Has the UK entered bear market territory?


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Financial Astrology: An analysis of the FTSE 100

Bear market blog

Bull and bear , symbolic beasts of market trend

Last month, just as the 2016 Davos Summit got underway and the Sun moved from Capricorn to Aquarius, newspaper and the financial media headlines begin to fill with doom and gloom as the FTSE 100 index, which represents UK’s Top 100 blue chip companies, plummeted to a low of around 5673 points – some 20% lower than the trading highs it reached in April 2015 of around 7103 points, which by definition is considered to be bear market territory.

FTSE 100 15-16 year graph_edited

Extracted from the BBC Business website. Graphics care of Digital Look.

The reason? On the face of it, China’s economic slow-down, along with a lower than average slump in oil prices, which have seen the black gold fall to just under $30 per barrel. Although prices have since picked up again somewhat, the market remains volatile, with the FTSE 100 remaining in 5000-6000 point territory.

So are we headed for another 2007-8 style global recession? Certainly, it is this fear which is driving many private investors and pension fund managers into switching their portfolios to safer options, anxious to protect their dwindling savings and meager returns, already hit by the poor interest rates that have become something of the norm since the 2007 global crash.

No doubt many forecasters will be getting out their crystal balls, touting all sorts of systems and formulae that claim to track the trends of recent decades. I am no financial expert, and financial astrology is something rather new to me,  so while I do not profess to be any kind of guru on the subject, I couldn’t help but notice a number of trends that seemed interesting from a financial point of view.

First of all, if we look at a graph of the FTSE 100 index for 2015-16, we notice that, apart from the odd peak over the summer of 2015 (when the Greek Euro Crisis finally seemed to resolve itself) share prices have been steadily falling. However, they really seemed to bottom out around September 2015, after which they rallied again over the Christmas period before crashing again this week in the lead up to the world Economic Forum in Davos.  This appears to coincide with the 2015 solar eclipse in Virgo, which took place on September the 13th. So, could there be something to this?

Scouring the net for answers, I came across a website that suggested a strong correlation between stock market/property prices and the 18.6 lunar cycle that astrologers refer to as a Saros Cycle. This study was based on the work of a trader named William Delbert Gann, who claimed to have identified a number of planetary cycles that correlated with the ups and downs of the US stock market.

William D Gann & Financial Astrology

A highly successful broker, Gann apparently made a small fortune for himself and his clients by using astrology and sacred geometry to time his trades and choose his options on the New York stock exchange and the Dow Jones commodities market. A curious Sun Gemini with an intuitive natal Moon-Uranus conjunction, and a stellium of planets, including a Mercury-Pluto conjunction, in Taurus, it is easy to see why Gann was so remarkable. Aside from his photographic memory (Mercury-Pluto), which allowed him to store and compare large amounts of data (rather like a super computer today), he was also a big proponent of the scientific method, constantly refining his ideas by testing them against reality (Taurus stellium) as well as a gifted astrologer with a finely tuned gut instinct (Moon-Uranus conjunction)  which he used to determine when and what trades to make. Of his methods, he is alleged to have said:

I have determined the major and minor time factors which repeat in the history of nations, men and markets.  I have determined this to mean that the planets rule our destinies.  I believe in the stars, I believe in astrology, and I have figured out my own destiny.  It is right for us to understand them..and interpret the secret and hidden things.

Although these remained largely a proprietary secret, Gann did share some of his theories with the world via a series of books, published between 1909 and 1959. Of these, two catch my eye. First of all, it is alleged that Gann’s trading year is first divided in half, equivalent to 6 months or 26 weeks, which is then sub-divided into smaller fractions.2 Another of his cycles is alleged to revolve around a pattern that allegedly mimics the peaks and troughs of the US stock market, which roughly runs for 18 years and 8 months and is encapsulated in the following table.3

Ganns 20 year cycle, supposedly modeled on the interactions between Jupiter (boom) and Saturn (bust), which includes a numerology-based key based on year endings

Lunar Links?

Although this is supposed to mimic the cycle of interaction between Jupiter and Saturn – the planets representing boom and bust in financial astrology, the numbers intrigued me for another reason –  eclipses  – after all, six months or 26 weeks is roughly the period between eclipses in any given year, and it is the 18.6 year interval in the Saros cycle which determines the gap between eclipses of similar astrological identity, thereby creating different so-called Eclipse families, each with a different ‘character’ which start at either the north or south node and gradually work their way towards the other nodal point over the space of a millennium or so. For example, if you consider the blue lines marked C on the graph above, you will find that each of these years mark a sequential unfolding of solar eclipses from Bernadette’s Saros Families – bounding from north to south nodes – as follows:

1791 – Saros Series 10 North (27 Sep in Libra)

1810- Saros Series 10 South (4 Apr in Aries)

1828 – Saros Series 11 North ( 9 Oct in Libra)

1847 – Saros Series 11 South (15 Apr in Aries)

1865 – Saros Series 12 North (9 Oct in Libra)

1884 – Saros Series 12 South (27 March in Aries)

1902 – Saros Series 13 North (31 Oct in Scorpio – only just – 1 degree of Scorpio, so very near to the cusp with Libra)

1921 – Saros Series 13 South (8 Apr in Aries)

1939 – Saros Series 14 North (12 Oct in Libra)

1958 – Saros Series 14 South (19 Apr in Aries)

1976 – Saros Series 15 North (23 Oct in Libra)

1995 – Saros Series 15 South (29 Apr in Taurus)


If we take the list forward in time, the line continues as follows:

2013 – Saros Series 16 North (03 Nov in Scorpio)

2014 – Saros Series 16 South (29 Apr in Taurus)

2014 – Saros Series 17 North (03 Nov in Scorpio)

2015 – Saros Series 17 South (29 Mar in Pisces)

2015 – Saros Series 18 North (13 Sep in Pisces)

In the table above, the lines marked by C are supposed to corrolate to years when there is panic in the market – and indeed, the Sep 2015 eclipse is EXACTLY when the FTSE started to experience major and ongoing volatility  – which seems to corroborate my hunch that the September 2015 eclipses may have some kind of relational link to the drop in FTSE 100 share prices.

Here is another another pattern related to eclipses which I manged to identify in the table above – the lines largely marked by ‘E’. This time, though, instead of switching from north to south Saros Series, the list descends at intervals of 2 eclipses per SOUTH Saros series, and brings us finally to the eclipse of March 2016. See below.

Mar 2016 – Saros number 130 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (18 South)

Feb 1998 – Saros number 130 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (18 South)

Feb 1979 – Saros number 120 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (17 South)

Feb 1961 – Saros number 120 – Solar eclipse in Aquarius (17 South)

Mar 1942 – Saros number 148 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (16 South)

Mar 1924 – Saros number 148 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (16 South)

Mar 1905 – Saros number 138 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (15 South)

Feb 1887 – Saros number 138 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (15 South)

Feb 1868 – Saros number 128 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (14 South)

Feb 1850 – Saros number 128 – Solar eclipse in Aquarius (14 South)

Feb 1831 – Saros number 118 – Solar eclipse in Aquarius (13 South)

Feb 1813 – Saros number 118 – Solar eclipse in Aquarius (13 South)

Mar 1794 – Saros number 146 – Solar eclipse in Pisces (12 South)

According to the key, these should equate largely to high, rather than low stock prices, although this seems to occur every OTHER YEAR in the row. So does that mean that stock prices will rise again close to the Solar Eclipse in Pisces that we are due to experience in February 2017? We’ll have to wait and see…Possibly we could infer from the entry D in the key, which falls between these two lines, that 2016 will indeed be a year in which global stock markets remain in bear territory.

The Moon & Crowd Behaviour

Lunar cycles, and the lunar nodes in particular (the point where eclipses generally take place) have long been associated with the ‘herd mentality’ that can lead to phenomena such as panic buying or selling, and which in turn, can cause or significantly influence trends that might otherwise not really be of consequence.

Many modern exponents of crowd behaviour theory have suggested that humans do not follow rational lines of action but instead, tend to respond emotionally to external circumstances. Such ideas have now received wide acceptance through the works of theorists like Vernon L. Smith, Amos Tversky, Daniel Kahneman, and Robert Shiller. So the fact that lunar (or soli-lunar) cycles may be able to partly explain panic buying and selling trends makes sense. According to one well-known financial astrologer, Malcolm Bucholtz, the reason why the Moon is so useful in forecasting the stock market is because:

Today, we are so busy in our half-crazed world that we have lost sight of the fact that the planets affect our emotions. The financial markets are nothing more than a gigantic exercise in emotion. Fear and hope are the two primary emotions that govern the buying and selling activity on all global markets.4

The FTSE 100 and lunar movements

FTSE 100, birth chart, LSE, financial astrology

FTSE 100 Inception Chart

According to well-establish financial astrologers such as Christeen Skinner, eclipses are a well-known catalyst for market turning points. Skinner also points out in her book, The Financial Universe, that within the astrological tradition, certain countries or currencies are ruled by certain planets – and in the case of the UK, which operates in Pound Sterling (i.e silver), that planet would be the Moon.

Lunar indicators also have another special significance for the FTSE 100 index, which we can see if we look at its inception or ‘birth chart’, set for its first day and hour of trade – 4 January 1984 at 07h50, which is when the markets on the LSE open for trading.

Lunar Signatures

  • From the above, it is clear from the conjunction of the Sun & Moon in the first house, that it is New Moon. Generally, this might be considered a good time for a new business venture. However, there is a slight downside in that the New Moon is in Capricorn, a zodiacal position where the Moon is considered to be weakened or in detriment.
  • The other thing that is interesting about the chart from a lunar point of view is that Uranus, ruler of the 2nd house of money and possessions, is close to the soli-lunar nodal axis (it is conjunct the south node) in the 11th house of groups and collective activity.  I would therefore expect innovation and sci-tech companies to be a big driver of the FTSE 100 index. Furthermore, I would also expect this particular index to be quite susceptible to sudden, sharp, herd mentality-driven nervous market reactions to environmental changes/news, especially around eclipses, because these tend to take place along the nodal axis.

Given all the factors above, you would expect some kind of correlation between FTSE index share price movements and lunar phenomena. However, it would probably also be irresponsible of me not to mention Mercury, the planet of trade and monetary/currency exchange, which is not only rising i.e. on the Ascendant, but is also stationary, about to go retrograde.

For the sake of research, let’s do a small experiment and compare the last few years of FTSE 100 stock market dips and troughs to eclipse cycles and see what comes out of it.

A mini experiment

FTSE 100 Jan to Feb 2016 chart_edited

FTSE 100 share index – Jan – Feb 2016

Above is a chart reflecting the movements of the FTSE 100 index between Jan and Feb 2016 – i.e the last month. We can clearly see several sharp falls, notably, around January the 9th/10th and again around the 20th before prices start to rally again towards month end.  So what was happening at these points?

In the case of the first dip, there was a New Moon in Capricorn on Sunday the 10th of January 2016 – which fell on the weekend – the same weekend that David Bowie died. Things were definitely at a bit of a low ebb astrologically. Not only did the New Moon occur very close to Pluto, the planet of death and dark imaginings, but Venus also made a conjunction to malefic party-pooper, Saturn, ruler of Capricorn – the sign of the New Moon (and the FTSE’s AS) on Saturday the 9th. This occurred at 12 degrees Sagittarius – very close to the Uranus-south node conjunction in the FTSE 100 birth chart. Put together, these two cosmic events may well have caused a pessimistic sentiment to set in. Just a few days before, on the 8th, Jupiter, the planet of luck and optimism, also turned retrograde, which may have further dampened outlooks.

So what of the 20th? Again, a number of soli-lunar phenomena seem to have been at work. Firstly, the Sun ingressed into Aquarius on afternoon of the 20th – in and of itself no big deal, except that Aquarius is a sign in which the Sun is considered to be in detriment. Furthermore, there was a Full Moon on January 24 – again a Sunday – which puts the last trading date leading up to this event Friday the 22nd – pretty close to when the market seems to have turned from down back to up.

Initially, then there do seem to be some significant correlations between soli-lunar phenomena and FTSE fluctuations. But of course, this is a very small sample, so perhaps we need to look at a longer period of time to see if anything else stands out.

FTSe 100 Dec 15 to Feb 16 Three month graph_edited

The FTSE 100 share index – Nov 2015 – Feb 2016

Here’s a three month graph dating between Nov 2015 and Feb 2016 where we can see some clear ups and downs occurring at fairly regular intervals, including a slump in share prices between 10-17 Nov, again between 8-15 Dec and then ones we’ve already looked at in January. The same thing happened in October when the FTSE 100 index fell around 2% for three consecutive days around the time of the New Moon in Libra (October the 13th) amidst lower than expected figures released by China which showed signs that all was not well in the world’s second biggest economy. One analyst was quoted as saying:

In the short-term, sentiment appears to have turned substantially negative again … Chinese inflation data has come in well below expectations overnight.

Again, the FTSE dip in November seems to coincide with the New Moon in Scorpio, which took place on the 11th of November, with steady rises occurring around the Gemini Full Moon on the 25th. On the face of it, this seems counter-intuitive – there being a very auspicious Mercury-Jupiter sextile on the same day  – until we consider that the terrorist attacks in Paris took place on November the 13th – just two days after the New Moon. Then the rather ominous conglomeration of Sun, Moon and Mercury in vengeful Scorpio, right on the FTSE’s natal Saturn/Midheaven begins to take on a new light. This is forcible downward pressure being brought to bear on any aspirations for success/growth by deadly fear and intimidation. Many commentators have suggested that a similar situation occurred in 2001 when the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000 was rapidly followed by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which sent the global economy sliding into a mini-recession. In another article, I hope to look at this event a little more closely to see whether any significant comparisons/parallels can be detected between global and market conditions in 2001 and 2014-15, so keep your eyes peeled for it in the near future.

FTSE Nov New Moon chart

A similar picture emerges in early December, with share prices falling close to the New Moon on the 11th of December. This time, the Sagittarius New Moon is located in the 12th house of the FTSE 100 chart (the house of hidden fears, secret enemies and worry) and very close to its Uranus-south node conjunction, suggesting a build-up of nervousness and possibly contagious panic linked to catastrophe thinking.

FTSE Dec New Moon chart

On this occasion, transiting Mars was also opposing transiting Uranus, which happened to be contacting the FTSE nodal axis from the 3rd and 9th houses, suggesting that news headlines at home or developments abroad, may have played a role in stock market falls around this time. At this time, people were concerned about a possible interest rate rise by the US Federal Reserve Bank in mid-December 2015 and what it might mean for the world economy. Certainly, over the autumn and in the lead-up to the 16th of December, when the announcement finally came, financial newspapers and economic commentators were filled with warnings from organisations like the IMF and Washington-based IIF that such a move could trigger a third wave of global recession, sparked by possible mass defaults by corporate borrowers, unable to service their dollar-based debts due to an evaporation of foreign credit and ever weakening currency levels. One could see how heightened emotions, including hysteria and mass panic, might lead people to divest themselves of investments or just cut and run, as they did on Black Monday back at the end of August 2015 when the Chinese stock market faltered – at that time, the Moon was also in Sagittarius.

So, looking at the yearly overview then, it might be fair to say that Share prices first began to tumble post Black Monday (end of August), a trend catalysed by the September eclipses which then led to increasing levels of volatility, possibly led by lunar-driven herd mentality, that has peaked at every new moon since then.

Generally, solar eclipses last for six months, so if I am correct, then this trend should continue until at least the February lunar eclipse later this month. Whether the downward trend continues may depend on the nature of these soli-lunar events – something I hope to evaluate further in my Spring Eclipse Forecasts – look out for these on the Eclipses section of http://www.astro-sphere.com in the near future.

To be continued…




  1. Extracted from http://cyclesresearchinstitute.org/pdf/cycles-economy/Applied1-GANN.pdf
  2. Mentioned in  a biographical article about Gann entitled ‘William Gann – A Legend. Who was William Gann?’ published in FX Trader Magazine – http://www.fxtradermagazine.com/technical-analysis/William-Gann-square-biography.php
  3. ‘The 18 Year Property Cycle,’ Astro Analyst website  – http://www.astro-analyst.com/18-year-property-cycle/
  4. Malcolm Bucholtz’s ‘Investing Success website – http://www.investingsuccess.ca/about-me/


Is Cheryl another Liz Taylor?


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The Astrology behind Cheryl’s Tragic Love Life

Media reports have been hinting for some time about a less than happy marriage between Cheryl Fernandez Versini  and her second husband – something which seems to have been confirmed in a Sunday news report this week which claimed that she had filed for divorce. The sign seemed to have been there for a while though, from her increasingly gaunt appearance and recent public tears during a break-up song performed during on the X Factor to the absence of images of them out together in recent months.

After a disastrous marriage to footballer Ashley Cole which ended in 2010 amidst allegations of infidelity, Cheryl met and married current spouse, Jean Bernard, after a whirlwind romance of just three months.

This sort of track record led me to wonder whether, like Halle Berry, Cheryl might have certain signatures in her birth chart which might reveal clues as to why she seemingly keeps picking the wrong man. Having had a closer look at what I believe is her correct natal chart, I think I may have found he answer.

However, before we begin, I feel I must say that there is still a great deal of speculation with regards to her correct time of birth. According to Lois Rodden’s Astrodatabank, her unauthorized biography by Sean Smith contains an astrology chart which lists her birth time as 8:28PM on the 30th of June 1983 in Newcastle.

However, talk of birth certificates leads me to question this time – in the UK, time of birth is not listed on birth certificates, so this information may be open to question. Having had a look at the chart for that time, it is my belief that she was, in fact, more likely to have been born at 8:28AM and that there may have been a mix-up or misunderstanding with regards to this which led to an error. However, at this stage I cannot confirm anything to be true or false – this is merely my opinion – and I will show in my analysis below of Cheryl’s natal chart why I believe this time to be correct.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini best guess

First of all, Cheryl is known for her beauty and style – she has won several lucrative endorsement contracts for beauty brands such as L’Oréal, and fans never seem to tire of hearing about her latest hairstyle or clothing choices.

The signature of good looks in any female chart is classically Venus, and her we have Venus in the first house of physical appearance, orbiting very close to the Ascendant. Secondly, Venus is in Leo. Many people with Leo prominent have great hair – their locks mimicking the magnificent mane of the lion – and in Cheryl’s case, she has definitely been blessed with the most incredible thick, glossy hair – no doubt one of the reasons she has been the ambassador for a number of haircare brands over the years.

What’s more, Venus also happens to rule Cheryl’s midheaven in Taurus  combination that is quite prominent in the charts of famous singers, Taurus ruling the throat.  A further indicator of musical talent and a career in pop is her natal Neptune, the planet that rules ephemeral art forms such as photography, film and music, located in the 5th house of creativity, which is trine to her Taurus midheaven and her prominent Venus in the first house.

Cheryl’s Ascendant is Leo, which makes her chart ruler the Sun, whose chart and house position can often indicate how  we can make our mark and where we shine brightest. In this chart, the Cancer Sun falls in the 11th house of groups, and it was as a member of the girl popgroup, Girls’ Aloud, that Cheryl first rose to fame in 2002 as part of the reality TV singing contest, Popstars: The Rivals. It therefore seems fitting that she happens to have Mars conjunct Mercury, which rules her third house of self-expression, close to her Sun in the 11th house. Mars rules competitions of all kinds and also happens to sextile Cheryl’s midheaven, which is fitting for someone who found career success and prominence (MC) by competing (Mars) to sing (Taurus) in a girl group (11th).

So far, so radical, in my opinion…

What of her love life? Well, let’s return to her natal Neptune for a second. As well as children and creativity, the 5th house also rules love affairs, sex and romance. Neptune in enthusiastic Sagittarius in the 5th could also be suggestive of someone who is a bit of an incurable romantic, and who could rush into relationships. The fact that Cheryl’s Neptune also opposes her natal Mars suggests to me who can be quite impulsive and not always exercise the best judgement when it comes to love and sex. Further indications of impulsivity include a lunar square to Cheryl’s natal Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, located on the cusp of her 5th house (Jupiter is also the ruler of her 5th house cusp, a double whammy!) – a highly unpredictable combination suggestive of someone who makes on the spot decisions, likes to take a gamble when it comes to romance and who is not afraid to experiment creatively.

Furthermore, Cheryl has the Moon in Pisces in the 7th house of marriage and long term relationships. Pisces is a very soft, trusting sign. Placed here, I would be concerned that Cheryl may not have good emotional boundaries and perhaps be too quick to trust others or give of herself within one to one relationships. Both sacrifice and victimhood can be associated with Pisces, and if she does indeed have the Moon in Pisces in the 7th, I would advise her to be more careful about whom she lets into her life/inner circle because otherwise she is open to being manipulated or taken advantage of, deceived even, by those close to her.  The T-square involving Cheryl’s natal Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, Moon and Chiron only reinforces this: Jupiter rules her 5th house of sex/romance, Uranus rulers her 7th house cusp (marriage) and Chiron signifies where we are vulnerable, so to me, this configuration screams of someone who likes to believe the best about others but who may be a little vulnerable/naïve/overly optimistic about her relationship prospects and so does tend to rush into marriage/commitments, leaving her open to gossip and very public rejection (think of the Ashley Cole tabloid saga).

However, you know the saying ‘Marry in haste; repent at leisure?’ Well, sadly, in Cheryl’s case, this does seem to be very true. She really does seem like an incurable romantic who does not exercise very good judgement when it comes to men. If she’s not careful, though, she could end up like Elizabeth Taylor, a Sun Pisces, who married eight times during the course of her life, but who never seemed to be able to find lasting love with anybody. I think that with such a prominent Chiron, that her weight loss and public emotional displays are all indicators that all is not well for Cheryl emotionally and sadly, suspect that she may be punishing herself physically for what is happening within her marriage.

If I was advising her as an astrologer, I would tell her to try and tap more into her natal Saturn in Libra. Saturn in Libra can create stability in marriage/relationships (although her Saturn-Pluto conjunction does also hint at plenty of drama in this department, especially in terms of her family relationships), and with the Moon in the 7th trining this steady planet, there is hope for Cheryl to have a solid, lasting long term relationship, provided she demands honesty (Pluto) from loved ones, avoids drama and stops herself from jumping in the deep end emotionally. With Saturn also ruling the 6th house of work and day to day routines I think that Cheryl is someone who finds that work grounds her and keeps her sane, so she should throw herself into work whenever she feels a love wobbly on the horizon. That said, she also needs to make time in her schedule for loved ones and prioritise those everyday rituals or routines that help to keep her on an even keel, despite all her work commitments. Work-life balance is very important if she is to enjoy a happy domestic life, as is equality and fairness  – more balanced give and take within close personal associations rather than self sacrifice and punishment on her part.

And whatever she does, she needs to learn to listen to her intuition  – very often, I think she knows when things are not right, but then the optimist simply ignores these signs. The trick in distinguishing what is real from what is fantasy is time – WAITING until one gets a number of signals, one way or the other, before making a decision. She may also want to listen to what family has to say about any potential suitors, however brutal this may sound – they may well turn out to be right.

Whatever does happen, her natal Pluto-Saturn conjunction suggest that Cheryl is a fighter and a real survivor, so even if her marriage ends, I do think she will eventually get into her stride relationship-wise, perhaps once transiting Saturn ingresses into her 5th house early next year.

Let’s watch this space.

UPDATE: Cheryl has now begun divorce proceedings and has since confirmed that she is romantically involved with Liam Payne of One Direction. She has also dropped her married surname and just goes by her first name. Let’s hope she has better luck with Liam. It is interesting to note, given the content of this article, that Cheryl herself is alleged to have said that she feels cursed when it comes to love.(see this article: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/showbiz/511015/Cheryl-Fernandez-Versini-Liam-Payne-cursed-romance-Jean-Bernard-divorce) I don’t believe one has to simply accept one’s lot – fate is negotiable – one can take back control by empowering onesself with knowledge about one’s own natal chart and then working with the stronger parts to compensate for the weaker bits. Choice, character and chance are equally powerful contributers to our ultimate destiny.

China, Astrology & the ‘Third Wave’ – Are we in for another global economic slowdown?


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On Monday the 25th of August 2015, the Chinese stock market crashed for the second time this year, sending shockwaves around the world; and global markets, into freefall. On this day, which has come to be known in trading circles as Black Monday, nearly £74 billion was wiped off the UK’s FTSE 100 Index, with similar losses felt across both the US and Europe.

According to experts, this was the biggest stockmarket crash since the global recession in 2007, and  for many, a troubling sign that all is not well with the world’s biggest economy  – one that has so far managed to buck worldwide trends and post double digit growth rates for the last decade or so.

So what was going on?

For a while now, economists and financial journalists have been saying that China’s growth rates were unsustainable, mainly because they were artificially created through state intervention. As a result, this market rectification was far from unexpected in financial circles. Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Rob Donaldson, head of M&A and private equity at Baker Tilly Corporate Financehe said:

Over the last few years, tens of millions of individual investors in China – who vastly outweigh institutional investors (80/20 versus the other way around in the developed markets) – have been encouraged by the State apparatus to plough their money into shares. This has pushed prices up far beyond their fundamental value and what we are now seeing is a painful, but perhaps necessary, return of common sense.

What is perhaps more surprising is the degree of knock-on effects to share prices on the FTSE and across European markets, but we should perhaps be wary of undue panic. Fundamentally, the Chinese economy was always going to slow…

Other analysts are less optimistic, with some even predicting that we could be headed for a 1929 style crash or third wave of economic volatility as China’s growth rate begins to slow.

So who is right? Will China plunge the world into another recession, or is it just a temporary blip  – an adjustment that needed to happen sooner or later – in order for China to come into line with international trends?

Given all this uncertainty,  I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the astrology of the crash to see if it offered us any useful insights into China’s prospects and the possible implications of this crash for the rest of the world. Astrology has long been used to predict trends in the stock market. Financial astrologers such as Christeen Skinner have built very successful practices from offering their astrology-based advice to clients looking for ways to hedge their financial bets. Let’s see if it can offer an insights into the wider implications of Black Monday…

Black Monday – A mundane astrology analysis

View enlarged PDF: Black Monday Event Chart

Above is an event chart for Black Monday, set for midday in Shanghai, where China’s main stock exchange is based. Although you could argue that the downward slide actually began on Sunday the 23rd, it was only on Black Monday that the real crash, which affected worldwide markets, happened.

This chart is interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it has a rather ominous Scorpio Ascendant, which hints at dark undercurrents and shadows lurking just out of sight.

Saturn, the planet of loss, limitations and difficulties, is also rising.  Saturn rules fear and its presence here seems symbolic of the 50% spike in the ‘fear index’ – a measure of investor confidence – that occurred on Black Monday (Saturn also happens to rule the colour black, so even the title given to this particular day appears to echo this planet!)

Secondly, the chart ruler, Pluto, is located in the 2nd house of money (which corresponds to the economy and wealth of a country in mundane astrology), making the chart radical (our focus in this reading is very much on economic affairs) and hinting at the possibility of hidden dangers tied up in this situation. Its position in Capricorn, which governs rules and institutions,  seems to point to these hidden dangers being somehow connected to the Chinese economic system behind the scenes.

And indeed, finance journalists such as Robert Peston have been warning us about the hidden extent of China’s rising debt problem, caused largely by what have come to be known as China’s ‘shadow banks’ – an apt name, given the involvement of Pluto here. Writing in 2014 ahead of his BBC documentary on the subject, entitled ‘How China Fooled the World’, Peston made this rather chilling statement:

Anyone living in the rich West does not need a lecture on the perils of a financial system that creates too much credit too quickly. And in China’s case, as was dangerously true in ours, a good deal of the debt is hidden, in specially created, opaque and largely financial institutions which we’ve come to call “shadow” banks.

There are no exceptions to the lessons of financial history: lending at that rate leads to debtors unable to meet their obligations, and to large losses for creditors; the question is not whether this will happen but when, and on what scale.

Many economists worry that a debt bubble in this sector could lead to another worldwide recession, or what some are referring to as the ‘third wave’ of the global credit crunch that began in 2007.

In a recent article in the Economist entitled ‘Shadow Banking in China: Battling the Darkness’ (how apt, considering Pluto’s involvement!), one analyst wrote:

China’s economy is slowing. It has grown by 7.6% for the past two years, the slowest rate since 1990. Several trust products have defaulted, although investors in most of them have got their money back one way or another. Over $400 billion-worth of trust products are due to mature this year—and borrowers will want to roll over many of those loans. Many observers worry that investors will lose faith in trusts, prompting a run, which may, in turn, blight certain industries and other parts of the financial system. No country, pessimists point out, has seen credit in all its forms grow as quickly as China has of late without suffering a financial crisis.

So, was Black Monday a result of China’s shadow banking chickens coming home to roost?

Certainly, it may be no small coincidence, that just weeks before Black Monday, on the 15th of August, a number of shadow banks, notably trust companies, made an appeal to the Chinese government for a bailout via an open letter. This came a week after the Chinese government devalued the Yuan and on the same day that stock markets in Europe, the US and Australia began to post losses as investor confidence in the Chinese economy began to wane. As an astrologer, it would therefore seem to me that Pluto in Capricorn in the second house represents the Chinese financial system, which has been severely affected by growing investor fears (Saturn) and a loss of confidence in the market.

So, are these fears justified, or is there a certain amount of panic and hysteria going on?

This is where the Moon comes in. As ruler of the 9th house of foreign relations, it certainly seems to represent foreign investor sentiment and their reaction to the situation. Placed in Sagittarius, a combination that can often result in exaggerated emotion and a tendency to over-react, we could well be looking at a case of market jitters and panic selling caused by spooked overseas investors trading in foreign markets.

However, the Moon is also located in the first house, which seems to implicate China itself in contributing to and a participant of, the mass hysteria. And, indeed, in the months leading up to Black Monday, the Chinese government gave off signs of panic as it moved to intervene and stabilise the market via a number of measures, including its suspension of the trade on new stocks in early July, followed by a currency devaluation on August the 10th to shore up exports, as well as a number of interest rate cuts.

In fact, one writer described the Chinese government’s reaction to the crash as ‘pushing the panic button’, an apt turn of phrase, given this Sagittarius Moon, whilst more recently, another pundit described China’s continued policy of interest rate cuts (they recently announced the sixth since November 2014) as a sign that China is “getting more and more desperate” and that “things are really bad there.”

But are these fears justified?

If we look at the aspects of Pluto and the Moon, we get the idea that any losses would hit the domestic market in China far harder than any overseas investors, and that China’s moves may have been in a bid to protect the many so-called ‘Mom and Pop’ investors who have been encouraged to buy shares in the Chinese stock market by the government. The square between the Moon and Chiron in the 4th house (which rules the common people, land and property) suggests that this is a major vulnerability in the system right now, along with the construction and property industries, areas where China has invested heavily in recent years via massive infrastructure projects designed to stimulate growth.

Furthermore, the ruler of the second house is lucky Jupiter, which in this chart is located in the 10th house close to the Sun, which in and of itself, looks fairly positive. The word ‘faith’ also keeps cropping up in relation to investor confidence, and as ruler of the 2nd house located in the most public position in the chart – the 10th house –  the condition of Jupiter would, astrologically speaking, provide a good barometer of whether or not faith is likely to be restored in the Chinese market. What confirms this relationship is Jupiter’s conjunction to the Part of Faith – from an astrological point of view, this seems pretty equivocal.

On the face of it, Jupiter’s strong angular position on the Midheaven, conjunct the Sun certainly makes it look likely that faith/confidence in the market is likely to be restored. The question is how, and here, it may be significant that both the Sun and Jupiter are newly-ingressed into thrifty and efficient Virgo, a world away from the excesses of flash and flamboyant Leo, which is where Jupiter and the Sun were both located in June 2015 when the Chinese stock market reached an all time high. This suggests that a public change in economic tack by the Chinese government (MC), perhaps via a clear political plan to restructure the shadow banking industry (after all, Pluto in Capricorn in the 2nd is calling for far-reaching reform), together with some rule changes, careful governance and a more modest but realistic projected growth plan, could well be the secret to restoring market faith. A point to note here is that Jupiter is in detriment in Virgo – as the planet of excess and leadership, Jupiter probably doesn’t do well being modest, servile or thrifty – all qualities associated with Virgo, so it may be an uncomfortable process for China to have to tighten its belt, be answerable to the rest of the world and perhaps cut back a bit on all those lavish building projects? Nevertheless, needs must and all that!

On the positive side, the trine between the Moon and Venus in the 9th house suggests that the government knows that, in order to restore confidence in the market, it needs to be seen to be calm, confident and on top of the situation. Putting on a bit of a show and strengthening diplomatic ties are both classic PR tactics, and it is probably therefore no surprise that not long after Back Monday, the Chinese president made a state visit to the UK – one of the world’s most important financial centres and a key trading partner for China. This show of strength was further emphasized by the fact that president Xi Jinping was invited to stay at Buckingham Palace, and indeed, the Queen seemed to be pulling out all the stops to make the Chinese leader feel welcomed and important (Venus in Leo in the 9th and the Sun conjunct MC & Regulus anyone?).

In his speech to members of the British parliament, the Chinese supreme leader, also made a point of saying that the fates of the the UK and China were “increasingly interdependent”. Fate is in an interesting choice of word…and on this note, it is interesting that in the Black Monday chart, Saturn is sextile to Mercury and the North Node in Libra (the nodes being very much associated with the workings of fate, and Libra being the sign of peace and harmonious diplomatic relations), making the speech highly significant, almost as if the Chinese themselves had consulted their astrologers and made a similar observation… Of course, the North Node also happens to be in the 11th house of parliaments/democracy/collective rule, so this aspect may also have some political implications for the Chinese government, with its poor track record with regards to matters such as democracy and human rights issues. Perhaps the one silver lining to come out of Black Monday, then, will be increasingly close relationships between China and the West, and in turn, a liberalisation of its political system?

On another level, the impending sextile between Mercury, ruler of the 10th and 11th houses (=government, leadership political rulers) and Saturn, ruler of the 3rd house of self expression, PR, press, announcements  etc, also seems to point to a return of political stability and an end to any fears regarding the economy via messages/signals of reassurance.

Indeed, perhaps because of China’s unusual economic set-up, some economists think that the global fallout from a Chinese economic slowdown will not be as bad as some fear:

…the risks of financial contagion from China’s stock market crash to the rest of the world are limited, because most losers will be Chinese companies and Chinese individuals. That’s unlike the crash of 2007, when the whole world had bought into the US sub-prime boom.

Some have even given several reasons to be optimistic, citing things like cheaper imports, and a reduced risk of interest rate rises in the UK and the US. On this front, there have already been some winners and losers, as the UK steel industry can attest to.

As if to reinforce the largely positive message that seems to be arising from this chart, Pluto happens to be making a sextile to Neptune, ruler of the 4th and 5th houses. To me, this points to Black Monday being more of a wake-up call to the Chinese government that it may be time to restructure their economy so that it protects domestic interests (4th house, Neptune in 4th) and bring future growth forecasts more into line with those of the rest of the world (Jupiter in Virgo in 10th = modest, more realistic).  By moving to protect the domestic economy and being more realistic about growth prospects, they are less likely to face an internal political rebellion.  And with protests continuing to break out on the streets and squares of Beijing, this seems like a very smart move on their part indeed.

A last word must go to the trine between the Moon and Uranus in the 5th house of speculation and gambling. This points to some kind of surprise move on the part of the Chinese designed to restore confidence. The 5th house rules children and the birth rate, as well as sport, entertainment and gambling or speculation – could we expect a surprise announcement freeing up speculative banking regulations or a loosening up of China’s one child policy? Demographically and economically, it would make sense. As one reporter put it: low fertility rates, a rapidly ageing population and a shrinking labour force will inevitably put immense strains on the economy in the decades ahead, so a further relaxation of this policy beyond its 2013 announcement doesn’t seem that crazy. Who knows?! Let’s wait and see what happens…

Suffice it to say, Uranus is an unpredictable planet, so anything is possible and if the astrology is correct, then the world needn’t panic just yet. Perhaps the message to take away is that China may not shake the world in quite the way we expect!

UK Election Postmortem


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Elections followup Graphic

After the surprising, even shocking results of the UK’s May 2015 general election, culminating in the mandate for a clear Conservative majority government, I thought I should write a follow-up column to my election forecast for May the 7th.

Who, for instance, would have thought that by lunchtime the day after the elections, three party leaders would have resigned and that the Scottish national Party would have gained no less than 50 new MPs? Many forecasters, including myself, were confounded by what happened.

The first hint that the forecasts and opinion surveys may have got it wrong came at around 9pm, when the results of an exit poll, conducted by Ipsos Mori, was announced, stunning everyone because it ran completely contrary to any previous poll or prediction. Despite initial incredulity, as the night unfolded, many people began to realise how accurate it was in terms of mapping out what the final results of the 2015 UK General Election would be.

Clearly, there were some hidden and unforeseen forces at play that none of us had really bargained on – and, as it happened, these ended up playing a major role in the outcome at the polls. So why was this the case?

Firstly, this election proved to be different from any previous election in recent memory for a number of reasons, including:

  1. The rise of nationalism across the UK, which affected voting in Scotland and saw a swing away from many of the other major parties, including the Lib Dems towards UKIP and the Scottish Nationalist party;
  2. The obvious influence of social media in reaching and influencing the youth vote;
  3. The upswing in the UK economy and the desire by the electorate to see this continue;
  4. A clear resurgence of faith in democracy/re-engagement in politics – voter turnout was the highest since 1997, running at roughly 66%.

From an astrological point of view, I can now see the signature, not only of the spring eclipses, which played out in some rather unexpected ways, but also the strong influence of Pluto, expressed through the brilliant Sun-Pluto trine which took place on May the 6th and its transit through the natal charts of several political leaders, along with its role in the cardinal cross of 2010, culminating in three years of the (thankfully now waning) Uranus-Pluto squares that has been prominent since 2012. [i]

Some of these were not so apparent at the time of my first forecast (and clearly I wasn’t alone in missing them – most of the forecasters were left flabbergasted by what happened.)  I suspect this was down to a combination of things, including last minute/out of the blue choices (hello, Uranus!) from those who were undecided and people voting strategically or not being entirely honest with pollsters/canvassers about how they really felt (Pluto).

Still, here is my take on the astrology of what actually went down.

A subtle shift in the balance of power: Sun-Pluto

Given the Sun-Pluto trine (= shift in the balance of power) that took place on May the 6th, just a day before people went to the polls, I think Pluto had quite a big influence on the way people ultimately decided to vote. In general, I think it led to more strategic, as well as punitive voting decisions, with many people voting Conservative to keep out an SNP/Labour coalition or to quash the UKIP campaign, or alternatively, to punish the Lib Dems for not standing up to the Tories on key policy issues, thereby leading them to renege on things they had promised to deliver in their manifesto. This very much expresses the retributive side of Pluto.

However, Pluto is also in Capricorn – a conservative earth sign – which doesn’t make people too keen on change, risk or chaos, while the Sun in Taurus suggests a preference for leaders with a sensible but steady leadership style, which is much more in tune with David Cameron’s way of doing things than Ed Milliband’s call for socialist revolution. As a result,  this Sun-Pluto trine would have made voters more inclined to stick to the status quo and with politicians they know, rather than take risks with an unknown, unproven prime minister like Ed Milliband.

As I wrote in my first election forecast, when looking at the eclipse charts in relation to the birth charts of the major party leaders, I noticed that Pluto seemed to make close contact with major points in the charts of several UK party leaders.

What I didn’t always appreciate was what a dramatic role Pluto would have in the resignations of:

  • Ed Miliband – who has Pluto currently going over his Midheaven, which seems to have brought about an end to his current position as leader of the Labour Party, and may possibly dramatically transform his future role in politics.
  • Nick Clegg – who has Pluto approaching a conjunction with his natal Sun in the second house  – a transit that will last for some time, no doubt prompting him to reassess his position within his party (Scorpio rules his 11th house of groups), his personal and political values, and his ability to lead the Lib Dems. His resignation as party leader comes as the Moon in Capricorn moves to join Pluto, thereby activating this potent transit.

In general, the Sun rules leaders and leadership, while Pluto is associated with dramatic, sometimes irrefutable endings and transformation, so you can see how this transit, although positive, may have played a role in the change of guard we saw in terms of political party heads. Thus, this aspect is literally about a shift in power, and in some cases, heads rolling.

The hand of fate

From the outset, I always felt that the spring eclipses would play an important role in the elections. However, as with all prediction work, I wasn’t always right about how this would unfold.

Here’s what I see now in retrospect is the planets at work in:

  • The rather unexpected non-election of Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, despite all the hype and the fact that UKIP still ended up coming third in the election.
  • The political comeback of David Cameron and the Conservative Party, despite what looked like a dead cert loss to Labour because of UKIP
  • The election of Boris Johnson as an MP, as a I wrote in my eclipse predictions column, this is a man whose star is very much on the rise, and who is being tipped as a contender for the position of Conservative Party leader when Cameron steps down.
  • The huge spike in popularity for Nicola Sturgeon – in the wake of Alex’s Salmond’s resignation post Scottish independence elections, and the massive surge in the number of elected SNP MPs, she seems emblematic of both an upswing in Scottish pride and the arrival of a new generation of dynamic female politicians to Parliament where the fairer sex remains sadly under-represented.
  • The political demise of Ed Miliband – was choosing to partner with Ed Balls & Yvette Cooper, both Pisceans, a wise move, given that the one did not get re-elected and the other one now seems all happy to put herself forward for election as Ed’s replacement, just moments after Ed resigned?

Let’s look at some of these in closer detail…

Nigel Farage – Not with a Bang, but a whimper

Many people, including myself, were somewhat surprised that after all the publicity and hype surrounding UKIP as well as the pretty strong astrological indicators in the March 2015 solar eclipse chart, that Nigel Farage failed to get elected, losing to the Conservative Party candidate for Thanet by some 3000 votes.

All the signs were there: The Sun & Moon, both in Aries, positioned in his 7th house at the time of the March solar eclipse, indicating a new six month phase for him in terms of public relations, possibly one that included increased popularity and a new public-facing role. Instead, however, his political enemies neutralised his election bid by throwing extra campaigning resources at the constituency where he was standing. And rather than responding positively to his outspoken frankness and fighting spirit, the vast majority of the electorate (the Moon) seem to have rejected his rather abrasive and polarising rhetoric (7th house) – so that, in the end, his Conservative opponent beat him and UKIP only managed to get one seat in the House of Parliament.

This disappointing result for him just reminds us that a Sun-Moon conjunction (solar eclipses always occur during a conjunction of the Sun and Moon) is considered to be neutral by astrologers and can very much go in a number of different ways. Firstly, the eclipse indicated a change for him  – just not the one we (or he!) expected – and secondly, the 7th house is also a tricky position – it is the house of partnerships, but also of enemies. In this case, it seems they saw the threat he posed and acted fast to counter it – to their credit – which just goes to show that destiny is very much negotiable! Furthermore, although David Cameron’s Sun happened to be located very close to the eclipsed Moon in the April Lunar Eclipse chart, the Prime Minister was also due to experience his Jupiter return in Leo not long after the elections, so it may well be that this rather fortunate transit saved his political bacon!

This outcome can also be further explained by the opposition between transiting Neptune, ruler of his Descendant, and Farage’s natal Pluto-Uranus conjunction on the AS in Virgo from the 7th house  – active on the day of the May elections. Although his party may have gained in popularity, it seems as though Farage himself is not cut out for a life in politics. If anything, his Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo and combative, undiplomatic Aries Sun points to a man who is better off remaining an armchair critic – he is  too much of a non-conformist and a rebel to be part of the political establishment and seems to function best as an outsider, using shock and awe tactics to gain press attention and popular support for his message.

Boris Bounces into Parliament

As I mentioned in my first blog on the subject, Boris Johnson is a politician very much on the rise.  After his success as London Mayor, many people are beginning to see him as a potential successor to David Cameron, who has indicated that he does’t intend to remain at the helm of the Conservative Party for a third term whatever happens.

His re-election as an MP (after a spell in the political doghouse for getting involved in a number of sex scandals) does seem, from an astrological point of view, to be the beginning of what could be a very successful period for him career-wise. Looking at Johnson’s transits on transits on election day (May 7th 2015)  it seems significant that his chart ruler, Venus, is conjunct his natal Sun in Gemini, the sign of the politician, in the 9th house of the law – a position that seems to reinforce the astrological indicators present in the solar eclipse chart (Boris’ natal Sun-Venus conjunction is rising).

What’s more, both transiting Venus in Gemini and the Sagittarius Moon (ruler of his Midheaven = career status, public standing) are straddling (one could say, activating) Johnson’s nodal axis, suggesting that destiny may be at work in terms of his re-appointment as an Member of Parliament. The hand of fate seems to be further reinforced by the fact that the nodal axis of the transit chart happen to be straddling Johnson’s AS-DS axis.

To add to all the auspicious auguries, Johnson’s natal Jupiter is being aspected by both the transiting Sun and Pluto, which suggests that may may benefit directly from the Sun-Pluto trine we were discussing earlier.  In astrological terms, then, he looks good to go! Let’s hope he doesn’t ruin everything by having another affair…

Girl Power

The 2015 election was also a victory for women in politics – the number of female MPs rose by 30%, which I think is symbolised by the prominence of Venus – the ultimate femine symbol – in Gemini – the sign of the orator and politician – which is found on the 7th house cusp of the UK General Election chart.

Nowhere was this better illustrated than by the increase in popularity of Nicola Sturgeon, the former deputy to Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland who took over from him after he resigned amidst disappointing results in the wake of the Scotland Independence vote. Under her stewardship, the Scottish National Party went on to win 56 out of 59 possible seats for Scotland in Parliament – a historical record, especially if you consider that in the previous election, they only manage to win 6!

Of course,  the first thing that springs to mind is Margaret Thatcher  – the first female prime minister of Britain – and it is rather telling, if a little ironic, that Sturgeon cites her hatred of Margaret Thatcher as one of the main drivers of her political career. In the Daily Mail, she is quoted as saying that:

‘Thatcher was the motivation for my entire political career,’ Sturgeon later recalled. ‘I hated everything she stood for. This was the genesis of my nationalism. I hated the fact that she was able to do what she was doing and yet no one I knew in my entire life had voted for her.’

These days, of course, she is more likely to be compared to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who ranks just above her in terms of Facebook popularity with regards to female politicians. From an astrological point of view, the two women have even more in common: both are Sun sign Cancerians with the Moon in cool, level-headed Aquarius. Both also have Venus in no-nonsense, pragmatic Virgo. However, one major difference is that Sturgeon has Scorpio, as opposed to Sagittarius, rising, which may be why journalists and critics often refer to her as ‘merciless’, ‘dangerous’ and earlier on in her career, ‘spiky’. No doubt she and Hilary Clinton, a Sun Scorpio, could swap a few anecdotes about these rather sexist labels.

Aside from the rise of what the Scotsman newspaper has dubbed the ‘Cult of Nicola,’ and what she means for girl power, a more pressing question for the UK is what the SNP election results may mean for the union with regards to future devolution and Scottish independence,  and tied in with this, the political fate of Alex Salmond.

So, can anything be gleaned from comparing the charts of Sturgeon, Scotland, its political union with Britain and the 2015 General Election?

Scotland’s First Minister shares some interesting synastry with the astrology of her homeland (I am using the Aries ingress chart of 842 AD for this study, as advocated by Nicholas Campion in his book, The Book of World Horoscopes).

  • Firstly, Nicola’s natal Venus is conjunct the Ascendant and Jupiter of the Scotland chart, suggesting that her values and the beliefs/political ideals of her countrymen are very much in alignment.
  • Furthermore, her natal Mercury feeds into the Grand Cross present in the Scotland chart involving the nodes, a Moon-Uranus conjunction, Saturn in Capricorn and Mars in Cancer – a configuration that suggests defensiveness and a desire to break away from a financial dependency on England in much the same way as a teenage boy seeks autonomy from his mother, and yet remains very much financially and emotionally dependent on her/the status quo, signified by Saturn in Capricorn in the 5th house of children. Thus, we can expect Sturgeon to vocalise this via her Mercury and in terms of her financial proposals in relation to Westminster. However, given the almost karmic aspect of this configuration, it does seem unlikely that this will be achieved quickly or with ease.
  • That said, her natal Pluto in Virgo, if placed onto a composite chart with that of the 1801 United Kingdom chart and that of Scotland itself, sits directly on the Virgo Moon of the Union chart and Part of Fortune in the first house of the Scotland chart. From this, I would deduce that she will push Alex Salmond’s devolution agenda and could end up being being a key agent of change for Scotland, possibly even helping it to achieve greater independence from Westminster. However, this seems unlikely to be a political devolution, but rather a financial one, if Sturgeon’s natal Uranus in Libra is anything to go by – it sits int he second house of the Scotland chart (money/income/finances) where it opposes the Uranus in Aries of the 1801 chart, located in the 8th house of the Scotland chart.

Of course, this analysis could end up becoming very detailed, and I don’t think this is the place for that. I shall save further analysis for a future blog.

People Power & Political Re-Engagement – Uranus

Overall, then when it come to this election, it seems clear that the fallout from the recent Uranus-Pluto squares, which finally came to an end in April 2015 after nearly three years of upheavel and chaos, also seem to have changed the political landscape for good.

One BBC commentator called this a highly ‘modern’ election (which sounds terribly Uranian) and indeed, in many ways, it was. The (up until now) untested role of social media and the internet (again, Uranus rules technology) seem to have set a precedent for how political campaigns will be conducted in the future, and will no doubt continue to play a major role in reaching young voters.

The effect of social forces (people power, anyone?) and the youth vote – all very apt for Uranus in Aries – seems to have led to a resurgence of engagement with the political process (aptly symbolised by Pluto in Capricorn). As I mentioned earlier, voter turnout was the highest its been for nearly 20 years!

I suspect that Uranus in Aries seems to have played a role in reviving the very 60’s idea that the individual (Aries) can make a difference if they team up with other like-minded people (Uranus) and challenge the status quo (Pluto in Capricorn) – something we’ve seen a lot of in recent years, as we have seen from the Arab Spring.

Furthermore, many of the more progressive political parties have done a lot of fundraising online via crowdfunding platforms – the green Party in particular was very successful at this. And I suspect that this will be a trend that will continue for some time – certainly as long as Uranus is in Aries.

The only sad thing for me about this election was how badly the Liberal Democrats were affected – I do think that the newspaper journalist, James Kirkup, was right when he said that history will treat Nick Clegg and his party much more kindly than the voters did in this election. I noticed that the Conservatives took a lot of credit for coalition policies that were actually proposed by the Lib Dems, including the raising of the non-taxable threshold, more money for diasbled children in schools (pupil premium), reform of the banks, same-sex marriage and defending civil liberties such as internet privacy and reforming the libel laws to protect people from criticising academics and firms who publish research, amongst other things. (See these info-graphics for some summaries)

With the Liberal Democrats recently announcing the appointment of their new leader, Tim Farron, it is interesting to me that Lib Dem membership has risen by over 18,000 since the General Election. In his first speech as leader, he said,

All political philosophies rest on a view of human nature. The Liberal view is an optimistic one… When afforded the freedom, dignity and respect that is due to all individuals, people generally show an enormous capacity to use their talents for good.

My first core value, therefore, is liberty – the right of people to make the most of their lives: free to develop their talents, to say what they think and to protest against what they dislike according to their own values, free of a controlling, intrusive state and of a stifling conformity, and free to choose their own occupation or to set up their own business. A diverse society is a stronger society.

Obviously fairness and liberalism are not about to vanish overnight, and as a Libran, I am gladdened by this.


[i] For a recap/summary, see http://astrostyle.com/pluto-uranus-squares/ and Steven Forrest on the 2010 Cardinal Cross that kicked it all off – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUcJW1Hfj4k

UK General Election Predictions


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Elections Graphic

As voters go to the polls today, I thought it was a good idea to have a look at the astrology around what promises to be one of the most exciting general elections for some time, to see what it might tell us about possible outcomes. Given the nature of  the recent Spring eclipses , together with yesterday’s Sun-Pluto trine, it may well be that the 2015 UK General Election, set for 7 May 2015, could hold a few surprises in store.

As I mentioned in my April 2015 Monthly Astro-Insights column, the solar eclipse which took place on the 20th of March, seemed to hint at a possible reprise of what happened in May 1997.

Why do I say this?

First of all, the last time we experienced this set of eclipses was in Spring 1997 on the 9th of March 1997, when there was a solar eclipse at 19 degrees, followed by a lunar eclipse at 4 degrees Libra on the 4th of April 1997. Given the links with this set of eclipses to Spring 1997, one can’t help but wonder if there are going to be a few surprises at this particular election.

In addition, the March 2015 solar eclipse forms part of the 17 South Saros family – the same eclipse family active during 1997 when Tony Blair led Labour to a landslide victory, winning 43% of the vote – the biggest majority held by any UK government since 1935.[i] What’s more, this came after spending 18 years out of power, or ‘in the political wilderness,’ as some journalists have put it – the same amount of time as a Saros Cycle.

In astrological terms, there are shorter and longer cycles associated with eclipses. In immediate terms, solar eclipses usually set the tone for what is likely to happen over the course of the six months that follow them, while lunar eclipses, which occur at Full Moon, often signify the opposite – the ending/peak/culmination of a half-year period. However, over the longer term, the same eclipse does not repeat itself for 18 years. This is because of the orbital cycles of the Moon. However, eclipses that occur one Saros cycle apart always take place at the same nodal position, and therefore share similar geometries, that is, they occur at nearly the same distance from Earth and at the same time of year[ii].

In this case, we have two eclipses EXACTLY one Saros cycle part and in the same signs, so we are dealing with not just the more immediate future, but one that has strong links to the past.

From a symbolic point of view, I think it is interesting that in terms of the March 2015 solar eclipse, not only did it take place in the final degrees of Pisces, suggesting the end of a metacycle, but it also happened to occur on the same day as the Spring Equinox, thus echoing the themes which have been so prevalent since the Arab Spring, so could this mean we are in for a bit of a surprise in 2015?

Let’s have a look at these soli-lunar events in relation to the birth charts of some of the key players in this election, to see if we can get a sneak peak at the possible outcome.

LUNAR ECLIPSE – Who or What is on the Way Out?

if we look at the lunar eclipse in Libra, which is generally symbolic of endings/culmination points/what is leaving us; it seems to have spooky connections to David Cameron, leader of the Tory Party and current Prime Minister.

First of all, the Full Moon was very close in orb to a conjunction with Cameron’s natal Sun in Libra, which doesn’t bode well for his position as leader of Tories, if we consider that the Libran Moon is being eclipsed by the Sun in Aries. It may be somewhat ominous that Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, associated with anti-European and far right sentiments, happens to be a Sun Aries at a degree very close to that of the Sun at the time of the lunar eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse comparison Cameron Farage

In fact, if we transpose Cameron and Farage’s natal charts onto that of the 2015 Lunar Eclipse chart, we see that both politicians’ Suns are within 1 degree of the eclipse Sun & Moon respectively, so very close in terms of orb. Furthermore, Cameron’s Sun happens to be conjunct the IC of the eclipse chart. In symbolic terms, this puts Cameron on the nadir – the darkest part of the chart – not great for the light-loving Sun. This could suggest that his personal power and influence are on the decline.

If we look at Nigel Farage’s chart in relation to the Lunar Eclipse, we notice that both the Aries Sun, which is conjunct Uranus, is sitting smack bang on top of his natal Sun. What’s more, transiting Jupiter in Leo happens to be trining his natal Sun. I hate to say it, but this looks like a man who stands to shake things up on the political landscape and it seems to me that he has a lot of support from powerful people (Jupiter in Leo) to boot. Richard Desmond’s donation to UKIP seems to be a strong indicator that this could well be so. This is a man not to be laughed off for his rather chaotic and unsophisticated modus operandi. As astrologer Debbie Frank says, Nigel is definitely a blurter[iii], but perhaps for some, he is not afraid to give voice to what they secretly think but don’t have the courage to say out loud…

Farage and 2015 Lunar eclipse

At any rate, the Tories would do well to take this as a warning to do more to counter the threat potentially posed by UKIP who, although not taken terribly seriously, could split the vote sufficiently for Labour to get a majority. As they say, when it comes to all things British, never underestimate the underdog…

Of course, this weak position for Cameron may also simply mean that his power within the Tory party itself is, like the eclipsed Moon, on the wane? As if to confirm this as a strong possibility, it is worth noting that the Moon is the natural ruler of his 10th house, while the Sun rules his 11th house of friends and party memberships. The fact that these areas are highlighted by the March solar eclipse from the position of the 7th house (other people) does suggest that his position as Tory party leader may be in jeopardy – if not now, then within the next six months.

I do think that many people wrote him off after he admitted that he planned to stand down after two terms in office – something that many people construed as showing weakness. On this score, it may be significant that the Sabian symbol for the degree of the Libra lunar eclipse Moon is IN THE HEAT OF THE NOON, A MAN TAKES A SIESTA. According to Lynda Hill, this Sabian Symbol is all about the need to take a break or call time on something – perhaps Cameron is suffering from burnout or needs time to regroup post-election?

What about Nick Clegg?

Clegg lunar eclipse

If we look at Clegg’s chart in relation to the lunar eclipse, it is perhaps telling that the eclipsed Moon is conjunct Nick’s natal Mars in the 10th house, and in the sign of his Midheaven, which doesn’t bode well for his political career – it looks as though it, like the Moon, his public position may be eclipsed by someone with a brighter star, such as his compatriot, David Cameron. In addition, transiting Saturn is making a conjunction to his natal Moon in the 12th house, which hints at private disappointments/demoralisation, no doubt at the predicted erosion of the Liberal Democrat’s position – if polls are anything to go by, their share of the vote since 2010 has gone from 23% in 2010 to a predicted 8% of the vote this time around. Transiting Pluto sitting on Clegg’s Sun does look rather ominous…more on that later…

SOLAR ECLIPSE – A Sign of Things to Come?

Whilst the lunar eclipse shows us what is leaving us/ending, the solar eclipse, coming as it does at the time of the New Moon, is a good indicator of what is to come in terms of trends for the next six months.

David Cameron

Cameron 2015 Solar eclipse biwheel

Again, this doesn’t look so good for David Cameron. If we look at the March 2015 solar eclipse chart transposed onto David Cameron’s natal chart, we see the Sun and Moon in Pisces are conjunct his 7th house cusp – both allies and enemies are represented by the Descendent, so which of these prospects are we looking at here? Given that both are in his 6th house of work/health, and that they square his Midheaven (positions of public office), it does look as though he may lose his job as Prime Minister.

Nigel Farage

Farage and 2015 solar eclipse bi-wheel

Interestingly, in this chart, the Sun and Moon are located in Nigel’s 7th house – could this hint at a political partnership of some kind (perhaps with the Tories?) or does it put suggest some kind of opposition to his ideas and values? The one thing I will say about this chart is that the Eclipsed Sun makes a square to Nigel’s Moon, ruler of his 11th house of groups and position in society, which could mean that he is not really someone who is likely to be a) popular with the vast majority of the public; and b) may not be cut out for life as an MP – if he is elected to parliament, he may become disaffected with life within the political establishment, especially if he feels it interferes with his private life too much or forces him to have to conform to rules and regulations – with Uranus and Pluto rising, he is an non-conformist at heart and thrives as an outsider, criticising from the sidelines, rather than being centre-stage where he is subject to intense personal scrutiny and accountable to his constituency. Still, he may act as a catalyst – rather like Uranus, he may have the effect of setting off a bomb on the UK political scene before exiting stage left, leaving the other parties to deal with the fallout.

Boris Johnson

And then, there is also the ever-looming threat of Boris Johnson, current Mayor of London, who has decided to seek re-election as an MP this May, and who many insiders says is after the ‘top job,’ as it were. According to media reports,

The London mayor, who is seeking a return to parliament as an MP on May 7, is widely seen as a likely successor to David Cameron. The prime minister even took the unusual step of naming Boris as a potential future leader.[iv]

If we transpose Johnson’s natal horoscope onto the solar eclipse chart, one can’t help but notice that Boris’ natal Sun-Venus conjunction at 28 degrees Gemini is not only square to the Pisces Sun & Moon in the solar eclipse chart but, crucially, both are conjunct the Gemini AS of the eclipse chart. This implies that his star is literally, ‘on the rise’! See below.

Boris and 2015 solar eclipse

Further inspection of this bi-wheel reveals that Uranus, ruler of Boris’ natal Midheaven, is opposite Neptune in the 10th house of the eclipse chart, which in turn, feeds into Boris’ natal grand trine (involving his Sun, Moon & Saturn) via a Saturn-Neptune conjunction at 5-6 degrees of Pisces. Given the positions of his natal Saturn (10th), Sun (1st) and Moon (5th) in the houses of the eclipse chart, it does look as though he could be in for a career ‘lucky break’ within the next 6 months – perhaps one that might come about as a result of forces unleashed by the election? Could he turn out to be someone who benefits from Cameron’s misfortunes? Let’s see what happens…

Ed Miliband

Let’s turn now to Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition party and main political opponent of David Cameron for the position of UK Prime Minister. 

Miliband 2015 solar eclipse bi-wheelIn terms of the solar eclipse, we have the Sun and Moon in Pisces in Ed’s twelfth house of psychology, secrets and hidden enemies, perhaps suggesting that he is a bit of a dark horse. With his plodding Taurus Ascendant and serious Saturn rising, I think that Ed is often underestimated. The Sun and Moon are also conjunct Chiron – and certainly, during this election, he has really had to stand up and defend himself in public, especially with regards to the general sentiment that he comes across as a weak leader (Chiron) and is not a patch on his brother, David, who he notoriously stabbed in the back during the 2010 Labour leadership contest – a very stealthy, 12th house move that may have made people feel that, ultimately, he isn’t trustworthy! With his natal Sun in Capricorn in the 9th house, Ed is definitely a conviction politician and with the eclipse trining idealistic Neptune in the 7th house of his chart, it is certainly possible that he will win votes based on his stance on issues, rather than his sparkling and charismatic personality.

Of course, the one remarkable thing about this chart is Pluto on the Midheaven. Pluto is the planet par excellence of reinvention and transformation – and the image make-over we have seen him undergo during his public and TV appearances in this election has been dramatic and definitely bears the hallmark of Pluto at work. However, Pluto is also very much associated with irrefutable endings, especially when you consider that it rules death – so is Pluto hinting here at a screeching halt to Ed’s ambitions to be Prime Minister? Here it may be worth mentioning that is his chart is plotted onto that of the lunar eclipse, his Sun falls firmly on the Descendant, suggesting that as a representative of the Labour Party, his role will be to continue in the position of political opposition to the presiding government.

Given Pluto’s key role, it is also interesting to me that, the day before the election, on May the 6th, we had a Sun-Pluto trine in earth signs – a transit that often represents a shift in the balance of power. Could this be indicative of a Labour victory? Or does it point to a more generalised seismic shift in British politics, perhaps as a result of the influence of UKIP? Let’s see what happens. 

Nick Clegg

Clegg 2015 solar eclipse biwheel

For the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the solar eclipse Sun and Moon both happen to be conjunct to Nick Clegg’s Saturn-Chiron conjunction in his 3rd house, which suggests that whatever happens in terms of this election, he is likely to come away having learnt some major lessons from the whole coalition experience. Given the connection between the eclipse and his natal Sun in the 2nd house, he may also take things quite personally and question his own abilities if things don’t go to plan. Furthermore, his natal Sun is playing right into the Pluto-Uranus square, which has been very active over the last few years, becoming very much associated with youth disaffection/alienation from the establishment, as well as the growing disparities between rich and poor we have witnessed with growing alarm over the last decade or so. This does suggest that Nick’s main task, going forward, if he remains as leader of the party, will be to revisit Lib Dem party values and re-kindle trust in his party from young voters, many of whom felt betrayed by his inability to affect the coalition government’s decision to introduce university tuition fees. Given Pluto’s position on Clegg’s Sun and it’s rulership of the 11th house, I think that his party may well have to start again from the ground up and get to basics, including what values they stand for going forward. Clearly some difficult lessons will need to be learned. Of course, this Pluto, which rules Clegg’s 11th house of group memberships, also suggests that his leadership of the Lib Dems may be drawing to an end.

It’s not all bad news for Nick, though: The eclipse Sun and Moon also form a minor grand trine with Clegg’s natal Jupiter in Leo, which also happens to be his chart ruler, and his natal Moon in Sagittarius, ruler of his 8th house, which does hint at a possible coalition deal or joint venture  – will he decide to join forces with another minority party that more closely share his party’s values than, say, the Conservatives? Of course, with the eclipse affecting so many planets in the personal areas of his chart, he may well decide to seek a less public role, perhaps in the private sector or as a lobbyist, where he can pursue his goals/ideals and exert a more meaningful influence without feeling compromised or having to give way in terms of his position because of majority rule.  Much depends on whether or not he manages to keep his seat. Let’s see what happens.

Overall Trends – Sun-Pluto trine

Looking at the planetary transits leading up to this election, it certainly looks as though major power shifts, structural reforms and changes of leadership are all possible post May 7, especially given yesterday’s Sun-Pluto trine.

Could we be in for a change of government?

According to pollster, Ben Page, there seems to be a statistically significant (95% accuracy) link between the colour of the previous season’s FA Cup Final winning team’s strip and the political party most likely to triumph at the polls.[v] Last year, it was Arsenal, which has a red strip – is this an indicator of a Labour victory? Of course, much remains difficult to predict – this election really does come down to what the electorate decide on the day, so let’s see what happens.

As a final word, it may be worth noting that both eclipses make contact with the Part of the Honourable Acquaintance. With public trust and confidence in politicians at an all-time low, will this election help to make them more honest? Let’s hope so!

I think people are tired of campaigning by numbers and want to see a return of conviction politics. On this score, a possible hint that things may be heading in this direction comes from the Sabian Symbol for the degree of the Sun (29 degrees Pisces) in the solar eclipse chart, which is ‘the great stone face.’ According to James Burgess, this is symbolic of the desire to realise internal ideals and live a more authentic life.

Perhaps politics may well be rejuvenated after all as a result of this election?! In a cynical world where very little ever seems to change, that certainly seems like a far-off dream, but is a possibility that I for one would certainly not be unhappy to see happen.


[i] BBC, 1997: Labour landslide ends Tory rule,  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/basics/4393323.stm

[ii] You can get a recap of what a Saros cycle is here: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEsaros/SEsaros.html

[iii] BBC, Astrologer’s election prediction for political leaders, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27506219

[iv] Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/04/22/watch-kay-burley-finally-get-boris-to-admit-it-would-be-wonderful-to-be-tory-leader_n_7117722.html

[v] IPSOS Mori, Roger Mortimore, The Sweet FA Rule, p. 51 at https://www.ipsos-mori.com/DownloadPublication/1521_Ipsos_MORI_Almanac_2012.pdf

Royal Birth Imminent!


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Birth of Baby Cambridge

The news broke this morning that the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour, and was admitted to the Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington at 06:00am BST – very similar to the last time she gave birth to Prince George in July 2013.

It all seems terribly convenient that this just happens to be a bank holiday week-end and that we have an election next week, which would have been terribly messy and a nuisance for the politicians. But perhaps that is just my cynical Mercury in Scorpio at work here…

I had expected Kate to go into labour in the early hours of Monday morning, just after the Full Moon but it seems that Baby Cambridge is more affected by Mercury’s ingress into Gemini, which does lead to matters/events speeding up, than the lunar cycle. It does make me wonder if a) either she has very regular hormonal cycles; or b) whether she went in to be induced.

At any rate, what of a possible time?

Nativity Charts of Possible Birth Times

Well, seeing that this birth is following the same pattern as that of Prince George, could we expect a similar birth time of around 4:30pm? If so, then Cancer, the sign of births, motherhood and babies, will be on the Midheaven. Still, I prefer the birth chart for 16h00 BST, which has Venus in Gemini on the Midheaven – a sign possibly of a girl. That being said, it is interesting that Venus is in Gemini – the Twins – could we be in for a royal surprise? See my earlier blog post about this very possibility for more details.

Of course, very often during pregnancy, what starts out as a twins in the womb can sometimes turn into a single birth as the second baby either dies or is absorbed by the more dominant baby into its cells, as this woman discovered recently when she had a tumour removed from her brain that contained the remains of her embryonic twin. If this is the case, then a 4pm birth would make sense – it has Pluto in the 4th opposite the Part of Sons and Uranus in the 7th house conjunct the Part of Fatality, indicating the possible loss of a twin boy, but the North Node conjunct the Part of Life in the 1st house in Libra, which could indicate the survival (and birth) of a baby girl. Not that I would wish that on anyone, but it would explain the astrology of that particular moment a bit more clearly.

Still, very often second babies arrive much quicker, perhaps because of muscle memory which affects contractions in the womb, so it is very possible that we might hear an announcement much sooner than last time. If that proves to the case,  I am liking the birth chart for 15h00 – a Moon-Venus trine is set to take place just after 3pm BST and Jupiter in the regal sign of Leo will be sextile the Midheaven. If earlier, then I would plump for 11h30 – Jupiter in Leo is rising and the Moon, symbol of motherhood and births, is conjunct the IC (family, roots etc).

Of course, this couple have very much elected to control the flow of information surrounding this pregnancy and want to be in control of their own destiny, which is entirely understandable, so much around this birth remains unpredictable. Let’s see what happens…

Royal Baby Watch


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Royal Baby Watch – Can Astrology help us pick the birth date of Cambridge Baby No. 2?

royal baby II

Since the Duchess of Cambridge let slip that she is due ‘mid-end April,’   royal baby watch fever has well and truly begun to hot up to fever pitch.

As a continuation of my last blog on the astrology of Royal Baby Cambridge Number Two for Kate & William, I thought it might be a good time to look at some possible birth dates for the next royal Prince or Princess (or both, for that matter, if she is going to have twins…), as well as address the pressing matter of whether or not she is going to have twins.

Possible birth dates for Second Baby Cambridge

Given that the royal pregnancy had to be announced early due to a second case of severe morning sickness, it has been difficult to guess exactly when Baby Cambridge was likely to arrive. However, in the wake of a remark by the Duchess on a recent official outing that she was due during the second half of April 2015, speculation as to the likely birth date has gone into overdrive.

For whatever reason, the newspapers seem to have latched onto the date of April the 25th, although Kensington Palace has made it clear that this will never be confirmed or denied by royal officials.

So, unless the Duchess is planning to be induced and the press have somehow got wind of the designated date for this event, the exact birth date is still very much open to conjecture. Let’s see if astrology can offer us any clues.

First of all, it looks as though this baby wants to be a Taurus like the Queen, given that the Sun has just ingressed into that assign on the 20th – just as well, because I think an earth Sun would fit better with the rest of the family unit, who are just about all water or earth signs – there isn’t a lot of fire in the royal family beyond Princess Anne and the late Princess Margaret, who were both born under the regal sign of Leo.

Beyond that, all we can do is look at dates that might have the signature for a birth, such as a major Moon phase – after all, the Duchess went into labour at the Full Moon last time, which has been thought to induce birth – or which are significant for the couple, such as their wedding anniversary.

Here are my top picks:

April 26th

This date is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Moon will be conjunct Jupiter I Leo, which is perfect for dramatic announcements such as a royal birth. If Kate was born with Taurus rising, then Jupiter would also be the ruler of her 5th house cusp – the house of children, again reinforcing the idea of the birth of a prince or princess. Secondly, the Moon and Venus combine with Uranus over the course of the 26th and 27th to suggest a quick birth or surprise news surrounding the birth. Venus happens to be in Gemini, which might suggest the possibility of twins. Furthermore, fi we cast a chart for the time of the exact conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter, we get that very same Venus in Gemini on the Midheaven! That being said, I am not crazy about this as the chart for a royal prince or princess – we have the Sun in the 8th, which is not so great. Still, if this is a girls’ chart, then Venus on the Midheaven may be a nod to the late Princess Diana, who had Gemini as ruler of her Descendant at a very similar degree.

April 29th

The date of Kate and William’s wedding anniversary, this would be a lovely way to close the circle of their relationship and complete their family unit. On this day, the Sun in Taurus, which is in the same degree as the Sun on the day of their wedding, is due to sextile Neptune in Pisces. Neptune rules the 9th house is in the wedding chart – the house of god, according to ancient astrologers – and the house most associated with spiritual fulfilment, meaning and expansion. What’s more; Jupiter in Leo is rising – what better symbol for the first appearance or birth of a royal could there be?!

May 4th

The day of the Full Moon – and a month after the Libra Total Lunar Eclipse. As I have written elsewhere, the House of Windsor seems to have a strong connection to eclipses, so this date seems fitting for the birth of a Windsor. Furthermore, with the Moon Full, we have an echo of the day Prince George was born, which happened to be a Full Moon in Cancer – bringing the sign and planet of motherhood and birth together. This time round, the Full Moon falls in Scorpio. Both the Sun and Moon will be coming off of a T-square to Jupiter in Leo, which, in the Full Moon chart, happens to be in the 5th house of birth, which might suggest a difficult birth – will the child be very large? In this chart, Uranus is rising – as ruler of the 12th house of confinement and pregnancy, it might suggest a swift birth or the need for an emergency caesarean (Uranus is often associated with cutting).

Naturally, we could go on speculating until the cows come home, and let’s remember the stunning grand trine that looked like a sure thing for Prince George’s birth – until he decided to arrive two weeks’ late!

With this in mind, and given my positive experience using this technique last time, I have decided to cast a horary chart to see if we can get any clearer answers.

Horary Reading about the Birth

Royal Birth II horary

This is an interesting chart for a number of reasons. First of all, this is what horary astrologers would term a ‘third party’ chart, which essentially means that I am asking about a matter that concerns a person (Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) that I have no relationship to.

As such, the Ascendant would signify me, the astrologer (Mercury in Taurus on the Midheaven) and Kate is signified by the ruler of the 7th house in Pisces, which makes Neptune in Pisces the signifier for her. Neptune also happens to be in the 7th house, which seems radical.

To find a signifier for the baby/birth, we should look to her 5th house, which is 5 house cusps from the 7th. This takes us to the 11th house – which just happens to be ruled by Cancer – and contains the Moon in Cancer within it! Talk about radical for birth and babies! So far, so good. This also means that Venus, ruler of the MC, signifies the birth itself as it is Kate’s 4th house of motherhood. I would read the Moon in Cancer as symbolic of the royal baby.

The chart seems very radical indeed when we consider the aspects of the signifiers. The Moon is moving from a sextile to the Sun, ruler of the 12th house (confinement/pregnancy) and the ultimate symbol of kingship and royalty, to a trine with Neptune, signifier of the Duchess. This simple perfection shows baby and mother coming together = birth!

Now, to answer some important questions.

Will there be twins?

From the looks of this chart – no. The Moon is not in a double-bodied sign, nor is the sign on the cusp of the 11th (5th) double-bodied. The only testimony for twins is the fact that the 7th (Kate’s AS) is in Pisces, which is double-bodied. The fact that Venus in Gemini happens to ruler her 4th may simply point to the fact that Kate will now be a mother of two – George and the new baby.

The sex of the baby?

According to Derek Appleby, one must look to the AS, 5th house cusp and sign of the rulers to see what the average is in terms of polarity. In this chart:

AS (7th) = Pisces (feminine)

Ruler= Neptune in Pisces (feminine)

5th (11th) cusp = Cancer (feminine)

Ruler = Moon in Cancer (feminine)

All of this seems to be testimony for a girl…

Potential birth date?

Appleby says that for timing, one needs to look at the sign and house of the Moon to determine units of time to apply.

The Moon is the principal agent in timing. The length of time that will pass before a thing demanded will occur is calculated according to the quality of the house and sign occupied by the Moon, and the number of degrees distant she is from an aspect with the significator…Each degree of lunar motion equates with a day, week or year, according to…what is known as  – ‘The generally Accepted Measure of Time.’[i]

The Moon in Cancer is in a CARDINAL SIGN and a succeedent house (11th/5th) = weeks

Now, the Moon’s applying aspect to Neptune is 4.25 degrees of orb away. According to the calculation, this means that the royal birth is 4+ weeks’ away! Is that possible? Well, if Prince George was two weeks’ late and if you consider that it is sometimes hard to determine exactly when a baby will arrive, perhaps it possible that he or she will arrive in May…

Still, given how close we are to the Duchess’ due date, perhaps we might consider this to be days, rather than weeks, in which case, Baby Cambridge is due to arrive on the 27th of April.

As the Duchess has said before, babies have their own timing, and so, despite all predictions, we will now just have to wait and see when he or she decides to grace us with his/her presence.


[i] Appleby, Horary Astrology. The Art of Astrological Divination, p. 77

What Astrology Reveals about the Real Princess Diana


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diana chart pic

I recently had the privilege of working on a documentary about the late Princess Diana, which proved to be rather eye-opening on a number of levels. Like many people who grew up during the 1980’s and 1990’s, I was completely fascinated by her as a child, and her sudden and shocking death in 1997 left a lasting impression on me.

Over the years, she has indirectly touched my life in strange ways, the most notable being in 2001, when visiting Paris for the first time, I was nearly knocked down trying to cross a busy road near the Eiffel Tower. Not used to foreign conventions like driving on the opposite side of the road, I stepped into the street, only to be yanked swiftly back by my travelling companion, who was fortunately more switched on than I was and had seen the cars zooming out of the tunnel to our right. Once we had safely made it across the road, we headed up the slope to the Place de l’Alma, where we came across a monument shaped like a golden flame, on the top of the overpass. It was only when I read the inscriptions and written tributes surrounding the Flamme de la Liberté that I twigged that this was the tunnel where the fatal car accident that killed the princess and Dodi Fayed had taken place during that fateful night in August 1997.

In previous articles about eclipses, I have mentioned the strange connection between these soli-lunar events and the British royal family, Diana included – her wedding to Prince Charles took place two days after a solar eclipse (29 July 1981), and her first born, Prince William, arrived on the day of a solar eclipse on the 21st of June 1982. Charles and Diana formally separated on the day of an eclipse (9 December 1992) and Princess Diana died on the 31st of August 1997, one day before the solar eclipse of the 1st of September.

Conducting research into the last two years of her life, however, I was forced to confront the untainted, rather fantastical image I had of her as a child and see her for the complex, fragile and all too human individual that she was. When I first saw her astrology chart some years ago, I found it hard to believe that this was the person I had seen on television and in magazines – other than her obviously caring and nurturing Cancer Sun, I couldn’t relate the natal chart to the image of the woman I was presented with in the media. However, having recently had the opportunity of speaking to people that knew her, and read the detailed biographies written about her by journalists such as Tina Brown and Richard Kay, my natural inclination was to look at her natal chart again to make sense of everything.

NOTE: Here I should add that there is some discrepancy with regards to her time of birth. According to her first astrologer, Penny Thornton, Diana gave a birth time of 2:00pm. However, her this time was then corrected to 7.45 pm and confirmed in a letter to Charles Harvey from the Queen’s assistant press secretary as being from Diana’s mother. This is the time used by Debbie Frank, Diana’s astrologer for the last eight years of her life. As you can see, depending on what house system is used, her house cusps do change dramatically, so clearly some of the house placings I use here are somewhat elastic and open to interpretation.


Diana chart porphyryWith all this fresh insight into her motivation and character, for the first time, I could see why she had Sagittarius rising (enthusiastic, open-hearted, vivacious and athletic). Many people close to her described her as childlike and innocent, which can be true of Sagittarius, especially when combined with the Sun in Cancer – with this placement, people tend to become either very maternal or very childlike and need taking care of. Provided there are no other strong influences on the character, people with strong Sagittarius can sometimes be so honest and straightforward that they verge on the gullible and tactless. I think the combination of Sun in Cancer and Sagittarius AS probably made her very young at heart, as well as someone who liked to horse around and have a laugh and a joke.


Very often, we find certain astrological patterns running through families, and in Diana’s case,  I find it fascinating that Prince William also has the Sun in Cancer and Sagittarius rising. This may explain why the two polar opposite signs, Sagittarius and Gemini, seem to be so prominent for the Duke of Cambridge and his family (see my discussion about this in my  blog about the imminent royal birth). It is also interesting that he has both the Sun and Moon in Cancer. This double dose of lunar energy suggests that his mother (both in life and death) had an enormous influence on him, especially in terms of his emotional development. This theme seems to be repeated in his new family: wife, Kate, has the Moon in Cancer, and his son, George happens to be a Sun Cancer. We’ll look more at William’s chart later on when we consider Diana’s legacy.

Prince William natal chart


At the same time as having Sag rising, Diana has Gemini on the Descendant (witty, sociable and media-savvy) and a Sun-Mercury conjunction in the 7th house of relationships (emotionally intelligent, expressive and relationship-oriented). This suggests that, despite constantly putting herself down and calling herself ‘thick as a plank’, Diana was actually very quick to catch onto new concepts and understand what made people tick – something that no doubt allowed her to be underestimated by many people of more obvious power and stature. Many who knew her claim that she had an instinctive approach to decision-making (Sun in Cancer) but that although she wasn’t academically gifted, she was astonishingly bright. One woman friend who knew her well told Sally Beddell Smith that Diana was “sharp as a sharp pencil” and “fast with repartee. She got the point of stories. She got the point of all the people in the room.” It was probably also what made her an arch-manipulator of the press and public relations.

Diana had a sense of the media, a strong sense of how the royals could get their image right. You never saw pictures of her coming out of nightclubs with her skirt up. She never looked a mess, or inappropriate. And she was very strict with her children when it came to manners.[v]


Those close to her also frequently referred to her tendency to behave impulsively, sometimes erratically, and occasionally veer between extremes. In her biography about Diana, Sally Beddell Smith writes:

Because of her quicksilver temperament, Diana could slip easily from one mood to another, confounding those around her. “If she would say we will do this or go here, she was totally reliable,” said fashion entrepreneur Roberto Devorik, a long-time friend. “But in her actions, she was like a roller coaster.” In his eulogy, her brother Charles lauded Diana’s “levelheadedness and strength.” In some circumstances-giving advice or supporting friends in distress-she admirably displayed these traits. In many other situations, usually those in which she was emotionally involved, she could as easily be irrational and weak. “She was a curious mixture of incredible maturity and immaturity, like a split personality,” said one of her friends. “It was so extraordinary how she handled ordinary people, but at the same time she did silly and childlike things. She was very impulsive.

The key here is “emotionally involved” which immediately brings the Moon to mind. The fact that Diana had the Moon in Aquarius – a rather unexpected position, given that that it is usually quite stand-offish and cool, and can often result in emotional distrust and a difficulty committing emotionally – seems to reinforce the Uranian aspect of her character and may explain why sometimes she could be quite rebellious, erratic and impulsive. I think the impulsive behaviour to which Oonagh and others have referred was very much triggered by a natal T-square in Diana’s birth horoscope which incorporates the Moon in Aquarius (2nd), Uranus in Leo (8th) and Venus in Taurus in the 5th house of love affairs and gambling. She was rather prone to getting caught up in love triangles, and such a natal placement, taking in the houses of love affairs, sex & intimacy and the planets governing relationships and emotions, points very much to this pattern. A Moon-Uranus square can often cause people to feel like emotional outsiders or have abandonment issues, which may explain her early experiences with her stepmother, Raine, whom her father married secretly without informing his children, and her description of her marriage to Prince Charles as being ‘quite crowded’ because of the constant shadow of Camilla Parker Bowles in the background. The fact that she had the Moon in the second house of self esteem and self worth is also significant because it does point to a deep-seated insecurity which baffled many people, given how beautiful she was and how adored she was by her public.

She is also said to have had a tendency to get fixated with people. The art dealer, Oliver Hoare, for instance, had to call the police after his home was bombarded by over 300 silent crank calls – thought to have been made by the Princess of Wales, after she supposedly developed an obsessive crush on him.[i]  Such behaviour would not be out of character for someone with a Mars-Pluto conjunction in the 8th house, which can be associated with obsessive, often compulsive behaviour, especially in relation to sex and other people’s possessions. This is classic of people with strong Plutos and being in the 8th house of intimacy, which is naturally ruled by Scorpio, I can see why this was almost a driving need for her – it was a force over which she had little conscious control.

It also speaks of a deep need for intimacy, as well as latent healing abilities, if channelled in the right direction. Her former acupuncturist, Oonagh Shanley-Toffolo wrote in her biography that Diana was constantly in search of love and a close bond with that special someone. “She could not focus her life without love, and her capacity for it was enormous,” she writes in The Voice of Silence.

When her boys went away to school, she was lonely and forlorn. There was no partner to share the joys or sorrows of the day with … Diana’s judgement was impaired by this isolation. She had her flings and believed often in the wrong people.

Add to that a Libra Midheaven, it is not surprising that one of the things she strove for was fulfilling relationships, and with Venus in Taurus as ruler of her Midheaven in the 5th house, it seems natural that these would be predominantly expressed through love affairs and her bond with her sons. I remember being quite struck by the fact that her grandson, Prince George, has a Mercury-Mars-Jupiter conjunction in the 8th house – all at very similar degrees of Cancer to Diana’s Sun-Mercury conjunction – which made me suggest when I wrote about Prince George’s birth chart, that he may well play a key role in promoting Diana’s legacy one day. I wonder whether he too will have healing powers like his grandmother?

Unfortunately, Mars-Pluto can also be indicative of a vindictive streak, while a Moon-Uranus contact can easily result in the tendency to just up and leave, or suddenly cut people out of their lives – and there are many stories of how she would drop friends or get staff fired if she fell out with them or thought they had been disloyal. According to Richard Kay, who is quoted in a Vanity Fair article, Diana changed her mobile phone number every six months or so, which not only protected her from potential invasions of privacy but also served as “an incredibly effective way of dumping people.” According to Richard, towards the end of her life “she had cycled through many of her friends, owing to perceived or actual slights, and sometimes out of simple boredom” so that, “By the end, the number of friends she had you could count on one hand.”


On a more positive note, Diana’s Moon is trine to her Midheaven, which helps to explain her ability to know intuitively where she was heading in life and through her public profile, make a positive contribution to the humanitarian causes that were close to her heart. It is also clear from what some of the alternative therapists close to Diana have said, that she had a strong interest in spirituality and healing.  According to Oonagh Toffolo, “Her spiritual life was very private and she got her strength from prayer and spiritual reading.”[ii] Certainly, many have commented on her enormous capacity for empathy, which is very clearly signified by a trine between her Sun-Mercury conjunction in caring Cancer in the 7th house and her natal Neptune in Scorpio. With the latter placed in the 10th house of career and aspiration, it seems that helping  those less fortunate than her was nothing short of a vocation for her. Indeed, some claimed to have trained her to perform spiritual healing techniques, and that this is she was actually doing when she touched or held the sick, wounded and dying on her countless tours of hospital wards, cancer centres and hospices. Whatever is true, she certainly broke barriers down when she did things like touch AIDs patients without gloves and hug sick children – something that I think is possibly an expression of her MC-Uranus sextile. It is interesting that Uranus is so close to the North Node in her chart – it suggests a strong, almost karmic need to devote her life to making the world a better place by breaking down barriers and affecting change – something she certainly seem unafraid to do.

Neptune in the 10th house is, I think, also the key to Diana’s glamour and subtle allure, as well as being responsible for her sometimes uncanny ability to foretell the future. There are many instances quoted by biographers where Diana had flashes of clairvoyance or experienced a strange sense of foreboding, such as just before her father, Earl Spencer, had a stroke. Some of her friends and acquaintances also report that she seemed strangely certain about her marriage to Prince Charles – many people claim that she seemed absolutely convinced that she would marry him, even before they were even an item (her elder sister Sarah actually dated him first). She also told her father, Earl Spencer in her early teens that she would marry someone in the public eye. [iii]   Many have put this down to an over-developed fantasy life fuelled by too many Barbara Cartland novels, but perhaps there was something else going on here – access to a different order of knowledge, which led her to these seemingly crazy conclusions which proved in the end to be right.


Some say that Diana even  foresaw her own death. Certainly, she told friends like Roberto Devorik, and wrote in a letter to her butler, Paul Burrell, that she feared that she would be killed in a car accident as part of a plot to get her out of the way and “make the path clear for Charles to marry”.[iv] Between 1995 and 1997, she became convinced that someone would tamper with the brakes of her car, leading to a fatal crash, which, in the wake of what did happen to her, does seem rather chilling. However, it could equally be seen as the result of her increasing paranoia, no doubt fuelled by frequent visits to innumerable dodgy psychics, along with the pressure she felt she was being put under by the establishment to be quiet, ‘behave’ and stop making waves about her marriage and politically sensitive topics like landmines.

Many, like Mohammed Al Fayed, have claimed that the princess’ death was anything but an accident, citing a vast array of conspiracy theories that point the finger at everyone from Prince Philip to MI5 and even the arms industry. With peace-loving Libra as ruler of Diana’s natal Midheaven, it is true that she definitely acted as a peacemaker and spokesperson for her various campaigns. It is perhaps no coincidence that just a few months after her death, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, known as the Ottawa Treaty, was signed by over 40 countries, amongst them the UK[v] – something she had lobbied strongly for during the last few years of her life, most notably in January 1997 when she called for a ban on all landmines during a visit to Angola.[vi] But did her public work really get her killed? Let’s have a look at her transits around the time of her death to see if we can elicit any answers.


Her tragic death came on the night of August 31st 1997 in Paris. At the time of her death, the Moon in Cancer, ruler of her 8th house (traditionally associated with death and legacies) was exactly conjunct her natal Cancer Sun (identity), while transiting Uranus in Aquarius, harbinger of sudden and unexplained events, was making a conjunction to Diana’s natal Jupiter, her chart ruler (physical body). Coming as it did just one day before the solar eclipse in Virgo on 1 September 1997, a sign considered to be a very malefic portent for royalty by the ancient Babylonians, this double attack on the two symbols representing her life force must surely be considered an ill omen.

To compound the matter further, transiting Uranus was opposed to the transiting Sun in Leo, which happened to be passing through Diana’s 8th house (death). At 4:07am, when Diana was officially pronounced dead, this Leo Sun, a symbol so emblematic of British royalty, was exactly square to Diana’s natal Neptune in Scorpio, a sign associated with death and spiritual transformation, but also, as we have discussed, a symbol of her public image and humanitarian work. Was ‘the firm’ trying, as she believed, to snuff her out because of what she stood for?

It is tempting to see transiting Mars, the lesser malefic, in the chart of August 1997, as a possible symbol of assassination, given how it sits on her Midheaven and makes a square to her natal Saturn in the first house. But then again, it could equally represent a terrible accident. Certainly, one can’t help but notice the squares between transiting Pluto in the 12th and Diana’s Mars-North node conjunction in the 8th, together with one to her natal Moon in the 2nd.


Most chillingly, as an astrologer, it is hard to overlook the fact that she was about to experience her Pluto square – one of the most challenging of the midlife transits — one that can often bring about the first intimations of mortality. Looking at Diana’s transits, I notice that when she died, her Pluto square was about to come into orb. In fact, it would have begun to make itself felt on the 10th of September 1997 – just a few weeks after she died. This aspect, whilst very seldom about literal death, is very much about clearing out deeply entrenched patterns and casting off old psychological habits or relationships that disempower you – a process that can sometimes bring out people’s survival instinct quite strongly. However, coming as it does at around 36 years of age, this transit does often often coincide with the death of a loved one or a symbolic brush with death, perhaps in the form of a health scare, serious accident or difficult illness, which often serves as a stark reminder that life is brief, and that time could be running out to accomplish all that you set out to do in your twenties. It has been documented that Diana was feeling just like this. She allegedly told a friend, Roberto Devorik that she feared for her own life, saying on a helicopter flight that he should cross his fingers because they might get blown up any minute. She also visited her lawyer to make a recorded meeting in 1995 in which she claimed that she had heard from ‘reliable sources’ within the intelligence services that she was in danger and that the establishment wanted her gotten rid of. One of her therapists also told me that she listened in on a telephone call from a senior official at the ministry of defence in which she was threatened with the phrase “accidents can happen.”

So, was she assassinated, as some believe?


Well, at first glance, it is hard to ignore the fact that her Pluto square takes place across her 8th house of death and her 12th house of secret enemies – a traditionally malefic house associated with scandal, hidden secrets, as well as death. As well as transiting through the 12th, Pluto also happens to rule the 12th house cusp (depending on what house system you use), so could be interpreted a rather strong symbol of exactly what Diana feared – being asssassinated by dark, unseen forces.

However, the 12th house is also the house of the psyche and of self-undoing. In Diana’s case, her natal 12th house happens to be ruled by Scorpio, which is one of the most paranoid and touchy of the zodiac signs. With a natal Mars-Pluto conjunction in the 8th house of death, and Pluto transiting the 12th house of sub-conscious fears, an overwhelming terror of death or of dark forces could well be one of the ways in which her Pluto square could have manifested itself.  It is easy to see how, in the wake of her divorce from Prince Charles, which resulted in her being stripped of her HRH title, she may have felt more than a little vulnerable about her position in society, and indeed, worried about her future as a divorcee, especially given Sarah Ferguson’s experience when she divorced Prince Andrew.[vii]

Pluto is also very much a planet associated with betrayal and if you think about it, Diana may have perceived much of life to be a series of betrayals – from her mother leaving her children for another man to her father remarrying another woman without telling his children or inviting them to the wedding, to a husband whom she feared was having an affair behind her back, to the many friends, lovers and confidantes who sold her out to the media. I don’t think it a coincidence that she has a natal Pluto-Chiron opposition, which does suggest something of a persecution complex and a deep-seated fear of rejection. Very early on in her marriage to Prince Charles, when she was suffering from post-natal depression and a serious case of bulimia, he asked Laurens van der Post, his aged friend, to counsel her. Afterwards he told his daughter, Lucia that ‘Diana had shown “great paranoia” and had spent a lot of time “looking through keyholes.”[viii] Her paranoid state of mind may also not have been helped by the fact that she visited a string of “psychics, holistic healers, spiritual advisers and mediums during this period. Some were reputable – many others were charlatans and quacks.” It isn’t hard to see how some of them may have fed her paranoia with their irresponsible predictions of doom.[ix]

Although she may have been referred to as a ‘loose cannon’ by certain politicians, and allegedly threatened on the phone by the Conservative MP, Nicholas Soames (though he categorically denies this ever took place), this may well have been nothing more than bluster from a misogynous MP who didn’t appreciate a woman meddling in politics. Soames was named as one of the most vulgar and sexists MPs in a 2005 book about women in parliament.[x] The fact that he worked for the ministry of defence at the time that he made the call to Diana needs to be weighed up against the point that he was also once Equerry to Prince Charles and took his side in the ‘War of the Wales’.


Furthermore, any allegations of conspiracy were found to have little or no substance to them in 2008 by a judge and jury when the inquest into Diana’s death ruled it an accident caused by gross misconduct on the part of Henri Paul, the driver of the car, along with the reckless behaviour of the paparazzi[xi] who followed the vehicle into the tunnel on the back of motorbikes. The bodyguards who were hired to protect them that night also deny that there was any whiff of an assassination plot, the one finally choosing to leave the services of Mohammed Al Fayed because he refused to go along with all the conspiracy theories.[xii]

And here, it is hard to overlook the presence of transiting Mercury in Virgo (travelling, cars, media) on Diana’s natal Pluto in the 8th house (death), from where it opposes Chiron, the wound in Pisces. Courting media attention, represented by her Sun-Mercury conjunction, together with Neptune, ruler of the 3rd (self-expression) in her 10th house of fame and publicity, perhaps in a bid to make a former lover jealous (the link between her Venus and the Midheaven), may well have proven to be her weak spot, as symbolised by transiting Chiron, located in her 10th house and conjunct her Midheaven on the day  that she died.

The day of Diana’s funeral is one of those days that many people my age remember very clearly – they knew exactly where they were and what they were doing with a vividness that comes only with intense emotional recall. On this day, the themes of Diana, Cancer and the Moon all seemed to come together again in Charles Spencer’s eulogy when he said:

It is a point to remember that of all the ironies about Diana, perhaps the greatest was this – a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age.

Tina Brown, the former editor of British Tatler and Vanity Fair, and author of The Diana Chronicles,  makes an interesting point in her biography about Diana when she claims that on the night they died, Diana and Dodi left the safety of their suite at the Ritz no fewer than three times to venture out in public – once to view Dodi’s apartment on the Rue Arséne Houssaye, once to go to a restaurant called Chez Benoit before changing their mind and heading back to the Ritz, and again, just after midnight on that fateful journey through the Point De Alma.

That Diana and Dodi didn’t just remain closeted in their suite from the start for a quiet romantic evening  — and that now, back in that haven, they don’t stay the night, rather than plunge themselves again into the vortex of media aggravation for a third time, as they are about to do – suggests an almost compulsive need to be seen.

Transiting Saturn in Aries (misfortune as a result of accidents, fire or sharp objects), conjunct Diana’s IC (falling into the grave, end of the matter) from the 3rd house of communication and self-expression, as well as short journeys, serves to further reinforce this, as does the conjunction between transiting Neptune (ruler of the 3rd house) in Capricorn and Diana’s natal Saturn in the first house of health/life force/the body. Brown’s assessment, together with that of Dodi’s uncle was that ‘both had the publicity bug’ and fed off the oxygen of publicity. This, together with the fact that the driver of the car had an extremely high blood alcohol level (3 times over the limit) and was not qualified to be a chauffeur, makes it clear that it was not just the paparazzi that were to blame for what happened, but rather that it was a perfect storm which led to an unfortunate and tragic accident.


Which brings us full circle to the question of the relationship between the media and the royal family, or as someone recently put it, “the first family and the fourth estate.” According to sources close to William and Harry, after Diana’s death, which brought about a major crisis within the British media industry around the question of privacy and media intrusion, the princes were understandably very angry about what had happened and like their uncle, Charles Spencer, blamed the paparazzi for the accident. Many say that the phone hacking scandal did little to erase this view from their minds. In fact, according to journalists, the whole experience has left Prince William so determined to protect his personal privacy and that of his family that it has, to quote a recent press article, “understandably become a virtual obsession.”[xiii]

Of course, it is easy for us to be so glib about it all when we are not the ones who have lost their mother to what was obviously a preventable tragedy. However, as Arthur Edwards, the photographer who has known the princes since they were babies, once said in an interview:

“Prince William is extremely shy and hates the media with a passion…William’s brother Harry has a much more spirited attitude to life. … He rushes in and knows no fear. He holds his head up at all times – even at the lowest points of his life. I remember when he and William, with their father, were looking at flowers and tributes outside Kensington Palace a few days after their mother’s death. Harry held his head up high but fought back the tears. Even at 12 years of age he shows great strength of character and has accepted his destiny. William could learn a lot from his younger brother in how to cope with the trials and tribulations that they will both face throughout the rest of their life.”[xiv]


I think it is important at this juncture to point out a few fundamental differences between William and Diana’s charts which may offer some additional reasons, beyond that of personal experience, for what appears to be their quite divergent attitudes towards the press and public life. While Diana and William both have the Sun in the 7th house,  and share a Gemini Descendent, their luminaries combine very differently with the other planets in their horoscopes. Unlike his mother, who has a Sun-Mercury conjunction, which often gives an airy, more Geminian feel to the way the Sun expresses itself, (suggesting that Diana may have had a somewhat more analytical perspective about the realities of life in the public eye and the necessary evil of keeping the media onside to further her public causes), William has a Sun-Moon conjunction in Cancer making him much more emotional. This by itself is suggestive of someone who is quite private and introverted by nature. Add to this an extremely sensitive and quite reclusive Neptune in the 12th house, opposing the Sun, and we get the sense of someone with a very thin skin who feels terribly exposed under the glare of publicity and who can easily become overwhelmed by public attention or indeed, his relationships with others, to the point where he may feel as though his very identity is under threat.

Diana, by contrast, has quite a public Neptune in the 10th house, which I think explains her ability, much like Marilyn Monroe, to wear her vulnerability ‘on her sleeve’ and use it as a means of eliciting sympathy, even of seducing others –switching effortlessly between glamazon and victim, depending on  her needs at the time. It is no accident that many described her as having the potential to be a great actress because of this chameleon-like quality. In this way, she reminds me a lot of Marilyn, a comparison that I am not alone in – I don’t think it is a coincidence that Sir Elton John sang ‘Candle in the Wind’ at her funeral, a song allegedly about the late Marilyn Monroe, who incidentally also died at the age of 36. According to some, Diana herself felt a strong affinity with the Hollywood actress, telling friends that she felt they were kindred spirits because of her battle with the Hollywood studios  – for Diana, Marilyn was “another woman against the world.”[xv]

However, with Mars and Saturn in Libra, William is much stronger emotionally than his mother and probably is better at asserting himself and forming healthy boundaries within relationships – something it sounds like she wasn’t terribly good at, but is also probably the reason she was so empathetic with the poor, suffering and needy. Furthermore, while his mother’s chart ruler, Jupiter, is in humanitarian and democratic Aquarius, William’s Jupiter happens to be in secretive and touchy Scorpio, which speaks of someone who fervently believes in the right to privacy and needs to feel in control, perhaps to an obsessive degree – something that Stephen Hewlett asserts is the case in his documentary about the royal family’s love-hate relationship with the media, Reinventing the Royals.[xvi]


Whatever did take place that dreadful August night in 1997, one thing is for sure – despite her all-too-human faults, Diana made a difference. As with many icons, it is always better to set aside their human failings and remember the contribution they made to society.  Her legacy will continue to touch the lives of millions around the world, from the ground-breaking anti-landmine treaty that was ratified soon after her death, to the many charities that benefitted from her foundation.

For many women, Diana’s personal struggle to balance public with private life, and come to terms with a desperate need for love and affection in a modern age where gender roles are continually shifting, epitomises the plight faced by many modern women today. As the ‘people’s princess’, (crowds and the populace are incidentally, ruled by the Moon) Diana always felt she had more in common with ordinary people than the stuffy upper classes and this is what made her so appealing. It is interesting to me that in mundane astrology, the populace, crowds and public gatherings are all ruled by the Moon, and the fact that the ‘Queen of Hearts’ was born with the Sun in Cancer seems very fitting.

However, to those that knew her, her appeal lay beyond that of someone with ‘the common touch’ to something much more intangible: Many people describe an almost luminous quality about her, rather like a halo. According to her friend, Rosa Monckton, Diana’s ‘bright side was that of a luminous being.”[xvii] Rather aptly, the name Diana, named after the Roman Moon goddess, means ‘luminous or shining.’[xviii] Very often it is suffering that makes us more compassionate and empathetic, and Diana certainly endured her share of heartbreak and misery over the years. Tina Brown, her most recent biographer, obviously concurs, writing in The Diana Chronicles that, ‘pain made her luminous’.[xix]

Echoing these themes at her funeral, her brother, Charles Spencer said of her:

Diana explained to me once that it was her innermost feelings of suffering that made it possible for her to connect with her constituency of the rejected.”

And here we come to another truth about her. For all the status, the glamour, the applause, Diana remained throughout a very insecure person at heart, almost childlike in her desire to do good for others so she could release herself from deep feelings of unworthiness …

The world sensed this part of her character and cherished her for her vulnerability whilst admiring her for her honesty.

It has always been significant that during 1997, two key humanitarian figures passed away within a short time of each other –  Princess Diana on August 31 and Mother Theresa, less than a week later, on September 5, 1997. Both were much-loved icons of compassion and nurturing who dedicated their lives to helping those less fortunate than themselves, and when they died,  both were mourned by millions of people around the world.  It is perhaps rather fitting then that Diana was buried with a rosary in her hand given to her by Mother Teresa, thereby somehow closing a circle.

The tunnel in which Diana died, the Pont De l’Alma means ‘Bridge of Souls’, which seems a fitting place to ‘cross over’ into the world of spirit. Although she was taken from the world too young, in a way, it has allowed us to remember her forever in a fairytale fashion. In the words of Martyn Gregory, author of Diana: The last days:

I think that because Diana died young, at the age of 36, she joins James Dean, JFK, Elvis and John Lennon, all icons who died young. And because she died young and in an accident, she and her memory is preserved as if an aspic – forever.[xx]

The romance of Neptune endures.


[i] http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20103997,00.html

[ii] http://www.independent.ie/unsorted/features/princess-diana-and-the-irish-nun-26056107.html

[iii] See this and other examples in the book by Richard Kay, Diana: The Untold Story, first published in serialised version by the Daily Mail, 1998.

[iv] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3206486.stm

[v] http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/features/on-this-day-1997-princess-diana-landmine-row/

[vi] BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/15/newsid_2530000/2530603.stm

[vii] See this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-228806/The-lonely-princess-racked-fear-haunted-enemies.html

[viii] As relayed by Tina Brown in The Diana Chronicles, p. 197

[ix] http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/psychic-told-diana-she-was-going-to-die-511575

[x] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1497730/Female-MPs-round-on-sexist-Soames.html

[xi] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7328754.stm

[xii] See the article by Martyn Gregory in the Dec 15 2006 issue of the Daily Mail.

[xiii] http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-02-19/reinventing-the-royals-spin-in-the-house-of-windsor-3>http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-02-19/reinventing-the-royals-spin-in-the-house-of-windsor-3

[xiv] BBC – Q&A with Arthur Edwards – http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/diana_one_year_on/q_and_a/wed_response.stm

[xv] https://dianacelebrationkc.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/diana-a-celebration-union-station-kansas-city-the-parallel-lives-of-princess-diana-and-marilyn-monroe/

[xvi] http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-02-19/reinventing-the-royals-spin-in-the-house-of-windsor-3>http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-02-19/reinventing-the-royals-spin-in-the-house-of-windsor-3


[xviii] http://www.suppressedhistories.net/secrethistory/diana.html

[xix] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-460673/Tina-Brown-reveals-Diana-knew.html#ixzz3QW9qdcuM

[xx] http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/UK-Diana/1f29460e8373aaff5248473913327b32?query=Mother+Teresa+dEAD&current=3&orderBy=Relevance&hits=4&referrer=search&search=%2Fsearch%3Fquery%3DMother%2520Teresa%2520dEAD%26allFilters%3DVarious%3ASource&allFilters=Various%3ASource&productType=IncludedProducts&page=1&b=327b32

Could the astrology of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 provide clues to unlocking the mystery of MH370?


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plane for blog

2014 has not been a great year for air travel. Since March, when Malaysia Air flight MH 370 went missing a few hours after take-off,  and still remains to be found,  we have witnessed a number of fatal accidents that have killed nearly 762 people so far this year, including another Malaysian Air flight MH17, which was shot down over the Ukraine  in mid-July.

With 2014 drawing to a close, another aviation mystery began to unfold as a second plane went missing from the same region of the world under similar circumstances, which seems bizarre, to say the least!

Although the plane has since been found off the coast of Borneo, which has made the original blog I was working on somewhat redundant, I thought it was still worth having a look at the event chart of the plane’s take-off to see what the astrology might reveal about what precisely could have happened to the aircraft, as well as put the theories I used on the horary chart of flight MH370 to the test to see whether they appear to work or not in terms of locating the whereabouts of phenomena such as lost aircraft.

According to news reports, the doomed AirAsia flight QZ8501 took off at 05h35 local time on the morning of Sunday, the 28th of December from Surabaya airport for Singapore. After a brief exchange with air traffic control in Indonesia at 06h12, it disappeared from both satellite and radar shortly after 06h14 local time whilst flying over the Javan sea.

So, could the take-off chart reveal any clues as to what precisely may have happened?

Missing AirAsia flight

Strangely, the chart bears more than a few similarities to that of the horary chart that I drew up for MH370, which you can see in my blog for March 2014.

First of all, it has Sagittarius rising again, which as I pointed out at the time, is radical for a plane undertaking an international flight, since Sagittarius rules long distance travel and foreign relations. AirAsia flight QZ8501 was travelling from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore, a trip that crosses international borders and usually takes just over two hours to complete. This makes Jupiter in Leo the main signifier for the aircraft.

As with the MH370 chart, Jupiter is located in the 8th house, which in traditional astrology, was considered to be the house signifying death.  Jupiter also happens to be retrograde, weakening it somewhat. Although in March, Jupiter was direct, it had only just emerged from a three month retrograde spell two days’ previously on March the 6th, making it still not quite ‘up to speed’, which I thought may have dulled its usually highly beneficial influence. The retrograde state of Jupiter could suggest that the plane may perhaps have been ill-equipped or somehow not quite prepared enough to deal with whatever problems it encountered, but we will only be able to tell this once crash investigators have determined what went wrong with it.

Unlike March, when Jupiter was in Cancer, Jupiter was in the sign of Leo, a fire sign, which could be significant. Jupiter, as many people know from ancient mythology, was the god of thunder, and on this particular occasion, we know that, shortly before air traffic control lost contact with the plane at 06h16, the pilot had radioed in, saying that they were flying through a very bad thunder storm and asked for permission to change course and climb in altitude in order to avoid it. In this chart, Jupiter is very close to a quincunx with Venus in Capricorn in the first house, which usually indicates the need for an adjustment of some kind. Perhaps this points to an adjustment of course and altitude?

In terms of direction, Jupiter’s position in the 8th house, close to the cusp of the 9th puts it in the south-west quarter of the sky. However, if we look at direction by sign, then we get a north-westerly direction, which fits with the plane’s planned trajectory: we know that that the passenger jet was traveling in a north-westerly direction towards Singapore, but had later requested a diversion from the normal route, turning slightly left, i.e. further westwards to try and avoid the huge stormfront in its path. This fits with the position of Jupiter in Leo, which would put it in the NNW sector of the chart. Clearly, then, direction by sign, rather than house, seems more appropriate here, as it also proved to be with flight MH370.

Uranus-Pluto and the Cardinal Cross

The other similarity with the MH370 chart is that Pluto and Uranus are once again in orb of a square to each other.  This is an especially nasty and intense configuration, bringing together the symbol of death, rebirth and irreversible change (Pluto) with the outer planet associated with cutting, severing and sudden freak occurrences such as explosions as well as technology and electricity (Uranus). Although a very ‘modern’ planet, Uranus is largely considered malefic by many traditional astrologers, perhaps because it was discovered during the time of the French revolution, when chaos, disruption and beheading reigned – something that seems to have made a comeback in recent years amongst jihadi terrorist organisations.

It should pointed out that these types of difficult meetings between two of the outer planets are relatively rare – although we are currently going through a five year spell in which these two heavenly bodies clash approximately twice a year, we have not experienced anything like it since the 1960’s. You can read more about the most recent stages of this five-year transit on the Mountain Astrologer website.

On both occasions, the square between Uranus & Pluto happened to be extending outwards, a bit like a black hole, to suck in nearby phenomena orbiting in the region. Back in March 2014, Uranus and Pluto happened to form part of a T-square to Jupiter. In December, rather than implicating Jupiter, these two ‘death stars’ happened to form a T-square with the lunar nodes.

Known in Asian astrology as the head and tail of the dragon – the axis where the Sun & Moon cross orbits, the plane where eclipses happen. In astrology, these have come to be interpreted slightly differently. Some see them as the hand of fate and a symbol of karma/reincarnation, while those less inclined to an evolutionary perspective tend to see them as representative of the ‘herd’ mentality of humanity as a collective. In this case, I think it is significant that the nodes are in Aries and Libra – the cardinal signs, which have been active in stirring things up since the Cardinal Grand Cross of 2010. Aries is currently also the zodiac sign through which Uranus is currently transiting, and thus far, it seems to have been associated with an inordinate number of riots, wars, demonstrations, flash violence and terrorist attacks, many fought in the name of social justice and the need to address political/economic inequalities. The last time we saw a flare-up of this cardinal energy was in April 2014 when Uranus and Pluto again clashed swords amidst another manifestation of the cardinal grand cross, peaking on April the 22nd, and it was during the build-up to this exceptionally challenging event that flight MH370 went missing.

Capricorn Stellium

I commented last week that we currently have a stellium of planets in Capricorn, flanking Pluto, that are one by one, re-activating the most recent incarnation of this dreadful planetary combination, which peaked for the seventh time in five years on December 15 2014 – the day of the Sydney Siege. It therefore seems strangely and spookily in keeping with this cosmic pattern that, just at the juncture in December 2014 when the cardinal planets are once again constellating around latest pass of the Uranus-Pluto square, another airline tragedy unfolds.

In the AirAsia chart, the Capricorn stellium is situated in the first house, indicating that each of the planets reflects something about the conditions of the plane/flight at the time of its fateful journey.

One of the planets involved this stellium was Mercury, planet of journeys and transportation, which entered the fray of the Uranus-Pluto square on Christmas Day when it squared Uranus, which I think contributed to the travel chaos UK commuters experienced over the Christmas break that left many people stranded, sometimes overnight,  just as temperatures began to plummet.

In this chart, Mercury is the ruler of the Descendant and the Midheaven – two of the angles, which usually indicate significance or prominence–and happens to be separating from a conjunction to Pluto, Lord of the 12th house (death, hospitalisation and oblivion). Located in this house is another malefic planet – Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, and therefore, all the planets located in that sign in the first house – which may not be a great omen overall.

Now, Mercury is the natural ruler of transport, travel and communications, and being in the first house, it is also a co-signifier of the plane. In this case, it may represent the aircraft tracking and communications systems, which allow contact with others (DS). It could also perhaps represent the plane’s course or route, since the Midheaven, which in this chart is ruled by Mercury, can be interpreted as the captain of the ship, or pilot of the plane – and it is he who determines the plane’s trajectory. Pluto, is amongst other things, symbolically associated with invisibility or disappearances, so it may be significant that Pluto and Mercury are so close, given that communications just suddenly seem to stop at around 06h15, with the aircraft appearing to just disappear without a trace from the screens of all tracking devices at around 07h24 local time. Many wonder why the pilot made no distress call, and the lack of communications by the pilot (Mercury, ruler of MC conjunct Pluto) seems to fit this scenario – he was probably too busy trying to save the aircraft to relay what was happening to ground control?

The Sun, located at around 5 degrees Capricorn, forms the outermost flank of the stellium. Interestingly,  Pluto happens to be within 8 degrees of the Sun, which technically puts it under the sunbeams, a condition that is said to weaken the influence of a planet, and therefore, the condition of the plane. The Sun also rules the sign of Leo, which is the sector of the zodiac where Jupiter, primary significator of the plane, was found. Could glare from the rising sun have temporarily blinded the pilot, or somehow contributed to what happened? I guess it can’t be ruled out altogether…

Now that we have a sense of where the plane was before the crash, let’s look at what may have happened next by examining approaching aspects amongst the key planetary players.

Approaching Aspects

First up: Jupiter. We have already discussed the fact that Jupiter was approaching a quincunx to Venus, which probably indicates the diversion/adjustment that he had to make to turn the plane away from the storm. The next aspect is more sinister: an approaching opposition with Mars, the lesser malefic.

This could represent the encounter with what looks on weather maps to have been a violent supercell thunder storm. Many experts now think that this violent storm may have indirectly caused the plane to stall and crash into the sea, in a scenario similar to that which led to the downing of Air France flight AF447 back in 2009.[1] This aspect, then is pretty key to what may have happened.

Now that the plane has been discovered quite close to the site of its last known position[i], it does look as though the pilot may have encountered a large and violent (Mars) supercell thunder storm (Jupiter) measuring some 600kms across, through which it tried to fly. However, like Icarus who got too close to the sun, flying upwards through such bad conditions can sometimes overtax the engines, or make them lose power (Sun-Pluto), possibly leading to a stall and then, like Icarus, a fall from the sky.

Mars is the ruler of Aries, which is where we find Uranus, as well as the south node, the tail of the dragon, which, however you interpret it, is considered to be the less fortunate of the two nodes.  Mercury, symbolic of the pilot, is just separating from a square to the nodes, an omen that the fates are not with him on this occasion. The opposite node, the north node, is situated at 15 and a half degrees in Libra, and is therefore considered to be in the via combusta, a part of the sky associated with the underworld. You can read more about this in my previous column on the death of Whitney Houston. Ruler of Libra is Venus in Capricorn, also located in the 1st house and a member of the stellium.

By itself, the Jupiter-Mars opposition does not look good for the plane. If we then factor in Mercury’s square to the nodes, which may have been the denial by air traffic control for the plane to ascend to 38,000 feet because of other air traffic in the area, we have the recipe for what may have been a bad decision by the pilot to attempt to ascend through the storm anyway. It may also be significant that both Uranus, ruler of the third house of communications, and Pluto are also approaching that formidable T-square to the nodal axis., which does seem to indicate stressful, unforeseen, sometimes life-threatening circumstances that are beyond one’s control. Clearly, the odds were against the pilot  none of these aspects are positive, so we can hardly expect good news from them.

To top it all off, the Moon, often significant in horary charts, is in Pisces and has recently made a conjunction to Neptune, ruler of the sea, emphasising the ocean and lots of water. Key is the fact that she rules the 8th house in this chart – the house where Jupiter (the plane) is located – and a house which, as I have already mentioned elsewhere, is strongly associated with death.

In this chart, the Moon is separating from a square with the Ascendant, which is the primary significator of the aircraft towards an opposition with the Midheaven, representative of the pilot. This is because she is heading for a conjunction with the IC, which, as I relayed in my article about MH370, can be another significator of death, or the end of the matter. Given that the Moon will soon change signs, it also suggests that it is she who signifies the end of the matter.

Sadly, her sign and position testify to what we now know to be true – that the plane and its passengers ended up in a watery grave beneath the waves of the Javan Sea. Further reinforcing the Piscean/fishy end to this sad tale is the report that it was a local fisherman who found the wreckage of the plane floating in the waters near the Tuju islands just off the coast of Borneo, and later reported it to the authorities.

Final Position of Aircraft

So, how far off course was the plane, and is this reflected in the chart? The most important aspect in this chart is the approaching opposition between Mars and Jupiter, which at the time of take-off, was just over 4 degrees (4 degrees 11 minutes) from exactitude. This equates to a distance in miles of 4 x ¼ mile (Leo and Aquarius are fixed signs, so a quarter mile is considered), which is just 1 mile or so off course, according to Derek Appleby’s method.

Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson uses another method, which equates to: the degree of the significator (22) x 3 miles for a planet located in a succeedent house in a chart with a southerly latitude, which = 66 miles. This number must then be multiplied by the number of degrees separating it from the Moon (in this case, 142 degrees), which comes to a rather ridiculous 9372 miles. As Derek Appleby points out, “…this is probably too far away to judge distance accurately.” No kidding!

A Rethink about Distance Calculation

However, according to the authorities, the wreckage was around 66 miles from the plane’s last known location, somewhat further than the first method of calculation denoted and a lot less than 9000-odd miles, so a recalculation may be in order here!

This may also be why we were fell rather short of where flight MH370 was thought to be located in the southern Indian Ocean, based on the search areas combed between March 30 and April 28, although it remains to be seen whether or not the plane did actually fly south, as the satellite data indicates, or whether it exploded and fell from the sky over the Andaman Sea, close to the initial search areas of March 8-15, where the plane was last detected by radar.[ii]

Of course, it may well be that we have chosen the wrong indicator for our locational data – perhaps the position of the applying planet may be more appropriate? In this case, we are dealing with Mars in Aquarius in the second house, giving a SSE direction (Aquarius), which is correct, but the distance calculations remain the same.

What if, instead, we used the actual zodiac degrees of our chosen significator but base direction on sign? If we choose Jupiter in Leo, then this would equal 22.02 degrees x 3 miles (succeedant house in southerly latitude) = EXACTLY 66! Here, we may have found our answer. But then the dircetion would be NNW? But, if we consider the position of Jupiter – retrograde in Leo – i.e. moving backwards from its NNW position, then it does make sense that the debris was found a few miles to the south (i.e. backwards) of where the plane was last detected on radar.

If this is correct, then the calculation for the final position of flight MH370 would in fact be as follows:

Jupiter: 10.5 degrees of Cancer x 3 miles (succeedant house in southerly latitude) = 31 miles in a northerly direction from its last detection point, if you base your directions on signs, and not house position.

However, if it is house position you are using, then the direction is 31 miles WSW…Food for thought…

Whatever we discover in the days and weeks to come will certainly help us to clarify our techniques for future use, but they will not change the tragic facts of the situation for those relatives of the passengers who have lost family members and loved ones. To the, I send my heartfelt sympathy and hope this is article does not prove too distressing for anyone.

Going forward, though, it is clear that the current spate of Uranus-Pluto squares are no joke, and that the periods around them should be navigated with care, especially for those people who have prominent fixed signs or planets located at around 15-19 degrees in their natal charts.  Below is a fairly strong warning from mundane astrologer, Louis Acker, about what could lie ahead in the spring:

The seventh and last Uranus-Pluto square will be March 17, 2015. Mars in Aries conjunct Uranus and square Pluto between March 8 and 15, 2015 activates this last Uranus-Pluto square. This is an explosive, highly dangerous combination that could precipitate assassinations, riots, revolution, war, bombings, and industrial accidents.[iii]

As it happens, this extremely intense transit will occur near to a solar eclipse, which I will cover, along with more pleasant transits, in my Astro-Insights for January 2015, which will be put up in the next few days. Visit astro-sphere.com for further details. Happy New Year, everyone.


[1] See the coverage on the Independent website, which discusses the weather conditions present at the time of the plane’s disappearances, as well as hypothetical scenarios about how these could have contributed to a crash: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/indonesia/11315486/Air-Asia-missing-plane-Sunday-December-28-as-it-happened.html

[i] See map at New York Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/28/world/asia/airasia-flight-qz8501-map.html?_r=0

[ii] See map of possible lfight paths on NY Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/03/17/world/asia/search-for-flight-370.html

[iii] Louis Acker, 2014 and beyond, Mountain Astrologer, http://mountainastrologer.com/tma/2014-and-beyond

Can we expect Royal Twins?


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baby gemini 1

Since it was first announced by Clarence House that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant with her and Prince William’s second child, the speculation and guessing around details of her pregnancy and the future birth has continued unabated.

The question that is on most people’s lips right now is: “Will the next little Cambridge be a girl or a boy?”, whilst the question uppermost on most astrologers’ minds is most likely to be: “When will the little prince/princess be born?” and, “What will their natal horoscope look like?”

As a continuation of my first blog on this royal matter, I thought it might be a good time to look at trying to answer some of these two questions using the techniques of William Lilly, one of England’s most famous astrologers.

Lilly’s Take on the Astrology of Childbirth and Pregnancy

As I have said before, predicting birth dates using astrology is tricky, especially when we are not sure exactly when conception is likely to have occurred. However, since the original pregnancy announcement back in the autumn, we now know that Kate is due to give birth in the spring, somewhere around April 2015, which does help to narrow things down a little.

According to William Lilly, the well-known 17th century astrologer, one can glean more information by observing several horary techniques, which were commonly practised by medieval astrologers (who didn’t have sonograms and blood tests to work from, so had to work with what they had!) to determine more information on a pregnancy within a horary chart.

The horary chart I cast to try and answer this query is  simply based on the time and date I decided to pose the question to the heavens. 

A PDF file of the chart can be opened by clicking on the link below:

Royal Pregnancy Timing Chart.

The resulting chart is rather interesting symbolically for a number of reasons:

Firstly, we have the signs of Gemini-Sagittarius across the AS-DS axis. These two signs seem to come up a lot in conjunction with this particular royal couple. For example, if we think back to the lunar eclipse in Gemini on 21 December 2010 and the solar eclipse in Capricorn that followed it on 4 January, these were the nearest set of eclipses to take place prior to the Royal Wedding in 2011, which I interpreted in my eclipse chronology column at the time as being symbolic of Kate’s transition from commoner to princess, and the couple’s evolution from sweethearts to husband and wife. The announcement that Kate was pregnant with Prince George also came less than a week after the lunar eclipse in Gemini-Sagittarius on November the 28th 2012, which I predicted would bring news concerning a royal pregnancy in my Eclipse Chronology for November 2012.

So, lunar eclipses in general, and the signs of Gemini-Sagittarius in particular, seem to be significant for this couple. No doubt the fact that Kate Middleton was born close to a lunar eclipse, and Prince William has Sagittarius rising (and Gemini on the cusp of the 7th house) may account for this to some degree. We still don’t know what sign Kate has rising – it could be Gemini or Sagittarius – but without any official announcements about her exact time of birth, her natal horoscope remains open to speculation.

Just as an aside, it is also perhaps worthy of our attention that both the signs of Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces are considered to be ‘double-bodied’ signs, and as such, are often associated with twins…More on this later.

Secondly, in this horary chart, we have Jupiter in Leo close to the cusp of the IC in the 4th house of family, roots and heritage. After the Sun, which rules Leo, Jupiter is the next planet most associated with royalty, so this seems significant in terms of the royal family, the line of succession etc. Fertility astrologer, Nicola Smuts, has spoken of the importance of lucky Jupiter in increasing fertility[i] (Jupiter is, after all, exalted in Cancer, the sign par excellence, of mothers and motherhood), so having Jupiter located in the 4th house seems fittingly ‘radical’ for indicating a royal pregnancy.

Thirdly, the Moon happens to be in Pisces – the very same sign it was in for the horary chart I cast around the time this pregnancy was announced back in September. Interesting synchronicity. At the time of the announcement, however, the Moon was also conjunct Neptune. However, I do feel I need to mention that some astrologers associate a link to Neptune with miscarriage in pregnancy horaries.  It has been reported that Kate allegedly had a miscarriage prior to conceiving this baby, but nothing has ever been confirmed by palace officials. Whether this is true or not, the Duchess has suffered quite severely with acute morning sickness, which can lead to pregnancy complications.[ii]

Given that the Moon in this chart is separating from a conjunction to Chiron and Neptune, it seems likely to be a sign that Kate is now moving away from her earlier health problems and into a much less precarious state in terms of her pregnancy and any potential complications. As she is now past her first trimester, this seems a fitting interpretation of the situation.

Birth Date Prediction

So, what of the potential birth date?

Well, according to Lilly, one should look to the location and sign of the Lord of the fifth house, which rules births and babies,  for more information.  In this case, the 5th house cusp is in Virgo, which makes Mercury the significator we are most interested in. (Echoes of Gemini again!) In this chart, Mercury is in the 6th house, which on its own, suggests that the birth will occur in six around months’ time, that is, around May 2015. However, Mercury is in Sagittarius, a mutable sign, and according to Lily, ‘a Planet in a moveable Signe doth somewhat hasten the time,’ so it would seem we are looking for a due date of less than that.

How long has Kate been pregnant?

Lily goes on to add that you can get a more accurate picture of the length of pregnancy by looking at which of the Moon and the 5th house ruler are closer in terms of the degree of separation from their previous contact. In this case, it is Mercury, which is separating from a square to Neptune by 46 minutes of arc, as opposed to the Moon, which separated from a square to Venus  7.5 degrees ago.

He then says, ‘If the separation be from …a square, she is in the 4th month.’[iii] As it happens, spokesmen from Kensington Palace confirmed on the 20th of October that the Duchess was due to give birth sometime in April[iv], which would confirm the calculations arrived at via Lily’s method.

So, when exactly in April 2015 is it likely to be?

Will he or she arrive in time for Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary on 29 April? Or in time for the Queen’s actual birthday on 21 April?  Neither can be ruled out. Of course, Prince George was quite late in arriving, so the same may be true of his new brother or sister, which adds a wildcard into the mix.

Given that the Moon is generally significant in births, and that we seem to keep having important royal events and announcement around eclipses, it is interesting that we do have a total lunar eclipse in Aries-Libra scheduled for April the 4th. Will the little prince or princess arrive that early? I guess we can’t rule it out at this point.

Another possibility to consider is when the Moon will be in Pisces, since the combination seems to keep cropping up in relation to this baby. Interestingly, the Moon transits through Pisces between the 15th and 16th of April – just before the New Moon in Aries on the 18th, which does seem to fit with Lilly’s prediction formula.

At this stage, though, one can only speculate so much. For now, I think it best to wait until closer to the time to see if any of these dates, or any others, seem more viable.

Let’s  move on to the next part of our query…What sex is this child likely to be?

Gender – Will Prince Charles’ wish for a girl be granted?

William Lilly claims that an astrologer can try and ascertain the sex of the child by looking for the following astrological signs:

Jupiter in the 7th, she is impregnated of a male childe: Sagittarius or Pisces in the 7th, she is with childe of a Girle; this must be understood when all the rest of the Significators are equall, and ballance not the judgment, then if you finde Sagittarius or Pisces in the 7th, you may judge the party shall have a Girle.

Zadkiel reports that Lilly advises you to weigh up the duality/sect of key planets relating to pregnancy (i.e. the rulers of the AS, 5th house and the Moon, as well as the signs on the cusp of the AS and 5th house) and see if the majority point to a male or a female. The sign of the Moon’s dispositor may also be considered.

In our chart, the ruler of both the 5th house cusp and the AS is Mercury, which by itself, is considered neutral. But it is in the sign of Sagittarius, which is diurnal/masculine by nature. The ruler/dispositor of the Moon in Pisces is either Jupiter, if you are a traditional/medieval astrologer, or Neptune, if you prefer modern rulerships. Jupiter is a diurnal planet, while Neptune is generally considered to be feminine in nature. As a water sign, Pisces is considered to be feminine/yin in nature, so this throws up a bit of a dilemma.

Jupiter is not in the 7th house, BUT we do have Sagittarius on the 7th house cusp, which according to Lilly, indicates a girl. However, Lilly tells us that we have to balance this indicator with the average we find when weighing up all the other indicators.

So, what are the overall scores?

  • AS in Gemini = Masculine

  • Ruler of 5th house cusp is Mercury (neutral) in Sagittarius = Masculine

  • DS in Sagittarius = Feminine

  • Sign on 5th cusp is Virgo = Feminine

  • Ruler of Moon in Pisces is either Jupiter (masculine) or Neptune (feminine)

So, depending on which dispositor we opt for when considering the Moon, we have a pretty even score.  So, at this point, it is difficult to give a judgement. 

Going back to my earlier statement about Gemini and double-bodied signs, I can’t help wonder whether we have one of both sex, i.e. TWINS on our hands? There have been a few rumours swirling about that the Duchess may possibly be pregnant with twins[v],  so perhaps the next step might be to consider whether this could be the case.

Twins for Kate?

Ever since Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge became pregnant with Prince George, there has been speculation and rumours about HRH having twins. Now that she is pregnant for the second time, the rumour mill has once again gone into overdrive,  reaching fever pitch in early October when all bets were eventually suspended at bookmakers, William Hill, after a spate of wagers on Kate giving birth to twins raised suspicions about a possible information leak.[vi] Clarence House later released a statement which implied that there was, in fact, only one prince or princess on the way in a press statement on 20 October. But it was fairly vague, so could it simply be a ruse to knock everyone off the scent?[vii]

Let’s look at what the astrology says. If we have a pair of royal twins on the way, it might explain why we don’t get a clear answer on the sex of the child, and why the sign of Gemini seems to come up such a lot in relation to this pregnancy, as discussed in the section above.

William Lilly says the following about how to examine a horary chart for signs of a twin birth.

If suspicion be of twins, and you find, upon that question, the ascending sign be double-bodied, and a fortunate (benefic) therein, or the same of the 5th house, and the Sun and Moon be in double-bodied signs, and the lords of the AS and 5th be the same, you may judge twins. But unless all, or nearly these testimonies occur, it is not safe to judge.[viii]

According to Zadkiel, the double-bodied signs are: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.[ix]

Going back to our horary chart, let’s tot up the scores:

  • AS in Gemini = double-bodied

  • Ruler of 5th house cusp is Mercury (neutral) in Sagittarius = double-bodied

  • Sign on 5th cusp is Virgo =   Double-bodied

  • Sun in Sagittarius = double-bodied

  • Moon in Pisces = double-bodied

That’s FIVE testimonies for twins! So far, so good. However, there is no sign of Venus or Jupiter being in either the first or the fifth house…Instead, Jupiter is found in the 4th house (families & heritage), and Venus in the 6th house (health) …But is this really so far off the mark? In my mind, the average really does seem to tip in favour of twins. Of course, in some pregnancies,  one of the twins dies, so it is possible that only one baby may survive.

Lilly also implies that one should cast a separate horary chart specifically designed to answer the question on twins, which we have not done here  – something we’ll have to leave for another time.

In the interim, though, I too, am betting on twins!


[i] Sunday Times, ‘By Jupiter, planets may help women become pregnant’, Nov 2010, http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article446759.ece

[ii] ‘Hyperemesis Gravidarum’, University of Maryland Medical Centre, http://umm.edu/health/medical/pregnancy/specialcare-pregnancies/hyperemesis-gravidarum

[iii] Lily’s Astrology [transl. Zadkiel, 1939], p. 151

[iv] BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29688969

[v] Daily Express, http://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/517031/Twins-Kate-Middleton-Royal-pregnancy-betting-suspended

[vi] Daily Mail, 1 Oct 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2776084/Is-Kate-expecting-TWINS-Bookmakers-suspend-betting-receiving-200-wagers-two-hours-leading-suspicions-inside-information.html

[vii] Clarence House, Press Release, 20 Oct, http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/media/press-releases/the-duke-and-duchess-of-cambridge-are-expecting-baby-april

[viii]Lily’s Astrology [transl. Zadkiel, 1939], p. 150

[ix] Lily’s Astrology [transl. Zadkiel, 1939], p. 16


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