Early on in my planning for The Angel of Secrets, I decided to explore the possibility of using astrology as a way of discovering aspects of my characters’ motivations. An astrological birth chart, or horoscope, provides an in-depth description of a personality and their probable reactions to circumstances. Because astrology is based on intricate patterns and multi-layered relationships between a sweeping pantheon of archetypes, the opportunities for an author are breathtaking in their scope. A character can really step off the page when they have a ‘real’ life, a unique signature described by a horoscope, the place, date and time of which has been chosen by the character’s creator – the author.
A natal horoscope, a map of celestial activities drawn up for the moment of birth and located from the perspective of the place of birth, describes the archetypal potentials arising in that moment. When an individual is born, they are entering a vast cosmic pattern, with multivalent opportunities expressing themselves in unison. At certain moments in time, wars are started or peace treaties can be signed, aeroplanes may crash, or new ships are launched; skyscrapers are demolished or hospitals opened. There is such a wide variety of human activity happening all the time that astrologers are challenged to unpick the archetypal patterns and make some sense of what is going on. The attempt to describe the potential political meaning of astrological configurations dates back to ancient Babylonian sky watchers, nearly five thousand years ago. Personal horoscopic interpretation has a shorter history – the earliest texts date to the Hellenistic period, around two thousand years ago.
Astrology as a psycho-spiritual language arrived in my life when I was very young, after an aunt sent me a mysterious birthday card. Over the years I have developed my skills, and my experience allows me to observe character traits in my real-life clients and predict likely behaviour, leading to possible events unfolding. I have found that I can summon up an imaginary character and choose birth data that will allow me to get to know this fictional person at a subtle level. I will return to this topic in more depth at a later stage.