The Art of Happiness

  • Although there is no single definition of happiness – or indeed even what you need to be happy – recent studies have suggested that only 10% of your happiness is the result of your personal circumstances (i.e. income and environment). 
  • Your genes and upbringing account for another 50%. 
  • That leaves a remaining 40% down to you.

Different theories of happiness emphasise different key components. 

But one thing upon which most agree is that once your basic needs for survival are met, happiness comes more often to those who are ‘self-actualized’.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow studied individuals that he believed be self-actualised in order to establish a list of common characteristics. The more you can develop for yourself, then at least according to Maslow, the happier you will be:

  • Having an efficient perception of reality – judging events and people correctly and refusing to be hook-winked.
  • Accepting yourself – and others – for what you are, warts and all.
  • Being reliant on your own experiences and judgement – no one else will do it for you.
  • Be spontaneous and natural – not how others want you to be. 
  • Become task centred. Have a mission.
  • Appreciate beauty whenever possible = like with a sunset or a flower.
  • Laugh at yourself. Have a sense of humour.
  • Have fewer friends in favour of developing closer intimates.
  • Find comfort and solitude in your own company.

If some – or all – of the above characteristics look daunting, don’t despair. If it’s another thing upon which most theories of happiness agree, it’s that the art of happiness can and indeed, must be learned and also takes constant practice.

To get you started:

  • Name three good things that have happened to you each day and then say why. You can do this in private or in conjunction with your whole family, perhaps when you’re sitting around the dinner table in the evening.

Go ahead – give it a go – it will get everyone smiling.

Verbal Impatience aka/just plain rude speech

Wednesday  (at 6:02 GMT), Mercury moves into Aries where he remains until mid-May.

When Mercury was in Pisces, communication flowed easily, albeit not so well understood. Now, communication will flow even more easily and everyone will know exactly what it is that was meant to be conveyed.

Key concepts for this period include verbal impatience, quick thinking, and just plain rude speech.

Don’t forget that words hurled in anger hurt – and stick.

You may or may not have meant what you said in the heat of the moment, but long after you’ve moved on, the other person will remember exactly what it is that you’ve said. 

heat of the moment
  • What does this situation teach you about yourself?
  • What does that mean about you?
  • What do you choose to do with this information?

Practice Makes Perfect

Today at 17:05 GMT (not BST), Jupiter turns retrograde – i.e. he is back-pedalling through the zodiac rather than moving forward. 

When Jupiter is moving forward, it’s full steam ahead and because (since 5 November 2018), Jupiter is in Sagittarius (where he is very, very happy and productive), it’s been (potentially) a great time. The advice back in November was to take risks, albeit to read the small print and never jump in with both feet until you’ve checked out the full story. 

Now, with Jupiter in retrograde (until August 2019), you’ve got a unique opportunity to rethink your plans and if all that glitters turned out not to be gold, you have a second chance.

Second chance at what?

Good question.

This is how I see these next couple of months shaping up.

Somebody in this situation (it could be you…) believes that they’ve been doing all that’s necessary to accomplish the goal but this is NOT TRUE.  

practice makes perfect

It’s great to try things out – practice makes perfect – and so for the next couple of months, you can continue in this way – but when August comes along, spare yourself any illusions – if the objective is to be accomplished, more effort will absolutely be required. 

  • What would you need to do to make your dreams come true?
  • What do you REALLY want from this situation?
  • What needs to become clear for you?

Fairy Godmothers

You pray in your distress and in your need: would that you might pray also in the fullness of your job and in your days of abundance.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

On 5 April at 8:52 GMT (not BST), is this year’s new moon in Aries.

Now is the perfect time to get in contact your fairy godmother and/or guardian angels. Guides, nature spirits, and magical helpers of all sorts are almost always around, especially when you believe in them and trust in their presence.

So, if you’ve been struggling to get all that you need to do done, have faith that if you ask for help, you’ll get it.

Equally, keep in mind that God (and fairy godmothers and guardian angels) prefers to help those who help themselves, so don’t forget that you’re asking for help to get your work done, not someone to do it for you.

Where’s your fairy godmother?

While you’re at it, you might also ask your fairy godmother or guardian angel to support someone else also in need and to set a good example for her (or him), you might get the ball rolling by offering that someone your own helping hand. 

  • What action will you take?
  • What is the next step?
  • When (time and date) will you have completed this?

When Pigs Fly

Today, Mars enters Gemini where he will remain until mid-May.

Mars, the red planet, rules both anger and action and in Gemini, he is ‘quick on the draw’. 

He is also of two minds and even as he advances on one front, the opposite view comes into focus and so he feels duty-bound to defend both with equal aplomb. 

With any planet in Gemini, thoughts and ideas fly around – it’s a volatile climate – an untamed wind – the weather vanes do not know which way to turn and so they fly aimlessly around and around.

This doesn’t mean that people are necessarily telling untruths, but it does suggest that they aren’t 100% certain what they mean.

As we get into the first week of May, Mars will oppose Jupiter, so take extra care because conversations might get a bit ‘hot under the collar’ and now the question becomes how much do you really need/want to win.

  • What seems to be the trouble?
  • How might you improve the situation?
  • Now what?


Since 5 March, Mercury has been travelling backwards (retrograde) through Pisces.

Finally, today, at 14:00 GMT, he turns direct! 

Time to celebrate. 


Not just any old celebration, but a celebration that honours that which connects you and yours with the whole human race.  Who knows what joy and happiness – renewed sense of faith and community spirit – it might bring!

However lost and lonely you might feel from time to time if only you pause a moment and look around, you can always find someone with whom you share some important belief and/or value. 

Pisces is about unity rather than division and now is the perfect time to give the former (rather than the later), an honest try.

  • What’s missing?
  • What do you want to create?
  • What matters most?


All these things shall love do unto you that you many know the secret of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Venus is now in Pisces for the next month. 

When she was in Aquarius, you were on notice that your beloved might (temporarily) give you the cold shoulder.

Now, you can expect him or her to be confused. This is because Pisces has two planetary rulers, Neptune and Jupiter, and together, this pair is the signature of the visionary who enjoys a foolhardy naivety about life. 


The good news, and there always will be with Venus in Pisces because this is where she is exalted (i.e. doing well, indeed, thanks very much), is that however much disillusionment and disappointment comes in her wake, any resultant bitterness or resentment won’t last for long.

  • How do you suppose it will all work out?
  • What are the chances of success?
  • How do you suppose you can find out more about it?

Beauty Slips Away

At night the watchmen of the city say, ‘Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east’. And at noontide the toilers and wayfarers say, ‘We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.’

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet.

beauty slips away

With this full moon in Libra (1:44 GMT) on 21st March, catch a fleeting glimpse of beauty before it slips away. 

If you see it, make mental note of how it looks and feels because the moment something becomes manifest it is already in the process of decay. 

Let this be a reminder that however much you might not wish to let go of something or someone, time never is on your side. It is only in your memory that you are able hold fast to anything but then the question immediately becomes whether or not it is in your best interest to try.

  • If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently?
  • In the bigger scheme of things, how important is this?
  • What will you think about this five years from now?

Myth for Aries

In many respects, each of us is the hero or heroine in our own mythic journey and that journey is all about your Sun sign.

To get the most out of these myths, ask yourself questions like whether you can relate with the characters and their dilemmas. Consider how your own life experiences have been different or similar to theirs. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these heroes and heroines? Where did they go right or wrong and most importantly, how would you have done things differently?

For the next thirty days, the Sun is in Aries – and so Aries, this myth is for you:

Jason must fight for his throne by bringing home the Golden Fleece. This feat requires a long and dangerous journey and Jason rises to the challenge to prove his mettle.  

Although Jason displays remarkable courage and skill, he is victorious only with the help of a sorceress named Medea, whom he promises to marry. 

Jason & the Golden Fleece

Jason returns home with Medea and claims his crown. 

But as with most Aries, Jason enjoys the battle more than the prize. Always seeking a new conquest, he decides to win a new kingdom by divorcing Medea and marrying another princess. 

Aries undervalues the feminine at his peril. When Medea takes her revenge, Jason loses everything.

By Jove!

Many believe that where Jupiter is in your chart, you’ll be lucky.

In large part, this is true.

But with Jupiter, luck isn’t left to chance. Instead, it’s all about timing in vision. When you understand how you fit into the bigger picture, all else falls into place.

Jupiter – the moment of light!

Jupiter is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus, whose name derives from the Indo-European ‘djeus’, which is composed of ‘deus; or deity and ‘theos’ or the moment of light. Admittedly this combination of gods and enlightenment is intriguing and indeed some suggest that Jupiter’s placement in your birth or natal chart, provides you with your own ‘divine plan.’

To give you just a taste of what this might mean for you, the following is a brief summary of Jupiter by sign:

Jupiter in Aries – you’re always on a crusade – a constant supply of fresh ideas is required to feed your fervent need for adventure and exciting lifestyle.  Beware of a certain amount of egotism however when it is channelled towards helping the community at large, it’s forgivable if not outright charming. (Applies birth dates – January 1940 – April 1940, May 1951- April 1952, April 1963- March 1964, April 1975- March 1976, March 1987- February 1988, February 1999-June 1999, November 1999 – January 2000, June 2010-August 2010,  February 2011-May 2011.)

Jupiter in Taurus – you need your feet planted firmly on the ground for you are constrained to work within the framework of the material world.   Your spiritual and religious values must, therefore, be grafted onto your need for material comfort and security.  Thus you will likely take a practical approach to religion.  Beware of fanaticism, however, for you may be prone to tenaciously held beliefs. (Applies birth dates – May 1940 – May 1941, May 1952- April 1953, April 1964- April 1965, April 1976- March 1977, March 1988- July 1988, February 1989, July 1999-October 1999, February 2000 – June 2000, June 2011-May 2012.)

Jupiter in Gemini –  you’re always on the move and by learning more and more you enlarge your breadth of spiritual vision.  Beware of holding superficial beliefs.  By nature Gemini has a penchant for novelty and change and this doesn’t give much incentive to getting to the root of things. You’ll find your spiritual path by testing your hypotheses about the divine in your head rather than in your heart. (applies birth dates – June 1941 – May 1942, May 1953- May 1954, May 1965- September 1965, November 1965 – April 1966, September 1976, April 1977 – August 1977, January 1978 – March 1978, August 1988- July 1989, July 2000 – June 2001, June 2012 – June 2013.)

Jupiter in Cancer – you connect with the divine through your emotions – by holding together a community or family.  Your path is to find unity and group solidarity in all you say and do.  Beware of meddlesomeness under the guise of trying to be helpful.  Also beware of simply espousing (without examination) your group’s religious causes and beliefs. (Applies birth dates – June 1942 – June 1943, June 1954 – May 1955, October 1965, May 1966- September 1966, February 1967 – May 1967, September 1976, September 1977 – December 1977, April 1978 – August 1978, August 1989- August 1990, July 2001 – July 2002, July 2013 – June 2014.)

Jupiter in Leo –  you need to find your deeper values through everyday living.  This is best achieved through helping others – for the hearth-flame (of which Leo is a symbol) burns ever brighter the more it is stoked.  Keep in mind, however, that Jupiter in Leo isn’t one for details.  Broader outlines and ambitious plans are more your cup of tea. (Applies birth dates – July 1943 – July 1944, June 1955 – June 1956, October 1966 – January 1967, June 1967 – Octbober 1967, March 1968 – May 1968, September 1978 – September 1979, September 1990 – August 1991, August 2002 – August 2003, July 2014 -July 2015.)

Jupiter in Virgo – religious feelings may be reduced to a sense of duty and you may feel you shoulder too much responsibility in the wake.  However uncomfortable this is, know it is here that your spiritual path lies.  For it is through relief work and service to others that you find your true calling.  There’s little doubt you’ll carry out your duties to perfection. (Applies birth dates – August 1944 – August 1945, July 1956- November 1956, March 1957 – July 1957, November 1967 – February 1968, June 1968 – October 1968, April 1969 – June 1969, October 1979 – October 1980, September 1991 – September 1992, September 2003 – September 2004, August 2015 – August 2016. )

Jupiter in Libra – broaden your spiritual horizons through making ever more contacts and friends.  Your sense of justice is strong.  But this may prove to be a disadvantage for Jupiter isn’t about being fair.  Fairness implies the weighing of scales.  But you can’t help everyone – especially when they’re on opposite sides.  So best to join in a common cause and avoid making choices, which you’ll never do well. (Applies birth dates – September 1945 – September 1946, December 1956 – February 1957, August 1957- December 1957, April 1958 – August 1958, November 1968 – March 1969, July 1969 – November 1969, May 1970 – July 1970, November 1980 – November 1981, October 1992 – October 1993, October 2004 – October 2005, September 2016 – September 2017.)

Jupiter in Scorpio –broaden your spiritual horizons through anything that helps you understand your own (and others’) motivations.  This provides you with precious insight into the meaning of life.   Beware of moralising, however.  One of the downsides of coming to grips with your faults, is the tendency to force the same process on others. (Applies birth dates – October 1946 – October 1947, January 1958 – March 1958, September 1958 – January 1959, May 1959 – September 1959, December 1969 – April 1970, August 1970 – December 1970, June 1971 – August 1971, December 1981 – December 1982, November 1993 – November 1994, November 2005 – November 2006, October 2017 – October 2018.)

Jupiter in Sagittarius – your search for a more comprehensive picture of the cosmos inclines you to do what’s necessary to live in keeping with your inner faith.   Beware, however, of boasting and self-conceit.  While the patterns of the universe may for you be clear and obvious, for others it will not be the same. (Applies birth dates – November 1947 – October 1948, December 1949 – March 1950, February 1959 -April 1959, October 1959 – February 1960, June 1960 – October 1960, January 1971 – May 1971, September 1971 – January 1972, August 1972 – September 1972, January 1979, January 1983 – January 1984, December 1994 – December 1995, December 2006 – December 2007, November 2018 – November 2019.)

Jupiter in Capricorn – your need for spiritual and religious values is directed to things of practical and ‘real worth’.  This might mean that your faith rests on dogma and ritual and that’s OK.  However you have a real opportunity to find what you need from a different material and social point of view.   Use your keen organizing abilities in the service of others and you’ll soon understand what this can mean.(Applies birth dates – November 1948 – March 1949, July 1949 – November 1949, April 1950 – August 1950, March 1960 – May 1960, November 1960 – February 1961, August 1961 – October 1961, February 1972 – July 1972, October 1972 – February 1973, February 1984 – January 1985, January 1996 – January 1997, January 2008 – December 2008.)

Jupiter in Aquarius – for you, spiritual and religious values must comply with the rules of logic – and this isn’t always for the best.   Try not to spend time persuading others to your point of view.  Instead take your facts and figures out into a wider social setting and help others to express what is most important for them. (Applies birth dates – April 1949 – June 1949, December 1949 – March 1950, September 1950 – November 1950, March 1961 – July 1961, November 1961 – March 1962, March 1973 – February 1974, February 1985 – February 1986, February 1997 – January 1998, January 2009 – December 2009.)

Jupiter in Pisces – your sense of religious and spiritual values comes from your feelings about what surrounds you – atmospheres and general moods will effect you greatly – so take special care to understand which values belong to you or somebody else.  Your greatest gift is your ability to feel at one with your fellows.  You have the ability to show them their own paths. (Applies birth dates – April 1950 – August 1950, December 1950 – April 1951, April 1962 – March 1963, March 1974 – March 1975, March 1986 – February 1987, February 1998 – January 1999, January 2010 – May 2010, September 2010 – January 2011.)

To make the best of your Jupiter, consider astrological coaching.