Monday, 28 September 2009

Mercury Retrograde - How Was It For You?

Mercury, who has been Retrograde since 7th September, finally stations Direct (stands still) today and then begins to move forward from 30th September.

How’s it been for you?

I said in my Mercury Retrograde blog of 21 August that the first ten days of this Retrograde period, when it was in Libra, was a good time to review and re-value your relationships or to address how you share, yield and give yourself to others and that the second part, in Virgo from 17th September, was all about checking the details, doing a bit of personal housekeeping, simplifying your routines, perhaps reviewing your diet or health regime or breaking a bad habit, with the support of the Virgo New Moon on the 18th September.

Perhaps other themes came up for you during this time? Perhaps nothing of significance occurred? Perhaps it was a stressful time, especially as Mercury Retrograde closely connected to the Saturn-Uranus oppositions with its ‘out with the old, in with the new energies’?

For me, the Saturn, Uranus and Mercury together squared my natal Jupiter at 25 Gemini in my first house. The New Moon at 25 Virgo also joined the party. My mental energies were running so high during this time that it was like being plugged into the electricity and at times I admit to feeling a little bit crazy! When it reached this level it was quite stressful and I had to make a conscious effort to slow down and ground myself a little (thank you Saturn!). On the upside, I was bombarded with ideas which I just had to put down on paper, the words just flowed, it was fun and it was exciting. This transit isn’t quite over yet, while transiting Saturn is done with my Jupiter for now (moving on to square my Sun!) Uranus will exactly square my Jupiter for a 3rd time in February. In an attempt to use the Virgo energies, I also started a diet to lose a few pounds and it’s going quite well, so far.

Also during this period, I went to an astrology conference which started when Sun, Moon, Mercury and Saturn were all in Virgo and opposing Uranus. What an interesting time to get 150 astrologers together in one place! Although with Mercury Retrograde actually getting everyone in one place to start with proved a bit difficult! In a rush to pack on the last day, I left my hair straighteners in my room and only just got them back today - the day Mercury stations direct :D

I hope the last few weeks have been OK for you. No doubt they have been stressful for many, but I hope at least productive and that the changes you have made or have been made for you are positive in the long run.

Please note that until 15th October, Mercury will still be in the shadow of his Retrograde, meaning that he will be moving forward through the degrees of Virgo and Libra that he has just passed backward through. On this journey, he will once again conjoin Saturn and oppose Uranus, so don’t be surprised if the issues of September pop up again in early October. However, please note that Mercury in Virgo, moving forward, is essentially a very strong placement, so this might be when you start to experience some of the positive results of some of the issues you’ve been grappling with. Then, when Mercury moves back in Libra on 10th October, you might just come to understand that you have some wonderful people in your life with whom to share the good news.

I offer personal consultations, based on your time, place and date of birth. If you are interested, email me at or see my website at

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Equinox & the Sun in Libra

Today, September 22nd, the Sun moves into Libra, marking (in the Northern Hemisphere) the Autumn Equinox. The Equinoxes, Spring and Autumn, are the two times during the year that day and night are of equal length. The word Equinox literally means equal night.

The Equinoxes and the Solstices mark the four seasons and occur when the Sun is at the Aries Point, having just entered one of the cardinal signs (0 degrees Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn). Today’s Equinox marks the time when the Sun ingresses into the first degree of Libra, after which, in the Northern Hemisphere, the days become shorter and the nights longer, as the Sun gradually submits to the power of the dark. This is reflected in the fact that in Ptolemy’s Essential Dignities Libra is the sign of the Fall of the Sun, meaning that the Sun is unable to use his strength due to circumstances beyond his control, such as the approach of winter.

The Equinox chart symbolises the themes for the coming season, taking us up to the Solstice in December. This chart carries with it all the relevant themes of the last few months, including the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron Conjunction, the Saturn-Uranus Opposition and Pluto at the Aries Point (click on the links to recap), so we can reasonably expect their themes to continue in our individual lives and in the world: energies of major change; an ongoing reassessment of our way of thinking and doing things; our search for newer, better and fairer ways of living our lives and running our world.

There’s no doubt that the last few months have been incredibly stressful, but the good news with the Sun in Libra is that Libra needs stress and strife, for without strife, Libra has nothing to work with, nothing to bring into balance, nothing to peaceably resolve, no equitable justice to serve. So maybe this coming season is a good time to review areas of stress in your life and work out a plan to find better balance and harmony, to regain a sense of hope?

That the Sun is in a Square with powerful Pluto is more good news, in my opinion. Squares make things happen and Pluto in Square to the Sun creates a powerful force by which to drive the changes that are necessary. The Moon in Scorpio echoes the Sun-Pluto contact, suggesting how we can calmly seize control of our actions and our direction in life, helping us to find a balance between our social life where we need to be seen, to please and be appreciated, with our very private life, where we can seek out a space of peace, poise and self control.

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo is still in close contact with the Saturn-Uranus Opposition, reminding us to carefully analyse our situation and weigh up the pros and cons before we come to any major decisions about the changes we wish to make. If this sounds like typical Libra procrastination, maybe that is a good thing, because Mercury Retrograde may still trick us into overdoing Uranus by throwing the baby out with the bathwater or overdoing Saturn by clinging too rigidly to the old. Impatient though we may be for change, Libra teaches us to balance our odds, consider compromise and approach life with poise and a sense of cooperation, however urgent things may seem. Better to plan now and act when we are able to see a more balanced perspective.

With the Moon Squaring the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction, this may also be a good time for the healing arts, whether spiritual or physical, a time to go within and gather your strength for the coming months.

Remember too, that if you are in a part of the world where Autumn is beginning, that this is a time for harvest, to celebrate the Earth's abundance and give thanks for our many blessings.

Enjoy the Sun in Libra.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Jung, Pluto and the Aries Point

CJ Jung’s Red Book, the story of his very personal mid-life “confrontation with the unconscious” which for many years has been hidden away, finally becomes publically available when it is published on 1st October for the first time.

The full story the book's publication can be read here: Carl Jung and the Holy Grail of the Unconscious

When astrologer Laurie Farrington* posted the above link on her Facebook page, we were struck by how the publication of this book at this time is a fine example of Pluto at the Aries Point symbolism.

I have been discussing Pluto at the Aries Point in my blogs recently because this is the point in the horoscope where Pluto currently resides. To recap briefly, the Aries Point (being zero degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn in the horoscope wheel) represents the point where that which is private/personal becomes public/political. With Pluto at the Aries Point, any and all things 'Plutonic' start to emerge.

One of the things Pluto symbolizes in astrology is depth psychology, Jung’s domain of course! So the first 'public'-ation of this significant and very private work is a very literal and beautifully timed Pluto-Aries Point event! Pluto also represents that which is literally underground and The Red Book was itself buried in a bank vault for many years!

The book, it seems, is also very Plutonic in content, being a journal describing Jung’s personal journey to the depths of darkness in search of his ‘lost soul’. One of The Red Book's beautiful illustrations is entitled The Light at the Core of the Darkness, which clearly evokes Pluto's astrological symbolism, which ultimately promises a chink of light at the end of the dark journey, some psychological 'buried treasure' or new perspective somewhere beneath all the dross.

While intensely personal, Jung's journey in The Red Book may also on one level (given its Pluto at the Aries Point publication timing) be a symbol for the difficult times we are going through collectively, the dark search for our cultural, political, economic 'lost soul', if you like. The description in the book of his private/personal crisis could perhaps come to symbolise on one level our very public/political crisis. This of course is conjecture on my part because I haven't read the book yet.

The work of Carl Jung has always enjoyed a relationship with astrology. It is well known that Jung studied astrology and mythology when he was formulating his ideas (see for a quote from one of Jung’s letters to Freud which documents this fact) and modern psychological astrology is in turn informed by the work of Jung. See the writings of Liz Greene, one of world’s most preeminent astrologers and a qualified Jungian analyst, if you want to explore this connection further.

In a later blog, I will look at Jung's birth chart and discuss the transits his chart is having for 1st October, the date of publication of The Red Book - yes, your chart continues to have transits after you've died!

*You can read Laurie’s excellent astrology blogs at

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Virgo New Moon: Are You Being Served?

On 18th September, the Sun and Moon join Saturn at 25 degrees of Virgo for the Virgo New Moon.

Coming in the midst of the third exact hit of the long-running Saturn-Uranus oppositions, this is a powerful lunation indeed, especially as it falls right on the opposition.

This New Moon is a time to consider what and whom we serve. Is it, or they, worthy of our time and our energy? Is what we do for others healthy for everyone or is it a one-sided arrangement? Are we respecting the boundaries of those who serve us?

With this New Moon right on Saturn and opposing Uranus, we are compelled to ask these questions. If we find that we serve, or are served, merely out of an outdated sense of duty, then we need to make changes, re-write the rules or even throw away the rulebook altogether! Yes, this will upset the status quo and inevitably cause tension, but this is what the universe is calling us to do, both in our inner lives and in the world at large.

The T-square the New Moon, Mercury, Saturn and Uranus make to Pluto at the Aries Point reminds us that a new order and a fresh perspective is definitely coming, one way or another.

However, a Retrograde Mercury at 29 Virgo, moving back towards the Sun-Moon-Saturn position, reminds us that New Moons symbolise planning stages, so perhaps the time to act is not quite yet. Like all New Moons, this one is a seeding time, not an action time. We are in the dark and must plan and plant in the dark, with faith that what we seed will eventually grow strong and healthy and emerge into the light.

Mars in Cancer, a very passive placement for Mars, makes a series of Quintile aspects to the New Moon, Mercury and Saturn, helping us to plan the necessary changes with creativity and focus, whilst remaining both sympathetic to the feelings of others and protective of our own position.

The New Moon chart also features Venus in Leo opposing the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron opposition in Aquarius. Staying with the New Moon Virgo theme of service, here are some questions we could ask ourselves at this time. Are we being overgenerous with the time we give to others or are we being greedy in what we ask from others, expecting to be treated like kings or queens? In our relationships, are partners delivering on their promises, or leaving us disappointed? Have we been a pushover for those we serve, hurting ourselves in the process? If so, perhaps it’s time to revalue our stock and the stock of others and restore a bit of good, honest, Aquarian fairness and equality into our relationships.

This New Moon will particularly affect Virgos born between 15-19 September; Pisceans born between 12-16 March; Geminis born between 13-17 June and Sagittarians born between 14-18 December, plus anyone with planets or points between 22-26 degrees of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces. (If you do not know if you have planets or points at these degrees of these signs you can quickly download your own birth chart which will provide you with this information in a simply understood way at If you need further clarification, please feel free to email me on

For more on the Saturn-Uranus oppositions and of Pluto at the Aries Point, see my series of blogs on the subject: Saturn-Uranus & You, Saturn-Uranus, the Financial Crisis & Me, Pluto at the Aries Point.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Saturn-Uranus Oppositions and You

In Saturn-Uranus-Pluto I discussed the current Saturn-Uranus oppositions and illustrated how this opposition, along with Pluto in Capricorn, has been reflected in recent major world events.

You are probably now wondering how it will affect you and this blog attempts to answer that, exploring the Saturn-Uranus oppositions from a personal point of view.

You will be affected if you have personal planets or points between 16 and 29 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) and/or between 0 and 4 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). If you do not know if you have planets or points at these degrees of these signs you can quickly download your own birth chart which will provide you with this information in a simply understood way at If you need further clarification, please feel free to email me on

Put even more simply, if you are one of the above Sun signs and born between 7-25 March, 7-25 June, 9-27 September or 8th-26 December these oppositions will affect your Sun. These oppositions have been running since fall 2008 and will continue until summer 2010, so those of you born early in the month will have already have been feeling the effects and those born later may not feel it until later this year and into 2010.

The dates when the Saturn-Uranus oppositions are exact and the zodiac degrees in which they fall are listed in Saturn-Uranus-Pluto, the latest being 15th September, but before I go on to delineate what a transit of Saturn-Uranus suggests let’s get a bit of perspective. The following is astrology 101, so readers forgive me if it sounds as if I am teaching you to suck eggs, but for beginners I think it needs saying that these transits are slow and their effects can last for many months, maybe even a year or more. Saturn takes 28 years to go all around your chart. Uranus takes over 80 years! Therefore, having Saturn transit your Sun (or other planet or point) with Uranus opposing Saturn at the same time is a once in a lifetime event! Astrological transits of this kind are processes of unfoldment, representing important stages in our personal development, not one-off ‘events’.

So, what does this transit mean? Simply and briefly, when Saturn the hard taskmaster and Uranus the awakener meet and touch something in your personal chart, they throw down a challenge which is inevitably reflected in your life as change. The old must move aside and make way for the new.

This process may be a conscious one, as you rebel against ‘the way its always been done’, make a push for freedom and push forward with your ambitions/dreams/plans. In so doing, you may experience resistance from the outside world. As you challenge the status quo, it can feel as if your world is struggling against you, but you must push on regardless. One word of caution though, as with all Uranus transits, in your zeal to make changes try not to ‘throw baby out with the bathwater’, pace yourself sensibly. Consider the feelings and needs of others and do your best to make the necessary changes with as little collateral damage as possible.

Difficult inner struggle can occur when we cling onto the old and resist the changes that need to be made under this transit. In these circumstances, change may be thrust upon us, suddenly and unexpectedly. This will be difficult, maybe even shocking or depressing, but believe me, you do have the energy to pull through this and build new structures in your life that are better than what has gone before. If your world feels as if it is shrinking, it is only to create space for the new. Please see Saturn-Uranus-Pluto for my own personal story of job loss under this transit and believe me when I say I am in a much better place now than I was a year ago!

I would be very interested to hear how this transit is going for you. Astrology is experiential and we learn by sharing and helping one another.

If you want to go deeper and would like a personal consultation, please email me at for details.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Pluto at the Capricorn 'Aries Point'

Pluto in Capricorn has stationed direct at 0 degrees Capricorn after being retrograde since April. (Station direct means it is ‘apparently’ motionless in the sky and about to move forwards after a period of ‘apparently’ moving backwards).

Pluto spends five months of every year retrograde, so Pluto retrogrades are not rare events at all. However, this station is important because it is at the Aries Point. The Aries point is the Grand Cross at 0 degrees of the Cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

Any outer planet at the Aries point, but especially at a stationed point (motionless and about to move direct or retrograde) symbolizes huge changes and shifts in consciousness which will be clearly reflected in world events.

Pluto has of course been hovering around the Aries Point since it first moved into Capricorn in January 2008, reminding us that Pluto at the Aries Point is not an event which lasts a few days or even a few months, but part of a series of events spanning a couple of years and whose influence will be felt for a long, long time. Pluto will be moving through Capricorn until 2023 so we have a very long way to go with the Capricorn Pluto themes yet!!!

However, there’s no denying that Pluto in Capricorn has started with a bang! Think of the dramatic world events of the past couple of years: the credit crunch; the end of the property boom; the devaluing of our pensions and investments; the sub prime mortgage fiasco; the bankruptcy and rescue of some of the world’s banks, as well as some of the world’s countries, including Iceland. The world recession! Wow, this is huge!

Of course this isn’t just down to the Aries Point and Pluto in Capricorn, but we would be unwise to underestimate its effect.

In my recent blog on Saturn-Uranus-Pluto I described the Aries Point, but to summarise again here, the Aries Point is a powerful position of revelation where that which is private/personal becomes public/political. Facts that ‘They’ don’t want us to know about are revealed. With Pluto in Capricorn, the ‘They’ are the powerful, authoritative figures, whose destructive actions have until now been cloaked in shadow. They are worst aspects of our world leaders and governments, but mostly, it seems, they are the powerful bankers and industry leaders who have been left unregulated to ‘rule the world’.

Perhaps Pluto in Capricorn is telling us they have had their day. As the first step in this process, Pluto at the Aries Point is uncovering their shenanigans!

In Saturn-Uranus-Pluto I talked about the collapse of Lehman Brothers and about Bernard Madoff, Allen Stanford and Sir Fred Goodwin. I am sure you can think of more ‘Plutocrats’ who are due their cosmic comeuppance.

Just today, BBC news reported the following on the investigation into the collapse of car firm MG Rover: “Bosses running carmaker MG Rover gave themselves "unreasonably large" payouts when the firm collapsed, costing 6,500 jobs, a report has found. Pay and pensions worth £42m was shared by five executives, which inspectors said was "out of all proportion".” Tellingly, the British Government, has said it has no authority to act, because the bosses did nothing illegal. Need I say more!!!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Saturn-Uranus-Pluto, the Financial Crisis & Me

At 11am on 15th September 2008 I was told that I was losing my job. Numb with shock, I went straight home and turned on the lunchtime news to hear that Lehman Brothers, one of the world’s oldest and most reputable investment banks, had collapsed. This event set in motion the biggest global financial panic I’d seen in my lifetime. The financial services industry was losing its nerve and TV pundits and city analysts were predicting the imminent collapse of more of the world’s major retail and investment banks. The events that unfolded over the days that followed resulted in the announcement of multibillion pound/dollar bailouts of the banks by the UK and US governments, amongst others. The world was freefalling into recession.

At the time, the first hit of the current Saturn-Uranus oppositions was approaching and Pluto was moving towards its first passage through the zero degree Capricorn Aries Point, a powerful position of revelation, reflected in the timing of the Lehman Brothers very public collapse, as well as in the public call for the reform of our financial and political institutions that followed.

For myself, since March 2008 transiting Uranus had been opposing my natal Uranus-Pluto conjunction and in September 2008 transiting Saturn was applying to conjunct Uranus-Pluto for the first of three hits. Natally, Uranus rules my 10th house of career and Pluto rules my 6th house of work. I knew that change was in the air for me, but I really didn’t see the job loss coming. In true Uranian style, it was sudden and it was shocking. It seemed as if, whether I liked it or not (and I definitely didn’t like it), I was involuntarily caught up in the zeitgeist of the times, infected by the panic, my future uncertain and seemingly grim.

When Saturn the hard taskmaster and Uranus the awakener challenge each other, we experience an upset to the status quo. Change is inevitable as the old makes way for the new. This process may be a conscious one, as we rebel against tradition, make a push for freedom and push forward with our ambitions. Or change may be unexpectedly thrust upon us, as it was with me. Adding Pluto the destroyer into this picture bestows a tremendous fear of loss, upheaval and separation. The destruction of old worn out systems, lifestyles and ideas is necessary for us to move forward into our future. But with hard work and effort of the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ kind, seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be overcome and unimaginable goals can be accomplished. The price however, is a great deal of tension, upset and loss along the way.

The above is textbook astrology and an accurate description of the months that followed my job loss both personally and for the world at large, the full consequences of which still continue to unfold. Saturn-Uranus-Pluto is not just asking us all to view our lives and our world from a different perspective, it is asking us to learn to live life from a totally fresh standpoint.

The exact hit of the first moving Saturn-Uranus opposition of this cycle (and I’m talking the world transit now, not my personal transits) occurred on 4th November 2008, the date of the US Presidential election. In the end, the traditional (Saturn) campaign tactics of John McCain could not compete with the innovative (Uranus) campaign approach of the Obama camp, which utilised the internet, email and text messaging and received unprecedented donations from the general public. Obama promoted himself as an accessible man of the people, espousing “change we can believe in” a wonderfully Saturn-Uranus slogan. I was recently touched by how excited my American friends were that they could personally wish their president happy birthday on Twitter. (For further discussion on Obama’s chart, see Obama and the Aquarius Lunar Eclipse.)

The exposure of the multi-billion dollar fraud of financier Bernard Madoff and the alleged fraud on the same scale by Allen Stanford are also manifestations of the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto symbolism, as is the story of the Fred Goodwin pension scandal. Goodwin is the former CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Ruining the bank to the point that it had to be bailed out by British tax-payer money, he retired himself on a pension of £700k per year! Refusing to give back a penny he fled the country after his home was vandalised by protesters. The government refused to bow to public demand for Goodwin to be stripped of his knighthood, awarded for his outstanding service to banking!

As Pluto once again approaches the Aries Point, where that which is private/personal becomes public/political, I am sure there will be more exposés to follow and more plutocrats will fall, especially as Saturn and Uranus will also hit the Aries Point when they move into Libra and Aries in summer 2010, forming the so-called 'Cardinal Climax' t-square with Pluto. Massive changes indeed are afoot in our world, some of them sudden, some of them shocking, all of them longreaching.

The dates for the Saturn-Uranus oppositions are as follows:

  1. 4th November 2008 (19 degrees Virgo-Pisces)
  2. 5th February 2009 (21 degrees Virgo-Pisces)
  3. 15th September 2009 (25 degrees Virgo-Pisces) with Pluto at 0 degree Capricorn, forming a t-square
  4. 27th April 2010 (29 degrees Virgo-Pisces) with Pluto at 5 Capricorn retrograde, still in orb for a t-square
  5. 26th July 2010 (0 degree of Aries-Libra, the Aries Point) with Pluto at 3 Capricorn retrograde, forming the ‘Cardinal Climax’

A note about orbs: for personal transits, I keep orbs very tight, a maximum two or three degrees applying and one degree or less separating. However, please bear in mind that astrology merely reflects events in our real lives and we should remind ourselves that experience should always be given precedence over the question of mathematical orbs.

For world transits involving the slow outer planets (such as the current moving Saturn-Uranus oppositions and its squares with Pluto), I go along with astrologer Richard Tarnas who in Cosmos and Psyche prescribes wide orbs of influence, up to 15 degrees. Looking at it this way means that the Saturn-Uranus opposition never really goes out of orb for the period of the transit and that Pluto too is making a t-square to this opposition throughout. In my view, this is a sensible approach which frees us to view the wider political and cultural themes these big planetary cycles represent.

There is a happy ending to my story, at least for now. On 5th January 2009, the very day that Jupiter, the planet of reward, moved into Aquarius and was one degree applying to my MC, the point of career, I started a new job. However, the Saturn conjunctions to my Uranus-Pluto carried on until August this year and my path has predictably been strewn with further surprises and a lot of hard, hard work!

The changes aren’t through for me yet , the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto Cardinal Climax will hit my 3 degree Capricorn Sun directly in 2010, with transiting Pluto making three direct hits between January and November.

And so here I am caught between a personal time of great change and a time of massive upheaval in the world around me. As within, so without and all bets are off.

If you want to explore how Saturn-Uranus-Pluto may affect you personally please see my blog Saturn-Uranus Oppositions and You and I cannot recommend highly enough the newsletters of Bill Herbst (May and June 2009) at: See also his series of Saturn-Uranus-Pluto essays from 2006/7 which discuss the world events suggested by this transit, prescient pieces which accurately predict the current economic crisis.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

September's Moons

Welcome to September's the beginning of the start of Autumn for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It's usually my favourite time of year, but this year I can't help but feel a little tense.

Astrologically, it looks set to be a very interesting month with a Pisces Full Moon, a Mercury Retrograde and the third in the series of tense, exciting and dispruptive Saturn-Uranus oppositions. This time Saturn and Uranus are bludgeoned by Pluto who turns direct on the 12th, forming the apex of a T-Square at 0 degrees of Capricorn, a powerful point of public projection. Three days after the opposition exacts at 25 degrees of Virgo and Pisces, a Virgo New Moon falls exactly at the same degree of the Zodiac. Drama indeed!

That the Saturn-Uranus opposition exactly squares my Jupiter at 25 Gemini and that Pluto finally moving forward at 0 degrees Capricorn means that next year it will conjoin my Sun at 3 Capricorn, will have me following these transits very closely.

Blogs about Saturn-Uranus-Pluto and the Virgo New Moon coming soon, but in the meantime, I have updated my website with September's Moon sign changes and Moon of Void of Course times and with info about how to use the energies of the Moon according to which sign she's in


I hope September is a good one for you & perhaps the motto of the month should be Out with the Old, in with New.

Quincunx, Aversion & Venus in Libra

I always have great fun recording the Academy of Astrology UK weekly podcast, hosted by the wonderful Rod Chang. It's never scripted, w...