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Florence Foster Jenkins – you couldn’t make it up

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Dramatising a life that was stranger than fiction seems to have worked for the movie on Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, on which Rotten Tomatoes has poured accolades.

A prodigiously bad vocalist known as the ‘diva of din’ and “the worst goddamn singer in the world”, “she had and was blissfully unaware of, the worst set of pipes in the world of music … Be afraid, be very afraid”.

Born 19 July 1868, she was a New York socialite and enthusiastic patron of the arts who gave private recitals to sycophantic friends and admirers and made her public debut finally in 1944 aged 76 at Carnegie Hall, which met with excoriating reviews. She had a heart attack days later and died a month after.

She contracted syphilis from her first husband, left him and hooked up with her manager/partner actor St Clair Bayfield, the grandchild (illegitimate) of an English earl, a founder member of Equity, who managed her ‘career’ for 36 years, mainly by never telling her the truth about how bad she was.

She was a New Moon in Cancer conjunct Venus Mercury with Uranus also in Cancer; her Sun (Moon) were trine an obsessive Saturn in Scorpio; and her Uranus Mercury Venus were square a head-in-the-clouds Neptune Jupiter in Aries. Certainly very self-protective with so much Cancer and very Neptunian, as well as hugely determined with her Mars/Pluto midpoint in aspect to her Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus.

Her Mercury aspected her Mars/Saturn midpoint which might give a clue to her fractured vocal chords (or ear) as well as being conjunct Uranus and square Jupiter Neptune – so what she lacked in talent she made up for in delusional confidence.

St Clair Bayfield, 2 Aug 1875, was a quirky Sun Uranus in Leo; with his Venus and Mercury in Cancer conjunct her Venus Mercury New Moon; and his Leo Moon perhaps conjunct her North Node. Though his Saturn in Aquarius opposed her North Node and his Pluto squared it, which might be a clue to his determined efforts to nurture a talent that ran so much against the grain of public taste.

He also had a Yod of Pluto sextile Mercury Venus inconjunct Mars, which found its direction when he met Florence in 1909 as tr Saturn was trine his focal point Mars; and both tr Pluto and tr Uranus were conjunct legs of the Yod in their Solar Arc positions. He’d finally landed the role of his life.

Their relationship chart may have had a composite New Moon – a perfectly complementary pair, more whole when together. Plus never-say-die composite Mars trine Mercury Venus, sextile Pluto; a chained-together Saturn trine Pluto; and an idealistic and confident Saturn Jupiter. A folie a deux that made it into history.

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Harold Henthorn – repeating cycle of deaths

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Harold Henthorn, dubbed the black widower, is now serving a life sentence for pushing his second wife off a cliff, having set her up with a hefty life insurance policy made out to him. When the FBI investigated they discovered his first wife had also died in mysterious circumstances out in the wild with only him present and again he got a substantial inheritance. When he was finally nabbed, he’d already set lady number three up with a life policy on which he’d forged her signature.

He was born 14 November 1955 and is a Sun Saturn Moon in Scorpio square Jupiter Pluto in Leo – so certainly determined and an odd mix of depressed and over-confident. What seems telling is that both wives died 12 years into the marriage which suggests a repeating pattern. Often childhood trauma gets lived out on the same timeline (not that that is any excuse at all) and can be seen from Progressions. In his case his Progressed Mars had moved to conjunct his natal Neptune exactly when he was 12 years old, sextiling his Jupiter Pluto. I’ve no idea what happened but would be interesting to know.

He married Toni, his second wife, a successful opthalmologist, on 30 Sept 2000 when there was a Saturn opposition Pluto square Mars in place, which was a hint of the very controlling and ultimately murderous marriage that followed.

Toni was born 10 Jan 1962 and was a Sun Venus Mars in Capricorn; with Mars Venus trine Pluto, sextile Neptune – her family describe as not having great success in picking suitable boyfriends and her Mars Venus Pluto Neptune might have had something to do with that.

Their relationship chart had a composite Sun Saturn Venus conjunction with Venus Saturn trine Pluto; and Pluto square Mars – certainly dominating, scary from Mars Pluto, cold from Saturn and the addition of Pluto can turn that perverse.

When his first wife died on 6 May 1995, crushed by a collapsed car, tr Pluto was conjunct his Solar Arc Mars; and His Solar Arc Neptune Uranus conjunction was straddling a square to his Neptune.

When Toni was killed on 29 Sept 2012, his Jupiter Pluto had moved by Solar Arc within a degree of the conjunction to his Neptune; with tr Saturn conjunct his Neptune. On both occasions tr Mars was in hard aspect to his Sun Saturn, which is a minor influence, but clearly was sparked up when his months of planning came to a tragic conclusion.

His natal Neptune (conjunct Mars) does seem key though would need a birth time to see quite how it fitted into his killer con-man mentality.

Stephen Bannon – punches his weight

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Stephen Bannon, the aggressive roustabout brought in as the new CEO of Trump’s campaign was born 27 Nov 1953 in Norfolk, Virginia and has been a naval officer, investment banker (Goldman Sachs), minor Hollywood player, and political impresario. He described himself last year as coming from “a blue-collar, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats.” He’s CEO of Breitbart News, the crusading right-wing populist website which has supported Trump to the hilt and is ‘a haven for people who think Fox News is too polite and restrained.’ He’s virulently anti-establishment and set out last year to undermine Jeb Bush and was behind the damaging Clinton Cash expose.

A mile-a-minute talker who thrums with energy, he’s a Sun Sagittarius; with Jupiter in Gemini trine Neptune Mars in Libra, sextile Pluto (Moon) in Leo – keen on publicity-generating businesses, pro-active, controlling, flamboyant. His Pluto is square Venus (Mercury) in Scorpio so he can turn on the charm when needed. His Uranus in Cancer opposes his North Node squaring onto Neptune Mars – which will certainly give him a vision which he’s fanatical about as well as huge amounts of energy and aggression. Not for the faint hearted.  It does suggest Trump intends to ‘double down on the unabashed and unpolished populism’ of his early campaign.

There’s as much good as tricky in his interface with Trump. Bannon’s Jupiter is conjunct Trump’s Sun; and his Mars conjunct Trump’s Jupiter – so a good deal of morale boosting going on, though it could go over the score and lead to overly confident decisions. On the downside Bannon’s Uranus is conjunct Trump’s Saturn Venus which hints at differing objectives with tension resulting. Worse, Bannon’s powerfully aspected Pluto is conjunct Trump’s Mars and Ascendant, so Bannon will put his forceful personality behind dominating Trump which isn’t likely to go down well.

Their relationship chart has a workmanlike composite Sun Saturn Mercury conjunction. Though that is also conjunct the composite Mars, which looks very rough edged and argumentative. Plus a composite Jupiter Pluto which will start well, with each egging the other on, but can switch to a definite struggle for the upper hand. Neither is a personality who likes being outshone. Tr Saturn is in a discouraging square to the composite Mercury in October and square the Sun Saturn into early November. Plus there’s tr Pluto square the composite Neptune now till early Sept and again mid October across the election which is confused.

Bannon’s relationship with the new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has the same mix of friendly and not-so-friendly crossovers with a composite Sun Venus; but also an irritable, argumentative Saturn square Mars which is certainly under strain through September.

Bannon’s personal chart throws up a mix of great and not-so-great transits ahead. In general he’s in a highly frustrating couple of years with tr Pluto square his Mars, but that’s not exact again until December. He looks upbeat at the moment with tr Uranus square his Jupiter/Pluto midpoint; marginally relieved in September with tr Uranus sextile his Jupiter, and exuberantly confident with tr Pluto trine his Sun/Jupiter though also under strain and confused with tr Pluto hitting on his Sun/Pluto and Sun/Neptune. Tr Uranus squares his Uranus (and Neptune Mars Node T square) through October which may put him onto a different track, and will bring sudden decisions or changed circumstances.

Although Trump started with his new team last week on an apology, I’d imagine Bannon will propel him towards upping his personal attacks on Hillary. Bannon’s Saturn is conjunct Hillary’s Scorpio Sun which certainly fits with him exposing her shadow. Their relationship chart has a power-struggling Sun square Pluto; and tr Pluto is trine the composite Mars now and in October and November; with tr Saturn square the composite Jupiter Mars in Oct/Nov – so it could get very nasty up to and after the election.

Taekwondo – flying feet propelled by Mars in Cancer

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What’s fun about the Olympics (apart from the Brits doing so astonishingly well much to our surprise, thanks to former PM, Sir John Major, who pushed for funding) is that niche sports get exposure.

Taekwondo, which seems at core to be kick boxing, is a Korean martial art with elements of karate, which depends on speed and agility. Size matters less than speed, which is just as well for Jade Jones, yesterday’s gold medal winner, who is only 5ft 1 (155 cms).

Born 21 March 1993 in Rhyl, Wales, she got into scrapes as a child – not surprisingly since she’s an Aries Sun with Venus in Aries opposition Jupiter square Mars in mid Cancer opposition Neptune Uranus in Capricorn – which will give her a whole bundle of explosive energy.

What is intriguing is her accentuated mid Cancer Mars, which one of the early proponents of taekwondo, Haeng Ung Lee, also had. His Mars in Cancer was trine Saturn, and on the focal point of Uranus trine Neptune; with Sun Pluto conjunct in Cancer as well.

Jhoon Goo Rhee, 7 Jan 1932, another expert, also had a heavily emphasised Cardinal Mars in Capricorn, conjunct Saturn Sun and opposition Pluto, as well as being square Uranus.

Jean Claude van Damme, the martial movie star, 18 Oct 1960, also has his Mars just before mid Cancer in opposition to Saturn; in a mini-Grand Trine to Neptune sextile Pluto.

An afflicted Mars, especially in excitable Cancer,  clearly works well if you find the right sport.

The media have got all revved up about 23 March birthday for several top UK sportsmen – Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Mo Farah, as well as the first four-minute miler Roger Bannister. All have an early Aries Sun, so not an astonishment they are all fast off the mark.

Ryan Lochte & Jimmy Feigen – swamped by the Saturn (Mars) Neptune square

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Ryan Lochte, the talented US swimmer has had the misfortune to be competing during Michael Phelps’ unassailable years, but has still garnered a more than respectable six Olympic Golds and 48 from other championships. All tarnished in a night of youthful idiocy (except he’s 32) when a drunken incident with three other swimmers turned into a robbery allegation, which tale cctv promptly demolished, indicating they had vandalised a petrol station. The Rio police were quite rightly outraged at the insinuation that it was crime-ridden Rio at fault. His sponsorships and prancing on reality TV are likely to come to a sudden halt, though he’s still sticking to his story. (Has since issued a statement saying he should have been more “candid, careful and responsible” which is a weaselly kind of apology, saying he was waiting until all the swimmers were out of Brazil before saying anything.)

Born 3 Aug 1984, he’s a Sun Leo square Saturn (Moon) in Scorpio and trine Uranus. Leo hates to be exposed and a Scorpio Moon doubly so. His Venus in flamboyant Leo is in a seductive trine to Neptune, sextile Pluto, so he likes to charm and schmooze. Though with his Venus square Mars in Scorpio, won’t be over sensitive to others.

His Uranus, Solar Arc Saturn, Solar Arc Sun and a couple of midpoints are picking up hard aspects from the panicky, neurotic, undermining tr Neptune square tr Saturn, amplified and aggravated by tr Mars conjunct tr Saturn, at the moment and for the next few weeks, no doubt as the repercussions filter through. He’s also got his Solar Arc Neptune square his Pluto this year which tends to be fairly devastating.

Jimmy Feigen, another Gold winning swimmer from this year, has agreed to pay nearly $11,000 to a Brazilian charity over his involvement in the incident. The United States Olympic Committee has since apologised to Brazil.

Feigen, 26 Sept 1989, Hilo, Hawaii, has a feisty Sun Mars in Libra on the point of a chaotic T square to Uranus Saturn Neptune opposition Jupiter – definitely excitable, impulsive, with a short fuse. He’s also got a seductive Venus Pluto in Scorpio.

Like Lochte, it’s the tr Saturn square tr Neptune which has caught him out as it hard aspects five of his midpoints now and for the rest of the year.

Boys will be boys, but it was the cover-up that done the damage. If they’d paid for the breakages at the time and kept their mouths shut they might have got away with it.

George Soros – sharp about money, keen on liberal causes

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Billionaire George Soros, one of Hillary Clinton’s major donors and a supporter of liberal causes, became known as the man who ‘broke the Bank of England’ after his bets against the pound were instrumental in ejecting it from the Exchange Rate Mechanism in the 1990s and made him $1 billion.

A leak of documents from his philanthropic network has sparked a fairly muted row in the media about:- 1) his support for the Palestininians to challenge “Israel’s racist and anti-democratic policies in the international arena”; 2) his interference in East European country elections; 3) giving financial help which supported groups that fuelled the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri after a young black man was shot by a white policeman; 4) him benefitting from Clinton’s push for the Panama Free Trade Agreement, which opened the country up as a tax haven; 5) giving former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental group millions of dollars to create a “political space for aggressive U.S. action” on global warming. He’s also had a business relationship with Donald Trump lending him money for hotel construction.

He was born in Budapest, Hungary on 12 Aug 1930, and has the super-confident Jupiter Pluto conjunction in Cancer; with Jupiter opposition Saturn square Venus on one side and square Uranus on the other – so part of that innovative, utterly-determined, bubbling-with-initiative Depression generation. His Leo Sun is trine Uranus in Aries, sextiling onto a focal point Mars in Gemini.

His Leo Sun is conjunct Hillary’s Mars Pluto Saturn, so not the easiest of relationships for close co-operation. Though if her birth time of 8.01am is accurate then his Jupiter falls in her 8th house of joint finances which will no doubt be an attraction. His Neptune is conjunct her MC, so something unclear about his influence on her career, slippery, maybe scandal-prone.

Their relationship chart again has a Neptunian flavour with high-finance Jupiter Neptune conjunct the composite Sun trine Uranus, sextiling onto a pro-active Mars. Though there’s also an argumentative Mars square Mercury; and an emotionally cool Venus Saturn conjunction. Definitely money-oriented.

The relationship looks tense and stressed from Dec 2016 and through 2017 with tr Pluto opposition Mars and square Mercury; with tr Uranus opposition the composite Venus at the moment and again early in 2017. But they’ll definitely be on a roll together by 2018 with tr Pluto trine the composite Jupiter and Uranus. Though with a hint of disappointment following that. High financial hopes which peter out.

Lee Stocker – Mr Tiggywinkle to the rescue

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Lee Stocker, was a pioneer and trail-blazer with a powerfully determined chart. Born in London on 31 January 1943, he had an Aquarius Sun in an Air Grand Trine to Uranus Saturn in Gemini trine Neptune, formed into perhaps two Kites; one Sun opposition Pluto and the other Uranus Saturn perhaps opposition Moon. So he had talent, influence (Pluto) and struck a chord in the public imagination (Moon).

He also had a Yod of Uranus Saturn sextile Pluto inconjunct Mars – which tends in early life to mis-direct energy, until a new life direction is found which uses all of Mars’ courage, vigour and decisiveness. Plus he had his North Lode in Leo which gives leadership ability.

None of which was obvious when he trained as an accountant and started a small electrical business. Aged 40, he was bored and chucked it all in. At that point he was in his midlife crisis with tr Uranus (and Jupiter) opposition his Uranus Saturn, shaking his Grand Trine – this is when old, unfulfilled ambitions become much more pressing. Tr Jupiter was conjunct his Node, giving him a nudge about developing his potential; and the tr Saturn Pluto conjunction was moving to trigger his Yod, sextile his Mars and conjunct his Solar Arc Neptune in the years following.

His turning point came when he found an injured hedgehog that vets were unwilling to treat. It sparked his childhood interest in wildlife and he went on to found the St Tiggywinkles Hospital which has grown to the size of a small NHS medical facility, the largest such in Europe. It cares for 1500 inpatient animals – deer, badgers, foxes, squirrels, toads, multifarious birds. They are treated, sometimes with keyhole surgery in operating theatres, using many techniques developed by him through trial and error over the years.

He was awarded an MBE for his work and became an honorary member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons; and his last project, nearing completion, is a new college to teach vets about British wildlife. He died recently and his son remains as CEO.

He followed his dream and turned it into a national treasure.

Kellyanne & the Fight Club – livening up Team Trump

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Kellyanne Conway, 20 Jan 1967, a Republican strategist, pollster and political commentator, has moved in as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, effectively demoting Paul Manafort. Steve Bannon of Breitbart News becomes CEO (no birth date). He’s right-wing, anti-establishment and was quoted as saying of his Breitbart staff we call ourselves the Fight Club. You don’t come to us for warm and fuzzy”

And doesn’t astrology have an odd knack of turning up running themes in the same week?

KellyAnne was born two days after Anjem Choudary (see post below) – so is a Capricorn Sun (maybe Aquarius for later day birth) and Mercury, opposition Jupiter square Mars. With the same Mystic Rectangle of Sun Jupiter opposition and Saturn opposition Uranus Pluto in sextile/trine to each other; with Neptune in a Water Grand Trine of Jupiter trine Saturn and formed into a three-quarter Grand Sextile by Uranus Pluto and Sun Mercury. So a whirlwind of activity, aggressive, determined, lucky, talented, creative, not always realistic, thrives on crises.

Her Taurus Moon may be conjunct Trump’s Midheaven which would make sense of her offering political expertise with a nose for the public mood; though her Neptune opposes his MC and squares his Mars in Leo, which may not be so helpful. Her Jupiter is conjunct his Venus Saturn, so she’ll cheer him up; and her focal point Mars trines his Sun and sextiles his Moon, so she’ll give a shot of adrenaline to his campaign.

Their relationship chart has a tough, extra-hard-working composite Mars trine Saturn; a confident Jupiter Pluto; and an innovative Sun trine Uranus.

She doesn’t look too cheerful in the immediate future with tr Saturn conjunct her Sun/Mars and square her Mars/Jupiter midpoints from mid Sept to early Oct; and conjunct her Solar Arc Mars thereafter till mid October. And she has an insecure, explosive tr Uranus opposition her Mars from Oct 4th till later in the month. Plus tr Pluto is trine her Solar Arc Saturn now and in October; and conjunct her Solar Arc Neptune in September – so an unrelenting slog, which is to be expected but not exactly brimful of optimism. Her Solar Arc Sun is also somewhere around the opposition to her Pluto this year which is stuck.

Guantanamo Bay – Barack Obama edging towards closure

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Barack Obama’s attempt to fulfil his promise to close Guantanamo Bay has moved a small step forward with 15 detainees going to the United Arab Emirates. It leaves 61 there but with the Republican Senate and Congress against closure and transfer of prisoners to US prisons, he may not manage it. Since 2002, 779 have been held there with the majority being released in GWB’s time, of whom a definite 21% went back to terrorism, with another 14% probables. Of releases under Obama, 5% were confirmed to have returned to militant activity and 8% suspected of having done so. Obama says it is  contrary to US values, undermining the nation’s standing in the world and it fuels the recruitment of jihadists; as well as being expensive – $445m annually.

Guantanamo Bay was established by executive order on 12 December 2001 under the war-conditions Saturn in Gemini opposition Pluto, with Pluto conjunct Sun and Venus – so repressive, controlling, bleak. Saturn opposition Venus square Mars in Pisces – gave it a military flavour, along with a cruel streak.

The Guantanamo Sun Pluto squares onto Obama’s 8th house Mars so will stir up deep feelings of anger; with the Guan Saturn square his Pluto; and the Guan Mars opposition his Pluto – so a matter of huge frustration, an obstacle that maybe can’t be overcome.

He’ll keep pushing mightily with tr Pluto squaring the composite Pluto on the relationship between him and Guan through this December.

The Guantanamo Bay chart, has tr Neptune square to Saturn chipping away at the Venus Pluto Saturn from now till November; with tr Saturn conjunct the Sagittarius Sun in December – so who knows? He might just make it; or close enough to ease his conscience.

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