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Gone with the Wind: Was Trump being a Gemini or a Cancer?

Trump speech in ColoradoI was amused to watch a clip of Donald Trump’s recent rally in Colorado, where he lambasted the Motion Picture Academy for giving an Oscar for Best Picture to the South Korean movie Parasite.  He said in his speech “On top of it they give them [South Korea] the best movie of the year. Was it good? I don’t know. You know, I’m looking for… Gone with the Wind, can we get Gone with the Wind back please… Sunset Boulevard… so many great movies…”.

When I listened to what Donald was saying, I found myself trying to work out whether I was listening to a Gemini or a Cancerian.  Of course he has his Sun in Gemini, conjunct Uranus.  However, we shouldn’t forget that he has Mercury, Venus and Saturn in Cancer.  Mercury and Venus, like the Sun, are personal planets, and they do reflect core aspects of the personality.

Now I understand that it is easy to interpret Donald’s words in a Gemini light.  Geminis will say anything, and they won’t be afraid of contradicting themselves.  At the same time, their belief systems can be shallow.  From an electoral point of view he has decided that a chauvinistic approach gets votes.  Support America, bash the foreigner.  And show some studied ignorance, because anti-intellectualism can be a winning strategy in American politics: “Was it good?  I don’t know”.

We also have to ask whether Donald was being sincere when he praised Gone with the Wind and Sunset Boulevard.  We know that he has a short-attention span, and this is in keeping with his Gemini personaltiy.  Gone with the Wind is nearly four hours long.  Can you imagine him sitting through the whole thing?  I’m a Gemini, I have never watched Gone with the Wind, and I have no plans to ever watch itThe film sounds boring, and I suspect that Donald would lose patience within minutes.

Yet perhaps I shouldn’t rush to judgement.  The President has three planets in Cancer, and traditionally Cancer is a sentimental, even nostaligic sign, which often looks back wistfully at the past.  Trump’s electoral slogan of “Make America Great Again” also has a Cancerian feel – it’s looking backwards, to a supposedly glorious past.

We then find, according to the Movieline website in 2012, that Gone with the Wind really is one of Trump’s favourite movies.  Donald said of the film “It’s a classic. It has stood the test of time. For me, it’s a love story combined with a time in our country’s history that was pivotal in our evolution. The scope of the storytelling is tremendous.”  Another film that he rated was The Godfather: “The story is riveting and the characters were perfectly cast and directed. The family aspect intrigued me as did their business and history”.  Cancer is a sign that is often associated with the family, so it is not surprising that Donald rates The Godfather.  Look at Trump’s own family, and how they are entwined in the machinery of government.

Another point to make is that the United States is a Cancerian country, born on July 4 1776.  This helped Cancerian George Bush Junior, born on July 6 1946, to win the 2000 election.  Trump’s Mercury in Cancer speaks to America’s heart, or should I say America’s base.  It supports the nation’s sentimental nature, which in many respects looks back to the past rather than forward to the future.

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Do you need an accurate birth time to cast a horoscope?

TimeRecently I have been getting some criticism for trying to interpret horoscopes that don’t have a birth time.  This usually happens when I look at someone in the news, where I only have a date and a place of birth.  When I do the horoscopes of clients, they invariably know their birth time.  Having the birth time certainly allows me to more accurately delineate their character, and it is essential for most predictive techniques.  However, I do believe that a horoscope without a time can be useful, particularly if we want to confirm what we know about someone already.

The horoscope is a map of the heavens at the time of someone’s birth.  It is usually relative to the horizon.  So someone born at 7.10 am in London, on February 20, will have the Sun rising, and someone born at exactly the same moment in New Zealand will have it setting.  In astrology this makes a big difference.  The Londoner will be more dynamic and transparent while the New Zealander will be more people-oriented.

In astrology the  planets are often described in terms of sign and house.  The sign describes how a planet acts, the house where it acts.  Planets can stay in a sign for a long time – a couple of days for the Moon, a month for the Sun, over a decade for Neptune and Pluto.  This means you don’t necessarily need to know the time someone was born in order to know which signs the planets are in.  However the houses move rapidly, and over the course of 24 hours a planet will go through all twelve of them.

When you have an untimed chart, you generally set it for the time of least error, which is midday.  This means that your time is going to be no more than 12 hours out.  You won’t have the houses, and you won’t have the sign of the Ascendant, but you will have the sign of most if not all of the planets.  Yet there will be times when a planet changes sign halfway through the day.  This is most frequently the case with the Moon, and not having the Moon sign can make interpretation very difficult.

We then have the question of aspects, which are the angular distances between planets, measured along the ecliptic.  The Moon is a fast-moving body, which travels around 12 degrees a day.  A midday position will fix the Moon to within 6 degrees, and this means that we can’t use the minor aspects, which have small orbs.  Aspects involving the planets Mercury through Pluto won’t be affected too much by a 12 hour margin or error.

Let’s now a have a look at a well-known personality, who we don’t have a birth time for.  We’ll go for Joseph Stalin, who was born on December 18 1878, in Gori, Georgia.  The chart is given an X Rodden Rating, meaning that there is no time of birth.  According to some sources, I shouldn’t even look at Stalin’s horoscope, because I don’t know what time he was born.  And I certainly shouldn’t make publically available statements about it.  However, I believe that the midday horoscope tells us a great deal, about both Stalin and astrology.  Here is the chart:

Stalin's horoscope

The Moon was at 12 47 Libra at midday in Gori.  The earliest it could possibly have been was 5 47 Libra, the latest 19 58 Libra.  We can therefore be sure that Stalin had a Libra Moon, and this might tell us something about his political style.  In the 1920s and early 1930s he consolidated his power by being the moderate – keeping the balance between rival factions of the Communist Party.  That way he could split and marginalize his enemies.

As far as aspects are concerned, there was a close square between Stalin’s Sun-Venus conjunction and Saturn, which was operational throughout the day.  Likewise Mars and Saturn, the death pair, were in trine –  for Stalin, sending people to their deaths was easy.

And if you’re analyzing horoscopes without a time, it can be useful to use midpoints.  By looking at the midpoint structure of the planets, node and Aries point you get some compensation for the lack of houses.  For example, here is the midpoint structure of Stalin’s Aries point, with Witte’s hypothetical planets included:

AR = SU/KR = PL/NN = ZE/KR = VE = HA

The Aries point represents our relationship to the world at large, and can be especially important in the chart of politicians.  The Sun-Kronos and Zeus-Kronos midpoints represent the power of the state, with particular emphasis on military might.  This is what Stalin brought and manifested into the world.  Also, through Aries on the Pluto-Node midpoint, we get a sense of a tragedy being visited on the general population, strengthened by the connection with Hades.  Yet Stalin also had the planet Venus close to the Aries point.  The Russian people loved him, and the tears they shed at the news of his death were genuine.

I think you would have been hard-pushed to predict Stalin’s death on the basis of the midday chart.  Indeed, you would have been hard-pushed to make any detailed predictions.  This is because most predictive systems require an accurate time of birth.  For example, primary directions, a system traditionally used to forecast death, are based on the turning of the Earth, with one degree of rotation representing one year.  In many cases this means that for every four minutes out the birthtime is, the prediction will be out by a year or longer.  Likewise the Vimshottari Dasa system of Vedic astrology requires an accurate time.  If Stalin was born right at the beginning of the day, his Mercury dasa would have started on April 19 1946, if right at the end then ten years earlier, on August 7 1936.

Nonetheless, transits can be used on charts with a midday horoscope.  They might be vague, because you don’t have houses, but they will tell you something.  So let’s imagine that you’re an astrologer in Moscow in 1941, and Stalin consults you for a chart reading.  He doesn’t know his time of birth, so you have to use a midday chart.  And let’s say he gives you his real date of birth, December 18 1878, not his preferred date of December 21 1879.

Even without a birthtime, you would have noticed that Stalin had a strong Mars – it is in Scorpio, the sign of its rulership, in both the Western and Eastern zodiacs.  However, you would have been worried.  In 1941 Saturn and Uranus were in late Taurus, opposition to Stalin’s Mars.  This would have been a stressful time for him.  There might also have been a battle of wills between him and his enemies.  And let’s say Stalin pushes you, wanting you to be more precise.  When is the day of maximum stress?  What should he expect? It is difficult to give him a precise answer, because his Mars is anywhere between 25 30 and 26 12 Scorpio.  The Uranus aspect could have been exact any time between May 5 and May 17 1941.  The Saturn aspect would be two months later, between July 12 and July 20.

You would explain this to Stalin, and being a reasonable man, with the Moon in Libra, he might have asked you to compromise, to find a happy medium.  Or to put that in astrological language, you would tell him when the transitting Saturn-Uranus midpoint made the oppostion aspect to his Mars in Scorpio.  If it had been available, you could then have looked at Astrodienst’s midpoint ephemeris for the month of June 1941:

Transitting SA-UR midpoint, June 1941

We can see that the transitting Saturn-Uranus midpoint would have hit Stalin’s Mars between June 18 and June 27 1941.  Operaton Barbarossa, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, was on June 22 1941.  This suggests two things.  Firstly, that you can forecast real events, with a good degree of accuracy, on the basis of a midday chart.  Secondly, the chart of the leader is often the chart of the nation.

Over the course of this article, I have argued that you don’t need a time of birth to usefully interpret someone’s horoscope.  You are going to lose detail, but if you make maximum use of the technical resources available to you – for example midpoints – you can come up with important insights into someone’s character and destiny.  As far as client work is concerned, the issue of missing birth times doesn’t usually come up.  In my experience, people who consult astrologers tend to know their birth time.

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Horoscope of COVID-19 victim Li Wenliang

Li WenliangOne of the big criticisms of astrology is that people who are born on the same day, even at the same time, have very different personalties and destinies.  However, this assumes that astrology is a total system, which explains everything.  In reality, it is unlikely that that any one factor can provide a complete explanation, and instead you have to look at various interactions.  The environment and general circumstances, for example, are usually important .  We can then see the horoscope as  having many potentials, most of which may never be achieved.

This brings us to Li Wenliang, who was the Chinese doctor who first warned that a new disease, the coronavirus or COVID-19, had broken out in his home town of Wuhan.  Li Wenliang was born on October 12 1986, in Beizhen, China.  The Economist gave him the honour of a back-page obituary in its February 15 issue.  He was an eye doctor, whose interests included social media, live-streamed snooker and good food.  There was no reason why he couldn’t have lived out his life as an anonymous Chinese doctor, enjoying the small pleasures.  This might be what you would have expected, given the fact that he had the Sun in Libra conjunct the South Node.  Here’s his chart, set for midday:

The Sun is weak in Libra, the sign of its Fall.  In most cases it doesn’t want to rock the boat.  Indeed, The Economist wrote that his last birthday resolution was “to be a simple person, refusing to let the world’s complicatons bother him”.  The conjunction with the South Node strengths this.  It is the line of least resistance, the attitudes and behaviours that come easiest.

The North Node, by contrast, is the challenge, the place we are supposed to be going.  Li Wenliang’s North Node was in Aries.  It is an assertive sign, that acts first, thinks later.  Li Wenliang, when he saw people getting sick with a new virus in Wuhan Central Hospital, straight away took to social media.  According to  The Economist,  he informed a private group that there existed “Seven cases of SARS in the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market”.  As a result he got called in by police and hospital authorities, and he was accused of spreading rumours and undermining public order.  By getting into his Aries North Node, and not thinking about fitting in and staying out of trouble, he was embracing his future.  You could say that he had learned the lessons of his current incarnation, and was ready for the next.  Incidentally, he died when he was 33 years old.  In some cultures, for example Poland, 33 is an important number, because this is the age at which Christ was supposed to have been crucified.

There is other evidence that he might have been someone who could make waves.  His Sun in Libra was making a sextile aspect to Uranus in Sagittarius.  This meant that it would have been relatively easy for him to stir things up, with Uranus being the planet of earthquakes, and Sagittarius being a sign that wants to reach out for new horizons.  He also had the Moon and Mars in Aquarius, indicating that he was independent-minded.  However, these configurations aren’t particularly major.

What I find more interesting is the outer planet midpoint activity, which does indicate that he might have had involvement with a deadly disease.  I must emphasise that many people who were born in the Autumn of 1986 would have had the same configurations.  However it is about interaction, and Li Wenliang was the one who was working in Wuhan Central Hospital.  He was also the one who made the connections and revealed what he saw.  Perhaps also, he was the one who was sufficiently evolved to do what he did.

If you look at his horoscope, you see his Saturn, Uranus and Neptune clumped together in Sagittarius and early Capricorn.  You will also notice that Uranus is on the Saturn-Neptune midpoint.  The midpoint is at 19 degrees 48 minutes Sagittarius, and Uranus is just over half a degree away, at 19 13 Sagittarius.  This midpoint was hit by the December 12 Full Moon, at 19  48 Gemini.  By the next Full Moon, on January 10 2020, Li Wenliang had made the alert about the sick patients, had been cautioned by the police and had been infected by the virus.

The Saturn-Neptune combination is about fear, and restrictions (Saturn) caused by a hidden threat (Neptune).  Uranus represents something happening suddenly – in other words, the disease manifesting.  Alfred Witte, in Rules for Planetary Pictures,  described Uranus on the Saturn-Neptune midpoint beautifully: “Suddenly appearing pestilence”.

We can also look at the death axis.  In astrology Mars and Saturn are the death pair, and the Mars-Saturn midpoint may say something about someone’s relationship to death.  As you can see, Neptune was less than a degree from Li Wenliang’s direct Mars-Saturn midpoint.  Death through the undermining influence of a viral infection.  Or as Witte put it, “Death by poison, gas, plague, or cunning (treachery)”.

As I have discussed in previous articles, Witte used a number of hypothetical planets.  One planet that I find particularly useful is Hades.  Li Wenliang’s Hades was at 6 degrees 5 Gemini, exactly opposite his Saturn at 6 21 Sagittarius.  One of the associations that Witte makes with the Saturn-Hades pair is epidemics.  Wenliang’s Saturn-Hades midpoint was at 6 13 Virgo – which means that the nodal axis was making a close 45/135 aspect to this midpoint.

In the opinion of midpoint astrologers such as Alfred Witte and Reinhold Ebertin the nodes are connected with associations, and the nodal midpoints will indicate what kind of associations someone might have.  Witte wrote as follows about the Node on the Saturn/Hades midpoint:  “To feel overburdened.  Overload. To feel that one is plagued by unfinished business.  To be tied up to loathsome, distasteful things.  To come into contact with seriously ill persons or corpses”.  QED, and perhaps a grim view of the future.
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Celebrity horoscope: Scorpio Caroline Flack

Caroline Flack horoscope

Until a few weeks ago I hadn’t heard of Caroline Flack.  She was a British TV star, who committed suicide while awaiting trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend.  Yet the press has gone into overdrive and there was even a mention in the The Seattle Times.  So I thought that I would have a quick look at her horoscope, to see if it gives any insights into her life and death.

Caroline Flack was a Scorpio, born on November 9 1979, in Enfield, England, at 1.30 am.  We straight away notice that she has no planets in Air signs.  As I discussed when looking at the charts of Dominic Cummings and Emmanuel Macron, a lack of Air can mean many things, and you do need to consider what kind of person you’re dealing with.  In the case of Cummings and Macron, you’re dealing with highly educated people, who are known for their intellectual gifts.   Caroline Flack was not know for her academic skills, and the lack of Air might suggest someone who tended to rely on her feelings rather than her thinking.

We also know that she was a Scorpio – a Scorpio who committed suicide.  I think it was Aleister Crowley who wrote that are three types of Scorpios.  The highest level of Scorpio is symbolized by the eagle.  The eagle soars above the clouds, leaving the turmoil of the everyday world far behind.  The second type of Scorpio is a snake.  The snake regards the world as a dangerous place, and prefers to slither under a rock for protection.  The final type of Scorpio is the scorpion itself.  According to legend the scorpion is self-destructive, and if you surround it with a ring of burning petrol it will sting itself to death.  This I suppose was the impact of having her career turned upside down by criminal proceedings, and having to face the glare of adverse publicity.

The public were certainly important to Caroline Flack, thanks to her brilliantly placed Moon.  It was in Cancer, the sign of its rulership, above the horizon in a night time chart.  Furthermore, it was in close trine to her Sun in Scorpio.  This Moon is responsive, and allows her to relate to the public at large.  This is a reminder that in most cases the key to being a successful celebrity is not being unique and individual, but having the capacity to give people what they want.

Matters were further helped by her close conjunction between Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius.  This conjunction enabled her to communicate in a natural and sparkly way, and must surely have been the engine of her success as a TV presenter.  You could say that it was particularly appropriate for the TV program she was associated with, Love Island. Mercury was communication, Venus was love.

As far as the psychological dimension is concerned, much has been made of issues surrounding her mental health, though anyone with a court case hanging over them is psychologically vulnerable.  I suppose it is worth noting that in her Vedic horoscope she had kemadruma yoga, where there are no planets in the house of the Moon, or the houses either side.  This yoga brings loneliness, and a separateness from the rest of the world.  Also, her Mercury-Venus conjunction was making a square aspect to Jupiter in Virgo.  It is an aspect that could be exaggerated and hyper, but I wouldn’t want to read too much into it.  If you want to looking for signs of mental health issues in a chart, you can always find something.

Looking at Caroline Flack’s chart from a generational perspective, she had both Jupiter and Saturn in Virgo, and she was therefore linked into the Jupiter-Saturn cycle.  In fact, her ascendant is also in Virgo, and if she was born at 1.30 am should would have the ascendant on the Jupiter-Saturn midpoint.  One could then argue that by becoming a celebrity, she became a feature of the current Jupiter-Saturn cycle.

The last Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was in May 2000.  In the lead up to this conjunction reality TV started becoming very big.  Big Brother started in the Netherlands in 1999, and in the UK in July 2000.  People like Caroline Flack would have prospered in the period of history following the conjunction, though it can be dangerous being too closely associated with any particular Jupiter-Saturn cycle.  Look at John Lennon.  He was born at the time of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 1940, he became a star after the 1961 conjunction, and he was murdered in the run up to the 1981/2 conjuction.  In fact John Lennon’s life comprised two twenty year cycles of Jupiter and Saturn, and he was therefore 40 years old when he died.  In fact 40 years and two months.

Caroline Flack, who was 40 years and three months old at the time of her death, was no John Lennon.  But her decision to become a celebrity made her a generational figure, a person representing a particular period of time.  And really, for many celebrities it must be a kind of possession.  You are being used by the Universe for a partcular purpose, for a particular time span.  Put another way, fame can have a price.  Looking forward, there is a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in December 2020, and already the two planets are in the same sign. The world will become a different place, as one cycle switches to the next.  People strongly associated with the old cycle will retire or find lower profile work.  Or sometimes die.

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Horoscopes for the week starting Monday February 17 2020

Mars ingress Capricorn 2020At the beginning of the week Mercury goes retrograde, in Pisces, the sign of its detriment and fall.  From then on Mercury gets steadily weaker, reaching peak weakness on February 26, when it conjuncts the Sun.  It is not a good time for starting projects, or for submitting complex documentation.  Words could get jumbled up, and there could be mixed messages.  Avoid buying computers, phones and other electronic equipment.

But it’s not all bad.  Mars starts the week in the first degree of Capricorn, and this is a high energy placement.  Through hard work we can get our way, even if in the short-term there are misunderstandings galore.  And in general, when Mars crosses a cardinal point the system gets energized.  On the plus side that means action, on the downside violence.

Which part of the world will be most affected by the Mars Capricorn ingress?  Possibly Brazil, because Mars is on the Midheaven through the central portion of the country, including Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Belem.  However I should point that astrocartography is a very hit and miss technique.

Anyway, here are my forecasts for the 12 signs of the Zodiac, for the week starting on February 17 2020:

Aries You’re becoming more motivated, and in terms of your career you can start preparing your ground for future advances.  And in general you’ll find it easier to get noticed.  However there is a challenge coming up, perhaps not this week, which will require your total concentration.

Taurus You can’t stay in the same place for ever.  Times are changing, and the people close to you are becoming more adventurous.  If it wasn’t for the corana virus I would suggest that you and someone else need a holiday.  But travel can take many forms.

Gemini Mercury, your ruling planet, is in bad shape – and it’s getting worse.  You may think you’re logical, but your feelings could trip you up, especially in your career.  It’s not a good time for making decisions – if you a wait a month or two the situation will ease.

Cancer Mars has moved into Capricorn, your opposite sign.  One-to-one relationships could be challenging, particularly if you’re born in June.  Partners want their way, and they won’t be open to persuasion.  Yet someone new and bold might be to your taste.

Leo The Sun, your ruler, is moving from Aquarius to Pisces.  In a general sense this is a good thing, because the Sun is weak in Aquarius.  However life will become more complicated, particularly in terms of money.  Where there’s emotion there’s trouble.

Virgo In general you’re a details person.  You look at the material world, and you make the appropriate decisions.  However Mercury, your ruler, is in a bad position and getting worse.  You’re not in control and the usual rules aren’t working.  If in doubt don’t.

Libra Those close to you are set in their ways, but that doesn’t mean they are weak.  Or even wrong.  They have decided that a particular strategy is appropriate, and you’re not in a position to do much about it.  Where there’s real estate there are problems and profit in equal measure.

Scorpio Mars, your ruler, moves into Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation.  If you have been putting off a short journey, of a financial or business nature, then now might the time to get your skates on.  You don’t have to commit yourself – it is all about gathering information.

Sagittarius It is all relative.  The least weak is the strongest, the least strong the weakest.  And your enemies and rivals are in no position to pick a fight with you.  However don’t overestimate yourself – things are OK, but not brilliant.  In relationships sensitivity can make the difference between success and disaster.

Capricorn Mars is now moving through your star sign.  It’s a mixed blessing.  On one hand you’re going to be be more accident prone than usual, especially if you’re born around Christmas, or just before.  On the other hand you’ll have the energy needed to propel yourself to new heights.

Aquarius How do you benefit from the situation?  You have to play according to your strengths, and not get closely involved.  Let other people get confused, and realize that it’s not a time for heroics.  Later, perhaps much later, you’ll be in a position to make your move.

Pisces The Sun is moving into your star sign, where it starts its journey towards a favourable aspect to Jupiter, your ruling planet.  But that aspect doesn’t happen for a few weeks.  Adjust to the changing situation and ask yourself how hopes for the future can be realized.  Maybe it’s all about making the right friends?

 

 

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Who is Sagittarian Dominic Cummings?

Dominic Cummings figureUntil I lived in a Roman Catholic country, I had no idea what a name day was, and why and when you celebrated it.  As I soon discovered,  the name day is the feast day of the saint after which you are named.  This means that you won’t have a name day if you’re not named after a saint.  To illustrate how this works, if your name is John, you’re probably named after John the Evangelist, whose feast day is December 27 in France and Italy.  I know a lot of people are called John, but perhaps you’ll have a special connection with St. John, and you’ll aspire to some of his qualities.  If on the other hand you’re called Dominic, then your name day will be August 8 in France and Italy, August 4 in Poland and Slovakia.

I am sure that people called Dominic have all kinds of personalities.  However when you name a child after a saint, you have to consider the possibility that you’re making a link with the saint’s personality and reputation.  St. Dominic was born on August 8 1170, and he is associated with the foundation of the Dominican Order.  He was also a religous zealot, who spent a lot of time in Southern France trying to return the Cathars to the true faith.  While not personally involved with the Inquisition, in the decades following his death the Dominican Order became closely associated with it.

The Dominic I want to talk about is Dominic Cummings.  He is probably the second most powerful person in the United Kingdom, after Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister.  He has a clear idea about how Britain should be run – or at least how Britain should not be run – and he was one of the brains behind the success of Brexit in the June 2016 referendum.  However he is not a Member of Parliament, instead he is Chief Special Adviser to the Prime Minister.  His enemies see him as a malevolent, Rasputinesque power, lurking behind Boris’ throne.  His supporters seem him as a brilliant if iconoclastic reformer, perhaps in the mould of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister.  Dominic Cummings, like St. Dominic, is on a mission.  Not to root out the Cathar heretics, but to clear out “the Blob”, which is his name for those in the British government, civil service and establishment who are resisting change.

In terms of appearance Dominic Cummings has a monkish demeanour.  His receeding hairline is tonsorlike, and the way he dresses marks him as being very different from the politicians, civil servants and special advisors he orders around.  He doesn’t care about the ornaments and baubles of the material world, and not for him are suits, ties and tidiness.  Intellectually, he’s above all that.

Which brings me to Dominic Cummings’ horoscope.  He was born on November 25, in Durham, in the United Kingdom.  As I can’t find his birth time, I am going for the middday chart:

Dominic Cummings horoscope

The first thing to notice about the horoscope is that there are four traditional plans in Sagittarius, which is a Fire sign.  And there are no planets in Earth signs.  From a Jungian perspective, the Fire signs are about intuition.  It is about being connected to the divine fire, about knowing something without needing to think about it.

In terms of how Dominic Cummings thinks, it is possible that Dominic Cummings has no Air in his chart – this would be the case if he was born after Noon, when the Moon was in Pisces.  Before noon, the Moon was in Aquarius, an Air sign.  Air is the thinking element, and when you have a highly intelligent person with little or no Air, you’re dealing with someone who has intellectual focus.  They don’t mess around with things that are unimportant, and they know for sure that they have all the answers.  Another example of a Sagittarian with no planets in Air is French President Emmanuel Macron.  Like Cummings he is very intelligent, like Cummings he knows that he’s right.

When I say that Dominic Cummings and Emmanuel Macron know that they are right, I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense.  Most people who know they are right are wrong, but in their case we should consider the possibility that they really are right.

Another thing worth noting about Dominic Cummings’ horoscope is that he has no planets in Earth signs.  A lack of Earth signs can manifest in many ways.  In Donald Trump’s case, it is an unnatural obsession with the material world.  In the case of Dominic Cummings, I suspect it is reflected in his appearance.  He doesn’t seem to care what he looks like – perhaps because there are more important things to be worried about.  It also hints at a monastic asceticism.  This is further supported by the fact that his Sun in Sagittarius is opposition his Saturn in Gemini.  Sun-Saturn aspects can make people ascetic, and also harsh.  Stalin, for example, had his Sun in Sagittarius square Saturn in Pisces.

Nonetheless, Dominic Cummings is a visionary.  His Sun is not just opposition Saturn, but also conjunction Neptune.  People with Sun-Neptune conjunctions tend to be dreamers, and if they are not careful they can get fantasy and reality mixed up.  Reinhold Ebertin described the conjunction as “Frailness, impressionability, a person subject to moods”.  Maybe Cummings is impressionable, if an idea comes his way that he finds instantly appealing.  And maybe he’s moody – I don’t know.  It’s also possible that Cummings is more physically sensitive than he realizes.  Chemicals, fumes and pollution could upset his equalibrium, and maybe, with his lack of Earth, he won’t pay enough attention to his health.

Another  important aspect in Cummings’ horoscope is a conjunction betweeen Mercury and Venus, in Sagittarius.  This makes him an excellent communicator, someone who has real talents when it comes to spinning words.  He has a blog, which makes frequent references to scientific papers, and his communication skills must be excellent if he can sell his ideas to the people running his country.  It should also be noted that Mercury and Venus are making a 45 degree aspect to the Sun-Uranus midpoint.  The Sun-Uranus pairing relates to revolution and change, and Ebertin gives “reformer” as one of its sociological correspondences.  We then get the picture of someone communicating creatively about dramatic reforms.

I do understand that what I say about Dominic Cummings is problematic.  I don’t have a birth time, and plenty of other people were born on November 25 1971 who have very different destinies.  An American actress called Christina Applegate, a Turkish singer called Göksel, and a former NHL Swedish ice hockey player. I suppose there are interaction effects that create the differences between these people – genes, the environment and perhaps the saint you’re named after.  If the ice hockey player had been called Dominic rather than Magnus, maybe he’d now be a special adviser to the Swedish Prime Minister.

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The astrology and psychology of pregnancy

Die HoffnungAstrologers are often asked about childbirth and pregnancy.  It’s obvious really, because it’s an area of extreme uncertainty, where there can also be massive pressure.  Biological clocks are ticking, and in some cases people’s families are watching and waiting, and asking urgent questions if there’s no immediate pregnancy.

Matters are made worse by the media.  I look at tabloid newspapers on the internet, and they are full of stories about pregnant celebrities, sporting their ‘baby bumps’.  What kind of message is this giving?  Perhaps that being able to conceive is normal, and that if there are any delays one should be worried.

From an astrological point of view, there are detailed rules for dealing with pregnancy.  And some astrological signatures are seen as being more fertile than others.  For example, a Moon-Venus conjunction in Taurus is considered very promising, an indication that getting pregnant should be easy.

There is also the astrology of questions, where a chart is set up for the exact time a question is asked.  For example:

‘Am I pregnant?’
‘Will I get pregnant in the next twelve months?’
‘Is it a boy or a girl?’

Seventeenth Century astrologer William Lilly, who practised in London, was once visited by a client, who asked him a simple question: ‘Will I ever have children?’

William Lilly looked at the horoscope of this question, and his answer was direct and to the point.  He told her that in the future she’ll never conceive and that she was naturally infertile.

I myself wouldn’t treat a client like this.  I  recognise that childbirth and pregnancy are subtle and finely balanced, and I personally believe that the psychological dimension plays a big role.

If someone is told that they’ll never have children, then the psychological impact of this prediction could be so shattering as to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.  On the other hand, if an astrologer is overly optimistic, and tells a client that she’ll soon have children, then big expectations could be created.  And as every astrologer should know, expectations can cause a lot of damage – they can prevent things happening, in the real world.

There are also medical issues to consider.  A woman who is having difficulty conceiving should not consult an astrologer, at least not to begin with – she should instead go to a physician, to make sure that everything is in order.  And so should her husband, or boyfriend.  In other words, messing around with astrology could potentially lead to delays in treatment.

It’s my overall opinion that people should avoid going to astrologers with specific questions about pregnancy and childbirth.  The astrologer’s input is unlikely to be constructive – even if they have the technical ability to predict whether their clients will successfully conceive.

We should also remember that pregnancies often happen when everyone’s calm and relaxed, when there aren’t any pressures or expectations.  And if a woman is consulting her astrologer every month, what chance does she have?

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Using Yagyas to fix your Vedic horoscope

FireVedic astrology has pros and cons.  On the plus side, it can be very accurate, and it can pinpoint the lucky and unlucky phases of your life.  This is because it is a deterministic system, and unlike modern Western astrology, it’s hard to sugar-coat its message.  On the downside, Vedic astrology can be depressing.  You can literally tell someone that the next ten years or more are going to be at best challenging, at worst miserable.  So what do you do?  If you’re a Westerner with Western beliefs, you might just move on and find another astrologer.  Or tell yourself that astrology is superstitious nonsense.

Yet Vedic astrology has an escape route, which Western astrology lacks.  Western astrology doesn’t usually have a religious framework, whereas Vedic astrology is embedded within the Hindu religion.  By connecting with the spiritual underpinning of the horoscope, you can strengthen its weak elements, and in theory make your life a whole lot better.  And one way of doing this is through a yagya.

A yagya is a Hindu religious ceremony, that can supposedly boost your luck.  It’s a ceremony that you don’t have to attend, which can be based on one’s Hindu horoscope.

The word ‘yagya’ is cognate with the English word ‘ignite’ – so it’s connected with fire. One makes an offering to the gods, and fire consumes it.

To illustrate how a yagya might be used, let us say that you’re going through a period of life ruled by the Moon, and your life is falling apart.   Your Moon is in Scorpio, the sign of its fall, and it’s also aspected by Mars and Saturn.

We can therefore say, all things being equal, that the Moon is weak, and needs to be helped.  One way of helping the Moon is to have a yagya done.  So you get in contact with a Hindu priest, or some religious or spiritual organisation, and you get them to do a yagya for you.

The yagya will be focused on the person’s Moon.  It will typically start on a Monday, which is the day of the Moon, and mantras will be recited, and offerings made, that have relevance to this planet.  The yagya could last for a day, but it may be longer, for example a whole week.

Although you don’t have to be present when the yagya is taking place, you must make sure that while it’s happening you lead a moderate and well-balanced life.  You shouldn’t drink, smoke or eat excessively.  Also, you shouldn’t have sex.

You can understand how powerful a yagya can be.  Priests are intervening on your behalf, and they are directly addressing the source of your bad luck.

However anyone considering having a yagya performed needs to be careful.

An astrologer, or a priest, will decide which yagya should be done.  If a yagya is designed to strengthen a planet, will this strengthening be beneficial?  If we’re going through a Saturn period, and we’re feeling frustrated, then a Saturn yagya might make us feel even more frustrated.  In other  words, a yagya could actually increase the malefic potential of a planet, unless it’s carefully chosen.

Yet there’s another problem with yagyas.  If they are done properly, they’re going to be expensive – because they’re a labour-intensive activity, where a priest, or sometimes a group of priests, will have to focus on your horoscope for a lengthy period of time.  In other words we’re talking about a price tag of hundreds of dollars.

Now if you’re going to a reputable provider, that’s linked with a mainstream spiritual organisation, you’ll know that a yagya is being done on your behalf, with a high level of care and attention.  Whether or not the yagya will work is another matter, but at least it’s being performed, to a minimum standard.

However if you get a yagya done by someone who you don’t know, who doesn’t have a reputation, then you’ll have no idea what’s going on.  You might be told that a ceremony is being done on your behalf in a temple in India, but how do you know?  It’s quite possible that someone is taking your money and doing nothing.  Even if they are doing something, the yagya might be incorrectly performed.

We therefore have the basis of a major rip-off.  People who are going through difficult times will often trying anything, and they could pay money they can’t afford to an unscrupulous provider, for a useless service.

Yet I’m not saying that you should never have a yagya done.  Instead I’m saying that if you make the decision to have a yagya, you should firstly be ready to pay hundreds of dollars for the service and secondly you should do a lot of research, and this includes talking to providers on the phone, and establishing that their temple or religious grouping really is reputable.

But can you fix your horoscope yourself, without recourse to priests and yagyas?  You can certainly try.  Going back to the example of an afflicted Moon, you can chant mantras connected with the Moon, wear appropriate gemstones and do charity work on Mondays.  You’re honouring the Moon, and through your own efforts you may be mitigating its weaknesses.

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The end for Nicola Sturgeon?

Nicola Sturgeon 2020

I am surprised Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Nationalist Party leader and First Minister of Scotland, has lasted for so long.  In 2016 I wrote about her horoscope, and I took the view that her career was coming to a close.  The basis for my analysis was her Vedic horoscope.  She was born on July 19 1970, at 3.16 pm in Irvine, Scotland.  Here’s her chart:

If you’re not used to Vedic astrology, the chart may be difficult to read. The numbers relate to the sidereal signs, and the houses run anti-clockwise from the Ascendant.  One of the key things to note is that she has Saturn in sidereal Aries in the Seventh House.  Although Saturn in the Seventh is seen as having dik bala, or directional strength, it is in Aries, the sign of its fall.  It is also worth noting that Saturn makes a full aspect to Sturgeon’s Moon in sideral Capricon, because Saturn aspects the tenth sign from itself.

We can see Saturn an an accident waiting to happen.  The moment it manifests, Nicola Sturgeon is in trouble.  These are her current dasas and sub-dasas:

Sturgeon dasas

Her Saturn dasa started on September 14 2018, if one takes a 365.25 day year.  The previous 16 years, from September 14 2002, were covered by Jupiter.  Her Jupiter is fortunate, being in the First House, but with the switch to the Saturn dasa one would expect things to deteriorate.  Clearly this is not what happened.  She maintained her position as First Minister of Scotland, and her party, the SNP, did very well in the December 12 2019 General Election.

So how does one explain Nicola Sturgeon’s continued success?  One might argue that things are not going well.  As a government, the SNP is racking up debt, and schools in Scotland are falling down international league tables in terms of reading, maths and science.  There is also a view that the effects of a new dasa don’t fully manifest until the start of the second sub-dasa, which in Nicola Sturgeon’s case is the Mercury sub-dasa of Saturn, which starts on September 17 2021.  Finally, we have to consider the possibility that Nicola Sturgeon is a creature of higher, collective forces, which can over-ride her horoscope, at least in the short term.

However, I do think that Nicola Sturgeon’s luck is running out.  Not only is she in her Saturn dasa, but she has sade sati.  This represents over seven years of bad luck, at least theoretically.  This condition is not unusual, and it happens when Saturn is transitting the sidereal Moon sign, and the two signs either side.  Sturgeon’s second cycle sade sati dates are as follows:

Sadhesati for Nicola Sturgeon

The broad period from January 2017 though to March 2025 is covered by sade sati.  Yet the problem is at its maximum when Saturn is in sidereal Capriorn, from January 24 2020 through to January 17 2023.  Not only is Saturn in the same sign as the Moon, but it is opposition her Sun, Mercury and Mars in Cancer.

And already, some cracks are forming.  Last Autumn the SNP made the mistake of supporting Boris Johnson’s call for an election.  While this election allowed the SNP to increase its number of MPs, it gave Boris a massive victory, which allowed him to push through Brexit.  Furthermore, on election night, as the results started coming in, Nicola Sturgeon had a moment of utter hubris.  You can see the picture:

Sturgeon celebrating

She was celebrating the fact the Jo Swinson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, had lost her seat to an SNP challenger.  Sturgeon’s reaction struck me as not just exubriant, but also crude.  Nicola knew she was on live TV, but she just couldn’t help herself.  People who behave like this in public are  courting bad luck, especially if their astrological trends are moving from bad to worse.

January 24 2020 was the date when Saturn moved into sideral Capricorn.  Soon after, on February 6, Scotland’s Finance Minister, Derek Mackay, resigned.  This happened because it was revealed that he had been sending inappropriate messages to a 16-year old boy.  Mackay’s resignation was a blow to Sturgeon, not least because he was touted as her potential successor as SNP leader.  But Derek Mackay’s resignation may only be the entrée.  Alex Salmond, Nicola Surgeon’s predecessor as SNP leader, goes to court next month, charged with a number of sexual offences.  It is unlikely to be good publicity for the SNP and its leader.

When you  become a senior politician, the person and the collective get mixed up.  To an extent your destiny becomes tied with the wider whole.  Scotland and the SNP’s future is linked up with Nicola Sturgeon’s horoscope, and the problems that she personally has with Saturn are likely to be projected onto her party and her country.  If you’re a Scottish Nationalist and you believe in astrology, you would want her to resign her political positions as soon as possible.

Charts and tables created with Parashara’s Light 7.03.

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Horoscopes for the week starting Monday February 10 2020

WinterThe weekend Full Moon hangs heavy.  People are becoming aware of their weaknesses, and brave talk from the past is starting to look futile.  However, it is important that we don’t feel singled out, because everyone is in the same boat.

We also need to be aware that at the beginning of the week there is a conjunction between Venus and Chiron, in the first degrees of Aries.  Chiron is a minor planet connected with healing, and all of us can be helpful.  And in many cases we can be a healing presence.  It is then possible that our experience of physical and mental disease can be useful to the world around us.  But if someone really is sick, they need to see a doctor.

From Wednesday through to Friday, approximately, the Moon moves through the via combusta, the flaming path.  It’s all about the law of unintended consequences.  What you expect to happen doesn’t happen, for better or for worse.

And here are my sun sign forecasts for the 12 signs, for the week starting on Monday February 10 2020:

Aries Open your eyes!  In your rush to move forward with your ambitious you might miss an important detail.  Someone is reaching out a hand, and you shouldn’t necessarily reject it.  Yet some changes to your friendships may be required, for the sake of your creative genius.

Taurus Venus, your ruler, makes a conjunction to Chiron.  You can make people feel better, without making a song and dance about it.  Maybe prayer and meditation is all it takes.  In terms of your family and career, you might have to make a choice.

Gemini There are many ways of communicating, and it’s not just about words.  Small, silent gestures can light up the sky – but that’s something difficult for a Gemini to realize.  Yet at the end of the week it’s action that matters – because you’ll be showing the people who matter that you’re serious.

Cancer Many Cancerians are having second thoughts about their financial situation.  Things are changing, slowly, slowly, and action now could save you a lot of trouble later in the year.  In your career a healing touch can go a long way.

Leo Things aren’t the same, and I don’t mean that in a positive or a negative way.  You can see the reality of the situation, and in terms of relationships you know what makes people tick.  Someone from faraway is quite capable of making a bad decision.

Virgo You’re strongest on your own, at least this week you are.  When another person is calling the shots you’re at sea.  In general it is a time for taking notes rather than acting.  When the dust settles you can make the right decsion.

Libra People don’t change.  If someone has treated you badly in the past they’ll treat you badly in the future.  And this week you shouldn’t listen to another person’s kind words – unless you know their character very well.  Where there’s money there’s confusion.

Scorpio You’re still thinking things through.  A  choice does have to be made, but you’ve still got time.  In terms of work, your position isn’t as strong as it should be.  But everything’s in a state of flux, and weakness moves to strength through gradual change.

Sagittarius Mars continues to move through your star sign.  All of the twelve signs have their problems, at least this week they do, but Sagittarians aren’t too badly affected.  When the competition  is on poor form, even half-hearted efforts can be successful.

Capricorn The more important something is, the more private it should be. And in terms of your career, it is best that you keep a low profie – and if you can stay at home, so much the better.  A couple of financial truths become obvious – profit from the situation rather than shout about it.

Aquarius The Aquarius month roles on, and you have a growing sense that you are the right person in the right place.  However you’re not an island.  You have to take other people with you, and that means that you have to persuade them that you know what you are doing.

Pisces It’s all about distraction – getting people to look in one place, but not in the right place.  Because you need to be the one who gets there first.  After all, it’s a competitive world.  However not everyone is a competitor, and one or two people can be trusted.

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