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USA & Europe – alliances breaking down

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The tectonic plates are shifting mid Atlantic, pulling the USA further apart from Europe, which wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. US political leaders aggrieved over the EU’s €13bn tax penalty for Apple are muttering about possible US retribution; and US corporate heads are saying there are wider ramifications from the “devastating blow” to the principle of legal certainty in Europe. Now France has called for a complete suspension of talks on the Transatlantic pact which was intended to unite Europe and North America in a vast free trade zone, accusing the US of blocking any workable compromise.

A commentator said: “The project is infinitely more than a trade deal. It is part of a strategic push to bind together the two halves of North Atlantic civilisation at a dangerous moment when the Western liberal order is under threat. The two sides are currently drifting towards divorce.”

The grass-roots, anti-globalisation activists have said that TTIP is a secret capitalist cabal which would allow the international conglomerates free rein and damage the interests of working people and national governments. [See post June 28 2016]

Intriguingly it has been said that Brexit was ‘the first primordial scream against this emerging world order’ and now the collapse of TTIP may be the second. Interesting times.

France never did sit comfortably with the USA and memories of their anti-Iraq stance and freedom-fries are still fresh. The USA 1776 Aquarius Moon is conjunct the France Pluto opposition Uranus square Mars in Scorpio – so emotionally a complete collision. The relationship chart has a few positives but those will be submerged by the hostility of a composite Mars inconjunct Pluto; and a tension-inducing, divergent-agenda Uranus Saturn conjunction. That latter is being stressed at the moment with tr Pluto opposition the composite Uranus till early December; and tr Uranus square Saturn early in 2017; with aggravation dragging on for years as tr Pluto moves on to oppose the Uranus/Saturn midpoint and then Saturn in 2019/2020.

The EU isn’t much better vis a vis the US with the EU do-or-die-determined Mars in Sagittarius square Pluto clashing with the US Uranus. That relationship chart has an emotional-shock tr Uranus conjunct the financial composite Venus exactly now, and again in 2017; with a dragging, discouraging tr Pluto sextile the composite Pluto Saturn now and in 2017; as well as a seriously disappointing, undermining tr Neptune opposition the composite Mars in 2017/2018.

So even a change of US President and indeed French and perhaps German leadership next year isn’t going to bridge the gulf.

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Douglas Henderson – using his Mars Saturn to save countless millions

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Douglas Henderson changed the world by achieving the impossible, as was once thought, by eradicating smallpox, which had killed two million a year for a hundred years. He was an American epidemiologist, who went into public health medicine and ultimately to the World Health Organisation.

“With a combination of clever science, incredible organisation and blunt persuasion — often meted out face to face — the indomitable Henderson succeeded in totally eradicating smallpox — the first human infectious disease to be eliminated — through vaccination alone.” The last naturally occurring case was in 1977.

Born 7 September 1928, he was a Sun Virgo, as befits a man of service in healing, which squared onto Saturn in Sagittarius opposition Mars in Gemini, so he used his disciplined, hard-edged, courageous Mars Saturn to the best of all possible ends, working for years out in the field in dangerous places. His Sun was also trine Jupiter in Taurus which would give him confidence; and he was part of the Pluto in Cancer square Uranus in Aries generation, which was determined to change the status quo.

He latterly became Dean of John Hopkins and served under three US Presidents. He died aged 87.

His healer 12th Harmonic is strongly aspected, with overtones of risk and incredible stamina. Even stronger is his leaving-a-legacy-for-history 17th Harmonic.

Hill, Bill & Huma – caught in the crossfire of an obsession

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Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, is finally ditching her husband Anthony Weiner after yet another sexting scandal has emerged. He’s clearly got a problem but I wonder if there’s more to it, since it’s a peculiarly aggressive act given the prominence of his wife’s boss and friend.

Anthony Weiner, 4 Sept 1964, is a rebellious and chaotic Sun Uranus Pluto Mercury in Virgo with a passionately enthusiastic Mars Venus in Cancer, a Leo Moon, and Jupiter in indulgent Taurus widely opposition Neptune.

His Sun Uranus Pluto fall in Hillary’s 10th house – so arguably he wishes to control and destabilise her, maybe unconsciously but the urge will be there. Their relationship chart does show a fair amount of power-struggling for the upper hand with a composite Pluto opposition Jupiter square Saturn; and an explosive Mars Uranus. His relationship with Bill is worse with a composite Mars Pluto Venus Sun which is outright hostility.

His relationship with Huma, 28 July 1976, has a composite Sun Mars square Saturn, so tough, unkind, with a fair amount of game-laying and delusion wrapped up in it as well from Neptune opposition Jupiter square Sun (Moon) Mars. Their synastry is terrible with his Sun Uranus Pluto conjunct her Mars. Makes you wonder why they ever got together.

She has a Leo Sun Saturn with Venus Mercury and probably Moon in Leo – so will be concerned about keeping up appearances. Her Sun Saturn are sextile Pluto, square Uranus and trine Neptune, so she’ll be used to tricky men in her life.

Her relationship with both Hillary and Bill looks blocked and discouraging through till the year end and well into 2017.

A week’s a long time in politics and there seems no end of hitches, glitches and scandales along the way of this one. And there’s another two months plus to go. Sigh.

Gene Wilder – turning unhappiness into laughs

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Comic actor, Gene Wilder, has died – Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka etc – who ‘specialised in playing eccentrically lovable oddball characters nervously struggling to make sense of the confusion of an uncertain world.’

Born 11 June 1933 5.30am Milwaukee, Wisconsin, into a Russian Jewish immigrant family, he was always interested in performing and after an unhappy detour into a military school where he was assaulted for being Jewish, he settled into a long, distinguished career. Charlie Chaplin inspired him for his ability to be “funny, then sad, then both at the same time.”

His mother was sick during his childhood which left him with heavy guilt. “My mother was suffering every day of her life and what right did I have to be happy?” he said. Only after she died, when he was 24, did he start to kick his self-loathing.

After two decades of making successful comedies in the 1970s and 1980s, he fell out of love with Hollywood. “I like show but not the business,” he said. He moved to Connecticut, and virtually disappeared from the screen, and went on to write three novels, a collection of short stories and a well-received memoir.

He had a first house Gemini Sun trine Saturn in Aquarius on his Midheaven, a testament to his unhappy mother which paradoxically made him well-organised and a hard-worker. His Sun was also square a 4th house Mars Jupiter in Virgo. He had three inconjuncts in his chart – a Yod of Pluto sextile Mars inconjunct Saturn MC which would be tough to cope with; and his Moon was inconjunct Venus Mercury – so he’d never feel he fitted in, which would give him inspiration for his oddball characters.

Interestingly he had a strong 13th Harmonic chart with a Grand Trine/Kite and a Grand Cross. The 13H is associated with genius and breaking with the orthodox.

Both Robin Williams and Peter Sellers, with very different natal charts, also had strong 13th Harmonics, so it must be something to do with tragi-comic mavericks, who were able to use their vulnerabilities and instabilities to make others laugh.

Apple – throwing a tantrum

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Yowls of outrage and disbelief have greeted the EU Commission’s demand that Apple pay back £11 billion ($14.5 billion) to Ireland in back taxes. They say that Irish tax benefits are illegal, allowing Apple to pay effectively a corporate tax rate of no more than 1%. Ireland and Apple said they disagreed and would appeal.

The Apple Nasdaq chart, 12 Dec 1980, shows up the cataclysm most clearly. There’s tr Uranus opposition the Apple Pluto now – a major upset; and tr Pluto conjunct the Apple Mars in money-minded Capricorn, which runs till December and is transcendentally enraged. With the Apple Mercury picking up the tr Saturn conjunct and tr Neptune square through coming months, which is uncertain and confused.

I imagine there’ll be a hasty relocation since Apple’s presence in Ireland was largely a paper exercise.

Sonia Rykiel – boho chic – Chanel & Schiaparelli

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Sonia Rykiel, the revolutionary fashion designer has died aged 86. Born 25 May 1930 11.55pm Neuilly Sur Seine, “she defined the whole idea of French chic in all its sexy, sassy, nonchalant, slightly arrogant glory.” She launched her clothes when the students were storming the barricades in 1968, stressing that women’s clothes were about ‘absolute freedom’ and she called it the start of the hippie fashion movement. She popularised fashion and pioneered mail order.

She had a 4th house multi-tasking and populist Gemini Sun square a creative and iconic 8th house Neptune. She also had a sensuous Taurus Moon trine Neptune, sextile Venus in Cancer – so she stamped her mark on the new femininity. She was innovative and tough with a Saturn in Capricorn opposition Pluto square Uranus; and had a do-or-die determined Mars in Aries square Pluto, sextile Jupiter in her attention-seeking 5th house.

Coco Chanel, her forerunner, also liberated women from the old corseted-style though she was much less bohemian in her approach. Born 19 Aug 1883 4pm Saumur, France, she had an 8th house Sun Venus in Leo square Neptune; with Neptune trine Uranus, sextile Jupiter; and an understated Pisces Moon opposition Mercury in Virgo square Saturn in Gemini. Her chart like Sonia Rykiel’s highlighted creative Neptune but her intense Leo Sun would hold her to a more high-end style.

Elsa Schiaparelli, 10 Sept 1890 (no time sadly), Rome, Italy, who was Coco Chanel’s great rival between the Wars, was influenced by the Surrealists Like Dali and Jean Cocteau. She had an interest in psychics and spiritualism, married a psychic conman and only after he abandoned her with a baby did she start to design. She was a Sun Virgo square Mars in Sagittarius; with the hallmark Neptune Pluto in Gemini of the 1890s which was not always stable and would certainly attract her to surrealism. It squared Saturn in Virgo and was trine Mercury in Libra trine Jupiter – so she was a strange mix of realistic and hard-working, and off-the-wall. Her Leo Moon was probably opposition Jupiter square Venus in Scorpio which would make sense of a fashion career.

Solar & Lunar Eclipses – Mars Saturn Neptune

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The 9 degree Virgo Solar Eclipse (New Moon) on 1st September is in a Saros Series, described by Bernadette Brady as “about realism, a coming down to earth. The individual will become aware of an old situation, and see it for what it is rather than what he or she thought it was. This can be a constructive time for tackling the truth.” (The Eagle and the Lark). It occurred before in this series in 1998, 1980, 1962, 1944 and 1926, so worth looking back to see what happened in your life then.

This particular Solar Eclipse has the New Moon conjunct the North Node opposition Neptune squaring onto Saturn Mars in Sagittarius – so quite a potent and confusing mix of energy, which will trail on in effect for a few months. The Eclipse effect tends to linger.

Mars is speedy, go-ahead, pro-active, argumentative and aggressive. When it meets slow-moving, rigid Saturn, the energy gets blocked. One result can be accidents, and broken bones, or bad-tempered irritation at setbacks and delays. It usually feels like a test of strength and indeed can be most usefully deployed towards highly disciplined tasks, requiring perseverance and attention to detail. You need grit for Mars Saturn and the ability to accept that what you want (Mars = I am) probably won’t happen or at least not without a massive amount of effort.

It does have military overtones, which out in the world isn’t great. But a soldierly frame of mind will help in individual lives – do what needs to be done, obey authority, fit in, pull together, forget personal indulgences for a while.

What will undercut Mars Saturn’s determined and utterly pragmatic drive is Neptune, which will waft off into dreams and delusions. The risk of Neptune in aspect to an Eclipse is self-deceit; the opportunity is for deeper spiritual understanding. If Mars Saturn’s armoured-tank mentality can be harnessed to a Neptunian vision, it could make it come real – though that’s probably hoping for too much.

Saturn square Neptune, at absolute best, is about painstaking effort and steady working towards a goal. But it tends more often to produce a neurotic sense of worry (about things that often are never going to happen), low energy and sometimes illness or depression. So generally dissatisfied and changeable in mood.

Mars Neptune is also weak-willed and low energy, feeling paralysed or inferior. Its better side, though tricky in a square, is glamour, publicity and artistic pursuits.

Mars in aspect to the Eclipse normally activates a zippy, argumentative, even sexual mood. But given that, in this Eclipse, it is stockaded on two sides by Saturn and Neptune it will have problems being as upfront and straight-up-the-middle-of-the-road as it likes. In mythology Mars (Ares) was the god of war, who on meeting his father in a narrow tunnel, killed him to clear his way ahead. At worst, it’s an insensitive, almost infantile energy – what I want is what I want and I intend to have it, no matter how others suffer.

The Pisces Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon) on 16 September at 24 degrees Pisces/Virgo has lost the aspect to Neptune and Saturn but is still closely square Mars. So it is likely to produce more of the ambitious, competitive, no-compromise, passionate (and selfish) Mars effect. For those who are normally under-confident and averse to confrontations, it might bring them out of their shell to become more assertive. Given that it is in Sagittarius, that might mean crusading for personal beliefs and causes.

Hillary & Donald – gladiatorial contest gets more vicious into October

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The presidential debates are pitched for Sept 26, Oct 9th and 19th; with the VP debate on Oct 4th. They should provide some spectacle, especially the latter two, since the tr Mars tr Pluto in Capricorn will draw closer and be exact for Oct 19th – which is brutally bad-tempered and will by that time fall in Trump’s grandstanding 5th house so he’s likely to be incandescent with rage and hostility. It’ll be within orb for the VP debate as well.

The kick-off on Sept 26 starts with a late Taurus Ascendant conjunct Algol, so quite destructive.

Hillary’s chart has tr Uranus opposition her Solar Arc Mars for the first debate (and all thro from Sept 3rd to Oct 3) which is insecure and edgy, inclined to over-react. Though in some ways she’s in worse shape for the two October debates. For the October 9th debate: she’s got tr Saturn square her Mars/Neptune which is weak-willed, low energy, feeling inferior or unstable – so not on top confident form. The October 19th debate sees her with tr Saturn square her Jupiter/Uranus – disadvantages, losses, obstinate, inhibited; and square her Neptune/Pluto – pessimistic, muddled, tormented. These midpoint Saturn transits are relatively minor but she’ll be sagging slightly and she’s not a good extempore speaker at the best of times.

Donald Trump has tr Uranus square his Saturn throughout September, as well as tr Uranus square his Mars/Node midpoint – very high tension, quarrelsome. Not much showing over the Second debate; but like Hillary sagging over October 19th with tr Saturn square his Jupiter/Pluto = unable to make progress.

Their relationship chart, not surprisingly is horrendous; with composite Mars sitting midway and conjunct Sun on one side and Pluto on the other; with Pluto conjunct Saturn square Jupiter – so intense dislike. Plus a needs-space/no-compromise composite Uranus sextile Mars, square Mercury and Venus.

The two VP possibles, Dem Tim Kaine and Rep Mike Pence also have an argumentative, disharmonious relationship chart, though nothing like the volcano of boiling oil between the two lead candidates. Theirs has a composite Sun Mercury opposition Mars; an unkind, rough-edged Mars trine Saturn; and cold Saturn trine Sun Mercury Venus and trine resentful Pluto.

On Oct 4th Pence has tr Pluto opposition his Sun/Uranus so suffering some kind of upheaval or reversal; and a lack lustre tr Pluto sextile Jupiter/Neptune. Tim Kaine has tr Neptune square his Mars/Node which will put him on the defensive and make him inhibited. Though he looks cheered three days later with tr Jupiter conjunct his Solar Arc Uranus.

Syria – another crisis looming

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Syria has become even more dangerous with Turkey putting in troops on the ground, primarily to target the Syrian Kurds who control much of the territory south of the Syrian-Turkish frontier. A powerful Kurdish state-let could decide to make incursions into Turkey and set off a civil war there. So the myriad factions and factors of who’s fighting who and why in Syria, just became even more complex and risky. Though Turkey like Russia could find itself drawn into a swamp from which an exit will be difficult.

The Syria 1 Jan 1944 12am Damascus chart, does look on the brink (again) with the Solar Arc Saturn with three weeks being square the Syria Mars and 3 months of being square the Syria Uranus – all of which looks explosive and destructive. The one faint hope of relief will come from May 2017 when tr Uranus will trine the Syria Jupiter. Though since that is on one leg of a strained Yod, it’s anyone guess, what form the relief will come.

Though around the same time on the relationship chart between Bashar Assad and Syria, there’s also a sense of relief and radical change with tr Uranus square the composite Uranus and Jupiter/Uranus midpoint and trine Mars and Mars/Pluto. It won’t be a separation made without violence. Though toppling Assad won’t necessarily clarify matters on the ground with an unholy mix of assorted jihadists, ISIS, Al Quaeda and Kurds all hacking out their piece of turf, with their foreign backers no doubt determined on saving face.

Assad’s presidency chart, 17 July 2000, is struggling through the next few months with tr Saturn conjunct and tr Neptune square the Pluto, chipping away at his power base. Then tr Uranus squares the Mars in Dec 2016/Jan 2017, moving on to square the Sun (conjunct Procyon) from late April for a year. Both of these will cause him significant disruption and insecurity.

His own personal chart, 11 Sept 1965 4.43pm? Damascus, is labouring mightily with tr Pluto sextile Mars Neptune and trine Uranus Pluto Sun for the next three years, so under unrelenting pressure. Plus tr Saturn square his Saturn Moon and opposition Jupiter over the next 18 months, so nothing that looks good.

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