18th December 1957,08:00; London, UK
Joining the illustrious list of famous people who have left us recently is astrologer, Jonathan Cainer who died, aged 58, of a heart attack.
I knew Jonathan only from our occasional meetings over the airwaves on radio and TV programmes - meetings where our astrological views invariably clashed - and he had the grace to phone me and wish me well when I replaced him as Today Newspaper’s astrologer back in 1992.
With the Sun rising in Sagittarius, Venus in Aquarius in opposition to Uranus squared by an angular Neptune Jonathan was a free spirit. He described himself as an "unreconstructed hippy" and his growing up in the “Swinging Sixties” and the "Flower power Seventies" clearly had an impact on his philosophy and lifestyle. He left school at fifteen with no qualifications and led the life of a typical hippy, playing guitar with various bands and running a business selling alfalfa sprouts. In 1980 he moved to Los Angeles where he ran a night club called the Bla Bla Cafe, and it was there that his interest in astrology was spawned.
A psychic who visited the club told him he was destined to become a "big-time media personality with a column read by millions - big in astrology."
Jonathan returned to England and began a course with the Faculty of Astrological Studies, his original intention being to become a "serious" astrologer. However, fate and financial security intervened and he joined Today newspaper in 1986. It was the first of many newspaper horoscope columns to come. By the year 2000 his website, Cainer.com was valued at £50 million.
Jonathan's success and staying power had everything to do with Jupiter's conjunction to his Mid-heaven in Libra and Saturn's conjunction to his Ascendant. His passion for astrology and his depth of perception came from his Moon-Mars conjunction in Scorpio.
But while he achieved enormous material success his private life was peppered with heartbreak. Aged twelve he came home to find a note from his mother saying "Have gone away with the twins. Won't be back. Will be in touch. Best wishes, Mum." His father immediately moved his girlfriend and their baby into the vacant position. In 1992 his wife, Melanie, was killed in a car crash leaving him with five children, two of them twins. That Venus, the ruler of the fourth house of home and family, is opposed by disruptive Uranus and squared by Neptune, says much about these losses and tragedies.
Jonathan's writing style was whimsical and philosophical, and there was a certain vagueness and ambivalence about him as a person. Richard Dawkins branded him a charlatan, and Jonathan's own words in an interview with the Guardian newspaper in 2000 did little to defend that epithet. Mercury in Capricorn "blesses you with the ability to sound like you know what you’re talking about even when you're spouting rubbish."
Nonetheless, I heard Jonathan talk quite eloquently on serious aspects of astrology and astronomy, so I am in no doubt of his firm belief in his discipline.
Jonathan died a handful of months after his second Saturn Return, and although this planet is often pictured as the “Grim Reaper” the finger of blame cannot be pointed at Saturn for his demise. Planets do not cause events, they reflect them. To my mind Jonathan’s life had come full circle; his work was done; it was time to move on, and as always, Jonathan had a knack of hitting the mark even when it came to his own death. His forecast for Sagittarius on the day he passed was prescient to say the least.
"We're not here for long. So make the most of every moment. We think we have forever and a day. In one way we may be right - for are we not eternal spirits temporarily residing in finite physical form."
God bless, Jonathan. You will be missed.
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