Today and Tomorrow are ‘serious play’ days. YEAH!

With the Sun in Pisces (oneness with life & nature) and the Moon in Gemini (student/child) today is a ‘serious play’ day.

th.jpegIn the Joie de Vivre tarot deck, we find Bliss and her mer-bunny friends, Charity and Innocence, swimming side by side. Oh, what fun! A lovely day spent with best friends playing in the sea.

Naturally Bliss and her friends are enjoying themselves. Why wouldn’t they? But I’m betting that they also have some method to their ‘madness’ and for want of a better term, I’ll call that ‘serious play’.

In a nutshell, this means play done for a specific reason and when we’re working with the Six of Cups, that reason has to do with recapturing memories.

In the world of narrative coaching, play is a construct that allows clients the freedom to be both curious and to experiment – let down their hair – try out how might feel to partake in their wildest dreams.

The idea is that play was how, as kids, we sussed out the world and learned to fit into society. Naturally, when we were born, we had certain traits and proclivities – which, as we advanced into toddler stage, we acted out with abandon. But after that, little by little, we were forced to suppress those  traits and proclivities that were branded anti-social by grown-ups and/or didn’t quite get us what we wanted.

Fast forward to adulthood –  when we discover that a genuine part of our selves has been ‘squashed’ (or otherwise laid aside) in favour of more responsible and socially adept behaviours.

In narrative coaching, we help clients recapture key parts of their lost selves – parts that (for a variety of reasons) would benefit them again in the now.

So on a ‘serious play’ day, you might try the same  – and invite yourself to revisit what probably ought not any longer to be a by-gone era.

Solar Return 2017-18 – Happy Birthday SH

The solar return chart constructed for the place in which you currently live, gives a snapshot of your next 12 months. In reading this chart, we look only to the tightest (2-3 degrees at most) Ptolemaic aspects (i.e. trine, square, sextile, conjunction, and opposition).

Naturally, we’re looking for angular planets – to the extent there are any, they will pretty much direct the show. Not only this but we’re looking to see if any planets make aspects to the angles or fall in the exact degree of the nodal axis. After that, we will look to the tightest (> 5 minutes of arc) aspects of planets to mid/points.

In predictive work, it’s best to keep it short and sweet – a sketch of sorts – the objective is to give the client every opportunity to fill in the details for him or herself.SR for SH 2017.jpg

The following is for SH – hope you’re having a great birthday and an even better 2017-18 year:

Summary – some hard work ahead but there’s plenty of opportunity for pleasant sociability (perhaps romance) as well as significant personal benefit as long as you keep things light and sunny and avoid being argumentative or competitive. Just don’t make any promises or binding decisions regarding relationships until next year because the reality of the situation may not be what it seems.

Details for 2017-18:

  1. There are no planets conjunct the four angles. However, Saturn (21 Sag) is making a trine aspect to the ASC/DSC axis. This suggests that fortitude and hard work will improve your both self-esteem and your relationships. It might not be easy, but it will be rewarding – a mature outlook (based on years of experience) will help ease any feelings of frustration. You also have Neptune making a sextile to your MC (Mid-heaven). This may generate some confusion as to career path and/or your status in the world. However, this energy may easily be positively channelled – how about using it to get to grips with your spirituality?
  2. Whilst no planets conjunct the angles, your nodal axis (25 AQ/LE) does. This puts the focus on harmonious conduct within your family circle – and indeed within your entire field of associates/acquaintances. The more social you are, the more sociable you’ll feel. With this placement (along with Leo rising) the sunnier your personality, the better – and because the Sun, the chart ruler, is in a tight conjunction with Mars, expect an energetic year – full of promise as long as you avoid the temptation to be argumentative or overly competitive.
  3. This theme is echoed with Venus (25 Gemini) in the same degree as the nodal axis. Venus is in the 11th house of dreams, hopes, and wishes as well as that of the groups that can help those dreams to become reality. Keep it light and friendly and you will benefit from these groups. Indeed, the more that you can ensure that everyone in the group benefits, the better. Mutuality is highlighted – key words: adaptability, pleasant, engaging personality.
  4. The only midpoints under consideration are Venus/Neptune to both the Sun and Mars – this could lead to romanceenjoy !  Although (please) avoid making any promises/decisions in this regard until next year – health warning – the reality of the situation may not be what it seems.midpoint tree SH

Donald Trump – astro basics you can’t afford to ignore

There’s no sense in asking why Donald Trump embraces alternative truths – and there’s no sense in demanding him to do otherwise.

As you can see from his natal chart, he has Neptune square Mercury and in the words of some of my excellent astrological colleagues  – ‘this aspect indicates a difficulty with an overactive imagination interfering with rational and logical processes of thought – which can result in self-deception and the construction of a private version of truth and reality’.In the words of another excellent astrological colleague, this aspect also ‘suggests problems with concentration and stretching the truth (consciously and/or not)’.


unknown-1Likewise, there’s no sense asking why Trump is  dominated by his (male) ego – look at his Mars in Leo – right there on the Ascendent (his door to the world) – how, with that,  could you expect him to behave otherwise? According to my excellent astrological colleagues, with Mars in Leo, the ego is tied up with action such that anything Mars in Leo undertakes becomes a source of great personal pride; when all goes well with such undertakings, the world is bright. When all does not go well….  let’s just say it’s difficult for Mars in Leo not to be on a mission of great personal significance. Likewise, it is difficult for Mars in Leo not be be/appear ‘oversexed’. Apparently, although most Mars in Leo folks are often self-righteous and quarrelsome, the more sophisticated of the lot can be kindly leaders.

imagesIs Donald Trump sophisticated?

According to the OED, sophistication requires an ‘awareness of and ability to interpret’ complex issues. Based on this definition, I’d have to say Donald Trump is not (and cannot be) sophisticated. This is because (among other things) with Leo on his ASC, his chart ruler is his Sun in Gemini.

Let’s face it – however clever, sociable, and communicative is Gemini, he also has a relatively short attention span. For Gemini, the world is either black or white – after all we could expect nothing else when dealing with the sign of the twins – Keywords for Gemini : talkative, mental, adaptable, flexible, changeable, responsive, sociable, superficial.

Interestingly, Trump’s Gemini Sun is conjunct Uranus which suggests he answers to no one except himself. OK –  Sun/Uranus often makes a great reformer – and we need definitely those. The problem is that this configuration also suggests someone who stubbornly sticks to his own ideas and resents anyone who tries to push him into doing what he does not want to do.

Not my idea of sophistication – at least as defined by the OED – which requires an ability to deal with complex issues.

But to be fair, Donald Trump also has his Moon in Sagittarius and this suggests that he is a ‘great lover of truth’ – at least in the sense of philosophical wisdom. This is a very upbeat and positive, forward looking energy. The problem is however, with Moon Sagittarius, when the going gets rough, these folk get going – i.e. run away. Uncomfortable when caught up in routine for too long, they simply need to escape. Although they’ll be back when they feel refreshed and when their spirits are renewed, I suggest this is not what we need in a president.

Donald Trump also has his Sun in opposition to his Moon which suggests an internal struggle between his wants and needs – this leads to indecisiveness and frequent change of both mind and heart. An excellent astrological colleague suggests that to resolve this tension, we look for a planet to sextiles or trines this Moon/Sun configuration and not surprisingly, we find this with Mr Trump’s Mars in Leo – self-righteous and quarrelsome – and a huge (male) ego.images

Remembrance of Things Past Brings a Brighter Future

d7b0b3b7d5c0bffaf3a40032f173809eWith the Sun in Pisces (dissipation) and the Moon in Gemini (communication), today is a Five of Swords day.

The Five of Swords is a card of conflicting impulses. Feelings blind intelligence; intelligence is not in touch with its emotional basis.

An excerpt from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 explains all:

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:

Without active intervention, today’s energy is likely to manifest either as an inexplicable impasse or all all-out defeat because of your inability to capitalise on progress made to date. Although this unfortunate state of affairs could be due to simple pride or neglect, most likely it is because of a more complex need to escape:

thoughtless words

lost friends

bits and pieces of disconnected memory.

When yesterday seems more real than today, know that you are in real trouble.

According to the 18th century philosopher David Hume, the only thing of which we can ever be certain is that we perceive an unbroken stream of subjective ideas and images. Hence our notion of ‘self’ can never be more than a fiction; the mind’s way to join up disparate events together as a continuum. As the result, the thing that you know as ‘self’ is always subject to change. In her memoirs (Moments, 85), Virginia Woolf notes that it would be interesting to compare and contrast the ‘two people’ that you are (‘I now’ and ‘I then’).Hill02

Woolf’s suggestion is not just interesting but absolutely necessary if you are to put the past behind you in a way allowing for real movement forward. The Five of Swords is a violent, confrontational card; it carries the risk of  defeat owing to poor organisation.

So on a day like today, use the energy available to do yourself a huge favour – release that from your past which is resisting your future. Clear out the clutter of yesterday to make room for tomorrow.


McIntyre, Jane L. ‘Hume and the Problem of Personal Identity, (177-208). The Cambridge Companion to Hume, ed. Dave Fate Norton and Jacqueline Taylor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009 (online).

Woolf, Virginia. Moments of Being, Autobiographical Writings. ed. Jeanne Schulkind, London: Pimlico, 2002

Today is a Phlegmatic/Sanguine kind of day – chill out, observe, deliberate

With the Sun in Cancer (cold/wet) and the Moon in Gemini (hot/wet) it’s going to be a Phlegmatic/Sanguine kind of day.

As you may recall, humoural theory is based on the ancient and medieval physiology and medicine as expounded by Empedocles, Hippocrates, and Galen – it’s all to do with the four block or ‘roots’ of the material world that manifest in certain humours and their related temperaments:

Fire Hot/dry Yellow Bile Choleric
Earth Cold/dry Black Bile Melancholic
Water Cold/wet Phlegm Phlegmatic
Air Hot/wet Blood Sanguine

Earlier (4th July), we had another Phlegmatic/Sanguine day when the Sun was in Cancer and the Moon in Aquarius. The by-word then was having the ability to take a decision and stick with it – because fixed energy is what Aquarius is all about.

Today is different.Temperaments-Pooh

Not only is Gemini mutable (exactly how it sounds – fluid, flowing) but it is ruled by Mercury, the trickster god – who is known for (guess what?) playing tricks. But Mercury doesn’t play just any old tricks – his aim is not to poke fun but to teach/communicate and the message he’s trying to get through is that whilst you think it’s time to take a decision it isn’t because you don’t yet have all the information you need.

The trick with this energy is to chill out (Phlegmatic) and observe – be as slow and deliberate as you can whilst at the same time (Sanguine) pay attention and go with the flow. Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere at the moment because it’s only with the new moon (in Cancer) on 16th July, that it will be time to make your move.

Love’s Alchemy – Astrological Character Analysis – Heroine – Judith Shakespeare

Judith rests on the 2nd day_001Time-travelling back from 21st century Oxford to Elizabethan England to work with the Queen’s conjurer, Dr John Dee, Judith Shakespeare’s classical/medieval astrology (and alchemy – but that’s another post) must be up to snuff.

Hence the following is my new heroine’s astrological character profile of herself:

  • I’m curious, forthright, flighty, flirty, and very engaging (Sun/Venus in Gemini – angular in the 7th house).

According to Bonatti, a Sun in Gemini:

‘…shows person who is exceedingly practiced and expert, teaching many things and giving orders, learned men and women who are able to debate academics and many who will be aware of celestial matters. They are good with numbers, magic, astronomy, divination and chemistry.’

  • I’m also hard working and highly effective – (Sun/Venus in square with the MC – i.e. plugged into the angles).
  • Having said that, I do get bored easily (Saturn in Scorpio). I realise that as the result of this many (especially my wretched sister) think that I’m lazy. And indeed whilst this is one of much chief frustrations, nothing could be further from the truth.
  • I am a veritable dynamo – up for every challenge –  I’m determined, feisty, formidable (Scorpio rising = Mars is chart ruler – Mars in rulership by sign and triplicity – conjunct Saturn ). Folks (except for Master Williams whom I unfortunately meet within the first few pages of my story – ARHGGG!) realise they can’t push me around.
  • I’m secretive (Scorpio rising) but what’s wrong with some privacy? The good news is that with this configuration, readers can be assured that because I’ve chosen to write my story for them, it’s a story worth their reading.
  • I do have a tendency to get a little hot under the collar.
  • According to Bonatti, Mars in the terms of Mercury (& out of Sect): ‘This person is hot-headed and their reason is clouded.’ 
  • The good news however is that with such a strong Mars, not only am I sexually powerful and alluring, I enjoy breaking social taboos – steamy sex scenes here we come!
  • With Moon in Leo, I’m strong, proud, and courageous. Because of this (and despite all that Scorpio), I do try to be honest and sincere and one of my proudest achievements is that because of this, I’m often put in positions of great trust.
  • However with my Jupiter in fall in Capricorn, I also often let people down. Sorry.

According to Bonatti, a Jupiter in Capricorn (out of sect) :

‘This placement of Jupiter leads to the person suffering injustice and many failings in business dealings. They may be corrupt and ruined of life.

  • The big unknown however is the effect of that seriously malefic North Node conjunct my Sun/Venus in Gemini.

According to the Liber Hermetis (attributed to Hermes Trismegistus):

“The Nodes bring errors and turbulence of life.”

Judith Shakespeare


Today and Tomorrow are Five of Swords Days

Unknown-1With the Sun in Scorpio (deep, dark, forbidden) )and the Moon in Gemini (clever and duplicitous), today and tomorrow are Five of Swords days.

There is no doubt this is the nastiest card in the deck. Emotions are divorced from intellect (the Sun and Moon are in 150 degree quincunx aspect = disconnect) and whatever that leaves running the show is decidedly not pleasant.

For years, I saw this energy as one of ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’.

But now, I’m not so sure.

From early times, five was considered a somewhat unusual – even rebellious – number and related to the discovery of the fifth geometrical body, the pentagon dodecahedron (consisting of 12 regular pentagons), that embarrassed Pythagoras (who had concentrated on the number four). Legend has it that the discoverer of the pentagon dodecahedron was drowned for his efforts. Ugh.

Five has thus been regarded as a ‘naughty’, unruly number that like Eros (the number five is also associated with love), stirs up the well-ordered cosmos.

When considering the Five of Swords, it’s key to ask yourself with which of these three figures do you identify. It would not be unusual for this to vary with time, place, and mood – but if it doesn’t – that tells you something else again.

Clearly someone in this card has been ill-treated – abused or betrayed or otherwise taken advantage of – and because this card is one of separation, there’s a sense of disgrace and alienation. Most will see in this  a win/lose situation where an odious victor has vanquished his two rather pathetic opponents.

But if you look closely, the middle figure does not hang his head as does the farthest figure and he walks in a different direction.

This leads us to the supreme challenge of a Five of Swords day.

Will you remain complicit in adversarial ‘win/lose’ situations such as depicted in this card or will you have the courage to walk away and play by more humanitarian rules?