Cuba – more of the same or a surprise coming



Miguel Díaz-Canel has been sworn in as Cuba’s new president, replacing Raúl Castro who took over from Fidel in 2006 and is the first non-Castro to head the nation since the 1959 revolution. He has worked his way up through the Communist Party and not expected to make radical changes, although he did at one point champion LGBT rights.

Born 20 April 1960, he is a Sun Taurus in an Earth Grand Trine to Pluto in Virgo and Jupiter in Capricorn, formed into a Kite by Sun opposition Neptune – so practical, confident and following a vision. He’s also got a Yod of Mars in Pisces sextile Saturn in Capricorn inconjunct Uranus, which doesn’t quite fit with his party technocrat image since such a focal point Uranus can be rebellious, wilful and a trailblazer – perhaps Cuba’s outsider status soaked it up. He will be a catalyst for change but if mishandled it could prove divisive.

Tr Uranus is about to conjunct his Sun as he steps into a new role and lifestyle. But his Term chart, 19 April 2018 around 9.30am suggests what lies ahead will not be plain sailing. Saturn is conjunct Mars for difficulties, setbacks and harsh conditions; and Mars is also conjunct Pluto drawing to exact in four years’ time which suggests the intervening period will be  frustrated, trapped and high risk. Plus a disruptive Sun Uranus. And if the time is right a lacklustre |Neptune in the 10th.

Anyone has an accurate swearing in time gratefully received.


Cliff Richard – a light-hearted Libran under pressure



Singer Cliff Richard is suing the BBC over the misuse of private information and breaking data protection rules, for transmitting film of a police search of his UK home in 2014 after an allegation of sexual abuse had been made. No charges were ultimately brought. He says he suffered “profound and long-lasting damage” from the publicity. Lawyers for the BBC says its coverage of the search was accurate and in good faith and journalists had respected Sir Cliff’s “presumption of innocence”.

Born 14 October 1940 9.10pm (rectififed) Lucknow, India, Richard has had an extraordinarily long and successful career as a pop singer at the lighter end of the scale, selling only marginally less in the UK than the Beatles and Elvis. He is a lifelong bachelor and a committed Christian, with wide philanthropic interests.

He has a Libra Sun in the performing 5th house, with an Aries Moon in his 10th house of career – definitely destined for a public career. His chart is very Fixed with Mercury in Scorpio, also in the 5th opposition Jupiter Saturn in Taurus; with Uranus also in Taurus in a creative trine to Neptune; and Pluto in Leo. A proliferation of fixed planets usually gives longevity and stamina. His Moon opposes Mars in the 4th; his Venus in Virgo on his IC is trine Saturn Jupiter and his North Node is in Libra also in his 4th – so he’d always find work easier than his emotional life

When the police raided his UK home tr Neptune was conjunct his midheaven and since then has been moving through his 10th, so he would feel his reputation was being undermined. And shortly after,tr Pluto  moved into his 8th where it stays for many years, giving him a sense of being trapped.  At the moment he has tr Pluto square his Sun in 2018/19 so feeling tremendous pressure. He’s already sued the South Yorkshire police. Though the BBC is a different kettle of fish, never giving way easily in legal spats.

Matthew Mellon – too much and not enough



Matthew Mellon who turned his $25 million legacy into a $1billion crypto-currency fortune but suffered from drug addiction and bi-polar disorder has died aged 54 while undergoing treatment at a Mexico rehab clinic. He met his first wife Tamara (of Jimmy Choo fame) at a Narcotics Anon meeting in London after an extreme cocaine addiction in his early adult life; and more recently succumbed to a prescription painkiller addiction costing $100,000 a month.

While it’s tricky to be sympathetic to the very wealthy, he did come from a troubled family. His father abandoned them when Mellon was five years old, later committing suicide, with his mother also a bi-polar sufferer.  A Priory clinic shrink said “The very rich can be surprisingly isolated, a little like the very deprived.” Lack of work leaves them with no purpose, structure or community. Years ago one of the Vanderbilts, glooming over the Midas-sized fortune handed to him, said “It has left me with nothing to hope for”.

Born 28 January 1964 in New York, Mellon has an Aquarius Sun conjunct Mars with Saturn also in Aquarius. Those planets are shared by right-wing ‘shock jock’ Glen Beck (10 Feb), Sarah Palin (11 Feb) and former NY mobster John Giotti Jnr (14 Feb).

Mellon’s chart is riddled with inconjuncts, suggesting strain and difficulty fitting in  – Pluto sextile Neptune quincunx an overly-expansive Jupiter in Aries; and Pluto sextile a Cancer Node quincunx a self-willed Mars. Plus a Mystic Rectangle of Mercury opposition Node and Pluto Uranus opposition Venus in Pisces, which is difficult to balance. And probably a Full Moon in Leo opposition his Sun. Constantly pulled in different directions, he was never able to centre himself on what was important. And finally a Water Grand Trine of Neptune trine Node trine Venus in Pisces which can pull the individual away from realty, into a dream world of self-protection. That Grand Trine is formed into a Kite by Node opposition Mercury, so he would be highly strung and finely-balanced in terms of mental functions.

In recent years he’s had the tr Uranus square tr Pluto hitting on his Mercury, creating more mental strain; and exacerbating his Jupiter’s tendencies to go over the top.

There are different ways of living out all the above chart energies and sometimes the very rich do make a productive life for themselves. But he clearly never found the stability for whatever reason to make a go of it.

His pleasure-seeking 9th Harmonic was strong and bleak. His 7H which is creative but often slightly mad was also notable. His rise-and-fall 10H and can-be-self-destructive 16H were also heavily aspected.

Sean Hannity – unmasked as ‘the third man’



Much merriment and outrage has been voiced over Trump fan Sean Hannity, the Fox News host’s failure to disclose his relationship with Trump attorney Michael Cohen as he is named as the mysterious third client. The purists says it puts his credibility on the line since he was on air condemning the FBI raid on Cohen’s office without full disclosure of his conflict of interest.

Cohen’s other two clients are Trump and Republican National Committee Deputy Finance Chair Elliott Broidy. Broidy resigned recently after the Wall Street Journal reported he had a sexual affair with a Playboy Playmate, resulting in a pregnancy that she terminated, and that Cohen arranged a payment of $1.6 million in hush money to her. Cohen also paid off Stormy Daniels.

Stephen Colbert went to town on his late night satirical talk show, saying Cohen only has two other clients and all he does for them is pay off mistresses, which raises the obvious question about Hannity.   Hannity denies that Cohen ever dealt with any third-party matter for him.

Hannity, born 30 December 1961 10.30am Franklin Square, New York, has Sun, Mars, Venus in Capricorn as well as Mercury trine Pluto Uranus in Virgo – ambitious, money-minded, an enthusiast, a forceful speaker and a de-stabiliser. He’s also got North Node in Leo opposition Jupiter in Aquarius square Neptune in Scorpio so will be slippery at times. Neptune is further emphasised being on the pint of a mini-Grand Trine of Pluto trine Sun Mercury.

There’s nothing to indicate a fall from grace though he is shaken at the moment, has a tough slog through the rest of the year; with a major jolt in July – but will be on confident form through 2019 to 2021 with a few humps and bumps along the way as well. If his birth time is accurate tr Neptune will square his midheaven in 2019 which is lacklustre. But tr Saturn stays in his upper quadrant for another few years so he’ll just keep on going.

Tom Cruise & John Travolta – an impossible relationship



A long-rumoured feud between Tom Cruise and John Travolta, both high-profile Scientologists, has been confirmed and described by a former security guard as competing for the favour of Scientology chief David Miscavige.  He has naturally been discounted as an ‘apostate’.

They are certainly an ill-matched pair, both with fairly Fixed charts. Tom Cruise’s Mars in Taurus square Uranus collides with Travolta’s Pluto opposition Aquarius Sun, so an unsettling and hostile chemistry. With Travolta’s Uranus conjunct Cruise’s Sun; and Travolta’s Saturn in Scorpio conjunct Cruises’ Neptune; and Cruise’s Pluto conjunct Travolta’s Moon.

Their relationship chart has an exact power-struggling composite Mars opposition Pluto; and a deceptive, disappointing composite Sun, Mercury, Jupiter opposition Neptune in a can-be fanatical square to Uranus.

Not even a magician could make that work as a partnership.

New Orleans – 300 this year and still raving



New Orleans is celebrating the 300th anniversary of its founding on 7th May this year. It’s known for its distinctive French and Spanish Creole architecture and multilingual heritage, as well as for its cuisine, jazz music and the Mardi Gras. It occupies both sides of the Mississippi River.

A Taurus Sun does indicate a love of food and music and in sextile to Jupiter, an upbeat ambience. And the Sun aspects the exuberant Mars/Jupiter midpoint as well as the magical, mystical, slightly crazy Neptune/Pluto. With Mars square the rebellious Uranus/Pluto – it is known as the most unique city in the USA. The murder rate is high, perhaps reflected in the Mars in Gemini trine Saturn. It’ll surely be noisy with Mars conjunct Mercury; and a probable Earth Grand Trine of Neptune trine Pluto trine a Capricorn Moon will anchor it into earthly pleasures with a zany twist.

When the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, 80% of the city was flooded with at least 700 deaths. At that point tr Pluto was opposition the New Orleans Mars; with tr Uranus conjunct the Solar Arc Sun and both opposition Pluto in the lingering aftermath.

Barbara Bush – a formidable Gemini



Barbara Bush, now 92, former first lady and mother of GWB is in “failing health” and won’t seek additional medical treatment, focussing instead on comfort care. One of her grand-daughters described her as ‘a fighter, an enforcer.’

Born 8 June 1925 7pm New York with a magazine magnate father, she met George Bush Snr when she was 16 and married him three years later, going on to produce six children, one of whom died young of leukaemia. She travelled with her husband when he spent 3 years in China; and afterwards in Washington campaigned on Equal Rights, literacy, was pro-choice on abortion and thought homosexuality should be left and a personal matter.   She did suffer from depression when GH Bush was Head of the CIA and has had Graves Disease, a thyroid auto-immune condition, for many years.

She has a communicative 7th house Sun Mercury in Gemini.  With a formidable, battened-down and determined Mars Pluto in Cancer in her 8th, along with Venus in Gemini. Her Moon Jupiter in hard-working Capricorn in the financial 2nd oppose her Pluto Mars, so she would veer between optimism, appreciation for money, the chance to wield power behind the scenes and feeling trapped by circumstances beyond her control. Uranus in the 4th points to a constantly changing domestic situation; and Saturn in Scorpio in the 12th trine Pluto, would give her endurance and a tendency to the glooms. A strong but not easy chart.

George Bush Snr is also a Gemini with a Libra Moon – so both are fairly detached emotionally.  His Sun falls in her 7th house of marriage and his Venus Pluto in Cancer in her 8th making for a deep though not altogether easy connection that bound them together. Her Sun Mercury fall in his 10th house of career, so she’d support his ambitions; and her Moon Jupiter is in his 5th house of children, forging another point of contact.

The relationship chart points to affection from composite Venus conjunct Pluto, sextile Mars and opposition Jupiter.  But it was a marriage that demanded sacrifices with a composite Saturn opposition Mars, as one partner would feel ill-done to with their needs not being met.


Pic: David Valdez.

Chemical weapons – a perversion of science



Fritz Haber, known as the father of chemical warfare, won a Nobel Prize for chemistry for his method of producing nitrogen fertilizers on which the food production for half the world’s current population depends. He also pioneered weaponizing chlorine gas for use in World War 1 and was proud of his achievement though it probably led to the suicide of his pacifist wife. He also developed Zyklon-B, a cyanide-based pesticide, which was used in the concentration camps during WW11. Though he was not a supporter of National Socialism and had left Germany before he died in 1934.

Born 9 December 1868, Breslau, Poland he was a rigid Sun Sagittarius conjunct Saturn in an inspirational, attention-demanding Fire Grand Trine to North Node in Leo trine Neptune  (ruler of poisons); with Neptune perhaps opposition a Libra Moon. He also had a Yod of an inventive Pluto sextile Uranus inconjunct his Sun. A Yod focal point Sun can lead to ‘a tendency to abuse personal will and authority’. He has the same Yod as the Marquis de Sade, so driven to dominate by whatever means.

The French also manufactured chemical weapons in WW1, which were used by the Brits and Americans, though even then it was considered a war crime. The French chemist Victor Grignard, 6 May 1871 11pm Cherbourg, France, has a more obviously brutal chart with a Sun Pluto in Taurus trine Mars in Virgo widely trine Saturn in Capricorn.

Ivan Ilyin – understanding Putin’s MO



Vladimir Putin’s macho-Christian-nationalist rule begins to make sense or at least have coherence reading reviews of a new book out on his philosopher-hero Ivan Ilyin. Putin had his remains repatriated and made Ilyin’s essays required reading.

Ilyin, born 28 March 1883, disliked Bolshevism and, in exile, gravitated towards Hitler and Mussolini, from whom he developed the notion of Russian fascism.  This perceived a Russia under a strong masculine leader where individualism amongst the populace would be subdued, allowing the country to speak with one voice. ‘Alien influences’, ie. anyone who disagreed or held different beliefs, would be suppressed – Muslims, homosexuals etc. The Russian spirit would therefore prevail.

‘In this culture war, disinformation was critical. The more outrageous the official lie was, the more it allowed people to demonstrate their faith in the Kremlin.’ ‘Russian power is displayed in a relativist blizzard of alternative theories, delivered in a vaguely absurdist spirit, as if no truth on earth is really provable.’ (Guardian URL below) And not only at home, Putin’s disinformation campaign abroad has been geared on the same principles towards undermining democracy – in supporting Le Pen and Farage, RT suggesting the Scottish referendum had been rigged etc, never mind Trump.

Ilyin was a Sun Aries; with Saturn midway between Neptune and Pluto in Taurus trine Uranus. Uranus would make him a reformer, and Saturn Neptune Pluto would give him a tendency to dabble in strange ideas, part mystical. Saturn Pluto is bleak, repressive; Saturn Neptune is concerned with re-ordering society; Neptune Pluto has overtones of megalomania. His Uranus also opposed Mercury in Pisces squaring onto Jupiter in Gemini – confident with grand ideas, idealistic about social order, impractical, philanthropic.

Putin shares Ilyin’s Saturn Neptune conjunction, though in his case it’s in Libra; and Ilyin’s Saturn Neptune is conjunct Putin’s confident Jupiter in Taurus, giving Putin a template for his political strategy. Their relationship chart has a powerfully connected and transformational composite Sun Mercury opposition Pluto; though also a bizarre collection of Saturn Neptune opposition Mars, sextile/trine Jupiter which will get a sharp elbow come 2019/2020.

Perhaps the guru will fall off his pedestal. Certainly explains those odd Putin as John Wayne bare-chested on a horse pics.