2020 Vision: Astrology Musings

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Much has been made of the up and coming conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, exact on January 12 2020 – and rightly so.

Jupiter ‘joins the party’ in 2020 too, to finally form its 19+ year or so ‘great conjunction’ with Saturn at the very beginning of Aquarius on December 21 next year. Mars too will be involved in the spring, probably ruffling a few feathers and possibly causing some serious conflict along the way.

There are other things I could mention but these are mere musings. So what does it all mean and why all the fuss?

Rare astrological line ups

Well, ‘meetings’ of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn are pretty rare, the last one being nearly four thousand years ago (as far as I can see), but we can’t say for sure what was happening then.

Capricorn is a pretty important sign for us all. It’s all about structure, the political and to some extent economic structure of the world and in our own lives. Capricorn is pretty important to certain countries to, the UK and China, for example, so all this activity is likely to affect these countries especially.

Saturn is very powerful in his own sign (he rules the Goat) and wants to set things straight. He’s fairly conservative, strict, maybe cruel at times, but usually fair. There may be a ‘karmic’ side to him, presenting us with what we have reaped, so to speak.

Sword of Damocles

Pluto, on the other hand, is the very slow moving ‘minor’ planet, with the big impact. He is at best transformative, which is probably an overused word. He brings change, sometimes drastic change and can present the truth to us, warts and all, dragging up stuff some people you’d rather not see or know about. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 doing exactly this kind of thing and it hasn’t been pretty.

Put Saturn and Pluto together, as they are now and will be throughout most of next year, and you get a Sword of Damocles situation, where those in power seem to face imminent ruin, replacement or both.

The upsurge in alternative politics and perhaps in ‘right wing’ parties too, is probably a symptom of this, like a return to some form of fundamentalist belief which necessarily wants to clear the ground and start again… though this might well interest the ‘left’ as well. I think we are entering a period in history in which the old labels of left and right are becoming meaningless.

January 12 2020, hold on to your hats?

So whether we are to expect some crystallising event around January 12 2020, which might encapsulate all that which is deemed ‘wrong’ in the political/economic world, I’m not sure.

Some think we may see a huge economic crash (Uranus is in Taurus as well, indicating financial change), or another big political scandal which could envelope more than one country. It’s always difficult to predict such things and I’m not into prediction. Suffice it to say that we are likely to see more of the same political shenanigans but with the heat cranked up to eleven.

After this we have Mars (in the spring especially) and Jupiter joining the fray. Mars entering the stage in an already volatile situation is not a good sign, and at worst could lead to some kind of conflict, quite possibly arising (or used as an excuse) from a very serious political and economic situation.

Crisis brings opportunity

However, I think Jupiter’s involvement in Capricorn next year is key. Jupiter is fundamentally expansive and may represent a real opportunity amid scenes of potential panic in places like stock exchanges and governments.

It’s difficult to see what this might be, but perhaps a few years down the line, we might see that some ‘organisation’ founded next year as a result of the chaos begins to play a clearer and more beneficial role in steering us forward.

What is more, by the end of the year 2020, namely on December 21, both Jupiter and Saturn shake hands in early Aquarius. This is the so called ‘great conjunction’, a meeting of the two so called planetary giants, symbolising some kind of course correction, or minor reset which we go through every twenty years.

Silver lining

I might be wrong but I can’t help but see this as a possible silver lining of the year, a year which might go down as a whole as one of the most momentous in all our lives.

When I was a child there was much talk of the Age of Aquarius and this is (apart from a brief conjunction in Libra in 1980/81) the first time it has occurred in air since the late middle ages, a long time ago.

This begins an extended run of great conjunctions in air signs for the next century or more, following on from a period of well over a century with the great conjunctions occurring in earth signs. So what am I saying?

A less materialistic era?

Whilst this may not be the inception of the Age of Aquarius, what it does symbolise is the end of a particularly materialistic age and the true inauguration of a more rational, even more ‘spiritual’ age, where there will be a free flow of information and huge leaps in thought – maybe a new ‘renaissance’ of some kind.

So that’s my take on it. 2020 is likely going to be difficult, but we’re used to that. Yet, by the year’s end the light at the end of that long tunnel we’ve been travelling along, may be just that little bit brighter.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019


Poem: The Blank Page

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The white cat in a snow storm
is staring at me
though there’s no sign of its face
and those glaring eyes

I had soon better come up
with something
or it will soon morph into black
and hide in the coal house

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Dynamic Robert Devereux Earl of Essex, Elizabeth I’s Controversial Favourite – Astrology Musings

There were few more dynamic and controversial figures during the reign of Elizabeth I than the daring, swashbuckling, and, some might say, reckless Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex.

Having arrived at court in the 1580s, he soon became a favourite of the Queen due to his charm, wit and dashing, distinctive good looks, eventually replacing the Earl of Leicester as Master of the Horse in 1587. He went on to capture Cadiz 1596, an achievement which sealed his reputation as a military commander.

Abortive campaign

He was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1599, but led an abortive campaign against the Irish Rebellion. Two years later he was executed for treason for leading an attempted coup d’etat, despite Elizabeth’s painful indecision over her former favourite.

So what made this larger than life man tick astrologically?

To begin with, he had Sagittarius on the ascendant, with Uranus close to the ascending degree. His ruling planet, Jupiter, is in Libra just beyond the MC or midheaven and loosely conjunct Venus.

Larger than life personality

Here is an expansive, confident, magnanimous and very ambitious personality and with Uranus involved, he would display a certain amount of eccentricity, probably manifesting like a loose canon at times, stemming perhaps from a certain confident belief in his own infallibility.

However, also involved with his angular Uranus are Pluto, Neptune and Saturn, making a loose grand cross. The involvement of all three ‘transpersonal’ planets here suggests that here is a man who believed, despite continual challenges, that he had a destiny, and much of his subsequent behaviour only confirmed this.

This grand cross in mutable (changeable) signs, though fluid by nature, would have brought him serious problems in key areas of his life, challenges and crises within himself, his relationships, his home life and in his career. Yet his indomitable belief in himself remained, even though at times he must have felt as if his ultimate destiny was being thwarted.

Hugely resourceful

Moving on, he had a lot of activity in Scorpio, with the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury and Venus (plus the north node) in house 12.

So beneath the bravado and charisma of his personality, he had the intense power, determination and resourcefulness of Scorpio to back it up, mentally, physically and emotionally.

The Sun conjunct Mars in Scorpio is a very powerful vibration, revealing the deep, forceful intensity of his being. Here is a brave man, willing to put himself in danger, almost relishing it at times. The Sun and Mars rule houses 5, 9 and 12, showing that he was a great speculator, a purposeful and brave traveller in mind as well as body.

Great depth of feeling

His Scorpio Moon is also exactly conjunct the Moon in Scorpio in house 12. He had a deeply emotional mentality and though he was probably quite secretive, once he expressed himself verbally, few could match him for feeling. Like many, he was also a competent poet and writer.

I come out of this actually admiring his character. There is something endearing about someone with an implacable spirit, who is loyal to his followers, who had this incredible sense of adventure about him.

Even so, his life perhaps epitomises the ultimate tragedy of the pursuit of power, particularly in that most iconic Elizabethan age, which still manages to capture our imagination.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019


Poem: Satire

unusual sneakers

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Playing mime, he acts
with his eyes, donning hats and
clever disguises. Voices mimic
the people you hate and we
love it,
buy it;
laughter like opium to diffuse
the pain, the many a true word.
They bill him the king of counter
culture, jester and piper with the gift to
empower you all, gently
guide you
back to your shackles, where
all the good dogs lay down
to sleep, while
the big enchiladas who pay jokers, sit
ever cozy in their havens
laughing in our face

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

T. S. Eliot, Born to Write – Astrology Musings


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I was astonished when I first saw T. S. Eliot’s birth chart, one of the leading modernist poets of the 20th century.

When he was born, the Sun, Mercury and Venus were all in his Libra first house along with Uranus. In fact, the Mercury Venus conjunction closely straddles the ascending degree.

A Lover of words

With all this activity in air, here is a natural thinker, communicator, writer, a lover of the beauty of language and literature, words in all their forms. Here too is natural charm and easy, and probably quite lengthy, conversation.

His Libran Sun forms easy trines to both Neptune and Pluto in Gemini in house 9 of the higher mind and a nice sextile to Jupiter in house 3. He clearly was a very deep thinker with an expansive mind, a lover of spiritual, hidden matters, of foreign culture and philosophy; he did go to great lengths to learn Sanskrit as an aid to his development as a poet and writer, always encouraged by his mentor, Ezra Pound.

Outside of the box

The Gemini Moon in house 9 is trine his first house Uranus. He is quick witted too, with an unusual manner and ability to think outside the box, a prerequisite for a modernist writer.

If we look to his third and ninth houses, indicators of his mental functions more fully, we see that Jupiter not only rules house 3 but is present in it along with Mars. He has a naturally open, well developed and forceful everyday mentality.

However, I also notice that Jupiter forms a close opposition to Neptune in house 9. This difficult aspect, though bringing a certain confusion, possibly between the everyday functioning as a writer and his passion for expansive thinking, was probably actually a spur to greater achievement in the end, being a source of imagination and inspiration, especially as it is part of the configuration with the Sun mentioned above.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

D H Lawrence – Astrology Musings on Sex, Death and Regeneration

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Few writers and poets have made such an impact as D H Lawrence has over the last century.

Works like ‘Sons and Lovers’ and ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ are groundbreaking in their intimate portrayal and insights in to love, relationships and sex.

His descriptions of nature also, are a revelation to me, as are his feelings on the alienating qualities of industrialisation.

An intense personality

Let’s begin with the basics. According to the birth time given, he has Scorpio rising, perhaps befitting someone who approached life with such a deep and penetrating intensity.

His ruler, Mars, is in emotional and caring Cancer in house 9 of the higher mind and travel. His Mars is also sextile Neptune in house 7, showing an innate sensitivity in relationships.

Spiritual attachment to the feminine

This is underscored by his Moon conjunct Venus in Libra in house 12. Here is the deep, spiritual attachment in relationships, perhaps particularly with women and the mother, which we see written about so beautifully in ‘Sons and Lovers’ and elsewhere.

Here too, probably, is the love of nature, felt so intimately. Just as significant, Venus is also the ruler of house 7 of relationships.

Lawrence had the Sun in Virgo in house 11 conjunct Jupiter. Here is an analytical, critical individual, who is at the same time generous in his service to others and his friends. He stands a very good chance of success in his objectives. As the Sun is the ruler of house 10 and his MC, this also applies to his career, where he made a large impact while he was alive.

An analytical mind

Of course, as with any writer, we need to take a close look at his Mercury, Jupiter and houses 3 and 9.

Mercury is in Virgo, giving him a finely tuned, painstaking mentality, supported by a loose but beneficial aspect to Saturn in house 9, which will increase the capacity for hard work. Saturn is the ruler of house 3 also, and the Moon rules house 9.

Sex, death and regeneration

Most interestingly, his Mercury is closely square Pluto in Gemini in house 8. Although a challenging aspect, this symbolises his fascination with the fundamentals of life – sex, death and regeneration (8th house and Pluto associations), which comes up so often and so graphically in his work. It also relates to the ensuing controversy he created, by writing about such issues, which had hitherto mostly been taboo.

The Moon as we saw above, is beautifully conjunct Venus in Libra in house 12 and it’s interesting to note that he spent much of his later life abroad (house 9), from which he gained so many benefits.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019




The Traditionalism of Hilaire Belloc – Astrology Musings


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Hilaire Belloc was a notable Anglo-French writer who died in 1953.

A Sagittarian ascendant befits his stradling of two distinct European cultures and a man of wide interests.

His ruler Jupiter in Gemini in house 7, shows his multi-faceted approach, eclectic relationships (he married an American) and variable writing topics; he wrote books for children, about travel, plays, essays and books on mainly history and traditional issues.

Saturn in his first house (in a loose opposition to Jupiter in house 7) could symbolise his generally conservative outlook. Saturn trine Neptune in house 5 hints at the idealism which he attached to his conservatism, expressing it creatively.

Wide interests

His Sun is conjunct Mercury (house 10 ruler) in Leo in house 9. Here is a powerful and creative individual with a strong interest in philosophy, extensive travel and foreign culture. This was always likely to be part of the basis of his life direction and career.

Belloc’s traditional stance is also very much emboldened by his full house 8.

The Moon conjunct Uranus in Cancer in this house reveals an emotional and somewhat unique attachment to deeper issues of life and culture. He was an ardent Catholic and traditionalist who hated to see old lifestyles disappear.

More than this, his Venus (MC ruler) conjunct Mars in Cancer in this house too, shows an ardent love of home, family and traditional values, the energy he put into getting back to their roots, and in trying to preserve and regenerate them. This too, became part and parcel of what he stood for.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019