All posts by Maggie Jeffery

The rules of care?

Long ago I was asked for advice regarding the development of Care Standards.      A list of tasks for what was deemed satisfactory care had been written for assessment purposes.   For example, one question was  …   ‘Did the carer say ‘good morning’ …. Tick box:  ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.            Sadly my impatience, anger and sheer frustration at the authority drawing up these ‘rules’ led me to withdraw from the process.    Not helpful …..

Care isn’t straight forward and from long experience I knew care and indeed holistic nursing required more than logic, reason and cost effectiveness and following the rules thought out by somebody else.     Surely, I thought, people in authority must get this very simple fact of life?   Was it me that was being stupid?  What was I missing?

We are human beings and live in connection with each other.   When we care for another, when we assume the role of teaching another, when we counsel or coach another, we take on responsibility for extending our boundaries and offering a deeper part of our human selves.   This intrinsic energy manifests and interacts with the other person and the surrounding environment.

Such entanglement implies a whole new ball game!    What are we sharing of ourselves?     What is the quality,shape and purpose of our energy?     How individually conscious are we of what and who we are?    ……      Each one of us is complex and unique.     How well does authority that controls, plans and organises understand that there must be balance between logic and the human heart?

Of course we can choose to set tight  boundaries, follow the rules and stay safe and untouched within our protective layers.    But do we grow and flourish in  cut off and in  separation and  working in sterile ‘helping’ environments?   Indeed are there any winners?     And in the greater picture is such imbalance possible for survival of humanity?

Mental Wellbeing and Creative Health Talks



FREE Talks in Central Thornbury

“Stuck and Confused”                                  Saturday, May 20th, 9.30-10.30        Based on wisdom from Julia Cameron’s work, “The Artist’s Way”, this talk explores strategies for gaining clarity through the mists of overload.

“The Inner Map”                                            Saturday, June 17th, 9.30-10.30           We live in turbulent times of change.    Can exploring the patterns and energetic archetypes of our unique Inner Map – the Birth Chart – help strengthen, motivate and give us direction and purpose?

“A Quiet Joy”                                       Saturday, July 15th, 9.30-10.30          We look at the new Science of Positive Psychology and how it can help us practise ways to happier and more hopeful perspectives on life.

Numbers Limited.    Free Draw each time … …

PRIZE:  Coaching Session (choice of 3 approaches above)


PLEASE RING:  07866 404471 or contact or visit

OR:                     077722 67004 or contact  or visit


Thornbury Coaching Centre for Mental Wellbeing and Creative Health is a Social Enterprise.   Maggie Jeffery is an ex Nurse, Coach and Counsellor.   Jen Gash is an Occupational Therapist and Coach.    Donations are welcome at these sessions to help cover costs.


Winter Solstice. Time for a break?

2000-01-26 03.39.58

The Winter Solstice is that moment in the year when the Sun reaches its lowest point in the sky, ending the apparent daily descent that began on June 21st at the Summer Solstice.

At that time in June, ‘Yang’ energy, the thrusting energy of growth was replaced by the gentler regenerative ‘Yin’ part of the cycle. Growth ceased, Harvest followed. Food was stored for the winter and gradually the days became shorter, colder and the dark nights longer. Eventually the dying remains of the growth period were composted, recycled and the Earth rested and slept. This was the ‘Yin’ part of the cycle sometimes described as the Feminine Principle that holds, nurtures and rests in preparation for the return of the ‘Yang’ cycle at the Winter Solstice.

This constant cycling and recycling, ‘Yin’ and then ‘Yang’ and back again, Feminine Principle and Masculine energetic Principles working in partnership are vital for the health of the Earth.

So at 10.44 am today, once more there is a Turning and the Sun starts to climb in the sky once more and begins to shine through the lens of Capricorn. Energetically the ‘Yang’ energy cycle brings Growth and Aspiration as the Sun climbs daily in the sky until next June 21st when the Wheel will turn again.

This natural adjustment affects everything in nature – not least ourselves and our own body rhythms. Today, the Waxing Half Moon moves from Virgo into Libra, the Sign of Balance. So why not take a little break from the Christmas rush just for yourself and relax . . . . ?


A late reminder …. If you are free this Friday 9th December, Astro-Art is focusing on our personal Sun. What are you experiencing and learning about the Archetype of the Sign through which your Sun shines? What is your relationship with the Element that lights up your Sun? This is an experiential workshop and we will be creating a visual diary page about our personal Sun.

On December 21st, the Sun reaches its lowest point, the shortest day and longest night. The Winter Solstice is the point when the Sun pauses on it descent and hovers before finally turning towards the sky once more. Hopefully if time, we will also listen to a little music and have a short meditation and reflection.

If you are interested, why not come along? Numbers are limited and I do need to know by Thursday evening. You will need to know details of your birth: time (if possible), date, place. This is a short workshop from 1.30-3.30, small group in the centre of town. £10 Do get in touch for more information.

The Mirror of Astrology

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a mirror or map that could give us insight into our inner life; our Inner Universe? Better still if it was one that didn’t ‘tell’ us what we should do, but rather helped open doors to our deepest inner wisdom, our psychological history and self-knowledge.

The Astrological Birth Chart is just such a map and a personal, unique gift to each one of us. However this map isn’t purely about logic and reason but also uses image and symbol and so speaks to the so called ‘Left and Right’ sides of the brain. Astrology helps us bridge the gap between Art and Science; it is all about mathematics and logic but it’s also about imagination taking a creative flexible approach.
It’s a map that orientates us to our utterly unique and individual psychological patterns and helps us understand what makes us tick at a deep and often unconscious level. Ultimately it can give us back our power so that we can begin to let go of the past and move forward in life with awareness of our strengths and weaknesses.

Sadly over the past 400 years Astrology has been abused, mocked and devalued and sometimes seen as the province of entertainers or charlatans and fortune tellers. Yet the greatest minds that the earth has ever known have embraced and respected Astrology. The mechanistic, deterministic scientific worldview began to shift when around a hundred years ago the realities of the Quantum World began to emerge. Sadly there are still areas that haven’t caught up – but they will! At a time when humanity and planet Earth are facing great challenges and change, at a time when there has never been a greater need for self-reflection, inner awareness and empowerment, public ignorance about this ancient science/art means that this much need resource is often wasted.

I am passionate about personal empowerment and psychological literacy. That’s why, in my retirement I still teach and work as an Astrological Psychologist, Life Coach and Person Centred Counsellor. And the amazing part of all this is that I’m still learning AND even in my old age, learning about myself.

Do we ever stop learning and discovering more and more about our Inner Universe? Surely it’s this learning and ever deepening self-understanding that enriches and brings colour and meaning to our Journey?

The Book Networks


Lunch Time: The Book Networks

Mind, Body, Spirit
Eco Psychology, Archetypes and Astrology and more related ………

12.45 to 1.45 (Thornbury Town Centre) Thurs, Fri, Saturdays
£4 Small groups. Seated Relaxation. Bring your sandwiches, discover, network, learn, have fun. Explore/buy secondhand and new books – categories as above. Topics vary.

Is Fear and old thinking blocking Creativity and Compassion?

What part is fear playing in the strangling of creative concepts> What might enable the cross pollination and synthesis of ideas and inspiration? Think top down, ‘power/controlling fear driven hierarchies as opposed to expansive ‘flat’ creative sharing networks and groups.

The Myths and Metaphors of Ancient Greece have a lot to tell us – as do Jung’s Psychological Archetypes. In the old legend of course, it was Venus (Balance, Love and Harmony) who rose from the waves when the Titan, Saturn (aka Kronos/chronology) confronted Uranus.

Archetypes are multifaceted psychological energetic patterns.* If Time and Experience (one facet of inner Saturn) can overcome Fear (a different facet of inner Saturn) and support the Free (Uranus/Aquarius) incubation of creative ideas (Uranus/Aquarius) rather than restricting and strangling them – might not, for example, our educational system begin to breathe again?

The mythological story goes that Saturn (Archetype of Fear, Restriction, the Past, Structure and Hierarchy amongst other facets of the archetypal diamond) dis-empowered and exiled his father, Uranus (Archetype of Freedom, Creativity, Philanthropic love of Humanity etc). How does this relate to our world today?

Archetypal Astrology speaks in patterns of Metaphor, Myth and story. The psychological pattern of our Birth Chart can tell us such a story conceptually symbolising the universal energy pattern of the moment of birth. Recognising the metaphor embodied in our unique chart can offer personal hope as we travel the seas of immense global change. I use the Chart in person centred counselling with psychosynthesis and coaching because the more we begin to explore our deep inner motivation so we can creatively and intuitively discern inner gifts that offer self compassion and deep inner wisdom.

We are indeed the Heroes and Heroines in our journey through Life.* Valuing this unique pattern, making meaning of it and working with insights can offer hope, a sense of purpose and above meaning.

*Further Reading: ‘The Passion of the Western World’ by Richard Tarnas
‘The Soul’s Journey’ by James Hillman
‘The Archetypal Cosmos’ by Kieran Le Grice

Summer is a coming in …. Summer Solstice Journaling!


My Birth Chart nurtures my mercurial nature ……. and this drives my ability to change course at the drop of hat – which in turn drives my nearest and dearest to distraction. Yet surely our various inner perceived and judged ‘weaknesses’ can be viewed as also having a silver lining?

Failing to get enough people for the May ‘Elemental Temperamental workshop got me to trim and readjust my sails somewhat and look at the wider picture. Everyone, including myself seemed to enjoy the April workshop and, a big thank you to everyone who made it so and gave brilliant feedback. Yet was it ticking all the boxes I wondered?

One these had been about exploring the part that creativity plays in health and wellbeing. The other had been to start to develop a ‘different’ wellbeing resource for parents of children who struggle, professional ‘helpers’ and carers under 50.

I’ve heard it said that there’s no such thing as coincidence and that it’s important to notice the current Signposts ….. The big Signposts here have been stress, anxiety and burnout – and other deep emotions experienced by many Parents with children on the Autistic Spectrum. Time and again I kept hearing tales of confusion and a lack of direction and resources for (particularly but not exclusively) mums who were trying to cope with not only children with difficulties, but sometimes an elderly parent who needs support as well – and perhaps handling all this while still going out to work! Having explored, considered, ruminated and prodded I’ve realised a new inner project downloading – and I’m feeling both excited and actually quite overawed ………….

However Airy Mercury (Gemini Sun) is about learning , variety and adaptability! So I’m offering ‘Elemental, Temperamental Journaling Workshops’ on the High Energy Points of the Year only: Spring and Autumn Equinox and Summer and Winter Solstice. Our next one, the Summer Solstice Workshop will be on Tuesday, June 21st from 10-2. This is the day after the actual Solstice following the Full ‘Rose’ Moon in Capricorn. The focus will be Visual Journaling with reference to the highest point ‘Yang’ energy will reach before its decline and fall, the Elements and a smidgeon of the myth, story with psychological implications. This four hour workshop offers fun, inspiration, creativity and learning.

If you are interested do get in touch: or or give me a ring on 07866 404471.

NB: I’m also contemplating an archetypal astrological psychology exploration ……. watch this space!

Taurus and Wellbeing


These workshops offer an introduction to Archetypal Astrological Psychology with a particular focus on the monthly themes of the Creative Wellbeing workshops held the week before; in this case, Mainly May, Abundance, Happiness. However these workshops also stand alone!

Informal and experiential, this small group will start to explore the structure of the Birth Chart and energetic elements of the Zodiac focusing on the Taurus month as well as the stories, myths and metaphor which are intrinsic to understanding the archetypal patterns of astrology.

Taurus Workshops planned for Thursday, 19th May from 9.30 – 1.00 and repeated on Saturday, 21st May, 9.30-1.00.
Tea/Coffee and Biscuits provided and cost of workshop is £10. On request your Birth Chart can also be available.

Please contact or ring me for a chat on 07866 404471.


As blossom begins to adorn the hedgerows, the Earth once more turns Green as with the cycling year it moves into May and a celebration of Nature and a time of Abundance and Happiness.

Abundant Happiness and how we notice and raise our awareness of happiness is important to support our wellbeing.

This month, workshops are offered on Wednesday, 11TH May from 10-2 or alternatively Saturday, 14th May from 10 – 2

These Elemental, Temperamental Journaling workshops offer small, friendly, affordable ‘Time for You’ spaces where you can learn, flex your creative muscles and have fun!

For more information, please get in touch: 07866 404471 or email