I do Astrology. And I also do Shamanism. They are both in my bones, and they don't feel separate. Shamanism tells us that we belong to the natural world, and that world is alive, it is inspirited. That includes rocks and water. And the sky: that is ...
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Embodying the Sky Spirits

 I do Astrology. And I also do Shamanism. They are both in my bones, and they don't feel separate. Shamanism tells us that we belong to the natural world, and that world is alive, it is inspirited. That includes rocks and water. And the sky: that is where astrology comes in. If you are an astrologer, then your spirits - at least, some of them - are in the sky.

The ancients knew this. The sky spoke to them. Nowadays, we have to make a case for it. The sky spirits tell us stories about ourselves. When we do a reading for someone, we are passing on some of those stories, because we have the gift of listening to the sky. The sky stories about other people also speak to us. There can be sky stories about the world too: that is mundane astrology.

In a way, it is no different to reading a novel or watching a film. They too tell us stories, they may be about other people, but they are also about ourselves, which is why they grip us. The novelists and film directors are also passing on stories from the spirits, but they wouldn't put it like that, not nowadays. Maybe they don't have words for where the stories come from, or maybe they call it the Unconscious. Whatever they call it, it is a special place, a sacred place, even, that creative centre in you from where the stories come unbidden.

As an astrologer, you get a sense of the planets speaking through you. You can't pin it down, and you can't say exactly what came from your head and what came from the planets/spirits. It's not like that. But they are there as presences, one way or another. This is inspiration, which means to breathe in: we are breathing in spirit.

I offer Zoom astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk. My books, Surfing The Galactic Highways and The Medicine Wheel are available for pre-order on Amazon (or by post from me now.)

Astrology easily becomes cerebral, because it is a complex subject. There are ten different planets, 12 Houses, 12 Signs, and a range of aspects between the planets. There are also any number of asteroids and techniques.

Complexity gives us more information, it gives us nuance. But it easily also takes us away from the felt symbolism. The stronger you are feeling the symbolism, the more the sky spirits can speak through you. In a way, you don't need more than the Sun and the Moon. We have such a strong relationship with them, that goes back hundreds of thousands of years. When we tell sky stories, we are also drawing on their collective power that has built up over time, which is a mysterious and wonderful thing. 


 If you call your chart to mind, and picture where the Sun and the Moon were on the sky at the moment you were born, that will tell you something that is both simple and powerful. You may not have words for it, but in a way that doesn't matter. It is the feeling of connection to that powerful god and powerful goddess that matters.

 Everything you need to know about yourself is in that felt sense. That sense of the planets is physical, visceral. This is something we can be shying away from in the retreat into complexity. It is easier to juggle concepts in our head: the felt sense makes demands of us, and maybe we can only take so much of that.

 For myself, this is where Shamanism comes in. Shamanism takes the spirits seriously. It would have no truck with anyone attempting to make astrology 'scientific', as though these magical stories can be reduced to simple, repeatable concepts that validate our art. That is a grotesque idea. It disrespects the spirits. It is hubris.

But even with Shamanism, we are limited by our cultural background, that in the Middle Ages divided Body and Spirit, and then perpetuated that division through the modern scientific split between Body and Mind. The split came about because people used to dance in churches. I kid you not, it seems so unlikely. But that is what they did in the Middle Ages, alongside the priest. (See 'Dancing in the Streets: a History of Collective Joy' by Barbara Ehrenreich.) When you dance, you become inspirited, you feel your own connection to the divine. And if you are trying to control people, as any religion worth the name will attempt to do, you can't have people making their own connection to the divine. So dancing was banned, and the body became the realm of the devil. Or, nowadays, the 'dead' matter that is the vehicle for our consciousness.

Not only did they ban dancing. Astrology too was proscribed as a practice that summoned demons. And of course, they were right. Astrology done properly does indeed summon the spirits, the gods, and they were seen as competition by the church.

Modern Shamanism exhibits the Body-Spirit split through the way contacting the spirits is taught: through lying still while a drum is beaten. It works, I am not dissing it. But Shamans in the far East dance when they go to the spirits: or rather, the spirits dance them.

Any kind of ceremony we can do honouring the sky spirits before we do a reading, or even look at our own chart, will invoke this felt sense of the planets, which is also a sacred feeling. We don't talk about it lightly, and certainly not to those who dismiss astrology.

You can let the planets-as-gods move through you through movement or 'dance' (which isn't quite the correct word). If Pluto moves through you, welcome him, but be also in awe: he doesn't come lightly and is liable to be ruthless, even brutal, in the way he changes your life. But always so that new life can push through.

Pluto and Neptune are the two outermost, and most recently discovered, of the astrological pantheon. One is below ground, ruling the Underworld; the other is the Ocean. They are also, obviously, in the sky. But part of the meaning of their arrival, perhaps, is to take astrology away from an ascensionist model, and into one of immanence, of incarnation, of embodiment, in which Saturn also plays a key part.

I will be co-leading a 5 day event in North Wales from 22-27 June 2022, entitled 'Embodying the Spirits', in which we shall, hopefully be edging out of the old cultural divide between Body and Spirit and into the spirit dream of our bodies. The spirits love to be embodied. It is suitable both for people who work shamanically and astrologers, since we all work with spirits. There are still a few places left

This retreat will combine embodiment journeying, dream sharing, ceremony and walks in Snowdonia.

The venue will be Cae Mabon, a magical and jaw-droppingly beautiful eco-retreat in North Wales: a fairy-tale village hanging on a steep hillside, with stunning views across to Snowdon.

Barry Goddard has been involved with shamanic practices for 25 years, and before that Buddhism for 16 years. He has recently published two books: The Medicine Wheel, and an astrological book, Surfing the Galactic Highways. He lives on Dartmoor.

Emma Edgington lives near London where she teaches shamanic journeying and healing and is the creative director at Knowing Healing Hub.

Prices vary from £299-£369 p/p with the option to camp or book shared accommodation. A 50% deposit is required to assure your booking. Prices include food and accommodation.

For all enquiries and bookings please email Barry at BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk


I’ve just watched the 3-part BBC documentary on the Maxwell family. The final episode is about Robert Maxwell’s daughter Ghislaine. I had not realised just how prolific had been her procuring of young girls for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse and rape, and for how many years it went on. The girls were terrified to do anything apart from what Epstein and Maxwell ordered them to do. Ghislaine behaved in an exceedingly cruel manner, on behalf of her boyfriend, for a long time. She was able to charm young girls from poor areas to come with her, in a way that Epstein would not have been able to. It is hard to imagine that she did not derive pleasure herself from having these girls in her power. And she knew exactly what Epstein was going to do to them. She would give them orders to do exactly what Epstein wanted.

Epstein and Maxwell

I’m going to outline a few salient points from her chart, for which we have an accurate birthtime. I will attempt to explain some of her behaviour, without condoning it.

The first point to note is that she was arrested in July 2020 during her second Saturn Return. She was found guilty in Dec 2021 as Saturn made his final crossing to her MC. Saturn was also conjoining her Jupiter last December, and went on to oppose her Moon and North Node early this year. Saturn has been all over her chart. It has been the main theme. Under Saturn we reap the consequences of our actions. And maybe we learn from them. Saturn can also describe imprisonment.

Click to Enlarge

Ghislaine's natal Sun is in Capricorn (Saturn-ruled) in the 8th House. It is conjunct Mars in Capricorn. The 2 male planets in her chart show her attraction to older men of high status and achievement. They are trine to Uranus and Pluto, and do not make any hard aspects: her relationships with such men are therefore something she naturally slips into.

I offer Zoom astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk My books, Surfing The Galactic Highways and The Medicine Wheel are available for pre-order on Amazon (or by post from me now.)

The first was with her own father Robert. No doubt much will be made of that relationship in future books and films about her, and probably already has been. When he died on 5th Nov 1991, Jupiter had just trined her Sun, and was exactly on her Pluto. Jupiter is associated with death – he is king of the gods, and takes us back to himself – and this timing shows how her Sun-Pluto was connected with her father.

Ghislaine and Robert Maxwell

Ghislaine was her father’s favourite, and he named his yacht after her: the Lady Ghislaine. She lived her life in his orbit, and after his death soon took up with another rich, older man, Epstein, undertaking many of his practical tasks, as she had done for her father. Her shared life (8th House) with a high-status man (Sun in Capricorn.) The Sun often describes the long-term partner in the chart of a woman, with Mars being the type of man she is attracted to.

Her relationship with her father was a quasi-marriage, as it was with her Epstein, where the two only seem to have been sexually involved for a few years. Ghislaine's Sun-Mars was opposite her father's Mars-Pluto, which would have been very hard to stand up to. He was in love with her, needed her, indulged her, and how could she resist? Mars-Pluto made her father a kind of 'Demon Lover', as was Epstein. This is often a phase women go through, while their friends tear their hair out, what the fuck is she doing with that guy?

Ghislaine is a French name, originally from the German, meaning ‘sweet hostage’. I doubt Robert Maxwell knew the etymology of Ghislaine when he named her, but these things have power nonetheless. It is startling. 

This 'hostage' relationship to men is in her chart: her Sun is in the 8th, Pluto’s House. Pluto abducted a young woman, Ceres' daughter Persephone, and forcibly married her. Ghislaine allowed herself to be abducted by both her father and Epstein, never truly developing a life of her own, and was psychologically married to both of them. She in turn became the abductor. Abduction was what she understood. Maybe it was a kind of revenge for her own disempowerment. Her father unknowingly cursed her when he named her Ghislaine. He claimed her for his own.

Ghislaine has Moon square Ceres, suggesting a loss of her own womanhood in her abduction by men. This loss is further suggested by Moon square Neptune (as is the glamour, also Jupiter on the MC.) Her Moon-Neptune-Ceres-Jupiter Grand Cross overlays her father's Jupiter-Neptune-Ceres-Moon Grand Cross. They were that tight. She has never had her own family. When she was found guilty in December 2021, there was a Ceres-North Node conjunction in the sky, highlighting this abduction theme, not just for herself, but more widely for the young women concerned.

She will have many years in prison. Both her progressed Sun and Ascendant have changed signs in recent years. A whole long new phase of her life is beginning. Her Progressed Sun was in Capricorn until shortly before her father died: she was the good girl, living out the script her father had given her. 

Then it moved into Aquarius: she began to break the social rules with Epstein, in an egregious way. There is, interestingly, not much synastry with Epstein's chart (though we don't know his birth time). But his natal Sun is cusp Aquarius/Cap, where Ghislaine's Prog Sun had reached when they met: he  suited the phase she was entering. His Sun also conjoins her natal Saturn, suggesting a father figure for her, and her Saturnian influence on him as his arranger.

In recent years her Prog Sun has recently moved into Pisces: not my will, but thine. Her life will be under the control of others from now on – which, indeed, it always has been, in a sense – and she has lost everything, as can happen to Pisces. She may find some way of dominating others in prison. But she may also be punished by other women prisoners for the way she treated young girls.

Ghislaine now

You never know with people whether reflection and self-consciousness will arise. It is a mysterious thing. Ghislaine is deeply hidden from her own power, and has relied on powerful men. There is some deep psychological/archetypal work she will need to undertake if she is to change. Saturn is presiding over the start of this new phase, as the transits have shown. She will need to begin in a Saturnian way, by acknowledging what she has done, at least privately. She has caused a huge amount of pain, and that can be a very difficult thing to own. But with Prog Sun in Pisces, her old barriers will be coming down. Prison may give her the space from men that she needs to reflect on her actions.



The Saturn-Pluto conjunction of January 2020 took place at 23 Capricorn, a degree away from the Russian Saturn at 24 Capricorn. When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 Feb this year, Mars was at 22 Capricorn. This links that war to the central astrological event of our time.

The chart I am using for Russia is for 12 June 1990 (time approximate), when the Russian parliament declared the sovereignty of the Russian Republic within the USSR (From Nick Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes.).

Note the unaspected Sun and Saturn. The leader, and the structures of authority, are not connected either to each other or to the people. That is quite something. It’s almost an indictment for a country to have a chart like that. By definition the chart reflects the circumstances of the country’s birth, in this case when communism was collapsing and the USSR was breaking up. It was a seizure of sovereignty, led by Boris Yeltsin, without, it seemed, much forethought as to what came next. Russia gradually descended into chaos under Yeltsin.

Born 1 Feb 1931, Yeltsin had the Saturn-Uranus hard aspect that often characterises crisis leaders. Saturn is the status quo, Uranus is its disruption, and the hard aspect offers its resolution under a new paradigm. But that doesn’t mean they are good ‘peacetime’ leaders. Boris Johnson, who has the opposition, is a case in point: he performs well when there is a crisis like Brexit or Covid or the Ukraine war, but outside of that he creates needless trouble for himself. Churchill also had Saturn-Uranus in hard aspect, and the same kind of temperament.

So the lack of structure, combined with Yeltsin’s temperament, left a hole for an authoritarian leader to step in – which is what Russia is used to anyway, from the Tsars onwards. It was a return to type.

Saturn in Capricorn in the 4th House shows a desire for the traditional (Capricorn) homeland (4th House), which includes a number of its bordering countries, including Ukraine. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2020 (which was also the modern Russia’s 1st Saturn Return) activated this unaspected Saturn in a big way. The invasion of Ukraine has probably been brewing since that time, and then catalysed when Mars hit that point.


I offer skype/FB video/zoom astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk My book, Surfing The Galactic Highways, is available for pre-order on Amazon (or by post from me now.)

We do not have a birth time for Putin (7th Oct 1952), but this year Neptune will be within a degree of squaring his foreign-adventuring Mars at 26 Sagittarius. That is not a good time for him to start a war. It might be a good time for psychonautic adventures, Neptune likes that. But in this world, Neptune is liable to swamp you down. Just as happened to the US when it invaded Iraq in the run-up to a Saturn-Neptune opposition, and found itself bogged down in the succeeding years.

Russia itself has Neptune hard-aspecting its Angles this year and next (the chart is approximate, but it is probably not far off.) So while Putin will be personally floundering through the amount he has staked on his Mars, Russia herself will be floundering. This could go on for some years, because Putin will not be easy to depose. In 4 years, however, Pluto will conjoin the Russian Moon (the people) in the revolutionary sign of Aquarius. Watch this space!

It is interesting that the EU has the same Angles, a few degrees on, as Russia, so the EU is about to undergo the Neptune transit that Russia is currently undergoing. It ties together the destiny of these two superpowers (one military, the other economic.)

The EU has had a foretaste of its own Neptune maddening (Pluto abducts and dismembers; Neptune maddens and drowns) via Brexit, this event that made no sense to many people. It seemed mad at the time, but astrologically it foreshadows, or has catalysed, a wider unravelling, and possibly an eventual coming together in a new way, within the EU. The old paradigm, symbolised by Jacques Delors and his heady drive towards European integration, is already dying. Europe has lost its Mojo, but nothing has yet come in to replace it.

Whatever does replace it will be partly shaped by what is happening now. Provoked by Russia and its invasion of Ukraine, Europe and NATO are coming together as they haven’t for a long time. Pluto will begin to hard aspect the fixed Angles of NATO in a couple of years, suggesting perhaps a re-empowerment in the face of renewed Russian aggression.

The Angles in a personal chart are our main points of connection to life, they ground the cosmic drama of the planets in their signs. And the same with a country. So when Pluto or Neptune, the big transformers, hard aspect all the Angles within a short time, you get a profound change in many aspects of the life of the person or the country. And we will see this with Russia, the EU and NATO in the coming years. What is happening now with Ukraine, and Brexit before that, are just the start.

But back to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, the emerging significance of which is the main theme of this article. The last time this conjunction occurred in Capricorn was in 1518, 3 months after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door in Wittenberg and began the Protestant Revolution, which challenged the pan-European power of the day, the Catholic Church. In this sign of Capricorn and under this conjunction, governing structures either gain in power, or lose power, in a major way.

The Ukraine War Mars and its connection to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction tells us that it is a very significant war, that will play a large part in reshaping the governing structures, and balances of power, across Europe and into Russia.

A month in, and it is clear the war is not going Russia’s way in the way she wanted it to. Russia may yet prevail, but she is getting bogged down (Neptune on her Angles), and has become a pariah state in the process. Her international standing has plummeted. The war was intended to be a display of Russian power, but it has had the opposite result. She may gain a bit of territory in the process, but the cost will be huge.

So we are seeing a diminished Russia, and an enhanced USA/Europe as part of the Saturn-Pluto power restructuring. It is NATO, rather than the EU, that is the unifying body, bridging as it does the USA, the EU, the UK and other European countries, including three that were formerly within the USSR.

I don’t think Russia can survive in its present form, due to the strength of its transits: Neptune has just finished squaring the Sun (the leader, who has just made a bad move), then on to the Angles, then Pluto conjunct Moon.

We could maybe say that the Saturn-Pluto conjunction will come to be seen as the end of the second Cold War that has come about between Russia and the West, with Russia the loser again. The Saturn Return, which she had in 2019/20, is a time to ‘grow-up’, in this case as a nation. A time to grow up from being a gangster state with almost arbitrary rule, trying to steal power by encroaching on its neighbours, to one that is governed by law and prepared to earn, rather than attempting to steal, its power in the world.

It is easy to forget that we live in a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity. We forget this because it is not news. Neither peace nor prosperity are news, whereas localised wars and poverty are news. This is the context in which we need to see the Ukraine War. It is merely local, albeit of huge political significance.

The fact of this prolonged peace on a world scale says to me that we are getting something right. As does the prosperity. There are considerable grounds for optimism about the future of humanity, climate alarmists and the XR death-cult notwithstanding. Peace can only come about when countries co-operate. We have been co-operating to a sufficient degree for a long time now to prevent major wars. The Ukraine crisis is seeing a heightened co-operation by most of the major powers, and a diminution of the power that does not want peace, Russia.

So what I am saying is that the international power restructuring that is Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn may well be towards increased peace and co-operation.

The pandemic preceding the Ukraine War, which began almost with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, was also an international, indeed a worldwide, event. It was felt to be a world problem, and was dealt with in similar ways across the globe. Our interconnectedness was palpable, as new variants of the virus started in one country and spread rapidly across the world. Within a sort time, vaccines were available to most of humanity, again an international effort.

So you could say that Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn has been creating another level of globalisation, just as Pluto (wealth) in Sagittarius (foreign parts) described the economic globalisation that gathered pace in that period, in which our economic fortunes became ever more closely tied together.

Russia’s behaviour is showing the West what it is not prepared to tolerate. We have been ruthless in imposing economic sanctions to a level never seen before, paralysing Russia’s economy (as disruptor Uranus crosses and disempowers her 8thHouse Venus, ruler of her 2nd House of wealth, and opposite 2ndHouse Pluto.) Russia may have to default, she is being brought economically to her knees. Yet she is militarily a superpower.

Putin can only remain in power while there is sufficient collective will for him to do so. Leaders inevitably reflect the desires of a large section of the population. But national pride can only take you so far. The people also need food on their plates, and they hunger for the standard of living seen in their near neighbours. It was bankruptcy that brought down the communist Russian empire, it may be the same for the gangster state that is modern Russia. It may be a slow Neptunian collapse, but there is nevertheless a new world order when a superpower collapses.

Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn then, may signify the new world order brought about by the slow collapse of Russia, along with the closer international political and humanitarian ties that Russia’s war and Covid respectively are engendering.

And – not mentioned so far – the reining in of the multinationals, who gained enormously in power during the Pluto in Sag economic globalisation, such that they became in many ways answerable to no country, and often paid little or no tax. That has begun to change under the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn: the bringing of proper governmental oversight to the wild west of the big tech industries. That process too has been its own globalisation, as many countries signed up to an agreement forcing the corporations to pay 15% tax. Yeah, only 15%. But it is a significant start.

Inequality soared as Pluto entered Capricorn under the 2009 economic crisis. Inequality soared again under the Covid economic crisis. Capricorn is a sign of hierarchy, and this has so far been an unfortunate outcome (bringing in a non-astrological value judgement) of Pluto’s transit through this sign. Admittedly, much of the increase in wealth is just on paper, it is asset inflation brought about by quantitative easing: house prices have gone up, and if you have a large house in London, your wealth will have gone up by what seems a lot. But you still own just one large house, which you live in. However, there remain real issues.

Hierarchy is inevitable, as realistic Capricorn, which values competence, recognises. But too much creates civil unrest. Humans do not like unfairness, and will not tolerate it beyond a certain point, even if they have enough food on the table. Whether our Saturn-Pluto era will see an addressing of this issue, or a hardening of it, remains to be seen.



We are living under the influence of the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction. One of the characteristics of these two planets in aspect is the projection of the shadow, our own unacknowledged malevolence. In 2001, under the opposition, 9/11 created the perfect opportunity for the creation of a new category of enemy, the 'terrorist', who mindlessly created destruction, just for its own sake. And justified the taking over of a whole country - Afghanistan - in pursuit of just one man, Osama bin Laden. Britain stood staunchly alongside this US invasion.

I offer skype/FB video/zoom astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk My book, Surfing The Galactic Highways, is available for pre-order on Amazon (or by post from me now.)

But this isn't just about 'them', the governments and the crazy things they sometimes do. We do it as well. It often seems to me that many people's political attitudes, or attitudes to the vaccine, are based on the assumption that those in power mean us harm. I think this is by and large a projection of our own unacknowledged malevolence. Yes, we all have that; if we'd have been in Nazi Germany, it is much more likely that we'd have been a concentration camp guard, and taking pleasure in it, than a hero saving the inmates. So own that malevolence, it is all to the good.

The projection has become quite extreme lately, all good Saturn-Pluto stuff. The UK government is doing its damnedest, by its own lights, to protect us from Covid. Yet there are so many people thinking that the vaccine is really harming and killing thousands of people, and the government is covering it up. It is a straightforward projection of malevolence, because it bears no relation to reality. But it seems very real if you are caught inside it. It is illusion, it goes deep, and is not amenable to evidence or persuasion. This is part of what Saturn-Pluto can show us.
I think this projection is particularly prevalent in the 'counter-culture' because hey, aren't we the nice guys, the conscious guys? 🤣


The Prime Minister has Sun conjunct Venus. With Libra Rising, Venus is also his chart ruler. How appropriate that the No 10 lockdown parties are headlines again, as Venus retrogrades, a time for addressing Venus issues. I expect part of it was that he couldn't bear the opprobrium of not giving his employees what they wanted. That is the weakness of Venus. The need to be liked. 



I offer skype/FB video/zoom astrology readings, by donation. Contact: BWGoddard1 (at)aol.co.uk My book, Surfing The Galactic Highways, is available for pre-order on Amazon (or by post from me now.)
This PM will go down with a whimper, not a bang: it will be low-level stuff, because he couldn't help himself. It's a pity, because his 9th House emphasis gives a lot of ability to lead and to convey optimism. It's his Grand Trine, and his Saturn in Pisces too, that show how he undermines himself. It's a moral failing, and it is unnecessary. The 9th House is ethics. Maybe he will learn something. Or maybe not. You can never tell. That bit isn't in astrology charts.

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