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Aspects for the week beginning 6 March 2022

Alan Oken (1944 – 2022)

“It is my sincere hope that all who work with Planetary Pathways will come to the awareness of their own essential divinity and through It, will create ever more widening fields of service for Its expression in the world”

~ Alan Oken

My favourite Astrologer, Alan Oken, passed away yesterday.  An Aries, his work was full of vitality and clarity.  He was also an interpreter of the abstruse writings of Alice Bailey on esoteric astrology.  I can still recall my excitement when I bought my first of his books “Astrology, Evolution and Revolution” in 1976.  And many of his phrases have stuck with me over the decades, as being not necessarily absolute truths, but expressing truths as closely and exquisitely as I would like.

Birth Chart

As a Sun sign Aries, Alan Oken was a leader in life, and undoubtedly in astrology.  He was authentic, and found his path early in life.  His planets were placed mainly in the elements of Fire and Air, and as such was a very energetic and active force, especially early in life.  His Sun and North Node were sextile Uranus, so he was also an innovator.  The Sun in his chart was also closely trine Pluto, so he understood himself and others in great psychological depth.  The Sun’s trine to the North Node gave him an understanding of the cycles of karma and reincarnation.  His Moon conjunct Uranus in Gemini combined rationality, imagination, and futuristic thinking.  Mercury trine Jupiter is always favourable for an expansive teacher, and he travelled the globe widely in his career (with Jupiter in his 9th House of Foreign Travel).  He was able to speak and write in seven languages.  Jupiter sextile Saturn gave him balanced judgement.  Uranus was trine Neptune in his chart, showing an ability to handle complexity.  Uranus also squared his Midheaven, depicting his career as an Astrologer at a time when to be so was in no way mainstream.  Uranus sextile Pluto gave him the ability to handle transformation in his life – he was born in New York City, but spent his final years on the spiritual island of Bali.  Neptune exactly sextile his North Node pointed to the dimension of his being a spiritual teacher and leader, in the realm of Theosophy.  And Pluto conjunct his North Node underlines his karmic mission in teaching about life and death, and emphasizes the importance of his passing for the astrological community.  He had 0 Earth planets, and had a definite mystical orientation.

Life and Career

Alan was born in 1944, and became a student of the astrologer Isabel Hickey.  It was she who passed the baton of astrology down to his generation.  In their synastry, her chart made important aspects to his natal Saturn in 7th House of close relationships, Saturn there representing his teacher: her Jupiter squared his Saturn, her Uranus opposed his Saturn, and her Pluto conjoined his Saturn.  In addition, her Pluto was sextile his natal Mercury, an indication of deep study.  They also had a warmer, more personal, square between her Venus and his Mars.

He reported that he received his calling to become an astrologer on 24th October 1967 at 10.15 p.m. in New York, at the age of 23.  At the time, Jupiter was sextile his Mars (great enthusiasm allied with energy), Pluto square his Saturn (an immense pressure), Saturn trine his Pluto (firmness on the path) and Neptune on his Ascendant (an important personal spiritual realization).

His broadcasting of astrology took off very quickly and spread geographically; he found himself in great demand as a refreshing new voice.  In 1973, he published his first work “As Above, So Below: A primary guide to astrological awareness” billed as “a new key to unlock your expanding consciousness”.  This was followed swiftly by its sequel “The Horoscope, the Road and its Travellers” in 1974.  I was introduced to his work by the third in the trilogy “Astrology: Evolution and Revolution” in 1976, and was utterly enthralled.

In August 1980, the trilogy was republished in one volume entitled “Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology”.  It was lovely to have all three books under one roof, so to speak.  I just marvelled at his clear ability to teach aspects such as astrological symbolism, and the range of material covered, e.g. the traditional interpretations of the Fixed Stars.  This was an inspiring addition to the available textbooks of the day, and to this day I always recommend it first and foremost when asked for the title of a good astrological textbook.

In 1988, he published “Soul Centred Astrology: A key to your expanding self”, based on the work of The Tibetan through Alice Bailey in her book “Esoteric Astrology”.  He is a member of the New Group of World Servers. In that book, he attempts to make this area of thought more accessible to astrologers.  He has said of this work: “Our task is not…just to individualize our egos but to unite the ego of the lower self with the Soul in order to create people who, in the words of the Tibetan Master, Djwal Khul, are ‘Soul-infused personalities’ “.  For Alan, “Astrology is much more than a mental exercise; it is an evolutionary tool for the development of consciousness.”

Recent years

Alan was aware of being homosexual from the age of 7, but had a child and married in his early 20’s.  He moved to Bali about 15 years ago.  He now has grandchildren, and lived in Bali with his husband Wira.  His movements have been constrained by the pandemic, but he continued to work in webinars, and gave a detailed podcast interview with astrologer Chris Brennan in 2019.

In his commentaries and in the podcast, he hinted at preparing new books, e.g. on prediction.  In his last Facebook post, he wrote:

“My dream life has been wonderful as structures for the remaining chapters of my two volume set of books appear crystal clear”.  His natal Moon conjunct Uranus would have been predisposed to such experiences, but,  as energy transforms itself,  these ideas will take other forms, and he may communicate with other astrologers from the other side of the veil.  The teachings of Alice Bailey are clear and detailed on the subject of telepathy, which he would know.

I have been following his commentaries from Bali on Facebook in recent years.  In November last year, he commented that the partial eclipse fell on his Ascendant/Descendant axis, and then in his last post of February 13th he mentioned that both he and his husband had tested positive for covid, but that he was battling more symptoms than Wira.  His cause of death is not known, but may be related to this illness.

So. I bid a fond and affectionate farewell to one who I have always declared to be my favourite Astrologer…

“For me, a teacher of the metaphysical, I find that I can anchor myself in the Middle through my work in astrology which allows the conscious and functional link between my lower finite mind and my higher mind, with its links to the infinite while staying centered here in service.”

~ Alan Oken


Today is the most packed day of the week in terms of astrological activity, so I hope you catch the blog in time to read it!

Mars entered Aquarius this morning), and you may feel that you have tied up some loose ends while Mars was in its recent stint Capricorn, and are able to turn your attention to wider social ventures, such as supporting the underdog or encouraging community projects – there are many worldwide efforts to support Ukraine at this time.  Mars in Aquarius is about teamwork, but also about activating friendships (e.g. engaging in shared leisure interests together).   Mars will be in Aquarius until 15th April.

Following hard on the heels of Mars, Venus also entered Aquarius this morning, which is quite an event in terms of a change of energy.  This may lighten the social mood, and you may have some extra mental energy at your disposal, such as the telepathic superpowers of Aquarius through its ruler Uranus.  You will feel more connected to people, but not in a clingy way, more in the mode of a higher evolutionary consciousness.  Alan Oken would approve.  Venus occupies this position until 5th April.

Shortly afterwards, moreover, Venus caught up with her companion Mars.  This could spell romance for some.  Their position at 0 degrees Aquarius could reveal truth, or future vision.  Tell those you love how you feel about them, and tell yourself how you feel about yourself. Sensuality and hedonism are other possibilities when Venus and Mars get together.

A very different energy also manifests itself today, that of the Nodal Axis squaring Mercury, which brings in a karmic theme including karmic information, and the need to attend to detail in your work and communications.  A time of karmic recalibration, especially in relation to groups.

In the early hours of Thursday (10th) Mercury enters Pisces, bringing the mental focus on to compassion, as applied to the most vulnerable in our society.  The focus in the world right now has moved from the pandemic, to the plight of Ukraine and its valiant population.  It is a good time to apply your mind to wider perspectives and solutions generally, and those that can turn compassion into practical action.  Mercury is in this sign until 27th March.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – community action; telepathic and empathetic powers; sensuality; karmic information
  • Thursday – mental focus on compassion

Aspects for the week beginning 27 February 2022

Invasion of Ukraine

Added to the pandemic, and climate change, the world has a new threat: that of war between Russia and the Ukraine.  Wary of involvement after what transpired from the Iraq War, Syria and Afghanistan, NATO is trying to support Ukraine by other means than military forces.  Rhetoric has been ramped up against the chilling protagonist Vladimir Putin of Russia, whose sanity has been questioned.  Currently, Ukrainian citizens are literally fighting for their lives, reportedly today in the streets of Kharkiv on the outskirts of the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv.  The population of Kyiv have been told to stay underground, and the Prime Minister is staying firmly in the capital.


For the chart of the invasion, I have used 5.55 a.m. on Thursday 24th February 2022.  Mars (war) is still conjunct Venus (peace), in an unusually long conjunction – she has been worn down, and run out of diplomatic options.  Pluto is exactly trine to the North Node, which is a powerful time of reckoning karmically.  The transits to the Ukraine chart seem very karmic – Putin claims Ukraine should still belong to Russia, and won’t forgive the split.  Ukrainians feel they want the freedom and democracy which they would not have as part of Russia, and would like to belong to NATO.   Astrologically, the Nodal Axis is square the Ukrainian natal Mercury-Jupiter conjunction in the 7th House of Close Relations.  The North Node (karma) is about to enter Ukraine’s 4th House of Homeland.  Two more squares threaten Ukraine’s stability at this moment: Chiron square its Uranus (crisis) and Saturn square its Pluto (destructiveness).

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

The Prime Minister of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is the hero of the hour.  He was born on 25 January 1978 in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine.  We have a birth time for him, which gives Jupiter rising (he started out as a comedian).  He was an actor, who played a man who unintentionally became prime minister.  He became prime minister of Ukraine in reality in 2019, campaigning on anti-corruption.  In the lead up to the invasion, he consistently urged calm, while pleading with NATO for support.  Putin has stated that he wants to rid Ukraine of Nazi influences, which is astonishing, given that Zelenskyy is Jewish.

Zelenskyy’s current transits include Saturn from Aquarius in his 8th House opposite his natal Moon in 2nd House.  This is a tough emotional transit which can affect the home or homeland through the Moon’s association with them.  He has Neptune at the top of his chart, indicating uncertainty in his life direction.

Putin’s military might far outweighs that of this relatively smaller country, yet Zelenskyy stands firm (he has over half his planets in the Fixed Signs) and urges his population for fight for their country: “I am here. We will not lay down any weapons. We will defend our state, because our weapons are our truth. Our truth is that this is our land, our country, our children and we will protect all of this.”


Under Putin’s lengthy dictatorship, Russia has become more and more extremely alienated from the west.  Its transits at the moment are surprisingly upbeat: Chiron trine its Mercury, Neptune trine its Venus, Jupiter sextile its Uranus and Mars (force) sextile its Pluto.  At this moment in time, the sanctions are not too threatening.

Vladimir Putin

Who knows the extent of his ambitions?  Putin’s own transits for the event indicated Mars square his natal Mercury (initiating the event), Uranus opposite his natal Venus (alienating half the world), Saturn trine his natal Saturn (a long term plan) and the North Node trine his natal Ascendant (giving himself the go-ahead).

United States

This week a historic transit took place in relation to the United States chart, the Pluto Return (to its original position).  It is such a rare event that an individual will not experience that in one lifetime, and those that are long lived will only experience the Pluto Opposition.  Pluto in the U.S. chart represents its power, so this was an important moment in relation to its power in the world.  Pluto in its natal chart is placed in its 2nd House of the Economy, so its economy will be very much affected by this transit.  The transit itself took place on Monday 21st February 2022, on the very brink of the invasion of Ukraine, but its effects are far-reaching.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden has been tasked with this monumental role in history, to act as counterpoise to Putin, who seems not to care about the fate of the world and its citizens.  Biden has come in for criticism from some quarters, but like Barack Obama faces difficulty in getting legislation past the opposition.  Donald Trump claimed this week that the current crisis involving Ukraine would not have happened on his watch, because of his warmer relationship with Putin, who he described as “savvy”.  Joe Biden has important and heavy transits at present, including the South Node on his Sun/Venus, and Pluto sextile his natal Sun.  But he also has Jupiter trine his natal Mars, giving him courage.

United Kingdom

How is the United Kingdom chart placed in relation to this event?  I am using the 1922 chart.  The Nodal Axis is squaring its natal Mars, so talk of war is in the air.  Transiting Saturn is trine its Saturn, which is fairly stabilizing, however.  The uncertainty is shown by Saturn opposing its Neptune.  Change is in the air (Uranus sextile its natal Pluto) and crisis is also shown (Chiron square its Pluto).  There are, of course, other things going on in U.K. politics!

Boris Johnson

For Boris, it is a chance to inhabit his Winston Churchill Persona, and evade Partygate.  Jupiter opposes his Pluto, exercising power, and trines his natal Midheaven.  Uranus trines his natal Pluto (change in the air).  I looked at his transits a few weeks ago, and earmarked this as an important week.  For Thursday, my conjecture was: “…either the troops will be rallying round Boris, or he may be freeing himself (Jupiter) from a burdensome role.”  He has been praised, in certain quarters, for his speeches.

Germany and France are playing major roles within the European Union, in imposing strong sanctions against Russia.  China is purportedly allying with Russia, but has economic interests in the Ukraine.

For many, the best option would be for those around Putin, seeing the destructiveness of his actions, to execute a political coup.  We in the west salute the bravery of the Ukrainians, and need to support the individual sovereignty of Ukraine, providing as much aid as possible.

The main astrological hope will be the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on 12th April.  The last lines of the Great Invocation by Alice Bailey come to mind more than ever now:

“From the centre which we call the race of men

Let the Plan of Love and Light work out

And may it seal the door where evil dwells

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth”


Tomorrow (Monday, February 28th) Mars trines the North Node, accentuating the karmic aspects of war, possibly tipping the balance on the right rather than the might.  It is a good day for exercising bravery.  We might be more galvanized to action, especially from a karmic standpoint.  You may feel there is something you must do, or right a wrong, put something straight, in your own life.

Venus also trines the North Node, indicating that the desire for peace is a component in the hearts of men and women at the same time. This links karma with harmony and love, and reminds us that love is a force underlying a great deal of human interaction, e.g. standing up for one’s country, and protecting loved ones.  It also reminds us of the Hindu law of ahimsa, or harmlessness, required to neutralize and promote good karma.

Wednesday (March 2nd) is an important day this week, starting with a sextile between the Sun and Uranus at 5.05 a.m in the U.K.  You may wake early, with ideas of how to make this day count.  Spontaneity and innovation characterize the evening’s proceedings.  Telepathy and higher consciousness, or liaising with a constructive group, are also favoured.

In the afternoon, at 16.33 Hrs, there is a conjunction of Mercury and Saturn at 18 degrees Aquarius, prompting communications of a serious nature.  You may have found yourself attending to minute detail, or scrutinizing something, perhaps with a view to solving a problem.

A New Moon in follows at 17.35 Hrs at 12 degrees Pisces, so you may have come to a decision that day, and follow it up by cementing your intentions.  This New Moon is especially focussed on service, emotion, the use of water (wild swimming is becoming increasingly in vogue), and overcoming addiction(s).  Any affirmations, practical projects and creative visualizations along these lines would be apt.

Thursday (3rd March) may be a more stressful day in terms of witnessing one man’s inhumanity to an independent state, for Mars conjoins with Pluto (at 27 degrees Capricorn), one of the most explosive aspects astrologically.  It occurs once every two years.  Keep out of mischief, and try to work out your strategies for peace in advance; organize a group meditation if possible.  This conjunction takes place at 8.43 a.m.

At 17.56 Hrs the same day, Venus conjuncts Pluto (also at 27 degrees Capricorn), trying to salve the wounds brought about from the Mars-Pluto conflict.  There is much more reflection about the enormity of changes, and the impact on humanity.  You may need to do some soul-searching in order to have a handle on your feelings.  In your interactions, deep honesty may be required. A strong dose of chamomile tea and lavender may be needed all round.

Fixed Star Achernar in the constellation of Eridanus is aligned with our Sun on Saturday (5th).  “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld indicates its helpfulness for those struggling with maths:

“This star has the capacity to increase the mental functioning needed for the ability to work in multiple dimensional understanding.  This can be helpful for some individuals who not only seek to understand the relationship of mathematics and science to the everyday world, but who also have a concept of the limitations of science at the current time.  This can be helpful to individuals who have blockages to science and mathematics in themselves, assisting them to bridge these blocks.  This star is helpful for individuals who seek to teach science and math to individuals of an artistic bent.”

Finally, Jupiter conjuncts the Sun at 14.06 Hrs on Saturday in the U.K.at 14 degrees Pisces, in one of the brightest aspects of the year.  Where there has been dejection, it is time to let in hope, or even celebration.  It will certainly be lucky for some.  Focus on what makes you happy, and make more of that.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – karmic aspects of war and peace
  • Wednesday – bright ideas, serious information, new beginning
  • Thursday – extreme conflict, efforts at peace
  • Saturday – a mathematical space; luck and joy

Jamal Edwards (1990 – 2022)

Jamal Edwards (1990 – 2022)

‘We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will’

~ Jamal Edwards

Music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards died last week, aged just 31.  He apparently suffered a heart attack after performing as a DJ the previous night.  His mother Brenda was with him at home – they shared a close bond, and her grief is unimaginable.  In his short 31 years, he had set up a groundbreaking new channel for music, launched some legendary musical talents, earned an M.B.E., and set up various projects to enable young and vulnerable people.

Birth Chart

Jamal had over half (6) of his planets in Earth signs, so was very grounded.  His Sun was in Virgo (he was unassuming and enjoyed peace and quiet), square to Mars (the Warrior) and trine Uranus (the Innovator).  We do not  have his birth time.  Mercury was trine Mars in his chart, giving rise to the musical genres of rap and grime, with which he was associated.  With Mars also trine Saturn, this gave him a Grand Trine in Earth, which will have empowered his efforts.  He also had the problem-solving Mercury-Chiron sextile, which was exact.  Venus and Jupiter conjunct the South Node implied that he had honed his musical talents in past lives successfully.

Life and Career

Jamal was born in Luton, and brought up later in Acton.  At school, he enjoyed ICT and music.  According to the Guardian obituary by Peter Mason he was a “class clown, rebelling against his strict Christian upbringing and subject to a short attention span that needed constant stimulation.”  After leaving school he attended West London College and obtained a BTEC diploma in Media Moving Image.  His mother gave him a video camera when he was 15, and he worked at Topman while filming videos with his friends, posting them on YouTube.  He founded a media platform SBTV, and promoted young musicians such as Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Stormzy and Emeli Sande before they were famous.  His channel received a huge boost in 2011 when it was featured in a Google Chrome advertisment.  The subscription of the SBTV channel subsequently grew to over a million.

Other Projects and Timelines

In 2013 Jamal he produced an ebook entitled “Self-belief: The Vision: How to be a Success on Your Own Terms”.

In 2015 he was awarded an MBE for services to music

In 2017 he made a documentary about male suicide, with the Guardian.

In 2019 he set up JED (Jamal Edwards Delve), a grassroots youth-centre project.

In 2020 he worked with the Department of Education, encouraging young people to undertake apprenticeships.

He was keen to promote mental wellbeing, stating:

“Anxiety comes over me at the most random times. I wanted to create awareness. As much as music is my entry point, I feel a responsibility to talk about these other issues. I wanted to get people talking to each other and they have been, I’m happy.”

Brenda Edwards

Brenda Edwards came fourth in the 2005 series of the X-Factor, and went on to play various roles in musicals on stage.  She has been more well-known since joining the ladies on Loose Women.  I have watched her on the programme, and admired her resilience, hearing of her difficult life.  Viewers will find this tragedy of lost motherhood all the more poignant, feeling they “know” her.

Single mother Brenda has a remarkable birth chart, with three exact conjunctions: Venus conjunct Saturn (she has had very difficult relationships), Jupiter conjunct Uranus (The Entrepreneur Archetype), and Chiron conjunct the North Node in Aries (the wounded healer); plus another conjunction, of Mars conjunct Neptune, with a three degree orb.

Tragically, Brenda lost both her parents in a car crash in 1974.  This week, losing Jamal, Jupiter was transiting her natal Sun, exactly the same transit as when she lost her parents.  Normally, Jupiter is seen as the benefic, but some people consistently experience Jupiter as difficult, and see Saturn as the benefic.  This is a startling example of that.

Brenda has a daughter, Tanisha, and is supported by the Loose Women team.  She was enormously proud of Jamal’s achievements, and knew that he was much loved in the musical community.  She gave a spirited vocal performance this week at a vigil for Jamal.

Jamal was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, and Prince Charles wrote:

“His work in music but also as an ambassador for a new generation, including his work for The Prince’s Trust, were an inspiration to so many”

Aspects for the week beginning 20 February 2022

Pisces Careers 

The Sun entered Pisces on Friday, so as we enter this Piscean month, I thought I would take a look at careers for this sign.  Maybe you have children or grandchildren born under this sign, or you are a Piscean looking at a change of career.  If you are Piscean and consider yourself to have a fulfilling career,  you could share that under comments, e.g. the Piscean daughter of a school friend of mine is a deep sea diving instructor!

Film Director

Weighing in as a Piscean Film Director is Mike Leigh.  The two birth signs associated with acting are Leo (for drama) and Pisces (for sensitivity).  A certain proportion of actors go into directing, and Leo is the top sign for Film Directors, because they need to be in charge of the whole.  But Mike Leigh is one of the Pisceans in this field: he has such a fluid Piscean style, encouraging the ad lib in his actors.  He has Sun and Venus in Pisces, and Pluto, the North Node and Chiron in Leo.  His birthday is 20th February.


Hypnotist Paul McKenna is not Piscean, but has its ruler Neptune exactly conjunct his natal Sun in Scorpio. He has Chiron (healing and problem-solving) in Pisces.


Dynamo Magician, like Paul McKenna, also has the Sun conjunct Neptune (Pisces is also associated with illusionism) within one degree, but in Sagittarius, so they have different applications.  This conjunction is close to the Galactic Centre, and sextile his Pluto, which gives him extra power.


Rudolf Nureyev, the ballet dancer, was a man of mystique, and turned his back on his native Russia.  His power is shown by a trine between his Sun and Pluto, and his challenge shown by his Sun’s exact square to Chiron.  His Sun in Pisces was conjunct with his Midheaven (Careerpoint) also in Pisces, in his 9th House of Foreign Lands (suggesting his emigration).  His birthday was 17th March.


19th Century poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a Piscean. She was famously closeted (a Neptunian state) and rescued by Robert Browning.  She had 5 (half) her planets in Pisces in the 6th House of Health, and health was a major issue in her life.  Her birthday was 6th March.

The modern poet Amanda Gorman who recited her poem at the inauguration of Joe Biden, is Piscean.  I observed at the time:

“Amanda was born under the poet’s sign of Pisces, with Mercury (mindset) and Jupiter (philosophy) also in that sign … Her Sun trines Chiron, an indication of a Healer.  She has Mercury sextile Venus, the Writer Archetype … Mercury sextile Neptune indicates a subtlety with words and the openness of the mind to spiritual inspiration.  Venus exactly conjunct Neptune brings the ability to create exquisite art forms.  Mars sextile Neptune allows the combination of activism with compassion.”  Note the prominence of Neptune in her talent.  Her birthday is 7th March.


Edgar Cayce was one of the greatest clairvoyants that ever lived.  He gave thousands upon thousands of readings, first on health conditions, and then on karmic themes, even predicting his own future lives.  He had four planets in Pisces, and his Mercury and Saturn were conjunct the North Node, describing the karmic nature of his readings.  His birthday was 18th March.


Notable actors born under the sign of Pisces are Alan Rickman (from my blog):

“He had the Sun conjunct Venus in Pisces, was greatly loved and had the ability to move people.  The Sun, Venus and Mercury, three personal planets all in Pisces, had a mystique and an enigmatic quality which was part of his appeal.”  His birthday is 21st February.

Elizabeth Taylor (from my blog):

“Mercury in Pisces in her chart is exactly opposite natal Neptune (channelling but also obfuscation) portrays the fact that she would dip in to the collective unconscious with her mind and her heart.”  Her birthday is 27th February.

 Michael Caine

Michael has the Sun, Venus and the North Node in Pisces.  His birthday is 14th March.

and Sidney Poitier (from my blog):

“With over half his planets (6) in the Water element, he was able to convey simmering emotion.  The Sun in his chart was in Pisces, together with Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Uranus… His Sun in Pisces opposed Neptune – providing an ocean of sensitivity, emotion and talent.”  His birthday was 20th February.


Michaelangelo, one of the most prominent Renaissance artists, was a Piscean, born on 6th March.  He had Sun/Mars and the Moon in that sign.

A modern artist born under this sign is Anish Kapoor, born on 12th March, who has the Sun and Mercury in this sign.  He specializes in installation and conceptual art.


Kurt Cobain of Nirvana (a Neptunian name for a band!) had half his planets (5) in Pisces, a self-effacing sign, placed self-effacingly opposite his Ascendant.  He fell victim to addiction, and poor health, and suffered from chronic pain.  But he was so charismatic as to have represented Generation X.  His birthday was 12th March.

Beatle George Harrison took the Neptunian route to spirituality, being a devotee of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  George had the Sun and Venus at opposite ends of Pisces, but both within his 5th House of Creativity.    His birthday was 25th February.


from my Piscean Archetypes blog:


Famous Example: Albert Einstein

Other signs can lay claim to science, but Pisces lays claim to talent and genius by virtue of employing the whole brain.  The theory of relativity came to Albert Einstein in a dream.

I wonder what Einstein was thinking about when he said  “What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?”  He too was born on 14th March.

Other Careers

Photographer, Nurse, Fisherman, Chiropodist/Podiatrist, Reflexologist, Pharmacist, Plumber, Marine biologist, Secret Agent/Spy, Ice Skater, Missionary, Spiritual Teacher

Pisces is a supremely talented sign, and even if you are not a Piscean, you may have a planet in that sign to cultivate.  I myself have the Part of Fortune in Pisces in my 11th House of Friendship, so I dedicate this blog to my friends.  Enjoy the season of Pisces!


We start the week with a Fixed Star alignmentOur Sun is aligned with Sadalmelik on Tuesday (22nd, all the twos) which is the Alpha Star in the constellation of Aquarius.  According to “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld:

“A gradual accumulation of the awareness of group interaction and group energy takes place unconsciously for most people who regularly interact in any group  situation.  The use of this star will gradually improve one’s ability to bring the energies that are unconscious into better focus.  Often in such groups there are many things left unsaid which people together are a little afraid to speak of.  This star will give them a little more strength to say them and likely give them the trust to hear such words and in this way share all that much better in a group.”

Wednesday (23rd) brings a harmonious sextile between Mars and Neptune.  The last sextile we had, on Friday, Jupiter sextile Uranus, was high energy all right as promised, but the high energy nearly all belonged to Storm Eunice.  We were bystanders, sitting at home, watching and waiting.  I did manage to get a research questionnaire out to friends…

Anyway, Mars sextile Neptune is a completely different vibe from Storm Eunice.  Though it has energy (Mars), it is softened, made more gentle, and spiritualized by virtue of the involvement of Neptune.  It brings refinement to your actions and activities.  This favours flowing exercise such as Tai Chi, Qijong and Yoga.  Combining the physical with the spiritual is ideal, and achievable.

Neptune is again in evidence on Thursday (24th) when it makes another sextile, this time to the planet of beauty, Venus.  This can bring soothing waves of serenity, which hopefully you may experience.  People may come more into tune with each other.  New artistic avenues may flourish.  We will be trying out a local restaurant that evening, which is putting on a vegetarian menu, where Venus = dining and Neptune = refinement (apologies to meat eaters).

On Friday (25th) prepare to batten down the hatches, for Mercury squares Uranus.  This happens at 2.22 a.m. (all the twos), so may invade your dream life with a quirky visual episode.  Seriously, consider loopholes in advance for the element of the unexpected will be uppermost, and there may be clumsy or controversial events on the day.  I.T. and electrical equipment may be especially problematic.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tuesday – group consciousness
  • Wednesday – harmony of body and spirit
  • Thursday – inspired arts
  • Friday – possible spanner in the works


Aspects for the week beginning 13 February 2022

Bamber Gascoigne

“Your starter for ten…

Fingers on the buzzers…

I’ll have to hurry you…”

The original quizmaster of University Challenge, Bamber Gascoigne, died last Tuesday, at the age of 87.  The quiz show began in 1962, and I was an avid viewer before I went to university (the questions were easier, then!) and in our household hubby and I still challenge each other every week (I win about once a year).  The gentlemanly Bamber stopped hosting the show in 1987, but it was subsequently revived with Jeremy (not so gentlemanly) Paxman at the helm.

Birth Chart

We are fortunate enough to have a birth time for Bamber, and his vital astrological statistics are Sun in Aquarius, Moon in Virgo and Ascendant in Cancer.  He had half his planets in Air (Intellectual) and half in Fixed signs (strong willed).  With the Sun in Aquarius square to its ruling planet Uranus, he was very independent.  His Sun was conjunct the North Node and trine Chiron, so had a strong sense of rectitude.  His Moon and Mars were in Virgo in the 3rd House of Intellect and Broadcasting.  He had the Writer Archetype, in Mercury exactly conjunct Venus –  and indeed left a serious body of writing, much of it historical.  The other archetype he had was the Quizmaster Archetype, in the shape of Mercury trine Mars!  He began his career as a theatre critic, and The Critic is another archetype associated with Mercury-Mars.  He had a broad depth of knowledge, described by Mercury closely square Jupiter: his wife said that he had a “limitless thirst for knowledge, which he retained like a sponge.”  With Mars square the Ascendant, and Pluto on his Ascendant, he sported a red head of hair.  He cut a powerful figure with Jupiter trine Pluto, and sustained a successful career (Jupiter trine the Midheaven in the 9th House of University).  He wrote books on Christianity, and curiously enough his Neptune (Spirituality) was unaspected – apparently “Gascoigne insisted – in the face of criticism by the church – that his lay status was precisely what was required: he said he wanted Christians to assume he was a believer and non-Christians to assume he was not.”

Early Life and Career

Bamber was born in London into a family connected to aristocracy, educated at Eton, and then Magdalene College Cambridge, where he met his wife.  The pair were married in 1965, a marriage which lasted 57 years, until his death.  He began working as a theatre critic, and then at the age of 27 he was chosen to present the new television quiz University Challenge, never realizing it would have such longevity.  For the first series, he set the questions himself, as well as delivering them.

University Challenge

At the onset of University Challenge, on 21st September 1962, Mars was square his natal Mars, and Saturn was trine his natal Chiron in Gemini.  The Sun was on his natal ruling planet, Uranus.  At the conclusion of that first phase of the show, on 31st December 1987, Bamber had a profusion of transits.  Some of them indicated an ending (Saturn square his natal Midheaven or Careerpoint) and Uranus square his natal Moon in Virgo in 3rd House (the end of a way of life in a broadcasting role).  Other transits hinted at the release into new pastures for him (Jupiter sextile his natal Mercury/Venus hinting at future writings) and Uranus exactly trine his natal Uranus (freedom to express his Aquarian nature).  The Astrology of the University Challenge chart itself is interesting, too: Uranus squared the chart’s Sun (an ending), and Pluto was transiting the Venus/Neptune conjunction of the University Challenge chart (also depicting an ending).

Jeremy Paxman Era

Seven years later, the show was revived with a new quizmaster, Jeremy Paxman.  Jeremy displayed a much more hectoring style towards the students.  Jeremy is a Taurean, and also has a strong willed chart.  In 1997 he famously interviewed the politician Michael Howard and asked him the same question 12 times, leading to a nickname of “The Rottweiler”.  Interestingly, Jeremy has the same Quizmaster Archetype of Mercury trine Mars in his chart as Bamber Gascoigne!  The BBC decided to air the new series on 21st September 1994, the anniversary of the original, which meant that again the Sun was on Bamber Gascoigne’s Uranus.  However, Bamber stated that he only ever watched one or two episodes of the show with the new host.  Mars was prominent again in the transits for Jeremy when he took up the show, in that the planet was exactly sextile his natal Mars to the day.  Perhaps that reflects the combative nature of the show.  In addition, Neptune was on Jeremy’s Sun, Pluto exactly opposite his Mercury, and Uranus exactly trine his Uranus on the day (the same transit as Bamber Gascoigne had on taking leave of the show).  In this case it represented the new enterprise for Jeremy.

After University Challenge

After leaving the show, Bamber Gascoigne continued to write books, on mainly historical themes.  His television series “The Christians” had been followed by a book on that theme accompanied by photographs taken by his wife, and was republished in 2003.  In 1979 he had been involved in writing Quest for the Golden Hare, about Kit Williams’ book Masquerade. In the actual year he left University Challenge (1987) he presented a documentary series on Victorian history.  He was later involved in a study of the Mughal Empire of India.

In 2014, his great aunt died and left him an estate at West Horsley, Surrey, which included a country house, a home once owned by Henry VIII.  He and his wife decided to restore the house, and later built an opera house on the grounds.  The house has been used for the filming of television comedy “Ghosts”.

With his high forehead, he always did seem the epitome of intelligence.  There was also an untouchable aloofness about his character, often the result of a combination of Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Virgo.  But the original face of University Challenge is always remembered with a palpable affection.

“…He was so kind and warm to us students who sat nervously at those desks.  Such an elegant, intelligent man”

~ Stephen Fry


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, but really it’s Valentine’s Week this year, because Venus will be conjunct with Mars all week, which rarely happens.  So get in the zone straight away, even if it is self-love which you are aiming for.  It’s hearts and flowers, all the way!

On the day itself (Monday, 14th), Pluto will be trine the North Node, an important recognition of the roles we play in each other’s lives.  It is a good time to appreciation who is in our life, and to ponder on the reasons why.  Whether you take a this life approach, or a more long term view of past and future lives, we can on that day gain insight into the law of cause and effect, as it applies to our relationships.  We can ask profitably ask the question: how can we best evolve our relationship(s). The day, and the aspect, is not only about relationship, it is about our own deepest psychology and the meaning of life itself.  It is up to you how deep you go with that!

In the evening, Mercury enters Aquarius.  That increases the balance of planets in Aquarius to three, with the Sun and Saturn already there.  The asteroid Juno is also currently in Aquarius.  The Aquarian energy is gathering…though the love birds Venus and Mars are still in Capricorn, giving an old-fashioned quality to romance itself.  But soon you may see a surge in space-age related news items and influences.  Technology, too will flourish.

The Sun squares the Nodal Axis on Tuesday (15th), challenging us to stay on our karmic path even if group pressure tries to sway our individuality.  We have to find a way to honour our own way, while staying in integrity with society or outside pressures.  It may present as a power struggle, but can be an opportunity to find higher solutions.

Wednesday (16th) is the day when Venus and Mars actually catch up with each other.  Maybe your Valentine celebration was delayed, or that special online gift purchase finally arrives at the doorstep.  At any rate, this is the most romantic day of the week.  Tell those you love how you feel about them, and tell yourself how you feel about yourself (hopefully that will be a positive!)  Some celebrity (whose name escapes me) said last week that he tries to treat every day as Valentine’s Day.  Well, this is certainly a week when that idea can be put into practice.

Of course, not everybody likes Valentine’s Day.  For those that don’t Venus conjoining Mars on this day can be a hedonist’s dream, revelling in your own sensuality. What’s that I hear?  Not everyone likes hedonism?  I am running out of options, in that case, but perhaps try just enjoying the moment.

Wednesday also offers a Full Moon at 28 degrees Leo, which will produce some emotional tension, possibly around the question of romance itself: did the Venus-Mars conjunction meet your expectations?  Moon in Leo can be dramatic, and bring about power struggles.  But Leo is creative, and can write its own screenplay, especially if working in a balanced way within a group.  Do your best to create your own reality your own way.

However, the climax of the week comes on Friday (18th), with a harmonious sextile between two big hitters, Jupiter and Uranus.  It happens in the first hour of the day, so you could experience the wow factor at the end of Thursday evening.  It may be exciting enough to keep you awake!  If you have a pet project or enterprise on the go, there may be a sudden success attached to it.  Or your positive future focus may suddenly be firing on all cylinders.  It is a good time to seize the moment, the day or the week.  Entrepreneurs often have this sextile  in their natal chart.  I only hope that, with the build up of troops on the Ukrainian border, Vladimir Putin does not read this…

Last up this week, in the afternoon of Friday, the Sun will enter the sign of Pisces.  We become more introspective and aware of our deeper emotions with the Sun in Pisces.  We become more aware of the sentience and oneness of all life.  The Sun in that sign shines a light on such matters.  It is our final stage of quietude and incubation before the Spring arrives in a month’s time.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – insight and understanding; looking to the future
  • Tuesday – karmic power struggles
  • Wednesday – true love and drama
  • Friday – enthusiasm and surprise! Deeper introspection

Aspects for the week beginning 6 February 2022

Boris, again

It has been an unprecedented week for resignations and votes of no confidence in Boris Johnson, after weeks of scandal over parties held at Downing Street while the rest of the country observed his rules.  Will he stay or will he go?  If so, when?  Ian Blackford of the SNP was asked to leave the chamber at PMQs for implying that Boris is a liar. And we often hear that apparently Boris is the laughing stock of Europe.  The medium Sally Morgan recently pronounced he is thinking of going, and may go in May, and the number 5 may be significant:

“Within my work I often receive numbers – for Boris, the number 5 is incredibly important. This number relates directly to his resignation. My initial thoughts are that this will happen in the month of May; however, if he is to leave before that, then it will likely take place on the fifth day of the month.” 

~ Sally Morgan, 20th January

I have noticed a number of people moving house since December and am surmising the Universe wants to move people around for the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in April.  So will Boris be relocating soon?  I thought I would look at his transits, his highs and lows, for the next three or four months.  Transits are more accurate for personal lives, but I will also check them out with the aspects, as he is a public figure and his fortunes affect society.  I will also have an eye to Carrie Symonds’ transits, because if he moves house, she would move with him.  And another eye on whether it looks as though Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, favourite to replace him, will be moving next door?


Last week:

Monday 31st January: Saturn from Aquarius in his 5th House squared his natal Neptune in Scorpio in his 2nd House – Kicking off his natal unrealistic opposition between Neptune and Jupiter.  This date brought the unveiling of a shortened version of the long awaited report from Sue Gray about Downing Street parties during lockdown, having turned the matter over to the police in the long term.

Boris proclaimed in parliament:

“Mr Speaker, it is not enough to say sorry. This is a moment when we must look at ourselves in the mirror and we must learn.”

Wednesday 2nd:  This was the day he unleashed his programme for levelling up the North and South, the poor and the rich.  It was met with less enthusiasm than he would have hoped.  At Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris accused Keir Starmer of failing to prosecute Jimmy Savile, an untrue accusation which has cost him dear.  His close aide Munira Mirza (Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit) resigned as a direct result of this:

” You are aware of the reason for my decision: I believe it was wrong for you to imply this week that Keir Starmer was personally responsible for allowing Jimmy Savile to escape justice. There was no fair or reasonable basis for that assertion…

You are a better man than many of your detractors will ever understand which is why it is desperately sad that you let yourself down by making a scurrilous accusation against the Leader of the Opposition.”

She had worked alongside him for 14 years, and their astrology bears testimony to their closeness:  her Sun on his Jupiter (a lucky charm), her Mars sextile his Ascendant (motivating) and her Jupiter trine his Saturn (a balance of optimism and realism).  Her transits for this leavetaking included Saturn square her natal Sun (a difficult decision) and Mars square her natal Uranus (a forced separation).

Thursday, 3rd: Saturn from Aquarius in his 5th House squared his natal Jupiter in Taurus in his 8th House – Also transiting his natal unrealistic opposition between Neptune and Jupiter. Multiple resignations and letters of no confidence then ensued. Fifty four letters of no confidence are needed to start an election for a new leader.

Sunday 20th: Jupiter from Pisces in his 6th House opposes his natal Pluto in Virgo in his 12th House – Could this be a challenge to Boris’ power?

On the same day, Rishi Sunak has a major transit, that of Neptune squaring his natal Neptune.  This could involve him in a confusing quandary, e.g. should he support Boris?  If this is a time when he is considering his position, he might find the idea of taking charge overwhelming.  If and when Boris resigns, there would be an interim period of choosing a new leader.  Neptune square natal Neptune implies a feeling of being in limbo.

Thursday/Friday 24/5th: Jupiter from Pisces in his 6th House trines Boris’ natal Midheaven in Cancer in his 10th House – Classically, this would point to a career promotion or beneficial lifestyle change.  So either the troops will be rallying round Boris, or he may be freeing himself (Jupiter) from a burdensome role.

Aspect on 24th: Venus sextile Neptune – a sublime and serene vibe.

Aspect on 25th: Mercury square Uranus – controversial words flying.


Monday 7th: Jupiter from Pisces in his 6th House trines his natal Neptune in Scorpio in his 2nd House – If he is still in office, he may experience hope that he can continue.  If, however,  he has left office, he will be feeling euphoric, and may also receive a boost to his bank balance.

Monday/Tuesday 7/8th: Uranus from Taurus in his 8th House trines his natal Pluto in Virgo in his 12th House – Another favourable and strengthening transit for Boris.  This could be an important time for him.  If he is staying in office, he’ll be announcing sweeping changes.  But otherwise, it may indicate constructive new change for him personally.

Tuesday 8th: Jupiter from Pisces in his 6th House trines his natal Jupiter in Taurus in his 8th House – He is on a roll, feeling lucky.  If he is still in office, he may pull off a triumph.  If not, he will be hugely enjoying his freedom.

Thursday 10th:  His wife Carrie has a major transit: Neptune in Pisces squares her natal Chiron in Gemini.  This could indicate a possible healing crisis, or adverse reaction about her influence over Boris.

Friday 11/12th: Chiron in Aries transits Boris’ natal Descendant, opposes his Ascendant, and enters his 7th House – This could indicate a crisis in his primary relationship and physical well being.  This may be as a result of Carrie’s own crisis the previous day.  The relationship will be entering a more tricky period.  Also, Chiron entering his 7th House may indicate a more tricky relationship with his public.

Saturday/Sunday 19/20th: Jupiter in Pisces in his 6th House transits his natal Chiron – This may be helpful to Boris, in his personal healing or recovery.

Aspect on 19th: Venus square Uranus – not a helpful aspect for relationships in general.

Wednesday 23rd: Jupiter in Pisces in his 6th House squares his Mercury in Gemini in his 9th House – He could make an international gaffe, or if at PMQs he may go too far with a quip at the opposition.

Aspect on 23rd: Mercury conjunct Neptune – words can confuse.

Thursday 31st: Uranus from Taurus in his 8th House sextiles his natal Midheaven in Cancer in his 10th House – A change of life direction.  This would be a good day to resign, if he hasn’t already done so.  Perhaps the previous day’s events brought a trigger for this.


Saturday/Sunday 2nd/3rd April:  This is an important day for Rishi Sunak, with Neptune from Pisces trine his natal  Uranus in Scorpio.  Again this may be as a result of events in the second half of the previous week.  Perhaps his leadership is confirmed, but the transit indicates weathering a complex situation.

Aspect on 2nd: Sun conjunct Mercury in Aries, some clarity is reached, going forward.

Monday 4th: For Boris, Pluto from his 4th House of Home and Family quincunxes his natal Sun in Gemini in 9th House – This could indicate a house relocation, or a deep change of heart resulting from soul searching.

Friday/Saturday 8/9th: A major uplifting transit for Carrie, with Jupiter transiting her natal North Node in Pisces.  If still at Downing Street, she may be celebrating a triumph of her own.  If out of Downing Street, she may be enjoying domestic bliss elsewhere.  But there is a karmic tone to this transit, so past consequences may be coming home to roost.

Aspect on 8th: Mercury sextile Mars, a good aspect for getting things done.

Monday 11th: For Boris, Chiron from Aries in his 7th House squares his Midheaven/I.C. Axis – This indicates some sort of crunch time for his career or life direction, and possibly a health situation.

Tuesday 12th: [for the general population] Jupiter conjunct Neptune at 23 degrees Pisces.  This occurs in Boris’ 6th House of Health and Working Conditions.  If still in office, chaos in the cabinet?  If out of office, a health issue to sort out.  May be feeling in good spirits, though.

Thursday 14th: For Rishi Sunak, Uranus transits his natal Chiron in Taurus – If he has a new job, he may be finding things unexpectedly tricky. If still in his current role of Chancellor of the Exchequer, there may be an excruciating dilemma in handling the public purse.

Tuesday 26th: For Carrie, there is some personal joy on the way, with Jupiter transiting her natal Sun in Pisces. Difficult to know what would make her happy, but there is a ring of freedom about it, e.g. a holiday.


Tuesday 3rd: Jupiter from Pisces in Boris’ 6th House of Health and Working Conditions squares his natal Sun in Gemini in his 9th House – He may overreact to something, or liberate himself from something.

Aspect on 3rd: Jupiter sextile Pluto – There may be an exchange of power, so a good day for a transfer of power.

Thursday 5th: Mars from Pisces in his  6th House exactly trines his natal  Neptune in Scorpio in 2nd House – Some financial dealing may be revealed or boosted, either for Boris’ private finances or the public purse.

Aspect on 5th: Sun conjunct Uranus, the unexpected.

Monday 16th: Uranus from Taurus in his 8th House opposes his natal Neptune in Scorpio in his 2nd House – This could be chaotic for Boris.  Maybe a house move?  It is also a Full Moon and Eclipse, so may be a turning point.

Thursday 19th: Jupiter in Aries in his 6th House sextiles his natal Mars in Gemini in his 8th House – Something arouses his fighting spirit.

Aspect on 19th: Sun trine Pluto, a good day for a change in power.

Saturday/Sunday 21st/22nd: Uranus in Taurus in his 8th House transits his natal Jupiter – A sense of freedom.

Aspect on 21st: Sun conjunct Mercury in Gemini, more clarity.

Monday 23rd: Jupiter in Aries in his 6th House squares his Nodal Axis – A karmic reckoning for some of the more excessive activities (e.g. a Partygate interim report from the police.)

Aspect on 23rd: Sun sextile Jupiter, lucky for some.

Tuesday/Wednesday 24/25th:  As 4th April, but with Pluto Retrograde – This could indicate a house relocation, or a deep change of heart resulting from soul searching.  The need to learn lessons from the past.

Aspect on 24th: Mercury sextile Mars – getting things done

Aspect on 25th: Mercury trine Pluto, serious conversations

At this point in time, Boris’ cabinet are staying close to him, whatever they are thinking, but few (apart from say Nadine Dorries) believe he can carry on in the same vein, and it is difficult to imagine a leopard changing its spots.  So, right now, it seems like when rather than if he will go.  A change of leader seems on the cards, though not yet a change of governing party.


Chiron squares Mars today, which is like trying to place a square peg in a round hole.  What may be required is the acknowledgement and acceptance of two different outlooks, and the agreement to co-exist.  Even better, an encouragement of the other’s right to exist.  However, one party may not be able to elevate their outlook, and a minor skirmish may occur. This would be a healing crisis, showing what needs to be healed.  Some things are better revealed than kept hidden, and a coming to terms can begin.

An easier expression of energy occurs on Tuesday (8th), with a trine between Mars and Uranus.  You are likely to see, or initiate, bold and controversial moves.  It favours mechanical and engineering enterprises, but also social engineering, and sporting interests.  There could be surprises in connection with men, cars and dogs!

I am mixing in a few Fixed Stars this week, as the actual aspects are a bit thin on the ground.  So the first one of those is Nashira in the constellation of Capricorn.  Our sun aligns with the star on Thursday (10th).  According to “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld:

“At the present time this star is good to utilize when you wish to have the ability to see the whole picture of what is happening on Earth: politically, economically, and geophysically.  This is very difficult to create with only the mental body.  The emotional body alone is also insufficient.  This star will encourage  in a gentle way the combination of faculties needed for this larger perspective.”

We do have an aspect on Friday (11th), though not an easy one: Mercury conjunct Pluto at 27 degrees Capricorn.  It’s an aspect we experienced recently (in the early hours of 29th January), because Mercury has just turned direct – you might want to consult your diary.  This is about serious thought and communication.  Words will have a profound effect.  Deeper motives may be revealed.  Listening too is important, and exchanges may become cathartic, if sincerely transacted.  I noted a few personal challenges in my diary, and some gusty winds.

On the same day, our Sun is aligned with another Fixed Star, Sadalsud, which is from the constellation of Aquarius.  Also from “Starlight Elixirs”:

“This star can create peacefulness in the interaction amongst all women and men by increasing the female part of their understanding.  The male mind can open to its female aspects and in this way relate better to women.  Women are able to better express and share the very nature of what it means to be a woman.  This star may eventually be able to work with these energies in large groups; for now it is simply in small groups or in one to one relationships.”

And one more Fixed Star for the road, in the same time period, Deneb Algedi from Capricorn.  Bernadette Brady in her book of the “Fixed Stars”  says of this star:

“If this star is going to be used in astrology, then the symbol of the law giving, justice-oriented god trying to civilize his people is probably the best tool for approaching it, since this would reflect its long history.  This is the star of a person who is a benefic ruler, one who is trying to use wisdom and knowledge to protect and help the people around them.”

Information from “Starlight Elixirs” reveals:

“This binary can enhance the ability to work with patterns and cycles that are related to practical environments.  This can strengthen the ability to make predictions based on past performance.  Some aspects of the underlying cycles may become clearer for individuals when they work with this star.  This is a way of predicting the future based on a careful study of patterns and how they move through various cycles.  The individuals who work with this are Astrologers, Economists, and Historians.”

The end of the week should provide food for thought…

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – awkward energies
  • Tuesday – flowing electrical energies
  • Thursday – see the whole picture
  • Friday – profound thought; peace between men and women; working out patterns

Aspects for the week beginning 30 January 2022

Barry Cryer (1935 – 2022)

“I haven’t had a career, just a series of incidents. I’ve been dogged by good luck all my life.”

~ Barry Cryer

Legendary comedian and scriptwriter Barry Cryer died peacefully at home on Tuesday, at the age of 86, surrounded by his family.  We owe many laughs to him over the years, as we watched Morecombe and Wise and other classic comedies.  He wrote for many, many comedians, among them Bob Hope, Dave Allen, Tommy Cooper, and Kenny Everett.

Birth Chart

We are fortunate in having a birth time for Barry, giving him a Capricorn Ascendant.  His Sun was in Aries, largely unaspected, making him very authentic and individualistic.  With Chiron trine his North Node, his karmic mission was in some ways as a healer.  Chiron was in Gemini in his birth chart – healing through words, to laughter.  With the Sun in his 3rd House, words were his stock in trade, and later in life he was a popular after dinner speaker.  His Moon was exactly trine Mercury – imagination and wit perfectly balanced, something that undoubtedly contributed to his outstanding talent.  With the Moon opposite Uranus, he liked to surprise people.  Mercury exactly conjunct Saturn (his Ascendant ruler) in Pisces gave him the ability for precise thinking, but paradoxically in a soft-focussed way (Pisces) – he actually described himself as having “a butterfly brain”.  He didn’t get on well at school:

“In class I would say silly things and do impressions of the masters, but I certainly didn’t think I would end up doing it for a living.” (from The Big Issue)

And he left University after one term (Neptune in 9th House of University).  But he had an acute mind in many ways, so it is possible that he just didn’t like being pinned down to academia.  His Mercury square Chiron was exact, indicating a problem solving mind.  He had Venus closely conjunct Uranus, which gave him a certain personal magnetism: tributes paid by his fellow comedians testify to this.

John Cleese described him thus: “I never met a nicer, kinder, more cheerful man.”

Stephen Fry stated: “A glorious, gorgeous, hilarious and gifted writer”

And Gyles Brandreth: “He was the most generous entertainer you can imagine, he loved just sharing comedy.”

He seems to have been a lovely man, through and through, as befits a good example of Aries authenticity.


The first thing you would look for in the chart of a comedian would be the planet Jupiter.  In his chart you find it conjunct his Midheaven (Careerpoint), the “life dogged by good luck”, marking him out immediately for success in this field – Billy Connolly also has Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven.  Barry’s Jupiter was exactly trine Pluto, so he had great personal power allied with his humour, and could pack a punch with his wit.

There are comedians who are known to be depressives, and operate very much on a Saturnian theme.  This works by bringing out the courage of confronting life’s angst.  Barry Cryer does not strike me as that sort of comedian, but he did have a lot of Saturn/Capricorn in his make up, and that comes out in his propensity for self-deprecation.  Other facets of Capricornian humour can include a dry wit, irony, and a sardonic take on life.

The other strand of a humorous outlook is the Mercury/Gemini wordplay, and Barry Cryer’s Chiron (the wounded healer) was in Gemini, so his words could be an attempt to heal.

With his Sun ruler Mars in Libra, his preferred mode of writing was in collaboration.  According to the Guardian obituary, by Stephen Dixon:

“He left the basic idea, plot and structure to his partner, then funnied everything up, providing punchlines, gags and retorts.”

Life and Health

He may have joked, but his life was not made easy by a chronic health condition of eczema.  Saturn exactly square Chiron indicated the health challenge, and Uranus square Pluto the life changes and adjustments he had to make.  His father died when he was five years old (when his progressed Sun, representing his father, squared his Ascendant from the 4th House cusp, representing family changes).  Cryer travelled to London following his first year at Leeds University, and began working at the Windmill Theatre, filling in comedy routines between other acts.  His eczema was so debilitating that he was hospitalized twelve times in eight years – with Capricorn rising, and its ruler Saturn conjunct his natal Mercury, a skin complaint is very likely.  He realized that he could not sustain a performing career in that way, so took to writing.  His big break came when he was spotted by David Frost, and recruited to write for his shows, such as The Frost Report (1966-7).  Later he extended his popularity on radio as a regular on “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue”.  A number of his jokes are currently circulating, my favourite being:

“Picasso was burgled and did a drawing of the robbers. Police arrested a horse and two sardines.”


Graham Chapman

Cryer wrote about 50 shows with Graham Chapman, and had good chart links with him.  It was said that he was most comfortable writing with Chapman, who was a Sun Capricornian. Chapman had Mercury (writing) exactly sextile with Cryer’s Midheaven (Careerpoint), Mars exactly trine Cryer’s Sun (strong working energy), Jupiter sextile Cryer’s Mercury (successful humorous writing), Jupiter sextile Cryer’s Ascendant (a happy relationship), Uranus opposite Cryer’s Jupiter (the capacity to surprise him), and Neptune trine his North Node (a spiritual affinity).

John Junkin

Cryer also wrote extensively with John Junkin. Junkin was an Aquarian, with a rapier like wit indicated by Mercury exactly conjunct Mars.  Their synastry highlights Cryer’s Pluto opposite Junkin’s Mercury/Mars, which may have been challenging for Junkin.  And Junkin had Saturn on Cryer’s Ascendant, which is quite a committed combination, but as Cryer had a pronounced Saturnian chart, he would have been comfortable with that. Barry Cryer’s Jupiter was sextile Junkin’s Mercury (similar to, but the opposite way round, to the sextile with Chapman).  As a partnership generally though, there was a very different dynamic to that with Graham Chapman.


Cryer told The Big Issue, that as a youth he would strike a smouldering pose in the corner, until he realized he was better just being himself:

“He told us that he wished he could go back and tell his younger self to quit pretending to be James Dean.”

He went on to have a happy, long-lasting marriage with his wife Theresa.  Together they had three sons, and a daughter, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild

He commented about his marriage:

“The key is we’ve never understood each other.  We don’t row, but we argue all the time.”

He died peacefully, with Jupiter sextile his Ascendant, apparently telling the nurse a joke on his deathbed.  He had lived his life with a glass half full, and I would imagine, no regrets.

“Dad always thought the term ‘national treasure’ meant he’d just been dug up. He was, in his words, arrogant in his humility.”

~ his family statement

“He leaves behind him a life of fun, joy, love and silliness and we’ll all be doing our best to maintain that legacy.”

~ Bob Cryer, his son


This evening Uranus squares the Sun, so be prepared for the element of the unexpected, or the Trickster Archetype.  For some, it may be exciting.  Don’t rest on your laurels, provide for loopholes, and don’t take unnecessary risks.  Storm Corrie is on its way in the U.K. – yesterday, I nearly got blown into the road as I took my run during Storm Malik!  We’ve just witnessed an unusual (Uranus) drama in our garden, of a large fox chasing a large pheasant, animals we don’t usually see here.  I have had to take a break in writing, as I wanted to see the pheasant evade a sticky end.  At first, the pheasant was seeming wandering aimlessly in the garden, and I was wondering if it was even aware of the fox lurking in the bushes.  Then at the crucial moment, with the pheasant’s back turned, the fox went to leap at it, and the pheasant flew on to a fence.  Hubby then remarked that the pheasant seemed to taunt the fox, scratching at the fence.  I said it looked like a scene from one of Aesop’s fables. Then the pheasant flew onto the ground in the next garden.  The wily fox somehow found a way through the fence in hot pursuit.  Oh no! I thought.  But the fox was no match for the pheasant, who then flew away, high above the drama.

Tuesday (1st February) brings us a New Moon at 12 degrees Aquarius, the newest of the new.   Any forward looking projects you are engaged with receive the blessing of the Universe.  Science, technology, invention and future vision may also be a significant part of the way forward.  Set your intentions with confidence and hope, focussing on the area of your life it falls in, if you know your Houses.  If the Uranian spanner in the works is still operating from the day before, be confident that you can invent new strategies to deal with loopholes.

Right now, as Friday (4th) is the busiest day of the week, you’ll need a timetable!

(U.K. times)

4.14 a.m.: Mercury is Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  Here’s a long-awaited (well, three weeks) boost, especially if you have been struggling with computers, I.T. and broadband connections, or delays in communications.  There may be some accompanying sense of relief.  You can certainly pick up momentum on some projects which involve paperwork and documentation, and make some more essential journeys.

13.38 Hrs: Mars sextiles Jupiter, a straightforward combination  of energy and enthusiasm, so a good way to employ excess feeling in an absorbing leisure activity of your choice.  You’ll be able to find that extra drive, for what you are wanting to achieve, or go that extra mile even after a demanding week at work.

19.05 Hrs: Sun conjunct Saturn at 15 degrees Aquarius – a very different kettle of fish, so be aware of the shift in energy.  You will need to go from gung ho mode to a cautionary tone.  Take note of the area/House it falls in, if you know it, as that will help you to ascertain the purpose of this event.  There is a great sense of concentration about this conjunction, focussed on practicalities  such as “what can we do about the situation?”  The Saturn part of the equation demands responsibility, commitment, and common sense.

So, to summarize, we start the week with the unknown, and we end with the known,  utilizing what we have learned in between.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – surprise, surprise, the unexpected hits you between the eyes
  • Tuesday – the newest of the new
  • Friday – communications eased; all systems go; limitations and boundaries

Aspects for the week beginning 23 January 2022

North Node in Taurus

One of the shifts which has been taking place recently is the North Node’s move into Taurus from Gemini (it moves backwards).  The entry of the Mean North Node took place on 23rd December 2021, the day before the last Uranus-Saturn square which was a dramatic event astrologically.  But the True North Node, a more accurate reading, took place this week on Wednesday 19th January.  The North Node, representing karma, seemed to play a major role in the fortunes of Boris Johnson, Prince Andrew, and Novak Djokovic, together with the Mars-Neptune square of the week before.  It’s a reckoning, a facing of the music.  The Nodes spend 18 months in each sign, so you may be seeing a change of karmic focus in your own life at this time. I have noticed that a number of people have been moving house in the last couple of months, and link that with the upcoming Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in April: the Universe arranging for certain people to be in the right place at the right time.  But the shift of the North Node is another indication of a new act to be played out in our lives.  I have had more than usual requests for regressions recently (one of them took place exactly at the close of the Gemini cycle, and pointed to a whole new cycle of work), and that may be for such reasons.

But first, a review of the North Node in Gemini, which has seen changes in education (having to be more adaptable because of the coronavirus) and travel (train timetable changes with fewer trains to accommodate fewer people commuting to offices).  With the South Node in Sagittarius, foreign travel has been hard hit.  The transiting North Node and Nodal Axis represents the collective karma, just as the North Node and Nodal Axis in our birth charts represents our personal karma.  Our North Node represents our karmic mission, and the transiting North Node represents our collective karmic mission, in the evolution of humanity.  The karma in this sense refers to the general population, but depending on what House it occupies in your personal chart, the application will be focussed there.  If you have planets in Taurus, they will show a karmic slant when the North Node transits them during the next eighteen months.  They may particularly show where that planetary principle combines with the collective karma.

With the move from Gemini to Taurus, karmic influences will move from the mental plane of ideas to the material plane, e.g. economy, possessions, and the senses.  There’s a brinkmanship situation going on in the current threatening by Russia on the border of Ukraine represents their feeling of karmic possession over that territory.  It is worth noting that the last entry of the North Node into Taurus took place on 14th April 2003, towards the end of the invasion phase of the Iraq War which started on 20th March 2003.  Tony Blair had his Ascendant and Mars in early Gemini, which the North Node would have transited coming up to the war, and his Jupiter was at 29 degrees Taurus, which was transited in the middle of June that year, when the consequences were beginning to unravel.  Mars was trine George W. Bush’s Mars (war, war) at the onset of the war, and Pluto was on his South Node (past life war karma).

On a personal note, on the close of the Gemini karmic cycle, I had a new cycle of karmic research triggered.  As you may know, I have researched many past lives, but became aware of a whole new thread to be worked on, in relation to languages (Gemini).  The North Node is now entering my 1st House, and the South Node is now in Scorpio which supports a deeper cycle of past life research.

The transiting North Node and Nodal Axis represents the collective karma, just as the North Node and Nodal Axis in our birth charts represents our personal karma.  Our North Node represents our karmic mission, and the transiting North Node represents our collective karmic mission, in the evolution of humanity.  More positive areas of working for North Node in Taurus are on climate change: there may be some successful new initiatives.  A friend of mine has recently acquired an allotment, and that seems a symbolic and constructive avenue for this transit.  There is also a new trend for people to take up farming (as evidenced by a lot of new television programmes on this theme, celebrities among them).  Distribution of resources, and food, can also come under the sign of Taurus, and a friend is currently engaged on the OLIO scheme to alleviate food waste, redistributing local food which would have gone to waste.  Maybe you have become aware in the last week or so of starting a new karmic cycle along these lines?  Take the bull by the horns!  Helping the planet is definitely something North Node in Taurus can help with, and support your efforts.

Greta, David and Chris

Looking at the charts of three people hoping for positive change for the planet:

Greta Thunberg has four planets in Capricorn, including the Moon, but we do not have her birth time.

The True North Node will trine her Mercury on 2nd/3rd February – she could make an important pronouncement around that time.

The North Node will trine her Sun/Chiron during the week of 15th/22nd November, which will be an important evaluation of her life, work and healing.  The True North Node will have the same effect between 12th and 23rd December.

David Attenborough is himself a Taurean, and the North Node will pass over his Sun in 3rd House of Communication on 24th August (True Node) and 30th/31st August (Mean Node) which could see a major success in getting his message across.

Chris Packham has been doing a grand job highlighting the plight of animals but also supporting ecological causes.  He also has the Sun in Taurus, which will receive a transit from the Nodes around 5/6th October (True Node) and 25/6th October (Mean Node).  But more significantly, his Mercury (message) is exactly conjunct David Attenborough’s Sun in the middle of Taurus.  This point is transited on 23rd/24th August by the True North Node and 29th August by the Mean North Node, a time when he will be able to get his message across powerfully.  24th August comes up for both of them significantly, so this may be a key date for the cause of combating climate change, particularly if they team up.  North Node in Gemini was, to quote Greta, about “blah, blah, blah”, and it is to be hoped that North Node in Taurus comes to be seen for concretely manifesting (Taurus) what was merely “blah, blah, blah” in the last eighteen months.

Coming up this week, Sue Gray holds the karma of Boris Johnson in her hands at this moment in time, many believing her investigation will be a whitewash of her boss.  We do not have a birth date for her, but can look at Boris’s chart this week.  It is predicted that her report will come in after Monday, and possibly after Prime Minister’s Question Time in parliament on Wednesday, possibly even Thursday.  He does have a karmic transit of Mars on his South Node (past battles under review).  Mars will be sextile his natal Moon (he will be quick to react emotionally), Jupiter will be on his natal Saturn (the possibility of being exonerated), Jupiter will be opposite his natal Uranus (chancing his luck again).  In addition, Saturn will be squaring his Jupiter (his trust in luck may be compromised), Saturn squares his Neptune (confidence draining away, something sapping at him), and finally Uranus trine his Pluto (change is in the air).  In other words, there is a lot going on for him!  I would not confidently be able to say that this is the final denouement of his fate.

The Law of Karma is neither good nor bad, it’s simply the law of cause and effect.  In looking at this switch from Gemini to Taurus of the North Node, assess whether you have just completed a cycle of karma – you may even have wiped the slate clean on an issue (this is even more likely if  you have an Ascendant around the cusp of two signs).  Ascertain whether you are just now starting a new cycle, and what that task might be.  It may span the next eighteen months.


This morning the Sun is conjunct Mercury in Aquarius.  That brings a touch of sparkle to your consciousness.  It is a good day to apply your mind with clarity, concentrate and focus,  make important statements, and look to the future.  You may write or speak some memorable lines.  Look out for some telepathy, too!  You may feel the urge to clarify something.

Mars enters Capricorn tomorrow lunchtime (Monday 24th), from Sagittarius.  This may have the effect of slowing down action, but action taken will be firmed up, based on realism, more authoritative.  You may need to make a more respectful approach to something or a project, give it more decorum.

On Wednesday (26th), we have another ingress: Mercury Retrograde enters Capricorn from Aquarius.  This urges us to be practical and realistic in our plans, and methodical and systematic in our mental approach.  This will favour official documentation needing to be worked on, forms to be filled in, authorities to interview, etc.  Maybe you are completing a house sale, for example.

There is an early hours of the morning conjunction at 26 degrees of Capricorn between Mercury and Pluto on Saturday (29th).  This is about serious thought and communication. so something may have been triggered the night before, and you may need to process it through dream work.  If this results in conversations in subsequent daylight hours, words will have a profound effect.  Deeper motives may be revealed.  Listening too is important, and exchanges may become cathartic, if sincerely transacted.

There may be some relief later in the morning, as Venus stations prior to turning Direct.  Under Venus Retrograde since approximately mid-December you may have experienced relationship revisions, maybe even paranoia.  At last you may be able to resume normal relations, enhanced by the learning you gained.  You may have realized the true worth of some of your relationships.  You can pause, breathe and relax into that knowledge.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – crystal clear
  • Tomorrow – realistic action
  • Wednesday – realistic thought
  • Saturday – serious thought; relationship upgrade

Aspects for the week beginning 16 January 2022

Ronnie Spector (1943 – 2022)

“Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humour and a smile on her face.  She was filled with love and gratitude. Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her.”

~ The Spector Family

Lead singer of the Ronettes, Ronnie Spector, died this week, on 12th January.  Her ex-husband Phil Spector, who wrote many of their hit records, died on 16th January last year.  He helped showcase her talent, and then married her, kept her imprisoned, and stopped her from performing.  She eventually escaped and lived her own life.

Birth Chart

With the Sun in Leo, she was always going to be the lead singer, even when she started out amongst her family.  Her sister (Estelle) and cousin (Nedra) came to form the Ronettes with her.  Her Sun/North Node  squared Mars, in her chart, giving her Warrior energy – she certainly seemed a brave soul, with attitude.  With the Sun closely conjunct the karmic North Node in Performing Leo, her life path tended to be very fated.  She had several aspects to her Moon, but their exactitude is not known, as there is no birth time for her.  However, she was close to her mother (the Moon), and it was her mother who helped her to escape barefoot from Spector’s “prison”.  Her Mercury exactly square Uranus was not afraid of controversy, and Mercury’s conjunction with Chiron lent itself to problem-solving.  Part of her sparkle was her close Venus-Mars trine, which expressed great sensuality.  At the same time, Saturn squared her Venus, and she encountered disappointments in her love relationships: in a BBC interview she expressed no regrets about her career, but a dry irony when talking about her relationships.  Jupiter was exactly sextile her natal Uranus, so she had an eye for an opportunity, and made the most of life.  Jupiter closely conjunct Pluto contributed great personal power.  Indeed, she had a very well-aspected Jupiter, which was part of her success.

Life and Career

Ronnie was born Veronica Bennett in Manhattan, of mixed heritage: African American, Cherokee, and Irish.

I wrote about Ronnie in my blog about Phil Spector a year ago:

“In the early 1960s, he worked with the Ronettes, and was responsible for their big romantic hits.  The Ronettes consisted of two sisters and a cousin, who wore distinctive beehive hairdos and well defined eyeliner (interestingly, Amy Winehouse, a fan of Phil Spector, adopted the beehive).  Their honeyed-toned hits included Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, (The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up and (my own personal favourite) Walking in the Rain.

The lead singer of the Ronettes, Veronica Bennett, or Ronnie Spector as she came to be called, married Phil Spector in 1968. She became a captive in her own home, and eventually escaped barefoot with the help of her mother in 1972.  Her synastry with Phil Spector shows: Her Sun on his I.C. (for a time, he made her his emotional foundation), her Saturn square his natal Mars (an abrasive contact), Saturns exactly sextile (some conducive working together) and his Jupiter opposite her Neptune (triggering his delusional side).”

Phil Spector

The two married on 14th April 1968, and lived in a mansion in Beverly Hills, which is when Phil’s controlling behaviour became more intense.  At the time, Saturn was trine Ronnie’s Sun/North Node (being controlled in a karmic situation), Pluto transited her natal Venus (a sinister turn in a relationship); for him, Chiron was on his Jupiter (bringing out the megalomania of his natal Jupiter trine Pluto), and Uranus transited his natal Neptune in Virgo in his 4th House, ratcheting up his obsessiveness.

After she escaped, Ronnie tried to rebuild her career, and fought in the courts for years for her share of royalties.  Later she found lasting happiness marrying her manager Jonathan Greenfield in 1982, and they had two sons.

Brian Wilson

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were close to Ronnie when their careers were building.  And notably, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys greatly admired Phil Spector at the outset of his career.  Apparently, he nearly crashed his car when he first heard “Be My Baby”.  He later declared it “the greatest record ever produced. No one will ever top that one.” He attempted to write a version from the male point of view: the result was Don’t Worry Baby, a hauntingly beautiful song, with a similar structure.  He intended it to be sung by Ronnie, whom he also admired.  However, Phil did not allow that to happen, because he had not written it.  Ronnie sings it on one of the excerpts in the programme “Ronnie Spector at the BBC”, which is still available on I Player.  I watched it, and sang along (and cried!) this week.  The Beach Boys subsequently recorded it themselves, and Brian declared it “Probably the best record we’ve done”.  Brian Wilson and Ronnie Spector remained lifelong friends.  Their synastry included her Mars exactly conjunct his Venus (Love and Music).

His tribute to her this week was among the most beautiful:

I just heard the news about Ronnie Spector and I don’t know what to say. I loved her voice so much and she was a very special person and a dear friend. This just breaks my heart. Ronnie’s music and spirit will live forever. Love & Mercy, Brian”


Apparently, there is a biopic in production, based on Ronnie’s 1990 autobiography “Be My Baby: How I survived Mascara, Miniskirts and Madness”.  The singer Zendaya has been chosen to play Ronnie.  As Zendaya’s Neptune is exactly trine Ronnie’s Neptune,  it could be a sensitive portrayal.

Showing my age, they don’t make songs like that any more…! And no one sang them quite like Ronnie Spector.

“Every song is a little piece of my life. I’m just a girl from the ghetto who wanted to sing.”

~ Ronnie Spector, 2007


 Three men (Mars) seemingly caught out (square) lying (Neptune) and rule-breaking last week had to face the music under the Mars-Neptune square.  This morning, Novak Djokovic was deported back from Australia to Serbia.  Boris Johnson is facing calls to resign for partying when everyone else was religiously self-isolating under his government’s rules last year.  And Prince Andrew was stripped of his military titles by the Queen, so that he can defend his sexual abuse case as a private citizen.

Moving on to this week, we have a profound conjunction between the Sun and Pluto at 26 degrees Capricorn today.  There may be more drama to be played out today.  Certainly Novak Djokovic has had a dramatic outcome to this week’s struggles, and says he will consider his position before commenting.  He represents his country, but also the anti-vaccine community.  Today could be a profound wake-up call, both personally and collectively.  Practicing meditation and calming techniques would be a good way to proceed on the day as the deeper issues of life come up for assessment.  Any creativity will have depth to it, and you won’t be able to skim the surface of things. But you will emerge the richer for it.

In the late evening of tomorrow (Monday 17th), there is a Full Moon in Cancer.  The mood may build throughout the day, until we register the emotional tension of this opposition with the Sun Capricorn, which takes place at 27 degrees Cancer, a high tide of emotion.  Tears may flow in private or public, as this is one of the most emotional of the Full Moons in the astrological year.  In your personal life, you may be torn between personal and professional loyalties.

Tuesday (18th) may bring good news, as Uranus is Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  it is a good time to do all  you can to alleviate any collective, tribal, or social difficulties which you can see.  Closer to home, you may see what could be done in the family setting, or in the community.   Intuition will flow better, and future vision come into view.  However, the trickster element of Uranus may still be in evidence.

The True North Node moves from Gemini to Taurus on Wednesday (19th), as it moves backwards.  This brings the karmic emphasis from the mental plane to a more material emphasis.  It is interesting that Boris Johnson’s communication karma is now coming home to roost.  So the next 18 months will be about getting the right alignment karmically in relation to economy and material values.  The Sun is also trine the North Node on that day, highlighting that for us.

The Sun enters Aquarius on Thursday (20th), bolstering the Aquarian and Uranian energy, like a new broom sweeping clean.  We become more aware of the needs of the collective, and more inclined to act on behalf of the underdog.  We are open to more futuristic avenues of expression.

On Friday (21st) the Sun is aligned with a major Fixed Star Altair, the Alpha star in the constellation of Aquila (the Eagle).  Bernadette Brady lists the qualities of courage and success under this star.  Fashion designer Paco Rabanne has distant past life recall of coming from a crystal planet orbiting Altair.   “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld equates it with overcoming obstacles:

“This essence can be used for encouragement when a difficult task looms or when the life pattern seems beset with insurmountable obstacles.  This is governing very clearly the understanding associated with these basic principles of resistance, potential and flow.  More strength arises, as well as more courage and more ways to confront that resistance, providing a greater ability to transform any challenging situation… …This may relate to deeper understanding of your own patterns or a difficult family situation that has been repeated over and over”.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – deep experiences
  • Tomorrow – emotional high tide
  • Tuesday – clearer intuition
  • Thursday – new broom sweeping clean
  • Friday – overcoming obstacles

Aspects for the week beginning 9 January 2022

Sidney Poitier (1927 – 2022)

“I was a pretty good actor and I believed in brotherhood. I hated racism and segregation. And I was a symbol against those things.”

~ Sidney Poitier

The iconic actor Sidney Poitier died on Friday this week, at the age of 94.  It seems astonishing to think that in the 1950s and 1960s he was virtually the sole black actor in a white film world.  Nowadays we have the likes of Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Idris Elba, but in those days we only had Sidney Poitier.  That is such a historic role for one man to play.

Birth Chart

With over half his planets (6) in the Water element, he was able to convey simmering emotion.  The Sun in his chart was in Pisces, together with Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Uranus.  Pisces is one of the two acting signs, conveying the sensitivity for subtle character roles; the other is Leo, conveying drama and performance.  Pisces is also a sign which can indicate great Soul evolution, and all the evidence points to this in his character, not least for the responsibility of providing a role model for his race, up to and including the  heyday of the American Civil Rights Movement (1954 – 1968).  In this, he needed the sextile between his Sun and Mars (the Warrior Archetype), though he carried his warriorship in the subtle and gentle mode of an evolved Piscean.  He was helped by a natal conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter, a predisposition to positivity.  At the same time, he experienced, and could portray, hardship, with the Sun square Saturn, giving him the strength of forbearance.  His Sun in Pisces opposed Neptune – providing an ocean of sensitivity, emotion and talent.  The acting profession is suggested by a trine between his Sun (acting and directing) and his Midheaven (careerpoint) and the North Node (karmic mission).  The Midheaven and North Node in his chart are united in a conjunction, so they are in sync, and in addition, the Midheaven is exactly conjunct his 10th House career cusp in the Equal House system.  His Ascendant and Moon were in the sign of Libra – his arresting good looks, and grace were very much in evidence from this sign.  But they also depicted his role as Ambassador to Japan, a Libran role.  Going with those Libran traits, Venus conjunct Uranus showed great personal magnetism.  Mercury trine Pluto marked him out as a deep thinker, and together with Pluto’s position in his 10th House of Career this meant that he was very deliberate about the roles he chose, being aware at that time that he needed to provide a positive role model for a man of his race.  Pluto conjunct the Midheaven described very well his role.  Jupiter trine Pluto brought great personal power, and Jupiter trine the Midheaven/North Node brought a successful career with many opportunities.

Life and Career

Sidney was two months premature when he was born, and nearly died.  Moon square Pluto, in his natal chart, is an indication of this, though of course not necessarily in any chart (it can indicate neonatal difficulties of other kinds). He was born in Miami of a Bahamian family, and moved to New York at the age of 16, where he joined the American Negro Theatre in Harlem, and acted as understudy for Harry Belafonte.  Unable to sing, in the manner of the stereotype, he took to acting, and his first film was The Blackboard Jungle (1955).

In 1956 he worked with director William Wellman on Good-bye, My Lady.  Poitier admired Wellman’s humanity and sensitivity.  Wellman was also a Piscean, with his North Node conjunct Poitier’s Sun/Jupiter in that sensitive sign, indicating a karmic link.  Kindred spirits…

1958 saw him play an escaped convict with Tony Curtis in The Defiant Ones, a wonderful story where hatred turns to love.  He won an Academy Award in 1964 for Lilies of the Field, a film where his character plays a handyman helping a group of nuns.


The year 1967 was a turning point for Sidney Poitier, but also in the outside world.  Astrologically, the groundbreaking conjunction of Uranus and Pluto was still active. To Sir with Love, set in a tough inner city school and starring Lulu, was released in the US in June of that year, with Pluto opposite his Mercury (intense work). In that month, Jupiter was trine his natal Sun in Pisces in 5th House of Creativity and Performance, denoting great success.  With Pluto still opposing Sidney’s Mercury (depth of thought) the film In the Heat of the Night, a powerful film. was released in August, where Poitier played Virgil Tibbs, a police officer investigating a murder in the deep South, co-starring with Rod Steiger.  In October, To Sir with Love was released in the U.K., with Mars on his South Node, Saturn trine his natal Saturn, Neptune trine his Venus (the Love!), and most notably his Uranus Opposition, signifying the assertion of his Inner Rebel, living life on his own terms.  Lulu had a hit with the title song, with the transiting North Node trine her Jupiter (karmic rewards).  In December, the third film was released, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, with Mars sextile his natal Saturn in Sagittarius in 2nd House, Uranus trine his natal Mars in Taurus in 8th House (an exciting challenge), Neptune square his natal Neptune in Leo in 11th House (a sea change in his spirituality, with Neptune being his ruling planet) and notably Pluto opposite his natal Venus, being an agent for challenging social mores.  In that film Poitier played a young doctor in a relationship with a white woman, with Spencer Tracy (in his last film) and Katherine Hepburn playing the parents of the young woman.  The depiction of interracial marriage was groundbreaking for its time, with it being illegal for such marriages in 17 States of America, until 12th June 1967.

Turning Point

In some ways, at this point in his life, with Uranus opposing its natal position, and Pluto opposing his Mercury, he could be seen to be a victim of his own success.  His dilemma was that his roles all depicted “perfect men”.  He did not want to damage the image of the black man, but in doing so it was claimed that he was too good to be true, and that resulted in a backlash. He worried that he was being used as a token black actor.  He was criticized for not being confrontational enough.  He couldn’t win!  He thought deeply about this, in his Mercury trine Pluto way, and thereafter steered himself towards directing roles, in order to have more control over his image and career, and to give himself the chance of more varied roles.

He set about this new strand of his career (with natally the Sun trine his Midheaven/North Node depicting a capacity for directing), with The Western Buck and the Preacher in which he himself starred, as well as Harry Belafonte.  Harry Belafonte was born close in time to Sidney Poitier: they may well have been karmically linked, as they came into incarnation so closely: Sidney on 20th February 1927 and Harry 1st March 1927, both Piscean and  both with Sun conjunct Jupiter in Pisces.  Harry’s “Oh Island in the Sun” is a very Piscean song!  It is tempting to believe that they came in as a vanguard for their cause.  Both worked with Martin Luther King in his powerful marches and speechmaking days.  Sidney’s Nodal Axis is exactly square Harry’s Venus, a sign of possible karmic involvement, and their Ascendants are exactly trine.  Poitier’s most successful film as director was Stir Crazy in 1980, starring Gene Wilder.  Poitier subsequently starred in To Sir with Love II in 1996, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, who also died this week, on 6th January, the day before Sidney.  Bogdanovich was a Leo, the most common sign for a film director.  In 2002, Sidney received the Honorary Academy Award for his contribution to U.S. cinema.  At the award ceremony, Denzel paid tribute to Poitier as his role model – by that time, so many black actors would have been able to relate to his sentiments and sense of gratitude.


Sidney married twice, his second marriage lasting from 1976 until his death.  His second wife Joanna Shimkus was a Scorpio, and one of his daughters actress Sydney Poitier was also a Scorpio, a sign often very compatible with Pisces. He also had a long standing relationship with Diahann Carroll, another Water sign Cancer, who was linked with David Frost after her relationship with Sidney ended.  Sidney had 6 children, and 8 grandchildren, plus 3 great-grandchildren.  In 2019, the Bahamas were hit by Hurricane Dorian, and with Saturn opposing his natal Pluto and Neptune on his Mercury, there were 23 of Poitier’s family missing.


At his passing, Jupiter was exactly transiting his Sun, often indicating a happy release in an elderly person.

It was clear that he was an advanced soul.  Adjectives which have been used to describe Sidney Poitier include dignity and grace, grandeur and poise, warmth, depth and stature; vocal precision, physical power, and gentleness.

I hope I have done justice to this icon.

“We all have different selves: There is a public self, a private self, and a core self. We all know the public self – it’s how we put our best foot forward, smiling and behaving.  But the private self is a more fundamental self, and that is where we find our frailties, our fears. It’s like a clearinghouse where our demons are safe…Then there’s the core self, which is our pure instinct. That’s where all our goodness and capacity for kindness lives…Our best comes from there, and we know how courageous and honorable we are. The core self is who we are.”

~ Sidney Poitier, from “The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography”


Advance warning:  the week ends with Mercury turning retrograde, so use this week to catch up on all Mercury-related tasks such as documentation, travel and communication.

In the first hour of today (in the U.K.) the Sun was conjunct Venus, which brings harmony to proceedings.  If you are an artist or a musician, it is a day you when you can produce your best creative output or performance.

Mercury also sextiles Chiron today.  This bodes well for health related issues, and problem-solving.  It is helpful for developing your Inner Healer, whatever your sign.  Alternative healing works well with conventional medicine.

In the early hours of Tuesday (11th) the Sun sextiles inspirational Neptune.  The saying goes that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but the Sun sextile Neptune gives you the best chance of creating beauty and inspiration in your life.  If spiritual harmony and creativity are some of the goals and aspirations you have for the start of the year, you can safely cultivate them on Tuesday.

Begin such enterprises early on Tuesday, for by the evening the picture may be more confusing, with a square between Mars and Neptune.  Mars likes to act unimpeded, but Neptune forces it to be more sensitive, and possibly also more spiritualized.  Energies may be frittered, and water currents could be flowing in unhelpful directions, e.g. leaks.  Generally under such an aspect, meditation can be helpful, and particularly those which combine physical movement with a stilling of the mind, such as Tai Chi.

Friday (14th) as already mentioned, is that well known turning point Mercury Retrograde, which takes place in Aquarius.  It will not go direct until 4th February.  Be clear in your communications between these two dates, in order to avoid misunderstandings and loopholes.  Although technology can go awry, it can be a good period to upgrade such devices.  You may have developed your own strategies, according to past experiences.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – harmony and healing
  • Tuesday – creating beauty; managing confusion
  • Friday – communication glitches