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Aspects for the week beginning 27 March 2022

Female War Reporters

I am always amazed at the bravery of war reporters, but in this current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, two female war reporters stand out: Orla Guerin and Lyse Doucet.  They share a few similar aspects in their charts, not always the aspects you would expect for war reporters.

Orla Guerin

I almost can’t remember a time when Orla Guerin wasn’t reporting on wars for us…

Her birth chart is very grounded, with half (5) of her planets in earth, and 0 planets in Air, making her operate in a very instinctual way.  She is fifty-five years old, which makes you wonder when war reporters retire.  Jeremy Bowen is also in the Ukraine, and he is sixty-two, a year older than Fergal Keane who too is reporting in Ukraine.  Orla was born under the indomitable sign of Taurus, and her Sun is conjunct the North Node, giving her a strong sense of destiny and individuality.  She has the Sun exactly sextile Chiron, making her a Healer of sorts.  She has Mercury trine Uranus, so is quick thinking, and able to think outside the box.  But at the same time, she is also a deep thinker, with Mercury trine Pluto.  Mars trine Uranus gives her electrical energy, and possibly engineering talents.  In considering the question how she does it, the answer may lie in her Mars trine Pluto, a powerhouse of energy.  Another planet conjunct with her North Node, Mars, carries the Warrior Archetype in relation to her karmic mission, forming a triple conjunction with her Sun.  Stating the obvious, she takes an interest in matters of war.  She also has another triple conjunction, that of Chiron/Moon/Saturn at the end of Pisces, signifying compassion and service.  This triple conjunction sextiles her other triple conjunction, adding a combination of stoicism and sensitivity.  Another high energy focus is Uranus exactly conjunct with Pluto, an anarchic conjunction of the mid 60s (she was born in 1966).

Orla was born in Dublin, and has worked for the BBC.  She started working for RTE News in 1987, and became their youngest foreign correspondent in 1990.  She moved to the BBC in 1995, and reported from Kosovo, among other places.

Interviewed in the Evening Standard, she described the requirements of her attire:

“I got my first flak jacket from the Irish Army but they did not give me the armour plates that you slip into the vest.  Without them the jacket was about as much use as a white handkerchief.  I’m a bit more knowledgeable now [2002] and luckily the armour plates have become lighter.  You cannot run very fast with a flak jacket on but sometimes you have to wear one.  I have known colleagues who have died without them.”

She was awarded an MBE in 2005.  She has been reporting directly from Kyiv in this last month of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Lyse Doucet

As mentioned, there are similarities between Lyse’s chart and Orla’s.  One of the most striking of these is that they both have Mars (war) in Taurus (within three degrees of each other).  Taurus is not a particularly warlike sign, but I associate Mars in Taurus with pugilism.  Lyse is older than Orla, having been born in 1958.  She has the Sun conjunct Saturn in Capricorn, so bears a great sense of responsibility.  She is a woman of immense strength, with the Sun/Saturn trine Pluto.  This also gives her a tremendous strategic sense.  Like Orla, she has Mercury trine Uranus (quick thinking, able to think outside the box) and has in interview expressed the need to always be open to the unexpected.  She too has electrical energy, though with Mars exactly square Uranus, it is less organized than Orla’s.  A T-square between Jupiter, and Chiron opposite Uranus, means that she is someone willing to take risks (despite her strongly Capricornian nature).  Her North Node is exactly trine her Chiron (a strong healing nature), whereas Orla’s North Node is exactly sextile Chiron.

Lyse was born and educated in Canada, though she has an intriguing soft drawl which does not sound unlike Orla’s Irish tones!  She is fluent in English, French and Arabic.  Lyse began reporting for the BBC in 1988, reporting from Pakistan and Kabul, but has reported from all over the Middle East.  She once accompanied President Karzai of Afghanistan to a family wedding, which turned out to be an assassination attempt on him!  She is a founding member of the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network, in honour of the war reporter who died in Syria.  The plight of children in the midst of war is a particular interest of hers.  She gained an OBE in 2014.

She too is currently reporting from Kyiv.

Other notable female War Reporters

Kate Adie

Kate Adie was a household name in war reporting for many years (as Chief News Correspondent for BBC News between 1989 and 2003), retiring after she had written her autobiography “The Kindness of Strangers”.  She had the Sun in Virgo, but like Orla Guerin had Mars conjunct the North Node (warriorship as part of the karmic mission).

Marie Colvin

Marie Colvin died in 2012 while reporting from Syria, assassinated by the Syrian government itself.  The Syrian Civil War had begun the year before, in a similar fashion to the other rebellions of the Arab Spring, but with even more disastrous consequences.  I wrote at the time:

Last Tuesday evening we could not help but be moved by a news report from a woman in an eye patch in Syria, telling us of a baby who died that day. As always when watching these foreign correspondents, we marvelled at their bravery. Tragically, it was to prove her swan song, whilst also ensuring that no one forgets what she was highlighting: the unspeakable cruelty of the Syrian regime.  The world took note.  It seems to me that Marie Colvin’s death brought about a surge in rescue efforts and international deliberations, at least in the short term.  With the Sun in Capricorn, Marie Colvin had an acute sense of responsibility, and Kate Adie this morning called her a “serious journalist”.  The Guardian obituary stated:  “She was not interested in the politics, strategy or weaponry; only the effects on the people she regarded as innocents. ‘These are people who have no voice,’ she said. ‘ I feel I have a moral responsibility towards them, that it would be cowardly to ignore them.’ ”  She had a very interesting chart, and her extraordinary courage is shown natally by Jupiter/Pluto squaring Mars/Saturn. ”

Lindsey Hilsum

Lindsey Hilsum, also prominent in war reporting, was born in the same year as Lyse Doucet.  She has Mars in Taurus, just like Orla Guerin and Lyse Doucet.  With Lyse Doucet, she was a founder member of the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network, and wrote a book about Marie Colvin in 2018 (“In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin).  In an interview about the book in the Observer, she said “Marie took a lot more risks than I did and if one puts it crudely that’s why I’m alive and she isn’t…  I’m glad that I have a more stable personal life than she did, because it caused her so much pain”.  Marie had Mars exactly square Pluto, while Lindsey has Mars trine Pluto.  Lindsey has the North Node conjunct Jupiter and trine Chiron, a feeling of being protected.  Like Lyse Doucet, she has Mars square Uranus (electrical energy).

Lindsey reports for Channel 4 News.  She started out as an aid worker, and has covered wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other parts of the Middle East over the last twenty years.

Whether it is a desire to help, to bear witness, or to experience the adrenalin rush of that environment, it is a rare quality to have such a degree of courage, and it is a special kind of service, without which we could not imagine what is really happening in war, and especially now, in Ukraine.


Early on Sunday (27th), Mercury enters Aries.  You might need to be prepared for plain speaking, whether your own (perhaps without engaging the brain!), candid words from others, or unpalatable government announcements. You will need to get to the point much more directly in your communications, and there is more sense of urgency about paperwork.  So, more direct communication is on the cards.

Monday (28th) presents us with a conjunction of Venus and Saturn at 21 degrees Aquarius, not an easy prospect in terms of relationships or economics.  You will be looking more seriously at your close relationships, and evaluating what is important to you.  The care of the elderly may be a particular preoccupation.  The optimum condition for this conjunction would be loyalty and commitment, but there may need to be some letting go before that can be arrived at.  Finance too may be a cause for concern, especially in the wake of Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement last week.  The implications may be sinking in.

On the same day, Neptune will be sextile with the True North Node.  Those in a more contemplative mood may be able to use their higher imagination to receive inspiration on a range of issues, especially concerning spirituality, or the sea.  You may be able to sense the finer feelings of your compatriots.

The North Node (collective karma) is involved in another aspect on Wednesday (30th), this time a square between the Nodal Axis and Venus.  This focuses on karmic relationships, particularly in relation to groups.  You may find yourself within a group situation which seems predestined, or pondering the significance of your relation to a group, possibly linked with past life experiences.  On the other hand, Nodal Axis square Venus can be quite helpful in rebalancing, and helping to find small steps to solutions in wider problems, after some struggles.

A fresh start is possible on Friday (1st April), with a New Moon at 11 degrees Aries, which may bring cheer and vigour, and a renewed sense of purpose.  It is a time to look to the future, as much as is possible.  It can certainly be a new beginning for you, being the first New Moon of a new astrological year, even if it is just about re-organizing your lifestyle.  If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well…The New Moon in Aries is one of the brightest of the year in terms of its potential.

Later on Friday, the Sun conjuncts Chiron at 12 degrees Aries, and this may bring a focus on healing, and problem-solving in relation to crisis management.  Ingenious minds are often born with this conjunction, and so it is possible to reach out for solutions and obtain them under this influence.

This is followed on Saturday (2nd April) by Mercury conjunct Chiron, also at 12 degrees Aries.  This is a day you can focus on problem-solving.  If you don’t have a problem pre-prepared, the Universe will kindly oblige by alerting you.  There may also be a high degree of mental tension or anxiety in the air.  But use what comes up to find solutions, at whatever depth you need to engage with them.  One area which is especially suited to this conjunction in Aries is finance and economy.  Chancellor Rishi Sunak may have an important announcement.

Late on Saturday, Mercury goes on to conjunct the Sun (at 13 degrees Aries), so it would be good to round off the week with  concentration and focus,  and putting out any important statements.  The focus may be on your own growth and potential and physical wellbeing.  Mentally you may see things clearly, if egocentrically.  Creatively, this is a very helpful conjunction: If you are writing a play, for instance, the perfect line could come to you.  It also supports global vision and interests.

The week in bullet points:

  • Sunday – plain speaking
  • Monday – emotionally flat; economic necessity; karmic inspiration
  • Wednesday – relationship karma
  • Friday – a new beginning;  focus on healing
  • Saturday – problem solving; clear focus


Aspects for the week beginning 20 March 2022

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe released

In the midst of another week of unbearable news from Ukraine, a miracle happened.  Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, who had been detained in Iran, most of that time in prison, was allowed to come home and be reunited with her daughter and husband.  Heartwarming photos ensued of the three of them together again.  At a time when Ukrainian families are being torn apart, we should frame these photos in our hearts to remind us that reunion is possible.

Birth Chart

The birth date now accepted for Nazanin is 26th December 1978, though we do not have a birth time for her.  She has Sun in the sign of Capricorn, known for qualities of endurance (but can also be the scapegoat).  Her Sun conjoins Mars, giving her a warrior spirit.  She is also a healer, with the Sun exactly trine Chiron.  She certainly had to employ her inner healer in her six years under arrest.  Moon in Scorpio, will have given her extra emotional grit and determination.  In confinement, the Moon conjunct Uranus, will have given her a highly developed imagination to explore her inner mind: Terry Waite, one of the Beirut hostages, had the Moon opposite Uranus in his chart.  Another of the Beirut hostages, John McCarthy, had the Moon sextile Uranus.  Nazanin has a widely travelled, intelligent, trine between Mercury and Jupiter (also giving her a facility for languages), but conversely Mercury closely square Saturn, possibly indicative of some mental confinement.  Her Mercury conjunct Neptune shows a mind tuned into the collective unconscious.  And Venus exactly conjunct Uranus is magnetic, but with some separation in relationships.  Venus conjunct the Moon (in a triple conjunction with Uranus) and closely sextile North Node, reflects her much loved status in the hearts of the public, together with the poignancy of her relationship with her child.  Mars trine Saturn is capable of discipline.  An interesting feature of her chart is her Saturn conjunct the North Node and square to Neptune, which you can see in the fate that befell her: that of a victim (Saturn) of deception and cruelty, taken by stealth (Neptune) and locked into a karmic battle (Nodal Axis).  Her freedom reminds us that karmic sentences come to an end, though I am not suggesting she deserved her fate.  In setting up pre-incarnational contracts, some people may take on what seem like impossible missions or causes.  The books by Robert Schwartz (such as “Your Soul’s Plan” and “Your Soul’s Gift”) illustrate this very well. And with 5 planetary aspects to the North Node, a strong predestination is implied. She is a heroine, whatever way you look at it.  Katie Holmes, born 18 December the same year (eight days before Nazanin), also has Saturn conjunct the North Node square Neptune, and while her suffering is not comparable, she got trapped within the Scientology movement and a difficult marriage for six years (her incarceration being more psychological than literal).


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was born in Tehran, and studied English Literature at the University of Tehran, subsequently becoming an English teacher.  She took a scholarship to the U.K. in 2007, where she met Richard Ratcliffe.  They were married in 2009, and Gabriella was born on 11th June 2014.

Nazanin worked for Thomson Reuters Foundation, and, with dual British-Iranian citizenship, travelled to Iran in 2016 so that her parents could see Gabriella. On their way home on 3rd April Nazanin was arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, accused of plotting to overthrown the Iranian regime (a false charge).  Astrologically, she was experiencing a Nodal Return, i.e. the North Node had returned to its natal position, which can be a time of karmic stocktaking, but in this case was extraordinarily harsh.  She was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in September of that year.

During the six years, her husband Richard worked tirelessly for her release, and they both undertook hunger strikes from time to time.  Both the Guardian and the Independent newspapers this week urged us not to forget Boris Johnson’s role in worsening Nazanin’s situation, when he was made British Foreign Secretary in the government of Theresa May. Zoe Williams in the Guardian wrote: “Perhaps his incompetence as foreign secretary is just a sidebar to that fact, but it’s the detail we will remember whenever we think of his time in public office, and even as we rejoice in her return”.  On 1st November 2017, Johnson made the following statement: “When we look at what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing, she was simply teaching people journalism, as I understand it, at the very limit.” – a false statement.  She was not a journalist, but the Iranian government used this statement to tighten the screw.  Ironically, the Mercury trine Jupiter in her birthchart means she would have made a good journalist!  At this point she would not be freed for another five years, to the utter despair of her family and the general public watching on.

More clarity about the possible reason she was being detained emerged in February 2018 when Richard Ratcliffe revealed that the U.K. owed Iran £400m dating back to 1971 when the Shah of Iran ordered military equipment, an order which was not fulfilled, due to regime change.  Apparently, Nazanin herself had been told about this, but it was subsequently denied as the reason for her detention by the Iranian government.  This in effect made Nazanin a bargaining chip.  Now that this was a known factor, the solution was clear, but it took another four years for her to be released.

In that time, three further Foreign Secretaries were left to tackle the issue.  First, Jeremy Hunt, who took an interest in her case and managed to secure diplomatic protection for her in March 2019, which meant that it was a matter for resolution by the two governments rather than a consular matter.  Theresa May was replaced as Prime Minister by Boris Johnson, who did not seem to make her case a priority, and brushed aside any idea that he had made her situation worse.

Jeremy Hunt left with the Theresa May government, and yet another Foreign Minister came and went (Dominic Raab).

Nazanin’s daughter Gabriella was returned to England to be with her father on 11th October 2019 in order to attend schooling.  In a major change to her life, the South Node was transiting her natal Pluto.

The onset of the pandemic in 2020 allowed Nazanin to return to her parents’ home, and she was placed under house arrest in March.

Then in September 2021 the Foreign Office changed hands again; it was over to Liz Truss.  Liz has enjoyed this elevated post, and by and large has seemed ineffectual (for example when meeting Sergei Lavrov), but she made it a priority to meet with Iranian officials early in her tenure in this post, on 23rd September 2021.

Release and Reunion

On Wednesday this week Liz Truss announced that the debt had been paid, and was ring-fenced for humanitarian use.  The travel ban was lifted for Nazanin, her passport was returned to her, and her plane landed at RAF Brize Norton at 1 a.m. on Thursday 17th March.  Another prisoner of dual nationality Anoosheh Ashoori was travelling with her, and there is a question mark over the release of another prisoner Morad Tahbaz.  Nazanin’s transits are tricky for this adjustment period, but Richard has a Jupiter Return (a great release), and Gabriella has three wonderful trines at present.  The trauma of all that Nazanin endured will take a lot of processing, and family life will be part of her healing.  Terry Waite has advised her she should take her time over her self-healing.  It is still wondrous to see those family photos in reunion, and we should expect no more than that of her.

“The British government has to build bridges with Iran if it wants to end its reliance on Russia as an energy source.  Hurdles that were previously insurmountable have suddenly evaporated.”

~ Zoe Williams, in the Guardian


This afternoon the Sun enters Aries, the beginning of the astrological year, aka the Spring Equinox.  There are definite signs that Spring has sprung in the U.K.: the daffodils have been out for a while, and the magnolias trees are shining brightly. For the population generally, if your energy has been a little low lately, you may feel yourself reviving.  It’s time to sprinkle that packet of wildflowers you have been saving for this moment…

Tomorrow, Monday (21st) Mercury conjoins Jupiter at 18 degrees Pisces early in the morning, which favours journalism, learning and education, communication and good news, sales and transport.  Aside from that, there should be plenty of enjoyment and philosophical awareness around.

Mars also sextiles Chiron tomorrow, which can bring about a rebalancing of energies.  Wilful types may see that their way of doing things is not working in a group situation (it may work for them on their own), and invite some healing input from others.  Healing actions and efforts can thrive under this aspect.

The energies are a little more awkward on Tuesday (22nd), with a square from Uranus to Mars.  This can be explosive or brittle.  So it is advisable to chill out, and urge others to do so, and hope the message radiates.  This square can also be accident-prone, so if you are out riding your bike, make sure your helmet is firmly held on.  There may be some escalation of aggression in the invasion of Ukraine.

We have another conjunction on Wednesday (23rd), this time between Mercury and Neptune at 23 degrees Pisces.  This may give you a taster of the big conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces on 12th April.  You may get some advance information on it!  This conjunction can link you mentally with your spiritual sources, and provide the inspiration much needed at this time. It is a good time to ask for guidance, though you may have to sift reality from illusion, even in the guidance you receive.

The mental outlook is more balanced, and deeper on Saturday (26th), with a sextile between Mercury and Pluto.  Mercury in harmony with Pluto in this way can produce profound thought and communication, honouring the gravity of a situation if necessary, and enabling meaningful debate to occur.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Happy Astrological New Year!
  • Tomorrow – bright ideas and travel; healing energies
  • Tuesday – energy volatile
  • Wednesday – spiritual and sensitive communication
  • Saturday – profound thought and communication

Aspects for the week beginning 13 March 2022

Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich, erstwhile and longterm owner of Chelsea Football Club, was among the seven Russian oligarchs sanctioned this week by the U.K. government.  He has been part of the fabric of our football scene since 2003, almost twenty years.  But he has also been a close friend of Vladimir Putin (although he has tried to play this down in the last few years) and implicated in the infiltration of our financial system by Russian “dirty money” in all this time.  That has been known about, wondered about, but never tackled.  Our government have courted the Russian Oligarchs (e.g. Eugeny Lebedev, a U.K. newspaper owner, who was given a peerage at the urging of Boris Johnson), and turned a blind eye to the consequences.

Birth Chart

Roman has half his planets (5) in water signs, making him deeply emotional (as well as notoriously partial to yachts!).  He also has half his planets in the Mutable, adaptable signs.  His Sun is in Scorpio, a sign which some find secretive, and certainly intense and deep.  With the Sun trine Moon in his chart (although we do not have a birth time, so we don’t know its intensity), he knows what he is doing.  His Sun is square Jupiter, so he is capable of great enthusiasm, a passion that obviously finds expression in his investment in football.  His Moon is in Pisces, another enigmatic sign, so one question in everybody’s mind at the moment is, “What is he thinking?”.  Passion for football is also in evidence in his Mars-Moon opposition, which also gives him quick emotional responses.  He has Mercury in Scorpio, so can have a forensic mind, and there is certainly a lot going on in that mind, judging by its aspects: Mercury exactly trine Saturn (calculating by any other name), Mercury sextile closely Uranus (futuristic thinking), Mercury conjunct Neptune (possible deceptive communication, a conjunction he shares with Putin), Neptune on his South Node (intrigue in past lives) and Mercury trine Chiron (he is a problem-solver).  Venus square Jupiter means he doesn’t always follow social mores.  He also has a plethora of Saturn aspects: Saturn closely opposite Uranus (personal earthquakes, of which this is one), Saturn trine Neptune (an ability for subtle planning), Saturn opposite Pluto and Saturn closely conjunct Chiron (both problematic aspects).  Born in 1966, he has the high energy, anarchic, conjunction of Pluto and Uranus.  He has the ability to work with complexity, via his close Uranus sextile with Neptune.  Neptune is exactly trine Chiron in his chart, a healing ability he used in his dealings with Chelsea.  And he also had Pluto trine his North Node, meaning that his karma powerfully impacted others.  An additional difficult aspect is Pluto opposing his Chiron, so his chart is not plain sailing.

Life and Career

Roman comes from a Jewish family, and his maternal grandmother fled from Ukraine to Russia in the early period of the Second World War.  His paternal grandparents came from Belarus.  By the age of four, he had lost both parents, and had to be raised by other relatives.  He began a life of entrepreneurship in his early 20s, and was aided in that success by the break-up of the Soviet Union, and the opportunities that afforded.

It’s not always what you know, but who you know: in 1996 he was invited to move into the Kremlin by friend President Boris Yeltsin.  He became a politician, and  between the years 2000 and 2008 he acted as Governor of the constituency of Chukotka for two terms.  When Yeltsin was looking for his own successor, Abramovich put forward Putin’s name.  It is unlikely that he knew at that time the extent of Putin’s future ambitions.  Subsequently, when asked in 2007 by Putin who should succeed him as president, Abramovich put forward the name of Medvedev.  It is undeniable that he influenced the course of Russian history (that natal North Node trine Pluto).  It is said that Putin and Abramovich remain close.  The enigma remains how close, and whether Abramovich knew of Putin’s plan regarding Ukraine, and what he now thinks about it.  He and other oligarchs may have been acting as financial middle men for Putin.  It has also been claimed that Putin instructed Abramovich to purchase Chelsea Football Club, a claim vehemently denied by Abramovich himself.

Problems surfaced for Abramovich after the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury in 2018.  Transiting Uranus, purveyor of change, was exactly opposite his natal Sun.  The U.K. withheld the renewal of his Visa, as they negotiated their position with Russia over the incident.  By virtue of his religious status, he was able to gain Israeli citizenship, and has contributed to Israeli cultural and social projects since that time.  Later still, in April 2021, he became a Portuguese citizen, though a rabbi is currently being investigated in connection with that.  Abramovich is currently the richest individual in Portugal.

Synastry with Putin

Just how close is he, astrologically, to Putin?  Surprisingly, very close indeed.  They have a warm personal sextile between Roman’s Venus and Putin’s Mars.  His Mars forms a supportive trine to Putin’s Chiron.  His Pluto exactly trine’s Putin’s Jupiter, so he can be a tremendous boost and support to Putin.

Chelsea Football Club

Chelsea Football Club was founded on 10th March 1905.  In our family, hubby has been a Chelsea (and Fulham) supporter from a young age, by virtue of being born in Hammersmith.  When I got together with him in the 1970s, he took my younger brother to their matches, and he in turn has been a lifelong supporter.  Abramovich, when he took over the ownership of the club in 2003, quickly turned around its fortunes, and the club went from strength to strength, earning some 18 major trophies since then.  Chelsea fans have a lot to thank Roman Abramovich for.

The football scene itself may have been tainted by the normalization of financial investment by billionaires from other nations – not just Russians, but Qataris and Saudia Arabian interests for instance.  It is said that the enormous amounts paid for the top players has distorted the transfer market.  His tenure at Chelsea has been known for a rapid turnover of managers.  That he transformed the Club may be seen in their synastry: his Pluto exactly opposes its Sun/Mercury.

In June 2003, Saturn was sextile Chelsea’s Jupiter, and Uranus sextile Chelsea’s Venus, upbeat transits.  But Pluto was exactly square Chelsea’s Sun, an interesting sign of transformation, albeit that a square is usually a disadvantage.  Pluto in this case may show the take over by a Scorpio individual (Plutonian).  Saturn was trine Roman’s natal Sun, indicating a serious new venture.

Equally, his current crisis will transform their fortunes adversely.  His Chiron trines its Mars, and, maybe most tellingly, his Pluto squares its Pluto (transformation being the bottom line).  He raised them up, and his downfall is now likely to be a demise for them.  It depends on whether and how Chelsea can be sold, and current transits (Neptune trine natal Mars, and Saturn trines its natal Pluto) imply all may not be lost, but a fateful time is shown by the transit of the Nodal Return squaring its natal Saturn.


As a Scorpio, Abramovich plays his cards close to his chest, but he has had a rich personal life in terms of relationships, being married and divorced three times, his most recent divorce being in 2018.  He has seven children.  One wonders about the effect on his family of his changes in fortune.

Current Transits

In this week of sanctions, Mars was opposite his natal Jupiter (a blow to his luck), but Jupiter was sextile his North Node (something may be cushioning him).  The challenging transits are Neptune opposite his natal Uranus (extreme complications), and Neptune on his Chiron (confusion and wounding, possible health implications).

The secret thoughts of Abramovich are still just that: locked away in his own mind. There is speculation about why it took so long to sanction the oligarchs and allow them extra time.  Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy has said the sanctions were the: “right decision but should not have taken the government weeks”.

Marina Hyde, writing in the Guardian yesterday, is convinced of his continued close relationship with Putin, and observes:

“Football doesn’t make society, it reflects it. The game is really just a small part of a much bigger British industry of servicing, laundering and enabling dirty money that is so large these days as to appear almost respectable.”.


Today may be characterized by mystery and enigma, as the Sun conjoins with Neptune at 22 degrees Pisces.  We may wonder where we are, struggling to get our bearings.  If we can establish where we are, we may be able to access higher inspiration for whatever we are engaged upon.  It is a day when progress can be made on subtle and spiritual issues, with memorable ethereal experiences.

The Sun will be sextile the North Node tomorrow (Monday 14th), which favours and supports creative plans.  It is a good day to settle on your direction in life, or for the week at least.  You may find that everything falls into place.

On Thursday (17th) Mercury will be sextile Uranus, giving rise to spectacular and unusual communications.  This encourages us to use all the new technology for our communications, and brings new ideas, heightening intuition and telepathy.   This aspect can amaze you and help you find that “wow” factor.

Friday (18th), brings a Full Moon at 27 degrees Virgo around breakfast time.  There may be some strangeness in the air, building up from the previous evening, resulting in insomnia for some.  Things may not be all they seem, and emotions may be running high.  Or people may be looking industrious, but underneath their desks they may be paddling nervously. If you have health issues, or ecological interests, focus on your best outcomes, and release negativity and paranoia.

In the evening, Pluto sextile the Sun can bring powerful help.  If you dig deep, you can find the treasure you need.  It is a profound aspect which may help to show us the direction we need to solve our collective problems, and understanding the meaning behind our dilemmas.  This sextile can bring a profound air of quiet contemplation.

Venus squares Uranus on Saturday (19th) which could make it an abrasive day for meetings.  The way through is to use your intuition, and stay one step ahead.  Relationships can be disrupted, and subject to misunderstandings.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – decoding the mystery
  • Tomorrow – favourable power karma
  • Thursday – brilliance in communication
  • Friday – emotional high tide; powerful help
  • Saturday – relationships disrupted


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