Turkey – exploiting a vacuum to cause trouble

turk  pres  rerd


Turkey is increasingly a cause for concern with the authoritarian President Recep Erdogan seeking even more draconian powers in an April 16th vote on constitutional reform, batting off insults at EU countries, cosying up to Saudi Arabia and Russia and now in a war of words with Greece.

Greece refused to extradite Turkish military officers involved in a recent coup against Erdogan; and now Turkey is brewing up a historic argument about where the border between the two countries lies. The fear is of an accidental flare-up that blows out of control with almost daily dogfights between armed jets and naval incursions of Greek waters by Turkish research vessels. If Turkish nationalism, being fanned at the moment, spilled over into an attempted invasion on Greek soil, it’s difficult to know with the mayhem in Washington and NATO being constrained quite what the global response would be.

The Turkey chart is certainly moving into a highly-strung, fanatical eighteen months with tr Neptune conjunct its prominent Uranus in Pisces, which is tied into a Water Grand Trine. Interfacing with reality may not be that easy; plus the February eclipse was conjunct Uranus which will produce a lightning bolt effect. Tr Uranus opposes the 4th house Mercury Saturn in Libra through April, across the vote, so it’ll be a time of high tension and excitability. What’s ominous is a Solar Arc Mars opposition the Turkey Pluto (again on one leg of the Grand Trine), exact with a couple of months – that could be completely blocked but can also point to ruthlessness and rage as a response. Into 2018 tr Neptune squares the MC (start time being accurate) which is lack-lustre and not pro-active.

Relations between Turkey and both the Greece 25 March 1821 and Greece 24 July 1974 charts look dire over the next two to three years. Tr Pluto is conjunct the composite Sun, Saturn Venus on one at 18/19 Capricorn; with a peak of tensions  from this May onwards. On the other relationship chart there’s aggravation this year and next with tr Pluto trine the Sun and Mars; and possibly worse in 2018/19 with tr Pluto conjunct the composite Jupiter which usually ends up in a macho stand-off.

Erdogan’s 2014 Presidency chart was always odd with a Virgo Sun opposition Neptune and trine Pluto – on one reading, it looks weak, but on another it’s megalomaniac. And there’s certainly a brutal Mars Saturn conjunction in Scorpio which is getting the tr Pluto sextile in 2017/18, so military involvements were always going to loom large. The February Pisces Eclipse impacted on the Sun and Neptune, so it’ll be interesting to see which way the April 16th vote goes. His personal chart also caught the Eclipse with his Pisces Sun within a degree – and that is usually a good going crisis. He looks on edge at the moment, less than confident and thoroughly boxed in by Sept/Oct; with an over-pushy 2018/19 landing him up with dented enthusiasm and possibly financial problems; at the least the balloon of his idealistic flights of fancy bursting.

Brexit – the game is on



The letter formally informing the EU of the UK’s intention to leave was delivered in Brussels today at 1.25pm. It puts charmingly upfront Venus in Aries exactly on the MC conjunct a 10th house Aries Sun, so definitely pro-active. There’s also a divisive/rebellious Uranus Moon Mercury in the 10th trine Saturn – which could be positive since it points to organizational creativity and the ability to manage resources, as well as  to promote new systems which are not unduly disruptive.

On the downside there’s a gridlocked and bitter Mars in Taurus trine Pluto suggesting it will be an uphill struggle with hostility spilling out at times. And the Uranus Moon Mercury opposing Jupiter square Pluto hinting at a conflict between differing philosophical viewpoints, and a fight for control and the last word. With Saturn square the Sun which moves to exact by transit from March 2018, which is somewhat early for the separation – unless it’s a withdrawal into no deal.  Indeed tr Saturn will square Venus MC earlier than that in January 2018 – setbacks and chilly relations.

The Sun itself is anyway square an unyielding Saturn/Pluto midpoint and opposition an argumentative Mars/Node. And Pluto is square the Sun/Moon midpoint which is a fair description of a difficult, long-drawn out and aggravated divorce. And the MC (time being spot on) is square the head-in-the-clouds Jupiter/Neptune, which suggests harm through impracticality or thoughtlessness.

[See posts: March 20 and 24th.]

Borgias – raising nepotism to a fine art

mach  popecesare lucr


How to keep a sense of perspective with rising fears of global and domestic turmoil everywhere, power-hungry demagogue leaders, rampant corruption and nepotism? Go read Sarah Dunant’s excellent (as ever) novel In the Name of the Family about the Borgias and Machiavelli.

Set in the febrile and brutal times of Renaissance Italy of the 15th century, it focuses on the family of Pope Alexander, a byword for corruption in the Vatican, whose illegitimate son by his mistress, Cesare Borgia, a Cardinal turned soldier rampaged across the country, attacking and seizing independent City States. Alexander’s illegitimate daughter Lucrezia Borgia stamped her own infamous mark on history though there’s some doubt about how much of the wild tales of incest and murder swirling around her was urban legend and how much fact. She made several dynastic marriages which favoured her family’s status

Niccolo Machiavelli also appears, a Florentine diplomat and historian, who despite his reputation for political deviousness became renowned as an astute philosopher who inspired Enlightenment democratic thinking. He served as an envoy at one point in Cesare Borgia’s circle.

[NB. Some dates which follow are questionable. See astro.com.]


Machiavelli, 2 May 1469 JC 11.07 pm Florence, Italy, has a chart that makes sense, with a slippery Neptune on his Scorpio MC in a paranoid opposition to Saturn (trust no one!); and an intellectual Air Grand Trine of an Aquarius Moon North Node trine Mercury in Gemini trine Uranus in Libra. His 8th house influential-behind-the-scenes Pluto was in a tough-minded, resourceful-in-crisis opposition to his Mars squaring on to his Mercury. So his words carried weight. And no doubt an amiable Jupiter in the 7th in a sugar-coated square to Venus would help in his diplomatic role.

Pope Alexander, 31 Dec 1430 JC 7.24am Jativa, Spain (might have been Jan 1 1431) had an ambitious and cold Sun Saturn in Capricorn on the point of a T square to Mars in Libra opposition Uranus – so cut out for executive power, not good at sharing the driving seat, explosive and a risk-taker. He also had an entrepreneurial Fire Grand Trine of Uranus trine Neptune in Leo trine Venus in Sagittarius, so overflowing with confidence and keen on expansion.

Cesare Borgia, 13 Sept 1475 5am Rome (??) looks about right with a bullish Sun Pluto in Virgo trine Jupiter in Aquarius; Jupiter in turn opposed a military/cruel Mars Saturn in Leo; with Saturn in an autocratic square to Uranus. He was killed aged 33, after his father’s death when he was no longer as protected; and probably had syphilis.

Lucrezia Borgia, 19 April 1479 JC 12.30pm Subiaco, Italy, has been cast as a femme fatale and certainly knew how to throw a party, or endless streams of them. Whether the stories of incest with her brother and her propensity to poison enemies is true is debatable. She had a charming and indulgent Taurus Sun Venus; but with a determined Mars in Taurus as well in a ruthless/gutsy trine to Pluto. Plus an inspired though highly strung Uranus Neptune in Sagittarius in an expansive opposition to Jupiter. She contracted three marriages, had affairs, and possibly eight children, before dying aged 39.

Devin Nunes – lacking in intelligence



There’s mayhem in Washington, yet another sinkhole opening up, over the Trump-Russia probe with the Democrat leadership demanding that Republican chairman Devin Nunes recuse himself from the Congress Intelligence Committee who are investigating. First of all he disappears at midnight for a secret briefing at the White House, then gives a press conference next day without contacting his staff or other members, and makes a statement which Trump takes to be an exoneration. Now it has emerged that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates has been blocked from giving evidence by the Trump admin. She was fired in January after ordering Justice Department lawyers not to defend the initial travel ban.

Nunes, 1 October 1973 Tulare, CA, has a hard chart, which a bleak Sun Pluto in Libra square Saturn in Cancer; but his Jupiter in Aquarius is also trine his Sun Pluto and square his Mars in Taurus. So he’s a complicated mix of very battened-down and a considerable risk-taker. And his Saturn is on the focal point of a Yod to Neptune sextile Jupiter, which is a configuration that demands maturity and self-discipline if it is not to self-destruct.

He’s only a bit-player in an increasingly confused and mishandled scenario that is threatening to blow up into a good going scandal. The Washington Post and other serious media are doing a good job of getting the facts out there.

Donald & Xi – Chinese fireworks at Mar a Lago

xi dt comp  us chin comp


Donald Trump will hold a two day summit with Chinese premier Xi Jinping on April 6/7 at Mar-a-Lago his summer palace, just as Mars in Taurus is exactly in a challenging, disagreeable trine to Pluto and tr Uranus makes a bad-tempered, uncompromising and unpredictable square to the composite Mars on their relationship chart.

Trump has already upset the Chinese with his overtures to Taiwan, where it was reported in November he had hoped to build hotels, and for his criticism of their currency manipulation and his protectionist trade policies which would dent Chinese exports.

Their relationship chart has a composite power-playing Jupiter Pluto conjunction; as well as a frosty Sun Venus square Saturn, and a suspicious, evasive trine to Neptune. So it doesn’t start from a great place. Tr Uranus will repeat the explosive square to Mars in Dec/Jan 2018 so there will be arguments. Tr Saturn is also in Dec/Jan opposition the composite Mercury and then Uranus. And throughout 2017/18 tr Neptune is square first Venus and then the composite Sun, which will undermine trust further.

Relocating Trump’s chart to Beijing puts his fiery, grandstanding Mars in Leo in his 7th so he’s likely to be even more pumped up and reckless in what he says (and does).[See Post Dec 3 2016]

Xi Jinping has been steadily consolidating a formidable degree of central control domestically – what onlookers describe as a kind of Leninist capitalism. He’s been cutting out corruption but also targeting liberals and political opponents, and building up military power. The three major military bases in the South China Sea will allow Chinese military aircraft to operate over nearly the entire South China Sea.

There are concerns about the state of the Chinese economy with soaring corporate and household debts (270% of GDP). Goldman Sachs estimates the chance of a financial crisis in China this year at 25%, and in 2018 at 50%. That needn’t mean a more inward looking country, perhaps the opposite with some analysts fearing a Chinese version of Putinism, with repression at home and aggression abroad. There’s a whole array of possible flashpoints with the West – North Korea, Taiwan and the South China Seas – so concern is rising.

The China chart does show continuing financial worries till late 2018 and beyond with tr Neptune opposition the 8th house Saturn; and thereafter tr Saturn square the 8th house Sun, Neptune into 2019. There’s also tr Pluto conjunct the Jupiter in Capricorn in 2019/2020 which could see an upsurge of over-confidence which may lead to unwise actions just to prove a point.

Relations between China and the USA are certainly at their lowest ebb for some time with tr Pluto opposition the composite Mats in 2017/18, so high aggravation factor; with tr Neptune opposition the composite Venus undermining friendship.

Google’s You Tube – censoring and blocking funding of terrorists and hate groups

youtube  gooog  goog alph


Google is facing a thorny problem after a mass walkout of many of its biggest advertisers after the UK Times ran an investigation showing their ads appeared beside videos supporting terrorist and other hate-spewing groups, who benefit financially. Until now Google have been fairly cavalier about how they run their massive platform, watched by 1 billion people daily, on which 300 to 400 videos per minute are loaded direct to air. They’ve tended to wait until public complaints came in but now they’re being forced to work out a system for checking content in advance. Quite how isn’t clear, since it would take more than 50,000 full-time staff on an eight-hour day to manually moderate it; and algorithmic checking systems never work perfectly.

The You Tube chart for first video uploaded, 23 April 2005 8.27pm UTC, San Mateo, CA, did have the February Pisces eclipse conjunct its Uranus, for a resounding wake-up call. This year also sees tr Saturn in a blocked conjunction to the Pluto; and an upset-public tr Uranus opposition Moon. 2018 has a downbeat, discouraging-setbacks Solar Arc Saturn square Sun; and a tough-slog tr Pluto opposition Saturn running in 2018/19; 2019 also has disruptions from tr Uranus conjunct the Sun, moving onto 2020 for an even greater upheaval in 2020 from Solar Arc Uranus square Pluto and an explosive Solar Arc Mars conjunct Uranus.

The original Google chart, 4 Sept 1998, is limping and sagging this year with tr Neptune opposition the Virgo Sun; financially hit by tr Saturn square Jupiter; with a high-tension 2018 and a cataclysmic 2019 to look forward to.

Google Alphabet, which is the parent company now, 10 Aug 2015 5pm New York, is following much the same winding path ahead, with reputation-denting tr Pluto square the MC in 2018/19 as well as in an unstable square to Uranus; with tr Saturn opposition the Moon for a loss of popularity; and racking up the insecurity with tr Uranus square the Mars as well in 2018 into 2019.

Financial commentators say that even this large a walkout is unlikely to affect Google to a catastrophic degree but they certainly look to be heading into an exceptionally bumpy few years ahead. Being seen to facilitate the funding of terrorists will begin to have a public blowback at some point.

Republicans – in power and paralysed

1854  1856  dt 1854dt 1856


The US Republican Party have a real problem on their hands. Their rallying cry in recent times has been to dismantle an over-expensive and as they see it intrusive government machine. But the policies they so dislike, health care amongst them, are popular with voters reliant on them, who would not be sanguine about losing their support systems just to fund tax cuts favouring the rich.

Now the GOP has been landed with, (perhaps the only reason they won), a president handing them a narrative about improving the lives of the forgotten poor – and stamping on minorities/immigrants. He’s as keen on tax cuts as the Republicans, but the money has to come from somewhere.

So the Republicans have met with a serious reality check when their right-wing ran into collision with voter-friendly moderates. And Trump’s famed deal-making skills met with another hard stop. Where do they go from here?

There are two possible start dates for the GOP: 28 Feb 1854 9pm Ripon, Wisconsin and 22 Feb 1856 5pm Pittsburgh, PA.

Both are very Piscean charts – the 1854 has tr Neptune on its Return; with a power-struggling tr Pluto conjunct Jupiter exactly now and on and off till late 2018. Into 2018 tr Uranus will conjunct Pluto for a major turnaround and upheaval; with sparks flying as insecurity strikes in 2020 with tr Uranus trine Mars.

The 1856 chart has a disappointing tr Neptune conjunct Jupiter exactly now and on till late 2017; with a disruptive tr Pluto trine Uranus as well this year; an emotionally upsetting tr Uranus square Venus from May onwards for a year; and a hugely frustrating tr Pluto opposition Mars in 2018/19. With more upsets from tr Uranus conjunct Pluto in 2018/19.

Donald Trump’s relationship chart with both are fairly aggravated at best.

With the 1854 chart: There’s a lashed-together and resenting-it composite Saturn Pluto in a deeply suspicious opposition to Neptune, which is being further clouded this year by tr Saturn; and an argumentative composite Sun trine Mars which will get jolting tr Uranus aspects in 2018 into 2019 upsetting the applecart. Plus this year, intense-debates with tr Pluto trine the composite Mercury Venus.

With the 1856 chart: There’s a truly horrible composite Pluto opposition Neptune (Jupiter) square Mars – so deep dislike, evasion and lack of mutual support (and then some). Tr Saturn is again dampening good feelings and raising paranoia through 2017 as it conjuncts Neptune and squares Mars; with again a throw-it-all-in-the-air tr Uranus conjunct first the composite Venus from this May onwards and then – even more separating – conjunct the composite Sun in 2018 into early 2019. With even worse hostility in 2020 with tr Pluto trine the composite Mars.

It’s truly difficult to see Trump surviving even one term and if anyone is going to stab him in the back (metaphorically speaking) it’ll be the GOP.

Indian nationalism – following a global pattern

ya  ya term


‘The fringe moves further into the mainstream’ is a comment about the present political situation in India, but could equally be applied to a variety of countries – so must be something in the zeitgeist.

Narendra Modi, the Indian PM, has appointed firebrand Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, a fifth of whose 200 million people are Muslim. He is a strident Hindu supremacist/nationalist and rabble-rouser. Critics fear a crackdown on Muslim businesses and mixed-religion couples in the region, as well as a return to the violence against Muslims which sent Adityanath to prison ten years ago.

A think-tanker remarked: ‘“It answers one of the questions that we had about Modi all along,” he says. “Is this guy’s project about development or Hindu nationalism? What this pick reaffirms is that it’s not an either/or question. He has two faces: one is Modi the great economic moderniser, and the other is one of muscular nationalism – and Adit is its starkest manifestation.” [See: Post 19 March 2017]

Yogi Adityanath, 5 June 1972, is a Sun Saturn Mercury in Gemini trine Uranus in Libra; with a volatile Mars in Cancer square Uranus; and a Pisces Moon. Air sign charts can be surprisingly nationalistic, with a trenchant ideology. He doesn’t look overly successful with tr Neptune squaring his Sun Mercury till late 2018.

His term chart, 19 March 2017 2.18pm Lucknow, India has an aggressive and unyielding Mars in Taurus conjunct the MC which is square the Sun/Moon midpoint, so certainly argumentative and fiery. The Sun squares Saturn, so progress will be slow, strewn with difficulties. There is the signature of the moment Jupiter opposition Uranus square Pluto which has undertones of religious and philosophical conflict.  Pluto is in a fanatical square to Sun/Mars. And the Node is opposition Mars/Saturn and square Jupiter/Pluto which brings together the two sides of Modi’s government – suppression and expansion.

History seems to be going backwards at the moment into movements and mindsets we thought we’d left behind.

Another comment that is worth pondering for its wider global application: “This vision of Indian history is one of victimhood. That Hindus were first persecuted by the Muslims, then the British, and they can only recover when they repudiate all that is Muslim and British in their past.”

That could equally apply to Scottish nationalism, France’s Le Pen, even to Brexiters; and to Trump’s insistent harping on broken America which he is going to fix. It was what brought Hitler to power – a crushed Germany after World War 1 and the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles engendered a fierce nationalism that rose out of the ashes of shame. The example of Germany apart, for all the rest the downtrodden-martyr tale is largely a political fig leaf.

It must be partly Pluto in Capricorn, though with overtones of Saturn Pluto, which latter is suppressive of diversity, religious and other – and we haven’t even got there yet. Plus perhaps a dash of the mad zealotry of Neptune in Pisces added to the mix.

Paul Ryan – a rock and a hard place, on two fronts

pr dt syn   dt pr comp

Paul Ryan is getting the blame for the failure of the Repeal and Replace Obamacare legislation to make headway in Congress as the two sides of the Republican Party refused to budge. One side said not enough, the other, mindful of their constituents, said too much. It almost certainly wouldn’t have got through the Senate even if it had passed; and it will make tax reforms and cuts more difficult since the money that was going to be freed up now isn’t there.

His relationship with Trump always did look to be hitting the skids with tr Neptune square the composite Saturn Mars conjunction from early April through till 2019. It was never a match made in heaven with Ryan’s Aquarius Sun opposition DT’s Pluto, Ryan’s Pluto square DT’s Sun; and Ryan’s Mars opposition Uranus hitting on DT’s Neptune. But no one else wants Ryan’s Speaker job so both are probably stuck with each other for the time being.

Trump meets the realpolitik of a system that all too easily gridlocks. And the Republicans wrestle with a not-very GOP president who campaigned on behalf of the forgotten poor – not that he probably meant it, just a useful vote catcher, but he does hate to be unpopular.