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Aspects for the week beginning 22 November 2020

Allegra Stratton

As newly appointed press secretary for 10 Downing Street, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Allegra Stratton, especially now that Dominic Cummings has left the building, and is not standing in her way.  Apparently she will be fronting regular news briefings.  Ever since her departure from news programme “Peston on Sunday”, I had wondered why she had left, and what she was doing: it turns out she was building her career towards Downing Street.  She has not made an impact yet, but promises to play an important role in Boris’ “re-set”.  She did, however, play a role in the departure of the pantomime villain.

Birth Chart

So what sort of a woman is Allegra?  Her birthchart states categorically that she is a Warrior!  She has Sun in Aries (warriorship) conjunct exactly the North Node (karmic mission as a warrior), with the Sun also trine the North Node (a leader, too).  The North Node at 26 degrees Leo is exactly trine the Galactic Centre, a centre of great power.  Her Sun is also trine Mars (more guns blazing) and exactly opposite Pluto, which is deep and powerful, but not always to her advantage (power struggles can ensue).  There is a sense that while she loves power and is attracted to it, she may also become a pawn in its game.  So warriorship, power and leadership are prominent components of the core of her birthchart.  We do not have a birth time/Ascendant, so we don’t know how much that would mitigate or soften the picture. But she is a definite go-getter.

The Sun and Mars are in a Grand Fire Trine with Neptune, which provides some softness and sensitivity.  This might provide some skill in what she does, because she has the fight (Mars) but the sensitivity (Neptune) to understand the opponent.  However, she was taken to task during her career (2012), in upsetting a single mum who she interviewed, and ended up having to apologize.  An outstanding talent she does have for P.R. and communications is shown by her Mercury exactly trine Uranus: she is in the right profession.  She also has Mars conjunct Jupiter, energy allied with enthusiasm.  Jupiter square Uranus in her chart reveals that she can be a risk-taker, and an opportunist: she certainly bagged an opportunity here.

Her New Appointment

The Observer this morning has an article about cronyism within government appointments, specifically over appointments related to the management of the coronavirus crisis.  It seems that Allegra has been part of the circle of society, for when she married in 2011 Rishi Sunak, our present Chancellor of the Exchequer, was best man at her wedding.  And just prior to becoming press secretary she was director of strategic communications at the Treasury from April 2020.

Her appointment as press secretary was announced on 8th October this year, with transits of:-Mars trine her natal Neptune, activating her Grand Trine (triggering a dream come true), Saturn sextile her natal Uranus, (an opportunity for ambition) and Mercury (solidifying intellectual ambition, linked with communication); and finally, Pluto trine her natal Saturn, taking a serious step towards power.

The Coup de Grace

Everybody was wondering how long chief adviser Dominic Cummings could continue his reign of fear…but no one knew how it might end.  He was brought down by a circle of feminine power in the end, who would have thought it?  While he and Director of Communications Lee Cain (who left office a few days before Cummings) hurled insults at Allegra Stratton, and apparently reduced her to tears, she was supported by the Prime Minister’s fiancee Carrie Symonds, Priti Patel and political advisor Munira Mirza.  Boris was forced to choose, and Dominic was the loser.  Allegra’s transits at the time Dominic left were North Node sextile her natal Sun (a karmic triumph), and Chiron sextile her natal Venus (support from females), plus the Nodal Axis square her Saturn (a difficult time).

Dominic’s Departure

The interesting transit for Dominic Cummings at his departure was Uranus exactly squaring his Nodal Axis (a sudden karmic departure).  This is the same transit as the Prime Minister’s brother Joe had when he was forced to leave office (under very different circumstances) as he described it “torn between family and national interest” last year.

Carrie Symonds

Carrie Symonds has Sun in Pisces, and was born close to a New Moon in Pisces, with the North Node between the Sun and the Moon, indicating that she can be an agent of karma.  She also has Mars conjunct Neptune, which means that she is capable of being strategic, and behind the scenes!  An interesting feature of her chart is that she has no planets in two Elements: Fire, and Air.  This gives her a great deal of concentrated feminine power (all Earth and Water).  She has an interest in power and leadership (Sun conjunct North Node), however.  She can be very balanced in her judgements (Jupiter exactly trine Saturn/Uranus), and it would be a mistake to underestimate her, as Dominic Cummings might have done.  Finally, her Nodal Axis squares her Chiron exactly, so she is used to handling crisis on a daily basis.  At the time of the Cummings departure, transiting Saturn was sextile her natal Sun in Pisces, a settling of affairs.  Just prior to this, earlier in November, Mars was square her natal Mars, presumably when the battles were taking place.

Priti Patel

We need to talk about Priti Patel!  She is having her own battles to fight at the moment, but was notably supporting Allegra and Carrie at the time of the battles with Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings.  The big question on people’s minds is “why is Boris so loyal to Priti?”  Her recent role of support may be one factor in his loyalty, but he has been reluctant to force her out, ever since the exposure of her bullying of the civil servants.  At the time Dominic left office, her transits were:-  Uranus trine her natal Jupiter (a triumph), and Chiron trine her natal Neptune (a sensitivity weathered).  On Friday (20th November) the report was revealed of her conduct regarding the civil servants, an issue which was triggered by the resignation of Sir Philip Puttnam.  We do not have a birth date for him, but he resigned on 29th February this year over the issue.  Priti’s transits at the time were Mars exactly square her natal Sun (brought to book over aggression) and Pluto trine her natal Venus (issues of power in relationships).  Boris kept her on after that, and instituted an enquiry, the results of which apparently he sat on for months.

The row erupted on Friday, in the midst of Anti-Bullying week!  Boris is so far steadfast in his support for her, no matter what this does to the reputation of the government.  This protection is reflected in her transits: Jupiter (protection) trine her natal Venus (from a friend), and Uranus still trine her natal Jupiter (still going strong).  She issued an apology, making full use of the word “unintentional”.  I noticed back in the Spring when she issued an apology during a briefing, that even her apologies sound aggressive.  Remember when she was taken to task about smirking?  It was last October, on the Andrew Marr show, when she was smirking about the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit.  She has a buoyant chart, as you can see from a blog I wrote in 2017 (when she was forced to resign from Theresa May’s cabinet):

“Priti Patel is an individualistic, uncompromising Aries, who was the poster girl for the Brexit campaign… She is a gambler by nature (Sun square Jupiter)…An interesting feature of her chart is Mercury exactly conjunct Chiron in Aries: a mind suited to problem-solving, but unusual in its processes… she says she has received much support, and seems popular within her party, and has kept smiling…  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).”  To this I would add her forcefulness is shown by Mars trine Pluto.

When the report was finally released on Friday, it resulted in the resignation of Sir Alexander Allan, the Prime Minister’s Independent adviser on ministerial standards, who had complied the report which Boris studiously ignored. Sir Alexander’s transits include Chiron squaring his natal Uranus (a crisis triggering a sudden departure).  There have also been allegations that Boris tried to interfere with the wording of the report.  In its implication for the integrity of government, we live in extraordinary times.

Back to Allegra

Allegra’s actual statement on the matter of the report on Priti was:

“He loathes bullying. He takes it very seriously and recognizes that it is very difficult for people to come forward and raise concerns.  It’s a brave thing to do, he knows that, and he believes that this process has been thorough.  But it is also his responsibility to look at…the conclusions in the round.”

A private WhatsApp communication was leaked from Boris’s account urging fellow Tories to “form a square around the Prittster” to protect her.  This might be seen as a contravention of his quasi-judicial role as P.M.  He ought to be neutral when judging the conduct of officials, so this calls into question his whole role of arbiter.  Boris stated: “as the arbiter of the code…the prime minister’s judgment is that the ministerial code was not breached.”  Priti herself raised in her defence that she did not receive feedback on her behaviour.  But Sir Philip Puttnam had not been allowed to take part in the enquiry (which in itself is remarkable) but commented afterwards that he had warned her about the effects of her behaviour.

Allegra’s only comment about the “Prittster” exhortation was that it reflected an acknowledgement that “this is a testing day for her”.

So Allegra may be called upon to sometimes defend the indefensible, in her new role.

Aspects

My description of the Aspects begins on Tuesday (24th) with a trine between Mercury and Neptune.  This aspect brings the possibility of mysteries being solved, e.g. around health conditions.  Thus, more may be revealed about the covid virus and its mysterious ways.  In personal applications, things may fall into place spiritually, and you may be ready to talk about a sensitive subject.  This trine brings mental inspiration, transcendent wisdom, higher harmony, spiritual journeys, and insight.  A small kindness can bring about significant mental healing.

Further healing, both physical and psychological, ensues on Thursday (26th) when Chiron trines the Sun.  Healing is illuminated by clarity, and solutions may appear to conundrums which have been recently aired.  There is a sense of wholeness about this aspect.

Another win-win aspect occurs on Friday morning (27th) in the shape of Mercury sextile Pluto.  This can produce profound thought and communication,  honouring the gravity of a situation if necessary, and enabling meaningful debate to occur.  If you have something important lined up, you may be successful in getting your point across.  Try to act or communicate anything of significance in the early half of the day.

At 17.11 Hrs on the same day, Uranus opposes Venus, so any attempts to persuade another of your point of view may lead to intransigence or detachment on their part.  Someone around you may be displaying skittish behaviour.  There may be strange social encounters, too.  Be clear from your heart, to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings, as cross currents and crossed purposes can occur.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tuesday – mysteries solved
  • Thursday – healings
  • Friday – profound communication; strange socializing

Aspects for the week beginning 15 November 2020

Two Pillars of Their Communities

Within a week of each other, two pillars of the Jewish and Palestinian communities, passed over, their work on this earth completed.  I look at the work, character and achievements of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and diplomat Saeb Erekat.  I find I can’t write about one this week, without writing about the other.

Jonathan Sacks (1948 – 2020)

“God has spoken to mankind in many languages: through Judaism to Jews, Christianity to Christians, Islam to Muslims…No one creed has a monopoly on spiritual truth; no one civilisation encompasses all the spiritual, ethical and artistic expressions of mankind…In heaven there is truth; on earth there are truths…God is greater than religion.  He is only partially comprehended by any faith.”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Tributes poured in for Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in the days after his death, from Conservatives (Boris Johnson) and Labour figures (Sadiq Khan) alike:

“His leadership had a profound impact on our whole country and across the world.”

~ Boris Johnson

“He was a towering intellect whose eloquence, insights and kindness reached well beyond the Jewish community.”

~ Sir Keir Starmer

“A man of huge intellectual stature but with the warmest human spirit”.

~ Tony Blair

“I benefitted hugely and learnt a lot from him. May his memory be a blessing.”

~ Sadiq Khan

Birth Chart

With 6 planets in the Fixed signs, strength of will was a hallmark of Jonathan Sacks.  His Sun in Pisces (the sign of spirituality) was square Uranus, so he would always have ploughed his own individual path.  Sun in Pisces exactly sextile his North Node in Taurus meant that spiritual leadership was part of his karmic mission.  Mercury in Aquarius in his chart was closely opposite Mars, showing a mind with a highly developed critical faculty.  Mercury was also exactly trine Uranus, denoting a very original thinker.  Mercury was involved in a T-square as it opposed Mars and squared Chiron, so he had a mind that was always alert to problem-solving.  Venus in Taurus brings solid values into his make up, which trined Jupiter to widen his love of humanity.  He had Jupiter at 26 degs Sagittarius at the Galactic Centre, signifying power, the force of the cosmos.   He will also have felt the weight of the world on his shoulders, with Saturn exactly square the Nodal Axis.  These things served to make him a larger than life character.

Life and Wisdom

Born in Lambeth in 1948, he was educated in Finchley, and gained a first-class degree in Philosophy from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. He originally planned to become an accountant (Mercury opposite Mars), but ditched these plans around the age of 19 in favour of training to be a Rabbi.  In this profession, he experienced a meteoric rise, and acted as Chief Rabbi from 1991 to 2013.  He was married with three children, and (fun fact) was a vegetarian.  He regularly imparted his wisdom on BBC Radio 4’s  Thought for the Day, and was a sincere proponent of interfaith dialogue.

He authored 25 books, including commentaries on prayer books.  One of the most widely read of his books was “The Dignity of Difference”, published in 2002.  Reflecting on the tragedy of 9/11, he observed that to attain peace in the world there needed to be respect between religions.  In the book, he also tackles the question of inequality in society.

Here is a quote from “The Dignity of Difference”:

“What morality restores to an increasingly uncertain world is the idea of responsibility – that what we do, severally and collectively, makes a difference, and that the future lies in our hands.”

He was known, among other things as a moral philosopher.  That is especially relevant to me, and to hubby Mike, at the moment, as this term’s syllabus on our philosophy course is morality and ethics.  Mike has been a long-term fan of Rabbi Sacks, and I asked him to write a few sentences for me on what Jonathan Sacks meant to him, so here are some quotes about Sacks from him:

On the Holocaust:

His approach to the Holocaust was, for example, that God was absent in Auschwitz and that evil should be remembered, otherwise it will rise again.

On Politics:

I think if he had been a mainstream politician he would have brought in the best of Left and Right – he would have been inclusive.

On Philosophy:

We should realize that he was a philosopher who just happened to be Chief Rabbi.  There are accounts of his inability to co-operate with the more progressive wings of Judaism but although this is disappointing, I think the plus points outweigh these fallibilities and shortcomings.

The transits at the time of Sack’s death included most notably Neptune on his natal Sun in Pisces, a return to his very spiritual essence.

Saeb Erekat (1955 – 2020)

The second of the two pillars, Saeb Erekat, is possibly lesser known (at least in this country), but Saeb was someone who sincerely tried to achieve the impossible: a peace settlement between the Arabs and Israelis.

Birth Chart

With 5 of his 10 planets in the Cardinal signs, he was a Leader, as such.  His Sun was conjunct Mercury in Taurus.  Taurus was also an important sign for Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, as he had its ruler Venus and the North Node (his karmic mission) in that sign.  Note that Taurus is the sign of the Pillar, or rock of a community!  With the Sun square Chiron in his chart, he tried to be a fixer.  I am always fascinated by the charts of peacemakers, and the Diplomat Archetype, and his chart does not disappoint: he has Venus (diplomacy) square his Nodal Axis (his karmic path), and Venus exactly sextile Chiron – if those two features along do not signify the Peacemaker Archetype, I don’t know what does!  In addition, he has Mars trine Chiron (a willingness to fight for wholeness).  Balanced judgement was also his, in the shape of Jupiter trine Saturn.  And he also possessed the Entrepreneur Archetype (Jupiter exactly conjunct Uranus), so had an inherent instinct for when and how to act and take opportunities for his mission.  Where he may have had an Achilles heel is in his Jupiter square Neptune, which can often bring about confusion around religion.  Saturn trine Uranus conferred a talent for social engineering, while Saturn square Pluto enabled him to confront hard truths (he was known for being a realist, as well as a moderate).

Life and Work

Erekat was the sixth of seven children, born in Abu Dis, a Palestinian village near Jerusalem.  The Israelis occupied the West Bank when he was 12 years old.  He attended college in San Francisco in 1972, where he gained a B.A. in International Relations in 1977, and an M.A. in Political Science in 1979.  This was followed up in 1983 with a PhD from Bradford University in the U.K. on Peace and Conflict Studies.  This shows a consistent and continuous path of the peacemaker and diplomat from an early age.  He concluded that peace could only come through negotiation, and not through a military solution.  After the Oslo accords in 1993 Erekat became a senior official of the Palestinian Authority (the PA) in Ramallah on the West Bank.

The death of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 is often seen as the death knell of the Arab-Israeli peace process, but Saeb Erekat never gave up on his faith in a two-state solution.  He was in fact the chief negotiator in this field from 1995 until 2003.  He participated in the peace talks at Camp David in 2000.  In September 2000 he was one of three top Palestinian politicians to ask Ariel Sharon not to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque, an event which led to the second Intifada.  He was asked to take up the post of … Negotiator in …, which he fulfilled for a short while.

2011 was a tricky year for him.  He temporarily resigned over the leak of documents about negotiations with Israel, entitled the “Palestinian Papers”.  He turned the situation into humour, with the memorable lines: ” If someone sneezes in Tel Aviv, I get the flu in Jericho”.

At the time, his transits were:-

Jupiter on his Venus (the Negotiator) in Aries – a good transit for a quip; Uranus square his Nodal Axis (interestingly the same transit as Dominic Cummings’ current embarrassment of leaving Downing Street with a box); and Pluto trine his natal Sun in Taurus (a crucial and profound moment).

In 2015 he took up the position of secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.  He was in a position to collaborate, during the Trump administration, with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, though he did not approve of the form of Trump’s peace plan.  He was very disturbed by the Abraham Accords of August 2020, which involved the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalizing relations with Israel.  He had not been in good health in recent years, and this was a real blow to him, and possibly hastened his end, though it was Covid-19 that took him.  This disappointment is shown in his chart by a transit of Saturn squaring his natal Neptune at the time of the Abraham accords.  In addition, Pluto opposite his Jupiter/Uranus conjunction was a disempowerment.

In his dealings with Israeli politicians, he was commended by Israeli justice minister Tsipi Livni who stated that he was an honest broker in their talks, with mutual respect, although their causes were so far apart.  He was known in the U.S. media as “Mr CNN”, for his frequent appearances on that news channel.

He lived in Jericho with his wife, and had four children.

Health Issues and Death

Saeb Erekat had many health issues, which is probably one reason why the coronavirus was able to have such an effect on him.  In 2012 he had a heart attack (with Saturn square his Uranus).  In 2017 he had a lung transplant (with Uranus opposite his Neptune, and Neptune square his natal Mars).  He also suffered from pulmonary fibrosis.  The positive test of Covid-19 came on 9th October this year, with Pluto still opposite his natal Jupiter.  He underwent a bronchostomy on 21st October, and eventually died on 10th November.  Whereas Rabbi Sacks had Neptune on his Sun at his passing, Erekat had Uranus on his Sun in Taurus, both transformative planetary agents.

Both were pillars of their communities, but they also served the world.  In closing this blog, I have chosen a quotation which befits both men:

“Though war needs physical courage, peace needs moral courage, the courage to break with the past and turn enemies into friends”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Aspects

At 3.57 a.m. here in the U.K. we experienced a sextile between the Sun and Jupiter, which should see us kindly through most of the day.  It is one of the brightest  aspects of the year.  Focus on what makes you happy, and make more of that.

Then at 5.07 a.m. we experienced a New Moon at 23 degrees Scorpio.  Did you feel it?  It is one of the most potent New Moons of the year.  It is a good time to re-set your intentions about life, and to create a new beginning.  There is talk among Conservatives of re-setting our government, now that Dominic Cummings has exited No. 10 Downing Street with a box (Uranus squaring his natal Nodal Axis).  There may be a certain amount of letting go required, before the fresh start can be established.  You might find yourself being ruthless with your de-cluttering, in accordance with your recent re-evaluation of the past.

The mood may change towards the evening, as at 19.43 Hrs Pluto squares Venus, which is not such a picnic.  This will require some psychological soul-searching, and honest-as-you-can-be interpersonal communication.  The dance-off on Strictly Come Dancing could be a heart-wrenching affair, as no one will want to go, and no one will want to see anyone go.  At the same time, celebrities will be arriving at a cold, haunted castle in Wales for the new series of  “I’m A Celebrity”.  But in our real lives, there may be difficult issues to watch.

Tomorrow (Monday 16th) is a less complex prospect, with just a square between Venus and Jupiter to contend with.  It’s a very social and sociable aspect, but can be gauche, awkward, or inappropriate.  Social non-conformists won’t care, but conformists may lament the lack of sticking to the rules.  Donald Trump will probably still be closeted in the White House, and his supporters will probably still be claiming fake voting.

More rule-breaking on Tuesday (17th) as Uranus opposes Mercury.  It can have the effect of a mini-Mercury retrograde, or a spanner in the technical works.  However, if you connect your lower rational mind directly with your telepathic higher mind, you can receive a flow of information which is workable, harmonious and useful.

Don’t forget, Stargazers, that Tuesday will be the peak of the Leonids meteor shower, if  you are lucky enough to have access to a clear sky.

On Thursday morning (19th) the Sun will be sextile Saturn, which could restore some order.  For those of you who have chafed under the creative chaos of the last few days, you can re-group.  Practical initiatives are supported by this aspect.  It is a good aspect for setting up solid foundations, for instance.  If you initiated a re-set during the day on Sunday, you can ensure you are back on track on Thursday.

Make sure you are the early bird that catches the worm however, because at 11.29 a.m. Venus squares Saturn, which may take the edge off your feelings of progress.  The Sun’s sextile with Saturn can still prevail, but you may be feeling out of your comfort zone in some way.  Perhaps the way the changes are taking shape are not quite to your liking, but it is not too late to change them.  It may be about the way something looks, or the way something makes you feel, but some warmth of heart can make a difference.  The two aspects may refer to different issues, however.

Saturday (20th) is All Change, with two planets changing signs and modes of expression.  First, at lunchtime, Venus enters Scorpio, and the flatness of the previous day could give way to a greater sense of passion, and motivations which come from a deeper level.  Your artwork or musicianship become more profound and eloquent.  There could be a greater sense of intimacy in  your relationships and more profound understanding.

In the evening, the Sun enters Sagittarius, the season of festive preparation.  It is an extraordinary prospect this year, as we in the U.K. are in lockdown (until 2nd December), and in the U.S. there is still a sense of transition and suspense about what happens next.  Christmas preparations will be like no other year.  We will possibly have more opportunity to be thoughtful about what we do prepare.  What comes between the Winter Solstice (21st December) and Christmas itself will be remarkable, though, as on 21st Jupiter and Saturn conjoin at 0 degrees Aquarius, ushering in a new New Age (there have been many run-ups; will this be the real McCoy?).  So at the moment, we do not know if we will see our loved ones at Christmas, and we don’t know what to prepare for;  we don’t know if we will be let loose on December 2nd, and we don’t know if we will want to be let loose; but there could be a sudden rush of celebratory energy between 21st and 25th.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Mixed: Some Joy, a New Beginning, Heart-Searching
  • Tomorrow – Social and Sociable, a bit awks
  • Tuesday – Spanner in the Communication Works (see my tip)
  • Thursday – Mixed: Some Stabilization, some deflation
  • Saturday – All Change

Aspects for the week beginning 8 November 2020

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 – Part 2

In this series of Strictly Come Dancing, there have been some unexpectedly high scores from the word go.  It will be interesting to see when they score a first 10, as there have been 9s already.  In this look at a further four contestants, I continue to assess their prospects for winning, and the chemistry between the couples.

Jamie Laing

Jamie hails from the show Made in Chelsea, and is a descendant of the inventor of the McVitie’s digestive biscuit.  He has a tricky, incident-prone birth chart, and signed up for last year, only to fall at the first hurdle through a foot injury (natal Neptune, ruling the foot, opposite Chiron, representing a wound).  Then, occupying second place from bottom on the leaderboard for two weeks resulting in a place in the dance off…things looked quite dicey for him.  But last night, with his portrayal of Hercules in the musical, he turned things around miraculously, in a fun, committed and high-spirited performance!

In his birth chart, Jamie has a close conjunction (an orb of within 1 degree) of the Sun and Pluto in Scorpio, which can be dramatic.  His accident at that crucial moment early in last year’s series changed the whole tournament, with his replacement Kelvin Fletcher winning with Oti Mabuse.  He has the Sun exactly trine the North Node, which can make him an agent of karma.  To his credit, he was not put off, and in true Scorpionic determined style looks as enthusiastic as ever (he literally threw himself wholeheartedly into last night’s performance).  His Sun in Scorpio is strong, being sextile Neptune and trine Chiron, in addition to the aspects to the Sun already mentioned.  Scorpio is the master of transformation, too, so we don’t need to write him off.  Moon square Jupiter is represented by his huge smile, but there is a real ability to concentrate in his Mercury sextile Saturn, with flashes of brilliance from Mercury sextile Uranus.  His Venus (relationships) has a lovely sociable trine from Jupiter, but huge challenges of squares from Saturn/Uranus/Neptune (a triple conjunction) and Chiron.  The square of Chiron to Venus may be responsible for some of his incident-proneness, as well as a brittle Mars-Saturn square.  Mars in a T-square with Uranus and Chiron (wounding) gives an electrical quality to his energy, but again inclines to incident-proneness.  However, with Mars sextile Jupiter, he has a joie de vivre and energy which can quickly see him dusting himself down and starting again.  Motsi and Craig (Revel Horwood) have remarked on his high energy, and Shirley has pointed out his enthusiasm.  Neptune sextile his North Node will help him on the dance floor.

He is partnered by Karen Hauer, who will put him through his paces with her Pluto conjunct his Mercury.  His Jupiter trines his Mars, which shows enthusiastic energy between them, and his Jupiter opposes her Uranus (so they would take risks together).  At the same time, his Saturn trines her Sun, so he takes her instruction seriously.  His transits now show up Uranus trine his natal Neptune, encompassing greater complexity.  Her transits now show Neptune (the inspiration of dance) trine her natal North Node (karmic mission) – she will feel at one with her life path.  For the final, he would have Chiron opp his Venus (ouch, a minor injury?), but Saturn and Jupiter sextile his Mars likely to bring about an enjoyable final show, and a feeling of belonging in this special lockdown group.  He won’t have any regrets about taking part.  Karen’s transits at the final are more challenging: Jupiter square her natal Sun (she will enjoy the sense of occasion), with Saturn square her natal Sun (a personal obstacle or challenge) and Uranus opposite her natal Jupiter (feeling restless).  Not a partnership likely to reach the final, but I hope to see more of them – they have been very watchable so far.

Nicola Adams

Nicola is a recently retired Olympian boxer, and making waves this year in the first same sex partnership for Strictly Come Dancing.  Like HRVY and Maisie last week, she has 0 Earth planets in her chart, from which  you would expect a lack of grounding, but it hasn’t held any of them back!  Like Jamie, she has the Sun in Scorpio.  The Sun is conjunct Venus, providing musicality, in a sign which has a great drive (to win?).  Nicola has the Sun conjunct Saturn and Pluto (discipline and depth).  Mars in Sagittarius gives her a sense of adventure and love of sport, but is exactly sextile Saturn, which is deliberate in action, and useful in boxing.  Mars is conjunct exactly with Neptune, a sensitivity in movement.  Mars closely sextile Pluto provides a powerhouse of energy, which may help to make her quick on her feet in boxing (and now dancing).  She retired from boxing due to a torn pupil (a sensitivity which may be seen in her natal Mars representing Vision conjunct Neptune).  At the time of her injury, Mars was square her natal Neptune/Mars conjunction.  Her transits on retirement were peaceful and harmonious: Neptune trine her natal Jupiter, Chiron trine her natal Uranus and Jupiter on her natal Neptune.

She is partnered with the extraordinarily creative Katya Jones, who has taken up the challenge of providing ingenious same sex routines with gusto.  My favourite performance of theirs was during Week 2, in the couples’ choice, which told the story of Nicola’s life.  The costumes were beautiful, and Nicola’s smile and verve were memorable.  Motsi enjoyed “her enjoyment”!   They are doing a grand job.   Their Synastry shows opposite Moons, Katya’s Mars conjunct Nicola’s North Node (kind of symbolic in relation to the same sex theme, and purpose of their partnership with their malleable roles, in the sign of Cancer, a female sign).  Nicola’s transits now are challenging: Saturn square her natal Saturn (it’s a difficult thing for her to do, challenging the existing order), and Saturn square her natal Pluto in Libra (symbolizing the transformation of relationship).  For Katya now, Jupiter trines her natal Sun (success), Chiron sextiles her natal Mercury, and Uranus sextiles her natal Mars, electrifying!  Her efforts are paying off.  For the final, Jupiter and Saturn square Nicola’s natal Venus (it could be that her private life intervenes).  She may make it to the semi-final.  For Katya at the final, Chiron squares her natal Uranus, maybe a minor injury intervenes or hinders progress.

Max George

Max follows in the dance steps of his fellow band member from The Wanted, Jay McGuiness, who won the 13th series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2015.  He could also do very well!  Max is a discerning Virgoan, who held back a little at first (he is gradually coming out of his shell), but you could see he had potential.  His partner Dianne Buswell praised him at the outset for his “long neck”!  In his chart, he has the Sun trine Neptune, a happy dancing aspect (which features as one of this week’s aspects).  The Sun in his chart is also sextile Pluto, which also features in this week’s aspects.  His Moon conjoins Venus in  Cancer, showing a great gentleness.  At the same time, Mercury closely opposite Mars means he can be a bit fractious – he certainly does get very nervous, according to Claudia Winkleman.  Motsi has praised him for his great energy (Mars in Aries).  Mercury trine Jupiter means he is a good learner, though with Mercury also square Neptune and Chiron (a T-square), he could zone out at times.  Together with Sun in Virgo, he has a need for quiet space at times.  He also has a challenging Grand Cross formed by Mercury opposite Mars and Chiron opposite Neptune.  He has had quite a versatile career, starting out as a footballer, and then after The Wanted disbanded he took up modelling and acting.

He is partnered with Dianne Buswell and they portrayed Homer and Marge Simpson astonishingly well in a very entertaining performance last night.  Their Synastry shows that they are extremely well connected: Her Mercury is conjunct his Jupiter, so they have excellent communication, and he is a fast learner.  Her Jupiter is sextile his Mars (similar to the energy between Jamie and Karen, above); her Saturn trines his Sun (also similar to an aspect between Jamie and Karen); her Saturn sextiles his North Node, her Pluto trines his North Node, and her Pluto sextiles his Sun (it is their destiny to shape each other’s progress – a strong theme  in their relationship).  His transits now show Uranus trine his natal Neptune (just easing himself into the complexity of it all) as with Jamie Laing (they were born two months apart in the same year).  Dianne’s transits now show Neptune sextile her natal Sun, so it’s a dream for her – she senses there is something really special about this partnership and series.  He still has Uranus trine his Neptune at the final, so he will have learned a great deal.  I don’t think this tells the full story, because he could well make it to the final.  For her, at the final, Uranus sextiles her natal Mars – she could do surprisingly well, and enter the final with electrifying performances.  Neptune will still be sextile her natal Sun, pointing to inspiration and perfection.  Motsi has said that Max “has it all”!

Ranvir Singh

Newscaster and television presenter Ranvir Singh went spectacularly to the top of the leader board last night with a score of three 9s. (closely followed by another brilliant performance by Bill Bailey, who Craig tipped for the final).  Ranvir has the performer’s Sun in Leo.  She certainly has the energy needed (Sun closely sextile Mars) but can be serious minded too (Sun closely conjunct  Saturn).  The Sun trine Neptune inclines her to dance (as with Max George).  Like Max as well, she has the Moon conjunct Venus in Cancer (capable of great gentleness).  With Mercury square Mars, she has a strong Inner Critic Archetype (which can make her irritable, but can also result in perfectionism). Like Max, she can get distracted (Mercury square Neptune).  She and Max might understand each other well, off the dance floor.  She has Mars sextile Saturn like Nicola Adams, signifying disciplined action, and Ranvir is also a powerhouse of energy (from Mars trine Pluto).  Her dances have all been highly praised.  At the outset, Shirley declared that she had “exquisite hands”, and Craig observed that the partnership “works well”.

She is partnered with Giovanni Pernice, and they put in a beautiful performance last night (a foxtrot, to Dream Girls) which gave them the highest score so far in this series.  Analyzing this successful partnership, we find:  Giovanni’s Sun square Ranvir’s Neptune (some glamour and illusion), Giovanni’s Venus sextile Ranvir’s Jupiter (they would get on well socially), Giovanni’s Uranus trine Ranvir’s Chiron (dynamic healing), and Giovanni’s Pluto sextile Ranvir’s Mercury (intense learning for her), as well as some extra challenges.  Transits for Ranvir now include her Uranus Opposition (an important astrological cycle which expresses the element of a Mid Life Crisis or Rebellion).  This still pertains at the final, but is resolving.  The final pass of this transit comes around 10th March, so perhaps at that time some conclusions she has come to throughout the process will lead to a new strand of her career or personal life around that time.  For Giovanni now, Neptune opposes his Mercury (some mental confusion) but Neptune also sextiles his natal Saturn, which is more stabilizing: it’s icing or inspiration on the cake.  But Chiron squares his natal Uranus, so he has to take care of himself physically.  At the final, all three transits still pertain, so these are long running processes for him throughout this period.  This pairing certainly has the ability to reach the final, but something may challenge them along the way.

Aspects

We start the week with a sensuous opposition between Venus and Mars tomorrow (Monday 9th), which may add zest to life.  Jamie Laing has this opposition in his natal chart, so you may capture some of his zest.  However, Venus opposite Mars may bring tension between the sexes or a tussle between your own inner male and female.

On Tuesday (10th) we have the Sun trine Neptune (an ideal day to practise your dancing).  Max George and Ranvir Singh both have this aspect in their birth charts, so you may capture some of their grace!   Expand your consciousness, and allow your imagination to embellish your work, or project in hand.

In the evening, Mercury re-enters Scorpio, on its now forward journey.  Collectively, we will look into matters more deeply and forensically.  In your own personal life, you will have more courage to look at what really matters, and to worry less about how things appear to others.

The most important aspect of the week occurs on Thursday (12th), another experience of Jupiter conjunct Pluto (which we met in April and June).  It occurs at 22 degrees Capricorn, the same degree and sign as the inception of the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto on 12th January, which was responsible for the coronavirus.  This may, during lockdown, concentrate our minds wonderfully on the task in hand: to keep ourselves and others safe.  The impulse may be entirely the opposite, wanting to take risks, jump ship, etc.  But information at that time may cause us to look within at more constructive pathways moving forward.  Often Astrologers issue warnings under this conjunction, but I always see it as the germ (excuse pun) of  possibility and potential.  Which way you go is to a great extent up to the individual, and collectively our response stems from that.  So it is a day to make good choices…the power is there, but some will misuse it, e.g. world leaders who are inclined to tantrums may play up.

Friday (13th) – lucky for some – gives us Venus trine the North Node.  Love and the Arts flourish under this aspect.  These song lyrics are coming to mind:

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don’t need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last till the end of time.”

~ Burt Bacharach and Hal David

Saturday (14th) is another day which can bring our lives forward, for Mars is Stationary prior to going Direct that day.  We may no longer feel we are pushing the boulder up the hill…we may be able to roll it gently along the flat (hopefully it is not likely to be rolling downhill).  For the Ariens among you, you could experience a literally physical renewal.

This is followed towards the evening by a sextile between the Sun and Pluto.  This finishes the day and the week on a profoundly satisfying note in some way. You may have to put in the inner work of soul searching to find the treasure, but the force is likely to be with you.  It is a profound aspect which may help to show us the direction we need to solve our collective problems, and understanding the meaning behind our dilemmas.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – sensual tension
  • Tuesday – keep dancing; incisive thought
  • Thursday – power and potential, handle with care
  • Friday – love and the arts flourish
  • Saturday – emerging progress; profound experiences

Aspect for the week beginning 1 November 2020

U.S. Presidential Election

A Last Minute Recap

I will keep this brief, as I am no wiser than the next person on the subject.  Indeed, most people thought Hillary Clinton would win four years ago, and she did not.  Maybe Donald Trump has a certain je ne sais quoi que je ne sais pas. It is also true that most pundits, of all descriptions, tend to be influenced by their own bias, and that is an unknowable quantity.

Joe 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”.”  ~ Jonathan Freedland

Written earlier in 2020:

“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).”

To which I would add that though the Chiron trine is not exact, it may be important because in his natal chart he has Chiron conjunct his North Node (karmic mission).  Also, the sextile of Jupiter to his Mercury is exact the next day, when some of the results are starting to come in.  So there may be some initial cheer.  Of course, we hear a lot about delays, and this week Mercury will be square Saturn for most of the week, which bears this out.  And we hear much about Donald possibly not accepting defeat if it comes, which may delay an outcome even further.  Then there are fears that the country will be plunged into civil war afterwards (whoever wins).  If we were not living in such unusual times (not to mention the pandemic), Jupiter sextile his Mercury would be plainsailing good news for him!

Written earlier in 2020:

“For the time of the inauguration, Biden has very difficult transits, suggesting that he may have to cede to his deputy if elected: Mars will square his natal Pluto (danger); Jupiter will be opposite his natal Pluto (a difficult power struggle), Uranus will be square his Pluto (difficult change) and Pluto opposite his natal Jupiter (more power struggle).”

Donald Trump

Written earlier in 2020:

“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… ”

To which I would add he also has Mars opposite his Chiron, exact on the day, another dangerous opposition.

His transits for Inauguration time are:

Pluto opposite his natal Venus (a shattering time for him personally), but with Pluto trine his Midheaven (a transformation in his Career, Life Direction and Reputation – which could go either way!)

Kamala Harris

As Deputy for Joe Biden, if he were elected she may have to step into his shoes at a moment’s notice.

Written earlier this year:

“Her transits for the time of the election on 3rd November show Neptune opposite her natal Venus in Virgo in 3rd House (some personal confusion) and Jupiter trine her natal Jupiter in Taurus in 11th House (a sign for success).”

and for the Inauguration:

“In her transits for the Inauguration on 20th January, she has Pluto trine her natal Jupiter (the chance of a real step up in power).”

Mike Pence

Again, written earlier this year:

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

Chart of the U.S.A.

Election Transits for the chart of the U.S. show the North Node on its Mars in Gemini in 9th House of Foreign Relations – an impact on world affairs;  Chiron square its Jupiter in Cancer in 10th House – an alteration or crisis in its reputation; Pluto trine its Neptune in Virgo in 12th House – favourable to change; and the Nodal Axis square its Neptune in Virgo in 12th House – utter confusion!

For the Inauguration: Pluto will be opposite its Mercury (nervous strain); Mars sextile its Jupiter (enthusiasm or hope), and Chiron still square its Jupiter.

Some political commentator fear that the process of settling the issue could take a great deal of time, particularly if Donald loses and digs his heels in.  There is an interesting set of transits for 19th and 20th February:  The U.S. Pluto Return takes place on 20th February 2022 in its 4th House of Home and Family, the day after the exact opposition of Pluto to Donald Trump’s Venus.  It could be that the issue or an issue is forced, for Donald Trump around that time, and crisis and transformation come to a crucial point around that time for the U.S.  These two factors could be linked.

Meanwhile, other transits to watch for the U.S. are: Saturn reaching the U.S. Pluto, on 21st November, a possible rock bottom moment; and Jupiter reaching Pluto on 7th/8th December, a possible sign of hope.

Mercury turning Direct on the day is not unhelpful, but as you will see under Aspects for this week, it is a Mercury which is in a stuck position, squaring Saturn.

And, as I have said before, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at 0 degrees Aquarius on 21st December heralds a fresh new era for all of us, and that may include a new presidency.

Aspect

There is one aspect this week, and it is able to dominate the week in an unusual way.  Mercury is in a stuck position, squaring Saturn.  In the U.K. we are facing a lockdown, from Thursday 5th November.  In the U.S. they are facing what may be a stuck election.  You will need a great deal of patience this week.  You may also need a new philosophy of life, along the lines of forbearance (an old fashioned, 19th or 20th Century value).

That mood starts today, with the actual square between Saturn and Mercury itself, the first of two passes (in one week – what a rarity!)  It may be difficult, but it does mark this week out as being a special week.  Try to look at the Universe’s purpose for the train of events, or for how they interact with your own life purposes.  “What is being required here?” is a useful question.

More haste less speed may be a useful mantra to follow: I had the mundane challenge this morning of a very slow computer, which fits the brief accurately.  Travel and communications will be slow, and during almost the rest of the week.

On Tuesday (3rd), the day of the U.S. Presidential Election, Mercury will be Stationary prior to turning Direct.  There may be some slight sense of relief, e.g. “we can go out and vote to change things” or “we can get on with planning the next month’s lockdown”.  It is the difference between being in a state of suspense and being able to take some action, however small.  Some types of glitches (e.g. some computer issues) can be smoothed out today or in the next few days to come.  But remember that Saturn is still holding down Mercury, so some issues are still under a state of repression.  It is still by no means full steam ahead, and may not be for a few days to come.  You can certainly pick up some projects which involve paperwork and documentation, and make some essential journeys.

To fill in the tedium of this week, I am including some Fixed Star inspirations.  So on Tuesday, our Sun is aligned with the fixed star Acrux, the alpha star of the Southern Cross.  According to Vivien E. Robson, this star is associated with intuition and inventive thought.

From “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld we have:

“Humanity has reached the point of perfect attunement for receiving the beneficial energies from this place and this civilization.  For some individuals working with games, the sense of competitiveness and inner strength can become an awareness of love, compassion, forgiving, seeing it all as a game, and being able to have some perspective on it.  This is also helpful in dealing with many conditions of seeming hopelessness or difficulty on Earth.”

On Wednesday (4th) our Sun is aligned with the star Alphecca which Robson equates with honour and artistic ability.  It is part (the jewel) of the crown of Coronae Borealis, and suggests a gift.

Again from “Starlight Elixirs”:

“The beings associated with this star have a deep love of history.  They made contact with Earth beings in the time of ancient Greece.  The god associated with Mercury, sometimes called Hermes, was actually a manifested being from this civilization.  Some direct influence beginning in the ancient Grecian period is associated with this star.  These beings have assisted in this deeper awareness of integrating principles at various times and have sought to stimulate ideas and communicative principles for long periods with Earth.”

Friday (6th) brings a return of Saturn square Mercury (today’s aspect), this time with Mercury Direct as it just turned, so twice in one week, which is so very unusual as has been mentioned.  You may experience it as one long continuous square between Sunday and Friday (virtually the whole week), with some lightening of proceedings from Monday’s turnaround. So you may feel slightly lighter on Friday, as Mercury is Direct.  Perhaps you may see the light at the end of the distant tunnel.  Otherwise, all that was mentioned for the beginning of the week still applies.

On that day, too, another Fixed Star links with us: Zubenelgenubi, the Southern Scale of Libra.  Some words from “Starlight Elixirs, may apply:

“This binary star influences in a very positive way those aspects of close relationship where individuals have given over their will to another being, yet recognize that, paradoxically, the other being has also given over his or her will to you.  Individuals may be able to find a peacefulness in their relationship by balancing forces that may be negative, aggressive, or those causing great disruption in their relationship.”

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – slow progress
  • Tuesday – some improvement in communications; perspective
  • Wednesday – integration and harmony
  • Friday – again, slow progress, but not as slow as Sunday; peacefulness

Aspects for the week beginning 25 October 2020

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 – Part 1

A very different series of Strictly Come Dancing awaits us this year, with social distance rules and virtually no audience.  Nevertheless, there was clearly much enjoyment to be had in last week’s partnership reveal show, and no loss of zest.  And last night’s first Live show did not disappoint, leaving a warm glow.  As usual, I will kick off with four contestants, and come back to this theme in future blogs.

Caroline Quentin

We first came to know Caroline in Men Behaving Badly (1992-1997), but she has hardly left our TV screens since.  Mars (men) sextile the North Node and closely conjunct the Midheaven in Taurus, may symbolize that role.  She has Sun conjunct Venus in Cancer, and has been involved in programmes about houses (namely: The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes and Restoration Home), a Cancerian theme.  She also has the Entrepreneur Archetype: Jupiter trine Uranus.  A most interesting feature of her chart is Jupiter exactly trine her Ascendant, on the cusp of the 5th House, at the Galactic Centre – that’s almost a superpower!  No wonder she has been popular and successful throughout her career.

In the partnering show, nearly all the celebrities said they were over the moon with and would have picked their designated partners; so we cannot infer anything from their reactions!  But she seems genuinely happy with her designated partner.  For the transmission of the partnering show, Caroline had Jupiter opposite her Sun (high hopes);  Neptune trine her Sun, a chance to reconnect with her Inner Dancer (she originally wanted to be a dancer so it is a childhood dream come true); and Mars trine her natal Uranus – all fired up!  For the start of the Live shows, last night, Neptune was still trine her natal Sun.  With her partner Johannes she performed the American Smooth last night, and drew great praise from the judges, and a very successful first score of three 7s.  Her full Cancerian emotion was on display.   In her transits for the Final show Neptune will still be trine her natal Sun (still enjoying reconnecting with dance), but Pluto will be opposite her natal Venus, a tough time personally.  And she will have North Node sextile her natal Uranus – a surprise for her, plus Uranus opposite her natal Neptune, complexity.  I think she will enjoy the Strictly experience, but would not see her in the final.  She will do well, though.

Her synastry with partner Johannes Radebe reveals her Neptune opposite his Sun (he can help bring out her Inner Dancer, but the experience is more complex for him); her Jupiter trine his Mercury and conjunct his Uranus, transits which provide a some successful showcasing of his teaching.  She describes him as “patient, funny and kind”.  His transits for the start of the Live shows show Saturn square his Mercury (something holding him back), Chiron on his Venus, some emotional pain (which may be in his private life) and Uranus opposite his Pluto (there may be a sense in which he may be performing below par).  For the final, Uranus opposes his natal Sun, so he could be feeling detached at that time, Chiron will still be on his Venus, but Uranus trine his Neptune, making some sense of recent difficulties.  He will be on a real journey, as they say. Right now, though he seems confident of being able to bring out Caroline’s highest potential.

HRVY

Young HRVY was born in 1999 but found fame as a singer at an early age.  With 0 planets in Earth, he may find difficulty in grounding, and with 6 planets in Air he may overthink things.  Last night’s performance showed him to have real dancing feet, though his jive was so quick his feet almost didn’t touch the ground!  But he has 6 planets in the Fixed signs, which gives him strong will power.  He is a Sun sign Aquarian with Mercury conjunct the Sun, so may have a futuristic mental outlook.  With the Sun also conjunct Uranus, he can surprise you, and no doubt will do so throughout this competition.  Sun conjunct Neptune gives him a spiritual side, and Sun sextile Pluto means you could underestimate him – he is definitely one to watch!  Mercury square Mars provides quick mental reactions (could be good at the Tango head-turns!).  His Mercury is closely conjunct Neptune, so he could be good at channelling (e.g. may channel Fred Astaire!).  Mercury is also sextile exactly Chiron, making him a problem-solver (he may be a person who habitually uses the phrase “no problem”!)  With Uranus sextile Pluto, he can flow with change.

He began his music career with a single, “Thank You”, released on 20th December 2013.  Yes, you read that right…at the tender age of 14.  Transiting Uranus, his ruling planet, was sextile his natal Sun (the sign of sudden success).  The next year, he was a supporting act for Little Mix!  On 20th November this year he will release his debut album, when Saturn is sextile his natal Jupiter, Saturn square his natal Saturn and Uranus square his natal Sun.  So he will be under a lot of pressure, with the dancing competition alongside that.  Uranus is currently square his Sun and Saturn sextile his natal Jupiter now, as we start the Live shows.  He put in a breathtaking performance last night, with superlatives from each of the judges, and the top score of 8, 8 and 9.  For the final, the Uranus square has passed, so that may be more associated with the excitement of his debut album.  At the final, Jupiter would be square his natal Mars in Scorpio, he’d be really going for it if he is in the final!  But Saturn will be square his natal Mars, so he would be required to exhibit great flair with great discipline, balancing his natal T-square of Mercury, Mars and Saturn.

His partner Janette Manrara is a bright spark, always cheery and effervescent on screen.  Their synastry shows their Mercuries are exactly sextile, providing great mental rapport.  His Chiron on her Mercury will pose her conundrums, but at the same time contribute to their solution.  Her Uranus sextiles his natal Sun, which is a successful sign for him.  Her Pluto trine his Venus constitutes a deep partnership, very transformational for him.  Her Pluto on his Mars brings a lot of energetic connection between them, which may become obvious in the fast-paced dances.

Her transits as they begin the competition shows transiting Pluto closely sextile her Sun, which builds to an exact transit at the final; that is extremely fulfilling.  But Chiron opposes her Venus, and Uranus opposes her Saturn so it is a challenge for her, on some level (perhaps the age gap?).  Other prevailing transits for her at the final are: Jupiter square her Pluto (a sense of power for her) and Saturn square her natal Pluto, a bittersweet edge – maybe  they will come second in the final?  But I see them as a sure fire entry into the final.

Maisie Smith

Maisie is another youngster, who plays Tiffany in Eastenders.  She was born the year after HRVY, and shares a similar element balance with HRVY.  With 7 Air planets she is mentally focussed, and with 0 Earth planets, you would assume her to be ungrounded.  Of course, both may have worked on these issues since they arrived on the planet.  And dance would definitely help ground them.  Maisie’s mother has described her as extremely grounded, so perhaps she has an Earth sign rising (we do not have her birth time).  Motsi last night described her as bringing “the dance to Mother Earth”.  She also has 6 planets in Mutable signs, making her adaptable and versatile.  Maisie has the Sun in the very feminine sign of  Cancer, so could do well in the feminine qualities required for some dances, and she obviously revels in the girlie costumes.  She has an unaspected Sun, which indicates a free spirit.  Mercury conjunct Jupiter may make her a quick learner on the dance floor.  Her stage school teacher described her thus: “Maisie has the most incredible memory and when it comes to script work she is fantastic.”  And Mercury trine Uranus could add touches of brilliance, and quick thinking, e.g. picking up after a missed step.  Venus trine Neptune indicates one who has musicality and innate dance ability.  Mars conjunct Pluto means she is a powerhouse of energy, in herself.  She has the Entrepreneur Archetype, like Caroline Quentin, and can go far, diversifying the avenues for her talents.  Like HRVY, she began her career young, as the red-headed daughter of red-headed Bianca, at the age of 6.

Her transits for the beginning of the Live shows bring up a square to her Sun from Mars, so she will be uninhibited from the start (she was, actually, fearless!).  She came out all guns blazing, in a frilly pink number.  At the final stage, Uranus will be square her Neptune, so there may be some hitch along the way, but she will give some spirited performances to be sure.  And on her performance last night, you would think her entry to the final to be guaranteed.  She came second on the leaderboard, after HRVY had performed.

Partner Gorka Marquez has clearly done a good job, from the outset, of allowing her talent to shine.  Their Synastry shows his Venus sextile her Mercury (good communication between them), his Venus trine her Chiron (a good relationship), his Jupiter sextile her Venus (a real marker for success, and Excellence in relationship, plus his Uranus on her South Node, adds another layer of success.

For the duration of the contest, he has Neptune opposite his natal Mercury, and Neptune sextile his Saturn.  The latter transit can bring inspiration down to earth.  The first transit may mean that he may take his eye off the glitterball at some point.  Chiron square his Uranus at the end means there is a possibility of injury during the competition.

She scored three 8s.  Bianca will already be proud, wherever she is!

Bill Bailey

Wow – Here we have someone who is very grounded, with 8 planets in Earth!  You might expect him to be a little too heavy on his feet, but actually he is more agile than you would expect for a veteran comedian.  Sun in Capricorn (politics) trine Jupiter (comedy) points to political satire as one of the strings to his bow.  With 0 Air signs, he is also very instinctive.  He has the energy (Sun trine Mars) and he has the enthusiasm (Sun trine Jupiter) to go far.  Mercury conjunct Venus gives him a way with words, and Mercury square Mars quick mental reactions.  Jupiter trine Uranus points to the third Entrepreneur in my quartet!  He is comfortable with Power (Jupiter exactly trine Pluto), and has the anarchic Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo of the mid-1960s.

As well as being a stand up comedian he is known for appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI.  He is also very musical, and played musical instruments during his performance last night.  He is an exponent of animal and wildlife conservation, and says he feels an affinity with the 19th Century naturalist Alfred R. Wallace.  The two are both Capricorns with Mercury conjunct Venus.  He begins the Live shows with Pluto on his Sun in Capricorn!  He seems to be embracing this challenge spectacularly.  He also has Saturn trine his natal Mars, some self-discipline, and Jupiter sextile his natal Neptune (currently loving life).  For the final he has Mars square his natal Sun, which is a bit frenzied.  Pluto will still be on his Sun (a long transformative process, throughout the series).

He is partnered with last year’s winner, the brilliant Oti Mabuse, who may not win again this year, but with his Jupiter squares her Sun – he will make her laugh!  Good, deep, connections include: His Neptune sextile her Saturn, his Uranus sextiles her Pluto and his Chiron trine her Pluto – they will transform each other.  Oti’s starting transits show Jupiter on her Saturn in Capricorn, a lightening up, a tonic;  and Chiron square her natal Uranus, also a shake up for her in some ways.  They came together over African rhythms last night, and put in a fun performance of the Cha Cha.  Her final transits show Pluto opposite her Venus, possibly too much of a challenge;  Uranus trine her Uranus – a personal success of sorts; and  Chiron square her natal Uranus still, still undergoing a shake up.  I think she will have a lot going on in her private life.  Not a serious contender for the glitterball, but a welcome and rewarding diversion in her life.

So we already have two possible contenders here: HRVY and Maisie, and Caroline keeping the flag flying for the older generation.  I will be back in two or three weeks with the next instalment!

Aspects

At tea time today, the Sun will be conjunct Mercury retrograde at 3 degrees Scorpio. You may experience deep insights into life and love.  You may solve a mystery, from the low key “Where did my glasses get to?”, to the more profound “Why are we here?”.  Conversations may produce revelations.

In the early hours of Wednesday (28th) morning in the U.K. [1.33 a.m.], Mercury, still retrograde, re-enters Libra (from Scorpio).  You may return to a brief spell of soothing cultural themes, after a spell of furrowing your brow over the mysteries of life.  Gaze at beautiful paintings, and listen to beautiful music.

Eight minutes later, at 1.41 a.m., Venus enters Libra from the regular end (Virgo), emphasizing the planet Venus in both ingresses.  You may be pondering relationships or money, and see the issue from two different angles.  But the proximity of these two changes of sign may produce an intensity of real significance.  Venus is happy and harmonious in her own sign of Libra, and that may assist you in finding the sweet words to overcome any tensions.  A spot of insomnia may prove worthwhile, or you may have a beautiful dream.

It’s Happy Halloween for Saturday (31st), with a spooky Full Moon at lunchtime at 8 degrees Taurus.  Be sure to have all the edible treats on the table; the tomato sandwiches, the mozzarella sticks, the liquorice spider webs, etc.  And of course, the thoughts of dear ones departed who may be taking advantage of the collective tradition of the thinning of the veil.  If you have forgotten how Aunt Maud can provide guidance, you can re-kindle that telepathic pathway!

After lunch, Uranus opposes the Sun, requiring a change of orientation in some way.  Earlier insights, either from the day itself or earlier in the week, may lead you to understand what changes are required.  Expect the unexpected.  Be open and flexible, and use your intuition to the max.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – insight and focus
  • Wednesday – love and money
  • Saturday – trick or treat

 

Aspects for the week beginning 18 October 2020

Andy Burnham

Cometh the man, cometh the hour, so they say.  Andy Burnham, Mayor of  Greater Manchester, emerged as initiator of the Northern Rebellion this week, like liberty leading the people.

Birth Chart

I originally wrote about Andy during his second leadership bid for his party, in 2015, in which he came second to Jeremy Corbyn:

” He comes across as a competent and sincere man, but has not captured the public imagination – perhaps he is a little safe and dull?  He was born on a New Moon (Sun conjunct Moon) in the prosaic sign of Capricorn, which is strongly politically motivated.  He is a decent chap, with Venus conjunct this combination, and his heart is no doubt in a good place.  He also has his Mercury in Capricorn: a methodical, practical, systematic type of thinker.  6 of his 10 planets are in Earth signs, so he is grounded and realistic.

He does have an imaginative side, with North Node conjunct Mars in Pisces, normally the Warrior Archetype conjunction but softened by its appearance in Pisces.  He is a Warrior, but does not like to confront directly…  His Mars also sextiles his Sun exactly, and he has 5 of his 10 planets in Cardinal signs, so he has energy and would see himself as a leader.

The Piscean sensitivity also extends to his mental faculties, as his Capricorn mind (Mercury) sextiles closely Neptune, the planet of imagination.  So this is a balance in his make up, between the practical and the imaginative.  His Mercury also trines closely his natal Pluto, giving him depth of thought as well.”

To that I would add that his 6 Earth planets give him a deep connection with his Northern roots (he was born in Liverpool), and Moon conjunct Venus lends a quality of gentleness to his character.

When all the unsuccessful candidates (the other two were Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper) slinked off after that election, I remember  wondering what they would do with their lives and ambitions. Yvette Cooper made a successfully strident critic in opposition, and Liz Kendall continued to successfully serve as an MP in Leicester.  But I was intrigued when Andy Burnham made a bid for the Mayoralty of Manchester – I felt that he was making a choice from the heart.  And he has shown heart in his role.

Life and Career

Andy joined the Labour party at the age of 14 (so socialism is ingrained in him like the letters in a stick of rock!).  It was a response to the miner’s strike of 1984/5.  He gained a degree in English at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.  He gave his maiden speech in parliament in 2001, at the age of 31.  He took various roles in government under Blair and Brown, notably Minister of State at the Department of Health, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State of Health.  In his first challenge for the leadership of the party in 2010 (standing on the philosophy of “aspirational socialism”), he must have felt ready to lead, but came fourth to Ed Milliband.

Mayor of Greater Manchester

Andy Burnham was elected Mayor on 5th May 2017, with 65% of the vote.  He stated at the time:

” politics] has been too London-centric for too long … Greater Manchester is going to take control. We are going to change politics and make it work better for people.”

It was a new role, and one which he had to carve and create for himself.  Since then, he has notably attempted to tackle homelessness in his city, though he pledged to eradicate it and later admitted he would not quite achieve that aim.  Another aim was to overhaul the disjointed bus network, and in this aim he has met with delays and frustrations too.  The same is true for his desire to tackle pollution…the wheels of government grind slowly, and some of the delays have been down to Brexit legislations.

He was called upon to show his mettle as a leader in  the handling of the Manchester Arena bombing disaster.  He made an effective speech at the time, and provided support in various ways.  The aftermath and repercussions left may issues for him to deal with.  But it is as a voice for the North that he has been most visible.

This Week

So his great love for his territory and role as defender of Manchester came out this week when he stood up to Boris Johnson and declared that Manchester would not go willingly into Tier 3 despite the rising coronavirus numbers.  Matt Hancock immediately accused him of playing party politics, but his party leader Keir Starmer had earlier in the week challenged Boris to enforce a circuit breaker.  For Andy, the economic support that the government would provide in such an eventuality were not enough for his citizens to live on.  In fact, Burnham felt that a circuit breaker would be fairer than a Tier 3 category enforcement.  He stated that he would not let  his region become “the sacrificial lamb for an ill-thought-through Downing Street policy which doesn’t make sense in the real world”.  Venus transiting his South Node and opposing his North Node and Mars at the moment is making very much a defending karmic role.  On 18th November he may be taking a very strong stance, when Saturn exactly trines his natal Pluto in Virgo.

Currently, Boris’ response is to say he may override the Mayoral stance.  Of course the health vs economics tightrope walk is a fine line.  But Andy Burnham has drawn a line.  The populace of Manchester are currently awaiting clarification, amid talk of talks being held.

The Chart of Manchester

Astrologically, it is an extremely interesting time for the chart of Manchester, pivotal and crucial, with Pluto exactly trine its Sun on the day Andy Burnham made his stand.  Pluto was also conjunct the Chiron of Manchester: a make or break moment.  No wonder he felt such a compulsion to act on behalf of its citizens.

Aspects

Saturn squares the Sun at lunchtime today, so you may be excused for feeling a little flat today.  Perhaps you live in a Tier 2 or 3 area, and are feeling the screw tightening, and your options dwindling.   We are all in it together, but some of us are more in it than others.

And then, just after lunch, Neptune opposes Venus, which is uncomfortable but in a different way, that you may not be able to put your finger on.  There may be some deception or illusion going on, especially in relationships or with money, so be cautious.  Don’t answer any cold calls or scam emails.  This aspect, like the previous, one, is fairly subdued.

A change of energy tomorrow (Monday 19th) with the more vibrant aspect of Mars square Jupiter: sheer over the top enthusiasm allied with energy. This aspect can bring spirited exchanges or sporting achievements, but there is a possible hint of danger – the last time it surfaced was in August, when there was a huge explosion in Beirut.

However, Venus trines Jupiter tomorrow, which is one of the best aspects of the year, and may go some way to mitigating some of the more reckless features of Mars square Jupiter.  The male energy may be running riot, but the female energy may temper that and make it more useful.  Venus with Jupiter is so very social, and can be romantic too.  It’s an aspect to savour and enjoy.

Tuesday (20th) brings a return of the recent opposition between Mercury and Uranus, last seen on Wednesday 7th when Mercury was still Direct.  Now that Mercury is Retrograde, there is even more possibility of experiencing the spanner in the works.  But if you are tuned into a higher mental wavelength, e.g. that of telepathy, you can achieve progress and flow.

The Sun enters Scorpio late on Thursday (22nd).  Under the Sun in Libra, we were going for negotiation, but now we need to confront the deeper issues and find more lasting solutions which treat the causes and not just the symptoms of a situation.  For this we need more insight, resolve and conviction, qualities of this sign.  The Scorpio gig is a grittier requirement.  You may see two sides becoming more entrenched in a stand off.

There is hope, on Saturday (24th), of more coming together, and more commitment and loyalty, with Venus trine Saturn.  Here again, Venus can provide a softening role to a hard line stance.  It’s not the celebratory relationship of Venus and Jupiter that we saw on Monday, but it is conciliatory, which may be just what is needed at that time.  Relationships need serious resolving, and Venus trine Saturn can help, whether on a personal level, or between the North and South.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – flatness; intrigue
  • Tomorrow – high jinks; celebration
  • Tuesday – the spanner in the works
  • Thursday – taking a stronger stance
  • Saturday – calling a truce

 

Aspects for the week beginning 11 October 2020

John Lennon’s 80th Birthday

“You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one…”

~ John Lennon

The life of John Lennon was celebrated this week, to commemorate what would have been his 80th birthday on Friday.  A member of the groundbreaking band The Beatles, and half of what is often hailed as the greatest songwriting duo with Paul McCartney, a talented writer and artist, and solo musician in his own right, he is without question a legend.

Birth Chart

His birthchart is satisfyingly descriptive of his life and character, though he was complex and went through psychological metamorphoses as well as musical phases.  With 6 out of his 10 planets in the Fixed signs, he was quite wilful from an early age.  His Sun in Libra in the 6th House of Working Conditions saw him searching for peace, as well as being industrious in his work.  But with his Ascendant in Aries, he could also be argumentative, continually upsetting his own apple cart.  The Sun was conjunct the South Node in Aries in his 12th House, giving him a powerful interior world.  The Sun was otherwise unaspected: the sign of a real one-off individual free spirit!  His Moon in Aquarius in 10th House implied futuristic vision, and a desire to improve society, plus an interest in working in a group (which he did for many years).  The Sun in Libra likes to work in a one-to-one collaboration (which he did with Paul McCartney for several years).  His Moon was exactly opposite Pluto; this shows volcanic emotions; it also describes the whole switch from Cynthia to Yoko, a deeper need in his life, to go along with a different line of psychological growth.  The opposition of Chiron to his Moon indicates wounds on the mother line (difficulties with his mother led to him living with his aunt Mimi for much of his childhood).  Jupiter exactly conjunct Saturn in Taurus in 1st House often presented him with dilemmas.  Allegedly, he was forced to choose whether to live with his mother or his father at the age of five.  With Venus in  Virgo in 5th House, he was very particular about his creativity.  At the same time, Venus loosely square Uranus meant he was always looking for  the unusual in relationship, with Venus as ruler of his 7th House of relationship as well as being his Sun ruler.  He found this quality in Yoko Ono (a Uranian ruled Aquarian).  His Venus was also trine with his Midheaven, a feature often found in the charts of musicians.  Warrior Mars, his Ascendant ruler, was in the Libra sign of peace, genuinely passionate about wanting peace, both personal and global.  The Peace Activist Archetype is shown particularly in Mars conjunct his North Node in Libra, and was prominently at work in his creativity and activity with Yoko Ono, such as the famous “bed-in”.   Mars closely sextile Pluto gave him a powerhouse of energy, and the ability to use it constructively.  Pluto conjunct Chiron in  Leo showed a shadow side, which occurring in his 4th House of Home and Family depicts the well-documented difficulties of his early family life.

Paul McCartney

In early liaisons, he met both Paul McCartney and Cynthia Lennon in 1957, around the age of 17.  John’s mother Julia had bought him his first guitar, in 1956, though his aunt Mimi disapproved of his musical ambitions and wanted him to concentrate on Art School. Julia subsequently died in a road traffic accident in 1958.

The date of meeting Paul is documented as 6th July 1957.  John had formed a band named The Quarrymen (with Jupiter from Virgo in his natal 5th House trine his natal Jupiter/Saturn in Taurus in his 1st House, following his Joy).  Paul attended their second performance, and  John asked him to join them on that date.

The chart for that date shows Venus exactly conjunct Uranus in Leo (sudden fortuitous creative meetings), and in their transits Jupiter was trine John’s Uranus, and Jupiter was on Paul’s Ascendant (an opportunity for both of them).

His synastry with Paul includes: their Marses exactly sextile, working well together (for a considerable time and intensity); Paul’s Uranus trine John Mars (Paul bringing excitement and electricity to John’s energy).  But Paul’s Pluto was exactly opposite John’s Moon, activating and emphasizing John’s own exact natal opposition between the Moon and Pluto: hence volcanic emotions eventually erupted between them and took over.

Beatles

The band was re-named The Beatles in 1960, after they had played in Hamburg, and George Harrison (a friend of McCartney) had joined the band, and last to join was drummer Ringo Starr.  The rest is history.

Their first hit single was “Love Me Do” in October 1962, a simple catchy melody which represented their early genre of “boy meets girl”.  For John, Uranus was on his Venus, an exciting time for him musically.  They recorded their first album “Please Please Me” on 11th February 1963, with Uranus still transiting John’s Venus.  By February 1964, they were wowing audiences in America, and appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Cynthia and Julian Lennon

John and Cynthia had met as fellow art students at college.  Their relationship (and the subsequent birth of their son Julian in April 1963) was hushed up by their manager Brian Epstein, who wanted to keep  all the Beatles looking eligible for their fans.  John’s relationship with Cynthia was reasonably dynamic (e.g. Her Mars forming a Grand Trine with his Uranus and Neptune; her Pluto sextile his Mars), but he moved on.  As a child, Julian lost out to his father’s early success with the Beatles; later he lost out when his father met Yoko Ono; then John lived in New York and due to residency problems in relation to his drug taking was unable to visit England.  Finally, Julian lost his father to an early death.  Cynthia was hit hard by John moving on to Yoko, but it is hard to contemplate the poignancy of Julian’s own loss.  Nevertheless, he grew up to become a musician in his own right.  Julian has Venus conjunct Chiron (relationship wounds) in Pisces in his chart, and one factor in the distance with his father may have been their opposed Suns, at 16 degrees Libra (John’s) and 17 degrees Aries (Julian’s).  Cynthia herself ascribes the change in John towards her from the time he first took L.S.D. (circa 1965), but undoubtedly it was a deep shock to her when she found Yoko in their home when she returned from a trip to Greece.

Changing Influences

The changes in the Beatles’ music reflected the changes in their lifestyles, preoccupations and consciousness.  The use of L.S.D. gave rise to the distinctive sounds of the album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” of 1967.  While they were coming under the influence of the Maharishi Mahesh Yoga, transcendental meditation, and Eastern teachings, Brian Epstein (who had looked after them since 1962) bowed out of their lives, through suicide.  Relationships were changing too: Cynthia gave way to Yoko, Paul’s girlfriend Jane Asher to Linda Eastman, and George Harrison’s relationship with Patti Boyd was breaking down.  John quietly left the Beatles in 1969 with Jupiter on his North Node (karmic freedom), Uranus sextile his natal Pluto (Big Change) and Pluto trine his natal Uranus (another signal for Big Change).  His relationship with Paul had become a power struggle.

Yoko Ono

The first meeting of John and Yoko has the astrological wow factor.  They met on 9th November 1966 at an exhibition of her conceptual art.  Jupiter was transiting John’s Pluto in Leo in his 4th House, and Pluto was transiting Yoko’s Jupiter in Virgo in her 12th House.  That represented quite an impact, for both of them.  Their Suns were very compatible (trine, in Air).  Her Moon was trine his Chiron (the relationship was an emotional healing for her), and her Mercury was on his South Node (a teacher for him, certainly taking him in a different direction).  His work became more analytical and political (notably “Give Peace a Chance”).  Together they formed the Plastic Ono band, and she wrote, produced and performed with him.  In 1970, he and Yoko underwent “Primal Therapy” with Arthur Janov, a type of rebirthing and reliving of early trauma.  Some of his feelings and insights were used in later musical work.  Many feel that the pinnacle of his solo work is represented by the image of him playing the iconic words of  “Imagine” in a white room at a white piano in 1971.

Sean Lennon

With Uranus transiting his North Node (a complete karmic change), John and Yoko moved to New York in August 1971. His relationship with Yoko had its ups and downs, but in 1975, when their son Sean was born, he gave up musicianship to become a full time househusband and raise Sean.  Astrologically, Sean was a true son, with his Sun exactly conjunct John’s Sun, and his Venus exactly conjunct with John’s Venus.

Back to Music

After this unusual retreat and quiet period, John produced a new album “Double Fantasy” in 1980, proclaiming a new start with the song “Starting Over”.  The transits of his comeback show Saturn trine his natal Moon in Aquarius in 10th House (the fulfilment of a domestic phase), and Neptune trine his Ascendant (new inspiration).

Mark David Chapman

Three weeks after he released the new album, on 8th December 1980, he was shot by Mark David Chapman outside his home in New York, and was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital.

In their synastry, the most destructive interaspect was Mark Chapman’s Pluto squaring John’s Uranus.  When he was shot, Chiron was transiting John’s Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in his 1st House in Taurus, and the Nodal Axis (karma) was squaring that conjunction.  Uranus closely opposed his natal Uranus.  These transits give an impression of the end of a cycle.

Mark Chapman’s state of mind at the time is revealed through his transits: Pluto was square his natal Jupiter, which can give rise to a feeling of megalomania; Pluto was square his natal Uranus, which can be extremely destructive, too; and Pluto sextile his natal Pluto, which could have given rise to a feeling of self-empowerment (which if in a psychotic delusion would be turned to a negative).

Though it is possible from a spiritual point of view that a soul contract may have been made between them, one wonders what future works were lost to the world.  John Lennon left behind a huge body of music, and two sons who became musicians.

“John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him”

~ Yoko Ono

Aspects

The Sun was square Jupiter today, giving rise to grandiose thoughts and gargantuan exploits. This aspect exaggerates everything it comes into contact with.  There is also a joyful, humorous side of Sun square Jupiter, so try some laughter-yoga, or looking at the positives of these interesting times.  Last night, the winner of the final Britain’s Got Talent, sitting at a piano, tried to encapsulate, with humour, the year of 2020 so far, in a style reminiscent of Victoria Wood.

Jupiter is again prominent tomorrow (Monday 12th), in its sextile with Neptune, an aspect we saw in February.  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.  We do need to raise our consciousness now, as we did in February when we were beginning to see the effects of the pandemic.  We have to find higher ways of looking at things, and that includes practical solutions (Jupiter-Neptune are not practically minded, but can inspire us to new practices).  It’s a heavyweight aspect in terms of importance, so make the most of it.

Another sextile adds more grace to the day, for the congeniality of Mercury sextile Venus is always welcome.  Interestingly, the star of the “Miss Congeniality” films, Sandra Bullock, has Mercury sextile Venus in her birth chart! If you have some socially distanced socializing planned, that should be most harmonious.  Conversation will flow, and with much agreement between kindred spirits.

Mars opposes the Sun on Tuesday (13th), so not so much of the congeniality but it’s more about dodging conflict, unless you are a seasoned Warrior and can take the heat.  Energy will be high, so it is a good time to arrange activities which channel this energy constructively.

On Wednesday (14th) Mercury is Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde.  Seems a long time since we grappled with this, haven’t you missed it?  It’s always good to practise your Mercury Retrograde moves: checking fine print, upgrading technology  being more mindful generally, etc.  Mercury will be retrograde until 3rd November (the day of the U.S. Presidential election), so be alert for fake news.

Also on Wednesday the Sun in Libra will be trine the North Node in Gemini, and that may help you to stay on the right track.  Clarity emerging can throw up creative avenues and karmic insights.  This influence may to an extent offset the onset of Mercury Retrograde.

You’ll need all the lessons of the week to deal with Thursday’s (15th) square between the Sun and Pluto, although I consider last week’s Mars/Pluto square more difficult, so if you survived that you may have the tools for this aspect.  This one is a deep soul searching aspect.  There is no whitewashing or kicking the can down the road, as if you try to gloss over something you could meet it in another guise.

A fresh start is available on Friday (16th) with a New Moon at 23 degrees Libra. Artistic, musical and relationship issues may receive a boost, so any seeds sown in those areas may bear fruit.  Balance and harmony can emerge from your efforts.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – exaggeration
  • Tomorrow – religion and spirituality harmonize; words and pictures combine well
  • Tuesday – conflict
  • Wednesday – communications awry; but karmic adjustments good
  • Thursday – the need to dig deep
  • Friday – new beginning

Aspects for the week beginning 4 October 2020

David Attenborough

With travel restrictions this year, the naturalist Sir David Attenborough has recently taken to social media to get his urgent messages across to humanity.  Among other vehicles,  he has recently set up an Instagram account (now totalling 5.1m followers).  Not surprisingly, he has a record number of followers, wherever he goes.  Among other transits for his social media expansion is Jupiter trine his natal Sun.  Governments may not listen, but his popularity grows.  He has been telling us about the effects on nature of climate change for years, with increasing urgency.  In the last couple of years, young Greta Thunberg has been bringing fresh pressure to bear on the cause, and they have become allies.

Birth Chart

Sir David has 5 (half) of his planets in the Water element, so he is really at home in that element (witness his Blue Planet series).  His Sun is in Earth sign Taurus, and he has done more to illuminate Life on Earth than anyone.  At the age of 94, he has made a huge contribution to its study, which is impossible to exaggerate.  Taurus also gives him a great deal of grounding.  His Sun is opposed by Saturn, so he feels a huge weight of responsibility, which he carries and conveys admirably.  His Sun is also square Neptune, showing great sensitivity, and again emphasizing the role of the oceans in his life and work.  With the Sun sextile Pluto, what he has to say is always profound, and this is given extra karmic weight with a conjunction between Pluto and the North Node, and a sextile between the North Node and the Sun.  His has been an extraordinary destiny.  His Moon conjuncts Venus, giving him great tenderness, and you can see that through some of his animal commentaries.  His Moon conjunct Uranus gives him imagination and the power to surprise through the expression of emotion, which, placed in Pisces, contains a great deal of compassion too.  Mercury is sextile Jupiter in his chart, showing breadth of mind and vastness of travel, but the most stunning feature of his chart is Jupiter exactly conjunct his Ascendant in Aquarius: that shows the huge amount of globetrotting in his lifestyle, and the global reach of his work, and the wideness of his heart.  That position of Jupiter shows the scale of his life plan and contribution, and placed in Aquarius it hints at the extent of his futuristic vision, where he has always had his finger on the pulse of what would happen to our planet.  Mercury exactly trine Neptune gives him acute mental sensitivity, and the ability to channel higher frequencies of thought.  With Mercury conjunct Chiron, he’s a problem-solver.  Mars in his first House shows his eco-warriorship, but it is unaspected, so he is a free spirit in this respect.  With Saturn closely square Neptune he is very sensitive to the interface and relationship between the Earth and her Waters.  Those two planets form a T-square with his Jupiter/Ascendant, which is where he is able to bring hope while describing the plight of our situation (he never gives up hope entirely but spells out the Saturn-Neptune reality).  On religion he has the ambivalence of Jupiter opposite Neptune: “My view is: I don’t know one way or the other but I don’t think that evolution is against a belief in God.”  I wrote in 2016:  “He describes himself as agnostic, and maybe he doesn’t need religion as he is well and truly ‘doing his bit’ for the planet.”

Documentaries

He has made legions of documentaries for the BBC over the decades.  Here is a timeline of a few of those, which you may remember fondly depending on your generation:

1979 – Life on Earth

1984 – The Living Planet

1995 – The Private Life of Plants

2001 – The Blue Planet

2017 – Blue Planet II

2020 – Extinction

In Blue Planet II, he brought us graphic evidence of the plastic pollution in our waters, and sparked a worldwide effort to reduce the impact of plastic.  He was spotted this week in Cambridge, beginning filming on “Green Planet”.  He is more than a national treasure; he is more than a world treasure; he is quite literally a living icon – what the esotericist Alice Bailey would call a World Server.

“If I was earning my money by hewing coal I would be very glad indeed to stop. But I’m not. I’m swanning round the world looking at the most fabulously interesting things. Such good fortune”

~ Sir David Attenborough, 2013

Aspects

If you breathed some sigh of relief last Tuesday morning when Saturn was stationary prior to turning Direct, another layer of relief comes today with Pluto stationary prior to turning Direct.  This is an even more profound shift, involving a deeper level of both the personal and collective psyche.  We may feel we are making headway in our transitions, or at least gaining a foothold on a more salubrious path.  Although we are still living in stressful times, we may be able to size up our tunnel, even if the light at the end may not yet be showing itself.  In the U.K. we have Brexit looming, and a winter to get through under the “second wave”.  In the U.S. they have a President hospitalized with the virus, and a presidential election looming in a month’s time.  So although it may not look like we are turning a corner, the corner may be in sight, or tangible.  If you have a breakthrough today, that may be the sign you need.

Uranus opposes Mercury on Wednesday (7th) throwing a spanner in the technical works.  Not a good day to start an Instagram account, for instance.  If technology is a must, then take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the issue at hand.  In meditation, however, you could successfully connect the lower mind (Mercury) with the higher mind (Uranus) and establish a clear channel for communication and telepathy.

There is no whitewashing the aspect of Friday (9th), that of Pluto squaring Mars.  You may have to trawl through a few interpretations by other Astrologers to find one that suits!  I consider it to be one of the most difficult of the year.  It’s a volatile combination, which can give way to riots or situations which can get out of hand.  Prepare your stock of peaceful vibes beforehand (in meditation perhaps)  so that you can send out a blast of soothing comfort wherever you go with your facemask, hand gel and distance.

Saturday (10th) is an opportunity to regain balance and regain ground, with a constructive sextile followed by a happy trine.  First, the North Node sextiles Mars, where warriorship can be expressed more safely than on the previous day.  You may be able to get your message across directly and actively, in speaking your truth or setting an example.  If you are a follower of Dan Millman (the “Peaceful Warrior), I’ll be preaching to the converted…  If you are a timid type, there is scope to embolden yourself slightly.

The best aspect of the week comes at the very last hour, at 23.08 Hrs in the U.K. on Saturday.  If you are at a virtual Saturday night party (as opposed to milling around the streets after the 10 p.m. pub curfew) you could have a scintillating time, with Venus forming a trine to Uranus.  You might go along (to the said virtual party) thinking you’ll give it a whirl and it may be quite pleasant, and then find you make exciting new connections or reunions, with laughter-filled conversations, telepathy, and possibly some personal moments of deja vu (have I known this person in a previous life?).  If you are intending to make it an early night with a cup of organic cocoa instead, you may settle into some fruitful dreamwork which sets you up with insights for the following week.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – onwards and upwards
  • Wednesday – the spanner in the works; close loopholes
  • Friday – keep out of the fray
  • Saturday – most congenial; constructive karmic action; exciting meetings

Aspects for the week beginning 27 September 2020

Ruth Ginsburg (1931 – 2020)

“It’s about time. For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing.”

~ Ruth Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on 18th September, was an amazingly influential figure in the American justice system, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States for 27 years until her death.  She was notably a great champion of feminism and equal opportunities, and pushed forward a great number of progressive reforms. The timing of her death could not have been more poignant, for those hoping for a change of party, let alone a change of president in the United States in November’s election.

Birth Chart

She was born under the Sun sign of Pisces, the sign of compassion, and  could well have been an advanced Soul – symbolically Pisces represents the completion of the zodiac, and sometimes can denote a final lifetime on the wheel of incarnation.  She certainly worked all her life painstakingly for the betterment of conditions for society; at first she was moderate and non-confrontational, but later as she gained confidence and power, she asserted her voice increasingly.  With the Sun trine Pluto and the Moon in Scorpio added to her Pisces Sun, there was great depth and power about her work and character.  With the Sun exactly sextile Chiron, she was working to achieve a healing.  The emphasis in her work on achieving a better quality of life for women is clearly shown by positive aspects to her Moon (trine Venus, the other feminine planet; sextile Mars, exactly sextile Neptune, great emotional sensitivity, and trine her North Node in Pisces (karmic service to women).  Saturn square to her Moon may reflect the fact that both her sister and her mother died young.  She had an unaspected Mercury (probably denoting an independence of mind).  Her natal Mars conjunct Neptune would have made her especially sensitive to issues around physical abuse.  That conjunction is placed around her South Node, denoting a pattern from past lives of defending the vulnerable.  She was  comfortable with the use of power, with Jupiter sextile Pluto. Uranus in her chart was exactly square Pluto, making her an agent of change [note that last week’s blog subject Terence Conran had Uranus more loosely square Pluto, and was an agent of change in a different way, and in a different field].

Life and Career

Ruth Ginsburg was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, though became non-observant at 17.  Her mother had not had the educational opportunities she craved, and encouraged Ruth to follow hers.  She studied government at Cornell University, and met her husband Martin Ginsburg there, becoming a mother while at law school in Harvard.  She became a professor at Rutgers Law School in 1963, where she taught civil procedure (at a lower salary than her male colleagues).  From the beginning of her career it was apparent that there were very few opportunities afforded to women in the field of law, and being Jewish was also a handicap.  So she always worked with the principles of more opportunity and equality in mind.

In 1972 she began teaching at Columbia Law School, where she co-authored the first law school casebook on sex discrimination.  To put this in historical context, in terms of the feminist movement, Germaine Greer’s book The Female Eunuch was published in 1970, an early book of its kind.  Ruth Ginsburg had already been addressing inequality of the sexes in her work for a few years.

She founded the Women’s Rights Project in 1972, and argued discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, proceeding slowly and cautiously in trying to cover all major injustices.  She substituted the word “gender” for “sex” in her cases, being less confrontational, and less distracting for the judges.

The Omnibus Judgeship Act of 1978 advocated that more women and minority groups were included when electing judges, and as a women and a Jew (unusual…) President Jimmy Carter nominated her to a seat on the DC circuit appeals court in 1980.  At the time, Saturn was sextile her natal Pluto (a serious step forward), Uranus was trine her natal Sun (a surprise breakthrough) and Neptune was trine her natal Uranus (taking on increasing complexity).  By the time she took up her commission two months later, Uranus was also trine her natal Pluto (a huge change or shift, upwards).

In 1993 President Bill Clinton nominated her for the crucial role of Associate Justice of  the Supreme Court, a first for one of her gender and race.  Under the American system, the appointment is for life, which is why the current appointment of (young) Amy Barrett aged 48 to replace Ruth Ginsburg is so contentious and momentous, tipping the balance of power in the long term towards Republicanism.  Ruth had been known as a consensus builder, but in this post, she gained confidence and power, and became more forceful, finding her voice.  Her style was described as that of a “rational minimalist, a jurist who seeks to build cautiously on precedent rather than pushing the Constitution towards her own vision.”  With Sun in Pisces and Moon in Scorpio, that is the way that water flows…And as time went on, she gained in authority by way of her seniority. She was able to push forward feminist issues, supported the right to abortion, anti-discrimination laws, equal pay, and other progressive and liberal values, but her approach was always gradual.  She was the first Supreme Court justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding.  She also lent significant support to the Me Too movement, bringing in her own experience.

Marriage

She forged an enduring marriage with tax lawyer Martin D. Ginsberg, and had two children (and four grandchildren).  Their Venuses were exactly trine in Water, making for a harmony of feeling;  His Mars was exactly sextile her Pluto (energetically constructive).  At their wedding in 1954 Mars was trine her natal Mars, and Jupiter was sextile her natal Mars.  They balanced their careers and parenting equally.  Sadly, Martin Ginsburg died of cancer in 2010.

Health

Her health record was remarkably complex, but her stoicism and conscientiousness meant that she worked through many different health crises.  In 1999, she had colon cancer, the treatment involving chemotherapy and radiotherapy; in 2009 she was treated for pancreatic cancer; in 2014 she was given a stent in heart surgery; she fractured three ribs in 2018, but an x-ray brought to light nodules in her lungs, so she subsequently had surgery to remove the nodules; the pancreatic cancer returned this year, but she worked as long as was possible.

She died on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.  There is a Jewish tradition that those who die on that day are saintly, or extremely righteous.  She received full honours, lying in state at the Capitol, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  For Ruth, Jupiter was exactly trine her Jupiter (a transit which often appears as a sign of release in the elderly), and Pluto exactly square her natal Uranus, the great transformation.

Implications for the government of the U.S.

Amy Barrett was announced as her nominated successor by Donald Trump just last night.  It had been Ruth’s dying wish that the election be settled before a replacement was found.  Amy comes from a paternalistic Catholic sect called People of Praise, and holds beliefs (such as anti-abortion, and health policies), which may see the reversal of Ruth’s achievements, in the same way that Donald Trump has reversed Obama’s policies.

Who is Amy Coney Barrett, astrologically?  Here is a thumbnail sketch: She has the Sun in Aquarius conjunct the North Node, a sign of power;  Mercury squares Mars, in a T-square with Uranus, which is acutely contentious, Mars opposing Uranus being quite unpredicable.  Jupiter square Pluto loves power, but not necessarily uses it in the best way.  Neptune exactly sextile the North Node in Aquarius, with the South Node in Leo, speaks of power in past lives and her strong Catholic faith.

The run up to the American election comes increasingly to fever pitch, with Donald Trump refusing to categorically deny that he would accept the results of an election, if it went against him.  In an article in yesterday’s Guardian, Jonathan Freedland conjectures that if Trump were to impose such policies and intransigencies after an election, there could be dissention in various states, and the possibility of civil war in America:

“How long will a woman in, say, California accept the presence of guns and the absence of abortion rights because that’s what a minority of voters in small overrepresented states wants?”

At Ruth’s death, Mars was square the Pluto in the US chart, a sign of the danger facing the country.

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

“It is essential to women’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling.  If you impose restraints you are disadvantaging her because of her sex…abortion prohibition by the state controls women and denies them full autonomy and full equality with men.”

“[I would like to be remembered as] someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”

~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Aspects

Mercury entered Scorpio this morning, bringing greater intensity, depth and rigour to our mental functioning and purpose.  The mental outlook is more forensic in nature, and looks deeper than the surface, than was characterized under Mercury in Libra.  You may have more courage to look at what really matters, and to worry less about how things appear to others

A softer side is brought into our karma with Venus sextile the North Node, if we need to luxuriate a little or justify a little indulgence.  Expressing more love too, is easier under this aspect.

The contrast between these two features of the day brings to mind the phrase “an iron fist in a velvet glove”, which some may employ.

On Tuesday (29th) Venus trines Mars very early in the morning.  This betokens harmony between the sexes, or within the structure and relationship of your own anima and animus.  It would be a good opportunity for sharing and balancing roles, such as career and parenting.  Body awareness, whether it be through yoga, or massage, will bring a sense of wellbeing.

That same morning, Saturn is Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  This may be experienced as a relief to some, especially for Capricornians, and may release some of their chains or burdens.  Certain matters which have been stuck since May, may slowly start to make progress again.

Chiron also opposes the Sun on Tuesday, which could bring up a health crisis.  It is an opportunity to work on your Inner Healer and your Inner Problem Solver, and find intuitive answers to problems.

There is awkwardness in the evening, with Saturn squaring Mars.  Physically you may want to push an issue, but that approach may not work.  The Chironic way, as described in the previous paragraph, is more likely to succeed.  Think before you act, to avoid clumsiness.  Adding to the tension of this square, the Moon is building to the Full.

On Thursday evening (1st October) the Moon is Full at 9 degrees Aries.  The Full Moon in Aries (emotional needs) opposes the Sun in Libra (balancing your own interests with that of the other) so it is a tussle, as it always is with a Full Moon.  This Full Moon is about Selfhood and Relationship, and bringing the two into balance.

A different focus arrives on Friday (2nd) with Venus entering Virgo.  We become more selective and discriminating in our tastes.  We become more aware of the issues around the environment (courtesy of David Attenborough now joining Instagram).   Venus stays in Virgo until 28th October, so American voters will be fine-tuning their choices during that time.  We may also be specializing in our work and studies.  Hubby and I are now entering the winter term of our new year in the Certificate of Philosophy at Cambridge (online, of course), and the focus is Ethics.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – intensifying thought; loving karma
  • Tuesday – complex: harmony in gender issues; some paths eased; other paths blocked; problem-solving
  • Thursday – emotional high tide
  • Friday – ecological awareness; refining tastes

Aspects for the week beginning 20 September 2020

Terence Conran (1931 – 2020)

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

~ Suzanne Moore

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

Birth Chart

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

Life and Career

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

Shirley Conran

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

Jasper Conran

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

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

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

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

~ Stephen Bayley

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

~ Suzanne Moore

Aspects

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

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

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

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

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

The week in bullet points:

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