Andrea Bocelli – succeeding against the odds



Andrea Bocelli, who has brought pop levels of success to classical singing, has another album out which includes a duet with Ed Sheeran. Despite his blindness he lives an active life, riding his favourite horses, despite a fall last year which hospitalised him, and has been seen windsurfing, skiing and rollerblading in the past and travels extensively.

Born 22 September 1958 5.15am Pisa, Italy, he had congenital glaucoma at birth and lost his sight totally after a football accident when he was 12. He started musical interests early aged six, learnt braille to read music, played the piano and other instruments and started to sing. After he finished law school, he was mentored by Pavarotti and his career took off.

He has a larger-than-life 1st house Sun Virgo trine a Capricorn Moon in his performing 5th. With a powerfully aspected 12th house Pluto in a do-or-die-determined square to Mars in Gemini in the international 9th; and sextile a financially successful Jupiter Neptune in Scorpio in his 2nd. His 4th house Saturn is in a hard-working square to his Sun, Mercury and Venus, and trines Uranus.

It’s one of those charts that doesn’t instantly leap out as special. But down into the higher octave aspects it really stands out. Especially his ‘superstar’ 22nd harmonic which has a Fire Grand Trine and a Grand Cross; as well as his creative 5th and 7th harmonics.


Yayoi Kusama – a talent out of the ordinary



Yayoi Kusama, deemed one of the most influential living artists to come out of Japan, worked mainly with installations and conceptual art but has talents across a range of genre.

Born 22 March 1929 in Matsumo, Japan, she had an abusive mother who sent her to spy on her father’s illicit affairs which gave her a lifelong fear of sex. When she was 10 she started having vivid hallucinations – flashes of lights, dense fields of dots, flowers that spoke to her – which became a source of inspiration for her later, in a process she called ‘self-obliteration’ – and in one instance when she painted her mother the dots obliterated her as well. When she was 13 she was sent to work in a factory sewing parachutes for the war, in ‘enclosed darkness.’

In her late twenties she moved to the USA to gain freedom, was befriended by Georgia O’Keefe and became one of the leaders of the artistic avant garde movement. She organised ‘happenings’ in public parks involving nudity to protest the Vietnam War. In her forties she returned to Japan in ill health and began writing ‘shockingly visceral and surrealistic novels, short stories, and poetry.’ Then entered a mental asylum where she has been by choice ever since.

She is a maverick Sun Uranus in Aries on the focal point of a Cardinal T Square to Mars in Cancer opposition Saturn in Capricorn.  Certainly an innovator, rebel and drawn to anarchic expression, fueled by a cruel-treatment Mars Saturn. She’d spill over with initiative and restlessness, always driven to start new projects.  Her Moon is in flamboyant Leo perhaps conjunct Neptune and she has Jupiter Venus in earthy Taurus. Sculptors often have Taurus in their charts. Those Fixed signs would give her some grounding. But she has no Air signs to give her perspective on her life; and only one Mutable – Mercury in Pisces – so would find adaptability tricky.

Her ‘super-star’ 22nd Harmonic is well-aspected, marking her out as special. As is her get-it-together and creative 5th Harmonic; and her obsessive-dream 11H.

Thank you for this. What an interesting woman. It reminded me of a comment by Donald Kalsched in his book Trauma and Soul where he talks of trauma survivors being pushed, because their unbearable experiences, into a non-ordinary reality. Life drives some people mad and she turned her madness into art.

UK 1927 – same but different



I hate new dates for country charts.  Often they are thrown into the mix by people who are either: a) obsessive compulsive and just like to fiddle and be different from the crowd; b) get focussed on minor shifts in the country’s history, in this instance a name change – after a divorce you don’t get a new birth chart; c) or think because the chart in accepted usage doesn’t always throw up exact predictive timings it has to be wrong, rather than accepting that astrology is highly complex. What proves to be a tipping point is the consequence of multiple influences exerting (or accompanying) pressure as they move backwards and forwards on different cycles. So an actual event can be the ‘result’ of several influences happening just before and sometimes just after. Also astrology has a different mindset. I’m not convinced it particularly cares about Derby or even election winners at times. In the grand cosmic scheme of things, these are trivia. Also a bit like divorce, most often the key events happen beforehand and sometimes after. The actual date itself isn’t always the most relevant.

That being said, all that matters is which chart throws up the best info. And against much grudging, gritting-of-teeth having tested the UK 12 April 1927 chart (when the UK changed name to add Northern Ireland) against the start of WW11, 1973 join-EEC and Brexit 2016, it isn’t bad.  Oddly enough it shows up the start of World War 1 best of all – which is into minus mathematics since UK 1927 didn’t exist then. Another astrological conundrum.

The UK 1801 chart was spot on for WW11 and not bad for WW1, showing the early aftermath clearly; reasonable for EEC 1973 with outer planet Solar Arc and transits bringing jolting changes, challenges, gloom and some panic. Brexit coincided with a shocking change of direction, with a surge of empowerment and emotional angst.

The UK 1927 chart was so-so for WW11. Spot on for 1973 EEC with tr Pluto conjunct the MC and conjunct Solar Arc North Node exactly for a moment of destiny, a radical rethink of direction and ambitions with power struggles ahead. Tr Neptune was exactly conjunct the Ascendant for confusion about identity. For the 2016 Brexit vote Solar Arc Mars was exactly conjunct the Mars for a massive shock, bringing insecurity and inflamed tempers; with the Solar Arc MC opposition the Node exact, so a significant point in history.

The UK 1927/EU relationship chart is massively complex – a chained-together-and-resenting it Saturn trine Pluto but in a Fire Grand Trine it’s also entrepreneurial (good for trade); with a hard-to-balance Mystic Rectangle of an autocratic Saturn opposition Uranus sextile/trine a bitterly argumentative and stubborn Pluto opposition Mercury. There’s an unfair-treatment Mars square Saturn; and a sugary-sweet Jupiter opposition Moon square Venus.  And a Half Grand Sextile Pluto opposition Mercury, sextile Uranus sextile Venus. Lots of advantages and lots of aggro.

This year is panic-stations on that chart with tr Neptune opposition Mars, extending through 2019; with an uncertain and tormented November and December this year as tr Neptune square Saturn brings neurotic fears of a total disaster. Plus tr Saturn dampening good feelings through till December as well. Where it really starts to rock on its foundations is from May 2020 as tr Uranus squares the Pluto.

The UK 1927 chart itself has a 4th house/cusp of 5th Aries Sun trine an exact Moon Neptune in Leo in the 9th, sextile Mars in Gemini – pro-active and go-ahead with dreams-of-empire from Moon Neptune in the 9th. There’s also a controlling, power-hungry Pluto in the financial 8th house in a confident trine to Jupiter. With a defensive Saturn on the Ascendant in self-righteous Sagittarius.

At the moment tr Saturn is moving through the low profile First Quadrant as it was after Suez Crisis in 1956 when the UK faced up to its loss of status as the world’s superpower; and decolonisation kicked in as tr Uranus was conjunct the 9th house Moon Neptune towards the 1960s which makes sense.

2020 hints at dashed-hopes from tr Neptune conjunct Jupiter.

In summary not bad for 1927 UK, though working with too many charts creates a muddle of too much data. All significant moments in a country’s history will have some similarities to each other and the main chart. At the end of the day you’re better to settle for one. But UK 1927 is worth keeping an eye on.

Labour in a fix – Starmer on best form * updated



The Labour leadership, Corbyn and McDonnell, are in a double-bind pulled between their longstanding dislike of the EU and their membership which favours a People’s Vote by nine to one with 90% wanting to remain according to David Lammy MP.

Corbyn’s relationship chart with the EU has a bitterly hostile composite Mars opposition Pluto; plus a deeply suspicious Saturn Neptune square Uranus. McDonnell isn’t much better with a critical Sun Saturn; a power-struggling Pluto Jupiter; plus a few extra crossed stars.

Keir Starmer, the Labour Brexit spokesman is rowing back on McDonnell’s odd claim that any people’s vote wouldn’t include a remain option. McDonnell isn’t winning much through this year and next with tr Neptune opposition his Mars and square his Jupiter/Pluto. Neither is union leader Len McLuskey in good shape with similar. Both pick up momentum somewhat from, 2021/22 onwards.

Keir Starmer, 2 September 1962, looks on better form than most, despite some grind and groan and setbacks through this year and next. He has tr Uranus conjunct his Solar Arc Jupiter from April 2019 for a few weeks; plus a confidently successful tr Pluto trine his Jupiter/Node also from April 2019, on and off till late 2020; and picking up another couple of Jupiters in 2020.

Angela Rayner, 28 March 1980, will get some uplift this December to mid February 2019; and another boost late March; but thereafter she’s into a tangle of setbacks, aggravations, frustrations and disappointments right through till early 2021.

David Lammy, 18 July 1972, will be relieved with lucky breaks mid this October till early November and again in March and will have moments of high hopes and success through 2019/20. But he’s also got uncertainties and then major disasters picking up from mid 2019 with a dead-halt in 2020/21 as his Solar Arc Mars is conjunct his Pluto.

Add on: Keir Starmer’s relationship with both Corbyn and McDonnell is under strain over the time ahead. With Corbyn there’s an evasive and disappointing composite Sun square Neptune which will be under maximum pressure from mid February 2019 onwards for two years; with a real dip before then as well from the final week of October till the New Year over the critical Brexit period with tr Neptune square the composite Mars; with high-tension mid October to early November and again in early 2019 with tr Uranus square the composite Uranus.

Starmer’s interface with McDonnell is much of a muchness with the above with disruptions and upheavals mid October to early November (and early next year) with tr Uranus trine the composite Pluto. And nerves at twanging point early November to early December, again in February 2019 with tr Neptune opposition the composite Neptune.

In both relationships with Starmer there’s an ego-clash –  a struggle for the upper hand (with Corbyn) with a Jupiter square Pluto; or only-one-can-win (with McDonnell) with Mars square Neptune.

It’s not just a fight for the soul of the Tory Party going on. Labour as well.

Previous posts on Labour September 2nd and 18 2018

Libra Ingress – wobbling on a see-saw



The entry of the Sun into Libra (yesterday) was generally considered the most important of the four Cardinal ingresses in the year. How useful ingress charts are is a moot point, having been roundly dismissed by astrologers who studied them in depth across a range of events.

But for what it’s worth, set for London, UK, this Libra Ingress chart does have Uranus conjunct the midheaven. The 10th house covers Royalty and the government with Uranus suggesting change or at least tensions breaking out. Uranus is in a Fixed Grand Cross opposition Venus square Node opposition Mars – so a mix of excessively stubborn and disruptive. With a downbeat Sun Mercury square Saturn; and an over-hopeful Jupiter trine Neptune sextile Pluto with delusional Neptune in the 8th house of international and business finances.

The previous late June 2018 Cancer Ingress for London has the head-in-the-clouds Jupiter Neptune even more strongly emphasised, all funneled through a controlling and uncompromising Pluto in the grandstanding 5th; with Neptune in the 7th, suggesting lack of commitment to co-operative ventures and much miscommunication between partners.

The upcoming late December 2018 Capricorn Ingress also has Neptune in the 7th even more afflicted on the point of a T Square so more evasion, slipping and sliding.

The Aries Ingress 2019 a few days before the March 29 cut-off Brexit date is brutal with an Earth Grand Trine of Saturn Pluto trine a 7th house Mars in Taurus trine a wobbly Virgo Moon in the 11th house of future plans. Not much of a hint of a friendly hand-shake out of that.

I’m rather glad the astrological research specialists have deemed them uninformative. But interesting to see how they fit.

Sally Field – picking up the pieces



Oscar-winning actress Sally Field, is another one out with a misery memoir replete with family drama and damaging adult relationships.

She was born 6 November 1946 4.23am Pasadena, California to a father who baled when he discovered his wife was pregnant by another man. Her mother was an actress with a drink problem who knowingly allowed her stepfather to abuse her for years. Sally started in television roles at 20 and, as with Jane Fonda, found her stride after meeting the acting coach Lee Strasberg. She garnered awards along the way for tv, film and stage performances and now directs as well.

Her much publicized relationship with Burt Reynolds was a nightmare – he took hysterical fits if she tried to talk about herself, refused to allow her to pick up her Emmy for Sybil and tried to prevent her playing Norma Rae for which she won an Oscar.

She is a Sun Jupiter in Scorpio square Saturn Pluto in the 10th, fitting her for tortured and bleak roles. Her Aries Moon opposes Neptune and trines Mars in Scorpio, Venus, Mercury in Sagittarius – which is a hugely complex relationship to her mother – Neptune addictive, Mars angry, Venus affectionate. Her Sun square Pluto and Saturn would attract her to controlling partners who stamped on her self-worth. Just as well she had Jupiter on hand to give her some buoyancy or she’d have sunk.

Her Uranus is unaspected so she would have difficulty finding an outlet for her rebellious spirit, or it would surface sporadically then disappear.

Burt Reynolds always was a monstrously bad fit for her, though with her childhood abuse, not too surprising. [See post September 17 2018].

His controlling Pluto was conjunct Sally’s midheaven so he would want to dominate; with his Mars in trine giving him a ruthless streak. Their relationship chart has a horrific composite Mars trine Saturn Uranus trine Neptune, with Saturn Uranus opposition Jupiter. Showbizzy from Mars Neptune, looked successful from a driving Jupiter, autocratic and high-tension from Saturn Uranus, cruel from Mars Saturn Uranus.

Her relationship with her mother, 10 May 1922, was another kind of bad with her mother’s evasive Neptune conjunct Sally’s Saturn Pluto; and her mother’s Saturn Jupiter in Libra square Pluto in hard aspect to Sally’s Moon and Neptune – cold, rejecting, sugary-sweet at times, possessive/controlling and very very confusing. Their relationship chart also has a cruel, cold composite Mars square Saturn, Mercury, Venus, Neptune.

Poor kid, it’s a miracle she emerged with any sanity intact.

Her creative, get-it-together 5th harmonic is strong; as is her artistic 7H; and her actresses’ 15H.

Lily Allen – telling it like it was



Lily Allen, a successful UK singer and TV presenter, has written a brutally honest (over-sharing according to the Guardian) memoir about her first 33 years. There’s drugs, drink, sex which was good, rape and indifferent, bulimia and erratic parents.

Born 2 May 1985, no birth time, in London to a film producer mother and a Welsh-comedian father who left when she was young, she appeared first on TV aged 3, attended 13 different schools and was expelled from two for drinking and smoking. In her adult life she had best-selling albums, multiple relationships, a miscarriage and a still birth with post-natal depression, was stalked for several years and was recently diagnosed as bi-polar. An exhausting life.

She’s a Sun Taurus widely opposition Pluto with her Sun square Jupiter – so stubborn, over-hopeful and drawn to situations where she felt trapped.

What marks her chart out are two Yods – Neptune sextile Pluto inconjunct Mars in scattered Gemini. And Mars sextile Venus inconjunct Pluto. Neither are easy to handle well. An apex Mars will tend to go off in all directions at once. An apex Pluto – a tendency to go to extremes and become self-destructive; and veering between being manipulative or withdrawn.

What would save her is her emphasised Jupiter, also on the focal point of a mini-Grand Trine to Uranus and Mercury, as well as square Sun giving her optimism despite setbacks. She’ll be due a significant relationship in 2020 with her Progressed Venus conjunct her Sun; with a change in her lifestyle the year after with her Progressed Sun opposition her Uranus. Though next year won’t be calm with tr Uranus opposing her afflicted Pluto – another major upheaval.

Stephen King – lord of the dark path



The unstoppable popular novelist Stephen King, known mainly for his horror, supernatural, suspense, fantasy and science fiction was 71 yesterday. He has written 58 novels, sold 350 million, written innumerable short stories, won multiple awards and is omnipresent on other authors’ book covers with complimentary puffs and on twitter. The litterati tends to look down on him since he sells but a reviewer commented favourably on his “pungent prose, sharp ear for dialogue, disarmingly laid-back, frank style, along with his passionately fierce denunciation of human stupidity and cruelty.”

Born 21 September 1947 1.30am Portland, Maine, he was brought up by a single mother in relative poverty with his father abandoning them when he was two. He wrote at school and was first published at 20. Thereafter he wrote to earn a living and taught.

He has an intelligent, communicative 3rd house Virgo Sun conjunct Venus in Libra in a dynamic sextile to Mars in Cancer and a maverick square to Uranus. His outspoken, adventurous Sagittarius Moon is in the performing 5th and is really the key to his chosen genre since it trines a bleak Saturn Pluto in Leo trine his Aries Midheaven; with his Midheaven opposition Mercury Neptune in Libra on his IC.

Saturn Pluto is drawn to the dark side – Pluto, lord of the underworld and Saturn, the grim reaper, combining to focus interest not just on the worst side of humanity; but also, in its guise as the black magician, to connect to fantasy and the supernatural. All of that channelled through his driving planet Mercury.

He’s due yet another major success in 2019/2020 with tr Pluto sextile his Jupiter and bowling along in good style in 2021/22 with tr Pluto square his Sun/Jupiter. Possibly also heartened as his twitter bete noir Trump stumbles.

Pluto in Capricorn – lessons not yet learnt



Pluto in Capricorn is the great tracker of all matters economic on a macro-level. You could write a history of money through the times of its appearance, roughly every 250 years.  Charlemagne in the 8th Century –  had an important role in determining the immediate economic future of Europe. He standardised the monetary system which unified the complex array of currencies in use at the start of his reign, so simplifying trade.

Kublai Khan two Pluto in Capricorns later: is considered to be the first of fiat money makers (i.e. paper money not gold or silver). The paper bills made collecting taxes and administering the huge empire much easier while reducing cost of transporting coins.

The next Pluto in Capricorn in early 16th Century Europe saw the start of Mercantilism. And exactly on cue by the next Pluto in Capricorn in 1776 the Scottish economist Adam Smith was critiquing and rejecting Mercantilism in his book Wealth of Nations – Smith’s work helped create the modern academic discipline of economics and provided one of the best-known rationales for free trade.

The present Pluto in Capricorn picked up in 2008 with the resounding US and global financial crash. Little was learned from the meltdown; and the wholesale rethink of the system that was needed never took place. So it was always on the cards that the necessary correction would happen sometime before Pluto’s exit into Aquarius in 2023/24.

Saturn moving into Capricorn last year heading for a last decan conjunction with Pluto in 2019/2020, on its own, is an indication of a recession. But given the larger picture, it could be the catalyst for a tectonic shift that should have happened after 2008.

And by 2022 Saturn in Aquarius is square Uranus in Taurus which is usually also a sign of a financial crunch. There was a Saturn opposition Uranus in 2009/2010 just after the 2008 crash.

In 2010 Edmund Conway of the Telegraph wrote: ‘The international monetary system has failed, and there is no one willing or able to come up with a reconstruction job.’ He suggested that a coherent international monetary system would only come either 1) after another crisis (perhaps sovereign debt, perhaps a full-blown currency war). Or 2) when one economic superpower gives way to another after a period of chaos.

The EU, UK, Germany all have Uranus moving through their 8th house of international and business finances from now onwards for the next few years until after 2025, so they are into an unpredictable and unstable phase.

The previous time Uranus moved into Taurus in the mid 1930s, it was just under way for the Jarrow March against poverty and unemployment in the UK, as well as Hitler’s rise to power and ran till 1941.

Addendum for economic not-quite-illiterates like me: Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 started a process to avoid the disaster of the 1930s, when US insistence on repayment of Allied WW1 debts, plus an isolationist, ‘beggar thy neighbour’ attitude led to a breakdown of the international financial system and a worldwide economic depression. Governments had used currency devaluations to increase the competitiveness of their exports and worsening other nations’ deflationary spirals, which resulted in plummeting national incomes, shrinking demand, mass unemployment, and an overall decline in world trade.

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