An introduction to the astrological birth chart

Russell Brand's chart

Russell Brand’s chart

The birth chart (different to newspaper horoscopes) of a person or event can be described as a kind of road map or blueprint. For an individual, it shows the soul’s possible journey and the types of experiences and patterns that you are going to encounter along the way. In one sense, it shows your destiny and fate, your unique possible contribution to life. What it does not show, is how you deal with these patterns. In this way, we are each responsible for creating our own reality by our choices.

A person’s individuality is of course also influenced by their genetic make-up, the society/culture/religion they were born into, the social and economic circumstances, and so on. Two people may have very similar charts, both showing enormous possibility but only one may fulfil this for the reasons above.

Jimi Hendrix's cahrt

Jimi Hendrix’s chart

Looking at the chart, the familiar Sun sign of the zodiac is represented by a circle with a dot in the middle. This may or may not be very important in the whole of the chart, one of several reasons why people are often not typical examples of their Sun sign. Each of the other planets are shown on the chart by symbols with numbers next to them. Using the chart as a psychological map, each planet represents a different part of the personality. Due to their position in the chart, we may be more or less comfortable with some parts of our personality than others – I know I am! In fact it is the challenging relationships between planets (such as 90 degree angles, known as square aspects) that give us the greatest opportunity for achievement. People with “easy” charts may struggle more to find purpose and meaning in life than those with more obvious problems.

At its best, a balanced interpretation of the astrological birth chart can be a healing experience, giving one a sense of belonging to life – a sense that it is actually okay to be who one is, and a sense that however often it may appear otherwise, life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to.

Many people know that astrology is of course irrational pseudoscientific nonsense and not to be taken seriously. Having studied and worked with it extensively for over 25 years, I came to a very different conclusion a long long time ago!

One of the best astrology sites on the web is www.astro.com, another good one is www.cafeastrology.com. Thanks to www.astrotheme for the images here and elsewhere on this blog.

BUPA care homes – big profits, bad pay

BUPA Dean Wood, near Brighton. Lovely building, shame about the pay.

BUPA Dean Wood, near Brighton. Lovely £7 million building, shame about the pay for carers and nurses.

“This home is open to all”, says the message outside Dean Wood nursing home, a BUPA home just outside Brighton. At around £1000 per week, I think that really should be “all – who have quite a lot of money”, shouldn’t it?

Over the last two years, as an agency healthcare assistant (many people think that agency workers are often part of the problem of poor care but I do my best), I’ve worked at several BUPA care homes on a semi-regular basis in Sussex. All things considered, I thought the actual standard of care was pretty good in all of them. Would I be happy for a relative of mine to be in one of them – perhaps the ultimate test of what one really feels about a care home – yes, having seen a lot worse over the years, I probably would. But BUPA is a big organization with around 290 care homes, so it’s no surprise that not everyone has had the same experience or thinks the same, as this thread on Mumsnet shows. A quick browse of the thread shows many common general care home complaints from both employees and family members with relatives in BUPA homes.

The last I heard, regular BUPA carers in Sussex homes were on £6.57 per hour, which I was told at one home is less than the kitchen staff are paid. Qualified nurses are also paid poorly, below average. Not content with this though, the management had put “motivational” messages up on the walls of the staff room to remind everyone of a few things. I may not have the exact wording right but I remember posters along the lines of “BUPA is generating millions of pounds worth of business around the world” next to “BUPA staff are happy in their jobs”. Getting a bit 1984 or Brave New World with that last one aren’t they!? Not only is this massive multimillion international company only paying healthcare assistants close to the minimum wage, during staff tea breaks BUPA is reminding all the badly paid carers and nurses of the massive profits the company makes – talk about “rubbing your face in it”!

Not surprisingly, staff morale tends to be low in BUPA homes (as with quite a few nursing homes of course) and many carers – including very good ones – leave after a few months.

Complaints about Sanctuary Housing on Facebook

sanctuaryhousing (1)“Stand your ground with them and don’t let them bully you.”

“Obviously if they have the money to build lots of brand new houses why the bloody hell can’t they maintain the ones they’ve got?”

“Sanctuary Housing left me without a boiler for 12 weeks in the height of winter.”“The houses all seem to have the same issues……cold, mould, crap inadequate windows yet told constantly its the tenant’s fault… it’s the only place I’ve ever lived where we’ve had this!!!!! They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this.” “Your tenant’s handbook is king…. read it and use their own words to hang them…. put in the time to look up your rights and hit them with the contract you signed and they are contracted to deliver.” “One of the guys told me their housing surveyors are useless, they have no training or experience to say whether certain jobs need doing.” “Profit made is put in to new houses so their stock grows as well as the rent income. … they let all properties fall to disrepair and hope you do your own repairs…. you’re just the cash cows to make them bigger and the government throw even more of your taxes to them … to add insult to injury.” “One of their workers told me he was leaving because even the staff get treated like crap!” “If you miss the rent by a couple of days they are on your back wanting to know why. Sanctuary sucks, they are shit at everything, they want exposing in the newspapers, and I intend to do just that if need be.”

To any Sanctuary Housing and Sanctuary Group employees who may be reading

There’s around 11,000 of you I believe – does none of this bother you? I know Sanctuary does SOME good or even great work (I’ve worked in supported housing, care and related fields myself, so have some idea of the problems) but something is badly wrong. Comments welcome.

Facebook groups and pages for discussion, information and practical help – run by tenants and others who have suffered appalling and often illegal treatment from Sanctuary – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Sanctuary Housing Independent Complaints Group – Countrywide

Also

Sanctuary Housing tenants 

Sanctuary Housing/shambles

Sanctuary Housing Banbury residents group 

Justice for Ernest John Coles

Or alternatively…

You could become the chair of our National Resident Scrutiny Panel! Not long left to apply, closing date 30 November: http://bit.ly/1qiJeqn
  • Steve Stann But do they let anyone on who thinks Sanctuary is a totally crap Landlord?
    • Sanctuary Housing Hi Steve Stann, I’m afraid the closing date for applications was 30 November, but keep an eye out for future vacancies.