The Astrology of Breaking Down

Today’s article is a story. Not a made-up story, it’s a real-life story, a part of my own story, and it demonstrates, I believe, just how astonishingly powerful astrology is when you are open to its most fundamental principles, when you are fluent (and that’s a potent word in this context) in its language, and how it is a diagnostic and therapeutic tool second to none if you are experiencing life problems.

There is a phenomenon in astrology which I call the cascade effect. I shall quote myself, because I want you to understand the cascade effect, if you don’t appreciate it truly, then you will struggle to harness the power of your nativity: instead, it will remain abstract, disconnected from your reality. So:

Any physical symptom is simply an expression of the astrology at the level of last resort. That psychic impetus that you have not manifested at some level higher-up in the totality of your awareness has – left with no viable alternative – found its way out into the body, and that is the cause of your symptom.”

Meditation or prayer is a powerful tool for healing when combined with astrological self-awareness

So, if you are sick, then there is a problem in your nativity that has been triggered. Of course, for the sake of clarity, this does not mean that if you have caught a cold there is a problem in your nativity; but if you are unusually sick, relative to the statistical norm for people of your age and background, and even, in fact, relative to your own experience. What this means is that if you become ill, and your symptoms are severe, chronic or unusually distressing, then the reason for that problem will be found in your nativity.

That problem will have manifested at different levels too, although, if it has reached the ‘low-point’ of the physical body, then the chances are that you haven’t noticed it manifesting in any of the higher levels, but have no doubt, it will have been there! I have a theory that these problems want to be noticed, simply because the natural impetus of the human soul is toward improvement and purification. Let me use an analogy.

You go and buy a TV, and because you’re short of cash, you buy it on credit. The next day you lose your job, and because you are always a bit short of cash you didn’t get any unemployment insurance, so you miss the first payment on your new TV. A month goes by and you receive a reminder in the post. You ignore it, thinking you’ll soon be back in work and you’ll sort it out then. Another reminder arrives and you ignore that, and the next, and you’re beginning to get a little panicky about it now. The phone rings and you’re screening the calls and it’s the credit company, so you start avoiding the telephone (we’ve all been there right?) A couple of weeks later, you get a really threatening letter telling you you’re going to be taken to court if you don’t get in touch and sort this out.

Now, you can carry on with this story, right up to the point where the bailiffs are kicking in the door and clearing out all your worldly goods, you get evicted and end up living in a homeless shelter; but since I already said this would be a true-story and not make-believe, I’ll leave all that to you.

The point is that your astrology works in exactly this way, except it doesn’t use uneasy feelings, reminder letters, phone calls and bailiffs; rather it uses synchronicity, feelings of discomfort, interpersonal conflict and physical sickness as a direct correlation.

What this means is that the Universe (which from a philosophical perspective is really your nativity) starts making things happen in external reality as a way of trying to tell you that you need to take note of this problem and start dealing with it. We call this synchronicity for easy reference. Astrology is a universal language; Mercury is concerned with an array of factors, from communication at the interpersonal level to nerves and lungs (and so on) at the physical level. Similarly, Mars rules assertion and competition at the interpersonal level and the muscles, the head (and so on) in the physical body. Therefore, if you suffer from neuralgia or frequent toothaches then the chances are that there is some difficult connection between Mercury and Mars in your nativity. This might not be immediately obvious, but here is a list of some possible interconnections:

  1. Mercury in aspect (especially hard aspect) to Mars.
  2. Mercury in Aries or Mars in Gemini.
  3. Mercury in the 1st or Mars in the 3rd.
  4. Having a stressor aspecting the midpoint of Mercury and Mars (e.g. Sa=Me/Ma).
  5. Having both planets in weak positions, thus Mercury in Sagittarius and Mars in Libra, (or even Mercury in the 9th and Mars in the 7th).
  6. Having another planet act as an intermediary: for example having Jupiter in Aries (thus ruled by Mars) in tricky aspect to Mercury. Or vice-versa, having Saturn in Gemini in tricky aspect to Mars.

Now the crucial point here is that this problem will be trying to get itself noticed throughout your life, but like the reminder letters from the credit company, you’ve been ignoring them. What happens next is that you get a (cosmic) phone call, and maybe you start experiencing heightened conflicts in your interpersonal relationships; you’re always arguing with some people (and just what is their problem anyway!) but still you take no notice, you stop answering the phone and eventually, the bailiffs start kicking the door down. AKA: you get sick.

There are  a number of other stages of course: you might get divorced, your car might break down repeatedly (that’s a Mercury problem too), but whatever, ultimately, if you don’t take notice at one of these other levels, eventually you leave the Universe no other option than to give you a really big and obvious hint and make you sick.

Of course, you can go on with this (as with the original story) and ignore the bailiffs too, but now you’re playing a high-stakes game. Your quality of life might be affected or you might be hospitalised: you could even die; and lots of people do, believe it or not, rather than fix the original problem which is sitting there (often plain as day) in their nativity.

So you see, by following the TV bought on credit example, you can begin to understand how your astrology actually works. It would be nice of course if we were able to work out what was wrong even before we got the first reminder letter, and actually, with practise you can. You can cultivate a habit of taking notice of synchronicity, those coincidences that seem too uncanny to truly be mere coincidences and try to interpret what the underlying message is all about, but of course you need to be aware of the universal and symbolic language of astrology before you can understand the message. If you don’t speak the language, you won’t be able to understand the message (you can of course use a good interpreter).

The human body is an energy matrix that is mapped by your astrology

Now, one more note before we move on; the reminders, like the problem that is attempting to get noticed are not random. They are always triggered by transits, directions, and especially – in my experience – Secondary Progressions. What this means is that you can usually find the cause of the sickness if you take a look at the Secondary Progressed nativity at the time the problem was first noticed. It is not always there (but that would be unusual, especially if the problem is serious), but if it is not, then it will certainly be obvious in the transit chart, the progressed Solar Return chart or somewhere else. You will find it if you know how to look for it.

Now, I could provide theoretical examples, but it would be more powerful, and easier, to give a real-life story to illustrate this issue. This article will probably be especially interesting to anyone with difficult aspects between Mercury and Saturn.

In my own nativity, Mercury is peregrine (not classically peregrine, but Ptolemaically unaspected). That means it receives no major aspects. There are only three minor aspects, a quintile (72°) to Jupiter, a semisquare (45°) to Pluto and a quincunx (150°) to Saturn. I have never had the slightest problem accessing the Pluto semisquare, Mercury is in Scorpio and in mutual reception with Pluto in Virgo, and I understand the quintile to Jupiter (I have a fortunate knack for learning: if I want to understand something I will), but I’ve never been especially aware of the aspect to Saturn.

There are two factors to consider here: the aspect, and the quality of the blend. A quincunx is an aspect which fundamentally connotes dissatisfaction: when you try to combine these two energies, you’re never entirely satisfied with the result; it therefore creates a push for perfectionism. Mercury – Saturn on the other hand has plenty of meanings, but fundamentally, it suggests that when you are involved in a communication or exchange of ideas (thus anything from a chit-chat to a formal learning process) there is a feeling of inadequacy, blockage, slowness or frustration. I’d never been consciously aware of any such problem in my life, any dissatisfaction with my communication or ability to learn and as a result I’d never taken too much notice of the aspect before but then, two months ago I began to develop a problem with my shoulder.

As an astrologer, I determined that I really ought to be taking notice of this, because obviously, I’d been ignoring a problem all the way down the line, so I needed to find clues. I thought about it for a few days and went to see the doctor. The shoulder had become so bad by this point that I was practically paralysed, I could hardly move and my every waking moment involved severe pain. The doctor told me that I had a nerve trapped between two vertebrae in my spine and prescribed me powerful painkillers and a muscle relaxant which helped but did not ‘fix’ the problem. I was therefore tasked with translating the problem into the universal language of astrology in order that I find a solution. So, I had: a nerve (Mercury) that was trapped, compressed between two bones (Saturn), which resulted in muscular pain (Mars) for which the doctor (Hygeia) prescribed drugs (Neptune).

So, the trapped nerve immediately made me take notice of Mercury quincunx Saturn. But other events started to make themselves felt.

During the recent Mercury retrograde my car overheated (Mars) and all the water exploded out from a burst pipe in the engine (Neptune and specifically: Mars-Neptune, the explosion of liquids). The next day the temperature dropped and there was heavy snowfall so the water in the engine froze (Saturn), I hadn’t had a chance to put antifreeze in. This resulted in repeated problems with the car; it kept breaking down (Mercury-Saturn). I’ve actually become quite good friends with my mechanic as a result, because he’s had to fix the car (Hygeia) so many times!

So, all the clues are here: we have a Mercury Saturn problem, with elements of Mars, Jupiter, Neptune and Hygeia thrown in for good measure. Now here is my nativity:

As you will see, all of the aforementioned planets are involved in a complicated matrix of hard aspects in my nativity. I was born with this problem. Evidently, I’d managed to ignore the reminder letters, and the phone calls, and now the bailiffs were knocking on my door.

So, what’s the story here? I included the Sun in this picture because it’s relevant.

When I was three months old my father left and I never saw him again (Sun opp. Saturn Rx). My mother remarried when I was 4 and I had never been especially interested in my biological father but through a long course of synchronicities I had finally got to the point where I’d decided to contact him, which I did: just before Christmas. So, for the first time in my life since the age of 3 months, I communicated (Mercury) with my father (Saturn). Shall we call that another coincidence?

So what then is the fundamental problem? As I said before, Mercury – Saturn aspects are all about feeling intellectually inadequate. That would probably seem quite laughable to anyone who knows me well, and indeed, if anyone had told me a year ago that I had a lack of confidence in my intellect I’d probably have found it quite laughable myself, but the more I examined the issue, the more it made sense.

The chakras are the primary energy centres of the human body

My stepfather, whom I love dearly, has always told me how incredibly bright I am, as has my mother. In my stepfather’s case that was all very well, but he is a Cambridge University professor and one of the most supremely intelligent, wise and self-possessed human beings alive on this earth today (which really is no exaggeration). That’s a real legacy to live up to. Upon serious reflection then, I now realise that this first became a problem for me at the age of 14 (when I had my first Saturn opposition, thus triggering the Sun opposition to radix Saturn and the quincunx to Mercury). I fell behind at school after being the highest achieving pupil in my year: and this at one of the best schools in the country. I essentially flunked my exams. Still, my parents persuaded me to go back and take A’ levels, but I lasted almost until the point of taking the exams and I dropped out again. Even still, I went back to school many years later and took A’ levels, this time at 29! The Saturn return: and I got into University as a mature student. I started taking History with Archaeology (how Saturnian is that?) but then decided that it wasn’t for me and switched courses: supremely late, to Computing with Psychology. I got two years through my course and became so discontented that I basically flunked out again.

I am quite sure you are seeing a pattern here.

Sun-Saturn connotes somebody who is not so much motivated by a desire for success as they are paralysed by a fear of failure. They can do quite well in life, but crucially, their efforts are fuelled primarily by not wanting to fail.

Now, the Mercury – Saturn connection provokes a test as does any Saturn connection, there is a looming qualm, an innate inadequacy which the native struggles to overcome, usually through persistent hard work. When connected with Mercury, that test relates to intelligence, one’s ability to learn and communicate knowledge, and it relates very precisely to academic matters, so Saturn here says: are you academically able? The aspect is quincunx, so there is a seeking after perfection, things have to be just right or the aspect nags, like grit in your shoe, demanding that you get it right. But then Sun-Saturn is paralysed by a fear of failure and the primary role-model for success in a man’s life are these exact male archetypes, Sun and Saturn, the living embodiment of which is found in the father or father figure.

So, when your primary father figure is one of the most well-qualified human beings on the planet (and he really is: you could count on one hand the number of people alive today with his credentials in his field, he has taught at Harvard, UCLA and held a professorship at Cambridge) then really, to say that’s a tough act to follow, is an astounding understatement. My younger brother summed it up rather astutely when I saw him a couple of weeks ago when he asked: “what actually is the point in trying to distinguish yourself academically in our family?”


It has dawned on me since that the reason I had always dropped out of education before I really got finished was because then I didn’t have to fail (Sun-Saturn) which meant that I wouldn’t therefore have to feel stupid (Mercury-Saturn). What else was there? Any child only wants to individuate and exceed their parents’ expectation, so what was I going to do, become a double professor?

And that’s when I realised that I had an intellectual inferiority complex. It’s not remotely my stepfather’s fault of course, he is as humble, gentle and kind as the day is long, he would never crow about his achievements – indeed, the only reason I even know that he is a professor, or where he taught is because I’ve read his biography in the numerous books he has had published. It hit me with a kind of kaleidoscopic rush. I can now sense the inner tension that builds as soon as I feel pressured to learn something, and it resonates dissonantly, at the same time, with an inner pressure to achieve that learning goal; to prove myself.

And do you know what happened as soon as I realised this?

The pain began to subside. Well, I have a lot of work to do and it will probably take many weeks to fix myself for good, but I feel as though I am on the mend.

Understanding this, let us revisit the story of my car:

During the recent Mercury retrograde my car went through numerous cycles of overheating and freezing (Mars – Saturn: Saturn is in Aries thus ruled by Mars), Mercury was retrograde (breakdowns) and in Capricorn (thus ruled by Saturn). The Sun – Saturn opposition points to a congenital weakness, my mechanic tells me that I bought the car with this problem (on Ebay), and of course, the mechanic himself is represented by Hygeia which is the apex point of a tee square from the Sun – Saturn opposition.

It was when I looked at my Secondary Progressed chart that I decided to just buy a new car, I had already thrown away a small fortune on trying to get the old one fixed.

There are a number of remarkable features here. Before I explain though let me tell you a little about progressed Mercury. I was born with Mercury at 7 Scorpio, unaspected. Mercury continued to progress direct through Scorpio until 1984 – the year I first took my high school exams – when it turned retrograde. It moved back through Scorpio until it had returned to its birth position, when I decided to go back to school and get the exams I needed to go to University. When Mercury was in perfect quincunx to SP Saturn I actually made the decision that I would give up work and go back to school (although it took a while to realise that plan fully). When I experienced my Saturn Return I started University. Mercury continued to retrograde until it reached 1 Scorpio, in 2004. When Mercury came within a degree of the natal quincunx to Saturn (for the 3rd time now) I started to experience pain in my shoulder and the car started to break down.

Quite apart from the rather remarkable fact that SP Mercury has been in Scorpio my entire adult life: and will be until I am well into my 60s, what you will see is that just now, there is a Mars – Hygeia conjunction at the exact midpoint (all midpoints express the two aspecting points) of the Mercury – Saturn quincunx. Hygeia is indeed in exact squile (half-way between the sextile and the square) aspect (75°) to both Mercury and Saturn (don’t laugh, it’s an important and neglected aspect, especially for progressions – as is the squine: 105°). So, the mechanic, the doctor, my health are receiving the tension of needing to fix my intellectual insecurity complex. Mars (overheating, muscles) is manifesting in both the car and my own physical body.

Esoterically I have been reading an interesting book about chakra healing. I meditate most days so I am fairly comfortable with the idea of moving energy around my body, and it’s no coincidence that I’ve always experienced a sluggishness around the meridians in my right shoulder that run up into my neck. I’ve also suffered with a long-standing gallbladder problem (Pluto is on the degree for the gallbladder) and the gallbladder meridian runs up over the right shoulder blade, up the right-side of the neck and on upward through the throat chakra.

Mercury-Saturn of course certainly highlights the throat chakra as an area of potential concern and difficulty (Mercury: communication / Saturn: block). I have had to learn to moderate my communication over the last couple of years, the fallout from my divorce have made that necessary, and in the last few days I am beginning to find the requisite peacefulness of heart to speak my truth without recrimination. The heart chakra, precedes the throat chakra as energy travels up the spine, so the neck problem can only be cured with love and understanding.

What I have learned is this:

I do not need to prove myself to anyone. I am what I am and I live my life with integrity. I try to help people, for no other reason than that it brings peace to my heart to feel their pain easing. Those people who cannot hear me, I forgive, but until they too are able to set aside recrimination and blame I must remove them from my life, in order that I properly protect my sensitive emotional body and the wellbeing of my loved ones. I am learning to say only words which reflect my needs, but without bitterness or anger, balanced with the needs of those around me.

Over the coming days and weeks I will be writing to all those people that I have blamed so that I can express my regret and forgiveness.

That is the path to healing.

Pluto tee-square: Secrets Revealed

Another of the intriguing possibilities of the upcoming tee-square is that of “secrets revealed.” This is already under way, and within the next few months I believe that conspiracy theorists (itself a pejorative label designed to discredit an idea before it has a chance to be examined without prejudice) will have, not so much a field day as a field year in 2010.

America is especially vulnerable, and I have reasons for saying this that are entirely astrological. I will write that up too if I get the chance.

It is already quite self-evident to anyone who examines the evidence on its own merits that the 9/11 attacks cannot have been orchestrated without – at best- considerable assistance from government. This story will probably gain wider acceptance over the coming days and weeks, with the Tower Seven controversy gradually being unravelled, and of course the Pentagon farce (watch the short film clip above) is pretty much an open and shut case for anyone who wants to investigate the matter even half-heartedly.I would say this too: if you’re struggling to believe that the American government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks then investigate the theories yourself. I did, and I was amazed at what I learned.

You put all this together and what you have is clearly a conspiracy, and no less real than the theory of gravity. The American government itself perpetrated the attacks on 9/11 as a justification for the War on Terror which itself is simply an expedience for removing civil liberties in anticipation of the soon to be revealed financial collapse when the banks suspend specie payments (as they did in 1929). This is reflected in my own understanding of the astrology: I predicted that there would be broken contracts thus: “The Hadean mistake that opposes this is in Cancer, so the problem relates to property, and with Pluto, property loans, mortgages, credit obtained against the value of real-estate. We’ve seen this dynamic over the last couple of years plain as day in the so called credit (Pluto) crunch (square Saturn), but this Cardinal Cross is the crisis point because the financial experts (Kronos) made a big mistake (Hades) and now the piper has to be paid. Jupiter is retrograde and opposed by Saturn/Lilith, I’d say this means that the ordinary people are the ones that lose out; contracts get broken, confidence collapses and everyone starts to realise just how big (Jupiter) the mistake (Hades) is.

I have revised this understanding upon further study. Hades in this guise does not represent so much of a mistake as a deliberately invidious policy, one designed to manipulatively undermine. Of course Hades does also represent a past condition which causes a difficulty in the present. Pluto is in Capricorn, thus government and the means of enforcing control is entirely financial. The suspension of specie payments is the mechanism whereby the central bank (of any nation, the Fed, the Bank of England, the Deutschebank whatever) can decide, in an emergency, that they don’t have to honour their debts, but you, who have loans and mortgages and so forth, do. This means that they can call in your mortgage and if you can’t pay it there and then, they repossess your property. You’re destitute. If you think it can’t happen: wake up. It’s exactly what happened in 1929, go and look it up for yourself if you don’t believe me: just Google “suspension of specie payments. It essentially means that when the financial collapse does occur, the banks don’t have to honour the value of your money (their debt), but you do have to honour yours.

For all these reasons and more I think we are in the endgame of a global conspiracy and it will all become clear this year.

Now I am not going to recommend that you sell your house: I have some tricky Neptune transits just now so I cannot be entirely sure that my perspective is clear, but I am already making plans to secure my position before the summer of this year.

I still have a long article to post – perhaps later today – it is already written but I need to tidy up a few references. Other than that I am giving serious consideration to suspending the taking on of any further clients for nativity readings and so forth  in the near future because I want to concentrate on working out what is going on and preparing for the coming upheavals.

If you’re interested in having your astrology looked at by me therefore, then I suggest you get your order in soon.

Pluto tee square: sell, sell, sell!

I (still) have a new article on the way, but I have had some family dramas over the last few days and work is pressing, here is another quick update on the upcoming tee-square.

The last time that Uranus made partile square to Pluto was in 1932, approximately two and a bit years after the great stock market collapse of October 1929. In 1930 there was a tee-square involving Saturn Uranus and Pluto. There are a number of other correlations too: that was also the last time that Uranus was in Aries (suddenly going back to basics), the tee-square was cardinal, but more toward the middle degrees of the signs, and the reason that I think that this affected the USA most specifically is because the tee-square had Uranus as the apex planet which was opposing the USA’s Saturn. The USA’s Sun squares Saturn from its position applying to the cusp of the 8th house of credit, stock markets and so forth, thus this is a threat to the nation’s health (Sun-Saturn). The presence of Sun-Saturn represents an innate problem, a birth defect if you like, which weakens the overall constitution of the native. This is a congenital weakness for the US: if anything is going to kill the patient (square Pluto) then it will be due to this hereditary problem: an over-reliance on credit, on get-rich quick schemes, on living large: Jupiter rules the chart, applying to the 8th too. Excess, (Sun + Jup vs. Sat) is the congenital weakness.

I’ve already stated how, in a previous article (a little further down this page) the upcoming cardinal tee-square seems to indicate the possibility of a major financial collapse because of the as yet unrevealed scope of the property bubble being burst. This time however, the Aries’ Points are involved, and that seems to suggest that the whole world will be affected. It’s a global financial collapse this time.

My problem lies in convincing people that this needs to be taken seriously, (and actually in convincing myself naturellement) we all need to start getting acclimatised to living more sustainable lives, because very soon there will be too few resources to go around. I take no comfort from the symptoms either. If we count back the same length of time from the last time Uranus and Pluto was in partile square from the next time it is (June 2012) then we arrive at 2010.

In 1929 the stock market crash occurred as a direct result of the Roaring Twenties, and it was the excess of that decade which is widely blamed for the subsequent collapse. Does that seem at all familiar?

And then there’s the archetypal nature of the squaring planets to consider too: Uranus (sudden) square (breakdowns) Pluto (of financial systems).

It just doesn’t look good, people.

Pluto tee-square: move to defcon 3!

Later on today, I will be posting an extensive article, primarily about Mercury and Saturn, but before that happens, I have been extremely intrigued by the sheer number of astrological pointers that are cropping up in the news just now that specifically reference the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto tee-square across the cardinal points.

  • Bill Clinton is undergoing heart surgery (and has radix Saturn and Pluto in Leo, with Hygeia on the Aries Point) / (Transiting: Saturn-Uranus, inhibitions of rhythm, heart-block). This is a genuinely dangerous time for the Pluto in Leo generation who have Saturn conjoined, they definitely need to be transcending their control needs just now.
  • Two premiership footballers (soccer players) have suffered broken bones this week (Ashley Cole, Ryan Giggs), and I fully expect there to be more in the coming weeks. (Saturn – bones/ Uranus – sudden breaks).
  • Alexander McQueen, the celebrated fashion designer apparently committed suicide yesterday, he was a typical Uranian in the sense that he was avant-garde, shocking and relentlessly unconventional in his approach; these were, if you like, his USP’s. Yesterday Uranus was within a degree (applying) of conjunction with radix Sun and within a degree (separating) of opposing radix Pluto, thus effectively giving Ur=Su/Pl. At the same time Saturn was transiting his natal Jupiter/Uranus conunction and opposing Chiron (Ur opp. Ch being his closest aspect!) Sudden feelings of loss and isolation therefore, precipitating a crisis. His mother died a few days ago as Saturn transited quincunx his natal Moon (loss of the mother).

For all of these reasons (and many more that I am witnessing in the people around me) it is becoming increasingly evident that the process is gearing up right now. I intend to write another article exploring the mundane effects of the tee-square to Pluto in the next few days, but (and here is the point), this is a period of immense pressure: have a care people! Try and maintain some perspective because it’s going to get worse before it gets better!

Remember, the more rigidly we cling to structures of control, the harder the Gods laugh. Hubris is a very pertinent word at this time, keep it at the forefront of your vocabulary.

2010, there’s going to be a reckoning…

This summer sees the culmination of a seed process; one that has been under way for a fair time, one that is already visibly manifesting into concrete reality, and which will not be fully complete until 2015; crucially however, this summer will mark a crossing over, a point of no return, and the world will never be the same again once it is done with.

A bold claim? There are bold moves afoot in the heavens and these will be felt on every level of human existence, from the deeply introspective and personal to the global, and those effects are going to influence everyone alive today; it is my view that we, as a global community, have planted a dubious seed, and now it’s harvest.

The chart you  see below is the Grand Cross which reaches a critical stage of cardinality on August 1st 2010 at 13:23 UT. This is the point at which the transneptunian Hades crosses into Cancer, thus switching the configuration into full effect. This has been a long time coming of course; the Saturn – Uranus oppositions that have so characterised recent months began in November 2008 and will complete – critically – 5 days before this event; so that impasse is a done deal: Hades crosses sign, a mistake is revealed, or the full and difficult consequences of that past error are finally appreciated and the Grand Cross starts to kick off. Bear in mind that here we have a Grand Cross containing both Mars and Uranus in opposition; thus there are hasty, impulsive actions, attempts to negotiate out of a confrontational position (Mars in Libra flatters to deceive here and is oppressed by super-strong-armed Saturn in his exaltation and ruling Pluto: this is important, as we shall see.) The quality of cardinality is to attempt to run before you can walk; this pattern has recklessness, impetuosity and lack of proper planning and preparation written all over it.

Okay, let’s slow down, because this is a complicated picture, which I shall try to describe in more detail. We have a grand cross formed from (Jupiter + Uranus + Hebe) squaring (Minerva + Hades + Kronos + Isis) squaring (Saturn + Mars + Lilith + Panacea) squaring Pluto. Trust me when I tell you that it’s not easy to decipher.

And too this is going to work at two levels. If like me (and Noel Tyl, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio, Derek Jacobi, Sissy Spacek) you have the four angles of your chart on the four Aries’ Points of the chart then you’re probably in for a hell of ride. You can join that club too if you’re experiencing your Saturn return, Uranus half-return or Pluto square in the next few months, and too, you really ought to take serious notice if you have important planets on or near any of these Cardinal hotspots or indeed within a degree or so of 15° of the fixed signs. If any of these conditions are true, then this Grand Cross is not going to be particularly abstract for you: indeed, it’s going to get very personal. I can explain how it’s likely to affect you if you fall into this category (and I shall in a future article), and actually, you’ll already be feeling the effects, probably quite intensely.

On the other hand, even if you’re not in the target group, due to the inherent weight of energies of these major patterns in the stars and the crucial observation that the Cardinal points by their very nature have global reach, you’re still going to be affected. Rather synchronously too, this event is all about the in group and the out group as we shall see.

Now we already understand that the Cardinal Cross is about impetuosity, about precipitate action, about plans which haven’t been thought through properly, but in this particular configuration, Saturn is the real powerhouse and he is running the show; he is in his exaltation, triplicity and term, while Mars is struggling to stand up and be counted; this suggests to me that negotiation and compromise is the favoured strategy; Saturn lends caution and restraint, diplomacy is the order of the day, but really, the situation demands action; this Cross has a feeling of too little, too late about it.

Let’s break it down. Jupiter, Uranus and Hebe ruled by and opposed by a Mars that is forced into a compromise position says that the subservient group (those not in power) is pushing for action; people want something done – Hebe on the Aries Point puts the working man (and woman) in the spotlight, while Uranus is pushing for a change, it’s volatile. Jupiter wants equity and fairness but Saturn is opposed; the authorities, the law-makers are resistant.

Then we have Minerva, Hades, Kronos and Isis squaring this position. Here then we have a cacophony of contradictory expert opinions about how to fix the problem, strategies are devised, but nobody knows what to do, who to believe? Do we believe the government, our religious leaders, philosophers and legal experts or do we just look out for ourselves? Remember we have a Grand Cross, whichever direction you take, all you’ll achieve is to create an imbalance.

Now there’s Saturn, Mars, Lilith and Panacea; and here we have passive-aggressive diplomatic efforts that are tasked with trying to find compromises and solutions, but with a hidden agenda (Mars in Libra is manipulative, not necessarily dishonest, but it can’t get what it wants by asking for it outright, so it charms, it flatters, it gets you into its way of mind) and with Lilith there are choices being made about who to save and who to sacrifice. And despite the fact that Libra is involved, don’t expect it to be women and children first while the men stalwartly smoke cigars and the string quartet plays on.

And then finally we have Pluto, sitting menacingly in the shadows and pulling the strings, but crucially he is under Saturn’s influence, vying for his customary control but having to take the Capricorn perspective into consideration.

Now, consider the polarities alongside the rulerships. Pluto is in Capricorn ruled by Saturn, so the aggressive diplomacy, deal-brokering and compromise of the government is a cover for the real people who are running the show: big business. The Hadean mistake that opposes this is in Cancer, so the problem relates to property, and with Pluto, property loans, mortgages, credit obtained against the value of real-estate. We’ve seen this dynamic over the last couple of years plain as day in the so called credit (Pluto) crunch (square Saturn), but this Cardinal Cross is the crisis point because the financial experts (Kronos) made a big mistake (Hades) and now the piper has to be paid. Jupiter is retrograde and opposed by Saturn/Lilith, I’d say this means that the ordinary people are the ones that lose out; contracts get broken, confidence collapses and everyone starts to realise just how big (Jupiter) the mistake (Hades) is. I’m no financial expert (hey, I’m a full time astrologer!) but what I see here is that there is an enormous financial hullabaloo due to a property collapse (Cancer/Capricorn), and it’s going to be a deeply unchivalrous fight for survival (Aries/Libra). I see correlations everywhere. Hades conjunct Minerva squaring Lilith suggests strategies that are purposefully designed to save some at the expense of others. It’s an updated class war, a Marxist historian’s perspective writ large, where the ‘ordinary man’ is sacrificed to ensure the survival of a privileged élite.

I also think it’s significant that Pluto is in Capricorn because the Pluto in Virgo generation is switching into the easy power dynamic of the Pluto trine; the reins of power are being handed over by the Pluto in Leo generation so the agenda has changed. Pluto destroys what it values the most, often as a reaction against the preceding generation’s dynamic: Pluto in Cancer destroyed the family: refrigeration freed women from the kitchen so they could go out to work for the first time while the men fought nationalistic wars. I wrote about this in some detail in a previous article if you want to follow that logic further, but crucially the Pluto in Virgo generation are getting a big push in the direction of manifesting their agenda with this configuration. There will ultimately be a levelling: that’s the Plutonic agenda, Virgo wants us all to be equal, not because, like Libra, it values harmony, but because of inverted modesty: it’s the equality of the socialist, the trades unionist, the proletarian.

We live in a world of dwindling resources and increasing appetites. A miniscule minority live like Emperors while a desperate and precarious majority scrabble their way from one day to the next. The danger for the Virgo generation is that in wanting to fix the inequality of its forbears, it uncovers a problem which cannot be solved. There isn’t enough to go round, no matter how you cut it up, analyse it, quantify it. But better, says Pluto in Virgo, that we’re all peasants together, subsisting in a Stalinist dystopia than we have to suffer aristocrats, plutocrats and kings.

Now if you think this is off the mark, then read this BBC column and see how it’s steeped in Virgoese (it’s just two days old, and Obama has Saturn within minutes of the eclipse point of January 15th: the cogs are clicking into place and it’s happening right now. He’s not so much the leader of the free world as it’s accountant.) So yes, there will be a reckoning, but the die-hards of the old-guard are going to go down fighting, they’ll take no prisoners and ask no quarter, but when the dust finally settles, the world will look different. Will it be better?

Not for a while.