The Cosmic Signature of the Little King

So the 7th in line to the British throne was born today. Feisty fella by the looks of him.

I find it fascinating that his Sidereal chart contains an exalted Sun on the Ascendant, with an exalted Moon in the 2nd. This lad will have tremendous vitality, a very noble bearing, and natural instinct for leadership- all this not only because of the exalted rising Sun and exalted Moon, but also due to the Gaja Kesari Yoga formed by the Moon and Jupiter in opposite signs, and the very very tight and conspicuous opposition of Mars and Jupiter which would give a person tremendous courage and the confidence to attempt grand things. There is something of a crusader here. If inspired by a noble cause, he could do much good.

Pluto in fact connects to this Opposition in the Little King’s chart by being less than half a degree from exactly Quincunx and Semi-Sextile to Mars and Jupiter respectively. This implies that his innate zeal for crusading or ‘going big’ is tinged with a powerful sense of purpose. There’s great resolve and forcefulness in him. Around age 30, seen through the lens of Solar Arc Progressions, these three planets will all aspect each other and most likely awaken this forceful and resolute idealism. These three planets will regularly be simultaneously triggered by transits and progressions, but age 30 should be one of the more potent examples (add to that the fact that around that age Saturn returns and transits his 10th House).

This image of bold heroism we get from an exalted rising Sun, with Mars in Opposition to Jupiter, this idea that the Little King will be a ‘man of deeds’, as it were, seems supported by the fact that the Moon occupies the Nakshatra called Krittika, itself symbolized as a razor or flame. This Nakshatra is associated with the mythic hero Karttikeya, the general of the celestial army, giving this Nakshatra an association with ‘fame and larger-than-life endeavors and projects.’ *

I suspect that he will be a forthright speaker. Compare his chart to that of Martin Luther King: nearly the same degree on the Ascendant and Mars (the Sidereal Asc lord, also very close to the same degree in both charts) in the 2nd House of speech.

Mercury in Aries in the 1st House does nothing to tame this indication of fiery speech. In fact Mercury Conjunct Uranus in the 1st House in Sidereal Aries portrays a person with a quick and very active mind; bold, even defiant and provocative in his ideas and manner of communicating.

His Mercury in Aries is not far from Hitler’s Mercury- in Aries in any zodiac. Add to that Rahu in Gemini in the 3rd- this person’s going to express his ideas with enthusiasm and some flair I think. We’ll hear from him for sure.

Like Martin Luther King, again, he has Saturn as 10th lord in the 9th in Sagittarius in the Sidereal/Whole Sign chart. It will be interesting to see what role religion plays, if any, in his life. It looks like the royal scion is less likely than King to become a man of the cloth, having Jupiter, lord of the 9th located in the 8th (whereas MLK had Jupiter in the 1st), not to mention the religious heterdoxy that Ketu in the 9th in Sagittarius can describe. He will like science and logical thought, he’ll appreciate the practical application of knowledge.

Amoung his friends and associates will be found some not-so-royal elements, shown by Rahu in the 3rd House (and lord of the 3rd, Mercury, Conjunct Uranus), as well as Neptune in the 11th House (with Sidereal 11th lord Saturn Conjunct South Node and Pluto). Secrecy or some sense of loss in the realm of friendship or relationships is not improbable with Venus, lord of the 7th House located in the 12th House along with a fairly tight square of Venus and Saturn.

Oh well, all considered, what with Sun Trine Saturn in his chart, he seems to be a good lad who’ll eventually do his mum and his dad and his nanna proud.

God Save the Little King

* from Light on Life by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda

Advanced Astrology for Beginners- Webinar Course 5-19 May 2019

The reason I’ve called this course ‘Advanced Astrology for Beginners’ is because the aim and purpose of this series of lessons is to lead the astrological novice as quickly as possible to astrology that really works!

‘Advanced astrology’ here doesn’t mean ‘ extra difficult’, it means something closer to ‘solid and utterly reliable astrology’.

The emphasis will be on the Geometry of astrology known as Aspects.

If you master Aspects, you’ve mastered a principle that has many vital applications.

– Applied to natal chart interpretation Aspects reveal distinct and important personal characteristics and life patterns.

– Applied to the comparison of two charts (Synastry or ‘compatibility astrology’) Aspects reveal a great deal about the quantity and quality of the ‘channels’ of communication that exist between individuals.

– Applied to Transits (the current positions of the planets, or their position at any given time) Aspects help us read the current general or global weather and (most excitingly) the Aspects formed between the Transiting and Natal chart positions give us an invaluable key to individual life cycles.

Learning to work with Transits is the crowning achievement of successfully assimilating the information presented in this course. And it is a great achievement indeed! When you’re proficient in these basic applications of Astrological Geometry, all the rest of astrology’s facets (some of which are far less solid and completely reliable than Aspects) will be easy to add in time to your astrological tool-kit.

Spend some time applying all the wondrous ways astrological Aspects are used, and you will come to know for certain and see with your own eyes that our lives unfurl, just like flowers, in the most glorious symmetrical patterns, synchronized to a grand cosmic song conducted by our Maestro, the Sun, with his band, the Solar System.


5 May
– Basic astronomical facts relating to the Planets and the Solar System.
– The structure of the Zodiac and it’s convenience in terms of measuring Geometric Angles
– Reading the Ephemeris (tables of planetary motion, the grand clock which is the solar system); approximate but adequate chart calculation using the Ephemeris.
– Options for generating precise and accurate astrological charts.

12 May
– Planetary ‘archetypes’; attributes and Symbolism associated with the Planets; the Planets and our human, drives, faculties and functions.
– Aspects and Sign Groupings;
– Calculating and interpreting Aspects in a Natal Chart

19 May
– Using the ephemeris to observe Transits and Planetary Cycles
– Calculating Aspects between Transiting and Natal (birth) positions
– How to decode the symbolic meaning of the ‘cosmic algebra’ you’re producing with Aspects.
– Aspects between the birth charts of two (or more) individuals representing their ‘points of meeting’- and how these are cyclically triggered by Transits.

You can do all this!


– Three consecutive Sunday sessions starting 5 May 2019 at 15:00 GMT/UT (17:00 South African time).

– Each lesson will be approximately 2 to 2.5 hours in duration.

– Each participant will be given a link to essential resources, such as planetary tables, video content on all these topics from similar courses, a PDF textbook written by Richard Fidler which contains descriptions of all the core elements of the astrological alphabet, including interpretations for Planets in Signs, Planets in Houses, and most importantly here, Planets in Aspect. I will in fact request of participants to spend some time reading the first 30 pages or so of the textbook in preparation for the course.

– Participants will receive recordings of these lessons.

– US$36 via PayPal paid into
– ZAR400 from a South African Bank account

Bookings and queries: Richard Fidler

First Steps into Jyotish Webinar Course 4-25 May 2019

FIRST STEPS INTO JYOTISH: an Introduction to Vedic Astrology

If you’ve studied some Western astrology and you’re curious about Jyotish, but not quite sure where to start, this course could be for you.

Western and Vedic astrology are dialects of the very same language. They are literally twins separated at birth. For this reason they are very directly comparable. Where they do differ they often have a lot to teach each other. Even if you don’t decide to adopt the methods of Jyotish, understanding them can expand and deepen your understanding of astrology in general. It is also a fact that Western and Vedic astrology are coming closer together. There is a growing exchange and discourse between exponents of both approaches which, I believe, will eventually result in the development of a more complete and refined form of astrology in the future. More and more astrologers are recognizing the value of becoming ‘bilingual’. This short but intensive course can help you take your First Steps into Jyotish.

– Four consecutive weekly lessons commencing Saturday 4 May 2019 at 15:00 GMT/UT
– Each lesson will be between 1.5 and 2 hours in duration.
– Each participant will receive a PDF course manual as well as recordings of the online lessons
– Course fee: US$ 60
– PayPal payments can be made here:


LESSON 1 (4 May 2019)
– Calculating and drawing a Jyotish horoscope: converting a Tropical Western chart to the Sidereal Jyotish format
– Free software suggestions and demonstration
– The attributes of the ‘Navagrahas’ or nine Planets used in Jyotish; Planetary Dignity
– The ‘Bhavas’ or Houses and their most important groupings

LESSON 2 (11 May 2019)
– Basic rules of chart interpretation: Planets as occupants, lords and significators of Houses
– Jyotish approach to Aspects of the Planets
– The Yogas of Jyotish: Special Planetary Combinations
– The status of various planets for the 12 Ascendants (Lagnas)
– Chandra and Surya Lagnas: the Moon and Sun as Ascendants

LESSON 3 (18 May 2019)
– Introduction to the Nakshatras or Lunar Mansions of Jyotish
– The use of Nakshatras in Natal Chart interpretation, Elections and traditional Synastry
– Calculating Vimshottari Dasha from the Moon’s Nakshatra position

LESSON 4 (25 May 2019)
– Application of Dashas, Transits and other Timing Techniques of Jyotish
– Sade Sati
– Remedial Measures

For enrolment or queries contact Richard Fidler at

Total Lunar Eclipse with Mars 27 July 2018: Hold the Reins!

This evening (from where I am in South Africa) there will be a total lunar eclipse which is somewhat unique as eclipses go, primarily because the Moon at the time will be very close to Mars. To be more precise, Mars will be within less than one full zodiacal degree from the Moon, and that by astrological standards is a very tight Conjunction! This means this eclipse will in a sense act as a wide open channel or ‘portal’ for the energy of Mars to precipitate into the world. At the most basic level of astrological interpretation this implies that the energy of this eclipse will range from vigorously energetic and feisty, to angry and unruly. There is nothing meek and mild about it, so take care!

Those most directly affected by the eclipse would be people born on or near the 27th of July, or half a year from there, around 25 January, of any year. Everyone with key personal planets located between about 3-5 degrees of (Tropical) Leo or Aquarius will be in very direct ‘line of fire’, for better or for worse. Generally the early part of the Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) will be most fully stirred, if not shaken, by this event.

While there is a general over-arching global significance and ‘effect’ from this eclipse, we will all see it mirrored in different situations and relationships, and each with greater or lesser intensity. Even so, this eclipse seems to be portentious of a boiling hot turbulence in the global ether which may find some more localized expression in our personal lives. Shots will be fired!

To those able to view this eclipse, it is likely to be quite a spectacular sight, what with Mars now being much brighter than usual and so close to the Moon. It is also apparently going to be the longest lunar eclipse of the century, and this may have a bearing on the full duration of the eclipse’s influence in the world: The longer the eclipse lasts, the longer it’s influence will be felt.

Eclipses are generally considered by astrologers to have a tangible influence for several weeks to some months before and after they occur; it’s worth bearing in mind that although the time of the actual eclipse can be highly charged, the consequences or implications of the eclipse for the world as a whole, or for any individual, will start to develop prior to the eclipse, and linger for some time afterwards. With this being a particularly long lasting eclipse, it implies that it’s influence will be felt for longer than usual after the event.

When transiting planets form powerful aspects to the eclipse degree in the weeks and months after an eclipse, it tends to energise and re-activate the energy of the eclipse. In this case it is well worth keeping an eye on the last week of September 2018, when Mars (currently retrograde), returns to it’s conspicuous location at the time of the eclipse.

Whatever this eclipse may mean for you (according to where it occurs in your chart), these issues could be brought back into sharp focus during this last week of September 2018. This time could also bring about conspicuous global events of a tempestuous kind.

As far as generalizations go, this eclipse could at worst evoke anger and conflict. The challenge here is to keep your head if you are feeling agitated, restless or impulsive; make sure you don’t rush in where angels fear to tread. Consider the idea that ‘every attack is a cry for help’; if you feel the need to confront others, ask yourself whether you aren’t evading responsibility for something in your life, and whether confrontation isn’t likely to push the desired outcome even further away from you? What do you really want to achieve? Work towards it and take personal responsibility for achieving it. When Mars energy is coursing through your veins you may not be thinking things through and you may easily act on primal instinct, rather than reason. This can end in regret.

Venus is more entangled in this eclipse than may meet the eye, since Venus is forming 45 degree multiple angles (Semi-Square and Sesquiquadrate) to the Sun, Moon and Mars at the time of the eclipse. This adds a layer of amorousness to this eclipse’s influence. It may thus awaken romantic and sexual desires which could at manifest as exhilaration and arousal; but there is some potential in this situation to act on impulse or indiscreetly. Frustration in relationships may be more difficult to tolerate and there could be rash reactions to thwarted desires, or a general lack of tolerance and patience in personal relationships. This Venus-Mars component of the picture has a type of raw creative vitality to it, and at it’s best it can encourage us to be socially gregarious and engaging- and as long as their is an adequate awareness of personal boundaries, this could be enjoyable and fruitful.

Western astrology locates the Moon and Mars in the Tropical sign Aquarius during this eclipse, but according to Vedic astrology it occurs in the Sidereal sign Capricorn. This is important, if you view this eclipse through the Sidereal lens, because Capricorn is the sign in which Mars is ‘exalted’; it’s the sign in which Mars can function most optimally.

Make no mistake, this does not do much to temper the ferocity of Mars, but it does provide some scope for the more constructive expressions of it’s virile energy. Direct your ‘warrior energy’ (Mars) into a practical and constructive (Capricorn) direction. ‘The devil has work for idle hands’. The more constructive and practically purposeful your intentions are, the less likely you are to get embroiled in destructive conflicts. This requires a cultivation of Capricorn’s virtue of discipline. When he’s reined in just right, Mars will be the steed that swiftly drives the chariot of your ambitions to their concrete realization.

If you’re going to cut any crap, let it be your own distraction from working industriously towards your highest goals; goals that bring personal success while serving a useful function within the larger social economy. If we are to speak of a ‘Spiritual Warrior’, then this is how he rolls…

The Four Aims of Life and the Houses of the Horoscope

Jyotish, or Vedic Astrology, divides the twelve houses (or ‘bhavas‘) of the horoscope into four groups, each associated with one of the ‘puruṣārthas‘, or the Four Aims of Life.

Dharma (righteousness, morality) – 1st, 5th, 9th

Artha (wealth, material resources) – 2nd, 6th,10th

Kama (desires) – 3rd, 7th, 11th

Moksha (final liberation) – 4th, 8th, 12th

The idea that there are four aims of life is not specifically an astrological notion. It’s a basic tenet of Hindu or Vedic philosophy. This astrological correspondence is in fact an example of the close knit integration and ease of communication between Jyotish and other branches of Indian religion, culture and learning. It is similar, for example, with Jyotish and Ayurveda.

Western astrologers will recognize that these four groups distribute the houses into four triplicities that are normally associated with the four elements. Western astrologers may speak of ‘Fire Houses’ when referring jointly to the 1st, 5th and 9th Houses, and may describe the 2nd, 6th and 10th as ‘Earth Houses’, and so on. Some modern western astrologers have written on these house triplicities, and generally the elemental correspondences have guided their musings and observations.

This is all well and good, and many of those insights can complement and illumine what we can learn about these groupings from the Jyotish angle. It is worth noting, however, that the way Jyotish has linked these Four Aims of Life to the four house triplicities gives a more precise philosophical context, and arguably a greater importance, to this particular way of grouping the houses than you typically find in western astrology.

One quick technical point. The diagrams used in the case studies will show the chart for each subject using conventional Western astrological settings (Tropical Zodiac and Placidus Houses) on the left, and on the right of it, another chart applying the ‘settings’ used in Jyotish (Lahiri Sidereal Zodiac and Whole Houses). While more and more western astrologers are learning to read the vedic or Jyotish type square charts, they’re still somewhat esoteric to many. We’ll keep it simple by not adding new diagram formats to this discussion.

Without further ado.

The Dharma Houses – 1, 5, 9

‘Dharma’ is an excellent word for conveying an important insight into the nature of the 1, 5, 9, or the ‘Fire House’ triplicity. It becomes explicit that it is through the three Dharma Houses (or ‘Konas’ as they are also called) that we find or express our ‘true nature’, or ‘highest calling’. Call it self realization, creative intelligence and religion, if you like; they’re all faces or facets of the principle of dharma.

Like ‘fire’, dharma is a state of spontaneous honesty; it can’t be hidden or contrived in nature. There’s a purity, truth and integrity to fire. The houses of the Dharma Triplicity are considered the luckiest of all the houses, and are accorded great importance in Jyotish. The lords of these houses become, to some degree, ‘temporary benefics’, even when naturally malefic. Through these houses and the ‘fiery grace’ they represent, we can find our way, and align with truth and authenticity. Each individually, in our own unique way.

In the Baghavad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, “One’s own dharma, performed imperfectly, is better than another’s dharma well performed. Destruction in one’s own dharma is better, for to perform another’s dharma leads to danger.”

One aspect of dharma is close to the notion of duty, but this should be distinguished from what we think of, or may presume to be, career, or even adherence to custom, although at times they can be closely united. When we ‘individuate’ successfully, when the dharma is strong in us, so to speak, then we will be gifted, inspired, alive and enthusiastic; we’ll be intelligent, creative and intuitively capable in certain specific directions. Perhaps this brings with it an automatic responsibility.

Arjuna was an unequalled warrior, and so for him to lose focus at the commencement of a great and important battle was to lose his dharma in a most lamentable way. Lord Krishna hence went to pains to discuss the nature of dharma and how it related to Arjuna’s immediate situation, to help him reorientate and realign.

And that climactic moment was no time for wannabe warriors who have little to gift the situation, and who were not truly called to this purpose, who would be out of their depth, and in more than bodily harm’s way.

To find your dharma (without a birth chart), you should ask yourself, what was Arjuna doing on his off days, like, for fun? If you’re alive enough you already know the things you have a love for, and a knack for. If you find your aptitude and develop it with fortitude, then if perchance one day a conch shell sounds, and it’s your cue, your moment to be the only genius available capable of wielding, or rather sharing your particular gift, you’re ready to show up and enthral the house, or save the day, as the case may be. Knowing who you are, and being who you are, and then showing up, at the right time, is key to finding and fulfilling your dharma.

The inherently auspicious nature of the 1st House and it’s lord is substantially due to the fact that the 1st House belongs to the Dharma Triplicity. Beyond that the 1st house is the only house where karma, which basically means action (the Angular houses), and dharma automatically meet.

Where these principles combine, dharma finds outer manifested physical expression, in action, and so good things naturally follow. This idea that there is a valuable alchemical potency in combining the Angular Houses with the Dharma Houses is important in Jyotish, and is the basis of certain Raja Yogas (‘king making’ combinations promoting success, power and prestige).

The 1st house is our ‘dharma crown’ – the seat of our identity, purpose and will. It shapes our personality; the plain visible naked truth of who we are.

Inasmuch as 5th house represents romance, affairs of the heart, children, and play or recreation, these themes are inherently about our most sincere and beautiful intentions, experiences and ideals. What greater sense of heartfelt joy and exhilaration is there than play and courtship? Dharma Houses give peak experiences in awareness and self-expression.

Jyotish believes that ‘poorva punya‘, or past life credit, is shown in the 5th house. We are able to wield the energy or faculties of planets in the 5th house easily, almost playfully, like something we have done forever. We enjoy the activities associated with planets in the 5th house, and so we may easily excel in them. Through our 5th house we access the ‘dharmic’ attributes of intelligence, sincerity and creative self-expression.

The 9th house is associated with religion in both Jyotish and Western astrology. The word dharma is often used almost synonymously with ‘religion’. In the 9th house the morality and spiritual aspiration associated with the word ‘dharma’ reaches its pinnacle of expression. Gurus and mentors, shown in the 9th House, point out the way, and lead us along the road to the achievement of our fullest possible individuation, or self-realization.

The Dalai Lama’s Jyotish chart places Mercury in Gemini in the 1st House and Saturn in Aquarius in the 9th House; so the 1st and 9th houses contain their own lords which greatly strengthens both. The natural benefic Jupiter, as 10th lord, is located in the 5th House (and from there aspects the 1st and 9th houses, since Jupiter in Jyotish specifically aspects within the triplicity it occupies). The Dalai Lama is an embodiment and teacher of ‘the Dharma’, and a person with a mission and purpose.

Another preacher man with a penchant for politics is Martin Luther King. His Jyotish chart shows Jupiter, or Guru, in the 1st house, happy in Mars ruled Aries, as lord of the 9th house. Here too Jupiter aspects both the 5th and 9th houses and strengthens the entire Dharma Triplicity. King’s 9th house contains 10th lord Saturn, in the sign Sagittarius. The Sun, his 5th lord, is in the 10th house in Capricorn. As already noted, such a combining of the Angular and Dharma houses is considered very empowering and auspicious in Jyotish. In King’s chart the lords of both the 5th and 9th are located in the most powerful of the Angular houses, while his fiery 1st lord, Mars, is located in the 2nd house of speech.


The Artha Houses – 2, 6, 10

Artha, or ‘wealth’, is the material resources we need to support our incarnated experience of life. Simple and clear. This idea is very close to what western astrologers would see in the ‘Earth Houses’; these houses do indeed relate to practical aspects of life.

When Artha is viewed through the prism of the Four Aims of Life, it helps give a clearer perspective to what ‘wealth’ is when viewed in the context of the other aims of life. It is clear that we need stuff, but we aren’t stuff, and have other business here too. It puts materialism in its place.

The 2nd House represents both food and money or material possessions in Jyotish. Food is in fact the most fundamental material need we have, the most basic material support we require, and we typically meet this need with money.

In Jyotish the 2nd House is further associated with ‘family life’. One could, or should perhaps rather call it ‘household’. Your immediate social support. The people who not only break bread with you, but also nurture and protect you in other ways as part of your innermost circle. It could be argued that to eat bad food, and to lack household nurture, is a brand of ultimately material poverty.

The 2nd House is ‘speech’; your style of speaking, whether generally truthful or not, and, you know, ‘your word is your wand‘. The 2nd House is by extension also associated with listening, memory and learning; you ‘bank’ and store a greater wealth of information if you have a good retentive memory.

Understanding and managing your 2nd house Artha is more holistic than eyeing the numbers on your bank account.

The 6th house, being the house of work and service, and by extension servants or employees, is where we earn our daily bread through the rigours of developing and applying useful skills. Our work needs to meet a certain standard to be of any use. It’s exacting. It is practical apprenticeship, compared to the honour and worldly authority of the 10th house. The 6th house can get you down if you don’t like being dynamic and efficient and can’t make yourself useful. Everyone sooner or later has to earn their keep.

There is an element of struggle in the 6th house, to a greater degree than with either of the other two Artha houses. Illness, accidents and enemies may here threaten our fortress. We have to meet these contingencies with fortitude, vigour, commitment and skill. The sterner malefic planets, in fact, yield useful results in the 6th house – wilting wallflowers and shrinking violets need not apply! Benefics struggle here, at least for at time, but ultimately improve due to the 6th house instinct for fixing and adjusting.

If you can manage crisis, and get the dirty work done, and conquer or subdue your enemies, and be ‘early to bed and early to rise’, you safeguard your kingdom and your Artha remains secured.

The 10th house is in a sense the highest or consummate expression of Artha. The ‘Arthashastra‘, an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, is essentially a handbook for those who attain to a full embodiment or mastery of what the 10th house represents: Political power, fame and social influence that can impact the lives of many. A brief perusal of this old tome of practical wisdom reminds one of how well one needs to know the world, society, and people, to manage Artha at that exalted level. You have to build bridges, wage war, wage diplomacy, uncover intrigue and conquer hidden enemies, grow the treasury. It’s a full time job, and I can well believe that it might in a civilized society eventually come with a manual.

If we are not at the very pinnacle of worldly power and influence, the 10th house will represent those who stand above us in the social hierarchy, and upon whose goodwill our Artha may substantially depend; the elders and authorities of our social organization. Our 10th house Artha represents the respect, recognition and honor we can gain as a ‘citizen in good standing with the state’. This good standing is achieved, at it’s most basic level, by diligent execution of duty, obeying the rules, and making yourself somewhat useful to society. This earns you a certain amount of protection and rights within ‘the kingdom’.

At a higher level you have a career that requires harder work, or greater skill, something fairly specialized, important and respected socially, and therefore as a doctor, lawyer, judge or military general, for example, your status ensures that you will enjoy a level of preferential treatment.

If we are able to rise head and shoulders above others through our ambition, self mastery and effort, and successfully undertake great works for the benefit of many, we are recognized, if not celebrated far and wide. If 10th House Artha is mastered, then, inasmuch as it is the highest of the artha houses, we as a matter of course tend to eat fine foods, our words are edicts or become public discourse, and we are spared much 6th house type subservience, rigor and dirty work. This would strictly speaking only really be possible, in it’s fullest expression, if all three artha houses are strong, but a strong 10th house can do a lot to ameliorate deficiencies in the 2nd and 6th houses.

Muhammad Ali, someone who rose to tremendous heights of fame and influence through his career achievements, has Mars in the 10th house in Aries in his Jyotish chart. His 10th house is enormously bolstered by this fact alone, and indeed, as Mars would have it, he was famous as a fighter.


In Muhammad Ali’s chart Mars is lord of the 5th in the 10th which, adding a further layer of ‘luck’ and ‘authentic self-individuation’ to what his strong Mars in the 10th indicates. For every Cancer Ascendant Mars is the ‘Raja Yoga Karaka‘, or ‘kingly power significator’, and thus a temporary benefic, due to it’s lordship of one Angular and one Dharma house (or Kona).

In short, Ali’s Artha was tremendously bolstered by his strong 10th house, even though Rahu in the 2nd House (‘bad mouthing’, household disruptions), and Saturn’s debilitation in the 10th house (problems with authorities), may have blighted his overall Artha package slightly.


Leonardo da Vinci has, in his Jyotish chart, an exalted Sun in Aries in the 6th house, as lord of the 10th house (which already says a whole lot about him). Both the 6th and 10th benefit so far. The lord of the 6th house is exalted Mars in Capricorn in the 3rd house.

Jupiter, lord of the 2nd house, is comfortable enough in the 4th house, and is Conjunct 9th house lord Moon. The Moon and Jupiter, as two natural and temporal benefics (being lords of the 9th and 5th respectively), aspect the unoccupied 10th house with beneficial influence, supporting his social prestige and status.

Leonardo da Vinci was a meticulous, but also a bold and pioneering worker. He believed in his own practical ability, and he gained opportunities to demonstrate it:

‘In 1482, he earned the attention of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, when he wrote that he could build portable bridges and bombardments, make cannons and other war machines of the day, build ships, and sculpt using a variety of materials. In the Duke’s service, he became a principal engineer and architect for many of the Duke’s military operations and, in 1502, after the Sforzas were driven out of Milan, Leonardo entered the service of Cesare Borgia as his chief architect and engineer, overseeing work on the fortresses of the papal territories in central Italy.’

Gordon Ramsay, we know, is capable of producing and regularly savours the finest foods in the world. It is almost patently obvious from his Jyotish chart at a glance, what with exalted Jupiter in the 2nd house of food and all. Jupiter is lord of the 10th – he’s famous for it! Occasionally, when he’s done giving some young would be chef the third degree for gross and disgusting inefficiency, and he’s whipped everyone into shape, he utters words of counsel and encouragement to his hapless apprentices and reality tv victims.


This tension and aggression, and the rather terse expressions he has been known to utter when he pours his scorn and derision on fools who f*ck up, is clearly shown in the Ascendant lord, Mercury, being located in the 6th house, in Scorpio (and then there’s also the debilitated Sun in Libra in the 5th which can have issues around co-operation vs. authority and dominance).

The Kama Houses – 3, 7, 11

While the 3rd, 7th and 11th houses are indeed, as Rob Hand designates them in Horoscope Symbols, ‘social houses’, a theme which is commonly associated with the air element, the Jyotish attribution of Kama, or desire, to this triplicity, reveals a further underlying theme among these houses that is not apparent from western astrology’s usual take.

The 3rd house represents our immediate or short term desires. These require an almost instantaneous gratification and invoke our physical dexterity (the use of our arms or limbs), our communication skills, and also our courage, to achieve their fulfilment. The 3rd house thus shows ‘prowess‘. In Jyotish, performing arts is an important 3rd house theme; performance requires of one to be very agile, expressive and motivated. Apathy gets you nowhere, and is the antithesis of 3rd house kama.

The well known Kama Sutra, you will agree, is essentially a manual for effective execution of 7th house matters? Well, at least in terms of the more physical and overt meanings of the 7th house. The desire for a mate drives us at a primal level, like a deep obsessive longing. As the reflection of the 1st house, the 7th house can be the missing half of the 1st house. We’re not quite ourselves until we complete that search.

If it’s not going to be a mate, we can’t evade the fact that there is this otherness that will periodically crystalize into form as someone or some thing that we need to face, and embrace, or come to terms with. You will sooner or later deeply desire, for example, the services of doctor, or lawyer to help you meet life’s vicissitudes. They really can complement you at that the right time. You’d be a fool not to seek and court them. We cannot be all thing unto ourselves.

Although Jyotish typically takes the 6th house as the house of ‘enemies’, the 7th house can certainly manifest as those we need to confront and encounter in a more competitive way. Even competitors are potentially our complement, or indispensable other half, in that through meeting the challenge they pose successfully, our all important 1st house, or self, is validated, vindicated and satisfied.

The 11th house, western astrology teaches, is the house of ‘hopes and wishes’. This resonates closely with the Jyotish notion that the 11th House represents your longer term life goals, or longer term desires. The 11th house may thus reveal the nature of your longer range life objectives, and your ability to realize them. We become gradually more and more empowered in wielding the faculties or energies associated with planets in our 11th house, since they represent the person we want to become, or the things we wish to grow and cultivate in ourselves and our life experience in the future.

It is interesting to note that all three Hitler’s Kama houses are strong. Two of them, the 3rd and 7th, contain their own lords, while the 11th lord, Sun, is exalted in an angular house, with a powerful dispositor.


Jupiter in Jyotish aspects the 5th and 9th house from it’s position. Something, loosely, like a trine. It therefore blesses the entire triplicity it occupies. The 3rd House benefits from the occupancy of Jupiter, it’s own lord, and both the 7th and 11th gain strength from the aspect of Jupiter to both these houses directly, and then also to their lords. Hitler had no deficiency of Kama.

I don’t mean to suggest only villians do Kama well, but look at the chart of Aleister Crowley. The notorious magician who not only had countless affairs and sexual intrigues with people of both sexes. He practised sex magic with zeal, hiring prostitutes for the purpose if he was not able to seduce suitable candidates.


Here Mars and Saturn are located in the 7th, and both are very strong by sign. Saturn is lord of the 7th in the 7th, so that in itself somewhat protects and empowers it, which means he could fulfil much 7th house Kama. However, Jyotish associates both Mars and Saturn in the 7th, each on their own, as potentially indicative of sexual excess and impropriety, which by all accounts, he achieved.

His Sun in the 3rd house contributed to his high energy level and enthusiasm, his theatrical interests and abilities, as well as his curiosity and courage.

The Moksha Houses – 4, 8, 12

The word ‘Moksha‘ is normally translated as ‘final liberation’. It is associated with the destination of the soul after death, and generally the hidden world beyond the physical plane, and our relationship to it. It’s best exponents, those who have mastered and attained this aim of life in full measure, may be anonymous to us, since they would seek little in the way of public life and external validation.

Even on a more everyday level, the realm of Moksha, as described in our natal charts, deals with some of the most elusive and intangible inner experiences we can have. We rarely fully understand them or possess the faculties and resources to clearly see their workings.

On the surface the 4th house relates to the most mundane and accessible manifestation of this ‘Watery Triad’ and its essentially spiritual concerns. The mother, one of the 4th House’s most basic meanings, with her womb creates a bridge between worlds.

Symbolically at least, the Sun finds itself in the 4th house at midnight, when all are asleep in the shelter of their homes, in that mini-death that follows and precedes every day of outer waking activity. It is in this daily womb experience that we are restored, rebuilt, and prepared for our daytime reincarnation.

At a stretch, poetically, we could possibly say the 4th house represents a primal cosmic umbilical chord, stretching right up to the great Cosmic Mother. We emerge life after life, and day after day, from this mysterious hidden source.

The 8th house is persistently associated with death, even though in both the Western and Vedic traditions there are references to the 7th house being the house of death. It is certainly true that the 8th house has a fateful and calamitous quality. It can be highly destructive of conditions that support our physical or psychological equilibrium, but then, as the aghori Vimalananda put it, ‘Moksha is the dissolution of your delusion‘, and your delusion may at times be enabled by pleasant circumstances. It is also a place that is more distinctly associated with the world of departed souls, and our own awareness of such perplexing mysteries as our own mortality. The deepest, darkest recesses of the psyche, and the very secrets of the universe, are bound up in the 8th house, and it takes the likes of psychologists, shamans, astrologers and occultists, to penetrate through the veils.

When stark truths and fears are courageously faced, when we can cut our losses and rise from the ashes of our own destruction, whether in this world or the next, we win thereby one more grain of conscious immortality- which is certainly a brand of ‘Moksha’. Many healers who have survived 8th house trials and tribulations eventually guide and encourage others with the light of this glowing ember of ‘phoenix medicine’.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and also wiser, one might hope, inasmuch as one hallmark of wisdom is a recognition of the ephemeral nature of our outer life and circumstances, or the ‘cosmic maya’ that enthrals the spiritually blind. A wisdom leading naturally to a deeper trust and reliance on those things that are most real but least visible, in the world of appearances.

The 12th house is, not unlike the 8th house, one of loss, limitation and bondage, as far as outer appearances go. We here have to surrender to forces and laws of the cosmos far beyond our grasp and control. Yet potentially through the 12th house paths of meditation or monastic seclusion, or sacrificial spiritual service, we may attain to that true inner peace and serenity ‘that passeth all understanding‘. The ultimate experience of Moksha is this transcendental bliss.

It is in fact true that Jyotish sees through the 12th House the texture of the private realm of the bedroom, bed pleasures, and thus this house also reveals our capacity to ‘surrender to bliss’ in that everyday aspect of our lives.

It is written that the 12th house, in particular, shows the destination of the soul after death. Who can evaluate the accuracy of this? I can’t, but if it is to be shown anywhere, the 12th house would be a fitting choice. Here’s to you not finding any hot and bothered looking planets in your charts’ 12th!

Dharma, Artha and Kama, or at least our cycle of incarnated experience of them and possible attachment to them, must ultimately be dissolved in the ocean of Moksha, until the worlds once more are bridged, and preparation for a new cycle begins.

Parahamahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship, and author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of Yogi, has a Leo Ascendant in his Jyotish chart, with Moon, lord of the 12th house located in the 1st house.

Venus is in the 4th house, while Mars and Jupiter both occupy the 8th house in the sign Pisces. This 8th house of his is especially strong since Jupiter is a benefic, and lord of the 8th in the 8th. Moreover, Mars is Raja Yoga Karaka, or a powerful temporary benefic for the Leo Ascendant, and so is capable of yielding beneficial results in the realm of its house location.

Yogananda brought ‘kriya yoga‘, an ancient and hitherto secret form of yogic meditation, to the west. His famous book has proved to have perennial appeal, and still fans the flames of aspiration in the hearts of spiritual seekers across the globe. There is an entire chapter in Autobiography of a Yogi, entitled, Outwitting the Stars, in which Yogananada’s guru, himself an astrologer, prescribes an astrological bracelet to protect him from a period of impending illness, and, in response to Yogananda’s scepticism, eloquently explains where astrology fits into the scheme of things.

Reading Yogananda’s extraordinary book gives glimpses into a world of miracles and magic that few people can present quite so convincingly. He died after a long and fruitful life as a spiritual teacher. His corpse was unusual in that it did not decay at anything like the usual rate.

A notarized statement signed by the Director of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park testified:

No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death….This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one ….Yogananda’s body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability.

Yogananda records meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, and initiating him into the kriya yoga technique, at Gandhi’s request.


Mahatma Gandhi’s own chart shows the Sun located in the 12th house, pointing to a distinct inner orientation in Gandhi’s life, despite the fame and worldly power he attained (thanks in part to powerfully placed 1st and 10th lords in his Jyotish chart). He was imprisoned on many occasions, and embraced these times of relative quiet and seclusion to work on correspondence, or for reflection.

There are principles of Jyotish chart interpretation that I have not employed in these case studies, to keep it simple, but which would be part of a more complete and sophisticated assessment of a person’s capacity to achieve the Four Aims of Life in good measure.

I’m thinking in particular about the principle of ‘Bhava Karakas‘. We could call this ‘planets as house significators‘. Mars, for example, is for everyone the Karaka or significator for the 3rd and 6th houses. Mars does not have to be associated with these houses by occupancy or rulership to have this status, but the condition of Mars will have an impact or bearing on the ability of these houses to flourish. The tremendous potency of Mars in Muhammad Ali and Adolf Hitler’s charts (being in its own sign and angular by house placement in both instances), elevated their 3rd and 6th houses (and thus kama and artha respectively) substantially by this dignity, despite no direct link to these houses by occupancy or lordship. An article on another choice morsel of Jyotish method, for another day.

As Sri Yukteswar explained to Paramhansa Yogananda, in their conversation about astrology immortalized in Yogananda’s autobiography, ‘only when a traveler has reached his destination is justified in discarding his maps‘. Astrology can be just that for us; a map to guide us on this often beguiling journey through life. Understanding the Four Aims of Life in the context of the houses of the horoscope helps us orientate in each of these important aspects of living.

South Africa Eclipsed

I would like here to share here some observations regarding South Africa’s current state of crisis, and point out what appear to be fairly dramatic astrological indications of an aggravation of the situation in the not too distant future. I do believe there’s a silver lining to the current dark cloud, but before that silver lining shines bright, things could get bumpy.

During 2015 I mused more than once to a friend and astrology colleague of mine that South Africa’s economy, it’s wealth and standing, could experience a severe knock in December 2015. This casual prediction was substantially based on the fact that ‘The New South Africa’ was then to have it’s ‘third quarter Saturn Square Saturn‘ (while entangled with Neptune). I’ll get back to that later on.

As it turned out, this musing proved to be dramatically accurate when Jacob Zuma, on the 9th of December 2015, suddenly replaced South Africa’s finance minister at the time, Nhlanhla Nene, who was apparently doing slightly too good a job at curbing the irrational expenditure projects of Zuma and co., with an obscure individual named David van Rooyen.

Zuma and van Rooyen

Zuma admonishes van Rooyen, dubbed the ‘weekend special’ minister: a meme from the times

This resulted in the ZAR currency losing a quarter of it’s value just about overnight. Barclay’s annouced it was withdrawing from South Africa. Respected liberation struggle veterans called for Zuma to resign. It quickly became clear that nobody was impressed and that South Africans from all walks of life were just about ready to riot- quite literally.

The ANC leaders clearly read the mood right and panicked, and in a desperate bid to placate the markets and a bewildered angry nation, Zuma’s new anonymous finance minister was replaced, a mere four days after his appointment, with the internationally respected Pravin Gordhan, who has previously served in this position.

The Presidency issued the following on the 13th of December 2015, four days after van Rooyen’s appointment:

I have received many representations to reconsider my decision. As a democratic government, we emphasise the importance of listening to the people and to respond to their views

Pravin Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan

This restored some semblence of stability, but has resulted in a national credit rating downgrade to ‘Junk Status’ looming on the horizon. A fate everyone is praying Pravin Gordhan can avert.

President Zuma justified his unfortunate decision on the claim that Nhlanhla Nene’s services were required in a position relating to the BRICS bank. This was news to Nene and there has been no subsequent substantiation of it that I’m aware of.

While the installation of Gordhan averted an immediate calamatious downward spiral of the South African currency, and an avalanche of public fury directed at the President, this debacle helped to further open up a can of worms that had been bursting at the seams for a while. It started to bring under wider public scrutiny the full extent of the inordinate influence on government appointments by the Indian Gupta family.

Many of Zuma’s ministerial and judicial appointments in recent years have raised eyebrows. More often than not the appointments seem nonsensical in that the candidates tend to lack the experience, qualifications or established integrity required to properly fulfill their important functions in the governance of the country. Each time this occured there were grumbles and protestations, but the ANC government were invariably unmoved. However, the appointment of David van Rooyen as Minister of Finance was so farcical that it opened the floodgates of widespread frustration with Zuma and the interference of the Gupta’s in state affairs right accross the spectrum of South African society.

It’s clear that Pravin Gordhan is not a Zuma devotee, but the only man that can reassure international investors that there is some sort of sanity and integrity at the helm of South Africa’s finances. Pravin Gordhan was born on the 12th of April 1949. His time of birth is unknown. Curiously, Zuma happens to be born on the same date, if his official birth date is correct, but is 7 years older. See their charts below with transits for 13 Dec 2015:

Pravin and Zuma


London Riots

Incidentally, the riots in London in August of 2011 occured under a comparable Mars/Uranus/Pluto T-Square configuration.

You can see that at the time Mars had plugged into the longer term Uranus/Pluto Square, and had precipitated this sense of sudden emergency, and explosive public anger.

Zuma has transiting Mars Opposition natal Sun and transiting Sun Opposition natal Mars at that time. It would have been difficult to dodge the many urgent and frank ‘representations‘ addressed to him.

Gordhan, at the time of his unforeseen and reluctantly made appointment, was under Mars Opposition Mars with transiting Pluto slotting into a tight Square to his natal Mars, where it will hover for much of 2016. It’s clear he’s in a brutal environment and in a period of intense self-assertion, and that it’s not going to go away in a hurry. It is widely known that he is against certain Zuma linked plans for treasury expenditure, such as the outrageously expensive nuclear power stations Zuma surreptitiously invited Russia to build for South Africa (not surprisingly Zuma’s son is partnered with the Gupta’s Uranium mining interests).

Zuma March eclipse 2016What’s more, on the 9th of March 2016 there was a solar eclipse that occured at 18 degrees Tropical Pisces, within a degree of Square Zuma’s natal Jupiter, while Saturn at that time was stationary in Opposition to his natal Jupiter. Note also transiting Pluto Inconjunct (Quincunx) natal Jupiter.

At the end of March 2015 Zuma experienced a humbling defeat in a Constitutional Court judgement that found that he, as President of South Africa, had failed to uphold the constitution in the flagrant way the findings and recommendations of the Public Protector relating to his controversial Nkandla homestead had been ignored and distorted. He made a rather feeble apology which failed to awe, by anyone’s standards.

When Jupiter is highlighted in a tense and less than harmonious way it may manifest as legal problems, since Jupiter is inherently related to law and justice and ‘social ethics’. Transiting Saturn Opposing Jupiter alone would be enough to bring about a severe curtailing of one’s freedom to act lawlessly, to spend frivolously, and to ignore social and legal duties. It often further results, particularly in business and professional matters, in ‘separations’, or the severing of ties as a result of unresolvable impasse. In this regard, his colleagues, the Gupta’s, have skipped the country for good, or until things cool down, and under current conditions he’d be likely to notice a thinning of his allies. As Rob Hand puts it in Planets in Transit, Saturn Opposition Jupiter ‘is a useful, if not always pleasant, encounter with reality‘.

As you can see in the graph below showing transiting Saturn in relation to his natal Jupiter, November/December 2016 is another peak in the same process. This coming period may well bring him further social, legal and financial challenges.

Zuma Sat opp Jup

One intriguing fact that arises from the birthday shared by Jacob Zuma and Pravin Gordhan, is that they will experience near simultaneous triggers from transiting planets to their natal Suns (which are both located around 21-22 degrees Tropical Aries), and it so happens that there’s lots of action coming to that part of the zodiac as Uranus first, then Pluto, respectively Conjoin and Square that degree in the years immediately ahead. The following Uranus/Pluto timeline would apply to them both. The straight broken horizontal line represents the natal Sun’s degree.

Zuma Gordhan uran pluto sunI don’t know how it’s going to play out for Gordhan, but from Zuma’s current position, the coming Square of slow moving transiting Pluto to his natal Sun, that only properly climaxes from 2018 to 2020, will almost certainly involve problematic relationships with powerful people and institutions he’s evaded in the past. It’s a very awkward time to have powerful enemies, and Zuma has several both inside and outside of the governing party.

When you add Mars to the picture you can isolate what will likely be vigorous peaks in the longer term process of Uranus and Pluto aspecting the Sun’s degree in Zuma (and Gordhan’s) natal charts. The battles then come out into the open; brewing confrontations become unavoidable.

Pravin and Zuma shared transits mars uran plut

Suffice it to say that South Africa’s current President, whether or not he manages to hold onto that position much longer, will find it rather more difficult in future to contain the pace and intensity of developments. The most severe test to his power to control the direction of events and insulate himself from others who seek his downfall will come in 2018 and beyond, if his birth date is accurate.

Now, quite apart from Zuma’s personal battles, a key motivation in writing all of this is to call attention to indications in the chart of the New South Africa that there’s more where December 2015’s sudden setback came from. The fact that my hunch about the likely effect and approximate magnitude of the December 2015 was accurate does not bode particularly well for the rest of 2016.

As a brief aside, the whole astrological question of whether a country has a birth chart, and then, if it’s accepted that it might, what the determining ‘birth’ moment would be, is not without potential for ambiguity and controversy. It’s far clearer when dealing with the birth charts of human beings, where precise birth moments are easy to identify.

When a nation is ‘born’ or so substantially transformed as to mark an entirely new epoch of it’s existence, the astrological map of the ‘National Birth’ may be pinned by different astrologers to different critical events in the birthing process. A certain amount of intuition may be required to identify the ‘seminal moment’, particularly if you hope to create a complete chart, with an Ascendant and Houses derived from a fairly precise and specific time and place.

I recall in the months and weeks leading up to 27 April 1994 that it was regularly announced on the radio and other media that the New Constitution of South Africa would come into effect at midnight- the first moment of- the 27th of April 1994. It was clear that this was viewed as a vitally important moment in time, since it represented a far more fundamental change than simply having a new party in government; it was an entirely new beginning.

Sensing that this was a momentous event, I decided to calculate the chart that very morning. I used the first moment of the day of 27 April 1994, Pretoria; the moment of the ‘coming into effect‘ of New Constitution.

This, in brief is why I use the chart below:

New Sa natal

So, you’ll see that Saturn is in the 2nd House of the chart, and that may have much to say about South Africa’s ‘finances’ and property. For one thing, it can indicate loss or lack of wealth and property, though it may also point to wealth gained through mining and agriculture, for example, and these are indeed South Africa’s strong suits. At a very basic level of interpretation though, Saturn in the 2nd House does point to ‘money’ and property as a vulnerable area.

The fact that Jupiter (in the 10th) and Saturn are in such a close Trine aspect does suggest that there is hope in the longer run for South Africa to become materially successful, and to enjoy good reputation in the international community. But that’s a more general and longer term indication. Currently, there is a crisis, and it seems to be well borne out in the transits to the ‘national birth chart’.

See the diagram below. This shows the position of the New SA natal Saturn as the broken straight horizontal line, and transiting Neptune as the wavy blue line. Where they intersect they are in exact Conjunction.

transiting netptune conjunct saturn

I was asked, around Christmas of 2014, by the Sunday Tribune newspaper (primarily distributed in the KZN province), to do that astro magic thing and predict on the country’s prospects for 2015.  I had submitted the following with transiting Neptune Conjunct SA’s natal Saturn in the 2nd House in mind:

“One theme that seems to be important in the chart for South Africa, for the coming two years or so, is a type of leaking of money, unaccountable losses, and a general undermining of the structures that provide stability to the economy. Mining and agriculture may be particularly vulnerable to poor management and veiled or deceptive dealings. Corruption is not something new to our country, but it looks like the coming two years will result in this becoming a more critical problem, and the severity of the situation is likely to come into sharper focus. In the longer run this may be a good thing since it will highlight the need for interventions.”

Neptune Conjunct Saturn saps energy and resilience, it’s eroding to structure, and indeed, Neptune is a planet associated with deception and veiled circumstances. ‘Corporate deception’ is easy to read in Saturn/Neptune. It represents a muddling of what should be very well structured and practical. Things tend to fall apart under Neptune/Saturn in hard aspect, often due to avoidance, evasion and fear; this gradually unfolding astrological process by itself would be enough to raise concern about South Africa’s economy and the integrity of institutions and ‘structure’ in society. Saturn/Neptune also answers to a type of weak or absent father image; an absence of ‘spine’.

My musing about the likelihood of South Africa experiencing a severe setback in December of 2015 was due to transiting Saturn getting potently involved in an already compromised situation, as shown in the graph below:

Sat and Nept to satIn December of 2015 South Africa experiened the ‘third quarter Saturn Square Saturn’ that occurs around 21 years of age; three quarters of the way to a Saturn Return. The above diagram shows that South Africa’s Saturn-Saturn Square is entangled with a Neptune-Saturn Conjunction.

These diagrams also indicate the process is far from over; transiting Saturn and Neptune will be very tightly engaging South Africa’s natal Saturn in the second half of 2016. Transiting Saturn will in fact sit stationary at 9 degrees Tropical Sagittarius, during most of August 2016, quite exactly Square South Africa’s natal Saturn at 9 degrees Pisces.

New Sa transits 1 sept 2016If this was not enough to make for ‘strong medicine’, the eclipse of 1 September 2016 seems to bring it all to a grand climax of sorts. This Solar Eclipse occurs at 9 degrees Virgo, exactly opposing South Africa’s Saturn at 9 degrees Pisces, at that time ‘beseiged’ by both transiting Saturn and transiting Neptune. Phew! If this doesn’t make something important happen I’d very very surprised. I don’t know whether it represents the point of ‘rock bottom’ from which a recovery can be hoped for, or whether it’s a ‘knock out punch’ that precedes a crash of some kind. If there’s anything in the chart for the New South Africa, the eclipse of 1 September 2016 will hit it hard!

Eclipse 1 sept

And even if we discarded the South African ‘national chart’ I’m working with altogether, we’d have reason to take a closer look at the 1 September 2016 eclipse from Pretoria’s perspective.

Here’s the chart for that moment, in Pretoria: Saturn is Conjunct the Ascendant within a degree (with Mars in tow), while Square the Eclipse Degree (Sun/Moon) and Neptune.

eclipse 1 sept 2016 pretoria

This is what it looks like on an astrocartography map:

Eclipse astrocartography

Eclipse globe map from wikiThe actual point of maximum eclipse occurs just north of Mozambique. Yes indeed the skies above Pretoria will darken on the 1st of September 2016, and at the moment of Maximum Eclipse, Saturn, who is nobody’s fool and everybody’s teacher, will peep above the Eastern Horizon at that location, to deliver such gifts as he may see fit to dispense.

I won’t pretend to know, for certain, how all of this is going to play out, but I feel almost duty-bound to share these observations, albeit that it portends a rather rocky road ahead for South Africa. In fact, it’s already so patently obvious, without any astrological input, that South Africa is in the midst of a crisis and that it’ll be some time before the current chaos has fully transformed into relative stability and cohesion.

I do think that South Africa’s second Jupiter Return, in the last quarter of 2017, can bring a renewed sense of vision and purpose, improved international standing, respectable leadership, and economic progress; considering that Jupiter is located in the 10th House of the SA chart, Opposing the Sun and Trine Saturn.

I thought it was quite significant from the start that Nelson Mandela’s Moon would be Conjunct the 10th House Moon in the New SA chart. The 10th House is associated with the ‘leader’ and ‘boss’ and also has a ‘father’ connotation. South Africa lost her beloved patriarch as Saturn crossed over this shared Moon. Jyotish teaches that Transiting Saturn Conjunct Moon brings about ‘the loss of those who have protected us’ when we are younger, and our own final demise when we are old.

Cyril Ramaphosa in Tehran.jpg

Cyril Ramaphosa

Musing, yet again, aloud here, I notice one of the top ANC leaders who may well succeed Jacob Zuma, and failing that will remain be very close to helm, is the current Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa. We don’t know what time he was born, but it’s clear that his Moon is very near that of Mandela and the New SA 10th House Moon. If he happened to take over while Jupiter is in Tropical Scorpio, between latter 2017 and latter 2018, I would think it a good omen. See below Mandela, then Ramaphosa, then New SA Moons:

Scorpio 10th with Mandela and Ramaphosa

 Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

Could Trump become King?

trumpDonald Trump has taken everyone by surprise. His presidential campaign has not only been in the spotlight for his drastic and inflammatory remarks, and the violence at his rallies, he’s been alarmingly successful.

In the minds of many, a Trump Presidency is something of a farcical global apocalypse to contemplate. One would have thought that in this day and age it should not be possible for anyone to get this far, with this level of support, selling this crass and brutal ‘American Greatness’. And yet, so it is.

But let’s look at the astrology as objectively as possible. See below Trump’s Tropical/Placidus chart on the left (typical western settings) and the Sidereal/Whole House chart on the right (typical Vedic astrology settings).


Donald Trump entered this world, just in time for a total lunar eclipse – yes, there were omens! – on the 14th of June 1946, at 10:54 am, in Queens, New York. His birth data is rated as “AA” (from birth certificate) on’s astrodatabank, and thus highly likely to be accurate. It’s an update from a widely used previous time of 9:51 am, which was rated “A” (from memory), and which placed his Ascendant at 17 degrees of Tropical Leo.

So far this updated data’s Ascendant of 29 degrees Tropical Leo- on the fixed star Regulus- does seem to work. Interestingly enough, for one thing, it brings Mars closer to the Ascending degree, and by my reckoning, Mars remains every bit as much in the 1st House. Trump is brash, aggressive, competitive; plain and simple.

His Progressed Sun has just lately arrived at a Conjunction to his Ascendant (and Regulus). He’s ready to rule; this reaffirms around this year of his the life, the ‘Trump as King’ narrative he’s managed to get us all embroiled in.

Kenneth Johnson desribes Regulus, as if it were written for Trump:

“The Greeks regarded Regulus as a mixture of Mars and Jupiter (it is slightly reddish in color), and wrote that those who have this star prominent are esteemed, commanding, independent, outspoken, great-souled and honor-loving, often wealthy and born leaders of men. There is a certain amount of Martian contentiousness or quarrelsomeness involved.

Similarly, the lunar mansion of Magha, marked primarily by Regulus, is said to produce natives who are kingly, proud, larger than life, restless, ambitious, wealthy, arrogant, and (once again) born leaders. The Hindu tradition adds that they are more often than not conservative as leaders (think of Winston Churchill, with his Moon conjunct Regulus). This star would have marked the summer solstice in 3000 BCE.”

No doubt having Mars on the Ascendant in Leo (Tropical or Sidereal in this case) goes a long way towards reinforcing these indications of quarrelsomeness and contentiousness in Regulus Rising. But Mars is the Raja Yoga Karaka (roughly, ‘kingly union significator’), and thus a great benefic for every Leo Ascendant. This elevated status of Mars for the Leo Ascendant is a result of Mars being simultaneously lord of the Angular 4th House (containing Scorpio) and the ‘Dharmic” 9th House (containing Aries). Therefore, the powerful placement of Mars in Trump’s 1st House (by Jyotish rules in the sign of a friend), contributes to his ability to succeed through his forceful character.

Looking at his chart through the Sidereal lens, I’d note that Moon in Sidereal Scorpio does nothing to abate the martian tone of his personality expression (like Saddam Hussein in this particular), and it may arguably contribute to his knack for offending women with his abrasive and insensitive manner.

While the Moon gains some strength and benefit from being at home in the 4th House (a factor that would support real estate ownership, thanks in large measure to the Moon’s strong dispositor), she suffers debilitation in Sidereal Scorpio.

Note the following by James Braha on specifically a Waxing Moon in the 4th House, which Donald has:

“This is the best position for the Moon, as it gets dik bala, or directional strength in the 4th House. The person will be happy and content. He will be close to his mother and benefit from her. The mother will be fortunate and long lived. The person will have a good heart and be very kind and tender. He will be fortunate in owning fine homes and all kinds of conveyances (cars, boats, planes, etc.). He will enjoy many comforts and luxuries…. The person will be sensitive to the cares of masses and interested in protecting them. He will inherit maternal or ancestral property or wealth. He may gain from farming, agriculture or landscaping”

Trump smirkThis is in many respects a remarkably accurate interpretation. Even the unassuming statement that he ‘will be happy and content‘ is worth reflecting on. Moon in the 4th so effectivly reinforces his innate self acceptance (cause his mama loved him), that it reinforces his external confidence (already overty strong with Sun in the 10th, and Mars in the 1st). The specific and clear reference to real estate and conveyances speaks for itself.

It’s interesting to note Braha’s observation that a waxing Moon in the 4th indicates ‘caring for masses and wanting to protect them‘. Certainly a whole swathe of the masses seem to be feeling the love. Of course it speaks of arguably a genuine element of good old fashioned family values in Trump. Moon in the 4th with Sun in the 10th makes it easy for Trump to be a ‘strong and caring father figure’ to those less concerned with rational and well articulated political policies.

James Braha, going into greater detail than one normally finds in astrological ‘cookbooks’:

“If the Moon is in Scorpio in the 4th House…The person will be mean or cruel hearted. He may have problems or diseases of the heart.. The person will lose or sell fixed assets at different points in his life… He will not have been breast-fed”

Was Trump breast-fed? I don’t know, and even if he was, its really more a symbol of a deficiency or maladjustment in what should otherwise be a zone of the chart that relates to our capacity for tender caring, for a sense of belonging and community and all those sweet instincts. I guess in this respect Trump is well mirrored in a large number his supporters; salt of the earth types, (‘deplorables‘, as Hillary put it) who love tribe and nation so fiercely that it makes them a little unruly at rallies. They’re ‘passionate’, Trump concedes, because they really love their country. And yet, it does look a little ‘mean or cruel hearted’, when you say you wanna punch someone in the face, for example.

He’s a rough diamond, our Donald.

As far as Sun Signs go, Trump’s Sun in Sidereal Taurus seems an obvious reference to his practical and acquisitive instincts, but there are several other factors indicating his capacity to generate and amass wealth. Jupiter, a natural benefic, is lord of the 5th House, and located in the 2nd of money and property. In the Jyotish paradigm any planet ruling a “Kona” House (1st, 5th or 9th) becomes thereby something of a benefic. So, Jupiter’s benefic status is assured and reinforced for the Leo Ascendant on that account. Jupiter is not particularly well placed in Virgo though, it’s true, but Mercury, Jupiter’s dispositor, is in its own sign, somewhat strengthening Jupiter on that account.

Mercury’s rulership of both the 2nd and 11th makes it a key significator of finances and income for every Leo Ascendant. Trump’s Mercury being in Sidereal Gemini in the 11th House therefor has important financial implications. The 11th House is every bit as much a ‘money house’ as is the 2nd, and in Jyotish several ‘Dhana Yogas’, or ‘combinations for wealth‘, require that the lord of the 11th House be located in the 11th, with other supportive factors, such as strong 5th and 9th lords. In this context Trump’s Mars as 9th lord, in a congenial sign, and in the 1st House, supports his ‘luck’.

If indeed the Ascending degree of 29 Tropical Leo be true, transiting Uranus and Pluto, combined with the eclipses of 8 October 2014 and 4 April 2015, would have been quite tightly aspecting his Ascendant by 45 degree multiple aspects (semi-square and sesquiquadrate); in fact, we could view it as Trump’s Ascendant on the transiting Uranus/Pluto Midpoint, at various times in 2014 and particularly 2015. These eclipses in a sense merely amplified that Uranus/Pluto stirring.Trump eclipses of 2014 and 2015Could this be something of an ‘awakening to destiny as an agent for revolution‘ (as the same planetary events seem to have done for Vladimir Putin, via their aspects to his natal Sun, for example)? Looks like this got Trump started, or rather, ignited, with a sense of purpose. Even now, in the latter half of 2016, transiting Pluto remains within a degree of Sesquiquadrate (135 degree angle to) his Ascendant.

Ok, now here’s something of an astrological revelation. Donald Trump ends 18 years of Rahu Dasha and commences the 16 years of Jupiter Dasha days after the election of the President of the USA in November 2016! That’s uncanny timing for a major ‘changing of the guard’ in his life.

Trump Jyotish

Does this mean he will win the election and become President of the USA? It certainly is marking the end of 2016 as a major turning point in his life. He won’t be the same after this, whether he wins or loses. And, I’d cautiously predict, that he will become a better person in the years ahead as a result of this awakening of Jupiter, whether he’s running the world, or simply minding his own chain of restaurants and golf courses. The end of 2016 brings to an end for Trump 18 years of the Dragon’s Head in the 10th House. While Rahu in the 10th House may indicate professional success, ambition, and worldly power, Rahu’s nature is inherently turbulent, and tamasic. Jupiter, by contrast, is satvic, or ‘pure’. He will always be what and who he is – a rather coarse and boorish bloke – but even so, such virtue and wisdom as he is capable of may well reveal itself in his Jupiter Dasha.

The fact that Trump has a Jupiter Return as he enters Jupiter Dasha, which from there forms a Trine aspect to his Sun, does nothing to weaken his prospects at the and of 2016, and January 2017, when the new President of the USA will be sworn in.

We do not have an official birth time for Hillary Clinton. There are a number of conflicting reports. Among the most credible contenders is a birth time of just after 8:00am. I have not immersed myself in trying to resolve this mystery, but at this stage I consider this 8:00am time (more than one source quotes that time within a few minutes) to be fairly convincing. By Jyotish Sidereal/Whole House settings the Sun is located in the 1st House, Saturn is in the 10th House, with Mars, in Cardinal signs. The Sun, however, is debilitated, as is Mars. She is viewed my many as ruthless.


This is somewhat obvious from the tight Mars/Pluto Conjunction, regardless of which sign it’s in, but Mars being debilitated can point to a cowardly or underhanded use of force. Rightly or wrongly, she has been accused of rather malicious and nefarious acts, such untimely and suspicious deaths of many significant individuals when they were on the brink of exposing or testifying against her. Her role in the instigation and fostering of needless wars, have led many to feel that she would do little as President of the USA to reverse the many controversial and ill conceived military and political entanglements of America on the world stage. The simmering tensions between Russia and America could easily escalate under her stewardship, whereas, curiously, Putin and Trump have already established a very cordial relationship. Yes, Trump may be something of a buffoon, but Hillary’s no less ‘crooked’, and its not a given that hers is a better hand at the helm.

The debilitation of Hillary’s Sun is to some degree ‘cancelled’ by the great potency of Venus in her Jyotish chart: Lord of the 1st in its own sign, and located in the 1st. It greatly enhances her capacity to gain prominence, popularity and influence (Mohandas Gandhi had Venus is Sidereal Libra in the 1st).

Saturn is the ‘Raja Yoga Karaka’ for every Libra Ascendant, making Saturn the best planet and a great benefic for her. Her Saturn in the 10th becomes particularly capable of raising her to great heights (Hitler had the same pattern: Sidereal Libra Ascendant with Saturn in the 1oth House). The 10th Lord, Moon, is located in the 5th House in Aquarius. It is in fact in Mutual Reception with Saturn. This creates an extremely powerful ‘yoga’ for professional and political success. [and incidentally nice pretty daughter; Moon in the 5th. See also Obama’s Jyotish chart’s Moon in 5th]

So, yes, she has some very powerful features in her chart that could raise her up, and have raised her already to a level where is appears to be just about above the law. But her position is not unassailable. She is in Sun Dasha from 2015 to 2021. Just recently Congress served a subpoena on the FBI to provide complete and unredacted documentation on investigations into Hillary. This says a lot in itself. Her reputation and credibility are being questioned at the highest level, literally bringing different limbs of goverment into conflict with each other.

A debilitated planet in the 1st House, apart from harming your reputation, can also harm your body. Hillary recently collapsed at a gathering, feeding growing concerns about her health. It has even been speculated that she may have to withdraw. See below her Progressions for September 2016.

hillary-clinton-prog-and-natal-sept-2016Her progressed Sun has just passed a Square to natal Neptune and is applying to an exact Square to progressed Neptune. The progressed Moon has just lately arrived at a Conjunction with natal Neptune, bring the entire progressed Sun-Neptune Square into particularly sharp focus between roughly August and October 2016. That it could harm her health would not come as a surprise to astrologers. It also complicates this pivotal final stage of her campaign.

I won’t claim to know what will happen, but it appears to me, astrologically, that Trump is stronger right now, than Hillary. But that said, it’s tempting to assume that the election date (8 November 2016), and the day or two thereafter when the results are finalized, as well as the Presidential Inauguration (20 January 2017), would look clearly better for one of them than the other.

Looking it these dates more closely seems to me to favor Hillary. It really isn’t a clear cut situation.

On the 8th of November Hillary will have tr.Moon in the 5th, approaching a lunar return (which properly occurs on the 10th). She has a Mercury Return immediately before the election (which an 8am birth would conspicuously place on her Ascendant). She’s bound to be busy and doing a lot of speaking. In itself this Mercury Return is quite useful, but it is Square her Saturn. She may be more than a little anxious perhaps?

Soon after the election, around the time the results would be emerging, tr.Mercury is Quincunx her natal Uranus, which could be ‘surprise news’ of an upsetting kind, or possibly a technical emergency, or it may simply be nervous over stimulation? tr.Mercury is at that time also Square her Node axis, which could translate into important public announcements and speeches.

Trump has Venus all over his Sun and Moon a day or two before the election, which can be cheerful enough. Smiles, perhaps, for the camera. But then soon after tr.Mercury is Quincunx his Sun and Trine his Saturn, pretty much on the day of the election itself. Awkwardly humbling information or statements? Is this a concession speech, or is he just complaining about something?

Hillary has tr.Mars Sextile her natal Jupiter, which becomes exact a day or two after the election. This, I must confess, is a strong ‘victory signature’ (somewhat reinforced by the concurrent Lunar Return in her natal 5th). At that same time Trump has tr.Mars Quincunx Ascendant, and, apparently on the 10th of November tr.Mercury Squares his Mars. Is he angry, insulting or even threatening then, or just tense and busy?

A few weeks later, on the 20th of January 2017, at the time of the inauguration ceremony, it’s intriguing to see that Trump has tr.Jupiter very closely Trine his natal Sun (which by itself would seem like a perfect time to be crowned), but tr.Saturn opposes his Sun while Conjunct his Moon around that time also! It’s certainly not an unimportant and uneventful time for him. Saturn Conjunct Moon is arguably here worse than Saturn opposing Sun. It can make for self-pity (and note that Trump has progressed Moon Conjunct Natal Saturn, exact between the time of the election and the inauguration). Transiting Mars Squares his Sun and Moon a day or two prior to the inauguration date. Is he throwing a tantrum? He’s certainly looking cross, or very virulent and forceful.

The Moon is in Tropical Scorpio/Sidereal Libra on the 20th of January 2017; in Hillary’s 1st House by Whole Sign houses. She may well be ‘shining’, or having a public moment. It can place her in the spotlight. Tr.Mercury is Semi-Square her natal Mercury, and possibly her Ascendant also. An oath? A speech?

During the early part of January of 2017 tr.Jupiter is Sextile Hillary’s Saturn. That normally means you’re about ready for a ‘promotion’. The elders and authorities like your work and assist you in laying your plans. At that time tr.Saturn is also Trine her natal Saturn.

Hillary’s Moon is tightly Square both Trumps Sun and Moon. Around the time of the inauguration transiting Mars and Saturn are in hard aspect to all of these. Could the loser be acrimoniously venting, or privately seething? They could certainly hiss at each other around then, given half the chance.

It’s not an easy one to call, but I think Hillary takes it, perhaps even by dubious stealth (she managed to so with Bernie Sanders, it seems). Trump may complain bitterly, and who knows, perhaps rightly.

If Trump wins, which perhaps he should (not on the basis of any great merit of his, only in comparison to his ‘Crooked Hillary‘), then I expect he will suffer some other create personal loss as a result of his Sade Sati; Saturn’s Transit over his Moon. I expect that he will lose the election, and yet I do not expect Hillary to have a very easy time in the early part of her likely presidency. She may for a time remain harassed by the threat of legal proceedings against her. In fact, with her being in the Dasha period of a debilitated Sun (under which Bill Gates too, fell foul state institutions), she may struggle to maintain an unopposed authority, and may have to fend off many challengers.

It may well happen that Trump turns to fairly constructive socially orientated work after the election. Transiting Saturn Conjunct Moon and Opposting Sun is big milestone in a person’s life. It can sometimes be a great triumph at the end of a Herculean effort, but it is more often a lesson in acceptance and surrender. If he wins, he will certainly feel the grave weight of his responsibility, which can only be a good and formative thing, for him, and any possible Trump presidency.


bernieIn closing, I light a candle of rememberance for Bernie Sanders, the real chosen President of America, if you ask me. Annointed by a ‘dove’, no less, when Venus came, in a blink, to greet the Jupiter-Saturn Square and eclipse of March 2016. Truly, Bernie, with his noble Sun in Sidereal Leo heart, and the humanity of Moon in Sidereal Pisces, stood for much of the change the world is begging for. Change that some rather calculated people in this world fight tooth and nail to forestall. The dice was loaded. And now, countless Americans are faced with a very uncomfortable choice. Things aint right!

And yet, it was beautiful and meaningful to watch Transiting Jupiter – Guru in the language of Vedic astrology – pirouette around Bernie’s Sun at the peak of his campaign, while both were Trine Pluto, and to see inspired leadership in action, and inspired, hopeful people in support. His parting message: Run for office and become the visionary leaders of tomorrow. You’re a lion too.

As Pushkar Baba once framed it in Rishikesh, ‘GOD means Go On Duty‘.