Chilcot on Iraq – fingers pointing at Blair

Tony Blair

This is a reprise of an early May post on the Chilcot IIraq Inquiry which has been sharper in its criticisms than expected. Though it’ll take a while for it all to be absorbed.  Tony Blair made an emotional not-quite-apology/ hand on heart I’d do it again speech.  He looks battered and older if not wiser.

May 10 2016: The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War is finally, finally to have its findings unveiled on July 6th. Given that it kicked off in 2009 with the head-in-the-clouds, over-abundance-of-false-hope Jupiter Neptune conjunction; with a painstakingly meticulous Saturn in Virgo, maybe it isn’t surprising it has taken so long – and cost so much!

The launch chart assuming 12am has a scholarly 9th house Saturn in Sagittarius in the legal 9th square Neptune opposition Jupiter North Node so it’s likely to be immensely detailed. At 2.6 million words which is the length of 25 thrillers it’ll take time to absorb. There’s also a Pluto opposition Sun Mercury Venus square Uranus – so it might just throw up the odd surprise, but will certainly generate intense reactions.

Gossip has it (which may be wrong) that the blame may be spread more widely than just the politicians – Blair, Straw, Hoon etc; but also target the Intelligence Chiefs – Scarlett and Dearlove; and the military top brass who allowed themselves to be dragooned into a war for which they were not prepared – Mike Jackson, Nick Houghton.

John Chilcot himself looks acutely frustrated over the launch with tr Pluto conjunct his Mars and tr Saturn retrograding to square his Sun/Mars – so he clearly won’t appreciate its reception.

Tony Blair is looking very jangled in July with tr Uranus square his Mercury/Saturn and Mercury/Neptune – so stressed and uncertain; with a disruptive Solar Arc Sun conjunct his Uranus this year; and a devastating Solar Arc Pluto conjunct his Neptune exact in a few months; plus an emotionally anguished tr Pluto square Venus and a game-changing tr Pluto opposition his focal point Uranus from mid July.  So all in all a crisis point for him, either over Chilcot or other matters in his life. Alistair Campbell looks jangled, frustrated, enraged and deflated and exactly on his pressured Second Saturn Return.

Jack Straw has a minor dip in July but more ups than downs; ditto Geoff Hoon in July though he’s sagging later.

Both the Intelligence chiefs look more stressed in the run up, but since they would have an early viewing, maybe they’ve recovered their sang froid by the actual date.

General Sir Mike Jackson looks cornered, his enthusiasm and confidence dampened and not happy.  Nick Houghton is also undermined, uncertain and jolted; though putting on a bullish face.

Austria – far-right fighting for ascendancy

Austria EUAustriaNorbert HoferAlexander Van de Bellen


There is to be a re-run of the Austria Presidential election on October 2nd. It is largely a ceremonial role and it had been expected that Norbert Hofer would win in May, making him the first far-right Head of State.  He lost by less than 1 per cent and claimed poll irregularities.

Hofer, born 2 March 1971, represents the anti-EU Freedom Party, formerly led by neo-Nazi Jorg Haider. Hofer is a Sun Mercury in Pisces with an angry, hostile Pluto square Mars in crusading Sagittarius and trine Venus in traditional Capricorn; with a head-in the-clouds Jupiter Neptune and a cold Moon Saturn in Taurus.

He has tr Saturn square his Sun exactly at the election which is normally not good news; and a discouraging tr Pluto square his Sun/Saturn midpoint.  But he’s also got tr Pluto conjunct his Jupiter/Node and tr Uranus square his Sun/Jupiter. So depends whether he accentuates the positive or the negative since he has both.

Alexander Van der Bellen, 18 Jan 1944, his opponent is Green Party and pro-EU.  He’s a Sun Capricorn in a mixed Grand Trine to Mars Uranus in early Gemini trine Neptune in Libra. He looks very upbeat and successful in the aftermath from mid October onwards, though not much showing on the day itself.

The Austria 12 Nov 1918 4pm chart, does have Solar Arc Pluto square its Jupiter in patriotic Cancer which could be one indication of an upsurge of nationalist feeling. Tr Pluto is in hard aspect to both from mid October. It’s certainly an edgy time for the country with tr Uranus in aspect to its Uranus opposition Saturn – so a tug of war between the old guard and the reformers. Tr Uranus returns across the New Year to square the Austria MC, so a change of direction, perhaps prompted by financial woes since tr Saturn is moving into the 8th.  2017 looks a swampy, undermining year with Solar Arc Neptune conjunct the 7th house Sun, especially where relationships with neighbouring countries are concerned.

The relationship chart with the EU looks look separated and rocky this year and next with a disruptive tr Pluto trine Uranus; and tr Saturn conjunct the composite Sun Mercury Mars in late Oct/Nov. Plus tr Uranus opposition Saturn (which the UK also had in its relationship chart with the EU this year.) So not a smooth ride though commentators say most want to stay in the EU.

Juno overcomes Jupiter’s terrors – an amazing accomplishment

Juno Probe


The Juno space probe has successfully been put into orbit round Jupiter, after a five year journey from Earth. The spacecraft completed a high-risk manoeuvre to slow down as it approached the planet, firing a rocket based on calculations which, if only slightly wrong, would have seen the £890-million probe drift past into oblivion. It squeezed through a narrow band, skimming Jupiter’s surface, avoiding the worst of both its radiation belt and its dangerous dust rings, and was said a jubilant director ‘the hardest thing NASA has ever done’.

It set off from Cape Canaveral on 5 Aug 2011 at 4.25pm UT which gives the most amazing chart with a Grand Sextile comprised of two Grand Trines – Earth of Mercury (conjunct the majestic Regulus) trine Pluto trine Jupiter; and Water/Air of Mars trine Scorpio Moon trine Neptune in late Aquarius.  The leg of each of these Grand Trines are formed into triple Kites by oppositions, which tie the two Grand Trines together – Mars opposition Pluto, Mercury opposition Neptune and Moon opposition Jupiter.

The Ascendant is conjunct Arcturus which gives ‘an enterprising and pioneering spirit’. The MC is conjunct Procyon which is ‘single-minded,  strong-willed and capable of putting thoughts and plans into action. Though changeable and unpredictable, rising to great heights though can bring them crashing down.’  Cross fingers it survives on a high for the next twenty months.

The chart does have a marked leaving-a-legacy-for-history 17th Harmonic.

Caroline Aherne – laughing through tears

Caroline Aherne


English Comedian and award-winning actress and screenwriter, Caroline Aherne, has died, on her own at home. Born 24 December 1963, she was born with a rare eye cancer and latterly succumbed to other cancers. She was much loved by the public and those who worked with her, for her wickedly funny gags and approach. Off screen she had a complicated, at times car-crash of a love life, with one suicide attempt and spells in clinics for her drinking and other problems.

She had her Sun in Capricorn with Jupiter and Moon in inspirational Aries. Her Mars Mercury in Capricorn were trine Uranus Pluto in Virgo, sextiling onto Neptune – so she channelled her anger and turmoil into creative goals. Her Saturn in Aquarius was square Neptune which can be neurotic and also artistic; and her Venus in Aquarius sat conjunct her Mars/Saturn midpoint which latter may be a pointer to her destructive/self-destruct relationships.

She undoubtedly had courage and initiative but sadly it wasn’t enough.

Her 5th and 7th creative Harmonic were strong.  Her victim 12H was stressed and obsessive.  Her 13H was also difficult and very marked. Peter Sellers, the comedian also had a strong 13H, which is to do with breaking with the orthodox.

Solar Returns – not an absolute guide – UK, US, Canada

UK SR 2016USA SR 2016US Frst presSR16Canada SR 2016




How informative Solar Returns are for countries I’m not sure. Certainly the USA 2001 SR had Mars Pluto opposition Saturn which was stark enough; and the UK for 1939 with the start of WW11 had Moon Mars opposition Uranus and a 10th house Sun which is reasonably descriptive but I’m not sure you’d have put your finger on war breaking out.

Anyways for what it’s worth:

UK Solar Return Jan 2016: Jupiter in the 10th which should mean success though can also mean hogging the limelight. A meltdown Sun Pluto in the financial 2nd square Uranus in the speculative 5th – so major surprises and upheavals. A bad-tempered, argumentative Mercury square Mars. A confused-thinking Neptune in the 3rd which squares Venus Saturn in the 1st, so emotionally muddled, nervy, a sense of being unloved.  But Saturn does trine Uranus which means positive change, keeping best of old and merging with best of new. Moon Jupiter trine Mercury, sextile a Scorpio Ascendant – stimulating discussions about domestic matters. The destructive fixed star Algol on the Descendant = close relationships. Remains to be seen how all that turns out.


USA 1776 11AM. That time is speculative but since the USA First President 30 April 1789 12.45pm New York, also gives relatively similar house placings on the Solar Return, I’m inclined to think it’s about right.

1776 SR for July 2016: 10th house New Moon in Cancer conjunct Mercury and Venus opposition a 4th house Pluto square an 8th house Uranus and sextile/trine Jupiter opposition Neptune. So success despite domestic pressures and a resentful population with financial upheavals and some high hopes proving disappointing. Quite a strained time since there’s a Yod of Uranus sextile MC inconjunct Mars in the 3rd – so argumentative and vengeful in discussions.

First President SR for April 2016: Also a 10th house Sun Venus Mercury with Uranus conjunct the MC from the 9th – so high profile and a time of radical change. There’s a good-for-business Earth Grand Trine of Sun Mercury trine a 6th house Pluto trine Jupiter in 2nd and that looks solidly reassuring.  But Neptune is in the 8th opposition Jupiter square Saturn in the 5th conjunct Mars – so again a financial bubble is bursting, and the speculative 5th house is afflicted so not good for risks or investments. Plus a curiously vulnerable (in need of partners) Moon in the 7th.


Canada SR for 2016: This also has a solidly good-for-business (or overly materialistic) Earth Grand Trine but it also indicates major disruptions, possible loss of reputation and a good deal of stress. Uranus sits on the SR Ascendant square Pluto in the 10th and square the 4th house Venus; and is also on the focal point of a wide Yod to Mars sextile Jupiter – which does suggest Canada will adopt, or circumstances will give, a completely new reputation and image, more rebellious, unpredictable. Sun on the cusp of the 4th so very focussed on internal domestic matters. Money not great with Saturn in 8th despite the Earth Grand Trine.

Solar Returns really have to be taken side by side with the natal chart and there’s certainly a huge amount going on as far as Canada’s Neptune Ascendant in Aries is concerned this year and next. Plus financial pressures.

Aaron Banks & Trump – ignore facts, push the dream

Aaron Banks

There’s a thought-provoking piece in the Guardian today by Emily Bell, a digital shining light, which begins with the Mark Twain thought that ‘A lie can travel halfway round the world before the truth is putting on its shoes.’ In the age of viral amplification on the net, that old trope has taken on a life of its own.

Arron Banks, a multi-millionaire businessman and pumped-up pro-Brexiteer, said, ‘“The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.”

Banks, 22 March 1966, is a Sun Moon Mars in Aries; with Saturn in Pisces opposition Uranus Pluto square Jupiter in Gemini with an emphasised Venus in Aquarius  – so a chart that is substantially Air Fire. Not that dissimilar to Trump who has a Sun Uranus in Gemini, Neptune Jupiter in Libra and a Fire Sagittarius Moon and Mars Pluto in Leo.  Also Air Fire.

Both have Saturn in a Water sign which should disconnect them from their feelings. But what Air Fire does, is give inspirations and dreams a rocket-propelled boost, so it loses touch with feet-on-the-ground common sense – and facts. They aren’t awash with sentimentality but inspire their audience by feeding them what they want to hear.

Banks looks gung-ho this month, but will deflate late July and through August.

Bread and circuses used to be the old Roman way of keeping the population happy. Now they just peddle impossible dreams.

Terence Malick – an idiosyncratic Sagittarius

Terence Malick


Film director Terence Malick made the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning The Thin Red Line (best war movie ever made). His Tree of Life in 2011, an experimental drama, won Cannes and elsewhere, but was met by boos as well as applause.

His next release is Voyage of Time, narrated by Brad Pitt, a 40 minute documentary, which will take viewers on a journey through time and outer space, encompassing the entire lifetime of the cosmos, and features ‘stunning cosmic landscapes, amazing geologic formations and majestic living creatures’.

Malick, born 23 Nov 1943 in Waco, Texas has a talented Half Grand Sextile, formed from a maverick Sagittarius Sun opposition Uranus, which then sextiles onto Pluto North Node in Leo and Neptune in Libra – so definitely creative and influential.

He doesn’t look altogether upbeat this year with Solar Arc Neptune opposing his Mars. His midpoints are a mix of fortunate and undermining. But he’ll pick up towards the year’s end into 2017.

If it sticks to schedule the Oct 7 release has Mars Pluto in Capricorn square Jupiter Sun in Libra; with Neptune opposition Node square Saturn – so it may provoke strong responses but not all of them favourable.

Italy – more crises looming for a battered eurozone

Bank of ItalyMatteo Renzi TermMatteo Renzi



An upcoming referendum in Italy on constitutional reform could prove an even greater shock to EU stability than Brexit, according to commentators. Italy is the eurozone’s most vulnerable region with bank stocks plunging by a third after the UK’s vote last week.

PM Matteo Renzi has wagered his job on the outcome of the referendum and in the meantime is prepared to defy the EU and pump billions of euros into its troubled banks. This would be a last-resort move that would smash through the EU’s new regime for handling ailing banks, which rules that creditors rather than taxpayers fund bank rescues.

The central Bank of Italy, 10 Aug 1893, is looking very panicked  now and through 2017 with tr Saturn square tr Neptune in hard aspect to the Neptune Pluto in Gemini square the financial Venus in Virgo. So no quick n simple solutions.  With a major upheaval come 2018 as Solar Arc Uranus squares Pluto, which begins several years of increasing instability thereafter

Matteo Renzi’s Term chart, 22 Feb 2014 11.30am Rome, does have the topple-off-the-edge Solar Arc Uranus square Pluto, exact in two months time, so he may succumb to the national whim. If he survives, he’s facing a punishing time ahead with tr Pluto opposition his Saturn till late year; with tr Uranus square his Capricorn Sun.

Kingston on Hull – culture amidst tough times

Hull 2016



Kingston on Hull, a port in the north east of England sat at the top of the league table recently for ‘low wage, high welfare’. But there is now a 10 year master plan to bring in new business investment and Hull is to be City of Culture in 2017 which it is also hoped will give a lift.

The original charter for Hull, 1 April 1299 (OS), seems to work reasonably well, looking at what went on during World War 11 when the town took a massive blitz from German planes – 95% of houses were damaged or destroyed.

The chart has an Aries Sun opposition Neptune (maritime) squaring onto a tough-times Mars Saturn in Cancer, so not an easy energy. The Sun Neptune opposition is sextile/trine Pluto so again great ambitions and times of devastation. There is also an adventurous Jupiter in go-ahead Aries (Moon) opposition Uranus.

There’s nothing too cheerful in the next few years with the tr Uranus square tr Pluto wending its way in hard aspect round the Sun Neptune Mars Saturn T Square.  Tr Pluto lagging behind will square the Sun and oppose Mars in 2017/18 which is stuck and depressed and angry, before moving on to square Neptune and oppose Saturn up till late 2021.

Even if the master plan moves ahead despite Brexit, there will be more deprived years before the positive benefits of any transformation appear.

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