Strictly Come Dancing 2019 – Part 1

And now something completely different…from politics.  Last night, the contestants for this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing were matched up with their professional partners.

Here are my first four contestants.  I struggled to find some that I already knew.  Jamie Laing has already left the contest.  As usual, I will be picking up the theme every few weeks and writing about more of the hopefuls.

Anneka Rice

I have fond memories of the “Challenge Anneka” days, and of her regression by Andrea Foulkes on This Morning as a sailor on a galleon (the programme wasdecades ago; the lifetime was centuries ago), and like many others it seems, I would love her to do well (although the bookies give her low odds).  But it seems she has already suffered some minor injuries, and she says she has never danced.

She has the Sun exactly conjunct Mercury in Libra in her birthchart, with Venus and the North Node also in Libra. She has a degree in Art, a province of that sign.  She would approach everything coolly and mentally.  Her South Node is in Aries, pointing to past lives as a Pioneer.  She has Mercury trine loosely Mars – an energetic mind and body with quick reactions.  Mars closely square Pluto  attracts her to danger and possibly extreme sports; she has written books on skiing and scuba-diving.  In dangerous situations, buoyed up by faith, with Jupiter conjunct closely Neptune in Scorpio, though if not religious it would be faith in herself.  She has immense personal power, with Jupiter sextile Pluto, and a sense of karmic responsibility and awareness with Saturn sextile the North Node.  Saturn trine Uranus also gives her the mind of a structural engineer, she had to oversee building structures during her time on Challenge Anneka, and is very capable.  With North Node trine Chiron she may have trained in healing in past lives.  On the dance floor, she is likely to bring elegance.

At the opening of the series, Anneka has a splendid trine from Jupiter to her Uranus in Leo, which spells success, so she should shine (though it has been said she disappeared from the dance floor at one point in last night’s show).  At the close of the series, Jupiter will be square her natal Chiron, bringing healing issues, Saturn will be trine her Venus (sound, but not exciting; she may have made friends  for life, though).  Neptune will be trine her Neptune (spiritually in tune, if not in harmony with dance), and Neptune will be opposite her Pluto (she may feel spiritually or psychologically overstretched).

She is partnered with: Kevin Clifton

That is a gift to her, for if anyone can get the best from a dance partner it is Kevin, but it is seen as a disadvantage to Kevin by his legions of fans.  Kevin and Stacey Dooley, who won last year, have of course been an item throughout the last year.  I wrote of their synastry last year:

“Their synastry is strong:  His Uranus trines her Jupiter – a sure sign of a successful partnership!  In addition, his Pluto sextiles her Uranus, again a great strength for working together.”

Of his synastry with Anneka, her Mars opposes his Uranus (some antagonism), and her Saturn sextiles his Sun (some steadiness).  Not such a special pairing.

Kevin’s transits at this time are Saturn square his Venus (being partnered with an older woman), the Nodal Axis square his Venus (some karmic unease), but Jupiter on his Mars (has enthusiasm and joe de vivre), Saturn sextile his Jupiter (a new challenge), and North Node trine his Jupiter (a karmic reward at the same time).

For the final, there are no notable transits, so he might not be there…

Mike Bushell

I know Mike Bushell as the have-a-go sports reporter on BBC Breakfast.  He comes from that adventurous sign Sagittarius (traditionally associated with sport), so he won’t be short of enthusiasm on the dance floor.  He shares some similar Archetypes as Anneka Rice, most notably the Dare Devil Archetype!  He has tried out over 350 sports.

In his chart, he has a tense T-square composed of Saturn/Chiron opposite Uranus/Pluto  (anarchic energy) square with his Sun, so he is restless and has to keep moving.  He thrives on the unexpected, and loves to be on the edge.  Mercury conjunct exactly South Node in Sagittarius gives him Adventurer/Explorer and Teacher Archetypes from past lives. Venus trine exactly North Node  could give him some artistry.  According to Wikipedia “He also seems, perhaps rather worryingly, to be a bit of a ‘ladies man’ & appears to be rather flirtatious.”  He has some super aspects to his Mars (energy): a trine to his Uranus, a sextile to his Neptune (which may make for some sensitive footwork in the competition), a trine to Pluto (boundless energy) and a sextile to Chiron.

On 11th April 2018 he apparently fell in a swimming pool while interviewing swimmers in Australia, and the footage went viral.  The transits for this event are rather interesting:

Jupiter sextile his natal Mars – a jolly jape

Jupiter conjunct his natal Neptune – (literally) – A Sagittarian in the Water

Uranus sextile his natal Jupiter – good fun, with a surprise twist

Pluto on his Mars – hot water!

His current transits at the start of the contest are: Mars exactly transiting his Pluto by conjunction (scary for him!), Neptune sextile his natal Venus (artistry on the dance floor), Neptune sextile his Pluto (complex work) and Pluto on his Mercury (mentally demanding).  At the end of the contest, he has Chiron on his Mars (a possible injury – but surely dancing can’t be rougher than his usual fare), the North Node sextile his Saturn (feeling realistic), Chiron sextile his Neptune (mastering the art of dance) and Jupiter sextile his natal Pluto (maybe he wins despite a slight injury!)

He is partnered with: Katya Jones

Katya caused a stir last year when she kissed her celebrity partner Seann Walsh.  She recently split from her husband Neil Jones, who is now appearing as a professional mentor for the first time.  Of her relationship with Seann Walsh, I wrote last year: ” In their relationship, there is a karmic tie with her Sun on his South Node.”

Her synastry with Mike Bushell is strong energetically (her Sun trine his Mars), but confusing in some ways (her Sun opposite his Neptune).  Her transits right now include Pluto trine her Sun (transformative), Mars trine her Saturn (galvanizing), and her Saturn Return (decisive).  She also has  the South Node on her Saturn (requiring a more mature approach), Chiron square her Uranus (some sharp learning curves), Mars trine her Neptune (some inspired footwork), Mars sextile her Pluto (an injection of energy), Saturn sextile her natal Pluto (concentration at a deep level) and last but not least the North Node trine her natal Pluto (this is going to be an important time for her development and evolution).

At the end of the contest Saturn trines her Venus (steady progress), Neptune setiles her natal Uranus (complex undertaking), Pluto is on her Neptune (deep learning), the North Node trines her Neptune (spiritual progress), and Pluto sextile her natal Pluto (self-empowerment). They could reach the final.  I am not sure if they would win.

Catherine Tyldesley

As a Corrie fan, I know Catherine Tyldesley as the character Eva Price on that soap. Catherine has attention to detail, with Sun in Virgo conjunct Mercury.  Mercury is a key planet in her chart, as it also squares the Nodal Axis exactly. Her performing side comes from Venus closely conjunct Mars in Leo, while her Venus/Mars also trine Neptune – she’ll be capable of inspiration on the dance floor, and sensitive footwork.  She also has the Entrepreneur Archetype (Jupiter conjunct exactly Uranus) and can turn her hand to several skills – I have recently seen her cooking on television.  She also sings, and has released an album.

She is now starring in a new sitcom, Scarborough, which aired on Friday evening, so her transits for this new enterprise are virtually the same as for the start of Strictly, which are: Pluto trine her natal Mercury (a transit often found at the beginning of a series for an actor, but also endings).  Pluto was exactly trine her natal Mercury when her final episode of Corrie was screened, which highlights the importance of Mercury in her chart.  At this time, Chiron is also trine her Jupiter/Uranus (she will relish this experience, almost as a healing).  At the end of the Strictly series, Chiron will be trine her Mercury (a healing), and Neptune will be square her Jupiter (she’ll almost be punch-drunk, certainly dizzy).  So she could make the final or semi-final, but may be disappointed at the last hurdle.

She is partnered with: Johannes Radebe

This is Johannes’ first year as a professional dance mentor on Strictly, and so the first time I am looking at his chart.  He has 6 Fire planets, and was born close to a New Moon in Taurus.  His dance credentials include the Sun closely trine Neptune.  He could do well in the dramatic dances such as the Paso Doble, with the Sun opposite closely Pluto.  He has Mercury trine Uranus, so could surprise us with ingenious choreography.  With Mars sextile Jupiter, he has energy combined with enthusiasm.  Venus/Jupiter conjunct his North Node could bring him luck in life (in the right place at the right time with the right people).

In his synastry with Catherine, his Saturn squares her Mercury, which could create a block in their communication.  Her Uranus trines his Venus, and her Neptune trines his Mercury, so she could inspire him.  His Uranus conjoins her Neptune, so there will be some higher telepathy and empathy between them.

At the onset of this contest Uranus is on his Sun – he’s electrified!  Saturn is square his Jupiter, so he is also cautions and controlled.  By the end of the contest, Uranus is on his Pluto, which is a bit uncomfortable.  So his final transits do not add anything to hers in terms of increasing her chances.  I think she’ll have a good contest though.

James Cracknell

I have to confess I did not know who James Cracknell was, but wanted to write up about two women and two men for this initial blog (Mike Bushell was the only bloke I had heard of).  It seems that he is a record-holding British athlete.

So, getting to know him through his birth chart:  He is a Sun Sign Taurus, with Moon in either Aquarius or Capricorn.  He has 5 (half) his planets in Air like Anneka, so would also .  tend to approach everything coolly and mentally.  He has 0 Water planets, though he is a rowing champion.  Jupiter trines his Sun, which can denote sporting interests and prowess.  Uranus opposes his Mercury, so he is not afraid of controversy, and Chiron conjoins Mercury which gives him problem-solving abilities.  Like Anneka, he has Mars square Pluto, tremendous energy and some attraction to extreme sports.  He is also a risk-taker by virtue of his square between Jupiter and Uranus.  Pluto trines his North Node, so he has a strong, powerful and dramatic karma.

In the ups and downs of his biography, 2006 was notable for a burglary in which he lost his Olympic medals (but they were retrieved).  His transits included Pluto (burglary) opposite his natal Venus (ruling planet, and possessions).  The following month he triumphed in the London Marathon, assisted by Jupiter opposite his natal Sun.

On 20th July 2010, he suffered a serious accident while cycling in Arizona, attributing his survival to having worn a cycling helmet.  Saturn was on his Pluto, and Uranus was opposite his Pluto (both serious transits) but karma was on his side in the shape of Saturn trine his North Node and Uranus sextile his North Node.  He subsequently campaigned for the wearing of cycling helmets.

At the start of the contest, he has Jupiter sextile his natal Uranus, so he could get off to a flying start!  Jupiter also trines his natal Chiron, so he will find it healing and enriching.  But Saturn will also be square his Chiron, so it might be too much for him to cope with on a physical level (though he is not someone to give up easily).  By the end, Neptune squares his Neptune, so he might feel a bit confused or at sea with the whole thing, or have other fish to fry.

He is partnered with: Luba Mushtuk

It is Luba’s first year in the professional mentor role, and all we know of her age is that she is 29 (no birth date or time).  This puts her roughly at her first Saturn Return, so the experience is an initiation for her.

Motsi Mabuse

Motsi is the new judge to replace Darcey Bussell, and also happens to be the sister of professional dancer Oti Mabuse.  Motsi is an Aries (with half her planets in the Fire signs), and Oti is a Leo, so both fiery.  She is a real leader, with 8 of her 10 planets in Cardinal signs.  Her dance talent is shown by Sun/Venus trine Neptune in her natal chart (note that Johannes Radebe also has Sun trine Neptune). She can be outspoken (Mercury trine Uranus), and has a teaching karmic mission (Mercury closely trine her North Node).  She also has the Entrepreneur Archetype (Jupiter sextile Uranus).

In her astrological relationship with her sister, she has Chiron square exactly Oti’s Sun, which is more tricky for Oti than for Motsi.  Their Venuses are in square relationship to each other, so they express their artistry in contrasting styles.  Oti’s Saturn squares Motsi’s Mars, so there are ways in which Oti is able to create boundaries with her sister.  Oti’s Uranus also squares Motsi’s Mercury, so there is a telepathy there, but also mental irritation.  It would have been interesting to see how they would relate in this professional relationship, but Oti’s partner Jamie Leigh has pulled out of the contest through injury.

I will review four more contestants in a few weeks’ time.

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe died this week.  In the absence of an astrological obituary, if you would like to read either of my blogs about him, you will find them in the following dates under the chronological folders:

4th August 2013, and

19th November 2017

Aspects for the week beginning 8 September 2019

As I will be away next Sunday, you have a double bill today, so can plan ahead astrologically for the next two weeks.  This week we have another chock-full set of aspects.  So that you don’t get confused which week you are reading, I have put the dates in bold (a friend of mine watched the whole of last week’s Andrew Marr show on catch up this morning by accident instead of this morning’s show!  You know who you are…).

Today (Sunday 8th September) Jupiter squares the Sun, so what you do today may be imbued with extra enthusiasm and gusto, vim and vigour.  It’s also a good day to find the humour in life.  However, in politics, as in life, there could be some bending of the rules.

We also have the Sun sextile the North Node, which favours right action on a karmic level.  It is a good day to look at your life path as a whole, your creativity and self-expression and where you would like it to go.

Mercury trines Pluto tomorrow (Monday 9th September) which brings a profound mindset.  It begins another earnest week in Parliament – could proceedings top the shenanigans of last week?  Certainly we have another full round of aspects, if that had anything to do with it.  It is time to dig deep with your mental processes in order to find solutions.  Conversations could be life changing: the right word at the right time, striking home in the right place.

And there’s more: Mars trines Saturn, which means hard work can pay off.  Think through what you want to achieve, and set about steadily allowing it to unfold, with some concrete or physical input or ignition on your part.

Tuesday, 10th September brings an opposition between Neptune and the Sun, so not as practical as Monday, and with fogginess obscuring your aims.  Try to apply yourself to the basics and look at the detail (though that may seem impossible).  As someone reminded me last week, which had two Neptune oppositions “there’s many a slip between cup and lip”, so that is worth bearing in mind.

Straightforward karma is the theme of Wednesday 11th September, with a sextile between Mars and the North Node.  This could favour those born under Aries, and Warriors.  They will be able to get their message across directly and actively.  For the more timorous amongst us, we may need to embolden ourselves.

This is followed by a square between Mars and Jupiter on Thursday 12th September, a dare devil aspect which might be needed to push you into the gym, onto the dance floor, or a fitness regime.  Spiritually, too, it is very adventurous.  Results are not guaranteed, however!  In parliamentary proceedings, we may hear of fiery exchanges, produced by the fire of Mars and the fire of Jupiter set against each other!

The thought of Friday 13th September may set some people’s teeth or nerves on edge, but I can reassure you that there is that most congenial and mild-mannered of  aspects Mercury conjunct Venus on that day.  This is a splendid literary and cultural aspect.  If you watched Mary Beard’s programme “Front Row Late” last Friday night, you’ll be in the groove.  They discussed the biography genre (my main reading since the early 1970s) and my eyes were opened to issues which had never occurred to me.  Then they discussed self-portraits in the artistic world, which was equally interesting, introducing an intriguing Kashmiri artist.  So I will be watching again next Friday night to see if the standard is maintained.  Whether you are hosting or attending a cultural event, or actively honing your craft, it should be a satisfying day.

On the same day, Pluto trines the Sun, which is constructive, though not as mild-mannered as Venus conjunct Mercury.  It gets to the heart of the matter, and transforms from that centre.  Whereas Venus/Mercury is content with more superficial pleasures, Pluto demands more meaning and movement in affairs.  So on one level you may be content with something on Friday, then realize that you can go to a whole new level, or depth.  The two projects or issues may be entirely separate, or consist of a process.

This in turn may churn up emotions as we go towards the Full Moon in Pisces on Saturday 14th September, often a time of emotional tension.  Pisces is one of the most sensitive and emotional Full Moons of the year, so treat yourself with tender loving care and you can then treat others with that sensitivity.  Issues which may come up may be the plastic in the sea, or the fishing industry.  The Pisces Full Moon reminds us that we are all One.

As if to amplify those issues, Neptune opposes Mars the same morning (Neptune ruling the sea and fishing, and Mars causing some antagonism).  Other themes from this aspect may be vision, and illusion.  If you are confused about the way ahead, your best option is literally to rest and reflect.

Mercury then goes into Libra, after leaving Virgo.  You can relax on the small print and enjoy the mental engagement with art and music, or arguing points of law.  You may be open to new relationships as you go about your business or social life.

At lunchtime, Venus also enters Libra, having travelled with Mercury since they teamed up at the literary festival the day before.  After engaging the mind with cultural activities on Saturday morning, you can enjoy them on a feeling level when Venus enters her own sign of Libra, where she is very, very comfortable.  If you have design skills in art or music, they could be heightened now, and in the near future.

The week (week beginning 8th September) in bullet points:

  • Today (Sunday 8th) – laughter and karma
  • Tomorrow (Monday 9th) – profound mindset and productivity
  • Tuesday (10th) – foggy
  • Wednesday (11th) – straightforward karma
  • Thursday (12th) – adventurous
  • Friday (13th) – lucky for some
  • Saturday (14th) – emotional tension, a tug at the heartstrings, cultural enjoyment

Aspects for the week beginning 15 September 2019

Week two of my fortnight blog…with fewer aspects for this week.

The aspects start on Wednesday 18th September, with the astrological event of the day (not an aspect as such) being Saturn Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  This may be experienced as a relief to some, especially for Capricornians, and may release some of their chains or burdens.  Climbing up that mountain may seem slightly easier. Depending on where this turnaround falls in your chart (13 degrees Capricorn), your efforts, struggles and hard work in that area may start to bear fruit, progress, and just get easier.

A dynamic day is on the cards for Thursday 19th September, when Mars trines with Pluto.  There may be some upheaval, as when you are decluttering in earnest, but you should have the energy to start afresh once you have cleared some old ground.  This aspect speaks of self-empowerment, but you have to remember that everyone also has this force!

Mars trine Pluto may be a very powerful aspect, but the most important aspect of the week belongs to Saturday 21st September: It’s Jupiter square Neptune.  It is the third manifestation of this aspect, which occurred in January and June this year.  So it is a chance to sort out fantasy and illusion, from bluff and exaggeration and overblown ideals: a theme we have been working on all year.  You could say that the rise of Boris Johnson this year has been an exercise in this evaluation, with many accusing him of lies, bluster and buffoonery.  He has promised much, and is now in a position to try and prove whether there was substance to this self-confidence.  It is certainly an important stage in his reckoning.

In your own life, perhaps there is a situation which has got out of hand.  Neptune has been in its own sign of Pisces, stirring the waters, while Jupiter has been in its own sign of Sagittarius, stoking the fires.  Who will win?  Can both win?  Can the truth be seen among the overblown emotion and expectation of this combination, or stand off?  It is time to get your philosophy of life clear (Jupiter), and also see clearly what you put your faith in (Neptune).  We’ve been practising all year, and we have to settle some issues now, or blend ideas, perhaps come to some compromises, e.g. over Brexit.  It may all seem so complex and overwhelming at times, but we have to come to some sort of conclusion, arrangement or peace of mind now, as a result of this square we have been dealing with for so long.

My next blog will appear on Sunday, 22nd September.

The week (week beginning 15th September) in bullet points:

  • Wednesday (18th) – some relief
  • Thursday (19th) – dynamism
  • Saturday (21st) – the culmination of some overblown circumstances