Sunday, 29 July 2012

Olympics: Happy Shiny Pluto and Dippy Dotty Uranus

OK - I'm on holiday, but I was just popping by to update the horoscopes so I thought I'd briefly post on the Olympic Opening Ceremony - what a hoot!

Have you ever wondered what the shiny, happy face of Pluto might be? If so, you might want to watch the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

Giant chimneys: it was all a bit blokeish.
I have been pondering the Olympic chart for a while, dominated as it is by Pluto, god of the Underworld.

Well, by the time the blazing Olympic rings were floating above the stadium on the night of the 27th, I could see the Pluto was working. We had just watched a crazy, chaotic, marvellous, fun (yes fun) 21st century re-enactment of the rape of Persephone. In case you didn't see it, the show started with the stadium transformed into a bucolic version of merry England filled with cavorting peasants in green fields dotted with wild flowers. Then came the Industrial Revolution in the shape of giant chimneys (!) thrusting through the sward. Freudians rejoice.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Summer Holidays

Ciao ragazzi! 

The great golden god of the Zodiac has finally slipped into his own sign and it's time for me (at least) to kick back and recharge the old batteries. 

Mentally, it's been rather a frenzied few months.  Astrologically there are several factors, not least Uranus (electricity) in Aries (the head). Jupiter (large) in Gemini (the mind, communications, information) truly has proved something of an onslaught of mental stimulation this time. Perhaps the sextile to Uranus (also the web) and Venus's long sojourn in Gemini have made it more so. 

So I'm taking a complete break from writing the blog this summer to allow my brain some time to simmer down. Mercury Rx seems like a good time to do that.

In short I'm not going to be around much for the next month or so – just back to drop in the horoscopes at the end of the July and August.

Enjoy your summer and if you need to get in touch directly drop me an email.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Olympics: Looking Backward To See Forward

What with all those shiny bodies flinging themselves around giant stadiums filled with cheering crowds – the marching, the uniforms, the survival of the fittest, the faux-historical ceremonies – there's always been more than a touch of fascism about the Olympics.
Jesse Owens going for gold in 1936.

The Olympic ideal is young, strong, shiny, people only: "may the best man or woman win", pure sport: perfection. There is beauty in sport. The beauty seduces us. Just look at Leni Riefenstahl's masterpiece, Olympiad, still probably the greatest visual celebration of male beauty ever filmed. That was the 1936 Games. How seductive the images are – and yet it was a piece of Nazi propaganda.

Last time fascism was fashionable Uranus was in Aries (where it is now) and Pluto was in Cancer (opposite its current position). The planets were in square aspect in the early 1930s, just as they are today, and so prominently in the Olympic chart.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

When The Past Comes To Life

Thomas Cromwell: fixer, strategist, statesman - Scorpio. Hans Holbein
King Henry VIII – charmer, playboy, wife-killer and the first head of the Church of England – had an axe-man, Thomas Cromwell, whose job it was to facilitate the King's desires – divorce, dissolution, beheadings, taxation, extortion, legislation, diplomacy.

History has been unfair to the King's fixer. Cromwell's name was, until a few years ago was a byword for the greed and cruelty of the early modern period. He features as the baddie in many retellings of the story of Henry and his six wives. But then, after four centuries of infamy, this beady-eyed brute, had his reputation rescued by a convent-educated lady of a certain age, who seemed to channel his voice down the centuries onto a Kindle.

I've just finished Hilary Mantel's novel Wolf Hall, an almost incredible act of imagination. And I had to investigate how she could channel the past so effectively.

She is born with the Sun in imaginative, irrational Cancer, born on July 6, with the Sun 5 minutes from an exact conjunction with Uranus. Cancer is the sign we associate with memory, with homeland also. What Mantel has done in Wolf Hall and now in the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, is reimagine a pivotal point in England's past. Perfect for a Cancer Sun, but it makes me wonder about Uranus, a planet that we associate with the future. What if, like so much astrology, there is a polarity there, so the planet that allows us sometimes to see into the future also let's us into the past. Maybe Uranus is the planet of time-travel – just a thought.

Monday, 16 July 2012

12 Questions From Mercury Rx in Leo

Freddie Mercury.
Mercury, the trickster, lay down and took a nap in the Sun last week. Now he's staggered to his feet and is laboriously retracing his steps through Leo. He's a little dazed and confused poor fellow, asking this question: who am I?

Mercury in Leo: it's about identity, and how you communicate it.

Let me tell you what happened to me when Mercury stationed. For reasons too tedious and techy to go into, I've lost control of my domain name (temporarily I hope). It's my on-line identity (Leo). This means my email has also ceased to function, which is not just about communications (Mercury) but also about identity.

I feel like an ear has been cut off, but it set me wondering about why. What is the point of shutting that down right now?

With a Mercury retrograde, you are always asked to rethink. Usually when something goes wrong during Merc Rx, you can fix it and you learn something useful about how you think, communicate or about the detail of your life.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Vesta and the Olympic Flame

As you probably know, Oxford is a World Heritage Site. There's Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street, St Giles... all beautiful, historic, and full of life, much used, much loved.

Radcliffe Camera: probably one of
the world's most famous library
The Olympic Torch Relay, which has been taking place across the UK since May 19, came to Oxford: of course, this is a famous town. But it didn't go to any of those places, in fact it did not really go through town at all; it went to the BMW factory and briefly to a roundabout near the centre of town. Why? BMW is an Olympic sponsor – and the rest of us have only contributed huge amounts of tax to have these games.

On the other hand, 83-year-old Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile a four-minute mile back in the 1950s, was part of the relay here. That was good.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Cancer: The Power of Four

Corners of the earth
Noble Truths of Buddhism
Suits in a deck of cards
Basic castes in India
Aims of life for a Hindu
Building blocks of DNA
The Tetragrammaton - YHWH, the Hebrew name of God
Horsemen of the Apocalypse

In astrology
Signs of each quality
Ptolemaic aspects

Four = foundation

Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac: the first water sign, and the second of the Cardinals. Cancer rules the natural fourth house, that is the bottom of the chart, the sector upon which the whole chart rests.

This fourth house represents the place we come from – our family, our culture, our milieu as children, it shows the foundation of the self. Cancer rules memory, and often the fourth house is where we lock those memories up. Anyone with Neptune on the IC knows what it's like to have a foundation that's foggy.

But the fourth house is also called the house of endings. It's a water house, emotional, irrational, a swamp, a mystery, a place to bury the dead.

Cancer's ruler is the Moon, childish, a little crazy. Nurturing, nourishing, nostalgic. The Mother, the dark womb, the dark tomb.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Soul of Star Trek: Part Two

My colleague Jackie Taylor has allowed me to publish her clever piece about Star Trek, which originally appeared in the Astrological Journal. This is the second tranche. To read the first part about Star Trek's (rather inauspicious) beginnings, click here.

Central to Star Trek’s fame and its popularity was that guy with the pointed ears. Mr Spock gripped the attention of the audience of the 1960s; a flawed superman, a character who struggled to live by logic alone despite the fact that he was  half human and thus subject to the same emotions as the rest of us; a lonely alien trying to make it  look as if he didn’t care about being lonely. 

He was played by Leonard Nimoy, another  lonely alien equally determined  to make it look as if he didn’t care and, like his alter ego, born into a world in which he didn’t fit. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts  on 26 March 1931, 8.55am, to Jewish Russian immigrants, who had escaped illegally from the Ukraine in search of the American Dream. 

He grew up in a predominantly Italian Catholic neighbourhood, and experienced anti-Semitic bullying and ostracism from an early age. His close Mercury-Uranus conjunction in Aries in the 11th House  illustrates the alienness from his peers which both he and his Vulcan alter-ego experienced, and which made him so suited to portraying that pain. It also symbolises the alien with whom he became indelibly associated for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Literal Astrology

Martina Navratilova, the great tennis player, gave a touching interview on the radio last week. She was wiping away tears within the first few minutes as she recalled being separated from her family when she defected to the West more than 30 years ago.

She has the Moon (emotions) on her Ascendant in Aries (hair-trigger responses). Not only does she wear her heart on her sleeve. Her emotions just come pouring out unmediated. But also what nurtures her is being number one, being first. No wonder she was a champ.

Then there's Mars in Pisces – a lot of athletes have this. Pisces rules the feet, and Mars is physical energy. Mars is also in Pisces house, the 12th, a position which the French statistician Michel Gauquelin found to be common for athletes. And Capricorn (ambition) on the MC (career). Also, look at that incredibly diligent 6th house: practice makes perfect (Venus in Virgo).

But the thing I find most extraordinary is something small that Martina mentioned. She sleeps every night with her head on a pillow that her mother made for her.

That is Moon (mother) and Ceres (more specifically mother) on the Ascendant (the head) from the 12th (sleeping). Sweet.

Astrology of Now: Palllas Athena Loves Uranus

Gustav Klimt's Pallas Athena, 1895
Pallas Athena, the asteroid of strategy and weaving is in a cosy huddle with Uranus, the god of bright ideas. And the Moon is right there with them today, shining a soft silver glow on proceedings.

The Ram is, of course, the sign of beginnings, initiatives and passion. And as we all know, this Uranus has been prodded by the planet of, among other things, uncomfortable insights, Pluto.

Uranus and Pallas are both associated with astrology. See my post Why Pallas Athena is the Astrologers' Asteroid and take a look at the comments. There are a lot of excellent examples.

These two will be strolling through Aries arm in arm for a while still; in fact they were already in a close embrace when the square came from Pluto. I wonder if that means astrology itself may undergo some kind of revolution. We should certainly be open to inspiration.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Temporary Communications Glitch

My email is not working at the moment. I apologise if you have been trying to get in touch with me. I hope to have it fixed by Monday afternoon. It's a server problem.

However, I do note that Mercury is moving veeery sloooowly right now as he gathers himself to turn retrograde on July 13. For me this takes place in the 12th house, a place where things tend to get lost.

Mercury retrogrades July 15 at 13° Leo and then goes direct at 1° Leo on August 8.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cancer Self-Portraits Redux

Cancer is the first water sign – an immediate, unmediated emotional response to the world. Maybe that's why so many artists have been born under the sign of the golden claws.

To read last year's piece and get an eyeful of gorgeous portraits by artists with the Sun in Cancer, click here.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Higgs Boson: Oh, So God Does Exist?

Beaker and Bunsen.
Apparently, it's the most important breakthrough in physics since they smashed the atom.

Now as students of astrology know, Pluto is associated with atomic energy, so how wonderful that on the day of the Full Moon (a project coming to completion) conjunct Pluto – and square (breakthrough) Uranus - those physicists at CERN on the Franco-Swiss border announce that they have finally found the "God particle" or Higgs Boson.

The existence of the Higgs Boson particle has been speculated for years – 47 years in fact. That's when Pluto and Uranus were conjunct, of course. Nifty.

Here's the chart. I've made it for the time I heard the news on the radio, but I'm sure we can get the announcement a bit tighter.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Astrology of Now: Where's Your Revolution?

Lord Shiva, the transformer
Today, the god of transformation is joined by the Full Moon in the sign of institutions, establishment, organisation. And the head of Barclays Bank resigns...

The Moon slides over Pluto at 8° Capricorn and then opposes then Sun, which is at 12° Cancer. If you have any planets on or near these degrees, you will feel this energy.

When we reach the time of a Full Moon, we are coming to an ending; something has reached maximum growth, so it is ready to be plucked and eaten like a ripe peach.

Pluto is also deals with endings. So we have two symbols of transformation coming together.