TERRY PRATCHETT’s garden is as full of meandering paths, sudden dead ends and hidden gems as one of his Discworld novels. Copper-hued fish navigate their way through a weed-choked pond, a tray of Venus flytraps sits in a greenhouse that overflows with chillies the length of a child’s arm, and beady-eyed tortoises quietly crouch in a herbarium.

Pratchett himself is slight, dressed all in black. His famously luxuriant beard has been trimmed. His study looks like a medieval chapel, complete with cartoon-like cobwebs and wizardly paraphernalia: there’s a giant bronze lectern, Saturn hangs above a desk, a candle drips into a skull and a cat skulks amongst his papers.

Now 61, Pratchett was knighted this year and has been awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to literature. He is best known for the 37 books set in his fantasy kingdom of Discworld. A flat planet, balanced atop four elephants which are in turn perched upon a giant turtle flying through space, Discworld is like Lord of the Rings 500 years on – humans, werewolves, vampires and goblins live side by side semi-peacefully.”

So begins Sanjida O’ Connell  her recent article on Terry Pratchett in ”’New Scientist”.

Surely, Terry Pratchett, the British Fantasy fiction author, needs no further introduction. After all, he has sold over 65 million books in 35 languages. In the ’90s he was the top selling UK author, and his ” Discworld” series alone- the series that made him famous – consists of 36 + books, but has written many other books, a number of which have become TV films , e.g. ”The Colour of Magic”,and ”The Hogfather”. He has become a Knight of the Order of the British Empire in 2009, for his services to Literature.

His wit is unbeatable, mixed with a good dose of science fantasy, history and lore. And who else, but Terry Pratchett, could have written, or said, things such as the quotes below?


” The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it ”


” Geography is just Physics slowed down, with a couple of trees stuck in it”


”In ancient times, cats  were worshipped as Gods. They have not forgotten this.”


”Education was like a communicable venereal disease – It made you unsuitable for many jobs, and you had the urge to pass it on”

– Let ‘s now look at  Pratchett’s astrological chart –  the time of birth is not known – and see what it can tell us about the attributes of his personality as it has emerged from his books, his interviews , and other events of his life.

Terry Pratchett was born on April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, UK. The chart below is his natal Solar chart in the inner circle, with his secondary progressed chart for 2007, when he was unfortunately diagnosed with having posterior cortical atrophy(PCA), arare form of Alzheimer’s disease, that affects first vision and motor nerve activity.

Terry Pratchett-Natal and Sec.Prog.2007

In his natal chart, we see the close conjunction of the Sun with Mercury in Taurus, thus the Mercurial qualities in his work and personality. He published his first story at 13 in the school magazine, was a journalist at first and later concentrated on his books, producing on average two books yearly. This Mercury-Sun conjunction is squared by the very strong conjunction of the three  planets in Leo – Pluto, Saturn , Mars. ( I believe that, although Mars is a  9 degrees away, this is still a conjunction, and thus all its planets are squaring the Sun-Mercury conjunction).

This very strong combination shows his devotion to his writing and the  intensity of it. His books are full of the mystical, the magical and his deep knowledge of all things metaphysical comes up in his work. Death – with a capital D – is a prominent character in many of his books – quite characteristic of a person with this planetary configuration.

Although the exact position of the Moon cannot be known due to the lack of the exact time of birth, it is within the range of  1 to 13 degrees of Capricorn ( 7 degrees shown in the chart), and is therefore in trine to the Sun-Mercury conjunction, showing the harmony within himself and the ease of communication and  excellent wit. At the same time , the Moon is squaring Neptune – and only Moon-Neptune can have such a rich fantasy world.  And Terry Pratchett, with the aid of Mercury ,  so successfully communicates his fantastic creations to large numbers of people through his writings!

The Sun-Mercury conjunction is at 150 degrees ( inconjunct) aspect to Neptune, reinforcing  his ability for  imaginative creations, as well as  being responsible for his ” humanism, both in a sentimental regard for his characters’ good fortune, and in that his writing is generous-spirited and inclusive.” as the ‘Guardian’ writes.

And, of course, Venus, ruler of his sunsign, is in close conjunction to Uranus , and opposition to Jupiter, showing his love of computers, computer games , but also the new and the original, and being an indicator of his great humour.

If we look at the progressed chart of the year 2007, what is most prominent is the conjunction of prog. Mercury and prog. Venus ( Of course, there are other indicators, but I should like to concentrate on this for now). This was , as mentioned above, the year when he was diagnosed, as having PCA. That was following an initial wrong diagnosis of having had a stroke in the last couple of years. Taking into account that the first symptoms are some impairment in vision and motor nerve activity – both Mercury -related activities – Mercury becomes important.

It is also noteworthy that both Mercury and Venus had turned retrograde a few years back. Mercury turned retrograde when he was  44 , in 1992, and Venus a few years before that. This disease is probably one that starts at an earlier stage, is slow  in development, thus it might have started when Mercury became retrograde at 7 degrees of Cancer, in opposition to the natal Moon.

Terry Pratchett announced that he was diagnosed with the disease on Dec.11, 2007. At the time, Transiting Pluto and Jupiter were about to enter Capricorn and oppose the progressed Mercury-Venus conjunction , and transiting Mars had turned retrograde in Cancer, in opposition to natal Moon, close to conjuncting  the progressed position. Terry’s strife had started. He is determined to fight the disease , continue to write his books with the aid of electronic media, and also help other people with the same condition – he has donated one million pounds for the research into the disease to help further investigation into this condition.

And I, amongst the millions of his fans, wish him ‘All the Best’ in his fight, and may he have many more productive years!

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