There’s a ceramic fruit bowl in my mother’s house. It belonged to my grandmother, and as a child I can remember that it always had pride of place on the dining room table. Originally there were two, but one got broken.The fruit bowl is meant to look as if it’s full of fruit, but they are all ceramic, glazed in different colours. I took the presence of this family heir loom for granted, and never gave it any thought. Then a few years ago I was playing around with a geiger counter. I was measuring the radiation given off by plates on a mantelpiece, and as expected they were slightly higher than background; it’s because ceramics, such as plates and tiles, often contain small amounts of natural uranium, which is why the bathroom is usually the most radioactive room in the house. Certainly nothing to worry about – if the background was 40 counts per minute, the plates might have been giving off 100 to 150.
Yet the radiation levels were climbing fast, as the geiger counter got closer to the fruit bowl. 200, 300, 400… I realised that there was something going on with the fruit bowl, and put it on the floor for further examination. It was actually giving off radiation levels of 1000 counts per minute, and there was an apple, with a dark purple glaze, that was actually giving off 5000 counts per minute – in other words a hundred times background level.
However there was no need to panic. The geiger counter had to be right up close to the fruit bowl to register high readings, and the radiation was almost entirely blocked by my hand. So the radiation didn’t have much power – it couldn’t go any real distance, and it couldn’t penetrate one’s body. Therefore there were no problems, unless you smashed the fruit bowl and inhaled the dust.
At this stage I have a confession to make. I’m obsessed by radioactivity, which is why I spent a large amount of money on a geiger counter. Anything radioactive grabs my attention.
Earlier today I was reading about Karen Silkwood, the nuclear power worker who blew the whistle on her employers in the early 1970s. She was heavily contaminated with plutonium and was killed in a mysterious car accident. Some say it really was an accident, but there is evidence that she was forced off the road, by parties unknown.
Then I remembered that today is her birthday – she was born on February 19 1946, making her a Pisces. Arguably she martyred herself for a cause, Pisces being a sign strongly associated with martyrdom.
Also, she died on her Saturn return, which happens for the first time at about the age of 29, when Saturn returns to the place it was at birth.
When Karen Silkwood was born Saturn was at 18 degrees and 40 minutes Cancer. When she died, on November 13 1974, a few months before her twenty-ninth birthday, it was at 18 degrees and 45 minutes Cancer. That’s pretty much as close as it gets.
Saturn is the planet of Karma and responsibility. Karen Silkwood, in her short life, did what she had to do, and because she died exactly on her Saturn Return we can probably say ‘mission accomplished’
If you haven’t heard of Karen Silkwood, watch the film about her, <i>Silkwood</i>, where Meryl Streep played the title role.
Anyway, here’s your forecast for the week starting on Monday February 20…
March 20 to April 19
It’s a time when you need to get off the wheel. It’s spinning too fast, and you’re on the rim, going this way and that, without having a clue what’s going on. OK, you might pretend that you’re up to speed with current events, but you’re probably kidding yourself. And the more activity around you, the worse it will get. However once you start distancing yourself from other people and their craziness things will get a whole lot better. I do understand that such an approach might not be to your liking – your star sign is often very sociable, and it can often be great fun being part of a crowd. Yet being alone is not the same as being lonely, and when the noise has quietened down you’ll have a chance to think. At the same time, you can make some important changes, the kind of changes that won’t be immediately obvious. On a different note, secrecy is going to be very important over the next few weeks. Information mustn’t be divulged, and other people’s confidences must be respected. A private conversation has major implications, as you’ll soon discover.
April 20 to May 20
There is a New Moon, in Pisces. This New Moon is going to impact on your hopes and wishes. If you’re typical of your sign, then in many cases you want the same thing, year after year. If you get it you’re happy, if you don’t get it you’re miserable. Of course there are basic needs, which can’t be avoided, but there are other, more subtle needs, and their importance ebbs and flows like the tide. And when you think about it, you realise that the usual pleasures have lost some of their appeal. You’ll want something different, that relates to meaning and purpose rather than short-term satisfaction. This could have implications for your job. Money and status won’t be enough – you’ll want to be sure that you’re making the world a better place. As far as your social life is concerned, you might be looking at your friends in a different way. You’ll be asking yourself how they can support you in terms of your future progress, and you might decide that they’re holding you back. So don’t be surprised if a couple of your friendships start coming to an end – in a natural and organic way. Very often a change of friends brings a change of luck.
May 21 to June 20
It’s an important time of year for Geminis. The Sun moves into Pisces, a sign which is right at the apex of your solar chart. As a result your career and status are going to become very important, especially as there is a New Moon this week. Whatever the difficulties you’ve faced – and many Geminis have had more than their fair share over the last few months – there’s an opportunity for a new beginning, for the mistakes from the past to be swept away. In some cases this might mean a brand new career. This is not as drastic as it sounds, and there’s no need to give up your job, assuming you have one. Instead it’s about beginning the process. You gather information about the kind of job you want to do, and you make discrete enquiries. If it takes months, or even years, before you’re actually doing the job, then so be it. Yet if you don’t want to leave your job, there could still be a change. Perhaps you’ll be given new responsibilities? Or you’ll be doing your work in a different way? If you’re a single Gemini then there could be an up-tick in your love life, that might be related to your place of work.
June 21 to July 21
I’m optimistic about your week ahead, and you should see improvements in many areas of your life. It won’t just be about objective events, it’ll also be about the way you feel. The heaviness of the recent past will start to lift, and you’ll be aware of opportunities rather than restrictions. So if there is something that you want to do, that in the past had been a closed book, you can now give it another try. You can therefore think of the many ways in which you can expand your horizons. Do you feel a need to travel? If so, then now is a good time to plan your journey – let your imagination be your guide! On the other hand some Cancerians might feel that there is a knowledge gap, that needs to be filled. You might then feel that the time has come to do some extra studying, either independently or by enrolling at a school or a college. Though whatever you’re doing, it’s important to be patient, because this week there is a New Moon, and things that start on a New Moon often take a long time to develop.
July 22 to August 2
Under normal circumstances the Sun moving into Pisces isn’t great news for Leos. It’s a time of year that can be difficult, especially when dealing with other people and their financial demands. However this week the Sun, your ruler, is moving towards a favourable aspect with Jupiter. This aspect is going to make you luckier than average, and just about whatever you’re doing, you’ll make a good impression. As far as your career is concerned, the situation looks good. You’ll have a powerful understanding of other people and their motivations, and if you’re in a competitive situation you’re chances of winning are very good. But you can’t expect it all to be plain sailing. You’ll have to negotiate some serious complications, and surface appearances will count for little. So it’s important that you keep asking questions, and that you don’t trust people unless it’s really necessary.
August 23 to September 22
Things are looking up for Virgos. The Sun is now in Pisces, your opposite sign, where it moves towards an aspect with Jupiter. As a result of this, you’re going to be luckier than average, and whatever you try your hand at, it’s likely to be successful. You’ll be helped by other people. In most cases they’ll be willing to lend a hand, and if you need any advice you just have to ask. However to make the most of everything that’s available, it’s important that you’re open to new experiences. The old ways are all well and good, but there are limits to how far they’ll take you. And if you’re prepared to try something new, you’ll be amazed at what happens. In the process listen carefully to what other people are saying, and remember that if you disagree with them it doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. You’ll be pleased to hear that your romantic prospects are fast improving, and if you’re single, or looking for someone new, there’s every chance that you’ll hit the jackpot. A person who has vision, but who also has a good understanding of money, could make your perfect partner.
September 23 to October 22
A New Moon brings new possibilities, but how can you take advantage of them? In some respects you’re very disorganised, and your efforts to make progress could get bogged down in chaos. However it’s a situation that you can do something about. If you’re ready to bite the bullet, and tidy up everything around you, then you’ll be giving yourself a secure base for future success. It’s a task that won’t be easy, and it may take a few weeks . Paperwork going back a year and more will have to properly filed, and at the same time you might realise that your physical environment is in need of repair. So if you find that something is broken, make sure that you get it fixed, especially if it’s a safety-critical matter. On a different note, there might be a new focus on your health, and I mean this in a favourable sense. You’ll start to understand what’s good and bad for you, and you’ll be able to take decisive action. This means that if you’re a Libran smoker, or you feel that you drink too much, you’ll be able to turn over a new leaf. Put another way, giving up nasty habits won’t be as difficult as you’d thought.
October 23 to November 21
This week the Sun moves towards a favourable aspect with Jupiter. In the Scorpio horoscope the Sun is important, because it rules the apex of your chart, often connected with career and business. So if you’re working, things should go very well for you. You’re going to be very creative, and your talents will be noticed. It’s therefore not a time for hiding your light under a bushel – if you’ve got it, flaunt it! However it’s also not a time for going solo. You can benefit from other people’s support, and one particular relationship could become very significant – from a business rather than romantic point of view. Perhaps it’s a good time to form a partnership? Also, if you don’t have a skill, it doesn’t mean that you can’t develop one. If you start learning a new skill over the next few weeks, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your progress, and before you know it you could be an expert. Finishing up with love, and the picture is excellent. You know exactly how to carry yourself, and your every move, your every word, will hit the right spots. Though don’t be in a hurry – things that develop slowly bring the greatest satisfaction.
November 22 to December 21
It’s a time of year when Sagittarians are very focused on their roots. And this is emphasised by this week’s New Moon, in the domestic sector of your solar chart. You’ll be focusing more energy than usual on your home and family, and it’s a great time for reaching out to relatives, both close and distant, who you might have lost touch with. At the same time you’ll have particular ideas about the kind of home you want to live in, and if your current living arrangements aren’t up to scratch you’ll want to make some changes. But don’t worry. You can exercise a calm but firm influence, and as likely as not people will do things your way. Matters are further improved by a favourable aspect between the Sun and Jupiter, your ruling planet. You’ll be able to make useful improvements, left right and centre, and through careful organisation you can boost your luck. From a romantic point of view, you should be looking for someone fairly traditional, who puts security before excitement.
December 22 to January 19
Capricorns have a reputation for being quiet, no nonsense people, who don’t say things unless it’s really necessary. However sometimes it’s necessary to communicate, with passion and conviction. You might feel that no-one cares what you have to say, but that’s simply not true. When you actually start expressing yourself, you’ll immediately grab people’s attention, and you’ll have an intuitive understanding of what needs to be said. Indeed when you’re talking to someone, you’ll be able to tailor your words and gestures to fit their personality. Yet communication takes many forms, and over the next few weeks some Capricorns may embark on a new project, which allows your message to reach a large audience. For example, you might decide to launch a website. Or you might even start working on writing a book. In some ways what really matters is showing the world how creative you are – because you really have got something special to offer. As far as relationships are concerned, say what you feel, without regret or embarrassment. After that, things will fit together very nicely.
January 20 to February 18
There’s continued emphasis on your finances, thanks to a New Moon which falls in the finance sector of your solar chart. You’ll be very aware of what you have and what you don’t have, and you’ll be anxious to put your money situation on a firm footing. However you can’t expect everything to come together immediately. You have to think hard about what other people are doing, and you also have to be original – because in some respects the old approaches to money are no longer working. This also means that in most cases you mustn’t follow the crowd. Sometimes the most popular way of dealing with money is the road to ruin. On a more positive note, you’re on the brink of doing something really profitable, and once you have done your research you can start getting real results. Sometimes you have to trust yourself to be right, even if everyone else is saying you’re wrong. Yet I’m not saying that you should completely ignore other people’s advice. The Sun, your relationship ruler, is moving towards a favourable aspect with Jupiter. There’s one particular person who can be very lucky for you, provided you give them a chance.
February 19 to March 19
It’s a good week. The Sun is moving through the early degrees of your star sign, where it makes a fortunate aspect to Jupiter, your ruling planet. Yes, Jupiter is the ruler of Pisces, not Neptune, trust me. You’ll have more than your fair share of good luck, and you’ll be able to express yourself extremely well. So it’s important that you communicate as much as possible, and you must make sure that you read your emails and text messages – something might turn up, that seems like spam, which could actually be very important. And in a general sense, it’s a time for new beginnings. If there’s a project that you want to start, you can now get going on it. The first results might not be spectacular, but if you keep plugging away you’ll get the results you deserve. Looking at relationships, and it’s a time when you can be very assertive. You’ll know what to say and how to act, and partners are unlikely to contradict you. If you’re looking for someone new, and you find someone you like, then it’s OK to make the first move – but you probably won’t have to.