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Aspects for the week beginning 29 March 2020

Julie Felix (1938 – 2020)

Folk singer Julie Felix, who died this week, was prominent in the culture of the late 1960s, and continued working into her 80s.

Birth Chart

As a Gemini, she stayed “Forever Young”, which is the title of one of the songs she covered from fellow Geminian Bob Dylan.  The Sun and Mercury in her chart square Neptune, giving her a super-sensitivity.  Mercury also sextiles Saturn, which helps to steady all that nervous energy.  Venus was conjunct Pluto, hinting at some tumult in her close relationships, but Venus also trines exactly her North Node in Scorpio, so she will have understood the karmic lessons.  Mars trines Jupiter in her chart, enthusiasm working well with energy, reflecting the wonder of “daddy taking us to the zoo tomorrow” (her best known song, written by Tom Paxton).  She also has Mars conjunct Chiron in Cancer in her 8th House, increasing her sensitivity to wounding, especially in relation to family and females.  She was interested in healing, with Jupiter trine closely Chiron.  And her wider planetary connections (higher consciousness) were sound: Uranus trine Neptune, and Pluto trine the North Node, indicating a deep understanding of life.

Life and Career

Julie Felix was born in America, but because she was for so long a resident of the U.K. she is thought of as a British artist.  She was very much a part of the folk singing protest movement of the 1960s. She came to prominence on our screens in 1966 as resident singer on “The Frost Report”, hosted by David Frost.  She subsequently gained her own TV series.

David Frost

I am always interested in how people who are destined to play an influential role in each other’s lives meet.  The story of how Julie Felix met David Frost is recounted in the Guardian Obituary by Derek Schofield.  She had been signed to Decca records, and “Living on the third floor of a Chelsea block of flats, she was on her way to her debut album’s launch when she met Frost, a fifth-floor resident, in the lift.  Frost tagged along and, impressed by her singing, persuaded the BBC to engage her for his forthcoming television series.”  She sang a relevant song on each programme.  Frost also was responsible for her landing her own series.

Her Synastry with Frost included her Saturn on his Sun, her Pluto trine his Moon (both quite serious connections), her Sun square his Jupiter (more upbeat), their Uranuses and Plutos being exactly conjunct (he was born the year after her). A more esoteric connection is her Jupiter (humour) conjunct exactly his natal Part of Fortune in Pisces (philosophy of being).

Leonard Cohen

Julie met Leonard Cohen while he was on the Greek Island Hydra (where he spent time with the legendary Marianne).  He appeared on her TV show and she introduced him to a British audience.  They duetted on “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”, and she popularized his songs here.

Her Synastry with Cohen is vast and deep.  To give you a flavour of it, his Sun was sextile Julie’s Pluto (profound interaction).  Leonard’s Moon was trine Julie Mars (emotional), Leonard’s Mars was sextile Julie’s Mercury (stimulating), and his Pluto trine her North Node indicates a deep karmic effect in their lives.  Adding to that depth of interaction, her Pluto was sextile his Ascendant, and his Venus/Neptune conjunction in Virgo (representing his musical genius) was conjunct her Ascendant exactly.  Interestingly, his Part of Fortune was close to that of David Frost’s, conjunct Julie’s Jupiter.

Judy Hall

The prolific writer and groundbreaking Karmic Astrologer Judy Hall was a close personal friend of Julie Felix, and writes about her in her 1990 book “The Karmic Journey”, one of my bibles.  In her book, she publishes the lyrics to a song Julie wrote about jealousy “Graduation Day”, written at the time of Julie’s Chiron Return (if you recall, her natal Mars is conjunct Chiron in Cancer, so the song represents that wound).  Judy reveals that Julie’s Ascendant is Scorpio, which is helpful to understanding the total shape of her birth chart.

Here is an interesting astrological insight from the book:

“Singer/songwriter Julie Felix, who has never had a music lesson in her life and cannot read music, but to whom it just came, and Bob Dylan, her contemporary and fellow protester, have Uranus inconjunct Neptune/North Node, and Neptune/North Node square Mercury.  They set out not only to communicate with the world through their music (Mercury in Gemini) but also to change it (Uranus) by pointing out its injustices and failings and, in Julie Felix’s case, by taking a very active part in marches and demonstrations for peace and developing an interest in the healing power of music, thereby incorporating the subtle awareness of vibration which Uranus offers to Mercury in aspect to Neptune.”

I met Judy at a Sacred Contracts workshop some years ago, and she said that the 1990 edition of her book had been superseded by another version because of problems with her publisher, so I hope that she would not mind me quoting from the original book.  I myself also met Julie Felix on two occasions in my life.  The first was in the early 1990s, when some mutual friends of hers and Judy Hall’s set up a healing workshop in Watford.  I found Julie to be very warm and approachable, personally.  The second time I met her was at a concert in King’s Lynn in 2009.  I wrote in my blog:

“I am, however, a member of ipeace, and after listening to an evening of peace and anti-war songs from a delightfully vibrant 71-year old Julie Felix last night, I invited her to join.  She had recently sung “Forever Young” at David Frost’s 70th birthday party, and is a Geminian herself, the sign of eternal youth.”

After the concert, I was able to talk to her of the workshop nearly 20 years earlier, and of the mutual friends, some of who had passed away in the intervening time. Again, she was warm and approachable…I am sure she created many such fond memories, wherever she went.

Aspects

In the early hours of this morning Venus was trine Pluto.  You may have seen Venus allied with the Moon spectacularly in the night sky.  I even took a photo of them the night before last, my first venture into night sky photography!  Venus making friends with Pluto in this way is a deep friendship, and if a relationship has been disrupted there may be a reunion of sorts (though not literally physically in the current climate).  It is the depth of friendship which has been through substantial testing, and come through stronger.  Money, art and music also flourish under this trine.

Tomorrow (Monday 30th) Mars enters Aquarius, giving us a push to do all we can to improve the conditions of our society, currently beset by the biggest crisis in living memory.  Mars in Aquarius is about team spirit, and supporting the underdog.  It will provide us with a very helpful spirit for what may likely be the “height of the curve” during its transit in Aquarius up to 13th May, providing a sense of community and pulling together, and a sense of hope that it will all be worth the effort.  A Mars motto is “never say die!”  And while sometimes we may need acceptance and surrender, we all need to keep going and keep strong, and be there for each other.

On Tuesday (31st), Mars meets Saturn in a conjunction at 0 degrees Aquarius, which some may find tough.  It can be a frustrating conjunction, especially if you are not used to your wings being clipped, or your will or energies encountering obstacles.  It can however bring an inner steel to concentrate on the job in hand, and even perhaps to live in the moment.  In a birth chart this conjunction can describe someone “driving with the brakes on”, but in the context of our current restrictions, it may enable us to focus inward, economize on energy and thought.  You may then discover a new personal meaning in your stay at home status, and a new occupation which does not expend or over-consume.  However, the government(s) may introduce new stricter measures around this time, which for some may feel more burdensome or harsh.

On to Friday (April 3rd) and there is another sign change – this time Venus moves from Taurus to Gemini.  While Venus may have loved being in the comfort zone of her own sign, she is being required to take on the role of social butterfly while in Gemini, while socially distancing of course.  Keeping communication going, and adding the warmth of companionship, will be her job as far as practicalities will allow, so the internet and social media will be a boon.  This will be helpful for those who have signed up to make telephone calls to those isolated, under the new NHS Voluntary Responders scheme.  We are all now in the business of making sure that no one is left alone without company in this way, keeping the collective mental health buoyant.  Venus in Gemini will help us to do just that!  Venus in Gemini can do the small talk, any chit chat will do, it doesn’t have to be profound, it just needs to keep contact going.

There is another conjunction on Saturday (April 4th), and this time the pairing is Mercury and Neptune, at 19 degrees Pisces.  This conjunction can link you mentally with your spiritual sources, and provide the inspiration much needed at this time. It occurs in the early hours of that morning, so if you retire on the night of April 3rd with a request for dream guidance, it may be particularly forthcoming during that night.  We need to keep asking for the best way to negotiate the current times, and for the best way to help the current efforts, especially if we are at home and not in the category of key workers.  We need to keep searching for the right way to think of this crisis, in terms of perspective and consciousness.  I am continuing to ask, and the answers are not flooding through, but if you only ask about that day’s tasks that can be more productive.  People are asking me the wider question of “when will it end?”, and I am not sure, astrologically, and I haven’t read anything yet which is able to satisfactorily address this.  I have learned from Future Life Progression that the future is more malleable, so it does depend on our individual efforts and those of society to keep everyone safe.  And things may become clearer as we go on.

We have a trine on the same day, late afternoon, between Venus and Saturn.  This trine is quite stoical and productive, and stabilizing in terms of feelings.  It would be a good aspect for a plateau in a curve, and while it may be too soon for us in our process, I hope at least that the beleaguered European countries of Italy and Spain can find some relief after weeks enduring their lockdown.

Staying Alive

The U.K.’s oldest man and woman are 112 today, amazingly!  Bob Weighton, interviewed this morning, basically said that his philosophy has been to roll with the punches of life…Joan Hocquard, who lives fairly nearby in Poole (though they have never met) shares the same noon birth chart.  They are both Aries, a sign which generally speaking does look after itself.  The most striking thing in their charts, for me, is an exact square between Venus in Taurus and Chiron in Aquarius.  That fixed sign square may be one of their secrets.

As mentioned, last week, “I meditate at 3 pm every day, and am currently dedicating my meditations to visualizing light dissolving the epidemic, if anyone would care to join me.”

I would like to leave you with the Physical Immortality affirmation from my Rebirthing days, which was written by Leonard Orr, the founder of that movement.  I checked in with an old friend this week, who told me she still says it every day after I gave it to her in the late 1980s!

“I am alive now.  Therefore my life urge is stronger than my death urge. As long as I continue strengthening my Life Urge and weakening my death urge, I will go on living in increasing health and youthfulness forever!”

Aum Namaha Shivaiya!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – deep friendship
  • Tomorrow – team spirit
  • Tuesday – frustration
  • Friday – social butterfly (at a distance)
  • Saturday – spiritual channelling; loyalty

Aspects for the week beginning 22 March 2020

Chris Whitty

Chief Medical Officer

In a week when our lives have changed out of all recognition, the goalposts have been moved each day, day by day we are learning more about ourselves and about life.  I am going to look at the chart of the man whose role it is to look after the health of the nation at this critical time, Chief Medical Office in the U.K, Chris Whitty.

Coronavirus

Astrologers vary slightly in their interpretation of what represents the Coronavirus pandemic.  For what it is worth, my own take has always been that the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in January (roughly when it started) is grave enough to be the culprit.

In Astrology everything has meaning, and I am sure that there is an evolutionary message for us as a species in this global crisis.  On a personal level, we are learning to be more frugal, to share and co-operate; the skies and seas are becoming less polluted, without aeroplanes and ships.

We are all having to review strategies for keeping calm and holding our nerve, and for connecting more deeply with our higher spiritual sources.  On this most poignant Mother’s Day, many are having to rely on Skype to connect with loved ones.

One of the most important astrological features of the year occurs today, that of Saturn entering Aquarius, where Saturn = isolation and Aquarius = society. The instruction to self-isolate is being stepped up a gear.  We are being urged to look within for our inner resources.  The Soul’s journey (as represented by the Sun and Leo in exoteric astrology) is an individual and often solitary one, while we know paradoxically that we are all interconnected (the polarity with Aquarius) and each person contributes something unique and necessary to the whole.  One of the important lessons of the coronavirus may be to intensify that learning.

Birth Chart

Chris Whitty is a Taurean, with 5 (half his planets) in Earth; he is very grounded and supportive – he flanks the Prime Minister in some of his new daily briefings.  One can almost feel the strength that Boris derives from this.  As a New Mooner, Whitty is able to pick himself up, dust himself down, and start afresh on a New Moon.  His Part of Fortune sits on his Ascendant, symbolizing this eternal sense of renewal.  He is also a Warrior, albeit a very calm one, with Sun conjunct Mars.  Added to that a sextile to his Sun from Jupiter, which confers a positive outlook. Moon conjunct Mars depicts quick emotional responses.  Not much is known about his personal life, and with Venus opposite an exact conjunction of Uranus/Pluto, there is a certain detachment, which may be a quality and strength he needs at the level he is working, though Venus trine Neptune points to compassion.  We do know he has a fondness for music, which is a Taurean trait.  The Uranus/Pluto exact conjunction in Virgo, a feature of the mid-1960s when he was born, can create a personality who works extremely hard.  Taurus is a patient sign, and added to that he has Saturn trine Neptune which accentuates that.  With Saturn sextile the North Node, he is capable of taking on great responsibility in his karmic mission.  Working in the area of epidemiology is the perfect vehicle for his conjunction of Saturn and Chiron in Pisces.  Indeed with Neptune on the South Node, he may have built up expertise in this line in past lives, e.g. overseeing and organizing victims of the Plague.  He is a Healer, with Neptune trine Chiron (spiritual as well as physical) and healing is part of his karmic mission also (North Node sextile Chiron).

Life and Career

We may not know much about his personal life, but the known facts about his life and career are very interesting.  His father was killed by Palestinian terrorists when he was young, in 1984.  Such a severe trauma so early in life must have affected him deeply.  He took a degree at Pembroke College, Oxford, and also studied at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  He was influential in the management of the U.K. response to the Ebola outbreak, writing a paper entitled: “Infectious disease: Tough choices to reduce Ebola transmission”.  He was also Government Chief Scientific Adviser when the Skripals were poisoned in Salisbury with Novichok.  You could say he has been destined to be the right man at the right time…In addition to his current role as Chief Medical Officer (since October 2019), he is also a consultant physician.

Transits and Synastry

The transits for the start of the current daily briefings are largely constructive: Jupiter sextile his Neptune (able to transmit a calmness), Pluto sextile his natal Saturn (also constructively getting the serious message across) and Pluto sextile his Chiron (the power of his healing knowledge and expertise), though Saturn squaring his Sun depicts the responsibility he is carrying.

In his ability to work with Boris Johnson, we find a surprisingly high compatibility: Chris’ Jupiter is closely conjunct Boris Sun, buoying him up for his prime ministerial briefings; Chris’ Sun opposite Boris’ Moon, a balancing act; Chris’ Uranus/Pluto trines Boris’ Jupiter – can give strength to his ebullience and confers more weight and credence to the latter’s performance; Chris Venus’ trines Boris Neptune (a congenial relationship), and Chris’ Neptune sextiles Boris’ Uranus/Pluto conjunction (working together at a profound level). The planets seem to indicate that this double act is meant to be, possibly a Soul Contract.

Evaluation

If that all seems naive, trite even, in the face of the enormity of this crisis, and the suspicion that the measures are too little too late (and that Boris should have acted earlier), we are where we are with it.  The rest, to a great extent, is up to us as a collective: reminding each other to self-isolate, bearing in mind the incubation period is up to 14 days (or even more) with people being infectious during that period.  And the mutual support people need to give each other is already happening in so many ways (excepting those who take more than they need, and the scuffles I have heard of in supermarkets).  We must continue to thank those workers who are propping up society, and looking after our needs, such as NHS workers and supermarket workers.  Keeping up each others’ spirits is vital, and we have many ways to communicate in this day and age.

To all my readers:  Light and Love! Live Long and Prosper x

Aspects

Saturn went into Aquarius in the early hours of this morning.  If you were wakeful, this may have been down to its new and unusual stimulus.  As mentioned above, Saturn = isolation and Aquarius = society.  We are challenged to a new way of being.  In society but not of it?  Certainly the combination of Saturn and Aquarius is a cool energy; Saturn was the old ruler of Aquarius before Uranus was discovered.  At that time Saturn also ruled Capricorn, as it still does, so the winter months were dominated by Saturnian energy, slow and cautious.  But Saturn’s entry into Aquarius quickens the pace slightly from Capricorn, and may introduce a more telepathic element to communication.  There is also a sense of necessity being the mother of invention (where Saturn = necessity, and Aquarius = invention).  We are entering the most significant new phase since the coronavirus entered our lives and consciousness.  The sense of responsibility has been widened, and may be open to higher ways of manifestation.  If you find yourself having ingenious ideas in the middle of the night for how you can cope, or how you can help others, that will be down to Saturn in Aquarius.  It’s much more “we are all in it together” than “every man for himself”.  So this is such an important day in our history.

As if to underline the message, and help us get underway with our new mindset, at lunchtime Mercury sextiles Uranus, like a free extra package to help us on our way.  It encourages us to use all the new technology for our communications, such as for our Mother’s Day greetings.  Bright minds, and bright ideas feature today, and Intuition is heightened.

Tomorrow (23rd) will be spreading the love, with Venus sextile Neptune.  There’ll be an extra afterglow from Mother’s Day, perhaps.  Venus sextile Neptune can bring a beautiful expression of spirituality and the Arts.  New artistic avenues are flourishing, ingenious ways for people to share art, music and performance over the internet with the closure of theatres etc.

Sadly, extra caution needs to be taken the same day, with Mars conjunct Pluto (at 24 degrees Capricorn).  We may hear of devastating spikes in figures of the coronovirus.  If so, it will act as a salutary message perhaps to those who are unnecessarily foolhardy.  Definitely a day to skirt round those scuffles in the supermarket.  It would be a good day to organize a remote group meditation if possible.  I meditate at 3 pm every day, and am currently dedicating my meditations to visualizing light dissolving the epidemic, if anyone would care to join me.

The New Moon arrives on Tuesday (24th) at 4 degrees Aries, and may bring cheer and vigour, and a renewed sense of purpose.  It is a time to look to the future, as much as is possible.  I have a Future Life Progression scheduled by Skype in the morning, and that may be very revealing, hopefully shedding light on the future.  Tuesday can certainly be a new beginning for you, even if it is in organizing your new self-isolating lifestyle.  If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well…The New Moon in Aries is one of the brightest of the year in terms of its potential.

Lastly, we end the week on Saturday (28th) with one of the loveliest aspects of the year: Venus trine Jupiter.  It may make up for one of the most difficult, the Mars/Pluto conjunction of early this week.  In normal times, it would be party time, but we will have to celebrate in ingenious ways.  I hear that people are having virtual dinner parties now, so that is a thought.  There may be some better news on the coronavirus figures…China now seems to be coming out of the gloom, and it is hoped that Italy might see some improvement.  It would be good to see signs of progress here, too, with better practices followed.  Close relationships are favoured, and love may flourish even on your desert island!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – splendid isolation
  • Tomorrow – spread the love; stay away from conflict
  • Tuesday – new beginning
  • Saturday – good for relationships

Aspects for the week beginning 15 March 2020

David Hume (1711 -1776)

This is the second of my new  series of occasional philosophy blogs.  As regular readers will know, I am studying for a certificate in the subject this year.  I started with an Aries, Rene Descartes, a true Aries in every sense of the word, an individual and an initiator.  I will now look at a philosopher of the next sign Taurus, whose philosophy is as Taurean as Descartes’ was Arien!  David Hume’s work was known as Empiricism, based on the evidence of the senses, a counterpoint to rationalism as expounded by Descartes.  Together they form two basic pillars of modern philosophy.

Birth Chart

Hume had half his planets (5) in Earth, and over half his planets (6) in the Fixed signs, so you could describe him as very grounded and strong willed.  His Sun was in Taurus, and he argued that rather than reason the questions of existence through the mind (as Descartes had done) it was important to trust the evidence of the senses (Taurus).  As with Descartes, we do not have a birth time, and so our information is incomplete.  But his Moon was also in an Earth sign, again emphasizing the material.  His Mercury was closely sextile with his Saturn, indicating mental focus.  Descartes had Mercury trine Saturn, and Nietzsche had Mercury trine Saturn – I have not yet undertaken an exhaustive study of this feature, but it seems to be an advantage in an analytical philosophical perspective.  Hume had lovable Venus (his ruling planet) trine his natal North Node (karmic mission), and is one of the most likeable and popular of the modern philosophers.  Jupiter trine Uranus gave him the Entrepreneur Archetype, and he was very prolific and successful and varied in his activities.  Jupiter trine Pluto gave him a sense of power and confidence, too.  Uranus exactly conjunct Pluto in Leo produced a great deal of intense energy.  He was very Taurean (Sun, Mercury and Neptune in Taurus) in another particular respect: he was portly in build in his adult years, and had a fondness for port and cheese!

Life and Career

David Hume was a philosopher from the United Kingdom (Scotland).  France and Germany also produced prominent philosophers in the early modern era.  German philosopher Immanuel Kant was quoted as saying that Hume aroused him from his “dogmatic slumbers”.  His first work was “A Treatise of Human Nature”, written 1739 – 1740.  He posited that all human knowledge derived from experience, and thus pitted him against the philosophical rationalists, and Descartes in particular. Philosophy was moving on by one sign!  He admitted that sentiment played a part in the thinking process, whereas for Descartes it played no part.

History and Freedom

The concept of freedom was important to David Hume, as an intrinsic part of human life and make up, and makes up a complex theme in his discussions.  Freedom is an important part of the process of self-realization.  The term free will is often referred to in relation to self-determination, and in many instances in relation to the presence or absence of a deity. The associated concept liberty tends to refer to the more outward experience in relation to society.  Liberty as an outward expression especially related to society and politics, was largely a later expansion of Hume’s work into the themes of history (his History of England established his success), politics, and social science.

Hume was heavily influenced by John Locke (1632-1704), and both had an influence on the ideas which lead to the American (1776) and French (1789) Revolutions.  He was also a great friend of Adam Smith.  Locke was himself influenced by Hobbes (1588-1679), particularly in his assertion that the power of will is desire.  Locke’s own work on freedom was entitled An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, so even in the title of his work Hume was continuing the discussion. Locke looked at issues of volition and free will before Hume, and distinguished between voluntary and involuntary actions, but continually revised his work on the subject of freedom.  Hume took up the baton, and further defined the line between voluntary and involuntary action in describing what is free and not free: “By liberty, then, we can only mean a power of acting or not acting, according to the determinations of the will; that is, if we choose to remain at rest, we may; if we choose to move, we also may.” ((Enquiry, Pg. 85).  He shows that there are many complex factors which go to make up volition, including the passions, and looks at motives.  In this again he departed from the purely rational outlook of Descartes.

Though Hume tended to an atheist view, he recognized that the concept of freedom, particularly in relation to free will and determinism, has to be considered in relation to the concept of a possible Creator, and tried to remain neutral in that discussion, though did not give it central stage in his considerations.  His views on freedom held solidly for a considerable time in the history of philosophy making, and were dignified by Wittgenstein as late as the 20th Century.  There is some modification in the view of his work in the more modern era, but he was as groundbreaking as Descartes in the sense that he held the empirical counterpoise to rationalism, and maintained that passion needed to be acknowledged as well as reason.

Now I am off to find a Geminian philosopher, to represent the next sign of the zodiac!

Bibliography:

  1. Hume. Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; 2017.
  2. The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Ed. John Cottingham. 10th printing, Cambridge; 2005.
  3. The Cambridge Companion to Hume’s Treatise. Eds. Ainslie and Butler; 2015.
  4. Paul Russell. Freedom & Moral Sentiment. Oxford University Press; 1995.
  5. Simon Blackburn. How to Read Hume.
  6. Dan Garrett. Hume. Routledge ; 2015.
  7. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, online
  8. A.J. Ayer. Hume, A Very Short Introduction; 1980.
  9. Thomas Pink. Free Will, A Very Short Introduction; 2004.

Aspects

Mercury Direct re-enters Pisces tomorrow (Monday 16th), until 11th April.  The mental focus is on compassion, as applied to the most vulnerable in our society.  At this time, the elderly are most at risk from the coronavirus, and there is a lot of focus on areas which have a large elderly population, as well as the elderly members of our own family.  Plus those who have underlying health conditions such as asthma are also extra vulnerable.  There are signs already that hearts are going out to help, and there is much talk about communities coming together, and world nations co-operating.  Pisces and its ruler Neptune represent isolation and self-isolation, but they also represent hearts blending and barriers dissolving, paradoxically.  The brother and sister duo on Gogglebox this week commented that we’ve exchanged an insular focus (Brexit) for a global worry (coronavirus), which they thought was cool.  Australian healer Charlie Goldsmith on Facebook live says that the current crisis is teaching us to go back to basics, and is an opportunity for mass change.

Skip to Thursday (19th) and there is a stabilizing sextile between the Sun and Saturn.  Practical initiatives and the laying of foundations thrive under this sextile.  Perhaps there are ideas you have had which were more suited to the springtime, and you can prepare for them now.  What new routines and traditions would you like to initiate now in  your life?

Friday (20th) sees the start of Spring itself, the Spring Equinox.  New life and green shoots may start to appear, though the date itself is a day or two earlier than usual for the calendar.  Happy Astrological New Year!  And Happy Birthday to all Ariens for the coming month – we celebrate your life force.  For the population generally, if your energy has been a little low lately, you may feel revived.  When I was last in Salisbury, I attended a talk on wildflower meadows and their importance to cultivating different insect species, as well as their obvious beauty.  So it’s a good time to sow…

Late morning, Mars conjuncts Jupiter at 22 degrees Capricorn, bringing the combination of energy and enthusiasm to a peak.  There’s a lot that can be achieved by this high energy, combined with the Spring Equinox.  It is worth planning something special to begin on this date, though of course we are restricted in our activities currently by the social rules imposed to keep the coronavirus graph low.  If you have to stay local or self-isolate, use your ingenuity to cultivate a new hobby or project.  The exuberance of this conjunction when found in a birth chart can give rise to comedy genius (in the case of Tracey Ullman) or an upbeat song such as “Happy” (in the case of Pharrell Williams).

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – mental focus on compassion
  • Thursday – a foothold on stability
  • Friday – new beginning; exuberance

 

 

Aspects for the week beginning 8 March 2020

Democratic Leadership Contest

On “Super Tuesday” last week, the search for a hopeful to oust Donald Trump from office took an unexpected turn, when candidates pulled out and gave their backing to Joe Biden, and he experienced a huge upturn in his chances against Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie has often been described as the U.S. counterpart of our Jeremy Corbyn, a genuine socialist with special appeal to young voters.  But as a country, the U.S. is even less likely to vote in a left leaning government.

The Sun in Virgo suggest a purist in some form, in this case in ideology.  It is situated in his 10th House of Career and Politics, and he has been unwavering throughout his life in his ideals.  The Sun is loosely conjunct the North Node too, indicating a leader.  The North Node also conjuncts Neptune, adding the flavour of a spiritual leader. With the Sun (self-expression), the Midheaven (Careerpoint), and the North Node (karmic mission) all in Virgo in his 10th House, his path has been clear and certain, but not supported enough by the voting population to put him in power (as yet).  His bid for leadership against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election was defeated.  He is a cheerful and enthusiastic warrior, with the Moon conjunct Mars in Aries sextile exactly with Jupiter.  He has a keen mind, with Mercury trine Saturn (mental application), Mercury trine Uranus (mental briliance), Mercury sextile Pluto (a deep thinker) and Mercury conjunct Neptune (oratory, perhaps even channelling).  He has popularity and social skills (Venus trine Jupiter), and is peace-loving (Mercury and Venus in Libra).  He is able to combine sensitivity and practicality (Saturn trine closely Neptune), and able to take in complexity (Uranus trine Neptune).

He was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, who lost several members in the Holocaust in Poland.  Early in life he joined peace, non-violent and anti-war movements, and attended the march where Martin Luther King’s delivered his “I have a dream” speech.  While at Chicago University (studying for a degree in political science) he joined in various protest movements, and helped to end some racial segregation.  Building a political career after University, he took various jobs, including carpentry, which is a Virgoan skill.  He became Mayor of Burlington Vermont in 1980, a post he held until 1989, achieving a great deal in that time.  He went on to become a Senator in 2007.  Although not achieving high office directly, he has been known to be able to influence various amendments to legislations.  He opposed the Gulf War in 1991 and the Iraq war in 2003.

At the age of 78, his health has been of concern recently.  On 1st October 2019 he experienced chest pains and was hospitalized.  It was later apparent that he had had a heart attack (Uranus was square to his natal Pluto in Leo in his 9th House at the time), but by December he had produced a clean bill of health.

His transits for the leadership election in June include: Mars opposite his natal Sun (will need to look after his heart), Jupiter trine his natal Neptune (some uplift), Uranus trine his natal Midheaven (an unexpected opportunity), but with two squares.  They are Uranus square his natal Chiron (again, a health caution), and Pluto square his natal Mars (again some physical danger).  There is also some strength and protection from Pluto sextile his Ascendant, so a mixed bag, and a set of extremes.  His transits for the Presidential election in November show Jupiter square his natal Venus (some social awkwardness), Saturn trine his natal Neptune (as at birth, showing poise), Uranus still trine his natal Midheaven (a turning point in fortunes), Pluto square his natal Venus (difficulty in his private life) and Pluto trine his natal North Node (an important moment karmically).

Joe Biden

Joe Biden has many points of similarity in his chart when compared to Bernie Sanders, and some of those are due to his being a similar age (now aged 77, he was born 14 months after Bernie).  One way in which he is opposite in nature is that Bernie has 0 planets in the emotional Water element, while Joe has half his planets (5) in Water. Joe also has over half his planets (6) in  the Fixed signs, giving him a very strong will.  He has the Sun plus three other planets in the sign of Scorpio in his 12th House, and has had more than his fair share of drama during his life.  He has endured much hardship, but with the Sun trine Jupiter he has been strong and positive.  Both Joe and Bernie have the groundbreaking Saturn/Uranus conjunction in Taurus of their time, but Joe’s is wide, and Bernie’s is close (iconoclasmic, as applied to his revolutionary political views). However, Joe has the Rebel Archetype (Sun opposite Uranus), though he is seen much more as a tried and trusted figure (having served successfully under Barak Obama as Vice President).  With the Sun sextile Neptune, Joe is compassionate.  He definitely has power issues, with the Sun conjunct the Ascendant in the 12th House (he has certainly acted the role of the power behind the throne), but the Sun squaring the Nodal Axis means he has power issues to work through from past lives.  His North Node in powerful Leo is exactly conjunct Chiron, which suggests a karmic mission involving healing – has he come to heal the Democratic Party at this point in time?  Like Bernie, he has the Midheaven in Virgo in 10th House, and they both have the social graces of Venus trine Jupiter in their charts.  They both have Saturn opposite the Ascendant (a struggle for recognition, perhaps?).

Biden hails from Scranton in Pennsylvania, and served as U.S. Senator for Delaware from 1972.  Like Sanders, he opposed the Gulf War of 1991, but in contrast he voted to authorize the Iraq War of 2003.  He became the running mate to Barak Obama in 2008 and served as Vice President until 2016, serving two terms.  He announced he would run for president in this present contest on 25th April 2019, with Saturn trine his natal Midheaven in Virgo in 10th House (slow and steady wins the race?).

Joe married his first wife at the age of 23, but she was killed in a car accident in 1972 together with their daughter, and he was left to bring up two sons as a single parent, while juggling his political career.  Shortly afterwards, in January 1973, he became a Senator.  He met his second wife, Jill, in 1975 and they married in 1977. In 1988 Joe suffered two brain aneurysms, necessitating brain surgery, and made a full recovery.  As mentioned, Joe Biden’s life has not been easy, and in addition to the earlier tragedies, one of his sons, Beau, died in 2015 of brain cancer.

Writing yesterday in the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland described Biden: “… the face it chose was a familiar one, belonging to a man whom Democrats feel they’ve known for ever, whom most of them trust and like. Even the voters I met who were not backing Joe Biden described him the same way: as a ‘good man’, as a ‘really decent person’, as someone of warmth and ’empathy’.”  However, there has been some concern for his health, as with Bernie’s, especially in terms of his rambling speech and gaffes, tripping over his tongue.

As to his transits, before we even get to the leadership contest, Biden has Saturn squaring his Moon around 6th April this year, which may be connected with his wife or domestic life.  This difficult personal square recurs around 26th December.  He also has Neptune opposite his Midheaven in April and in the Summer, which may make him feel at sea.  Uranus squares his Pluto in May and again in December, which is additionally disruptive.  So the campaign trail is going to be arduous for him.  At the time of the choice of leader, Pluto will be opposite his natal Jupiter (a bid for power) and Saturn will be trine his natal Neptune (which Sanders has at the time of the presidential election).  At the time of the presidential election, Joe Biden has Jupiter sextile his natal Mercury (which is mentally upbeat) and Chiron trine his natal Pluto (which is profoundly helpful).  Neither Sanders nor Biden have glowing transits, but Biden has slightly better transits.

Donald Trump at the time of the presidential election will have: Uranus sextile his natal Mercury (surprise), Saturn opposite his Venus (heartache), Neptune square his Uranus (confusion) and Chiron opposite his Neptune (more confusion).  Although this is a mixed bag, there is enough difficulty there to possibly topple him…

Aspects

We start the week with today’s conjunction between the Sun and Neptune at 18 degrees Pisces.  We may wonder where we are, struggling to get our bearings.  If we can establish where we are, we may be able to access higher inspiration for whatever we are engaged upon.  It is a day when progress can be made on subtle and spiritual issues, with memorable ephemeral experiences.

Another conjunction follows this evening, which is convivial and socially stimulating: Venus conjunct Uranus at 4 degrees Taurus.  If you have been working over the weekend, you can let your hair down this Sunday evening!  It is a vibrant social aspect, which may carry an element of serendipity.  People may question your sanity, however, or you theirs.

Tomorrow (Monday 9th) there is a Full Moon in Virgo, so again there may be some strangeness in the air, building up to early evening.  Things may not be all they seem, and emotions may be running high.  Or people may be looking industrious, but underneath their desks they may be doing a riverdance (!). If you have health issues, or ecological interests, focus on your best outcomes, and release negativity and paranoia.

For some Tuesday (10th) will be a saving grace, as Mercury will be stationary, prior to turning Direct.  You might actually be able to sit at your desk, concentrate, and achieve something.  Forge ahead with your paperwork and documentation, and with regard to transport know that you will have more chance of arriving on time.

Wednesday (11th) brings the brightest aspect  of the day, and one of the brightest of the year: Sun sextile Jupiter.  Where there has been dejection, it is time to let in hope, or even celebration.  It will certainly be lucky for some.  Focus on what makes you happy, and make more of that.

We finish the week, on Saturday (14th) with a sextile between Mars and Neptune, which favours the combining of spiritual focus with the physical exercise.  A moving meditation, yoga, Qijong and Tai Chi are some ways in which you can achieve the most from this combination.

But the planets have not finished with us, for mid-afternoon on Saturday the Sun sextiles Pluto, so we have two sextiles on that day.  This finishes the day and the week on a profoundly satisfying note in some way.  Delve deep into your psyche and into the issues which need solving in your world, and find holistic solutions.  Then perhaps apply your solutions to the wider concerns in the world.  There is a You Tube video available by Chris Griscom on how to deal with the coronavirus, from a spiritual perspective.  She makes a few useful recommendations, which you might like to try out.

The week has two conjunctions, which may make it an intense week, mainly in a good way.  The two sextiles at the end of the week could leave you feeling you have accomplished something of lasting value.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – spiritual focus; sparkling social life
  • Tomorrow – emotional high tide
  • Tuesday – improved communications
  • Wednesday – lucky day
  • Saturday – combining the spiritual and the physical; profound work

 

Aspects for the week beginning 1 March 2020

Priti Patel

Priti Patel has been ruffling feathers since she took a seat at Boris Johnson’s cabinet table, but yesterday a senior civil servant, Sir Philip Rutnam, resigned at the Home Office under her regime.  Dominic Cummings, whose stated aim is to erode the powers of the civil service, may be rubbing his hands in satisfaction (although the two of them apparently do not get on).

Birth Chart

In 2017, I wrote:

“Priti Patel is an individualistic, uncompromising Aries, who was the poster girl for the Brexit campaign.  For reasons which are as yet unknown, she met privately with Israeli officials over the last few months, without official endorsement, and Theresa May has had to lean on her to resign this week.  With 6 Cardinal planets, she likes to lead, but with 0 Water planets she can be unemotional.  She is a gambler by nature (Sun square Jupiter), but this was one gamble too many.  An interesting feature of her chart is Mercury exactly conjunct Chiron in Aries: a mind suited to problem-solving, but unusual in its processes…  Her chart has many aspects, and her Mercury also has a square to Jupiter (likes to travel) and an opposition with Uranus (not afraid to be controversial).”

The Smirk

In October, while being interviewed on the Andrew Marr show, he challenged her on her trademark smirk while talking about the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Since then, her smirk has been regularly commented upon, though she denied it was a smirk.  The transits for that time included Mars (her ruling planet) sextile her natal Neptune, a suitable transit for an enigmatic smile (though hardly in the league of the Mona Lisa).

New Immigration policy

Last week she was in hot water over her new immigration policy, which is points-based.  She wanted to get Britons to work rather than import unskilled workers from overseas, but the idling percentage of the population she had in mind (the “economically inactive”) turned out to be students and pensioners. She was also challenged on the fact that her own family would not have been allowed in under the new rules, which included the requirement that only those earning £25,000 per annum would be eligible to stay here.  There are a number of loopholes in her plan.

Clashes with Staff

Rumblings and rumours have been going on for a while (some claimed Priti was bullying), but yesterday the chief Home Office civil servant resigned, claiming he was being forced out of his job and threatening to sue the government for constructive dismissal.  Some of the rumours date back to her time as international development secretary under Theresa May.

Priti’s current transits include Mars square her natal Sun in Aries (a short lived, angry transit), Pluto trine her natal Venus (transforming relationships) and Chiron trine her natal Neptune (complexity).

Sir Philip Rutnam

The civil servant in question, Sir Philip Rutnam, has the Sun in Gemini, but also Jupiter exactly conjunct his North Node in Gemini, so he is very mentally focussed.  His ruling planet Mercury is sextile Uranus, so he is likely to have a brilliant mind.  The exact Jupiter/North Node conjunction squares Pluto exactly (a love of power).  Venus trines his Saturn, indicating a normally loyal nature.  Together these two planets link up to create a Grand Trine in Water with Neptune.

The Synastry between Priti and Sir Philip shows her Jupiter opposite his Mercury (his ruling planet), so she exerts power in this interaspect, and her Uranus squares his Venus (again, he finds the pressure on him in the relationship).

At the time of his resignation, Neptune is on his natal Saturn (confusing a normally stable state of being) and Neptune trine his Neptune (he feels he is acting with integrity).  In another recent resignation, that of Sajid Javid when asked by Boris Johnson to sack his aides, Neptune was again involved, transiting his natal North Node, and again Javid felt he was acting with integrity.  But a resignation such as that of Sir Philip is unprecedented.

Aspects

Venus squares Saturn on Tuesday (3rd March), so we need a great deal of patience in our human interactions, and some may be dealing with rejection or sadness.  There may be further anxieties about the state of the economy in relation to the effects of the coronavirus, but it gives us the chance to get our values straight.  Keep your heart open.

Retrograde Mercury re-enters Aquarius from Pisces on Wednesday (4th), and that will be a chance to re-visit ideas and mental projects you were engaged with from 16th January to 3rd February, perhaps tie up loose ends in that respect.  While Mercury has been in Pisces, you may have got bogged down in some more complex studies, or more emotionally binding situations.  Mercury in Aquarius is more conducive to documentation, although we are still in a Mercury retrograde period.  If you are wanting a heads up for further switching of modes of thought, Mercury goes Direct on 10th March next week, and re-enters Pisces on 16th March.

On Wednesday evening, we can enjoy a social interlude, with Mercury sextile Venus.  If you have planned a soiree or some social event, then it should prove most congenial.  If you haven’t planned anything, you might do well to plan a get together of sorts.  If you are definitely going to be home alone, then artistic and literary creative pursuits could be very fruitful.  Start a book club, maybe?

Venus enters Taurus on Thursday (5th), and she will be a happy bunny (or a contented cow, and so forth).  This gives a feeling of “all’s right with the world”, apart from obvious background concerns such as climate change and coronavirus.  Within yourself, and in your relationship with nature (edging towards Spring), you are capable of feeling much more settled and harmonious.  This placement of Venus in her home sign continues right through the beginning of Spring, to April 3rd.  Those born under the Venusian signs of Taurus and Libra will especially feel its benefit.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tuesday – patience
  • Wednesday – mentally clearer; socially congenial
  • Thursday – the beauty of art and nature

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.