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Aspect for the week beginning 14 February 2016 – Mars sextile North Node


Happy Valentine’s Day


Unending Love

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms numberless times,

In life after life, in age after age forever.

My spell-bound heart has made and re-made the necklace of songs

That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms

In life after life, in age after age forever.


Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,

Its ancient tale of being apart or together,

As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge

Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:

You become an image of what is remembered forever.


You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount

At the heart of time love of one for another.

We have played alongside millions of lovers, shared in the same

Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell –

Old love, but in shapes that renew and renew forever.


Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,

The love of all man’s days both past and forever:

Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life,

The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –

And the songs of every poet past and forever.

~ by Rabindranath Tagore


Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941)

Tagore was a Bengali poet and polymath born in the 19th Century.  Biographer Krishna Kripalani writes of him:

“Among individuals who made these forces creative in shaping the destiny of India, two stand out as pre-eminent, Gandhi and Tagore. The contribution of Gandhi is too obvious to need telling: that of Tagore was subtler and deeper, for it released and fed the hidden fountains of creativity in fields which the politician is powerless to exploit.”

In this, he had an opposite and complementary emphasis to Gandhi’s chart: Aries/Taurus to Gandhi’s Libra/Scorpio.  Gandhi (1869 – 1948) had Sun and Ascendant in the peace sign of Libra, and Mercury and Venus/Mars in the warrior sign of Scorpio.  Rabindranath Tagore had Moon/Ascendant and Neptune in Aries, and Mercury, Neptune/Venus/Sun in Taurus.  Between them, they shaped the history of India in that period.

Rabindranath had O water planets, which is surprising as his poetry is very emotional, or evokes emotion.  There is plenty of Aries passion and Taurus feeling in evidence.  His Venus conjunct Pluto also drips with emotion and feeling.

The Asteroid Chiron (the Wounded Healer) is however in water sign Pisces, together with the Part of Fortune (Joy), so these are wonderfully expressed in his poetry.  As Kripalani says: “He lived as he wrote, not for pleasure or profit but out of joy, not as a brilliant egoist but as a dedicated spirit, conscious that his genius was a gift from the divine, to be used in the service of man.”

What I find fascinating about Rabindranath’s chart is his North Node conjunct Midheaven (the capacity to shape history) in the 9th House of Philosophy.  The Sun/Venus conjunction in his chart also trines the Midheaven/North Node, raising his profile even further in society, and also highlighting the karmic themes in his life and work.

He also has a very fortuitous and positive trine between his Ascendant and Jupiter, bisected by exact sextiles from Mars.  The trine of the Sun to his Midheaven/North Node is also bisected by exact sextiles from the Part of Fortune.  Some beautiful symmetry and rhythm then, in his chart, as well as in his poetry.



There is only one aspect, in effect, during this week, and that occurs right at the beginning, on Monday (15th).  After that, there are two changes of sign for planets.  So my account will be short and sweet!

On Monday (15th), Mars sextiles the North Node.  This aspect is about fighting the good fight, if you believe in fighting at all.  It is about standing up for what you believing, and doing it fairly and ethically.  You could take your role model as Mahatma Gandhi, or Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.  As it is the only aspect, you can make it your theme for the week and allow it to fire your enthusiasm for getting things done.  Even if you are a passive type, there must be something you want to get done!

Of the three of these icons of non-violent resistance only one had Mars sextile North Node natally – that was Nelson Mandela, who started out as a freedom fighter.  The sextile is quite wide (7 degrees) but does illustrate his life purpose quite well.

In a natal chart, it confers a destiny which often involves leadership or physical fitness.  The late incisive interviewer and broadcaster David Frost had Mars (his ruling planet) exactly sextile his North Node, and was quite a warrior on the chat show sofa.  Passionate songstress Joan Armatrading has this sextile within two degrees.  Sensuous poet John Keats had this sextile within 4 degrees.  Trailblazing Astrologer Linda Goodman had it exact.  Feisty actress Natalie Portman has it within 1 degree.  All these sound like a variety of qualities, but the vein of authenticity runs through them all, a quality of both Mars and the North Node.

On Wednesday (17th) Venus enters Aquarius.  Perhaps love and loyalty have been the theme while Venus has been in Capricorn, and now you are ready for a new paradigm in relationships.  Venus goes into Pisces on 12th March, so until then relationships can be more freedom-loving and progressive, and in some ways idealistic.  It is time to explore new possibilities within relationships.

The Sun enters Pisces on Friday (19th), so while we are Venus in our feelings and relationships, in our general way of being we may become more introverted, more sensitive, and in need of peace and quiet.  It is a good month to become aware of mental health issues, both in our personal lives and relationships, and in society and politics (such as in NHS services).  Hubby and I made a promise to a certain young man a year and a half ago that we would join the charity MIND, and we still haven’t done it, so we should take action this week!  Mindfulness, in its most delicate sense, is a good watchword for the Sun in Pisces.

Next Week: Piscean Animal Totems and Archetypes

The week in bullet points:

  • Monday – karma in action
  • Wednesday – new approaches to relationships
  • Friday – sensitivity rules

Aspects for the week beginning 7 February 2016

Fixed Stars of the Week

The twelve zodiac signs, which we work with in traditional astrology as the backdrop to our constantly moving planets, are just twelve out of a vast number of fixed constellations, and within those constellations are myriads of stars, known as the fixed stars.  So as the Sun moves through Aquarius this week, it aligns with some of those fixed stars.  Ancient sources saw many of these stars in a negative light, associating them with fearful events, with a few exceptions.  I like to think that modern Astrologers see them in a more positive light, though with challenges in our modern world such as the Syrian war and the Zika virus, there is still much to engender fear.

There are three Fixed Stars to take into account this week: Nashira, Sadalsud and Deneb Algedi.  Two are in the constellation of Capricorn, and one in the constellation of Aquarius. All three are third magnitude stars. You may feel a connection with them at any part of the week, though I have tried to narrow the timing down to a particular day.


Nashira and Deneb Algedi are both found in the tail of the Capricorn goat.

“Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld writes about this star:

“At the present time this star is good to utilize when you wish to have the ability to see the whole picture of what is happening on Earth: politically, economically, and geophysically”.

This might be useful when you are contemplating the state of the world this week.


Sadalsud is the Beta star in the constellation of Aquarius, and prominent in that constellation.

Vivian Robson states that traditionally the star is associated with trouble and disgrace.  However the Arabic name “Sadalsud” means “Luckiest of the Lucky”.  Take your pick.

There are a few interesting considerations presented by Smulkis and Rubenfeld:

“This star can create peacefulness in the interaction amongst all women and men by increasing the female part of their understanding….  This star may eventually be able to work with these energies in large groups”.

This chimes with the androgynous theme of Aquarius, and its group consciousness.

For those working with the chakras it is notable that:

“There is some strengthening of the root chakra…A conduit of energy can open between the root chakra and the throat chakra.”

Deneb Algedi

According to Bernadette Brady, Ebertin links the star with “wisdom and integrity, and adds that the person influenced by it will be a legal advisor or counsellor”.

The emphasis put forward by Smulkis and Rubenfeld is about making predictions based on cycles and the law of possibilities:

“The individuals who work with this are Astrologers, Economists, and Historians… Individuals working with the stock market for attempting to predict trends might do well by utilization of this star or elixir.”

So if any element of your work involves these processes, your inspiration may be enhanced.

“The spirit, the understanding of life, and the understanding of these cycles as applied to all of humanity with themselves perhaps as an example are much more important than the monies involved.”

For those who like their info a little more far out (as I do):

“Entities from this star system were able to project some ideas of practical form and wisdom into the Atlantean culture.  Much of these ideas were rejected by the Atlantean culture but still remained as possibilities for people to work with later.”


Today there may be more friction lingering after the possible spats of yesterday, with Sun square Mars.  However, there is scope for resolution and the balance of the sexes later with a sextile between Venus and Mars.  Whether you are from Venus or from Mars, you should find such balance by the end of the day.

Tomorrow, the mellow mood continues, with a New Moon at 19 degrees Aquarius.  Idealistic attitudes and projects on behalf of the betterment of society can thrive, so it is a good day to initiate something which promotes the greatest good of the greatest number.  You can start by getting together with a like minded friend.

Tuesday (9th) provides a chance to consolidate the balance of Sunday afternoon, and the new initiatives of Monday, as Mars trines Chiron.  You can channel healing energy smoothly and effectively.

Wednesday (10th) is a positive day astrologically.  Venus trines Jupiter, so socially that is as good as you can get.  Good will and humour will get you everywhere.

Venus then goes on to trine the North Node, so love and karma go hand in hand very sweetly.  Karmic doors will open hearts, and open hearts will open karmic doors.

This is the day when Fixed Star Nashira may have maximum impact.  If you are worrying about the state of the world, or fixated on one issue, stand back and look at the bigger picture and try to find another perspective.

It is also the day of the proposed Junior Doctors’ strike.  Ironically, my mother has a scheduled operation that very day, that apparently is to go ahead because it will be performed by a Consultant.  So I am grateful that at least the general aspects of the day are well disposed.  Also ironically, one of my daughters will be acting as Consultant (not in the same field!) and therefore will be working.  Jeremy Hunt appeared on the Andrew Marr show this morning, but did not explain how he is going to produce the extra workforce for his plans, nor why he has allowed the National Health Service to fall apart to this distressing level.

Friday (12th) is the day when Sadalsud and Deneb Algedi come into focus.

This will give you a chance to evaluate whether Sadalsud brings “trouble and disgrace” or “the luckiest of the lucky” circumstances.

As with Sunday’s Venus sextile Mars, balancing male and female energies will be strengthened.  You may be able to build on those bridges.

If any aspect of your work touches on predicting outcomes based on cycles, then you will enjoy the benefits of the star Deneb Algedi.  One for me, I feel.

More positive vibes on Saturday (13th) when Mercury enters Aquarius: also good for predicting outcomes based on cycles, or any other type of forward thinking and vision.  You may have put in the hard work with Mercury in Capricorn, and can pull it all together with Mercury in Aquarius.  Mercury stays in Aquarius until 5th March, so it is a good period to tune into future life progression, telepathy and other star systems.

This aspect does not occur until 22.43 Hrs on Saturday evening, and so you may still feel in Mercury-Capricorn mode most of the day.  Sixteen minutes later, at nearly midnight (22.59 Hrs in the U.K.) Mars sextiles Jupiter, and ideas really take flight.  Even if you are an early morning bird, you might consider becoming a Night Owl just for the night, in order to make the most of this influx of mental energy and the ability to channel it productively.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – sparks, then harmony and passion
  • Tomorrow – new initiatives with friends and groups
  • Tuesday – healing energy
  • Wednesday – love and social success, some karmic grace; (w)holism
  • Friday – lucky for some; second guessing
  • Saturday – forward vision; ideas take flight if you stay up late

Aspects for the week beginning 31 January 2016

Terry Wogan (1938 – 2016)

“A lot depends on luck, and being in the right place at the right time; which was certainly true in my case.”

~ Sir Terry Wogan

His Birthchart

We have no birth time for Terry Wogan, or Tel as he was nicknamed.  He had half his planets (5 out of 10) in Fixed signs, and certainly was a solid and enduring figure on our national broadcasting scene for 50 years or so.

He had only one Air planet (Jupiter in Aquarius), but was known for his joviality.  Jupiter is not prominent in the noon based chart, so I would think it had to be prominently linked with his Ascendant.  His Jupiter made loose aspects: it opposed Mercury,  squared the Nodal Axis, and trined Chiron.  If the quote at the top of the page reflects his philosophy of life, then Jupiter features strongly in his total chart.

He was a Leo by Sun sign, comfortable with performing, and bringing sunshine into people’s lives.  The noon chart shows Moon opposite Uranus (by 2 degrees) – he loved the capacity to surprise.

His Mercury was sextile exactly Chiron (an acute talent for problem solving, and the ability to think on his feet for live broadcasting).  However, in relation to his mental abilities at school he was quoted as saying: “I only ever did enough to pass exams”.

Venus is key in his chart.  His Virgoan Venus was trine Uranus (social brilliance) and conjunct Neptune (showing discriminating and refined tastes, and association with charity, principally Children in Need).  Venus was also sextile exactly the North Node (life purpose connected with music, to be loved as a national treasure and to present the Eurovision Song Contest!)  This prominence and strength of Venus in his character and life and laid back personality may point to a Venusian Ascendant, such as Taurus.  Venus was also prominent in the transits at important times of his life.


Wogan was born in Limerick, the son of a grocery store manager, in 1938.  “Limerick never left me, whatever it is, my identity is Limerick” he was quoted as saying.

He went to a Jesuit school and was given a religious education (“We were brainwashed into believing”) but lost his faith at the age of 17, and declared himself an atheist but had respect for those with “the gift of faith”.  There is no evidence of religiosity in his chart, though his birth time could reveal more.


He was a well-known D.J. in the 1960s, when I was a teenager, and first broadcast on the Light Programme on 27 September 1966, during the decade of the explosion of pop music. Jupiter was transiting his natal Pluto at 0 deg Leo, ushering in a new age of entertainment, and the position of his natal Pluto symbolically points to his pivotal role.


1980 was an important year in Terry’s career.  His progressed Sun reached his natal Venus and sextiled his natal North Node, showing the importance of this exact sextile in his chart and life.  From 1980 – 2008 he presented the Eurovision Song Contest continuously, and from 1980 – 2014 he presented Children in Need continuously.


Where I have special affection for Terry Wogan is in his broadcasting of the Eurovision Song Contest.  Regular readers of this blog may remember my jaunt to Dusseldorf  to see the event in 2010, although Graham Norton had taken over by then.  Terry had presented the contest on radio and television occasionally since 1971, but 19th April 1980 marked the beginning of the long continuous association with this annual event.  Jupiter was exactly opposite his natal Jupiter at the time, bringing out the quirkiness of his humour, and also reinforcing the importance Jupiter would have in his exact chart.  Neptune from Sagittarius (a global event) was exactly square his natal Venus in Virgo: it was his irritation with the flaws of the contest that brought out his acerbic wit.  Chris Tarrant once said: “Terry Wogan’s commentary is why any sane person would choose to watch the Eurovision.” His off the cuff witticisms were legendary, and even Graham Norton acknowledged he would not be able to match him.

In its later years, especially with the break up of the soviet empire and the addition of the Balkan states, the voting became more political than ever. You could see him becoming increasingly frustrated about this, and it took the edge off his enjoyment and perhaps ability to create new humour from the situation.

On 11th August 2008, he prepared the ground for leaving.  Neptune was squaring his Nodal Axis – time for a spiritual shift.  Pluto was sextile his natal Jupiter – time for a liberation.  He officially retired on 5th December 2008, by which time Jupiter was trine his natal Venus, a personal liberation.  Jupiter was sextile his North Node, a karmic liberation.  Pluto was sextile his natal Jupiter – an important stage in his life psychologically, freeing up energy.

This association had a 28 year run, which is a Saturn cycle.  At the time he stepped down exactly, Saturn was in the same position as when he started.

Children in Need

His work with Children in Need was an enormous force for good.  Natally he had Chiron in Cancer, which is about healing the Inner Child, and compassion for childhood wounds.  He first broadcast this programme on 21st November 1980, with Mars exactly sextile his natal Jupiter (again highlighting the possible role of Jupiter). Saturn sextiled his natal Mars, linking practicality with his Inner Warrior (he had Sun conjunct Mars in his chart).


Terry was a family man, who loved his grandchildren.  On 25th April 1965 he married Helen Joyce, the beginning of an enduring marriage.  Transiting Jupiter was exactly sextile his natal Pluto (a huge psychological uplift, and a relationship which sustained him throughout his life).  Apparently, he did not work on a Sunday, and gave the day over to being with his family.  Sun-day is Leo’s day!


We missed him as presenter of Children in Need on 12th November 2015.  He was needing to recover from surgery on his back, the back being one of the health areas associated with Leo.  At that time, Mars was sextile natal Pluto, but more tellingly (no pun intended) Uranus was conjunct his natal Saturn, a transit which would be associated with having to pull out of a longstanding association.  Neptune was opposite his natal Mercury, bringing about a possible health mystery or debilitation, so he may also have been suffering other symptoms at that time.


At the time of his passing, Jupiter was transiting his natal Venus in Virgo (reinforcing the importance of Venus in his chart), and sextile exactly his natal North Node in Scorpio (a karmic completion).  Uranus was transiting his natal Saturn in Aries (signifying a possible departure).  The North Node in Scorpio in his natal chart implies that his death is a significant event in the wider context, and ensures he will be as strongly remembered as he will be sorely missed.



Tomorrow (1st February) Mercury squares Uranus, giving rise to cranky conversations and general awkwardness, including technical difficulties.

If Monday sets you back in any direction, Wednesday (3rd) is a day of fighting back, with Mars sextile Pluto.  Physical strength and exercise are favoured.  Go back to the gym if you have the membership, or lift the hoover if housework is your exercise.  If you lack the will to exercise entirely, then you may be shifting mental weights.

Wednesday is also stabilizing from the point of view of healing, as Mercury sextiles Chiron.  This represents a good balance between conventional and alternative medicine, or the balance between body, mind and soul.

A further stabilizing aspect occurs that same evening, with the Sun sextile Saturn.  This is good for laying the foundations of something, be it practical or theoretical, after the energetic input of Mars sextile Pluto, and the health benefits of Mercury sextile Chiron.  An idea may occur to you as the day progresses, which can take you forward significantly.

Venus conjuncts Pluto on Saturday (6th) bringing home what your loved ones mean to you, and in some cases necessitating the need for letting go.  Vulnerability needs to be acknowledged, psychological needs aired, and tenderness given and received.

This could be a heavy day altogether, with four aspects to be processed.  The second one occurs late afternoon, when the Sun sextiles Uranus.  Despite the possible heartache of the earlier aspect,  there is some uplift, possibly involving telepathy or invention.

Then at tea time Mercury trines Jupiter, and you may hear uplifting words or take part in a successful transaction, which may or may not be linked with earlier events.  Open your mind, and you may hear something positive.

Lastly, Venus squares Uranus, in the late evening, and this is an aspect of separation and possible disagreement.  Social cohesion may prove very difficult to achieve, if say you have organized a party.  A quiet Saturday night in is the optimum choice, to digest the day’s experience, for meditative types.

For social animals, keep your nose clean, keep a respectful distance, avoid confrontation, don’t be clingy, don’t make demands, or just become a meditative type!

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – cranky
  • Wednesday – positivity, fighting back, healing, laying foundations
  • Saturday – complexity, letting go, some brilliance, some uplift, estrangement

Aspects for the week beginning 24 January 2016

Aquarian Animal Totems and Archetypes

The Sun entered Aquarius last Wednesday 20th January 2016 at 15.27 Hrs. in the U.K.  This is the ninth in the series where I look at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the various signs (sad to think the series is almost completed!  I have enjoyed writing it, but it will be there for reference). Do you, or someone close to you, have Sun, Ascendant or Moon in Aquarius?

The traditional symbols for the Air signs are all non-animal (Twins for Gemini, Scales for Libra, and Water Carrier for Aquarius).  I am almost tempted to include the Camel for Aquarius as it carries water in its one hump or two.  But it doesn’t have an Aquarian feel…

But, like the other Air signs, there is an emphasis on bird totems, of which I have found many.  I have had to limit these to a sample of just a few, but birds are undoubtedly important for Aquarius.


The Giraffe is the perfect animal for Aquarius.  It has the unusualness of Aquarius – it really is like no other animal.  It is long-limbed in the Aquarian way.  People with Aquarian Ascendants usually have unusually long arms and legs, but not of course the long necks.  The neck is ruled by Taurus, but Taureans tend to have thicker necks rather than unusually long necks.

Ted Andrews has the perfect keyword for Giraffe as Aquarius: Farsightedness.  Aquarians are known for future vision and telepathy.

He writes: “The long neck, in combination with the giraffe’s exceptionally keen eyesight, makes it a powerful totem for farsightedness and for seeing what lies on the horizon for you!”

He also highlights the sociable side of the Giraffe, which reflects the Aquarian association with friendships and groups:

“Giraffes like each other’s company…Giraffe people usually have strong family relationships and friendships as well.”

Aquarius is also associated, through its ruling planet Uranus, with the higher mind and the intuition.  In this, Ted Andrews also enlightens us:

“On the head of the giraffe are horns that are unlike any other animals.  These blunt, long stubs are never shed, and they are covered with skin…horns and antlers are symbols of antennae for higher mental faculties and perceptions.  With the giraffe, there are actually three horns.  The third actually looks more like a lump under the skin, but it is located just above the eyes.  This placement is very significant as this is the area of the body associated with the third or inner eye.”

I have known couples with significant Aquarian placings who took as their joint symbol two giraffes with intertwined necks.

Hedgehogs and Porcupines

Hedgehog is shared with the sign of Cancer.  Cancerians and Virgoans protect their privacy, but Aquarians are sociable and friendly.  However, unless they have a strong Scorpio streak, they don’t like people to get too close as they need plenty of air to breathe.  Here, the prickles, quills or spines of the hedgehog and porcupine come in handy!  Spiky forms and patterns are Aquarian too, because they symbolize the Aquarian quality of processing electricity and information, and may also symbolize an extra form of sensing.

The hedgehog and the porcupine are entirely different creatures, although both spiky and punk looking!  Drawing again from Ted Andrews, he sees the following qualities for Porcupines:

“It has a strong sense of curiosity, and seems amazed and filled with wonder at most things it encounters…Porcupines can show you how to resist the barbs of others.  They can teach you how to enjoy life and maintain a sense of wonder about it, in spite of negative conditions.”


Coyote, as the Trickster of North American Indian medicine, correlates with the planet Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, the Spanner in the Works, the element of the unexpected.

Nicky Scully says of Coyote: “He shows us aspects of ourselves that are often surprising.  His numerous feats and outrageous behaviour as creator, teacher, shape-shifter, and prankster are recorded in myths and legends of many tribes and cultures all over the world.” Sound like any Aquarians you know?

Jamie Sams and David Carson provide the helpful thought: “Contained within trickster medicine is the humour of the ages.  The cosmic joke is not just on ourselves but on everyone else.”.

Bird Totems


 Hummingbirds in the rapid vibration of their wings give that sensation of hovering into another dimension, rather like the Aquarian ability to travel to the future, and communicate telepathically with other dimensions.  There is something otherworldly about the Hummingbird.

According to Sams and Carson “Hummer sings a vibration of pure joy”  In my mind, this is the joy of spiritual freedom, another province of Aquarius.

They continue “…Hummingbird will no doubt give you a flash of ths spirit, darting here, there and everywhere.  Get ready for a strange new burst of energy which may send your senses reeling.”

Aquarius is associated with lightning speed, and Ted Andrews writes: “The hummingbird can reach high speed at its take off.  It can also stop immediately in flight from a high speed.  It is such a skilful flyer and it is not afraid of any predator.”

They also share some of the social characteristics of the Aquarian, according to him: “Hummingbirds are fiercely independent.  Except when mating, they like to be alone and free, seeming to revel in that freedom.”


Geese are more than most seen as group creatures, think of the gaggle of chattering geese, and the inspiring sight of a formation of snow geese high in the sky.

Andrea Wansbury sees them as messengers of Truth.  If Goose is your totem animal or comes into your orbit, she comments:

Where in your life are you holding onto a perception instead of seeing what is the actual truth?  Human beings love jumping to conclusions, looking at something based on assumptions rather than at the real truth of the matter.  A goose is asking, where have you recently jumped to a conclusion without knowing all the facts.”

Ted Andrews contributes the angle of communication, an attribute of air signs: “The goose can also be a totem to aid you in communication especially through the use of stories…Individuals wishing to write – be it stories or anything – can facilitate the process by working with the goose as a totem. It will stimulate the imagination and help move you through creative blocks.”

He also highlights the co-operative flight patterns of geese: “They constantly shift formation, creating wind drafts and easier flights for those behind them in the formation.”  Aquarians are team workers.


This may seem an odd choice, given the role of the Albatross in the rhyme of the Ancient Mariner in Coleridge’s poem, but according to Andrea Wansbury the Albatross represents Intuition, which is the province of Aquarian ruler Uranus:

“An albatross is saying you must start listening to your intuition and trust your instincts…Are you listening to those intuitive hunches?  What is stopping you from acting on your intuition?”

I like the idea of redeeming the reputation of this bird, and countering the superstitious element.


Andrea Wansbury’s book is a mine of information about birds, and her interpretation of the Jay as bringing the message of Opportunity, and representing the Archetype of the Trickster (which we have already seen in the Coyote, and will re-meet under Archetypes) seems very fitting for Aquarius.

Nicky Scully on the other hand equates the Jay (specifically the Blue Jay) with Masks.  She takes you on a journey:

“As you look into the eye of the blue jay, you see yourself reflected, wearing the mask you display to the wrold.  Blue Jay mimics your character…You may be shown several of the masks that are your most common disguises…If you are ready and willing, Blue Jay may give you a glimpse of your true face, the one under all the masks.”


For Waxwing too, Andrea Wansbury highlights a quality of Aquarius, that of the Observer Archetype, and the message of Objectivity:

“A waxwing is saying that in some area of your life you need to look at things more objectively…step out of the frame and view the situation from the outside to help clarify things.”

Strangely enough, and you may do a double take here, Ted Andrews equates the Waxwing with Masks:

“The mask-like appearance gives it an association with the art of mask making and ritual garb…The waxwing has knowledge of how to use masks for fun and for healing, especially when combined with colour healing.”  I do not especially associate Aquarius with masks, however.


Stick Insect

Although insects generally come under Virgo, what could be more light and airy than a stick insect, for this airiest of air signs?  According to Wikipedia “the genus Phobaeticus includes the world’s longest insects.”

Many species of this insect are parthenogenic, which means the females can lay eggs without the males – reflecting the Aquarian androgyny.

It’s the perfect unusual pet for the Aquarian child!  Though in this enlightened age, keeping anything in a cage seems cruel.

Mythological Figures


Here fittingly to end the animal section is a mythological creature for the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces.  Pisces rules swans, and Aquarius geese.

Nicholas Saunders writes about the Hamsa: “The goose and the swan are mythically interchangeable in Hinduism, as in many cultures.  The Hamsa is one bird made of two, Ham and Sa, and it can appear as either a goose or a swan.  It represents the perfect union, the ‘balance of life’.”



The Networker Archetype is one of the most prominent of Aquarian Archetypes.  It is often found in a chart when the Sun and Mercury, which travel round the zodiac together, are in the 11th House of Friendships and Groups.

Caroline Myss describes it as expanding “sphere of influence by forging alliances and making connections among vastly different groups of people”.


The Liberator (from Myss again) “helps to liberate us from the self-inflicted tyranny of negative thought patterns and beliefs, spiritual sluggishness, poor nutrition, destructive relationships, or addictive behaviour”.  We all need that one.


This is an aspect of the Scientist.  In Gemini, the Scientist as an Archetype is related to teaching, academia, writing and research.  In Aquarius the Scientist is more dynamic, and with an association with Electricity.  The conjunction of Mars and Uranus in a chart often denotes a talent for mechanical or electrical engineering.


Can the Trickster Archetype add to our understanding of the Coyote animal totem, or the Jay?

Caroline Myss has as its Light attribute “Transcending conventiion, stuffiness, and predictable behaviour” – all eminently Aquarian!  It “can be a great ally in presenting alternatives to the straight and narrow path, to people and institutions who seek to hem you in through peer pressure and conformism”.


With Mars, in some capacity, Aquarius and Uranus produces the Activist.  For example, Mars in Aquarius often produces someone who champions the underdog, or uses networking and pressure groups to engineer social justice.

New Archetypes

Caroline Myss introduces new Archetypes in her book of 2013.  She originally wrote about Archetypes (which she sees in her inner vision) in “Sacred Contracts” in 2001.  She produced her Archetype Cards two years later.  She goes into more depth, and gives more guidance, about these newer archetypes.

Famous Example: David Bowie had both of these two Archetypes which follow, with his Aquarian Ascendant.


Caroline identifies four types of Rebel, where the personality has grown into a more mature and cohesive expression of this Archetype: the Noble Rebel, the Anarchist Rebel, the Social/Civil Rebel, and the Feminist Rebel.

Famous Example: The groundbreaking feminist writer Germaine Greer is of course an Aquarian.


In her Archetypes book Myss advises: “The lesson for the Visionary is to experience the power of your creative vision, however large or small, and to realize its potential in the larger scope of your life.”

Famous Example: quoting from Caroline Myss: “Oprah Winfrey [Aquarius] built a media empire around her vision to transform people’s lives.” – my brackets.


 “Archetype Cards” by Caroline Myss

“Archetypes” (book) by Caroline Myss

 “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews

“Animal Spirits” by Nicholas J. Saunders

“Birds Divine Messengers” by Andrea Wansbury

“The Golden Cauldron” by Nicky Scully

“Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David Carson



Today is the Full Moon in Leo at 3 degrees.  It occurred at 1.46 a.m., so that was Saturday in the snow hit U.S.  I must admit it did wake me this morning, from a heavy sleep.

Whatever were the issues for you last night, they will be starting to ebb away now.  The Leo Moon opposed by the Aquarian Sun, is usually an issue of the individual balancing its needs within the group (which can be a family).  If it fell in your Health Houses (6th and 12th) a health issue may have come to a peak.  Now is the time for releasing, until the New Moon.

Good news for Retrophobes tomorrow evening, as Mercury is stationary prior to turning direct again.  If you have been struggling with your paperwork, appointments, travel and so forth, the path will become easier.  If you make a breakthrough in these matters tomorrow, you will be able to thank Mercury.

The middle of the week is quiet, aspect-wise.  Thus it may literally be uneventful, humdrum, bread and butter…some like it that way.  If you are bored, you can catch up on paperwork and filing from the newly turned Mercury boost, or contemplate the next aspect, which occurs on Friday.

The True North Node can have an oscillating action, in that it can move slowly or even go slightly backwards.  Thus it is that we have another conjunction between Jupiter and the True North Node in Virgo on Friday (29th), so soon after the last one (Saturday 23rd).  It brings a karmic reward, so you may need to think back to see what it brought you, and what further yield that may bring.  Where might you need to adjust your karma in Virgoan areas such as care of the planet (e.g. buying foods with less packaging) and health measures (e.g. cutting down on sugar)?  Your next similar karmic reckoning will come towards the end of June.

Another re-play from recent times occurs on Saturday (30th) when Mercury conjuncts Pluto again.  This was last seen on Friday (22nd) and is recurring because of Mercury turning direct.  This brings profound thought and reflection, and incisive speech.  What people say will be coming from a deep place within them.  Consider whether they are bringing through the wisdom of the ancients, or their own negative emotions.  This aspect occurs early in the morning, around 6 a.m.  If you are just getting up, you may have a strong idea or theme emerging from your dreams, guidance for the day ahead.

Later, just before tea time, a more coherent aspect forms: Venus sextile Neptune.  This can bring inspiration in the Arts, and spirituality in relating.  If you are still working with the energy of the Mercury-Pluto aspect, what you do now can have a lasting value.  There is a sweetness to Venus-Neptune, which can be surface, but can also be sublime.  If you begin the day with the depth of the Pluto aspect, you can make more of the Neptune experience.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – emotional wipe-out
  • Tomorrow – communications full steam ahead
  • Friday – karmic reward
  • Saturday – earnest communication and graceful dance

Aspects for the week beginning 17 January 2016

David Bowie (1947 – 2016)

from my teenage diary:

8/1/66 [David Bowie's birthday]: “Went to the Marquee Club [in Wardour Street, London] and collected autographs from David Bowie and David Essex.”

How I wish that I had written more on his 19th birthday, and written in a less superficial vein.  I hope to remedy that with my look into his life and times.  David Bowie’s chart is very revealing and reflective of his genius.

 “The source of all my frustrations is hammering away at the same questions I’ve had since I was 19, this daunting spiritual search. They’re continual questions and they seem to be the essence of what I’ve written over time. And I’m not going to stop.”

~ interview with The Word magazine

Needless to say, I always followed his career with interest, but his first album was not released until the following year, in 1967.

Life on Mars

The man who fell to earth from Mars had his Sun in Capricorn exactly conjunct Mars.  He may well have known something about his astrological chart, and may have been inspired by that fact.  The Mars/Sun Inner Warrior and Activist was placed in the 12th House, which is why he needed so much personal space in order to thrive.  The Mars/Sun exact conjunction is also responsible for the red head of the iconic Ziggy Stardust Persona.

Rebel Rebel

Bowie’s Ascendant was in whacky, individualistic, rebellious, innovative, revolutionary and androgynous Aquarius – just perfect for what he wanted to do with his life!

So with his Sun and Ascendant, he was a mixture of calculating Capricorn and spontaneous Aquarius.  With the energy and drive of Sun/Mars, he got things done.  His urge for creativity was strong until the end.


He had a lot going on in the Golden sign of Leo – the Moon, Saturn, Descendant, Pluto and Part of Fortune were all in Leo, the sign of the Performer and Creator Archetypes.  His creativity was greatly boosted by the North Node exactly trine his Ascendant on the cusp of his 5th House, forming a Grand Trine with Neptune in the 9th House (the Dreamer Archetype).

Teenage Years

Mars/Sun in 12th House of chronic conditions depicts very clearly the fact that, due to an altercation in the school playground when he was 15, he damaged one of his eyes permanently.

According to his biographer, Paul Tryke:

“The damage was serious.  David was taken to hospital and his schoolmates were told he was in danger of losing the sight in his left eye …The injury to David’s eye resulted in paralysis of the muscles that contract the iris, leaving the pupil permanently dilated and giving it the appearance of being a different colour from his other eye.  His depth perception was also damaged. ‘It left me with a wonky sense of perspective,’ David explained later. ‘When I’m driving for instance, cars don’t come towards me, they just get bigger.’ ”

This incident was undoubtedly karmic; it involved a long term friend, a dispute over a girlfriend, and mutual forgiveness.

The resulting changes to the eye may have affected his inner vision, or conversely the incident and resulting distortion may have been symbolic of his unique vision.  I think David Bowie acknowledged that the unusually dilated pupil added to his mystique.

He was ambitious to make his mark as a musician throughout his teenage years, and the early years were a struggle; although he wrote his own material, the songs from this era are largely undistinguished.  It was during this era that he made many regular appearances at the Marquee Club.

A friend named Dek Fearnley observed in 1966:

“He was on a higher plane. really.  He wouldn’t be talking about the weather or the latest Who single, he was simply off in his own world.”

Even at a young age, his late teens, he took a serious interest in Tibetan Buddhism.  He was always interested to explore other cultures, and spiritual systems such as Kabbalism.

Friends and musicians shifted in this period of time, and it could be said throughout his life.  In some periods he was very keen to keep his bands cohesive, and in others he would cut off working relationships suddenly, partly out of a need to take his creativity in the direction he wanted.

Space Oddity

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills
and put your helmet on

He released the album Space Oddity in 1969, introducing this strand of his personal connection with the Cosmos, and the character of Major Tom.  This was released close in time to the Apollo 11 Moon landing, very much in the spirit of this high point of space exploration.

According to Simon Hayes of Mercury records, when it was first played in Chicago they said “This is a sad story about a guy lost in space.  And we’re gonna release it when there’s a space shot happening – and there’s a real possibility we could lose a man in space?”.

His Progressed Sun had reached his Aquarian Ascendant, and was entering his 1st House.  This says a lot about its expression of who David Bowie was.

Ziggy Stardust

Oh man! Wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

Ziggy Stardust was a creation of late 1971, though not unleashed on the world until 1972. Uranus was forcing the issue and squaring his natal Sun: the Universe was saying to him “be as outlandish as you dare!”.  He was able to truly express his Aquarian side.  His progressed Sun in Aquarius in 1st House was also opposing natal Pluto in Leo in 7th.

Peter Doggett described Ziggy Stardust as “the perfect rock’n'roll star…male and female, king and queen, alien and human, transcendental and sublime.”  With Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie ushered in the bi-sexual revolution of the 1970s.

On 3/7/73 he “killed off”  Ziggy Stardust, and discovered a relish for reinvention.  Killing off his alter egos is identifiable in his chart by his Pluto in 7th House close to his Descendant.  At the point he “killed off” Ziggy Stardust Uranus was exactly trine his natal Uranus, enabling him to take great pleasure in the reinvention process.

 There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds

 Aladdin Sane

Aladdin Sane was a 1973 album, which featured the iconic image on its cover of the lightning bolt make up, representing a high point in his artistic creativity.  He loved to play with words, and the title was a play on “A Lad Insane”, Mercury in his chart being square to Neptune and sextile Chiron.  This album featured the song “The Jean Genie” which was also a play on the name of the writer Jean Genet:

“The Jean Genie lives on his back
The Jean Genie loves chimney stacks
He’s outrageous, he screams and he bawls
Jean Genie let yourself go!”


Bowie had a long career, and never stopped creating.  It would make a long blog to follow all these astrologically, but it is fascinating to look at his evolution in this way.

I watched three long interviews on You Tube this week.  The first was from 1976, with Russell Harty.  His style was clipped and severe, in a Capricorn way.  Russell was asking silly questions, and David was trying to focus and be entertaining but with clarity.  It was a time when he had just finished acting in the film The Man who Fell to Earth, and he was talking about being a very disciplined person and how he applied that in his acting.  So, again, he was talking about a Capricorn quality.  There was still a very strong reinvention theme going on planetarywise, as Uranus was now squaring his natal Moon, and Pluto was trine his Ascendant.  It would also have been the year of his formative Saturn Return.

That year he exiled himself to Switzerland for tax reasons, then to Berlin in 1977 to detox and rediscover his joie de vivre.  That was the period when “Heroes” was written… We can be Heroes, just for one day…

Next I watched an interview with Mavis Nicholson in 1979, in which Bowie talked about the recurring themes of isolation and alienation in his work and life, and its capacity for creating a microcosm within that experience. He said he was not good at being too much in contact with people,  liking the geographical conditions which reflected that such as the plains of America, and New Mexico.  This theme of isolation (Sun in 12th House) and alienation (Ascendant in Aquarius) are very central to his birth chart.  He also had Moon conjunct Saturn (an emotional “Ivory Tower”).  He told us in this interview that he thrived on the various forms of friction within life (expressing his Mars exactly conjunct the Sun).  He seemed softer than in the 1976 interview, and slightly more at ease with himself.  In that year Jupiter sextiled his Neptune bringing some spiritual peace, but Pluto squared his Mars ratcheting up the friction of life at that time as well.

My own personal favourite of all his songs was the 1983 “Let’s Dance”, a swan song to Pluto in Libra. It is more mellow than his usual edgy style, and Jupiter was again sextile his natal Neptune.  The album of that name was also his best-selling album.

Let’s dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues…

If you say run, I’ll run with you
If you say hide, we’ll hide

The third interview I watched was with American host Conan O’Brien.  The year was 2002, and he had a two year old daughter.  He was much more mellow in his mood and style, with a soft and natural hairstyle.  Again he was humorous, but in a much more relaxed way.  It seemed as though he had grown into himself, and could entertain as himself rather than as a studied persona.  He had just celebrated 10 years of marriage to Iman, and I wondered how much her influence had shaped his direction.  This new sense of peace is highlighted by his transits that year: Neptune trine his natal Neptune, Neptune trine his natal North Node, and Pluto trine his natal Pluto.  The current album was Heathen, the lyrics of which contain a great deal of angst in connection with New York and pre-dating the events of 9/11 which had happened the year before.  He seemed to have been through intense changes over the preceding few years, and had a reborn joie de vivre through his daughter’s birth.


He married two very different women.  Angie (born in Cyprus) helped him establish and publicize his more outlandish personae.  Iman (of Somali origin) seemed quieter and more dignified, and brought him more personal satisfaction in a relationship.


Angie is currently in the Big Brother house, and in a strangely public way she heard the news of his death on camera, her seeking the limelight at this time contrasting surreally with Bowie’s withdrawal.  Angie portrayed herself as a style icon (Sun, Mercury and Neptune in Libra), and saw herself as bisexual before she met David Bowie (Venus square Mars in her chart hints at that).  Her impression is stamped on the young Bowie’s life and art.  Astrologically, they fostered each other’s success, with a mutual sextile between their Jupiters.


Iman’s Sun trines exactly Bowie’s Venus, a step more compatible than Angie’s Sun sextile to his Venus. Her Sun is conjunct his Moon, a romantic pairing. Iman’s Jupiter is conjunct exactly with his Descendant (Marriage Point) and sextile exactly his North Node (happy karma).

They were introduced by their hairdresser in 1990.  The aspects for Bowie on their first date (4th October 1990) were powerful: Pluto sextile his Mars, and Mars sextile his natal Pluto.  He proclaimed it was love at first sight.  She had a Jupiter Return and Jupiter also transited her Mars.

Around this year, his Progressed Sun moved into Pisces, when he met Iman.  This marked a shift to a quieter, softer sense of self and lifestyle, and more a more compassionate influence and pathway.

Medical Astrology

A lifelong chain smoker (judging by film footage), his health problems escalated when he started taking cocaine in early 1974.  By April of that year, when he visited America, friends noticed cocaine had entrenched itself in his lifestyle.  At that point, Neptune (drugs) was exactly conjunct the South Node point of self-undoing.

On 25/6/2004 while on tour in Germany, David Bowie experienced pains in his arms and shoulder, which turned out to require emergency heart surgery.  Again we refer to his Sun/Mars exact conjunction in 12th House, a hidden strain on the heart.

Uranus (Ascendant ruler) from Pisces in his 2nd House squared his natal Midheaven in Sagittarius in his 10th House, signalling a complete change in life direction. He stopped touring from that moment on.

The Next Day album

Although disposed to withdrawal (12th House) as well as fame (Leo planets), health was the reason for his disappearance from public view.

In 2013, he issue his back to Berlin album, on his 66th birthday, and a haunting video.  The grey and lifeless still image of a cut out of his face, I felt to be slightly ominous.  The accompanying song Where are We Now? was a strong one, and indicated that his creativity was intact, but I felt something was missing.  I did not pick up a sense of decline when he originally retired from view, but at the time of The Next Day, I did feel unease and therefore was not surprised when his death was announced.

At the time, Saturn was square his Ascendant from 10th House cusp, conveying a bleakness of outlook.  Uranus was trine his Moon in Leo in 6th House – he sprang this album on the public, quite literally.  Neptune square his Venus, depicting a sense of nostalgia.


Blackstar was issued on the Friday before he died on Sunday 10th January this year.  In those 3 days, the album was critically acclaimed.  Saturn trined exactly his natal Pluto, symbolic of taking control of his death.  Uranus squared exactly his natal Sun in Capricorn in 12th House, adding to the drama.  Neptune was sextile exactly his natal Mercury, and trine his natal Chiron – he was presenting another riddle.  Neptune squared exactly his natal Midheaven: his journey would take him beyond the veil.


The image of his “Lazarus” on the Blackstar video was literally a depiction of his dying.  He had prepared for it, and depicted it on his own terms, creating his life as ever.

Uranus from 3rd House squared his Mars/Uranus.  It will have been a shock but he had time to prepare and fashion more of his creativity.  In reading about his life, the period of 18 months seems to crop up a great deal (the lifespan of Ziggy Stardust, the courtship before marriage with Iman, and his final illness), and that is a Nodal cycle.  With North Node on the cusp of the 5th House trine his Ascendant, that indicated a positive co-operation between his karma and the self-creation of his life.


He died on Sunday 10th January 2016, though we did not hear about it until Monday.  There is to my mind a sense of completion about his life, and the liberation of his spirit.  He left behind a large, varied and generous back catalogue of work, something for everyone.  I feel he will continue to inspire people through his work, and from his new expanded dimension, the source of his own being.

Recommended reading: “Starman” by Paul Trynka



Tomorrow Venus squares Jupiter, with the possibility of wild socializing, if that is how you want to start your week!

At 11.01 a.m. (all the ones) Mars trines Neptune, and you can fall into some sensitive applications of your energy.  Tai Chi or Quigong would be perfect.

Venus also squares the Nodal Axis that day, and life may force a re-evaluation of relationships, especially within groups of people (3 or more).

Tuesday (19th) brings a sextile between Mercury and Chiron, which is a perfect co-operation between conventional and alternative medicine, and also good for problem-solving.

On Wednesday (20th) the Sun enters Aquarius, so permission to be as whacky, individualistic, rebellious, innovative, revolutionary and androgynous as David Bowie.

Until tea-time, that is, because Mercury squares Uranus and you may have gone too far, but if you are like Alan Rickman who had Mercury square Uranus, you may not regret a bit of controversy.

There is mental tension until Friday (22nd), when Mercury conjuncts Pluto, and ruminations are deep and serious in tone.

Saturday (23rd) seems more upbeat, with Jupiter conjunct the True North Node at 22 degrees Virgo, bringing some karmic reward, especially if you have been diligently recycling or looking after your health.  If you enjoy that aspect, you’ll enjoy its recurrence in late June – something to look forward to.

Finally, on Saturday evening, Venus enters Capricorn.  That may be chillier than Venus in Sagittarius, but it is warmer for Capricorns, and they can look forward to a three week surge of love and affection in their lives.

The Week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – extravagant gestures; physical attunement; relationship karma
  • Tuesday – balance between body and mind
  • Wednesday – whacky, positive and negative
  • Friday – concentrate and try and get things right
  • Saturday – karmic reward, and loyalty in love


Read my tribute to Alan Rickman below


Alan Rickman (1946 – 2016)

His aquiline face, with all it’s magnificent hauteur: made him a star: something between an eagle and a big cat.”

 ~ Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian


One of my favourite actors, Alan Rickman, died in the same week as David Bowie at the same age, of 69.  He had the Sun conjunct Venus in Pisces, was greatly loved and had the ability to move people.  The Sun, Venus and Mercury, three personal planets all in Pisces, had a mystique and an enigmatic quality which was part of his appeal.

Pisces is one of the two main signs associated with acting: Leo is for Drama, Pisces is for the portrayal of emotion and subtle psychology required in a great actor.  Pisces and Neptune its ruler are also associated with the medium of Film.

We have no birthtime for Alan Rickman, and therefore don’t know what may have provided a major balance to Pisces in his chart.  Pisces describes a lot about him, but we don’t have the whole story.

Alan Rickman had 0 planets in Earth signs, and may not have been practical, unless his Ascendant was in Earth.  A quote from him: “ If you could build a house on a trampoline, that would suit me fine”.

What we do know is that he had 6 of his 10 planets in water signs, and therefore operated very much on an emotional level.  [In contrast, Bowie had 1 planet in Water, a much cooler customer].


Without knowing his birthtime, his Moon could be in Libra or Scorpio.  But it has to be in Scorpio, with the depth of that sonorous, hypnotic and gravelly voice.  This would also give him a trine between the Moon and his Sun/Venus: an appeal to women, and a strong marriage.

Mercury, Venus and Mars

With Mercury conjunct Venus, he was a Wit! Mercury square Uranus tells us he didn’t mind sticking his neck out and being controversial. Venus trine Mars provided sex appeal.  Mars conjunct Saturn gave him the rough edge used in portraying villains such as Severus Snape.


Jupiter was exactly trine his North Node, comedy part of his karmic mission, and the eulogies testify to his sense of humour.  He made his audiences, and his friends laugh. Even his villains could make you smile at times, however convincing.

His Life

His father was a factory worker, and his mother a housewife.  He attended a Montessori school as a child – That is perfect for a Piscean!  His father died when he was 8, leaving his mother to raise four children alone.  He was talented in art and drama, and eventually trained at RADA.

Acting Roles

He first came to public attention in 1985 in a stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, as Vicomte de Valmont, his skills admirably suited to the subversive schemer (all that Pisces and Scorpio).

Another role as villain, Hans Gruber, in the film Die Hard in 1988, cemented his reputation as a great actor.

Then in 1991 he played a Cellist in a TV drama Truly, Madly, Deeply with Juliet Stevenson, which had us all reaching for Kleenex tissues.  That story of love beyond the veil touched us all.

The film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves came out the same year.  His role as the Sheriff of Nottingham was my favourite of all his roles. I never realized a villain could be so delicious.

While Truly, Madly, Deeply was  poignant, bittersweet, heart-wrenching and downright sad, the fulfilment of romance came in 1995 in his portrayal of Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility alongside a very worthy Kate Winslet.  Her eulogy was particularly Piscean in tone.  She called him “the kindest and best of men [who] had the patience of a saint”.

Further dark and ambiguous roles were Rasputin (1996) and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series of films.

More lightheartedly, he played the philandering husband of Emma Thompson in Love Actually (2003).


However lucky his leading ladies were, he was spoken for from an early age!  He met his life partner Rima Horton in 1965, at the age of 19.  They lived together from 1977, but he did not marry her until 2012, when his Progressed Sun was sextile his natal Venus.  He is reported as saying: “It was great, because no one was there. After the wedding in New York we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and ate lunch.”  They lived a quiet life together.

Rima Horton has a great proportion of her planets in Air signs, but she does have Jupiter and Chiron in the water sign of Scorpio to flow with Alan emotionally.  She too has 0 Earth planets!  Her Sun trines Neptune exactly, symbolizing a strongly Piscean man in her life, and matching him for sensitivity.  His Neptune was trine exactly her North Node – he was sensitive to her karmic path, and she was in tune with his spirituality.  They did not have any children.

Labour Supporter

Alan was a lifelong Labour supporter, and Rima was a Labour councillor for twenty years.  She was also an Economics lecturer.  They were both heavily involved with campaigning for socialist values in society.

Alan Rickman is quoted as having said:

“And it’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.”

Katherine Viner said of him: “Like his partner, Rima Horton, a former labour councillor, Alan was deeply committed to politics – a compassionate labour man to his core”

Modern day troubadour Billy Bragg observed:

“It’s not only the timing of his death and the fact that he too was 69 that links him to David Bowie. Both were working class kids from council estates who went to art school where they gained enough confidence in their own creativity that they were able to go on to find fame and fortune. Is it still possible for working class kids to realise their potential in such a way? The art schools are almost gone, those that survive now charge a fortune. The social mobility that Rickman and Bowie experienced is increasingly stifled.”

Alan would have liked that.


Astrologically, an innate weakness of a T-square composed of Sun/Mars opposite Saturn/Pluto and square Chiron may have played a part in health problems.  At his passing, Saturn exactly opposed his natal Uranus, and Neptune was exactly conjunct his natal Venus.

Unlike Bowie, apparently Alan Rickman only found out very recently that he did not have long to live.  There is much more of an unfinished sense to his ending, which is very poignant.

Pisces is the sign of the drifter.  Unlike Bowie, he was unable to plan for his death:

“I’ve never been able to plan my life. I just lurch from indecision to indecision”.

 ~ Alan Rickman

 Pisces is also the sign of Surrender (his South Node was exactly at the Galactic Centre).  You always knew he was really a Pussycat, even when he was playing a Villain.


Aspects for the week beginning 10 January 2016

Leo Tolstoy

With a series of the epic novel War and Peace currently under way on the BBC, I thought I would look at the chart of its writer Leo Tolstoy to see how his chart reflects the themes of his work.  I should say at the outset that we had an abridged copy at home when I was growing up, and I never managed to get into it.  I applaud all those who have!

His Birthchart

0 planets in Air suggests an appeal to instinct in his work, and 6 (out of 10) Earth planets establishes a tendency to getting bogged down in reality – his genre is listed as “realist fiction”.

He had the Sun in Virgo, so liked to go into detail (a must have for writing a huge volume), in this context a detailed history of the French invasion of Russia.  War and Peace is one of the longest novels ever written.  It was finely and heavily researched.

Being born on a New Moon, gave him a sustaining energy, through years of writing!

Moon conjunct Mercury was excellent for combining imagination with rational thought, well suited to the writing of novels.  This triple conjunction of Sun/Mercury/Moon occurs in the 3rd House of Writing, engendering a prolific output.  The 3rd House is also associated with Education, and he founded 13 schools for Russian peasants.

His Ascendant was in Cancer, traditionally the province of imaginative novel reading and writing, and history.  However, Tolstoy was quoted as saying that War and Peace was “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle”.

The War is much in evidence in Tolstoy’s chart, with the Sun trine Mars (the Inner Warrior) square Pluto (explosiveness).  Pluto sits at the top of the chart, squaring the Ascendant exactly!  Mars is in the 7th House of Marriage and close relationship – this gives forcefulness in relationship, which he exerted to the detriment of his wife Sophia.

Mars sextile Jupiter exactly lent endless energy for writing a magnum opus.  Mars conjunct Neptune denotes a complex sexuality: he had had a murky sexual past before marrying Sophia.  The more negative qualities of Neptune were here in evidence in his dissolute past.  But he also had Mars trine exactly Chiron, a healing quality to his energy, which may be transmitted to avid readers.  Jupiter was in his 5th House of Creativity and Children, and he had 13 children, and gargantuan novels.

Venus was conjunct Saturn in his chart, implying a difficulty in relationships, mirrored in his own life as well as reflected in his literature.  On a deeper level, Venus was trine his Pluto – so there is also a depth of feeling, transmitted to the reader, and a sense of values about what is important in life.  Pluto is at the end of his 9th House of Philosophy, so he had an idealistic depth about philosophy and relationships, but in his personal life did not live up to some of the ideals he professed.  Saturn was opposite Uranus in his chart – he  knew about schisms, internal and external.

The Sun in his chart was forming a close trine with Neptune – a spiritual inspiration and sustenance, and a high degree of creativity.  In his later years, he was described as a “spiritual anarchist”.

Well, I found plenty of War in his chart, but where is the Peace?  He will have been working towards fulfilling his North Node karmic mission in Libra, trying to solve the riddle of peace.  His Nodal Axis squared Neptune, so he would have understood some of its complexity.  His South Node is in the sign of Aries (War), so the title of his book reflects exactly the struggle of his Nodal Axis.


Historically, Tolstoy would not have had the novel to write had it not been for Napoleon, who looms large as a central character in much of the book.  The connections between their charts are astonishingly exact, so Napoleon was a powerful Archetype in Tolstoy’s mind.  Tolstoy’s Uranus is exactly conjunct Napoleon’s Moon, so he had a sense of intrigue about Napoleon’s personality.  Tolstoy’s Pluto was exactly trine Napoleon’s Mercury, so there was a psychological interest in unravelling Napoleon’s mindset.  Napoleon’s Venus was exactly conjunct Tolstoy’s natal Ascendant, giving a personal attachment (even if that attachment professed to be a negative view).  But Tolstoy’s Pluto squared Napoleon’s Venus, and that provided the strength of feeling on which to base his thesis.  Tolstoy’s Neptune was exactly sextile Jupiter, so he may have had a sensitive interest in Napoleon’s trajectory of luck in the run up to the Russian conflict.  Tolstoy’s Mars was exactly trine Napoleon’s Uranus, so there was a shared mutual interest in the machinations of man’s war instincts and use of energy.  Tolstoy’s Jupiter was exactly opposite Napoleon’s Uranus, which reinforces this passion.  And the final exact interaspect was Tolstoy’s Neptune exactly sextile Napoleon’s Ascendant, a sensitive reading of Napoleon’s personality and life path.  It could be said that Napoleon was his Muse.


I squirmed last week to bring you such a difficult set of aspects to start the year.  Today I am beaming because it’s all good to go for this week!  Rarely can I say that.

You may still be smarting at some of the slings and arrows of last week, but today it’s a new start, with the New Moon in Capricorn at 19 degrees.  You may be reaping the rewards of hard work from last week, or be beginning a new project or starting anew psychologically.  Mentally, clear your desk, and set your highest aspirations for the week and year.  Even if you have slipped slightly with your resolutions, you can start completely afresh today.  Leo Tolstoy was born on a New Moon, and had that ability to renew himself constantly to sustain his energies.

There is no individual aspect for Tuesday (12th), but it is a good week for the Junior Doctors to strike, and make their voice heard in relation to a government which does not seem to be able to find a compassionate heart.  [Sorry about this non-astrological digression; I will be off to my local Labour Party meeting that day, to see what can be done.]

On Wednesday (13th) Venus trines Uranus, which socially and financially can bring unexpected benefits.  With the exception of Thursday’s conjunction, all the aspects this week occur either in the very early hours of the morning or very late at night, so can be worked on with the subconscious, e.g. in dreams or in the half-waking state of consciousness.  You can combine the power of the waking and dream consciousness, or meditative consciousness, to good effect.  Venus trine Uranus favours social meeting and interaction, so you can set up the tone of any meetings for Wednesday in advance, to be favourable to all concerned, and a good time may be had by all (remember there is not a cloud in the sky astrologically this week!).  In the Arts, the power of surprise and creative originality triumph.

Late that night, the Sun trines Jupiter, which is always one of the most favourable aspects of the year.  Jupiter expands anything, and the Sun connects us to the source of our being.  Come from the heart, feel lucky…It’s a positive thinking fest! You can go to bed with a feeling of elation, and experience sweet dreams.  (Are you beginning to miss my usual doom and gloom prognostications?)

On Thursday (14th) the Sun conjuncts Mercury at 23 degrees Capricorn at late lunchtime.  Train your mind with great concentration and focus on your ambitions, projects, aspirations and resolutions.  Great insights could come your way, in laser like fashion!

We end the week with a lovely trine between Mercury and Jupiter on Friday (15th).  This bodes success for all sales, business, learning projects, travel, and generally broadening the mind.   It is a day to find rationales for hope, not just wishful thinking or ideals.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – a new start
  • Wednesday – social excitement and luck
  • Thursday – supreme concentration
  • Friday – success

Aspects for the week beginning 3 January 2016

“I told them how I manifest things – by writing a letter to the universe at the start of every year.  In the letter, I thank the universe for helping me accomplish several specific goals, even though they hadn’t happened yet.”

~ Laura Lynne Jackson, from “The Light Between Us”

Highlights and Lowlights of 2016

Welcome to the New Year!  You may be happy that we cleared the Uranus-Pluto square last year.  In March 2015 we experienced the last of 7 squares which began in June 2012, and you may have found completion on a complex series of events throughout that time.  The Uranus-Pluto energy was shocking and violent, and with the rise of ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAESH last year we cannot claim that violence has decreased in the world, sadly.  But in November 2015 we faced a new challenge, one which engages us in this New Year, 2016.  Saturn squared Neptune, and will do so again twice this year.  This combination is not quite as powerful or acute as the Uranus-Pluto challenge, nor as long lasting.  But it brings its own lessons and in its way, it can be dampening and insidious in its energy, so we need to keep our spiritual light buoyant.  Here is what I wrote in November:

“Saturn represents the frustration of inaction and Neptune oversensitivity which can also result in paralysis.  This square has been stealing on us for a while, and so you will not be surprised by it, as you will have felt in some area or areas of your life an inability to proceed, which peaks at this time.  But there are hidden agendas which may now emerge: the factors and causes which you may not have suspected, but which have contributed to the current state of affairs, like a slow pollution which has gone unnoticed.  The good thing is that it is now coming to the surface and can be seen, so you can deal with the problem from a more enlightened viewpoint.  Such world problems which are now coming into clearer focus are the plight of the refugees (Saturn and Neptune represent borders, from the point of view of tightening and relaxing them, so two principles at loggerheads), the threat posed by the over-use of antibiotics (Neptune rules drugs), and the fear and paranoia surrounding the possibility of further terrorist attacks (Neptune represents paranoia, and here it is combined with fear from Saturn).”

Its energy is also very resonant with the severe flooding that we have seen in Northern England recently, which has affected vast numbers of homes and lives, with the insecurity of knowing it could happen again.  At the heart of that problem is the issue of climate change, which needs to be priority with our government (who cut flood defences) and world governments (who are dealing with different manifestations of climate change).

So, to summarize, this year astrologically doesn’t look as difficult as last year, and the human spirit is indomitable – we live in hope.  Austerity has bitten in Europe, but there is always the hope that karmically those responsible will be held to account and become more merciful.  Who would have thought that the House of Lords would oppose austerity cuts?  Miracles can happen.

 Dates for your Diary if planning ahead:


Friday 8th: Jupiter turns retrograde – progress plateaus, a need for reworking.


Wednesday 9th: New Moon and Eclipse at 18 degrees Pisces – a spiritual turning point, and important for the health of our oceans, sea life, and the management of water resources.

Wednesday 16th: Jupiter in Virgo trines Pluto in Capricorn – an opportunity for power to be used productively, in our own lives and globally.

Wednesday 23rd: Jupiter in Virgo squares Saturn in Sagittarius – a stand off in international affairs, e.g. in the Syrian crisis.  An impasse in our own lives needs careful negotiation.

Friday 25th: Saturn turns Retrograde in Sagittarius – a setback to progress.


Monday 18th: Pluto turns retrograde – a deeper level of setback, necessitating psychological understanding and awareness of reality.


Monday 9th: Jupiter goes Direct – full steam ahead.

Thursday 26th: Jupiter square Saturn – more stalling.


Monday 13th: Neptune goes Retrograde – spiritual backtracking, more illusions surfacing.

Saturday 18th: Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces – wading in the water.

20th/21st: Jupiter conjunct True North Node at 15/16 deg Virgo – a karmic gift on a spiritual level.

24th/25th: Jupiter conjunct Mean North Node at 16 deg Virgo – a karmic reward on a more practical level.

Sunday 26th: Jupiter in Virgo trines Pluto in Capricorn – large projects bear fruit.


Friday 29th: Uranus turns Retrograde – the excitement of progress suddenly turns flat, for a period of re-examination.


Saturday 13th: Saturn goes Direct – hard slog starts to pay off.


Thursday 1st: New Moon and Eclipse at 9 deg Virgo – turning point in environmental affairs, and in your working life.

Friday 9th: Jupiter enters Libra – an injection of fresh positive energy into your relationships, and peace negotiations.

Saturday 10th: Saturn in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces (3rd pass) – learning the lessons of illusions highlighted since last November and beginning to deal with them more effectively.

Monday 26th: Pluto goes Direct – Psychological progress, and more cohesion globally over issues that affect nations.


Sunday 20th: Neptune goes Direct – spiritual progress, and a boost to issues that affect sea life and water management on the planet.

Thursday 24th: Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn – a power stand off internationally.  Power issues prominent in personal lives, too.


Sunday 25th (Christmas Day): Saturn in Sagittarius trines Uranus in Aries – a very constructive time for dealing with international problems, or structural problems in society and communities, or long term projects in your own life.

Monday 26th (Boxing Day): Jupiter in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries – a time when people, and nations, will be attracted to risk (rightly or wrongly).

Thursday 29th: Uranus goes Direct – Intuition rules.  The Higher Mind is able to operate limitlessly in personal and worldwide affairs for the time being.

Manifesting Magic

Jupiter was exactly square my natal Sun on New Year’s Day, and unleashed my inner Anthony Robbins!  The resulting insight that came to me under the influence (assisted only by an inch of Shloer topped up with sparkling mineral water) might be too outlandish for some, yet elementary for others, but for what it’s worth, here it is:

Everybody at some time experiences magic in their lives.  Magic is a part of life.  It is usually something that “happens” to us.  What if we were to tap into that vein, harness it, and make it an ever-present part of the flow of our lives?  Some people do that.  Let’s increase the magic in our lives, and the magic quotient in everyone’s lives.  Let’s lift the collective experience of being on this planet.

If we were to convert the discomfort of the Saturn-Neptune square of this coming year into a trine, we would be indeed manifesting (Saturn) magic (Neptune).  Manifesting Magic, then,  is my mantra for the coming year.

On a note of personal application, I finished writing my novel “The Quiet Office” on 30th November, which had taken me 10 years.  I have always called its genre “magical realism meets kitchen sink”.  So one of my creative endeavours this coming year is to polish up the first three chapters and send them to a publisher!

Do you have a New Year project which involves magical realism (Neptune) meeting kitchen sink (Saturn)?  If so, its time may have come.


It’s a busy busy week in terms of aspects, launched by Mars entering in Scorpio today, around late lunchtime.  Mars has been in equable Libra, so you may hear a roar as it enters Scorpio.  It can express its true nature better in a Scorpio climate.  Some may have been holding back or dithering, and may change, going full steam ahead.  Some may even go on the warpath.  Others may be wise to steer clear.  If the issue is “who’s doing the washing up?”, leave it to the most passionate.

On Tuesday (5th), Mercury squares Mars.  We encountered this aspect last Tuesday (29th) and you may have experienced harsh words.  But I have been reading the biography of David Frost this week, and he had Mercury exactly square Mars in his natal chart.  He was able to deploy this sharpness of mind and speech in incisive interviewing, and really turned this into a positive tool.  Maybe you can find someone to dialogue with in such an exciting way at Noon on Tuesday.

You’ll have to be quick, because Mercury was slowing down preparing to turn retrograde, which is why Mars caught up with him again.  At 13.05 Hrs, Mercury turns retrograde – duh duh duh!  You know what happens when Mercury turns retrograde, don’t you.  Communications can go haywire.  There’s an uproar at the moment at the cost of railway tickets in this New Year, with year after year services deteriorating.  So there may be a stand off in travel or communication on Tuesday.

The period between Tuesday (5th) and Wednesday (6th) looks most complex and intense.  First we have the “words” at Noon on Tuesday, then the blocked communications an hour later, and no doubt more words as Mercury retrogrades to the Noon position around an hour after that: so we have irate commuters, trains travelling backwards, then commuters irate about that, followed by Venus square Neptune at 14.33 Hrs (still Tuesday 5th): the confused commuters don’t know where they are; they don’t know if they are coming or going.  Venus square Neptune affects relationships, so the irritability around lunchtime could start to impinge on the general atmosphere.

That itself might calm down if it were not for a conjunction of the Sun and Pluto at 15 degrees Capricorn in the early hours of Wednesday (6th).  Our hypothetical commuter characters will have trouble sleeping with the stress of it all.  There is a sense of overwhelm which may only be alleviated by surrender to your Higher Self, Soul or the Universe.  That is possibly the high point of the tension of the week.

However, the rest of the aspects are still challenging.  Would love to soft soap the aspects, but I don’t think I would be doing anyone any favours.  Next one up on Thursday 7th is Sun square Uranus, the element of the unexpected, and sometimes the Spanner in the Works.  You may prepare by looking at possible loopholes and plugging them in, or using your Higher Intuition to survey the lie of the land (or water) and find out the optimal perspective.

Friday (8th) is a mixed bag: first Jupiter goes retrograde in the early hours of the morning.  You may have reached a plateau in your progress in a work or environmental scheme, and need to do some revision or reworking for a while.  The night’s half waking / half sleeping state may bring forth insights about this.

During the day, the Sun sextiles Chiron, which brings the possibility of healing-related activities or seeking alternative solutions to problems.  That may be the best aspect of the week, but a subtle one which some may miss if they are focussed entirely inside the box.

On Friday evening, Mercury while on its retrograde path re-enters Capricorn; it entered Aquarius on Saturday, bringing a fresh collective perspective, and now institutionalized or more conventional thinking holds sway again.  Maybe your ideas were a little outlandish or slightly before their time.  You need to make things sit well with certain people before you can go all out with your fresh 2016 outlook.  Give it till 25th January to get communications moving again, when Mercury turns direct, and then until 13th February when Mercury re-enters Aquarius and you’ll have more people on side for changes you want to make.

In the early hours of Saturday (9th) Venus conjuncts Saturn, and there may need to be some letting go in relationships.  You may feel depleted, that you have given your all.  Venus will be at 11 degrees 11 minutes of Sagittarius, exciting numerology for some, which may be significant.

There may be a feeling that this prime week of new year’s resolution has been a long haul to try and establish the principles, patterns and habits you want to live by in 2016.  But in the struggle you may have a sense of achievement, which bears fruit in the New Moon of Sunday (10th).

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – intensity
  • Tuesday – on edge
  • Wednesday – profound
  • Thursday – spanner in the works
  • Friday – some healing space
  • Saturday – in serious mood

Aspects for the week beginning 27 December 2015

A Review of 2015

Give some love, or compassion, to 2015 before you move on to the new pastures of 2016.  For the historically minded, or nostalgic among you, selections from the blog this year:


11th: (from the blog)

The Paris Shootings

As a million people plan to march through the streets of Paris, including 47 heads of state, in solidarity with the principle of freedom of speech, there seems only one subject for today’s blog: the  attacks by Islamic terrorists in the capital of France.  The beautiful city of Paris this week has been the site of tragic and alarming scenes.

For me, a person’s right to believe is sacred, but violence is not justified in any way.  So a moment’s silence for those who have died in this ideological war.  In marching in solidarity today, we are showing that peaceful protest is the way to lead by example, and not violence: love, not hatred.


1st: (from the blog)


“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world…”

~ Socrates

The Greek electorate made history last Sunday, by  voting in a communist leader Alexis Tsipras, head of the  Syriza Party. He has formed a surprising coalition with the far right party, in a combined anti-austerity thrust.  Conditions in Greece have become so intolerable that this outcome was inevitable, and this event has many ramifications for Greece, Europe and the world.

…Tsipras is not fuelled by faith or religion, he’s an atheist, but I think he has a powerful instinct for the common good. He has taken a huge risk in promising so much, including a vow  to renegotiate Greek debt (Pluto rules debt) but the Greeks have put their faith in him.  In history, the mould breakers and ground breakers are not always destined to carry through the work, but he is still young at 40.


1st: (from the blog)

Leonard Nimoy (1931 – 2015)

I am not a Trekkie, but as an Astrologer I have a natural affinity for the territory.  There is a huge worldwide affection for Leonard Nimoy, who died this week,  and his alter ego Spock the Vulcan in Star Trek, although the actor wrestled with his screen persona, and eventually surrendered.  His relationship with William Shatner, who played the Captain of the Starship Enterprise, makes an interesting study.

Spock the Vulcan

The unique character with whom Leonard Nimoy is forever associated, Spock, is dramatically depicted in his own chart, and so is in fact a part of his own psyche.  Leonard was an Aries Sunsign, so straightforward, logical and individualistic.  He had an exact conjunction between Uranus , the North Node and Mercury: a cement-like bond between his higher mind, his lower mind and his karmic mission.


12th: (from the blog)

Andy Murray weds Kim Sears

At last a good news story to intersperse my political blogs!  You won’t find exclusive pictures in “Hello” or “O.K.” for yesterday’s wedding, all credit to Andy Murray, who has over the years firmly embedded himself in the hearts of the nation.  I have written many times about his tennis in my Wimbledon blogs, but haven’t until now devoted the luxury indulgence of a whole blog to him…

Synastry (Comparison of Charts)

Aged 27, both Andy and Kim have their highest number of planets in Fire signs, and she has 4 Sagittarian planets, and he has 3 (which include his Moon, representing the females in his life).  There is a lovely exact trine between Andy Murray’s Jupiter and Kim’s Sun, so that increases the luck when they are together.


3rd: (from the blog)

Princess Charlotte

born 2nd May 2015, at 8.34 am

All eyes are on the young royal family at the moment, with a baby girl being born to Prince William and his wife Kate yesterday morning.  They have recently been given a house on the Sandringham Estate, which is in our county of Norfolk, to enable William to pursue his new job as a pilot in the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

There are minor points of tension between her chart and her great grandmother the Queen’s chart.  Queen Elizabeth’s Moon squares her Sun, so she may challenge some of the Queen’s habits.  The Queen’s Jupiter squares her Mars, so she may find herself overruled by the Queen!  But the Queen’s Mars trines her Moon so she may bring out some warmth from the Queen.


7th: (from the blog)

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 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.


26th: (from the blog)

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!

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.


9th: (from the blog)

The Great British Bake Off

In my blog on Mary Berry two years ago there was a piece of the jigsaw missing…Paul Hollywood’s birth date!  Now that is available, and the two of them are back with the super successful Great British Bake Off, together with Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc who are enjoying a career renaissance.  In addition, Paul Hollywood is appearing in a new series of “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

Paul Hollywood

Paul is a Sun in Pisces; well he certainly has the eyes to go with it!  Part of him wishes to stay out of the limelight, which is possibly why he found success in mid-life.

He is his own man, and has 0 planets in Cardinal signs, so doesn’t have a desire to lead, but likes to do his own thing.  He has 8 of his 10 planets in Mutable signs (unusual!) so is extremely versatile and adaptable.  He is emotional, with 5 of his 10 planets in Water, and has 0 Fire planets.  Referring to his experience in “Who Do You Think You Are?” he says: There was a time when I was talking to a historian and I had to walk away, because I was crying like a baby for about half an hour.”


27th: (from the blog)

The Syrian Question

There is a meeting of the United Nations in New York today, aimed at reaching solutions for global poverty.  Alon Ben-Meir of New York University says: “The UNGA annual meeting, which is now in progress, offers the US, Russia, and Iran a momentous opportunity to come up with a solution, which is absolutely within reach if they only will it.”

…This week, Russia signalled its support of Bashar Al Assad of Syria, by sending reinforcements.  Though we are at war with ISIL, who are fighting in Syria against Assad and against the rebels who rose in the Syrian Spring, we are by no means in favour of Assad’s repressive regime.  David Cameron has said an agreement can only be reached if Assad steps down.


11th: (from the blog)


I’d rather be a rebel than a slave” ~ from the film “Suffragette”

The film “Suffragette” will be released tomorrow in the U.K (23rd October in the U.S.), and stars Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan among others.  It has been a long time in production (since April 2011) but is timely as this year, top Hollywood actresses have been highlighting sexism within the industry. Emmeline’s great granddaughter Helen Pankhurst is a lecturer in Women’s studies, and emphasizes there is much further to go for feminism.  It is the first film to gain permission to film inside parliament.

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst, whose name is synonymous with female emancipation, is born under the female sign of Cancer.  The sign of Cancer is traditionally associated with female roles in life, such as the home, family, and motherhood, but since the 20th Century is often strong in the charts of women involved with women’s liberation.


8th: (from the blog)

Tim Peake

British Astronaut Tim Peake was on television this week publicizing his forthcoming 6-month stint on the International Space Station, and hoping to interest young people in the science behind it.  Schoolchildren put a range of fascinating questions to him, with a zestful curiosity.   Space travel fascinates children, and many profess to want to be astronauts when they grow up, but it is still a very rare profession.  I thought I would take a look at Tim Peake’s chart, and those of a few other Astronauts.  The profession demands a wide range of skills, but are there any similarities within their charts?

What interests me in Tim’s chart is a theme of isolation.  He can willingly separate from his family and his life on earth for months on end, and that is reflected in several ways in his chart.  First of all, Aries is self-reliant.  He has Venus conjunct Saturn which can be lonely, or alone, as a pattern or lifestyle.  Pluto is at 0 degrees Libra (relationships), an ultimate test of relating.  Uranus is closely opposite his Sun, representing breaking away.


13th: (from the blog)

Donald Trump

Donald Trump this week was the subject of a huge petition to keep him out of Britain on account of his racist views (last week calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S.).  The Guardian headline yesterday was: “Trump takes some heat – but barely misses a beat.” His words also sparked a debate in the U.K. on how far free speech can be allowed. His bid for the Republican nomination in the U.S. is still holding good, and so we need to take him seriously enough to at least look at his chart!  Fortunately, we have a birth time for him, and we see a belligerent Mars conjunct the Ascendant in Leo: power is an aphrodisiac.  His Mars is exactly trine the Galactic Centre, which may also be a power significator.  He has been very inventive lately with his Leo mane.His Sun is in Gemini conjunct the North Node (Leadership karma) and Uranus (controversy is his middle name) in the 10th House of Career, ambition, and prominence in the world.

Next Week: A look at 2016 in advance


Here we are, on the cusp of the New Year.  I do hope that you managed to have a good time over the Christmas holiday.  We found that the Full Moon in Cancer strengthened family bonds, in the face of some difficult circumstances.

Any spiritual lessons from the Christmas season will be absorbed with grace on Tuesday (29th) with a beautiful sextile between the Sun and Neptune early lunchtime.

You will need that poise and balance, because late lunchtime brings a square between Mercury and Mars, heated words and actions, quite the antithesis of the Sun-Neptune sextile, and a test of how you are holding your spiritual poise.  You might be aware of a dichotomy between your spiritual self and your lower personality (e.g. the urge to give voice to criticism) and may need to bring them both together in wholeness.

Venus enters Sagittarius on Wednesday (30th) from an uncomfortable placing in Scorpio which nevertheless allowed you to experience some deep truths about your relationships, e.g. where you may have been taking someone for granted.  Going forward, Venus renews her social bonhomie and puts her glad rags on, getting in the mood for New Year revelries.  She may fall in love with a new philosophy or foreign culture or cuisine.  She is more adventurous in opening her heart to new experiences and feelings, and invites you to join her.   This mood may see you through the New Year period.

The week ends with Mercury entering Aquarius, on Saturday (2nd).  This is another socially orientated move, with the collective mind thinking more collectively and along humanitarian lines.  Mercury in Aquarius poses the question: “What can we do to create a fairer society, and alleviate unnecessary suffering.”  Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall this morning was urging us to lobby supermarkets about the tons of food waste which could be reaching those who need it, with currently bent carrots being outlawed and only straight carrots being accepted.  That would seem a good start.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tuesday – spiritual poise and harsh words
  • Wednesday – extraversion
  • Saturday – group consciousness


Aspects for the week beginning 20 December 2015

Capricorn Animal Totems and Archetypes

The Sun enters Capricorn on Tuesday 22nd December 2015 at 4.48 a.m. in the U.K.  This is the eighth in the series where I look at some of the animal totems and Archetypes for the various signs. Do you, or someone close to you, have Sun, Ascendant or Moon in Capricorn?


The Goat is the traditional animal totem for Capricorn, and for the Capricorn Inner Child the story of the three Billy Goats Gruff is perfect, though scary, incorporating the idea of overcoming fear!

The mountain climber, or social climber, as embodied by Capricorn encompasses the qualities of ambition and perseverance we associate with this sign.

Ted Andrews description of Goat in “Animal Speak” is almost word perfect for a textbook on Capricorn, emphasizing for the mountain goat surefootedness and seeking new heights. He particularly focuses on the connection between Capricorn and the skeletal system. Here is a sample:

“…Their highly flexible skeletal system is very significant.  Comprised of bones and cartilage, it is the support system for the framework of the body and assists in its movement.  If a mountain goat has shown up as a totem, ask yourself some important questions.  are you getting the support you need as you move up into new areas?  Are you giving the proper support to others as they move?  Are you being too inflexible in exploring new possibilities?  Are you feeling a lack of support or a need for support?”

…If the mountain goat has climbed into your life, this is a time to begin new climbs and new endeavours.  You will not need to rush into them.  With proper foresight, you will see what is ahead and will be able to move forward with greater surety.”


About 20 years ago, I submitted a feature to “Kindred Spirit” magazine about Wolf totem, and its association as pathfinder and teacher with Capricorn.  The article wasn’t printed, but they wrote another article in response, and printed an accreditation with our names (it was co-written by myself and my Capricornian daughter).

Wolf is the Teacher in the sense of being an Elder, imparting wisdom born of experience.  It is this quality which links him with Capricorn.

The “lean and hungry look” of Cassius in Julius Caesar also links to Capricorn’s physicality, an attribute of wolf.

Famous Example: Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner has Sun closely conjunct Chiron in Capricorn and North Node in Capricorn, and was driven to make the film “Dances with Wolves” in which he starred as hero.  I believe he was tapping into a Native American past life, and indeed he had karma with the Native Americans even in this lifetime, as later there was a dispute over rights to land, but he also set up an educational centre in relation to the history of the bison and the Native Americans.


Though monkeys are associated with Gemini, Gorillas have more gravitas and would be assigned to Capricorn – witness King Kong at the top of the Skyscraper!  There is a lot of respect that goes with Gorilla.

Nicholas J. Saunders says: “Gorillas are gentle and dexterous, able to fold nettle leaves so that they may eat them without being stung”.  Capricorn is so very practical!

Famous Example: Dian Fossey

Gorilla expert Dian Fossey who wrote “Gorillas in the Mist” was a Sun sign Capricorn with Saturn its ruler exactly conjunct her Sun, and Mercury and Mars at the far ends of Capricorn.  She studied mountain gorilla groups for 18 years, working in the mountain forests of Rwanda in cold, dark and muddy conditions.


The dog breeds I associate with Capricorn are the Alsatian (German Shepherd) and the Huskies of Alaska and Siberia.  Siberia is one of the places associated with Capricorn.


It is rare to come across someone who has a dinosaur animal totem, but I would ascribe this totem to Capricorn.  I have a friend who is associated with a Capricorn family, and has Saturn rising (the ruling planet of Capricorn), and when I learned of her dinosaur totem, I turned to my good friend Sandy (who has now passed over) with whom I developed the animal totem work many years ago.  She was a shaman and a seer, and had far memory, and provided a vignette of what she saw in association with this totem:

“What I first ‘saw’ was a group…the trees and vegetation were very important.  then when I ‘tried to see’ again there was just one [dinosaur] with another smaller and younger mate or baby, I didn’t know which.  Again the Sun was shining very brightly, and somehow the plants or trees were of utmost importance.”


As I wrote in a recent blog about Past Life Regression, people in regression can experience memories of dinosaurs.

Bird Totems

I have identified some common garden birds such as the blackbird and coal tit (shared with Scorpio, and in some cases Gemini) as being associated with Capricorn.


In “Birds Divine Messengers” Angela Wansbury’s attributions for Coot seem to fall squarely in Capricorn territory.  Its message is “Discipline”, a quality of Capricorn, and she ascribes the Archetype “Drill Sergeant” to this water bird:

“A coot is saying there is an area in your life where more discipline is needed.  Is it to do with a nutritional programme or an exercise programme you know you should adhere to, or is it to do with kicking a bad habit?”

 Mythological Figures


The Greek Goat God Pan has always been associated with Capricorn and country life.  According to Nicholas J. Saunders: “Originating in myths of the mountainous region of Arcadia, Pan was born with the hindlegs, horns and beard of a goat. He was a shepherd deity, the protector of flocks.”

Sea Goat

There also exists an old symbol for Capricorn consisting of a Sea Goat with a fish tail, sometimes referred to as a Goat Fish.  This mythical creature has a head and upper body of a goat, which like the centaur of Sagittarius indicates a dual nature.  In this case, the body indicates the practical nature, and the fish tail represents the soul nature.  This symbol goes right back to Babylonian astrology.



The Politician Archetype represents the role of Capricorn in the outside world, associated with its 10th House of Career and Capricorn’s gift for administration.  I created a Past Life Archetype for South Node in Capricorn in an article of 2010 which encapsulates much about Capricorn’s association with Politics:

Archetype:  The Politician

Place: Russia

Time: 1905

“My name is Piotr, and I whisper in the corridors of power. But even the whispering has rules. You speak only when you are spoken to by someone above your rank. You only speak that which is necessary and the bare minimum and for a serious purpose.  Every word is weighed carefully.  And information is classified, on a need-to-know basis.  Sssh!  I cannot tell you anything at the moment.  Sometimes you’d think this was an old Trappist monastery.”


At the opposite end of the spectrum and paradoxically withdrawing from the world, the Hermit also expresses part of the Capricornian psyche.  Capricorn men in a family often play the role of the strong, silent type, which is a type of withdrawal.

This Archetype has features in common with Pisces (spiritual retreat) and Virgo (“I want to be alone”, uttered by Greta Garbo who was a Virgo).  I see the Capricorn manifestation as less of a spiritual retreat than the Piscean manifestation.  In Tarot, Saturn (Capricorn’s ruler) is often ascribed to The Hermit, because of its association with Old Father time (Chronos).

One of the variations of Hermit is the Recluse.  One whose name was synonymous with reclusivity is Howard Hughes:

Famous Example: Howard Hughes

Millionaire Howard Hughes famously took refuge in the Desert Inn, where apparently he did not open the curtains for 9 years.  He had Sun/Uranus in Capricorn in 4th House of Home.  When he began his reclusive behaviour Pluto was square his natal Venus (a major change in relating to others).

The Patriarch

The Patriarch is a Capricorn Archetype, the polar opposite being the Mother of the Cancerian Sun sign.

Under “the Father” for the Leo Archetypes, I wrote:

“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 Leo Father Archetype is closer to the Creator and is more playful, whereas the related Capricorn Archetype of the Patriarch has more gravitas.

In Caroline Myss’ book “Sacred Contracts” (and she is making no distinction between the Father and the Patriarch) she writes: “This archetype combines a talent for creating or initiating with the ability to oversee others, whether a biological family or a group of creative people”.


A word about ageing, zodiacwise: Geminis are known for looking and acting ever youthfully.  Capricorns are known for having an old head on young shoulders when young, and growing old gracefully into their old age as their prime of life.

So we have as a Capricorn Archetype the Crone, or Wise Woman.  Again quoting from Caroline Myss: “Wisdom also comes with age, and so the Crone or Wise Woman represents the ripening of natural insight and the acceptance of what is, allowing one to pass that wisdom to others.”  Again we have a hint of the qualities of patience and forbearance of Capricorn and Old Father Time Saturn, a sense of knowing that All Things Must Pass.

In her Shamanic system, Nicky Scully uses the Crone as a major player on her healing journeys: “It is this Crone, the wise, old female aspect of yourself, who opens your third eye and begins instructing you on the ways of intuition, herbs, and healing.”


 “Sacred Contracts” by Caroline Myss

 “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews

“Animal Spirits” by Nicholas J. Saunders

“Birds Divine Messengers” by Andrea Wansbury

“The Golden Cauldron” by Nicky Scully


In this week running up to Christmas the first aspect we encounter is in the early hours of tomorrow, Monday morning, and it is a challenging square between Mercury and Uranus.  The shops are hoping it is going to be Panic Monday, for buying last minute Christmas presents, as it may well be!  So a better start to the week would be to open with a Meditation to establish a calmer basis for this week’s activities.  Or if you don’t want a frenetic week, alternatively you could sing the words of Silent Night:

“Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…”.

Mercury does sextile Chiron too, which goes some way to bringing healing.  There may be a tussle between the forces of Uranus, which are disruptive, and the forces of Chiron, which are healing, so try to balance them or just observe which one is winning at any given moment.

In the early hours of Tuesday (22nd) the Winter Solstice occurs, with the entry of the Sun into Capricorn.  May I wish you a Happy Solstice and the return of the light.

Thursday (24th), Christmas Eve, blesses us with a beautiful sextile between Venus and Jupiter, a real holiday atmosphere, the embodiment of Good Will to All.  Socializing and gifts are well starred that day.

Unusually, the Moon is Full on Christmas Day (Friday 25th), in the sign of Cancer (degree 3), and at the spiritually significant time for some: 11.11 a.m. in the U.K.  This ensures a high tide of emotion at relatives reunited or absent loved ones, either way tears are likely to be shed.

But the real Christmas gift from the Universe occurs at 20.19 Hrs with Mercury trine Jupiter.  That ensures a good atmosphere, with compliments and jokes flying.  Much may be learned too about family history or philosophy.  The evening turkey or tofu sandwiches will go down well.  Mercury trine Jupiter will aid the digestion, but may induce a climate of overeating.

I cannot advise you on your television choices.  In the U.K. the main choices at 20.19 Hrs will be Call the Midwife, The Two Ronnies and Downton Abbey.  Call the Midwife reflects the Full Moon, The Two Ronnies are the comedy angle of Mercury trine Jupiter, and Downton Abbey probably leans more to the Full Moon tears than the Mercury-Jupiter comedy!  Who has the upper hand with the remote control in your gathering?  If you are spending Christmas evening alone Mercury trine Jupiter will free your mind and choices.

You may get a stirring, that evening, of the vibrations of Uranus turning, which occurs in the early hours of Saturday (26th), Boxing Day.  There may be a restlessness, a feeling that there is something afoot.  Uranus may deliver a surprise as it stations prior to turning direct.  There may be an area of mental awareness which is assisted by this turn of affairs.  The Christmas evening Mercury-Jupiter trine will open your mind to possibility and opportunity, and Uranus turning may galvanize an idea and make it attractive as a way of moving forward.

Happy Christmas to All!

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – shock and healing
  • Tuesday – the return of the light
  • Thursday – harmony and uplift
  • Friday – emotion and jollity
  • Saturday – progress