Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Astrology of Now: Are You Really Ready To Commit?

John and Yoko married on March 20,1969.
It's nearly February 29th, the day we laydeez are supposed to get down on our bended knees and propose. So it's nice that Venus, the maiden planet, is in trousers right now, sorry that's in Aries. And she is just reaching an opposition with the planet of commitment, Saturn, in the sign of relationships.

Saturn is retrograding, of course, so you may find yourself going over old territory in terms of relationship. When the old man goes backwards like this, it's as if we have to be extra-specially sure of the foundations of something. In Libra, it's likely to be our one-to-one long-term partnership, our sense of commitment to another human being. 

With Venus in opposition in independently-minded Aries, there is only one question you need to answer: do you love each other enough?

If the answer to that is yes, then look no further than the asteroid Juno. Juno rules marriage and she's coming up to a conjunction with the North Node in Sagittarius. Make a commitment now, and your marriage could turn out to be a big adventure.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Who Has True Grit? Looking at War Correspondents' Charts

War reporter Marie Colvin in Homs.
Photo: Democratic Underground.
Homs, Syria is a long way from Oxford, England.

It's on another continent, the people speak another language, have different customs than mine. They are in the midst of a bloody civil war. But the same sun rises, and then there are the children...

If you are so inclined you can look at S.O.S footage on youtube of children with shrapnel wounds. This is much harsher than any imagery we have had from any previous conflict. There is no picture editor involved. The internet has changed the way we see war.

So do we need journalists to go in there and risk their lives? Did Times correspondent Marie Colvin need to die last week? Does the sight of French journalist Edith Bouvier lying on a bed in a room with no electricity tell us more than the sight of a Syrian child lying dead? Can't local people tell the story?

To me the answer is obvious. Yes, we need the war reporters. They perform a task for all of us: bearing witness. That doesn't mean we have to listen to the reports, but it's important in the grand scheme of things that there are witnesses to history, people who are not involved in the conflict, who watch and listen and try to tell the truth. It may not even be important now but for posterity.

There is nothing like an eye witness who is also an outsider. Who can forget Ed Murrow's broadcasts from bombed London, once you've heard them of course? Local people and combatants have their story to tell, but a correspondent sees the world with fresh eyes.

But what kind of person risks their life repeatedly like that? There must be a thrill of adrenalin, a love of risk, an ideal of truth-telling, an ability to tell a story – and above all courage.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Astrology of Now: Imagination

"What if you had a really big seed and you could draw on it and if you planted it, your drawing would grow into a real thing?"

"What would you draw?"

"A kitten."

Neptune (imagination) is squaring my six-year-old's Mercury in Gemini (story-telling) from the 5th House of play. The flood gates seem to be wide open and ideas are just pouring into her mind and out of her mouth.

And then I remembered Tom Hare's work at Kew.

Giant sycamore seed sculpted in willow by Tom Hare.
Children are not mine.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Astrology of Now: Organised Healing and the New Moon

Pisces arrives.
JW Waterhouse's Miranda
I felt some relief as the Sun slipped out of detriment in Aquarius and into Pisces yesterday. It was as if we'd suddenly remembered to take off the handbrake and now we're gliding gently down the lane with the engine turned off to the sounds of the birds in the hedgerows and the rustling of spring.


Mars is retrograding, of course, which is bound to put the brakes on things. And so is Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius. This favours calculated, organised action (not inaction), careful analysis and investigation of all possibilities. Depends where they are in your natal chart of course.

The Sun joined Neptune in Pisces at 0° yesterday. Tomorrow, the Moon will join the Sun and we will have our first New Moon of the Neptune in Pisces era. So it's significant.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The King Is Dead, Long Live the Queen

Princesss Elizabeth and her dashing consort Philip at a polo match in
Kenya, just days before she succeeded to the throne in 1952.
The 33 daughters of the Roman emperor Diocletian, cast adrift in the grey sea (after murdering their 33 dreary husbands), saw land – a white land, rising from the sea.

They scrambled ashore and found some beings more to their taste. Mating with these demons, the Emperor's daughters bred giants. These were the first Britons, according to one legend. Some say that the queen was called Albina or Alba and the island was named Albion after her.

Medieval storytellers such as Geoffrey of Monmouth created a fistful of origin myths for Britain, trying to link this grey-green isle to more glamorous places like Troy and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

I like the idea of murderous princesses mating with monsters...

In Europe, queens no longer claim descent from gods or monsters. Their lineage is carefully traced in the Almanach de Gotha – and mostly they turn out to be German.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Capricorn Self-Portraits: Solid Intense

Lawrence Alma-Tadema (8 Jan) painted this self-portrait when he was 16.

During his lifetime, he was one of the richest, most sought-after painters of his day, creating vast fantasies of Roman decadence and fairyland luxury. His charm lay in the way his people looked so real – and yet there they were in these unbelievable settings.

After he died, Lawrence Alma-Tadema's work fell out of fashion, but perhaps to the surprise of last century's critics and connoisseurs, his work has never ceased to have appeal for the ordinary punters.

He has everything you'd expect from a Capricorn: precocious talent, solid skill, high status, and look at that gaze, steady as a rock.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Massacres in Syria

Bosnia: concentration camps in the 1990s
What's happening in Syria is very, very nasty. It's reminding me too much of Bosnia in the early nineties, when the UN decided not to intervene and the result was horror.

In June, I wrote a piece about Syria which is accurate. Please click here to read it. It contains two charts – one for the Assad regime and one for Syrian independence – and explains the background.

Right now, Mars is retrograding through the 10th house of government in the Assad regime's chart. This is in Virgo, the regime is "cleaning up". Pluto, the oppressor, is also in that house natally. We are going to see more violence from Assad as long as Mars is in this part of the chart. That is until mid-June. They may appear to be winning.

However, there is an important transit taking place which may augur well – in the long run. Neptune has just swept past the regime's North Node on the IC and into hopeful Pisces. Let's pray he sweeps away the regime's foundations. In other words, it's actually "all over bar the fighting", but the fighting could go on a long, long time.

The question then for the people of Syria will be who's in charge? Foreign intervention could also last a lot longer than anyone bargained for.

With Uranus, the planet of revolution, in the first sign, Aries and still opposing the Assad regime's natal Pluto, it could be time for a another new chart for one of the world's oldest civilisations.

Astrology of Now: Storm Damage and Waiting

JMW Turner. Snow Storm.
Let me tell you why you haven't heard from me for a few days.

This is how it was meant to be. I was meant to go out to France on Wednesday and come back Sunday, having graced my elderly parents with my presence, and caused as little disruption to the smooth running of my own household and work routine as possible.

Here's what really happened. I got there all right, then things began to slide out of order.

On Friday, Neptune roared out of Aquarius, plunging Europe into a deep-freeze.The water in my parents'  house was cut off because the pipes froze. No joke when you want to flush the toilet and you're having seven guests to lunch. By then I'd already lost the internet access, but that seemed negligible beside the loss of water.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

February Horoscopes

I'm on a whirlwind visit to my parents way down in the south of France. It's snowing and they say it going to be -10 C tonight.

I am wearing gloves (fingerless) to type this, such is my dedication - and besides it's keeping my fingers warm.

The overall view for this month is kind of slow (Mars and Saturn retrograde) but pleasant.

Click here to read your horoscope.