21-Feb-2017, 20:39 UT/GMT
|Explanations of the symbols|
|Chart of the moment|
The AA President reflects on the ‘cosmic weather’ of Brexit against the history of three UK General Elections since 1945 which led to radical social change, with especial focus on astro-cycles and the Saturn-Neptune squares. What has befallen the Labour Party? How does new PM Theresa May differ from Margaret Thatcher? And what guidance does astrology offer as the UK faces a post-EU future?
Predictive and descriptive approaches to astrology do not contradict but complement each other. This is because astro-cycles describe the cosmic weather that influences our moods and actions, just as meteorological forecasts indicate the high and low pressure behind mundane weather. How individuals or institutions react to (and experience) either depends upon the motivation and awareness driving their actions. Did we really have to leave the house in a storm? If so, did we remember to take an umbrella?
With astro-cycles the outcomes from our reactions to cosmic weather go deeper. Does immediate self-interest or a search to understand and help situations drive our quest? Depending upon this key distinction, the same astro-cycles (cosmic environment) will lead to vastly different outcomes. The cosmic environment of the Western Front in World War One led some men to feel the ‘patriotic’ need to devise and deploy armaments that killed millions, most to submit and go to the slaughter, while others worked tirelessly to rescue and heal the wounded. Change the motivational emphasis to the last of the three and the world still goes through the massive revolutionary social change the astro-cycles indicate – but this does not destroy, rather it heals society and individual lives.
It is when most people’s motivation is focussed on the first two (ignorance, or self-interest, driven by greed and hatred) that the best long-standing methods of predictive astrology are likely to be accurate. For self-centred motivation puts the astro-cycles in control and makes what happens unavoidable. Mars in Leo urges immediate self-expression; selfishly applied it can easily cause conflict; selflessly applied, it encourages happy, supportive teams under our leadership. Donald Trump’s Leo Mars in his 12th house, very close to his Ascendant, goes a long way to explain his charismatic, no-holds-barred, cheeky-chappy attraction; but also the likelihood of war should he become US President.
The astrology of the three most social-changing UK General Elections since World War Two, and then the recent EU Referendum vote, show clearly that victory came to those who understood and grasped the momentum of times, indicated by the contemporary astro-cycles. Would a wiser, selfless use of those cycles have led to a different result?
(See two charts for 1945 Election, natal and counted)
Mercury applying to conjoin Pluto in Leo indicated Winston Churchill’s charisma would not be enough to re-elect him to lead into the post-War world. His great words of heroism may have inspired and helped save the nation in times of peril, but there had been millions of other heroes who had given their lives in this cause. With the powerful Mars, Moon, Venus Taurus trine to Jupiter in Virgo and Neptune in Libra, now was a time of reconstruction, and, crucially, to set the record straight. To fight a common enemy, ordinary people may have put aside the massive social injustices of the 1920s and 1930s; now they needed to be addressed.
Clearly the Labour Party had the hunger and vision to grasp the momentum of those times. The Conservative Party was too trapped in serving privileged interests to see, understand and act on the people’s past resentments – it was far easier to hope that the nation’s trust in their war-time leader would re-elect him.
Because they knew the astro-cycles, both predictive and descriptive astrologers (unlike most political commentators) would not have been surprised by Labour’s landslide victory.
With Venus, Mercury and Mars in Aries opposing Pluto (now in Libra), the last played a much more confrontational and destructive role in 1979. The mood for radical change was further driven by the Sun in Taurus opposing Uranus in Scorpio and trining Saturn-North Node in Virgo; all stirred on by the free spirit of Neptune in Sagittarius and explosive pride of Jupiter and Moon in Leo. Irresistible change was being forced upon Britain and the wider world.
So, perhaps this election result was unavoidable. People felt that any change was better than what they had then! In such circumstances, the role of descriptive astrology is to clarify and caution the decisions, following on from the Conservative victory. The astro-cycles may indicate radical change, but the dominant Aries should also warn of the disruptive consequences of cavalier, insensitive, uncompromising change. When the enemy is defeated, it is the time to make peace, understand and bring all sides together; not lay out the groundwork for future social conflict. Margaret Thatcher’s quotation of St Francis, as she entered Downing Street for the first time, was in keeping with this need. What was to follow drifted so radically away from the quotation that many feel that we are still struggling to master the negative consequences.
As the polls closed, Pluto rising in early Sagittarius was exactly squared by the Moon in Pisces. Jupiter in Aquarius was almost exactly squared by Venus in Taurus, which was only just past a trine to Mars in Virgo near the Midheaven. The mood of the times was an unshakeable and critical need to put right the hurts of the past.
Using astrology to look beneath the surface of the possibly dangerous over-optimism of the Pluto rising in Sagittarius, it can be seen that the strength that drove the change was the wish to be rid of unpopular people and the brutal memories they represented. The promise of a “new dawn”, invoked by Tony Blair the morning after Election Day, is not so evident in the chart. So it was that while certain shifts of priority led to important improvements in Northern Ireland, health and education, there was no real shift in the monetarist economic strategy, which has increasingly become the cause of the crisis we face in the 21st century. At the crest of the wave of victory, with Mars in Virgo, it is easy to rub in the failings of those now gone; far more beneficial to apply criticism to those failings that remain – especially those in the new government’s way of thinking that could explain why many Labour voters turned away from the party at the 2016 Referendum. Notably, the Royal Assent of the Referendum Bill in December 2015 was given within a degree of the exact return of the nodal axis of Labour’s victory in this 1997 General Election.
If the three UK General Elections above occurred at times when the astro-cycles were ripe for unavoidable radical change, there could not have been worse astro-cycles than those of the months surrounding 23 June 2016 to hold a vote on an issue that marked a far more important constitutional change than any of them. The actual Bill that called the referendum was debated and received Royal Assent around the first exact Saturn in Sagittarius-Neptune in Pisces square on 26 November 2015. It called for a decision based on a simple majority of those voting. This may suit a by- or general election, whose result can be reversed in a few years. However, a constitutional change, designed to stand for at least a generation, usually requires a much more substantial majority; perhaps 60% of those voting, or 50% of all people registered to vote. The voting was to be on 23 June, five days after the second Saturn-Neptune exact retrograde square. Jupiter in Virgo was three days from its reckless trine to Pluto that was rising in Capricorn.
With the associated Grand Cross, the astro-cycles clearly indicated the nature of the campaign; one characterised by confusion, manipulation, fear (immigrants, especially Turks, if we remain; economic disaster if we leave), abandonment of reason, blame and intolerance. Far too many people would base their vote on prejudice or treat the process as a by-election to teach the establishment a lesson.
The outcome and the way it was received could hardly have been more like the nature of the transits. 51.9% to leave was held to be a sacrosanct democratic lifetime decision, although it represented just 37% of the registered voters and 33% of the adult population. Soon after the vote was announced, key leaders on both sides either resigned or withdrew, leaving others to sort out the future. As Jupiter exactly trined Pluto, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn was blamed and was largely abandoned by his parliamentary party, even though his own constituents had voted overwhelming to remain and most of his Labour MP critics’ voters had decided the other way. Was a more long-term malaise in Labour support the real reason?2
When Mars made a direct station on 29 June, Michael Gove withdrew his support from Boris Johnson (“Et tu Gove” was the front page headline of one national newspaper). The Conservative Party originally decided to announce their new leader on 9 September, the day before the third and final Saturn-Neptune square. It seemed that the entire period of that square was to be taken up with the preparation, decision, and then indecision concerning the Brexit vote.
Then came Theresa May enjoying her Jupiter return on 6 July 2016 (could it be near the MC in Virgo with late Scorpio rising?3). This Libran with strong Virgo planets was dominant enough to spare the nation a bruising contest, but her task ahead will be far from easy. In the coming few months, transiting Pluto trines her Jupiter, and Saturn retrogrades back towards her progressed Sun and Saturn, and then forward across her progressed Mercury.
In the midst of this Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces time, as we struggle for survival out of the debris of the massive upheaval of the 2012-14 Uranus-Pluto squares, people all over the world are making massive, poorly-conceived decisions and performing the most ruthless actions for short-sighted and selfish reasons. We are in one of the most unreliable periods in human history, when it is vital to learn from the past. The list (see the ‘Saturn-Neptune 90-degree separations 1900 to 2030’ box at the end of this essay) shows how direly disturbing outcomes associated with Saturn-Neptune 90-degree separations can be.
The 2015-16 Saturn-Neptune square has been greatly empowered by its t-square to Jupiter in Virgo; all climaxing in a mutable Grand Cross through the late spring and summer, as inner planets transited Gemini.
Events for Britain and all over the world could well lead to terrible outcomes, for which our times will be remembered. Is it destined that we are doomed, or can astrological understanding guide us to doing something better with the future?
With Saturn joining Pluto in Capricorn from December 2017 and connecting to the 1066 English and 1801 UK charts,4 which have their MC-IC axes reversed across Capricorn-Cancer, it would have been difficult for the UK to stay in Europe whatever the outcome. With the triple conjunction transiting across the EU’s Uranus-Neptune conjunction (2017-20),5 it too is due for radical change. So, should we have stayed and helped guide the transition? With less rush to decide, delaying the Referendum vote until the end of 2016 or spring 2017 would have enabled a less frenetic, more considered discussion of the idealism unpinning both sides of the argument.
Because it did not happen this way, the UK has to cope with the bad impression our unilateral decision may have created. Are the majority of British people motivated by self-interest, less concerned with the disadvantaged in the poor parts of Europe; only willing to help refugees if they stay a safe distance away, close to the borders of their country?
It is never too late to turn such impressions around. It could be argued that the EU is a club for the privileged that slowly allows in a few of the less well-off, but essentially operates at the expense of the under-privileged masses in the rest of the world. The astro-cycles since 2008 have been accompanied by so much destruction, suffering and confusion that an anarchy of blame and retribution screams out mindlessly on all sides all over the world. As the Saturn-Neptune square eases into the autumn, wherever we are in the world, negotiations that enable rather than defend selfish interests, that are inclusive without exposing vulnerability, that share rather than exploit, could go a long way towards easing tension. As boiling resentment and outrage cool, will we start preferring to solve our problems, to turn away from the constant desire for revenge that only makes them worse?
Underlying the justifiably-admired idealistic kindness in Theresa May’s speech on entering 10 Downing Street for the first time as Prime Minister is a crucial omission. The list of disadvantaged people she committed her government to care for referred exclusively to those in the ‘Union’ of the ‘United Kingdom’, as she put it. She is right to address the injustice and neglect experienced by so many working people who supported Brexit. The post-2008 recovery has benefited the few at the expense of the many. Yet, the need to address injustice does not end at the borders of the UK. We cannot wash our hands of the responsibility to help to care for millions of people all over the world, whose experiences are far direr than ours, as they seek to survive without food, a proper home, or country.
Wealth, housing, laws and opportunities that favour, or even give exclusive access, to the rich and privileged, which are the root cause of conflict and rebellion within our nation, are the cause of even greater global conflict between countries and cultures. Insensitivity to others’ customs and ways initiates mutual enmity. Force of economic power and armed strength create desperate victims. Together they build to massive global misunderstandings and injustices that are the cause of today’s ever worsening world conflicts.
However successful the new UK government is in turning the fine intentions of its leader into tangible benefits for its people, its achievements will be empty and unsustainable if good, kind relationships with others beyond the UK borders are ignored.
The window of flexibility to adjust to the new global structure will be hardly fifteen months before Saturn ingresses Capricorn in December 2017. Through 2018-19 a new way of doing business in the world will start to take shape, as we build towards the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the first degree of Aquarius on the day of the 2020 Winter Solstice. Through these years, the UK will be increasingly placing itself outside of presently existing certainties, depending upon new friendships we are making on the way, supporting ourselves with just the dwindling resources of the Bank of England.
Turning our backs on giving to the world and focussing on our little-Englander interests could leave us isolated and alone. We shall need friends. These can be made only by the friendship we show to others in Europe and beyond. Capricorn demands efficiency. Friends working together create the greatest economic efficiency and social security. Seeing our way ahead as broadening our friendship with other nations, making friends everywhere, is the key to securing the best use of our Brexit decision.
[See charts of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May]
Comparisons between Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher are difficult to avoid. Both have Sun in Libra, and Theresa May was born soon after the Thatcher first Scorpio Saturn return. Their styles within this similarity are different: the Thatcher Jupiter in Capricorn square Mars-Sun-Mercury in Libra explains her intransigence; the May focus on Moon, Jupiter, Mercury in Virgo opposed by Mars in Pisces points to her hard work and compassion.
The role of the fixed star Regulus in both charts is highly significant. The Thatcher Moon in Leo was just ten minutes of arc from an exact conjunction. The May Pluto is just twenty minutes of arc from an exact conjunction to Regulus, with her Moon in Virgo three degrees past and Venus in Leo five degrees before the star. “Success if revenge is avoided” is how Bernadette Brady puts it. If Regulus is prominent, we can suddenly rise to great heights of recognition, but are in danger of falling just as quickly. Could Theresa May’s exit mirror her predecessor’s? The new Cabinet has just been formed as I write. As you read this (in the latter days of an inevitable honeymoon with the fresh new ministerial faces) seeds of dissent that could mature in the future may already be there to be seen.
Much has been said of the finality of the Brexit decision, far less of the sixteen million who voted against. Looking at the traumatic astro-cycles for the rest of the decade, and the near-impossibility of any government delivering what so many Brexit supporters thought they were voting for, it will be interesting to see what kind of opposition develops; even, in the end, whether, and in what way, the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
Beginning of the end of European Colonialism
SatOpp Nep 16/08/1900 28°Sg39' R28°Ge39'D
SatOpp Nep 04/10/1900 29°Sg15'D 29°Ge15'R
Suffragette hunger strikes begin
SatSqrNep 14/04/1909 14°Ar24'D 14°Cn24'D
SatSqrNep 19/10/1909 19°Ar20'R 19°Cn20'D
SatSqrNep 24/01/1910 17°Ar31'D 17°Cn31'R
World War One slaughter intensifies even further
SatCnjNep 01/08/1917 04°Le45'D
UK General Strike
SatSqrNep 16/01/1926 24°Sc08'D 24°Le08'R
SatSqrNep 23/05/1926 22°Sc06'R 22°Le06'D
SatSqrNep 06/11/1926 26°Sc49'D 26°Le49'D
Spanish Civil War July begins 1936
SatOpp Nep21/03/1936 14°Pi59'D 14°Vi59'R
SatOpp Nep04/10/1936 17°Pi26'R 17°Vi26'D
SatOpp Nep18/01/1937 18°Pi45'D 18°Vi45'R
Blanket bombing of Germany, V1 and V2 Rocket, attacks on
London, building the Atomic Bomb
SatSqrNep 02/07/1944 01°Cn34'D 01°Li34'D
SatSqrNep 08/01/1945 06°Cn25'R 06°Li25'R
SatSqrNep 06/04/1945 04°Cn45'D 04°Li45'R
Struggle for colonial freedom, Korean War, birth of modern
SatCnjNep 21/11/1952 22°Li46'D
SatCnjNep 17/05/1953 21°Li38'R 21°Li38'R
SatCnjNep 22/07/1953 21°Li12'D 21°Li12'D
Escalation and opposition to Vietnam War, birth of
generational conflict and counter culture
SatSqrNep 18/02/1963 15Aq39'D 15°Sc39'R
Expansion of physical and spiritual global travel
SatOppNep 26/06/1971 00°Ge51'D 00°Sg51'R
SatOppNep 27/11/1971 02°Ge52'R 02°Sg52'D
SatOppNep 19/04/1972 04°Ge46'D 04°Sg46'R
Winter of Discontent in UK, Thatcherism, Iran Revolution,
Reaganomics, birth of monetarism
SatSqrNep 14/09/1979 17°Vi47'D 17°Sg47'D
SatSqrNep 26/03/1980 22°Vi40'R 22°Sg40'R
SatSqrNep 22/06/1980 21°Vi00'D 21°Sg00'R
Collapse of Soviet Union, recession as monetarism shows its
SatCnjNep 03/03/1989 11°Cp54'D 11°Cp54'D
SatCnjNep 24/06/1989 11°Cp14'R 11°Cp14'R
SatCnjNep 13/11/1989 10°Cp21'D 10°Cp21'D
Internet stocks booming unrealistically, due to bust
April/May 2000. Financial Services Modernization Act passed in USA – a
major cause of 2008 economic crash
SatSqrNep 25/06/1998 01°Ta29'D 01°Aq29'R
SatSqrNep 01/11/1998 29°Ar30'R 29°Cp30'D
SatSqrNep 06/04/1999 04°Ta07'D 04°Aq07'D
Unrealistic booming of loan and property markets
SatOppNep 31/08/2006 17°Le52'D 17°Aq52'R
SatOppNep 28/02/2007 20°Le14'R 20°Aq14'D
SatOppNep 25/06/2007 21°Le46'D 21°Aq46'R
Confusion, half-truths and hatred between people, encouraged
by narrow-minded leaders
SatSqrNep 26/11/2015 07°Sg02'D 07°Pi02'D
SatSqrNep 18/06/2016 12°Sg02'R 12°Pi02'R
SatSqrNep 10/09/2016 10°Sg24'D 10°Pi24'R
A new beginning? Have we learned enough to make things
SatCnjNep 20/02/2026 00°Ar45'D 00°Ar45'D
1 Voting in some constituencies did not take place until 19 July, and the counting and result were not known until 26th, due to delays receiving the votes of servicemen who were overseas.
2 Some would argue that the alienation of many traditional Labour heartland voters was not Corbyn’s fault. It had been a long time coming following the adoption of Thatcherite and ill-considered EU expansion policies by New Labour, which Jeremy Corbyn was aiming to correct, if given the support and time. Ironically, it was supporters of New Labour that led the moves to use the EU vote to blame and oust him.
3 1 October 1956, Eastbourne, UK. Time of birth unknown.
4 Crowning of William I in Westminster Abbey, noon, 25 December 1066. The coming into force of the Act of Union between England, Wales and Scotland, midnight 1 January 1801, Westminster.
5 The EU came into being on 1 November 1993, when Uranus was within four minutes of arc conjunct Neptune in the 19th degree of Capricorn.
First published in: The Astrological Journal, Sep/Oct 2016
Roy Gillett combines 20 years in business and school teaching with 40 more as an astrologer and Buddhist. President of Britain's Astrological Association and Chair Trustee of London's Jamyang Buddhist Centre, he speaks for astrology on the media, organises and presents at international conferences, distributes astrology software, and writes a bimonthly mundane astrology column. He edited Andre Barbault's The Value of Astrology (2014) and Planetary Cycles (2016). His own books are: Astrology and Compassion The Convenient Truth (2007), makes a powerful case for the central role of astrology in 21st-century ideas and society; Economy Ecology and Kindness (2009) and Reversing the Race to Global Destruction (due 2016) uses astrology to reveal the cause and suggest the cure to the failing contemporary world economy and its associated cultural assumptions. His Secret Language of Astrology is a deep, beautifully illustrated introduction for serious beginners.
Contacts: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Web site: www.crucialastrotools.co.uk
Brexit graphic and UK/EU flag: Public Domain CC0 via pixabay.com
Theresa May: By Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery) [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/) or CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
© Roy Gillett - published by The Astrological Journal /
The Astrological Association is a registered charity dedicated to the support and promotion of astrology in all its branches. For over fifty years, it has been serving the astrological community through informing and bringing together astrologers from all over the world, via its stable of publications, its annual Conference, Kepler Research Day and other occasional events, and its support of local astrological groups. It also represents the interests of astrologers generally, responding when appropriate to issues raised within the media.
The first book available in English by the great French master astrologer Andre Barbault. The Value of Astrology offers incisive, captivating insights into the origins, classical tradition and modern uses of astrology.
21-Feb-2017, 20:39 UT/GMT
|Explanations of the symbols|
|Chart of the moment|