Temple Grandin & Susan Boyle – Autism and Aspbergers



Astrology isn’t always a helpful diagnostic tool when it comes to labelling psychological conditions, since it works within its own framework. But it can track similarities between the charts of known sufferers, bearing in mind that the chart influences can manifest in different ways in different individuals depending on life circumstances and other variables.

One of the best known high functioning autistics is  Temple Grandin, a Doctor in Animal Science, consultant to the livestock industry in animal welfare and a spokesperson for autism.

She was born on 29 Aug 1947 at 2.30pm Boston, MA, USA so is a 9th house Sun in Virgo conjunct Venus, Mercury which fits with high education and communication. She also has serious Saturn Pluto in Leo in the 9th.  Her chart is bucket shaped with all the energy funnelled through the handle which is Moon in Aquarius in the 3rd. A singleton Moon is highly sensitive emotionally, can get easily overloaded, and in her case is blocked by an opposition to Saturn Pluto.

I haven’t researched enough autistics’ charts to be definitive. But two thoughts from this and other charts below – one is the 3rd house and indeed Mercury, both of which rule the rational mind. Conditions like Autism and Aspergers though they do result in significant emotional disengagement, do suggest a brain-wiring problem which impacts on the ego wall. Obviously with high-functioners there’s nothing wrong with their brain per se, more to their ability to function amongst people. That’s not well explained but it doesn’t seem to me emotional damage at the root of it, that’s more of a secondary outcome.

The second thought is afflicted Moons. From an old discussion I recollect that a number of autistic examples had Saturn Pluto Moon.

Of the famous Asperger sufferers (a milder version of autism) Moon Mars crops up in quite a few.

Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer, has her Moon square Mars; and a difficult Uranus, Pluto, Moon in her 4th. Prince John, the Queen’s uncle, who died young, 12 July 1905 3.05am had a Moon Mars conjunction square Mercury; and North Node in the 3rd. He had epilepsy, a learning disability and was thought to be autistic.

Of others listed as famous Aspergers – Daryl Hannah, like Susan Boyle, has Uranus Pluto in the 4th, and a heavily afflicted Mars in the 3rd opposition Saturn. Robin Williams had Moon trine Mars Uranus; Bill Gates has a singleton Moon opposition Mars Mercury. So afflicted Moon and Mars.

All of this is speculative. And what you have to watch with diagnostic labels is they can sometimes be ‘trashcans’ into which people suffering from a variety of conditions get dumped because not enough is known. There is always a broad spectrum for any psychological condition; and there may be other factors involved – so brain-wiring plus in some cases environmental emotional damage. Initially when autism was diagnosed ‘freezer’ mothers were blamed, which notion then became discredited. Though there may be a genetic component involved.

What we know about the brain/mind interface is remarkably limited, let alone how conditions are passed down through generations either via DNA or psychologically. The nature nurture argument has never been resolved and the likelihood is that both play their part.

Also to remember the logical fallacy – just because the grass is green, not everything green is grass. If you have a tricky Moon Mars or Moon Saturn Pluto it doesn’t mean you have an undiagnosed condition. You’ll have lived it out in a different way.


Stacey Abrams – maybe about to make history



Stacey Abrams made history Tuesday night by being the nation’s first black woman nominated for governor by a major political party, the Democrats in Georgia. She won by huge margins, all the more surprising since Georgia was once known as all white. At this stage she’s still the underdog, but if she does win in November, she would be the first woman as well as the first African American elected governor of Georgia, and the first black woman to govern any state in the US.

Born 9 December 1973, she is a fiery Sun Sagittarius widely trine Mars in pro-active Aries, so definitely willing to have a go. She has a tough-minded Saturn square Pluto and sextile Mars, so she’s got grit won from hard experience. She’s also got a charming and confident Pluto trine Venus Jupiter in Aquarius, sextile Mercury Neptune in Sagittarius. Venus Jupiter is handy for politics giving an ability to turn charm on to order; Mercury Pluto is deep thinking and persuasive; a focal point Mercury is communicative and able to multi-task; Neptune makes her idealistic though not always easy to pin down.

She’s a long shot to win but she does have tr Pluto conjunct her Sun/Jupiter midpoint in early November which is a definite plus point so she might just make it. 2019 won’t be a picnic but she looks to be coming into her own through the 2020s.

Philip Roth – ‘life in all its shameless impurity’



Philip Roth, who has just died, became known as one of the best writers of the 20th Century, after a controversial early novel Portnoy’s Complaint. It saw him labelled as a Jewish anti-Semite and literature’s dirtiest old man. A recent novel American Pastoral won the Pulitzer. He saw himself as a chronicler of American life in ‘all its shameless impurity.’

Born 19 March 1933 1am Newark New Jersey, he spent most of his life as an academic and writer after a stint in the army. He was married twice, latterly to actress Clare Bloom.

He had a 3rd house Sun Venus in Pisces and Mercury in Aries – quick-witted, intelligent, a good communicator; with Mars Neptune Jupiter in Virgo in the communicative/publishing 9th house, which would give him a philosophical slant. 9th house tends to be interested in society and what motivates it.

His Sun was trine an influential and deep thinking 8th house Pluto. He also had an unaspected Saturn in Aquarius; and a Capricorn Moon square Mercury, trine Mars. An unaspected Saturn can incline to solitude and be disinterested in anything that lies beyond the sphere of the individual’s interest. He also had a changeable 4th house Uranus square Pluto.

It’s not a chart that hangs together well. Except in his 21st Harmonic, associated with great writers – it has a powerful Neptune Saturn opposition Jupiter square Pluto widely opposition Mars; with Sun trine Neptune Saturn and opposition Venus. Writing was what brought his life together and gave him focus.

Anthony Hopkins – brilliant and flawed * updated



Anthony Hopkins, a towering talent but like many actors not an entirely together human being, has been baldly saying he doesn’t know and doesn’t care if he has a grandchild. When told he sounded rather cold, Hopkins replied: “Well, it is cold. Because life is cold.”

While in the throes of alcoholism, he abandoned his first wife and only daughter Abigail as a toddler, and his fractured relationship with her sent her into a drug spiral and nervous breakdown in her late teens. They got together briefly in the 1990s but he hasn’t had contact with her in almost two decades.

Born 31 December 1937 9.15am (from memory) Port Talbot, Wales, he was hopeless at school and bullied, ending up latterly in boarding school. He says his drive to become successful was to show all those who had poured scorn on him that he had made it.

He has Sun, Mercury, Venus in the reclusive 12th house trine Uranus, sextile Mars in Pisces – ambitious, private, pro-active, restless and volatile. He also has Jupiter opposition a 7th house Pluto making him pushily confident, keener on importance than emotional connection; and in the 7th house a dislike of being dominated.

His outspoken Sagittarius Moon is on the focal point of a T Square to an 8th house Neptune opposition Saturn, so a confused and suspicious relationship to mother, domestic life, family. A focal point Moon would attract him to a career providing an audience. One relationship would not give him all the nurturing he craves. Neptune in the 8th is often a super-star placing giving him the ability to project a filmic aura.

His North Node is in his 10th so career would be key to his development, not a home and family life.

His daughter Abigail, 20 August 1969, had made a career as a singer-songwriter, actress and theatre director, under a different name. She’s a Sun Leo square a Moon Neptune in Scorpio, so both parents would have that Neptunian inaccessibility. Five of her planets are in her father’s 8th house, so it is a deep though difficult connection. Her Pluto is square his Moon, opposition his Saturn and conjunct his Neptune so she would bring up all the confusion of his childhood and make him feel trapped.  Their relationship chart is understandably tricky. The composite Mars is inconjunct Pluto, and opposition Uranus square Saturn opposition Neptune – which is an unsolvable mess of bad feeling.

Ironically Anthony Hopkins is due to star in the BBC adaptation of King Lear, airing this month. The first trailer shows the aged king cruelly disowning his youngest daughter Cordelia.

What a shame for his daughter. Sagittarian Moons can be crassly direct with never a thought for the effect on others.

Add on: He has recently come out as having Asperger’s.

When his alcoholism threatened to destroy his life he had an epiphany, a voice in his head, which told him to give up drinking which he did overnight. That was December 29 1975 just before his 38th birthday. This is the start of what Carl Jung talks about as the mid life crisis, stretching from the late 30s through the early 40s, where it is crucial to find the deeper self and ensure the second half of life has meaning and purpose. If the transition is not made, then there’s a slide into stagnation.

Astrologically it coincides first with the Uranus opposition to its natal position, then Pluto square Pluto and Neptune square Neptune.

When his moment of enlightenment came there was a deal of activity around his 3rd house Uranus. His Progressed Moon was conjunct for a jolting flash of lightning with tr Uranus moving to oppose his Uranus in 1976. Tr Uranus was also opposition his Solar Arc Saturn which itself would conjunct his natal Uranus in 1976/77. Plus tr Saturn was moving conjunct his Pluto and opposition his Jupiter, bringing reality to bear on his delusional sense of invulnerability (rules aren’t made for me.) Plus his Progressed Mars was square his Progressed midheaven for a real jolt; and his Solar Arc Neptune was square his Pluto. When life changing events occur there are always several influences all coming in from different directions, building up a critical mass of pressure for what a major transition.

Lady Kitty Spencer – sophisticated and focused



Lady Kitty Spencer was a fashion highlight at the Royal wedding with her similarity to her late aunt Princess Diana much remarked on.

She was born 28 December 1990 in England, daughter of the now Earl Spencer and his first wife Victoria and moved to South Africa as a five year old with her parents splitting acrimoniously soon after. She studied psychology, politics and English literature in Cape Town; and in London earned a master’s degree in Luxury Brand Management from Regent’s University. (!?!)

She is now a model, has been on several Tatler covers; and  helps with a military charity Give Us Time; and  Centrepoint for homeless youth of which Prince William is patron.

She has some chart. Her Sun Uranus Neptune are conjunct in Capricorn, with Venus Saturn also in Capricorn. She’ll be more highly strung than she appears with a prominent Uranus Neptune. Though the Venus Saturn is more obvious, giving her a cool sophistication. Certainly ambitious and keen to achieve.

Her Venus Saturn trine/sextile a Mars (Moon) in Taurus opposition Pluto with her Pluto square Jupiter in flamboyant Leo – relentlessly determined, a steely backbone acquired through an exceptionally difficult childhood. Her mother was anorexic/bulimic with heroin/alcohol problems and her father comes across as dominating and angry. Her early years must have been very tough emotionally.

Charles Spencer, her father, is a Sun Taurus with Mercury, Jupiter Mars in Taurus trine Uranus Pluto in Virgo, so a heavyweight personality.

Hugh Grant – dilly dallying to the altar



High Grant is to marry for the first time to the mother of his three children, Swedish Anna Eberstein.

Born 9 September 1960, London with an unverified time of 7.30am, into a family described as “a colourful Anglo-Scottish tapestry of warriors, empire-builders and aristocracy” he has his Sun, Pluto and Mercury all in Virgo. It’s a tougher and more physical chart than his laid-back appearance and rom-com acting style might suggest. He has an Earth Grand Trine of Pluto trine an 8th house Taurus Moon trine Saturn in Capricorn – a Taurus Moon is certainly indulgent though Saturn Pluto is bleak. What relieves the heaviness of it is a Moon opposition Neptune and Neptune also on the focal point of a mini-Grand Trine to the Saturn and Pluto – he’s well suited to the Neptunian film world and Saturn Pluto plus earth suggests longevity and business sense.

He’s also got an adventurous and opportunistic Mars in Gemini opposition Jupiter in Sagittarius sextile/trine Uranus and square Mercury – highly strung, quick witted, scattered, needs a varied career, sharp tongued.   His Venus is in Libra and apart from a cool square to Saturn is unaspected.

His Saturn (on this birth time) opposes his Sun/Moon midpoint which is a pointer to a delayed marriage, as he approaches his Second Saturn Return.

He’s had a complicated love life throughout but especially recently. With his about-to-be-wife he’s had three children – 5, 2 and this year. He also has two children with an ex-Tinglan Hong, aged 6 and 5. That must have been fun when they criss crossed the births.

Tr Neptune is opposing his Sun at the moment and into 2019; tr Saturn is squaring his Venus this year; and then hitting the Return at the New Year. Doesn’t exactly look singing and dancing.

Jeremy Thorpe – A Very English Scandal



High farce and conspiracy to murder combine in the truth-stranger-than-fiction tale of Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe, who almost became Deputy UK PM in 1974, with his attempt to silence his erstwhile homosexual lover, Norman Scott, at a time when such liaisons were still illegal. He assembled a hapless crew of helpers to handle blackmail claims and finally do the dirty deed with the only death being his lover’s dog. Thence to a luridly public trial, where almost everyone appears to have lied on both sides of the case; with a notoriously biased summing up by the judge. Thorpe was acquitted, though his career was ruined; while Scott, who was a fantasist but seems to have been correct in his accusations, was vilified in the press. Both men were bi-sexual and had been married. Hugh Grant stars in a BBC drama A Very English Scandal, starting tonight, which has garnered much praise in previews.

Thorpe, born 29 April 1929 London was a Sun Taurus trine Saturn Moon in Capricorn; with Jupiter, Mercury, North Node also in indulgent Taurus. His Mercury Jupiter were in an expansive, though slippery square to Neptune; and he had a determined and dominating Mars Pluto in Cancer square his Venus in Aries to fuel his romantic life.

The Taurus North Node often indicates a strong sex drive as well as  an over-developed sense of defensivenss. Martin Schulman says in Karmic Astrology: ‘like a wounded animal can be deadly  to any who represent the slightest threat’ – ‘appears jovial, while planning intrigues.’

Norman Scott, who is still alive, 12 February 1940, came from an ordinary family, but boasted of having an aristocratic background and was described by a journalist as having an “extraordinary talent for wheedling his way into people’s sympathy before turning their lives to misery with his hysterical temper-tantrums.”

He has an Aquarius Sun square Uranus, sextile a difficult Mars Saturn in Aries and inconjunct Neptune, so not an easy life or an easy temperament. His Jupiter (Moon) and Venus in Aries were conjunct Thorpe’s Uranus; and his Mars Saturn was conjunct Thorpe’s Venus – an adventurous and gritty mix.

On the relationship chart there’s an emphasised composite Jupiter Uranus conjunction square Pluto – risk-taking, disruptive, power-struggling for the upper hand.

Thorpe insisted to the end of his life there had been no relationship but the evidence is substantial.   Next to Profumo it was the political sex scandal to end all.

Harry & Meghan Sussex – a happy occasion



The marriage vows between Prince Harry and Meghan (Duke and Duchess of Sussex) were taken at 12.39 pm in Windsor.

There was a Water Grand Trine of Cancer Moon trine Jupiter in Scorpio trine Neptune in Pisces, which is emotionally private and self-protective, can be healing for others. Formed into a Kite by an intense Moon opposition Pluto. It makes Pluto the driving planet and tied into Jupiter, suggests an ambitious, influential power-couple marriage.

There is also an Earth Grand Trine of Saturn trine a Virgo Ascendant trine Mercury Uranus in Taurus, which brings practicality to the mix with new ideas in play, especially abroad – which fits with them having been nominated for a Commonwealth role. Uranus is further emphasised being on the point of a T Square to a leadership Leo North Node opposition Mars – innovative, not scared to ruffle conservative feathers; but since it trines Saturn there’ll be a nod to traditional values.

It’s a chart which also describes the family arguments running into the wedding with the Moon opposition Pluto and Mars; and the explosive Mars Uranus.

Often wedding charts reflect the relationship chart though in this case not so much. Harry/Meghan has a curiously contradictory mix of a needs-space composite Sun square Uranus; a showbizzy Neptune square Mars; and a rigid and somewhat bleak composite Moon square Saturn Pluto, with duty looming large and taking precedence over feelings.

As ever the Royal pomp and pageantry showed the UK at its best. I remember watching the Queen Mother’s funeral which ran like clockwork and thinking the sooner the military take over running the country the better. The guests were an eclectic mix with the bride’s mother, Amal Clooney and several others looking fabulous; Victoria Beckham with the oddest shoes (no wonder she’s so pinched face); Princess Anne looking grumpy, dressed in her own peculiarly unattractive style; and when, dear heavens, will Prince Andrews’ two girls ever get themselves a stylist to pick their clothes and hats sensibly.

Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother may have been born 2 September 1956 which would make her a Sun Jupiter in Virgo; with a healing Water Grand Trine of Venus in Cancer trine Mars trine Saturn and Saturn square Pluto. She’s a yoga teacher and social worker so it would fit.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Santa Fe shooter – a volatile Mars



Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the Santa Fe school shooter, was born 12 October 2000 (media sources). He appears to have been quiet, intelligent, reasonably athletic, church-going with no red flags in his background to suggest violence. Though he appears to have been interested in World War 11 kamikaze pilots and wore Nazi and communist symbols on his coat. He used his NRA enthusiast father’s guns.

He is a Sun Libra trine Jupiter trine Uranus, so would have a good brain – though an Air Grand Trine can indicate a fervent ideologue; and that forms into a Kite with Jupiter opposition Pluto, giving him the confidence to assume rules don’t apply to him and bring him into clashes with authority.

In addition he has an extremely volatile Mars in Virgo on the focal point of a Mutable T Square to Jupiter opposition Pluto and perhaps on the focal point of a Yod inconjunct Uranus sextile an Aries Moon. Such a Mars is high-wire, easily triggered, scattered and inclined to be overly reckless. Mars Jupiter tends to take risks, and Mars Pluto can be ruthless. Plus he has Venus, Mercury in intensely emotional Scorpio with Mercury in an impulsive square to Uranus.

At the moment tr Neptune is squaring his Mars, which usually brings a panicky sense of failure; and he’s had the challenging and stressful tr Pluto square his Sun through this year. The catalyst for this may have come in April when tr Uranus was opposition his adventurous Mars/Jupiter and ‘catastrophic’ Mars/Pluto.