Child Abuse Inquiry – symptom of a deeper malaise




The UK’s much troubled Child Abuse Inquiry has claimed another scalp with the THIRD chairman resigning. Butler-Sloss and Woolf went after publicity about their establishment links, and the NZ Judge Lowell Goddard has now baled after a Times story about her three month absence in the past year on a £500k a year salary.

Part of the problem (astrologically speaking) is it was first announced – 7 July 2014 circa 4.40pm London – on a Cardinal Grand Cross of Cancer Sun opposition Pluto square Mars opposition Uranus – and that was guaranteed to be followed by rolling crises. Grand Crosses tend to involve firefighting in four different directions at once and that’s without throwing disruptive Uranus and impulsive, argumentative Mars and Pluto into the mix.

It finally got under way on 9 July 2015 at 10am which wasn’t much better on the astrology with a Sun Mars opposition Pluto square North Node and square Uranus Moon in Aries. All of those planets continue to shift by Solar Arc and transit to close to exact aspects over the next three years so it will continue to rock n’ roll its way along – completely stuck at points and turned upside down at others.

Part of the problem may be the extreme resistance in the UK chart to any unearthing of murky secrets. The deeply buried Mars in Taurus in the 8th is tied into a Fixed T Square, opposition Neptune square Venus (in the 5th house of children) with Venus in another Fixed T Square opposition Saturn square Neptune.

When child abuse started to emerge in the 1980s tr Pluto in Scorpio was opposition that Mars; and in this last round of post-Savile horrors tr Pluto in Capricorn was trine the UK Mars. That has now passed on, but there is all manner of activity around the UK Mars now and in the coming years. Solar Arc Sun square Mars, exact in 2 months; Solar Arc MC square Mars just after mid 2017. Tr Uranus then moves into the UK 8th, shining a light on hidden places from 2020 for 7 years, along the way crossing the conjunction to Mars in 2021; and Solar Arc Uranus is conjunct Mars in 2024.

So whether this Inquiry collapses altogether or not – though it’s difficult to see how it could disappear – there will be continual eruptions well into next decade.


Republican nomination – heading for a high noon?

DT NomGOP MarchGOP July



Although there are murmurings about the Republicans finding a replacement candidate after Trump’s day of disasters with one gaffe tripping up the next, there’s no mechanism unless he first withdraws.

He accepted the nomination at 12.13am on 22 July 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio which put an aggravated Mars in Scorpio in the 8th trine a Cancer Sun; with maverick Uranus conjunct the Aries Ascendant; a hidden 12th house Neptune opposition a 6th house North Node square Saturn in the 8th – that might suggest health issues and cash shortages, with much behind-the-scenes goings-on. With a dictatorial Pluto in the 10th (which can backfire) in a confident trine to Jupiter, square Ascendant; and a showy Venus Mercury in Leo in the grandstanding 5th.

What will be interesting to watch is when Mars moves to conjunct Saturn by August 24th, with the Sun in square a week later. At the moment the Moon is square Mars and moving to square that Saturn today.

There are two charts for the Republican Party, 20 March 1854 6.30pm Ripon, Wisconsin; and 6 July 1854 Jackson, MI. But I’m not convinced either works especially well on election prediction, tracking back over past wins and losses.

Trump’s relationship with both charts looks inherently negative. With the March chart, there’s a chained-together and resenting-it Saturn Pluto in a panicky opposition to Neptune; and an explosive Uranus square Mars. The July chart is cold, suspicious, again explosive. It looks very agitated at the moment with tr Uranus square the composite Mercury; and in general undermined this year with tr Saturn square tr Neptune hitting on the composite Mars, though nothing exact again till October. There’s nothing that looks like a parting of the ways. Which doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

The March GOP chart looks panicky up to the election though also relieved with tr Uranus square the Jupiter in early November – though that could mean blessed relief they aren’t saddled with him or a win. The July GOP chart is sagging badly at the moment with tr Neptune square the Saturn (returning across the Inauguration); and in a state of upheaval with tr Pluto trine Uranus; with immense pressure through September with tr Pluto opposition the Sun.

UKIP – a bitter win



UKIP, the UK Independence Party, should be lyrical over the Brexit vote. Instead they appear to be melting down. A popular MEP has been ruled ineligible to stand for the election of leader after Nigel Farage stepped down by the NEC. As a result there have been resignations from the NEC, saying the party’s governing body “is no longer fit for purpose”.

UKIP was kicked off on 3 September 1993 in London giving the chart a 10 degree Virgo Sun and 15 degree Mercury in Virgo. Tr Neptune is in a sinking and sliding opposition to the Sun till early 2017; with a discouraging tr Saturn square both Sun and Mercury through the autumn. And a blocked, intense Solar Arc Pluto square Mercury just to add to the joys of discussions. It looks chaotic ahead with tr Pluto square Mars Jupiter till December and then tr Pluto conjunct Uranus Neptune in 2017/18.

Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Pluto in Scorpio and Sagittarius – the future movers and shakers

Pluto moved into Scorpio in 1984 staying till 1996 so that’s the generation who are in their twenties at the moment. Less flashy than the Pluto in Leo (1940 to 1958) or indeed in Libra (1972 to 1984) generation, they’ll be intense, fixated on sex (either too much or repressing it altogether) – AIDs emerged at this time and child sexual abuse avalanched into the open. They’ll be interested in how power is wielded, angst-ridden about being stuck in situations which they can’t control. Some will have great influence, others will feel stuck or tramped under foot.

Though really what was much stronger even than Pluto for the middle chunk of this generation was the triple conjunction in Capricorn – Saturn Uranus Neptune – between 1989 and 1991, with Uranus Neptune being conjunct till 1994. Some of these will be tinged with genius since Uranus Neptune, at best, is inspired; Saturn Uranus brings innovative changes; Saturn Neptune a hope for a better society or creative. But it can also be chaotic, fanatical, paranoid, autocratic. They are the ones who’ll make their mark, for good or for ill. Many of the ISIS foot soldiers are of this batch.

The Pluto in Sagittarius generation (1996 to 2008), just growing up, will be more studious, or open to new ideas if they were born before 2000 when Uranus and Neptune were both in Aquarius. This Pluto saw the rise of Al Quaeda so some will be dogmatic about religion or spiritual ideas. The world (Sagittarius = travel) will be a scarier place for them. They are likely to be opinionated and crusaders for their pet causes, keen on justice and reorganising the legal system as well as education.

Carole Middleton – ferociously fixed and capable




Carole Middleton, la grande matriarch, who now has one daughter married to the heir to the throne and the other about-to-be to a mega-rich hedge funder, is rightly or wrongly seen as the family string-puller. Born 31 January 1955, she has a highly determined chart, overflowing with initiative. She has an Aquarius Sun sextile Mars in pro-active Aries with a Taurus Moon; a formidably Fixed Mercury in Aquarius opposition Pluto square Saturn in Scorpio; and a lucky Jupiter Uranus in Cancer square Neptune; plus a Half Grand Sextile from the Mercury opposition Pluto, sextile Neptune sextile Venus in Sagittarius.

Undoubtedly she’s talented with immense endurance but not much flexibility, not one to confront in an argument since she’d never give way. She’s pushily confident with her Sun opposition her Jupiter/Pluto midpoint and her trail-blazing Uranus/Pluto midpoint.

She was in seventh heaven when Kate was married with her Solar Arc Pluto square her Jupiter; but suffered a shock of sorts last year when her Solar Arc Sun was conjunct her Mars, perhaps over the birth of Princess Charlotte, when there was a fuss about her being too first-in-the-queue before Prince Charles. She looks less than lyrical in 2016/17 with undermining midpoints and her Solar Arc Saturn opposition her Jupiter which will damp her enthusiasm; with a confused Solar Arc Pluto conjunct her Neptune at the same time.

Father Michael, 23 June 1949, is a more flexible temperament, used to putting up with difficulties – a quirky Sun Uranus in Cancer, he has Saturn in Virgo sextile his Sun Uranus and square Mars Mercury in Gemini. He’s also got initiative, a capacity for hard-work, but is more understated. He also looks uncertain this year with tr Saturn square tr Neptune hitting his Mars Mercury; with a considerable block coming in late 2017/18 when his Solar Arc Mars is conjunct his Pluto.

Kate with her Sun opposition Cancer Moon square Mars Saturn (Pluto) doesn’t look to have been given leeway for personal choices in her childhood from either parent, which is why she looks ‘too perfect’ and as someone remarked ‘on remote control’. If her birth time of 11.30am is accurate, then she’s very much directed by her mother’s ambitions.

Pippa, being the second child, maybe had fewer expectations placed on her and she’s got an adventurous Jupiter Uranus, a bucket load of Fire and an adaptable Virgo Sun, maybe Moon.

James, the baby of the family, is also fiery with Sun Jupiter Mercury in Aries and Saturn Uranus in Sagittarius; with a Scorpio Moon perhaps conjunct Pluto, with Pluto inconjunct Mars in Gemini; and his Venus in Pisces square Saturn Uranus – so a curiously unsettled mixture, good starter, not such great finisher, emotionally edgy.

Prince William, who clearly regarded a settled family set up with delight, seems to be less close to both Middleton parents this year and going forward. Either the shine has worn off or there are external pressures and circumstances changing.

Pluto – yes we can – can’t – maybe – change

This isn’t an astrological thought (yet) but I’ve always been fascinated by – a) how difficult it is to get people to change their minds; and b) how ideas flit out into the zeitgeist and remain set in concrete for decades, some of them later proving monumentally wrong.

On Larry’s example of kids battered by parents, which everyone said couldn’t happen when Dr Jack Kempe in the 1960s first came up with the notion. Only when someone produced X-rays of broken bones – i.e. hard evidence – did people reluctantly start to accept it was a problem. Same with the recovered memory of abuse debate – it had to wait until the neuroscientists came up with brain scans indicating that dissociated memory was possible did the nay-sayers shut up (mainly). Anecdotal and ‘soft’ science evidence isn’t enough to chisel through most people’s ego-bubble.

Ernest Becker’s ground breaking, Pulitzer-prize-winning The Denial of Death talks about the general ‘ hostility against admitting that man lives by lying to himself about himself and about his world.’ ‘The individual has to protect himself against the world, and he can do this only as any other animal would; by narrowing down the world, shutting off experience, developing an obliviousness to the terrors of the world and to his own anxieties…..’ ‘We don’t want to admit that we are fundamentally dishonest about reality, that we do not really control our own lives.”

So allowing in new information isn’t just about expanding our knowledge database, it involves a scary process of partially dismantling our defences (the ego bubble) in order to grow. That is a very Plutonic process. There’s a useful analogy of crustaceans – mini shrimps and lobsters are hard-shelled which protects them, but it also restricts them. When they want to grow, they need to snuck under a rock and cast off their old shell, at which point they are totally vulnerable, grow their body and then grow a new bigger shell.

Psychological change is much the same. Which you can see writ large in Thomas Kuhn’s cogent thoughts on paradigm shifts in science – it isn’t a simple, linear matter of knowing more and adapting old theories to encompass the new insights/facts, it involves a protracted period of turmoil, uncertainty and angst. The old dinosaurs (authority figures) fight to the death to defend the status quo and can destroy upstart trail-blazers who threaten their reputations.

We all have an internal dinosaur, so the ‘transition to a larger mental space’ in Oliver Sack’s words, only comes about ‘through a very painful, even terrifying process of undermining one’s existing beliefs and theories – painful because our mental lives are sustained, consciously or unconsciously, by theories, sometimes invested with the force of ideology or delusion.’

When people feel threatened by change they can go one of three ways – 1) dig in and refuse to budge, clinging with ferocious desperation onto old ways, since they feel their psychic stability is at risk, often regressing to even more primitive attitudes; 2) collapse into chaos; 3) struggle through the chaos to find a foothold in the new.

Very often, in times of psychological instability, there is extreme splitting into a good and bad, an all or nothing view of the world, which is what is going on at the moment politically and in terms of the religious ferment, which the west thought they’d moved on from.

Whether this can be attributed solely to Pluto in Capricorn, with the additional upset from the square to Uranus, isn’t clear. But it certainly is designed to upend authority structures in government and elsewhere, leading to power struggles between the status quo-ers and those who want political and economic change. With the public flag wavers showing the extreme ends of both. Trump became popular amongst the have-nots since he attacks the corrupt old ways (while being just as deficient himself in different ways), as does Corbyn at the other end of the political spectrum. Brexit was a revolt against the EU bureaucracy and their sclerotic machinations as much as anything.

The EU ‘government’ needs to change, as does the broken US political system. The UK democratic government was sidelined in the referendum because the posh boys in No 10 and 11 got it wrong. Everyone knows what they don’t want, but no one seems to have a clear idea of what will replace the outworn systems. In the midst of a swampy phase of not-the-past but not-yet-the-future, the ordinary people are panicky and insecure, splitting into polarised opposites.

Uranus will wane in influence through 2017 and with it some of the impetus for progressive social reform. To be replaced by Saturn conjunct Pluto in 2019 which tends to be repressive, favouring the power-holders. Then the minor triple conjunction comes into play with Jupiter in Capricorn in 2020 which will bring some uplift but will tend to benefit the moneyed rather than the poor.

Final thought on why astrology is not more widely respected. The major problem is that it (as yet) fits into no existing scientific theory of how the world works. Sacks again: ‘A discovery is premature if its implications cannot be connected by a series of simple logical steps to canonical, or generally accepted knowledge.’ So until science catches up, I’m afraid we’re stuck out in the wilderness. Maybe Pluto in Aquarius will help.

Social Media – Is the truth destroyed because it distresses you?

While it has always been true – in politics and life – that people tend to agree with views/facts that confirm what they already believe and discount those which run counter, it is a phenomenon (confirmation bias) which seems to be turning into the pathology of the 21st Century.

There is some astrology at the bottom but it’s worth pondering on these quotes from Katherine Viner on how technology is disrupting the truth.

“We’re getting countries where one half just doesn’t know anything at all about the other.”

“We are caught in a series of confusing battles between opposing forces: between truth and falsehood, fact and rumour, kindness and cruelty; between the few and the many, the connected and the alienated — between an informed public and a misguided mob.”

“Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security.”

“Instead of strengthening social bonds, or creating an informed public, or the idea of news as a civic good, a democratic necessity, it creates gangs, which spread instant falsehoods that fit their views, reinforcing each other’s beliefs, driving each other deeper into shared opinions, rather than established facts.”

“Our news ecosystem has changed more dramatically in the past five years than perhaps at any time in the past 500.”

So what happened 500 years ago? The Gutenberg printing press was invented which started a process whereby books and pamphlets could be copied out to the general population (those who could read). At that point Pluto was in Cancer and Neptune in Virgo – the exact opposite of the present Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces.

What happened five years ago? Neptune moved into Pisces staying till 2026. Neptune in Pisces has in the past coincided with high points for poetry, socially-aware fiction (Dickens etc), religion and hospitals. Karl Marx and Engels were around, and the establishment of theoretical communism took hold last time round of Neptune in Pisces in the mid 19th Century. But feet-on-the-ground, facing-facts is not its strength. Indeed it can be thoroughly loony-tunes in its beliefs, spiralling off into weird delusions.

Maybe part of the ‘post-fact’ era we are in can be attributed to Neptune in Pisces. In the UK we have the inept but highly popular, far-left Corbyn, darling of the proletariat; and the Brexit campaign which admitted to lying the day after it won. In the US there’s Trump, whose interface with the truth (and decency) seems tenuous at best. Yet nothing critical that’s said makes a dent on their supporters. No one believes experts, politicians or the media, so most opt for the comfort of their own ‘echo chamber’ where they are soothed by like-minded opinions – the Daily Mail and Fox news on the right; and the Guardianistas on the left.

Neptune was also highlighted when the expression ‘Yellow Press’ first emerged in the 1890s with the Hearst newspapers, which went for scandal-mongering sensationalism – eye-catching headlines and no fact-checking. Neptune was conjunct Pluto then in communication-oriented Gemini, which can inflate fantasies. So it’s not a new phenomenon, but it is a great deal worse nowadays.

Not sure there’s any great astro-conclusions from all of this. Maybe it’s worse this year with Saturn square Neptune, inducing paranoia on top of Neptune in Pisces’s tendency to wing off onto the cloud tops. No one can distinguish truth from fantasy, so they cling onto what feels familiar and safe, no matter ‘evidence’ to the contrary.

Donald Trump – an embarrassment to the USA and his own party

DT BO synBO DT compDT US synUS DT comp


Donald Trump seems to be spinning even more out of control than ever as the election moves into its most serious and vicious phase. His grasp of foreign affairs, exhibited in a recent TV interview, is Sarah Palin-esque; he’s recklessly turning himself into a Kremlin poodle; and now he’s insulted the parents of a soldier who lost his life fighting for the USA.

Even the Republicans are appalled though in true ‘Vichy’ fashion they’re not biting the bullet and withdrawing support. Even one who described him as a “narcissist and egomaniacal madman” has thrown his hat behind him.

At the moment through July and August, Trump has tr Uranus square his Sun/Mars and Venus/Saturn midpoints. Ebertin says of the first – impulsive, overtaxing oneself, hot blooded, upsets (cardiac troubles) – it has military associations; and all of the Mars Uranus tendency to over compensate in grand macho gestures and comments that backfire. The second is quarrelsome, feeling unloved.

Running mid July to early September as well he has tr Pluto square his Moon/Pluto – violent outbursts of feeling.

September gets no easier with tr Uranus square his Saturn giving rise to considerable tensions and again outbursts; with a couple of heavy tr Saturn transits as well. Through October Mars Uranus is back in play.

And today President Obama said he is “unfit to serve as president.” He has shown he is “woefully unprepared to do this job” after his comments on military families as well as his handle on foreign affairs.

They are a very gritty mix with Trump’s Pluto conjunct Obama’s Leo Sun; DT’s Mars conjunct BO’s Uranus and BO’s Mars square DT’s Sun and Moon – so Trump continually tries to put down and rile the president; while Obama manages to do the same in return. and stirs up fairly primitive anxieties in Trump since BO’s Sun is conjunct DT’s 12th house Pluto.

Their relationship chart, needless to say, is horrible with a composite Sun Uranus on the point of a T square from an opposition of Saturn to Neptune – at cross purposes, suspicious, no ground for compromise. That T square is being elbowed sharply at the moment with tr Uranus conjunct Saturn and will be so right through till 2017. There’s also another composite T square of an irritable Moon opposition Mars square Jupiter which is sagging under the weight of tr Saturn square tr Neptune hard aspects at the moment and on till the election and beyond. Tr Saturn is square their composite Mars through this month as Obama goes on the attack.

Trump’s Gemini Sun (opposition Moon) is, of course, conjunct the USA’s Mars, so he was always going to be a polarising figure who stirred up arguments. And his Saturn Venus in Cancer is conjunct the US Mercury and opposition the US Pluto – so again a tendency to split into supporters and haters.

The Trump/USA relationship chart does show September as being a high stress month with tr Uranus square the composite Mars – so more public explosions can be expected.

Emma and Lord Nelson – a legendary love affair

HN EH synHN EH comp


Emma, Lady Hamilton became one of the most infamous mistresses in British history when she embarked on ‘one of the history’s greatest love affairs’ with Admiral Lord Nelson. Artefacts from her life are now on display at the Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

Born 26 April 1765 in England in poverty, she had a child by a nobleman when she was 16, found another protector, became artist George Romney’s muse and was much painted, reluctantly married the British envoy to Naples where she became the confidante of the Queen of Naples (Marie Antoinette’s sister), fell in love with Horatio Nelson and had a secret daughter by him. After his death she ended up in debtors’ prison and died, as she started, in abject poverty in Calais.

For her daughter, she hoped for a better life: ‘A life well spent makes old age pleasant and honourable and I hope my dear Horatia will be good, virtuous and improve her time.’ And indeed she did, marrying a vicar and bearing 10 children.

Emma was a Sun Taurus trine Pluto in Capricorn and trine Neptune in late Leo, so undoubtedly talented, indulgent and wishing for great things (Nep Pluto). Her Pluto opposed a pushily confident Jupiter (Moon) in Cancer – so Jupiter was her driving planet with all its largesse. Her Venus in upfront Aries was conjunct Uranus and trine Neptune, leading to her wayward romantic life.

Nelson died 10 years before her and during those years of decline tr Pluto in Pisces was starting to square her Solar Arc Uranus Venus and then Sun; with tr Uranus Neptune in Sagittarius in opposition to those Solar Arc planets. When she finally died Solar Arc Saturn was over the opposition to her Pluto and moving towards the conjunction to her Jupiter with Solar Arc Neptune square her Jupiter – bursting the bubble of all her hopes and dreams.

Horatio Nelson, was renowned as a naval strategist with his successes during the Napoleonic Wars and was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar. Born 29 Sept 1758 9.30am(?) Burnham Thorpe, England, he had a military and ferociously determined Mars in Scorpio on his Ascendant with an 11th house Libra Sun and a powerfully confident Jupiter Pluto in Sagittarius. Emma’s Jupiter opposition Pluto was square his Sun so she’d undoubtedly lift his spirits and morale; with his Virgo Moon trine her Taurus Sun putting them in the same wavelength. Though her Saturn Mercury was in his 7th, landing him with problems. Her Neptune was conjunct his Midheaven, conferring a mythic status to their affair and his biography.

Their relationship chart had a passionate composite Venus opposition Pluto square Jupiter opposition Uranus (Saturn) – so equal amounts of mutual support, rolling crises, separations, tensions, and an inclination to transgress boundaries and common sense in their relationship. There was a good-for-publicity composite Mars Neptune conjunction, but its downside can be undermining for one side as the other thrives.

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