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.

White House back in crisis mode – take a bad situation, make it worse



The fallout from the resignation of White House staffer Rob Porter over domestic abuse charges continues to damage John Kelly, Trump and Hope Hicks. Abusive husbands are hardly confined to Republicans but the handling of the affair couldn’t have been worse. Porter had been refused security clearance because of his former wives’ statements so the White House must have known for months. Then Kelly supports him up to the hilt when the allegations surface, only to go into sharp reverse when it blew out of control. Trump naturally is inclined to disbelieve the women. Hope Hicks, evidently Porter’s present squeeze, is boot-faced. Trump has form on this since several of his choices have suffered similar claims – Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandowski, Andrew Puzder and even POTUS himself (Ivana Trump) – as well as endorsing child molester Roy Moore and being a long-term friend of Steve Wynn. (See URL below).

John Kelly comes out of it badly since he was there to impose control and sanity. Yet one commentator said: ‘He’s been a real failure. Kelly has reinforced Trump’s worst instincts. Trump is a human wrecking ball and Kelly is his biggest enabler.” (URL below)

There’s nothing much on Kelly’s relationship chart with Trump to suggests a split (without his birth time) though he evidently wouldn’t be unhappy to leave and he will be exceptionally enraged/frustrated (more so) from March onwards until late 2019. He’s a stalwart Taurus Sun trine Saturn and Mars in Virgo, so not one for bending in the breeze or making impulsive moves. It’s a restrictive crossover for Trump, since Kelly’s Mars squares Trump’s Sun and Moon; and Kelly’s Saturn squares Trump’s Uranus.

Rob Porter, 25 October 1977 is a Sun Mercury in Scorpio square Mars in last degree Cancer – so will be volatile, and on a short-fuse. He’s also got an intensely emotional Venus Pluto in Libra perhaps opposition an Aries Moon, which sits as a singleton planet.

It’s an odd relationship with Hope Hicks, 21 October 1988, since her Libra Sun is square his Mars, which can provide sparks early on then turn argumentative later. Their relationship chart is worse with a bleak, controlling composite Sun Saturn Pluto inconjunct Mars; with a passionate composite Mars trine Venus. It doesn’t look like surviving much longer with tr Uranus moving to oppose and square the main planets within weeks.

The relationship chart between Hicks and Trump is basically friendly and affectionate with a composite Sun, Mercury, Venus though also based on illusions leading to disappoint with a Neptune square. It’s hitting a low this month with tr Neptune square the composite Mars; and is essentially an unstable link with a composite Uranus opposition Pluto. She looks shaken up come this April as tr Uranus starts to oppose her Sun, on and off into 2019.

Never a dull week in the Oval office.

Kim Yo Yong – a diplomatic offensive



Kim Yo Yong, the Dear Leader’s sister, has been shipped into South Korea to grace the Winter Olympics. Locals are doubtful about the North Korean peace initiative, being suspicious about what comes next.

She was born 26 September 1987 (on best evidence) making her a charming and elusive Sun Venus in Libra square Neptune; with a confident Mercury in Libra opposition Jupiter in Aries; and an tough, volatile Mars in Virgo square Saturn Uranus in Sagittarius. She looks stressed and challenged from March onwards and panicky come April as tr Neptune starts to square her Saturn; with worse in 2019 as tr Uranus is in a high-risk opposition to her Mars/Saturn midpoint.

She certainly fits as the diplomatic face of Kim Jong Un’s administration since her Sun Venus fall in the 7th house of the leadership chart. Her slippery Neptune is conjunct the Leadership 10th house Sun Pluto, as she has tap-danced into a position of power; with her Moon Pluto in the leadership 8th giving her behind-the-throne control.

On that chart Uranus has moved by Solar Arc to close the square to the Sun to exact, exactly now. That is often a destabilising influence. Though Uranus, the trickster, can sometimes bring the opposite result, with new opportunities opening up. Solar Arc Uranus will then move to square the Pluto  exactly in two and a half months’ time. There will be tensions and outbursts come mid April onwards with tr Uranus opposition the Saturn; and pressure along with risk from mid July.

Black Panther – giddily enjoyable Afro-futurist saga



Black Panther, the latest Marvel offering, premiered in LA to rave reviews with a 98% from Rotten Tomatoes and 4/5 from Den of Geek. The Variety review called it: “a giddily enjoyable, convention-bucking 134-minute epic that somehow manages to simultaneously be a comic-book blockbuster, a pulsating espionage thriller and an Afro-futurist family saga.”

Production started by 21 January 2017 with a powerfully confident Jupiter opposition Uranus square Pluto which augured well; and it premiered with a Pluto Jupiter sextile, so the stars were aligned.

Ryan Coogler directed, 23 May 1986, whose previous movies have earned him several awards. He’s a multi-talented and serious Sun Mercury in Gemini opposition Saturn (Moon) in Sagittarius. He’s looking upbeat this month for the premiere with tr Uranus trine his Sun/Jupiter midpoint; certainly in year of tumultuous change. Though along with the ups there’ll be a few setbacks ahead as well.

Chadwick Boseman, the star, 29 November 1977, Anderson SC, was previously the lead in the movie ‘Marshall’ about the first Afro-American Supreme Court Judge and James Brown in ‘Get On Up’. He is a Sun Sagittarius in a dynamic trine to Mars in Leo, sextiling onto Pluto, and his Sun square a hard-working square to Saturn in Virgo. He’s also looking chipper with tr Pluto trine his Sun/Jupiter and tr Uranus trine his Jupiter/Pluto this month. With even better ahead in 2019/2020. Though oddly both he and Coogler have tr Neptune opposition their Mars/Pluto midpoint this month as well which might suggest something isn’t going quite to plan.