Female War Reporters

I am always amazed at the bravery of war reporters, but in this current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, two female war reporters stand out: Orla Guerin and Lyse Doucet.  They share a few similar aspects in their charts, not always the aspects you would expect for war reporters.

Orla Guerin

I almost can’t remember a time when Orla Guerin wasn’t reporting on wars for us…

Her birth chart is very grounded, with half (5) of her planets in earth, and 0 planets in Air, making her operate in a very instinctual way.  She is fifty-five years old, which makes you wonder when war reporters retire.  Jeremy Bowen is also in the Ukraine, and he is sixty-two, a year older than Fergal Keane who too is reporting in Ukraine.  Orla was born under the indomitable sign of Taurus, and her Sun is conjunct the North Node, giving her a strong sense of destiny and individuality.  She has the Sun exactly sextile Chiron, making her a Healer of sorts.  She has Mercury trine Uranus, so is quick thinking, and able to think outside the box.  But at the same time, she is also a deep thinker, with Mercury trine Pluto.  Mars trine Uranus gives her electrical energy, and possibly engineering talents.  In considering the question how she does it, the answer may lie in her Mars trine Pluto, a powerhouse of energy.  Another planet conjunct with her North Node, Mars, carries the Warrior Archetype in relation to her karmic mission, forming a triple conjunction with her Sun.  Stating the obvious, she takes an interest in matters of war.  She also has another triple conjunction, that of Chiron/Moon/Saturn at the end of Pisces, signifying compassion and service.  This triple conjunction sextiles her other triple conjunction, adding a combination of stoicism and sensitivity.  Another high energy focus is Uranus exactly conjunct with Pluto, an anarchic conjunction of the mid 60s (she was born in 1966).

Orla was born in Dublin, and has worked for the BBC.  She started working for RTE News in 1987, and became their youngest foreign correspondent in 1990.  She moved to the BBC in 1995, and reported from Kosovo, among other places.

Interviewed in the Evening Standard, she described the requirements of her attire:

“I got my first flak jacket from the Irish Army but they did not give me the armour plates that you slip into the vest.  Without them the jacket was about as much use as a white handkerchief.  I’m a bit more knowledgeable now [2002] and luckily the armour plates have become lighter.  You cannot run very fast with a flak jacket on but sometimes you have to wear one.  I have known colleagues who have died without them.”

She was awarded an MBE in 2005.  She has been reporting directly from Kyiv in this last month of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Lyse Doucet

As mentioned, there are similarities between Lyse’s chart and Orla’s.  One of the most striking of these is that they both have Mars (war) in Taurus (within three degrees of each other).  Taurus is not a particularly warlike sign, but I associate Mars in Taurus with pugilism.  Lyse is older than Orla, having been born in 1958.  She has the Sun conjunct Saturn in Capricorn, so bears a great sense of responsibility.  She is a woman of immense strength, with the Sun/Saturn trine Pluto.  This also gives her a tremendous strategic sense.  Like Orla, she has Mercury trine Uranus (quick thinking, able to think outside the box) and has in interview expressed the need to always be open to the unexpected.  She too has electrical energy, though with Mars exactly square Uranus, it is less organized than Orla’s.  A T-square between Jupiter, and Chiron opposite Uranus, means that she is someone willing to take risks (despite her strongly Capricornian nature).  Her North Node is exactly trine her Chiron (a strong healing nature), whereas Orla’s North Node is exactly sextile Chiron.

Lyse was born and educated in Canada, though she has an intriguing soft drawl which does not sound unlike Orla’s Irish tones!  She is fluent in English, French and Arabic.  Lyse began reporting for the BBC in 1988, reporting from Pakistan and Kabul, but has reported from all over the Middle East.  She once accompanied President Karzai of Afghanistan to a family wedding, which turned out to be an assassination attempt on him!  She is a founding member of the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network, in honour of the war reporter who died in Syria.  The plight of children in the midst of war is a particular interest of hers.  She gained an OBE in 2014.

She too is currently reporting from Kyiv.

Other notable female War Reporters

Kate Adie

Kate Adie was a household name in war reporting for many years (as Chief News Correspondent for BBC News between 1989 and 2003), retiring after she had written her autobiography “The Kindness of Strangers”.  She had the Sun in Virgo, but like Orla Guerin had Mars conjunct the North Node (warriorship as part of the karmic mission).

Marie Colvin

Marie Colvin died in 2012 while reporting from Syria, assassinated by the Syrian government itself.  The Syrian Civil War had begun the year before, in a similar fashion to the other rebellions of the Arab Spring, but with even more disastrous consequences.  I wrote at the time:

Last Tuesday evening we could not help but be moved by a news report from a woman in an eye patch in Syria, telling us of a baby who died that day. As always when watching these foreign correspondents, we marvelled at their bravery. Tragically, it was to prove her swan song, whilst also ensuring that no one forgets what she was highlighting: the unspeakable cruelty of the Syrian regime.  The world took note.  It seems to me that Marie Colvin’s death brought about a surge in rescue efforts and international deliberations, at least in the short term.  With the Sun in Capricorn, Marie Colvin had an acute sense of responsibility, and Kate Adie this morning called her a “serious journalist”.  The Guardian obituary stated:  “She was not interested in the politics, strategy or weaponry; only the effects on the people she regarded as innocents. ‘These are people who have no voice,’ she said. ‘ I feel I have a moral responsibility towards them, that it would be cowardly to ignore them.’ ”  She had a very interesting chart, and her extraordinary courage is shown natally by Jupiter/Pluto squaring Mars/Saturn. ”

Lindsey Hilsum

Lindsey Hilsum, also prominent in war reporting, was born in the same year as Lyse Doucet.  She has Mars in Taurus, just like Orla Guerin and Lyse Doucet.  With Lyse Doucet, she was a founder member of the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network, and wrote a book about Marie Colvin in 2018 (“In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin).  In an interview about the book in the Observer, she said “Marie took a lot more risks than I did and if one puts it crudely that’s why I’m alive and she isn’t…  I’m glad that I have a more stable personal life than she did, because it caused her so much pain”.  Marie had Mars exactly square Pluto, while Lindsey has Mars trine Pluto.  Lindsey has the North Node conjunct Jupiter and trine Chiron, a feeling of being protected.  Like Lyse Doucet, she has Mars square Uranus (electrical energy).

Lindsey reports for Channel 4 News.  She started out as an aid worker, and has covered wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other parts of the Middle East over the last twenty years.

Whether it is a desire to help, to bear witness, or to experience the adrenalin rush of that environment, it is a rare quality to have such a degree of courage, and it is a special kind of service, without which we could not imagine what is really happening in war, and especially now, in Ukraine.


Early on Sunday (27th), Mercury enters Aries.  You might need to be prepared for plain speaking, whether your own (perhaps without engaging the brain!), candid words from others, or unpalatable government announcements. You will need to get to the point much more directly in your communications, and there is more sense of urgency about paperwork.  So, more direct communication is on the cards.

Monday (28th) presents us with a conjunction of Venus and Saturn at 21 degrees Aquarius, not an easy prospect in terms of relationships or economics.  You will be looking more seriously at your close relationships, and evaluating what is important to you.  The care of the elderly may be a particular preoccupation.  The optimum condition for this conjunction would be loyalty and commitment, but there may need to be some letting go before that can be arrived at.  Finance too may be a cause for concern, especially in the wake of Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement last week.  The implications may be sinking in.

On the same day, Neptune will be sextile with the True North Node.  Those in a more contemplative mood may be able to use their higher imagination to receive inspiration on a range of issues, especially concerning spirituality, or the sea.  You may be able to sense the finer feelings of your compatriots.

The North Node (collective karma) is involved in another aspect on Wednesday (30th), this time a square between the Nodal Axis and Venus.  This focuses on karmic relationships, particularly in relation to groups.  You may find yourself within a group situation which seems predestined, or pondering the significance of your relation to a group, possibly linked with past life experiences.  On the other hand, Nodal Axis square Venus can be quite helpful in rebalancing, and helping to find small steps to solutions in wider problems, after some struggles.

A fresh start is possible on Friday (1st April), with a New Moon at 11 degrees Aries, which may bring cheer and vigour, and a renewed sense of purpose.  It is a time to look to the future, as much as is possible.  It can certainly be a new beginning for you, being the first New Moon of a new astrological year, even if it is just about re-organizing your lifestyle.  If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well…The New Moon in Aries is one of the brightest of the year in terms of its potential.

Later on Friday, the Sun conjuncts Chiron at 12 degrees Aries, and this may bring a focus on healing, and problem-solving in relation to crisis management.  Ingenious minds are often born with this conjunction, and so it is possible to reach out for solutions and obtain them under this influence.

This is followed on Saturday (2nd April) by Mercury conjunct Chiron, also at 12 degrees Aries.  This is a day you can focus on problem-solving.  If you don’t have a problem pre-prepared, the Universe will kindly oblige by alerting you.  There may also be a high degree of mental tension or anxiety in the air.  But use what comes up to find solutions, at whatever depth you need to engage with them.  One area which is especially suited to this conjunction in Aries is finance and economy.  Chancellor Rishi Sunak may have an important announcement.

Late on Saturday, Mercury goes on to conjunct the Sun (at 13 degrees Aries), so it would be good to round off the week with  concentration and focus,  and putting out any important statements.  The focus may be on your own growth and potential and physical wellbeing.  Mentally you may see things clearly, if egocentrically.  Creatively, this is a very helpful conjunction: If you are writing a play, for instance, the perfect line could come to you.  It also supports global vision and interests.

The week in bullet points:

  • Sunday – plain speaking
  • Monday – emotionally flat; economic necessity; karmic inspiration
  • Wednesday – relationship karma
  • Friday – a new beginning;  focus on healing
  • Saturday – problem solving; clear focus