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Aspects for the week beginning 20 May 2018

Michael Curry

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death, passion as fierce as the grave, its flashes of flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it out”

~ Song of Solomon

I am not a fan of pomp, circumstance and pageantry.  But I do like a good royal wedding, and yesterday’s marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was beautiful, and full of surprises as would befit the aspect of the day, Venus sextile Uranus.  I was touched by the simplicity of her dress, moved by the gospel choir, touched and moved by the dignity of her mother sitting alone. There were so many highlights and sights, including the colourful fashions, but the standout surprise of the day, and one which it seems divides opinion, was the address by African American Michael Curry, the presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Birth Chart

Curry has Sun in Pisces, a sign traditionally associated with Christianity.  This gives him a deep well of compassion, which led him to make a plea for more love in the world, that we all might become good neighbours to each other.  His Sun does not have much in the way of aspects, but is sextile Chiron, which accentuates the fact that his is a healing mission.  Jupiter trines Chiron, reinforcing his desire to bring healing.

There are several signs of forcefulness in his chart: he has 6 (out of 10) planets in Cardinal signs, he has Mars in Aries, and he has Mars trine Pluto (a powerhouse of energy, enabling him to sustain a long impassioned speech!).  And he was definitely on a mission yesterday.  The service started out sedately, presided by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.  Then the wholehearted performance of Michael Curry seemed to come from nowhere, waking up the congregation.  The startled look of Zara Phillips said it all.

Curry’s Mercury (speech) is in Aries, and he gave a fiery speech, and a speech about fire.  He has an unaspected Mercury, which carries a freedom of speech.  I was totally with him on the first half of his speech, about love, channelling Martin Luther King on its redemptive power.  But he lost me slightly when he started to give a history of Fire.  That’s when quizzical comments started appearing on Facebook, with people wondering if he had wandered off message  (Fire is, by the way, the element most represented in his chart, with 4 planets).  But on the whole, I loved it.

He has a double opposition in his chart, between Venus/Mars in Aries, and Saturn/Neptune in Libra, giving him an understanding of society’s struggles, and angst.  Other features of his chart are Jupiter sextile Uranus (The Entrepreneur), and Jupiter square Pluto (a love of power).

Transits for Royal Wedding

The transits for his explosion into our collective consciousness yesterday include Uranus on his Venus (electrifying feeling) which keys into the Venus/Uranus sextile of the day, and Jupiter opposite his Jupiter (making a name for himself across the pond).

His chart has deep connections with that of Martin Luther King, and like Lady Diana, his presence was in evidence on the day, nodding approval at the changes helped along by Uranus in Taurus.

Aspects

Mars is sextile Chiron today, and rather like Bishop Michael Curry, you could be on a healing mission, with plenty of Fire, and gusto!

Early tomorrow (Monday 21st) Venus squares Chiron, and we need to be more sensitive about our healing approaches. It is a day for looking at our relationship issues, where we might be looking at the source of any separations and longings.  Acceptance and forgiveness may be key processes.

This is followed, also early in the day, by the Sun’s entry into Gemini.  Earthy preoccupations may give way to a need for Communication and lightness of heart.  If you’re a gardener, you’ll still want to garden, but may be more talkative about it, over the garden fence.

Early on Tuesday (22nd) the Sun will sextile Chiron (as in Michael Curry’s chart) so there will still be some zeal to get to the root of healing matters, and find the right remedies and approaches.  Creativity could be especially healing on that day.

Wednesday (23rd) also has an early sextile, that between Mercury and Neptune.  The mind is sensitized, and you may even experience a spot of channelling (if you are so inclined), channelling from high ideals.

Still early, Mercury opposes Jupiter, which may benefit the early bird that catches the worm, the early market trader.  If you are looking for a good deal, this may be helpful.  Be aware though that you may be overstretching your mental resources that day, taking in or transmitting too much information, or literally geographically covering too much ground.

On Thursday (24th) – guess what, early – the Sun trines Mars.  I think you need a few early nights this week to cope with all these early aspects.  Sun trine Mars is highly energetic, and may bring high temperatures, weather-wise.  As long as you pace yourself, and you are not too hot-headed, you may accomplish much in the way of activity and productivity.  It could be helpful to fitness types, training for their next marathon.  And it can strengthen the quality of courage.

Friday (25th) brings the most important aspect of the week, a trine between Jupiter and Neptune.  Hope and Faith combine with Charity and Compassion, and you might really feel the beneficent message of the wedding address.  How deep is your Love?

At lunchtime, Mercury trines Pluto, which is also a deeply constructive force.  It ensures that communication, ideas and thought are thoroughly conceived, and reach their intended target.  There is no room for superficiality on Friday.

On the last day of the week, Saturday (26th), Venus opposes Saturn, which may feel deflating, especially after all those aspects of progress earlier in the week.  It is day when you may have to nurse a relationship, or someone may be needing tender loving care if they are sad or disappointed.  The message of the power of love may be more difficult to sustain in the face of testing.  But the cure for the situation is even more love.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – healing mission
  • Tomorrow – sensitive healing issues; communication to the fore
  • Tuesday – creativity allied with healing
  • Wednesday – sensitive communication and brisk business
  • Thursday – highly active
  • Friday – hope, faith and deep communication
  • Saturday – emotionally flat

Aspects for the week beginning 13 May 2018

Uranus Enters Taurus

“It’s been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will”

~ Sam Cooke [Sun in Aquarius]

This week’s arrival of Uranus in Taurus on Tuesday 15th May has been widely broadcast of late, and it probably hasn’t escaped your notice, especially if you use Facebook.  Uranus  takes 84 years to tour around the zodiac, and 7 years per sign and House.

Nature of Uranus in Taurus

Uranus, an Air planet is the planet of sudden change, sees no ideological reason why change should not take place, and the Earth sign of Taurus is resistant to change as it registers the practical obstacles and ramifications.  Thus, the combination of Uranus and earth can sometimes result in earthquakes, both climatic and personal.

Historic Considerations – Finance

On its last entry into Taurus, in 1934, we were in the throes of the Great Depression, a financial crisis which began in 1933 when Uranus was still at the end of Aries.  But Taurus is equated with finance, which is why many Astrologers predict a major overhaul in the area of finance. They also equate it with the rise in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Raymond Merriman, an award winning Financial Astrologer, writes this week:

“…the interference of trading in bitcoin, or any market, by government regulators, fits with the symbolism of Uranus entering Taurus (disruption of monies), at the same time Pluto is in Capricorn (government interventions).”

Jessica Adams, who has been writing about this phenomenon for some time ahead, has done some impressive research into financial institutions which strongly indicate such changes.  She states:

“From May 13th on, if you are not completely across Bitcoin, Blockchain and the rapid rise of competing cryptocurrencies, you need to be. The astrology is really clear. We are seeing a crisis and transformation for the banks and the finance industry.”

Historic Considerations – World Politics

In 1934, Hitler was cementing his power, becoming president and chancellor of Germany.  His natal Sun at 0 degrees 49 m Taurus was transited by Uranus on 28th June of that year.  Uranus had entered Taurus on 7th June, and on 30th June he instituted the Night of the Long Knives, purging the “Stormtroopers”, in the pretence of restoring order.  Thus he managed to use Uranus on his Sun to enhance his power.

We have some crackpots and tyrants around the world leading our governments at the moment.  Putin has just arranged to add 6 more years on to his powerful regime.  The President of China has given himself a lifelong lease of power.  Erdogan of Turkey has clung on to power for years, and cemented his position, becoming more entrenched and hard line as time has gone on.  We have the wild and unpredictable Donald Trump heading up the United States of America, and the equally unpredictable Kim Jong Un heading North Korea with its nuclear aspirations.  Donald Trump has challenged the nuclear aspirant Iran (headed by Houssain Rohani and the Ayatollah Khamenei), but is seemingly forging links with former rival Jong Un.  They are to meet on 12th June.  Much of the world power play centres upon the increasingly unstable Middle East.

Do any of these leaders have significant planets at 0 degrees Taurus, or at 0 degrees of a sign?

Vladimir Putin of Russia has his Moon at 0 degrees Gemini in his 9th House of Foreign Relationships.  Uranus semi-sextile this point from his 8th House may deliver an emotional shock to his Moon, but he may quickly analyze it and incorporate it into his Philosophy of carrying on clinging to power regardless. A recent television profile of Vladimir Putin suggested that world domination might be on his wish list, but until the Russian economy improves this would seem unlikely.

Xi Jinping of China does not have any significant planets at 0 degrees of a sign.  However, we do not have his Ascendant, which could conceivably be affected.

Recep Erdogan of Turkey likewise does not have any significant planets at 0 degrees of a sign.  Neither do we have his Ascendant, which might be involved.

Donald Trump’s Ascendant is so nearly at 0 degrees, being at 29 degs 58 m Leo.  His actions may trigger changes, with Uranus going into Taurus. Uranus trines his Ascendant 14-15th May (Monday (tomorrow)/Tuesday), and this actually will put him in a position of power in relation to fashioning change (whether we like it or not).  Uranus enters his 9th House of Foreign Relationships, so Change will be a feature of this area of his life for 7 years (i.e. even when he leaves power), and some of that change will come from him, and some of that change may be successful.

Kim Jong Un of North Korea has two possible birth charts, one for 1983 and one for 1984 (both without times). In my previous researches, the 1984 has tended to look more accurate, but I will look at both:

For the 1983 chart,  Pluto is at 29 deg 21 m Libra.  On 3rd May Uranus opposed that point, and Jong Un was making peace around then with South Korea.  This is not a convincing transit, as he would be more likely to be antagonistic under this influence.

For the 1984 chart (my preference), Mercury is at 0 deg 52 m Capricorn.  This would see him around 2nd June making surprisingly lucid choices (Uranus trine his Mercury), and if he is limbering up to his meeting with Donald Trump, and continuing to spin the plates for China and South Korea, this does, again, look like the more convincing chart.

Hassan Rouhani of Iran has Uranus at exactly 0 degs 0 m Cancer!  He will register change precisely at the outset of Uranus in Taurus, at 15.16 Hrs our (U.K.) time on Tuesday.  Uranus sextiles his Uranus, giving him the power of change and choice, even more so than Donald Trump.  This is extraordinary timing, though we do not have a birth time for him to provide more information.

Ayatollah Khamenei, the religious leader of Iran, has two planets at 0 degrees, Saturn at 0 degs 37 m Taurus, squaring his natal Pluto at 0 deg 52 m Leo.  Again, we do not have a birth time.  This gives him double relevance, and maybe some influence, but it does not strike his chart in a constructive way.  Uranus transits his natal Saturn in Taurus on 27th May, which may affect his health.  Squaring his Pluto, it may also affect his overall wellbeing or psychology.  There is a danger that he may strike out unpredictably, if he is not preoccupied with health matters.  He may have disagreements with Hassan Rouhani, who would be in a stronger state of mind, but may not find it easy to deal with the relationship.

The Queen

A special mention must be made that Queen Elizabeth II’s Sun is early in the first degree of Taurus, at 0 deg 10 minutes.  The change will register very early for her, this week, 18/19th May, i.e. during the proceedings Royal Wedding itself. It may be a dramatic event, but equally it could be a realization that comes to her during the course of the day or weekend.  It may be pertinent to the history of the monarchy.

Chiron in Aries

Looking briefly back at the ingress of Uranus into the preceding sign Aries in 2010, it was equated immediately with the phenomenon of the Arab Spring.  Aries representing Energy and Force, combining with Uranus the Rebel, brought this phenomenon and the activism of the Occupy movement.  The movement started in Tunisia, and then spread to many other Middle Eastern countries which followed suit, rebelling against tyrannical rulers.  Some were removed (notably Mubarak in Egypt) and some proved obdurate (notably Erdogan in Turkey).  A great deal of turmoil followed; the removal of Gaddafi in Libya resulted in chaos, and the upsurge of refugee movement towards Europe. Hope gradually gave way to despair.  Tunisia was the last nation to admit that the Arab Spring movement had come to nothing, last year, just as Uranus was in the last degrees of Aries.  Yes, some tyrants were removed, but the rise of ISIS and increase in terrorism came to inhabit the vacuum which was created.  No great inspired leaders were able to bring coherence to their societies.  Aries is a sign noted for initiating ideas, but not always being able to follow through to practical reality – a province which does fall within the brief of Taurus.  Taurus tends to be determined to uphold the status quo, and needs to be persuaded that changes are necessary.  It can follow through the ideas and ideals of Aries, if there is anything for instance to be salvaged from the Arab Spring.  In other areas of life activism has had burgeoning success, notably in the “Me Too” movement, which came in at the culmination of this seven year sojourn.

Personal Impact

You will be most affected this month if you have a planet or angle at 0 degrees of a sign.  I myself have Ascendant at 0 degrees Taurus, so am expecting the unexpected.  Otherwise, you may feel the changes when the first transit from Uranus touches on one of your personal planets or angles. You will in any case see changes occurring for friends and family, or in society or the world, which may be thought-provoking or eyebrow-raising.  If you are Uranus-ruled, i.e. have Sun, Ascendant in Aquarius or Uranus on the Ascendant in your natal chart, you may experience a personal change of focus or character as Uranus changes sign.  For example, you may have been more spirited and fiery over the last 7 years, and may become more placid or earthy.

Thinking Positive

Taurus is a multi-talented and faceted sign.  As well as finance, it represents Art and Music, the Earth, and Food.  So innovations in all these areas can take place in this 7 year period, and some of these could be beneficial indeed.  Uranus represents science and technology, and so these advances will become more concrete in this Earth sign, and often directly linked to Taurean related themes.  Uranus has the power to shock, but it also has the power to surprise, excite and delight.  Your own reaction to such changes may be dependent on how in tune your intuition is with the flow of what is coming and what is needed.  Cultivating flexibility, we can enjoy the spontaneity of it all.  We can learn that we can deal with changes that arrive unexpectedly, and feel stronger in that knowledge.  It may also be that being pro-active in the changes you want to see will be more successful and empowering than standing about reacting to change when it arises.

Interaction between Chiron and Uranus

I wrote last month, for 17th April:

“More importantly, Chiron enters Aries that day: a major sign change.  Chiron has been journeying through Pisces in recent years, a sensitive crucible of healing.  Chiron coming into Aries will be more overt, and possibly more physical in its approach to healing.  If you have important points in your chart at 0 degrees, you may have healing issues come up.  If you have a difficult angle to one of your planets, then Uranus moving into Taurus in May may help, as it may counteract that difficulty.  And vice versa, if your Chiron transit is an easy angle to a personal planet, then the Uranian transit may be more awkward.  The two planets are performing a balancing act this spring.”

Reflections on Change

Some initiate change, and some have change thrust upon them.  As I have Taurus rising, if a change of plan occurs I tend to see it as a disruption to my plodding pace of life.  I hope to evolve my perception towards seeing it as an opportunity being created to do something differently.  I need to be ready for that instead of trying to revert to my default pace.

Phrases you might hear (yourself saying)

“Something’s got to give”

“I didn’t see that coming”

“That was a bit left field”

*Ooh, Betty!”

“Surprise, Surprise!”

Affirmation:

“I flow with Change”

“Surprise, surprise, the unexpected hits you between the eyes
The unpredictable, that’s the surprise you see, surprise! Surprise!”

~ Cilla Black [Sun exactly conjunct Uranus]

 

Eurovision Song Contest 2018

“We are back to caution for Saturday (12th), the day of the Eurovision Song Contest.  Don’t go out rashly and put all your money on the Royaume Uni entry, for instance.  The day could be incident prone, with minor upsets and abrasions.  One Eurovision entry may nearly have to pull out, for example!  Near misses may demand that you carry your sticking plasters wherever you are headed, and be prepared to issue kind words and soothe egos.”

(from last week’s blog)

Deconstructing the above, there is a lot that sadly proved true.  Our U.K. entry came 24th out of 26, the Czech Republic nearly had to pull out due to injury, we actually had an “incident” during our performance, and dear Graham Norton issued kind words and soothed egos over and over again, rightly praising SuRie’s brave handling of the crisis and her spirited performance, and affirming our pride in her.

Our SuRie is a late Aquarian, with transiting Uranus sextile her natal Sun, providing great excitement at this time.  She had two adverse transits from Jupiter, which can mean overconfidence (Jupiter square Venus and opposite Mars).  It is not clear how much the Brexit factor influenced the voting, though we did much better last year, after Brexit had already been triggered.

The winner, Netta, from Israel, is a very early Aquarian, with Mercury at 1 degree of the sign, and her Sun at 2 degrees.  Currently, Uranus is squaring her Mercury/Sun, and the working out of this will become clear in June and July.  But her “Me Too” message was clearly a sign of the times, and as quirky as Eurovision songs come.

Interviewed a week before the final by the Independent, she said:

“[I was told] dress like you have nothing to celebrate. Dress in black. Dress big. Short skirts are not for you. Short sleeves are not for you. You’re not sexy or beautiful. You’re funny – that’s what you are. And you are a good friend. Well I am here to break that because this is a great evil that is done in the world to so many people.”

That success has come when she has Uranus challenging her planets is a reminder that we should not have any fear about being ourselves, and reassures us that if change is meant to be, and is in the flow of positive social evolution, it can be personally empowering.  She said “I am very happy”.  Uranus can be a progressive force in your life.

 

Aspects

Mercury conjuncts Uranus today, so your mind may be bursting with information and ideas.  Your memory may still be bombarded by the spectacle of 26 Eurovision songs last night.  And then the voting from 43 countries…

But that’s enough about me.  Communication should be at the pinnacle of brilliance today, polishing the diamond that is your mind (unless you are nursing a hangover from last night, in which case you may not feel the full benefit).  It is a good day to welcome the power of surprise, and inspire others with your mental inventiveness.  Telepathy, too, thrives under this conjunction.

At lunchtime, Mercury enters Taurus.  The collective mental outlook moves from the direct and straightforward to more practical considerations, and earth-centred preoccupations.  It is prime time for being in the garden and working out the best way to plant your seedlings and in what order.  Whether or not rationalizing your gardening exploits is your thing, you’ll be bringing the focus of the mind on Taurean skills and occupations: Art, Music and Banking, to name but a few.  To Bitcoin or not to Bitcoin, that is the question.

Tuesday (15th) is the biggest event, starting with a New Moon at 24 degrees Taurus.  This is a new beginning for all Taurean related interests, and a chance to focus your intent on these for the next month, or year.  You may take inspiration from visiting gardens or art galleries for instance, and looking at the achievements of the highest potential in these areas.  You are helping to build the New Earth, as they say in New Age circles.

In the middle of the afternoon, Uranus enters Taurus: the unstoppable force meets the immovable object, as it were.  You may register this if you are sensitive to Uranus and/or Taurus (see above), or you may observe it in events in society or on the global stage.  For others, it may pass them by for different reasons, e.g. the timing is not critical in their charts or with their planets, at the moment.  But it will be the beginning of a new process, and a new way of seeing progress and the way forward.  We have exhausted the possibilities of Uranus in Aries, and must find new ways to circumvent and deal with new challenges, or new ways around old challenges we haven’t given up on.

Another ingress occurs on Wednesday (16th) with the entry of Mars into Aquarius.  We may be in the month of Taurus, but Aquarius is such a strong theme this week.  Mars breathes life and energy into social initiatives and projects, and especially those that support the underdog, and the vulnerable.  Team spirit works well under this influence, and people pulling together as communities.

Also that day Mars squares Uranus, which is more tricky and erratic energy, but does emphasize the combination of Mars and Aquarius from early in the day.  Mars plus Uranus/Aquarius spells Activism, but Mars squaring Uranus can bring awkward clashes.  The electricity in the air could be tangible with the day’s mix of astrological influences.  It is one of those days you need to proceed with caution, though you could be straining at the leash!

Better practise restraint and wait until Friday (18th) to make progress on practical plans and realities.  Mercury trine Saturn on that day will help you to steadily build on initiatives from early on in the week, and good ideas which you haven’t yet been able to get off the ground.  If you were bursting with ideas but unable to see where to start, things may fall into place in your mind regarding how to proceed and plan, even if just step by step.

And so we come to another big day, Saturday (19th), not so much an astrological big day, but certainly one full of vast expectations from football fans and royalists.

The service for the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle begins at Noon, with the royal sign of Leo rising.

Manchester United will take on Chelsea at Wembley Stadium at 17.15 p.m., when the Ascendant will have reached Libra.  I don’t do football predictions (only Wimbledon) but wonder if Libra is a clue that Chelsea (the Blues) will win.

In between these two events, Venus enters Cancer (the fourth ingress of the week), at 13.11 Hrs.  When the date of the wedding was announced, I wrote:

“Venus in Cancer is perfect for a sentimental occasion, and an excuse to buy a box of kleenex. However, with the Football Cup Final being held the same day apparently there will be household battles for the remote control.”

Venus in Cancer brings out our softer side, and sentimentality over family history and emotions held within its framework.

Just after the beginning of the football final, Venus sextiles Uranus.  I went on to describe that:

“The main aspects are more descriptive of and suited to a royal wedding, though I would not go as far as to say that women will win the battle of the remote (and I would not wish to make such a sexist assumption)! Venus sextile Uranus provides an air of romantic excitement: people may fall in love on that day, or realize they want to marry! That aspect too is perfect for the occasion, in providing an extra special social atmosphere.”

So it looks like the sentimentality will carry on through the day, and somehow permeate the football event.  Perhaps there will be a romantic proposal that day centred around the football world.  Certainly there will be a celebratory atmosphere, and dudes will be partying on.  Important new connections will be made.  Venus sextile Uranus usually delivers on excitement.

This blog has begun, and ended, with Uranus…!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – brilliant ideas; practical thinking too
  • Tuesday – new beginning, and big changes
  • Wednesday – action allies with revolution
  • Friday – progress on practical plans
  • Saturday – hope, sentiment and emotion; vivid social meetings

 

Aspects for the week beginning 6 May 2018

Kanye West

What is going on with rapper Kanye West?  He has stirred up another controversy this week, with an astonishing comment about black slavery.  He has also announced that he wants to build cities, as well as re-affirming his love for Donald Trump.

Birth Chart

There is a lot in his natal chart which is relevant to his extraordinary behaviour and life.  Firstly, he has Sun in Gemini (a wordsmith) conjunct Jupiter (bombast).  Sun conjunct Jupiter does not always show a bombastic nature, but his Jupiter is exactly opposite Neptune (spiritual confusion and sensationalism) and Jupiter also trines Pluto (grandiose designs).

“I will say that I’m spiritual. I have accepted Jesus as my Savior. And I will say that I fall short every day.”

His mother (as depicted by the Moon in Pisces in his chart) was a Professor of English, and his love of poetry and sensitivity to words may well come from his maternal influence.  The Sun in Gemini squares closely his Moon in Pisces – sometimes his left hand doesn’t know what his right hand is doing.  His parents separated when he was three years old, symbolized by the close square between the Sun (as father) and the Moon (as mother).

His “freedom” with speech may be attributed to an unaspected Mercury.  I recently did a blog about Winnie Mandela, and pointed out that her tendency to be a “loose cannon” in speech may be attributed to the same.

His musical success and  acclaimed talent can be seen in his triple conjunction between Mars and Venus (charisma) with Chiron in Taurus (the sign of art and musicianship), channelled into a 10th House of Fame and Career.  Indeed he also has a keen interest in fashion (another province of Venus), which he has translated into business projects.

Success

Although he achieved success as a music producer early in his career, it was his ambition to be a rapper.  Apparently, a car crash on 23rd October 2002 shattered his jaw which needed to be wired shut, but motivated him in his ambition, and led to him making a groundbreaking composition (“Through the wire”).  Jupiter was sextile his natal Jupiter, and trine his natal Neptune at the time (success) but Pluto was squaring his natal Moon in 8th House (crisis).  He expressed the fact that “the album was my medicine”, reflecting the conjunction in his chart between Venus and Chiron (the wounded healer).  Adele has Venus conjunct Chiron, in her 5th House of Creativity, and we all know that her emotional pain inspired her early success.

A plaudit in Entertainment Weekly from 2004 states:

“West delivers the goods with a disarming mix of confessional honesty and sarcastic humor, earnest idealism and big-pimping materialism. In a scene still dominated by authenticity battles and gangsta posturing, he’s a middle-class, politically conscious, post-thug, bourgeois rapper — and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Elon Musk has also praised him to the hilt, regarding his inclusion in Time’s 100 most influential people list:

“Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t […] In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique and a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries.”

Kim Kardashian

Together with his wife, Kim Kardashian, he forms a power couple in this age of the cult of celebrity.  They married on 24th May 2014, but had known each other for a long time.  Kim’s own chart is a fascinating study.  She is of course a lynch pin of the reality television success “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.

She has Jupiter exactly conjunct the Midheaven – depicting a successful brand, in Virgo in 10th House (a style icon).  Her mother Kris (Kardashian/Jenner) has a similar successful signature, as I wrote in May 2017 in my blog about Caitlyn Jenner:

“Kris Kardashian, matriarch of the Kardashian empire, has an amazing exact conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Leo in 10th House conjunct her Midheaven (Careerpoint).  It is no wonder she carved out such a successful long running television slot.”

Kanye and Kim’s second child, Saint, also has Jupiter on the Midheaven in Virgo in 10th House, and could go on to achieve similar success.

Kim has Sun conjunct Pluto in Libra in 11th House (which speaks of “how to win friends and influence people”).  Her Moon is powerfully placed on her I.C. in 4th House of Home and Family, emphasizing the role of her mother and sisters in her life, and family roots.

In their synastry, Kim’s Saturn is conjunct Kanye’s I.C. – she may help a little to keep him grounded.  But her Neptune sextiles Kanye North Node, so she adds extra glamour to his karmic mission.  Her Pluto conjuncts Kanye North Node, so that is some power she holds in the relationship.  And his Jupiter is on her Descendant, adding to the success of the relationship.

At their marriage,  Jupiter was on his Ascendant, so that was an advantageous marriage for him.  Uranus sextile his Jupiter added an entrepreneurial element.  Jupiter was trine her Mercury, so it was also good for business for her, and Jupiter was sextile her Venus, which is a classic marriage transit.  Both Kim and Kanye have Venus in 10th House, showing their status as style icons.

Donald Trump

“You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him.  We are both dragon energy.  He is my brother.  I love everyone.  I don’t agree with everything anyone does.  That’s what makes us individuals.  And we have the right to independent thought”

~ Tweet by Kanye West, 25th April 2018

Trump has retweeted some of West’s tweets.

It is easy to see from their synastry, what makes this relationship a mutual admiration society.  They are both Geminis, to begin with, and both have a swagger, and both like words.  Trump’s Moon is sextile Kanye’s North Node, Trump’s Mercury trines Kanye’s Uranus,  and Trump’s Venus sextiles Kanye’s Mercury.  Tellingly, Trump’s Jupiter trines Kanye’s Sun, giving him a feelgood factor, and Trump’s Uranus conjunct’s Kanye’s Sun (almost telepathic).

Controversies

Kanye’s controversies are too numerous to mention, but I will try to list some:

In 2004, he stormed out of the American Music Awards because he had not been awarded Best New Artist

In 2015 he said “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” at a concert for Hurricane Relief

In 2015 Kanye West said he was thinking about running for President. “When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views. I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth.”

In 2016 Kanye claimed to be in 53 million dollars’ debt, and demanded that Mark Zuckerberg help him.

This week (May, 2018) he said: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years…for 400 years? That sounds like a choice.  You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all?  It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.”

An article this morning in the Observer written by David Olusoga describes his behaviour: “Like a pampered toddler, he keeps going because he has so often been reassured that his every utterance is of profound insight and earthshaking importance”.  Kanye has Pluto in the 3rd House of Communication, so he does strive to be profound.

State of Mind

Are his outrageous comments just verbosity, are they the outpourings of a narcissistic personality, or is there psychosis involved?  He has experienced psychotic states, notably in November 2016, and was admitted to hospital for “temporary psychosis” caused by dehydration and sleep deprivation (Saturn was square his natal Moon at the time, and Uranus was on his South Node in Aries).  He has also been addicted to opiates.  He is becoming more outrageous, so perhaps there have even been permanent changes to his brain from the use of drugs.  He has also experienced depression, paranoia, anxiety and suicidal thoughts in the past.

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on Friday, Kim’s mother Kris gave him a sympathetic hearing.  She said: “Kanye has a lot of love for all of you, all of his fans, and everybody who’s been there to support him forever.  And, I know that he will explain himself in his own way.”

Current Transits

As well as his recent controversial remarks, he also released a record in April called “Lift Yourself”, the lyrics of which have been called nonsensical.

His current transits include the challenges of Pluto square his Nodal Axis (extreme karma) and Neptune conjunct his Moon in Pisces in 8th House (extreme confusion).  He does have some planetary support too, and presumably friends and family who will rally round.

He has a concerning transit coming up around 24th/25th June this year, when Uranus (newly entered into Taurus) transits his natal Mars, which can be destabilizing.  Jupiter returns to his 5th House cusp and trines his Ascendant around 6th/7th September, which could provide him with some help, hopefully of the right kind, that which he needs.  It may also bring him a creative renaissance, as his work seems currently in the doldrums.

Aspects

Spiritual inspiration is the order of the day today, with a sextile between the Sun and Neptune.  This can result in a highly creative day, and produce work of an elevated order.  It is also good for rekindling sensitive rapport with friends and family.

Tomorrow (Monday 7th) could be more rocky for starting the week, with Mercury square Pluto.  There may be problems to deal with going into the office, which bring the need to prioritize and be clear on your psychology and values.  The collective game needs to be raised (group meditation or hug) before discussion, if disagreement is to be avoided.  We also have been promised extremely hot weather for this UK Bank Holiday, and more people may be at the beach than in the office;  caution is advisable, and travel may be a source of discontent.

The evening brings different challenges, confusion in relationships for example, with Venus square Neptune.  That artistic project you may have started on Sunday may develop a flaw, and you may need to stand back and ask for further inspiration or guidance for proceeding.  Deception and illusion may be behind the conundrum of the evening, and you may want to wait for truth to emerge in its own way, before judging the situation or making your mind up.

Wednesday (9th) is more upbeat as the Sun opposes Jupiter, and at least people are in the mood for a joke and a laugh, even though you may not share exactly the same sense of humour.  Freedom may be a watchword for the day.

The most constructive aspect of the week is the Sun trine Pluto on Friday (11th).  After some of the nuances earlier in the week, you may feel clearer about what really matters, and where your values and priorities really lie, and can be empowered on Friday to put into practice the teachings of the week.  What you do on Friday can be meaningful and profound, satisfying and fulfilling, in a serious way.  Social workers and Psychologists can execute their work harmoniously.

We are back to caution for Saturday (12th), the day of the Eurovision Song Contest.  Don’t go out rashly and put all your money on the Royaume Uni entry, for instance.  The day could be incident prone, with minor upsets and abrasions.  One Eurovision entry may nearly have to pull out, for example!  Near misses may demand that you carry your sticking plasters wherever you are headed, and be prepared to issue kind words and soothe egos.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – spiritual harmony
  • Tomorrow – different headaches
  • Wednesday – upbeat
  • Friday – psychologically sound
  • Saturday – minor incidents

 

Aspects for the week beginning 29 April 2018

Prince Louis Arthur Charles

born 23rd April 2018, at 11.01 a.m., Paddington

New royal baby Louis Arthur Charles continues the Cancerian theme in the royal family, from grandmother Lady Diana (Sun in Cancer), to father Prince William (Sun in Cancer) to sister Charlotte (Ascendant in Cancer), for he has his Ascendant in Cancer.

Birth Chart

Louis has Sun in Taurus, close to the Queen’s Sun (3 degrees apart), square Moon/North Node in Leo, the sign of the Queen’s Moon (their Moons are two degrees apart).  The Moon/North Node conjunction in Leo in the 1st House emphasizes the royalty of his heritage and the way of life he is born into.  Sun trine Saturn gives a sense of responsibility, but Sun conjunct Uranus also creates a rebellious streak.  The Moon trine Mercury is affable and companionable for his siblings.  Though he might sometimes want to keep his opinions to himself, with Mercury square closely Saturn.  Mercury conjunct Chiron at the Midheaven gives a real interest in alternative medicine, possibly in connection with his career, and homeopathy may be a special study.  He will use his abilities as a healer in some way through his career.  He’ll be an especially bonnie baby, with Venus exactly sextile his Ascendant, and charming in public with its position at the beginning of his 11th House.  Another exact sextile is that between Mars and Jupiter, providing abundant energy allied with enthusiasm.  Mars conjunct closely Pluto means he won’t shy away from confrontation, and could be a handful at times, a powerhouse of energy, which needs to be suitably channelled.  Jupiter closely sextile his Pluto helps him to channel the energy along positive and wisely balanced lives, especially when he is old enough to realize the consequences.  Uranus at the top of the chart closely square the Ascendant emphasizes that rebellious streak, and makes him unpredictable at times.  The Part of Fortune and Jupiter in the 4th House of Home and Family describes being born into a grand family and household. He will make his mark inventively in his career path, with a Sun/Uranus conjunction in his 10th House of Career, and Chiron exactly on his Midheaven (Careerpoint) at the beginning of Aries – a real individual!

Relationships with the Family

I enjoy working on baby charts, and seeing their family connections, which are often stunningly precise.  Prince William and Kate both have their Mars exactly sextile the baby’s Moon, because they have their Marses conjunct in Libra.  So they will be energizing emotionally in their effect on their new baby, and they in turn will be fed emotionally.  There is a companionable sextile between William’s Mercury in Gemini and the baby’s Moon in Leo.  The baby’s own Mercury in Aries strengthens this particular bond.  Prince William’s Uranus trines exactly the baby’s Midheaven/Chiron exact conjunction and makes it more dynamic.  Prince William may support him with ideas when he is establishing his career.

The baby will help Kate bring out her more assertive or male side, with his Mars exactly on her Sun in Capricorn.  He may spur her ambition.  They too have a companionable bond, in the form of  her Venus sextile his natal Mercury.  Her Venus in Aquarius links in harmoniously with the companionable bond  he has with his father, so no one is going to feel left out.  Kate’s Mars sextiles the baby’s North Node, so while the father can bolster his conventional career, she is able to bring fire to his karmic mission.  She does have Saturn square his Pluto, and Pluto square his Ascendant, however, so some adjustments will be required for both of them on a deeper level.

Grandfather Prince Charles, with the North Node on the baby’s Sun, has an intensely karmic link with the baby.  Charles also has Chiron opposite the baby’s Venus.  It is possible that they were rivals for affection in previous lives!

Grandmother Lady Diana has the Sun opposite the baby’s Saturn, which may represent the sadness that she is not physically here to enjoy her new grandson.  She too would have had a companionable bond, with her Mercury sextile his Sun.  Her Saturn would be trine his Venus, which is very supportive, but opposite his Ascendant, so again some sadness involved in their physical separation.  Her Neptune sextile his Saturn may mean she is watching over him spiritually, ready to uplift him when he finds incarnation difficult.

His brother George has a tender trine between his Moon and his Moon is conjunct the baby’s descendant (an emotional bond).  George may get exasperated at times, and go off and play elsewhere!  George’s Pluto is on baby’s Saturn, so baby may sometimes feel the weight of George’s rank in the immediate family.

Princess Charlotte may have a more rivalrous attitude to the baby, with her Sun square exactly his Nodal Axis.  Her Moon squares the baby’s Pluto, so he may arouse deep emotions within her.  His Chiron sextiles her Mercury, so he may be able to skilfully solve such problems.  His Saturn sextiles her natal Neptune, which is the same as one of his interaspects with Lady Diana.  This is because Charlotte and Diana have trined Neptunes, so they have a beautiful spiritual link and attunement.  In addition, Charlotte’s Pluto sextiles Louis’ Neptune, so there is a solid generational link between them, and they will understand each other on a cultural level.  But there may be striking similarities in their make up and ways, as they share the combination of Sun in Taurus and Ascendant in Cancer.

Great grandparents the Queen and Prince Philip both have stunning connections with the new baby, and it also suggests that their lives are going to change in the near future.  The baby has his Pluto on the Queen’s Ascendant, and Neptune on Prince Philip’s North Node, both planets being great agents of change.  There will be a strong heart and soul connection between the Queen and the baby, as their Suns are conjunct (by three degrees) and their Moons by 2 degrees, as already mentioned.  The Queen has Mars square the baby’s Jupiter, so would be keen for him to espouse some of her great enthusiasms.  Her Uranus trines his Ascendant, so there will be an exciting frisson between them, too.

As for Prince Philip, Louis has Jupiter square his Moon, and will give him cause to chuckle and produce some of his legendary one liners.  At the very least, the baby will lift his mood when present.  However, with Philip’s Pluto square the baby’s Mercury he could occasionally catch the baby off guard with his behaviour or speech, and Louis may not know quite how to take him.

Aspects

It’s a steady Sunday today, with the Sun trine Saturn.  You can make headway in quiet ways, lay foundations, and be productive but not necessarily in showy ways.  It is constructive, but may be serious in tone.

Tomorrow (Monday 30th) there is a Full Moon at 9 degrees Scorpio, one of the most intense Full Moons of the year.  Emotions will be at full flood, but not always on display: some may be simmering under the surface.  If you are in a group situation, some may be struggling more than others, so you may ascertain who needs tender loving care.  There may be a focus on financial matters, or deep psychological and spiritual searching.

Fixed Stars

There are no planetary aspects after Monday, and therefore I will look at the alignment of our Sun with the Fixed Stars for later in the week, providing a seed thought in each case from “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld.

Our Sun is aligned with two stars on Friday (4th).  The first is Almach in Andromeda.  This star represents spiritual expression:

“Almach will bring most people an enhanced ability to shift vibration, a better ability to bring through clairvoyant ideas from multiple levels, and enhanced psychic functioning in transference of multiple ideas into a single integrated form.  This is somewhat similar to Potato Flower essence, though at a more perceivable level for most people.  The combination of Potato and Almach can be powerful for individuals who also wish to attune to a single vibration level and channel from a specific single being or energy pattern as long as such energy pattern is of spiritual impact and of benefit for most people”.

Meditating on this star is also deemed to be beneficial for those with knee problems, particularly the right knee.

The other star highlighted for Friday is Menkar in the constellation of Cetus (The Whale):

” The use of this star can help people to release some of the unconscious connections to others, particularly those made in sleep.  The ability to consciously make such connections will be enhanced.  The unconscious connections made by most individuals through newspapers, television, or radio will be brought into greater consciousness.  This elixir is valuable for individuals seeking to truly understand the media, forms of advertising, and the way in which the media influences people’s perceptions of world events.”

Note that this was written in 1992, before social media took hold!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – slow and steady wins the race
  • Tomorrow – handling intense emotions
  • Friday – spiritual expression, and the media

Aspects for the week beginning 22 April 2018

Stephen Lawrence

Today  is the 25th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s death by a gang of white youths at a bus stop in London in 1993.  Last week, a special historical investigation was screened in three parts on television.  The memory, impact and poignancy of his death is as relevant today as ever, for knife crime in London saw two more deaths last week, and the Windrush scandal has rocked the government (Stephen’s parents were part of the generation that came from Jamaica in the 1960s).

Stephen’s Birth Chart

We do not know what Stephen’s potential would have been, but we do know he was an aspiring architect.  His mother remembers him as a “bright, beautiful boy”.  His Sun in Virgo was sextile Saturn, giving a serious and studious astrological profile.  Virgo is the most modest sign, most likely to try to keep a low profile, and least likely to swagger.  He also had a shy square of Neptune to Venus.  But Mars conjunct Pluto in Libra may have drawn him to be a victim of violence.  And Neptune conjunct his North Node may have made him a sacrificial lamb, but also an enduring symbol of an event which revealed aspects of society we should not forget.  The transits of his murder reveal in some ways a transition to spirit which is predestined, such as the chaotic Uranus/Neptune conjunction trine his natal Sun.  Uranus squaring his natal Chiron reveals the sudden and shocking nature of the event.

Doreen Lawrence

Stephen’s mother Doreen has a strong individuality, with an unaspected Sun in Scorpio, and an unaspected Venus in Sagittarius.  She worked as a special needs teacher, an occupation to which Scorpio qualities are eminently suited.  She has a complex triple conjunction of the Moon, Mars and Chiron in Capricorn, depicting a great wound but also her capacity to fight for justice.  Her Mercury in Scorpio exactly trine Uranus show a brilliant and forensic mind.  Pluto on her South Node may hint at past-life trauma.  I wrote about her when two of the white gang of five (Dobson and Norris) were convicted in 2012:

“Few people could have been unmoved by the dignity of Doreen Lawrence this week, waiting 18 years for justice for her son Stephen Lawrence.  She has been the epitome of the positive strength of Sun in Scorpio.  Her contribution to the justice system has been …Her husband Neville has also contributed so much during that time, but we do not have his birth date.”

She shares various features of her birth chart with Stephen, most notably Jupiter square the Nodal Axis  which I think illustrates her indomitable fight for justice. Their synastry shows a companionable sextile between his Sun and her Mercury.  His Chiron trined her Pluto, which is a deep resonance between them.  At the time of his death, the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn was also significantly impacting her chart and highlighting her natal Uranus/Neptune square, for Neptune squared her Neptune (extreme confusion) and Uranus both squared her Neptune (chaos) and opposed her Uranus (sudden crisis).

She campaigned not only for justice for Stephen, but for other similar victims.  She holds an O.B.E. for services to community relations.  She was made a Baronness in 2013, with a bittersweet mixture of transits: Pluto on her Mars, Neptune square her Venus, and Saturn sextile her Chiron.  She sits in the House of Lords working on cases involving racism.

Neville Lawrence

As mentioned, we do not have a birth date for Stephen’s father Neville. He too has shown great dignity, and last week announced that he had found a way to forgive Stephen’s killers. He and Doreen divorced in 1999.

Duwayne Brooks

Duwayne was the teenage friend of Stephen, who had earlier on the night in question been watching video games with him at the house of a relative.  He was with him at the bus stop when the white youths began their attack by taunting: “”What, what, nigger!”, prior to stabbing Stephen.  Duwayne ran to get help.  He survived, but suffered a great deal in the subsequent years, including harrassment and being arrested.  But he grew up and became a Lib Dem politician, and has been involved in public service.  He was born two weeks after Stephen, and shares several planetary positions in common, indeed his chart has similarities with Doreen’s, too.

At the time of the murder, some of Duwayne’s transits were similar to Stephen’s, but in addition he had Pluto sextile his Venus (transformation in a relationship) and Mars square his Uranus (exposure to violence).

Twenty Five Years

From 1993 to 2012, police corruption and institutionalised racism prevented any justice for Doreen and Neville, who persevered all that time in keeping the investigation into his murder current.  In 2012, the conviction of Dobson and Norris finally came about, partly due to the forensic advances which led to the matching of Stephen’s blood to a sample found in Dobson’s jacket and fibres of Stephen’s clothing and hair being found on the clothing of both men.  The law of double jeopardy was partially revoked in order to enable a retrial.  According to the televised account of the last twenty five years, the policeman responsible for bringing the two to justice, was warned off pursuing the matter further at that point.

Society Now

Doreen has said she wants to draw a line under the matter now.  But new information has implicated Norris’ father, a notorious drug dealer, in persuading members of the police force to withhold evidence and intimidating witnesses.  She now says: “I thought that after 25 years I could no longer be shocked by the conduct of the Metropolitan police.  However, if it is true that they did this, my sense of outrage will have risen to new heights and I will want immediate answers from them as to why it happened and why I was not told.”  At this time, she has a painful transit of Saturn to her Moon/Mars/Chiron triple conjunction.

The Observer reports this morning on the London area of Eltham, where the murder was committed.  It paints a mixed picture when it comes to experiences by residents in relation to racism.  One resident states: “It’s lovely.  People are very friendly.  If we treat others like equals, if we are open to different cultures, that will inspire people.  We are all human.”

In contrast, another resident reports: “Brexit has had a very negative impact.  It’s given people the right to say things like: ‘Go back to your own country “.

Aspects

Here we are in the early degrees of the earth sign Taurus, and it is Earth Day, a day to mark the importance of the environment.  The tradition of Earth Day was founded in 1970 by  U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, after witnessing an oil spill in Santa Barbara.  It’s an appropriate time, during the early degrees of Taurus, to appreciate and enjoy the earth, and we currently have the sunshine in the U.K. to enhance that experience.  The new greens, emerging flowers and the blossoms are just stunning in the light of spring.

Pluto going stationary, prior to turning retrograde, today, gives us more to think about and contemplate on a deeper level.  If we have been working on a line of psychological unravelling recently, we may have to retrace our steps.  We had Saturn going retrograde last week, so some more practical projects already need revision, and now the psychological ramifications of those or other issues need going over old ground.

Tuesday (24th) brings an energizing quality to our efforts, with Mars sextile Jupiter.  You’ll be able to find that extra drive, for what you are wanting to achieve.

In the afternoon, Venus will be entering Gemini, so some of that earthy focus which has been around lately will change to a more mental focus.  Venus in Gemini likes to circulate socially, so you may find excuses to fill the nooks and crannies of your diary with coffee dates with friends.  Venus will be in Gemini until 19th May (the date of the Royal Wedding and the Football Cup Final) so it will be a great few weeks for chat, gossip and conjecture.

We also have Venus sextile Chiron on Tuesday, so some of the chat will be very healing, and concern the subject of healing, especially for relationships.  Art and music therapy thrive under this aspect.

Wednesday (25th) is not as easy, with a square between Mercury and Saturn.  This can bring delayed travel and communications, or disappointing national news on the airwaves.

Real caution is advised for Thursday 26th (sorry, folks!) with a conjunction of those two planets of conflict and confrontation: Mars and Pluto.  Try to work out your strategies for peace in advance, and organize a group meditation if possible.

An easeful trine between Mercury and the North Node occurs on Friday (27th), which may restore some harmony.  Helpful karmic information may come your way, or you may find yourself to be the agent of karma, a bearer of good news or good advice for someone.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – a psychological retrospective
  • Tuesday – sparkling
  • Wednesday – frustrating
  • Thursday – caution advisable
  • Friday – karmic communication

Aspects for the week beginning 15 April 2018

Mark Zuckerberg

On Tuesday (10th April) this week, with Venus square the Nodal Axis, the social network Facebook came under the karmic microscope, as its founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress to answer questions regarding recent misuse of data.

Mark’s Birth Chart

Mark Zuckerberg’s birth chart bears many hallmarks of a shy but socially minded individual with technical skills, who has made a fortune through the creation of a social network.  First of all, he has the North Node (karmic mission) in Gemini (communication) in the 9th House of wider communication networks.  The North Node conjuncts his Chiron, so that his work is healing or problem-solving for him.  The 9th House contains his Sun and the Midheaven, too, making it a major focus of his life, with global interests.  The other House of great emphasis is his financial House, the 2nd, containing Pluto (finances on a grand scale), plus Saturn and an exact conjunction of the Moon and Mars (quick emotional reactions, confidence, and a keen interest in finance). His Moon conjuncts Saturn (loneliness) and that conjunction opposes his Venus. He was born on a Full Moon in Scorpio, and arouses strong emotions in others.  Not only are his female planets the Moon and Venus in opposition, but so are his male planets (the Sun and Mars) so he is equipped to be combative.  Mercury trine closely Neptune delivers mental inspiration, and Venus trine Jupiter provides a love of human interaction.  Uranus on the South Node suggests a past life connection with technology in Atlantis.

Facebook

Facebook was begun when he was at Harvard, on 4th February 2004, with a group of friends.  The chart for this date shows a close conjunction of the Sun and Neptune in the technological and networking sign of Aquarius.  Mercury is exactly sextile Venus in this chart, emphasizing communication and sociability.  Mars sextiles closely Uranus, bringing in the technical expertise needed for the enterprise.  Jupiter square Pluto hints at its potential power.  The Sun squaring the Nodal Axis hints at its potential for speeding up karma.  Its success may be seen in a close trine from Jupiter to the North Node.  The North Node at the time was transiting Mark Zuckerberg’s Venus (planet of relationships) in Pisces (shyness), and Pluto, planet of transformation, was squaring his Ascendant on his 4th House cusp.  As we shall see, Pluto which he has natally at 0 degrees of its own sign Scorpio (a very powerful placing) is powerful by transit in his life.

Cambridge Analytica

“In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us. A global community that prevents harm, helps during crises and rebuilds afterwards”.

~ Mark Zuckerberg, February 2018

Mark Zuckerberg’s current crisis was precipitated by the exposure of the activities of a data firm Cambridge Analytica (a British political consulting firm) who allegedly used information from Facebook to influence elections in the U.S. and the Brexit referendum here, among other applications.  They had employed data from 270,000 Facebook users.  The now suspended CEO of Cambridge Analytica had a transit of Neptune (scandal) on his Mars (exposure) when the story was revealed.

The Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr broke the information about Cambridge Analytica’s activities.  She asked: ” He is wrestling with the question of how Facebook can change the world. Whereas the question is: do we actually want Facebook to change the world? Do we want any corporation to have so much unchecked power?”

In March, when the scandal broke, Pluto was again changing House position in Mark Zuckerberg’s chart: it was exactly trine his Ascendant, on his 5th House cusp.  It was also a profound moment for Carole Cadwalladr personally, for with Pluto trine her Venus her work and worth were validated.

Appearance before Congress

This week, Pluto is still at that crucial point in Zuckerberg’s chart.  The cusp of the 5th House is very much about self-image and how you portray yourself, and this is one of his challenges now – how transparent can he be?  But Pluto turns retrograde next Sunday, and he will possibly have to go through a similar phase again when it returns to that point.  He also has Jupiter on the cusp of the 3rd House, retrograding and returning temporarily to his 2nd House.

Zuckeberg answered some mundane and some penetrating questions over the two days of questioning, including the question of how Facebook was funded?  Answer: “Senator, we run ads.”  And crucially, he was asked “Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”, to which after much hesitation, he replied “No”.  To many questions, he answered that he didn’t know and would “have our team get back to you afterwards”.

Going Forward

The week has highlighted many questions about how Facebook operates, and what happens to the information people post on it.  Alex Hern writing in the Guardian yesterday commented: “This could be the week its crisis moves from being about mistakes in the past, to inherent problems in the present”.

Toby Helm of the Observer quoted Damian Collins (Chair of the Commons committee looking into data breaches):

“I … think there have to be changes around the transparency of platforms [like Facebook].  So that if you are receiving information during an election period, you know where it is coming from, who is paying for it and which organization is promoting it.  It has to be really obvious to you.  At the moment it is not clear at all.  In an old-fashioned election you would get a leaflet through your door and would know who sent it.  You don’t know on the internet.”

Uranus entering Taurus in May will oppose Zuckerberg’s Pluto on 17th of that month, making for a difficult time for him.  On 24th June Uranus goes on to transit his natal Chiron in Taurus in his 9th House, which could also be a headache.

On 24/5th September, Jupiter returns to his 3rd House cusp and enters 3rd House of Communication, which may enable him to give a better account of himself.

Around 11/12th January 2019, Pluto returns to the 5th House cusp, and he may need to return to a similar re-evaluation and examination as at present.  A transformation will be required for his creation, Facebook.

Aspects

Did you have any empowering experiences yesterday with the major Jupiter-Pluto sextile?  It was interesting that Trump, May and Macron chose that day for their strike in Syria, trying to send a message about Syrian and Russian use of chemical weapons.  The wise and balanced use of power really does depend what side you are on, and your beliefs about the use of force.

Today may bring relief for some, with Mercury stationing prior to turning direct.  I have found this retrograde period difficult, with several journeys I would rather forget, and my i phone actually dying on me for a few hours (trying to tell me it is really past it – I have had it many years).  So travel prospects and communications, computers and technology (although partly ruled by Uranus) should brighten up and improve their performances from today.  I will be going for an upgrade on my i phone tomorrow, having paid heed to the signs…

Tomorrow (16th) there is more good news, in the form of a New Moon in Aries, one of those unequivocal fresh starts in the astrological calendar.  With the new cold war and fresh hostilities in the Middle East, let us hope that it is a constructive new beginning.  Aries is about decisive action, not necessarily peace, and you are not likely to see prevarication on the world stage.  But you can take positive action in your own life, along the lines you would like to see.

Tuesday (17th) seems action-packed, too.  First, Venus opposes Jupiter, and this could bring enjoyment through special social events.  If the weather forecast is to be believed, in the U.K. we could be having some summery weather, so you might want to dust down the barbecue from last year, and invent some new culinary delights inspired by the recent series of Masterchef for your guest diners.  Socializing may not be all plain-sailing though: someone may like things done differently, and say so, e.g. the veggie burgers may be a bit too rare.

More importantly, Chiron enters Aries that day: a major sign change.  Chiron has been journeying through Pisces in recent years, a sensitive crucible of healing.  Chiron coming into Aries will be more overt, and possibly more physical in its approach to healing.  If you have important points in your chart at 0 degrees, you may have healing issues come up.  If you have a difficult angle to one of your planets, then Uranus moving into Taurus in May may help, as it may counteract that difficulty.  And vice versa, if your Chiron transit is an easy angle to a personal planet, then the Uranian transit may be more awkward.  The two planets are performing a balancing act this spring.

Then on the same day, Venus trines Pluto, which is in-depth and constructive, and helps us through changes and transformations on a human level.  It is a good time for a heart to heart, if you can detach from all the other influences of the day.  At the barbecue, find an intimate corner of the garden in which to catch up with how your friend or family member is really feeling, and express your truth.

Wednesday (18th) may see a slight setback, as Saturn in Capricorn is stationary prior to going retrograde.  Saturn entered the sobering sign of Capricorn in December, and you may have felt, after the initial challenge, that you had gained a handle on its demands or lessons.  Now you will see that some of that learning may need revision or emphasis, before you can forge ahead. Saturn and Capricorn are all about patience and timing, and one of those lessons is that you can’t rush things.

Paradoxically, on the same day, the Sun conjuncts Uranus, and the element of the unexpected can enter in.  You may feel you are getting mixed messages from the Universe: should I stay or should I go?  It may not be an either/or situation, but there may need to be different approaches for different levels of a situation or problem.  There may be a holding pattern required (Saturn retrograde) say on a physical level, but also the welcoming of new ideas (Uranus conjunct the Sun) on the mental level at the same time.  If you are constructing a Grand Design, then you may need both, for different parts of the work.

The Sun leaves Aries and enters Taurus on Friday (20th), and the pace of life becomes more measured and less impulsive.  It is a good month for planting seeds and tending the earth, hugging trees, and such Taurean pursuits.  It has been a long cold winter, but I was able to say hello to the neighbours over the fence in the garden this week.  They see my Geminian hubby all the year round, but they only see me from the start of the hospitable weather…

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – communications back on
  • Tomorrow – a fresh start
  • Tuesday – action packed
  • Wednesday – retracing some steps, but also letting in new ideas
  • Friday – back to the earth

 

Aspects for the week beginning 8 April 2018

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936 – 2018)

Winnie Mandela, the second wife of Nelson Mandela, died this week on Monday, 2nd April.  She played a vital role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, and in freeing her husband after his lengthy period of imprisonment for nearly three decades from 1962 to 1990.  She managed to bring up their two daughters as a single mother, multi-tasking as a freedom fighter.  Until the murder of Stompie Moeketsi in 1989 she largely enjoyed an esteemed and admired following and reputation.  I read her autobiographical work “Part of My Soul went with Him” in 1994, a collection of interviews and a touching testament to her devotion to this man with whom she had hardly spent any time (“life with him was always a life without him”).  In our house, my daughters had a much loved black doll we called Winnie.

Birth Chart

Winnie had the Sun, Mercury and Venus in Libra, not a sign known for fighting, but one very much motivated by a sense of justice.  The fight in her is depicted in her close trine between Mars and the North Node (her karmic mission), giving her the Warrior Archetype, and leadership qualities linked with her karmic mission.  She also had some personal belligerence with Mars in Leo square the Ascendant at the beginning of her 10th House of Career, showing that self-assertion was also part of her career path.  Sun and Venus in Libra suggest her fame emerging through association with her life partner.  She was a romantic, with Venus sextile Mars, seeing Mandela as part of her soul.  The pain of the isolation and separation within that relationship is seen in her Venus square Pluto.

Youth

Winnie was a firebrand and a rebel from her early youth.  As well as her Mars aspects, she had an unruly unaspected Uranus (The Rebel) except for a possible square to her Moon (we do not have her birth time).  After fighting viciously in childhood with her sister, her mother gave her a severe beating.  She was devastated by her mother’s death at the early age of 9 or 10 (accounts differ), after which the siblings were split up among other relatives.

Both her parents were Methodists, but the death of her mother made her lose faith in religion (natal Jupiter square Neptune).  After her schooling, she took a degree in social work (1956) and later a degree in international relations.  She began work as a social worker, and according to her biographer Emma Gilbey she was “a remarkably effective and dedicated social worker”.

Meeting Nelson Mandela

The Guardian obituary, (written by David Beresford and Dan van der Vat) tells us: ” There was somehow an inevitability about Winnie and Nelson meeting, setting in motion one of history’s great and yet tragic love stories.” The obituary describes their introduction in a delicatessen by Oliver Tambo (a member of the ANC) in 1958.  According to Wikipedia she was 22 years of age and standing at a bus stop in Soweto when Mandela first saw her and asked her out (despite his already being married).

Marriage

They married in June 1958.  I wrote in my astro-obituary of Nelson Mandela in 2013:

“His marriage to Winnie Mandela undoubtedly provided emotional stability and strength, and a sense of family important to his Cancerian Sun, including the experience of fatherhood.  She was to visit him in prison from time to time, and was a key figure in keeping his cause alive and understood by the outside world.  Her role of assistant in his activism is seen in their synastry as her Mercury (information) exactly conjunct his Mars (activism).  In their personal interaction, her Venus (supportive Love) was exactly trine his Uranus (attracted to his brilliance) which trined and bisected his conjunction of Venus and Jupiter (love of humanity).”

I would add that Mandela’s Jupiter was conjunct Winnie’s South Node (a favourable past life link) and his Venus was exactly conjunct her Chiron in Gemini.  The trine of his Uranus and her Venus also describes the separated nature of their life together.  Jupiter was trine his natal Venus in the month when they married, a classic “marriage” transit, but Saturn was also opposite his Venus.  For Winnie, there were some tough squares transiting her chart at their marriage.

Children

Children (two daughters) followed quickly: Zenani in February 1959 and Zindzi in 1960.  By this time, Winnie was heavily active in politics.  From 1962 she was in effect acting as a single mother in terms of shouldering the parenting.  In the turbulent years of Winnie’s activism when they were growing up, the relationship of the two sisters to each other must have been a much-needed source of companionship.  Their closeness is shown in the fact that Zenani’s Sun is exactly conjunct Zindzi’s Venus.

Nelson, the father of the new South Africa, was a Cancerian, a sign synonymous with parenthood.  Yet he had virtually no role in bringing up the two sisters.  In his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”, he writes in contrast about the pleasure he took in parenting his son Thembi (from his first marriage):

“I enjoyed domesticity, even though I had little time for it.  I delighted in playing with Thembi, bathing him and feeding him, and putting him to bed with a little story. In fact, I love playing with children and chatting with them; it has always been one of the things that make me feel most at peace. I enjoyed relaxing at home, reading quietly, taking in the sweet and savoury smells emanating from pots boiling in the kitchen.”

Endurance

After Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in 1962, and the children were very young, not only was Winnie bringing them up on her own, but family life was constantly disrupted, from the consequences of her activism.  She was passionate about combating apartheid, and valiantly supportive of her husband and the movement to free him.  She became a figurehead for all he stood for, on his behalf.  She was tortured, banned from her own country, was subject to house arrest, banished to a rural town, and put in solitary confinement throughout the years her husband was in prison.  According to Nelson in his autobiography, in the early hours of 12th May 1969 the police woke Winnie and detained her without charge (Pluto was square her natal Chiron at the time).  On the night of 16th May 1977 police cars pulled up and began loading furniture and items into a truck; this time it was her banishment to a remote township.  Uranus in her chart was opposite its natal position, and Pluto was on her natal Mercury.  She was occasionally allowed to visit Nelson Mandela at Robben Island.  All the while, she was fighting for justice and equal rights.

Loose Cannon

Towards the end of Nelson’s incarceration, it became apparent that Winnie had become involved in some more dubious practices in the pursuit of the justice she sought.  She and Mandela had evolved differently in the time they were apart.  They had both started out as freedom fighters, and he had originally thought violence was a justifiable means to an end.  But in his sometimes solitary reflection in prison, and thoughtful reading, he became more philosophical and sought more diplomatic ways, for example in negotiating with prison authorities on behalf of his fellow inmates.  He began to think about concepts such as forgiveness.

In contrast, Winnie admitted that being imprisoned and tortured had brutalized her, describing the effects of her treatment in terms of “I knew what it is to hate”.  She became involved with what later were revealed as human rights abuses, including the violent method of “necklacing” (placing burning tyres around the neck of the victim).  She made a speech in April 1986 endorsing this practice, which she later regretted (Uranus was opposite her natal Chiron at the time).  In another speech in 2010, she attacked Nelson Mandela, and later claimed the interview to be a fabrication.

Mercury retrograde unaspected in her chart may have made her a loose cannon in speech at times, and Jupiter square her Saturn could result in her shooting herself in the foot occasionally.  Plus her Jupiter square Neptune may have confused her in ethical issues.

All came to a head in the affair of the murder of Stompie Moeketsi.  Three boys were captured at the end of December 1988 by members of her bodyguards (the Mandela United Football Club) and one of the boys, Stompie, was murdered at the beginning of January 1989.  At the time, Uranus (unpredictable behaviour and circumstances) was square to her natal Sun.  She was implicated, and later convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault. From prison, Nelson Mandela gave instructions for her to break away from the Football Club, which she ignored.

Nelson Mandela’s Release

By the time Nelson Mandela’s release took place on 11th February 1990, her reputation had become tarnished, and the two of them had evolved on different paths.  Nevertheless, they took each other’s hand, in acknowledgement of the vital role she had played in his release.  Their relationship was not quite over.  The Guardian Obituary stated:  “It was a moment of triumph for Winnie, and she had at least a taste of power in those early days of her husband’s freedom.”

Nelson Mandela was experiencing a Jupiter Return at that time, in Cancer, in his 7th House of Close Relationships.  Winnie herself had a wonderful set of transits at that moment, profound and with an emphasis on freedom (for her as well as for him): Mars was trine her natal Uranus, Uranus was trine her Uranus, Pluto was trine her Saturn and Pluto sextile her Neptune.  She might have used this moment to put the past behind her.

Nelson Mandela’s Inauguration

Nelson meanwhile, was setting out his stall in his new political role.  He was elected as President, and had had plenty of time to think about his philosophy and values, and how he wanted South Africa to go forward.  In his inauguration speech, he stated:

“We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity.

We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism and democracy.”

Winnie’s own attitudes at that time were far less conciliatory.

Separation and Divorce

With the revelation that Winnie had had affairs while he had been imprisoned, Nelson announced their separation on 13th April 1992.  She had some heavy but steadying transits at the time, such as Saturn sextile her Jupiter.  He had a powerful and defining sextile of transiting Jupiter to his natal Pluto.  They became divorced in March 1996, with Uranus (separation) trine her natal Sun, and Neptune square her Venus (confused romantic direction).  It was a psychologically healthy break for him with two positive transits to his Chiron (a sextile from Uranus, and a trine from Pluto).

Nelson’s Marriage to Graca Machel

At the age of 80 in 1998, Nelson married another Libran, Graca Machel.  It was a more considered marriage, taken in maturity.  Her Saturn (maturity) was conjunct his natal Sun.  Their Neptunes were sextile, a sign of being spiritually in tune.

Winnie’s Later Career

Winnie was to face more trials (her given name at birth “Nomzamo” means “she who must endure trials”) for human rights abuses, and fraud, and dipped in and out of political life as her circumstances fluctuated.

She was convicted of fraud on 24th April 2003, at a time when transiting Jupiter was squaring her natal Uranus in Taurus (chickens coming home to roost).

In a resounding victory, she made a stunning return to politics on 21st December 2007, when the ANC elected its National Executive Committee.  Sun/Pluto were on her North Node in Sagittarius at the time – a sign that politics was a strong part of her karmic mission. She also had at the time Jupiter trine her natal Mars (popularity and fresh energy) and Saturn trine her natal Uranus (great strength).

There is no doubt that Winnie played a great role in fashioning modern South Africa, and that even up to her death, she had many followers and admirers.  Many regarded her as the mother of the nation.

Death of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela died on 5th December 2013; Saturn was trine her natal Saturn, indicating a decisive but sober event in her life.  Saturn was also sextile her natal Neptune, and Mars sextile her natal Pluto, stirring up old emotions.  She contested his will involving their two daughters.

Winnie’s Death

Winnie’s health started to decline at the beginning of this year, with Pluto sextile her natal Saturn. She had undergone major surgeries and also suffered from diabetes.  At the time of her death from a “long illness” the disruptive planet  Uranus was opposite her ruling planet Venus, and also square her natal Pluto, planet of Transformation.

Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu

During the time she appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997, Desmond Tutu urged her to apologise and admit that she had made mistakes.  Her response was to say “things went horribly wrong”.

In his wholeheartedly affectionate tribute to her this week, he acknowledges her heroic role in the anti-apartheid struggle:

“She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, bannings and banishment.  her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations  of activists”

~ Desmond Tutu

Aspects

Our aspects begin on Tuesday (10th) this week, with Venus square the North Node.  This focuses on karmic relationships, particularly in relation to groups.  You may find yourself within a group situation which seems predestined, or pondering the significance of your relation to a group, possibly linked with past life experiences.

On Wednesday (11th) the Sun squares Pluto, which may bring endings and transformations.  These may be outwardly dramatic, or inwardly heartsearching.

We also have that day a trine between Venus and Mars, so the whole day will be eliciting passionate emotions one way or another, and on different levels.  The Venus/Mars combination is easier and more satisfying, bringing sensual delights, but will be more superficial in nature than the square between the Sun and Pluto.  It may however, help to ease the way, for example if you have a massage scheduled you may feel more relaxed about dealing with the deeper issues.

Thursday (12th) brings a sextile between Venus and Neptune, a sublime aspect which can lift your mood subtly.  This aspect can bring about exquisite artistry, musicianship and poetry.  Relationships too, can achieve spiritual heights.  Finer feelings can blossom.

The most important aspect of the week arrives at the end, on Saturday (14th), and it is the powerful Jupiter sextile Pluto.  It is about the bold but wise use of power, if you are keyed into it.  Philanthropy flourishes, and is appreciated.  Don’t miss this opportunity to display your best self.

Another sextile on Saturday afternoon bolsters the feelgood factor: Mars sextile Neptune.  There is room for finesse in your activities and dealings with others.  Spiritually oriented activities such as Tai Chi, Qijong and Yoga flow well under this aspect.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tuesday – karmic interaction
  • Wednesday – dramatic and passionate
  • Thursday – sublime and inspirational
  • Saturday – powerful in a positive way, but with subtle elements too

 

Aspects for the week beginning 1 April 2018

Astro Twins – Set 1

Bob and Alf

In a new occasional series, I am looking at sets of Astrological Twins.  This week Robert Weighton of Hampshire and Alfred Smith of Perth turned 110 on 29th March; they are Britain’s oldest men and are among the oldest people in the world. I shall be looking into clues in their lives and chart about longevity, and possible parallels in their lives.  We do not know their birth times, or which of them was born the earliest. They have been in touch, as pen pals, for four years, but have not yet met.  Both have been pictured this week in the media looking very hale and hearty, with huge grins.

Bob Weighton

Bob Weighton is much travelled, and if we were looking for clues to longevity in places he’s lived, there would be a long list: born in Hull, he has lived in Taiwan, China, Japan, Canada and the U.S.  He now lives in Alton, Hampshire.

The pair have Sun in Aries, a life giving sign, and the Sun in their charts trines optimistic Jupiter.  Robert expresses the jovial planet thus: “I think laughter is extremely important. Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people taking themselves too seriously.”

Mercury in their charts highlights mental inspiration in a trine to a conjunction between the North Node and Neptune, indicating that their lives may be as spiritual wayshowers.  We don’t know a great deal about them, and less about Alfred, but Robert’s take on the world (he is still very engaged with world affairs) shows great depth of thought: “What is important is that you identify forces that are constructive for humanity, and those that are destructive, and you support the ones that are constructive.”

The secretive side of their Sun square to Neptune is also apparent from Robert’s history.  He learned Japanese and worked for the British Political Warfare Mission during the 2nd World War to decipher messages trying to “ruin the morale of the Japanese fighting forces.”.

The Engineer is one of the Archetypes to be found in their chart, in Mars in Taurus (physical endurance)  trine Uranus (electrical energy), and Bob did indeed train as an engineer and worked for many years in that profession.

He lectured at City University in London for 25 years and the Teacher Archetype of Bob’s Mercury exactly trine North Node is still operational: “I do a lot of speaking, I go to clubs and schools to talk about my life and what it was like during the war.”

A trine between Jupiter and Saturn confers balance and good judgement.  Politically, he is in the centre:

“I am certainly interested in political matters though I’ve never been a member of a party,” he said. “If anything, I have supported the Lib Dems.” According to the Observer, “to keep abreast of events, he reads the Economist and listens to Radio 4″.  He voted Remain in the referendum and is annoyed that Brexit was triggered on his birthday, and that we will leave the E.U. on his birthday.

The Part of Fortune is in the 11th House of Friendships and Groups, and Venus trines Uranus natally: Bob spends much time still attending coffee mornings and clubs, though he states that he does not have a routine in his daily life.

Alfred Smith

Both men were born into large families.  Alf was born in Invergowrie, near Dundee and now lives in St. Madoes, east of Perth.  But, in an interesting parallel, both men lived for a time in Canada: Alf from 1927 to 1932, and Bob from 1939 to 1941.

Alf’s occupation is more focussed on the conjunction of Venus and Mars in Taurus, which they both share.  He comes from a farming family, and his family are still farming.  Venus conjunct Mars in Taurus takes delight in the connection with the earth (he farmed for 40 years until he retired at 70) and also in the sensory enjoyment of life.  Bob’s enjoyment of arts and crafts, another province of Venus in Taurus, is expressed through making and painting models in his spare time.  Venus conjunct Mars also has a good instinct for relationship, and when his wife was alive she and Bob volunteered together as marriage counsellors (Venus conjunct Mars square Chiron the Healer).  Alf and Bob have Chiron, their Inner Healer, in the progressive sign of Aquarius, which may have been a factor in their longevity.  Pluto also trine closely Chiron would strengthen them in matters of life, death and healing, and helping to overcome the square of Chiron to Mars/Venus.  Last year, Alf was quoted as saying: “I don’t have any pains and I sleep well. I’m not worried very much about anything.”  He also advocates eating porridge for breakfast!: ‘Porridge is helpful and having a job you enjoy. I like to think I’ve lived a decent life.”

As Astrologers, we always look for parallels in the lives of Astro Twins, and there is a gem in that they both married in the same year.  Bob married Agnes, who he met in Taiwan, and Alf married Isobel, in 1937, around the time of their first Saturn Return. Both are widowers.

Last word from Bob:

“I have not lived my life avoiding being run over by buses or getting cancer or anything else. I’ve done nothing to deserve or achieve this age. I’m just one of the lucky ones.”

Aspects

A bright and clear thinking aspect occurs this afternoon: the Sun conjuncts Mercury in Aries, an enlivening aspect, which gives us the green light in whichever area it occurs in our chart.  It assists us in being authentic and straightforward.  It also helps us to focus, for example if we are tackling financial accounts.  It is a congenial influence for living in the Now.

Tomorrow (Monday 2nd) brings us a conjunction between Mars and Saturn in Capricorn, which may be difficult for some.  If you already have a Mars/Saturn connection in your natal chart, you may be more used to working with it.  The explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has this conjunction, and it has led him to push himself in his exploits of endurance.  There may be blocks to practical action under this conjunction, but action can be deliberate, slow and sure (and even thorough).  Some elements of society may act harshly under this influence.

On the same day, the Sun trines the North Node, which points to a creative way through and may help to express any frustrations of the day.  Ownership of creative property may also come up.  Despite difficulties, you may see the Sun poking through the clouds, and reminding you of your karmic rights!

On Wednesday (4th) Mercury squares Mars, which can create irritable conditions and stir up arguments.  For peacemakers, it may be all they can do to concede the little battles in order to win the overall war.  A spot of meditation may be advised for the peacemakers, and if they can draft in the warmongerers in a group meditation, that would be helpful.  The skirmishes may be minor, but could upset those of a sensitive disposition, so be gentle on yourself.

More challenges lie in wait on Thursday (5th).  The progress of the week may seem tedious, with Mercury squaring Saturn, but hang on in there.  Disappointment or delay may characterize travel, especially with Mercury still being retrograde.  Cultivating the art of patience may be  a needed practice and exercise.  Checking the small print may also be useful.

The week ends better, with a constructive trine between Venus and Saturn on Saturday (7th), probably the best aspect of the week.  It is about holding steady in relationships, and knowing that someone cares.  Loyalty, support, commitment are all fostered under this aspect.  Quiet understandings are the order of the day.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – crystal clarity
  • Tomorrow – frustrated action, but some karmic perks
  • Wednesday – fractious
  • Thursday – flat in communications
  • Saturday – loyalty, support and commitment

Aspects for the week beginning 25 March 2018

Ant and Dec

The nation’s favourite TV presenting duo, Ant and Dec, had to take a break this week.  Last Sunday, Anthony McPartlin was the cause of a three-vehicle collision, and subsequently charged with drink-driving. Ant and Dec were coming towards the end of a series of Saturday Night Takeaway, and it was decided that last night’s episode would be cancelled, and Declan Donnelly would host the last two episodes of the series alone.  Ant will miss hosting the next series of Britain’s Got Talent to concentrate on rehab.  These two began their double act as young teens PJ and Duncan on the children’s programme Byker Grove in 1986.  Since then, they have been unstoppable, winning award after award and regularly hosting Britain’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, providing great entertainment and making us laugh.

Anthony McPartlin

Ant has the Sun in Scorpio, a sign of dynamism but also of excess, which can be one element of addiction, but the full story of course is much more complex, and the way through can be difficult to find.  The sign of Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, does from time to time “go to the brink”.  I remember that arch Scorpio, the actor Richard Burton, saying on a chat show, decades ago, that he had been to the brink (of his alcoholism) and stared at the abyss…but of course, he did not make it through.  Scorpios are very emotional, and Ant even more than average, being born on a Full Moon.  Scorpios like to be in control, they come under the Fixed Signs, but all that emotion makes it difficult.  Ant’s North Node in Scorpio sits in between his Sun-Mercury conjunction, so there is a fated quality to his life, more than most.  We do not have a birth time, but we do know his Part of Fortune is in the 6th House of Work and Service, and that would be where his true joy lies.  Venus closely conjunct Pluto can make his love life tumultuous, but his marriage lasted 11 years, and was subject to extra stress in recent years (without which it might have survived).

Knee Operation

Ant’s problems, apparently, began in 2015, when he went privately for a knee operation which was botched.  Natally, he has one major aspect to his Saturn (knees) and that is a close square from Uranus.  Saturn square Uranus in a chart can point to personal earthquakes from time to time, and this operation certainly would count as one.  It is possible that either Saturn or Uranus in his birthchart falls in a health area, or links with his Ascendant (the physical body).

The knee operation (no exact date available) set off a chain of events.  It left him in excruciating pain, and he subsequently became addicted to Tramadol, the painkiller causing widespread addiction, especially in the U.S.A.  He may not have been able to avoid taking painkillers, being in such agony, but carrying on with his work schedules meant that he was using the tablets prior to television appearances (sometimes together with alcohol) in order to carry on working.

That is a pressure in life (and in our society), to know when to stop carrying on, and despite physical pain.  It is often seen as heroic, whereas to know when to stop and bow out might be a wiser course of action.  He may have been able to reduce his intake and dependence on the drugs had he bowed out earlier.  His knee may have benefited from a literal physical rest. Others would feel they have to carry on, especially when they are absolutely dependent on their financial earnings.  Ant of course did not have the pressure of poverty, but the pressure of working with a partner, not being able to make a decision purely on his own well being, plus all the financial vested interests of the employers and staff around him depending on him carrying on, and not wanting to let people down.

It is underestimated how difficult addiction is to treat, and also that he had been on a treadmill of the limelight from being a teenager, a victim of his own success in not having the leisure to heal, or even time to look at his wounds.

He was admitted to rehab last June, with Saturn trine his Chiron (a serious attempt at healing) and Pluto sextile his Mercury (some soul searching and mental analysis), returning to presenting schedules later in the year, notably for “I’m A Celebrity”.

Marriage

Ant married Lisa Armstrong on 22nd July 2006, under transits of Neptune square his natal Mercury (mental confusion) and Chiron trine his natal Venus (healing).  Mars was square her Jupiter (enthusiasm), the North Node sextile her natal Jupiter (karmic boost), Saturn trine her natal Neptune (some stability) and Saturn sextile her natal Pluto (responsibility).  We do not know the internal stress factors in the marriage, but we first heard that there were problems last year, at the same time as we heard about the knee operation and its repercussions, and his addiction issues.  They divorced in January this year, with mixed transits for him: Jupiter on his Mercury (some liberation), Uranus on his Chiron (agitation of a wound) and Pluto sextile his Mercury (soul searching and mental analysis).  Some difficult transits for her, too: Uranus opposite her Mercury (mental agitation), Neptune square her Neptune (spiritual confusion), with Saturn providing a more stabilizing set of transits and a sense of finality.  Their overall compatibility was mixed: Her Sun was trine his Mars (an energizing link) but his Saturn squared her Sun, presenting some difficulties.  His Chiron opposed her Mercury (some communication problems), but his Jupiter trined her Saturn (some stability which endured for many years).  Going through a divorce this last year is both the symptom and the cause of deeper wounding.

Drink Driving

Ant was very lucky that the consequences of his drink driving were not more serious.  There were no serious injuries, and no fatalities.  Police were called to the incident at 15.59 Hrs at Mortlake. Mars (a driving confrontation) was opposite Ant’s natal Mars at the time.  Saturn was square his Venus (he may have been dwelling on emotional factors and sadness at the time), and his ruling planet Pluto was sextile his North Node (time to face the music, karmically).

Declan Donnelly

Ant and Dec are born two months apart in the same year, and therefore share planetary placings of the outer planets common to their generation or peer group, with Declan the elder of the two.  What strikes me about Libran Dec’s birth chart is his heavily aspect Mercury: he seems born for a career in broadcasting and live television.  His Mercury is sextile Venus (affable and charming in communication – can “talk the hind legs off a donkey”), Mercury closely trine Mars (very quick mental reactions and speech), Mercury opposite Jupiter (wide mental interests and jollity, media career), Mercury square Saturn (some seriousness or self-doubt among all that), Mercury conjunct Uranus (brilliant wit) and Mercury opposite Chiron (zany mind).  As if that were not charm enough, his Venus trines Jupiter, which is super social and popular.  Mars exactly sextile Jupiter gives him the energy allied with enthusiasm for all those high flying work schedules.  Jupiter also conjuncts Chiron, which can point to healing through comedy.  He also has the Saturn square Uranus (personal earthquakes), and in his case exact, but perhaps appearing in different areas of his chart (we do not have birth times for either of them).

Duo

What is the astrological secret of their long and strong association?  They have the strongest indication of a karmic link, in that Ant’s Sun at 25 degrees 29 mins Scorpio is almost exactly conjunct Dec’s North Node (karmic mission) at 24 degrees 26 minutes.  They both have their Moons in Taurus, which may be conjunct (they are within the same area of Taurus) and also in the orbit of their South Nodes (past life karma).  That is a tight connection.  The interaction of their planets has some spark and grit (Ant’s Mars square Dec’s Sun; Ant’s Chiron opposite Dec’s Mercury), but Ant’s Mars trines Dec’s Uranus (a real positive bright spark between them), Ant’s Venus sextiles Dec’s Neptune (a genuine love for each other) and Ant’s Venus conjuncts Dec’s Pluto (depth of relationship).

Dec’s Marriage

Dec has kept his current relationship fairly low key in terms of publicity.  He became engaged to their manager Ali Astall on 13th November 2014, under very favourable transits: Jupiter sextile his natal Mars, and Jupiter trine his natal Jupiter – a real wave of happiness.  The marriage itself was quietly performed, by his own brother (a Catholic priest) on 1st August 2015, with Neptune squaring his Neptune emphasizing that quietness.  Ali Astall’s birth date is not available.

Impact of Ant’s Accident on Dec

The transits for Dec last Sunday, a day which changed things for them both, included Mars sextile his natal Uranus (the impact of an accident), Saturn square exactly his natal Pluto (a serious wake up call in his life, causing a re-examination of circumstances), Uranus exactly trine his natal Venus at 26 degrees Leo trine the Galactic Centre (time to stand in his own light), and Uranus conjunct his natal Chiron (a nasty shock, but again his Chiron is trine the Galactic Centre).  He has something to give on his own, which he may not have been able to bring through while performing with Ant, even though it will be a sad solo journey.  Here’s hoping Ant’s time for true healing has come, and like a true Scorpio he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes in due course.

Some Future Transits:

May 2018

21st/22nd: Chiron going into Aries will square Ant’s Mars in Cancer.  Bear in mind that Chiron timings may not be exact, as Ephemerides vary.  This could be a painful time for Ant, for example in examining his own wounds during rehab.

27th: Chiron in Aries will oppose Dec’s Sun in Libra.  This is a time when Dec may need to examine his own wounding, e.g. in having to work separately from Ant, and looking at any possible dependency issues around their relationship.  He may need to look after his own health at that time.

30th: Uranus going into Taurus will square Dec’s Saturn, activating his Saturn-Uranus natal square: this could be a very difficult time for Dec, a restructuring and regrouping of his life and psyche.

June 2018

2nd/3rd: Uranus in Taurus squares Dec’s Uranus: Dec may feel that he cannot easily control circumstances around this time.

October 2018

12/13th: Jupiter transits their most important astrological link (Ant’s Sun conjunct Dec’s North Node), bringing a blessing, some joy at reunion (not necessarily a permanent solution).  First it reaches Dec’s North Node (karmic mission): this may bring about a personal success for Dec.

17/18th: Jupiter transits Ant’s Sun: Ant may feel he has achieved a major leg of success in his own healing, and the future may look brighter for both of them.

Aspects

The first major aspect does not occur until Thursday (29th) this week, and it is a conjunction between Venus and Uranus, which is generally favourable.  It is a vibrant social aspect, which may carry an element of serendipity.  It is good for meeting friends, either intentionally or unplanned (Lennon and McCartney first met under this conjunction).

In the afternoon, the Sun squares Saturn, which may slightly deflate earlier elation.  There may be sobering news, e.g. on the international front. You may suddenly realize you have an extra hill to climb on a personal project.  But friendship may help you to take that little bit extra in your stride.

Friday (30th) offers us a trine between Mercury and the North Node, which favours the sharing of information with a karmic slant.  I often think that social media actually speeds up karma, in this day and age, and that may be a feature or insight to look out for on Friday.  We all know there are upsides and downsides to such communication, but Friday’s aspect tips the balance towards the karmic reward end of the continuum.

Venus enters Taurus on Saturday (31st), where she luxuriates in her own comfort zone.  Home comforts and pampering rule, especially early on in the day.  Enjoy the peace and calm of Venus in Taurus without the forthcoming encumbrance of Uranus being in this sign from May onwards (for seven years).  It could be a time you look back on as being relatively uncomplicated!

But of course, as always, life is not that simple, for at lunchtime on Saturday we also have a Full Moon (at 10 degrees Libra).  The Moon opposes the Sun in Aries, which always creates a little conflict, if only on an emotional level.  Do you do your own thing, or do you stay loyal to the partnership?  It is ironic, or precise timing, that Libran Dec will have to go it alone on this very day at the Saturday Night Takeaway.  The decision has been made for him, but in your own life you may have more space to decide what is best, especially if you do not have planets entangled in the four cardinal signs at 10 degrees (Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn).  Dec’s Pluto is at 8 degrees Libra, close enough to be challenged.  All the best to him, and to Ant for getting well.

The week in bullet points:

  • Thursday – social vibrancy, later challenges
  • Friday – karmic information
  • Saturday – calmness, then dilemma

Aspects for the week beginning 18 March 2018

Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018)

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up”

~ Stephen Hawking

Universal admiration and fondness was expressed this week about physicist Stephen Hawking, who died in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  It mattered not whether you had read and mastered his book “A Brief History of Time”, there was plenty of inspiration in his life, character and work for anyone to relate to.  And such was his engagement with popular culture that he appeared in such programmes as the Simpsons, the Big Bang Theory, and Star Trek.  And if you had no interest in science or popular culture, seeing him as a human battling a fateful diagnosis of motor neurone disease and defying the odds for 55 years, plus achieving what he did during that time, you could not fail to be awe struck.

Birth Chart

We have no birth time for Stephen, and so we do not have the full facts to investigate the mystery of what made him such a great scientist or character.  He had the Sun in gritty and determined Capricorn, and over half his planets were in Earth signs.  He had no planets in the Water signs, and it is possible that a lack of emotion contributed to super-rationality.  His Sun in Capricorn was trine Saturn, emphasizing his Capricorn nature, and trine closely his North Node (karmic mission) in Virgo, bringing creativity to his scientific research.

His brilliant mental trine between Mercury and Uranus was undoubtedly one factor in his genius, but his nervous system was also under strain from an exact square between Mercury and Mars, and an opposition between Mercury and Pluto.  Uranus trine Neptune may describe the breadth of his imagination.  His illness was diagnosed shortly after his 21st birthday, when Pluto was squaring his natal Jupiter in Gemini (a disempowerment).  Natal Jupiter exactly sextile Chiron, however, may hold the key to his longevity.

The Science Bit

Stephen Hawking obtained his first degree at Oxford University, as his father had, and then managed to switch to Cambridge University for his postgraduate studies.  As an atheist, he might have described the people turning up in his life as a random phenomenon.  But working with past life therapy as I do, I see souls contracting to meet in order to facilitate and encourage each other in their line of work.  His PhD was under the supervision of Dennis Sciama, who introduced him to Roger Penrose, who in turn sustained a long and fruitful scientific collaboration with Stephen.

Stephen Hawking was developing theory around black holes, and as Roger Penrose states in his Guardian obituary:

“…it did not take Hawking long to find a way to use my theorem in an unexpected way, so that it could be applied (in a time-reversed form) in a cosmological setting, to show that the space-time singularity referred to as the “big bang” as also a feature not just of the standard highly symmetrical cosmological models, but also of any qualitatively similar but asymmetrical model.”

Hawking and Penrose had good astrological working chemistry:

Penrose’s Saturn is exactly conjunct Hawking’s Sun in Capricorn, a serious and fundamental tie between two people, and useful for shared work and purpose.  Hawking’s Jupiter was square Penrose’s Mercury, a mentally stimulating combination.  Hawking’s Pluto was sextile Penrose’s Mars, adding energy and depth to each other’s working operations.  Hawking’s Pluto was conjunct Penrose’s Jupiter, both contributing to each other’s success.  And in a further serious but constructive connection, Hawking’s Saturn was sextile Penrose’s Pluto.

In 1966 Hawking and Penrose shared the Adams Prize, a prestigious prize awarded by the University of Cambridge.  By 1970, Stephen was recognized as a leader in his field, and once again collaborated with Penrose on a more powerful and groundbreaking reasearch theorem. This was the year of Stephen’s Saturn Return in the sign of Taurus, the Saturn Return often being a time of the cementing and crystallization of a person’s life purpose.

In the mid-1970s Stephen deepened his scientific quest, in the search for a theory of quantum gravity in order that he may bring together Einstein’s laws of general relativity with the theories of quantum mechanics.

In April 1988 he published his most famous popular work “A Brief History of Time”, subtitled “from the Big Bang to Black Holes”, an attempt to bring his work to non-specialist readers, and also to finance his ever growing needs in terms of staff and equipment for his declining health condition.  Mars was opposite his natal Pluto in Leo at that time, representing a burst of energy and creativity in a constructive application in his life.  As at his birth, Saturn was conjunct Uranus at that time.  This is a challenging conjunction of two very different forces, which may in some way depict black holes or some part of their process.

A Nobel prize eluded him in the recognition of his work, because there was no tangible proof for his theories, though they were widely approved and debated, and used as the basis for scientific researches.

Jane Wilde

While studying for his PhD at Cambridge he met Jane Wilde, who would become his wife, and around that time his illness also began to surface.  He became depressed at the diagnosis that he would only possibly have two years to live, and nearly gave up his studies.  Jane Wilde determined to marry him and look after him, and there is no doubt she made a vital contribution to his life and ability to work and establish his career.  She is a woman of great determination, and positivity (natal Sun trine Jupiter) whose great strength of character helped sustain family life for many years, but eventually the strain of their lifestyle and her own needs to develop her interests led to them drifting apart.

We are fortunate to have her memoir, originally published in 1999 as “Music to Move the Stars” when they had broken up, then revised and re-published after his second marriage failed and they grew closer again.  The new publication “Travelling to Infinity” was made into a phenomenal film “The Theory of Everything” starring Eddie Redmayne in an outstandingly convincing portrayal of Stephen Hawking.  Jane’s book, drawn from detailed diaries, gives us a unique perspective of their life together, and for an astrologer contains gems such as the birth times of their children, and the minutiae of crucial moments, for example the time (7.30 p.m.) when a doctor was called prior to a major illness!

They married on 14th July 1965, with challenging transits to her birth chart of Neptune square her natal Jupiter (a triumph of idealism) and Pluto opposite her natal Venus (a deep personal challenge).  There was great hope too, in the shape of Jupiter sextile her natal Mercury and Jupiter (her natal trine of Mercury and Jupiter depicts her specialism in language). It was quite a commitment for him, too, with Saturn on his South Node, but spiritually serene at the time with Neptune sextile his Sun and sextile his North Node.

In her synastry with Stephen, he was able to bring groundedness with his 6 Earth planets to her 0 Earth.  Although religion was a contentious issue between them (she was a Christian and he was an atheist; her Mars squared his Neptune), there will have been lively discussion and shared interests with her Mercury sextile his Venus.  Her Saturn was trine his Venus, producing a great deal of mutual loyalty over a long period of time.

Both Jane and Stephen loved the family life with the children, and Jane details family moments with great warmth.  Penrose noted in his obituary: “He took great pleasure in children”. It is interesting to have the birth times of their three children (two are given precisely, the third is vaguer, given as “evensong”), as sensitive points in birth charts run in families and there may be clues as to Stephen’s Ascendant.  One possibility is Sagittarius, because his eldest child Robert has his Ascendant in mid-Sagittarius, and his daughter Lucy has her Moon there.  Sagittarian interests and vision lie very much in the realms of Cosmology.  We do know that his Part of Fortune (Joy) lies in his 9th House of Higher Philosophy and Cosmology, related to Sagittarius.  Stephen collaborated closely with his daughter Lucy over various projects – her Pluto was trine his Mercury (a deep mental connection) and their Neptunes were exactly sextile (a harmonious spiritual connection).  Jane and Stephen also have grandchildren.

Tracheotomy

In August 1985, his sudden medical crisis of pneumonia when they were holidaying separately in Europe was a crucial time for them both.  Stephen had Venus square Saturn natally, and transiting Saturn was opposing natal Saturn and squaring natal Venus, highlighting both the health and relationship crisis. Jane rushed to his side in Geneva, and was briefed by a doctor.  She related the scene in her biography:

“The question was whether his staff should disconnect the ventilator while Stephen was in a drugged state, or should try to bring him round from the anaesthetic.  I was shocked.  Switching off the life supply was unthinkable.  What an ignominious end to such a herioic fight for life, what a denial of everything that I, too had fought for!”

Her response:

“Stephen must live.  You must bring him round from the anaesthetic”.  Agonizingly, Neptune was opposite her natal Mars.  But Mars was trine her natal Sun at the time, requiring her fighting spirit.

The whole crisis was movingly and gravely depicted in the film of his life.

A tracheotomy was advised to save his life, and this led to the use of his acquiring a computerised speech synthesizer and that distinctive “voice”.  This was three years before he gave us his best-known book.

Stephen required even more intensive nursing from this point  in his life, and the constant thoroughfare of nursing staff built further barriers in their relationship.  Jane felt increasingly remote from Stephen, and was particularly sensitive to the fact that Stephen had always wanted to do things for himself, and many of the nurses were oversolicitous in doing things for him.  Jane states in her biography:

“…the nurses, on the other hand, tended to smother Stephen in a blanket of sentimentality. This belied his strength of mind and undermined my attempts to keep the correct balance.”

One nurse in particular, Elaine Mason, grew very close to him, so much so that he left the family home in February 1990 (with a freedom loving trine of  Uranus to his natal Jupiter) and married her in 1995 (we do not have Elaine Mason’s birth date). Jane meanwhile married Jonathan Hellyer Jones, a church pianist she had known since 1977.  The marriage to Elaine Mason lasted until 2006.

Concerns about the Future

Stephen Hawking’s concerns about the future of mankind and artificial intelligence bear a similarity to those of Elon Musk.  They both believe that colonization of other planets may save us in the future.  Hawking believed there may be aliens out there, but we should be wary of communication with them.  He was very concerned about global warming, and Donald Trump’s approach to the problem.

In an interview, he stated:

“The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory, or partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all. A major nuclear war would be the end of civilization, and maybe the end of the human race. The quality I would most like to magnify is empathy. It brings us together in a peaceful, loving state.”

Disability

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”

~ Stephen Hawking

Despite the harshness of his physical condition, he was able to demonstrate to a remarkable extent the ability and value of not giving up.  In this way, he was able to encourage and inspire everyone.

He held strong political views as a supporter of the Labour Party, and as a campaigner for nuclear disarmament.  He gave out a particularly powerful message in recent years, as the National Health Service crumbled due to neglect by Conservative governments, in fighting for the N.H.S. literally to the end of his life.

“I have received excellent medical attention in Britain, and I felt it was important to set the record straight.  I believe in universal health care.  And I am not afraid to say so.”

and

“I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”

Life and Death

Stephen Hawking was born on 6th January 1942, exactly three hundred years after the death of Galileo, a scientist he strongly identified with.  Galileo himself was born the year in which Newton died.  Stephen died on 14th March 2018, which was the 139th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birth.  Stephen’s nickname at school had been “Einstein”.  Accordingly, perhaps a new star is being born right now.

Although an atheist, Stephen talked in scientific terms of describing the Mind of God, if God were to exist.  He was however tolerant of those whose beliefs were more inclined towards religion, believing “We are each free to believe what we want”.

Transiting Pluto (finality) was trine his natal Saturn (his ruling planet) this week. There was also support from Chiron (healing) at his passing.

He was not afraid of death, but now he is on the other side of that veil he will know more of the truth of existence.  Though he was an atheist, I crave indulgence for my view of him now as a being of light enabled to whizz about and travel and explore those parts of  the universe he travelled to in his imagination while on earth.

Aspects

Venus trines the True North Node today, which may ensure harmonious karma, truces and declarations of eternal love.    You may search out old friends, and renew old alliances.  The Arts may receive encouragement.  However, the weather is freezing here in the U.K. and there is a cold war brewing with Russia, so the trine may not reach all the parts we would want it to.

 Tomorrow, Monday (19th) the Sun conjuncts Chiron, and this may bring a focus on healing, and problem-solving in relation to crisis management.  Ingenious minds are often born with this conjunction, and so it is possible to reach out for solutions and obtain them under this influence.

A literary and diplomatic influence arrives on Tuesday (20th) with Mercury conjunct Venus, a helpful and communicative combination. good for catching up with writing projects.  Socializing, and lingering in tea shops and coffee bars are all congenial pursuits on such a day.  Caveat: again, there may not be any thaw in some wider international relations!  Venus is considered the “lesser benefic”, and not associated with major breakthroughs on that level.

However, a fresh outlook is possible in the mid-afternoon when the Sun enters Aries to usher in the new astrological year on the Spring Equinox.  Minor paranoias may be put aside, and positive resolutions made with more confidence.  If you didn’t achieve some clutter clearing while the Sun was in Pisces, you may have more energy for it now.  Take a deep breath and make a start on your new priorities.  Hopefully, the snow will have thawed (if not international relations) and you may enjoy the Spring vibe.

Friday (23rd) sees the interruption of communications, with Mercury stationary prior to turning retrograde.  You know the drill:  be clear in  your communications, focus, allow more time in your travelling schedules, check details, etc.  If you want to get ahead, attend to documentation between now and Friday, then you can relax more easily.  And don’t buy too heavily into the retrograde, it is possible to make progress, especially if you pay heed to historic lessons.  Mercury turns direct on 15th April, so make a note of that in your diary if you intend to shelve all paperwork in the meantime.

In the late evening Venus squares Pluto, and this is more problematic on an emotional level.  You might, on encountering any problem, be tempted to blame Mercury retrograde, but if there is an emotional or psychological element, Venus square Pluto may be the cause.  It may be a time for soul-searching, either individually or with a partner.  Letting go and forgiveness may be necessary tools in the process.

The Sun squares Mars on Saturday (24th) and caution is definitely the watchword of the day.  Hotheads could cause havoc, so keep a cool head, keep your car serviced, keep your dogs on a leash, and avoid conflict.  Otherwise, you’ll be fine.  The energy, fire and enthusiasm which the Sun with Mars generates can be positively harnessed if you are especially mindful, e.g. if you are conversant with car engines and handle dogs well.  It can also be useful in sport, and courageous in the face of danger.  Not for the faint-hearted, though.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – harmonious karma
  • Tomorrow – healing
  • Tuesday – literary; a new beginning
  • Friday – interrupted communication; soul-searching
  • Saturday – heated exchanges