Monday, 28 February 2011

Colin Firth ~ It's Written in the Stars

Colin Firth’s sensitive take on the stammering King George VI in The King’s Speech has swept the boards at this year’s film awards, topped by the biggest prize of all, the Best Actor Oscar for Firth.

So what better subject for Astroair’s next “Written In the Stars” installment, an occasional series on how the characters that actors play are reflected in their birth chart.

IMDB describes The King’s Speech as “the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.”
So where is Bertie in Firth’s chart? (Please note that without a birth time, a noon chart with Sun on the ASC is being used).
Click on the chart to enlarge
The first striking thing about Firth’s chart is the strong Virgo, with Sun, Mercury, North Node and Pluto all sharing the sign of the perfectionist. Humble and self-critical, Virgo often lacks self confidence and shies away from public recognition. This is certainly the picture painted of Bertie in the opening scenes, as we are made keenly aware of his fear of public speaking due to a debilitating stammer. But Virgo is also a sign that needs to strive towards self improvement, so with the help of his wife he unsuccessfully works his way through every speech therapist in town before finally and reluctantly putting himself in the hands of the unconventional Lionel Logue.

A trine from Saturn in Capricorn to Firth’s Virgo planets is interesting. Saturn in Capricorn is self-disciplined, traditional, conservative hard working and reliable. Reflecting this, Bertie is depicted as a family man who takes his responsibilities seriously, fearing disapproval from his critical father. Bertie is not without a safe family haven though, as witnessed in the orderly but touching scenes of Bertie looking comfortable at home with his wife and daughters. These scenes are in stark contrast to the depiction of his older brother Edward’s decadent partying.

Saturn in Capricorn needs authority and a defined position in society, but Saturn is retrograde and with a retrograde planet, there is often a sense of missing out on something in the early on, but getting a second chance later in life. After an early life when he was mostly kept away from public life by his family because of his disability, such is his karma (Saturn trine North Node) that when his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicates, Bertie succeeds to the throne and gets his chance to serve (Sun in Virgo) and claim his rightful place in society (Saturn in Capricorn). As Bertie is preparing to be King in a country headed towards war, he knows that with position and power come responsibility and hard work (Sun-Pluto in Virgo trine Saturn in Capricorn). If he is to speak for the nation, then the King’s (Sun) Speech (Mercury) needs to be perfect (Virgo).

As the movie reaches its climax, Bertie, crowned King George VI, makes a rousing radio speech to the whole country. The Virgo perfectionist’s quest for self improvement has worked, with the realisation that he will never be completely perfect, but can do a fine job and more than fulfil his duty nevertheless. His Venus in Libra – a placement that seeks approval and popularity - seems fulfilled.

In the movie, the man behind Bertie’s success is unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue.  The square to Venus in Libra from Saturn in Capricorn in Firth’s chart seems obvious when the two men first meet. Bertie is stiff and refuses to relax and let himself go, something he needs to do to benefit from Lionel’s methods. Venus-Saturn squares suggest a fear of letting others in and difficultly letting go and relaxing in social situations. Indeed, it’s easy to see how Bertie’s stammer would lead him to create defences around him in public and social situations. Not only that, but Lionel’s insistence that the two men must be equals in his consulting room is deeply unsettling for a man who is defined, elevated and restricted by his high social status (Venus-Saturn). Perhaps Lionel is reflected in Firth’s Mars in Gemini which forms a t-square with Sun and Mercury in Virgo and Jupiter in Sagittarius. There’s certainly a funny scene, a breakthrough in the relationship and the treatment, when Bertie loses his temper and unleashes a long litany of swearwords delivered without a hint of a stammer.

Ultimately though, Lionel breaks down Bertie’s emotional barriers and with them his fears of public speaking. The two men form a lifelong friendship, reflecting the positive side of Venus-Saturn, which is that once the person feels secure in a relationship, a deep and long lasting bond based on loyalty, affection and respect is possible.

Another feature of Firth’s chart is the fact that he has no planets in water signs, save for a Neptune in Scorpio that he shares with the rest of his generation. Lack of water is often reflected in a difficulty in expressing one’s emotions. This is obvious in Firth’s depiction of Bertie and in Firth’s other iconic character portrayal, Mr Darcy in the TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There is a classic scene, both sexy and hilarious, which beautifully illustrates both a perfect antidote to and an expression of, the lack of water in Firth’s chart. Darcy emerges from an impulsive swim in the lake, only to be met by love interest Elisabeth Bennet, which prompts him to immediately launch into an awkward exchange of constrained social niceties, totally at odds with the fact that he’s dripping wet and in his underwear! This wet shirt scene perfectly illustrates the passion beneath Darcy’s uptight public image and his difficulty expressing his emotions and notably, this was THE scene that catapulted Firth to sex symbol status!

Congratulations on the Oscar!

With love,

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Jupiter-Pluto Cycle

click on picture to enlarge
Jupiter and Pluto have been making a series of square aspects since July 2010 (an aspect that was part of last summer’s cardinal-t-square) and the last in the series occurs in February 2011. These squares mark an important point in the current Jupiter-Pluto cycle.

Themes for the Jupiter-Pluto Cycle
  • The need for growth at a deep level
  • The urge to expand
  • Optimized potential for growth
  • Keeping growth/inflation under control
  • The need to seek new perspectives
  • A questioning of received values, morals and ethics
  • Power struggles, shifts in power, desire for power
  • Deep issues about faith and belief, transformed beliefs
  • Tensions between different faiths and philosophical beliefs, zealotry
  • The emergence of new world philosophies
  • The need to find a new relationship/new perspective to ‘foreign’ beliefs and those of differing faiths
  • Issues around wealth and prosperity
  • The significance of power and influence
  • Opportunities for shifts in power
  • Trying to improve one’s position in life
  • Becoming a law unto ourselves
  • Powerful urge for change vs. strong resistance to change
  • The collective call to adventure
  • A growth in underground activities, the ‘black market’
  • Dark journeys of the soul
This current round of this 12-13 year cycle began with the conjunction in Sagittarius in December 2007, its orb of influence spanning roughly from October 2007 through January 2008. The conjunction marked the end of the previous cycle and the beginning of the new one and like a New Moon, was a seeding time, when the themes that would come to define the current cycle were sewn. What was planted during this time determined what will blossom and bear fruit later in the cycle.

What was happening economically at the end of 2007? Associated Press reported in Jan 2008 that “the economy deteriorated considerably during the October-to-December quarter as worsening problems in the housing market and harder-to-get credit made individuals and businesses more cautious in their spending. Fears of a recession have grown, even as inflation remained elevated. For all of 2007, the economy grew by just 2.2 percent, the weakest performance in five years.” Wikipedia states that “the US entered a recession at the end of 2007 and 2008 saw many other nations follow suit.”

This is curious, as we might expect this cycle to lead to expansion. However, the first Jupiter-Pluto square of this cycle starting summer 2010 – an alignment of tension and crisis - was just one element in the cardinal t-square. It overlapped with the Saturn-Uranus oppositions (a cycle which typically brings an upset to the status quo and ‘out with the old, in with the new’ – this was the alignment that Obamo was elected under) and the Saturn-Pluto waning square (an alignment of crisis, restriction, contraction and grim reality). Jupiter it seemed was to run with the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto themes, exaggerating and expanding them.

When Jupiter and Pluto oppose each other in 2013/2014 – the half-way, culmination point of the current cycle - it will align with the upcoming revolutionary energy of the Uranus-Pluto squares. Restrictive Saturn will have moved on to Scorpio by then so won’t be a direct part of this picture. Perhaps during this opposition we will start to see growth and expansion. Certainly, economic inflation is set to rise, as a direct result of events that occurred under the conjunction and the square. Let’s hope that growth and change, when it comes - be it economical or spiritual or philosophical - will be fair and just for everyone.

The final, waning Pluto square of this current cycle occurs in late 2016 through 2017. Any prediction depends upon what happens during the 2010 square and the 2013/14 opposition. The best we can do for now is have faith that will we will end the current cycle in a better place than we started it.

With love,

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Synastry ~ Shining a Light on the Sun

Have you ever wondered why you get along easily with some people, but struggle to find a rapport with others?

In astrology, the study of relationship compatibility is called synastry, or chart comparison. For the second in an occasional series of articles on synastry, here’s a look at Sun connections between charts.

The Sun in our chart represents our source of energy and how we use it. By sign, house position and aspect, the Sun suggests where best we should channel our energy in order to grow and fulfill our life’s purpose. It also hints at the challenges and lessons we might expect to meet along the way. As such, it represents our own personal hero’s journey – our vitality, willpower, ego identity and the creative urge. Expressing our Sun is a mission, something we need to learn to do, to aspire to.

Whenever we meet another person whose aims, goals, mission and energetic expression are similar to or compatible to our own we ‘get them’. We tend to feel a rapport with them, or at least we can understand where they’re coming from. On the other hand, when we meet someone whose expression is very different from our own we can have difficulty understanding where they’re coming from. While we may feel intrigued and attracted to the different energy, getting along together presents us both with a challenge.

When judging Sun compatibility between charts, we really need to look at the whole picture – the Sun’s sign, aspects and house - but simply looking at the basic Sun to Sun aspects in isolation is the best place to start and we can build from there.

Of course, when comparing charts the two Suns might not form an aspect. If this is the case, look to the general compatibility by sign and element. The following will still apply, but it will be a less intense connection.

Sun conjunct Sun (or Sun in the same sign):
If your Suns are conjunct, think of all those joint birthday parties you can enjoy! For two Virgoans or Capricorns, that might be a great thing (think of the money you will save by throwing a shared bash), but if you’re two Leos, do you really want to share the occasion with another limelight hogger? This sounds a bit flippant, but the point is that this connection can very much depend on the sign the Sun is in. However, generally speaking, you have similar ways of expressing your energy and ego and your life’s lessons, missions and purpose are compatible. While you may be at very different stages in your journey, you are traveling in the same direction. You can really identify with the person who shares your Sun sign and this can be an easy, supportive relationship. The danger of being so alike is that you can too easily become aware each other’s weaknesses. If this happens, take note, because there is a lesson in it for you both. Rather than actively disliking the other person, remember that they are most probably highlighting something you don’t like about yourself, or something you are in denial about and need to work on.

Sun opposition Sun (or Sun in opposite signs):
Opposites attract! This aspect is very commonly found between friends and lovers. Opposites might well attract, but they can also repel and often can attract-repel at the same time, which makes this aspect very interesting. At best, you will complement each other nicely and find the relationship stimulating and mutually supportive with a nice balance of egos. This is because despite the differences between opposing signs, they also share common concerns (click to read more). At worst, there can be no real relationship because you are constantly pulling apart, moving in completely opposite directions. It can even be both at the same time…Yes, the classic love-hate relationship is a possibility here.

Sun square Sun (or Sun in the same mode):
Click to Enlarge
Square aspects are challenging and dynamic. They call for action, often in response to conflict, but dealing with conflict successfully can lead to valuable growth for both individuals involved. Planets square other planets in the same mode as themselves, so planets in cardinal signs square planets in other cardinal signs and so on. The graphic to the right explains all. In relationships where your Suns square each other, you tend to tackle the obstacles and problems you meet on your life journey in a similar style, but because your overall temperament and life goals differ, this can sometimes lead to a frustrating relationship dynamic. Attraction can feel strong between you but just as easily so can dislike! Relationships between cardinal signs can become blighted by over-competitiveness, fixed relationships can feel possessive and stuck and mutable relationships can have a tendency to drift. Ultimately though, Sun square Sun in synastry, if expressed healthily and with conciousness, is a contact which can lead to growth and personal development for both concerned. If you can work out your differences you can achieve a lot together.

Sun Trine Sun (or Sun in the same element):
When your Sun trines somebody else’s Sun, it suggests an easy, supportive, harmonious relationship. You tend to ‘get’ each other, feel comfortable holding hands along life’s journey together and feel nicely energized by each other’s company. However, if you want dynamism, growth and a little exciting tension in your relationship, you might need to find that in other aspects between your charts. Planets trine other planets in the same element as them, illustrated in the graphics below (click on each graphic to enlarge).

Sun Sextile Sun (or Sun in a compatible element):
Sextiles, like trines, suggest an easy, harmonious relationship. It’s generally a supportive relationship which benefits both parties, because the element your Sun is in, is compatible with the element the other person’s Sun falls in. However, the sextile does need a little more work than a trine to make the most out of it. At best, sextiles between your Sun and another person’s Sun present an opportunity for you to help and encourage each other to achieve your life goals.

Sun Quincunx Sun (or Sun in natural quincunx by sign):
Planets in quincunx just don’t get each other at all. Unlike the square aspect they do not share the same mode and neither do they share compatible elements. When our Suns are in quincunx by aspect or merely by sign, our energy, vitality, life path and goals – and how we achieve our goals – are so different, it’s hard to see a common meeting point. The key word for the quincunx is awkward and the best way to work with a quincunx in synastry is for both parties to accept that constant adjustments and allowances will need to be made within the relationship. However, surprisingly, close relationships and marriages between people whose Suns are in quincunx (by aspect or merely by sign) are pretty common. Maybe this aspect between Suns keeps things fresh and alive and constantly interesting? At best, living with someone whose Sun quincunxes your Sun teaches you great tolerance. While you may never completely get where the other person is coming from, to learn to lovingly honor and respect the differences between you is a great thing. With a quincunx between your Suns, you would hope for some more compatible aspects between other planets in your synastry. For example, my Capricorn Sun and my husband’s Leo Sun fall into a natural quincunx. However, his Capricorn Moon complements my Sun and my Aquarius Moon complements his Sun and vice versa. Harmonious Venus and Mars connections also help keep things nice on the romantic front!

Sun Semisextile Sun (or Suns in neighboring signs):
Planets in semisextile are 30 degrees away from each other, in neighboring signs. While our neighbors might not be our most natural bedfellows, with a bit of work on both sides, we can find a way to live harmoniously alongside them. Fortunately, in synastry, semisextile aspects between Suns tend to be easier than semisextiles between planets that are not so naturally harmonious, such as Saturn and Mars. When your Suns are in semisextile, it offers a great learning experience for both of you. For example, an Aquarius Sun can help a Capricorn Sun shake itself out of its boring old routine to try something new, whilst Capricorn lends a bit of stability and structure to Aquarius’ goals and ideals. Scorpio Sun can help Sagittarius Sun to be more controlled and patient and Sagittarius can help Scorpio to be less suspicious and more optimistic about life’s gifts. And so on… As you think about all the Sun signs it becomes fairly easy to see how the sign before or after it can act as a healthy antidote to its more negative qualities. It’s not necessarily instant sunshine and roses with the semisextile though, this aspect in synastry will probably require work and awareness to feel the benefits.

Here’s a real life example of how these aspects can work, which also brings in the outer planet dimension to demonstrate how these can color the Sun to Sun synastry aspects:

Uranus in the mix
A few years back, Andrea* started an affair with Karl, whose Cancer Sun was exactly opposite her Capricorn Sun. Andrea says she felt strongly attracted to this man very shortly after meeting him, but weirdly felt repelled by him at the same time. This seems pretty typical of Sun opposite Sun connections, if a little extreme. However, Karl had natal Sun square Uranus (forming a t-square with Andrea’s Sun) and at the time the affair began, Andrea had transiting Uranus squaring her Ascendant-Descendant (the relationship axis). The presence of Uranus served to underscore and intensify the Sun connection between them and Andrea talks of the affair as exciting, stressful and sudden. But Uranus also seemed to catalyze the break up (the pulling apart which is common with Sun opposite Sun) which Andrea says was just as sudden. She simply woke up one day and the repulsion had overtaken the attraction and so she cut off the relationship just like that (very Uranian). This left Karl – a sensitive Cancerian – rather hurt and bewildered. Remarkably, however, he wrote to Andrea a few weeks later with total acceptance that the relationship was over (remember, this sensitive Cancer was also very Uranian), expressing his thanks for the valuable lesson she had taught him about relationships.

Generally speaking, Sun-Sun synastry aspects that also involve Uranus make for very exciting interactions. If both people are prepared to explore unconventional ways of relating it can work out just peachy, but very often it can result in a shaky relationship where one person demands more freedom than the other is willing to give. This is perhaps why these connections are often marked by periodic (or permanent) break ups, or at least times when one person needs to emotionally detach from the other. It's not that it won’t eventually lead to commitment, often it does, its just that the commitment might not be what most would call traditional. To work, these associations require that each partner allows the other enough space to be true to themselves and follow their life path authentically, even if this means that they ultimately end up going in totally different directions.

Imagine if the above example was colored by Saturn or Neptune or Pluto rather than Uranus and you get a very different set of potentials….

Pluto in the mix
When Pluto is involved in Sun to Sun synastry connections a powerful attraction is suggested. Unfortunately, these relationships can easily become a battle of wills, as one or both partners try to control the relationship, expecting the other to submit to their will, maybe even forcibly. There’s no doubt that these relationships are powerfully deep and strong and passionate, but both parties need to be able to keep things in perspective, nurture each other’s free will and self esteem and constantly ask themselves whether the relationship is a healthy one for both concerned. At best, this is an association that can be deeply transforming, if both parties can allow themselves and each other the space to healthily purge and explore their deepest, darkest urges together. There is often something clandestine about these types of relationships. When both are positively empowered by the relationship, this can be a coupling to be reckoned with!

Neptune in the mix
With Neptune involved in Sun to Sun synastry connections, the relationship takes on an otherworldly feeling. These connections can feel ‘meant to be’, part of some ‘divine plan’. The danger is that it’s too easy for the relationship to become an over-idealized one which ignores or simply doesn’t see the flaws and weaknesses within it. Escapism is a distinct possibility, with either or both parties expecting the relationship to keep them safe from the harsh reality of real life. While this can be cozy and in some ways positive, couples with these connections need to be careful they don’t slip into unhealthy escapist habits together such as drink, drugs or emotional interdependence. These connections often call for one or both to make sacrifices which can easily veer them off their life path and sap their vitality and free will. Quite simply, it’s easy to lose your individual identity such is the urge to merge here. These relationships are often marked by deception in some way, which can leave one or both disappointed, disillusioned or even abandoned once reality finally hits. At best, these couplings really can be of the ‘made for each variety’ and if both are able to truly support each other on their life journey they can reach new heights together romantically, spiritually and creatively.

Saturn in the mix
With Saturn involved in Sun to Sun synastry connections, the relationship takes on a serious dimension. Strong Saturn connections in synastry are very often found in committed, long term relationships. Yes, Saturn is a stayer! However, it’s not all wedding bells and 25th anniversaries with Saturn, because this harsh reality planet can just as easily suggest a relationship which struggles to get off the ground in the first place. Perhaps one or the other is wary of entering into a relationship or has doubts that the other person is right for them? Sometimes, this connection can suggest delays or obstacles in coming together, either emotional or circumstantial. Once the relationship is underway, at least one party will need the security and stability of a more traditional style of relationship. Whether this can work out will very much depend on whether that relationship style suits the other person’s temperament and life path. Also, this connection can suggest a relationship where one or the other feels constricted, or feels that their self confidence is being eroded by the other’s judgmental or pessimistic attitude to life. At best, couples in Sun-Saturn synastry relationships can grow together in mutual respect, love and esteem for each other. This can be the perfect connection for growing old together gracefully.

A note about working with synastry: I have found that the best way to work with synastry is to apply it to existing relationships, using it as a guide to understanding the issues, meeting points, tensions and lessons inherent in the relationship. If you apply synastry to someone you don’t know very well but kinda fancy, I doubt you will get a very useful picture. This is because human beings are strange creatures, with odd and surprising tastes and a weird thing called free will. So, comparing your chart with that of the cute boy you met on the bus the other night after you managed to sweet talk his date of birth out of him, really won’t tell you if he’s going to fancy you back! Oh and please, when comparing your chart with someone else’s, it's good ethics to ask their permission first (my Mercury in Sagittarius in the 7th talking).

Related Posts:

With love,

*Published with permission. Names have been changed.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Leo Full Moon Round Up

Everything becomes clearer under a Full Moon phase. This is payoff or payback time for plans hatched and actions taken during the New Moon and First Quarter Moon phase. The Full Moon and the few days leading up to it, press us to ACT, especially as February 18th's Full Moon falls across 29 degrees of Leo and Aquarius, the fifth and last Full Moon in a row to fall in the urgent last degree of its sign.

A Full Moon draws our attention to the two signs the Sun and Moon fall in, so what are the issues for Leo and Aquarius? The Leo-Aquarius axis symbolizes the need to balance the individual need for personal gain and acclaim with the need to help, support and be equal to everyone else. Aquarius will never deny Leo’s right to be king, but will absolutely insist that the king serves his people with integrity and honesty. Teamwork and delegation of authority is everything to Aquarius and selfish greed is just not acceptable. Aquarius teaches that ultimately it is through serving the group, the community, the team, our friends, that we gain the honor and significance that is so crucial to Leo. Conversely, Leo teaches Aquarius that sometimes you have to take the lead if the cause is important enough. Somebody has to stand up for the masses, rebel against the status quo and shake the system up, if there is to be any chance of a lasting change for the better and what better than Aquarian energy to do this!

Given the current line up of planets in Aquarius right now, the Leo Moon is injecting spirit into the Aquarian energy, calling for balance, as well as suggesting potential opposition:

Sun in Aquarius = energy and goals directed towards working together for the common good, towards brother/sisterhood, helping out
Mercury in Aquarius = new ideas/commonality of mindset/social networking/forward thinking/rule breaking
Mars in Aquarius = action for equality/fighting for a cause/rebellious anger
Neptune in Aquarius = collective idealism/humanitarianism/vision
Ceres in Aquarius = nurturance/comfort within a group

The events currently sweeping across the Middle East exemplify these Aquarian energies at work, as well as the revolutionary energies of the applying Uranus-Pluto square.

Here’s a quick round up of what some fine bloggers are saying about the Leo Full Moon:

From Virgo Magic: Breaking Open The Heart - Approaching the Leo Full Moon

Full Moon from Tracy's Astro Salon

Join moonpluto's Full Moon in Leo discussion over at ElsaElsa

From Gemini Awakening: Leo Full Moon 

Sun Conjunct Neptune from Cosmic Life Coach

Enjoy the Leo Full Moon!
With love,

Friday, 11 February 2011

Nodes into Sagittarius-Gemini ~ A New Perspective

After approximately 18 months travelling through the Capricorn-Cancer axis, the Moon’s Nodes move into the Sagittarius-Gemini axis on 14 February 2011*. Nodal sign changes symbolize a shift in the cosmic karmic energies, a signal for a change in the collective consciousness.

While the North Node was in Capricorn and the South in Cancer, the collective has been concerned with security - applying the usual, age old methods to secure and stabilise things materially, economically and politically. Security has been a big concern – collectively and individually – as many families have struggled to hold onto their homes and jobs. We’ve been bogged down by responsibilities and struggling to maintain the work-life balance, which has taken its toll emotionally, particularly for those who have dependents reliant upon them to ‘bring home the bacon’.

When the North Node moves into Sagittarius and the South Node into Gemini, there is a shift in energy and we are invited to view things from a new perspective.

While the Nodes in our own chart say something about our personal life purpose, the transiting nodes speak about a temporal shift in our collective purpose. The transiting South Node represents a dispersing, separating energy, something from the past we need to move away from, but something that it’s all too easy to fall back on. The North Node on the other hand represents a new influx of energy that we need to move towards.

In Sagittarius, the North Node asks us to take a step back and view our world from a wider, broader perspective. This placement is about hope and belief and learning to put faith and trust in something bigger than ourselves. It requires us to step out of our regular day to day routines and concerns so that we can see the bigger picture. This North Node shows us where we have been blocked from expanding and stretching ourselves mentally, where we have become bogged down by the constant, relentless influx of information, facts, news, messages, communications. Now is the time to sort out all the meaningless crap from the real important stuff, to focus on what things ‘mean’, rather than what things simply ‘are’.

We are asked to focus less on immediate, local concerns and look at things more from a bigger, global perspective. In our ever shrinking world, with instant access to news and information we are becoming a true global village and we need to understand that instability and inequality in far flung places really does affect us, because we are all connected, now more than ever.

We are invited to recognise that the conditions of workers in Chinese factories, the demands of pro-democracy protesters on the streets of Cairo, the poverty of subsistence farmers in Kenya and the state of the stock market in Tokyo and so on, really does affect us. This stuff really does inform the decisions of our political and business leaders. It informs the price of a bean, the cost of a tank full of gas, the value of our currency and the policies and agreements that connect our part of the world with the rest of the world. By learning to understand this, at a deep level, we can learn how to ask the right questions and move some way towards insisting our world becomes a better and fairer one for everyone in it.

Suggestions for North Node Sagittarius / South Node Gemini

~ Take a leap of faith.

~ Indulge yourself in deep study.

~ Pay less attention to gossip, rumour, and hearsay.

~ Learn to really listen to what you say and to what others say and seek the deeper meaning in conversation and communication.

~ Learn to understand how information is presented, how what is not said can be just as important as what is said. Understand how facts can be manipulated to suit a particular agenda.

~ Question the truth of what you hear.

~ Seek out opinions that are different from your own and look for the common threads in those differences.

~ Get into the habit of ignoring/deleting annoying and irrelevant emails/newsletters/junk mail etc.

~ Set some long term goals for the future.

~ Travel to some far flung places.

~ Learn about different faith systems and focus on the things that bring different faiths together rather than the things which drive them apart.

~ Spend time with people from different cultures and countries.

~ Take an active interest in the global news, rather than just your local/national news. See what the other side are saying, notice the differences in bias and seek out the common meanings.

~ Learn to embrace the abstract.

~ Listen to your intuition.
The Nodes Transiting Your Chart
If you have planets or angles in Sagittarius or Gemini, the Nodes will make direct connections to your chart sometime over the next eighteen months by conjunction or opposition. If you have planets or angles in Virgo or Pisces, the Nodes will square those planets/points. Paying attention to these transits can highlight where you need to grow on your life journey.

Remember, the Nodes are a travelling opposition and like all oppositions, they often manifest in relationships. Nodal transits therefore often bring meetings and connections with other people that can help you move on from the past (as represented by the North Node) and into your future.

However, with the North Node in expansive Sagittarius, this transit will inform not just your relationships with people, but your relationship with the world at large. While the North Node in Capricorn was about your place in the world, the North Node in Sagittarius is about what you do with yourself once you have found your place, a quest that requires faith and self belief.

The North Node moves into Sagittarius / South Node into Gemini on February 14th 2011.
The Nodes remain in Sagittarius/Gemini until September 14th 2012, after which they move into Scorpio/Taurus.
(dates based on GMT time).

Essential reading on the Nodes:
The Astrologer’s Node Book by Donna Van Toen
The Astrology of Self-Discovery by Tracy Marks
Astrology for the Soul by Jan Spiller

With love,
*The Mean Nodes moved signs on February 13, but if you use the True Nodes they change on March 4 (March 3 for American time zones).

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Johnny Depp ~ All Hands on Deck

Are the characters that actors play reflected in their charts? Too right!

In the first of an occasional just-for-fun series, we’re taking a look at the chart of Johnny Depp to see where we might find Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands and company.

The first thing you notice about Depp’s chart is rebellious, unconventional Uranus in the 1st house conjunct Mars. Depp has the performer’s Ascendant of Leo, so he goes out into the world on display, wanting to be seen, but with Uranus in the first, he doesn’t want to be seen as ordinary and traditional. Mars conjunct Uranus suggests that he puts a lot of his energy into nurturing this self-image. Mars in Virgo though is the perfectionist, suggesting he wants to do things right and be good at what he does. On the other hand, Mars in Virgo in the first can be a bit shy and reticent about pushing one’s self forward. However, such is the influence of Uranus on that Mars that he just can’t help himself, that planetary combination is just chomping at the bit to express itself one way or another.

Click on chart to enlarge
So how does it express itself in the characters he plays? Think of three of his most famous roles - Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands and Willy Wonka - all unconventional, rebellious, outsiders. Played to perfection! Depp himself is in disguise when he’s in these characters, barely recognisable as himself. Note that Mars and Uranus are widely conjunct Pluto, the master of disguise and transformation. Note too, that all of his most famous roles are darkly comic, sometimes bordering on the darkly tragic or the just plain dark. That shy Mars in Virgo sandwiched between Uranus and Pluto sure does finds its way to let his Leo Ascendant shine!

And here’s a thing. Look at the pics below of Depp in his most well known roles. In every case, he’s playing an unconventional, dark character, an antihero (Mars-Uranus-Pluto), but look at his hands. They’re always occupied with some prop. This is not just a reflection of his Sun in Gemini (Gemini rules the hands and lends lots of fidgety nervous energy to the Sun), but it comes back to that Mars-Uranus conjunction in the first. His characters tend to carry sharp, pointed objects – blades, swords, scissors, sticks etc. Mars of course rules sharp, pointed objects, particularly those that cut and Mars in Virgo further suggests dexterous digits. In the first house, this facet of his chart has become a big part of his on-screen identity, in a weirdly Uranian way.  

Isn’t this fun?

What about the rest of his chart? After all this talk of his characters as unconventional outsiders, look at that Moon in Capricorn in the 6th. This is a man who takes his work very seriously and needs to follow the rules, if only his own rules. Note also the Jupiter in Aries in the 9th, a placement that suggests the urge to jump right in and take big risks on things he believes in whenever the opportunity arises. However, a very tight square to Jupiter from the 6th house Capricorn Moon suggests that Depp has a good business sense and will only take a calculated, well thought out risk. For example, he was told that Jack Sparrow would be career suicide, but instead, Jack’s become one of the most successful movie character franchises. Far from stereotyping him, Sparrow has actually expanded Depp’s appeal into the mainstream, while still allowing him to play the weirdest and wackiest oddballs in Hollywood. Besides, you try stereotyping someone with Mars conjunct Uranus in the 1st house!!!

What about his reputation? Look at the Taurus MC, with its ruler Venus highly dignified in Taurus and conjunct Mercury in the 10th. This strongly suggests someone who comes across to the world as charming and attractive, someone idealistic on the one hand / idealised on the other.

Finally, it doesn’t seem to matter how often Depp ‘uglifies’ himself with costumes and make up, he can’t escape his heartthrob status. After all Neptune, (glamour, illusion, idealism, romanticism) makes a nice creative Quintile aspect to the Mars-Uranus conjunction suggesting that his weird, oddball characters only add to his personal allure. It’s no mistake that Depp still regular shows up in the list of top ten Hollywood heartthrobs!

With love,

Friday, 4 February 2011

Talkin' About The Revolution ~ Aquarius Quotes

With the Sun in Aquarius, here are a few words from some well known water carriers....note the number of wonderfully strong and opinionated women in this list...Oh and the quotes also reflect their Moon signs...Enjoy!

I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.
Virginia Woolf, Author, Sun Aquarius-Moon Aries
Other Aquarians with Moon in Aries: Alan Alda, Anton Chekhov, Joe Pesci

If a person loves only one other person, and is indifferent to his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism and Security is when everything is settled. When nothing can happen to you. Security is the denial of life.
Germaine Greer, Feminist/Author, Sun Aquarius-Moon Taurus
Other Aquarians with Moon in Taurus: Geena Davis, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Hoffa

We should reach out to people to try to go after the fans the way other sports do. Because we can't just depend on the fact that it is a great game.
John McEnroe, Tennis Legend, Sun Aquarius-Moon Gemini
Other Aquarians with Moon in Gemini: Manuel Noriega, Jack Benny

As long as I retain my feeling and my passion for Nature, I can partly soften or subdue my other passions and resist or endure those of others.
Lord Byron, Poet, Sun Aquarius-Moon Cancer
Other Aquarians with Moon in Cancer: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Farrah Fawcett, Christian Dior

People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.
Dan Quayle, American Politician, Sun Aquarius-Moon Leo
Other Aquarians with Moon in Leo: James Joyce, Gypsy Rose Lee, Sonny Bono

When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that.
Gertrude Stein, Author, Sun Aquarius-Moon Virgo
Other Aquarians with Moon in Virgo: Vanessa Redgrave, John Travolta

I had a lot of resentment for a while toward Kim Novak. But I don't mind her anymore. She's okay. We've become friends. I even asked her before this trip for some beauty tips.
Kim Novak, Actress, Sun Aquarius-Moon Libra
Other Aquarians with Moon in Libra: Burt Reynolds, Rip Torn, Natalie Cole

An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so must be willing to accept all the experiences life has to offer. In fact, he must seek out more of life than life puts at his feet.
James Dean, Actor, Sun Aquarius-Moon Scorpio
Other Aquarians with Moon in Scorpio: Placido Domingo, Mario Lanza, Jules Verne

Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.
Oprah Winfrey, Entertainer, Sun Aquarius-Moon Sagittarius
Other Aquarians with Moon in Sagittarius: Robert Burns, Charles Dickens, Mozart, Lewis Carroll, Mark Spitz, Alice Cooper

There are people who are suffering beyond description. They are innocent people, they didn't bring this upon themselves. They are the victims of the sins of other people. And while it's hard to see, it's important to understand that these people exist.
Mia Farrow, Actress, Sun Aquarius-Moon Capricorn
Other Aquarians with Moon in Capricorn: Rutger Hauer, Charles Darwin

You have to struggle a bit, hustle a little, and be willing to go bankrupt. Once you're willing to do that, everything opens up and you get the freedom.
Nick Nolte, Actor, Sun Aquarius-Moon Aquarius
Other Aquarians with Moon in Aquarius: Lana Turner, Lorne Greene

The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it's going to go and where you'll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don't let anyone deter you from that.
Eartha Kitt, Singer/Actress, Sun Aquarius-Moon Pisces
Other  Aquarians with Moon in Pisces: Paul Newman

With love,

Astro date from
Quotes from

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Astrology For February ~ Thoughts and Dreams

As we move into February, the Sun is in the independent sign of Aquarius, so a very happy birthday to all you lovely Water Bearers out there. But are Aquarians really as eccentric and unconventional as they seem? Yes and no! Click to read about the paradox at the heart of Aquarius…

We also start February with Jupiter fresh in Aries….See A Jupiter in Aries Brainstorm for a bit of astro-word play for this exciting combination.

At the end of January, Saturn in Libra turned Retrograde and indeed will stay Retro right through until June. These next few months are therefore a good time to review, amongst other things, your relationships. See Saturn in Libra Retrograde: Relationship Revision Time, if you haven’t already.

So to February…

February 3rd: New Moon in Aquarius ~ Sort Your Head Out

The dark of the Moon is a good time to pause, sort your head out and plan for the month ahead. This New Moon is Trine Saturn in Libra, making it especially good for setting goals and applying them with discipline, particularly any goals and objectives that involve collaborations with others. With Saturn newly retrograde, it may be that you need to re-review previous objectives. Who knows, with this New Moon in innovative Aquarius you might well find a better, more original way of relating. Mars in Aquarius conjunct the New Moon adds dynamism and a sense of mission, but also warns against over-reaction and emotional touchiness.

February 3rd also coincides with two planetary sign changes, which can help you with your New Moon planning…

Mercury into Aquarius ~ Original Thinking

This placement calls for innovative, original, forward-thinking. Breaking the rules to get to a new point of view is permitted. Quick wit, a quirky turn of speech and astute powers of observation are typical Mercury in Aquarius traits, but there can be a tendency towards intellectual point scoring or saying something controversial merely to stir a reaction.

Venus into Capricorn ~ Seriously Supportive

Note the mutual reception between Saturn in Libra and Venus in Capricorn – they are in each other’s sign, supporting and cooperating with each other. Like I said about the New Moon’s connection to Saturn, it’s a good time for setting and applying relationship goals and getting involved in mutually beneficial collaborations with others. Under Venus in Capricorn, we are more willing to take partnerships and relationships seriously, building them carefully over time. On the downside, relationships can feel a little cold and businesslike. Financially, this is a time for saving and not for splurging. Count those pennies and cut out those coupons.

February 9th: Chiron into Pisces ~ Water Over Rocks

Chiron dipped its toe into Pisces from April to July last year before retrograding back into Aquarius. This February, Chiron re-enters Pisces where it stays for the duration. See my post Chiron in Pisces ~ Water Over Rocks for my take on this ingress.

February 14th: Nodes into Sagittarius-Gemini ~ A New Balance

After approximately 18 months traveling through the Capricorn-Cancer axis, the Moon’s Nodes move into the Sagittarius-Gemini axis. Nodal sign changes symbolize a shift in the cosmic karmic energies, presenting us with a fresh invitation to find balance in the areas related to the signs involved. This is especially poignant if the Nodes make a transit to a planet or angle in your birth chart.
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February 18th: Full Moon in Leo ~ The King vs. the People

Everything becomes clearer under a Full Moon phase. This is payoff or payback time for plans hatched and actions taken during the New Moon and First Quarter Moon phase. The few days before the Full Moon press us to act, especially as this Full Moon falls across 29 degrees of Leo and Aquarius, the fifth and last Full Moon in a row to fall in the urgent last degree of its sign.

A Full Moon draws our attention to the two signs the Sun and Moon fall in, so what are the issues for Leo and Aquarius? The Leo-Aquarius axis symbolizes the need to balance the individual need for personal gain and acclaim with the need to help, support and be equal to everyone else. Aquarius will never deny Leo’s right to be king, but will absolutely insist that the king serves his people with integrity and honesty. Teamwork and delegation of authority is everything to Aquarius and selfish greed is just not acceptable. Aquarius teaches that ultimately it is through serving the group, the community, the team, our friends, that we gain the honor and significance that is so crucial to Leo. Conversely, Leo teaches Aquarius that sometimes you have to take the lead if the cause is important enough. Somebody has to stand up for the masses, rebel against the status quo and shake the system up, if there is to be any chance of a lasting change for the better and what better than Aquarian energy to do this!
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February 20th: Sun into Pisces ~ Quotable Fishes

Instead of describing what Pisceans are supposed to be like, I will let them speak for themselves, so come back here in early March for some quotes from some well known Pisceans that also reflect their Moon sign…

February 22nd: Mercury into Pisces ~ Dream On

After the shake ‘em up energies of Mercury in Aquarius, we move into a gentler style of communication with Mercury in Pisces. This placement doesn’t care too much for detail or accuracy. It’s all about absorbing and expressing feelings and moods. Want a direct answer from Mercury in Pisces? Forget it. At worst, you will get an out and out fib, but Mercury in Pisces doesn’t mean any harm it simply wants to please by telling others what they want to hear! Mercury in Pisces times are good for listening – to others, to your dreams and to your intuition.

February 24th: Mars in Pisces ~ Random Acts of Kindness

Mars in Pisces prefers to go with the flow rather than being proactive. This can make it difficult for Mars in Pisces for stand up for itself or to express anger. However, don’t underestimate what can be achieved with a bit of gentle, persuasive manipulation! Mars in Pisces’ energy is best directed into creative pursuits and random acts of kindness.

February 25th: Jupiter Square Pluto ~ The Growth of Power

Jupiter and Pluto have been making a series of square aspects since July last year (an aspect that was part of last summer’s cardinal-t-square) and the last in the series occurs this month. An article on this cycle of faith, belief, growth and power struggles coming soon...

Enjoy February

With love,

Note: the above lunations and ingresses will be most pertinent to you if they touch one of your natal planets or angles. For example, the Chiron ingress will connect with your chart if you have planets or angles in the first couple of degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces). This represents an important transit and will be worth following to see how it is reflected in your life. Similarly, the Nodal sign change will connect with you if you have planets or angles in the last couple of degrees of the mutable signs of the first degree of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn). The sign changes for the fast moving planets – e.g. Sun, Mercury and Venus - do not represent major transits if they hit something important in your birth chart, but are still interesting passing influences.

Quincunx, Aversion & Venus in Libra

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