Astrology in the time of the Corona Virus

Astrology in the time of the Corona Virus

The ancients viewed the natal chart not as a detailed blue-print on how to navigate your future to best advantage but more like a fortune cookie bearing a pithy observation of a generalized ‘truth’ relating to you. For the ancients, how this ‘truth’ unfolded remained always in your hands even though sometimes it might appear as if ‘fate’ of some kind was involved.

In reading Greek tragedy, we cannot escape the constant repetition of words like necessity, fate, chance, and destiny, as well as ‘ills given by the gods’.  Certainly these might describe how we’re feeling about the corona virus – the ‘fate’ which we are faced right now – the ‘fate’ we so did NOT deserve!

Yet in Poetics, Aristotle reminds us that the cause of tragedy is attributed not to ‘fate’ but instead to personal character flaws: excessive pride, lust for power, cruelty, ignorance and/or uncontrolled passions.

When faced with a difficult situation such as the corona virus and the hardships following in its wake, the victims of Greek tragedy were forced to make a choice, take a decision. But if in making that choice – taking that decision – the character was unable to gain control over his/her character flaw, then inevitably he/she became the victim to some bitter and gruesome end.

Aristotle reminds us that if only this character had been better prepared regarding his/her flaw(s), he/she could have fared better. As he noted in Poetics, to see a virtuous man face unmerited misfortune is not tragic, but shocking; no good play has used such a situation nor relied on mere chance for its outcome.

This is where that fortune cookie comes in.

The advent of the corona virus has made it clear that however much we like to think that we are in charge of our own fate – our future – we remain tethered to that of the collective. This does not mean that your choices no longer matter. Indeed, during times when the collective is struggling as is the case now, they matter even more. But if, as in the Greek tragedies, the choice(s) you make stem from your inability to get the upper hand on your own character flaw(s) – the one(s) so aptly suggested in your fortune cookie – then you risk becoming an unwitting, unnecessary victim.

What fortune might that cookie hold for you?

Stage Set / Through the Houses

Stage Set / Through the Houses

Shakespeare once wrote that the entire world is a stage and all the men and women merely players. In a sense, one’s natal or birth chart is a metaphor for his or her personal play, complete with stage set, cast of characters, plot, or the story line, and of course both character growth arc and theme.


This post is about stage set ; astrologically there are twelve of them, known as ‘houses’. Each of these correspond to one of the twelve pie -like slices that divide up your natal chart. Just as with one of Shakespeare’s plays, each of the characters/planets act out their own part in the story these stage sets.

It goes without saying that those individual parts will be as greatly colored by the stage set (or house) inhabited as it is by the clothes/manners/customs each player brings to the stage, (determined by the Zodiac sign in which the planet is located). For example, Venus in Virgo will always dress and behave very differently than would Venus in Leo. But both will be challenged when play on a stage set run, for example, by Scorpio and it goes without saying that they will be challenged in different ways.

Also note that each of the player shares scenes with certain players but not others. In this sense, planets/players only interact with other planets/players when they form aspects with each other. If that Venus in Virgo makes an aspect to Mars in Taurus, then they have an opportunity to work together. But if Mars were in Libra, then chances are they’d pass each other without making contact, like ships in the night.

Sometimes, even when planets/players share the same stage/house they may not interact because they are not in aspect – for example Venus in Virgo stares off blankly into space whilst the remaining players including Mars in Virgo are engaged in a heated argument.

The twelve houses are divided up into four elements, which tell much about the nature of that stage set:

  • Fire Houses show us how we ‘show up’ in the world; how we format, express, and assert ourselves as separate individuals, different from the crowd.
  • It’s no accident that Fire Houses always follow Water Houses, where our personal identities have to some extent been compromised or even completely dissolved. In Fire Houses ,we ‘find’ ourselves again.
  • Fire Houses offer opportunities to expand ourselves, to be joyful and creative. Planets in Fire Houses provide important clues as to how we express our vitality, our vision of self and the world.
  • Planets in Fire Houses are always about potentiality although some are able to express this more easily than others. For example, Saturn in a Fire House may fear personal expression, thinking that his vision is not good enough, not worthy. Jupiter, on the other hand, is more likely to do better as is Mars although both might get carried away. If you know someone who is always ‘in your face’, then you’re probably experiencing this kind of fiery over-exuberance.
  • Finally, it’s worth remembering that planets in the Fire Houses tend to be idealistic, similar to planets in Air Houses. The primary distinction between planets in Fire Houses and Air Houses is that those former usually take physical action whilst those in the latter, tend to caught up in their heads.

  • Traditionally, planets in the Earth Houses show us how best to make money. From birth, we’re told the ‘sky is the limit’ but at some level we all suspect that might be true. But such understanding comes as absolutely no surprise for planets in Earth Houses; planets in Earth Houses are all about working tirelessly to produce results in the here and now.
  • It’s through the planetary energies in our Earth Houses that we give form and definition to our personal values and surprisingly, given all the societal hype to the contrary, we must do this for our own benefit, expecting (and receiving) thanks from none.
  • Similarly, planets in the Earth Houses are not concerned with giving form to the values of others. It’s nothing more than a happy coincidence if the outside world values our efforts.
  • Unlike planets in the Fire Houses, that are concerned with pure potential, planets in Earth Houses are both immediate and practical. Unlike with planets in the Water Houses, there is no connection to past or future. Similarly, unlike planets in Air Houses, planets in Earth Houses are not concerned with the ideal.
  • Finally, it’s worth remembering that in regards to the Earth Houses, values are not the same as morals or ethics. This may be difficult to comprehend for those with lots of Air in their charts, but in Earth Houses possession is prevailing ‘the law’; for planets in Earth Houses, there is no concept of ‘share’.

  • Astrological air is about discerning patterns as well as words and ideas.
  • In the Prologue to the Gospel of John, we learn that with the ‘word’, God created the universe from the formless dark, taming chaos through organization of matter according to the blueprint of His ‘idea’.
  • Words have power, as every good magician knows. Once something is named, it is identified as separate from us and can be controlled and manipulated accordingly.
  • Plato believed that timeless archetypal ‘ideas’ or ‘ideals’ format our everyday experience. Little wonder that planets in Air Houses are predisposed to to operate through ‘preconceived’ ideas of the ‘perfect’ world of Plato.
  • Little wonder then that planets in the Air Houses are involved with informing our ‘idea’ (i.e. blueprint) of the world as well as debating with others who fail to hold our same ‘idea’. Planets in the Air Houses (especially the 11th) are also involved in bringing our ‘ideas’ to a wider audience.
  • Finally, planets in Air Houses are often restless and discontented, and unless well controlled and focuses, act rather like the senseless ‘chatter’ you might expect from a group of adolescents on a school trip.

  • Water Houses always follow Air Houses, dissolving (or at least unsettling) our thoughts and ideas. Let’s face it – we all love to cling to our beliefs but at some point we realize they no longer serve us well.
  • Contrary to popular belief, planets in Water Houses are not unconscious so much as they feel ‘fated’. The problem isn’t so much lack of control over the energies represented by Water House planets but instead that we feel uncomfortable expressing them in the rational, everyday world.
  • ‘Fated’ does not necessarily mean that bad things will happen. What it does mean is that we will have to work harder than usual to ensure things go well.
  • Water House planets never operate alone; they are always about connections of some kind. In this regard, they represent our ‘inheritance’ – i.e. family background/patterns – and let’s face it not all of those are going to be nice.
  • Thus when dealing with Water House planets we must always remember that their energy is not our own. In this respect, it may be better to think of then as sacred gifts from another realm, gifts that if we fail to give they due respect and honor, they may well prove to be our undoing. This is especially the case with 8th house planets.
  • When dealing with Water House planets, look for compulsive behavior, impulses and urges that are extremely difficult to control.
  • Finally, Water House planets crave a creative outlet so ensure that you develop some sort of structure/or form for that creativity to express itself. Perhaps it’s time for painting or pottery classes or even a course in interior design.

HouseExplanationNatural ElementExampleZodiac Sign AffiliationQuadrant
1st / House of Self / Natural ruler is MarsIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you first met the world when you were born; this imprints on your entire life. Also how you present yourself to the world as the uniquely special individual that you are. Imagine the baby chick hatching from the egg and announcing his/her presence with his/her first chirps. Planets found in this house colour the first impression that you make on others, which may or may not be in keeping with the person that you ‘really’ are. Also the way that you INITIATE things. The natural planetary ruler of the zodiac sign on the cusp of this house determines your chart’s ‘ruler’ which in turn suggests much about how you’ll live your entire life as well as your physical appearance.fireThose with Mercury in their 1st house will present themselves as curious and how they satisfy that curiosity depends much on Mercury’s zodiac sign. Mercury in a water sign will approach the world through emotional connections whilst Mercury in an air sign would operate by expressing his/her ideas. Those with Saturn in their 1st house may be reluctant to approach life at all, cautiously venturing out expecting to be met with criticism. By contrast, Jupiter in the 1st house will arrive on the scene accompanied by fanfare and a drumroll. Mars in the 1st house may present themselves as angry and argumentative. Uranus in the 1st house may manifest as being highly original and inventive whilst Neptune in the first house may manifest as being dreamy, confused, and potentially gullible. ariesAwareness of Self - Cardinal
2nd / House of Resources / Natural ruler is VenusIt's in this house that you find symbolised your personal values - that which you find beautiful, desirable, and of worth. This is also where you'll get in touch with your special gifts & talents. You'll need to cultivate a good working relationship with your 2nd house these planets and the energies they represent. If you don't, they can turn against you, most probably by negatively effecting your bank account.EarthThose with Neptune in their 2nd house, may be perpetually perplexed as to why their money just seems to slip away. Those with Pluto here may need to their resources in more constructive ways. For them, money may be a way of wielding power over others and with this placement, eventually that will backfire. With the Moon in this house, the individual may struggle with fluctuating financial circumstances. By contrast, Jupiter in this placement may achieve significant wealth only to unexpectedly lose or give it away. Equally, they many find themselves constantly on the verge of financial disaster, relying on luck to save the day. The Sun in the 2nd house meets her financial situation with vitality and courage. Developing their personal talents and gifts may take on much more importance than the size of their bank account.TaurusAwareness of Self / Fixed
3rd / House of Exploration / Natural ruler is MercuryIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you explore your world and gather information about it that will format your ideas and beliefs. This house also symbolises the way you communicate your ideas/beliefs, especially with those who live nearby. Planets here benefit from a good education that provides exposure to multiple points of view.AirThose with the Moon in the 3rd house will explore their world through feeling what others are thinking. The problem is that the impression of that world and the people who populate it maybe have much more to do with their own emotional balance than what is really ‘out there’. Jupiter in the 3rd can quickly make a proverbial mountain out of a mole hill, blowing everything they find during their explorations out of proportion. This placement can also indicate someone who travelled or changed residence many time during childhood. With Pluto in this house, early education is a deeply transformative experience during which even a school trip to the museum turns into a murder mystery worthy of thorough investigation. Saturn here may leave the individual struggling to express themselves in a wqay that can be understood and Neptune might manifest it what appears to be confused and scattered thinking whilst at the time providing uncanny insight.GeminiAwareness of Self / Mutable
4th / House of Father & Fatherland / Natural ruler is the MoonIt's in this house that you confront your family inheritance, usually from your father's side. Planets here suggest how you can constructively deal with and build upon this inheritance. Dreams and memories may play a vital roll here. If you try to ignore the 'family ghosts' symbolised here, they will likely continue to haunt you with a vengeance.waterSome with Jupiter in the 4th house are born into aristocratic families or at least had a few well-known ancestors in their paternal blood line. Often there’s a significant influence of a foreign culture. Others might travel from country to country, trying to find their spiritual home. By contrast, those with Mars in their 4th house may struggle with an inherited anger at the world. Whilst those with Venus in their 4th house may enjoy a positive family inheritance, both psychological and material. Those with the Sun in the 4th house may struggle to avoid identifying too closely with their family inheritance whilst those with the Moon find refuge by ‘going back home’. This is not to suggest that this is easily achieved and sometimes those with this placement wander restlessly in search of someplace that feels like ‘home’. CancerIntegrating with Your Environment / Cardinal
5th / House of Creative Expression / Natural ruler is the SunIt’s in this house that you find symbolised how you take joy in life – in being who you uniquely are and sharing what you uniquely have to offer. Planets found in this house suggest the hobbies or similar activities in which you fine most pleasure. They also suggest what and how you need to be creative (i.e. painting, playing a musical instrument, or writing novels) in order to show self and others that you are special. This house is also associated with children and love affairs – both of which are often perceived as avenues of pride and personal expression. fireThose with the Sun in the 5th house will revel in creative self-expression, whether it be for professional purposes or just for fun. Romance is highlighted. Those with Saturn in this house also experience the urge for creative self-expression but often hesitate worrying if how they’re doing it is good enough. With the Moon in the 5th house, creative self-expression may feel effortless, innate, and natural. Often the creative potential of the 5th house Moon appeals to the general public. With Jupiter in the 5th house, creative self-expression is done with panache although it could become excessive. Pluto in this house adds an element of obsession whilst Uranus adds an air of unconventional.LeoIntegrating with Your Environment / Fixed
6th / House of Perfection / Natural ruler is MercuryIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you can best be of useful service to self and others by honing in on and refining your special gifts and talents through the symbolism of your 2nd house. Planets here suggest how best to accomplish this. It's also the house associated with health and everday routine.EarthThose with Venus in the 6th house take pleasure ensuring everything in her life is neat and tidy. It’s not good enough to simply do a job; that job must be beautifully done. Jupiter here may feel cramped when forced to settle down to a daily routine but he does add an air of honest pride in any job well-done. Mars might approach honing his skills and talents like the proverbial 7-day wonder, pushing herself hard to get the job done. With this placement, an exercise routine is essential; aggression that fails to find a satisfactory outlet can lead to headaches and/or other illness. Neptune here suggests a sensitive nervous and/or weak immune system that may well benefit from alterative medicines like homeopathy, whilst Saturn here prefers a more diet/exercise regime.VirgoIntegrating with Your Environment / Mutable
7th / House of Partnerhip / Natural ruler is VenusIt’s in this house that you find symbolised what you’re looking for in your partnerships with others, business or personal. It also suggests how, in your partnerships, you’re likely to behave. While the 1st house is all about ‘me’ and how ‘I’ related to the world, the 7th house is about ‘we’. Given that the 1st and 7th houses are in opposition to each other, it’s a given that ‘me’ and ‘we’ will not always agree. It’s for this reason that the 7th house is also knows as the house of ‘open enemies’; for there are bound to be times that the tension and conflict inherent in this house, fail to be satisfactorily resolved. The 7th house is always known as the house of marriage. AirThose with Mercury in the 7th house want their partners to be intellectually stimulating, albeit not necessarily faithful. By contrast Saturn in the 7th may attract controlling partners and then spend their time together complaining how their partner has tied them down. Pluto in the 7th may find their partnerships fraught with crisis and transition, although what they learn from these personal experience can often be translated in helping others in a similar position. Neptune in the 7th suggests some level of co-dependence as well as significant pain and disillusionment when their partner leaves or otherwise lets them down. Uranus in the 7th may find it difficult – if not impossible to commit. Equally, however, they may choose an unconventional partner of whom family and friends do not approve.LibraAwareness of Others / Cardinal
8th / the House of Shared Resources /Natural rulers are Mars & PlutoIt’s in this house that you find the natural extension of partnerships formed in the 7th house – shared resources and sex as well as the power both can wield. Like the 4th house, the 8th house is also associated with inheritances, albeit of a different kind. Sometimes these inheritances relate to financial assets. More often, however, they reflect the rewards and punishments that come as the result of family patterns operating over decades and even centuries. This is the stuff of Greek tragedy. It is also the stuff of what esoteric philosophers call the ‘astral plane’, where invisibe but powerful emotions collect and circulate often causing havoc here on earth. Finally, this house is often associated with death. Planets in this house might be taken literally to symbolise your physical death.waterThose with the Sun in the 8th house are tasked to connect with something greater than self. Money and possessions are merely at the surface level of what is shared with others. A desire for deeper intimacy is what the Sun in the placement confers whilst with the Moon in the 8th struggles with this kind of intimacy. It can be so overwhelming that it threatens the Moon’s sense of security, without which the individual cannot be happy. By contrast, Mercury here is keen to explore the mysteries of life reflected in the 8th house. Venus in the 8th places great value on the more intimate exchanges between people. She’s a natural in the bedroom and also has a flair for make good business deals. She is likely to do well financially from marriage/partnership. Likewise, Jupiter in the 8th often benefits financially from marriage although he’s much more likely than Venus to take good care of it.scorpioAwareness of Others / Fixed
9th / Natural ruler is Jupiter / The House of ExplorationIn this house you will find the natural progression from that which you’ve learned in the 7th and 8th houses; the 9th house offers light at the end of the tunnel if you’re experiences in the 7th and 8th were bleak. It also offers understanding through expanding your horizons either through travel, advanced schooling, or reading. You might even become the ‘teacher’ in the sense that you’ve got wisdom gained through your experiences to offer. Because the 9th house is a Fire House and the Fire Houses are a conduit for bringing joy and creativity into our lives, expect whatever you choose to make of planets in this house to make you at least somewhat happy. fireThose with the Sun in their 9th house may view their entire lives as a journey or pilgrimage; indeed they may never stay in one place for too long. Those with Venus in the 9th house may find great aesthetic beauty and value in all that which is foreign; likewise they may spend significant time contemplating the meaning of life. Mercury in the 9th may likewise travel or even study abroad and find his thinking and belief systems greatly affected by it. Uranus in the 9th is always looking for ‘truth’ and may hold progressive views on the nature of ‘truth’ and where it might best be found. Mars in the 9th may also be in pursuit of ‘truth’ and/or the meaning of life but may take a more personalised and perhaps aggressive approach.sagAwareness of Others / Mutable
10th / The House of Status / Natural ruler is SaturnIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you make your mark on the world and for what you will be remembered. The nature of this mark will be reflected by the zodiac sign on the cusp of this house as well as planets that inhabit it. It is also in this house that you’ll discover where and through what mechanism you seek public recognition, keeping in mind that this is not always the same thing as your personal achievements. The planets in this house are highly visible to the world at large and difficult to hide even should you wish to do so. It’s worth keeping in mind that which for you will be remembered is not always the same as that for which you would like to be remembered. EarthThose with Saturn in the 10th house will probably have to work hard to achieve the respect and status that the desire and it may take much longer than they could have imagined. Those with Jupiter in this house may appear larger than life and enjoy more than their fair of luck achieving their ambitions. With Mars in this house, ambition is strong and possibly even ruthlessly asserted, Likewise, with Pluto in this house. With Pluto in the 10th house, the individual be a serious power broker, albeit sometimes behind the scenes. Uranus in the 10th house needs to contribute some original and progressive to society. Whatever that might be, they are unlikely to be remembered as ordinary.capIntegrating with Others / Cardinal
11th / House of Shares Interests / Natural rulers are Saturn & UranusIt's in this house that you find symbolised how you come together in groups with otherswith whom you share common ideas and beliefs. Planets in this house describe how and why you come together in these groups as well as where you might need to compromise in decisions regarding your group's common ideals and beliefs.AirThose with Mercury in the 11th house, might be keen to join organizations that promote a common belief, concept or cause. With the Sun here, this cause, concept, or belief is likely to bring personal recognition, not the least because the individual identifies so strong with it. Mars in the 11th house brings with it deep passion for that cause, concept, or belief although this could well lead to disputes and arguments with other group members. Saturn in the 11th may similarly struggle fitting in; perhaps they are too black and white or insist on too much structure. By contrast, Neptune in the 11th is likely to identify so closely with the those causes, concepts, and beliefs, that she loses her sense of self. Venus in the 11th brings the ability to encourage a sense of co-operation amongst group members whilst Jupiter brings a sense of inspiration and well-being.AquariusIntegrating with Others / Fixed
12th / House of Seclusion / Natural rulers are Jupiter & NeptuneIt’s in this house that you find symbolised how you are in touch with that which you share with the rest of humanity. In Jungian terms, this is referred to as a collective unconscious. Being too closely connected with this energy (or in some instances, lost in) carries serious dangers. Hence this house is often referred to as the house of self-undoing. To avoid disaster, you must always remember your personal responsibility with working this power. Planets found in this house should be expressed not for personal benefit alone, but instead of the greater good. But at the same time, you should never help others when to do so causes damage to yourself. Likewise, you must also never allow yourself to play the role of the martyr. waterThose with the Moon in the 12th house may bind that like psychic vacuum cleaners, they ‘suck in’ whatever is in the atmosphere. They may think they are experiencing their own emotions when instead, they have absorbed those of another. The Moon in this placement might also suggest unfished emotional business from prior lives and/or a complicated relationship with their mother. Venus in this house suggests the love of that which is subtle hidden, or hard to grasp. In some cases, you may fall for someone who is not free and your love must necessarily remain hidden. Jupiter in this house may convey the sense of having guardian angel; the ‘get-out-of-jail’ card that shows up at just the right moment. It is also a placement oft-associated with gifted counsellors, psychics, and healers. Likewise, with Pluto in the 12th house although the energy involved will be more intense and in some cases, much darker.PiscesIntegrating with Others / Mutable

The Moon & Jung’s Anima

The Moon & Jung’s Anima

This is the third of a series of blog posts designed to help you to understand how your astrological Moon drives the ebbs and tides of your everyday life as well as your most intimate relationships. This post explores the relation between Jung’s archetype of the Anima and your astrological Moon. Beware, the jury is still out as to whether the Anima works differently for men than for women.

In simplest terms, Jung’s anima represents the feminine aspects of both men and women.

Jung believed that for men, the astrological Moon represented the unconscious – hunches, moods, and intuitions – aspects of which he was challenged to integrate into his psyche.  In keeping with tradition stemming back to Ptolemy, in ancient Greece, Jung entertained the idea that in certain cases, the anima represented the manifest expression of a man’s mother as well as his ideal wife. By contrast, the animus, symbolised by the astrological Sun, that represented the natural mode of a man’s expression.

Jung further suggested that the anima was symbolic of the conscious – the mode of natural expression for women. It was the animus, symbolised by the astrological Sun, that women were challenged to integrate into their psyches. Also in keeping with Ptolemaic tradition, the Sun symbolised the manifest expression of a woman’s father as well as her ideal husband.

Regardless of whether we now believe Jung’s assignment of animus and anima to women and man is outdated – anachronistic, we can still learn much about the anima (for both men and women) by examining Jung’s own explorations of the astrological Moon in the Red Book (Liber Novus).

In the Red Book, the astrological Moon represents the entire spectrum of the lunar myth and cycle, from the dark of the new moon and back again. Unlike classical astrology that divides the planets into either malefic or benefic, Jung’s astrological Moon at once both and neither. She can be dangerous – even treacherous. Moreover, the Moon as a fluid, living principle, always in flux. Indeed, Jung saw the astrological Moon as both deeply complex and ambivalent – the archetypal core of which equates to the triple-bodied lunar goddess of antiquity, Hecate.

Consider four of the Red Book’s female personages:

Questions to consider:

  • How might these images have formatted Jung’s perception of the real women in his life?
  • If you’re a woman, how might similar images formatted by the astrological Moon in the chart of important men in your life effect how you relate to them?
  • What, if anything, might you be able to do about it?


  • Greene, L. (2018). The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus; Daimons, Gods, and the Planetary Journey. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Greene, L. (2018). Jung’s Studies in Astrology: Prophecy, Magic and the Qualities of Time. Abingdon: Routledge.

Dignities & Debilities of Mars & Venus

Dignities & Debilities of Mars & Venus

Each planet in your chart has a job to do but some planets are better placed than others to do it (albeit not always without some risk).

Consider that Aries is the zodiac sign associated with confidence, courage, bravery, assertion, and competition. Since the job or planetary purpose of Mars is to compete and win, it’s not difficult to see how, in Aries, Mars is well-placed to achieve his aims.

But in Libra, where Mars is considered to be in detriment (i.e. struggling), he might not fare so well. In Aries, Mars was free to disregard the needs and feelings of others when in pursuit of his goals. But in Libra, the needs and feelings of others are shoved in his face.

This is because Libra is associated with achieving balance and harmony, especially in romantic relationships. As most marriage counselors would agreed, typical Libra traits like diplomacy, tact, and a willingness to compromise are useful to further relationships. Yet compromise (much less tact and diplomacy) does not come easily to Mars. Remember how Mars is hard-wired to win by any and all means? How on earth could that ever play out well in Libra?

Equally, Venus in Aries (the zodiac sign where she is in detriment), will struggle. Imagine how difficult it might be to achieve harmonious relationships through the guise of egotistically fueled assertion and constant competition?

For an example how this might play out, consider the Greek myth about Jason (typical Aries) and the Argonauts and the disaster wrought in his marital relationship with Medea.

By contrast, Venus is very happy in Libra, the sign opposite Aries and one of the two zodiac signs where she is considered in dignity.

The planetary purpose of Venus is to both attract and be attracted ‘the other’, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. In this regard, a willing to compromise is clearly a bonus. Yet all too easily compromise can turn into paralyzing indecision.

For an example how this may play out, consider the Greek myth, The Judgement of Paris.

Venus also does well in Taurus, the other zodiac sign in which she is in dignity. Like Libra, Taurus is characterized by romantic relationships albeit of more earthy and sensuous nature. Taurus adds to the mix her famous loyalty and dependability; such traits usually considered to promote harmonious relationships. Yet when it comes to the pursuit of pleasure, another important of job for Venus, things can get quickly out of control in Taurus.

For an example of how this might play out, consider the Greek myth about the wife of King Minos and her dalliance with the Minotaur.

The sign opposite Taurus is Scorpio, where Venus is in her detriment. Although like Taurus, Scorpio is also loyal, Scorpio is also notorious for being distrustful and suspicious, traits not usually associated with happy relationships. Like Aries, Scorpio is also ruled by the planet, Mars. This means that the relationships of Venus in Scorpio are in many respects like those of Venus in Aries – fraught with competition. Add to that the propensity to be jealous, hold grudges, and seek revenge, and it’s not difficult to see how Venus in Scorpio may not enjoy same quality of relationship as might Venus in Taurus .

Not all is lost, however.

As noted earlier, another key purposes of Venus is to full her desire for sensuous pleasures. In Scorpio, sexuality is not taken lightly are passion and intensity are the order of the day. The problem comes when in the pursuit of pleasure societal taboos are ignore and broken. This is always a risk with Venus in Scorpio.

For an example of this how this might play out, consider Greek myth about Medusa.

The Gentle Art of Persuasion

The Gentle Art of Persuasion

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

  1. Build rapport – the easiest way is to assume you have it already. Imagine the person in front of you is a dear old friend. The subtle changes in your approach will soon set them comfortably at ease.
  2. Know your desired outcome – be precise about what behaviour you want from the other by the end of the meeting/conversation and ensure everything said & done is aimed at bringing them to that result.
  3. Deliver a personalised hook:
    • Aries – appeal to his need to take action now.
    • Taurus – appeal to her need for simple, practical solutions.
    • Gemini – appeal to his natural curiosity.
    • Cancer – appeal to her need to feel safe & secure.
    • Leo – appeal to his need to take centre stage.
    • Virgo – appeal to her need to get it done right.
    • Libra – appeal to his need to maintain harmony.
    • Scorpio – appeal to her need to get to the bottom of things.
    • Sagittarius – appeal to his need for freedom and adventure.
    • Capricorn – appeal to her need to take responsibility and earn respect.
    • Aquarius – appeal to his need to challenge the status quo.
    • Pisces – appeal to her need to help someone.
  4. Choose your words carefully:
    • Develop ‘yes’ sets – get them on a roll with answering a series of simple questions in the affirmative and chances are they’ll keep on rolling with the same.
    • Anticipation Loops – keep them paying close attention by delivering partial explanations with a promise to later, explain in more detail.
    • Agreement Frames – everyone feels better when others agree with them so meet objections with a smile and the following phrase –  ‘I agree with you and (not but) I add
    • Awareness patterns – innocuous little words like NOTICE, REALISE, EXPERIENCE, and SEE are fantastic for slipping in ideas under the radar. For example, ‘I’m certain that you realise that XYZ happened and that means ABC.’ If they question anything, it’s more likely to be (1) whether they did realise XYZ had happened or (2) whether or not in actual fact, XYZ as portrayed is true. This leaves them much more likely to accept, as a given, whatever comes next, your real point – i.e. ABC.

The astrology of soul-mates/Why and how it all goes wrong

The astrology of soul-mates/Why and how it all goes wrong

In Plato’s Symposium, we learn that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head with two faces.  But Zeus, most powerful of the Greek gods, feared the humans’ power and tore them asunder, condemning them to eternally search for the other half of themselves – their soul mate.

That’s as good as any explanation for the magical, mystical, and most importantly – fated – union you can feel in the presence of another.   For many, it’s the most beautiful, moving, and transformative experience for which one could ever hope.   I’ve had it.  Have you?

So why is it that – more likely than not – it all ends in tears?

Astrologically, the ‘soul mate’ phenomenon is inevitably bound up with Neptune, which moves in mysterious, illusive ways.  Neptune is counter logical. Neptune doesn’t play by the rules.  Belonging to another world, Neptune lures us into pursuit of a glamorous dream that takes us to places we’d never otherwise willingly have gone.

We all need some glamour in our lives.  But when the dream is over you’ll need to move on.

Does this mean you can never have a long-term relationship with your Neptunian ‘soul mate’? 

Of course not.

But what it does mean is that unless your soul mate relationship has more holding it together than Neptune contacts, when reality shatters your rose-coloured glasses, either or both of you will be sneaking out the backdoor with a grin.

‘Soul-mate’ themes in brief

  • Neptune/Moon – the Moon person provides stability that makes the Neptune person feel safe, and so he begins to believe the Moon will always be there for him.  Initially the Moon responds positively to Neptune’s needs and does all she can to reassure him.  But as the bonds grow stronger, the Moon becomes progressively more possessive and feeling overwhelmed, Neptune quietly slips away.
  • Neptune/Mercury – Neptune views Mercury as a clever companion.   Often their dialogue is both poetic and inspired.  Yet both Neptune and Mercury can be shameless liars and when they start down that path, it’s all downhill from there.  Neptune uses her mirroring powers to please and flatter at all costs.  For Mercury (governed by the god of tricksters and thieves), the truth is always relative.   In the end quarrels and misunderstandings are inevitable yet it’s what each of you do next that most matters.
  • Neptune/Venus – this contact has provided inspiration for poetry and fiction from the beginning of time; inevitably it involves the pain of illicit (and often unfilled) desire.   While Neptune fantasizes about the physical consummation of a mystical love, Venus waits impatiently for Neptune to take action.  The problem is that Venus wants to be loved through (and for) her body while what Neptune really loves is Venus’ soul.  This aspect reflects the intoxicating feeling of ‘being in love’.  Yet more often than not, it produces a broken heart.
  • Neptune/Mars – the sheer strength of the erotic pull between these two ensures trouble.  Neptune sees Mars as her invincible champion– tough, potent, decisive, and ready for battle.   In turn, Mars feels fulfilled with a worthy cause for which to fight.  Yet if Neptune can’t acknowledge her dependency on Mars, she’ll undermine him so as to ensure he doesn’t go off crusading for someone else.  Often this results in the classic ‘not tonight but maybe tomorrow’ script where Mars is kept eternally waiting.  On-going frustration may draw cruelty and violence from Mars.  The less Neptune understands her own capacity for aggression, the darker their relationship becomes.
  • Neptune/Jupiter – involves a profound sense of shared spirituality. Jupiter’s quest for meaning and optimistic vision provides Neptune a solid hook for her own, often inarticulate, deep yearnings.  Yet because both Jupiter and Neptune share a taste for the boundless, this aspect can end up with the blind leading the blind. Eventually Jupiter cajoles Neptune into some folly into which Neptune happily follows but when it all goes wrong (as it usually does), disillusionment inevitably follows.
  • Neptune/Saturn – involves a meeting of archetypal opposites.  Saturn (the strong, worldly, paternal figure) overtly builds strong foundation which Neptune (elusive, vulnerable, and distinctly of another world) subtly undermines.  When Saturn-Neptune aspects go wrong, they go very wrong. They can generate an intensity of anger and need to inflict emotional pain that becomes unbearable for both parties.  However if handled with care (and maturity), this aspect has the greatest potential for healing. 

the time of your life…

the time of your life…

What would you give to be able paint an accurate picture of the quality of time in your life right now?

One of the best ways to do just that uses the ancient classical technique known as Directing by Triplicity.

The idea is to look at the main luminary in your chart and it’s three classical triplicity rules (by element) and examine their ‘condition’ in your chart.

The 1st triplicity ruler governs the first 1/3 of your life, the 2nd triplicity ruler governs the second 1/3 of your life and of course the 3rd triplicity ruler governs the final 1/3 of your life. There are no hard and fast rules regarding when one moves from one life phase to another but generally the first transition occurs around aged 30 years and the last transition about aged 60 years.

In my chart, the main luminary is the Moon because I was born at night. My Moon is in Gemini, and so the triplicity rulers (of air) are Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter (in that order).

As I’m now in the final 1/3 of my life, Jupiter is running the show. In my chart, Jupiter is also in Gemini (in detriment) in my 12th house (cadent).

To find out more about what this means for me, I consult the appropriate ancient texts, including the Liber Hermetis, which was translated from Latin into English by Robert Zoller (Project Hindsight):

  • My Jupiter is considered to be in the ‘boundlessness’ of the Moon and hence lacking the necessary structure to build ‘benefits’ of a lasting nature.
  • This Jupiter is at its possible best when marching to the beat of a different ‘drum beat’ – i.e. pursing that which is alternative, not mainstream.
  • It is likely that, during this time in my life, I will make my livelihood from ‘words, ‘numbers’ and even ‘sorceries’. Likewise, I may work ‘with celestial things’ and become a ‘prophet of the future’.
  • Beware, however, because my Jupiter is in the ‘terms’ of Saturn, whatever I’ve gained in the past could be now lost.

Much of this sounds more than plausible, especially now that, after 35 plus years as an international tax lawyer, I’m working as an astrological coach and as much as I love astrology and coaching, the transition has not been easy.

The good news is that however debilitated my Jupiter might be, it does ‘plug into the angles’ of my chart and has real possibility for me to accomplish my goals if, of course, I can find the necessary structure. Sadly, this will not be easy. Although my Jupiter and Saturn (symbolising structure) are ‘friends’ (they are in a helpful trine aspect to each other and in mutual reception by face and/or term ), Saturn benefits more from this relationship than does Jupiter (i.e. mutual reception negated by cadency).

Having recently retired from the corporate world of imposed structure, I do find it difficult creating the ‘structure’ necessary to underpin a successful astrological coaching practice. Luckily I’ve realised this and to that end am now working with coaches to help me. Rule number one when it comes to being a success – never hesitate to get help where necessary.

Finally, my Jupiter in Gemini is ruled by Mercury and as noted earlier, my Mercury has worked well for me in the past. Another ancient technique called Firdaria, suggests that on another personal front, my Mercury is really coming into its own. As with Saturn, my Jupiter is friends with Mercury (helpful trine again) and although Jupiter gets the short-end of the stick in this friendship, at least Mercury is empowered by the friendship (in the ‘terms’ of Jupiter) and so writing, (Mercury-ruled) is definitely going to be my thing!

If you’d like to learn more about how this technique can work for you, I’ve got a special offer on from now until 31 January 2020 – if you’re game, we can get started tomorrow!

Directing By Triplicity – Special Offer

TWO 60-minute sessions (ZOOM or SKYPE) investigating the quality of the time in your life right now using this ancient technique and how you can use this information to your best advantage.


When to call your astrologer…

When to call your astrologer…

… and what to ask.

First and foremost, astrology is meant to help you to put your mind at ease, to understand how the turning wheel of world fortune relates to you.

For example, when you’re going through a tough time, it’s healing to be able to mark the day in your calendar when it should all be over. Equally, there are times when doors in our lives open easily and times that they remain stubbornly shut. Astrology helps you to know in advance when is the best time to launch your plans as well as advising when they remain only half-baked.


Always have an advance idea of what you want to achieve in your astrology reading. Pure speculation is never helpful and can even be dangerous. Likewise, if you have a fixed outcome in mind as to the result of the reading, don’t expect astrology to simply confirm your plans. If you’re not prepared, at least in part, to think differently as the result of a reading, then don’t book it.

There are basically two types of readings; general and topical.

GENERAL READINGS – sketch out the narrative arc of the story that is your life. Imagine how much better you will function when you have a good understanding of who you are and what you want?

But as with any sketch, the devil is in the detail and this is where mixing astrology and coaching techniques comes into its own. There’s no sense walking away from the reading filled with fabulous information that you’ve no idea how to use.

  • Psychological astrology informs your most prominent personality traits, the way that you’re most likely to see and experience the world. With this, you can walk away from a 90-minute astrology session having learned more about yourself than you might in years of therapy. Coaching helps you decide what to do with what you’ve learned.
  • Before moving forward, it’s sometimes useful to look backwards. For example, before remarrying you might want to explore reasons why your first marriage failed. Equally, you might benefit from understanding why during a particular time in your life you flourished more than at other times or why you keep repeating the same ‘mistake’ time and time again.
  • Themes tend to repeat especially when they’ve not yet been adequately dealt with.  For those believing in reincarnation, it’s not hard to see how such themes carry through multiple lifetimes. For the historians and/or geneaologists, it’s not difficult to see how these themes carry on along family lines. And how about the mysterious mix of ideas, hopes, and dreams that you share with others of your generation? What’s that all about?
  • Have you ever wondered why you behave differently with some people than with others? Do some people know just which buttons to push whilst others seem to have no idea? Why does one person respond to your entreaties whilst another ignores them? Why are you to one person and not another? Relationship astrology answers these questions and more.

TOPICAL READINGS – consist of a question or series of questions usually relating to an important decision that you’ll soon take. Naturally the more you know about the topic in question, the more informed will be your decision making.

  • Astrology mixed with coaching helps you to clarify the question and your options as well as to evaluate how, for each of those options, events are most likely to unfold.
  • Horary astrology even allows for yes and no questions – i.e. should I take this job? But please keep in mind that although astrology can provide you with all sort of insight, it can never make the decision for you.