Lionel Messi – leaving his football home

Lionel Messi, reputed to be the best football player of all time, has shocked fans by announcing he wants to leave Barcelona after 20 seasons at Barcelona. At 32 he is nearing retiring age but everyone thought he would see his days out in the place he called home. The club’s performance has been deteriorating in the past five years so it’s assumed he wanted one last shot at greatness before hanging up his boots. There’ll be a vicious legal wrangle before he goes and it’s not clear he’ll be able to reverse out of his contract.

  Born 24 June 1987 6am Rosario, Argentina, he’s a Sun Cancer in the financial 2nd house opposition a mesmerising 8th house Neptune square North Node in Aries. His ambitious Mars Mercury in Cancer are also in his financial 2nd house in a risk-taking square to Jupiter. He has a confidently enthusiastic Jupiter in Aries in an adventurous trine to Uranus and a well-balanced trine to Saturn.

 He has had tax authority problems with fraud charges being laid which he blamed on his father who handled his business affairs. That is interesting in terms of his 8th house Neptune, which Sean Connery also has – and his wife Micheline was embroiled in a major Spanish tax tangle recently over the sale of a house. The 8th house rules joint and business finances and Neptune there can indicate evasiveness where authority figures are concerned. Which being Neptune usually comes out into the open at some point.

   Messi does have tr Pluto opposition his Mars trailing on from last year until late this November which is acutely frustrating so he won’t have been contented. Especially with tr Pluto still moving through his trapped 8th house where it has been for the past decade or so. And tr Saturn has also been moving through his 8th since late 2017 which won’t have improved his spirits either.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there hadn’t been more financial headaches although the main tax charges were theoretically tied up in 2016.

  It’ll be easier on him from the New Year with tr Saturn moving out of his 8th and the tr Pluto Mars aspect being finished. But he’s still got tr Neptune trailing along for a couple more years square his Saturn/Uranus midpoint and then his Uranus. But he’ll be energised with tr Pluto square his Jupiter over the New year and on and off through 2021.

  Barcelona FC was founded 29 November 1899 and has a lively Sun Uranus in sporting Sagittarius, with Mars Node, Mercury, Saturn, Venus also in Sagittarius and Neptune Pluto in Gemini. Messi’s Jupiter in Aries trines most of the Barcelona Sagittarius planets and the Barca Jupiter in money-magnet Scorpio is trine his Mars Mercury. But there would always have been rough edges with Messi’s Saturn Uranus conjunct the Barca Mars, Mercury, Saturn.

  The relationship chart has an friendly, business-like and innovative composite Sun opposition Venus square Uranus Saturn with a go-getting Jupiter trine Mars.

  The club is labouring under the same swampy Neptune transits over the next three years as Messi is, so it won’t be a progressive time for them.

Photo: Кирилл Венедиктов

John Travolta – handed a trickier hand of cards than most

Actor John Travolta has lost his wife Kelly Preston to breast cancer, as he lost his first love Diana Hyland to the same in 1977.  He does have a challenging and intensely emotional chart. His deeply buried 8th house Aquarius Sun is in opposition to Pluto giving him a strong need to be in control, stemming in part from his sense that his life is often not under control. With three planets, Sun, Venus and Mercury in the 8th he’ll often feel pulled around by forces he does not understand and in which he has no choice.

He also has a wide-ish Water Grand Trine in the water houses of a 12th house Uranus in Cancer trine his 8th house Mercury in Pisces trine a 4th house Saturn in Scorpio – so he swims in emotional affect finding it difficult, despite his Aquarius Sun, to get detachment and distance from what is going on in his life. He will live in his own bubble, at times divorced from reality.

That Grand Trine forms into a lucky kite with Mercury opposition a 2nd house Virgo Moon which will help him to focus his energy into work and money which will ground him. His Sun also trines a 4th house Neptune in Libra so he’ ll have had to sacrifice a fair amount for his family both in childhood and adult life. His 12th house high-tension and unpredictable 12th house Uranus opposes a Capricorn North Node and Chiron and squares onto his Neptune which will foster strange beliefs and a yearning for a spiritual connection which may be partly why he inclined towards Scientology.

His saving grace comes from an exuberantly flamboyant Mars in Sagittarius in the 5th house of entertainment and a light heartedly friendly Jupiter in Gemini in the 11th – both of which help to pull him away from his immensely deep feelings.

He also lost he and Kelly’s teenage son in 2009 who was epileptic and autistic.

His Black Moon Lilith (BML) in his 4th house of family is exactly conjunct Kelly’s Libra Sun which seems prescient. She also had an emphasised Neptune square her Saturn which opposes her Mars – and  was always a committed Scientologist.  That’s somewhat similar to Tom Cruise born three months earlier in 1962 who also has a focal point Neptune in Scorpio.

Travolta has said he is more familiar with death than most so will cope though he’s taking time out to grieve. He will get a boost from his Solar Arc Jupiter conjunct his Pluto in late 2021, but there’ll be a fair amount of emotional turmoil before then with tr Uranus opposing his 4th house Saturn and tr Pluto square his Neptune and conjunct his Chiron next year.

Jessye Norman – a towering talent


Descriptions of the magnificent Jessye Norman’s voice range from “opulent”, through “sumptuous” and “shimmering” to “voluptuous” with one reviewer likening it to a “grand mansion of sound.” Combined with a regal stage presence it took her to the top in the operatic world to become one of the most celebrated singers of the latter part of the 20th Century.

Born on 15 September 1945 (according to obituaries and wiki, though ADB has her at 19 September 1.45 am Augusta, Georgia) she grew up in the racist and segregated south. Her family was musical and she learnt to play the harmonium early on and sang gospel in church from 4 years old. Her earliest successes were in Europe. Having won the Munich International music competition in 1968, she made her operatic debut in Berlin. Her US stage debut did not come until 1982. From the 1990s Norman was increasingly involved in crossover incorporating sacred music by Duke Ellington and jazz combo into her repertoire. She sang at Reagan’s 2nd Inauguration and Bill Clinton’s and at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ funeral as well as at a memorial for victims of the Twin Towers terrorist attacks in 2001.

She died this week due to complications from a 2015 injury.

Assuming 15th September is accurate and the 19th is a typo:

Her Virgo Sun was on the focal point of a T Square to a Sagittarius Moon opposition Uranus in Gemini – so she had a healthy ego, was suited to a constantly changing job, and while more recently she had mentioned being in a relationship doesn’t seem to have married. She has a powerful 2nd house Pluto which is conjunct a flamboyant Venus in Leo and is sextile Uranus and Jupiter Neptune in Libra. Her family was obviously important to her with Jupiter Neptune in her 4th and she said despite the Jim Crow atmosphere of the world in which she grew up, her parents gave her a strong sense of self belief. Her Mars in excitable Cancer was in a confident and showbizzy square to Jupiter Neptune and an outspoken sextile to Mercury; and she also had Saturn in Cancer sextile her Sun for common sense and discipline.

Her Harmonics are notable with an exceptionally strong creative 5H and 7H; as well as the genius/breakthrough 13H; determined 11H; leaving-a-legacy 17H; and especially her superstar 22H.

Boris and the EU merry-go-round

Heartened by Merkel’s seeming softening about finding a Brexit deal, a jubilant Boris Johnson ran into an immoveable Macron. The pro-Brexit media got over excited and the Germans then insisted they misinterpreted what the German Chancellor had said. 30 days to find a solution just kicks the ball down the road and it’s up to Boris to find the magic formula which has so far eluded everyone. The EU isn’t budging from the Irish backstop or the already negotiated Theresa May deal. The eternal grind goes on.

Boris’s relationship with Leo Varadkar, the Irish premier situated in the centre of the problem, is bad news from the start with a differing-agenda composite Sun opposition Uranus and a bitterly hostile, power-struggling Mars opposition Pluto in their relationship chart. They’d never get on even in the best of circumstances. At the moment relations are worsening considerably with tr Saturn square the composite Sun and Uranus September 9th to 28, running concurrently with a loss-making tr Neptune opposition the composite Jupiter/Saturn; and moving into disaster territory from   October 19th to November 15th this year with tr Uranus square Mars/Saturn and opposition Saturn/Pluto, repeating early in 2020.

Boris’s relationship with Merkel is decidedly lacking in enthusiasm and optimism through this October and worsening in November, more so in 2020. With Macron, there’s even less trust and more game playing with a composite Saturn opposition Neptune and a controlling Sun opposition Pluto. Again 2020 looks even trickier than this year between them.

Boris’s relationship with the EU has always been fraught given his history of lying copiously and shamelessly during his time as a journalist – and the resentful, implacably-at-odds composite Mars opposition Pluto is being elbowed at the moment, more so mid November onwards so aggravation is likely to increase.

The UK from the get-go was very much in two minds about whether Boris is a good thing – and more so at the moment. In the Boris/UK relationship chart the composite Mars trine Uranus Mercury is being assaulted from either end by a transiting Pluto trine and a Neptune opposition – which will arouse irritation, anxiety and bring disappointment – from late September onwards with tr Neptune hovering around and that extends into and through 2020.

His own personal chart looks flummoxed throughout with a scattering of Neptune transiting hard aspects to various midpoints from now till early 2020; and the trapped and enraged Pluto opposition his Mars/Pluto returns mid this November to mid December. His over-hopeful Term chart looks no more uplifting now and through 2020 with catastrophes looming from mid November for a few weeks and returning in February.

I can’t for the life of me decide whether all of the above suggests a fall-out on October 31st with disappointment and confusion following; or there’s a cobbled-together form of words that drags it on for another extended period of negotiation. The punishment of Sisyphus – goes on eternally.

The UK chart has tr Saturn square the partnership-signifier Sun/Moon midpoint this October at the same time as being square the 7th house North Node, which could suggest similar; and then proceeds to square the 10th house Moon this December. It all points to a separation of sorts. But since Saturn comes round relatively frequently in hard aspect to these planets it’s hardly conclusive.

Jim Acosta – caught in a Trump firestorm



The raging force field around Trump caught another victim in Jim Acosta, CNN’s White House correspondent, when he was slapped down for asking awkward questions at the first POTUS post-Mid Terms Press Conference. An intern tried to take the microphone away from Acosta and he was then accused of laying hands on her with a doctored Infowars video then retweeted by Sarah Sanders. His Press pass got revoked.

Acosta, born 17 April 1971, with a Cuban immigrant father, has had a long and successful career in the media in various cities, covered the Iraq War in Baghdad and Hurricane Katrina, worked for CBS and then CNN. He’s a go-getting Sun Aries square Mars in Capricorn, inconjunct Pluto in Virgo – so he’s heavyweight and not scared to get into an argument.  His Mars opposes Trump’s Saturn so it is a very scratchy and bad-tempered interface; and that doubles up with Acosta’s Saturn on Trump’s midheaven square Trump’s Mars. With Acosta’s Pluto square Trump’s Sun, which will make the president feel controlled or put down.

Their relationship chart has a volatile and high-octane composite Uranus square Mars Jupiter; with a bitter-debate composite Mercury square Pluto; and the composite Sun conjunct the destructive Fixed Star Algol, which appears to follow Trump like a stalker.

Middle East – double standards


I shouldn’t really do this since it’s copyright but cartoonists have a way of encapsulating the truth in one piercing image. Peter Brookes of the Times is the best of them all. I can’t find an earlier one of his – of Barack Obama standing on a bluff above a valley full of Arabs all tearing each other to bits. He’s shading his eyes and saying: ‘Can the good guys put their hands up?’

Western interference has caused problems since World War 1 and before and we’re still at it. Which is still no excuse for Putin supporting a chemical bombing Assad – though on second thoughts there are several unclean hands on that score from other conflicts.

Priebus & Bannon – one works, ‘tother doesn’t



Donald Trump’s new Chief of Staff will be seasoned Republican Reince Priebus and his Chief Strategist will be right-wing media man Stephen Bannon. Jonathan Greenblat, of the  Anti-Defamation League civil rights group, said of Bannon: “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘ al-right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house’.”

Priebus, 18 March 1972 Dover, NJ, has his Mars in Taurus exactly conjunct Trump’s MC and his Saturn in DT’s 10th, so is a reasonable working relationship; and RP’s Jupiter falls in DT’s 5th so he’ll boost Trump’s morale.

Bannon has his Jupiter in DT’s 10th conjunct his Sun Uranus so could be a morale-booster; but Bannon’s Pluto is conjunct DT’s Ascendant Mars and square DT’s MC, so he will try to control DT’s image and force him to fall in line with Bannon’s agenda. Which is unlikely to work well given that their relationship chart has tr Neptune opposition the composite Mercury Saturn Sun through 2017/2018; and a bad tempered tr Saturn square the composite Venus Mars on and off till late 2017. That chart also has a struggle-for-the-upper-hand Jupiter Pluto conjunction.

It’s a tetchy interface between Bannon and both Priebus and VP Mike Pence, so it won’t all be happy campers pulling in the same direction. With Bannon looking to be the loser.

Tom Wolfe – a literary arsonist

Tom wolfe


Even at 85, writer Tom Wolfe – Bonfire of the Vanities and literary journalism with devastating insights into social mores – doesn’t seem to have lost his bite. He once said: “If you are not having a fight with somebody then you are not sure whether you are alive when you wake up in the morning.” His latest provocative book, Kingdom of Speech, takes scud-missile-force pot shots at Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and linguist Noam Chomsky. He’s an atheist not a creationist but thinks scientists have a nasty habit of cobbling ideas together and calling them truth, only to find they are not standing on solid ground.

Born 2 March 1931 2.12am Richmond, Virginia (astrotheme), he has a quick-witted 3rd house Pisces Sun and Mercury in Aquarius also in the 3rd which is the journalistic house. His Sun is trine Jupiter in Cancer and opposition a 9th house Neptune – so he’s not short of confidence or creativity. He’s from the focal point Uranus in Aries generation, so innovative and destabilising. His Uranus North Node square Jupiter Pluto and widely square Saturn (Venus) in Capricorn. His Pluto is 8th house conjunct Mars in Cancer – so he’s certainly sitting on a volcano of anger. That Pluto also has the potential to give him great influence.

His writers’ 21st Harmonic is very strongly aspected – with a Fixed Grand Cross; a Grand Trine formed into two Kites; and a Yod. A great deal of talent and several of his bon motes have made it into currency – radical chic, The Me Decade, the Right Stuff, Master of the Universe, statusphere.

Simone Biles – overcoming the odds to become the world’s best



American artistic gymnast Simone Biles won the women’s all-around Olympic gold medal by a rout in “a dazzling display of power, agility and gravity-defying moves”. Only 4ft 8 inches, she’s described as the greatest ever gymnast and the other competitors joke the only question is who gets to be second. She hasn’t lost an all-around competition since the spring of 2013, claiming three world titles and four U.S. crowns in the process.

Yet her start in life was highly inauspicious, to put it mildly, with a drug and alcohol addicted mother whose four children all had to go into care. Simone and one sibling were rescued by her grandparents, who despite their modest circumstances indulged her drive to succeed. The two other siblings were taken in by other relatives.

Born 14 March 1997 in Columbus, Ohio (no birth time) – three days before swimmer Katie Ledecky (see post below) – she’s a Sun Venus Mercury in Pisces opposition Mars Node in Virgo. Mars in Pisces is known for being a dancer’s placing; here she has dynamic Mars tied into her Pisces’ planets. She’s got a tough Saturn in self-reliant Aries trine Pluto, sextiling onto a focal point Jupiter Uranus in Aquarius. Sakoian & Acker describe Jupiter Uranus as the ‘power of positive thinking’.  And she harnesses that ability to create her own luck with driving discipline.

Her Moon is in agile Gemini as opposed to Ledecky’s watery Moon in Cancer. Both have heavily aspected super-star 22nd Harmonic charts.