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Aspects for the week beginning 25 September 2016

Strictly Come Dancing – Part 2

Time now to put the astrological microscope on the next 4 contestants in the new season of Strictly Come Dancing, now that all the contestants have competed for the first time.  The standard was incredibly high, for the first week of the contest.

Louise Redknapp

Louise, former singer with the girl band Eternal, is married to the footballer Jamie Redknapp.  In her chart she has 6 of her 10 planets in the Water element, so may be able to convey all that emotion through dance.  She has been a judge on So You Think You Can Dance so she must have some expertise in this medium.  Her Sun is conjunct exactly Venus – she definitely has musicality, being a singer by trade.  Her Sun is trine Jupiter – she is lucky, and may be saved by the public even in her weaker weeks.  She has Mars trine Jupiter, making her enthusiastic, and that’s another quality which may come across.  Her energy is electrical, with Mars conjunct Uranus. Louise currently has Mars sextile her natal Uranus, so she makes an electrifying start.  Saturn conjuncts her North Node, so she may find the commitment hard, or difficult to balance with her family life.  At the close of the competition Mars is still trine her Uranus, so she may be able to sustain the excitement and freshness throughout.  Jupiter will be square her Saturn, so she will feel she has done her utmost, effortwise.  Saturn will be trine her Chiron, which will feel as though she has conquered some weakness or fear.  Uranus will conjunct her Chiron, so there is a slight danger of injury along the way, but all in all I think her efforts will be sustained.

Louise is partnered with Kevin Clifton, whose wife Karen and sister Joanne are also involved with Strictly.   Previously I have noted his “great natural elegance with several planets in Libra”.  There is also great dexterity, with Mercury sextile Uranus”.   In their compatibility, her Saturn squares his Sun, so he may not find it easy teaching her. On current form, Kevin is buzzing, with Jupiter on his Mercury.  Pluto is sextile exactly his Jupiter, so he is also a powerhouse now!  At the finishing line, Jupiter is on his Sun, so could it be another win for Kevin?  He seems unstoppable!  Saturn will be sextile exactly his Sun, so he will also be controlled.  Could well be in the final.

Tameka Empson

As Kim Fox in Eastenders, Tameka never fails to put a smile on our faces.  In the storylines, she has been teaching dance to the locals of Albert Square, and hilarity is her middle name.  She is a bubbly Aries (was in an appropriate red costume), and has half her planets in the Fire signs!  Her birth chart shows Mercury opposite Uranus, which can be controversial in speech; Venus trine Neptune, which could be captivating on the dance floor; and Saturn square Uranus, which might bring eruptions from time to time.  The Sun and Chiron conjunct the South Node in Leo, may mean she could have been a healer in ancient Egypt!  During her first dance(s), she has Saturn trine her natal Venus, so she is likely to be slow and sure building up her skills.  Jupiter trines her Jupiter, so she’ll have some flamboyant touches up her sleeve, and start strongly in the competition.  Neptune is trine her Uranus as well, so she will be taking in new complexity.  At the close of the competition, Chiron will be conjunct her Mars, so again there is a possibility of injury.  Neptune stays trine her Uranus, so she will feel she has learned a lot!

She has been partnered with Gorka Marquez, a newcomer.  With the Sun exactly trine his Neptune, he is born to dance.  Mercury trine exactly Saturn gives him good concentration – he could be a hard taskmaster.  Mars sextile Jupiter, provides energy allied with enthusiasm, and will ensure he laughs along with Tameka.  Jupiter conjunct closely South Node in Leo indicates he could have known Tameka in ancient Egypt, as a priest.  How will they get on?  His Venus trines Tameka’s  Sun, so there will be a mutual admiration. Her Jupiter is conjunct his Mars, energizing him.  Their Jupiters are sextile, so they can bring each other luck.  Her Pluto squares his Neptune, so she could literally floor him at times! At first dances, Saturn will be square his natal Sun, so he will find it hard work.  The North Node will be conjunct his natal Sun, indicating it is an important time for him karmically, putting him on the map.  Jupiter will be sextile his Jupiter – he will be happy with early outcomes.  The North Node will be trine his natal Neptune, showcasing his dance in his time to shine.  Pluto will also be sextile his Pluto, an empowering time – he will feel masterful.  At the close of the contest, Jupiter squares his Saturn, so he will feel he has done as well as he can, but that does not look like a winning transit.

Judge Rinder

I think I speak for everybody when I say Judge Rinder’s dancing left me gobsmacked.  I have never sat down to watch his courtroom television programme, but judges do sit very stiffly.  So to see him come on the dance floor and throw away all abandon and inhibition was a total surprise!  The dance judges praised him for flamboyance, and good hip action.  In interviews, he has displayed a sharp wit.  He is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, and gained a double first class honours degree from Manchester University.  Apparently, he gave up acting because he was not as good as Benedict Cumberbatch (who is a friend).  Sadly we do not currently have a birth date for him, but on the strength of his first performance I would say he will get at least to the middle of the contest, if not to Blackpool.

He is partnered with Oksana Platero, another newbie.  We do have her birth date, so hopefully can assess some of his chances through her birthchart.  She is a passionate Scorpio, with Sun sextile closely Neptune, another dancer born to the profession.  Her Sun conjuncts Pluto and  is exactly trine Chiron, so she feels deeply and has healing qualities.  She does have a Grand Cross in her chart, so probably has not had an easy life.  I imagine some deep conversations in the practice room as they get to know each other.  For their first dance, Jupiter was trine her Jupiter, another great start in the contest, with Mars conjunct her Uranus adding sizzle.  North Node is sextile her Pluto, showing this is an important time on her life’s path.  Plus she has a Nodal Reversal from its original position, so this will prove to be a turning point in her life.  By the end of the contest, the North Node sextiles her Sun (important karma), and Mars sextiles her Saturn (she has plenty of fighting spirit).  On that score, I think she and Judge Rinder will get past Blackpool, but not quite make the final.  If I obtain his birth time in the mean time I will keep you posted.


Anastacia is a survivor, having come through many illnesses, but says she feels very nervous about this contest.  She made a good start last night, however.  She has the challenge of Sun conjunct Pluto in Virgo, but also some of the luck of Jupiter conjunct her Sun, in a triple conjunction.  Her Sun also conjuncts Uranus, so she is capable of pulling surprises out of the bag.  Another aspect to her Sun is an exact sextile from Neptune, so dancing is one of her strengths.  In all, with so many strong aspects to her Sun she has a tremendous sense of her own individuality.  The feminine side of life is not straightforward, with three squares to her Moon.  But she also has Pluto and Neptune supporting her Moon, so again when it counts she can dig deep and find what she needs.  Jupiter conjunct Pluto lends more power to her elbow, and Uranus conjunct Pluto gives her an anarchic energy, which can be useful at times.  She showed a steamy side in last night’s dance, but could come into her own with the wilder dances.  At the beginning of the competition, Uranus conjuncts her natal Saturn and Chiron opposes her Pluto, so it is quite an effort for her.  At the close of the contest, Uranus opposes her Mercury, so she may be feeling the accumulated strain of the competition.  Looking at the midpoint of the competition (to try and find some supportive transits, as there is no doubt she has dancing talent), Mars trines her Sun (she finds her fighting spirit), Mars squares her Saturn (working really hard) and Mars sextiles her natal Neptune (she is really in her rhythm).

She is partnered with the incomparable Brendan Cole, one of my favourites.  I have written in the past: “His ‘bad boy’ image funnily enough comes from his conjunction of the Sun and Chiron, which wants to do things his way – in the past it got him into hot water with the judges.”  In their chemistry, her Pluto trines his Mercury, so she makes him think.  Their Venuses are in exact opposition, which could provide tension but could be complementary in the way they express their art.  Her Jupiter sextiles exactly his Mars, so they support each other’s energy well.  His Pluto sits on her South Node, so there may be heavy past-life karma between them.  At the start of the competition, Chiron is sextile his Mercury, so he is mentally stimulated.  Saturn will be on his Neptune in the middle of the contest, which suggests some dampening circumstance.  At the finish however, he has North Node trine his Jupiter, which could be personally gratifying (he has been mooted as possible successor to Len).  He won the first ever Strictly contest, but I don’t think he will win this year, taking his transits into account together with Anastacia’s.


Tomorrow (Monday 26th) is the stand-out day this week, with the stand-out conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter occurring in the morning.  This is one of the best aspects to occur during the course of the year, and depending on what House it occupies in your chart, it will bring corresponding benefits.  If you need further clarification, read my blog of 4th September about Jupiter in Libra.  It is a time to go for goals and go for gold.

“Always believe in your soul
You’ve got the power to know
You’re indestructible”

in the immortal words of Spandau Ballet, or more specifically Gary Kemp, who wrote this song as a spoof on James Bond themes.  It’s good enough for tomorrow.

More rewards come in the afternoon, with Pluto stationary prior to turning direct.  Psychological researches start to yield fruit.  You may feel that you are starting to make progress in a fundamental way, and that the tide is with you.

On Tuesday (27th) morning Mars enters Capricorn.  You may have gone as far as you could, pushing with a line of philosophy, e.g. goal-centred growth.  Now you will need to apply your philosophy, or modify it, in order to try to achieve something practical to show for your outlook on life.  You’ll need to be more organized in the use of your energies, and think about a structure for your life to put those energies into.

Just past midnight on Friday (30th), in the very early hour of Saturday (1st Oct), we have a New Moon at 8 degrees Libra, a chance to put into practice your newly applied philosophy and structures if you have been working on them this week.  If you have been working on other lines also, you can create a new beginning, especially if it concerns relationships or the Arts.  New harmony or peace may break out in some quarters, too.  This New Moon has a soothing quality.  It will be likely to occur in the same House in your birthchart as Monday’s Sun-Jupiter conjunction, so if you experienced benefits in your life on that day, the new beginning may pertain to the same area of your life.

Saturday has further delights in store: late afternoon brings a trine between Venus and Neptune, which is absolutely inspired for artistic and musical ventures.  Practising your dance moves could be an ecstatic experience, and Strictly Come Dancing will see some exceptional moves.  Saturday afternoon and evening should prove positively breathtaking for all, both participants and audiences, in the field of the arts.  There is also a subtle aura of romance in the air.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – luck and progress
  • Tuesday – forging on ahead with ambition
  • Saturday – new beginning and inspiration

Aspects for the week beginning 18 September 2016


(please note: there is a video on You Tube instructing you on the correct pronunciation)

The Poldark season is so important that during that time of year my friend Laura and I re-schedule our Sunday evening chats, which we don’t do for any other television programme.  Apparently the original series was so successful that some vicars re-scheduled their church services.

In the mid-1970s my family were glued to the original Poldark production, and we read all the books by Winston Graham which were arranged on my mother’s bookshelf.  He was her favourite author.

I loved that first production, starring Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees, and look back on it with fond romanticism.  Hubby, who always remembers differently, thinks this current series is the better one.  Tonight’s screening will be the third episode of the second series of the second production.

We always had some link to Cornwall.  At the time of the first series, my parents had a long history of enjoying Cornish holidays, and my best friend from University (Ann Secombe-Stephens) hailed from there.  Nowadays, our Cornish link is my brother-in-law and his family.

I will be looking at the Poldark theme from a few (or phew!) different angles, but those who are only interested in Aidan Turner can skip the rest.

Winston Graham

It seems fitting to look at the chart of the writer Winston Graham whose novels formed the basis of one of the most successful television programmes of all time.  We are blessed to have a birth time for him, too.  He was born, not in Cornwall, but in Manchester, and moved to Perranporth in Cornwall when he was 17.  Winston had 6 out of his 10 planets in the Water element, all in Cancer, with the addition of the North Node:  he was a master of the imaginative storytelling of human emotion.  8 of his 10 planets were in Cardinal signs, so he was very strong in leadership qualities, emphasized by his Sun being conjunct the North Node.  He had the Moon (his ruling planet) closely conjunct Mars, so his emotions were easily roused, he could write about the quickened pulse.  He had the classic Writer Archetype signature, of Mercury conjunct Venus (to one degree).  Mercury was exactly opposite Uranus in his chart, so he liked to surprise in his communication, which made for good twists and turns of the plots.  Mercury was also exactly conjunct Neptune, so there may have been an element of channelling in his mental processes, e.g. channelling the Spirit of Cornwall.  The Mercury/Venus conjunction was exactly sextile his Midheaven (Careerpoint) marking out his career as a writer, and Uranus was exactly trine his Midheaven bringing him sudden success from his original creativity (Uranus in 5th House).  There is an alternative birth time which gives 8 am instead of 8.30 am for his birth, and that delivers Chiron exactly on the Descendant, which would make his understanding of human relationships exceptionally poignant.

Aidan Turner

Aidan Turner has provided a mesmerizing portrayal of the lead character, Ross Poldark, with much made of his topless scything scene in the first series, on a par with Colin Firth’s wet shirt scene in Pride and Prejudice.  For me, his birth chart is very riveting…  He has 6 of his planets in Air signs (and is very witty in interviews).  He has 0 planets in Water (contrasting with Winston Graham), and 0 planets in Earth.  That is a very unusual line up of elements.  He has 6 planets in Mutable signs.  What he does have is a great deal of male strength in his chart, with a triple conjunction of Mars/North Node/Sun trine Pluto/Saturn.  Note that his karmic mission (North Node) is, like Winston Graham’s lit up by the Sun.  There is something he is able to convey for Winston Graham of his own nature and path.  Sensitivity in Aidan’s chart is supplied by an exact opposition of Neptune to his natal Sun.  With his Neptune also exactly sextile his Saturn and closely sextile his Pluto, he does have a great deal of innate spiritual intelligence.  He is not just a pretty face. In addition, Winston Graham’s Pluto is exactly conjunct Aidan’s North Node, so he is supremely fitted to portray the power of Ross Poldark in this production after Winston’s death.

Eleanor Tomlinson

Actress Eleanor Tomlinson plays the lead woman in Ross Poldark’s life, Demelza.  She has a beautiful colouring of blue eyes and red hair, and is a great hit with hubby Mike.  It was disconcerting for me for a while, as I had remembered the buxom wench Angharad Rees and Eleanor, and the actress who plays her rival for Ross’s affections, are both understated in that department.  Forgive me for being so physically graphic, I know it’s not my style.  Anyway, it took me a long time to replace Angharad with Eleanor in my affections, but I do think Eleanor is a very good actress, and singer (she sang a song late in the first series, which was captivating).  In contrast to Aidan, Eleanor has 7 of her planets in Earth signs!  She is a Taurean, and her ruling planet Venus is exactly opposite Pluto, which is probably the feature responsible for red-headedness.   That opposition would give her skill at portraying deep emotion, such as grief.   Her Moon is most likely conjunct her North Node, making her a perfect female complement to Aidan’s Sun/North Node.  It is interesting to note that the character Demelza was based on Winston Graham’s own wife, but Graham did not like the portrayal of Demelza in the first production, as he felt she came across as “promiscuous and loose”.  I hope he approves of the latest production – she may in fact suit Winston Graham well as a female ideal, because her Sun is sextile with his Moon.  She has an intense chemistry with the actor Aidan Turner, as his Chiron conjuncts her sun exactly.

Robin Ellis

These days the actor Robin Ellis writes an active blog, and has produced cookery books, and campaigns on awareness of diabetes.  How did he match up for Winston Graham as his male hero of Poldark?  Like Aidan, Robin has 0 Water signs, so with Winston’s abundance of water signs they may have found the role healing for them to play.  Robin’s chart is high in Earth signs.  I remember his portrayal of Ross Poldark as being softer, less dark and rugged than Aidan’s, but having compared notes with hubby, I don’t necessarily trust my memory on this subject.  Robin is a thoroughbred Capricorn, having Sun in Capricorn trine its ruler Saturn.  We do not have a birth time or Ascendant for his chart, but his Mars (representing the male lead) trines exactly Winston’s Ascendant, which is a good indication.

Angharad Rees

As I’ve said, I have a nostalgic fondness for Angharad Rees, also redheaded, who died in 2012.  Robin Ellis wrote, when she died: “Her portrayal of Demelza in Poldark was definitive and the series could not have enjoyed the success it had without her unique spirit informing the role.”  Although Winston Graham railed against the portrayal of Demelza in the first production, her chart indicates that she was the ideal female lead to portray his anima.  One can assume that she does represent that, with the book character also being modelled on his wife.  Angharad’s triple conjunction of Sun/North Node/Venus at 23/27/29 degrees Cancer conjuncts his Mars/Moon conjunction in Cancer at 25/26 degrees.  Enough said, Q.E.D.


The first production began its screening on 5 October 1975, and with Pluto/Sun/Moon/Mercury in Libra would confirm my impression that it was a softer production with Robin Ellis portrayed as a classicl romantic lead (Aidan veering towards a more rugged persona).  Though Neptune was trine Winston Graham’s Saturn, it is not surprising he was uncomfortable with elements of it, as Pluto was opposite his Saturn.  For the actor Robin Ellis, it was a gift, with Jupiter exactly sextile his natal Venus.  For Angharad it would have had a profound effect mentally, with Neptune trine her natal Mercury and Pluto sextile her natal Mercury.

The second production was first screened on 8 March 2015, with Sun exactly conjunct Chiron in Pisces, emphasizing much wringing of hands and hearts, possibly more stirring than the first, but we live in different times.  Mars was conjunct Uranus, promising us an electrifying ride!  Regular readers will be familiar with the concept of current transits impacting on posthumous charts.  So would Winston Graham have been pleased with this latest production?  Absolutely yes!  He had a Jupiter Return at precisely that time.  Neptune was exactly trine his Sun, so he will have been very much in tune with it, and possibly exerting some influence from spirit side.  Pluto was exactly trine his Midheaven (Careerpoint) so his reputation was re-ignited.  For Aidan Turner, Mars was trine his Venus, so he acquired a new fanbase overnight, and may have been bemused by the attention as Neptune was squaring his Mercury.  Like Angharad, Eleanor will have had a profound re-think, with Pluto trine exactly her natal Mercury.

Theme Tune

With a nod to the theme tune, I would just like to say I think it captures beautifully the wild beauty of Cornwall.  It is composed by Taurean Anne Dudley, who has strong chart connections with this second production, so has tuned in perfectly.  Her Uranus in Cancer is conjunct Winston Graham’s Mars/Moon. She is quoted as saying: “The music needed to underscore the sweeping Cornish landscapes and passionate love story. Featuring the solo violin, it is based (loosely) on the modality found in Cornish folk music. Orchestrated for violin, harp, piano and string orchestra with occasional electronic elements, this was a dream job!”


Last week was quite challenging for many, and this week promises a more satisfying journey.

Venus was opposing Uranus this morning, which may make sense if you emerged a little out of sorts from the nightly search for a good sleep.  You may be perplexed by some issue connected with relationship, money or art.  Tonight’s episode of Poldark may distract you.

By tomorrow, you’ll probably have it all sorted, with Venus sextile Mars.  Any confusion over sexual identity or orientation should be harmoniously ironed out, for the time being at least.  The Yin should flow well with the Yang, and the Animus with the Anima.

This week’s interesting feature is Mercury turning direct again (interesting to many) with the added excitement of Mercury trine Pluto on days either side.  Mercury trine Pluto is itself a profound gift, but there will be a second opportunity to get the message, when Mercury changes course and transits the same point again.

The first Mercury-Pluto trine occurs on Wednesday (21st) in the early hours of the morning.  As you may have read in my Poldark piece, both lead actresses had Pluto in exact aspect with their Mercuries when their productions were aired.  Mercury-Pluto gives a lot to think about, usually provides the space to think about it, and often answers a lot of questions.  These answers can be so deep that they impact other questions, and may solve a long standing psychological issue you are working on.

On the morning of Thursday (22nd) Mercury is stationary, prior to turning direct, and opens out communication again.  With Southern Rail (in the U.K.) at the end of its tether, reducing its commuters to hours of misery each day, it is to be hoped that this, in combination with the double rainbow of Mercury trine Pluto (x2) will reduce strike action, and get the two sides negotiating to some satisfaction.  If there are any communication stalemates in your own personal life, hopefully there will be corresponding benefits, particularly for Geminis.  Scorpios will find this period mentally stimulating.

Late lunchtime we see the Autumn Equinox occurring, with the advent of the Sun in Libra, the sign of negotiation.  The Sun is on its way to meet Jupiter in that sign, and reap some of the first benefits of its peaceful, harmonious and beautiful influence.

Friday morning (23rd) brings the second wave of Mercury trine Pluto.  If you built a strong foundation of thought on the first (Wednesday morning, or possibly even Tuesday evening especially in the U.S.), you can consolidate and even make further gains on Friday.  To re-cap: from tomorrow (Monday) the week goes from strength to strength, so make your diary appointments count.  Trust yourself with a bold schedule!  If you have had deep psychological discussions earlier in the week, follow them up by searching further.  You could make real progress.

Late lunchtime sees Venus change signs, from Libra to Scorpio.  She may have lost a little of her grace and harmony, but will gain in bargaining power and strength.  She will have assessed what needs to be done, and be willing to go slightly out of her comfort zone to achieve it.  If you are a Venusian (Taurean or Libran) you may find yourself behaving along these lines, but even if you are not you may recognize some of this trend in yourself or others.  If you do notice it, then give Venus a pat on the back of congratulation for her bravery, and yourself if appropriate.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – disruptive
  • Tomorrow – sensual
  • Wednesday – profound thought and discussion
  • Thursday – communications clearing, and new harmony
  • Friday – getting further to the heart of the matter, deep feelings

Aspects for the week beginning 11 September 2016

A Compatibility Guide for Virgos

Are you a Virgo, or do you have a friend, relative or partner born under that sign? Famous Virgoan Greta Garbo may have wanted to be alone, but she was an extreme Virgo.

Virgo Sun with Aries Sun

These two have very different energies, but can bring out what the other needs.  The Virgo could have a quiet energy, with a patient attention to detail.  In contrast, Aries can be impulsive and fiery.  They can both be practical, though, in different ways.  Virgo can persuade the Aries to slow down, and Aries can influence the Virgo to flow more and not get bogged down.  Virgo practicality brings realism, and Aries practicality brings physical momentum, so in this way they can work together.

Virgo Sun with Taurus Sun ****

This can be an ideal combination, and full of mutual admiration.  Virgo can admire Taurus’ artistry, while Taurus can admire Virgo’s craftsmanship, so a good working partnership.  There can be a great deal of harmony between them, but it is possible for them both to get in a rut without outside interests.

Famous Example: Rebecca Miller (film maker, daughter of Arthur Miller) and Daniel Day Lewis, married 20 years

Virgo Sun with Gemini Sun

They are both mentally-orientated, ruled by Mercury, and so communication should be good between them.  However, with too much mental energy, they may both get a bit irritable at times.  Virgos can find their Inner Extravert in relationship with a Gemini, while equally Geminis can find their Inner Introvert in the relationship!

Famous Example: Prince Albert and Queen Victoria (topical on TV now); their Suns were exactly square, so this combination can work, despite the difficult angle

Virgo Sun with Cancerian Sun

This is another harmonious pairing.  It can also assist domestic bliss.  The Cancer/Virgo emphasis may be on getting the home shipshape.  Virgo will get everything just so, and Cancer will make the place feel like home.  They may also have a shared interest in nutrition, the Cancerian liking to nurture in general, and the Virgoan having an interest in healthy eating.  A healthy eating catering business could be a going concern.

Virgo Sun with Leo Sun

This is a classic pairing, and not just because they are neighbours in the zodiac and may have planets in each other’s sign.  With the Leo penchant for leading, and the Virgo desire to give service, you often find a Virgo in Leo’s pocket.  These two signs seem to follow each other around.  For example, you may find they share a bond within the theatrical world, with Leo treading the boards and Virgo working behind the scenes to make a perfect production.

Virgo Sun with Virgo Sun

People of the same sign by and large understand each other well.  This combination could be excellent in a working partnership, as they both have a strong work ethic.  They could both be specialists in their field, and so when they are working in the same field can achieve near perfection.

Virgo Sun with Libra Sun

Neighbouring signs often share planetary proximities, so a Virgo may have Libran planets giving rise to artistic or musical understanding, and a Libran may have Virgo planets encouraging conscientiousness in working ideals.  The Virgo highly sensitive nervous system will be soothed by the Libran’s harmony, and the Libran will be spurred on to greater achievement in their musical or artistic aspirations.  However, Virgos can sometimes think of Librans as lazy.

Famous Example: Lenny Henry and Dawn French, who were married for 25 years

Virgo Sun with Scorpio Sun

This is a harmonious placing, and can achieve great depth of work or psychological understanding between them, if both are constructive.  The Virgo practicality can be a helpful backdrop for the Scorpio’s psychological searching.  The Scorpio can encourage the Virgo to look deeper than the surface detail, and allow feelings which may have been repressed.

Famous Example: Jeanette Winterson and Susie Orbach, in which Susie is the Scorpio psychotherapist, but writer Jeanette has her Sun exactly conjunct Pluto, giving her Scorpio qualities of her own

Virgo Sun with Sagittarius Sun

Traditionally, these two have a very different world view, the Virgo being less able to see the wood for the trees, and the Sagittarian being less able to see the trees for the wood.  If they are able to co-exist, they can balance each other’s world view, and Virgo will be able to take a wider perspective, and Sagittarius being less apt to ignore important details.  That’s one gift they can bring to each other.  They also share adaptability, so may be able to travel happily together.

Virgo Sun with Capricorn Sun****

Another potentially successful pairing.  Again, these two can work together harmoniously, with Virgo having a strong work ethic, and Capricorn believing in ambition.  Capricorn likes to administer and delegate, and Virgo likes to get on with the job, so when it is that way round, the relationship is easiest.  These two can gel well in a business partnership, or be a formidable alliance in the workplace.

Virgo Sun with Aquarius Sun

These two may not have a great deal in common, but socially they both like to keep a little bit of distance, so will respect each other’s boundaries.  Each can see the other as cool, in different ways.  Aquarius may be regarded as cool, as in hip, and Virgo may admire that.  Virgo can be cool and efficient, and Aquarius may admire that, and see Virgo as a valuable ally.  Both are idealistic signs, in different ways, and in a group or in teamwork their friendship can especially flourish.

Virgo Sun with Pisces Sun

These two are opposites, and well aware of it.  Traditionally Virgo is tidy and Pisces is messy, but in some humorous cosmic twist when they are in partnership the Pisces can accuse the Virgo of being messy, and the Virgo may find the Piscean too tidy.  They can merge quite a lot in partnership, having a direct line to each other in the zodiac.  In addition, the Virgoan can be quite susceptible to Piscean emotion, and the Virgo may encourage the Piscean to put a lid on it!

Famous Example: Alison Steadman and Mike Leigh; their Suns are in opposition by only 1 degree ~ they were married for 22 years


A full compatibility analysis details every component of the two birthcharts in relation to each other, not just the Sun sign.  As there is a lot of work involved, it is my most expensive service, at £45.


Pluto squared Venus this morning, which may have been tough if you did not have a lie in.  I myself was sleepless in Downham Market last night, and found that I was prompted to get up at exactly the time of the square: 7.47 a.m.  I was ejected from my comfort zone by the reality that I just wasn’t going to get any more sleep.  So this may have been a time of psychological awakening or hard truth for you today.

Tomorrow (Monday 12th) Mercury squares Mars, so you may be fractious or irritable, possibly through lack of sleep, no doubt through some superficial discomfort rather than any profound cause.  Mercury square Mars is incident-prone, producing for instance minor cuts and bruises, and minor verbal skirmishes.  It takes place at tea-time in the U.K.  Try to arrange a non-confrontational seating plan at the dining table.

In the late evening, the Sun conjuncts Mercury at 21 degrees Virgo, and now is the time to have that absorbing chat, or write the next Chapter of your novel.  I would stop short of trying to tackle your tax forms, even though this would ordinarily be an ideal placing, as you could be left with the overactive-mind-at-bedtime syndrome which is the exact thing you might be trying to avoid.

There is more aggro on Tuesday (13th) as the Sun goes on to square Mars.  You may find you ignored warnings not to over-use your mind the night before or the night before that, and wake up somewhat grumpy, which won’t help your interactions and inner peace.  Try to stabilize your mood during the day, for the square occurs mid evening.  Be in command of your equanimity. If you have any Libran planets in your chart, harness them now.  That will ensure that any conflict occurring in your vicinity may be water off a duck’s back.  Send them your best Reiki healing efforts.

The need for healing continues on Thursday (15th) when there is a T-square operating between the Sun opposing Chiron, and both squaring Mars.  It is possible that you may have not been able to wholly contain the conflicting energies of Sun square Mars on Tuesday, unless you have a strong Peacemaker Archetype.  So the situation may rumble on, or you may leave one situation and walk into another similar one.  Again, apply my advice from Tuesday or follow your own suggestions, solutions and experiences from that day.  The purpose of the T-square, heavily involving Chiron, is ultimately healing.  As Sarah’s guide commented at Light Pod this week “Most challenging situations bring about improvement.”

Friday (16th) brings an Eclipse and Full Moon in Pisces, so it may feel as though there has been no let up in tension all week!  Full Moon in Pisces is the most emotional and sensitive of all the Full Moons, and you may at this time feel overwhelm, or a sense of drowning in your emotions or your reactions to other people’s emotions.  If you can centre yourself in the Universal Consciousness, you may find the calmness or perspective you need.  This may require sitting in meditation for a short while.  This Full Moon occurs early evening, but the emotion and tension should then start to dissipate, bringing all round relief.

As your reward for a challenging week, the Universe is producing a trine on Saturday (17th) for you to fashion something creative and some success from the wisdom gained.  For Mars trines Uranus at tea-time on Saturday.  This time you can position the chairs round the dining table however you like, any sparks will bring creativity and innovation, rather than a stand-off.  You may feel excited about the gains you have made this week, and the possibilities that lie ahead.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – out of your comfort zone
  • Tomorrow – over-excitable; later, good conversation
  • Tuesday – healing manoeuvres
  • Thursday – hot headed
  • Friday – emotional
  • Saturday – appropriately excitable

Aspects for the week beginning 4 September 2016

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 – Part 1

It’s back!  The hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing returned yesterday for its launch night.  It is the last year for head judge Len Goodman, who reportedly plans to spend his retirement on the golf course.  This is borne out by his transit picture, which looks remarkably quiet going forward, partly because the structure of his chart shows half the zodiac occupied and the end of several years of excitement.

Here are four of the contestants, to kick off the Strictly blogging season:

Ed Balls

I have mentioned Ed Balls a few times over the years, in the context of his political persona, notably just before the last election:

“Ed Balls is another Labour politician who has failed to gain real popularity for some reason.  He is a Pisces, which can bamboozle the public perception of him.  He also has Chiron conjunct Mercury, which can lead to an odd way of thinking, but also a penchant for problem-solving.  Pluto also opposes his natal Mercury, which is challenging – he probably does advanced Sudoku in his sleepless hours!  He is an affable enough type of chap, reaching out to George Osborne on Andrew Marr’s sofa, though there are elements of shyness in his nature (Sun in Pisces, Venus conjunct Saturn).  One of the best features of his chart is an exact trine between Jupiter and Neptune (endless faith) which forms a Grand Trine with Saturn, giving him the ability to translate pie in the sky into concrete reality.”  I felt that he would keep his seat, which he famously did not.  He has just written his political memoirs “Speaking Out”, in which interestingly he points out that one of the lessons he has learned from the past is that politicians have a tendency to “let things drift” – that is a Piscean trait, so a lesson well learned for him.

Enter the new persona: as competitive dance contestant.  Never mind twinkle toes, I always find him to have twinkly eyes.  He has written his political memoirs, but his recent interviews have brought out a different side of him. “You can do politics and be a human being” he has asserted.  He is born under Pisces, the dancing sign, but he claims his dance style is that of a “camp rugby player”.  He feels taking part in the contest is part of his mid-life crisis, but astrologically the mid-life crisis is around 39-42 when Uranus opposes its natal position.  At 49, he is almost at his Chiron Return, which is the emergence of the Inner Healer, and this may be what the contest brings out for him, or it may be a manifestation of this. Chiron returned to its natal position in May, and is now in retrograde motion, then retrograded over this position in July and August.  The third pass takes place next March, when the process will be complete.

At the launch, Jupiter opposes his Saturn, encouraging him to loosen up.  Chiron also trines his Neptune, bringing out his Inner Healer and his Dancer Archetype.  At the end of the series, Saturn squares his natal Pluto, which may not be a happy ending, but the North Node sextiles his ruling planet Neptune (lord of the dance) so spiritually he will feel some satisfaction in the experience.

Ed Balls is partnered with Katya Jones, who is new to Strictly, and I do not have a birth date for her.  If one becomes available during the course of the contest, I will report back.

Will Young

Will Young won Pop Idol on 9/2/2002 shortly after studying politics at Exeter University. In his birth chart, transiting Uranus from Aquarius in his 5th House of Self-Expression was  exactly trine his natal Moon in 1st House at that time, changing his life.  We have his birth time, and he is born under the Sun sign Aquarius, with Ascendant in Virgo and Moon in Libra.  He has Sun exactly conjunct Mars, and on winning famously made a joke about his father and a shotgun (very apt). With the Sun in his 5th House, performing comes naturally to him.  His Mercury trine Saturn lends itself to the study of politics, but he has not been drawn to take it up as a profession.  Mars opposite Jupiter gives him energy and enthusiasm, which should shine through his dance performances. As first Pop Idol winner, he is a pioneer, with his ruling planet Uranus  exactly sextile his North Node.  Neptune exactly squares the Nodal Axis, so he likes to play with subtlety.  With Neptune exactly sextile his natal Pluto, he has psychological strength and resilience, though he may have a delicate nervous system with Mercury square Pluto.  In true Aquarian style, he called his autobiography “Funny Peculiar”.

At the launch of Strictly Come Dancing yesterday Uranus, his ruling planet opposes his natal Moon in Libra in 1st House, so he may again find a life-changing experience.  The Nodal Axis squares his Venus, and he may find it brings relationship changes, and a change in his relationship to music.  The North Node transits his natal Saturn in 12th House so he will take it seriously, believing it has something to teach him. At the close of the contest, Jupiter sextiles his Neptune, which is quite a rapturous transit, but Saturn conjuncts his Neptune (he may be sad that it is ending!).  Furthermore, Jupiter conjuncts his Pluto in Leo in 11th (power within groups) and Saturn sextiles his natal Pluto.  This could be a winning combination of transits.

Will is partnered with Karen Clifton, who danced with Jeremy Vine last year.  I wrote: “She has a dreamy Moon/Venus conjunction in Pisces, gliding with a trine to her North Node, so she will always do well in ballroom dancing!  With three planets in Libra, she also connects well in partnership, and she married another professional, Kevin Clifton” [in 2105].  In their synastry, Will’s Sun squares Karen’s Mars, so there could be sparks flying on the dance floor!  Their Suns are also square, and both are fixed signs, so there could be a battle of wills, too, no pun intended.  Her Saturn squares his Mercury, so he will find her mentally exacting.  But her Uranus trines his Jupiter so she can bring out his luck and success streak.  Her Neptune (dance) is on his I.C., so she will bring about a new adaptable foundation in his consciousness, and he could find this inspiring.  At the launch, Neptune was sextile her Mercury, so she is inspired by the pairing.  Mars squaring her Venus and Pluto sextile her Venus will fire up her energy, too.  The close of the contest sees Mars sextile her Sun: if they make it to the final, she will have that extra oomph of energy.  Neptune will still be sextile her Mercury, so she will have plenty of creative and inspired ideas for the choreography throughout.  The North Node ends sextile her Jupiter, which could bring her karmic reward.  So it is looking good for her, too!

Lesley Joseph

At 70 actress Lesley Joseph is the oldest ever contestant on the show, but always seems very young at heart.  With her raunchy persona and raven hair as Dorien from Birds of a Feather you’d think she would have a lot of Scorpio in her make up.  This may be her Ascendant sign, but she has no planets in that sign.  Five of her ten planets are in Libra, the sign of musicality.  She has Jupiter trine Uranus in her chart, the Entrepreneur Archetype, and she certainly has made the most of her character Dorien.  Jupiter sextiles her natal Pluto, which may hold a clue to the success of her raunchy alter ego.  Jupiter is exactly conjunct Chiron in Libra, and Pluto exactly sextile them both, which is intriguing.  She may have hidden healing talents, e.g. on the dance floor.

At the launch, Chiron opposes Venus, and she may have an early injury, perhaps in the preparatory training.  Saturn sextiles her Jupiter, providing resolve.  Uranus squares her natal Saturn, again some incident-proneness.  Chiron trines her Saturn, so again she may pick herself up and overcome problems.  At the end of the season, Uranus will be opposite her natal Sun, again she may be nursing a minor injury, but Jupiter will be square her Mars (her enthusiasm will be indomitable!)  This does not suggest she will make it to the final, sadly.  However, she may put in a memorable performance around 8th October when Jupiter transits her natal Neptune, no doubt in character as Dorien with the stem of a red rose between her teeth.

Lesley is paired with none other than Anton du Beke - what a duo!  Anton is hotly tipped to take over from Len Goodman as head judge next year.  But these two together are guaranteed to raise a lot of laughs!  Anton, a veteran of the programme, managed to reach the final last year.  I wrote:

“Anton has Sun, Mars and Jupiter in Cancer, which makes him very responsive to his partners personally.  But his Sun trine Saturn has a very traditional and formal side.  And contrasting with that he has the rebellious Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo.  So a quirky, contradictory character.”

How do they fit together?  His Mercury sextiles her Jupiter, so he will have a surprising understanding of how she ticks.  His Venus also trines her Mercury, so there will be easy conversation and communication between them.  There may be some confusion physically, however, with his Mars trine her Neptune, the right foot of one not knowing what the left foot of the other is doing.  She will find the square physically exacting, and he will find the square confusing and may even lose concentration.  Their Uranuses are also exactly square, and they may need a separation break at some point during the tournament in order to resolve some fundamental difference, or be happy to go their own ways after the ball is over.  Paradoxically, Her Mars trines his Neptune, so his inspiration could override some of her clumsiness. Finally, her Pluto squares his Uranus, so she may cross the line for him at some point, and equally he may alienate her.  But I am sure they will override their differences, be perfectly professional, and keep their smiles for the length of her stay in the competition.  At the start of the tournament, Saturn is trine Anton’s Mercury, he is in proper professional mode.  Jupiter squares his Venus, so at the same time he may also make a faux pas during the training period of three weeks which ensues.  Jupiter opposes his Saturn, so he could feel overstretched, and Dorien may take him to places he has never been!  At the close of the tournament, the North Node will be sextile his Mars, and he will feel he has put in his best effort.  Pluto will be opposite his Jupiter, and his hopes may have recently been dashed.  On the plus side, Pluto trines his Uranus, plenty of raised spirit for his life in general, and Pluto trines his Pluto, so he is entering a period of self-empowerment (possibly as head judge in waiting).  So he won’t be down in the dumps watching the final from the sidelines…

Naga Munchetty

If you are up before 9, eating your breakfast in front of the telly, chances are you will know Naga Munchetty.  Like Ed Balls, she has her Sun in Pisces, the dancing sign.  In fact, they share a birthday (25th February).  A golfing enthusiast, Naga has an altogether versatile chart, having her planets spread out round her chart.  Her Sun is exactly square the Nodal Axis, so she is able to work with large groups of people.  She has Mercury sextile exactly her Neptune, so her mind is sensitive and open to subtlety.  There is also a depth of thought, with Mercury trine Pluto.  Venus is loosely conjunct Jupiter in her chart, making her sociable and able to mix well in company.  Mars is exactly sextile Jupiter, so here is another very enthusiastic personality.  She confesses to being a tomboy, and unused to glitz and glitter: ” Outside of work I’m in jeans, jogging bottoms, and golf gear mostly.”  She also says her secret weapon is her death stare – that might be down to her Ascendant sign (hitherto unknown), or Mercury trine Pluto.

Chiron will be conjunct her Jupiter as the dance tournament starts, which may be challenging but should be enjoyable.  The North Node will be sextile her natal Saturn, so like Will Young she will approach it with determination.  The Nodal Axis will also square her natal Neptune, which will probably assist in bringing out her Dancer.  At the close of the tournament, the South Node will be on her natal Sun, a karmic moment.  I don’t think her transits would be strong enough to reach the final, but if she did, the glitterball might be snatched from her at the last moment, maybe by Will Young!  But I will take a look at other contestants in the coming weeks.

Naga is partnered with Pasha Kovalev, who danced with Carol Kirkwood last year (hopefully Carol, also of breakfast BBC, will be able to pass on some secrets and tricks of the trade).  I wrote last year:

“He has an intelligent Sun/Mercury conjunction in late Capricorn, which can be calculating and cool, but balanced by a warm and energetic conjunction of Mars with Jupiter.”

In their partnership, her Jupiter trines his Uranus, which is an interaspect which speaks of success and making the most of their potential as a pairing.  He can bring out the best in her. Her Mars sextiles his Uranus, so there will be electricity and great energy between them.  Her Chiron trines his Neptune, and she can bring some healing qualities to the partnership, and there may be higher or spiritual communication. At the same time, his Pluto opposes her Chiron, so there may also be some difficult lessons for her, such as rigid habits which need to transform (such as a golfing stance).  At the launch of the tournament, Mars squares his Mars (high energy, uncontrolled) but Pluto trines his Mars (more energy, deeper and more controlled).  Saturn squares his Jupiter – he may have some personal blocks that he is working on, perhaps in his private life.  In addition, Chiron trines his Uranus, so he is open to new healing and learning.  At the close of ceremonies, Neptune opposes his Jupiter, so a dream or fantasy may not be realizable.  Chiron also squares Neptune, reinforcing this message.  Again, there is a feeling of the glitterball being snatched, but they may not make the final.

I will be back in a few weeks with Part 2


It could be a dramatic week, with benefits accruing, but also some thorny issues.

Today, the Sun is conjunct the North Node, so you may have to put in some extra effort with your karmic obligations, but it should be rewarding and fulfilling.

On Wednesday (7th) the Sun trines Pluto first thing, so it is a good day for digging and delving psychologically, and achieving something profound.  Set out with a plan in mind, know where you are going, and what you want to achieve, and you will make the most of the psychological explorations.  The Force is with you!

Later in the morning, Venus sextile Saturn, so you will know where you stand in a relationship, or with your nearest and dearest.  They will be there for you, and you for them.

On Friday (9th) Jupiter changes signs, from Virgo to Libra, and I prepared a special blog for this important event, earlier this morning.  Please read, if you want to maximize the experience!  I quote:

“Jupiter enters Libra at 11.18 a.m. on Friday 9th September in the U.K… Whichever House (sphere of life activity) Jupiter currently occupies in your chart receives uplift and support from the Universe, and you are able to expand its activities during Jupiter’s transit through this House…  the movement of Jupiter into Libra will bring a change of emphasis or mode in the way the benefits come into your life.  One obvious way will be through partnership or relationship.”

On Saturday (10th) Mercury opposes Chiron in the morning (in the U.K.) so you may start the weekend with a problem to solve, before you can start implementing your plans for the day (assuming you have plans).  For instance, a planned journey may encounter a hitch, or there may be a minor health crisis to consider.  If you do not have a plan, the Universe can provide you with distraction and occupation according to the nature of this aspect.

But, all the while, you will need your full faculties for a situation which is brewing nicely for lunchtime.  I recommending starting the day with a good meditation on waking, a low sugar breakfast, and some green tea.  Thus, if the first hitch arises, you can deal with that smoothly and segue smartly on to the main event.

The main event is a recurrence, the third pass, of the difficult Saturn-Neptune square which has been plaguing us since November 2016.  This has all sorts of effects, from personal inaction and psychological paralysis, to planetary chaos such as flooding and in current affairs political leaks.  We have been dealing with these for a while now, and this influence may at this time come to a conclusion, showing us its lessons.  In a flurry of optimism in January, I conjectured: ” If we were to convert the discomfort of the Saturn-Neptune square of this coming year into a trine, we would be indeed manifesting (Saturn) magic (Neptune).”  Well, that’s the aim.

You might want to plan a light lunch for Saturday, for digestive purposes.  If you are apt to throw off the manifested teachings, and tell yourself “tomorrow is another day”, you will have more to digest the next day (Sunday 11th) when Venus squares Pluto.  Better to stay with the programme, and deal with what is presented, on the day.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – karmic enlightenment
  • Wednesday – a most constructive day
  • Friday – a new direction of Hope
  • Saturday – difficult; try to take things in your stride

Jupiter enters Libra


Jupiter enters Libra at 11.18 a.m. on Friday 9th September in the U.K.  It is interesting that we have just received new pictures and sounds of the planet Jupiter via the Juno spacecraft: we have been able to” inspect” (Jupiter in Virgo) the planet more closely.  Apparently, Jupiter helps keep us safe as it sucks up passing asteroids and meteors and prevents them from reaching our orbit.  In Astrology, Jupiter is the Protector.

Whichever House (sphere of life activity) Jupiter currently occupies in your chart receives uplift and support from the Universe, and you are able to expand its activities during Jupiter’s transit through this House.  For many, the 0 degrees Libra point comes somewhere in the middle of the House, so Jupiter may have been bringing its blessings to that House while in the sign of Virgo.  So the movement of Jupiter into Libra will bring a change of emphasis or mode in the way the benefits come into your life.  One obvious way will be through partnership or relationship.

When Jupiter entered Virgo last year, I wrote: ” …there may be advances in ecological areas and the battle to arrest climate change”, and at this eleventh hour, with Jupiter at the very end of Virgo (28 degrees) there has been a commitment by China and the U.S. on climate change.  The Guardian writes:

“The United States and China, the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have announced they will formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement in a move campaigners immediately hailed as a significant advance in the battle against global warming.”

Health is another area ruled by Virgo, and over the last year there have been a number of reports about health breakthroughs, most notably for Alzheimer’s research.  Scientist hubby however urges caution about overestimating their value at this stage.

Jupiter’s year long transit through Libra will in general improve relationships, romance and marriage, negotiations and the prospect of peace treaties.  It will bring a boost to the Arts, including the world of music.

If you know the House occupied by 0 degrees Libra in your birth chart, you may expect the following switch of emphasis starting this week, and benefits along the following lines:

Jupiter transiting the 1st House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 1st House of Personality and Lifestyle at this time, you may already have started to experience an upswing in some key areas of your life which are very personal to you.  You may be finding that you have more talents, and begin to spread your wings with these.  More opportunities may be opening out for you, too.  You may also be even more extrovert than usual!  If your Ascendant is in Virgo, this effect may have been a marked departure from your usual mode, and you may have gained in confidence.  As Jupiter turns into Libra, you will want to extend that confidence outwards in your one-to-one relationships, and may begin a new relationship or deepen an existing one.  You may explore some latent artistic talent, or take up a musical instrument.  If you are already very involved in artistic or musical pursuits, then you’ll make great progress.  Social justice may also be an area which engages you in this period.

Jupiter transiting the 2nd House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 2nd House of Finance and Earnings, you will probably be a bit more flush than usual at the moment, despite the economic climate.  You could be experiencing anything from a bit more money in your pocket, to a positive cornucopia of material benefits.  It’s a good time to practice your abundance affirmations (starting with “I am the Source of my Abundance”*), creative visualizations of wealth and inner riches** and materializing your future with Future Life Progression ***.

Book Resources:

*”Creating Money” by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer

** “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain

***”The Future is Yours” by Anne Jirsch

If your Ascendant is in Leo, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have heightened your attention to the detail of your accounting.  As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may invest in financial partnership, while taking care to balance your own needs.

Jupiter transiting the 3rd House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 3rd House of Communication, you may be finding there is an emphasis on expansion within your verbal and written expression.  If you are thinking of doing any writing, even within a regular journal, it could become a very rewarding exercise.  It may help you develop your philosophy of life, and you may even want to share it with others in some way.  This planet here also expands your contact with the world of education. This placing also enhances relationships with siblings, and short term travel and visits within your locality, or within the British Isles (or your own country).  If your Ascendant is in Cancer, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have enriched the use of your imagination in writing and your ability to expand on detail.  As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may collaborate with a co-writer or travel with a companion, in order to expand your experience of this life area.

Jupiter transiting the 4th House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 4th House of Home and Family, you may have home improvements or changes in residence recently to your benefit, or you may have recently moved.  It is also a good year to work on family relationships.  So home and family is the area of greatest joy at this time!  This may incorporate additions to the family and home extensions.  If your Ascendant is in Gemini, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have brought more fulfilment to family life and increased your drive to perfection.  As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may focus more on the quality of family relationships, and how you can foster communication within the family for further improvement.

Jupiter transiting the 5th House:

Oh Joy! This is one of the most pleasurable placings.  If Jupiter is transiting your 5th House of Love and Creativity at the moment, you may well have become aware of a new phase of expansion in relation to creativity. You may be searching out new ways to be creative and find joy in life.  There is also the opportunity to take advantage of a trend to make special new friendships and blossoming relationships.  Jupiter in the 5th is also favourable for building on your self-esteem and self-validation.  Write that novel, paint that painting, take up that Olympics-inspired sport, perform that Shakespearian play, perfect your flute-playing! If your Ascendant is in Taurus, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have brought more perfectionism to your playing and creating. As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may refine the elegance and grace of your artistry.

Jupiter transiting the 6th House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 5th House of Health, Community, and Working Conditions.  There may have been some office improvements in your place of work lately, and health issues may be improving.  You may also have acquired a new pet in the last year, or be about to.  There may be more involvement or service within the community, or the Sangha if you are a Buddhist!  If your Ascendant is in Aries, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have brought more exacting attention to these areas of life.  You may have been having carefree health conditions, or conversely lots of check ups which were hopefully passed with flying colours.   As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may find there is a different way of attending to your health, focussing on harmony and balance, with possibly meditation aiding your awareness.

Jupiter transiting the 7th House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 7th House of Close Relationships and/or Marriage, this bodes well for such affairs.  A relationship may recently have blossomed, or there may be a significant renewal of affection.  It is a good time as well to seek the quality of freedom within a close relationship, so that you can express yourself more widely.  There may be a celebration this year in connection with such a close relationship.  If your Ascendant is in Pisces (a rare placing), Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have enabled you to work at your primary relationship and seen corresponding rewards.  As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may be able to relax more within the relationship, and enjoy the underlying harmony and peace of your Soul connection(s).

Jupiter transiting the 8th House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 8th House of Spirituality and Financial Arrangements with Others, so you should gradually be seeing improvement in these areas. There may be some material gain through other people, and a greater faith in life.  If your Ascendant is in Aquarius, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have increased your sense of detachment and perspective about finance as it pertains to relationship, and you may have coolly reached certain conclusions.  As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may from that viewpoint which is advantageous to you be able to extend further and more warmly towards others, knowing that your assets are secure and there is nothing to fear from further engagement.  There may also be more passion in your life.

Jupiter transiting the 9th House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 9th House of Religion, Philosophy and Foreign Travel, these areas in your life may be currently enhanced.  You may be stimulated to start some deep study, perhaps when the new courses start this month.  It can open up a deeper connection with God and the Universe, as well as a more all-embracing philosophy of life.  As mentioned, where Jupiter is at any given time is where the Universe is on your side, and where you receive the most assistance in your life during this period.  It is also where the Universe urges you to grow, and also literally cover the most ground!  A trip abroad this year could be very helpful.  If your Ascendant is in Capricorn, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have increased your thirst for knowledge about life, and expanded the Seeker Within. As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may explore relations with those abroad, past life memories within other countries, and global connections.

Jupiter transiting the 10th House:

 If Jupiter is transiting your 10th House of Career, Life Direction and Highest Potential, there are opportunities on the horizon and beneficial life changes: a chance to get out of a rut, if you feel that you are in one.  It’s a good time to seize opportunities in this area of your life.  If your Ascendant is in Sagittarius, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have encouraged you to pay attention to the detail of planning your future (e.g. making a five year plan, as distinct from winging it), and fostered the discipline of sticking with a course of action. As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may look for those connections which will be of assistance in your career, those kindred spirits, some of whom you have known and worked with in past lives, and some of whom you will have made sacred contracts with to carry out your work.  Some of these new career connections could become significant relationships in your life.

Jupiter transiting the 11th House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 11th House of Groups and Friendships, these factors take an upturn in your life.  New friendships and old friendships alike blossom, and joining and membership of groups is favoured and expands you.  The accent may be on humour within friendships in this time period, and the relationship between creativity and humour.  More Sagittarian Clowns may feature in your life this year.  If your Ascendant is in Scorpio, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have encouraged you to expand your circle of friendship and trust within your relationships, letting more people into your life. As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may concentrate on a few of the good people you have got to know recently, and cultivate your shared interests, thoughts and ideas.

Jupiter transiting the 12th House:

If Jupiter is transiting your 12th House of the Unconscious, Dreams and Meditations at the moment, there is a focus on benefits to these areas of your inner world.  This is a placing which fosters Emerging Hope, prior to Jupiter’s transit of your Ascendant and entry into your 1st House (most probably occurring next year). Though you may not be aware of better things to come, your subconscious may be, and your dreams may show a growing sense of hope, trust and faith. You will be successful in this year in exploring your inner world and altruistic work such as helping those in need and efforts on behalf of the planet and humanity in general.  A little more seclusion may be needed in order to achieve this.  If your Ascendant is in Libra, Jupiter’s transit through Virgo will have encouraged you to trust your inner knowing, and psychological self-reliance. As Jupiter turns into Libra, you may seek new relationships which encourage your inner growth.

If your Ascendant is at 0 degrees of a sign, look to the previous Ascendant sign (in bold). If you do not know your Ascendant and its degree, or are simply confused, then ask an Astrologer!

Aspects for the week beginning 28 August 2016

Sir Richard Branson

Whenever Richard Branson comes up in conversation, he seems to arouse either great admiration or great resentment.  He has been in the news this week for two reasons: first his contretemps with Jeremy Corbyn about the state of his rail service, and then his accident in which he reported he “nearly died”.  He is also facing calls for his knighthood to be scrapped this week.  I will look at his chart, and what is going on now in terms of transits to his natal chart.

Birth Chart

Sir Richard has Pluto on his Ascendant in Leo, showing leadership and power as dominant features of his life and personality.

Richard Branson has his Sun unaspected to any planet, a feature which he has used to free himself from conventional restraints in his business philosophy, which may be part of his success.  People with an unaspected Sun can initially have difficulty “finding themselves” but clearly he succeeded in business in such a young age, that he never had that problem.  His Sun does square his Midheaven in Aries, so he wilfully took his career path head on, taking a path authentic to his own nature.  There is also a loose trine from his Sun to his North Node, showing leadership.

His Moon is not strongly aspected either, having a loose but upbeat opposition with Jupiter, and a trine to his Midheaven, assisting his career fortunes.  The Moon in the first degree of Virgo somehow gives rise to the brand name, “Virgin”.

Mercury too is largely unaspected, though its close trine with his North Node indicates business success and karmic rewards in that sphere.  Venus is also largely unaspected, with a wide trine to Mars, indicating a very sensual nature.  All these personal planets lacking aspects often show a destiny which easily becomes hitched to more global or impersonal projects.

Mars receives significant aspects: a close conjunction with Neptune (physical sensitivity and sensationalism) and an exact sextile with Pluto (great energy, and a love of danger), plus another exact sextile with Chiron (the ability to make things happen and a talent for problem-solving).  Mars sextile the Ascendant and Pluto on the Leo Ascendant show the flame coloured hair of his physical appearance.  Pluto exactly trine Chiron shows he can be a great healer, when he puts his mind to it.

Entrepreneur Archetype

Jupiter combined with Uranus is “the Entrepreneur Archetype”, especially when in conjunction, but even more so when in trine, as he has it.  Not only that, but he has the trine exact, and that is the outstanding feature in his chart which is responsible for his success.  In his autobiography “Losing my Virginity” he says: “In my life, I have come to expect the unexpected.  It sounds easy enough to say, but all the things that have happened to me, to the family and to Virgin have taught me that you have to be prepared at all times to deal with surprises.  You just develop a way of picking up your feet and getting on with it… In whatever world you make for yourself, you can keep embracing the new and the different over and over again.  That’s what I have always wanted for Virgin.”  This mindset very much illustrates the working of Jupiter trine Uranus.

The Rail Dispute

Neptune is exactly sextile Richard’s Ascendant natally, on the 3rd House cusp of Communication, including Rail networks.  This gives rise to his sensitivity to the needs of the traveller.  I have to say that our trip to the U.S. in 2008 on his airline was the best flight we have ever had, but we are not great travellers in terms of experience.

The rail controversy this week centres around a trip which Jeremy Corbyn took about 2 weeks ago on the Virgin rail line, in which he was seen crouching or sitting in a corner of the train, claiming not to be able to get a seat.  Jeremy would like to re-nationalize the railways, and this was a way of making his point.

However, this week Richard Branson claimed there were spare seats, and showed footage of Jeremy walking past empty seats.  Jeremy then said he was looking for two seats together so that he could sit with his wife.  Some claimed this dispute benefited Jeremy, and some portrayed the opposite.

On Tuesday, when Richard Branson took up the fight, Uranus was squaring his natal Sun, so there is a bit of the Rebel about his actions.  Uranus was also sextile his Venus, so he was trying to protect his financial interests.  Pluto was exactly trine his Saturn in 2nd House of Money  - he felt the need to exercise his power.  But Pluto was also exactly square his Neptune – there was a lot of confusion about his thinking, and he may have made an unwise move.

Jeremy Corbyn

For Jeremy, Uranus is still conjunct his North Node, his karmic mission is still in a great state of flux, and there is still a great deal of insecurity surrounding him.  He is not yet able to sit comfortably…

Their synastry is mixed, but notably Richard’s Saturn squares Jeremy’s ruling planet Mercury, so he is able to make Jeremy uncomfortable.

The Accident

In his blog of 26th August 2016, Sir Richard wrote:

“A couple of nights ago I went cycling on Virgin Gorda with Holly and Sam …when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a ‘sleeping policeman’ hump in the road head on. The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes.”

Uranus squaring his Sun would make his more accident-prone than usual, though he has diced with danger many times in his life.

He continued: ” My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again. At least I’m practicing what I preach – though a little too literally!”

And he noted:

” The date of the accident just happened to be the fifth anniversary of the fire on Necker Island.”

At the time of the fire, Saturn was transiting his natal Neptune, signifying a loss which is depressing in its effect.

So, quite an eventful week for Sir Richard Branson, and I am sure he will have further adventures and dramas as the future unfolds, as befit his adventurous and risk-taking nature.


Not an easy week, this week, as most Astrologers would agree.  The UK Bank Holiday starts congenially enough tomorrow, with a conjunction between Mercury and Venus.  It is a good morning for ladies who lunch to meet a little earlier for coffee and a light bite.  Artistic endeavours too will be assisted by this conjunction, and diplomacy and negotiation in the wider world.

Later in the day Mars squares the Nodal Axis, and some issue of conflict may be brought to your attention, possibly involving two groups.  Avoid talk of politics and religion, don’t invite road rage, and you’ll be fine!

Tuesday (30th) starts reasonably enough, with Venus smoothly entering Libra. [In the U.S. this elegant entrance takes place the night before].  Whatever your plans, be up bright and early, and take advantage of this harmonious hour.

For at lunchtime, Mercury is stationary, prior to going Retrograde, and yes you know the drill!  There is a need for getting clear on your messages, leaving plenty of time for travels, and double checking everything.  Cultivate your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for the next three weeks.  Practise punctiliousness and perfect punctuation (the consequences of that misplaced apostrophe could be profound).

The New Moon on Thursday September (1st) is an Eclipse at 9 degrees Virgo.  This could be an important day, with far reaching consequences.  Ecology and Working Conditions will be an especial focus.  If you are working with a fastidious sense of ethic, you may achieve a turning point.  But whether you have a focus or not, be aware that the Universe may have an agenda of its own, which may not be what you had in mind.  Try to see the purpose behind it.

Most of Friday (2nd) is taken up with a T-square, composed of the Sun first squaring Saturn and then opposing Neptune.  There may be a complicated web of events which try as you might you find it difficult to disentangle yourself from, so try to work within the conditions you find (unless you can rise above it entirely). A problem may present itself to you first of all, and then the further complications.  Try to take things one step at a time, don’t allow yourself to feel defeated, and look for the complexity of the underlying issues, e.g. the sensitivities within a group of people.

At 17.18 Hrs in the U.K., Mercury conjuncts Jupiter, and you may see some progress, if not in the central issue of the day, success in another field or area of your life.  That may be enough to lift your spirits, or enable you to think outside the box.  Sales and business will benefit from this influence, and travel will be brighter too.  You may think of some positive affirmations or soundbites, which can assist your enterprises, and the general effort.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – social, then conflicting
  • Tuesday – smooth operations, then communications awry
  • Thursday – tricky and exacting, new regimes
  • Friday – stuckness and complication, then some breakthrough

Aspects for the week beginning 21 August 2016

Laura Trott and Jason Kenny

Our Golden couple at the Olympics

The Olympics didn’t completely pass me by, and among the snippets which managed to present themselves to me (while passing through the hubby’s television room) was the triumph of Laura Trott (medal tally 4 golds) and Jason Kenny (medal tally 6 golds).

Laura Trott

Cycling as a sport is ruled by Mercury, and that planet is an important focus when looking at her chart, also because she suffered asthma as a child, and a collapsed lung when born prematurely (Mercury related health conditions).  She has the Sun in the sign of endurance, Taurus, the Moon either in Capricorn or Aquarius (no birth time available) and Mercury is in Aries the sign of speed.  There are no planets in Gemini (the sign ruled by Mercury and associated with cycling) but Gemini may be her Ascendant.  Interestingly, Mercury is largely unaspected in her chart.  This sometimes means a failure to integrate the principle represented by that planet, but can mean the freedom to express it in a very individualistic way.  Mercury does trine Chiron (which is good for self-healing) and squares the Nodal Axis (which puts her in a leadership role with other cyclists).

She has 5 planets in Cardinal signs (leadership) and 5 planets in Earth signs (very grounded).

But the main outstanding feature of her chart is a Grand Trine in Earth between the Sun in Taurus, Jupiter in Virgo, and the North Node in Capricorn.  Luck and positivity are a major feature of her success, and when interviewed after gaining her medal in the Omnium on Tuesday evening she admitted she did not know how she did it!

She also has an important exact trine between Mars and Pluto (indicating superhuman energy and reserves!).  Uranus conjuncts exactly her Neptune (high energy, complex, anarchic quality too).

Jason Kenny

Her fiance broke the records on the same evening, after a third attempt at the Kierin race (the first two races were aborted because of overlapping).  He displayed great patience (he has Sun square Saturn exactly) and calmness throughout the crisis.  When interviewed and asked what was going through his mind he said “Nothing really” – very chilled!

Jason has almost the exact same element and quadruplicity balance as Laura, so they are alike in some ways.  Laura has 2 Fire planets, 5 Earth, 1 Air and 2 Water.  Jason has 1 Fire planet, 6 Earth, 1 Air and 2 Water.  Laura and Kenny both have 5 planets in Cardinal signs, 3 in Fixed and 2 in Mutable. In addition, both have Moons hardly aspected, which may make them equable in mood.

I wrote on the London Olympics in August 2012:

“I spotted that Gold medal winners Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Mo Farah (all different years) were all born on 23rd March.”

Jason’s brilliance is shown by Uranus conjunct his Sun.  His Mercury (the bike) is well-aspected: it sextiles Neptune and trines Pluto, and he’s got a good head on his shoulders.

Like Laura, he is strong on leadership, with Mars sextile North Node.  Jupiter trine exactly Saturn gives him great balance, in decision making as well as on the bike.  He also has as part of his toolkit Jupiter trine Uranus (The Entrepreneur), so he knows how to take advantage of opportunities.


The compatibility between the two is phenomenal.  Jason’s Sun exactly trines Laura’s natal Chiron (keys into her Mercury-Chiron Trine), his Venus trines exactly her Uranus.  His Venus trines exactly her Neptune/Uranus, her exact conjunction. His Mars sextiles exactly her natal Mars – energies exactly in tandem!

But most importantly, his Jupiter/Uranus entrepreneurial trine keys right into her Grand Trine (with his Jupiter on her Sun and trine her Jupiter, his Jupiter exactly trine her natal North Node).  His North Node in Capricorn conjuncts her North Node, so they enable each other and magnify each other’s abilities.

We’ll certainly watch their future with interest, as they reportedly take a break to focus on their wedding, which hopefully won’t be a Hello magazine job, as Laura says she likes a quiet life out of the limelight.


The aspects this week are a mixed bag.  On Monday (22nd) Mercury will be conjunct Jupiter which is an upbeat start to the week.  If you are travelling or on holiday, your horizons will be wide and your mind broadened.  If you are at work, sales and business will be brisk and full of opportunities.  Communication is greatly assisted by this conjunction, whether at home, away or in the office.  This conjunction takes place at 26 degrees Virgo, so if there is any element of challenge it may come from the factor that the conjunction squares the Galactic Centre.  But generally this is a “good news” aspect.

In the afternoon, the Sun enters Virgo, and you may be called to attend to a detail of work or autumn schedules, even if you are technically on holiday, unless you are away without your mobile phone or email contact on a desert island.  But this could prove useful, and you may be glad later that you did respond to the summons.  The Sun is the last planet of the three fellow travellers to enter Virgo, as Mercury and Venus are already there.  So it may feel in some way that the holiday mood is slowly ebbing away.  Live it up on Sunday, therefore!  You can still be on holiday, but there may be an element of having to work at it, and not being as carefree as you would like.  There may be overtones of duty, or guilt, or preoccupation, worry or health regimes to stick to.  Make sure you fall on the positive side of these Virgo elements, and you’ll have a good time.  Better still if you are fashionably geeky, an anorak, or collecting statistic such as train spotting data.

On Wednesday (24th) Mars conjuncts Saturn at 9 degrees Sagittarius, which is seen by some as a stuck energy, but can be a holding energy.  Astrologer Alan Oken describes this aspect as trying to drive with the brakes on.  It tempers the flow of your energy somewhat with self-control.  As the conjunction takes place in Sagittarius, the exuberant side (Mars) of the equation may win out over the restrictive side (Saturn), but there will still be a need for some boundary.  This conjunction takes place close to the star Antares, the alpha star in the constellation of Scorpio.

Some considerations from “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Smulkis may therefore be useful:

” Antares can bring to consciousness an inner awareness of pastlife connections to deep states of malaise…As this information becomes more available, this can enhance the ability to understand the shadow self, know it, and released certain components of it.”


“Antares influences the place just before choice and does so in a very beautiful way.  If you attune to this in any way, asking with love in your heart for the higher path to be shown, so it will be.  The opportunities for this may come forth in ways that were perhaps unexpected.”

Friday (26th) starts with a square between Mars and Neptune, confusing energies and actions.  Dogs and cars may behave erratically or mysteriously.  There may be ambiguity, unclear signals,  physical sensitivity or spiritual messages which are difficult to interpret.  Energies may be frittered, and water currents difficult to read.

But the week ends late on Saturday (27th) on a real high, one of the best aspects of the year: Venus conjunct Jupiter at 27 degrees Virgo.  This is an ideal aspect for a party, soiree or celebration, a commemoration or social get together.  Most folk will be well disposed, and there should be the good will for such an event.  Romance may be on the cards for some. Bring on the buffet and the bubbly!

The week in bullet points:

  • Monday – splendid
  • Wednesday – a block
  • Friday – confused energies
  • Saturday – celebration

Aspects for the week beginning 14 August 2016

A Compatibility Guide for Leos

Are you a Leo, or do you have a friend, relative or partner born under that sign?

Leo Sun with Aries Sun ****

Here’s a really sunny combination, but these two are both born leaders, so they might need to take it in turns to lead.  Or they may create a group around them who are happy for them to host gatherings.  They can create a really feel good ambience.

Leo Sun with Taurus Sun

Taurus’ natural style is to support, and Leo’s is to lead, so this relationship can work so long as Taurus doesn’t harbour a desire to lead.  There may be some friction, as these two signs are squared, but at a certain level of relationship the two Souls can unite in harmony, and achieve much together.  They may share cultural interests, and practical forms of creativity.

Leo Sun with Gemini Sun

As with Aries, there is a good and lively compatibility.  If the Gemini is easy going, then the relationship will be more harmonious, and Geminis tend to be adaptable.  Leo may well set the pace of the relationship.  This can be a very upbeat partnership, in which the two can create a lot of light together if they are both positive individuals.  Two historic lovers in this combination were Napoleon (Leo) and Josephine (Gemini), their romance recorded in his ardent letters.

Leo Sun with Cancerian Sun

People of neighbouring signs often have planets in each other’s sign.  Therefore their planets may mingle, which will give them something in common.  It can be a good combination for parenting, with the Cancerians #lovin’familylife and Leos adopting a paternalistic role.  Leo Mick Jagger had 4 children with Cancerian Jerry Hall, before they finally divorced.

Leo Sun with Leo Sun

Partnerings of the same sign are usually good, because there is a fundamental understanding of each other.  With Leo, there is a particular difficulty because they both like power, and this could lead to a clash of egos, or a battle of wills.  However, this could be a very creative combination, e.g. in a performing duo.

Leo Sun with Virgo Sun

This is a classic pairing, and not just because they are neighbours in the zodiac and may have planets in each other’s sign.  With the Leo penchant for leading, and the Virgo desire to give service, you often find a Virgo in Leo’s pocket.  These two signs seem to follow each other around.  For example, you may find they share a bond within the theatrical world, with Leo treading the boards and Virgo working behind the scenes to make a perfect production.

Leo Sun with Libra Sun

This is a lovely partnership, which can be great fun in art, music and general creativity.  They can really inspire each other, and Libran people skills result in a fine handling of Leo’s power issues.  For example, Librans can tactfully smooth things over and harmonize situations, and help appropriate boundaries to be drawn.  These two can share a love of luxury.  There’s a quote from romantic Libran Brian Blessed about his relationship with Leo wife Hildegard Neil (married since 1978):

“Every day I wake up with my wife and we both can’t wait for the day to start.  We hold hands and we’re immensely happy. The love just grows”

Leo Sun with Scorpio Sun

This could be a difficult combination.  Though Leo is an acknowledge leader outwardly, Scorpio has a desire to dominate emotionally and psychologically, and won’t let Leo get away with superficialities.  So there can be a running battle, which may be open or unspoken.  They are both strong willed and stubborn (Fixed signs) so would find it difficult to apologize, with Leo pride being at stake, and Scorpio conviction of always being right.  Where their partnership may be strong, would be where they have a common cause or battle to fight.  Power is also a strong theme for both of them, so you might see them in politics together, e.g. Bill Clinton (Leo) and Hillary Clinton (Scorpio), and they may have to take it in turns to hold the reins.

Leo Sun with Sagittarius Sun ****

Life could be a bowl of cherries with these two.  Leo is magnanimous and Sagittarius fun loving, and they would magnify these traits in each other.  They could throw tremendous parties together, and also be successful materially and generous with their gifts.

Leo Sun with Capricorn Sun

At first acquaintance, these two may not have very much in common.  Leo is hedonistic, and Capricorn can be quite austere or even ascetic.  So their lifestyles may not suit each other, although they may give each other what the other lacks: Capricorn can bring discipline to the table, and Leo warmth and trust. Capricorn can keep Leo down to earth.

Leo Sun with Aquarius Sun

These two are opposites, and therefore can be complementary and create a whole.  At a lower level of interaction, there can be tension, but the relationship is worth working at.  Aquarius understands group work, and Leo understands how to maintain individuality within a group, so they may find themselves working in society for the common good.  They have a hotline to each other.  Leo admires the Aquarian cool, and Aquarius admires the Leo flair.

Leo Sun with Pisces Sun

The angle between the two Suns may not be entirely easy, but they have much to give each other.  They are both creative in different ways, and may both be interested in the theatre.  Leo is a master at performance, and Pisces acts with great sensitivity and intuition.  Their creativity together can be inspired.


A full compatibility analysis details every component of the two birthcharts in relation to each other, not just the Sun sign.  As there is a lot of work involved, it is my most expensive service, at £45.


There are two trines to look forward to this week, in the middle of some more complex aspects, but that is a solid core you can build on.

On Sunday (14th) Neptune opposes Venus, which may complicate dealings in relationships and finance.  All may not be as it seems.  Someone may be putting on a front, or disguising their real feelings – a wolf in sheep’s clothing, perhaps, or mutton dressed as lamb…But you may see the mask slip at some point.  It may be you yourself who are wrestling with your true feelings, or trying not to hurt someone.  Either way, there could be some sensitive scenarios socially.

On the financial front, some money may disappear or slip through your fingers.  Make sure you have your hands on your purse, when you are socializing with the wolves and the sheep.  And if that all sounds a bit paranoid, then make sure you know where you keep your paranoia so that you can deal with it appropriately, either by inspecting it or letting it go (according to your philosophy).  Financial investments, stocks or shares, may temporarily experience bizarre fluctuations, especially for Neptunian substances such as oil.  It is a time when you might feel that your finances are not on a solid footing.

On Tuesday (16th) Venus conjuncts the North Node, and there could be karmic readjustments in connection with relationships and money, which should be helpful, unless you have really been negligent.  It could be an important day in terms of meeting people, new people or old people, people from this lifetime, a past lifetime or even a future lifetime.  Pay attention to any unusual meetings, as they may be more significant than you realize.

You could literally experience a financial payback, e.g. an income tax rebate, or money you might have given up on retrieving that day.  But of course we can’t all be receiving that day: some of us might be required to be the giver!  You might pre-empt this by searching your memory for someone you may owe something to, e.g. a good deed, and intentionally balancing this out.  Feelings can be warm and fuzzy today.

In the evening, Uranus trines the Sun, which is helpful if you are brainstorming for new ideas, originality in creativity, and gaining clarity about group consciousness.  This is a particularly successful aspect for Leos and Aquarians, and for their interaction.  Any lessons learned that day about individuality and group connections will stand you in good stead for Thursday.

Thursday (18th) begins in the early hours with the second trine of the week: Pluto trine Venus.  You could feel certain themes you have been working on earlier on in the week coming together satisfyingly, especially in finance and relationships.  In struggling with these themes, you may have come across solutions which are able to stick.  You may have accessed a deeper level of understanding about these, and the knowing of your heart confirms the rightness of this new way of dealing with them.

By breakfast time, or more accurately late breakfast (in the U.K.) or a late lie-in (9.27 a.m.) another preoccupation may be tugging at your attention, and this is related to the themes of Tuesday evening: individuality and group interaction.  You might feel overwhelmed by the Full Moon in Aquarius which is occurring.  You may be pondering your place in your community, and how you fit into it.  This is one of the conundrums set by this Full Moon, and the rest of the day, and indeed the rest of the week, may be a coming to terms with your conclusions.

The week in bullet points:

  • Sunday – look beyond the surface
  • Tuesday – karmic harmony and creative brilliance
  • Thursday – deep satisfaction but emotional tension

Aspects for the week beginning 7 August 2016

Vincent Van Gogh

“But I could have told you, Vincent,

This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you” ~ Don McLean

Searching for alternative viewing from the Olympics last night, I settled into a fascinating investigation of the truth behind the tale of Vincent Van Gogh’s ear on BBC 2.  This also coincides with an exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, entitled “On the Verge of Insanity: Van Gogh and his Illness.”

His Birth Chart

Often, I focus on the aspects in my blogs, partly because a proportion of the people I write about do not have available birth times.  But Vincent was born on 30th March 1853 at 11 a.m. in Zundert, Holland, and his chart really comes alive as seen through a trip through his Houses.

His Ascendant was in the third decanate of Cancer, giving a personality whose emotions would fluctuate from day to day.  Much of his 1st House falls in the sign of Leo, which is one of the indicators of a fondness for the colour yellow.

Vincent’s I.C. (which represents security) falls in his 3rd House of Siblings.  His brother Theo was born on 1st May 1857, and we have been able to see much of Vincent’s life through the published letters between Vincent and his art dealer brother.  He also kept Vincent afloat financially as much as he could.

5th House of Creativity:

At the end of the House is a triple conjunction between the Moon, the South Node, and Jupiter in Sagittarius.

The Moon/Jupiter represents the florid emotions and fervent passion of his painting, and the prolific output of his creativity.  It is the manic side of the possible bi-polar syndrome he might have suffered from.  In her book “Touched with Fire” Kay Redfield Jamison gives evidence that Vincent’s family had a history of mental illness.  She quotes Vincent himself rather fatalistically as stating “The root of the evil lies in the constitution itself, in the fatal weakening of families from generation to generation…The root of the evil certainly lies there, and there’s no cure for it.”

This conjunction points to a closeness with the mother and the family, and his mother (Moon) was by all accounts very religious (Jupiter).

The addition of the South Node to this conjunction conjures up a picture of Vincent as a pious figure in past lives.

6th House of Health:

At the end of the 6th House of Health we find Chiron in Capricorn, which is closely conjunct the Descendant and opposing his Ascendant (physical body).  This points to his delicate health during his lifetime, and the prominence of a wound.  Unfortunately, he was never able to work through his wound sufficiently to bring out his Inner Healer, which is a process which normally takes place throughout a person’s life: the Chiron Return which occurs at the age of 50 is the coming of age for the Inner Healer.

Chiron’s presence here may also represent his friend and homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet, whom he painted.  Chiron can be a positive force in the 6th House, especially in the 21st Century when there are alternatives to historic conventional medical approaches.

As well as Chiron being bound up with his health concerns, it is also inextricably bound up with his relationships, being on the Descendant (or relationship point).  He had apparently a lifelong care for those who were unfortunate or poor, and he also suffered a great deal of rejection in his relationships.

8th House of Death:

In the 8th House Vincent has the planet Neptune, which represents a tendency to suicide.  Again, he was not able to overcome the vulnerability of this placing, which does not automatically lead to suicide, and indeed can indicate great spirituality and connection to the Source.  Neptune itself receives an sextile from Saturn, which should have been more stabilizing.  As time went on, it resulted in his contrasting charisma and sympathy after death, a sad irony when viewing his rejection and lack of recognition in his lifetime.

9th House of Foreign Travel and Religion:

This is another important House for Vincent.  It contains a triple conjunction of Venus/Mars/Midheaven in Pisces, and a conjunction of the Part of Fortune/The Sun in Aries.  The first conjunction depicts his career as a prolific and energetic artist, and the second depicts the search for himself and the quality of joy that also comes through his work.  The Sun also represents the father, and his father was a Minister.  In this placing too you can see his journey to Arles and the outstanding quality of sunlight which gave life to his painting there.  The Sun in Aries gives rise to the red hair, with the extra stamp of Mars closely trine the Ascendant (physical appearance).  Aries also represents the head, and the ears.

10th House of Career:

He had largely difficult planets in his House of Career.  Mercury at the top of his chart would not be difficult, but it squares his Ascendant and brings an ever-present nervousness to his physical existence.  That placing, together with North Node in Gemini in 11th House (his dream of brotherhood) suggests that his true purpose was as a teacher.  Pluto, Uranus and Saturn are the other inhabitants of this House, all challenging on his Career path.  Pluto occupies an interesting position at 0 degrees Taurus, pointing to his attempt at a groundbreaking art movement. Jonathan Jones, writing in the Guardian, says: “he invented a new kind of art that would come to be called expressionism.”

Here we also find a conjunction of Mercury and Pluto, which is the depressive side of his mental equation.  Pluto is not the flat depression of Saturn (which is well aspected in his chart), it represents more of an existential angst which constantly pulls his mind into a life and death struggle.  There again, there is a transformative potential about this conjunction, which he did display signs of in his intense vision and insight as portrayed in his art.

The Mystery of the Ear

In the programme the search by Bernadette Murphy, a resident of Arles, is detailed, a painstaking journey of great perseverance over many years to establish what actually happened.  I will try not to give away too much, as the programme is still available on I Player!  But there are intriguing features of this tale, such as whether he severed the whole ear or just the lobe, and the role of the young girl he gave the ear to the next day, and the programme gives satisfying answers to these questions.  What is most relevant to astrological research is that two things happened the day of his self-inflicted ear injury.  One was that he had an argument with fellow artist Paul Gauguin, who was abandoning the dream of an artist colony in Arles, and Vincent allegedly threatened with him with a razor.  The other event was a letter received from his brother Theo announcing his engagement to Johanna, which would threaten their closeness and exacerbate Vincent’s loneliness.


What was going on in the heavens that fateful evening that Vincent severed his ear (23rd December 1888)?  How do the planetary positions relate to Vincent’s chart, Gauguin’s chart, and Theo’s?

Transits to Vincent’s own chart shows that he may well have been having a manic episode: Jupiter was on his Moon, Uranus sextile his Moon, Mars square his Saturn (self-inflicted injury).

Gauguin had natally Mars square exactly Vincent’s Pluto – a potential for combustibility!  At the time of the argument, Pluto was on Gauguin’s Venus (relationship), Mars trine exactly his natal Sun.  There was an emphasis in his transits on the planets of freedom, Jupiter and Uranus. Uranus was square Gauguin’s Jupiter (he wanted to break free); Jupiter was on Gauguin’s Jupiter (a lucky escape); Jupiter trine exactly Gauguin’s Uranus (again the theme of freedom); he was undergoing his Uranus Opposition (mid-life crisis, again wanting to break free).  Two years later, Gauguin made his first visit to Tahiti, where his destiny lay, but this may have been a defining moment for Gauguin.

For Theo, Mars was opposite his Moon, a family crisis; Saturn was square Theo Mars (difficulty for a male in his life); Neptune was conjunct Theo’s Mercury (mental confusion); Pluto was sextile Theo’s North Node/Ascendant, a change in life circumstances (relating not only to Vincent’s trouble, but also a change in relationship status).

This does not sound too romantic for one who had just become engaged, and indeed we do not know when the engagement took place or when he wrote and sent the letter.  So I had a look at his fiancee Johanna’s chart: She had some mixed influences at the time, too, but Uranus was sextile her Uranus (favourable changes) and Chiron sextile her Pluto (so some personal healing for her).

Vincent’s Death

The period of painting which followed the ear incident rsulted in some of the most prolific and successful for Vincent (although he only sold one painting in his lifetime).  He shot himself on 27th July 1890, and died two days later.  Again, his transits point to a manic period of excitability at that time:  Jupiter squared his Uranus, Uranus trined his North Node, and Uranus squared his Chiron (a decisive point for his Inner Healer, and the strain was too much).

Posthumous Postscripts

Again, not giving away the narrative of the television programme, but a letter or document written and signed by the doctor who treated Vincent for his ear (Felix Ray, also the subject of a portrait) was dated 18th August 1930.  This letter was crucial in its significance, and the relation to his chart posthumously is most positive:

Jupiter was trine exactly Vincent Sun, the North Node was conjunct exactly his natal Mars (his Sun ruler) and Neptune trine exactly his natal Jupiter.  Vincent would have been smiling about this.

The screening of the “Ear” programme too compares very favourably to Vincent’s chart:

Saturn is exactly trine his Sun, Chiron exactly conjunct his natal Mars; Uranus is exactly trine his natal Jupiter; Pluto trine exactly his natal Saturn in 10th House (a significant and deep insight into the realistic portrayal of his life); Chiron is exactly trine his Ascendant on his 9th House cusp (representing a healing for him); and extremely significantly Neptune has exactly returned to its natal position in the 8th House of Posthumous reputation, clearing up some of the mysteries of his life, and invoking compassion and understanding for his struggles.  Again, he would be very pleased to have this clarification.  If he has not reincarnated, he would not be turning in his grave!


A slightly more challenging week this…so fasten your safety belts.

The early hours of this morning saw a square between Venus and Mars, which may have been stimulating emotionally or romantically.

In the middle of the afternoon (in the U.K.) Neptune opposes Mercury, and we may be mentally befuddled, or allow ourselves a little reverie, distraction or mental escapism.  Travelwise, journeys may be complicated.

On Tuesday (9th), Mercury is conjunct the North Node at 13 degrees Virgo, concentrating the mind on the meaning of events and possible karmic nuances.  There may be fine discussions or splitting hairs about the rights and wrongs of actions.

Wednesday (10th) brings a trine between Mercury and Pluto which builds towards the evening.  You may be supported by your inner knowing along a line of thought which incorporates your deepest psychological understanding.  By the evening, you could reach important conclusions.

Jupiter opposes Chiron on Friday (12th), and although an adverse Jupiter aspect is not usually too damaging, it could produce some deep dilemma, especially on the subject of health and healing and the right direction to take.  The dilemmas may concern how far to maintain an attitude of Trust and Hope, and how far to intervene.

First the good news for Saturday (13th) – Saturn goes stationary, preparing to turn direct.  Some aspect of your plans get the green light again, where they may have stalled around the end of March (when Saturn turned retrograde).

By late lunchtime however, Saturn squares Venus and some sadness in relationship or financial burden may require a process of letting go, and re-evaluating what is important to you.  Some better news will be coming next week…

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – sensuality and confusion
  • Tuesday – karmic information
  • Wednesday – profound insight
  • Friday – pulled in two directions
  • Saturday – some progress, and some deflation

Aspects for the week beginning 31 July 2016

Your Mercury Sign

Book Review: “Fish Can’t Climb Trees” by Helyn Connerr (published by Watkins books, 2016)

“Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~ Albert Einstein

Do you want to banish the Mercury retrograde blues which comes around regularly, at least partially?  I have been reading a fascinating book about enhancing communication by recognizing that we each have a different style of communicating, of taking in information and expressing it.  It is a method apparently which has been used in schools and other institutions with great success, and ties in with Astrology.  It is also reminiscent of my work with Animal Totems and Astrology, so for those of you who have enjoyed those blogs here’s some dessert!

It is based on taking the Mercury sign of the individual, which rules and represents the mental make up, and to a great extent (with caveats, such as aspects to your natal Mercury) shows how someone will learn most easily and  order their thoughts for communication.  Where lines of communication often fail is in the assumption that the other person thinks exactly the same way you do, which of course will often miss its mark. This book points the way to overcoming such blocks, and aiding those who have communication difficulties. I think this book is a valuable resource for teachers, anyone whose work depends on clear communication, and also assists personal relationships. Helyn Connerr, with a Masters in nuclear chemistry, was involved in leading-edge research in nuclear medicine in Boston, U.S.A.  Her previous book “Learning without Tears” was published in 2008, and her system, which has been extensively trialled, is called the Mercury Model, and is a resource to help parents understand children’s learning styles.

Your Mercury Sign

Do you know your own Mercury sign?  The book has an appendix in which you can look it up, but if you don’t know it, you could try on the Mercury for your Sun sign, which would have a one in three chance of being your actual Mercury sign, for Mercury is always either in the same sign or in one of your neighbouring sign, as it follows the Sun round the zodiac all the year round.  If that does not fit, you can look at the signs either side of your Sun, and you should find it.

Animal Totems

Regular readers will know that I have given extensive animal totems for each sign over the last year or two in my blogs, and in Helyn’s system, some (but not all) signs have been assigned animals.  And some of these accord with my own researches, and some are different, but it is all enjoyable and thought-provoking material, and in harmony with my approach.  The book is packed with examples and advice.  I will give you a sampler for each sign, and you may then want to go on and read the whole book:

Mercury in Aries

Scout, the Trailblazer

(represented as a Squirrel)

“I am quick on the uptake, active, direct, energetic, positive, lively and bright. I can be unflaggingly forceful and competitive.  And to everyone else, I am either stimulating or exhausting.”

Mercury in Taurus

Steady, the Vault

(represented as a Bison)

“I do not race at new ideas.  I take my time; I chew things over to be sure we will sustain each other happily over the long term.  I am not easily pushed, cajoled or led.  And, please note: if you try to hurry me along, I tend to slow down.”

Mercury in Gemini

Buzz, the Curious

(represented by a butterfly)

“I am a generalist. Just as a garden butterfly naturally touches lightly on every flower, stalk and stem, I dash across the surface of a wide spectrum of information.”

Mercury in Cancer

Sponge, the Sensitive

(represented by a koala bear)

“It would be really helpful and supportive for my family, friends, teachers/trainers, bosses, employees and colleagues to understand and work with my sensitivity, to see it and accept it as a natural part of my mental dynamics.”

Mercury in Leo

Rex, the Dignified

(represented by a lion)

“The crux of the matter is this: my thoughts are closely related to my identity.  The information I hold contributes to my sense of selfhood.  I am what I think.  Any idea that I take in goes right to my heart, to my core.”

Mercury in Virgo

Details, the Analyst

(represented by a monkey)

“I actually learn by separating large pieces of information into tiny bite-size bits.  I dissect.  I analyse.  I tear ideas apart, limb from limb.  I have to do this in order to learn.”

Mercury in Libra

Procon, the Diplomat

(represented by two parrots)

“My ability to argue both sides of an issue lets me develop excellent skills for debating, politics or law.  Ideas of fairness and justice are fundamental to my thinking.  This started in childhood and continues through my life.”

Mercury in Scorpio

Sherlock, the Detective

(represented by a snake)

“Here’s how I work.  As Sherlock I focus on new information with X-ray vision, seeing right to the core of the issue: the person, the lyrics, the news story, the painting, the game plan or whatever it is.”

Mercury in Sagittarius

Flash, the Pioneer

(represented by a fox)

“As Flash I am a positive, forward-driving mind.  I am optimistic and enthusiastic.  I am bright and lively and spiky and adventurous.  I boldly go where no mind has gone before.”

Mercury in Capricorn

Exec, The Achiever

(represented by a goat)

“As Exec, The Achiever, I am a hands-on learner.  I do not learn by looking, reading, talking, intuiting or feeling.  To really learn any new information, I have to get involved, try it out, test it, apply it in different circumstances, touch it, smell it, use it, measure it.”

Mercury in Aquarius

Boffin, the Innovator

(represented by a bird)

“My very favourites [ideas] comprise the set of all those ideas that nobody else has considered – the completely original ones that spring into or from my own mind, ideas that can become statements of my own individuality.”

Mercury in Pisces

Sonar, the Intuitive

(represented by a whale)

“My intuitive mind is highly visual and extraordinarily sensitive to what feels like a swirl of information around me.  I receive, absorb and interpret subtle signals that others apparently miss.  Ebbing and flowing like the tide, I never stay in one place very long.”

If you have read through these, and applied them to yourself, friends and family, it may have whetted your appetite for further research, application and reading.  I will definitely be incorporating this information in my own work.  Here’s to better communication on planet Earth!


We are blessed with two trines tomorrow, so make the best of them!  It’s not a bad week overall, but does end on a difficult note.

In the early hours of the morning, Venus trines Uranus. You may want to start the week and month with a bold artistic flourish.  You may finish that beach mural on the office wall, or complete an artistic project or musical composition.  Social engagements will be exciting, and in some cases impromptu.  Perhaps you will bump into an old friend, and catch up in the nearest cafe.  Savour the vibe.

The second trine, occurring late afternoon, is Sun trine Saturn.  This is a more prosaic aspect.  Having had your fun in the sunshine, you may want to take stock and solidify your accomplishments, or even lay down plans.  The lyrical poetry you produced earlier in the day, or the new friendship that blossomed, may inspire you to make something more enduring out of the day’s inspiration.  It is a good foundation stone for the rest of the week.

At the same time the next day (17.49 Hrs to be precise) Tuesday (2nd August), Mars enters Sagittarius.  Mars has been in the warrior sign of Scorpio for months, and this has been partly responsible for the spate of violent incidents around the world.  The position of Mars describes the nature of our collective energy, and going into Sagittarius it is still high energy, but more joyful, and more focussed on good will.  However, it can be a little mischievous: I associate Mars in Sagittarius with the swashbuckling Pirate Archetype.  So, high spirits for Tuesday.  Mars goes into Capricorn on 27th September, so you have until then to practise your pirate moves.

In the evening, there is a New Moon at 10 degrees Leo.  That is an opportunity to turn up the volume on whatever activity you are enjoying.  A lot of you will be working this week, but there is a real holiday or party atmosphere going on. Take a moment to reflect on your creative goals for the coming month, and focus any affirmations or visualizations on them.  It is a glorious technicolour day.

On Friday (5th) pleasure loving Venus leaves Leo and enters the sign of Virgo.  Part of you is called back to work.  You may be needing to pay attention to the detail of decor or fashion taste.  You may be perfecting a recipe for your future debut in Masterchef.  There is a need for fastidiousness about choosing the company you keep, or holding true to your values.  Discrimination or discretion may be required, and this may conflict with the exuberant energy being expressed by Mars.  But the reckoning for these two planets in square does not have to be faced until the early hours of next Sunday (7th).  You may even enjoy the interplay of the contrast.

We end the week with Mercury square Saturn on Saturday (6th).  Journeys and post may be delayed, communications and conversations difficult.  After some of the heady days earlier in the week, there may be a feeling of anti-climax, e.g. you may have been on holiday and are stuck on a traffic jam on the A30 near Okehampton.  It will be difficult to get going on Saturday, whatever the plan, and it is one of those times to remember all things must pass.  The evening may be livelier, with the Venus-Mars square just past midnight, when next week’s blog will be a twinkle in the eye.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – a golden day
  • Tuesday – high spirits
  • Friday – making fine choices
  • Saturday – slowing down