Strictly Come Dancing 2014 – Part 1

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing starts tonight at 8.00 pm on BBC1. Tonight’s programme focuses on the pairing of contestants with their professional dance partners, so I cannot yet look at that chemistry, but am taking a brief initial look at some of the more high profile competitors whose names and faces I do recognize.  The others I hope to get to know as the series progresses, and I intend to update this topic in the coming weeks.

Claudia Winkleman, new Co-Presenter

No one can replace the unique contribution of long time main presenter Bruce Forsyth who has now retired from the post.  But Claudia Winkleman is a presenter of some talent, and is the daughter of Eve Pollard, the journalist and fashion writer.  Claudia has been a regular presenter on this show, sometimes filling in for Bruce,  usually co-hosting the Sunday show with Tess Daly.  She is a Capricorn and favours wearing black, but I think the penchant for severe black sleeves is a fashion faux pas, possibly down to her Venus exactly square Saturn natally.  With transiting Neptune sextile her natal Mercury at the launch of the new series, she will be looking to refine further her broadcasting skills in her upgraded status.

Judy Murray

Andy Murray has apparently told his mother Judy that she will be “terrible” at this competition…I am not so sure.  I am sure that she will have plenty of backing from the British public.  Her fitness levels must be high.  She has Mars square Saturn in her natal chart, which is presumably the grit with which she encouraged and cajoled her sons as they grew up  in a life of tennis.  She also has as her karmic mission North Node conjunct Mars in Libra, symbolic of  her raising sons to be tennis champions, with the drive needed to do that.  It’s nice that the launch is close to her birthday tomorrow.  Even nicer that Mars is transiting her Jupiter/Moon, giving her a boost of energy and enthusiasm for the new endeavour in her own right.  She may initially have a feeling of uncertainty, with Neptune currently opposite her Mercury.  By the end of the series Mercury will be trine her natal Mercury and Neptune will be trine her natal Neptune, so she will have resolved a lot of issues for herself.

Gregg Wallace

As co-presenter of Masterchef with John Torode, Gregg is famous for the phrase “Cooking doesn’t get any tougher than this!”  His role as food judge is shown in his chart by Venus in Virgo (literal arbiter of taste) conjunct Uranus and Pluto.  The involvement of Uranus and Pluto in his love life (Venus) has produced turbulence and failed marriages, but Masterchef has gone from strength to strength since he took up his role there.  He has Sun/Mercury in Libra, so should show some level of musicality.  Sadly, Saturn squares his natal Mars at the beginning of this process, so he may feel a little awkward or face a minor injury while rehearsing in the next week or so.  He will be happy and harmonious by the end of the process, with Venus trine his Venus, Pluto trine his Venus and Pluto trine his Uranus.  Maybe he will find love with a costume designer.

Sunetra Sarker

I have long been a fan of Sunetra Sarker (Dr. Zoe Hanna from Casualty) ever since she was the steamy nurse in Brookside (the steam arising from a T-square between her Sun, Mars and Pluto).  I would imagine she would make a great contestant in this dance tournament, looking elegant and having the consummate skill of walking in very high heels on a hospital emergency ward.  The astrology however tells of a challenging journey this autumn, with Mercury squaring her Nodal Axis at the start of the process (she may have other things on her mind, or she may view this as a mental and karmic journey).  Jupiter also opposes her Jupiter, so she may feel pulled in two directions in her life.  And even more unsettlingly, Neptune squares her Neptune, so she may find it hard to commit to this project. The latter  transit continues right through to the end, and she may be scattering her energies on and off the dance floor.  When the date of the first competition is announced and the final programme schedules are made known, I will take another look at her astrological progress as I would really like her to do well.  As with all the contestants featured in today’s blog, birth times were not available, and that too could make  a difference.

Jake Wood

You may know Jake Wood more recognizably as the unsavoury Max Branning in the soap opera Eastenders.  Hubby said to me the other day “How come all the villains in Eastenders are bald headed?”.  This bald-header has an aura of ginger about him, and is characterized by a screen history  of ill advised relationships.  So here is a chance to get to know that really the man behind the role is a completely different sort.  His chart shows less monosyllabism, more of a way with words (Venus sextile Mercury), more self-discipline (Mercury sextile Saturn, and Saturn trine Uranus) and a strong sense of competition through the power hungry square between Jupiter and Pluto.  His Mercury/Moon/Mars in Leo may enhance his talent for performing, but Venus conjunct Saturn in Gemini may reduce his artistry and make for a rather too cerebral approach.  However, he should get off to a good start, or certainly be pleased with his new squeeze, as currently Mars sextiles his North Node, Uranus trines his natal Mercury and Uranus sextiles his Saturn.  By the end of the series Saturn sextiles his Pluto, which should give him a real sense of achievement.


Today poses a healing conundrum, with the Sun opposing Chiron.  In what promises to be a roller coaster or snakes and ladders week, we start with a dip.  The puzzle of the week is set, and may be resolved by the end of the day, or may be something to engage your healing energies throughout the week.

Tuesday (9th) brings a Full Moon in Pisces, although occurring in the early hours of the morning, the focus is really on tomorrow night. The full moon in Pisces is the most spiritual of all the full moons, representing as it does the fullness of the lunar experience. The female energy holds sway. The emotions in this full moon placed in the sign of Pisces are in the ocean of the collective unconscious. At their fullest the energies represent world service or global service, and surrender to the universe. This is to be balanced with the sun in Virgo which represents conscious service and conscientious work, the perfecting of which is an earlier stage in human evolution.  Be sure to release any negative emotions.

On Tuesday evening Mercury squares Pluto, and you may be forced to re-think a line of enquiry.  You may make a U-turn if you want to, or something may hit your thinking forcibly which you had previously not entertained.  A Yes vote may turn into a No vote, or vice versa.

On Wednesday (10th) morning Venus opposes Neptune, and relationship issues may be confusing or deceptive.  Someone may try to pull the wool over your eyes, or the rug from under your feet (hopefully not both).  Reserve your judgement, I would say, until you are more certain of your ground.

In the late afternoon or early evening, Mercury sextiles Jupiter, and judgement generally is more sound.  Sales and business thrive.  Wool may look like a good prospect for investment, and oriental carpets attractive in the soukhs, bazaars  and markets of holiday destinations around the Mediterranean or northern Africa.  As this is the best aspect of the week, you might like to make a bid on EBay, or make some such adventurous transaction on or off line.  Make the most of it.

On Thursday (11th) the Sun sextiles Saturn, also favourable but much more sober than Mercury sextile Jupiter.  You may make a calculated investment, or soberly assess your purchase of midweek, and find it to be sound.  It is also a good day for planning, and making serious decisions.

Saturday (13th) morning’s aspect is Mercury opposite Uranus, which is risky and controversial.  You might wake up bright and breezy, but then trip on your new oriental carpet, and be forced to re-think your plans (maybe for the second time this week).  Knowing you might have to be flexible might prove to be an advantage, as your unconscious may come up with a new and better idea for your morning schedule.

After a morning or a day re-jigging you may be feeling a little frazzled as Mars completes its sojourn through the tricky waters of Scorpio, and may be glad of a change of tune for the evening’s events in the shape of Mars entering Sagittarius.  You may feel you are no longer stagnant in an enterprise or swimming against the tide.  You may feel that your energy is flowing unhindered.  Mars in Sagittarius, like any position of any planet in any sign, I am sure will have its challenges (e.g. blind enthusiasm) but for the time being it may seem like a relief that there is some measure of communal and global unity.

Next Week: The Scottish Referendum

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Healing moves
  • Tuesday – heightened emotion; a change in mental focus
  • Wednesday – relationship confusion, then mental expansion
  • Thursday –  lay foundations
  • Saturday – frazzled start, smoother evening journey