Jonathan Cainer: The Cosmic Voice of Reason

Dear Friend and Reader:

On the day that Jonathan Cainer died, this horoscope appeared in the Daily Mail and newspapers around the world:

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 – December 21) — We aren’t here for long. We should make the most of every moment. We all understand this yet don’t we forget it, many times? We get caught up in missions, battles and desires. We imagine that we have forever and a day. In one way, we may be right – for are we not eternal spirits, temporarily residing in finite physical form? An elevated perspective is essential to a meaningful existence.

Jonathan Cainer in his downtown London apartment.

Jonathan, who left us unexpectedly Monday morning at age 58, was of course a Sagittarius (and Sagg rising, and Saturn). This was an unusually philosophical horoscope even for him, though that was his role: to be a kind of public philosopher and spiritual psychologist.

To some extent this is the role of every newspaper astrologer. It’s an unusual and distinct voice to take up in the world, where agendas are not usually themed on self-awareness, inner peace or meaningful existence.

In fact, nearly all of what we see and hear in this thing we call the media is designed to either foment conflict, provoke fear or sell us something we don’t need. Newspapers in particular run on fear, and drum up sales by frightening people (and propagating wars that they then report on; this is also the formula of most Internet news).

It’s worth pointing out how unusual it is to see a message like this in a daily newspaper, or anywhere for that matter — but especially on the pages of a British scandal sheet like the Daily Mail. It’s the work of newspaper and magazine astrologers to bring a breath of spirit into the madness and chaos of what we call the news, and Jonathan did it boldly and elegantly.

His optimistic, insightful forecasts ran in the British press since the mid-1980s. He took up that role with a fresh voice, and he did so brilliantly, cultivating a worldwide following that included publications in Britain, Australia, Europe and into Asia. When the Internet became popular, he gathered a following in the United States through his own site and venues such as

Day after day, millions found ideas for living, new ways to think about their lives, less restrictive and even liberating ideas for thinking about themselves. It’s true that Jonathan strived to be inspiring, but he succeeded in more than that. I considered him an actual philosopher. I knew him personally since 1999, and I can attest to the fact that he practiced what he preached. (You may listen to my audio tribute to him, where I tell many stories about my experiences of working with him and give a detailed reading of his chart.)

In Monday’s column for Aries, he wrote, “How easy is it to see straight? An optician might give you one answer, a psychologist, another. Various factors inhibit our capacity for accurate perception. None, though, do this quite as effectively as our own imaginations.”

Jonathan at the Sunrise Festival in 2009.

For Leo, he wrote, “The more problems we solve, the more we end up needing to solve. There are several reasons for this, which we shall explore together over the next few days. The main thing to be aware of this week is that some apparent problems are not quite as problematic as they appear.”

And for Aquarius: “Understandably, we want others to approve of and agree with us. We soon discover it is more likely to happen if we, in turn, approve of and agree with them. Where we feel inclined to criticise or argue, we create conflict. That happens, even if we have not instigated tension and are merely responding to someone else’s negativity. An alignment from Mars to your ruler implies it isn’t, this week, relevant to ask, ‘what started a dispute?’ What matters is that you recognise your power to restore peace.”

People relate to these columns, and they need this kind of information. It’s just that you don’t see it often. Jonathan was one of the early astrologers to break out of the “Busy evening ahead, Libra factors prominently” voice that you often find in daily horoscopes. When the horoscope voice speaks to someone about real things, that puts the astrologer into a kind of exalted role in people’s lives.

Yet you subject yourself to more than popularity as a horoscope writer. People who think of themselves as proper astrologers often use you as a way to prove that their methods are better. You will see this from time to time — an astrologer who introduces himself by saying, “I do the real thing, not the rubbish you read in newspapers.” (They have not figured out that astrology is based on one method only, which is interpretation. That is where the tires meet the highway, and that is what any astrologer must do. If it’s done well in 100 words, all the better.)

Scientists come after newspaper astrologers (the Royal Astronomical Society is famous for this, as is Neil DeGrasse Tyson), and sometimes so do philosophers, who can lead crusades against astrology always targeted at horoscope writers. Many ordinary folk grumble about how something cannot possibly apply to “one twelfth of the population,” forgetting that marketing experts can sell you nearly anything based on your being a median-income man or woman aged 40 to 50 (that’s a lot more than 1/12th of the population). So, too, is everyone who relates to Harry Potter, regardless of age, gender or zodiac sign.

Then there’s a rarely stated occupational hazard: most people are roaming the planet pissed off, and pissed off at God in particular. As a horoscope writer, one is believed to speak for the heavens, and anyone who does that can be subjected to the anger that people feel at existence itself. I have heard several public astrologers comment about what gets projected onto them.

Jonathan Cainer, the young magus.

Many other people give away their power in small ways or large ones. Some cling to their daily horoscope, and others are a bit more extreme.

Cainer once heard that a reader committed suicide after reading one of his horoscopes. He told The Independent: “In my column I’d said ‘If you’ve got something that’s big in your life go ahead and do it today’. And they did it. They killed themselves.” How did he feel when he heard?

“Not very pleased. I had to wrestle with it for a long time. But I’m not going to carry the blame for it. They were obviously in that frame of mind. They would have done it anyway. I didn’t write ‘End it all today’. But ever since I knew I could have an effect like that on somebody, one of the many filters I put a horoscope through is a ‘top yourself’ filter. I look for it now. Particularly when a zodiac sign is going through a hard time anyway I look and ask myself whether what I write could be misinterpreted.”

This was above and beyond what most horoscope writers consider the call of duty. I’ve even heard daily horoscope writers say they don’t take what they do seriously; it’s merely for entertainment. Jonathan clearly did not take that approach. His horoscope columns and readings were grounded in real astrology and in ideas he drew on from many sources. When done with care, horoscopes serve what I consider to be a therapeutically sound function.

Working with an understanding, trusted therapist, the therpist’s voice begins to replace the harsh, judgmental voices of parents, teachers and others who may have taught us to be self-critical or self-defeating. As children, we heard these damaging voices, and often learned to speak to ourselves in this way. Whether children believe what they are told about themselves or not, the quality of an authoritative adult’s voice becomes an active inner experience that can dominate their personality on the most private levels.

After a period of time, a therapist’s voice, interacted with and listened to carefully week after week, can become a readily accessible means of processing a new problem or experience outside the therapy room. But it’s not just a voice; often it’s a kind of adopted sub-personality. We learned to do this from having the relationship, which involves taking on some of who the therapist is — their wisdom as well as something about them personally. Like ego is itself a kind of fictional entity, this fictional inner therapist can help us transcend, or exist as an alternative to, deeply negative influences until we begin to encounter a true inner voice of Self.

Jonathan Cainer, philosopher and rock star astrologer.

This transference may be the only teaching there really is, and it may be the one factor inherent in all forms of human contact. What we are teaching transcends the subject matter and almost always goes to the level of existence.

In this way, an oboe teacher can become an important mentor; a housekeeper can become a trusted advisor; a cab driver can show up as an incarnation of God, which is the story of the Bhagavad Gita (Lord Krishna is really a chariot driver, but you get the idea).

Something similar sometimes happens when we follow horoscope columns. That is, the voice we encounter on the pages of the newspaper or on the Internet can speak to us in other times and places where no writer has written anything. The voice of the writer, listened to every day or every week, can become an inner experience with a life of its own.

Yet horoscopes hold a special place for many readers because the writer is allegedly speaking on behalf of the heavens. So the astrologer’s voice becomes, in a sense, the voice of the heavens, or one such voice. In this particular respect, astrology transcends psychology and all forms of conventional reason; people approach astrology with an entirely different point of view than most other subjects.

This viewpoint embraces their relationship with the total cosmos, which means existence. It’s important to remember that since ancient Greece, “space” has been considered synonymous with God. In this sense, the voice of an astrologer becomes the voice of the cosmos, which readers then internalize, day after day, year after year.

Jonathan, circa mid 1990s, with three of his eight children (from left), Jemima, Izaak and Sofi.

The message comes across in a voice that a reader is gradually going to take in, or even take on, as with so many voices before; but due to the fact of astrology, its cosmic metaphors, all its odd synchronicities and seemingly impossible personal insights, there is a quality of being “from beyond this world” that astrology can often have.

Back when I was writing Jonathan’s column during his frequent trips abroad, I wrote, “Your astrologer had better be dedicated to sending you positive messages about yourself, and be the one committed to holding the faith that you really can make your life better. If not, what exactly are they doing?

“We all have an inner capacity for faith, and an inner capacity for fear. Which is an astrologer going to feed? Or we might put it this way: what are the limits on what an astrologer thinks is possible? Is he or she familiar with win-win situations?” This, in essence, was Jonathan’s field of mastery. As his brother Daniel wrote this week, “Jonathan had a remarkable and unique gift. He does not take it with him. He leaves it with us.”

He has certainly left it with me, along with teaching me the astrology business and doing many, many things to help me and Planet Waves and many others that I will leave for you to discover in my audio tribute to him.

Jonathan, thank you. I am honored to have counted you as a personal friend, and to have known that one of the greats was a down-to-earth guy who did not merely believe what he said; he taught what he knew to be true.

With love,

This is Jonathan Cainer’s natal chart.

Jonathan Cainer Daily Horoscope for Friday, May 6, 2016

ARIES (March 21 – April 20)
We don’t like this, we do like that. We don’t believe this, we do trust that. We have tried this, we haven’t tried that. If all such statements were neatly linked, the world would be highly enlightened. But we don’t test and try as much as we should. We allow beliefs to influence our likes and dislikes, then figure that as long as we are happy with what we think we ought to feel, we need not go to the trouble of checking to see if we truly feel that. This weekend brings a happy, healthy, reality check.

TAURUS (April 21 – May 21)
You are not on the verge of being defeated. If, though, you now face circumstances that are seemingly less than ideal, you can either bemoan your lot or embrace your challenge. As the second option will bring good results and the first will only lead round in circles, how can you do anything this weekend, but reach for your best judgement, optimism, insight and wisdom. These may not be immediately easy to summon but will lead you to a point where you can feel truly glad of all you have done.

GEMINI (May 22 – June 22)
The world is not the same as it once was. Consider all the social, political, technological, even moral transformation we have witnessed in our lifetimes. All that change has not been happening to everyone else while you and I have been standing still. We have been evolving too. We continue each day, at some subtle level, to become more aware, informed and conscious. This weekend, you will understand more about your own journey and will see what wonderful progress this can lead to next.

CANCER (June 23 – July 23)
Some professional people command a great air of authority yet there must be times when they are off duty and need no longer maintain such a stern demeanour. Indeed, we have to hope so for their families might not appreciate spending their leisure time with someone who was always serious and frosty. It is, of course, always important to respect rules but there comes a point where we have to decide not to let them bind us too tightly, if only for the sake of our sanity. Relax this weekend.

LEO (July 24 – August 23)
If you want to rise above your problems, you don’t have to become a great sage or an enlightened yogi. I’m not saying these are not worthy goals. We might benefit enormously, just from striving to attain them. But the ability to stand back and see a situation in perspective hardly requires such high spiritual advancement. In freeing yourself from a source of stress this weekend, it is enough to wonder why you are allowing yourself to take an issue so seriously. It isn’t as important as you fear.

VIRGO (August 24 – September 23)
If there weren’t any criminals, we wouldn’t need police officers. If folk never got sick, why would we want doctors? Who profits most from dirty air? The manufacturers of washing powder! Okay. Enough. I don’t want to turn your forecast into a festival of conspiracy theory. But sometimes, the greatest beneficiaries of a bad thing, are the folk who do a good thing. A potentially symbiotic relationship requires reflection this weekend. An unhealthy correlation must be understood if it is to be healed.

LIBRA (September 24 – October 23)
This week, I’ve been urging you to think about what matters and why. This may sound like odd advice for an astrologer to offer. Don’t my readers just want to know if they can expect to get what they want rather than be encouraged to question whether they want the right thing. But how happy will any of us ever be if our most intense desires are fulfilled, yet none make us feel better because they don’t represent our deepest needs? The great gift the sky has in store for you this weekend is wisdom.

SCORPIO (October 24 – November 22)
Perhaps we should be afraid of courage! Does it not sometimes lead us to daft decisions? Don’t we often stand back, look at a situation and realise that we have got into a particular mess through brave arrogance? If, indeed, we ever do find ourselves in such a predicament, the very last thing we should then do is lapse into humble self-pity. Summon more of the very strength that led you to where you are now. Have more faith in it (and in yourself) this weekend. All will yet be well.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 – December 21)
We’ve been talking this week, about how brief and beautiful our existence, here on this planet, truly is. For a while, I tried quoting song lyrics that made this point, then I realised, there aren’t many. Life may well be frail, fleeting and temporary yet to discuss this, in song, story or even zodiac forecast, is taboo. We don’t want to go upsetting ourselves with such thoughts now, do we? Yet without that perspective, we can make dreadful decisions. Be high, be clear and be conscious this weekend.

CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 20)
There is nothing wrong with making an accommodation. There is never any shame in showing sensitivity. If someone needs something from us and we may just possibly be able to supply that by adapting or adjusting our behaviour or demeanour, why should we not be so kind? It’s all fine, as long as it is, indeed, an act of genuine generosity and not one that is surreptitiously self-serving. Give as freely as you know how to give this weekend but be careful and restrained about what you allow yourself to take.

AQUARIUS (January 21 – February 19)
Humans are conversational creatures. We like to exchange pleasantries. We feel that even if we are saying next to nothing, we are at least keeping a sense of connection, acknowledging each others’ existence. Yet once in a while, there seems an urgent need for a deep discussion over some profound matter. It isn’t always quite as essential as we imagine. Be honest and clear wherever appropriate this weekend, but where it may not seem to be so immediately necessary, don’t feel obliged.

PISCES (February 20 – March 20)
After a while, we stop questioning things. Even if we are inquisitive, even contradictory by nature, we accept a situation is the way it is and then give it no further thought. Only after a while, does an anomaly become so apparent it can no longer be ignored. We often equate such experiences with discomfort. None of us like being obliged to rethink what we took for granted. But there’s so much to gain in your life, this weekend, from looking afresh at an old assumption. Be ready to reap that benefit.

Monday: Mercury Transit of the Sun

Monday is the midpoint of Mercury retrograde. At that time, Mercury passes between the Sun and the Earth. That is the essence of the retrograde — Mercury going by. That’s called the interior (previously, inferior) conjunction of Mercury and the Sun.

The most recent Mercury transit of the Sun, from Nov. 6, 2006 — shortly after Eris was named and Pluto was ‘demoted’ to minor planet. The transit is an invitation to define your own turning point in your life.

When it does, it usually passes a little above or below the Sun. Most conjunctions are not exact alignments; they are a little off, on the vertical axis. When Mercury and the Sun meet on both the vertical and horizontal axes, that’s called a transit of the Sun — and that’s what we get Monday.

This happens in the sign Taurus. The most fleeting of the planets, Mercury, meets the Sun in its most solid and stable sign, in a kind of mutual infusion of energy.

To me the symbolism is about where mind meets substance. We might scoff at the notion that we can conjure things with our minds, but tell that to someone who sketches a skyscraper on a napkin and then goes and builds the thing. Tell that to someone who writes a hit song, or any song. In one sense the whole universe as we perceive it is a figment of the imagination.

Now we have this exact alignment where mind and matter meet directly. This provides an occasion to develop the connection in your own life. Taking that a step back, you might acknowledge the degree to which your thoughts and your decisions determine much of what you experience as real and as true.

My Monday Morning horoscope will be devoted to this aspect; we will mail it out Sunday night to Planet Waves members and subscribers.

Moonshine Horoscope for May 5, 2016 #1099 | By Len Wallick

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You are far less likely than most to lose your head at this time, and not just because it is attached to your body. The next month or so represents a period when you will find it easier than many others to remain in full possession of yourself, regardless of whether or how things move or change direction in your life. The main thing will be to pay attention. This does not mean you need to be all tense and vigilant 24-7. By all means, allow yourself to periodically set your cares aside, relax and even indulge forms of distraction that serve to refresh and revive your acumen. That way, when you need to be on the ball, you will be in self-control and ready to roll — and you’ll show the rest of us how it’s done. — by Len Wallick.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Experience has prepared you to discern true friends from any obvious foes who may cross your path upon occasion. Genuine allies will encourage and support your doing what’s good for you and what’s right by others, because friends want you to be happy, healthy and at your best. Unfriendly critics and competitors will attempt to discourage you in order to get the upper hand. Now that you can tell the difference, the next step is to distinguish yourself by how you respond. Show respect for your friends by making and being satisfied with your best effort, while also taking care of your wellbeing. Show respect for yourself by shedding the aspersions of those who do not have your best interests at heart. — by Len Wallick.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — One way or another, sooner or later, some undeniably good news will almost certainly find its way into your life before the year is over. That, however, is not the really big story for you. The feature event developing for you this year is that one way or another, sooner or later, you can (and probably will) become what amounts to very good news for at least one other person, and possibly for many others. Being an object of gratitude means being given a place of appreciation in the heart of another (or others) because of what you’ve done for them. It is a type of immortality. The trick to earning such a place without undue sacrifice on your own part is to be every bit as kind to yourself as you are to any and everybody else. — by Len Wallick.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — So long as you have been true to yourself and the values you hold dear, there is no need to burden yourself with thoughts of what might have been. That’s especially true now, when looking and moving forward would seem to be much more appropriate than dwelling on the past. Begin by thinking about what you want your life to look like after next year, and then start taking small but solid steps to make your vision into a reality. Believe it or not, the most appropriate first step will be to get your home base in the sort of order that will make it both a launching pad and a safe place to land. It will be much better to be thorough than fast, so that any need to look back is something you finally put behind you. — by Len Wallick.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Let the word ‘affinity’ serve as a template through which you filter your options. That’s because you are (perhaps at long last) going somewhere as regards finding your place and establishing your reputation in the world, even if it may not seem that way now. It will be no small thing to include among your many considerations whether you will like and be liked among the various people, places and situations that might become available to you sooner than you think. While it makes sense to put your own happiness first, compatibility is ultimately a two-way street. Therefore, take what you have learned from experience, and anticipate where you most likely will find welcome as well as opportunity. — by Len Wallick.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Resources and assets are not always or necessarily material in nature. In your heart, you know that. Over the years you have willingly and wisely exchanged money and other things of tangible value for experiences, proficiency and personal development. Now (and perhaps right on time) there is a potential for the flow to reverse. Examine your life with optimism for where and how you have already prepared the ground upon which to build either a new career or at least alternative income streams. Keep an eye peeled for opportunities opening up which seem to have your name on them, and be confident enough to say, “Yes, I can,” if you are asked to fill shoes that may have seemed too big not so long ago. — by Len Wallick.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s especially true for you now. More specifically, it’s an important (if somewhat earthy) maxim to follow regarding relationships where income and property are co-mingled. The potential for you and your partner (or partners) to share both unprecedented prosperity and blissful harmony is probably much better than it might look for you right now. Give any urge to tinker a rest and allow your mutual venture to develop, so long as it is doing well and that is well enough. While it is never advisable to count your chicks before they hatch, it’s not a good idea to count them out, either. Unless you begin to actually lose financial ground or equal influence, put pie in the sky on the back burner until at least November. — by Len Wallick.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Your desire to protect those you love is actually quite adorable. That’s one of the things partners and friends find attractive about you. Even as adventurous as life with you can be, those sharing it with you can feel secure in the knowledge that you will have their back. There is a point, however, when your protective nature can add to the stress of those you love rather than actually shield them. For that reason, you may want to listen carefully to feedback from those you seek to care for. If they ask you to back off a bit, don’t be offended or feel useless. Just give your dear ones a chance to work through some of their own problems and even ask for help first, before rushing in with a premature rescue. — by Len Wallick.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Almost free. You can feel it. You can taste it. You are almost done with some difficult but rewarding work, which, once completed, will allow you to finally stretch your legs and maybe even spread your wings. The main thing is to apply the same effort and diligence to the end of your task as you have to the beginning. If you can manage just that, your own innate gifts for exhibiting excellence will take over and see you through. Once you have met the obligations you took on so long ago, there will of course be other work for you to do, but perhaps not right away. It appears as though you have at least earned a break to enjoy the fruits of your labor by lifting your nose from the grindstone to breathe free at last. — by Len Wallick.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — In some way or another you have probably received what you asked for. Now the idea is to remember what you were going to do with it. Slipping back into a few old but charming and harmless habits may not be an entirely bad thing. After all, it is important to be comfortable. However, there are indications that you can now go to new places and hook up with new people who might just become guests in your home. Who knows — if there is room in your life and it’s the right time, even a new domestic partner could be in the offing. If that is the case, you would want to pay special attention to making sure that your residential space is at least as attractive as you have worked so hard and so long to be. — by Len Wallick.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It is true that people do not live by bread alone. In some way, no matter how well you have overcome any instability or dearth of years past, there may be some needs of yours that have long been unmet. Examine your life for frustrated or neglected desires, especially those that have been relegated to the realm of luxury because of your need to focus on necessity. Perhaps you could now consider exchanging one form of affordable luxury for an upgrade that will provide a form of nourishment you have long done without. You know yourself well enough to understand you will not be excessive or irresponsible if you allow yourself to live with — rather than without — what amounts to more sustenance for your soul. — by Len Wallick.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Some sort of fellowship may just be starting to appear on your horizon. In all likelihood it is a form of association you have not previously experienced — not quite social, and not exactly familial either. The question is whether you will be comfortable with what you will be expected to offer in return. What do you owe for the support, encouragement and even collaboration you might receive from what amounts to a collegiate enterprise? On the upside, there is a distinct chance your life could become more fulfilling than ever before by throwing in with a small but dynamic group of people who bring out the best in you. That said, you may be asked to make compromises in order to fit in; not a bad thing necessarily, but heed your feelings on this matter. Do not be the only one to compromise. If you are not allowed to make your mark, don’t make a commitment. — by Len Wallick.

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