Strictly Come Dancing 2018 – Part 2

No apologies for another Strictly blog so hard on the heels of the last one!  Last night’s first display of dance was a feast of talent, with some outstanding performances which I think surprised the judges.

Here are the next four contestants under the astrological spotlight:

Alexandra Burke

In a shimmering gold, green and white dress, Alexandra Burke made her dancing debut last night to the song “A Natural Woman”, and scored well for her waltz in the first round.  Craig said she had a feel for the music, Darcy praised her expression, Shirley said she could be a front runner, and Bruno highlighted her natural artistry.  She’s a perfectionistic Sun in virgo squaring Jupiter, so can be up for anything.  Her Venus trines Pluto, which injects feeling into her singing, and with the North Node in Pisces (the sign of dance) forms a Grand Trine in Water.  With Saturn closely conjunct Uranus (personal earthquakes) she had a difficult childhood.  Her parents split up when she was four, and her mother Melissa Bell (from the band Soul to Soul) toured a lot and Alexandra had to look after her younger brother.  She tried to make her mark in the 2005 series of X Factor, but Louis Walsh halted her advance saying she was too young.  She worked hard and in 2008 re-entered the competition and won, memorably singing Hallelujah in the finale.  So she has the musicality and determination to succeed in Strictly.  She was very emotional, and has just lost her mother (28th August).  At the moment she has Jupiter sextile her Saturn/Uranus, keeping her buoyant in some ways, but at the same time she has the sadness of Saturn square her Mercury.  She has Saturn square Mercury natally, so is approaching her Saturn Return.  However, she also has Uranus trine her Uranus, which is the ability to surprise and pull the rabbit out of the hat when needed.  Pluto also opposes her Venus, which reminds us of her recent loss.  So, emotions pulled in different directions at the moment, but that may express well in dance.  At the end of the contest Mars will be trine her Chiron, lending energy and healing.  Jupiter will be trine her North Node (karma may decide she deserves the crown).

She was paired with Gorka Marquez, who was new to the contest last year.  I wrote: ” With the Sun exactly trine his Neptune, he is born to dance.  The Moon square Mars means he could be quick to temper.  But Mercury trine exactly Saturn at the same time gives him good concentration – he could be a hard taskmaster”.  In their synastry, his Venus trines Alexandra’s Saturn/Uranus, so he will be able to bring out her discipline and inventiveness.  His Mars squares her Sun, so there could be a few sparks between them!  His Uranus opposes her Chiron, which could lead to some awkwardness between them.  His Neptune squares her Mars, so she will feel extra sensitive and emotional around him.  Finally, his Pluto trines her North Node, so the relationship, though not easy, could be transformative for both of them.  At this point in time, Mars is on his Sun, which has his adrenaline working overtime.  Neptune opposes his Sun, so he has some confusion.  Jupiter sextiles his Venus, heightening his artistry.  Mars sextiles his Neptune, energizing his dance, and Neptune sextiles his Neptune so he is spiritually centred, despite Neptune’s opposition to his Sun.  At the end of the competition Neptune is exactly opposite his Sun, to the day.  Normally, one might look upon that as difficult, but because he is a dancer, and because Alexandra has a trine to her North Node (karma) from Jupiter (luck), it could be a defining moment for him.

Davood Ghadami

Rather self-indulgently, I am going to focus on soap stars for the rest of the blog.  Iranian Davood Ghadami, otherwise known as Kush from Eastenders, looks every inch the part of a romantic dance partner, and his debut was promising.  He’s a performing Leo, and seems to know exactly what is required.  His cha cha cha went down well with the judges, and scored well.  Craig did criticize a lack of hip action, but Darcy said he had the attack and the energy required, while Shirley praised his partnering skills, and Bruno declared him a sex bomb.  The attack and the energy come from an exact conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in sexy Scorpio, emphasized by a loose conjunction of Mars and Pluto.  At this point in time, Uranus is trine his natal Mercury, making him mentally on the ball and capable of innovation.  Pluto is square to Saturn, which can be a depressing transit if it were not for the fact that he has these two planets conjunct in his natal chart, so he may be used to that serious vibe.  At the end of the tournament, Jupiter squares his Sun so he’ll be feeling upbeat, but that may be the general jollity of the season and the Strictly atmosphere.  The North Node will be sextile his natal Saturn, so he will feel he’s done a good job.  Uranus will be trine his Neptune, which will enhance his dance skills with a touch of genius, but Chiron will square his Neptune (he may overdo it physically) and Uranus opposes his Pluto, so he may not make the final.

He is paired with Nadiya Bychkova, who, like Dianne Buswell (paired with Richard Coles, who dazzled last night), another newbie, is also aged 28, therefore undergoing her Saturn Return, probably in Sagittarius. No birth date is available for her.

Joe McFadden

Now to my favourite programme Holby City, and we have two stars from Holby this series, not forgetting that Tom Chambers from Holby won the series in 2008 (the year Alexandra Burke won X Factor!)  Joe plays Scottish doctor Raf di Lucca in Holby, but he threw himself into the Jive in the first round on the Strictly dance floor last night, and inspired  a score of 8 from one of the Judges.  His character in Holby is described as “A dedicated, driven and passionate doctor” and Joe describes himself as “over-enthusiastic”.  But what does his birthchart tell us?  He has an exact conjunction of the Sun and Mercury in Libra, so he is musical and eager to please, with an intelligent way of going about things.  The extra enthusiasm, and the smile which won praise, may be a product of his Moon in Sagittarius and Jupiter opposite the Sun.  He does have some Scorpio intensity, with Pluto loosely conjunct his Sun/Mercury, and his North Node in Scorpio.  Mars trine his Uranus gives his energy an electrical quality.  Jupiter conjunct Chiron in Aries gives an infectious positivity which can be healing for those around him.  At this moment in time, Uranus is sextile his Mars, so he’s on fire!  But Chiron is also square his Mars, so he needs to take care to avoid burnout.  At the end of the series, there is a distinct lack of transits, so despite his brilliant start, circumstances may see him out of the competition before the final.

He is paired with Katya Jones, who was responsible for the sensational dance act of last year together with Ed Balls, so without looking at her chart I can say she has tremendous ingenuity and flair!  She is a solid dependable Taurean, with the nimbleness of a few planets sprinkled in Gemini.  She has a very positive mindset from Mercury conjunct Jupiter, which together with Joe’s positivity can move mountains.  She seems to manage very well a complex opposition in her chart of Mars/Chiron to Uranus/Neptune/Saturn – her experience of life may have endowed her with problem-solving skills.  She also has healing qualities, with Chiron trine her North Node.  In their relationship, there is a karmic tie with her Sun on his South Node.  His Saturn sextiles her Venus, which is similar to an interaspect between Alexandra and Gorka, but in this case Katya can bring out Joe’s discipline.  At the start of the competition, Katya has the Nodal Axis square her Sun, an important but possibly challenging time for her.  Mars squares her Jupiter, again a little challenging energetically, but judging by their performance last night not very troublesome.  Ditto Neptune square her Jupiter, some spiritual confusion, which may be unrelated to what is happening on the dance floor.  Mars trines her Neptune, which is encouraging, and Neptune sextiles her Neptune (she is spiritually centred, like Gorka).  At the end of the competition, she still has Neptune squaring her Jupiter, but Jupiter sextiles her Saturn (an uplifting and steadying factor), Mars sextile her Uranus (electrifying moments), Neptune still sextile her Neptune, but the added bonus of Jupiter conjunct Pluto, so if the planets don’t come forward for Joe maybe her planets might pull them both through.

Chizzy Akudolu

Now to one of my favourite Holby characters of all time, Chizzy Akudolu, aka Mo from Holby City, a complex and contrary doctor.  She has currently left the programme, but I am not sure whether or not they have left the door open for a return some time in the future.  I miss her already.  It’s lovely to find that she is really effervescent in real life, and determined to be life and soul of the party.  I love her smile, and Bruno last night praised her personality and sparkle.  Craig’s criticism was that she was “all disco” but conceded she has rhythm and a feel for music.  Darcy pointed out balance and timing issues, and Shirley (who as new Head Judge was positive throughout for her debut) said she had great body rhythm.  Chizzy’s partner Pasha said she is focussed on detail in rehearsal.  She had the presence of mind to include John Michie in our thoughts last night, a Holby actor who has just lost his daughter.  Chizzy is another Libran who is eager to please, with good musicality.  Her Mercury is exactly opposite her Mars, so she could be quite fiery in speech, and make occasional mistakes on the dance floor, though Mercury trine closely Saturn gives her some discipline.  Venus loosely conjunct Neptune may give her touches of inspiration.  Mars square Jupiter is over the top enthusiasm!  Again this is tempered by Mars sextile Saturn.  Jupiter sextiles Neptune in her chart, so she can be quite lyrical on and off stage.  She has Saturn exactly square Pluto, which can be responsible for a depressive streak, which is not visible on Strictly but which her Holby persona occasionally hints at.  Saturn also conjuncts her South Node, so she may sometimes rail at the unfairness of life, or at least understand suffering.  Pluto also presents challenges to her in life with a square to her Nodal Axis. At the beginning of the tournament, Chiron is trine her Venus, which helps her physical stability, and North Node sextiles her Uranus, which helps bring out her talent and innovation, a karmic blessing.  At the end of the tournament, Mars trines her Saturn, so she is not likely to win, but will be positive nevertheless.

She was delighted to be paired up with the lovely Pasha Kovalev, of whom I wrote in 2015: “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.”  Their synastry shows a personal warmth with her Venus sextile his Sun, good communication with her Venus sextile his Mercury, plus loyalty and commitment with her Saturn trine his Venus.  What are Pasha’s prospects throughout the tournament?  At the beginning, the current Jupiter/Uranus opposition will square his Mercury, so his mind will be working overtime.  He may find it hard to sleep!  Chiron sextile his Mercury may help to balance this, but Chiron opposes his Saturn bringing some difficult issues in his life, not necessarily related to dance (possibly connected with health).  Saturn reinforces the latter transit as it sits on his Neptune, but the North Node trines his Neptune and sextiles his Pluto so there is some karmic support in with the challenges.  Saturn also sextiles his Pluto, so he will probably find the season tough but rewarding.  At the end of the tournament, Jupiter sextiles his Mercury, so he will feel easier in his mind, Chiron will be trine his Uranus, so he will also feel easier in his body.  But these do not look like winning transits, so maybe the pair will go out half way through the tournament.

I will be back with another Strictly blog in a few weeks’ time!


I have to confess there is not a friendly aspect in sight this week, and I don’t think you’ll find an Astrologer who will tell you otherwise!  Mars opposes Neptune this evening, so a sense of tiredness may overcome you after the weekend revelries.  You might not know what to do with yourself, and your fate may be that of a couch potato.  If you are confused about the way ahead, your best option is literally to rest and reflect.  Also, conserve your energies for the challenges of the week, as there may be some twists and turns to your best laid plans.  The planets are just plain awkward.  They may be trying to bamboozle you into making changes.  Be adaptable.

Tomorrow, Mercury squares Saturn, and the start of the working week may be beset with obstacles, such as the wrong trains on the wrong lines.  You may find communications obscure and difficult to deal with, or minor errors in written work which need correcting.  You may experience delays and frustrations, which if you have meditated beforehand may be less irksome.  I would advise regular meditations throughout the week, at least at the start of each morning.

Wednesday (27th) finds Chiron opposing Mercury, and that is related to health challenges and check ups.  This may bring up some ingenuity in problem-solving, too.  Again, don’t expect a smooth ride, and keep your eyes and ears open for information which may be helpful or even crucial to your understanding of today’s vibe.

The most important aspect this week, Jupiter opposite Uranus, occurs in the early hours of Thursday (28th).  This occurred last Boxing Day, and again in March.  It brings out the element of the unexpected (even more than the rest of the week!) and for some the prankster could also emerge.  Something one person finds funny may not necessarily amuse another.  Try to harness the power of the unexpected by thinking of various outcomes in advance and deciding how you would deal with them all.  This is not a superficial aspect, so treat it with respect (d’you hear that, Kim and Donald?).

The evening brings what should be the highlight of the week: Pluto Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  But the benefits of this turnaround, psychological clarification, may take a while to find expression, while Pluto makes that turn.  However, if you are sensitive to planetary turnarounds, or if you are a Pluto-ruled Scorpio, you may register it early.

Saturday (30th) in the early hours, or late on Friday, brings social confusion with Venus opposite Neptune.  Not a good time to get sozzled and oblivious.  You may mistake social cues, and misunderstandings may occur.  Both parties could be over-sensitive. You may sense a slight paranoia, or be treading on eggshells. Strictly Come Dancers could be very nervous about their forthcoming performances.  But if you, and they, have a well-developed Neptune, inspiration could shine through.

Continuing in the early hours of Saturday, Mercury enters Libra, and the mental outlook, which has been very exacting under Virgo, establishing Autumn schedules, starts to relax and become more open to artistic and musical creativity.  Mercury stays in this sign until 17th October, so you can take advantage of this influence if you are working in the Arts or have a creative project in mind.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Ennui
  • Tomorrow – Frustration
  • Wednesday – Health challenges
  • Thursday – the Element of the Unexpected; some Psychological progress
  • Saturday – Confusing Social Signals; Green Light for the Arts