Selena Gomez – rising to the challenge of a difficult life



Singer, actress and most followed Instagram celebrity, Selena Gomez, has announced she has had a kidney transplant donated by her friend actress Francia Raisa. She suffers from lupus, an auto-immune disease, and has had career breaks to cope with depression and anxiety.

Born 22 July 1992 7.129am Grand Prairie, Texas (astrotheme), she was brought up poor by a single actress mother who was 16 when she was born, and grandparents, and started acting at 10.

She has a final degree Cancer Sun in the 12th; with Venus Mercury conjunct her Leo Ascendant in the 1st – so will bounce between seclusion and sociable charm. Her ambitiously determined 10th house Mars in Taurus is sextile her Sun and opposition a 4th house Pluto, so not an easy childhood. Saturn in Aquarius is in her 7th square her Pluto, so close relationships will always take an effort. Her 9th house widely-travelled Aries Moon is square Uranus Neptune in Capricorn in her a 6th house of health, so she will be emotionally highly-strung as well as having a delicate constitution.

This year tr Pluto has been conjunct her 6th house Neptune and Uranus/Neptune midpoint with tr Uranus conjunct her Moon – so a good deal to cope with physically. Tr Neptune is also opposing her Jupiter in 2017/18 which is not high energy either, perhaps also accompanying financial uncertainties. Luckily tr Jupiter is moving into her 4th house for a year ahead from this October, giving her a chance to recuperate at home. Though she will have a sharp change of direction from spring 2018 onwards with tr Uranus conjunct her MC.

Francia Raisa, 26 July 1988, Los Angeles, is a Sun Leo which is conjunct Selena’s Sun, Ascendant and Venus; with her Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Selena’s Mars. Though there are less crossovers than you might expect from such a selfless act. The relationship chart has a friendly composite Venus Jupiter opposition Saturn which is fairly up and down. The only thing that really connects (if the birth dates are accurate) is Francia’s Pisces North Node opposition Selena’s Jupiter; and Selena’s Capricorn North Node conjunct Francia’s Neptune Moon, Saturn Uranus. So there are ‘destiny’ contacts though not as much as I might have expected.

Marco Pierre White – forever Sagittarius



The chef Marco Pierre White claims to be a country recluse despite being star of Australia’s MasterChef, two top rated UK kitchen series, a new Harvey Weinstein format for the US and hopes his autobiography will be filmed with Michael Fassbender in the lead. All the while heading a lucrative empire of restaurants and doing Knorr stock cube ads.

Born 11 December 1961 in Leeds with a chef father and an Italian mother who died when he was six, he left school without qualifications and trained in London under the classical cooking greats. He was the first British chef to win three Michelin stars and the youngest anywhere at 33. He’s short-tempered in the way of kitchen maestros and criticised by some for turning himself into a brooding celebrity.

He’s a Sun Mars, Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius so colourful and not short of outspoken opinions. His probably Aquarius Moon is conjunct Jupiter and maybe Saturn in late Capricorn; and his Venus is square Uranus Pluto in Virgo, giving him a fast-changing and volatile emotional life with three brief marriages and speedy divorces on his CV. His chart is mainly Mutable, so highly-strung, scattered, needing constant stimulation.

His ‘obsessive’ 11th harmonic is strong, which gives inspired imagination but can also attract enemies. His 9th harmonic is also notable which can bring strength, determination and creative ability and also has a liking for money.

Tr Neptune is squaring his Sagittarius planets on for a few years so not all going to plan; and tr Saturn in Capricorn will damp his enthusiasm a touch as he moves through his Second Saturn Return and dents his enthusiastic Jupiter through till 2021. But he’ll always have a Plan B in mind and move on smartly when certain projects don’t work out.

Of the other famous chefs: Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal and Michael Roux are all Sun Geminis. Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc – Scorpios. Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein – Capricorn. And the unsurpassable Ferran Adria of El Bulli is Taurus. All of them bar Adria, have a handful of Mutable planets in their charts – Virgo, Gemini mainly and in Nigella Lawson’s case Mars Jupiter in Sagittarius. Surprising there are no Cancerians.

Kiri Te Kanawa – a Piscean lyrical soprana



Kiri Te Kanawa, the New Zealand-born international opera soprano is retiring her mellifluous vocal chords after a fifty year career.

Born 6 March 1944 at 2pm Gisborne, NZ, she was adopted as an infant and was classically trained at school, though she started her career as a pop singer and entertainer. Given a study grant she moved to London, sang with Sadlers’ Wells and then the Royal Opera House and since 1970 has appeared at all the world’s major opera houses and concert halls.  Though the general public probably know her best for her performance at Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding.

She has a much-travelled and musical 9th house Sun Mercury in Pisces, with her Sun in a highly-disciplined square to Mars Saturn in Gemini in the 12th; and her Mercury squares Uranus. The Mars Saturn also points to anger at her early beginnings since she has never sought to find or connect with her birth parents. But the grit has stood her in good stead for a punishing career of constant travel, daily voice practise, recordings and performances.

Her intensely emotional but private 8th house Venus in Aquarius opposes Jupiter (Pluto) in Leo, which latter sit with her Leo Moon in the 2nd, so she was clearly destined to forge a successful money-earning career.

She has a multi-talented Half Grand Sextile from Venus opposition Jupiter sextile/trine an Aries MC sextile Mars Saturn – so a mix of charm and hard-drive. Her focus ahead will be on training young singers though with tr Neptune conjunct her Sun in 2018 and then moving to square her Mars Saturn, she may not find retirement that easy.

Angelina Jolie – a mass of contradictions



Angelina Jolie’s latest movie “First They Killed My Father,” based on the true story of a young girl who survived the Cambodian genocide, has been deemed her best yet at its recent premiere.

She continues to lead an enigmatic life, effortlessly glamourous with a strictly controlled public image, mother to a large brood of adopted and biological children, now exiting from the power-couple marriage to Brad Pitt, and steeped in her humanitarian work, embracing the darkest crimes of humanity. She does have a stark chart emotionally with a much-travelled 9th house Aries Moon conjunct Mars and Jupiter square Saturn and opposition Pluto – so she will be drawn to high-risk situations, drama and horror. Her friendly, socially-aware 11th house Gemini Sun opposes Neptune in the 5th house of children and trine Pluto giving her vision and determination.

She certainly looks unsettled domestically this year, having just moved house, with tr Uranus opposing her 4th house Uranus into 2018; as well as a discouraging tr Pluto opposition Saturn; and a more upbeat tr Pluto square Jupiter MC. Tr Neptune is also in a confused, undermining square to her Sun in 2017 and 2018.

But she’s destined for success no matter the ups and downs along the way with her pro-active Jupiter sitting firmly on her midheaven.

Relocating her chart to Cambodia puts her Sun in the 4th so she clearly feels at home there, with her idealistic Neptune in the 10th; her organising Saturn in the 5th house of entertainment; and her Aries planets in the money-making 2nd.

Despite celeb gossip suggesting she and Brad Pitt might come back together since he has cleaned up his lifestyle, it doesn’t seem altogether likely. Their relationship chart has tr Saturn square the Pluto (opposition Sun) later this fall; with tr Uranus opposing the composite Venus into early 2018.

Apple launch – innovative, lucky, Airy with obstacles to overcome



The temple to Apple, a newly finished park in Cupertino, California larger than the Vatican, was the venue for the new iPhone launch with a facial recognition iPhone X and upgraded iPhone 8s.

With a well-aspected Jupiter in the business-finance 8th in a communicative Air Grand Trine of Jupiter trine Aquarius Ascendant trine a Gemini Moon, formed into a Kite with the leading-edge Uranus as the driving planet, it has a good deal going for it. However the Sun squares Saturn in the 10th, so there may be delays and some obstacles to overcome.

The Apple Nasdaq chart, 12 Dec 1980 10am New York, has a hint of uncertainty if not downright panic in the final days of this month into early October.

The Apple Inc 1 April 1976 chart, looks similarly log-jammed till late this October. But super-confident through 2018/19. It may not be the instant fly-off-the-shelf success they were hoping for but could build.

Peter Hall – a Scorpio miracle-maker



Sir Peter Hall, who virtually single-handedly transformed British theatre and established it as gold standard over fifty years, has died. Described as “a colossus”, his tunnel-visioned determination in his late twenties formed the Royal Shakespeare Company and he then went on to establish the National Theatre on the South Bank; and was much lauded for his opera productions. He premiered Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in the 1950s to almost universal bewilderment, which later turned into a classic, and 25 years later Peter Schaffer’s Amadeus, which was a blockbusting success; along the way of a long career he produced hundreds of Shakespearean and modern plays. His range was astonishing. He was known as a “boy wonder” and then a Machiavellian schemer and those who knew him said “he was a man of great warmth and mischievous wit.” Another commentator described him as “a large, loud, stubborn man – who tended to attract admirers and detractors of equal fervour”.

Born 22 November 1930 with a ratcatcher grandfather and railwayman father, he started play going at 12 by train to London or cycling to Stratford, won a scholarship to Cambridge where he started directing; and never looked back.

His last degree Scorpio Sun was conjunct Venus trine the super-confident Jupiter Pluto in Cancer (much like Pierre Berge born a week earlier, see post below) – so ultra-charming, but also obsessive, hyper-determined, lucky and resourceful. He had an entrepreneurial, inspirational Fire Grand Trine of Mars in flamboyant Leo trine Mercury in Sagittarius trine Uranus, making him talented, a risk-taker and attention-seeking.


Richard Branson – living on his Pluto line of death and rebirth



Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of the Virgin Group, survived Hurricane Irma, by bunkering down with his staff in the concrete wine cellar of his Necker Island house which was destroyed above his head. He’s now talking to various governments, aid agencies and the media, to mobilise aid efforts and rebuilding plans for the British Virgin Islands and wider Caribbean.

Born 18 July 1950 7am Blackheath, England, he has a 12th house Cancer Sun conjunct the changeable and unpredictable Fixed star Procyon, which is getting the jolting tr Uranus square this year and into early 2018. He has his Pluto in Leo on his Ascendant which was in direct collision with the August Lunar Eclipse. And his chart, relocated to the Virgin Islands puts that Pluto almost exactly on the IC. That wouldn’t be considered lucky in astrocartography – it will tend to bring intense experiences, sometimes high-risk situations and a sense of constant upheavals and transformations. His Necker House has been destroyed once already by fire in 2011 and had to be totally rebuilt. Plus ca change.

The August Solar eclipse was also conjunct his 1 degree Virgo Moon and opposition his Secondary Progressed Moon – so shocks affecting his home. Plus he has tr Pluto square his Mars at the moment adding to his sense of meeting tremendous force. Tr Uranus is also conjunct his midheaven this year, sending him in new directions.

Video from Sam Branson: 

Togo – land of plenty on the breadline



Protests in Togo against the president are continuing with the UN urging that the people’s “legitimate expectations” be heard. Formerly under French rule, the country has had the same ruling family dynasty for fifty years. All West African countries except Togo now have a stipulated two term rule for presidents.

A narrow tropical country of 6 million multi-ethnic and multi-religious peoples, wedged between Ghana on the west, Benin on the east, with a small border with Burkina Faso to the north, it became independent on 27 April 1960. A coup in 1967 put in the present president’s father for 37 years, and Faure Gnassingbe took over on his death in 2005.

Agricultural and minerals are its chief economy and although standards of living are high there’s also widespread poverty; it is under developed and in debt. Wiki travel says it is one of the nicest places in Western Africa. Roads are good, distances small, beaches sandy and white, people friendly, hills and mountains waiting to be explored.

The country chart has great potential with an Earth Grand Trine of Jupiter in Capricorn trine Pluto trine a Taurus Sun which is opposition Neptune MC. A trapped Pluto in the 8th won’t help nor is too much Neptune, but it still could have great potential. Another Earth Grand Trine of a 12th house (none too practical) Saturn in Capricorn trine a 4th house Taurus Moon trine North Node in Virgo could also give it commercial nous if the energy was freed up. Plus a mini-Grand Trine of Moon trine Saturn, sextile Mars in the 2nd.

At the moment tr Uranus is opposing the Solar Arc Pluto, shaking that Grand Trine/Kite in its progressed position as rebellion mounts and that’ll be around for another year.

There’s not much to suggest President Gnassingbe’s Term chart, 4 May 2005, will keel over instantly; though it’s blocked this year with tr Saturn conjunct the Pluto; heavily discouraged in 2018/19 with tr Pluto opposition Saturn; and in meltdown in 2020 with Solar Arc Neptune conjunct Mars.

Born 6 June 1966, he’s a Sun Mars in Gemini square Uranus Pluto, so a loose cannon and controlling. He looks undermined in 2018/19 but there’s nothing much showing apart from that.

Katherine Ryan – Cancerian wit



Canadian-born Katherine Ryan is going from strength to strength in her career as a stand-up comic, in ye olden days very much a male domain. Born 30 June 1983 in Sarnia, Canada, she moved to the UK in her 20s, took to open mic as a hobby, built her profile through television panel shows and now has her own Netflix stand-up special. Her act is described as ‘silly, edgy, political and slapstick all at the same time’.

She has her Sun in a feisty conjunction to Mars in Cancer, which is a sign that has a nose for what the public wants; and she has a quirky, adventurous Jupiter Uranus in Sagittarius, which is a comedian’s sign. Her Mercury in chatty Gemini is conjunct the Node, opposition Neptune and trine Saturn Pluto in Libra – so intuitive as well as hard-hitting with a keen sense of the bleaker side of life. She has a talented Half Grand Sextile from Mercury opposition Neptune, sextile Saturn Pluto sextile Venus in Leo so she can mix her pungent comments with light-hearted entertainment and fun.

She’s certainly moving into a period of fast-moving change with her Solar Arc Uranus Jupiter crossing the conjunction to her Sun between 2017 and 2021, which all looks good if unsettled. And a marginally more challenging Solar Arc Saturn Pluto conjunct her Jupiter Uranus between 2019 and 2022.