International Peace Day

Start the day with a slice of peace, on this internationally recognized marker for peace.  And end the day with thoughts of peace.  In fact, make it a sandwich of peace throughout the day.  How you mark it is up to you, but a meditation of peace is effective even on a local level.  A meditation for peace can ripple out, and prevent an outbreak of strife.

With more wars than ever threatening the lives of millions around the world,  in Africa, the Middle East, and the Ukraine to name but a few areas, and with world leaders as uncertain as ever as to whether to intervene or not, humankind has yet to find a solution to war, or a way to persuading those who would bear arms to lay them down, and find other ways to solve disputes.  More than ever the peacemakers need to make their voices heard, to be able to say “Just, stop”!  The arts of diplomacy, negotiation and non-violent communication need to be even further fine-tuned.  Journalists and humanitarian aid workers risk their lives in war torn areas, but there is no respect shown to such roles and there are no boundaries either for protecting women, children and innocent civilians.

So, whatever the aspects, bring out and nurture your Inner Peacemaker today, and contemplate ways in which it may contribute to the balance of peace in the world.  Call upon the Spirit of Peace which unites and connects all peacemakers.

Strictly Come Dancing 2014 – Part 2

Strictly Come Dancing competitors take to the stage on Friday at 9 pm, and then Saturday at 7 pm on BBC1.  Here’s another portion of participants in this year’s dance fest:

Alison Hammond

I remember Alison Hammond breaking a table in one of the earliest series of Big Brother.  Since then she secured a presenter’s role in This Morning, regularly conducting interviews with the rich and famous, her style being a mixture of lightheartedness (she has a great laugh), intimacy and chutzpah  – good for her!  She apparently was inspired to take part in Strictly Come Dancing by the success of larger lady Lisa Riley in 2012.  Alison is an Aquarian, and therefore relies in her humour on the power of surprise.  She promises to be entertaining on the dance floor.  Her huge energy comes from a square between her Mars and Pluto natally.  Around the start of the tournament Pluto transits her Mars, bearing the possibility of injury.  Her partner Aljaz Skorjanec is an out and out Capricorn with several planets in that sign, but normally fairly lucky with Sun exactly trine Jupiter.  However, he has Uranus square his Mars early in the tournament, also incident-prone, and Saturn square his Sun at the end, which is disappointing.  At that time, Pluto opposes Alison’s Saturn, too.  Though I am looking forward to seeing Alison, we may have to savour the experience, as it could be short and sweet.

Steve Backshall

Wildlife presenter Steve Backshall is in his comfort zone around nature (Sun conjunct Venus in Taurus).  But he is taking a break from his usual habitat in the wild, and entering the world of the ballroom.  He has a couple of handy exact trines in his chart which may stand him in good stead: Mars exactly trine Saturn (disciplined movement) and Mercury trine Neptune (the ability to receive inspiration).  Saturn forms two exact sextiles from the midpoint of the Mars-Saturn trine, so he could find the exercise healing for him, and we might find it healing to watch in some way!  At the start of the tournament, the North Node transits his Uranus, highlighting a complete change for him, and also highlighting his capacity to surprise us.  He partners Ola Jordan, which could be a happy pairing with his North Node exactly sextile her Jupiter.  Steve could have a feeling of satisfaction at the end, with Neptune exactly sextile his Venus.  Ola has a couple of Pluto aspects at the start, one empowering (Pluto exactly trine her Jupiter) and one nerve-wracking (Pluto square her Mercury) so she may be confident, but may also be still dealing with the aftermath of her husband James’ stint in the Big Brother house.  At the finish, Jupiter will be sextile exactly her Saturn: a job well done, but not quite triumphant.

Thom Evans

Thom Evans is the token rugby player in the competition, and is already rumoured to have fallen in love with his professional dance partner, Iveta Lukosiute.   Thom is a fiery and energetic Aries, who may well prove popular with the ladies.  He should start extremely well, with Uranus on his Sun/Venus, certainly producing some excitement.  Transiting Jupiter also trines his Venus, often signalling a new romance.  Unfortunately, we do not know what the astrological chemistry consists of, as I do not have Iveta’s birth date.  He has mixed transits at the end, and could end up with a flourish, or the opposite…

Jennifer Gibney

Jennifer is the real life wife of Brendan O’Carroll, the Mrs. Brown of Mrs. Brown’s Boys, a popular British comedy.  Unfortunately I do not have a birth date for her!  Her real husband and screen father Brendan has Moon conjunct Mars in his natal chart, which may describe his alter ego.  He might have mixed feelings about her new jaunt, as Saturn squares his Jupiter (some of his freedom may be curtailed) but at the same time the North Node sextiles his Jupiter, so he recognizes it as a good opportunity.  The organizers found an Irish partner for Jennifer (who is Irish) so that might provide an initial basis for compatibility.  Tristan, who is new to Strictly Come Dancing, has a Leo Sun, so he is a real performer, with 3 planets in Libra, giving him musicality.  He also has great energy (Mars conjunct Pluto), but that may come with a short fuse, so hopefully she will shape up!  He has Sun exactly trine Uranus, so will be original and inventive in his choreography.  His transits early in the competition are lacklustre, and he has  difficult transits at the end of the tournament, so his debut on the programme may not be as stunning as he might hope, but maybe he will do better next year if he stays in the frame.  Brendon O’Carroll has transiting Pluto exactly trine his Mars at the end of the tournament, so he will be pleased to have his wife back, and may celebrate with a Christmas special!


Today, on International Peace Day, we have Venus sextile Saturn to work with, which is very fitting.  It ensures that we work with the principles of peace in a measured and responsible way, taking into account loyalty and other such sterling qualities in human relations.  Certainly it is a day when we are still having to tread carefully in our newly saved Union, as political interests seem to be causing differences in how to proceed to ensure the concerns of the Scottish people are met honourably.  I have noticed the media stoking up the differences with the wording of their headlines, instead of trying to foster a sense of calm.  Rome was not built in a day.  So whether you are meditating for peace, or cooking a Sunday roast over an excitable family dinner table, keep peace in mind.  It is achievable on some level today.

Tomorrow we have the much trickier Mars square Neptune to contend with.  You might want to save some of your peaceful initiative leftovers to dine on tomorrow.  Mars and Neptune together stoke mistrust, and the political dissensions are likely to rumble on, despite Gordon Brown’s best efforts, or any other Brown.  Don’t jump to conclusions, as you may be adding to the paranoia.  Bide your time, and sense what is really going on.  There may be agendas which are not obvious, but may emerge later.

On Tuesday (23rd) Pluto is stationary, prior to turning direct.  This may enable institutions (as it takes place in Capricorn) to take a big step forward, so some conferring by the political parties may bring about some consensus in terms of constitutional reform and its timetable.  In your private life, a particular psychological struggle may begin to bear fruit, or there is a sense of a turnaround in your greater efforts.

Tuesday is also the day of the Autumn Equinox, although the weather already thinks it is Autumn.  Desmond Tutu is urging us to put climate change top of our list, and it would be a good day to pay attention to Gaia.  The Sun enters Libra, and in the cycle of seasons, we have established our work routines in Virgo, and it is time to turn to bringing a greater creative input to our relationships, as represented by Libra.

There is a New Moon at the beginning of Libra on Wednesday (24th), and if you gave some thought to your relationships on Tuesday, you may be in a position to make a significant gesture in your primary or secondary relationships for the New Moon.  You may outline new plans for new directions in connection with the home or travel, for instance.  Or you may make a declaration of new commitment, or receive one.  There may be a sense of excitement in the air, because the New Moon almost coincides with the most exciting aspect to occur for some time.

Thursday (25th) plays host to a trine between Jupiter and Uranus in Fire signs (can’t at this moment think of anything as exciting!)  Plan your most ambitious projects for Thursday day this week!  I will be having a hairdo, for a wedding at the weekend.  My trips to the hairdresser are usually annual, but at best reserved for attendance at weddings, and there was one in May so that makes two this year.  So that is very exciting, indeed, for me.  If you know which Houses these two planets fall in, for your chart, then you can enhance the effect.  It is an entrepreneurial aspect, too, for those of you inclined to Business.  It is also risk-taking, but success is not guaranteed, it’s just a better than usual bet for gamblers.

Finally, on Saturday (27th) Mercury enters Scorpio.  The time of diplomacy this week is past, and the gloves come off.  Verbal sparring intensifies, and the fine print comes under scrutiny.  To everything there is a season, and mentally you need to knuckle down in some way.  Superficiality will just not work.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Peace considerations
  • Tomorrow – suspicion; look at climate change and relationships
  • Wednesday – new beginnings, especially in relationships
  • Thursday – dynamic and exciting; a big day
  • Saturday – sharpen your wits