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John Roberts – standing above the fray

John Roberts, chief justice on the US Supreme Court, is facing a slew of tricky decisions involving Trump from petitions to disclose his tax returns through to the impeachment if it happens. He has already made it clear, at least from his standpoint, that he and his fellow judges are not partisan. In November 2018 he said: “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked an appeals court ruling that required Trump’s accounting firm to turn over financial records to a House committee. This is fairly routine and requires Trump to file his petition seeking review by December 5. They could hear the case in the coming weeks and issue a decision by June. If it does then it would provide a major decision on the balance of power between Congress and the executive branch and on the role of the court in enforcing the separation of powers.

Roberts, 27 January 1955, is a Sun Aquarius sextile Mars in Aries; with a lucky Uranus Jupiter in Cancer square Neptune. More significantly he has a Fixed T Square of an intense and penetrating Mercury in Aquarius opposition Pluto square a conscientious Saturn in Scorpio, giving him executive ability, the capacity to be involved in grave matters of state; and relentless endurance. He’ll be fairly unbudgeable and not keen to be pushed around.

He’s not an easy fit with Trump despite his Venus in Sagittarius being close to Trump’s Moon. Roberts’ Mars squares Trump’s Mercury for a gritty, argumentative interface. Roberts’ Sun opposes Pluto’s power-hungry Pluto for a battle of wills; Roberts’ formidable and stubborn Fixed T Square of Mercury, Saturn Pluto clashes with Trump’s Mars in Leo for an even more bitter struggle for control; and Roberts’ Uranus Jupiter is in a jangled conjunction to Trump’s Saturn Venus.

Their relationship chart has an evasive composite Sun opposition Neptune with the Sun in a differing-agenda square to Uranus. The composite Mars is heavily aspected being sextile the Sun and Pluto, square Saturn and trine Neptune, so the potential for rolling, though muted, aggravation is clear.

Their connection looks under stress now till December 1st as tr Saturn squares the composite Neptune; and also at the moment squares Trump’s 2nd house Jupiter. Having his finances exposed has always been Trump’s worst nightmare which won’t happen in the next few days but jeopardy approaches. There won’t be much let up thereafter with a panicky and undermining tr Neptune square the composite Sun/Pluto mid December to late January at the same time as a discouraging tr Pluto trine the composite Saturn; and worsens considerably through February 2020 with tr Neptune square the composite Mars bringing real flutters of panic. That’s when Trump’s personal chart is showing mounting strain, frustration and fear.

Roberts’ chart is definitely living through ‘interesting times’ with a high-tension Solar Arc Saturn opposition his Uranus at the moment; with a confident and successful tr Pluto opposition Jupiter from late January and then opposition his lucky-break Jupiter/Uranus midpoint through till mid year and returning later. His will have the odd blips and glitches but he’s also looking upbeat for someone standing in the eye of the storm.

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DR Congo – a Ben Affleck/Scorsese project

 

Colonial atrocities left their mark on Africa and nowhere more obviously than in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A recently announced movie to be directed by Ben Affleck and produced by Martin Scorsese based on Adam Hochschild’s best-selling book King Leopold’s Ghost will throw a bleak spotlight on what was truly the heart of darkness in the centre of the continent.

In the late 19th Century King Leopold of Belgium founded and was sole owner of the Congo Free State which he ran for his personal gain. The vast sums he made exploiting ivory and then rubber were used for public and private construction projects in Belgium. His administration was characterised by murder, torture and systematic brutality, extreme even by the standards of the times. Millions died: modern estimates range from 1 million to 15 million deaths. Eventually the reports of deaths and abuse forced the international community to demand he hand the country to the Belgian state.

Yet only now is his legacy being challenged in Belgium where roads named after to him are being renamed and memorials removed.

Not that the USA’s hands are entirely clean since post-Leopold they acquired a strategic stake in the enormous natural wealth of the Congo, following use of the uranium from Congolese mines to manufacture the first atomic weapons, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. During the Cold War, fear of strategic raw materials falling into the hands of the Soviets led directly to the assassination of Patrick Lumumba, the first prime minister after independence, who wanted full control over the country’s resources to improve the living conditions of the people.

Leopold was born 9 April 1835 at 1.30am Brussels, a first cousin of Queen Victoria, although reportedly a retiring personality, had a starkly ruthless chart with an Aries Sun and Pluto opposition Saturn square Mars in Cancer. He ruled for 44 years and was unpopular as monarch. He took many mistresses after separating from his wife, latterly a 16 year old French prostitute whom he married just before his death.

His chart is reflected – tragically – in the Democratic Republic of Congo Independence chart of 30 June 1960 – which has a brutal Grand Trine of Pluto trine Mars in Taurus trine Saturn, formed into a Kite by Saturn opposition Sun Venus in Cancer.

Despite its vast natural resources, it remains poor, under-developed, rife with corruption, with high levels of starvation and displacement of people from constant fighting. DR Congo’s level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index.

Ben Affleck has spent many years campaigning to improve living conditions in the Congo. On his astrocartography his Sun and Mercury Midheaven lines run through central Africa, making it a prime area of interest for him.

He was born 15 August 1972 2.53 am Berkeley, California, and has a Leo Sun trine Jupiter in Sagittarius with a Scorpio Moon. He doesn’t have a particularly heavy chart considering his interest in deprivation in the Congo. Angelina Jolie who also works in disadvantaged and conflict-zones has a Mars, Pluto, Saturn in her chart; as does the author Adam Hochschild, 15 October 1942, who has a Sun Mars in Libra trine Saturn, sextile Pluto.

Affleck’s healing 12th Harmonic is more descriptive with Mars Pluto opposition Uranus square Sun; and his get-it-together 5th Harmonic is also gritty with Mars Saturn square Venus and inconjunct Pluto.

He’s in for a tough couple of years with tr Pluto opposition his Mars/Saturn midpoint which suggests shooting the film won’t go without mishaps; and he’ll have more than his fair share of worries with tr Neptune square his Saturn and conjunct his midheaven in 2020 as well. However he’ll bounce with more enthusiasm 2021 to 2024 as tr Pluto squares his Sun/Jupiter and Mars/Jupiter midpoints.

The tragedy of colonialism apart from the appalling mistreatment at the time was there was no effort to develop a social infrastructure with an educated middle class. So when the colonials left there was a vacuum into which stepped the gangster governments which are the curse of the continent now.

Caitlyn Jenner – standing out from the crowd

Caitlyn Jenner who transitioned from being ‘the world’s greatest athlete’ as an Olympic gold decathlete, to being the world’s most famous transgender woman, is the most notable contestant in this year’s ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ jungle humiliation trials.

She’s now had full reassignment surgery and continued her previous media success in a different arena with her own TV show as well as on the Kardashian gig.

Born 28 October 1949 6.16am Mount Kisco, New York as Bruce Jenner, she has an upfront Scorpio Sun on the Ascendant square an Aquarius Moon on the IC – so she would always have been conflicted about what she wanted. She has a controlling and influential Pluto in the 10th in a persuasive, seductive trine to Venus in Sagittarius in the financial 2nd, sextile a 12th house dreamy Neptune Mercury in Libra. Her Venus is also in a cool, unloved square to Saturn. She’s also got Jupiter in money-magnet Capricorn in her communicative 3rd house.

Whether or not she wins the show, the fee of half a million pounds will keep her smiling and she’s facing some great times ahead with tr Pluto conjunct her Jupiter from late March 2020 on and off for two years. That usually brings money and success; though tr Saturn lurking behind may take a small amount of the shine off. Before then she’ll have a worrisome, uncertain mid December to late January with tr Neptune opposition her Saturn; and a bumpy ride on the relationship front as tr Uranus moves across her Descendant over this New Year and through January, then opposes her Sun. Uranus through her 7th for the next few years will give her a sporadic and erratic emotional life, which won’t be all wonderful in 2020 with tr Neptune square her Sun/Moon midpoint. And she does look on red alert from her Progressed Mars square her Uranus for the next two years as well. So swings and roundabouts with a change of direction as tr Uranus squares her Midheaven from mid 2020 into 2021.

She’s obviously destined to be a mover and shaker no matter what she’s doing.

Teal Swan – the risks of self-help

 

A hugely popular American self-help guru, who suggests that any followers with suicidal intentions should visualise what it would be like to die has been accused of being irresponsible after at least two have taken their lives.

Welcome to the internet age. Teal Swan, 16 June 1984 7.42 am Santa Fe, New Mexico, has a YouTube channel that has been viewed nearly 80 million times, a Facebook closed group called the Teal Tribe and holds seminars across the USA. She calls herself a “personal transformation revolutionary” and “spiritual catalyst”; critics have dubbed her “The Suicide Catalyst”.

She appears to have had a troubled childhood with hypersensitivity and clairvoyant experiences, self-harm and claims of being abused in a cult. She also said she was an alien from the star Arcturus. Her ministry started in her late twenties and focuses on healing from trauma and psychological ailments, including suicidal thoughts.

Birth time being accurate, she has a 12th house Sun Venus in Gemini opposition Neptune and trine a 4th house Pluto – lives in a dream world, ambitious, drawn to the supernatural with such a strong Neptune Pluto, not always good at distinguishing reality from delusion. She has a 4th house Mars Saturn in Scorpio which would back up her story of abuse by a family friend and she certainly looks to have had a horror-filled childhood with much fear with Pluto there as well. She has Uranus in the performing 5th house in an outspoken opposition to Mercury in Gemini. And an intense and possessive Aquarius Moon square Pluto.

Her victim/healer 12th harmonic is strong and communicative. Her get-it-together and can-be-dominating 5th harmonic is exceptionally stressed but notable; as is her humanitarian and/or keen-on-acquiring-a-good life 9H.

The wounded healer archetype only works constructively if the healer has actually worked conscientiously through their own long, gruelling healing process. If they haven’t, they end up doing damage.

Her career and life will make a sharp change of direction with tr Uranus conjunct the Solar Arc Midheaven from mid 2020 onwards; as the same time as tr Uranus opposes her Saturn Mars in Scorpio into 2021 – and that will bring a major emotional crisis. Followed by tr Neptune opposition her Sun Venus in 2022/23 which is generally a healing influence though also lacklustre.

Devin Nunes – rash, brash and self-defeating

Republican congressman Devin Nunes, a fervent Trump supporter and purveyor of conspiracy theories is likely to face an ethics investigation over allegations he met with Shokin, an ex-Ukrainian prosecutor at the centre of the impeachment inquiry according to the top Democrat on the House armed services committee. Democrats claim it is all part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Shokin who was ousted from his position for not pursuing corruption against Ukraine’s politicians, has been the subject of debunked conservative conspiracy theories that claim Biden, when vice-president, forced the country to fire him to stymie an investigation into a Ukrainian energy company of which his son Hunter was a board member.

In 2017 Nunes, then head of the House intelligence committee, was investigated for an alleged classified information leak to the public but was cleared by the then Republican controlled house; and he has since then alleged an FBI conspiracy against Trump.

Born 1 October 1973 7.07 am Tulare, California, he has a controlling Sun Pluto in Libra on his Ascendant from the 12th in an unyielding square to a well-organised Saturn in Cancer on his midheaven. With a confident Sun Pluto trine Jupiter sextile a head-in-the-clouds Moon Neptune in Sagittarius. And two strained Yods onto an apex planet Mars from Sun Pluto sextile Moon Neptune; and onto Saturn from Neptune Moon sextile Jupiter. His afflicted Mars will tend to make his actions rash, disruptive, self-defeating; and his Saturn requires real maturity and self-discipline to make it work otherwise it results in failure and personal despair.

The December Solar Eclipse in Capricorn will oppose his Saturn suggesting a chickens-coming-home-to-roost phase in the months thereafter. He has a trapped, scary tr Pluto opposition his Mars/Pluto midpoint now till mid December; followed from late January 2020 by an equally blocked and frustrating tr Pluto opposition his Sun/Mars which repeats on and off till late 2020. His focal point Mars also picks up the tr Uranus conjunction from mid 2020 which could be explosive, damaging to his self-esteem and producing over-reactions – and that also repeats over the elections and into 2021.

His interface with Trump is edgy and confused at the best of times with Trump’s Neptune square Mercury sitting on top of Nunes’ Sun Pluto square Saturn. And Nunes’ stressed Mars is square Trump’s Pluto for a hidden power struggle that could turn nasty if it ever emerged into the light of day. Their relationship chart has a needs-space, differing-agenda composite Sun Uranus conjunction. It’s under severe not to say catastrophic stress from mid March onwards – very aggravated and blocked till mid year; and again over the New Year and throughout 2021.

Prince Andrew and family – in a shrinking world

 

For a brief day it looked like the ‘retirement’ of Prince Andrew was going to be a fudge with himself plus his pantomime-dame former wife turning up at Buckingham Palace where he evidently still has offices amid talk of him continuing with his entrepreneurial pitch from Buck House, never mind getting continuing support from mama out as a riding companion. Then brick by brick it all started to tumble with his resignation from multiple charities, Universities, English National Ballet and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and finally today his departure from his flagship business project PitchPalace.

It now looks like a much more final guillotine, mainly via public and business pressure, though ousting him from the palace might be an idea. Word is that he will still receive a private income from the Queen though that won’t support the lavish lifestyle he’s been used to, nor the funding of two daughters and extravagant ex-wife; and his international ‘business’ opportunities as a fixer will diminish sharply. All of which raises questions of what next for Beatrice and Eugenie and Sarah?

Sarah, 15 October 1959 9.03 am London, looks fenced in, trapped, frustrated and fearful over the next three years with tr Pluto square her Libra Sun, Sun/Mars midpoint then Mars in 2021/22. She has the devastating Solar Arc Pluto conjunct her Neptune also exactly now with the nerve-stretched tr Uranus in opposition through 2020 as well. Plus a jolting Solar Arc Uranus conjunct her Sun exact in six months’ time, then moving across the midpoint and on to Mars over the next four years which will be a longish phase of insecurity and forced change. Her Progressed Moon is also going through her 8th starting now for two years plus ahead which tends to be stressful, seeking new values and can feel like being in purgatory.

Princess Beatrice, 8 August 1988 8.18pm London, is a Sun Leo square Pluto and thought to be closest to Andrew. She’s getting married next year but it looks very high stress with tr Saturn Pluto conjunct her Mars/Pluto midpoint – setbacks, crises and disasters. She will have a few enthusiastic patches but generally will be feeling the strain with the Saturn Pluto conjunction moving through her 12th.

Eugenie, 23 March 1990 6.58pm London has a 6th house Aries Sun and the triple conjunction Capricorn in her 4th – so she experienced her childhood as very erratic, unpredictable and hard work. She has the downbeat tr Pluto conjunct her 4th house Saturn in 2019/2020 – so family problems loom large; and her 4th house Mars in Aquarius is also being stirred by Solar Arc Uranus conjunct in April/May and then tr Uranus square in June 2020 – which will be nerve-wracking, irritable and could be connected again to family/father. She doesn’t look any more light hearted in 2021/22 either.

All of them have depended on Andrew as the money tree and the entrée to the charity circuit of endless functions, never mind holidays with wealthy friends abroad who appreciated the Royal connection. Once that gets tainted, their lives will shrink considerably. And the Daily Mail has clearly no intention of letting up the pressure, so more will undoubtedly come out about where his Andrew’s money came from and about the sordid Epstein connection.

Taylor Swift – not a lady to cross

 

‘Music is spiritual. The music business is not.’ Van Morrison

The fight between Taylor Swift and her former manager, Scooter Braun, has escalated. He has ownership of her early master recordings and rights to her back catalogue since he bought over the company she was contracted to in her mid teens. It’s an age-old story in the music business of young, naïve artists signing away their rights.

But her public denouncement of Braun has led to death threats against his family and we’re now into a ‘he said, she said’ ping pong battle with him claiming she refuses to negotiate and being mistaken in her initial claim of not being able to perform her old songs live.

Taylor Swift, 13 December 1989 New York, varying birth times, is a Sun Sagittarius with the highly-strung triple conjunction of Uranus, Neptune, Saturn conjunct her Mercury and opposition her Jupiter (Moon) in Cancer; plus she has an uber-determined Pluto conjunct Mars in stubborn and vengeful Scorpio. She’s quite a handful.

Scooter Braun, 18 June 1981, is Sun Gemini opposition Neptune, good for business and music though slippery. His Neptune is conjunct her Sun; his Uranus is in an explosive conjunction to her Mars; and his Saturn Jupiter in Libra square her Capricorn and Cancer planets. With her Saturn Neptune opposing his Venus in Cancer. Not an ideal mix.

Their relationship chart is on edge at the moment with tr Uranus trine the composite Mars and opposition the Pluto and that continues into February/March next year. By which time tr Pluto will start to square the composite Venus for two years which will be emotionally intense.

Benjamin Netanyahu – a Trumped up excuse for indictment

 

Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases, the first time an acting Israeli prime minister has been charged with such offenses. In response he let fly and said the corruption charges against him were “an attempted coup” against him which has caused some derision. Shades of Trump.  Israel now faces a third election in a year mainly because the block to forming a governing coalition has been the refusal of Netanyahu’s potential partners in a unity government to serve in a government led by a prime minister under criminal indictment.

Born 21 October 1949 10.15 am Tel Aviv, Netanyahu has a New Moon in Libra square a money-attracting and indulgent 2nd house Jupiter in Capricorn – and more significantly a do-or-die-determined and flamboyant Mars Pluto in the 9th, so he’s not one for giving way easily.

He has a whole tranche of less than favourable influences at the moment and up and coming. His Solar Arc Uranus is in a jolting conjunction to his Saturn this year, knocking him off track. Tr Neptune is in the uncertain, panicky opposition to his Saturn and Solar Arc Uranus now. Tr Saturn will square his Moon this December and then his Sun on and off in 2020 – both of which are discouraging. Plus tr Saturn is now into the nadir of his low profile First Quadrant for the next two years. Plus the tr Saturn Pluto conjunction next year will conjunct his Jupiter which will damp down his confidence and enthusiasm. And he has Solar Arc Saturn square his Mars exact in six months’ time but having an  effect now which has a setback/car-crash feel.

He will have some strokes of luck in 2020 and he will no doubt plough ahead with his usual bullish confidence, but he’ll be hard pushed to clear these charges without major damage.

Netanyahu is the longest serving Israeli prime minister and whatever you think of him he has been central to Israel’s direction and image in recent years. His Pluto Mars are conjunct Israel’s Saturn Mars in Leo so he exemplifies the worst of the country’s obduracy and martial spirit. His New Moon sits on Israel’s Ascendant so he truly is the face of the country. The relationship chart has a controlling composite Sun Mercury Pluto which is being upended by tr Uranus in square from mid 2020 on for two years.

Saudi Arabia & OPEC – oil is becoming so last century

 

 

The much vaunted ‘privatisation’ of Saudi Aramco has failed to come anywhere near reaching its target, with the modest sums raised barely covering the Kingdom’s fiscal deficit for six months. It was supposed to fund Crown Prince MBS’s Vision 2030 plan to break oil addiction and diversify into everything from car plants to weapons production. With the climate backlash mounting, electric cars coming down in price and shale showing no signs of a downturn, the oil producing exporters are in trouble ahead.

The Saudis especially need revenue to pay for the cradle-to-grave welfare system, which keeps the political lid on domestic discontent; fund the world’s fourth biggest military budget and the war in Yemen and bankroll Egypt. It needs a crude price of $85 to stay afloat long term; which is at present trading $61. They are racking up debt and could unbelievably down the road run out of money.

Ambrose Evans Pritchard in the Telegraph said: ”Aramco’s flop is a sobering moment for OPEC. The world’s oil industry is on borrowed political time.”

The OPEC chart, 10 September 1960,  certainly indicates major panic with a wholesale confidence slide over the next three years with tr Neptune moving in hard aspect round the Virgo Sun and then Mars and Jupiter. There’ll be a major jolt with high insecurity within months from Solar Arc Mars conjunct Uranus; and then devastating confusion in 2021/22 from Solar Arc Pluto conjunct Neptune.

Saudi Arabia was always going to be right in the heart of the Saturn Pluto storm with its Saturn, Sun, Jupiter, Ascendant in Capricorn catching it head on. Tr Pluto has been conjunct Saturn this year for an uphill struggle with the Saturn Return this December bringing a sharp reality check. Quite what effect tr Saturn Pluto on the Saudi Sun Jupiter isn’t clear except that it’ll force them to pull their horns in and rein in that extravagant confidence of theirs. Saturn Pluto is about deprivation, hardship and austerity as well as repression. All things are comparative of course but the kingdom will be forced to exercise even more restraint in future.

In 2020 as well from July onwards tr Uranus will square the Saudi Mars which will shaft a spear through their self-esteem perhaps bringing an over-reaction. Uranus Mars can be explosive. Even before then tr Uranus square the Saudi Mercury over the New Year and through January is likely to bring sharp words. There’s a financially lacklustre and disappointing Solar Arc Venus conjunct Neptune in 2020 along with tr Neptune square Pluto and Uranus – sapping power and influence.

MBS’s personal chart, 31 August 1985, also indicates a fair upheaval across this New Year and January 2020 from tr Uranus opposition his focal point control-freak Pluto. He’ll get better news from mid year with tr Uranus square his Jupiter. Bu then runs into a grinding-to-a-halt Solar Arc Pluto square his Sun in late 2020/21; and is facing failure in 2022 with Solar Arc Mars square his Neptune.

Changing times.