Azeem Rafiq

The world of that sedate and stately game of cricket has been rocked lately by allegations of institutionalized racism, by its whistleblower retired cricketer Azeem Rafiq.

Birth Chart

His Sun conjunct Mercury in Pisces indicates a sensitive soul.  But Sun/Mercury square Mars also brings the Warrior Archetype, an energy which he channelled into sport (cricket), and now as a whistleblower.  His Moon squares Pluto, which is also intensely emotional (explosively so at times).  And he has the Critic Archetype in Mercury square Mars. He loves humanity  (Venus trine closely Jupiter), but has a feeling of alienation in society, at the same time (Venus square Uranus).  Jupiter opposite Saturn can be hamstrung at times, and he was unable to speak his truth for many years.  Saturn conjunct his North Node points to an unpleasant karmic duty, in the nature of “it hurts me to say this, but…”. A deep sextile of Pluto with Chiron results in a compulsion to effect a profound healing for himself, and for society.  Chiron in Cancer at the South Node suggests a healer in past lives, possibly carrying wounds through to this life

Life and Career

Azeem was born in 1991 in Karachi, and came to England when he was 10.  He lived in Barnsley, Yorkshire and began to play cricket at Yorkshire County Cricket Club from 2008, where he enjoyed a high level of success.  For example, in 2012 he was responsible for Yorkshire regaining promotion to Division One.   He is described as a right arm off-spin bowler, and was the youngest player and the first Asian to captain a Yorkshire side.  In the 2013 season he sustained a knee injury (natal Jupiter opposite Saturn may have predisposed him to that) and declared that he “lost a lot of confidence in my body and confidence in myself as a person”.  However, he did return to the sport, before retiring in 2018.


It appears that even from a young age he was sensitive to remarks made about his ethnicity by white players.  It was reported in the Observer this morning that white British players from private schools are 34 times more likely to succeed in cricket than young Asians, even today.  He must have been outstandingly talented to have succeeded.

One great wound for him was unsympathetic treatment by the club when his wife suffered a stillbirth in 2018, and he claims their treatment led him to consider suicide.  It was in August 2018 that he first raised concerns with the club, and they were dismissed as vague.  At the time he had Jupiter sextile his natal Neptune, encouraging him to open up about his sensitivities; Uranus square his natal Saturn, unable to contain them any longer, with the double trauma of their treatment over his family tragedy; and Neptune sextile his natal Neptune, his spiritual convictions leading his actions.

The current furore began on September 2020, when he accused the club of  historic racism, harrassment and bullying, and a formal investigation was set up.  Transiting Saturn was exactly conjunct his North Node in Capricorn (taking on an Institution), intensifying that responsibility in his birth chart (see above), prior to his Saturn Return.  Rafiq hoped to bring about “meaningful change” at the club. On 17th June 2021 a tribunal took place, but failed to reach a conclusion, and Rafiq refused to take a settlement which would have meant a non-disclosure agreement, as he needed to feel free to speak about his issues with the club.  With Pluto on his North Node, he had to be clear in his integrity.

After the results of the investigation were revealed, on 19th August this year, the club admitted that Rafiq had been “the victim of inappropriate behaviour”.  At that point in time, Mars was square to his natal Mars, and trine his natal Uranus – an acknowledgement of wounding (where Mars is one of the planets which represents wounds). It was reported that there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that Yorkshire County Cricket Club is institutionally racist”.  Rafiq had pointed out, however, that key witnesses had not been called in the investigation.  By 28th October, the club was saying no disciplinary action was being taken.

But on 4th November, the England and Wales Cricket Board (E.C.B.) announced that the club would not be able to host international matches. a source of status and pride in the past.  Subsequently Roger Hutton, chairman of the club, resigned.  With Mars sextile his North Node (acute karma), Jupiter opposite his natal Chiron, and Saturn closely opposite his natal Pluto, his position had become untenable.  Other Asian players this week corroborated Rafiq’s historic claims.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club

The club was formed on 8th January 1863.  At the time Azeem was officially declared a victim of racism, Pluto was on the natal Venus of its chart and square its Jupiter, with Saturn squaring its Pluto, bringing up serious issues.  At the time they were suspended from hosting international matches, Pluto was very close to the exact transit of the natal Venus.

England and Wales Cricket Board

The England and Wales Cricket Board was formed on 1st January 1997.  At the time that Azeem’s official victimhood was declared, Chiron was square the Mercury in its chart (a wound they had failed to heal), and Pluto was on the Jupiter of the chart (searching questions about power).  Although the furore surrounded the Yorkshire club specifically, other clubs around the country have also been implicated.


This week a further bombshell emerged, and that was Rafiq’s antisemitic comments on social media when he was 19.  He apologized, and expressed that he was “ashamed of this exchange and have now deleted it so as not to cause further offence.  I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today.  I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this.”

The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews commented “His apology certainly seems heartfelt and we have no reason to believe he is not completely sincere.”

Some have viewed this development as a get out clause for the racism which Rafiq experienced and is trying to stamp out.  But two wrongs don’t make a right! Marina Hyde in the Guardian yesterday referred to the psychology of those bullied, in saying “There are a whole range of reactions to being punched down on, and one of them is to find people to punch down on yourself.”  She went on to observe that “When I first began sitting in sports press boxes, I was fairly blown away by the attitudes I personally encountered.”

I would say that any whistleblower, in any institution, particularly if they are the first whistleblower of their kind, has to be incredibly brave, and racism in cricket or anywhere else needs to be tackled.  Rafiq was not able to speak out back in his career heyday, but now, with the “Me Too” and other such movements, the time has come.

The Quiet Office

You may notice that there is a new heading “Book” on this website, marking a new page devoted to my novel “The Quiet Office”.  The book now has four five star reviews on Amazon, which is lovely, and I have received my first set of royalties. On that page you will find a promotional video, which was created by a friend – Wendy Fry, author of “Write from Your Heart”.  Profound thanks go to her and my web designer.  Click on the image, and hopefully you’ll enjoy the video, which is all singing (if not dancing) as it has a musical accompaniment. If you are looking for an unusual gift, I would recommend the book as a stocking filler for Christmas, and if you watch the video, you may find a reason to buy!


Today is a steady day for making real progress, as it began with a sextile between Mercury and Pluto.  This can produce profound thought and communication,  honouring the gravity of a situation if necessary, and enabling meaningful debate to occur.  If you have something important lined up, you may be successful in getting your point across.

Tomorrow (Monday 22nd) the Sun enters Sagittarius.  This event ushers in the general festive pre-Christmas season of Sagittarius. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, at least in the preparation and anticipation of Christmas.  We hope fervently that it won’t be cancelled this year, in the way it was last year.  Christmas itself comes under the sobriety of Sun in Capricorn.  Your enthusiasm and preparations now can help create and inject warmth into the big day, in advance.  Sagittarius also represents philosophy, working out your ethics, values and how you feel about the meaning of life, and religion.  It’s nice to have settled your take on these, before settling down on the day, with loved ones.

Wednesday (24th) brings another ingress, and this time it is Mercury joining the Sun in Sagittarius.  Mentally, that brings more lightheartedness and expansion.  There’s just about time to hone your sense of humour, sarcasm-free, because Mercury is in Sagittarius until 13th December and Mercury is travelling fast this month, so those quick-fire wisecracks could bring a laugh a minute.  Mercury will be in the more sober sign of Capricorn at Christmas itself, so prepare the jokes for your home made crackers, and prepare your delivery in advance too to avoid them falling flat.

A minor aspect but with major players occurs on Saturday (27th) when Jupiter is semi-sextile Pluto.  There may be minor power struggles going on, more likely on a wider scale, such as internationally.   In your life, you may be re-arranging the furniture in some way.  This combination can be dramatic and powerful, but it can also bring triumph: when it occurred in September, Emma Raducanu won the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – profound thought and communication
  • Tomorrow – start of the jolly season
  • Wednesday – optimistic mindset
  • Saturday – power and maybe glory