Saudi Arabia – mediaeval monarchy anoints new crown prince ** updated



As Saudi Arabia moves through the most testing and transformational time in its history with Pluto pulverising its way across a conjunction to its Saturn Sun Jupiter over the next five years, a new king-in-waiting has been announced. The ailing Saudi monarch, who holds near absolute powers, moved his son, the 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, up to Crown Prince, to the surprise of many within the royal family and outside. The more experienced Bin Nayef, a traditional US ally, has been marginalised. Trump’s recent adulatory visit is seen as a key component in the shift of power.

Bin Salman, popular with the young, has been behind an ambitious economic and cultural overhaul, putting in place sweeping changes aimed, as he put it, at ending the kingdom’s “addiction” to oil and tackling systemic challenges that the kingdom has previously failed to address. He has been heavily criticised, as Defence Minister, for launching the destructive and ongoing war in Yemen, seen by many as a proxy war with Iran.

Born 31 August 1985, he’s not short of confidence, stamina or ruthlessness. His Jupiter in Aquarius opposes Venus and squares onto Pluto in Scorpio opposition a Taurus Node – so a Fixed Grand Cross giving him ultimate endurance, and making him power-hungry to boot. Plus a flamboyant Mars in Leo square Saturn in obsessive Scorpio, which no doubt contributes to his military ambitions. His Virgo Sun is sextile Pluto and trine Neptune putting Pluto as a focal point of not only a Grand Cross but also a mini Grand Trine. His Sun is also in a reforming square to Uranus. Complex, a steamroller and built for the long haul.

Not everything will go his way over the next five or six years with Solar Arc Neptune squaring his Pluto (and starting to undermine his Grand Cross) in 2018; moving on to oppose his Venus in 2019; with a dead-halt Solar Arc Pluto square his Sun in 2021 and panicky-failure Solar Arc Mars square his Neptune in 2023; and financial-bubble-bursting Solar Arc Neptune conjunct his Jupiter in 2024. Tr Uranus will also start to hard aspect his Grand Cross from 2018 through till 2020 with some ups from tr Uranus square Jupiter in 2019, but it won’t be a smooth passage.

His Pluto is conjunct the Saudi Arabia 1902 chart (time being accurate) so definitely wants to be in control and change the country’s direction; with his expansive Jupiter in Saudi Arabia’s 1st conjunct Mercury Mars, so good at motivating and encouraging. He shares a Pisces Moon with his kingdom.

His relationship chart with Saudi Arabia is starkly dictatorial with a composite Sun Mars opposition Venus square Pluto; with the composite Pluto trine Uranus Saturn, which gives reforming tendencies and sticking power.

Donald Trump evidently approves of Bin Salman’s flamboyant and decisive/impulsive style. Though it may prove to be too much of a good thing for Trump, since Bin Salman’s Jupiter opposes DT’s Pluto which will lead to power struggles, and both have Mars in Leo – so egos will clash. Trump’s teeth must drip at the levels of wealth and absolute power the Saudi Crown Prince possesses. Their relationship chart has a friendly composite Sun Venus; but also a Mars square Neptune which won’t keep two Alpha males happy with the other’s successes. The glow of admiration will fade through 2017/18 with tr Neptune square the composite Jupiter; with separations likely in 2018 as tr Uranus opposes the composite Venus Sun.

Rex Tillerson looks uncomfortable with Bin Salman’s tendency to stand everything on its head; and there’s disappointment in 2018/19. James Mattis also looks unsure about him.

The USA/Saudi relationship chart is undergoing a highly pressured change in 2017/18 with tr Pluto square the composite Sun; with a degree of anxiety which will mount in 2019. And 2019 also flags up on the Saudi/Iran 1979 relatio0nship chart as a trigger point of high insecurity and risk.

There are doubts within Saudi Arabia about the wisdom of handing too much power to one person, especially one as reckless and keen on sweeping change. He could, almost certainly will, face major resistance from the all-powerful clerics never mind disgruntled and critical family members.

Astro-Health Plan

For some light relief for sun sign afficiandos. A medical study from Spain has added to information from a 2015 US University similar exercise to come up with health correlations to month of birth. Sadly not divided into early and late month, since signs change for the final week/ten days.

Men who were born in September (Virgo/Libra), for example, were almost three times more likely to suffer thyroid problems than those born in January (Capricorn/Aquarius). August male babies (Leo/Virgo) had almost double the risk of asthma compared to those born at the beginning of the year.

Similarly, women born in July (Cancer/Leo) were 27 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure and were at a 40 per cent increased risk of incontinence. Men born in June (Gemini/Cancer) were 34 per cent less likely to suffer depression and 22 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with lower back pain.

Women born in June (Gemini/Cancer) had a 33 per cent lower risk of migraines and a 35 per cent less chance of experiencing menopause problems.

On the whole, September babies (Virgo/Libra) appeared to have the least chance of being diagnosed with any chronic disease.

Barclays – caned for saving the public money



Barclays bank and senior executives are to be charged by the UK Serious Fraud office for conspiracy to commit fraud in their dealings during the financial crisis of 2008. The Telegraph says: “The move by the SFO is hugely significant as they are the first criminal charges brought against either a bank or top executives over events during the 2008 crisis, which brought the banking system to its knees.” The irony is Barclays were the only bank who saved the UK money by getting propped up by the Qataris instead of the taxpayer. In contrast to RBS, who left the UK with a huge loss and Lloyds. The fates have a warped sense of humour or maybe just governments who have blithely and consistently disregarded public outrage, and left the real culprits alone with their gold-plated pensions.

It will also provide further headaches not just for Qatar who are facing myriad other problems at home; but also for the UK, since Qataris own a goodly dollop of London – Canary Wharf, Harrods, Chelsea Barracks, the Shard, a substantial chunk of Heathrow Airport and the upmarket supermarket Sainsbury’s.

Barclays, 20 July 1896, has tr Uranus square the Cancer Sun now and into 2018, so is undergoing quite a jolt; with tr Neptune square their Pluto and opposition Solar Arc Mars as well this year, they’ll have a decidedly sinking feeling. Worse is to come as the Solar Arc Mars moves to square the Pluto by 2019, followed by Solar Arc Saturn square Pluto in 2020. The likelihood is the bank will settle so they may be running into other problems in coming year. But it does look like shuddering-halt time ahead.

John Varley, former chief executive, 1 April 1956, has tr Uranus square his Uranus exactly now, and the August Solar Eclipse will conjunct his Pluto, which may empower him to make a powerful stance in defence; but with tr Pluto conjunct his Mars in 2018/19, it looks a long, tough struggle.

Mourinho, Ronaldo, Depp – financial woes fuelled by Eclipses



Two major football figures are facing allegations of tax fraud by the Spanish prosecutors. Manchester United boss José Mourinho has been accused of defrauding Spain of €3.3m (£2.9m; $3.6m). And Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who played under Mourinho and shares the same agent, is accused of defrauding tax authorities to the tune of €14.7m.  There are hot denials flying in all directions.

What is interesting – astrologically speaking – is that both Mourinho and Ronaldo have the upcoming August Leo Eclipse falling in their 8th house of joint finances. The 8th often becomes the focus of attention when there are tax problems. In addition the August 7th Lunar Eclipse at 15 Aquarius will be conjunct Mourinho’s Moon Saturn and be opposition his Mars. Ronaldo also has the Lunar Eclipse conjunct his 2nd house (= personal finances) Sun in Aquarius and opposes his 8th house Moon in Leo. So a dramatic  time for both.

Actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-managers for financial mismanagement earlier this year at which point they counter-sued saying he was perfectly aware of his situation and that his profligate spending was what had caught him short. He had the February Pisces Solar Eclipse in his 8th opposition his Pluto Mars; and this August will see his 7th house Saturn in Aquarius rattled by both the Lunar and Solar Eclipse.

Usually the challenge of an eclipse in the 8th is to alter the way joint responsibilities, financial and otherwise, are handled. Changing the habits of a lifetime isn’t easy.

London – attracting and surviving risk



London has been around for at least two and perhaps three thousand years, with no charter dates that I can establish. The Romans named it Londinium around 50 AD when Pluto was in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces, so it is returning full cycle at the moment.

There are two dates which may be significant in more modern times. 1 April 1965; and 9 September 1835.

The 1965 chart does have a difficult and volatile Mars Uranus Pluto opposition Saturn square North Node in Gemini; and a high-finance Jupiter in Taurus opposition Neptune. Tr Neptune has been undermining that 1965 Mars Uranus and Saturn by opposition and conjunction through 2016, perhaps an indication of the Brexit panic, since 60% of Londoners voted to remain. And those influences recur mid October this year to early Jan 2018. At the moment tr Neptune is opposition the 1965 Pluto, at the same time as the Progressed Mars is conjunct the 1965 Pluto – so a double whammy from a destructive and dangerous Mars Pluto along with high confusion from Neptune. The progressed Mars will take its time in moving off that conjunction since it only moves at a degree every two years. In addition, the February 2017 Pisces Solar Eclipse was conjunct the 1965 Saturn and opposition Uranus Mars. Eclipses on Saturn are usually when chickens come home to roost and a price has to be paid for past mistakes.

The 1835 chart, which was a previous reorganisation of the city, has tr Pluto square the Solar Arc Mars, exact at the moment. And is in a longish run of difficult aspects with tr Pluto square the 1835 Mars last year over Brexit and moving across the square to the Mars/Saturn midpoint now, and thence onto square the 1835 Saturn in 2018/19 as economic woes start to build. So a time of high-risk and hardship.

The Great Fire of London in September 1666, which destroyed 90% of the houses of the 80,000 inhabitants, followed on from the plague of the winter before which had killed a quarter of London’s population. When the 1666 fire occurred, the Sun was opposition Jupiter square Pluto; with Mars in Scorpio trine Jupiter, sextile Neptune Saturn in Capricorn and square Uranus. With Mars just a degree away from an opposition to Algol. So Jupiter again acting as a fuel for disaster, amplified by Pluto; with a malignant Mars causing additional havoc.

London has survived with stalwart resilience through many horrors during its long history. In the 20th Century: the Blitz in WW11 (started with Uranus conjunct Algol); the years of the IRA bombings; into the 21st Century the Islamic fundamentalist attacks. Both the 1965 and 1835 charts have Mars Saturn and Pluto in aspect, which gives grit and perseverance, resourcefulness in the face of danger. Admittedly those aspects will tend to attract situations which draw on exactly those characteristics, but it will always rise to the challenge.

Beauty and the Beast – the upside of Algol



Disney’s live-action, musical movie, Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, has grossed almost $1.25 billion since its launch earlier this year. Since it cost $300 million, it was quite a gamble but it has paid off handsomely.

The movie to the US has certainly also paid off for Dan Stevens, who rocked the Downton Abbey boat by baling early and causing his role as Matthew Crawley to be summarily killed off. Born 10 October 1982, he has Sun, Venus, Mercury and Saturn Pluto spread out through Libra so charming as well as tough-minded; with Jupiter in money-attracting Scorpio and a Cancer Moon. He’s got a Fire Air chart so inspirational and confident, though not always practical with a tendency to over-stretch himself since he won’t recognise his physical limits.

When he got his big break in Downton Abbey his Progressed Sun was conjunct his Jupiter; and as this monster success was shooting, his Progressed Sun was conjunct his Progressed Jupiter. He’s at present in the Noah Hawley’s TV series Legion; with no shortage of stage and screen offers ahead.

Emma Watson, 15 April 1990 6pm Paris, France, best known initially for Harry Potter, is a fountain of energy. In between finishing her education at Browns University, she’s been making movies, and acting as a highly visible spokesperson for women’s rights globally.

She has an intense and pro-active 8th house Aries Sun in an energetic sextile to Mars in Aquarius and a hard-working square to Saturn in Capricorn; with a talented and successful Jupiter in Cancer in her 10th opposition Uranus Neptune in Capricorn in her 4th; with a Sagittarius Moon on her IC. She’s a curious mix of opposites – confident and lacking self-esteem; designed to be constantly on the move domestically yet yearning for a settle home life. She has a Water Earth chart, so will be serious and self-protective, with great inner strength and determination.

She’s on her Progressed Moon return exactly now, so a new chapter in her life beginning at an emotional or inner level; with her progressed Jupiter having moved very slowly to now oppose her Uranus exactly. Her life will never be as easy as it looks especially this year and for the next few with tr Uranus conjunct her Sun and square her Saturn; with tr Pluto following along from 2021 to 2023. But she’s going to be around for many years ahead career-wise, getting more respected the older she gets.

Fittingly for a movie about a hideous monster, (secretly a handsome prince who had been cursed), it started principal photography on the day the Sun was conjunct Algol, the Fixed star. Algol is associated with Medusa, who was so ugly she turned all who looked directly at her to stone. Astrology King remarks: “a strong Algol placement in the natal chart corresponds to very distinctive facial features and hair. The teeth, nose or ears may also be striking in some way, either extremely beautiful, large or deformed.” And quotes Diana Rosenberg: “Algol, like other stars, confers tasks upon us which, if comprehended and accepted, offer great rewards of power and creativity.”

There you are – coincidence or what? 

Thanks to Loretta for the further thought that this myth is often associated with Taurus. The original tale was published by Le Prince Beaumont, who had Neptune and Sun in Taurus with Venus in late Taurus widely conjunct Algol. The most famous previous Beauty and the Beast film was made in 1946 by Jean Cocteau, who had his Ascendant and Venus in late Taurus, also around the Algol mark. Cocteau was certainly drawn to the dark side in his novel Les Enfants Terrible and his Orpheus trilogy of films, and although multi-talented, was a lifelong opium addict.

Portugal fires – high mortality


Raging forest fires, started by very dry and hot conditions (40C+) and sparked by a lightning strike, have killed over 60 so far in central Portugal, many burnt in their cars as they tried to escape. It’s the worst fire in many years with hundreds of firefighters involved in tackling multiple fires.

We seem to be lurching from one horror to the next at the moment. With Mars now in Cancer moving towards a square to Jupiter next weekend and then, more especially, opposing Pluto on July 2nd, it is a high-risk, hugely pressured time. So there may be more disasters. Both the London fire and the Scalise shooting occurred in the early stages of this and it often does trigger early, rather than on the exact date.

The February 11th Lunar Eclipse located to the Portugal fire zone did have the Sun closely conjunct the IC with the Moon on the MC, so very prominently on the axis.

Solar Eclipses – casting a long shadow



“Events, dear boy, events” was what former UK PM Harold MacMillan probably never said in response to a question about what blows governments off course and they most fear. But like most clichés it holds more than a grain of truth. Theresa May, already tottering after a series of political blunders, has been almost certainly sunk by her abject handling of the Grenfell Fire disaster, her Katrina moment. In a more minor way, the collision of the US warship in Japanese waters, is throwing an unwelcome spotlight on the deficits of the Trump administration with no Navy Secretary or US Ambassador to Japan yet appointed.

Theresa May had the February Pisces Eclipse conjunct her Mars; and the late Leo Solar Eclipse this August is conjunct her Pluto. The first brings a shock and failure with tr Neptune conjunct. A Solar Eclipse conjunct Pluto can either bring empowerment/transformation or, in the face of refusal to change – decay and destruction.

Donald Trump has the Eclipse conjunct his Mars and Ascendant, which will make him even more combative than usual. The key to an Eclipse on Mars is to learn how to handle anger sensibly otherwise it leads to physical strain and/or accidents, never mind volcanic arguments.

Jeremy Corbyn and Emmanuel Macron both have the August Eclipse conjunct their Saturn – paying the price for decisions and having to shoulder heavier responsibilities.

The UK has its 11th house Saturn also conjunct the Leo Eclipse, which will put pressure on the legislature at Westminster. The EU’s 12th house Pluto is also conjunct the Eclipse – as they face the crisis of Brexit, amongst whatever else fate throws their way, as they try to hold together an untenable structure.

Iraq’s Leo Sun is almost exactly conjunct as they struggle to regain control of territory from ISIS and bridge the sectarian divide.

Israel, worryingly, has their Mars conjunct the Leo Eclipse, which could send them into aggressive overdrive out of insecurity.

The path of this 2017 August Eclipse does run across middle USA, so may have more impact there, though not necessarily instantly, see below for Delayed Effects. It is in the 1 North Saros Series that seems to accompany major events in the USA when it falls due.

The US dropped the Hiroshima atomic bomb, four weeks after the 1945 eclipse in this series. In 1963, next time round for 1 North, Martin Luther King was delivering his rousing civil rights speech in Washington to 200,000 African-Americans campaigning for Black civil rights, four weeks after. Three months later President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas. The same cycle repeating in 1981 saw US forces shooting down two Libyan planes, and the US air traffic control strike. Then in July 1999, JFK’s son John was killed in a plane crash three weeks before a 1 North solar eclipse. And NATO forces were at war for the first time since 1945, trying to reverse the Serbian ethnic cleansing and genocide of Albanians. In previous 1 North eclipses: Charles Lindbergh made the first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight, from New York to Paris in 33 hours, in 1927; and in 1909 a major earthquake destroyed Acapulco, two weeks after the eclipse.

For a prime example of the Delay Effect: the path of the August 1999 total solar eclipse in the 1 North rose in the Eastern seaboard of the USA, crossed the UK, curving down across Afghanistan, Pakistan to finish in southern India. There were major aspects to the eclipse from Saturn in Taurus, Mars in Scorpio, Uranus & Neptune in Aquarius. At the time, despite much excitement and trepidation, there was little outward sign of the kind of events such a powerhouse of influences might have suggested. But in January 2001 the same aspects recurred with Mars returning for the first time since 1999 to Scorpio, and along with the Aquarian Sun picking up the tail end of the waning, disruptive Saturn Uranus square.

At precisely the time those aspects repeated, the devastating Gujarat earthquake in central western India on January 26 2001 – exactly on the 1999 eclipse path – occurred as these aspects all came together again. The catastrophic national foot & mouth epidemic in the UK, also started around this time.

Even later still in late March 2002, when Mars was again in a fixed sign – Taurus – running into the square to the eclipse Uranus, it coincided with a major earthquake in Afghanistan, also on that 1999 eclipse path.

Japan is especially sensitive to this series of eclipses, and by early 2001 it was admired that Japan’s economy was at the point of collapse.

This 2017 August Leo Eclipse is not as heavily aspected at the 1999 one – though the Eclipse is conjunct Mars and trine Uranus and trine Saturn, with Uranus opposition Jupiter – so it could lead to restless over-confidence, risk-taking, impatience with restrictions.

Bernadette Brady in The Eagle and the Lark says of 1 North Eclipses: Unexpected events with friends or groups place great pressure on relationships. Hasty decisions will be unwise since information is likely to be distorted or false. Tiredness and health problems can occur.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London – Algol + afflicted Mars Saturn term


Sadiq Khan took over as Mayor of London on 7 May 2016, sworn in at 11.49am – and has been coping this year with two terrorist attacks, at Westminster in March and London Bridge in early June, and now one of the worst fire and tower tragedies ever.

His Term chart does have the Taurus Moon conjunct the destructive Fixed star Algol; with a heavily aspected, accident and disaster-prone Mars Saturn conjunction square Jupiter opposition Neptune. So it was never going to be an easy run. There is a positive, confident and determined Pluto trine Jupiter trine Sun, though it focuses in on an 8th house Neptune as the driving planet of a Kite – so financial muddles, maybe commercial scandals, subversion and deception. The 8th house, along with its financial meanings, is associated with national death, rebirth and renewal.

He has a pretty tough chart himself, 8 Oct 1970, with a Mars Pluto in Virgo trine Saturn in Taurus, sextile Neptune Venus in Scorpio. So he won’t be rattled by much.