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Mars Back in the Driving Seat, Mercury’s Mixed Messages & Venus in a Spin (Horoscopes – Harry & Meghan)

The Astrology Blog 9 January 2023

All times in GMT


“Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context.”

Margaret J Wheatley – American writer, teacher and speaker (17 August 1944, age 78)


“Carpe Diem” – Seize the Day

– Latin aphorism



Mercury the Winged Messenger is in the middle of his current backwards loop (3 times a year for 3 weeks at a time). This means he’s wearing his mischief maker hat and the usual textbook issues of “problems with communication and transport” abound. These tend to relate to the world of “things”, with phones and keys nearly always at the top of the list.

A friend went to update her phone, got a great deal on a brand new state of the art Samsung, but back at home found that the lead was too small for the plug so she couldn’t charge it. Involves another trip into town next week to sort it out as Nidri is only a village, all main shops are in Lefkas town 20 mins drive away. Another friend was due here at my place at 5pm one day last week to bring me some shopping as I’d done my back in, at 6pm I got a message to say he was still looking for the car key. He didn’t have a spare. He eventually found the key five hours later, behind the washing machine. He has four kittens  … say no more!

HARRY & MEGHAN – BAD TIMING?,_Duke_of_Sussex,_Duchess_of_Sussex

I’ve been asked if I’ll be covering the Harry and Meghan debacle and my initial response was oh no, do I have to? But in terms of Mercury being the planet that rules the written as well as the spoken word, so everything to do with the media, books, interviews etc, then it is at least worth commenting that retrograde Mercury nearly always sensitizes issues around what is said, how it’s said, and when.  So they’re a good example of this.

In other words, timing is hugely important and a whole branch of astrology, called elective astrology, has its own rules and traditions dedicated to choosing the right moment for events or the beginning (birth) of something, so anything from throwing a party, getting married or starting a business. If an astrologer were choosing a date for a book launch, or for anything else come to that, it most definitely would not be during a retrograde Mercury cycle.

Harry’s interview was aired last night (Sunday) and the official release date for Harry’s book Spare is tomorrow, 10 January. Mercury doesn’t turn direct again until 18 January. This reminds me of Andrew’s “car crash” interview in Nov 2019 that also went out under a retrograde Mercury. That one was in Scorpio – where we locate secrecy, power, sexuality – and his attempt at self defence blew up in his face. This one is in Capricorn – where we locate the establishment,  hierarchy and empire building.

Apart from the myriad of things that can go wrong at a practical or technical level the other factor that a retrograde Mercury can throw up is unforeseen consequences or changes of heart. Derek Appleby always taught with Horary Astrology (casting a chart for a question) that this pretty much sabotaged any question, even to the extent that someone may wish they had never embarked upon the matter in question at all. I suspect at some point in the future that Harry will regret speaking out in the way that he has and publishing this book, that it may cement the damage already done. My top advice on the list of things to be wary of during a retrograde Mercury is –

  • Be cautious or at least selective in your use of social media. Avoid posting anything too personal or getting involved in any kind of angry debates

Mercury turned retrograde at 24 Capricorn and will turn direct at 8 Capricorn. This means that Mercury is going backwards and forwards over his Ascendant (beginning of the 1st House of self) at 11.22 Capricorn, so it’s a textbook transit for finding your voice. This is also picking up very sensitive synastry with Meghan, as his Descendant (beginning to 7th House of partnership) is therefore 11.22 Cancer and her Mars is in the same place, so she’s having the same transit –

Harry Meghan
Moon 21.20 Taurus Conjunct – Chiron 22.35 Taurus
Descendant (marriage Angle) 11.22 Cancer Conjunct – Meghan Mars 11.27 Cancer
Sun 22.57 Virgo Trine (harmonious) – Descendant 24.19 Capricorn



Mmm. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole episode hasn’t already fired up a lot of tension between them behind closed doors, as well as doing damage to other key family (Cancer) relationships.

I haven’t followed the Harry and Meghan story in any detail but I did see the clip of Meghan showing how she curtsied to the Queen when introduced. I cringed, and apparently that was a pretty much universal response. The scene was attacked for being disrespectful but, for me, the message was a lot more important than that. It was the worst of Leo, the showing off at someone else’s expense (don’t worry Leos, there are difficult characteristics for every sign!), it was childish and dripping with ridicule. Harry at least looked uncomfortable but I immediately thought, why didn’t they cut that scene?

Many years ago I saw a documentary about relationship therapy. I wish I could remember the name of it as it was so well made, I’d love to see it again, but one of the things they did was to video the couple in conversation. With one couple he was desperately trying to explain and appeal to her, while she sat in silence but with “yeah, yeah” written all over her face. They then played the video back to the couple with their analysis.

This was handled expertly. The psychotherapist pointed out to the woman that she was displaying contempt (eg eye rolling, sneering, expression of disbelief), that contempt is emotional violence and that he was quite sure that she wouldn’t want to be thought of as an emotionally violent person. Her smugness fled from her face, you could see she was shocked, that no matter what she had expected to hear, it wasn’t that. That’s what worries me about Meghan, that she behaved contemptuously and that it wasn’t checked or edited, by Harry or anyone else. How can that be okay? Also contempt is one of the top indicators of potential divorce.

Here’s a link to my blog for the week of 8 March 2021, when the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah Winfrey was aired, and I was feeling more sympathetic! I would add that the Moon – Chiron synastry between them is definitely proving itself to be crucial and that the marriage may even be probing the Diana wound rather than healing it  –

Harry is also in the line of fire with Mars’ current retrograde cycle, more on that below.


Here’s your “at a glance” picture for the rest of this week, starting with the lovely Venus – Mars alliance today, made more powerful by the fact that Mars is “stationing” (appearing to stand still in the heavens) in readiness for turning direct –

Monday 9 January                                                 

  • Venus 8 Aquarius trine Mars 8 Gemini 15.23

Thursday 12 January

  • Mercury 11 Capricorn semi-sextile Venus 11 Aquarius 03.03
  • Mars turns direct at 8.07 Gemini 20.57

Saturday 14 January

  • Sun 23 Capricorn semi- sextile Saturn 23 Aquarius 06.48

Sunday 15 January

  • Venus 15 Aquarius square Uranus 15 Taurus 01.23

Mars the action planet often links to physical work, I’ve noticed it countless times. The guy who promised to cut my hedge six months ago turned up this morning and did a beautiful (Venus) job. It took ages as it was out of control but he wouldn’t let me tip him because he’d kept me waiting for so long, and his father who does the rest of the garden brought a crate of small seasoned logs of olive wood for my wood burner, knowing I’d hurt my back and that these would be easier for me to manage. There are some lovely people in this world.

So Venus – Mars combinations can often bring lovely relationship moments, whether it’s friendship, business or romance, so pay close attention to whoever is playing an active role in your life this week. Even the matters that have been stuck for a long time can now start moving in the right direction so look out for the hallmarks of red lights switching to green, of patience being rewarded.


As I noted last week Mars turning direct again, having been retrograde since 30 October (turned retrograde at 25 Gemini), definitely has a feel of marking the true beginning of the New Year. If you’ve been finding it difficult to get going again, or if you’ve been dithering about your choices or options (Gemini the sign of the Twins indicates doubles or even multiples) then this week is promising for things like realizing where your true passion lies, discovering your path of good fortune and making your mind up. Or for someone else making it up for you. Watch out for opportunities presenting themselves as it’s a time for progress in the shape of other factors kicking in, of matters conspiring to bring results simply because the time is right.

Mars’ turning point is especially important if you have personal planets or Angles at or close to 8 Gemini, or the opposite sign of Sagittarius. The nature of the personal planet involved must be taken into consideration. Harry has his natal Uranus (the rebel, the rug puller) at nearly 10 Sagittarius so he has the third and final transit of Mars crossing over his Uranus yet to come. The prolonged Mars activity (7 months in Gemini instead of 2) means prolonged events, something that would normally have whizzed through has been stretched out over a much longer period of time. Harry’s Mars over Uranus transit dates are –

  • 7 September
  • 27 December
  • 30 January

Don’t forget that in terms of feelings Mars rules all the heated emotions, so not just passion and desire, but also anger. Even rage. As the god of war Mars rules everything to do with how we go into battle, and how we provoke heated emotions in others, for better or worse. Expect some kind of preview too for when Mercury turns direct next week as Mars has been backtracking all this time in Gemini, one of Mercury’s own signs, so it’s been a bit of a double whammy in terms of retrograde themes dominating the picture.


Also on Thursday, in the early hours so just ahead of the exact moment that Mars switches to direct motion, we have an alliance between Mercury and Venus. This is a minor aspect called a semi-sextile (ie half a sextile, so it’s formed when two planets are exactly one sign apart) but can still promise special moments.

This one feels important as we’ve recently had two Mercury – Venus conjunctions (7 Sag on 21 Nov and then 24 Capricorn on 29 Dec) so these two have been close travelling companions for weeks and are generally a great combination. This minor aspect this week is the final alliance between the two for a while as Venus is now steaming ahead, leaving the backwards moving Mercury behind for the time being. The next semi-sextile will be 23 March with Mercury 8 Aries/Venus 8 Taurus. The next conjunctions won’t be until 27 July at the end of Leo and then 19 April 2024 at 17 Aries.

Even with Mercury retrograde the combination with Venus is generally good news, even if it’s only about how you can make the best of something difficult in your life. It’s great for love talk of any kind or for saying/doing the things that were interrupted by the holiday season or left unfinished for any other reasons, including financial issues. The minor aspect between the Sun and Saturn at the end of the week is also good for business moves, consolidation or reality/health checks of any kind or for finding out where you stand.


The finale of the week is the square (friction) between Venus (love, money, pleasures) and Uranus (all change, the unexpected). This is exact in the early hours of Sunday so will be at its most potent throughout the end of the week and especially Saturday night. Expect twists in the tale, expenses you could have done without, changes of plan, eyebrow raising news but also opportunities for group events, letting your hair down and doing whatever is your idea of fun.

It has to be said that next week is looking a bit heavy with the Sun – Pluto conjunction coinciding with the Mercury turnaround and then the Venus – Saturn conjunction at the end of the week, so there are more serious or time consuming concerns on the way. I would definitely use the rest of this week for getting ahead with your to-do list wherever possible,

Until next week, with love from Greece


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