Honeysuckle Weeks – a glowing Leo

Honey wks


Actress Honeysuckle Weeks, best known for her role in the long-running Foyle’s War, has been found safe and well after disappearing for a short time, having said she was feeling anxious.

Born 1 Aug 1979 in Cardiff, she’s a charming Sun Mercury Venus in Leo with her Sun also conjunct Jupiter and both trine Neptune – so sociable, enthusiastic, dreamy. She’s also got Saturn in Virgo which has a tendency to overwork and worry in a square to Neptune which is creative but also prone to panics. Her Saturn is being undermined this year by tr Neptune in opposition so she’ll be feeling the general celestial unease more than some. But she should be back to bouncing form by early 2017.


Christine Lagarde – IMF report lacerates Eurozone policies



Christine Lagarde, CEO of the IMF, doesn’t have her troubles to seek at the moment. She is to stand trial over a state payout to the French tycoon Bernard Tapie when she served as economy minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy. Mr Tapie was a supporter of Mr Sarkozy and there were allegations this may have played a role in her decision. She denies any wrongdoing, saying she acted in the interest of the state and with respect for the law.

Now an internal watchdog’s report has pronounced that ‘the IMF’s top staff misled their own board, made a series of calamitous misjudgments in Greece, became euphoric cheerleaders for the euro project, ignored warning signs of impending crisis, and collectively failed to grasp an elemental concept of currency theory.’

They punished Greece in order to save the euro and northern European banks – in what ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis called an exercise in “fiscal water-boarding”.

In castigating the IMF, the report has laid bare, in searing detail, the gigantic flaw in the eurozone set up.

Born 1 January 1956 1.40pm Paris, she has a formidably powerful and stubborn chart with a 9th house Capricorn Sun; and Mars Saturn in Scorpio square Moon Pluto in Leo and Jupiter in Virgo. But she does have tr Uranus square her MC again early in 2017; with the tr Saturn square tr Neptune in hard aspect to her Solar Arc Sun at the moment and into 2017; plus a devastating Solar Arc Pluto conjunct her 6th house Neptune, exact in four months time. And tr Pluto conjunct her MC in 2018/19 (or earlier if her birth time has been rounded up from a couple of minutes earlier) which can destroy reputations and bring down careers.

Chief Bald Eagle – a life packed with history, tragedy and success

Bald Eagle


Native American Chief Bald Eagle, who appeared in the Oscar-winning 1990 film Dances With Wolves, has died aged 97. Born 8 April 1919 in a tepee on the Lakota reservation in South Dakota, he was the grandson of Chief White Bull, who fought in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. He served in the US Army during World War Two, winning the silver star in Italy and being seriously wounded while parachuting into Normandy during D-Day. He then became a drummer and ballroom dancer before setting off for Hollywood where he trained stars including John Wayne in horse and gun handling, and served as Errol Flynn’s stunt double. He appeared in more than 40 films. Off screen he became the face of South Dakota’s Lakota people and was elected as the first Chief of the United Native Nations in 2001, addressing indigenous people worldwide. His last film Neither Wolf Nor Dog premieres this year and the director said: “He was an astonishingly beautiful man. The sparkle from his eyes when he smiled or was being mischievous was a joy to behold.”

He was a Sun Mercury Mars in Aries trine Saturn in Leo so resilient and courageous. He had a Fire Water chart –  definitely effervescent. With a Jupiter Pluto conjunction in Cancer trine Uranus, which Nelson Mandela, born the previous year also had – confident, lucky, designed for times of change. Both had Saturn and Neptune in Leo not conjunct, but the energy was there in fighting for fairness. Both had a crusading Sagittarius North Node.

Michel Barnier – heavyweight EU apparatchik

Michael Barnier DD comp


Michael BarnierMB UK synMB DD Syn



Michel Barnier, dubbed ‘scourge of the City of London’ has been named as the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, reporting directly to Jean-Claude Juncker – Juncker’s revenge.

Barnier, a former French foreign minister,  born 9 Jan 1951 4.40pm La Tronche, France, is a 7th house Sun Capricorn square Neptune; with a control-freak, inordinately stubborn Pluto in the 2nd opposition Mars Moon in Aquarius in the 8th. He’s also got Mercury in Capricorn opposition Uranus square Saturn in Libra. Compromise will not come easily to him.

He’ll certainly be under immense pressure in the coming two to three years with tr Pluto in his 7th, already aggravating his close relationships at work, conjunct his Sun and square his Neptune – so difficulties in partnerships and discussions, confusion, perhaps even scandal (Nep Pluto).

His Mars opposition Pluto collides with the UK 1801’s Fixed planets in the 11th (the UK legislature); 2nd and 8th and 5th (financial). His focal point Saturn is conjunct the UK’s freedom-loving Uranus; and his Jupiter is in a power-struggling conjunction to the UK Pluto.  The old Anglo-French enmity.

He sits no more comfortably with David Davis, the chief UK negotiator, 9 Jan 1961, with DD’s Mars in Capricorn conjunct MB’s Sun and DD’s Saturn in Virgo opposition MB’s Jupiter – so plenty of room for arguments and a wide divergence of approach and wishes.

Their relationship chart is ploughing through very heavy seas from early 2017 for two years with tr Pluto trine the composite Saturn; with distrust, muddles, devastation and mis-speaks from tr Pluto square the composite Neptune. It’s going to be unpleasant.

Hillary Clinton – through the glass ceiling



Hillary Clinton was declared Democrat nominee for President at 6.39pm last night in Philadelphia, with Bernie Sanders doing the honours 14 minutes later – the first woman ever to lead a national US party into the elections.

There’s not much of note about this chart apart from the MC being conjunct Hillary’s Scorpio Sun, almost exactly. The Saturn square Neptune is tied into a T Square by the Virgo Node – so highlighting Saturn Neptune’s support for women’s rights and equality. The Yod of Jupiter sextile Mars in Scorpio inconjunct Uranus is still in place – strained, waiting for a catalytic turn of events to get it into gear.

The polls show Trump marginally ahead but that’s partly because of his post-convention bounce – so fairly neck and neck. She’s certainly not home and dry, much to the astonishment of the rest of the world, who don’t quite get the Hillaryphobia. She’s certainly not perfect but she has experience and when it comes to untrustworthiness? Pots and kettles.

Her relationships with her cheerleaders Michelle and Barack Obama and husband Bill, all look uneasy over the next three months; and her own chart has some sinkers through October though disappearing into November. So it will stay anyone’s guess until the results come in.

France – a way of life under assault

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In France an 84 year old priest saying Mass in a Rouen church in northern France had his throat slit by two armed men, claiming to be from Daesh/Isis. The terrorists were killed by French forces when they exited and one hostage is critically wounded. In this instance armed intervention moved in swiftly to end the situation in contrast to the Nice truck killings. There’s now a major argument raging between local Nice police and the national authorities over an alleged cover up about how useful the heavily armed National security forces were. Reports put only lightly armed police on the promenade with suggestions that there was a request to delete/hand over cctv footage. If the scandal gains traction, Hollande evidently thinks it will finish his political career.

The France 21 Sept 1792 3.30pm is less clear cut than the Germany one – perhaps a reflection of a different national temperament. Solar Arc Pluto is conjunct the 8th house Sun/Venus midpoint now which will bring up hidden, intense emotional reactions. The population may react more openly in 2017/18 with tr Pluto opposition the Solar Arc Moon.

In addition, the recent and next Eclipses, located to Paris, have planets significantly clustered on the chart axis. Lunar Eclipse March 2016 – Sun MC opposition Moon on the IC; and the Lunar Eclipse Sept 2016 – Pluto MC, Uranus Ascendant, Venus Descendant. Solar Eclipse March 2016 – Saturn Asc, Uranus IC; September 2016 – Uranus Desc; Feb 2017 – Uranus Mars MC opposition Jupiter IC.

Tr Mars in Scorpio is now conjunct the France Mars MC. At the Charlie Hebdo/Jewish supermarket shootings in Jan 2015 tr Mars in Aquarius was exactly square. And the Fixed T Square of Uranus opposition Pluto square Mars MC is being rattled at the moment and into 2017 by tr Uranus trine Uranus and sextile Pluto – so there is pressure towards a radical shift in thinking and direction.

Tr Pluto is moving through the France 12th until 2021 which will feel trapped; with tr Pluto conjunct the Ascendant as it sextiles the central Mars in Scorpio in 2021/22/23. That Mars is vengeful and France will undoubtedly extract a price for attacks.

Hollande’s Presidency chart, 15 May 2012 10.45am, has the upcoming Solar Eclipse conjunct the Mars in Virgo opposition Neptune, bringing a shock and severe dent to confidence; with a major upheaval come next April, as the election gets under way. He looks very stressed, almost anguished at that point with tr Pluto conjunct his Capricorn Moon just before and tr Uranus trine his Pluto and square his Uranus in April.

Green and Ashley – capitalism is rough for some



The reputation of Brit business is taking a pounding this week from two Westminster reports. One said that BHS (British Home Stores) was subject to “systematic plunder” by former owners Sir Philip Green, Dominic Chappell and their respective “hangers-on. It said the “tragedy” of BHS was the “unacceptable face of capitalism” and raised questions about how the governance of private companies and their pension funds is regulated. The other MPs report said that the billionaire retailer Mike Ashley had been running his business, Sports Direct, like a Victorian workhouse, treating workers “without dignity or respect – as commodities rather than as human beings”.

Philip Green 15 March 1952, is a Sun Pisces trine Mars in Scorpio with an ultra-determined Mars square Pluto and a high-finance Jupiter in pro-active Aries opposition Neptune Saturn in Libra. He’ll be bullish going ahead with tr Pluto square his Jupiter in 2017/18; but also in a panic with a sniff of failure in the air as Solar Arc Mars squares his Neptune within a few weeks. Tr Pluto also squares his Jupiter/Neptune midpoint in 2017/18 and then his Neptune which might just burst his bubble.

Mike Ashley, 9 Sept 1964, is a Sun Uranus Pluto Mercury in Virgo; with Saturn in Pisces opposition Mercury and square Jupiter in Taurus; Mars in Cancer; and Neptune in Scorpio widely opposition Jupiter. He’s got a discouraging tr Saturn square his Uranus Pluto Sun now and over coming months; with an undermining tr Neptune in opposition for the next three years. He’ll be pushing back hard with tr Pluto opposition his Solar Arc Jupiter in 2016/17. Into the 2020s he’s running into even more and worse trouble.

What’s interesting, apart from both sharing Jupiter Neptune oppositions and Jupiter Saturn hard aspects, is that both have exceptionally heavily aspected 9th Harmonics, which are supposed to be the humanitarian ones. In fact they often crop up with the only-money-makes-me-happy brigade.

Astrology and the paradox of freewill

Trying to disentangle the freewill versus determinism argument from an astrological perspective isn’t simple.

Country charts from my experience tend to act in a more concrete way than individual charts – which is to say there is less leeway for choice. That isn’t to say it’s always clear how the influences will work out, since my view is that astrology plumbs into an underlying strata of possibilities and potentials. But there does seem to be more room for choice for individuals – if they are (I hate the word) evolved enough. Maybe more conscious is better – they have insight into their behaviour and motivations. Perhaps a country ‘mentality’ is more primitive since it is encased/rooted in a mass of people, most of whom will be ‘unconscious’.

It all goes back to Carl Jung’s thought – ‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” In an odd way, a society’s glue only holds together if most people are sunk below the median line of consciousness. Too many ‘enlightened’ individualists would rip the social order apart.

We all cling onto astrology since it puts a pattern on life to help us along the way. Yet what astrology also tells us is that life is random and unfair. Bad things happen to good people and vice versa. From square one, some people are handed a more beneficial hand of cards, with a helpful chart. That is partly family inheritance but it is also a matter of chance of the influences around when they were born. And also where. If you’re born in a famine in the Ethiopian desert and died of starvation, you’ll have the same chart as a westerner who went on to have a decent-ish life. The astrology won’t tell you everything.

The human psyche is mysteriously complicated and interfaces with the outer world in ways which we really don’t understand. To go back to Jung’s thought – I’ve known people in therapy struggling to become conscious which is no easy process, and hitting a block when the pull back into unconsciousness becomes too strong. The outer world obliges and causes train strikes and delays so they miss therapy appointments. Utterly nothing that is their direct responsibility and yet it coincides precisely with their inner conflict and state of mind.

We all know people whose lives have repeating disasters, minor or major, which appear to be nothing over which they have any control or indeed ‘cause’. Yet they keep happening. ‘Fate’ keeps hitting them over the head. It’s easy enough to say, they need to become more conscious so they can internalise the conflicts that are happening to them in the outer world. But that isn’t possible for many. Psychological transformation is too difficult since it risks pulling down the entire psychic structure.

What the astrology tells us is there are different levels to all the influences. Transformational transiting Pluto in hard aspect to someone’s Moon – the Moon equals house, body, women, childhood, mother. It can have a concrete effect and their house has starts to crumble and the drains back up. Some people somatise and get ill. The emotional effect will brew up fights with female friends/bosses or older female relatives. Or psychologically they can go back to their inner roots, become more conscious of and experience early feelings and clear out old resentments. For most of us there will be several of these effects running concurrently.

But the more conscious an individual is, the less the outer, concrete events will occur. Which isn’t to say that getting ill or having your house fall down is your fault in any direct way. None of us ever get fully conscious and for some it’s a more impossible task than for others.

Other thought from Carl Jung – ‘Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.’ So you’re landed with your birth chart – part family legacy, part the zeitgeist when you were born. You don’t have a choice about the template itself – you’re a Gemini Sun square Uranus Pluto, not a Leo Sun trine Jupiter Neptune. So you have to work within that framework and live it out to its fullest potential. In the first example, there’s no sense in trying to stick yourself into a humdrum box, because your unlived energies will continually tip your life upside down. There’s no choice about who you are, the choice is whether you opt to be yourself.

Whether this answers the initial question about the astrology string-pulling, I don’t know. In many ways it was easier in ye olden pagan days when everything was thought to be ‘fated’ and people accepted they were marionettes of the god’s. But it doesn’t sit comfortably nowadays and anyway isn’t true.

One other thought is attempting to struggle out of my muddled brain. You can be born with a reasonable chart, yet if, decades later, you happen to live through a longish period of continuing tumult in the outer world (as now) it can send your life off track. Would that be obvious from the original birth chart’s energies? Not necessarily, since it shows the time you were born and how you will react to whatever comes your way. What I’m trying to say (I think) is that life is, in part, random which is difficult and scary to grasp. The astrological cycles churn on with little regard for right or wrong, fair or unfair. There is a pattern but no moral content to the influences. It’s not always about progress or the path to enlightenment, often it’s the reverse. And we just have to muddle along as best we can, clinging onto what makes sense and refusing to be swept along by the chaos.

Joshua Wong – a teenage trail-blazer for democracy



Joshua Wong, 13 Oct 1996, a social and democracy activist in Hong Kong, who has been arrested several times after demonstrations, was listed by Fortune as one of the world’s greatest leaders in 2015. And he’s not yet 20.

Born with dyslexia, he was raised as a Protestant Christian, became active in church and student protest groups and this year launched Demosisto, a movement stressing Hong Kong’s right to self determination.

He’s a Sun, probably Moon in Libra, square Neptune in Capricorn, and sextile Mars in Leo – idealistic, keen on justice, pro-active and good at publicity. With Mercury North Node also in Libra opposition Saturn in self-reliant Aries square Jupiter in Capricorn – Jupiter has a socially aware drive which can produce enlightened spokesmen. His Mercury is also heavily aspected being trine Uranus, sextile Pluto as well as in the T Square to Jupiter and Saturn so definitely a communicator.

He’s in an excitable insecure phase at the moment with his Solar Arc Uranus opposing his Mars; and his Venus in Virgo and Solar Arc Mars in Virgo picking up the swampy, worrisome tr Neptune square tr Saturn now and into early 2017. In Jan 2017  tr Uranus opposes his Sun for the final time and from 2018 tr Pluto starts to square his Sun – so a longish period of considerable challenge. Though along the way he does have his Solar Arc Jupiter conjunct his Uranus which should produce relief, a lucky break and good news.

His chart does collide with China’s with his influential Pluto falling in the China 10th and his Mars in their 7th conjunct their ferocious Mars Pluto. The China Libra Sun is conjunct his Mercury North Node and opposition his Saturn –  all in all he won’t sit comfortably with the Beijing government.

The relationship chart does indicate a continuing struggle for the upper hand through 2016/17 and a major upheaval next year.

His emphasised Jupiter falls in the Hong Kong 1997 chart 10th house, so he’s an important beacon of hope for the country. Though there looks to be concern and reversals over the next eighteen months. With better news coming 2018/2019 as tr Uranus squares the composite Jupiter Uranus.

He’s a brave lad since facing the might of China is no small undertaking.