Have some fun…

Astrologically, responsibility equates with Saturn.  With Saturn, we undertake our duties and obligations seriously and achieve.

When things go wrong however, we’re more reluctant to take responsibility. The downside of Saturn is fault and blame.

Nietzsche has suggested that fault and blame are the bitter fruits of ‘responsibility’. In our society, responsibility is not understood in terms of our ‘ability to respond’ but instead in terms of the spirit of revenge.

On the Genealogy of Morals (3:15)

In existentialist terms, the spirit of revenge is a powerful narcotic that numbs the inevitable pain and misery of existence. When we respect misfortune as an inevitable part of living, we can utilise our innate ability to respond to life  (Nietzsche).

 ‘Shit happens’.  It happens despite the ‘best laid plans of mice and men’.

But whilst embraced by the spirit of revenge, no man can respect true misfortune.  He can have no understanding of the context in which misfortune manifests.  Focused on channelling his passions into vengefulness and spite, such a man can never respect, let alone love,  anybody or anything including himself.

Only a foolish man believes that each misfortune which befalls him, was intentionally directed at him. Yet many of us do just that.

Hands up! Just this morning when I was hurrying to get ready, something fell on my foot and left a huge bruise and I blamed my husband who wasn’t even home. 

A more productive approach might be to take ourselves less seriously.   This could be achieved through the more positive aspects of irresponsibility – i.e. having some old-fashioned, light-hearted fun.  Not only does  light-heartedness promote health, but it also helps us to accept the basic realities about life.

The natural antidote of Saturn is Jupiter.  

When your Jupiter  functions properly,  you’re optimistic, take chances and experience good luck.  Too much Jupiter however leads to extravagance and frivolity,  hence the bad associations with irresponsibility.

In my book, balance is the key to health and happiness.  It would seem Nietzsche might agree.  According to him (in a theme developed by Kundera in his novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being,) the heaviest burden (responsibility) is also boundless freedom (irresponsibility).

In this regard, taking responsibility for our own lives allows us to accept it for what it is: a game of chance in which sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

Blaming yourself or another achieves nothing but more pain.


Keep on Trucking (or not) – Part 2

If you enjoyed yesterday’s post about things suggested by Connie Podesta that you ought to quit doing in order to increase your well-being and material worldly success, here’s five more:

Keep on Trucking…
  1. Quit depending on others to make you happy– as noted in the previous post, there is no such thing as the perfect partner or for that instance, the perfect anything. According to the positive psychology folks, ‘happiness’ is an elusive concept, a mix of the following, none of which depends on securing the affections of another:
    • Autonomy – ‘I am authentic and enjoy being myself’.
    • Meaningful contribution – ‘I connect with others.’
    • Acceptance – ‘I know the difference of what can and can’t be changed’.
    • Positive emotions – ‘I find something to enjoy each day.’
    • Personal and professional growth – ‘I learn something new every day.’
    • Skills, competence, and environmental mastery  – ‘I have what it takes to thrive in my world.’ 
    • Achievement & the reward and acknowledgement that comes with it – ‘I’m recognised for my efforts’.
  2. Quit playing games – Consider this: after graduating from university, a young woman moves away from home to a distant city and although it’s an uphill struggle, she is makes progress and is proud. Each week she speaks with her mother who uses this precious time to tell the young woman that unless she does this or that, she’ll never get married and by the way, has she lost any weight? The young woman would love more than anything to tell her mother about the promotion she just gained at work, but she’s too exhausted by her mother’s continual onslaught of emotional manipulation. Who wins this game, do you suppose?
  3. Quit sabotaging success – Consciously, we want to feel good and achieve our goals, but if at the same time our unconscious message to ourselves is that we don’t deserve it, then we’ll find a million ways to sabotage our success and never understand what happened, much less why. We can combat this unfortunate state of affairs through learning to examine the choices we make in a detached way. Techniques include cognitive reframing, meditation and mindfulness practice.
  4. Quit fighting for your limitations – on the surface, this sounds silly –  doesn’t it – but in reality, we do it all the time. Consider how many times we rationalise our bad behaviour (‘I was tired, or ill, or whatever and so it only makes sense that I’d snap’) and justify our failures (‘that’s just the way that I am’ or ‘I was confused as to what I was meant to do’). We also fight for our right to be sad or angry (‘It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to’). Think about this rationally for a moment – where does such behaviour actually get you?
  5. Quit thinking that you deserve to be successful – we all have a right to make our lives as wonderful as possible but none of us has an entitlement to be happy, rich, or even successful. The positive psychology folks are very clear that being ‘happy’ requires effort – lots of it, every day – and unless you’ve just won the lottery or have a trust fund, ditto for being rich. Even success requires daily effort but perhaps not quite in the ways you might think. For example, studies have shown that those who keep a daily diary of the things about which they were grateful were more likely to achieve their goals, then those who kept a diary about that which had gone wrong each day. 

Keep on trucking (or not)…

We’ve all been told to hang in there – don’t give up – practice makes perfect – it’s the tortoise, not the hare that wins the race. 

But having just listened to an interview with the highly celebrated and inspirational speaker, Connie Podesta, I have to admit that ‘keep on trucking’ is not always the best advice. As Connie points out, it’s easier to stop doing something than to start doing something completely different, or at least we often believe that’s the case. 

The reality, however, is quite different and often the only difference between these two seemingly polarities is a matter of point of view.

Keep on trucking…

The following are some of Connie’s suggestions for what you should ‘quit’ in order to increase not only your well-being but also your worldly success:

  1. Quit waiting to be happy– the reality here is that there is no perfect partner, perfect job, perfect weight. Here’s the scoop. We attract what we put out – so if you’re perpetually ‘unhappy’ because you’re not yet happy, then all you’ll attract to you is more unhappiness. Try this. Walk down one side of a crowded street, looking down at your feet with a frown on your face. Watch (and feel) what happens. Walk back on the other side with a huge smile looking up and making easy eye contact with others. Which result do you like best?
  2. Quit living in the past– easier said than done, you say? You might be right. But if you keep milling over and over in your head all the bad stuff that’s happened to you, you’re bound to be sad. We attract what we put out. You learned that above and so if you’re sick of being sad, then STOP IT. It’s a rational choice where and how you focus your energy and if you fail to believe that, then you’ve not yet done the exercise as suggested above.
  3. Quit blaming others– this one is really tricky – not only because other people often really do ‘stupid’ or ‘horrible’ things that negatively impact us but also because it’s so easy to do. Whatever went wrong may not have been your fault (at least in your eyes), but when you’re focusing on others and what they’re doing, you’re actually handing over to those ‘stupid’ and ‘horrible’ people, control over your life.
  4. Quit expecting life to be fair– this one is really tricky for me because with four planets in Libra, my first reaction to any injustice is ‘that is not fair’, and, it isn’t. But that won’t change anything. I’d do myself a huge favour by focusing my energy not on complaining about the injustice of it all, but instead on finding solutions to work around it.
  5. Quit being afraid – fear is a natural reaction, meant to keep us whole and safe. It works very well when someone or something is really threatening us. In such situations, it’s never a mistake to retreat. But 9 times of 10, what we’re really afraid of is moving out of our comfort zone in a situation where there is no real possibility of lasting harm. If in doubt, ask yourself ‘what is the worst that can happen’ in this situation. If your honest answer flags up physical danger, then do not do it. But if it’s only a little temporary discomfort – or potential embarrassment (that by next week will be long forgotten), well, that’s a different kettle of fish, is it not?

The Art of Working to a Common Goal

‘Strike while the iron is hot.’

Traditional Proverb

Case study: Staples, the office supplies retailer, had fallen from being a market leader to only 1/3 of the new market leader’s size. In comes the new guy, John Wilson, who had a fantastic reputation for fixing organisational ills. In no time, Wilson ramrodded through much needed change – he was, as one colleague described him, an ‘in-your-face kind of guy’. Initially what Wilson delivered hit the spot and revenues nearly quadrupled over the next four years. Yet, even as Staples continued to grow, profitability dropped. In comes another new guy, Basil Anderson, who focused his expertise on reducing costs and targeting opportunities based on profitability rather than on contribution to revenue stream. Finally, during the next five years net profit also increased significantly and so last, Staples was ‘fixed’.

Common Goal

Take Away: Imagine how much faster the situation might have improved if Wilson and Anderson had been brought in at the same time and encouraged to work together to achieve a common goal?

Application: In any partnership, be it business or personal, everyone is working towards some common goal. The overall situation can be expected to improve faster and more economically through compromise, mutual consideration, and comradeship rather than through any single member of the partnership taking action alone.

  • What’s the goal?
  • What’s the action plan?
  • What resources do you need to make it happen?

So much hot air…

The following chart is set in London for the exact moment of the Sun’s ingress into Cancer on the Summer Solstice (21 June) and as such, offers a picture of what we might expect to happen in the UK for the 3-month period from then until 23 September, the Autumnal Equinox.

Summary – during this next calendar quarter, expect heated discussions regarding trade and commerce with the UK’s neighbours. But however cleverly packaged, the delivered message will fall flat and fail to bring any manifest results. 

hot air

Detailed Analysis:

  • Saturn (18 Capricorn) is in the same degree as the nodal axis. This gives the situation a fated quality involving isolation, reluctance to cooperate with others, and inability to adapt. Because Saturn is the 3rd house, then according to mundane astrology gurus – Campion, Baigent, & Harvey,  this is likely to play out economically through trade negotiations with neighbouring countries.
  • However, with Mars/Mercury in close alignment in the 9th house, we might expect that such negotiations will not go well. Mars/Mercury has a reputation for being rash, finding fault, and overall irritability. 
  • The UK government, as shown by the Sun in the 8th house with a sextile to Uranus, is self-willed yet strained. Whilst it is true that such an aspect is innovative in regards to reform, it is not stable and may result in a complete breakdown of order. 
  • The midpoint of Mercury/Uranus is closely conjunct Venus; this combination suggests a good deal of artistry in regards to the government’s packaging of their message. But put together with the midpoint of Moon/Jupiter closely conjunct Saturn, and we can add to indifference, negligence, injustice, and inner conflict. The midpoint of Moon/Pluto in square aspect with Uranus adds an element of extreme emotional upset, more likely than not having to do with excessive, impulsive displays of emotions such as jealousy, offended vanity, personal insults, and conceit.
  • On the bright side, Saturn in same degree of the nodal axis does suggest an inclination to seek association with mature and experienced people and so let’s hope for all our sakes, that with new government (now in the making), cooler heads will prevail. Although to be honest, with the Neptune/Jupiter square also in the same degree as the nodal axis, such hope is probably naïve.
  • Overall, as none of the planetary players in this chart form a tight (Ptolemaic) aspect to any of the chart’s angles, not much is likely to actually manifest during this period. 

Two heads better than one?

Why is it so easy to advise someone else that that she should leave her job (or her partner) or whatever, when faced with a similar decision,  I would agonise for months (maybe years)?

Apparently, the reason is because when we make decisions for ourselves, we tend to limit ourselves to only a few options, perhaps in order to retain a (false) sense of control. Then whilst evaluating the identified options, we drill so far down into the nitty gritty, that we are soon lost in the minutiae of what might – or might not – go wrong. The end result is usually endless rounds of second guessing ourselves leading directly to perpetual procrastination and similar spurious delays. 

Yet when we make decisions for others, we are more creative and adventurous. We brainstorm on a multiplicity of possible scenarios and outcomes. Amazingly, this free flow of ideas comes without judgment, second-guessing, or overthinking. We also tend to be much more optimistic and action-oriented – do it and do it now, we advise our friend (but not ourselves).

friendly advice

The takeaway is that when faced with a decision, we would do well to act as advisors to ourselves. Instead of asking ‘what should I do’, we might ask ‘what should YOU do‘. By viewing your situation through the eyes of another, someone you admire, you gain valuable distance and perspective. You might consider outsourcing your decisions, taking advantage of a growing number of businesses and apps that make it easier for people to ‘pitch’ their own decisions about clothes, food, books, or even home décor, to us. 

Research has shown that indeed, in this context, two heads are better so now Mercury, ruler of communication and thought, has moved into Gemini, sign of the twins, why not give it a try?


Moving on up (and out) / Solar Return for Ms BK

The Solar Return (SR) chart gives a brief snapshot of the 12-month period (birthday-to-birthday). Such predictive techniques are necessarily short and sweet, giving ample opportunity for the individual concerned to fill in the details.

Opportunities abound, seize them and make them work for you


The operative planets in your Solar Return (SR) chart for 2018/19 are Jupiter, Mars, and your Sun; all of them are in position to manifest results. This suggests brilliant new opportunities for advancement in both in your career and social position.  Hard work is indicated as you’d expect and money issues will probably come to the forefront too. But all should be well as long as you’re realistic about your financial needs and resources. Who knows but that you might just pick up and move to a completely different part of the country.

It’s time to take control of your life and stop letting others manipulate you by pushing your emotional ‘buttons’ and one of those buttons may well be money.


  • Solar Return (SR) Jupiter is very close to the SR Midheaven (10th house cusp). This is excellent because anything to manifest during the year, the angles of the chart must be involved. 
  • SR Jupiter is very strong in Sagittarius suggesting more than a ‘bit of luck’ especially in regards to career and social position and status. Naturally, it’s not all down to luck and it’s incumbent upon you to seize opportunities and make the best of them with good old-fashioned hard work. This placement suggests opportunities are indeed coming your way, opportunities that can result not only in advancement in your current career but also in completely new areas of interest. Jupiter tends to open up the ‘playing field’ as it were, so choose those opportunities that you will pursue with care as you won’t have time and energy for all of them.
  • SR Mars is making a lovely sextile to both that Jupiter and your 10th house cusp. Again, the chart angles are favourably involved. Fortunate decisions and successful creative energy not to mention ambition and the power to concentrate on a chosen aim or objective.
  • With SR Pluto involved in this mix, you can expect more than enough energy to tackle whatever it is that you choose and the chances are the outcome will be extraordinarily successful. 
  • The SR Sun, showing where you will be putting most of your energy during the year, is also forming a pleasant trine to your Ascendant, or 1st house cusp. Again, with the chart angles involved, you can expect expended energy to pay off with actual movement.
  • The SR Sun is in the SR 8th house, suggesting that this may be a year of tremendous personal change. It is not unusual for people with this placement to pick up and move to a completely different place. The idea is that you need to seize power over yourself and your life and so longer can you allow others to continue pushing your emotional buttons (often jealously and guilt). The first step is to recognise how others gain control over you and how they influence your behaviour. Obviously, therapy can help if you’re so inclined. The next step is to put some distance between you and manipulative other and if that distance is must be physical in nature, then, so be it. 
  • Beware, however, that any such actions taken could result in money issues. Because your SR Moon is making a (gentle) aspect to your Ascendant  (1st house cusp/ again the angles are involved), there’s every suggestion that this will happen. But as long as you are realistic and honest in assessing your materials needs and the resources available, you should be OK.
  • Indeed, transit-wise, during this year there’s every suggestion that you will become very serious about money and to your benefit. In your natal chart, both your Jupiter and your Saturn are in your 2nd house (finances) and during calendar 2019, you will experience both Jupiter (luck/expansion) and Saturn (reality-principle) returns, thus commencing entirely new cycle of 12-years and 28-years respectively. 

Sandcastles at high tide

Yet another major astrological theme of the year, this time the conjunction of Pluto and Saturn. From now until the end of January 2020, these two heavy-hitter planets are playing a cosmological game of skittles in and around 22-23 degrees Capricorn.

Who will be the winner? 

Saturn builds walls and Pluto tears them down again; this pair do not work well together. Imagine building a sand castle on a calm, sunny day only to come back a few hours later to find the surf is up, and all your hard work is about to be washed away.

Sandcastles at high tide

Saturn/Pluto puts us in touch with the necessity for endings. Either something gets destroyed or utterly transformed beyond recognition. No other options. Usually, we do some choice between them but it won’t be easy to make. Saturn/Pluto is a compulsive and obsessive combination that often leads to violence and victimisation. Add to that power-grabbing and scapegoating, not to mention sabotage and savagery, and your mood might be quite grim.

Whatever happens, it won’t be pretty and it will have been building up for a long time.

Saturn/Pluto operates on a 33-year cycle. The last conjunction was in 1982 at 27 Libra. According to Liz Greene, this cycle (now ending with the conjunction in Capricorn) is a lesson about ideals of justice and fairness. In 1982, I went off to law school and I’ll admit I had some pretty unrealistic ideals about both justice and fairness. I adored reading the jurists’ discussions about ‘natural law’, where everyone act rationally and with honour. 

But that isn’t how it works, is it?

For example, this conjunction is exactly opposing Donald Trump’s Saturn (23 Cancer).  Because Saturn represents the ‘reality principle’ as well as personal ‘ego’, we might expect this conjunction to hit him hard. My guess is that once Congress gets their hands on his financial/banking records, he’s in for a tough run – who will be the victim here? Another example may be what’s happening right now in the UK, with BREXIT and the (inevitable) resignation of the Prime Minster, Teresa May.

We all have 22-23 degrees Capricorn somewhere in our chart – and so for each of us this need for an ending is playing out somewhere in our lives, albeit more strongly for some than others.

A question you might choose to ask yourself is who is playing the role of victim in your life right now?


The Art of Persuasion

For success in any meeting or information exchange, the following four steps are essential:

gain their confidence and they’re putty in your hands…
  1. Build trust and rapport with your audience and thus set the scene to your advantage.
    • The quickest and easiest way to build rapport is to assume that you already have it.
    • Simply imagine that the persons with whom you’re speaking are very dear and close old friends. As the result, your body language and attitude will change subtly and without overtly trying, you’ll make your audience feel comfortable and at ease.
    • Smile and make eye contact in a non-threatening and confident manner.
    • The more confidence you inspire in your audience, the more willing they are to respond positively to your suggestions.
  2. Fix the desired outcome for the meeting firmly in your own mind.
    • Be very clear regard exactly what behaviour you desire from the others as the result of the meeting – i.e. sign here, go there, or simply, accept this or agree with me.
    • Ensure that everything you say do during the meeting is aimed at bringing them to that final result (see below for ideas) and then ensure you overtly ask them to do whatever it is that you want them to do.
  3. During the course of the meeting deliver at least one hook or incentive designed to appeal to each attendee.
    • Although you may not know much about your attendees, you have statistics and astrology on your side. Each person must fall into one of the 12 zodiac signs – cover them all – at least briefly – in your delivery:
      1. Aries – appeal to her need to take action now.
      2. Taurus – appeal to her need for simple, practical solutions.
      3. Gemini – appeal to her natural curiosity. 
      4. Cancer – appeal to her need to feel safe and secure.
      5. Leo – appeal to her need to take centre stage.
      6. Virgo – appeal to her need to get it done and done right.
      7. Libra – appeal to her need to maintain harmony.
      8. Scorpio – appeal to her need to get to the bottom of things.
      9. Sagittarius – appeal to her need for exploration and personal adventure.
      10. Capricorn – appeal to her need to earn responsibility and respect.
      11. Aquarius – appeal to her need to challenge the status quo.
      12. Pisces – appeal to her need to help someone.
  4. Carefully choose the words you will deliver – keeping in mind the benefits of the following techniques
    • Develop YES sets – get them on a roll with answering a series of simple questions with a ‘yes’ and chances are they’ll keep rolling on in the affirmative.
    • Anticipation Loops – keep them paying close attention through the entire meeting by delivering only partial explanations with a promise to explain more fully, later.
    • Agreement Frames – everyone feels better when others agree with them – so meet any objections with the following – ‘I agree with you and (not but) I add this…’.
    • Awareness Patterns – innocuous little words like NOTICE, REALISE, EXPERIENCE, SEE, and AWARE are all great for slipping in ideas under the radar. For example, ‘’I’m certain that you realise that our numbers aren’t great this quarter and that means some redundancies.” If they question anything here, it’s more likely to be either (1) whether they did realise the numbers weren’t great or (2) whether in actual fact – the numbers weren’t great. This leaves them much more likely to accept (as a given) whatever comes after that, i.e. your main aim – redundancies.


Happy Birthday Ms H

The Solar Return (SR) chart gives a brief snapshot of the 12-month period (birthday to birthday). Predictive techniques like this are necessarily short and sweet giving ample opportunity for the individual to fill in the details herself.

New home?

Summary – Solar Return – Ms H / 2019/2020

The year ahead will probably see some significant domestic changes – possibly you will move to a beautiful new home in a completely area of the country.  Possibly, such move is also tied up with a change on the romantic side of your life – expect the unexpected – and whatever happens, give it plenty of freedom.

Ms H Solar Return 2019/20
  • Your SR Moon (located in your SR 3rd house) is making a nice, easy aspect to your 1st and 7th house cusps. This suggests that you’ll be making an emotional investment in consciously bringing your personal surroundings in line with your outlook on life.
  • Because your SR Sun and Mercury are in the SR 8th house, such changes could well result in a complete life-style change. Common with placement is, for example, a move from the city to a rural community or vice versa. It’s also worth considering therapy of some sort to understand why, at this particular moment, such changes are necessary. 
  • Interestingly, these changes more likely than not have been long overdue. This is shown by SR Saturn (reality principle) and SR Pluto (evolution) forming a tight (and heavily weighted) group in your SR 4th house. Major themes involving  the SR 4th house include moving/renovating/repairing your home or office. 
  • SR Return Saturn is especially powerful in this chart because it is the exact degree of the SR nodal axis, which adds a fated quality to the mix. What will be, will be; reality is making itself manifest and pretty much the only thing left now, is adjusting your attitude to it. 
  • Because you also have SR Venus in very close aspect to SR Uranus, these domestic changes might be the result of a surprising change in your romantic relationships – perhaps a stable partner suddenly leaves or someone who was once just a good friend, becomes your lover. If the later were to be the case, then ensure you give the relationship plenty of room to evolve on its own – with this kind of aspect, the relationship will not respond well to be ‘pushed’ along.
  • Whatever might happen on the romance front will also impact your personal finances and more than likely, for the better. Who knows but that this might well tie (favourably) back into those domestic changes?
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