Princess Margaret – a pantomime princess in a wasted life



Radiantly beautiful, egregiously bad-mannered with an alpine sense of entitlement, Princess Margaret could not have been more different from her sister, the dutiful Queen Elizabeth. She was drawn to high-camp, bohemians from the art, music and literary world, many of whom were avid diary-keepers. They tolerated her grandiosity and bitched about her behind her back. Craig Brown has brought together their reminiscences in ‘Ma’am Darling’. He remarks ‘her rudeness knew no bounds. It was almost as though, early in life, she had contracted a peculiarly royal strain of Tourette syndrome, causing the sufferer to be seized by the unstoppable urge to say the first thing that came into her head, just so long as it was sufficiently unpleasant.’ Cecil Beaton referred to her as “a little pocket monster”. Sir Roy Strong called her “a tiresome, spoilt, idle and irritating, capricious, arrogant and thoughtless woman”. She gave up Group Captain Townsend, Brown concludes, because in marrying a divorced man she would have lost her trappings of wealth and title. And when push came to shove, she valued them more than the love of the group captain. Her marriage to Anthony Armstrong-Jones was a disaster though it produced two admirable children; she had a string of affairs and flings. Heavy smoking and alcohol consumption finally took its toll and she died aged 72 after a sad, wasted life.

Born 21 August 1930 9.22pm Glamis, Scotland, she had a 6th house Sun conjunct Neptune, which would point to delicate health though it could have made her hard-working which it clearly didn’t. Her sharply-outspoken 3rd house Mars was square Mercury in Virgo as well as sextile her Sun, and that also suggests an element of competitiveness with siblings. She had a rebellious 1st house Uranus just below her Aries Ascendant which opposed Venus in her 7th in Libra squaring on to Jupiter in the 4th opposition Saturn in her 10th – so a restless Cardinal Grand Cross, accompanying a life of revolving crises, and a constantly disrupted emotional life. A Venus Saturn square often goes with promiscuity or sex addiction as it is now called, never mind the Uranus. Jupiter Venus is frivolous, indulgent and extravagant. Saturn Uranus is autocratic.

What also stands out is her 5th house performing and attention-demanding Pluto Moon in Cancer, which would prompt her to insist on centre-stage and clearly lent her an air of contemptuous superiority.

What is odd about her chart is that she could have walked a completely different path. Venus in the 7th is diplomatic and charming; a 6th house Sun can be conscientious especially with a dutiful 10th house Saturn; Neptune in the 6th can work in the caring professions. Pluto in the 5th can be creative. Yet she threw away her potential on an endless round of parties.

Two thoughts might be: the Saturn opposition Jupiter which would make her fearful of failure, so she never tried. For some it makes them push themselves harder, but for others they never attempt anything at all. The other is her 3rd house sibling-rivalry Mars – her life was a reaction against her sister’s executive role and steady temperament. Rather than finding herself, she was driven to be the opposite.

It was often said the tragedy of Princess Margaret’s life was she always had to walk behind the Queen. Hardly a life of penury even if she did on occasion. Otherwise she had it all handed to her on a gilded plate. She had talent, drive, money and opportunity and could have become anything she wanted.

Theresa May – a Libra tack sliding into failure



The Boris intervention fizzled out as Theresa May headed for Florence with her eagerly awaited Florence lay-it-on-the-line Brexit proclamation. More emollient than expected, she argued that Brexit was in everyone’s advantage, allowing the EU closer integration, and the Brits freedom to pick and choose what of the EU they wanted, as well as extending the exit phase. Whether it’ll fly is a different matter, either in the Cabinet, with murmurs of splits re-emerging within a day, or in Brussels.

She’ll soldier on through the autumn but it’s February 2018 onwards when horrors start to pile up with dashed hopes as tr Neptune returns to conjunct her Mars, followed in March by the disaster-strewn tr Pluto conjunct her Mars/Saturn midpoint. Mid 2018 tr Neptune gets to the square to her Mars/Jupiter midpoint as a precursor to tr Neptune opposition her Jupiter in 2019 – all of which brings hopelessness and plans without a hope of being realized. In addition, if that wasn’t enough by 2019/2020 tr Pluto is conjunct her Mars/Node midpoint which is trapped, frustrated, requiring super-human perseverance.

2019 is when tr Neptune seriously erodes the foundations of her Government chart, 9 June 2017 12.35pm, as it squares both Sun and Moon.

Her relationship chart with the Tory Party will be heavily conflicted from early 2018 onwards, could split by April. If not next year certainly by 2020 – but it’s a messy, aggravated route through till then. The UK will definitely fall out of love with her in 2019.

The UK 1801 chart is bracing for all four outer planets to impact over coming years. Tr Pluto is already opposing the 10th house Moon with intensely emotional reactions about the direction and calibre of the rulership. That runs till late 2018. Tr Saturn will square the UK Uranus, the UK Ascendant, then conjunct Saturn and finally square the 7th house North Node from this New Year till late 2019 – pulling the UK away in jolting steps from alliances. By 2019 tr Uranus and Solar Arc Uranus will be moving into the UK 8th house of business and international finances for a rock n’ roll ride of ups and downs, culminating in a phase of high insecurity in 2021 with tr Uranus conjunct the 8th house Mars.

On the upside tr Uranus will square the UK 10th house Jupiter from June 2018 for relief from tension and lucky breaks, repeating Sept/Oct 2018 and April 2019. And tr Jupiter, the mildest of the outer planets, will attempt to induce cheer and bring luck, moving through the 2nd house of cash in 2018, and by 2020 moving through the UK 4th, for a few months of relative domestic contentment. By 2021 the Saturn Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius will move into the UK 5th for a resurgence of investment and speculation perhaps, certainly a more socially outgoing mood amongst the masses.

No one pretended divorces were easy and up against the bloated EU technocrats who obdurately refuse to listen to wiser EU business heads in pursuit of their tunnel-visioned ideology it’s going to damage both sides in the short term.

Jeremy Corbyn – Gemini’s two-faced approach



Jeremy Corbyn, UK Opposition leader, at the annual Labour Conference, is tap dancing on the fence over Brexit suggesting he’s behind a longer than two-year transition period but questioning whether staying indefinitely in the single market would restrict workers’ rights. Pleasing his Glastonbury middle-class Remainers but not overly upsetting the Brexiteers.

He’s tightening his grip on the Labour Party but is stuck as May is with a schism, in his case between the old moderate Blairites and the Momentum hard-lefters.

Despite all the talk of a future Labour Government he’s not as confident as he appears with a few setbacks coming up in November, a discouraging push against resistance, muddles in December and dashed hopes early in 2018. He’s in for more jolts and jangles in 2018 with some lucky breaks along the way; but from mid 2018 until late 2019 he looks undermined (as does Deputy John McConnell); with Corbyn hitting a major blockage by 2021 as his Solar Arc Sun is conjunct his Pluto.

His leadership chart, 24 Sept 2016 12.51pm Liverpool, looks downbeat in 2018 with tr Saturn square the MC, Sun and Jupiter on and off all year; with major upheavals and instability in 2019/2020.

Both Labour Party charts, 1900 and 1906, look confident and unsettled in equal measure through 2017/18/19. Though the 1900 chart looks successful and positive in 2020/21 and the 1906 chart on a high in 2022/23. So it’s possible, if the next election holds off till 2022, that Labour is doing well without Corbyn.

Margaret Atwood – telling it like it is


An unpalatable truth turned into dystopian fiction won Canadian writer Margaret Atwood multiple awards in 1985 for The Handmaid’s Tale, and it swept the Emmy boards this year for the televised version. Set in the near future, it focuses on the subjugation of women, turned into breeding cows,  in a New England Christian fundamentalist community and their struggle for independence. She says every example she used in her fantasy has happened somewhere in the world.

She’s amazingly prolific, having written novels, children’s books, poetry collections, ebooks, non-fiction, invented a remote signing device and is an environmental activist. A Canadian treasure.

Born 18 November 1939 5pm Ottawa, she grew up home schooled initially, travelling the Quebec backwoods because of her father’s entomology research and was a voracious reader of fairy tales, animals books and mysteries.

She has a hard-working and intense 6th house Scorpio Sun in a rebellious opposition to Uranus squaring onto an ambitious and competitive 10th house Mars Moon in Aquarius – so she’s not only ultra-determined, stubborn to the nth degree, but also intent on making her voice heard and a name for herself. An accentuated Moon on the point of a T Square, especially in the 10th, does point to a public career and the need for an audience for whom she cares and from whom she receives appreciation.

Her Mercury in outspoken Sagittarius is conjunct charming though always colourful Venus, which will soften her interactions with the public. Though her 3rd house Pluto will make her dig deep for answers and she’ll come across forcefully.

She also has a Yod of Sun sextile Neptune inconjunct self-reliant Saturn in Aries, which would set her apart from the general crowd and requires real maturity to get the best out of it, but she’s clearly managed.

It’s not the easiest chart for close relationships, especially with her North Node in Libra, but she has been partnered for over 40 years with novelist and non-fiction writer Graeme Gibson, 9 August 1934, who has been an energetic promoter of Canadian writers. He has Sun Moon in Leo which falls in her 4th house, so positive for a family bond. Though his Sun squares her Sun and Uranus, and his Saturn is in her 10th conjunct her Moon Mars, with his Uranus conjunct her Saturn, so it would be a working partnership with a few scratchy edges.

Their relationship chart has an affectionate composite Sun Venus square Jupiter, which would smooth over a good many problems; though the composite Mars Uranus would erupt a few storms along the way. Sadly he seems to have early dementia now.

She is an enormously strong woman for whom the idea of submission would be horrifying, so she fights for those weaker and in less fortunate circumstances. 30 years on from first publication The Handmaid’s Tale has found its time again, as the world appears to be regressing back into Trumpsville with fundamentalist religious/cultural practices on the rise. What an unholy combination. Pussy-grabbers and ISIS in complete agreement on the status of women.


Uber – heading into a sinkhole



Uber is taking a battering at the moment, losing several senior executives to harassment complaints and widespread criticism of an aggressive organizational culture. And has now been banned in London over ‘public safety and security implications’, with concerns that Uber did not properly check and review their drivers and didn’t report crimes. There’s now a 500,000 strong petition been raised from Londoners who use the 40,000 Uber drivers and say black cabs are too expensive.

Uber was founded 1 March 2009 with an autocratic Saturn opposition Uranus in place; plus a stubbornly argumentative Mercury Mars Neptune in Aquarius. Tr Saturn is now square the Uranus exactly with tr Pluto trine the Saturn till late 2018. Tr Neptune continues to undermine the Pisces Sun till this New Year; and then proceeds to chip away at the foundations of the Sun/Saturn midpoints and on to oppose the Uber Saturn by 2019 so it’s well over its peak and motoring rapidly downhill into a swamp.

Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, is just the one to put his foot down with his fearsome Mars Pluto in Virgo conjunct the Uber Saturn and opposition Uranus; with his Saturn in Taurus square the Uber Mars.

Uber has already faced bans and suspensions in various countries so more are likely to follow.

Equinox – a time for reflection



In the midst of hurricanes, epic floods and earthquakes, it’s hardly a time to celebrate. But the autumn equinox today on September 22nd was traditionally (in the northern hemisphere) a time to lay out a spread, raise a glass and give thanks for the harvest safely brought in. The Sun for the past four weeks has been moving through Virgo – an energy which excels at conscientious work – talented at sifting the wheat from the chaff, picking the grapes from the vines, sorting the apples and filling the stores.

The Libra ingress on September 22 marks the descent down into winter, when growth dies back, and the earth becomes bare. In Greek mythology, Demeter was the goddess of the harvest. Scorched earth was her revenge for Pluto stealing her daughter Persephone. But during the bleak months on the surface, Persephone was enjoying life with her lover/husband in the warmth and wealth of his underground layer.

The Celtic Wicca festival stresses the need to appreciate what has succeeded and reflect on what has not grown to fruition. So a staging post in the year as the Sun enters Libra, the sign of relationships, justice and balance. Time to chew over options, revision plans, make wise decisions and honour the darkness as the nights close in.

Ryanair – O’Leary having to put his money where his mouth usually is



Ryanair, the Irish-based budget airline which has made a success out of treating passengers like milk cows have landed themselves in a shedload of trouble by cancelling hundreds of flights summarily, costing over 300,000 agitated travellers and holiday makers money and gross inconvenience. The excuse is a muddle in pilots’ rotas but industry insiders say it’s more to do with Ryanair working conditions leading to an exit of pilots. They’ll be forced to foot a bill of £18 million in compensation.

Michael O’Leary, the loud-mouthed chairman, is concerned about the effect of Brexit with the possibility of EU countries withdrawing permission for UK planes to land; and saying he’d have to move his business entirely onto the continent.

Ryanair, 5 July 1985, is seriously stuck this year with tr Pluto opposing Mars, returning exact from mid October ( though perhaps exactyl now into October if a 12 am start time). With a nervy tr Neptune square Uranus in 2017/18; also  major upheaval and disruptions from tr Uranus opposition Pluto through 2018; and a panicky tr Saturn conjunct Neptune over this New Year. There will be a massive jolt of insecurity in 2019 with Solar Arc Uranus opposition Mars, so he could be right.

Born 20 March 1961, Dublin, he’s either a final degree Pisces Sun or Aries; with his Mercury in Pisces in an intensely-opinionated opposition to Pluto and an argumentative trine to an excitable Mars in Cancer. He looks to be facing a sharp-reality check this December with the discouraging tr Saturn square his Sun; will be jolted and jangled through 2018; and looks seriously panicked by 2019 with his Solar Arc Neptune opposition his Mars.

John Kelly – going through hell, will he keep going? *update



John Kelly looked pained and despondent during Trump’s ‘I may start World War 111’ UN speech, even more dejected than he had at the Charlottesville ‘both sides are to blame’ speech. One reporter said he looked as if he were living through ‘an existential crisis.’

He’s certainly at an all-time low exactly now with a confusingly uncertain and debilitating tr Neptune opposition his Saturn now until early October, and returning in January 2018. Plus tr Pluto opposition his Sun/Saturn midpoint this month till late October, which is a discouraging slog and can feel like imprisonment. From September 28th tr Saturn will square his Mars for two weeks which is highly irritable, prone to setbacks and missteps. That last one coincides with tr Saturn opposition Trump’s Gemini Sun so there may be more downers. Indeed that also coincides with tr Saturn square the USA Neptune, so it will be a time of high anxiety.

Kelly, 11 May 1950, is a stalwart Sun Taurus square Pluto and trine Saturn Mars in Virgo, but even his legendary endurance and phlegm may have its sticking point. Evidently he doesn’t care whether he stays or not which gives him a degree of leverage in his role as Trump’s Chief of Staff.

Kelly’s Mars does square Trump’s Sun and Moon so it was always going to be a tetchy partnership. But Kelly’s Sun is conjunct Trump’s MC, so he does have a contribution to make – if Trump will listen.

Their relationship chart does have a friendly composite Sun Venus though that is in a can-be-disappointing trine to Neptune; with an argumentative composite Mercury square Mars. But what cements it together is a composite Saturn Pluto – chained-together and resenting it and that is usually difficult to split away from. Though there’ll be a decided dip in their interaction in the second week of November with tr Saturn conjunct the composite Jupiter and opposition Uranus.

Poor man, out of the apolitical military where he shone, into the least enviable job in the US, where no doubt duty will anchor him until it all gets too much.