Euro-roadtrip Day 3: Bordeaux (Part 2!) — Life in Copenhagen (Reblog)

If you missed Part 1 of my Bordeaux re-cap, have a look here 🙂 I absolutely love the featured photo for this entry. It was just a quick, random snap on my walk around town. But when I was looking through my travel photos this one stood out to me somehow, and I felt that […]

Euro-roadtrip Day 3: Bordeaux (Part 2!) — Life in Copenhagen

*Let’s hope we will soon be able to travel more freely once more…

The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London – Astrology Musings

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It is fairly clear to me that the timing of the opening of the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London, was certainly by design. I contend that this event encapsulated the then zeitgeist, thereby setting in motion a new world at all levels.

We need not be surprised by this. Astrologers had for centuries been consulted as to the most propitious time, astrologically, to begin a new project, a marriage, business, government, reign, or even country.

One of the most well known examples is John Dee’s choice of day and time for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I of England on January 15 1559. We can speculate as to the wisdom of his choice, although historians have certainly been highly favourable when writing about the so called ‘Virgin Queen’ ever since.

Astounded

When I found out the the date and timing of the opening of the Great Exhibition, I immediately looked at the chart – and was astounded, though not entirely surprised.

I will begin with the date itself, May 1. May Day has long had traditional pagan associations. In fact it would appear that this date was considered the most important of the year until fairly recent times, so we are told. The festival of Beltane celebrated the turning of spring into summer, usually involving fertility rites, bonfires, even sacrifices.

Then during the 19th century this same date became associated with international workers rights and the advance of international socialism. So at the very least, the choosing of this date is most intriguing. Even Queen Victoria herself made reference to “strengthening the bonds of union among the nations of the earth.” There was an internationalist flavour to this and all world’s fair events like it.

John Bull at his apogee

So let’s get into the meat here. By all accounts the exhibition opened around midday, soon after Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their entourage entered the Crystal Palace. At this juncture the Taurus New Moon was only a few hours old, with both of the major luminaries conjunct the Taurean Midheaven of the chart, the part of the chart signifying goals and ambition.

A new Moon, or the ensuing hours after it, are traditionally thought to be the best time for new beginnings of any kind. In Taurus, anything to do with money or construction will be favoured, as long as it is also well aspected. The Moon is said to be exalted in Taurus, at her most fecund, promising further success.

This is highly symbolic timing for the beginning of this exhibition. It was not only to exhibit to the world the technological, economic and cultural hegemony of Great Britain for the next six months, but was meant to set the course for the remainder of this very ‘British century’, John Bull (Taurus) literally at the apogee, if you will. Taurus loves to establish and have firm footings.

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Pax Britannica – Great Britain ruling the waves

Appropriately enough too, royal Leo is on the ascendant loosely conjunct the fixed royal star Regulus. This makes the Sun ruler of the chart, as befits this very royal, if not imperial project. Although Queen Victoria was to lose her consort Prince Albert in 1861, she went on to become probably Britain’s most famous monarch – and Empress of India.

Interestingly, there is also a Venus Mars conjunction in Aries in the 9th house of philosophy, enterprise and long distance travel. The thrust of Mars is given a certain belligerence in his own sign, plus carte blanche to take it to the furthest corners of the earth.

The presence of Venus here adds a kind of benevolence too, maybe even the idea of Pax Britannica, the British Empire on which the sun never set. Great Britain ruling the waves (and pretty much everything else) indeed, as she proceeded to do for the next seventy five years.

Revolution meets irresistible force

However, this chart works on many layers, some of them quite deep. Around six weeks earlier in late March 1851, Uranus and the then undiscovered Pluto made the last contact of their recent coming together in Aries, a sign which is also strongly associated with England and Great Britain.

For example, the Christmas Day chart of 1066 set for the coronation of William I of England, has Aries on the ascendant. Many astrologers believe this chart still has much resonance today, and the Venus Mars conjunction in Aries in the Exhibition chart also links up with the 1066 chart’s action oriented Aries ascendant.

Now Uranus and Pluto meet up around every 172 years, so this represents a highly significant time astrologically. On the face of it, no one knew about the existence of Pluto at the time. Both Uranus and Pluto are still close together in the 1851 exhibition chart, straddling the Aries Taurus boundary. What is more, around the same time Saturn passed over both of these outer planets in late Aries and early Taurus.

With this I believe we get into some pretty deep territory. Since the discovery of Uranus in 1781, this planet became associated with sudden change and upheaval. Hence the revolution in France and the so-called Industrial Revolution, for example. It is as if an awareness of or need for change had suddenly entered our collective consciousness – the notion of ‘progress’, technologically and culturally.

Superconscious, transpersonal – or magical power?

However, if we think of this new discovery as a higher octave, or rather a superconscious (transpersonal) aspect of communicative Mercury, we might also get a better understanding of principles like insight, breakthrough and invention.

Maybe we have here the ability to draw on transpersonal energies – Uranus representing the initial breakthrough beyond the limiting boundary of Saturn, even if Ouranos, the old sky god which the new planet was named after, is in fact, ironically, the father of Saturn in  myth.

Perhaps the discovery, or even rediscovery of Uranus, is symbolic of the return of the magical power of the older gods.

If we consider the then undiscovered Pluto to be transpersonal power, as opposed to the personal expression of energy as seen in Mars, and all the potential danger that represents, then I think we get some idea as to the real significance of this new cycle which took place in Taurus in 1850 and into 1851.

Subterranean

It is almost like the magician Uranus utilising the deep power of Pluto for future use without mankind being aware of such subterranean force. Saturn passing over both just afterwards is acting like a coalescing agent of this transformative energy in the material world, a changing of the guard and setting the scene for decades ahead.

Every conjunction of Uranus and Pluto marks the beginning of a new cycle which appears to manifest in our world as a force for social and cultural change, but especially since 1851. The energies of transpersonal change and power come together as an almost irresistible force. People will argue as to the benevolence, or otherwise, of this energy.

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It would appear the power of this conjunction was being felt at least a year or so beforehand too. Look at the revolutions of 1848, for example, the biggest uprisings Europe as a whole had ever known, at least according to the known history. And even though little political change actually transpired as a result, the cultural significance in the long run was indeed manifest.

Setting the seal and precedent

We can therefore see that the Great Exhibition of 1851 did indeed set the symbolic seal of the times, showcased in the almost unbelievably magnificent Crystal Palace. The exhibition closed in October 1851. Then, remarkably, the great cast iron and glass edifice was transferred to another site in London. It seems little was beyond these Victorian engineers.

So ultimately, I believe the chart set for the inauguration of this important event is indeed highly symbolic. The next six months encapsulated Britain’s inheritance from the old world, yet more importantly, presaged her empire’s predominance in the world and the true beginning of ‘globalism’.

The beginning of globalism

Significantly, in the same year of 1851, we also see the establishment of the prime meridian of Greenwich, making London the de facto capital of the world.

It was around this same juncture too that one of the most important French literary figures, Victor Hugo, made a prophetic speech in regard to the idea of a united Europe. Even though such a ‘dream’ has never quite come to fruition, we can perhaps see the germ of this idea developing around this time, those first steps toward a global world.

The superpower which was Great Britain at the time was only nominally patriotic, in my opinion. Yes, Britons at the time could be proud of their empire, yet the real reach and purpose of this manifestation was to create a global world where the nation state, ultimately, would become redundant. The pros and cons of this movement are debatable.

The next meeting of Uranus and Pluto was in the mid 1960s. By then the idea of Pluto’s transformative power had entered our mainstream consciousness, having been discovered in 1930. This foreshadowed the next stage of social and cultural change – but that’s another article.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Poem From A Picture: ‘A Firm Distant Memory’

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Flower festival Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire, England. Summer 2019

It’s iconic now,
England versus West Germany,
countries no longer existing,
old adversaries meeting
on a dappled pitch in late July,
still embroiled in controversy;
such as goals which were not goals,
views strictly dictated along partisan lines,
or the keen eye of a Russian linesman.

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Dark Times of Intensity – Saturn Meets Pluto

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The long awaited conjunction between Saturn and Pluto becomes exact on January 12 2020, which also includes the Sun and Mercury, increasing its significance.

There is a Saturn Pluto conjunction very 33 to 37 years or so. Examples of others occurred in 1914, 1947 and 1982 and much has been written about these ‘coinciding’ with the beginning of WW1, The Cold War and the economic depression of the early 1980s.

However, this one seems especially dark to me. Put simply, in astrological terms, this planetary activity is taking place in Capricorn.

The goat represents the milieu of the status quo, business and politics. Saturn is in its own sign, very powerful, and represents authority and establishment.

Pluto’s Power

Pluto, so much demeaned by astronomers for now being classed as a ‘minor planet’, shows no signs of having any corresponding minor impact in astrology. Most positively, the Saturn Pluto conjunction could be said to symbolise restructuring.

Pluto is about power and it tears down, exposes, transforms, brings forth what has been long concealed, but also intensifies. From this it isn’t difficult to see that is just the kind of thing that has been happening, particularly in the world of politics and it hasn’t been pretty.

In the UK we have Brexit, Britain’s exit from the EU apparently recently endorsed by the Conservative’s landslide win in the General Election. The country stands to leave at 11pm on January 31 2020.

Political Chaos

There is much corresponding unrest in other European countries, violent protests and people questioning the future of the EU itself.

We have political chaos in America, where the President has been impeached, yet the process has not yet passed fully to the Senate – perhaps because it doesn’t stand a chance of being ratified, although at times the proceedings on all sides seems to beggar belief.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that I think the best outcome from all this is that we shall see the foundation of new political structures in the ensuing weeks, months and years.

I just hope and pray that this process of political transformation occurs as peaceably as possible and that we, the people, come out of it properly represented and wholly informed.

copyright Francis Barker 2020

 

Brexit Precedents No.4 – The End of the Hundred Years War between England and France

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On July 17 1453, the same year that Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire fell, England and English influence was effectively kicked out of France for good following the decisive Battle of Castillon.

It was another example of the see-saw, in-out relationship the island of Great Britain (in this case the major part of it called England) has had with the continent for a long time.

Ever since 1066, when William of Normandy conquered England and became its king, there had been strong ties to France. However, when Normandy was lost in 1204 during the reign of King John, successive English kings had hankered for its return; they were after all directly descended from the conqueror.

English invasion and victory

By the late 1330s King Edward III, who was himself largely of French ancestry, was in a position to invade France following a dispute about the long held English territory of Gascony in SW France.

In June 1340 Edward III won a decisive naval victory against the French at the Battle of Sluys, which marked the beginning of the so called Hundred Years War. By the end of the decade, following even more crushing victories at the Battles of Crecy and Poitiers, Edward was in control of large parts of France and even had the French king John II as a prisoner.

Then the so called ‘Black Death’ intervened in 1348/9. The treaty of Bretigny was eventually signed in 1360, leaving England in full charge of an expanded area in SW France. This marked the end of the first phase of the war, an often punctuated stalemate lasting fifty years, which saw France regain the upper hand diplomatically and make incursions into English territory.

The English conquest of France

Then in 1415, just two years after ascending the English throne, King Henry V re-ignited the conflict with his invasion of France. Following an unlikely victory at Agincourt that October, Henry went on, over the next couple of years, to re-conquer Normandy and push on from there to take large areas of northern France to add to those in the SW. Henry had become the undisputed master of France and heir to the French throne, once Charles VI had died. Unfortunately for Henry he was to die six weeks before Charles, leaving the throne of both England and France to his year old son, Henry VI in 1422.

Although the English held on to many of their French possessions for another generation, the loss of Burgundian support and the weakness of character of Henry VI, ensured their eventual defeat and removal from France and the continent of Europe, leaving only little Calais an English possession until 1558.

Out of Europe once again

So England and Great Britain had exited militarily and politically once again, though the monarchs of England would retain their claim on the French throne for several centuries after the defeat. England became more insular after this point, and following the disastrous Wars of the Roses which occurred immediately after the loss of France, the country became more obviously a nation with a nationalistic outlook.

The underrated King Edward IV, one of the Yorkist kings of England, attained enough stability in his kingdom to successfully invade France once more in 1475. However, he was in turn bought off by the French king Louis XI with a huge ‘bribe’ in the Treaty of Picquigny and returned home with his army.

Only the spiritual and ecclesiastical links remained across Europe and Great Britain, the power of the Roman Catholic Church. But even this, as it turned out, was not sacrosanct – but that’s another story in the list of this island’s fractious in-out relationship with Europe.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

 

Astrology Musings: Mr Brexit… on Fire!

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He is sometimes described as the most significant – and most controversial – British politician of the last 20 years.

He has been a sitting MEP in Brussels and Strasbourg for sometime, and has tried also, unsuccessfully so far, to become a Member of Parliament.

And yes, he’s a man who greatly divides opinion, a bit like Marmite, as the British might say, but then he’s been a leading exponent of Britain leaving the EU. Mr Brexit.

Lots of Fire

So what can a little bit of astrology reveal about this controversial character, called Nigel Farage?

Well, his Sun is in Aries, along with Mars and Jupiter (not conjunct), all in the 8th house. His Sagittarius Moon is in good aspect to that Jupiter.

So there’s plenty of fire here, enthusiasm, energy, drive and much high spirits.

All of these qualities are extremely useful for leadership, and the fact that he has led UKIP more than once and is now leading the Brexit Party to electoral success, show that leadership comes quite naturally and successfully to him.

The Sun, Mars and Jupiter in the 8th house points to very strong feelings and an interest in serious investments. This may perhaps also tie in with his former career in the City of London. The positivity of Jupiter trine Moon in fire certainly hints at a liking for speculation.

Hyper Critical Outlook

Also fascinating is his Virgo ascendant exactly conjunt Pluto. The ascendant shows how we project ourselves into the world, our personality.

Virgo here hints at a critical, detailed approach, the ability to analyse, assess quickly what’s in front of him. Pluto will probably only intensify that focus. (Pluto’s actual ‘influence’ is itself controversial).

His ruler Mercury in Taurus, reveals a practical, earthy mentality too. There is constructive thinking here, supported by Saturn, meaning he will want concrete results. Mercury in the 9th house of long distance travel and philosophy, strongly hints at mental interests and involvement in foreign concerns – the EU, for instance.

A Radical

And like all politicians born around this time, there is a Saturn Uranus opposition, albeit a little wide. In his case, it’s close to being angular, too, meaning that he will probably feel strongly that dichotomy between radicalism and conservatism. He might see himself as the radical organiser, opposing a totally inefficient establishment. Some see Pluto’s influence as ‘elimination’, stripping away, clearing out…

Pluto and Uranus close to his ascending degree point to a personal magnetism, an intensity, which is possibly one of the prime indicators as to why he is controversial.

Leadership Ability

So in summary, I think we see here genuine leadership potential (Sun, Mars, Jupiter in Aries), proven more than once in Britain and in the courts Brussels.

Yet he is not all ‘fire’. He’s a practical thinker (Mercury ruler in Taurus), expects results, and has a very strong grasp of detail, plus a flexible, hyper critical approach to everything he does (Virgo ascendant conjunct Pluto).

In a nutshell, there’s an emphasis on fire and earth: he sees something needs doing, setting off with great energy (fire) and a plan to implement it practically (earth). He’s a doer.

All in all, a recipe for success, I think.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

*If you would like a personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for details.