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July 2013

29 July 2013 – This week’s Astrology

If you want to go straight to the columns here are the links for the weekly and monthly horoscopes:

What’s happening this week?

Thanks to everyone who’s told me about their own retrograde Mercury stories, and a special thanks to Di H who wrote that “the forewarning made a real difference to solving the various issues that arose”. There’s a lot of things that we simply have no control over during these periods but certainly forewarned is forearmed, and I like to think that I may have avoided some calamities over the years…

The last word on Mercury is that there is a “shadow period” as well as the actual retrograde period. This is how it works, with the current phase as the example:

·         10 June – Mercury reaches 13.21 (13 degrees, 21 minutes) of Cancer. This is the degree at which Mercury will eventually turn direct and this is the beginning of the Shadow period.

·         26 June – Mercury turns retrograde at 23.07 Cancer

·         20 July – Mercury turns direct at 13.22 Cancer

·         4 August – Mercury reaches 23.07 Cancer, the degree at which it turned retrograde and this is the end of the Shadow period.

So if you notice that a couple of weeks after Mercury turning direct that things take a while to sort and settle, that is the astrological explanation.

Moving on, you may remember that I was talking about aspect patterns a couple of weeks ago when we had the Grand Trine formed by Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. I described it as a huge equilateral triangle stretched across the heavens. For me this brought a pointer from friend and colleague Sally Kirkman to register with my sites with a couple of horoscope directories (the links above), one of which is American and my readership figures shot up as a result. So, for me, this was literally stretching out across an ocean and connecting with another continent.

Today we have an exceptionally rare aspect pattern, which is not just one Grand Trine but two, laid over each other. If you joined the dots between the six planets you would find a hexagon, and this pattern is called a Star of David. To give you an idea of how rare this is I have never, in nearly 30 years of astrological practice, come across one in a natal chart!

The distance between the dots has to be less than 6 degrees (an aspect known as a sextile) and this Star of David is in the feminine water and earth signs:

·         Mars and Jupiter at 7 Cancer

·         Venus at 8 Virgo

·         Saturn at 5 Scorpio

·         Pluto at 9 Capricorn

·         Neptune at 4 Pisces

These are the first five points of the hexagon and the 6th is created today when the Moon reaches 3 degrees of Taurus at about 11.30 BST (which is incidentally the Moon’s degree of exaltation, in others words this is her best sign and 3 degrees of Taurus is her best degree) and will stay within orb until midnight BST tonight.

Of course, as this aspect pattern is so rare who’s to say what it means? It’s not like retrograde Mercury which happens unerringly three or four times a year, giving us the chance to study the event and to amass empirical information. However if we go with the “as above, so below” my eyes were drawn today to: Mid East peace talks to resume, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to resume stalled peace talks in Washington on Monday, the US State Department has announced. (BBC)

What else? Venus is trine Pluto tomorrow, and sextile Mars on Friday, great for love stuff. Unions created or cemented tick all the right boxes. Simultaneously we have Mars square Uranus early Thursday, and Sun trine Uranus on Sunday, the same day that Mercury finally closes this latest retrograde cycle. Look out for settlements, agreements or news, especially related to a new order.


22 July 2013 – This week’s Astrology

If you want to go straight to the columns here are the links for the weekly and monthly horoscopes:

What’s happening this week? Roll of drums, Mercury went direct over the weekend. He’s now got to pick up speed again but this time in the right direction. I always like to clock what happens around the time that Mercury turns – which was 19.23 BST 20 July. Let me just throw in that reminder again about “problems with transport and communication”. On this occasion I got an email almost exactly at that time from my niece who’d had the car accident. Trying to sort out the paperwork had been the predictable nightmare, in the words of my sister “like pushing a boulder uphill”, but on Saturday evening my niece found an email in her junk mail from the insurance company of the guy who’d driven up the back of her, admitting liability. Hurray.

This made me think of the myth of Sisyphus – a figure in Greek mythology who was forever condemned to pushing a boulder up a mountain only to see it roll down again – which is actually a very good description of how life feels under a retrograde Mercury. Conversely, then, Mercury turning direct will be like getting the boulder to the top of the mountain and finding that miraculously it stays there.

Here’s a checklist for Mercury turning direct:

  • Important information comes to light
  • Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
  • You find the right person to deal with the problem
  • People make decisions
  • Computer glitches are solved/disputes are settled
  • Lost objects are found

… and so on, you get the picture.

In addition it’s a busy start to the week up in the heavens, starting with the stunning Mars – Jupiter conjunction which happens only once every two years. This is like a blast of energy and enthusiasm, of things springing back to life, or into life. Love colleague Sally Kirkman’s prediction that Mercury turning direct in Cancer would “flush out” the royal baby (William is a Cancerian, Kate is a Capricorn but Moon in Cancer, therefore born on a Full Moon). Action man Mars is great for getting things moving and the Sun enters the royal sign of Leo (the Lion being the king of the zodiac) this afternoon 16.57 BST with the Full Moon in Aquarius a couple of hours later at 19.17 BST.

Venus also changes sign this afternoon, moving into Virgo. Traditional astrology says that this is Venus’ sign of “fall”, her weakest sign. This does not mean that those with Venus in Virgo in their natal charts are unloving! But Virgo is a Mercury sign, ruling precision and analysis, so Venus the love planet does not sit easily here. For now guard against being too critical of loved ones, or of allowing others to be overly critical of you.

The weekend brings the Mars – Pluto opposition and the Sun square Saturn. Not sure what I want to say about this combination other than I think I might just be staying in next Saturday night. It adds up to one huge, bad mood or the difficult finale of a situation that has dragged on and been exhausting to deal with. Even if turns out the way you wanted you’ll still be glad to see the back of it, or you may find yourself in a supportive role, helping someone through a tough experience. At least the weekend finishes with a positive Venus – Jupiter sextile (harmonious) on Sunday. These are the two “benefics” – love, life’s pleasures, enjoyment, liberation and the joy of those who care deeply about you and vice versa.





15 July 2013 – This week’s Astrology

If you want to go straight to the columns here are the links for the weekly and monthly horoscopes:

What’s happening this week? If you keep up with the astrological picture then you probably already know that this week is huge as it’s the week of the Grand Trine. What’s that? It’s an aspect pattern, formed when three planets each arrive at the same degree of the three different signs of the same element. In other words, if you joined the dots you’d come up with a huge equilateral triangle stretched across the heavens.

This Grand Trine is in the water (the feeling function) signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, and is especially important as it involves three major (slower moving) planets – Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. So this is a rare event. As such there is a great deal of speculation out there as to what it actually means. How does the astronomical picture translate into astrological information? What meaning do we assign?

The aspect of a trine is considered harmonious – two planets 120 degrees apart – but a Grand Trine can sometimes be overload. Consider the natal charts of Diana, Princess of Wales with her Grand Trine in water (incl Chiron), Eddie the Eagle (remember him?) with his Grand Trine in fire, throwing himself into the Olympics ski jumping with more potentially neck breaking enthusiasm than skill, coming last in his events which made him far more popular than winning could ever have done, or the client with his Grand Trine in earth, born as a “last chance” baby to middle aged parents who brought him up with puritanical rules and absolutely no imagination.

So, the word of warning then is to be aware of “overload”. On a more positive note this aspect pattern feels like “a plan coming together”, the time to make major changes and to do anything aimed at turning dreams into reality.

This is reinforced by the other major event of the week which is Mercury turning direct (hurray) at the weekend, having been retrograde since 26 June. Remember the text book definition of “problems with transport and communication”? Top prize goes to the airline pilot who announced to an incoming flight here in Greece that the local time was one hour ahead of the UK. We are in fact 2 hours ahead. This explained why, having said goodbye to a couple of friends on Wednesday evening, I saw them walking along the road with their bags the next morning, an hour after their departure coach had left for the airport. They had spent the entire week living in the wrong time zone. I couldn’t take them to the airport as my car was in the garage, and I couldn’t book a taxi as my regular taxi driver had changed his mobile number! Happily another taxi driver was on the scene.

This story – apart from the amusement factor – was interesting to me as it illustrated the point of how we often accept unquestioningly information that comes from an authority figure. It underlines the retrograde Mercury message of “don’t believe everything you’re told”, so this coming weekend look out for information coming to light. Truth outs and new pictures are revealed.

8 July 2013 – This week’s Astrology

This week’s blog 8 July

If you want to go straight to the columns here’s the link for the weekly horoscopes:

Regular readers will know that I always urge caution during the times when Mercury is retrograde, roughly three times a year for about three weeks at a time. Mercury turned retrograde on 26 June and won’t turn direct again until 20 July so we still have a way to go. Last week I did a quick checklist for how to survive Mercury mischief which I’ll repeat here:

·         Assume nothing, double check everything

·         When in doubt, do nothing

·         Keep a close watch on all belongings

·         Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines

·         Back up all your computer work

·         Operate by “re” words – review, rethink, rework, revisit etc

I should add that personal belongings linked to communication are top of the list – so far I’ve heard of a lost video camera, a laptop left on a bus and a mobile phone going over the side on a boat to disappear into the ocean.

Textbook retrograde Mercury says “problems with communication and transport” so please travel carefully too. On Friday my niece was involved in a serious car accident and has sustained whiplash injuries to the neck (the part of the body ruled by Mercury) so this subject is especially close to my heart right now. My own car has just been overhauled by my clever mechanical friend Phil – thank you Phil! – who has told me that all four tyres are seriously sun damaged. So that’s the next job – and btw look out for unexpected expenses too!

On a more cheerful note retrograde Mercury is brilliant for getting “back” in touch with old friends and I’ve just reconnected with someone I’d unintentionally lost touch with about 12 years ago. That has to be the best feature of Facebook!

Mercury is also prominent this week by being conjunct the Sun tomorrow evening and in a minor aspect to Venus midday Thursday. These are benefic contacts. Look out for news or insights into your personal affairs, but bear in mind that no matter how strongly you may feel about something – or someone – you may change your mind in a couple of weeks time. Or someone else will.

What else? This morning Saturn turned direct in the early degrees of Scorpio, having entered that sign last October but retrograde since early February. Being a slow moving planet he now has to “rev up” again but at least he is now moving in the right direction. This is a turning point for dealing with Saturnian issues – loss, obstacles, delays, work. Look out for connections to family/property concerns too as we have the New Moon in Cancer this morning too.

If you would like to join in the discussion and make comments about this week’s astrology you can do so on my Facebook group page, The World of Astrology:


1 July 2013 – This week’s Astrology

If you want to go straight to the columns here’s the link for the weekly horoscopes:

Here’s the link for the monthly horoscopes, July stars now up along with an overview for the month ahead:

What’s happening this week? No matter which way you look at it the first half of the week is something of an obstacle course. Venus (love, money, pleasures) squares up to Saturn today. This signals roadblocks, how these things are being denied to us or where there is “not enough” and how that affects us. The Sun then opposes Pluto in the early hours of tomorrow morning and then squares Uranus in the early hours of Thursday morning, re-invoking the message behind the ongoing Uranus – Pluto square that is the backdrop

The second half of the week is much more encouraging as Venus’s next aspect is a trine (harmonious) to Uranus, and Saturn turns direct (having been retrograde since the middle of February). Whatever has been heavy going will start to move in the right direction. Both these events are exact in the early hours of next Monday morning so the turning points are most likely to show over the weekend.

Threaded through all of this, however, is that troublesome retrograde Mercury. As a rough rule of thumb Mercury is retrograde for three weeks at a time, three times a year, but this one is slightly longer and won’t turn direct again until the evening of Saturday 20 July. Textbook astrology defines these periods as “problems with communication and transport”. As I sat with a friend last night here in Greece she told me she had a Skype appointment later that evening with a friend in the UK. She then received a text from the friend to say that she’d “lost her car” and it took her two hours to find it, that she was now on the way home but stuck in a long tail back on the motorway, that she was running out of petrol and the phone was running out of battery…

The top story however goes to the person who woke up one morning last week to be told that their house no longer belonged to them (Mercury currently retrograde in Cancer, sign of home and property) and who is now locked into a legal battle to prove that it does…

Quick checklist for handling retrograde Mercury:

·         Assume nothing, double check everything

·         When in doubt, do nothing

·         Keep a close watch on all belongings

·         Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines

·         Back up all your computer work

·         Operate by “re” words – review, rethink, rework, revisit etc

If you would like to join in the discussion and make comments about this week’s astrology you can do so on my Facebook group page, The World of Astrology:



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