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October 2014

27 October 2014 – Neptune romances us, Mercury gets us talking – and laughing!

The Astrology Blog – w/b 27 October 2014

All times stated are in GMT.

The main event is that the communication planet Mercury has now turned direct – at 20.18 BST on Saturday. After three weeks of mischief making and tying us all in knots he is back on track although not without a final dose of chaos. I’ve noticed many times, just as I’m breathing a sigh of relief that Mercury is turning direct again, that he plays that one last trick up his sleeve. Saturday evening here was swamped by a flurry of text messages and phone calls as our last guests of the season were told by their travel agent that the local airport had runway problems and that everyone was being transferred to Thessaloniki – a bus ride away of several hours. This turned out to be true but then at the 11th hour the problems had been fixed and plan B was scrapped. In the middle of this came an email from another friend with news of flight problems and stuck in a dry hotel in Kuala Lumpur!

These stories, amongst many others, confirm what I have come to accept about retrograde Mercury, that he seems to present us with situations that we can do nothing about, things that are beyond our control and which make us feel at the mercy of external forces, be it bureaucracy, technology or the unfathomable workings of someone else’s mind. However, the other thread that has been more evident for me than usual this time around, is that a retrograde Mercury does highlight how we do or don’t communicate. Or, more accurately, how we think we are communicating when in actual fact we are not. When we get something off our chest in the written word it’s too easy to miss the essential point – as taught by assertiveness training – of saying what we would actually like someone to do, or what we intend to do and why.

Mercury has turned direct in Libra, sign of the Scales that symbolizes partnership and equality. What one side does always and inevitably affects the other. A stationary direct Mercury always carries the message of reconnection but in Libra the theme is even stronger. Two articles came to my attention on Sunday morning, the first from one of my favourite bloggers Ingrid Hoffman who talks about the self absorption of narcissism,
“in a culture where we consume other people’s ideas, gobble down advertisers’ enticements. We’re plugged in, eyes down, thumbs moving…”

You can read the full blog on this link:
We all of us are enslaved to one extent or another by our technology but it’s a perfect showing of retrograde Mercury to acknowledge just how much of our “communication” is limited to that “eyes down” emailing, texting, tweeting, Facebook-ing and so on.
The second article that caught my attention was on the BBC, entitled 10 Things you may not know about Laughter:
“Ask adults what makes them laugh, and most will tell you it’s jokes and humour. But they would be wrong.
Robert Provine, a psychologist from the University of Maryland found that we actually laugh most when talking to our friends.
In fact we’re 30 times more likely to laugh at something when we are with other people.
Intriguingly, within these conversations, we are still not laughing at jokes: we laugh at statements and comments that do not seem on the face of them to be remotely funny.
It’s a form of communication, not a reaction.
The science of laughter is telling us that laughter is less to do with jokes and more a social behaviour which we use to show people that we like them and that we understand them.”
You can read the full article on the above link but the quoted excerpt was the bit that really resonated with me as a symbolically appropriate “take” on Mercury getting back to doing what he is supposed to do, and getting us back to doing what we are supposed to do. I realized how true it is that we may smile at something that someone writes to us, but we rarely laugh out loud unless we are talking. Staying in touch by text or email is fine for the basics, or for those who live far away, but with regard to those who people our immediate world there is nothing healthier than connecting with each other in person, enjoying each other face to face. And after all laughter is the best medicine – it’s good for us!

In addition to rescuing your social life here’s the usual checklist of things to watch out for, with a few added extras, now that Mercury is getting back to business:

• Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects you or someone close to you
• People get back to you or make decisions
• You feel ready to make your own decisions
• You get back to a matter that was first important three weeks ago
• Important information comes to light
• Memory kicks in and you deal with what or who has been off your radar
• You tackle the things you’ve been putting off
• Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
• You find the right person to deal with the problem beyond your own expertise
• Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• Lost objects are found – or you find what you have been looking for

What else is happening this week? It’s relatively quiet, maybe the calm after the storm feeling for some, as we start with two harmonious Neptune aspects –

Monday Venus trine Neptune (18.49)
Tuesday Sun trine Neptune (09.51)

Both the Sun and Venus are now in Scorpio, and Neptune is on his epic voyage of many years through his own sign of Pisces, so these trines happen in water signs. Symbolically the element of water equals feelings, in all different shapes and sizes. Water flows to fill whatever the shape of the receptacle may be so one size does definitely not fit all. So don’t allow anyone else to tell you what you should or should not be feeling, or for how long you should be feeling it. Your feelings are your own, nobody else’s. Being true to you starts simply with that – telling the truth to yourself about yourself. Along with laughter, that’s healthy too.

Neptune under good aspect is also fantastic for creative or artistic work. These aspects are the stuff of dreams and inspiration so if you have a project in mind, especially with Mercury on the move too, now’s the time to move beyond the realms of vague ideas and start thinking in terms of form and shape. Also, whatever you imagine the answer may be to any dilemma, now’s the time to seek advice.

Neptune is the ultimate romantic too and with Venus, planet of love, in on the act you have the chance to get mushy with your other half or up close and personal with someone you’re already attracted to. Just bear in mind though that Venus in Scorpio is in her sign of detriment. Scorpio is the sign of fixed water and has hidden teeming depths…

And oh Neptune, aka Poseidon god of all things watery, will we get our dishwasher back? It’s been in dishwasher hospital for six weeks now and we are sick of washing up! I realise that this is absolutely miniscule in the grander scheme of things but I don’t care.

We then have a lull until the weekend when the weekend kicks off with a stack of positive aspects –

Mercury sextile Jupiter (12.45)
Venus sextile Pluto (23.08)
Mars sextile Neptune (23.45)

The Mercury – Jupiter contact is important as it’s the end of a sequence –

– 10 September Mercury at 12 Libra sextile Jupiter at 12 Leo
– 20 October retrograde Mercury at 19 Libra sextile Jupiter at 19 Leo
– 1 November Mercury at 20 Libra sextile Jupiter at 20 Leo

If any of these degrees and signs are significant for you – that is, if they feature in your own horoscope – then this sequence of contacts will be especially important for you. Anything that’s been under discussion, especially something that you really want to happen, is now drawing to a conclusion. As Jupiter is bringer of opportunity and Mercury – Jupiter contacts generally spell good news you can expect a happy outcome, or at least one that is the best possible answer in your current circumstances or the best possible offer that can be made. This is especially applicable if you are caught up with any of Jupiter’s main concerns of education, travel, publishing or legal matters. Answers that surface or deals that are struck at the end of the week definitely come with a “good enough” tag even if they are not perfect.

The Venus – Pluto contact is also powerful as Venus is in Pluto’s sign of Scorpio, so it’s a double whammy. Even by good aspect though – the sextile – this is actually a challenging combination as its hallmark is the stamp of “all or nothing”, end it or mend it. Think carefully about the things that you agree to as this is not a time for too much compromise.

The Mars – Neptune is also a force to be reckoned with as Mars is now travelling through Capricorn, his sign of exaltation, and Neptune of course is in his own sign of Pisces. In a nutshell, all dreams need an action plan and practical resources.

All three of Saturday’s aspects will be applying (in the process of becoming exact) throughout the end of the working week so in your business dealings think closure. Now is the time to bring a project to a satisfying conclusion or to take on new commitments but in a way that works as well for you as it does for the other person.

The same applies to your personal life as well – the best relationships are negotiated ones! Until next time, wishing you a week of connection, laughter and results.


The Greek Island Summer School courses are all held at Villa Jorgos, above. The Greek experience is about combining the fascinating subjects of astrology or tarot, or both, with a week’s holiday on this beautiful Ionian island of Lefkada. There are all kinds of accommodation to choose from in the village of Nidri – contact me to find out more and about the UK tour operators who do summer package deals.

2015 will be the 14th year of the Summer School and you can book to join a group (maximum of 8 students) or do private tuition by arrangement from May to October.

Email me for all enquiries or bookings on:

So, here are the course dates to choose from, for 2015:

Working with Tarot - New venue

All courses are Sunday flights from the UK, return flights the following Sunday.The exact schedule is still under construction but for now courses will definitely be running during the following weeks:

11 May – Astrology
8 June – Tarot
7 September – Synastry – the Astrology of Relationships

Discovering Astrology - new venue

Discovering Astrology

beginners / refreshers

If you’d like to do this course in 2015, date to be confirmed, you can contact me direct here

2014 Astrology & Tarot course - new venue
The Greek Island Summer School is ideal for singles. Although some students come along in pairs most people in fact come alone to seek out the company of like minded people and enjoy the sun and fun of the beautiful Greek island of Lefkada. You never have to be alone, unless you wish to be, and group meals are organised for every evening. Read student testimonials from the last 13 years to hear what they have to say.

Details on the website

2014 Predictive Techniques in Astrology Course

If you have a particular area of astrology or tarot that interests you I am always open to ideas. Just get in touch and let me know if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced. Read more about the kind of courses that have run so far this year:

check out the website…

If you have any queries or would like to reserve a place please contact me direct here

20 October 2014 – Mercury in a better mood, the mysterious realms of Scorpio and the power of love, sex, money and healing

The Astrology Blog – w/b 20 October 2014

All times stated are in BST until the clocks go back to GMT this coming weekend.

The week starts with a separating aspect –

Monday Venus sextile Mars (06.20)

So this aspect was applying – becoming exact – over the weekend, became exact this morning and is therefore now losing its potency. A sextile occurs when two planets are exactly 2 signs apart (allowing a differential of no more than 6 degrees). This particular sextile became exact when Venus reached 25 degrees of Libra and Mars reached 25 degrees of Sagittarius, but they stay within 6 degrees of each other and therefore remain in sextile to each other until the end of the month. In other words, they are in synch, even when they both change sign in the second half of this week.

Venus and Mars are best known as the love planets and play a major role in the unfolding of sexual relationships. This pattern now is rather an intriguing dance, suggesting a harmonizing but also a rebalancing. As both planets prepare to change sign the “as above so below” principle is likely to manifest in changes that move a relationship to the next level. For example, a new attraction could move from friendship to sex, roles within an established relationship may need reviewing and adapting accordingly, or the arrival of other factors that affect the course of a relationship will come into play. This theme also revolves around the sign of Scorpio which starts to take over from Thursday.

Before we plunge into Scorpio’s depths however there is one more aspect later today:

Mercury sextile Jupiter (21.39)

This is important as it’s a harmonious contact and it’s Mercury’s last aspect before he turns direct again on Saturday in Libra. Jupiter is also slow moving at the moment in Leo (already slowing down in readiness for turning retrograde in about six weeks time) so this means that Mercury will repeat the same aspect when he starts picking up speed again (he’ll catch up with Jupiter again by sextile on 1 November). That’s the astronomy. The astrological significance suggests good news, negotiations, doing deals, generosity, making plans related to long distance travel or education, dealing with legal concerns, or matters related to media/publishing. Whatever unfolds at the beginning of this week will light a new fuse and will be up for review or finalizing at the beginning of next month. Also something that appears to be beyond your grasp right now could resurface in a new guise or a different package. For now put your irons in the fire and your wishes out into the universe and you’ll pave the way.

Thursday Sun ingress Scorpio (12.58)

Scorpio is a complex and intense water sign that everyone associates with sex. This springs from Scorpio’s rulership of the 8th house of the horoscope, the domain of reproduction and the whole life and death cycle. However, there is a lot more to the sign of Scorpio than its association with sex, top of the list being issues connected to power and control. These themes are found in the ruling planets of Scorpio, traditionally Mars (war, action, drive, anger as well as libido) and its co-ruler Pluto (death/rebirth, everything from destruction to healing).

Thursday Venus ingress Scorpio (21.53)

In traditional astrology Venus is said to be in detriment in Scorpio. In simple terms this is because Venus is the opposite principle to Mars, as she rules love and peace. Put Venus into Mars’ sign and there is an immediate and obvious conflict. Any relationship or friendship that is characterized by jealousy, control, fear or unpleasantness of any kind will be up for scrutiny. Venus rules money too and how power battles can get wrapped up with sex/who pays the bills is part of the picture. The positive face of Venus in Scorpio is the witchy woman – the healer, the therapist, the astrologer – anyone who works with the magical and mysterious, and anything that plugs us into the awareness that “there is something bigger than we are”.

Solar Eclipse at 0 degrees of Scorpio (22.58)

Eclipses reflect the intricate and finely timed relationship between the three bodies of the Earth, Sun and Moon. If you have planets on or around 0 degrees of Scorpio, or in the other fixed signs of Taurus, Leo or Aquarius, this eclipse will sensitise a specific issue. Eclipses are power points of change, and in addition any astrological event happening at 0 degrees of any sign is said to be especially potent. Eclipses also throw shadows and, especially in Scorpio, can signal power issues or competitive situations. One person’s loss is another’s gain, or vice versa.

Saturday Sun conjunct Venus (08.32)

Sun – Venus aspects are quite rare by virtue of the fact that the maximum distance between these planets is 48 degrees. This means that amongst the major aspects only the conjunction is astronomically possible. The other possible aspects are both minor ones – the semi-sextile (half a sextile, one sign apart) and semi-square (half a square, one and a half signs apart). The Sun – Venus conjunctions happen roughly once every ten months, and they alternate between Venus being direct or retrograde. (The last one was back in January, when Venus was retrograde in Capricorn, the next one will be next August when Venus will be retrograde in Leo)

Sun (life giver, illuminator) and Venus (love, pleasures, women, money) is a beautiful conjunction, although with a detrimented Venus there may be some painful ingredients to contend with. Pay close attention to what comes to light during the second half of the week as events will be packed with clues as to where your emotional energy is required or can be best directed. Even sadness can have its own beauty. It is only in extremis that we are most likely to experience the bonding that comes about through sharing our deepest feelings or fears.

This theme is strongly underlined by the fact that Mercury turns direct on the same day:

Saturday Mercury turns direct at 17 degrees of Libra (20.18)

Mercury switches to forwards motion after being retrograde since 4 October so at a general level this marks the end of a period of confusion, slowness, deception, uncertainty or things just generally going wrong or getting muddled. Regular readers will know that at the top of my retro Mercury checklist is “Assume nothing, double check everything” and I can personally verify how on point that is. I fell straight into the trap and can now add to that list that, under a mischievous Mercury, it is easy to make an assumption even without realizing that you are doing so! In fact, that may be the true nature of assumptions, that we cannot operate on full alert all of the time, and that many of our day to day dealings do carry an element of assumption, especially with those we know well. It is only when an assumption trips us up that that we discover that someone else did not think or feel as we had imagined or had not intended to give the message that they did.
This “station” (the moment when Mercury appears to stop to change direction) will be especially significant for you if you have planets or angles at or close to 17 degrees of Libra or the other cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer and Capricorn. If you don’t know you can calculate your own horoscope on line these days in a matter of seconds. Here’s a link, just enter your date, place and time of birth:
If you don’t know your time of birth enter midday in order to get what is called a “Noon Chart”. With the exception of the fast moving Moon and the sensitive angles of the chart – the main axis of the chart that includes the Ascendant – you will get the sign and degree of the other planets on the day you were born.
So, as above, so below. Mercury getting back on track signals that life will do the same. Even if there isn’t one specific person or piece of information making a difference we can now expect events to conspire to move us forwards. Many will be facing crossroads, making decisions and establishing new arrangements, some of which will take a couple of weeks to settle, ie when Mercury repeats the positive aspect to Jupiter. Although now moving in the right direction, Mercury also still needs a while to pick up speed again. He won’t return to 2 degrees of Scorpio again – the position at which he turned retrograde – until 10 November.
Note that Mercury turning around in the sign of the Scales is especially important for relationship issues – personal or professional – but at a universal level here are the kinds of themes to look out for, especially during the second half of this week:
• Important information comes to light
• Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
• You find the right person to deal with the problem
• People get back to you or make decisions
• Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• Lost objects are found
The final big event is Mars’ change of sign:
Sunday Mars ingress Capricorn (10.44 GMT)

This is good news as Mars is entering his sign of exaltation, arguably his strongest sign. In other words, Mars’ qualities of drive and pursuit in the earth sign of goal orientated Capricorn is the embodiment of harnessed energy and unwavering purpose. This is the sign of the hardy and surefooted mountain goat, and expressed through Mars it speaks of empire building, the willingness to take on hard work especially in the shape of a project, taking on a challenge with a reason, knowing that it is important within itself but also a stepping stone towards greater achievements, the beginning of the climb up the rock face to the summit of success. At a more general level Mars in Capricorn – Saturn’s sign – is fantastic for time management. Research shows that effective time management both reduces stress and boosts performance – it’s a win-win. The word streamline comes to mind so I looked up the dictionary definition just out of interest –
To design or provide with a form that presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water, increasing speed and ease of movement… make (an organization or system) more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods… to be free from turbulence.

This is something definitely worth aspiring to! Until next time, wishing you a positive and productive week.

13 October 2014 – Sowing love and money seeds, watch out for Mercury in mischief mode

The Astrology Blog – w/b 13 October 2014

All times stated are in BST.

Well it feels like a long time since I saw such lovely astrology unfolding but, in answer to recent questions, I’m going to start on a cautionary note with regard to recognizing the difference between universal astrology – the stuff of blogs and columns – and natal astrology – the stuff of your individual horoscope. It is sometimes nothing short of astonishing to see how universal astrology plays out, in events unfolding for us and around us, and the bigger backdrop events out in the world, but this doesn’t overrule the planetary activity in your own chart. If you are, for example, having heavy going Saturn or Pluto transits then you still have to do battle with those, in your own scenario and in your own way. However, when we get a week of stunning aspects such as this one ahead of us it can still be an oasis or an opportunity to rope in the kind of help you need, or it will bring experiences that you will look back on as formative, even if you didn’t think they were that great at the time.

The week starts with a harmonious link between Venus (traditionally the Lesser Benefic) and Jupiter (the Greater Benefic) –

Tuesday Venus sextile Jupiter (09.34)

The 24 hours before an aspect is exact is when the symbolism plays out at its strongest so this means that this aspect is in operation throughout Monday. This gets the week off to a positive start, especially as Venus is currently travelling through her own sign of Libra, sign of partnership, and Jupiter is blazing away in bold and fiery Leo. This aspect happens when both planets are at 18 degrees of their respective signs so if you have air or fire planets at or close to this degree then this aspect will be especially pertinent to you.

What might this mean? Apart from the obvious message of enjoying your relationship – there is hardly a better showing for love and passion than this – look out too for themes of generosity, growth and optimism within all your close and important relationships with a small “r”. If you need help then ask for it, if you see where help is needed then offer it – unconditionally. Under this aspect we have the chance to do what is right for a loved one even if, or especially if, it’s a departure from our normal way of being and thinking. Jupiter rules freedom – claiming it or giving it. Jupiter in Leo, the sign that rules the heart, is all about being wholehearted and creative. How can we be fully creative individuals if we are tethered to others through any kind of dependency? Working with a client last week we were remembering the basic spiritual truths of human relationships, especially marriage, as encapsulated by Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet. It’s a beautiful read if you don’t know it and the main point is the healthiness of separateness. “The oak and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow”. The Venus – Jupiter message spans the whole spectrum from being a fully fledged individual within a solid relationship to the liberation of cutting ties if you’re unhappy with someone who is wrong for you.

If you’re unattached clock who you meet this week, or how a connection is developing with someone you’re already attracted to. Also note the same in business scenarios. Jupiter absolutely loves sowing seeds and work contacts or business ideas are full of promise. I’ve commented before that positive Venus – Jupiter contacts nearly always bring good news for me on the work front.

The second aspect of the week is also a sextile –

Wednesday Sun sextile Mars (08.20)

Again, note that this aspect is likely to be at its most powerful throughout Tuesday. Also note that this aspect forms when both planets are at 21 degrees of their respective signs – Sun in Libra and Mars in Sagittarius – so again if you have air or fire planets at or close to this degree then this aspect will be especially significant for you.
The Sun (the life force) and Mars (god of war) are a formidable combination. However it’s always necessary to consider the nature of the signs they occupy. With the Sun in partnership Libra all plans needs to be tempered with a “stop and think” policy, especially in relation to how your words, decisions or actions may impact on others. Healthy relationships are characterized by constant negotiation – the continual consultation of it’s your turn to do this, it’s my turn to do that, what do you think, what do you want – whether you’re talking about the evening meal or life changing plans for the future.
This message is powerfully underlined by the fact that Mercury is currently retrograde and also in Libra, having reversed back into this sign last Friday. This is potentially a troublesome thread as this puts all communication issues on red alert. If you feel as if you’ve been missing the point then you probably have. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification with regard to any important matter currently under discussion and avoid making final decisions, at least not without a get out clause. Also avoid major purchases, especially in relation to the textbook Mercury ruled concerns of “communication and transport.” No astrologer would ever buy a computer or a car under a retrograde Mercury!
Worst case scenario is deception. Note that this planet rules the hands and dexterity and is therefore the archetype of the magician – but also of the trickster and thief. When Mercury is retrograde it takes a lot longer to get at the truth or for the penny to drop.
Best case scenario is going back over old ground and working with second chances. It’s the ideal time for retrieving ideas and plans that somehow slipped the net first time around, to say what you wish you had said first time around, or for reworking agreements that have sprung leaks. Look closely at what is not working for you and identify what needs to be changed. Also note that past experience can be called upon.
Look out for all of these themes in the second half of the week as Mercury links with the Sun, Mars and Venus in quick succession –
Thursday Sun conjunct Mercury (21.41)
Friday Mercury sextile Mars (02.50) and Mercury conjunct Venus (18.57)

This adds up to a very lively combination. Good news, meeting new people, going for interviews, developing financial ideas, making plans, heart to hearts, writing, catching up with friends, making or receiving invitations – you get the picture. If you want to make changes in your work or social life this is a wonderful time to get busy or simply to grab the chances that present themselves.

If you’re looking for love or building a new romance this week is ticking a lot of boxes, especially as we finish with the love planets aligning with each other. This aspect will be exact –

Next Monday 20th – Venus sextile Mars (06.20)

Therefore this aspect will be “applying” – in the making – over the coming weekend. Focus on having fun. With the thread of retrograde Mercury the time is not right for expecting certainty or commitment too soon or if someone isn’t ready, or available. Anyone who is extricating themselves from a previous relationship will still have a lot to deal with. Mercury will be turning direct again on the 25th so I’ll be talking more about this next week, but for now there’s still a way to go and nothing can be taken for granted.

6 October 2014 – Living fearlessly not recklessly, Jupiter’s helping hands

The Astrology Blog – w/b 6 October 2014

All times stated are in BST.

The Sun and Venus are now both travelling through Libra, sign of the Scales. This puts not only partnership but all close relationships high up on the list of importance, especially with regard to the Libran key issues of negotiation, compromise and equality. With Mercury now retrograde these concerns are even more sensitive than usual and even more so at the end of the week when Mercury’s retrograde journey takes him back into Libra. Take special note of any resentments or grievances that you are keeping to yourself – or which you suspect others are keeping to themselves – and try not to let the pressure cooker build up too much steam. Both the Sun and Venus are going to oppose rebellious Uranus in Aries this week so the clash between what others need and want (Libra) versus what you need and want (Aries, the individual) will need careful handling:

• Tuesday Sun opposite Uranus (21.53)
• Saturday Venus opposite Uranus (10.11)

Uranus is the agent of sudden and unexpected change so you may not get much warning. Stay on your toes. Wednesday’s Full Moon at 15 degrees of Aries (11.52) is also a Total Lunar Eclipse which may turn the heat up even higher.

Some astrologers refer to eclipses as power points, others as omens of disempowerment. Either way, they tend to play a role in revealing new pictures. A shadow is thrown but lifts again and some changes may be linked to bringing things out of hiding. Triangular setups, such as affairs, also feature as eclipses are about the intricate relationship between the three bodies of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Someone may be overshadowed while another emerges in a new light.

To add, in traditional astrology the Sun and the Moon are called The Lights – the Sun being the light of the day (Lord of the day) and the Moon being the light of the night (Lady of the Night). In the physical body they rule the eyes. The Sun rules the right eye in a man and the left eye in a woman, and the Moon vice versa. This underlines the theme of vision. What is it that you haven’t seen (known about or understood) until now? How does this change your landscape?

Wednesday also brings Venus square Pluto (18.32) so we have a T-Square aspect pattern in the cardinal signs – ie both the Sun and Venus in Libra are opposite Uranus in Aries, and in turn they are all square to Pluto in Capricorn (the Sun square Pluto was exact over last weekend). Again, this signals tension but with Pluto as the release valve. My own feeling is that this adds up to not being afraid to wipe the slate clean and start again. The more we face up to a fear the more we can do something about it. There’s a lot to be said for living life fearlessly – such as refusing to be controlled or intimidated (the difficult side to Pluto) and holding onto your own power and rights (the positive side to Pluto).

Getting back to Mercury … Regular readers will know how I feel about retrograde Mercury periods (three times a year for three weeks at a time) as I find them extremely troublesome. In fact, every time Mercury switches to reverse I say, “it can’t possibly be as bad as the last time”, but then it usually is! However, there is some truth in the idea that retrograde Mercury also brings issues to light, the things that have been ignored and now need dealing with, and it’s always worth noting what happens at the moment Mercury turns around. On this occasion I was sitting down to a last night meal with family (who had been out here to Greece for my sister’s wedding and btw the elective astrology worked, the day was fabulous in every respect!) and two issues came up at the exact minute that Mercury turned. Of course in the true spirit of Mercury turning retrograde in secretive Scorpio I can’t tell you what they are…

What were you doing when Mercury turned around (Saturday at 18.03)? There may be some clues with regard to what you’ll be dealing with or working on during the next few weeks. Again, take notes on Friday when Mercury retrogrades back into Libra (18.28) and will continue reversing through this sign until turning direct again on 25 October (at 17 degrees of Libra). This is when subjects that have been off limits may pop again and you’ll get the chance to have your say or listen to someone else having their say. The crucial message is that, either way, differences of opinion need to be allowed. Even if (especially if) someone’s point of view is mystifying to you remember that the same is probably true the other way around – for now.

I have resolved to make a conscious effort this time around to think about how I am going to use the next three weeks in a proactive way that a retrograde Mercury would applaud. So here’s a checklist that may be helpful:

• Getting back to ideas on the back burner
• Getting back in touch with neglected friends
• Re words – review, revise, research, reappraise
• This time am adding – rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off
• Keep options open

I will also be spending this week finalizing my new book (the writing is done, all completed just before Mercury, planet of words, turned around) in terms of checking text and artwork for accuracy. Proof reading is a classic Mercury task and I know that I need to be very careful not to let any errors slip the net. I always remember my last publisher telling me that to publish a book without any errors is virtually impossible, no matter how many times or by how many different people the text is checked. The tricks of the eye and mind work against us!

The last word goes to the positive and optimistic strand running through this week’s astrological tapestry:

• Wednesday Mars trine Jupiter (21.44)
• Saturday Sun sextile Jupiter (00.19)

These are both harmonious aspects to Jupiter – the Greater Benefic, planet of opportunity and good fortune. Events that unfold around these aspects will be helpful and may take the shape of those who are good for us or lucky for us. Also note that Jupiter loves sowing seeds so whatever plans are in the making, or whatever ideas are taking shape, may have a long way to go but they should be fruitful. Now that the season has finished here in Greece one of my jobs this week is to look at next year’s schedule for the Astrology and Tarot Summer School – Jupiter rules overseas and higher education so have got some irons sizzling in the fire and will put out the course dates and descriptions when Mercury turns direct! In the meantime don’t forget:

• Assume nothing, double check everything
• When in doubt, do nothing
• Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially keys or anything linked to communication such as phones, laptops, cameras etc and don’t even think about buying new ones for the time being.
• Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines
• Back up all your computer work
• No matter how strongly you may feel about something – or someone – you may change your mind in two to three weeks time. Or someone else will.

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New book

'BE YOUR OWN ASTROLOGER' is Joanna's latest book.
'Learning your own astrology is always more complicated than people imagine but Joanna has presented the clearest possible pathway to astrological self-knowledge'.
Cygnus Community Review

“The narrative is top-notch; it’s easy to follow, well organized, and will quickly give the absolute beginner a quantum boost to the next level of astrological knowledge.”
“The further the beginner gets into this book, the more engaging yet complex the material becomes. The later chapters mark entry points into further studies, but with Be Your Own Astrologer, you get the overall landscape of what astrology is all about.”
Dell Horoscope
September 2015 issue

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