Category Archives: Real-Life Astrology

Mars – “Outta My WAY!”


This retrograding Mars has been wreaking havoc in our household. The adults have been feeling utterly devoid of energy (Mars) – totally exhausted – and very much looking forward to its passing! But it has been making itself felt in other ways, too…

Teddy, now a whopping 18 months old, is undergoing his first Mars conjunct Sun transit.
Mars: energy, anger, vitality, feistiness, self-interest, independence; and Sun: identity, self, ego, how we make ourselves noticed.

We have witnessed this transit’s energies in him in the following ways:

  • this happy, gentle baby has suddenly begun shouting and screaming as never before;
  • the bump on Bertie’s head shows that he was sitting rather too close to a metal-fire-engine-wielding smaller brother; and
  • he has totally given up sleeping during the day despite being patently shattered, preferring to chat and holler in his cot until he simply cannot keep his eyes open any longer.

Ted has developed an independent streak a mile wide and would far rather walk everywhere than be carried. Given his already quite surprising physical strength, carrying him down the stairs when he’d rather be throwing himself down them, or playing in his brothers’ bedroom, has become something akin to trying to wrestle an angry gorilla… not easy!

All of this has the flavour of the first Mars return at two years old: the point at which Mars has returned to its placement at birth, and the marking of the ‘Terrible Twos’, when the independence, energy and fury of Mars can make itself felt in the most uncomfortable and difficult of ways, depending on how stressed your Mars placement is in your birth chart.

I am grateful for two things:
1) astrological understanding means that I am not concerned that my once gentle and cuddly baby has been forever replaced with a noisy tantrum-thrower: the final pass is on 8th May and this new-found feistiness will then begin to ease off and fade away. It is, as all things, impermanent; and
2) his natal Mars is not too challenging, which should mean that the Terrible Twos will not bring a repeat performance (though I’ll have to check out his Mars Return chart to be totally sure) 🙂

If your little one has been acting out of the ordinary lately, there will be an explanation for it. If you are interested, worried, or tearing your hair out, please feel free to visit my website:
I’m here to help.


Moon/Pluto – Watch out for the wave!


I’ve been wanting to write about Moon/Pluto for some time. It is an aspect that runs through my family and understanding it is key to avoiding many an unpleasant or difficult situation. Not only has it helped me enormously to get a handle on my own feelings, but it has enabled me to relate to and interact with my children (who are all endowed with this aspect too) in a much more compassionate and patient manner.

The person with Moon and Pluto in aspect has the potential for an enormously intense emotional life. The Moon placement describes your emotional needs and the circumstances that bring you emotional security. Pluto takes those emotions and supercharges them with the mother of all lightning bolts! The Moon pulls the tides of course, and the most accurate description I can offer of this aspect’s influence is that of being swept away on a tidal wave of feeling.  Not a problem if you’re happy, but if those feelings are difficult ones, then you find yourself plunged – quite suddenly – into a whole world of pain.

Since the Moon also describes your home environment and your sense of security, and Pluto describes a deep and intense anxiety, this aspect also brings with it a challenge to develop trust. There is usually something about the home or family life that has shaken the sense of security and trust in the world, and it is this that we are being challenged to re-establish.

As with any challenging aspect, awareness is the first step to relief and, speaking from personal experience, I had almost four decades of being carried off on these waves with no understanding of where they came from, where they were taking me, what their purpose was or how to escape them.

Mercifully I can report that with awareness of the aspect and its patterns, I have monitored my own emotional life very closely and am now able (thank the heavens!) to recognise when I am in the grips of such an ‘episode’. I have learned not to take the depths I am experiencing too seriously, to give myself some breathing space, and to trust that the world will simply not look this dramatic in a relatively short period of time.

The key understanding is this: the trust needs to be transferred from the enormous and difficult emotions back to the Universe. 

But how invaluable that information, that breakthrough, would have been when I was younger! How  many apparently unbearably difficult times would I have survived with less scarring if I had understood that, in truth, the storm in that moment was only on the surface, and that the calm and happy depths of my ocean were actually unmoved? How valuable, then, to be able to teach that same lesson to our children!

For the purposes of dealing with someone in the grips of one of these tsunamis, here are several guiding points that might help:

1) Don’t negate the feelings. What the Moon/Pluto child is feeling right now is life or death. It is all-consuming and there is no way out. It is the most important and difficult moment of their life. Don’t make light of it. Don’t laugh. Give them a cuddle. Allow them to ride it out.

2) At the same time, try not to engage in too much conversation about these feelings, or ‘enable’ them too much. The chances are that in an hour’s time, that same ‘desperate’ child will be pretty confused and somewhat embarrassed about why on earth they were in such a state in the first place. Just be an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

3) Learn to monitor the external conditions of your child’s life, too: tiredness and hunger are a fast-track to difficult and intense feelings. These days, before I even ask my son about his day, I feed him a piece of toast as he walks through the door. Even he has acknowledged the pattern now. “It’s okay, mum. I think I’m just grungry,” he says and heads for the kitchen. What a valuable lesson at such a young age.

Learn to trust that this too shall pass.

Moon in Cancer: the Comfort Zone


Last week, my Little Cancer Moon began High School. He has reached the grand old age of eleven and has found himself flung upon the mercy of the big wide world.

His primary school, with its grand total of 70 pupils, is little more than an extended family: the major requirement for a happy Cancer Moon; and he was happy there. This is, of course, an understatement. He performed well in class, had good friends, his teachers were more like extra mummies than authority figures and there were many tears (all round) when he left in July. He was with his people.

Then High School happened, and with the natural exuberance that accompanies a rite of passage, he looked forward to it with a proper mix of excitement and trepidation. Suddenly, though, instead of a two-minute trot around the corner to school, he has to walk to the bus-stop and stand with a load of older kids he doesn’t know. Instead of being that big fish in a teeny pond, he’s a tiddler in an ocean.

The first day was fine: the school was only open to the new intake, so they had it to themselves. They were all in the same boat, all excited. He came home confident and happy, full of beans and optimism. When the second morning came around, he was raring to go. He had filled in his timetable, organised his books, packed up his PE kit, knew where his bus pass was.

That evening was a distinct downturn. This time, school had been full of much older, scarier kids; kids who swear and swagger, who are bigger and more confident, to whom these ‘little’ ones are a mere insignificance and something to poke a bit of fun at. He no longer especially wanted to go back. Not that he had been on the receiving end of anything unpleasant, but he’d got lost on the way to PE, not had anyone to sit next to on the bus, been told he had to play rugby the next day… all of which had rather knocked his nerve.

So we sat on the sofa when all his little brothers were in bed, and had a chat.

“It’s really taken me out of my comfort zone, Mum,” he said.

“Your primary school was a lovely, safe place,” I replied. I made a circle with my fingers. “Like this, this is your comfort zone. But the new school is much bigger.”

“Mrs Hill was always telling me to step out of my comfort zone!”

“Exactly, so you just need to give it time for your your comfort zone to expand and envelop this new school too. Before you know it, it will just be a part of that comfort zone.”

At that very moment, there was a knock at the door. A friend’s post had been misdirected and she had come to collect it. We filled her in on our conversation.

“Oh, don’t worry!” She replied, ever-so-breezily. “My two were always getting lost at the beginning. You can always ask – no one will mind! And next year, you’ll look at the younger ones arriving and remember how new and strange it all seemed!”

We sat back down on the sofa. He looked at me and said, “She was supposed to arrive, just at that moment, wasn’t she? To reassure me about it all.”

He went in to school the next morning, anxious but less scared. And it went swimmingly. He’s developing new friendships and he even enjoyed rugby!

The new High School may not ever be the cozy little family that the Cancer Moon managed to find in his primary school, but he will discover his core family once he’s settled in, and his Moon will be happy once more. In fact, next year I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he wasn’t helping the new arrivals to try to see it from a different perspective!

If you are interested in my services as a Children’s Astrologer, please visit