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.

Jeremy Corbyn – the accidental leader



Jeremy Corbyn, UK Opposition Leader, is cementing his popularity after an unexpectedly good election result by turning up at the Grenfell House fire site and comforting residents. Unlike Theresa May who turned up flanked by security and avoided any interaction with victims. She is tone deaf, an emotional robot and very badly advised.

Corbyn’s chart hasn’t been much guidance without a birth time; apart from a frustrating but ultra-determined tr Pluto trine his Mars in Taurus in 2017/18; and some discouraging moments from mid July to early September, and November this year with tr Pluto opposition his Sun/Saturn. And the August Leo Eclipse will conjunct his Saturn, which will thrust heavier responsibilities his way in the months thereafter. For someone who never showed much ambition in terms of high office, maybe he will  have to push himself to step up now to his new found prominence.

What are more informative are his leadership charts, which at least have valid times – 12 September 2015 11.42 am, and 24 September 2016 12.51pm, London. Both charts have lucky, successful Jupiter in the 10th which might be a clue – the 2015 Jupiter is conjunct Moon, and the 2016 conjunct Sun.

In the 2016 chart, which is this run of leadership, the Solar Arc Sun will conjunct Jupiter exactly by early 2018. This suggests his run of high hopes and popularity will rise further in coming months. It doesn’t necessarily mean another election, though it would indicate a great opportunity for him if it happened. [Putin’s Presidency chart from 2012 also has Sun Jupiter in the 10th. That conjunction came exact in late 2016/early 2017 when his star was riding high on the international scene, but has now faded as the influence waned.]

Corbyn will get a significant jolt in December, which shows up on his personal and leadership charts. But it’s only a passing setback.

Leo Varadkar – charm, optimism, a hope for progress, impractical


Leo Varadkar has become Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland – around 3.30pm 14 June 2017 in Dublin. And ran into early criticism when he failed to make radical changes in the cabinet. Though he confirmed there will be a referendum on abortion next year. This week the UN Human Rights Committee ruled for the second time that Ireland’s abortion laws currently violate women’s human rights.

His Term chart has an optimistic, fair-minded Jupiter on a Libra Ascendant in an Air Grand Trine to a tolerant Aquarius Moon trine Mercury in Gemini – so certainly communicative. Though possibly veering towards dreams and illusions with Jupiter also quincunx Neptune. There is a divisive Uranus in the 7th suggesting neighbourly relationships may get tricky. Plus a Fire Grand Trine of Node trine Saturn trine Uranus, formed into a Kite by Saturn opposition Sun – so a Fire Air chart, lots of hot air and high inspiration, maybe not enough grounding and practicality.

It certainly looks a rocky ride ahead with not much of a honeymoon period as tr Uranus squares his Sun Mars and tr Neptune opposes his Saturn. [See post June 3 2017].

Steve Scalise – shot for his political beliefs



Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican congressman and majority whip is in critical condition after a shooting at a baseball game. Five others were injured after James T Hodgkinson, opened fire and was then killed after a firefight with police. Hodkinson’s Facebook account is filled with anti-Republican and anti-Trump posts; and he had campaigned for Bernie Sanders. In a tragic irony, Scalise and others were practising for the non-partisan annual baseball match with the Democrats in Congress.

Hodgkinson, 12 Dec 1950 (FBI net), had a history of domestic violence, anger and alcohol abuse. He was a Sun Venus in Sagittarius with his Sun trine Pluto; a publicity-attracting Mars in ambitious Capricorn square Neptune, and Mars in a hard-edged, angry trine to Saturn; and a T Square of Uranus opposition Mercury square Saturn. The last would give him some organisational skills but also high levels of impatience and a tendency to dominate.

2017 would have set off his hair-trigger responses with tr Uranus in an insecure, volatile square to his Mars exact now; and a mega-confused tr Pluto square his Neptune. And tr Pluto was also square his violent Mars/Uranus midpoint exactly when he opened fire.

Steve Scalise, 6 October 1965, New Orleans, is a Sun Mercury in Libra, as befits a lawmaker; with his Mars in Sagittarius quincunx Jupiter in patriotic Cancer; and Uranus Pluto opposition Saturn. He’s not in a great year though there’s nothing exact at the moment. Tr Uranus is just over the opposition to his Mars/Pluto and Mars/Uranus midpoints which are high risk; with tr Pluto trine his Uranus and Pluto, and square his Uranus/Neptune and Neptune/Pluto midpoints; and tr Neptune conjunct his Saturn. Confusion, uncertainty and major changes.

His relationship chart with Hodgkinson, whom he’d probably never met, and there is no suggestion of any personal animus, merely a generic political dislike – does have a heavily aspected Mars, conjunct Saturn, and trine Pluto trine Jupiter; with Jupiter opposition Neptune. So a powerful composite which is often the case in these oddly karmic interactions, even if it was just wrong time, wrong place for Scalise.

Like many terrorists/mass shooters, Hodginkson was a bubbling cauldron of rage looking for a target.

Puerto Rico – throwing their hopes towards the USA


Puerto Rico’s plebiscite voted overwhelmingly in favour of pushing to become a full USA state. But the turnout was abysmal with fewer than a quarter of voters taking part, with mass abstentions after charges of corruption. And at the end of it all, there is no legal requirement for the USA Congress to consider the matter. When Puerto Rico was acquired from the Spanish in 1898 it was as a colonial possession (an unincorporated territory) not a future state. One of Congress terms in any event would be national solvency which is certainly not the case for Puerto Rico which has considerable government debts owing.

The constitution for Puerto Rico was celebrated on 25 July 1952 1.36pm, San Juan (astrotheme). That gives a fixed T Square of Mars in Scorpio opposition Jupiter square Pluto on the MC (time being accurate), with Pluto opposition North Node IC – so a country prone to being dominated. It looks exceptionally muddled in 2017/18 with tr Pluto square Neptune; and short financially with tr Saturn through the 2nd. There will be some optimistic moments from July onwards for a few months; but it also looks very high-wire, explosive and in a state of upheaval with the Solar Arc Mars opposition Uranus.

There looks to be disappointment with the US before the end of 2017; with pressures mounting on the relationship in 2018 to 2020. 2019 could see a complete turnaround in the relationship, though it looks more separated than conjoined.

London fire – beyond description


A horrific fire has destroyed a London tower block of 120 apartments with many fatalities feared as residents were trapped. Details are sketchy but there is a talk of ‘Third World’ safety failures with no fire alarm or sprinklers, and previous advice to tenants of ‘stay inside’ being proved catastrophically wrong as newly installed plastic insulation cladding on the outside turned the building into an inferno which is likely to collapse.

First alarm calls came through at 00.54 am local time, which puts Saturn on the MC opposition Sun IC, which is the driving rod of a Fire Grand Trine of Node trine Uranus trine Saturn MC.

When it started Mars was closely square the Sun/Pluto midpoint and opposition Saturn/Pluto – physical breakdown, fighting for one’s life, violence. Expansive (not always a good thing) Jupiter was opposition the brutal Mars/Pluto midpoint. And Pluto was square the Sun/Moon midpoint, which latter often appears at disasters with relationships and families being ripped apart.

The UK chart has Solar Arc MC approaching the square to the 8th house Mars, within weeks. That UK Mars in the 8th when triggered has always accompanied major loss of life catastrophes in the UK. When tr Pluto was opposition the UK Mars in the late 1980s: on the run up there was the Zebrugge Ferry sinking and King’s Cross Fire in 1987, followed in 1988 by the Marchioness sinking, the Piper Alpha explosion, the Hillsborough football fatalities, Lockerbie plane crash. It just went on and on, all of them involving multiple deaths.

Otto Warmbier – home from a holiday disaster


Otto Warmbier, the young American convicted in North Korea to 15 years hard labour in 2016 for stealing a poster with Kim Jong Un’s name on it, has been sent back home. At the time the US State Department spokesman said that the harsh sentence was imposed “for political purposes” and was a response to strengthened economic sanctions due to increased North Korean nuclear weapons testing. His parents said he had been in a coma for a year after his trial, after contracting botulism – usually a result of badly preserved food or infection entering a wound.

Born 12 December 1994 (wiki) he’s a Sun Mercury in Sagittarius; with a complicated Saturn opposition Mars square Jupiter Pluto. Sagittarius will give him a love of travel; Mars Saturn is accident-prone or associated with major frustrations, while Jupiter Pluto is supremely confident. He also has the highly-strung Uranus Neptune in Capricorn. His Mars is trine Uranus, so he’ll be impulsive as well.

His Solar Arc Pluto was in a blocking conjunction to his Sun when he was arrested on 2 Jan 2016; tr Saturn was conjunct his Sun/Jupiter and Mercury/Jupiter midpoints, which would drain his confidence; tr Neptune was just past the conjunction to his Saturn; and tr Pluto was conjunct his Solar Arc Sun. So pretty much hemmed in from several directions.

His Progressed Mars had just gone retrograde a year or so before (assuming birth date is accurate) which almost always coincides with a major event. Robert Blaschke says – the individual loses will and vitality and in some cases faces violence. It stays retrograde for many years to come.

There’s no way of knowing what lies ahead for him. Normally botulism paralysis only extends up to 8 weeks, though I can’t imagine NK hospitals in labour camps or wherever are exactly state of the art. How grim for his parents.