The Astrology Blog 21 March 2022
All times in GMT
“We can’t get back the time that’s gone, that’s a fact, but we live for the future, not the past. ”
Richard Ratcliffe (birth data unknown)
“Bitterness is how we punish ourselves for other people’s sins.”
Matshona Dhliwayo (birth data unknown)
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Let’s start with the best news of the year, the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori. Hands up who didn’t cry. Nazanin was arrested in Iran 3 April 2016 on charges of planning to topple the Iranian government, Anoosheh was arrested the following year on spying charges. Both are British-Iranian dual nationality. Both have consistently and vigorously denied the allegations. Both have been pawns in the political horror story of the UK’s failure to settle an arms debt of millions that goes back to 1979.
So we all know that the decision to release these two prisoners is linked to the payment of this debt but the Iranian government has denied this and says they were released on humanitarian grounds. Bull …. shit. But God forbid that they should come out of this looking mercenary. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called them “parallel issues” which has got to go down in time as one of the top most carefully crafted and avoidant phrases so beloved by politicians.
She’s a centre stage capable Leo (26 July 1975) but with Mercury (communication) conjunct Saturn (guarded) in Cancer (sign of the Crab, moves sideways). She’ll go far.
This also made me think about China’s refusal to call Russian troops entering Ukraine an “invasion”. New laws in Russia also ban the media from using the words “invasion” or “assault” to describe the conflict in Ukraine. Not sure what other word you can use to describe tanks rolling down Kiev high street past MacDonalds. It’s extraordinary that governments can trot out these lies whilst, surely, knowing that most of the world are not going to be taken in for a second. But this is what’s called “playing the game”.
No time of birth for Nazanin but here’s her data for a Noon chart –
December 26 1978, 12:00 PM
51.26E ; 35.40N / 4E00, 08:00 AM UT
On Tuesday 15 March it was suddenly announced that Nazanin had been given back her passport. It was later reported that she was astonished so obviously nobody had been preparing her for what was to unfold incredibly quickly. She was released the next day but the cruelty of her detention carried on until the last minute, not being allowed to say goodbye to her parents and having to call them from the airport, and then having to suffer all kinds of delays and confusion whilst waiting for her flight, which must have been agonising. She was due back in the UK Wed evening but in fact she didn’t land until the early hours of Thursday. She somehow, in the middle of all her own anguish, haste and excitement, managed to dress and accessorize in blue and yellow, knowing that the world’s eyes would be on her. Respect.
For the relevant astrology the first planet to look at has simply got to be Jupiter who rules liberation, human rights and long distance travel/all matters relating to overseas. Venus and Mars transits showed and worked to the day. Venus (joy) transited opposite her natal Jupiter (7 Leo) on the day she was given back her passport, Mars (action) transited opposite her Jupiter as she got on the plane and started the journey home.
Of course the big astrological question is did her horoscope indicate her date of release? The answer to that is not specifically, if it had been obvious I would’ve commented on it when I last included Nazanin in the blog for her birthday week at the end of last year.
The closest feature is transiting Jupiter (currently in Pisces) at 17 Pisces on the day she left Iran, opposite her natal Saturn at 14 Virgo, certainly appropriate symbolism for liberation. The transit was exact two weeks before her release, on 1 March. I note also that Venus came “out of shadow” 2 March.
But given that this is a transit that happens only once every 12 years then a 2 week window is what you’d call pretty much exact. I also now see how important the Jupiter cycle is for her as she was arrested when Jupiter was transiting conjunct her Saturn in Virgo – ie 6 years ago and Jupiter has a 12 year cycle – and freed with Jupiter opposite her Saturn.
Also I’m absolutely sure that if we had a time of birth for her, and would therefore be able to locate the sensitive Angles of the chart, that we would also see relevant transits either to the Ascendant – Descendant axis or the Midheaven/IC axis, possibly with an even tighter window of a time frame.
The other bits of astrology that are worth mentioning though –
WHEN VENUS WAS RETROGRADE – Looking back, Venus (women, money) was retrograde (happens approx once every 19 months) in Capricorn from 19 December to 29 January, turning direct at 11 Capricorn, conjunct Nazanin’s Mars 10 Capricorn. I would imagine that the negotiations that had to happen were going on secretly at this time. Retrogrades can often indicate matters behind closed doors, going “back” to old issues and the results showing at a later date, in this case six weeks later.
A MUTUAL RECEPTION – this is the term for when two planets occupy each other’s signs. I’ve only just realized that we currently have a Venus – Uranus reception as Venus travels through Aquarius (Uranus’s sign) and Uranus travels through Taurus (Venus’ feminine sign, her masculine and generally better known sign being Libra). The symbolism of this indicates a “swapping over”. This totally confirms that the release of the detainees was in exchange for something else.
THE JUPITER – NEPTUNE CONJUNCTION – once every 13 years, is now “applying”, ie in the making. I talked about the humanitarian implications of this huge conjunction last week in the light of Raif Badawi’s release, and think it bodes well for getting him on a plane to Canada. These two planets are now only 4 degrees apart and the exact conjunction will happen at 24 degrees of Pisces, which incidentally is in turn exactly conjunct Anoosheh Ashoori’s Mercury (born 9 April 1954).
See Kieron Devlin’s feature/talk here for more, it’s packed with info –
Interesting the title – The Window of Bliss. In conversations with her MP since being reunited with her family Nazanin used the word “blissful” repeatedly.
RICHARD RATCLIFFE – no known birth data
No question that Nazanin’s husband has been a total hero throughout this ordeal. What he’s been through is staggering, having waved off his wife and daughter at the airport 6 years ago to visit Nazanin’s family little did he know that they were both being taken from him. Gabriella wasn’t returned to her father until October 2019, after more than three years in Iran. Since then of course his relentless campaigning and two hunger strikes outside the Iranian Embassy and then the Foreign Office are legendary.
What jumps out now is his lack of bitterness, captured in his words quoted at the top of the blog. He went on to say, very calmly – I don’t think it will just be today, there will be a whole process, and hopefully we’ll look back in years to come and just be a normal family and this will be a chapter in our lives, but there are many more chapters to come. Homecoming’s a journey, not an arrival.
Wow, he’s very aware. He’s obviously had 6 years of learning how to stay focused on what he wanted the outcome to be. He’s still able to take the longer view and he’s not going to waste any more time. It’s interesting that his parents are kind of carrying the anger for him. In an interview with them that appeared over the weekend the interviewer said –
You’ve had your arguments with the British government … but they’ve sorted it out now. Can you forgive them?
His father answers immediately and emphatically, practically before the question was finished – No, absolutely not. His mother’s comment was clearly in agreement, It could all have been sorted out a lot earlier.
And who can blame them for feeling this way? They’re over the moon that their daughter in law has been restored to them but it’s way too much to expect them to be nice about it. And who’s to say that is right or wrong?
I also thought that this was important psychologically as, in terms of anger and resentment, that role is taken. It’s a common dynamic in a family or in a company or any kind of group where somebody is the angry one, someone’s the helpful one, someone’s the clever one – and so on. Has its helpful sides, but can also mean that not everyone is fully rounded and able to own the good and bad bits in their own psyche.
And maybe this isn’t good practice therapeutically or spiritually, but I’ve often pondered this insistence on forgiveness. We’re not saints, we’re human beings. So I’m not talking about trivial things here, such as bearing grudges over the little things that are best let go, but about the bigger concerns and varying shapes of abuse.
For some people the feeling guilty about not being able to forgive becomes yet another issue – Oh good something else I can punish myself for then – and I’ve often noticed that if forgiveness is going to happen at all then, for many, it’s only when a great deal of time has passed.
Famous psychologist Alice Miller challenged this issue – https://www.astrotheme.com/astrology/Alice_Miller_(psychologist)
In her book The Demolition of Silence, she also criticised psychotherapists’ advice to clients to forgive their abusive parents, arguing that this could only hinder recovery through remembering and feeling childhood pain. .. She believed that forgiveness did not resolve hatred, but covered it in a dangerous way in the grown adult: displacement on scapegoats, as she discussed in her psycho-biographies of Adolf Hitler and Jürgen Bartsch, both of whom she described as having suffered severe parental abuse. (Wikipedia)
Putin? That’s another research project but displaced hatred certainly fits. Running out of space as usual but there was a brilliant feature in the BBC last week by John Simpson that basically said that it was becoming obvious that the war was not going the way that Putin had envisaged, that he was making himself look ridiculous in the eyes of other leaders and that solutions would have to be crafted in such a way that Putin would save face. So thousands of deaths and all the carnage come down to one twisted ego. This is also called “playing the game”. FFS.
But back to us, certainly when we forgive we’re the winner, we feel better about ourselves as well as about the perpetrator. Also there’s nothing uglier than bitterness, and nothing worse for your health. There’s a whole line of thought that explores how holding onto pain can internalize and come out in the body (somatise). And back to Richard Ratcliffe, to arrive at forgiveness so immediately is wonderful for him, and for his wife and daughter. It doesn’t even appear to be an issue for him. He just wanted his wife back, and he’s succeeded. May their bliss continue and thrive.
I can’t even find a birthday for Richard but, if you want to know more about someone, then this will also show in the horoscopes of those closest to them (astrological snooping lol).
In my view he clearly shows in his wife’s chart as the Jupiter in Leo – the foreign (Jupiter) partner, taking up centre stage and living in the glare of publicity (Leo) in his role as campaigner and protector (Jupiter).
I would speculate a Virgo Ascendant for Nazanin, especially as in all her photos she’s always beautifully put together, a coordinated image being a hallmark of Virgo rising. I’ve already commented on her blue and yellow. But from a craft point of view –
- Virgo rising would make Mercury her chart ruler (the particular significator for her)
- This would put the sign of Pisces on her Descendant (beginning of the 7th House of marriage), which in turn denotes Jupiter as the particular significator for her partner
- Nazanin has Mercury at 12 degrees of Sagittarius
- Her Jupiter is at 7 degrees of Leo, another fire sign
- This means that the significators for the self and the partner would be in trine – harmonious aspect created when two planets share the same element, ie four signs apart
- To have the rulers of the 1st (self) and the 7th (partner) in good aspect to each other is a textbook indication of a strong marriage
- If she had around 17 degrees of Virgo rising then that would put transiting Jupiter on her Descendant – textbook for a partner entering – or reentering in this case – your life AND liberation from an “open enemy”
However, as noted last week, the art of rectification is extremely complex and needs a lot of timing and testing, so this is just a hunch. It appears to work but regardless of the rising sign she still has Mercury and Jupiter in this relationship to each other.
Also from last week you may remember the natal indications for imprisonment and the subsequent loss/separation from his family and children in Raif Badawi’s chart were shown by his Moon in trouble, opposite Saturn. Nazanin also has a troubled Moon, in Scorpio, the Moon’s sign of “fall”.
Again we can’t pinpoint the exact degree without a time of birth but her Moon will be conjunct an exact Venus – Uranus conjunction in Scorpio. This is one of Venus’s signs of detriment, so both of her feminine planets are “afflicted” by sign and by Uranus. They’re also conjunct at 19 degrees of Scorpio, the position of a Fixed Star called Serpentis, known over the centuries as “the accursed degree of the accursed sign”. Nazanin has carried the full weight of a regime that allows women no power.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
Here’s your at a glance list of the aspects being formed this week –
Tuesday 22 March
- Mars 12 Aquarius square Uranus 12 Taurus 20.45
Wednesday 23 March
- Mercury conjunct Neptune 23 Pisces 17.45
Saturday 26 March
- Mercury 28 Pisces sextile Pluto 28 Capricorn 10.34
Sunday 27 March
- Venus 20 Aquarius semi-sextile Jupiter 20 Pisces 07.35
- Mercury ingress Aries 07.46
Firstly you may remember from last week’s blog that Venus and Mars are still travelling side by side in Aquarius (hence both planets opposing Nazanin’s Jupiter within a day of each other) and that Venus squaring up to Uranus was exact on Saturday morning.
I said to expect plans to go haywire which was certainly the case here as, amongst other things, our amateur dramatics group (Uranus rules groups) had to cancel rehearsals for their big event this coming weekend as a member of the group suddenly (Uranus) tested positive for Covid. Uranus on the loose nearly always adds up to the thing you didn’t bank on or factor in.
Uranus is also rebellion and Marina Ovsyannikova hit the headlines in Russia as the woman (Venus) holding up a placard behind a news reader urging the audience not to believe the propaganda they were being told. It was an extraordinarily brave – or mad depending on your point of view – thing to do. The consequences were a 14 hour interrogation and a fine, could have been a lot worse. She ended up resigning but turned down an offer of asylum in France, saying she wanted to stay in her own country to raise her family.
Unlike another public female figure, Olga Smirnova, a leading Bolshoi prima ballerina, who denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and left the country to join Dutch National Ballet. She said: “In a modern and enlightened world, I expect civilized societies to resolve political matters only through peaceful negotiations.”
So this week it’s Mars’ turn to make the square to Uranus so again plans are on shaky ground. For some there’ll be a link between the two squares, especially if you have planets or Angles at or very close to 12 Aquarius or the opposite sign of Leo. And we may see key male faces in the news (women being Venus, men being Mars) in relation to Ukraine. But more importantly Mars is the god of war so this is going to be a really tough start to the week for those caught up in the conflict.
MERCURY CLOSING A CYCLE
Mercury is on his home stretch through Pisces, travelling at full speed and picking up aspects to Neptune and Pluto along the way. This is also a sensitive picture as Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and the last degree of this sign is another Fixed Star called Scheat that is associated with suffering. Mercury will travel through this degree over the weekend before arriving at 0 degrees of Aries, first sign of the zodiac, on Sunday morning.
Factors that add to a highly sensitized picture are that this is Mercury’s sign of detriment and fall (most difficult sign for this planet) and that 29 and 0 of any sign are known as the critical degrees, ie endings and beginnings.
So if you’re going through any kind of transition this is a big week. We had the Spring Equinox yesterday (so the Sun has also just cleared Scheat), the theme of starting from scratch is already making itself felt and there’s a sense of Mercury underlining that this week. Get back to the drawing board with projects or problems or anything that’s important for you and pay close attention to ideas or information that unfold from next Sunday, ie once Mercury starts the brand new journey.
That message is in turn underlined by the fact that Mercury’s ingress into Aries coincides almost exactly with the semi-sextile between Venus and Jupiter. This is a minor aspect but it’s between the two Benefics and therefore is likely to be beneficial, in the shape of anything belonging to the symbolism of these two planets – such as essentially Venus love, money, pleasures, girlfriends and Jupiter opportunity, travel, generosity and silver linings. That’s by no means a definitive list but you get the picture and any combination, even in small doses, is a blessing,
Until next week, with love from Greece