Joli Pitt – Pluto’s love turned to hate

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Angelina Joli or her lawyers have been letting fly again in the war of words with Brad Pitt over their divorce and custody agreements for the children, which are supposed to be sealed. His lawyers accused her of having ‘no self-regulation mechanism to preclude sensitive information from being placed in the public record’. She retaliated by saying he was terrified the truth would harm his career. And in the middle are the poor children, she has full custody of.

The Pitt Joli relationship chart has a composite Sun opposition Pluto; with Pluto quincunx Mars. Plutonic relationships which are obsessive, possessive, life-transforming at the start, are also a nightmare of hostility and resentment when they split, usually slowly, painfully and with maximum damage being inflicted. Pluto can never let go easily or amiably, even when the Pluto individual has instigated it.

Her Pluto falls in his 10th so she’ll want to control him and is certainly capable of damaging his career. Her Pluto opposes Mars which falls in his 4th so she’d be an argumentative presence domestically. There was a lot good about the relationship – her Sun falls in his 7th; and his Moon Venus are conjunct her Descendant. But he’d struggle to make an intimate connection with her Saturn in his 8th.

She’s in a bullish mood this year with tr Pluto square her Jupiter, exact at the moment; but tr Neptune will square her Gemini Sun from April onwards, on and off till late 2018 which won’t boost her morale.

He’s got tr Saturn now below his Ascendant and aiming to conjunct his Sagittarius Sun through this year, so definitely a lower profile time for him. With emotional and financial jolts from tr Uranus square his 2nd house Moon Venus in Capricorn. Plus an intense, high-pressure tr Pluto conjunct his Mercury. So the hostile ping-pong battle is likely to continue.


RD Laing – Sanity, Madness & the Family



Mad to be Normal is a new film, starring David Tennant, on the life of innovative thinker, best-selling author and psychiatrist to the stars, RD Laing. He was a counter-culture cult figure in the 1960s, followed by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Allen Ginsberg, Jim Morrison, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. He promoted a controversial approach to mental illness based on a concern for the rights of patients. He thought schizophrenia wasn’t biochemical or genetic but a reaction to a hopeless emotional situation. His book The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness, written when he was just 28, was a best-seller.

Born 7 October 1927 5.15pm Glasgow, Scotland, with an army engineer father, he studied medicine and, during a stint in the Army, became fascinated with psychiatry. Instead of medicating patients with the “chemical cosh” anti-psychotics of the time, Laing proposed caring for them in a community of equals, though he also dabbled in treating them with mescaline and LSD.

He had six sons and four daughters by four different mothers and although he wrote insightfully about the effect of defective parenting on children, appeared to have been a bad father himself. Latterly he descended into alcohol and drug abuse.

He had a 7th house Sun Mars in Libra square Pluto in the 5th – so was undoubtedly a highly stressed individual, forceful in his approach, attention-seeking with Pluto in the 5th; though with a double Libra effect capable of understanding one-to-one relationships. Psychanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung also had 7th house Suns (Taurus & Leo respectively). Like Freud also, Laing had an 8th house Saturn, which isn’t wonderful at forming intimate relationships but clearly made them both serious about what went on in deeper personality dynamics.

Laing’s 12th house Aquarius Moon opposed Neptune. Freud’s Moon was square Neptune; and Jung’s widely conjunct. This gives a peculiar psychic sensitivity to mother’s and others’ feelings. Laing had rebellious Uranus and Jupiter in Pisces on his Ascendant, the latter making him enthusiastic, sociable and self-confident, which coupled with a charismatic Pluto in the 5th would push him out to make a stir on the party and entertainment circuit.

His creative, get-it-together 5th Harmonic was focussed on communicative Mercury and argumentative Mars. His 7th Harmonic, a seeking soul, was even stronger with an entrepreneurial and innovative Fire Grand Trine, formed into three Kites, and another Mars focal point T Square. The 7H can be addictive and prone to mental imbalance. His obsessive 11H; and breakthrough/genius 13H are also notable.

He had some brilliant ideas, which were before their time and ran into heavy resistance from an overly conservative profession, but are now filtering into the mainstream. Sadly the demons which drove him to early success finally ate him. Not a happy man, but he did push back boundaries in thinking about the human condition. And prompted social workers not just to treat the child but also to treat the family.

North Korea – out twittered

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Twit-in-chief has been taking to the airwaves to sneer at North Korea’s claim to have a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the US. Experts believe N Korea hasn’t the technology to get most missiles off the ground never mind across 6,500 miles to the US. Not content with tramping Kim Jong Un underfoot, Trump took a sideswipe at China for not reining in North Korea. In turn, China warned the President-elect about not escalating the situation by provoking Kim Jong Un, a loose cannon at the best of times.

Trump has Mars on his Descendant relocated to North Korea so it is a region that will stoke his aggression. With both his Mars and Pluto in his relationship 7th house through China, matching the China natal Mars Pluto in the 7th – so a combustible combo.

Kim Jong Un’s birth date is questionable, ranging over 1983/84 with maybe different months. However his Leadership chart of 29 December 2011 11.57 am P’yonggang is sound. That chart is struggling through stormy seas in 2017/2018 from this March onwards with tr Pluto trine the Mars – enraged, frustrated and high-risk. Where he may come a cropper altogether is in 2018 with the Solar Arc Uranus square the Leadership Sun Pluto. That could tip him off his perch, with tr Uranus also opposition the Saturn in Libra.

He is facing internal problems from poverty and more so from the possibility of an assassination and coup. His brutal executions of reams of high level officials, including relatives, makes it more likely a last-resort retaliation comes at some point.

The North Korea, 9 September 1948 5.27pm? P’yonggang chart is deflated over coming months with the Solar Arc Mars squaring Neptune, so facing failure; with some change possible with an element of risk come 2018/19 as tr Saturn is conjunct the NK Uranus; and tr Uranus is trine the NK Saturn and opposition the Mars in Scorpio. It’ll be a time of change and insecurity.

The USA/NK relationship chart is intense and spitting teeth this year with tr Pluto opposition the composite Venus; but not really getting agitated until 2018 with tr Uranus trine the composite Mars; and tr Pluto trine Saturn.

South Korea on the other hand looks on high alert this year vis a vis NK, especially March, April, May. China looks frosty in the extreme with tr Saturn square the composite Sun, Mars, Venus late this month and through February, as well as twice more before the end of this year.

Tim Barrow – diplomat in the hot seat

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“Not a government patsy” is one description of Sir Tim Barrow, shoehorned in at speed to the post of UK Ambassador to the EU. He’s a career Foreign Office diplomat, a “seasoned and tough negotiator” according to Downing Street; a “pragmatic problem solver” who is prepared to give the “unvarnished truth” but also to offer solutions, according to another commentator. He has considerable experience working in the EU and was ambassador to Russia, “hard-headedly” facing down Vladimir Putin through a time of high stress.

All of which background is helpful in considering his chart, 15 February 1964, a mere three days after the blessed Sarah Palin. So he has that same fearsomely tough-nut Sun Mars Saturn in Aquarius conjunction widely square Neptune in Scorpio – and clearly more brains. Different houses will make a considerable difference in the way the energy plays out and is focussed. In his case with less grandstanding and more self-control.

Whether or not Theresa May will appreciate either his personality or his truth-telling is questionable. Her unbendable Saturn in Scorpio square Pluto Venus in Leo collides uncomfortably with his Aquarius planets; especially his Mars, Saturn, Sun opposition her Pluto.

Their relationship chart is problematic to put it mildly with a composite Pluto opposition Mars square Mercury, which suggests simmering hostility and vicious arguments. There is a streak of friendliness in a composite Sun opposition Venus, though that opposition is being undermined by tr Neptune squares till 2020; and won’t anyway outweigh the negatives. There is a three-quarter Grand Sextile of Jupiter sextile Pluto sextile Neptune sextile Saturn sextile Mars, which could be put to good use negotiating the largest and most significant settlement since World War 11. But it is still fraught with tensions – Saturn Pluto is stuck together force majeure with some resentment therefrom; Saturn Jupiter will wobble from pessimism to optimism. Saturn Mars is scratchy and irritable.

He’ll have a jousting relationship with David Davis (Secy of Exit) with a composite Jupiter opposition Pluto square Saturn in their relationship chart. Some strain with Boris Johnson, Foreign Minister, with a composite Yod of Pluto sextile Neptune inconjunct Mars and a differing-agendas composite Saturn opposition Uranus.

2018 looks to be the year when these last two relationships split asunder.

His relationship chart with the EU has an argumentative composite Sun Mars, under considerable strain from tr Pluto conjunction in 2017; as well as a disruptive tr Uranus square the composite Jupiter Saturn. That worsens in 2019 with tremendous highs and lows from tr Pluto conjunct the Jupiter Saturn.

His own personal chart looks bullish through 2017 with tr Pluto square Jupiter; though is under poleaxing pressure and frustrations from tr Pluto square his Solar Arc Saturn Sun Mars in 2017/18/19/20.

Tim Barrow will need all his diplomatic skills and iron discipline to cope not just with the mare’s nest in Brussels but the one back home as well.


“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”  Winston Churchill

“If you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”  Theodore Roosevelt

“Diplomacy is the art of letting somebody else have your way.” David Frost.

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice Doggie’ until you can find a rock.” Will Rogers

Theresa May government – ominous omens



The surprise resignation of the UK’s Ambassador to Brussels is causing a flurry of comment depending on whether the media outlets are pro-Brexit or against. For the Remainers it’s deeply damaging to Theresa May, the removal of a highly skilled negotiator who knew the EU inside out. For the Brexiters, it’s good riddance since he was uppity, contemptuous of politicians’ limited understanding of what they are facing, and negative about the prospect of getting a speedy and clean divorce.

What is clear about Theresa May’s Government – even if nothing else is – is that it is living up to its start chart, 13 July 2016 5.44 pm – with an intensely secretive Sun Mercury in the 8th with Sun opposition controlling Pluto; plus a prickly focal point Saturn on a Sagittarius Ascendant which makes it overly defensive about criticism and resistant to open debate. An afflicted Saturn in Sagittarius is know-it-all, self-righteous, resentful about any questioning. Plus the 8th house Sun Mercury in Cancer are trine a 12th house vengeful Mars in Scorpio. Step out of line and woe betide you. Forget any speaking truth to power.

That Government Saturn is under double assault this year from the worst of its enemies – delusional, dissolving, undermining Neptune. Tr Neptune squares that Saturn from 12 January to 11 February 2017; and the Solar Arc Saturn moves to square Neptune by late 2017. Plus the Feb 2017 Pisces Eclipse is conjunct the Neptune. If mishandled, this can lead to self-deceit in the months following. The Feb Eclipse is also square Saturn which can be fearful, overwhelmed by responsibilities.

Throughout February tr Uranus will square the 8th house Government Sun which will create a fair upheaval against even more resistance so is likely to be highly uncomfortable. February also sees tr Pluto conjunct Mars/Neptune which usually accompanies plans collapsing into confusion; with a frustrating/enraging/stuck tr Pluto square Mars/Node mid March to early June; when the Mars/Neptune returns. There will be phases of high confidence and optimism when tr Pluto trines Jupiter but they’ll be muddled in with a fair amount of chaos as well.

What puzzles me given that all 27 countries need to vote individually and all, as I understand it, have a veto, how anything will ever get decided. What TM’s Government wants (hard, soft or liquorice all sorts, who knows?) is neither here nor there faced with the Tower of Babel. If a 0.1% per center like Luxembourg can bury a tax avoidance scheme (see previous post) then neither common sense nor flexibility reign on the other side. It takes two to tango in a negotiation and if one side has set their multi-faces to the wall then there’ll be complete stalemate and a messy tumble-out in 2019.

Ranulph Fiennes – beyond belief

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Another oldie who has no intention of settling into his slippers is explorer Ranulph Fiennes. At 72, having suffered two heart attacks and double bypass surgery in 2003, he is now more than halfway to completing the Global Reach Challenge in aid of Marie Curie – to become the first person to climb each continent’s highest mountain and cross both polar ice caps. He has already crossed both polar ice caps and climbed Mount Everest in Asia, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Europe and Mount Vinson in Antarctica. This week he will attempt to climb Aconcagua, South America’s highest mountain. The low oxygen levels at the peak will be particularly challenging as he suffers from a respiratory condition. To complete the feat he still needs to summit Mount Carstensz in Australasia, and Denali, the highest peak in North America.

Born 7 March 1944 12.30pm Windsor, England, he has a 10th house Sun in Pisces (a common explorer’s sign) which is square a hard edged, fiercely-disciplined Mars Saturn in Gemini. He also has Pluto conjunct a leadership North Node in Leo on the focal point of a mini-Grand Trine to Uranus and Neptune. Prince Charles described him as ‘mad and marvellous’ and his mother said when he was growing up she knew he’d either be ‘mad or bad.’ Impossible doesn’t seem to cross his mind.

His Moon Jupiter in Leo are opposition Venus in Aquarius; and sextile his Mars Saturn, softening a few of his rougher Mars Saturn edges.

It’s a chart which strangely lacks Earth signs, given the physical endurance required for such dangerous and stamina-stretching expeditions. But both his get-it-together 5th Harmonic and his strength-and-stubbornness 8th Harmonic have Earth Grand Trines and both feature Jupiter, which has brought him extraordinary luck on what appeared to be semi-suicidal exercises. His superhuman, death-defying-fortitude 16th is also strongly aspected.

His first wife, Ginny, 9 July 1947, a childhood sweetheart, who died in 2004,  prompted him to start his high-risk career and helped organise his trips. She was a Sun Cancer with a Pisces Moon conjunct his Sun so a strong resonance. Her Saturn was conjunct his Pluto North Node which could have made a normal marriage difficult but together they could co-operate on large-scale enterprises. His trans-globe expedition took seven years planning. Her Mars in Gemini was conjunct his Uranus; and his Mars Saturn conjunct her Uranus – which in a 24/7 bourgeois lifestyle would have been a disaster, hugely volatile. But it suited their high-excitement life, often separated.

I’m not sure of his schedule, but I’d imagine he’ll have to slow down by 2018 when tr Neptune is conjunct his Sun, then moving on to square his Saturn Mars.

Megyn Kelly – bad career move initially at least




Megyn Kelly, the prime-time Fox News presenter, who clashed with Donald Trump during his campaign and was the highest profile of the women who alleged inappropriate behaviour by Roger Ailes (which he denies), is moving to daytime NBC. She said it was to allow her more time with her three children. It’s always tough switching channels and can often go wrong; with the added hazard of moving onto a different audience during the day.

She was born 18 Nov 1970 in Syracuse, New York, she became a lawyer first before moving into television. She’s a confidently determined and charming Sun Jupiter Venus in Scorpio opposition a stalwart Saturn in Taurus; with an excitable Mars Uranus in Libra. Her Sun is also conjunct Neptune; and her Moon is Cancer/Leo.

Sadly it looks as if it will be extraordinarily difficult for her in 2017/18 with tr Pluto in a highly frustrating square to Mars and trine Saturn – and that is a real uphill struggle; with her Solar Arc Neptune in a sinking square to her Mars in 2018. Looks like a car crash to be honest. She’ll bounce more enthusiastically by late 2018/2019 when her Solar Arc Pluto is conjunct her Jupiter.

Jean-Claude Juncker – the EU’s shadow side right up front

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Lest Americans (some) feel they are alone writhing in embarrassment at the calibre of their political leadership, fear not. Cast a glance over Jean Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission and former PM of Luxembourg. Leaked documents show Juncker has spent years blocking EU attempts to crack down on the tax loopholes in his native Luxembourg for the benefit of corporate giants such as Amazon. And he has also vetoed any public disclosure of these discussions.   Because of EU rules demanding unanimity, Luxembourg with 00.1% of the EU population has the power of veto over any suggestions they don’t like. Shades of Wallonia (who blocked the recent Canadian trade deal).

As Robert Hardman put it: “Despite crystal-clear demands for greater EU transparency and accountability, the man in charge of the EU apparatus has been rumbled as the architect of a huge tax avoidance cover-up.”

Juncker took over as EU Commission President on 1 November 2014 with a flamboyant Jupiter on Leo on the Ascendant, which figures; and a brutally ruthless Mars Pluto in the showboating 5th on the focal point of Uranus opposition Mercury Node. Pluto has moved by Solar Arc to exactly square the Uranus at the moment, suggesting a massive jolt to his position. Though Mars Pluto tends to be a) shameless; and b) fairly unbudgeable.

Juncker himself is a Sun Sagittarius with a lucky Jupiter Uranus in Cancer in a can-be-fanatical square to Neptune; and a Pluto opposition Mars. His Mars Pluto anchors into the EU Pluto square Mars in Sagittarius – so he’s emblematic of the dark side of the EU. Mars Pluto can be corrupt or criminal, certainly intent on gaining its own ends by force or compulsion.

He looks bullishly-confident as per usual through chunks of 2017 though with odd patches of major disruption and great insecurity, with over-reactions when he feels threatened.

His relationship chart with the EU looks totally jammed-up through 2017/18 with tr Pluto conjunct the composite Mars from this March onwards; undermining tr Neptune opposition the composite Jupiter; and a separating tr Saturn conjunct Sun late in 2017. It’s a moot point whether his drinking/health removes him from office before internal pressure does.

Don McCullin – heart-felt images of war and poverty



Veteran war photographer Don McCullin has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours list. Described as one of our greatest living photographers and a photojournalist without equal, he spent 60 years documenting the poverty of London’s East End, and the horrors of wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Congo, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iran. Last month, aged 81, he travelled to Iraq to photograph the Battle of Mosul and took another trip to Palmyra in Syria in early 2016. He has vowed to continue with his work until he “can’t press that button any more”.

Born 9 October 1935 in London he had a tough upbringing with a violent mother, a sick father, evacuation during the war, frequent truancy and a youth of street fighting and local gangs. He described Finsbury Park in north London where he grew up as a place of ignorance, bigotry, poverty and violence. During his National Service he became a cameraman but couldn’t pass the theory exams (he’s dyslexic). A commission from the Observer picture editor when he was 23 got him started on his long and distinguished career more by accident than design. He covered wars in Vietnam, Biafra, Cyprus and Northern Ireland but focused on its terrible effects on people rather than on the fighting.

He says: “Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”

Actor Tom Hardy will reportedly play him in a film, based on McCullin’s autobiography, Unreasonable Behavior.

He’s a Sun Libra sextile Mars in adventurous Sagittarius; with a confident Jupiter in Scorpio trine Pluto in Cancer; and a Mystic Rectangle of Venus in Virgo opposition Saturn (Moon) in Pisces which is trine/sextile Uranus opposition Mercury in Scorpio. His Neptune is in a publicity-seeking square to Mars. Mercury in Scorpio is often found in research journalist’s charts and has the ability to dig deep and see below the surface.

His chart is replete with creative quintiles and septiles. His get-it-together 5th Harmonic is focussed on Mercury and the war-signature Saturn Pluto. His 7th Harmonic is pulled to military/situations of cruelty, with Mars Saturn prominent focussing onto filmic Neptune. His enduring, endless-struggle 8th Harmonic is enormously strong; as is his ‘breakthrough’, genius 13H.

From unlikely beginnings he pulled himself away from his roots with a world-class talent and a mix of determination and luck. Though admittedly Jupiter Pluto has a reputation for creating its own good fortune.

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