In ancient times, when the Greek gods ruled the universe, it was never a good idea to go for a stroll through a flowery meadow, even if you were with your mother. Who knew whether the earth would open up, and the fearsome god Hades (Pluto) would drag you down into the Underworld? Such was the fate of Persephone (Venus), who was drawn into the darkness on Hades’ chariot and deflowered. When this happened, Demeter, the mother, (Ceres) was not pleased. She made the Earth barren and there was famine. Zeus (Jupiter) had to intervene, and Persephone was allowed to return the surface for half of the year, during which time Demeter made the earth fruitful . It seems that is how we humans got summer and winter.
Here is early 2022, the story repeats. Venus is abducted, and Ceres is mad. Me too.
In December 2021, Venus travelled through Capricorn and arrived on Pluto, at which point Venus went retrograde. As a result, Venus conjoined Pluto for three long weeks. What trials she must have suffered under his power and control! On her retrograde journey, Venus finally stations at 10 degrees Capricorn at the end of January 2022, making an exact trine to Uranus at 10 Taurus. This looks like an opportunity to escape. (Note 1.)
To compound this story, Mars enters Capricorn, and because Venus is stationary and only slowly begins forward motion, Mars catches up with her and for the whole of February and the first week of March, they travel hand in hand through Capricorn. Are these lovers, who have found each other, partners who have ambitions to realize, or does Venus suffer from the dominance of an exalted Mars? To get the answer, we need to study the stories of the times.
On December 29th 2021 Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of “conspiracy to entice” underage girls to be abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. This guilty verdict took place exactly as Mercury conjoined Venus, which was retrograde on Pluto. It was precisely at this time that Mercury entered its pre-shadow phase – it returns to this point weeks later because of retrograde movement. The story is just beginning.
Maxwell verdict December 29th, 2021. 15.30 (approx) New York (AS 24 GE)
Mercury’s role in this was to expose and communicate the secrets, which Venus retrograde on Pluto had to tell of. Four plaintiffs told their stories of underage abuse and a unanimous jury convicted Maxwell. What is interesting is that Mercury later goes retrograde and returns to conjoin Pluto once again, so far more information is going to surface. And it will be explosive: Mercury goes stationary retrograde exactly square Uranus. Maxwell has not yet been sentenced, and she does have leverage. In her time with Epstein, many famous people enjoyed his hospitality, not least Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and, alarmingly for the British royal family, Prince Andrew. She may well be sharing compromising information to get her sentence reduced, and faced with years in prison, who wouldn’t?
Ghislaine Maxwell. December 25th 1971. 15.20. Maisons Laffitte, France (AS 10.15 GE)
Maxwell is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, who was an extremely powerful British newspaper baron who fell (apparently) off his yacht in the middle of the night and drowned. His empire subsequently went bankrupt because he had utterly plundered his company’s pension fund. Ghislaine, then, was brought up in a life of privilege, riches and corruption, which probably made the attraction to Epstein’s sphere an easy move.
What we see in Maxwell’s horoscope is a person who is an efficient organizer, with her Ascendant ruler Mercury conjoining the Sun and Mars in Capricorn. It’s apt that these planets are strategically placed in the 8th house, which clearly helps when what needs to be organized is sex trafficking. Mars conjoining the 8th house cusp and exactly trine Uranus, shows the jet setting life along with the erotic undercurrents. Mercury trine Pluto suggests that she was an adept at guiding people into this murky universe.
Another key pattern in this chart is the grand cross, with the Moon in Leo opposing Jupiter, and Neptune opposing Ceres (luring those daughters away from Mother). Jupiter exactly on the Midheaven is an indication of the elite social circle she was a part of, the Moon in Leo shows her charms as a hostess, whilst the squares from Neptune suggest the seduction implicit in a life with the rich and famous. Transiting Saturn was at 11.40 Aquarius, activating the grand cross at her conviction, and that spelled the end of this illusory existence. Pluto will soon conjoin her Saturn in the 9th, which almost certainly shows a harsh judgment falling from on high.
Epstein made his fortune in banking. He must have done rather well, because he had ludicrously expensive properties in New York, Paris, Florida and New Mexico, as well as his private Caribbean island.
Jeffrey Epstein. January 20th 1953. 3.15 am New York (AS 2.25 SG)
Epstein’s success is partly related to his Capricorn Sun in the 2nd house square Saturn – a hard-nosed businessman – and partly through Ascendant ruler Jupiter in Taurus in sextile to and mutual reception with Venus in Pisces. This last aspect indicates perhaps that he was a soft guy; or perhaps he just liked vulnerable girls. The trouble is that when Mars conjoins Venus, there is often trouble in relationships, and when this takes place in Pisces, then the moral compass can go way off true. His Mars trine Uranus in the 8th is echoed in Maxwell’s horoscope, and clearly indicates the excitement of seduction. So why not spirit young girls away on his private jet to his secluded island?
Epstein committed suicide in a New York jail (although 45% of Americans think he was murdered) on August 10th 2019. Transiting Neptune, after conjoining his Mars, then Venus, was at 18.06 degrees exactly on his IC at 18.17 Pisces. An end shrouded in mystery. Pluto at 21.16 Capricorn was exactly on his Mercury 21.09, so nobody will find out what really happened, but, for sure, there were a lot of rich and famous people who heaved a sigh of relief.
The second son of Queen Elizabeth is another example of someone whose moral compass is askew. It’s a difficult life being a royal, and traditionally royals have had their affairs – just look at Prince Charles and Prince Philip. Still, Andrew, with his Ascendant ruler the Sun at 0.00 Pisces on the cusp of the 8th house appears to be a lost soul, searching for a role and – with the opposition to Pluto – struggling with existential issues.
Prince Andrew: February 19th 1960. 3.30 pm. London
He was a helicopter pilot in the Falklands war, which definitely requires a cool head and considerable guts, which is exemplified by his exalted Mars in Capricorn. At 27 degrees in fact, which exactly where Pluto is at the time of writing (January 17th 2022). Currently US law enforcement is trying to put him on trial, because – disaster – he has been named by one of the underage girls that Ghislaine Maxwell recruited, who claims to have had sex with him three times in different locations. As there is a photo of Andrew with his arm around her, his denial of ever meeting her is risible. Here in January, the royal family has stripped him of his military titles – that’s Pluto over his Mars; it’s relentless.
Andrew, too, has Mars and Venus in exact conjunction, and as this conjunction is on Epstein’s Sun at 29 Capricorn (and USA Pluto), it is perhaps no surprise that he was attracted into Epstein’s orbit. The sexuality of Capricorn is underrated – that old goat – and in this case the conjunction is also exactly on Ceres, so Persephone and Demeter are in close union. As Pluto has yet to conjoin these two, but will in 2022-2023, the vengeance of Demeter has yet to be experienced. There is also a link from this triple conjunction to Pluto – they are in quintile aspect. It’s all going wrong for Prince Andrew now: at the time of writing Saturn is conjoining his Descendant, and will make a triple conjunction to his Pisces Sun in 2023, and at the same time Uranus will oppose his debilitated Moon in Scorpio in the 4th house… he may yet be hauled off to do time in the USA.
Those were the predators, but who was the prey? They were in fact innumerable, but the most high profile is Virginia Giuffre. She was sexually abused at the age of 7, and was in and out of foster homes, running away at age 14 to live on the streets. She met Ghislaine Maxwell in 2000, and in 2001 she says she was introduced to Prince Andrew. She was clearly vulnerable and an easy prey for Maxwell, and in the following years she traveled around on private jets and was “passed around like a platter of fruit” to Epstein’s powerful associates.
Virginia Giuffre. August 9th, 1983. 5.52 am Sacramento, CA (AS 11.02 LE)
Giuffre has Sun, Moon and Ascendant in Leo – in fact she has her Sun on Ghislaine’s Moon – so she is probably not a shrinking violet, and knew how to make a splash. What made her a victim of sexual predators is the exact square of Mars at 27 Cancer in the 12th house to Pluto at 27 Libra. There’s that 27 degrees again, activating Prince Andrews Mars in Capricorn. Mars in fall in the 12th square Pluto is a psychologically debilitating aspect, with the implication of sexual abuse and imprisonment. As she says: “… these powerful people were my chains” – the powerful people represented by the Pluto-Saturn conjunction.
Apart from the debilitated Mars, Venus is also in fall and retrograde. In fact, Venus goes back by progression into Leo to activate the Moon trine Neptune and the South Node in her 5th house during her twenties, so she was drawn in to the lives of a morally bankrupt elite. For Mars- Pluto, nothing is sweeter than revenge and often the tables are turned with the aspect, as the subject goes through an empowering psychological transformation. She will undoubtedly be offered a large sum to make a private settlement, but she might not opt for that. She is now a high profile campaigner offering support to victims of sex trafficking and created the non-profit “Victims refuse silence”. She married an Australian martial arts trainer – that Mars-Pluto again – in 2002 and now lives in Australia with her two children.
In August 2021, Giuffre started a New York lawsuit against Prince Andrew, accusing him of sexual assault and seeking unspecified damages. (She filed a civil case against Epstein back in 2009 and was awarded half a million dollars.)
It is under the current Venus retrograde cycle conjoining Pluto that these lurid details are coming to the surface, highlighting the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women. More is to come: during the course of February 2022, Mars enters Capricorn and conjoins a slow-moving Venus. They remain locked together moving almost at the same speed until the first week of March, when they hit 27 degrees Capricorn together, where Pluto awaits. This is when the gut punch comes.
Adrian Ross Duncan
January 17th 2022.
1. Read my article: https://www.astrowow.com/blog/pluto-0-ceres-1/