Every time I come across a photo of Bob Brown, especially one of those from the 80s when he began his political career in the environmental movement (left), I cannot help thinking of good-old Jimmy Stewart, hero of Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a wonderful Life’, 1947 Hollywood movie (below). You can find his interactive Chart at AstroTheme.

Stewart was also a small town kid, born in a conservative Presbyterian family of Scottish origins. He fought his own war as a fighter pilot in Nazi occupied Germany.

Like Brown he was also very Earthy, Taurus Sun and Capricorn Moon (Brown has Capricorn Sun and Taurus Ascendant): reliable ‘trust me’ sort of guy, His Chart also shows a strong emphasis on Gemini (Mar-Mercury compared to Brown’s Moon-Uranus). Brown is a twin and Stewart had twins daughters. Stewart’s Capricorn Moon is also conjunct Uranus, the maverick’s aspect. He also changed career, from architect to actor, loved the outdoors and was involved in the American Scouts movement all his life.

Well this is a digression really, but I couldn’t resist the impulse of posting their photos together.

The second promised article on Bob Brown is still in the draft drawer (the first can be found HERE). Mercury retrograde has shifted my attention away from my astrological site. Like many of us I have been pulled back from what I was doing into new and unexpected directions.

The aftermath of the Australian Federal Elections and the uncertainty still surrounding its outcome are great examples of a full blown Mercury retrograde’s season. Personally I feel pretty much immersed in it.

Jimmy Stewart


Campaigning against the re-election of a Labor government is Tony Abbott, Liberal leader, staunch royalist and catholic (he was once a seminarian with the intention of becoming a priest). He comes across as a highly masculine man, dynamic, confident, often verbally aggressive or scathing, fond of sport and outdoors activities (Scorpio central influence, with Sun and Mercury, and a strong accent on the Fire Signs, Aries and Sagittarius). He seems the appropriate opponent to the Labor candidate, Julia Gillard, a woman, self-declared atheist and  republican.

This confrontation of sexes, political views and religious standing seem especially significant at present when we are all preparing for a conjunction of Venus (feminine archetype) and Mars (masculine archetype) that will become exact just on Elections’ Day, August 21, 2010. The conjunction will occur in Libra, with feminine Venus strong in her own Sign, while masculine Mars is in detriment, traditionally weak in this Sign, opposite to Aries, Mars’ own Sign. Libra happens to be, of course, a significant Sign for both candidates, with the Sun and Mars in Libra in Julia Gillard’s Horoscope, and Mars and Jupiter in Libra in Tony Abbot’s Horoscope, plus his Moon in Aries, Libra’s opposite-complementary; another wonderful example of astrological synchronicity at work.

As with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the time of birth of Tony Abbott is an unknown factor, so far. In this case, as with Gillard, I have also used a Sunrise Chart, cast for the time of sunrise in the place of birth, London, where Tony Abbott’s  Australian parents were living when the opposition leader was born. Because I am using a Sunrise time I will not stress the House positions of Sun, Moon and Planets.

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Tony Abbott has the Sun and Mercury in Scorpio, showing his determination, love of a challenge and deep need to be in control of his immediate environment or otherwise feel emotionally threatened. Trust doesn’t come easy to a strong Scorpio who thus tends to be often guarded, revealing only some of his real thoughts and feelings to the world. As a Fixed Sign Scorpio can pursue a goal unrelently and sometimes even ruthlessly, knowing the weak spot of his opponents and how to use that knowledge to his advantage.  Certainly Tony has demonstrated his skills in doing that. As an astrologer, as much as I’ve tried not to be too personally biased one way or the other, I have to confess to have found his tactics of constant attack and vilification of his opponents somewhat over the top and under the belt: a rather negative use of Scorpio’s psychological depth and powerful insight.

No one was surprised to find out that Tony Abbott’s Moon is in the fiery Sign of Aries, a direct and uncompromising position for the Moon, denoting a temperamemt fond of debates and arguments, sometimes brilliant, while often too impatience and lacking in forethought. It is the Moon in Aries, not the Sun in Scorpio that causes him to often say just what is passing in his mind at the time, without thinking of consequences or predictable criticism.

This Moon’s Sign also gives Tony Abbott leading abilities and the courage to stand for what he believes in. The positive side of this Moon’s Sign is its penchant for action, its quick response to situation and its independence. While a University student Abbott became an outspoken and confrontational opponent of left wings students organizations and workers’ unions, and also won awards as a boxer, pugilism being the perfect sport for head-strong  and combative Aries. This Cardinal fiery Moon makes the personality outgoing, impulsive and ambitious, but also somewhat insensitive and lacking in compassion. The position of Mars, Ruling Planet of both Scorpio and Aries, his Sun and Moon’s Signs, could help in this respect. Tony Abbott shares in fact the same Mars’ placement as Julia Gillard, their respective Mars being conjunct in Libra (Julia’s Mars on 28° 15′ and Tony on 26° 56′). Libra is actually an excellent Sign for diplomacy, enhancing sensitivity to the needs of other people and ability to cooperate, thus somewhat compensating for the Aries Moon’s lack of tact and headstrong, bossy attitude. Libra Mars and Jupiter guarantee a modicum of social graces and diplomatic skills that could help him greatly in his career.

Abbott and Gillard also share the same zodiacal position of Mercury, both born with the planet of intellect and communication in the shrewd Sign of Scorpio. However, while in Julia’s Birth Chart Mercury is removed from the Sun and in a different Sign, denoting the capacity to be objective and not too biased by her personal outlook or preferences, Abbott’s Mercury is instead very close to the Sun (what old astrologers used to call ‘combust’) and also in the same Sign as the Sun, often a symbol that it may be diffucult for him to extricate himself from his own personally tainted opinions, thus often becoming  biased and judgmental.

To add to the fixity of the Sun and Mercury Sign, both of them are in very close square aspect (90 degrees angle) with Uranus in Leo, another Fixed Sign. The square with the Sun in particular is exact to the minute of arc, fact that makes this aspect very powerful indeed, perhaps the most powerful of the whole Sunrise Chart. Generally speaking the contact Sun-Mercury-Uranus denotes a great degree of independence and an original if not eccentric or contrary outlook on life, also great determination and, negatively, an autocratic streak that, while it could help Abbott to get to top jobs in his life, could, as well, alienate him from others who also expect to be able to give voice to their own opinions. Uranus was the ancient Sky God, ancestor of all other Olympian Gods, so Uranian people tend to have a natural flare for leadership and often not a great respect or consideration for others’ points of view. On the positive side this birth transit will help him to take more risks and to display greater confidence in his own ability, always a plus for a political leader. His raise to the challenge during this elections’ campaign gives ample proof of this ability.

In Gillard’s Horoscope I stressed the emphasis on the earthy, reliable and conservative Capricorn, where her Saturn and Jupiter are placed in her Birth Chart. These, coupled with her Venus conjunct Pluto in Virgo, make her highly pragmatic, fond of responsibilities and a bit of a workaholic. Tony Abbott’s Saturn is found instead in the Fire Sign of Sagittarius, a placement that stresses his natural optimism and ability to overcome obstacles and setbacks with ease, but also denotes a degree of irresponsibility, with the juvenile tendency to promise more than he may be realistically able to deliver. The emphasis on Sagittarius, with Venus also in this Sign, explains Abbott’s interest in religious and philosophical matters, Sagittarius being traditionally the Sign of orthodox religion and philosophy. Not only he studied to become a catholic priest but also majored in philosophy and politics at Oxford.

As I wrote in my previous post in Julia’s case, without her birth time, we don’t know if a Fire Sign is on her Ascendant or Midheaven, otherwise she would lack Fire all together (a definite handicap for a leader who needs to inspire and fire up other people). In Tony’s case we are faced with the same predicament, concerning the Earth Signs instead. There are in fact no ‘personal’ planets in Earth Signs in his Sunrise Chart (meaning those celestial bodies, including Sun and Moon, laying within the orbit of Saturn). Unless, when his time of birth is finally revealed, an Earth Sign is found rising (on the Ascendant) or culminating (on the Mid-Heaven) there is a definite lack of Earth in his Birth Chart. In this case Tony Abbott wouldn’t be a natural realist, the under-emphasis on Earth Sign indicating lack of the caution, patience and practical abilities that are the birth rights of all Earth Signs. Before and after graduating in Law Tony Abbott pursued a journalistic career, one well suited to his adventurous and speculative temperament (abundance of Fire Sign, with Moon in Aries, Saturn and Venus in Sagittarius).

The two candidates seem to offer two very distinct world views, one Chart abounding in the very same Element the other is lacking!

Jupiter, planet of expansion and wisdom, was placed in Libra, the Sign of Law and Justice, hence his choice to graduate in Law and Economic. Jupiter however doesn’t form any major aspects with the other planets or the Luminaries in his Birth Chart while ruling Sagittarius, the Sign in which Venus and Saturn were placed, thus having a strong influence on them. As I explained above Sagittarius has a lot to do with his choice of study and career, and also with his well advertised love of competitive sports.

The placement of Venus in Sagittarius confirms all the above, especially the attraction for outdoors activities, also showing his need for emotional freedom in relationship. With the two feminine Planets, Moon and Venus, both in Fire Signs Abbott’s marriage partner has to be an independent and self-reliant woman too. Venus is in positive aspect to Mars (sextile), showing potential for popularity with both sexes, facility of expression and the ability to attract good luck.

The Australian Federal Elections are now only four days away. Just before sunrise on the day Mercury will turn Stationary Retrograde on the 19th degree of Virgo, beginning his regular three weeks retro period. This is not very good news because many activities, especially those involving writing and all forms of communication may be negatively affected by the retrogradation of Mercury, robbing people of clear choices and confusing issues rather than clarifying them. The worst scenario would be a hung parliament, when no political party can govern in its own right. The conjunction of Venus-Mars with Venus stronger in her own Sign could, on the other hand, help Julia Gillard’s feminine cause.

In the evening of the 21st another major transit will become exact, the last square (90 degree angle) between Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, an aspect that promises more collective upheavals and intense frustration in many areas and for many people all over the world. This transit will seat very close to Julia Gillard’s Sun degree, because Saturn is now approaching a conjunction to her Birth Sun, showing that, even if she was to win these elections outright, she will be facing difficulties and opposition in the coming weeks. The same powerful transit however may also be entangled with Abbott’s Moon Sign (how close depends on the unknown time of birth), showing the potential for serious emotional upheaval in his life too.

After so much controversies and contradicting news-polls, I can’t wait to see what will happen! Looking at the two leaders’ transits is not obvious who will win and, if anything Tony Abbott seems to have more positive transits on the day itself, while the Mars-Venus’ conjunction appears to play against his ambitions.

It will be a close call, Astrology agrees about this with the majority of political commentators.


The other day, musing about the Astrology of the upcoming elections while on a morning walk I tried to imagine myself as an astrological savvy employer,  looking for a new manager for my business. Between these two candidates to the top job I would have to choice Gillard over Abbott, even if I didn’t know them personally, but had only access to their Birth Charts. This is because Julia Gillard’s Sunrise Chart shows a diplomatic, reliable, practical and realistic individual, with an acute brain, strong work ethics and sense of duty. Tony Abbott’s Birth Chart shows, on the other hand, a brilliant individual, with leading ability, courage and inspiration, but not particularly practical or realistic, and perhaps too opinionated. I would also be concerned about the amount of Fire in his Chart and the prominent Sun-Mercury square Uranus, factors that, while enhancing his confidence, could involve him in many arguments and conflicts in the work place.


Please follow me in my next posts where I will discuss the transits active on the day of the Election relative to the Birth Charts of Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens. A draft is also nearly ready on a brief astrological profile of Bob Brown who may end up holding the balance of power in our next parliament.


Many Australians are curious about Julia Gillard, astrologers included. After working diligently in the shadow of our former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, without attracting undue attention to herself  (in true Virgo fashion, read below) she has now instead chosen to take front stage. With the Federal Elections looming close (August 21 2010) and the recent dramatic changes in the Labor Party’s leadership, it is interesting to look at the astrological portrait of the woman who has taken up the challenge in these difficult political and economic times.

The following is not an attempt to predict if Labor will win the elections, but rather an astrologically educated guess about this lady character and the planetary environment she is moving through at the present time.

Julia’s time of birth is, at the moment, unknown. This is a handicap for astrologers, because the time provides us with the basic orientation of the Chart and the all important Rising Sign, symbol of the early experiences that shaped the individual’s psychology and outlook on life, and also her physical temperament. A fairly good reading of a Birth Chart can be done however without the time, relying on the positions of Sun, Moon and Planets on the sunrise of the day of birth. This is the method I adopted in this case.

Here is Julia Gillard’s Sunrise Chart, born in Barry, United Kingdom, on September 29 1961. Sunrise time: 7.15.20 am.

Click to enlarge

In Gillard’s Sunrise Chart Sun and Mars are in Libra, an astrological confirmation of her gift for diplomacy, her desire to cooperate with others and natural refinement. Librans make the best mediators, as they are ready to find the middle ground in any situation (remember she has been the Minister for Workplace Relations and formally an industrial lawyer). The downturn of these placements is the tendency to compromise too much at times,  in order to achieve peace and agreement at every cost. Other factors in this Horoscope, in particular the emphasis on Scorpio, will help to curb the more indecisive and wishy-washy traits sometimes displayed by Librans.

Because of the Libra emphasis Venus, Libra’s Ruling Planet, acquires great importance in her life and character. Venus was in Virgo at the time of her birth, accounting for her perfectionism and practical logic, a genuine desire to serve and lead a useful life, and also a natural modesty that could incline her to shy away from the limelight and also from public scrutiny. Venus in Virgo makes her a matter of fact and no-nonsense type, also readily critical and with a keen analytical sense that would have helped Julia in her study and career.

One aspect that changes the colour of Venus quite a lot is the close conjunction to Pluto, making her more resourceful and more inclined to seek positions of power and control, despite the natural Virgonian timidity (some astrologers suggested that she may even have the Ascendant in Virgo, because of  her physical appearance).  To add to these more resilient and assertive traits Mercury, Ruling Planet of Virgo, is found in Scorpio, Pluto’s Sign, indicating a shrewd mind and the will to carry on with her agenda, sometimes in overt ways, and even against fierce opposition. In this Water Sign of Scorpio Mercury, planet of the intellect and communication,  greatly increases her intuition. Despite all her pragmatism (Earth Signs strong) she is not relying on reason and logic alone.

No other Sign can boast the resolve and depth of Scorpio or the desire of Pluto to be in control. We should not forget that Mercury in Scorpio influences also the Moon in Gemini, because this Air Sign, like the Earth Sign of Virgo, comes under the tutelage of Mercury. Furthermore, if the above wasn’t enough, the Moon herself is in close contact to Pluto in Virgo (square or 90 degrees angle), adding depth of emotional understanding and even stronger Plutonian traits, very useful for a person who seek to hold positions of power, also however making her more prone to get entangled in serious power struggles and to attract severe opposition at times.

The Moon is in Gemini, another Air Signs (the best in the area of communication and social graces) confirms her wit, inquisitive mind, adaptability, mental flexibility and multi-tasking ability. Gemini is also the Sign of learning, so it is not surprise that she is interested in the improvement of Australian education standards. She talks more slowly than one expects a Moon in Gemini person to do, suggesting the prominence of Capricorn (Jupiter-Saturn) and Scorpio (Mercury and the numerous aspect to Pluto). Gemini represents the lighter traits of her character, her sense of humour and ability to see the funny side of things. She is emotionally independent and would resent too tight and binding relationships. This Moon could account for her choice of not getting married.

At the time of her birth Jupiter and Saturn, the giant Time Keepers of our Solar System, were conjunct in the Sign of leadership, ambition and hard work, Capricorn, a 20 years events, and an aspect under which leaders and important figures are often born (see Obama’s Birth Chart, born just a couple of months earlier, with Jupiter conjunct Saturn on the cusp Capricorn-Aquarius). Under this transit one pursues aspirations (Jupiter) with tenacity and self-discipline. Progress is proverbially slow but sure. The conjunction denotes a person with conservative values, perhaps too cautious at times, Saturn (caution) being stronger in Capricorn than Jupiter (confidence, hope).

A near perfect harmonious angle between Mars and Uranus fortunately injects some passion for innovations and changes, a bit of a revolutionary streak, but all in good taste (Mars in Libra), and a certain defiance of authority, with the ability to conceive original, innovative ideas, despite her generally conservative views;  also a bit of an autocratic streak. There is also an honest desire to help and love of people as can be deduced by the harmonious angle between Venus, the Goddess of personal love, and Neptune, the God of universal love and compassion. So Julia Gillard is personally investing a lot of her love-energy  into collective channels. She loves (Venus) to help the needy masses  and feels genuinely sorry for them (Neptune). But she is, first and foremost, a realist and a diplomatic person, so she will have to achieve her dream within the boundaries of the possible, and perhaps the ordinary. The planetary contacts of all the trans-Saturnians  with her personal planets (Venus conjunct Pluto; Moon square Pluto; Venus sextile Neptune; Mars sextile Uranus) will ensure her  openness to the varied and especially the less conservative cultural currents of our times.

There is an apparent lack of the Fire element that could account for the fact that Julia Gillard seems to find it hard to be just spontaneous, but tries always to remain in control, due to the strength of Capricorn, Virgo and Scorpio in her Chart. This trait could make her less appealing to the public, but does not derives, I feel, from lack of warmth or sincerity, rather from an innate shyness and sense of propriety. Because the time of birth is not known, there may be a Fire Sign on her Ascendant, so it is too early to pass judgement. A fiery Ascendant could in fact explain many things about her and her raise to power, including her red hair!

Julia Gillard became Prime Minister on June 24 2010, after a sudden, and controversial, leadership challenge that favoured her ascension to the post. The most exact transit on that day for her was an opposition of transiting Neptune in Aquarius to her Birth Uranus in Leo, indicating she has been struggling with her desire to merge with others and be part of a group (Neptune) and her more independent and self-sufficient inclinations (Uranus). On the same day transiting Mars in Virgo was also conjunct her Birth Pluto, indicating strong challenges ahead and fierce opposition. In a recent interview she described this campaign as the fight of her life. Her Astrology certainly confirms this. Part of her will relish the challenge very much (Scorpio, Pluto, Capricorn), while her amicable Libran traits would perhaps wish to do without it.

I will provide more details about the major transits and progressions active for Julia Gillard during this electoral campaign in another post, also pointing out the numerous connections of her Birth Chart to Australia own Birth Chaart. I just want to observe here that Venus, the all important Ruler of Julia’s Mars and Sun Signs, has nearly ended her transit through Virgo and will enter our Prime Minister’s own Sign of Libra on August 7, perhaps a symbol of an easier and fairer ride for her in this campaign in the near future.

If interested please follow my next posts on the upcoming elections. These will also include analysis of the Birth Charts of the other two major players: Liberal leader Tony Abbott (Sun in Scorpio, Moon in Aries) and Greens’ leader Bob Brown (Sun in Capricorn, Moon in Gemini, like Gillard, and Ascendant in Taurus). ‘Til then, enjoy your transits!