“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 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.