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14 March 2016 – Jupiter/Pluto and the nature of change, Venus sweetness and the Spring Equinox

The Astrology Blog – 14 March 2016

You can scroll down past the blog for more detailed updates/travel info on all courses here in Greece and the forthcoming London astrology and tarot workshops. At a glance, this is what’s coming up –

London Workshops

  • Saturday 2 April – Be a Better Tarot Reader (9 of 20 places available)
  • Sunday 3 April – Understanding Astrology (8 of 20 places available)

The Greek Island Summer School

1 week courses – some are Sunday, some are Thursday flights

  • Monday 23 May – Tarot & Astrology – with guest tutor Avril Price (5 of 20 places available)
  • 6 June 2016 – Talking Tarot (8 of 10 places available)
  • 9 Sept 2016 – The Astrology of Relationships (4 of 10 places available)
  • 16 Sept 2016 – Discovering Astrology (6 of 10 places available)


What’s happening this week?

All times in GMT

“Change” is possibly the most over used word in astrology media. At some level it seems that we are all and always somehow in pursuit of change to one extent or another – why am I going through this experience, when is this going to end, what’s coming next, when will I get the job/relationship/lucky break that I need etc – and of course the predictive craft of astrology is a magnet for those longing for a better but elusive or even seemingly impossible future. One of the antidotes to the human condition of constant hankering is the rise of practices such as mindfulness and meditation, bringing us back down to earth and into the power of now, but are these two worlds mutually exclusive? As ever, it’s all about balance. Even if you’re an expert at mindfulness and meditation your future is still “out there”, and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t think and wonder about that. Even if you’re an expert astrologer, there are times when you need to get back from the future so that you can enjoy life in the here and now. The key is probably more related to how we think about our future – do we fear it, do we battle constant anxiety or can we find a way to let it unfold, trusting that all is happening as it should? That is the ideal goal, how many of us actually achieve it is another matter! To be realistic, if we can achieve it at least some of the time, then the chances are that we are then generally more content.

When change is urgently needed the question about fate/free will become a lot more intense ie should I force the issue or should I trust that it will happen anyway? This is the $64k question. All I can say is that I’ve seen enough examples in my astrological life to know that matters “change” at their appointed time. Just last week a client who has been in a deteriorating marriage for years suddenly faced a new picture as a major transit became exact, and the Eclipse fell conjunct one of her personal planets – the “zooming in” moment of prediction –  which did indeed translate into a catalyst, presenting her with an opportunity that this time she was able to grasp.

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The Astrology Blog 4 Jan 2016 – into the New Year – roadblocks, milestones, turning points – how to map out the road ahead

The Astrology Blog 4 January 2016

All times stated in GMT

Hope everyone had a lovely New Year and welcome to the first astrology blog of 2016. Start by noting that if you have natal planets or angles at or close to any of the signs and degrees featuring this week then unfolding events will be especially significant for you. Here are the usual links for checking the position of your own planets and angles:

You can also try this calculator, which lists all your planets and angles rather than bringing up the visual of the horoscope, so for non astrologers it’s easier to use.

As I flagged up last week it’s not getting off to the easiest of starts as Mercury is in troublemaking mode and poised to switch direction –

• Mercury square Mars (12.01)
• Mercury turns retrograde at 1 degree of Aquarius (13.07)

Note that the square to Mars is the second of three, the sequence being –

• Tuesday 29 Dec Mercury 27 Capricorn square Mars 27 Libra
• Tuesday 5 January Mercury 1 Aquarius square Mars 1 Scorpio
• Saturday 5 March Mercury 29 Aquarius square Mars 29 Scorpio

This signals that this particular “station” (the moment when a planet turns from direct to retrograde, or the other way around) is likely to be characterized by a painful or warring factor. In other words, Mars is in on this act, and is especially powerful at the moment as he too has just changed sign, moving into his own sign of Scorpio yesterday (Sunday 3rd). Also Mercury has only just changed sign (Saturday 2nd) but it’s a false start in terms of new cycles, reaching only 1 degree of Aquarius before turning retrograde, and sliding back into Capricorn later in the week, where he’ll spend the rest of this retrograde period (up until 25 January which, in my view, will be the real New Year as I said last week!).

This might all sound very negative but what’s the upside of false starts? Sue just happened to mention this morning a great quote from Einstein – his definition of “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” When I checked for the exact wording – don’t you just love the internet – loads of other Einstein quotations came up too, and this one is also brilliant for the current astrology – “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

So, Mercury the mind planet switching to retrograde does stop us in our tracks but also stops us from ploughing on regardless with matters that are not working or which are not good for us. If we want different results then we have to do things differently, which is not astrology but science. If we have problems then it’s worth looking at our part in them, how we created or co-created them, even if they do appear to be happening “to us”, which is not astrology but psychology. The beauty of astrology is the “as above, so below” principle which is like a huge cosmic mirror reflecting these truths back to us.

Top of the advice list are the “re” words – revise, review, rethink – and to remember the right to change your mind. Similarly, if someone else changes their mind about something that affects you then now’s the time to give in with good grace rather than getting into a fight. The rest of this week’s aspects support the astrological view of a bigger picture currently besieged by roadblocks or even dead ends, the unexpected, catalytic events and turning points. Here’s the sequence –

Tuesday Venus square Neptune (14.35)

Venus entered fiery Sagittarius last week but her first aspect is this difficult one to Neptune – this is like looking through a rainy window, everything misty and foggy, especially in relation to love and money matters. Above all, especially with Mercury newly retrograde, don’t kid yourself about anything. Check out your facts.

Wednesday Sun conjunct Pluto (03.27)
The Sun’s conjunctions with the outer planets are annual events. This year the Sun catches up with Pluto at 15 degrees of Capricorn which is the position of a fixed star called Vega. As with all the fixed stars there’s a great deal of conflicting information with regards to their symbolic meaning but from a star catalogue compiled by The Traditional Astrologer, “Usually considered benefic, bringing refinement, hope and idealism.” That would seem to be the best possible interpretation of a conjunction that could otherwise be considered as malefic – the Sun being the life force but Pluto being endings, sometimes total and sometimes of the death/rebirth variety. But the conjunctions are variable when it comes to interpretation and I’ve often seen the union of Sun-Pluto in natal charts, in any sign, as denoting powerful Scorpio-type personalities, those who are resourceful in the extreme and who are capable of bouncing back from events that would flatten others.

Thursday Sun square Uranus at 16 degrees of Aries (12.23)
There is no such uncertainty about squares to Uranus! Although the huge Uranus – Pluto square is now separating they are still in very tight aspect to each other (only 1 degree apart) so, as the personal faster moving planets catch up with them, the square is brought back into play. Squares rock the boat, probably more than oppositions, and Uranus just loves to toss a firecracker into the mix. So midweek events are volatile and could bring aftershocks.

Friday Jupiter turns retrograde at 23 degrees of Virgo (04.41)

Jupiter spends 12 months travelling through each sign, turns retrograde once a year for four months at a time and moves back ten degrees of whichever sign he’s in.

So if you have planets or angles at 23 Virgo (the sign and degree of turning retrograde) this “station” will mark a turning point for you, and if you have planets or angles at 13 Virgo (the sign and degree of turning direct in May) then that station will also mark a major milestone on your life journey. Universally Jupiter turning retrograde doesn’t clang as many alarm bells as Mercury, but Jupiter issues are likely to be slower moving, up for review or more complex than anticipated. These include lawsuits and all legal concerns, anything linked to higher education, travel or matters related to overseas or foreign contacts. I’m really looking forward to May! 13 Virgo is my Midheaven (career and vocation) and Jupiter turning direct marks the beginning of this year’s summer season and the first courses at The Greek Island Summer School. Jupiter’s retrograde period therefore fits perfectly into my longer term view and work plan as my focus for the next four months will be to beaver away on marketing, talking to those of you want to come and study, and finding the best travel bargains for flights or packages. As some of you will know Lefkada is effectively “shut” for the winter, the airport closes to international flights at the end of October each year and then reopens at the beginning of May. So Jupiter turning around on my Midheaven as the new season kicks off and the airport reopens bodes well for a great season to come.

Jupiter rules luck and opportunity, and loves sowing seeds. Note that in traditional astrology terms he is currently in his sign of detriment (being in dignity in Virgo’s opposite sign of Pisces) so it pays to roll up your sleeves and work harder at the things you want to achieve, especially the things that you know will take several months to cook. Forget fast food! Virgo is the perfectionist and grafter of the zodiac – and likes to be fed carefully selected and super healthy produce…

Bear in mind that Mercury also slips back into Capricorn on the same day, as noted earlier, another earth sign also associated with a huge work ethic but also with definite goals, ambitions and empire building. So these next few months will be vitally important if you’re self employed or if you have a personal project to materialize.

Saturday Venus conjunct Saturn at 12 degrees of Sagittarius (04.12)
Having struggled through the square to Neptune earlier in the week Venus now meets up with Saturn. (So Venus is playing into the Saturn – Neptune square which is a backdrop until the beginning of September). I’d like to put a positive spin on this but let’s keep it real – as Saturn likes us to do. Venus is the love, pleasure and money planet, Saturn is work, barriers and delays – or just plain NO. As this aspect is exact in the early hours of Saturday then it’s at its most potent on Friday evening, so plan things carefully if you’re heading for a night on the town. This aspect is classic for cancellations or disappointments – don’t trust to luck in any shape or form – and make transport arrangements a top priority. Also check out costs before you commit to a club/restaurant etc.
Also on the money front look out for throwing good money after bad. Saturn says there has to be a limit.

Single? Guard against the Big Obsession or getting involved with anyone who’s unavailable. This isn’t to say that things won’t work out eventually but any kind of fraught love situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, and could come with heavy price tags. You’ll have to decide if these are prices worth paying. If you’re already battling with disillusionment this will weigh heavy on your heart, no way around it, but if you already know that you’re being distanced/it’s the end of the road then it’s better to get out now rather than live for a dream that is never going to make you happy.

The same could be said for the New Moon –

Sunday New Moon at 19 degrees of Capricorn (01.32)
New Moons, new cycles, but note that this one falls in alignment with the Uranus – Pluto square, ie conjunct Pluto and square Uranus, so look out for echoes of themes that started earlier in the week. In other words, new beginnings come along just as the heavens are already on overload with major aspects and turning points. For some new cycles will start with a decision to break with the past – such as a job, a relationship, where you live, and so on.
Remember that Capricorn is the ultimate realist of the zodiac but loves a project. If you’re shaking off the old it’s vital to set yourself new goals, no matter how small. In essence, it’s a momentous week, and we may well look back on the events now unfolding and see that they were even more important than we realized at the time. Tap into those survival skills – look after yourself, get plenty of sleep and be tough when you have to be!

Until next week, with love from Greece

3 February 2014 – This week’s Astrology

If you want to go straight to this week’s blog just scroll down past the course information and horoscope links.



EXCITING NEWS! The Greek Island Summer School is moving. We’re off up the mountainside to this amazing villa, called Villa Jorgos. The views across Nidri are spectacular – it’s hard to believe that it’s only five minutes drive away from the village. Most importantly the villa has the perfect outdoor “classroom”, complete with outside bar and pool.

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. This is the 13th 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.

As a result of the move you will be driven to and from the villa each day and the course hours have been reorganized. Three of the five study days will include a complimentary lunch. As a result you will be back in Nidri by 2.30pm to enjoy the rest of the day as you wish. On the Friday our finale will be a bbq in the evening to mark the end of the course:


Arrive early afternoon from the UK. The day is yours to settle in – lunch, sunbathe, swim, siesta and meet your fellow guests. First night group meal in a local taverna in Nidri.


Study hours 11 – 2

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Study hours 10 – 12

Lunch/swim at the villa 12.00 – 12.45

Study hours 12.45 – 2.15


Study hours 10 – 12.30, then back to Nidri.

Study hours 5 – 7, followed by evening bbq at the villa


Free day and last night group meal


Return flights to UK

Email me for all enquiries or bookings on

So, here are the course dates to choose from for 2014:


Working with Tarot

Choose either:

w/c 5 May 2014 ( 7 of 8 places available) or
w/c 19 May 2014 (2 of 8 places available)
These courses are suitable for all levels. We revise the traditional divinatory meanings of the 78 Tarot cards and …

More details on the website here

Discovering Astrology – foundation course for beginners/refreshers

w/c 2 June 2014 (4 of 8 places available)
Lift astrology out of the Sun sign columns and discover horoscopy, the symbolism of the signs, planets and houses. Take your first steps in chart interpretation and making predictions…

Check out the website for more details…

Astrology & Tarot – how to combine both skills

w/c 8 September 2014 (2 of 8 places available)

This course is suitable for the student who has already ventured into studying both tarot and astrology, but you certainly don’t need to be an expert… Details on the website

Good Timing – Predictive Techniques in Astrology

w/c 22 September 2014 (4 of 8 places available)

This course is suitable for the student who has already completed a beginners’ course or who is familiar with the basic symbolism of the nuts and bolts of horoscopy – signs, planets and houses. The aim is to …

More details check out the website

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


For an overview of the month and your FEBRUARY horoscope here’s the link to the column on Network She:

The Astrology Blog – w/b 3 February 2014

Well, usually I face the challenge of condensing and interpreting a lot of astrology into a small space. This week the picture is quite the opposite as it so happens that between now and next Tuesday 11 February there are no major aspects, no lunations (new or full moons) and no ingresses (planets changing sign).

There is however the phenomenon of Mercury turning retrograde on Thursday evening (21.44 GMT). As regular readers may recall, Mercury’s backtracking periods happen roughly three times a year for about three weeks at a time. All things related to communication and travel are potentially complicated during this periods.

Mercury has only just arrived in Pisces – the ingress being 31 January – and because he is “stationing” (getting ready to switch direction) he is moving very slowly up until Thursday evening. Think of him as splashing around in the shallows and testing the water, then changing his mind and retreating to dry land. Symbolically, then, this translates into having second thoughts, doubting the wisdom of a decision, back pedaling and battling with feelings that don’t make sense or which leave you feeling as if you’ve somehow missed the point. In this respect some of us will still find ourselves in deep waters. This will apply especially to you if you have planets or angles in the first three degrees of this water sign, or in the other mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius.

Mercury is the trickster of the heavens and he loves puns. As he turns around in Pisces, sign of mutable (free flowing) water look out for plumbing problems. For some there will be more flooding problems too or delays in claiming insurance for water damage.

Traditional astrology assigns meticulous and analytical Virgo as one of Mercury’s signs of dignity – where he operates best. He is therefore in one of his signs of detriment in the opposite sign of Pisces. The element of water rules the feeling function so expect touchy subjects to become highly sensitized.

The bigger picture message is that you are not necessarily making the wrong decisions or that emotional issues will not necessarily remain unresolved. You should however expect teething problems with any kind of new arrangement and definitely work harder at keeping a sense of proportion if you feel uncertain. At a practical level too if you feel that everything is getting on top of you then the message is to stop, regroup and get on top of everything. And if you feel that someone is not telling you the truth or that they are keeping difficult feelings to themselves then they are almost certainly are. Kid gloves at the ready. When you find yourself spilling feelings out into an email please think twice before you hit that send button, or if you’re on the receiving end try to respond with compassion rather than indignation! The things that are splurged this week will probably be the things that we regret saying or to which there are no easily obvious or mutually satisfactory answers. Oh yes, and watch the “in vino veritas” while you’re at it! One of the best movie lines ever, from Sideways – two guys touring the wine valleys of California – was, “oh no, did you drink and dial?” (The last word of which dates the movie but you get the point.)

Mercury will slide back into the previous sign of Aquarius next week on the 13th, and will turn direct again in Aquarius on the last day of this month, but until then here’s the usual quick checklist for how to survive Mercury mischief:

·         Assume nothing, double check everything

·         When in doubt, do nothing

·         Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially phones, keys, cameras and any techno goods

·         Ensure phone is fully charged when you’re travelling

·         Don’t travel unless you have to

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

·         Buy yourself time re major decisions

·         Back up all your computer work

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

On a more cheerful note – hurray – retrograde Mercury is great for getting “back” in touch. That person who keeps flitting across your mind? Call them. Also get back to plans and ideas that have been on hold. It’s best not to take anything off the drawing board until the end of the month, when you will be looking for ways to capture that positive turning point and use it to its greatest effect, but in between now and then you can cover a great deal of ground and learn a lot.

What else? Remember that by comparison Venus has just turned direct – also on 31 January, the day that Mercury arrived in Pisces. As I commented last week, this feels contradictory. You may feel as if two very distinct threads in your life are being pulled in different directions – one unraveling while the other starts to knit together very neatly. It may be that the two are, in fact, somehow working together, reminding you that the skills you need in one situation (or with one person) are not necessarily the same skills that you need in another (or with a different person). While Pisces is an intensely emotional water sign, Venus is powering up again in earthy Capricorn – a sign associated with work, goal setting and endurance.

Because of Venus’ retrograde period she’s been in Capricorn since the beginning of November and still has a way to go, finally entering the next sign of Aquarius at the beginning of March. So Venusian issues – primarily love, money, and all desires close to your heart – are currently a long slow build. Things of beauty can be achieved but with care, attention, respect and patience, whether it’s a relationship, a career or a home.

The latter of course is especially close to my heart! The Move is happening – my sister and partner are in the villa – but with Mercury poised to turn retrograde it is, surprise, total chaos. Having done most of the slog in the pouring rain there is now no hot water, no heating, no internet and their life’s possessions sit in a mountain of boxes. Anyone who’s ever moved knows what this feels like and it’s little wonder that it’s in the top 5 of the stress list. My move happens mid February … which is when Mercury slides back into Aquarius, just praying all internet problems sorted by then – anything else I can deal with!

Take care everyone and if you want to read more during the week, make comments or share your own stories why not join my Facebook Group – The World of Astrology. Here’s the link:



7 October 2013 – This week’s Astrology


If you want to explore the fascinating subjects of astrology or tarot for yourself, and enjoy a week on this beautiful Greek island of Lefkada, here are the The Greek Island Summer School course dates for next year:

·         19 May Working with Tarot

·         2 June Discovering Astrology

·         8 September Astrology & Tarot – Combining the 2 crafts

·         22 September Good Timing – Predictive Techniques in Astrology

There’ll be more details on the website soon or contact me direct on if you have any queries, no matter how small.

IMPORTANT CHANGE: Up until now there have been a maximum of 8 places per study group but from 2014 the numbers will be capped at 6.



If you want to go straight to the columns here are the links – suggest you read your Rising Sign (Ascendant) first and then your Sun Sign:

Weekly horoscopes on Avon Connects, starting every Monday:

Monthly horoscopes on Network She:


What’s happening this week?

Venus is poised to enter Sagittarius, the ingress happening later today at 18.55 GMT. As above, so below – often there are events that herald a planet changing sign that clearly encapsulate the new symbolism coming into play. Scanning this morning’s news one story jumped off the page, “The girl who was shot for going to school”.

We all know Venus as the love planet but she is also the universal ruler of women, and Sagittarius rules freedom, all things international, the higher mind and all things related to the pursuit of wisdom, starting with the basic human right to an education. Malala made the headlines when she was shot by the Taliban, and to read her story now is inspirational, to put it mildly. I defy you to read her story without being moved to tears:

Not only did she survive against staggering odds, she came back fighting. On her 16th birthday she made a speech at the UN headquarters in New York, with the message of: “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” She is described as an icon of courage and hope.

That is the serious face of Venus in Sagittarius and the message is clear – to stand up for what you believe in, to refuse to be governed by fear, to speak your truth and to allow other people to speak theirs, to understand that anything can change just by taking that first small step.

This seems all the more poignant as Mercury, planet of speech, is now slowing down in mysterious Scorpio and meets up with Saturn tomorrow evening, a conjunction that will be repeated twice more on 29 October and 26 November. It’s a theme that is in direct contrast to that of Venus/Sagittarius. Note how consecutive signs act as if they are in opposition – Scorpio is associated with emotional depths, the underworld of the human psyche, all that is hidden, instinctive and unfathomable. The following sign of Sagittarius is associated with the zinging arrows of truth, justice, faith and openness. How are these two themes battling it out in your own life?

Note also that there is, thankfully, a very playful and sociable side to Venus in Sagittarius too. This sign is exuberant and knows how to have fun. It’s one the “mutable” signs, always on the move and reaching out in every possible direction, and is linked to sport and athletics. The other news story that grabbed my attention this morning was the “Walking Works” report and a British Medical Journal study that states:

“If everyone, in England alone, did the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical every week it would:

  • Save 37,000 lives each year
  • Prevent 6,700 cases of breast cancer
  • Stop 4,700 people getting colorectal cancer
  • Lead to nearly 300,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes.”

These are quite amazing statistics. Thankfully I’ve got a dog who needs walking every day!

What else? The second half of the week brings Venus square Neptune on Thursday morning – test those emotional waters before diving in and go easy on the vino on Wednesday evening – and the Sun square Jupiter on Saturday. Squares can bring friction, things not working out as planned or finding yourself at odds with loved ones so pay attention to whatever issues are raining on your parade. Otherwise, don’t be overly controlled. Sun square Jupiter is not “malefic” and is great for stress busting and having a good time, supported by the fact that it’s also the last week of Mars in fiery, life loving Leo, so stave off those winter blues and treat the weekend as a holiday as much as possible.


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