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Aspects for the week beginning 10 December 2023

Benjamin Zephaniah (1958 – 2023)

“…We can all be refugees

Sometimes it only takes a day,

Sometimes it only takes a handshake

Or a paper that is signed.

We all came from refugees

Nobody simply just appeared,

Nobody’s here without a struggle,

Andy why should we live in fer

Of the weather or the troubles?

We all came here

From somewhere”

 ~ Benjamin Zephaniah

Two poets died at the age of 65 within the last fortnight, Benjamin Zephaniah and Shane MacGowan.  Benjamin was born a few months after Shane.  Both were very much poets of the people.  Zephaniah, who died this week from a brain tumour, was dubbed “The people’s Laureate”.

Birth Chart

Benjamin Zephaniah was born under a conjunction of the Sun and Mercury in Aries.  He is often described in Arien terms, e.g. pioneering, authentic, innovative, trailblazing.  With half his planets (5) in Fire signs, he was spirited.  Hugh Muir wrote in the Guardian: “He had fire, but not the visible anger the right seizes upon.”  The Sun in Aries conjunct Mercury would tell it like it is – the Obituary in the same newspaper by Peter Mason said he “could be relied upon to speak his mind with forthrightness, honesty and self-effacing humour”.  His Sun sextile an exact conjunction of Mars and Chiron in Aquarius marked him out as an Activist, e.g. on behalf of racism and Veganism.  In an exact trine with Saturn, his Sun was part of a Grand Trine with Pluto in the Fire element.  That was part of his great strength – Frankie Boyle has commented “the world has lost a strong, strong human being.”  But all these aspects to the Sun may point to the performer in him (not just in his poetry but in a dramatic role in Peaky Blinders), and if we had a birth time we might see the Sun even more prominent in his chart.  He has the poet in Moon conjunct Venus and Venus trine Neptune, but he was a different kind of poet, he was practical and performing, in some ways similar to John Cooper Clarke, bringing poetry into the mainstream.  Jupiter closely sextile Saturn represented wise and balanced judgement. His North Node in Scorpio was conjunct Neptune, making him a spiritual leader of sorts: poet Lemn Sissay, who has followed in his footsteps, has stated “He’s been a guiding light all my life”.

Life and Career

Benjamin was born and brought up in Handsworth, Birmingham.  He wrote, “When I hear the word Birmingham I feel pride, when I hear the Brummie accent I hear music, and when I see the people of Birmingham I see my family.”  He was a twin, and the eldest of  several children, but his father was abusive and he and his mother fled when he was 10 years old, leaving all the other children with the father.  At 11 he performed in church, and he left school dyslexic and unable to read or write at 13 after being expelled. By 15 he was making a name for himself in his community as a poet and wordsmith.  After that he went off the rails, which included a spell in borstal and in prison for burglary.  This is depicted in his birthchart by a complex square of Uranus and Neptune/North Node, a sense of confusion he had to work through, but which also shows up in his stated belief in anarchism.

The turning point came when he tired of that way of life, and went to live in London for the stated aim of becoming a poet, at the age of 22. In that year, he published his first book of poetry, Pen Rhythm.  In 1994, he published his first poetry book for children, “Talking Turkeys”.  In 2001 he published “The Little Book of Vegan Poems”.  He was offered an O.B.E. in 2003, but declined it for its association with Empire.

In 2011 he accepted a year-long position as poet-in-residence at Keats House.  He explained: “I don’t do residencies, but Keats is different. He’s a one-off, and he has always been one of my favourite poets.”

He has worked with Lemn Sissay for many years.  Lemn has posted this week “In 2013 we (Benjamin and I) adapted his hit novel Refugee Boy for the stage. Today our version is on the national curriculum as a choice text.”

He published an autobiography in 2018, with the title “The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah”, which earned the nomination of “autobiography of the year” by the National Book Awards.

Benjamin Zephaniah is one of those rare people who can carry the accolade of National Treasure.  On Question Time last Thursday, Fiona Bruce paid tribute to his numerous appearances on the programme.  I can say that whenever he appeared,  his was always a sane voice.

“Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word ’empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised… Benjamin Zephaniah OBE – no way Mr Blair, no way Mrs Queen. I am profoundly anti-empire.”

– Benjamin Zephaniah


In the early hours of this morning, Jupiter opposed Venus, and there may have been a lighter moment in your dreams.  Venus and Jupiter are known as the lesser and greater benefic planets respectively, so they don’t tend to do too much damage to each other, and they may even have a good time.  There could be some much needed laughter for instance, hopefully at no one’s expense.  Or if at another’s expense, no harm done.  There’s the possibility of letting out some tension in light relief.

Tomorrow (Monday 11th) Mercury sextiles Venus, which is an ideal day for cafe culture, Christmas shopping and good conversation.  It favours socializing, and creative forms which combine art and writing.  There is potential for negotiation in diplomatic efforts, and harmony and agreement between kindred spirits.

The New Moon at 20 degrees Sagittarius arrives on Tuesday (12th), and Sagittarian New Moons are more upbeat than most, focussing on expansion, the planning of holidays, deep study and learning, global issues, and matters of faith.  Re-play your affirmations, with more confidence.  You can have powerful inner conversations under this New Moon.

Mercury goes Retrograde on Wednesday (13th), so be prepared earlier in the week in Mercury-related concerns such as communications, documentation and I.T. It’s not a good time for Mercury to retrograde, in the middle of the Christmas post season.  I have already had a cheque go missing en route to a catalogue.  Do what you can to minimize such occurrences.  Postal and phone scams may also arise – again, I nearly got caught last week.  Must have been Mercury’s shadow period, which I do not usually notice.  Be clear in your communications for the next three weeks, in order to avoid misunderstandings and loopholes.  Although technology can go awry, it can be a good period to upgrade such devices.  You may have developed your own strategies, according to past experiences.

On Friday (15th) our Sun is aligned with two Fixed Stars in the constellation of Scorpio.  Lesath, or Upsilon Scorpii represents the principle of inner healing.  According to “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld:

“There can be enhanced circulation as well as strengthened physical functioning.  This can bring insights based on unconscious concepts and beliefs or long-buried ideas.  The inner healing processes may be strengthened, but some degree of counselling or emotional release would be necessary for these to be ongoing in the person.  There can be great value in sharing the influence of this star for a group of  individuals who are looking for a common goal, who wish this to be a part of physical form in animals, plants, or people.”

Then the Fixed Star Shaula, Lambda Scorpii, also described by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld, represents the principle of working with emotion:

The ability of people to work with emotions in many different ways has created a shared emotional body amongst humanity.   The group soul of all of humanity is broadcasting feelings and emotions which are disturbing to the Earth.  This is an important contributing factor to some of the geophysical changes that occur, such as in volcanos and earthquakes, which are an important facet of the Earth’s cleansing.”

and on a more personal note:

“Repressed emotions can be brought into consciousness and understood with the use of this star.  These emotions can be released and the energy brought into coordination with other facets in one’s life.  This can enhance recall of emotional blocks felt in childhood and to a lesser extent from past lives.  The reasons behind the emotions are better understood and forgiven.”

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – off the wall socializing
  • Tomorrow – cafe culture
  • Tuesday – new beginning
  • Wednesday – strained communications
  • Friday – inner healing; working with emotions, both planetary and personal

Aspects for the week beginning 3 December 2023

Henry Kissinger (1923 – 2023)

“America has lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs with the passing of Henry Kissinger. I have long admired the man who fled the Nazis as a young boy from a Jewish family, then fought them in the United States Army”.

~ George W. Bush

Henry Kissinger died this week, on the same day as Shane MacGowan and Alistair Darling.  He had reached the grand old age of 100, and a later generation may relate to Alistair Darling (b. 1953), and a still later generation would prefer to read about Shane MacGowan (b. 1957, but whose Christmas song with Kirsty MacColl is still hailed the best ever).  But I (of the elderly generation) remember vividly his early involvement with Richard Nixon. He has been described especially in recent days as a “divisive figure”.  So how do you distil a hundred years into one blog?  I am about to try…

Birth Chart

Kissinger’s is a supremely intellectual and Mercury ruled chart: he had half his planets (5) in the Air element, he was a double Gemini (with the Sun and the Ascendant in Gemini, with the Sun and Mercury conjunct in Gemini.  Fortunately we have a birth time for him, and can see just how his personality and lifestyle is described by his birth chart.  Then there is the Warrior Archetype, shown by Mars rising (in Gemini, the Verbal Warrior) and a trine of Mars to the Moon.  The Moon is strong, too, in his chart, being exactly trine the Ascendant, in its home House, the 4th.  The Moon furthermore trines his Midheaven (Careerpoint), to create a powerful Grand Trine with which to manage his life.  Venus sextiles Pluto in his chart, and reminds us that he used the power of the cheque book in his diplomacy.  A factor in his success is a fairly rare exact conjunction between his Jupiter in Scorpio and his Part of Fortune in 5th House – I call this the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”.  The 5th House is often used to project the personality in dealings with others.  Added to this is a trine between Jupiter and Uranus – The Entrepreneur Archetype.  Jupiter closely trine Pluto indicates a love of power (he called power “the ultimate aphrodisiac”).  But his Jupiter didn’t have it all his way: a square with Neptune meant a confusion about religion and spirituality, which may be linked with what many saw as a lack of integrity.  Uranus conjunct the South Node may point to a past life as a manipulator in Atlantis.  But he was often a “fixer” in his career, some of that down to the sextile between his Midheaven and Chiron.

Life and Career

Kissinger was born in Germany, and as a Jew he recalled beatings by Hitler youth gangs as a child.   His family fled from the Nazis to settle in the U.S. in 1938.  At the time, transiting Uranus was exactly sextile his natal Uranus in Pisces in his 9th House of Foreign Lands, signifying a break with the past and a new direction in life.  He was forever grateful to his new homeland, and patriotic in his foreign policies in his career.  His high school years were spent in Manhattan, as part of the German-Jewish community.  He studied accounting at College in New York, prior to being called up for the army in 1943. Around that time, his naturalization papers came through, with transiting Pluto sextile his natal Sun in Gemini. He was later educated at Harvard College, graduating in 1950 having studied political science, and staying on in academia at Harvard, specializing in nuclear weapons and foreign policy.  From there, he became foreign policy advisor to the presidential campaigns of Nelson Rockefeller.  When Richard Nixon became President in 1969, Kissinger was appointed National Security Advisor.  Thus was a historic collaboration born.


Though he won the peace prize in 1973 for the Paris Peace Accords, his responsibilities for decision making regarding the Vietnam war under the Nixon administration came under fire on account of secrecy and manipulation.  He kept Congress in the dark regarding the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, for example.  In 1969 hundreds of thousands of people were involved with mass protests across the United States calling for withdrawal of troops from the Vietnam War.  He was notably outwitted by interviewer Oriana Fallaci on 4th November 1972, with transiting Mars on his Moon (clash with a female) and transiting Neptune opposite his Sun (exposure and accusation of duplicity).  It was an embarrassment for Nixon.  The charge of secrecy, often applied to his character, is one feature of the natal Sun in 12th House of Secrecy. The Vietnamese remain bitter about his work in this area, to this day.

Yom Kippur War

In his work on international relations he developed what is called Realpolitik, a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral considerations (hence my description of the slight shadiness of his Jupiter- Neptune square). At the height of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, a conflict which began with the invasion of Israel by its Arab neighbours, he persuaded the Israelis to stop the war when they encircled the Arab armies. In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war, he became known for his “shuttle diplomacy”, travelling between all the countries involved to try to broker settlement (most specifically between Telaviv, Cairo and Damascus).  With his heavily Geminian chart, and the North Node in the 3rd House (the natural home for Gemini), this may have been a feature of his karmic mission.  He was responsible for settling the region after that horrific war between Israel and its neighbours, and there was a period of stabilization afterwards, but of course the issues were not solved, and we are seeing the same problems today in the Israel-Hamas war.  Notable transits for Kissinger at the onset of the Yom Kippur war were Uranus on his Moon in Libra in his 4th House (taken by surprise emotionally), Neptune opposite his natal Sun (confusion) and Pluto trine his natal Sun (a gargantuan task).  Simon Tisdall, writing in the Observer this morning, notes that Kissinger’s “contacts with the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, are credited with opening a path to the Camp David accords… Those accords led, in turn, to the breakthrough i979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.”

Other foreign policy

Kissinger has been accused of war crimes and of supporting dictatorial regimes.  However, he initiated the policy of detente, as applied to the Soviet Union, and brokered a new relationship with China (notably with Zhou Enlai), a country that praised him highly this week.

Kissinger and Nixon

These two forged a tight working collaboration.  Their synastry points to a karmic bond, especially since  Nixon’s Ascendant was exactly conjunct Kissinger’s North Node.  Their charts have some similar aspects (despite their being born 10 years apart), and secrecy is a theme in both charts (Nixon had a natal opposition of the Sun and Neptune, which is the natural ruler of the 12th House).

Later perspectives

Also from Simon Tisdall:

“Today, as Kissinger admitted in recent interviews, the world has grown more geopolitically complex – multipolar, multilateral, multidimensional. Nations assert themselves. Non-state actors proliferate. Globalisation creates odd bedfellows…. However celebrated at the time, Kissinger’s approach to the big questions of his day – the China conundrum, the Soviet threat, Middle East instability – failed to produce lasting remedies. All three still pose daunting challenges for the US and its democratic partners.”

Even in this last year or two of his long life, Kissinger had things to say about the situation in Ukraine, including voicing the opinion that “Ukraine above all cannot give up territory that it had when the war started because this would be symbolically dangerous.”, and expressing admiration for Zelenskyy.  He met up with him as recently as September of this year.

He has also commented on the current war between Israel and Gaza, saying the goals of Hamas “can only be to mobilize the Arab world against Israel and to get off the track of peaceful negotiations”.  But his response to the destruction and loss of innocent life in Gaza has not been reported to my knowledge.

I include these commentaries on current situations to illustrate that he felt able to pronounce upon them even to his centenary year.

The divisiveness of his character, life and achievements tends to illustrate that public figures are rarely all bad or all good.

“A good negotiator is somebody who can give others the confidence to move in what they must each perceive to be their own interest and, since they are responsible for the future of their country, you would be reckless if you try to trick them about that.”

~ Henry Kissinger


Today Pluto squares Venus, which is not an easy aspect whatever way you look at it.  Deep feeling issues may be preying on your mind.  These will require some psychological soul-searching for a true interpretation, and may spur on honest-as-you-can-be interpersonal communication. I seem to have been receiving distressed and distressing texts and emails all morning, while writing this blog!  When Pluto squared Venus in October 2022, Liz Truss was forced to resign.

Venus enters Scorpio tomorrow (Monday 4th) ), so emotions and passions could be heightened.  This is a time when deep feelings can be experienced and expressed.  Her previous sojourn through Libra focussed on relationships, and on entering Scorpio the quality of relationship deepens.  You can take a relationship to the next level.  Venus will change sign again on 29th December, so make the most of the opportunity.

A calmer hiatus for Venus occurs on Tuesday (5th) when she forms a trine alliance with Saturn.  This brings hope, of people coming together with more commitment and loyalty.  Venus can provide a softening role to a hard line stance.  It is conciliatory, which may be just what is needed.  Relationships may need serious resolving, and this aspect can help, whether on a personal level, or between nations.

Some unravelling of thorny spiritual knots may become possible from Wednesday (6th), when Neptune is Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  If you have felt confused of late, there is a chance for more clarity, certainty, inspiration and spirituality.  If  you felt your feet were treading water, then your  path could be on surer ground.  It is an opportunity to fine tune relationships, art, or spiritual practices.  After the turnaround has been achieved you may detect greater flow and movement.  Interactions may be subtle, but subtlety can be powerful.

We end the week on a high note, with Mercury trine Jupiter on Friday (8th).  This is the veritable aspect of good news itself.  This could bring productivity, and good conversation.  .  Mercury trine Jupiter expands our minds and philosophies.  This is an upbeat vibe mentally, and can bring opportunities.  It is also helpful for writing projects and studying, so you may make progress on that novel you’re writing, for instance!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – emotional pain
  • Tomorrow – emotional intensity
  • Tuesday – loyalty and commitment; truce
  • Wednesday – spiritual ease
  • Friday – good news

Aspects for the week beginning 26 November 2023

“Napoleon” – the film by Ridley Scott

also featuring my own Napoleonic journey

Last night, we went to see the new film by Ridley Scott.  The subject, Napoleon, has strangely erupted in my life from time to time, as you will see.  I needed to revisit my connection with this historical era, and was glad I did.  The film was not wholeheartedly embraced by the French, partly because of inaccuracies, but was certainly a spectacle.  Some of the destruction of buildings and battlefield explosions were horrifically reminiscent of the scenes in Ukraine and Gaza which we have seen on our small screens these last two years.

My own story begins at school.  We all have an iconic teacher in our youth, and mine was Mr Burkimsher, my history teacher.  In the sixth form, he allocated a subject for each of us to produce a project over a period of three months.  For me, he chose Napoleon.  I read every book going on the subject from my local library in St. Albans, and literally wrote a book in that time!  It’s still somewhere in our loft.  As I am, and was, a pacifist, the chapter on battles and warfare was disproportionately short.  Needless to say, these themes dominate Ridley Scott’s film.  Mr Burkimsher gave me top marks, and was so taken with my offering that he showed it to a friend for a second opinion.  For the purpose of balance, I hasten to add that was the height of my academic success, which steadily declined after that point.  But it did give me the confidence to apply to study history at University…

Birth Chart

It is common knowledge that Napoleon embodies the Hero Archetype in his Sun Sign of Leo.  In his element balance, he had half his planets (5) in Earth signs, which groundedness may explain his expertise on battlefield layouts and monumental organization of the roads in Paris.  He had 0 planets in Air, which suggests a high proportion of reliance on instinct.  His Sun was square Jupiter, and he was an undoubted risk-taker, with a marked tendency to exaggerate.  We do have a birth time for him, and his Sun (and Sun ruler) was exactly conjunct his Midheaven (Careerpoint) and closely trine his North Node, both of which suggest his strong sense of destiny.  His Moon in Capricorn expresses his level of ambition, and it is opposed by Saturn, which points to a sense of melancholy in relation to the women in his life.  Mercury was square to his Uranus – he was not afraid of controversy, indeed he courted it.  But perhaps even more importantly, his Mercury was exactly trine his Chiron – a gift for problem-solving.  The poignancy of his love life is further illustrated by Venus closely squaring his Chiron.  Mars sextile his Jupiter gave him the zeal with which he approached each battle, while Mars exactly trine Uranus gave him an electrical energy and the ability to motivate his troops.  Mars closely trine Pluto bestowed a powerhouse of physical and psychological energy, and the stamina he needed in some of his protracted battles.  This Grand Earth Trine of Mars-Uranus-Pluto may be seen as part of his genius for warriorship and strategy.  Jupiter was exactly on his Ascendant, providing an unfailing optimism and much luck – even when exiled to Elba he summoned up the wherewithal to undertake a last battle, Waterloo.

…So I travelled up to Nottingham University for my interview to study Medieval and Modern History, for which there were just the two Professors.  I was interviewed by the Modern History Professor, whose specialist subject coincidentally was the French Revolution.  I was therefore able to draw upon my project in my interview!  In my third year I was under the tutelage of the Medieval Professor, Mr Bullough, whose expertise was Charlemagne.  Hubby still laughs at the fact that my whole third year was spent in our freezing flat with Donald Bullough’s book “The Age of Charlemagne” on my lap…

The Coronation of Napoleon

Napoleon considered himself a reincarnation of Charlemagne, and that was one of the reasons  why he had himself crowned Emperor at Notre Dame on 2nd December 1804 in emulation of Charlemagne, presided over by Pope Pius VII, just one of the spectacular scenes which featured in Ridley Scott’s film.  The sight of his own crowning of Josephine reminded me of King Charles’ crowning of Camilla this year!

Could there be any credence to Napoleon’s link with Charlemagne?  There are two notable similarities from their birth charts: they both had the conjunction of Mars and Neptune, and a trine between Uranus and Pluto.

The Film

Not to give away too much, the film begins with the execution by guillotine of Marie Antoinette.  The Observer reports that one inaccuracy of the film according to Dan Snow was that “Napoleon…did not watch as Marie Antoinette was guillotined.” Many of Napoleon’s prominent battles were featured throughout the film, amazing huge spectacles.  The Observer further observes: “Biddiss and Scott have both earned plaudits for the military tactics displayed in the film. Snow, in particular, praised the defensive square formations of the French troops.”  The relationship between Napoleon and Josephine was also featured prominently, and sometimes graphically.  His letters will have given a lot of detail to draw upon.  A glaring omission from the film was his own domestic policies and achievements.  But a highlight of casting, in my view, was that of the Duke of Wellington.

Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix

Ridley Scott is a Sagittarian, and a strong tendency in Film Directors is to have the Sun in Leo (for total overall control).  This astrological feature is supplied by the Sun (Leo’s ruler) conjunct Ridley Scott’s North Node (karmic mission), showing up the grandiose vision of his blockbuster movies.

There is a filmic link between Ridley Scott and Napoleon.  Neptune is the planet which rules film, and Napoleon’s Nodal Axis bears an exact square on Ridley’s Neptune, and Napoleon’s Neptune exactly squares Ridley Scott’s Sun.

The acting was exemplary, and Scorpio Joaquin Phoenix gave a strong performance as Napoleon.  However, for me, he looked old from the very beginning, even when Napoleon was starting out, and his appearance never varied.  How easy is it to make a 49 year old actor look young, I wondered.  In reality, Josephine was a Creole and was six years older than Napoleon, and the actress Vanessa Kirby who played Josephine had a very modern western face and pale skin colouring. [Ooh, I promised myself I wouldn’t criticize the film!].  Joaquin’s chart connection with Napoleon includes a square between their Suns, and a square between Joaquin’s Pluto and Napoleon’s Venus.   The film promises success for him (Jupiter sextile his Jupiter) but also some stress (Pluto square his Mercury and Uranus).  However, the connections between Vanessa and Josephine’s charts are numerous, and while they often clash, I suspect that Vanessa captured the spirit of Josephine herself.

…The years rolled by, and I got into past life therapy.  I knew I loved Paris and Napoleonic history, but it took a while before I remembered a specific memory of living under the reign of Napoleon, centred around L’Opera.  Again, coincidentally, hubby and I stayed twice in Paris on holiday in the environs of L’Opera.  These days I still have a shelf full of books on Napoleon in my home.


As we came out of the cinema, I asked hubby how many stars he would give to the film, out of five.  He awarded four – he enjoyed the acting performances, and thought the battle scenes were well done.

Although I had gripes, I did award three stars, but am at the same time so grateful for all the hard work Ridley Scott put into the detail of vividly reconstructing the decors, costumes, buildings and battlefields.  It’s an amazing work for a man of eighty-five.  Most of all, I feel he has been able to give me back some of my history, both from this life and past lives.  If you feel you have a link with that time period, why not head over to your local cinema, and give the film a whirl!


First, a retrospective on the aspects for the last couple of days, when Israeli hostages were exchanged for Palestinian prisoners.  Friday went smoothly for the first day of the four day enterprise, with Mars entering Sagittarius.  But as predicted there were hitches and delays yesterday, with Mars squaring Saturn, and the hostages were not released until the early hours of this morning.  Unusually, when we arrived at the cinema yesterday to see the film Napoleon, they informed us we could not yet enter, as there was a technical hitch, and the film was delayed.

So this week’s aspects begin tomorrow (Monday 27th), with three astrological features, the first of which is Mercury trine the North Node.  This can help ensure that information and communications are accurate and karmically relevant.  You should be able to experience that on a mental or spiritual level.  It will contribute to progress generally, especially when preparing your week’s work, studies and communicative ventures.

Just after breakfast time, we have a Full Moon at 4 degrees Gemini.  The tussle of Moon in Gemini and Sun in Sagittarius is a tussle over communication, and that is the principle which can also bring them to a whole.  You may feel or see acutely the two sides of a story, e.g. some of the polarities occurring in the news and worldwide.  With the Moon being in Gemini, however, you may feel you cannot handle a depth emotional approach at this moment of time.

Around lunchtime we experience a square between Mercury and Neptune.  Some undefinable snag may be nagging at you.  If so, allow your subconscious to bring it up in its own time, but don’t shut up shop until you have identified the rum note.  Then you can deal with it, move on and let it go.  There could be some scandals in the news.

When we get to Wednesday (29th) we encounter a conjunction between Venus and the South Node.  There is a focus on love and relationship in a karmic context.  For example, you may find answers to current relationship issues in looking back at relationships in your past, which includes your past lives.  If you feel you have a link with the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, why not head over to your local cinema, and give Ridley Scott’s film a whirl!

Moving on to later in the week, Friday (1st December) sees the entry of Mercury into Capricorn.  The mental mode of Capricorn is practicality, and systematic and methodical thinking. Mercury in Capricorn favours planning (so helps with planning events for next year. Official documentation may need to be worked on, forms to fill, authorities to interview, etc.  Mercury will turn retrograde next week, when it has barely made its mark in Capricorn, so make the most in these areas before 13th.

On the last day of the week, Saturday (2nd), we have a sextile between Mercury and Saturn.  Thoughts and feelings can be channelled and harnessed into constructive plans and ideas.  Mental foundations can be laid.  The aspect favours documentation and again knuckling down to form-filling etc.  Geminis and Virgos have the chance to regain their balance, if they need to.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – helpful karmic information; emotional high tide; then misleading information
  • Wednesday – karmic focus on relationships
  • Friday – practical thinking
  • Saturday – constructive plans

Aspects for the week beginning 19 November 2023

Strictly Come Dancing 2023 – Part 3

There are some contestants who have been eliminated who I did not get around to analysing before they were gone:  Eddie Kadi, Zara McDermott, Les Dennis, Nikita Kanda and Jody Cundy.

There are two I predicted would not make it to the final, who have been eliminated: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, and Adam Thomas.

There was one that I correctly predicted would leave for personal reasons: Amanda Abbington

That only leaves two for this final blog!  Angela Scanlon and Layton Williams:

Angela Scanlon

Angela Scanlon first caught my attention as the presenter of Your Home Made Perfect, though apparently she has worked a great deal in fashion.  She has a distinctive personality and sense of humour (Jupiter in Sagittarius).  With Mercury in Capricorn she can have a dry wit, and Moon in Scorpio gives it an acerbic edge.  Her sharp enthusiasm, from Mars sextile Jupiter, comes across in the home renovation programme.  Uranus conjunct the South Node in Sagittarius suggests adventurous past lives.  I have greatly enjoyed her dancing, and still hope that she can wow the judges even more than she has done, although she did come top of the leaderboard one week, and her paso doble last night did wow the judges.  There was a bit of controversy about her legs – this week Craig said they weren’t supple enough, yet in an earlier week he praised her knees (Capricorn, her Sun sign, rules both the legs and the knees).  Her current transits show Sun/Mars on her Venus (sensuality heightened), Neptune square her Jupiter (feverishness, though her natal conjunctio of those two planets will help her balance the square) and Pluto trine Chiron (deep healing).  That all sounds good.  The end of the contest finds her with: Saturn trine Pluto and Neptune still square her Jupiter.  These are not brilliant transits, but I still hold out hope.  She is partnered with Carlos Gu.  I did not have his birth date last year, and it still doesn’t appear online.  Therefore I can’t analyse his transits, or their chemistry.

Layton Williams

At this stage, Layton Williams looks like a dead cert for the final.  At the age of twelve he appeared on stage as Billy Elliot.  However, his history of experience in dance has proved controversial, as against someone like Ellie Leach who has not danced before.  His birth chart is complex, and includes the early 90s conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn.  He is high on emotion (5 Water planets), and his Sun is in Virgo sextile Mars (great energy).  More importantly, his Sun trines the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune, and I believe this is his great power.  His chart speaks a lot of leadership and showmanship (5 Cardinal planets, Sun sextile North Node, Mars exactly trine the North Node).  The Sun conjunct Chiron suggests he tended to have felt himself to be an outsider, but indicates ability as a problem-solver.  With the Moon closely sextile Venus, he is at home with the female side of life, and is close to his mum (dedicating his dances to her).  Where his weaknesses lie may be through having 0 Fire planets (perhaps an underlying lack of confidence), but also Mercury square Mars (irritability).  Both those are counterbalanced by a Water trine of Mars and Jupiter, like Angela bestowing energy allied with enthusiasm.  Although Angela has Jupiter in Sagittarius, which is strong, her sextile between these two planets is a weaker force than the trine which Layton has.  An additional opposition of Uranus to Layton’s Mars gives an electrical quality to his energy, but may from time to time make him accident-prone (hopefully not during this season of Strictly).  His transits now show Uranus trine his natal Sun (a spectacular time), Jupiter sextile his Saturn (very balanced within himself), the Nodal Axis square his Uranus (capacity to surprise, or shock), Uranus trine his Neptune (heightened ability to command complexity), Mars on his Pluto (slight aspect of danger), and Neptune trine his natal Pluto (accessing the depths of his nature).  That’s a lot!  At the final he will still have Uranus trine his Sun (a great asset), Nodal Axis square his Uranus, Uranus trine his Neptune and Neptune trine his Pluto.  A strong set of transits.

He is partnered with Nikita Kuzmin.  In 2021 I wrote of him: “He has an unaspected Sun in Capricorn, which may mean he is a free spirit.  His Moon is in musical Libra, and he has a dynamic conjunction of Mars, Venus and Uranus in Aquarius.”  Their chemistry shows up Nikita’s Mars square Layton’s Venus (magnetism) and Nikita’s Saturn opposite Layton’s Mercury (Nikita conferring mental discipline on Layton) it is true that Layton has trained exceptionally hard (and he is a Virgoan perfectionist).  Nikita’s current transits show Uranus square his Jupiter (accentuating the power to surprise and pushing the boundaries) and Pluto on his Neptune (a psychological stretching), which seems a fair portrayal of what is going on.  At the end of the series, he will have Saturn sextile his Sun (a controlled success), Uranus still square his Jupiter, but also a double whammy because Jupiter will in addition be squaring his Uranus (this could betoken something exceptional, for a gay dance couple to win would be a first) plus Pluto still on his Neptune.  Strong transits for both of them.

Sorry this blog is so short this week, but hopefully sweet.  Astrologically, the three for the final would be Ellie, Layton and Bobby.  But Bobby seems to be on the middle ground consistently.  I would love Nigel and Angela S to be up there, too.  Keep watching!


Tomorrow gifts us with a sextile between the Sun and Pluto.  This 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.  Use the opportunity of this aspect to strengthen your situation…

Mercury trines Chiron on Tuesday (21st), so the day has real healing potential.  This aspect is all about finding solutions, especially in health matters.  Mercury trine Chiron describes healing on a mental level (positive thinking, writing and affirmations), and helps to combine conventional and alternative or complementary healing approaches.

On Wednesday (22nd) we have a sextile between Mars and Pluto so  you may have the energy to push through a pet project.  It is a dynamic and active aspect, and you may find yourself spontaneously clearing clutter.  That aspect occurs in the early hours, so you could have lively dreams!

Late lunchtime sees the Sun enter Sagittarius. This event ushers in the general festive pre-Christmas season of Sagittarius. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, at least in the preparation and anticipation of Christmas.  Christmas itself comes under the sobriety of Sun in Capricorn.  Your enthusiasm and preparations now can help create and inject warmth into the big day, in advance.  Sagittarius also represents philosophy, working out your ethics, values and how you feel about the meaning of life, and religion.

Later in the day Chiron opposes Venus, so that may bring up issues which need healing.  It may be a case of “Now I am nice and settled, what is next for me to deal with?”.  The issues may be connected with one’s inner female, or one’s relationships.  It may be an artistic conundrum.

We have a square on Thursday (23rd), that between the Sun and Saturn.  This may bring disappointing or deflating news,  delay or frustration.  There is no shortage of such material on our news programmes, certainly.  The Sun-Saturn square is an opportunity to think through what you are doing, and your strategies.  If you are making economies, are they the right ones, based on your optimum values?

Friday (24th) brings another ingress, that of Mars into Sagittarius.  This is quite a bright note.  Mars tends to be intense and combative in Scorpio, so in Sagittarius it can use its energy differently; it has permission to be an Adventurer!  A new fitness regime would have added gusto at this time, or the mental gymnastics of a new philosophical study.  Mars is in Sagittarius until 4th January, so for the rest of the year you have permission to challenge yourself, in a good way.

There could be a glitch in this strategy however at the outset, for on Saturday (25th) Saturn squares Mars.  This can bring awkwardness – for example, physically you may want to push an issue, but that approach may not work.  Think before you act, to avoid clumsiness.  It may be difficult to obtain co-operation (e.g. on worldwide climate agreements).  An example of this energy is that a friend of mine got stuck in a car park on this aspect, when it occurred two years ago.  You may experience fatigue, including compassion fatigue, discouragement, and a feeling of not having accomplished all you set out to do in the day.  But, tomorrow is another day…

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – a profound start to the week
  • Tuesday – healing potential
  • Wednesday – pushy energy; ’tis the season to be jolly; healing needed in relationships
  • Thursday – need to consolidate what you value
  • Friday – allow the Inner Adventurer
  • Saturday – disallow the Inner Adventurer; risk of stuckness

Aspects for the week beginning 12 November 2023

Barbra Streisand

I’m a very private person. I don’t enjoy stardom.”

~ Barbra Streisand

Eighty-one year old Barbra Streisand published her memoirs this week, which had been 25 years in the writing, with nearly 1000 pages to show for it.  She has also given some interesting interviews, and highlighted some interesting liaisons in her life.

Birth Chart

Barbra has half her planets (5) in Earth signs, so is very grounded, and over half (6) in the Fixed signs, so is very strong willed.  The main zodiacal areas of her chart are Taurus (The Singer) and Leo (The Actor and Performer), which sums up her strengths immediately.  She has the Sun exactly trine her natal Midheaven (Careerpoint), which marks out a successful career as an Actor and Performer.  What makes the expression of her talent more spectacular is a triple conjunction of Pluto/Chiron/and the Moon in Leo on the cusp of her 5th House of Performance.  Her Sun is exactly square Pluto, deepening her character.  She also has Mercury exactly square Chiron, problem-solving mentality honed through crisis.  Venus is conjunct her South Node by 6 degs, suggesting she has perfected her singing path in past lives.  It is also revealed in her book that she is a great foodie, another Taurean trait.


It is quite clear that Barbra is a private person.  Several features of her chart point to this.  Primarily this may be because all her planets are below the horizon, in the personal half of the birth chart, and the only  planet which isn’t, her ruling planet Venus, is in the 12th House of the Unconscious in shy Pisces.   Sun exactly square Pluto can also be retiring;  Mars closely square Neptune is secretive, and Mars is placed on the I.C. (Security Point) in Cancer,  which is home loving.  Last but not least, Neptune is square her Midheaven, a case of not seeking the limelight, as opposed to triple conjunction in Leo (so there must be some inner conflict there).  She said in an interview that she is a different person when she steps on stage to perform.

Life and Career

Barbra was born in Brooklyn of Jewish parents.  Her mother was a soprano, and a grandfather had been a cantor.  Her father died from an epileptic seizure when she was one year old: this is depicted in her chart by the exact square of Pluto (death) to her Sun (the father).  I hasten to say this is not how Pluto square the Sun plays out for all who have it.  Her mother re-married and Barbra describes her step-father as cruel.  Apparently at school she was intelligent and curious but lacked discipline.  Discipline is a function of the planet Saturn, which in her chart is unaspected except for an exact conjunction with Uranus (The Rebel) – it seems the rebel swamped the discipline, at least at that time of her life.  At High School in Brooklyn she sang with classmate Neil Diamond. He recalls:

“We were two poor kids in Brooklyn. We hung out in the front of Erasmus High and smoked cigarettes.”  Later, they were to duet together on the hit song “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”.

In the early 1960s she performed in nightclubs, and also took a job as a theatre usher.  She has said: “I always hid my face because I thought someday I’d be well-known.”  Her mother begged her not to take up such a precarious profession, but, in Barbra’s words: “My desires were strengthened by wanting to prove to my mother that I could be a star.” (6 Fixed planets).  The role of the “critical mother” is hinted at in her chart by the Moon square Mercury.  Early on, her singing was encouraged by a boyfriend Barry Dennen, who said, of hearing her voice in an early recording session:

“We spent the afternoon taping, and the moment I heard the first playback I went insane … This nutty little kook had one of the most breathtaking voices I’d ever heard … when she was finished and I turned off the machine, I needed a long moment before I dared look up at her.”

She was able to venture into acting, which had been her first ambition, by at first accepting stage roles which involved singing.  She then signed with Columbia records, releasing her debut Album in 1963, but not before ensuring she had full control over the content of her work, accepting a lower rate of pay.  Some of the greatest hits in her long career were People, The Way We Were, Guilty, Evergreen, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, No More Tears (Enough is Enough) and Woman in Love.

Her first film success was Funny Girl (1968), then followed Hello Dolly! (1969) “What’s Up, Doc? (1972), The Way We Were (1973).  She then ventured into directing, starring in “Yentl” (1983),  a film she had wanted to make since being introduced to the short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1968.  Her journey to its creation is fascinating.

Her Voice

Her voice has been described as “peerless” and semi-operatic, and is in the range of a Mezzo-Soprano.  Apparently, she has the ability to hear complete melodies in her head.  As a singer, her Venus (ruler) is in the 12th House, so she sings from deep within, and the Moon loosely conjunct Pluto shows the incredible depth of her emotion she expresses when she is singing.   In one of her  interviews this week, she told how her grand-daughter is a promising young singer.


Barbra’s first marriage was to Elliott Gould in 1963 who she met while appearing in a musical comedy in 1962, with transiting Jupiter trine her natal Mars (favourable for meeting men) and Pluto trine her natal Mercury.  They divorced in 1971, but had a son Jason, who is now an actor.

They separated in 1969 and then followed a cavalcade of relationships and admirers, which included Pierre Trudeau (two year relationship), Don Johnson (one year), Richard Gere (brief relationship), Clint Eastwood (brief), Andre Agassi (two years), Liam Neeson (briefly), Jon Voight (also brief).  She also reveals in her book that Prince Charles and Marlon Brando found her very attractive.

She has been married to actor James Brolin since 1998.  They do not have children together, but they had a dog Sammie, which she has had cloned three times.  She is a Democrat, through and through.

What a sparkling read the book promises to be, when I receive it, hopefully tomorrow!

“This is a dangerous time in this nation, this republic: a man who is corrupt and indecent and is assaulting our institutions. It’s really, really frightening. And I just pray that people who are compassionate and respect the truth will come out and vote. I’m saying more than just vote. Vote for Democrats!”

~ Barbra Streisand, October 2018

Next Week: Strictly Come Dancing – Part 3


The New Moon at 20 degrees Scorpio arrives tomorrow morning, enabling a new start to the new week.  This can be seen as a sign of Regeneration.  There may be a certain amount of letting go required, before the fresh start can be established.

In the afternoon, Uranus opposes the Sun, which will require new insight, resolve and conviction.  You have to get with the programme, or be left behind.  Maybe you are challenged by an upgrade on your phone, and can’t use it until you sort it out!

On Wednesday (15th) Mercury sextiles Venus, a combination that aims to please.  This favours socializing and conversing, and creative forms which combine art and writing.  There is potential for negotiation in diplomatic efforts (hopefully helping the peace effort, though it is not a major aspect, so in baby steps), and harmony and agreement between kindred spirits.  Ideal for cafe culture.

We have a subtly harmonious trine in the morning of Friday (17th) in the shape of Mars trine Neptune.  Under this aspect the peaceful spiritual warrior can flourish skilfully.  You can combine your passions with your spiritual path.  Meditation with movement is favoured, e.g. yoga, tai chi and qijong.  Peaceful demonstrations also chime well with this aspect.

By early afternoon, its beneficent action is reinforced by another trine, that between the Sun and Neptune.  So it’s a positive day for the expression of spirituality.  The Sun trine Neptune, enhances the  inspiration of the first trine even further.  It promises a graceful day:   expand your consciousness, and allow your imagination to embellish your work, or project in hand.

Saturday (18th) looks more challenging, perhaps in a similar way to the management of the marches which took place this weekend in London, for the Sun conjoins with Mars early in the morning, at 25 degrees Scorpio.  This may be confrontational, but is also an aspect under which  you can get things done.  “Action” is the word.  It is not a great day to be taking risks, however.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – new beginning; an element of the unexpected
  • Wednesday – cafe culture
  • Friday – the peaceful warrior; creative inspiration
  • Saturday – dynamic, but caution needed

Aspects for the week beginning 5 November 2023

Victoria Coren and David Mitchell

Victoria Coren surprised us by concealing her pregnancy and giving birth at the age of 51 to her second daughter on 26th October, revealing the happy news a few days later.  She and her husband are an intriguing couple, by virtue of their sharp wits and endearing love story.  What must it be like in their comedic household, one wonders?

Birth Chart of Victoria

Victoria, like her brother Giles (the food critic) has the Sun in Leo.  As well as presiding over her mental-gymnastic quiz show “Only Connect”, she is a professional poker player. I wrote under the Gambler Archetype: “Victoria Coren has the perfect chart for a gambler: Sun in Leo (speculation) trine Jupiter in Sagittarius (luck and gambling).”  Leo is the sign of “speculation”.  Jupiter is also the planet of humour, and her comedian husband David Mitchell (and outstanding in humour, he is) also has the Sun trine Jupiter.  Victoria and Giles’ father, Alan Coren, was a high profile Satirist, and Victoria’s own brand of humour I would say is satirical, like her father’s. An interesting feature of their synastry is that Victoria’s Mercury at 10 degrees Leo is exactly conjunct her father’s Venus, and her Venus at 10 degrees Cancer is exactly conjunct his Mercury!  Victoria has the Sun conjunct Mars (the Warrior Archetype) which provides the killer instinct needed for a poker player!  Another feature which is part of the poker player’s persona is a love of power – she has that in Jupiter square Pluto, and North Node trine Pluto.  She has a secretive streak, in Mars exactly square Neptune, which she used to advantage in concealing her pregnancy!

Birth Chart of David

David Mitchell, like Victoria’s father, has the Sun in the family-orientated sign of Cancer.  We do not have birth times for David or Victoria, but we do have one for Alan Coren, which reveals his Ascendant as Libra.  David Mitchell does a sterling job heading one of the teams on “Would I Lie to You?”, and he is undeniably a comic genius.  My hubby is a great fan of one of his other enterprises, the sitcomn “Upstart Crow”, in which David Mitchell plays Shakespeare. So it is very fitting to find that he has the Sun trine Jupiter comedy gene, as well as having Jupiter exactly square his Nodal Axis.  David also has the Sun square Uranus, a desire to surprise.  He also has a dour side to his persona, depicted by Mercury conjunct Saturn, which he uses to great effect on “Would I Lie to You”.  That, combined with an exact square from Pluto to his Mercury, can incline him to despondency at times, as detailed in his autobiography “Back Story” (2013) in which he describes secretly pining over the impossibility of winning Victoria for years, before they got together.  Where he sparkles, is in his sextile between Mars and Uranus, which I think is the secret to his likeability.


The two of them first met at Jonathan Ross’ Halloween party in 2007.  Mars was on her Venus, and simultaneously on his Saturn, sparking something.  But Saturn was square his Neptune, beginning the long struggle to hide his feelings.  They were dating by December 2010 and married on 17th November 2012.  As mentioned, in their synastry, his Saturn is exactly conjunct Victoria’s Venus.  She is able to soothe some of his natural despondency.  They have a double whammy because his Venus is also conjunct her Saturn.  His Uranus also squares her Nodal Axis, so there is a mutual fascination.  They had their first daughter in May 2015.  It is interesting that their second daughter did not appear until literally Victoria had her Chiron Return.  Both parents have Chiron in Aries, and Victoria’s is at 16 degrees of that sign, and Chiron is exactly at that position now.  It suggests that perhaps something needed to be healed, for her, or for both of them, before daughter number 2 came along.  It’s a very personal healing for Victoria, but the synastry between David and his second daughter is sparkling (his Sun sextile her Uranus, his Mars square her Uranus, his Saturn trine her Mars, and karmically his Uranus on her South Node) and she will be a real daddy’s girl.  We do not have an exact date for their first daughter.

There is a strong theme of both Saturn and Uranus in their charts and in their interaction, which suggests that in addition to high humour in their household, there are also rules, conventions and surprises in their lifestyle.


Tomorrow starts the week with a trine between Venus and Pluto, which is not a bad way to start.  It is helpful for money and love.  Pluto settles your deepest feelings into a more comfortable psychological context.  This aspect helps us through changes and transformations on a human level.  It is about deep love, deep awareness of your relationship with money, and profound artistry.

Tuesday (7th) brings another trine, that between Mercury and Neptune, in the early hours of the morning.  This aspect brings the possibility of mysteries being solved, e.g. around health conditions.  In personal applications, things may fall into place spiritually, and you may be ready to talk about a sensitive subject.  This trine brings mental inspiration, transcendent wisdom, higher harmony, spiritual journeys, and insight.  A small kindness can bring about significant mental healing.

Equanimity is on the cards on Wednesday (8th) when Venus enters Libra.  Venus is very comfortable in Libra, one of her own signs. If you have design skills in art or music, they could be heightened now, and in the near future.  At the very least, polish up your vocal skills.  She is in residence here until 8th December.

Thursday (9th) brings a sextile between Mercury and Pluto, in the first hour of the day (in the U.K.)  You could make real progress, or have deeply meaningful dreams.  This aspect can produce profound thought and communication,  honouring the gravity of a situation if necessary, and enabling meaningful debate to occur.  If you have something important lined up, you may be successful in getting your point across.

Another ingress takes place on Friday (10th), that of Mercury entering Sagittarius, around breakfast time.  Mentally, that brings more lightheartedness and expansion.  There’s an opportunity to hone your sense of humour, sarcasm-free; quick-fire wisecracks could bring a laugh a minute.

In the afternoon, Saturn squares Mercury.  This brings up mental weariness, in contrast to the new mindset for Mercury.  So much so that you may have to put your thought processes on the back burner for a while, trying meditation or gentle exercise instead.  This may give your mind a rest and a refresh or a reset.  If  you are worried, send healing to the situation to your best level.  The stuckness may suggest a new strand to your philosophy of life, incorporating the quality of resilience.  “What is being required here?” is a useful question. More haste less speed may also be a useful mantra to follow. Travel and communications could be slow, and mirror this process.  There may be talks, or a further impasse highlighted, in the rail disputes.

The last aspect of the week, occurring on Saturday (11th) is an opposition between Uranus and Mars.  Be vigilant for the element of the unexpected.  If you are driving, for instance, check your tyres or any safety issues which may be on the brink.  Another possibility is tempers fraying.  It is also the sort of aspect which brings out the Activist Archetype, so you may be campaigning for a particular party or against climate change, or whatever is your highest priority.  Of course, it is Armistice Day, and there is already controversy surrounding proposed protests and marches planned for that day.  Very descriptive of this particular planetary opposition.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – deep issues in money and love
  • Tuesday – mental inspiration
  • Wednesday – fostering equanimity
  • Thursday – deep and meaningful
  • Friday – a lighter mental note; then a more sombre mental note
  • Saturday – activism; sparks flying


Aspects for the week beginning 29 October 2023

Matthew Perry (1969 – 2023)

“So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke
Your love life’s DOA
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but

I’ll be there for you…” 

~ The Rembrandts

Tragically, the Friends star passed away yesterday, on the Eclipse, at the tender age of 54.  Oh, the hours we spent watching the ten series of Friends.  And though we liked all six friends, Chandler Bing was a favourite character, with a sarcastic wit.

Birth Chart

Matthew Perry was a born actor, with the Sun Rising in Leo (the acting planet in the acting sign) closely trine his natal Midheaven (Careerpoint).  The poignancy of addiction being a central theme of his life is astrologically due to Neptune (addiction, especially to drink and drugs) being exactly square his natal Sun.  Added to this, he had Saturn opposite his Moon, often predisposing him to depression.  He had a depth of emotion, with Moon and Neptune in Scorpio, and Pluto on his South Node.  Mercury was exactly sextile Venus in his chart, giving him a facility with words (at least, his character did have, and he did identify with Chandler).  Jupiter conjunct Uranus gave him the Entrepreneur Archetype.

Life and Career 

Matthew was born in Massachusetts, but raised in Ottawa, Canada.  His parents separated when he was one year old, and he stayed with his mother.  He moved to Los Angeles at the age of 15, to be with his father.  It was there that he took up acting.  He took various TV roles, and was apparently chasing fame, when he read for the pilot of Friends, a role which was to change his life.

His transits at the time of the first airing of Friends on 22nd September 1994 were weighty:

Mars was sextile his natal Pluto in  Virgo in the 2nd House of finance, which did wonders for his bank balance; Mars trined his natal North Node in Pisces in his 8th House, kick starting his karmic mission; Saturn was trine his natal Moon in 3rd House, pinning him down to a long running sitcom and making him a household name; Uranus sextiled his natal North Node exact to the day, an overnight success and big breakthrough; Pluto squared his natal Sun in Leo in 1st House, plunging him into extremes of emotion, and untold pressures; and Pluto transited his natal Neptune in Scorpio in his 4th House, activating the depths of his natal Neptune-square-Sun addictions.

He claims that he “lost” three years of memory filming the series due to his addiction to various substances, most notably Vicodin.  It must have taken a lot of strength and patience for him to have persevered at the height of success of the sitcom, as well as strength and patience from his co-stars and producers.  The incentive to continue would have been great, as his was a central role in the group.  He attended rehabilitation clinics over the years in an effort to overcome addiction.

The sitcom came to an end on 6th May 2004, and his transits for that time showed a finality, though part of him may have been relieved from the pressure of constant performance.  He had at that point, Jupiter trine his natal Saturn in Taurus in 9th House, exact to the day (freedom); Saturn from Cancer in his 11th House of Friends and friendships sextiled his Saturn (end of Friends, and a sense of greater control); and Pluto square his Nodal Axis (a finality, involving  his karmic mission).


The addiction to painkiller Vicodin began after a jet-ski accident in 1997, around the age of his Saturn Return.  In 2018 he was severely ill and hospitalized due to opioid abuse which affected his colon, around the time of his Chiron Return.

He was found unresponsive last night in his hot tub.  A huge shock, and a sad end to a difficult life: It was a lunar eclipse opposing his Moon.  And although Pluto was square his Midheaven (a life transition), Uranus was sextile his North Node and Neptune was trine his Neptune, so he may have been at peace with himself on some spiritual level.

“All of us loved Matthew Perry, and I did especially. Every day. I loved him unconditionally. And he me.  And I’m broken. Broken hearted. Sweet dreams Matty. Sweet dreams.”

~ Selma Blair


There are four oppositions this week, so you may find you have balancing acts to manage.  The first came in the early hours of this morning, while we were trying in the U.K. to make the most of an extra hour of sleep, Mercury was opposite Jupiter.  This aspect is mentally stimulating but can lead to mental resources being overstretched.  Travel news may also be quite testing, e.g. people being in long queues.  Jupiter opposite Mercury is a learning curve, and can bring out some humour, but need some caution in the playing.

This afternoon, Mercury conjoins with Mars, which may assist you in getting things done.  It brings brisk action, mental and physical stimulation, and again can help movement in your projects.  Again, there is a small element of risk of being incident-prone, as in minor cuts and bruises.  So mindfulness is a key to successful outcomes.  It is mentally acute and favours critical thinking, if you are composing an analysis, a review or critique.

Best aspect of the week comes on Halloween, Tuesday (31st), with Venus trine Uranus occurring  at lunchtime.  This is a fresh and sparkling energy. The aspect may set you up with exciting meetings, or bring encounters of the illuminating kind.  In the field of the Arts, it can bring originality and surprise, e.g. to a performance of music.  Ideas for assisting the problems in our society may also crop up, such as community-based solutions.

Into November next, and on Friday (3rd) Jupiter opposes the Sun, in the second opposition of the week.  We may be trying to cover too much ground, and overstretching ourselves, erring on the side of arrogance, although likely to be in good humour.  You may want to be travelling.  If armchair travelling, philosophical reflections on the quality of freedom in your life can bring relevant insights for this Jupiterian aspect and timing.  Or if you can extend to a desk, writing a comedy script would also be a suitable occupation for the day

A second opposition on the same day (late at night), involving Venus and Neptune, demands that you  sort out your feelings, the real from the illusion, and especially in relationships.  In politics, there may be bluffs and double bluffs.  In relationships, more compassion is needed, and in finance more honesty.  Fine words may butter no parsnips.

Saturn is Stationary, prior to turning Direct, on Saturday (4th) at breakfast time.  This may be experienced as a relief to some, especially for Capricornians, and may release some of their chains or burdens.  Climbing up that mountain may seem slightly easier. Depending on where this turnaround falls in your chart (0 degrees Pisces), your efforts, struggles and hard work in that area may start to bear fruit, progress, and just get easier.

The afternoon brings the last opposition of the week, that between Mercury and Uranus.  This could be tricky for communications, such as I.T.  Social media could be a bit fraught!  A spanner could enter into the works.  But if you are tuned into a higher mental wavelength, e.g. that of telepathy, you may achieve progress and flow.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – mindstretching; brisk action
  • Tuesday – illuminating encounters
  • Friday – overstretching; sort out your feelings
  • Saturday – steady progress; but plug in loopholes

Aspects for the week beginning 22 October 2023

Sir Bobby Charlton (1937 – 2023)

“There has never been a more popular footballer.  As near perfection as man and player as it is possible to be.”

~ Sir Matt Busby

The legendary footballer Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest footballers of all time, died yesterday morning, at the age of 86.  He was famously one of the England squad who won the 1966 World Cup, and the only one remaining now from that triumph is Geoff Hurst.  Bobby played most of his career for Manchester United.

Birth Chart

Bobby Charlton had the Sun in Libra, and was known to be a gentleman, and an unusually graceful player across the football pitch.  Arthur Hopcraft described his movements thus:

“The flowing line of Charlton’s football has no disfiguring barbs in it”

He was a calm and balanced Libran, with the Sun exactly square Jupiter.  His older brother Jack had Jupiter opposite his Sun, so there must have been something upbeat in their upbringing.  Bobby was known to have been a happy-go-lucky type, until he was involved in the Munich Air Crash which killed seven of his team mates on board.  We do not have his birth time, but it may have been close to Noon, giving his Moon the football connection from Mars.  His mother’s family were the famous footballing Milburns, and Moon (Mother) conjunct Mars (Football) would depict that.  Mercury square Mars will have given him quick mental and physical reactions.  Venus in Virgo exactly conjunct Neptune gave him quite a refined nature, and a great deal of modesty.  The conjunction of Venus and Neptune was part of a Grand Trine in the Earth signs, which may have been part of his outstanding talent.  It is worth noting that he had 0 Water planets, which may have added to his Libran calmness.  He had Mars trine Uranus – The Engineer Archetype, electrical energy – and as his back up plan he originally began an electrical engineering apprenticeship when he left school.  He also had Jupiter trine Uranus – The Entrepreneur Archetype – which formed part of his Grand Trine.  His exact trine of Saturn to Pluto, is often present in people who succeed significantly with a serious attitude.

Life and Career

Bobby Charlton was born in Ashington, Northumberland, younger brother to Jack who also became a top footballer.  The two brothers for many years were part of a long running family feud (their Marses were exactly square to each other).  Bobby was talent-spotted at the age of 15 on 9th February 1953.  His transits at the time included Jupiter transiting his Uranus, often associated with a lucky break.  A curious fact about Bobby Charlton was that he did not sustain injuries in his football career (which must be very rare).  However, the exception was that at the very start he sustained an ankle injury just before his debut.  It was on 6 October 1956, and Mars (injury) was sextile his natal Uranus (ankle) at the time.  He went on to become one of the “Busby Babes” nurtured and trained by Sir Matt Busby at Manchester United. On 14th December 2008 Bobby Charlton was presented by his brother Jack with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.  Uranus was trine his natal Jupiter in Capricorn at the time, a classic transit for winning awards and prizes.

Munich Air Crash

The English footballing world suffered a major trauma on 6th February 1958.  The English team were refuelling at Munich Airport catching a flight home, and the weather conditions were treacherous, with slush on the runway.  There was an exact conjunction of the Sun and Chiron in Aquarius that day, possibly contributing to flight problems.  Just before they boarded, Bobby and Viollet swopped places with Taylor and Pegg (who were nervous), two of the players who did not in the event survive the plane crash.  He was rescued by team mate Harry Gregg, who was uninjured. A very promising player, Duncan Edwards, another of “Busby’s Babes”, perished as a result of his injuries that day.  Duncan Edwards’ prowess shows up in his chart as Sun conjunct Mercury in Aquarius trine Chiron, and North Node sextile Mars.

Bobby’s transits for that fateful day included a miraculous trine of Jupiter to his Chiron, and a karmically saving transit of Uranus trine his North Node.  Bobby suffered cuts to his head and severe shock. He became a much more serious personality as a result of this event, and admitted to suffering from survivor’s guilt.  Before his death, he had been the last survivor from that crash.

1966 World Cup win for England

At the time of the iconic English win at the World Cup in 1966, Bobby played a crucial role in the final.  Even though he was deemed the best player, Alf Ramsay instructed him “to concentrate on stifling the influence  of Franz Beckenbauer, the key element of the West German team.” (Richard Williams writing in the Guardian).  Geoff Hurst scored a hat trick, and England won 4-2.

Both Charlton brothers took part in that victory.  Mars was again sextile Bobby’s Uranus that day, Jupiter was opposite his Jupiter exact to the day, Saturn was trine his Pluto, Neptune was sextile his Venus and Jupiter, and sextile his own Neptune.  Quite a heady cocktail of transits!  For Jack, Jupiter was trine his Jupiter (a textbook win in Astrology), Saturn was sextile his Mercury (precision), Uranus trine his Sun (a brilliant surprise), Neptune on his Jupiter (euphria), and Pluto trine his Sun (a profound event).  Jack was allowed to take a more active role in the match.

His last match for Manchester United

Bobby Charlton played his last match for Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, on 28th April 1973.  It was not only historic for him!  Hubby and I got married at Fulham Registry Office on the day, and as his family were local, and Chelsea supporters, some of them had to miss the occasion to attend our wedding!  They also incurred parking tickets, by the way.  His Uncle Bert gets a special mention for his sacrifice.

“In the collective memory Charlton exists as a force for good, made of light and speed”

~ Richard Williams, The Observer


In the early hours of this morning Venus was trine Jupiter: So last night or today, would be a very social time.  Or your dreams may have been heavily populated!  This is one of the best aspects of the year.  It may help in creating good memories.  It could be party time, too.  Close relationships are favoured, and romance may be in the air.  Here’s hoping this trine can bring more aid into Gaza.

Early in the day, Mercury entered Scorpio.  This implies that collectively, we will look into matters more deeply and forensically.  In your own personal life, you will have more courage to look at what really matters, and to worry less about how things appear to others.

In the afternoon, Mercury trines Saturn, which combines mental work with practicality, and brings focus and realism to the mental activities.  So it is a good day for making plans.  Serious conversations can also safely take place under this aspect.

Tomorrow, Monday (23rd), the second ingress of the week takes place, with the Sun entering Scorpio.  Now we need to confront the deeper issues in life (such as how to actively go about achieving peace and balance in our society and world) and find more lasting solutions which treat the causes and not just the symptoms of a situation.  For this we need more insight, resolve and conviction, qualities of this sign.  Discussions and interviews are taking place in the media, about what needs to be done when the current Middle Eastern situation is stabilized.  It seems a long way away to bring ease and reconstruction to Gaza, but Victoria Derbyshire has been searching on Newsnight and on the Laura Kuenssberg show for how the vacuum of power would be managed in Gaza if Hamas was dismantled.  Something for the U.N. to think about.

Tuesday (24th) brings a stabilizing trine between the Sun and Saturn.  This is a more down to earth aspect, but solid and productive.  If you are engaged in creativity, it can help ensure that the creativity works on a practical level.  Simplifying your plans, or making economies, may make them more workable. This is especially useful to bear in mind if you own a business, and are considering staffing and resources.  One solid step at a time, and one day at a time.  By the end of the day, you may feel that you have honoured more than one area of your life.

Mars opposes Jupiter on the evening of Saturday (28th).  This is a highly energetic opposition of energy and enthusiasm.  This may work well for you, but it could also get out of hand if it is not balanced.  You may be trying to multi-task, for instance, and find that you can’t keep hold of one of your spinning plates.  Sport and keep fit regimes may be happy areas for handling all that energy.

There may be tension throughout the day, culminating in a Full Moon and Eclipse at 5 degrees Taurus in the evening.  Your emotions may be stirred and you may be motivated to try to resolve in an issue you care passionately about (Taurus and the Sun in opposite sign Scorpio are Fixed signs).  If you are of an artistic bent, you can plough this feeling into your creativity.  You may get a sense of how an issue will pan out over the next six months.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – social and sociable; mentally intense; practical mental work
  • Tomorrow – confronting the deeper issues
  • Tuesday – stabilization
  • Saturday – fiery energy; emotional high tide

Aspects for the week beginning 15 October 2023

Strictly Come Dancing – Part 2

The standard in the first few weeks has been high again, with some astonishing performances.  We have lost Les Dennis, so I won’t have the opportunity to write about him (!), but will now launch into the analysis of four more contestants.

Amanda Abbington

I will start with the actress Amanda Abbington, who wowed us in the first week in a deep blue dress with Giovanni Pernice, dancing a Viennese Waltz, scoring highly at the outset and praised for a magical performance by head judge Shirley Ballas.  After her Rumba, Shirley said: “I have had 55 years of learning how to master the Rumba walk and you have had three days, I have to commend you.”  For many reasons, I would say that Amanda has a Five Star birth chart.  She has the Sun in Pisces, the sign of Dance, exactly square to Neptune, the planet of Dance – this may confer an extra special skill, and an extra dimension of compassion and sensitivity.  Mercury is closely square Mars in her chart, indicating quick reflexes and co-ordination, with some possible irritability or self-criticism.  Mercury conjunct Jupiter shows intelligence and curiosity.  What especially marks out her chart is the Exact Grand Air Trine (between Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus), very useful in life, for turning lemons into lemonade.  Venus exactly trine Mars gives her great magnetism.  Mars square Jupiter depicts over-the-top energy allied with enthusiasm, while Mars trine Pluto shows a powerhouse of energy.  Jupiter exactly trine Uranus, part of the Grand Trine, is the Entrepreneur Archetype, the ability to make the most of opportunities. Jupiter sextile the North Node brings a positive approach to karma, while Saturn conjunct the South Node, holds the likelihood that she has had to deal with adverse karma from previous lives.

Amanda was married to the actor Martin Freeman, and they had two children together.  In 2021 she became engaged to the Escapologist Jonathan Goodwin, who has appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.  His spine was seriously injured on America’s Got Talent, and he is currently suing the producers of that show.  He proposed to Amanda within an hour of meeting her.  Amanda says that he has remained “positive and upbeat, and so strong.  His courage and his strength is something that I just aspire to be like. He’s just incredible, honestly, like so happy, just like a very happy, positive human being, just liquid sunshine. He’s amazing.”  He also has the Sun in Pisces, a good placing for an Escapologist, and he has a risk-taking conjunction of Jupiter and Mars.  Her transits this weekend show Mars trine her natal Mercury (good for getting her nerves under control), Neptune square her Nodal Axis (important for her as a dancer) and Pluto square her Uranus (a lot of change in her life, not necessarily related to Strictly).  Her transits for the final have the Sun on her North Node, Saturn on her natal Mercury, and Neptune square her Nodal Axis still.  Not especially good transits.

Amanda is paired on the dance floor with Giovanni Pernice, and they are rumoured to have a stormy relationship, but on the first week Shirley alluded to their chemistry.  There are points of tension in their chemistry, with their Suns opposite each other, her Pluto square his Uranus and their Marses conjunct, but on the positive side her Saturn and Uranus form a trine with his Venus, which keys him into her Grand Trine.  Giovanni’s main transit this weekend shows up Jupiter trine his Sun (he’s working well).  The final transits for him bring Jupiter trine his natal Uranus (success), Jupiter square his Nodal Axis (important for karma), Saturn square his natal Mars, Uranus trine his natal Saturn and Neptune trine his natal Chiron – a much better picture than Amanda’s, but a mixed picture.  Motsi said last night that Amanda “ndever disappoints”, and Craig praised her “magnificent musicality”.  Despite my high hopes for this couple, the astrological picture does not look great.  Perhaps Amanda will have too much going on in her private life, and she will not be in a position to make the most of her potential.

Adam Thomas

Next up is Adam Thomas, who together with his brother Ryan Thomas, have had longstanding roles in British soaps: Adam in Emmerdale, and Ryan in Coronation Street.  They look so alike, that I can hardly tell them apart.  Adam has 6 of his 10 planets in Fire signs, and was praised for his enthusiasm, early on.  His Sun in Leo enjoys performance, and is almost unaspected, so he may be strongly individualistic and independent, though he is a twin.  His Moon is also in Leo, giving a consistent approach to life (we do not have his birth time).  He has Mercury exactly trine Uranus giving him a telepathic mind (maybe with his twin?), and that could be useful with a dance partner.  Venus exactly conjunct Chiron could point to emotional wounds – he has a problem with alcohol, and that may be connected.  He has a difficult Cardinal T-square between Mars, Chiron/Venus and Neptune, which a potential partner would have to navigate.  Also Saturn closely conjunct Uranus can bring personal earthquakes from time to time.  So he does not have an easy chart, but Pluto trine his North Node and his Chiron provide some deep-seated support.

He was announced for the part in Emmerdale on 21st May 2009: the transits for that event show up Jupiter sextile his natal Saturn in Sagittarius at the Galactic Centre, a stabilizing career feature.  Saturn was on his natal South Node, tying him into a solid contract.  And Neptune was sextile his natal Saturn/Uranus.  He married on 27th August 2017, with Uranus trine his natal Mercury and Uranus, marking an upswing in his life.  He has two children.  His transits this weekend show Neptune square his Saturn, and despite this he topped the leaderboard at one point.  The waltz proved to be his dance, and he was praised for his topline.  As we do not know his birth time, it is possible that something else is going on, e.g. Jupiter on an angle in his chart.  His transits for the final show Uranus square his Sun – he may surprise everyone, or it may be that he will find it hard to say goodbye to the other contestants, and the whole experience.

He is partnered with Russian Luba Mushtuk who has been a Strictly Professional for two years.  She has the Sun and three other planets in Scorpio, and four planets in Capricorn.  Her Synastry with Adam shows her Mars sextile his Neptune (she can stimulate his dance talent), her Jupiter square his Mars (she can fire him up), her Jupiter trines his Pluto (she can empower him), among other interaspects.  They were born a year and a half apart, which gives them some generational understanding of each other.  Her main transit this weekend was Uranus opposite her natal Sun, the element of the unexpected, which took them briefly to the top of the leaderboard.  At the end of the tournament, Neptune trines her natal Mercury, so she should be serene about her performance.  The transits don’t look strong enough for a win, but Adam’s current transits show that we cannot be too sure.

Ellie Leach

Actress Ellie Leach played the young Faye Windass for many years in Coronation Street.  Like Amanda Abbington, she is born under the dancer’s sign of Pisces, and like Adam Thomas was born in Manchester, starring in a northern soap.  The role of Faye Windass (which she played for 12 years) was fairly bland in character, so it has been delightful to see the actress blossom in different dances.  Having half her planets (5) in Mutable signs gives her good adaptability for the various changes of pace of different dances.  In the first week, Craig Revel Horwood praised her sharpness and precision.  She has the ability to apply herself, with the Sun closely sextile Saturn in her chart.  Her Moon is in Sagittarius, so she has an adventurous side.  With Mars conjunct Pluto in Sagittarius, she has a powerhouse of energy.  She has Jupiter trine Neptune, which is a good balance of religious and spiritual energies.  Her current transits include: Neptune on her natal Sun (concentration on dance!), Netpune trine her Saturn (serious about dance), and Uranus square her natal Uranus (her Inner Rebel coming out and trying something different).  For the final she has: Neptune still on her Sun, but exact to the day!  She will also have Chiron on her Venus (poignant) and Mars close to its Return (her energies on point), Mars on her Pluto (accentuating her powerhouse of energy, with slight danger of injury) and Chiron trine her Pluto (powerful healing).  These are powerful transits, so she could go from strength to strength, all the way to the final.  I would not underestimate her!

She is partnered with Vito Coppola, who debuted as a Professional on the programme last year, and made the final as I predicted:

They [he and Fleur East] could make the final, but I don’t think they will lift the trophy.” – which is exactly what happened.

Vito has the Sun and Moon in Libra (great musicality).  Their synastry shows Ellie’s Jupiter trine Vito’s Sun (they bring out the best in each other), her Mars sextile his Mercury (movement in sync, co-ordinated), and her Saturn trine his Jupiter (a balanced partnership).  So far, so very good!  His transits at the moment include Pluto trine his Jupiter (power), Jupiter square his Saturn (not entirely balanced within himself) and Mars on his Venus (perhaps over-excitable – they did a Latin dance last night!)  They danced to Copacabana, and Ellie was sensitive to some of the judges’ comments. I have to say, I enjoyed her performance, dressed in pink like a flamingo, and channelling Lola.  Vito’s transits at the final bring up Saturn trine his Venus (steadiness) and Chiron square to his Neptune (tricky).  Although his transits are not great, Ellie’s are very good at the time of the final, and I wonder if that can carry them through.

Nigel Harman

Actor Nigel Harman stole the show and topped the leaderboard in the first week with his Paso Doble, dance to the tune of Entertain Us by Nirvana.  Last night three of the judges joked that he was channelling his inner Patrick Swayze – what higher compliment could he receive?  Last night he dazzled with his Salsa, which Shirley said showed his competitiveness and musicality.  Well, Casualty’s loss is Strictly’s gain, and I hope he continues to enjoy performing dance, because he did slump for a week or two after that initial triumph.  Nigel, like Adam Thomas, is a Leo, and therefore someone who enjoys performance per se.  He has the Sun closely sextile Uranus and trine Chiron, so is orientated towards forward thinking and solutions.  His Moon is trine Venus, which may produce harmony with women.  Mercury exactly squares Mars in his chart, so like Amanda Abbington he has “quick reflexes and co-ordination, with some possible irritability or self-criticism.”  Also like Amanda “Mars square Jupiter depicts over-the-top energy allied with enthusiasm”.  He has Jupiter exactly sextile Neptune, which may give him good religious/spiritual values.  And Jupiter trine Pluto gives him power, inclining to its wise use.  It’s unusual to have so much in common with his fellow contestants, but as with Amanda “Saturn conjunct the South Node, holds the likelihood that she has had to deal with adverse karma from previous lives.”  That leads me to conclude that he will play a key role in the “family” of the class of Strictly 2023, a group bond which may be karmic in nature.  The key role is borne out by his 6 (over half his planets) in Cardinal signs, which show leadership, in addition to his leadership Sun sign of Leo.  His transits now show Chiron trine his natal Sun (in a year which is his Chiron Return, the emergence of the Inner Healer), and Saturn trine his Saturn (taking on responsibility and commitment).  These transits also reinforce his role behind the scenes, within his group.  It may be that the recent “doldrums” showed him hanging back in the realization of this central role.  Looking at the picture for the final, he will have Pluto square his Mars (dangerous!) and Jupiter square Jupiter (adventurous!).  Could it be that if he gets to the final, he will display his explosive side to the max (no pun intended for his name in Casualty) which has triumphed so far when unleashed in the competition?

He couldn’t have a better partner in crime than the supremely creative and innovative Katya Jones (she who memorably made a dancer out of Ed Balls).  I have previously written of her that she’s “a solid dependable Taurean, with the nimbleness of a few planets sprinkled in Gemini.  She has a very positive mindset from Mercury conjunct Jupiter”.  It’s an important year for Katya as Uranus in Taurus transits her Sun in the middle of the contest (29th October), and next year Jupiter in Gemini will transit her Venus, Mercury and Jupiter.  She will have a Jupiter Return during next year’s contest.  She may not lift the glitterball this year, but could well do so next year.  But at this time, Jupiter trines her natal Saturn (doing a good job) and trine her Neptune (inspiration) and opposite her Pluto (wielding her power).  Plus Saturn square her natal Venus (some personal sorrow) and conjunct her North Node (some difficult karma, exact to the day), plus Uranus on her Sun (great changes in her life).  She could have a lot going on behind the scenes in her life at the moment.  For the final, she will still have Saturn square to her Sun.  Katya’s transits do not look hopeful for the end result, however much I (and maybe you too) like this partnership.  Therefore I think they could at a pinch make the final, but not hold the glitterball.

For my first batch of four, Bobby Brazier was the standout candidate to win, and in this batch of four Ellie Leach stands the best chance astrologically.

I will be back in a few weeks with the next batch of four.


Our Aspect narrative begins this week on Wednesday (18th), with the Sun on the South Node.  It may take that intervening time to digest the experiences of the Eclipse on Saturday (14th).  In the worldwide news, the Middle East was poised between the atrocities dealt by Hamas on the kibbutzim in Southern Israel, and the threatened reprisal of rooting out Hamas and their infrastructure in Northern Gaza, via a perilous instruction to the inhabitants of Gaza to make their way South.  It seems an impossible situation, and a long way to peace and to the cessation of suffering on both sides.

The Sun on the South Node can mean past karmic glory coming home to roost; for the most part that can be a positive gain.  The South Node in Sagittarius relates to past lives in connection with religion, pioneering, adventure, exploration, academia and publishing.  This can also refer to earlier phases in this lifetime.  On the world stage, there seems nothing glorious anytime soon emerging from the current conflict – the karmic lessons of this aspect need yet more time to work out.

The upside of this aspect can bring light and insight into past actions and memories, and fostering existing talents.  It can bring forward the talents you developed in past lives, but also enable you to release habits you no longer need.

The karma of consequence continues its theme on Thursday (19th) with Mercury conjunct the South Node.  This favours the exercise of the mind in relation to karma, intelligent wisdom.  Review the teachers and teachings of your life prior to this moment, and review how you receive and process information currently: that will help you evaluate karmic factors.  Also under scrutiny is where you may play the role of teacher and student in  your life.  I wrote last week about war and peace, in relation to Pat Arrowsmith.  This week there has been a debate about the definition of terrorism.  It may be worth noting that Irishman Gerry Adams, who started as a “terrorist” and turned statesman, has the South Node conjunct Mercury in his natal chart: the possibility of evolving a terrorist being shown by this conjunction.  But it can be a slow process, in an individual life, let alone in a movement.  It would be interesting to see if there is a change of mind of sorts occurring on Thursday.

Friday (20th) could bring an oasis of crystal clarity to the proceedings of the week, with the Sun conjoining with Mercury at 26 degrees Libra (and sextile the Galactic Centre).  It’s a good day to apply your mind,  concentrate and focus,  and make important statements.  The focus may be on relationships and relating.  Mentally you may be able to see things clearly from the other person’s point of view.   Negotiation (something much needed at the moment) is favoured, and within that context, for instance, it is easier for each party to save face, and achieve a win-win outcome.  In the Middle Eastern situation, a ceasefire is urgently required, in order for any negotiation to begin.

Saturday (21st) may bring more drama, with Mercury and the Sun squaring Pluto.  The first hour of Saturday (in the U.K.) brings the square between Mercury and Pluto.  There may be a setback or a reversal (even if a fragile ceasefire was under way), so make sure your actions in the morning are solid if you have a conflict to resolve in your own life.  Perhaps there is a twist in the plot.  You may encounter awkward communications or travel.  You may need extra ‘me time’ in order to separate yourself from worried pronouncements about the state of the world.  If you do engage in chatter, choose a worthwhile subject.

The second square, Pluto squaring the Sun, occurs at 14.09 Hrs in the U.K.  This is a deep soul-searching aspect.  It is the sort of aspect which can be looked upon as a gamechanger, or watershed.  So if you are in integrity, you may be able to influence what side the coin lands on.  In the last year or two, this aspect has brought about political turmoil in the U.K., so focus may be closer to home than the Middle East.  In your own life, continue to seek positive avenues for yourself, and remove yourself from drama.

The week in bullet points:

  • Wednesday – past glories and talents
  • Thursday – lessons from the past
  • Friday – best day of the week
  • Saturday – detach yourself from drama


Aspects for the week beginning 8 October 2023

Pat Arrowsmith (1930 – 2023)

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

War and Peace

“In plain words: now that Britain has told the world she has the H-bomb she should announce as early as possible that she has done with it, that she proposes to reject, in all circumstances, nuclear warfare.”

~ J.B. Priestley, 1957

Peace campaigner, a co-founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (C.N.D.), Pat Arrowsmith, died this week at the age of 93. I am constantly researching the charts of peace campaigners, diplomats and negotiators, as it is a subject that fascinates me.  Last year I wrote an astro-obituary about Bruce Kent, also a co-founder of C.N.D., and will draw upon his chart for clues about what makes a good peace campaigner. I wrote “The chart of Bruce Kent bears weight to the fact that in order to be a successful and effective peace campaigner, you also have to have the Warrior Archetype in your chart!”  Today is an appropriate moment to write about such matters, as we have a warmongering square between Mars and Pluto peaking in the early hours of tomorrow morning, and a dramatic escalation of Middle Eastern tensions between Israel and Gaza, coming at the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

Birth Chart

Pat Arrowsmith had her Elements nicely balanced (a 2-2-3-3 distribution), which may be advantageous for a Peace campaigner, though I am not putting it forward as a necessary requirement!  She had the Sun in Pisces, which can be a gentle and peace-loving sign, with the Sun conjunct Venus, which can also be known as peace-loving.  Sun trine Pluto depicts a deep character, and Pluto provides a link with the concept of “ban the bomb”, because Pluto represents the bomb.  The Sun closely sextile Chiron provides a problem-solving mentality.  Mercury in Aquarius exactly conjunct Mars, is surprising in a peacemaker, and more likely to be found in a verbal warrior, but it does incline towards activism, and Mars in Aquarius itself can signify The Activist Archetype.  But Mars is not strongly featured, other than the conjunction with Mercury, unlike in Bruce Kent’s chart, so his chart more typically showed the Warrior Archetype.  Bruce’s Peace credentials to some extent lay in his conjunction of Venus and the North Node in Taurus opposite his Ascendant.  Venus in her chart was exactly trine Pluto, which can give a strong moral compass.  Jupiter was closely sextile Uranus, giving her The Entrepreneur Archetype, and she helped to found something new.  Jupiter was square Neptune, so she may have been confused about religion and spirituality.  Though her father was a Reverend, she herself was an atheist.  Her deep convictions may have stemmed from a humanistic aspect of her sensibility, too.  Interestingly, I wrote about Bruce Kent that “Conflicts and controversies around religion are shown in his chart by Jupiter (religion) square (vs) Neptune (spirituality)” and he himself was a priest. Saturn exactly square Uranus speaks of an iconoclastic and uncompromising side of her nature – she never thought of risks to herself in relation to imprisonment if she believed in the truth of her cause(s).

There were more comparisons to be made with Bruce Kent’s chart, considering they were born within a year of each other.  They may have been among a wave or vanguard of souls wishing to work on the issue of disarmament.  They both had the North Node (karmic mission) in Taurus: armic Missions to stabilize the world after the First and Second World Wars and the invention of the bomb and to engender a feeling of safety, although not everyone would be of that persuasion: some feel safer with more armaments. They both also had their Chiron (healing mode) in the same sign of Taurus, both working towards solutions for stability in the world.  Pat’s Chiron and North Node were conjunct, so her karmic mission allied with her healing mission, and they were mutually strengthening.  Chiron is currently in Aries, so perhaps when it enters Taurus a new generation of peacemakers will be born, or a new climate of fostering peace could arise, but even if that is the case it would not be until June 2026, so we may need to look elsewhere for signs of peace in the meantime.

Life and Career

Pat Arrowsmith was a very different character than Bruce Kent, even though their zeal for Peace was equally strong.  She was born in Leamington Spa, and was the youngest of three children.  Her father, as mentioned, was a Reverend.  She was brought up for a few years in Torquay, and Cheltenham, then studied history at Newnham College Cambridge.  She completed her education at Liverpool University and Ohio U.S.A.

As well as being a peace campaigner in the context of the C.N.D. movement, she was also an anti-Vietnam War activist, campaigned for the removal of British troops from Northern Ireland, an end to the Gulf War, and also stood up for feminist and lesbian issues.

Pat was one of the main organizers of the First Aldermaston March, which took place from the 4th to 7th April 1958.  At the time, Venus and Mercury were exactly conjunct Pat Arrowsmith’s Sun and Venus conjunction in Pisces, an expression of her desire for peace.

Pat was also a signatory at the founding of the Committee of 100 by Bertrand Russell in 1960.  Its supporters used mass nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience in the pursuits of their cause. This has an interesting contemporary parallel, as environmentalist Chris Packham has been examining the necessity (or otherwise) for civil disobedience in relation to the government’s failure to act on the environment, and in relation to the Just Stop Oil and similar movements.

In her life, she served 11 prison sentences, on one occasion breaking out, in 1974, when Mars was sextile her Sun (symbolic of a breakout moment!). She also worked for Amnesty International, and ran unsuccessfully for Parliament.  And she published novels and poetry (poetry being especially associated with Pisces).


The above quoted words by J.B. Priestley in November 1957 were a motivating force for the establishing of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.  A public meeting was arranged, headed by Bertrand Russell (who had Sun in Taurus), at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, on 17 February 1958.  This date can be taken as the chart inception for this institution.  The chart has the forward thinking Sun in Aquarius, with Venus, the Moon, Mercury and Chiron also in that sign.  Mercury conjoins with Chiron, signifying an attempt at a solution.  The North Node is exactly conjunct Neptune in Scorpio (an idealistic attempt to deal with the threat of the bomb).  The transits to Bertrand Russell’s chart are also very significant: the C.N.D. exact North Node/Neptune idealistic conjunction fell exactly on Bertrand Russell’s Ascendant, possibly embodying an important part of his personal philosophy.

Pat Arrowsmith and Bruce Kent brought different relationships, strengths, weaknesses and experiences to the movement.  For Pat, Uranus was trine her Uranus (a vehicle for her activism) and Pluto was on her Neptune (plumbing the depths of her sensitivies).  The connection for Bruce Kent is even deeper, showing great involvement and power, with his Neptune opposite its Sun, his Sun trine its Jupiter, his Midheaven sextile its Neptune, and his Sun sextile its Pluto.  There is more of a spiritual theme than for Pat, but spirituality was his “profession”.

Other Peacemakers

Yitzhak Rabin had the Sun in Pisces conjunct Venus.

Antonio Guterres has the Sun in Taurus conjunct Venus

Kofi Annan had Mercury conjunct Venus in Taurus

Recurring themes for peacemakers seem to be the signs of Pisces and Taurus, and the Sun conjunct Venus.

Many have tried…!


Simmering tensions may be occurring today, prior to a square between Mars and Pluto (the two warmongerers squaring up to each other) in the early hours of tomorrow morning (1.05 a.m. in the U.K., to be precise).  I consider it to be one of the most difficult aspects of the year.  It’s a volatile combination, which can give way to riots or situations which can get out of hand.  Prepare your stock of peaceful vibes beforehand so that you can send out a blast of soothing comfort wherever you go.  You may need all your conflict resolution skills.  When this aspect occurred two years ago, the Film Director Alec Baldwin accidentally shot Halyna Hutchens.

Just six minutes later, Venus enters Virgo, from its recent sojourn in Leo.  So maybe you may find yourself laying the foundation for next term’s educational or working schedules now.  We may also be discriminating about the company we keep (if we subscribe to such a philosophy), and be exercising caution.  Someone criticized Keir Starmer this morning to me, for his lack of enthusiasm – I pointed out that he is a Virgo!  They tend to try not to get too excitable, but he did show great joy at the by-election win in Scotland this week.  Hopefully, Venus will bring him harmony and confidence for his Party Conference this week.  We choose the catering (in a healthful, Virgoan or Vegan way), and we tailor our practices to ecological ways under this placement.  Virgo entering Pisces at the same time as Mars square Pluto may help to tone things down.

Saturn opposes Venus on Tuesday (10th) in the morning. This could be emotionally deflating (e.g. a prominent, well-loved public figure could pass after a long and worthwhile life). It is time to value those around you, and to renew bonds of love and loyalty.

On Wednesday (11th) Pluto is Stationary prior to turning Direct, in the very early hours of the morning.  This may ease the path a little, and bring relief that the deep issues are being tackled.  We may feel we are coming through a transition, or at least on a more salubrious path.  The ruminations of the entire retrograde period (since 1st May) bear fruit.  Breakthroughs can take place at this juncture, e.g. reunions where perhaps people have not been speaking to each other.

But progress may be slow at first, as Chiron opposing the Sun highlights certain issues or crises which are ongoing and in need of healing.  That may be an opportunity to work on your Inner Healer and your Inner Problem Solver, and find intuitive answers to problems.

The path to peace itself may be difficult this week, as in the early hours of Thursday (12th) Mars enters Scorpio, a notoriously belligerent placement.  It is a signal to work on your constructive strategies.  Scorpio can be skilful in peace when evolved.  If you are a pacifist, just observe.  If you are a warrior, your power may be heightened.  If you are a diplomat, be ready.  Mars will be in the battle zone until 24th November, so take your position, and may everyone do their best in the effort to express the best of this dynamism.

So we come to Friday 13th, lucky for some.  May four leafed clovers be strewn in your path, if you are superstitious.  Remember that it is a collective astral thoughtform, even if like me you do not subscribe to the fear.  However, we are collectively, in luck, because we have the best aspect of the week, Mars trine Saturn, which, despite being a connection between the two traditional astrological “malefics” can be very constructive, in a non-dramatic way.  It does mean that hard work can pay off.  Think through what you want to achieve, and set about steadily allowing it to unfold, with some concrete or physical input or ignition on your part.  A trine not to be sniffed at.

Saturday (14th) is an important day, being an Eclipse and a New Moon, at 21 degrees Libra.  Some of the artistic, musical and relationship issues you have been grappling with could receive new impetus and a more confident direction.  Where there has been struggle, there could be more harmony.  Where there has been vacillation, there may be more balance.  But whether or not you are conscious of beneficial changes or shifts in these matters, they may still be progressing and bear fruit over the next month.  Relationships, too, may be assisted.  As an eclipse, these new moon opportunities are heightened, and the consequences can prove a turning point (with effects possible up to six months).

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – warmongering;
  • Tuesday – ecology and detailed artistry
  • Wednesday – psychological progress; issues needing healing
  • Thursday – strength of purpose
  • Friday – constructive moves
  • Saturday – new beginnings; turning points