A power point in time is an hour, day or period from a week to a few years when there is a clearly special energy-weather condition going on. Astrologically, it can be identified by looking at various synchronous factors such as aspects, ingresses, stations or multiple configurations – and so far we have been building up a picture of the constituent bits which make up an understanding of these.
This chapter is a key chapter in this book. Examples come from the time when this book was written, yet they illustrate principles that still hold true today and usefully they provide examples which can be examined in full hindsight and perspective.
Time is elastic and a-rational in its unfolding, and temporal power points are time-locations when energy is available for bigger-than-normal changes, developments, re-alignments, releases, energy-raisings and breakthroughs.
The greatest power points in time are those which occur when we are able to go beyond normality into an otherness, a causal potentiation where significant life-tracks are laid down and patterns are set. Time power points come only now and then, but when they do come, they are very much worth making use of – and frequently, if we don't make use of them, they can make use of us!
Back to the roots
One of the more important jobs of the earliest astronomer-astrologers was to identify power points in time in advance, and also to know what to do with them when they came. People then utilised religion and ceremony as an integral part of their practical lives, and the inner and outer life was one. Ceremonies, often performed for the most sensible of reasons, would take place at power points, at both places and times where it was possible to access deeper levels of existence-consciousness-bliss and the causal threads behind creation.
Astrologers then were also natural philosopher-shamans who proactively participated in the fortunes and evolution of the tribe and nation, not just proffering counsel and advice: their innerwork, with and for the tribe or nation, set out to access subtle spheres of consciousness where it was possible to work within the group psyche, the morphogenetic fields of our home planet and locality, the logos of nature, and the soul of the deities. This they would do only at times and places which were auspicious, safe and potentially productive: power points.
A deity is an identification and energy-personification of a certain kind of subtle or natural energy. Healthy religions inherently incorporate the notion that deities are imaginal forms which can give us access to an experience of these energies (or in some cases, to beyond-energies or consciousnesses). This doesn't at all deny deities their existence, awe or power: but it makes them more contactable and workable with. In astrology, we are lending symbols to energy-wavelengths, in order to identify these wavelengths and perceive their relations with each other – in a sense, deifying them, though perhaps somewhat matter-of-factly.
Thus we can simply mention Mercury, or Mercury in Capricorn in sextile to Venus in Pisces, and anyone who understands the symbol-language, astrologese, will get a 'fix' on what we are seeking to convey. Similarly, a Viking would say that Odin was having a fight with Tiw, or a Tibetan would say that Tara was born of the tears of Chenrezig (when he saw that the Wheel of Life yet again was filled with suffering sentient beings). If we had no symbolic identifications such as these, we would find difficulty tuning in to specific energy-spectra and their contributing sources.
Our depth-consciousness, both unconscious (the deep dark) and superconscious (the realms of light), recognises subtle forms through symbol. Every night, when we dream, we cook up symbols and dreamtime-scenarios which are not only visual-mental but also feelingful-tangible (in the dream state), or they even move into the physical world (in movement and speech during sleep). In transpersonal imaging sessions, people who are new both to imaging (conscious dreaming or guided fantasy) and astrology, when asked to call up within them an image of Mars or Saturn, can come up with images which are surprisingly universal – yet with personalised quirks – without any prompting, suggestion or advance knowledge. Some symbols therefore are universal, lying there in the group psyche, waiting to be accessed, and others are personal, revolving within our own psyche. In deeper levels the dividing line, if any, between own and group psyches is very hazy.
Many of us nowadays have come to the conclusion that the only really effective way to get through life is to transform our way of living it, to make it more meaningful, happy, effective, peaceful and trouble-free by uncovering our spirit and our truer selves. There are all sorts of ways of changing ourselves that are available now, but all of them move in a similar vein: they put us in touch with what is going on inside us, so that we can come to know who we are, how we tick and how we fit into the grand design.
The funny thing about awareness is that our contact with it comes and goes and takes on different qualities and facets, but for each of us there are particular times when we make significant breakthroughs in awareness, and we experience ourselves to be fundamentally changed by them. These can be crunches and confrontations or enlightenments or simply relaxations, but what characterises them particularly is that they have a quality of timelessness to them.
When we experience timelessness, clocks can tick away, but we are working on a different level from clock-level, time-bound consciousness: a few minutes can go by and seem like hours, or a day can go by seeming only moments long. This is time-stretching, something which is a natural consequence of consciousness expansion. Twenty minutes of meditation can have the same effect as several hours' rest or days or weeks of mental-emotional spadework, and judicious mind-altering drug use can also radically change our time-perception.
When time stretches subjectively, an opportunity is presented to us since, at such moments, we are able to reprogram our beings, to resolve knotty wind-ups, to heal ourselves or to create miracles which we never thought possible. Deeper levels of consciousness are not geared into the same biological/planetary clocks and timetables as our bodies and daily-life waking minds work to. Yet a lot can take place for us in an hour or even a micro-second, which can affect the rest of our lives fundamentally. Birth is one example – and death another! – but occasional significant life-events can themselves completely change things too.
If we learn to identify these access-points to deeper consciousness, or to recognise them when they arise, we can utilise them. Otherwise, they can use us! Just as it is valuable to catch a talk, a group, an orchestra or a performance when it comes to your area, so is it very valuable to catch power points in time when they come – these are times when stretchings and inner changes are available. By catching I mean being aware of them, and making ourselves available to their energy-benefits: we don't have to do anything in particular.
It can help greatly to visit the seaside on a fullmoon or to sit quietly under an oak tree as Jupiter turns retrograde, for then we will be able to allow the universal flow to work more effectively, prompting us transformatively. If you are driving a car or doing the shopping, it is still possible to tune into them, but funny things can happen, and tuning in to subtle energies can be out-of-context or even at times dangerous: we need to be a little less distracted, less mental, less self-preoccupied and a little more receptive and open than usual.
More than just ancient remains
We all do little ceremonies to add significance to our lives, even if it concerns the way we pour the coffee or conduct our early-morning routine. Modern rituals are such things as the handshake or the graceful wielding of a credit card. We can use ceremony more deliberately to raise our awareness. I greatly benefit from visiting ancient sites around the country – power points in space – putting myself into a receptive mode, and ceremoniously or inwardly acting out a dialogue with the place, with Great Spirit, or with my inner self.
The characteristic quality of a power point in space is that we find, when we leave, that we have moved into a significantly different, more positive, clear and relaxed state than when we came – we have changed level – and not all places have the capacity to affect us in this way. Dowsers say that the presence of underground water domes (blind springs) and of intersections of sub-surface water-fissures create the kind of energy-fields which make for a power place. The ancients sought out these powerful places, and built temples on them, erected stones or mounds, and did esoteric work to enhance them, out of a recognition of their value in getting us in touch with root and core questions, pure energies and spaces of mind and heart which are beyond the normal. Power points were places of ceremony, uplift and atmosphere, where inner work took on a different dimension of effectiveness. People would gather there periodically to join together in shared inner experience.
When I arrive at a power place, I deliberately arrive slowly, pause before entering the site, ask inwardly whether it will accept and welcome me (they are beings like us, with a presence of their own), enter respectfully, plant a little offering as a symbol of my love for life, sit quietly and listen within. Sometimes I feel an urge to circumambulate (walk round, repeatedly) the site, to sit in a certain spot, to sing, to touch my forehead to the ground, to fast or to feast, or to carry out all manner of weird antics: whatever arises, spontaneous or loosely planned, gives my life a feeling of enrichment and deepening, of belonging and clarification, of connection with the Mystery and with the underlying significance of life. I find that my perspective changes, and that the problems I might have arrived with resolve themselves, or the unclarities or unhealth transform into a new feeling of connectedness.
Combining a visit to a power point in space with the observance of a power point in time makes these timelessly-potent moments all the more charged and moving. Time stretches, and our real selves can surface from under all the garbage of our daily concerns. Dowsers testify that the aura can expand radically at power points, opening up to nature and the universe – and at the same time our awareness becomes one with the flow, and is cleansed. The same applies to power points in time – our auras expand and modulate with time.
I was fascinated to learn, from a dowser called Billy Gawn, who monitored some energy-lines during a total eclipse of the Sun, that, during the eclipse, the energy-lines 'rolled up' into a spatial point during the time of totality, suddenly unrolling and spreading out again as the eclipse passed. It was like a re-booting of the Earth energy system – and presumably of our own personal energy-fields too. We need but to receive these states and energy-conditions into ourselves. For it is outrageously natural. An old Bantu song goes: "Listen more closely to things than to people...".
Power Points in Time
There are major and lesser power points in time, and if you allow your life to move more or less in tune with things, with a receptive inner ear, you will find you are intuitively on-line to catch them and make the most of them. Some of them are visible in advance, and others come upon us when we're not looking, presenting us with immediate questions to which the best answer is generally "Yes". Those which come upon us can often precipitate initial difficulties or obstacles until we get the message: a force takes us over and changes things, like getting stuck in a traffic jam and being forced to sit patiently, or like getting cold symptoms which force us to slow down and take care of ourselves.
4th May 1985: the Glastonbury Earth Mysteries Camp at Beltane.
Here's an example of a pretty major visible power point. During the 1980s I organised gatherings and camps for people interested in earth mysteries, astrology and other metaphysical subjects, and a camp was planned for springtime, for the ancient British fire-festival of Beltane, in May 1985. A look in the ephemeris yielded a very definite choice of dates for it – a major power point in time was available. Such major power points in time often have a few different astrological phenomena taking place synchronously, and this was no exception.
On 4 May 1985 was a fullmoon, and fullmoons are very good for any kind of consciousness-raising activities. This one, however, was up-stepped by several other things:
first, the fullmoon took place when Sun was at 14, and Moon was at 14 – this therefore combined cross-quarter timing with fullmoon energy, a marrying of solar and lunar cyclical peaks;
second, the fullmoon was a lunar eclipse, which happened to be rising over the eastern horizon just as it was coming into effect – a lunar eclipse is an extra-strong and exact fullmoon when everything goes still and a strong sense of the timeless takes over for its duration;
third, this fullmoon formed an exact square aspect to Jupiter at 15, creating what is called a T-square configuration (an opposition with two linked square aspects forming a right-angled triangle) – a powerful injection of hearty Jupiter energy, of hope and forward movement, with an emphasis on working it through into daily life, brought by the challenging aspects involved;
fourth, the fullmoon also fell at a strong midpoint between Saturn and Pluto, bringing their combined truth/breakthrough influence to bear – that is, Pluto was at 3 and Saturn at 25, the midpoint between which was, lo behold, at 14, exactly at the position of the eclipsing fullmoon;
fifth, a Mars conjunct Chiron in Gemini occurred fortuitously the following day, adding a flavour of activity, bridging gaps and an opportunity for healing differences;
sixth, Mercury in Aries was forming a sextile to Jupiter in Aquarius and a trine to Uranus in Sagittarius, adding a taste of open-mindedness and insight to all of the above.
Any seasoned astrologer can see that a combination of these kinds of energy is well worth using for something – and we did. And it worked. At the time of the eclipse – the five-day camp was timed to have the eclipse at the middle – 170 people, open and tuned up after three days of preparation, stood watching and participating in it, awe-inspired. Everyone was going through a deeply stirring reaffirmation of their livingness and their hope both for themselves and the world, simultaneously making many deep resolutions, new linkages and experiencing a quality of love which dawns only sometimes.
For some it was a major life-changing, opening-up experience. The eclipse experience, even though it lasted in itself but an hour, went down in memory as one of those which those present are likely to remember all their lives. That evening far outshone everything else that went on during those five days – including the touching mystery play and ceremonial parade which were performed that evening.
Such energy was not available for the Beltane camp in the following year – so we had to choose a time which seemed good enough for our purposes, in the knowledge that such power points are only occasionally available. What happened though, was interesting: during the days before the camp there was a fullmoon closely conjuncting Pluto in Scorpio, a power point which was a little too early for the camp. However, on this fullmoon, the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, USSR, exploded, causing a shiver of fear to run through the world, and not least through the 'green', nature-loving kinds of people attending the Beltane camp! The whole camp became a resounding processing of fear, powerlessness and emergent chaotic unconscious reactions, not to mention handling the detectable feeling of the radiation.
The result, after a week, was a feeling, again, of breakthrough: everyone had resolved their reactions to the disaster, and the experience had become a major turning-point in our dedication to Life, and in our willingness to accept and creatively work with whatever might catastrophically arise in the world in future. A temporal power point had precipitated an event which had awakened such deep archetypal dynamics in the group psyche, which in turn stimulated an opening up and strong affirmation of commitment to the path, amongst the 120 people present.
The inner influence of these 120 people feeds back into the collective psyche, connecting with influences from others working similarly, and a climate for positive outcomes can be augmented or created, transpersonally, and affecting society. At least, that's the theory, and there is cause to believe it works in practice. In fact, for me, this event caused me later to start a new cycle of events in the 1990s in which we were to work much more consciously with consciousness-healing in connection with world disasters and crises, called the Hundredth Monkey Project.
To me these two experiences validated the notion that careful timing of events can create effects far beyond what otherwise might happen. Either careful timing, or intuitive hunches! For this represents an alignment of human activity with cosmic energy, and both feed into one another. One wonders what sort of wider expanded effect arises from people joining together to attune and inwardly transform energy at such power points in time.
It was indeed a synchronicity that Ronnie Reagan was in Bitburg in Germany in May 1985, as we stood there watching that lunar eclipse, trying to score political points, but landing up making a pointless blunder and deeply undermining his integrity. In fact, that weekend was the turning-point in Reagan's career as president.
It is not easy to convey the essence of these sorts of experiences in words – poetry might do better – yet you yourself will have similar experiences to recall. One of the funny things about these stretchings of time and these dives into deeper consciousness is that they are difficult to remember in an ordinary daily-life way of being – yet, when we re-experience similar modes of consciousness, the memory and sense of significance returns as if it were only yesterday, part of a continuity of consciousness of its own.
3rd October 1985: a blustery day when things suddenly budged.
Let's look at another power-point in time, of a lesser magnitude – and responded to more inadvertently this time. Even astrologers fail to consult their ephemerides now and then, and this was the case for me on 3rd October 1985 – I had been 'too busy' writing this book! My then-partner and I were getting on with our lives, and while there were a few important things which needed to be done, we didn't at the time have the inclination or energy to carry them out. Until that day. When we awoke, on what was expected to be a perfectly ordinary day, everything came up immediately – both of us awoke in a dreadful mood, defensive and frustrated, and we had a tiff. We both turned away from one another, irritated.
Some work had come to me the evening before, and I had to get on with it. My partner, meanwhile, feeling that she wanted to get her teeth into something – anything – and moved by the energy of the day, simply drove off, hired a van, and disappeared to the other side of the country, only to reappear that evening, having collected some effects which she had needed to bring home for some months. We had by now forgiven one another at a distance, and realised that the tiff of that morning was not through any faults either of us might have felt the other had – more through the emergence of something within both of us. It is quite common that, if there is energy arising from within, of which we are unaware, or which we are resisting, agitation takes over, destabilising us in order for the energy to erupt out.
Her arrival with her things spontaneously sparked off a complete rearrangement of the furniture in our office, long overdue and needed – a whirlwind of frenetic activity, done in a day rather than an expected 3-4 days. Meanwhile, the psychic space January had created by driving off had caused us both to realise that we had got on top of one another (a common problem in close relationships!), and we decided that we needed to do something about it, which in the following weeks, we did. Locked energy in our relationship was thereby released, and both of us were the happier for it.
In retrospect, then, we had argued because each of us was unconsciously preventing the other from getting on with things, and allowing the other to prevent us doing so: we had both awakened that day with a deep, strong urge to get on with things, and needed to act swiftly, of an urge, unplanned. So it all happened.
What took place astrologically? Venus and Mars were conjuncting at 16 (close to her Moon and my Sun), and together forming a waning square to Uranus at 14, lending some whacky emotional energy to the situation, with a few sudden surprises. Jupiter was also turning, on that day, from retrograde to direct, in Aquarius, letting off an energy-surge which got things moving, and Sun was forming a waning semisquare from 10 to Saturn at 25, forcing a decision, a 'vote with our feet', connected with the completion of past issues in order to clear the way for future developments.
The energy-weather (it had also been blustery and stirring weather outside!) had given us the opportunity to deal with some issues – in the physical form of moving round furniture and effects – which we had been hanging back on for some time. It had churned up some sudden feeling-energy which made us aware that we had been lapsing into an unintentional stultification of relationship. As such revelations often do, the initial form had appeared 'negative', when in fact the issues and outcomes were 'positive' – a learning and a facilitation of the flow.
But we could also have resisted the opportunity: both of us could have held on to one another for fear of possible loss of love, while also making life worse for one another by restricting each other's growth and progress. We could have picked up that furniture at much greater expense of time and money, if we had not allowed spontaneous flexibility to come in, and we could have made life more difficult in the office because we hadn't changed it around according to need. But we did what we did, and the effect was fruitful. We unconsciously responded to a minor power point in time. We both laughed when a check on the ephemeris put the whole affair into context! It shows that you don't have to be an astrologer to be in tune with time.
These two examples show how such power points work. There are bound to be plenty of examples you can call upon in your life as well. Power points are there to be used. They never return in the same way again. Once they've come and gone, they're gone forever. They offer special inroads into the mystery of life. The Ancients used them consciously, for the benefit of the human family, for nature, earth, heaven and deities – while we sophisticated moderns customarily overlook them, respond inappropriately, or drastically resist them: wars break out at power points in time too, often to deny or divert what could otherwise be favourable change-energies. We choose how to use time. The question is: is this choosing inadvertent and by default, or is it fully conscious?
9th February 1986: a time for conferring and group process, with Halley's Comet thrown in.
There was an interesting power point on the weekend of 8-10 February 1986, when Halley's Comet reached its closest point to the Sun in its 76-year trajectory, conjuncting the Sun in Aquarius, at a newmoon, with Mercury, Venus and Jupiter also in Aquarius, and a wide conjunction of Mars, Saturn and Uranus in Sagittarius. I went to an exciting astrologers' conference that weekend, which started off a new trend in cooperation and co-consultation between astrologers in Britain: all went well, and the astrologers had the will to make that step, and were well ready for it.
(The late) Charles Harvey, Chairman of the Urania Trust and one of the conference organisers, wrote to me about it, describing the way it 'fell together'. "When in December 1985 I noticed this newmoon I realised it would be an ideal opportunity to launch the Urania Trust's fund-raising campaign with a suitable press conference. We decided to put on some lectures. Overnight a full-blown conference materialised! In the event, in less than six weeks we got over 500 people to that weekend conference in the middle of winter. It was a great success, but the press conference and the fund-raising aspects were almost non-existent!".
A classic example of how something which seems meant to be can come about, often using pretexts for the starting of the venture which later land up being irrelevant, yet being a pathway into the manifestation of something important. In magical work such as this, where we are picking up on what the universe itself wants, we need to be flexible in the way we see and steer things, if universal support is to come through well!
On checking the newspapers soon after, I found that, in Britain alone, some fifteen conferences and major meetings were reported for that weekend, ranging in results from positive group action through to bickerings and total fall-out: obviously many organisers in many places had chosen this weekend for all sorts of ostensible reasons but, nevertheless, such a congruence of intent in different subgroups of society (ranging from the Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party to the Urania Trust for astrologers) came to pass, and different outcomes were generated by the different groups. That was a heady, whizzing weekend: a conference on the weekend which followed would have missed the available energy.
If you watch out for temporal power points from this time on, you will find all sorts of variations taking place over time. We are in a period of history now when many interesting energy-surges are taking place: their power is becoming magnified because humanity is now on the edge of a big change, and is primed for all manner of changes, shocks, crises and great-leaps-forward. Thus, what might normally be a medium-scale power point in time can become major in significance because the stakes are so high! The most longterm historical changes, however, are more like power-periods, rather than points, although within these power-periods, lesser power points will accentuate themes and dynamics, acting as sub-waves within a bigger wave.