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Aspects for the week beginning 2 August 2015

The Bloomsbury Group:  A Soul Group – Introduction

A new three part drama entitled “Life in Squares” began on BBC2 (Mondays at 9 pm) this week.  It owes its title to a quotation from Dorothy Parker, who described the Bloomsbury group lifestyle as “lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles”.

I have long been interested in this group, undoubtedly a Soul Group, but will start modestly with just a few astro-vignettes.  Sometimes I start a theme, and if there is not much interest, don’t take it further.  But hopefully there is enough interest out there for this subject.

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, or Virginia Stephen as she began life, formed with her sister Vanessa the core of an intellectual group starting in the early 20th Century in London.  Though the group were famed for their liberal sexual mores, there is no doubt that they were among the most talented contributors to the culture of their age.  Virginia herself was a profound author, though her writing style indigestible to some.  She struggled with her mental health and was possibly bi-polar, but perhaps that enhanced her work and creativity.

Her chart identifies her as a Soul Group leader with North Node exactly sextile her natal Sun (exactly at the Midheaven), with an entrepreneurial trine between Jupiter and Uranus.  Her delicate mental structure is identified in her chart by Chiron exactly square Mercury.  There is a depth of relating shown by Venus closely trine Pluto, and mental innovation from Chiron trine exactly Uranus.  She had no water planets, which may have been a source of struggle in emotional expression, coupled with an exact square of Saturn to her Sun.  Further indication that she didn’t do anything by halves is shown by 6 of her 10 planets being in the Fixed signs. She married political theorist Leonard Woolf who was karmically linked through his Sun being conjunct her North Node.

Vanessa Bell

Virginia’s sister Vanessa Bell was a painter, and became close to Clive Bell through a mutual love of painting.  She later married him, and he also formed a close relationship with Virginia.

Her Sun in Gemini is within 1 degree of Virginia’s, which indicates a close personal bond.  Her cultural interests and talent are shown by Mercury exactly sextile Venus in her chart.  There is an elevated spiritual quality about her exact sextile between Jupiter and Neptune.  North Node trine closely Pluto shows a profoundly driven karmic mission.  She has an exact conjunction of Chiron and Neptune in Taurus, a complex artistic talent possibly used as a route to her own self-healing.  This conjunction sextiles Jupiter, assisting success in that field.  In her marriage to Clive Bell, with her Pluto exactly conjunct Clive Bell’s Jupiter they built a focus of power.  Clive Bell’s Neptune was exactly conjunct Virginia Woolf’s Jupiter and he was able to sensitively critique her work.

Lytton Strachey

Lytton Strachey, author of “Eminent Victorians”, was a highly charismatic member of the core group, and predominantly homosexual (related with John Maynard Keynes and Duncan Grant), though he had a passionate relationship with painter Dora Carrington.  His Venus trine Mars is a sign of lack of sexual inhibition.  Mars also exactly squared his Uranus, bringing a continual need for excitement.  He too was a leader, with the Sun sextile his North Node. He had Mercury conjunct Jupiter, a sign of success in writing.  Virginia had these two planets closely square, showing the range of her intellectual interests.

His death through illness led to the grief stricken suicide of Dora Carrington, which was a contributory factor possibly to Virginia Woolf’s own suicide.  His Moon squared Venus, often a sign that the females in someone’s life do not get on, and certainly Virginia Woolf and Dora Carrington had a troubled relationship. Dora’s Pluto was exactly conjunct Lytton’s Mars, which may have been destructive, but it was also exactly trine his Venus and they had a deeply magnetic relationship.  They were also involved in a ménage a trois with Ralph Partridge.

John Maynard Keynes

Economist John Maynard Keynes, like Lytton Strachey, was a product of the Cambridge University culture of the time.  Arguably his legacy is one of the greatest of all the Bloomsbury Group, as his economic theory is now coming back into fashion after the failed experiment of Neo-Liberalism.  He was born on a New Moon in Gemini with the Part of Fortune on the Ascendant, bringing in new thought for the time.  He had a psychologically heavy triple conjunction of Saturn/Chiron/Pluto in Gemini, and the independent controversial thought of Mercury exactly square Uranus.  Venus conjunct the Midheaven in Taurus describes well his career as an economist.  He had no fire in his chart, so relied heavily on the 5 out of 10 planets he had in intellectual Air to make rational sense of the world.  His relationship with Lytton Strachey and painter Duncan Grant was very much a love triangle.

E.M. Forster

Also associated with Cambridge, E.M. Forster’s novels earned him many nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Notably, his novels are much easier to read than Virginia Woolf’s.  I was required to read them all at ‘A’ Level, and our set text “A Passage to India”, though not difficult, was perhaps the most complex and enigmatic.  He shares many natal aspects in common with other members of the Bloomsbury Group, some of those aspects being personal and some collective in nature.  The Chiron-Neptune conjunction in Taurus which Vanessa Bell channeled into painting, can be seen in the complex enigma that is “A Passage to India” giving that work a haunting quality.   There is an engaging portrait of E.M. Forster by Dora Carrington and they share the aspect of North Node conjunct Jupiter.  Like Lytton Strachey, he had Mars square Uranus.  He also had a very exacting square between his Mercury and Saturn.

Vita Sackville-West

Trio

So well she knew them both! yet as she came
Into the room, and heard their speech
Of tragic meshes knotted with her name,
And saw them, foes, but meeting each with each
Closer than friends, souls bared through enmity,
Beneath their startled gaze she thought that she
Broke as the stranger on their conference,
And stole abashed from thence

Poet and Horticulturalist Vita Sackville-West had Sun, Mercury and Jupiter in Pisces.  She had a brief affair with Virginia Woolf, and was immortalized by Virginia in her book “Orlando”.  Vita herself came from an aristocratic background and was brought up in a 365-room mansion, Knole, in Kent (North Node in Taurus conjunct I.C.).  She had a very interesting 5th House of Creativity, which included her North Node conjunct I.C. (many of her poems were about her ancestral home).  Another notable feature of her 5th House is an exact conjunction of Neptune and Pluto in Gemini, which lends depth to her work.  She was also involved in a love triangle, between her husband Harold Nicholson and a school friend novelist Violet Trefusis.

There are so many more characters and intricacies involved in the subject of the Bloomsbury Group, which I hope to explore at some stage.

Aspects

There is a prolilfic line-up of aspects this week, something to occupy you each day, so without further ado, and with precise times (for the U.K.):–

Saturn turns direct today at 5.53 a.m., bucking the retrograde trend with Venus, Neptune and Pluto still retrograde, not to mention Asteroids Chiron, Pholus, and Ceres who are all retrograde at the moment.  You may find a chink in the brick wall now, and start to be able to move something which has been resistant for a while.  Saturn has been retrograde since 14th March.

At 14.50 Hrs Mercury trines Uranus, so you may have a lightbulb moment just after lunch, whether inspired by a great meal or an earlier breakthrough.  Take time to be open to new ideas before you go about your afternoon planned activities.

Tomorrow, Monday (3rd) holds the most important key of the week, the aspect of Jupiter square Saturn at 10.36 a.m.  You may find you are chasing your own tail, at least initially, until you realize that the task is to balance two ostensibly incompatible forces in your life.  Jupiter is freedom, and Saturn is restraint.  Jupiter is in the fun-loving sign of Leo, and Saturn is in the darker sign of Scorpio, so there are two contrasts already.  Depending on where they are placed in your birthchart, there will be more factors to balance.  Identifying the task is half the battle, then expanding your consciousness to look at the bigger picture may provide a way of dealing with it, or thinking about it.

You are in for a treat on Tuesday (4th) with the happiest of aspects, Venus conjunct Jupiter at 21.47 Hrs in the early evening.  As Venus is now retrograde, you may remember the recent occurrence of this aspect on 1st July, when you may have received a reminder of the unconditional love and abundance ever-present in the Universe!  There may be romance, and the promise of weddings or engagements in the air.  Friendships too are blessed.  If you receive a social invitation, take the opportunity!  Couch potatoes can always catch up on their favourite programme on i player or nearest equivalent.

Be prepared for a slump in mood the next day Wednesday (5th) when Venus then squares Saturn (the antithesis of Venus conjunct Jupiter) at 15.08 Hrs.  Could be that you may have underestimated the enduring nature of the previous day’s euphoric events (if indeed you did benefit).  A more realistic tone in relationships now ensues.  For example, a suitor may have proposed marriage on Tuesday, and on Wednesday you realize there may be some impediment and the road may not be clear in practical terms.  You may be able to clear this on a level of consciousness, e.g. determining a negative thought in relation to past relationships which is still lurking and may yet be cleared.

Another step forward occurs the next morning, Thursday (6th) with Mars trine Saturn at 8.29 am.  There literally may be an action you can take to move things forward in the direction of your goals.  Seize the day; the early bird will catch the worm.

Still seizing, next, at 14.25 Hrs Mercury is conjunct Venus, favouring literary and artistic pursuits, and forging on with documentation, diplomacy and discussion.

In the afternoon, after a fruitful and creative early afternoon, stop seizing the day, and turn to reflection and meditation.  For in the evening, at 20.19 Hrs Mercury will square Saturn, and you will be required to slow right down, and calm and focus the mind.  There may be a specific task concerning documentation or calculation which needs to be dealt with, or some difficult news to process or digest. The week may by now feel like a mini-roller coaster.

So it will not be difficult to imagine that another beneficial aspect is coming your way on Friday  (7th) – Mercury conjuncts Jupiter at 7.08 a.m.  If you have entrepreneurial designs for Friday, especially involved with the dissemination of information, you will be able to sail through them.  Teaching and travel are especially favoured.  The up side or silver lining of yesterday evening’s news will reveal itself.

Early evening at 19.15 Hrs Mercury moves from hedonistic Leo into conscientious Virgo, so you may switch from holiday mode right into work mode.  A deadline may present itself to get stuck into a project or assignment lasting approximately the length of Mercury’s stay in Virgo which is until 27th of this month – it’s time to tackle my Tax Return!.  Perhaps the task is something preparing for the Autumn term, if you are a teacher or student.  It would involves the mental faculties.

Summer is not over though, fear not!  On Saturday (8th) your physical energies will be back surfing the waves of the holiday season with Mars leaving Cancer (the sign of home and family preoccupations) and entering Leo.  Perhaps you are basking in the sunshine home or away, are enjoying a staycation, or have been invited to a summer wedding.  Celebration, display and show are once more highlighted.  Whether you are a main player, supporting act, or behind-the-scenes worker, don’t hide your light under a bushel, behind the curtains, or under false humility.  Everyone’s a winner!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – moving forward with good ideas
  • Tomorrow – important balancing
  • Tuesday – happy clappy
  • Wednesday – grumpy slumpy
  • Thursday – two steps forward, one step back
  • Friday – mind-broadening and successful, then application
  • Saturday – show your wares

Aspects for the week beginning 26 July 2015

Jeremy Corbyn

I was waiting until just prior to the ballot on 14th August to blog the Labour Leadership Contest, but Jeremy Corbyn’s rise and rise has so dominated the news this week, that he is going to get a blog all to himself.

In an extraordinary sequence of events since the election, Jeremy got himself on the ballot, by the skin of his teeth, and has since proved the most popular candidate of the four.  His candidacy is proving very controversial, with the acting leader Harriet Harman being urged to pull the plug on his runaway success on the grounds that it is too left wing and could result in a Labour defeat in the 2020.  What an incredible turn of events!

I joined the Labour party in the wake of the election result, feeling I had been far too complacent for too long, and am overjoyed to find there is a candidate to vote for who thinks almost exactly as I do.  And I think many of those voting for him feel the same, and they are not all communists or conservatives paying £3 to vote in order to secure a Labour defeat in 2020.

My own feeling is that he represents the values I would like to see in society, such as looking after the poor.  We have become such a cynical society, and some idealism would not go amiss.  In fact, society might even like it, and decide that it works for them in the years to come, as hopefully the destructiveness of the Conservative policies come to be seen for what they are.

Jeremy Corbyn was interviewed on the Andrew Marr show this morning, and I felt respectfully so (Andrew can be quite aggressive at times).  Jeremy was relaxed throughout, and that was because he was being himself, not having to tread on political eggshells.  His authenticity shone through, plus he has a sense of humour.  He has even been found to have spent the least in expenses during the scandal of 2009 – that is the sort of politician we need. He is also vegetarian and teetotal.

His Birthchart

Sun in Gemini Jeremy Corbyn has 6 of his 10 planets in Air signs, so is a Thinker.  He has 0 Water planets, which reinforces the tendency to reason, although he is not without passion with his Moon conjunct Mars in Taurus.  In true Gemini fashion, he presents very logical cases for what some see as controversial policies.  His speaking talent is shown by Mercury conjunct Venus by 1 degree in Gemini, with a sextile to Pluto giving that depth.  Mercury-Venus also trines Neptune, which gives him his idealism and the ability to put this across.  He is very grounded, with an exact sextile between Uranus (the Rebel) and Saturn (Authority), and can balance these forces well.  His Sun is trine Jupiter, which helps promote a buoyant outlook.  His Sun opposes Chiron, so he has to maintain a balance in his health.  Authenticity is part of his karmic mission, with North Node in Aries.  We do not have his birth time, but know his Part of Fortune is in the 12th House, so he has a quiet sense of inner security.

Transits

Ballot:  At the time he secured enough votes to get himself on to the ballot, which he only just managed, Saturn from Scorpio was exactly square his natal Saturn in late Leo – a real sense of struggle.

Now:  As things stand now, he is riding the crest of a wave.  Earlier this month it became clear that he was overtaking the other three candidates for the Labour leadership, and transiting Jupiter was trine his natal North Node in Aries, which suggests karmic reward for authenticity.  The Aries connection is interesting because political commentator and author of “Chavs” and “The Establishment” Owen Jones is a vocal supporter of Jeremy, and is Aries.  And Tony Benn with whom he worked in the early 1980s was an Aries.  Both of them espouse similar values and straight talking, so it is a tribute to Aries which doesn’t often get much praise.  Young people especially are responding to this breath of fresh air.

14 Aug: When the voting starts, Jupiter will be on Jeremy Corbyn’s Saturn, so factors and traits which have held him back in the past may be unblocked.  This transit peaks about 3 days before, but that is close enough to be a hopeful sign for him.

12 Sept:  At the time of the announcement of the leadership winner, he has some challenging aspects.  Saturn squares his natal Saturn again, which is a hurdle he overcame when he got on to the ballot.  Jupiter squares his natal Chiron, so his Inner Healer will be stretched: he might be overdoing things physically, and need extra pacing.  A word about his age (65): in the 20th Century politicians who wore their statesmanlike wisdom and experience proudly tended to be of that age group – it is only recently that we have not had seasoned politicians in power.  Lastly, Pluto squares his natal Neptune at that time, a challenge psychologically to encompass a greater public service.  If he did win, and was allowed to win, it would indeed be a challenging time for him.

Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn has served the Labour Party for decades, and been an assiduous public servant in his Islington constituency since 1983.  He has good connections with the Labour Party chart: Mercury trine its Mercury – true to its original intellectual ideas; his Neptune trine its natal Mars – shared idealism and passion; his Chiron on its Jupiter (potentially a healing, though currently seen as crisis);  his North Node sextile exactly its Neptune (his karmic mission fulfilling its idealism) and his Pluto sextile exactly its Pluto (deep commitment and shared psychological truths).

I will include and update Jeremy when I write about the candidates as a whole in a couple of weeks’ time.

Aspects

The aspects appear at the beginning and end of the week, so I have included some Fixed Star influences for the middle.

Today, Mars trines Chiron, so it is a good day for initiating some healing.  It is a healing day for Aries folk, and for getting good energy flowing generally.

However, Uranus turns retrograde, so electricity and I.T. matters are still very unpredictable, after the Mars-Uranus square of last week.  There will be things we need to re-assess, as a result of unpredictable occurrences which point out where we have been unaware.  Uranus remains retrograde until Christmas, so there is a lot to re-assess, and it is probably not a good Christmas for presenting electrical goods!  So the next half of the year is about learning about the loopholes you have ignored.  We all have blind spots (one of mine is technology itself) and it is good to make more effort (note to myself) to understand those things we neglect.

Moving on to Tuesday (28th) and the first of our Fixed Stars, the Praesape Cluster in Cancer: Bernadette Brady links it historically to stormy weather patterns.

“Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld gives the following interpretation:

“The primary energy here is in assisting individuals to fully accept loss, to release it, and to understand the great gifts of what one does not need any longer.  This is a way of surrender and trust in the God-force.  At a deeper level, most people will discover that a sense of what is needed created in them, as well as a sense of what is not needed.  Priorities can shift to spiritual levels, so the true God-nature of the priorities emerge.”

The same day the Sun aligns with the Fixed Star N. Asellus.  From the same source:

“With use of this star there is some strengthening in the dream state of the ability to perceive your direction with your family and how things are to work themselves out together.  The ability to nurture others is strengthened.  This star can assist individuals in professions that rely heavily on such nurturing abilities, such as nursing, childcare, or teaching younger children.”

On Thursday (30th) it is the turn of S. Asellus, of which it is written:

“The third chakra is strengthened and the eyesight is somewhat improved.  The ability to correct utilize Vitamin A in the eyes is improved slightly.  This elixir can balance the production of antihistamines and may assist individuals suffering from allergies to animals.”

I am hoping this is true, because my 2nd cataract operation was cancelled on 17th July due to flooding in the hospital, and Thursday is my next projected date.  I was first referred to the hospital for both cataracts last August, so it is almost a year that I have been in this process!

On Friday (31st) there is a Blue Moon (second Full Moon in a month) at 7 degrees Aquarius, a balancing between the integrity of the individual (Sun in Leo) and the group connectivity and wholeness (Moon in Aquarius).  Hopefully on your own journey of integrity and interrelation, you will make a step of progress.  The adjustment at the Full Moon is sometimes uncomfortable, and often involves a compromise.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Healing, but also disruption
  • Tuesday – spiritual priorities and looking after the young
  • Thursday – strengthening of vision
  • Friday – balancing the group and the individual needs

Aspects for the week beginning 19 July 2015

Leo Totems and Archetypes

“With pride the Lion lifts his mane

And takes a look at his wide domain

 He knows that he must rule with might

 Yet ever so gently with Love and Light.”

~ Alan Oken

The Sun goes into Leo at 3.30 a.m. on Thursday 23rd July.  This is the third in the series where I look at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the various signs. If you are not yourself Leo Sunsign, Ascendant or Moonsign, you very likely will know someone who is, and can observe the Archetypes.

Animal Totems

Lion

In all my 25 years of working with Animal Totems, I have only ever been convinced of one main animal totem for Leo (contrasted with about 100 for Scorpio!).  I think this is because the Lion truly is the King of the Jungle, and wouldn’t want it any other way!  You will notice that some animal totems I have ascribed to Leo here are shared with other signs, of which they are primary totems.

[Hubby Mike says the Lion cannot be called the King of the Jungle, as he doesn't live in the Jungle: he should be re-named King of  Beasts]

Stefanie Weiss says of the Lion:

“Lions would rather roam the savanna with their pride than engage in battle with other animals.  If provoked, of course, they will fight ferociously and protect their loved ones.  They care for their young with great gentleness and more than enough patience, making for a beautiful family dynamic…The Egyptians linked the lions to power and wealth.  The Chinese viewed the lion as a symbol of courage and strength.”

There is only really one animal totem for Leo – all the others are bit players.

Lionness

The Lionness has her own reputation, as huntress and provider, and guarding her young cubs with fierce protectiveness.  Her role is distinct from that of the male, who has great status as leader within the tribe, and in relation to other tribes as a warrior.

Other Big Cats

Other big cats can often, though not always, be ascribed to the sign Leo, but the association is not as powerful.  Quite a few big cats are associated with Scorpio.

Elephants and Gorillas honorary totems

The Elephant, by virtue of its size, has some affinity with Leo, although is a main totem for Taurus.  The Gorilla, again by virtue of its size, has affinity with Leo.  Monkeys are a totem of Gemini.  Genetically, Gorillas are closer to humans than chimpanzees.

Royal Corgis

Dogs mainly come under Aries and Sagittarius, but Corgis have come to be associated with our Royal family.  It was revealed this week that the Queen is not thinking of replacing her two ageing corgis.  She was first given by her father at the age of 7.

Queen Bee

Sshh! Don’t tell the Lion, but there is another Animal Totem, which I will title Insect Totem: the Queen Bee!  However, it’s only the Queen Bee that is associated with Leo.  Most insects come under Virgo, and especially worker colonies like bees and ants.

Bird Totems

Peacock

The Peacock has a love of display, self-esteem, and magnanimity worthy of the Leo character.

Nicky Scully says of the Peacock:

“Peacock is a somewhat controversial totem…Peacock is quite playful – a hedonist, in fact – but it doesn’t bother him.  There is no self-criticism or denial here.  He encompasses, in a warm, open-handed way, his ability to relish and envelop life.  He would laugh at our judgements, for he enjoys himself without being kept from Spirit.”

Peacock is another totem shared with Scorpio, as it is known in the Tibetan tradition as the bird that can take poison.  Some are superstitious about this bird, and perhaps it says something about the human psychology of not revealing too much about oneself, or fear of arousing jealousy.

Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle is a regal bird, associated with power, strength and leadership.

 Smaller yellow or gold birds can be supporting characters: Goldfinch, Golden Oriole, Goldcrest, Canary, and Yellowhammer among them.

Archetypes

King

The King represents temporal power, and is related to the Tyrant archetype.

One example of the King Archetype is the Film Director, who controls all aspects of the making of a film.  Many Film Directors are born under Leo, and embody that total creative vision.

Examples: Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Sam Mendes, Christopher Nolan, Roman Polanski, John Huston, Cecil B. de Mille, Wim Wenders, Peter Bogdanovich

Queen

Strong Leo in a chart can indicate royal connections in past lives.  Tina Turner, who thinks she was an Egyptian Queen in a past life, has a Leo Ascendant.

Specifically South Node in Leo can indicate royal past lives in Egypt.

Leo actress Helen Mirren has played the Queen on film and in theatre.  Cate Blanchett, who has played Elizabeth I, has the Sun (ruler of Leo) rising.

The Queen/Executive

In 2013  Caroline Myss published a new book on Archetypes for the modern age.  One of these is the Queen/Executive:

“Elizabeth’s [I] archetypal successor in the modern world is the Queen/Executive.  A new archetype, this is a partnering of a noble force, the Queen, with a contemporary concept of power associated with business and finance, the Executive.”  I know a Leo woman who very much fits this description.

Inner Child

Play is a natural function of Leo, and Moon in Leo brings up the Playful Child, and also the Performing Child.  We all have the Inner Child Archetype, and it is usually described accurately by our Moon Sign.

“Star Healing” by David Lawson describes this quality of Leo well:  “Leos are inspired by the magical qualities of children and many Leos express their creativity through the raising, teaching or guidance of children.”

Examples of the Performer: Mick Jagger (Sun, Jupiter, Pluto, I.C., Mercury, North Node and Chiron all in Leo!) and Madonna (Sun, Uranus and Venus in Leo).  Madonna blends Leo with Virgo (Moon and Ascendant among other features) for her “Like a Virgin” image.  Performers can of course also be grown-ups.

The Father

Shared with the sign of Capricorn, this Archetype in its Leo manifestation brings up a feeling of Protectiveness and Guidance.  The Capricorn manifestation is more authoritarian and disciplined in nature.

The Hedonist

The Hedonist is one of the primary Archetypes for Leo.  It deals with the pursuit of pleasure and leisure.  Note that whereas there are not many animal totems for Leo, there are plenty of Archetypes.

The Hero

The Hero overcomes all odds, sometimes over and over again in their lives. You can spot a Hero Archetype by their stories, which can be long and complicated with a thread of how they came through.

Shadow Side

The Tyrant or Bully can be a negative Archetype, for whatever reason, and that includes psychological bullying. Napoleon, an Archetype himself, was a Leo.  It is interesting that the Arab Spring movement, that of the Inner Rebel (Aquarius/Uranus) confronted the various Tyrants (Leo) of the Middle Eastern Countries, and Aquarius opposes Leo in the Zodiac circle.  It is one of the astrological balancing acts, Leo vs Aquarius.

Deities

Deities include the Hindu deity Brahma the Creator, and the lioness-headed Goddess Sekhmet from the Egyptian pantheon (the Goddess as fierce protective mother).  Sekhmet does also have Scorpionic features.

Leo author J.K. Rowling is a female example of the Creator: she conceived her 7 Harry Potter books all in one original vision before writing them, and they were all turned into films – a gargantuan all-encompassing achievement.

Mythological

The Salamander comes under this category, shared with the other fire signs Aries and Sagittarius.

Bibliography:

 “The Golden Cauldron” by Nicky Scully

 “Archetypes” by Caroline Myss

 “Spirit Animals” by Stefanie Weiss

Aspects

Today began with an early morning square between Mercury and Uranus – you may already have observed an over-active brain or some disruption to your normal Sunday morning routine.

There is also a trine between Mercury and Chiron operating today, so there is the potential for solving mental conundrums.  It’s a good day for solving the cryptic crossword or the advanced Sudoku.

On Tuesday (21st) the Sun will be trine Saturn, which can bring about some stability and solid endeavours.  Put your shoulder to the grindstone.

Mercury trines Saturn on Wednesday (22nd) and so the hard work will be on the mental level, with results that stand the test of time.

The Sun enters Leo on Thursday (23rd) and it is time to let your light shine in this month of the Inner Performer (see the animal totems, bird totems and Archetypes above, for inspiration).  Even if you are not a Leo, you can work on your self-esteem this month and display your talents, e.g. display your artwork in a local exhibition.

At lunchtime, Mercury follows the Sun into Leo, and mental application can be brought to bear on creative projects, ingenious holiday plans, and scriptwriting.

In the evening, Mercury catches up with the Sun and they form a conjunction.  I have found this conjunction to be excellent for writing and crystal clear thought, e.g. poetry, perception and future vision.  Its appearance in Leo increases its creativity, expression and joie de vivre.

Saturday (25th) is not quite so straightforward.  Firstly, Venus turns retrograde, for a considerable period, until 6th September.  Relationships, money, and the Arts all come under extra scrutiny and demand more from you.  Much has been made of this Retrograde by Astrologers, and it is worth observing and learning from your process during this period, and taking note for future reference.

Any blips in your experience may come from Venus turning retrograde, but they may also be confused with Mars squaring the spanner-in-the-works, Uranus.  You may distinguish the two as Venus causing relationship disruption, while Mars may cause mechanical or electrical disruptions.  Try not to be too ambitious about your plans for Saturday.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Disruption, then resolution
  • Tuesday – planning
  • Wednesday – planning
  • Thursday – creative expression
  • Saturday – relationship review, and disruption

Aspects for the week beginning 12 July 2015

Harper Lee

The story of the author Harper Lee, her early success in writing “To Kill a Mockingbird” (the most highly praised book in American literature), her withdrawal from publicity and chosen life of seclusion, her protection by her older sister Alice, then at the end of her life publication of the original text of her book (remarkably dug up by the publisher) and controversy about her own wishes – all that has intrigued me this year.  Her second book Go Set a Watchman will be published on Tuesday.

Birth Chart Essentials

Harper Lee has Sun in Taurus in 7th House, Ascendant in Libra, and Moon conjunct Saturn in Scorpio in 1st House.  Her North Node is in Cancer. The sharpness of her writing style is graphically shown by Mercury conjunct Mars.

Creations

Her 5th House of creations is interesting, representing her book(s).  She has Mars at the beginning of the House (representing her first born, early in life) and Venus at the end of the House, representing the sequel at the end of her life.  Of course, the uniqueness of this situation is that they are interchangeable in a sense, as she wrote the current book before the original publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.  It was rejected by her publisher, and she was asked to go and re-write it from an earlier perspective, and the result was To Kill a Mockingbird.  Go Set a Watchman is being published by Harper publishing house.

Autobiographical

There are acknowledged elements of Harper Lee’s own life in her classic novel.  Her own father Amasa Coleman Lee was a Lawyer, as was the main character Atticus Finch in her novel.  Her father defended two black men on a murder charge, while in the book Atticus Finch defended a young black man Tom Robinson on a charge of rape.  The absence of a mother figure (Atticus Finch is a widower) is reflected in Harper Lee’s own Moon in Scorpio conjunct Saturn.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Pulitzer-Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird paints a picture of racial attitudes in Alabama before the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King.  Harper Lee was born in Monroeville Alabama, and resides there to this day.    The book raises issues of justice, class, integrity and equality, and many issues central to the meaning of life and society.

It was published on 11 July 1960.  Its Jupiter in Sagittarius is right on the Galactic Centre at 26 degrees.  That may be one of the secrets of its ability to capture something so intrinsic to humanity.  It is said to be one of the books people must read in their lifetime.

At that time, Uranus at 19 degrees Leo was exactly square Harper Lee’s natal Moon in Scorpio in her 1st House.  This demonstrates the measure of how much of a shock to her lifestyle the resulting celebrity brought.  She told a close friend Dr Thomas Butts: “You ever wonder why I never wrote anything else?…Two reasons: one, I wouldn’t go through the pressure and publicity I went through with To Kill a Mockingbird for any amount of money.  Second, I have said what I wanted to say and I will not say it again.”

The book has inspired Americans throughout the years, but also readers worldwide.  Shami Chakrabarti, head of “Liberty” the human rights organization, writes in the Guardian: “I wasn’t the first led into law by Atticus Finch, and I won’t be the last…The message is hope; for real progress towards a society based on individual human dignity, equal treatment and fairness.”

In 2013, while her sister Alice was still alive, Harper Lee raised a lawsuit against a literary agent alleging that he tricked her into signing over the copyright on To Kill a Mockingbird.  Her sister Alice died last year (2014), and in some way her death may have paved the way for the current publication, which she probably would not have allowed.

Characters

The narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird is a tomboy daughter of Atticus Finch called Scout.  It has been widely assumed that she represents Harper Lee’s own character, but Harper Lee herself says she identifies most with the reclusive Boo Radley.  Two of the characters from the book stand out starkly as parts of Harper Lee’s psyche and life from her birth chart.  The first is Boo Radley, who has the Moon in Scorpio, conjunct Saturn.  And the second is Atticus Finch, the lawyer and defender of the underdog, seen in her conjunction of Jupiter and Mars in Aquarius.

She told Oprah Winfrey, privately:

“You know the character Boo Radley?  Well, if you know Boo, then you understand why I wouldn’t be doing an interview.  Because I am really Boo.”

Film

The film of To Kill a Mockingbird was released on 25 December 1962.  It is hailed as faithful to the essence and message of the book, and would reach people in a different way.  The success of its vision is reflected in the transit of Jupiter sextile Harper Lee’s natal Sun to the minute (both at 7 degrees 54 minutes), a fulfillment of her requirements for it.  Moreover, the film has a healing purpose, in that Chiron is conjunct Jupiter (by 1 degree) in Pisces (the sign of film, and compassion).

Gregory Peck possessed the authenticity and integrity within his own internal cast of characters, in Sun/Jupiter/Mercury in Aries trine Mars.  His Mars and Jupiter were exactly trine, reflecting Harper Lee’s own Mars conjunct Jupiter but with bells on.  For the humanitarian element, he had Midheaven and Uranus in Aquarius.  No wonder Atticus Finch is the role he is most known for.

Mary Badham, who played Scout (the young daughter of the book, assumed to represent Harper Lee) has Sun, Saturn, Neptune and Mercury in Libra, which is Harper Lee’s Ascendant sign.

Friendship with Truman Capote

Harper Lee brought into incarnation with her several members of her Soul Group, undoubtedly her father and sister, but also a childhood friend Truman Capote, whose major work “In Cold Blood” she helped research.  There is a real brother/sister karma there of mental companionship in her Mercury exactly sextile his North Node.  His Mars was exactly trine her Ascendant, giving her fortitude, and perhaps there is something of him in her tomboy character Scout too (at least it would seem so astrologically).

Publication of Go Set a Watchman

Publication is set for this Tuesday, July 14th 2015, only 3 days after the 55th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.  You can see the family resemblance, with Sun, Venus and Mercury in Cancer for the original book, and Mercury, Mars and the Sun (and possibly also Moon) present in the chart of Go Set a Watchman.  The quality of the original book as a historical document is shown by these planets in Cancer, and Go Set a Watchman is certainly in the same spirit.

There has been a charge of racism in the character of Atticus Finch as revealed by Go Set a Watchman, which has yet to be fully exposed, but Mars opposite Pluto in the chart of this sequel would make it more explosive and contentious.  Apparently as the character of Atticus Finch develops later in life, he is happy to allow segregation to continue in Alabama.

The Sun in the chart of Go Set a Watchman is even closer (1 degree away) to Harper Lee’s North Node in Cancer, perhaps even closer to her karmic mission.  Uranus squares her Nodal Axis, again disrupting her life.  Her publishers insist she is of sound mind at 88, and publication was entirely in accordance with her will.

Confession

When I was studying French literature in the 6th Form, my teacher Miss Robinson remarked that I was capable of giving the impression of knowing more than I did about a subject.  Thus it is I need to confess now that I have not yet fully read To Kill a Mockingbird.  I only bought it in February, piqued by curiosity over Harper Lee’s story.  I will finish it, and maybe leave my impressions under comments at some stage.  But I have now read the first chapter of Go Set a Watchman (courtesy of the Guardian weekend supplement)!  I hope that those readers who have read To Kill a Mockingbird can fill in the gaps of my ignorance, and comment accordingly.

Aspects

Gird your loins for a challenging week!  The way you respond to this week’s aspects is crucial to how things develop, and to keeping on top of things.  Some of these aspects will be best dealt with by your Inner Warrior, some dealt with as a damage limitation exercise, and still others may require surrender (to the Universe).  The trick is to be very present, and alert to your inner guidance, and make the right choices from moment to moment.

Tomorrow (Monday 13th) the Sun squares Uranus, so you really do need to expect the unexpected.  Battening down the hatches and closing all known loopholes may get you far, but may not completely master this aspect.  You need to use your intuition, anticipate, access your future memory.  Get ahead, with Future Life Progression!

Fortunately, the evening brings a more harmonious touch, in the form of Mercury trine Neptune – there may be a resolution of sorts.  The rational mind joins deftly with the mystical mind, to enhance your perception of reality.

Tuesday (14th) again brings a heavy dose of reality, in challenge number 2: Venus square Saturn.  This brings relationship realities to the fore – the disappointment after heavy expectation, the realization that one person is not able to fulfil all your dreams, and that you are very much responsible for what happens in your relationships.

Wednesday (15th) is even more intense, with an opposition between Mars and Pluto.  This is one where you don’t want to employ your Inner Warrior, but your Inner Diplomat might help.  Keep out of the way of potentially aggressive scenarios, even demonstrations if you are an activist, as it will be difficult to calm down those who are bent on destruction.

Late evening, Mercury opposes Pluto which imposes extra mental strain.  An extra hour’s meditation in the day may help.

Thursday (16th) brings a New Moon in Cancer at 23 degrees which may help to simmer things down, and present a fresh outlook or approach.  It is a good time to attend to matters close to home, and set your intent for constructive perspectives within the family circle or within your society or homeland if you wish to work on a more global level.

Mercury conjuncts Mars in the afternoon, and you may be engaged in some literary task, or some banter.  With tensions perhaps still lingering from earlier in the week, try not to let your words inflame matters.  It is a good afternoon and evening for getting things done.

Lastly, on Saturday (18th) Venus leaves behind the fiery passions of Leo and enters the cooler climate of Virgo.  You’ll be satisfied with subtler displays of affection, quieter colours in your artwork, more studious reading material.  This library atmosphere doesn’t last for long though, because Venus revolves around 0 degrees Virgo for a short while, and then retrogrades back into Leo on Friday 31st.  So if you are researching or writing for a theatre role or screenplay, you will go into seclusion for a while then be back in the limelight at the end of the month.  Use the interlude wisely.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – electrical sparks, then subtlety of thought
  • Tuesday – some sadness
  • Wednesday – conflict plus mental strain
  • Thursday – new beginning, then leaping into action
  • Saturday – quieter artistic pursuits

Aspects for the week beginning 5 July 2015

Wimbledon 2015 – Week 2

What an exciting week of tennis that was!  Having looked at the top seeds last week, I am now going to look at the next rung of seeds, going into the second week. Maybe your favourite is amongst them? I hope you (the readers) will continue to be interactive, as it does make viewing even more interesting.

Men’s Seeds

No. 6 – Tomas Berdych

As a Virgoan, Tomas is very analytical, but he has a sense of showmanship with Venus and Mars in Leo.  We do not have his birth time, so his Moon could be in Libra or Scorpio.  If in Scorpio, that would make him extremely emotionally intense as the Moon would be conjunct with Pluto in that sign.  There is a lot of seriousness overall in his make up, with the Sun exactly sextile Saturn, and Venus exactly square Saturn.  His great energy is coming from Mars closely sextile Pluto.  He has hidden depths, and a very strong will (5 of his 10 planets in Fixed signs).  He starts week 2 with a Venus Return, which is congenial enough, but I don’t know if that will carry him far tenniswise.  At the end of the tournament, Jupiter squares his Saturn (hopes not likely realized).  That does not look like an outstanding line up for success.  He plays Gilles Simon in the next round.

No. 9 – Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic has a very challenging natal chart, containing a Grand Cross in Earth signs, composed of Neptune opposite Chiron and Mars opposite the Sun.  He could struggle at times, especially when a transiting planet is crossing one of those four points.  With Saturn conjunct exactly Uranus, he can sometimes be subject to earthquakes in his life, psychologically at least.  He has chosen a difficult path, but would have the character to match.  There is a modicum of luck, with Sun exactly trine Jupiter, and great enthusiasm (Mars exactly sextile Jupiter).  Mercury is also exactly sextile Uranus (mental brilliance), so he could be a master of precision with all those precise aspects!  At the beginning of the second week of Wimbledon 2015 the North Node conjuncts his Sun, which could be karmically favourable.  Jupiter conjuncts his natal Venus, which is personally lucky.  And the South Node transits his natal Mars, so he could be facing some old warrior karma, and will be expected by the Lords of Karma to be ethically sportsmanlike.  By the end of Wimbledon, he will have lost the two favourable transits, just keeping the sportsmanlike requirement.  Again, he does not look like the overall winner this year, but should get through the next round.

No. 11 – Gilles Simon

We do have a birthchart for Gilles Simon, born in Nice (the French are good at birthtimes).  He is a double Capricorn, with Sun and Ascendant in that sign, but lightened by Jupiter rising.  His emotional reactions are quick, with the Moon conjunct Mars, but they are in the sign of Pisces so sometimes they can be vague or roundabout in their expression.  His Mercury is exactly conjunct his natal Uranus in Sagittarius, so he has a keen, quick and intuitive mind and mental reflexes, and a highly strung nervous system.  His Mars is exactly sextile Neptune, so he could be capable of some sensitive play and subtle shots.  He also has Saturn on the South Node, so may have brought through some difficult karma from past lives, possibly from Russia.  At the beginning of the second week, where he meets Tomas Berdych, Uranus squares his natal Jupiter which could cause an upset, though Tomas’ own transits are not distinguished so they may be evenly matched.  Towards the end of the tournament, Jupiter also squares his natal Saturn, so like Berdych he may not make the final.  In their synastry (compatibility) Gilles’ Saturn sextiles Berdych’s Sun, so Gilles may have the edge, though Berdych has beaten him this year.  It’s a fine call between them.

No. 14 –  Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is a Taurean from South Africa, with a persevering Mars in Capricorn closely trine his Taurus Mercury – quick mental and physical reactions, and a great deal of stamina.  He has 5 of his 10 planets in Earth signs.  He will need the stamina, as he’ll be playing Novak Djokovic in the next round, a real contender for the overall title.  As we start the second week, Uranus is square his natal Mars (which could make him incident-prone, or even accident-prone).  The Nodal Axis will also be squaring his natal Neptune, which could make him wobbly spiritually.  The latter transit vanishes by the end of Wimbledon, but the Uranus to Mars transit is still operational.  So the cards are stacked against him, astrologically as well as in the draw.  Their synastry is very weak, so Anderson may not engage much in the match.

Women’s Seeds

No. 5 –  Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki has 7 out of her 10 planets in Cardinal signs, so is a natural leader.  She has a natural system of checks and balances within her psyche, with a triple conjunction of Chiron/Sun/Jupiter in Cancer opposite her Saturn in Capricorn.  Her Mercury squares Mars, so she can get irritable or suffer from frayed nerves.  Her Sun/Chiron conjunction is exact, so she may have some healing talent.  She was engaged to Rory McIlroy the golfer, but with the engagement being broken last year she may have been emotionally drained, as she wasn’t so prominent in Wimbledon in 2014.  Hopefully, her star is rising again.  At the beginning of this week, Chiron is busy in her chart (and it is an important planet for her natally) – it trines her Jupiter and sextiles her natal Saturn.  This could help her healing and general physical wellbeing. She has an additional fillip with Saturn trine her natal Mercury, so she’ll be concentrating well too, so she should progress at the beginning of the week.  By the end of Wimbledon, the Jupiter transits have gone, but the Saturn transit remains.  That could get her into the final.

No. 6 –  Lucie Safarova

Lucy is an Aquarian, a sign you don’t often find in tennis players.  She has good energy levels (Sun sextile Mars), excellent control (Mars trine exactly Saturn), a magnetic personality (Venus conjunct Uranus), good karmic sense (Sun sextile exactly North Node and trine Chiron) and also has healing potential (North Node sextile exactly Chiron).  At the beginning of this second week, Neptune trines her Pluto, giving her some staying power, but that may not be enough to propel her through the second week.  The end of the tournament does not look promising either.  Her opponent in the next round, Coco Vandeweghe, looks quite dynamic and has a good transit at the final!

No. 13 –  Agnieszka Radwanska

Here we drop down 7 seeds as all the intervening ones are out!

I wrote in 2014:

“She has a bouncy, enthusiastic and energetic conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in her chart, which is useful in a sporting life.  But   Agnieszka has a natally depressive exact conjunction of Saturn and Neptune…”

At the beginning of this week, Mars trines her Venus, giving her some heart.  But Saturn opposes her Jupiter, so she may be disappointed by her next match.  Agnieszka’s transits are not easy at all at the end of Wimbledon: Jupiter opposes her natal Mercury, and the Nodal Axis squares her natal Uranus.  She plays Jelena Jankovic in the next round, who put out reigning champion Petra Kvitova yesterday.  Jelena seems set to make a comeback, with the North Node trine her Jupiter, though she does have a confusing Neptune transit to her Sun – she may have used this as a springboard to regaining her spirit.  As she will lose the North Node trine by the final, Jelena may not reach the final;  however,  Jankovic has the advantage in their synastry.

No. 15 –  Timea Bacsinszky

Timea has a lucky exact conjunction of Sun and Jupiter in Gemini, making her very nimble too.  She also has the exact conjunction of Saturn and Neptune which can also pull her down, so a very contradictory chart.  She has Venus conjunct Chiron in Cancer, so perhaps some poignant family issues (we do know she has issues with her father), and Venus opposite Uranus which is awkward for her personal life.  Her great strength is an exact sextile between Saturn and Pluto, which could make her very strong indeed under pressure.  Her Nodal Axis squares her natal Mercury, so she could have some responsibility as a teacher later in her career.  She seems to be on good form this year.  Saturn opposes her natal Mercury and the Nodal Axis squares her Venus as we start the week, which are not helpful for her.  To these would be added Mars opposing her natal Neptune by the end of Wimbledon, which is a lot to battle against astrologically.  She plays Monica Niculescu at the beginning of the week, who has a small edge in their synastry.  Jupiter trines Niculescu’s Uranus and Mars trines her Pluto, plus Nicolescu has supportive transits.  So Bacsingszky may lose the next round. Though Nicolescu loses her astrological support by the end of the Wimbledon – so is anyone going to get through?!!

Aspects

Not an easy week, with the Sun opposing Pluto.  Though some people did not even find last week easy, and the aspects were very kind.

Today has a literary flavour with Mercury sextile Venus, so art and literature can flourish, as can diplomacy and discussion.  It’s a good day to forge ahead if you are engaged in a major writing project. Reading a favourite novelist can stimulate ideas, e.g. you may want to start up a book club.

Tomorrow afternoon (Monday 6th) is a little more heavy-hearted, there is no way to sweeten the pill of Sun opposite Pluto.  Serious issues may need to be dealt with, psychologically at least.  It is the Dalai Lama’s birthday, so you may want to take a leaf out of one of his books, and consider his philosophies.  Perhaps catch up with his interview at Glastonbury via You Tube.

Mercury enters the sign of Cancer on Wednesday (8th), at tea time in the U.K.  The collective mind has been in the nimble sign of Gemini, but now becomes more reflective and subject to emotion.  You may find that you cannot consider something rationally without having to bring human emotion into the equation.  Mercury will be travelling very rapidly through Cancer and enters Leo on 23rd.  If you are a budding novelist, take advantage of this current position, as the sign of Cancer lends itself to imaginative writing and reflection, e.g. historical fiction.

Mars trines Neptune late in the evening, so if you have started a novel at tea time, by the evening you could be on fire, and your imagination will run riot in an inspired way!  You can get something going in a big way on Wednesday, as long as it is a combination of physical energy and the higher imagination, running along spiritual lines.  If you are looking for a breakthrough in your meditation practice, for instance, this is a good day for it.

On Friday/Saturday (10th/11th) Mercury squares the Nodal Axis, and there may be some intense karmic discussion, teaching and learning, possibly in groups, if you are involved in any.  There needs to be absolute mental balance, in order to move forward.  Splitting hairs, if necessary!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – a literary fest
  • Tomorrow – psychologically heavy
  • Wednesday – new mental outlook, incorporating feelings; constructive physical and spiritual movements
  • Friday/Saturday – a karmic recalibration on the mental level

Aspects for the week beginning 28 June 2015

Wimbledon 2015 – Week 1

Here we go again!  This is the fortnight where I try to keep up with the spectacle that is Wimbledon, sometimes hitting the mark and sometimes missing.  But it’s great fun (for me).  I am starting, as usual, with the top four men’s and women’s seeds, and thereafter will update on comments, and in further blogs.

Men’s Seeds

No. 1 – Novak Djokovic

As with most of these, I have written a great deal about Novak Djokovic over the last few years.  But last year, I acquired his birthtime and Ascendant, which refined the picture astrologically.  The most fascinating thing about his chart is a very mentally focussed triple conjunction of the Part of Fortune, Mercury and Chiron in Gemini on the cusp of his 11th House.  There is more to Novak Djokovic than just a top tennis player: he is interested in promoting peace in his native Balkan area, and he is also interested in healthy lifestyles such as veganism.  The triple conjunction translates in his tennis as a super concentration, and joy in using that faculty.  Outside the tennis court, there is a talent and inspiration (Part of Fortune) for combining conventional medicine (Mercury) with alternative medicine (Chiron), and applying that in groups and associations (11th House).  As Wimbledon begins, Saturn is exactly trine his natal Moon, a steadying influence especially emotionally.  By the end of Wimbledon, that is still operational, but added to that is Mercury sextile his natal Midheaven (mental faculties applied in career), and Uranus sextile his natal Chiron (surprise healing).  So it does look as though he will start slow and steady, and be capable of a flourish at the end.  The very constructive trine of Saturn to his natal Moon peaks on Friday 10th July around the semi-finals, which should secure him a place in the final at least.

No. 2 – Roger Federer

Roger Federer has had a much better year this year, arriving as No. 2 seed (he was placed fourth last year).  It is good to see that this record breaking champion has not lost his appetite for the game.  What is the secret of his outstanding success from his birthchart?  I believe it is his close conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (6 degrees 13 mins and 7 degrees 19 mins) in his first house trine his Midheaven (Career Trajectory) at 6 degrees 9 mins Gemini in 9th House of International Success!  Not everybody with Saturn conjunct Jupiter is able to balance it, but when it is balanced it is a formidable force of wisdom and fine judgement, and working together so precisely with his career and life direction, that astrological structure constitutes a fine instrument.  His footwork has been compared to that of a ballet dancer, “the very picture of floating, effortless menace” (reported in the Guardian).  That style may be a combination of his Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Libra (gracefulness) and Part of Fortune conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius (free floating!).  When Wimbledon begins he has some difficult aspects (such as Pluto still dogging his Mars in opposition) but Jupiter sextiles his Pluto, which is a pretty supportive provision by the Universe.  That aspect peaks this week around 2nd/3rd July (Thursday/Friday), so expect some exceptional play from him this week.   He is said to feel relaxed from a good break since the French Open, and has brought his two sets of twins to Wimbledon.  The twins are intriguing astrologically, but they do show up as a conjunction to Jupiter of his 5th House (Children) ruler Saturn.  He is on good form, but there is no extra astrological help around the time of the final.  That may not stop him, as he is one of those players, like Serena Williams, who has proved himself beyond astrological influence time and time again!  However, the Pluto opposition to his Mars becomes exact around 19th July, after Wimbledon, and he may need extra rest at that time.  Note that the Pluto opposition has not hampered him too much over the last year.

No. 3 – Andy Murray

Andy Murray has not stood still this year, physically or psychologically!  He has had a good year tenniswise (fresh from winning Queen’s) and personally (marriage has not done his tennis any harm).  He has reportedly started working with a Psychiatrist to enhance his understanding of his own processes, and as well as his female tennis coach Amelie Mouresmo he has hired an extra assistant for back up as she is pregnant and due to give birth in August.  Some doubted his choice of coach after Ivan Lendl, but the partnership is proving successful.  It may be a clever move to embrace the feminine side of his brain and create a more all-encompassing and holographic consciousness.  Certainly with Amelie Mouresmo’s Mercury conjunct Jupiter at the top of her chart, she is capable of helping that process.  Her reputation starts on a high at the beginning of Wimbledon, with Uranus trine her Midheaven (Careerpoint), but she has one or two antagonistic transits as the Wimbledon period goes on.  But it is Andy we are really interested in, and at the start of Wimbledon he has three good trines: Jupiter trine his natal Moon, Uranus trine his natal Saturn and (most profound of the three) Pluto trine his Ascendant.  The latter peaks two days after Wimbledon, which is close to the final, and speaks of a height of personal power.  I feel this is an encouraging sign for his prospects of winning, though in the draw he is up against Nadal (seeded 10) and Federer en route to a possible final with Djokovic.

No. 4 – Stan Wawrinka

It was a thrill to watch Stan Wawrinka win the French Open against Djokovic just a few weeks ago [Jupiter was trine his Mercury/Venus and Uranus and Saturn opposite Djokovic's Sun], and to get to know this player a little more.  Last year I did not have a birth time for him, but a birthtime has appeared on Astrotheme, which provides more of an insight into his chart.

I wrote last year:

“With Mercury exactly conjunct Venus and the pair trine exactly Uranus in his natal chart, Wawrinka would have considerable talent for writing and broadcasting, maybe later in life.  Mercury trine exactly Uranus makes him fleet of mind and foot.  He also has Mars exactly square Jupiter, which gives him a great deal of energy and enthusiasm, a strong ‘bounce’.”

We now have a Cancerian Ascendant for him, and the Sun on his Midheaven in Aries in 9th House (international sporting achievement).  What really stands out in this fine-tuned chart is his energy: Sun in Aries, and Mars exactly (to one minute) sextile his natal Ascendant on the cusp of his 11th House, as well as the aforementioned exact square of Mars and Jupiter.  He certainly found that extra energy against Djokovic in France this year, and there is an intriguing possibility of an all-Swiss final with his fellow countryman Federer this Wimbledon.  At the start of Wimbledon Pluto trines his natal Mars (strength) the Nodal Axis squares his Jupiter (over-confidence) and Neptune sextiles his natal Mars (spiritual strength).  By the end of Wimbledon, the Moon trines his natal Jupiter (peaking Thursday 9th July), his Saturn Return approaches, and Neptune trines his Ascendant (peaking Wednesday 15th, after Wimbledon).  That is not a bad line-up, but it is possible that he may be toppled before the final; that may be a chance for an unpredictable player in his half of the draw.  He did not do very well at Queens, though that may have been due to his super efforts in the previous tournament.

Women’s Seeds

No. 1 – Serena Williams

Serena seems as unassailable as ever, and if she wins Wimbledon this year, she will bag a record of four grand slams in a row.  The Guardian yesterday hinted that fear of failure and pressure may be her greatest enemy, but the Observer this morning reports her saying she does not feel under that much pressure.  Oh to be so cool!  Are the planets providing any pressure this fortnight for her?  Mars begins squaring her Sun, which may bring out the Warrior in her, and at the same time provides the energy and impetus she needs as it sextiles her natal Ascendant.  Saturn backs her with self-assurance to the hilt, by a trine to her natal North Node (karmic prospects): perhaps a feeling that it is her time to be able to achieve something extra special.  If she wins the four grand slams, she may be on her way to a calendar year grand slam.  That all seems promising, but Jupiter also squares her natal Chiron, so a fall is not impossible.  Her vulnerability to injury is as high as any mere mortal’s: when she stepped on glass just after her 2010 win at Wimbledon her career was threatened – Pluto was exactly square her natal  Sun at the time.  Jupiter square her Chiron is not of the same order though, thankfully.  Looking at the end of the tournament, Jupiter actually sextiles her natal Pluto, which is very helpful for her.  The end of the tournament is not without tension though, with Chiron squaring her Neptune (psychological battle) and Mars square her Saturn (physical discomfort), plus a nice touch of North Node on her Sun (karmic support).  But the Jupiter support to her Pluto happens exactly on 10/11th July, which is at the time of the Ladies’ finals.  That is a strong showing for her.

No. 2 – Petra Kvitova

Reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova must have a strong chance, as No. 2 seed.  We still do not have a birthtime/Ascendant for her, and can go only on the date of her birth.  She worked on herself successfully last year, preparing herself mentally, and presumably will build on that approach.  She is an imaginative Pisces, and can access the level of genius in her play.  Her natal Mercury and Uranus are in exact sextile to each other, which amplifies the Piscean ability to use all parts of the brain and human capacity, and her Mercury closely trines her Chiron so she has great problem-solving ability.  Her natal Sun exactly trines her Pluto, so there is an oceanic depths to her nature, which enables her to access her soul qualities.  At the beginning of Wimbledon, Neptune sextiles her Uranus exactly, giving her the ability to use all that complexity of understanding and nuance of experience.  Neptune also exactly trines her natal Chiron, so her self-awareness (both physical and psychological) will be at a peak and self-healing will happen naturally as she goes along.  Pluto puts pressure on her Neptune by an exact conjunction, but she proved last year she can work well with these planets. Pluto also supports her career profoundly with a sextile to her Midheaven.  She will need a superhuman effort with the conjunction, but she is capable of it and other transits support her well.  At the time of the final, in addition Chiron sextiles her natal Saturn, which is steadying and healing.  Some of the other support will have peaked, but Neptune remains sextile to Uranus.  She certainly has a strong start to Wimbledon, and has the character to go right through, but the transits dwindle a little on her behalf, so she may not quite make the final.

No. 3 – Simona Halep

Last year was the first time I had looked at Simona’s chart, and we still do not have a birth time for her.  I wrote:

“Here is another player I have not investigated before, though I did see her doing well in the French Open.  She is Romanian, and has Neptune conjunct her North Node natally.  This points to spiritual leadership potential, so she may have many followers who do not only follow her for her tennis playing.  She is Libran, one of the commonest Sun signs for tennis skill, because it involves a close monitoring of the person the other side of the net!”

She begins Wimbledon energetically and enthusiastically with Mars sextile her natal Jupiter.  Saturn steadies her nerves with a sextile to her natal Mercury.  Neptune sextiles her natal Uranus, and Pluto conjuncts her Neptune like Petra Kvitova, but I have not had a chance to observe how she deals with the pressure of Pluto.  Pluto exerts extra pressure with a conjunction to her natal North Node (difficult karma, of the make or break variety).  There are some bright aspects for the end of Wimbledon, with the North Node exactly conjunct her Sun (she has a birthday one day away from Serena’s), and Jupiter on her Venus (natal ruler) in competitive Leo which is a transit that speaks of success.  It could be her time.

No. 4 – Maria Sharapova

Despite her years in the public eye, we still do not have a birth time for Maria Sharapova, so can only work with the day of her birth.  I have written:

“Maria has several planets in the energetic sign of Aries, including an exact conjunction between her Mercury and North Node, indicating that to achieve athletic prowess is part of her karmic mission.  This conjunction is 2 degrees away from Jupiter (success) and sextile Mars (extra speed).”

She also has the propensity to a chequered love life, with Venus exactly square Uranus.  But what of this veteran player’s (she is only 28!) prospects at Wimbledon this year?  The beginning looks (largely) good:  Jupiter trine her Saturn, Uranus trine her Saturn (creating a Grand Trine) and Neptune trine her Pluto (very strong psychologically).  However, Neptune squaring her natal Mars could produce some physical vulnerability, or sensitivity off court in her relations with men.  At the end of Wimbledon Mars additionally squares her natal Jupiter which may just add passion to her performance, though minor injury is possible.  If she can cope with some physical vulnerability, other astrological factors are strong for her.  She is coming up for her Saturn Return in a year or two, a time of re-evaluation.  Overall, I feel her aspects are not quite strong enough to take her to the final.

Aspects

I have great pleasure, dear Readers, in being able to tell you that the aspects this week are overall much better than average!  Wimbledon Week 1 should pass in a serene haze of sunshine and strawberries.

Tomorrow (Monday 29th) Venus trines Uranus and we could see some dynamic play on and off the court.  If you are not playing tennis, your love life could be enhanced by the element of surprise!  Certainly social interactions will be enjoyable and out of the ordinary.

On Wednesday (1st July) we have a beautiful conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, the combination of the “two benefics”.  It is a good day to make a wish!  Some may find financial fortune (it’s a lottery day!) and others romantic engagement.  Whichever House 21 degrees Leo falls in for you, will be blessed.  For example, it falls in my 4th House of Home – and I happen to have a meeting of Light Pod in my home that day, which is likely to be a happy hour or two!

The Sun trines Neptune in the evening, and serenity rules.  There will be a sigh of satisfaction, composed of contentment and spiritual attunement (or I will have a busy Customer Service desk!)

There may be some aggro the next morning though (Thursday 2nd), possibly at the Customer Service desks, with Mars squaring the Nodal Axis.  Karmic scores will need to be settled, and there is no avoiding that.  It is all down to how you deal with assertion (either your own, or others’).  Meditation can ensure that you bring calmness to the table.

At the same time, we have to deal with a Full Moon at 9 degrees Capricorn, so those in authority may be insisting on rules we don’t agree with or wish to break.  For example, the government may be leaning on those in welfare with intolerable pressure…into every week some rain must fall it seems.

By tea time the tension should have subsided and we have a welcoming sextile between Mercury and Uranus.  Brainstorming produces fresh, new and exciting ideas.

And, joy of joy, we end the week on Saturday (4th) on another high note: Mercury sextile Jupiter.  This is good news for travellers, holiday-makers, and business or sales.  New horizons beckon, whether geographical or mental.  Your mind can stretch to accommodate new subjects, and enjoy the ever open field of study and learning.  It is a good time for instance to enroll for a new course.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – social excitement
  • Wednesday – beauty and inspiration
  • Thursday – aggro and tension; followed by a new approach
  • Saturday – ease of movement and openness of mind

Aspects for the week beginning 21 June 2015

Cancerian Totems and Archetypes

Happy Summer Solstice!  The Sun goes into Cancer today (21st) at 16.38 Hrs. in the U.K.  As the Geminian totems and archetypes were well-received, I intend to make this a regular feature and to look today at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the sign of Cancer.  So this is the second in a series!

If you are not yourself Cancerian Sunsign, Ascendant or Moonsign, you very likely will know someone who is.  I myself have a Cancerian (Archetypal) mother.

Animal Totems

Crab

This is the traditional emblem of the sign of Cancer.  Cancer tends to rule creatures of the rock pools by the sea, rather than the deep sea creatures of Pisces or the lake monsters of Scorpio! There is some overlap with the water signs in their animal totems or sea creatures, as we shall see, but also a great deal of distinctiveness.

Nicholas Saunders in “Animal Spirits” points out the relation of Crab to the daily cycle and the tides: “Some scavenging species that search for washed-up detritus at low tide may evade predators by having internal clocks which allow them to emerge only when the low tide coincides with nightfall.”

The Crab portrays the sensitive, reclusive, protective nature of Cancerians.  The famous sideways movement in some cultures portrays deceptiveness.  But for a Cancerian, the ability to approach a subject from a different angle, is a strength – we all have strategies.  And Cancerian comedian Ricky Gervais, has immortalized their fun side in his crab dance in “The Office”.  Where’s the harm?

Turtle

In some indigenous cultures Turtle came to symbolize Mother Earth.  Nicky Scully describes Turtle as:

“Comforting, maternal and soothing, she exemplifies compassion….

All beings struggle to bring forth new life, and turtles exemplify the tenacity and strength required to fulfil their exhausting reproductive function.  They accomplish this task without expectation of either success or failure.”

Kittens

Possibly all baby animals (e.g. baby chicks) come under the sign of Cancer, but particularly cute kittens and baby chicks! Kittens represent frisky feline, female energy, and bring out the maternal instinct. [By way of clarification big cat Lions are Leo, dogs in general are Aries, and large dogs are Sagittarius]

Bird Totems

Birds are mostly associated with Air signs, and mostly with Gemini, but all signs have them, and Cancerian birds are very strong in their totemic force.

Owl

Nocturnal creatures can be considered Cancerian because of the association with the night and the Moon (Leo governs daylight through the Sun); there are exceptions, e.g. bats which are ruled by Scorpio.

My Cancerian mother, who celebrates her 87th birthday this week, does not subscribe to new age thinking, but notably had an insistent dream of an Owl at a very strategic point in her life.  And once joined in a group meditation, when she became distinctly aware of an Owl presenting as her animal totem.

Jamie Sams and David Carson introduce the Owl as meaning “deception” which echoes the crab’s reputation for deception.  Astrologically, deception comes under another water sign, Pisces, through its ruler Neptune.

However, Nicky Scully chooses to emphasize the talents of Owl, as being “Alchemy and Night Vision”.  Owl is also elevated by its association with Wisdom, having perched on the shoulder of the Greek Goddess Athene, Goddess of Wisdom.  Owl in this case represents the wisdom of the ancients, the grandmothers and the ancestors.

Shadow Side

 The Snowy Owl has a particular association with Cancerians, because of its white colour.  And other white creatures, such as the White Buffalo, may be associated with this sign.  But as in all things, there is a shadow side, showing up here as the negative feminine.  This is related to the dark night of the Soul, which is purely Scorpio/Pluto.  A bird which can be linked to this is the Great Grey Owl, a magnificent bird whose eyes, apparently, can be terrifying.  I would say that the Great Grey Owl is not merely Cancerian, but a combination of the shadow side of Cancer/Moon and Scorpio/Pluto.  [For clarification, the Vulture is an example of a purely Scorpio/Pluto bird].

 Chickens

 A list of Cancerian bird totems would be incomplete without the chicken.  What is more Cancerian than the image of a Mother Hen fussing over her chicks?  And eggs themselves are associated with this sign.

Water Birds

 Some water birds, such as seagulls and gulls in general, come under the sign of Cancer.  And you will often find Kingfishers appearing as totem birds to Cancerians, too.  It seems to appear with Cancerians especially when they are on a spiritual path, as with their brightly coloured feathers it brings out a bolder side.

Stork

 Last but not least, the Stork is associated with birth, a province of the sign of Cancer.  Andrea Wansbury says of the Stork:

 “Being creative literally means ‘bringing into being’.  We create our lives and everything in them, so when a stork appears, look at the different aspects of your life and ask yourself whether you like everything that is there…The stork may be telling you that you have a talent in the creative arts and now is the time to start using these abilities.  If you have good ideas in your mind, now is the time to give birth to them and bring them into physical reality.”

Archetypes

Inner Child

According to Caroline Myss, she sees four core Archetypes which are with each person, and one of these four is the Inner Child.  The Inner Child is a force which is very much a part of new age work, witness the popularity of the books by John Bradshaw on the subject.

Another new age leader who makes the Inner Child central to her work and vision is Chris Griscom of the Light Institute in Galisteo, New Mexico.  I could quote her all day, and frequently do, but will make do with one quote for now:

“A child is naturally a being of wonderment, a being that experiences lightness, who does not hold pain.  The child’s frequency is too high to hold those darker, heavier emotions, even when the external world begins to impinge upon the child with adult imprints that the child records as anxiety, fear, anger.  The natural state is to let go, to constantly let go, because the child lives in the brain patterning of the hologram.  The child does not have that left-brain imprint in glue.”

Caroline Myss details several varieties of Inner Child:

The Eternal Child

The Orphan

The Wounded Child

The Divine Child

The Nature Child

The Magical Child

She hints of many more, but says that “you can only have one in your support team”!

I have also spotted one, and that is the “Performing Child”, as encouraged by pushy parents, and that is a combination of a Cancerian and Leo Archetype.

Whatever your own Inner Child Archetype, it is essential to stay in touch with it.

The Mother

The Mother Goddess is central to the sign of Cancer.  Of all the Goddesses, Mother Mary is the most intrinsic.  But in her virginal side,  she has joint rulership with the sign of Virgo.

The Caregiver

In her 2013 book, Caroline Myss presents 10 new Archetypes for the modern age (look what you started, Carl Jung!).  One of these, the Caregiver, is related to the Mother, strongly associated with the sign of Cancer, but also has associations with the sign of Virgo.  Cancerians and Virgoans practically prop up the caring professions.

Myss advises that if this is one of your Archetypes, and you are compulsive about helping others, then your task is to learn self-care:

“Your challenge as a caregiver is to care enough about yourself to find out who you really are – to be willing to look closely and experience the deeper level of your inherent need and desire to care for others.”

Vishnu the Preserver

Caroline Myss points out that “Although the caregiver Archetype seems to be more prevalent in women…Many men who become teachers or coaches, or who enter rescuing professions such as firefighting and emergency medicine, have a genuine need to serve and care for others through their career choices.”

Cancerians have a special talent for cherishing the artifacts of antiquity, re-upholstering and upcycling, important in this throw-away age.  The male Hindu God, Vishnu the Preserver expresses this cherishing quality very well, a positive role model for Father’s Day!  In an early incarnation apparently, he appeared as a Turtle.

Mythological

The enchanting mythological creature the Mermaid is particularly resonant with the sign of Cancer.  A more negative association is the Siren, a creature of Greek mythology who lured sailors to shipwreck with music and voice.

Bibliography:

“Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David Carson

“The Golden Cauldron” by Nicky Scully

“Birds Divine Messengers” by Andrea Wansbury

“Archetypes” by Caroline Myss

“Animal Spirits” by Nicholas J. Saunders

“Ecstasy is a New Frequency” by Chris Griscom

 

Aspects

The Summer Solstice takes place today, this afternoon at 16.38 Hrs.  Hope you are finding a suitable way to celebrate, if you have not been able to get to Stonehenge at the crack of dawn.  People are still feeling this year that Summer has not quite arrived, that temperatures are below par for this time of year, that summer wardrobes are not able to be fully displayed, hot water bottles haven’t yet been put away, and central heating systems not quite switched off.  So let’s give Summer a warm welcome, and hope it reciprocates.

There should be a sense of excitement and anticipation today, because tomorrow Jupiter trines Uranus, one of the best aspects in human experience (in my view).  It combines the best features of Sagittarius (optimism and hope) and Aquarius (forward thinking and vision).  It appears in the natal charts of entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, who definitely has the lucky touch.  So, are you planning an adventure tomorrow (Monday 22nd)?  How are you launching your working week?  Whatever you are planning, know that the Universe is with you, providing the fuel for an enjoyable trip.

Tuesday (23rd) may raise some doubts and confusion.  If you had hoped for the momentum of the week to continue, you may need to slow down and smell the roses.  Divine the message in the madness of the world on Tuesday, and don’t take anything at face value.

On Wednesday (24th) Chiron turns retrograde, so healing practices may need to be reviewed.  This may involve a new alternative form of treatment, but more likely trailing through old remedies and analysing what worked, when and why – utilizing and recycling all your old wisdom.

Mars enters Cancer at lunchtime in the U.K., injecting some energy and warmth into home affairs and the family circle.  Crabs may come out of their shells, and dance.  There will be fierce protection of the underdog, so maybe more vocalizing of the need for an End to Austerity and benefit cuts, to drown out the government’s plans.

On Saturday (27th) the Sun squares the Nodal Axis, and issues of power come to the fore, especially in groups.  This may be especially noticeable in politics and international relations, but may also be flagged up in local groups or even in family circles.  Maybe one member wants to play the drama queen, and the minions may rise up and protest.  The attention, and the power distribution need to be equal, balanced, and in line with karmic justice.

Next Week – Wimbledon Week 1

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – celebrating the Summer
  • Tomorrow – go right ahead!
  • Tuesday – think things through carefully
  • Wednesday – a review of healing; energetic change, protectiveness
  • Saturday – karmic power issues

Aspects for the week beginning 14 June 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch

What a year it has been for Benedict Cumberbatch!  Ups and downs (mainly ups) culminating yesterday in the announcement that he had a newborn son, and a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

His Birth Chart

He has a strong chart, with many interesting features.  His Ascendant in Libra (he was born at Noon) conjuncts Pluto exactly, hence he plays strongly dramatic roles – nothing wishy washy about them.  His marked talent in his career is shown by the Part of Fortune exactly conjunct his Midheaven.  He is able to convey woundedness, with Chiron conjunct the Moon and square his Mercury, and Venus exactly conjunct Saturn.  Neptune sextile his Ascendant gives him the ability for the nuance and subtlety of great acting, and the North Node trine his Midheaven marks him out for a karmically studded career path.

Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch comes from an acting family (his mother Wanda Ventham was frequently on television in the 1970s and 1980s).  He came to public notice with the first series of “Sherlock” in 2010.  On 28/11/14 the film “The Imitation Game” was released.  With transiting Mars trine his Jupiter and Saturn trine his natal Sun it was a solid success, and yet as fate would have it, failing to win him the big film awards, such as the Oscars.  He had himself previously played Stephen Hawking, but Eddie Redmayne’s film The Theory of Everything was released soon after, and he took the trophies.

The Imitation Game enabled him to promote the cause of Alan Turing, the subject of the film, who cracked the Enigma Code in the 2nd World War.  Alan Turing had a profound exact conjunction of Venus conjunct Pluto (emotional turbulence) in Gemini the sign of Codes, which encompasses two of the elements his life is known for.  Benedict Cumberbatch has his Chiron (wounded healer) exactly sextile Alan Turing’s Sun (and is therefore able to bring some healing to Alan Turing’s issues posthumously).  In January Cumberbatch helped the plea for pardon for gay men convicted in Alan Turing’s era.

Sophie Hunter

Benedict was engaged in early November to Sophie Hunter, and they were married on Valentine’s Day this year.  In their synastry (astrological compatibility) his Jupiter is exactly sextile her Sun,  his Neptune exactly trine her natal Mercury, her Venus on his Descendant (marriage point) and their Suns are almost exactly trine.  That is a very good match, though not all plain sailing: there are a couple of significant squares between them.

Richard III

Benedict Cumberbatch is distantly related to King Richard III, who was unearthed and reburied in Leicester.  At the reburial (26/3/15), Benedict read a poem by Carol Ann Duffy, the poet Laureate.  Believe it or not, there is a deep dynastic connection shown by Benedict’s Pluto exactly conjunct Richard III’s Sun.  Furthermore, there is an extraordinarily deep connection altogether (please excuse the hyperbole):

Their Plutos  are exactly sextile,  Richard III’s Pluto is exactly sextile Cumberbatch Ascendant, and his Pluto exactly squares Cumberbatch’s Nodal Axis (a group karmic purpose).  Finally, one of the closest personal karmic ties two people can have: Richard III’s Ascendant conjunct exactly Benedict’s North Node.

The moving words spoken bear repeating:

“…Describe my soul
as incense, votive, vanishing; your own
the same. Grant me the carving of my name.

…or I once dreamed of this, your future breath
in prayer for me, lost long, forever found;
or sensed you from the backstage of my death,
as kings glimpse shadows on a battleground.”

James Rhodes

He even found time to be a supportive friend this year.  James Rhodes was a childhood friend who suffered sexual abuse at his school, and was prevented for many years from publishing his memoirs about events of the past.  He was visibly supported by Benedict Cumberbatch, and finally won the right to write, in May.  Their tie is James Rhodes’ Pluto exactly conjunct Benedict Cumberbatch Ascendant.  At the time James Rhodes succeeded in his mission Pluto was sextile exactly his natal Sun.  For Benedict’s role  in this real life drama, Saturn was trine exactly by transit Cumberbatch’s natal Mercury (a role of commitment).

Baby and CBE

The baby news of his son’s birth was announced yesterday, the same day that the Queen’s Birthday Honours were announced revealing that he had received a CBE.  Venus was transiting his natal Venus/Saturn conjunction, softening the harshness of that, and bringing more love into his life with a Venus Return.  The Moon (representing parenthood) was exactly sextile his Midheaven, so the baby will make an emotional impact on his life.  The Moon sextile his Midheaven also represents public recognition.  Neptune is fine-tuning his destiny and character at the moment, forming a Grand Trine with his Midheaven (career) and North Node (karmic mission).  Jupiter trines Sophie Hunter’s Neptune at the moment, bringing her spiritual fulfilment.

Aspects

Today the Sun conjuncts Mars: it’s a busy busy day, and should generate enough fuel for the whole week (which is short of aspects generally).  You can get motivated today, especially for mental projects (Gemini), or light activities such as running and cycling.  It is good for focussing on puzzles, quizzes and codes – anything that requires mental fortitude and perseverance.  It is probably best for solitary challenges, as competition could produce disputes (the Mars effect) and sparks may ensue.  Don’t compare yourself to others, just concentrate on your own potential.  Healthwise, flare-ups and inflammations are possible.

In the early hours of tomorrow morning (Monday 15th) Saturn retrogrades into the sign of Scorpio from Sagittarius, so a slightly more serious note may creep into proceedings.  There may be loose ends to tie up from last year’s projects and challenges.  If you have benefited from Saturn’s recent foray into Sagittarius (which took place just before Christmas 2014), then you may feel a slight sense of loss with this move.  There are old issues to settle in connection with life cycles (hatches, matches and despatches) until Saturn re-enters Sagittarius on September 18th.  You may be waiting for results around insurances or probates, for instance.  Or the psychological shifts that accompany events such as birth may need to be processed.

On Tuesday (16th) lunchtime, you can focus your positive intent, as there is a New Moon at 25 degrees Gemini.  Again the focus is on the mental plane, and assists projects such as sales and business, writing and education.  Media wannabes too may get their big break of 5 minutes of fame.

So this week brings two pushes forward (Sun conjunct Mars, and the New Moon) and one step looking back (Saturn returning to Scorpio).  These will involve different issues most likely, so you may be surging forward in one or two areas of your life, and re-processing in another area.

Next Week: Cancerian Totems and Archetypes

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – energetic
  • Tomorrow – step back in time
  • Tuesday – new moves in the air

Aspects for the week beginning 7 June 2015

Charles Kennedy (1959 – 2015)

Several years ago, I attended a Lib Dem rally in Cambridge (2005 election campaign), while Charles Kennedy was still leader of the Party.  Seemed like a nice chap…And so say all of us, it seems.

I wrote about him prior to the election, in March:

“The Ashcroft poll this week identified Charles Kennedy’s seat as one of those which was in danger of falling to the S.N.P.  As former leader of the Lib Dem Party, he is a veteran politician.  He is the M.P. for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.  He’s a Sagittarian, and arguably drink was his downfall, leading to him standing down as leader of his party…  He also has a very heavyweight exact trine between Saturn and Pluto, so if it were not for his addiction or frailty, he could have been an outstanding statesman.  As it is, he seems much more comfortable these days in the less demanding role.  On polling day, sadly, Saturn is transiting his natal Sun in Sagittarius, and it looks as though the pollsters may be right, he could well lose his seat.  If he does not lose his seat, he may be heavy hearted at the state of his political party.”

Niceness

 “I am a fully paid-up member of the human race”

Charles Kennedy had his Ascendant conjunct his North Node in Libra, depicting his geniality, but also the North Node in that position making him a mover and shaker in life.  Libra also very symbolic of Liberalism and the Middle Way of politics.  To add even greater charm, he had Venus in Libra in his 1st House of personality.  He was that rare breed, a cuddly politician, untouched by the prevailing public cynicism towards his profession.

Political achievement

Nick Clegg has said he was always modest about his political achievements, modesty being an attribute of his Moon in Virgo.   He started very young, becoming the youngest Member of Parliament in 1983, aged 23.  It has been commented that he went into his profession too early, which may have caused some of his personal problems.  But he was following his karmic mission (North Node conjunct the Ascendant in Libra), his joy (Part of Fortune in the 10th House of Politics) and the foundation set for his life (Saturn exactly on his I.C.) – a path that was meant to be.

Leadership

He became leader of the Liberal Democrat Party on 9th August 1999, when Jupiter by transit was trine his natal Saturn (a responsibility undertaken joyfully).  He was much in tune spiritually with his task, too, with Neptune at the time trine his natal Ascendant and sextile his Sun: a fulfillment of his true nature.  In two elections, he led his Party to victory obtaining the highest number of Lib Dem seats.

He Woz Right

 “The point never to lose sight of is to be guided by the correct thing, as you see it.  It’s the only way to approach such profound matters and retain your integrity.”

He was vindicated on many issues, most notably:

2003,  against Iraq War

He was the most prominent British politician to take part in the anti-war march in London, in protest against the impending war against Iraq, and argued that the change of regime had not been thought through, which was very prescient.

Vince Cable, writing in the Guardian, wrote this week: “He was bombarded with advice from outside and inside the party to support the Blair government; it was said in particular that a party leader  would never be forgiven by the public for criticizing a military intervention in which British service personnel were being killed in action…But he was unpersuaded and constantly said: ‘the case has not been made’. “

Could Tony Blair have listened to him…?   Many things in the world would have turned out differently.

2010, against going into Coalition with the Tories

Charles was quite categoric about not joining the Tories in Coalition in 2010, and the current parlous state of the Lib Dem Party has proved his fears to be well-founded.  Neither did he approve of the course that direction took over the five years of government.

Vince Cable continued: “Charles retained a set of beliefs which has enduring value but are no longer fashionable: a strong commitment to progressive taxation and redistribution of income and wealth and a belief that the country deserved good public serves and, unapologetically, should be asked to pay for them through taxation.  It was clear for those reasons that he did not like the direction of travel that the coalition was taking, and in some respects I shared his concerns.”

What if his instinctive opposition to the formation of the coalition had been heeded?

Alcoholism

If you were to describe me as teetotal, on behalf of my constituency I’d have to sue; that would lose me every vote in the Highlands” 

Sun in Sagittarius is the sign most often associated with alcoholism, as part of the excess of this sign and its ruler Jupiter, and its lifestyle as a bon viveur.  Physically, he had the red hair often associated with the early degrees of Sagittarius (he was born on 25 November).  In addition Jupiter (his ruling planet) was overbalanced by a square to Pluto.

His most active period in politics, just after his second Election win for his party, ended in early 2006 when his drinking problem was about to be revealed by the media, and subsequently his fellow Lib Dems urged him to stand down.

On 5/1/2006 he admitted that he had a problem, publicly.  Neptune (drink) was exactly trine his natal Venus, and Uranus was exactly trine his natal Neptune, both aspects of revelation and indicative of a time of transparency and honesty.  Subsequently 25 MPs signed a petition for him to resign, and he did so two days later.

Locked away in his 12th House of Unconscious and Secrets is his Moon (emotions) in Virgo (a private sign), which no one had complete access to, least of all the public.  Who knows the anguish which caused his alcoholism?

Gaby Hinsliff, who had interviewed him a few times, wrote in the Guardian:

“The voice was calm, the arguments fluent, the judgement sharp as a knife.  Charles Kennedy was a more far-sighted politician, even in drink, than many will ever be sober”

Alistair Campbell, a close friend,  has implied that highlighting the plight of alcoholism, seeing the waste of his potential, is a valuable lesson for our society.

Marriage

He married Sarah Gurling at the age of 43, the sister of a friend, at a time when his progressed Sun was square his natal Venus in the 1st House.  Their son Donald was born three years later, in April 2005, but they were not able to work out the relationship, and in 2010 he separated from his wife and subsequently divorced.  At the time of their separation, Saturn was transiting his Ascendant.

His bond with his son was very strong, and his ex-wife brought him to Parliament this week to hear tributes from all sides of the House.

European Referendum

 “Immigrants provide skills that we simply cannot afford to do without.  They have contributed hugely to Britain’s success”

It has been reported that Charles Kennedy was looking forward to taking a prominent role in the campaign to stay in Europe during the referendum debate.

We could have done with his clarity, for that pitch.  It would have been very helpful.

Death

He was found by his current partner, Carole MacDonald.  His death has been found to be caused by haemorrhage, directly related to his alcoholism. Saturn was sextile his North Node/Ascendant, and conjunct his natal Mercury.

As a Soul, let alone as a human, it must have been so hard to leave behind the son to whom he was devoted.

Quotations in italics by Charles Kennedy

Aspects

There’s a brilliant start to the week tomorrow with a sextile between the Sun and Jupiter.  You can forge ahead with confidence, as most of the week has a clear path of four sextiles – though there are a few stumbling blocks right at the end of the week on Friday.  So trust your luck early in the week, and you can gain some ground.

On Tuesday (9th) Mars is sextile Uranus, which can bring a great deal of excitement.  Sparks can fly, but mostly positive ones.  The approach of this Mars/Uranus connection has brought some thunderstorms here in the U.K., but they were short and sharp and cleared the air, light summer storms.  If heated words are exchanged, they may be surprisingly enlightening, and pave the way for new understanding.  Engineering interests are favoured by this aspect.

Mercury sextiles Venus at lunchtime on Wednesday (10th) favouring the café culture, the writers, artists and philosophers ruminating the meaning of life in cafes or, at this time of year in a sunny spot outside.  Apparently, Andrew Marr and Kate Moss were seen vying for such a spot last week.  It’s a fertile creative space for the birth of your next novel or painting.

In the evening, the Sun sextiles Uranus, and brainstorming can produce some brilliant ideas, especially for inventors or futuristic artists.  All in all, it could be a momentous and feelgood day.

Some of you may have been patiently waiting for Thursday (11th), holding off important communications for Mercury to go direct. Thursday is the day if you don’t like doing anything while Mercury is retrograde, but technically you may have to wait for Friday for results to bear fruit, as Mercury stations (stands still before turning) late on Thursday, and won’t start moving until at least Friday.  But, you can have your pen poised on Thursday, arrive at the station, be ready to start negotiations, have your foot ready on the accelerator, waiting for the go signal.  You’ll know when it arrives.

However, don’t confuse it with some of the complex influences which are occurring on Friday.  Early Friday (12th) brings a square between Mars and Chiron, which could be incident-prone, and may distract you from the documentation you were holding in your hand ready for the Mercury turnaround.  This will be a separate issue, and you need to recognize what is not healing in your environment, and may set you back.  It is a good day to de-tox, for instance, and not an advisable day for botox.

In the morning, too, another planet turns around, this time Neptune, and this time it is turning the other way, i.e. retrograde.  Neptune can be a tricky planet even when sailing smoothly forward, but in retrograde you really have to look for the illusionary haze of glamour on your path before taking the next step, if you don’t want to take a detour.  At the same time, there is no sense in panicking because Neptune doesn’t turn direct again until November 18th.  It is going to be a long process of sifting the wheat from the chaff spiritually.  Take a course in meditation if it is something you can’t settle to on your own, as that will be perfect for taking a long look at what you need to stay true on your path.

Later in the day the Sun squares Chiron, and an issue could come up for healing.  It may be unrelated to the spiritual fog of Neptune retrograde, but the two together could be working to help bring something to light which you need to be dealing with.  Healing modalities are present, but the right ones for the job may need trial and error to find.  There may be an awkward fit initially, e.g. you may be feeling like a square peg in a round hole, but if you persevere you’ll be guided to more comfortable outcomes.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – a stroke of luck
  • Tuesday – electricity
  • Wednesday – culture, and originality
  • Thursday – turning point for communication
  • Friday – complexity and wound healing

Aspects for the week beginning 31 May 2015

FIFA

At the risk of a boycott, I find myself writing about Fifa and Sepp Blatter this morning!  This subject has dominated the headlines since Wednesday, and I cannot ignore it.  On Wednesday 14 Fifa officials were arrested on charges of corruption, and the Swiss opened investigations on the awarding of the World Cup franchise to Russia and Qatar for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.  The U.S. Attorney General Lorretta Lynch pointed the finger at officials within the organization who had accepted millions in bribes, laying out 47 corruption charges.  Rumours and innuendo had been circulating for years, but this was the moment to bring the officials to book, as they gathered for a conference in Zurich.

Sepp Blatter

Wednesday was also two days from Sepp Blatter’s predictable re-election as Chairman of Fifa, following 16 years of unchallenged rule.  Would his position wobble in the face of the allegations?  On Friday, he failed to get the required number of votes in relation to his opponent Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, but before a second vote could take place, Ali Hussein conceded defeat, and seamlessly Sepp Blatter stepped back into the helm which he had never left, without missing a heartbeat or blinking an eyelid, batting off any suggestion that he was implicated or responsible for any of the despicable practices.

In his chart, Sepp Blatter has the Sun in Pisces (possibly deceptive) opposite Neptune (double deception) trine loosely Pluto (powerful).  He has Mercury conjunct Venus (smooth talker) and Venus sextile Jupiter (social skills).  The North Node is in Capricorn (karmic mission as an Administrator, interested in political status).  He has the notorious Uranus square Pluto (destructive tendencies if unchecked), plus an up close and personal Moon opposite Mars (fiery emotions).  There is also Saturn opposite Neptune (some tendency to depression)

The transits to his chart this week were interesting:  Chiron was on his Sun – (the exposure of a wound), Pluto was square to his Moon – (emotional exposure), but the triumph factor was Pluto trine his Neptune – he was prepared for the exposure, and is still in a strong state psychologically.

Pisces

Pisces can be the most beautiful, talented, intelligent and compassionate sign.  But like all signs, it has its positive and negative attributes.  It seems that Sepp Blatter has adopted (with his own free will) the classically negative tendencies and weaknesses of the sign: deception, intrigue, mystery, self-delusion and scandal.  This may have been the line of least resistance for him as ruling planet Neptune opposes his natal Sun in Pisces.  But there are many perfectly decent Pisceans out there, even with harsh aspects to their Sun.

Neptune of course rules the Sea, and the Observer today has printed a list of Sepp Blatter’s sea metaphors, of which here is a hand picked selection of 3 (I would have liked to use them all):

‘2011: Faced with more allegation, Blatter admits: “We are on a ship and the ship is moving through troubled, rocky waters”…

2013: Job done.  He tells congress in Mauritius: “As your captain I am happy to say that Fifa has weathered the storm.  We have emerged from troubled waters stronger and into hopefully as beautiful, calm and transparent sea as the sea around us in Mauritius.”…

Yesterday’s final flourish: “We will take our boat back into calmer water and take the Fifa ship into tranquility and happiness.” ‘

FIFA

Fifa (the Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was founded on 21st May 1904, with a conjunction of Sun and Mars, most suitable for a Football Association, but also apt to stir the passions and appeal to the male of the species!  There is also a communicative Mercury-Venus conjunction (which is shared by Sepp Blatter).  It has a square between the Moon and Venus, which is not very female friendly.  Pluto exactly sextile Jupiter makes it a successful power machine, backed up with a close trine between Saturn and Pluto (an enduring structure), with Jupiter sitting in the middle of the trine.  The Sun exactly trines Chiron, so ostensibly it was set up at the time to heal something, which may have got lost in translation, or may not yet have emerged (Chiron was only discovered in 1977).  Mars trines Chiron, so there is a full bloodied healing energy latent, but if Fifa is boycotted and literally dies, that potential may never come to fruition.

At the time of the arrests, the Moon was conjunct its Virgo North Node – an examination of its purity.  Uranus (shock) was transiting its Jupiter in Aries (capacity of getting away without censure).

Africa

The relationship of Fifa and Sepp Blatter to the African nations is an interesting one.  It illustrates tortuously well the subversion of the best qualities of Pisces, as benefactor and compassionate dealer.  There has been debate since Blatter’s re-election whether the African nations voted him back in through fear, or through gratitude.  The fact is that the African developing nations have been propped up or boosted through the re-distribution of wealth through Fifa.  So the Pisces-Neptune qualities acting in a beneficent and charitable way (apparently) have been part of the corruption, while looking glamorously kind (and in some ways having genuinely helped).  How very Neptune, smoke and mirrors!

Switzerland

Switzerland, a country associated with Pisces’ opposite sign Virgo (watchmakers, precision, cleanliness, attention to detail) is the perfect country to bring Sepp Blatter to book!  Switzerland has the Sun perfectly aligned with its karmic mission (Sun/North Node conjunction in Virgo) as independent arbiter of purity, with Mercury conjunct Mars (the Critic Archetype) and Moon conjunct the I.C. in Pisces (a self-contained sense of security).

Transits at the time of the arrests show the hand of Chiron (the Inner Healer) at work: Chiron trines the Ascendant of Switzerland (a chance to heal a longstanding sore) but also conjuncts the Swiss Saturn (“it hurts me as much as it hurts you to do this”) – an unpleasant but necessary duty.

Loretta Lynch

Like Fifa, Loretta Lynch (US Attorney General) was born on 21st May – maybe this gives her a karmic link into the probity of the organization, as if she can see personally what the correct blueprint should be, and won’t rest until integrity is honoured.  With Mars trine Jupiter, she has the enthusiasm to fight the good fight.  With Mercury square Uranus, she is not afraid of controversy.  Saturn closely sextile Neptune gives her a grasp of subtlety and the firmness not to allow slippery eels to escape through her legal fingers.  According to yesterday’s Guardian Obama has said “Loretta might be the only lawyer in Amerca who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorists, and still has the reputation for being a charming people person”.  I look forward to seeing more of Loretta Lynch’s career on the world stage, confronting corruption.  Her North Node (karmic mission) is of course in the legal sign of fairness, Libra.

Transitwise, she has taken on a huge cause (“as big as they come” according to the Guardian) as shown by a transiting square of Saturn to her Pluto.  But the great challenger in the sky Pluto is currently trine her natal Mercury, illuminating her mental skills.

People have begged me not to blog about this subject today.  I hope I come to feel it was worth it!

Aspects

With Neptune squaring Mercury in recent days, spotlighting scandal and deception, today the Sun squares Neptune, prolonging the uncertainty and questioning.  You could wish the fog away, but it is still lingering.

And there is a vague feeling of unease operating until the break of mood after the Full Moon at 11 degrees Sagittarius on Tuesday (2nd).  There may be a sense of suspicion and a question of “will they or won’t they?” around communications for this Full Moon.  If you see someone eyeing you up and down in the street on Tuesday, you’ll know why.  Trust will be the commodity that people will be looking for in their hearts, truth will be the prize.  We cannot blame Fifa and Sepp Blatter for casting a shadow on our faith in human nature, but the planets are not helping at the moment, other than focusing our minds on the blur.

So it is a week of searched consciences, reaching a peak Tuesday afternoon, then slowly settling down.  Venus will still be in Cancer, so we may be examining our personal emotions for a few days, before Venus enters Leo on Friday.

The feeling tone then changes on Friday (5th) when Venus enters Leo, and a holiday mood takes over.  You may feel you want to express yourself more, through the Arts or Drama.  My art teacher this week announced that she would be imminently joining the local Amateur Dramatics group and having a 2 week holiday from tutoring us in watercolour pencil.  That is just the vibe which is supported by Venus in Leo.  Take a break, and express your Inner Artist, especially through performance (Leo).  Venus stays in Leo until 18th July, so this is enough time to establish a new artistic regime or skill, or enjoy a holiday out of the School holiday period.  Thereafter Venus pays a short visit to Virgo, before returning to Leo for a long stay.

Take steps on Friday to take your passion and make it happen, for by the evening Mars in Gemini (mental activity) sextiles Jupiter in Leo (hedonism), and you’ll be on fire!  It is the best evening of the week for a shindig, a ceilidh, a dinner party or a soiree.  It will be especially favourable for sports enthusiasts, meeting to firm up their schedules.

And there’s more good news on Saturday (6th), when Venus trines Saturn.  It is a good solid aspect, a much more sober benefit than Friday’s prospect, but nevertheless a bird in the hand.  It is a good day for mercy, commitment and loyalty, and finding the trust that you might have lost earlier in the week.  It is safe to open your heart.  If you never lost trust, and you kept your heart open, then the divine healing of the Universe can continue to flow through you unhindered!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – more uncertainty
  • Tuesday – emotions at a peak
  • Friday – creative expression, and joyful energy
  • Saturday – quiet celebration of relationship