Neil Peart and Rush – astrological birth charts

Canadian drummer and lyricist Neil Peart passed away in January at the age of 67, following an eighteen month battle with brain cancer. Through his work with the band Rush, he has left an astonishing legacy of world-class drumming, great rock music and a whole library of sophisticated and insightful lyrics across the band’s studio albums since he joined them in 1974. Peart was born on 12th September 1952 in Hamilton, Ontario, time of birth unknown. The perfectionist streak of Sun and Mercury in Virgo showed in his approach to both drumming and writing lyrics. He continually strove to improve his drumming technique, even to the extent of re-inventing his style to incorporate more jazz influences in 1994. The sharp Virgoan analysis features in the words of his songs and no doubt also in the seven non-fiction books that Peart wrote in later life.

Mercury square Mars

One of the closest natal aspects is a square between dynamic Mars in visionary Sagittarius and the perfectionist mentality of Mercury in Virgo. Astrologer Stephen Arroyo has written the following on Mercury-Mars aspects in the chart: “Conscious mind blends with physical energy (possibly good hand-eye coordination), stimulating both powerfully – an energized intellect”. To say Neil Peart had good hand-eye co-ordination and an energized intellect is a major understatement! He has consistently been ranked amongst the top drummers in the world for many years, fourth behind John Bonham, Ginger Baker and Keith Moon in a poll by Rolling Stone magazine in 2016.

With Pluto conjunct Neil Peart’s South Node squared by Jupiter, it’s perhaps no surprise to see that despite his extraordinary success, the hands of fate dealt a tragic blow to Peart. The birth chart doesn’t predict extreme misfortune but it does show tendencies towards certain types of experience. In August 1997, Peart’s first daughter was killed in a car crash and his common-law wife of 23 years, Jacqueline Taylor, died from cancer the following year. In true Plutonian style, Peart eventually rose from the ashes and returned to drumming.

Peart, Lee, Lifeson

All three members of Rush were born with Saturn conjunct Neptune in Libra, aspected in each case by various personal planets in their charts. This shows the potential to work hard at the reality (Saturn) of living the beautiful (Libra) dream (Neptune). Bassist and singer Geddy Lee (Sun in Leo) was born in July 1953, guitarist Alex Lifeson (another Virgo) was born in August 1953, Peart in September 1952. Peart had an additional emphasis on Libran art and beauty due to Venus in Libra. A civilised and humane desire to balance (Libra) ideals (Neptune) and reality (Saturn) is reflected in much of the lyrical content of Rush’s music and also some of the album titles – Grace Under Pressure (Neptune in Libra grace and Saturnian pressure), Counterparts (Libra) and Clockwork Angels (Saturnian clockwork time and Neptunian angels).

Final album Clockwork Angels (2012)

The cover of final album Clockwork Angels is notable for a clock face that looks suspiciously like an astrological chart, even though different symbols with different meanings are featured. Many fans of Rush consider the following lyrics from The Garden some of Neil Peart’s very best, a fitting farewell from a great man.

The Garden

In this one of many possible worlds
All for the best or some bizarre test?
It is what it is and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest
The arrow flies when you dream
The hours tick away, the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away, they tick away
The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect
In the rise and the set of the sun
‘Til the stars go spinning
Spinning ’round the night
Oh, it is what it is and forever
Each moment a memory in flight
The arrow flies while you breathe
The hours tick away, the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours tick away, they tick away
The treasure of a life
Is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time
Is the only return that you expect
The future disappears into memory
With only a moment between
Forever dwells in that moment
Hope is what remains to be seen

 

This is an edited version of an article originally published in IAM Infinity astrological magazine https://infinityastrologicalmagazine.com/

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

The film Us and the astrological Pluto

The film Us and the astrological Pluto

Some time back, I wrote a review of the film Arrival, a superior science-fiction Hollywood blockbuster. At the time, I was surprised that no-one (apparently absolutely no-one!) noticed that the whole plot was rather obviously based on the language of astrology and the meaning it might have for humanity. Well, blow me down and swipe me sideways with an old ephemeris, the same kind of thing has happened again.

Early last year, I toddled down to my local cinema to watch a film that was getting enthusiastic and interesting reviews. To say I was blown away by Us would be an understatement. Director and producer Jordan Peele’s blockbuster horror movie is not only a brilliantly made and clever story, it is also packed full of references to the astrological archetype of Pluto. And as before, no-one seems to have noticed, including astrologers who have written about Us on the internet.

There are many twists and turns, some of the details of which can easily be missed on first, second or even third viewing. The story starts in 1986, with a young girl on holiday with her parents in Santa Cruz, California. She wanders off by herself on the beach and stumbles across a funhouse. “Find yourself”, it reads outside. In she goes to a hall of mirrors, where something happens that ensures the girl will never be the same again.

Fast forward to the present – an idyllic happy family scenario, so idyllic that you know almost immediately that things are going to go horribly wrong. The now grown-up girl and main character Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) has a sense of foreboding as she, her husband (Winston Duke) and two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) head for a holiday near the same beach in Santa Cruz. A few events and co-incidences give hints of the darkness to come.

Things really take off with the appearance of another family bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Wilsons. They stand menacingly at the bottom of the driveway to the house where the Wilsons are staying, with unknown intentions. The Wilson family are soon violently confronted by these bitter, dark and twisted versions of themselves – their shadow selves. Just to make the subject clear for any astrologers watching the film, the two children of the doppelganger family are named Umbrae (shadow) and Pluto.

Adelaide’s double, Red, explains that the scarred and disfigured shadow family are from an underground world (sounding Plutonian enough yet?) who share a soul with their counterparts. While Adelaide and her family were loved and happy above ground, the shadow family experienced only darkness and suffering in a subterranean alternative reality. “I was tested by God” says Red, “We are Americans”.

Lupita Nyong’o

The film Us is multi-layered and about many things. Under the guise of a “horror movie”, the film is a deep exploration of class, privilege and what it means to be human in American society today. Black power is a key focus. There is a great tragicomic moment when another shadow family are killing to the accompaniment of Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, which after a computer’s misinterpretation of a cry for help, turns into a song by black rappers N.W.A.

The film’s world premiere was on 8th March 2019, the follow-up to Jordan Peele’s also huge Get Out (2017). Given that the story of Us is highly influenced by Pluto and its many meanings and manifestations, it’s interesting to observe a couple of astrological correlations. The explosive, dark and profoundly transformative Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was close (within a 3 to 4 degree orb) at the time of the film’s release. This continued to be the case for the following few months, as Us made its considerable impact on cinema audiences. The film has played a role in the collective shift of consciousness that we are all experiencing under Saturn-Pluto.

Visionary director Jordan Peele, Sun in Pisces

Secondly, Piscean visionary director Jordan Peele (born 21st February 1979, time unknown) has a very close natal Venus in Capricorn square Pluto in Libra. Transiting Saturn at 18 degrees Capricorn formed an exact conjunction to his Venus with a square to natal Pluto when Us came out in March 2019. What better way to work out the extreme tension of such a close natal square? With Venus in Capricorn, Peele has done well financially too – the film grossed $255.1 million worldwide from a budget of $20 million.

Bring on the next astrological Hollywood blockbuster!

The above article was originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Astrological Journal magazine https://www.facebook.com/AstrologicalJournal Thank you to editor Victor Olliver. This is the bimonthly publication of the Astrological Association http://www.astrologicalassociation.com dedicated to educating the public on astrology since 1958.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

Inspired by Saturn – rock and pop musicians

Pondering my own second Saturn return next year (aaargh!), I thought it would be interesting to have a quick look at some of the wide range of musicians who have been inspired by Saturn in general. There is no shortage of musical artists who know a fair bit about astrology, some of them being accomplished astrologers themselves.

Sun Ra

When it comes to musical space cadets, the legendary Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, 22nd May 1914 – 30th May 1993)  takes some beating. The extraordinary jazz man actually claimed to be from Saturn, sent to the Earth to uplift humanity by sharing universal truths from other worlds.This view of himself as a visionary from outer space became a huge part of the Sun Ra mythology. “If you are not a myth whose reality are you? If you are not a reality whose myth are you?” “The trouble with the people on this planet is they refuse to think, they refuse to believe anything except what they know.” A good introduction to Sun Ra and his Arkestra is Greatest Hits: Easy Listening For Intergalactic Travel.

Francis Dunnery

Moving forward in time, musician-astrologer Francis Dunnery originally established himself with the eighties band It Bites and as a guitarist with singer Robert Plant. An early solo success was Too Much Saturn And Not Enough Moon, a blues tune full of appropriately dry humour for his Capricorn Sun sign.

Most people reading this article will no doubt be very familiar with the astrological meaning of “the Saturn return”, so I won’t elaborate too much on that. It is of course an easily identifiable astrological cycle that most people can relate to, regardless of whether they know much about astrology or not. Saturn returns to its original position in the birth chart around the ages of 29 and 58, corresponding to a confrontation with reality and a sometimes painful growing up process.

In 1976, at the time of his Saturn return, David Bowie (natal Moon conjunct Saturn in Leo – an interpretation of his chart here) recorded Low. Bowie later guested on the track Truth for drum’n’bass star Goldie’s 1998 album Saturnz Return. A Capricorn himself, the name of Bowie’s last album Blackstar sounds suspiciously Saturnian.

Katy Perry

In the modern pop mainstream, American singer and songwriter Katy Perry is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, two of her biggest hits having been I Kissed a Girl and Roar. She talked about her Saturn return in 2014. “I’m 28… when you’re at the end of your 20s, it’s a very important growing time. It’s called the Saturn return, if you like astrology – I know it’s important for me.” Then there was Gwen Stefani and American band No Doubt with their fourth album Return Of Saturn in 2000.

Michael Stipe, the lead singer of R.E.M. was born with Sun conjunct Saturn in Capricorn, so it’s perhaps no surprise to see a track called Saturn Return on the 2001 album Reveal. Some of the intriguing lyrics:-

Birth chart for Michael Stipe from https://astrotheme.com

“Saturn is orbiting nothing

He’s off on its own

He’s breaking from home

Saturn returns when you chased down, it slows

Throw them into a new gravity

Harder to look yourself square in the eye

Easy to poke yourself, easy as pie

Easy to take off, harder to fly

Harder to wake Galileo.”

On the face of it, Paul Weller is perhaps not someone you would expect to have anything to do with astrology but the title of his 2015 album Saturns Pattern looks like a bit of a giveaway! Even more so when you find out that he has Capricorn rising and a close Mars square Saturn aspect in his natal chart.

Nao’s second album

In a collaborative project for 4AD records, Sufjan Stevens released Planetarium in 2017, which included an electro dance track Saturn. British R&B artist Nao released her album Saturn in November 2018. Touring in 2019 with Tears For Fears is another musician-astrologer Roland Orzabal. He has made no secret of his interest in astrology, with astrological references scattered throughout his lyrics and a 1996 album titled Saturnine Martial & Lunatic (a collection of B-sides and rare tracks).

The beautiful ringed planet can be heavy stuff in astrology but will no doubt continue to inspire musicians for many Saturn returns to come.

This is an edited version of an article originally published in IAM Infinity astrology magazine https://infinityastrologicalmagazine.com/

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

 

The murder of Stephen Lawrence – an astrological perspective

On the evening of 22nd April 1993, as he was waiting for a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks in Eltham, South East London, 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a gang of white youths in an unprovoked racist attack. After an initial police investigation, five suspects were arrested but not convicted. Over the following 25 years, due to the determination of Stephen’s mother and family, layer after layer of police negligence, incompetence and corruption were uncovered.

A public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case was held in 1998, leading to the publication of the highly influential Macpherson report, an important moment in the modern history of British criminal justice.It made seventy recommendations to policing and wider public policy in law and education.

Following a change in the “double jeopardy” law that had prevented suspects being tried twice for the same crime, and with the help of new forensic evidence, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of the murder of Stephen Lawrence in January 2012. Further evidence of police corruption in dealing with the case has continued to emerge since.

The birth chart of Stephen Lawrence

According to Doreen Lawrence in her book “And Still I Rise” (2006), Stephen Lawrence was born at 9.30 pm on 13th September 1974 at Greenwich District Hospital. His natal chart shows Sun in Virgo, Moon in Leo, four planets in Libra and a fairly even distribution of planets in the four elements.A Venus-Neptune-Jupiter T-square in mutable signs stands out. As part of the T-square, the square between Venus and Neptune (the closest major aspect in the chart) is a potentially visionary combination, often found in the charts of artists and musicians. It indicates a challenge to express love, harmony and beauty (Venus) in a transcendent or universal (Neptune) way. The 11th house Jupiter in Pisces shows the potential for high ideals and compassionate service to society.

According to all accounts, Stephen Lawrence was a well-rounded and popular young man with everything going for him. Before his murder, he was an A level student with a wide number of interests and dreams of becoming an architect.

The chart for the murder

The original police appeal for information and witnesses states 10.39 pm as the time of the attack. A troublesome square between Pluto in late Scorpio and Saturn in Aquarius, closely aspects the Ascendant-Descendant axis. Astrologers have long associated the combination of Saturn and Pluto with dark power, intense suffering and tumultuous struggle. The connection between the Saturn-Pluto square and “institutional corruption”, together with behind the scenes police collusion with criminals (Pluto in a murky Scorpio 12th house), is not hard to make. In addition, astrologers have long associated Pluto with the power of black men and women.

Mars in Cancer and 8th house forms a trine to Pluto and the Ascendant. A criminal (8th house) gang (Cancer) of young men (Mars) murdered Stephen, using a knife (Mars). Stephen Lawrence’s natal chart also shows a natal Mars-Pluto aspect, the conjunction, a powerful and potentially explosive energy. Mars-Pluto individuals have been known to attract violence or loss of power in circumstances beyond their control, although there is usually some degree of choice as to how this is experienced.

In 1998, Doreen Lawrence founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to give young people practical help in fulfilling their dreams to work in architecture and building (Mars in Cancer and 8th house). The Trust has received lottery funding and substantial donations from many sources (the murder chart’s Moon in Taurus indicates potential financial abundance as part of the unfolding story), enabling it to help many young people through bursaries, work placements and career advice.

The long-term outcome of Stephen’s murder has been an awakening of a new awareness (Uranus and Neptune both close to being stationary) for the police and establishment authorities (Capricorn), with corresponding action and legislation to remove “institutional racism” having been successful. Or maybe not. Some have argued that much progress has been illusory (Neptune), with more fundamental change still required.

Midlife transits for Doreen Lawrence

Doreen Lawrence

At the time of the murder of her son, Doreen Lawrence (born 24th October 1952, Scorpio Sun and Capricorn Moon) had just moved into experiencing an intensified version of the astrological midlife transits that everyone has at around the age of 41 or so. The conjunction of consciousness-raising Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn, exact three times during 1993, played a key role. Shocks and awakening from Uranus, together with disillusionment and an expanded vision from Neptune, meant that her life would never be the same again.

Nelson Mandela and a Jupiter-Pluto transit

Nelson Mandela with the Lawrences

Initially the murder gained little attention. However, after a press conference the Lawrence family met Nelson Mandela in London and Mandela’s supportive words were widely reported in the media. Co-incidentally, Nelson Mandela (born 18th July, 1918) was experiencing a Jupiter square transit to his own natal Pluto in Cancer at the time – nicely symbolic of a positive intervention in the name of black familial power. The very next day, three of the prime suspects were arrested. However, the Crown Prosecution Service later dropped the charges, saying the identification evidence from Duwayne Brooks was unreliable.

 

The Daily Mail and Jupiter conjunct Uranus in Aquarius

At the Coroner’s Inquest in February 1997, the five accused young men took the witness stand. Sneering and arrogant, they refused to answer any questions. Amongst many others, Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was not impressed. By an extraordinary co-incidence, Dacre also knew Neville Lawrence (Stephen’s father) who had done some plastering work on his house.

As Jupiter and Uranus moved to an almost exact conjunction in Aquarius on the day, Dacre and the Daily Mail published the now famous headline across its Valentine’s Day front page: “MURDERERS. The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us.” Below the headline were photographs of Gary Dobson, Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Luke Knight and David Norris. (Above the headline was an advert for astrologer Jonathan Cainer.)

For days, the story made international headlines. It was an astonishing breakthrough moment (Jupiter conjunct Uranus), bringing new hope and optimism for those seeking justice for Stephen Lawrence and for anyone with humanitarian ideals (Aquarius). The conjunction formed a trine aspect to both the 6 degrees Libran Jupiter in the murder chart and the 6 degrees Libran Pluto in Stephen Lawrence’s natal chart, with several other planets simultaneously lining up for a striking combination.

Hope from tragedy

Microscopic evidence found on the clothing belonging to the accused led to life sentences for Gary Dobson and David Norris in January 2012 – this coincided with a Saturn trine transit to the murder chart’s Saturn. Video evidence from the 1990s showed Norris talking about “skinning” black people and setting them alight.

Baroness Lawrence

Doreen Lawrence was awarded the OBE for services to community relations in 2013, and since then she has been made a life peer in the House of Lords. As transiting Saturn formed a conjunction to her Mars in Capricorn in April 2018, Baroness Lawrence commented that after 25 years, “It is time to draw a line”.

In the murder chart, the ruling planet Jupiter (faith and optimism) is in Libra (justice) and the 10th house (making a mark on the world). This forms a very close conjunction to natal Pluto (power and darkness) in the birth chart of Stephen Lawrence, a fated (Pluto) young man.

Sometimes, hope is born from tragedy.

The above is an edited version of an article originally published in the November/December 2018 issue of the Astrological Journal magazine https://www.facebook.com/AstrologicalJournal Thank you to editor Victor Olliver. This is the bimonthly publication of the Astrological Association http://www.astrologicalassociation.com dedicated to educating the public on astrology since 1958.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

Astrology evening classes in central Brighton – starting 29th April 2019

Beginners astrology classes at the Brighthelm Centre https://www.brighthelm.org.uk starting this Monday evening. I have run a busy astrological consultation and teaching practice at several points over the last thirty years, working with people from all walks of life. We will be exploring all the basics of modern astrology, including how to interpret your own chart!
For more details, please e-mail me tim@timburness.com or see my website at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

 

Brighton astrologer – available for consultations and readings

Tim Burness – astrologer based in Brighton, UK

Based in Brighton (UK), I have run a busy astrological consultation and teaching practice at several points over the last thirty years, working with people from all walks of life.

With or without a face-to-face consultation, a careful in-depth analysis of the birth chart can be used as a guide to help us understand our psychological patterns and life choices. In keeping with other modern Western astrologers, my approach is to help empower the individual to become more fully responsible for his or her actions – “The stars incline, they do not compel.”

For more details, please see An introduction to the astrological birth chart and my website at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk or please e-mail tim@timburness.com

Sir Harry Kroto and C60 – my friend, some science, some astrology

Sir Harry Kroto and C60

In May 2016, I opened a newspaper to be confronted with the sad news that my visionary friend Sir Harry Kroto had passed away at the age of 76. It turned out that he had been suffering from motor neuron disease. My mind went back to how I had got to know this lovely man, who contributed to the lives of many thousands of people across the world.

Around 1994, a friendly character used to come into the bar where I worked at the University of Sussex, ordering a half-pint of Fosters to go with his lunch. We gradually hit it off, leading to a fair amount of Pythonesque clowning around on a regular basis. One day, another customer approached me, looking rather worried. “You do know who he is, don’t you?” he asked. “I think he’s a chemistry professor, isn’t he? Great bloke, a really good laugh!” Much to my surprise soon after, I was watching a BBC2 science documentary and there on the screen came Mr. Half-of-Fosters, his usual eloquent, charming and cheeky self. I got to know who he was a bit better after that.

An extraordinary man

Harry was an extraordinary man, by any standards. As a scientist he helped discover C60, a new form of carbon which became known as Buckminsterfullerene. The discovery of the football-shaped molecule kick-started the nanotechnology revolution and led to his Nobel Prize (along with two other scientists) for chemistry in 1996. He predicted that C60 and a range of other new carbon molecules should exist in interstellar space from exploding and forming stars. It took thirty years before the scientific community finally proved his idea correct. Harry became a global ambassador for science and inspired countless school children around the world through his lectures and workshops. However, he was also an accomplished and award-winning graphic designer, an artist, musician, performer and speaker.

Long before I became an astrologer, I originally had plans to study chemistry at university. Like many, it was the scientific approach of repeated observation that drew me to astrology, rather than any kind of belief. As I gradually got to know Harry and one or two of his colleagues, inevitably the subject of astrology came up. Harry was an arch-sceptic but by then I knew him well enough to tease him that he was scared of having his chart done. Eventually he gave in and, although he didn’t know his time of birth, I wrote out a basic interpretation of his solar chart by hand. I remember immediately noticing a very close trine aspect between his Mercury in Libra and my Mercury in Gemini, confirming that we were on the same wavelength.

Harry’s astrological birth chart

Born on 7th October 1939, Harry Kroto had Sun, Mercury and Venus in Libra and was very much a typical Libran. He was charming, sociable and well known for speaking out on matters of justice and ethics. Initiating and communicating new ideas was Harry’s thing and his long and happy marriage to Margaret was a source of tremendous strength. The experimental and humanitarian energy of Mars in Aquarius was appropriate for a slightly eccentric scientist who was a keen supporter of both Amnesty International and the British Humanist Association. In common with many academics, Harry had a challenging close Mercury-Saturn aspect. As a balance to all the intellectual idealism, a warm and playful Moon in Leo (“To be a scientist is to be fascinated by the Universe, to have the same attitude as that of a child… Children learn from scratch. Children develop and learn quickly from their surrounding environment and the events that take place around them.”) was often on show, with further confidence and leadership ability coming from Jupiter in Aries trine to Pluto in Leo. Harry made full use of the consciousness-raising outer planet trine between Uranus in Taurus and Neptune in Virgo.

The next time I saw Harry after having done his chart for him, there was a big grin on his face as he handed me £40, which I hadn’t asked for. “So what did you think of it?” I asked him. Pause. Bigger grin on his face. “You just take that!” I think that was the closest I got to an endorsement of astrology by a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. That was good enough for me.

The astrology of the discovery of C60

Jonathan Hare, who was a close colleague of Harry’s, has kindly provided me with the birth data for the moment of the discovery of the C60 molecule. 6.56pm, 4th September 1985 in Houston, Texas – taken from the mass spectra reading from a cluster beam apparatus. Jonathan’s brief summary of the discovery:-

“The apparatus was a stainless steel piece of equipment that would fit into a small room: computers, vacuum pumps, electronics and the like.

At one side there was a powerful laser that can vaporise a sample, in this case carbon, graphite. The laser heated the carbon to 5,000 maybe 10,000 degrees C – as hot as a surface of a star – and the resulting plasma was quickly blasted into the main chamber of the apparatus by a pulse of helium gas. This large chamber had very little air in it, a very high vacuum. So in some ways the experiment represented the conditions of carbon coming off the surface of a star into the vacuum of space. Unlike space which is too far out to go and get a sample from, this experiment was on Earth. It could therefore be hooked up to a mass spectrometer that could ‘weigh’ out the things that were produced in the experiment.

They were looking for carbon chains that had been seen in great abundance out in space from carbon stars and they did see them on the mass spectrometer plots or data. But unexpected was also a strong peak for C60 – corresponding to 60 carbon atoms (and its companion C70 – “The Lone Ranger and Tonto, a-coming down the line, fixing every ones troubles, everyone’s except mine, someone must have told him I was doing fine!” Bob Dylan) which turned out to be a football of carbon! Named after Richard Buckminster Fuller (the engineer/architect who developed the geodesic dome seen in the Epcot Centre and Eden Project etc.), so called C60 or Buckminsterfullerene or a Bucky Ball.

C60 was discovered by accident, trying to understand something else, a classic case of serendipity!”

A quick look at the astrological birth chart confirms the story of C60. The ruling planet Uranus is up in the Sagittarius 10th house, corresponding nicely with an unexpected and famous discovery that spread around the world. Square to Uranus, the Sun is in Virgo and the 7th house, combining analysis and public service. Completing a T-square at the bottom of the chart is a 4th house Chiron in Gemini. Two groups of scientists had been involved in the discovery and there was some dispute about who had actually come up with the name C60. Such problems were later resolved. With the Moon exalted in Taurus, there was no problem attracting funding when it came to further research work on fullerene molecules. Close to the Descendant is a Mercury-Mars conjunction in Leo, as one might expect for a discovery that has been enthusiastically taught to thousands of schoolchildren.

In August of 2016, I had the great honour of contributing to a celebration of Harry’s life. It took place at the university building where I had met him all those years ago, now re-named the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. Going on stage after Sir Ian McKellen (who had been at Bolton School with Harry), I shared a few of my memories with 200 people or so, many of them scientists who had flown in from around the world. One of the previous speakers had already mentioned Harry’s dislike of “pseudoscience” so I was very, very careful as I sneaked a brief summary of Harry’s birth chart into my speech! Having got away with it, I finished with a song on the guitar. Harry had also been extremely supportive of my music.

Harry frequently spoke about the importance of communicating complex science to public audiences: “Scientific discoveries matter much more when they’re communicated simply and well – if you can’t explain your work to the man in the pub, what’s the point?” That sounds like a lesson for astrologers too.

The above article was originally published in the May/June 2017 issue of the Astrological Journal magazine https://www.facebook.com/AstrologicalJournal Thank you to editor Victor Olliver. This is the bimonthly publication of the Astrological Association http://www.astrologicalassociation.com dedicated to educating the public on astrology since 1958.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk