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Grand Cross

21 April 2014 – This week’s Astrology

The Astrology Blog – w/b 21 April 2014

The aspect pattern called a Grand Cross is still unfolding as we come to the end of the Easter weekend. Here’s the sequence, all times in BST:

Sunday Jupiter square Uranus (04.57)

Monday Jupiter opposite Pluto (00.06) and Uranus square Pluto (19.39)

Tuesday Mars square Jupiter (20.29)

Wednesday Mars opposite Uranus (08.10) and Mars square Pluto (14.48)

Mars is the fasting moving of these planets and it’s his arrival on the scene that has turned this configuration from a T Square (3 planets, 2 opposing each other, both making a square to a third, in this case Jupiter opposite Pluto both square to Uranus) to a Grand Cross (2 oppositions, in this case Mars opposite Uranus, Jupiter opposite Pluto). So Mars god of war and action is the stirrer, the mover and the shaker, but note that he is travelling through Libra in which he is said to be in “detriment”. In other words, Mars struggles to be his warlike self in this sign. Libra belongs to Venus, planet of love and peace, and is associated with balance, negotiation, arbitration and partnership. Whether or not you are a royalist Prince William, with Mars in Libra in his horoscope, is an illustration of this as he charms his way through Australia and New Zealand with wife and baby.

Mars being expressed through Libra is the ultimate symbol of non violence or inactivity/lack of assertiveness. In terms of world events this is potentially helpful re calming the Ukraine situation, but it’s allegedly the issue that lies at the heart of the Korean ferry disaster, ie a fatal lack of leadership, indecision and failure to follow recognized procedures.

I must thank fellow astrologer Rod Chang for my top Grand Cross story:

“A flight destined for Iran never made it off the tarmac at a Swedish airport when passengers on board protested over the deportation of Kurdish refugee Ghader Ghalamere who was due to be sent home on the same flight. Angry passengers refused to fasten their seatbelts in protest at his treatment and prevented the pilots from being able to take off.”

Ghader faces certain death if extradited so this was his cross to bear, the thing he could not fight. The showing of the astrology is fabulous. At the last minute the power of the rebellious collective (Uranus) against the system (Pluto) through non violent means (Mars in Libra) pinning the plane to the ground in the name of humanity (Jupiter). Avaaz has started a petition – it only takes a minute to sign so here’s the link:

On a more personal note I’ve heard several stories this week of seemingly impossible situations. If you’re caught up in one yourself then no doubt you will feel up against it for the next few days but keep looking for ways in which you can keep nudging an issue in the right direction. However, some matters will simply fizzle out as they reach a natural end.

The astrological picture for the end of the week is much steadier, calmer and constructive. Here’s the sequence:

Friday Venus trine Saturn (06.16)

Saturday Sun conjunct Mercury in Taurus (04.28)

Sunday Sun sextile Neptune (11.35)

These aspects are all harmonious and occur in the feminine water or earth signs.

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16 September 2013 – This week’s Astrology


If you want to explore the fascinating subject of astrology for yourself, and enjoy a week on this beautiful Greek island of Lefkada, I am running:

·        Astrology Week for beginners/refreshers, starting Monday 23 September – 3 of the 8 places available. Let me know if you need help looking for a last minute flight or package!

·        Course dates for 2014 Astrology and Tarot will be decided in October. Visit my website for more info about the Greek Island Summer School or contact me direct on


If you want to go straight to the columns here are the links:

Weekly horoscopes on Avon Connects, starting every Monday:

Monthly horoscopes on Network She:


What’s happening this week?

This is what you might call a Big Week up in the heavens as several major themes are all unfolding and finalizing at the same time. Don’t worry, next week is a lot lighter, but this is what we have to work through first:

The Grand Cross

The slower moving planets Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto are still forming an aspect pattern called a T Square. Jupiter in Cancer is opposite Pluto in Capricorn – and they are both square to Uranus in Aries.

This week this aspect pattern becomes a Grand Cross as fast moving Mercury in Libra takes up position on the fourth point. (You may remember that Venus did the same thing about a month ago)

As Mercury is currently moving quickly he makes aspects to the other three planets in succession and the Grand Cross formation lasts until the end of the week. Mercury was square Pluto over the weekend, opposes Mercury this morning and will square Jupiter in the early hours of Friday.

The most obvious interpretation is a “cross to bear” – a situation that is stuck, where people are at loggerheads with each other, or a situation that is at breaking point as tension builds and stretches everyone’s nerves. Also look out for scenarios of having to go through with something you wish you hadn’t agreed to but now have to make the best of.

On a more proactive note the arrival of talk-talk Mercury in Libra – the Scales – could be extremely helpful. This feels like a chance to thrash out differences and to arrive at new agreements. Stress can actually be reduced by involving a new person – someone to help out, to talk to, to help share the load, and so on. If nothing else Mercury in Libra is brilliant at seeing all sides to an issue and appreciating everyone’s point of view.

Saturn sextile Pluto, and Pluto turning direct

The theme of resolution is underlined by the fact that Pluto – the slowest moving planet of them all – turns direct on Friday evening, having been retrograde since the middle of April. He also aligns with serious Saturn at the weekend for the third and final time (a sextile that was exact on 27 December last year and again on 8 March.)

When it comes to change Pluto has no equal. Known as the planet of “death and rebirth” he loves to demolish in order to rebuild and he slams the door behind him. This turning point could easily relate to a matter that’s been unfolding for months. There’s a sense of reaching the end of the road with anything that is simply no longer sustainable, the “I can’t do this anymore” or “someone else has had too much of my power and now I want it back again.” Note also that these two planets are in “mutual reception” – currently occupying each other’s signs, Saturn being in Pluto’s sign of Scorpio and Pluto being in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn, strengthening the pact between them. The old order changeth.

Venus conjunct Saturn, sextile Pluto

The love planet Venus also travelling through Scorpio plays into this scenario, meeting up with Saturn in Scorpio on Wednesday evening and aligning with Pluto a few hours later. This can play out in two ways – love gets serious, intense and needs huge commitment, or a love issue comes screeching to a halt in front of a great big concrete wall. Love triangles will be especially sensitive.

The Full Moon in Pisces

We could say, in fact, that everything will be super sensitive midweek! The Full Moon is traditionally a time of enlightenment, insights and fruition. However she is also notorious for domestics and in Pisces, arguably the most sensitive of all the signs, the emotional tides will be high and real feelings will swim to the surface. This sign also rules alcohol so be careful what you do/say/agree to after a few glasses of inhibition loosening wine! If you’re madly in love and cracking open the champagne you should be fine, but if you want to raise a touchy subject with anyone/need to stay in control then I’d go for the soda water. Finally – drink/drive is always a no-no of course but this week it’s a NO-NO. Stay safe.

Find out more about how this week’s astrology relates to your particular sign in the weekly column:



This week’s Astrology – 26 August 2013


If you want to explore the fascinating subject of astrology for yourself, and enjoy a week on this beautiful Greek island of Lefkada, I am running:

·        Astrology Week for beginners/refreshers, starting Monday 23 September – 4 of the 8 places available. 

·        Tarot Week for refreshers/intermediate, starting Friday 6 September – 1 of the 8 places available. 

·        Visit my website for more info about the Greek Island Summer School or contact me direct on


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


What’s happening this week?

We’re now in the Virgo time of year – the Sun entering this sign at the end of last week, followed by Mercury. Textbook astrology will tell you that Virgos are perfectionists, particular, critical and health conscious but there’s a lot more to this sign than this rather stuffy picture suggests. When they stop fretting and picking everything apart there’s a whacky streak a mile wide, with a huge appetite for fun and clever humour. Mercury (the mind) in Virgo is especially good news as this is one of Mercury’s sign of dignity (the other being quick witted Gemini). Put Mercury and Virgo together and you get analytical skills, incisiveness and thoroughness.

Mercury is just separating from an opposition (challenging) to Neptune, while the Sun is applying (yet to happen) and will be exact in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Neptune is Poseidon – god of the sea – and tough aspects tend to signal the trickier Neptunian hallmarks of sea mists, fog, confusion and uncertainty. You may have to talk something through at great length in order to arrive at the truth, a clearer understanding or to isolate what really matters. The conversations I’ve been having over the weekend re a loved one’s wellbeing definitely fit this bill.

Alongside this theme we have Venus working her way through the Grand Cross that, you may remember, started last Thursday. To picture this just imagine drawing a large cross on a piece of paper. On one axis you have Jupiter opposite Pluto, and on the second axis you have Venus opposite Uranus. Putting it another way, all four planets are 90 degrees apart from each other. Venus is the fastest moving and by this coming Thursday she’ll be moving out of this formation. Along the way she “activates” the Grand Cross by making aspects to each of the other planets involved:

·        Last Saturday – Venus square Pluto

·        Monday evening – Venus opposite Uranus

·        Tuesday evening – Venus square Jupiter

Look out then for developments that link to the theme of a cross to bear – ie any situation that feels like a yoke around your neck, conflicted feelings, any sense of powerlessness, “it’s always going to be like this” scenarios – and so on. Venus is working on each point of tension to shift things and present options.

Mars moves from Cancer (his sign of “fall”, Mars energy gets turned inwards in this sign) into fiery Leo in the early hours of Wednesday. This underlines the shift from “there’s nothing I can do” to “how shall I proceed?” Again, discussing someone’s dilemma this weekend, I heard myself saying, “There can’t be a war if the enemy withdraws”. In other words, if you find yourself locked into a situation then one option is simply to remove yourself from it. Think allowance/acceptance rather than resistance. This is not defeatist, it’s about shifting the dynamics. Let me quote from the amazing David Richo:

“Now I have the intuitive vision to see:

·        Where I held on and thereby was held back.

·        Where I can let go and thereby go on.”

The second half of the week brings a series of positive aspects that signal the showing of results, the readiness to make decisions, to put new arrangements in place – and so on. With the times in BST, these are:

·        Mercury trine Pluto – Wednesday afternoon

·        Sun sextile Saturn – Friday morning

·        Mercury sextile Jupiter – early Saturday morning

·        Sun trine Pluto – Sunday morning

So this has all the hallmarks of an important and potentially highly productive week. Why not set out your objectives right now – I’ve just scared myself with my to-do list but I think it can be done!

Find out more about the Grand Cross and Mars’ ingress into Leo and how this week’s astrology relates to your particular sign:


19 August 2013 – This week’s Astrology


If you want to explore the fascinating subject of astrology for yourself, and enjoy a week on this beautiful Greek island of Lefkada, I am running:

·        Astrology Week for beginners/refreshers, starting Monday 23 September – 4 of the 8 places available. 

·        Tarot Week for refreshers/intermediate, starting Friday 6 September – 1 of the 8 places available. 

·        You can contact me direct on


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


What’s happening this week?

As I said last week the second half of August is packed with activity. We start with the unusual phenomenon of the Full Moon falling in Aquarius for the second month running. The first one fell at 0 degrees of Aquarius on 22 July, this one falls at 28 degrees in the early hours of Wednesday (exact at 02.46 BST). Any aspect pattern or lunation (new or full moon) that involves planets at 0 degrees is especially potent as it speaks of a brand new beginning – a clean page. Similarly, the last degrees of a sign signal a completion. So whatever particular issue/wish/event that started a month could reach a rapid conclusion.

This is underlined by Jupiter squaring up to Aquarius’ co-ruler Uranus just a matter of hours later. This is a major aspect that will repeat next February and April. For now look out for sudden changes as Uranus rules the unexpected. Like The Tower in the Tarot he is often the bolt from the blue, the thing you couldn’t possibly have seen coming, but he is also progress and innovation. The square is a challenging aspect but Jupiter is the Greater Benefic – he is good for us – and sometimes we have to have the rug pulled from under our feet to move us on. So this can be an exciting time if we’re willing to roll with a few punches, to embrace the new and not run from a bit of risk taking.

Love dramas will be part of the picture for some as Venus is now travelling through her own sign of Libra and on Thursday she reaches 6 degrees of this sign. This means that she is then the 4th planet in a major aspect pattern called a Grand Cross – four planets all 90 degrees apart. This Grand Cross is formed in what are known as the cardinal signs: 

·        Uranus at 12 degrees of Aries

·        Jupiter at 12 degrees of Cancer

·        Venus at 6 degrees of Libra

·        Pluto at 9 degrees of Capricorn

One of the traditional interpretations of this aspect pattern is “a cross to bear” although this rather suggests a burden that can’t be lifted. I feel that it is more a case of a situation reaching its ultimate stalemate first, the real issues locking into place, the unfolding of events that show us where “something’s gotta give”. Venus as the fastest moving planet of the four will work her way through the Grand Cross between Thursday and the middle of next week. So, for many, it will be a case of making or breaking a relationship, or thrashing out a debate, or working out the terms of new arrangements, personal or professional – and so on. The bigger picture message is that we need some tension in order to grow, and that there’s rarely change without some kind of conflict.  

In the middle of all the drama the Sun and Mercury slide into analytical Virgo at the end of the week, and unite on Saturday evening. This feels like “the voice of reason”, a moment of pure insight and a clear understanding of “the heart of the matter”. If the end goal is acceptance then doing away with any kind of pretence is probably the best possible point of reference and our strongest life line.


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