Streep & Hanks in ‘The Post’ – publish and be damned



Spielberg’s The Post, just premiered, tells the timely tale of an American newspaper’s struggle to hold a corrupt administration to account. Editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and proprietor Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) face down legal threats from the Nixon administration, possible jail time and boardroom fainthearts, to disclose the truth about how the US government deceived America about the unwinnability of the Vietnam war. The NY Times broke the story contained in Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers but were injuncted to stop publication. It was the scoop that paved the way for the Watergate investigation.

Meryl Streep evidently steals the show and is on top form. Though she doesn’t look altogether happy at the moment.

Born 22 June 1949 8.05 am Summit, New Jersey, she has a maverick Sun Uranus in Cancer on one leg of a Yod sextile Saturn in hard-working Virgo inconjunct Jupiter, which gives her an opportunity to have a positive effect on the masses. Her Taurus Moon is in the 10th, suiting her for a public career.   Her Sun Uranus are about to pick up the downbeat tr Saturn opposition just before Christmas; and her Solar Arc Mars is conjunct her Pluto for the next few months making her feel increasing frustrated and angry. Tr Pluto is also squaring her midheaven in 2017/2018 so she is feeling the pressure perhaps of the political environment and the Weinstein/#metoo furore which she has been strongly outspoken in support of.

Tom Hanks, 9 July 1956 11.17am Concord, California, also favourably reviewed, is another Sun Cancer in a trine to a steadily enduring Saturn in Scorpio; with a creative and self-protective Water Grand Trine, a charming Venus in Gemini on his midheaven and a Leo Moon.

Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst, who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971 (7 April 1931) was a Sun Aries conjunct Uranus and North Node square Jupiter Pluto in Cancer opposition Saturn in Capricorn – so headstrong, reforming, ultra-determined. He was consummately smeared after they came out, causing maximum embarrassment to the top US political players. They tried to make him out as mad, broke into his psychiatrist’s office etc which led on eventually to the whole Watergate debacle. He was charged under the Espionage Act but that case collapsed as a result of the White House dirty tricks being exposed. Ehrlichman, Dean and others resigned and were charged and all the rest followed.

Johnny Hallyday – wild man of rock a la francaise



Johnny Hallyday, the French Elvis Presley and bad-boy of rock who turned into a national treasure, has died. He sold 100 million records, starred in several films including a Jean-Luc Godard, and remained at the top for forty years, though was virtually unknown elsewhere. The BBC said: ‘Hallyday’s stage presence was undeniable. He was a hip-swinging bolt of lightning, a sexually-charged wild man of rock, and a danger to public decency.’

Born 19 June 1943 1pm in Paris, he was abandoned as a baby, brought up by an aunt and started performing cowboy songs on stage aged nine, until he found rock n’ roll and never looked back. He became friends with Edith Piaf.

He had a Sun Gemini (like many pop stars) in his public-career 10th house, along with Saturn Uranus midheaven and Mercury also in Gemini. His Sun was square musical Neptune in his 1st; and his ultra-charming Venus Pluto in Leo along with Jupiter brought him to the attention of an eager society. His Mars in pro-active, impulsive Aries was in his 8th, so he would be harbouring a reservoir of anger, but channelled that into his career – with Mars trine Venus, sextile his MC. A singleton Capricorn Moon was in his 4th squared Mars, so he’d be eternally unsettled in his home life, only ever feeling he’d be loved if he achieved and not being remotely easy to live with. He went through five marriages, one lasting two months and drank and drugged to excess. But his 17th Harmonic – leaving a legacy for the future – was exceptionally well marked. A life lived to the full.

Christine Keeler – the tragic epicentre of a political scandal



Christine Keeler, the escort girl who was dragged unwillingly into a scandal that effectively brought down a prime minister and Tory Government in the 1960s, and whose name became synonymous with sleaze, has died. She was at the centre of a high-society expose that riveted the media and sent shock waves round the establishment, after it emerged that she’d had simultaneous liaisons with John Profumo, UK Minister of Defence, and a Russian naval attache.

Her beauty belied a sad life that started badly and ended up worse. Born 22 February 1942 11.15 am in London, she was abused by her stepfather, became a good-time girl, being handed round members of high society and the Cliveden set. She never lived down the notoriety and became latterly a recluse, estranged from her family. Unlike Mandy Rice Davies, the other showgirl involved, whose flip response in court to Lord Astor’s denial of their affair – ‘Well he would say that wouldn’t he?’ – went into public usage. She went on to have a relatively successful and respectable life.

Keeler had a 10th house Pisces Sun inconjunct a 4th house Pluto. Her Pluto was also the driving planet of a Kite from a Grand Trine of Venus MC Mercury in Aquarius trine a Gemini Ascendant (Jupiter) trine Neptune. Plus a punishing collection of Saturn Mars Moon Uranus in Taurus in her 12th. Disentangling all of that – her Venus gave her undoubted charm, and opposition such an emphasised and afflicted Pluto would put her sexually at the mercy of older men (father figures). There’s cruelty aplenty from those 12th house planets picking up an over-romanticized and ultimately disappointed Neptune in the 5th. When the scandal broke tr Saturn was moving through her 10th house thrusting her into the public eye and ultimately breaking any chance she had of a life thereafter.

Many Rice Davies, 21 October 1944, was made of tougher stuff. A late Sun Libra conjunct Mars in Scorpio with her Mars trine Saturn and square Pluto – she was certainly used to hardship, but she traded on her celebrity and became successful running nightclubs.

Greta Garbo – a sad bird in a gilded cage



Greta Garbo was a silver-screen goddess of the 1920s and 30s, who became a byword for seclusion after she retired from films and shut herself off from the world. Even at the height of her fame she shunned publicity, rarely gave interviews and avoided social functions. Letters are now on show which reveal her depression and loneliness.

Born 18 September 1905 7.30pm Stockholm, Sweden, she grew up in a poor family where she talked of the constant anxiety, fear and ugliness of her environment. She never married and lived alone virtually all of her life.

She had a Virgo Sun, which can be self-sufficient though falling in her 5th house it should have given her more confidence and a love of parties. She clearly focussed all that 5th house energy into performing. What stifled her Sun was a square to Pluto opposition Mars, which would bring her acute frustration and accentuate her fears. Her Sun was also inconjunct her Saturn in the 11th, which would make it difficult for her to function out in groups in the wider society. Saturn also opposed her Venus and squared her 12th house Taurus Moon, making her feel un-loveable.

Her chart is a conundrum since a 5th house Sun and Jupiter on her Ascendant should have made her outgoing. Yet a double dose of Saturn and that ferocious Mars Pluto completely damped down her spirit. She died eventually at 84, having amassed a large art collection.

Saleh & Yemen – one dead, the other devastated by war



Yemen’s bloody war collected another scalp with the assassination of the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had deserted his erstwhile allies the rebel Iran-supported Shia Houthis to try to broker a deal with Saudi Arabia. He won’t be personally much mourned, since he was disliked by many of his countrymen during his 30 year nepotistic reign which earned him the nickname of ‘Little Saddam’. A tribal leader said of him: “He never had any sort of strategic thinking or vision — his strategy was to remain in power . . . his cleverness was to make the tribes always need him, to make them fight each other, so that they would need his weapons.”

Saleh, born 21 March 1942, was either Sun Pisces or Aries, trine Pluto and opposition Neptune – so a tinge of megalomania from Neptune Pluto; with his Pluto in a ruthless sextile to Mars; and opportunistic Mars Jupiter; and an obdurate Uranus Saturn Moon in Taurus.

He once said that ruling Yemen was like “dancing on the heads of snakes” and it has had centuries’ long history of internal fighting and occupation. Modern dates are variable, since the country continually split into north and south before coming together. But there are two charts from 27 September 1962 and 22 May 1990.

Both charts are relatively similar so the dates look reasonably sound. Both have an Air Sun trine Saturn; both have Jupiter opposition Uranus – on one case with Uranus conjunct Pluto and the other Uranus conjunct Neptune; both have Mars in a Water sign in last decan. The 1962 chart looks violent and destructive in 2018/19 with tr Pluto opposition Mars and square Mercury. The 1990 Republic chart stores up most trouble post 2020 to 2023 with tr Pluto in risky sextile to Mars and then a great-hardship conjunction to Saturn.

So nothing that looks like bringing much hope to the poor population ravaged by cholera, starvation and war.

Brexit brake – unsolvable conundrum



A bunch of right-wing, anti-abortion, anti-same-sex-marriage/LGBT rights, creationist Ulster Protestants (aka Ian Paisley) have scuppered Theresa May’s chances of moving onto the next crucial Brexit stage of trade talks. After the disastrous election last June May was forced to lash herself unthinkably to the Northern Ireland DUP for their 10 MPs to survive politically. Now she’s paying the price. Though truthfully it’s hard to see how this Gordian knot is going to be untied. To prevent a hard border with the south, the north will need to stay within the EU customs union, which Scotland and Wales would then insist is a privilege extending to them, which would send the Bo-jo Brexiteers off into a tantrum.

This month was never going to be good news for May with tr Saturn in a downbeat square to her Sun/Jupiter and Mercury; and worse, in a complete and devastated muddle from tr Pluto square her Sun/Neptune, returning on and off through 2018. Though she does have a great sigh of relief this Dec/Jan from tr Uranus opposition her Jupiter/North Node which is either good news, or she gets let off the hook and sent out to pasture. Somewhere soon since her birth time isn’t known, she gets a massive jolt from Solar Arc Uranus conjunct her Sun.

If she sticks around, then she runs into a bigger minefield in 2018 with tr Neptune returning to conjunct her Mars for a panicky feeling of failure from early February (returning late October into early 2019). From mid March onwards tr Pluto is conjunct her Mars/Saturn midpoint which is calamitous – though that could be a disaster of another variety such as a major atrocity. That returns on and off through 2019 as well, joined in 2019/2020 by a frustratingly-trapped tr Pluto conjunct her Mars/Node. By 2019 tr Neptune is in a bubble-bursting, false-hopes-dashed opposition to her Jupiter; and is exactly square the Sun and Moon in her government chart.

Arlene Foster, the hard-line leader of the DUP, thrust unexpectedly (and undeservedly) into a powerful position of leverage was born 3 July 1970, two weeks before Scots leader Nicola Sturgeon. She has a New Moon, Mercury and Mars in Cancer with her Mars in an opportunistic square to Jupiter. She’s also got an ultra-determined, unsentimental and ruthless mini-Grand Trine of Saturn in Taurus trine Pluto, sextile Mars in Cancer.

Her Mars is under acute, frustrating and enraging pressure in 2018/19 from February onwards as tr Pluto opposes her Mars.  She is resisting fiercely any moves to separate Northern Ireland from the UK and thus bring it closer to the south, much disliked by her Orange Order supporters.  She’s playing with fire since she certainly doesn’t want a left-wing (increasingly so) Corbyn government in place which if she keeps pushing she might end up with.

She’s certainly a key figure where the UK is concerned since her Sun and Mars (as with Sturgeon) fall in the UK’s 10th house and her Saturn in Taurus in the UK 8th in aspect to the UK’s 4 Fixed planets in financial and legislative positions – so a block politically and where cash is concerned.

Foster’s relationship chart with the UK is worsening dramatically through 2018/19 with tr Neptune in hard aspect to a composite T Square of Pluto opposition Mars square Jupiter; and tr Saturn square the composite Sun by 2019. Not good chemistry to start with and tr Neptune is turning bad feelings into a festering swamp of unpopularity.

Muddle and mayhem were always going to be the signature of this May government, 9 June 2017 12.35pm London with an exact Gemini Sun opposition Moon square Neptune.  It might, given Neptune’s slipperiness totter on, but it won’t end well.

Shashi Kapoor – a perfect film star chart


Shashi Kapoor, the Indian actor and producer, a member of the Kapoor Bollywood film dynasty and widower of Jennifer Kendal, sister of Felicity, has died. He starred in a great many Indian films, appearing on stage and screen from the age of 10 onwards, and was best known in the west for appearing in several Merchant and Ivory films amongst others.

Born 18 March 1938 in Calcutta at 3.06am? He was a Sun Pisces in a creative Water Grand Trine to Pluto in Cancer trine a Scorpio North Node, formed into a Kite by Sun opposition an 8th house Neptune – so a perfect chart for a film superstar.  Pisces is ruled by Neptune so he had more than a double dose of the planet of dreams and images. The birth time is unverified but this one fits since Neptune often appears in the 8th in film star charts who have an uncanny ability to project an aura. He had a high-adrenaline and quite stubborn Mars Uranus in Taurus in the 3rd so would be forthright in expressing his views; and his Mercury, Saturn, Venus in self-reliant Aries were in his money-making 2nd.

Pic with Greta Scacchi in Heat and Dust.

Trump, Kushner, Pence – the pyramid starting to crumble



Trump Term revisited as it sidles towards its first ‘victory’ – a tax bill the FT describes as ‘the most bogus and politically cynical tax plan in recent memory. This is Reaganomics with all the downside and none of the upside.’ If it ultimately passes, it will create a fiscal mess and deficit that America will be digging itself out of for the next 30 years.

The Term chart does have Saturn in the 8th, often found in bankers’ and financiers’ charts. The 8th house rules business finances and taxes and Saturn always favours the establishment. The control-freak focal point Pluto in a pushy square to Jupiter also doesn’t help to make this an equal opportunities administration. The Term Pluto being 9th house also points to a deluge of legal tangles creating hostility.

The Mueller Investigation is circling closer to the family with Jared Kushner’s name cropping up and Trump seemingly distancing himself from his son-in-law. Kushner, 10 January 1981 will be feeling precarious and unloved at the moment with tr Uranus in a disruptive opposition to his Pluto now and January and tr Saturn conjunct his Venus. Then tr Pluto is conjunct his Capricorn Sun from early February till late 2019, which will be a punishingly challenging time of great pressure. With major hiccups in May; and on a catastrophic downhill slide from mid 2018 onwards for 18 months with tr Neptune square his Mars/Pluto midpoint.

Ivanka looks confidence-dented this month but with more glimmerings of light than Jared, from tr Uranus opposition her Jupiter/Pluto till early February; though when he’s under most pressure she has tr Pluto square her Jupiter/Saturn midpoint, which usually means career and status changes, losses, restrictions – and that’s from Feb 2018 to late 2019, on and off.

Mike Pence may also be caught in the Mueller trap. He’s feeling the pressure of unsettling change this month and January with tr Uranus square his Sun/Pluto; worsening in January with tr Pluto in a disastrous square to his Mars/Saturn, on and off till the year end. March has career losses. And from May onwards his prospects look even dimmer with tr Neptune starting to square his Gemini Sun for 18 months; and tr Uranus squaring his Venus for an emotional shock, repeating in 2019. Plus a ‘shocking collision’ from Solar Arc Sun conjunct his Uranus from later in 2018 to early 2019.

I would have my doubts if Trump falls off his perch whether Pence would be in a position to step up.

North Korea – DEFCON alert ratcheting up



North Korea’s latest dramatic long-range missile launch, capable in the eyes of some analysts of striking as far afield as Washington or New York, got lost in all the Trump noise. Bolstering nuclear power could just be a defensive strategy for Kim Jong Un, to discourage the US from ever attacking and allowing him to negotiate from a position of strength to secure a relaxation of economic and political sanctions. Although HR McMaster, the White House national security adviser, has warned that Pyongyang is the greatest immediate threat to America. In Hawaii, a siren to warn of an impending nuclear attack has been tested for the first time since the end of the Cold War; and there were calls for families of US forces personnel to be moved out of South Korea.

Kim Jong Un’s leadership chart, 29 December 2011 11.57am Pyonggang, looks on high tension as tr Saturn moves into Capricorn on the 20th of this month; with an enraged Pluto Mars ramping up the pressure in January. The unstable Uranus in a control-freak square to Sun Pluto on the chart moves ever closer to complete upheaval by Solar Arc, exact in two months’ time, though could trigger any time. With more conflict, risk and losses by April/May – if he survives on his throne.

South Korea, 15 August 1948, also looks edgy in the extreme around December 20th; and again at risk through January; with more upsets and insecurity through March/April 2018.

On the US side; HR McMaster is on high alert for violent calamities now and in January with tr Uranus square his Mars/Pluto, joined in January by tr Pluto opposition his Mars/Uranus hinting at violent interventions. Looking more confident from mid March onwards.

James Mattis, Defence chief, is less bullish, a touch undermined this month (maybe for other reasons); but certainly moving into catastrophe-zone from early February till late March with tr Pluto square his martial Mars/Saturn midpoint. He looks much less confident that McMaster with Neptune transits washing over him.