World renowned astrologer Penny Thornton might be best known for her bestselling books and personal relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales, but she is not one to rest on her laurels. She has earned her diploma from the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London, England, and served as Secretary for the Astrological Association. In this exclusive interview, Thornton reveals her thoughts on everything from romantic relationships to the turbulence that plagues society, all the while clearly demonstrating her solid grasp of the ancient art of astrology.
Assessment of Turbulent Times
LTK: In light of the increasing unrest that seems to be plaguing various cities around the globe, what do you think is going on astrologically speaking? And do you see an end to the various crisis we are facing (the banking crisis, general unrest, weather issues, etc)?
PT: To do this question justice we need an hour!
- First, I think we have to understand that the planets don't make things happen. I like to think of astrology as a two-way street - as we evolve, as events unfold both on an individual and a collective level, the alignments reflect that evolution and those events.
- We can look at the current unrest in the world and cite this difficult configuration - Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Libra - as causing all the upheaval. Instead, we need to think of it as mirroring our internal struggles which are erupting in our private lives, out on the streets and in wars. We're heaving, the planet's heaving, and so is the cosmos!
- A world order doesn't change in a couple of weeks, it takes decades. I think we have to be realistic here. It's going to take years to get the global economy back on its feet. We have to accept that life has fundamentally changed: we cannot go back to the way it was, we have to fumble our way forward into a new era.
Upcoming Key Dates
LTK: Are there any key dates, in your opinion, that readers should keep an eye out for that stands out to you as a potentially trying time?
PT: I'm going to have to answer your question about future key dates in two ways:
- A lot of people imagine that astrologers look through a telescope at the stars and somehow 'see' the future, as if on a movie screen. Astrologers have more in common with economists who make their financial predictions based on graphs and cycles.
- We open an ephemeris (book of planetary tables) and note when major alignments become exact. So, we have a good idea as to when significant world events are going to take place but where and the precise nature of those events is something of a crap shoot! You'd have to be looking at the chart of every country, every leader, every celebrity and so on, all day, every day, to be able to state with conviction that, say, Japan was going to suffer a catastrophic event on March 11, 2011.
- This was indeed the case with Theodore White, an astro-meteorologist, who was able to predict this earthquake because he was constantly looking at world charts and geo-cosmic patterns. The reason I was able to make accurate predictions about the separation and divorce of The Prince and Princess of Wales was because I was constantly examining their charts.
Which brings us on to answer part two. In my newsletters I take the significant events of the previous month and explore why they happened: sometimes there are impressive 'hits' astrologically speaking and sometimes not. So, I have been working on the theory that something as major as this configuration - Saturn in Libra, Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn - has a very wide reach and a long time-line.
Let's take the recent massacre in Norway. This occurred at a relatively quiet time in cosmic terms - only angles of harmony prevailed. This configuration was technically not active until August 8, some 17 days later, but its broad reach is evident in those dreadful events. However, bang on the button, on August 8, in the wake of the US's credit rating downgrade and the turmoil over the euro, global markets crashed generating real fears of a double-dip recession.
So, as to dates in the future to watch out for, and let's give them some wiggle room, put rings around September 25-30, October 12-13, and December 10, 2011.
On Princess Diana's Astrological Chart
LTK: You were Princess Diana's personal astrologer for many years, and her death affected millions around the globe. What strikes you most about Princess Diana's chart?
PT: The chart of Princess Diana throws up an interesting issue. Many astrologers are using the wrong chart, one that gives Sagittarius rising. In fact, Diana has Libra rising because she was born at 2 pm not, as officially stated in 1980, 7 45 pm. There are many aspects of Diana's chart that leap out at you but I think it is enough to say that she was everything her horoscope portrayed her to be: she had the grace of Libra rising, the care and compassion of sun in Cancer and the self-destruction of Mars conjunct Pluto. She called herself the People's Princess and she was, like all of us, a mix of the good, the bad and the unfortunate!
After Princess Diana's Passing
LTK: In your Astrolutely.com newsletter, you write a touching piece about what you think Princess Di would feel if she had survived that horrific crash. Do you feel that after death, one's chart still lives on and can be affected by transits and the like?
PT: In my book The Forces of Destiny I deal with this issue in depth. I worked with a psychiatrist who regressed people to a past life, and asked them in that altered state for the date, time and place they were born. I then progressed those charts to the present day and looked at the transits. The results were fascinating, and would lead one to believe that a chart continues to be active beyond death. As far as Diana is concerned, next year (2012) will find Pluto conjunct her natal sun, so maybe there will be more secrets revealed about her death.
Romance and Astrology
LTK: In your book, Synastry - The Astrology of Relationships, you take an in depth look at romantic compatibility. For those who are new to the subject of synastry, what do you suggest are the key points to look for in a romantic relationship?
Penny Thornton: With any relationship, you have to put feelings first.
- If you're attracted to a certain person, fall in love with a certain person, then you don't need to consult a horoscope - you follow your heart!
- Looking at the charts will help you understand your partner and what the dynamics of the relationship are. It will prepare you for the hard times and the good times.
- You should never ever look at the chart of someone to whom you are drawn and rule him or her out because there's something "difficult" in the astrology.
The people we marry and form close intimate relationships with are part of our karma. The relationship that gave me the greatest heartbreak of my life led directly to my success and happiness.
In my work - and this is something I talk about at length in Synastry - I discovered we are attracted to people from our own quadruplicity - that is our fellow Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable signs. So, Aquarians home in on Taureans, Leos or Scorpios, the Arians on Capricorns, Cancerians and Librans, and Pisceans on Virgos, Sagittarians and Geminis. This flies in the face of traditional astrology, which maintains that we do not 'get on' with our fellow "quads" except perhaps for our opposite sign. We are also attracted to people who have similar challenging patterns to ourselves. We like looking in mirrors.
Finding a Soul Mate
LTK: Are there any key markers in a synastry chart that jumps out at you saying, "Yes, this is a love match!"
PT: A soul mate and a love match are two different things, yet neither can be seen in a horoscope. I want to make that absolutely clear. Such things are a mystery and lie beyond the reach of a horoscope. They can only be felt.
- We sense we have found our soul mate, and sometimes we're proved right, and sometimes wrong. We know when we're in love: we don't need to look for an astrological significator to tell us.
- There are classic aspects between two charts that supposedly signify love but not every couple has them. A connection between the sun of one partner and the moon of the other is a classic; conjunctions between one Venus and the other's sun, moon, Ascendant-Descendant axis, or MC/IC axis are others. The list goes on.
- Some of the greatest love matches have none of these classic connections, and often more difficulty than ease between the charts. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are a case in point. She has a stack of planets in Scorpio and he a bunch in Aquarius (notice the attraction of quadruplicities here); there is barely a harmonious angle between them. Yet this couple clearly adores each other and have been together for nearly 9 years, which by Hollywood standards is awesome! Other people who have classic connections feel neither attraction, and certainly not love, for each other.
There is no such thing as a perfect template for compatibility. Every relationship tells its own story.
Looking For Love
LTK: If one is looking for love, what markers would she look at in her own chart to help her find it?
PT: Don't go looking for love. It will find you. And when you least expect it. However, when you hit a rut in the road, get out the charts and see what transits are teeing off sensitive points in the charts. That will help you understand what is going on and enable you to find a route forwards. Relationship potholes teach us so much about ourselves.
Sometimes, when I'm working with a client, I'll see a classic indicator of marriage or significant love relationship - progressed sun conjunct Venus or vice versa - but some great loves slip into our lives on, say, a Saturn or Pluto transit. It's your story, the planets tell it how it is for you.
LTK: Your website, Astrolutely.com has undergone many changes and now sports a completely new look. What services do you offer on this site that readers might be interested in?
PT: Most people visit Astrolutely for their weekly and monthly forecasts but you can also set up your own chart and read articles I have written, which have no astrological content whatsoever. I will be putting a series of videos on-site, called Relationship Bites, and my first E-book will be available: The Forces of Destiny.
LTK: Is there anything else you would like to share that we haven't touched on?
PT: I have a bee in my bonnet about serious astrology versus pop astrology. There are many popular astrologers who, like me, have emerged from a classical background. Our challenge has been to make a terrifically complex subject accessible to the person-in-the-street. Working for a daily newspaper taught me more about astrology than 10 years of private practice and theory. You put astrology to the test when you have to make statements on a daily basis about the planetary angles. If there is anything I feel proud about it is my effort to put astrology out there for the public without trivializing it.
Learn Even More
You can learn more about Penny Thornton, her body of work, and all of the astrological services she offers including her exclusive newsletters, by visiting her official website, Astrolutely.com.