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Aspect for the week beginning 1 November 2020

U.S. Presidential Election

A Last Minute Recap

I will keep this brief, as I am no wiser than the next person on the subject.  Indeed, most people thought Hillary Clinton would win four years ago, and she did not.  Maybe Donald Trump has a certain je ne sais quoi que je ne sais pas. It is also true that most pundits, of all descriptions, tend to be influenced by their own bias, and that is an unknowable quantity.

Joe Biden

… the face it chose was a familiar one, belonging to a man whom Democrats feel they’ve known for ever, whom most of them trust and like. Even the voters I met who were not backing Joe Biden described him the same way: as a ‘good man’, as a ‘really decent person’, as someone of warmth and “empathy”.”  ~ Jonathan Freedland

Written earlier in 2020:

“At the time of the presidential election, Joe Biden has Jupiter sextile his natal Mercury (which is mentally upbeat) and Chiron trine his natal Pluto (which is profoundly helpful).”

To which I would add that though the Chiron trine is not exact, it may be important because in his natal chart he has Chiron conjunct his North Node (karmic mission).  Also, the sextile of Jupiter to his Mercury is exact the next day, when some of the results are starting to come in.  So there may be some initial cheer.  Of course, we hear a lot about delays, and this week Mercury will be square Saturn for most of the week, which bears this out.  And we hear much about Donald possibly not accepting defeat if it comes, which may delay an outcome even further.  Then there are fears that the country will be plunged into civil war afterwards (whoever wins).  If we were not living in such unusual times (not to mention the pandemic), Jupiter sextile his Mercury would be plainsailing good news for him!

Written earlier in 2020:

“For the time of the inauguration, Biden has very difficult transits, suggesting that he may have to cede to his deputy if elected: Mars will square his natal Pluto (danger); Jupiter will be opposite his natal Pluto (a difficult power struggle), Uranus will be square his Pluto (difficult change) and Pluto opposite his natal Jupiter (more power struggle).”

Donald Trump

Written earlier in 2020:

“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… ”

To which I would add he also has Mars opposite his Chiron, exact on the day, another dangerous opposition.

His transits for Inauguration time are:

Pluto opposite his natal Venus (a shattering time for him personally), but with Pluto trine his Midheaven (a transformation in his Career, Life Direction and Reputation – which could go either way!)

Kamala Harris

As Deputy for Joe Biden, if he were elected she may have to step into his shoes at a moment’s notice.

Written earlier this year:

“Her transits for the time of the election on 3rd November show Neptune opposite her natal Venus in Virgo in 3rd House (some personal confusion) and Jupiter trine her natal Jupiter in Taurus in 11th House (a sign for success).”

and for the Inauguration:

“In her transits for the Inauguration on 20th January, she has Pluto trine her natal Jupiter (the chance of a real step up in power).”

Mike Pence

Again, written earlier this year:

“What is a surprise is the set of transits for his running mate, Mike Pence, which are partly favourable, so they do not rule out Pence taking over for Trump.  At the time of the election, Mars will be exactly sextile Pence’s natal Sun (new vigour), and the North Node will be exactly conjunct his Mercury (again, according to his karma, the result could swing either way).  At the time of the inauguration, Pence will have Saturn opposite his natal Mars (some blocking), Saturn square his natal Neptune (discomfort), but Pluto sextile his natal Jupiter (often meaning taking on power, and a milder version of Kamala’s positive transit at inauguration).”

Chart of the U.S.A.

Election Transits for the chart of the U.S. show the North Node on its Mars in Gemini in 9th House of Foreign Relations – an impact on world affairs;  Chiron square its Jupiter in Cancer in 10th House – an alteration or crisis in its reputation; Pluto trine its Neptune in Virgo in 12th House – favourable to change; and the Nodal Axis square its Neptune in Virgo in 12th House – utter confusion!

For the Inauguration: Pluto will be opposite its Mercury (nervous strain); Mars sextile its Jupiter (enthusiasm or hope), and Chiron still square its Jupiter.

Some political commentator fear that the process of settling the issue could take a great deal of time, particularly if Donald loses and digs his heels in.  There is an interesting set of transits for 19th and 20th February:  The U.S. Pluto Return takes place on 20th February 2022 in its 4th House of Home and Family, the day after the exact opposition of Pluto to Donald Trump’s Venus.  It could be that the issue or an issue is forced, for Donald Trump around that time, and crisis and transformation come to a crucial point around that time for the U.S.  These two factors could be linked.

Meanwhile, other transits to watch for the U.S. are: Saturn reaching the U.S. Pluto, on 21st November, a possible rock bottom moment; and Jupiter reaching Pluto on 7th/8th December, a possible sign of hope.

Mercury turning Direct on the day is not unhelpful, but as you will see under Aspects for this week, it is a Mercury which is in a stuck position, squaring Saturn.

And, as I have said before, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at 0 degrees Aquarius on 21st December heralds a fresh new era for all of us, and that may include a new presidency.


There is one aspect this week, and it is able to dominate the week in an unusual way.  Mercury is in a stuck position, squaring Saturn.  In the U.K. we are facing a lockdown, from Thursday 5th November.  In the U.S. they are facing what may be a stuck election.  You will need a great deal of patience this week.  You may also need a new philosophy of life, along the lines of forbearance (an old fashioned, 19th or 20th Century value).

That mood starts today, with the actual square between Saturn and Mercury itself, the first of two passes (in one week – what a rarity!)  It may be difficult, but it does mark this week out as being a special week.  Try to look at the Universe’s purpose for the train of events, or for how they interact with your own life purposes.  “What is being required here?” is a useful question.

More haste less speed may be a useful mantra to follow: I had the mundane challenge this morning of a very slow computer, which fits the brief accurately.  Travel and communications will be slow, and during almost the rest of the week.

On Tuesday (3rd), the day of the U.S. Presidential Election, Mercury will be Stationary prior to turning Direct.  There may be some slight sense of relief, e.g. “we can go out and vote to change things” or “we can get on with planning the next month’s lockdown”.  It is the difference between being in a state of suspense and being able to take some action, however small.  Some types of glitches (e.g. some computer issues) can be smoothed out today or in the next few days to come.  But remember that Saturn is still holding down Mercury, so some issues are still under a state of repression.  It is still by no means full steam ahead, and may not be for a few days to come.  You can certainly pick up some projects which involve paperwork and documentation, and make some essential journeys.

To fill in the tedium of this week, I am including some Fixed Star inspirations.  So on Tuesday, our Sun is aligned with the fixed star Acrux, the alpha star of the Southern Cross.  According to Vivien E. Robson, this star is associated with intuition and inventive thought.

From “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld we have:

“Humanity has reached the point of perfect attunement for receiving the beneficial energies from this place and this civilization.  For some individuals working with games, the sense of competitiveness and inner strength can become an awareness of love, compassion, forgiving, seeing it all as a game, and being able to have some perspective on it.  This is also helpful in dealing with many conditions of seeming hopelessness or difficulty on Earth.”

On Wednesday (4th) our Sun is aligned with the star Alphecca which Robson equates with honour and artistic ability.  It is part (the jewel) of the crown of Coronae Borealis, and suggests a gift.

Again from “Starlight Elixirs”:

“The beings associated with this star have a deep love of history.  They made contact with Earth beings in the time of ancient Greece.  The god associated with Mercury, sometimes called Hermes, was actually a manifested being from this civilization.  Some direct influence beginning in the ancient Grecian period is associated with this star.  These beings have assisted in this deeper awareness of integrating principles at various times and have sought to stimulate ideas and communicative principles for long periods with Earth.”

Friday (6th) brings a return of Saturn square Mercury (today’s aspect), this time with Mercury Direct as it just turned, so twice in one week, which is so very unusual as has been mentioned.  You may experience it as one long continuous square between Sunday and Friday (virtually the whole week), with some lightening of proceedings from Monday’s turnaround. So you may feel slightly lighter on Friday, as Mercury is Direct.  Perhaps you may see the light at the end of the distant tunnel.  Otherwise, all that was mentioned for the beginning of the week still applies.

On that day, too, another Fixed Star links with us: Zubenelgenubi, the Southern Scale of Libra.  Some words from “Starlight Elixirs, may apply:

“This binary star influences in a very positive way those aspects of close relationship where individuals have given over their will to another being, yet recognize that, paradoxically, the other being has also given over his or her will to you.  Individuals may be able to find a peacefulness in their relationship by balancing forces that may be negative, aggressive, or those causing great disruption in their relationship.”

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – slow progress
  • Tuesday – some improvement in communications; perspective
  • Wednesday – integration and harmony
  • Friday – again, slow progress, but not as slow as Sunday; peacefulness

Aspects for the week beginning 25 October 2020

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 – Part 1

A very different series of Strictly Come Dancing awaits us this year, with social distance rules and virtually no audience.  Nevertheless, there was clearly much enjoyment to be had in last week’s partnership reveal show, and no loss of zest.  And last night’s first Live show did not disappoint, leaving a warm glow.  As usual, I will kick off with four contestants, and come back to this theme in future blogs.

Caroline Quentin

We first came to know Caroline in Men Behaving Badly (1992-1997), but she has hardly left our TV screens since.  Mars (men) sextile the North Node and closely conjunct the Midheaven in Taurus, may symbolize that role.  She has Sun conjunct Venus in Cancer, and has been involved in programmes about houses (namely: The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes and Restoration Home), a Cancerian theme.  She also has the Entrepreneur Archetype: Jupiter trine Uranus.  A most interesting feature of her chart is Jupiter exactly trine her Ascendant, on the cusp of the 5th House, at the Galactic Centre – that’s almost a superpower!  No wonder she has been popular and successful throughout her career.

In the partnering show, nearly all the celebrities said they were over the moon with and would have picked their designated partners; so we cannot infer anything from their reactions!  But she seems genuinely happy with her designated partner.  For the transmission of the partnering show, Caroline had Jupiter opposite her Sun (high hopes);  Neptune trine her Sun, a chance to reconnect with her Inner Dancer (she originally wanted to be a dancer so it is a childhood dream come true); and Mars trine her natal Uranus – all fired up!  For the start of the Live shows, last night, Neptune was still trine her natal Sun.  With her partner Johannes she performed the American Smooth last night, and drew great praise from the judges, and a very successful first score of three 7s.  Her full Cancerian emotion was on display.   In her transits for the Final show Neptune will still be trine her natal Sun (still enjoying reconnecting with dance), but Pluto will be opposite her natal Venus, a tough time personally.  And she will have North Node sextile her natal Uranus – a surprise for her, plus Uranus opposite her natal Neptune, complexity.  I think she will enjoy the Strictly experience, but would not see her in the final.  She will do well, though.

Her synastry with partner Johannes Radebe reveals her Neptune opposite his Sun (he can help bring out her Inner Dancer, but the experience is more complex for him); her Jupiter trine his Mercury and conjunct his Uranus, transits which provide a some successful showcasing of his teaching.  She describes him as “patient, funny and kind”.  His transits for the start of the Live shows show Saturn square his Mercury (something holding him back), Chiron on his Venus, some emotional pain (which may be in his private life) and Uranus opposite his Pluto (there may be a sense in which he may be performing below par).  For the final, Uranus opposes his natal Sun, so he could be feeling detached at that time, Chiron will still be on his Venus, but Uranus trine his Neptune, making some sense of recent difficulties.  He will be on a real journey, as they say. Right now, though he seems confident of being able to bring out Caroline’s highest potential.


Young HRVY was born in 1999 but found fame as a singer at an early age.  With 0 planets in Earth, he may find difficulty in grounding, and with 6 planets in Air he may overthink things.  Last night’s performance showed him to have real dancing feet, though his jive was so quick his feet almost didn’t touch the ground!  But he has 6 planets in the Fixed signs, which gives him strong will power.  He is a Sun sign Aquarian with Mercury conjunct the Sun, so may have a futuristic mental outlook.  With the Sun also conjunct Uranus, he can surprise you, and no doubt will do so throughout this competition.  Sun conjunct Neptune gives him a spiritual side, and Sun sextile Pluto means you could underestimate him – he is definitely one to watch!  Mercury square Mars provides quick mental reactions (could be good at the Tango head-turns!).  His Mercury is closely conjunct Neptune, so he could be good at channelling (e.g. may channel Fred Astaire!).  Mercury is also sextile exactly Chiron, making him a problem-solver (he may be a person who habitually uses the phrase “no problem”!)  With Uranus sextile Pluto, he can flow with change.

He began his music career with a single, “Thank You”, released on 20th December 2013.  Yes, you read that right…at the tender age of 14.  Transiting Uranus, his ruling planet, was sextile his natal Sun (the sign of sudden success).  The next year, he was a supporting act for Little Mix!  On 20th November this year he will release his debut album, when Saturn is sextile his natal Jupiter, Saturn square his natal Saturn and Uranus square his natal Sun.  So he will be under a lot of pressure, with the dancing competition alongside that.  Uranus is currently square his Sun and Saturn sextile his natal Jupiter now, as we start the Live shows.  He put in a breathtaking performance last night, with superlatives from each of the judges, and the top score of 8, 8 and 9.  For the final, the Uranus square has passed, so that may be more associated with the excitement of his debut album.  At the final, Jupiter would be square his natal Mars in Scorpio, he’d be really going for it if he is in the final!  But Saturn will be square his natal Mars, so he would be required to exhibit great flair with great discipline, balancing his natal T-square of Mercury, Mars and Saturn.

His partner Janette Manrara is a bright spark, always cheery and effervescent on screen.  Their synastry shows their Mercuries are exactly sextile, providing great mental rapport.  His Chiron on her Mercury will pose her conundrums, but at the same time contribute to their solution.  Her Uranus sextiles his natal Sun, which is a successful sign for him.  Her Pluto trine his Venus constitutes a deep partnership, very transformational for him.  Her Pluto on his Mars brings a lot of energetic connection between them, which may become obvious in the fast-paced dances.

Her transits as they begin the competition shows transiting Pluto closely sextile her Sun, which builds to an exact transit at the final; that is extremely fulfilling.  But Chiron opposes her Venus, and Uranus opposes her Saturn so it is a challenge for her, on some level (perhaps the age gap?).  Other prevailing transits for her at the final are: Jupiter square her Pluto (a sense of power for her) and Saturn square her natal Pluto, a bittersweet edge – maybe  they will come second in the final?  But I see them as a sure fire entry into the final.

Maisie Smith

Maisie is another youngster, who plays Tiffany in Eastenders.  She was born the year after HRVY, and shares a similar element balance with HRVY.  With 7 Air planets she is mentally focussed, and with 0 Earth planets, you would assume her to be ungrounded.  Of course, both may have worked on these issues since they arrived on the planet.  And dance would definitely help ground them.  Maisie’s mother has described her as extremely grounded, so perhaps she has an Earth sign rising (we do not have her birth time).  Motsi last night described her as bringing “the dance to Mother Earth”.  She also has 6 planets in Mutable signs, making her adaptable and versatile.  Maisie has the Sun in the very feminine sign of  Cancer, so could do well in the feminine qualities required for some dances, and she obviously revels in the girlie costumes.  She has an unaspected Sun, which indicates a free spirit.  Mercury conjunct Jupiter may make her a quick learner on the dance floor.  Her stage school teacher described her thus: “Maisie has the most incredible memory and when it comes to script work she is fantastic.”  And Mercury trine Uranus could add touches of brilliance, and quick thinking, e.g. picking up after a missed step.  Venus trine Neptune indicates one who has musicality and innate dance ability.  Mars conjunct Pluto means she is a powerhouse of energy, in herself.  She has the Entrepreneur Archetype, like Caroline Quentin, and can go far, diversifying the avenues for her talents.  Like HRVY, she began her career young, as the red-headed daughter of red-headed Bianca, at the age of 6.

Her transits for the beginning of the Live shows bring up a square to her Sun from Mars, so she will be uninhibited from the start (she was, actually, fearless!).  She came out all guns blazing, in a frilly pink number.  At the final stage, Uranus will be square her Neptune, so there may be some hitch along the way, but she will give some spirited performances to be sure.  And on her performance last night, you would think her entry to the final to be guaranteed.  She came second on the leaderboard, after HRVY had performed.

Partner Gorka Marquez has clearly done a good job, from the outset, of allowing her talent to shine.  Their Synastry shows his Venus sextile her Mercury (good communication between them), his Venus trine her Chiron (a good relationship), his Jupiter sextile her Venus (a real marker for success, and Excellence in relationship, plus his Uranus on her South Node, adds another layer of success.

For the duration of the contest, he has Neptune opposite his natal Mercury, and Neptune sextile his Saturn.  The latter transit can bring inspiration down to earth.  The first transit may mean that he may take his eye off the glitterball at some point.  Chiron square his Uranus at the end means there is a possibility of injury during the competition.

She scored three 8s.  Bianca will already be proud, wherever she is!

Bill Bailey

Wow – Here we have someone who is very grounded, with 8 planets in Earth!  You might expect him to be a little too heavy on his feet, but actually he is more agile than you would expect for a veteran comedian.  Sun in Capricorn (politics) trine Jupiter (comedy) points to political satire as one of the strings to his bow.  With 0 Air signs, he is also very instinctive.  He has the energy (Sun trine Mars) and he has the enthusiasm (Sun trine Jupiter) to go far.  Mercury conjunct Venus gives him a way with words, and Mercury square Mars quick mental reactions.  Jupiter trine Uranus points to the third Entrepreneur in my quartet!  He is comfortable with Power (Jupiter exactly trine Pluto), and has the anarchic Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo of the mid-1960s.

As well as being a stand up comedian he is known for appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI.  He is also very musical, and played musical instruments during his performance last night.  He is an exponent of animal and wildlife conservation, and says he feels an affinity with the 19th Century naturalist Alfred R. Wallace.  The two are both Capricorns with Mercury conjunct Venus.  He begins the Live shows with Pluto on his Sun in Capricorn!  He seems to be embracing this challenge spectacularly.  He also has Saturn trine his natal Mars, some self-discipline, and Jupiter sextile his natal Neptune (currently loving life).  For the final he has Mars square his natal Sun, which is a bit frenzied.  Pluto will still be on his Sun (a long transformative process, throughout the series).

He is partnered with last year’s winner, the brilliant Oti Mabuse, who may not win again this year, but with his Jupiter squares her Sun – he will make her laugh!  Good, deep, connections include: His Neptune sextile her Saturn, his Uranus sextiles her Pluto and his Chiron trine her Pluto – they will transform each other.  Oti’s starting transits show Jupiter on her Saturn in Capricorn, a lightening up, a tonic;  and Chiron square her natal Uranus, also a shake up for her in some ways.  They came together over African rhythms last night, and put in a fun performance of the Cha Cha.  Her final transits show Pluto opposite her Venus, possibly too much of a challenge;  Uranus trine her Uranus – a personal success of sorts; and  Chiron square her natal Uranus still, still undergoing a shake up.  I think she will have a lot going on in her private life.  Not a serious contender for the glitterball, but a welcome and rewarding diversion in her life.

So we already have two possible contenders here: HRVY and Maisie, and Caroline keeping the flag flying for the older generation.  I will be back in two or three weeks with the next instalment!


At tea time today, the Sun will be conjunct Mercury retrograde at 3 degrees Scorpio. You may experience deep insights into life and love.  You may solve a mystery, from the low key “Where did my glasses get to?”, to the more profound “Why are we here?”.  Conversations may produce revelations.

In the early hours of Wednesday (28th) morning in the U.K. [1.33 a.m.], Mercury, still retrograde, re-enters Libra (from Scorpio).  You may return to a brief spell of soothing cultural themes, after a spell of furrowing your brow over the mysteries of life.  Gaze at beautiful paintings, and listen to beautiful music.

Eight minutes later, at 1.41 a.m., Venus enters Libra from the regular end (Virgo), emphasizing the planet Venus in both ingresses.  You may be pondering relationships or money, and see the issue from two different angles.  But the proximity of these two changes of sign may produce an intensity of real significance.  Venus is happy and harmonious in her own sign of Libra, and that may assist you in finding the sweet words to overcome any tensions.  A spot of insomnia may prove worthwhile, or you may have a beautiful dream.

It’s Happy Halloween for Saturday (31st), with a spooky Full Moon at lunchtime at 8 degrees Taurus.  Be sure to have all the edible treats on the table; the tomato sandwiches, the mozzarella sticks, the liquorice spider webs, etc.  And of course, the thoughts of dear ones departed who may be taking advantage of the collective tradition of the thinning of the veil.  If you have forgotten how Aunt Maud can provide guidance, you can re-kindle that telepathic pathway!

After lunch, Uranus opposes the Sun, requiring a change of orientation in some way.  Earlier insights, either from the day itself or earlier in the week, may lead you to understand what changes are required.  Expect the unexpected.  Be open and flexible, and use your intuition to the max.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – insight and focus
  • Wednesday – love and money
  • Saturday – trick or treat


Aspects for the week beginning 18 October 2020

Andy Burnham

Cometh the man, cometh the hour, so they say.  Andy Burnham, Mayor of  Greater Manchester, emerged as initiator of the Northern Rebellion this week, like liberty leading the people.

Birth Chart

I originally wrote about Andy during his second leadership bid for his party, in 2015, in which he came second to Jeremy Corbyn:

” He comes across as a competent and sincere man, but has not captured the public imagination – perhaps he is a little safe and dull?  He was born on a New Moon (Sun conjunct Moon) in the prosaic sign of Capricorn, which is strongly politically motivated.  He is a decent chap, with Venus conjunct this combination, and his heart is no doubt in a good place.  He also has his Mercury in Capricorn: a methodical, practical, systematic type of thinker.  6 of his 10 planets are in Earth signs, so he is grounded and realistic.

He does have an imaginative side, with North Node conjunct Mars in Pisces, normally the Warrior Archetype conjunction but softened by its appearance in Pisces.  He is a Warrior, but does not like to confront directly…  His Mars also sextiles his Sun exactly, and he has 5 of his 10 planets in Cardinal signs, so he has energy and would see himself as a leader.

The Piscean sensitivity also extends to his mental faculties, as his Capricorn mind (Mercury) sextiles closely Neptune, the planet of imagination.  So this is a balance in his make up, between the practical and the imaginative.  His Mercury also trines closely his natal Pluto, giving him depth of thought as well.”

To that I would add that his 6 Earth planets give him a deep connection with his Northern roots (he was born in Liverpool), and Moon conjunct Venus lends a quality of gentleness to his character.

When all the unsuccessful candidates (the other two were Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper) slinked off after that election, I remember  wondering what they would do with their lives and ambitions. Yvette Cooper made a successfully strident critic in opposition, and Liz Kendall continued to successfully serve as an MP in Leicester.  But I was intrigued when Andy Burnham made a bid for the Mayoralty of Manchester – I felt that he was making a choice from the heart.  And he has shown heart in his role.

Life and Career

Andy joined the Labour party at the age of 14 (so socialism is ingrained in him like the letters in a stick of rock!).  It was a response to the miner’s strike of 1984/5.  He gained a degree in English at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.  He gave his maiden speech in parliament in 2001, at the age of 31.  He took various roles in government under Blair and Brown, notably Minister of State at the Department of Health, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State of Health.  In his first challenge for the leadership of the party in 2010 (standing on the philosophy of “aspirational socialism”), he must have felt ready to lead, but came fourth to Ed Milliband.

Mayor of Greater Manchester

Andy Burnham was elected Mayor on 5th May 2017, with 65% of the vote.  He stated at the time:

” politics] has been too London-centric for too long … Greater Manchester is going to take control. We are going to change politics and make it work better for people.”

It was a new role, and one which he had to carve and create for himself.  Since then, he has notably attempted to tackle homelessness in his city, though he pledged to eradicate it and later admitted he would not quite achieve that aim.  Another aim was to overhaul the disjointed bus network, and in this aim he has met with delays and frustrations too.  The same is true for his desire to tackle pollution…the wheels of government grind slowly, and some of the delays have been down to Brexit legislations.

He was called upon to show his mettle as a leader in  the handling of the Manchester Arena bombing disaster.  He made an effective speech at the time, and provided support in various ways.  The aftermath and repercussions left may issues for him to deal with.  But it is as a voice for the North that he has been most visible.

This Week

So his great love for his territory and role as defender of Manchester came out this week when he stood up to Boris Johnson and declared that Manchester would not go willingly into Tier 3 despite the rising coronavirus numbers.  Matt Hancock immediately accused him of playing party politics, but his party leader Keir Starmer had earlier in the week challenged Boris to enforce a circuit breaker.  For Andy, the economic support that the government would provide in such an eventuality were not enough for his citizens to live on.  In fact, Burnham felt that a circuit breaker would be fairer than a Tier 3 category enforcement.  He stated that he would not let  his region become “the sacrificial lamb for an ill-thought-through Downing Street policy which doesn’t make sense in the real world”.  Venus transiting his South Node and opposing his North Node and Mars at the moment is making very much a defending karmic role.  On 18th November he may be taking a very strong stance, when Saturn exactly trines his natal Pluto in Virgo.

Currently, Boris’ response is to say he may override the Mayoral stance.  Of course the health vs economics tightrope walk is a fine line.  But Andy Burnham has drawn a line.  The populace of Manchester are currently awaiting clarification, amid talk of talks being held.

The Chart of Manchester

Astrologically, it is an extremely interesting time for the chart of Manchester, pivotal and crucial, with Pluto exactly trine its Sun on the day Andy Burnham made his stand.  Pluto was also conjunct the Chiron of Manchester: a make or break moment.  No wonder he felt such a compulsion to act on behalf of its citizens.


Saturn squares the Sun at lunchtime today, so you may be excused for feeling a little flat today.  Perhaps you live in a Tier 2 or 3 area, and are feeling the screw tightening, and your options dwindling.   We are all in it together, but some of us are more in it than others.

And then, just after lunch, Neptune opposes Venus, which is uncomfortable but in a different way, that you may not be able to put your finger on.  There may be some deception or illusion going on, especially in relationships or with money, so be cautious.  Don’t answer any cold calls or scam emails.  This aspect, like the previous, one, is fairly subdued.

A change of energy tomorrow (Monday 19th) with the more vibrant aspect of Mars square Jupiter: sheer over the top enthusiasm allied with energy. This aspect can bring spirited exchanges or sporting achievements, but there is a possible hint of danger – the last time it surfaced was in August, when there was a huge explosion in Beirut.

However, Venus trines Jupiter tomorrow, which is one of the best aspects of the year, and may go some way to mitigating some of the more reckless features of Mars square Jupiter.  The male energy may be running riot, but the female energy may temper that and make it more useful.  Venus with Jupiter is so very social, and can be romantic too.  It’s an aspect to savour and enjoy.

Tuesday (20th) brings a return of the recent opposition between Mercury and Uranus, last seen on Wednesday 7th when Mercury was still Direct.  Now that Mercury is Retrograde, there is even more possibility of experiencing the spanner in the works.  But if you are tuned into a higher mental wavelength, e.g. that of telepathy, you can achieve progress and flow.

The Sun enters Scorpio late on Thursday (22nd).  Under the Sun in Libra, we were going for negotiation, but now we need to confront the deeper issues and find more lasting solutions which treat the causes and not just the symptoms of a situation.  For this we need more insight, resolve and conviction, qualities of this sign.  The Scorpio gig is a grittier requirement.  You may see two sides becoming more entrenched in a stand off.

There is hope, on Saturday (24th), of more coming together, and more commitment and loyalty, with Venus trine Saturn.  Here again, Venus can provide a softening role to a hard line stance.  It’s not the celebratory relationship of Venus and Jupiter that we saw on Monday, but it is conciliatory, which may be just what is needed at that time.  Relationships need serious resolving, and Venus trine Saturn can help, whether on a personal level, or between the North and South.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – flatness; intrigue
  • Tomorrow – high jinks; celebration
  • Tuesday – the spanner in the works
  • Thursday – taking a stronger stance
  • Saturday – calling a truce


Aspects for the week beginning 11 October 2020

John Lennon’s 80th Birthday

“You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one…”

~ John Lennon

The life of John Lennon was celebrated this week, to commemorate what would have been his 80th birthday on Friday.  A member of the groundbreaking band The Beatles, and half of what is often hailed as the greatest songwriting duo with Paul McCartney, a talented writer and artist, and solo musician in his own right, he is without question a legend.

Birth Chart

His birthchart is satisfyingly descriptive of his life and character, though he was complex and went through psychological metamorphoses as well as musical phases.  With 6 out of his 10 planets in the Fixed signs, he was quite wilful from an early age.  His Sun in Libra in the 6th House of Working Conditions saw him searching for peace, as well as being industrious in his work.  But with his Ascendant in Aries, he could also be argumentative, continually upsetting his own apple cart.  The Sun was conjunct the South Node in Aries in his 12th House, giving him a powerful interior world.  The Sun was otherwise unaspected: the sign of a real one-off individual free spirit!  His Moon in Aquarius in 10th House implied futuristic vision, and a desire to improve society, plus an interest in working in a group (which he did for many years).  The Sun in Libra likes to work in a one-to-one collaboration (which he did with Paul McCartney for several years).  His Moon was exactly opposite Pluto; this shows volcanic emotions; it also describes the whole switch from Cynthia to Yoko, a deeper need in his life, to go along with a different line of psychological growth.  The opposition of Chiron to his Moon indicates wounds on the mother line (difficulties with his mother led to him living with his aunt Mimi for much of his childhood).  Jupiter exactly conjunct Saturn in Taurus in 1st House often presented him with dilemmas.  Allegedly, he was forced to choose whether to live with his mother or his father at the age of five.  With Venus in  Virgo in 5th House, he was very particular about his creativity.  At the same time, Venus loosely square Uranus meant he was always looking for  the unusual in relationship, with Venus as ruler of his 7th House of relationship as well as being his Sun ruler.  He found this quality in Yoko Ono (a Uranian ruled Aquarian).  His Venus was also trine with his Midheaven, a feature often found in the charts of musicians.  Warrior Mars, his Ascendant ruler, was in the Libra sign of peace, genuinely passionate about wanting peace, both personal and global.  The Peace Activist Archetype is shown particularly in Mars conjunct his North Node in Libra, and was prominently at work in his creativity and activity with Yoko Ono, such as the famous “bed-in”.   Mars closely sextile Pluto gave him a powerhouse of energy, and the ability to use it constructively.  Pluto conjunct Chiron in  Leo showed a shadow side, which occurring in his 4th House of Home and Family depicts the well-documented difficulties of his early family life.

Paul McCartney

In early liaisons, he met both Paul McCartney and Cynthia Lennon in 1957, around the age of 17.  John’s mother Julia had bought him his first guitar, in 1956, though his aunt Mimi disapproved of his musical ambitions and wanted him to concentrate on Art School. Julia subsequently died in a road traffic accident in 1958.

The date of meeting Paul is documented as 6th July 1957.  John had formed a band named The Quarrymen (with Jupiter from Virgo in his natal 5th House trine his natal Jupiter/Saturn in Taurus in his 1st House, following his Joy).  Paul attended their second performance, and  John asked him to join them on that date.

The chart for that date shows Venus exactly conjunct Uranus in Leo (sudden fortuitous creative meetings), and in their transits Jupiter was trine John’s Uranus, and Jupiter was on Paul’s Ascendant (an opportunity for both of them).

His synastry with Paul includes: their Marses exactly sextile, working well together (for a considerable time and intensity); Paul’s Uranus trine John Mars (Paul bringing excitement and electricity to John’s energy).  But Paul’s Pluto was exactly opposite John’s Moon, activating and emphasizing John’s own exact natal opposition between the Moon and Pluto: hence volcanic emotions eventually erupted between them and took over.


The band was re-named The Beatles in 1960, after they had played in Hamburg, and George Harrison (a friend of McCartney) had joined the band, and last to join was drummer Ringo Starr.  The rest is history.

Their first hit single was “Love Me Do” in October 1962, a simple catchy melody which represented their early genre of “boy meets girl”.  For John, Uranus was on his Venus, an exciting time for him musically.  They recorded their first album “Please Please Me” on 11th February 1963, with Uranus still transiting John’s Venus.  By February 1964, they were wowing audiences in America, and appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Cynthia and Julian Lennon

John and Cynthia had met as fellow art students at college.  Their relationship (and the subsequent birth of their son Julian in April 1963) was hushed up by their manager Brian Epstein, who wanted to keep  all the Beatles looking eligible for their fans.  John’s relationship with Cynthia was reasonably dynamic (e.g. Her Mars forming a Grand Trine with his Uranus and Neptune; her Pluto sextile his Mars), but he moved on.  As a child, Julian lost out to his father’s early success with the Beatles; later he lost out when his father met Yoko Ono; then John lived in New York and due to residency problems in relation to his drug taking was unable to visit England.  Finally, Julian lost his father to an early death.  Cynthia was hit hard by John moving on to Yoko, but it is hard to contemplate the poignancy of Julian’s own loss.  Nevertheless, he grew up to become a musician in his own right.  Julian has Venus conjunct Chiron (relationship wounds) in Pisces in his chart, and one factor in the distance with his father may have been their opposed Suns, at 16 degrees Libra (John’s) and 17 degrees Aries (Julian’s).  Cynthia herself ascribes the change in John towards her from the time he first took L.S.D. (circa 1965), but undoubtedly it was a deep shock to her when she found Yoko in their home when she returned from a trip to Greece.

Changing Influences

The changes in the Beatles’ music reflected the changes in their lifestyles, preoccupations and consciousness.  The use of L.S.D. gave rise to the distinctive sounds of the album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” of 1967.  While they were coming under the influence of the Maharishi Mahesh Yoga, transcendental meditation, and Eastern teachings, Brian Epstein (who had looked after them since 1962) bowed out of their lives, through suicide.  Relationships were changing too: Cynthia gave way to Yoko, Paul’s girlfriend Jane Asher to Linda Eastman, and George Harrison’s relationship with Patti Boyd was breaking down.  John quietly left the Beatles in 1969 with Jupiter on his North Node (karmic freedom), Uranus sextile his natal Pluto (Big Change) and Pluto trine his natal Uranus (another signal for Big Change).  His relationship with Paul had become a power struggle.

Yoko Ono

The first meeting of John and Yoko has the astrological wow factor.  They met on 9th November 1966 at an exhibition of her conceptual art.  Jupiter was transiting John’s Pluto in Leo in his 4th House, and Pluto was transiting Yoko’s Jupiter in Virgo in her 12th House.  That represented quite an impact, for both of them.  Their Suns were very compatible (trine, in Air).  Her Moon was trine his Chiron (the relationship was an emotional healing for her), and her Mercury was on his South Node (a teacher for him, certainly taking him in a different direction).  His work became more analytical and political (notably “Give Peace a Chance”).  Together they formed the Plastic Ono band, and she wrote, produced and performed with him.  In 1970, he and Yoko underwent “Primal Therapy” with Arthur Janov, a type of rebirthing and reliving of early trauma.  Some of his feelings and insights were used in later musical work.  Many feel that the pinnacle of his solo work is represented by the image of him playing the iconic words of  “Imagine” in a white room at a white piano in 1971.

Sean Lennon

With Uranus transiting his North Node (a complete karmic change), John and Yoko moved to New York in August 1971. His relationship with Yoko had its ups and downs, but in 1975, when their son Sean was born, he gave up musicianship to become a full time househusband and raise Sean.  Astrologically, Sean was a true son, with his Sun exactly conjunct John’s Sun, and his Venus exactly conjunct with John’s Venus.

Back to Music

After this unusual retreat and quiet period, John produced a new album “Double Fantasy” in 1980, proclaiming a new start with the song “Starting Over”.  The transits of his comeback show Saturn trine his natal Moon in Aquarius in 10th House (the fulfilment of a domestic phase), and Neptune trine his Ascendant (new inspiration).

Mark David Chapman

Three weeks after he released the new album, on 8th December 1980, he was shot by Mark David Chapman outside his home in New York, and was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital.

In their synastry, the most destructive interaspect was Mark Chapman’s Pluto squaring John’s Uranus.  When he was shot, Chiron was transiting John’s Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in his 1st House in Taurus, and the Nodal Axis (karma) was squaring that conjunction.  Uranus closely opposed his natal Uranus.  These transits give an impression of the end of a cycle.

Mark Chapman’s state of mind at the time is revealed through his transits: Pluto was square his natal Jupiter, which can give rise to a feeling of megalomania; Pluto was square his natal Uranus, which can be extremely destructive, too; and Pluto sextile his natal Pluto, which could have given rise to a feeling of self-empowerment (which if in a psychotic delusion would be turned to a negative).

Though it is possible from a spiritual point of view that a soul contract may have been made between them, one wonders what future works were lost to the world.  John Lennon left behind a huge body of music, and two sons who became musicians.

“John loved and prayed for the human race. Please do the same for him”

~ Yoko Ono


The Sun was square Jupiter today, giving rise to grandiose thoughts and gargantuan exploits. This aspect exaggerates everything it comes into contact with.  There is also a joyful, humorous side of Sun square Jupiter, so try some laughter-yoga, or looking at the positives of these interesting times.  Last night, the winner of the final Britain’s Got Talent, sitting at a piano, tried to encapsulate, with humour, the year of 2020 so far, in a style reminiscent of Victoria Wood.

Jupiter is again prominent tomorrow (Monday 12th), in its sextile with Neptune, an aspect we saw in February.  This allows religion and spirituality to work together well.  Higher solutions can be found to even practical problems, filtering down into consciousness from the causal planes.  We do need to raise our consciousness now, as we did in February when we were beginning to see the effects of the pandemic.  We have to find higher ways of looking at things, and that includes practical solutions (Jupiter-Neptune are not practically minded, but can inspire us to new practices).  It’s a heavyweight aspect in terms of importance, so make the most of it.

Another sextile adds more grace to the day, for the congeniality of Mercury sextile Venus is always welcome.  Interestingly, the star of the “Miss Congeniality” films, Sandra Bullock, has Mercury sextile Venus in her birth chart! If you have some socially distanced socializing planned, that should be most harmonious.  Conversation will flow, and with much agreement between kindred spirits.

Mars opposes the Sun on Tuesday (13th), so not so much of the congeniality but it’s more about dodging conflict, unless you are a seasoned Warrior and can take the heat.  Energy will be high, so it is a good time to arrange activities which channel this energy constructively.

On Wednesday (14th) Mercury is Stationary, prior to turning Retrograde.  Seems a long time since we grappled with this, haven’t you missed it?  It’s always good to practise your Mercury Retrograde moves: checking fine print, upgrading technology  being more mindful generally, etc.  Mercury will be retrograde until 3rd November (the day of the U.S. Presidential election), so be alert for fake news.

Also on Wednesday the Sun in Libra will be trine the North Node in Gemini, and that may help you to stay on the right track.  Clarity emerging can throw up creative avenues and karmic insights.  This influence may to an extent offset the onset of Mercury Retrograde.

You’ll need all the lessons of the week to deal with Thursday’s (15th) square between the Sun and Pluto, although I consider last week’s Mars/Pluto square more difficult, so if you survived that you may have the tools for this aspect.  This one is a deep soul searching aspect.  There is no whitewashing or kicking the can down the road, as if you try to gloss over something you could meet it in another guise.

A fresh start is available on Friday (16th) with a New Moon at 23 degrees Libra. Artistic, musical and relationship issues may receive a boost, so any seeds sown in those areas may bear fruit.  Balance and harmony can emerge from your efforts.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – exaggeration
  • Tomorrow – religion and spirituality harmonize; words and pictures combine well
  • Tuesday – conflict
  • Wednesday – communications awry; but karmic adjustments good
  • Thursday – the need to dig deep
  • Friday – new beginning

Aspects for the week beginning 4 October 2020

David Attenborough

With travel restrictions this year, the naturalist Sir David Attenborough has recently taken to social media to get his urgent messages across to humanity.  Among other vehicles,  he has recently set up an Instagram account (now totalling 5.1m followers).  Not surprisingly, he has a record number of followers, wherever he goes.  Among other transits for his social media expansion is Jupiter trine his natal Sun.  Governments may not listen, but his popularity grows.  He has been telling us about the effects on nature of climate change for years, with increasing urgency.  In the last couple of years, young Greta Thunberg has been bringing fresh pressure to bear on the cause, and they have become allies.

Birth Chart

Sir David has 5 (half) of his planets in the Water element, so he is really at home in that element (witness his Blue Planet series).  His Sun is in Earth sign Taurus, and he has done more to illuminate Life on Earth than anyone.  At the age of 94, he has made a huge contribution to its study, which is impossible to exaggerate.  Taurus also gives him a great deal of grounding.  His Sun is opposed by Saturn, so he feels a huge weight of responsibility, which he carries and conveys admirably.  His Sun is also square Neptune, showing great sensitivity, and again emphasizing the role of the oceans in his life and work.  With the Sun sextile Pluto, what he has to say is always profound, and this is given extra karmic weight with a conjunction between Pluto and the North Node, and a sextile between the North Node and the Sun.  His has been an extraordinary destiny.  His Moon conjuncts Venus, giving him great tenderness, and you can see that through some of his animal commentaries.  His Moon conjunct Uranus gives him imagination and the power to surprise through the expression of emotion, which, placed in Pisces, contains a great deal of compassion too.  Mercury is sextile Jupiter in his chart, showing breadth of mind and vastness of travel, but the most stunning feature of his chart is Jupiter exactly conjunct his Ascendant in Aquarius: that shows the huge amount of globetrotting in his lifestyle, and the global reach of his work, and the wideness of his heart.  That position of Jupiter shows the scale of his life plan and contribution, and placed in Aquarius it hints at the extent of his futuristic vision, where he has always had his finger on the pulse of what would happen to our planet.  Mercury exactly trine Neptune gives him acute mental sensitivity, and the ability to channel higher frequencies of thought.  With Mercury conjunct Chiron, he’s a problem-solver.  Mars in his first House shows his eco-warriorship, but it is unaspected, so he is a free spirit in this respect.  With Saturn closely square Neptune he is very sensitive to the interface and relationship between the Earth and her Waters.  Those two planets form a T-square with his Jupiter/Ascendant, which is where he is able to bring hope while describing the plight of our situation (he never gives up hope entirely but spells out the Saturn-Neptune reality).  On religion he has the ambivalence of Jupiter opposite Neptune: “My view is: I don’t know one way or the other but I don’t think that evolution is against a belief in God.”  I wrote in 2016:  “He describes himself as agnostic, and maybe he doesn’t need religion as he is well and truly ‘doing his bit’ for the planet.”


He has made legions of documentaries for the BBC over the decades.  Here is a timeline of a few of those, which you may remember fondly depending on your generation:

1979 – Life on Earth

1984 – The Living Planet

1995 – The Private Life of Plants

2001 – The Blue Planet

2017 – Blue Planet II

2020 – Extinction

In Blue Planet II, he brought us graphic evidence of the plastic pollution in our waters, and sparked a worldwide effort to reduce the impact of plastic.  He was spotted this week in Cambridge, beginning filming on “Green Planet”.  He is more than a national treasure; he is more than a world treasure; he is quite literally a living icon – what the esotericist Alice Bailey would call a World Server.

“If I was earning my money by hewing coal I would be very glad indeed to stop. But I’m not. I’m swanning round the world looking at the most fabulously interesting things. Such good fortune”

~ Sir David Attenborough, 2013


If you breathed some sigh of relief last Tuesday morning when Saturn was stationary prior to turning Direct, another layer of relief comes today with Pluto stationary prior to turning Direct.  This is an even more profound shift, involving a deeper level of both the personal and collective psyche.  We may feel we are making headway in our transitions, or at least gaining a foothold on a more salubrious path.  Although we are still living in stressful times, we may be able to size up our tunnel, even if the light at the end may not yet be showing itself.  In the U.K. we have Brexit looming, and a winter to get through under the “second wave”.  In the U.S. they have a President hospitalized with the virus, and a presidential election looming in a month’s time.  So although it may not look like we are turning a corner, the corner may be in sight, or tangible.  If you have a breakthrough today, that may be the sign you need.

Uranus opposes Mercury on Wednesday (7th) throwing a spanner in the technical works.  Not a good day to start an Instagram account, for instance.  If technology is a must, then take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the issue at hand.  In meditation, however, you could successfully connect the lower mind (Mercury) with the higher mind (Uranus) and establish a clear channel for communication and telepathy.

There is no whitewashing the aspect of Friday (9th), that of Pluto squaring Mars.  You may have to trawl through a few interpretations by other Astrologers to find one that suits!  I consider it to be one of the most difficult of the year.  It’s a volatile combination, which can give way to riots or situations which can get out of hand.  Prepare your stock of peaceful vibes beforehand (in meditation perhaps)  so that you can send out a blast of soothing comfort wherever you go with your facemask, hand gel and distance.

Saturday (10th) is an opportunity to regain balance and regain ground, with a constructive sextile followed by a happy trine.  First, the North Node sextiles Mars, where warriorship can be expressed more safely than on the previous day.  You may be able to get your message across directly and actively, in speaking your truth or setting an example.  If you are a follower of Dan Millman (the “Peaceful Warrior), I’ll be preaching to the converted…  If you are a timid type, there is scope to embolden yourself slightly.

The best aspect of the week comes at the very last hour, at 23.08 Hrs in the U.K. on Saturday.  If you are at a virtual Saturday night party (as opposed to milling around the streets after the 10 p.m. pub curfew) you could have a scintillating time, with Venus forming a trine to Uranus.  You might go along (to the said virtual party) thinking you’ll give it a whirl and it may be quite pleasant, and then find you make exciting new connections or reunions, with laughter-filled conversations, telepathy, and possibly some personal moments of deja vu (have I known this person in a previous life?).  If you are intending to make it an early night with a cup of organic cocoa instead, you may settle into some fruitful dreamwork which sets you up with insights for the following week.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – onwards and upwards
  • Wednesday – the spanner in the works; close loopholes
  • Friday – keep out of the fray
  • Saturday – most congenial; constructive karmic action; exciting meetings

Aspects for the week beginning 27 September 2020

Ruth Ginsburg (1931 – 2020)

“It’s about time. For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that’s a good thing.”

~ Ruth Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on 18th September, was an amazingly influential figure in the American justice system, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States for 27 years until her death.  She was notably a great champion of feminism and equal opportunities, and pushed forward a great number of progressive reforms. The timing of her death could not have been more poignant, for those hoping for a change of party, let alone a change of president in the United States in November’s election.

Birth Chart

She was born under the Sun sign of Pisces, the sign of compassion, and  could well have been an advanced Soul – symbolically Pisces represents the completion of the zodiac, and sometimes can denote a final lifetime on the wheel of incarnation.  She certainly worked all her life painstakingly for the betterment of conditions for society; at first she was moderate and non-confrontational, but later as she gained confidence and power, she asserted her voice increasingly.  With the Sun trine Pluto and the Moon in Scorpio added to her Pisces Sun, there was great depth and power about her work and character.  With the Sun exactly sextile Chiron, she was working to achieve a healing.  The emphasis in her work on achieving a better quality of life for women is clearly shown by positive aspects to her Moon (trine Venus, the other feminine planet; sextile Mars, exactly sextile Neptune, great emotional sensitivity, and trine her North Node in Pisces (karmic service to women).  Saturn square to her Moon may reflect the fact that both her sister and her mother died young.  She had an unaspected Mercury (probably denoting an independence of mind).  Her natal Mars conjunct Neptune would have made her especially sensitive to issues around physical abuse.  That conjunction is placed around her South Node, denoting a pattern from past lives of defending the vulnerable.  She was  comfortable with the use of power, with Jupiter sextile Pluto. Uranus in her chart was exactly square Pluto, making her an agent of change [note that last week’s blog subject Terence Conran had Uranus more loosely square Pluto, and was an agent of change in a different way, and in a different field].

Life and Career

Ruth Ginsburg was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, though became non-observant at 17.  Her mother had not had the educational opportunities she craved, and encouraged Ruth to follow hers.  She studied government at Cornell University, and met her husband Martin Ginsburg there, becoming a mother while at law school in Harvard.  She became a professor at Rutgers Law School in 1963, where she taught civil procedure (at a lower salary than her male colleagues).  From the beginning of her career it was apparent that there were very few opportunities afforded to women in the field of law, and being Jewish was also a handicap.  So she always worked with the principles of more opportunity and equality in mind.

In 1972 she began teaching at Columbia Law School, where she co-authored the first law school casebook on sex discrimination.  To put this in historical context, in terms of the feminist movement, Germaine Greer’s book The Female Eunuch was published in 1970, an early book of its kind.  Ruth Ginsburg had already been addressing inequality of the sexes in her work for a few years.

She founded the Women’s Rights Project in 1972, and argued discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, proceeding slowly and cautiously in trying to cover all major injustices.  She substituted the word “gender” for “sex” in her cases, being less confrontational, and less distracting for the judges.

The Omnibus Judgeship Act of 1978 advocated that more women and minority groups were included when electing judges, and as a women and a Jew (unusual…) President Jimmy Carter nominated her to a seat on the DC circuit appeals court in 1980.  At the time, Saturn was sextile her natal Pluto (a serious step forward), Uranus was trine her natal Sun (a surprise breakthrough) and Neptune was trine her natal Uranus (taking on increasing complexity).  By the time she took up her commission two months later, Uranus was also trine her natal Pluto (a huge change or shift, upwards).

In 1993 President Bill Clinton nominated her for the crucial role of Associate Justice of  the Supreme Court, a first for one of her gender and race.  Under the American system, the appointment is for life, which is why the current appointment of (young) Amy Barrett aged 48 to replace Ruth Ginsburg is so contentious and momentous, tipping the balance of power in the long term towards Republicanism.  Ruth had been known as a consensus builder, but in this post, she gained confidence and power, and became more forceful, finding her voice.  Her style was described as that of a “rational minimalist, a jurist who seeks to build cautiously on precedent rather than pushing the Constitution towards her own vision.”  With Sun in Pisces and Moon in Scorpio, that is the way that water flows…And as time went on, she gained in authority by way of her seniority. She was able to push forward feminist issues, supported the right to abortion, anti-discrimination laws, equal pay, and other progressive and liberal values, but her approach was always gradual.  She was the first Supreme Court justice to officiate at a same-sex wedding.  She also lent significant support to the Me Too movement, bringing in her own experience.


She forged an enduring marriage with tax lawyer Martin D. Ginsberg, and had two children (and four grandchildren).  Their Venuses were exactly trine in Water, making for a harmony of feeling;  His Mars was exactly sextile her Pluto (energetically constructive).  At their wedding in 1954 Mars was trine her natal Mars, and Jupiter was sextile her natal Mars.  They balanced their careers and parenting equally.  Sadly, Martin Ginsburg died of cancer in 2010.


Her health record was remarkably complex, but her stoicism and conscientiousness meant that she worked through many different health crises.  In 1999, she had colon cancer, the treatment involving chemotherapy and radiotherapy; in 2009 she was treated for pancreatic cancer; in 2014 she was given a stent in heart surgery; she fractured three ribs in 2018, but an x-ray brought to light nodules in her lungs, so she subsequently had surgery to remove the nodules; the pancreatic cancer returned this year, but she worked as long as was possible.

She died on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.  There is a Jewish tradition that those who die on that day are saintly, or extremely righteous.  She received full honours, lying in state at the Capitol, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  For Ruth, Jupiter was exactly trine her Jupiter (a transit which often appears as a sign of release in the elderly), and Pluto exactly square her natal Uranus, the great transformation.

Implications for the government of the U.S.

Amy Barrett was announced as her nominated successor by Donald Trump just last night.  It had been Ruth’s dying wish that the election be settled before a replacement was found.  Amy comes from a paternalistic Catholic sect called People of Praise, and holds beliefs (such as anti-abortion, and health policies), which may see the reversal of Ruth’s achievements, in the same way that Donald Trump has reversed Obama’s policies.

Who is Amy Coney Barrett, astrologically?  Here is a thumbnail sketch: She has the Sun in Aquarius conjunct the North Node, a sign of power;  Mercury squares Mars, in a T-square with Uranus, which is acutely contentious, Mars opposing Uranus being quite unpredicable.  Jupiter square Pluto loves power, but not necessarily uses it in the best way.  Neptune exactly sextile the North Node in Aquarius, with the South Node in Leo, speaks of power in past lives and her strong Catholic faith.

The run up to the American election comes increasingly to fever pitch, with Donald Trump refusing to categorically deny that he would accept the results of an election, if it went against him.  In an article in yesterday’s Guardian, Jonathan Freedland conjectures that if Trump were to impose such policies and intransigencies after an election, there could be dissention in various states, and the possibility of civil war in America:

“How long will a woman in, say, California accept the presence of guns and the absence of abortion rights because that’s what a minority of voters in small overrepresented states wants?”

At Ruth’s death, Mars was square the Pluto in the US chart, a sign of the danger facing the country.

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

“It is essential to women’s equality with man that she be the decision-maker, that her choice be controlling.  If you impose restraints you are disadvantaging her because of her sex…abortion prohibition by the state controls women and denies them full autonomy and full equality with men.”

“[I would like to be remembered as] someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.”

~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Mercury entered Scorpio this morning, bringing greater intensity, depth and rigour to our mental functioning and purpose.  The mental outlook is more forensic in nature, and looks deeper than the surface, than was characterized under Mercury in Libra.  You may have more courage to look at what really matters, and to worry less about how things appear to others

A softer side is brought into our karma with Venus sextile the North Node, if we need to luxuriate a little or justify a little indulgence.  Expressing more love too, is easier under this aspect.

The contrast between these two features of the day brings to mind the phrase “an iron fist in a velvet glove”, which some may employ.

On Tuesday (29th) Venus trines Mars very early in the morning.  This betokens harmony between the sexes, or within the structure and relationship of your own anima and animus.  It would be a good opportunity for sharing and balancing roles, such as career and parenting.  Body awareness, whether it be through yoga, or massage, will bring a sense of wellbeing.

That same morning, Saturn is Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  This may be experienced as a relief to some, especially for Capricornians, and may release some of their chains or burdens.  Certain matters which have been stuck since May, may slowly start to make progress again.

Chiron also opposes the Sun on Tuesday, which could bring up a health crisis.  It is an opportunity to work on your Inner Healer and your Inner Problem Solver, and find intuitive answers to problems.

There is awkwardness in the evening, with Saturn squaring Mars.  Physically you may want to push an issue, but that approach may not work.  The Chironic way, as described in the previous paragraph, is more likely to succeed.  Think before you act, to avoid clumsiness.  Adding to the tension of this square, the Moon is building to the Full.

On Thursday evening (1st October) the Moon is Full at 9 degrees Aries.  The Full Moon in Aries (emotional needs) opposes the Sun in Libra (balancing your own interests with that of the other) so it is a tussle, as it always is with a Full Moon.  This Full Moon is about Selfhood and Relationship, and bringing the two into balance.

A different focus arrives on Friday (2nd) with Venus entering Virgo.  We become more selective and discriminating in our tastes.  We become more aware of the issues around the environment (courtesy of David Attenborough now joining Instagram).   Venus stays in Virgo until 28th October, so American voters will be fine-tuning their choices during that time.  We may also be specializing in our work and studies.  Hubby and I are now entering the winter term of our new year in the Certificate of Philosophy at Cambridge (online, of course), and the focus is Ethics.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – intensifying thought; loving karma
  • Tuesday – complex: harmony in gender issues; some paths eased; other paths blocked; problem-solving
  • Thursday – emotional high tide
  • Friday – ecological awareness; refining tastes

Aspects for the week beginning 20 September 2020

Terence Conran (1931 – 2020)

“We all have a little bit of Conran in our lives, whether we think about design or not”

~ Suzanne Moore

Designer and entrepreneur Terence Conran died on 12th September, at the age of 88, after a long and productive life.  By all accounts, he was quite a character, and sometimes challenging to those who worked with him, and in personal relationships.

Birth Chart

With 6 (over half his planets) in the Cardinal signs, he was quite definitely a leader. He certainly led the way in transforming our homes after the war, from traditional furnishing to a more modern look.  In his career, he was always a step ahead, finding new avenues for his talents, such as establishing restaurants.  His Sun was in Libra conjunct his ruler Venus, the sign you would expect to find in an interior designer.  So he had a highly developed sense of harmony and artistry in that sense, but with the Sun square Moon and three difficult aspects to his Venus, all was not harmony in his private life.  He had a contentious T-square between the Sun opposing Uranus and squaring Saturn (personal earthquakes), which if you count a wide orb with Pluto is almost a Grand Cross.  The Sun was conjunct the South Node in Libra in his chart, so he probably worked on similar themes as an artist in previous lives.  His Moon was in Cancer, thus his sphere of working interest was in Homes.  The Moon was sextile Neptune – a sensitivity and good taste in matters of Home, and the Moon was square the Nodal Axis, implying that the art of home making was part of his karmic mission.  Venus exactly sextile Jupiter brought him success through artistic expression, but Venus was also square exactly with Saturn (relationship difficulties), Venus opposite exactly Uranus (break-ups) and square Pluto (explosive relationships).  Mars square Jupiter was a telling aspect: an over the top enthusiasm allied with energy, which Stephen Bayley (writing his obituary in the Guardian) labelled “the zealous energy of a messiah”.  Of course, in his chart, you find the Entrepreneur Archetype – Jupiter closely trine Uranus.  I think his ability to bring transformation to post-war homes comes from his square between Uranus and Pluto; he had to be quite pushy to achieve that.

Life and Career

Terence Conran was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1931, and attended the Central School of Art and Design when he left school, studying textiles.  He began a business in design in 1956, while designing a shop for Mary Quant.  His schoolfriend Alexander Plunket Greene described him as “surly…old beyond his years”, and married Mary Quant.  But it was not until 1964 that he opened his  famous homeware and furniture shop Habitat, on the Fulham Road in Chelsea.  According to Stephen Bayley, his style was “polite, eclectic modern design, much influenced by urban Scandinavia and rural France”.  In 1990 he branched out as a restaurateur, at his 2nd Saturn Return in Capricorn.

Shirley Conran

Shirley Conran was Terence’s second wife (of four), and achieved fame with her best-selling book “Superwoman” which I dutifully read in 1975!  It was packed with information about short-cuts to housework and the domestic arts.

Jasper Conran

Jasper Conran was one of two sons from his marriage to Shirley Conran, and followed him into a career of design, though more orientated towards fashion.  Jasper has designed clothes for the rich and famous, including for Lady Diana.  He has the design sign Libra rising.

Terence leaves behind in total 5 children, 13 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

On a personal note, we have a monument to Terence Conran in our own home.  In 1975, in setting up our first home, we bought a pine dining table from Habitat.  I know, they’re not fashionable now!  It wasn’t elegant; it was chunky and solid, but one of the best and most enduring purchases of our married life!  It is still going strong, 45 years later, and we love it.

“Terence’s achievement was to put middle Britain in touch with the pleasure principle”

~ Stephen Bayley

“This was his rebellion against the drabness of the postwar years, the grey houses, the Spam fritters, the colourless mackintoshes”

~ Suzanne Moore


We have three aspects this week, all difficult aspects to Mercury.  Although they are to be taken seriously, they are in the scheme of things medium in terms of seriousness in comparison to other aspects, but Geminis and Virgos (the Mercury-ruled) will need to be on their toes.

The first of these occurs tomorrow (Monday 21st) in the early hours of the morning.  Mercury square Pluto can be mentally fractious, so you may start out grumpy and find it is a chain reaction, unless you consciously intend to make every word count in a constructive way.  You may encounter awkward communications or travel (if you are allowed to travel).  You may need extra ‘me time’ in order to separate yourself from worried pronouncements about the progress of the social measures being instituted on behalf of the virus we haven’t yet managed to shake off.  If you do engage in chatter, choose a worthwhile subject.

Tuesday (22nd) brings us the Autumn Equinox, the Sun’s entry into Libra.  There may be a lift in mood, accompanying a greater appreciation of the beauty of nature, and awareness of the quality of design, whether in or out of the home.  Libra may draw you to artistic or musical pursuits, new relationships, or an interest in the law and justice.

The second square of the week arrives on Wednesday (23rd) in the shape of Mercury square Saturn.  Again, this forces us to think seriously about matters, e.g. David Attenborough and his recent programme “Extinction”.  That doesn’t sound like much fun, but the excitement of the challenge of working out what can be done could be motivating.  It is not as challenging as Monday’s square, and it is more practical.  So you may perceive some progress coming into the middle of the week, when you look back and compare the agenda set at the start.  More haste less speed may be a useful mantra to follow.

“More haste less speed” can also apply on Thursday (24th), with Mercury opposite Mars, but in a completely different way.  Whereas you need to be patient on Wednesday, e.g. your broadband may be going slow, on Thursday you may make minor slip ups because you will feel like going quickly and pushing through agendas fast.  Heated debates, irritability and incident-proneness could also be a feature of Mercury opposite Mars.  Again, the irritability of Thursday’s aspect contrasts with the irritability of Monday’s.  Monday’s square between Mercury and Pluto can contain a deep moodiness, whereas the irritability of Thursday’s Mercury aspect is more surface, resulting from an impatience to get things done, and not wanting to let anything stand in your way.  You may observe this in others, and in the general hustle and bustle of society, where two or more (or six) are gathered together.

The week in bullet points:

  • Monday – deep thought
  • Tuesday – the colours of Autumn
  • Wednesday – a necessary slowing down
  • Thursday – a speeding up, but take care

Aspects for the week beginning 13 September 2020

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s plight has newly come to our attention this week, in a stark reminder of how desperate her situation is  The Iranian mother was detained on 3rd April 2016, and was held in an Iranian prison almost continuously until 20th March this year, when the coronavirus crisis began to affect the country.  Since then she has been under house arrest at her parents’ home, but separated from her husband Richard and her daughter Gabriella. In an announcement on Tuesday, the Iranian government said they wanted her to undergo a re-trial and face further charges, despite the fact that she has served four of her five years.

Birth Charts

Astrologers were originally working with a birth date of 16th September 1978 (no birth time) for Nazanin.  Wikipedia now gives as her birth date 26th December 1978.  In checking her history, there are several occasions where the first birth date seems very relevant, so I am reluctant to give that up altogether, and will refer to both for the time being.

For the September birthdate, Nazanin would be Sun in Virgo, born on a Full Moon (attracting strong reactions from others).  Jupiter (luck and freedom) in this chart has three squares.

For the December birthdate, Nazanin has Sun in Capricorn (the sign of the Scapegoat) conjunct the warrior planet Mars, but with Moon conjunct Venus (at the same time great gentleness).  The Sun trines Chiron exactly in this chart, highlighting healing, and may show her resilience.  This chart also has Mercury trine Jupiter (widely travelled, with a facility for languages / journalism).


Nazanin visited Iran with her daughter Gabriella on 17 March 2016, and was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard when she tried to return to England on 3rd April 2016.

The relevant transits for her journey to Iran were: for the September chart Saturn on her natal Neptune, and for the December chart Uranus opposite her natal Pluto, both signalling difficulties.

The transits for the detention are more descriptive for the September birthdate, with Jupiter squaring her natal Neptune, Saturn on her Neptune and Neptune opposing her Mercury (with Neptune involved in all three transits, that is a great deal of confusion).

She was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for “plotting to topple the Iranian government” on 10th September 2016 (she had come to visit her parents for the Iranian New Year).  Again, the transits for the September chart are more eloquent: Saturn square her natal Mercury (sentencing), Neptune opposite her natal Mercury (incarceration) and Pluto square her natal Pluto (disempowerment).  For both events, the December chart yields transits which are benign or favourable.

In my blog dated 12th November 2017, I noted:

“In one of his most damaging gaffes in a long history of gaffes, Boris Johnson has endangered the life of a British citizen Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, who is being held in Iran after visiting relatives there to introduce them to her child.  In a casual remark, he stated that the purpose of her visit was to train journalists, and this statement may double her sentence.  He then made a half-hearted retraction in parliament, which went nowhere near a restoration of the situation.”

On 9th July 2018 Jeremy Hunt took over from Boris Johnson in the post of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.  It was thought that his approach might be more diplomatic, and he did have friendlier relations with the Iran government, but was ousted from his post when Boris became Prime Minister on 24th July 2019.

Brief and bittersweet was her joy when Nazanin was released for three days on 23rd August 2018.  She was able to see her daughter who was living with her parents.  Her September birthdate reveals transits of Uranus square her natal Jupiter (a short lived release) and Neptune square Neptune (emotional confusion).  The December birthdate is also very relevant, with Pluto sextile her natal Venus/Uranus (some emotional comfort and change), but with Pluto also square her natal Pluto (disempowerment).  The latter transit speaks of the psychological torture of recovering her freedom for a short time and then having it snatched away.  Her condition deteriorated a great deal after that experience: she regretted the temporary release and began to have panic attacks.

On 13th January 2019, I wrote (in relation to the September chart):

“Nazanin, languishing in an Iranian jail, is about to go on hunger strike this week, with no sign of clemency from the government there.  The Nodal Axis is square to her Mars, a desperate  karmic action.  Saturn is sextile her Uranus, some strength if she decides to go through with it, though her health is in a parlous state.  Neptune trine her Uranus – it is something she feels she has to do, from her spirit.  A very sad situation, she’s in.”

During Jeremy Hunt’s tenure of the post of Foreign Secretary, on 7th March 2019 she was granted diplomatic protection by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  This act raised her status to a dispute between two governments.  Jeremy was succeeded by Dominic Raab, whose hands now cradle this delicate matter.

On 14th June 2019 Nazanin and her husband went on hunger strike together for two weeks.  The December chart spoke more eloquently about this event, among the transit were Saturn square her natal Pluto (reaching rock bottom) and the Nodal Axis squaring her natal Pluto (a life or death gamble).  She was subsequently moved to a psychiatric hospital.

On 11th October 2019, her daughter came to England to live with her father so that she could attend school in England.  The transits for Nazanin at the time of this further enforced separation will have been experienced on an emotional level.  For the September chart, Neptune squared her natal Neptune, but for the December chart Pluto was trine her North Node.  In December of that year, her appeal for conditional release was denied.

When the pandemic started to affect Iran, she was temporarily released from Evin prison and placed on house arrest (17th March 2020).  Both charts speak to this event: the September chart has transiting Jupiter trine her natal Sun (a release), and the December chart has Uranus trine her natal Sun in Capricorn (also showing freedom).  Interestingly this date was the fourth anniversary of her arrival in Iran.  During her release she has been wearing an ankle tag which restricts her movements to within 300 metres (984 ft) of where she lives.

And so to the events of this week when on Tuesday (8th September) we were told she was facing new charges, a tremendous blow.  The most difficult transit that shows up here was for the September chart, that of Mars opposite her Mars (literally, a blow!)

That is an account of only some of what she has been through since March 2016.

Richard Ratcliffe

I have an approximate chart for Nazanin’s husband Richard, based on a newspaper report a few days after his 42nd birthday.  The chart I am using is 22nd January 1975.  He has lobbied tirelessly on her behalf.  At the time of her shock detention, I found that transiting Neptune was square his Neptune (extreme confusion).

In February 2018, Richard highlighted the fact that the interest on a debt from decades old (1971) arms sales owed to Iran by the U.K. was a major factor in her detention.  The amounts quoted are in the region of up to £450 m.  If true, then it makes the behaviour of both governments seem even more callous.  In October 2019 he stated that the U.K. government were using “every legal roadblock to delay and minimise the payment”.  In January 2016, the U.S. government had paid 400m dollars in exchange for four Iranian-Americans.  The U.K. Ministry of Defence believes that a similar payment on Nazanin’s behalf would be misused by Iran for military purposes.  We await to hear what further charges the Iranian government intend to bring to further complicate her fate.

Gabriella Zaghari-Ratcliffe

At the heart of this tale of unjust imprisonment is the poignant separation of a mother and daughter. Gabriella is now six years old, having been born on 11th June 2014.  Her chart is characterized by a scarcity of aspects to her “lights”, her Sun and Moon, which represent her parents.  The transits for the time her mother was taken do not register the drama which was unfolding in her life, but may show up in a chart of the precise time she was born.

In the transits for her move to England Jupiter was opposite her natal Sun, which is a classic transit for such a move in life.  On a personal note, Jupiter was opposite my natal Sun when I moved to England at the age of four, to be with my father, strangely enough.  Gabriella also had a life-changing transit of the South Node on her natal Pluto at the time of her move to England.

Iranian Powers

One doesn’t hear much from the leaders of Iran directly on this matter (President Hassan Rouhani and the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), and I am not sure how the power dynamic works within Iran.  With the chart of Iran there is a karmic tie of Iran’s Mercury which conjuncts Nazanin’s South Node (past karma) for the September chart.  For the December chart the Iran Sun squares her Mars, which can bring danger.  The Iran Revolutionary Guard initially arrested her and have been holding her: their chart relationship shows the IRG chart Sun exactly opposite Nazanin’s Uranus (they perceive her as a Rebel), and the IRG Venus opposes her Pluto (a very stormy relationship), on the September chart.  The December chart shows a conjunction of her Uranus with its Uranus (as both were “born” close in time).

For President Hassan Rouhani, their Saturns are conjunct, which is not easy, for Nazanin’s September chart.  For her December chart, Rouhani’s Mars is sextile her Pluto, which involves some power play, but nothing remarkable.  However, when you look at her relationship with the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, this looks to be very serious.  For the September chart,  Nazanin’s Mars opposes his Sun, and her Pluto squares his Mars (he would perceive her as a threat, though in reality she is a pawn). For the December chart his Neptune is on her South Node (some very complex karma).

Any Cheer?

If there is to be any breakthrough, these dates are just possible:

For her September chart – Jupiter trines her natal Sun on 14-15th November this year

For her December chart – Uranus trines her natal Mars on 26th Apr ’21

For Gabriella – Jupiter trines her natal Sun on 18th March ’21

“Nazanin has already served most of her sentence for a crime she didn’t commit.  This is hostage diplomacy and Iran needs to know that Britain will not stand for it.”

~ Jeremy Hunt, this week on Twitter


While Mars turned retrograde last week (joining other planets in this), stalling some areas of progress and momentum, we do have some good news today in that Jupiter is Stationary prior to turning Direct, as of the early hours of this morning.  This may enable something to happen or gain progress which has been prevented up to now.  Jupiter has been retrograde since mid-May.  Jupiter moving forward might bring a breath of fresh air to your day’s plans, peppering them with promise.  You may see the light at the end of one tunnel, or resume an earlier goal.

Venus will also be trine Chiron today, so there may be a healing project which you can nurture.  The healing power of love may come to the fore.  Try to keep the heart open, and keep the faith.  There may be a real opportunity to re-group your healing energies and feel harmony within your being.

Tomorrow (Monday 14th) the Sun trines Pluto, which is a deeply constructive aspect when it comes to the human psyche.  You may experience and contemplate  in great depth, and any creativity will have this profound quality imbued within it.  You may find that you have made more real progress than you thought, your patience is rewarded, or a pipe dream could become a going concern.

Tuesday (15th) is a more quirky day, possibly out of your routine or out of your comfort zone, with Venus square Uranus.  Your social plans may have to be modified at the last minute.  The way through is to use your intuition, and stay one step ahead.  The strangeness of the day pertains particularly to relationships.

Wednesday (16th) brings a challenging karmic aspect: that of the Sun square the Nodal Axis.  This may bring power issues within groups to the fore.  The positioning of the Nodal Axis will ensure karmic justice within the structure of projects and power balances, though there may be a few personality clashes.  You may need to glimpse a more multi-dimensional picture than just the here and now.

Another square occurs on Thursday (17th), but perhaps a fairly easy one: it’s Mercury square Jupiter.  You may have far to travel, or have a lot to learn, and feel overstretched, but could enjoy the ride nevertheless.  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.  A  day of possibility…

There is a New Moon the same day, which is always a good opportunity to start afresh.  The Sun and Moon conjoin at 25 degrees Virgo, and if that is a meaningful point in your chart that will intensify your experience.  Ecology and the environment are one of the provinces of Virgo, so benefits could accrue for the planet if enough minds are concentrated on this aspect of life.  David Attenborough and his new programme “Extinction” may echo in your mind, and galvanize action.

The Sun also trines Saturn, in the evening, and this is a solid and productive aspect.  If you are engaged in creativity, it can help ensure that it works on a practical level.  Simplifying your plans, or making economies, may make them more workable. This is especially useful to bear in mind if you own a business, and are considering staffing and resources at this crucial stage of the brink of a possible second wave of the pandemic.  One solid step at a time, and one day at a time.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – the turning of a tide, and the possibility of healing
  • Tomorrow – a deeper realization
  • Tuesday – quirky
  • Wednesday – a karmic challenge
  • Thursday – overstretching; a new beginning; a constructive path



Aspects for the week beginning 6 September 2020

Alexei Navalny

“The use of such a weapon is horrific.  Nato allies are united in condemning this attack.  It shows a total disrespect for human life.”

~ Nato spokesperson Piers Cazelet

The main opposition leader in Russia, Alexei Navalny, was poisoned on 20th August, falling ill on a plane trip to Siberia, after drinking a cup of tea at Tomsk airport. He was taken to hospital where the Russian doctor declared he was probably hypoglycaemic.  Two days later he was transferred to the Charite hospital in Berlin, where he has been receiving top level care.  He has now been diagnosed with poisoning from novichok, the same substance which was used two years ago in Salisbury and which caused severe illness and the death of Dawn Sturgess.  He currrently remains in an induced coma on a ventilator.

Birth Chart

We are fortunate to have a birth time for this Russian opposition leader, a man of great courage.  He has the Sun in Gemini conjunct Venus, so inspires genuine devotion among his allies.  The Sun in his chart is sextile Mars, showing the brave warrior.  Venus exactly sextile Mars gives him great charisma.  Neptune closely opposite Sun/Venus shows the often subversive nature of his work, but his strength comes from the Sun/Venus trine Pluto, imbuing him with a deep sense of purpose and powerful allegiances.  The Moon is closely sextile his Midheaven: he is for the people in his career  – two of the political movements he has been associated with have been named “The People” and “The People’s Alliance”.  He has been endangered and injured during the course of his career, and has Chiron, South Node, Jupiter and Mercury in the 8th House of death – hopefully he can cheat death on this occasion.  He has a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm, from Mars square to Jupiter and sextile Pluto.  But Mars square exactly to the Nodal Axis means he is constantly pitted against danger in his karmic path.  Saturn square Uranus has also brought personal earthquakes.  That he has great faith in himself comes from Jupiter on his South Node in Scorpio, a never-say-die attitude brought in from past life experiences.  The not inconsiderable healing challenges brought about by the injuries inflicted by his enemies, may be shown by Saturn in 11th House exactly square Chiron in 8th House.  His Rebel Archetype comes through in his conjunction of Uranus with the  North Node.

Life and Career

Navalny was born in the Ukraine, and gained a law degree from the People’s Friendship University of Russia. He is married and has two children.  He has for many years fought against the corruption of Putin’s leadership in Russia, describing the ruling party in 2011 as a “party of crooks and thieves”.  He has been arrested and imprisoned several times for his activities (with his natal Moon in 12th House of imprisonment).

In 2007 he co-founded a new political movement which he called “The People”.  The transits for that statement of political intent were triggered by Mars, but also included Jupiter conjunct his natal Neptune in Sagittarius in his 3rd House (an expression of his idealism) and Pluto conjunct by transit exactly his natal I.C. in Sagittarius also in his 3rd House (a deep expression of how he saw the right foundations for society).  “The People” joined forces with other nationalistic movements the following year, but in 2011 he admitted that the venture had not succeeded in practice.  By 2012 there were moves afoot by his comrades to create a new vehicle for his political path, but he took a low profile in order not to endanger these efforts.  He was elected leader of a new party (which had to change its name a few times) in November 2013, when he was literally flying in the face of opposition astrologically, with Saturn opposite his natal Jupiter, Uranus opposite his natal Pluto exact to the day, Pluto exactly square his natal Pluto.  Blocks were immediately put up by the government towards the new party’s political ambitions, for example the Ministry of Justice deprived the party of its registration.

On 27th June 2017 Navalny was attacked in the street outside his office and his face was sprayed with some toxic substances, an attack which he attributed to the Kremlin.  He lost 80% of the sight in his right eye.  At that time, Neptune (toxin) was square his natal Sun in Gemini, and the North Node was transiting his natal Moon in Virgo in 12th House.

In the Moscow City Duma Elections in 2019, Navalny supported various independent candidates.  He was arrested in July and then hospitalized briefly for damaged eyes and skin, before being sent back to prison.  An ophthalmologist suspected his condition was due to a chemical attack.  On this occasion, Mars was square his natal Jupiter, and Jupiter was opposite his natal Sun.

Russian Poisonings

The Russian government have denied involvement in the recent poisoning of Navalny in August.  However, novichok is patently their calling card, they developed it during the cold war, and on Newsnight it was suggested that they not only do not care what the world thinks, but they actually want it to be known that they perpetrated this act.  Navalny’s transits on 20th August were: Uranus square his Mars (a sudden, dangerous attack) and Uranus on his South Node in 8th House (a life-endangering sudden karmic attack).

When writing about the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury 2 years ago, I looked into other cases of poisonings by Russia.  There is no definite pattern in the transits of the victims: Sergei Skripal was poisoned with Neptune (poison) exactly conjunct his natal North Node in Pisces – a karmic act again (that of revenge by the Russian government).  Litvinenko died of polonium poisoning in 2006 with Chiron transiting his natal Saturn. Going even further back in time, for Giorgi Markov (who was spiked with an umbrella), Pluto was exactly square his natal Pluto (disempowerment).

Navalny’s personal relationship with Vladimir Putin includes an exact square between their Moons (a clash in the way they see the people and society).  Comparing Navalny’s chart to that of Russia itself, Navalny’s Uranus is exactly sextile Russia’s Sun (his destiny to try and shake up the old regimes), his Mars trine its Mercury (his destiny to stimulate thought), his Sun square its Jupiter (his individuality challenging complacency) and his Jupiter trine its Neptune (his appeal to true spirituality).  The transits for Russia of the current poisoning include: Uranus trine its North Node (an agent of change, towards its karma) and Pluto sextile its Venus (also an agent of transformation, towards its humanity).  But Putin is still firmly at its helm.

Current Global Response

When the Skripals were poisoned in March 2018 Theresa May was Prime Minister and Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary.  Theresa obtained support from European leaders (in their recall of Russian ambassadors), but notably Donald Trump was reluctant to get too involved, saying he was doubtful the Russians had poisoned the Skripals.  He was not happy about the expulsions of the Russian Ambassadors either.  Angela Merkel has now, from Germany, made her view clear that this act was attempted murder and some action needs to be taken.  The current Prime Minister in the U.K. Boris Johnson has called the act “outrageous”.  Again, Donald Trump is reluctant to get involved.  The Guardian reports that “The father [Stan Sturgess] of the woman who died in the Wiltshire nerve agent poisonings has said he hopes the novichok attack on the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny will lead to fresh scrutiny of Moscow, adding that he believes Germany may work harder to get answers than the UK has done since the death of his daughter”.  He said that at the time “Boris never asked anything”.

On the Andrew Marr show this morning, Andrew interviewed a friend of Navalny, Leonid Volkov, who was asked what the Russian government hoped to achieve and what was their motive.  He replied that it was not power they were after, it is money that motivates them.  Therefore, the only sanction which may have meaning for them are economic ones. The implication is that seizing or curtailing their assets in London for instance may affect them.  Now there is a call for Angela Merkel to suspend the collaboration over the joint Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia.

The Salisbury Victims of Novichok

In the spring an excellent TV mini-series was made of the Salisbury poisonings and how it was dealt with.  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia did not feature prominently in the mini-series, but in reality they were very seriously ill, and have now gone to ground in an unknown location.  Yulia cannot return to her life in Russia.  The police officer who originally searched their home, Nick Bailey, was also badly affected.  In June 2018, Dawn Sturgess was poisoned by a perfume bottle containing novichok which the perpetrators had left behind, and died from the ravages of the poison.  Her partner Charlie Rowley was also affected, but lived: he continues to suffer eye problems, shortness of breath and mental health issues.

A chemical warfare expert feels that the novichok which poisoned Navalny is unlikely to have been administered in the tea – he would have been even more ill if so, but thinks it was adminstered in a similar way to that of the Skripals, who were poisoned via a door handle.  The world waits to see to what extent Alexei Navalny recovers from his exposure to the substance.  His condition is reported to be improving, with a gradual recovery in his cholinesterase activity, and he is being treated with atropine, which was used to treat the Salisbury poisonings, but the long term prognosis is still uncertain.


Venus entered Leo this morning, which is a sunny start to the week.   You can afford to be bold in seeking entertainment today, e.g. in a late summer holiday break.  Alternatively express some rich creativity. Eat out for Sunday lunch, although Rishi Sunak’s eat out to help out scheme has now ended.  Polish up your performance skills…just a few suggestions!

On Wednesday (9th) the Sun trines Jupiter, another encouragement to hedonism.  This is a happy-go-lucky aspect where circumstances allow.  It is a day of good cheer, laughter, adventure, golden opportunity and looking ahead to the future with optimism.

In the evening, Mars is Stationary prior to turning retrograde, at 22.22 Hrs in the U.K. (a note for numerologists).  When Mars went into Aries at the end of June (see my blog for 5th July) it signalled the go-ahead for a certain sphere of activity in your life.  For me, Mars was in my 12th House of Subconscious, stirring up my imagination.  I have subsequently been writing new chapters of my novel, painting the accompanying cards, and being kept awake at night by creativity.  Mars is staying in Aries until early next year, and I hope to finish this project by then.  What area of your life received a corresponding go-ahead at the start of Mars in Aries?  The upcoming retrograde period may see a slightly different manifestation of the energy in that House of your chart, perhaps some revision needed, or some conflict to resolve.  But hopefully, by the end of the year, you will have something to show for your effort.

Chiron opposes Mercury on Thursday (10th) and that is related to health challenges and check ups.  This may bring up some ingenuity in problem-solving, too.  Communications may urge and stimulate you to find solutions.

Issues could be further obscured on Friday (11th) with Neptune opposing the Sun.  Neptune opposite the Sun is the natal aspect in Navalny’s chart which has necessitated his subversive political operations, in the context of the political climate of his homeland.  So look for the picture behind the picture, and be aware of toxic substances in your environment, e.g. go easy on the cleaning fluids which affect the environment (also ruled by Neptune).  Your concentration may not be so acute, and conundrums may present themselves to you.  Get plenty of rest, take some time out to meditate, and social distancing and self-isolation would be beneficial.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – make hay
  • Wednesday – make more hay; be aware of some slowing down
  • Thursday – problem-solving
  • Friday – purification

Aspects for the week beginning 30 August 2020


“To uphold maritime law and rescue anyone in peril without prejudice…We answer the SOS call of all those in distress, not just to save their souls – but our own “.

~ Mission statement of the “Louise Michel”

This week the artist Banksy privately funded a rescue boat to help save refugees in the Mediterranean. The boat is named the Louise Michel, and he has painted a mural on the side of a young girl holding a heart-shaped float.  The embryonic history of this new boat has already got off to a dramatic start.

Birth Chart

Looking at the birth chart of Banksy becomes an exercise in spotting Archetypes, which emerge very clearly.  His Sun is in creative Leo, and opposes Jupiter: there is more than a touch of rebellious humour in his work.

With the Sun exactly trine Neptune, he’s quite a spiritual person.  Mercury exactly square Mars produces the Critic Archetype (Craig Revel Horwood, the arch critic on Strictly Come Dancing has this aspect).

Uranus squares Mercury in his chart, so he is not afraid to be controversial: the Rebel Archetype (Stanley Kubrick, maker of controversial films, had this aspect, as has Chris Packham the environmentalist, who is currently campaigning against the HS2 railway among other things).

Mercury square Chiron makes him a problem solver, which shows some of the ingenuity about the way he works. Venus in Virgo means that he is perfectionistic about his art, and its exact square to Neptune produces art with a twist!  There are some charitable features about his artistic practices (Neptune represents charity).  In addition, Venus trines the North Node in his chart depicting a karmic mission as an Artist.

The Activist Archetype appears in his opposition between Mars and Uranus (Vanessa Redgrave has this opposition).  Mars conjunct Chiron in Aries is the Wounded Warrior Archetype (Benjamin Zephaniah also has this).

Jupiter sextiles Neptune in his chart, denoting a balanced relationship between religion and spirituality, and a charitable nature.   Jupiter also trines Pluto, a mark of  Power in a chart.  He has a long history of mocking centralized power.  Saturn square Pluto shows a difficult relationship with authority.  And Pluto square Nodal Axis shows the subversive karma element of his work, constantly challenging the current state of affairs.

Life and Work

Banksy has been operating as an undercover street artist since the 1990s.  This undercover element is also a feature of Pluto square his Nodal Axis.  He began in Bristol in the graffiti artist scene, and has developed a distinctive stencilling technique.  His works often appear unexpectedly on walls overnight, and he often uses political themes (he is anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-establishment).  Although he is anonymous, he is widely believed to be Robin Gunningham, born in 1973 in Bristol. He moved from Bristol to London around the year 2000.

His works now fetch record-breaking sums of money, but many have been lost or painted over, and he has painted on walls all over the world.  One of his biggest stunts was in October 2018 at Sotheby’s, when one of his paintings (Balloon Girl) shredded itself on being sold.  He subsequently explained how he had achieved this.  The transits for this stunt were:

Mars on his natal Jupiter (his Clown Archetype) in Aquarius; Jupiter trine his natal Mercury (pulling off a stunt at a sale); Saturn trine his Venus (goodbye to an artwork) and Pluto square his Uranus (destruction and anarchy).

The Louise Michel

The French patrol boat was originally commissioned in 1988, but was refitted this year for its current purpose of assisting refugees in the Mediterranean, and bought by Banksy.  Banksy had announced his intention to purchase such a vessel last year.  Its first mission in this role was on Thursday 27th August, so that will stand as its “birth chart”.  An exact trine between Venus (Art) and Neptune (the Sea) occurred that day, being a very idealistic aspect.  Mars was also still square Saturn that day, showing the struggle and strife which would inevitably be part of its history.  At noon on that day, the Moon was in Sagittarius at the powerful degree of the Galactic Centre.

It started by picking up 89 refugees that day.  Since then, the numbers on board rose to unmanageable levels (over 200), and some had to be transferred to other vehicles.  The boat is now itself asking for international help to manage those aboard and find them refuge.  This has re-ignited necessary conversations and negotiations by European countries on the issue of the sea migrants.

Banksy’s own transits for this new venture show Pluto exactly opposite Mercury: a profound (Pluto) relationship with a transport vehicle (Mercury), and Pluto exactly square Mars (in this act, he is literally going to war over the issue of migrants).  In the transits throughout his life, his Mars (Inner Warrior) in Aries is often highlighted in his actions and events, as being quite a force in his life and character.

European Responses to migrants

Italy have rescued 49 people of the most vulnerable from the Louise Michel.  The rest are awaiting to hear about their fate.

In the years since this exodus from African and Asian countries started, Greece and Italy have borne the brunt of the arrivals.  The United Kingdom was one of the countries reluctant to get involved, but this summer there have been many migrants from Calais crossing the English Channel.  Negotiations with France have been to some extent hampered by the breakdown of relations due to Brexit.

There is an interesting article this morning in the Observer about Angela Merkel, who famously opened her heart to the migrants in 2015, and struggled politically in her own country subsequently.  The article is written by Phililp Oltermann.  Between the years 2015 and 2019 1.7 million people applied for asylum in Germany.  Angela Merkel stated at the time of the original crisis: “Germany is a strong country.  The motive with which we approach these matters must be: we have already managed so much, we’ll manage this.”  There was a severe right wing backlash in her country, and her popularity plummeted.  Her expectation that the European nations would adopt a quota system didn’t happen.  The article informs us:

“Merkel never recanted her words of August 2015, as many even in her own party insisted she should. But she did ensure a situation like the one that followed won’t be repeated on German soil during her tenure.”

The article implies that Germany has managed by and large to integrate its new residents, and many found work, with over 10,000 learning German and attending universities.  Angela Merkel’s  popularity has also risen this year due to her handling of the pandemic.

The whole issue of the Mediterranean migrants and those trying to cross the English Channel is not going away,  and Banksy’s rescue mission seems to have highlighted the issue at this time.


Today’s first aspect is an uncompromisingly challenging one: Pluto opposing Venus.  All Venusian matters (love, relationships, art, music, gardening and money) are put under a thorough psychological searchlight.  You could hear (or utter) phrases such as “Are you absolutely sure?”, “Is it Art?”, “Can we go on like this?”, “Climate change is playing havoc with my gardening” and “Money’s too tight to mention”.

In the early evening there is another opposition: that of Neptune opposing Mercury.  Whereas the first opposition brings uncomfortable feelings, this opposition brings confusion in the mind.  There may be for instance a mental dilemma, or a demand for clarification.  It may be difficult to focus, if you are engaged in documentation work.  Journeys may be long and complicated.

Tuesday (1st September) brings much more mental harmony, with Mercury trine Pluto.  Some of the depth required on Sunday will be satisfied and some of the mental clarity will be revealed.  So if you have been treading water, you’ll meet your rescue vessel, so to speak.  That aspect is conducive to deep thought and psychological reflection, and earnest conversations.

There is a Full Moon at 10 degrees Pisces on Wednesday (2nd), early  in the morning.  It is an especially tender, sensitive and emotional Full Moon, so tears may flow.  Issues which may come up may be the plastic in the sea, or the fishing industry.  The Pisces Full Moon reminds us that we are all One.

Another opposition follows around lunchtime: that of Saturn opposing Venus.  This means having to let go in relationships or in finance.  We have a much loved pet who we currently realize is on his way to cat heaven, possibly this week.  We’ll be consulting the vet early in the week, after the bank holiday.  The message of the power of love may be more difficult to sustain in the face of testing under this aspect.  But the cure for the situation is even more love.

Just after lunch the Sun trines Uranus, and that may bring an unexpected rainbow after the rain of the previous aspect.  It may give you the go ahead to forge ahead with innovative plans and original creativity.

Thursday (3rd) is constructive, with Mercury trine Saturn.  This combines mental work with practicality, and brings focus and realism to the mental activities.  So it is a good day for making plans.  Serious conversations can also safely take place under this aspect.

You may find that you and/or others are letting your hair down on Friday (4th) with Venus squaring Mars loosening the inhibitions.  This square may also have a bearing on the battle of the sexes (within, or interpersonal).

On Friday evening, there is a convivial sextile between Mercury and Venus, so if you have some socially distanced socializing planned, that should be most harmonious.  Conversation will flow, and with much agreement between kindred spirits.  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 last astrological feature of the week is the entry of Mercury into Libra.  The start of September has seen the analytical and applied placing of Mercury in Virgo, which is very appropriate for the first week of the school term (very tricky under the conditions of this year).  Saturday (5th) brings a new mental focus on cultural themes, which could bring more pure enjoyment: art and music being fundamental areas for Libra, and decision-making (do we play Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia with or without the words, or not even at all, that is the question).  Mercury in Libra is slightly more relaxed than Mercury in Virgo.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – psychological searchlight on feelings; mental confusion
  • Tuesday – the rescue vessel arrives
  • Wednesday – emotional high tide; deflated feelings; an unexpected lift
  • Thursday – mentally constructive
  • Friday – loosened inhibitions; conviviality
  • Saturday – new mental focus on cultural themes