The Astrology Blog 24 May 2021
All times in BST
“If you never change your mind – why have one?”
“Humour is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.”
“The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas.”
Edward de Bono – English psychologist, b 19 May 1933 (age 88), originated the term lateral thinking
The Sun “travels” through the 12 signs once a year, and that is why your birthday is called your Solar Return – it’s when the Sun returns to the same place as it was when you were born and why we say “many happy returns of the day”.
The Sun is the life force so this saying literally means that we’re wishing that person many more happy years ahead of them. If you’ve ever been to Greece you may recognise the phrase xρόνια πολλά (xronia polla) which literally translates as “years many” which is the universal greeting for all special events such as birthdays or name days.
But you’re not just your Sun sign and all the other planets have their own Returns too. The “personal” planets, Sun through to Saturn, range from between a year to nearly 30 years to make a full lap of the zodiac (Aries to Pisces) whereas the cycles of the outer or “generational” planets are significantly slower. Therefore half returns become important for the outer planets.
Note also that the orbit of the outer planets is irregular, you can’t just divide the number of years by 12 signs. For example, you don’t have to be age 124 to get a half Pluto Return. Those born in the mid 1930’s are now experiencing their half Pluto Return – natal Pluto around 26 degrees of Cancer, Pluto currently at 26 degrees of the opposite sign of Capricorn.
|Saturn||29 and a half years|
|Uranus – and Half Return||84 years – halfway point between 38 and 42 years|
The longer the cycle, the more important the Return in terms of signalling major life events. The Returns of the fast moving Mercury, Venus and Mars therefore highlight significant but more minor events or messages connected to their concerns, and you can expect to see these play out over a few days – the date of the Return and the couple of days either side.
The Lunar Return happens the most frequently, once every 28 days, so we get 13 Lunar Returns in a year. You can look at the charts for your Lunar Returns as “flavour of the month”, just as the chart for your Solar Return is “flavour of the year”. These are not substitutes for the natal chart but can add to the picture by picking out and underlining key themes.
MARTIN BASHIR & THE SATURN RETURN
The first Saturn Return happens during the run up to our 30th birthday, a hugely formative time commonly referred to as the astrological Coming of Age. Saturn is Lord of Time, a sobering clock is ticking and we sense the importance of getting our act together. As with Jupiter, the Saturn Return can last either weeks or months, depending on whether or not the transit includes a retrograde period.
What to expect?
Many people “settle down” under the first Saturn Return, through commitment either to marriage or career, or both. Conversely, relationships that are not working come to an end, especially between couples who married young and who find at this stage that they have outgrown one another. The more difficult face to Saturn plays out in endings, tough reality checks, hardships, that which cannot be mended or changed or health issues.
The second Saturn Return happens at roughly age 58/59, often coinciding with actual or plans for retirement. With Saturn’s link to age and time he’s also known as the astrological Grim Reaper. We often, but not always, experience a major bereavement on either of these Returns.
So serious Saturn’s principle is linked to maturity and our limitations – experiences that teach us realism, acceptance of duty or responsibility, strength through endurance, efforts and solid results. He can signify important authority figures or organizations – like the BBC.
Some key points about Martin Bashir’s chart –
- Gemini Ascendant – sign of communication, ruling everything to do with the written or spoken word, a way with words, very common in the horoscopes of those in journalism and the media generally
- Chart ruler is therefore Mercury – powerfully placed at 0 Aquarius
- Mercury also conjunct his MC (the Midheaven), the Angle marking the beginning of the 10th House of career, achievements and status
- Also a powerful Saturn – dignified in own sign of Aquarius
- Saturn posited in the 10th House, Saturn’s “Natural House”, at 12.03 Aquarius so square the Moon/Neptune conjunction at 15/17 Scorpio
So he’s now having his second Saturn Return as Saturn reached 12.03 on 12 April but was already slowing down to turn retrograde, yesterday (Sunday 22 May) at 13.31 Aquarius. This means that Saturn has been and still is “stationary retrograde” conjunct his natal Saturn. Ouch. The full weight of authority (BBC/the Monarchy) is right on top of him. He says this is all unreasonable, but it’s happening and there’s a long way to go. Saturn won’t turn direct again until October at 7 Aquarius, and will come back to his natal Saturn for the third and final time in January.
Interestingly, remember the huge Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at the end of last year? That was at 0 Aquarius, the degree of Bashir’s ruling planet Mercury. It may be that with Saturn now turning retrograde that many people with planets at 0 degrees of Aquarius are finding out the full significance or consequences of that event.
Martin Bashir’s chart is also picking up this week’s Lunar Eclipse at 5 Sagittarius as another key feature of his chart is a T – Square, Jupiter opposite the Uranus/Pluto conjunction and all three in square to Venus at 12 Sagittarius, conjunct his Descendant of 7 Sagittarius.
Why the big hoo-ha? Bashir lied and used faked documents to secure the interview, which is bad enough in itself (there’s the Moon – Diana – in her sign of fall conjunct Neptune, the deceit). But the biggest point is that the interview created such a rift in the royal family that it led to the Queen finally asking Charles and Diana to divorce.
This in turn was arguably directly related to the subsequent lack of security for Diana, which in turn led to the situation that signed her death warrant – being driven by a drunk driver, pursued at crazy speeds by the paparazzi, instead of travelling with an official police escort. This is what Prince Harry ultimately means when he referred to the ripple effect, and I would agree.
It’s now reported that Bashir left the BBC without a pay-off earlier this month, citing ongoing health issues. Textbook Saturn Return.
PRINCESS LATIFA – MERCURY SQUARE NEPTUNE
Is it only me or does anyone else think this photo is a fake? Even though she’s the one sitting slightly further back she looks too small compared to the other two women, a coffee cup and mask are placed (artistically?) in front of her but there’s no sign of her hands.
The normal pose when sharing a coffee with friends is to have your hands on your cup or on the table, not quietly placed on your lap. Also would you put your face mask on the table, no matter how clean you thought it was? The normal thing is to wear it round your neck or put it in your handbag.
The BBC’s feature is entitled “Dubai photo appears to show missing woman” but only from the point of view of determining that it’s really her, and presumably not some double, as opposed to a photoshop. But surely someone at the BBC must’ve checked this photo for falsification?
The UN declined to comment on the photograph but has told the BBC that it awaits “convincing proof of life in the case of Latifa”, which the UAE has said it will provide.
But they’ve been saying that since February. If she’s really alive and well it would be easy to prove in so many ways, not some contrived photo with, conveniently, the date of a current movie reversed in the background.
We’re about to enter into the next retrograde Mercury phase and top of the list is not to believe everything you see or hear. This point is heavily underlined by the fact that in the process Mercury is making a series of three squares to Neptune who, by inharmonious aspect (the square), rules deception. The outer planets also link to developments happening in the world at their time of discovery and for Neptune, being discovered in 1846, this includes film and photography.
The first square to Neptune was in the early hours of yesterday morning, coinciding almost exactly with the BBC’s posting of this photo. The second and third squares to Neptune will be on 5 June and 5 July, Mercury will turn direct again in the middle of those two dates (22 June).
No horoscope for Latifa but her birthday is 5 December 1985, which means that she’s a Sagittarius and her Jupiter, the planet that rules that sign, is at 13 Aquarius. So again we have an example of a horoscope with a stationing Saturn conjunct a natal planet. Not encouraging news, to put it mildly.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
We have the Lunar Eclipse followed by Mercury turning retrograde so top message is no complacency. More on both of these features to follow but firstly it’s Venus who’s dominating the picture and creating a somewhat chaotic backdrop to the entire week –
Monday 24 May
- Venus 19 Gemini semi-sextile Mars 19 Cancer 12.17
Wednesday 26 May
- Thursday 27 Venus 23 Gemini square Neptune 20.26
Saturday 29 May
- Mercury conjunct Venus 24 Gemini 06.14
- Mercury turns retrograde 24.40 Gemini 23.35
Sunday 30 May
- Venus 26 Gemini quinqunx Pluto 26 Capricorn 18.45
From Tuesday to Thursday last week Venus played into the big Saturn – Uranus square (backdrop to the whole year). Right on cue life dissolved into a drama Tuesday lunchtime. 15 minutes before a client appointment Lola came helling into the house shaking her head as if she wanted it to drop off. She then retreated into the back bedroom, trembling. My first fear was snakebite, so there wasn’t a moment to lose. Immediately had to postpone client, and off to the vet half an hour away. Turned out she had sharp grass seeds stuck deep inside her ear and she had to be sedated to have them removed.
The next morning in the garden a friend brought over her lawnmower to do an emergency job on the area of new grass and when she’d finished she said, what’s that noise? Oh, it’s kittens. What?? At which point I saw my other dog Zindzi with her nose inside the hollowed out area of the biggest of the olive trees and there were 2 kittens, about three weeks old, crying for momma cat who must’ve moved them in during the night and then couldn’t get back to them because of the dogs. So wire fencing and netting had to go around the tree in such a way as to allow momma in but to keep the dogs out and the magpies away. No signs of life since so can only assume that she moved them out to a safer hotel.
By the way one of the houses in my own chart ruled by Venus is the 6th, where we locate pets and small animals. Sincerely hoping that this week won’t bring any more animal dramas, I’ll keep my eyes peeled.
Venus is now throwing us a mixed bag of events and emotions here, and I’ve included the two minor aspects either end of the week, the semi-sextile (harmonious) to Mars – a tick for relationship or work issues – this morning and the quinqunx (inharmonious, blind spots) to wipeout Pluto at the weekend. Tread very carefully with romance issues, especially with someone you don’t yet know that well. Fun and charm in abundance? But availability could be a big issue here, especially while Venus is in the double sign of the Twins.
The Mercury – Venus conjunction would normally be great (Venus) news (Mercury), but this time it’s the bringer of huge question marks as it coincides with Mercury switching direction and they’re both square Neptune. Great. Pay very close attention to what unfolds for you as there could be integral info about that long Mercury – Neptune square that goes on into July as already mentioned above.
Oh and look out for those plumbing problems too (Neptune god of sea). Yes have finally bought the new kitchen tap. Water has to be turned off to fit it. This is located in a hole in the ground on the road outside the house. The neighbours had the entrance to their house newly concreted a few months ago … you can guess the rest!! Argh!
LUNAR ECLIPSE IN SAGITTARIUS
Wednesday 26 May
- Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse 5 Sagittarius 12.19
Eclipses work in pairs, sometimes in threes. A Lunar Eclipse (on a Full Moon) is therefore always followed two weeks later by a Solar Eclipse (on a New Moon), or vice versa. So we’ll have a Solar Eclipse at 20 Gemini on 10 June, slap bang in the middle of the retrograde Mercury phase and therefore conjunct Mercury. Super sensitive stuff.
Eclipses get mixed press but basically they’re points of significant change. These often involve power issues and/or the crux points of triangular situations, ie as symbolized by the intricate relationship between the three bodies of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Who is going to overshadow whom? There is often a flavour of death/rebirth symbolism – changing colours, the light disappearing and coming back on again.
If you have planets or angles at or close to (within 5 degrees) 5 Sagittarius then be on the alert for key developments in any situation that is about change, and establishing a new order. It may not be easy, to be eclipsed is to be disconnected or overpowered, sometimes momentarily but sometimes for longer, periods of exile (Bashir?) but when the shadows lift a new landscape is revealed.
With love stuff the issues of triangles are likely to be highly sensitized as Gemini the Twins rules everything to do with twos, duality and choices. Competitive situations reach nail biting stage – who should be with whom and where and how, who should get the new job, the promotion, which buyer gets the property, and so on, you get the picture.
in a nutshell Eclipse essential symbolism includes –
- Being overshadowed
- Empowerment – disempowerment
- Sorting winners from losers between twos or threes (Sun, Moon, Earth)
- Revelations – what happened when the light went out
- Tipping points of change – no going back
This Eclipse is likely to pack even more of a punch than usual as it’s coinciding so closely with the stationary retrograde Mercury, holding hands with Venus and both squaring Neptune. Clarity or certainty are likely to be in short supply and I’ll be talking a lot more about this next week.
For now the final event of the week is Mars moving into the picture, exact in the early hours of next Monday and therefore in action over the coming weekend, also linking with Neptune –
Monday 31 May
- Mars 23 Cancer trine Neptune 23 Pisces 06.18
This degree area of 23 – 26 in any of the signs is being super sensitized so it’s difficult to take any of these aspects in isolation. Lots of linking going on and probably lots of multitasking going on as well. I’ve noticed countless times that Mars often figures for me with workmen – and Mars is also anything that cuts, from the surgeon’s scalpel to the pneumatic drill, so have got images of that concrete being dug up to get to the water pipes (Neptune). Astrology can be so literal sometimes.
Otherwise though it all feels very disorientating so just keep everything as realistic as possible, including your expectations of others, and above all stay flexible. Plans can change from minute to minute, and the Mars – Neptune in water signs may also show you where the emotional work is to be done, and/or where and how home/family/property concerns will need your attention.
Neptune rules our dreamworld too – get plenty of sleep!! And back to the quotes at the top – reserve the right to change your mind, keep a sense of humour and be open to new ways of doing things.
Until next week, with love from Greece