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.


Alex Salmond – facing a swampy Neptunian trial


Alex Salmond will face trial next March on charges of carrying out a series of sexual offences against 10 women while serving as Scotland’s first minister. He denies all the allegations, which include one attempted rape, one intent to rape, 10 sexual assaults and two indecent assaults on dates between 2008 and 2014. The trial is expected to last about four weeks.

As a politician, he was a formidable orator and led the pro-independence campaign. He has been married since 1981 to a wife, seventeen years older than himself. Since retiring as first minister he has fronted a chat show for RT (Russia government funded) which has attracted criticism

Born 31 December 1954 4.30 pm Linlithgow, Scotland, he has a hard-working 6th house Sun Mercury in Capricorn; with an ambitious 10th house Moon Mars in Pisces in a Water Grand Trine to a lucky Uranus Jupiter in Cancer in his 1st and an obsessively conscientious Saturn in Scorpio conjunct Venus also in seductive Scorpio.

The tr Saturn Pluto conjunction is moving through his 7th house of relationships with tr Pluto exactly conjunct his Solar Arc Saturn when the trial starts; with tr Saturn zigzagging in opposition to his Jupiter Uranus in 2020 which will dent his enthusiasm and confidence. His Progressed Mercury will be square his Saturn for another downbeat pointer. But most significantly tr Neptune will be conjunct his Mars from late March through April which is usually an indication of panicky failure. And it repeats on and off into 2021.

If he does end up on the wrong side of this, it’ll be a sad end for a very bright and articulate man. I didn’t agree with his politics but he did give memorable speeches.

The Monarchy – errant son, over-indulgent mother

Sympathy and respect for the Queen are still holding firm as she ‘retires’ Prince Andrew from public duties. Protecting the monarchy as an institution has  always been her guiding light, over riding all emotional considerations, except perhaps where Andrew is concerned. Parallels are being drawn with the abdication of Edward V111 which is a stretch since he was on the throne and Andrew is now way down the pecking order. But her Coronation chart, 2 June 1953 11 am London, does have a jolting-change and high-tension Solar Arc Midheaven conjunct Uranus now so it is a significant moment.

Questions about the stability of the monarchy remain given that Andrew should have been cast into outer darkness in 2011 when he was removed from his trade envoy job after the Epstein scandal reared its head and brought his dubious connections with wealthy Libyan, Tunisian and Kazakh businessmen into the spotlight. And even now it’s not clear what ‘retired’ actually means since there seems to be some wiggle room for leaving him with certain private functions which will bring him into the public eye.

Her relationship with Andrew indicates 2020 as being more of an explosion point, and ditto Prince Charles. So it may be that whatever compromises are being brewed up behind the scenes won’t hold in the face of public outrage – or indeed FBI interviews. See post November 16 2019.

Her own chart with its 21 degree Capricorn Ascendant is facing the full onslaught of the Saturn Pluto conjunction this coming January, which will focus attention not all of it positive on her image. Thereafter tr Saturn moving into her lower profile First Quadrant for several years does suggest a desire to pull back even further from visibility than she has done.

Jose Mourinho – fickle football fortunes at the top



Jose Mourinho has returned to the sporting headlines to much jubilation with his appointment as manager of Tottenham Hotspur. He’s considered one of the greatest managers of all time though he’s had a chequered recent past with Chelsea and Manchester United.

Born 26 January 1963 7am Setubal, Portugal (birth certificate). He has Sun, Saturn, Moon in Aquarius in his 1st house so is serious, focussed and stubborn. His Saturn Moon oppose Mars in Leo square Neptune Midheaven in Scorpio – so he can be short tempered but will be disciplined, idealistic, visionary, good at attracting publicity. He’s also got a pushily confident Jupiter opposition Pluto (Uranus) in the 8th square Venus in sporting Sagittarius giving him a good deal of charm as well as drive.

He’s not moving into his most successful phase with tr Saturn now about to dip below his Capricorn Ascendant into his lower profile first quadrant for several years ahead. Jupiter from March 2020 for a year will provide a brief upwards lift but he’ll be pushing against the tide and at times finding his old ambitious determination sagging. He’s also got a bumpy series of Uranus hard aspects – in square to his Sun in early 2020, then to his Sun/Saturn and Mars/Node midpoints from mid 2020 on and off for a year which will bring high tensions and insecurity as well as outbursts. At the moment as well his progressed Mars is opposing his Sun for another few months which isn’t generally a positive influence.  His contract runs till 2022/23 but if his birth time is accurate his career looks to be taking a radical change of direction as early as 2021.

He replaces Mauricio Pochettino, 2 March 1972, a Sun Pisces square Neptune and sextile Mars in Taurus. He looks understandably discouraged, aggravated and confused with tr Pluto hitting his Sun/Saturn, Mars/Saturn, Mars/Pluto and Sun/Neptune midpoints now and into 2020; and he will have more than a few sinking moments through 2020. But he might get some respite from his Jupiter Return this December and indeed the Capricorn Solar Eclipse conjunct his Jupiter; and he should get his mojo back from midyear with tr Uranus square his Sun/Jupiter midpoint, on and off into 2021. His contract ran till 2023 so I’d imagine he’d get paid the residue which might blunt the pain of being fired.

Pete Buttigieg – peaks and troughs ahead


Pete Buttigieg appears to be forging ahead as a potential Democratic presidential candidate with a surprise top showing in an Iowa poll at the expense of Warren and Biden. From being an unknown he’s shot into the front-runner stakes and is fund-raising successfully giving him the resources to flood television with campaign advertisements. But his poll numbers are much less encouraging at a national level. Criticisms have been levelled at him for his lack of experience; and former Obama cabinet member Julian Castro said: “It is very risky to nominate a candidate that can’t attract black and Latino voters.”

His astrology is swings and roundabouts ahead – with successes late this December and through January with tr Uranus opposition his Jupiter/Pluto midpoint; as well as late May/early June and across the election with tr Uranus opposition his Jupiter in Scorpio. But apart from that there are Neptunian sinkers also running across the election; and a generally uphill struggle from tr Pluto square his Saturn.

His birth time isn’t known so there’s nothing to be gleaned from that.

Hong Kong – David and Goliath standoff


Hong Kong demonstrators show no signs of letting up and appear to have strong support from the population concerned about Xi Jinping’s increasingly authoritarian rule. More than a million people have been interned in re-education camps in China, prominent figures disappear supposedly because of an anti-corruption drive, HK booksellers were kidnapped and detained on the mainland, free speech is increasingly restricted and civil rights lawyers imprisoned. In general, Xi has turned the clock backwards politically towards a Mao-ist thuggishness. So no surprises that Hong Kong which was promised ‘one country, two systems’ lasting till 2047 has decided it’s time to take a stand.

Chinese troops have appeared to help clear the roads but there’s obviously fear that another Tiananmen Square could provoke an international backlash and turning armed forces against the demonstrators could send Hong Kong into a long-term insurrection, like Belfast in the 1970s or Algiers in the 1950s.

When Xi Jinping took over in 2013 tr Pluto was just into the China 12th house for a decade of behind-the-scenes dirty dealing and power play; with tr Saturn heading upwards through the China 9th house towards the peak. That latter comes to an end in 2021 as tr Saturn heads across the China Ascendant into a lower profile first quadrant for several years. With tr Pluto crossing the Ascendant from 2026 onwards as the start of a radical makeover of China’s reputation and image. So China won’t continue on this trajectory for too many more years.

Xi Jinping’s 2nd Term chart, 24 October 2017 12.30pm Beijing has been on an over-confident high with the Solar Arc Sun conjunct Jupiter but is heading into more troubled times. Tr Uranus opposes the Midheaven at 9 degrees Scorpio from mid 2020 onwards for a significant change of direction, perhaps a forced change, with domestic unrest following for several years thereafter with tr Uranus moving through the 4th; and tr Neptune square the Term Moon and then Saturn from 2020 through till 2021/2 which suggests sagging popularity and a discontented population. Plus a major wobble in 2021/22 with tr Pluto square the Uranus which is often when rulers are at their most vulnerable to being toppled.

From a previous post on Hong Kong: July 29 2019:

For the first time there has been official Chinese Government condemnation of the civil unrest in Hong Kong. There have been eight consecutive weekends of anti-government protests with violent clashes on Sunday as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. And criminal Triads recently joined in to attack the demonstrators as well, presumably paid for by those on the side of the government.

The Hong Kong 1997 chart sits very awkwardly with the China chart with the HK Uranus on the China Ascendant and conjunct the China Moon; and the HK Sun conjunct the China Uranus; with the HK Moon square Jupiter in hard-aspect to China’s aggressive Mars Pluto; and last but not least the HK wants-control Pluto is in the China 10th house – so a tinderbox chemistry with the fledgling HK determined right reason or none to fight the dragon.

The relationship chart between HK and China does show this year (and last) as triggers for rebellion with tr Pluto square the composite Uranus; with insecurity and bad-tempered outbursts from mid-2020 through 2021, and Neptunian sinkers thereafter. Interestingly at the moment tr Uranus squares the composite Jupiter from which one might expect relief from tension but it clearly has the opposite effect of a struggle for freedom. That repeats in early 2020.

On the Hong Kong chart itself tr Uranus will continue to tug at the Venus opposition Uranus through this year and next with the next major hiccup late December and January 2020 when there may be a change of direction as tr Uranus trines the MC as well. Later in 2020 there’s a dashed-hopes Solar Arc Neptune conjunct the HK Jupiter.

There seems little possibility of the Chinese dragon changing its spots and Xi Jinping’s Administration chart is looking fairly successful and confident this year so he’s less likely to cave in. It’ll be 2022 before his reign makes a radical change of direction.

And Carrie Lam, the pro-Beijing HK leader still in place, started her rule under a Sun Mars in Cancer opposition Pluto square Jupiter – so is acclimatised to risk and challenge – just as well since she’ll have a few more of these before this year is out. The December Capricorn Solar Eclipse will fall close to the HK Midheaven which does suggest that will be a critical turning point.


Frank Sheeran – blackhearted anti-hero

Frank Sheeran, the central focus of Scorsese’s The Irishman was by all accounts a monster. A corrupt labor union official with links to the Bufalino crime family, he started his adult life with a long stretch in combat in World War 11 where he admitted involvement in several massacres and summary executions. He then moved onto murder for hire for organized crime, was set up as muscle in the teamsters union with Jimmy Hoffa whom he was later accused of assassinating; said he supplied guns for the Bay of Pigs anti-Castro forces; and further claimed he supplied rifles for the killing of JFK by the Mafia. He was convicted of labor racketeering, given a 32 year sentence but let out on medical grounds aged 71 and died of cancer aged 83.

Born 25 October 1920 in Camden. New Jersey, he had a formidably nasty chart – with a Scorpio Sun and North Node in a Water Grand Trine to Pluto trine Uranus; with Pluto in a brutal and ruthless opposition to Mars in Capricorn, making that the driving rod of the Grand Trine. His Mars opposition Pluto may also have been square an Aries Moon (almost certainly was). He also had Jupiter Saturn in Virgo.

Not a man you wanted to meet up a dark alley, for sure.

Boris Johnson you’re breaking my heart, Jen


More train-crash television as Boris Johnson’s erstwhile companion US tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri gives an outspoken interview to be broadcast today. She says: ‘I’ve kept Johnson’s secrets – now he’s cast me aside like a one-night stand,’ and adds that she is heartbroken and humiliated over his blocking contact with her given their four year close friendship. There have been questions asked about him promoting her business while he was Mayor of London, securing her places on prestigious overseas trade trips and failing to disclose any personal interest. The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has postponed an announcement on whether there should be a criminal investigation into his alleged misconduct in public office until after the election. He denies any impropriety or having broken any rules.

Born 26 February 1985 in Louisville, Kentucky, (net sources) – see post September 30 2019 – she’s a Sun Pisces trine Pluto in Scorpio with a passionately enthusiastic Mars Venus in Aries and a pushily confident Pluto square Jupiter in Aquarius.

She has an irritated and unhappy tr Saturn square her Mars Venus from now through the first week of December; and also an emotionally pumped-up tr Pluto trine her Solar Arc Venus Mars across the New Year into 2020 and beyond so she’s unlikely to quieten down anytime soon.

Her relationship chart with Boris is fascinating with a Yod of Mars (Sun) inconjunct Pluto sextile Neptune. A Yod suggests a relationship that will transform the lives of both individuals in a fated way – and given that Mars is heavily involved probably with a good deal of aggravation. Tr Uranus is conjunct the composite Sun for the final time at the moment till mid December which will bring tensions into the open; and that will worsen into 2020 with tr Uranus conjunct the composite Sun/Mars in April and conjunct Mars in June – and trailing on into 2021. So the fireworks are likely to continue. It would be the final irony if his love life finally caught up with him.

Gordon Sondland – loyalty versus self-interest


Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador at the centre of the Ukraine scandal driving the impeachment hearings, and a Trump donor and supporter, is stuck between a rock and a hard place as he faces giving testimony on Wednesday. A WH aide has testified that Sondland claimed to be acting on Trump’s orders in pushing for an investigation into the Bidens, and was regularly in touch with him. Sondland’s loyalty to Trump will be tempered by the fate of Roger Stone found guilty of lying to Congress and facing prison time. An analyst said: “If I was him, I would be very worried about a referral to the committee for a criminal charge. The committee now has a lot of leverage over him to get him to tell the truth.”

Sondland, born 16 July 1957 Seattle, Washington, was a hotel chain owner and then moved into merchant banking. He has a Cancer Sun sextile Jupiter and square Neptune; with a flashy five planets spread out through Leo – Uranus Mercury, Mars Venus, and Pluto; with a self-righteous Saturn in Sagittarius.

His Pluto is conjunct Trump’s Saturn Venus and is under considerable pressure from late January 2020 on and off through the year. He was looking very off balance in late October/ early November when he gave his earlier closed-door testimony, but looks suspiciously confident mid this month to mid December with tr Pluto square his Jupiter/Node; damped down slightly in the first few days of December by tr Saturn square his Solar Arc Venus. Then he’s facing losses late December to early February. He’s also got the devastating and confused Solar Arc Pluto conjunct his Neptune in 2020 as well as tr Pluto opposition his Sun. He’ll bounce again in the years thereafter with his Solar Arc Sun conjunct his Jupiter and Solar Arc Jupiter square his Pluto. But he won’t look back on this phase with much relish.

His relationship chart with Trump isn’t that straightforward with a needs-space composite Sun Uranus; a blow hot, blow cold Sun square Jupiter Saturn; and a power-struggling composite Mars Pluto. Tr Saturn will square the composite Neptune from this coming Wednesday till December 1st for a frisson of uncertainty and doubt; will become over-excitable across New Year and through January; and very over-wrought late January to late February with tr Pluto opposition the composite Mercury sending bitter recriminations flying and harsh words spoken in discussions.