Astro Blog

The China Olympics

On Friday 13th July the Olympic committee, assembled in Moscow, chose Beijing as the venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. This announcement came just hours after Jupiter – the largest planet in the solar system – moved into Cancer, so perhaps it is fitting that that the most populous country in the world was chosen. It seems that when a planet makes its entry into a new sign, it likes to make an introductory flourish as it were. In this case Mercury joined Jupiter and they crossed the border from Gemini to Cancer hand in hand. Millions celebrated the news in China. They flocked onto the streets of the major cities, and police gave up trying to control them. Great joy was brought to the largest population on Earth.Human Rights Issues

Human Rights groups – especially supporters of the exiled government of Tibet – were less than enthusiastic. They believe that the choice of China as venue legitimises a regime which overwhelmed Tibet by force in the Fifties, and is now well into the process of wiping out the ancient culture. There was extremely strong lobbying to exclude China for human rights abuses – they had already lost one bid in 1993 – but in the end sheer persistence paid off for China. One could argue that with one quarter of the world’s population within their borders, it is simply unwise to ostracise them. When living in the West, it’s always difficult to discern how far opinions are orchestrated by the cultural model of the USA and Western Powers, who have little understanding of the culture of other countries. After all, many of China’s opponents in the US have a political agenda, which has nothing to do with the rights of oppressed peoples.

The Origins

In connection with the Olympics there are those who argue against the politicisation of sport, and those who say it is unavoidable. In actual fact, the Olympics have always been politicised. Even at their very formation in 776 BC, the Games were seen as a way of cementing peace. The tradition was that there should be no fighting as long as the Games were on. The chart for the initial Olympics would appear to have taken place at the time of an eclipse in Leo opposing Neptune in Aquarius, so the ideals of the merging of states into a giant melting pot through games was firmly integrated into the opening chart. However, the same chart shows a retrograde Mars conjoining Uranus and opposing Pluto, so the competition was no doubt extremely fierce. War by other means. The institution of the Olympics actually lasted for 12 centuries (!) without a break, and they were only abolished in 393 AD – the 293rd Olympiad.

Olympic Revival

After a break of 1500 years the Olympics were recreated and the first Games in modern time took place on the 6th April 1896 in its ancient cradle of Athens. The old traditions were revived, including the lighting of the Olympic flame at the temple of Hera whilst a hymn was, and is still, sung to Apollo. This revival took place with a wonderful grand trine involving Venus exalted in Pisces, Jupiter exalted in Cancer, and Uranus/Saturn in Scorpio. The position of Venus in Pisces is very significant for Greece, as it was in this sign at the time of its revolution in 1821, and the establishment of a kingdom in 1830. It’s a very suitable position for a nation founded on the gods and goddesses of Olympia.


See chart for Berlin Olympics

The grossest example of the appropriation of the Olympics for political purposes was at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Hitler seized the opportunity to demonstrate the supposed superiority of the Arian race. The opening chart of August 1st shows Mercury conjoining Venus at 18 Leo exactly squaring the Pluto position for the birth of the German Empire (Jan 1st, 1871 at 0.00 Local Time in Berlin). At the same time transiting Pluto conjoining Mars is exactly on the IC position of the horoscope for the 3rd Reich. (Jan 30th, 1933 11.15 CET, Berlin). Obviously these Pluto combinations were rather good for concealing the ugly facts of the Nazi administration. All evidence of the persecution of the Jews was hidden, and the opening ceremony was characterised by the release of thousands of doves. However Hitler could not resist promoting himself and Nazi ideology, and there were rather more Nazi flags and photos of himself, than other flags. Germany won more medals than any other country at this Olympics, although there was a slight hitch, because black Americans won a large proportion of the athletic events. Hitler couldn’t quite bring himself to place awards around their necks, and absented himself from the prizegiving ceremony.


See chart for the Munich Olympics

In the latter part of the 20th century, the enormous focus of world attention on the Olympics has made them even more vulnerable to political statements. It was ironically in Germany again that the most catastrophic games in history played themselves out. It was at this time that Pluto had slipped into Libra after 15 years in Virgo. The Olympics in Munich proved the ideal place to demonstrate Pluto’s effect, namely that a small terrorist group could seriously change the balance of power. The Palestinian Black September group took the Israeli Olympic team hostage, and in a bungled operation 11 Israelis, 5 Palestinians , and one policeman died. With Mercury moving into Virgo at the time of the catastrophe and squaring Neptune, bad light and mist confused German sharpshooters at the airport where the terrorists were making their escape, enabling a surviving terrorist to execute the Israelis. At this time the Sun had moved from 3 Virgo to the Mars position at 7 Virgo, which just happened to be the exact North Node position in the horoscope for the 3rd Reich. Interestingly the North Node of the Munich Games was at 25 Cancer, the exact position of the 3rd Reich’s IC and Pluto, and Israel’s MC. The Games were suspended for one day, but continued in an atmosphere of sorrow and shame, aptly illustrated by the opening chart’s Moon in Pisces square Saturn, and the Sun/Mars square Neptune.


See chart for the Moscow Olympics

Subsequent to this Olympics, the 1980 Games in Moscow became the next victim of a political statement. The USA and some Western allies refused to take part because of the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1979. On the one hand it’s easy to see that US participation would have seemed like an endorsement of Soviet policy, but the argument can also be made that the USA suffered no similar retribution when they were bombing Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s interesting to see how there was an exact Saturn/Neptune square at this time. In fact Saturn at 22 Virgo was exactly on the US Neptune, and Neptune opposite the US Mars – a combination which suggests frustration and sacrifice on the American side, especially as regards their athletes, who had trained for so many years. Saturn/Neptune combinations are always significant for developments in the socialist world, and these games were a celebration of Eastern Bloc power, although the Saturn/Neptune square could also symbolise the morass of Afghanistan, which ultimately drained the Soviet Union of its ability to maintain structure. There are many who argue that the power of the world’s media in itself is enough to expose human rights abuse and force change in autocratic countries, but there was no apparent softening of Soviet control over the communication apparatus at this Olympics. The retrograde Mercury in a water sign squaring Pluto was perhaps sufficient to maintain secrecy and manipulate news stories, but it did not help that 62 nations boycotted the Games, including the USA, West Germany and Japan.

Changes in China

See the chart of China

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing will have enormous significance for China. This huge country has had many vast upheavals in its long history, and is well aware of the fragile nature of its national identity, seen from a historical point of view. Anything that threatens the cohesion of China is stamped out by its leaders at an early stage, as was the uprising in Tiananmen Square on June 4th 1989 when the Saturn/Neptune/Uranus conjunction was squaring China’s stellium in Libra. Similarly China has not been slow to crack down on the group Falun Gong over the last few years (with Neptune transiting their Moon and Ascendant in Aquarius). The 2008 Olympics will take place in Beijing in July/August around the time of a total eclipse in Leo opposing Neptune in Aquarius, rather like the original Olympics of 776 BC.

See map of the eclipse

The path of the eclipse goes through Siberia ending almost exactly at Beijing, which in itself should have been enough to predict that the 2008 Olympics would be awarded to China. With Jupiter at 14.41 Capricorn rising over Beijing at the time of the eclipse, exactly squaring China’s Neptune at 14.39 Libra, there will be tremendous media attention, but it is also likely that religious groups which use the opportunity to broadcast their views. This is a Jupiter return for China, which already has a natal Jupiter/Neptune square. The nodal axis of the eclipse, conjoining Chiron, falls exactly on China’s Pluto, activating the Mars/Pluto square Venus of the revolution horoscope, and therefore also revealing the massive autocratic power of the Chinese military underlying the government elite. But the eclipse itself in Leo together with Mercury and a glittering Venus/Neptune opposition speaks of happiness and joy. These Games are going to be one big media party. No one should expect the official media to reveal anything that compromises the integrity of China here.

The Effect of the 2008 Eclipse

See chart of the eclipse

In itself this horoscope is peaceful and happy, especially when compared to the 1936 Olympics with its Sun/Uranus square and Mars/Pluto conjunction. But then, the whole idea is for international sport to spread openness and peace, and therefore these Olympics should serve a good purpose. It’s what happens after the Olympics that is more important, because the event inevitably opens up the country to mass tourism, and this will bring the ordinary Chinese citizen more and more in contact with Western values. Like thunderclouds on the horizon, the 2008-eclipse chart shows a Pluto/Uranus square growing stronger and stronger. As Saturn travels through Virgo entering Libra in 2010, Pluto will have made its way into Capricorn, and Uranus into Aries. By June 2011 there will be a particularly virulent T-square between these three planets strongly activating China’s Sun at 7 Libra. The Chinese will try to resolve a crisis at this time through the heavy hand of authoritarianism. Over the course of the next three years, the square of Uranus and Pluto will evoke dramatic and transformative change in the Chinese leadership – and also for many governments whose formation was on the 1st of January of any particular year. (And therefore have the Sun at 10 Capricorn, like the United Kingdom). It is in these chaotic years that opponents of China will see a scenario developing which could mean their dreams, and the dream of a free Tibet, come true.

Adrian Ross Duncan


Memento – A Retrograde Feast

Memory is a fragile thing, but we are totally reliant on it to relate to our individual world. There are many who through disease, accident or old age actually lose their capacity to retain events in memory, and though they can recall old long-term memories, they are unable to remember what happened just a few minutes previously.Which means, if you had no short-term memory, you would now be wondering what you are reading.

You would go back over the last paragraph, just to get it to stick in your mind, and you would reach here again, but it will not have stuck. If you think you could seek solace in television, books or film, this would not be the case, because you would not have the ability to follow the plot. But you would really like TV adverts, which just lasted a minute or so. You would remember those with whom you had had a long term relationship, but new people coming into your life would be forgotten minutes later, and each time you met, the meeting would have all the freshness of the first meeting. You would have to be told when it was time to wash, brush your teeth, eat, otherwise you might simply repeat these actions after a few minutes had elapsed.

Loss of Short-term Memory

How then, would you be able to live a productive life? This is the subject of the extraordinary film Memento , in which the last memory of the main character, Leonard, was the discovery of his wife on the bathroom floor, murdered and raped. The shock of seeing this took away his short-term memory, and the film starts with him trying to unravel the mystery of who killed his wife, so that he can exact bloody revenge. The problem is that he cannot remember people he has talked to in the process of his investigation, what they have said, or when they said it. He cannot remember where he is staying, or what car he is driving. But he has a system, which consists of writing notes and taking polaroid pictures of his car, people and places and annotating the pictures. When he comes across an extremely important fact, he has it tattooed on his skin, engraved in body memory for all time.

A Film that goes Backwards

Memento starts where it ends, and ends where it starts, because the delight of the plot is that it goes backwards. It opens violently with a polaroid picture of a dead man. The picture fades, gets sucked back into the camera, then the man’s death is enacted backwards, and this reverse scenario sets the scene for a film portrayed in short clips, each subsequent clip preceding the one before in time. This is a retrograde feast. By the end of the film we see just how great the consequences of short-term memory loss can be. For in this film, nothing is certain, except that Leonard’s condition is being exploited by certain unscrupulous people.

The Influence of Retrograde Planets

See chart for viewing Memento

As an astrologer, reality seemed even more distorted, for the horoscope for my own personal viewing of the film perfectly reflected the nature of its plot. The late Scorpio ascendant clearly illustrates what this film is about: revenge. The originality of the film unfolding backwards is shown by the ruler Mars, retrograde in the first house, and opposing Mercury, retrograde in the 7th. Leonard is Mars, and note how Mars has conjoined Chiron, where it stationed before going retrograde. This man carried the wound of the trauma of his wife’s death, and his wounded mind led him on an odyssey of blind and hopeless revenge, for, even if he succeeded in finding the murderer, and killed him, how would he remember the accomplishment? Mars has already conjoined Pluto, and will return to 15.06 Sagittarius to almost make the conjunction with Pluto again. Almost, because Pluto is also retrograde and has by this time slipped back from 15 to 13 degrees Sagittarius. There is no final solution.

Sorrow and Revenge

During the film, his wife is a shadowy figure whom he revisits in flashbacks, sometimes alarmingly changing the details supposedly engraved in his memory. He is driven by the tragedy of loss, and the longing for a supposed ideal marriage, and this is shown by the Venus/Neptune square. It is interesting to see how Neptune and Venus configure with the Mercury/Sun/Jupiter stellium opposing Mars by semi- and sesquisquare, connecting the theme of lost love with revenge. In actual fact at the moment the film started all these planets configured with the MC/IC axis with squares and half-squares. Retrograde Mercury (exactly opposite Chiron – how about that for a damaged mind?) is about to conjoin the Sun, with both sesquiquadrate Neptune.

The Stellium in Gemini

The movie is punctuated by the flash of the polaroid camera “capturing” reality, the flash of the Sun, and the subsequent etching of the words of Mercury on the photograph. All this in the pursuit of a supposed justice, for Jupiter is also in the picture, still touched by its previous opposition to Pluto. Leonard is the judge and executioner, but his mind is flawed, just as Jupiter’s capacity is flawed in Gemini, where it is in exile. What Leonard simply cannot do is create an overall picture – his world is circumscribed by his scribblings and his pictures but he cannot make a connection between them or gain any kind of time perspective. A nice detail is the tattoos, which ultimately cover his body, as he frantically adds new “facts” to his most trusted memory bank – his skin. What better expression for Saturn in Gemini?

Astrological Timing

But wait! The film had been showing in Copenhagen for some time, and had been seen at European film festivals last year. For what possible reason can the horoscope for my viewing the film with a fellow astrologer be so apt and accurate? What if we had gone to see the film a couple of months later with a completely different set of aspects? Of course, a film like Memento has its own astrological dynamics and, as might be expected, its release in America fully accorded with appropriate astrological patterns. The first public showing in America (Note 1.) was on March 16th 2001 when it was released simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles to rave reviews. This was the day when a retrograde Venus was returning to activate the Mars/Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius, triggered by the Moon, so the theme of love, justice, murder and revenge was equally powerful. It is interesting to note that Mercury had at this time almost returned to the point at which it went retrograde in February at zero degrees Pisces square Jupiter in Gemini, a pattern which also reflects the ambiguity and confusion which characterises the film.

Astrological Reality

The amazing congruence between the film and the astrology of the moment, reminds me of other episodes when I have watched a TV film, and the film has been so perfectly in tune with the planetary positions of the time. In a way it’s very understandable when a broadcast reflects astrological events so well, because it is a collective event. It’s a bit more worrying, when my partner rents a video, and that also encapsulates the astrology of the moment. That is simply a personal event. As an avid follower of planetary movement, I enjoy seeing the changes in my environment as a planet changes sign. On one occasion, as Mars moved into Gemini, I left my house, caught the morning train, and found myself sitting next to a man in jogging trousers, who was opposite another man in identical jogging trousers, identical T-shirt, identical faces… they were twins.

Your World and Your Beliefs

And I couldn’t help asking myself if the show was put on for my benefit, for I was the one looking for a sign from the heavens about Mars in Gemini, and twins were provided. There are not enough twins around to put this show on for everyone, but then not everyone’s chosen belief is astrology. In India there is an astrological tradition in which horoscopes are inscribed on palm leaves. Analyses and predictions were written – thousands of years ago – describing the life and karma of every seeker who visits the astrologer. A common question the astonished visitor poses to the astrologer is, “How can the lives of everyone on Earth be contained on these palm leaves”, and this prompts the answer from the astrologer: “Goodness gracious, not everyone… we only have the horoscopes for the people who come to ask”.

The Power of Belief
It seems that an intelligent universe proactively mirrors the mind of the consciousness which interacts with it. Whatever you choose to believe in will create a reality around you, which fully accords with your beliefs – unless some enormous change confronts you with another reality. It was a shock for many Western communists when the Berlin Wall dissolved in 1989, and tens of thousands of Eastern Block citizens joyfully streamed in the West. The evidence for their suffering and the indignities they had undergone at the hands of an autocratic and secretive state could not be denied. With these citizens casting away their communist past with such enthusiasm, how could hard core believers in the West continue to hold onto dogma which had previously defined their identity? It was a real crisis for many. But most of us have the luxury of sticking to our beliefs from the cradle to the grave, without them every being challenged.

Using Astrology

For Leonard the defining belief was revenge, but without memory he could not enjoy it. Driving along in a stolen Jaguar sports car, which he had come to decide was his at some point during the film, he desperately asks himself, “The world doesn’t suddenly disappear when you close your eyes, does it?” Well, no it doesn’t, but it’s something you can never be sure of. Astrologers who would like to feel most attuned to their beliefs and to the universe, could perhaps enrich their lives by choosing to do things which best reflect the astrological influences of the time. If Mercury squares Saturn, then applying oneself to serious study for the day would be effective. If the Moon in Virgo squares Pluto, then an hour’s radical clean out would be just the job. Make that bank appointment to get a mortgage when the Moon in Cancer sextiles Venus in Taurus … the bank manager is just waiting to lend money, so you may as well be the lucky one! You have to take your beliefs very seriously indeed, because the universe does.

Adrian Ross Duncan
Information from the official website:



The Power of the European Union

One of most significant historical developments in the last century was the formation of the European Union. Throughout the last two millennia the countries of Europe fought bitter and bloody struggles in attempts to gain dominance, with vast world powers blocks based on the empires of England, Portugal, Spain and France, culminating in the ascendancy of a unified Germany in the late 19th century. The devastation caused by German nationalism in particular resulted in a deep-seated urge to solve the problems of the nations of Europe. Initially this started as a simple economic union between the Benelux countries, France, Italy and Germany with the EEC on January 1st 1958, but it culminated in the formation of the actual European Union on November 1st 1993 at 0.00 hrs in Brussels through the Single European Act. It was at this time that the expression “European Union” became official.The EU chart and Uranus/Neptune conjunction

See chart of the EU

This is a most extraordinary horoscope, depicting an organisation which not only can match the powers of the USA, China, and Russia, but can also come to be the dominating factor in world development for centuries to come. First of all, it was formed within only one week of the last of three Uranus/Neptune conjunctions, cementing for the next two centuries the significance of this 172-year cycle for political development. With the conjunction taking place in Capricorn – it was also in Capricorn in 1821 – the major theme of this synod was the dissolution and revolutionary change of established political organisations, notably in this case the total break up of the Soviet Union and the birth of a so-called New World Order. Major planetary cycles of this nature bring the end of an era and the beginning of a new. Thus it was no accident that the expression “New World Order” came into currency at this time. However, it is when something new is formed or founded, that there is truly lasting significance, and the creation of the EU, after the Maastricht negotiations of 1992, enshrined in its horoscope the principles of vision and renewal in a European state. However this state is run, this vision will inform its actions: to create a democratic and caring union of states, who share the same ideals.

A materialistic Moon

So much for the dream. Getting back to reality, the economic values of the EU are shown quite clearly by the exalted position of the Moon, strong in Taurus and in the 10th house. Plenty of beef mountains and milk rivers here. The materialism shown by this position of the Moon cannot be ascribed to the politicians assembled in Brussels (who are represented by the Venus/Jupiter conjunction in the 3rd house). No, the people who put those politicians there – that’s us – sent them there to ensure that our material comforts are not threatened. We want our supermarkets to be full, our loans to be cheap, our incomes to increase. And as a general rule the EU will make this happen, because the chart is so powerful. Apart from the exalted Moon, the planets Mars, Venus and Saturn are strong in their own signs, which is very unusual.

The power of Mars/Pluto

The elevated position of the Moon shows that in the last analysis the EU is a democratic institution, answerable to the people, who secretly will fight to the last breath to secure their material comforts. Because this chart – although it has vision and humanity – is also brutal. Formed on the very day Mars conjoins with Pluto, in the sign which both rule, there is absolutely immense power at the disposal of the EU. Bearing in mind that this conjunction opposes the Moon, it is hardly any wonder that when threatened with Foot and Mouth disease, for example, the EU chooses the most brutal option… slaughter. Other options like vaccination are resisted because this would prevent export of animals. Even though Foot and Mouth is in theory not deadly for livestock, the mountains of sheep, pigs and cattle burning in the British countryside in the months of March and April 2001 – as Saturn conjoined that Moon and opposed Mars/Pluto – the plumes of black smoke, the distraught farmers, the suffering animals… they are offered on the altar of ruthless economic principle. It is in the mindset of the EU that such uncompromising action is for the good of all, but this is not so.

The spider’s lair

If this was the horoscope of a person, then that person would be seen as dictatorial and unfeeling, totally governed by deep-seated anxiety about economic loss. The person cannot see beyond his own wallet. Therefore, citizens of the new proud state of Europe, take care! You are in the driving seat of an organisation whose fixation on material security can be life-threatening. Europe needs long-term therapy, but at the same time is resistant to it. The stellium in Scorpio and the 4th house shows the seat of the EU in the monolithic headquarters in Brussels. This is where the invisible power brokers sit, and though Mars is dignified in Scorpio, the conjunction with retrograde Mercury shows secretive decision-making and power-hungry officials, who are both paranoid of losing influence and dictatorial in wielding it. If the EU seems soft on the outside, there can be no doubt that it is like a samurai on the inside. It might be monolithic, but when it actually makes a move, it will crush whatever is in its path.

Gifted politicians

The secretiveness and power is in the nature of the organisation itself… those kind and idealistic politicians that represent our countries are generally speaking a fine bunch of people, working hard and optimistically to achieve functional compromises. This is clearly shown by the Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Libra and the 3rd house. Venus is the decision-maker as ruler of the 10th, and its position in the third shows all those MEP’s travelling to Brussels, and talking amongst themselves, and having a fine time socially. They do a good job, and have the capacity to accept the disruption of their daily lives indicated by the square to Uranus/Neptune. And the trine to Saturn in Aquarius in the 7th indicates accomplished diplomacy in dealing with other world organisations. It’s a wonderfully dignified process, combining friendliness and formality.

EU diplomacy

The strong 7th house Saturn shows a worthy opposition, whether it be from Russia, Asia or the United States. With Saturn also almost exactly squaring the uncompromising Mars/Pluto opposition to the Moon, then every drop of diplomatic juice needs to be squeezed from Venus. Saturn in Aquarius is the voice of reasonableness, whilst Mars/Pluto to the Moon is the voice of self-interest. As a result, there will be many deadlocks in dealing with other economic organisations. And when you read about these deadlocks in European newspapers, you will almost certainly get a story manipulated (by Mercury in Scorpio) for European consumption. If we hear about the intransigence of other economic blocks, it is almost certain that it is Europe itself that is intransigent. With Europe sitting pretty on its mountain of resources (though this mountain has a volcano churning deep at its root), it is fairly natural that a lot of people want to join the party.


Whilst right-wing European politicians – motivated by the politics of greed – bitterly complain about economic migrants, the Uranus/Neptune conjunction precisely on the 6th house cusp shows how necessary they are to keep the wheels of the machine turning. This conjunction square Venus shows a porous labour market, with exotic foreigners seeping across the borders by land, air and particularly by sea – much to the consternation of the good MEP’s. Yet the trine of the Moon to Uranus/Neptune shows the benefit foreign workers bring, not just materially, but also spiritually and culturally.

The economy over the next two years

So this is our superstate of the next millennium. It’s powerful, sometimes fearsome, and it’s secure, sometimes kind. It encapsulates the democratic vision of the age. The pillars holding up this temple of materialism are subject to the occasional earthquake – especially here in 2001 with the T-square so powerfully activated by Uranus. We can expert dramatic economic fallout from the recession which is growing in strength and will shake the US to its foundations. Fortunately the Saturn/Pluto/Node oppositions of 2001 to 2002 do not hit the EU as hard as the US, so the Euro will probably get comparatively stronger, but the repercussions – for telecoms in particular – will be global, with Nokia, Siemens and Eriksson continuing to suffer for at least a couple of years. Whilst economic experts predict a resurgence of the economy, those in the know should batten down the hatches, sell their technology shares if they still have value, or sit it out for the long term. The secret of success is to expect a turnaround after 2003, not before.

The future

The shadow side of the EU is its dictatorial and secretive nature, which predisposes it to corruption. There will be a shattering example of this when Neptune conjoins the T-square in 2008 and 2009, which will precipitate another economic crisis. It is at this time that the progressed Sun conjoins the Mars/Pluto conjunction, and this will foreshadow major world political change on many other fronts too. This is a time of European upheaval. With Europe here to stay, however, it is important to be conscious of its shadow side. Ultimately the influence of Scorpio is to transform materialism, and to seek deeper values, and it is up to the individual to fight power misuse and create the circumstances for transformation.

Adrian Ross Duncan

King of Hearts

Astrologers are generally universally in agreement that the horoscope of Prince William, first-born son of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, is the horoscope of a king. It’s an astonishing chart, not least because of the extraordinary similarities with that of his mother. Both have the Sun in Cancer in the 7th house, both have Sagittarius rising, and both have Venus in Taurus, Diana with Venus 24.24, and William with Venus at 25.40 Taurus in conjunction with Chiron at 25.17.A Traumatic Childhood

See chart of prince William

Of all the events that have happened in William’s life, there is clearly one that rises above all others. Privileged as he is as a royal personage, he was not spared the terrible tragedy of losing his mother at the all-too-young age of 15. It is often the case that the star Algol (at 26.08 degrees Taurus in 1997) is associated with tragedy. In myth it is connected to the severed head of Medusa, and is said by astrologer Bernadette Brady to represent the passion and intensity of the feminine, which can be used effectively or destructively. Even though Venus is well-placed in William’s chart, in its own sign Taurus and the 5th, exactly as in Diana’s, it’s obviously connected with the disaster. Ruler of the 4th, it’s position in the 5th does tend to indicate a repetition of the family tradition for giving everything for love.

A Dangerous Mars

See chart of princess Diana

For those who associate the 10th house ruler with the mother, the position of Mars conjoining Saturn in Libra in the 9th also depicts Diana, and certainly her fate of meeting death abroad in an impossible relationship. Indeed, as Mars progressed towards Saturn to exactly conjoin in 1997, she did meet her fate, or – to put it another way – William learned something about terrible implacable judgement which can greet a weak Mars.

Both William’s parents seem to embody the indiscretions of this Mars in Libra, and it is unlikely that William will himself be immune to its allures. William’s Venus is also the focal planet of a yod to Pluto and Neptune, representing perhaps the mythic quality surrounding his mother, and her affairs, and what later will become the myth of his own life and loves. For great love will come to William, just as it came for Diana, and just as she was elected by popular consent to be Queen of Hearts, it takes little imagination to see that William, when he gets to the marrying age, will be King of Hearts. Diana, fulfilled her Sun in the 7th trine Neptune, marrying her Prince Charming, who seemed destined to be king. One of the first great indicators of romance for William, is when his MC/IC axis progresses to conjoin Venus in the 5th at the tender age of 23. It would seem at least that he gets his own home, or palace, at this time, and there will be a lady within.

Will Prince Charles become King?

Yet astrologers point out that Charles’ life is overshadowed by his own mother – he has Moon conjunction the North Node in the 10th house – and with his ruling planet, the Sun, conjoining the 5th house cusp, he is the archetypal prince, and will in all probability remain so. With the co-dispositor of his Sun, Mars, in Sagittarius and conjoining Jupiter also in the 5th house, Charles is the lusty prince, performing the princely duties of creating sons in line for the throne, when he isn’t indulging his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. William, on the other hand, has a massively powerful trine from the Sun just 6 minutes of arc into Cancer (i.e. on the Aries point of power), trining a Jupiter almost stationary direct at zero degrees Scorpio conjoining the Midheaven from the 9th house. Obviously this trine suggests kingly good fortune, especially considering that Jupiter is his horoscope ruler. Jupiter will conjoin the MC by progression in William’s early forties, or earlier if he is born a minute or three earlier.

When will William become King.?

Other indications of ascension to the throne would be when the Jupiter/Sun trine is activated by William’s progressed Ascendant. In the years 2010 – 12, on William’s Saturn return, both progressed angles change sign, with the MC moving into Sagittarius, and the Ascendant subsequently moving into Aquarius, thus actvating the Sun/Jupiter. This is probably the time of a marriage, at least, as the change in emphasis will show a completely new way of life. Progressed Venus conjoins William’s Descendant in 2008, and surely here the woman of his dreams will enter his life, just as when Diana’s own Venus conjoined her Descendant, she married Charles and gave birth to William. Venus goes on to conjoin the Sun, trining Jupiter, in the year 2011, at the same time as his progressed MC conjoins Uranus. Quite clearly, this is when it’s all happening for William, certainly in his love life, but very likely too in his career destiny. He will be immensely popular at this time.

Love and Children

William will almost certainly produce heirs. It’s very likely that this will happen when his 5th house ruler Venus conjoins the Moon at the age of 32 to 33. A child will be born here, especially as progressed Mercury conjoins progressed Sun to square progressed Jupiter. Later, when the progressed Ascendant trines the strong Mercury in the 5th on the one side, and Mars in the 9th on the other – in his 35th year – he will have another child, and if the first one was not a boy, this one will be. Perhaps another child will arrive a year or so later, when progressed IC moves to conjoin Mercury… three children in all. As this is the time of his 3rd Jupiter return around October 2017, one could expect that this too would be a good time for accession, especially as the previous eclipse in 2017 is at 28.53 Leo, on the king’s star Regulus, and Saturn conjoins his Ascendant. Failing all this, then William will be crowned when the progressed Ascendant activates the Sun/Jupiter trine, making a grand trine in the year 2029, aged 47. Of course, for this to happen, Elizabeth would have to reign until the grand old age of 103 (the wonders of modern science), or Charles would actually have to become king.


It would be wrong to look at William’s chart without remarking on the significance of eclipses. One took place the day after Charles and Diana married, just as there was an eclipse one day before Diana died. William himself is born exactly on an eclipse, with Jupiter the dominating factor. Like Alexander the Great, Karl Marx and other historical figures born on eclipses, it is likely that King William will have a profound impact on the history of his time. The emphasis in Cancer and the 7th house shows him to be as similarly attuned to the people as his mother. He is a softy, tempered by the traumas and depth of his ruler Jupiter in the power sign of Scorpio. His influence will be profound, and he will be renowned for his kindness and understanding, but also for his judgement, which at times will be hard. But in affairs of the heart, he will be deeply susceptible… that is the legacy of both his parents.

Adrian Ross Duncan


Solzhenitsyn – Soul of Russia

Penguins survive the sub-zero temperatures of the Antarctic by huddling together in large groups to create warmth. The penguins circulate so that those on the outside gradually come to the centre, and vice versa. Victims of Stalinist purges – the zeks – tried similar techniques when they were shipped off to Siberia in the 1930’s in the clothes they were standing in, and forced to stay in large tents in the icy Arctic winter. So many people were crammed into tents that they could only stand, and they huddled together for warmth. As the days and weeks past new zeks arrived, and those who could not make it through the night were piled up outside, their frozen bodies functioning at least as a wind break.

The Russian Gulag

It is impossible to exaggerate the deadly suffering of the Russian people in the communist epoch. It cannot be done. From 1917-21, between 6 and 12 million people died in the upheavals between the Red (communist) and White Russians. Subsequent famine from 1922 -23 eliminated another 7.5 to 13 million. The systematic Lenin-inspired destruction of the old social classes, clergy and believers from 1922-28 got rid of another 2-3 million. Then the suffering really started. Stalin’s liquidation of the kulaks (landowners and ordinary farmers) and the resultant famine killed 16 million. From 1934-41 mass execution in prisons, starvation in camps and epidemics killed 7 million. During the war 7.5 million zeks were killed through hunger and overwork. In Stalin’s wartime camps from 1943-45 5 million died, and in those same camps another 6 million died after the war. Who can know or even imagine the suffering of the Russian people? Not just the firmly documented 66 million deaths, but the children, wives, husbands and mothers these deaths touched. How can anyone in the West comprehend what constituted the 20th century Russian soul?

The Man who saved Russia

Into this carnage stepped a man who in this new century will probably be recognised as the greatest writer in Russian history, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Born in Kislovodsk southern Russia on the 11th December 1918, he was a child of the revolution, which took place just 32 days before his birth. The revolution was in his blood, and he was a ardent communist until and beyond his arrest in 1945, whilst he was leading a Russian artillery battalion towards Berlin. His “crime” was that he wrote disparaging remarks about Stalin to a friend. When he received his 8 year sentence for this crime, he entered the world of the camps which he was later to write about with such devastating effect. In these camps the veil of Communism was torn apart, awakening in him an implacable hatred of it, coupled with a deep love for Mother Russia and its people. After he served his eight years, he was sent into exile, and here he dedicated himself to writing, his avowed goal to commemorate his zek brothers and bring about the fall of an inhuman regime.

The Birthchart

See chart for Solzhenitsyn

I have not been able to find a time of birth for Solzhenistyn, which sets certain limits on interpreting his chart. When there is no birth time many people prefer to make a Noon chart, but here I have used the method of solar houses, in which zero degrees of the Sunsign is placed on the Ascendant. At least with this method the solar houses have some kind of effect, because of their relation to the Sun. One of the first things to catch the eye in this chart is the conjunction of the Sun with the North Node in Sagittarius. This shows that he was born around an eclipse, and indeed this eclipse took place on December 3rd at 10.40 Sagittarius. What these horoscopes show is the tremendous power of the Venus/Node conjunction at the time of the eclipse. The eclipse itself is closely trine Neptune, so the main influence – in both charts – is Sun, Moon and Venus trine Neptune. One might imagine then, that this is the chart of a peacemaker and visionary, who preached the message of love. This is not how the man came across in life. He has been fanatical in his battle against the Communist State, and totally uncompromising in his dealings with others, even his friends and loved-ones. There is no hint of softness about him. But the fact that he is born on the eclipse with its Venus/Neptune overtones, means that his mission is at least to propagate the highest ethical values, and perhaps on a larger scale to broadcast to the world a completely new moral way of being. More of this later.

Pisces and Sorrow

The fact that Solzhenitsyn was deeply affected by his years in prison and the suffering of the zeks is illustrated by his Moon in Pisces. Once again Chiron seems to exert its influence: he was both wounded by the experience of the camps, and dedicated his life to healing and honouring those who had either lost their lives in them, or were crippled by the experience. The composer Shostakovitch was one of them. He writes in his book Testimony :
“I was remembering my friends, and all I saw was corpses, mountains of corpses. I’m not exaggerating. I mean mountains… I’m grieving all the time.”
Solzhenitsyn’s father died months before his birth, and he was brought up by a mother who sacrificed everything for him, and was ailing much of the time. Solzhenitsyn had great difficulty freeing himself from his mother, who was something of a martyr. This martyrdom was paralleled later in his life by his first wife, who, when Solzhenitsyn wanted a divorce in the early seventies tried to take her own life. Even after his return from exile in Kazakhstan, he isolated himself in remote dachas and huts, preferring a disciplined solitude. Further understanding of the power of his Pisces Moon is provided by the fact that it almost certainly configures with both Saturn and Pluto in a double septile aspect pattern.

The Workaholic with a Mission

Biographers have pointed out that Solzhenitsyn never got out of the habits ingrained in him by the camps. Every minute of his life, even in freedom, is strictly regimented. He writes with phenomenal concentration during almost all his waking life. Everything takes second place to what he sees as this mission. He was born with Mercury retrograde in Capricorn, which undoubtedly shows his self-discipline and determination to organise his life. Mercury retrogrades to 17 degrees of Sagittarius, going direct by progression at the age of 16, returning to the birth position at the age of 36, which was just after the death of Stalin in 1953. It was at this time that Solzhenitsyn was released from prison, and went into exile to write. For Mercury new territory was opening – literally – as Solzhenitsyn gazed out over the open Russian steppes of Kazakhstan. Prior to this Mercury had then trined Saturn in Leo three times by progression. No wonder he was able to mobilise legendary self-discipline. His writing was minute scribbling on precious paper which was either buried or smuggled out to friends.

Conquering Cancer

Release was not an easy time, as a cancerous tumour which had been operated on in the camps reappeared. At this time his Sun progressed also conjoined Mars, whilst the Moon progressed activated his Jupiter/Pluto conjunction (which progressed Mercury was now moving to oppose… progressed Jupiter actually conjoins his natal Pluto in the late eighties). He was cured, partly by an old folk remedy of the poisonous mandrake root, partly by heavy radiation treatment, and partly by the sheer will power of the Sun/Mars influence. The only other time Solzhenitsyn suffered from a life-threatening illness was when he contracted what he though was severe sunstroke on a journey to southern Russia in August 1971. With his body covered all over with boils, his life was in the balance for three months, and he took even longer to fully recover. The KGB under the Brezhnev regime had a whole department whose only function was to shadow Solzhenitsyn. In 1971 the KGB head Andropov – who later became President – had the bright idea of poisoning Solzhenitsyn, and it was only years later that the author learned that his brush with death was the result of a poison being shot into his body in a crowded shop on this fateful journey. It’s fascinating to see that his progressed Mars at 4 Pisces trined progressed Pluto at 4 Cancer at this time… showing both the poison and his survival.

The Birthchart

1970 was a time of enormous change for Solzhenitsyn. Now in his early fifties, his long-standing marriage to his first wife Natasha was all but over. Solzhenitsyn had during his whole life surrounded himself with women who faithfully served his mission, translating his work, typing new copies, smuggling forbidden literature etc. This is also the meaning of being born with the Sun in conjunction with Venus. He had fallen in love with one of these helpers… Alya . This is clearly shown by the New Moon in at 11 Aquarius in 1970, which took place at the same time as progressed Venus conjoined Uranus in Aquarius… Alya was 20 years younger than him. In 1970 he was also to receive the Nobel prize for literature, and Alya bore him the first of three sons. By this time, Solzhenitsyn had been expelled from the Writer’s Union, after a brief period of warmth when Khrushchev came to power.

Literature and Exile

On November 17, 1962 permission had been given for the publishing of Ivan Denisovich , with progressed Mercury exactly opposing Jupiter. At this time progressed Uranus and progressed Saturn were in close opposition, both in Solzhenitsyn’s chart and in the chart for the revolution. There were enormous power struggles between the old and new guard, and Ivan Denisovich , which described a day in the life of a humble zek, was like a bombshell. By the early seventies Solzhenitsyn had written the masterpiece The Gulag Archipelago , which was a total exposé of the tragedy of Russian communism, describing as it did a parallel existence of millions of prisoners utterly concealed from both the world and the Russian people. The Politburo was in panic and had no idea what to do when they found the manuscript in 1973. Solzhenitsyn was expelled from Russia in 1974 but copies of the Gulag had already found their way to the West. Thus began a new life for Solzhenitsyn in the West, together with his young wife and three sons. Progressed Mercury had now just moved out of Capricorn and entered Aquarius… freedom? Venus has left Aquarius and entered Pisces… suggesting a long period of isolation. Progressed Mars in Pisces trined progressed Jupiter.

The Blessing and Curse of America

After some time he settled in Vermont in the USA, whilst the Gulag Archipelago became a vast success. It is at this point that it dawned upon the West, just how uncompromising and difficult Solzhenitsyn was. He had no time for capitalism at all, and despised political correctness and do-good socialists. His view of those Americans who were against the Vietnam War was that they were cowards and miscreants, who failed to support their country in their hour of need. Solzhenitsyn was disappointed that the Americans were driven out of Vietnam, failing to stem the tide of communism. It was the right-wing senator Jesse Helms who finally got him a resident permit for the States. He loathed the press and gave very rare interviews. Journalists and newspapers in the West had very few kind words for him… but he struck a chord with the people. When he gave an interview for the BBC, 5 million people watched. When it was re-broadcast 15 million watched. He lambasted the socialist politicians of the time for having no moral principles. He hated the world of advertising, lager, perfume, and the lack of moral fibre of the West.

The Legacy

He did not even approve of democracy, and wrote about re-introducing pre-Renaissance values, with a benevolent yet autocratic regime, and a devoted religious atmosphere. In actual fact his creed was similar to the ecological movement today, and his writings of this period have great significance for 21st century ecological values. This was how his Sun/Node/Venus trine Neptune really manifested itself. After Boris Jeltsin came to power, and banned Communism, Solzhenitsyn felt he could return to Russia, and did so in 1994, his progressed Mercury having recently entered Pisces, and now exactly conjoining the progressed Sun at 4 Pisces trine Pluto and Jupiter at 4 and 5 Cancer … a return to his roots. Here in 2001 he is 83 years old, and at his Uranus return next year he will experience a nodal return as Pluto conjoins his Sun and Saturn opposes it. Perhaps at this time his legacy will be revealed for all to see… a man who valued principle above life itself, and who, more than any other individual, was responsible for the soul change in Russia which made the transition from Russian communism possible.


Adrian Ross Duncan

The British Transport Nightmare

When I came to Britain in the Spring of 1998 after 20 years abroad, it was mild and wet. As the Summer took hold, as I waded through the muddy fields, I was assured that it was an unusually wet summer, and indeed the rain stretched into the August and a mild, but wet, winter. During the course of 1999, the Spring was rather wet, and the Summer too, whilst in the Autumn it was very, very wet. They are not fooling me any more… it’s simply a fact: in Britain it rains far too much. Some say it is global warming, but I’m not so sure. In any case it appears that the year 2000 was the wettest year for over a hundred years.

The Indomitable English

The English always seem faintly surprised by their weather. They don’t expect it to be very cold in the winter, so they huddle in thin Macintoshes, and stuff bits of cloth under their doors to stop drafts. It’s part of the culture… proof of the hardiness of the national spirit. Double glazing and central heating are reluctantly adopted, but temperatures are kept down low. Too much comfort might undermine the rugged spirit. So it was with a certain grim satisfaction that the British saw the United Kingdom grind to a halt in October 2000, as storms ravaged the country and floods inundated low-lying areas. Tens of thousand of people were evacuated from their homes, and at the same time railway lines were damaged or washed away.

On the Road

Coupled with the last of a series of serious rail accidents – the Hatfield rail crash – there was a sense of this country being a disaster area, with a hopeless and outdated infrastructure. The Dunkirk spirit was called forth in the hapless population as they rose above one disaster after another with stoic determination. It is extraordinary what people put up with in their ordinary daily lives. My bank manager told me that he spent two hours travelling by car to the centre of London in the morning, and two hours travelling back. Some commuters are spending 25% of their waking lives in their cars and on public transport! When something unpredictable happens on the railways, then millions of people suffer.

The Latest Train Crash

See chart for the Hatfield train crash

After the Hatfield crash, which was due to a broken rail, there was an outcry about rail safety which resulted in speed limits on trains which often doubled the time people were travelling. At Hatfield all bar two coaches of Great North Eastern Railway’s 12.10 service from London Kings Cross to Leeds, became derailed between Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield at around 12.30pm. The train was estimated to have been travelling at around 115mph, the maximum line speed on this stretch of track, when the accident happened. Four people died whilst a further 26 people have suffered injuries.

The crash happened just before Mercury turned retrograde in Scorpio when it was within one degree of a square to Uranus in Aquarius. As Mercury turned and went back to the early degrees of Scorpio again, it squared Neptune two more times. Thus the initial shock and trauma of the accident was compounded by suffering, confusion and chaos. The Mercury/Neptune square was also reflected by the continuing flooding which made roads impassable and people homeless. In a series of hopeless panic decisions, the rail company (Railtrack) initiated a program of track testing and renewal which is still paralysing Britain even as Christmas approaches.

Long-Term Trends

Looking at the chart for the crash, it can be seen that the horoscope and third house ruler, Jupiter, is in Gemini and opposite Pluto. This is a long-term aspect which happened first in September, then with the crash in October and finally in May 2001. Obviously this relates to the legal repercussions of the previous Paddington rail disaster, and to hidden flaws in the railways and subsequent transformation of long-distant travel. It would seem that the Moon triggered this opposition, translating the energy of Pluto to Mars by square aspect. Coupled with the Mercury station square Uranus, this showed the accident and slowdown of the rail system. Aficionados of harmonics will note that Uranus is square the Sun in the 4th harmonic with an orb of 2 minutes of arc, so the Sun was actually “completing” the Mercury/Uranus square (which did not become exact because Mercury went retrograde).

The 1999 Eclipse

See chart of the UK

The question remains: why has Britain been plagued by so much misfortune, both in terms of flooding and transport? One astrological factor is the August 1999 eclipse, whose shadow did pass over the south-west tip of the British Isles – a place were there has been severe flooding causing several deaths. The eclipse took place at 18° Leo and powerfully activated the exact Mars/Saturn opposition at 16 Scorpio/Taurus and Uranus at 14° Aquarius. As Mercury stationed at 15.46 Scorpio in October 2000, whilst Uranus went stationary direct at 16.54 Aquarius, the eclipse energies were violently activated. Looking at the 1801 chart for the United Kingdom, it is easy to see how catastrophic the combination of eclipse and the October Mercury retrograde could be.
One of the most powerful features in this chart, which seems to work so well for modern Britain, is the grand cross in fixed signs, with Mars at 12.46 Taurus opposing Neptune at 18.44 Scorpio and with Saturn at 23.22 Leo opposing Venus at 16.32 Aquarius. If the degrees of these planets are averaged out they make 18°25, and the eclipse fell at 18°21 Leo. As far as the flooding is concerned, this could be explained by the eclipse squaring Neptune. Could that be why it’s been so wet?

British Quirks

This fixed cross is the “No sex please, we’re British”effect. There are no shortage of perversions with Mars in detriment in Taurus and the 8th house opposing Neptune, though the Venus/Saturn opposition maintains a stiff upper lip and a disapproving eye. Apparently there is nothing better for the British spirit than a good spanking, and generations of schoolboys have bent over backwards to prove this point. With the eclipse activating this area there has been a tremendous upsurge of paedophile paranoia, with the focus on children in care. Cases going back decades have been dredged up to the surface to reveal many cases of scandalous sexual exploitation. Cases have also arisen in which children have falsely accused care workers in fraudulent attempts to win compensation. Some of the strongest anti-paedophile reactions have come from the very area of Britain which the eclipse passed over, obviously reflecting the eclipse’s activation of Neptune in Scorpio. Angry mothers and children picketed houses where newly-released paedophiles lived and hounded them out. Whilst violent sexual behaviour towards children merits no soft-heartedness, many so-called paedophiles are simply sad repressed men who are not dangerous at all. For them, being victims of the undiscriminating witch-hunts of late in Britain is a terrifying situation.

Transformation of the Infrastructure

Getting back to transport, it has become clear to many people that the infrastructure in Britain is completely outdated. Commuting is simply a nightmare, not just in London but in and around most major cities and towns. Because public transport is a joke, most people use their own cars and the result is gridlock. It is interesting to see that the Ascendant of the Hatfield crash is at 17° Sagittarius, with the Moon on the Descendant at 17 Gemini. This clearly relates to the position of Mercury in the 1801 chart for the UK, which is in the third house also at 17 Sagittarius. Looking ahead into 2001 and 2002 it can be seen that Saturn opposes this degree in June 2002, whilst Pluto conjoins the UK Mercury in February 2002, December 2002, and stationing there for four long months in 2003. As if the attentions of a Saturn/Pluto opposition were not enough, the eclipse cycle traverses this degree in May/June 2002.

See the graph of Saturn/Pluto/Nodes

The good news, then, is that there will be a total reconstruction of the British transport system in this period. Still, this is not the time to be a happy commuter. We can expect to see enormous battles of power as the fight for a thorough transformation takes place. One thing is sure: decisions will be made at this time which will change the face of British transport forever. Those who try to retain part of the existing system will be pitted against those who want total change in an unrelenting battle for power. The battlefield will cover several major areas amongst which are:
Air Traffic Control
The London Underground


Mercury in Sagittarius in the 1801 chart reflects many aspects of travel, but especially international air travel, especially as Mercury rules the 9th house. To cope with the increasing travel to London Heathrow, there are plans to build a fifth runway. The argument is that this is the only way London can compete with other international European airports. The several million people living in Heathrow’s flight path are understandably fed up. Whilst the current Jupiter/Pluto opposition feeds the frenzy to expand Heathrow, the arrival of Saturn will surely bring that expansion grinding to a halt. The prediction here then, is that the proposed expansion of Heathrow will meet a growing implacable opposition which will fatally delay the project.
In these months we also read of a new super-jumbo jet which will boast on-flight showers, gyms and bars. Very Jupiterian stuff. Although the go-ahead to build has been given, this project may fall at the insurmountable hurdle in the summer of 2002. Realism must prevail.

The Tube

Obviously, when Pluto hits the UK Mercury, the major battlefield will be underground. The new London mayor Ken Livingstone is the man who was elected in May 2000, very much against the wishes of Tony Blair, on a platform of revolutionising London Transport. Livingstone opposes the Labour government’s plans to partially privatise the Tube and Londoners support him overwhelmingly. As it seems very much as if the woes of the national rail system are due to rail privatisation, very few people think that privatising the Tube is advisable… but the Labour Government plug on regardless. It is probable that the present opposition of Pluto in Sagittarius to Jupiter in Gemini represents the thinking behind a free market approach to Tube privatisation. The prediction here is that privatisation plans will be abandoned as Saturn opposes Pluto, putting the Underground more under the control of the State than of the free market.

The London Mayor

See chart of Ken Livingstone

Not that this will in any way go smoothly. As Ken Livingstone has his Moon at 18° Virgo (conjoining Jupiter) sesquisquare Mars and square Uranus, there will be an explosive confrontation as the Pluto/Saturn opposition and Eclipses activate his chart. Still, with his Sun/Mercury conjunction at 25° and 26° Gemini he is sure to have the last word on transport. In the months after August 2002 he will have Saturn on his Sun/Mercury whilst Uranus in Aquarius is in trine… so my money is on him.


As far as the rail system as a whole is concerned, there has been growing public anger at Railtrack, which is the privatised company which actually owns the rail system. Whilst fat cats have benefited from high dividends over the last decade, the infrastructure has become more and more run down. My guess is that the government will make moves to re-nationalise Railtrack in 2002. The public is fed up, and at present the government is already paying vast subsidies to Railtrack in a vain attempt to stop the deterioration. Saturn/Pluto aspects are draconian in their effect, and this would be the best time for deep-rooted change.


These observations are just a small sample of possible influence of the coming eclipse cycle on Saturn/Pluto and the Gemini/Sagittarian axis. Naturally there will be many more manifestations… from a reassessment of the flirtation of the British with all-pervading CCTV cameras for the purpose of “security”, to transformation in education. Revolutionary changes in cyberspace and the telephone system are also on the cards, and we will see increasing government control and snooping in these areas. And of course there will probably be a growing crisis in the IT sector… but that’s another story. At the end of this period… as 2003 draws to a close… the weather will probably be much the same, and we’ll still be plodding through puddles, but one things is sure: the infrastructure will have undergone one of the greatest overhauls in its history.

Adrian Ross Duncan


The Dot Com Bomb

About two years ago I wrote about a possible recession, but my fears about a decline in the Western economy turned out to be unfounded. People in Europe and the USA have never, it seems, had so much income to dispose of. House prices have risen quite dramatically in many areas, and anyone who had held off buying property for fear of recession, would have made a mistake. We have prospered. Not that there wasn’t a recession. In early 1999 even as respected a magazine as The Economist talked about it; it’s just that Europe and the USA escaped its consequences completely. Brazil, Russia, and the whole of Asia underwent a very serious recession indeed, but, whilst they lost out, the West won.The Saturn/Neptune square

The idea of a recession was not just prompted by the entrance of Saturn into Taurus, which might be thought to have indicated a focus on the economy and resources, and shortages in this area. It was the drawn-out square from Saturn in Taurus to Neptune in Aquarius – a signal for poverty and suffering – which was the indicator of recession. It was wafted in through the smoke clouds over Indonesia as Neptune entered Aquarius in February 1998, for those who can remember the ecological disaster of the burned out rain forests at that time. Those smoke clouds presaged the coming chaos and dissolution in Indonesia, just as on a larger scale they showed a cloud over Asia. Almost all the financial institutions in Asian countries crashed at this time, but those of the West bounced happily along.

The Internet

Indeed the expansion of Western economies was fuelled by the new technological playground of the Internet, and particularly those darlings of investors, the dot.coms. A new phenomenon had arisen – the rise of the small investor. It was the Internet itself which had made this possible. Access to information, which had at one time been only for the privileged few, suddenly became accessible to anyone with a phone line and a computer. Amateur enthusiasts were now looking at exactly the same screen images as the bright young men on the floors of the Wall Street stock market. New money started flowing into the market from these small investors, and this fuelled the Internet boom. This too was an expression of the entry of Neptune into Aquarius – it harnessed the dreams of ordinary people to get rich through new technology. And with Uranus having entered Aquarius as early as May 1995, the means to do this was already in place.

The Bubble Inflates

Having got it slightly wrong with talk about a recession two years ago, at least as far as we in the West were concerned, about a year ago I focused on the Jupiter square to Neptune. This is a classic inflationary aspect, associated with bubbles and their bursting, particularly when Jupiter is in Taurus. This aspect took place twice in the last half of 1999 and finally on March 16, 2000. There is no doubt whatsoever that the inflationary enthusiasms of this aspect have been channelled into speculation into Internet companies. Every detail about these companies conforms to the hyperbole of Jupiter/Neptune. The characteristic of these companies is that most of them have never made a profit, and those that have, have made very little. But investors are enamoured of their potential, and see them as the beginnings of a massive future. After all, the first television set was written off as wildly impractical, and nobody made any money out of televisions for years.

The Last Fool

People with Internet ideas are wildly looking for venture capital with a view to making their Internet site so popular that it can be floated on the stock market. And indeed, when such a company is floated, so many people want to invest in it, that the share price hits the roof, making the humble owner of the website a multimillionaire. On paper at least. Everybody wants to be in on it, because when a share price rises so fast, there is really a lot of money to be made. People plan to sell as the price goes up, well knowing that the edifice can crash. The hope of the speculator here is that someone even more foolish than themselves will buy the shares off them at a higher price. And there is no shortage of fools. An example of this kind of stock flotation is the infamous, which is going to be floated at the end of March at a probable valuation of £1 billion. The ridiculous thing is that it will never ever really be worth this sum, and everyone knows it. This site is a clearinghouse for airline tickets, which you can buy at the last minute, and recently they have added other products to their portfolio. In actual fact, the name “last minute” is singularly appropriate. The idea really is to sell your shares at the last minute, before you lose a fortune! So, as this company is floated on the stock market, the final square between Neptune and Jupiter is taking place. What more do you need to know about inflationary bubbles… except when is it going to pop?

Get Rich Quick

What seems to happen with Jupiter/Neptune is that there is a kind of collective madness, or collective dream. In England and the USA one of the most popular programs is Who wants to be a millionaire? which is a quiz program with questions getting progressively more difficult as the prize money goes up. Millions are riveted to the screen, and – here comes the confession – I am amongst them. Of course I’m just watching it as part of an astrological study…

An Old Story

As the collective madness takes hold, everyone colludes with the dream, and nobody wants to spoil the party. Robbing people of a dream is the sin… it takes away the happiness. It’s an old story. In the 1630s Dutch investors forced the price of a single tulip bulb to amazing heights – one investor pays 400 kilos of cheese, four oxen, eight pigs, 12 sheep, a bed, and a suit of clothes for a bulb – because a new-look bulb could be expected to generate a fortune. Europe had only just discovered how tulips could be bred to produce wonderful new coloured varieties, which were extremely sought after throughout Europe – the 17th century equivalent of a After years of speculation the price of tulip bulbs crashed in 1637 at a time when there was a Jupiter/Uranus conjunction squaring Saturn, rather like the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction squaring Uranus in May 2000. Hundreds of investors lost their fortunes in this crash.

The South Sea Bubble

In the early 1700’s the new horizons were the colonies, and investors placed their money in distant overseas enterprises. The South Sea Company was one of these and at the time of the South Sea Bubble shares soared to over £1000, before crashing. This happened with a Saturn/Neptune opposition from Scorpio to Taurus, with Jupiter semi- and sesquisquare. In the same year the French Mississippi company which was based on a colonisation in America also collapsed. Both collapses nearly brought down their respective governments.

The Wall Street Crash

The most famous financial collapse was October 29th 1929, when Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted, and $30 billion disappeared from the market… about the sum the First World War cost America. It should be remembered that economic experts of the time claimed that there would be no serious repercussions, and indeed the market rallied in 1930, only to crash in June 1930, when a long decline began. USA placed import duties on foreign goods against the advice of all economic experts, and this protectionism actually initiated the disastrous decline that affected the world. Real panic started in 1931 when Austria went bankrupt, followed by all German banks closing for several weeks. Over two thousand American banks closed in the same year, and in Britain the pound was devalued. Everyone in the Western world was affected by this collapse, with millions joining the unemployment queues, and production coming to a near standstill. By July 1931 the Dow Jones industrial average was down to 41 points from a high of 381 in September 1929. Looking at the planetary movements in the early thirties, it can be seen that Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus combine in a complex T-square. Jupiter in Cancer opposes Saturn in Capricorn (similar to the Berlin wall collapse of 1989 – this pattern repeats every 60 years in the same signs), and both square Uranus in Aries. It was of course also at this time that Pluto was discovered, and the whole process of crash and depression is certainly related to this planet making its mark at this time, especially as it made its long-running square to Uranus. This was certainly fertile ground for the fascist movements, which really started building up steam in the thirties.

The Planetary Pattern in Year 2000

I am not suggesting that a similar crash will happen in the year 2000, just because the pattern of tension between Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus – which happened with the Depression in the early thirties and with the Tulip investment debacle – repeats itself. But some major economic realignment will happen, if only because of the momentous line up of all seven inner planets in Taurus on May 4, 2000. The aspect to watch out for is when Jupiter, flush from its heady profits when it squared Neptune in March, meets the lightning of Uranus, on May 20, and the heavy earth of Saturn on May 28. This distended balloon of illusory hopes, meets the thundercloud and hurtles to earth. The shares in the basket carried by this balloon are Internet shares, because they are the shares that everybody placed their millionaire hopes on when Jupiter squared Neptune.

Dot Com Logic

As Jupiter meets Saturn, it seems obvious that another kind of economic sense will prevail. It’s not that the Internet does not represent the future – it does. But people have projected their greed onto the profits which can be made, and the bubble is an expression of this greed. Investors are not betting on long-term profits, but on making a short term killing, in a process that can be likened to a game of musical chairs, where every one runs for safety just before the crash, leaving those left standing in financial ruin. But why should this worry the great majority of ordinary people who are on the outside? The problem is that the rise in popularity of Internet companies which earn little, (with a work force that number, at most, a few hundred), has pushed out solid performers (like food manufactures and retailers) who employ thousands of people and really do earn hundreds of millions of pounds. Investors in Internet companies are making paper profits, and that means that large investment companies are having their hands forced, as their customers demand similar profits. Money is pulled out of traditional companies, rendering them vulnerable to take-over, and poured into Internet companies. This means that the average person’s savings and pensions are actually getting channelled into high-risk ventures.

The Consequences

When the Internet bubble bursts, then a lot of ordinary people will suffer. When the South Sea bubble burst, investors naturally wanted nothing more to do with investing overseas, and this had enormous repercussions for world trade. Similarly, in the thirties when a country’s financial institutions got into trouble, they adopted protectionist habits, which affected everyone. Loss of faith in the Internet at this point could similarly set back development for years, stifling many young and brilliant minds that are in a position to improve the quality of life for ordinary people world-wide. The Internet is the great democratisation factor of our times, making a level playing field for people of all races and cultures. But the gigantic bang when the balloon bursts will affect financial institutions so profoundly that even normal business activity will be affected. Of course, investors did eventually regain the courage to finance overseas developments, just as protectionist barriers were also eventually removed. Nothing will keep the Internet from flourishing, but it is in for a bumpy ride in the short term.

The People’s Chronology , James Trager published by Henry Holt The Guardian, 12th March 2000 . Will Hutton

Adrian Ross Duncan


The Demise of Microsoft

Boom to Bust In my last article, I referred to the different planetary cycles associated with the dramatic growth of the Internet and particularly the Dot Com boom which culminated in March 2000 with the final square of Jupiter in Taurus to Neptune in Aquarius. It was at this time that grossly inflated Internet shares hit the market, with companies who had never made a profit floating for millions of dollars, only to crash just days later. The shares of the British Internet company , for example, were at half their launch value only one week after launch. Jupiter in Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius simply highlighted the get-rich-quick dreams of the vast numbers of new shareholders that have appeared over the last few years, as the Internet has made investment in the Stock Market accessible to ordinary people. Statistics show that over 70% of people who plan to vote in the next American election own stock, making market forces an incredibly important political factor. Such is the power of the current build up of planets in Taurus… particularly the coming Saturn/Jupiter conjunction.

The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction

As Jupiter in Taurus, which for a great many people simply manifested as greed, approaches Saturn – conjoining it on May 28 2000 – there will naturally be major adjustments in money markets. One of the consequences of the volatility of high tech stocks in this period will be the movement of investment money to safer stocks in long-established companies. This would be the dominant tendency as a result of the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Taurus, which emphasises security and reliability. The question then arises: how will the market develop in the long term as a result of this movement? Personally I am not in any way an expert on investment, yet it would seem to be possible to draw a number of conclusions from the planetary cycles which are on their way. As a rule, planetary patterns in the heavens may reflect certain economic trends on Earth, but specific countries and specific companies will not be affected unless theses patterns make strong contact with the country or company charts. Using astrology to work the stock markets on a professional basis is in reality a very complex affair, and would require years of study, and excellent knowledge of the “first trade” charts of companies.

Communication Transformation

See graph of this planetary cycle

The most eye-catching planetary cycle in the near future is Saturn’s approaching opposition to Pluto as it comes into Gemini. Unusually in the year 2000, Saturn conjoins with Jupiter only once (often a triple conjunction takes place), and they then both proceed into Gemini, with Saturn – but not Jupiter – retrograding back into Taurus until its final entry into Gemini on April 20, 2001. One of the areas this new emphasis in Gemini is going to affect is communication, and obviously this will have a profound effect on Internet activity, where we can expect a number of restrictions. Before this happens Jupiter in Gemini will oppose Pluto, at which time it is quite possible that there will be an extraordinary expansion of unbridled Internet activity, with government institutions desperately trying to find ways of applying limits. In Europe the Jupiter transit through Gemini will probably be connected to much easier, and much cheaper access, with major competition between telecom companies to provide fast, and perhaps almost free access.

Irresistable Force meets Immovable Object

It is the limiting and controlling of this enormous expansion which will be Saturn’s major concern in the 2½ years it is in Gemini from April 20 2001 until June 4 2003. The great significance of the Saturn/Pluto opposition is that it happens so close to the Ascendant/Descendant axis of the USA… first on August 1, 2001 (12.37°) , then on November 2, 2001, (13.48°) and finally on May 26, 2002. (16.35°). (Previously I pointed out that this opposition will have great significance for Denmark, whose constitution was created with Sun at 14.37° Gemini opposition Moon in Sagittarius. 2002 is therefore a year of great political and constitutional change for Denmark). Quite obviously this will correspond to a significant crisis in American affairs, and consequently something of a crisis for the rest of the world. This can be connected to a great variety of things, but this article will concern itself mostly with economic developments and the Internet.

Pluto, Saturn and Eclipses

The crisis will be fairly long-term, as the opposition stretches over many months. The whole process is significantly exacerbated by the nodal cycle. With the North Node conjoining Pluto/Saturn opposition during the summer of 2002, powerful eclipses will focus attention on the very difficult transformation process Saturn/Pluto represents. One area which will be affected is Trade. As the opposition falls on the USA’s Ascendant/Descendant access, then it is quite likely that some kind of trade war will start, and that America will erect barriers to trade with the rest of the world… or retaliate against countries who they perceive as erecting barriers. The Saturn/Pluto cycle is approximately 35 years in length, and has to do with battles of power and will, as the forces of upheaval and transformation are met by the force of inertia. It is at these times that threats of ultimate force are used. Faceless and remote powers which are normally hidden in society – for example the military, the police, and the tax authorities – tend to exert a stronger than usual influence at this time.

The Conjunction Phase

The last conjunction was in 1983 in Libra, when Europe and America set up Pershing missiles to counter the threat of SS20’s from the Soviet dominated countries of the time in an indelicate balance of power. This happened in the last degrees of Libra, and as both planets moved on into Scorpio, the new economic eras of Reaganomics and Thatcherism started, resulting, in the UK at least, in the crushing of Trade Union power, and a whole new set of political realities, which at the time seemed rather cruel. This process was accompanied by violent demonstrations amongst ordinary people.

Limits on Communication

The opposition will bring issues that arose at the conjunction into the fore again. One of the areas where this might happen is in a painful economic readjustment due to the new economic realities which take place this summer in the aftermath of the 7-planet conjunction in Taurus. There is a strong likelihood of repressive laws, because of Pluto’s Sagittarian influence, and these laws will limit the ability of ordinary people to communicate. One of the areas in which this new draconian influence will manifest is in the field of encryption. There has already been conflict between Internet users and various governments, because new encryption programs have made it possible to transmit information which secret government bodies have not been able to decipher. They have responded by attempting, without much success, to make these encryption programs illegal. In the months around the summer of 2002, there will high-profile legal cases which will almost surely result in the Internet Service providers exerting far greater control over what passes through their servers, much to the fury of ordinary users. It is during this time that the Internet will also probably suffer from its first major viral attack. Today the Internet is absolutely crucial for most of the world’s business dealings, and even a few minutes of shutdown means the loss of billions of dollars. Hackers find this a major challenge, and recently a young Canadian managed to shut down the internet portal Yahoo! for several hours, costing the company millions.

A Tax on Internet Transactions

With the Saturn/Pluto opposition there will almost certainly be far greater emphasis on security, and this will result in new limitations for ordinary Internet users. The most important development with the Saturn/Pluto opposition will however be taxation. Governments around the world, and particularly in Europe, will agree on universal taxation policies which will affect everyone trading on the Net. This will be experienced as extremely invasive by the Net community.

High Tech Crisis

During Saturn’s transit of Gemini, it will oppose its natal position in many of the horoscopes of major electronics companies which were formed in the computer boom of the 1980s. Companies like Compaq (Saturn 2°47 Sag), Oracle (Saturn 9°40, Mars 21°50, Uranus 22°18) and Microsoft – as well as a good many others – will go through a period of downsizing, restructuring and struggle. The most important of these is of course Microsoft, against which judgement was given in April 2000, as a long anti-trust case (brought by the US government) came to its conclusion. Though there is a process of appeal which will now take place, the end result is clear: Microsoft will be split up into at least 4 different entities. I base this prediction on the fact that Saturn in Gemini splits into two, and Pluto in Sagittarius doubles it! At the time of the judgement, Bill Gates (born 28 Oct 1955, 22.00 PST +8, Seattle, WA, 47N36 122W20) has vowed to fight the judgement, and he and other Microsoft executives are convinced they can prevent the break-up of the company. They will not be able to do this, and the future will see the world’s richest man getting marginalised in the coming years, and the behemoth Microsoft splitting up into an OS division (Windows), and Office division (with their popular Microsoft Office suite) a browser division (Internet Explorer) and perhaps a Communications division (with extension of broadband and cable as well as wireless communications for the next generation of personal organisers.)

The First Trade Horoscope for Microsoft

See chart for the first trade

Microsoft’s chart is typical of many horoscopes of high-tech firms, with a conglomeration of planets in late mutable degrees. In this case the powerful emphasis on 22° makes this degree a very sensitive spot for market fluctuations. So, when Jupiter zooms over this degree on June 7, 2001, it might be a very good time for sudden expansion (or perhaps even earlier when Mars crosses 22° Gemini on April 4, 2001). Personally I wouldn’t bet on it, but it is probably the last time an expansion can occur for Microsoft before the break-up. It is noticeable that Pluto’s transit over Microsoft’s Descendant and Saturn coincided with the American’s governments proceedings against the company, so the Jupiter transit over the Descendant in March 2001 probably refers to developments during the course of Microsoft’s appeal. The Descendant would seem to represent the enemies of Microsoft here, and Saturn’s position in the seventh is therefore formidable, especially considering that it is on the USA’s Ascendant. In reality Bill Gates has upset the American people, and it is foolish of him to think he can win. The eclipse at 19.54 Gemini on June 10, 2002, will be close to Microsoft’s Sun square Mars/Uranus and Bill Gates’ nodal axis and this is the key period for the collapse.

The First Trade chart for Microsoft is quite enlightening. Obviously the fact that the ruling planet Mercury was both retrograde AND in its fall in Pisces had no serious effect on its market performance. (Though some would claim that the system itself is weak and unreliable!) As Mercury progressed retrograded to conjoin the Sun and square Mars/Uranus it rose to completely dominate the world… though it certainly came to alienate many people in the process. It is in 2002 that progressed Mercury finally goes direct, signalling the major turning point for the company. Probably the fact that the Sun squares Mars/Uranus in the birth chart shows the explosive potential of a split-up. There are going to be fireworks. The tough times will come as Saturn contacts 22° in June 2002, and finally stationing at 22°08 Gemini on February 22, 2003, at which point it is my guess that Microsoft shares will be at their lowest ebb… probably a great time to buy! At this time – with transit Neptune making a two-year conjunction with Microsoft’s MC – the company will be confused and rudderless, and the leadership weak.

Bill Gates

See chart of Bill Gates

This will not worry our friend Bill too much. He has already been through the bad times and taken the consequences. When his progressed Ascendant crossed Pluto in 1999, whilst MC progressed opposed Venus and Saturn, he was put under enormous pressure to change and did so. Though still chairman of Microsoft, he pulled out of the day-to-day running of the company in 1999 to concentrate on development. There are those that argue – and Gates himself is among them – that he has truly been of service to the world in making computers intelligible and useable. Many people might claim that accusations of misuse of power, monopoly practices, and the crushing of opponents are unfair. Was Gates not merely embodying the spirit of success and competition enshrined in the American spirit? Actually no.

When you look at Gates’ chart, it is not difficult to see that here is a man who wields economic power mercilessly – the Jupiter and Pluto in 2nd house Leo, square Venus and Saturn in the 5th in Scorpio. There can be no doubt that it was the character of the man himself which provoked the American government into action against Microsoft. When the first judgement went against Microsoft on April 4, 2000, not only did shares in the company slump, but it also added to the general malaise amongst technology and internet shares. Because Mutable signs are so sensitive for these companies, the transit of Saturn through Gemini will bring repercussions for many of them, and we can expect something of a recession in this area. The dot com euphoria is now officially over, and difficult waters are ahead for those who want to make their fortunes on the Internet. It is during the next three years that the weak players will be separated from the strong, and the survivors will come to dominate the future market of wireless communication, which will weave telephone and internet into a seamless world in which all will have cheap access to everyone and everything.

Adrian Ross Duncan


Putin & The New Russia

After the demise of the Soviet Union, there has been some difficulty establishing which horoscope is the most effective for the newly reconstituted Russia – for, if the chart for the Russia Revolution signalled the onset of Communist rule, how can this chart still be used when communism has been sidelined? On the other hand, the symbolic start of the Russian Revolution, with the storming of the Winter Palace was such a powerful moment that it can scarcely be ignored.

The Russian Revolution Chart
See chart for the revolution

The revolution horoscope has proved to be an extremely effective tool for mapping the evolution and disintegration of Communist Russia. With Virgo rising, it hints of a “workers” regime, and might even suggest an element of enslavement of the people, with Mars in Virgo conjoining the Moon at 28 Leo in the 12th house. The Venus/Pluto opposition conjoining the Nodes from the 4th to the 10th houses could be seen to describe the depletion of resources, and the continual upheaval through various drastic land reforms, and mass movement of peoples, not least to Siberia. The Saturn/Neptune conjunction – so often significant in communist history – is in the 11th house, and constellates with Sun and Mercury in Scorpio and Uranus in Aquarius to form a very powerful T-square. The Sun/Mercury conjunction in Scorpio and the 3rd house, clearly shows the secrecy and power of the ruling elite, and the total manipulation of communication, as well as the dominance of the KGB. And the retrograde Jupiter in Gemini on the MC square Mars and the Ascendant suggests the importance of ideology and theory as part of the governing ethos. Indeed, no one can deny that this is a magnificent horoscope for Russia in the 20th century, and one which the astrologer only very reluctantly puts aside.

The Fall of the Soviet Union

The story is well known, and predicted by many an astrologer in the 70’s and 80’s; Barbault and Teissier in France, Tyl in USA and, most accurately, by Michael Baigent (Note 2) in Britain. As Pluto transited the 3rd house Scorpio Sun and Mercury, perestroika transformed communication in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, and then, with the Saturn/Neptune cycle repeating itself for the second time since the revolution (the first was with the death of Stalin)… and with all the elements of the massive T-square reconstituting themselves as a grand conjunction took place from 1989 to 1991… the Soviet Union collapsed, and a new Russian state was formed.

The Moon in Leo

Extraordinarily, it was precisely at this time that the progressed Venus in the revolution chart went stationary retrograde at 28.30 Aquarius within 9 minutes of arc of opposition to the revolution Moon. This focus on the degree of the Moon strongly suggests that the symbolic moment of the storming of the Winter Palace is accurate – by this time the people were fed up and impoverished, and they simply needed self-expression and contact with the people of the world. When Jeltsin replaced Gorbatchev after the August 1991 coup, the communist party organisation was officially dissolved, and a few days later, on September 5 1991, the USSR was abolished. At this time Jupiter was at 28.31 Leo, conjoining revolution Moon and opposing progressed Venus.

The New Russia

See chart for the new Russia

One can imagine the euphoria of the people of the Soviet empire at this time, as each state detached itself from the yoke of Mother Russia, and declared independence one by one… from Uzbekistan on August 31 to Armenia on September 23. Subsequently there were a number of constitutional changes which took place for Russia, but the two most significant moments were the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 8th in Minsk at 14.17 EET, and – more powerfully perhaps – the raising of the Russian Flag over the Kremlin on Christmas Day. It is this horoscope which has to be seen as the new chart for Russia, but this does not mean that the old chart does not “work”. Consider for example the ongoing war in Chechnya, which has taken place with Uranus activating the oppressive Sun/Saturn square in the revolution chart. The brutal and indiscriminate bombing of the Chechnyan people shows that the blind imperialist force inherent in the Scorpio/Leo square is manifesting quite strongly. In the same period it is difficult to see what the significant transits are in the new Russia chart.

Echoes in the New Russia chart

Indeed, at first glance it is hard to work with this chart. The 25° Leo rising does connect with the revolution Moon, and the 3° Virgo Moon is almost exactly on revolution Mars. The Venus/Pluto opposition from the 4th to the 10th is now an exact conjunction in the 4th – and indeed this has shown itself in the dire economic situation for the average Russian during the 90’s. The Mars/Jupiter square repeats itself – again in Mutable signs… obviously there will be a lot of bickering about principles, ideals and practicalities. Saturn in Aquarius has escaped the rays of Neptune, and indeed, Russia is no longer a communist state. Embodied in this new chart is the dream of Uranus and Neptune, trine Jupiter in Virgo (still in detriment) in the 2nd. One could imagine a valuable cultural renaissance with this exciting influence. There is an enormous dominance in Earth with an exact Sun/Moon trine, and this suggests that the size and resources of Russia will carry them through all difficult times.

Dissolution and Revolution

The meaning of the Sun/North Node conjunction is more of a mystery. What is happening here is that the nodal axis is “grounding” the forces of the rare Uranus/Neptune conjunction, showing that the new Russia was born out of the dramatic dissolution which saw the birth of the New World Order. This could explain the general atmosphere of dissolution which continues to plague Russia, and the weak health of its founder, Jeltsin. When Jeltsin bowed out at the end of 1999, paving the way for his protégé Putin, the impression is created of a new, stronger leader, who, though ruthlessly playing the Chechen war to his own advantage, conformed to the ideals of a Russian people who have traditionally preferred very strong, if not brutal, leaders. The heritage of the Tsars is not an easy one to shake off – a fact that Stalin was quick to capitalise on. Putin was elected with a large majority on March 26, 2000, with Uranus 19.25 Aquarius… an exact Uranus return to the Revolution chart Uranus at 19.49 Aquarius! Further emphasising the Uranus theme, Putin himself has his own Uranus in Cancer opposing the new Russia Uranus at 13.19 Capricorn.

President Putin

See chart of Vladimir Putin

Curiously, Putin’s progressed Sun runs into a square to Uranus, then a conjunction to Neptune, rather like the progressed Sun of New Russia. Obviously for Putin there are unconscious associations with Russia, in terms of an early childhood of dissolution and unpredictable change. Apparently his two brother died young, and he was brought up as an only child in a communal apartment shared by several families.(Note 4) He was illegally baptised into the Russian Orthodox faith… a religious heritage strongly indicated by the powerful 12th house in his chart. It is fascinating to note that he carries the Saturn/Neptune “communist” signature here, showing that his deepest nature is idealistic, and quite willing to embrace self-sacrifice for a higher cause. A Sun in its fall in Libra and the 11th, conjoining an exalted Saturn on the 12 cusp, shows a man whose individuality is subsumed by the collective, and totally in its service. As indeed he was.

Putin the Spy

From 1975 to 1990, he served as a KGB agent in East Germany, before returning to St. Petersburg to become deputy mayor. Let no one be under any illusions: Vladimir Putin is a master spy… no slur on his character intended. With Scorpio rising and a Pluto/South Node conjunction precisely on the MC, it’s simply his job and skill. He knows how to maintain a cloak of invisibility, whilst maintaining a total grip on power. On top of this, his information-gathering Moon in Gemini conjoins the 8th house cusp… one can almost see the hidden microphones. It is clear that the Putin the world sees – if the world sees anything more than a shadow – is rarely going to be the real Putin, whoever that is. How could it be, with such a self-effacing Sun, subject to the iron discipline of Saturn?

Secrets and Lies

In addition, the Putin the world hears is Mercury/Neptune in the 12th – and this is not an aspect renowned for clarity of communication. Putin says what is expedient to say under the prevailing circumstances. With Mercury sextiling the two Ascendant rulers, Mars on the one side, and Pluto on the other, we see portrayed a man skilled at interrogation, and with the ability to unearth information whilst the other person is off guard. There is of course great psychological skill here, but Putin will only tell the truth selectively. This is the man elected to rule Russia. It is not the horoscope of a person who would thrive in a Western democracy, because westerners would be suspicious of the secrecy, and the lack of joy, humour and charisma.

Putin and Russia’s soul

Apart from the Mercury aspects, there are no notable positive aspects in the chart, which seems both very Saturnian – note the Moon semi – and sesquisquare the Sun/Saturn square Uranus – and extremely Plutonian. However, it is a horoscope which suits Russia, and conforms rather splendidly with both the Russian charts. He embodies the Russian soul in the repeat of the revolution Saturn/Neptune/Uranus configuration. He has Venus in Scorpio as in the new Russia chart, and in harmony with the Venus/Pluto configurations of both charts… showing his capacity to deal with corruption and economic reform. He has the Mars in Sagittarius of the new Russia chart (and on the Galactic Centre, no less) – and indeed this Mars is trine his Pluto, giving him the ability to wield enormous power, survive under threat, and win against the odds. But the main reason he has been chosen by the Russian people is because his Ascendant is exactly at the mid-point of the new Russia Sun/Moon trine.

Putin and Power

He embodies in the unshakeability of his Scorpio Ascendant (and its strong Mars/Pluto trine) the desires of the Russia people for a superman who can drag them out of their economic quagmire, and restore some of their former self-esteem. He will try to do this economically, and he will undoubtedly try to do this militarily. If Putin survives, he will go on to transform the army, for, with Pluto transiting new Russia’s Mars in 2003 (and his own in 2006), the Russian army will be totally reconstituted, with the present system of conscripts being abolished, and a new voluntary system of professionals inaugurated. This will end an appalling tradition where barely-trained recruits are used as cannon-fodder in places like Afghanistan and Chechnya.

Election Day

Putin was elected on March 26, 2000, as Pluto passed over new Russia’s Mercury, and whilst Mercury in Pisces squared Pluto. This was not a day when people were particularly interested in the truth… and as the Sun at 6° Aries that day sextiled Neptune at 6° Aquarius, this was an expression of the dream of the Russian people for a strong leader who could save them. He possibly might, but as this was also the time of the Jupiter/Neptune square, reflected elsewhere by the last puffs of air in the dot com bubble, it is equally likely that their dreams will come crashing down to earth. What is noticeable about the election day is that Mars in Taurus was moving to join Jupiter, unfortunately showing the ascendancy of greed and corruption. As Putin was elected with his progressed Moon at 23° Aquarius, precisely opposing his Pluto and trining his Mars, it is not difficult to imagine many deals being done behind the scenes. Perhaps that is the only way to get things done in present-day Russia, but, with his spymaster training, he was the man to do it.

Current and Future trends

In this period of his life, Putin has his progressed sun within minutes of arc of a sextile to his progressed Mars, suggesting that this is the greatest period of executive power in his life. Perhaps that’s why he rose to popularity through war. This should make him a winner for many years to come, although there one or two events on the astrological horizon which show challenges ahead. The progressed Moon from the new Russia chart is about to join the progressed Sun in the 29½ year New Moon cycle. The profound significance of this is that it is to be a progressed New Moon eclipse at 13.51 Capricorn – exactly on progressed Uranus at 13.55 Capricorn. It’s difficult to get a more dramatic new moon chart, though it is mitigated by the trine to Jupiter.

The Crisis Year of 2002

This happens in March 2002, and as Uranus rules new Russia’s Descendant, one could imagine a surprising development in Russian’s foreign relations followed by a dramatic expansion. This could be a major alliance, and it could be a reconstitution of the old union in a new way. It is also likely that some technological advance revolutionises Russia’s image. Bearing in mind that 2001 to 2002 are years dominated by the nodal conjunction with a series of Saturn/Pluto oppositions at 12°, 13° and 16° Gemini/Sagittarius, both on new Russia’s Mercury, and the USA’s Ascendant/Descendant axis, it might seem that a crisis situation in America plays some role in the revolutionary changes to be expected in Russia at this time.

Crisis in Russian/US relations

This could be a nadir in the USA’s foreign relations, and it may coincide with a break in communication with Russia, possibly because of economic differences. How powerful these changes in 2002 are for Russia depends a lot on how significant the new Russia chart is. Some Russians astrologers prefer the Minsk agreement chart several weeks earlier (Dec 8, 1991, 17.45 GMT Zone 0. 37E35 55N45), but this would be equally dramatic because of its Sun/Mercury conjunction at 16° Sagittarius. It’s a difficult period to decipher. Oddly, Putin has progressed Sun opposite his Gemini Moon in 2001, just as the USA has progressed Sun conjoining its Aquarian Moon in 2002. It is as if the people of both continents are mobilised at this time, and public issues press themselves dramatically on the leadership.

A Turning Point for Mars

It’s a curious thing, but as mentioned earlier, the demise of communism coincided with the revolution Venus turning retrograde by progression. Between 2002 and 2004, revolution Mars will do the same thing at 3° Libra, square the Node/Pluto conjunction of 1917. Whilst this coincides with the transiting Pluto on new Russia’s Mars, and therefore with the reconstitution of the Russian armed forces, there could be a deeper significance. What is sure is that here is another turning point for Russia, and a surprising one. It could herald a new 30 year cycle of development for Russia dominated by technological advance. Some upheaval can be expected in 2002, with some startling alliances. These developments will most probably take place under the increasingly dictatorial rulership of a secretive Rasputin (sorry, Putin), dedicated to the renaissance of a new Russia….if he manages to negotiate the earthquakes of March 2002.

Note 1. Horoscopes for Russia from Book of World Horoscopes by Nick Campion.
Note 2. In Mundane Astrology co-written with Nick Campion and Charles Harvey.
Note 3. Source AstroDatabank : Matthew Quellas quotes Stef de Groot, webmaster of the President Vladimir V. Putin website, “The time of birth was from his official Soviet birth certificate, as you inquired.”
Note 4. I am indebted to AstroDatabank for this biographical information.

Adrian Ross Duncan


Lost in a Time Loop

Mercury is up to its tricks again. After the New Moon at 5° Libra, which took place September 27th, Mercury slips into Scorpio, where it will be from September 28th to December 3rd – over two months in this secretive and powerful sign. It’s been there before of course, every year Mercury will transit each of the 12 signs, locked in as it is to its tight orbit around the Sun. Seen from the Earth, which has a much wider orbit, Mercury and the Sun always seem close together, and in the geocentric horoscope, it is never more than 27° from the Sun. Just occasionally, when it is furthest away from the Sun, it can be seen with the naked eye from Earth, just after sunrise, or just before dawn. As it circles the Sun, once every 88 days, seen from the Earth Mercury appears to move backwards approximately three times during the course of the year, against the backdrop of the fixed stars, for a period of about 22 days.Vote on the Euro

See chart for the Danish referendum

The significance of Mercury and the September new moon is that only hours afterwards the people of Denmark vote on whether to accept the Euro as their unit of currency, and abandon their own independent currency – the kroner. The reader may be curious to know that I am writing this article on the morning of the 28th of September, only hours after the polls opened in Denmark, and I expect to be finished with the article as the polls close. This is a “live” article. This referendum is crucial for the whole of Europe, and particularly for the United Kingdom, which is fighting its own battle of doubt concerning the Euro, which in recent months has become weaker and weaker in relation to the dollar.

The Mercury Cycle

When the polls open, Mercury is at 29.37 Libra, when they close it is in Scorpio… something changes, but what? Is the Euro cast into a fresh crisis with a Danish NO, or will a Danish YES confirm the inexorable rise of the state of Europe? Opinion polls are completely undecided, with a slight majority in favour of those who say no. To understand precisely what is happening it pays to examine the amazing and fascinating cycle of Mercury. When Mercury goes retrograde, it will invariably meet the Sun in a short-lived conjunction, with each going their separate ways. Mercury will then turn and during the course of the next two months it will catch up with the Sun and conjoin again for a longer period, with Mercury travelling at its maximum speed of 2° a day, whilst the Sun moves along at its standard 1° a day.

Loopy Mercury

Of course all this “means” something astrologically – both in real time and in progressed time (a day for a year) – and an astrologer can spend years trying to work out quite what. There are several significant phases. When Mercury reaches the degree at which it will later go direct, this is the start signal. Whatever happens from now on is fated to go through a repeat process. In other words transiting Mercury will pass over any horoscope for any event in this period three times. Whatever process that event was supposed to set in motion can simply not be accomplished in one stroke. A process of reconstruction and change has to take place. In the progressed horoscope around up to 38 years of the life will elapse whilst the individual goes over crucial issues.

Denmark Must Vote NO

The crucial significance of the Danish single currency referendum is that not only does Mercury change sign at this time, it enters the degree at which it will later go stationary direct at 29.56 Libra on November 7th, which just happens to be the day of the USA presidential election. So, with the Danish referendum Mercury enters a loop, and will “restart” from the same position 42 days later. So here is the conclusion: just follow the loop. If there is a referendum as Mercury enters the loop, something will happen in the “42 day” period of time which is quite isolated, then it will restart at the end of this period, once again at 29° Libra. If Denmark says yes, then that’s it… they’re in, full stop. They are not going to hold another referendum then go out. Therefore they MUST say no. Then there will be a period of time, which the 42 days will symbolise, during which the Danes will wander in Scorpio, greatly confused, then they will return and vote again. The Danes will say No, but later they will say Yes. Because the Mercury in Scorpio loop is dominated by the square to Neptune it will be an unhappy saga.

…and Vote YES later

When will they go in again? Obviously not 42 days later, but 42 months is a possibility, which would be at the end of March 2004. In April 2004 Mercury goes retrograde at 1.53 Taurus, so perhaps there is a move to enter the Euro at the end of the loop which is 21 Aries. That’s a bit of a long shot, but it is a sure thing Denmark will vote to enter the Euro at some not too distant point.

Detective Mercury

When Mercury goes retrograde, then it simply cannot cover any more new territory for a long while. Just before going retrograde, there is a sensation of nothing happening, it grinds to a halt. People tell extraordinary stories about this period. In the progressive horoscope, it is often a period of weeks, months and even a year or two, where they suddenly find they can make no progress at all, even having to abandon projects. One programmer I hired at a time when his progressed Mercury went retrograde, conjoining Neptune and sextiling Pluto in his birth chart, just managed to finish a Japanese language version of my software products (that was the conjunction to Neptune… picture language), but abandoned the next project just before completion. One of the main functions of Mercury retrograde is to uncover lost material. When this takes place in Water signs, there are often secrets, spies, silences which must find a voice. There is this sense of someone saying “Hey, wait a minute!”… then going back to uncover what is really going on behind the scenes. One of the best things to do in this phase is to stop what you are doing and review it. It’s the best time to go into old archives, or redo something, or sort out what you need and what you don’t. It’s a brilliant time to clear up databases for example.

Mercury stations and meets the Sun

Transiting Mercury will go retrograde on October 18th at 15.47 Scorpio. This is really a tough station, partly because it is close to the eclipse degrees of Mars (16.51 Scorpio on August 11th 1999), and also because it is just before the square to Uranus at 16.55 Aquarius. It is as if Mercury is terrified of meeting Uranus and backs off. In real life this could show someone backing off from an extremely dangerous confrontation (… but it will come again on November 25th). Mercury retrograde then meets the Sun about 12 days later. What is happening here is that some information is integrated into the consciousness, but as they are going in opposite directions, there is an element of unwelcome news. But the Sun has now harvested necessary information, and armed with this information is likely to take executive action. It is also possible that the Sun will now be compromised by the knowledge Mercury brings.


In February 2000 when Mercury retrograde in Pisces (squaring Pluto) conjoined the Sun, there was a curious mixture of symbolical meanings: – A Danish artist made an installation with goldfish in blenders, encouraging visitors to make fish soup
– In Rumania, flooding from goldmines polluted the Danube with arsenic killing vast numbers of fish.
In October this year, the conjunction takes place on the 30th at 7° Scorpio, squaring Neptune at 3.50 Aquarius. It’s possible there are some severely compromised presidents and royalty at this time. The retrograde Mercury cycle here is characterised by the square to Neptune which takes place three times. Mercury in Scorpio is all about secrets, and the tendency is for them to come up to the surface.

Danger for Chirac

When Mercury squares Neptune, then secrets on film become most significant, and this brings to mind the fate of Jacques Chirac. He will have transiting Pluto on his MC during this period, whilst Neptune is square his own Venus at 3.04 Scorpio. Recently a video turned up exposing his role in corruption several years ago, and claiming that he received a large sum of money as a direct kick-back. He may desperately try to bury the threatening scandal now, but the coming two-month transit through Scorpio almost guarantees the most damaging revelations.

Mercury and Karma

Mercury goes stationary direct Mercury has gathered all the material which it was fated to do. It must now move forward. At last true progress can be made. It will now traverse territory which it has already been over twice, but this time armed with deep experience and knowledge. In the progressed horoscope there is generally a positive feeling when direct motion finally comes. They can move forward again, and with great strength and power. There is a sense of fullness and completeness. However, in the progressed horoscope Mercury retrograde often shows individuals picking up past karma. What this karma is depends on the nature of the sign Mercury is in, and especially on any aspects Mercury makes. One client with natal Mercury in the 5th house retrograding into the 4th, had a handicapped child when Mercury stationed, but in square to Pluto in the 8th. The harshness of the aspect dictated the nature of the karmic burden. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, and in this case it launched a career in psychology for the person in question. In real time, when Mercury turns direct, whatever there was to uncover has now been uncovered. Nothing more can be uncovered.

Whoops…. prediction confirmed!

In the present retrograde cycle, Mercury will go stationary direct just dipping back from Scorpio into the last degree of Libra. Not only does the loop close here, but it happens on the border of two signs. As I write now, the first results from the Danish referendum have come through. Exit polls show 47% Yes, and 53% No. It might not look much, but in Danish terms it’s a big margin.

So here comes the next one…

See chart for the US election

Emboldened by this little predictive success, I will now make the next prediction. On the exact moment of the start of the US presidential election, Mercury retrogrades out of Scorpio and during the day stations at 29.56 Libra, closing the loop. Whatever happens now will be a continuation of what happened when Mercury entered the loop “42 days” ago. Whatever went on before this election moment will now be sealed in the loop. What happened in this loop of time was 8 years of Democratic rule. What happened before the loop was that the Republicans had been in power. Before the time loop was George Bush. After the time loop… George (W.) Bush. In terms of the time loop, it does not make sense for Gore to simply continue the work of Clinton. He is consigned to oblivion in the loop. Just as Denmark will continue with its commitment to Europe and the single currency after their period of isolation in the loop, the US will continue with the Republicans, where they left off 8 years ago. America is simply at a later stage of the loop.

Mercury breaks free

The final stage in the Mercury retrograde period is when Mercury reaches the degree at which it went retrograde. Whatever was prevented from happening when Mercury went retrograde, is now free to happen. Whatever was being put off can now take place, in the secure knowledge that all the necessary information is now at hand. Fresh fields beckon… it’s an exhilarating new prospect. In the progressed chart it is the end of landscapes which have been so familiar they are almost boring… it’s like going to a new school. There are completely new things to learn and new experiences to be had.
– In the present case however Mercury must now meet the square to Uranus which it so hoped to avoid. It is unfortunate thing, but squares between Scorpio and Aquarius are the most difficult to handle, probably because the two rulers are Pluto and Uranus, which in difficult combinations have always been historically associated with terror. Now Mercury meets Uranus, but it is bolstered by its difficult wanderings. Truths have been uncompromisingly unearthed, and though this has been a traumatic process, Mercury is not scared any longer. So when it squares Uranus just at the new moon in Sagittarius, we can expect a new start. As the new moon falls at 3° Sagittarius, activating one of the most sensitive areas of France’s many national horoscopes, it would seem that this is the time which earlier revelations will damage Chirac, despite efforts to cover up whilst Mercury was retrograde.


These are my personal conclusions about the current Mercury cycle. Being in Scorpio, we will enter a two month period where the deepest secrets will be exposed creating scandals in different areas of the world. Because Mercury squares Neptune, there will be lies and cover-ups. (Not that that is the best course of action with a Mercury/Neptune aspect. Quite the opposite, it is all about expressing difficult truths with honesty and clarity.) The video tape episode with Chirac will explode, as Mercury oscillates between squaring Neptune and squaring Uranus, with the finale on November 25th. George Bush will be resurrected in the figure of his younger clone, er… George (W.) Bush, after a last month of election campaign which sees secrets and lies being uncovered. Denmark will say NO (I’m cheating here, I’ve just heard the final result!), but will without a shadow of a doubt vote in to the Euro within 8 years and perhaps in the Spring of 2004.


Astrologer Arlette Gurtler made me aware of the fact that as Mercury entered Scorpio, it meant there could be an immediate reception to Mars in Virgo. The Danish people, (ruled by Mercury) saw the chance to regain their dignity through voting for their home country … Mercury returning to the sign it rules, Virgo. This could certainly create a much for favourable outcome for the Danish No, but will not prevent them coming in to the single currency later on.

Adrian Ross Duncan