A lot has happened in British politics in the last month. As Mercury turned retrograde for the last three weeks of March, things seesawed back and forth, catapaulting Parliament from one shambles into another, with the Prime Minister and the House of Commons vying for control over the Brexit process.
Now, as the UK hurtles towards its second deadline of 12 April, MPs prepare to embark on a second round of indicative votes. Given that Theresa May has already offerred to resign and parliament has rejected her Brexit deal for the THIRD time, many think a no deal scenario is far from unlikely.
It’s already been a rollercoaster ride – where could things possibly end? With another momentous week ahead, I thought it was time to crack out my version of a crystal ball and have another crack at predicting what could happen.
TRANSITS: FULL MOON ON THE 1801 UNION CHART
Given that the only thing that the DUP has made it clear that they will put the UNION above any potential deal they have with the Tories, and that the SNP won’t rule out holding a second ‘Indy Ref’ if Brexit goes ahead, there’s a lot riding on getting Brexit right. Failure to do so could mean that, rather like both the main political parties, the UK as we know it, could well be in danger of splitting.
With this in mind, I thought perhaps it was time to take a look at the Brexit situation from a slightly different perspective – this time, using transits to the 1801 Union chart. Can it shed some light at this important political and historical juncture…?
The 1801 chart is particularly interesting because it marks the moment when northern Ireland joined England, Wales and Scotland to form what is now called the United Kingdom. It is this union of the four kingdoms that gives us the flag we call the Union Jack.
TRANSITS: Equinox Supermoon Chart
The March Equinox Supermoon, taking place as it did in cardinal signs, seemed like a good point to use for our transit chart. The UK uses the Pound Sterling, a currency ruled by the Moon, and in the 1801 chart, it is also the Moon which rules the Midheaven – the position in the chart that represents the government of the day, so it makes sense to choose a Moon phase such as new or full moon.
In addition, there is a lot of emphasis on the cardinal signs, Aries and Libra in both charts – we can see that in the Equinox Full Moon chart, the Aries Sun and Libra Moon straddle the AS-DS axis. What’s more, it echoes the angles of both the Brexit Vote charts we looked at in my previous articles, which seems to be a significant confirmation to me – both had Libra rising within a few degrees of the 1801 Ascendant (7 degrees Libra).
Could Brexit break up the Union?
As many critics have pointed out, Brexit has the potential to split this union apart – Scotland is not keen on leaving the EU and is threatening to hold a second Independence Referendum; and the prospect of a hard border in Ireland could disrupt the fragile peace process only recently achieved under the terms of the Good Friday agreement. Leader of Northern Irish party, the DUP, whose 10 MPs have helped to prop up the Conservative minority government, has made it clear that she would rather stay in the EU than back Mrs May’s Brexit deal because of the potential damage it could do to the Union, telling Sky news in an interview:
“The most important issue for me, for the Democratic Unionist Party, for our 10 MPs, is the preservation of the union.”
So what does the astrology tell us? Well, if transits to Uranus are anything to go by, then YES, Arlene Foster is right. I’m immediately drawn to the Libra Full Moon which is conjunct the 1801 Uranus in Libra, rising in the 12th house. The signature of Uranus was particularly strong in the 2016 Referendum chart. Here, it seems to take on the function of a flashing red light, warning the UK government that if they choose to go ahead with Brexit in its current form, they could risk splitting the 1801 Union apart.
Uranus – the rebellious cutter and dismantler
Discovered during the French Revolution, Uranus represents the sharp end of revolution or collective movements and mentalities: the sickle inherited from Saturn/Chronus when it took over the rulership of Aquarius. In its extreme form, Uranus is not afraid to cut down, chop off, split or break up what is no longer working, even if this sometimes means cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. Think of that famous phrase coined by de Tocqueville: ‘the tyranny of the majority’ and you get the idea.
In her book The Astrological History of the World, published in 2002, Marjorie Orr rather presciently described how this Uranus might work in the 1801 chart:
Uranus on the ascendant and the Moon’s north node in the seventh house: preference to stand alone rather than fit into relationships which demand flexibility and compromise.
Including relationships with foreign countries and governments, even though it might be to the country’s benefit to do so from a homeland security and economic point of view…Positioned in the 12th house and in proximity of the south node, it points to the country’s blind spot – unconscious beliefs or attitudes that can lead to self-sabotage. And isn’t this precisely what got the UK into this mess in the first place? A hidden perversity and ambivalence about ‘marriages’ of any kind? Hence the island mentality and constant mantra of wanting to ‘take back control’…
Columnist for Weekly magazine, Rodney Phillips has volunteered this opinion about the much-touted ‘will of the people’:
…the tyranny of the 51.9 per cent of the population that voted to leave the EU holds sway. Rational thinking has dissolved in the heat of the misinformation, fabrication and false promises which characterised the Leave campaign.
Sounds very Uranus in the 12th house to me!
Uranus is very much about being the rebel or wanting to be seen as different/special, sometimes to a perverse extent, and many Britons have since admitted that the reason many of them voted to leave the EU was to flip the metaphorical ‘middle finger’ to the establishment. All very Uranian. As I pointed out in my previous column in the aftermath of the EU Referendum, the fingerprints of Uranus were all over what happened back in 2016. However, this ‘teenage’ moment may be something that the British voting public come to bitterly regret as jobs continue to disappear, food prices rise, house prices fall – and this even before Brexit has even happened!
Transiting Moon and Theresa May
It also seems appropriate that it is the Moon which is currently ‘activating’ this Uranus – the Moon representing the Tory government and Theresa May (who like Margaret Thatcher, also happens to be a Sun sign Libra = same sign as the Moon. In fact, her Libra Sun actually conjuncts the AS of this chart, which seems rather significant – could she be the one to literally change the shape of the body of the UK?…).
Even more appropriately, this Libra Moon is opposing the Aries Sun, which in the 1801 chart, rules the 11th house of the House of Commons. What better symbol could you get for the Prime Minister (Libra Moon) being at logger heads with MPs? (Aries Sun).
Full Moons generally bring things to a head, and in this instance, I think it safe to say that the Equinox Supermoon has certainly amplified what many are describing as an existential crisis for the UK – the potential failure of one of the world’s oldest democracies as executive and legislative branches of the government pit themselves against each other.
Sun conjunct Chiron on the Descendant: Can Parliament heal current divisions?
The transiting Aries Sun happens to be travelling very close to Chiron, which is conjunct the 1801 descendant. This suggests that the current standoff between Prime Minister and Parliament is leaving the UK vulnerable and potentially exposed to attacks from her enemies (7th house can represent known enemies).
Chiron was also prominent in the second Brexit vote that took place on 13 March 2019 – it was the last aspect that the Moon made on that day. And in that chart, the Moon represented Theresa May and the default government position, which it also does in this chart (MC in Cancer = leaders of the country) which suggests that her current position (and that of the Tory party) is exacerbating hidden divisions and amplifying the unstable energy represented by Uranus in Libra in the 1801 chart.
Another might be the state of the ‘Union’ – the United Kingdom itself, which could be seen as a marriage (7th house) between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. To have Chiron in the 7th, opposite the 1801 Uranus then, suggests a need to heal divisions that otherwise threaten to break it – the United Kingdom itself – up.
Time to restore leadership or eat humble pie? Transiting Sun trine Jupiter in Leo (10th)
The Equinox Sun is pretty strong – it is exalted in Aries, which is the same sign on the cusp of the 7th house. What’s more, it is trine to the 1801 Jupiter in the 10th house, which many astrologers see as the UK’s tendency to perceive (and promote itself) as a super power with world class institutions and a reputation that is second to none. Jupiter in Leo can be both pompous and grandiose, but it can also create formidable leadership, as well as impressive showmanship (think of the quirky rituals and arcane routines that make the British Parliament such a spectacle). In terms of Brexit, however, it may well have manifested more like this extract from a Guardian opinion piece by John Coakley, an Irish political scientist:
Early hubris about the ease with which the UK could go it alone and complete attractive trade deals across the globe has diminished, but many appear still to overestimate the UK’s negotiating position. The post-imperial military, diplomatic and economic resources of the UK are formidable, but they are now challenged by the growing power of its European neighbours….Put differently, when negotiators on behalf of the EU27 face their British counterparts, they speak for a bloc that is six to seven times more substantial than the UK in these areas. This is hardly a contest of equals.
In the 1801 chart, Jupiter rules the 3rd house of media and communications. Many Britons have expressed their embarrassment at how the whole Brexit saga has been handled, which I think reflects the sensitivity of this particular planetary placement. Perhaps a rethink in terms of the way the UK sees itself and in turn, presents itself to the world – the EU in particular – may be in order? And indeed, help to concentrate minds within Parliament, especially amongst the rather deluded ERG.
Given the trine between the Sun and Jupiter, could Parliament be about to restore the UK’s reputation by seizing control of the Brexit process from Theresa May? Quite possibly!
By holding a series of indicative votes on how best to move forward, thereby opening up of the process to a wider group of people beyond just the interests of the Conservative Party, the House of Commons could potentially help to fix the broken democratic processes in Parliament (Aries Sun applying to a conjunction with Chiron) and simultaneously, restore public faith in the institution – and the government (Sun trine 1801 Jupiter), thereby potentially saving/healing the Union. But will they choose the high road, or keep squabbling? That is the question…
Road to Possible Second Referendum?
In recent days, with less than two weeks to go before the April 12 deadline, there’s been a lot of speculation in the media about what possible scenarios the UK could be heading for: the much-dreaded ‘cliff edge’, a softer version of Brexit, no Brexit or even a possible general election in the autumn. We’ll come to my predictions on this shortly. For the moment, what is hard to ignore is the British public’s growing frustration with what is happening in government.
On Saturday the 23rd of March, thousands of Britons marched to Parliament Square calling for a second EU referendum, just a day after a parliamentary petition to Revoke Article 50 and ‘cancel Brexit’ received more than 5 million signatures. Although Theresa May seemed adamant that she needed to carry out the result of the 2016 referendum, politicians in Brussels appeared to view things somewhat differently, with Donald Tusk telling MEPs that the UK should be open to a longer extension, adding:
‘You cannot betray the six million people who signed the petition to revoke Article 50, the one million people who marched for a People’s Vote. Or the increasing majority of people who want to remain in the EU.
Since Monday last week, rumours of a possible people’s vote began to circulate, with the BBC political correspondent, Laura Kuenssberg writing:
Quite openly now, people in government are talking about something more dramatic as a way out. Cryptically they call that a “democratic event”. What would we call that? An election.
I am not so sure it will be an election. Although everybody knows that that is what Jeremy Corbyn is angling for when he talks about a ‘people’s vote’, I am not sure that the Conservative Party would be all that keen, especially given that they are already a minority government. And to hold an election, current legislation (the Fixed Term Parliament Act) dictates that parliament must get a 2/3 majority vote in the House of Commons.
Although it seems to be a dirty word in British politics right now, a second ‘people’s vote’ certainly seems like the only truly viable solution – and that the only one that MPs from across the house seem to be able to get behind, if last week’s indicative votes were anything to go by.
Moon-Saturn/Pluto opposition – Pressure for a People’s Vote?
Getting back to our chart, it is perhaps also significant that the 1801 chart’s 10th house Cancer Moon (=leaders, representatives) is currently being opposed by both Saturn and Pluto transiting through the UK’s 4th house. Now in mundane astrology, the 4th house represents domestic affairs, as well as the Opposition Party to the government. But it also represents the common people. According to Skyscript, in mundane astrology, the fourth house rules:
Land, the owners of it and the workers on it. The crops and produce of the land. Mines, buildings. The people as contrasted with the monarch; the democracy as contrasted with the aristocracy; the opposition in Parliament….
It goes on to add that:
A malefic in this house may afflict the government through its opposition to the 10th House.
Hmm…traditionally, both Saturn and Pluto are considered to be malefics, so this seems very radical. What could the opposition mean, though? Let’s take a closer look at what transiting Saturn and Pluto represent.
In the 1801 chart, Marjorie Orr sees Saturn in Leo, situated in the 11th house as relating to ‘government institutions, the legislature, civil service‘ and of course, the House of Commons. However, it rules the 4th house, which seems to reinforce the idea of democracy – that the government is there to do the bidding of the electorate.
Note the last sentence. To me, Saturn in Capricorn’s transit through the 4th house, and its opposition to the Moon in the 10th seems to point to:
- Both political opposition from Labour MPs and other smaller parties from across the house (eg SNP, DUP) towards the government’s current policies and plans (aka the Brexit deal); and
- Growing opposition from voters, evidenced in both support for the Revoke Article 50 petition (which received the biggest number of signatories of any parliamentary petition ever) and the massive People’s Vote march to Parliament square on Saturday 23 March, which was attended by over a million people.
So, in a nutshell, Saturn’s opposition to the Moon represents the political impasse and how split parliament is over the Brexit issue. But it also represents growing popular dissatisfaction with the government’s current Brexit stance as the realisation of what Britain potentially stands to lose (Saturn is all about shrinking/loss/cutting back) begins to sink it.
Pluto, on the other hand, rules the 2nd house and therefore represents the economy and the nation’s wealth, which is predominantly generated these days by the City and the financial system. Last weekend, an opinion piece appeared in the Financial Times written by an unnamed diplomat highlighted just how much the UK stands to lose ecomically under the current terms of May’s Brexit deal. Again, Rodney Phillips poses an important question of British voters:
What if they knew that the UK would lose the benefits of free trade with Europe and the rest fo the world; that the status as one of the world’s biggest financial centres would disappear if the City of London was no longer the gateway to the EU; that British financial companies could no longer work freely across Europe? [due to potential loss of financial passporting rights]
Barclays bank has already announced its decision to relocate many of its assets to Ireland, with several car manufacturers, including Honda, set to follow suit. And it is this prospect that may well prove to be the final straw for many: No one is going to vote for or support any legislation or deal that takes away jobs, leaves workers open to exploitation or hurts the economy, still fragile after the 2008 financial crisis.
So transiting Pluto’s position in Capricorn in the 4th house may well represent the harsh realities of how Brexit may dramatically affect the standards of living of ordinary people finally ‘hitting home’. Pluto is located in the 5th house of the 1801 chart, which could also point out how Brexit stands to affect the younger generation, not to mention potentially cut short all those Continental holidays and ownership of holiday homes that Brits have come to enjoy since 2001.
Will Ordinary People Get Their Say?
So, is it possible that the combined power of Saturn and Pluto could bring down the current government? Yes, the opposition between Saturn and the Moon could mean that a General Election might be in the offing, especially if Labour once again bring forward a motion of a no confidence vote in the government and it passes. That is certainly one possible scenario. After all, Saturn rules the 4th house and is in the 4th house and this CAN represent the Opposition Party.
Another is that political opposition may well face Theresa May to go earlier even than she is offering (more on that below in the section on May’s Future).
Saturn-Pluto sextile Neptune
A third possible scenario is a second referendum. What makes me say that? The sextile between Pluto, Saturn and the 1801 Neptune.
Located in the 2nd house, Neptune rules the 6th house of healthcare, workers rights and of course, the working class – the demographic most affected by globalisation and immigration. It is also no secret that Brexit could hurt, rather than help, the NHS – an assertion backed up by research published by esteemed medical journal, The Lancet. Now everyone knows that the NHS is a sacred cow for many British voters – no party could hope to win any form of election if their manifesto included a policy like Brexit if it stood to damage this institution.
Furthermore, everyone knows that the idea of being allowed to stay in the Customs Union without allowing free movement of people or the Uk still being a ‘rule-taker’ rather than ‘maker’ is something of a pipe dream, which is why no MPs outside of the Labour Party have backed this ‘unicorn’ version of Brexit. As one critic put it:
The policy set at Labour conference was to “support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote”. Labour doesn’t have a viable alternative to the government’s deal. So the only way forward if MPs reject the government’s deal and refuse to call an election is a People’s Vote. The sooner Corbyn gets there, the better.
I think it telling that at the time of the Equinox Full Moon, transiting Neptune was located in the 6th house very close to a retrograde Mercury, ruler of the 9th and 12th houses, showing just how idealistic and impractical such a notion really is. If we look at Corbyn’s natal chart, we see that this Mercury-Neptune conjunction makes a square to Corbyn’s Mercury-Venus conjunction in Gemini, which in essence, means that, however well-intentioned (Netune sextile his Moon-Mars conjunction in Taurus) his thinking and values are ‘all talk’ and, like many a fast-talking, fence-sitting politician, could also potentially amount to another sell-out.
I believe that, with Mercury now direct and heading for a second conjunction to Neptune on April the 2nd, that the lack of detail and unfeasibility of Labour’s position, Corbyn’s in particular, will become increasingly clear to everyone, after which popular support for Labour is likely to fall away, leaving them in a very weak position in the polls.
Many Labour supporters are furious that Corbyn is only using the prospect of a people’s vote as a bargaining chip to frustrate the government’s attempts to get consensus, all the while failing to put up any real opposition to Brexit – or offer a viable alternative to May’s Brexit deal. As one media outlet put it:
…quite apart from the convention that manifesto commitments should be honoured, she [May] will presumably know – since almost everyone else in the UK does – that Corbyn is less attracted to a referendum than he would be to a job offer from Goldman Sachs.
Although fence-sitting and stubborn obfuscation may serve Corbyn in the short-term, it also has the potential to do even more damage to the party than recent allegations of bullying and anti-Semitism. In February 2019, Robert Peston reported that a poll taken amongst trade union members – one of Labour’s core support bases – had reached the conclusion that:
There can be no disguising the sense of disappointment and disillusionment with Labour if it fails to oppose Brexit and there is every indication that it will be far more damaging to the party’s electoral fortunes than the Iraq war.
Since he seems so hellbent on pushing for a general election, he may want to heed these words…If nothing else, this should lessen the rest of the party’s appetite for a general election, even if stubborn Corbyn (his bullheaded Mars in Taurus making him the astrological counterpart to Theresa May with her steely Saturn in Scorpio) continues to cling to this as the only possible hope. Ultimately, though, it could end up splitting his own party and ruining their chances at the next general election.
Mercury sextile Saturn (sextile 1801 Neptune)
Transiting Mercury then moves from a conjunction to Neptune to a sextile to transiting Saturn, which also happens to be sextile the 1801 Neptune, ruler of the 6th house. Mercury does so FROM the 6th house. Now if we use derived houses, we could potentially interpret the 6th house as being 3rd cusp from the 4th, in which case, the sextile to Neptune could represent the people ‘having their say’. Since Mercury in Pisces has already conjuncted Neptune and sextiled Saturn (19 and 20 February) and is now coming BACK to this position after a retrograde spell, we could interpret this aspect as being a repeat of something which has already happened in the past. ie a SECOND referendum.
When it comes to the Moon in the 1801 chart, Marjorie Orr makes an interesting comment that is worth quoting:
The Moon in Cancer close to the Midheaven, which here represents the goverment and the ruling classes, is apposite for a country so often led by mother figures (Queens Elizabeth I and II, Queen Victoria).
Although I don’t think Theresa May comes across as particularly maternal, it is interesting that the whole issue of the UK’s relationship to Europe has been particularly stormy during her premiership – rather as it was during the ‘reign’ of her predecessor, Margaret Thatcher, who famously told the Conservative Party at their conference in 1980:
Many have compared May’s current stubbornness to that of Thatcher, who was eventually ousted as leader of the Tories because of her refusal to listen to any dissident opinions. One wonders if, this lesson might explain her recent about-turns and offers to resign, which seems uncharacteristically meek after so much talk of red lines, political strong-arming and strident speeches to MPs about their duties and obligations.
That being said, as fellow Libran peacemaker, David Cameron discovered (to his downfall) that to be Prime Minister during Brexit is a poisoned chalice and that she is still very much at the mercy of the Brexit hardliners and career politicians in own party, many of whom want her gone:
…her premiership carries with it wounds of Brexit warfare too deep to plaster over. Even if she wins this battle, the knives will remain unsheathed. Held hostage by her Brexiteers, they will want to kill her off before the year is out.
Every Tory leader since John Major has moved to placate Eurosceptic MPs only to discover it is never enough. Mrs May will hope on this occasion she can get her deal over the line, but don’t doubt for a minute that her Brexiteers won’t extract a high price: Brexit means Mrs May’s exit.
It is entirely possible that the opposition between Saturn-Pluto and the Moon in the Union chart could well signal May’s departure much earlier than even she may have predicted. The transiting Moon in Cancer will oppose both Saturn and Pluto from Cancer on April the 12th, mirrorign the opposition in the 1801 chart – could this be the moment she is forced to resign? Quite possibly.
Unlike Thatcher, Theresa May has seen the writing on the wall and so has graciously offered to go. And this is where the Moon-Chiron opposition in the 1801 chart could be interpreted quite interestingly: for, if Mrs May is identified with the UK (via her Sun on the Ascendant), then it stands to reason that her enemies are also those of the Union – namely, the Tory ERG…
More on May in another post, but suffice it to say, nobody doubts her honourable intentions, however, myopic she may be in terms of how she has chosen to go about dealing with Brexit. And in fact, if the Equinox Full Moon transits to Saturn and her natal nodes are anything to go by, then the current situation is tied up with her personal destiny.
Any Potential Spanners in the Works?
The only real obstacle I can see in the current astrological scenario is the impending square between Mercury and Jupiter on April the 12th – the current deadline set by the EU. Interestingly, Jupiter will turn retrograde just a day or two before then – and the retrograding of a benefic is NEVER great news!
How might this play out?
Potentially some sort of arrogant gaffe or unguarded remark by an MP or key government minister being leaked to the press which then offends the EU Committee enough to refuse a second extension. (Somehow I don’t think Nigel Farage can manage to offend anyone in the EU parliament anymore – people have become too wise to his toddleresque attention-seeking tactics to take any heed).
That or a refusal on the part of the UK government to accept any further conditions set by Brussels in order to secure the extension (perhaps after being blocked by the ERG hoping to force the UK to Brexit at any costs) such as an agreement to take part in EU elections, or perhaps hold some sort of democratic event such as a second referendum. It’s fair to say that British hautiness about ‘not being told’ when in reality, they are not in a p, osition of power, is another downfall of the UK’s highlighted by the 1801 chart. Again, John Coakley, the Irish political scientist may have hit he nail on the head:
The deceptive image of British potency has invited the use of dangerous implicit threats against the much more powerful EU27 bloc.
Getting real about exactly where Britain currently sits in the European (and in deed, global) pecking order may be just what is required at this point, and as this transit perfects, it may well be that the EU 27 will have to remind the UK of exactly whose club it is and who really holds the trump cards…
I do find it significant that Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Saturn in Taurus is square to the UK 1801 chart’s Jupiter in Leo; and that his rather anal Pluto in Virgo is squared by transiting Jupiter in Sagittarius).
Whatever happens next, Mercury is due to change signs on April the 17th, entering fiery Aries, which should result in a marked shift in attitude and approach from its detrimented and rather scattered position in Pisces. Before then, it will make a sextile to both Saturn and Pluto which could prove to be game-changers. Added to that a number of positive transits between the Sun (House of Commons) and Venus (ruler of the 1801 chart located in socially aware Aquarius in youth-oriented 5th house) and I think it is fair to say that by mid-April, we could well have another people’s vote on our hands.
Watch this space!