Thursday, January 30, 2020


From time to time I will publish blogs that just reflect my own interests, rather than the overall Astrological theme of this blog. So please bear with me, this is one such!

This documentary novel had me gripped. It is an extraordinary account of the last 2 weeks of the Third Reich, set in Berlin as the Russians advance towards the city, while it is bombed day and night by the British and Americans. The author, a writer, spent much of the 30s unemployed because of his critical stance towards the Nazis, then during the war he was made to work on the railways. The descriptions of the ruins of wartime Berlin are very exact and detailed, yet poetic also: windows of ruined houses like blank eye sockets. 

And the same goes for his descriptions of people. He returns again and again to the psychology of different types of people under Nazism and what they became. He is positively Germanic in his forensic psychological analysis. And central to that analysis is the lack of personal responsibility, the lack of conscience, the cowardice. And you find that the problem for most Germans at the end is not Nazism itself, but the fact that it failed. And that probably tells us something general, and rather dismal, about humanity. 

My criticism of the book - which came out in serial form straight after the war, and was a bestseller - is that it is too long. It is 660 pages of not very large print, and for the first 450 or so it is gripping. But he needed to chop 100 pages out of the last 250. 

He also has a perspective on humanity that I think anthropological research has probably shown to be unfounded: namely, that early man was 'primitive', ruled by his instincts, that western culture has largely been a process of lifting man out of those base insincts, and that Nazism was a reversion to them. My experience of early cultures that are still living is that they are very civilised in the best sense, they are sophisticated and ethical. Our problem, in my opinion, is that we have large societies that are inevitably structured by impersonal rules rather than by relationships. That is a problem we have not solved.

Saturday, January 25, 2020


This book, The Dream of Rome, was published in 2006, as the author’s Uranus Opposition completed, and as Pluto finished opposing his Mercury and was moving on to oppose his Sun (then MC). So it was a pivotal time in Johnson’s life, even though his public persona may not have revealed that. With Moon in Scorpio, Johnson is a very private, as well as public, man (revealed, perhaps, in the photo on the cover of the book.)

Notice how his Mercury is unaspected: that means that on the one hand he comes out with things best not said, he doesn’t find it easy to edit himself. But on the other, he will say things that need saying that nobody else will say. Gemini and its relation with the truth, an interesting area. Truth as well as lies, people often only see one half of this. Since becoming PM, and with his very weighty Solar Return for this year (Moon-Saturn-Pluto conjunction in 10th House Capricorn) he has become more considered and responsible in what he says,


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So 2006 was a time when Johnson’s underlying beliefs were becoming more formed, and giving him more genuine strength and gravitas: this is reflected in the sign of transiting Pluto (Sagittarius) and the natal House of Mercury and the Sun (the 9th).

The book analyses what it was that made the Roman Empire work, and compares it to the EU, which he neither damns nor extols. He concludes with a defence of Islam (another Pluto in Sag theme), which he says is no more dark and irrational - our historic fear - than Christianity was when it presided over Europe. With a great-grandfather who was a Muslim Turk, he makes the case for Turkey being allowed into the EU.

I recently read this author's book on the character of Churchill, another politician-writer. Johnson, a journalist, is always very readable. Whether or not you agree with Johnson's politics - and as with any politician, we will agree with some things and not others - there is no denying that he is a complex, thoughtful guy who we will gradually get to know. It can be quite exasperating when people try to reduce Johnson to one or the other of his past follies, which he seems to have largely put behind him since becoming PM.

When the referendum was called in early 2016, Pluto was just finishing opposing Johnson’s MC. A weighty time for him, in which he had to consider his vocation (MC). Remember how it took him some time to decide which side he was on. So many people said it was because he was weighing up what would advantage him personally. There is some truth in that, I am sure: as Johnson says in his book on Churchill, every politician is a mixture of idealism and being self-serving, and that is where the point of interest in them lies.

But what no-one seemed to consider is that maybe Johnson delayed because he was genuinely thinking about it. You sense a strong Europhilia in Johnson in his book, but not so much love for the EU. Like a good Gemini, he sees both sides, he is not rabid in any of his views in my opinion. And as I said earlier, you may not agree with his conclusions, but there is no denying his thoughtfulness, and the knowledge he brings to it, which most of us could not match. Compare this to the ignoramus Trump, or even to Tony Blair, having to acquaint himself with the Koran in the run-up to the Iraq War. We have an educated leader, as we ought.

Saturday, January 18, 2020


Astrologers think via synchronicities, between events and star stories, and between events occurring at the same time. At a moment like the present, when the UK is about to leave the EU - which, now that it is definite, seems to have dropped from the status of all-consuming to a non-event in the news - it is worth paying attention. 
We are leaving on 31st Jan, and Charles I was executed on 30 Jan. The symbolism is, I think, obvious. We haven't yet decided whether to have Big Ben ringing on the night: that is a symbol of our ambivalence - do we celebrate or do we mourn? 

And Prince Harry is breaking free of the Royal Family. This is at a cost to his income and status, but he will be claiming his own life - as Neptune begins to oppose his Virgo Sun. It is coming from his soul, and he wishes to remain of service, but in his own way. And as Pluto and Saturn finally finish squaring his Venus: cherchez la femme.

Symbolically, Harry sums up the 2 sides in the Brexit argument. One side is saying we will no longer be a big-hitter geopolitically and that it will cost us economically. And the other is saying yes, but what about our sovereignty? Choose your side. The Royal Family is settling this without acrimony, and maybe the acrimony is therefore pretty much over about Brexit. It feels like that to me, and it feels like the country is a lot more at peace with itself than it has been for decades, even though we have an outcome that many people really do not want.

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I think we need to consider Prince Andrew too. He has been eased out of the Royal Family, though he is said to be the Queen's favourite. Classic Pisces: hopeless and loveable (apparently). I'm not entirely sure how to read this one in the UK Zeitgeist. But it all blew up during the election campaign, when we had been politically a basket-case all year, so it was a timely reflection of where we were and what we needed to escape from. And we did!
The decision to leave the EU on 31st January effectively became legal on 19th December, after the 2nd reading of the Brexit Bill. The 3rd reading was passed on 9th January, but with no new clauses or amendments. The 2nd reading passed just 6 days after Saturn's 3rd and final opposition to the UK Moon. This was almost astrology by clockwork: we have been through years of Pluto and then Saturn making hard aspects to the UK Sun, Moon, Angles and Node, and at the very last transit - and Saturn requires concrete action - the decisions for the future are taken.
I have had to hang on to my horses astrologically with this one. I predicted from the word go that we would leave - what else could describe the astrology? And then I allowed myself to be backtracked for a bit by the swamp and by other astrologers saying we wouldn't leave, and then last August I said enough is enough, I trust the astrology and we are leaving. So trust the simple astrology.

Friday, January 17, 2020


When we stop judging ourselves, the shadow can reveal itself, and we become more whole and more at ease. And then we stop judging others, and people start to feel instinctively that they can trust us and be open with us. And then when you can stop judging politicians, particularly the ones you don't vote for.... now that seems to be the biggest ask of all, for 'spiritual' people at least as much as for anyone else. But when we can stop judging politicians, then we can start to understand how the world works, and let go of unrealistic expectations. And have half a chance of doing some decent mundane astrology. Like being able to predict election results.


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Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Bad Professor

In 2014 Richard Dawkins, Oxford Professor and well-known evangelical atheist, described fairy tales as pernicious, and said that children should instead be taught scientific rigour. In response I wrote this short story:


There was once a bad professor who didn’t believe fairies existed. And if they did exist, well they oughtn’t. And all the children in the land were afraid, because when the Moon was growing bigger in the sky and the stars were out and if they were unlucky, there would be a knock on their bedroom window while their parents were asleep, and there would be the face of the professor with his helpful smile.

In he would come without so much as a by-your-leave, and he would rifle through their books – again without so much as a by-your-leave - and he’d take out all the fairies, as well as anyone else he didn’t believe in. And into his jam-jar they went, and they got stored, so it was said, in the shed at the bottom of his garden.

And the jam jar got so full, and the buzzing of angry fairies became so intense, that one day they burst out. And they headed straight up the garden, with Santa, a bit out of breath, bringing up the rear. The fairies made a beeline for the bad professor’s study where they found him vivisecting an elf, a pool of elvin tears glistening at his feet.

Now no-one knows exactly what happened next. But the screams were unearthly and terrible, and they reverberated throughout the land, and all the children instantly knew that their books and the fairies who lived in them were once again safe, for the bad professor was no more.

Fairies are not always nice.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

The Lunar Eclipse and Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn

Under a lunar eclipse, the Moon is no longer illuminated by the Sun. She now has her true power, one that is not merely a reflection of the Sun. It needs to be sensed more than seen. The power of the feminine, which is not an obvious thing in our obvious world.

And a short point on Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn (Exact last Sunday). We are moving into a time when the power of conformity, of groupthink, is likely to get stronger. It is not an authority 'doing' it to us. It is generated by the collective, in which we all participate. There is also, as in the Protestant Revolution which began under the last conjunction in Capricorn1518, an opportunity to rebel successfully. So take it while you can. But not by aligning yourself with a cause, even XR, for that creates its own groupthink. It is an individual thing. It begins with the ability to appreciate both sides of everything. If you are going to stand for anything, stand for that. The astrological symbols always show us both sides.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Donald Trump: The Bull and the Virgin

I was watching Donald Trump defend the assassination of Soleimani, the Iranian General, and it seemed to me, as it often has, that Trump didn’t care whether what he said was true or not. You know that feeling of solidity, of integrity, you get when you are careful to speak truthfully – and I don’t just mean factual truth. I mean emotional truth also, I mean being true to who you are in all its nuances. It is such an essential quality on a human level for all sorts of reasons, self-discovery and good relations with others being 2 of them. It seems to me that Trump is missing that quality, that inner ethical sense; it is, I suppose, beyond who he is.

I think that for Trump, there are certain beliefs about America, emanating from his character as a warrior-businessman, that he has always remained true to. Like the unfairness of the US trade imbalance with China. And he has done something about it. Iran is another case in point. He has remained true to his belief that the nuclear deal with Iran was rubbish, and through the assassination of Soleimani, he has started to prepare the ground for new talks. One doesn't need to agree with his belief to see that he has, nevertheless, remained true to it over a period of years.

At the same time, he doesn’t care an awful lot about his means to those ends. In particular he doesn’t care about having truthful relations with other people. That is why he is being impeached at the moment. He leant on a foreign leader to try and undermine a political opponent at home, completely illegally. Thuggish business tactics. Alongside that, however, he has beliefs he cares about so strongly that he is prepared to become President to fight for them. 

Trump is a Gemini, and their relationship with the truth is an interesting area. In my next piece I want to look at this in the cases of different political leaders: Trump, Johnson, Corbyn and Blair. But for now, I am just looking at some broader outlines around Trump.


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When he was younger, it was mainly about himself and his own Empire, though even then he would voice his beliefs about America. Other countries relying too much on American money for their defence was one of them, and I think he was right.

And even now, there is a large element of self-interest and vanity in what he is doing, to an extent that is comical. But people voted for him, and will probably vote him in again, because they sense that he has genuine convictions, with a lot of practical experience as a businessman behind them.

It is Trump’s underlying beliefs that people often miss when they comment on him, because he is in many ways such an unsavoury character, and because they are opposed to him politically. And most people will continue to be unthinking in this matter whatever I say, and will probably think I must be a Trump supporter. But I am getting used to it: because by and large we seem to want to remain unconscious, and to see whatever suits our prejudices.

So in moving from businessman to President, Trump has made the move from Capricorn as worldly achiever to, in principle at least, Capricorn as responsible leader in the community. He is not a Capricorn, but this sign describes well his archetypal evolution. His career point (MC) is in Taurus (money), ruled by Venus, which in his case is conjunct Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, and both sextile the MC. So there is the drive for wealth (Taurus/Venus) as achievement (Saturn). These 3 planets/points have proved very sensitive to transits, they describe his career well.

Liz Greene makes an interesting point about Taurus in her book ‘The Astrology of Fate’, where she suggests mythologies for each of the signs. And for Taurus she talks about King Minos and the Minotaur, a monster created by the king’s greed, and the need for Taurus to tame the bull within, instead of being ruled by its instincts. 

And I think we can see this conflict in the very public Taurean MC of Trump. He is clumsy and ungainly, he is like an animal that doesn’t know how to be human. There is little interiority in him, hence his disregard of the need for truth in human relations. And there is this tremendous drive such as most of us do not have, and it is now directed at something bigger than just himself, which Liz Greene suggests is the Taurean lesson.

Now here is an interesting one: in August 2016, as he was campaigning to be President, his Progressed Sun moved out of Leo and into Virgo. So life was taking this Gemini away from his self-building and, in his case, self-aggrandisement (natal Asc Leo, Prog Sun in Leo) into a place of service, a place where who he is and his self-importance are not the priority. Virgo is the Virgin, she is pure, self-interest has no place in her sign. And then last June, his Progressed Moon moved into Virgo also. This guy is getting a lesson in humility, though it may not be that obvious.

And then in Feb 2021, just after his second inauguration (I think his Neptune transits will carry him through the election), his Prog Asc moves into Scorpio. This may not be easy for him. He will be taken to the Underworld for the remaining years of his life. It could be another lesson in humility, particularly as he inevitably becomes a lame-duck President in the last part of his second term. And as Neptune finishes with his Sun and Moon, leaving him high and dry, without the political power he had become familiarised to.