The Astrology Blog 29 November 2021
All times in GMT
“You have to work on something that makes you uncertain – something that makes you doubt yourself.”
“Every writer I’ve ever spoken to feels fraudulent in some way or other.”
Tonight the West End will dim its lights in honour of Stephen Sondheim, the link to his horoscope above, double Mars theme being a Sun Aries with a Scorpio Ascendant, making Mars his chart ruler. Mars’ main aspect is to Neptune, a prominent planet for many in music/theatre, in the 10th House of career and status.
His big break came through an invitation to pen lyrics for Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, which opened on Broadway 26 September 1957 and ran for more than 700 performances. The 1961 film that many of us know by heart was nominated for 11 Oscars and won ten of them.
Sondheim died age 91 and his lawyer said the composer had celebrated Thanksgiving with friends the day before his death. What a way to go. As I read this news I’d just watched the brilliant Adele concert at the London Palladium, and in her chat to the audience she referred to the fact that she still suffers from imposter syndrome. She meant it. Sharing her vulnerability in that way made her even more relatable, and there’s a good mental health message there for all of us.
So hearing that, from someone with so much obvious talent singing to an adoring audience, was intensely interesting to me and was underlined when I then saw the above quotes from Stephen Sondheim. It was a big reminder about how authentic creativity is rarely found in the arrogant, it’s found in those who truly know humility, who are prepared to push through their own pain barriers. I think it’s one of those universal truths that the greats get stage fright?
FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY
The point is that, before all of this, at the beginning of last week, a member of The World of Astrology Facebook group posted about his frustration re making a career out of astrology, one way or the other. This included the info that he’d been studying for the last two decades but that he didn’t know “how to monetize astrology”.
This made me think of two things – one, advice from my friend and colleague Elisabeth Brooke who says that the universe always finds a way to support us when we follow our hearts, and two, how humility can also all too easily be experienced as a crippling lack of confidence. How many opportunities get missed because we think we’re “not good enough”?
This was my answer to the Facebook post, but after hearing Stephen Sondheim and Adele (Sun conjunct Jupiter, both trine Neptune), I realize now that this advice applies to absolutely any passion.
So in the week that Neptune turns direct don’t hold back, and for “astrologer” you can substitute “the thing I really want to do and be” –
- Decide that you are an astrologer. I had this experience with a client who said to me, “I’m a hotel receptionist in an art historian’s body”. By turning that statement the other way around she declared her true vocation and identity and was soon working in a museum
- I can still remember the first time I answered the question, what do you do, with “I’m an astrologer”. I felt like a fraud, but it didn’t matter. From that moment I never looked back and that was thirty five years ago
- Don’t be the eternal student. After two decades of studying you know TONS more than your clients, put a value on what you do. Have the confidence to start doing readings and charging for them. Stop “calcing” charts for free
- There’s no such as waiting for the moment when you know it all. You never will. Every chart is a learning experience and by your clients you’ll be taught. In the process you’ll simply get better and better at what you do
- Ask all the friends who’ve had great readings from you to write you a testimonial. Nothing lengthy. Two or three short sentences saying why it was so great and eye opening etc
- Promote yourself and advertise your services. Write a blog or a Sun sign column, something for your audience to enjoy and get your approach. My blog goes out every Monday morning without fail – I spend all day Sunday writing it and that’s sacrosanct. Has been for the last 12 years
- Build a mailing list to receive your free blog or column – this is how you build a following. ALL of my business comes through my blog – clients and students
- Stop thinking about it – Just do it
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
It’s another big week astrologically as we travel towards the Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius at the weekend, although right now “travel” is not the best choice of words. Obviously the most important news of the day is the new variant Omicron and all we can hear across the world right now is the sound of airports slamming their doors shut.
Even the toughest events can be more bearable if they can be located and understood in the unfolding astrology, so here goes … The first news was announced late on Thursday, within just two days of the end of the Jupiter – Pluto alliance that’s been part of the backdrop for this year since April –
- 20 April – Jupiter/Pluto 27 Aquarius – 27 Capricorn
- 11 September – Jupiter/Pluto 24 Aquarius – 24 Capricorn
- Saturday 27 November – Jupiter/Pluto 25 Aquarius – 25 Capricorn
I’ve been referencing the finale of this sequence throughout November and last week I wrote –
This combination isn’t easy but it speaks for itself when you consider that Mr Big Jupiter is about freedom and Pluto about power, control and darkness.
At the beginning of November I wrote –
At a universal level, remember last year when Jupiter (travel, freedom) was also in Capricorn, and therefore in a series of conjunctions (together, major powerful aspect) with Pluto (black holes, endings). This was a clear showing for the arrival of the pandemic and the collapse and near collapse of many airline companies as most of the world went into lockdown.
Because this year the alignment between these two planets has been by minor aspect (the semi-sextile, formed when planets are exactly one sign apart) I also wrote somewhere that I didn’t think it would be as catastrophic. So far this is true, we’re not looking at total lockdown in the same way as before as we now have the advance army of testing and vaccinations, but even so it seems that I’ve underestimated it. This feels like “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water” ….
I’m known for not glamourising the tough stuff but neither am I a doom and gloom astrologer. But I think my underestimating, from a craft point of view, lies firstly in not giving enough weight to the fact that this final aspect fell in between the Eclipses (Lunar Eclipse 19 Nov/Solar Eclipse 4 December) AND secondly, and more importantly, only a month before the final of the three Saturn – Uranus squares, which is the major and primary backdrop of the year.
And here’s a reminder of why the combination of Saturn/Uranus is so tough –
- The square is being formed between two slow moving planets
- Both are in Fixed signs (less negotiable)
- A series of three squares, not a one off confrontation
- The square is the most challenging aspect (tension, friction, incompatibility issues), formed when planets are exactly three signs apart
- The two planets involved stand for opposing principles – eg Saturn, stability, all that is conventional and Uranus, drama, change and all that is unconventional – so it’s a mismatch in lots of different ways
- So if you are having Saturn transits then Uranus is along for the ride, and vice versa. Just one of these planets can signal important events or life changes but the two together are a weighty double act – changes in bold and underlined!
The first two Saturn – Uranus squares were Feb and June, so these had rather dropped off the radar for a while, well mine anyway, but the finale is actually now less than a month away –
- 17 February – Saturn 7 Aquarius square Uranus 7 Taurus
- 14 June – Saturn 13 Aquarius square Uranus 13 Taurus
- 24 December – Saturn 11 Aquarius square Uranus 11 Taurus
Often it’s informative to look back if there are big gaps in between these alignments, as there are here. In the relevant blog in June I referred to the Saturn – Uranus combination as the Wrecking Ball. Amongst other things it was when Matt Hancock (on his Uranus Half Return, so right in the line of fire) was forced to resign as UK Health Secretary when he was caught in a serious clinch with his aide Gina Coladangelo, for whom he left his wife.
His life changed overnight, a textbook hallmark of Uranus the rug puller at work, also known as the divorce planet, ruling splits of all kinds.
Interestingly his successor Sajid Javid is now in the line of fire with the current eclipses, the Lunar Eclipse 26 Taurus fell opposite his Neptune (28 Scorpio) and the coming Solar Eclipse 12 Sagittarius, being the day before his birthday is conjunct his Sun (13 Sagittarius). Whatever personal plans he might have had I think we can safely say that they’ve been eclipsed!
Also Cyril Ramaphosa – Sun at 25 Scorpio (opposite the Lunar Eclipse) and Mercury at 16 Sagittarius (conjunct the Solar Eclipse). He’s in the news along the petulant lines of “it’s not fair and we wish we hadn’t said anything” – sorry Cyril, too late!
If you have planets or Angles between 7 and 13 Taurus or the opposite sign of Scorpio (or the other Fixed polarity of Leo – Aquarius) check back to what was unfolding for you mid June as there will probably be a link.
SUN, MERCURY & SATURN
Otherwise life, of course, goes on. An alignment between the Sun, Mercury and Saturn gets the week off to a challenging start. This lineup can signal things like cancellations and changes of plan, and for many this will be travel (Sagittarius) related because of the pandemic.
Monday morning blues? Me too. The weather is vile, I feel cooped up and my one remaining sibling is seriously ill in hospital in the UK. Saturn is the opposite to Jupiter (freedom) and can be such a misery but his positive face is a work ethic and this combo is great for productivity, big decisions or for dealing with any serious concern. Pay close attention to the info that comes your way during these first two days of the week if you have important things to resolve or a lot of work to shift.
These aspects are also wrapped around the love planets Venus and Mars who both make positive aspects to Neptune who, in turn, is now SD – Stationary Direct – having been retrograde since 25 June (turned at 23 Pisces, so has backtracked only 3 degrees over the last five months which shows you how slow moving he is) –
Monday 29 November
- Sun conjunct Mercury 7 Sagittarius 04.41
- Mars 20 Scorpio trine Neptune 20 Pisces 14.12
Tuesday 30 November
- Mercury 9 Sagittarius sextile Saturn 9 Aquarius 07.20
- Venus 20 Capricorn sextile Neptune 20 Pisces 20.48
- Sun 9 Sagittarius sextile Saturn 9 Aquarius 23.16
Wednesday 1 December
- Neptune turns direct 20.24 Pisces 13.24
In terms of the bigger picture Neptune turning retrograde in June coincided with that middle Saturn – Uranus square. Now this turning point is another turning of the tides but in the right direction again, although it may not come without an emotional reality check. This is make or break stuff for rocky relationships or infatuations of the rose tinted spectacles kind, or for any work/life arrangement that is now proving to be unsustainable.
But with that double edged quality of the outer planets this is also a moment when a tentative romance can move to the next level, or when a test of some kind is passed and you realize that what you have is real. The general theme here is commitment, no more avoidance, pretence or subterfuge. It’s a huge emotional health check. Is this love or a fantasy? Are you a partner (or any other role) or a doormat? Neptune is so great at blurring the lines but this moment of switching to direct is ideal for checking your boundaries and drawing firm lines in the sand.
THE SOLAR ECLIPSE – CONJUNCT MERCURY/QUINQUNX URANUS
So the big finale is of course the Eclipse in Sagittarius. Reminder of Eclipse symbolism –
- Being overshadowed, feeling in the dark
- Themes of empowerment – disempowerment
- Themes of loss/endings that change your life and set you on a different path
- Themes of symbolic death/rebirth – out with the old, in with the new, literally or psychologically
- Sorting winners from losers between twos or threes (Sun, Moon, Earth), eg affairs, job applications, house buying, any competitive situation. One person’s loss is another person’s gain
- Dealing with that which, until now, has been hidden from us in some way
- Revelations – sometimes on the run up to the Eclipse, sometimes even exactly on the day, or at a later date we learn what happened when we weren’t looking, when we were in the dark or “when the light went out”
- Tipping points of change – no going back to something belonging to your old life
The emergence of the new variant Omicron fits to exactitude the theme of what was happening in the dark, that which has now emerged from the shadows. The consequences were swift and far reaching. Sagittarius is the sign of the traveler, ruling all things overseas, freedom, optimism and plans for the future. Eclipsed. Last week I wrote that many of us were hanging onto Christmas by our fingernails and for many even that tenuous connection has now been snatched away and plans will have to be ditched or reworked.
A Solar Eclipse is when the Sun is obscured by the shadow of the Moon, at the time of a New Moon being also conjunct the Moon’s Nodes. On this occasion the moment is conjunct Mercury (news, info etc) but also in that “blind spot” aspect (the quinqunx, when planets are exactly five signs apart, nothing in common) to Uranus. As mentioned earlier, he’s the rug puller –
Thursday 2 December
- Mercury 11 Sagittarius quinqunx Uranus 11 Taurus 02.16
Friday 3 December
- Moon enters Sagittarius 12.14
- Sun 11 Sagittarius quinqunx Uranus 11 Taurus 15.15
Saturday 4 December
- Moon 11 Sagittarius quinqunx Uranus 11 Taurus 06.36
- New Moon/Total Solar Eclipse 12 Sagittarius 07.44
Uranus is also the planet of the collective, underlining the universal implications of the new variant. There’s already speculation that it may not be as serious as at first feared, it’s a wait and see on that one, but the damage is done in terms of travel and lockdowns, just in time for Christmas. Ho, ho, ho.
In our personal lives, and especially if you have planets or Angles at or very close to 12 Sagittarius (me, my Sun/Venus are 9-14 Sag, will keep you posted) look out for the Eclipse themes being at work, especially in any area of your life that is already in a state of flux or which is definitely ready for big changes, even if you can’t yet see how those changes can come about.
Uranus by quinqunx is about as textbook as it gets for being caught unawares, curved balls and disruption, shocks or surprises, the thing you couldn’t possibly have seen coming, the thing you had said was impossible … as am so fond of saying, the essence of Uranus is that he’s unpredictable.
So stay safe, no risk taking, find some fun, and for now adopt the mantra of “it is what it is”,
Until next week, with love from Greece