Jonathan Cainer (1957 – 2016)

‘We’re not here for long. So make the most of every moment’

~ his Sagittarian forecast on the day he died

Another obituary, this time it is Jonathan Cainer, Astrologer to the Daily Mail, who died this week.  He was Britain’s most popular newspaper Sun Sign Astrologer, and his appeal lay in being able to connect in such a way with his readership that they felt he was talking to them personally.  Both my mother and my mother-in-law (in their late 80s) are fans, and my mother doesn’t even like Astrology!

Birth Chart

Jonathan had an incredibly Jupiterian birthchart.  His Sun at 26 degrees Sagittarius was exactly conjunct the powerhouse of the Galactic Centre.  It was exactly sextile the ruling planet of Sagittarius, Jupiter at 26 degrees Libra, and Mars lay at their midpoint, at 26 degrees Scorpio.  This represented a huge resource of energy, with Mars enabling him to make the most use of his Sun-Jupiter sextile.  His Ascendant was also in Sagittarius (thus he was a double Sagittarian), and 1 degree away from the Sun.  A Jupiterian powerhouse of a chart.  Two of the principles associated with Jupiter and Sagittarius are expansion, and luck. As well as being the ruler of his Sun sign and Ascendant, Jupiter was also conjunct his Midheaven (Careerpoint) bringing him lucky opportunities.

There are many wonderful stories about Jonathan swirling round, and my difficult task has been to decide what I can leave out!

Philosopher Archetype

Jonathan practised Transcendental Meditation, and his style of forecasting was primarily through Philosophy.  He would write a philosophical piece for each sign based on the psychology of the sign, and people often identified with it.  Jupiter and Sagittarius are associated with Philosophy.

Mercury was sextile the North Node in his chart, so he had an understanding of the workings of karma.  Mercury was Retrograde in Capricorn in his 1st House, and he is quoted as saying of Mercury in Capricorn that it “blesses you with the ability to sound like you know what you’re talking about even when you’re spouting rubbish”.  Pluto in 9th House also lent depth to his readings.

He was an optimist, and that buoyed up his readership.  Any eclipse or special transit was always treated as the best thing since sliced bread, and he always put a positive spin on it.

Religion and Mysticism

With Sagittarians, religion is often a big deal, and apparently Jonathan used to disappear to India from time to time to replenish his spiritual energy.  Jupiter was conjunct Neptune in his chart, so he combined the religious and the mystic elements in his personality.  Neptune was conjunct the North Node in his chart by 3 degs, uniting his Midheaven with his North Node so that he was able to combine his karmic mission and his career through the mystical path.  His mother, who was first a medical secretary and then became a spiritual healer, said the spiritual gift came from her father’s side of the family.

Career Path

He took time in the early 1980s to work in Los Angeles.  There, an incident changed the course of his life.  In his own words:  “One night a psychic poet called Charles John Quarto came in and gave me a reading. He told me everything that was going to unfold, that I was going to be a big-time media personality with a column read by millions, big in astrology.”  On his return to England, he studied with the Faculty of Astrological Studies.

He began writing a newspaper column in 1986 at Today newspaper.  In 1992 he moved to the Daily Mail, where, except for a break of a few years at the Express and Mirror, he wrote up until present times.

His relationship with the Daily Mail was interesting.  He was at one time quoted as saying it was “a newspaper dedicated to the subtle propagation of bigotry” but later changed his mind when he returned to that paper.

He also had something interesting to say about his relationship with the Editor:

“Working with Paul Dacre is very interesting.  He’s a living legend and a very shy man.  He’s also incredibly passionate: of all the mystics and intuitives and clairvoyants I’ve come into contact with,  Dacre has a vibe about him of a magician.  He’s got phenomenal instinct and would rather go with intuition than market research figures”.

Love, Marriage and Children

Jonathan Cainer had a complicated love life, with Venus opposite Uranus, square Neptune, conjunct the “wounded healer” Chiron, and square exactly the Nodal Axis.  The sign on his Descendant and the cusp of his 7th House of Close Relationships was Gemini, which often indicates more than one marriage.

He first met Mel, the love of his life, at the age of 15, and married her at 30. The Moon represents the women in his life and he had Moon in Scorpio conjunct Mars, a poignant symbol of the fact that his wife died in a car crash.  Apparently, she had predicted the timing of her own death.  Pluto was conjunct Jonathan’s Moon that year.

At the moment of her death in 1992, he saw her appear in the corner of his kitchen where he was feeding the children, and she told him she was departing.  He continued to communicate with her after death.

In 2014, he married Sue, the long term nanny of his many children (variously reported between 6 and 8 in number).


You could describe his packed 11th House of friendship as a recipe for how to win friends and influence people! Contained in this House were Jupiter/MC/Neptune, North Node, and the Part of Fortune conjunct Moon (the gift of propinquity).  In a sense, every reader was his friend.

He had a detractor though in the scientist Richard Dawkins, who stated:

“Astrology may be slightly damaging, but mostly it is just sad.  So sad, that people are ignorant of the true glories of the stars, and of the stupendous distances and times that separate them, while they bother with the frivolous inventions of a charlatan like Jonathan Cainer.”


With Venus conjunct Chiron in 2nd House in Aquarius, money was used in a healing and altruistic way.  He was extremely generous with his money, and lent out his homes to the homeless (a story courtesy of Anne Jirsch, Future Life pioneer, on Facebook).  There is no doubt he had an abundant attitude towards money, and attracted it to himself.  He said: “I earn a lot more than Blair but a lot less than Beckham”.  As well as Jupiterian money luck, he also had the Sun rising, providing Leonine magnanimity.


He had apparently had a heart attack a year ago, before the one responsible for his death.  The Sun is associated with the heart, healthwise, and the Sun is on his Ascendant (the physical).  He was also coming up for his second Saturn Return, and at the time of his death Pluto was exactly semi-sextile his natal Saturn.  Neptune was also exactly sextile his natal Mercury. He was an expansive figure, and in the end his consciousness expanded beyond return, but he really will live on in people’s hearts.


A cornucopia of aspects this week, and surprisingly not a square amongst them!  If you found last week beneficial, this set of aspects is even more so.  Certainly the weather in the U.K. has cheered up considerably, and is much more appropriate to its season.

Today, Mercury is trine the North Node: advantageous information may come your way regarding the karmic progress of events.  You yourself may find that you are the messenger, so look at the ethics of what you communicate today, and congratulate yourself if it comes up to your own best standards.  It is a good day to set out your stall in the karmic marketplace: what are you offering the world that the world needs?

Tomorrow Jupiter is stationary, prior to turning direct, and you may experience a sense of relief that events are turning around in what seems to you to be a positive direction.  If you have felt lately that you are working against the grain or uphill, with 5 planets retrograde, one of these blocks being removed could make a difference.  Though it’s not the whole picture, it means a lot to have Jupiter on side and working for us.  Your faith and trust in the processes of life could be restored, if it ever wobbled.

Venus sextile Neptune, also occurring tomorrow, is another restoration of faith, on a subtler level, and involving relationships.  Spiritual understanding is fostered with this aspect, and inspiration received and given out in the Arts.  With Venus in her sign of Taurus, and Neptune in his sign of Pisces, all is harmony.

In the afternoon the Sun is conjunct Mercury in Taurus, excellent for concentration and focus on Taurean applications: gardening, art and music, and monetary dealings.  If you have an argument to make, you can do so cogently.  It may prove more potent than a normal Mercury/Sun conjunction, as this particular astronomical event is also known as a “transit of Mercury” across the Sun, an event which only occurs 13 or 14 times in a century.  It is also a type of eclipse, but not dramatic in its appearance as Mercury appears as a tiny dot traversing the Sun.  Nevertheless, don’t try looking at the Sun, it’s just as inadvisable as ever.

More karmic benefits too, accrue from a trine between the Sun and the North Node, a chance to practise creativity and power in an ethical way.  So altogether there is a lot going on tomorrow, and a chance to move projects forward in the right direction.

On Tuesday (10th) Venus trines Jupiter, one of the most positive events in the astrological calendar (it occurs twice a year).  It is a sparkling social aspect, and is often marked by celebrations such as engagements.  So it is a good excuse to throw a party, if you have a reason to do so.  If you are socializing, you’ll find the company congenial and jovial.  Some memorable humour and punchlines could emerge for dining out on later, so take your joke book and notebook.

Friday (13th) brings a sober but powerful and constructive trine between Mercury and Pluto.  It is excellent for meaningful dialogue, whether in the board room or the coffee shop.  You’ll straightaway get down to the nitty gritty and approach the heart of the matter.

Later, in the evening, Mercury is conjunct Venus, and it is a good time to make something creative out of the constructive dialogue earlier in the day.  Mercury conjunct Venus particularly favours diplomacy and negotiation, writing, and combining written communication with the Arts.  You can bring all the good influences gathered in the week into a tangible form.

Saturday (14th) is also constructive, but with slightly different emphases.  Venus trines Pluto, so relationships are blessed at a profound level.  Emotional communication is heartfelt, intimate and honest.  Monetary concerns may also benefit.

Then the Sun sextiles Chiron, so healing is to the fore, whether literal physical healing, mental health, or the healing of problems or issues from the point of crisis.  You may be led to think outside the box, bringing relief where there has been suffering.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – karmic information
  • Tomorrow – favourable turnaround, spiritual relationships, concentration and karmic rewards
  • Tuesday – celebration
  • Friday – constructive thought, and creative writing
  • Saturday – Warm relationships and healing