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Aspects for the week beginning 23 February 2020

Billie Eilish

I don’t keep up with modern music, and the mysteries of hip hop and rap, but watched some of the Brits last week, and found some of the characters interesting.  Lewis Capaldi’s song “Someone You Loved” deserved the award for Best Song, for its melody, lyrics and delivery.  The week before, Nicola Roberts had won The Masked Singer with the song.

So one of the characters prominent at the Brits, who has been ubiquitous this week promoting her song for the new James Bond film, was Billie Eilish.  I had watched her at Glastonbury last summer, and wondered what she was about.  Then in January it was announced that she would be creating the theme song for the new James Bond theme, which was amazing for one so young (just 18 years old).  The song was recently revealed, but only sung in full in public at the Brits. I was intrigued.  My verdict?  I couldn’t make out the tune, but it was pleasant enough.  Her voice was subtle and sensitive in the portrayal, ethereal and fairly haunting.  Like an amorphous, Piscean cloud.  So her birth chart reveals an Ascendant in Pisces, with the Moon conjunct Neptune.  Even though I have never watched a Bond film in my life (what an admission!), I should have been aware that there was a hint of dark menace in keeping with the film genre, or even the title, “No Time To Die”…

Birth Chart

We are fortunate to have a birth time for Billie.  Straightaway, you can see her power, as her Sun is conjunct the Galactic Centre.  Venus dominates her chart, marking her out for a musical career: the Sun is conjunct Venus and the Midheaven, describing a career in music and performance; Venus sextiles Uranus (originality in songwriting); Venus conjuncts Pluto (she can sing with depth); Venus squares the Ascendant, 10th House side (singing career); and finally, Venus conjunct South Node (a singer in past lives) – thus, Venus has a finger in every pie.  Billie also has Mercury sextile Mars (quick mental reactions), Mars trine Jupiter  (energy allied harmoniously with enthusiasm), Uranus exactly sextile Midheaven (originality a keynote of her career) and Mercury conjunct Chiron  (a problem-solver, but also implying her Tourette’s and synaesthesia).

Life and Career

Billie was born in Los Angeles, and her parents are both actors and musicians.  The family are of Irish and Scottish descent, and Billie was homeschooled as a child (Saturn in Gemini in 3rd House of Education).  The parents encouraged free expression, especially in the Arts.  The first song Billie wrote, at the age of 11, was about the zombie apocalypse.  Her first recording came out in October 2015 (aged 14) entitled “Ocean Eyes”, written and produced by her brother Finneas, and released on SoundCloud.  There is a variety of styles in her music, across various modern day genres (including dark pop, electropop and Emo pop, for the initiated). Influences included Avril Lavigne, Amy Winehouse and Lana del Ray, and she  thanked the latter at the Brits this week, among others.  Her debut album in 2019 was titled “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”, and she performed at Glastonbury the same year. And in November 2019 she was nominated for six Grammy awards.

So to this year, and when she had just turned 18, on 14th January 2020 she was announced as the singer and co-creator of the song which would be the theme tune for the new Bond film.  Her transits centred around Mars (man) and Neptune (mystery): Mars was square to her natal Mars, the North Node was trine her natal Mars, Mars was sextile her natal Neptune, and Neptune was on her Ascendant.  No wonder this fitted the theme of the international man of mystery!  But with Neptune on her Ascendant at the moment, she may well be feeling vulnerable and ultra-sensitive.  In January, she moved back in with her parents.

“No Time to Die” was released on February 13th of this year, with Neptune still on  her Ascendant in Pisces, and Mars on her South Node in Sagittarius in her 10th House (there is a definite karmic theme to her being thrust into the limelight at such a young age).

Her fashion style consists of loose, baggy clothing which she says is attention-grabbing, but also aims to avoid fat shaming or thin shaming. That amorphous styling also represents her Ascendant Pisces (the physical vehicle), but is the reverse of the attention-seeking, which is the Sun on her Midheaven (which often represents the Persona).  An interesting paradox.

At this week’s performance and triumph at the Brits, her transits were: Jupiter sextile her natal Ascendant (the Award), on the 11th House cusp, and Neptune still on her Ascendant.

Finneas O’Connell

We do not have a birth time for her brother Finneas, but he has played a major role in her life, and continues to shape and share her career, performing with her on stage and producing her music as well as co-writing.  He is older by three and a half years.  He has also been an actor (appearing in Glee), which is fitting for a creative Sun in Leo.  He has Sun exactly opposite Uranus, which is very independent.  All the family have Uranus strong in their charts: Billie has Uranus exactly sextile with her Midheaven (Careerpoint) and both parents have their Suns trine Uranus.  Finneas has Mercury conjunct Venus, the Writer Archetype, or even more specialized, the Songwriter Archetype.  He and Billie share the Mars/Jupiter trine of energy allied harmoniously with enthusiasm.  Venus squares Pluto in his chart, providing the emotional sources of some of the dark themes of his songs.  Both siblings have difficult Mars/Saturn aspects, a shared source of angst.  Finneas has Neptune trine his natal North Node, a factor in his way of moulding his song styles to the character of the people he writes for, almost a type of channelling.  He has collaborated with a number of artists.

He has also had a separate music career of his own, as well as belonging to a band named the Slightlys.  He learned songwriting from his mother, and has nurtured, supported and encouraged Billie in her blossoming career.  Like Billie, he has synaesthesia, possibly contributing to a multi-dimensional quality to their work.  His transits for the Brits this week included Uranus trine his natal Mercury in Virgo, success and recognition for his hard work.

Their synastry shows Billie’s Neptune exactly opposite Finneas’ Sun, which is very sensitizing for him; their Mercuries (mindsets) exactly trine in harmony in practical Earth signs; his Mars sextile her Venus and her Venus opposite his Mars (good chemistry); his Mars trine her Uranus (stimulation); his Saturn trine her Venus (he can guide her musical talent), and his Uranus conjunct her natal Neptune (interactions in other dimensions).  Billie has a particularly strong bond with her mother, while Finneas has a stronger bond with his father, astrologically.

Aspects

The week starts with today’s New Moon at 4 degrees Pisces, close to the Fixed Star Fomalhaut, which is about overcoming addiction according to “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld:

“This star has an excellent ability to release addictive states by bringing to consciousness the purpose of addictions.  These can include addictions to relationship, thinking, sex, or various substances.  The awareness of past-life connections that create the necessity for such addictions also comes to one’s consciousness with repeated use of this star.”

Set your intentions for the month ahead, with a special focus on emotions, the use of water, and overcoming addiction(s).  Any affirmations, practical projects and creative visualizations along these lines would be apt.

There is also a square between Venus and Jupiter later today, which may be socially awkward.  Behaviour may be gauche or a little inappropriate, and that may have consequences.  You may be socializing when you don’t feel like it, or feel that you have to force jollity.  There will be a meaning to it – there always is!  Even if it is one remark which makes you think deeply, or helps you to realize what you don’t need.

Energy is injected into our affairs on Tuesday (25th) with a sextile between the Sun and Mars.  As it occurs in the very early hours it may keep us awake or give rise to vivid dreams.  But in the day, it will hopefully allow you to press on with active projects, and dynamically “get …… done” (substitute your own words here).

The same day brings a trine between the Sun and the North Node, which helps your actions and creations to fall in line with, and be in sync with, your own karma and the collective karma.  That can make a day zing!

More abrasively Mars also conjuncts the South Node, reminding us of battles in past lives.  The Sun’s sextile to Mars provides some protection and the ability to make something constructive of events and passions.

The actor Kevin Bacon has Mars conjunct his South Node in his natal chart.  When asked:

Q: “If you could go back in time, where would you go?” his reply was

A: “The old Wild West – I would join the Pony Express.  It’s kind of ironic, because one thing I actually do know how to do is ride a horse – and that’s the one thing nobody has asked me to do in a movie.”  Some food for thought, maybe…?

A different outlook arises on Wednesday (26th) with a sparkling conjunction of the Sun and Mercury at 6 degrees Pisces.  It is a good day to apply your mind even if the subject matter is unfathomable (Pisces).  You can engage your mind with focus (Sun/Mercury) at the same time as diving deeply into emotional/psychological/spiritual matters.  If you precede your task with some meditation, this process will be enhanced.

Mercury in Pisces also sextiles Mars in Capricorn that day, intensifying focus and co-ordination, and enabling the spiritual aspects of a project to come together with the practical aspects, and the physical and mental energies to co-ordinate.  Business will be brisk.

Assisting you will be Mercury trine the North Node, ensuring that information and communication are accurate and karmically relevant.  The energies are working together well (so far) this week, and you should be able to feel that.  It will contribute to progress generally, especially for the first half of the week.

The most difficult aspect of the week comes on Friday (28th), in the shape of Venus square Pluto.  This will require some psychological soul-searching, and honest-as-you-can-be interpersonal communication.  Note that Finneas O’Connell has this square natally (“providing the emotional sources of some of the dark themes of his songs”) and another Brit award winner (Best Song 2020) Lewis Capaldi, writer of “Someone You Loved” also has this square natally, producing the heart-aching masterpiece which won the award.  So, if you are feeling a bit maudlin’, it could be time to write that hit song, be it hip hop, indie pop, or Country and Western…

And don’t forget Caroline Flack’s mantra, “Be Kind”, both to yourself, and others.

We have a pick-me-up sort of aspect on Saturday (29th), to end the week, and to end the leap month of February: Mercury sextile Uranus.  Bright minds and bright communications characterize this aspect, helpful for I.T. and invention, among other areas of mental life.  If you have been inspired with the plethora of aspects this week and the events have enriched your life and stimulated ideas in you, then it is time to share, whether face to face or by telephone or by telepathy – it doesn’t have to be via social media!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – new beginnings, socially awkward
  • Tuesday – energy, attunement, and old battles to be resolved
  • Wednesday – sparkling mental faculties, briskness and karmic information
  • Friday – deeply emotional
  • Saturday – bright minds

Aspects for the week beginning 16 February 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

Boris Johnson reshuffled his cabinet on Thursday, but did not reckon on Chancellor Sajid Javid doing the right thing and resigning.  This resulted in a new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid was not my favourite politician, but he went up in my estimation on the integrity barometer, by refusing to sack his advisers as a condition of staying on as Chancellor (“No self-respecting chancellor would accept such conditions”, he said).  What was going on in his astrological life on Thursday?  Mars was square his Pluto (a dangerous dilemma) but sextile his natal Jupiter (he did the right thing).  Jupiter was also sextile his natal North Node, so he also passed a karmic test.  Saturn was trine his natal Pluto, so the decision was clear to him.  There was also a wrench (Uranus on  his Saturn) and confused direction (Neptune on his North Node).

Rishi Sunak

So what is the new Chancellor made of?  He was the deputy for Sajid, and has married into Indian wealth.  He has the Sun, Mercury and Chiron in Taurus, the sign of money.  With the Sun/Mercury trine Saturn, he has a great deal of common sense.  But will he be a mere puppet of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings?  He has a preponderance of planets in the Mutable signs (adaptability and flexibility), but he also has Uranus opposite his Sun (so is capable of rebellion).  It is an intriguing combination, in terms of his future role.  He has Mars closely conjunct Jupiter, energy allied with enthusiasm, which I feel has contributed to his success (at 39, he is a very young age for a Chancellor).

His rise to fame took a steep upward curve on 24th July 2019 when he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury.  At the time, Pluto (life-changing) was exactly trine his natal Sun/Mercury in Taurus (his talent with money).  His transits this week show Uranus trine his natal Mars/Jupiter – a sudden breakthrough, plus Pluto sextile his natal Uranus (major changes in his favour, propelling him into power).

Boris Johnson

Boris’ determination to “get things done” has resulted in him sweeping away the checks and balances involved in independent advisers, and replacing them with members of his new cabinet who he hopes will be compliant, and put up no resistance to what he is determined to do.  The constitution of the new cabinet has been said to increase the likelihood of our going out of the E.U. without a sensible deal at the end of the year, as one of the consequences of this reshuffle.  His transits for the reshuffle were Mars opposite his natal Sun/Venus (hasty and rash), Jupiter trine his natal Jupiter (the luck is still with him), North Node trine his Saturn (decisiveness), North Node sextile his Uranus (the power of surprise), and Jupiter sextile his natal Neptune (he is feeling upbeat and serene).

Dominic Cummings

It has been said that Boris is the weakest man in his cabinet, as he is controlled by Dominic Cummings, architect of this new controlling regime.  One wonders what are the limits to his ambitions…  His current transits are Chiron sextile his natal Saturn (the ability to re-shape his life, if not that of others), Jupiter square his natal Uranus (a magnification of his desire for change), and Chiron trine his natal Neptune (self-healing).  So there is not a lot to block his will at this point in time.  He wants to overhaul the civil service and truncate its powers.

I wrote last July:

“He is known as a slippery character, and remarkably 8 (out of 10) Mutable planets, and no Fixed planets, so slippery by astrological nature.  He has the Sun exactly opposite Saturn, so can be very strict in what he believes in.  His Sun is exactly conjunct Neptune, so he is very Piscean too.  His Sun sextile exactly Pluto makes him a very powerful character.  Jupiter sextile his Uranus gives him the Entrepreneur Archetype.  North Node sextile Chiron makes him a ‘Fixer’.”

UK Chart

How significant were events this week in the way they impact the chart of the United Kingdom?  Pluto opposes its Moon (very significant changes, and Storm Dennis is around), but Saturn sextiles its Venus and Mars sextiles its Mars, which are more congenial and less damaging transits.  There may be factors softening the impact of the events of the week.

In a salutary article by Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, she commented: “But there is scant sign that the money will flow to restoring the greatest damage done by almost a decade of austerity.”  Boris promises to level up the North with the South with the go-ahead for the HS2 rail project, but the country is crying out for more basic repairs, and there may be better ways to help the North.

Aspects

This morning Mars enters Capricorn, which represents a change of energy from gung ho to quietly determined.  The philosophical approach of Mars in Sagittarius gives way to more practicality and greater action and ambition.  There may be a greater theme of the individual (Mars) standing up to authorities (Capricorn).

Tomorrow (Monday 17th) sees Mercury Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde (everybody’s favourite bete noir).  Cultivate your relationship with Mercury further by maximizing your alertness (e.g. get more sleep) and your mindfulness, especially around communication.

Affirmation: “With each Mercury Retrograde, my communications improve”

Crystal: Clear Quartz (the clearest you can find)

Let me know of your progress!

We have another ingress on Wednesday (19th), which is the Sun’s entry into Pisces.  With the Sun in the previous sign Aquarius the emphasis is on social media and so forth, but we become more introspective and aware of our deeper emotions with the Sun in Pisces.  We become more aware of the sentience and oneness of all life, especially the plight of the creatures of the ocean and the state of the water (whether it is the purity of the water we drink, or the pollution from plastic).  The Sun in that sign shines a light on such matters.  The coronavirus epidemic also comes under this sign and its ruling planet Neptune, so there may be a concentration on this issue during the month of Pisces.

A favourite aspect of mine occurs on Thursday (20th) when Jupiter sextiles Neptune.  This allows religion and spirituality to work together well.  Higher solutions can be found to even practical problems, filtering down into consciousness from the causal planes.  The Dalai Lama has this sextile in his natal chart, and one of his quotations is: “My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness.”  That could solve many social ills.  Yesterday’s tragic news of the suicide of  Caroline Flack reminded us of her plea to “be kind”.

A dynamic vibe awaits us on Friday (21st) when Mars trines Uranus.  You are likely to see, or initiate, bold and controversial moves.  It favours mechanical and engineering enterprises, but also social engineering, and sporting interests.  There could be surprises in connection with men, cars and dogs!  If you have had technical problems due to Mercury Retrograde, you may be able to upgrade.

More benefits accrue from Uranus on Saturday (22nd), with Uranus sextile the Sun.  Spontaneity and innovation rule the day.  It’s time to do something different, or do something differently.  Think outside the box.  Your creativity will be firing on all cylinders.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – ambition and determination
  • Tomorrow – care around communications
  • Wednesday – more compassion
  • Thursday – religion harmonizes with spirituality
  • Friday – dynamic
  • Saturday – surprises

Aspect for the week beginning 9 February 2020

Kirk Douglas (1916 -2020)

Actor Kirk Douglas, who died this week at the grand old age of 103, is being hailed as one of the last stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  With his strikingly chiselled features, dimpled chin and piercing eyes, he put in some mesmerizing performances, in an output of more than 80 films throughout his life.

Birth Chart

Kirk was born on a Full Moon in Gemini, and Full Moon people arouse strong feelings in others.  His Sun was in swashbuckling Sagittarius, and some of his more prominent roles were in that vein.  The Sun was exactly sextile Uranus, and that made him a true individual – he certainly identified as an individual, and a loner.  His Ascendant was in Aquarius, intensifying the individuality, with Uranus in the 1st House.  He had an expansive mind, with Mercury in Sagittarius exactly trine Jupiter, which may have given him the ability to take on such a range of different roles.  His Venus square Uranus could be connected with his legendary unfaithfulness (there were a few mysterious scandals, too, with Neptune in his 7th House of close relationships).  Saturn too was exactly on his Descendant, indicating a fundamental difficulty in relationship.  Mars opposite Pluto by 2 degrees accounts for his well known temper (“I was born aggressive, and I guess I’ll die aggressive.”) and also his distinction of playing out gruesome deaths in his films.  Neptune conjunct his Part of Fortune indicates joy through the art of film.  And the Midheaven sextile his North Node in Capricorn in 12th House, meant that his conventional career meshed harmoniously with his karmic mission.

Life and Career

Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch, to Jewish parents who had immigrated from Belarus.  He later chose the name Kirk because he liked the hard, jagged sound of the letter “K”.  He had an impoverished childhood, which spurred his determination and ambition (Mars in Capricorn).  With Jupiter (multiples) in the 3rd House of Siblings, he grew up with six sisters.

He was given his first big break in “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” in 1946 with Barbara Stanwyck.  He was recommended for the role by his long term friend Lauren Bacall (a fellow acting student), who reportedly had a crush on him.  He later acted with her in “Young Man with a Horn”.

In “Champion” (1949), he played a selfish boxer, and earned his first Academy Award nomination for best actor, his performance being labelled “alarmingly authentic”.  He earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Vincent van Gogh in “Lust for Life” (1956).  His resemblance to Vincent van Gogh in that film was uncanny, and his performance impassioned, accurately portraying the inner turmoil of the artist genius.  He was very mentally attuned to his subject, with his Mercury exactly trine that of van Gogh.  The Guardian obituary by David Thomson evaluates the film thus: “The passion of that film has not dated, in part because Minnelli trusted the paintings, the European locations and the importance of the painter’s relationship with his younger brother, Theo.  Douglas was superb and tragic in the role.”

On 22nd March 1958 he might have nearly died in the plane crash which killed Michael Todd.  He was invited to take a lift in the private plane, and his wife objected.  Among the transits for that day were some involving Neptune, which is often seen in cases of a “near miss” (representing intervention from other dimensions):  Mars was opposite exactly his natal Neptune, and Neptune was exactly square his natal Neptune.  That he could have embarked on a fated flight is seen with Saturn transiting his natal Mercury (flight).  But  Neptune trine his natal Pluto, and Saturn trine his natal Jupiter, might have been saving factors.  He later survived a helicopter crash in which others were killed (transiting Saturn on his 0 degree Aquarius Ascendant).

Perhaps the film he is most remembered for is “Spartacus” (1960), where he led a slave rebellion.  His bare-chested figure remains an iconic image.  He was very much involved in the production of the film, identifying with the role (“I come from a race of slaves”), but did not gain an Oscar for his efforts.

In 1963 he appeared on Broadway in the play “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, taken from the book by Ken Kesey, for which he had bought the rights.  He very much wanted to play the part in a film, and tried for some time to bring this about.  In the end, he handed the project to his son Michael Douglas, who produced the award-winning film of that title in 1976 starring Jack Nicholson.

Michael Douglas

His son Michael is physically almost a chip off the perfectly chiselled old block.  Kirk  was married twice, first to actress Diana Dill, and then to producer Anne Buydens.  Michael and his brother Joel were products of  the first marriage.  Peter and Eric were sons from his second marriage, but Eric died in 2004.

In the synastry between father and son (who did not always see eye to eye) there is quite a mixture of ease and difficulty: Kirk’s Venus was on Michael’s Ascendant (a loving bond), Kirk’s Pluto was opposite Michael’s Moon (stormy emotions); there was a double whammy (always powerful in synastry) of sextiles between their Venuses and their Mercuries (good for communication); Kirk’s Sun was sextile Michael’s Mars (they fed each other’s concept of masculinity), their Neptunes were exactly sextile (a spiritual unity at a deeper level), and Kirk’s Pluto square Michael’s Neptune (their major psychological challenge).

Burt Lancaster

He was teamed up in seven films with Burt Lancaster, a Scorpio with a swashbuckling Sagittarian Ascendant.  That they were karmic brothers-in-arms shows up in their synastry as Burt’s Mars on Kirk’s South Node.

Lauren Bacall

There was undoubted chemistry between Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall, and a karmic link (she was a major influence of the course of his life).  However, he did not feel as strongly that they were meant to be together (and she found the love of her life in Humphrey Bogart).   Her Mercury was sextile his Venus (good communication and friendship), her Mars was sextile his Jupiter (she was able to give him a push in the right direction), but their Saturns were square (one factor in the relationship not working out intimately) and her Uranus was square his Moon (some emotional distance).

Stroke

Kirk suffered a stroke on 28th January 1996, and his speech was severely impaired.  He had a lot going on in terms of transits at that time, including Mars transiting his natal Uranus in Aquarius in 1st House (an explosive event), Uranus on his Ascendant in Aquarius (an unexpected event) and Saturn on his natal Chiron (difficult health crisis).  Two months later, he gained an honorary Oscar, and turned up to make a speech to the best of his ability.  His death this week was by natural causes.

Aspect

There is merely one aspect this week, which is highly unusual.  It is the Full Moon in Leo (an opposition with the Sun in Aquarius), and it has already happened (at 7.33 a.m. today).  Moon in Leo can be dramatic, and bring about power struggles.  But Leo is creative, and can write its own screenplay, especially if working in a balanced way within a group.  It has been quite a turbulent morning in terms of the gales lashing the British Isles (storm Ciara), and the declaration that the Coronavirus crisis is now possibly deemed a pandemic and already outstripping the 2003 Sars outbreak in seriousness and casualties.  There usually is a crest of emotion at the peak of the Full Moon.  So this Full Moon may leave you with material to ponder…

It is over to the Fixed Stars to provide  some input for the rest of the week.

Fixed Stars

The first star to be aligned with our Sun this week is Nashira, in the goat’s tail of Capricorn, tomorrow (Monday 10th).  According to: “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld”:

“Some of the effects from this star are a bit subtle and muted because the civilization there has had some direct influence over Earth in the past and of late has pulled back and reduced some of this influence.  At the present time this star is good to utilize when you wish to have the ability to see the whole picture of what is happening on Earth: politically, economically, and geophysically.  This is very difficult to create with only the mental body.  The emotional body alone is also insufficient.  This star will encourage  in a gentle way the combination of faculties needed for this larger perspective.”

There are two stars on Wednesday (12th) which we may connect with.  The first is Sadalsud , the beta star in the constellation of Aquarius.  “Starlight Elixirs” provides the following information:

“This star elixir is valuable in increasing the female part of the understanding of the interaction amongst all men and women in a way which there is a certain peacefulness found.  There can be a way in which the male mind can open to the female aspects of that person and in this way relate better to women.  Women are able to better express the very nature of what it means to be a woman and share this.  There is a greater acceptance of the balancing of both male and female aspects and communicating that merging in an evolved manner.”

The other star highlighted on that day is Deneb Algedi in the constellation of Capricorn.  What we learn about this from “Starlight Elixirs” is:

This binary can enhance the ability to work with patterns and cycles that are related to practical environments.  This can strengthen the ability to make predictions based on past performance.  Some aspects of the underlying cycles may become clearer for individuals when they work with this star.  This is a way of predicting the future based on a careful study of patterns and how they move through various cycles.  The individuals who work with this are Astrologers, Economists, and Historians.  After they have observed and worked with most of the information available and understood these cycles, they may become very quiet and enter a state of emptiness.  This emptiness often becomes filled with new ideas and better intuition as to the correct course of events.”

Bernadette Brady in her book of the “Fixed Stars” says of Deneb Algedi: “If this star is going to be used in astrology, then the symbol of the law giving,  justice-oriented god trying to civilize his people is probably the best tool for approaching it, since this would reflect its long history.  This is the star of a person who is a benefic ruler, one who is trying to use wisdom and knowledge to protect and help the people around them.”  If you come across this phenomenon in the news, then you will know the star to thank.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – emotional high tides
  • Tomorrow – the global picture
  • Wednesday – balancing the inner male and female; working with cycles and patterns; looking for spiritual wisdom in our political rulers

Aspects for the week beginning 2 February 2020

Kobe Bryant (1978 – 2020)

“A love so deep I gave you my all

From my mind & body

To my spirit & soul…”

~ Kobe Bryant

Another soul who passed this week was outstanding sportsman Kobe Bryant, well known in the world of basketball.  The shocking news of his helicopter crash (at the age of 41), together with his daughter Gianna (aged just 13), touched the world.  His fans were devoted to him.

Birth Chart

Kobe Bryant had his Sun at 0 degrees Virgo, and was a perfectionist.  Sun conjunct Saturn added the quality of a taskmaster, and a strong sense of  responsibility.  The Sun sextile closely with the Midheaven suggested a sporting career, as did Mars right at the top of his chart, at the beginning of his 10th House of Career, and the Moon in the 5th House of sporting interests.  Mars conjunct Pluto bestowed enormous energy reserves.

He had an artistic/musical side, with Moon in Taurus, Venus sextile exactly Neptune (inspiration), and Chiron on the 5th House cusp (Creativity), which he displayed after he retired at the 2015/2016 season, winning an award for a short animated film on basketball.

Career

Born in Pennsylvania, Kobe came from a basketballing family: his father Joe and his uncle (on his mother’s side) John “Chubby” Cox were notable basketball players.  So he started playing early, at the age of three.  Much of his childhood was spent in Italy, but the family eventually returned to the States.  He was signed very early, at the age of 17 (on 9th July 1996), to the Los Angeles Lakers, subsequently built a record-breaking career in the sport, holding a special place in their history.  The transits for his signing included Jupiter sextile exactly his natal Uranus in 11th House of Teams in Scorpio, indicative of a big break.  In 2010 he became the all time biggest scorer for Lakers.  In 2012 he was hailed as one of the 35 Greatest McDonald’s All-Americans.  In that year, he won a gold medal in the national team for the Summer Olympics.

Eventually, the sport took its toll on his health.  He started to acquire stubborn injuries, and suffered a rotator cuff tear in his right shoulder on 21st January 2015.  At the time, Saturn was exactly square his natal Saturn in Virgo in the 8th House.  Uranus (accidents) was exactly opposite his natal Mars in Libra in 10th House. He announced his retirement on 29th November 2015, staying until the end of the season.  At the time of the announcement, Uranus opposed his natal Venus in Libra in 10th House (a disruption in his career), and Neptune sextiled his natal Ascendant in Capricorn (bowing out gracefully).

Gianna

Kobe met his wife Vanessa Laine (a dancer) in November 1999, when she was 17 and he was 22.  They married on 18th April 2001 and had four daughters (Moon in Taurus in his 5th House of Children).  Their second daughter, Gianna, was a promising basketball player, and his protege.  He was coaching her high school team.  Theirs was an extremely close father-daughter relationship.  Her Sun was exactly conjunct his Moon, a very personal bond; her Venus trine his Jupiter meant there was a lot of love between them; her Venus on his South Node indicating a past life close relationship.

Kobe was a much loved American citizen.  Though at one point in his life, he was accused of sexual assault, his attempts to help society, e.g. the homeless, and other philanthropic works, enabled him to retain a great deal of popularity.  An exact sextile between his Jupiter and North Node in his birth chart points to a favourable reputation overall.  He was also a practising Catholic.

“…My mind can handle the grind

But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.

I’m ready to let you go.”

~ Kobe Bryant

Aspects

This morning Venus sextiles Pluto,  bringing profound connections between people.  Both planets rule money, so it is a good day to align yourself with the highest meaning in relation to money and abundance.  These planets do not represent poring over accounts in detail (that would be Mercury and Saturn), but rather attending to the energy of money, and values, and what they represent in  your life.  It is a good time for evaluating what people mean to you.

Mercury enters Pisces tomorrow (Monday 3rd), and does not enter Aries until 11th April, because it will retrograde during that period and re-enter Aquarius briefly.  What can we expect from this placement?  There will be more mental focus and communication around compassionate issues, such as the vulnerable, and those with mental health issues, and the state of institutions, such as prisons.  You may be more prone to receive ideas of creativity and inspiration.  At other times it may be hard to focus, as your impressions may be overwhelming.

In the evening Venus will be sextile Saturn, which may help you to feel more grounded, and to bring some of your more esoteric ideas into practical reality.  In the realm of human relations, it is about steadiness and loyalty.  It is a helpful aspect for laying the foundations of artistic or musical work.

Wednesday (5th) brings a bright mental aspect in the form of Mercury sextile Uranus. This is helpful for I.T. and invention, among other areas of mental life.  The rational mind connects with the intuition (or higher mind), which can bring about lightbulb moments.  Technological upgrades and communication advances are possible.  Even a spot of telepathy might be noted.

Venus enters Aries on Friday (7th), and though she was empathetic and sympathetic in Pisces, there is a warmer and more demonstrative feel while she is in Aries.  On the flip side, she is out of her comfort zone in the warrior sign, so there may be some uncomfortable wrestling with issues around whether to express true feelings or stay away from possible conflict.  Venus stays in Aries until 5th March.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – profound connections
  • Tomorrow – mind focus on compassion; solid artistic work
  • Wednesday – brightly intuitive

Friday – warm feelings

Nicholas Parsons (1923 – 2020)

Nicholas Parsons (1923 – 2020)

Someone asked me this week if I would be writing about Nicholas Parsons, or Kobe Bryant, as obituaries of the week.  I really couldn’t decide.  So I have decided to write about both: one a nonagenarian, and one taken in his prime.

Birth Chart

We do not have a birth time for Nicholas, which limits the information we can glean from his birth chart.  The Sun and New Moon in Libra at his birth describes his charming nature, accentuated by a loose conjunction with Venus.  At Noon, the Moon would have been conjunct Venus, which seems likely, giving him qualities of gentleness and gentlemanliness.

Mercury was conjunct Mars in his chart, a quick wit – just a minute, in fact – a good conjunction for a quiz master.  He also had Jupiter trine Uranus – The Entrepreneur Archetype – and he certainly made use of opportunities in his life.

Jupiter in his chart was square exactly Neptune, which means he may have been confused about religion.  We have a family joke about his show “Sale of the Century”, which ran between 1971 and 1983.  My late father was such a fan of the show that he would always desert the table at Passover, so as not to miss the programme!  When we looked to him to read his portion of the Hebrew text, he had suddenly vanished!  We always found it funny, and still laugh about it.

Nicholas had Pluto sextile North Node – could that be a secret of longevity?

Career

Nicholas trained as an engineer originally, but always wanted to be an actor.  He found success as the stooge to funny man Arthur Haynes. [anyone remember Arthur Haynes?]  Arthur’s persona was that of an unruly tramp, and Nicholas was the straight man trying to sort him out.  The partnership lasted for ten years, after which he teamed up with Benny Hill, also as a straight man.

Nicholas was though most remembered for his long running radio series Just a Minute (1967 – 2019) in which contestants tried to convey a given subject in a minute “without hesitation, repetition or deviation”

The show began on 22nd December 1967 (with Uranus on his natal Mercury in Virgo – a good vehicle for his quick mind).  It finished on 23rd September 2019, with Uranus opposite his natal Mars (a bit of a wrench) and Saturn on his natal Mars in Virgo (a curtailment), but Jupiter sextile his natal Chiron (probably merciful, as he was almost 96 at the time).

Other quirky things you should know about Nicholas Parsons: For a time, he held the record for the longest after-dinner speech (11 hours), and he had a lifelong fascination for clocks (North Node, Mercury/Mars in Virgo).

According to the Guardian obituary by Stephen Dixon, as quiz master, “the persona he chose to project, honed to perfection during a career that began in the 1940s, was that of a pedant from the professional classes who felt he had to treat his unruly panellists with lofty asperity”.  Again, pedantry being very much a Virgo trait, that’s very apt!

So, another “national treasure” has left us, and I could not leave him out of my Sunday blogs this week.

Aspects for the week beginning 26 January 2020

Rene Descartes

“His psychology is obscure, but I incline to think that he was a sincere Catholic, and wished to persuade the Church – in its own interests as well as in his – to be less hostile to modern science than it showed itself in the case of Galileo.

~ Bertrand Russell, from “A History of Western Philosophy”

This is the first of a new  series of occasional philosophy blogs.  The subject may seem a bit random, but regular readers will know I am studying for a certificate in the subject this year.  Rene Descartes is known as the father of modern philosophy, very much the originator of the rationalist tradition.  He was born on 31st March 1596, a true Aries in every sense of the word, an individual and an initiator.

Birth Chart

Rene Descartes had 6 of his 10 planets in the Fire signs, which is unusual, and 0 planets in Water (so he was able to cut out the emotion enough to concentrate on the rationality, though he was not without emotion).  Half his planets (5) were in the Cardinal signs, marking him out as a leader in his field.  He had a Satellitium (cluster of planets) in Aries, the sign of “I AM”.  With his ruling planet Mars in the sign of Gemini, The Thinker, we get his famous philosophical calling card “I Think Therefore I Am” (Cogito Ergo Sum).

His Sun was conjunct the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction of The Entrepreneur, making him both an Innovator and an Optimist.  The North Node in his chart was also exactly conjunct his natal Uranus in Aries, so his karmic mission was to bring in a new way of being for his times.  He was caught between the old scholastic and religious traditions of thinking, and the desire to cast that off.  He was also aware that Galileo had been censured by the Pope for daring to think about the universe in ways which contravened Christian thought, and so took himself to countries such as the Netherlands where he would be safer to try out his new theories (he was born in France).  The satellitium also included Pluto, giving his thought some depth, and the North Node in Aries gave him a compulsion to be himself. He was a prolific writer, as befits his Mercury conjunction with Venus.  There are some who feel that he was not religious, and only pretended to be in order that his philosophical work might be more accepted.  I feel that he seems sincere in his statements about God’s existence, and certainly his Jupiter trine with Neptune would support that.

His Life

Descartes started out life intending to become a professional military officer, as befits a true Aries warrior, and joined the Protestant Dutch States Army in 1618 as a mercenary.  While travelling, in the same year, a chance meeting on 10th November in Breda changed his life.  He met a young doctor and teacher named Isaac Beeckman, eight years older than himself.  Both were interested in linking mathematics and Physics, and they corresponded and shared research and insights.  The transits for this date for Descartes included Jupiter square his natal Chiron in Scorpio: an awkward or challenging healing.  For Beeckman too it was fated, for Saturn was squaring his Nodal Axis and sextile his natal Chiron.  Their synastry was karmic: with Beeckman’s Pluto on Descarte’s Sun, Beeckman’s North Node trine Descartes’ Venus, and Descartes’ Pluto trine Beeckman’s Sun.

Exactly one year later, on 10th November 1619, Descartes had a strange experience in a small town, Newburgh-on-Danube.  He found himself in a stove-heated room, a blizzard outside, and experienced a sequence of meaningful and vivid dreams, which became the basis of much of his life’s message.  His transits for these visions included Saturn on his natal Mars in Gemini (pinning him down for “I think therefore I am”), Uranus trine his Chiron – spectacular and sudden and unusual healing, and Neptune opposite his natal Sun – Dreams and mystical Visions.

He spent over twenty years living and writing in the Netherlands, his most fundamental work being his “Meditations” (1641).  Galileo had been censured by the Italian Inquisition in 1633, which made Descartes extra cautious about protecting his work.  All this time, however, he was in touch with various academics who were interested in his theories.

Heart and Mind

In his reflections, Descartes concentrated on a very narrow landscape or definition of the mind.  Two centuries later, Sigmund Freud would develop the study of psychology, which offered a much more expansive and in-depth picture of the mind.  Descartes managed to incorporate the existence of God into his mind view, but an area which Descartes did not consider as being the seat of residence for the concept of God was the heart.  Philosopher Gary Hatfield explains that In an effort to remove himself as far as he could from scholasticism, Descartes followed Galen (who was born in 130 A.D. in Turkey).  Galen switched the focus of mental function from the heart to the brain.  In recent years, however, scientists have come up with a theory that the heart has a mind.

Philosopher Nigel Warburton says that few philosophers would approve Descartes’ split between mind and body (dualism), as it fails to take into account or explain the interaction between an immaterial mind and a physical body.  Although Descartes’ philosophy was controversial for his time and he had many critics, his thoughts were a catalyst for modern philosophy and the accompany Age of Enlightenment which was to come (1715 – 1789).

Pineal Gland

Hatfield also mentions Descartes’ concept of the pineal gland in the brain being a link with the soul.  In 1640, around the time he was writing the Meditations, Descartes mentioned this concept in letters, so he was aware of it while writing this work, which was published in 1641.  In fact, it is an old concept, especially in esoteric writing, and this gland is currently known to release melatonin, a derivative of the hormone serotonin, therefore associated with mood-enhancing.  The gland is pine-cone shaped, resembling an eye, and its spiritual role goes back to ancient Egypt and India (and was mentioned by Galen).  Descartes did not consider that it was the reason for the idea of God being lodged in his mind, but his dalliance with the soul’s link to the pineal gland was roundly rejected by subsequent philosophers.  It was only in 1958 that its true function was discovered scientifically.

Health

Descartes suffered from fragile health all his life.  He was brought up by his grandparents, as his mother died soon after his birth.  His natal square between Saturn and Chiron may hold the key to this pattern of ill-health, but we do not have his birth time, so cannot fully determine how that square sat in his chart.  One of the ways in which he managed his health was that he never rose from his bed until after 12 noon.

In 1649, he was invited by the academic Queen Christina of Sweden to tutor her, and he travelled to Sweden in the middle of winter in order to do so.  This proved a less than successful arrangement.  She insisted that he provide lessons at 5 a.m. in a very droughty castle, and the early mornings and the cold proved fateful to him.  He contracted pneumonia and died on 11th February 1650, at the age of 53.

Bibliography:

  1. Descartes. Meditations on First Philosophy. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; 2017.
  2. The Cambridge Companion to Descartes. Ed. John Cottingham. 10th printing, Cambridge; 2005.

Chapter 11: Descartes’ Physiology and its Relation to his Psychology, by Gary Hatfield

  1. Gary Hatfield. Descartes and the Meditations. Routledge. 2003; Reprinted 2010.
  2. Nigel Warburton. Philosophy: The Classics. Routledge. 1998; 4th ed, 2014.
  3. Bertrand Russell.  A History of Western Philosophy. 1945; Routledge 2004.
  4. Dave Robinson and Chris Garrett. Descartes a Graphic Guide 2013.
  5. Tom Sorell. Descartes – A Very Short Introduction 2000.

Aspects

Tomorrow morning (Monday 27th) kicks off with a slightly challenging square between Venus and Mars.  This is the battle of the sexes, but of course it can be an adjustment or agreement which needs to be made within your own inner male and female.  You may be undecided between two courses of action, for instance: e.g. to bake a cake, or go to the gym (though of course that is too gender specific – we are all gender fluid now).  The aspect takes place in the middle of the night, so it may bring forth a dream which helps you understand what the issue is for you.  My new granddaughter is four weeks old now, and her parents are using gender neutral colours for her clothes and furnishings, so I am pondering this issue!  The colour purple, being a blend of red and blue, may be helpful to use for resolving and uniting the issues of the day.  Use lilac if  you find purple too confrontational.

At the other end of the day, we have a leaning towards the feminine side of the argument, with a conjunction of Venus and Neptune at 16 degrees Pisces.  Normally, this could be a serene, highly spiritual and artistically inspired conjunction, full of unconditional love.  However, the square to Mars is still skulking, and demanding equality and parity.  No matter that we still live in a male dominated society, they still demand to be heard!  The Harvey Weinstein trial is still going on, and that is very much an issue of Venus (women) and Neptune (blurred lines) square Mars (men).  So however strongly this conjunction can express the best of the divine feminine, the divine masculine needs to be considered.  At least, by the end of the day, you may get some clarity on the feminine issues, ready for the next phase of this series of aspects.

Tuesday (28th) completes the series, with Neptune square Mars, and focusses on the male side of the dilemma.  Mars likes to act unimpeded, but Neptune forces it to be more sensitive, and possibly also more spiritualized.  There may be some confusion, as the transition to understanding takes place.  Energies may be frittered, and water currents could be flowing in unhelpful directions, e.g. leaks.  On the last such square, a pot fell over on our pond and knocked over the pipe, and the pond drained leaving the fish without water (Neptune).  Fortunately, it was discovered in time to remedy the situation.  Generally under such an aspect, meditation can be helpful, and particularly those which combine physical movement with a stilling of the mind, such as Tai Chi.

There are no further aspects this week, but I will just mention the picture for Brexit day, Friday 31st (exit hour 11 pm).  Those celebrating will be listening out for possible bongs by Big Ben.  Those in mourning will be trying to avoid listening to the speech by Boris Johnson.  In the chart of the exit moment, of course the Saturn-Pluto conjunction is still operational (and now responsible also for the coronavirus outbreak), in the 4th House of the Home (country).  It is a fateful chart, with the Nodal Axis at 9 degrees Cancer/Capricorn square the Ascendant/Descendant at 7 degrees Libra/Aries: a precarious balance.  Whatever your feelings, I wish you well.

If you want to work in advance on the aspect of Sunday (2nd February), here’s a short preview:

Venus sextiles Pluto,  bringing profound connections between people.  Both planets rule money, so it is a good day to align yourself with the highest meaning in relation to money and abundance.  These planets do not represent poring over accounts in detail (that would be Mercury and Saturn), but rather attending to the energy of money, and values, and what they represent in  your life.  Just for fun if you are at a loose end, you could try and sense  how early you feel the pull of that.  More next week…

The week in bullet points:

  • Monday – battle of the sexes, divine feminine
  • Tuesday – divine masculine
  • Friday – keep calm and carry on

Aspects for the week beginning 19 January 2020

Labour Leadership Contest

The contenders for the Labour leadership have been announced, and will be further shortlisted on 14th February, before a leader is finally chosen on 4th April.  This will not be an easy job, to take the party to unity, successful opposition and hopes for a win in the future which now looks like stretching out for at least five years.  I take a brief look at the five (four of whom are women!), and their prospects.

Keir Starmer

I wrote in 2017:

“Keir Starmer, the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has been a solid presence by Jeremy Corbyn’s side since 6 October 2016, having previously established his integrity in the role as Director of Public Prosecutions.  With Sun exactly conjunct Pluto in Virgo, he has great depth of character …Keir Starmer has a quiet but determined air about him which conveys confidence.  One of the greatest assets he has in his chart is Mars exactly trine Jupiter, action combined with confidence and enthusiasm…Starmer also has a Grand Trine in the Water element, of Mars, Neptune and Jupiter/Chiron, which can bring healing to situations.  Pluto on the Sun is not easy, however, and Saturn on the South Node means he has brought some difficult karma in with this incarnation, but so far in his career he has performed well and overcome obstacles.”

Transits for 14 February

After a good start in the race, Keir has been overtaken by Momentum’s choice, Rebecca Long-Bailey.  His transits for 14th February are: the Nodal Axis square his natal Mercury, an aspect which becomes exact on 2nd March (Mean North Node) and 26/7th  March (True North Node).  This very week (Friday/Saturday 24th5th) the Mean North Node transits his natal Mars in Cancer.  The True North Node transits his natal Mars on 22nd/23rd February.  So this whole period is a fateful time for him, and not necessarily easy.  He will be having to watch his words, and stand up for himself, for the Nodal Axis will be very exacting in terms of his words (Mercury) and actions (Mars), testing his natal Mercury-Mars square.  I believe he has the character and maturity to negotiate these hurdles, but around 14th February he also has Saturn square his natal Venus, which may be deflating on a personal level, though it may be symbolic of him taking on extra responsibilities.  He seems a likely steady tiller on the wheel, but some say he is not flamboyant enough.  The odds are at the moment that he will get through this round.

Transits for 4 April

His transits for the final count are quite daunting, and involve three squares!  Jupiter squares his natal Venus (out of his comfort zone socially), Uranus square his natal Saturn (out of his comfort zone controlwise) and Pluto square his natal Venus (deep changes in his personal circumstances).  This may mean he does not win, or it may mean that he wins and is faced with enormous hurdles.

Rebecca Long-Bailey

Like Keir, Rebecca Long-Bailey has the Sun in Virgo, and on Newsnight this week a former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn described her as having a good eye for detail.  Much has been said about her being groomed for the future leadership role by Corbyn and McDonnell, but of course she is a different personality altogether.  I must confess I am not sure what to make of her chart, as it is very sparse on aspects.  That makes her even more enigmatic than her political profile, which sees her as a mere mouthpiece for Corbynism.  It will win her votes, but may keep the Labour party out of power for longer.  She has the Moon exactly conjunct Venus in Libra, and in the future could have a writing career.  The Sun exactly sextile Mars gives her the Warrior Archetype, and she has been capable of fighting talk.  She may also have a healing role in the future, with the North Node trine Chiron.  But her birthchart does not emphasize leadership, as much as scholarship.  Like Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips, she is relying on her Northern credentials to win support, in a country in need of unity.  There is a current battle too, between some of the contenders, to prove their working class roots, and her father was a Salford docker and a trade union representative.  She has also come under fire for her strict views on abortion, which may stem from her Roman Catholic faith.

Transits for 14 February

Her transits for this round are not a lot better than Keir’s, with Mars square her natal Sun, and the Nodal Axis (like Keir) squaring her natal Mercury.  But she has Mars exactly trine her Jupiter to the day, very helpful to her in moving on her ambitions, and Neptune trine her Uranus.  She is probably guaranteed a pass to the final round, but Neptune square her natal Neptune at that point may mean she feels unsure of herself deep down (a bit thrown in the deep end).

Transits for 4 April

While Keir has three squares at the final denouement, Rebecca has two oppositions, which are easier, but not easy by any means: Chiron opposes her Mercury/Venus at that point, and Neptune opposes her Saturn.  She may feel conflicted.

Lisa Nandy

Of all the charts, Lisa Nandy’s inspires me the most.  She is a strong willed Leo, a sign known for leadership.  She was born a month before Rebecca Long-Bailey in the same year. Whenever I have watched her, say on Question Time, she has seemed eminently sensible, and just nice (and that’s her Sun conjunct Venus).  I hadn’t thought of her as leadership material, until looking at her chart. With the Sun conjunct Jupiter, she could get lucky.  She has certainly surprised many with her success in impressing MPs in the initial weeks of her campaign.  Another surprise is that she has the Sun square exactly Uranus – The Rebel Archetype.  Lisa resigned in the wake of the 2016 referendum, in protest of Jeremy Corbyn’s ineffective campaign: she felt that Labour should have united around a softer Brexit at that point.   With the Sun trine closely Neptune, she has good spiritual attunement and instincts.  With an unaspected Mercury in Leo, she is an independent thinker.  She has Jupiter square Uranus, so is someone willing to take risks; and her Jupiter is trine closely with Neptune, giving her a good relationship between religion and spirituality.  Jupiter also has a very positive sextile with Pluto, indicating a good attitude to power.  Saturn conjunct her North Node means she is willing to take responsibility, and takes her karmic mission seriously, a karmic mission linked with politics.

Transits for 14 February

Very mixed transits for this phase: on the positive side, Chiron trine her natal Mercury, Jupiter sextile her natal Uranus (usually associated with success) and Neptune trine her natal Uranus.  More difficult, Uranus square her natal Mercury, Jupiter square her natal Pluto, and Neptune square her Neptune (like Rebecca Long-Bailey).  It might be enough for her to scrape through that round…

Transits for 4 April

But with Mars opposite her natal Mercury at the final, this does not seem momentous or  helpful enough to indicate a win.

Jess Phillips

“The fear I cannot control, that eats me up with every passing day, is the fear of appeasement.  The fear that people can be controlled by those who are more powerful, more aggressive and with a bigger voice.”

~ from “Truth to Power” 2019

Jess Phillips, born in 1981, is the youngest of the five contenders.   With Sun in Libra, she has a strong drive for justice.  She has great energy allied with enthusiasm (Mars sextile Jupiter), the sign of a Motivator Archetype.  Her second book, from which the quotation is taken, is very much a motivational, self-help book.  The Moon in Aquarius gives her future vision, especially about society matters, caring about the underdog.  Mercury in Scorpio adds a forensic mind.  Venus conjunct Uranus makes for a social reformer, and her Uranus trines her North Node exactly, giving her a karmic mission as a Reformer.  Her Mars sextiles exactly Pluto, giving her a storehouse of energy which can move mountains, but her Mars is quite complex, as it squares Uranus and Chiron!  Her verbal clash with Diane Abbott on 14th September 2015 reveals that her Mars complexity was activated, as she had an exact Mars return at the time.  She is a bit of a firebrand, but she does call a spade a spade, which as she points out is very refreshing in politics, and in many ways is what people want.  She has spoken up against anti-semitism in the Labour party.

Transits for 14 February

The transits for the next phase do not look hopeful for Jess:  though Jupiter squares her Sun (which may not be too detrimental), at the same time Uranus opposes her natal Mercury (controversy) and Pluto squares her natal Pluto, which can spell disempowerment.  But her childhood dream was to be Prime Minister, and she is young yet…

Transits for 4 April

The planetary positions continue to make life difficult by the end of the game: Pluto still squares her Pluto (which may spell conflict), and Jupiter also squares her natal Pluto, which is unhelpful in seeking power.

Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry, the eldest candidate, styles herself as the one with experience.  With 0 planets in Air signs, she operates very much instinctively.  Like Lisa, she is a Leo and loves to lead.  But her Sun closely squares Neptune, so she can unwittingly get into hot water, or even self-deception.  With Mercury sextile the North Node, she may regard herself as a Teacher, and like Jess Phillips she has Venus conjunct Uranus (the Reformer).   She  has a beneficial Jupiter trine Uranus (the Entrepreneur Archetype), and karmic mission within politics (Saturn trine North Node).  One of her most controversial moments, and one which led her to resign from her shadow cabinet post on 20th November 2014, was when she inferred the inferiority of the “white van man”.  At the time, Saturn was opposite her natal Mars in Taurus exact to the day (a damaging action), with the added complications of Uranus square her natal Saturn and Neptune opposite her natal Pluto exact  to the day.  But even to this day, her reputation for looking down at people is letting her down.  She has served under Jeremy Corbyn in his shadow cabinet, but spoke up against his policies on Brexit and in favour of a second referendum.  She is right in saying she has more experience than the other candidates, and also has performed well when standing in for Jeremy Corbyn in PMs Questions in parliament.  However, she remains the least likely candidate to succeed.

Transits for 14 February

Her transits at this stage seem unremarkable: a trine from Saturn to her natal Mars (constructive) and Neptune on her South Node in Pisces (having to show sensitivity and humility).

Transits for 4 April

Here’s a surprise.  Having looked at four unpromising sets of final outcomes, Emily has the best of the five.  So when the winner is called, Uranus will be trine her natal Pluto in Virgo (a positive change in her life), and Neptune will be trine her natal Mercury in Cancer (also on the U.K. Moon) – she may make a higher mental shift.  My guess is that she will be out on 14th February, but may land a plum role in the newly formed Shadow Cabinet.

Being a card-carrying Labour member, I do have a vote, and Keir Starmer would be my choice, as I like the sensible option.  However, we are split in our household because hubby would like Jess Phillips, someone he feels could make a feisty counterargument to Boris Johnson at PMs Questions.  All the front runners have difficult final transits, and I am not going to predict the winner, but the way ahead looks difficult for whoever wins, at least initially.  Whoever wins will need to make a mark quickly, put their own stamp on the party, and bring unity.

Aspects

A fresh start tomorrow (Monday 20th), with the Sun entering Aquarius.  We become more aware of the needs of the collective, and more inclined to act on behalf of the underdog.  We are open to more futuristic avenues of expression.

Venus trines the North Node on the same day, and karmic links may warm the cockles of the heart.  Make love your goal.  Harmonious karma rules.

Wednesday (22nd) brings a sextile between the Sun and Chiron.  This continues the harmony and the healing, and the beneficial input from other worlds and planes.

Thursday (23rd) is more challenging, with Uranus squaring the Sun.  Be prepared for the element of the unexpected, or the Trickster Archetype.  In the outcomes of the day, you may find that the least likely option wins.

But the same day brings a sextile between Venus and Jupiter, so there may be swings and roundabouts to the day’s proceedings.  Venus sextile Jupiter is one of the best aspects of the year, combining luck and love.  Romance could be in the air.

Another new beginning arrives on Friday (24th) in the shape of the New Moon in Aquarius, the newest of the new.   Any forward looking projects you are engaged with receive the blessing of the Universe.  Science, technology, invention and future vision may also be a significant part of the way forward.  Set your intentions with confidence and hope.  If the Uranian spanner in the works is still operating from the day before, be confident that you can invent new strategies to deal with loopholes.

The last aspect of the week, on Saturday (25th), is Mercury sextile Mars, a nice straightforward aspect under which you can get things done (we are approaching the Brexit deadline…).  Accomplish some outstanding tasks, with a whizz. You may find shortcuts to your usual way of doing things.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – a fresh start; the power of love
  • Wednesday – healing
  • Thursday – surprise/shock; love/luck
  • Friday – new beginning
  • Saturday – brisk and breezy

Aspects for the week beginning 12 January 2020

Saturn conjunct Pluto

As you may know by now, the two great planets Saturn and Pluto make a grand conjunction today, a conjunction which heavily impact our lives, and the world in general.  For ourselves, the conjunction may highlight a challenge which we may already be aware of.  In the world, there are current challenges connected with international relations, climate change (witness the Australian bush fires), and particularly in the U.K. Brexit challenges, and a crisis for the monarchy.

It is a rare conjunction, having occurred in 1914 (the start of the First World War), 1947, and 1982.  People born with this conjunction in their natal charts may have faced huge challenges, and overcome great hurdles, but have great character, and are also immensely strong and resilient.  And strength and resilience is what to aim for as we navigate these times, whatever we may be struggling with. Transformation will always be part of the outcome, if Pluto has anything to do with it; and Saturn helps us face reality.

The effects vary according to what House the conjunction occupies in your chart, if you know your Ascendant.  Better still, if you know the degree of your Ascendant, you can fine tune its effect (bearing in mind that different House systems produce slightly different results).  The conjunction takes place at 22 degrees Capricorn, so if you have planets at 22 degrees they may be affected.

Here are some possibilities:

Saturn/Pluto in your 1st House (likely if you have a Capricorn Ascendant) –

The Challenge: Some physical discomfort, such as tiredness

The Potential Resolution: Action leading to better health and fitness; paradoxically, that may mean more surrender and rest.

Saturn/Pluto in your 2nd House (likely if you have a Sagittarian Ascendant) –

The Challenge: A large but necessary expense

The Potential Resolution: Realizing the value and worth of your financial transaction

Saturn/Pluto in your 3rd House (likely if you have a Scorpio Ascendant)

The Challenge: Fear of the consequences of speaking out

The Potential Resolution: A calm and measured written or verbal expression

Saturn/Pluto in your 4th House (likely if you have a Libran Ascendant)

The Challenge: Family disagreements

The Potential Resolution: Getting to the root of family issues

Saturn/Pluto in your 5th House (likely if you have a Virgo Ascendant)

The Challenge: A creative block

The Potential Resolution: Clearing and decluttering to make for a more creative space

Saturn/Pluto in your 6th House (likely if you have a Leo Ascendant)

The Challenge: A health issue, or problem in  your work space

The Potential Resolution: Seeking your Inner Healer, or rearranging office furniture

Saturn/Pluto in your 7th House (likely if you have a Cancerian Ascendant)

The Challenge: Difficult interpersonal issues

The Potential Resolution: Honest communication leading to more understanding

Saturn/Pluto in your 8th House (likely if you have a Gemini Ascendant)

The Challenge: Financial entanglements, or difficult spiritual initiations

The Potential Resolution: Releasing or separating financial obligations, or breaking through to a higher spiritual level

Saturn/Pluto in your 9th House (likely if you have a Taurus Ascendant)

The Challenge: Philosophy of life not working properly

The Potential Resolution: Finding the higher perspective and making changes to your philosophy

Saturn/Pluto in your 10th House (likely if you have an Aries Ascendant)

The Challenge: A desired career path blocked

The Potential Resolution: A sidestep which proves better for you

Saturn/Pluto in your 11th House (likely if you have a Pisces Ascendant)

The Challenge: Fear or intimidation in a group

The Potential Resolution: Finding your way to being able to stand as an individual within the group

Saturn/Pluto in your 12th House (likely if you have an Aquarian Ascendant)

The Challenge: An unconscious block makes itself known

The Potential Resolution: Understanding the message from your unconscious, and acting upon it to make your conscious life better

Some examples of famous people or places who have been in the news this week:

Prince Harry has certainly dropped a bombshell this week, with the Saturn-Pluto directly in his 1st House.  The two planets have been working in his 1st House over a period of time, and the tensions have resulted in the attempt to break away from the institutions and lifestyles associated with the royal family.  Moreover, his Sun at 22 degrees Virgo is trined exactly by the conjunction, and so he would see this as an act of empowerment.

The Queen has her Ascendant at 21 degrees Capricorn, trine Harry’s Sun, and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction has been around this point recently.  She has had her fair share of angst recently with the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew, so is having to deal with this conjunction in a very personal way.  She has Jupiter and Neptune in Fire signs at 22 degrees, so is also buffeted by the conjunction transiting them.

Boris Johnson has an Ascendant of 11degrees Libra, and the conjunction falls in his 4th House of Home and Family.  It may also relate to his relationship with his country.  He does not have any planets at 22 degrees of the signs. He now has to negotiate a viable trade deal with the E.U. within a year, something the experts say is difficult.

Donald Trump has an Ascendant of 29 degrees Leo (so almost all of his1st House is in Virgo).  The Saturn-Pluto conjunction occurs in his 5th House, but it quincunxes his natal Sun in Gemini (so directly influences his mood) and forms a close opposition to his Saturn in Cancer in 11th House of Friendship, so he may be disappointed in his allies.  Occurring in his 5th House, the conjunction may have an effect on his self-image.

Meghan Markle’s Ascendant is 24 degrees Cancer, and therefore the conjunction falls at the very end of her 6th House of Service: she is certainly wanting to modify the forms under which she gives service.  It is also close to an opposition with her Ascendant, so the coming year will be difficult for her, and put some strain on her relationships (Descendant). With her natal Pluto at 21 degrees Libra, there is also a continuation of a great deal of inner psychological and soul searching from last year.

Iran: The Saturn-Pluto conjunction occurs in Iran’s 6th House, and directly impacts the chart, with the North Node of Karma exactly sextile the Iranian Saturn, and Mars exactly opposite the Iranian Moon. The country has certainly had a turbulent run up to this conjunction: Following the U.S. assassination of the military leader Qasem Soleimani, Iran has been forced to admit it accidentally shot down a plane bound for Ukraine, and there have been calls for the resignation of Iran’s supreme leader the Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to resign.

Ireland: A breakthrough which has occurred at this time is the new Stormont deal, enabling Northern Ireland to form a government again, after three years of inability to move forward.  The Saturn-Pluto conjunction occurs in the 8th House of Transformations in the Northern Ireland chart, and its timing indicates that new births can arise now.  However, the transits to the Northern Ireland chart show that other supportive transits have helped to engineer this breakthrough:  transiting Jupiter (at the beginning of its 8th House)  exactly sextiles its natal Jupiter (in its 6th House of working relations)  and natal Uranus (sudden breakthroughs, in its 10th House of potential and reputation).

The causes of current situations can to a great extent be seen, as they have been building for some time, whether in a personal or wider situation.  That provides some understanding, looking at the past.  For dealing with the present, a friend  of mine drew attention to the work of Astrologer Melanie Reinhard on the asteroid centaur Chariklo, which she says has been conjunct Saturn and Pluto in the last year.  Melanie’s groundbreaking original work on Chiron was crucial to understanding of that asteroid, and she says Chariklo was the wife of Chiron, and represents holding sacred space and bearing witness.  Something we are having to do now, especially  in our relationship with the world.  As for making sense of current crises and looking to the future, the question is why are these things happening, what is intended by the Universe (assuming there is a reason or end product), and how will that look like when we all come through it, which we must.  In working with this, you may want to do a spot of future life progression, and envision what you would like the future to look like.

Aspects

The main event (Saturn conjunct Pluto) occurs at 16.59 Hrs in the U.K. today.  Meanwhile, it is preceded by two other conjunctions.  At 9.51 a.m. Mercury was conjunct Saturn at 22 degrees Capricorn (it is all happening at that degree), prompting communications of a serious nature.  You may have found yourself attending to minute detail, or scrutinizing something, perhaps with a view to solving a problem.

At 10.14 a.m. Mercury was conjunct Pluto, again at 22 degrees Capricorn, continuing the scrutiny and concentration, but going deeper psychologically.  Conversations and communications deepen in nature, and causes of situations and circumstances may be uncovered, such as motives.  We all become detectives.

The main event of Saturn conjunct Pluto, as mentioned, will be at 16.59 Hrs (also at 22 degrees Capricorn), for those who may be reading the blog today.  This constitutes a challenge, likely to have been coming on for some time, with complex causes, which may need a new approach in your life, or a deeper understanding.  Ultimately, a breakthrough may be won through as a consequence.

Two more conjunctions occur tomorrow (Monday 13th), and the first is the Sun conjunct Pluto at 13.21 Hrs (again at 22 degrees Capricorn).  It is an intense couple of days!  But a word to those whose birthday is 13th January (or either side of that date) who have their natal Sun at 22 degrees Capricorn.  The events of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction will be especially relevant to you, or you may find yourself the centre of attention (not necessarily for the reason that it’s your birthday!).  You may also hold the keys to understanding the times, for others.

Sun conjunct Pluto deepens the quality of our experience, whatever we happen to be working on.   The royal family are reported to be holding a summit at Sandringham tomorrow on the future role of Meghan and Prince Harry.  They will aim to get to the deeper issues and causes, and try to find solutions going forward.  There is no evading the deeper issues under this aspect.  Get down to the nitty gritty.

At 15.16 Hrs the Sun conjuncts Saturn, so it is more concentration, but focussed on the practicalities  such as “what can we do about the situation?”,  having thrashed out the deeper causes to the best of our ability.  The Saturn part of the equation demands responsibility, commitment, and common sense.  With all these conjunctions at 22 degrees Capricorn, we have faced reality, and are now making decisions based on our researches, soul-searching and advice.

There is a different focus, should you need one, in the evening, for Venus enters Pisces, bringing in a greater component of compassion.  You may have been looking at things in a mental or practical way, and may be able to relax a little and allow the heart greater expression.  The trend towards tenderness lasts until her entry into Aries on 7th February.  Charities can be honoured and prioritized, and the Arts can be especially inspired during that period.

Exciting waters on Wednesday (15th) when Venus sextiles Uranus, a good day for socializing and meeting new people.  The Universe may arrange for you to bump into an old friend, and you can look at life and people in a new light.

There is also some newness about on Thursday (16th) when Mercury enters Aquarius, and this is in our collective mental outlook.  We have wrestled with the realities of Mercury in Capricorn, and can now look ahead embrace some new ideas about the future.  Perhaps there are ideas we have not quite been ready to accept before this point.  Mercury will be in Aquarius until 3rd February, so get ready for a progressive time in terms of your thought processes.

Saturday (18th) may seem a bit too progressive mentally, bordering on the bizarre, when Mercury makes a 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.  Disrupted travel, such as train services, may also be in the air – I have already had to reschedule a Saturday meeting in London because our local line will not be running into King’s Cross for eight weekends.  Again,  consider why these things are happening, and what is intended by the Universe – I once, under this aspect, downloaded a whole lot of new philosophy whilst sitting on a train!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Intense day 1
  • Tomorrow – Intense day 2; compassion
  • Wednesday – Exciting
  • Thursday – New Ideas
  • Saturday – Disruption

Aspects for the week beginning 5 January 2020

2020

Welcome to the year 2020: Again New Hopes, New Dreams and a Fresh Start.  This time it’s a New Decade, and as many have pointed out, 20:20 Vision.  It seems to be a year of extremes, but also a year of achievement.  A most significant year both personally and globally.  My impression of the shape of the year is that it will begin in great difficulty (Saturn conjunct Pluto), there will be an attempt at higher balancing during the course of the year (three sextiles between Jupiter and Neptune), then a moment of hope at the end (Jupiter conjunct Saturn at 0 degrees Aquarius).

If you want to start working with the aspects from now, here is a guide to some of the major astrological events coming up.

2020 Dates for your Diary if planning ahead:

January

This January will be very important for everyone, very much about facing reality.

Friday 3rd: (last Friday) Mars entered Sagittarius – A bright, adventurous note.  Stays in Sagittarius until 16th February.

10th: Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon at 20 degrees Cancer) – turning point and high tide of emotion.

Saturday 11th: Uranus Stationary, prior to turning Direct – Change and progress, re-igniting the more positive facets of the element of the unexpected.

Sunday 12th:  Saturn conjunct Pluto at 22 degrees Capricorn – Huge challenges, both personal and worldwide, e.g. repercussions from Brexit and Climate Change.  Also the Nuclear issue (Kim Jong Un rejects his pact with Trump; Iran retaliates against the killing of its military leader).

February

Sunday 16th: Mars enters Capricorn – A sense of purpose, determination and ambition. Stays in Capricorn until 30th March.

Monday 17th: Mercury Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde – Communications more difficult.  Retrograde period ends 10th March.

Thursday 20th: Jupiter sextile Neptune – Religion and Spirituality in Harmony.

March

Tuesday 10th:  Mercury goes Direct [end of Retrograde period].  Communications smoother.

Friday 20th: Spring Equinox.  The Sun enters Aries – the beginning of the Astrological New Year.  Day and Night of equal length.

Sunday 22nd: Saturn enters Aquarius – a significant shift of effort to the mental plane.

Monday 30th: Mars enters Aquarius – more social co-operation for the good of all.  Stays in Aquarius until 13th May.

April

Sunday 5th: Jupiter conjunct Pluto at 24 degrees Capricorn – empowering for some.  Otherwise the surge of power needs to be controlled.

Saturday 25th: Pluto stationary, prior to turning Retrograde  – A level of setback, necessitating psychological understanding and awareness of reality.

May

Monday 11th: Saturn is Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde  – The need to secure foundations, and go over previous ground.  Retrograde period ends 29th September.

Wednesday 13th: **Mars enters Pisces – A more compassionate motivation.  Stays in Pisces  until 28th June.

Same day: Venus is Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde – Relationships need work.  Retrograde period ends 25th June.

Thursday 14th: Jupiter is Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde  – Revising your Philosophy.  Retrograde period ends 13th September.

June

Friday 5th: Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon at 15 degrees Sagittarius) – turning point, and mentally adventurous.

Thursday18th: Mercury Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde – Communications more difficult.  Retrograde period ends 12th July.

Saturday 20th: Summer Solstice.  The Sun enters Cancer.  The peak of the Light.

Sunday 21st: Solar Eclipse (New Moon at 0 degrees Cancer) – A new beginning, emotionally.

Tuesday 23rd: Neptune Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde – Some retrospection on the Spiritual path.  Retrograde period ends 29th November.

Thursday 25th: Venus Direct – Relationships more straightforward.

28th: Mars enters its own sign of Aries – Energy much more direct.  Stays in Aries the rest of the year, and until January 2021 (a very long stay!).

30th: Jupiter conjunct Pluto (2nd pass) – As 5th April, empowering for some.  Otherwise the surge of power needs to be controlled.

July

Wednesday 1st:  Saturn, in Retrograde motion, re-enters Capricorn – tying up old loose ends.  Stays in Capricorn until 17th December.

Sunday 5th:  Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon at 13 degrees Capricorn) – turning point, and practical emotion.

Sunday12th: Mercury goes Direct [end of Retrograde period].  Communications smoother.

Monday 27th: Jupiter sextile Neptune (2nd pass). As Thursday 20th February: Religion and Spirituality in Harmony.

August

Saturday 15th: Uranus Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde – Rebellion, and bids for freedom.  Retrograde period ends 14th January 2021.

September

Wednesday 9th: Mars Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde – energies out of sync.  Retrograde period ends 14th November.

Sunday 13th: Jupiter Direct – straightening out your Philosophy.

Tuesday 22nd: Autumn Equinox.  The Sun enters Libra – A time of balance.  Day and Night of equal length.

Tuesday 29th: Saturn Direct – Less struggle.

October

Sunday 4th: Pluto Direct – Psychological progress.

Monday 12th: Jupiter sextile Neptune (2rd pass). As Thursday 20th February and 27th July: Religion and Spirituality in Harmony, perfecting.

Wednesday 14th: Mercury Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde – Communications more difficult.  Retrograde period ends 3rd November.

November

Tuesday 3rd: Mercury goes Direct [end of Retrograde period].  Communications smoother.

Thursday 12th: Jupiter conjunct Pluto (3rd pass) – As 5th April and 30th June, empowering for some.  Otherwise the surge of power needs to be controlled.  Some facets of this combination being mastered.

Saturday 14th: Mars Direct.  Energies more straightforward.

29th: Neptune Direct. Spiritual path clearing.

30th: Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon at 8 degrees Gemini) – turning point, and intellectual challenge.

December

Monday 14th: Solar Eclipse (New Moon at 23 degrees Sagittarius) – turning point, a bold new beginning.

Thursday 17th: Saturn re-enters Aquarius – establishing the significant shift of effort to the mental plane.

Saturday 19th: Jupiter enters Aquarius – Brave New World!

Monday 21st: **Winter Solstice.  The Sun enters Capricorn.  The beginning of the Return of the Light.

Same day: Jupiter conjunct Saturn at 0 degrees Aquarius – one of the significators of an Aquarian New Age.  The need to achieve balance, but a real moving forward. 20:20 vision.

 ** Days when there are two significant shifts occurring

Aspects

As we reel at the worldwide implications of Donald Trump’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani, not least the impact on Nazanin Zhagari Ratfliffe in the Iranian jail, there is some spiritual balm arriving on Tuesday 7th (the calm before the storm, perhaps?).

Soleimani has the violent Mars-Pluto square in his natal chart, and his death could be predestined, with transiting Uranus squaring his natal Uranus (shock) and Pluto sextile his natal North Node (the sense of an ending, karmically).

But let’s enjoy the astrological fruits of the middle of the week.  Sun sextile Neptune brings inspiration and spiritual harmony.  It can be immensely creative.  If these are some of your goals and aspirations for the start of the year, you can safely cultivate them on Tuesday.

Wednesday (8th) continues the benefits of Tuesday, with Neptune this time sextile Mercury.  It will do for Geminis and Virgos what Tuesday did for Leos: heighten their spirituality.  For us generally, our minds will be able to receive higher guidance more easily.  We will be able to make more sense of the subtleties of our reality, or of facts put before us.

The first astrological feature of Friday (10th) is the Sun conjunct Mercury at 19 degrees Capricorn.  Mentally, things can be seen as crystal clear under this conjunction.  Exceptional mental focus can achieve a great deal in the morning and in the afternoon.  This conjunction in Capricorn is supremely organizational.

But as the mood builds throughout the day, by early evening we register the emotional tension of a Lunar Eclipse (a Full Moon at 20 degrees Cancer), a turning point and high tide of emotion.  There may be an escalation of passion in the war of words between heads of nations, for instance.  In your own life, you may be torn between personal and professional loyalties.

A helpful turn of events may come in the very early hours of Saturday (11th), as Uranus will be Stationary, prior to turning Direct.   Change and progress are possible, re-igniting the more positive facets of the element of the unexpected.  It is just possible that a head of state may have a U-turn, in the right direction, but with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction due the very next day, it may be too late to avert difficulties which have been a long time brewing.

In your own life, early on Saturday morning (or very late on Friday), it is a good time to do all  you can to alleviate any collective, tribal, or social difficulties which you can see.  Having done all you can, you have to relax, as we all need a break!  For example, a friend of mine has been tweeting heads of state to try to avert some of the global problems we are facing.  But closer to home, you may see what could be done in the family setting, or in the community.   Intuition will flow better, and future vision come into view.

Preview for Sunday 12th: Possibly the most important day of the year. Saturn conjunct Pluto at 22 degrees Capricorn – Huge challenges, both personal and worldwide, e.g. repercussions from Brexit and Climate Change.  Also the Nuclear issue (Kim Jong Un rejects his pact with Trump; Iran retaliates against the killing of its military leader). More next week.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tuesday – Spiritual harmony
  • Wednesday – Mental inspiration
  • Friday – Mental clarity; emotional high tide
  • Saturday – Unexpected progress; stay steady

 

Aspects for the week beginning 29 December 2019

Baba Ram Dass (1931 – 2019)

“Be Here Now” ~ Baba Ram Dass

Spiritual teacher Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) died this week.  He was part of the consciousness-raising movement of the 1960s, together with Timothy Leary, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

Birth Chart

Ram Dass had 0 planets in the Air signs, relying on instinct.  The Sun was exactly conjunct Uranus in his chart, bringing up the Pioneer and Rebel Archetypes.  This conjunction, making a close triple conjunction with his North Node (karmic mission) is placed in his 9th House of higher philosophy, making him an innovator in this field.  This conjunction was not easy, being part of a T-square with Jupiter/Saturn opposite Pluto: he steered himself through the minefield that was 1960s consciousness exploded with LSD, to become a beloved teacher.  His philosophy was very much informed by Hinduism.  We have an accurate birth time for him, which gives him Pluto on a Cancerian Ascendant (psychological and emotional trials), and his Moon squaring  Neptune describes both drug taking and mysticism.  Mercury sextile Venus describes his ability to put into words his mystical experiences.

Religion and Consciousness

He was born Jewish, but did not relate to the religion in his youth, and became an atheist.  He recalled: “I didn’t have one whiff of God until I took psychedelics”.  He gained a doctorate in psychology (Pluto on the Ascendant natally) at Stanford University.  His doctoral thesis was on the subject of “achievement anxiety”.

In 1958 he became an assistant clinical psychology professor at Cambridge, Massachussetts.  His specialism was human motivation and personality development. It was at Cambridge that he met Timothy Leary, who became famous for his experimentation with psychedelic drugs under controlled conditions.

In 1961 Alpert (Ram Dass) began to work with Leary.  He also worked with Walter Pahnke with theology students, exploring the effects of drugs on mystical experience.  Their work proved controversial, and Alpert and Leary moved to New York in 1963.  There they founded a group with the purpose of  raising consciousness and the divinity within, through drugs.

In 1967 Alpert travelled to India, where he encountered the guru Maharaj-ji, and found spiritual love; Maharaj-ji re-named him Baba Ram Dass.  He returned to the U.S. and in 1971 published a book of his teachings, entitled  “Be Here Now”, under his new name.  In the book, he recounted his spiritual journey.  He subsequently began to teach and work with groups for the betterment of society.  One of his students was Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, whose valuable work with the dying is legendary.  Ram Dass gave all his profits from his books and teachings to charities.

He re-examined his original religion Judaism at the age of 60, with the explanation “My belief is that I wasn’t born into Judaism by accident, and so I needed to find ways to honor that. From a Hindu perspective, you are born as what you need to deal with, and if you just try and push it away, whatever it is, it’s got you.”

In later life he worked with other new age teachers such as Jack Kornfield (author of The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness and Peace”)  and Wayne Dyer.

Health

In February 1997 he suffered a stroke, which left him with expressive aphasia, making it more difficult for him to speak.  The way he saw this was “The stroke was giving me lessons, and I realized that was grace—fierce grace … Death is the biggest change we’ll face, so we need to practice change.”  This attitude was entirely consistent with his main transit of the time, Neptune sextile his Midheaven in Pisces in the 9th House (a spiritual surrender and orientation).

“The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back.”

~ Baba Ram Dass

“Home is not somewhere else.

It is here, in life and death, in the eternal dance of consciousness, weaving together form and the formless mystery from which it all comes.

Ram Dass is the vastness reminding us that in the end, there is only love.” ~

eulogy by Jack Kornfield

Aspects

Mercury left Sagittarius and entered Capricorn early this morning, almost declaring an end to the party season.  Now we have the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, plus two of the asteroids, Ceres and Pholus.  We are well and truly in the mental mode of Capricorn, which is practicality, and systematic and methodical thinking. Mercury in Capricorn favours planning (so helps with planning the forthcoming year), and if you had bright ideas over the festive season while Mercury was in Sagittarius you may start to put them into action, or shape them into a practical plan to precede action.  Official documentation may need to be worked on, forms to fill, authorities to interview, etc.

There is uplift for the mind tomorrow evening (Monday 30th) when Uranus trines Mercury, adding innovation and originality to the mix.  If you lacked inspiration as you worked on Sunday, Uranus will add extra spice to your mind, ideas, plans, and documentation. You will be more able to think outside the box.  Mental brilliance, technological upgrades, lightbulb moments, and futuristic inspiration can be yours.  You can upgrade technological appliances more easily under this aspect.  You may receive new ideas about your path for 2019, embellishing your hopes and wishes ready for the start of the year.

2020

Even better news arrives on Thursday (2nd January), with a conjunction between Mercury and Jupiter.  This favours learning and education, communication and good news, sales and transport.  It’s an optimistic mindset, so good for the start of the year.  If your transport issues have taken a battering recently, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, though this is usually the time of year rail networks announce price rises (so it’s good news for the providers).  And it will be good for business and the high street sales.  Aside from that, there should be plenty of enjoyment and philosophical awareness around on that day.

Mars enters Sagittarius on Friday (3rd), which is another bright note.  Mars tends to be intense and combative in Scorpio, so in Sagittarius it can use its energy differently; it has permission to be an Adventurer!  If you haven’t gone back to work yet, and you want to re-kindle your inner pirate, you could watch old swashbuckling Errol Flynn films, or the Pirates of the Caribbean series.  Whether to channel your inner Errol Flynn or Johnny Depp, you decide.  A new fitness regime would have added gusto at this time, or the mental gymnastics of a new philosophical study.

Whatever you choose to go for, Happy New Year to you!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – knuckling down to mental work
  • Tomorrow – mental brilliance
  • Thursday – good news
  • Friday – new energy