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Deeyah Khan – a Sun Saturn Leo with Neptune Pluto visionary power

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Deeyah Khan is an award-winning Norwegian film maker and activist for women’s rights,  freedom of expression and peace, of Punjabi-Pashtun origin, who recently made a documentary about why young Muslims go to war as jihadists.

Born in Oslo on 7 August 1977 she’s a serious though attention-seeking Sun Saturn in Leo; with her Sun on the focal point of a courageous, ultra-determined Mars in communicative Gemini trine Pluto. Her Sun is also in a rebellious square to Uranus and a creative trine to Neptune. So plenty of vision and power there.

Her Mars opposes Neptune squaring onto Mercury in Virgo so she’s well-suited to showbiz and publicity though always wanting to communicate a message.

She started out as a singer, encouraged by her father, but stopped after receiving death threats from Muslims outraged at her performing in public and decided to turn her talents to helping others constrained by their community. Her first documentary on honour killings won her an Emmy and is used worldwide as a training guide for police and social services.

Publicising her recent documentary on jihadists she talked of the “goofiness and stupidity” of it. One former extremist calls a gun a “penis extension” and describes radicalism as a form of machismo, a way to get women. “It’s the kind of men who feel emasculated — small, pathetic, weak. It allows them a hyper-masculinity because masculinity and violence are so closely linked in our societies. They can put on this persona: ‘I’m a holy warrior. You don’t respect me but you’re afraid of me.’”

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Prince Maha – a Hal to King Henry transformation seems unlikely

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Can a playboy prince, with a rackety reputation, three failed marriages and an explosive temper take the place of his revered, steady-hand-on-the-tiller father? That’s a question perplexing the upper echelons of Thailand’s military junta government. Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, born 28 July 1952 5.45 pm Bangkok, Thailand, made his pet poodle an Air Chief Marshal in the Thai air force and gave him a four day Buddhist funeral when he died. Lacks a certain gravitas.

He has a sociable 7th house Sun Venus and Pluto in the 7th; with his Pluto on the focal point of an indulgent and fearsome Fixed T Square to a Jupiter in Taurus opposition Mars in vengeful Scorpio. After his third divorce, he had his ex-wife’s parents thrown in jail.

His 9th house Libra Moon is conjunct Saturn and Neptune, sextile Pluto Venus and square Uranus so emotionally all over the place.

Common sense would indicate that his sister, well-regarded for her charity work, succeed instead. But his father said it would go against the culture (indulgent 4th house Jupiter?) so despite reservations he thought the senior son, however whacky and unstable should be crowned.

Prince Maha’s life is certainly in for a major change with tr Pluto opposition his Uranus at the moment; and with his Solar Arc Jupiter conjunct his Descendant he might just step up – for a while anyway though he’s delayed his coronation for a year. Tr Uranus however heading for his IC by 2018 and his Solar Arc Sun conjunct his Saturn by 2019 might put the brakes on his ambitions to step seamlessly into his father’s shoes and vast wealth.

Bob Dylan – an unexpected accolade

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Bob Dylan, has been – extraordinarily and probably controversially – given the Nobel Prize for Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. His songs include Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They are A-Changin’. He is the first American to win since novelist Toni Morrison in 1993. One commentator likened it to give Henry Kissinger the  Nobel Peace Prize.

Born 24 May 1941 9.05pm Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan has had a decades-long career and is still performing – in Las Vegas this week. He is a Sun Venus in Gemini, a common sign amongst popular singers, with the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Taurus, all in the 6th house of work and service; as well as conjunct Uranus in the 5th. He’s got a stellium in Taurus – Saturn Moon Uranus in the performing 5th plus Jupiter, all in an inspired, creative trine to Neptune and North Node in Virgo. His Mercury in Gemini conjunct his Descendant makes him a communicator; and Pluto in his 8th sextile his Sun gives him depth and the ability to influence widely. His Sun also squares a 3rd house Mars in Pisces, so he is assertive, can be get angry about issues.

His super-star 22nd Harmonic is strong; as oddly enough is his literary 21H; and that curious 13th Harmonic. ‘This number is associated with exploration, genius and breaking with the orthodox. It warns against the unknown and the unexpected. It requires adaptation to change to be successful.’ The secretary of the Swedish Academy said “For 54 years now he’s been at it reinventing himself, constantly creating a new identity.”

At the moment his Solar Arc Saturn is almost exactly conjunct his 8th house Pluto, which looks stuck rather than elated. But tr Jupiter is heading for his midheaven and 10th from this December which will boost his reputation.

Janet Jackson – Saturn in the 5th

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Singer, song-writer and actress Janet Jackson, sister of the late Michael, is expecting her first child at the age of 50. Her husband since 2012 is Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana.

Born 16 May 1966 7pm Gary, Indiana, she has a 7th house Sun, Mars, North Node, Mercury in Taurus opposition a 1st house musical Neptune – so an earthy performer, and dependent on having a partner though one who has struggled to maintain committed partnerships with the Node there. She’s also got Saturn in Pisces in her 5th house of children, hinting at later than usual babies (and how). With Venus Moon in Aries in the late 5th/cusp of the 6th inconjunct Uranus Pluto in her 10th so tricky Moon influences.

Tr Pluto is square her Moon now and trine her Uranus Pluto – so an emotionally intense time with considerable changes in her life’s direction. Her Solar Arc Mercury is conjunct her 8th house Jupiter now giving her a surge of enthusiasm. Her Progressed Moon is poised on the cusp of her 4th where it stays for the next two years plus, so a time, emotionally at least, of wanting to stay close to home. But for all that, from transits to her midpoints, it doesn’t look remotely easy for her over the next two years or so.

Her present husband, 1 January 1975,  has his Sun, Mercury and Venus in Capricorn which chimes with her Taurus planets; and his Moon is Leo which equally fits her Aries Moon. Their relationship chart is passionate with a composite Venus Mars but that squares onto Neptune which can bring disappointment when the dream wears off. And it looks rather downbeat over the next year or so.

Good luck to her.

King of Thailand – fated to find his role

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King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has died aged 88 after seven decades on the throne, proving to be a stabilising figure through a series of coups and rolling political turmoil, and was much revered.

He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 5 December 1927 8.45am and had a 12th house, retiring and serious, Sun Saturn in Sagittarius. He had a ‘healing’ though private and self-protective Water Grand Trine of Jupiter in Pisces (conj Uranus) trine Mercury in Scorpio (conj Mars) trine Pluto – lucky, confident, utterly determined. His Venus in fair-minded Libra on his midheaven would allow him to come across as the diplomat par excellence. He also had a strained Yod of Neptune sextile MC Venus inconjunct Uranus – so he was a pivotal figure, who never felt he fitted in but once he found his track, by a quirk of fate, he would be an independent-minded leader. His father died when he was two and his brother ascended the throne some years later aged nine. Only when he died aged 18 in a mysterious shooting accident did Bhumibol Adulyadej succeed to the throne.

Catherine the Great of Russia also had a Yod in her chart, though hers was of a more brutal variety; as does Prince William though his is more cultured and dreamy. Maybe the sense of not fitting into the common mould helps monarchs with their out-of-the-ordinary lifestyles.

Tiger Woods – delaying his comeback

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Tiger Woods who has had three back operations in the space of 19 months and not played competitively since last August has withdrawn from this week’s Safeway Open, saying his game was “too vulnerable”.

Other top golfers said it is a hard grind to come back and compete against the best. Nick Faldo: “Everything is stacking up against him now. Physically, mentally and obviously competing.” Luke Donald who had his own off-time through injury said: “There’s a lot of mental anguish when you take time away.”

He’s certainly suffering from the uncertain, nervy Saturn Neptune effect, with tr Saturn exactly conjunct his 3rd house Neptune now with Solar Arc Saturn square, also exactly. So a double whammy of psychological droop. He hopes to return in December and he’ll be brighter then with tr Pluto trine his exuberant Mars/Jupiter midpoint. Though he’s got tr Saturn opposition his Mars in the final days of November which could be accident-prone and a setback.

Into 2017 tr Saturn opposes his MC which could be the beginning of a cut-off period for him. He’ll have some highs and successes in 2017/18 with tr Pluto trine his Jupiter/MC (birth time being accurate to the minute), but mid 2018 sees his Solar Arc Mars conjunct his Saturn which is going to be a collision of sorts, certainly a tough obstacle to overcome and could exacerbate his back problem or make it the final closure on what has been a sterling career.

Vladimir Putin – racking up the rhetoric

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There’s an indication from a Russian website that state officials and government workers have been told to bring back their children studying abroad immediately and re-enroll them in Russian schools. As with all net scare stories it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt until absolutely verified. One reason could be that Moscow is concerned about the children of the political elite being educated abroad, while their parents appear on television talking about patriotism and being “surrounded by enemies.” If true, it may just be a Putinesque macho gesture to show oligarchs who is boss and to send a message that the west is no longer a welcome destination for Russia’s rich kids. But it would underline the ongoing diplomatic crisis of the moment with the US backing off, France accusing Russia of war crimes in Syria and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson rabble-rousing for demos in London.

What’s for sure is that Obama’s relationship with Putin is in the freezer through this month, worsening and separating after the 19th till the 28th. So the Mars Pluto conjunction on the 19th followed by the Mars Uranus square on the 28th will certainly be racking up the tension and not just around the US Election.

November looks fraught between Francois Hollande and Putin, ditto Boris Johnson, though he’s a minnow in the pond.

Marilyn Bell – one of a kind

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Marilyn Bell is an extraordinary woman who started long distance swimming aged 10 and was the first to swim across Lake Ontario in Canada when she was sixteen, against two experienced adults who had to give up.  She was in the water for nearly 21 hours, swimming more than the planned route because of strong winds and the lack of modern navigation equipment. Waves were almost 5 m high, (up to 15 ft), water temperature was 21 °C (65 °F) and eels were attacking her legs and arms.

Born 19 October 1937 6am Toronto, Canada (Rodden:A) she has a strong and confident chart. Her Libra Sun Mercury are conjunct her Ascendant, so a larger-than-life personality – Libra is surprisingly common amongst athletes. Her Sun opposes a 7th house upfront Aries Moon squaring onto Jupiter in Capricorn (conjunct Mars) – so she’s bouncing with energy and exuberance and blessed with luck. More obviously for an endurance athlete, she has an Earth Grand Trine of Jupiter Mars trine Uranus in Taurus trine Neptune – so tuned into her body and attracted to competition, excitement and risk. Her Venus opposes Saturn, so she’d be able to do without indulgences. Probably also key is a 10th house controlling Pluto which is square her Sun and trine her Saturn – she’s tough and hates not being in charge. Such a Pluto often gives rise to a legendary reputation of some influence.

When she made her epic swim in 1954, her Solar Arc Mars was within five minutes of a degree opposition her Pluto which suggest brutal effort. Just goes to show really tough influences can have a good outcome if directed the right way.

In 1955 she became the youngest person to swim the English Channel and the following year after another Pacific swim, retired altogether. She’s had many awards and a film made about her in 2001.

Trans-Siberian Railway – a staggering project

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The Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest train line in the world, stretching more than 5,700 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok, crossing two continents, 16 large rivers and eight time zones, was officially opened 100 years ago in 1916. Though it was set under way by an Imperial Edict from Tsar Alexander III on 9 March 1891. It was built by convicts and labourers in fiercely cold temperatures, fending off passing bandits and even tiger attacks. Nowadays the journey takes a week. When it started, it took a month and the original train housed a library, a gym, a grand piano, marble bathrooms and a lavish dining room that served caviar.

The start chart has a Pisces Sun opposition Saturn – so a dream plus exceptionally hard work. With a risky and explosive Mars opposition Uranus – they did have to tunnel through mountains – and no doubt lost a fair few lives from the extreme conditions. That opposition squares onto an indulgent Venus in Aquarius.

More pointedly it had the Neptune Pluto in Gemini of the time, which has fairly megalomaniac ideas and it squares Jupiter – so definitely a gargantuan project. Pluto puts the power behind Neptune’s vision.

Another 100th anniversary is next year for the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia of 1917.  One hundred years has no astrological significance. What was and is interesting is that Russia 1917’s Uranus Return happened when Putin was first elected President in 1999 (along with a Half Neptune Return). The revolution come full circle. Assuming he gets in for another 6 year term in 2018, he’ll maybe exit in 2024 when tr Uranus in Taurus will be square the Russia 1917 Uranus – another marker in Russia’s history.