At least part inspired by April Elliott Kent. See her website www.bigskyastrology.com
At the end of last month some rather interesting events occurred that were obviously to do with my Grandmother, whose first name, you will need to remember, was Ivy. It certainly made me think about her, twenty years after she died. The corner of myself where I store those Grandma memories came back alive. Perhaps this was a Proustian week, though no biscuits acted as triggers to the floods of memories that seeped into my mental foreground.
I had a loving, if rather shy, relationship with her. There was certainly an unspoken and warm understanding there, maybe something that’s easy to have between a child, away from the complexities of his or her relationship with those life-central and looming parents, and an older adult, super-content with escape from the big city and office job to a bungalow in quiet corner of a quiet village and waking each morning to the dawn chorus or the sound of milk bottles being placed by the front door. Or both, even.
She was an Aries with one of the loveliest speaking voices I ever heard, a very contented, welcoming person, seemingly always with a smile on her face. She was also a great host, and some of the best times I had with her were when my sister and I used to visit her from school on Wednesday lunchtimes. It was great to get away from the other boisterous kids, gaze across her garden and chat; gentle times. Aunty May giving us Murray Mints as we left with full stomachs and rested minds.
Swerving away from this sentimentality, let’s get back to the more recent past. Having had some success with my work, feeling things were in order, last weekend I went to revisit Brighton, a town that I lived in for 14 years and where I have many friends (actually most of them have moved to Hove now, which is more pleasant, suburban and genteel). In Hove I visited a family of friends in the afternoon and then wandered into town to meet another friend in Brighton in the evening.
At around 10:30 in the evening, a phone call summoned me to my orginal visitees’ house because they needed to get off to sleep. As I stepped quickly down their street, a few doors from their house, the first critical moment of this story occurred. I spied another familiar friend; a table carefully stacked against the wall outside someone’s front garden. Closer inspection revealed this to be a copy (actually a slightly better version) of grandma’s table I had lost during a manic home move in 2000, one of the reasons that coagulated into my leaving Brighton. Perhaps a copy of the table I had eaten all those contented Wednesday lunches around decades earlier.
I looked closer. Attached to the table was a note - Perfectly good extending table, Sits 4 or 6. No problems. Free - the note gave a mobile phone number. After some fond cheerios with my friends, I stashed the table in the back of the car and drove home. Setting it up in the room where I write I knew it was meant to be there, it was (is) perfect for working on. I’m going to be using that phone number once I’ve uploaded this page.
I’m assured that the table is a 1940s one. Immaculate, wooden and brown, with aesthetically pleasing tapering legs and other fine detail, it is great for work, elevating my computer to a comfortable height and providing a perfect surface for resting arms. If anything it’s a nicer than Grandma’s old table that I had inherited and then thown away as if junk. Of course that table was also two-leaved and from the 1940s. Losing the table upset my parents a great deal and probably hurt me more than I realised at the time. Add an S to table and you get what I wasn't then. Those days were pretty dark; Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus pounding my Ascendant.
OK - I had the table. It was a fun occurrance, I got a bit silly and cosmic, telling people it was table reincarnation. But more was to come. That Monday morning I asked my mum what she would like for her birthday as I was going to London in the evening and it would be the last opportunity to get her present from there prior to the day. She said she’d like some new breakfast plates, to replace some that might be antique she had inherited from Grandma. I logged the request in my brain, ready to act on after work.
Later that afternoon, in BHS (British Home Stores) I found the perfect four plates - not too big or small, with what I assume are cornflowers painted around the edge. Plates I knew she would like. I picked them up and found the place to pay. I was served by a youngish black girl. I couldn’t but notice that her personal badge gave her name. She was another Ivy, just like Grandma. I wondered what the moment was saying. It certainly felt right, especially as this cool, brisk, younger Ivy seemed to know exactly how I wanted the plates packed, and that, no, I didn't want another bag, they would fit fine in what I had with me.
Receipt in hand, next day I set the chart up. I hadn’t noticed any other Ivys in the world except for Grandma and this was incident two in a Grandma series of... well, I wasn't sure. I had also noticed the maker’s name on the plates Arthur Wood. Arthur was Ivy's husband, my grandad who had died before I was born, my father and I have this as a middle name.
So, let’s not forget, this is an astrology site. What was going on astrologically?
Well, the big noise in the chart was that night's new moon in Pisces, which was conjunct my Jupiter by thirty-three minutes. In my chart, this Jupiter is in the eleventh house, a very receptive, open and friendly area of the chart for an expansive and warm planet. Perhaps more significantly Jupiter is also three-sixteenths of a circle away from my Moon, by only a minute. A very manifesting combination of Moon and Jupiter, a potentially joyous combination that I am certainly aware of in myself.
With this all involving sixteenths of the circle, we should look at the twenty-two and a half degree midpoint listing of transits to midpoints (twenty-two and a half being a sixteenth of a circle).
Here the transit planets are labelled ’B’ whereas the natal planets and midpoints aren't. What we can see is a huge gathering of planets around my natal Moon-Jupiter aspect, a gathering meaning something was likely to happen (the sixteenth harmonic is very much concerned with actual events). To me there seemed to be something of my grandmother's spirit hanging around in all this. Like she was saying to me that she was happy I was feeling alright again. Also note the gathering is around my Mars/Saturn midpoint - in COSI, the death axis, but here back to life. The whole thing smelt of Grandma, her death in 1986, and some sort of warm echoey resolution that I liked but could not fully understand.
The moment in the shop when I bought the plates - and met the other Ivy - is also telling.
This is taken from the time on the receipt, and the whole event from find to buy happened in a maximum of about five minutes building to this. What I find particularly interesting is the way this moment’s angles bring in my Grandmother’s Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, all in hard aspect and ’on’ these points of 21-23 mutables. This involves my own Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint, the place of the here and now, in my chart at almost exactly twenty-three degrees of Pisces. In fact these three planets in my Grandma’s chart were always with me in the here and now, they are the key to our relationship, an indication of what she could teach me.
All well, good and cosmic enough, some part of Grandma, or even Grandma herself has paid a visit. I have a table to work on and a present to give my Mum that I am certain she will like. I’ve also learnt something from all this, though exactly what is hard to tell. More importantly it certainly feels that the rupture from 2000 has been healed and will never bother me again, and that the loss of the table incurred during that angsty time has been overcome and compensated. Thanks to the Ivy in the shop for her help, and to Grandma and Aunt May for being such a great part of my life up to age twenty-three. And yes, I certainly do appreciate the table.
PLEASE NOTE: The above is not completely right. Though I did lose a more modern folding, dining table I had inherited from my Grandma (which I would dine on back in those schooldays), I also lost the 1940s two-leaf table that belonged to my parents. That was the table I refound in Hove. I will tweak this fact into the equation when I have time. Will make some kind of difference.