It’s all about change

How to adjust and cope with change? It’s always been an intrinsic part of life but in recent years, the circumstances of life have become a BOLD challenge to the most resilient of us. Astrology is an ancient system of tracking cycles of evolution for us as individuals, as well as society and the systems that we rely upon to give us a sense of order and grounding. Learning the language of the stars enables us to understand and align ourselves more fully with the universal nudges, enabling us to ride the tides and make the most of the possibilities.

We Are Stardust, an Introduction to Astrology, is an online course. This six week series focuses on the building blocks of astrology leading to a basic understanding of how this ancient system accurately reflects how we express ourselves as individuals in our relationships, work and life. The planets move in a measured rhythm, lending coherence to our unfolding story, the study of astrology enables us to find our place in the story.

Each week we will cover the elements of astrology including the planets, signs, houses and aspects.

Each class is 2.5 hours and follows on from the previous one, building your knowledge step by step. The course includes a copy of your birth chart as well as notes and recordings of the sessions. £175

There is an early bird offer of £150 until October 4, 2021.

Marlow Purves, BA LCH MARH: Healer, Homoeopath & Astrologer

I have been studying and practicing Homoeopathy and Astrology for over 30 years, during which time I’ve incorporated many different tools into my practice; counselling, vibrational essences, guided meditation and healing journeys.
I gained a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and English Literature (1985), a Licentiate of College of Homoeopathy (1990), and am a Member of the Alliance of Registered Homoeopaths and the Guild of Homoeopaths (2001). In addition to private practice, I offer workshops in Homoeopathy and in Astrology. My personal experience as a patient of Martin Miles in the 1980’s not only changed my life but inspired me to undertake study and consequently practice myself. During that time, I also had the good fortune to meet Margaret Koolman, a wise and insightful Astrologer, who likewise inspired me to venture further…
In the last 30 years I have traveled and lived between Canada and the UK where I have raised my family (now grown), practiced and taught both Homoeopathy and Astrology. Presenting seminars in homoeopathy for Midwives, Hospice Workers and lay people, I have endeavoured to encourage and equip people to manage their acute health concerns safely and effectively. In 2017, I began to explore Family Constellations and have been enjoying collaborating with Family Constellations Practitioner, Elaine Harris, to offer workshops combining the healing power of homoeopathy within the system of Family constellations. Passionate about my work with people, I am endlessly inspired by their journeys and courage in the face of life’s challenges. It is my privilege to share this work.

I am currently practicing in Cambridge, UK and available for consultation in person or by Skype/Zoom Telephone: 07528-188901

Are you a Cusp Kid?

No, it has nothing to do with teeth!

Those of us who were born ‘on the cusp’, in astrological jargon, were born on or about the 20/21/22 of the calendar month. Most tabloid astrologers will suggest particular dates as the definition of an astrological sign, and this can be confusing as they are not fixed.

These dates mark a transition from one sign to another. I’m one of those kids… and for the first 16 years of my life I ‘identified’ as a Gemini. I recognized my nature as being perennially curious, changeable, alternately sociable and reclusive, nothing seemed more compelling than the promise of good conversation or a new idea.

At 16, I met an astrologer who offered to ‘read my chart’…ushering in a whole new perspective.

As it transpired, after using my precise time of birth, it was determined that I was, NOT, in fact, a Gemini but a Taurus on the cusp… A verrrrry end of, squeaking-over-the-edge but irrefutably, Taurus. After I broke the news to my mother, who had always assured me that I was *such a Gemini*, I began to ‘try on’ my new persona, to test the waters.

So I found myself stepping into a whole different territory, exploring what it might mean if I am a Taurus after all. Fast forward thirty-some years and my fascination with astrology only grows and invites me to look twice.

I now can recognise and revel in my slowness, my love of all things green and earthy, my practical, sensuous self.

So… how DO you know whether you are one sign or the next? The zodiac is not precisely synchronised with our Gregorian calendar. Once every four years (Leap year) we have inserted an extra day in order to rectify the measure of the earth’s journey around the sun. The Equinoxes, days of equal daylight and night, mark the beginning of Spring and of Autumn (and occur at 0 degrees Aries and 0 degrees Libra)and the Solstices, (days of longest or least light, 0 degrees Cancer and 0 degrees Capricorn) occur at the 20/21/22nd of the month. This has a subtle but distinct knock-on effect for each of the zodiacal signs. The zodiac is a two dimensional representation of the planets movements around the sun, from our perspective on earth.

Each of the signs is allocated 30 degrees, 1/12 of the 360 degree circle. So, when we are determining the cusps or beginnng and ends of signs, we are superimposing a hypothetical (30degree) model on a movable (time) feast!

Now, what does it mean to be born at the very end of one sign or the very beginning of another? From an astrological perspective, these are sometimes referred to as the critical degrees of a sign. Critical in that they hold a certain weight or gravitas. Those of us born with the Sun in the final degree of a sign are said to be at a point of fullness, ripeness and potential mastery of that particular sign’s expression.

In my mind’s eye, I imagine the sun as a traveller and as it makes it’s way through the constellation of a certain sign, it gathers up the experience, both shadow and light of that particular sign’s ‘style’ of expression. The Sun, represents the quality of integration and when it’s placed in a certain sign, it becomes the lens through which the Spirit is expressed.

As the movement of the planets is inexorable, it makes sense that the ‘steps’ it takes as it moves from the 29th degree of one sign to the first degree of the next is a bit like stepping across a threshold. This threshold between signs marks the boundary between very different energies, inviting us into a totally different room.

At the very end of a sign, we have said that there is a certain sense of mastery of the quality and the element of the sign. At the beginning of the next sign, there is a sense of innocence and naivete – a freshness to the new territory. Awkwardness and a sense of the un-skilled infuses this placement, this is balanced with enthusiasm and willingness to engage with the new elemental energies.

A common experience for those born on the cusp of a sign is a bit like having a foot in each world. The terminal degrees lend themselves to a sense of closing down or perhaps a hankering for something unknown, utterly different. For those at the beginning of the sign, a bit of discomfort, sense of not knowing or understanding how the ‘system’ works from this new vantage point.

Astrology is a complex art and as such never really relies on only one key element to tell the whole story. As with all life, we are multi-coloured and multi-faceted with shadings to temper the absolutes of symbolic systems.

One of the most marked tempering elements of the chart is represented by the Ascendent or Rising Sign. If, for example, the Rising sign of a person who was born on the cusp of Taurus/Gemini is Taurus, they would be far more likely to strongly identify with their recognizably Taurean, earthy characteristics. If the Rising sign falls in Gemini, the individual may identify, on first glance with more of the changeablity of the airy Twins…

The time we are born is one of the important details that an astrologer will ask you. It is with this information combined with the place and date of your birth that the correct calculation will reveal the Ascendent or Rising sign.

For those of us who are born on the ‘cusp’ of a sign this is a critical factor in understanding the nature of your astrological profile.

Curious? Get in touch for a reading and expand your understanding and maybe change your mind!

Winter Solstice – Birth of The New Consciousness

Winter Solstice 2019: When Is the First Day of Winter? |

Many astrologers have been waiting for this moment for decades. It is the crowning of a most challenging and transitional time over these past months. Old structures, institutions and ways of being have had to change, fall away, decay and transform. They have outlived their usefulness and the advent of a virus has proved to be a necessary catalyst in our collective transformation. There is an important conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn at 0 degrees Aquarius on Dec 21st. It also coincides with the sun entering Capricorn, which marks the Winter Solstice, the tipping point into a new cycle as the sun pauses at its lowest point (in the Northern hemisphere) before ascending in the sky towards its fulfillment at the Summer Solstice.

Jupiter and Saturn are planets that are known as the Cosmic Regulators, they are social planets that indicate, by virtue of their duration of their orbits around the Sun, forces which symbolically represent the movement between an in-breath and an out-breath.  Saturn is known for contraction, boundaries, rules, karma, consequences and the laws of the material world. It is earthy in nature. Jupiter is almost opposite in principle as it represents expansion, development, exaggeration, growth and benevolence. It is watery in nature.

As these two Titans come together at the beginning of Aquarius, they represent a significant changing of the guard, a foray into a different form of regulation, the long lauded New Order.

Typically, Capricorn, the sign that they have been inhabiting for the past number of years is well represented by the Patriarchy. It is the ‘Old Guard’, top-down authority with more than a touch of paternalism. For example, the exchange that might be understood in terms of Capricorn authority is: I will tell you what to do, how to think, how to behave… IF you follow my instructions and obey, I will extend my protection.

Aquarius is a game changer and, as with each of the successive signs of the zodiac, represents an entirely new type of expression.  Aquarius is an Air sign, it is all about the new, innovation, revolution, quirkiness, the individual, the one-off. If Capricorn is top-down authority, Aquarius is personified by internalized, individual authority. This is NOT to be confused with Chaos and getting for self, but rather an internalized sense of responsibility and authority. This authority is based on the individual, as one of many individuals, NOT a hierarchical ‘power over’ structure such as Capricorn, but a ‘power with’ expression.

Long heralded as the dawn of the New Age, Aquarius is a sign associated with universal brotherhood, peace and veneration of the individual as part of a whole multi-faceted One. Aquarius is one of the signs on The Cross of Love, and in this sense it is the love for humanity and all creation rather than the love of a particular person or thing. This Winter Solstice  (dawn of the new cycle of increasing Light, in the Northern hemisphere) is a potent turning point and marks the sowing of the seeds of this burgeoning Consciousness.

We will collectively be entering a new phase of our evolution, one that may require us to take a stand for our principles, while acknowledging and respecting the rights of others to stand for their principles. We are going to be experimenting with ‘Live and Let Live’. There is a saying that resonates with many and has been used as a guide for conduct in magickal circles. And It Harm None, Do As You Will. The responsibility of our actions lies with each of us, and has implications for the way we might evolve. Quantum Physics is able to verify the interconnectedness of all life, and so too… each of our decisions and actions have consequences for the whole. No longer will we be able to blindly follow the rules and point the finger of blame at others. It is time for us to awaken to our own authority and to stand in that as we assume responsibility for our creations. We are united in our humanity and unique in the expression of All that Is.

These are truly exciting and important times to be alive.

Blessings for the Solstice and Christmas Season.

We Are Stardust – Introduction to Astrology

The benefits of Covid… FINALLY learning how to offer classes online!

To that end, I will be offering We Are StardustIntroduction to Astrology as a six-week introduction to the planets, signs, houses, aspects and Nodes.

In addition to learning about the building blocks of astrological language, you will be encouraged to use your own chart as an anchor for your learning. Explore the ancient archetypes through your own felt experience, bring the wisdom of the stars to life.

Ever wondered what it MEANS when someone asks you what your ‘Sign’ is?!

Join me for an Introduction to Astrology and learn the basics of an ancient art. Learn about the planets and signs and discover what they mean to you. This is a beginners class and will focus on the building blocks of astrology leading to an understanding of how this ancient system accurately reflects how we express ourselves as individuals in our relationships, work and life.

In addition to learning about the building blocks of astrological language, you will be encouraged to use your own chart as an anchor for your learning. Explore the ancient archetypes through your own felt experience, bring the wisdom of the stars to life!

Marlow has studied Astrology for over 30 years and uses it as a touchstone and reference point in her work as a therapist and healer.

Sessions will be approximately 2hrs – 2.5hrs and follows on from the previous one, building your knowledge step by step.

Each participant will be provided with a copy of their own chart for reference (and practice!) No previous experience is required. The class will include opportunities for discussion, reflection and practice.

Start date: Thursday, October, 1. 7-9pm (UK) and five weeks following.

Cost £175

To register please contact:

Yielding To Harvest

It’s Lammas today. Lammas is old English for Loaf-Mass.

Today marks a day in the year when I am called to pause. The pause in this moment is like no other before it, nor like any of those to come… It is a yielding time. Time to yield to the demands of the moment, to hear the invitation and ALLOW what is to exert its influence on me.

Where I grew up, on the prairies, ‘the grain belt’ of Canada, there is a particular fondness for this time of year. My father was a ‘grain man’ and as such I have a strong felt-sense of the rise and fall of the fields in their cycle. It is affectionately known as August Long. The first weekend of August is a designated Bank Holiday and as the Dog Days of Summer are unofficially welcomed, we to get together with friends and family, to play, to eat good food, to share, laugh and reconnect. It is a time of thanksgiving.

Lammas is the first of the three harvest festivals in the year and marks the time that we harvest the grain from the fields. It’s an opportunity to rest after toil, to celebrate and to reconnect. It is also, somewhat less comfortably, a time of sacrifice. Sacrifice gets a lot of bad press, as though it is to be avoided, that somehow it diminishes us. We’re happy to identify with what it is to be the harvester, to enjoy growth and the bounty but less so, to understand what has been yielded and what it is to yield. It’s a potent word yield; we yield, surrender and there is a yield, a crop or harvest.

Our culture has been one of inbred and growing separation, somehow elevating ourselves, humans, above the natural world… apart from. This year feels acutely different to me; emerging from an unprecedented ‘course correction’ through lockdown, rapidly growing awareness of the critical state of our environment and humanity’s part in that, as well as our vulnerability in the face of change, is giving rise to an awareness in a deeper sense of how truly imperiled we are. As I write this, I have a feeling that this is not just about our relationship to the environment but by virtue of our sense of being ‘apart from’ our environment, apart from ourselves and, by extension, apart from Spirit. The celebrations at the turn of the wheel are a regular invitation to re-member that we are One. We have been given to believe that ‘the virus’ is apart from us and that we can be kept separate; and by extension, ‘safe’ and unchanged. The emergence of BLM has underlined just how pernicious our sense of division and separateness has become and how it is erupting with violence and fear in our communities.

Yield is not a STOP sign. It’s a call to ‘give way’, it is not an order, but a call, a request. It depends on our volition, rather than our obedience. We need to be willing; to choose to give way, to soften and to yield. What we often lose sight of is that in order to give birth to something new, to life, there is sacrifice, there is a yielding that surpasses whatever we have known til now. There is also fear, we cannot know for certain what will grow and bear fruit. It is an action that requires an enormous act of courage in the face of uncertainty, a leap of faith. It is a decision that we make, a choice.

In the course of this sacrifice, something is lost. The grain is reaped, there will be no more growth, it will, in effect, die… and so oddly, there is intermingled with the celebration of the harvest, also grief, an acknowledgement of what has been, what is passing away. A line has been drawn under all of the promise that the crop held. The decision has been made to reap what is, and in so doing relinquish what might have been. This is easily glossed over in the face of the abundance that we enjoy, but we do so at our peril, because a part of our dream is lost and unacknowledged, a part of our past self, released.

It is paradoxical that it is in celebration of a time of shearing away, harvesting and reaping… separation from the old story and the dream of what might have been, that we are invited into connection. We can find that connection by way of feasting on and digesting the harvest.

There is much GOOD that is evident. Emerging from lockdown and the strangeness of these times, makes me aware of how richly served I am in my life, in so many ways. It’s time now, to really drink deeply of the gifts of the harvest, some earned, others freely offered. We are reminded that we are part of life, not apart from it. Sharing food, sharing a laugh or a sadness is evidence of our connection to it all.

A quintessential feature of this time is the process of reaping the harvest; sorting the wheat from the chaff and choosing what we want to ingest (digest!) and what is unpalatable, we are minded to set aside some of that seed. To choose wisely, we will look to the most robust seed because it carries the promise of another cycle, another harvest and most importantly, it carries Hope. The hope is unidentified specifically, it is a Mystery… there is a sense that the seed will carry with it the nourishment of the next season; we don’t know what that season will entail, we can’t know the specifics. There is risk and there is hope. Hope carries with it ALL things. This hope is also evidence of the unerring course of life, eternal and unending through the process of growth and decay, sowing and reaping.

I have been walking lately, and came across the most glorious conker. The Chesnut trees are abundantly laden this year and I was struck by how much this bizarre, alien-looking thing so closely resembles the images of a virus that we have been bombarded with over the past months. The virus as enemy, as ‘Other’, as threat… something to be avoided at all costs. We have been ‘ordered’, ‘advised’ to avoid IT at all costs; our education, our communities, our families, the economy. We have sacrificed and yielded to this advice, and many have succumbed to illness; have ended their possibility of growth in this life. There is grief.

I cannot help but look at this conker, which I know, from my experience, carries within it a whole new tree, as yet unrealized. As I touch into the mystery of that miracle I cannot help but reflect on the possibility that this virus may well also be a seed of sorts… not something apart, what has gone before that can be controlled or eradicated or in fact suppressed, but the fruit of what has gone before AND it contains the promise of a new life, as yet unrevealed.

We have chosen, in many senses to ‘shield’ ourselves from the inevitability of Life. We have donned masks and gloves, sanitized, barricaded ourselves in an effort to hold back the ‘virus’, an emissary of change. We have become so disconnected from life (and therefore death) that we fool ourselves into thinking that we can be apart from it. Evidence of our desire to divide ourselves into factions of ‘clean’ and ‘infected’, Black and White, caring and selfish, masked and unmasked is a reflection of our disconnect from Life itself. Just as a virus is a natural life phenomena, we are also a part of that same phenomena. The notion that we can ‘control’ the virus is therefore not only foolish, but it is perilous, as it speaks to a Hubris that belies the depth of our disconnect from ourselves, one another, the planet and all of life.

If we can undertake the invitation to sacrifice willingly, the Harvest is assured. It is not done lightly but carries with it the promise of Hope.

Happy August Long…. Blessed Lammas.

** Special Thanks to Duncan Brooks for his photograph **