Jerry Lewis – a unique talent



Jerry Lewis, the comedian, actor, screenwriter, producer, director has died aged 91. He was a ‘defining figure in American entertainment’ on Broadway, in films, nightclubs and on television, adored by some and disliked by others for his zany performances.

Born 16 March 1926 12.15pm Newark, New Jersey, into a vaudeville family, he was often left as his parents went touring. He became successful early in a duo nightclub act with singer Dean Martin and later after they split branched out on his own to a prolific and long-running career, which had its ups and downs but he always bounced back.

He had Sun Uranus in Pisces on his midheaven, so definitely quirky and went his own independent way; with his Sun Uranus in a pro-active sextile to Mars in Capricorn. His Mars was square a 10th house Taurus Moon and his 10th house Mercury in Aries was square Pluto – he could pack a fair verbal punch. He was also blessed with an 8th house Jupiter in Aquarius conjunct Venus opposition Neptune square Saturn in Scorpio in his 5th – lucky and obsessively conscientious especially about the organisational side of showbusiness. He was a complicated, multi-talented man with a chart replete with creative quintiles and inspired though not always stable septiles (5th and 7th harmonics.) His unorthodox/genius 13H was also especially heavily aspected.

The New York Times wrote: “A mercurial personality who could flip from naked neediness to towering rage, Mr. Lewis seemed to contain multitudes, and he explored all of them. His ultimate object of contemplation was his own contradictory self, and he turned his obsession with fragmentation, discontinuity and the limits of language into a spectacle that enchanted children, disturbed adults and fascinated postmodernist critics.”

Solar Eclipse 1878 – illness and political corruption



Eclipse excitement is at its height across the USA, as it was with the UK August 1999 Eclipse. Despite fears of momentous events, if this one follows the 1999 one, nothing much of significance may happen immediately. Though it’s interesting to look at what events occurred close to a previous USA Total Solar Eclipse on 29 July 1878, seen across southern states. There was a tornado in Connecticut 10 days later which killed 34. More tragically that year there was an outbreak of yellow fever in the Mississippi Valley which killed over 13,000.

The previous winter had been abnormally cold and was followed in Texas by a plague of grass-hoppers. Politically the USA was sinking into the ‘gilded era’ so called satirically by Mark Twain which was a period of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding. It was a time when political corruption, the spoils system, and back-room deals contributed to a weak federal government. So called Reconstruction after the Civil War came to an end, and the African-American people in the South, formerly slaves, were stripped of political power and voting rights and were left economically disadvantaged. Republican Rutherford Hayes had become president in 1876 in a contentious and controversial USA elections, despite have polled lower than the Democrat candidate, who won a majority of the popular vote.

The 1878 Eclipse was at 6 degrees Leo, so exactly conjunct the USA North Node, which should have been a wake-up call. But an attempt at a more progressive era took another decade plus to come into being. The Eclipse did coincide with a brutal and disruptive Pluto square Mars Uranus; as well as New Moon opposition Jupiter square Neptune, perhaps pointing to its slippery financial effect.

James Garfield who became Republican President in March 1881 was assassinated four months later. When his death occurred on 2 July 1881, on the 1878 Eclipse chart the New Moon had moved by Solar Arc to square the Neptune; and Solar Arc Pluto had moved to close to the square to Uranus to exact, with Solar Arc Mars square Pluto – that’s perhaps a touch obscure since you’d drown in data if you plotted all Eclipse charts for years after. But intriguing enough for major Total Eclipses on their path.

For previous posts on the August 2017 Eclipse see August 14 2017 and November 11 2016.

Image is of a drawing made at the time of the 1878 eclipse.

NAFTA – Trump’s trade policies raising hackles



‘I’ll do what I want and you’ll do what I want then I’ll be happy’ appears to be Trump’s Make America Great again strategy as the Canada, Mexico, USA NAFTA trade agreement, now 25 years old, opens for renegotiation. Trump has called NAFTA the worst deal ever and threatened to tear it up unless a better agreement can be negotiated for American workers. North of the border, a top Canadian union boss said; “ We’re a polite nation, but we’re not a stupid nation” to the suggestion that the USA wants more access to government procurement contracts in Canada and Mexico, while restricting businesses through so-called Buy American laws. South of the border, Mexican hatred of Trump is escalating, so any Mexico comes-second deal is likely to accelerate an anti-USA government being voted in, which will have other consequences, not least on border control.

The NAFTA agreement came into force on 1 January 1994 and has a productive chart with a Sun Mars Mercury Venus in ambitious and commercial Capricorn sextile Jupiter in Scorpio; and an enduring Saturn opposition Moon square Pluto. But it is undoubtedly moving through sticky times. Tr Saturn is moving to conjunct the Capricorn planets from early 2018, and worse tr Pluto will conjunct Neptune Uranus in Capricorn also from early 2018 to late 2019 which look highly confused and devastating, so it’s not beyond the bounds of possibilities it ends up in a heap on the floor. Though two things in its favour. That Saturn Pluto square is fairly unbudgeable and tr Uranus opposition Jupiter in 2020/21 might see a revival.

Relations between both Canada and Mexico and the USA are extremely fractious now and until 2020.

The Canadian/USA relationship chart is stuck at the moment, discouraged through the fall, and explosive from March 2018 onwards, with increasing coldness and separation as well as major jolts into 2019.

The Mexico/USA relationship chart is on a knife-edge of insecurity in 2018; and much worse in 2019/2020 with tr Pluto opposition the composite Mars, which will bring up extreme aggravation.

The Mexico 15 September 1810 11pm Dolores Hidalgo chart looks irritable and blocked at the moment, downbeat in late Sept/Oct and facing a serious setback with losses in 2018 from Solar Arc Mars opposition Sun and tr Neptune conjunct the 10th house Pluto, so not in a good phase.

Ruth Pfau – a Virgo healer



Bringing leprosy under control was the lifetime achievement of German doctor and nun, Ruth Pfau, known as Pakistan’s Mother Teresa. She has died aged 87, leaving behind 150 clinics treating the disease which she set up over her 50 years in the country, and was given a state funeral.

Born 9 September 1929 in Leipzig, Germany, she suffered her home being destroyed during WW11, escaped to the west when Stalin moved in and studied as a doctor. She felt a religious calling and converted to Catholicism in the 1950s when tr Pluto was conjunct her Neptune; and was sent to India where chance stuck her in Karachi and she stayed.

Like Mother Teresa she had a Virgo Sun,  an earthy Taurus North Node and oddly enough for two women who lived in poverty Venus in flamboyant Leo. Ruth Pfau also had an unafraid-of-danger Mars Mercury in Libra opposition Uranus square Pluto. She’d be immensely resourceful in crises as well as drawn to high-risk situations. Her Sun was square an optimistic Jupiter on one side and Saturn in scholarly Sagittarius on the other. Quite a force to be reckoned with given her determined Pluto and emphasised Sun.

She had the healer’s 12th Harmonic well aspected; as well as a leaving-a-legacy for-history 17th harmonic.

Robert Redford – marked out for fame



Robert Redford, actor, movie producer and environmentalist, best known for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, All the President’s Men and Out of Africa, as well as for launching his Sundance Festival for Indie films, is 81 this week.

Born 18 August 1936 at 8.02pm Santa Monica, California, he’s always looked like a golden boy but has had a fairly tumultuous life. His first child died of sudden infant death, his son has had life-threatening health problems and his daughter was involved in a near-fatal car crash. His late teens was marred by the death of his mother which turned him to drink and lost him his college education, after which he moved into acting.

He has a hard-working 6th house Sun, with Venus, Neptune, Mercury, Moon in Virgo also in his 6th. A 12th house Saturn in Pisces above his Ascendant opposes Neptune Mercury Moon squaring onto an enthusiastic, crusading Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 9th. The Saturn Neptune is highly creative. He also has an influential, ultra-determined and attention-grabbing Pluto conjunct Mars in Leo in his performing 5th house, which is a pointer not only to his charismatic personality but also the dramas he has undergone with his children. There’s also an Earth Grand Trine of Uranus trine Venus trine North Node in Capricorn on his midheaven, so he’s got a good business head on his shoulders.

His most memorable partnership was with Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy. Newman, 26 January 1925 6.30am Cleveland Heights, Ohio, has his Jupiter in Redford’s 10th house. And Newman’s Neptune trine Mars in Aries connects with Redford’s Leo Sun.

Both of them have strong, creative 5th Harmonic charts (quintile aspects); enduring 11H; actor’s 15H; and super-star 22nd Harmonics. So talented and marked out for fame.

They don’t make them like that anymore.

Big Ben – an ominous silence



Big Ben, the iconic symbol of London, is to fall silent for four years from noon tomorrow for repairs. Health and Safety have managed to accomplish what five years bombing by the Nazis failed to do in WW11. It was the first subject addressed by Theresa May as she arrived hot-foot from a month’s vacation. ‘Won’t do’ she said, backed by the long-time clock-tender who said stopping it wasn’t necessary; and a population sinking into shell-shock from the inept chaos of the Brexit negotiations regarding the loss of its familiar bells with superstitious horror. And they could be right. I faintly recollect the Queen’s swans dying en masse when they flew into a bridge in fog and thinking at the time it was a bad omen. Her Annis Horribilis followed.

The clock tower was rebuilt after a fire and completed on 31 May 1859 giving it a Sun Uranus in Gemini, maybe New Moon, with Mars Jupiter also in Gemini. Traditionally London was supposed to be Gemini, so that all fits. There’s also a stubbornly enduring Pluto Venus Mercury in Taurus square a wannabe-important Saturn in Leo.

On the UK 1801 chart, tr Mercury moves exactly now into the hidden 12th house, though it moves out at the start of this October. The likelihood is a solution will be found. The Solar Arc MC is exactly square the 8th house UK Mars right now as well, which fairly reflects a stunned nation. And the transiting North Node (Eclipsed) is conjunct the 11th house Saturn in Leo. The 11th house represents the legislature (House of Commons) – and an Eclipse conjunct Saturn will force our benighted politicians to get a grip, face their responsibilities and be realistic (hopefully). Saturn always brings the bill for past choices. There is a price to pay and that moment is now (and over the next few months).

Bruce Forsyth – a Piscean way with words


Bruce Forsyth, the British television presenter and entertainer and national treasure whose career spanned 75 years has died. He started at 14 with a song, dance and accordion act and became the best known face on TV with the London Palladium and game shows, latterly Strictly Come Dancing.

Born 22 February 1928 3.30 am London, he had a 3rd house, quick-witted New Moon Mercury in Pisces, with a lucky, adventurous Uranus Jupiter in Aries also in the 3rd, so he’d thrive on a helter-skelter, varied everyday life. He had an ambitious Mars Venus in Capricorn in his 2nd house of finances; and a surprisingly defensive Saturn on his Sagittarius Ascendant (if his birth time is accurate). His Pluto fell in his 8th, fitting for a personality who became an icon. He was married three times and had six children.

Steve Bannon – only room for one ego



Deep political analysis of the ousting of Steve Bannon mainly suggests a win for the New York inner Trump faction (Ivanka, Jared etc) over populism; and a win for Chief of Staff John Kelly brought in to restore peace. The truth is Bannon dissed his chances in February when he appeared on the cover of Time as the great manipulating puppet-master who had created Trump and portrayed himself as Darth Vader. No one but no one gets to take away the centre spotlight from the great narcissist.

The Trump/Bannon relationship chart has a power-struggling composite Jupiter Pluto conjunction – initially this can operate as a mutually back-slapping, adventurous combo but it almost inevitably ends up in a game-playing, who’s-going-to- get-the-last-word scenario. There’s a composite Sun Mercury Saturn conjunction which is workmanlike and cool, but that’s been undermined this year by tr Neptune in opposition, which continues on till late 2018. Plus a passionately enthusiastic composite Mars Venus, which has tr Saturn in square for the final time at the moment into October.

In his I’m-not-going-quietly interview yesterday Bannon said: “I feel jacked up. Now I’m free. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. Someone said, ‘it’s Bannon the Barbarian’. I am definitely going to crush the opposition. There’s no doubt. I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart. And now I’m about to go back, knowing what I know, and we’re about to rev that machine up. And rev it up we will do.”

Nothing in the crazy, conspiracy-ridden world in which Bannon and Trump operate is simple. Bannon and his billionaire patron Robert Mercer evidently still support Trump and his agenda, so presumably see him as a hostage to ‘swamp’/globalist forces now surrounding him in the White House.

Mercer (see post June 28 2017) is a full-blown paranoid, reportedly believing the Clintons have had opponents murdered, that nuclear radiation from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki made Japanese citizens healthier, and that African Americans were better off before the Civil Rights Movement (New Yorker).

Bannon’s overly aggressive Mars in Libra on the point of an explosive T Square to Uranus opposition a Capricorn North Node will be at full throttle for the next few months. Since his Uranus is also square Neptune, he has a tendency towards fanaticism, an irrational disinclination to face facts even when pushed in his face. The Leo Solar Eclipse is, of course, conjunct his Pluto and maybe Leo Moon and his Solar Arc Jupiter, giving him a shock and a spur to power. But 2018 will see his plans dissolving and his life going through one of its periodic upheavals. His career backwards has been one of ruptured business relationships, bombastic and war-like claims and failures.

Even his relationship to Robert Mercer looks less than amiable as this year wears on and will be on a downhill slide through 2018.

Mercer himself, 11 July 1948, looks less than ecstatic at the moment with his Solar Arc Uranus conjunct his Venus in Leo and both meeting the Leo Eclipse had on; with Solar Arc Saturn conjunct his Neptune bringing uncertainty; with more disappointments and failed plans as the year goes on. He’ll be bullish at points with tr Pluto square his Jupiter, but there’ll be more downs than ups.

Trump’s toxic mad-hatters tea party

The madhouse drama that is Trump’s administration continues to eject flames and debris in all directions. His latest toddler tantrum against being bullied into decent, grown-up behaviour has led to alarm amongst a wide range of hitherto quiescent supporters – and even better has caused several large charities to pull their functions from Mar-a-Lago, which will cost him bucks. No doubt his hotels will see the same fall-out.

James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox (son of Rupert who is CEO of Fox News and a great Trump supporter) has spoken out sharply against Neo-Nazis and Klansmen and given a donation to the Anti-Defamation League. His relationship chart with Trump was never great to start with, given a composite Mars square Saturn in their relationship chart; and tr Saturn square the composite Mercury Sun Mars across this summer has exacerbated his dislike. Though it may cause friction with Murdoch Senior since the Senior/Junior  relationship chart has a tr Saturn square the composite Mars late Sept/early October. Though even Rupert may follow some of his Fox TV presenters in distancing himself from the toxic Trump brand, from late September, with definite ruptures come 2018.

There’s a good deal of aggravation with Steve Bannon who has been shooting his mouth off in Mooch style. He’s got an infuriated, aggravated, trapped tr Pluto square his Mars (unless he was born pre 7 am) through this Sept/Oct. Even without that, he’s being frozen by Trump at the moment with tr Saturn square the composite Mars Venus till mid October.

Gary Cohn, chief economic adviser to Trump, is at loggerheads with Bannon and privately ‘disgusted’ with Trump’s post-Charlottesville remarks. The Trump/Cohn relationship chart was always a munitions dump ready to blow with an explosive composite Uranus, Mars, Sun in a deeply suspicious and blocked square to Neptune Saturn; and a power-struggling Pluto square Jupiter. That’s being detonated at the moment by tr Uranus square the composite Sun, with a tranche of escalating difficulties following into 2018.

Former four-star general John Kelly, Trump’s Chief of Staff, looked in pain as Trump went on his rampaging off-page speech. I feel sorry for these guys and the military chiefs who are no doubt staying in place for the sake of the country and having to swallow their bile and their pride to ensure the lunatics aren’t left in charge.

Kelly, a stalwartly persevering Sun Mercury in Taurus square Pluto, trine Mars, is ploughing on in discouraged mood through Sept/Oct, highly irritable at points and sinking at others, with more aggro come November, and worse in 2018.

The latest incumbent in a communication hot seat is former model Hope Hicks, 21 October 1988, who replaces Scaramucci. She’s a Sun Libra sextile Uranus Saturn in Sagittarius; with her Mercury in Libra trine Jupiter square Neptune. Her Jupiter in Gemini falls in Trump’s 10th so she’ll boost his image; and her Sun and Pluto fall in his 3rd so she will be his voice-piece. Though her Saturn Uranus conjunct his Moon and opposition his Sun don’t look a great mix. Her life is certainly changing radically with tr Uranus opposition her Sun now and into 2018; heading for the pressured Saturn return later this year; and will be in for a bumpy ride across the New Year with tr Saturn square her Mars and conjunct her Neptune. 2018 looks a sinking year, with worse in 2019.

Her relationship chart with Trump has an affectionate composite Sun Mercury Venus though that squares Neptune – so illusions, delusions and disappointment. There’s a constantly-changing composite Uranus opposition Pluto, which is catching downbeat and jolting tr Saturn squares from late September; and is generally proving to be a let down with tr Neptune square the composite Mars now till late 2018.

Trump has tr Saturn conjunct his Moon at the moment till late September, then gets the face-reality tr Saturn opposition his Sun late Sept/early October. October sees tr Uranus trine his Mars, which will tempt him to prove his machismo with yet more wild and intemperate gestures. Dec 2017 and Jan 2018 see tr Uranus square his Sun/Mars midpoint which is highly insecure and explosive; square his Mercury/Pluto bringing mental strain; and square his Venus/Saturn making him feel unloved.

Tr Saturn in hard aspect to his Full Moon, also impacts on his Sun/Moon midpoint, so I’d imagine relations with Melania are even less ecstatic than usual.