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Aspects for the week beginning 20 September 2020

Terence Conran (1931 – 2020)

“We all have a little bit of Conran in our lives, whether we think about design or not”

~ Suzanne Moore

Designer and entrepreneur Terence Conran died on 12th September, at the age of 88, after a long and productive life.  By all accounts, he was quite a character, and sometimes challenging to those who worked with him, and in personal relationships.

Birth Chart

With 6 (over half his planets) in the Cardinal signs, he was quite definitely a leader. He certainly led the way in transforming our homes after the war, from traditional furnishing to a more modern look.  In his career, he was always a step ahead, finding new avenues for his talents, such as establishing restaurants.  His Sun was in Libra conjunct his ruler Venus, the sign you would expect to find in an interior designer.  So he had a highly developed sense of harmony and artistry in that sense, but with the Sun square Moon and three difficult aspects to his Venus, all was not harmony in his private life.  He had a contentious T-square between the Sun opposing Uranus and squaring Saturn (personal earthquakes), which if you count a wide orb with Pluto is almost a Grand Cross.  The Sun was conjunct the South Node in Libra in his chart, so he probably worked on similar themes as an artist in previous lives.  His Moon was in Cancer, thus his sphere of working interest was in Homes.  The Moon was sextile Neptune – a sensitivity and good taste in matters of Home, and the Moon was square the Nodal Axis, implying that the art of home making was part of his karmic mission.  Venus exactly sextile Jupiter brought him success through artistic expression, but Venus was also square exactly with Saturn (relationship difficulties), Venus opposite exactly Uranus (break-ups) and square Pluto (explosive relationships).  Mars square Jupiter was a telling aspect: an over the top enthusiasm allied with energy, which Stephen Bayley (writing his obituary in the Guardian) labelled “the zealous energy of a messiah”.  Of course, in his chart, you find the Entrepreneur Archetype – Jupiter closely trine Uranus.  I think his ability to bring transformation to post-war homes comes from his square between Uranus and Pluto; he had to be quite pushy to achieve that.

Life and Career

Terence Conran was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1931, and attended the Central School of Art and Design when he left school, studying textiles.  He began a business in design in 1956, while designing a shop for Mary Quant.  His schoolfriend Alexander Plunket Greene described him as “surly…old beyond his years”, and married Mary Quant.  But it was not until 1964 that he opened his  famous homeware and furniture shop Habitat, on the Fulham Road in Chelsea.  According to Stephen Bayley, his style was “polite, eclectic modern design, much influenced by urban Scandinavia and rural France”.  In 1990 he branched out as a restaurateur, at his 2nd Saturn Return in Capricorn.

Shirley Conran

Shirley Conran was Terence’s second wife (of four), and achieved fame with her best-selling book “Superwoman” which I dutifully read in 1975!  It was packed with information about short-cuts to housework and the domestic arts.

Jasper Conran

Jasper Conran was one of two sons from his marriage to Shirley Conran, and followed him into a career of design, though more orientated towards fashion.  Jasper has designed clothes for the rich and famous, including for Lady Diana.  He has the design sign Libra rising.

Terence leaves behind in total 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

On a personal note, we have a monument to Terence Conran in our own home.  In 1975, in setting up our first home, we bought a pine dining table from Habitat.  I know, they’re not fashionable now!  It wasn’t elegant; it was chunky and solid, but one of the best and most enduring purchases of our married life!  It is still going strong, 45 years later, and we love it.

“Terence’s achievement was to put middle Britain in touch with the pleasure principle”

~ Stephen Bayley

“This was his rebellion against the drabness of the postwar years, the grey houses, the Spam fritters, the colourless mackintoshes”

~ Suzanne Moore


We have three aspects this week, all difficult aspects to Mercury.  Although they are to be taken seriously, they are in the scheme of things medium in terms of seriousness in comparison to other aspects, but Geminis and Virgos (the Mercury-ruled) will need to be on their toes.

The first of these occurs tomorrow (Monday 21st) in the early hours of the morning.  Mercury square Pluto can be mentally fractious, so you may start out grumpy and find it is a chain reaction, unless you consciously intend to make every word count in a constructive way.  You may encounter awkward communications or travel (if you are allowed to travel).  You may need extra ‘me time’ in order to separate yourself from worried pronouncements about the progress of the social measures being instituted on behalf of the virus we haven’t yet managed to shake off.  If you do engage in chatter, choose a worthwhile subject.

Tuesday (22nd) brings us the Autumn Equinox, the Sun’s entry into Libra.  There may be a lift in mood, accompanying a greater appreciation of the beauty of nature, and awareness of the quality of design, whether in or out of the home.  Libra may draw you to artistic or musical pursuits, new relationships, or an interest in the law and justice.

The second square of the week arrives on Wednesday (23rd) in the shape of Mercury square Saturn.  Again, this forces us to think seriously about matters, e.g. David Attenborough and his recent programme “Extinction”.  That doesn’t sound like much fun, but the excitement of the challenge of working out what can be done could be motivating.  It is not as challenging as Monday’s square, and it is more practical.  So you may perceive some progress coming into the middle of the week, when you look back and compare the agenda set at the start.  More haste less speed may be a useful mantra to follow.

“More haste less speed” can also apply on Thursday (24th), with Mercury opposite Mars, but in a completely different way.  Whereas you need to be patient on Wednesday, e.g. your broadband may be going slow, on Thursday you may make minor slip ups because you will feel like going quickly and pushing through agendas fast.  Heated debates, irritability and incident-proneness could also be a feature of Mercury opposite Mars.  Again, the irritability of Thursday’s aspect contrasts with the irritability of Monday’s.  Monday’s square between Mercury and Pluto can contain a deep moodiness, whereas the irritability of Thursday’s Mercury aspect is more surface, resulting from an impatience to get things done, and not wanting to let anything stand in your way.  You may observe this in others, and in the general hustle and bustle of society, where two or more (or six) are gathered together.

The week in bullet points:

  • Monday – deep thought
  • Tuesday – the colours of Autumn
  • Wednesday – a necessary slowing down
  • Thursday – a speeding up, but take care

Aspects for the week beginning 13 September 2020

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s plight has newly come to our attention this week, in a stark reminder of how desperate her situation is  The Iranian mother was detained on 3rd April 2016, and was held in an Iranian prison almost continuously until 20th March this year, when the coronavirus crisis began to affect the country.  Since then she has been under house arrest at her parents’ home, but separated from her husband Richard and her daughter Gabriella. In an announcement on Tuesday, the Iranian government said they wanted her to undergo a re-trial and face further charges, despite the fact that she has served four of her five years.

Birth Charts

Astrologers were originally working with a birth date of 16th September 1978 (no birth time) for Nazanin.  Wikipedia now gives as her birth date 26th December 1978.  In checking her history, there are several occasions where the first birth date seems very relevant, so I am reluctant to give that up altogether, and will refer to both for the time being.

For the September birthdate, Nazanin would be Sun in Virgo, born on a Full Moon (attracting strong reactions from others).  Jupiter (luck and freedom) in this chart has three squares.

For the December birthdate, Nazanin has Sun in Capricorn (the sign of the Scapegoat) conjunct the warrior planet Mars, but with Moon conjunct Venus (at the same time great gentleness).  The Sun trines Chiron exactly in this chart, highlighting healing, and may show her resilience.  This chart also has Mercury trine Jupiter (widely travelled, with a facility for languages / journalism).


Nazanin visited Iran with her daughter Gabriella on 17 March 2016, and was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard when she tried to return to England on 3rd April 2016.

The relevant transits for her journey to Iran were: for the September chart Saturn on her natal Neptune, and for the December chart Uranus opposite her natal Pluto, both signalling difficulties.

The transits for the detention are more descriptive for the September birthdate, with Jupiter squaring her natal Neptune, Saturn on her Neptune and Neptune opposing her Mercury (with Neptune involved in all three transits, that is a great deal of confusion).

She was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for “plotting to topple the Iranian government” on 10th September 2016 (she had come to visit her parents for the Iranian New Year).  Again, the transits for the September chart are more eloquent: Saturn square her natal Mercury (sentencing), Neptune opposite her natal Mercury (incarceration) and Pluto square her natal Pluto (disempowerment).  For both events, the December chart yields transits which are benign or favourable.

In my blog dated 12th November 2017, I noted:

“In one of his most damaging gaffes in a long history of gaffes, Boris Johnson has endangered the life of a British citizen Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, who is being held in Iran after visiting relatives there to introduce them to her child.  In a casual remark, he stated that the purpose of her visit was to train journalists, and this statement may double her sentence.  He then made a half-hearted retraction in parliament, which went nowhere near a restoration of the situation.”

On 9th July 2018 Jeremy Hunt took over from Boris Johnson in the post of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.  It was thought that his approach might be more diplomatic, and he did have friendlier relations with the Iran government, but was ousted from his post when Boris became Prime Minister on 24th July 2019.

Brief and bittersweet was her joy when Nazanin was released for three days on 23rd August 2018.  She was able to see her daughter who was living with her parents.  Her September birthdate reveals transits of Uranus square her natal Jupiter (a short lived release) and Neptune square Neptune (emotional confusion).  The December birthdate is also very relevant, with Pluto sextile her natal Venus/Uranus (some emotional comfort and change), but with Pluto also square her natal Pluto (disempowerment).  The latter transit speaks of the psychological torture of recovering her freedom for a short time and then having it snatched away.  Her condition deteriorated a great deal after that experience: she regretted the temporary release and began to have panic attacks.

On 13th January 2019, I wrote (in relation to the September chart):

“Nazanin, languishing in an Iranian jail, is about to go on hunger strike this week, with no sign of clemency from the government there.  The Nodal Axis is square to her Mars, a desperate  karmic action.  Saturn is sextile her Uranus, some strength if she decides to go through with it, though her health is in a parlous state.  Neptune trine her Uranus – it is something she feels she has to do, from her spirit.  A very sad situation, she’s in.”

During Jeremy Hunt’s tenure of the post of Foreign Secretary, on 7th March 2019 she was granted diplomatic protection by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  This act raised her status to a dispute between two governments.  Jeremy was succeeded by Dominic Raab, whose hands now cradle this delicate matter.

On 14th June 2019 Nazanin and her husband went on hunger strike together for two weeks.  The December chart spoke more eloquently about this event, among the transit were Saturn square her natal Pluto (reaching rock bottom) and the Nodal Axis squaring her natal Pluto (a life or death gamble).  She was subsequently moved to a psychiatric hospital.

On 11th October 2019, her daughter came to England to live with her father so that she could attend school in England.  The transits for Nazanin at the time of this further enforced separation will have been experienced on an emotional level.  For the September chart, Neptune squared her natal Neptune, but for the December chart Pluto was trine her North Node.  In December of that year, her appeal for conditional release was denied.

When the pandemic started to affect Iran, she was temporarily released from Evin prison and placed on house arrest (17th March 2020).  Both charts speak to this event: the September chart has transiting Jupiter trine her natal Sun (a release), and the December chart has Uranus trine her natal Sun in Capricorn (also showing freedom).  Interestingly this date was the fourth anniversary of her arrival in Iran.  During her release she has been wearing an ankle tag which restricts her movements to within 300 metres (984 ft) of where she lives.

And so to the events of this week when on Tuesday (8th September) we were told she was facing new charges, a tremendous blow.  The most difficult transit that shows up here was for the September chart, that of Mars opposite her Mars (literally, a blow!)

That is an account of only some of what she has been through since March 2016.

Richard Ratcliffe

I have an approximate chart for Nazanin’s husband Richard, based on a newspaper report a few days after his 42nd birthday.  The chart I am using is 22nd January 1975.  He has lobbied tirelessly on her behalf.  At the time of her shock detention, I found that transiting Neptune was square his Neptune (extreme confusion).

In February 2018, Richard highlighted the fact that the interest on a debt from decades old (1971) arms sales owed to Iran by the U.K. was a major factor in her detention.  The amounts quoted are in the region of up to £450 m.  If true, then it makes the behaviour of both governments seem even more callous.  In October 2019 he stated that the U.K. government were using “every legal roadblock to delay and minimise the payment”.  In January 2016, the U.S. government had paid 400m dollars in exchange for four Iranian-Americans.  The U.K. Ministry of Defence believes that a similar payment on Nazanin’s behalf would be misused by Iran for military purposes.  We await to hear what further charges the Iranian government intend to bring to further complicate her fate.

Gabriella Zaghari-Ratcliffe

At the heart of this tale of unjust imprisonment is the poignant separation of a mother and daughter. Gabriella is now six years old, having been born on 11th June 2014.  Her chart is characterized by a scarcity of aspects to her “lights”, her Sun and Moon, which represent her parents.  The transits for the time her mother was taken do not register the drama which was unfolding in her life, but may show up in a chart of the precise time she was born.

In the transits for her move to England Jupiter was opposite her natal Sun, which is a classic transit for such a move in life.  On a personal note, Jupiter was opposite my natal Sun when I moved to England at the age of four, to be with my father, strangely enough.  Gabriella also had a life-changing transit of the South Node on her natal Pluto at the time of her move to England.

Iranian Powers

One doesn’t hear much from the leaders of Iran directly on this matter (President Hassan Rouhani and the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), and I am not sure how the power dynamic works within Iran.  With the chart of Iran there is a karmic tie of Iran’s Mercury which conjuncts Nazanin’s South Node (past karma) for the September chart.  For the December chart the Iran Sun squares her Mars, which can bring danger.  The Iran Revolutionary Guard initially arrested her and have been holding her: their chart relationship shows the IRG chart Sun exactly opposite Nazanin’s Uranus (they perceive her as a Rebel), and the IRG Venus opposes her Pluto (a very stormy relationship), on the September chart.  The December chart shows a conjunction of her Uranus with its Uranus (as both were “born” close in time).

For President Hassan Rouhani, their Saturns are conjunct, which is not easy, for Nazanin’s September chart.  For her December chart, Rouhani’s Mars is sextile her Pluto, which involves some power play, but nothing remarkable.  However, when you look at her relationship with the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, this looks to be very serious.  For the September chart,  Nazanin’s Mars opposes his Sun, and her Pluto squares his Mars (he would perceive her as a threat, though in reality she is a pawn). For the December chart his Neptune is on her South Node (some very complex karma).

Any Cheer?

If there is to be any breakthrough, these dates are just possible:

For her September chart – Jupiter trines her natal Sun on 14-15th November this year

For her December chart – Uranus trines her natal Mars on 26th Apr ’21

For Gabriella – Jupiter trines her natal Sun on 18th March ’21

“Nazanin has already served most of her sentence for a crime she didn’t commit.  This is hostage diplomacy and Iran needs to know that Britain will not stand for it.”

~ Jeremy Hunt, this week on Twitter


While Mars turned retrograde last week (joining other planets in this), stalling some areas of progress and momentum, we do have some good news today in that Jupiter is Stationary prior to turning Direct, as of the early hours of this morning.  This may enable something to happen or gain progress which has been prevented up to now.  Jupiter has been retrograde since mid-May.  Jupiter moving forward might bring a breath of fresh air to your day’s plans, peppering them with promise.  You may see the light at the end of one tunnel, or resume an earlier goal.

Venus will also be trine Chiron today, so there may be a healing project which you can nurture.  The healing power of love may come to the fore.  Try to keep the heart open, and keep the faith.  There may be a real opportunity to re-group your healing energies and feel harmony within your being.

Tomorrow (Monday 14th) the Sun trines Pluto, which is a deeply constructive aspect when it comes to the human psyche.  You may experience and contemplate  in great depth, and any creativity will have this profound quality imbued within it.  You may find that you have made more real progress than you thought, your patience is rewarded, or a pipe dream could become a going concern.

Tuesday (15th) is a more quirky day, possibly out of your routine or out of your comfort zone, with Venus square Uranus.  Your social plans may have to be modified at the last minute.  The way through is to use your intuition, and stay one step ahead.  The strangeness of the day pertains particularly to relationships.

Wednesday (16th) brings a challenging karmic aspect: that of the Sun square the Nodal Axis.  This may bring power issues within groups to the fore.  The positioning of the Nodal Axis will ensure karmic justice within the structure of projects and power balances, though there may be a few personality clashes.  You may need to glimpse a more multi-dimensional picture than just the here and now.

Another square occurs on Thursday (17th), but perhaps a fairly easy one: it’s Mercury square Jupiter.  You may have far to travel, or have a lot to learn, and feel overstretched, but could enjoy the ride nevertheless.  It would however be a good day to be out in nature, taking a good stroll as far as the rules allow, and picking up information.  A  day of possibility…

There is a New Moon the same day, which is always a good opportunity to start afresh.  The Sun and Moon conjoin at 25 degrees Virgo, and if that is a meaningful point in your chart that will intensify your experience.  Ecology and the environment are one of the provinces of Virgo, so benefits could accrue for the planet if enough minds are concentrated on this aspect of life.  David Attenborough and his new programme “Extinction” may echo in your mind, and galvanize action.

The Sun also trines Saturn, in the evening, and this is a solid and productive aspect.  If you are engaged in creativity, it can help ensure that it works on a practical level.  Simplifying your plans, or making economies, may make them more workable. This is especially useful to bear in mind if you own a business, and are considering staffing and resources at this crucial stage of the brink of a possible second wave of the pandemic.  One solid step at a time, and one day at a time.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – the turning of a tide, and the possibility of healing
  • Tomorrow – a deeper realization
  • Tuesday – quirky
  • Wednesday – a karmic challenge
  • Thursday – overstretching; a new beginning; a constructive path



Aspects for the week beginning 6 September 2020

Alexei Navalny

“The use of such a weapon is horrific.  Nato allies are united in condemning this attack.  It shows a total disrespect for human life.”

~ Nato spokesperson Piers Cazelet

The main opposition leader in Russia, Alexei Navalny, was poisoned on 20th August, falling ill on a plane trip to Siberia, after drinking a cup of tea at Tomsk airport. He was taken to hospital where the Russian doctor declared he was probably hypoglycaemic.  Two days later he was transferred to the Charite hospital in Berlin, where he has been receiving top level care.  He has now been diagnosed with poisoning from novichok, the same substance which was used two years ago in Salisbury and which caused severe illness and the death of Dawn Sturgess.  He currrently remains in an induced coma on a ventilator.

Birth Chart

We are fortunate to have a birth time for this Russian opposition leader, a man of great courage.  He has the Sun in Gemini conjunct Venus, so inspires genuine devotion among his allies.  The Sun in his chart is sextile Mars, showing the brave warrior.  Venus exactly sextile Mars gives him great charisma.  Neptune closely opposite Sun/Venus shows the often subversive nature of his work, but his strength comes from the Sun/Venus trine Pluto, imbuing him with a deep sense of purpose and powerful allegiances.  The Moon is closely sextile his Midheaven: he is for the people in his career  – two of the political movements he has been associated with have been named “The People” and “The People’s Alliance”.  He has been endangered and injured during the course of his career, and has Chiron, South Node, Jupiter and Mercury in the 8th House of death – hopefully he can cheat death on this occasion.  He has a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm, from Mars square to Jupiter and sextile Pluto.  But Mars square exactly to the Nodal Axis means he is constantly pitted against danger in his karmic path.  Saturn square Uranus has also brought personal earthquakes.  That he has great faith in himself comes from Jupiter on his South Node in Scorpio, a never-say-die attitude brought in from past life experiences.  The not inconsiderable healing challenges brought about by the injuries inflicted by his enemies, may be shown by Saturn in 11th House exactly square Chiron in 8th House.  His Rebel Archetype comes through in his conjunction of Uranus with the  North Node.

Life and Career

Navalny was born in the Ukraine, and gained a law degree from the People’s Friendship University of Russia. He is married and has two children.  He has for many years fought against the corruption of Putin’s leadership in Russia, describing the ruling party in 2011 as a “party of crooks and thieves”.  He has been arrested and imprisoned several times for his activities (with his natal Moon in 12th House of imprisonment).

In 2007 he co-founded a new political movement which he called “The People”.  The transits for that statement of political intent were triggered by Mars, but also included Jupiter conjunct his natal Neptune in Sagittarius in his 3rd House (an expression of his idealism) and Pluto conjunct by transit exactly his natal I.C. in Sagittarius also in his 3rd House (a deep expression of how he saw the right foundations for society).  “The People” joined forces with other nationalistic movements the following year, but in 2011 he admitted that the venture had not succeeded in practice.  By 2012 there were moves afoot by his comrades to create a new vehicle for his political path, but he took a low profile in order not to endanger these efforts.  He was elected leader of a new party (which had to change its name a few times) in November 2013, when he was literally flying in the face of opposition astrologically, with Saturn opposite his natal Jupiter, Uranus opposite his natal Pluto exact to the day, Pluto exactly square his natal Pluto.  Blocks were immediately put up by the government towards the new party’s political ambitions, for example the Ministry of Justice deprived the party of its registration.

On 27th June 2017 Navalny was attacked in the street outside his office and his face was sprayed with some toxic substances, an attack which he attributed to the Kremlin.  He lost 80% of the sight in his right eye.  At that time, Neptune (toxin) was square his natal Sun in Gemini, and the North Node was transiting his natal Moon in Virgo in 12th House.

In the Moscow City Duma Elections in 2019, Navalny supported various independent candidates.  He was arrested in July and then hospitalized briefly for damaged eyes and skin, before being sent back to prison.  An ophthalmologist suspected his condition was due to a chemical attack.  On this occasion, Mars was square his natal Jupiter, and Jupiter was opposite his natal Sun.

Russian Poisonings

The Russian government have denied involvement in the recent poisoning of Navalny in August.  However, novichok is patently their calling card, they developed it during the cold war, and on Newsnight it was suggested that they not only do not care what the world thinks, but they actually want it to be known that they perpetrated this act.  Navalny’s transits on 20th August were: Uranus square his Mars (a sudden, dangerous attack) and Uranus on his South Node in 8th House (a life-endangering sudden karmic attack).

When writing about the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury 2 years ago, I looked into other cases of poisonings by Russia.  There is no definite pattern in the transits of the victims: Sergei Skripal was poisoned with Neptune (poison) exactly conjunct his natal North Node in Pisces – a karmic act again (that of revenge by the Russian government).  Litvinenko died of polonium poisoning in 2006 with Chiron transiting his natal Saturn. Going even further back in time, for Giorgi Markov (who was spiked with an umbrella), Pluto was exactly square his natal Pluto (disempowerment).

Navalny’s personal relationship with Vladimir Putin includes an exact square between their Moons (a clash in the way they see the people and society).  Comparing Navalny’s chart to that of Russia itself, Navalny’s Uranus is exactly sextile Russia’s Sun (his destiny to try and shake up the old regimes), his Mars trine its Mercury (his destiny to stimulate thought), his Sun square its Jupiter (his individuality challenging complacency) and his Jupiter trine its Neptune (his appeal to true spirituality).  The transits for Russia of the current poisoning include: Uranus trine its North Node (an agent of change, towards its karma) and Pluto sextile its Venus (also an agent of transformation, towards its humanity).  But Putin is still firmly at its helm.

Current Global Response

When the Skripals were poisoned in March 2018 Theresa May was Prime Minister and Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary.  Theresa obtained support from European leaders (in their recall of Russian ambassadors), but notably Donald Trump was reluctant to get too involved, saying he was doubtful the Russians had poisoned the Skripals.  He was not happy about the expulsions of the Russian Ambassadors either.  Angela Merkel has now, from Germany, made her view clear that this act was attempted murder and some action needs to be taken.  The current Prime Minister in the U.K. Boris Johnson has called the act “outrageous”.  Again, Donald Trump is reluctant to get involved.  The Guardian reports that “The father [Stan Sturgess] of the woman who died in the Wiltshire nerve agent poisonings has said he hopes the novichok attack on the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny will lead to fresh scrutiny of Moscow, adding that he believes Germany may work harder to get answers than the UK has done since the death of his daughter”.  He said that at the time “Boris never asked anything”.

On the Andrew Marr show this morning, Andrew interviewed a friend of Navalny, Leonid Volkov, who was asked what the Russian government hoped to achieve and what was their motive.  He replied that it was not power they were after, it is money that motivates them.  Therefore, the only sanction which may have meaning for them are economic ones. The implication is that seizing or curtailing their assets in London for instance may affect them.  Now there is a call for Angela Merkel to suspend the collaboration over the joint Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia.

The Salisbury Victims of Novichok

In the spring an excellent TV mini-series was made of the Salisbury poisonings and how it was dealt with.  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia did not feature prominently in the mini-series, but in reality they were very seriously ill, and have now gone to ground in an unknown location.  Yulia cannot return to her life in Russia.  The police officer who originally searched their home, Nick Bailey, was also badly affected.  In June 2018, Dawn Sturgess was poisoned by a perfume bottle containing novichok which the perpetrators had left behind, and died from the ravages of the poison.  Her partner Charlie Rowley was also affected, but lived: he continues to suffer eye problems, shortness of breath and mental health issues.

A chemical warfare expert feels that the novichok which poisoned Navalny is unlikely to have been administered in the tea – he would have been even more ill if so, but thinks it was adminstered in a similar way to that of the Skripals, who were poisoned via a door handle.  The world waits to see to what extent Alexei Navalny recovers from his exposure to the substance.  His condition is reported to be improving, with a gradual recovery in his cholinesterase activity, and he is being treated with atropine, which was used to treat the Salisbury poisonings, but the long term prognosis is still uncertain.


Venus entered Leo this morning, which is a sunny start to the week.   You can afford to be bold in seeking entertainment today, e.g. in a late summer holiday break.  Alternatively express some rich creativity. Eat out for Sunday lunch, although Rishi Sunak’s eat out to help out scheme has now ended.  Polish up your performance skills…just a few suggestions!

On Wednesday (9th) the Sun trines Jupiter, another encouragement to hedonism.  This is a happy-go-lucky aspect where circumstances allow.  It is a day of good cheer, laughter, adventure, golden opportunity and looking ahead to the future with optimism.

In the evening, Mars is Stationary prior to turning retrograde, at 22.22 Hrs in the U.K. (a note for numerologists).  When Mars went into Aries at the end of June (see my blog for 5th July) it signalled the go-ahead for a certain sphere of activity in your life.  For me, Mars was in my 12th House of Subconscious, stirring up my imagination.  I have subsequently been writing new chapters of my novel, painting the accompanying cards, and being kept awake at night by creativity.  Mars is staying in Aries until early next year, and I hope to finish this project by then.  What area of your life received a corresponding go-ahead at the start of Mars in Aries?  The upcoming retrograde period may see a slightly different manifestation of the energy in that House of your chart, perhaps some revision needed, or some conflict to resolve.  But hopefully, by the end of the year, you will have something to show for your effort.

Chiron opposes Mercury on Thursday (10th) and that is related to health challenges and check ups.  This may bring up some ingenuity in problem-solving, too.  Communications may urge and stimulate you to find solutions.

Issues could be further obscured on Friday (11th) with Neptune opposing the Sun.  Neptune opposite the Sun is the natal aspect in Navalny’s chart which has necessitated his subversive political operations, in the context of the political climate of his homeland.  So look for the picture behind the picture, and be aware of toxic substances in your environment, e.g. go easy on the cleaning fluids which affect the environment (also ruled by Neptune).  Your concentration may not be so acute, and conundrums may present themselves to you.  Get plenty of rest, take some time out to meditate, and social distancing and self-isolation would be beneficial.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – make hay
  • Wednesday – make more hay; be aware of some slowing down
  • Thursday – problem-solving
  • Friday – purification

Aspects for the week beginning 30 August 2020


“To uphold maritime law and rescue anyone in peril without prejudice…We answer the SOS call of all those in distress, not just to save their souls – but our own “.

~ Mission statement of the “Louise Michel”

This week the artist Banksy privately funded a rescue boat to help save refugees in the Mediterranean. The boat is named the Louise Michel, and he has painted a mural on the side of a young girl holding a heart-shaped float.  The embryonic history of this new boat has already got off to a dramatic start.

Birth Chart

Looking at the birth chart of Banksy becomes an exercise in spotting Archetypes, which emerge very clearly.  His Sun is in creative Leo, and opposes Jupiter: there is more than a touch of rebellious humour in his work.

With the Sun exactly trine Neptune, he’s quite a spiritual person.  Mercury exactly square Mars produces the Critic Archetype (Craig Revel Horwood, the arch critic on Strictly Come Dancing has this aspect).

Uranus squares Mercury in his chart, so he is not afraid to be controversial: the Rebel Archetype (Stanley Kubrick, maker of controversial films, had this aspect, as has Chris Packham the environmentalist, who is currently campaigning against the HS2 railway among other things).

Mercury square Chiron makes him a problem solver, which shows some of the ingenuity about the way he works. Venus in Virgo means that he is perfectionistic about his art, and its exact square to Neptune produces art with a twist!  There are some charitable features about his artistic practices (Neptune represents charity).  In addition, Venus trines the North Node in his chart depicting a karmic mission as an Artist.

The Activist Archetype appears in his opposition between Mars and Uranus (Vanessa Redgrave has this opposition).  Mars conjunct Chiron in Aries is the Wounded Warrior Archetype (Benjamin Zephaniah also has this).

Jupiter sextiles Neptune in his chart, denoting a balanced relationship between religion and spirituality, and a charitable nature.   Jupiter also trines Pluto, a mark of  Power in a chart.  He has a long history of mocking centralized power.  Saturn square Pluto shows a difficult relationship with authority.  And Pluto square Nodal Axis shows the subversive karma element of his work, constantly challenging the current state of affairs.

Life and Work

Banksy has been operating as an undercover street artist since the 1990s.  This undercover element is also a feature of Pluto square his Nodal Axis.  He began in Bristol in the graffiti artist scene, and has developed a distinctive stencilling technique.  His works often appear unexpectedly on walls overnight, and he often uses political themes (he is anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-establishment).  Although he is anonymous, he is widely believed to be Robin Gunningham, born in 1973 in Bristol. He moved from Bristol to London around the year 2000.

His works now fetch record-breaking sums of money, but many have been lost or painted over, and he has painted on walls all over the world.  One of his biggest stunts was in October 2018 at Sotheby’s, when one of his paintings (Balloon Girl) shredded itself on being sold.  He subsequently explained how he had achieved this.  The transits for this stunt were:

Mars on his natal Jupiter (his Clown Archetype) in Aquarius; Jupiter trine his natal Mercury (pulling off a stunt at a sale); Saturn trine his Venus (goodbye to an artwork) and Pluto square his Uranus (destruction and anarchy).

The Louise Michel

The French patrol boat was originally commissioned in 1988, but was refitted this year for its current purpose of assisting refugees in the Mediterranean, and bought by Banksy.  Banksy had announced his intention to purchase such a vessel last year.  Its first mission in this role was on Thursday 27th August, so that will stand as its “birth chart”.  An exact trine between Venus (Art) and Neptune (the Sea) occurred that day, being a very idealistic aspect.  Mars was also still square Saturn that day, showing the struggle and strife which would inevitably be part of its history.  At noon on that day, the Moon was in Sagittarius at the powerful degree of the Galactic Centre.

It started by picking up 89 refugees that day.  Since then, the numbers on board rose to unmanageable levels (over 200), and some had to be transferred to other vehicles.  The boat is now itself asking for international help to manage those aboard and find them refuge.  This has re-ignited necessary conversations and negotiations by European countries on the issue of the sea migrants.

Banksy’s own transits for this new venture show Pluto exactly opposite Mercury: a profound (Pluto) relationship with a transport vehicle (Mercury), and Pluto exactly square Mars (in this act, he is literally going to war over the issue of migrants).  In the transits throughout his life, his Mars (Inner Warrior) in Aries is often highlighted in his actions and events, as being quite a force in his life and character.

European Responses to migrants

Italy have rescued 49 people of the most vulnerable from the Louise Michel.  The rest are awaiting to hear about their fate.

In the years since this exodus from African and Asian countries started, Greece and Italy have borne the brunt of the arrivals.  The United Kingdom was one of the countries reluctant to get involved, but this summer there have been many migrants from Calais crossing the English Channel.  Negotiations with France have been to some extent hampered by the breakdown of relations due to Brexit.

There is an interesting article this morning in the Observer about Angela Merkel, who famously opened her heart to the migrants in 2015, and struggled politically in her own country subsequently.  The article is written by Phililp Oltermann.  Between the years 2015 and 2019 1.7 million people applied for asylum in Germany.  Angela Merkel stated at the time of the original crisis: “Germany is a strong country.  The motive with which we approach these matters must be: we have already managed so much, we’ll manage this.”  There was a severe right wing backlash in her country, and her popularity plummeted.  Her expectation that the European nations would adopt a quota system didn’t happen.  The article informs us:

“Merkel never recanted her words of August 2015, as many even in her own party insisted she should. But she did ensure a situation like the one that followed won’t be repeated on German soil during her tenure.”

The article implies that Germany has managed by and large to integrate its new residents, and many found work, with over 10,000 learning German and attending universities.  Angela Merkel’s  popularity has also risen this year due to her handling of the pandemic.

The whole issue of the Mediterranean migrants and those trying to cross the English Channel is not going away,  and Banksy’s rescue mission seems to have highlighted the issue at this time.


Today’s first aspect is an uncompromisingly challenging one: Pluto opposing Venus.  All Venusian matters (love, relationships, art, music, gardening and money) are put under a thorough psychological searchlight.  You could hear (or utter) phrases such as “Are you absolutely sure?”, “Is it Art?”, “Can we go on like this?”, “Climate change is playing havoc with my gardening” and “Money’s too tight to mention”.

In the early evening there is another opposition: that of Neptune opposing Mercury.  Whereas the first opposition brings uncomfortable feelings, this opposition brings confusion in the mind.  There may be for instance a mental dilemma, or a demand for clarification.  It may be difficult to focus, if you are engaged in documentation work.  Journeys may be long and complicated.

Tuesday (1st September) brings much more mental harmony, with Mercury trine Pluto.  Some of the depth required on Sunday will be satisfied and some of the mental clarity will be revealed.  So if you have been treading water, you’ll meet your rescue vessel, so to speak.  That aspect is conducive to deep thought and psychological reflection, and earnest conversations.

There is a Full Moon at 10 degrees Pisces on Wednesday (2nd), early  in the morning.  It is an especially tender, sensitive and emotional Full Moon, so tears may flow.  Issues which may come up may be the plastic in the sea, or the fishing industry.  The Pisces Full Moon reminds us that we are all One.

Another opposition follows around lunchtime: that of Saturn opposing Venus.  This means having to let go in relationships or in finance.  We have a much loved pet who we currently realize is on his way to cat heaven, possibly this week.  We’ll be consulting the vet early in the week, after the bank holiday.  The message of the power of love may be more difficult to sustain in the face of testing under this aspect.  But the cure for the situation is even more love.

Just after lunch the Sun trines Uranus, and that may bring an unexpected rainbow after the rain of the previous aspect.  It may give you the go ahead to forge ahead with innovative plans and original creativity.

Thursday (3rd) is constructive, with Mercury trine Saturn.  This combines mental work with practicality, and brings focus and realism to the mental activities.  So it is a good day for making plans.  Serious conversations can also safely take place under this aspect.

You may find that you and/or others are letting your hair down on Friday (4th) with Venus squaring Mars loosening the inhibitions.  This square may also have a bearing on the battle of the sexes (within, or interpersonal).

On Friday evening, there is a convivial sextile between Mercury and Venus, so if you have some socially distanced socializing planned, that should be most harmonious.  Conversation will flow, and with much agreement between kindred spirits.  The other main strand of activity for this aspect is writing, so get down to your writing projects, be it a poem, a journal, or a novel.

The last astrological feature of the week is the entry of Mercury into Libra.  The start of September has seen the analytical and applied placing of Mercury in Virgo, which is very appropriate for the first week of the school term (very tricky under the conditions of this year).  Saturday (5th) brings a new mental focus on cultural themes, which could bring more pure enjoyment: art and music being fundamental areas for Libra, and decision-making (do we play Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia with or without the words, or not even at all, that is the question).  Mercury in Libra is slightly more relaxed than Mercury in Virgo.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – psychological searchlight on feelings; mental confusion
  • Tuesday – the rescue vessel arrives
  • Wednesday – emotional high tide; deflated feelings; an unexpected lift
  • Thursday – mentally constructive
  • Friday – loosened inhibitions; conviviality
  • Saturday – new mental focus on cultural themes


Aspects for the week beginning 23 August 2020

Eric Clapton – Patti Boyd – George Harrison

A Love Triangle

“Friends are all souls that we’ve known in other lives. We’re drawn to each other. That’s how I feel about friends. Even if I have only known them for a day, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to wait till I have known them two years, because anyway we have met somewhere before, you know”

~ George Harrison

In the well documented love triangle between Eric Clapton, Patti Boyd and George Harrison, I am starting by looking at Eric Clapton’s life and chart, because if it had not been for his obsession with Patti, there would not have been a story.

Eric Clapton

Birth Chart

Eric has the Sun, Mercury and his Descendant in Aries, so it would come naturally for him to focus on his own needs, just as for George Harrison as a Piscean it was natural for him to focus on transcendence and otherworldly things. Eric’s Sun is sextile exactly his Uranus, providing the brilliance and speed of his skilled guitar work.  His intensity is shown by the Sun closely trine Pluto, an intensity which almost brought him to self-destruction, and his Moon in Scorpio in 1st House.  His Moon, Mars and Saturn form a close Grand Trine in Water, making him very emotionally driven.  The Moon opposite Venus forming a T-square with Pluto hints at the difficult relationship with his mother, and the abandonment issues engendered by that relationship, and the turbulence of his own love life.  Mercury conjunct Venus reveals the Songwriter Archetype in his chart.  He has musicality from Venus in her own sign of Taurus.  An unaspected Jupiter, makes him a bit of a Maverick, going his own way.  Neptune conjunct Chiron is possibly a pointer to his drug addiction.

Life and Loves

Eric Clapton, hailed as one of the greatest guitarist in the hall of fame enhanced many groups and supergroups in his era.  He began with the Yardbirds in 1963, joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in 1965, formed the band Cream in 1966, then moved on to Blind Faith (1969).  He later joined Derek and the Dominos (1970), as well as pursuing a successful solo career.

By 1968 he had become close friends with George Harrison of the Beatles, and was on friendly terms with all the Beatles.  In 1969, Eric bought the house Hurtwood Edge in Surrey, and became a near neighbour to George and Pattie Harrison. They spent a great deal of time together, and it was during that time that Eric fell in love with Pattie and became infatuated.  He recalls in his autobiography:

“I remember thinking that her beauty was also an internal thing…It was her entire being, and the way she carried herself, that captivated me…I also coveted Pattie because she belonged to a powerful man who seemed to have everything I wanted – amazing cars, an incredible career and a beautiful wife.”

He became addicted to heroin, however, and she resisted his advances for some time, though he sensed that she was not happy with George.  It was while he was with Derek and the Dominos that he wrote “Layla” (1970), about unrequited love, with her in mind.  He started living with Pattie in 1974, around the time of his Saturn Return in Cancer.  In 1977 he wrote the song Wonderful Tonight for her.  They married in 1979, but he soon became unfaithful, just as George had been unfaithful.  Eric began to drink more and more heavily.

In January 1982 he took himself to the Hazelden Treatment Center in Minnesota.  When he arrived, he omitted to declare that he took Valium, with the result that they did not wean him off it gradually and he suffered a grand mal seizure from its withdrawal.

He and Pattie tried to have children together, but were unsuccessful even with attempts at IVF.  However in 1985, around the time of his Uranus Opposition, he met model Lori del Santo, who would give birth to his son Conor in 1986.

On a second trip to Hazelden in 1987, towards the end of his stay there, he discovered the power of prayer and surrender, and he states in his autobiography “In all this time that I’ve been sober, I have never once seriously thought of taking a drink or a drug.”

Eric was a doting father to Conor, but on 20th March 1991 while in the care of his mother Conor died, aged four, from a fall from an open window of a Manhattan apartment.  At the time, Saturn was square to Conor’s Pluto, and Uranus was conjunct Eric’s South Node.  This tragic event proved to be a turning point spiritually for Eric, building on the earlier religious awakening.  The only tool Eric had for healing himself was through music:

“I almost subconsciously used music for myself as a healing agent, and lo and behold, it worked … I have got a great deal of happiness and a great deal of healing from music.”

His Chiron (Inner Healer) is in Virgo in 12th House, between his Jupiter and his Neptune.  He wrote the poignant song “Tears from Heaven” in honour of Conor.

Healing was to come in his relationships, too.  In 2002, he married Melia McEnery, with whom he had three daughters and a grandson.  The transits for this marriage included Saturn sextile his Midheaven (a settling of life direction) and Neptune trine his North Node (karmic serenity).  The marriage has brought him peace and happiness:

“At the age of 54, I had probably made the first healthy choice in a partner in my entire life.”

Pattie Boyd

Birth Chart

Pattie Boyd was one of the right people at the right time during the swinging sixties.  Model Pattie and her sister Jenny had the look of the times.  I remember her well from the Smith’s crisps adverts!  As a Sun in Pisces, there was something otherworldly about her, as there was about fellow Piscean George.  She had 0 Earth planets, and 7 Mutable planets (showing great adaptability).  Her Ascendant however was in Earth sign Capricorn, sextile her Venus (beauty).  Her Moon was  in Sagittarius in 12th House, trine exactly with Jupiter, but opposite her natal Saturn.  For her and her siblings, childhood was very troubled, and the family spent time in Kenya.  Her North Node was conjunct Pluto in her 8th House,  which might be a factor pointing to her being an object of obsession.  Neptune (her ruling planet) at the top of the chart in Libra square exactly Ascendant, 9th House side, a sign of great glamour.

Life and Loves

“George and I, both Pisceans, were like the symbolic fish swimming in opposite directions. George seemed torn between the deep beneath us and the glitter on the surface, and I was so dazzled by what sparkled above that I couldn’t look down for fear of what might be lurking there”

~ Pattie Boyd

While working as a shampoo girl at Elizabeth Arden’s salon in London in 1962, she began to aspire to a modelling career.  Soon she was modelling for Vogue and Vanity Fair, and being photographed by David Bailey and Terence Donovan.  She appeared in the television advertisements for Smith’s crisps in 1964, and met George Harrison on the set of the film A Hard Day’s Night, where she was cast as a schoolgirl, in the same year.  She met George on 2nd March 1964: Mars was trine her Midheaven, Jupiter was sextile her Saturn, and Neptune was square her Jupiter.  For him, notably, Venus was trine his North Node, signifying a karmic meeting, and Jupiter was square his Mars.  She moved with Harrison into his house Kinfauns in Surrey soon after he bought it in July.

Pattie was engaged to George on Christmas Day 1965, and married him in 1966. The transits for George at the time were harmonious and happy (with Jupiter sextile his North Node and his Chiron).  However, Patti’s were much more difficult (including Saturn opposite her Chiron, Uranus square her Saturn and Pluto square her Moon).

They married on 21st January 1966, with Neptune square George’s natal Mars, and Pluto still square Pattie’s Moon.   Not an easy position for a start of a marriage.

She and her sister joined the Beatles in India on their spiritual quest, and spent time with Ravi Shankar while George pursued his study of the sitar.  The couple studied yoga, and embraced vegetarianism.  Pattie was the muse for songs George wrote, such as “I Need You” and “If I Needed Someone” (both 1965) and “Something” (1969).  Pattie and Harrison also tried unsuccessfully to start a family, and George ruled out adoption.

They divorced on 9th June 1977: Uranus was on Pattie’s I.C., the finality of changing the foundations of her life.  This was the year that Eric wrote “Wonderful Tonight”.  The Solicitor who handled the divorce observed:

“There was no overreacting, no greed or playing with each other’s emotions – I wish all divorces were so well handled.”

She married Eric Clapton in 1979.   George referred to Eric as his “husband-in-law”.  By this time, Eric was drinking heavily and this marriage too began with difficulty.  Having eventually “won” her, the reality of life, Eric’s own wounds, and his addiction interfered with any happiness they could have derived from their relationship.

She left him in 1987 and they divorced in 1989.  She published her autobiography “Wonderful Tonight” in the same year as Eric’s.  She too found later happiness, with Rod Weston (a property developer) who she met in 1991 and married on 29th April 2015.  This time, Saturn was sextile her Neptune, and trine her North Node (stability), and Uranus was trine her Moon.  In addition, Uranus was trine her Jupiter (a happy opportunity) and Neptune was trine her Midheaven (serenity in her life direction).  She has worked in photography and supported charities, most notably founding a charity with Ringo Starr’s wife Barbara Bach for addiction recovery.  Eric Clapton also founded a recovery centre in Antigua, so they both used their experiences in that area of healing.

“Eric and I were playmates, but  George and I were soul mates, and I had let something special go without analysing what was happening between us”

~  from “Wonderful Tonight”

Her sister Jenny connects with another Soul Group I have written about, centred around Fleetwood Mac, as Jenny was married to Mick Fleetwood.  Jenny Boyd brought out her autobiography this spring, entitled “Jennifer Juniper” (she herself was the muse of Donovan).   She writes about Pattie’s life from a different angle, and comments about Pattie’s relationship with Eric:

“Throughout the weekend Eric systematically attempted to cut through the bond between my sister and me, trying to make her jealous as he paid me unwanted attention.  He had been used to having Pattie to himself, in his world, while I was desperately seeking her in mine.”

In the Synastry between Eric and Pattie, there were difficulties, such as her Saturn square his Jupiter in Virgo in his 11th House, her Uranus square his natal Mars in Pisces in his 5th House, and  her Ascendant opposite his Saturn on her Descendant (a major block to relationship).

George Harrison

Birth Chart

George Harrison had Chiron exactly conjunct the North Node in Leo in 10th House, giving him a karmic mission of healing through creativity, channelled through his career.  Like Pattie, he had the Sun in Pisces, but his Sun was exactly square Saturn, making his inner world complex and his life difficult.  Saturn was conjunct Uranus, denoting personal earthquakes, with Uranus in his 7th House of Close Relationships.  The Sun was trine his Ascendant in Scorpio, on the cusp of his 5th House, showing tremendous creativity.  Like Eric, he had the Moon square Pluto, both having intense issues around women.  His Moon (woman) was conjunct Eric’s in early Scorpio, symbolic of their shared interest in a particular woman, Pattie.  Their Moons were trine Pattie’s Venus in early Pisces, so their was a similar pattern in the way they related emotionally to her, and she to them.  George’s Moon conjunct his Ascendant in Scorpio from the 12th House accounts for his introversion, reserve and desire for his own space – he was known as “the quiet Beatle”.  George wrote about this need:

“That is the trouble with partnerships, you get roped in on other people’s trips. Completely roping everyone into a whim. Then you start getting into it and they can’t handle it any more. It is very important to try and minimise the aggravation and spaciness in our lives.”

Pluto square the Ascendant in the 10th House side, points to his mega career, as the member of the supremely successful Beatles.

Life and Loves

George grew up in Liverpool, the youngest of four siblings, and had a happy home life, but disliked school.  His parents were supportive of his musical direction, though initially his father had other plans for him.  George met Paul McCartney travelling on the school bus, and they forged a bond over their musical interests and aspirations.  The rest of the history of the Beatles is, of course, legend…

His creative expression was stifled somewhat by his position alongside the Lennon/McCartney songwriting machine, but he averaged two of his songs on most of their albums.  However, his musical tastes and spiritual path lay in a different direction, though he did take them part of the way, with their involvement with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Musically, he became a student of Ravi Shankar, and these directions were all very Piscean in nature.  In friendship, he shared a great deal with Eric Clapton, they collaborated musically (including on a tour of Japan in December 1991), and of course, during a phase of their life they shared a love of Pattie.

George’s greatest work was the triple album of 1970, “All Things Must Pass”, which gave him free rein to express his spirituality through music.  The unforgettable, dreamy, mood of the album included such hits as “My Sweet Lord”, “If Not for You”, “Isn’t it a Pity” and of course “All Things Must Pass”.

He too made a later, successful marriage, to Olivia Arias, on 2nd September 1978.  For this marriage, Jupiter was exactly trine Venus, the perfect transit for marriage.  Pluto was sextile his natal Midheaven, signalling a profound change in his life direction

In 1980 he wrote an autobiographical book “I Me Mine”, which is quirky and interesting, though does not include reflections on his life with Pattie.  In his marriage with Olivia, George found the contentment he lacked with Pattie, and they had one son together, Dhani.  On 30th December 1999 he and Olivia were attacked at home by a paranoid schizophrenic: Saturn was square his Mercury (his lung was punctured in the attack) and Neptune was square his Ascendant on his 4th House cusp (his home).   George died of lung Cancer in 2001, leaving an estate of nearly £100 million.

In George’s Synastry with Pattie, his Sun square Pattie’s Uranus (perhaps destined to part), and his Uranus was square her Venus (again, perhaps destined to part).  Like Eric, his Moon was trine her Venus, the love they shared, and George’s Ascendant was exactly trine with Pattie’s, which would have brought their lives together originally for karmic purposes and to live together for a time.

George’s Synastry with Eric shows Eric’s Moon close to George’s Ascendant, and they would have had a fundamental emotional understanding with their Moons conjunct.  Eric’s Venus exactly opposite George’s Ascendant may show the rivalry for love.  Eric’s Uranus trine George’s Mercury shows an almost telepathic sharing of interests, and Eric’s Ascendant sextile exactly George’s North Node emphasizes the karma between them.

“There is a lecture where Yogananda was talking in 1939 in a self-realisation fellowship Book about friends explaining that the vibration the soul sets up, and the love and equally the hate we feel causes the attraction of souls to one another – from one life to another. Those people who you know much more easily or more quickly are people whom you’ve known in other lives. It is very specific. There’s more to this than meets the eye.”

~ George Harrison


Eric Clapton,  “The Autobiography” 2007, Publisher Century

Pattie Boyd, “Wonderful Tonight” 2007, Publisher Three Rivers Press

George Harrison, “I Me Mine” 1980, Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicholson

Jenny Boyd  “Jennifer Juniper” 2020, Publisher Urbane

Lili Fini Zanuck “Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars”  2017, documentary film


Tomorrow (Monday 24th) there may be obstacles cropping up on your intended path, with a square between Mars and Saturn.  This square may also produce some tension.  You will need to think before you act, to avoid clumsiness.  And observe others carefully, who may not be astrologically mindful.

Tuesday (25th) is a different prospect altogether, with Mercury trine Uranus uplifting the mind, and ringing the changes.  Uranus will add extra spice to your mind, ideas, plans, and documentation.  Computers and technology should be on sparkling form and assist your expression.

Late on the same day, Jupiter opposes Venus, so there may be some late night socializing in the offing.  This may include an awkward gaffe, but hopefully on the right side of humour.

On Wednesday (26th) Mars will be sextile the North Node, bringing direct karma, possibly connected with warriorship.  The warriorship can be expressed reasonably constructively.  You may be able to get your message across directly and actively, in speaking your truth or setting an example.

A beautiful trine follows on Thursday (27th) in the shape of Venus trine Neptune.  Socially, you find spiritual links with people.  Artistically or musically, you can achieve inspirational heights.

Finally, more good news on Saturday (29th) as Mercury trines Jupiter, which expands our minds and philosophies.  This is an upbeat vibe mentally, and one which could just make your weekend one to remember.  It can also help the currently beleaguered teaching profession and educational policies, foster dialogues between nations, and even support struggling businesses.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – obstacles and tension
  • Tuesday – brilliant minds; social gaffes
  • Wednesday – karmic courage
  • Thursday – inspiration of the arts
  • Saturday – expansion of the mind

Aspects for the week beginning 16 August 2020

Kamala Harris

“I have the great honour to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris – a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants – as my running mate”

~ Joe Biden

On Tuesday last week, the Democratic presidential candidate in the U.S., Joe Biden, made his long-anticipated choice for a running mate.  In this crucial time, when many hope for someone with that extra something special which might oust Donald Trump, and prove a strong back up for the elderly Joe Biden, a seemingly promising choice has been made in Kamala Harris.  She is young, female and black, making this a historic moment.  What is more, she is more than capable of taking on Trump and Pence in debate.  This event enables us to take a fresh look at the prospects for the presidential race.

Birth Chart

Kamala has the Sun in Libra, the sign of the lawyer.  With half her planets (5) in the Fixed signs, she is strong willed.  She was born exactly on a full moon, and people have strong reactions to fullmooners (hence, she has her detractors, mainly based on her work in the past as a prosecutor).  The Sun conjoins Mercury across the Libra/Scorpio cusp, and  Mercury in Scorpio confers a forensic mind.  The Sun trines Saturn exactly, bringing great seriousness, inclining to politics.  The Sun also trines the Ascendant and Midheaven, creating a Grand Trine, very solid for the structure of her life.  The Sun also trines the North Node/Gemini Ascendant, making her an agent of karma, destined to be a leader.  With Saturn also at the Midheaven, this portrays one of her sayings, “Leadership isn’t about being perfect. Leadership means taking responsibility.”  The Moon in Aries trine Mars provides the cut and thrust she needed as a prosecutor, and will need in her future role.  Mercury trine Saturn shows an aptitude for mental application for exacting work and an eye for detail, which Donald Trump lacks (he has a foggy Mercury-Neptune square).  Add the social graces of Venus trine Jupiter, Venus closely sextile Neptune and Venus conjunct Uranus, and this rounds out her character.  Venus is also conjunct Pluto, giving her depth of feeling.  Mars in Leo square Jupiter,  provides fiery energy allied with enthusiasm.  In matters of religion she was brought up with Baptist and Hindu practices, and has married into the Jewish faith, a reflection of the Jupiter (religion) opposition to Neptune (spirituality) mixture in her natal chart.

Life and Career

Kamala Devi Harris was born in Oakland, California. Her mother had emigrated from Tamil Nadu in India in 1960 in order to pursue a professional career in science.  Her father emigrated from Jamaica in 1961 and is currently an emeritus professor in economics.  Her parents divorced when she was 7, and her mother brought up her and her sister  Maya.  As a child, she was bussed to school before desegregation. Her mother moved the family to Montreal when Kamala was 12 years old, and raised the girls to be strong.  Kamala has tweeted:

“I was raised to take action. My mother knew she was raising two black daughters who would be treated differently because of how they looked.  Growing up, whenever I got upset about something, my mother would look me in the eye and ask: ‘So, what are you gonna do about it?’ “

After leaving school, Kamala attended Howard University in Washington DC, where she led the debating team, and graduated in political science and economics.  She then went on to study Law in California.  By 2004, she had worked her way up to being San Francisco’s District Attorney. On 3rd January 2011 she took a further step on the ladder, becoming Attorney General for California.  Neptune was sextile her natal Moon in Aries in 11th House at the time; emphasizing her powerful natal Moon.  In 2016 she stepped into the political arena, becoming a junior Senator for California. In this role, she worked towards healthcare reform,  the improved status of immigrants, and the reform of gun law.  She was running last year to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency, memorably challenging Joe Biden, but ended her campaign on 3rd December 2019.  Her transits at the time were:-

Saturn trine her natal Venus in Virgo in 3rd House (she cited a shortage of funds); Neptune trine her Neptune in Scorpio in 5th House (recognizing a need to surrender); Neptune opposite natal Pluto in Virgo in 3rd House (a final surrender).

In January she made a speech regarding the impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump, in which she stated:

“We now face a choice: will we insist that we have one system of justice that applies equally to all? Or will we continue to have two systems of justice, in which some are above the law? … The Senate is charged with deciding whether the President of the United States, with all of his power and supposed wealth, will be held accountable for his actions – or whether we will finally live up to the principle: ‘Equal Justice Under Law.’ “

The transits for her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate this week were:-

Saturn square her natal Sun in Libra in 5th House – responsibility; Saturn square her natal Moon in Aries in 5th House – a chance for female equality (her natal Saturn balances her Sun/Moon opposition); and Jupiter trine her natal Pluto, a chance for real power.  Furthermore, she is close to having a Nodal Return: on 23rd August, the Mean Nodal Axis returns to its natal point, and 3rd/4th September is the date of the return to the natal point using the true node.  Bearing in mind the computer reading of her natal North Node as 25 degrees 47 minutes Gemini is a mean reading, you could say the whole of the next month is a new karmic calibration for her.

Her transits for the time of the election on 3rd November show Neptune opposite her natal Venus in Virgo in 3rd House (some personal confusion) and Jupiter trine her natal Jupiter in Taurus in 11th House (a sign for success).  In her transits for the Inauguration on 20th January, she has Pluto trine her natal Jupiter (the chance of a real step up in power).


Kamala married Douglas Emhoff (a fellow Libran lawyer) on 22nd August 2014.  This looks to be a very solid relationship, from several angles, one of which is that they were born in the same year, within 8 days of each other (they know each other inside out).  In their synastry, her Sun is trine his Saturn (stability), and their Jupiters and Saturns are exactly conjunct with each other, as are all the outer planets.  Where there are a few weaknesses in their relationship, these are mirrors of their own weaknesses.  Emhoff has children from a previous marriage, so Kamala has step-children, but they do not have children together.

Joe Biden

Kamala’s synastry with Biden is not easy.  Given their earlier friction, he put aside personal concerns to choose her as a most suitable candidate for his running mate.  But the day to day course of their relationship throws up: his Sun square her Saturn (she can block him at times); his Moon opposite her Mercury (possibly arguments over ideology); his Mercury opposite her Jupiter (more differences in opinion); his Venus square her Saturn (having to overcome a fundamental lack of affinity); his Mars sextile her Uranus (some dynamic work done between them) and his Uranus square her Midheaven (which could refer to his earlier disruption of her progress, and they may be able to put that behind them).

The transits for Biden this week during his decisive moment of choice show Saturn sextile his natal Sun, some solid support for him; and Chiron sextile his Saturn, healing and strengthening for him. As to his future transits, Biden had Saturn squaring his Moon around 6th April this year, and this recurs around 26th December.  This may indicate personal or health difficulties. Uranus squared his Pluto in May and again in December, which is additionally disruptive.  At the time of the presidential election, Joe Biden has Jupiter sextile his natal Mercury (which is mentally upbeat) and Chiron trine his natal Pluto (which is profoundly helpful).  For the time of the inauguration, Biden has very difficult transits, suggesting that he may have to cede to his deputy if elected: Mars will square his natal Pluto (danger); Jupiter will be opposite his natal Pluto (a difficult power struggle), Uranus will be square his Pluto (difficult change) and Pluto opposite his natal Jupiter (more power struggle).

Donald Trump

Donald has already, predictably, called Kamala Harris “nasty”… Her Synastry with Trump reveals his Saturn sextile her Jupiter, and his Uranus square her Venus, which is not easy for her.

There are already signs that Donald Trump wants to interfere with the election process itself, and he has intervened to oppose additional funds for the US Postal Service in these difficult times, claiming that a boost in mail-in voting benefits the Democrats. This may delay the true result for at least days, if not further.

Donald Trump at the time of the presidential election will have: Uranus sextile his natal Mercury (surprise), Saturn opposite his Venus (heartache, and some loss of popularity), Neptune square his Uranus (confusion) and Chiron opposite his Neptune (more confusion).  His prospects for the time of the inauguration show Pluto opposite his Venus (a low point personally), but North Node trine his Jupiter (more favourable, maybe meaning freedom for him on some level), the North Node on his Uranus (a sudden change in destiny – this can be favourable, but perhaps it is a sign of karma catching up with his past) and Chiron opposite his Neptune (which may signal a need to attend to his own mental health).

What is a surprise is the set of transits for his running mate, Mike Pence, which are partly favourable, so they do not rule out Pence taking over for Trump.  At the time of the election, Mars will be exactly sextile Pence’s natal Sun (new vigour), and the North Node will be exactly conjunct his Mercury (again, according to his karma, the result could swing either way).  At the time of the inauguration, Pence will have Saturn opposite his natal Mars (some blocking), Saturn square his natal Neptune (discomfort), but Pluto sextile his natal Jupiter (often meaning taking on power, and a milder version of Kamala’s positive transit at inauguration).

Our view of the next six months with regard to the run up to the election, the election itself, and the inauguration, is very fluid.  Both astrologically and in reality, both Trump and Biden may be removed from the picture for various reasons, leaving Pence and Harris at the forefront of the power struggle.  The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at 0 degrees Aquarius on 21st December heralds a fresh new era, and that may include a new presidency.

Martin Kettle writing about Kamala Harris in the Guardian commented that “it is possible to imagine her as president”.

“[She is someone who]is experienced at just about every level of government [and someone who] would be prepared on day one to assume the presidency in the event that that was necessary.”

~ Barack Obama


Mars trines the Sun in the fire element at lunchtime today, reviving our energies for whatever task we have in hand.  It favours the yang side of the male/female equation or balance.  Sporting interests can flourish, or any vigorous pursuits.  It’s a good day to strike out on a new venture.

However, it is not all plain sailing for we also have a square between Chiron and Venus today.  So today could be incident-prone, for example people pursuing extreme sports may incur minor injuries…Chiron square Venus is more indicative though of the emotional bruising of the heart, and if you are subject to hurt or rejection, self-nursing may be needed.  It may be a day for looking at our relationship issues, where we might be looking at the source of any separations or longings.

Tomorrow (Monday 17th) is much more likely to flow better, with Mercury trine Mars early in the morning starting the day bright and breezy.  Communications may zip along, and the day could be very productive.  Much can be accomplished.

The Sun will also be conjunct Mercury at 25 degrees Leo, peaking in the afternoon. Mentally you may see things clearly, if egocentrically.  Creatively, this is a very helpful conjunction: If you are writing a play, for instance, the perfect line could come to you.

On Tuesday (18th) Mercury will be sextile the North Node.  Sibling, educational and business karma will be especially well-starred, and information well received.

In the evening, Venus will be sextile Uranus, so there may be a social sparkle somewhere in your life, even if only on social media.  It’s a good evening for socializing and meeting new people.

A New Moon arrives on Wednesday (19th), at 26 degrees Leo, trine the Galactic Centre, in the very early hours of the morning.  This emphasizes the holiday making, creative and performing qualities of the sign and the season. In fulfilling the spirit of holidaymaking, staycationing would seem the best bet, seeing travellers arriving at airports hurriedly trying to avoid being quarantined after venturing abroad.  But it is some kind of a new beginning, so if you have experienced some testing times recently, you can press the re-set button.

Make hay, for the very next day (Thursday 20th) Mercury enters Virgo, signalling a more studious change in focus and presaging the next academic term.  That is the day the GCSE results come out in England, and that really will focus the mind for many.  If the chaos around the A Level results last week is anything to go by, there will be a great deal of heartache around the estimated grades and whether they have been downgraded, and the anguish around effects on society about private schools being elevated in society and state schools downgraded in poor areas in their results and status.  A great deal of analysis will come into play, in order to assess what is right.  Students and teachers will be trying to plan for the term ahead, itself under question because of the pandemic arrangements and the need for social distancing.  Mental application will be needed all round.

The need for knuckling down conscientiously to work and study schedules is reinforced on Saturday (22nd) with the Sun’s entry into Virgo.  The Sun in Virgo will underline the need for a sense of focus and purpose, and bring people together in common objectives.  Efficiency and Economy will be watchwords for how we organize the second half of our year.  There may be a new resolve to institute health and fitness regimes, and work rotas and practices, for those who still have their jobs secure.  The mind will have to focus differently for those who are looking at re-employment, new opportunities for self-employment, and perhaps the training in new skills, thinking about September courses.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – vim and vigour; healing wounds
  • Tomorrow – bright and breezy; crystal clear
  • Tuesday – karmic information; social sparkle
  • Wednesday – new beginning
  • Thursday – mental analysis
  • Saturday – attention to future work and study plans

Aspects for the week beginning 9 August 2020

John Hume (1937 – 2020)

“Blessed are the peacemakers.  I remember John Hume and his vision.  Let’s sing for him tonight.”

~ Bono, 2018

Nobel Peace prize winner John Hume died last Monday.  I always love to study the charts of peacemakers; they can potentially change the world.

Birth Chart

John Hume had half his planets (5) in Earth, so was very grounded; he had the same number in the Cardinal signs, showing leadership; and he had 0 planets in Air signs, so relied on instinct a great deal.  His face and demeanour bore all the gravitas and earnestness of a good solid Sun in Capricorn.  That Sun in Capricorn was exactly opposite Pluto, so he looked life’s difficulties and the challenges of his society directly in the face.  We would expect to see Libra prominent in the chart of a peacemaker, but that sign is empty (it may be more prominent if we had his birth time).  He does have Mars, his warrior planet, in the battling sign of Scorpio, and that contributes even more perseverance to the naturally persevering Capricorn nature.  Though he had no Air signs, his Mercury (mental makeup) is well-aspected, being both practical (Mercury closely sextile Saturn) and inspirational and visionary (Mercury closely trine Neptune).  With Venus sextile Jupiter, he was able to establish good relationships and powerful alliances, one of the keys to his success in shaping a peace plan for Ireland.  But his feeling-sense (Venus, the ruling planet of Libra) has much more of a repertoire, being conjunct Saturn (loyalty) Venus conjunct Saturn, opposite Neptune (aware of nuance in relationship) and square Chiron (aware of his own wounds and those of others).  There were other challenges within his chart, too: Mars opposite Uranus (an awareness of volatile energies), Saturn exactly opposite Neptune (an awareness of the sadness in the human condition), forming a T-square with Chiron (the complexities of reaching solutions between people). He knew too of the sometimes uncompromising nature of fate (Saturn and Neptune squaring his Nodal Axis).  These qualities enabled him to tackle conflict resolution with courage.  Helpful features of his chart also included the Entrepreneur Archetype (Jupiter trine Uranus) and past life expertise in negotiation (Chiron conjunct the South Node in Gemini).


The Northern Irish “Troubles” lasted  approximately 30 years (1968 – 1998), and Hume was preoccupied with their solution throughout, aged around 30 when they started.  The Good Friday Agreement which he was largely responsible for has lasted 20 plus years, though frayed at the edges.  It has been a lasting achievement, and he jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for this.  He also won the Martin Luther King prize (another Capricornian) and the Gandhi prize, both originating from the ideology of non-violent resistance.  The ruling planet of Capricorn, Saturn, in itself represents resistance, and self-control.  He had from an early age been interested in civil rights, and his declared philosophy was that “Politics is the alternative to war.”  Politics being the province of Capricorn, he was finding a distinctly Capricornian solution to war.  For him, the continuation of violence delayed a possible peace.

Peace Process

As the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Hume decided that in order to achieve real peace, he needed to talk to Sinn Fein, a step frowned upon by many, and considered risky.  This is where, among other qualities, the Inner Entrepreneur (his Jupiter trine Uranus) could step into an opportunity.  The result was a ceasefire called by the IRA in August 1994.  He was able to build on this, leading to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, together with various other interested parties both in the U.K. and in America.  Such a vast undertaking needed the co-operation of other players.  Trina Vargo, Edward Kennedy’s foreign policy adviser during the process, wrote:  “the outcome so depended on the timing being right and the right people being in the right places at the right time”.

Co-Creators in Peace

David Trimble

David Trimble was the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, and shared the Nobel Peace prize with Hume.  He was born under the sign of peace, with the Sun in Libra.  He became the First Minister for Northern Ireland in 1998.  There seems to have been a karmic link for these two joint prizewinners (indication that their roles were planned before birth): Trimble’s Sun was exactly sextile Hume’s North Node.  In addition, Trimble’s Mercury was trine Hume’s Chiron, Trimble’s Jupiter was square to Hume’s Chiron, and Trimble’s Saturn was opposite Hume’s Jupiter.  Trimble described his relationship with Hume as “businesslike”.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair’s reputation was sullied by the later Iraq War, but he still feels justifiably proud of the Good Friday Agreement.  Tony Blair’s difficult Saturn/Neptune conjunction sextiles Hume’s North Node, signifying a serious contract or commitment between them.

Edward Kennedy

Edward Kennedy had a passionate interest in the Irish cause through his ancestry, and was a great admirer of John Hume, playing a valuable role in encouraging the peace process.  Kennedy’s Moon sextiles Hume’s Mars and trines Hume’s Uranus, a dynamic, “get things done” vibe between them.  In addition, Kennedy’s ruling planet Neptune (his sensitivities) sextiled Hume’s Mars (his urge to action), creating a shared passion.  Hume’s Jupiter was conjunct Kennedy’s Ascendant, leading to fulfilment and success (we have a birth time for Kennedy, though not for Hume).

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton was the U.S. President at the time of the Good Friday Agreement.  Bill Clinton’s astrological contribution was his Jupiter (uplift) sextile Hume’s North Node (karmic mission).  At the 20th anniversary of the event in 2008, he declared that the Good Friday Agreement was a “work of genius” which helped to preserve the concept of democracy.

Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams also had a Jupiter link with Hume’s North Node, in this case an exact conjunction.  His Mercury (talks) opposed Hume’s Uranus (risk-taking).  Like Hume, Adams has Mars in Scorpio (the warrior), but his Mars is conjunct Chiron (wounding).  Hume was able to help turn a man of war into a man of peace (wounds turned into healing).  Adams saluted Hume’s “courage to take real risks for peace”.

John Major

John Major paved the way for the work which Tony Blair brought to fruition with Hume.  His Pluto squared Hume’s Uranus, a testament to the ground-breaking nature of the work they did together.

Mo Mowlam

Mo Mowlam went into the prisons in order to talk to Loyalist prisoners, working at the coal face for Tony Blair.  She said: “I have listened and it’s a difficult balance, but I don’t want to leave a stone unturned. I want to be sure we did everything we could to keep the process moving forward.”  Her Mars squared that of Hume (engaged in battle), but her Saturn trined his Jupiter (more power to his elbow) and her Uranus sextiled his Uranus (shared vision for change), plus her Pluto sextiled his Chiron (an enabler for his Healer).

Martin McGuinness

I wrote an astro-obituary for Martin McGuinness in March 2017, with his contribution to the Irish peace process, and his relationship with Gerry Adams.  I noted “Not only was his life one of two halves, but in looking at his birth chart, we are also looking for the Warrior and the Peacemaker… By 1993, McGuinness himself was said to be involved in secret talks with the government, trying to effect change in a different way.”  In his dealings with Hume, their Mercuries were trine with each other which helped communication, and change was effected through a sextile between Martin’s Jupiter and John Hume’s Uranus.

Pat Hume

John Hume’s wife Pat was a strong support for him throughout his career, often facing danger.  According to the Irish Times: “And still she held out her hand and not a fist, holding on to the belief that there was, and still is, a non-violent way to resolve the conflict. She accompanied her peace-building work with justice.”  Her principles were as strong as his, and she nursed him with his later condition of dementia.  We do not have a birth time for her.

Good Friday Agreement

The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10th April 1998, and became effective on 2nd December 1999.  This was the culmination of John’s work.  At the time of the signing, Mars was forming a T-square to his Sun opposite Pluto, a symbol of the danger he had faced with such courage to get to that point.  Saturn was also trine his natal North Node, signifying an important karmic achievement.  At the time the Agreement became effective, the danger was also highlighted, in Mars squaring his natal Uranus.

Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace prize was awarded to Hume and Trimble in October 1998.  The transits for Hume were Mars trine his natal Uranus,  Jupiter sextile his natal Mercury (an award), Jupiter on his Saturn, and Jupiter opposite his natal Neptune.  For Trimble, Solar Return (on his birthday), fitting for a Libran Sun sign, and Saturn opposite his Mars (which might be seen as symbolic of his struggle against war).


It was as though in his long and painstaking efforts of hard work on peace in Ireland, John Hume had sadly worn himself out, or had achieved what he was destined to do, for shortly after (in 1999) he began to show symptoms of dementia.  At his death, Venus (peace) was exactly conjunct the North Node opposite the Galactic Centre: a fitting astrological tribute.

“His vision was decades ahead of everyone else.  His commitment never wavered; he just had to wait for everyone else to catch up with him.”

~ Trina Vargo

“He understood that when there are only two alternatives – in this case, of justice, but with force and violence on one side and on the other an unjust status quo – there will be no resolution. But in finding a third way, he helped people see that there was a different way forward altogether.”

~ Tony Blair       


With Mercury trine Chiron today, the brief is all about finding solutions, especially in health matters.  Mercury trine Chiron describes healing on a mental level (positive thinking, writing and affirmations), and helps to combine conventional and alternative or complementary healing approaches.   This is a good aspect to set up good practices for the week ahead, for what promises to be a bumpy ride (most Astrologers would agree).

The spanner in the works is a feature of tomorrow’s dynamic (Monday 10th), with Mercury square to Uranus.  Back up your computer files, and consider I.T. loopholes, as this is a time when you may experience glitches in this area.  Use your intuition to be one step ahead – the Universe may be trying to show you new pathways, and possible new perspectives.

Thursday (13th) brings the very explosive square between Mars and Pluto, so get ready to plaster your red “caution” stickers everywhere.  If you found last week’s Mars square Jupiter explosive (it occurred on the day of the explosion in Beirut) be aware that this square is even more volatile.  You may need all your conflict resolution skills.  Take a leaf out of John Hume’s book.

Lastly, on Saturday (15th), Uranus is Stationary, prior to turning retrograde, and recent strategies may start to let you down.  You need to review the way you do things, and the way you think about things, and find new types of solutions suited to future working.  A helpful book on the subject is “Future Vision Your Working Life” by Anne Jirsch, which was published in April this year, in the middle of lockdown.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – finding solutions
  • Tomorrow – finding glitches
  • Thursday – finding your inner peacemaker
  • Saturday – revisioning

Aspects for the week beginning 2 August 2020

The Murdoch Empire

My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions”.

~ James Murdoch

On Friday night it was announced that 89-year old Rupert Murdoch’s son, James, was stepping down from the News Corporation.  This may be seen as the run up to Saturday morning’s opposition between Pluto and Mercury (a shake-up in the communications world).  So the Murdoch empire is again in a state of flux.  I last wrote about Rupert Murdoch when he married Jerry Hall, so it’s time for another look at the Murdoch charts.  As things stand, Rupert Murdoch is the 34th richest person in America, and the 96th richest person in the world, and undoubtedly one of the most powerful.  His work as a media moghul has had an influence on world politics, notably in the U.K. and the U.S.

Rupert’s Birth Chart

Rupert has the Sun conjunct Mercury in the “genius” sign of Pisces trine Pluto, the “power” planet in the 3rd House of broadcasting, communications, journalism and the media.  Need I write more?  Oh OK then…Mercury is on the I.C. also in the 3rd House, indicating that communications are the foundation of his life.  And Mercury trines Jupiter, giving a lucky touch to all these activities.  Need I write more? Oh OK then…His hard-headedness shows in Mars opposite Saturn and Pluto opposite Saturn.  He’s a gambler, with Jupiter square Uranus.  He’s a leader in the high tech world, with Uranus on the North Node and half his planets (5) in the Cardinal signs, and has problem-solving skills with Mercury sextile Chiron.  Rupert has six children, and two of the main contenders for taking over the family firm have now bowed out (Elisabeth and James), leaving Lachlan in prime position.  Rupert’s 5th House of Children shows Chiron in Taurus, and although Chiron is well-aspected, there is a definite theme of woundedness in that area of his life.

On Friday night, Rupert’s main transits were:-

Mars square his Mars (a disagreement with a male)

Uranus sextile his natal Jupiter (a new opportunity)

Neptune on his Sun (uncertainty)

James Murdoch

James Murdoch has long chafed against the appointed role set for him seemingly by fate, and has now emancipated himself from his father’s influence.  He holds different views on climate change from his father, and has supported Joe Biden in the US Presidential race, as distinct from his father’s support for Trump through Fox News.  James’s wife Kathryn, is an environmentalist, and the Fox News coverage of recent Australian bush fires proved unpalatable to the couple.  They have been married since 2000.

We do not have a birth time for James, but there are many similarities between his chart and his sister Elisabeth’s, as we shall see.  Saturn in his chart opposite his Sun may well point to an oppressive and authoritarian father.  But Uranus exactly sextile his natal Sun gives him a strong desire for independence, which has encouraged his Inner Rebel.  James has Mercury conjunct Venus, the Writer Archetype, and Mercury conjunct Neptune (mental sensitivity).  Mars sextile his natal North Node indicates he does have the Warrior Archetype, too, as part of his karmic mission.  All three of Rupert’s children who have been involved learning the family trade had the same mother, Anna Murdoch, Rupert’s second wife.  She is a Cancerian, and from their birth charts, had a strong influence on both James and Elisabeth.

Up to 2013 James was chairman and CEO for Europe and Asia of News Corporation, and in 2012 he was forced to relinquish his role as chairman of BSkyB due to the phone hacking scandal, an event which undoubtedly shook him personally.  His transits at the time included Uranus (sudden change in status) trine his natal Neptune (scandal).

The transits at the time of his decision and announcement on Friday night were remarkably apt:-

Jupiter sextile his natal Mars in Scorpio – a decisive action, fortuitous for him and giving him greater freedom

Jupiter transiting his natal North Node – a karmic act of liberation

Pluto sextile his natal Venus – a transformation of close relationships

Pluto square his natal Uranus – a brutal break with the past

These indicate something which had to be done, and a timing that is precisely right.

Elisabeth Murdoch

The Murdoch siblings have been notoriously at odds with each other, but Elisabeth freed herself from the family entanglements far earlier, stepping away from the family brand in 2001, which was an important year for her, as she married Matthew Freud, who belonged to another prominent family.  Astrologically, that was a year of breakaway transits which included  Jupiter square her natal Uranus, Uranus sextile her natal Saturn, Uranus square her natal Neptune, Pluto square her natal Mercury and Pluto square her natal Jupiter. She was involved in various media enterprises, but even further distanced herself businesswise from a company linked with NewsCorp around the end of 2014.  At this time, Pluto was squaring her Nodal Axis (, a complete karmic break, initiating a new karmic cycle).

In her chart, she has many similar patterns and combinations with James’ chart.  Like him, she has a Saturn aspect to her Sun, and whereas James has Moon trine Mars and sextile the North Node, she has the Moon conjunct Mars and trine the North Node (strong relationships with the mother).  Like James she has Mercury conjunct Venus, and like her father, she has Mercury linked positively with Jupiter.  James has Mars sextile his North Node, and Elizabeth has Mars trine her North Node, both exact, so both having equal capacity for warriorship.  Does the new development affect her?  Her transits for Friday evening were:- Jupiter trine her natal Venus (she may be pleased about it), Saturn squares her Saturn (certain elements may be frustrating), Uranus squares her Mars (estrangements connected to men in her life), and Pluto trine her natal Pluto (overall, an empowerment for her, even if only on an emotional level).

Lachlan Murdoch

Of all his children, Lachlan has a chart most complementary to Rupert’s, with his Sun in Virgo exactly opposite Rupert’s Mercury in Pisces and his Venus opposite his father’s Sun, so maybe his life path was designed to take over the baton all along.  Lachlan’s Mercury is square his Jupiter, so he may have more trouble concentrating than Rupert and Elisabeth.  He may scatter his interests too widely.  Mercury also squares Neptune in his chart, so again he may not be as focussed as his siblings.  Mars trines his Saturn, so he has determination and deliberation.  Mars trines Uranus exactly, so engineering may be a talent.  He has the warrior karmic mission of his siblings, in Mars conjunct exactly the North Node.  They all have exact aspects of Mars to their North Node, so it is no wonder that they have a reputation for sibling wars between them.  Lachlan has Jupiter exactly conjunct Neptune, so he can be capable of great vision, or great illusion.  And Jupiter is exactly sextile Pluto, which is a definite taste for Power.  Lachlan also has Uranus exactly trine his North Node, surprise in leadership being a characteristic of his karmic mission.

The transits for Lachlan on Friday night show Mars trine his natal Mercury (mentally on the alert) and Jupiter trine his natal Venus (very happy; his natal Venus is conjunct that of Elisabeth).  Jupiter transiting natal Venus usually means a cause for personal celebration.

For now, Rupert Murdoch seems firmly in control of the destiny of his empire, but he turns 90 next March, and Lachlan seems the most interested in continuing the legacy.


Uranus squared the Sun this morning, so the element of the unexpected challenges us today.  In the outcomes of the day, you could find that the least likely option wins.  So don’t rest on your laurels, provide for loopholes, and don’t take unnecessary risks.  Some people thrive under the excitement!

Tomorrow (Monday 3rd) the Full Moon at 11 degrees Aquarius keeps us on our toes emotionally.  We might be torn by looking at an issue emotionally, then from a detached perspective, then back and forth.  This may produce a stand off between the individual and the group.

In the evening, Saturn opposes Mercury, which may link with Saturday morning’s opposition to Mercury from Pluto, “a shake up in the communication world”.  There may be repercussions from difficulties that arose then.  The Pluto transit is more fundamental, and the Saturn transit more frustrating and prone to delay in communication and travel.  You will be urged to think before you speak, or even to remain tight-lipped in order not to deepen an existing crisis.  Documentation may be delayed, e.g. passports and driving licences – well, even more delayed!  You may have to tell someone “It’s in the post!”.  If you have something ready to post, maybe post it today, rather than procrastinating.

Jupiter squares Mars on Tuesday (4th), which can produce high jinx, fun and games, or just sheer over the top enthusiasm allied with energy.  Results are not guaranteed, however!  It is certainly less oppressive than the energy of Pluto/Saturn opposing Mars, but still requires caution in balancing.

Mercury enters Leo on Wednesday (5th) in the early hours of the morning in the U.K.  This placement favours applying the mind to ways of finding leisure and enjoyment in these challenging holiday times.  The usual rules do not apply, or are not clear (stay at home; don’t stay at home; go abroad, but quarantine on return, or cut short your holiday; staycation but make sure it is in an area which is not in lockdown; ease the restrictions but don’t contribute to a second wave, etc…)  The newspaper cartoonists have been having a field day! ;-}  So ingenuity, combined with common sense, are required to find just the right note, and stay safe, while enjoying yourself.

Another ingress occurs on Friday (7th) with Venus entering Cancer.  We place our love on the home and family, and appreciate our locality.  We need to be conscious about our emotional boundaries during this period (to 6th September).  This takes us up to the beginning of the school term, which at the moment holds a question mark (schools are asking the government to make safety arrangements more clear, and the government are considering sacrificing and trading pub openings for school openings).  The bosom of the family has been a theme as we have been closeted in our homes for the last few months, but also the poignancy of being separated from other branches of the family.  August therefore is a time to be focussing and strengthening our family ties, and deepening our understanding of what family means to us.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – surprises, or shocks
  • Tomorrow – emotional high tide; communication blocks
  • Tuesday – energy breaking out
  • Wednesday – focus on enjoyment
  • Friday – family involvement, with love

Aspects for the week beginning 26 July 2020

Kim Kardashian

I was touched this week by the words of support given this week by Kim Kardashian on behalf of her husband Kanye West, a few days after an outburst he made when addressing his declaration to run for President again.  Her words can be used as a plea for consideration for those with bi-polar syndrome, or with any other form of mental illness.  For this reason, I will print her words at the foot of this short blog.

Birth Chart

I mentioned Kim before in a blog about Kanye West himself, but have not written much about her.

Here is a fascinating pointer to her success as a style icon, from my blog of May 2018:

‘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.” ‘

Kim’s Sun is in Libra, the sign of Style Icons, in her 11th House of Society.

Her Moon in Pisces is exactly conjunct her I.C. in the 4th House: Family as the foundation of life.  Stepmother Caitlyn Jenner also has the I.C. conjunct the Moon.

Kanye West

Kanye held a political rally last Sunday in South Carolina, in which he talked about the fact that he wanted to abort his child with Kim, but she decided to go ahead with the pregnancy.  He was full of remorse because he had nearly killed his daughter.  He talked about how his own life was nearly aborted too during his mother’s pregnancy.

His transits for this speech were: Mars trine his natal Saturn (pushing himself) and Mars opposite his natal Pluto (risking his safety).

Kim’s difficult  transits at that time  were:

Jupiter square her natal Pluto (a power struggle), Saturn square her natal Sun (a cause for sorrow), Neptune square her natal Neptune (a state of powerlessness and confusion), Pluto sextile her natal Uranus (a need for big change).

Kim’s transits for her statement (below) a few days later, were:

Mars trine her natal Ascendant (asserting her self-image).  Mars was on the cusp of her 5th House, having been in the 4th House stirring up Home and Family a few days earlier.  Jupiter was still square her Pluto; Saturn square her natal Sun had become exact to the day, so she was confronting her sorrow. Saturn was trine exactly her natal Jupiter/Midheaven conjunction in 10th House, so again she was taking charge of her image and persona in the world.  Neptune was trine her natal Mercury, so she was ready to talk about a sensitive subject. Neptune was still square her Neptune, and Pluto was still sextile her natal Uranus.  The timing seems to have been right for her.

Bi-Polar Syndrome

I wrote in 2018 about Kanye’s general personality:

‘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.” ‘

I have been studying bi-polar birth charts for a while and have not yet found any firm indications within a natal chart.  This study is ongoing!  Other Astrologers may have had more satisfactory findings.

Kim’s Message:

“As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.  I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.

I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions. He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions.

Living with bipolar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some.  That is part of his genius and as we have all witnessed, many of his big dreams have come true.

Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behaviour know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor.  People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.

We as a society talk about giving grace to the issue of mental health as a whole, however we should also give it to the individuals who are living with it in times when they need it the most.  I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this.”


A big aspect occurs tomorrow (Monday 27th) with Jupiter sextile Neptune.  It appeared in February and May this year.  This allows people to get clearer on religion and spirituality, although Jupiter and Neptune are both retrograde, so historical wisdom may need to come into play.  The positive manifestations of this sextile can still operate.  Kim Kardashian’s plea for kindness and compassion in relation to loved ones with mental health issues is very pertinent to the spirit of this sextile.  Other notable qualities associated with this combination are mercy and grace.

Later on in the day Neptune does complicate matters, with a square to Venus.  This can particularly cause confusion in relationships, and uncertainty in the Arts.  So while there may be clarity on spirituality and religion (Jupiter sextile Neptune), you will need to tread more warily on Venusian matters.  There may be paranoia in relationships, and frustrating flaws in creative works, as well as insecurity in finance.

Still later in the day, Mercury will be square Mars, and people may be irritable (possibly in relation to earlier frustrations).  Mistakes can be made, such as minor prangs in traffic.  If you are out and about, try and travel in a calm state (perhaps a spot of meditation beforehand), and avoid any war of words.  If you are centred, you may be quite productive, producing brisk work.

Jupiter opposes Mercury on Thursday (30th), which is mentally stimulating but can lead to mental resources being overstretched.  Travel news may also be quite testing, e.g. people being quarantined in places they didn’t plan to be.  Jupiter opposite Mercury is a learning curve, and can bring out some humour, but need some caution in the playing.

Around tea-time, there is more harmony, with a trine from Neptune to Mercury.  Things may fall into place spiritually, and you may be ready to talk about a sensitive subject.  This trine brings mental inspiration, transcendent wisdom, higher harmony, spiritual journeys, and insight.

At the end of the month, on Friday (31st), Chiron trines the Sun, bringing a healing opportunity.  This aspect favours both physical and psychological healing, and a trip or leisure activity may be just the tonic you need, or those you share a “bubble” with.

Finally, a more testing aspect on Saturday, the first day of August, in the shape of Mercury opposite Pluto.  Watch your mental processes carefully, and be mindful in conversation.  Travel too could be problematic.  Something could appear to be a minor snag on the surface, but may give you pause for deeper thought, leading to more psychological awareness.  Don’t skirt over it.  Examine the issue carefully, and the resulting insight could be a gift.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – religious and spiritual clarity; relationship confusion; minor skirmishes
  • Thursday – mentally stimulating and overstretching; spiritual inspiration
  • Friday – healing opportunity
  • Saturday – mental conundrums

Aspects for the week beginning 19 July 2020

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778)

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”

~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

In this fourth in my philosophy series, I look at a Cancerian philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Birth Chart

Traditionally, in a Cancerian chart, the mother’s influence is strong.  In the case of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, his mother’s influence is conspicuous by virtue of her absence, for she died nine days after his birth.  But Rousseau did concern himself a great deal with the phase of life associated with Cancer: childhood.  He wrote a treatise for the upbringing of a child, Emile. However, his perceptions were often skewed on the subject, and he did himself abandon his own children (which he later regretted).  Some of these paradoxes may be seen in the square to his Moon (Cancer’s ruler) from an opposition of Jupiter and Saturn, forming a T-square.  When Jupiter and Saturn are strongly connected by conjunction, square or opposition, there is a sense that the person is chasing their own tail, caught between two such different forces.  His Ascendant was in Virgo, and he was extremely concerned with health and hygiene, almost a hypochondriac, but in the end opted to avoid the conventional medicine of the day (which could often be quite brutal).  This worked for him largely, until he fell victim to the consequences of an accident.  He had all the creative brilliance, independence and originality of the Sun sextile Uranus, and with Sun trine Chiron, he had a healing intent.  He was a prolific writer, as you would expect from his natal conjunction of Mercury and Venus in Gemini.  He also had an acute critical faculty, with Mercury conjunct Mars.  Mercury occupied the top spot in his chart, square the Ascendant, on the 10th House cusp, marking him out as a Thinker.  Gemini is one of the signs associated with Philosophy, although my efforts to find a Sun Sign Gemini Philosopher were difficult (I settled on Blaise Pascal).  Mercury and Gemini rule the logic and mental processes involved, whereas Sagittarius is the sign actually associated with Philosophy and deeper levels of thought.  Mars trine Jupiter depicted great energy allied with enthusiasm (the “noble savage”), while at the same time Mars sextile Saturn produced very deliberate in action. Other “wild child” energy came from Mars square Uranus, and Uranus conjunct Pluto.  Mars conjunct closely the Midheaven in Gemini in 9th House shows the Philosopher-Warrior, at odds with the Encyclopedistes.

Life and Career

Much of what we know about his life comes from his Confessions, published after his death.  Rousseau was born in Geneva in 1712,  (he stated: “I was born almost dying, they had little hope of saving me”), and came from a family tradition of watchmaking (Ascendant in Virgo, Mercury at the top of his chart).  At the age of 10, he boarded with a Calvinist minister who lived just outside Geneva, where he learned mathematics and drawing. At the age of 13, he was apprenticed to a notary then an engraver, but ran away at 15 (on 14th March 1728).  That date shows a transit of Neptune trine his natal Jupiter, and it coincided with a new religious outlook (he was born with a square between those two planets).  He took shelter with a Roman Catholic priest, and met the love of his life Francoise-Louise de Warens, who was 14 years his senior.

Rousseau lived on and off in Paris, and later established a relationship with Therese Levasseur, who bore him several children.  In 1742 he met Philosopher Denis Diderot, who was to play an important role in his life.  They met at the Cafe de la Regence, watching chess and drinking coffee.  Initially friends, they became philosophical rivals. Rousseau contributed articles to Diderot and D’Alembert’s  Encyclopedie.

In 1750 he won a competition organized by the Academie de Dijon, in which he wrote an essay inspired by a revelation that he had about the arts and sciences being responsible for moral degeneration, being a reflection of man’s pride and vanity. Rousseau’s answer to these ills was the development of reason and being close to nature.

He met with controversy when he criticized the insincerity and shallowness of the Encyclopedistes, and that soured relations between him and his friend Diderot.  The two men had a close astrological connection, dynamic and profound, which included double whammy mutual sextiles between their Suns and Saturn.  There was great sensitivity (Diderot’s Neptune conjunct Rousseau’s Moon), but also the potential for conflict (Diderot’s Mars square Rousseau’s Uranus (sparks flying).  When he broke away from the Encyclopedistes, Rousseau found himself expressing more independent views, such as his more spiritual ideas in contrast to Diderot’s more materially based views.  He published Emile  and  The Social Contract in 1762.  At the age of 50, these will have carried the essence of his Chiron Return, the maturation of his Inner Healer.

In Emile the ideal education of the child, the process of which he advises from infancy, is not to be guided by the state, but by a chosen mentor, who would apply natural principles with as little intervention as possible (although Rousseau lays down so many rules and guidelines that it is difficult to see that as non-intervention).  His account of the ideal childhood in Emile is often naive and based on a narrow class of child in his own historical period.  I often found his assertions of what a child is capable at a certain age untrue, certainly in respect of the modern child, who is exposed to so much more stimulation and information from a young age.

In his work, he professed to be optimistic in his attitude towards human nature, believing that mankind was fundamentally good, and therefore should be allowed to thrive as naturally as possible – as distinct from Hobbes who believed that the people needed to be governed by an autocracy as they were fundamentally wicked.  In matters of religion, Rousseau did not believe in the doctrine of original sin.

He drew the attention of Scottish philosopher Edward Hume (the Taurean subject of my second philosophy blog), who later offered him some refuge from some of the criticisms of Parisian society (e.g. for contending that all religions are worthy, and religious tolerance was the right way forward).  On my Philosophy course [we have enrolled for a second year!] Hume is one of the most popular philosophers, and his reputation describes him as one of the nicest of their kind.  At that point in time, Voltaire was also sympathetically disposed towards Rousseau.  Rousseau also received support from Frederick the Great of Prussia, and travelled around to various places he thought might be safe from his accusations of blasphemy (including his native Switzerland).

In 1765 he met Hume in Paris, and made a very good impression, travelling at his invitation to England early in 1766.  Hume described his visitor as “gentle, modest, affectionate, disinterested, of extreme sensitivity.”  The astrological synastry between their charts is quite harmonious.  However, the relationship soured after inexplicably Hume was involved in a hoax letter being sent by Horace Walpole purporting to be from Frederick the Great.  Among other transits, Saturn was square Rousseau’s Pluto in Virgo in his 12th House (the House of Self-Undoing and Hidden Enemies).  Voltaire also wrote critically of Rousseau at this time.

On 21st June 1767 Rousseau moved to an estate outside Paris, recording feelings of anxiety and paranoia at this time. He married Therese on 30th August 1768.  He completed writing the account of his life Confessions the following year, with an eye to his future reputation.  Although not published until after his death, he read portions in group sittings in Paris.

After an accident in 1776, caught between a carriage and a Great Dane in the street, Rousseau suffered neurological damage and epileptic seizures.  Transits for the accident are stark: Uranus on his natal Mars (accident) and Uranus square his natal Chiron (difficult health challenges).  His natal Mars and Chiron were exactly square, so this was a weak point in his chart for his health and wellbeing in terms of transits.  He occupied time in these later years with the study of botany, refining his writings, and musical composition.  On 1st July 1778 he suffered a fatal stroke.


His influence was widespread in his time, and subsequently.  His political ideas inspired the revolutionaries, and his educational ideas resonated with Pestalozzi and Montessori.  He also promoted romanticism, and influenced German writers such as Goethe and Schiller.

Rousseau ever had an inner eye trained on the Inner Child, the province of the sign of Cancer.  The principle of allowing a child’s spirit and talents to flourish is of great importance.  Children above all need to be allowed to be themselves, and express their true nature.

On Pg 29 of Emile, he wrote:

“We were meant to be men, laws and customs thrust us back into infancy. The rich and great, the very kings themselves are but children; they see that we are ready to relieve their misery; this makes them childishly vain, and they are quite proud of the care bestowed on them, a care which they would never get if they were grown men.”


(1) Ed Patrick Riley – The Cambridge Companion to Rousseau, Cambridge University Press 2001

(2) Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Emile, Published by Pantianos Classics; first published in 1762

(3) Jean-Jacques Rousseau – The Social Contract; first published in 1762


There’s a New Moon at 28 degrees Cancer tomorrow, a pure and simple chance to get back to basics with our home, family, roots, locality, emotions and ancestry.  Where it falls in your chart can give you extra clues about placing your intentionality, your hopes and wishes.  (Rousseau would have loved it!).  After two New Moon Eclipses in a row, this one may feel like a bit of a relief, with some sense of normality.

In the late evening, Saturn opposes the Sun, so there may be a touch of sadness, and coming down to earth.  Reality dawns before midnight, so cosset yourself with some Green & Black’s cocoa, and lavender on your pillow, and settle down to some healing sleep.  Programme your dreams to contain information which can help you with any blocks or frustrations going on in your life.

The Sun goes into Leo on Wednesday morning (22nd) and that is another bright new start.  Normally, that would signal the holiday season, both academically and astrologically, but some of the population will be more cautious than usual about venturing forth, even on staycations.  As long as you all make sure to socially distance on beaches, we’ll (the collective) be fine!  Certainly the spirit will be there, if not the geographical relocation for all of us.  I’ve had as an earworm all week, the following song by the Bee Gees:

” Ooh you’re a holiday , ev’ry day , such a holiday
Now it’s my turn to say , and I say you’re a holiday
It’s something I think’s worthwhile…”

…The rest of the lyrics don’t have anything to do with holidays, but it has started to get me in the mood, and getting into holiday mood is a start, even if you don’t know how you will achieve an actual holiday.  Something may follow from the mood itself.  For schoolchildren and homeschoolers, it will be a welcome break from homework.  What do you need a break from in terms of your routine?

In the evening, we have a repeat of an aspect which occurred twice in June, due to Mercury’s retrograde motion: Mercury sextile Uranus.  Well it’s a happy aspect to revisit, being helpful for mental endeavours and technology.  Telepathy, intuition and the power of surprise are also benefits of this aspect.  This aspect can amaze you and help you find that “wow” factor.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – new beginnings; confronting reality
  • Wednesday – holiday mood; sparkling communications