Friday, 30 September 2011

October Horoscopes

It's autumn, it's bittersweet. It's your horoscope. To read it click here.

And to celebrate so much planetary energy in the sign of partnership, here's that great Libra, John Lennon (Oct 9), singing about love.

The Goddess Lives

Happy Durga Puja!

In some parts of the world, the goddess has never been denied. She's never had to hide her identity, change her gender – and she's never lost her power.

In India, she's alive and well and riding a lion. This week, Hindus will be celebrating the Mother Goddess in their biggest annual festival – Durga Puja.

This year her festival runs from October 1 to 6, culminating in the immersion of her icon in the nearest river. You might want to watch this super film of the Kolkata Puja last year with all the different images of the goddess.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Goddess of Love and the Golden Ratio

Venus Rising (The Star) 1890 by Jean-Leon Gerome
I'm thrilled to introduce a guest post from Venus expert Laura Perkins – especially since Venus conjuncts Saturn in her own sign of Libra today.

What do you think of when you see a five-pointed star?Hollywood stars? The flag of the United States? Wicca, paganism, or witchcraft? The Virgin Mary? Gawain and the Green Knight? The military? Journeys to the underworld? The end of the Mayan calendar in 2012?

At times, I think of all of these things, but mostly, I think of the planet Venus, beauty, and the golden ratio. Here’s why:
Over time, the planet Venus draws a five-pointed star in the the sky.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Hello Mr Mercury

Planets, as you know, have both positive and negative characteristics. The important thing to remember is that they do not necessarily reflect our own moral values.

Yesterday this chap Alessio Rastani gave an interview that rather shocked some people. Take a look at this clip

I think he comes across as an avatar of Mercury with a warning from Pluto. He certainly feels like a messenger to me, but is he telling the truth or is he simply here to spread a little fear?

What do you think?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Astrology of Now: All Shook Up

Wasn't he lovely.
The zangly-jangly configuration of planets that's been causing us all so much surprise, change and more change this year is zapping the Sun right now and the New Moon at the end of the week. So be prepared for some, well, novelty.

What's more Mars is tweaking Pluto's nose, which is bound to put the god of the Underworld in a bit of temper. There are bound to be surprises.

The only way to go these days is with the changes.

But this time around though, there are a couple of pleasant angles, which may show a temporarily smoother way ahead. Even if our beloved leaders fail to pull their collective fingers out and do something, maybe we can.

First of all, Mars the action planet, alleviates the tense face off between whoops! Uranus and the Sun itself. Mars is in Leo. This translates into non-astro speak as: taking action yourself with integrity will get things done, otherwise watch out for sparks to fly. 

Mercury and Uranus Share a Joke

My partner makes me laugh – a lot. He has Mercury, the trickster, and Uranus, an even zanier fellow, conjunct on his Ascendant. Today he sent me two emails.

Virgo Self-Portraits: Perfect Wits

David (30 August 1738)
It will come as no surprise to see that the work of artists born under Virgo is consistently detailed, crafted, technically excellent and polished to a wonderful degree. Nor will it surprise you that all these painters could draw beautifully.

Ingres (29 August 1780)
Jacques Louis David documented the French Revolution as it took place, creating the iconic images of the period, for example the Death of Marat. His vision was dramatic, cinematic and glamourous. He helped manufacture the image of Napoleon, Emperor of Europe.

Jean Dominique Ingres, in the following generation, had the same highly polished finish to his work, but much of his subject matter was far more inward, imaginative. He was a romantic, who could also turn his hand to perfect portraiture. If you had money in the 1830s, he would surely have been first choice to paint your portrait. His work was simultaneously accurate and flattering.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Could Christine Lagarde Save the World?

Christin Lagarde

Pallas Athena

You know, Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, almost looks as if she's enjoying herself. Perhaps she is – because clearly her time has arrived. This point is what her life has been about.

For her everything is focusing in on this moment in history. Truly she has a date with destiny and it is written in the sky. Right now, she is having a nodal return, the dragon's head is roaring her name

Thursday, 22 September 2011

9 Things to do with Mars in Leo

James Bond (Daniel Craig)
Mars, the god of war has emerged, dripping wet and sulky from the sign of his fall, Cancer. He's ready to light a bonfire and roast some chillies on the hot beach that is Leo.

Mars, of course, rules Aries, the number one fire sign, and as such is all about taking the initiative, starting something, taking action. Wherever Leo falls in your chart, that is the place where you will find most activity for the next couple of months. Don't fight it – go with the energy.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Greece Again

If you missed the post I wrote about Greece and the European Union back in June, here's the link.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Astrology of Now: People Power vs Corruption

Darth Vader - with his helmet and
his laser he is an avatar of Pluto
If you have paid a bribe anywhere in India, you can tell the world how much you paid, to whom and why. And you can do this anonymously. Write your report on this website, I Paid A Bribe.

I Paid A Bribe is only one year old, yet it's already had a huge impact. It's taken the people power of the internet and used it to expose the graft all over the country. Politicians, bureaucrats and police have been named and shamed.

The idea is brilliant in its simplicity. Corruption works through secrecy – and our complicity. Stop staying shtum.

But this is part of a worldwide trend: corruption is being exposed.

What's the astrology?

The revelations about corruption began with Pluto's move into Capricorn back in 2008. This is still the early part of his journey (2008-2023) and he is destroying, so that later we can rebuild.

Pluto is the destroyer, the transformer. But, like all the planets he works in many ways, and sometimes seems to rule things that are opposed, like crime and crime-busting, or debt and big big money, or just far removed, like corporations and sewers. But here is the power of astrology. These things have more in common than one might think.

One of the ways in which he works is to shine a laser-bright light into places we don't want to see. He is the lord of the underworld, of course, so he is showing us his domain.  

Sunday, 18 September 2011

How Much Virgo Does A Writer Need?

There is something very cool about Agatha Christie
even as a child. Could it be
Virgo Sun, Virgo Rsing and Saturn in Virgo
Many years ago, I moved from  working in (weekly) magazine publishing to editing books. It was truly a move from Gemini-land to Virgo-land. The magazines were all about speed, word-count and interviews; books were all about accuracy, order and corrections. I suddenly found I had time for lunch and a nap under the desk. Those were the days.

And the birthdays fitted the Zodiac types. There are a lot of Geminis in journalism; and a lot of Virgos in the world of books (although generally trampled over to the top jobs).

Both signs are ruled by Mercury, of course, the planet of communications in all forms – writing, talking, letters, telephones. Both signs are storytellers. But the planet's energy is that of the craftsman in Virgo, and of the messenger in Gemini. One of Virgos greatest skills is the ability to be self-critical, which is absolutely key to writing.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Europe: Oh Rose Thou Art Sick

Not very long ago, when my parents were kids, this continent ripped itself apart in a cataclysm of self-destruction. Millions died. Cities were destroyed. World War Two was the culmination of a century and a half of fighting

By the end of it the continent was exhausted, spent, knackered.

But Europa rose again, like her namesake on that long-ago bull from the sea. For a long time, she was torn in two admittedly. In the East, the tyranny continued: in the West prosperity grew. Then in 1989, Europe's two halves were reunited almost overnight, almost entirely peacefully. Communism just sort of melted away. It was like a miracle.

Gustave Moreau's Europa
Across much of the continent until recently Europe was the best place to live in the world for those on a middling income: high wages, long holidays, free health, free education, unemployment benefit – peace, safety. What more can you ask for?…but things were unravelling. There was an invisible worm.

One of the symptoms of Europe's sickness is Silvio Berlusconi, the corrupt, ridiculous Italian Prime Minister. Despite his puerile antics and continuous court battles, he has maintained a grip on power for years. Shame. And he not alone – across the continent (and off-shore here too) there are others like him.

So why has the EU accepted this kind of corruption in Greece, Italy, France, to name a few. Where is the shame? Where is the will to clean up? It's all very well for the Germans and the British to start pointing the finger now, but why has anti-corruption not been central to the European project right from the start

Euro Trashed

Jesus, by all accounts, was a mild mannered fellow. But one thing really got him riled – you guessed it – those money-changers in the temple. As it was then, so it is now. 

Who will cast out the "markets" though, as they trash the dream of European peace and unity?

So I thought I'd draw up a  chart for the launch of the currency. I have to tell you, I wish they'd consulted an astrologer and chosen a better date.

If you want a stable currency, should you launch it while the moon is in shifting, changeable (although admittedly commercially minded) Gemini?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Pallas Athena: Woven Music

This is similar to the one I looked at but
a photograph doesn't tell you an eighth of it.
I had a strangely lovely experience yesterday.

I went to pick up a carpet that had been cleaned and got talking to the owners of the shop. Now I know very little about oriental carpets. I like them, but I've never really thought about them much and I certainly would never be able to tell a "good" one from a mediocre one.

So I got talking to the Legges, who are passionate rug aficionados and after a while, he hauled out a particular favourite – a tekke wedding carpet, about 200 years old from Turkmenestan.

It was very beautiful, in glowing reds and blues with some patterning in green. The pile was soft as cat's fur.

Monday, 12 September 2011

9/11 Ten Years On

Here's an old astrological truism: "the worst people have the best charts". Look at the chart for the moment the first plane flew into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. It's full of lovely, flowing harmonious aspects.

Some terrible events also have "good" charts.

But who did things go well for on that fateful day? The bad guys.

That tells you something about the energy of the planets. It doesn't work within a moral framework. It's not good or bad; it just is. It is we humans who use that energy for good or ill.

Here are links to some of the best immediate responses to the event by some world-class astrologers written back in 2001.

Richard Tarnas - lengthy but clear with the emphasis on archetypes
Liz Greene - Greenian eg smart, thoughtful, accurate, unsentimental
Michael WolfStar - brief and to the point
Erin Sullivan - discursive but thought-provoking
Jeff Jawer and Rick Levine - pithy
Eric Francis - didactic and excellent

Friday, 9 September 2011

Wise Counsellors for Cancer, Leo and Virgo

You may have read some of my previous posts on the "tutelary deities" used by Roman astrologers. These came as a surprise to me when I read about them last year since I'd not come across them in any astrology texts or lectures that I'd attended previously.

Suffice to say, for the Romans not only did each sign have a ruling planet, it also had a ruling deity who was one of the 12 Olympians. This means that for the Zodiac there are six male and six female deities, which re-establishes a gender balance missing with the planets.

Obviously, some of the Olympians (Mercury, for example) are pretty busy, being the ruling planet for two signs traditionally (Gemini and Virgo), and the ruling deity for a third (Cancer).

To read more of how I found out about them click here.
To read the source material click here

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Happy Birthday, Mother Goddess

Today is officially the Virgin Mary's birthday, appropriately in Virgo's month. 

The planet Mercury is the official ruler of Virgo, of course, but according to the Roman astrologer Manilius, the deity (as opposed to the planet) that rules the sign is Ceres, goddess of the corn. Click here for more on this.

Ceres is the Roman version of Demeter who is a Greek personification of the Great Mother herself.

Make of that what you will. Anyway, it's got to be somebody's mother's birthday!

Astrology of Now: History Turns a Corner

Hey, slow down
This is a re-enactment of a Roman chariot race in modern Jordan.
OK - so here we are, turning a corner in history.

We're driving around a long curve though, and we still can't see where we're going.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that things will never be the same. But I can't tell you exactly how.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dr Seuss vs Dr Freud

Dr Seuss (2 March 1904). You'll see how he fits in at the end.
My friend P the psychotherapist, came around for dinner the other night.

I know she's rather dubious about my chosen career but she's also curious. She asked me how often I like to see a client. I told her, truthfully, that often once was enough; occasionally someone might want two or three successive sessions. I explained that some people come annually for a kind of health check, but I didn't necessarily expect it, and some people come whenever their life reaches a crisis for a top up and a look at the transits.

"Essentially," I said, "it's up to the client."

And I noticed a quickly-concealed look of surprise on her face.

Monday, 5 September 2011

What's So Mercury About Freddie?

One face of the god Mercury.
Freddie Mercury, the voice of Queen, would have been 65 today. 

I've occasionally wondered how he chose the name Mercury and what the astrological connection would be – because of course there is one. So to celebrate his birthday I looked at his chart.

First of all, he has Sun and Mercury in Virgo, which is ruled by the winged one of course, but I think the truly mercurial bit of Mr Mercury is in the other one sign Gemini.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Monthly Horoscopes for September and Thoughts on Pluto in Capricorn

One useful way to think of the effect of
Pluto is through the myth
of Shiva the destroyer - and creator.
In order to create, we have to destroy.
You know I hate to be a prophet of doom: I think it's just scaremongering. But I do have doubts about the state of the world now and in the next few years. I feel it behooves me to at least point out some upcoming astrology.

Pluto, the planet of power and transformation, is traveling through Capricorn, the sign of government, transnational institutions (banks, the UN), and in general the Establishment. This transit has been heightened by the Cardinal Climax, but Pluto will not leave Capricorn until 2020.

Pluto = "Whatever does not kill you, makes you stronger."

Thursday, 1 September 2011

It Was 20 Years Ago Today: The Hogwarts Express

Aww - weren't they sweet.
At exactly 11 o'clock on the 1 September, 1991, the Hogwarts Express left King's Cross Station with Harry Potter on board for the first time.

That was the day when Harry met Ron, and one of the most enduring friendships in literature began. Appropriately, Venus (lady luck) and Mercury (friends and journeys) were exactly conjunct in Harry's own sign, Leo.

To read more Potter astrology, click on these links.

Harry Potter and the Cycles of Destiny
Hogwarts and the Four Fixed Signs
Harry Potter and Ophiucus
JK Rowling: The Perfect Writer's Chart