Strictly Come Dancing 2016 – Part 1

It’s back!  The hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing returned yesterday for its launch night.  It is the last year for head judge Len Goodman, who reportedly plans to spend his retirement on the golf course.  This is borne out by his transit picture, which looks remarkably quiet going forward, partly because the structure of his chart shows half the zodiac occupied and the end of several years of excitement.

Here are four of the contestants, to kick off the Strictly blogging season:

Ed Balls

I have mentioned Ed Balls a few times over the years, in the context of his political persona, notably just before the last election:

“Ed Balls is another Labour politician who has failed to gain real popularity for some reason.  He is a Pisces, which can bamboozle the public perception of him.  He also has Chiron conjunct Mercury, which can lead to an odd way of thinking, but also a penchant for problem-solving.  Pluto also opposes his natal Mercury, which is challenging – he probably does advanced Sudoku in his sleepless hours!  He is an affable enough type of chap, reaching out to George Osborne on Andrew Marr’s sofa, though there are elements of shyness in his nature (Sun in Pisces, Venus conjunct Saturn).  One of the best features of his chart is an exact trine between Jupiter and Neptune (endless faith) which forms a Grand Trine with Saturn, giving him the ability to translate pie in the sky into concrete reality.”  I felt that he would keep his seat, which he famously did not.  He has just written his political memoirs “Speaking Out”, in which interestingly he points out that one of the lessons he has learned from the past is that politicians have a tendency to “let things drift” – that is a Piscean trait, so a lesson well learned for him.

Enter the new persona: as competitive dance contestant.  Never mind twinkle toes, I always find him to have twinkly eyes.  He has written his political memoirs, but his recent interviews have brought out a different side of him. “You can do politics and be a human being” he has asserted.  He is born under Pisces, the dancing sign, but he claims his dance style is that of a “camp rugby player”.  He feels taking part in the contest is part of his mid-life crisis, but astrologically the mid-life crisis is around 39-42 when Uranus opposes its natal position.  At 49, he is almost at his Chiron Return, which is the emergence of the Inner Healer, and this may be what the contest brings out for him, or it may be a manifestation of this. Chiron returned to its natal position in May, and is now in retrograde motion, then retrograded over this position in July and August.  The third pass takes place next March, when the process will be complete.

At the launch, Jupiter opposes his Saturn, encouraging him to loosen up.  Chiron also trines his Neptune, bringing out his Inner Healer and his Dancer Archetype.  At the end of the series, Saturn squares his natal Pluto, which may not be a happy ending, but the North Node sextiles his ruling planet Neptune (lord of the dance) so spiritually he will feel some satisfaction in the experience.

Ed Balls is partnered with Katya Jones, who is new to Strictly, and I do not have a birth date for her.  If one becomes available during the course of the contest, I will report back.

Will Young

Will Young won Pop Idol on 9/2/2002 shortly after studying politics at Exeter University. In his birth chart, transiting Uranus from Aquarius in his 5th House of Self-Expression was  exactly trine his natal Moon in 1st House at that time, changing his life.  We have his birth time, and he is born under the Sun sign Aquarius, with Ascendant in Virgo and Moon in Libra.  He has Sun exactly conjunct Mars, and on winning famously made a joke about his father and a shotgun (very apt). With the Sun in his 5th House, performing comes naturally to him.  His Mercury trine Saturn lends itself to the study of politics, but he has not been drawn to take it up as a profession.  Mars opposite Jupiter gives him energy and enthusiasm, which should shine through his dance performances. As first Pop Idol winner, he is a pioneer, with his ruling planet Uranus  exactly sextile his North Node.  Neptune exactly squares the Nodal Axis, so he likes to play with subtlety.  With Neptune exactly sextile his natal Pluto, he has psychological strength and resilience, though he may have a delicate nervous system with Mercury square Pluto.  In true Aquarian style, he called his autobiography “Funny Peculiar”.

At the launch of Strictly Come Dancing yesterday Uranus, his ruling planet opposes his natal Moon in Libra in 1st House, so he may again find a life-changing experience.  The Nodal Axis squares his Venus, and he may find it brings relationship changes, and a change in his relationship to music.  The North Node transits his natal Saturn in 12th House so he will take it seriously, believing it has something to teach him. At the close of the contest, Jupiter sextiles his Neptune, which is quite a rapturous transit, but Saturn conjuncts his Neptune (he may be sad that it is ending!).  Furthermore, Jupiter conjuncts his Pluto in Leo in 11th (power within groups) and Saturn sextiles his natal Pluto.  This could be a winning combination of transits.

Will is partnered with Karen Clifton, who danced with Jeremy Vine last year.  I wrote: “She has a dreamy Moon/Venus conjunction in Pisces, gliding with a trine to her North Node, so she will always do well in ballroom dancing!  With three planets in Libra, she also connects well in partnership, and she married another professional, Kevin Clifton” [in 2105].  In their synastry, Will’s Sun squares Karen’s Mars, so there could be sparks flying on the dance floor!  Their Suns are also square, and both are fixed signs, so there could be a battle of wills, too, no pun intended.  Her Saturn squares his Mercury, so he will find her mentally exacting.  But her Uranus trines his Jupiter so she can bring out his luck and success streak.  Her Neptune (dance) is on his I.C., so she will bring about a new adaptable foundation in his consciousness, and he could find this inspiring.  At the launch, Neptune was sextile her Mercury, so she is inspired by the pairing.  Mars squaring her Venus and Pluto sextile her Venus will fire up her energy, too.  The close of the contest sees Mars sextile her Sun: if they make it to the final, she will have that extra oomph of energy.  Neptune will still be sextile her Mercury, so she will have plenty of creative and inspired ideas for the choreography throughout.  The North Node ends sextile her Jupiter, which could bring her karmic reward.  So it is looking good for her, too!

Lesley Joseph

At 70 actress Lesley Joseph is the oldest ever contestant on the show, but always seems very young at heart.  With her raunchy persona and raven hair as Dorien from Birds of a Feather you’d think she would have a lot of Scorpio in her make up.  This may be her Ascendant sign, but she has no planets in that sign.  Five of her ten planets are in Libra, the sign of musicality.  She has Jupiter trine Uranus in her chart, the Entrepreneur Archetype, and she certainly has made the most of her character Dorien.  Jupiter sextiles her natal Pluto, which may hold a clue to the success of her raunchy alter ego.  Jupiter is exactly conjunct Chiron in Libra, and Pluto exactly sextile them both, which is intriguing.  She may have hidden healing talents, e.g. on the dance floor.

At the launch, Chiron opposes Venus, and she may have an early injury, perhaps in the preparatory training.  Saturn sextiles her Jupiter, providing resolve.  Uranus squares her natal Saturn, again some incident-proneness.  Chiron trines her Saturn, so again she may pick herself up and overcome problems.  At the end of the season, Uranus will be opposite her natal Sun, again she may be nursing a minor injury, but Jupiter will be square her Mars (her enthusiasm will be indomitable!)  This does not suggest she will make it to the final, sadly.  However, she may put in a memorable performance around 8th October when Jupiter transits her natal Neptune, no doubt in character as Dorien with the stem of a red rose between her teeth.

Lesley is paired with none other than Anton du Beke – what a duo!  Anton is hotly tipped to take over from Len Goodman as head judge next year.  But these two together are guaranteed to raise a lot of laughs!  Anton, a veteran of the programme, managed to reach the final last year.  I wrote:

“Anton has Sun, Mars and Jupiter in Cancer, which makes him very responsive to his partners personally.  But his Sun trine Saturn has a very traditional and formal side.  And contrasting with that he has the rebellious Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo.  So a quirky, contradictory character.”

How do they fit together?  His Mercury sextiles her Jupiter, so he will have a surprising understanding of how she ticks.  His Venus also trines her Mercury, so there will be easy conversation and communication between them.  There may be some confusion physically, however, with his Mars trine her Neptune, the right foot of one not knowing what the left foot of the other is doing.  She will find the square physically exacting, and he will find the square confusing and may even lose concentration.  Their Uranuses are also exactly square, and they may need a separation break at some point during the tournament in order to resolve some fundamental difference, or be happy to go their own ways after the ball is over.  Paradoxically, Her Mars trines his Neptune, so his inspiration could override some of her clumsiness. Finally, her Pluto squares his Uranus, so she may cross the line for him at some point, and equally he may alienate her.  But I am sure they will override their differences, be perfectly professional, and keep their smiles for the length of her stay in the competition.  At the start of the tournament, Saturn is trine Anton’s Mercury, he is in proper professional mode.  Jupiter squares his Venus, so at the same time he may also make a faux pas during the training period of three weeks which ensues.  Jupiter opposes his Saturn, so he could feel overstretched, and Dorien may take him to places he has never been!  At the close of the tournament, the North Node will be sextile his Mars, and he will feel he has put in his best effort.  Pluto will be opposite his Jupiter, and his hopes may have recently been dashed.  On the plus side, Pluto trines his Uranus, plenty of raised spirit for his life in general, and Pluto trines his Pluto, so he is entering a period of self-empowerment (possibly as head judge in waiting).  So he won’t be down in the dumps watching the final from the sidelines…

Naga Munchetty

If you are up before 9, eating your breakfast in front of the telly, chances are you will know Naga Munchetty.  Like Ed Balls, she has her Sun in Pisces, the dancing sign.  In fact, they share a birthday (25th February).  A golfing enthusiast, Naga has an altogether versatile chart, having her planets spread out round her chart.  Her Sun is exactly square the Nodal Axis, so she is able to work with large groups of people.  She has Mercury sextile exactly her Neptune, so her mind is sensitive and open to subtlety.  There is also a depth of thought, with Mercury trine Pluto.  Venus is loosely conjunct Jupiter in her chart, making her sociable and able to mix well in company.  Mars is exactly sextile Jupiter, so here is another very enthusiastic personality.  She confesses to being a tomboy, and unused to glitz and glitter: ” Outside of work I’m in jeans, jogging bottoms, and golf gear mostly.”  She also says her secret weapon is her death stare – that might be down to her Ascendant sign (hitherto unknown), or Mercury trine Pluto.

Chiron will be conjunct her Jupiter as the dance tournament starts, which may be challenging but should be enjoyable.  The North Node will be sextile her natal Saturn, so like Will Young she will approach it with determination.  The Nodal Axis will also square her natal Neptune, which will probably assist in bringing out her Dancer.  At the close of the tournament, the South Node will be on her natal Sun, a karmic moment.  I don’t think her transits would be strong enough to reach the final, but if she did, the glitterball might be snatched from her at the last moment, maybe by Will Young!  But I will take a look at other contestants in the coming weeks.

Naga is partnered with Pasha Kovalev, who danced with Carol Kirkwood last year (hopefully Carol, also of breakfast BBC, will be able to pass on some secrets and tricks of the trade).  I wrote last year:

“He has an intelligent Sun/Mercury conjunction in late Capricorn, which can be calculating and cool, but balanced by a warm and energetic conjunction of Mars with Jupiter.”

In their partnership, her Jupiter trines his Uranus, which is an interaspect which speaks of success and making the most of their potential as a pairing.  He can bring out the best in her. Her Mars sextiles his Uranus, so there will be electricity and great energy between them.  Her Chiron trines his Neptune, and she can bring some healing qualities to the partnership, and there may be higher or spiritual communication. At the same time, his Pluto opposes her Chiron, so there may also be some difficult lessons for her, such as rigid habits which need to transform (such as a golfing stance).  At the launch of the tournament, Mars squares his Mars (high energy, uncontrolled) but Pluto trines his Mars (more energy, deeper and more controlled).  Saturn squares his Jupiter – he may have some personal blocks that he is working on, perhaps in his private life.  In addition, Chiron trines his Uranus, so he is open to new healing and learning.  At the close of ceremonies, Neptune opposes his Jupiter, so a dream or fantasy may not be realizable.  Chiron also squares Neptune, reinforcing this message.  Again, there is a feeling of the glitterball being snatched, but they may not make the final.

I will be back in a few weeks with Part 2


It could be a dramatic week, with benefits accruing, but also some thorny issues.

Today, the Sun is conjunct the North Node, so you may have to put in some extra effort with your karmic obligations, but it should be rewarding and fulfilling.

On Wednesday (7th) the Sun trines Pluto first thing, so it is a good day for digging and delving psychologically, and achieving something profound.  Set out with a plan in mind, know where you are going, and what you want to achieve, and you will make the most of the psychological explorations.  The Force is with you!

Later in the morning, Venus sextile Saturn, so you will know where you stand in a relationship, or with your nearest and dearest.  They will be there for you, and you for them.

On Friday (9th) Jupiter changes signs, from Virgo to Libra, and I prepared a special blog for this important event, earlier this morning.  Please read, if you want to maximize the experience!  I quote:

“Jupiter enters Libra at 11.18 a.m. on Friday 9th September in the U.K… Whichever House (sphere of life activity) Jupiter currently occupies in your chart receives uplift and support from the Universe, and you are able to expand its activities during Jupiter’s transit through this House…  the movement of Jupiter into Libra will bring a change of emphasis or mode in the way the benefits come into your life.  One obvious way will be through partnership or relationship.”

On Saturday (10th) Mercury opposes Chiron in the morning (in the U.K.) so you may start the weekend with a problem to solve, before you can start implementing your plans for the day (assuming you have plans).  For instance, a planned journey may encounter a hitch, or there may be a minor health crisis to consider.  If you do not have a plan, the Universe can provide you with distraction and occupation according to the nature of this aspect.

But, all the while, you will need your full faculties for a situation which is brewing nicely for lunchtime.  I recommending starting the day with a good meditation on waking, a low sugar breakfast, and some green tea.  Thus, if the first hitch arises, you can deal with that smoothly and segue smartly on to the main event.

The main event is a recurrence, the third pass, of the difficult Saturn-Neptune square which has been plaguing us since November 2016.  This has all sorts of effects, from personal inaction and psychological paralysis, to planetary chaos such as flooding and in current affairs political leaks.  We have been dealing with these for a while now, and this influence may at this time come to a conclusion, showing us its lessons.  In a flurry of optimism in January, I conjectured: ” If we were to convert the discomfort of the Saturn-Neptune square of this coming year into a trine, we would be indeed manifesting (Saturn) magic (Neptune).”  Well, that’s the aim.

You might want to plan a light lunch for Saturday, for digestive purposes.  If you are apt to throw off the manifested teachings, and tell yourself “tomorrow is another day”, you will have more to digest the next day (Sunday 11th) when Venus squares Pluto.  Better to stay with the programme, and deal with what is presented, on the day.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – karmic enlightenment
  • Wednesday – a most constructive day
  • Friday – a new direction of Hope
  • Saturday – difficult; try to take things in your stride