February Astromusings – Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog! Solar Partial Eclipse New Moon in Aquarius

Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018

Happy New Chinese Year of the Earth Dog!
The year of the Earth Dog follows after the Year of the Fire Rooster (2017) preceding the year of the Earth Pig (2019)!

Chinese New Year of the Dog 2018 begins on Friday, the 16th of February and ends on 2019 Lunar New Year’s Eve on Feb. 4. The Dog occupies the eleventh position in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac . Your Chinese zodiac animal is the Dog if you are born in one of the following years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018.

Characteristics of the Dog
In Chinese society, Dogs are the favoured domestic animal because of their loyalty to their owners. And like a Dog, those born in the year of the Dog possess the admirable canine qualities of loyalty and integrity.

Straightforward and frank, Dog does not pay much attention to superficial details and has little patience for frivolity. Yet Dog is capable of playfulness and spontaneity. Honest and trustworthy, Dog makes an excellent friend on whom you can always depend. Dogs won’t hesitate to come to the aid of their friends in times of crisis, champion the underdog and advocate for ideas they believe in.

Stable, honest, practical, dependable, kind, and loyal are Earth qualities. The element Earth enhances Dog’s character ensuring stability and groundedness. The Earth Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the astrology signs. Earth Dogs have the ability to succeed in their endeavours, and possess nobility of character.

Of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, this is the year of the Earth Dog. 2018 is the Male or Yang Earth Dog year. Brown is connected to the earth. Therefore, 2018 is also referred to as the year of the Brown Dog. According to Chinese astrology the sign of 2018 Male Earth Dog year is represented by two mountains that sit side by side indicating strong Earth. People will focus on real estate, agriculture, environment, territorial integrity or religious, or spiritual matters.

Being the year of Mountain Dog we could be confronted by a wild dog which could block your path. That implies you might encounter some obstacles before executing your plan. Therefore, you need to use your wisdom to remove the blockage first, then you will see the wide-open road.

Famous people born in the Year Of The Dog
Donald Trump, Prince William, Kate Middleton,  David Bowie, Cher, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Prince, Mother Teresa, Sophia Loren, Donald Trump, Madonna, Alec Baldwin, Dolly Parton, Andie MacDowell, Andrea Bocelli, Charlotte Rampling, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Clinton, Christiane Amanpour, David Niven, Diane Keaton, Ethan Hawke, George Gershwin, Herbert Hoover, José Carreras, George W. Bush, Judi Dench, Kevin Bacon, Linda Ronstadt, Leonard Cohen, Liza Minelli, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah, , Sharon Stone, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Sarandon, and Tommy Lee Jones.

Solar Partial Eclipse New Moon in Aquarius 16 February 2018

New Moon in Aquarius 16 Feb 2018The New Moon Solar Eclipse occurs at 27 degrees 07 Aquarius on 16 February at 8.05 am Sydney summer time. Aquarius rules the 11th house of the zodiac which has dominion of our social networks, our friends, groups and ideals. The event chart of New Moon Solar Eclipse reveals the themes with which we will be dealing. Mercury, the planet of communication, and Juno, the goddess of marriage and women’s rights are both conjunct the eclipse in the sign of Aquarius with Jupiter in Scorpio squaring the eclipse Mercury and Juno. Jupiter also rules law, philosophy, higher education and overseas travel. Being King of the gods, the energy of Jupiter is very powerful so that whatever planets it contacts magnifies the energy it touches. It can cause overconfidence or ego inflation  Added to this is the karmic South Node also in Aquarius.

Jupiter & Juno

Jupiter and Juno – Annibale Caraccio

The archetypes involved in this story are very telling here as Roman Juno and Jupiter or Hera and Zeus in Greek mythology were both husband and wife. However, Jupiter or Zeus, King of the gods, was a philanderer who raped both goddesses and mortals alike fathering children on them much to the chagrin and rage of Juno. Theirs was a very turbulent marriage with each one trying to outdo each other. The asteroid, Juno, in astrology represents commitment in relationships within marriage, business etc. as well as women’s rights and the powerless. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus which represents sudden illumination so this will be a period where there is the great potential to tap into the collective conscious. It heralds the upcoming Age of Aquarius which represents equality, freedom, rebellion, non conformity, higher consciousness and humanitarian endeavour.

With Jupiter in intense Scorpio there will be an opportunity to dig deep in order for us to face the shadow. With it coinciding with the year of the Dog the focus will be on loyalty, integrity. and transparency. The issues that are likely to arise will be whom do we trust with regard to our friends, associates and the people we have hired or elected. Issues such as corruption and wrongdoing are likely to come to a head as the year of the Dog ushers in the theme of loyalty, integrity, trustworthiness and transparency. People or organisations that don’t measure up to these standards will be under the spotlight and held accountable for their past actions with the presence of the karmic South Node. Both Aquarius and Scorpio are fixed signs and the effects of this eclipse will be felt for the next six months.

#Me Too Movement
The prevalence of the Me Too# movement is one of the strong themes of the Eclipse event chart with both Jupiter and Juno and Venus and Mars facing off in the Eclipse chart. Juno and Venus represent the feminine principle just as Jupiter and Mars represent the masculine principle. An interesting piece of synchronicity is that St Valentine’s Day just precedes the solar eclipse. Jupiter, being in the sign of Scorpio which rules sex, death joint finances and taxes will bring these issues to the surface.

Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company is sued
The American movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax, whose sexual abuse and exploitation of his female employees acted as a catalyst for the #Me Too movement is under fire again with New York’s attorney general suing The Weinstein Company and Harvey Weinstein on Sunday, alleging years of sexual harassment and misconduct by the movie producer. The civil suit alleges that the company’s executives and board repeatedly failed to protect employees from Weinstein, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. The suit also names Weinstein’s brother Bob, who co-founded the company.

Q&A panelists for #Me Too#Me Too Q&A
On the eve of the eclipse ABC TV aired its Q&A on the #Me Too movement hosted by Virginia Trioli with panelists, Josh Bornstein, Catherine Lumby, Isabella Manfredi and Janet Albrechtson in an attempt to have a national conversation on women’s rights in the work place. Virginia Trioli opened the discussion by asking how many women in the audience had been sexually harassed with many hands being raised. Catherine Lumby, a Macquarie university academic and Guardian contributor, Isabella Manfredi, lead singer of the Preatures, and Josh Bornstein, an employment lawyer all made positive and often thought provoking contributions.

Josh Bornstein had some constructive suggestions about improving workplace sexual harassment claims: remove the time limits on reporting within six months; remove the caps on damages; start a debate about confidentiality agreements in claims; and force companies to report sexual harassment claims to a central agency.

Both Josh Bornstein and Catherine Lumby did their best to explain how woefully inadequate our justice system is in dealing with rape and sexual assault, highlighting that only 10% of rape cases result in conviction, and how doctors usually advise patients against prosecuting their rape because the trial can be like a “second rape”. Isabella Manfredi recounted her experiences of sexual harassment as a young woman in the music industry.

Physical Abuse by White House Staffers of their Wives
Just this week in the US we have seen two more powerful White House staffers, Rob Porter and David Sorensen, have had to resign after it was revealed they had physically abused their ex wives and ex partners. The initial defence of these men by the Chief of Staff General John Kelly and President Trump exposed how powerful men at the top protect each other.

Trump & Stormy Daniels
Trump sex scandal with porn star Stormy Daniels
Added to this White House scandal is the scandal of Trump paying off porn star Stormy Daniels with hush money to prevent her going public just prior to the US presidential elections in 2016. An adult film star who has been embroiled in allegations of an affair with President Donald Trump is free to tell her story, her manager has said. Stormy Daniels is no longer bound by a non-disclosure contract after Mr Trump’s lawyer admitted he paid her, manager Gina Rodriguez says Mr Trump’s personal lawyer confirmed in a statement to media he privately paid Ms Daniels $130,000 (£95,000) in 2016. Ms Rodriguez says that acknowledgement allows her client to speak freely. The revelations on Wednesday follow US media reports that the porn actress known as Ms Daniels was paid to sign an agreement stopping her discussing an alleged affair. She first said she had a relationship with Mr Trump in a 2011 interview.In a 2011 interview with InTouch magazine, the actress said she was in a relationship with Mr Trump in 2006 shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to his son Barron.

Oxfam Scandal
Oxfam staff have been accused of hiring prostitutes while delivering aid after 2010 Haiti earthquake. Ex-UN operations chief says the problem is widespread throughout aid charities. The prostitution scandal engulfing international aid charity Oxfam is a symptom of a “global problem” in the aid industry, a former senior UN aid worker says. Oxfam has been accused of lacking “moral leadership” by the British Government over misconduct involving prostitutes in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Further accusations have been made claiming that pedophiles have been infiltrating aid organisations.

Barnaby Joyce Scandal – Symbolic of Jupiter Juno Marriage
While here in Australia we have our own home grown scandal with the Deputy Prime Minister being exposed as a hypocrite while ostensibly standing for family values and commitment to marriage having been found out having an affair with his staffer Vikki Campion who is now expecting their baby in April. The anger of the wife, Natalie, who confronted Barnaby’s mistress Vikki accusing her of being a homewrecker is reminiscent of the aggrieved Juno angered by her philandering husband’s ‘sexcapades’. Since the story broke in the Daily Telegraph last week the scandal has escalated with allegations of Barnaby’s other dalliances and sexual misconduct with minors surfacing. What was just rumour and innuendo is now becoming headline news. Thus is the power of Jupiter to blow things out of proportion. Barnaby Joyce is also undergoing his Chiron Return which means he will have to do some soul searching and face his deepest emotional wounds and atone for those he has emotionally wounded. Issues of nepotism have also arisen with the high paying positions his ‘partner’, Vikki Campion, has enjoyed plus his own high expenses for his time in Canberra and his living rent free in a luxury apartment in Armidale owned by his wealthy mate, Greg Maguire. Barnaby Joyce spent more than $10,000 on family reunion travel while having an affair with his former staffer, raising more questions about taxpayer funds being used to support the double life led by the Deputy Prime Minister. With Barnaby Joyce set to become acting Prime Minister next week while the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be on an official to see President Trump the coalition was in further damage control. There have been debates in parliament about what constitutes a relationship – when is someone a partner, with the Prime Minister citing the Centrelink definition.

PM Turnbull Announces a New Ministeral Code of Conduct
On the eve of the South Node eclipse with the Barnaby Joyce Scandal escalating and further damaging the Liberal National coalition Turnbull announced in parliament that Barnaby would be taking leave for a week to reflect on his position as well as a new code of conduct in which sexual relationships between ministers and their staff is banned effective from today and went on to describe Barnaby Joyce’s affair with the staffer as a “shocking error of judgement”. Turnbull acknowledged that his affair had raised serious issues of sex and power inside Parliament House and the deficiencies in the ministerial code of conduct. This move is in line with the US House of Representatives and with the sporting world of the AFL and in the corporate world.

Internecine War within the Coalition
Barnaby Joyce has retaliated against Malcolm Turnbull’s address claiming that the PM’s comments at his press conference yesterday in many instances were inept and unnecessary causing more harm as well as asserting his independence from his coalition partner and his right to remain leader of the National Party. The response of the Labor Opposition leader, Bill Shorten and the Deputy Leader, Tanya Plibersek, claimed that the Liberal National Coalition government is in a full blown crisis. “If Malcolm doesn’t have the courage to sack Barnaby Joyce, then Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have the courage to be prime minister.”

In keeping with the South Node eclipse a voice from the past resurfaced with the appearance on Sky news of  Junie Morosi, who famously had an affair in 1974 with then-deputy prime minister Jim Cairns. Morosi has slammed the media attention on Barnaby Joyce’s personal situation, calling the interest in the Nationals leaders’ relationships “old fashioned”.

Morosi & Cairns

Jim Cairns & Junie Morosi

Morosi, who was appointed by her lover Cairns to a senior government role that were seen as outside her experience, told The Australian that the complaints about Joyce having won his now-partner Vikki Campion a series of government jobs were just a cover for good, old puritanism on the part of his critics.

Members of the public and the stolen generation applaud Rudd's speech

Members of the public & the stolen generation applaud Kevin Rudd’s apology


Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generations

Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generation

Tenth Anniversary of National Apology to the Stolen Generation
Quite rightly Stan Grant claimed on his Tuesday night program of Matter of Fact that the all consuming media scandal about Barnaby Joyce has overshadowed the important 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation and Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull’s report to parliament on Closing the Gap.

Arrest of Malka Leifer, former school principal, for rape and sexual abuse against children
However it is not only men who are having their karma catch up with them during this South Node eclipse period. Malka Leifer who has been sensationally arrested in Israel, is finally facing the prospect of extradition proceedings almost a decade after she fled Australia after being accused of abusing female students at the Adass Israel School in Elsternwick in Melbourne. She was principal of the ultraconservative Jewish school at the time and faces 74 allegations of rape and sexual abuse against children. Since fleeing in 2008 she has managed to avoid extradition by arguing she was too mentally unwell to face court in Australia. However, Israeli authorities swooped on Ms Leifer, who is aged in her 50s, after a month-long undercover investigation by police, which concluded that Ms Leifer was allegedly faking her mental illness. Her arrest has brought relief to her young female victims who have suffered post traumatic stress disorder, post-partum depression and and suicidal ideation. They said their tireless campaign to have her brought to justice will bring closure for them. With the power of South Node Eclipse and the Year of the Dog truth will out!

Resignation of Jacob Zuma
As I write this post on the eve of the eclipse it has just been announced that Jacob Zuma has resigned as President of South Africa, heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years of corruption and cronyism in power.

Royal Commission into Banking
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC and senior counsel assisting Rowena Orr made brief initial statements in Melbourne on Monday ahead of what will be an exhaustive 12 months of public hearings into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry. Home loans, car loans and credit cards will come under the microscope when the Banking Royal Commission holds its first round of public hearings next month. The Commission will hear evidence that suggests consumers have not always enjoyed the.right to be treated honestly and fairly when it comes to home loans,” Ms Orr said. “Some [cases] may involve breaches of the law, while others may fall short of community standards.” The banks will finally be held to account for their misconduct.

Slave like conditions for Domestic Workers in Embassies in Australia
Another example of injustice was exposed on Monday night’s Four Corners when journalist Louise Milligan revealed the shocking mistreatment and exploitation of A at least 20 domestic workers who have escaped embassies and diplomatic residences in Australia, where they were being kept in conditions likened to slavery. Four Corners inteviewed three workers who allege shocking conditions like working for a fraction of the minimum wage. There’s little that law enforcement authorities can do to bring the perpetrators to justice because the employers enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Corporations Pay No Tax
According to an ABC NEWS report online by journalist, Emma Albericci 380 of Australia’s largest companies. ATO corporate tax transparency data — confirmed in email exchanges with company representatives — reveals about one in five of the country’s biggest companies have paid no tax for at least the past three years. Companies who have paid no tax include Qantas, Adani Abbot. Alinta Holdings, Amcor Limited, American Express Australia Limited, Ansell Limited, APN News & Media Ltd. Not one of Australia’s biggest airlines has paid corporate tax since at least 2013 including Virgin and its subsidiary TigerairEtihadEmirates and Qatar. At a time when Australian households have seen their electricity prices soar, the country’s leading energy retailer, EnergyAustralia, hasn’t been paying corporate tax. EnergyAustralia paid no corporate tax for the decade to 2016.

Ten years after the global financial crisis — which they are largely responsible for creating — some of the world’s most prominent investment banks are collecting tidy sums of income in Australia and not paying corporate tax. Among them is Malcolm Turnbull’s old employer, Goldman Sachs, which recently won a lucrative contract with the NSW Government.

Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as, “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, Goldman will be paid $16.5 million as the state’s financial adviser on the sale of the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway in NSW. The investment bank generated revenue of $1.84 billion over three years but paid zero corporate tax.

The same goes for JPMorgan Chase which raked in $2.2 billion and hasn’t paid corporate tax since at least 2013. Ten years after the global financial crisis — which they are largely responsible for creating — some of the world’s most prominent investment banks are collecting tidy sums of income in Australia and not paying corporate tax. Among them is Malcolm Turnbull’s old employer, Goldman Sachs, which recently won a lucrative contract with the NSW Government.

Described by Rolling Stone Magazine as, “the great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”, Goldman will be paid $16.5 million as the state’s financial adviser on the sale of the $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway in NSW. The investment bank generated revenue of $1.84 billion over three years but paid zero corporate tax.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp hasn’t paid corporate tax for at least 4 years. The media colossus reported total income of $8.5 billion and even boasted a $71 million profit in 2014/15 but no corporate tax was paid.

Neoliberalism’s Trickle Down Economics discredited.
Piketty-capital-21st-centuryThe Age of Aquarius espouses equality of opportunity. French academic and economist Thomas Piketty’s best selling seminal book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, discredits Neoliberalism’s Trickle Down economics. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality documents the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. This is backed up by Emma Albericci in her report: “There is no compelling evidence that giving the country’s biggest companies a tax cut sees that money passed on to workers in the form of higher wages.Treasury modelling relies on theories that belie the reality that’s playing out around the world. Since the peak of the commodities boom in 2011-12, profit margins have risen to levels not seen since the early 2000s but wages growth has been slower than at any time since the 1960s.” Piketty’s work is the zeitgeist as we move into the Age of Aquarius.

Universal Basic Income
UBIThe resurrection of universal basic income (UBI) proposals in the developed world has gained support from some prominent Australians. UBI proposals centre on the idea that the government would pay a flat fee to every adult citizen, regardless of his or her engagement in skill-building activities or the paid labour market, as a partial or complete substitute for existing social security and welfare programs.
Of the schemes run in developing places like Kenya, Uganda, and India, some have been evaluated statistically, delivering some evidence of positive impacts on educational investments, entrepreneurship, and earnings.
In the developed world, Canada has been trialling a UBI scheme. Finland has also rolled out a trial until the end of 2018 , involving about 10,000 recipients for two years and costing about A$40 million. While Switzerland’s voters just rejected a UBI proposal via referendum, a similar proposal is presently looking like a goer for Utrecht in the Netherlands. Here in Australia, it has been suggested the government might hand out somewhere between A$10,000 and A$25,000 a year to every man and woman.

Free MoneyThe idea of free money has become more popular in recent years thanks to advocates in Silicon Valley like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. They see universal basic as a cushion for workers whose jobs might be replaced by automation or robots. Advocates argue free money could provide workers with flexibility to retrain for a new career, pursue creative interests, or start their own business.

So on both a collective and personal level this karmic South Node Eclipse in Aquarius represents a portal to clarify and affirm our highest path to make a quantum leap in consciousness. It gives an opportunity to transform our thinking and let go of the past to allow for new visions, to break down our defences where we have become the most fixed, to liberate ourselves from outmoded attitudes and concepts of being. Coinciding with the year of the Earth Dog it will be a year where relationships and organisations will be under the spotlight and will be held to account if they don’t demonstrate honesty, integrity and transparency.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy Dog Trial

Joanne Fuda with Hugo, Felicity Powell with Jezebel, Attorney-General Mark Speakman and Julie Duncan with Amber.


Hugo the Caboodle in Manly Local Court

Hugo the Caboodle inside Manly Local Court

To end on a lighter note there was a news item this week so fitting for the Year of the Dog. It was just announced this week that the trial of therapy dogs begun in April 2017 to lend a floppy ear and friendly paw to assist victims of crime in Manly Court has been such a success that it will now be expanded. “Research shows having a dog to talk to and pat can calm people who are feeling scared and nervous — a phenomenon referred to as the ‘pet effect’.” This therapy has been used with great success for child victims in special circumstances as remote witnesses and victims of domestic violence. it will now be rolled out in ten regional and city court complexes in NSW. Canine therapy is also employed in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. It goes without saying that the dog is ‘man’s’ best friend!














August Astromusings

Jewish Palestinian wedding

Jewish Palestinian wedding

War or Peaceful Coexistence?
It is a while since I have written a post but so much is happening on a national and global scene that I felt I must record some of my thoughts and feelings on some of the most pressing issues both here in Australia and abroad. It has been a month fraught with violence and anger on the world stage. More conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It has been heartening to see on social that many Jews are in favour of peace between Israelis and Palestinians and are actively campaigning for a Palestinian state. It culminated this week with a wedding between an Israeli woman Maral Malka and a Palestinian man  Mahmoud Mansour despite all the protests from far right Israeli groups chanting, “Death to the Arabs.” The groom told Israel’s Channel 2 TV the protesters failed to derail the wedding or dampen its spirit. “We will dance and be merry until the sun comes up. We favour coexistence,” he said.

Gaza Genocide
We have all been subject to the horrific images of the death and injuries of innocent Palestinian children and families over the past month. Many of us cringed when the Australian Attorney General Liberal Senator Attorney George Brandis told a Senate hearing this week that it’s inappropriate to describe East Jerusalem as “occupied”. The comment has caused a stir in the Palestinian territories where the policies of the new Australian Government are already viewed with deep suspicion. His comments brought a quick response from Hanan Ashrawi In her office in Ramallah, PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi read the comments with disgust.  “I couldn’t believe this because how can you hear such language from an attorney-general supposedly who knows the law, who knows international law, who is in such blatant violation of international law, who issues such statements that are disgraceful, really. It is shameful that Australia has reached such a situation.” The outcry from Arab countries with threatens of sanctions forced Brandis to back down and the Liberal government to go into damage control.

Hedy Epstein Holocaust survivior

Hedy Epstein Holocaust survivor

Mars in Scorpio square Jupiter in Leo
What has been going on in the skies to escalate this conflict in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinians? In early August Mars in Scorpio squared Jupiter in Leo. Mars which rules war, conflict and separation and with Jupiter intensifies the Martian impulse escalating violence and conflict globally with the shooting in Ferguson Missouri of the young black man, Michael Brown by a trigger happy white policeman which ended in riots, the escalation of the conflict in Iraq culminating in the public beheading by ISIL of US journalist, James Foley.

There is an interesting link between Gaza and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson in the person of Hedy Epstein a holocaust survivor, protesting over the shooting of Michael Brown and activist and member of  the Free Gaza Moment.

Hedy Epstein, a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, was arrested on Monday during unrest over the death of Michael Brown.
Epstein, who aided Allied forces in the Nuremberg trials, was placed under arrest in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, “for failing to disperse” during a protest of Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to call the National Guard into Ferguson. Eight others were also arrested.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90,” Epstein told The Nation during her arrest. “We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90.” Epstein is currently an activist and a vocal supporter of the Free Gaza Movement.

Robin Williams with young girl actress

Robin Williams

Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire

Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire

August Full Moon and the Death of an Icon
The August Full Moon in Aquarius brought shock waves around the world when the much loved comic icon Robin Williams took his own life by hanging himself on 11 August 2014. Social media was inundated with tearful farewells for a cherished actor and comedian. I felt so shocked and watched all the tributes online and on  TV including a rerun of Mrs Doubtfire which would brought tears of laughter and sadness simultaneously. I watched a rerun of The Bird Cage and remembered his other roles in Dead Poets’ Society and Good Will Hunting.

Robin William's natal chart

Robin Williams’ natal chart

It is interesting to look at Robin Williams’ natal chart which gives some clue to his Universal appeal. I looked up Robin’s chart on AstroDataBank. According to their data, based on a copy of his birth certificate, he was born July 21, 1951 at 1:34 PM, CST, Chicago, Illinois USA. No wonder he touched so many people in his many diverse roles with his Sun in sensitive Cancer and his Moon conjunct his North Node in dreamy soulful Pisces and his ascendant in intense Scorpio – so much water! He also has Mars conjunct Uranus in Cancer and Venus conjunct his South Node.  It was well known that he battled with drug and alcohol addiction and depression and had just recently been in rehab before he took his own life. The astrologer Donna Cunningham whose lectures I have attended at a FAA  conference has researched extensively on the addictions in the birthchart and made the interesting observation that one of the genes for depression and one of the genes for alcoholism are next to each other on the same strand of DNA..  It was also revealed by Robin’s wife a few days after his death that he also had been diagnosed with early onset Parkinsons disease yet another challenge for him to contend with.

The whole tragic event pressed a lot of buttons for me as my own father was a Cancerian with 6 planets in Cancer and Jupiter conjunct Chiron in Pisces so altogether 8 planets in water signs if you count Chiron. My father also had Neptune conjunct the Sun, and had Pluto conjunct Mercury as did Robin Williams. He also suffered from depression, insomnia and alcoholism, dying an untimely death at age 57. Another dear friend, Neil was an Aries with Cancer rising also suffered with depression and alcoholism and died in his early 60s. He had a T-square with Neptune Moon and Saturn. A few years ago I gave a powerpoint presentation on Mental Illness in the Birthchart for our astrology association AANSW in Sydney. I was particularly inspired by the work of Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-director of the John Hopkins Mood Disorders Centre. Her book Touched with Fire alludes to Icarus who flew too high and had his wings burned by the sun. She referred to the two lines in the poem, A Fine Madness by the Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton:
For that fine madness still he did retain
Which rightly should possess a poet’s brain.
Lord George Gordon Byron referred to the creative genius in this way “We of the craft are all crazy.”
There has been a long-held belief that there is a fine line between genius and madness. Robin Williams could be very manic in his behaviour experiencing the highs and lows as revealed in his countless interviews and portrayed in his many movie and TV roles. With Mercury the trickster his most elevated planet, he was like a chameleon able to shift shape in his many roles.

He had some challenging transits to deal with before he took his own life. Over the past year  transiting Uranus and Pluto have both been activating the challenging Mars complex in Williams’ chart, and when Mars was in Libra  it formed a Grand Cross with Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn.  Jupiter in Cancer, was also involved in that alignment and all of these planets were  affecting Williams’ natal Mars the co ruler of his Scorpio ascendant. Transiting Pluto was opposing his natal Mars Uranus conjunction in the 8th house of death and the transiting Sun had just passed over his natal Pluto. The Pluto opposition to Mars  would have been especially volatile and would have been overwhelming for someone so sensitive as Robin Williams.  Vale Robin Williams  – a genius who will be sadly missed by all who loved you and to whom you brought so much joy and laughter.





Arjuna and his teacher Lord Krsna Design by Sue Robertson

Sagittarius the archer

guides his fiery steed
man and horse fused into one
He perceives the vision
and aims his arrow high
that shaft of light
and races onwards towards his goal

By Anne Robertson 1987
Arjuna, warrior and seeker of spiritual truth in the Indian epic song Bhagavad Gita, and Lord Krsna, his teacher. Krsna urges Arjuna to adopt a path of action freed from fear, reaction and inner conflict, offering a vision of the Self which is shining, limitless and untouched by sorrow.

Esoteric Keyword Phrases for Sagittarius
The Personality sounds his note: Let food be sought.
The Soul sounds it clarion call: I see the goal, I reach the goal and then I see another.

Rulers for Sagittarius
Exoteric Ruler:
Jupiter under the Second Ray of Love Wisdom
Esoteric Ruler: Earth under the Third Ray of Active Intelligence
Hierarchical Ruler: Mars under the Sixth Ray of Idealism and Devotion

Happy birthday to all the Sagittarians who celebrate their birthdays from 23 November to 22 December. Sagittarius is one of the four mutable signs, the others being Gemini, Virgo and Pisces. It forms the triplicity of fire signs along with Aries and Leo.

Symbolism of Sagittarius

Sagittarius is depicted as the immortal Centaur half man/half horse. It is therefore a dual sign as Centaur is endowed with the creative higher mental attributes of man as well the physical power of the horse to carry out and manifest Man’s ideas. It’s duality is also evident in the glyph of the arrow with sign divided by a line on the lower part of the shaft. This duality symbolises the battle between the higher aspirations of man versus the lower natures of our animal nature.

Sagittarius the domain of Jupiter who rules over the higher mind represents travel literally and metaphorically – his thoughts shoot out in all directions inspiring humanity with his  far-reaching vision and understanding. The glyph on the physical plane corresponds to the haunches, loins, thighs and the upper limbs. The head of the arrow depicts the fusion of the legs into one thrusting unit and the line of the bottom of the shaft represents the knees. Therefore, Sagittarius is the seat of locomotion in the body as it the action of both moving legs that propels him toward achieving his goal. This represents the single pointedness of Sagittarius who has the potential to transcend his dualism and become focused and achieve synthesis in fusing his duality into wholeness.

In the Northern hemisphere Sagittarius is the last sign to complete its cycle before the beginning of the new year. There it marks a period of long nights and short days with autumn taking its leave followed by the hibernation of the winter months. Sagittarius also marks a period of celebration with the winter solstice which brings thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years Day all under the auspices of the following sign of Capricorn.

The Constellation of Sagittarius

Constellation of Sagittarius

In his book Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology, Alan Oken elaborates on the constellation of Sagittarius. “The constellation which outlines the Archer-Centaur is composed of eight bright but otherwise undistinguished stars, divided into two subgroupings: the Milk dipper representing the Centaur’s body and the Bow. There is an additional frontal star called Al Naal – the point which is the head of the arrow. The Milk Dipper (Ursa Minor) which contains Polaris, the North Star. It is inverted and gets its name because its handle is placed in a star cloud of the Milky Way. The Archer is eternally after the Scorpio with his arrow aimed directly at Antares, the great red heart of the Scorpion. Although the actual constellation is not spectacular from an astronomical point of view, the region in space in which this asterism is placed most certainly is. Within the Archer’s range is the huge Sagittarius stellar cloud, composed of million of suns. The constellation Sagittarius is unique in that it points toward the Galactic Centre. Sagittarius is easily found low in the southern sky of summer. It is bordered on the east by Capricorn, on the west by Scorpio, on the north by Aquila, the Eagle, and on the northwest by the Serpent.

Alice Bailey in her book, ‘The Labours of Hercules’, explains the esoteric symbolism of the constellations associated with Sagittarius. The three constellations Bailey alludes to are Lyra, Draco and Aquila. Lyra is the seven stringed harp upon which the aspirant learns to play and make music with his life. Ara is the altar upon which the aspirant places all, detaching himself so that he may more perfectly and fully serve. Draco is the serpent of wisdom, Summing up the role of Sagittarius, Bailey says: “Music in the life of harmony, sacrifices in the personality reactions and desires, and wisdom. And hovering over two other constellations: Aquila, spirit: and Cygnus, the soul.”

The Ninth Labour of Hercules – Killing the Stymphalian Birds

Hercules killing the Stymphalian Birds

Hercules’ task in the ninth Labour is to get rid of the hideous, raucous, predatory birds of Stymphalus that are wreaking havoc in the marshes of Acadia. Three birds, on perceiving Hercules, swoop down upon him but Hercules holds his ground warding off their attacks with his heavy club. At first he tries to kill them with a quiverful of arrows but to no avail. Then he remembered the wise counsel given to him by his Teacher: “The flame that gleams beyond the mind reveals direction sure.” He gets rid of the man-eating birds dwelling in the marshes of Acadia by repeatedly clashing the cymbals given to him by Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Frightened by this terrible noise the birds arise out of the marshes and Hercules mounts onto his winged horse and shoots them with his arrows. Bailey explains the esoteric symbolism of the myth. She states that Sagittarius is the sign preparatory to Capricorn and it is called in some ancient books “the sign of silence”. In ancient mysteries the newly admitted brother had to sit in silence, he was not allowed to walk or speak: he had to be, to work and to watch, because one cannot enter the spiritual kingdom, or climb the mountain of Capricorn, until there has been restraint of speech and control of thought. That is the lesson of Sagittarius: restraint of speech through control of thought. Sagittarius is the little gate to Capricorn. There are two cosmic gates: Cancer, the gate into incarnation: Capricorn, the gate into the spiritual kingdom. Bailey says she likes to think of it as the little gate at the foot of the hill through which one passes before climbing the mountain and in passing through that little gate, we demonstrate our ability to rightly use the arrows of thought. That is the great test. Alice Bailey explains the esoteric symbolism behind the three man-eating birds and the marshes. The marshes are a symbol of the mind plus emotions. The birds that did the most harm were three in number. In one book they are enumerated: cruel gossip, talk of the self, selfish talk; and casting pearls before swine. Symbolically, the role of the Sagittarian is to get these birds out of the marshes where they can be seen and conquered.


Sagittarian Hall of Fame


Sagittarius rules the ninth house of the birth chart which has dominion over philosophy, religion, metaphysics, law, publishing, higher education, long distance travel and sport. Jupiter, its ruling planet, is the giant of our solar system, 318 times larger than our planet Earth. It also spins faster than any other planet. Like the other fire signs Aries and Leo, Sagittarians are extroverts. Their role is to disseminate their knowledge and this they do with great enthusiasm, no matter what career they undertake. Sagittarius is known as “the sign of the prophet” Prophet and guru are larger than life labels that have been attached to some very famous Sagittarians. Nostradamus, the famous French seer, was one such Sagittarian whose famous quatrains predicted the future. Another prophet of the new millennium is Arthur C. Clarke whose 2001: A Space Odyssey captured the imagination of the collective. His 3001: The Final Odyssey actually takes place on one of the moons of Jupiter, the ruling planet of Sagittarius. Clarke took his writing very seriously, believing that science fiction writers performed an important role in predicting the future and raising the moral issues arising from the technological and space age.

Steven Spielberg

Another very visionary and creatively gifted Sagittarian is Steven Spielberg who was inspired by the imagination of Walt Disney and is now acknowledged as much as his former childhood hero through such movies as ET.

Sai baba

Another Sagittarian whose spiritual teachings and healings have inspired millions of seekers is Sai Baba. Sagittarians, with their natural predilection to think big, can become very successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists. One such famous Sagittarian is Andrew Carnegie who donated hundreds of millions of dollars amassed from his fortune made in steel to typical Jupiterian causes, such as libraries, education and peace. The renowned French philosopher, Voltaire, wrote ‘Candide’ which is a biting satire on optimism, one of the main Sagittarian traits. The Sagittarian, like the Centaur he represents, can be prone to bawdiness and boisterousness. These qualities are epitomised by the two show business icons, Billy

Bette Midler

Connelly and Bette Midler, whose larger than life jovial personalities have entertained millions with their downright bawdy and often outrageous jokes and antics. Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Jimi Hendrix, Maria Callas, Edith Piaf, Joan Aramatrading and Frank Sinatra demonstrate the typical Sagittarian ardour in their performances. Other notable Sagittarian celluloid heroes include Jane Fonda, Kim Basinger, John Malkovich, Kirk Douglas, Sir Ralph Richardson, and Kenneth Branagh. Sagittarians can also be attracted to a career in politics such as Sir Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli, and locally Kim Beazley, Cheryl Kernot and Amanda Vanstone.

Sagittarian Health and Anatomy

As well as ruling the hips and gluteal muscles, Sagittarius rules the sciatic nerve, iliac arteries and veins. It also has considerable influence over the liver, lungs and motor nerves. Structurally it rules the four vertebrae of the coccyx, the sacral bones and femur. Afflictions associated with this sign are rheumatism, sciatica, nervous disorders, hypersensitivity, heart and lung disease and eye disorders. In her book, ‘Astrology and Biochemistry’ Vanda Sawtell, writes that the biochemic cell salt allocated to Sagittarius is Silica. Under the microscope the molecules of this cell salt are pointed and triangular like an arrow head, the symbol for Sagittarius. Silica has been called the lancet of biochemistry acting as Nature’s surgeon. Wherever there is pus to be discharged such as in boils, abscesses, carbuncles etc., this salt is indicated. Silica has a very definite action upon the sweat glands of the skin, and is a remedy for perspiration of the feet; copious night sweats and insufficient perspiration. Other indications for this cell salt are red eyelids; caries of the bones; tonsillitis; ulceration of the throat; styes of the eyelids; cataracts; dullness of hearing with catarrh of the eustachian tubes. Silica gives the glossy finish to hair and nails. It is found in the connective tissues of the brain and nervous system, and lack of Silica causes inability to connect one’s thoughts, bad memory, and nervous disorders.  Individuals born under this sign need to guard against chest or lung troubles, being the polar opposite sign of Gemini which rules the chest and lungs, blood disorders, and poor digestion. They are liable to suffer from nerve depletion from over-exhaustion. Bush walking and mountain climbing are ideal exercises for these free spirited individuals, enabling them to exercise their hips and thighs and promote deep breathing to strengthen any possible chest weakness. Being a hot and choleric sign they should avoid stimulants and intoxicating beverages. Their diet should include fruits that have cooling effect on their system such as citrus, berries and bananas. Grains such as oats, wheat and barley are beneficial for the nervous system of the highly-strung Sagittarian. Other suitable foods include asparagus, corn, endive, cucumber, red cabbage and apples. Aromatherapy oils that can be a balm for the highly active Sagittarian include bergamot, calendula, lemon balm, and rosemary.

2014 Transits for Sagittarius

Romance and Relationships

With Uranus the planet of sudden change currently in your romance sector in the volatile sign of Aries there could be a bit of spark in your love life. If you are looking for a steady commitment you may be disappointed as the erratic energy of retrograde Uranus may bring some surprises. It could be a case of expect the unexpected and not the time to make firm commitments but rather just go along for the ride. This sector also rules children and creativity so there can be upheavals in this area of your life. Positively you may impress everyone with your unique creativity.

Some cosmic visitors make an appearance in your relationship and marriage sector. As as the Sun, Mercury, the planet of communication pays a visit here from 8-29 May facilitating communication with your partner. Venus, the goddess of love, graces your partnership sector with her presence from 24 June to 18 July enhancing your powers of attraction and opportunities for romance. The New Moon on 29 May heralds new beginnings in your intimate relationships and business partnerships. This cosmic activity makes mid year the most active period for relationships.


Pluto the lord of the Underworld continues his journey through your finance sector. Pluto can push you out of your comfort zone and you may feel that making enough money is a matter of life and death as Pluto challenges your deepest primal fears. However, Pluto’s Greek counterpart Hades means wealth so it can also work in your favour, resulting in increased wealth. Whichever way the dice falls for you from rags to riches or vice versa you are sure to be re-evaluating your attitude to finances and possessions and in the process re-evaluating you self-worth. Mercury, the planet of communication and commerce, visits your finance sector from 1-11 January making it an ideal period to do your book-keeping to stay informed of the current state of your finances. Venus makes a prolonged visit in your finance sector from 1 January to 5 March 2014. Part of Venus’s visit here involves a retrograde phase from 21 December to 30 January making it an ideal time to review your finances and realise your true worth in the process. Dynamic Mars makes its presence felt here in the latter part of 2014 from 27 October to 4 December imbuing you with energy and a competitive spirit in your financial dealings.


Your spirituality sector will be highlighted by a solar eclipse on 23 October. Saturn, the Lord of Karma, continues his 2 year sojourn in your house of karma. Serious Saturn’s presence here will ensure that you take spiritual matters seriously and you may feel the need to retreat from the challenges of the temporal world to embrace the more mysterious intangible realms. Mercury joins Saturn for a prolonged visit here from 28 September to 10 October and again from 9-28 November causing you to take spiritual matters seriously with a desire to inform yourself about spiritual disciplines through books, courses or retreats. Keeping a dream journal will give you access to your deepest motivations. Part of Mercury’s visit here occurs during Mercury’s retrograde cycle from 4-10 October.

Home and Family

Neptune, the planet of losses and sacrifices, continues its 14 year sojourn in your sector of home and family. You may find that you have to surrender some ideals regarding your home and family and formulate new ones. The fourth house also represents your core self so you may undergo a deep inner transformation and feel the need to withdraw to do some soul-searching. You may experience ‘divine discontent’ or confusion around issues to do with the family. You may have to sacrifice your time and energy to look after a sick loved one. There may be dissolution of the family through divorce or loss of a family member. However its presence is felt, Neptune will be teaching you the lesson of non-attachment with regard to your home and family. Other cosmic visitors to your domestic sector are Mercury and Venus. Mercury visits from 18 March to the 7 April which will facilitate communication among family members and is also an excellent time to organise tradespeople to do repairs. Gentle Venus will grace your domestic sector with her presence from 6 April to 3 May bringing harmony on the domestic front.

Creativity and Children

Unpredictable Uranus continues its sojourn in your 5th house of creativity children and romance making the motto “Expect the unexpected” an apt theme. Other celestial influences here are Venus, Mercury, the karmic South Node and a total lunar eclipse occurring 8 October. The full Moon lunar eclipse on 8 October may bring certain truths to the surface regarding your creativity and children or romantic liaisons. Mercury pays a visit here from 8-23 April facilitating communication and playfulness with your children. Gentle Venus’s presence here from 4-29 May will bring harmony and enhance creative inspiration.

Travel and Education

Both the radiant Sun and lucky Jupiter activate your travel and education sector in 2014. The Sun’s presence here from 23 July to 23 August would be an ideal time to pamper yourself with that luxury trip. It is also a time where you will shine in any projects involving study, teaching, writing  and publishing.  Jupiter’s presence here from 18 July 2014 to 11 August 2015 will bring you many opportunities in these areas of your life so strike while the iron is hot. You will also be imbued with and enthusiasm and inspiration to undertake writing, teaching and study projects.

Friends and Groups

Your social sector is highlighted by a total lunar eclipse on 15 April and the presence of the karmic South Node. Mars’s prolonged stay in your social sector with imbue you with energy and enthusiasm in your dealings with friends and associates. Mars enters your friendship sector on 8 December 2013 and remains there until 26 July. Parts  of its stay there will be during its retrograde motion from 2 March to 19 May which could slow things down with regards to social activities. Other cosmic players are  quicksilver Mercury and gentle Venus. Mercury pays two visits here first from 3-27 September and then again from 11 October to 8 November.  Mercury’s presence here will facilitate communication and networking. Part of Mercury’s stay here will be during its retrograde cycle from 11-24 October which could cause misunderstandings and delays so there is a need to remain patience. Venus’s presence here from 1-23 October will add extra sparkle to your social life.


Sagittarius Greeting Card Designed by Sue Robertson
Sagittarius Poem by Anne Robertson
Esoteric Astrology Volume 3 Treatise on the Seven Rays by Alice A. Bailey
Soul-Centred Astrology: A Key to your Expanding Self  by Alan Oken
Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology by Alan Oken
The Labours of Hercules by Alice A. Bailey
Astrological Keys to Self-actualization & Self-realization by Clara A. Weiss
Astrology and Biochemistry by Vanda Sawtell