For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with Anne Whitaker, astrologer, writer, teacher and mentor.
Though the uninitiated may be intimidated by, if not downright skeptical of, the apparent mysticism of astrology, Anne’s practical approach makes learning and interpreting the signs of the zodiac more accessible, even to a complete novice. Her qualitative research reveals fascinating and compelling correlations, if not causality, between planetary cycles and psychological, physiological and social change.
“Almost from the outset, I became utterly captivated by astrological symbolism. Captivated by its ability to reveal the relationship between that tiny, vital spark of an ordinary human life and those bigger pictures of family, nation, culture,” she writes.
“Realising the profound weave which exists between the symbolic and practical manifestations of every kind of life on Earth, I was awestruck.”
You can connect with Anne on Twitter @annewhitaker and on her website, www.anne-whitaker.com.
Our 20 questions with Anne start now:
1) What is your full name?
2) What is your professional job title?
Writer, Teacher, Mentor, Astrologer
3) Describe your organization.
Writing from the Twelfth House is a one-woman band where I do all the things I love to do—and get paid!
4) Describe your surroundings right now.
three floors up in a handsome Victorian red sandstone tenement, listening to the river flowing below us. Hand clutching teacup. Biscuit.
5) What was your first paid writing gig?
“How I was left on the shelf and found true happiness” for the West Lothian Courier’s Spring Brides feature. “Unromantic” said the editor.
6) What was the last thing you wrote?
“How to travel without going anywhere…if Kant could do it, why not you?” for www.anne-whitaker.com
7) What is the next thing you plan to write?
Immediate present: haven’t a clue, but will by tomorrow. Long term plan: writing my fourth book, on the theme of “Descent and Return…”
8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …
to wake up at 5.00 am, unable to sleep, so that I can get up and have two hours’ peace and quiet, listening to the river and writing …
9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?
A brass Moon calendar carriage clock, a miniature of Rodin’s “Thinker”, two digestive biscuits, mug of tea, box of tissues, heaps of clutter
10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?
A crispy bacon sandwich, lashings of butter wrapped in foil, left to cool on my laptop overnight. Not allowed to open until 500 words written
11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …
reductionist scientists banging on about how nothing can possibly exist outwith the remit of our five senses and the material world …
12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?
Up to date and synched laptop, IPad, IPhone. Social media especially Facebook and Twitter. Great backup from expert local web company
13) First book that comes to mind? Go!
“Stoner” by novelist John Williams. Wonderfully well written, poignant, elegiac depiction of a quietly heroic life. Reading it just now.
14) What are your favorite smartphone apps and why?
Ibooks to carry reading around and read anything, anywhere. The Night Sky to stretch my imagination. TimePassages to check daily planets
15) What have you always wanted to write?
a book of people’s experiences of the ‘dark night of the soul’ which links with ancient myths of descent and return, affirming myth’s value
16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?
Read widely and daily if possible. Write every day. Have a JFDI notice clearly displayed (JUST F—ing DO IT!) Keep a journal. Persevere!!
17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!
Terry Pratchett. I love his mad Discworld for light relief reading—favourite character is the orangutan librarian at the Unseen University
18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …
that the world of the imagination which I can enter whenever I like is totally uncluttered by the hassles, and limitations, of everyday life
19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?
I just LOVE Faber-Castell pencils, the ones with rubbers that really work on the end, are a delight to hold, and are fabulous for writing!
20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …
‘…it is undoubtedly true that…’
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