not his House, Exaltation, or of his Triplicity, or he having in that degree neither Term or Face, he is then said to be Peregrine; had he been in 27, 28, &c. of Aries, he could not be termed Peregrine, because then he is in his own Term. (Lilly, CA, p.112).

Thus peregrination of Saturn at about 9 degrees of Aries is so utterly undignified that it really has no power to express itself. Now here is the nub, because it is not the degree that is important, but the experiential, subjective result of that placement: thus the key observation is not that this or that degree is the purpose of this rule, but that the inability to express that planet’s energy is.

Now if we go back to first principles, if we force a child to wear lead boots (or callipers even) for its entire childhood there is little doubt that the unfortunate is going to struggle. He or she will not be able to run as fast as the other children, he or she will probably be considered slow, ungainly and will thus be less-favoured by their peers and by the world in general. There is every possibility then that this child will at some level develop a deep insecurity about their abilities, and may go throught their entire life feeling like something of a failure and never achieving much.

This is the exact principle behind the rule of planetary debility, but of course in this case the lead boots are actually irrelevant, it is the effect of those lead boots that we should be concerned with. Now imagine that this child rails against their status as the weakling and decides to try and run as fast as the other children despite his or her lead boots, what does this posit? There is a chance (and whilst it may be a small chance it is a chance nonetheless) that the child’s legs will grow strong, far stronger than they would otherwise be, and so they find that one bright morning they can keep up with the other children with their lead boots on! Now we find that this child – as a direct result of this ‘debility’ – has managed to grow comparatively much stronger than those not so debilitated by lead boots.

This then is the principle that underpins the idea of peregrination and it is a very simple and acceptable principle too: through adversity, people grow stronger.

Now, let us broaden that principle, not the rule! Only the principle. If peregrination is nothing more than a pair of lead boots then any other style of lead boot is going to have the exact same effect. It doesn’t actually matter if our lead boots are winkle-pickers or if they are lead-slippers! Thus, if a planet is unaspected, by dint of the difficulty that the native experiences in expressing that energy due to its non-integration with his broader nativity, there will be some requirement to work especially hard with that debility.

Peregrine is derived from a word meaning, outcast, foreigner, it describes a wanderer far from home, a feral power, behind enemy lines that – if it is to survive – must often develop unique and ingenious methods or otherwise continue to suffer the taunts and rejection of their peers for being so hopelessly slow and deficient. It does not matter how that planet is thus peregrinated. It might be by being placed in no sympathetic context through house, exaltation or triplicity, or it might equally be through being unaspected, a singleton, at the apex of a Yod and tee-square at the same time, or any other of a number of peregrinating factors that force the soul within to evolve or be crushed by the burden.

In this way, it is important to see how we must, as astrologers, not simply sit and bemoan all of those lead boots that our clients are forced to wear, but instead we must marvel at the opportunity they have to develop such awesomely powerful legs!

Consider some examples: what do Pamela Anderson and Cat Stevens have in common? They both have Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus in peregrine (traditional, by Lilly). What do the Queen and Tom Hanks share in common? Both Moon and Mercury are peregrine (by lack of aspect). All four of these people have a real debility where their Moon and Mercury placements are concerned, they have lead boots on their emotional, self nurturing and self-expressive faculties. Now consider Tom Hanks and Pamela Anderson; which of these two has developed the “stronger legs” when it comes to matters of emotional expression? Unaspected peregrination is arguably more debilitating than the traditional even, them there lead boots sure is heavy.

(Written by someone who has Su/Mo/Ve/Sa in fall, Sa trad. peregrine, Mo/Me unaspected.)

Help with life’s lead boots can be found here.

Alan Watts, peregrination and the Uranus principle

Alan Watts Nativity

Today I wanted to look at some of the astrological themes of spirituality and religious thought in a specific case; and since I don’t really have any work today I am going to take a glance at the chart of a man, who for me, embodied some of the highest principles in human understanding of cosmic law; the late, truly great Alan Watts. In fact I am going to use his chart to explore some of the key considerations of my work as an astrologer and hopefully demonstrate some of the effects of spiritual and religious configurations in the astrology. Today I am going to talk about peregrination.

It has been said of Alan Watts that he picked up where Joseph Campbell left off, and though I hold Campbell in high regard, there is no question that as a philosopher and commentator upon the human condition, Watts combined the sublime with the practical in a way that nobody before or since has managed. Quite beyond that, I see in him a facsimile for my own grandfather who was born at the same time, also had Sun in Capricorn, had a manner of speech uncannily similar to Watts’ and held many of the same beliefs and interests; this is why (as a purely personal observation) I can be deeply affected just by listening to the sound of Alan Watts’ voice; although having said that I don’t believe that my cognitive bias in this case particularly affects my respect for his profound and sublime genius.

I use that specific word advisedly, because Watts’ chart contains a highly unusual peregrine Uranus. Peregrination comes from the Latin pelegrinus which means something like alien, foreigner and stranger, all placed together, actually, it has a connotation of outcast, separateness and holding oneself apart too, but you get the idea. A peregrine planet is one that is not connected to any other by major aspect (that is technically by Ptolemaic aspect: conjunct, opposite, square, trine or sextile), or at least it has the same effect as peregrination by dignity, which harks back to the original Ptolemaic practise of scoring planets according to their placement by sign and decanate. I have a growing respect for the concept, because I do observe that planets that are peregrine by either dignity or aspect operate in a very similar manner, they are difficult to express and therefore they become an obsessive focal point in the personality. This makes the energy fitful, erratic and very binary. My wife’s grandfather then has a peregrine Mars, in the sign of its traditional rulership Scorpio, and he is renowned (and somewhat beyond the level of familias I assure you) for his astonishing forceful energy and motivation. Now this is a slightly contradictory case of peregrination because his Mars is dignified by placement but made peregrine by lack of Ptolemaic aspect. What this suggests is that it is an unintegrated but very powerful or natural energy. Thus he will either over-express his Martian qualities – like assertion, drive and determination – or he will not express them at all. This is very much in keeping with his essential character; which veers from a rather hopeless form of malaise and listlessness to astonishing periods of upward progress and no-nonsense up and at ‘em bouts of activity that belies his 90 years. So what of my own son then whose unaspected Mars in Cancer is thus doubly peregrine, both by (lack of) aspect and by (lack of) dignity? I should say that he seems to have very little urgency at all, which is not to say that he cannot get things done, but he only has one gear even if he seems happy enough to go at his own pace in all things.

So then, we hopefully understand something about the theory of peregrination which is mildly uncommon by dignity but decidedly quite rare by aspect. To see peregrination both by dignity and aspect is extremely rare and thus far I have only found it in two cases: that of my son and I; and I shall write more on these themes another day.

But in Watts’ case, his Uranus is in the sign of its rulership, thus it is raised up by dignity but made peregrine by lack of aspect. I think this has a rather profound influence since any planet that is peregrine is subjectively felt to be unintegrated and thus the tendency is always to try to heal the rift within and express those qualities inclusively. This, in effect makes Watts’ over-express his Uranus quality, and because it is so naturally domiciled within the sign of Aquarius, he therefore conveys those qualities majestically.

Uranus rules all those qualities of individuation, the need to be unique, to be different, to be raised up above mundane and conventional concerns and thus it has a say in all matters of genius, of originality, of sublime insight. It rules television, radio and the Internet, it rules cutting edge technology and invention in all its forms; in the body it rules the circulation and the lower legs.

No surprise then that Watts, with a peregrine but astonsishingly powerful Uranus in Aquarius in the 2nd house made his money from communicating on televison, radio and audio tape (the cutting edge technology of his day) all concepts of his incredibly insightful mind; actually he made money from communicating his genius, and what better exposition of Uranus in Aquarius in the 2nd and peregrine by aspect could you ask for than that?

Tomorrow I will take a look at some other interesting facets of this fascinating case.