For the Monday group and an invitation to colleagues.


5.00-7.00 1WN 3.8,  Monday 7th November 2005.


(Urgent information for John if you are coming on Monday evening and want to participate in the engagement with astrological symbolism. Please send to John at your  Birthdate, birthplace and birth time (if known).  If the latter is known only approximately, that will be fine. (John – mine are 29/08/44, Newton, Hyde in Cheshire  at 7.00 p.m.).  See John's note below.  Viv – looking forward to continuing to explore our educational responses to bullying. Margarida – I imagine Monday's session will engage with your ideas on proprioception – the video of the session could be useful so if anyone wants to be present without participating they could video!


Jean writes from New Zealand on the 31 October:


"Keeping you up to date, the trip is going very well. Workshops in Otago and Christchurch were well received. Today I am at Victoria in Wellington, doing workshops today and tomorrow. I fly to Auckland tomorrow evening, doing workshops Thursday and Friday at UNITEC. People are very receptive to the ideas, and eager to have a go. The experience at Christchurch was overwhelming - 35 HE staff, all intent on studying their own practice, and already laying plans about how they can develop their own inter-university network to support and critique their own work. You would have simply loved it. There is major interest here in the ideas, so I am having a good time. I'm also doing a lot of sightseeing into the bargain. I went on an island cruise on Sunday and then yesterday travelled by ferry from South Island to North Island, which was a simply lovely journey. It's all rather breakneck speed, so I feel a bit breathless, but am surviving well and managing to stay on top of it all. Lots of new ideas for writing as well, so that can't be bad. As I look out the window I see Wellington bathed in sunshine. It's a very short winter for me!"


Moira is likely to be staying on in Guyuan until July 2005.


Alan's summary of his ideas on  The Inclusional Nature of Neighbourhood is at


Alon's Abstract for his doctoral thesis on How Do I Consistently and Methodically Lead A More Meaningful, Productive and Gratifying Existence In and With the World for Myself?

A Heuristic Approach to Constructing My Ontological Living Theory is at


Marie has produced an account ( of the first year's activities of the Bath and North East Somerset Action Research and Inclusion Group with the concluding questions:


How can documentation be developed that supports and energises rather than hinders and enervates and takes the work into the public domain? Could we play with different technology? Would this be a way of desensitising and learning the skill necessary at the same time?


How can the influence of this group be understood and the strands of understanding plaited in with the other work – to transform the individual, the group and beyond? How do we know that what we are doing is of value and has a life beyond us?


See also Marie's poster for the Heads and Hearts in Learning – Making the Link workshop on the 19th June 2006 at

  You can also access Jack's keynote on 'Living inclusional values in educational standards of practice and judgement' for the Act, Reflect, Revise III Conference on the 11 November at



Here is John's suggestion for this Monday evening's conversation.


We can explore, through experiential role play, some of the relational dynamics in the group particular to this evening, by engaging with some of the simpler and more easily calculable astrological signatures pertaining to each of you, as members of the group, according to your birth time.  (e.g. natal position of Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars in the zodiac).  For this purpose, I will require birth data.  Birthdate, birthplace and birth time (if known).  If the latter is known only approximately, that will be fine - the more accurate the better.  If it's not known at all, that 's fine too - I can work with just the date.  Ideally, I would like to have this information prior to Monday evening - it can be sent to me by email.  If this isn't possible for whatever reason, it can be given on the evening of the class and I can still work with it. 


My invitation, for the duration of this exercise, is for each of you in the group to engage directly with the 'roles', assigned symbolically by the astrological signatures of your own astrological birth chart, as if they were indeed roles that you play in life, through your relational interactions with others.  At the end of the exercise we can formally 'de-role' and come back together as a group and open up to feedback and reflect upon our individual experiences.  It is my intention, through this piece of work, to monitor and authentically describe responses and reactions (my own and others) to working in this way using this symbolism.  I am keen to explore the extent to which the attribution of a role (incorporating particular character attributes and qualities) might be experienced as more impositional or invitational.  E.g. Did you find that it restricted or encouraged self-expression, freedom of enquiry, personal insight, intuition etc?  I invite you to suspend judgment on this until we reach the feedback part of the evening.    


My own experience with astrology is that its symbolism serves to orientate my embodied participation in life and offers guidance as to how I am being in the world, how I see and how I am seen, how I relate to my environment, how I aspire, the challenges I may encounter in my life, and the way in which I perpetuate my own life story.  The symbolism often seems to be showing me my 'default' way of being in the world.  In being able to acknowledge inherent patterns, I can create for myself a freedom to explore possibilities beyond that defaulted sense of self.  I relate to the symbolism of astrology, not because it is necessarily 'true' in any 'objective' sense (is anything ever?), but because its symbols speak to me in a way that adds tremendous value and meaning to my life.  My experience is that the symbolism opens up my intuitive sense, making me more responsive to others and better able to be responsible for my own thoughts, feelings and actions.  I often describe astrology as being my 'stake in the ground'.  It seems to give me a place to stand in the world, a sense of ontological anchorage, a place from which to explore and a place to return to; a map of possibilities and (often self-wrought) impositions. 


I make no claim that astrology is true, and have no wish to impose its symbolic language on anyone.  It is explicitly not my intention to attempt to prove the validity or otherwise of astrology from this exercise, and I am certainly not asking you to 'believe' in it (whatever that might mean)!  The ambition to prove astrology true or false is, to my mind, always a futile one.  As in life, there are far too many variables to even attempt such empirical certainty. That said, however, this way of engaging with the world speaks to me as if the symbols themselves possessed a validity.  I recognise from my own experience and that of others I have worked with, that an embodied engagement with astrology can be of great value as a tool for ethical and philosophical self-enquiry.  It is with this possibility in mind that I offer up this invitation to you.   


It should be an enormous amount of fun too!


(John – sorry not to have put The Embodied Mind in the post – will bring it along without fail on Monday)


Any news to share of your activities do e-mail it in.


Love Jack.