Israel – a peace deal that ramps up the arms race

The Israel Bahrain and UAE deal has been hailed as a “new dawn of peace” in the Middle East which, according to Trump, will change the course of history. The portentously named Abraham Accords has met a mixed reception though with less raucous laughter than Jared Kushner’s first effort. Trump, Netanyahu, Kushner and Tony Blair are being credited though it was the United Arab Emirates who first suggested the deal to forestall Israel annexing chunks of the West Bank. Critics say it will mainly serve the three signatories, plus the US, and offers nothing to end tensions between Israel and Palestine.

  Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have never been in conflict, have had back channel political and commercial connections for years, so it changes little but it will pave the way for the UAE to buy advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets from the US.  Netanyahu was keen because he wanted a distraction from his bungling of the pandemic and the corruption charges against him.

  Apart from the leaders’ personal ulterior motives there is a united front against the threat of Iran and while being accused of throwing the Palestinians under the bus, they point to their “feckless and corrupt leadership that has served its people poorly.” Some said it should be co-branded the anti-Iran Axis, since it resembled an arms deal as much as a peace deal and the risk is that it will intensify ongoing arms races in the region.

  The next hurdle would be to get Saudi Arabia to join the accord which could be trickier. They are apparently well on the road to achieving their own nuclear ambitions.

   Israel does not look peaceful ahead, indeed is moving into an exceptionally fraught, explosive and fast-changing few years with tr Uranus square tr Saturn in 2021 shaking up the Israel 10th house Pluto, undermining or at least substantially challenging its sense of control.

  Tr Pluto will oppose the Midheaven in 2021/22 which will be exceptionally pressured in terms of direction with significant internal domestic resentment thereafter for many years. The Israel MC is conjunct the Fixed Star Procyon of sudden rise-and-fall.  Then 2022 will be downbeat, littered with setbacks, as tr Saturn moves to square the Israel Taurus Sun and oppose the Mars in Leo through till 2025. Along the way tr Neptune squaring the adventurous Uranus opposition Jupiter between 2022 and 2024 will damp enthusiasm; and there follows a dead-halt, high-risk Solar Arc Mars square Pluto in 2025 with another two high-stress Solar Arc towards 2028/29.  Part of that may be economic with tr Uranus moving through the 8th house of business/international finances from 2023 to 2030 which will be financially unstable.

  The Israel/Saudi Arabia relationship isn’t exactly shouting out friendliness and co-operation in the next four years. There’s an undermining and disappointing tr Neptune opposition the composite Uranus and conjunct the composite Sun in 2021/22; followed by a jolting, co-operation-upsetting, insecure and bad-tempered tr Uranus opposition Mars and square Neptune in 2023/24.

  Whatever this Accord does it hardly looks like ushering in a shining new era of tranquillity ahead.

Ireland – a political football

There’s a savage irony about Ireland becoming the stumbling block to the ‘never-ever-shall-be-slaves’ Brexit lobby, given the 800-year history of first England, then the UK meddling, at times brutally, in Irish affairs. Joe Biden has now added a clarion call to the other dissenting voices indicating that the Good Friday Agreement can’t become a casualty of the UK leaving the EU, otherwise no US trade deal.

  The Norman invasion of 1 May 1169 began English interference when Uranus in Pisces was in a disruptive square to Pluto in Gemini; with Henry V111 declaring himself King of Ireland in 1541, though not in control of all territories – that was when Uranus in Leo opposed Pluto in Aquarius. Then on 30 March 1603 Ireland did become unified (tho’ not sure whether Julian or Gregorian Calendar) – that was just after a Uranus Pluto conjunction in Aries with Uranus then moved into early Taurus (as now).

   The partition of modern Ireland in 1922 happened with Uranus in Pisces trine Pluto; and the Irish Troubles in Northern Ireland starting in the late 1960s brewed up on the Uranus Pluto conjunction in Virgo.

   Boris Johnson’s implausible explanation that he (or the civil servants) didn’t realise the implication of the Withdrawal Agreement they signed last year on the back of which he won the election, is risible. Rafael Behr of the Guardian says the choice is seeing him as “a fool or a crook. ….. He does not appear to care about the Good Friday agreement ….. and has been as reckless, unfaithful and self-serving in his relationship with Northern Ireland as in all his other relationships.”

 The Northern Ireland 7 December 1922 3.28pm Belfast chart is not surprisingly under heavy and emotional pressure with tr Pluto opposing the Cancer Moon till late this December. There will be phases of great relief notably in late October to mid November and again in March 2021 with tr Uranus opposition the NIrel Jupiter but there will be harsh realities to be faced in coming years with tr Pluto heading the conjunct the Midheaven from 2023 which is when the Solar Arc Saturn is also conjunct the Midheaven – a time of hard choices about future direction.

  The Northern Ireland relationship with the UK is sagging badly through this year and next with disappointment and high-anxiety as tr Neptune opposes the composite Jupiter Neptune and squares Uranus, moving on to square the Sun by 2023.  The Northern Ireland relationship with Boris is similarly afflicted in 2021 and on – so even if he topples off his perch the blame for his perfidy and mishandling of the situation will linger.

   The Republic of Ireland 1949 relationship with Boris is angry and explosive from spring of 2021 onwards as well as distrustful. With the UK, the Ireland relationship will be jolted from mid 2021 as tr Uranus squares the composite Uranus and will continue to be unstable and explosive through till mid-decade.

  The Good Friday Agreement, signed 10 April 1998 5pm Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been under strain since the 2016 Brexit vote with the tr Uranus square tr Pluto shaking up the Mercury, Sun, Saturn, Mars in Aries. The final discouraging run of tr Pluto square the GF Saturn runs till late this November; but the angst won’t die down with a catastrophic tr Pluto square the Mars/Saturn midpoint picking up in early 2021 and running till late 2022. The fear is that if the Agreement is destabilized that violence will break out again.

Anne Stevenson’s Bitter Fame about Sylvia Plath evoked undeserved outrage

Anne Stevenson, the poet, has died whose ‘meticulously crafted poetry was elegiac, witty, passionate and sharply visual’ in the words of a reviewer. She avoided fame and publicity – out of a distrust of “the ego-hill, the misery-well,/ the siren hiss of publish, success”. But became the focus of outrage for Bitter Fame her biography of Sylvia Plath in which she apportioned equal blame to Plath as well as Ted Hughes for the breakdown of their relationship, before Plath’s suicide. The biography was highly praised as “by far the most intelligent, and the only authentically satisfying” record of Plath’s life and a decade later Stevenson was vindicated when Ted Hughes published his Birthday Letters. But the hostility of the Plath worshippers made her weary of the subject.

   I would have to confess I never quite understand the whole Plath mania or why she became so emblematic of downtrodden womanhood for the burgeoning feminist movement.

  Anne Stevenson, 3 January 1933, was born less than three months after Plath, 27 October 1932 2.10pm Boston, Massachusetts, so both had the idealism and dreaminess of Jupiter Neptune in Virgo; and the disruptive Pluto square Uranus. Though in Plath’s case Saturn in Capricorn opposing Pluto would give her a depressive streak. Stevenson had a Capricorn Sun, which does have a creative side. The sign is sometimes referred to as the stander on the threshold between the unconscious (creativity) and the conscious so can bring ideas from the imaginative realm and make them real. Sometimes, with business men, turning them into money.

   Sylvia Plath did have an 8th house Scorpio Sun which would give her a dark and passionate resonance though why that implanted itself into the public consciousness in such an enduring way isn’t obvious. She did have an unaspected Libra Moon which Tierney describes as ‘the most personal traumatic of any planet’ bringing a sense of disconnection, making her overly vulnerable, unstable and unable to find the nurturing she needed.

  Her relationship with Leonine Ted Hughes, 17 August 1939 11.55 pm Mytholmroyd, England, was toxic with a hostile, power-struggling Mars Pluto conjunction opposition Saturn square Uranus opposition Mercury. The surprise isn’t that they parted, it’s that they ever got together in the first place. Though admittedly there was an affectionate Sun Venus conjunction as well.

  Plath had Neptune in her 7th so would be attracted to elusive though affectionate partners and while dependent with her Moon, Venus, Jupiter in her 7th as well she would find commitment difficult.

   Plath’s leaving-a-legacy 17th harmonic is heavily aspected as was her global-fame 22H – which may be some pointer to why she became such an iconic figure.

Bollywood – in the wrong kind of spotlight

Dark tales of corruption and worse in Bollywood, the Indian film industry, are stalking the media. Which hardly makes it different from Hollywood where since the earliest days crime, cover-up and financial ‘manipulation’ have been the watchword. Even today drug-taking is almost de rigueur.

 Though Bollywood does appear to have stronger links to organised crime, with some film funding known to come from the Mumbai underworld, which is reported to influence several prominent film personalities. Mumbai organised-crime hitmen shot Rakesh Roshan, a film director and father of star Hrithik Roshan, in January 2000. (wiki)

 What has brought Bollywood back into focus is the death of Sushant Rajput and the arrest of actress Rhea Chakraborty on charges that she organized drugs for him. (See post below September 11 2020). She was described as an “active member of a drugs syndicate” by the drugs probe agency.

  The first Bollywood film was premiered on 21 April 1913 at 9pm in Mumbai. This gives an indulgent and creative Sun Venus in Taurus opposition an intense hidden 12th house Scorpio Moon squaring onto an innovative Uranus in the 3rd. What is striking is an 8th house Pluto which does suggest dark forces pulling financial strings. There is also a money-magnet Jupiter in the 2nd opposition to a slippery Neptune in Cancer.

  Hollywood, though it isn’t directly comparable since the chart is of the incorporation of the town itself, 1 February 1887, does have a ruthless, high-risk Mars square Pluto Neptune, which also hints at dirty and dangerous dealings, all given a cosmetic aura by ethereal Neptune.

  Sushant Rajput, 21 January 1986, had an Aquarius Sun Venus squaring a Pluto in Scorpio opposition North Node in Taurus – all of which sits neatly (or otherwise) on top of the Bollywood Moon, Venus Sun, Uranus T square – so he fitted, albeit uncomfortably into the film world. His Pluto conjunct the Bollywood 12th house Scorpio Moon and his North Node opposition do raise flags. An intense connection that tied into his destiny. His Pluto squaring the Bollywood Uranus could also indicate a capacity (however unconscious) for upsetting the applecart and causing disruption.

  Though in some ways Rhea Chakraborty’s interface with Bollywood seems more ominous with her Sun, Venus, Moon falling in the Bollywood secretive, financial 8th house. Her highly-strung Uranus Neptune is conjunct the Bollywood Jupiter. And her Mars in Taurus opposes the Bollywood Moon which does seem more significant by the minute. The Mars opposition Pluto square Saturn in her chart would in any event hint at a tendency to walk on the dark side.

  Her relationship chart with Bollywood is fairly stark with a Yod of a confident Jupiter sextile Pluto inconjunct a risky, aggravated Mars Saturn conjunction. And it will rock n’ roll seriously in 2021/22 with tr Pluto conjunct the composite Uranus – so more may come out into the open.

  The Bollywood chart is labouring under a confused and devastating tr Pluto opposition Neptune till late this year which could be Covid-connected. And there’s also an upsetting tr Uranus opposition the Moon which picked up just after Sushant’s death and runs into March 2021 – which could perhaps have the capacity to bring secrets into the open.

Although I doubt it’ll lead to any wholesale cleaning out of the murk.

Charles & Karen Spencer – try, try, try again

Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, has been talking about his upbringing and his third marriage. He says his unhappy, traumatic childhood with his mother leaving when he was two and being sent to boarding school at 8, sent him into two failed marriages until he went into therapy to sort himself out. He has four children from his first 18 year marriage, two children from the next 6 years to divorce; and one from this decade-long one to a Canadian philanthropist.

  Born 20 May 1964 (no birth time) he has a final degree Taurus Sun with Mercury, Jupiter, Mars also in Taurus trine Uranus Pluto in Virgo with Neptune in Scorpio. His Moon is in Virgo; and his Venus North Node in Cancer is in a trine to regretful Saturn in Pisces.

  His present wife, whom he married in 2011, Karen, born 30 November 1972 in Edmonton, Canada, is founder and chief executive of Whole Child International, an LA charity that works to improve the lot of orphaned, abandoned, or abused children. She’s an idealistic Sun Neptune in Sagittarius with her Sun in a sensible opposition to Saturn in Gemini and sextile Pluto. Her Pluto is also in a super confident square to Jupiter and in turn her Jupiter is sextile a passionately enthusiastic and highly-determined Venus Mars in Scorpio – so she’s quite a power house.

  Her Venus Mars in Scorpio fits in with his Taurus Mars, Jupiter, Mercury – and her upbeat Jupiter Pluto picks up his Venus in Cancer as does her Libra Moon. Her Sun Neptune do sit as cross purposes to his Uranus Pluto opposition Saturn but with maturity and experience they’ve obviously made it work.

  Their relationship chart has a mutually-supportive composite Sun Jupiter conjunction in an affectionate opposition to Venus which is all good.  It’s also got two Yods of Pluto sextile Neptune inconjunct Saturn; and Mars sextile Node inconjunct Venus – so it’s obviously a relationship that has come together for some greater purpose and will change both of their lives irrevocably. Saturn will involve a great deal of hard work and Venus may hint at their stewardship of Althorp House to which they have evidently returned full-time only last year with the intention of living there and embarking on a restoration project.

Photo: Edwardx

Lily Allen & David Barbour – stuck on you

Singer, songwriter Lily Allen has married actor David Harbour, best known for Stranger Things in Las Vegas, in a wedding officiated by an Elvis impersonator. Both have had complicated lives with Lily Allen on her second marriage with two children from a previous one, blighted for several years by an unstable stalker, with pregnancy mishaps and post-natal depression as well as a diagnosis of bi-polar.  He had an alcohol addiction and is bi-polar as well.

  Born 2 May 1985 in London, she’s a Sun Taurus opposition Pluto in Scorpio with her Sun square Jupiter in Aquarius – so she will tend to head for controlling relationships and be fairly possessive and stubborn herself.  Her Venus in Aries squares Neptune which will be helpful creatively and musically but less so for commitment in relationships. Her Libra Moon may also square Neptune.

  He was born 10 April 1975 in New York and is a go-ahead Sun Aries with Mercury, Jupiter and Moon also in Aries with a confident Pluto opposition Jupiter (Moon) Mercury square Saturn in Cancer. A focal point Saturn will have given him frustrations in his early adult life but will gradually mellow into a more productive phase through his middle and later years. He’ll be a good organiser and executive. His Mars in stubborn Aquarius is in a volatile trine to Uranus and square an indulgent Venus in Taurus.

  Her Venus, Mercury in Aries and Libra Moon chime with his Aries planets; and his Venus is a good fit with her Sun although they are not conjunct. But his Uranus is conjunct her emphasised Pluto which will cause some disruptions and he’ll threaten her need for control.

  Their relationship chart has a close, affectionate composite Sun Venus conjunction; and there is an inspirational composite Grand Trine of Neptune trine North Node trine Mars, formed into a Kite by Mars opposition Pluto – that is super-powerful and if well-directed could create an effective duo capable of moving mountains. But the risk is that the volcanic energy turns inward and causes problems. Mars Pluto is power-struggling and dominating, so one or other will fight for the upper hand.

   She looks happy with her Solar Arc Venus conjunct her Sun this year but the honeymoon months will be edgy with an uncertain tr Neptune opposition the composite Saturn till late February next year. And she will be jolted and jangled with tr Uranus conjunct and tr Saturn square her Sun from spring 2021 too spring 2022.

  The wedding chart has major pluses from a successful and lucky Sun trine Jupiter trine Uranus; but there’s also a less helpful, aggravated Mars square Saturn Pluto – so the marriage ahead won’t be without its tough patches.

Conran & Hibbert – famous for having talent

Two genuinely creative influencers have died. Terence Conran, the pioneering designer who founded Habitat and ushered in a revolution in home design, shopping and eating out. And Toots Hibbert, the Jamaican singer who helped to make reggae one of the great global musical forces.

  Conran born 4 October 1931 (no birth time) was from the tough Great Depression generation with Saturn in Capricorn opposition Pluto squaring an innovative, mould-breaking Uranus opposition Venus in Libra. His Sun in Libra opposed the North Node in Aries perhaps (likely) square a Cancer Moon. Cancer is a sign of designers and is home-oriented, certainly has a nose for public taste and with the Moon on the focal point of a Cardinal T Square he’d have initiative aplenty as well as an inclination to work with the public. He also had an adventurous, risk-taking Jupiter in Leo trine Uranus and square an ultra-determined Mars in Scorpio.

 Not surprisingly with an afflicted Venus and a Moon yearning for more than the admiration of just one person, he married and divorced several times and produced a handful of children, all of whom have become successful in design or cooking.

  Toots Hibbert, born 8 December 1942, who has died suffering from Covid-19, was recognised as the father of Reggae and in a long career sang all over the world. “With a voice like a Caribbean Otis Redding, and a phenomenal stage presence, Hibbert was also a multi-instrumentalist.” He had more chart toppers even than Bob Marley.

  He had the inspirational Neptune trine Uranus which produced so many notable musicians of that period – and in his case emphasised by having Saturn conjunct Uranus and Pluto sextile. His colourful, widely travelled Sagittarius Sun was conjunct Mercury, Venus and maybe Moon; with like Conran he had an ultra-determined Mars in Scorpio in an adventurous trine to Jupiter in Cancer.

  Both had global superstars 22nd Harmonics stronly aspected and breakthrough-genius 13H, as well as creative 5H.  Hibbert in addition had his strongest harmonic as the musically creative 7th harmonic and leaving-a-legacy-for-history 17H.

  They were famous for having talent.

Sushant Rajput – a frenzied diversion

The suicide of a Bollywood actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, in June has dominated headlines for months, sparking off a curiously Indian media storm, with sensationalist coverage, unverified conspiracy theories and allegations given air time on nationwide newscasts. The coronavirus outbreak, the second-largest in the world, has been pushed to one side.

  He apparently had been struggling with depression but mental health and suicide are still taboo subjects in India, despite suicide being the most common cause of death in the age groups of 15–29 years and 15–39 years – and India having the highest suicide rate in the South-East Asian region. But the problem is largely ignored and in this instance blame for his death has been levelled at the cut-throat Bollywood system. And more recently at his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, who as the furore intensified and his father pointed accusing fingers, has been arrested on drug charges with a suggestion that she had abetted his suicide. It was alleged she had bought cannabis for him, though no drugs were evidently found in her apartment. She had lived with Sushant though a few days before his death, she moved to her own Mumbai residence.

  He was born 21 January 1986 (no birth time) and had a charming Sun Venus in Aquarius in a controlled square to Pluto; with a Gemini Moon maybe opposition Saturn; and an adventurous Jupiter in Aquarius square Mars in Scorpio.

  There’s nothing too specific showing on his chart around his death – apart from a downbeat tr Saturn conjunct his Sun Venus which would damp his spirits; a highly-strung tr Neptune square his Uranus – and his Progressed Mars is conjunct his Solar Arc Pluto which is more indicative of extreme frustration

 He’d also had several Neptune transits to midpoints on the run up but nothing pass remarkable.

  His girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, 1 July 1992, is an equally charming Sun Venus in Cancer though her Venus and perhaps Moon oppose the zany, high-wire Uranus Neptune in Capricorn. She’s also got an exceptionally tough Pluto opposition Mars in Taurus square Saturn in Aquarius so she didn’t have it easy growing up for sure – and it may well have given her a tendency to walk on the wild side.

  It wasn’t that great a match though the relationship chart does have an affectionate composite Sun Venus conjunction; but there was also a power-struggling composite Mars square Pluto so one partner would be the one dominant one, calling all the shots with underlying resentment.

  The synastry reflects this with her Pluto in Scorpio conjunct his Mars and her Mars opposition his Pluto. So there would be a masochistic edge to their interface.  

Shetland Islands – small but not short of pluck

Mutiny is afoot in the Shetland Islands, the furthest north of UK territories, where the local council has voted decisively to look at declaring independence from Edinburgh and London. The population of just over 20,000 is concerned about local poverty (with costs being 60% higher than the mainland) despite having the Sullom Voe oil and gas terminal, as well as oil fields and lucrative fisheries and salmon production on their patch.

  Shetlanders look enviously at the Faroes, to the north of them, which has a parliament able to raise and spend taxes while at the same time getting generous subsidies from Denmark, to which it is affiliated.

  The Shetlands are 111 miles from the mainland, and geographically closer to Bergen than Edinburgh. Culturally there are still strong ties to their Nordic roots. They came under Scottish rule on 20 February 1472 JC. This gives a Pisces Sun in a controlling opposition to Pluto. There’s a good deal of unrest in particular around 2023 –although they’ve been in situ for centuries and there’s nothing too definitive on the chart that would suggest a complete rupture.  

  It will give Nicola Sturgeon a headache since their arguments are much the same as the SNP’s about splitting from London. The relationship charts between the Shetlands and Scotland 842 AD and Scotland 1005 AD have tr Neptune undermining the composite Suns and other planets till almost mid decade; and the 1034 AD chart also looks highly pressured.

  The Shetland/UK 1801 relationship chart is at daggers-drawn at the best of time with palpable dislike – and its stress-to-breaking-point looks more likely after mid decade up to 2029, building up a head of steam after Pluto moves into Aquarius, being conjunct the composite Mercury, Venus and then the Sun.