Jonathan Van-Tam

Jonathan Van-Tam has this week become more than just someone who flanks Boris at a covid briefing.  He has been recognized as an expert on more than just coronavirus.  He’s been hailed as king of the metaphors!

Birth Chart

With the Sun in Aquarius, he has the capacity to surprise us, having stood firm at times against Boris on the podium.  The ebullient Sun conjunct Mars means there is more than a touch of Aries about him.  The Sun sextile Jupiter makes him generally upbeat and optimistic about life.  But the Sun square Neptune at the same time means all may not be as it seems.  His Moon in Libra gives him some desire to please.  The crux of our theme comes with Mercury sextile Venus – here we have it:  I call it the Writer Archetype.  In this context it is the King of the Metaphors!  There is no questioning this birth date.  Mercury square Jupiter confers a wide-ranging mind, with Mercury closely sextile Neptune adding sensitivity to that mind, and Mercury trine Pluto adding deep thought.  Mars in Aquarius can be defender of the underdog, believing in the common good for society.  Mars exactly sextile Jupiter brings enthusiasm constructively allied to his energy.  Saturn square Neptune befits working with epidemiology. Uranus conjunct Pluto in Virgo can show a passionate interested in public health, though we do not know what House it falls in, within his chart.  Uranus (his Sun ruler) sextiles his North Node, so he is a leader, in a futuristic way, in this case through pandemic preparedness.   He also has the Healer Archetype, through Neptune trine Chiron, and North Node trine Chiron.  Uranus/Pluto opp Chiron


Van-Tam is of Vietnamese origin, his grandfather having been a Prime Minister of Vietnam.  He obtained a degree in Medicine from Nottingham University. Jonathan was awarded an MBE in the 1998 New Year’s Honours list for his work designing a medical kit for large groups of teenagers on camping trips.  He took up his present role, as Deputy Chief Medical Officer in England, on 2nd October 2017.  A cocktail of transits at the time opened up the opportunity to serve the area of health with his abilities: Mars sextile  his natal Neptune, Neptune on his Chiron and Pluto sextile his natal Neptune.  He has published no less than 100 scientific papers.


The first sign of the man behind the impersonal mask of his role came when he declared he was going to urge his mother to take the vaccine, when the possibility was first announced.  But this week, with the new announcement of its imminent arrival, he was chosen to do the media rounds, with a new up close and personal image.  And that image trails a growing reputation for metaphors.  He told how he learned the art of storytelling while camping in Snowdonia (nowadays he practises the metaphors on his family).  It is said that people find him more trustworthy than the politicians.  He doesn’t however pull his punches – he stated this week that people could be wearing masks for a long time to come.

May 2020

[when easing the first lockdown]

“Don’t tear the pants out of it.”

November 2020

[news of the first vaccine]

“This, to me, is like a train journey where you’re standing on the station – it’s wet, windy, it’s horrible – and two miles down the tracks, two lights appear and it’s the train.  And it’s a long way off.”

December 2020

[vaccine approved]

“The train …has now slowed down safely, has now stopped in the station.  And the doors have opened.”

“Father Christmas would be at the front of the vaccine queue”

Football Metaphors

[He is a supporter of Boston United]

Regarding  the coronavirus process, he has referred to “penalty shoot-outs”, “70th-minute equalizers” and “the need for the country to nick a late winner”.

This Week’s Announcement

For Jonathan and his new media role, Mars was squaring his natal Mercury, spurring him to speak out, and Neptune was trine his natal Neptune (a harmonious spiritual state, a transit also found this week for the originator of the Pfizer vaccine from Germany, Ugur Sahin).

There was no major aspect on that day, but Mercury had just entered Sagittarius, which brings Good News, though as you know all may not be as it seems.  The government seemed almost desperate to be the first to declare the approval of a vaccine, but it aroused suspicion that it may have been purely for political popularity.

It is undoubtedly part of the process which will soon bring us the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at the Winter Solstice, which I can see has something to do with it.  It is about bittersweet outcomes, double-edged swords.  But at the same time, occurring at 0 degrees Aquarius it brings a fresh start after the trials of this last year.  I will write more soon on the subject.  I feel that the U.S. Presidential Election, though still in the death throes of the Trump administration, was a major signal of that turning of the tide.


This morning, in the early hours, Venus was trine Neptune, a serene planetary dance.  Dance is one of the art forms enhanced by this trine: certainly some of the dances on last night’s round of Strictly Come Dancing were at the top of their game.  You may on the other hand, like me, have been kept awake by the latest inspiration for the current chapter of your novel.  Whatever your art form, it can be enhanced, and if you are an observer there is the greatest of pleasure in being an audience.  In relationship, there is a potential for spiritual bonding.

On Wednesday (9th) evening we have more Neptunian activity, this time more confusing, with Neptune squaring the Sun. You may be feeling a little confused, lost, or even  dizzy.  This may include a mistrust of information coming from governments or the media.  Wednesday is definitely a day to tackle the indefinite and sort the truth from illusion.

Thursday’s (10th) aspect is constructive in regard to feelings, relationships and money: Venus sextile Pluto, occurring just before midday.  It could be a time of difficult but rewarding soul searching with loved ones.  In finance, there could be hard won but satisfying bargaining and balancing.  If you are an artist or musician, you could take a step further in your art from Sunday’s inspiration, and deepen the value and content of the material you are working with.

A much more concrete aspect occurs on Friday (11th) when the Sun trines Mars.  This is like the red light on a traffic indicator.  If your energies have been flagging, or ungrounded or otherworldly, you’ll come right back to the present and the task in hand, and could achieve a great deal.  This aspect favours the yang side of the male/female equation or balance, so if you are female, employ your energies on your more physical and energetic tasks.  You may not be able to fully integrate those with your sensitivities – that’s not the goal of this fiery trine.

The Sun also conjoins with the South Node on Friday, which means past karmic glory coming home to roost; for the most part that can be a positive gain.  The South Node in Sagittarius relates to past lives in connection with religion, pioneering, adventure, exploration, academia and publishing.  This can also refer to earlier phases in this lifetime, e.g. you may receive a newsy Christmas card from an old University friend.

Saturday’s (12th) aspect also involves the Nodal Axis: Mars sextile the North Node.  This is a positive expression of Warrior karma.  You may be able to get your message across directly and actively, in speaking your truth or setting an example.  You may, like Jonathan Van-Tam, find the perfect metaphor to wrap an unpalatable truth in a palatable guise.  Or you may, having negotiated a path to Brexit all week, decide on a final assertion of your case.  Lines may be drawn (Mars has a short fuse at times, and is not suited to long-drawn out debate).

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – enchanted
  • Wednesday – confused
  • Thursday – a shift in love and money
  • Friday – active; karmic reward
  • Saturday – defining karma