The national chart of the Netherlands

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The formal foundation of the modern Netherlands occurred in 1581, under the proud and independent sign of Leo. The planet Pluto, as it moves through Sagittarius, both emphasises and transforms this strong, independent and self-expressive core, and although obvious changes will be necessary through European unification it seems that the Netherlands will experience great benefits and a strengthening and validation of her national identity and creative contribution.

This may also be felt economically, as Pluto moves through the part of the birth chart concerned with national resources and wealth, suggesting that material as well as creative benefits are likely to enhance a sense of well-being over the next few years. Meanwhile, Uranus, planet of change and disruption, comes back to its place in the birth chart - a full 84-year cycle - and, despite invoking a certain resistance and conservatism, reflects a willingness to embrace the sense of a larger human family and all the changes this is likely to imply on the domestic level.

There is a curious paradox in the birth chart of the Netherlands: Saturn and Uranus both placed in Aquarius in the sphere concerned with roots suggest that there is a deep inherent conflict which impels the nation first toward isolation, then toward a more global consciousness. This fundamental tension is likely to be aggravated as Uranus and also Neptune move through Aquarius, but ultimately the innate willingness on the part of this nation to embrace new and challenging ideas - one of the most attractive dimensions of the country's history - will transform any reactionary elements and truly usher in a new age.

Liz Greene, 1999

(Data used: 26 July 1581, 12.00 pm LMT, The Hague)

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Astrologer watching the sky through a telescope, by Eugene Ivanov