Thursday, July 26, 2007


There is a seagull in Aberdeen that once a day swoops into the local branch of W.H.Smith (as you do), pinches a packet of Doritos off the shelf, flies out with them and eats them. If the shop is busy, he waits until it’s quiet so that he can get a clear run at his target. What sign do you think this bird is? Gemini with Aries Rising? Hatched soon after dawn last summer, with Venus in Taurus opposite Jupiter?

At least animals don’t pretend they’re not materialistic. I was saying in yesterday's blog how in certain circles it’s seen as perfectly normal for women to chase after blokes because they are rich, and to marry them mainly for that reason. They are seen as having made a good catch. This is the general approving opinion, but you’re not allowed to say it. You’re supposed also to think that the couple got married purely because they are in love. People have these contradictory attitudes in their heads, and they’re not aware they are contradictory, because they lead unexamined lives. When I turned 40, my father said to me, “You know, there’s still time to go out and make £100 million!” I said, “And what then?” This threw him for a moment, because having £100 million is such a self-evident virtue, then he said, a bit blusteringly, “Well, the world of women will open up to you!” This is a man whose present wife once announced in his presence (quoting someone else) that the only thing a wife can’t delegate is the bedroom.

I’m not going to pretend I don’t like money, but it isn’t a source of meaning for me. With Scorpio-Taurus Nodes, however, it has been a long struggle to get a balanced view of the material realm, and not to feel defensive about not being materialistic. The challenge of Scorpio is to move away from the false sources of power – money, status etc – and to find real power within, that can’t be taken away. It seems to me that money is a big deal for most people, even if they’re not materialistic. I don’t mean a big deal from the point of view of getting hold of enough, but all the psychological issues around it. We are in the 8th House here.

And we are living in an age in which there are a lot of extremely rich people, what the New York Times called ‘America’s New Gilded Age’, a reference to the period before World War I, when “powerful enterprises, dominated by men who grew immensely rich, ushered in the industrialisation of the United States.” With Pluto (riches) coming to the end of its time in Sagittarius (expansion, excess), it is perhaps not surprising that we are in such an age again.

I haven’t got anything per se against people dedicating their lives to becoming rich. If that’s what turns them on, then who am I to try and stop them? Obviously the way they go about it has to be contained, because such people can be extremely ruthless. What also needs containing is the parading of these people as superior, as possessing more virtue than ordinary people, when often they’ve just got a big hole of inadequacy in them that they’re desperately trying to fill.

Many CEOs now get vast salaries, and as one chief executive said: “Obscene salaries send the wrong message through a company. The message is that all brilliance emanates from the top; that the worker on the floor of the store or the factory is insignificant.”

Such CEOs argue that though their incomes are very large, it only reflects a small share of the corporate value created on their watch. In reply, Paul Volcker, a former Federal Reserve Board Chairman, says “I don’t see a relationship between the extremes of income now and the performance of the economy…The market did not go up because businessmen got so much smarter.” He added that the 1950s and 1960s “were very good economic times and no one was making what they are now.”

It doesn’t necessarily seem wrong to me that someone who has trained for a highly skilled job and who works long hours should earn more, but what is happening now is out of all proportion, it really is Pluto in Sagittarius at its worst, bloated and arrogant and out of touch with reality. Pluto in Capricorn would classically correct this, Capricorn has a sense that there should be a proportional relationship between what you do and what you earn. So there may be a corrective coming. On the other hand, Capricorn is also big business, so it might get worse.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


First of all, many thanks to Melody and Lynn for posting their blogs here while I was away. I've enjoyed reading them. I was camping for a few days at an organic farm on Bodmin Moor. The weather was crap, as it has been in England all summer. It's something to do with El Nino. But I did manage to read Tom Wolfe's novel "I am Charlotte Simmons", about a very bright country hick from the mountains of North Carolina, who goes to a posh university and who begins to flunk her grades, because she finds another way of being seen as 'special': dating one of the basketball stars. It starts off with her being terribly disapproving of sex and alcohol, and you think she might be starting on some sort of deeper journey of liberation, but no, it turns out that underneath it all this moralising country hick is just as shallow as all the people she once disapproved of.

Which brings me on to the subject of Prince William and Kate Middleton. These two split up 3 months ago and now they are back together again. As I argued in an earlier blog, I think Miss Middleton is on the make - like Charlotte and her basketball star - but I don't think she's aware of it for a moment, and nor is Prince William, bless him; and the media, for once, seem to think it would be going a step too far to say that Miss Middleton's motives are anything less than pure. I don't hold this against Miss Middleton, because there are thousands like her, and in certain backgrounds (like my own), this is seen as perfectly normal, even desirable behaviour.

One look at Prince William's transits, however, tells me there there is no way this relationship is going to last, not at his age.

Prince William: 21 June 1982 21:03 London UK

Prince William is currently going through the biggest period of change of his life so far. Pluto is currently conjoining his ASC at 27 Sag, and over the next few years will oppose his Sun and Moon in early Cancer. He is becoming a very different person, the Prince William of his adult years who we have yet to encounter. Not many relationships begun at a young age can withstand this sort of change: it is time to move on. More than this, William's Sun and Moon are in the 7th House of Relationships, so the Pluto transit will be particularly transforming this area of his life; and his Venus is at 25 Taurus, which Neptune will be squaring over the next couple of years - again transforming his love-life.

What is noticeable about William's chart is the degree to which relationships are going to define his life: Sun and Moon in the 7th, and a strongly aspected Venus, being closely conjunct Chiron and in a yod with Pluto and Neptune/ASC. Also, with Sun and Moon opposite Neptune, as well as Neptune Rising, it may be hard for him to find a full sense of himself outside of a strong relationship. This may be to some extent a weakness, but it may also be just how he is built. This may be why he is currently back with Kate: it is helping give him back his sense of who he is.

There is a LOT going on for william in the area of relationships, and it is going to be fascinating watching it unfold over the coming years. It is not quite so common for men to be defined by their relationships, but it looks like William will be. As was his mother, Princess Diana, who had Venus one degree off William's at 24 Taurus. And, interestingly, as was his great-great uncle, Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor), who in 1936 abdicated the throne for an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson: he had Venus at 23 Taurus (unaspected, so it was hard to integrate into the rest of his life), and Sun at 2.20 Cancer, bang on Prince William's Sun-Moon midpoint.

Duke of Windsor: 23/6/1894 21.55 London UK

In terms of major aspects to planets, Prince William's Venus merely makes a wide, out-of-sign opposition to Uranus, so again it is not unlike the Duke of Windsor's unaspected Venus. And they both have star quality. The Duke of Windsor as a young man made royalty sexy, and so does William (Prince Charles may be guilty of many things, but not this particular sin!)

With Sun and Moon in conservative, family oriented Cancer, Prince William feels at home in the circumscribed life of the Royal Family (an institution which the playwright David Hare once described as "a very expensive way of being cruel to a small group of people.")

And what might this yod to Venus mean? With outer planets at the base of the yod, I think that one meaning is that Prince William's love life is fated to be circumscribed by the demands of the collective. The conjunction of Venus to Chiron suggests that he will experience this as wounding, and for him there will be resonances of his mother's marriage (Diana's Venus being conjunct William's), and the unbridgeable gap between his parents. What Diana did not understand was that her marriage took place in order to meet a collective need, as royal marriages have always done, and it is therefore naive to expect personal fulfillment, but by the same token perfectly acceptable to have lovers.

Prince William does not have the chart of a rebel, although with his weak Venus-Uranus opposition, he may wriggle a bit against the sort of marriage expected of him. With Aquarius Rising, and Mars in Aries square to his Sun, the Duke of Windsor had a lot more rebellion in him. But being so family oriented, and marriage oriented (7th House Sun and Moon), the traditional type of royal marriage may be very painful for William.

With Neptune Rising in Sag, Jupiter on the Midheaven, and his mother's Venus, we will all come to love William. He will be able to live comfortably within the tradition he has grown up in - not necessarily a sin! - and will be very focussed on his wife and family. But with Venus conjunct Chiron, there may be a secret heartache of not being free to marry who he wanted. At the same time, being so Cancerian, he will really try to make his family work.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pluto in Sag and Harry Potter's Journey

In 1990 I became fascinated with druidry and neopagan ritual after reading Marion Zimmer's amazing book The Mists of Avalon, and searched high and low for information on magic and witchcraft. During those pre-internet days, it was difficult to find what I was looking for. I happened on a women's workshop taking place at the beach where I met a real witch and began studying with her. I had been playing with the tarot for years, and of course I was a professional astrologer by that time, but I fell in love with ritual and sympathetic magic.

The new age bookstore that I frequented in North Carolina where I live was very limited on the subject, but a book called Drawing Down the Moon had a resource guide that provided newsletters and other publications with source material for my new quest. Just a few years later (Uranus/Neptune conjunction in 1992-94), internet chatrooms on America Online and elsewhere began to provide an infinite amount of knowledge on all kinds of magic, witchraft, and paganism.

Pluto entered Sagittarius in 1995, transforming (Pluto) the realm of publishing and information (Sagittarius), a process which included taking underground realms of power and magic (Pluto) and spreading them to the masses via the media (Sagittarius). Today, any teenager can buy a pentagram, a cauldron and a scrying mirror. The popularity of the Harry Potter book and film series began under the passage of Pluto through Sagittarius which began in 1995 and concludes this year.

The first Harry Potter book was published on June 26, 1997 with Pluto traveling retrograde through the early degrees of Sagittarius (3 degrees, to be exact). The outer planets are also called transpersonal planets because they download a new awareness into the mass consciousness that is the harbinger that transforms the realm over which the new sign rules. Pluto, being the planet of death, endings, rebirth and the occult, is the natural ruler of Magick. Pluto experiences involve the use of fundamental energies of creation and destruction in order to provide transformative experiences, and harnessing these energies is the role of all magickal practices.

Aside from the obvious connotations of magic, Plutonian themes of death, darkness, rejection, despair, abandonment and power prevail in the Harry Potter books. JK Rowling says, "My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry's parents. There is Voldemort's obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic. I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We're all frightened of it." True, but this is not a subject typically found in children's books.

The Harry Potter series has taken these Plutonian themes and truly brought them into the mainstream through a variety of media Sagittarius) including books, film, board games, computer games, audio boooks and even, in a fiesta of Sagittarian entertainment, a theme park. It's only fitting that the last Harry Potter book, in which the death of our hero may occur, enters the mainstream consciousness just as Pluto leaves Sagittarius for Capricorn. Children who have grown up reading Harry Potter are now entering their adult life (Capricorn) - the first generation to have grown up with an understanding of magic.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I was a bit slow off the mark with my last blog 'The President’s Mars is Missing', because I didn’t spot that George Bush’s Mars rules his Aries MC. What I had spotted was that the cycle of Saturn transits to his natal Mars corresponded to major shifts in his career – from the conjunction in 1978, and his first attempt to enter Congress, right through to the next (2008) conjunction, and the crumbling of his Presidency. But I hadn’t connected it with his MC, which is basic to chart analysis, nor did I particularly connect it with the nature of Saturn itself, which is to advance one’s career. And part of me goes “Well a real astrologer, who had diplomas etc, wouldn’t have missed that!” On the other hand, if I gave my blogging the time it really needs, I would hardly blog!

Looking at it now, the cycle of Saturn transits to GWB’s Mars is a textbook case.

Saturn is the natural ruler of the MC, so the cycle of his transits to the actual ruler of the MC are bound to be interesting, reflecting the development of our career-path. You can’t really do this with any of the other Angles, because their natural rulers – Mars/ASC, Moon/IC and Venus/DESC – are fast-moving planets, so their transits tend to be triggers rather than transformative.

I looked at this cycle with my own chart and it worked very well. I did it with my Virgo rising chart, where Mercury rules the Gemini MC. Trouble is, I also have another chart with Libra Rising and Capricorn MC, and the Saturn transits also worked well, but they would, because it is the Saturn cycle itself.

A couple of months ago I asked my blog readers to comment if they thought I had Virgo or Libra Rising, and I had loads of people saying I’m Virgo, and just one who said I’m Libra Rising. Which was fairly convincing. Then I asked my astrobabble group in Glastonbury, and to a person they were convinced I am Libra Rising. But they only know me as a person, rather than the real me who is to be found in print! So the jury is still out, though I’m favouring Virgo.

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