Hilary Mantel wins again

Was Hilary Mantel deserving of a second (or third) prize for her Tudor novels?  Don’t ask me, for I am constitutionally incapable of reading fiction (let alone gargantuan works), but ironically I did manage to finish a work of fiction this week (my first in years): “The Ladies Paradise”, by Emile Zola, a writer favoured in this household.

Fortunately, I do know many people who have read “Wolf Hall” and a few who have read its sequel “Bring up the Bodies” (which may have inspired the disinterring of Richard III last year from a Leicester car park).

Hubby writes:

Man for All Seasons painted a picture of ‘Saint’ Thomas More, whilst depicting Thomas Cromwell as a nasty villain who only wanted to wield power and totally lacked integrity. Hilary Mantel gave a picture of More as rather cruel, observed as wearing a hair shirt, and alternatively showing Cromwell as loyal to Wolsey and to the King, but with some integrity and acting with good intentions”.

Mantel certainly has turned the Tudor tale on its axis, and turned the current literary scene too.  The Guardian printed an article last week imploring that she didn’t receive the award, and to let someone else have the opportunity!  She won the Man Booker prize for “Wolf Hall” in 2009.  Her second book “Bring up the Bodies” won the 2012 Man Booker prize, and the Costa Book of the Year award last week.

What has interested me about Hilary Mantel since I first set eyes on her is her astrology, and her past lives!  As soon as I saw her on television, I was hooked.  With her round face and big blue eyes, she looked like the textbook Cancerian which she is.  Moreover, she had Cancerian health issues, centring around the female reproductive system (endemetriosis).

These issues may also have stemmed from past life patterns, according to an account she gave of a regression that she had, although she did feel ambivalent about it.  Her friend, the novelist Adam Thorpe (author of “Ulverton”, a work of English rural history) also seems to have an interest in past lives, and may well be a member of her Soul group.

The brilliance of her intuition and spellbinding storytelling is shown in her chart by Sun exactly conjunct Uranus in Cancer (a sign associated with literature and imagination), and her success assisted by an exact sextile of Jupiter to this conjunction.  Her dramatic perception and depiction of the past and historical power play is shown by Pluto on the South Node.  That she can sustain her writing almost in the manner of a Russian novelist, is enabled by an exact sextile between her Mercury and Saturn.

From the beginning, I had thought her level of interest and the detail plus the imagination of her original book “Wolf Hall” must have been written with some level of past-life recall, with an interplay between her conscious and unconscious mind. She may well have observed the material she writes about at close quarters, at the time it was played out.  And that is how I feel about several writers of the historical genre (fiction or non-fiction) who tend to write about and specialize in a particular era.

Hilary Mantel and Regression

Hilary wrote about her “brush” with regression in a Guardian article of January 2010.  She was not comfortable with her practitioner (you do need to choose a practitioner you are comfortable with), but did experience enough to grasp the issues involved and own her feelings about it.  She writes about being aware of her own current life at the same time as experiencing the past life (which is what I aim for when working).

In her own words:

…I was aware of everything around me…yet I was on board ship, I was in a railway car, I was in an alien land.  I was still inside Sara, or she inside me, when she reached her 70s and her heart failed”.

I am including this post loosely under the category of “Book Review”.  Perhaps any readers who have read the books can provide their impressions under “Comments” in order to actually shape it into a book review!  I say bring on the third in the trilogy, for it’s good to see someone make the most of their astrological potential, and make a fine art of winning literary awards.


The aspects start tomorrow, with a conjunction between Mars and Neptune.  Never does action get so complicated than under a conjunction of Mars and Neptune.  It demands that you use every ounce of sensitivity to get it right.  If not, there can be complications, such as hurt feelings, and issues arising seemingly from nowhere which you would never have dreamed of.  Of course, no matter how much thought you could give, you might never encompass all the possible issues, so it may be necessary to go into mystical mode and see things from a larger perspective, where you might pick up some clues to how to handle a situation.

Mercury enters Pisces on Tuesday (5th), enabling you to sustain a mystical perspective, perhaps informed by the previous day’s tussles.  This may enable you to work further on the activity or issue, and refine your understanding.  Mercury will be going back and forth in Pisces until 13th April, which is a long stay for quicksilver Mercury.  Therefore, these two months are perfect for establishing a regime of meditation, or working along a spiritual line.  If new to mysticism, you can study the poetry of the famous mystics such as Theresa of Avila and St John of the Cross (Salvador Dali thought he was a reincarnation of St John of the Cross and claimed to have clear memory of his life, so that is an interesting study in itself).  You may already be established in your own spiritual or mystical path, in which case your own Soul will inform the route, but these two months will be good for such contemplation.

Venus sextiles Uranus on Wednesday (6th), and this is one of two aspects which I have already written blogs about, so I will include them under further reading at the foot of this post.  I associate this aspect with exciting and special meetings.  Although it occurs twice a year, sometimes these meetings can be life-changing.

Late on Wednesday evening, Mercury conjuncts Neptune, so the meditational and mystical thread is strengthened.  It is the sort of aspect where, if you are dropping off to sleep, in that hypnagogic state, you may receive a major insight into a problem you have been turning over, or your guides may drop in some helpful imagery or information.  Even if you are not a channeller, you may find yourself channeling.

Then on Thursday (7th) Venus trines Jupiter, the second aspect this week which I have written about in a particular blog, and therefore referenced below.  Both these aspects involve Venus, both are extremely positive, and both are very social aspects.  So if you are having any special social arrangements this week, they will feel as though they are meant to be, and are likely to go with a swing.  Venus trine Jupiter is romantic and celebratory, associated with engagements among other affairs of the heart.

Apart from today, which seems to be a day of rest for you and the aspects, there is an aspect every day of the week.  On to Friday (8th): Mercury conjuncts Mars, and this could be an ideal day to ditch the contemplation and go all out for action, if you are in a positive frame of mind.  If angry or negative, accidents could happen.  If you are working mainly on the intellectual plane, it is a good day to write a critique or review, or a short sharp article for a magazine on a topical subject.  It’s very much a case of how the moment takes you, so keep your thoughts and feelings positive while you work and much can be achieved.  Transport and cycling are zippy too.

And Saturday (9th) brings two more aspects to work with, of a slightly more challenging hue (both squares).  The first square is between Mercury and Jupiter.  If you were successful and productive yesterday, you might feel you can zip along the same way, but won’t find the same support from the Universe.  Yesterday’s activities may have generated too many interests, and you may find yourself over-stretched, with your mind scattered.  If you are working globally, you may feel (temporarily) that you have taken on too much.  Make sure that what you do tackle, you engage with thoroughly, and prioritize so that you identify components or issues which can wait.

The second square is actually a T-square between the Sun and the Nodal Axis, so you may be working in a group to bring coherence to a project, or trying to adjust power issues.  If working creatively, you may be working on a higher level, and accessing past life connections.  You will at any rate, need to ensure that all karmic requirements are satisfied.  Leos may be at the centre of this interconnection.

Further related reading:

On Venus sextile Uranus


On Venus trine Jupiter


The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – finely tuned action at best
  • Tuesday – a mystical perspective
  • Wednesday – special encounters; then mystical attunement or confusion
  • Thursday – celebration
  • Friday – brisk business
  • Saturday – mental overstretching; balance power in groups