The Astrology of Jessica Watson, solo teenager sailor and Young Australian of the year

Jessica Watson has appeared again on prime time news, on Australia day 2011, to accept from the hand of our Prime Minister the Young Australian of the Year award for 2010.

Having written a post on Jessica when she returned from her sailing adventure in May 2010, I was curious to see the Progressions and Transits active at this time, when she has become the recipient of one of the most prestigious awards in Australia. The Chart I am using for Jessica is just a Sunrise Chart because her time of birth is still unavailable. Here it is:

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First of all I calculated a Progressed Chart for the Australia Day Award ceremony. Here:

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Keeping in mind that I am still working with a Sunrise Chart, I was very impressed by the meaningful correlation with the happy event of January 26 2011.

The first thing that jumps out of this Horoscope is the opposition Progressed Moon to Progressed Sun, very close (same degree), meaning that around this time Jessica is living through the first Progressed Full Moon of her young life (a once in thirty years event). Because we started with a Sunrise Chart and not a proper Birth Chart the timing of this important astrological event is uncertain, but we know that it is happening sometime this year.In fact the uncanny symchronicity of the Australia Day event and the Progressed Full Moon may even suggest that Jessica could have been born around sunrise.

The phases of the Progressed Moon are slow forming and long lasting, not ephemeral and brief like the transiting Moon’s phases. They represent personal landmarks in the life of the individual, especially the New and Full Moon. The Full Moon symbolizes a climax of experience, a time for fulfillment, reward or failure according to how the person has lived and thought in the 14 years preceding the phase. In Jessica’s case it seems that her Saturnine ambition and hard work (Saturn conjunct Solar Mid-Heaven at birth), with her Taurean determination (Sun, Moon and Mercury in Taurus) have paid off.

This award is launching her on a new league of her career as well as rewarding her for past achievements, the perfect effect of a positive Full Moon experience!  To make this event even more appropriate to Jessica’s circumstances the Moon has been progressing through the adventurous Sign of Sagittarius since early 2010 (according to the Sunrise Chart’s progressions exactly on Australia day 2010!), describing to a T her free spirited voyage and optimism to succeed. This Full Moon was also a Lunar Eclipse making the phase more intense and significant in Jessica’s life, producing greater and longer lasting effects.

In the mean time her Progressed Mercury in Cancer is forming this year a 90 degrees angle with her Progressed Jupiter in Libra and a 45 degrees angle to Progressed Mars, both aspects showing a great expansive energy for her mind, more travel, big ideas and unbound mental enthusiasm, that could even prove a bit too much for her. It is, after all, a lot to cope with for a girl who has not  turned 18 yet!

To understand better the Progressed Horoscope we need also to place it on top of the Birth Chart, in order to see their dynamic interaction. Here is a double wheel chart, with Jessica’s Birth Chart in the middle and her Progressed Chart in the outer wheel.

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Because the Progressed Sun and Moon form an opposition during the Full Moon phase, if one becomes linked by aspect  to a planet the other will also be linked to the same planet by a mirror-aspect. In this instance both Sun and Moon are linked to Jessica’s Birth Venus in Aries, in the sector of aspirations and friendships (XI House), the Moon by harmonious trine (120) and the Sun by harmonious sextile (60). These aspects highlight the positive effect of the Full Moon, bringing Jessica greater popularity and opportunities to reach out to the world and spread her message of hope and confidence to young people worldwide.

Now to the Transits. Here is a Bi-Wheel with Jessica’s Birth Chart in the middle and the Transits Chart in the outer wheel, for the same Australia Day’s event.

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In the short term the most prominent and closest transit to the time of the Award is the Sun, in the Natal IX House, in harmonious trine to Jessica’s Birth Chart Jupiter in Libra on the cusp of the V House, place of honors and enterprise.  Jupiter is the expansive function in our universe and psyche. When in contact with the Sun it enhances the scope of the Ego, sometimes even causing ego-inflation, when the individual begins to  identify too much with the inner myth fostered by Jupiter. Because the contact is an harmonious one the risk of self-inflation is less, but still present. Then again who wouldn’t feel a sense of Ego-pride winning such  a public recognition? The Sun was with Jupiter just for the day and has already moved on. Before Australia Day the transiting Mars was also in trine with Jupiter, fact that would have boosted the Mercury-Mars-Jupiter progressions discussed before. All great incentives to trust life and reach for the stars. On January 23 Jupiter has moved into Aries where he will reside until June 4. We need to remember that Aries is Jessica’ s Moon and Venus Signs, placements that have a lot to do with her adventurous spirit and single-mindedness. And also that her Natal Jupiter is in Libra, meaning that transiting Jupiter will soon form his last opposition to his own place in mid-February 2011, another ‘take off’ type of transit, that will certainly bring opportunities, but also the risk of taking too much on, or of becoming overly optimistic. From June 2011 Jupiter will begin his 12 months transit through Taurus, Jessica’s Sun and Mercury’s Sign, promising more opportunities and achievements in store for her in the second half of this year, spilling into 2012.

A cautionary note is sound by Chiron transiting Jessica’s Natal Saturn, exact on February 7, but already very close on Australia Day. This is a strange combination of energies during a period of apparent triumph for our young heroine. Perhaps there is a thorn in Jessica’s rosy bloom. Perhaps the responsibilities that come with success, financial gains and fame (Saturn cusp Aquarius/Pisces) have been inwardly difficult to face, Chiron always representing the unavoidable blemish to one’s complete happiness (if there is such thing!).

This transit is not new to Jessica, it has been exact before in mid-April and then again in late July 2010. This is in fact its last passage.

A bout of illness cannot be excluded, or just a period of lowered vitality and spirit, while this aspect remains active (until mid-March 2011). This transit may simply show the unavoidable anti-climax after the triumph, because nature always looks to find a balance, to restore equilibrium if things lean too much one way (or the other).  But this is the last pass of Chiron over Saturn, because Chiron will soon move to Pisces, not coming back to her Saturn for another 50 years! Just because it is rare enough transit it seems strangely important and out of place in a reading full of optimistic and buoyant aspects. Here instead is the gift of maturity via difficulties and pains, in order to become a true authority into oneself, a fully fledged adult. Despite her independence and self-determination Jessica is still going through the pangs of being reborn into a new self, and, doing so, she feels like losing some of her childhood’s joys and carefree ways.

Following this transit others are coming for Jessica that could have far reaching consequences for her career and life direction. These are the slow moving transits of Neptune over her Saturn cusp Aquarius-Pisces and her Mercury cusp Taurus-Gemini, beginning at the end of March 2011. Neptune will remain in the vicinity of Saturn and in square to Mercury for a long time, until the end of 2012, forming exact aspects at the end of August 2011 and again  at the end of January 2012.

Neptune has a strange effect on Saturn, the two representing very different energies, in many ways inimical to one another, Saturn always striving to solidify, plan and structure, while Neptune for ever attempts to dissolve, de-materialize and evade. Because of  Mercury involvement her mind and way of thinking will also be affected by Neptune. Jessica may feel like taking perhaps some time off  (Neptune) from her obligations and duties (Saturn), and her studies (Mercury) to go for another solo trip somewhere.

Neptune has a lot to do with her love of the ocean and of solitude (conjunct Uranus in her Natal VIII House, square the Moon and Venus, and trine the Sun in Taurus). Every Neptune’s transit will bring those characteristics to the fore.

Neptune-Saturn is never an easy and too amicable encounter. There will be some dissolving, ending and transforming  to go through, difficult adjustments that could for a time make Jessica less effective, realistic or practical, and also more vulnerable, flexible, sensitive and compassionate. Neptune-Mercury may not be as difficult, rather helping her to get more readily in touch with her intuitive feelings, her creativity and also her desire to help others. Taking up an ecological cause could be a great way to put together the high idealism and compassion of Neptune, the practical genius of Saturn and the broadcasting abilities of Mercury on the cusp of clever Gemini.

For many teens of Jessica age the Neptune-Saturn conjunction is now or will soon be a reality they will all have to go through. For some of them will be an awakening to new spiritual perceptions and a greater sense of personal responsibility (Saturn) toward the greater good of humanity and Nature (Neptune), sometimes through experiences of loss and ego-undoing.

JESSICA WATSON, young Medusa and Venus with the Moon

As many Sydney residents and visitors are anxiously waiting for the return into Sydney harbour of Jessica Watson, the sixteen years old who has been sailing around the world solo, I have been scouring the net to find her date and time of birth. I managed to find the date, but so far, no time. If anyone has this information I would appreciate it.

Missing the birth-time I have cast a Sunrise Chart for the day and place of birth, usually my choice in such cases. You can find her Sunrise Chart at the bottom of this post or here.

The Birth Chart of this modern heroine has not disappointed.

Jessica was born with the Sun and Mercury in Earthy Taurus, one of the most determinate and even obstinate Sign of the Zodiac. To add to this her Sun and Mercury were also in opposition to Pluto in her Natal Chart, an indication of resourcefulness and even ruthlessness. She has the power to make things happen and a great charisma, but she could also attract enmity in her life, getting involved in tugs of war or battles of will with other people.

She has needed indeed all her staying power and ability to withstand opposition with firm resolve to get through the difficulties and antagonism she faced at first, when she decided to sail. It looked as if it would not go ahead. She persisted and went through with it.

Saturn was also in aspect to her Natal Sun and Mercury, with a perfect 90 degrees angle (square) to Mercury and forming square with the Sun, while at right angle with transiting Pluto too (T square). This shows the more ambitious side of Jessica’s character. With Saturn so prominent she is out to prove something, to become an authority in her own right.  And she will work very hard to achieve her goal.  A ‘father complex’ of some description works to push her constantly ahead of herself, for ever trying to out-do herself to gain approval. Strong self-criticism will always help Jessica to counter-act the more boisterous aspects of her personality, anchoring her down to the earth plane. She may have already a bit of the workaholic in her. Both Sun and Mercury are in the last Decan (ten degrees) of Taurus belonging to Capricorn, Saturn’s Sign, giving more power to this serious, responsible and ambitious energy. Saturn in Aquarius also suggests someone who may feel fundamentally alone, no matter how many friends and admirers her popularity may gain her.

Her Mind Planet, Mercury, was in transition from Taurus to Gemini, at the time of her birth, an interesting cusp, giving Jessica both the mental concentration and practical outlook of Mercury in Taurus and some of the versatility, quickness and manual dexterity of Mercury in Gemini.

Apart from the all important aspects to Pluto-Saturn the Sun and Mercury are also forming a trine to Jupiter in Libra. This is a traditionally fortunate influence, giving Jessica support from high places, with persons of importance and influence helping her advance her career. Jupiter also adds more confidence to her carachter and a positive outlook on life. Jupiter’s position in the Houses of her Horoscope will provide more information on this placement, when her time of birth becomes known.

The Moon and Venus’ positions in Aries surprised astrologers the least, because this is the Sign of pioneers and brave, often fearless men and women who are able to open new ground, daring to follow their passion, no matter what everyone else think. The function of the Ram in the Zodiac is to push ahead of all the other Signs, to lead them into uncharted territories, with the innocence and self-centredeness of a child. Adventure and conquest appeal to these types who need to exert a lot of physical energy in order to find calm and be able to relax. Aries is one of the most active Sign, even restless at time, constantly in search of new excitement.  Taurus will keep this fiery energy well grounded and somewhat slow it down too, a plus for Jessica, adding purpose to her need for activity and challenge.

So Jessica has a strong, direct, uncompromising personality and, like many girls with these sorts of placements, she a bit of a tom boy, competitive and pugnacious. The Moon and Venus are found in the Leo Decan of Aries. This is Jessica’s more playful and histrionic side that may lap up the accolades. The Leo Mars adds considerably to her courage, pride and desire to have as much fun as possible. In this fiery Sign Mars also denotes a strong will, self-centredeness if not selfishness, and the potential to shine and become successful. This is confirmed by the harmonious and well wishing Grand Trine (providing both talents and opportunities) between Mars in Leo, the Moon-Venus in Aries and the Lunar North Node in Sagittarius. The position of this Node, the one that points to the future of the individual, in the Sign of quests and adventures, Sagittarius, just makes this configuration so perfect considering Jessica’s achievements.

To add to the whole configuration I noted that also Ceres (Greek Demeter), the largest asteroid, was in Aries and also conjunct Venus and the Moon. Ceres was the Goddess of the Harvest, insuring fertility of the soil and of people, one of the most ancient ever worshipped in Greece and other countries. In her myth the determination of Ceres/Demeter to see her abducted daughter Persephone returned to her was unshakable, bringing her to deprive the planet of rains and harvest, condemning people to starvation, rather than renounce her wish. So Demeter is another symbol of woman’s strength and personal power. The figure of Ceres/Demeter has also been connected to environmental issues of our present times, the growing awareness of the need to respect and live in harmony with our Mother Earth. It is possible that the three-Godesses’ Aries conjunction will prompt Jessica to embrace environmental issues and perhaps become an international campaigner for environmental and wild life protection.

By one of those amazing coincidences (the mysterious phenomenon of synchronicity often revealed to us through Astrology) on May 16, the day she is landing back in Australia and two days before her 17th birthday, the transiting Moon and Venus will again be conjunct (together) as at the time of her birth, but this time in Gemini. It will be actually an occultation of Venus by the Moon in certain parts of the world (see Eye on the Southern Sky’s page for a snapshot of this event), meaning a conjunction during which the disk of the Moon (a tiny crescent in this case) will hide (occult) for a while the bright evening star Venus. This is a great symbol for Jessica’s life in general (her birth conjunction) but also a testimony of the brightness and beauty of her triumph at the present time. A star may have indeed been born. Searching further into the history of the occultations of Venus by the Moon I found out that in 1993, the year Jessica was born, one of such occultations occurred on April 19, just a month previous her birth, also in Aries!

With all her navigational skills in handling a boat and obvious love of the sea, in Jessica’s Chart the Water Element is not too strongly emphasised.  This means that she is not overly emotional and may even be difficult for her to understand strongly emotional people. She may also experience problems understanding her own feelings and depth, tending too often to brush them aside.

So from where her passion for sea voyages stems in her Birth Chart? There got to be a specific indicator, not just the generic ones of courage, love of adventure, questing spirit (Aries Moon-Venus-Ceres trine North Node Sagittarius trine Mars in Leo trine Venus-Moon-Ceres, Sun-Mercury trine Jupiter). I have found this Oceanic signature in the positions of Saturn, cusp Aquarius/Pisces, and Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn. Here we have two Mutual Receptions (Saturn-Uranus and Saturn-Neptune) and a very significant generational conjunction (Uranus-Neptune). Mutual Reception is a term indicating two or more planets occupying each other Signs, thus creating synergy (Wikipedia = a synergy is where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final –mutual – outcome).

In Jessica’s Birth Chart these planets are Uranus in the Earth Sign of Capricorn ruled by Saturn, and Saturn in the Airy Sign of Aquarius, ruled by Uranus. Due to the fact that Saturn is on the last degree of the Sign Aquarius (Anaretic or Cusp Pisces) this planet is also in Mutual Reception to Neptune, because Pisces is Neptune’s Sign. The Mutual Reception Uranus-Saturn provides Jessica with the potential to integrate Saturn’s practicality with Uranus’ genius for discovery and unorthodox, non linear  thinking. The Mutual Reception between Saturn and Neptune, on the other hand, could help her integrate the down to earth approach to life of Saturn and the loftier, idealistic and romantic Neptunian drive, this being the planet of Dreams and Inspiration, aiding her to manifest her dreams and ideals into reality.

Even more remarkable is the fact that now, as she concludes her voyage, the transiting Neptune is becoming conjunct her Natal Saturn (cups Aquarius-Pisces), while the transiting Uranus, close to enter Pisces at the end of May 2010, is now in perfect semi-sexile (30 degrees distance) from her Saturn. Both these Transits are greatly stimulating the two Mutual Receptions I discussed before.

Of course of great interest here is the historical conjunction in Capricorn of Uranus (Sky God) and Neptune (Sea God), the aspect manifested in the whole generation of young people born between 1988 and 1995. In the words of Alan Meece, an expert in Generational Astrology, these are “The committed ones (Generation Y-b, Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn, Pluto in Scorpio). This is a group with outstanding potential. It is a very precocious generation, but won’t burn itself out in youth. They are steady, persistent, determined, ambitious and passionate. They have great talent in the arts, politics and organization, and they may be the great leaders who lay down lasting foundations for a new age of civilization. On the other hand, some might consider them too cold, calculating, rigid, worldly or obsessed with their own goals.” I found the article that contains this paragraph here.

Well, after reading this, Jessica seems to embody really well the spirit of her generation!

The conjunction of Vesta and Pallas, two Goddess Asteroids, in the Sign of Pisces seems also a fitting symbol for Jessica’s passion for the sea and her commitment (Vesta) to remain loyal to it throughout her life. Like the conjunction Moon-Venus-Ceres this conjunction too points to the possibility of Jessica becoming an environmental warrior or activist.

To conclude this astrological portrait of Jessica Watson, I like to point out the fact that the Sun in Taurus in her Birth Chart was conjunct in longitude to Algol, the binary star, alpha of Perseus. This Star was depicted by the ancient Greek sea travelers as the severed head of the monster-woman Medusa, in the hand of her slayer, the Solar Hero Perseus. Now this is a star that has very much interested me and about which I talked at length in some of my previous posts, mainly in reference to natural and man-made disasters (if interested, please type Algol in the search box to find all those articles). We cannot deny here that traditionally this star hasn’t received the best press, but has been considered rather dangerous, being held responsible for creating mayhem and generating violence. Fixed Stars’ interpretations from ancient sources paint many of them in very dark colours, identifying them as cause of much pain and suffering for human kind. We got to remember however that also other astrological factors were in the past considered wholly negative and irredeemable. Squares or Oppositions from Mars or Saturn, for instance, were certain harbingers of doom and gloom. In our modern times we have gained a more rounded knowledge of everything astrological, so that to us present-time seekers a square from Saturn or a conjunction with Algol may still be seen as difficult, but are also viewed as opportunities for great experiences and for growth of spiritual awareness.

All Stars are living lights, therefore symbols of spirit: the light we receive from them coming not only from the depth of space but the depth of time as well, a chain in the endless circle of life, past, present and future. How a Star can be evil?

Medusa (Algol) is for us modern people a symbol of the way female power was perceived in the patriarchal societies from which our own western culture stemmed. The Goddess of the Neolithic, having lost her power to the patriarchal male Gods brought by conquering tribes in search of new lands and resources, was in a few centuries transformed from a life-giving Mother into a Goddess of Death and Malice. Women’s power to generate and nurture life  was more and more vilified and made inferior to the loftier Gods who resided in the sky, far away from human concerns. It didn’t take very long to create the terrible gulf between Nature and Spirit that still divides our modern psyche. Medusa with all her terrible attributes needed to be killed by the male hero, but her legacy of power survived in historically more recent versions of the Goddess, like in Pallas Athena, daughter of Jupiter, who used to carry with her a shield over which she had placed the powerful head of Medusa, to help her in her war against injustice.

In modern times Medusa is again changing. Now we tend to view her as the embodiment of feminine power, not wicked, but creative and passionate. In my post on the Haiti Earthquake I wrote: “Algol-Medusa is a power Star and one that many can indeed wear as a badge of honour and charisma, and not a mark of doom or a sign of wickedness. It is described by modern astrologers Bernadette Brady and Diana Rosenberg as: feminine wisdom, creative power, consuming passion, intense sexuality; confrontation and then assimilation of the  dark side of life and human nature.”

In male-oriented societies certainly the power of the feminine will be considered evil and punished whenever it tries to raise its head. And even in more liberated places, like the Western world, we still view women in a certain way, a different way that we view men, if unconsciously. And this is indeed true for both men and women. Proof of it, I feel, is even in the applause and big deal we are making in Australia about this girl’s achievements. Would we go so much over the top if a sixteen years old boy had obtained the same goal? Probably no. The fact that it was a girl, sailing on a boat called Pink Lady, seems particularly special, because obviously girls are not supposed to do these things, to be fearless and not afraid to be alone in the dark. She is considered a rare exception

It is like the hidden racism in people who are not racist at all in priciple, but find an exceptional event the fact that a black man has been elevated to the United States’ presidency. Would we really be surprised if black men and women had had the same rights as white men and women from the beginning? No, we would not, because we wouldn’t see the difference.

With this powerful star on her Sun Jessica can embody for the world the power of the feminine, women’s courage, independence and resourcefulness.

Below is Jessica’s Natal Chart calculated for Sunrise on her date of birth, in Buderim, the Ginger growing capital of Australia.


I still don’t have Jessica’s time of birth that will provide me with the Signs occupying the Horizon and Meridian axis (her Ascendant-Descendant and Midheaven-Lower-Heaven).

Added at a later date: if interested in Jessica’s story, please check HERE for my post on the Transits and Progressions active for her at the time she received the Young Australian of The Year Award.