Pompeo in Riyadh – the impossible task



Mike Pompeo was rocketed off to Saudi Arabia, no doubt in hopes of calming the firestorm over Khashoggi’s disappearance/murder. Although the Turkish authorities are fanning the flames with tales of recently repainted rooms in the Istanbul Saudi Embassy. Murmurs are that it will be blamed on hapless Saudi operatives overstepping the mark despite it being obvious they were sent across under orders.

Trump clearly has personal reasons for sweeping it under the carpet since he and Jared were so enamoured of the young Crown Prince; and will have an eye on the financial and economic costs of a major fall out.

But Pompeo’s relationship chart with both King Salman and Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), despite today’s smiles,  look to be hitting a sticky wicket in early this December. That’s a time he’s looking peculiarly frustrated on his own chart, with tr Pluto conjunct his Mars and tr Saturn conjunct his Sun; and having his enthusiasm dented in the final days before New Year.

If anything 2019 looks worse on Pompeo’s connections with the two Saudi leaders with major eruptions, at a time when his relationship chart with Trump is also ratcheting up problems. Though that has started already out of sight, and will escalate this December and January 2019, worsening as the year proceeds. It’s not as great a relationship as it appeared with a composite Venus Saturn opposition Mars which will be anger-provoking. Trump drops people into jobs and then expects them to toe his line and surprise, surprise, it doesn’t always turn out the way he wants.


Paul Allen – a trail blazer



Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft has died. His partner from school days and over the early breakthrough Bill Gates said: “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends… Personal computing would not have existed without him.” They didn’t always see eye to eye and Allen left over a share disagreement, but without the two of them you possibly wouldn’t be reading this now.

Allen, 21 January 1953, became a multi-billionaire from his Microsoft shares and pledged to give away half to philanthropic initiatives. But his fortune kept on growing and despite giving away hundreds of millions he was worth 20 billion USD when he died.

His Aquarius Sun fell in Gates’ 7th house and sextile Gates’ Midheaven so good business partnership material, though his Sun was also opposition Gates’ Uranus and square Gates’ Scorpio Sun which would cause personality clashes.

Allen had Mercury in Capricorn opposition Uranus square Neptune (Saturn) in Libra so he would be inventive, visionary and keen on building a better society as well as musically inclined.  For all his multiple interests in charity, culture and commerce and active social life, he always sounded a lonely man.

His relationship chart with Gates had a determined and controlling composite Sun and Mars trine Pluto, so together they could move mountains but as ever with Plutonic ties, it fell to bits in some acrimony. There was also a composite Uranus opposition Venus square Neptune perhaps opposition Moon, which brings together the inspirational, ‘eureka-moment’ Uranus Neptune.

His leaving-a-legacy-for-history 17th harmonic was strong, linking the revolutionary Uranus Pluto to the Sun and perhaps Moon.

Pippa Middleton baby – a serious charmer



Pippa and James Matthews’ baby arrived yesterday in London at 1.58pm, a very large boy at 8 pounds 9 oz, only two days after she attended the Royal wedding.

He has a thoughtful, well-read and much travelled 9th house Libra Sun – might even turn out to be a lawyer; with an ultra-charming and intense Mercury Venus in Scorpio on his midheaven, which might send him off into the PR business. His Sun is in a controlled/controlling square to Pluto in his 1st with Moon Saturn in Capricorn on his Ascendant – so he will come across as serious on first meeting, rather defensive. Making money will be important with Mars in Aquarius in his 2nd house, for which he’ll have a talent with Jupiter in Scorpio.

His father’s Leo Sun and Pippa’s Venus Mars in Leo square his Jupiter and sextile his Sun which all looks indulgent and easy-going. Though there’ll be an intense bond with both parents since several of each’s planets fall in the baby’s 8th.

The relationship chart with Pippa shows an affectionate composite Sun Venus though it is sextile a chained-together Saturn Pluto, so she may find a baby restricts her lifestyle more than she expected.

Michael Buble – son’s illness changed his priorities



Canadian singer Michael Buble has announced he’s retiring from the music scene with one last album, having undergone a gruelling two years since his eldest son, now 5, was diagnosed with liver cancer. He said the experience has changed him and he wants out of celebrity narcissism.

Born 9 September 1975 8.30 pm (astrotheme) Burnaby, Canada, into a Canadian-Italian-Croatian family, with a fisherman father, he has a hard-working 6th house Virgo Sun squaring onto a showbizzy Mars in Gemini opposition Neptune in the 8th. His upbeat Aries Ascendant has doubly enthusiastic Jupiter close by square Saturn in Cancer on the cusp of his 5th house of children (and performing) and trine Venus in Leo also in the 5th. He may at some point go into the organisational side of the entertainment business with Saturn there. Though he could also change his mind about not singing again.

He’s been in a very confusing phase since 2016 with tr Neptune moving in hard aspect to his natal Neptune, Mars, Sun through till late 2019. Though tr Pluto will start to square his Jupiter from spring 2019 for two years which will start to rebuild his confidence and joie de vivre. And with tr Saturn crossing his midheaven and moving through his upper quadrant for the next seven years he’s likely to be working hard at something.


Saudi Arabia – blindsided by a sandstorm



Saudi Arabia is facing a full-scale crisis after the disappearance of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reportedly murdered in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul with the Turks saying they have recordings of his death. There is mounting pressure on western governments to impose financial sanctions; and they as well as business leaders are pulling out of an investment conference in Riyadh later this month.

Like most autocratic countries Saudi has a history of ‘disappearing’ dissidents though it appears to have worsened in recent times; with the reckless young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), in charge of everything, wreaking havoc in the Yemen and stamping on critics, even within the Royal Family. Khashoggi didn’t seem to be an outright revolutionary calling for the overthrow of the regime; he was pro-MbS’s reforms but questioned other policies.

MbS recently commented favourably on Putin and his methods. Both have accentuated Jupiter square Pluto in their charts – law-unto-themselves, dogmatic, wilful. If anything MbS is even more controlling than Putin. There is a tendency with Jupiter Pluto to push too far out of over-confidence and trip up.

The Saudi Arabia 15 January 1902 3.45 am Riyadh chart started a five year radical transformation in 2017, coinciding with MbS’s Vision 2030 initiative to modernise the country. In 2017/2018 there is a heavy-slog, discouraging tr Pluto conjunct the Saturn; moving across the Sun/Saturn and Jupiter/Saturn midpoints in 2019/2020 which suggest hitches, glitches and losses; with tr Saturn adding another layer of problems as well; before tr Pluto conjuncts the Sun Jupiter in 2020/2021 which should restore confidence. But it will be an uphill battle with many reverses before then and tr Pluto conjunct the Sun is never easy. In addition tr Neptune is starting to square the Saudi Pluto opposition Uranus in 2019/2020 to early 2021, which will be disempowering, confusing and very nervy.

The Saudi Arabia 23 September 1932 chart is in high-insecurity mode right now with tr Uranus square the Mars; and moving through a punishing set of changes from 2019 till late 2023 with tr Pluto moving in hard aspect to the Pluto opposition Saturn square Uranus – 2019/2020 look most obviously revolutionary-prone with tr Pluto square the Uranus.  And a considerable setback maybe now and into early 2019 with Solar Arc Mars square the Saturn. Again there will be some lift in 2020/21 from tr Uranus trine the Jupiter.

Trump has been slow to issue a condemnation but many western countries are in the same boat, having multi-billion dollar arms deals with Saudi which they’re reluctant to put at risk. Turkey has never been a friend and that relationship is sagging badly this year and dissolving into more confusion over 2020. The EU are issuing stern words of warning next month and increasing the distance between them in 2019.  The UK is likewise pulling back later this year, more so next; with major tensions erupting after mid 2019.

Even the USA, more locked into Saudi – astrologically and for commercial and political reasons – is starting to lose the love. There’ll be a similar chill through 2019, preceded by some sharp words this December/January 2019.

King Salman’s reign, 23 January 2015 1am, is uncertain and panicky this year, jolted early in 2019 and running into a major setback late next year. He’s not in the best of health and is nearly 83.

MbS was elevated to Crown Prince over his more moderate, experienced relative, on 21 June 2017 announced 6.19am or thereabouts in Riyadh. This gives a ruthless Mars in Cancer opposition Pluto square an over-the-top Jupiter. Plus an inspirational, entrepreneurial Fire Grand Trine of Saturn trine Uranus trine Node, formed into a Kite by Saturn opposition Sun Mercury – so a powerful chart for reform with a brutal streak and in-built risks of self-defeat from grandiosity and lack of caution.

There’s an oddly karmic (fated) feel about this situation – and indeed the Skripal poisoning. There have been political assassinations in the recent past but none of them have rung such a bell as these two. And both collide with Trump’s glorification of strong-men leaders and indeed his demonization of the media. There’s a kickback from the universe in here somewhere.

Kanye West – out-ranting Trump



Kanye West managed to upstage Trump in an extraordinary Oval Office meeting where he let fly with wild statements in all directions and was roundly criticised for his over-the-top adulation of the president.

West is in an overly excitable phase at the moment with tr Uranus conjunct his Mars Venus in Taurus, until early 2019, which will send him up like a rocket, bubbling over with enthusiasm. Though that’s running alongside an extended run of undermining Neptune hard aspects to his Mutable T Square of Sun Jupiter in Gemini opposition Neptune in Sagittarius square a Pisces Moon. Too much Mutable can be destabilising and tends to go off like a windmill in a storm.

His Fixed T Square will continue to be jolted and jangled into the early 2020s as tr Uranus opposes his Uranus and then squares his wannabe-important Saturn in Leo.

West’s Mercury in Taurus is conjunct Trump’s midheaven and West’s Sun Jupiter falls in Trump’s 10th so it’s a mutual admiration society. Though it’s not a bro-romance that would survive close contact for too long. Their relationship chart does have a friendly Sun Venus conjunction; an intense Venus square Pluto; and an upbeat Sun sextile Jupiter. But there’s also a volatile Mars sextile Uranus; and a suspicious/doubting Saturn square Neptune perhaps tied into the Moon.

West’s birth time is unverified, but if 8 June 1977 8.45 am Atlanta, Georgia is sound then he has Pluto in the 4th. That might attract him to powerful men; and his Saturn in Leo is desperate to be connected to the greatest etc etc. He’s clearly not stable.  I always thought it was significant that Tony Blair who also has Pluto in the 4th wrecked his career because of his Iraq alliance with GW Bush – he had to be seen playing with the big boys.

Bradley Cooper – lucky in talent, not in love



Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, the romantic musical A Star is Born, in which he also stars alongside Lady Gaga, has been getting superlative reviews and good box office. He’s had multiple nominations through a glittering and highly-paid career – Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and American Sniper – with a Tony nomination for his performance as the Elephant Man on Broadway.

His emotional life has been more chequered with a six month marriage to Jennifer Esposito, other media-fodder liaisons, most recently with Russian model Irina Shayk with whom he has a young daughter. Early in his career he suffered from depression and substance abuse and is now teetotal.

Born 5 January 1975 5.09 am Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a stockbroker father, he does have a bleak chart with a Capricorn Sun opposition an 8th house Saturn square a 10th house Pluto. He won’t find relationships or cooperating at an intimate level easy. His Libra Moon is square Venus Mercury in Capricorn which will give him a charming manner, but behind the smiles he’s very defensive. A showbizzy Mars Neptune in Sagittarius sit on his Ascendant square Jupiter in sympathetic Pisces, which latter probably fuels his charity work for cancer and Alzheimers.

Irina Shayk, 6 January 1986 Russia, like him has her Sun and Venus in Capricorn but she’s also got an angst-ridden and intense Pluto, Mars and Moon in Scorpio which won’t sit comfortably with his Libra Moon. Her Uranus is conjunct his Mars so it will be a volatile relationship, a sparky attraction initially then turning argumentative. Her Saturn is conjunct his Sun/Moon midpoint, the committed partnership significator, which sounds like hard work.

Their relationship chart has an affectionate composite Sun Venus in a passionate and possessive square to Pluto; with an explosive composite Mars Uranus conjunction; and a suspicious/doubting Saturn square Neptune. It’s one of these can’t live with them, can’t live without them connections. It’s under a good deal of pressure right through till 2020 with tr Pluto conjunct the composite Venus and then square the Pluto so the ties-that-bind are being seriously stretched.

Tr Pluto is also squaring his natal Moon in 2019/2020 which sounds like major strains in his domestic life. Tr Neptune is already taking the shine off his enthusiasm as it conjuncts his Jupiter and squares his Solar Arc Uranus; then next year squares his natal Mars, with all three influences coinciding in 18 months’ time which does not look easy – panicky, highly-strung, feeling a failure. He’s got tr Saturn moving through his First Quadrant for some years which often coincides with a time when unresolved emotional issues surface and have to be resolved.

His 7th harmonic is very strong which is creative, a seeking soul, and can be finely balanced psychologically.

If this relationship splits it won’t be easy since Plutonic bonds end up in bitter long drawn out tussles.

Princess Eugenie – a successful launch *update



Princess Eugenie married her Jack at 11.10 am this morning in Windsor in a very attractive dress. This gives an affluent and successful/influential Pluto trine midheaven, sextile Jupiter. Though there’s also a pressured, trapped Sun square Pluto; and a volatile Uranus Mars North Node is tied into Mercury Venus in Scorpio. The day itself was guaranteed to be a strain since it involved such huge amount of organisation and exposure. But the wedding chart also gives a flavour of the marriage to come.

What strikes me – not that I wish to rain on their happy if windy day –  is that Eugenie has Mars in Aquarius in her birth chart and it squares onto Jack’s Taurus Sun opposition Pluto, which sounds fairly fraught since she’ll be utterly determined and at times quite ornery about getting her way; and he’ll be stubborn and controlling, subtly or otherwise. He does admittedly have five planets in adaptable Mutable signs while she has none but he’ll still dig his heels in.

She’s done what her parents did which was aim for the exact opposite in terms of the elements. She’s a Fire Aries Sun with an Air Aquarius Moon, while he’s an Earth Taurus Sun with a Water Pisces Moon. Her mother has an Air Sun and Fire Moon while her father has a Water Sun and Moon. Chalk and cheese matches. Though Eugenie does have the earthy triple conjunction in Capricorn; and he has Venus in Airy social butterfly Gemini which will help.

Their relationship chart has an ethereal, romantic composite Venus square Neptune, though that can turn out to be over-hopeful when the shine wears off; plus a power-couple composite Jupiter opposition Pluto so they will have ambitions together to make their mark as a twosome of social substance. The downside of that is it can turn into a tussle for the upper hand and the last word. Plus a competitive, argumentative, highly energetic composite Sun square Mars.

There’s an oddity for which I struggle to make an interpretation.  The South Node on their relationship chart is exactly conjunct the midheaven of the wedding chart. The South Node is the line of least resistance, usually seen as negative – that which needs to be struggled away from.

On the synastry, his Jupiter (Moon) in Pisces trines her midheaven so he’ll be supportive in her career/direction in life.

Pluses and minuses and there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. She was most badly affected of the two siblings by her parents’ split and she’s got an edgy Neptune, Saturn and Mars in her 4th so she’ll never be that settled domestically in her adult home life. He may get tetchy about the sacrifices she feels she has to make for her family, since his Mars in Capricorn, admittedly socially ambitious, is conjunct her Neptune, so he won’t always be overly supportive.

Florida – in the eye of various storms



Florida took the full brunt of Hurricane Michael, one of the strongest storms to ever hit the US mainland, ranked four on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and with a storm surge of 9ft (2.7m). Then state governor said it caused ‘unimaginable destruction.’ Entire oceanfront communities were virtually obliterated, an Air Force base suffered “catastrophic” damage and at least six people were killed. A volunteer rescuer said it looked ‘like a bomb dropped.’

It hit land at 2pm near Mexico Beach, Fl on Wednesday October 10th which oddly puts Venus Moon (and Mercury) in Scorpio on the midheaven though it is opposition Uranus and square a 1st house Mars in Aquarius. That follows on from the recent run of eclipses which all had the Node tied into the explosive, disruptive Mars Uranus.

The 11 August Solar Eclipse set for Mexico Beach puts Mars in Aquarius exactly on the Descendant. Planets on the chart axis indicate significant events for that location. And Mars in Aquarius has a decidedly destructive side.

Florida, 3 March 1845, has had a run of horrors in the past two or three years with multiple shootings including Stoneman High School. Tr Neptune has been conjunct the Sun from 2016 onwards (depending on start time of statehood); plus a ‘shocking-collision’ Solar Arc Mars square the Sun. At the moment tr Uranus is square the Solar Arc Saturn which is certainly high tension and associated with breakages. Tr Saturn is square the Florida Uranus Jupiter in Aries once more through till mid-December for a jolts and disappointments in cleaning up the aftermath.  The undermining tr Neptune conjunct Sun will fade from the end of this year.

Ahead tr Pluto squares the Florida Pluto from early 2019 through 2020, which suggest forced change; with another uncertain and painful phase late 2019 into early 2020 with Solar Arc Neptune Venus opposition the Florida Saturn. It will be a slow recovery.

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