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Friday Bite 5 August 2022


Actions Have Consequences


As befits a week that opened on a Mars-Uranus conjunction, shock and awe were in plentiful supply. On Monday, President Biden announced that Ayman al-Zawahiri, head of the terrorist group, Al Qaeda, and the brains behind 9-11, was killed by a US drone strike in Kabul. Two days later, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, flew into Taiwan on a “good will” mission. “Our discussions with Taiwan leadership will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner… America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.” 

China was not amused.

Also, on Tuesday, primaries for the midterm elections were held in five states. While Trump-backed candidates made a strong showing in all five states, in conservative Kansas, voters turned out in droves to demonstrate their disapproval of the Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe versus Wade. An overwhelming majority showed their opposition to an amendment that would strip abortion rights from the state constitution. This shock result is likely to have implications for the midterm elections in November.

So, yes, Mars and Uranus were at their revolutionary and controversial best.

Mars-Uranus conjunctions are spikey little things at the best of times, but at this point in time Mars and Uranus are conjunct the north node (and opposing the south node). The nodal axis marks the point at which eclipses occur – the point at which the moon’s orbit intersects with the ecliptic — and since eclipses are associated with fateful developments, and certainly game-changing events, when an outer planet conjoins the nodal axis, we can expect to be shocked and amazed.

Uranus conjoins the north node roughly every 15 years, but it has not conjoined the north node in Taurus for almost two millennia. That’s why it’s kind of special. On this occasion Uranus is not alone because Saturn is squaring the nodal axis too, which suggests that any break-out developments will have severe consequences. Actions will not go unpunished.

Al-Zawahiri death

I was curious to see if the assassination of the mastermind behind 9-11 made any reference to the horoscope of 9-11. We have an exact time of death for Al-Zawahiri as we do for 9-11. At 6.15 in the morning of 31 July 2022, Venus was to be found at 15 Cancer 45, almost bang on the Midheaven of the 9-11 chart. On July 31st, Mars and Uranus were conjoined at 18 degrees of Taurus squaring the Venus-Uranus opposition on 9-11, and of course, Saturn at the time of drone strike was closely conjunct the 9-11 Uranus. Venus may be the planet of love, but she is also connected with justice, so the involvement of this planet at the time of the assassination and its resonance with the 9-11 chart lends an aura of poetic justice to the event.

Also of interest, Al-Zawahiri’s Sun (27 degrees of Gemini) was conjunct the Moon on 9-11 and his natal Pluto was conjunct Venus on the day and opposed by Uranus.

The chart of Al-Zawahiri’s assassination serves to show us the current alignments, which are playing into global developments and, of course, our individual lives. And the events I have outlined at the start of my Friday Bite all involve the United States of America. Aside from the Midheaven at the time of Zawahiri’s death being within two degrees of America’s natal Sun, Pluto at 27 degrees Capricorn is conjunct the US natal Pluto. America is experiencing its first Pluto return and we are beginning to see the turmoil – internal and external — such a transit inspires.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan at such a tense time for US-China relations is dangerous. It is provocative and has already generated a powerful response from China. Within hours of Pelosi landing on Taiwan soil, China began military manoeuvres in the Taiwan Strait. These manoeuvres have involved live fire in the sea and airspace around Taiwan, which is not only a threat to the island but impacting international shipping lanes and air traffic. While this may be simply the stuff of sabre-rattling, given the alignments of the time and those to come, the potential for a full scale attack is more likely than not.

The relationship between China and Taiwan is complicated. Until the civil war between the People’s Republic of China (China as we now know it) and the Republic of China (China before Mao Zedong/Chairman Mau founded the Chinese Communist Party) Taiwan was part of China, although it has a long history of belonging to other countries, most notably Japan. During the civil war, the communist forces eventually beat back the republican forces, and the national government retreated to Taiwan in December 1949, some two months after Mau announced the inauguration of the People’s Republic of China. And it is this date that most astrologers use for China, and, indeed for Taiwan. There is another, which astrologers also refer to, based on the formal establishment of the Republic of China, which marked the end of two thousand years of imperial rule – January 1 1912.

China 1912

For the charts of China and Taiwan, I have used a time of 15.15 on October 1, 1949. This time was designated by Charles Carter and represents the moment the establishment of the People’s Republic of China was announced on the radio.

china chart
Taiwan Republic of China 1949

Given that Taiwan is some 100 miles east of China, there is a fifteen-degree difference on the Ascendant and a change of sign from Scorpio (China) to Sagittarius (Taiwan) on the Midheaven. Taiwan’s Sagittarian Midheaven chimes with its free and open society, its democratic government, and its role as a major trading nation – it is a global leader in electronic products. China’s Scorpio Midheaven, on the other hand, emphasizes the secrecy and control for which the nation is famous.

A Mars-Pluto conjunction hugs the western horizon in both charts, although it is closer to the Descendant in Taiwan’s horoscope. While Mars-Pluto conjunctions provide strength and resilience and the ability to rise anew out of the ashes of the old, it is nonetheless a highly confrontational aspect, and with Uranus currently squaring it, one of the main reasons for the fireworks display taking place in the waters between the two countries.

Indeed, as I have been pointing out for some while, the period from the new moon in Leo (July 28th) to the full moon in Aquarius (August 13th, and potentially all of August, is highly turbulent and we will be lucky to come through the other side of it without a serious escalation in hostilities, whether in Ukraine or Taiwan or even the sparking of new conflicts. (More about this on my YouTube Videos.)

So, what of the future? Will China attack Taiwan? I think it more than likely, and 2023 looks to be a period of even greater tension between the two countries. Pluto will enter Aquarius in March 2023 when it will be three degrees away from their shared Moon in Aquarius. Pluto will not actually reach three degrees of the sign until 2025, but it will be in orb two years before and after its exact conjunction. Currently Uranus is squaring their shared Mars-Pluto conjunction and opposing their shared Venus, and these connections will continue to be active in 2023.

It is interesting that in the same way in the months and weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, expert opinion maintained no such invasion would take place because it would not be in Russia’s best interests, and the peoples of Ukraine continued to live their lives in the belief that “it simply wouldn’t happen”, the Taiwanese in large part believe a full-blown attack by China is not imminent.

Maybe not imminent. Maybe not inevitable. But definitely more than likely.

earth in hands

Friday Bite 29 July 2022


Dystopias and Utopias


As befits the start of the holiday season in the northern hemisphere, big news is a little thin on the ground, although I expect this will change shortly, given the alignments currently building. The race for the premiership of Great Britain gathers pace, and with some unexpected Uranian diversions: on a live television debate with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the host Kate McCann fainted, bringing an immediate and dramatic halt to the proceedings.

The Commonwealth Games began in Birmingham with a suitably diverse and colourful opening ceremony reflecting this great multicultural city. Mars, already in conjunction with Uranus, will preside over the first week of the Games, so there are sure to be surprises, if not a controversial incident or three.

I’m not sure whether you could describe the US economy’s slowing for the second quarter in a row a Uranian shock, but it will certainly supply an awakening for those who remain unconvinced that a recession is on its way.

On Tuesday, July 29th, the scientist and conceiver of the Gaia Hypothesis, James Lovelock died. He passed away on his 103rd birthday due to complications following a fall earlier in the year. He left this world, surrounded by his family, as the Sun returned to its original place, close to Jupiter and Neptune, while the Moon and Venus conjoined his natal Mars in Cancer. It must surely have been a joyous release and speedy entrance into the next life.

I thought we’d take a look at this extraordinary man’s natal chart.

For those of you unfamiliar with Lovelock, in 1957, he invented the Electron Capture Detector, a device that could measure the spread of toxic man-made compounds in the environment. Always a passionate ecologist, ten years later he introduced the concept of Gaia, named after the Greek goddess of the Earth, which proposes that our planet is a self-regulating entity maintained by communities of living organisms. These tiny organisms adjust oxygen and carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere, salinity in the oceans and even the planet’s temperature.

His Gaia concept laid the foundations for Earth System Science and many of his theories have helped shape some of the most important scientific developments of the 20th century: NASA’s search for life on Mars, the awareness of the climate risks posed by fossil fuels – he was a long-time advocate of nuclear power – and he also worked for the British Secret Service. (The extent of his role in the intelligence services has been largely hidden by the Official Secrets Act.)

Considered a maverick by some scientists, and indeed many continue to be sceptical of his theories, Lovelock has left us with a daunting prospect of life on Earth thirty years from now. According to the great man, the effects of climate change will reduce vast swathes of continents to scrubland, forcing people to retreat to megacities where it will be easier to handle the extremes of heat. The lack of food will drastically cut down the population with a billion or less people remaining on Earth at the end of the century. “It has happened before. Between the ice ages there were bottlenecks when there were only 2000 people left. It’s happening again.”

James Lovelock Natal Chart

James Lovelock has been described as one of the greatest minds Britain has ever produced. Certainly, one look at his horoscope will tell you he was an extraordinary man. Nine planetary bodies are clustered together bracketing the Midheaven in the 9th and 10th houses. And opposing them, a lonely singleton in the 4th house, Uranus – Uranus the revolutionary, the maverick, the iconoclast, the light-bringer. He was a scientist by birth and a mystic by nature. The reason I say this is that while Uranus opposes his Mercury-Saturn conjunction – a combination often found in the charts of mathematicians and scientists – the Sun is conjunct mystical Neptune, which is placed on the Midheaven.

“Curiosity drove him. Accuracy delighted him. But it was never just about science and data, but intuition and feeling.” Jonathan Watts, his biographer.

The angular Sun-Neptune conjunction supplied Lovelock with his extraordinary imagination and perception. Also, in part due to this conjunction, he was not a man of robust health, despite living 103 years. He survived a heart attack, was treated eight times for skin cancer, underwent open-heart surgery, lost a kidney and suffered pneumonia and tuberculosis. Clearly, Jupiter did its job, protecting and providing for him, by its conjunction to the Sun.

Indeed, Jupiter is not only conjunct the Sun but also the Moon, from which we can glean his love of humanity and his desire to protect the Earth. He was a man not only of knowledge but enormous wisdom.

With the Moon, Mars and Jupiter in Cancer, he cared about humanity and its future.

Mars and Pluto played a part in the danger he was exposed to in regard to the toxins and radio-active substances he worked with. He also used himself as a guinea pig for burn and asphyxiation tests during the second world war. On only one occasion did he use an animal for experimental purposes – a hamster that he froze and brought back to life during his cryobiology phase in the 1950s. The Mars-Pluto conjunction is also a reference to his work for the intelligence services. And, of course, he was someone who dug deep to find truth, and in the process, transform our understanding of the planet upon which we live.

Uranus is also the planet of artificial intelligence, and it is no surprise that in his last work Lovelock moved beyond the sphere of living organisms and a living planet to a world ruled by cyborgs.

I saw James Lovelock interviewed on his 100th birthday, and his vision of the Earth toward the end of the century reminded me of an aspect of the Aquarian Age that is not often covered – the role artificial intelligence will play. For many astrologers, the Aquarian Age is a period of expanded consciousness, a world in which humanity comes together as one: an age of spiritual enlightenment. However, given the direction in which humanity is going, our only hope for survival could lie in the hands of a race of cyborgs!

In his last book, Novacene, The Coming of the Age of Hyperintelligence, published on his 100th birthday,  Lovelock proposes that the Anthropocene ­– the age in which humans acquired planetary-scale technologies — is coming to an end. Humans will develop artificially-created life forms that ultimately represent the next stage of the evolution of species.

Now, I’d say that was the quintessence of the Age of Aquarius.