Victoria Wood (1953 – 2016)

We lose another twinkle in the nation’s eye this week, in the shape of comedienne Victoria Wood, who has left an enormous legacy of work to be replayed on our screens.

With her pudding bowl haircut, and not to be confused with Pam Ayres to whom she often referred, her photo gazes from my newspaper cuttings with an unmistakeable look of compassion shining out of her eyes.  Some said her comedy was cruel, and others said it was kind, but compassion is what I see in her eyes.

Natal Chart

(Note: We do not have the luxury of a birth time and Ascendant for her.)

Her individual blend of quick wit and humour is shown in her chart by a triple conjunction of the Sun in Taurus (the musical bent) conjunct Mercury (quick wit) and Jupiter (humour) in Gemini (her affection for words).

She had a quirky mind, with Mercury closely trine Chiron, but often under stress with Mercury closely square Pluto.

She had the depressive Saturn/Neptune exact conjunction in Libra of 1953, with Venus opposing the conjunction, and squaring Uranus, bringing some sadness in her love life.  Venus was trine closely with Pluto at the same time, offsetting some of the difficulties, but a square from Chiron completed a Grand Cross.  No doubt there were aspects of her life which were so difficult she could not or would not speak of them.

Her Mars was in Gemini, giving a very mental quality to her energy, and Mars and Jupiter were trine her North Node (her karmic mission) in Aquarius, giving her great mental drive and enthusiasm to reform society.  She was a great Ambassador for Northern England.

1953 was not an easy year to be born, and in addition she had a T square between Saturn-Neptune, and Uranus opp Chiron.


Born in Bury, Lancashire (her trademark accent very much a part of her charm), she may well have inherited a chunk of talent from her father, who wrote songs for the Christmas parties at the insurance company he worked for, spent a great deal of time writing plays, and later wrote scripts for Coronation Street.

Her father bought her a piano for her 15th birthday, an essential tool for her future creative expression.  Mars was trine her North Node at the time (as at birth), firing up her karmic mission, while Pluto was trine her Chiron, giving energy to her Inner Healer.  She was also facing her blocks at the time with challenging transits from Saturn, but she now had one of the major building bricks for her talent, and the opportunity to let that energy flow.  What she did with that piano, of course, is legendary.  Women’s Weekly, a magazine I once worked for, will never be the same again after her oft quoted lyric for “Let’s do it!”

Joyce Grenfell

Joyce Grenfell was an early influence for Victoria, both for her monologue style, and as a pioneer in female comedy.  She was aged 6 when she saw her, and recalled “It was the first time I’d seen anyone stand on their own on stage.  I didn’t realise that there were jobs like that before – that one could stand on stage and speak, with no props except for a nice frock and people would die laughing”.  Her synastry with Joyce is important and profound, and includes an exact trine between Joyce’s Uranus (dazzling stimulation) and Victoria’s Mercury (mind).

Early Career

She appeared in the talent show New Faces in the mid-1970s, then landed a role playing the piano and singing on Esther Rantzen’s show “That’s Life”.

Julie Walters

Her stand out collaboration was with Julie Walters, who she met at college in Manchester in 1970.  I think it is fair to say that Julie became her Muse, although both had successful careers outside the comedy partnership.

In a television interview, Victoria said that the summer of 1978 was a crucial moment for their comedy.  Somehow the chemistry between them sparked a new level of humour, and a new era of television work was launched.  Victoria’s Jupiter was sparking success by transiting her natal Uranus.

In their synastry, Julie Walters’ Venus was exactly trine Victoria’s Jupiter, a very comic connection.  And Julie’s Moon was square Victoria’s Nodal Axis, a very karmic connection.  Emphasizing the karmic connection, Julie’s Ascendant was exactly conjunct Victoria’s South Node, indicating past lives spent together.

Geoffrey Durham

She married The Great Soprendo, magician Geoffrey Durham, he of the “Pif Paf Poof!”  Their Suns were closely sextile, Durham’s Jupiter was closely trine Victoria’s Sun, and his Neptune exactly trine Victoria’s Mars.  They had two children, Henry and Grace.  Henry’s birth chart shows his Venus and Moon (his female planets) in Victoria’s Sun sign of Taurus. Victoria and Geoffrey attended Quaker meetings together.  On this subject, she was quoted as saying: “As I’ve got older, I am more interested in having a belief,” she said. “If you don’t it makes everything seem pointless. To only think ‘you’re alive, you have acne and then you die’ makes you wonder what it’s all for.”

They separated in October 2002 after 22 years of marriage.  Uranus was squaring her Sun at the time, showing the separation, but Saturn was trine her natal Saturn/Neptune conjunction and sextile her Pluto, suggesting there was some sense of control over the situation.

Celia Imre

Another good friend, who appeared in Dinnerladies and Acorn Antiques, was Celia Imre.  There was a good rapport within their personal planets, and a special spark of humour created by Celia’s Jupiter sextile exactly Victoria’s Uranus.


Dinnerladies, and food in general, is a very Taurean theme!  She said “I was also addicted to sugar, which makes you depressed,” she added. “So I think I was always slightly depressed as a child and a teenager.”  Sugar addiction is associated with Venus, ruler of Taurus.

The sitcom Dinnerladies, which she wrote and starred in, debuted in 1998, and also featured Celia Imre, Julie Walters, Maxine Peake, Thelma Barlow, Shobna Gulati, Duncan Preston and Anne Reid, a considerable investment of acting talent.  It ran for two years, two series and 16 episodes.

Acorn Antiques

Another huge success for Victoria was a comic soap opera Acorn Antiques, in which Walters, Imre and Preston co-starred.  Julie Walters’ charlady character (“Mrs. Overall”) produced one of Victoria’s most treasured scenes from all her writing, when she hobbled precariously to the lunch table bearing “two soups”, spilling most of it on the way.


Victoria died after a six month battle with cancer, which was unknown to some of her friends.  Her family were around her, and she was making jokes until the end.  Uranus was opposite her natal Saturn/Neptune, and square her natal Chiron, but trine her natal Pluto.

Clive James sums up her talent well: “As a TV dramatist alone, she is on a par with Alan Bennett, while as a creator of comedy programmes she changed the field for women and indeed for everybody, because very few of the men were trying hard enough as writers before she came on the scene and showed them what penetrating social humour should actually sound like.”

And A.L. Kennedy wrote in a worthwhile piece yesterday in the Guardian:

“She could be real without dragging humanity in the gutter, she could be angry without bullying, she could be serious without being smug.”


Her Sun is also aligned with one of the most important cluster of stars in our sky, the Pleiades.  Maybe some of her sense of fun and inspiration comes from there.


We are in effect aspectless this week.  The planets are leaving us to our own devices!

One planet turns retrograde, and another changes signs, that’s all.  And those are not aspects.

Maybe it will prove to be a week of being, and not doing.

Mercury turns retrograde at 17.20 Hrs on Thursday (28th).  You know the drill: keep your communications clear, be present mentally, and above all, don’t panic!

On Saturday (30th) at 00.36 a.m. in the U.K. Venus enters Taurus, much to the relief of Venus.  She will be able to go at her own sedate pace once again, without the pressure of Mars/Aries.  You can plunge happily into Venus-in-Taurus related activities, as long as they are not Mercury-communication linked.  So it is onward and upwards for gardening, painting, making music and making money.

The aspects will be back to normal next week!

Please read my astro-obituary of Prince, below, or click right

The week in bullet points:

  • Thursday – communication hitches
  • Saturday – love and art