At the time the Costa Concordia ran aground, Uranus was squaring Italy’s Mercury in the 8th House in Cancer (a shock to its coastline).  Italy suffered a double shock that day, because on the same day, Italy’s credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor (the 8th House also represents financial dealings with others).   When Silvio Berlusconi departed from office last November, Uranus (extreme change) was also squaring Italy’s Mercury (a challenge to its mindset).  The Costa Concordia was originally ordered on 19 January 2004, under a Moon conjunct Pluto trine Mars, which might have raised some Health and Safety issues.  Be careful what aspects you order a sailing vessel under, such as a Royal Yacht.  But ours is still at the discussion stage, I believe, so no astrological chart to be drawn just yet.  On the night that the Costa Concordia ran aground, Venus was on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces, conjunct with Neptune.  Mercury was also conjunct Pluto – both conjunctions of the deep.  There is a sense of fatefulness when the chart of the disaster is compared to the chart of the ordering of the sea vessel: Pluto was opposing the ship’s Saturn (destruction by grounding).  What of the role of the Captain, Francesco Schettino?  Schettino was born three days before Jonathan Ross in the same year.  Ross has now relaunched himself, after a cavalier prank in 2008.  It could be the role of their Pluto conjunct the North Node to live on the edge.  Of Schettino’s relationship to Italy, his Neptune (carelessness) squares Italy’s Pluto, but it is quite a price to pay for carelessness.  Perhaps we will find out more about his state of mind in due course.

The Sun sextiles Uranus today: A bright start to a bright day.  Maybe you slept unexpectedly, contrary to your usual insomnia pattern, and feel re-aligned.  The Sun also squares Jupiter, so there is a possibility of overreaching yourself in enthusiastic efforts, e.g. pruning the bushes in the garden.  Just know your own boundaries, and those of your neighbours.  Tomorrow the New Moon occurs in the sign of Aquarius at 2 degrees – Another bright start to another bright day.  A time to launch or relaunch social initiatives, and look at life in a new, and perhaps whackier, way.  Group consciousness is favoured, and mind-melding.  Subsequently, Mercury trines Mars and an energetic trek or fitness drive may be supported by the Universe.  If you have strident words to say, you may find clear but inoffensive ways to say them. This time you can set things precisely right, if you have been awkward in your past efforts.  On Tuesday (24th) Mars is stationary prior to turning retrograde – having taken two steps forward this week, plans may begin to stall, leaving you only one step forward.  The expert on retrogrades Erin Sullivan says of Mars retrograde: “When transiting Mars stations and turns retrograde, all externalized drive and focused energy reverses its direction.  The daily progress of which one normally takes no note suddenly becomes filled with effort.”  As if to illustrate this, Friday (27th) brings a square between Mercury and Saturn, which could bring beaurocratic delays to your documentation, rather like a retrograde Mercury action or non-action, but shorter and sharper and more embodied in a particular event.  Plans may take a step backwards but remember if you made the most of the headway early in the week, you are still one step forward from where you were at the beginning of the week, the snakes are now behind you and there are a couple of ladders in sight!  Mercury then goes into Aquarius in the early evening of Friday, bringing a fresher mental outlook, and stimulating discussion if you are socializing.  If you are spending a quiet Friday night in, it is a good time to actively start a new project, rather than sit mesmerized in front of the television (I hope I will be able to walk my talk).  Mentally you can turn things around now, because another boost arrives on Saturday (28th) in the shape of Mercury sextile Uranus.  Again it’s at tea-time in the U.K., so again more socializing is on the cards, and some of it could be quite electrifying.  If  you are having a traditional tea, it won’t be sedate!  If you are having a housewarming party there could be some welcome surprises.  And if you are attending a reunion, mentally you will be reeling.  Estrangements may be healed.

In your Dancing on Ice update for this week, the stand out surprisingly wonderful performers of last week (Chico and Matthew Wolferton) have proved elusive in the search for birth dates. Maybe these will emerge as the series continues.  Jennifer Ellison, who skated first last Sunday, won the culinary challenge Hell’s Kitchen a few years back in 2004, when Uranus was exactly square to her Uranus.  With Sun/Mars (high energy) opposite natal Jupiter/Uranus, she relishes a challenge and is a risk taker.  She has made a good start, and should do well.

Veteran fitness guru Rosemary Conley (my age bracket) according to the commentator performed a tortilla wrap (I could manage one in the kitchen).  Natally she has Venus conjunct Jupiter, a very sociable feature, and called Dancing on Ice: “The Most Wonderful Show on Earth”, which is a superlative befitting her Venus/Jupiter enthusiasm.  If you’ve ever wondered where she gets her inexhaustible energy from – it’s directly from the Centre of the Galaxy where she has her Sun (she’s a rare creature, and I wish her well in the competition!).  Like Jennifer Ellison and Heidi Range, she has the high energy conjunction between Mars and the Sun (it is not that common!).

Holywood actor Corey Feldman  was lagging behind in training – making 2 films at the same time – and appeared in the skate off, possibly not for the first time.  He has a sensitive chart, with Sun in Cancer square Chiron, and Jupiter conjunct Neptune.  His partner Brooke Castile has Moon conjunct Jupiter and  the Sun, Chiron and Mercury in Gemini.  The pair have their Venuses conjunct, plus his Uranus trines her Sun.  Uranus currently trines Corey’s Neptune, so he may be learning personal and impersonal lessons of sensitivity through his participation in the show, whilst multitasking in his film ventures, Uranus stimulating his ability to take on complexity (Neptune) which may not enable him to stay long in the competition.  It’s a spinning plate he may not be able to maintain.

Sebastien Foucan, a French runner specializing in freerunning and parkour, is someone I was unaware of, not being of a sporty disposition.  But he seems to have taken the contest by storm, with an unusual twist in that his fierce independence (natally Mercury/South Node trine Uranus) created distance between him and his skating partner Brianne Delcourt.  He performed well, and it is intriguing to see whether he takes note of his partner in his next performance.  Philip Schofield said he brought passion to the contest, and this may be his Venus/Chiron conjunction in Aries, but in many ways he has a private chart.  Incidentally, he is a Gemini, and running is the sport most associated with Gemini.  I associate ice dancing with Pisces.

The Week in Bullet Points:

  • Today – Bright and enthusiastic (up the ladder)
  • Tomorrow – New ventures and energy (up the ladder)
  • Tuesday – Take stock (down the snake)
  • Friday  – Slow down and assess things carefully early on (down the snake) but later offers a fresher mental outlook (you could have a cat nap in between).  Up the ladder again
  • Saturday – Electrifying! (definitely up the social ladder)