Friday, 12 November 2010


I happened to be watching Gordon Ramsay's Best Restaurant (or somesuch nonsense) last night - well, it was on - and just happened to catch the end of Nigella Lawson's programme this evening, which set me wondering what are the astrological significators for this breed of TV superchef? The commercial kitchen is uncompromisingly competitive, heirarchical, pressurised and - dare I say - male (I have a sneaking suspicion this may be down to the fact that cooking has long been seen as "women's work" and there's some kind of compensation deal going on), which obviously makes me think of Mars (knives, aggression, competition). But what are the other elements of this shrine to the worship of food? An emphasis on fire for the heat of the kitchen? Venus, earth signs - particularly Taurus - for the sensual appreciation of fine cooking?

I thought I'd look at the charts of these two chefs to see if there were any themes coming up (I'm sorry, these are both flat charts - I'm afraid I don't have accurate birth times for either, and apologies for all the asteroids on Gordon's - ouch - definitely something going on with his feminine side here.


I have actually met Gordon Ramsay. I had breakfast with him once (no, it's not what you think) and I have to say, with his craggy face, his just-got-out-of-bed hair and those eyes that seem to say "I'd shag you if I had the time..." (he didn't actually say that to me, by the way - I just have rather an overactive imagination) I'm not at all surprised to see that Sun/Venus conjunction in Scorpio. It's connected by sextile to a potent Moon/Pluto conjunction (hang on - does some of that sound a bit familiar?), beseiged by Uranus and Mars. This scary stuff is all in normally peace-loving, careful Virgo, however the intensity here is immense - this heavy stellium is directly opposite Saturn; the words "control freak" for some reason spring to mind, and I'm guessing Gordon isn't an altogether easy person to live with or be around unless you're doing exactly what he wants you to do. Scorpio and Virgo can work very well together - the precision and perfectionism of Virgo channelled through the focus and intensity of Scorpio can be a very productive combination, and earth signs have an affinity with food, the earth and natural produce. Characters with a lot of outer-planet emphasis, though, can be a bit scary, and there's a huge amount of volatile intensity here.

His feminine planets, the Moon and Venus are both in trouble - Venus is detrimented in dark, spooky Scopio - masculine Mars's natural ruler by night - not really a place where nice girls go, while his Moon is surrounded by heavy outer planets as well as Mars, who has a natural antipathy to the Moon anyway, and opposed by Saturn. There's no way this bloke's every going to be seen doing anything girly - he's actually admitted the fact that despite having four children he's never changed a nappy. The fact that he managed to (a) have a nine-year affair and (b) keep it secret for so long doesn't altogether surprise me with that Sun/Venus conjunction in secretive Scorpio. There's an early Bob Dylan song with the words "I gave you my heart but you wanted my soul", which I think perfectly describes the energy of Venus in Scorpio - it's a bit vampirish. Fused with the Sun, doubly so. When the affair came to light in 2008, Uranus was transiting over his Saturn opposite his scary Virgo Moon stuff, breaking open wide the tight control-ly-stuff, at least for a while. But if anyone can handle a difficult outer-planet transit, it's an outer-planet person, and Ramsay's Moon is no stranger to ways of the big stuff. Call it Scorpio-survival instinct or whatever, true to form Gordon is back in control and on our TV screens, large as life and twice as focussed.

I reckon Gordon is predominantly a businessman - anything he puts his mind to, he focusses on totally and doesn't settle for anything less than absolute perfection. Let's face it, with all that TV work, books, merchandising, etc, how much time can he actually spend cooking these days? And the swearing? I put it down to Mercury in Sag trine his larger-than-life Leo Jupiter (it's just over a degree of orb). Fanned by the flames of Hell's Kitchen, it looks like Ramsay will be sounding off on our TV screens for some time to come.


I'm afraid I'm not altogether a fan of Nigella. It's all the simpering, the uneccessary expanse of soft, creamy decolletage and the way she licks the spoon languidly after beating the chocolate mousse ("robustly, but perhaps not too excitably," she suggests with a bit of a come-hither wink at the cameraman - just get on with it please, woman!) popping a plump strawberry between her pouting lips for good measure. That, and the drooling slack-jawed bloke on the sofa, completely ignoring me while I'm trying to do something creative with a marrow, still a bit muddy from the allotment, and some Halloumi cheese.

Nigella is the opposite end of the spectrum to Gordon - she certainly has no problem showing her feminine side - although it's not really a feminine side I feel totally comfortabe with. She hasn't got any of Gordon's drive or precision edge - she's actually a bit sloppy and haphazard with her measurements, always licking spoons and letting things dribble over the side a bit haphazardly. There's no intense focus here, just a wonderful fiery grand trine mirroring her huge enthusiasm and hinting at the possibility that there probably weren't too many obstacles in the way of her meteoric rise to culinary stardom - the Lawson family connections and the marriage to multi-millionaire Charles Saatchi can't have hampered her too much in her career (although I know she has had huge personal tragedy in her life with the death of her mother, a sister and a tragically young husband, so let's not be too hard on the girl).

She has the Sun not a million miles from Saturn in earthy Capricorn - this woman is a grafter. The irritating girliness I put down to that Venus in Sag, and the fact that it squares Pluto puts me in mind of a TV spoof of Nigella meets How Clean Is Your House where she langorously wields a loo brush (anyone see that?) - I feel her lascivious TV persona has more of the sexually-charged Pluto element than is strictly necessary before the watershed (although that's probably my Virgo Moon speaking...)

But what about the Mars stuff? With Mars in Sag conjunct a dignified Jupiter and trine Uranus in Leo, there's certainly enthusiasm in spades here, but without the focus and intensity or very much earthy affinity with food shown, I'm not sure that Nigella would quite cut it in Gordon's kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. Tremendous stuff! Really enjoyed this. Though I don't pretend to know what even half of it means - trines, conjunctions, opposites and so on. I did read about it once, even have the book still but never in a month of Sundays could I work out something like this. Why don't we see more of this in the press? A whole series of famous people in all walks of life. Still I'd prefer to share a kitchen with Nigella than Ramsay, who never seems to be a comfortable soul. I have the impression that his food is dragooned on to the plate, the kitchen as clinical as a path lab; whereas Nigella encourages her flavours with a soft and gentle coaxing on plush sofas under subdued lighting. I'm probably not expressing this very well - but that's Saturn for you, the planet of limitation and gloom, fettered with its rings.

    Good to hear from you again.