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Mercury turns direct

25 January 2016 – Mercury marks the “real” New Year, why midweek is special – and RIP to Mike


The Astrology Blog 25 January 2016

Followers of astrology will know that today marks the important event of Mercury switching to direct motion after three weeks of being retrograde. Not blogging for the past two weeks is one showing of the communication planet being awol, and on this occasion it’s been for the saddest of reasons as my adored brother in law Mike passed over on 12 January. There probably isn’t a single person reading this who hasn’t experienced a bereavement so you don’t need me to describe the tsunami of grief.

Sue was with him right up until the end and has allowed me to share her story. Mike drew his last breath at exactly 6am and she told me that something in her, in spite of the months of disbelief and battling to save him, knew that it was exactly his appointed time. “I can’t describe it, other than I felt the click of some cosmic cog, and the moment was done.” Looking at that moment astrologically the Moon was at 18.20 Aquarius – which is exactly the degree and minute of mine and Sue’s natal Chiron, the wounded healer. Make of that what you will but, in my view, her feelings were not imaginary and what she experienced was an expression of some deep connectedness, at many levels. It’s at moments like these that the awe of astrology and the sense of spirit is unmistakable, and brings immense comfort. We miss Mike’s physical presence every second of the day but there’s absolutely no doubt that he’s still around, and we’ve already had several messages in many different ways.

I’ll share my favourite one here. Mike was fantastic with children, and had an impish sense of fun and humour, and never lost that “naughty little boy” inside him. Sue’s daughter had to break the news to her four year old twins and, as she did, there was a noise from Kieran’s bedroom. She went to investigate and found a whole pile of newly washed linen on the floor (it had been stacked on the bed against the wall) and an electronic toy (operated only by remote control) driving itself at full speed around the room. Again, make of that what you will….

What’s happening this week?

All times stated in GMT

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.

Regular readers may also remember that I said at the beginning of the year that 25 January would be the “real” New Year, and it’s finally rolled around. We started 2016 with Mercury stationary retrograde, hence the false start which I know many people have struggled with, and Mercury will make the turn this evening –

Monday Mercury stationary direct at 15 degrees of Capricorn (21.51)

Firstly note that Mercury turns direct conjunct the Fixed Star of Vega, benefic in nature, associated with hope and dignity. At a universal level Capricorn is the sign of purpose, ruling the 10th house in the natural order of things, which symbolizes our goals, aspirations and our path forwards in the world. For me it definitely marks the turning point in terms of picking up work again and starting to plan ahead for media work, the next London workshops and this season’s Summer School. I’ll be getting back to everyone that’s enquired so far this year. Otherwise I have to confess that my inbox is somewhat on overload with unanswered emails, for obvious reasons, and a huge sincere thank you to everyone who’s sent messages of concern.

So look out for your own turning points as this week gets underway but note that we still have some hassles to deal with as Mercury will now repeat the third and final difficult aspects to Pluto and Uranus at the end of the week –

• Saturday Mercury conjunct Pluto (05.53)
• Monday (Feb 1st) Mercury square Uranus (03.42)

Here’s the full sequence –

Mercury conjunct Pluto
• Friday 18 December 14 degrees Capricorn
• Friday 22 January 15 degrees Capricorn (Mercury retrograde)
• Saturday 30 January 16 degrees Capricorn

Mercury square Uranus
• Monday 21 December 16 degrees Capricorn/16 degrees Aries
• Wednesday 20 January 16 degrees Capricorn/16 degrees Aries (Mercury retrograde)
• Monday 1 February 17 degrees Capricorn/17 degrees Aries

So this coming weekend represents the final stages of any ongoing situation that started the week before Christmas, or any matter that still needs further negotiation. It’s the nature of the Uranus – Pluto square to disrupt or cancel things so we’re not entirely off the hook as yet and this week it pays to bear that golden rule in mind – make no assumptions! But in terms of the bigger picture here’s the usual checklist of things to expect as Mercury gets back to business –

• Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
• Important information comes to light or secrets are revealed
• Light bulb flashes of insight
• We stop talking/thinking about something and realize that we need to make decisions
• People get back to us re decisions
• We get back in touch with someone, or they get back in touch with us
• We feel more courageous or determined to make something happen
• We stop pretending
• We stop avoiding
• We tackle/say the things we’ve been putting off
• We get back to a matter that was first important three weeks ago
• Memory kicks in and we deal with what or who has been off our radar
• Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
• We find the right person to deal with the problem beyond our own expertise
• Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• We find what we have been looking for – from lost objects to spiritual needs

The end of the week also brings a beautiful and much softer aspect –

Saturday Venus sextile Neptune (16.46)

Venus entered Capricorn on Saturday evening and will be travelling through this sign until the middle of February. This is her first aspect in this sign, happening with Venus at 8 degrees of Capricorn, Neptune at 8 degrees of his own sign of Pisces. This is a classic love and romance scenario, but also fantastic for empathy, understanding, the closeness of friendship and the healing of hurts. It’s also a great aspect for giving love in a constructive and hands on way. There is nothing mushy about Venus (love, money) in Capricorn (realistic, Saturn ruled earth sign). And with Mercury newly direct this rather adds up to the message of putting your money where your mouth is. Words are easy, but real love is effort and going out of our way to provide or offer what is needed.

One other little highlight this week will be the main feature of Wednesday evening –

Thursday Moon conjunct Jupiter (00.12)

The Moon conjuncts all the planets once a month as she travels through all 12 signs every 28 days. The Moon was full yesterday (3 degrees of Leo) so is now waning but will still be bright in the sky late evenings. Look for the dazzling white planet below the Moon – that is Jupiter – and this month’s conjunction falls at 22 degrees of Virgo. In terms of the astrology an opportunity is building, especially for those who are not afraid of hard work (Jupiter is in detriment in Virgo and success won’t be handed over on a plate, but effort will be rewarded if you’re ready and willing to roll up those shirt sleeves) and answers to health issues are also in the making.

For the astronomy go to Bruce McClure’s brilliant website Earthsky as he describes the heavens so clearly and passionately, and tonight (Monday 25th) Jupiter starts what he calls the planet parade as Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, Mercury all rise one after the other throughout the night:

“If you get up before sunrise, and see all five planets together … that’ll be something special! We haven’t been able to see them simultaneously like this since 2005, 10 years ago.”

Until next week,
With love from Greece

8 June 2015 – an action packed week, Mercury turns direct

The Astrology Blog – 8 June 2015

I take it all back about retrograde Mercury probably having done his worst as last week kicked off. That was definitely wishful thinking! Here it was one hassle and worry after another, which I won’t itemize, but the main things were linked to the classic characteristic of incorrect information. I’ll also be more aware in the future that Full Moons coinciding with a retrograde Mercury do indeed still bring things to light, but in the shape of disappointments, things that we’ve been trying to ignore, or things that we simply haven’t wanted to believe.

Also one of the main things on my watch list of “problems with transport or communication” is, as you know, anything related to phones. I went to make a phone call on Friday morning – to find that we’d been cut off. Yes, dear reader, we’d forgotten to pay the bill! The upshot of that was then having to drop everything else to dash into town – at least here in Greece they reconnect you instantly, you don’t have to wait days – but as you can imagine I wasn’t impressed with myself. Talk about should have known better!

I’m off to the UK again middle of next week and on Saturday I was on the phone to my lovely, helpful travel agent in the UK booking the return flight back to Greece. It was only after he’d taken all my card details, booked the flight – and then read the details back to me – that we realized that we’d misunderstood each other and that he’d booked the flight the wrong way around, from Greece to London! And guess what, a ticket for the right way around wasn’t available, please try nearer the time ….

Mercury is now “stationing” – getting ready to switch from retrograde to direct motion late on Thursday – so we’re reaching the end of the tunnel, but just to be on the safe side here’s the checklist to bear in mind –

• Try to operate by “re” words – review, revise, research, reappraise, rethink and so on
• Back up all your computer work
• Write things down – forgetfulness, being distracted, inattention etc can be a troublesome theme
• Getting back to ideas on the back burner
• Getting back in touch
• Rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off
• Keep options open
• Assume nothing, double check everything

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30 June 2014 – Mercury brings news, Pluto’s tough message, Venus fun and games at the weekend

The Astrology Blog – w/b 30 June 2014

All times stated are in BST.

The big event of the week is Mercury turning direct in his own sign of Gemini tomorrow, Tuesday at 13.51. Mercury switches to forwards motion after being retrograde since 7 June so at a general level this marks the end of a period of confusion, slowness, deception, uncertainty or things just generally going wrong! Here are the kinds of themes to look out for throughout the 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
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 24 degrees of the mutable signs – Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. 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. Note that Mercury turning around in the sign of the Twins signals duality – so the theme of choices is likely to be even more pronounced.
Generally, July has plenty of highlights to look forward to but the first ten days of the month are still challenging, as Mercury gradually picks up speed again and this Friday brings the annual Sun – Pluto opposition, exact at 09.01. This is always a toughie as, in a nutshell, the Sun is the life force and Pluto is endings, symbolic death/rebirth. If you have planets at or close to 12 degrees of the cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn – this opposition will be especially significant for you. Whatever comes to an end at this time is clearing the space for something new, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Or expect to deal once and for all with any situation that you’ve been avoiding/hoping would sort itself out – or be on hand to help someone else go through the same thing.
Over the weekend we have Venus moving into the picture. She is currently travelling through Gemini and will make a sextile (harmonious aspect) to Uranus, exact at 07.50 next Monday morning. When aspects are “applying” (yet to become exact) the relevant events often unfold during the previous 48 hours so this aspect is the hallmark of the weekend.
What can we expect? Venus is love, pleasure and fun. Uranus is the unexpected or the unusual but, even by good aspect, he can still be a bit of a loose cannon so listen out for some surprises. But generally a positive Venus/Uranus alliance is great for your social life, gatherings and group events of all kinds.
That’s it for this week, unless you’re a tennis fan like me! The Venus/Uranus aspect is in action for the finals weekend at Wimbledon. Last week I was still dithering about my choice and to be honest I haven’t had the time to explore all the astrology for the championship and then all the individual horoscopes for the favourites. To quote what I said last week:
“The Wimbledon chart is ruled by Mercury – who rules Virgo – and to have the ruling planet of an event horoscope in retrograde motion generally signifies that things won’t go as planned. The favourites are unlikely to win or there will be some other major surprises in store. There are other features in the horoscope that make the overall picture very uncertain so not sure who I am putting my money on just yet… but my friend and colleague Sally Kirkman is great at sports stuff and she has a Wimbledon feature on her website”, and here’s the link for that again:
Well, the major shock was No 1 seed Serena Williams going out in the third round, and then Richard Gasquet losing 9 match points to be defeated by 19 year old Nick Kyrgios. There was also a cliffhanger match between Tsonga and Querry, with the match being suspended at 9 games all in the fifth set, and there was an injury scare for Djokovic. All of this is interesting to me as you may remember that I – wrongly – put my money on Tsonga last year and then he went out injured! But he was playing brilliantly and there is something about his play and personality that I love. After resuming the marathon match and finally clinching the fifth set 14-12 he now plays Djokovic today.
I have looked at Tsonga’s chart and he has a lovely progression (how the planets have moved on and how they are relating to each other now) that is exact for this week, which is an aspect between Venus and Jupiter. These are both the benefics, and Jupiter – luck – is posited in his first house of the physical body. It’s the year of his Saturn Return – a major cycle that often spells success for Saturn types and, with an Aquarius Ascendant, Saturn is his chart ruler – so if he is ever going to do well at Wimbledon surely it must be this year. I don’t know anything about his private life but these progressions and transits indicate happiness so maybe is getting married/becoming a dad – I will have to trawl the news.
Common sense tells me that he is unlikely to beat Djokovic, one of his biggest rivals. They have met 18 times with Djokovic leading 13–5. But I still think the astrology sings a different tune. In Djokovic’s chart we find Mercury turning direct opposite his natal Uranus, and transiting Uranus is exactly square (stressful aspect) his Ascendant, the angle of the physical body. With Mercury/Gemini ruling shoulders/arms/hands I can’t help but wonder if that injury scare might resurface, giving Tsonga the advantage. Sally says the same in her article, that Djokovic’s biggest opponent is more possible injury than the match itself! At the end of the day I just want Tsonga to win and I’ll be watching later ….


24 February 2014 – This week’s Astrology

I’m writing this blog on Sunday evening, within a couple of hours of the Sun – Neptune conjunction in Pisces becoming exact. It’s the first piece to be written at my desk in the new house. To the right I have a window overlooking the olive trees, to the left a view of the sea, the mountains of the mainland in the distance swathed in mist and low cloud as the evening light fades. The exhaustion of moving has been so worth it.

The fun and games with retrograde Mercury have of course kept us busy. Never in my life have I tried to troubleshoot in advance as much as I have on this occasion. Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, sign of technology, sounded all my alarm bells about potential internet problems so I spent a lot of time asking questions and pestering poor Sue and Mike – who moved in two weeks ahead of me – about the engineer’s visits etc. I was assured all was well. Of course it wasn’t. I had no internet at all for the first two days, that was then sorted (although the phone upstairs still doesn’t work) but within a couple of hours of the engineer leaving we discovered that our three computers were in conflict and we couldn’t all be on line at the same time.

Then followed the perfect showing of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius – sign of the collective – as we carefully negotiated with each other about who needed to be on line most and at what time! For me this was the first lesson in communal life and happily we all managed it without stress. This is good news as it was the “initial transaction” – the first test being the cameo of what is to come. We’ve also had the challenge of bringing together two families of animals – now 8 cats and 2 dogs in total – and working out feeding routines and who sleeps where. So far, so good…

Mercury will turn direct on Friday (at 14.01 GMT), just part of the picture of a week that is packed with major astrological events. Firstly we have the third and final sextile (harmonious) between Venus and Saturn, exact Tuesday morning at 04.51 GMT. The first was 23 November and the second was 11 January. As Venus is in Capricorn (and on the last leg of her long journey through this sign) this final aspect to Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, feels portentous. In essence Venus is love, money and pleasure – Saturn is organization, work structure and limitations. However and wherever you see these two issues working together, especially in a way that has been unfolding since the end of last year, such scenarios will now be reaching their finale.

For me it is finally being able to relax and enjoy the new home, everything now unpacked and in its place after all the upheaval and massive de-junking. For another it has been debt consolidation, a good outcome but not without conflict, and for another it has been the end of a romantic hope. Saturn is not easy at the best of times but he urges us to stay real, practical and effortful. He is the original “chin up”. I love these old sayings – they don’t come from nowhere. Note the next time you feel defeated and watch your body language. Your whole body slumps and your chin dips down to the floor, pulling all your energy down with it. When you consciously lift your chin up you pull your energy up.

The second big event is the Jupiter – Uranus square, exact at 07.34 GMT on Wednesday morning. This major aspect first formed on 21 August last year and will repeat for the third and final time on 20 April. (Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries) As this middle contact forms as Mercury is poised to turn direct – in Aquarius which is Uranus’ own sign – the usual theme of the unexpected or dramatic may well be more obvious. Look out for “breaking news” that sets everyone talking. If you have planets or angles at or close to 10 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) then the drama may be yours! Also remember that Jupiter is the Greater Benefic – he is good for us – so the bigger picture message is to dare to be different, to embrace change or to look at where you may need to take more risk in your life.

This is underlined on Saturday which brings the New Moon in Pisces (08.01 GMT), just four hours after the Sun trines (harmonious aspect) Jupiter. Again there’s a kind of double whammy theme going on here as Pisces is ruled by Jupiter. Whatever has been on hold now gets a real shot in the arm. Plans and decisions related to travel, education, legal concerns, creating more space or liberating yourself from anything that is no longer working for you all get a huge tick. As part of the breaking news theme listen out for big celebrations.

The rest of the weekend is not without its hiccups as both Mars and Saturn switch to retrograde motion – Mars will be backtracking through Libra until mid May and Saturn will be backtracking through Scorpio until mid July. If you’ve got a long running battle on your hands then prepare for the next round. If you have business or relationship problems then start to think about different tactics, including going back to the things that worked in the past or how you will handle things differently with the benefit of hindsight and experience.

The final event of the week is Venus square Mars on Sunday (exact at 20.05 GMT) – made all the more significant by the fact that Mars is “stationary” (stuck at 27 degrees of Libra for the next two weeks as he turns around) and that this is Venus’ last aspect before she finally changes sign. Venus has been meandering through Capricorn since early November but is now picking up speed and will enter Aquarius in the middle of next week. Venus and Mars are the love planets so again relationship issues take centre stage, especially in terms of ending old cycles and embarking upon the new. Be honest with yourself as well as with your significant other.

In essence this is a hugely transitional week and many will be facing crossroads, making decisions and establishing new arrangements that will take a couple of weeks to settle. I’ll leave you with the checklist for Mercury turning direct:

·         Important information comes to light

·         Rumours are squashed when the truth outs

·         You find the right person to deal with the problem

·         People get back to you or make decisions

·         Computer glitches are solved/disputes are settled

·         Lost objects are found

… which hopefully will include the power cable for my printer which mysteriously disappeared in the hour that it took to move my computer/printer from the old apartment. These were the last things to be moved, I deliberately left them to the very last minute so that nothing could go missing … thank you Mercury, very funny!




9 November 2013 – Astrology for next two weeks


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:

5 & 19 May Working with Tarot

2 June Discovering Astrology and 22 September Good Timing – Predictive Techniques in Astrology

8 September Astrology & Tarot 


PLEASE NOTE – I am away for two weeks now. I will deal with all course enquiries on my return – with thanks.


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


What’s happening this week?

The Astrology blog – 10 to 24 November 2013

Hurray, Mercury is stationing, getting ready to turn direct tomorrow evening 21.13 GMT. Remember that what is called the shadow period finishes on 27 November, so there may be some lumps and bumps to smooth out over the next couple of weeks, but the worst is over. This may relate to knowing at least to what you are dealing with in terms of a particular issue, and the next fortnight will be the “fix it” time.

Here’s a checklist for Mercury turning direct:

·         Important information comes to light

·         Rumours are squashed when the truth outs

·         You find the right person to deal with the problem

·         People make decisions

·         Computer glitches are solved/disputes are settled

·         Lost objects are found

… and so on, you get the picture.

Mercury turns direct at 2 degrees of Scorpio and therefore trine (harmonious) to Neptune at 2 degrees of his own sign of Pisces. This aspect first happened on 1 October and repeats twice, today and almost immediately again on Monday. This is doubly important as Neptune himself is poised to turn direct on Wednesday, having been retrograde since the beginning of June. (Note that the outer planets spend months when in their retrograde periods, unlike the personal planets who are retrograde for a matter of weeks.)

This feels incredibly healing.

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