Benjamin Netanyahu – running downhill fast



The Israeli police have announced that there is sufficient evidence indicating PM Benjamin Netanyahu took bribes in two separate cases and acted “against public interests” – accepting lavish gifts (worth circa $250k) from wealthy benefactors in return for advancing their interests. He is refusing to stand down and says the ‘police document has holes like Swiss cheese.’ He insists gifts from tycoons were gestures of friendship and ‘never felt like the amount of a million shekels.’

He won’t budge easy but his days are numbered according to Haaretz, the Tel Aviv liberal paper. April looks crux point with tr Uranus opposing his Libra Sun and tr Neptune opposing his 10th house Saturn in Virgo. Pressures will mount through next month with the insecure tr Uranus trine his Mars and the devastating and scandal-prone tr Pluto square his Sun/Neptune, which latter continues on and off till late 2019. Tr Saturn is moving through his low-profile, less successful first quadrant and has now hit the nadir now as it moes through his 2nd house. And he has Solar Arc Pluto conjunct his Sun, exact in 6 months’ time, though likely put up road-blocks before then.

His 2015 Government chart also has tr Uranus opposing the midheaven from May onwards for a mighty jolt; and the Solar Arc Pluto square his Uranus, exact in six months destabilising him from now onwards.

Jacob Zuma – resisting the inevitable



Jacob Zuma has been asked by his party to resign for the sake of the country. He has said he is willing to stand down in the next three to six months but as of the moment is still in power. First elected in 2009 he has been dogged by corruption allegations.

His Second Term chart, 24 May 2014 11.35am Pretoria is control-freaky with Mars opposition an 8th house Moon Uranus square Pluto, so the likelihood of him going easily was remote. Mars is moving by Solar Arc to close the square to Pluto by the same degree in 3 months’ time, though not exact until August, which will feel like a dead-end. And tr Saturn will make a separating and aggravating square to the Moon and Mars by April – so the signs of an ending are all there.

His own chart, 12 April 1942, has tr Pluto moving to square his Aries Sun just after mid March, so the pressure is on. Though he has Saturn Uranus in Taurus so isn’t easily budged.

He’s probably aiming for an immunity deal for his retirement, though he looks deflated and less than confident over 2019 to the early 2020s.

Chloe Kim – another snow wizard



Another teenage pirouetting snowboarder has picked up a gold at the Winter Olympics. Chloe Kim, 23 April 2000, Long Beach, California, is the daughter of émigré South Korean parents and she first tried the sport aged four. She has dominated the sport in recent years, becoming the youngest person to win three X Games gold medals. At just 15 she became the first female snowboarder to land back-to-back 1080 degree spins in competition, a trick she repeated on her third run in Pyeongchang. Don’t know how they do it but fascinating.

She has her Sun in Taurus square Neptune, along with Jupiter, Saturn and Mars also in Taurus; with her Mars Saturn square Uranus – definitely physical and adventurous. Her Jupiter is inconjunct Pluto.

So some similarities to Red Gerard (below, born two months later) with a Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Taurus square Uranus, and she has one quincunx, where he has two.

Saturn Pluto – a retreat to an illiberal past



Just a quick thought on the upcoming Saturn Pluto conjunction. Usually associated with deprivation and economic hardship, and major wars, it also carries a sense of repression of freedom. I wonder whether, casting its shadow before the exact aspect in 2019, is may also be connected to the present slide towards intolerance and denunciation out in twitter land and indeed on university campuses. What is puzzling amongst today’s young is their reversion to a kind of puritanism away from a liberal past. As Matt Ridley points out in today’s Times, it is similar to the shift from louche Regency into Victorian strait-laced morality; or before that the coming of Oliver Cromwell, which was a joyless and mercifully brief excursion away from decadent monarchy.

The myth that history means progress doesn’t take account of the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other. Who’d have thought all we fought for in terms of liberation would be stamped on by the young, desperate to protect their delicate sensitivities? Mildly erotic classical paintings are being hastily removed to the basement out of sight; To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn have been banned in the US since they make students uncomfortable. Protected spaces are undermining free speech and denying the young the opportunity to learn about – life. And the new can’t-upset-anyone movement is, in the UK, allowing Sharia Law to spread and effectively preventing many Muslim women from enjoying the same freedom that others have.

What this whole twitter rage-feste which attempts to destroy any alternative viewpoint suggests to me is fascism, or Stalinism which comes to much the same thing.

London analyst Christopher Bollas writes of the fascist state of mind that it “entertains no doubt or uncertainty”. Distortion of the views of opponents to render them less intelligible and credible is the first move. They have to be discredited because no separation of view is possible from the accepted one. Denigration, character assassination and caricaturing are their weapons. French analyst Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel echoes the same thought when talking of group delusions: “He who does not think as the group does is excluded, harassed, killed or declared insane.”

If all of the above is a side effect of Saturn Pluto, it means we are in for another two years of it, which is a real bore. Roll on Aquarius.

Katie Roiphe – under attack by fervent #metoo-ers



Katie Roiphe, a journalist and professor at New York University, has been trashed for her views on #metoo and in response she suggests there is a Stalinist tenor to the debate, which is trying to police thought and shut down free speech. She is concerned about the dangers of collapsing distinctions between different types of male misbehaviour and being indiffer­ent to due process. She argues there is a “silent majority” who are deeply supportive of bringing abusers like Weinstein to book, but who think that crying foul over a stray hand or a sleazy date is counterproductive, undermining more serious cases of actual assault.

Her 1993 book, The Morning After, criticised what she called the “rape crisis movement” then sweeping college campuses. “If we assume that women are not all helpless and naive, then they should be responsible for their choice to drink or take drugs. If a woman’s ‘judgment is impaired’ and she has sex, it isn’t always the man’s fault; it isn’t necessarily always rape.” That brought accusations that she was “enabling misogyny” and this time round the attacks are even more vicious. She says: “There’s been a lot of flattening of misbehaviour, everything from rape to a bad date is getting chucked in the same bin. Real damage to reputations is being done; some of it justified, some of it not.”

Born 13 July 1968 6.30am New York with a psychoanalyst father and a noted feminist mother, she has a 12th house Sun Mars Venus in Cancer, so isn’t scared of an argument. Her Sun Venus square Saturn in forced-to-be-self-reliant Aries in her 10th, so she’s a curious mix of emotionally volatile and cool, a good organiser who gains respect through hard work. Her Sun Venus are also trine Neptune and sextile Uranus Pluto in Virgo in her 3rd, so she’s keen on leading-edge thinking and expressing herself with vigour.

Tr Uranus is conjunct her Saturn exactly now, as her Harper’s piece is published, which is a time tensions often erupt into the open. She’ll be challenged and pressured through 2018/19 with tr Pluto opposing her Sun and trine her Pluto.

She’s a stalwart personality so it’s not surprising she worries that the broader aspects of the #metoo debate, as she did in the date rape controversy, categorize women as weak and undermines their sexual agency.

Syria sinking deeper; Israel on alert



Syria is sliding back into the fog of war, just as it seemed to be coming to an end, albeit unhappily with Assad still in charge. Israel has launched raids against Iranian targets in Syria after saying it had intercepted an Iranian drone crossing the Israel border. Syria has accused the US of carrying out a “brutal massacre” with US air and artillery strikes killed an estimated 100 pro-government fighters. And the Kurdish battle for freedom seems to be escalating, which is unsettling Turkey. There appear to be myriad different groups fighting who have support from the US or Russia or Iran. All an unholy mess that could start up again.

Israel does have tr Uranus square its midheaven exactly now, suggesting a sharp change of direction; with the Eclipses colliding with their 10th house Saturn Pluto (Lunar, January 31) and their Mars (Solar on February 15th). The Mars Eclipse link is combative and explosive. The late July Lunar Eclipse will oppose the Israel Moon; and the August Solar Eclipse will catch the Israel Saturn, so it will be a fraught year. Israel is feeling more isolated than before with tr Saturn moving through their 3rd house.

The Israel relationship chart with Syria, 1 January 1944, will be undermining, suspicious, under huge pressure and worsening from early May onwards.

The relationship chart with Iran, 1 Feb 1979, has the composite Saturn opposing the Solar Eclipse this week, for a major jolt; with a further slide from April onwards.

Bashar Assad’s Presidency chart, always did look to be hitting its riskiest and most challenging phase from this month onwards for several years ahead, which didn’t make sense when I first looked at it, but now does. (See post Dec 15 2017). Tr Pluto is opposing Mars for the first time now, and repeating on and off till late 2019; then squaring the Sun/Mars midpoint and finally opposing the Sun until late 2021. That will be frustratingly and scarily trapped.

Red Gerard – a teenage triumph



A heart-warming and heart-stopping story from the Winter Olympics. Red Gerard, a 17-year-old snowboarder from Cleveland came from last to win gold in a dizzying routine of a “Backside triple cork 1440”—  turning backwards off the take-off, four full rotations in the air (four times 360º is 1440º), and three off-axis dips to make it a triple. Televised when the result came through, all he could utter were several swear words and “Hoooly shiiiiit!”

He said he hadn’t expected to make the finals and crashed on his first two attempts. Then he stepped up to the podium to collect the US’s first gold of the games, became the youngest snowboarding gold medallist ever, and the country’s youngest male gold-medallist at the Winter Olympics since 1928.

Born 29 June 2000, the second youngest of seven, he’s a Sun Mars in Cancer on the focal point of a Yod inconjunct Pluto sextile Neptune. What’s fascinating about his chart is that it is similar to Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, 30 June 1985 who is also a Sun Mars in Cancer with Mars on the focal point of a Yod inconjunct Uranus Moon sextile Jupiter in Aquarius. If anything Phelps is the luckier chart, especially with that odd mid degree Aquarius placing which top athletes often have. Though Gerard does have Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Taurus square Uranus, so he’ll be nothing if not determined and adventurous.

Michel Barnier – bullying tactics backfiring



Michael Barnier, chief EU negotiator for Brexit, has been issuing dire threats about a punishment clause that would allow Brussels to ground aircraft and block trade if the UK failed to obey EU rules during the transition period. Not only is he making himself even more unpopular in the UK, he’s becoming a serious concern to other EU countries, who worry if he pushes too hard it’ll turn into a no-deal Brexit. At that point the EU would lose a considerable sum of money and the damage to several EU economies would be considerable, with French farmers, German manufacturers, Spain’s tourism industry etc taking a hit. The Eastern European countries and Italy are also less than pleased about his bull-in-a-china-shop approach.

Born 9 Jan 1951 4.40pm La Tronche, France, he’s a Sun Capricorn square Neptune both of which are under assault from tr Pluto hard aspects this year, so it could turn into the worst time of his life. He’s also got a ruthless, unsubtle 8th house Mars Moon in Aquarius opposition Pluto. He looks overly-stressed and on the edge this month with tr Uranus opposition his Mercury/Pluto midpoint. By early 2019, birth time being accurate, tr Neptune will conjunct his midheaven into 2020, so he won’t be celebrating a resounding success.

There is alarm on his relationship chart with the EU this month with tr Uranus opposition the composite Neptune; a weakening of confidence through this year as tr Saturn is conjunct the composite Jupiter; and a definite chill early in 2019 and on with tr Saturn conjunct the composite Sun Mars.

His relationship with Emmanuel Macron is showing signs of slippage from early this May onwards for two or three years with tr Neptune first opposing the composite Saturn, then Pluto; with increasing chill and separation through this year as well from tr Saturn conjunct the composite Sun.

With Merkel, now semi-established in a coalition government, there’s major confusion and aggravation between them from this March onwards as tr Pluto squares their composite Sun Neptune, moving on in 2019 to conjunct the composite Mars.

No one likes him or his bullying methods, which, if left unchecked,  could backfire into a spectacular shoot-in-the-foot exercise.

Sex and the City outburst – Kim & Sarah feud



There’s been a mystifying Instagram spat between two Sex and the City stars Kim Catrall and Sarah Jessica Parker. Kim’s brother died this week after she had reported him missing and when Sarah sent her condolences, presumably publicly, she received a blast back from Kim: “Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now. Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven’t already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I’m writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your ‘nice girl’ persona.”   Even given her upset over a family death, it does seem an over-reaction, no matter what how strained their working relationship had been.

Kim Catrall, 21 August 1956, Liverpool, England, is an intense Sun Pluto in Leo in a bleak square to an obsessive Saturn in Scorpio; with her Saturn in a gritty trine to Mars in Pisces; and her Mars in an argumentative opposition to Mercury.

Sarah Jessica Parker, 25 March 1965 9am Nelsonville, Ohio, will be tricky as well. She has a charming and upfront Sun Venus in Aries; but also a tumultuous Uranus Mars Pluto in Virgo in her 4th opposition Saturn and trine her 8th house Capricorn Moon, so will bubble like a volcano with emotional undercurrents.

Their charts are not too badly aligned, though Kim’s Sun Pluto falls in Sarah’s 4th which will put her on edge and squares Sarah’s confident Jupiter which may lead to one-upmanship games; and Kim’s Saturn is conjunct Sarah’s Descendant and opposition her Jupiter, so she will make Sarah feel put down.

Their relationship chart has a competitive composite Sun Mars inconjunct Saturn and widely square Pluto – all of which is very ratchety. And the composite Saturn opposes Jupiter for difficulties maintaining balance in their relationship. It’ll worsen from now onwards with tr Neptune squaring the composite Sun Mars in 2018/19.