Strictly Come Dancing 2017

We so very recently said goodbye to the iconic Bruce Forsyth (for his obituary read Aspects for the week beginning 20 August 2017), the host for many years of Strictly Come Dancing.  The programme returned to our screens last night, with a special tribute to him.  I found the programme an enjoyable start to the new season, and thought the group dance looked very promising.  As in previous years, I will look at 4 contestants at a time, starting this week and following up in a few weeks’ time, and hope to get through them all by Christmas!  But first, a look at the new Head Judge…

Shirley Ballas

Shirley Ballas (I keep wanting to type Bassey) is the new Head Judge on Strictly Come Dancing, replacing the very popular Len Goodman, who seems to have sidestepped onto a quiz show. She has the Sun in Virgo, a perfectionistic and  a good sign for a critic, with an exacting Mercury/Venus square to Saturn.  This Sun is entangled in a T-square with Mars and Jupiter, so she is more fiery than the average Virgo, and has plenty of enthusiasm.  Her Moon is in Leo, the showbiz performance sign.  She has Saturn trine her North Node (fitting for a Head Judge) and Jupiter trine Uranus (The Entrepreneur Archetype).  She promises to be fun, firm, feisty and fair in that role.  Her chart ingredients for this are:

Fun (Jupiter in Sagittarius), firm (Saturn in Capricorn), feisty (Mars opposite Jupiter) and fair (Mercury and Venus in Libra)

When she was young, she actually trained with Len Goodman, so knows him well.  Her reputation is high in the world of Latin dancing, which fits well with her chart: Mars opposite Jupiter could be the signature for a Latin dancer.  Len was always strict on ballroom, so she may have a different emphasis.  Her new appointment was announced on 9th May 2017, when Uranus was exactly trine her Jupiter, activating her entrepreneurial natal Jupiter-Uranus trine.  Then yesterday on her debut on Strictly Come Dancing, Jupiter was exactly sextile her natal Uranus, again activating her trine of Opportunity, very much a theme of this year for her.  She also has a scintillating sextile of Uranus to her natal Mars at the moment, bringing on the glitter and sparkles to her life in a big way.

Debbie McGee

“The lovely Debbie McGee” as her late husband Paul Daniels used to introduce her in their double magic act, is a Scorpio, born on Halloween, and she is aiming to at least make the Halloween show this year.  She does have a stunning birth chart for magic and dancing (which are ruled by the same planet, Neptune), as she has an amazing quadruple conjunction (a satellitium) in Scorpio, composed of Venus-Neptune exact (itself an indicator of dancing prowess) plus the Sun and Jupiter.  Although Scorpio is a deep thinking sign, the Sun and Jupiter add a great deal of lightness or bubbliness to her make up.  Neptune’s prominence may bestow great gracefulness.  She also has Mercury in Scorpio, giving her a very Scorpionic chart, and her Sun/Venus/Neptune are all sextile Scorpio’s ruling planet Pluto. But there is another spot of lightness in her chart, in that her Moon is in Gemini.  She is very emotional, with half (5) of her planets in Water signs.  She is also very strong willed, with 7 of her 10 planets in the Fixed Signs.  She may be slightly accident or incident prone, with Mars opposite her Mercury and Mars square her Pluto.

On her debut yesterday (9/9/17) the Nodal Axis was square her Mercury,  and her North Node was trine her Saturn, so she will find it testing but meant to be (it may change her life).  At the end of this season of Strictly Mars will be on her Venus/Neptune, and Neptune will be trine her Jupiter.  She should do well.

Last night, she was paired with Giovanni Pernice, and joked that she would teach him some humour, while he would teach the dancing.  Interestingly, this may be mirrored in her Jupiter (humour) square his Neptune (dance) in their synastry.  She also has Uranus sextile his Venus, so could surprise him a great deal (and I think she alluded to that too).  Her Neptune sextiles his Jupiter, which helps their attunement (the Jupiter-Neptune square could be more dissonant).  Her Pluto squaring his Uranus could even shock him.  On the debut last night, Giovanni had Neptune opposite his Sun (he may be confused), Uranus trine his Venus, reinforcing the surprise nature of the new match, Mars square his Mars (he may find control difficult), but Neptune sweetly sextile his Neptune (the foundation of his confidence is firmly in dance).  When Strictly ends, Pluto will be trine his Mercury (good mental functioning) but conjunct his Saturn (a little dispiriting), but underneath it all he will still have the serenity of Neptune sextile his Neptune.

Richard Coles

The media have been whinging that this year’s batch are dull.  Well you can’t accuse the Reverend Richard Coles of being dull!  Richard has the energy from his Aries Sun Sign, plus the dance potential of Pisces (where he has Jupiter/Chiron and Mars/Mercury: “I have extensive dance experience from Ibiza in 1989”, he is quoted as saying!  He first came to prominence in the 1980s in the band known as the “Communards”, then became a Church of England priest.  What a combination!  He is a regular on our screens in various capacities, such as talk shows, and has a marked sense of humour and wit.  His Mercury is conjunct Mars, so he could be quite sprightly, as well as a master of the one liner in response to criticism from Craig Revel Horwood.  Mars trine closely his Neptune is very useful in co-ordinating dance moves, marrying the physical with the spiritual inspiration.

At yesterday’s debut, Pluto was sextile his Mercury, so he will derive plenty of mental stimulation and deep insights through the process.  Neptune, the astrological god of dance, is trine his natal Neptune, so he will be in the groove.  At Christmas, Neptune will be on his Mars, a little overwelming, but Saturn sextile his Jupiter, helping to steady him.  I don’t see him winning, but he’ll be deeply moved by the experience.

Richard was paired with Dianne Buswell last night.  We do not have a birth date for her, but her age is 28 which is around the time of the first Saturn Return, which she probably has in Sagittarius.  She may find her initiation into the responsibilities of Strictly quite testing, but I am sure will laugh a lot as Richard’s partner.

Ruth Langsford

Ruth Langsford, co-presenter of this morning with her husband Eamonn Holmes, and one of the anchors of Loose Women, comes from the dance sign of Pisces, and parents who were good dancers: “My dad is no longer with us, but I’m sure he will be looking down.  He might have even passed on some of his dancing moves.”  That seems promising.  She is another contestant with a strong Water element like Richard Coles.  So she has Venus Mercury and the Sun spread out in Pisces, and water planets Moon and Neptune in water sign Scorpio in harmonious relationship with her Pisces planets.  She has the Sun conjunct her South Node in Pisces, so may have known power in past lives, but in this life is prepared to use her power in a more subtle way.  Jupiter trine Pluto also hints at power, but is constructive in its use.  Like Richard Coles, she has Mercury trine Neptune, which gives the ability to receive inspiration through the mind.  She’s very sociable, with Venus exactly conjunct Jupiter, and will get along well with her fellow celebs in the class of 2017.

On her dance floor debut, Chiron is on her Sun (very much a healing crisis and learning), Mars trine her natal Jupiter (plenty of energy and enthusiasm), but Pluto is on her Saturn (she is finding some element of the experience very challenging).  This is a real learning curve for Ruth.  Perhaps she is feeling overstretched.  Jupiter trines her Mercury at the end of the tournament, which spells happiness or relief; the South Node sits on her Mars (the adrenaline will be pumping) and also on her Uranus (she may have surprised herself, or sustained a minor injury).  But Mars will also sextile her Pluto, so she will be energized by that.  Not particularly winning transits, but she will be wholeheartedly throwing herself into the project and enjoying the experience.

Ruth was paired with Anton du Beke last night, who she said was her hoped for choice (they all say that!).  Anton of course is a popular veteran of the programme, and he was tipped as possible Head Judge, but has never won the tournament.  In his personal life, he recently had twins!  Pluto was exactly sextile his Neptune at the time, deepening his experience of life.  Anton and Ruth have their Suns exactly trine in Water (hers in Pisces and his in Cancer) so it is a divine match in some ways, but not necessarily on the dance floor.  Her Chiron trines and brings healing to his Venus, but her Saturn opposes, inhibits and blocks his Jupiter (humour and philosophy) – perhaps he will think too much about what she thinks before he speaks.  He’ll be quite mindful around her.  But it will be a firm friendship, with her Saturn also trine his Uranus and Pluto, giving him strength and helping to shape his character further.  On the debut last night, Chiron was trine Anton’s Sun, reinforcing the healing message of this pairing, Uranus sextile his Venus (so he is almost as taken by surprise as Giovanni Pernice by the new pairing and its effect on his life).  Chiron squares his Venus, so this relationship is going to change him (she’s a strong woman, Ruth!).  Pluto opposes his Jupiter (more change), Pluto trines his Uranus (yet more change), and finally Pluto trines his Pluto (earth shattering change but empoweringly so).  By the end of the year expect to see a new Anton du Beke!  So what are his prospects at the end of the tournament?  Saturn squares his Saturn, a very disappointing result.  Taken together with Ruth’s final transits, it does not look as though they will go the whole way.

Simon Rimmer

Simon Rimmer, chef and co-host of Sunday Brunch, is born under the suitably foodie sign of Taurus.  Natally, he has an exact opposition between his Sun and Neptune, so he may be intrigued by the dancing world and glamour.  This opposition makes a T-square with Mars, and Mars itself opposes Saturn, so he may sometimes make some awkward gestures, which the picky new Head Judge may correct him on.  But Venus conjunct Jupiter means he is a sociable chap, and should be popular with his fellow contestants.  Sun trine Pluto in his chart gives him great strength and endurance, so he’ll have the stamina for the dance floor.  Sun sextile exactly Chiron gives him healing abilities he may or may not be aware of.  This is reinforced by Neptune exactly trine his Chiron, a gift for spiritual healing. He has Mercury square exactly Uranus, so he is not afraid to be controversial, and may revel in some outlandish costumes.

At the debut of the series, Jupiter squares his Nodal Axis, so he will throw himself into the project enthusiastically, and may forge lifelong friends during the process.  At the end of the series Jupiter will exactly oppose his Sun and conjunct his natal Neptune.  There may be some mystery in his life around that time.  Jupiter will also be trine his Chiron, and healing will also be important in his life.  Uranus will be squaring his Nodal Axis, and he’ll feel that it has been a life changing experience, plus it may also bring out the Inner Rebel, so he may have a vision of a new project.  This experience is going to make him dizzy!

Simon was partnered with Karen Clifton.  I wrote about Karen in 2015: ” 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 is married to another professional, Kevin Clifton.”  Her Mercury trines his Pluto, so there may be some thoughtful and deep mental interaction between them.  His Neptune trines her Venus, so they are well matched from the point of view of dance empathy and attunement.  His Chiron conjuncts her Venus, so there is a strong emotional tie, too.  For last night’s denouement Chiron was square her Neptune, so that may have thrown her into confusion at some level.  At the end of the tournament, Saturn is trine her Sun, so she will feel she has achieved something (she was unlucky last year as her partner Will Young pulled out soon after the start of the contest).  Jupiter will be trine her Venus, so she will end on a high in some respects, but then Pluto will be square her Saturn so there will also be something deflating her mood at the same time.  Uranus will also be opposing he Pluto, so there will be a great deal of change in the air for her.  It is possible that the pair may get to the final and be pipped to the post by the winners.  At any rate, she is likely to be experiencing extremes of emotion at that time.

Next instalment in two or three weeks’ time!


Early this morning, while you were hopefully sleeping, Mercury entered Virgo for the second time this year, as it is re-establishing its path after the three weeks of retrograde motion.  Mentally, we are preparing to knuckle down again to our working lives and schedules, from enjoying summer activities.  We have to earn a crust, and our work and service needs to be taken seriously in the scheme of our lives.  Today you may find yourself attending to some out of hours work, possibly unpaid!  If your work is your chosen work, that is all to the good.  If you feel resentment, it may be time to consider a change in your jobbing habits.

Tuesday (11th) brings a jolly sextile between Jupiter and the North Node.  If you feel it’s time your ship came in karmically, you could indeed reap some rewards.  Unless you have really stretched  the rules of the Universe, you should experience the positive end of karma.  There may even be some good news on the international scene (for a change).

Wednesday (12th) is about holding steady, for Venus trines Saturn.  In relationships especially, there will be displays of loyalty and commitment.  Friendships will be supportive.  Chats over coffee may be sober, but peaceful.

Thursday (14th) may be a more difficult day, with the Sun square Saturn.  Recent news may have been too sobering, and positive thinking may appear as a hill to climb.  When you have connected with the real reasons for your feelings, the hard slog will become a slow jog, and you’ll get there in the end.  “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it” said Moliere.

Fortunately, there is a more subtle influence that day which may assist you, and that is Venus conjunct the North Node.  The action of this conjunction may be summed up as “Perfect love casteth out fear” (Bible: 1 John 4:18), and you may come to re-experience the truth of this.  For example, you may feel a situation is lost, then someone may remind you of the power of love.  With this conjunction occurring in Leo, then it may even be time for some entertainment or distraction.

A glorious sextile between Venus and Jupiter warms us on Friday (15th), a day of social interaction, humour and fun, generally gathering rosebuds.  The Universe has ways to make you enjoy life today!  A good day for stag dos and hen nights!

Saturday (16th) is not quite so straightforward, but it will be fast-moving with Mercury conjunct Mars.  As you recall, this aspect last occurred on Sunday 3rd September while Mercury was still retrograde.  With this aspect, you can be riding along your path zippily and suddenly be prey to minor cuts and bruises, which then provide distractions or delays.  With this aspect too, words will fly rapidly back and forth, occasionally wounding through bluntness or the harsh angle of truth.  However, the results from this aspect may be as superficial or short lived as the nature of their wounding.  Hopefully the irritation may be minor.  If you are skilful, however, you can accomplish a great deal: it is a question of being mindful at the same time as being brisk.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – conscientious
  • Tuesday – upbeat
  • Wednesday – holding steady
  • Thursday – fear and love
  • Friday – glorious
  • Saturday – brisk and risk