“Victor Olliver, editor of The Astrological Journal, had a distinguished career as a journalist before devoting himself to astrology. This detail from his background does not go unnoticed in his splendidly written book on an ancient astrological technique that he clarifies, revives, and invigorates for the benefit of astrologers everywhere.
Although Olliver’s introductory material cites ancient Mesopotamia “as the possible birthplace of draconic,” there have been few modern proponents of the approach — one notable exception being Pam Crane, who published her seminal work, Draconic Astrology, in 1987. Draconic means dragon-like,” and readers may recognize that we are talking about a system based on the Moon’s nodes. The draconic chart is simple to calculate — essentially, the North Node of the birth chart shifts to 0° Aries, and the horoscope is then adjusted accordingly. In practice, Olliver uses the draconic chart as a supplementary chart that interacts with, but does not replace, the tropical. The tropical zodiac is based on the Sun’s journey beginning at 0° Aries. As the draconic chart places the Moon’s North Node at 0° Aries, it taps into the lunar realm of memory, the past, and what is variously understood as soul. The book has a straightforward aim: “How to find your soul purpose in the horoscope.”
Before the main part of the book — explanation of the technique and applications of the draconic zodiac — Olliver offers a lovely survey of thinkers who have engaged with the timeless questions of the vast “library of the soul.” The wide- ranging voices and views that he includes reflect both curiosity and objectivity, as he has no fixed ideas on questions of soul or fate but rather writes that the draconic gives “whatever we call soul a louder voice.”
The author transmits the essence of the technique in his analysis of Prince Charles’s draconic chart — “how a royal’s angst is universal” — which references the prince’s portrayal in the Netflix series, The Crown. This chapter alone is worth the price of this book. The book then becomes a practical guide to using draconic astrology. Olliver, who has focused on the technique for nearly a decade, is a passionate advocate and an exceptionally clear communicator on the subject. He describes the basic technique; next, a three-step approach to draconic analysis; forecasting (with transits and solar returns); synastry; and six case studies from his client files. His celebrity examples include Greta Thunberg, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, Pope Francis, Harry and Meghan, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Philip. Clients’ commentaries are included in the six case studies. Written during the pandemic lockdown, Olliver saw that “a great many people were granted a rare moment to consider the question of fulfillment and its absence.” This book arises from the individuals he met who were exploring these matters. Perhaps the draconic chart is being introduced to a new generation of astrologers at a moment when timeless concerns about one’s life purpose are certainly as relevant as ever, if not more so.”
Mary Plumb The Mountain Astrologer Libra Nox 2022
“I’ve always liked Victor Olliver’s astrological writing, so I was very happy to learn that he’d written an astrology book. I was a little surprised when I learned that it is on draconic astrology, very much a specialty topic, and one that I knew nothing about. I say “knew,” because having read Chasing the Dragons, I have at least a solid understanding of draconic and a good foundation for using it with clients and in other contexts.
The book is designed for astrologers and will find its best audience among professionals and advanced students. That’s in large part because the author assumes that the reader is familiar with astrological basics. While some may count that as a deficit, I found it refreshing to be able to jump into the new material without a lot of recap of things I already knew.
The first chapter is a basic introduction to draconic, which is a technique that is based on the lunar nodes. In brief, the North Node is set to 0 degrees Aries, and the rest of the chart is adjusted by the same number of degrees as the node moved. In other words, if the natal north node was at 0 Taurus, it is moved back thirty degrees to reach 0 Aries, so if the natal Sun is at 10 Libra, the draconic Sun will be at 10 Virgo. All points and planets move the same way. The chapter ends with a short history of draconic astrology, in which the author gives ample credit to his predecessors in the field.
Draconic’s technique is one thing, while its intent is another: to help find one’s soul purpose, the meaning in life. That’s a tall order, but it makes sense when we consider the significance of the lunar nodes. The second chapter of the book is devoted to the question of what we mean by soul. In this, the intention seems to be to set a wide enough definition to allow almost anyone to find something that will work for them. It’s an interesting topic, and like several others in the book, I wish it were a little longer.
Next comes a more in-depth look at the draconic techniques, which I’ll leave it to the reader to discover on their own. I will say that the ‘self-synastry’ between the natal and draconic charts is fascinating, and in itself it’s worth buying the book to learn. Yet there are other techniques, including timing, or ‘draconic transits.’ There’s a lot to explore.
Later chapters of the book include draconic forecasting and synastry. The author correctly states that each of these could constitute their own book, and I hope that he would consider writing them. While we can adequately get the idea of how these work, they are both topics that could be greatly expanded upon. The book is full of examples to illustrate the points, and the charts themselves are easy to read and very clear. Being English, Olliver uses some royal charts, but he also uses contemporary examples like Greta Thunberg and Britney Spears (the latter case study really benefits from the insights of draconic astrology). The text itself makes for a fun and informative read – which is important for a book introducing a technique that is likely to be new to most astrologers.
Of course, as a practicing astrologer, the real test for me was to apply the draconic techniques to my chart and others. I’m happy to say that I’ve even begun using it with clients, and I am sure that it will be particularly useful with those who are looking for direction in life or who are at major pivot points.”
Armand Diaz NCGR Memberletter August 2022
“This book provides a fresh approach to a branch of our work every lover of the wisdom and mystery of astrology should explore. It is truly a hypnotizing gaze into the cosmic serpent’s eyes. From the minute I tore open the package and started reading, I can’t put the damned thing down! ‘Nuff said.”
“I have long felt, that there is too much emphasis on the nodes of the Moon. These are not planets, but abstract points. Abstract points do not cast aspects. For me, their importance either in the natal or by transit, lies in the fact that these points are where eclipses tend to happen. Thus, if one of the nodal points is making a strong connection to a planet, it It shows that the planet was involved in an eclipse. This is indeed significant. It would show a disruption, shake up in the affairs ruled by the affected planet.
The general consensus among astrologers is that the south node of the Moon represents a persons past, things that he or she has already mastered in past lives and now feels a need to go further. There is a sense of boredom and dissatisfaction in the affairs of the house which occupies the south node.
The north node represents where the native is moving to. Its position shows the areas of life that bring the native much satisfaction. The author duly explains all this. Judith Hill, in her excellent book, the lunar nodes, adds another dimension to our understanding of the nodes. The south node represents lack or deficiency. The north node represents excess, perhaps too much of a good thing.
But our author takes the nodes to a whole other level. He calls it draconic astrology. He actually casts horoscopes based on the nodal positions. Mainly the position of the north node. This perspective gives a whole new level of importance to the nodes. The position of the north node becomes 0° Aries. The difference of degrees between the north node and 0 Aries is the measure used to shift every other planet by that amount. This gives us a draconic chart .
The book is clear, well written and thoughtful. He has mastered tropical astrology and now takes it a step
further. The draconic chart is not meant to replace the normal Natal tropical chart, but only to elaborate on it.
Specifically the draconic planets show us the soul urges of the native, the spiritual purpose of the incarnation. These things of course can be seen in the tropical chart but the draconic chart highlights and emphasizes different things. I found this very interesting. It is a form of spiritual astrology.
Even the meanings of the draconic planets are interpreted in a more spiritual way.
He illustrates the technique with many charts of actual people, some are celebrities and world figures, some come from his personal files. I applied the technique to my own horoscope and was amazed at how accurate it was.
He then goes a step further. He casts the regular Natal horoscope and compares it to the draconic horoscope, then, he does a synastry between the two charts. If I understood him correctly, this would show the difference between the native’s worldly urges and the spiritual urges. It would show what the native would need to do to fulfill these spiritual urges.
Though as we mentioned, the book is well written and very clear, it is not for beginners. This would be suitable for advanced students or professional astrologers. It would add another dimension to the readings.
Though the technique seems to work, at least in my own chart and then the charts that he includes in the book, there are some philosophical problems with this technique.
The whole premise of astrology is that the heavenly bodies exert an influence on the earth and on people, but with draconic astrology this gets thrown out the window. The draconic chart has no real relationship with the actual planetary positions.
So, as the author says, it is really a divination system. Astrology (as with other symbolic systems) lends itself to these kinds of divination systems.
This is a must read for anyone interested in learning about draconic astrology. There is much more to that dragon in the sky then merely eclipses.
Joe Polansky Diamond Fire magazine
I was very eager to dive into this book, not only because it teaches a forgotten technique but because I enjoy Victor Olliver’s work and writing style. The book is positively peppered with bits of trivia and references to literature which could have been veritable rabbit holes had I not been so keen on learning the technique of the draconic chart. As astrologers tend to get bogged down with the task of simplifying astrology to those who don’t understand the starry art, we get quite excited when we have the opportunity to try something different. And while the technique is not new, it is presented and taught in a manner that is. That definitely helped me keep my focus.
Olliver is careful to point out from the very beginning that draconic astrology is not for those who are new to the subject of astrology. Understanding the soul’s purpose, as the author says, “is not one that should be treated like a fortune cookie”. Because the draconic chart is one of many types of charts that work alongside the natal chart, it is important that one is fluent with interpreting the basics. It is very much a case of learning to walk before trying to run.
This being said, Olliver does a stellar job in using a wide variety of charts to demonstrate the power and illumination draconic charts are capable of. He begins by explaining the history of draconic charts, moves smartly onto the calculation before deftly introducing the three-step approach of interpreting the natal chart, then the draconic chart and then moving on to comparing them. He uses the charts of famous people (Karl Marx, Britney Spears, Greta Thunberg and others), those who live their lives in the spotlight so the reader is able to compare his interpretations to what we already know.
The author then pushes the technique to exploring more advanced astrological techniques to add to the dexterity of the draconic chart. In the next section, he looks at forecasting to explore the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 US presidential election, the GlaxoSmithKline corporation and a very careful and moving analysis of his own mother’s “transmutation”. These are not simply forecasts: they are explorations of life purpose. And here Olliver really comes into his own. The complex nature of life purpose is explained with an unparalleled simplicity and artistry.
Synastry, the astrology of relationships, is another area where an understanding of the draconic charts can cast light into the shadows of the bond between two people. The author used Harry and Meghan and Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh as the case studies. Once again, the “headline news” (as the author calls it) is confirmed through the analysis of the natal charts together with the draconic.
In the final section, Olliver reveals six case studies from his personal collection. I am pleased to have been one of these case studies so I have personal insight into how the author worked as an astrologer using the draconic technique. Not being terribly impressed with draconic astrology (having not read Olliver’s book before!), I casually consented to participate. What I received in return was truly life altering. It was a confirmation that while there are certain areas in my life where I need to take great care, it does seem that after a lot of faltering in my younger years I have stumbled upon what I’m supposed to be doing. The experience was a profound confirmation of life purpose. Exactly as Olliver said it would be. For the other case studies in this section, I felt as if I were being properly introduced to people I have “known” for years (Margaret Cahill, my own publisher and Anne Whitaker, a fellow writer, being among the other case studies).
The author ends this book with an analysis of the conception of the book itself. As with all the case studies in this book, it is a confirmation that the book is well on its path to fulfilling its soul purpose. The title says the book is just an introduction and I can’t wait to chase more dragons.
Alex Trenoweth – Timelords May 2022
Thank you to The Wessex Astrologer for the opportunity to review Victor Olliver’s new book, Chasing the Dragons: An Introduction to Draconic Astrology.
Victor presents us with a query of the age-old question about the ‘meaning of life’ and is curious about the universal question, ‘Why am I here?’. If you’re interested in these themes, this is your book. He explains that the draconic astrologer seeks to decode the chart for revelations of a person’s life or soul purpose, and this requires a very different mindset from that for tropical delineation. This ‘mindset’ is evident in both the horoscope construction and in its interpretation.
A key chapter in this book is Chapter One. In it, Victor goes beyond the interesting and ancient history of the Moon’s nodes and into the philosophy and psychology of the Moon’s nodes. Explained are the reasons people seek the truths in their life; general dissatisfaction, lack of rapport around others, recurring life patterns which are obstructive or frustrating, an inner sense of not excelling, serious illness, and others. Draconic astrology addresses the question of what is likely to lead me towards self-fulfillment.
The author employs a very clever device for draconic astrology he calls a ‘synastry of self’ (SOS) analysis in which the tropical and draconic birth charts are put together to discover what inter-aspects exist between them. Synastry, ordinarily, enables us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a relationship between two people. A SOS analysis focuses on one person and seeks to identify life purposes and challenges at ‘lower’ (tropical) and ‘higher’ (draconic) levels and digs deep into the charts of Britney Spears, Karl Marx, Greta Thunberg, Nelson Mandela and many others to discover just what is revealed in their draconic charts.
The author includes a chapter on the basics of draconic astrology. This is an important chapter not to be missed. Like other types of astrology, this chapter covers how to interpret a draconic chart, what to look for, and matters to be considered. His three-step approach to chart analysis provides clear step-by-step rules to aid in chart interpretation.
How does the draconic chart work with other astrological techniques? There are chapters on transits, solar returns, synastry, and a fascinating technique of ‘self-synastry’. The abundance of chart examples from the draconic perspective is compelling.
Chasing the Dragons: An Introduction to Draconic Astrology is an easy read, primarily due to the author’s relaxed, easy-to-read style.
This wonderful work by Victor Olliver is one of the most complete compendiums on draconic astrology that I have read, and I wholeheartedly recommend it for you.
Richard Smoot, ISAR Journal
“It has been a pleasure to work with Victor for over a decade both at the Mayo School and the Astrological Association. His wealth of skills, vast encyclopaedic knowledge and considerate approach all contribute to making him both an outstanding astrologer and a central member of the astrological community. A gifted speaker and writer, his work on draconic astrology is rich and insightful and he revives a technique of great significance.”
Wendy Stacey, Chairperson of the Astrological Association, Principal of the Mayo School of Astrology, Board Director of the International Association of Ethics in Astrology, Tutor of the London School of Astrology
“Victor Olliver is the perfect person to write this book. He’s a leading professional UK astrologer with a large client base, and is also a brilliant and entertaining writer, journalist, and broadcaster, and that enables him to walk the walk and talk the talk – a rare combination. Victor is a great proponent of using draconic astrology, and his talks on the topic explain it clearly and with great humour, so I’m delighted that he’s now written the book on it – it fills a much-needed gap.”
– Chris Mitchell PhD, board trustee of the Astrological Association
“Draconic astrology was something I had investigated many years ago, but it never really garnered my interest, that is, until I heard Victor Olliver give a short talk on the subject. He immediately made the technique and application visually appealing and understandable. Following his demonstration, I started to use draconic with a few clients and was delighted with the information it gave, as were the clients. Victor has the gift of writing clearly, succinctly and most importantly with humour. I feel this book, written by a brilliant astrologer, will be a boon, not only for those who practise astrology, but also for those with an interest in understanding their charts and themselves. I can’t recommend this work highly enough.”
– Sharon Knight MA. QHP. Chair of the Association of Professional Astrologers International and board trustee of the Astrological Association
“One of the most challenging tasks of the modern astrologer is developing the ability to explain complex techniques so they are not only easy to understand but so they can become a delightfully useful utensil for the astrologer’s toolkit. No one has done this better for draconics than Victor Olliver.”
– Alex Trenoweth MA (CAA), author of Mirror Mirror: The Astrology of Famous People and the Actors who Portrayed Them. Principal, Rohini Academy of Astrology. CAPISAR President and Ambassador for India.
“I was so pleased to hear this week that The Wessex Astrologer is commissioning my colleague Victor Olliver to write a book on the topic of draconic astrology. I have worked closely now with Victor for more than five years in his capacity as editor of the UK’s respected Astrological Journal and of my bi-monthly column there ‘Not the Astrology Column’. He has also done a brilliant job of editing my newly published essay collection Postcards to the Future.
Victor’s background in the legal profession and in journalism has brought a welcome clarity, incisiveness and high ethical standard to his involvement in astrology. He brings those qualities to a recent addition to his astrological services, that of Life Purpose reports using an ancient Babylonian system called draconic astrology, based on the Moon’s North Node position in the natal birth chart. I obtained one of those reports at the end of 2020 and was impressed with its accuracy. Here are brief extracts from feedback I sent Victor which give a flavour of that accuracy:
Victor’s report: “Indeed, struggle has the perverse effect of rejuvenating the character…”
My response: “Never was a truer word said about a person…”
My response to the most striking observation for me from Victor’s report:
“The exact conjunction you pointed out between the natal 12th-house Part of Fortune and the draco Chiron in Virgo, was the most striking item. I can see so clearly from this peaceful place in my later life how a profound, deliberately made choice early in my twenties to commit to the struggle to derive insight and clarity from deep pain provided by family Fate and its inevitable out-workings in my younger years, has fed all along into the work I have done in various vocational contexts over several decades.
The Wounded Healer archetype really has been a dominant force throughout. So, it was actually very moving to see that affirmed so strongly in my draco horoscope.
Thank you, Victor, for your clarity and insight.”
Anne Whitaker, author of Postcards to the Future: Mercurial Musings 1995-2021. Columnist on The Astrological Journal, and Dell Horoscope, essayist for The Mountain Astrologer and other publications.