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‘I fell in love with a psychopath con man who stole my £850,000 life savings’

It was coming up to closing time in the clothes shop where I worked, when in walked a handsome stranger. That jacket in the window,” he inquired, brown eyes twinkling. “Do you have it in my size?” Impeccably groomed, wearing a crisp white shirt with no tie, a suit and designer glasses, he exuded confidence. I loved meeting new people. After being made redundant from my pharmaceuticals job, I sold up and moved from Buckinghamshire to the Cotswolds town of Tetbury.

My two daughters, Lara and Emma, had flown the nest and, at 54, I was loving my independence following my divorce nine years earlier. As we chatted, Mark Conway – as he introduced himself – held my gaze and smiled. The atmosphere felt electric. So when my friend Uma popped in to tell me about a house she thought I should buy, I wished she’d leave so I could talk more to this charismatic Mark, who said he was 46 and divorced. Now I wish now I had closed the shop early and never met him.

Instead, after Uma had gone, I told Mark I’d sold my own place and was renting a cottage while looking to buy. Later, I realised this signalled how much cash I had at my fingertips.

a person standing in front of a building: Carolyn Woods

He asked for my mobile number and the next evening we sipped champagne at a local hotel. After Eton and Oxford, Mark said he was now a tax exile working for a Swiss bank. When he said he’d flown back from Geneva that evening just to see me I was flattered.

His lifestyle sounded so luxurious. He liked only “the best” and happily paid for it. The first time we made love, two days after we met, Mark pulled himself away from me. “I’m falling in love with you,” he murmured. “This is insane.” Soon, we were calling each other by the pet name “Bubba”. “You are so beautiful,” he’d text. One evening, four days after we met, he pulled up outside a lovely empty house with electric gates.

He told me he was thinking of renting it for us. My jaw dropped. “We’re going to live together. It’s what we both want,” he said. But Mark was always flying off somewhere. He revealed that his banking job was actually a cover for his work with MI6.

This made sense. He’d “let slip” how he flew his own plane and spoke seven languages. He explained that secret agents weren’t supposed to have relationships and it would take him 18 months to get out of his MI6 contract. Would I wait for him? Hook, line and sinker, I’d fallen for him, and said I would.

Robert Jarni wearing a suit and tie: Mark Acklom had been a fraudster since he was a teenager

Lies and spies

Mark went to great lengths to seem like a spy. He asked his driver to pull into a side street next to the MI6 building in Vauxhall, London. “Wait for me here,” he instructed, disappearing inside. He “bought” me a Volvo XC60 SUV – later I would discover it was leased – and gave me a new iPhone and laptop. Then Mark announced he wanted to buy a Grade I-listed house set in stunning grounds on the outskirts of Bath.

I was thrilled, although he wouldn’t let me visit until the renovations were complete. “I want it to be a surprise for you, Bubba,” he grinned. But less than a month after I’d met him I overheard him discussing a cash-flow problem regarding the contractors. Since I had money sitting in my bank account, I offered him the £26,000 he mentioned. It was the first of 70 transfers over the next few months. I wasn’t thinking straight. That’s what falling in love does to you.

His lies became more elaborate. He told me he knew Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton, and once interrupted our lovemaking to take a call he said was from the King of Spain. He’d pick me up for dates in a helicopter and everything was ridiculously expensive. At Harrods food hall he picked up a whole ham costing £1,500. Yet whenever we went to pay, he just looked straight at me and I produced my bankcard.

Mark promised me a fairy-tale wedding and to repay me once the cash-flow problem had been sorted. I never doubted him. Another time, in August 2012, Mark phoned. “Fancy going flying, Bubba?” He took me to see “his” collection of classic aircraft in Gloucestershire. It looked so romantic, but I was surprised to learn that I would be flown by Mark’s business associate, James Miller, even though Mark claimed to be an experienced pilot himself.

How could I doubt that he would one day pay back my money when impromptu treats like this were possible?

Desperate and depressed

One night, just as I was watching Homeland – a TV show I had become addicted to since Mark’s confession that he worked for MI6 – he suddenly appeared dressed in full desert combat gear. “Darling, I had to see you,” he said. “I’ve left a group of men I’m training in Syria.” Because I couldn’t talk to anyone about his work, I just became increasingly isolated.

Spending all my time alone, waiting to hear from him, I lost my confidence and slid into depression. Then that autumn, Mark told me he had a brain tumour and needed an urgent operation abroad. I was worried sick. Why was everything going so wrong? All the bills were in my name, but I couldn’t hassle Mark to give me any money when he was so sick. I ended up moving out of the house and relying on friends to put me up.

I didn’t want to live. I spent hours on the internet researching how I could commit suicide. But part of me clung to the hope that I was overreacting, and that my new life with Mark would be wonderful. By April 2013 there was still no money. Mark blamed his lawyers. He rang me every day, telling me he hoped we’d be together soon.

I tried to end the relationship, but he guilted and gaslighted me into staying with him. By June I’d had enough. In desperation, I rang James Miller – the plane pilot. I barely knew him but hoped for some reassurance. Instead, he dropped a bombshell. James said his business had been destroyed by Mark, a serial fraudster whose real surname was Acklom.

He’d made headlines in 1991 when, aged 16, he’d stolen his father’s credit card, flown to Paris by private jet and treated his friends to champagne. I remembered reading about it. He’d then embarked on a criminal career and had been jailed for fraud in the UK and Spain.

Also, he was married with two young children, one of whom he’d introduced to me as his “niece”. Plus, he wasn’t 46, only 38. Lie after lie – I felt sick I’d slept with him. And ashamed and horribly embarrassed I’d fallen for his charm and James Bond story.

That night, I went to my daughter Lara’s flat in London, where my younger daughter Emma joined us. I told them everything, trying to absorb it all. Lying on Lara’s sofa, I just wanted to die. “That f*****g b*****d!” Next morning, Mark rang. “Baby, I love you so much,” he said. “Just give me my money,” I replied. The line went dead and I never heard from Mark Acklom ever again.

I went to the police as soon as I could, but it took six years to bring Mark to justice in a British courtroom. With his name on the list of the UK’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, he was finally arrested in Switzerland and extradited back to the UK in February 2019. That August he appeared in court, pleading guilty to five charges of fraud. He was sentenced to five years and eight months.

I’ve since realised he is a psychopath – without remorse, guilt or empathy. I lost every penny of my £850,000. The one good thing was meeting James – we got together at the end of 2013  and now rent a home in Scotland. Our match was made in hell, but we have each other. Mark ruined both our lives, but we laugh about the audacious lies. What else can you do?

I always dreamed of writing a book. This is one story I could never have made up. Sleeping With A Psychopath by Carolyn Woods (HarperCollins £8.99) is out now

Reference: Mirror: Carolyn Woods (talking to Susanna Galton)  11 hrs ago

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Willow Smith has revealed she is polyamorous – so what is polyamory?

Willow Smith has announced that she is polyamorous.

Speaking on Red Table Talk, a chat show hosted by her mother and grandmother, the 20-year-old musician said she would be open to having more than one partner, and said the approach helps people respect each other’s needs in relationships.

She said: “With polyamory I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just (to be) stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do. So I was like, how can I structure the way that I approach relationships with that in mind?

She continued: “Let’s say you haven’t always been the person wanting sex all the time, but your partner is,” she added. “Are you going to be the person to say, ‘Just because I don’t have these needs, you can’t have them either?’”

But what actually is polyamory? And what does it involve? We’ve broken it down into four key points…

But what is polyamory?

Polyamory is the concept of having more than one sexual or romantic relationship at the same time – with the informed consent of all partners involved.

The term comes from the Greek word “poly” – meaning many, and the Latin “amor” – love.

What does it involve?

The term acts as an umbrella for any non-monogamous relationship.

It can involve someone having multiple partners who are not connected; being in a group of people who date (like a throuple); or having an open hierarchical relationship in which there is a primary couple who are closest to each other, but are allowed to form emotional or sexual bonds with other people.

That the label is not just about sex is key. Dedeker Winston, author of The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory, told Glamour: “There are a lot of people in the polyamorous community who identify as (asexual), while Willow Smith said she has less sex than her friends.

Does it have its own symbol and day of recognition?

A polyamory pride flag was designed by Jim Evans in 1995. It has three horizontal stripes – blue, red and black – and a pi symbol in the centre.

The pi sign was chosen because it has infinite decimal places, a play on polyamorous people having “infinite” partners, while the colours chosen have various meanings including love and passion and openness among all partners.

The pi sign was chosen because it has infinite decimal places, a play on polyamorous people having “infinite” partners, while the colours chosen have various meanings including love and passion and openness among all partners.

In Canada, November 23 is National Polyamory Day, marking a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the legality of polyamorous relationships.

Meanwhile, in the UK PolyDay is a one-day convention that has been held since 2006 to celebrate polyamory.

Which other celebrities are polyamorous?

Willow Smith is not the only celebrity to open up about this sexual identity. Big Little Lies actress Shailene Woodley said she has been in an open relationship, as has Megan Fox and YouTubers Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau.

There have been rumours that Willow Smith’s parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are also in an open relationship, with the latter once posting on social media: “Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one.”

And this is not something limited to celebrity bubbles.

Nearly a third of American millennials surveyed in a 2020 YouGov poll said that their ideal relationship was non-monogamous to some degree.

 Reference: Indy 100: Kate Plummer 1 day ago

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‘Sex in later life is the last relationship taboo – and it’s time we talked about it ‘

Cast your mind back to the last time you watched – with whatever level of arousal or discomfort – a sex scene that depicted individuals anything other than young, firm and athletic.

You’re likely to be pondering for quite some time. The truth is that there are few representations of this kind.

Yet, as sex therapist Gail Thorne from relationship charity Relate says, “We’re getting better at inclusivity; at showing all kinds of different people and situations – but there are still many older people who really want to feel represented as having, and being accepted as having, intimate and loving relationships.” They want, she says, to see themselves as the poster kids for more than just life insurance and funeral homes.

“You look at advertising for clothes, for example,” says Thorne, “and you now see plus-size models and older models – but if you were to look for representations of intimacy in older people, you’d be hard-pressed to find it. And that’s part of why this campaign is so amazing.”

One of the Rankin images featured in the new Relate later life sex campaign - Rankin / Relate

The campaign to which she is referring was shot by British photographer Rankin, who has collaborated with Relate to shoot a series of black and white photos, depicting a range of couples and a single woman, all engaged in various moments of sexuality, vulnerability and intimacy.

The images in the campaign, titled ‘Let’s Talk the Joy of Later Life Sex,’ were created with input from the couples to ensure that nothing was too staged or unnatural. The impetus, says advertising and marketing agency Ogilvy, was a recognition of the fact that advertising most often fails to represent older generational intimacy, and to allow every photoshoot participant to feel “sincerely empowered.”

“We all need intimacy now more than ever,” says Rankin, who took the assignment on pro-bono. “Age… is just a number. The greatness of love and affection doesn’t need to change as we find our later years.”

According to research undertaken by 3Gem market research, there is a huge gap between how older people say they are represented in the media and how younger people perceive themselves to be: an astounding 67 per cent of over 65s say that sex and intimacy for their age group is rarely or never represented in media, compared with 20 per cent of 18-24 year olds.

Why is this the case, though? If we are to look at Maslow’s oft-touted Hierarchy of Needs, sex is a physiological need; up there with food and water – something that we cannot live without, even if we can muddle along without things further up the pyramid, such as achievement and creativity.

If we’re not uncomfortable with the idea of older people eating and drinking, then why should we feel awkward about the idea of them having sex? Equally, why should the individuals in that age group feel uncomfortable about the realities of their own sexuality? The study showed that most of the 60 per cent of over-65s who admitted to feeling uncomfortable about speaking with others about sex and intimacy cited ‘embarrassment’ as the primary reason.

Rankin Relate later life sex campaign - Rankin / Relate

Honesty and communication are, according to Thorne, key in any relationship. “Sex therapy is about encouraging people to feel confident and secure in saying what they want – what works for them; what doesn’t work for them; what feels good and what doesn’t,” she says.

By extension, it makes sense that talking about sex and intimacy – outside of the act itself – will further bolster confidence and trust: not only where people in that older age group are concerned, but also those for whom the prospect of getting older might be plagued with premature inklings of loss – loss of attractiveness, of desire and additionally, she says, of ability.

“Things change,” she says. “Women have babies, men become fathers, there are illnesses, there are bad backs … so many things happen to our bodies. Over our lifetimes, things change all of the time – and it’s important to be able to give voice to these changes and what they mean in terms of our sexual intimacy as time goes on.”

a close up of a man lying on a bed: Ranking sex later life Relate campaign - Rankin / Relate

She is at pains, too, to point out that this intimacy – at any age – is what works for you: it’s not, and does not need to be, the sweaty rampancy depicted in literature and films.

“In reality, ‘sex and intimacy in later life’ means different things to different people,” she says. ”For some, it’s about exploring new and different sexual experiences, and for others, it’s simply about feeling able to express emotion through a gentle touch or kiss on the cheek.”

“I’m excited to see what kind of society-wide conversation this opens up,” she adds. “It’s  our hope that it will raise awareness of the fact that intimacy is something that can be accessed by everyone, regardless of age, and that, if you’re struggling, then Relate’s sex therapy service is there to help.”

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Pink Supermoon lights up dawn skies

Skygazers were treated to a glimpse of a “pink supermoon” as the celestial event lit up the dawn skies across the globe.

But those who missed the rare event will still be able to see the Earth’s natural satellite on Tuesday evening as it appears bigger and brighter than usual.

The full moon in April is also known as the “pink moon” as it is named after pink flowers, known as phlox, which bloom in the springtime.

It is also a supermoon because the full moon will occur when it is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

a large stone building: The full moon sets behind Stonehenge - Getty Images

The phenomenon was visible at dawn on April 27 and will also be seen just before sunset, as the moon rises in the east and will be visible until it sets in the west the next morning.

Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich said: “The average distance of the moon from the Earth is 384,400km, but the moon will reach its closest point this lunar month on April 27 at 16:24, when it will be 357,379 km away.

“The exact moment of the full moon closest to this point, so the supermoon, is also on April 27, but at 04:31.

“This means that the best times to view this supermoon will be anytime during the night of April 27 when the moon will rise in the east just before sunset and set in the west around sunrise.”

During this time, the Earth’s natural satellite will still appear around 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.

Ms Ross said: “A supermoon is the result of a full moon occurring when the moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

“This can happen because the moon orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, rather than a circular one.

“As this means that the moon is a little closer to us, it appears slightly bigger in the sky.”

The next supermoon will be visible in May 2021.

Reference; The Telegraph reporters  4 hrs ago

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Rahu enters Cancer and Ketu

Rahu enters Cancer on 9th September, 2017, where it remains up to 23rd March, 2019. During this time Ketu will remain in Capricorn. During the course of the stay of these planets in the signs Cancer and Capricorn the axis will be stationary and will create serious malefic influences at: 

-0 degree starting from 8th June, 2017, to 7th October, 2017; 
-20 degree from 13th January, 2018, to 3rd April, 2018; 
-11 degree from 27th June, 2018, to 26th September, 2018;
-2 degrees from 10th December, 2018, to 10th March, 2019.

Those natives, who have most effective points of the ascendant around the stationary degrees or have any natal planet(s) at these degrees in even signs, will have to be not only very careful but also perform the astral remedies regularly for sailing through this time without much problems. 

Impact of Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Aquarius 

I
n these placements the strength of the Moon and Mercury become important. If these planets are fairly strong in the birth chart, the problems may be less or manageable. If these planets are weak, the problems may be persisting and cause unmanageable stress. The impact is dependent upon the natal and transit strength of the planets. The strong natal afflictions cause prolonged setbacks while the transit afflictions to strong natal planets cause short lived stress. The strong transit afflictions to weak natal planets cause prolonged setbacks and chronic health concerns. 

For the various ascending signs the impact of Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Aquarius are explained hereunder: 

Aries Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s health, relationships, status, job, expenses, mental and domestic peace. The marital prospect of those seeking a marital alliance becomes weak. The efforts of those seeking to acquire immovable properties get a setback. Those seeking employment or a change in professional ventures do not get an early and good break. There are obstructions and one’s job may cause concerns. The stress becomes severe when Sun or Venus is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses. 

Taurus Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of new business ventures, progeny, emotional happiness, marital affairs and income. The success of future plans may get delayed. Children may not be able to make good grades. Those desirous of having male progeny may need to wait for success. Speculative investments may cause unexpected losses. This person may suffer from respiratory or digestive disorders. The stress becomes severe when the Sun or Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Gemini Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s status, family, health, disputes, relationships, professional issues, expenses, mental and domestic peace. Those seeking marital peace may find the time quite challenging. The efforts of those seeking to acquire immovable properties get a setback. Those seeking employment or a change in their jobs do not get an early and good break. The stress becomes severe when Sun, Venus or Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Cancer Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s health, new business ventures, progeny, emotional happiness, marital affairs and income. The success of future plans may get delayed. Investments may cause unexpected losses. This person may suffer from nervous disorders, renal problems or breathing disorders. The stress becomes severe when Sun, Venus or Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Leo Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn are both placed in malefic houses. They may cause serious stress in matters of one’s status, stay in foreign lands or distant places, relationships, professional issues, expenditures, mental and domestic peace. The marital prospect for those seeking a marital alliance gets delayed. The efforts of those seeking to acquire immovable properties get a setback. Those seeking employment or a change in professional ventures do not get an early and good break. The stress becomes severe when Sun, Venus or Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Virgo Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s health, income, emotional happiness, marital affairs and job. The person may have apprehensions regarding the evil eye and black magic activities. Success of future plans may get a setback. Speculative investments may cause unexpected losses. This person may suffer from breathing or nervous disorders. The stress becomes severe when Venus or Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Libra Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s relationships, status, professional issues, expenditures, health, mental and domestic peace. The efforts of those seeking to acquire immovable properties get a setback. Those seeking employment or change in professional ventures do not get an early and good break. The stress becomes severe when Sun or Venus is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Scorpio Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s business ventures, progeny, emotional happiness, marital affairs and income. Success of future plans may get delayed. Children may not be able to make good grades. Speculative investments may cause unexpected setbacks. This person may suffer from respiratory or nervous disorders. The stress becomes severe when Sun or Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses. 

Sagittarius Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer is badly placed in the eighth house ruling obstructions. Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause serious stress in matters of one’s status, professional issues, parental health, mental and domestic peace. The marital prospect of those seeking a marital alliance gets delayed. The efforts in general of those seeking to acquire immovable properties get a setback. Those seeking employment or a change in professional ventures do not get an early and good break. The stress becomes severe when Sun, Mercury or Venus is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Capricorn Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s health, business ventures, emotional happiness, marital affairs and foreign residence. Success of future plans may get delayed. Children may not be able to make good grades. Speculative investments may cause unexpected setbacks. This person may suffer from digestion or renal disorders. The stress becomes severe when Venus or Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Aquarius Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn are both badly placed in sixth and twelfth houses respectively. They may cause serious stress in matters of foreign residence, disputes, relationships, status, professional issues, expenditures, litigations, mental and domestic peace. Those seeking employment or a change in professional ventures do not get an early and good break. Persisting obstructions make life quite challenging. This person may suffer from intestinal disorders or piles. The stress becomes severe when Sun or Venus is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

Pisces Ascendant

Rahu in Cancer and Ketu in Capricorn may cause stress in matters of one’s progeny, emotional happiness, marital affairs and income. Success of future plans may get delayed. Children may not be able to make good grades. Those desirous for marriage or male progeny may have to wait for success. Speculative investments may cause unexpected losses. This person may suffer from respiratory or digestion disorders. The stress becomes severe when Mercury is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth houses.

ASTRAL REMEDIES IN GENERAL FOR ALL ASCENDANTS.

1. Service to parents 
2. Helping old aged and needy persons
3. Strengthening the Moon and Mercury, if weak and functional benefic, in the natal chart through a Special Power Kavach or wearing the favorable gemstones in an auspiciously elected time.

4. Regular propitiatory remedies for the functional malefic planets as per one’s ascendant.

Reference: Vedic Astrology

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Compatibility Guide-3

Libra

Most Compatible Signs: Aquarius and Gemini

Next Best: Scorpio, Sagittarius, Leo and Virgo

Doubtful: Aries-aggressive, brusque. Capricorn-pedestrian, dull. Cancer-smothering

Neutral: Pisces and Taurus

Scorpio

Most Compatible Signs: Pisces and Cancer

Next Best: Sagittarius, Capricorn, Virgo and Libra

Doubtful: Aquarius-irritatingly detached, impersonal. Taurus-clash of wills. Leo-showy, arrogant.

Neutral: Aries and Gemini

Sagittarius

Most Compatible Signs: Aries and Leo

Next Best: Capricorn, Aquarius, Libra, and Scorpio

Doubtful: Pisces-too introverted. Gemini-superficial, flighty. Virgo-narrow minded and fussy.

Neutral: Taurus and Cancer

Capricorn

Most Compatible Signs: Taurus and Virgo

Next best: Aquarius, Pisces, Scorpio and Sagittarius

Doubtful: Aries-impulsive, erratic. Cancer-depressing. Libra-insincere, affected

Neutral: Gemini and Leo

Aquarius

Most Compatible Signs: Gemini and Libra

Next Best: Sagittarius, Capricorn, Pisces and Aries.

Doubtful: Taurus-too staid. Leo-too demanding. Scorpio-too possessive.

Neutral: Cancer and Virgo

Pisces

Most Compatible Signs: Cancer and Scorpio

Next Best: Capricorn, Aquarius, Aries and Taurus

Doubtful: Gemini-disturbingly restless. Virgo-dull. Sagittarius-too off hand

Neutral: Leo and Libra

If any of your relationships do not conform to this guide, it means other powerful influences are at work in the person’s horoscope. These can be ascertained in detail from AstroAnalysis for that sign.

Reference: Astroanalysis – The America AstroAnalysis Institute

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Compatibility Guide – 2

Aries

Most Compatible Signs: Leo and Sagittarius

Next best: Taurus, Gemini, Pisces and Aquarius

Doubtful: Cancer-too moody and easily hurt. Libra-too indecisive and cautious-Capricorn-unimaginative and too conservative.

Neutral: Virgo and Scorpio

Taurus

Most Compatible Signs: Virgo and Capricorn

Next Best: Gemini, Cancer, Pisces, and Aries

Doubtful: Aquarius-too fond of change. Leo-too dominating, conceited. Scorpio-too scheming, subtle.

Neutral: Libra and Sagittarius

Gemini

Most Compatible Signs: Libra and Aquarius

Next Best: Cancer, Leo, Aries and Taurus

Doubtful: Virgo-fusspot, too exacting-Sagittarius-too restless. Pisces-too doomy, introspective.

Neutral: Scorpio and Capricorn

Cancer

Most Compatible Signs: Scorpio and Pisces

Next Best: Leo, Virgo, Taurus and gemini

Doubtful: Aries-blunt, bruising. Libra-frivolous. Capricorn-too earthy

Neutral: Sagittarius and Aquarius

Leo

Most Compatible Signs: Sagittarius and Aries

Next best: Virgo, Libra, Gemini and Cancer

Doubtful: Scorpio-too calculating. Aquarius-airy-fairy, unresponsive. Taurus-obstinate, sluggish.

Neutral: Pisces and Capricorn

Virgo

Most Compatible signs: Capricorn and Taurus

Next best: Libra,Scorpio, Leo and Cancer

Doubtful: Sagittarius-irresponsible. Pisces-unreachable, moody. Gemini-unreliable, unsettling.

Neutral: Aquarius and Aries

Reference: AstroAnalysis -The American AstroAnalysts Institute

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Compatibility Guide

AriesRamMarch 21 – April 20
TaurusBullApril 21 – May 20
GeminiTwinsMay 21 June 20
CancerCrabJune 21 July 20
LeoLionJuly 21 – August 21
VirgoVirginAugust 22 – September 22
LibraScalesSeptember 23 – October 22
ScorpioScorpionOctober 23 – November 22
SagittariusArcherNovember 23 – December 20
CapricornGoatDecember 21 – January 19
AquariusWater BearerJanuary 20 – February 18
PiscesFishesFebruary 19 – March 20

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Taurus: The Bull-April 21-May 21-2

– that they are materialists in the very sense of the word. Those born under the sign of Taurus are very talented at acquiring and consolidating wealth and power, which they seek mainly for the purpose of ensuring their own safety and survival and that of their offspring.

They are not only earthly, but down-to-earth-practical, nurturing, home loving, conventional, conservative, moralistic. They tend to have great stamina and endurance, both mentally and physically. They also have a knack for focusing their energies toward a specific goal and moving relentlessly, if slowly, toward it.

More often than not, Taureans get what they go after. There is a negative side to Taureans’ materialism. They may be possessive, controlling, and overconcerned with money, security, creature comforts, and convenience; they may even be prone to ostentation and avarice. In matters of the heart, they sometimes treat their partners as personal property, and they are capable of fierce jealousy and even violent anger.

depending on certain aspects of Taureans’ astrological charts, they may be melancholy by nature, world-weary, brooding, and pessimistic, or may be hedonistic and inclined to exaggerated extroversion and a lack of self-control.

These unattractive traits are apt to come to the fore, however, only when Taureans’ misconstrue their true roles as custodians and nurturers, stewardship must never be confused with ownership. If Taureans keep their balance and maintain their harmonious oneness with nature, they will flourish. If they stray from the path, they risk being consumed by greed.

Astrology holds that plodding Taureans lack agility and liveliness of mind. They are said to be bull-headed and fixed in their ways: stubborn, tunnel-visioned, inflexible, impervious to the opinions of others. But their slow and burdened mental gait should never be mistaken for stupidity. Unlike Arians, Taureans think things through. Their ideas are carefully conceived, planted, tended, and harvested like crops.

Thus the sign of the Bull has produced some of the world’s most profound thinkers, among them Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Immanuel kant, Soren Kierkegaard, and Sigmund Freud. Even Taureans not gifted with single-minded genius often make reliable and conscientious workers because of their methodical and tenacious ways.

Where others may swerve from a task or leave it undone, Taureans will preserve. Anatomically, Taurus is associated with the throat and hence the voice. many Taureans are noted for their musical talents, others for their distinctive vocal qualities.

Some astrologers believe parents are well-advised to give Taurean children early musical training, since many of these youngsters have innate musical abilities. The great jazz musicians Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald were born under the sign of the Bull, as were actors Lionel Barrymore, Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles.

Reference: Mysteries of the Unknown/Cosmic Consciousness

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Yin and Yang

Are Yin and the Yang Qualities too?

Yes. In Chinese astrology, yin and yang are qualities. But yin and yang are far more powerful than our qualities because yin and yang are the two major and only forces in the Chinese philosophical universe. For them, everything present in the universe is either yin or else yang. Everything. Tables. Chairs. Light bulbs, cousins, aunts, uncles and kitchen sinks!

in a way, yin and yang can be compared, in Western culture, to the application in certain languages of the qualities of “masculine” or “feminine. A shoe is also feminine. Parks are masculine. lakes too. Feet are masculine. So are eyes and foreheads. But mouths and even teeth are feminine. Worry is masculine. So are gossip and lipstick and panty hose.

Though we may want to look for sexual significance in the application of gender to nouns, there is none. That’s what makes it difficult to remember from one language to the next whether a noun is considered masculine or feminine. Is the application of gender to nouns then perfectly arbitrary? Well, it must have come from somewhere. But nobody knows exactly how, when and why.

There are no genders in the Chinese language. But, without saying how, when or why Chinese philosophers can feel whether a thing or a person or an idea is yin or yang. it’s just there. a known fact. Yin is rooted in the sun. Its goal is darkness. Yang is rooted in Earth. Its goal is light. like everything else, each Chinese animal sign is either yin or yang.

Rat-Yin: HorseYang: Ox-Yin: Goat-Yang: Tiger-Yang: Monkey-Yin: Cat-Yin: Rooster-Yang: Dragon-Yang: Dog-Yin: Snake-Yang: Pig-Yin

What Does It Mean? What is Yin? What I Yang? To be perfectly frank, I am not sure what yin is or what yang means. I have read a lot of books on the subject. Still, the concept is not easy for my logical little occidental head to grasp. Chinese philosophy is complicated even for the Chinese people! I’ll be brief.

What Is Yin? The Chinese say that yin people are mainly interested in what happens in groups. They are frequently preoccupied with the organization of collective or communal events. They are attracted to politics. They are self-confident. They trust nobody. They need success to survive. They worship efficiency. They are always questing after well-being for them-selves and for those they love and like. They have good health and long life but may be prone to accidents. They don’t smile a lot. They dress conservatively. They are not spiritual. They love their families. They are material.

The way I see it, yin is open, civilized, interested in the good of others. Yin likes parties, feasts, holidays, sex and anything else that provides it with intense company. Yin is not feminine. But it is sometimes said to be subjective. Yin is active in the world. other-directed. Public. It is different from an equal to yang.

What is Yang? The Chinese say that Yang people are loners. They are individualistic. They are meditative. They are spiritual. They smile a lot. They have no sense of groups or family. They have delicate health. They like to dress for show. They eschew chains of command. They love nature. They are nonmaterial. Their only goal in life is personal development. They are objective. They keep their own counsel. The way I see it, yang is closed, unsociable, private. Yang likes books, music, gardening, long walks or anything that brings him closer to himself and nature. Yang is solitary, Self-directed. Yang’s equilibrium comes from within.

Chinese astrology does not concern itself with celestial bodies. If Chinese astrologers look to nature for influence, they consult the climatic changes on earth, the seasons or the moon’s effects on the earth.

Reference: The New Astrology: Suzanne White