As an Astrologer and Past Life Regression Therapist, I read this book with great interest. So many of my clients want a better understanding of their life’s/soul’s purpose. Thanks to Victor’s clear writing I have added this technique to my work as a Karmic Astrologer to help my clients. I love the methodical way in which Victor explains the Draconic process and the example charts that he provides. I also appreciate his introduction and exploration of what a Soul is. This is a thoughtful, well written guide which invites us to open our minds to what is beyond the obvious. Ana Isabel – Lightways Astrology
What is a review? To me, it is an interaction between a book and a reader. I suppose, the author may come into the equation at some stage as well. Well, a book with the sole purpose of exploring the soul’s purpose certainly clicked with me (my tropical North Node being in Pisces in the 8th house).
As the title states the book is about Draconic Astrology, and it is meant as an introduction. This is very useful, as Draconic seems to be on the rise in the astrological world, from a niche interest to ever-spreading popularity (in certain niches of the astro community). But what do Dragons have to do with astrology, you might ask. A fair question, which is explained in the first chapter of the book, providing a brief history of Draconic Astrology. Indeed, it has to do with the Moonʹs Nodes, which – by the ancients – were thought to be a dragonʹs head (North Node) and tail (South Node), with this dragon occasionally gobbling up the Sun or Moon during an eclipse and excreting them again. Of course, nowadays we know that there is no such thing as a dragon and that eclipses are to do with the relative positions of the Sun, Moon, Earth and the Moonʹs Nodes.
In Draconic – or Nodal – Astrology, the natal Moonʹs Nodes are advanced in the zodiac to 0° Aries/Libra, with the North Node on the Aries point. Accordingly, all other chart factors, planets and axes, are moved by the same number of degrees, though the house positions remain the same. Actually, itʹs more like moving the zodiac forward until the North Node reaches 0° Aries. This results in the chart and aspect patterns remaining the same but sign balances shifting according to the distance between the tropical and the draconic nodes.
Want to know more? Well, start reading the book!
To me, the point that really got me hooked was the authorʹs statement that Draconic Astrology is about discovering one’s soulʹs purpose! I know, I already mentioned that. Anyway, letʹs hear the author speak:
Draconic astrology addresses the question of what is likely to lead to engaging a sense of purpose towards self-fulfilment (…) The Moonʹs nodes, then, are concerned with life or spiritual purposes that are intended to bring out the very best in the individual. This process may be liberating, fraught with challenge or feel the most natural thing in the world. Each life is unique.
The reasons for the quest for oneʹs life purpose are varied.
- Dissatisfaction with the current life direction
- Recurring life patterns that are obstructive or frustrating
- A sense of not reaching oneʹs full potential
- Serious illness or facing death
To mention just a few.
Olliver points out in his Introduction that Draconic is not the point to start if youʹre completely new to astrology. Itʹs a specialist technique which complements tropical (or sidereal) astrology and requires fundamental knowledge in chart reading. Indeed, the tropical chart is always the basis for analysis, with the draconic providing extra information with regard to the meaning of the individualʹs life.
The draconic chart in some instances may very well reveal new things about a personʹs life purpose that are not apparent in the tropical, but for the most part there is a continuation of themes between the tropical and draconic.
What then, is the soul (sole) purpose of this book? My book here sets itself the task of explaining in straightforward terms how to use draconic astrology based on my client and celebrity chart work – it takes the subject much more in the direction of life or spiritual purposes as the raison dʹetre of draconic, and how in particular it is applicable to natal, predictive, mundane and relationships astrology.
The special thing about this introduction is that it is really well-structured and ʺfocuses on a step-by-step approachʺ to the subject ʺto speed up understanding.ʺ Victor Olliver explains his approach in clear language and easy-to-follow steps, illustrated amply by corresponding chart analyses of celebrities and clients.
Chapter two is called ʺSoul, the draconic meaning of a life and … how a royalʹs angst is universalʺ – I do love these titles and the witty, often tongue-in-cheek language Olliver uses! In this particular chapter, he employs the Netflix drama The Crown to illustrate the method of Synastry of Self. Regarding the soulʹs purpose, the (then) Prince of Wales (ʺWails?ʺ – What a play of words! Couldn’t help laughing out loud.) ruminates:
I am both free and imprisoned…Nor can I be the thing for which I was born. I am existing in a timeless and slightly ridiculous abyss…
In his analysis, Olliver aptly describes the dilemma the slightly exaggerated TV persona of Charles represents – or should we say that the TV series may get to the bottom of Charlesʹ dilemma between his social role and his real calling?
Only when we put the two charts together, do we get a clearer sense of purposes and circumstances. In his tropical/draconic biwheel SOS chart, abundance of inherited privilege and wealth is more plainly shown. … But I also see the maverick, independent thinking and decidedly troublesome tropical Uranus – aka the ʹawakenerʹ – … Part of his life purpose is indeed to cause ʹtroubleʹ, to pioneer new ways of living. … This can only be achieved by balancing abundant entitlement and natal innovativeness. His royal profile may indeed help him in his labours, yet his true purpose is much more to do with the protectiveness he can bestow on those themes about which he feels passionately…. The real or imagined Charles may or may not wonder as to his life purpose and its frustrations. Yet given the range of his known interests and accomplishments in the areas of organic farming and environmentalism, it might be suggested that he has already tapped his soul purpose.
ʺThe timeless quest for life meaningʺ is also a sub-chapter I really like, due to its philosophical, reflecting nature, and I could provide you with another list of quotes which I have marked in the book. However, I donʹt want to overwhelm you, the reader, with an avalanche of quotations, nor do I want to give it all away. So, Iʹll stick with one that particularly spoke to me for now (starting with a quote from Tolkien in ʹThe Riddle of Striderʹ):
‘Not all who wander are lostʹ. Wandering may be part of oneʹs life story, a seemingly aimless succession of experiences thatʹs transient in feel, or ʹpurposeless’.
I have learnt one thing from astrology, and draconic in particular: No life or experience is without purpose.
Amen to that!
In chapter three, the reader can finally find the promised detailed step-by-step explanation of how to interpret the draconic chart and SOS. Short key phrases on the meanings of signs and planets in draconic interpretation help the beginner along, distinguishing the different levels in tropical and draconic. This three-step approach is extensively applied in and illustrated by the interpretation of charts of well-known people, such as Queen Victoria, Karl Marx, Hedy Lamarr, Greta Thunberg, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela and Britney Spears. (A sneak preview of which you can read here: Draconic Astrology – Finding your soul purpose)
But the varied uses of draconic astrology do not stop at natal chart reading. The more versed practitioner can also use the method for forecasting with transits and solar return charts. Olliver introduces and illustrates the different forecast techniques, using different zodiacs, again with numerous examples: Britney Spears, Donald Trump, Pope Francis I, Olliver himself, and even a company (!), providing ground for a discussion whether corporate entities can also have a soul purpose.
Another use of the method is in synastry, as the author aptly shows in an analysis of Harry and Meghanʹs relationship, and that of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
My favourite chapter… has to be the last one: draconic case studies from Olliverʹs files. These are real people, very much alive and a bit like you and me (well, okay, some are far more well-known than you and me, but still not with that unreachable celebrity status of the usual suspects – no offense!). Among those are astrologers like Anne Whitaker, Sue Brayne and Alex Trenoweth, as well as astro publisher Margaret Cahill, but also two ʹjust peopleʹ. I found it especially interesting to read the written reports, which – again – let the reader follow the well-structured step-by-step approach. But they also contain the comments and reactions of the clients while or after reading their report. These are what makes the interpretations truly come alive for me! They even made a lowly editor at Astrodienst long for one of those analyses…Must be her Cancer Moon in 11…or the nodal axis in 2/8…
And I bow to Victor for leaving all the comments in the text, even if one or two didnʹt quite agree with the interpretation. Though, of course, there may still be room for the people concerned to explore their own soul further. For the most part, however, it was exciting to read how accurately they found themselves portrayed.
Epilogue – And just as I thought, I couldn’t be surprised anymore, I read the epilogue, starting thus:
What might be the soul purpose of this book? Do books have souls?
Good question! Of course, they do! – Unfortunately, the author does not discuss this highly philosophical question in detail, but – just as interestingly – shares the story of how he came to write this book and what that process implied for his own soul purpose. And let me tell you: it really shows in his tropical and draconic charts and transits!
I suppose, you have learnt a lot about the reviewerʹs relationship with the book by now. But I also found that I learnt a lot about the worthy author, which I had previously not perceived in his public persona. Reading Chasing the Dragons seems to have revealed some of his soul to me. Thank you, Victor.
Karin Hoffman, Editor of Astrodienst at www.astro.com
Our astrological birth charts provide a phenomenal amount of symbolic material for understanding ourselves better: our talents, challenges, and even – when read from certain perspectives – our destiny and spiritual purpose. There are about as many ways to approach all of this as there are astrologers.
Draconic astrology is a way of casting what author Victor Olliver calls a supplementary specialist chart to address questions such as: Why am I here and what is my mission in life? It’s not a technique for beginning astrologers. But it is something, I think, that every astrologer ought to know about and consider using when studying their own charts as well as those of clients.
The word draconic means like a dragon. Ancient myths in various cultures taught that lunar and solar eclipses were the result of a dragon living in the nodes of the Moon. The nodes are not bodies in the sky. They are astronomical points where the Moon’s orbit intersects the ecliptic, which is the apparent path of the Sun in the sky. The point where the Moon’s path ascends is called the north node, and where it descends is called the south node. The pair of opposite nodal signs changes about every 18 months. When a New or Full Moon falls within a few degrees of the Moon’s nodes, that’s an eclipse.
The meanings of the lunar nodes vary among the many traditions of astrology. In general, the south lunar node (by sign, house and aspect) has to do with our default settings, things we find easy, and the “past,” whereas the north lunar node represents our “future,” what we’re drawn toward and find challenging. The south lunar node is the tail of the dragon. The north lunar node is the dragon’s head.
Draconic astrology is a lunar astrological technique, dating back to the Mesopotamian civilization. From there, the history of draconic astrology is murky, Olliver notes, though it enjoyed a kind of revival in the middle of the 20th century, when astrology charts were still drawn by hand. Calculating charts is now easy, with computer software at every astrologer’s finger tips.
The draconic technique is to set the lunar north node (destiny, future) at 0 degrees of Aries, which is the starting point of the zodiac. Next, you calculate the difference by degrees between 0° Aries and the natal degree of the lunar north node. Then you move each of the planets forward by the same number of degrees. This generates a draconic chart with all of the planets in the same houses as they occupy in the natal chart, but all in different signs. With the sign changes, this second, stand-alone draconic chart changes the elements and modes of all planetary placements, thus giving a whole new meaning to one’s Sun, Moon, etc. Then, using software or by hand, you make a third chart, which Olliver calls a synastry of self chart, by placing the natal chart in the middle of a bi-wheel, with the draconic chart on the outer wheel, showing how the draconic placements interact with natal placements.
The book has a slew of celebrity charts including many of the usual suspects found in astrology teaching (the British royals, Karl Marx, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, et al.)
My favorite, though, is the case of Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish climate activist. She’s young enough that there’s no telling yet how her life will unfold, but the clues are in the charts. Without a known birth time for her, the draconic technique works anyway because the lunar nodes move so slowly. Natally, Thunberg has Sun, Moon and Chiron in Capricorn. The New Moon in cardinal, earthy Capricorn is initiatory and striving. Her lunar north node in Gemini speaks to someone whose destiny revolves around communication. The draconic chart shifts the Capricornian cluster to Scorpio which Olliver considers “an alert that a central part of Thunberg’s life purpose involves a resolution or determination to fight.” (Scorpio is ruled by Mars.) Next, the bi-wheel of Thunberg’s synastry of self chart reveals a striking feature: draconic Jupiter precisely conjoins Thunberg’s north node in Gemini. Olliver calls this “an old head (Jupiter) on young shoulders (Gemini, sign of youth.)“ He notes that, for better or worse, this could confer on Thunberg a kind of guru status. ‘Her soul,” he writes, “has taken on a huge task.”
For the end of Chasing the Dragons, Olliver studied the natal and draconic charts of a number of his personal friends and had them write their responses. It’s a demonstration of how to use the natal and draconic charts in an actual consultation. Olliver is a master astrologer, a veteran journalist, a great writer. This book is compelling.
Draconic astrology is not intended to supplant the natal chart but to supplement it by shedding the light of the Moon’s mysteries on a given life. I tried it with my own chart and was taken by the results. The draconic chart accurately displays my life-long quests for emotional healing, spiritual knowledge, financial security, and career achievement.
This has me concluding that by highlighting what a person may already know to be true about themselves, draconic astrology can offer someone faith and confidence that they are on the right track.
Review by Sara R. Diamond for Facing North
In his articulate, concise fashion Victor describes this powerful astrological tool in this enlightening book.
In seven chapters Victor explains draconic astrology, its history, what it does for the native and then explains very eruditely the technique of the new tool, followed by fascinating examples.
The first few chapters are a revelation where he explains the origins of this new tool, debating whether it is ancient or new. He also states what the technique does. Creating a different chart, from the natal using as the first point of reference, the North Node and South Node, placing this at 0 degrees of Aries, then constructing the planets and angles from this point of reference changing their zodiac signs but not necessarily the houses they occupy in the original chart. He explains the reasons for this and follows on with the second chapter which is thoroughly enjoyable.
This chapter is titled intriguingly ‘Soul, the draconic meaning of a life and… how a royal’s angst is universal.’ Victor muses that it is a method to find the soul’s purpose in the native’s life and he discusses at length what the soul of a native may be. Plus, a question we all ask ourselves as we journey through life, what is our purpose? He discusses how using draconic astrology can be a good technique to discover this. By looking at the chart from the perspective of the nodal axis and the subsequent positions of the planets, this astrological tool gives a deeper and more spiritual meaning to the natal life. I found this chapter a revelation, as Victor in his superb articulate style not only gives his thoughts but quotes from philosophers the importance of finding your path within this cosmos. Something I am more than passionate about myself. I believe that astrology is a good way of finding this and am now convinced, after reading this book, that draconic astrology is a great tool.
In the following chapters Victor explains, very succinctly what he calls ‘The Three Step Approach’ technique. Firstly looking at the tropical natal or event chart, secondly looking at the tropical draconic natal or event chart, and finally bringing together both charts in a synastry bi-wheel. He then gives chart examples using such famous people as Queen Victoria, Karl Marx and Hedy Lamarr. These are very interesting examples to see from a draconic angle, thus drawing you into the art in an entertaining way. We can see from these examples why these people made such an impact,
In the following chapters he discusses forecasting using transits and solar returns, using more chart examples plus giving his own chart as an example for forecasting death, a very brave thing to do. He then looks at synastry charts of couples from a draconic perspective, giving high profile examples which give a more in-depth view of their charts and lives. This gives us another tool to use when looking at synastry charts, a very popular part of astrology.
But I believe the gift of the book is that Victor also leaves it to the reader to form their own opinion. It teaches, informs and entertains but gives room for you to think for yourself. You look at his examples and also think to yourself does, this, or that work? It is a great style and one I found both enjoyable and a good way of explaining this method.
At the end I looked at my own draconic chart, and used the techniques given in the book to discover my draconic Neptune conjoins my natal Sun. Now that is something I am really going to have to think about with regards to my quest in life. A great book to add to your astrological library. – Gill Dorren for the Astrology Quarterly magazine
If the reader is wondering what dragons of any kind have to do with astrology, let’s begin this review with a simple explanation. The Moon’s orbit around the earth is at a slant to the earth’s orbit around the Sun (the ecliptic), so during the Moon’s monthly journey it will be either above or below the ecliptic, except for two moments when it crosses the points where its orbit and the ecliptic intersect. The point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic from South to North is what we call the North Node, and the point where it crosses from North to South is called the South Node.
All of that is simple enough, but as those points have a great deal to do with solar and lunar eclipses, something I won’t try to explain in detail here, ancient observers from various cultures characterized them as dragons, dubbing the North Node the dragon’s head and the South Node the dragon’s tail. Generally, when the lunar nodes are used in standard natal or mundane astrology the head of the dragon, the North Node, is considered a favorable point, while the South Node is considered unfavorable. I won’t take the explanation further than that, as what you will see in Chasing the Dragons isn’t standard astrology at all, as the author warns right at the beginning of the introduction by telling the reader, “If you are embarking on a study of astrology, draconic is not the place to start. Nodal or draconic astrology is a specialist technique that can only be utilized once there’s familiarity with tropical (or sidereal) astrology.
It’s interesting to me that Olliver began by thinking of astrology as “bunk,” but when an astrologer friend explained its symbolic nature, he began to study the subject, and found it useful. He was quite a way into his astrological education before he even heard of draconic astrology, and before getting into a basic description of it, I want to refer regular readers to my recent reviews of several books by the late Dane Rudhyar, who saw astrology as having a higher purpose than simply dealing with life’s ups and downs. His approach was (in my reading of it, and not in his own words) to give a people a context in which to grow as a person. Rudhyar, though, was still concerned with life here and now, and not with what might have come before it, or gone after it.
Since draconic astrology is said to be concerned with “life (or soul) purpose” (a term that first appears on the back cover), it implies a relationship between the current life, a prior life, and a life to come, reincarnation in other words. Despite this, Olliver is clear that one need not accept the idea of reincarnation, but can simply use the symbolic language of draconic astrology as a guide in the here and now. In that sense, he has a goal similar to that of Rudhyar, but there is of course a difference in the sense that he is not using Rudhyar’ s symbolic language. Also, Rudhyar’ s work was based on standard tropical charts, while a draconic chart begins with a standard horoscope, sets the North Node to 0° Aries and uses that to adjust everything else. The resulting chart looks exactly the same, but (as in an example on page 92) if you look at a chart for Oprah Winfrey, who was born January 29, 1954, you will notice that her Sun is in 15 degrees of Aries.
The book itself is well organized, and Olliver writes well, and does well in his explanation about how to approach this kind of astrology, and to use it to understand the basic idea of draconic astrology (Chapter One), the draconic meaning of life (Chapter Two), its basic techniques (Chapter Three), a three-step approach to draconic analysis, using celebrity case studies (Chapter Four), using it in transits and solar returns (Chapter Five), and even synastry (Chapter Six). The final chapter offers the reader further study with a set of case studies of clients and colleagues, so the author has given readers quite a lot of material to work with (Chapter Seven).
Chasing the Dragons, as Victor Olliver himself makes clear, is not a beginner’s book, but for anyone who is thoroughly familiar with standard astrology, has spent time learning how to work with a birth chart, and finds the idea of a new way to look at astrology intriguing, this is certainly the right place to start.
Kenneth Irving Horoscope Guide
“Why am I here? What is my soul’s purpose? Draconic astrology answers these questions. Victor calls it ‘a divinatory practical tool that helps the client uncover or recover what they actually know all along.’
Draconic is an old technique, but one not taught in most astrology classes. Victor Olliver remedies this lack of instruction in his informative book Chasing the Dragons.
The first glance at one’s draconic chart shows that the planets are in the same house but in different signs. The North Node is placed at 0 degrees of Aries and all the other planets shift by the number of degrees between this new Node placement and the natal North Node. While the tropical natal chart is Sun based, the draconic chart is based on the Moon. The approach relates to ancient times when astrology and calendars were lunar because it is easier to see the path and changes of the Moon than the Sun. The draconic chart is not a replacement for the natal chart, just a supplement to give further understanding by focusing on the meaning of the Nodal axis. It helps one identify soul themes, the path of spiritual development, and major life challenges that are not apparent in a reading of the tropical chart.
Victor teaches a three-step method of interpreting the draconic chart. The first step is to delineate the tropical natal chart, then to look at the draconic chart. The third step is a technique called ‘synastry of self’. It is a biwheel with the tropical chart on the inside and the draconic chart on the outside. He uses enough examples in the book so that the reader ‘gets it’ and can fully grasp the use and meaning of the draconic system.
Besides explaining this basic way to examine the chart, Victor adds a chapter on how to use draconic transits and solar returns. He shows us how draconic charts can be used in the synastry of couples or events. He ends the book with six case histories which include feedback from the clients. The reader sees how the people react to the information. However, the reader needs to be familiar with the basics of tropical astrology. It is not a book for beginning students.
Victor worked as a journalist for many years before becoming an astrologer, and this experience shows in his writing; it is clear and concise. He quotes frequently and makes references from other astrologers such as Dennis Elwell, Cyril Fagan, and Pam Crane, who wrote about draconic astrology. Victor is a seasoned, accomplished astrologer, so there is the added benefit of learning astrology from his delineations. There are excellent summaries of the Nodes in the signs. He is considerate of the fact that readers use modern and traditional astrology and are in a new place about gender.
The book is so well written and complete that one can begin to use the technique immediately. I added a Draconic chart to a lecture on Edgar Cayce when I saw his draconic Neptune conjunct his tropical tenth house Pluto.
This book belongs on the bookshelves of all serious astrologers, especially those who see clients. It gives an added dimension to your work and your understanding of astrology.”
Arlan Wise for The Career Astrologer August 22
“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. Director of Education for Kepler College.
“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.