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



For more on Bob Brown please CLICK HERE.

The electoral results are not painting a clear picture yet (transiting Sun opposition Neptune-Chiron between August 20 and 22), while revealing a greater number of dissatisfied votes against Labor that was even predicted. Amidst the general confusion Bob Brown is happy at the swing in the Greens’ favor that have characterized this election Australia-wide.

The Greens and a few Independents are set to hold the balance of power in our next Parliament. His party has also secured nine seats in the Upper House, an unprecedented number that will give the Greens a lot of clout in decision and law making, but not before July 2011 when the new Senate will be  officially sworn in.

Prior to the elections I had outlined a brief astro-biographical portrait of Bob Brown to be posted together with the readings of the other two major players, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. In the end however I became so interested in his Chart, including some significant progressions and transits that have constellated his career to the present day, that the initial post became a lot longer. That’s why I manage to publish it only now in installments. This is the first one, mainly concerning the significance of his Sun in Capricorn.


Fortunately we have Bob Brown’s birth time; we also know he is a twin, with sister Jan.

The salient aspects of this Natal Chart are:


Sun in Capricorn, IX House, Moon in Gemini (II House), Taurus Ascendant, Ruling Planet Venus in Aquarius in the Career House. Major aspects: Sun opposition Saturn, both square Neptune and Chiron; Moon conjunct Uranus, both trine Neptune and the Mid-Heaven; Mercury conjunct Mars in Sagittarius square Jupiter in Virgo; Jupiter in Virgo conjunct Chiron in Libra; Chiron conjunct Neptune in Libra; and the aspects he shares with his generation (born 1944) of Uranus in Gemini trine Neptune in Libra and sextile Pluto in Leo, Neptune and Pluto being also sextile to each other. Pluto is angular in the Fourth House and Venus is angular in the Tenth House.

Here it is.

In my eyes Bob Brown’s Birth Chart portrays faithfully his character and destiny, more obviously perhaps than many other Charts of famous people I have studied. Observing Astrology at work in such an amazing way is always very rewarding.


The Sun-Saturn-Neptune configuration

In Brown’s biography by James Norman we learn that he received a very conventional upbringing in a rather conservative rural family with a tradition in the police force (his dad was a cop and so have been, at different times, two brothers, his twin sister and four uncles!). The conservative and rather restrictive family life is well described by the Capricorn Sun in opposition to Saturn in Cancer, the latter always manifesting as deep disquiet in early upbringing, when one is not given the right kind of nurture or may be forced to repress his true feelings because they are not considered ‘proper’. As a child and young adult he apparently suffered severe bouts of depression, with occasional thoughts of suicide. Not a surprise with such an opposition complicated by a Sun-Saturn square to Neptune, the latter adding a sense of dissatisfaction with a purely materialistic life, and a confused sense of identity, due to his need to belong (Saturn in Cancer) and to rely on family and society’s traditions (Capricorn) and his sense of being ‘different’, because of his radical views and particularly his homosexuality (see Venus in Aquarius and Moon conjunct Uranus in Gemini). Such a T square could affect very much the person’s self-esteem (Sun) and make him into a bit of a serious and, at times, negative thinker (Saturn in the Mercurial III House and Neptune in the self-critical VI House). He admitted to have been, quote: “a bit of a deep thinker all the way through…. I think I could have been quite difficult to fathom as a youngster, this kid who didn’t talk about himself very much.

On the other hand any contact Sun-Saturn guarantees that there will be, more or less conscious, a driving ambition that could lead the person far, especially in this case when Cardinal, ambitious and goal-oriented Signs are involved (Capricorn and Cancer).

Bob Brown was a brilliant student (Sun in the IX House and Saturn in the III House, both sectors having to do with learning). The Sun in the IX House of higher learning and philosophy promises success in these areas and also a conscious sense of one’s own destiny, of being on a quest (the ancient used to call the IX House the House of God). Many of his followers consider Bob Brown a sort of environmental guru. he gained this reputation in 1982/83 when he succeeded to motivate Tasmanians to put up a fight in order to save the Franklin River wilderness from a huge hydroelectric project.  This Sun House position also inclines one to long distance travel and Bob Brown has traveled extensively, even working and living abroad at periods, creating international links with Green reformers all over the world. This is also the House of publishing and Bob Brown has had many books published since ‘Wild Rivers’ in 1983.

Saturn in the III House of basic learning made him a hard-working and dedicated student, always striving to do better. He became perhaps an over-achiever in order to compensate for his personal feelings of inadequacy (Sun opposition Saturn square Neptune) and a sense of alienation from his family (Moon conjunct Uranus).

Both Sun and Saturn, on opposite sides of the wheel, are 90 degrees away from Neptune in Libra. These types of aspects are more often than not sign that an inner conflict is raging between differing sides of the personality. In this case Sun and Saturn incline him toward a practical, realistic, no-nonsense outlook, heavily conditioned by his early environment (it is often a lifetime task for a Capricorn Sun person to outgrow these), while their squares to Neptune stand for another, very different side, often at great odds with the previous one. Neptune embodies our spiritual ideals and the human capacity to commune with the divine. This is the planet of compassion and of the merging of the individual personality with the soul of the world. Now this need for inclusiveness is very much at odds with Capricorn’s pragmatic views and its need to make a practical impact on his environment.

The Neptune person is a dreamer, a poet, a mystic, often ineffectual in things pertaining to the ‘real’ world (in his biography we find that he was considered, quote: ‘the family dreamer, spending hours wandering the paddocks and the bush surrounding the family home‘)’. At the same time the Capricorn person is a natural achiever and fundamentally a staunch realist. He seems to have managed to solve the tension created by these different needs and drives, by blending his environmental ideals (which are basically religious and missionary in nature) with his strong drive to make them into viable possibilities (Earth Sign and Saturn prominent), certainly with the help of courageous and rebellious Mercury conjunct Mars in fiery Sagittarius and the eccentric Gemini Moon conjunct Uranus.

The Sign placement (Libra), House position (cusp of VI House) and major aspects of Neptune (square Sun-Saturn, trine Moon-Uranus and Mid-Heaven) speak clearly of his need for a job that can fulfill his ideals and spiritual leanings (VI House), giving them a practical outlet (Sun in Capricorn, Saturn in Cancer) and also bringing out the less conventional aspects of his personality (Moon-Uranus conjunct in Gemini).

Please follow this interpretation in my next post…



I finally sit down at my computer and find time to write a few words, after spending two days glued to the television screen to get news of the Australian cliffhanger elections. I am more relaxed now: apparently it could take days and even weeks before an outcome is known.

The positive transits in Tony Abbott’s Birth Chart have certainly paid off for him and the Coalition, while Julia Gillard is already under the growing pressure of Saturn, squaring Pluto and opposing Jupiter, advancing over her Sun in Libra. Bob Browns and the Greens are the new rising stars of this election that has also put a handful of Independents in a very prominent position.

The possibility of an hung parliament, due to the retrogadation of Mercury beginning just before sunrise on the day of the elections,  has become a reality. I have explained this in a previous post and it was also suggested by few notable Australian astrologers, Ed Tamplin and Rob Tillett amongst them. The retrogradation of Mercury often causes enterprises to be inconclusive, decision making more difficult and less clear-cut.  The solution to the quandary of Mercury retrograde is often time and patience, with some re-thinking and soul searching necessary to end the deadlock when Mercury will turn direct again. This simple astrological ‘formula’ will serve well whoever of the political parties involved want to end up in power.

The two major parties have gained just about the same numbers of seats, with one Green and three to four Independents now holding the balance of power.

During retrogradation Mercury will form his Inferior Conjunction with the Sun (with the planet laying between Earth and Sun) on September 3 (close to Gillard’s natal Pluto and squaring her Moon). This type of Mercury-Sun’s conjunction is said to bring new insight and to make conscious things that were overlooked in the past.

Mercury’s backward motion will last until September 12, when it will turn Direct on the 5th degree of Virgo. We should remember that on September 17 Julia Gillard will experience the one and only pass of transiting Saturn over her natal Sun, so the two events seem tied up together for her.

Despite a lot of odds against Julia Gillard being reinstated as Prime Minister of Australia, in these uncertain Mercury retrograde times, I’m still putting my money on her. I cannot get over the brightness of feminine Venus in the evening sky and the fact that, even while conjunct masculine Mars, she is queen of the night, transiting her own Tropical Sign of Libra, against the backdrop of Virgo Constellation, another feminine symbol (her natal Venus was in Tropical Virgo as well).

It may be my own personal preference for a woman Prime Minister, or perhaps the hazy effect of the Sun in opposition to Neptune that I may be confusing with feminine intuition, but I am still siding with Harry, Darwin’s psychic croc who picked Gillard’s chicken carcass over Abbott’s.

A Birth Chart’s Analysis of Bob Brown, the unsung hero of these strange elections, will be posted as soon as possible. Apart from causing havoc in the polling booths, Mercury retrograde has also flatten our solar batteries, leaving very little power-time in my laptop.