IoPPN… a Virgo with “daddy issues”

What I’ve done this week, in whimsical mode, is to run a full astrological analysis of the IoPPN. I have to thank Michael Lynskey for helping to generate this idea and a drink, John Strang for another drink, and Chiltern Railways for cancelling the 2246 to Birmingham Snow Hill which generously donated some extra time to run the analysis.

First, I’d like to vouch for my credentials here. I’m not going to make this up. Well, insofar as it’s astrology I’d like to reassure my colleagues that I won’t be using this as a guide to decisions in the next planning round. However, the 15 year old version of me was more than a little lacking in confidence, and rather than doing the obvious thing (talking) I thought that mining the mystical secrets of the universe could somehow magically requite my love. She’s history now – turns out she liked me all along too! Anyway, that’s another story… and one you won’t be hearing here.  My point is I have a modicum of skill in casting a birth chart and this blog is based on the same position-of-the-planets “science” you’d get from heavyweights like Russell Grant, Mystic Meg or the glorious Shelley von Strunckel. And if you’re still not convinced by these credentials, I’m a Capricorn. Capricorns work hard, tell the truth and we don’t do hidden agendas. You can trust a Capricorn.

Before we get going, we have to resolve possible bones of contention. Obviously the Institute has history! Don’t we all? We could date it’s birth back to 1894 and Sir Frederick Mott, or the opening of the Maudsley in 1923, or 1948 when it changed it’s name to the IoP. I suppose we could even go back to it’s origins in 1247 as the Priory of the New Order of St Mary of Bethlem. My view, and I’m sticking to it, is that we ought to see these as forebears rather than the same entity. Philosophers might argue whether a broom whose brush and handle have been replaced remains the same broom. Mutya Buena might cogitate over whether the Sugababes remained the Sugababes when their original line up was replaced. But at least IoPPN was a new name.


The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience past(?) and present…

New name, new start, new birth (after New Labour?)  Anyway, for a bone fide chart we need exact place, time and date of birth. As we move back through the years all those become increasingly difficult to establish. So I based the chart on the IoPPN’s arrival (not conception) on 1 September 2014 in Denmark Hill.  And I chose time of birth to be a minute past midnight although maybe no one was around to cut the proverbial umbilical cord.

What I have here is a personality birth chart analysis. If it’s predictions you’re after – whether 2017 is a good time to write a grant… yes it is, at least two full FEC ones please everybody!!! – check the daily sun sign predictions in the papers. And it’s good news here, because the IoPPN is a Virgo. Virgos are analytical, intelligent, reserved, critical, helpful, conscientious. They like projects, they like plans. They can appear a bit aloof at times, private and sometimes overly critical. But at their core they’re little diamonds, intelligent and funny. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, because Virgo is an earth sign they’re most compatible with Capricorn and Taurus!


Now, for a full birth chart analysis we need to see where other planets (and the moon) were, as well as interpreting the interactions between the planets.  Let’s start with the moon: the moon represents emotional responses, unconscious pre-destination and the self-image. The IoPPN’s moon is in watery Scorpio. Moon in Scorpio people radiate strength. They are courageous and independent and seek out emotional intensity. Sounds good? Well, there’s a flip side. There is also an excess of sensuality (and even an unhealthy eroticism). Hmmm…

Of the “major” planets, Mercury is in Virgo signifying logical reasoning and practicality. Mars is in Scorpio, strong passions that are never casual or superficial. Saturn is also in Scorpio, suggesting emotional repression. But there’s also a light seasoning of Leo in both Venus (a striking, regal appearance that attracts others – like we didn’t know it?) and in Jupiter (a bit of the showman, rather proud and a need for respect from others).

More minor planets are Uranus in Aries (personal freedom is important), Neptune in Pisces (interested in expanding consciousness) and Pluto in Capricorn (part of a generation of intense social change… I think we’ve had more than our fill in 2016 already). There’s no space to talk about the Institute’s rising sign (Gemini – likes to get around a bit) or the positions of planets in different Houses. However, a brief word on the interactions between planets. On a positive side, the moon in conjunction with Mars and Saturn suggests an ability to control strong emotions in a helpful way and a strong sense of social duty. Mars conjunction with Saturn similarly indicates strength and patience. Jupiter’s trine with Uranus (no giggling) is good for organisation and a thirst for knowledge.


There are negatives. The most pronounced is an opposition between the sun and Neptune. And there are no two ways about this – the opposition indicates father “issues” that can lead to falling in with the wrong crowd and self-destructive habits. Fortunately, the strong Virgo sense of duty elsewhere in the chart pulls us back from many of the dangers here. But there are also a couple of nasty-looking squares to Venus (moon and Mars) – rather suggestible and a hunger for affection, and fixation on carnal desires and voluptuousness, respectively. That moon in Scorpio is to blame – we’re just too sexy for our own good!

Overall, then: slightly more feminine signs (Virgo, Scorpio) than masculine (Leo) and a balance of fixed (Leo, Scorpio) and mutable (Virgo), but few cardinal signs. A rather earthy (Virgo) and watery (Scorpio) combination. Or muddy? I think that’s the conclusion a frustrated 16 year old version of myself came to about the whole astrology malarkey… But if you’re still in to this sort of thing, put it all together, and the IoPPN’s a bit of all right!