Monroe vs Hopkins

Food writer and anti-austerity campaigner Jack Monroe has become a hero overnight, a champion against the hate culture as exemplified by Katie Hopkins, by winning a libel action against her.  Katie has strewn destruction in her wake since her appearance in the Apprentice in 2007, and was rarely effectively opposed.  Indeed, she came second in Celebrity Big Brother in January 2015, when you might say she was riding high in popularity.  Jupiter was trine her Jupiter at the time.

In May 2015, a columnist for the New Statesman named Laurie Penny tweeted a controversial statement about graffiti on a war memorial which appeared during an anti-austerity demonstration.  Katie Hopkins was outraged, and tweeted a scathing response to Jack Monroe, who she confused with Laurie Penny.  Jack Monroe considered this a reputational slur, having come from an armed forces family, and tweeted to put the record straight, asking for an apology and £5000 to settle the matter.  Katie Hopkins refused to apologize, and the groundbreaking lawsuit was born.

Jack Monroe

Who is this person who has finally stood up to Katie Hopkins? Astrologically, Jack has 0 planets in Fire and Air, but 6 planets in Earth signs, so is very grounded and instinctual.  She/he (currently in a situation of non-binary transgender) has Sun in Pisces square Saturn/Uranus, and has overcome huge obstacles in life.  Single parenthood led to extreme poverty, but life turned around through a food blog for those experiencing poverty (Chiron in Taurus).  In the birthchart Mercury, Moon, North Node/Sun are all in Pisces, sign of poverty, charity and compassion. Mercury sextiles exactly Jupiter natally (the ability to sell oneself, and possibly success in litigation).  Jupiter trine Uranus bestows the Inner Entrepreneur.  Mercury sextile exactly Saturn implies the ability to apply oneself.  Jupiter trines Saturn/Uranus, showing balanced judgement, with reason (Mercury) in the middle. Mercury sextiles exactly Uranus (an original mind, which thinks outside the box). Chiron is exactly square the Nodal Axis, an important sign of the healer on behalf of society.

Venus trine Mars indicates a balancing sexuality, with Venus trine Neptune and opposite Pluto.  Mars conjuncts Neptune and sextiles Pluto, so it is easier to fulfil the male side of sexuality. On the announcement of gender reassignment Pluto, planet of transformation, was conjunct natal Mars by transit.

At the time Katie Hopkins made the slur, Neptune was sextile her Neptune, carefully calibrating spiritual sensibilities.  By the time suing was considered, Saturn was squaring natal Mercury, causing mental strain, and Pluto on her Mars (a last straw). At the time of winning the court case this week, Uranus was exactly sextile natal Chiron (a surprise healing). Saturn also squares the natal Sun: “It’s been a horrible, stressful experience and I’m so relieved it’s over…I just felt I started something and I will have to see it through.  It’s taken nearly two years of my life.  I’m just glad it’s over” The result creates a legal precedent in the realm of Twitter.

Katie Hopkins

Both these two came to fame in thoroughly modern ways: Katie through a reality TV show The Apprentice (having virtually fired Alan Sugar in a shock exit in the semi-finals); Jack Monroe through a food blog. Their court case is groundbreaking, emerging from another modern phenomenon, Twitter.

In her birth chart, Katie has the opposite of Jack: 5 Air planets and 0 Earth planets, relying on intellect and not so grounded in reality.  She has Sun in Gemini sextile Mars in Aries – a combination which makes for a Verbal Warrior.  She says of her youth: “I was going to be the colonel of the forces. I loved the military. I loved the discipline, the rigour, the big shouty men”. Mars opposes Pluto in her chart, showing the utter brutality which she gives full rein to in some of her attacks [please note not everybody with Mars opposite Pluto does so].

Mercury trines Uranus in her chart, so she thinks outside the box and is a staunch advocate for freedom of speech.  Venus is loosely square Jupiter, so she may not care for social mores or toeing the line socially. Venus conjuncts Saturn in Cancer so there may be some bitterness about the past, such as childhood, which she may not even be consciously aware of.  Venus also squares Uranus, which can produce alienation in life, and creates a T-square with Chiron.

She believes in giving out her opinions, but what she does believe in appears troublesome from the perspective of her birthchart: Neptune opposes the Sun, so she may manipulate reality; and Jupiter exactly squares Saturn, which can produce unbalanced judgement.  However, she has “never apologised for anything I’ve said. I find it very disappointing when people apologise. You should have the positive moral attitude to stand by what you say.”

She has had to contend with a serious medical condition in epilepsy, but had brain surgery which apparently eased the condition.

In  her choice to be a pantomime villain, she has hurt a lot of people along the way, many people not in a position to take her to court.  In April 2015, she compared migrants to cockroaches “spreading like the norovirus”.  At the time (which was shortly before the incident with Jack Monroe) Neptune was square her Sun (and square her Neptune) – deception and self-deception, and doing her worst (Neptunewise at least).  She was still under these astrological influences when she offended Jack Monroe.

The court has awarded Jack Monroe £24,000 damages, and Katie Hopkins has been ordered to pay £107,000 towards Monroe’s legal costs in the interim.  In their synastry, Jack has Mercury square Katie’s Nodal Axis.  With her North Node at 0 degrees Sagittarius, it may be that Katie relies on luck, rather than on karmic justice.  It will be interesting to see if she changes her philosophy or world view in the light of this court case result.

Laurie Penny

A brief word about Laurie Penny, without whom this whole narrative would not have evolved.  She is an anti-austerity commentator and columnist for the New Statesman.  In May 2015, as pictures of the vandalism of a war memorial spread online, Penny stated: “I don’t have a problem with this. The bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today.”  This was offensive to both Katie Hopkins and Jack Monroe, yet there is no evidence of any further comment on the matter by Penny, even about the subsequent court case. Presumably, she has always stood by her words.

Laurie Penny is a Libran by Sun sign, with Venus exactly trine Jupiter: nothing there to ruffle any feathers.  She also has a sensible exact sextile between the Sun and Saturn, still nothing to rock the boat or cause such an upset.  But she does have Uranus square her Jupiter, so does have some ability to be controversial, or to light the blue touch paper of a wider incident.  At the time of the incident, her Inner Rebel was quite confident with Uranus trine her natal Uranus.

This incident has all the hallmarks of karma and soul contracts, so it is worth noting that Laurie and Jack have a close synastry of Laurie’s Venus and Jupiter sextile Jack’s Mars (the Activist).  Katie’s Venus however opposes Laurie’s Mars.  And though Laurie Penny is the silent third member of this triangle, her own transits at the time of this resolution of the court case look happy, with Jupiter on her natal Mercury, Chiron sextile her Mars and the North Node trine her natal Neptune.  The mystery is why, karmically, Jack Monroe took the hit – but the triumph is all Jack’s.


Today may not be the easiest of days, with Saturn squaring Mercury, and a Full Moon in Virgo.  The Saturn-Mercury square is likely to slow down communications, and provide impediments if you are writing or travelling.  You may have to be extra rigorous checking grammar or spelling, or attending to political correctness.

After lunch, there is a Full Moon in Virgo at 22 degrees.  The Full Moon in Virgo pins you down on emotional realities. Someone may be splitting hairs over an issue which took place many moons ago, or at least a fortnight ago at the New Moon.  It is a matter of integrity, and it is important that all parties are settled in their own minds and hearts.  So it is worth working through.

Tomorrow Mercury enters Aries, after its sojourn in Pisces.  You can leave woolly thinking behind, and enjoy the benefits of a clearer and more logical mindset.  The time for dreaming is over for the time being, even if that is your preferred mode.  This placing, which lasts until the end of the month, favours accounting and straight talking conversation.  But a reminder: if you are giving it out, you also have to be able to take the other’s truth or criticism.

The middle of the week is a hiatus as far as the aspects are concerned.  For homework, you can practise your advanced maths or direct communication as befits Mercury’s transit through Aries, and hone these skills.

We find ourselves on Friday (17th) with a square between the Sun and Saturn.  There may be an air of victimhood or defeatism, throwing up issues to work on.  Remember that if there is something standing in the way of what you want to achieve, the greater the obstacle the greater the achievement in overcoming it.  Perhaps someone else is having a moan or crying “poor me!” If so, then you may have to go back to first principles with them, for the Victim Archetype is one of the most universal of archetypes to be dealt with.  The direct law of cause and effect is always a good angle to start when looking at this.

Happily, the week concludes on Saturday (18th) with that most amiable of conjunctions: Mercury and Venus  (at 9 degrees Aries).  It will be a good day for socializing, and cafe culture, as well as for overcoming any writer’s block from the beginning of the week.  It’s also the conjunction for negotiation and diplomacy (last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner President Juan Miguel Santos of Columbia has it natally).

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – mentally slow, emotionally exacting
  • Tomorrow – direct thought and speech
  • Friday – hard graft
  • Saturday – flowery