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Horoscopes for the week starting Monday January 27 2020

Ice planetNot a great week.  It will be difficult to relax, and there won’t be much scope for having fun.  I suppose part of the problem is last week’s New Moon.  It’s an unsettling influence, which sends a cold wind through our plans and aspirations.  Yet those of us who are ready to break off from the pack, and not be side-tracked by maudlin sentimentality, can quietly benefit.

There is nonetheless some interplay between Venus, Mars and Uranus.  Venus in Pisces makes a square aspect to Mars in Sagittarius, and Uranus makes 45-series aspects to both.  Put another way, Uranus is square the Venus-Mars midpoint.  This can be associated with sudden attractions – they arrive quickly, and leave just as fast.  So if you fall in love with someone this week, consider the possibility that it is just a phase.  And it works both ways – you may be flavour of the day or the week, not the month.

If you’re interested in your particular sign, here are my star sign forecasts for the week starting on Monday January 27 2019:

Aries It is time for the Rams to develop a new friendship.  It’s not about passion, but about shared interests.  You might also consider joining a political party.  Your love life has moments or excitement, but just because you’re attracted to someone doesn’t mean that you’re compatible with them.

Taurus You expect everything to go your way.  However Venus makes a stressful aspect to Mars, and gets buffeted by Uranus.  There are real complications, not helped by a difference of opinion.  Yet in your career you can start a new chapter – but to begin with keep quiet about it.

Gemini Looks are subjective, and however hard you try you can’t please everyone.  So if you’re interested in clothes, fashion or style you can’t please everyone.  Instead you have to choose your audience and refuse to apologize.  One dream launches a thousand possibilities.

Cancer You don’t want to check the small-print.  Maybe it’s out of laziness, maybe you’re afraid about what you might find out.  However the sooner you’re honest with yourself the better.  You can embark on a new financial journey, which in the long run can boost your security.

Leo It’s OK to be assertive, especially in your working environment.  By exercising your power you’ll gain new supporters, and you’ll also be able to break free from some of the restrictions from the past.  One particular relationship can move from one stage to the next.

Virgo When you want to be, you can be a bucket of cold water.  Squelching other people’s plans and aspirations, forcing cold reality onto the uninformed and the overoptimistic.  However, this week you need to back off.  Let other people express themselves.

Libra You can’t  be friends with everyone, and with Venus aspecting Mars there could be a clash of personalities.  But it’s a clash you can win, provided you are not tempted to be someone you’re not.  Elsewhere do something new – for the fun of it.  You never know where it might lead you.

Scorpio Mars, your rules, aspects Uranus. You’re not in full control, and you might be confounded by a surprise turn of events. It is easy to be stubborn, and to refuse to adjust your plans. However the current situation requires flexibility – particularly in terms of money.

Sagittarius You’re buzzing, in that sparkling, Sagittarian kind of way. But action can have unintended consequences, and if you give in to your impulses you could end up being a hostage to fortune. Family members are feeling delicate, and it is important that you don’t upset their finely tuned equilibrium.

Capricorn The average Capricorn is giving serous consideration to money.  However sensible you have been in the past, you know things could be better.  And there may be a way to boost your income, that requires an independent-minded approach.  But don’t take risks!

Aquarius As you birthday month unfolds, you become aware of the possibilities – but also the limitations.  There are some things you don’t want to do, and that’s fine.  Don’t ap0logize for being unfriendly – later on there’ll be time for warmth.  Friends cost money.

Pisces It could be a good week, provided you get your priorities right.  Mars is moving through the career house of your solar chart, where it is aspected by Venus in Pisces.  Be ambitious, and don’t be shy about your ambitions.  Just because people are rude doesn’t mean that they can’t be useful.

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New Moon, Chinese New Year, beginning of the end

24.1.2020 New Moon, Damascus

The Chinese New Year starts on the first New Moon in the sign of Aquarius.  In other words, we’re talking about the New Moon at 9.24 pm GMT on January 24 2020.

This New Moon is at 4 degrees 22 minutes Aquarius, and it therefore gives us hints about the future.  I say this because the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in December 2020 is also in early Aquarius.  If we look carefully at the events of early February, we might get a clue about what the world is going to be like in the 2020s and 2030s.  It’s a sneak preview, if you like.  But in a negative sense, we’ll start to realize that many of the things we have taken for granted since the year 2000 are now coming to an end.  For example, if you’re in the UK the New Moon is the herald of Brexit.  The misplaced optimism and globalism of the metropolitan elites is coming to an end.  Indeed,  I would see this New Moon, and the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, as being the new age concept of Aquarius flipped on its head.  It’s about anti-ideallism, with the fusing of technology and realism.

Matters aren’t helped by the fact that the New Moon is making an 135 degree aspect to the Hades-Admetos midpoint.  Hades is about death and stagnation, while Admetos is the planet of delay.  Alfred Witte sees this combination as being about material neediness.  We don’t have the resources we need, and we feel miserable about it.  Also, the New Moon on the Hades-Admetos midpoint reminds us that the world’s lastest challenge is the corona virus, which has hit South West China and is in danger of spreading.  He wrote “Diseased, oppressed frame of mind”.

Less controversially, the New Moon is square Uranus.  This has the potential for creating shock events, particular in parts of the world where both are angular.  If there is any part of the world that is most vulnerable to this aspect, it is the Red Sea, and countries close to it, such as Israel, Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea.  The chart at the top of this post is the New Moon set for Damascus, Syria.

However, the New Moon isn’t all bad.  Apollon is square the Sun-Moon midpoint.  Apollon is the planet of creativity and success, and many of us can revel in our achievements.  So in spite of the prevailing pessimism, those of us who have done something genuinely special can start celebrating. Some might regard our celebrations as out of place, but that probably can’t be helped.  I should also say that it is a good time for astrolgers.

Note: Hades, Admetos and Apollon are hypothetical planets, used by the Hamburg School.  They have slow moving orbits.  In the New Moon chart Hades is at 8 21 Cancer retrograde, Admetos at 0 44 Gemini retrograde and Apollon at 3 51 Scorpio.

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Can you be a conservative astrologer?

Ronald ReaganAmercian astrologers are better at predicting Democrat victories than Republican ones.  And for many astrologers, Trump’s victory in 2016 was . traumatic.  Not only did they predict that he would lose, but they also supported the other candidate.  This is not surprising, because astrologers in the West tend to be liberal, and their view of the world will inevitably bias their predictions.  So if you’re an astrologer, there is a good chance that you believe in some or all of the following:

Manmade climate change
A woman’s right to choose.
Gun control.
Treat people well and they’ll treat you well in return.
Humanity is evolving in a positive way.
Western countries spend too much on defence.
The government should play an active role in society and the economy.
The abolition of the death penalty.
The value of international organizations, like the Europe Union and the United Nations.
Violent criminals can be rehabilitated.
Marijuana should be legalized.
Progressive taxation.
Relatively relaxed immigration policies.

You get what I mean.  There is a cluster of beliefs that tend to characterize liberals, and Western astrologers tend to share these beliefs.  However, I don’t think it has always been the case.  In the 1980s many Reagan Democrats were sympathetic to astrology, and the First Lady, Nancy Reagan, got astrological advice from Joan Quigley.  This advice may well have contributed to Ronald Reagan’s political success – he wasn’t called the Teflon President for nothing.

Possibly the main reason why astrologers parted company with the political right was religion.  In the United States of the 1980s evangelical Christians had an increasing influence over the Republican Party.  Astrology was another demonic new age practice, which could only lead to one place, and that was hell.  This position has a degree of logic.  The only way of entering the Kingdom of Heaven is through Jesus Christ, and if you look for spiritual enlightenment through other means you’re doomed.  In terms of Protestant dogma, you cannot get to heaven through your own efforts, you can only get there through the Grace of God.  Using astrology as a tool of personal and spiritual development is therefore at odds with evangelical Christianity, particularly if you use astrology to predict the future.  After all, the only person who knows what is going to happen next is God.

Move forward into the 2010s and 2020s, and astrology is part of the rainbow coalition.  It allows us to be whoever we like, and at the same time it can give us meaning in a post-religious era.  Astrology doesn’t define us, instead we define the astrology that makes us feel comfortable.  So it becomes part of the tool kit, along with yoga, reiki, crystals and blah, blah, blah.   We can use it to expand our consciousness, and to transcend the divisions that Trump and the Republicans try to impose upon us.

Yet I would contend that to be an astrologer is to be a conservative.  This is because astrology defines not only who we are, but also who we are not.  If we believe in God, then the horoscope represents the hand we have been dealt.  It shows the gifts and challenges that God has given us, and if we step outside the horoscope, and try to be someone else, we will never fulfill our potential.  This is particularly the case if we regard astrology as a system that is handed down from generation to generation, with rules that were formulated over several milennia.  If you have Venus in Scorpio retrograde conjunct the Sun and Saturn, your Venus is badly placed, and nothing can change that.  The role of the astrologer isn’t to make the afflicted Venus go away, but instead to work out the best way of dealing with it.  For example, by avoiding, mitigating or transforming the bad situations that this configuration will attract.

Outside contemporary Western astrology, we can see the fundamental conservatism of the profession.  The country with the most professional astrologers has got to be India, and you can’t really understand Indian astrology without reference to the Hindu religion.  Indian astrology reinforces Hinduism, and indeed can support its social structures.  Hindu priests are often astrologers, and astrology can be used to select marriage partners.  This might seem disturbing to the modern Western mind, but if you believe that astrology works, it’s logical.

Yet one thing that modern Western astrologers share with their Indian colleagues is a belief in reincarnation.  I say this because every astrologer I have ever met believes in Karma and past lives.  In other words, astrologers can’t be Christians, right?  And they certainly can’t be Muslims.  Yet if you go back 1000 years, there were some great Arab astrologers.  The greatest was probably Al-Biruni, who lived in Afghanistan in the 11th Century AD.  I think there can be little doubt that Al-Biruni had a conservative disposition.  From his writings it would appear that he was a devout Muslim, who had contempt for mind-readers and magicians.  He was particularly bothered by astrologers who claimed that they could tell clients about their previous incarnations: “I know of no method of dealing with them except insisting on exposing their vicious decrees  and their leading the querent into crime by the bad advice given him”.

Another astrologer who was conservative in outlook was William Lilly.  He was working in London, around the time of the English Civil War.  He supported the Parliamentary side, though he was careful to hedge his bets.  His magnum opus was titled Christian Astrology, and it was published in 1647, when England was increasingly under the control of Christian fundamentalists.  Lilly made it clear that it was God that had the final say, and not the stars.  He also seemed to accept St. Paul’s dictum in Romans Chapter 10 that we should respect the government.  For example, he described how he used astrology to predict that William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury, would be executed by beheading.  Lilly wrote that although he was very sad about the execution, “I account him not a martyr, as one asse did; For by the Sentence of the greatest Court of England, viz. the Parliament, he was brought to his end”.

William Lilly, right at the beginning of his book, wrote “Nihil dictum, quod non dictum prius”.  Which means nothing has been said that hasn’t been said before.  This represents a very traditional view of the world.  In terms of wisdom, astrological or otherwise, there is no point in trying to be original, because someone, somewhere, has said it before.  Taken further, it questions whether modern humans are any better, or any more self-aware, from their ancestors.

Over the last few centuries every generation has had the arrogance to think that it is cutting edge, but it always dies away to do be replaced by something else.  As astrologers, we are aware that planetary cycles repeat.  There may be changes in technology and fashion, but humans are always the same, and any concept of evolutionary progress is fake – certainly of you’re measuring things in small periods of time, like centuries or millennia.  This means that astrology can help us distinguish between the eternal and the transitory.  When people get excited about global consciousness, people coming together, the wonders of human potential, you know it is just a phase.  Or as Macbeth might have put it, “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.  An astrologer should have seen Trump and Brexit  coming, and a conservative astrologer shouldn’t have been bothered about it.

In fact, astrologers should be weary of liberals.  One of the key features of liberals, particularly those of an intellectual bent, is that they don’t believe in God.  They believe in science, unless science contradicts their social agenda.  And they certainly don’t believe in astrology.  Astrology is not going to pass any scientific test, whatever Michel Gauquelin might have discovered. Furthermore the academic elites that condemn the stupid supporters of Trump and Brexit will treat astrology with only marginally less disdain.

I do of course understand that a lot depends on what you believe in.  If you believe that astrology can be whatever you make of it, that you can interpret a horoscope in whatever way makes you feel happy, then you’re not really a conservative astrologer.  You should nonetheless be aware that you’re chasing a fad, which is not going to last forever.  However, if your astrology is something handed down rather than invented, which describes society rather than reinforces your liberal overoptimism, then you might well be a conservative astrologer.

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The toxic astrology of Piers Morgan and Meghan Markle

Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan is probably Britain’s best known journalist.  He was editor of The Sun, The New of the World and The Daily Mirror.  And at the moment he is  one of the presenters of the TV show Good Morning Britain.  Morgan is one of the leading critics of Meghan Markle, and it could be said that he bears a degree of responsibility for the negative press she is currently receiving in the UK.

There are many reasons why Piers Morgan might have a poor view of Meghan. For example, he may feel that she has been disrespectful towards Britain and the Queen.  However, there may be a personal element.  He described a period of time, lasting a year and a half, where he had got on well with her.  But after meeting her future husband she “ghosted” him.  As Piers Morgan put it, “Bang! She met somebody more important.  Immediately ghosted.  I never heard from her again.  The old slippery slope ladder had gone up. She had social climbed her way out of my orbit”.

So, who was Meghan Markle dealing with?  Here’s Piers Morgan’s horoscope:

Piers Morgan horoscope

Piers Morgan was born on March 30 1965, and he has the Sun, Venus and Mercury in Aries.  He’s assertive, he speaks his mind and he is not too afraid of being rude.  He also has the Moon conjunct Saturn, opposition Mars conjunction Uranus conjunction Pluto.  This configuration is explosive and angry, and once he starts putting energy into something, he might find it difficult to stop.

We then turn to Meghan’s horoscope, which I looked at recently, comparing her chart with Harry’s:

Meghan's horoscope

Meghan’s Saturn is at 5 degrees 52 Libra, exactly opposition Morgan’s Venus, at 6 degrees Aries.  Venus in a man’s chart represents women, and Meghan’s Saturn aspecting this Venus could quite literally be the experience of being ghosted.  And I am guessing that on a personal level he felt somewhat hurt.  According to Piers Morgan, he spent around 90 minutes having drinks with Meghan.  It was a friendly conversation, which had the promise of further encounters, but her Saturn hit his Venus… bang!

We might also want to consider Meghan’s Venus, at 13 degrees Virgo.  This Venus makes a sextile aspect to her Mars in Cancer.  She is an attractive woman, but her Venus is poorly placed in Virgo.  In my experience, people with Venus in Virgo find it difficult to live 100% in the moment, especially in terms of relationships.  Part of them is always calculating, and perhaps doing a cost-benefit analysis.  This is particular the case with women – heterosexual men with Venus in Virgo, or indeed any other sign, often project it onto the opposite sex.

Meghan’s Venus in Virgo feeds right into Piers Morgan’s Moon-Saturn conjunction opposition Mars, Uranus and Pluto.  To spell it out, his Moon and Saturn are opposition Meghan’s Venus, his Mars, Uranus and Pluto are conjunct it.  This is important.  Megan’s Venus is her femininity, perhaps the main thing that makes her photogenic and special.  It clashes horribly with the dynamo of Pier Morgan’s personality, symbolized by the conjunctions and oppositions involving the Moon, Saturn, Mars, Uranus and Pluto.  Of course it should be said that Meghan’s Venus is conjunct his Mars.  This is often a sign of strong attraction, particularly on the man’s part.  I am sure, after the meeting, that Piers Morgan was well disposed towards her.  However by ghosting him she may well have sowed the wind.

What are the takeaways?  Decades ago I read a book on the astrology of relationships that referred to “double whammy” aspects.  Megan and Piers have a double whammy – Meghan’s Venus in Virgo is opposition his Saturn in Pisces, Piers’ Venus in Aries is opposition her Saturn in Libra.  This is a toxic configuration, as I’ve explained.  Meghan, when dealing with Piers, should have been aware of this.  His birth date is publically available.  She was probably unwise to have met him for drinks – but as she did, she shouldn’t have ghosted him.

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Horoscopes for the week starting Monday January 20 2020

The Water Carrier, Francisco de Goya.jpg

This week the Sun moves into Aquarius, where it aspects Uranus, the planet of earthquakes and surprises.  Many of us are going to be thinking beyond the material world, and we’ll be focusing on ways of being original and creative.  However, that won’t be easy.  After all, there is nothing new under the Sun, and if we look hard at our surroundings, we’ll realize that much of it is just recycled garbage.  Particularly now, when the North Node of the Moon is making a conjunction to Hades.

At the end of the week there is a New Moon.  It is the first New Moon in the sign of Aquarius, which means it is the beginning of the Chinese New Year.  I’ll say more about this later, but check for the beginning of new trends, especially in the financial markets.

Anyway, here are my star sign forecasts for the week starting on Monday January 20 2019:

Aries You’re feeling restless, especially if you live in Northern climes.  The weather might be grim, and travel the perfect escape.  While you’re hunting for the escape hatch your friends grab you attention.  But your social life could be surprisingly expensive.

Taurus What does it take to be successful?  You have to be stubborn, but you also have to show some flair.  Do something that no-one expects, which demonstrates how wonderfully original you are.  Your career is about to move in a new direction.

Gemini Over the last month many Geminis have been feeling negative.  A belief that things aren’t going to get better, that everything must come to an end.  But with the Sun moving into Aquarius you can allow yourself to be more optimistic.  Just because a dream is shocking doesn’t mean it’s real.

Cancer You know that life isn’t simple, particularly when it comes to relationships.  But just because something is complicated doesn’t mean it should be avoided.  In fact your ablity to stay strong while other people go crazy will give you a crucial advantage.

Leo If you’re typical of your star sign, then you like to be the centre of attention.  Or at the very least, you don’t want to be ignored.  But with the Sun moving into Aquarius it may be necessary to let other people have their say.  A New Moon brings a new tide in your various relationships.

Virgo Mercury, your ruler, is moving towards a favourable aspect of Mars.  You are very determined, and you can work hard to achieve your aims.  At first no-one will notice what you’re doing, but at the moment it’s the boring stuff that gets the results.

Libra At work you need to be scrupulously honest, and be careful who you hang out with.  Not everyone can be trusted, and if you follow the crowd you could do something that is at best unethical, at worst criminal.  A New Moon at the end of the week brings ice and romance in equal measure.

Scorpio What’s happening in your home environment?  Things have carried on in the same old way for a long time, and it may be a situation that snaps rather than bends.  Elsewere Mercury aspects Mars.  In terms of money something grabs your attention.  Think about it, and then take the necessary action.

Sagittarius The Sun aspects Uranus, and as a result neighbours could be a problem.  Or else you could be a problem to them.  A spoonful of tolerance goes a long way.  Someone close to you has waited for long enough, and it is now time to make a decision.

Capricorn You need to take a good, hard look at your finances.  As it stands things are probably OK, but things can happen.  Be particularly careful when you’re having fun, because right now this is when you’re most vulnerable to a financial loss.  At the end of the week a new income source may reveal itself.

Aquarius The Sun is moving into your star sign.  You are in your element, finally, and it is a great time for taking new initiatives.  But not everyone is on your side, and family members may try to hold you back – perhaps by creating a crisis out of nothing.

Pisces You’re in two places.  On one hand you appreciate your own space and want to keep interaction with other people to a minimum.  On the other hand you’re impatient, and you can only make progress with another person’s help.  First impressions count for little.

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Rebecca Long-Bailey

The British Labour Party is having a leadership contest, and the two front runners are Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey.  Although Keir Starmer appears to be the front runner, polling evidence suggests that Long-Bailey has a real chance of winning.  To anyone outside the Labour Party bubble, this is surprising.  Her TV performances aren’t great, she is strongly associated with Jeremy Corbyn, and she may not have the intellect to get the better of Boris Johnson at the dispatch box.  Put another way, if the Labour Party elect her as their leader, they have little chance of winning the next general election.

I have already looked at Keir Starmer’s horoscope.  He is a Virgo, with a lot of planets in Libra.  Rebecca Long Bailey is also a Virgo with a lot of planets in Libra.  Here is her chart, set for midday on September 22 1976, in Old Trafford, Manchester:

Long-Bailey horoscope

Long-Bailey has a close conjunction between Mercury and Venus, in Libra.  This conjunction is about communication.  She knows how to project herself, at least when dealing with the people who matter.  What I think of her, what the electorate thing of her, is unimportant.  When it comes to the Labour Party, she knows what to say and she knows how to say it.  At the same time, her Moon in Libra means that she won’t rock the boat with her potential fan-base.

Let’s now go back to Keir Starmer’s horoscope:

Keir Starmer horoscope

You don’t have to be an astrologer to see the similarities.  They both have the Sun in Virgo, they both have the Moon, Mercury and Venus in Libra, they both have Mars in Cancer.  Yet there is one difference between the two charts, which may be crucial.

When I looked at Keir Starmer’s chart, I noticed that he had no planets in the Fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.  As a result he might quite literally lack the Fire that’s required to get his party back to power. He might also be lacking intuition, in terms of understanding what needs to be done to beat the Tories.  Long-Bailey doesn’t have any personal planets in Fire signs, but she does have Jupiter in Leo, conjunct the fixed star Regulus.  Regulus is the Royal Star, and it can propel people to the heights.  Vivian Robson says of this configuration: “Fame, high preferrment, especially of a military nature, success in the Church”.  This description might not be entirely appropriate, but you get the picture.  Long-Bailey’s Jupiter conjunct Regulus allows her to be promoted above her natural abilities.  It should also be noted that although both horoscopes are  concentrated on one part of the wheel, in Long-Bailey’s case all her traditional planets (the Sun through to Saturn) are in a 90 degree arc.  Her chart is very focused, and little in the way of dynamic tension.

Starmer and Long-Bailey are both Virgos with the Moon, Mercury and Venus in Libra.  They both understand the details, and they know what steps are required to achieve their aims.  And because of their Libran planets, they can form the necessary alliances.  The two of them have found their niches, and now they are vying for the top job.  Starmer might be a lot brighter than Long-Bailey, and on paper more effecive, but he doesn’t have Jupiter in Leo conjunct Regulus.

However I am not making any predictions about who is going to be the Labour leader. Long-Bailey’s Jupiter increases her chances of success, but I don’t have her time of birth.

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Leo of the week: Speculator and suicide Jesse Livermore

Jesse Livermore

Jesse Livermore is often regarded as one of the best stock market traders ever.  His biography, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, is read assiduously by budding traders, and they hope that his 25 rules will make them rich.  Livermore certainly made a lot of money, but he lost his fortune several times over, and at the age of 63 he committed suicide.

Livermore was born on July 26 1877, in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.  Here’s his horoscope, set for noon:

Jesse Livermore's horoscope

Livermore started betting on stock market movements when he was 15, so at a very young age he became familiar with price action.  He was helped by his amazing intuition, and he was prepared to back his hunches with hard cash.  He went short on railroad stock immediately before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and he made around one hundred million dollars from the Wall Street crash in 1929.

So what should we look for in his horoscope?  He had four planets in Leo: the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Uranus.  Leo is a fire sign, and it is therefore about intuition.  Another Leo was psychiatrist and mystic Carl Jung, who was born exactly two years earlier, on July 26 1875.  At the end his life Jung was asked whether he believed in God.  He replied “I know… I don’t need to believe… I know“.  Livermore, like Jung, just knew.  However one has to understand that the intuition that these two men demonstrated was not vague and emotional – it was born of Fire rather than Water.  Livermore did not get a vague feeling that he needed to short a railway stock just before the San Francisco earthquake.  He just knew that it was the right thing to do.

When Leo is working well it’s very confident.  In terms of Livermore, this related not just to his final decision to trade, but also to his methods.  He had a method for choosing what and when to trade, and he had absolute confidence in this method.  Or in modern parlance, he had a trading plan that he was very comfortable with.

If you look at trading forums, there is endless discussion about how to choose trades, whether you look at fundamentals, such as the economy or a company’s balance sheet, or whether to focus on graphs.  If you are constantly moving from one method to another, then it is difficult to get any traction.  What Livermore’s method seemed to boil down to was identifying a trend, making a small, testing bet, then increasing his exposure as the trend developed.  It sounds easy, but one has to remember that he had experience as well as intuition.

I should also mention that financier George Soros was a Leo.  In 1993 he had a strong feeling that the British Pound was over-valued, and he made a huge bet that it would fall.  His hunch was right, and he made a massive amount of money.

Livermore’s Leo planets, in particular Venus and Uranus, made a trine aspect to Jupiter in Sagittarius.  Jupiter is the planet of optimistic speculation, and in Sagittarius it can bring plenty of luck.  The trine would also have helped Livermore’s intuition – he’d be able to connect the dots super-quickly.  There would be little or no intellectualizing, and the correct course of action would be obvious.

Another way of looking at Livermore’s chart is through the elements and quadruplicities.  The four elements are Fire, Earth, Air and Water, and the three quadruplicities are Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable.  I do a simple count of the seven traditional planets.  In Livermore’s case he had four of the seven planets in Fire signs, namely the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter.  At the other extreme, he had no traditional planets in the Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

One can look at the lack of Earth in two ways.  Firstly, a lack of an element can manifest as a desire for the blank to be compensated for.  Meaning that Livermore had a great desire for money and material things, even if he didn’t trully understand their value.  Secondly, he was perhaps detached from the millions he was making and losing on the markets.  It was a game, and the cash sums weren’t entirely real.  Ironically, this may have helped him become successful.  He wasn’t worrying about the actual money, he wasn’t afraid and he could let his profits run.

The quadruplicities are also interesting.  Livermore had four traditional planets in Fixed signs: the Moon in Aquarius, and the Sun, Mercury and Venus in Leo.  The fixed signs keep moving, in a single direction, like a juggernaut.  He may have known how to exit a trade, but he couldn’t stop trading, and at the same time he had total self-confidence.  Also,  trading was his life, and when he hit a losing streak he only stopped when he was cleaned out.

In this light, it is important to comment on the Full Moon in his chart: his Sun in Leo opposition his Moon in Aquarius.  From an aspect point of view, it is a very wide opposition, with an orb of 15 degrees.  However, it always matters when people have the Sun and the Moon in opposite signs.  It can represent big swings – happy/sad, profit/loss, rich/poor.  This was the pattern of his life, which may also have had a psychological dimension.  When he shot himself on November 28 1940 he was suffering from clinical depression, and there is some evidence that he was bipolar.

This brings me to his Mars-Saturn conjunction in Pisces.  This conjunction is depressive, and can be associated with death.  Particularly as his Sun in Leo was making an 135-degree aspect to both planets, and therefore aspected the Mars-Saturn midpoint.  I suspect that death was never far from Livermore’s mind, and again, this may have helped him in his trading.  I know it’s a controversial suggestion, but maybe he felt that he could take risks, because if things got too bad, he could always kill himself.  Nonetheless, he didn’t commit suicide because he was penniless.  Most of his fortune had gone, but he still had 5 million dollars in annuities, which equates to 100 million dollars in today’s money.

The connection between his Sun on the Mars-Saturn midpoint and his suicide is supported by the planetary line-up on the day of his death.  Here’s the death horoscope, set for New York at 5.33 pm:

Jesse Livermore's suicide chart

Looking at the charts for his birth and death – the former is set for noon – his natal Mars-Saturn midpoint is at 18 degrees 59 Pisces, which makes hard, 45-degree aspects to 3 degrees  59 of the Fixed signs.  On November 28 1940 at 5.33 pm, the time of Livermore’s suicide, transiting Pluto was at 4 degrees 13 minutes Leo.  In other words, close to a conjunction of his natal Sun, at 3 degrees 34 Leo.  At the same time Venus and Mars were close to a conjunction, in Scorpio.  To be precise, Venus was at 2 degrees 58 Scorpio and Mars was at 5 degrees 25 Scorpio.  The transiting Venus-Mars midpoint was therefore at 4 degrees 12 minutes Scorpio, one minute short of a square with transiting Pluto.  This is a good example of inner planets triggering an aspect from a slow-moving outer planet, in this case Pluto.

I mention Livermore’s death because it illustrates the fact that you have to understand the natal chart before trying to make forecasts.  He had a Mars-Saturn conjunction, which the Sun aspected by sesquiquadrate (135 degrees).  Alfred Witte uses three words to describe this combination: “Death through wounding”.  That was the potential shown by the chart, which was there the moment he was born.  Then at the time of his death, this midpoint configuration was hit by Pluto, Venus and Mars.  Incidentally, in the Solar Return prior to his suicide, there was a close Mars-Saturn square.  This means that we have a repeated signature.

Another signature, in the suicide chart, is an opposition between Mars and Saturn, which had Jupiter exactly squaring it.  Witte wrote of Jupiter on the Mars-Saturn midpoint as follows: “Pleasant interruption of work. Vacations. Quick death”.  The photo at the top of the article was taken the day before Livermore’s suicide.  According to Richard Smitten, the photographer asked Livermore for permission to take the shot, and he replied “Of course you can… but it’s the last picture you will take, because tomorrow I’m going away for a long, long time”.

Finally, I can understand why traders want to emulate Jesse Livermore.  However can they cherry-pick the parts of his personality they like, and discard the rest?  I think not.  To appreciate Livermore’s success, you have to understand the whole person, and in this sense, astrology can be useful.

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Virgo Keir Starmer: the wrong leader?

Keir Starmer

I was in London last year, and as my sister drove me to the airport, she was complaining about the state of British politics.  She didn’t want Britain to leave the EU, and she thought that everything would be fine if Keir Starmer rather than Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party.  I didn’t know much about Keir Starmer, but I took her word for it.  Well, almost.  Keir Starmer is a fanatical Europhile, who did everything he could to frustrate Britain leaving the EU.  And his support for the EU played a role in the Labour Party’s crashing defeat in the December 2019 General Election.

Jeremy Corbyn is now standing down as leader, and there is an election for a replacement.  Keir Starmer is the frontrunner, and from my reading of the newspapers, rather than my reading of the stars, I would guess that in a few months time he’ll be Labour Party leader.

Keir Starmer is a lawyer.  Apparently a good lawyer.  If we look at his horoscope (see below), we see that he has the Sun in Virgo conjunct Pluto.  Details are important to him, and he has the capacity to dig down, to the heart of the matter.  Furthermore, he has Mercury in Libra making a favourable aspect to Saturn in Aquarius.  He has mental discipline, and he has the capacity to speak in a measured and authoritative tone.  He also has Mercury square Mars.  This makes him a good debater, and on the surface he might be a Leader of the Opposition who Boris Johnson would fear.  After all, Gemini Boris Johnson is famous for being hazy on detail, and Starmer might shine a forensic light on his lack of knowledge.

Keir Starmer horoscope

At least this is the hope of Starmer’s supporters.  Unfortunately, they are fighting last year’s war.  Prior to the General Election, Starmer was able to use his skills to undermine the Conservatives’ quest for Brexit.  The Conservatives didn’t have a majority, and Starmer and his fellow Remainers were able to grind the government down with their mastery of law, details and procedure.  However these kind of skills are not going to work now that the Tories have a majority.  They’ll come over as petulant and petty – not to mention unexciting and lacking in vision.   Also, the Labour Party that lost the election is still the same party – too left of centre to be elected, and riddled with the kind of Marxist entryists that infected the Party in the 1980s.

There are nonetheless many moderates, perhaps like my sister, who believe that Starmer can sort the problem out.  He is not an extremist, and he can perhaps be characterized by his suit and tie and his knighthood.  The very man to bring the party back to the centre.  Yet to do this he needs both dynamism and ruthlessness.  I am not convinced that he’s got these qualities in sufficient measure.  He has no planets in the Fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, and his Mars is weak in Cancer.  Furthermore, he is more of a Libran than a Virgo.  He has three personal planets in this sign – the Moon, Mercury and Venus.  I believe that if elected as leader, he will be a typical Libran, and try to be friends with all wings of his party.  Including the far left.

However, I am weary of writing Starmer off, especially as I don’t know his time of birth.  For example, he can win through if he is everyone’s friend until gets elected, and then have a brutal purge.  Yet his Western horoscope suggests he won’t do this.  The lack of Fire indicates that he won’t have a grand epithany that forces him to take action against his own colleagues.  I understand that Boris Johnson doesn’t have any Fire either, and he managed a successful purge of his party.  However he had Sagittarian Dominic Cummings urging him on from behind the throne.

But… I’m thinking aloud here… Starmer’s Vedic horoscope is in many respects very favourable, and depending on the time of birth, it suggests that the situation isn’t hopeless.  Yes, Eastern and Western astrology can give very different messages.  I’ll comment further, if and when Starmer becomes leader of the Labour Party.  Hopefully by then we’ll know his time of birth.

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Horoscopes for the week starting Monday January 13 2020

Saturn transitting the SunThe first half of the week is dominated by a conjunction between Saturn and Pluto.  The Sun and Mercury join the party, and pressure is added by a 45 degree aspect from Mars.  Things are tense, and many of us may feel that we can’t take much more of it.  As a result, it might be a good idea to take a step back from our immediate problems, and in terms of relationships we shouldn’t feel that anything should last forever.

But it’s not all bad.  Venus is moving into Pisces, the sign of its exaltation, where is moves to a favourable aspect with Uranus.  There are ways of expressing our feelings, and good relationships can get even better.  There is also the possibility of a surprise meeting, which brings the possibility of happiness and excitement.

And here are my forecasts for the twelve signs:

Aries At work it might feel that something is moving towards a crisis.  You don’t feel comfortable, and it might seem that your brave moves could end in disaster.  However, through sheer determination you can win through.

Taurus You can put away the mirror, and stop worrying what you look like.  You’re fine, just as you are, and with Venus moving into magical Pisces you can be the centre of attention without trying.  Partners need love and support.

Gemini Every Gemini knows that nothing is permanent, and sometimes you think about the end before it has even begun.  But maybe it is a time to lighten up.  By focusing on feelings rather than words you can make new and useful contacts.

Cancer Right now there is a huge astrological build-up in Capricorn, your opposite sign.  Relationships take up a lot of your time, and you might feel that they are more trouble than they are worth.  Seek the company of spiritual people.

Leo You have a limited amount of energy, and if something doesn’t have to be done then don’t do it.  And don’t allow yourself to be manipulated and blackmailed.  You’ve got an agenda to follow, which has your own physical and psychological health as its central plank.

Virgo Being creative is often a fine balance.  You have to put in the time and the dedication, but you don’t want to take things too seriously.  Because your attention to detail may destroy the thing you are creating.  Someone special wants your attention.

Libra Your home life takes up a lot of time.  And your family could really get on your nerves.  OK, there are chores and duties that can’t be avoided, but you do need some space.  Places near water can help you relax, particularly if you’re accompanied by someone you trust.

Scorpio Money issues are hard to avoid.  You want things to be sorted out, but there are unavoidable delays.  Perhaps communications about money get delayed, and you get angry.  Partners and lovers are in the mood for fun and games.

Sagittarius Mars continues its movement through your star sign.  You’ve certainly got a lot of energy, but there’s a danger that you hit an obstacle.  Perhaps there is a sum of money you can’t afford.  In general, obstacles should be side-stepped rather than attacked.

Capricorn If you’ve got plants, look after them.  Because right now there is a danger that you forget to water them, and stuff like that.  Elsewhere you feel that large scale forces are at work, that you can’t fully control.  Let the storm run its course.

Aquarius Just because everything is quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is going on.  Deep down, tectonic plates are shifting, and for your part, you need to be ready to take advantage of the situation.  You friends can be very annoying.

Pisces Venus moves into your star sign.  Your social skills will move to the top of the range, and with Venus aspecting Uranus you can communicate in an animated and exciting way.  Right now your social life and your career life can’t occupy the same space.

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Random Sagittarians: Joseph Stalin

Photo of StalinWhen I first started learning astrology it was generally accepted that Stalin was a Capricorn.  This made sense.  He was a methodical and ruthless operator who carefully alienated and destroyed his rivals.  I could then associate him with other Capricorn politicians – such as Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong. In fact I was so confident that Stalin was a Capricorn that in the 1990s I co-wrote a book in which I highlighted him as being typical of the sign.

Unfortunately Stalin was not a Capricorn.  He was a Sagittarius, born on December 18 1878, in Gori, Georgia.  We don’t have a reliable birth time.  Until now I have never given Stalin’s chart much thought, and to be honest, I don’t find it very interesting.  At least using regular methods of interpretation.  However, if it shows anything, it shows how important it is to focus on the main features of a chart, and not to get distracted.  Anyway, here’s the wheel:

Stalin's horoscope

The first thing to notice is that Stalin has his Sun in Sagittarius.  He could certainly be rude, and he liked playing practical jokes – for example throwing senior communists in ponds, or putting tomatos on their chairs just before meetings.  Yet I wouldn’t say that he was a typical Sagittarius.  Saturn makes an exact square to his Sun, and this brings him down to earth.  He knows that life is a serious business, and that there’s little time for relaxation.

It is also worth noting that Stalin had Venus in Sagittarius, which was conjunct the Sun and Square Saturn.  Venus is the planet of love and warmth: it is burnt out by its proximity to the Sun, and frozen out by Saturn.  In other words, Stalin would have found it difficult to form close relationships.  Yet Venus is square the Aries point, which represents the world at large.  He could win the affection of his country, in spite of the purges and famines.

Stalin’s Moon in Libra gives another side to the story.  The Moon in Libra is about compromise, and putting people at their ease.  Indeed Stalin could be very charming.  During the 1920s and early 1930s, as he consolidated his power, Stalin would come over as the moderate, mediating between rival groups.  This would allow him to use one group to destroy another, until finally there was no one left to oppose him.

Stalin’s Mars was in Scorpio, making an 120-degree aspect to Saturn, and an opposition to Pluto.  Mars is in the sign of its rulership.  This means that he was able to assert himself, with the Saturn aspect giving him great discipline.  You destroy your enemies when the time is right, not when you’re in a bad mood.  However, the destruction is total, as indicated by the Pluto aspect.  Pluto wants to get rid of everything that might conceivably be a threat.  One also has to remember that Mars is opposition Pluto.  We get the idea of a struggle, a feeling that one has to keep pushing, keep purging.

The importance of the Mars-Pluto aspect is demonstated by Stalin’s transits on June 22 1941, the day that Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  At the time of the invasion, there was a conjunction between Saturn and Uranus, in late Taurus.  To be precise, the two planets were respectively at  23 26 and 28 11 Taurus, with the midpoint being 25 48 Taurus.  This was exactly opposition Stalin’s Mars, which was at 25 51 Scorpio.  This illustrates, when using transits, that one should use transiting midpoints as well as transiting planets, especially if the points forming the midpoint are in aspect.  Reinhold Ebertin wrote of Mars on the Saturn-Uranus midpoint “…the stage of challenging others for a decisive contest or fight…”.  I can’t put it better than that.

At this stage, you might be wondering what made Stalin so evil.  I personally would not regard Stalin as being evil, not in the same way as some of the top Nazis, like Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich.  He was a product of history, and unlike the Nazis, killing people was not an end itself.  Nonetheless, Stalin was responsbile for some horrible things, and at times he had very little compassion.  So how do we see this in the chart?  There is no configuation that in itself will make someone an unpleasant person.  Other factors have to release the full malefic potential.

I have already discussed Stalin’s Venus – conjunct the Sun, square Saturn.  Furthermore, Venus is in the last degree of Sagittarius, and is therefore in the terms of Mars.  This suggests a general lack of emphathy, which at times may border on the sociopathic.  Also, Mars is trine Saturn, and this might mean that acts of malice came easily to Stalin.

If you’re into fixed stars, then you’ll probably have noticed that Stalin’s Pluto was close to Caput Algol, the worst star in the book.  It is true that many people born in the late 1870s had this configuration, but not many of them had the opportunity for wreaking destruction and chaos that Stalin had.  Torture, death, murder, strangulation and suicide are all part of the Algol complex, and Stalin was able to manifest this energy within the areas of his rule.

One can, if one wants, move from the sublime to the ridiculous, and look at the hypothetical planets of the Hamburg School.  Or perhaps not so ridiculous.  Just because something is illogical doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used.  Alfred Witte and his co-workers “discovered” eight hypothetical planets, and they incorporated them into their system.  I describe how they were discovered in an earlier post.

One of the hypothetical planet is Hades.  This planet is associated with garbage, death and decay.  Another is Zeus.  It is about fast action, military assaults and gunfire.  And another is Kronos, which is a higher octave of Saturn.  It is authority, and the power of the state.

Stalin had his Hades at 15 degrees 4 minutes Aquarius.  In other words, it was making an exact 45 degree aspect to the Aries point.  Hades moves at an even slower pace than Pluto, so it is another situation where many people born in the late 1870s would have this configuration.  Yet Stalin was in a position to actualize the potential – bringing the power of Hades into a global environment.  Through him, the Hades energy could manifest.  In other words death, destruction and poverty.  It was not just about the purges, but also the famines, especially in the Ukraine.  Hades is also connected with the underworld – people being arrested, and never being heard of again.  They might be sent to the Gulag, shot, or both.

Stalin’s Zeus-Kronos midpoint was at 14 52 Taurus.  In other words 45 degrees from the Aries point, and 90 degrees from Hades.  The principle of Zeus-Kronos is massive power excercised by the state, as well as militarized government.  With Aries on the Zeus-Kronos midpoint, Stalin was able to bring this to bear on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  And with Hades also here, he was able to create misery through overwhelming force.  Witte wrote of this midpoint “Great efforts under trying and difficult circumstances.  Overworking.  Surprising and grave events in war.  Fire catastrophes.  Ordered war atrocities”.

Overall, I think Stalin’s chart captures his personality very well, even if we don’t have a birthtime.  There are other aspects of his personality that I don’t have space to cover – for example the frustrated idealism connected with his close Jupiter-Neptune square.  He trained to be a priest, but he discovered a different religion.  Or as Langston Hughes put it, in his poem Goodbye Christ:

Goodbye,
Christ Jesus Lord God Jehova,
Beat it on away from here now.
Make way for a new guy with no religion at all –
A real guy named
Marx Communist Lenin Peasant Stalin Worker ME –
I said, ME!

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