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Aspects for the week beginning 7 June 2020

George Floyd  (1973 – 2020)

Black Lives Matter

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

~ Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967)

On 25th May an African-American man named George Floyd was knelt on and his neck pinned down by a white policeman in Minneapolis.  The world watched him die.  There have been protests ever since, not just in America, but round the world.  [President Trump’s behaviour and sayings became even more outrageous in the wake of the event, if that were possible.]  This may be a seminal moment in the history of the oppression of black lives.

George Floyd’s birth chart

What do we know of George Floyd?  We know that he had five children, and was a caring provider for them, and lost his job due to the coronavirus crisis.  We know that he has lobbied for a change in the gun laws.  We know that at the time he was being apprehended, his crime was attempting to pass off a fake banknote.  We know he was not a violent or dangerous criminal, therefore not remotely deserving to lose his life.  The actions of the policemen were extremely disproportionate to the crime.  He tested positive for the virus, but had been recovering.

The first thing which leaps out to me in his natal chart is an exact Venus-Neptune conjunction in Sagittarius, conjuring up a phrase often used about him, that he was a “gentle giant” (at 6 foot 4 inches).  Another nuance of this conjunction is that of “global martyrdom”, where Sagittarius = global and Venus exactly conjunct Neptune = martyrdom.  Another aspect in his chart which is definitely problematic is Saturn exactly square Pluto.  Mars square Jupiter gave exuberance and Jupiter trine Pluto a more powerful side (playing basketball in his youth).  Saturn on his South Node in Cancer may have caused him to bring through some difficult past life karma, and Pluto square his Nodal Axis may show that his death has been used karmically to show humanity a profound lesson.

The Murder

In a visual epitome of man’s inhumanity to man, so graphically documented was his death that we know he was pinned down between 8.19 p.m. and 8.27 p.m.  Three other policemen watched without intervening as George Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.  They were long minutes, which were honoured at his memorial this week by a silence of equal length (8 minutes 45 seconds).  In his transits, Saturn was exactly on his Jupiter, unequivocally symbolic of being pinned down, the freedom of his life squashed from him.

Protests

Subsequent to the event, the policeman in charge has been charged with second-degree  murder, and the others who stood by and did nothing have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.  There have been constant protests since the event, starting with major cities in the U.S., then spreading around the world.  The aim has been to keep the protests peaceful, in the spirit of Martin Luther King, but on Friday a 75-year old white man in Buffalo was knocked unconscious by police and sustained injuries, when policemen were marching by, resulting in the suspension of two police officers.  There has been debate surrounding the validity of protest (what other weapon is there if only peaceful protest?), and outrage that current protests in the U.K. may lead to further spikes in the spread of coronavirus.

In Our Back Yard

“Peaceful protest alone has never brought progress, fairness or justice to black people in the United States. Some would even say that white American capitalist power prefers peaceful protest, since militant protest asks for more than what power is willing to offer at a negotiating table.”

~ black American poet, Jericho Brown, writing in the Guardian on Saturday

It is probably fair to say that there is only a fine line between the “white supremacy” attributed to American society, and the acknowledged “white privilege” in the U.K.  The former term is slightly stronger, and the consequences of the Republican upholding of the gun laws leads to a more violent society, but here in the U.K. we learned from the killing of Stephen Lawrence that our police system was institutionally racist.  (How can we forget the dignity of his parents?)  In more recent years, we have had the summary killing of Mark Duggan sparking the Tottenham riots, and we have had the lamentable Windrush scandal, dishonouring immigrants, compounded by Theresa May in her time at the Home Office.  Meanwhile, our BAME community have been double hit, with their casualties disproportionally hit by the level of fatalities from coronavirus.  The government has acknowledged that fact, but not yet ascertained the cause.

Conclusions

Searching myself, I know that I always cared: when I arrived at University in the Autumn of 1968, after the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King, and three years after the assassination of Malcolm X, one of the first things I did was enrol in a course on the history of black Americans.   I remember the feeling of rage of writers, such as the poet Langston Hughes.

At the time, I assumed things would get better.  I also know that in my life I have done nothing helpful to the cause.  We are being counselled that we now need to be not just non-racist, but actively anti-racist, for this long standing struggle and injustice to come to an end.

A start might be a donation to charities such as Black Lives Matter U.K.:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund

It seems to me that no less than the integrity of the human race is at stake.

Aspects

After the intensity of the aspects at the end of last week, we have a hiatus until Thursday, so you can either assimilate the impact of those aspects, prepare for Thursday’s aspect, or a bit of both (with a fourth option of ignoring the aspects altogether).

Thursday 11th brings us the challenge of a square between the Sun and Neptune.  So this week’s meditational practice could centre around the subject of Illusion.  A good friend introduced me to a poem on the subject last summer:

In Broken Images

He is quick, thinking in clear images;
I am slow, thinking in broken images.

He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;
I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images,

Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;
Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.

Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact,
Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.

When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;
When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.

He continues quick and dull in his clear images;
I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.

He in a new confusion of his understanding;
I in a new understanding of my confusion
.

~ Robert Graves

So by Thursday morning you may be feeling a little confused, lost, or even  dizzy.  That is not difficult, given that our routines are being disrupted by the coronavirus, and our future seems uncertain.  If you have been preparing, by pondering the nature of illusion, and seeking clarity, you may fare better.  We have, of course, different levels of illusion: there is the worry that the government may be trying to pull the wool over our eyes, there is the insecurity of paranoia, and there is the existential long-standing task of seeing and experiencing ourselves for who we really are.  So, plenty to work on.

Fortunately, the same day, we have Venus sextile Chiron, so some help from loved ones acting as mirrors, and some healing in relationships going on.  So the day may end better than it started, if you can utilize the benefits of Venus sextile Chiron.  It is a good day to combine the Arts with Healing, such as creativity which involves and brings about healing.

There is more illusion on Saturday (13th), but with Mars conjunct Neptune at 20 degrees Pisces, there is a different emphasis.  Mars conjunct Neptune may empower the spirit, but for some it may serve to confuse further (especially if you were not able to fully resolve the issues around illusion from Thursday).  Meditational movement which is combined with spirituality is ideal under this conjunction, such as Tai Chi, Yoga and Qijong.  Some people may be subtly incident-prone under this conjunction, with the feet being particularly vulnerable.  So I would say that mindfulness covers it for Saturday: with mindfulness you can achieve inspired action, and keep yourself safe.

The week in bullet points:

  • Thursday – sorting through illusion; healing with love
  • Saturday – meditation and movement

Aspects for the week beginning 31 May 2020

Jacinda Ardern revisited

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, kept her cool this week when an earthquake struck.  She has also been praised recently for her exemplary handling of the pandemic in her country.  I last wrote about her in March of last year after the massacre in Christchurch, so it may be time to revisit the astrology around this amazing woman.

It has also been pointed out that female leaders (e.g. Angela Merkel) are prominent among the nations which have produced low casualties in the epidemic.  In India, K.K. Shailaja a female health minister and former teacher produced a remarkably proactive regime in her state of Kerala. Could this be a sign of things to come, the rise of the wisdom of the divine feminine, replacing the age old patriarchy?

Birth Chart

I wrote, last March: “Jacinda has an unaspected Sun in Leo, indicating a very  individualistic leader.  Her North Node in Leo also indicates leadership as a karmic path.  I pointed out last week that she has Neptune trine her North Node, like Greta Thunberg the subject of last week’s blog, showing spiritual leadership.  With Mercury trine Uranus she is also a very independent thinker.  Venus is closely sextile with the North Node in Leo, depicting her warmth.  Jupiter trine Chiron describes her positivity, the ability to see solutions.”

The Last Year

On March 15th 2019 a white supremacist opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Jacinda Ardern really showed the world what she was made of.  I wrote: ” Not only did she demonstrate empathy and compassion, but she exemplified what we all need at the head of our nations, that spiritual leadership and integrity so often lacking.”

She took active steps on gun law, and initiated reforms around social media excesses and problems.  She has also taken a lead on worldwide climate change:

“We’re small, and our contribution to the global emissions profile is even smaller, but we are surrounded by island nations who will feel the brunt of climate change acutely. I see ourselves as having a responsibility to demonstrate that we can and we will lead the charge.”

She stands firm on her nation’s nuclear free policy.

In September 2019 she was included as an inspirational woman in the issue of Vogue magazine which was guest edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

In December 2019 she had to deal with a volcanic eruption on White Island.  Saturn at the time was squaring her natal Pluto, an extremely heavy transit, which would have weighed on her mind considerably.  Uranus (the unexpected) was square her Sun, events out of her control.  Neptune was trine her natal Mercury, so she was able to show compassion through her communications at the time.  She was praised around the world for her response to this crisis.  Pluto was sextile her natal Uranus, so dealing with more change, and more growth and transformation required within herself.

Pandemic Response

On 14 March 2020, Jacinda acted promptly on the threat of the Pandemic, announcing the “widest ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world”.  Mars was square to her natal Pluto in Libra, indicating bold and courageous action. Transiting Jupiter was also sextile her natal Uranus in Scorpio, showing enterprise.  Uranus was squaring her natal Sun, meaning that she was taking the initiative on the element of the unexpected (which she was more able to do than during the volcanic eruption).  Her actions proved inspired, as the subsequent health records for New Zealand testify.  She closed all borders to all non-citizens and non-permanent residents at 11.59 p.m. on 20th March.  Her resolve at that time showed in a transit of Mars/Jupiter trine her natal Saturn in Virgo at that time.  The Washington Post has praised her use of social media and high level communication throughout the crisis.  By 11.59 p.m. on 25 March she had put the nation on full lockdown, which was at a similar time to lockdown in the U.K. (but with very different results).  Jupiter at that time was still trine her natal Saturn, and steady progress was being made. On the financial front, she took a 20% pay cut in solidarity with those suffering as a result of the economic results of the pandemic. Her practical response to this crisis has been hailed as a model.

Earthquake

On Monday (25th May) Jacinda was giving an interview for breakfast TV from the parliament building in Wellington.  As an earthquake struck, she calmly stated “We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here”.  I could be reading too much into it here, but perhaps this was a symbol from Gaia of how tuned in Jacinda has been, designed to show how strong she is.  At the time, Chiron was opposing her natal Mars.  That is a transit which can rock your world, Chiron representing crisis and Mars representing the response of her energies.  She was unshakeable, and cool, in the best manner of her Mars in equable Libra.  That is the Mars in Libra which tried to bring peace to communities in the wake of the Christchurch massacre.  She had been asked by Donald Trump how he could help, and she replied “Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities.”  That seems very poignant now, considering race relations have erupted in the United States this week over the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In other transits: Neptune is trine her natal Uranus, her open sensitivity combines with her intuition, and Neptune squares her natal Neptune, a transit which would find many feeling at sea in her situation.  It is a measure of her strength and evolvement that she is able to stand firm in these times.  Her current popularity rating would be the envy of any politician: she is riding high in her approval rating at 65% of the voting public.

Aspects

You have respite until Wednesday, so you can take the next few days off, or keep working on last Thursday’s ingress of Mercury into Cancer which integrates emotional understanding with mental processes.

On Wednesday (June 3rd) retrograde Venus squares Mars.  To recap, Venus is taking a rare retrospective and re-examining relationships and finance.  The square from Mars may trigger new challenges in this respect, and may bring inappropriate behaviour or misunderstandings in relationships.  This square can also re-ignite a battle of the sexes (e.g. do women make better Prime Ministers than men?).  The aspect occurs in the very early hours of the morning, so watch for its effects building the previous evening.

In the late afternoon of Wednesday, the Sun conjoins with Venus at 13 degrees Gemini, which brings more harmony to proceedings.  If you are an artist or a musician, it is a day when you may be able to produce your best creative output or performance.  If there was some awkwardness earlier in the day, Venus may be able to paper over the cracks seamlessly.

On Thursday (4th) the Mean North Node enters Gemini, which is a nuanced version of the True North Node’s entry to the same point on 5th May.  It is a different calculation of the same event, so the transition in a way has been happening throughout May.  You may notice slightly different spiritual or practical effects.  Have a look back at your diary for 5th May: I found that I completed Chapter 5 of my book “The Quiet Office”, on that day.  What you find in your diary may help you to make sense of the work to come for you under North Node in Gemini.

I wrote at the time of the True Nodal shift:

“The transiting North Node and Nodal Axis represents the collective karma, just as the North Node and Nodal Axis in our birth charts represents our personal karma.  Our North Node represents our karmic mission, and the transiting North Node represents our collective karmic mission, in the evolution of humanity.

The North Node will be leaving Cancer, where the last eighteen months have seen the rise in populism, Nationalism, Tribalism and Patriotism, as I mentioned when it was entering that sign…  But we are due for a change, not least because the world is now required to pull together, due to the coronavirus.  The South Node (part of the Nodal Axis, which is opposite the North Node) will be in Sagittarius, which represents a global outlook, and the North Node in Gemini represents friendlier relations with neighbours (whether on a national scale, or over the garden fence).  Gemini and Sagittarius also represent travel (short term and long distance respectively), something which is being affected (to a great extent karmically) at this time.  …Education is another area of Geminian interest, and our schoolchildren at present are learning new ways of being schooled, mainly at home and online….  As a mindset, the change of North Node in Cancer to North Node in Gemini may bring about a more communicative relating (out of necessity, karma) as distinct from a more emotional and subjective mindset (North Node in Cancer).”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out this week in the government’s new “back to school” initiative.  Remember, there is a karmic flavour to this placement; in other words every action has consequence.

Friday (5th) is the most important day of the week, astrologically.  First we have a sextile between Mercury and Uranus.  This encourages us to use all the new technology for our communications, and brings new ideas, heightening intuition and telepathy.

Then we encounter Mercury square Chiron, which may highlight teething troubles around new technology.  Although the general trend is onwards and upwards, with every new technical programme or gadget, there are new problems to be overcome and learnings to be absorbed.  Try to take them in your strides, technophobes (I am talking to myself, here) and trust that the answers will become available (even if you have to wait for hours on a helpline – sorry, that’s my inner technophobe intervening).  But it is also an aspect which encourages us to look after our health, and find alternative solutions if possible.  We are finding at this time where people would have turned to hospitals and GPs they are seeking health solutions closer to home, although of course no severe symptoms should go unheeded, and the health professionals are encouraging us to approach hospitals again.

Towards the evening, caution is again advised, as the Eclipsed Full Moon at 15 degrees Sagittarius brings an emotional high tide, and possible turning point.  Be clear in your direction of travel, both physically and metaphorically.  If you have natal planets at that degree, you may be more affected than most.  There is a global flavour to this Full Moon, and strong statements may be made for example by the World Health Organization regarding the progress of the response to the pandemic.

Part of the tension on Friday will be due to the approach of Mars to square the Sun, which takes place the following evening, Saturday (6th).  This introduces an element of conflict or aggression, which may not be helpful personally, and may inflame things internationally, e.g. in the ongoing conflict between Donald Trump and the World Health Organization.  So this square from Mars will have also exacerbated the effects of the Full Moon, and made it more difficult than usual for people to simmer down after it.  The energy, fire and enthusiasm which the Sun with Mars generates can be positively harnessed if you are especially mindful.

The week in bullet points:

  • Wednesday – social awkwardness then smoothing over
  • Thursday – karmic communication
  • Friday – a day of import; technology prominent; problem-solving needed; emotional tension heightened; turning point
  • Saturday – hot-headedness

 

Aspect for the week beginning 24 May 2020

Dominic Cummings

“But then he had just appointed as a special adviser Dominic Cummings, the former Vote Leave campaign director, a man so toxically divisive he couldn’t even unite himself”

~ John Crace, July 2019

Dominic Cummings has been in the news this weekend because on Friday night it was revealed that he broke his own lockdown rules when he contracted coronavirus in approximately late March, by driving 260 miles to Durham to take his child to his parents.  It is rumoured that he makes the rules for Boris Johnson, who makes up the rules for the cabinet and the whole country.  Calls for his resignation inevitably abound, but at the moment it does not seem likely that he will relinquish his power willingly.

Birth Chart

I wrote a short sketch of his birth chart last July when he took up the post of Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister:

“Dominic Cummings was the chief architect of Vote Leave, and also assisted Boris’ recent campaign to be Prime Minister.  He is known as a slippery character, and remarkably 8 (out of 10) Mutable planets, and no Fixed planets, so slippery by astrological nature.  He has the Sun exactly opposite Saturn, so can be very strict in what he believes in.  His Sun is exactly conjunct Neptune, so he is very Piscean too.  His Sun sextile exactly Pluto makes him a very powerful character.  Jupiter sextile his Uranus makes him an Entrepreneur.  North Node sextile Chiron makes him a ‘Fixer’.”

I can expand on that a little now.  We Sun in Sagittarians have sometimes been accused of lawlessness, and with his ruling planet Jupiter sextile Uranus, he is someone who can be prone to take a chance (and is often lucky in the outcome).  His Mercury is in Sagittarius, and at University he was described as “fizzing with ideas”.  Mercury conjunct closely with Venus gives him a way with words (he invented the slogan “Take Back Control” for the Brexit campaign).  Mercury loosely square Pluto may produce a ruthless mentality (I could not possibly say).  The same professor at university is reported as saying he was “something like a Robespierre – someone determined to bring down things that don’t work.” He has great strength and is a good strategist, with Saturn closely trine Pluto.  But in terms of being a strategist and a problem-solver, it is his strong Chiron that stands out for me, with three trines and an exact sextile to the asteroid.  Apparently he runs a company that “tries to solve problems”.   [Hubby disputes this point, saying he causes problems]

Life and Career

Dominic was actually born in Durham (the site of the rule break), and his mother was a teacher and behavioural specialist.

From 2007 to 2014 he acted as Special Adviser to Michael Gove.  He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and on the way, he labelled Iain Duncan Smith “incompetent” and David Davis “thick as mince” and “lazy as a toad”.

In October 2015 Cummings became campaign director for Vote Leave.  Saturn was at the time on his natal Sun, a tremendous responsibility, as it turned out pivotally in the nation’s fortunes.

I wrote about his transits at the time he was appointed Special Adviser to the Prime Minister:

“Mars trines his natal Jupiter, sparking up his energy and enthusiasm (he has Mars square Jupiter natally, making him super-energetic anyway).  He has a Jupiter Return, so this is a red-letter moment for him.”

Until coronavirus came along of course, we talked about nothing but Brexit.  In the current crisis, he is rumoured to have engineered the approach to dealing with the pandemic, and has been known to sit in on meetings with SAGE.  Controversially, he is reported to have taken the view early on that the strategy should be “herd immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad”.

Timeline – Tracking and Tracing

The government line just prior to lockdown on 23rd March was:

“You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home.  The only exception is if they need help, such as having shopping or medication dropped off.”

Boris Johnson was reported to have tested positive for coronavirus on 27th March, and later the same day Dominic Cummings was seen running away from 10 Downing Street.

Transits: Mercury on his Mars, a minor transit entailing running!

28th/29th March Dominic Cummings was reported to have experienced symptoms of coronavirus by initial accounts.  However this has become a moveable feast to explain the fact that he was able to drive to his parents just before he got the symptoms but just after his wife had them.

Transits: The Sun transiting his natal Chiron (the wounded healer), a minor transit entailing contact with the virus, perhaps.

30th March he was at the time reported to be self-isolating.  By all accounts he had not yet driven to Durham.

31st March is the day he drove 260 miles to Durham.

Transits: Mercury squaring his Jupiter, a minor transit entailing long distance travel, possibly illicit or rule breaking!

31st March reportedly the family were apprehended by the police about breaching rules.

The next two weeks he and his wife were reportedly ill and self-isolating

According to his wife, he was extremely flattened by the illness.

5th April 2020 he was spotted outside the family home in Durham.

From the Guardian:

“The Guardian has also been told Cummings was spotted near the gate of his parents’ home with a young child, believed to be his son, at around 5.45pm on Sunday 5 April,” five days after a complaint was made to the police about breaching the rules.

Shortly after this point, Dominic was reportedly starting to feel better.

Transits: Saturn trine his natal Pluto, a major transit, feeling stronger

[Overnight it emerged that there have been other, unconfirmed sightings of Dominic Cummings breaching the rules on 12th and 19th April]

25th April Dominic Cumming’s wife broadcast an interview about the couple’s coronavirus experience, in which she included a comment that her husband was “extremely kind”.  She did not reveal where they had spent their time in isolation.

Transits: Saturn sextile his natal Sun, a major transit, life re-stabilizing

Friday evening 22/5/20 the story emerges about his rule break.  Opposition parties call for resignation (Labour Party: “Number 10 needs to provide a very swift explanation for his actions.”), but by yesterday (Saturday) it was clear that members of his own party are rallying round him.  He is refusing to resign (as I go to press).

[Note: I may need to start a new category, as this is the second coronavirus timeline I have tracked in recent blogs…]

Synastry with Boris

Within the power play between the two, Boris’ Mars opposes Dominic’s Sun and trines Dominic’s Pluto.  It is a dynamic and fiery relationship.

The question is not just will he stay (most likely) or will he go, but if he were to go would Boris be able to manage without him?  Will the absence of the chief puppeteer create a power vacuum, and what would fill it?

Aspect

Just one aspect this week, so make the most of it, and make it last (you may be able to draw upon it all week, if you want to!)

The aspect occurs tomorrow (Monday 25th), at 6.48 a.m., so you can seize the day at that time; or relax knowing you can focus on this aspect all week, and don’t need to make a special effort to get up for it.  If you do rise to greet the aspect, you may be able to crystallize a facet of its effect, which can inspire you to further action throughout the week.  If you decide to sleep on, ask for a dream clarification of its potential.

Mars sextiles Uranus, which promises dynamism for the day, if not the whole week.  Engineering especially benefits from this aspect, but that also includes social engineering.  Electricity and Astrology are other areas which can be stimulated by this combination.  Cars, mechanics, mechanical goods and household appliances may receive a boost or a renewal (James Dyson, the inventor, has this aspect in his natal chart).

This aspect can refresh your energies, if you have been feeling jaded.  It is helpful for both beginning new tasks, or completing long term projects.  It can be a day (or week) of breakthroughs.  The power of surprise may be constructive today, too.

So if this day is successful for you, remember to stretch it out…

On Thursday (28th), Mercury enters Cancer (which is not an aspect, but an ingress).  If you need an exact time to pin it on, 18.08 Hrs can be your working focus.

The collective mind will be more able to encompass emotion when considering an argument.  This could fudge the issue when considering, for instance, whether a politician driving his child to his grandparents conforms to the principles he asked the public to abide by, as the strings of sentiment may come into play, and some may be swayed.  Mercury will be staying in Cancer until early in August (including a retrograde period in that time), so we have plenty of time to wrestle with such conundrums, although many will see that particular issue as being more clear cut for other reasons.  In our philosophy class this term, we are studying the rights of children, and that is a subject which may be considered during this period.  For example, Gove, Gavin Williamson and others have argued that children have a right to return to schools and have the benefit of their education, whereas others might say they have more right to stay safe and healthy and to help keep society so.  This is a conundrum which promises to provide lively debate right through this period, with one option being to recommence schooling in August.  Family matters are under the mental microscope throughout Mercury in Cancer.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – Dynamic; can electrify the week
  • Thursday – incorporating emotion into logical processes; incorporating logic into emotional processes

Aspects for the week beginning 17 May 2020

Normal People

The TV series “Normal People” has been a five-starred television hit during this lockdown period.  Written by Sally Rooney, it tells the story of an intense first love, set in the Irish educational system, including at Trinity College Dublin where Sally Rooney gained her own degrees.  I find myself reading her first book “Conversations with Friends” at the moment, because my new granddaughter was named after one of the characters from that book.  And if I am motivated to read the novel of “Normal People” after the series ends, I will send off for it (I have only been out of the house and garden twice in two months, to pick up my monthly prescription).  The two stars of the TV series have become an overnight sensation.  Sally’s rise as a young author (born in 1991) has been meteoric, as her first book (Conversations with Friends) was only published in the middle of 2017.

Sally Rooney – Birth Chart

Sally has the Sun in Pisces bringing complexity and sensitivity to her work.  Her North Node (karmic mission) conjunct Saturn is in Capricorn, the sign for Politics which she studied for a time at University. The characters in her first book “Conversations with Friends” have a deep interest in communism.  She has Venus trine Chiron, which is about finding healing for relationships.  Her Mars is unaspected, giving her free range energies.  With Jupiter opposite Saturn she writes well about people unable to act on their true feelings, or wrestling with them.  She is from the early 1990s Uranus-conjunct-Neptune-in-Capricorn generation, understanding complexity, and interested in the philosophy/politics of society etc.  Whether from that conjunction or from her Ascendant (unknown), she has a strong Inner Rebel.  In her writing, which has a natural easeful quality, I was surprised to see that she had boldly ditched speech marks altogether!  Pluto trine closely Chiron gives her a powerful voice, and Chiron on the South Node infers that she studied modes of healing in past lives.

Sally Rooney – Life and Career

Sally was still completing her Master’s degree in American literature at Trinity College when she wrote 100,000 words of her first book “Conversations with Friends” in three months.  This debut novel was published on 25 May 2017 (where ‘Conversations’ is represented by Sun in Gemini), with Saturn powerful at the Galactic Centre, Saturn exactly trine Uranus representing a solid piece of or about (social) engineering, and Saturn square Chiron (pain).  The transits for Sally herself included Uranus square her Nodal Axis: life-changing, and finding her life purpose (at the age of 26).

On a literary timescale, her second novel “Normal People” followed fairly soon after, in September 2018.  Both the novels carry a theme of clandestine relationships.  Success was assured, with Uranus (sudden success) exactly sextile her natal Sun (self-expression and creativity).  The book won the “Irish Novel of the Year Award” on 27th November 2018, with Pluto sextile her natal Pluto (self-empowerment and validation).  The rest, of course, is history.  The TV show first aired on 26th April this year, astrologically representing her Saturn Return (a crystallization of ambition), Jupiter on her North Node in Capricorn (further validation of her life purpose); and Neptune trine her natal Pluto – sensitivity and depth, a fertile crucible for her next novel, if that is currently in her mind.  On the day that it aired, the Sun was conjunct Uranus (a sudden success).

Daisy Edgar-Jones

It was lovely to see the two young actors on Zoom on the Graham Norton show on Friday evening.  They seemed very different from their Normal People characters, which emphasized what skilled actors they are!  The lead female actor, Daisy Edgar-Jones has Sun in Gemini, and physically, she is very Geminian: I associate that particular type of brown-eyed look with that sign, and the very slim physique.  With the Sun conjunct Mars, she has great magnetism.  Allied to that is the Sun closely trine Neptune, bringing sensitivity, and the link with Pisces, the Sun sign for Sally Rooney.   Sun opposite Pluto gives her the depth, and the ability to portray angst.  Mercury squares Uranus in her chart, so she is not afraid of controversy.  She has Venus conjunct Saturn in her chart, the pain of love.  It reminds me of the lines from the old song “Plaisirs d’Amour” which goes: “Chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie”.  Of course that is a feature of the part she plays, Marianne, in Normal People, but there may be something she can draw upon for that role in this conjunction.  Mars closely trine Neptune  shows the ability to be sensitive and vulnerable, which is useful in her intimate acting scenes.  Jupiter unaspected gives her a free spiritedness.  Pluto square exactly with the Nodal Axis suggests that the  karma of fame may have been a shock.

Her synastry with Sally shows up good communication lines:  Daisy’s Mercury trines Sally’s Neptune – she can interpret Sally’s sensitivity;  in addition, Daisy’s Venus sextiles exactly Sally’s Mercury, and Daisy’s Neptune conjoins Sally’s Saturn.  Daisy’s transits at the time of the start of the TV series shows Saturn on her Neptune, and Chiron trine her Pluto (i.e. healing for her psychologically).  In real life, Daisy has a neutral accent, but her mother comes from Northern Ireland, which may have helped her authenticity.  She will be 22 years of age later this month.

Paul Mescal

It became clear watching the Graham Norton show just how popular the young stars have become; that Paul Mescal who plays Connell has become a heart throb, and that the chain he wore around his neck in the series even has a social media page.  It seemed apparent that he and Daisy get on well in real life as friends.  Paul is an Aquarian, which chimes well with Daisy’s Sun in Gemini.  With Moon in Cancer, he has a strong feminine side. He plays a sensitive character, with an exact Venus/Saturn conjunction in Pisces (Daisy has Venus conjunct Saturn in Aries).  And that is not where the similarity in their charts ends, for they both have Sun conjunct Mars in Air, which gives them a combined magnetism.  And they both have Jupiter unaspected, which is unusual!  While working on their charts, I had to keep checking that I hadn’t got the charts mixed up, I was so surprised. They may be twin souls, a term I never use lightly.  Like Sally Rooney, he attended Trinity College Dublin, and graduated only as recently as 2017 – so, also like Sally, a meteoric rise!  He has Mercury sextile Venus, so could become a writer in real life (his character is a writer in Normal People).  With Mercury conjunct Neptune, he also has the ability to channel.  Another talent which  he did develop was football (he has Mars exactly trine the North Node) but because of a jaw injury (Mars rules the jaw) he had to give it up. He had been a promising young player (Sun conjunct Mars trine North Node); however because of this turn of fortune, the acting profession was able to gain a young talent. Chiron also conjunct North Node implies a healing quality to his karmic mission, which he may not yet have realized.  Like Sally Rooney, he has the complex conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn, and can interpret that quality from her work.  All three are children of the 1990’s: Sally Rooney was born in 1991, Paul was born in 1996 and Daisy in 1998.  Paul is now 24 years of age.  His transits for Normal People TV Series shows Neptune sextile his Mercury, Uranus trine exactly his Jupiter to the day – a resounding success; Saturn on his Uranus – some salutary lessons for him; Jupiter on his Neptune – a spiritual euphoria; and Pluto on his Neptune – an extremely deep experience psychologically.

Synastries

Have Paul and Daisy got chemistry, as well as all the amazing similarities in their charts? Wow, have they!  Daisy’s Uranus (the ability to wow) is exactly conjunct Paul’s Sun, so it is a dynamic relationship on a personality level.  Paul’s Jupiter trines exactly Daisy’s North Node, so they bring each other luck, and karmically were destined to do so.  Paul’s Uranus is conjunct Daisy’s Neptune (demanding sensitivity and stimulating intuition for them both), and his Pluto is also exactly opposite her Sun, which is lifechanging, and draws out the depths in her psychology.  Paul’s Pluto seals the deal with a sextile to Daisy’s Neptune, so they are able to give all they have got in a working partnership.

And what of the relationship between Paul and Sally?  His Mercury sextiles her natal Pluto – he is able to plug into her deep psychology.  His Venus trines her natal Chiron, which is healing for him to play the role she has drawn, and healing for her to have the relationship of her hero and heroine played out.  His Uranus conjoins her Saturn, so the experience may even be shocking to her on some level.  Finally, his Neptune is exactly conjunct her natal North Node, sensitizing and spiritualizing and bringing into creative being a part of her own karmic mission.

…And if you have read Normal People, or binge-watched the TV series, please don’t tell me the ending!

Aspects

The Sun trines Jupiter this afternoon, a happy-go-lucky aspect where circumstances allow.  Perhaps you are basking in the afterglow of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest…the programmes on offer at this lockdown event were heavy on nostalgia.  Seeing Mary Hopkins on the Top of the Pops event reminded me sharply that my late dad was a huge fan!  I greatly enjoyed the finale, where all the current contestants sang a bar from “Love Shine A Light”, our last winning song, from Katrina and the Waves in 1997.  At the time I didn’t particularly enjoy the song, but after 23 barren years, it sounded like manna from heaven!  So whatever lights your candle today, grasp the opportunity.  It is a day of good cheer, laughter, adventure, golden opportunity and looking ahead to the future with optimism.  All the contestants yesterday ended their 60 second performances with a message of hope.

The Sun enters Gemini on Wednesday (20th).  Earthy preoccupations may give way to a need for Communication and lightness of heart.  With Mercury, Venus and the North Node already in Gemini ’tis the season of chatting to the neighbours over the garden fence.  For some of us, it is the only socializing we are doing at this time of lockdown, while we are staying alert.  We have found out more about our neighbours (both sides) than ever, we have clapped with them, and we have sung with them (“We Shall Overcome” and “We’ll Meet Again” – only “Kumbaya” remains of the classics).  Maybe I can suggest “Love Shines a Light” for next Thursday’s new choir meeting on our front pavement.  But in the month of Sun in Gemini any kind of communication goes, writing your book, dealing with your documentation, ensuring that you are walking and cycling to work instead of taking public transport.  It all aids the general connectivity, which society needs.  We are in the midst of forging a new society.

Because Venus has just gone retrograde, we are going to see repeats of recent aspects she was involved in.  And so, late Wednesday, we have a reminder that we are currently experiencing a square between Venus and Neptune, which recurs at this time.  I wrote for Monday 4th: “Venus squares Neptune and the veils of illusion will test us out in this area.  Paranoia may play a part” and I received some poignant accounts of experiences along these lines, which included an experience of humiliation.  So if you were one of those, try not to let history repeat itself if you can possibly help it.  When Venus goes direct and comes back to square Neptune in late July, this feature could come back to haunt us.  On the other hand, we may have dealt with it successfully, e.g. addressing our insecurities (and not allowing the judgement of others).  I went on to say ” if we are on the positive end of the spectrum we may experience some sublime spiritual experiences in relation to love, and realizations about the relationship between money and spirituality.”  So this may be the end product of working through this square.

On  Friday 22nd you will need a timetable!

8.41 a.m. (in the U.K.) – Mercury conjoins with Venus at 20 degrees Taurus: this is a wonderfully congenial conjunction, a splendid literary and cultural combination.  Your communications will have an artistic flair, so it’s a good time to get creative.  I have a pending artistic project, so may try to schedule that into the not-going-out routine.

12.02 Hrs – Sun trines Saturn, a solid and productive aspect.  If you are engaged in creativity, it can help ensure that it works on a practical level.  It is also a good aspect for making plans and laying foundations.

15.43 Hrs – Mercury squares Neptune – The early bird catches the worm today, because by mid-afternoon you could sense a fly in the ointment (apologies for the mixed metaphors).  Where you may have been feeling settled and constructive, some snag may be nagging at you.  It may even be indefinable.  If so, allow your subconscious to bring it up in its own time, but don’t shut up shop until you have identified the rum note.  Then you can deal with it and move on and let it go.  It may have been a question of illusion, so it is worth examining that possibility.

17.39 Hrs – New Moon at 2 degrees Gemini – Aim to settle your doubts by late afternoon, to make the most of the new beginning afforded by this New Moon.  You can then clear your mind in order to make your New Moon intentions along the strengths of Geminian qualities and occupations: among them communication, writing and travel.  If you know the House this falls in, you can further refine its application.  There has been a lot of talk this week in the U.K. about trying to re-open schools, and so it may be a day of pronouncements on the matter.

It’s a good note to end the day, and the week with: that of creating our own future, from the mental energy of Gemini.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – joy and humour
  • Wednesday – communication ramped up; illusion in relationship
  • Friday – (in sequence) literary and negotiating skills; solid achievement; mental fog and illusion; new beginning(s)

Aspects for the week beginning 10 May 2020

Blaise Pascal

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”

~ Blaise Pascal

This is the third of my new  series of occasional philosophy blogs.   I started with an Aries, Rene Descartes, a true Aries in every sense of the word, an individual and an initiator.  I then looked at a philosopher of the next sign Taurus, David Hume.  The next sign of the zodiac, Gemini, is one which would seem naturally compatible with the subject of philosophy, being logical and being ruled by Mercury, the planet of thought.  I scoured the   panoply of philosophers, and could find only one prominent Geminian: Blaise Pascal.  He is not even principally known as a philosopher, but as a mathematician.  However, religious philosophy was one of his “hats”, and that is good enough for me!

Birth Chart

We can straightaway see one of his sayings, in the squared relationship between his Sun (conscious mind) and Moon (subconscious mind): “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of…”.  The Sun is exactly square his Midheaven, showing great individuality in his career and breaking the mould in that respect.  The Sun also exactly trines his North Node, showing leadership and creativity as part of his karmic mission.  In his chart the Moon in Pisces was conjunct his Midheaven and trine closely his Ascendant from the 9th House of Religion (the “religious philosopher”). Mars trine exactly Pluto gave him a powerhouse of energy. Jupiter conjunct Saturn helped to balance his ideas and judgements. Saturn conjunct Uranus in Leo in 1st House meant that he was a groundbreaker: in 1647 he disputed Aristotle’s idea that nature abhors a vacuum, which caused conflict (Mars opposite his Ascendant was prone to this). With Uranus square Pluto he understood the necessity and energy of Change.

Life and Career

Blaise Pascal, born in 1623 in Clermont-Ferrand, was a child prodigy, and  while still a teenager he engaged in pioneering scientific and mathematical work.  One example was a short treatise he wrote aged 16 on a “Mystic Hexagram” (Pascal’s theorem).  Descartes was most scathing about it, claiming that it was written by Blaise’s father Etienne.  Blaise also worked with Fermat on probabililty theory (which led to Leibniz’ work on calculus), and was most prolific in his areas of expertise, until he was changed by a religious or spiritual experience, which caused him to give up work on mathematics.

Religious Philosophy

A profound religious vision between 10.30 and 12.30 on the night of 23rd November 1654 changed the course of his life and thought (Descartes also had an epiphany, as mentioned in the first blog in this series).  Blaise and his sister Jacqueline had subscribed to the Christian movement of Jansenism since 1646 (when he was 23).  But between 1648 and 1654 Pascal had slipped into a more material way of life.  He wrote about the visionary experience in a note, which began “Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars…” and kept his memoir of the experience sewn into his coat.

The transits at this time included Saturn sextile his Mercury (a solidifying of thought) and Pluto trine his natal Neptune (deep psychological and spiritual change).  His progressed Sun squared his Nodal Axis, bringing him firmly on his karmic path.

The nature of his work changed after this experience, and he began to write Provincial Letters and Pensees (fulfilling his more literary and poetic side). His style incorporated humour and influenced the writings of Voltaire and Rousseau.  In the Provincial Letters he cheekily apologized for writing a long letter by saying he had not had the time to write a shorter one.  His letters were hailed by one commentator for their purity of language and solidity in reasoning [qualities of Sun in Gemini].

However it is his Pensees, which were unfinished at his death aged 39, which are quotable as being outstandingly poetic.  The work was a defence of the Christian religion.  In a fulfilment of his natal Mercury square Neptune (confusion of thought) he would pit against each other Pyrrohonism and Stoicism until a state of high confusion resulted in turning to God, through the faculty of intuition.  In 1661, Louis  XIV tried to suppress Jansenism, and Pascal wrote a defiant piece on the subject.

Health

Pascal’s health was frail from the age of 18.  Mars seems to have been an important planet in terms of his health; when his progressed Sun opposed his natal Mars (inflammations) in the 6th House of health, at the age of 18.  His illnesses became more extreme, until on 18th August 1662 he experienced convulsions, and died the next day at the age of 39.

For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.”

~ Blaise Pascal

Aspects

The aspects will be keeping you busy this week!  We start today with a lovely trine between Mercury and Jupiter, expanding our minds and philosophies.  This is an upbeat vibe mentally, one that takes in great wads of information, produces good ideas and may incline one to travel (except that in the current climate we are being asked to rein in that impulse).  The actor Alan Cumming has this aspect in his natal chart, and in a recent interview said:

“I’m an optimist at my very core…Any time when you’ve got to be away from everybody, to contemplate, meditate and be made to understand how your behaviour affects other people, I just can’t help but think that must be a huge positive.”

Later this afternoon the Sun will be sextile Neptune, another positive vibe.  This confers inspiration and spiritual harmony.  So today could be very productive.

Tomorrow (Monday 11th), Saturn will be Stationary prior to turning Retrograde, the first of several planets to turn retrograde in a season of retrogrades.  Turning inward for contemplation is one of the results of a retrograde period.  Saturn is turning retrograde in the first degree of Aquarius, and we have had to get used to some new social positionings as a result.  But first, we are going to go through a period of revision when it returns to Capricorn: a lesson all about patience and timing, and one of those lessons is that you can’t rush things.

The same morning Mercury will be square Mars, and that is another lesson in not rushing things.  Except that you may want to rush things, because that is the nature of Mercury combined with Mars.  But mistakes can be made under this aspect, and the phrase “more haste less speed” may be applicable.  You may have to guard against minor cuts and bruises, if you are doing some DIY during lockdown.

In the evening, Mercury will enter Gemini (the first of two ingresses this week).  This will quicken our mentality and curiosity, and stimulate our communications during its stay in this sign, which will be a fairly short stay until 28th of this month.

On Tuesday evening (12th) Mercury will be trine Saturn, which will help you apply your mind to exacting tasks and documentation which may be outstanding.  It favours list-making, planning, and practical productivity.  Constructive serious conversations can also take place under this aspect.

The second ingress of the week takes place on Wednesday (13th), when Mars enters Pisces. While its placement in Aquarius was humanitarian, and looked after the underdog (how well we have pulled together since the beginning of its stay there at the end of March), Pisces is even more compassionate, and very empathetic.  Pisces is also a very charitable sign, so we will see more appeals in that respect, and more people attempting feats which stretch them, in order to support the NHS.

There is also a second retrograde event that day, with Venus Stationary prior to turning Retrograde, a fairly rare retrograde.  This may put a question on money and love, a re-orientation or revisioning on these factors in our lives.  You may need to start sifting over old ground, or look inward into your truest and deepest feelings, in order that a relationship may be enriched.

The third retrograde occurs on Thursday (14th), with Jupiter Stationary prior to turning Retrograde.  You may have been working along a particular line and making steady progress, but now have to re-assess.  There is a possibility of a U-turn by the government on the relaxation of rules.

A strengthening trine between the Sun and Pluto ties up the week nicely, on Friday (15th).  It is time to consolidate all the learnings  of the week and construct a new psychological mindset: one which is creative but also bears in mind the changes and cycles which are transforming our lives at this time. You may have felt that you haven’t got very far with a goal, but may receive an indication in this period that you have done better than you thought, your patience is rewarded, or that a pipe dream could become a going concern.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – thinking positively; spiritual inspiration
  • Tomorrow – turning inward; trying not to rush; a quickened mentality
  • Tuesday – a slowed, more precise, mentality
  • Wednesday – compassion in action; revisioning relationships and money
  • Thursday – more revisioning
  • Friday – consolidation and psychological progress

 

Aspects for the week beginning 3 May 2020

Tony Lloyd

“It’s the humanity of it, the 150,000 small human gestures every hour that makes the NHS a human institution.”

~ Tony Lloyd

You may not have heard of Tony Lloyd (Labour MP for Rochdale, Greater Manchester) but he gave a poignant and memorable interview to Helen Pidd in the Guardian on Friday following his survival from coronavirus.  The article is eloquent and well enough documented in tracking the course of his experience to make an astrological study.

Tony is a sensitive Piscean, who apparently had been in good health but was nevertheless floored by his experience of the virus.

“I’d been feeling ropey for two weeks when I went into hospital on 2 April, ever since I’d come back up to Manchester from Westminster. I’d woken up really early, about 4am…”

At the onset of the disease, the strongest transit he had was Uranus square closely to his natal Venus in Aquarius, signalling a change in his feelings and values.  Without knowing his Ascendant, we can only guess that something more major was happening on one of the angles of his chart.

On the day he went into hospital, Mercury opposed his natal Saturn in Virgo, a minor enough transit, but definitely health related.

“After two days my temperature was still high – it was nearly 40C at one point – so I was moved to the intensive care unit (ICU).”

At this point, he was put in an induced coma.  Transiting Mars was conjunct his natal Venus at that point, and Mars transits often trigger extreme physical events.  As mentioned, we do not have his birth time or Ascendant, and with Venus featuring significantly in his transits, it may be that he has a Venus ruled sign on the Ascendant (Neptune rules his Sun sign).

One might consider being put on the ventilator and into the coma as being the height of his crisis.  Studied have shown that perhaps 65% of patients put on ventilators can die.  Two days after this, Saturn at 1 degree 0 minutes Aquarius came exact to a quincunx with his natal Uranus in Cancer.  That represents an extremely challenging change, or shock to the system.

“I never considered myself high risk, even though I had turned 70 in February.”

I have to declare a special interest in 70-year olds as it is my peer group year, and I have for about two decades been conducting a special study of this year group!  Looking at his progressions, in his 70th year his progressed Sun was squaring his natal Pluto, indicating the possibility of a life threatening experience.

[For historical context…]  “The day after I was put on a ventilator, Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital in London, I later learned.”

“I was on a ventilator for 10 days and in ICU for 19 days in total. All I can remember from that period is wild dreams….”

 Apparently after a week on the ventilator the doctors were getting ready to wean me off when I came down with a chest infection and my temperature shot back up.”

At the time of the new crisis of the chest infection, new hope of positive change was beginning to show up in Tony’s transits, in the shape of Uranus trine his natal Sun, an indication of a deep change.

The day that he was taken off the ventilator, the transit of Uranus to his Sun was becoming closer.  A week later, about a week before he was discharged, i.e. during his recovery period, the trine between transiting Uranus and his natal Sun, became exact.

“Many of the doctors and nurses were not British-born, which is something we should all reflect on”.

“I was discharged from hospital on Monday [27th April] and on Tuesday I resigned as shadow Northern Ireland secretary, a post I have held for two years. I plan to stay on as an MP”.

At his discharge from hospital, Mars was on his natal Jupiter in Aquarius, and the transiting Uranus trine to his Sun was still close, both transits of liberation.

The interview was given this week, when he was fresh out of hospital.  He still feels weak, but gives valuable insights and reflections about society and the NHS.

“Maybe good old Captain Tom has tapped into something where people will begin to realise that there is more to life than the next parcel from Amazon.”

To read the full inspiring article:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/30/coronavirus-i-feel-a-tremendous-sense-of-humility-mp-tony-lloyd-on-how-nhs-saved-his-life

Aspects

Some reflection on truth and illusion in respect to relationships would not go amiss today, for tomorrow (Monday 4th) Venus squares Neptune and the veils of illusion will test us out in this area.  Paranoia may play a part, but if we are on the positive end of the spectrum we may experience some sublime spiritual experiences in relation to love, and realizations about the relationship between money and spirituality.  Be as clear as you can be emotionally, and help to clear the fog.

In the evening, the Sun conjoins with Mercury at 14 degrees Taurus, and mentally at least you are likely to feel clearer.  You can apply your mind especially in Taurean matters such as art and music, money and gardening.  You’ll be thinking more clearly about the earth, and noticing the improvements that are taking place since we stopped some of our more damaging habits.  You can focus on creating a more positive future condition for the earth, or the New Earth as some New Agers term it.

North Node in Gemini

On Tuesday (5th) the True North Node enters Gemini.  The North Node and Nodal Axis move backwards, and takes 18 months to move through a sign, and 18 years to come full circle in the zodiac.  The transiting North Node and Nodal Axis represents the collective karma, just as the North Node and Nodal Axis in our birth charts represents our personal karma.  Our North Node represents our karmic mission, and the transiting North Node represents our collective karmic mission, in the evolution of humanity.

The North Node will be leaving Cancer, where the last eighteen months have seen the rise in populism, Nationalism, Tribalism and Patriotism, as I mentioned when it was entering that sign.  Brexit took a step forward, for instance.  But we are due for a change, not least because the world is now required to pull together, due to the coronavirus.  The South Node (part of the Nodal Axis, which is opposite the North Node) will be in Sagittarius, which represents a global outlook, and the North Node in Gemini represents friendlier relations with neighbours (whether on a national scale, or over the garden fence).  Gemini and Sagittarius also represent travel (short term and long distance respectively), something which is being affected (to a great extent karmically) at this time.  The last time the North Node switched to Gemini was in October 2001, just after 9/11.  At that time, everyone was wary of air travel, and the war on terrorism was underway in earnest.  Now we are seeing a crisis in the air industry, and being told it will take a long time to recover.  Education is another area of Geminian interest, and our schoolchildren at present are learning new ways of being schooled, mainly at home and online.  Though it is hoped that they will be able to rejoin their schoolfriends as soon as possible, the progress of the coronavirus is such that the process may come in waves, and some aspects of the new technological ways of learning may become more permanent.  As a mindset, the change of North Node in Cancer to North Node in Gemini may bring about a more communicative relating (out of necessity, karma) as distinct from a more emotional and subjective mindset (North Node in Cancer).

Thursday (7th) brings a smooth sextile between Mercury and Neptune.  Sensitivity towards others, and spiritual awareness, inform our minds easily, making delicate conversations and channelling easier.  You can receive inspiration, especially for writing and communication. That sextile takes place at 10.42 a.m. in the U.K.

Three minutes later, at 10.45 a.m. there is a Full Moon in Scorpio.  It’s a time to look within and examine your emotional health.  Another area demanding attention is that of shared finances and an attempt to balance material resources and needs between two people.  It is  one of the most intense Full Moons of the year.  For some there may be a temptation to lash out; some may be prickly about the conditions we find ourselves in, and many are angry.  In the creation of the new conditions, one requirement is the quality of forgiveness, for there is no room for holding onto grievances and blame on the other side of this crisis.  In order to make the best of a new slate, forgiveness is one of the things to cultivate.

We can capitalize on that process on Saturday (9th) when Mercury trines Pluto (the ruler of Scorpio).  That aspect is conducive to deep thought and psychological reflection, and earnest conversations.  Conversations could be life changing: the right word at the right time, striking home in the right place.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – illusion in relationship; sparkling minds
  • Tuesday – communication karma
  • Thursday – inspirational thought; emotional high tide
  • Saturday – psychological reflection and communication

Aspects for the week beginning 26 April 2020

Donald Trump

“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous – whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light… supposing you brought the light inside of the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way… And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?”.

~ Donald Trump, 23rd April 2020

Don’t try this at home!

I will keep this short, but with levels of incredulity rising as fast as the coronavirus graph in the USA in relation to Donald Trump’s pronouncements, I thought I would take the astrological temperature around his transits to see if anything is changing.  It certainly seems that whatever ails the President, whether in his character or in his health, seems to be becoming more exaggerated.

Birth Chart recap

Back in 2015, before Donald was elected President, I wrote about his chart:

“Fortunately, we have a birth time for him, and we see a belligerent Mars conjunct the Ascendant in Leo: power is an aphrodisiac.  His Mars is exactly trine the Galactic Centre, which may also be a power significator.  He has been very inventive lately with his Leo mane.

His Sun is in Gemini conjunct the North Node (Leadership karma) and Uranus (a maverick quality) in the 10th House of Career, ambition, and prominence in the world.

Some of the coldness of his views, e.g. about women, may be down to his Venus conjunct Saturn in Cancer.  He was born on a Full Moon, which makes him a marmite character.”

I would add that he has the Entrepreneur Archetype, Jupiter trine Uranus exactly, in his chart (as does Richard Branson, also exact).

Life and Character, Progressions and Transits

Since he came to power, he has been variously described as a liar, deluded, a narcissist, a psychopath, a sociopath, infantile, suffering from dementia, you name it…Are there any weak tendencies in the birth chart which show possible mental problems arising, bearing in mind that he seems to have got steadily worse, and his pronouncements more and more bizarre?  Could this be a degenerative condition? His natal Mercury square Neptune may signify the potential or possibility of such a disorder.

Progressions show long term changes in the life and character, and he will be 74 in June.  Progressed charts for the next couple of years show two major stress points for him in life and character: Pluto sextile his Mars, and Venus conjunct Chiron.  These two exact aspects may occur around the same time as each other next year, which may be crunch time.  He may realize he can’t play this role any more.  Of course, we have the Presidential election before then, and in my blog about Joe Biden this year (8th March) I wrote:

“Donald Trump at the time of the presidential election will have: Uranus sextile his natal Mercury (surprise), Saturn opposite his Venus (heartache), Neptune square his Uranus (confusion) and Chiron opposite his Neptune (more confusion).  Although this is a mixed bag, there is enough difficulty there to possibly topple him…”

So I think if the election doesn’t topple him, then some personal event or crisis (it may even be a health crisis) may cause him to retire next year.

Transits show literally how things are now, as distinct to some extent his progress (because changes may not take hold in the same way that progressions may; they can be more transient in nature).  His transits now (at time of Disinfectant Gate):

Mars was trine his natal Jupiter and Uranus exact to the day – loosened his energies

Jupiter  opposite his natal Venus – a gaffe

Neptune square exactly his Nodal Axis – karmic confusion

Pluto opposite his Venus – a personal meltdown

Pluto trine his Midheaven – could be a career watershed; he certainly has lost even more credibility

Sound information from the BBC website:

Analysis by Rachel Schraer, BBC health reporter

Using a disinfectant can kill viruses on surfaces. It’s a very good idea to keep clean the things you touch, using products with anti-microbial properties – for example, substances with a high alcohol content….

Not only does consuming or injecting disinfectant risk poisoning and death, it’s not even likely to be effective.

Equally, by the time the virus has taken hold inside your body, no amount of UV light on your skin is going to make a difference.

And since UV radiation damages the skin, using it to kill the virus could be a case of – to borrow a well-worn phrase – the cure being worse than the disease.

Afterthought

Do you remember in 2017 when Donald Trump appeared to fall asleep over his tweet machine, and tweeted the mysterious word “covfeve”.  It was greeted with merriment at the time, but could it have been a premonition of covid fever…?

Aspects

Today promises to be a lively day, so hold on to your hats!

First off, we have a square between Mercury and Jupiter which will stimulate us mentally, almost to the point of too much information!  There may be travel involved, if you are allowed to leave home.  Hubby and I would have been in Cambridge for the first day of Political Philosophy in our ongoing course, but it’s all happening online instead.  The London Marathon would have been held today – perfect for Mercury square Jupiter, too.  It would however be a good day to be out in nature, taking a good stroll as far as the rules allow, and picking up information.  I have become re-acquainted with our garden since lockdown, and just saw a cluster of tiny pale blue butterflies, a very unusual sight.  Mercury square Jupiter is a refreshing aspect, if not a little over-stretching to try to manage.

Running alongside that today, we also have a conjunction of the Sun and Uranus, an expectation of the unexpected (anything can happen!).  It is a good day to demonstrate your originality and inventiveness, and in your leisure time begin a project which is highly creative or benefits society.   If you are operating from your Intuition, you could have a very successful day, but if you are lagging behind backfootedly, you may have a struggle to keep up.  Some tuning in early on may help with this.  Both aspects for today are high energy, so you may need to apply the handbreak from time to time or press the pause button to catch your breath.

Tomorrow (Monday 27th) Mercury enters Taurus which steadies the mind a little, after the stimulus of Mercury in Aries.  The atmosphere may be calmer, with the accent on the word may because of the times we are living in.  This placement (which lasts until 11th May) is good for negotiation and practical ideas.  It is a good time to focus the mind on earth-centred activities and projects, including climate and environmental work.

That evening, Mercury will be sextile the True North Node, increasing the productive element of the day: the karmic wind will be beneath your wings.  Sibling, educational and business karma will be especially well-starred.  Communication is highly significant and imbued with meaning, though subject to differing interpretations according to belief.

The following day, Tuesday (28th) could be more difficult for communication, with Mercury square Saturn.  If you found Saturday’s Mercury/Pluto square challenging (e.g. I heard of telephone and broadband problems), then this could be an echo, though not as challenging.  It is more of a case of frustration or being subject to delay.  More haste less speed may be a useful mantra to follow.   You may need to uncover and work through a mental block.

Friday 1st May will certainly see speedier communication, though with a possible touch of unpredictability, as Mercury conjuncts Uranus.  Again this could be an echo of today’s Sun/Uranus conjunction, so it’s likely to keep you on your toes, but on a mental rather than a creative level.  It could be exciting mentally, and unusual phenomena may happen, such as startling coincidences or undeniable telepathic experiences.  You’ll be thinking inventively and out of the box.  People will realize their connectedness in non-physical ways.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – liveliness
  • Tomorrow – mental practicality and good vibrations
  • Tuesday – slower connections
  • Friday – mental excitation

Aspects for the week beginning 19 April 2020

Tim Brooke-Taylor (1940 – 2020)

Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor died last Sunday, 12th April, the same day as motor-racer Stirling Moss and footballer Peter Bonetti.  He died, at the age of 79, as a result of complications from the coronavirus.

Birth Chart

Tim had the Sun conjunct Chiron in Cancer, depicting a kind, caring healer of sorts (healing through emotion and comedy).  Chiron is strongly aspected in his natal chart, with in addition three sextiles, to Uranus, Neptune and his Ascendant.  As an actor as well as a comedian, he played many roles, some pompous, but the vulnerable, self-deprecatory persona felt very much like the true Tim Brooke-Taylor, and that shows up in his combination of Cancer Sun with Ascendant in Virgo and Neptune rising.

He was highly intelligent (Sun conjunct Mercury), and came from the same stable (i.e. Footlights at Cambridge University) as his contemporary John Cleese.  He was actually president of Footlights for a while.  What is distinguished in his chart is an exact sextile between the Sun and Uranus, which shows a brilliance of sorts.  Uranus is strong in his chart too, as it is also exactly sextile his Ascendant, showing he had the power of surprise, essential in comedy.  Mercury conjunct Mars in entertaining and performing Leo conferred a quick wit, situated in the 11th House of Groups and Friendships (i.e. The Goodies being his group).  In fact Mercury was also conjunct exactly with Pluto there, an ability to be profound, and forming with Mars a triple conjunction (standing for a trio of energetic comics). Venus was in Gemini in the 10th House of career, at the top of his chart, close to the Midheaven, earning for him a huge popularity and likeability.  Mars squaring Jupiter in his chart constitutes over the top humour and energy, with Mars square Saturn showing a clumsiness, which is helpful for slapstick skills.  Last but not least, Sagittarius on the I.C. (imum coelum) tells us that humour was a foundation for his life.

Life and Career

Tim was a regular on our screens (e.g. remember the brilliant At Last the 1948 Show?) before he teamed up with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie as the madcap trio The Goodies from 1970 – 1980.  But he was also known on radio as a panellist on I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue (an “antidote to panel games”) and I’m Sorry I’ll read that Again, a long service stretching over 50 years.  I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue epitomizes his type of humour, which could be described as general silliness!  Something people need in times of trouble…letting go into silliness, rather than mental gymnastics.

Partners in Comedy

The Guardian obituary by Anthony Hayward describes the roles within the Goodies as “The pompous Brooke-Taylor, the professional Garden and the untidy but raffish Oddie”.

In the mysterious alchemy which makes a trio workable, we find the following interaspects for Tim and his partners:

With Graeme Garden, there was an exact opposition between their Mercuries, complementary mindsets under Leo (Tim) and Aquarius (Graeme).  Plus Graeme’s Jupiter was exactly square Tim’s Nodal Axis (comic karma! – maybe they were a performing troupe in the Middle Ages).

Like Tim, Bill Oddie is a Cancerian, so they may to some extent have shared biorhythms.  There was a definite karmic relationship, with Oddie’s Sun square Tim’s Nodal Axis.  Mental and physical energy and stimulus came from Oddie’s Mars trine Tim’s Mercury/Pluto.  The power of humour is represented by Oddie’s Jupiter sextile Tim’s Mars.  And inspiration is represented by Oddie’s Neptune conjunct exactly Tim’s Ascendant (we do not have Oddie’s birth time/Ascendant).

In the third side of the triangle: Oddie’s Venus sextiles Graeme’s Saturn (loyalty in friendship), Oddie’s Mars sextiles Graeme’s Mercury (sparking wit), but Oddie’s Saturn squares Graeme’s Nodal Axis and Chiron (a serious Soul Contract).

Death

The tragedy of being a victim of coronavirus is being replicated all over the country and the world, and I cannot see any astrological patterns so far.  Though the transits may not tell us anything about the nature of his death, for the record, Mars was exactly opposite Tim’s natal Mars (a battle fought and lost), and Pluto (the ending of the life cycle) was exactly opposite his natal Sun.  He was by all accounts, a very nice man.  Here is his tribute from comedian David Mitchell:

“He was a wonderful comedian and a really lovely man and I feel honoured to have known and worked with him.”

Aspects

Today, Mercury is sextile Mars: as we have seen above, this combination can spark wit!  So sharpen your pen, and if appropriate, loosen your tongue!  Physical and mental energies can co-ordinate.  If you are cycling a great deal to keep fit in these challenging times, you may find the wind behind your sails.  You may be able to cycle just that bit faster or longer, and your fitbit may register record stats. There may be shortcuts to your usual way of doing things.

At the same time, you may also be able to slow down and manipulate time today, because the Sun moves from quick-acting Aries into chilled out Taurus today.  So it is also a good day for gardening, if you would prefer that to cycling.  Taurus is a sign which fosters a whole host of talents: cooking (ingenious lockdown recipes from the stock cupboard), nurturing seedlings, expressing art and music (a friend of ours is teaching his grandson to play the recorder on Zoom), and creative management of money.  So the coming month is a favourable climate for learning to breathe and blossom in whatever talent you wish to nurture within your repertoire.

Tomorrow, Monday (20th), the Sun is sextile the North Node, which also favours forging on with creative plans.  It is a good day to settle on your direction in life, or for the week at least.  You may find that everything falls into place.

Tuesday (21st) is more difficult.  Saturn squaring the Sun can produce delay and frustration.  The slowing of rhythm in Taurus may look more like a standstill.  This is an opportunity to think through what you are doing, and your strategies.  If you are making economies, are they the right ones, based on your optimum values?

A New Moon at 3 degrees Taurus on Thursday (23rd) may enable a fresh new start, and that may be in the realm of cooking, gardening, art, music or money.  If you know the House which it falls on in your birth chart, you can further refine the area of your intentionality.  Make the most of this wishing Moon.

Further setbacks may be likely on Saturday (25th), so don’t be too ambitious about what you want to fit into your plans and cram into your diary.  Allow spaces for psychologically digesting your experiences.

First, Pluto squares Mercury, so you may encounter awkward communications or travel (if you are allowed to travel).  Some ‘me space’ could enable the depth of thought you need to see things clearly, and put your priorities in order.   Statistics around the pandemic could seem dispiriting, but every day in every way we are getting closer to the sense of an ending.

In the early evening, Pluto is Stationary prior to turning retrograde.  Put your psychological house in order, e.g. with a spot of re-aligning meditation, ready for the challenges of this retrograde period.  The challenges may be more wearying than acute, but you need to keep up your vitality and reserves, and try to keep on top of day-to-day challenges.  Alternatively, if you find yourself in overwhelm, surrender is equally effective as a spiritual strategy towards a sense of peace and acceptance, and new insight to inform your next steps.

Captain Tom Moore

I can’t leave this blog without a look at the birth chart of Captain Tom Moore, an unintentional hero of the pandemic!  Nearly 100 years old, he set out on 8th April to walk 100 laps of his garden before his birthday on 30th April.  He was aiming to raise £1000 from family and friends for the NHS (in gratitude for earlier treatment for skin cancer), and to date he has now raised more than £25m and made a chart topping record with Michael Ball.

What special qualities mark out his chart for success and longevity?  Sun in Taurus has great stamina and endurance, as well as a strong will of course.  But a wonderful feature of his chart is Neptune conjunct exactly with Jupiter (extreme idealism) and together they trine Chiron (the healer and solution to problems).  Chiron exactly trines Neptune and closely trines Jupiter.  That is an amazing planetary line up!

In his transits, we have a Uranian story:  On 8th April Uranus was trine his natal Saturn; Uranus was sextile his natal Uranus (the power of surprise) and Uranus was sextile his natal Pluto – a big change in his life, suddenly bringing out his power.

Michael Ball, who has made the most of the opportunity by making a record of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with Tom taking part, also has the power of Uranus working for him at the moment, with Uranus exactly sextile his natal Sun.  Do they have a link, karmic or otherwise?  Yes, Tom’s Uranus trines Michael’s Sun exactly, Tom’s Mars sextiles Michael’s Uranus (they galvanize each other), and Tom’s Pluto is exactly conjunct Michael’s Sun (Tom makes a profound impact on Michael’s life and psyche).

By this time next week, I imagine Tom’s adventures and exploits will have grown exponentially…!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – brisk action, but also relaxation
  • Tomorrow – karmic reward
  • Tuesday – frustration
  • Thursday – new beginning
  • Saturday – psychological wrangles

Aspects for the week beginning 12 April 2020

Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Oppositon, put together his Shadow Cabinet this week.  Some of these I have already written about, and some are new to my researches.  There are nearly 100 listed, so I can only write about a few this week, and maybe come back to this theme another time.  Among the top members, Keir has tried to incorporate a spectrum from the left to the right of the party.

Keir Starmer – Leader of the Labour Party

I last reviewed the Labour Party at the time of the commencement of the Leadership Election in January.

I wrote in 2017:

“Keir Starmer, the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has been a solid presence by Jeremy Corbyn’s side since 6 October 2016, having previously established his integrity in the role as Director of Public Prosecutions.  With Sun exactly conjunct Pluto in Virgo, he has great depth of character …Keir Starmer has a quiet but determined air about him which conveys confidence.  One of the greatest assets he has in his chart is Mars exactly trine Jupiter, action combined with confidence and enthusiasm…Starmer also has a Grand Trine in the Water element, of Mars, Neptune and Jupiter/Chiron, which can bring healing to situations.  Pluto on the Sun is not easy, however, and Saturn on the South Node means he has brought some difficult karma in with this incarnation, but so far in his career he has performed well and overcome obstacles.”

I wrote in January that he had some challenging squares in his transits for 4th April, and “This may mean he does not win, or it may mean that he wins and is faced with enormous hurdles.”  Now of course, he is not just the Leader of the Opposition, but also charged with the responsibility of co-creating a constructive response to the coronavirus epidemic.  He has promised to collaborate in this effort, while also holding the government to account, a much more complex role than is usual.

How does he square up to Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) and Dominic Raab (Foreign Secretary, currently standing in for Boris)?  Keir’s Uranus squares Boris’ Mars, which can be quite a confrontational and sparky relationship, but we don’t know when Boris will be returning to work.  He is currently making good progress in his recovery in hospital, but may need a long recuperation period.  Boris’ Uranus sextiles Keir’s Mars, so that is a similarly energetic dynamic but not so harsh. Keir’s Jupiter opposes Boris’ Uranus, so again high energy, and challenging.  And Boris’ Pluto sextiles Keir’s Neptune, working together at a deep level, but with Boris actually wielding the power.

With Dominic, Keir has his Mars exactly trine Dominic’s Sun, again some conflict but can be constructive, and certainly high energy.  Keir’s Jupiter is on Dominic’s Sun, and so he is in a position to help him.  Raab’s Neptune squares Keir’s Sun, so he may hold back secrets from Keir.  Raab’s Neptune squares Keir’s Pluto, and Keir’s forensic nature may see through more than Raab realizes.  Raab’s Pluto trines Keir’s Saturn, so they can work together constructively on matters of grave importance, and Raab’s Pluto sextile Keir’s North Node, so they may be karmically destined to work together on such grave matters.

Angela Rayner – Deputy Leader

Angela Rayner was successful in her bid to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.  She proved a popular candidate, without the controversial baggage which some of the Leadership candidates brought to the table.

It is the first time I have looked at her chart.  She has a strong individuality, with her Sun unaspected, or untramelled if you look at it from another angle.  Mercury only has an exact sextile to Chiron, which gives a problem-solving mind.  She has good values, with Venus closely trine Saturn.  Mars conjunct Jupiter produces super energy allied with enthusiasm, and a can do attitude.  Mars closely square Uranus gives a sparky energy, and Mars trine Neptune sensitivity in action.  Mars exactly conjunct the North Node in Leo and trine the Galactic Centre produces a powerful Inner Warrior, especially combined with Sun in Aries.  Jupiter square Uranus is entrepreneurial.  All that Mars gives her the red-headed image, too!  A flat mate of Rebecca Long-Bailey, her politics is described as “soft left”.

At the announcement of the result of her appointment, Jupiter was sextile her natal Uranus (success and breakthroughs), and Pluto was sextile her natal Uranus (big changes in her life).

Anneliese Dodds – Shadow Chancellor

Anneliese has the plum role of Shadow Chancellor, and hers is another fresh chart to view…Anneliese has 0 Earth planets, but she does have the asteroid Chiron (Inner Healer) in the sign of Taurus (finance).  Her Sun in Pisces has a trine to Mars in Cancer, so she has plenty of emotional energy.  She has writing and speaking ability, in a conjunction of Mercury and Venus in Aries.  With Jupiter sextile Saturn, she should have a fairly balanced judgement.  Anneliese is the first woman to hold this important post.

Her main transit this week was Jupiter/Pluto sextile her natal Sun (success and power).

Lisa Nandy – Shadow Foreign Secretary

I wrote in January:

“Of all the charts, Lisa Nandy’s inspires me the most.  She is a strong willed Leo, a sign known for leadership.  She was born a month before Rebecca Long-Bailey in the same year. Whenever I have watched her, say on Question Time, she has seemed eminently sensible, and just nice (and that’s her Sun conjunct Venus).  I hadn’t thought of her as leadership material, until looking at her chart. With the Sun conjunct Jupiter, she could get lucky.  She has certainly surprised many with her success in impressing MPs in the initial weeks of her campaign.  Another surprise is that she has the Sun square exactly Uranus – The Rebel Archetype.”

She has landed a good, meaty role in that of Shadow Foreign Secretary, and I think she will shine.  I wrote for this period: ” But with Mars opposite her natal Mercury at the final, this does not seem momentous or  helpful enough to indicate a win.”  But she was one of the first appointments Keir Starmer made, and that is testimony to the good campaign she fought.

Nick Thomas-Symonds – Shadow Home Secretary

Born two months after Angela Rayner in the same year, that may bode well for their work together.  He has Sun square Mars, a strong Inner Warrior, which he may need for squaring up to his Conservative counterpart Priti Patel.  Like Angela Rayner, he also has the conjunction between Mars and Jupiter (super energy allied with enthusiasm, and a can do attitude).  He has a couple of challenging aspects to his Mercury (mind), but a superb exact trine between his Mercury and Pluto, which may overcome them, and produce work of forensic depth.  Priti Patel did the daily briefing on the coronavirus yesterday for the first time (which was interesting!), and hopefully he will find the right way to approach the challenge of holding her policies to account.  He should be fairly affable and conduct good relations, with Venus exactly sextile Jupiter.  Like Angela Rayner and Anneliese Dodds, he has Chiron in Taurus, so between them they may have a sound economic overview.  He previously worked as a chancery and commercial barrister.

This week he had Neptune square his natal Mercury and opposite his Saturn, so he may initially feel a bit thrown in at the deep end.

Rachel Reeves – Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Rachel Reeves now holds the counterpart role to that of Michael Gove in the Conservative Party.  Michael Gove’s role includes advising the Prime Minister on policy development, in particular in relation to Brexit.  Rachel’s has a Sun/Mercury conjunction in Aquarius, an ability to focus on social issues.  Mars is also conjunct the Sun, so we have another Warrior here.  Uranus (her ruling planet) squaring those three planets means that she will be very strong willed and individualistic in her style, and increases the Aquarian quotient in her chart.  She has a helpful Sun/Pluto trine, giving her some grit and more determination.  Her Mercury squares Uranus, so she is not afraid to be controversial (and has already been involved in some controversies).  Mars trines Pluto, giving her a powerhouse of energy.  The question is: is she an intellectual match for Michael Gove?  Sun conjunct Mercury in Aquarius is a pretty good credential, and the fact that at school, she won a British under-14 chess title.  She became a member of the Labour Party at the age of 16.

Her transits last week show Saturn opposite her natal Jupiter (responsibility, restricting movement), and Neptune square her Neptune (she may be initially confused and unprepared for her role).

Jess PhillipsShadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding

I wrote in January:

“With Sun in Libra, she has a strong drive for justice.  She has great energy allied with enthusiasm (Mars sextile Jupiter), the sign of a Motivator Archetype.  Her second book… is very much a motivational, self-help book.  The Moon in Aquarius gives her future vision, especially about society matters, caring about the underdog.  Mercury in Scorpio adds a forensic mind.  Venus conjunct Uranus makes for a social reformer, and her Uranus trines her North Node exactly, giving her a karmic mission as a Reformer.  Her Mars sextiles exactly Pluto, giving her a storehouse of energy which can move mountains, but her Mars is quite complex, as it squares Uranus and Chiron!”

The role she is now taking up has been highlighted since lockdown, because domestic abuse has been on the rise, for obvious reasons.  Therefore, she is the right person at the right time – she certainly has the character for this, and a record of standing up for the underdog and women’s rights.  My observations for her chances in the Leadership contest were:

“The planetary positions continue to make life difficult by the end of the game: Pluto still squares her Pluto (which may spell conflict), and Jupiter also squares her natal Pluto, which is unhelpful in seeking power.”  Although she does not hold a top post, she will give it all she has got.

Seven Shadow Cabinet members down, only 91 to go.  Sorry if I have missed out your favourite.  Oh well, I will have to save the others for later…bear with!

Aspects

Happy Easter to all my readers!  Mercury squares the Nodal Axis today, and it is an opportunity to tackle your karma!  With lockdown, we are able to give thought to a lot more of our processes and actions.  As a human race, we are waking up to what we neglected to do, perhaps, and the revival of nature without our pollution and consumerism is showing us that very clearly.  So whether it is personal relationship karma or environmental karma, we can put our minds to what needs to change for the future.  A phrase we are hearing a lot is “After this is all over…”  It is time to make a list!  And put into practice what we can do now.

Tuesday (14th) is more challenging, with a square between the Sun and Pluto.  That brings up the darkness for healing with the light.  This is a deep soul searching aspect.  It is the sort of day which can be looked upon as a gamechanger, or watershed.  So if you are in integrity, you may be able to influence what side the coin lands on.

The aspects on Wednesday (15th) may also be challenging, but much more easily constructive than the previous squares.  With Mercury conjunct Chiron in 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.  Another is in the area of alternative health – G.P visits are down as people are hesitant to engage outwardly in bringing their symptoms to the medical profession, and try to find their own path to healing.

On the same day, a square between the Sun and Jupiter may make things more tricky than they need to be, as that aspect exaggerates everything it comes into contact with.  It may make it more difficult to focus on the solution-making from Mercury/Chiron than it would normally be, but it may also suggest extra avenues of thought and ideas you could consider while you focus.  Just try not to get side-tracked.  There is also a joyful, humorous side of Sun square Jupiter, so try some laughter-yoga from time to time during the day!

The most congenial aspect of the week comes on Saturday (18th), when Mercury sextiles Venus.  It is a very social aspect, so it may take some ingenuity to work out how you will socialize while social-distancing.  Some of you will have regular Skype or Facetime slots with friends, or are cultivating over-the-fence relationships with neighbours, for instance.  This week our neighbour handed over a coronavirus poem he had written over the fence, to hubby.  We are living in unusual times!  The other main strand of activity for this aspect is writing, so get down to your writing projects, be it a poem, a journal, or a novel.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – mental focus on karma
  • Tuesday – dealing with deep issues
  • Wednesday – problem solving; finding the funny bone
  • Saturday – socializing while distant; writing

Aspects for the week beginning 5 April 2020

Albert Camus

Author of “The Plague”(“La Peste”)

Essayist, Novelist, Dramatist, Journalist, Philosopher

Sales of Albert Camus’ novel of 1947 have rocketed these last few weeks, because of how much it says about our current struggle.  Though he lived much of his life in France, Camus was born in Algeria, and drew inspiration from episodes of plague (cholera) which had taken place in his home town of Oran.  Not only does the book take us through all the different phases of the epidemic, but it examines the psychological struggles of many different characters in their response to the plague and its phases, in both their efforts to help their fellow man, and their guilts.  Ultimately he concludes that the goodness in them outweighs the bad.  The tale is informed by his philosophies, chief of all being absurdism, and his explorations of morality.

Birth Chart

Our own reactions to reading this type of material differ in this climate.  Some would run a mile rather than dwell on what would seem such a depressing read.  Others would read it in order to arm themselves and steel themselves psychologically.  In the years since 1947 dystopian novels and films have undoubtedly been popular, and there would be different motives for confronting such material.  So it is no surprise to find that Albert Camus had his Sun in Scorpio, the sign most likely to look at worst case scenarios and try to make sense of them, and even prepare for them.  I am not going to spell out the many ways in which his life, character and creations resonate to this sign.  But his chart is also rich with Archetypes, which is interesting.  His Ascendant is in Virgo, one of the signs associated with The Writer, square exactly the Midheaven (Careerpoint) in Gemini, another sign which holds that archetype.  He is a Leader, with Sun trine closely the North Node and 5 (half) of his planets in the Cardinal signs: certainly a leader in terms of being prescient, ahead of his time, and being a wayshower.  He was a Philosopher, with the Sun exactly sextile Jupiter, the planet of philosophy.  He was a Healer, with the Sun trine Chiron.  He had Moon trine the Midheaven, an aspect I associate with novelists (Stephen King has this).  Mercury sextile Uranus in his chart suggests a brilliant mind, with futuristic tendencies.  However, Mercury square Chiron which he also had can bring mental crises.  His Mars is strongly placed, being sextile his Ascendant and exactly trine his North Node, bringing in the Warrior Archetype, and also a lifelong passion for football.  He also had a strongly Saturnian side (Saturn square the Ascendant, conjunct the Midheaven and square the Nodal Axis and Chiron): this may show the political interests he had, especially his interest in the country of his birth.  The aspects to Saturn may also reflect the poverty of his childhood.

Life and Career

At the age of 17 he contracted tuberculosis.  He went to live with his uncle, and began to take an interest in philosophy – his progressed Sun was just moving into Sagittarius, the sign of philosophy.  He attended the University of Algiers, and gained a B.A. in Philosophy, with the subject of his thesis being Plotinus.

He wrote several novels, including “The Outsider” (“L’Etranger”), and his essays included the philosophical work The Myth of Sisyphus.  He started The Plague in 1942, and it was finally published in 1947.  People have been able to read it on several levels, and some have thought it to be an allegory of the French Resistance, in which he took part during the war years.  He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

“The Plague”

Camus organized his work into cycles of three parts.  Each cycle contained a novel, an essay and a play.  The Plague was the first part of the second cycle he wrote, under the theme of the revolt. In this novel he analyses this theme from various different angles.

Set in the Algerian city of Oran, the plague is spread by rats (bubonic), and affects the characters (which include a doctor and a cleric) in different ways, showing the morality of their choices or otherwise in the face of suffering and death.  The effects and course of the plague are eerily similar to the insidious encroachment of the coronavirus epidemic on our lives, e.g. the gradual stringent measures which have to be taken. Some people shine in their selflessness (like our keyworkers) and some sink to a lower form of behaviour (those who flout the social distancing rules deliberately).  Camus shows the “absurdity” and randomness of the human condition, in line with his philosophy.  His style contains multiple layers and meanings.

Personal Life

Camus married twice, but had numerous affairs, in a turbulent and passionate love life.  His first wife was Simone Hie; his second wife Francine Faure suffered from mental illness, partly caused by the anguish of his infidelity.  The higher purpose of their relationship was about healing, with her Chiron trine exactly his Sun and sextile exactly his Jupiter. Their union produced twins, Catherine and Jean.  Camus also had a long term mistress Maria Casares (a Scorpio), who was an actress. His daughter devotedly manages his estate, and has some interesting things to say about his work in an article in the Guardian:

“Perhaps with the lockdown we will have some time to reflect about what is real, what is important, and become more human,” she said.

Philosophy

Philosophy is full of -isms, and Camus is associated with his fair share.  Top of the list is:-

Absurdism:

Definition(s) from the Oxford book of Philosophy:

“In  existentialism, a term for the pointless or meaningless nature of human life, and action”.

Next in line is Existentialism: he was a friend of Jean-Paul Sartre.  They fell out at some stage, but Sartre was magnanimous on his death:

“A loose title for various philosophies that emphasize certain common themes: the individual, the experience of choice, and the absence of rational understanding of the universe with a consequent dread or sense of  absurdity in human life”.

Anarcho-Syndicalism: (definition from Wikipedia)

“Anarchosyndicalism is a political philosophy and anarchist school of thought that views revolutionary industrial unionism or syndicalism as a method for workers in capitalist society to gain control of an economy and thus control influence in broader society.”

[I once travelled to the Eurovision Song Contest with a Sagittarian Anarcho-syndicalist, and mentioned it in a blog, but that’s another story…]

Other -isms associated with Camus are:- Pacifism,  Surrealism, Libertarian Socialism and Humanism

Death

Camus died in a car accident on 4th January 1960.  At the time, Pluto was exactly square his Mercury (literally death while travelling).  I hasten to reassure that this transit does not always manifest so dramatically, but it is interesting that it is a rare transit because Pluto takes so long to travel round the zodiac.  No one would experience this transit more than twice in their lifetime.

In the car was his latest manuscript, an autobiographical work, unfinished, titled “The First Man” (“Le Premier Homme”).  The book was published posthumously in 1995, so if you thirst for more meaning behind the man, it is another book to order at this time.

Aspects

A huge conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto occurred in the early hours of this morning – did you experience a shift of any kind?  Often described in dramatic terms, because Pluto is drama and Jupiter expands everything it touches, I tend to see it as a symbol of hope.  As I have been doing this blog since January 2007, and a Jupiter cycle is every 12 years, I actually encountered this in my first year as a blogger.  So I have had a chance to review my material (which also had a separate “Jupiter-Pluto Extravaganza blog”!).  I was quite optimistic about it at the time, and did not see any dark happenings arise during that actual time, though Financial Astrologer Raymond Merriman says it presaged the 2008 recession.

We are living in a much different time now, and of course, it behoves me to be more cautious and realistic!  This conjunction would bring out extremes, e.g. of behaviour.  It mainly relates to power, and the expansion of ambitions.  But with Saturn in Aquarius, our wings are clipped.  Our aims in some ways are more modest, but inwardly there is a far greater potential for growth.  So if you feel you are on a good path in your life, despite the prevailing challenges, then it is a time you can expand and test your own power.  If you feel you are out of kilter or out of balance, then be extra cautious (you could be hoisted by your own petard!).  It is clear that as a country the U.K. is still gathering apace on the number of coronavirus deaths, and Jupiter-Pluto is not likely to ameliorate that.  But I do think the conjunction helps to bring out the best in human nature (which is the message of Albert Camus’ “Plague”).

On Tuesday (7th) Mars squares Uranus, which is a warning for caution, as it can be explosive, especially at a time when people are frustrated and unable to go out, or let of steam in some of the ways they are used to (such as barbecues in the sunshine with gatherings of more than two).  So the best you can do is chill out, and urge others to stay safe and stay at home, and hope the message radiates.  This square can also be accident-prone, so if you are out riding your bike, make sure your helmet is firmly held on.  If you have elderly relatives, make sure they are wearing their alarm pendants [this from personal experience…].

A more constructive aspect occurs that evening, in the shape of Mercury sextile Pluto.  It may be instrumental in regaining balance, if that was overturned by events earlier in the day.  Mercury in harmony with Pluto in this way can produce profound thought and communication,  honouring the gravity of a situation if necessary, and enabling meaningful debate to occur.  It may provide an opportunity for Keir Starmer to establish some good ground rules for his new role as the Leader of the Labour Party, both in his relations with the government in a concerted effort to steer the course of the coronavirus crisis, and in forming a strong shadow cabinet, and forging a new vibe in the party to attract back the disaffected.

Some good news may be possible on Wednesday (8th) – we can but hope!  Mercury sextile Jupiter favours communication, sales and travel.  Some worries about business may be alleviated.  Higher learning is also a benefit – I know many people are learning new things on the internet in their isolation, including foreign languages.  It’s a good time to practice your new language skills!

The Full Moon in Libra also on Wednesday has been dubbed a “Pink Supermoon”, which is a sight worth looking out for!  Normally the Full Moon brings a lot of emotional tension, but the bubbly mindset of Mercury sextile Jupiter which accompanies it may steady the mood somewhat, and Libra is a more equable sign than most.  This Full Moon is emotionally dedicated to relating, while the Sun which opposes it in Aries wants its own way.  Thus a delicate balance operates, which may be resolved in common aims, e.g. in a united effort.

Mercury enters Aries on Saturday (11th) and you need to be prepared for plain speaking, whether your own (perhaps without engaging the brain!), candid words from others, or telling it like it is from the daily government briefing (which may be a shock to some). You will need to get to the point much more directly in your communications, and there is more sense of urgency about paperwork.  Of course everything is now being done online; even our local post office has closed down.  So more direct communication is on the cards.

And at the very end of this week, at 23.58 Hrs on Saturday, two minutes before midnight, Mercury sextiles Saturn.  This favours exacting mental work and documentation: you may get out of bed just to write that definitive email!  Otherwise it is helpful for focussing your late night intentions for a dream of guidance about an issue currently on  your mind, and the result may be a detailed and straightforward dream, without too many frills in the symbolism or interpretation.

The week in bullet points:

 

  • Today – grandiose
  • Tuesday – dramatic
  • Wednesday – good news; heightened emotion
  • Saturday – straight talking; mental focus