David Beckham – well paid for a sportswashing gig

David Beckham is under attack for taking on a multi-million pound ambassadorial role with the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Qatar is an absolute monarchy with an appalling record for human and women’s rights, for mistreating migrant workers, more than 6500 of whom have died since Qatar was granted the World Cup. It punishes homosexuality with imprisonment and runs secret gay conversion programmes; and it won the right to host the tournament after allegations of corruption in the voting process.

  Beckham who has had close ties with key figures in Qatar since his time playing at Paris St-Germain insists he was working with the nation because he believes in the “power of football to inspire positive change”.

  Alternatively the rulers believe in the efficacy of ‘sportswashing’ – cosmeticising their mediaeval regimes with a western facelift.

   Beckham, 2 May 1975 6.17 am London, does look rattled with the tr Saturn square tr Uranus hitting his Taurus Sun into early 2022; and a confusing tr Pluto conjunct his Solar Arc Neptune this December. Then tr Pluto will conjunct his Midheaven through next year (birth time being accurate) which could dent his image. Plus a disappointing tr Neptune square his Venus, making him feel less than loved. He does have his Solar Arc Jupiter conjunct his Mercury now which will lift his spirits and no doubt his bank account. 2022 looks insecure and rattled with his Solar Arc Uranus square his Mars – and his Solar Arc Moon conjunct his Mars. So it’ll be arguments all the way.

 The World Cup chart, 21 November 2022, doesn’t look like anything much with the jolting Saturn square Uranus still in place; a delusional, expensive Jupiter Neptune in a showbizzy square to Mars – but nothing much joining together.

  However the Qatar country chart, 1 September 1971 looks on a confident roll with tr Pluto sextile its Jupiter in money-magnet Scorpio through 2022/23; and tr Jupiter opposition its Pluto for the World Cup. They – or at least the rulers – will be pleased enough.

 The present Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 3 June 1980, is another Sun Gemini, widely trine Pluto opposition Neptune – and Jupiter Mars and Saturn in Virgo, which fits the present ‘whirlwind-in-a-storm’ leaders of elsewhere.  

Poland – discovering EU money comes with ties

Poland’s prime minister – a cross between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump – has been using inflammatory language about ‘guns to head’ and starting a third World War as the EU put its foot down about internal Polish moves to threaten the independence of the judiciary. The stand-off has already delayed approval of Poland’s €36bn Covid-19 economic recovery package from Brussels and further tens of billions of euros in annual EU funds paid to Warsaw could be at risk. The ruling conservative party with strong ties to the influential Catholic Church has also moved to curb independent journalism, with Poland down from 18th to 62nd place in the World Press Freedom Index — below Niger and Armenia – in the last six years.

 Despite murmurings about a Polexit it is unlikely, with nearly ninety percent of the electorate wanting to stay in the EU.

  What is clear is that the 2004 enlargement intake including Poland, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia etc is moving through a discontented and disillusioning phase with the 2004 tussle-for-the-upper-hand Pluto opposition Venus Mars being chipped away at by tr Neptune in square over the next three years. It was always going to be an intake which pressed heavy demands on the newcomers and made them feel dominated. At the moment as well – which could come to a head at New Year and through January – is the disruptive tr Uranus conjunct the 2004 Enlargement Taurus Sun.

  The PM Mateusz Morawiecki on his 2nd term since 15 November 2019 is facing an enraging, trapped 2022/23 with tr Pluto square the Mars.

  The Poland 24 August 1989 1.05 pm chart, if the start time is accurate, has tr Uranus moving across the Descendant in 202/23 which can be a relationship severing influence in the years following.  The UK had similar for Brexit. There’s also a devastating Solar Arc Neptune square the Poland Pluto hitting late 2022 into 2023, followed by discouraging Solar Arc Saturn square Pluto in 2024.

Pluto in the 12th suggests a fair amount of dirty-dealing and power-hungry manipulation behind the scenes – so it may be the shadowy forces who are causing problems will be to some degree stonewalled. Plus at the moment the tr Uranus square tr Saturn is also bouncing off the Poland hidden Pluto – until early 2022. And that Pluto is opposition the EU Moon and square its Uranus so there was always going to be a standoff.

From an earlier post on February 22 2021

  And there are Geminis as far as the eye can see. Orban (of Hungary) has a Gemini Sun; as does Mateusz Morawiecki – a Boris-like collection of Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars in Gemini square Uranus Pluto in Virgo; as does Jaroslaw Kaczynski, firebrand founder and leader of PiS and now Deputy PM with his Sun and Mars in Gemini. Who’d have thought Geminis would turn out – in some cases – to have such a dictatorial, narrow-minded, retrograde mindset. Mind you the Vatican 1929 chart has a New Moon and Mercury in Gemini which always struck me as odd.

  The modern Poland 24 August 1989 1.05pm Warsaw chart, is in a confusing phase – upheavals, disruptions, rebellions, logjammed.

The EU Accession chart of 1 May 2004 looks equally rattled with a separating tr Saturn square the Taurus Sun and tr Uranus conjunct, picking up next month and continuing on throughout the year. A totally blocked Solar Arc Pluto opposition the Saturn late 2021. And there’s an undermining tr Neptune square the Pluto and Venus before moving onto an even more panicky-failure square to the Mars in 2022/23.

  Diplomatic relations won’t be getting any easier anytime soon with the EU already threatening to withhold funds if community values are not upheld. In 2018 Poland was a net recipient of EU funds to the tune of twelve and a half billion euros.

The De Niros – destroying themselves

At the risk of overkill on Algol there is a pertinent example from the rarefied world of covetous and cosseted celebrities. Robert De Niro has been fighting a bitter divorce battle with his ex-wife Grace Hightower, with both accusing the other of extravagant spending habits. His lawyer described her demands as “rich with indulgences and waste and greed”. A judge has now ruled she is not entitled to half of his income though she’ll get $1 million a year alimony plus a $6 million house so she won’t be out on the sidewalk.

  Both have Mars in Taurus conjunct Algol – in his case square a 2nd house (financial) Leo Sun. In her case without a birth time on a 12 noon chart, she has her Mars Algol in a ferocious T square opposition Saturn square a controlling Pluto in her financial 2nd house – which seems plausible. Why they ever married is a mystery but they almost certainly deserve each other.

 Money is not much mentioned around Algol which is odd given its position in Taurus though in Arab and Chinese systems the constellation of Perseus does govern the finding of treasure and accumulation of wealth.

Below is a rerun of an April 23 2021 post on the witless de Niros.

Robert De Niro, one of the all-time Hollywood greats with a string of awards for his nine Martin Scorsese movies including The Godfather, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull, Cape Fear, The Unotuchables as well as Wag the Dog, Silver Linings Playbook etc has gone noticeably off track over the past two decades with a string of clunkers – Meet the Fockers, Meet the Parents, Dirty Grandpa  – and lame TV adverts for a breadmaker and a car company. His lawyer now claims he is “working at an unsustainable pace” in order to support his about-to-be-ex-wife Grace Hightower and pay off all his back taxes.  Her lawyer retaliated that he had been “unfairly decreasing” the agreed-upon payments including cutting her credit-card expenses from $461,000 a month to “just” $127,000 from January.

  He hooked up with Hightower in the late 1990s with a two year marriage which split and got together again in 2004 which more or less coincides with his downturn and bad career choices.

  He was born 17 August 1943 3am New York and has a 2nd house Leo Sun square Mars in Taurus conjunct Algol; with Jupiter Pluto and his North Node in Leo in his 2nd. Money will always have been a driving force in his life with a strong tendency to profligacy and gross indulgence when it comes to spending with no limits and, on the evidence, less inclination to save for tax.

  What is astro-intriguing is his ex-Grace, born 7 April 1955, also has Mars in Taurus conjunct Algol in an extraordinarily difficult, stubborn-to the-nth-degree, and hard edged opposition to Saturn square Pluto. Her Pluto is conjunct his 2nd house Sun so she will be drawn to controlling him financially. But if ever two people should never have got hitched they are it. Their relationship chart does have an affectionate composite Sun opposition Venus with a passionate Venus trine Pluto so there would have been an attraction which ended in disappointment with a composite Sun trine Neptune. But it’s that stand out Mars Algol which has obviously wreaked destruction on their relationship and his judgement.

  When the couple finally split four years ago tr Neptune was conjunct his Pisces Moon and starting to move round his T Square of Mercury Venus squaring onto Saturn and that won’t clear till early 2024 after an uncertain tr Neptune square his Saturn is finished. In 2018 as well tr Uranus just into Taurus was aiming to square his Pluto and Jupiter which he’s not in the midst of. Tr Saturn is just into his 8th till April 2023 which will be tight financially (comparatively speaking) – and tr Saturn square tr Uranus is also tugging on his extravagant Jupiter Pluto in Leo this year.

  It’s an unedifying divorce spat which has left the judge unimpressed. He said: “I want to get these parties divorced – to go their separate ways. They will still come out of this richer than almost any human being who walks this earth. There is nothing ordinary about these expenses. For 99.9999 per cent of the world, these are extraordinary to an almost unimaginable degree.”

  It’s not clear that De Niro can untarnish his legacy any time soon with tr Neptune heading to conjunct his Midheaven between now and 2024.

  Hollywood at its worst.

Sweden – a deadly liberal dilemma

Another flare up in Sweden’s gang problem as Einar, a 19 year old rapper was shot dead in the street, days before he was due to testify in a case against the so-called Vårby gang. Last April he was kidnapped, beaten up and blackmailed by members of the Vårby gang, whose members have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, robbery, extortion, abduction and drug and firearm offences. It is led by a Tunisian man and populated by first- and second-generation immigrants from Finland, the Balkans and Africa.

 The police say there are two problems, the first of which is lack of integration with a recent study of a street gang indicating a quarter of the members were ethnic Swedes and 40 percent had been born in Sweden.  The other is the supply of surplus weapons from Serbia and Bosnia after the end of the war, and the ease with which they can cross the borders – the Denmark Sweden bridge getting some of the blame. Sweden is the only European country where fatal shootings have risen significantly since 2000, going from one of the lowest rates of gun violence to one of the highest in less than a decade.

  Einar, 5 September 2002, fits the Mars Pluto profile of the moment having Pluto square his Virgo Sun and widely his Mars; and the tr Pluto being exactly square his Mars/Pluto midpoint now.

  As to why Sweden has fallen down a sinkhole of violence and crime in recent times? 

  The Sweden 7 December 1865 3.30pm chart has three separate strands. The first is a vibrant, enthusiastic Sun Mars in Sagittarius. The second is a resourceful, restless, idealistic though not always realistic Cardinal T Square of Mercury Jupiter in Capricorn opposition Uranus square Neptune in Aries. The third is a tough-minded and battened-down Pluto in Taurus opposition Saturn in obsessive Scorpio. A complex mix of adventurous and opinionated, utopian visionary and repressed – with a free-floating unaspected sexy Venus in Scorpio thrown in for good measure.

  When separate chart configurations come together by Solar Arc directions there is usually a life-changing crisis stretching over an extended period of time. The Solar Arc Sun and Mars started to impact the Saturn opposition Pluto 13 years ago, peaked a year ago and will still be in effect.

The Solar Arc Pluto opposition Saturn collided with the Cardinal T Square of Uranus, Jupiter, Mercury and Neptune 16 and 11 years ago throwing the idealistic Sweden Neptune into a tailspin – a tolerant, laissez-faire country having to cope with having taken in intolerant and amoral elements.  That arguably is what set off this decade of mayhem. It would also be exacerbated by the tr Pluto square tr Uranus bouncing off the Neptune etc early last decade. Whether a reversal is possible is moot, though events like this one may jolt the government/police into a higher level of activity – and at some point they will get a grip. New York got cleaned up as did Glasgow over time with steady pressure being brought to bear on crime.

  The late November Lunar Eclipse will shake up the Sweden Venus in Scorpio and next year the Saturn opposition Pluto will also catch the Solar Eclipses – so old patterns will be challenged.

  If the start time is accurate tr Pluto will also move out of the trapped 8th house, which rules the underworld, after this year which may also help.  

David Amess & Ali Harbi Ali – another Mars Pluto hit

The Sun Mars square Pluto which has been building up a head of steam since mid October claimed its first headline on the 15th with the slaughter of Tory MP Sir David Amess in his Essex surgery by Ali Harbi Ali, who is the son of a former Somali political aide and was evidently affiliated to Islamic State organisations. He was also possibly motivated by anger at David Amess’s political connections to Qatar seeking investment for the UK. Qatar has been criticised for interfering in Somali politics, supporting the present President and for pushing the country towards civil war.

Sir David, 26 March 1952 had his Sun, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter in Aries. His Jupiter Mercury opposed Saturn Neptune in Libra and was trine Pluto; with his Pluto square Mars in ultra-determined Scorpio. He wasn’t short of initiative and would have been constantly on the go.  He also had a Water Grand Trine of Venus in Pisces trine Mars trine Uranus, which was healing but not always realistic. His views were very right wing which may in part be a result of his less than sentimental Mars square Pluto.

  Ali Harbi Ali, 1 February 1996 (CPS charge sheet), now in prison awaiting trial, is a Sun Aquarius with a Cancer Moon. His two points of contact with David Amess’s chart are his Mars in Aquarius which opposed Amess’ Pluto and squared his Mars in Scorpio – so an inflammatory interface. And Ali’s Libra North Node was conjunction Amess’s Neptune and opposition his Mercury Jupiter. There is often a Nodal connection between victim and perpetrator.

  Their relationship chart has a composite Mars Saturn conjunction, associated in traditional astrology with assassination, and also aggravation – with the composite North Node conjunct as well.  

Alec Baldwin – a Mars Pluto tragic misfortune

Veteran actor Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock, several Mission Impossibles and Saturday Night Live – has been involved in a fatal shooting on the film set of RUST in New Mexico. He discharged a prop gun killing the director of photography and injuring the movie director. No charges have been filed to date.

  The shooting happened at 1.50pm yesterday when transiting Mars had moved to the exact square with tr Pluto, which has dominated the mood this week and figured in the Full Moon on Tuesday. Mars Pluto is usually accident-prone and associated with destructive events and sometimes intentional brutality.

 Baldwin, born 3 April 1958 (no birth time) has had a long, glittering, award strewn career with scandals along the way from his tendency to lose his cool.  He’s a Sun Aries possibly opposition a Libra Moon. Where his volcanic temper comes from will be his Mars in stubborn Aquarius in a no-compromise opposition to Uranus. His Uranus is also in an outspoken square to Mercury and his South Node and in a can-be-fanatical square to Neptune.

  He understandably looks rattled by the tragedy – with a disruptive tr Saturn exactly opposition his Uranus; and his Solar Arc Saturn is conjunct his Venus for an emotionally discouraging time. His Solar Arc Pluto is conjunct his North Node this year as well for a destiny-changing moment. Both tr Saturn and tr Uranus are also rattling up his Mars through this year – so it was always going to be a knife-edge and insecure time for him, when shocks were to be expected. He has a batch of enthusiasm-denting Neptune influences around for a couple of years ahead; with 2022/23 being a particular slog as tr Pluto squares his Saturn/Pluto midpoint. Though he’ll respond with typical bullish determination as tr Pluto squares his Jupiter as well.

  The Eclipses in 2022 will impact his Neptune and North Node in Scorpio and his Mercury which will also bring confusion, communication glitches and stress.

  The director Joel Souza, 14 June 1973 California, also has an aggravated Mars in his chart opposition Pluto and square a Sun Saturn in Gemini. His T Square is beset in a Neptunian swamp for two years ahead and the Solar Arc positions of it are catching the tr Saturn square tr Uranus hard aspects at the moment until early next year.

What is odd but a typical occurrence is that heavyweight, disaster influences pick up one headline example when they are in place. Everyone individually will have been feeling the strain of Mars Pluto in different ways this week though not as gothically as this. Almost as if the most negative end of the energy has one focus and then it passes on.

Mel Gibson – going for redemption and a rebirth

News that Mel Gibson has been resurrected from the sin bin to join the cast of the Starz tv John Wick prequel has not gone down well with fans who are threatening a boycott. He’s had a chequered past of scandals, accused of antisemitism, domestic violence and sexism but now reckons he’s paid his dues – and a section of the entertainment business clearly agree.

  Born 3 January 1956 4.45pm Peekskill, New York, he has a Capricorn Sun in his Descendant. But more pointedly he has Mars conjunct Saturn in last decan Scorpio – opposition Algol – and square Pluto Jupiter as well as trine Uranus. Definitely a heavyweight personality, forceful, uber determined, a rumbling volcano of dark anger – a legacy from his conspiracy theorist, Holocaust-denying and Vatican-hating Roman Catholic fundamentalist father.

  Gibson’s controversial “The Passion of the Christ” which he co-wrote, produced and directed was slated for its extreme and excessive violence. David Edelstein, Slate’s film critic, dubbed the film “a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie — The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre — that thinks it’s an act of faith”. And that’s the bloody face of Algol. The poster even has a brutalised head as publicity.

  The approaching November Lunar Eclipse will rattle up his Mars Saturn so there may be more blow back to his casting – and that repeats in 2022. He looks reasonably upbeat despite that with tr Jupiter moving to cross his Midheaven from April 2022 for a year plus which is usually successful at a career level. Though he’s also got an undermining tr Neptune conjunct his Midheaven, maybe next year though the timing will depend on his birth time being accurate. What is for sure is that he’s in for a calamitous 2023/24 with his Mars and then Pluto and Saturn being rattled by tr Uranus hard aspects which may well cause another eruption. Plus a couple of other downers so it won’t go swimmingly ahead.

  Since we are overdosing on Algol this week – Christine Lagarde, formerly IMF head and now in charge at the European Central Bank was born two days earlier and has much the same chart. She’s risen to the top in a male-dominated and very tough world so her chart has stood her in good stead. But it’ll be interesting to see how she negotiates the Lunar Eclipse and what follows.

Gabby Petito – a folie a deux gone wrong

The much publicised Gabby Petito disappearance and murder may soon be solved with the probability that her boyfriend’s remains have been found in a Florida park. He was charged as a person of interest having used her credit card after her death. They had been school sweethearts, engaged for a year and were on a four month trip in their van round the States. Police were called to a domestic disturbance early in August when she said she was suffering from mental problems, which neither seemed to be handling well.

  She was born 19 March 1999 in New York and was a Sun Mercury in Pisces with a volatile and uncompromising Mars in Scorpio square Uranus; and a neurotic Neptune square Saturn Venus in Taurus.

  Brian Laundrie, 18 November 1997, had a Scorpio Sun exactly opposition Algol; with a revved up Mars Venus in Capricorn square Saturn in Aries which would give him a less than sensitive temperament. His Saturn was conjunct her Jupiter, squelching her optimism; his Jupiter was conjunct her Uranus and square her Mars which would be adventurous but he’d also stoke up her volatility.

  His Sun spookily is conjunct her destructive Mars/Pluto midpoint. And that is writ large on their relationship chart with a Mars Pluto conjunction square Jupiter Venus opposition North Node – and possibly tied into the composite Moon as well. And that is one damaging relationship, quite perverse in many ways to be together at all. Not good for either of them. Plus the composite Sun is in a delusional conjunction with Neptune and square Saturn – so there would be no clarity about the dynamics of the relationship.

Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse and Algol’s gift

The fraught Aries Full Moon today is the preceding one to the Lunar Eclipse on 19th November. The Moon opposes Sun Mars and squares Pluto, so no surprises there is a challenging, frustrated, stuck mood this week.  

  Occasionally Lunar Eclipse events trigger on the Full Moon before or after – and given that this upcoming November Taurus Lunar Eclipse is conjunct the destructive Fixed Demon star Algol there is an understandable trepidation about what it might bring.

  Looking back through all Eclipses in the 20th Century which were close to Algol what is surprising is that none had significant events on the day itself or even close to the date. And during the Eclipse-effect period there were some remarkable achievements as well as noteworthy calamities.

 Queen Victoria died a few months before the 1901 Solar Eclipse conjunct Algol; President William McKinlay was assassinated a few months after; and Theodore Roosevelt died in 1919 a few months before an Algol Eclipse as well.

   Pandemics and plagues appear to hang around, not surprisingly – Asian flu, Manchurian plague etc – but the Spanish flu ended on one such.

  There were some horrors – the 1901 NY Stock Exchange panic; the 1919 formation of the Italian fascist party; the 1957 accidental dropping of a hydrogen bomb at Albuquerque; the Somalia military USA operation gone bad with 1000 Somalis and 18 US servicemen dead; the 2003 space shuttle Columbia disaster with 7 astronauts dead. And most Algol-ish of them all the Fred and Rosemary West child sexual abuse and murder trial in the UK in 1994 which left the country sick as a dog as the gruesome evidence emerged. The verdict was announced the day before the Algol Lunar Eclipse.

  These Eclipses also saw the birth of powerfully dominating entities which would affect the culture.  1994 Amazon founded. 1976 Apple formed. 1957 Dr Seuss The Cat in the Hat launches to be the best-selling children’s book of all time. 1920 ACLU formed. 1919 League of Nations, United Artists, Save the Children Fund and the Grand Canyon National Park. 1901 JP Morgan accomplishes the first billion dollar deal.  Not all positive but a hint of Algol’s creative side.

  Clearly the Algol Eclipse will have the most powerful effect on charts which have planets in that degree or within a five degree orb. It’ll be worth watching France for one which has a Scorpio Mars Midheaven being rattled; and the same goes for Trump who has his Taurus Midheaven on Algol. The traditional view was that Algol was the planet of destruction, violence and mischief, had a tendency to lie and be less than honest in dealings with others.

  The geographical locations which may be eclipse critical are Moscow/Russia with the Sun on the Midheaven opposition Moon Algol on the IC; as well as due south of there through Saudi Arabia, the UAE and eastern Africa.

  Oddly enough, or maybe not, the Brexit June 2016 referendum chart had Mars in Scorpio opposition Algol; and David Frost the present UK negotiator has his Term chart 7th house Mars conjunct Algol as he sets about wrecking good feelings and destroying any hopes of diplomacy.

  There is a side of Algol, planet of Medusa, that is hellbent on nihilistic destruction. But it was always said that it had another purpose which was to force us to face suffering and horror and not brush it aside.

  In the ancient myth, Poseidon/Neptune raped Medusa, then exceptionally beautiful, on the floor of Athena’s temple in order to irritate his arch-enemy. Athena, in a fit of rage at the desecration, turned Medusa so ugly that no one could look directly at her without being turned to stone and she was banished away to the ends of the earth —- victim-blaming, maybe prompted by an underlying jealousy of her beauty.

   In one version Medusa, even more horrifyingly, becomes paralysed so all that moves is her repellent snake-entwined head. Perseus manages to kill Medusa, beheading her by looking at her reflection in his shield and not directly at her. Out of her corpse springs Pegasus, the winged horse of creativity. Athena then wears Medusa’s head on her shield as a protection.

   So there is a safeguarding side to Algol as well as a damaging one as well as a surge of imaginative power that emerges when the death-dealing capabilities are quelled. That only occurs when a strategy is found which allows the ugliness/horror to be faced without being destroyed by it.

  Taking a step back from Medusa/Algol, the catalyst for the scenario is Neptune’s battle with Athena – the god of the oceans versus the goddess of the land. Though perhaps more aptly, the god of the watery unconscious (wherein all creativity lies) battling it out with the goddess of the conscious mind, the bringer of laws and social order. I’m not sure what is trying to be born out of the watery depths after an almighty struggle at the moment – but I travel hopefully.

Relevant Eclipses:

May 16 2003, Lunar 25 Scorpio

18 Nov 1994 Lunar 26 Taurus

3 November 1993 Solar 22 Scorpio

13 May 1976 Lunar 23 Scorpio

May 13 1957 Lunar 23 Scorpio

May 18 1920 Solar 27 Taurus

15 May 1919 Lunar 23 Scorpio

17 Nov 1910 Lunar 24 Taurus

18 May 1901 Solar 20 Taurus.