Alistair Urquhart – surviving against the odds, again and again and again



Alistair Urquhart, whose autobiography of his war-time experiences as a POW of the Japanese on the Burma ’death railway’ was a best seller, has died aged 97.

What is astonishing is not just that he survived an unthinkable three and a half years which killed many thousands, but that he lived, as so many of that generation seem to, to a ripe old age. He contracted cholera, malaria, beri beri and gangrene, was starved, beaten and worse. Towards the end of the war he was shipped off in a Japanese ‘hellship’ which was holed by a submarine and he ended in the sea covered in burning oil, went blind from the sun, was recaptured by Japanese and ended up working in a coal mine close to Nagaski when the atomic bomb was dropped.

After a difficult time adjusting to civilian life, he took up ballroom dancing and eventually became managing director of a plumbers’ merchant.

He was a Sun Virgo; with Saturn also in Virgo conjunct Mercury in Leo opposition Uranus (Moon) in Aquarius square North Node in Scorpio. So certainly enduring from the Fixed planets; and the Scorpio North Node has the effect of producing a total life transformation somewhere along the way, where the individual loses almost everything and emerges with a completely altered mindset. Not that it usually comes in quite such a horrific way, I hasten to add. He also had Jupiter Mars Neptune in Leo which would give him optimism as Fire always does and luck, especially with Mars Jupiter there. His Mars Neptune was exactly on the midpoint between his Sun and Pluto, so very determined.

His 8th and 16th Harmonics are exceptionally strong as you’d expected in someone who had amazing resilience and the ability to overcome massive obstacles. And his 5H = get-a-life-together – was also strong.


I can’t find it but I think it was in Michael Baigent’s book on Working with Astrology where he talks of a Norwegian fisherman who ended up in hypothermia-inducing seas for an extraordinarily long time which astonished medics. His 16th Harmonic was very marked as well.

Inauguration – Hillary high-stress; Donald cartwheeling



The Inauguration chart (and therefore First Term chart) for whoever gets into the White House, assuming 12 noon or thereabouts, looks less aggressive than either GW Bush’s first term or indeed Richard Nixon’s. There is a risk-taking Uranus opposition Jupiter squaring onto a 9th house Pluto – so it will be control freaky where international affairs are concerned, arousing hostility. That emphasised Pluto could also point to bitter legal battles. There is a military Saturn square Mars, but it is not particularly highlighted. Saturn in the 8th suggests economic woes which would match the US Federal Reserve Bank chart which is showing major strain in late 2017 and through 2018. The Aquarius Sun is not well integrated into the chart being only widely square a Scorpio Moon and inconjunct the North Node – so maybe a characterless term, perhaps bedevilled by toxic clashes of opinion (gridlocked by Congress maybe or by legal actions?)

Hillary looks in good spirits from Dec 2nd till early January with tr Pluto sextile her Sun/Jupiter midpoint and her Venus (returning at points throughout 2017), though also surrounded by a fair amount of chaos. If she does get in, she’ll be straight into a violent series of situations from March onwards, on and off till late 2018, with tr Pluto opposition her Mars/Uranus. Which does coincide with challenges on her relationship chart with ISIS. Though that can also mean operations but it will certainly be high stress.

If her birth time of 8 am is sound then she’s got tr Saturn moving through her 1st quadrant, heading into the lowest profile phase, which generally means a less successful time for leaders, so if she is in, it may not be a memorable term of great achievements (viz David Cameron who had the same). And her Solar Arc Saturn will conjunct her Sun, exact late 2017 into 2018 which will be a real downer. On this birth time tr Pluto will move early in 2017 into her 3rd for a hugely pressured everyday schedule; and tr Uranus into her 6th from mid 2017 which could be health issues.

Her astrocartography isn’t worth much without an accurate birth time. Her greatest problems come in the USA and Canada.

Donald Trump does have tr Uranus trine his Sun/Jupiter midpoint from late November to late January and then tr Pluto square his Jupiter right through January 2017 – so lots of good luck, success and confidence. His chutzpah won’t be dented even if he loses. Plus his Solar Arc Pluto will conjunct his 2nd house Jupiter, exact in 3 months’ time, which will give him a gigantic financial boost or involve him in a stratospheric scheme. Though there’s always a risk with Pluto Jupiter of getting over confident and pushing across the line and it backfiring as it did in his campaign.

Tr Saturn will be hauling him back down to earth, opposing his Uranus and Sun and conjunct his Moon from late November till mid January and again later in 2017 – maybe family problems as well as other things.

Right through 2017 he’s got the continuing run from this year of bad tempered, insecure and over-reactive transits to midpoints. And a volcanic eruption and shock when his Solar Arc Uranus is conjunct his Mars in 2018.

His astrocartography certainly indicates Russia as a positive zone for him with his Jupiter MC there. His Mars hot-spots would be Libya, Eastern Europe, China and Indonesia.

If the polls are right (and when have they been recently?) and Hillary gets in, she’ll be enjoying herself a good less than he is.

Rodrigo Duterte – in full machismo gear



Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, is racketing around like a loose cannon, called Barack Obama ‘son of a whore’, threatening to separate from the USA and side with China, much to the horror and alarm of his own ministers, never mind US officials.

He was sworn in at noon on 30 June 2016 in Manila, which certainly gives a divisive chart where close relationships are concerned with Uranus in the 7th in a stressed quincunx to a vengeful and determined Mars in the 2nd, suggesting he’ll goes his own way on trade and money-making ventures, though erratically. It is a materialistic chart with an Earth Grand Trine of Pluto trine Jupiter North Node trine a Taurus Moon – but since all of those are in hidden houses, there may be a fair amount of backroom dealing (as well as a fairly mutinous domestic population). For all that it’s a strong chart since that Grand Trine forms into a Kite with Pluto opposition Sun Venus on the Midheaven. Plus the over-hopeful, wobbly Jupiter opposition Neptune square Saturn. That last will give him trouble next month when tr Saturn squares Jupiter exactly; but a good deal more so when tr Neptune opposes Jupiter come 2018/2019. That is often associated with financial high hopes being dashed.

His relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping is friendly with a composite Sun Venus; and innovative though hard-edged with a composite Mars trine Saturn, sextile Uranus; and definitely opportunistic with a composite Jupiter square Mars. Both may see the political advantage in rubbing the US’s nose in it, rather than focussing on the economics. There’ll be some explosions and upsets from mid 2017 onwards.

His relationship with the US is under highly strung and confusing influences till January 2017; and again will erupt mid 2017 onwards with more heated exchanges.

He’s exerting his machismo in cocking a snook at the USA but may find China and even less palatable Big Brother in the longer term.

Raine Spencer – chaotic aristocratic lives



Raine Spencer, stepmother of Princess Diana and daughter of romance novelist Barbara Cartland, has died. She was known for her extraordinary helmet of lacquered bouffant hair and her unhappy relationship with her stepchildren, as well as her varied social life and romantic partners. The present Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, ripped out all Raine’s renovations of Althorp, the ancestral home, when his father died and he inherited, causing Raine’s fast exit.

She was born 9 September 1929 2.21pm London with her parents divorcing when she was 7, being launched as a debutante at 18 and marriage to an about-to-be earl followed swiftly. 20 years she later she had an affair with Lord Spencer and, after a divorce, married him. The year after his death she had a brief disastrous marriage to a French count.

Raine had an ambitious, hard-working 10th house Mars Mercury in Libra opposition an unsettled 4th house Uranus. Her 9th house, much-travelled Virgo Sun was in an expansive square to Jupiter in Gemini on her Descendant, hence her ease at finding partners. She also had an 8th house Pluto and Venus in Leo (not conjunct) and a 12th house Sagittarius Moon.

Her relationship to her mother, who claimed Raine was the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Sutherland or Prince George, Duke of Kent, needless to say, was hardly harmonious. Barbara Cartland 9 July 1901 11.40pm Birmingham, was a matriarchal Sun Cancer in a hard opposition to Saturn in Capricorn on her MC. The relationship with Raine was intense and controlling with BarbaraC’s Sun in Raine’s 8th conjunct her Pluto. And very disruptive with BarbaraC’s Uranus opposition Pluto falling across Raine’s Asc/Desc and squaring her Virgo Sun.

Their relationship chart had an unkind, tough-minded composite Saturn opposition Pluto square Mars; as well as a needs-space composite Sun opposition Moon Uranus. Not well designed for living in the same house.

And down a generation it ran, with Raine proving a thorn in Diana’s side (though they did make up latterly.) Raine’s sharp-edged and volatile Mars in Aries opposition Uranus was square Diana’s sensitive Cancer Sun; and Raine’s Saturn fell in Diana’s 1st house, putting a damper on D’s spontaneity.

Their relationship chart had a controlling and power-struggling composite Sun Pluto; with a cold composite Moon Saturn opposition Venus square Jupiter opposition Neptune – chilly to the point of refrigerated, suspicious, disappointing; and an explosive composite Mars square Uranus. The composite Jupiter obviously came into play much later on but it certainly wouldn’t be what motherless Diana in a dysfunctional aristo family needed as a child.

Aberfan – a nation still mourns



Commemorations have been held for the Aberfan disaster, which occurred fifty years ago, on 21 October 1966 when a catastrophic slip of colliery mining waste in Wales – thousands of tonnes of liquefied slurry – overwhelmed a junior school at 9.15am, killing 116 children and 28 adults. Coal miners from surrounding areas played a vital role during the rescue operation, many being called from their shifts underground to help. A later report found the National Coal Board guilty of ‘bungling ineptitude’.

It happened with tr Saturn opposing tr Uranus Pluto, though not exactly. Saturn in Pisces fell in the 5th house of children. Mars in the 10th was = Neptune/Pluto which Ebertin describes as ‘grievous loss’. And Uranus was sitting exactly on the hard aspect to the Saturn/Pluto midpoint which is sudden violence and is associated with mass deaths.

On the UK 1801 chart the Solar Arc Pluto was exactly opposition (to within a 12th of a degree) to the UK Venus in the 5th house of children. There was national anguish over the tragedy. Tr Pluto was exactly sextile the UK Cancer Moon with tr Saturn exactly square the UK Solar Arc Sun – intense feelings and a sombre time. Tr Jupiter, being contrary as usual, was just over the conjunction to the UK Jupiter; though exactly square the Solar Arc Neptune, which accompanies political scandals and instability (amongst other things).

The Solar Eclipse three weeks later, set for Aberfan, had an 8th house Scorpio New Moon trine Saturn Ascendant and sextile a ferocious collection of Mars Pluto Uranus on the Descendant, which fits.

The Wales 3 March 1284 JC chart (to be treated with caution as all ancient charts) had the tr Uranus Pluto straddling an opposition to the Wales Pisces Sun Venus; with tr Pluto also sextile the Wales Uranus Mars – so also a reasonably descriptive of a horrific event and loss.

Mars – a tough nut to crack



Europe’s Schiaparelli lander is feared to have crashed onto the surface of Mars at catastrophic speed when it attempted to land, with the parachute jettisoning early and the retrorockets switching off too soon. It is part of ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars), a two-part astrobiology project, a joint mission between Europe and Russia, which is searching for evidence of life, past and present on Mars and investigating how the Martian water and geochemical environment varies. This first part, placed an atmospheric probe into Mars orbit and released the stationary lander. If the robot is confirmed as lost, it will be a major blow. But officials say it will give the learning experience to go ahead with the landing on Mars of an ambitious six-wheeled rover in 2020/1.

The ExoMars Trace Orbiter mothership launched on 14 March 2016 9.31am UT Baikonur, Russia which gives a very Mutable chart with a Pisces Sun opposition Jupiter North Node square Saturn in Sagittarius; and a Gemini Moon opposition Mars (Saturn) square Venus Neptune (Mercury) opposition Jupiter. And an unpredictable Uranus on the Midheaven square Pluto in the engineering 6th. Good may come out of it since there’s also a Pluto trine Jupiter – but the Eclipses and tr Saturn square tr Neptune are playing havoc with all those mutable planets for several years ahead.  Exactly now, tr Neptune is square Mars/Saturn, which is bad news; and tr Saturn is conjunct Jupiter/Neptune and Sun/Venus which suggest disappointment and loss. Such a shame after that lovely Jupiter probe.

Jared Kushner – managing through gritted teeth



Jared Kushner, 10 January 1981, husband of Ivanka Trump, has been called Donald Trump, his father-in-law’s de facto campaign manager. He is the eldest son of the billionaire real estate developer Charles Kushner who spent two years in prison for tax evasion, witness tampering, and corruption-related charges, after a bust-up with Charles’ siblings who gave evidence; and was visited weekly when inside by his son. Both father and son blame the press for unfair treatment, so wholesale denial seems to be an extended family trait. Jared has interests in the media, as well as real estate, buying an upmarket New York paper, which he professed to find boring to read, and has run through a succession of editors. He is Jewish, as is Ivanka now (I think).

Jared is a Sun Capricorn square Pluto, hence the close relationship with and loyalty to his father. His Mars in Aquarius is trine Jupiter Saturn in Libra so he has a hard-edge though also an enthusiastic and adventurous streak.

He doesn’t look happy at all at the moment with tr Neptune in confidence-denting squares to his Mars/Jupiter and Mars/Saturn midpoints until Jan 2017 and a plans-not-working tr Pluto conjunct Mars/Neptune until Dec 2016; with a final unsettling tr Uranus square his Sun in Dec/Jan 2017. He looks set for a few stressful years ahead with tr Uranus opposition his Pluto and then tr Pluto conjunct his Sun in 2018/19. His business buying of property has not always been sound.

His relationship with Donald is not remotely easy or harmonious, despite appearances to the contrary. Jared’s Mars opposes Donald’s Pluto and Jared’s Uranus squares Donald’s Mars; J’s Sun opposes D’s Saturn; and J’s Saturn is conjunct D’s Neptune – that all adds up to simmering power-struggles and hostility; tensions which will explode from time to time; differing attitudes to money with J’s more practical Saturn clashing with D’s vague and careless Neptune; and D being critical of J and putting him down.

Their relationship chart does have a superficial, sociable friendliness with a composite Sun opposition Venus Jupiter but there’s a fair whack of insincerity wrapped up in that. There’s also an ego-clashing, non-mutually-supportive composite Mars Neptune which is additionally in a tricky sextile to Pluto. It’ll be very stuck between them late Nov into Dec this year; with heavy pressures, strain and arguments from Jan 2017 onwards.

Jared’s relationship with Ivanka looks under disappointing influences with tr Saturn conjunct the composite Sun exactly now and tr Neptune squaring that Sun through 2017.

All three of Jared and Ivanka’s children (birth data on have their Sun and Moon in uncomfortable dissonance – Cancer Sun with Aquarius Moon; Aries Sun Scorpio Moon; Libra Sun Pisces Moon. Two of them (birth data being sound) have Uranus in the 8th, hinting at a maverick grandfather. Two have squabbling Mars in the 3rd house of siblings.

Michelle Obama – a shining light amidst the murk



Michelle Obama is getting good press as she nears the end of her marathon in the White House, for her dignified and horrified speech about those making derogatory remarks about women (mentioning no names), for her strong fashion choices in wearing what she likes; and in coming across as warm human being and a hugger.

There’s no birth time, more’s the pity, except for a tentative 1.56am 17 Jan 1964 Chicago. In some ways she has quite a hard chart with a Capricorn Sun and Mars Saturn in Aquarius (not conjunct) and maybe a Moon in Aquarius; plus a rebellious Mercury in Capricorn trine Uranus Pluto in Virgo. What will give her a softer side is Venus in Pisces possibly conjunct her Moon; and Jupiter in Aries on the point of a T square to Mercury opposition North Node in Cancer. Such a Jupiter can be an enlightened social leader, an excellent teacher and a spokesperson for the collective.

Quite what she’ll carry forward from her Presidential years isn’t clear though 2017 will certainly be a time of major change with tr Uranus squaring her Sun – not all of it without argument from her midpoint transits.

She has been outspoken in her support of Hillary Clinton, though it’s not the easiest of relationships with a composite Uranus opposition Jupiter square Mars Neptune – so OK sometimes, and aggravated at others; with a chained-together and having to accept-it Saturn square Pluto.

The interface doesn’t look friendly at all from mid this month till just before the election with tr Saturn conjunct the composite Mercury Sun; and definitely undermined in 2017 with tr Neptune squaring those two planets.

Barack Obama’s relationship with Hillary also looks disappointing from now till January with tr Neptune opposition the composite Venus (birth times being sound); and very unsettled in 2017 with tr Uranus opposition the composite Neptune and square Uranus; as well as tr Saturn square the composite Sun Mercury. So if Hillary does get in, she may take policies he disagrees with.

Defeating ISIS not all good news for Europe



Defeating ISIS in the Middle East could have a blowback as some of their jihadists will return to Europe. Even a small number could cause a serious threat according to the EU’s Security Commissioner. ISIS have already lost a quarter of their territory in Syria and Iraq and are (maybe) on the brink of losing Mosul.

The ISIS 15 Oct 2006 chart does show increasing pressures continuing on from 2016’s tr Uranus opposition Venus Sun and Mars through 2017; with tr Pluto joining in to square the Venus. Though they can’t be written off overnight. Tr Pluto sextile the Jupiter in 2018/19 looks suspiciously upbeat, though by that time tr Pluto will be square their Libra Sun. It might take till 2020 when tr Pluto will be square the Mars.

The EU’s relationship chart with ISIS is inherently stressed and disruptive with a composite Yod of Pluto (Saturn) sextile Neptune inconjunct Uranus. That is being jolted this year and into Jan 2017 by tr Uranus opposition the composite Saturn; and more so in 2018/19 as tr Uranus opposes the composite Pluto; with an almighty upheaval come 2021/2 as tr Pluto is trine the focal point Uranus.