Review of The Pattern of Time in The International Journal of the Astrological Association May/June issue 2015 - Review by Victor Olliver
‘Here is a book that may be judged by its cover. It bears an evocative painting in oil of a young girl walking away along a country lane, heading for a bend that will surely take her to a place we cannot see (yet). The artist is the author himself (who is also a musician) and the work is titled The Pilgrimage. Appropriately, astrologer John Frawley – in a generous commendation – writes of McDonalds’s collection of essay that “they take us beyond the narrow boundaries of the astrological parish to explore the countryside beyond”, deepening our perceptions of astrology in the meadows.
In his Preface, McDonald – a specialist in natal, electional and horary astrology – addresses the “underlying pattern within our lives that is objective and not superimposed by subjectivism”. Traditional astrology is his tool of discovery. Its revelations, he tells us, contradict contemporary “illusions” that truth is relative and that advanced (scientific?) knowledge enables impartiality. So, beneath the prose tranquillity of this book, a storm of heresy awaits the 21st Century teeth-gnasher. Fasten those dentures...
The Pattern of Time takes us back to Plato, Aristotle and Stoic philosophers, back to debates about the nature of destiny and freewill, cause, change, fate and fortune (and Fortuna) and “fortunate chance” this last defined by its “peculiar purposeless quality” (National Lottery big winners may take offence). We learn of the types of “fortunate people” and, in other places, we explore the charts of Michelangelo, Debussy, Renoir and other geniuses and the mirroring dance between the concrete of lived lives and the corresponding abstract of cosmic signs. Many of McDonald’s techniques belong to other ages. Yet thanks to his sublime gift for clear and unaffected expression their contemporary efficacy is asserted.
Any doubt about this is swept aside by his exquisite horary essay, “When Will I Find My Next Job?” (extracted on p.27 of this issue of Journal) which tackles the very modern problem of unemployment and career dissatisfaction. Many, many old techniques are silkily explained and deployed in answering basic questions about work – personally, I now know a lot more about the slow/medium/fast time units system for determining how long a Querent may have to await a job opportunity.
This is not a big book by any means yet it is a mark of its scope, concentration and authority that I feel that I have scarcely told you anything about it. No space left to talk about progressing Fortuna through time, or the colour of the spheres. What I can say is that, tutored in modern astrology, I nonetheless felt at home with The Pattern of Time. It left me better informed; hungry for more.’
The Pattern of Time, is available from many outlets including Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pattern-Time-Essays-Traditional-Astrology/dp/0992871107/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535475384&sr=8-1&keywords=the+pattern+of+time
Andy’s articles have been published in various astrological magazines in several countries. He publically predicted Boris Johnson's Landslide Majority in the Dec 12th 2019 General Election when no other astrologers did. His article: ‘Written in the Stars - How I Forcast Boris' Landslide’ is published in the March/April issue of The Astrological Association of Great Britain’s Journal: https://www.astrologicalassociation.com/shop/aajournal.php
With my background as an analytic hypnotherapist combined with many years working with traditional astrology I offer unique consultations that aim to deal with a client’s difficulties in a clear and concise manner. Whether it is a horary, natal, electional or business consultation, I always strive to enable my clients to resolve their problematic situations in the best way possible and play to their innate strengths and abilities. To enquire please email me at email@example.com
I am asked many questions about astrology but they all lead to this one:
‘So is everything simply mapped out for us - what about free will?
Anyone who has seen the old, black and white Jimmy Stewart movie, 'It's a Wonderful Life' has seen a display of the traditional understanding of free will. In the movie Jimmy Stewart's character is called George Bailey. George, like all of us, dreams of what he wants to do with his life. At times it seems that life has other ideas. These ideas run contrary to what George dreams he wants. An astrologer might rush to calculate George Bailey’s natal chart, but whatever George Bailey’s natal chart might be, it is not as interesting as what George Bailey does despite what his chart might show. Throughout the film George Bailey uses his free will to make the right choice despite what he thinks he might want in a situation. This is an excellent illustration of the traditional understanding of the use of one’s free will. Free will is not something we use to get what we (think) we want whenever we are driven by our desires. Our free will is exercised by choosing to do the right thing in a situation despite our desires and attractions towards a contrary course - despite our desire to do otherwise. Hence George Bailey is a good guy. Not only because he was ‘born that way’ via astrology, genetics, environment or whatever, but more importantly because he chooses to do the right things. He needs an Angel to show him the truth of all this at the end of the film. This underlines that he is making the right choices because they are right in themselves, not because he is acting with any other motives, for if he was acting from other motives he would be aware of all the good he had done with his life. And so when the Angel, traditionally, ‘a messenger from God’, shows him the truth of the matter, how things really are, George then moves from feeling as if he has lost everything to the realisation that in fact he has won it all.