2023 – A Landmark Year? Be Ready

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The past three years have been extraordinarily difficult for us, on many levels. I do not have to go into the details, the reader will be more than aware, whatever their standpoint.

Astrologically, 2023 promises change after a difficult start. Right now (early January), with Mercury and Mars retrograde in particular, it might feel that nothing is happening and than 2023 is continuing pretty much like 2022, in a kind of frustrating stalemate politically and economically, nevertheless with wild, hard to believe news stories dominating the headlines.

Retrograde Mercurys are notorious for making any kind of communication and travel difficult. With Mars retrograde in Mercury’s sign of Gemini until January 12, this only compounds the situation, creating a sense of inaction.

But once these two planets turn direct shortly, much of the underlying frustration will begin to clear, especially when the Sun moves into Aquarius around January 20 and Uranus turns direct in Taurus on January 22. A fundamental change of atmosphere will occur and we will see things more as they truly are; the deceptions we have had to live with for far too long.

And with Jupiter already beginning a new 12 year cycle by entering Aries, now is the time for opportunity in new beginnings of any kind. From May Jupiter enters Taurus to join revolutionary Uranus; there will be big financial opportunites and news from the late spring, which should see us finally begin to leave this planetary state of depression.

Add to this Pluto’s initial stint in Aquarius from March for a few months, before finally settling into the Waterbearer in early 2024, and we are going to witness a fundamental shift, as important as we saw in 2008 when Pluto entered Capricorn, which brought the so-called Credit Crunch and all the chaos thereof. This time however, in Aquarius, the changes are going to be more societal, among groups and in humanity in general. The people are not to stand for certain situations any longer; Pluto is a malefic, it undermines, trawls deep, and bring detritus to the surface in a major cleansing which is never easy, nor straightforward. At times its going to be pretty ugly.

Pluto is in Aquarius for around 20 years, and always marks a major shift for humanity. The last time this occurred there was the French Revolution (was that positive???) and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, for example.

What I have noticed is that in the 1530s to 1550s (when Pluto was in Aquarius the time before last) and towards the mid 1040s (when it was also in the Waterbearer), at the beginning of each of these phases Neptune was in watery Pisces. Now Pisces has strong associations with religion and Christianity in particular. I suggest that Pluto and Neptune are working in tandem.

During both of these periods there were major shifts in religion and belief and consequent changes in society. The 1050s brought the Great Schism, the split between the Churches of Rome and Byzantium, which also ushered in major societal and military actions, such as the Norman Conquest, blessed by the then Pope to bring England truly back into the re-energised Catholic fold. In the 1530s to 1550s, the Reformation brought huge chaos and change to the Church and society, plus major political and military conflict. The Dissolution of the Monasteries in England, for example, brought major societal upheaval.

So once again, in 2023/4, as Pluto enters Aquarius, Neptune is found in Pisces. The difference this time, I suggest, is that that all three of these so-called outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) are now known to humanity, and we are conscious of them. This may make it more positive than it might have been, but I predict that major, groundbreaking changes are about to occur to the Church in general, changing it forever. Will it even survive in its present form?

Are we, for instance, living in the times of the last ever Pope, as predicted by Saint Malachy? It could easily be. And if so, what comes afterwards?

Just as importantly, I predict that the way we see the world, the ‘universe’ and our accepted narratives of history, are all about to fundamentally alter as a result of changes in belief and perception; the blindfolds are about to be ripped away, perhaps quickly, but certainly over the next two decades. Seatbelts are advisable. Hold on tight.

Copyright Francis 2023

Change! But Be A Pioneer: Today is Full Moon, July 13 2022

Today’s full moon in Capricorn casts a baleful glow on our world.

The Moon is in its detriment in the Goat and is relatively close to the undermining Pluto in the 2nd house of this chart set for London. Financially, economically and politically this is a very difficult and trying time for all, and especially the British people.

The Sun and Moon are in good aspect to Uranus and the Moon’s North Node in a Taurus 6th house. There is a karmic influence here and the possibility of sudden changes economically, financially and in the British nation’s health and working practices, spurred on, it might seem, by the general public who are showing increasing signs of losing faith in the status quo. It is clearly time for change; yet the British, and all of us, should be mindful about what we wish for.

Later this month, Mars conjoins with Uranus and the North Node in Taurus and this suggests the period at end of July and beginning of August is going to see much sudden, surprising activity in financial markets and world economies. Ultimately, all of this might well be for the benefit of everyone – in the long run, although it might not seem that way at the time.

Jupiter is ruler of this chart, and ruler of the 4th house of the homeland, is found in an Aries 5th house. For the British at least this suggests that they can make positive and creative change right now if they are pioneering enough. Private enterprise, as opposed to state control, is always the best remedy for humanity to dig itself out of a whole, as are the promotion of the family – always the best organic buffer against a cruel world.


Copyright Francis 2022

Frida Kahlo: Is There a Price to Pay for Genius? Astrology Musings

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Frida Kahlo is one of the most iconic and celebrated symbolic-realist artists of the 20th century, but her short life was painful and ultimately tragic, yet nevertheless full. Is there such a thing as a trade off between genius and pain?

Such was her fame that even during her lifetime, in 1942, one of her paintings sold for over $3 million at Sotheby’s.

When I first looked at her chart I noted that the three so-called outer planets (which are invisible to the naked eye and therefore not luminaries) are in key sensitive points.

I have long thought that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and their supposed influences are something to be avoided, or overcome, even though they might put the individual in touch which certain deeper, darker and ultimately dangerous forces of our universe. Uranus may bring originality but can disrupt suddenly; Neptune may inspire but confuses and befuddles; and Pluto might provide intensity but undermines darkly.

At the age of 6 Frida contracted polio which left her with one leg shorter than the other. Later, through sports, she built up her body strength with characteristic resolve and went to one of Mexico‘s best schools.

A Life Changing Accident

Then fate intervened again when she was severely injured in a horrific road traffic accident in Mexico City in 1925. It was a life changing experience which she never truly overcame, but such was her intense lust for life and experience, she got through it, despite numerous operations, including a leg amputation later on.

During this early period following the accident, she began to paint and this was the beginning of her career which saw her later exhibiting as far a field as New York and Paris.

Due to the intense pain and the resulting depression she also developed a drinking habit but always lived life to its fullest.

‘The Heroine of Pain’ What Does the Astrology Say?

There is little wonder that in her native Mexico she is referred to as ‘the heroine of pain‘ – ‘la heroina del dolor’. She certainly seems to have had that air of greatness about her which only few achieve during their lifetime – but at what price?

She has Leo rising with Mercury in the 1st house. Here is the lust for life and creativity and to express it.

However, her ruler the Sun is immersed in the ocean of a 12th house Cancer conjunct Neptune, forming the most difficult and trying figure in the chart.

This subconsciously embedded conjunction is opposed by a practical Mars conjunct Uranus in the 6th house of health and efficiency. This activation of the 6th/12th house axis might well have been behind the motivation to seek a career in medicine in her early teens.

A Potential Career in Medicine

She would appear to have been as much interested in mental as well as physical health, especially so as an exalted Jupiter is also in the 12th house quite close to her north node; she might well have become a doctor of psychology or psychiatry if things had been different, yet other medical paths could have suited. But it wasn’t to be. Any aptitude toward practical medicine was firmly rebuked by fate, steering her toward creative art with a symbolic edge.

Whilst Neptune close to the Cancerian Sun might at best be inspirational, its major influence is to subconsciously confound and upset, affecting her psychologically. This may suggest the subconscious symbolism of her art. Sun Cancerians are family orientated but happiness in this area of her life was to prove elusive.

Opposing the Sun/Neptune conjunction, Mars/Uranus only antagonise and disrupt, the martian strength being exalted in Capricorn, yet is physically embattled and irritated by revolutionary Uranus. The exact opposition between the Sun and Mars illustrates the intense attraction to men she had but also the difficulty in maintaining steady relationships, even though she only married one man – twice.

This opposition of conjunctions effectively energises the whole chart, mimicking the explosive drama of her life.

A Ribbon Around a Bomb?

Psychologically Frida was deep, intensely emotional but had an exacting attitude too. Her Venus, ruler of the MC and 10th house of career, is closely conjuct the undermining influence of Pluto in the 11th house, challenged by Saturn from the 8th. This also reflects her intense relationships and friendships, her difficulty with them, as well as her interest in feminine identity. Venus Pluto and a Taurean MC suggest the intense realism and symbolism of her art.

Her Moon exalted in Taurus in the 10th house is also void of course in the last degree of the Bull. Whilst this might add a certain steadiness to her emotional responses, she might also have felt as if she was always fighting against time. Void of course Moons are difficult to assess in natal charts, but this is my take.

She was once described as being a ribbon around a bomb. Whether that is accurate or not, she was certainly one of the most naturally gifted, intensively creative female artists of any period. Iconic indeed.

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What the cards reveal: Centre card, consciously; left card: subconsciously; right card: manifesting.


Copyright Francis 2022

Hilaire Belloc: Expressive Patriotism – Astrology Bites

Hilaire Belloc probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea right now, but in the first half of the last century he was one of the leading writers of tradition, yet with eclectic tastes.

Born in France but living mostly in England, he had strong feelings for both countries and their traditions. He was a great scholar and Catholic, abhorred by the disappearance and deliberate dismantling of the old religion and the culture associated with it.

He became a Liberal MP in 1906 for four years and also served in the French army.

His wide range of interests and ability are shown by the Sagittarius ascendent, with his ruler Jupiter in a seventh house Gemini, opposed to Saturn in the first – he could not be pinned down to being a typical patriot and traditionalist, he was too restless, yet remained conservative in outlook.

Great Intellect

And with Mercury closely conjunct his ninth house Sun in Leo, he had a naturally expressive, creative intellect of great ability.

Moon conjunct Uranus, Venus conjunct Mars, plus the Moon’s North Node in Cancer in the eighth house, reveal how deeply invested his strong emotions were; he was both eccentric and caring, passionate and tender. He was able to instinctively home-in on the shared feelings and inheritances of England, France and their respective cultures, his life’s work. Little wonder that his patriotism and traditional sensibility stretched across The English Channel and beyond.

In other words, he epitomised the true patriotic spirit which cares for the integrity of all nations, not just its own, and due to this he was most insightful in his writings.


Copyright Francis 2022

Uh Oh… May 16 Full Moon – Be Prepared

This chart, set for London (and therefore Great Britain) is a bit of humdinger.

I don’t often sensationalise but this is a really tense and trying looking chart, with the Sun/Moon falling exactly on the ascendant/descendant, and with the sun very close also to Algol – the demon star – in a Taurus first house, along with revolutionary Uranus and the North Node, insisting that we look at ourselves realistically, whilst trying to refrain from extremes.

Things are really coming home to roost right now and change is afoot which may seem difficult to deal with, especially with Moon conjunct the South Node – we really do have to learn to let go emotionally.

Epoch Making Times

And for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we are living in pretty epoch making times, so watch out – but this also goes for the world too. The activated and very tense Taurus/Scorpio axis is likely to highlight and bring about drastic changes in financial markets and the world economy around now.

Added to that, the Sun and Moon are square to Saturn in Aquarius in the 10th house. There are likely challenges and counter challenges to authority and leadership and in diplomatic circles too, but with Mercury now retrograde in Gemini, beware also of rumours of wars and other disasters, economic or otherwise – they may not be true, or, we may only find about what really went on when Mercury turns direct next month.

Something Has To Give?

Something has got to give around now, with all this fixed sign activity and racking up of tension to a crescendo.

There is also an emotionally volatile Mars/Neptune conjunction in Pisces in the 11th house, also aspecting the Sun/Moon, and acting almost like a pressure valve release. We may see a very difficult, emotional event occur which will affect the general public, but make sure to read all sources of information.

Drastic Action

For Britain (London) the midheaven is conjunct awful Pluto too, only undermining the government and other authorities, which may prompt them into drastic action.

And with Uranus also at 15 degrees Taurus in the first house, these are changeful times indeed for Great Britain, and we should expect sudden events.

Saving Grace?

The only saving grace in this chart is the 12th house Jupiter in Aries, along with Venus conjunct Chiron. We are probably going to have to dig deep, especially in Britain around this period, but so long as we have confidence in ourselves and look forward to new beginnings we can get through most eventualities. We are likely going to feel wounded to some degree, especially within ourselves and in relating to others an even as nations, but it will be an important lesson to learn, one which can help other peoples in the future.

I also drew a three card spread for the May 16 Full Moon, which cast an alternative light upon possible events. If we are broadminded, with courage and confidence, I think we can get through any crisis. There will be new opportunities emerging in the background which can result in overcoming problems and create the circumstances for new relationships and agreements which will put us in a much better place than we are at present.

I certainly hope the latter is the case, but we may have to experience a moment of shock first.


Copyright Francis 2022