Monday, 16 December 2013
Recently, thanks to a collaboration with the Urania Trust, whose trustees include Christeen Skinner, Lindsay Radermacher, Babs Kirby and Chair, Jonathan Powell, the second edition of the 1970's classic by Harold Wigglesworth, was re-published under the title: 'The New Astrology of Towns & Cities'. (Available through Amazon and Lulu.com). I was privileged enough to edit it, as the book cover makes plain. If you're at all interested in the relationship between astrology and particular places, especially the major towns and cities of England, then this is a great little reference book to gift an astrology friend (or yourself, for that matter!)
As is often the case when it comes to researching written publications, the back story to this publication is an interesting astrological tale in itself.
When we set out to update the book, we knew very little about Harold himself, other than that he was from Clitheroe, a small town in Lancashire, and that he had passed away in the 1980's. By the end of the project, though, which largely took form during Saturn's transit through Scorpio (including that amazing grand trine in July 2013 with Jupiter and Neptune) I must confess to developing a strong awareness of Harold's presence, and for me, the book has come to embody this astrological placing.
Why? Well, for one thing, the sign of Scorpio can be a little spooky, and there were more than a few strange coincidences that occurred during the re-writing and publication process of TNATC. How can one explain, for instance, that Scorpio features strongly in the Urania Trust chart, my chart and as it turns out, Harold's chart too?
A quick look at the UT website will tell you that it was formed at midnight on 9 November 1970 by deed of trust. This gives you a chart with Leo rising (also my AS) and a large stellium of planets in Scorpio, all very close to the IC, two of which are exactly conjunct my Moon in Scorpio. (You can see the chart at: http://www.uraniatrust.org/about-urania-trust.html ). The synastry between myself and the Trust, is pretty clear, then. So, imagine my surprise when it emerged that Scorpio is also prominent in Harold's chart! Unbeknownst to us, Harold was born with Scorpio rising - a fact that neither I nor the trustees was not aware of when we embarked upon the project. It was only when we approached his daughter, Sue, for some biographical information for the dedication page, that this rather remarkable information emerged. (Unfortunately we don't have an exact birth time or I woudl put up a chart here.)What is more, Harold was born in 1914, making 2014 his centenary year - talk about the ideal time to republish his book! Again, something that was not known to us initially.
I have heard authors remark that many of their books seem to take on a life of their own, and this one proved to be no exception. Certainly, to my mind, at least, it began to seem as though some kind of hidden intelligence was working behind the scenes to ensure that the 'reincarnation' of Harold's book took place at this particular juncture in time, when Saturn (the planet of the sage and of old age and death) was in Scorpio (sign of reincarnation, and symbolised by amongst other things, the phoenix.)
And typically, I found myself also personally implicated in what was happening. Given my research interest in dark/midnight sun themes, it didn't escape my notice that there are also some Sun-Saturn-Pluto connections woven into this story.
For one thing, having a Scorpio AS almost certainly means that Harold had Leo on the Midheaven. So, for me and the UT, with our Leo Ascendants, to update and republish his book, bringing it once again to public prominence, seems apt, since, in a synastry chart, both of our AS would appear somewhere in the region of Harold's Midheaven/10th house (even if one of them does fall in the 9th, this is even more fitting, given its associations with publishing).
For another, the UT chart, has a Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio in the 4th house close to the IC (another key theme in my work) while Harold has a Moon-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius, which, if Scorpio is rising, happens to be setting on the western horizon (ie. conjunct the Descendant) of the UT's chart. This puts the UT in a unique I-Thou position of relationship with Harold, one that means honouring his work and ensuring his ongoing association with it, which is what we have tried to do with the dedication page and title credits.
Hopefully he is proud of what we have managed to achieve - from a 30 page pamphlet, it is now a 260 page paperback with a glossy cover, updated/extended chart information (along with many new additions) and a vastly expanded notes section. There are also a selection of chart drawings featuring notable places of historic interest such as Oxford, Norwich, Salisbury and London.
Finally, this project was somewhat delayed due to a number of extenuating factors. However, this meant that much of it came together under the influence of that magnificent major grand trine involving Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. At the time this perfected (around the 18th of July 2013), Saturn was at 4-5 degrees Scorpio, the same degree as the UT's IC and very close to my natal Mercury in Scorpio. The transiting Moon also happened to be in Scorpio at the time...As if this was meant to happen so that the book could benefit from this very auspicious transit.
See what I mean - spooky!
At any rate, the print version is now available at Amazon.com, as well as Lulu.com. An eBook (EPUB) version is also available for iPad and Nooks, as well as those with Adobe Digital Editions readers. We hope to have a Kindle version out soon - perhaps in time for Harold's centenary.
There are also plans to extend the series by 'mapping' the astrology of the towns and cities of Ireland and Scotland, so watch this space!
NOTE: It is with sadness that I have to report that Harold's wife Margaret passed away in November of 2013. I just wanted to wish the Wigglesworth family my sincere sympathy and hope that the republishing of Harold's book will bring them some comfort.