Thursday, June 18, 2020


Sunday's solar eclipse in Cancer will be a powerful trigger for any changes to home and family that are in the offing - and that have maybe been brought to a head by the Lockdown. What it is that nourishes us (Cancer) is the question to ask. The eclipse is given extra power by the fact that it is occurring within hours of the summer solstice, when the Sun goes into Cancer and the world starts to shift on its axis, moving (in the northern hemisphere) towards shorter days and longer nights.

Outcomes are delayed by the number of retrograde planets in the sky - Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. Practically, that refers to the need to wait for lockdown conditions to ease more fully (when Saturn goes Direct in late September), as well as the need to think things through calmly, to which the pressure cooker effect of the lockdown may not easily lend itself. But changes are on their way.

The esoteric ruler of Cancer is Neptune, which will be conjunct Mars in Pisces. So a good time too for magical acts, in which the emphasis is on creating a space for the divine will, rather than your own will, to have effect.

Monday, June 08, 2020


If you are an astrologer, then you are inevitably thrown up against the ideas of Fate and Free Will, and their apparently contradictory nature. I don't think they are contradictory. Both are true. And it is a good exercise to sit with them, like it is always a good exercise to sit with contradictory ideas, without reaching after certainty - Negative Capability, as Keats called it. It enables us to sit with the Great Mystery that is behind everything, because really we know nothing. I wrote a blog on this subject some years ago.

Meanwhile, I have been re-reading a wonderful memoir "The World of Yesterday" by Stefan Zweig. He is a vivid and compelling writer, and this book is richly descriptive of Europe from a cultural point of view, from the end of the 19th century to the early 1940s.

And here is what he says about Fate: "Only in youth does coincidence seem the same as fate. Later, we know that the real course of our lives is decided within us; our paths may seem to diverge from our wishes in a confused and pointless way, but in the end the way always leads us to our invisible destination."

Or as Heraclitus said: "Character is Fate."

Or as Jung said, "Free Will is doing gladly and freely that which one must do."

Sunday, June 07, 2020


The lockdown restrictions started easing as Saturn changed direction in early May: it is the nature of retrograde motion to undertake a review. This phase will conclude at the end of September, when Saturn goes Direct. There may well be restrictions left at that point, but they are likely to be ongoing, such as a restriction on large gatherings of people where there is little space between them; and a requirement to wear masks on eg public transport.

Since the pandemic started under the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, we may not see 'normality' return until Saturn starts to put some serious distance between himself and Pluto. That will be mid-December this year, when Saturn will be 7 degrees from Pluto, and in a different sign. That, at any rate, seems like the earliest point at which Covid will no longer be the main point around which the world is revolving.

Indeed, with the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction occurring in Aquarius a few days later, on the 21st Dec, 12 hours after the winter solstice, that is likely to be the time when we seriously begin to discover, or re-imagine, what world we are living in post-Covid. This excites me Aquarius is the sign of the future, moving beyond the outworn traditions of Capricorn.

It is interesting that the 2 solstices this year are so powerful: the summer solstice on 21st June occurring on a solar eclipse, and the winter solstice so close to the new 20-year age of the Saturn-Jupiter cycle. This really is a year of turning points.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Mars in Pisces

Mars is in Pisces for another 3 weeks. Definitely a case of 'Not my will but thine'. And nicely descriptive of lockdown, when we can't do many of the things we would want to do. Add to this the retrograde movements of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, with Mercury joining them on the 18th, and we do not have a time for moving life forward, but for going within and allowing the new to emerge when it is ready.

Friday, May 08, 2020


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The last time that Saturn and Pluto conjoined in Capricorn was in 1518, 3 months after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door at Wittenberg and began the Protestant revolution against the transnational power of the day: the Catholic Church. 

Saturn and Capricorn both describe governments and the establishment, and Pluto describes a major power shift within that. So what are the equivalents today? 

The transnational power of today within Europe is firstly the EU, and Brexit formally took place a couple of weeks after the conjunction in January. So because of the astrology I think we have to read that event as pre-figuring a major shake-up of the EU and its power structures. I am stating this as a factual inference, not as a judgment in favour of or against the EU (it is very hard not to be taken as such these days.) This major shake-up will be reflected in Neptune's hard transit to the EU Angles, which will be exact in 4 years. 

The other major transnational powers of today are the multinational companies, which are increasingly difficult for individual governments to control, even the mighty USA. Though I don't expect China has quite the same problem.

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And this is my main point. With the coronavirus outbreak, individual governments have taken a lot more control of their countries, and this includes their economies. They are taking care of their people. And they may continue to take more care of their people as we emerge from the outbreak, a process that could take a long time. 

The priority of multinational companies is not about taking care of people. They are amoral beasts that need to be regulated. Their priorities lie in where their products can be made the most cheaply, and creating markets where their products will be bought, whether or not they are truly needed.

In the major recession/depression that seems likely to follow on from coronavirus, the priority of governments will be to ensure that basic needs are met and that people have jobs. And that may be a habit they get into. The multinationals may not continue to have it their own way to the same degree. The governments may say if you outsource those jobs to the Philippines, we will tax you, we need people to be employed at home. They may say to Amazon and Google and Chevron we are broke right now, you have to start paying taxes.

I am not an expert in how these things work. But I am wondering if the 'new normal' will involve more power to national governments working in their people's interests, and less power to the multinationals working in their own interests.

Sunday, May 03, 2020


According to this article, "Most GOP (ie Republican) Congress members recognize that Donald Trump is a pathological narcissist with early stage dementia and only peripheral contact with reality." And that is what his allies think. (It doesn't make him all bad either.) I think that most of us can see that his cognitive abilities are declining. The article contains a video interview with him from the 80s, and the cognitive contrast with now is very striking.
At the end of the month, Neptune will exactly square his Nodal axis, and will square his Sun and Moon next year, when Pluto will also oppose his Venus (popular appeal). He may well get re-elected this year due to lack of a charismatic opponent, and because Neptune can be that political charisma (as well as the dementia.) But will he be removed from office, due to increasing incapacity, in his 2nd term?
With his Progressed New Moon in Virgo last September, he is personally entering a new phase, probably autumnal, of his life.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2020


When events occur that disrupt our settled sense of the world, that is difficult for many people. For some, it is an opportunity. The curtains are, briefly, open, because the world was of course never settled, it was always fluid. But that is also why conspiracy theories intensify and proliferate in times of crisis.
The word 'conspiracy' comes from the Latin meaning 'to plot': ie someone has done something to you, whether it was 9/11, the death of Diana, or Covid 19. In this way the anxiety of living in an uncertain world is relieved by blaming it on someone else. So strong is this need, that facts are overlooked. This is shown by the constant refrain of the conspiracist for others to 'look at the evidence', which is exactly what they are not doing. To be concrete, some of the theories proliferating at present include linking Covid 19 with 5G, Bill Gates and deliberate engineering by the Chinese in order to gain economic advantage over the US. Or that the whole thing is a hoax.
There is a theory that Coronavirus escaped from a lab in China. That seems like a possibility from what I have read, but probably not the case. However - and here is the key - if I was a conspiracist I would be insisting that the lab escape was the case, and that it was deliberate. There is little room for doubt in conspiracy theory.

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 Another avenue to look at is 'agency'. I think that conspiracists feel they are acted upon, rather than acting, in their lives. At least, to an extent. I know conspiracists - and I won't mince my words when I say that what they talk in this respect is nonsense, disturbed, bonkers - who are clearly agents in their own lives at quite a deep level, they may be quite long in the tooth, yet when it comes to how they think of the collective, and governments and big business especially, they feel they are acted upon to a degree that is irrational: they are convinced they are being manipulated by powerful people and forces that I can never quite pin down, and usually they have an evangelical desire to 'wake others up', which is in itself revealing. They feel certain they have the hidden truth that the 'sheep' do not see (for myself I find it hard to be certain about anything!) And these people and forces acting on them are BAD GUYS, they make these big simplistic judgements on them that they would never make about people they actually know (and most of us do that with politicians, don't we?) More than that, there may be forces that are alien in origin that are manipulating us.
I don't know what to do when people start to come out with this stuff, because there may well be other ways in which I respect them. The one thing I know I can't do is discuss it with them, because I am up against a need to believe. But for me it is a big limitation in my relationship with them, because I like to think about the world and what is happening in it without someone insisting that Bill Gates - who has given away $30 billion - means harm. Gates may be misguided, but that is a different matter, and I have my own reservations about him in this respect.
The collective noun for lemurs is a conspiracy. (And therein lies a nickname for conspiracists). And 'lemur' is from the Latin meaning 'Spirits of the Dead'. Wow! I think etymological and mythological connections need to be taken seriously. So conspiracy theory is the Spirits of the Dead speaking. Have you seen the Judgement Card in the Mythic Tarot? 
It shows the dead arising, and means old gifts emerging. It points to what I was saying about agency. Whenever our power, our gifts, are suppressed, they come out in wonky ways, often projected in negative form on the world outside. So this is my case. The conspiracists' urging of others to 'wake up' is really a message to themselves to wake up. To claim whatever it is in themselves that they are not claiming.

Monday, April 13, 2020


It will be interesting to see how the virus has affected Boris Johnson. Illnesses often change us, and as he said, it could have gone either way. 
With his loaded 9th, and a Nodal Return in Cancer in the 9th happening now, I think it has been incredibly significant for him. To do with what gives meaning to his life. And to do with compassion. People who have worked under him say he is a good boss. I think it may be that he turns out more compassionate than what you would expect from a Conservative leader.

With Chiron in Pisces conjunct 6th cusp, and Neptune still conjoining that, his illness has also been a sacrifice in service of the collective. And the story of the Fisher King comes to mind. Whom does the Grail serve? It has a mythological dimension.
Boris changed almost overnight on becoming Prime Minister, from the previous bumbling clown persona to something much more weighty and serious. This is reflected in his Solar Return chart, which began last June, and which has a Moon-Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn in the 10th: you don't get more gravitas than that! It can also suggest the near-death experience he has had, further indicated by Pluto's opposition to Mercury in the SR chart, ruler of his 6th House of Health.

Saturday, April 11, 2020


Saturn-Pluto is a time when the collective shadow (Pluto) is likely to be making an appearance in the world (Saturn). 

Not many people have the psychological strength to remain with their own darkness and fragility. That is why collectives create bogeymen. It creates a kind of stability and reassurance. Hence the witch-burnings in early Europe, Nazi anti-Semitism, and McCarthyism in the US. You see it also with Donald Trump - a fragile individual if ever there was - attempting to create bogeymen out of the Mexicans, the Muslims and the Chinese. 

Whenever there is a major event that upsets our little world, you see the process at work, whether it was 9/11, the death of Princess Diana, or now with Covid 19. If Covid 19 was just a virus that had mutated, there would be nothing to carry the stress it has created. So, we are hearing, it was deliberately created by the Chinese, and somewhere Bill Gates and 5G were involved. Watch for Jeff Bezos to be dragged in too. It is pitiable and it is insane, but it is how collectives work, we should not be surprised. 

What convinces people is not evidence, but other people's belief, because it is a herd thing. But from the point of view of the individual, it can seem like an epiphany, like they have had their eyes opened, balance has been restored, and it is everyone else who appears like a sheep. It has a lot in common with fundamentalist religion.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Rebellion, Conformism and the Lockdown

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All those planets in Capricorn: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. I think there are plenty of people secretly enjoying the lockdown rules. They like to be told how to live. They are the ones getting most righteous about anyone who might possibly be infringing the rules, particularly if they seem to be enjoying themselves.
Now that Mars and Saturn are in Aquarius, we are seeing the rebellion by those who can't handle being told what to do, in the form of conspiracy theories about Covid 19. David Icke being probably the most notable case in point. And some of us have a more balanced attitude to authority and don't take it as a personalised reassurance, or something to react against.