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Weekly Hello

MONDAY, 22 April – SUNDAY, 28 April


I don’t remember ever paying so much attention to a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. There’s something about this one coming at a time of such collective and individual turbulence that is both exciting and alarming.

These two planets meet on Sunday (21st) at 02:25 UTC /GMT and especially if you have a planet or point within two or three degrees of 21°50 Taurus, expect to be shaken and stirred. I have recorded a video on this conjunction, if you’d like to know a little more about what it may mean for the world and for your sun or ascending sign

Conjunctions between these two planets happen roughly every 14 years, so they’re not super rare but they are super interesting. The last conjunction in 2010-2011 placed its signature on the Arab Spring, and revolutions in all walks of life are common manifestations of this coupling.

Not only are Jupiter and Uranus entwined but the Sun squaring Pluto, which is yet another earth-moving combination. You may already be experiencing major shifts in your life, and even if you are reluctant to let go of the old and familiar, it’s got to be done.

Vive la revolution!

In keeping with the groundbreaking aura of the times, on Saturday at 5:00 pm, I am posting a video I recorded with master astrologer Steve Judd in which we look at the major alignments coming up in 2024 and 2025 and explore what they have in store for Putin, Russia, Israel, the royal family, the USA, Biden and Trump. It’s quite the ride.

Onward and starward.

Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces

Friday Bite

Astrology of the Week’s Main Global Events
Penny Thornton

Friday Bite: 19 April 2024

Gazing into the Abyss

Iran – Israel – Donald Trump

WHERE TO BEGIN? Unprecedented is a word used with increasing frequency in these troubled times, but entirely justified in light of events of the past seven days. On Saturday morning I awoke to news footage of a knife-bearing assassin moving with deadly purpose around Sydney’s Westfield Mall (he left six dead and twelve injured before he was shot by a police officer). Later, we watched missiles and drones arcing over Jerusalem like shooting stars. It was Iran’s first-ever direct assault on Israel. On Monday, in Manhattan, the trial of a former president began. And, as if in sympathy with these life-changing events, Indonesia’s Ruang volcano erupted while storms across Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia caused chaos and disruption. Eighteen months’ rainfall fell on Dubai in thirty-six hours.

So, fellow sky-watchers, are we beginning to understand what two eclipses, a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, a Sun-Pluto square and a Mars-Saturn conjunction can do to turn our worlds upside-down.

Iran Attack Israel April 2024

ACCORDING TO REUTERS, the opening salvo of a five-hour assault on Israel by Iran began at 23:00 local time. One hundred and seventy drones were followed by 120 ballistic missiles and 30 cruise missiles; not one person was killed, nor any major structural damage sustained, but a little girl was severely wounded. By all accounts it was an epic fail on Iran’s part.

The majority of the missiles were intercepted outside Israel’s borders, with help from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Jordan. Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system neutralized most of the rest.  For Israel and its allies, it was deemed a huge success, and proved the strength and the effectiveness of the alliance.

Some analysts, however, have suggested that the Iranian operation was designed to fail and had been carefully choreographed to avoid triggering an all-out war in the region. The Islamic Republic gave ample warning to Israel of the forthcoming attack and it has continued to advise Israel not to respond. Joe Biden is among many heads of state urging Israel to show restraint. “Take the win”, he advised Netanyahu.

So, will the Israeli government indeed “show restraint”? While past evidence would suggest it will exact a fearsome price, Netanyahu might choose otherwise. As Yaakov Amidror, retired general and former head of the research department of Israeli military intelligence, told Politico: “Bibi’s been given two good options – and that seldom happens… He can either go for the head of the octopus, which is Tehran, arguing we have the legitimacy to do so now. Or he can say to the Americans: We understand that you don’t want us to escalate with Iran [sic] and we are ready to compromise, but what we want in return is that America will give Israel all the help needed to destroy the military capability of Hamas in Gaza, including in Rafah.”

In last week’s Friday Bite, I suggested Iran could strike back at Israel on 14/15 April since the Moon in Cancer would be squaring the recent total solar eclipse and Iran’s natal Pluto. And, indeed, that astrological promise was fulfilled. However, I also mentioned 21/22 April, which is an even stronger candidate, given the Sun will be square Pluto, Jupiter conjunct Uranus and the Moon in Libra opposing the degree of the solar eclipse and conjoined to Iran’s Pluto.

As we now know, on Thursday, Israel notified the United States of its intention to attack Iran, and in the early hours of Friday morning Israeli missiles struck strategic targets not only in Iran but also Syria – Isfahan, which houses both a military base and a nuclear facility, among them. Iran has played down the attack, some in the media describing it as “weak”.

With its “relaxed” approach to Israel’s attack, Iran is signalling that a major escalation is not necessary. However, Israel is sending a clear message that it can “dial it up” should it so choose. The danger of miscalculation is clear and present.

While there may be no will to escalate the war in Gaza, sometimes a random act can precipitate a chain of events that lead to a wider conflict. No one could have imagined the consequences of the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914. No country wanted a world war.

We are not yet out of the woods as far as these volatile alignments are concerned, and I believe it would be foolish to think that Friday’s Israeli strikes on Iran have defused the threat of a wider war in the region. The 21/22 April is one hurdle to get past, the full moon and its opposition to Jupiter and Uranus (24/25) another.

The above chart serves not only to give us a picture of the moment Iranian drones were seen in the skies above Israel but also the prevailing influences that are affecting us all, wherever we are in the world. This tight bundle of planets appears to be reflecting the entrenched nature of so many collective and personal situations. There seems to be no give. When it rains, it pours.

AND SO TO the historical events playing out in a Manhattan courtroom.

On Monday, 15 April, at 9:30 in the morning, former president Donald Trump entered the Courthouse in Lower Manhattan for the start of his criminal trial. Should he be convicted of falsifying the financial transaction behind the $130,000 hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, he could face a prison sentence. Unlikely, but not impossible.

However, time behind prison bars may be precisely what Mr Trump is seeking, albeit it not as a result of his trial, but by violating a court order.

On Monday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to hold the former president in contempt of court for violating a gag order. Judge Merchan, who is presiding over the case and issued the gag order, will hold a hearing on the matter next Tuesday.

Each violation incurs a penalty of $1000 and the prospect of incarceration. By Friday (19 April) there were seven violations. However, Judge Merchan could be said to be in between a rock and a hard place, given that he can either allow Mr Trump to continue to bully and castigate witnesses and those associated with the trial or he can allow him to play the martyr by giving him jail time. I wouldn’t be surprised if he put him behind bars.

Each day of the trial thus far has been spent in jury selection, a process expected to take weeks. By Thursday afternoon, twelve jurors had been selected. Opening statements are expected on Monday.

In the words of former president, George W. Bush, let us not “mis-underestimate” the toll this trial is already taking on Mr Trump. Is it any surprise he was caught on camera snatching forty winks from time to time. One of the most painful aspects of the hearings for the former president, if not the most painful, is that he has been forced to sit silently by while members of the public deliver their undiluted opinions of him. He has heard himself described as “racist”, “sexist” and “a narcissist”.

Trump Hush-money Trial

Isn’t this fascinating. As the trial opened, 25 degrees of Gemini was rising, some three degrees away from Donald Trump’s natal Sun-Moon opposition. (He was, you may remember, born on a lunar eclipse.) The Moon at 23 degrees of Cancer fell precisely on his natal Saturn while the MC-IC axis is conjunct his natal Ascendant-Descendant axis. It’s definitely personal.

To be honest, it is difficult to judge whether or not Mr Trump will be convicted of the crimes he is alleged to have committed – the trial requires a unanimous verdict – but, reading the chart as a horary – and you know I’m not an expert in this technique – that the Moon forms applying aspects to the Sun and Neptune informs us that “the matter will be concluded”. Since the Moon falls on Mr Trump’s natal Saturn and Saturn is conjunct Mars in the angular tenth house, whether or not he is sentenced, he will be judged and pay a hefty penalty in reputational and psychological terms.

Next Tuesday, when Judge Merchan considers the contempt of court charge, the Moon will be in either Libra or Scorpio and squaring Pluto, while the south node will be conjunct Trump’s natal Chiron. Unbelievable as it may seem, the Judge could take the nuclear option and remove the former president from the courtroom, albeit to a side room and just for a day.

We live in interesting times.

Mighty god Zeus
Friday Bite: 12 April 2024

Just getting Started

Iran – Israel – Russia – Netanyahu – Putin – the Jupiter-Uranus Conjunction

MONDAY’S TOTAL SOLAR eclipse did not disappoint. Those gathered under its path from Mexico to Canada talked about the awe they felt when day turned to night, the birds stopped singing and the temperature chilled. We rarely think of Earth as a planet revolving around the Sun, but eclipses make us aware of our place in the celestial scheme of things. It’s big stuff. For sky watchers of the astrological kind, however, it is also the events this solar eclipse will preside over that have the capacity to deliver shock and awe.

This is my third Friday Bite since the lunar eclipse of 25 March, and already we have witnessed history-making events — the terrorist attack on Moscow’s concert hall, Princess Catherine’s cancer diagnosis, the collapse of the Francis Scott Bridge in Baltimore and the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus to name but a handful – but be sure, there are more to come.

What is making this season of eclipses even more impressive is the approach of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction (20/21 April). We are already feeling the effects of this conjunction in both the shifts we are experiencing individually and the earth-moving events on the world’s stage.

I have just completed a video on this conjunction but to give you a little teaser, in 1969, on the precise day of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction man walked on the Moon. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – the quintessence of a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. And it is no mere coincidence that man is about to return to the Moon for the first time since July 1969 in this Jupiter-Uranus year. Not all such resonances are groundbreaking in a good way though, and key stages in the development of the atom bomb and its usage have occurred in Jupiter-Uranus years.

With so many global figures and key nations sensitive to both the eclipses and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, I wanted to take a deeper dive into Russia and Vladimir Putin and Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu. Events over the course of the next few weeks could prove pivotal to all their futures.


I have set this chart from the perspective of Tehran since the spectre of war between Iran and Israel looms large at this time. Israel’s strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on 1 April was unlikely to pass without notice and, on Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that Israel will be punished, “The Zionist regime made a mistake and must be punished and will be punished.”

This comes at a delicate time for Israel’s relationship with the United States. Always a staunch supporter of Israel, in recent weeks Joe Biden has made it increasingly clear that Israel must do more to relieve the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, “I think what he [Netanyahu] is doing is a mistake”. However, on Wednesday, in response to the warning from Khamenei, the US president promised “ironclad support” for Israel.

Were these exchanges to be happening at a different time, one not in the wake of a total solar eclipse, an applying Jupiter-Uranus conjunction and a Sun-Pluto square, the danger of an all-out war in the region would be less likely, as it is we are probably looking at a major strike on Israel’s territory (not necessarily in the country itself) in the coming days.

Iran Khomeni Returns

The above chart represents the moment the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after fourteen years in exile. It led to the collapse of the provisional government and the final overthrow of the Shah of Iran ten days later.

Monday’s total solar eclipse fell on Iran’s natal Pluto while the preceding solar eclipse (14 October 2023) conjoined it. Thus is Iran’s handprint on the Gaza conflict.

Transiting Pluto (2 degrees Aquarius) is within a degree of opposition to Iran’s Jupiter, which rules the Midheaven, suggesting the government is feeling empowered and bent on revenge. However, with Neptune currently squaring its Midheaven and natal Venus, Iran must be careful not to fall into a trap and be hoisted by its own petard. And could that trap be an unintended invitation to Israel to strike its nuclear complex inside a mountain on the edge of Iran’s Great Salt Desert?

Iran is currently experiencing its Saturn opposition, which is another reason not to overextend itself as failure is likely. And, you may notice, Mars is currently conjoined to Saturn and, at the time of the solar eclipse, opposing the Midheaven. Certainly, we see deadly force in this configuration, but deadly force has equally deadly consequences.

We should also not forget that Iran is facing severe internal and domestic problems too, which are reflected in the alignments of the time. As indeed, during the previous Jupiter-Uranus conjunction (2010/11) the country faced mass anti-government demonstrations as part of the overall spread of the Arab Spring.

If we trust the astrology to reveal when Iran will strike back at Israel, the 14/15 April and the 21/22 April are the most likely candidates. On the 14/15, the Moon in Cancer will be squaring Iran’s Pluto and the total solar eclipse and on the 21/22 the Moon will be in Libra, conjoined to natal Pluto and opposing the recent eclipse. Sunday, 21 is the day of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, which opposes Iran’s natal Uranus, while the Sun is squaring transiting Pluto.

Clearly, 21/22 April provides the clearest indication of an attack, but my long experience as an astrologer has taught me time and time again that perfect timing isn’t always foreseeable; major events tend to happen around a “perfect moment”.

Isreal Chart

Monday’s total solar eclipse fell within four degrees of Israel’s Descendant while the October solar eclipse fell at the opposite point (Ascendant). It is a little too wide for my liking but the narrative of October’s massacre and the ensuing war are clearly reflected in these two eclipses. What is even more pivotal at this time is the forthcoming Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, which will be conjoined to Israel’s Sun and precisely opposing its natal Chiron. (You can read more about this in the Friday Bite that follows this one.)

Benjamin Netanyahu natal chart

There is more than one time of birth given for prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but I recommend the above. The time was provided by the Israeli astrologer, Dalia Stupp who says it was given to her by Netanyahu himself when she read for him. As you will see, the October solar eclipse fell on the prime minister’s Moon while Monday’s eclipse opposed the Moon. Currently, Saturn is opposed to natal Saturn. So, you don’t have to look very far to see the astrological signatures on Netanyahu’s dilemmas.

In relation to the issue over the time of birth, by progressed solar-arc, the Ascendant has reached 15 degrees of Pisces (opposing natal Saturn) while solar-arc Neptune is conjoined to his Ascendant. Currently, transiting Neptune (28 Pisces) is squaring his Ascendant-Descendant axis.

Case closed, I think.

Netanyahu currently does not have any major Pluto transit, which can be a clear indication of the ascent to or descent from power, but the above Saturn and Neptune transits combined with the solar-arc progressions are enough to support his resignation/downfall. Add to this the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction squaring his natal Mars-Pluto conjunction and that scenario may prove sooner than later.

Vladimir Putin with Solar Arc progressions March 15 2024

VLADIMIR PUTIN IS also a primary target for the unexpected and the unwelcome, courtesy of the combined effects of the eclipses and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. Last October’s solar eclipse fell precisely on his natal Neptune (and drew in the Sun, Saturn and Mercury) while Monday’s total solar eclipse opposed that same Libran cluster.

The approaching Jupiter-Uranus conjunction will conjoin his natal Jupiter, inconjunct his natal Neptune and square his MC-IC axis and natal Pluto. To add to the fun, Pluto is within a degree of a square to his Scorpio Ascendant and transiting Neptune squaring his natal Mars. By solar-arc progression, Pluto and the Midheaven have arrived at his Ascendant and s-a Sun has reached his natal Mars.

Make no mistake, no matter how in-charge Putin appears, he is under threat. As indeed he was last year when Yevgeny Prigozhin mounted his March on Moscow. On 23 June 2023, Uranus was making its first pass over the president’s natal Jupiter (simultaneously squaring natal Pluto and the MC-IC axis) while transiting Mars at 20 Leo was not only squaring Uranus at the time but also his natal Pluto and the MC-IC axis.

Thus, this will be the third and final time Uranus will connect to the aforementioned planets and points, and Jupiter will be alongside to make matters even more sensational. We could say the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction is empowering and disempowering at the same time: it can bring people unexpectedly to power and good fortune and it can also suddenly upend them.

However, however. Just because we have a repetition of the influences that temporarily knocked Putin off his perch, doesn’t mean it’s a case of third-time’s-a-charm and we’ll see the Russian president despatched to the place dictators go to after they’ve passed their sell-by date.

Russia 1991 Natal Chart

While Russia is similarly exposed to the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction – it is opposing its natal Venus-Pluto conjunction – the real signs of fundamental change for the country come in 2025 and 2026. And it is for this reason I am not at all sure that Putin is poised for exile just yet. I am sure though, there are plots afoot and that developments in this late April time will be part of the end times for Mr Putin.

Why I say 2025-2026 is a period of great change for Russia is that Saturn and Neptune will be in conjunction at that time, and the Saturn-Neptune cycle is central to the story of modern Russia. I will deal with this further in 2025, but suffice to say that 1917 and the Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Leo marked the end of Tsarist rule (the abdication and subsequent assassination of Nicolas II and the Romanov family) and the October Revolution which effectively gave birth to communist Russia. In 1989, the Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn presided over the collapse of the Soviet Union.  And so, we can look to 2025/2026 for the deepest and most profound changes in Russia.

Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu are not the only world leaders to be in the sights of these powerful configurations, President Biden, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron are others. All six men are vulnerable to the slings and arrows of fate at this time and during the course of 2024 and by 2025 quite possibly all of them will have suffered a defeat and left the global stage.

We’re only getting started.

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