Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 8, 2010

An Oxford Astrologer’s Irreverent Perspectives

Donna says ,”A feature of the blog stats I especially like is the section where it shows who’s linking to you. I’ve met some kindred spirits from the blogosphere by following those links and perusing their sites.  This week, I got several links from The Oxford Astrologer, Christina Rodenbeck, who turned out to be refreshingly sane and irreverent on a variety of astrological  topics.  Here’s a selection of excerpts, with links so you can read the rest.”  

©2010 by guest blogger, Christina Rodenbeck, The Oxford Astrologer

How being an astrologer is like being gay

 Because at some point you have to come out of the closet, being an astrologer has something in common with being homosexual.

 “What do you mean “in the closet”?” I hear you ask.

 Well, it’s like this – most sensible people think astrology is a truckload of bunkum. And it follows that astrologers are either snake oil sellers or credulous fools.

Now, call me uptight, but I don’t like people to think I’m either mad or an idiot or both. I like a bit of respect (Leo rising). Most other astrologers I know feel the same way, so on the school run, at the supermarket, doctor’s office etcetera one tends to avoid mentioning exactly what it is one does.

 But since astrology is what I do most of the time, and an astrologer is what I am, I have to come out eventually.

 Now, Oxford is pretty equally divided into two types of astrology-haters…(read the rest here:  How being an astrologer is like being gay.)

Take a vow

You know what, we big picture people weren’t the only ones to heave a huge sigh of relief when Saturn finally went into Libra for a good long stretch. (Personally, I can already feel the pressure easing. ). Saturn himself is jumping for joy and kicking his heels in the air. 


Because he’s exalted in Libra. That means it’s his best and favourite place to be. Surprising isn’t it. But when you think about it, it starts to make sense. Libra is the sign of balance right, so this is a place where Saturn can put both feet on the ground. It’s the sign of fairness and justice and Saturn is the planet of retribution.

Saturn was the ancient god of the harvest and also Father Time. With Saturn cycles, you reap and you sow. If you’ve husbanded your talents, your money, your relationships well, then when Saturn comes around you get a reward. If you’ve made a mess, which sometimes inevitable if you start off with a crummy hand, then it’s time for payback and Saturn can be quite nasty. Some of us had less than lovely Saturn Returns. 

Libra’s also the sign of marriage – and I’ve seen again and again in the charts of married couples strong Saturn links. What does that mean? I mean significant aspects between one partner’s personal planets – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars – and Saturn. It’s a sign of a stable, long-lasting relationship. And if that’s what you are looking for, I’d suggest that the next two years or so are an auspicious time to marry. So get thee to the altar, lovebirds.

 Why I love Mercury retrograde   (From September’s Mercury Retrograde period)

 Yes – it’s that time again. Mercury is retrograde, so astrologers say don’t put anything in the post, don’t sign contracts, don’t buy computers, don’t make plans bla bla bla. If you paid attention to that, you’d be spending about a fifth of your year sitting on your hands waiting for flying boy to start going in the right direction again.

 In my experience, every Mercury retrograde is different, and it’s a big opportunity to press the pause button in one area of your life and assess what’s going on.

 If you know which house Mercury is passing through, you will find that details in that area of your life do need reviewing. For example, this retrograde is in my second house of money – and yes, I have already had to rewrite a check, redo a standing order and in the first week of the retro I managed to entirely cease to spend any money (if only that had lasted). I’m going to sit down this week and do a thorough review of my income and expenditure – because that is what I am being asked to do.

 Right now, five other planets are going backwards at the same time as the little fella so the retro-momentum is even stronger than usual – and I’d suggest to everyone that this is a very good time to review what happened to you this summer. (Read more here….Why I love Mercury retrograde.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christina Rodenbeck is based in Oxford, England in a slightly chaotic household populated by children, partner, cats, and other animals. She finds the lens of astrology allows her to see the connections between very different corners of life’s web. She’s had a fascination with astrology since the age of six, when a handsome Greek boy told her she shared his Sun sign. Today, she’s a practicing astrologer with a special interest in cutting out the flim flam.


  1. Thanks for the introduction. Really enjoyed this. Going to check her blog now!

  2. Donna, To Christina’s observation that astrologers are like being gay, I must add that they are also like artists — good at their craft but terrible at operating a business. In the last two months, I have emailed 4-5 different astrologers. I received a response from ONE of them and she was on vacation and would get back to me as soon as she returned. I contacted her again after her return date and I’ve yet to hear from her. Just not a very good batting average:)!

    • That’s a real shame because, from an astrologer’s point of view, there’s nothing better than reading a chart for someone who is astro-literate. It means that you’re already speaking the same language. Also, of course, it’s important for astrologers to see new charts in order to keep fresh. Good luck with the next try!

    • Hi Trishia,

      I haven’t had a professional astrological counseling session since 1995, when I spoke w/ Anne Black after reading her article on Relationship Astrology in The Mountain Astrologer. She was excellent and working out of Vancouver, BC at the time (we did it via phone).

      After that, with the advent of the Internet and info on the web, and the variety of desktop based software programs, I started doing my own (but after reading Donna’s blog for the past few months, may now see the folly in this!).

      Anyway, I tried to hunt up Anne for you, but she isn’t to be found on the Internet, which makes me wonder if she’s still with us. Anyway, here’s a link to the AFAN steering committee, I’m sure one of them could refer you to a very good astrologer who will respond to you!

      When I lived in San Diego, I took a course from Terry Lamb, who’s now writing the Daily Success Guide for Maya del Mar’s Daykeeper Journal website:

      Another woman I met at an Astrological Society Meeting in San Diego is April Kent, who also has her own blog now:

      You could contact either of them and see if they still do individual readings. I wouldn’t limit yourself to your own geographical location, since once an astrologer has your birth info, they can ‘read you’ from anywhere:)

      Good Luck!

      • Dana Gerhardt is another one I’ve always wanted to get a reading from:

        And I just met Joyce Mason via Donna’s blog and believe she still does readings as well:

      • Anne Black is a good astrologer, and I can’t imagine she’s no longer with us (one can always check the Astrologers’ Memorial). It’s more likely that she’s listed under Ani Black now. Donna

      • Hi Trishia, one of the most professional and structured-about-his work astrologer I know is Michael O’Reilly of

        I had a predictive reading from him a few months ago, and he amazed me. He is very, very good.

    • LOL!! Boy, did you nail that one!! Especially the Neptunian part of being an astrologer would hold that being spiritual/creative is more “evolved” than being good at the business part of our work that makes it possible to pay our bills. Donna

    • Donna’s right, Ani Black is still around:) When you Google her, one website leads nowhere (page not found) but the website linked below appears to be the working one with contact info and costs. As with everything, you get what you pay for!

  3. Lol! Very funny. I’m not an astrologer, but I do avoid telling people I’m astrologically challenged. Must be like if you tell someone you’re a doctor and they tell you about all their symptoms!

    • Ouch!!! Yes, I’ve been to that kind of astrologer–and even worse is to attend a lecture–or read a long article–where the astrologer traces her own transits or her partners.

      I remember the first lecture I ever heard about Chiron was a painful ordeal of two hours of having the lecturer track 25 years of Chiron transits to her own chart. (Hmm… I wonder if that’s when I decided I wasn’t all that interested in adopting chiron into my chart interpretations.) Donna

  4. I’m sorry but “Saturn cycles, you reap and you sow. If you’ve husbanded your talents, your money, your relationships well, then when Saturn comes around you get a reward.”

    It’s just not aways true.

    What about all of us careful savers who squirrelled away for our later years and are seeing it evaporate?

    • Thanks for bringing that up. No of course it’s not always true; that’s why I pointed out that sometimes you’re just dealt a crummy hand. There are always other factors and you need the to look at the whole chart.

      But right now the outer planetary set up is so harsh that I think it’s important to look for positive areas in other parts of the sky.

      It’s not a Saturn cycle that’s destroying our economy.

      In fact I think Saturn in Libra could show us one way of dealing with this crisis on a social level. Saturn is about how we carry our burdens. Libra is about grace, partnership, equality and peace.

      I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that.

  5. Boy, I can relate to Christina’s blog. Recently, I had a computer tech get rid of a virus on my computer. When he looked at all my desktop icons and saw my astrology wheel, he said, “You don’t believe in that, do you?” I said, “I have fun with it.”

    I was embarrassed to tell him I thought astrology had validity.

    • Hi blueheron,

      People gave me a hard time about it when I was a teenager. But now that’s changed. When I meet someone new and if I like them, even if it’s people I met at work, I tell them that I’m studying astrology eventually I’m going pro with it.

      I one of the Saturn-Uranus people Donna has written about, doing something unconventional but in a normal and structured way. I also have Saturn trining my ASC and now that I’m in my mid-30s, people take me seriously and don’t dismiss what I have to say. I reek of respectability and geekiness and I think that helps my cause. Also, most people I meet are at least willing to listen. It’s odd, but I’ve had hardly any negative encounters about it in the past few years.

      I remember reading Nick Campion saying that the zodiac lives inside us. I’m not very sure what he meant, but we are the living faces of astrology. When we behave ethically, make sense and admit our personal limitations in using astrology, we make it look good. People’s reactions, to some extent, depend on our attitude about it.

      I totally relate to this article about “coming out.” As I write this here, I find that I’ve made my peace with it. When I go pro, it will another step.

      Some of the most interesting people I know are astrologers: writers, thinkers, wits, intellectuals, geniuses… It’s a wonderful community, I’m so very proud of it and I love it very much, the astrologers as much as the astrology buffs.

      Much love,

  6. I’m retired from Internal Revenue Service. I NEVER told people what I did for a living back then!

    True story: my mother is retired from IRS too. She was traveling for the government and pulled into a hotel at 10:00PM one night, dead tired. As she walked up to the desk, the hotel clerk said, “Are you the one from IRS? Here’s my tax return – I’ve got some tax questions about it…”

    Such a delightful article! As my generation used to say, I can so relate!

    • Ah, you gave me a good laugh, Parin! What does a career in the IRS look like in your chart? I once did the chart of a man from the CIA. Heavy Pluto on the MC. Donna

  7. Thank you Donna for publishing these pieces of mine. I guess you are all tucked up in bed now, while we’ve been up for hours! Ah the web…

    Sky Writer is animated by such a wonderful spirit of generosity. I’m sure you know – but it’s worth repeating – just how much you contribute to the general good by making the whole thing sing.

    By the way, I’m still dutifully trying with Chiron but the only thing I’ve pinned down with him is transits showing grief. Otherwise, none of the stuff I read truly resonates with me or in the charts I look at.

    • I was glad to publish your piece, Christina–I so enjoyed your blog, and as you’re somewhat new as a blogger, I can’t wait to see how your style evolves. It sounds like there is a lively astrological community in Oxford. Donna

  8. Hello,,,,,,,,thank you Donna for publishing these pieces of mine. I guess you are all tucked up in bed now, while we’ve been up for hours! Ah the web…….
    Very well………

  9. Transits of grief? Whoa, there.
    I’ve always gotten a kick out of my former “engineer/science” friends “debunking” astrology…and have had some success in that debate.
    We can’t “see” geometry, calculus, or trigonometry–yet we accept them as fact. The only seeing eye evidence of sustained structural mathematics is within the structures we have built apon them (skyscrapers, moonshots)…accepting those theorems on FAITH…(hit your engineer buddies with that one…and don’t listen to what they say about entropy…we’re all getting older)….

    So, go figure, …..

  10. Hi Donna.
    Though this is unrelated to this post, i am just not getting a link where you have discussed about the definition of astrology in the form of self awareness.
    I remember reading that explanation of 4-5 lines and wanted to refer someone to that but i am not able to find it again.
    Can you guide plz

    • Sorry, I really don’t know what definition that would be. It might be on the back cover of An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness. Donna

      • its something like
        “Astrology is all about sell awareness…….houses are like……… signs on those houses are like…..”
        Something like this. What u think?

      • Sorry, I wrote that book in the 1970s…I can barely recall what wrote yesterday! Donna

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