A Tribute to Joan Gibbins and her Progressions

Joan Gibbins Horoscope poster
Prayers for Joan!

A Tribute to Joan Gibbins and her Progressions

by Robin Armstrong


This is a special collage/mandala I made for Joan. It has two Geocentric charts: one with constellations and one with Stars. It also has two Heliocentric charts: one with constellations and one with stars. In the background is the holy Cauvery River in southern India. The big figure in the background, is me when I was 24. This picture was taken the day I came out of a solitude room, after spending 13 months alone and in darkness without speaking or seeing another person. In the final days of my stay, I had great visions of astrology and music, so for me this picture is a beginning of my astrology life. The figure in the centre is my Guru Mota Maharaj, who was responsible for these solitude rooms and the welfare of the sadhus who spend time in them. For the record, more women use these retreats than men! While I was alone for these thirteen months, I tried to continuously chant a name of God. This chant was Hari Om. It is written on the background of the print in English letters and in the corners in Gujarati.

This chart represents my prayer for Joan.


I have known Joan since about 1991 at which time she had already been a professional astrologer for about 10 years. She came to talk to me about forming a Canadian organization to further Astrological education. We met at the Star Centre on St Nicholas St. three times for about 2 or 3 hours each time.

There had already been two national organisations in Canada: the CIAO (Canadian Independent Astrologers Order) and the FCA (Fraternity for Canadian Astrologers), both of which had come and gone. I was teaching astrology four nights a week at this time and was hesitant to get involved, but I did offer to give her my two cents of advice whenever she wanted it. This was the beginning of our association and friendship.

When Joan came to astrology, she was well prepared. She had the perfect foundations for astrology. She was a psychiatric nurse, with a wealth of experience of medicine and of people with problems. She started her studies at the first school of astrology in Toronto, the Institute for Astrological Studies, run by Elizabeth Tessier. This school had rigid standards and expected students to live up to them before they could charge money for horoscopes. The mark needed to pass at the Institute for Astrological Studies was 80%. In its peak years the Mrs. Tessier taught about 300 students. Mrs. Tessier was a student and associate of William Tucker in England.

So Joan came into astrology with a strong sense of responsibility and awareness of the need for astrological standards. This was an instinct in her, because she already knew what would happen when a poorly educated nurse was allowed to practice.

After graduating from the Institute, Joan began her practise of astrology. When I met her in 1991 her approach to setting up a Canadian association for setting standards and providing valid education for astrologers commanded respect. I was also friends with several other graduates from the institute that became good professional astrologers. So when Joan and I met we could relate well to each other.

In the end she formed a group with several astrologers, Elaine Pond, Murray Souva, Janet Markham and others. I was teaching a lot and did not join but I did promise her my support whenever she needed or wanted it. I explained my classes and their levels of development. She wanted to know how each group was taught. This was the beginning of our friendship. By 1993 The CAAE was formed and over 50 people wrote the exams. I wrote the exams when Rob Hand was visiting to give my support.

Over the years we became better friends. I used to go over to visit Joan, and she would pull out the cribbage board. We would play cribbage for hours and read poetry and talk astrology. I came from a family of cribbage players and so did Joan. This was how we really got to know each other.

We talked about our charts and we spent quite a bit of time rectifying her chart. She was using a time of 3:25 am with the Moon and Jupiter in the 5th House and Neptune unafflicted in the 6th. When considering her challenges with Parkinson’s disease I felt strongly that the chart she was using was too positive and did not reflect this issue. I asked if her birth time was absolutely valid and if it could be changed a little. She said that it wasn’t a solidly reliable time and some adjustment could be possible. In the end we came to putting the Moon just into the 6th house. Then the Mars detriment in Taurus ruled by Venus, and Venus in Cancer ruled by the Moon in the 6th house would be a better representation of her Parkinson’s. We adjusted the time to 3:13 am which moved her ascendant from 9 Aries 16 to 3 Aries 25. Which is the chart I have used in this article. We never talked about this again, but my impression was that she would watch both charts for a while before deciding conclusively.

With her Mars conjunct Mercury, which was also conjunct Uranus, Joan was really smart and came alive in astrology. It was not enough to become a good astrologer; she was determined to make responsible astrology available to others. The CAAE was the format that empowered her. As her body began to get weaker, her mind grew stronger. She had something important to work on and this allowed Joan to manage her health and carry on in spite of vulnerabilities. It was a great affirmation for her to see students achieving their diploma from her lifelong efforts. She had a wonderful way of working with others and letting the team make it happen, but she worked hard consistently over the years. The graduating Diploma students made it all worthwhile.

In the last few years of her life Joan put attention to God and Spirit and found a centre, beyond her mental astrological centre, where she secured her relationship to the light in preparation of her upcoming journey.

Joan’s Progressed Sun

Here is Joan’s natal chart with the movement of the Progressed Sun for her lifetime shown as a yellow arc on the outer rim of the chart.

Joan’s progressed Sun has progressed through the last 8 degrees of Taurus, (0-8yrs) through Gemini (8-39), through Cancer (39-72) and in Leo up to 17Le07 (72-88).

The progressed Sun represents the evolution of one’s Soul across a lifetime. You could call it your life path.

In 2018 Joan’s progressed Sun conjuncted her Jupiter bringing the light of the Soul onto her understanding of life. She could see in the light of the Soul the results of her teaching and outlook on life. She could see the great accomplishment. This is also the time that Joan began to make spiritual breakthroughs in understanding the light of God.

By 2021 progressed Sun had moved on and was less than 2 degrees conjunct her natal moon. Here the light of the Soul began to shine on her memories, her past, and her life. As soon as she began to perceive this she went into the Light. This is a very fortunate time and way to move on into the light.

(I had not spoken to Joan in over a year, but the last time I did talk to her she told me she was paying more attention to her relationship with God and was moving more in that direction. Knowing Joan, I took her at her word. So these conclusions are my feelings about her successful transition, which to me, seemed to be confirmed by her progressions.)

Joan’s Progressed Mercury

Here is Joan’s natal chart with the movement of the progressed Mercury for her lifetime shown as an orange line on the outer rim of the chart at the bottom.

In 1991 Joan’s Mercury conjuncted her natal Jupiter. She had already been a professional astrologer and astrology teacher for ten years. This conjunction to Jupiter gave her the bigger picture of how to expand and create an association to insure good standards of astrology across the country. She expanded her thinking and pulled together with a group of people and this led to the beginning of the CAAE.

By 2006 her progressed Mercury conjuncted the fixed star Regulus, the heart of the lion. And by 2007 mercury reached the position of the precessed Regulus at the very end of Leo. In these years Joan worked on developing the curriculum and other educational work. In the same year her Mercury moved into Virgo and the technical concerns of the CAAE and improving teaching aids surfaced. By 2015 progressed Mercury went Retrograde. Joan had seen students get their CAAE diplomas and the new teaching manuals practically in use.

Over the next four years as Joan’s strength diminished, she turned her mind to spiritual matters and God. Mercury went back to 00 Virgo 11 and conjuncted the precessed Regulus. A noble light shone on her ideas and brought new spiritual insights.

Joan’s Progressed Venus

Here is Joan’s natal chart with the movement of the progressed Venus for her lifetime shown as a green line on the outer rim of the chart at the bottom.

Joan’s progressed Venus provides a remarkable story. I do not have all the specific historical dates to facts, so I will make some assumptions, which can hopefully be corrected later.

With her natal Venus in Cancer in House 4 the appeal of a nursing or care-giving career can be understood. Her Venus progressed straight forward for the first 25 years of her life until it went retrograde at 15 Can 26. She grew up and went for the nursing career and probably had it set up and running by 1957 when Venus went retrograde. I assume this is probably when she got married, moved to Montreal and began her family. The first wave of p-Venus Joan moved forward on her own. After p-Venus going retrograde, in the second wave, she made room for others and a family.

By 1982 Venus had retrograded back to her own natal position implying a new beginning or perhaps new things that she wanted to do. Joan is fifty here. The kids are pretty well grown up. Joan had recently graduated from the Institute of Astrological Studies and had become a professional astrologer, consulting and teaching. She had maintained a career as a psychiatric nurse and was well prepared to put astrology to good use. It would prove a most rewarding experience.

After 1982 Venus retrograded into areas where it was before she was born. to me this means she was going back into past lifetime emotions to find something she may have left behind or had not completed. By this time she was an established nurse and astrologer. She had brought the boys up. Now it was her turn to do something she wanted. I think she was emotional pulled back into something she had done before. This would also allow her to nurture other students and make certain that they were secure in their adoption and practice of astrology.

Joan continued with her own practice and teaching. By 1989 her progressed Venus conjuncted her IC, the deepest personal motivational point in the chart. This was a profoundly sensitive and impressionable time and she certainly would have encountered many deep emotional relationships and experiences. Perhaps even a spiritual vision was received. I think it was the real seed time of her decision to make a group or association of people teaching astrology.

In 1993, Joan’s Venus retrograded into Gemini. This was the summer solstice point and a significant shift to a Mercurial focus. This marked the founding of the CAAE. She was the inspiration for and instigator of the CAAE. A new path was struck and yet Venus was still retrograding back into other lifetimes.

In 2000 Venus went stationary direct and started moving forward again. Her dear partner in the CAAE, Elaine Pond, for health reasons, had to withdraw from the CAAE and Joan was on her own. She had many people around her, but her main confidant and co-worker was Elaine. This marked the beginning of Joan’s Venus going direct again. Of course, she would carry on but her emotional attitude had shifted. She would have to think things through for herself now and she continued on.

In 2008 Joan’s Venus progressed out of Gemini and back into Cancer. She was moving forward but not out of past life influences yet. In 2009 the first diploma graduates received their diplomas. This was a huge personal affirmation, and with Venus in Cancer she became the den mother of the CAAE. Somewhere in here she started teaching at her home. The Venus in Cancer continued to shine. Her body was getting weaker but her heart was shining more than ever. And she had the work she loved to keep her mind off her body.

By 2013 Venus conjuncted her IC in Cancer once again. The last time was in 1989 as she aligned her life to work for the CAAE with Elaine and others. This time there was the concern that she might not be able to keep it up for very long. But she was so deeply fulfilled through her love of astrology and her students, that she just got more determined to carry on as best she could and keep improving things.

In the late summer of 2020 Venus once again returned to it natal position. Venus returned to where she was when Joan started her life and also when Joan really started her astrology career. Joan fulfilled her life as a girl to young woman, as a wife and mother, as the founder and president of the CAAE, and managed to pass on her enthusiasm for astrology to many others so that the big work could continue. Joan had lived an emotionally full life. She had completed most of what she wanted. Within six months while her progressed Venus still conjuncted her natal position, she let go and moved on…smiling within, content within. A fulfilling life well lived!

Joan’s Progressed Mars

Here is Joan’s natal chart with the movement of the progressed Mars for her lifetime shown as a red line on the outer rim of the chart at the bottom.

Joan’s progressed Mars conjuncted her natal Sun in 1961 adding power to her determination. By 1972 Mars progressed into Gemini ushering in an era of championing ideas and acting on them. By 1988 progressed Mars moved into Joan’s third house and by this time she was a professional astrologer, consulting and teaching with energy and enthusiasm. By 2015 p-Mars had reached the solstice point at the end of Gemini. Joan’s putting her energy into her ideas, peaked, while her physical energy due to the Parkinson’s was getting weaker. She had made her ideals of an astrology education association become real. Her strong mental activities kept her alive and working, even though her physical movements were decreasing. She kept teaching at home when she could. By 2018 p-Mars conjuncted Joan’s natal IC (opposed the natal MC). She had no more energy to put out towards the work. But she did start concentrating on spirituality and God. Joan’s p-Mars exactly squared her natal Asc. on Jan 15, 2021 the day she let go of her body.

Joan’s Progressed Jupiter

Here is Joan’s natal chart with the movement of the progressed Jupiter for her lifetime shown as a blue line on the outer rim of the chart at the bottom.

Jupiter being the planet of understanding and teaching, (In India Jupiter is called Guru) is in Leo in Joan’s 5th house. This implies a natural teacher. Her progressed Jupiter conjuncted her moon in 1964 and really for a few years before and after 1964. This was when Joan had her three sons and was learning from family. Jupiter would stay in Leo for Joan’s entire life. In 2017 the p-Jupiter conjuncted the fixed Star Regulus, the heart of the Lion. This is the area where sidereal Leo and tropical Leo coincide. Jupiter conjuncting Regulus implies a bright light illuminating her understanding. Regulus is a Light of leadership and nobility. By 2021 p-Jupiter had reached 29Le43. Across her lifetime Regulus had precessed to 00 Vir 07, so p-Jupiter had passed the natal Regulus but was in close conjunction to the precessed Regulus. From 2017 to 2021 her understanding was aligned to the Heart of the Lion, Regulus.

Joan’s Progressed Ascendant

Here is Joan’s natal chart with the movement of the progressed Asc for her lifetime shown as a black line on the outer rim of the chart at the bottom.

Joan’s progressed Ascendant conjuncted Pluto in 2019 and squared Uranus in late 2020. It stayed square to Uranus until she decided to let go and move into the greater light. Her body could do no more, and it was time to let go!

In Conclusion:

Joan’s Progressed Mercury and Jupiter

Joan’s progressed Mercury went into Virgo and then retrogrades back to 00 VI 11 conjunct precessed Regulus. Joan’s progressed Jupiter moved up to 29 LE 48 conjunct precessed Regulus. These two planets of thinking and understanding came together and conjuncted at the end of Joan’s life. This implies a magnificent blossoming of ideas into deeper comprehension. In the last few years Joan concentrated her mind on spiritual light and God. What a beautiful affirmation of completing a spiritual path.

Several remarkable timings occurred here at this place of the p-Mercury and p-Jupiter conjunction around 0 degrees of Virgo. Regulus the “Heart of the Lion” had been in Leo for 2250 years and only in the past year did the “Heart of the Lion” move into Virgo. This is a huge symbolic shift from the “heart within the heart” to the “heart within the mind.” Joan’s work to evolve the CAAE seems to have blossomed here and set a standard for these new celestial energies, or at least created a vehicle or association in tune with this light.

This cusp of Leo Virgo represents the symbol of the Sphinx: the body of the Lion and the head of the woman. Joan truly encapsulated this mystery. She lived in an increasingly vulnerable body due to the Parkinson’s and yet she controlled her life by using her mind. She did this with all of her heart and will power. CAAE is one of the results of this life.

The Sphinx sits watching over the Pyramid and protects its mysteries. Joan too will sit watching over CAAE protecting the mysteries of astrology and the students who aspire to elevate their mind and lives.