A little while ago that old chestnut about Ophiuchus being the thirteenth sign of the zodiac appeared all over the press once again.
The story seems to come around periodically in our ‘lowest common denominator’ society, which apparently seeks to deliberately trivialise (and confuse) virtually every issue, especially during the summer.
Each time the story is pitched in a different way to make it look as though it’s new, when in fact it’s old.
Let’s be clear – the twelve signs of the zodiac are the equal 30 degree divisions of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the sun around us.
Constellations are different from Zodiac signs
The signs from Aries to Pisces are not the same as the constellations, the latter, though they lie behind the path of the sun on its journey, are of unequal length – and yes, there are thirteen constellations which intrude into this path, one of which is Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.
When we think about it, twelve is a natural division. For example, the planet Jupiter takes almost twelve years to return to the same position. That means he spends roughly one year in each sign. I think this is significant.
Whilst there are some astrologers who incorporate Ophiuchus into their work these days, I do not subscribe to it for the reasons outlined above. To each his own, as they say, and keep a clear mind.
The bottom line is that I think the waters are muddied enough already and nature’s symmetry truly is something to behold – and uphold.
So finally it appears to be happening, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is due to formally leave the EU at 11pm GMT on Friday January 31 2020.
Of course, there will be an ongoing debate during 2020 as to the nature of the final ‘deal’ between the two powers, whether it is based on the ‘Canada Free Trade Deal’, or even leaving on WTO terms at the end of the year in the event that no agreement has been made.
Nevertheless the UK is leaving, after much stuttering and fall out and two general elections since the referendum vote in June 2016.
But from my own astrological perspective, what does the leaving time and date signify, if anything?
Libra the balance but will we see justice?
I will start with the ascendant, or rising sign of the chart for 11pm, January 31, set for Westminster, the seat of the UK Parliament. We have Libra rising, a very political sign to do with justice, diplomacy and legality. It is no surprise that Libra has more than its fair share of politicians, lawyers and teachers with the Sun and other important significators in that sign.
Libra rising sets the political character of the moment, the scales, justice, a sense of something being ratified legally and that it has not been an easy course to reach this point. There has been, and there will continue to be, much debate.
However, Venus, the ruler of Libra and thereby ruler of the chart, is in Pisces in the 6th house, close to Neptune and in challenging aspect to an inflammatory Mars in Sagittarius.
Whither the Health Service?
In mundane astrology the 6th house is often seen to signify the nation’s health, perhaps the state of the UK’s health service, and we know how contentious the talk has been in regard to this, with claims that any future deal with the USA might see terms which gives Washington access to and power to ‘meddle’ with what many still regard to be one of the best health systems in the world.
Astrologically at any rate, it seems clear that the state of the health service, plus the Police and armed forces and their future role, will be the source of much angst in months and years to come.
Although Venus is said to be well placed in Pisces, the proximity of Neptune and the aggravation from Mars does indicate weakness, perhaps a continuing debate, encouraged and enflamed by the media, about as to whom can have access to free health care once, and if, free movement ends.
Radical Aquarius – radical government?
The Sun, always a prime factor in any chart, is in Aquarius in the 5th house of speculation, sport and leisure, a very positive placement I feel. Like Libra, Aquarius is an air sign, fitting well with the current Prime Minister Johnson’s air dominated chart.
Aquarius is forward looking, fair minded, radical and so we might well see a strong push towards political reformation, something which probably all sides would concede needs to be done. Just how far this might go is anyone’s guess.
There is much talk about reforming the House of Lords, even to the point of questioning its very existence. The state of the union has also been talked about, with Scotland clearly disaffected with being taken out of the EU as part of the UK.
Will Scotland be able to wave ‘tata’?
One wonders whether one of the reforms might be to do with the constitution of the UK and the relationship between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Could we be heading towards a more federal union? Will Scotland be granted ‘special’ status within the UK to placate its push towards independence?
As the 5th house rules speculation and the stock market, or partly so, we could see changes here too, though the continuing health of it would seem to be assured, depending on world economic trends.
Sport and leisure activities are also likely to be strongly emphasised during the next phase.
Within the next few days, Part 2 in this series will continue to investigate this chart and the changing nature and role of the United Kingdom in the coming years.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2020
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So finally the United Kingdom has an election to ‘clear the air’ surrounding Brexit and Parliament. But will it solve anything?
The chart set for the opening of the polls at 7 am, December 12 2019 at Westminster, London, is fascinating, not merely for the fact that a full Moon has just occurred, a sign of culmination and change.
In this chart Sagittarius is rising. The first house in mundane astrology is usually indicative of the nation as a whole. I would tentatively state that this indicates that the nation is in a good, expansive mood, ready to move on, make positive progress, Sagittarius being the mutable fire sign. The sun is also in Sagittarius, underscoring this point.
A nation more informed and expansive?
Mercury is within orbs of a conjunction with the rising degree, perhaps a sign that the nation is at last more fully informed, open minded and conscious about all the pros and cons of Brexit, what type of Brexit it wants and where the country as a whole should be going. Mercury is, however, in the sign of its detriment, which traditionally is less positive.
Interestingly Mercury is ruler of the 10th house, which (along with the MC or midheaven) is to do with the government. Maybe this is a further indication that the government has succeeded in tapping the mind of the nation and its people during the campaign.
With Sagittarius rising, Jupiter is the ruling planet. Jupiter is found in Capricorn (the sign of its fall) in the 2nd house of the economy and finance. This would, by and large, seem positive (despite the fact Jupiter is in the sign of its fall), that practical (Capricorn) considerations have been made and discussed and that there may be serious potential for some important trade deals (2nd house) in the offing, for example.
Jupiter makes a fairly tight positive trine aspect to Uranus in the 6th house, which may indicate that the government could pull certain surprising ‘rabbits out of hats’ in regard to trade and the economy in general, perhaps with the promise of securing large numbers of extra jobs in its manifesto, for instance – a usual ploy though.
That said, Jupiter is also ruler of the 4th house which stands for the opposition parties, who therefore may also benefit, or give a much better showing in terms of results than anyone predicted. It’s difficult to say which will come to fruition, although at present I would favour the government, especially as Neptune is found in the opposition’s house (4th), which implies a confusion of ideas and ideals.
Venus in the pit – a positive effect?
The MC or midheaven is also a strong indicator of the government’s standing. In this chart it is in Libra, whose ruler is Venus, which, very interestingly, is making a tight triple conjunction with the daunting Saturn and Pluto ‘diabolical double act’ in Capricorn in the 2nd house.
Venus is termed the lesser benefic and actually sits nicely between baleful Saturn and penetrating Pluto, perhaps acting as a kind emollient, softening influence, maybe even allowing for more positivechange politically (Capricorn) and economically (2nd house), as a result of this election.
What is more, returning to the full Moon, or the sun and Moon opposition, which I talked about in the previous post, this Venus, along with Saturn and Pluto, form an interesting semi sextile (30 degrees) aspect to the sun and is also inconjunct or quincunx aspect (150 degrees) to the Moon.
To my mind this shows Venus (in conjunction with Saturn and Pluto) having the potential to positively offload the great tension of the situation in the election, the full Moon, and plough it into beneficial news and results politically and economically, along with Pluto’s potential to ‘drain the swamp’ and Saturn’s ability to begin to build again. We shall see, it’s tempting and all too easy to read too much into this, but fascinating nevertheless.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019
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The Proms begin today, July 19, perhaps the quintessential British cultural event, held each year in several venues in London between July and September, though most notably at The Royal Albert Hall.
The word proms is in fact a shortening of the term Promenade Concerts, a cultural phenomena which had its origins in 18th century London, which took place in pleasure gardens where the spectators were allowed to move around the orchestras. The word promenade is a borrowing from the French language, meaning to walk.
Music for the masses
In the 19th century this style of concert moved indoors as well, leading eventually to the establishment of ‘The Proms’ on August 10 1895 at the Queens Hall, Langham Place by the well known impresario, Robert Newman.
The idea was to offer the experience of classical music to the general public, with lower ticket prices in an informal setting. It has to be said that the idea worked, with a comprehensive schedule of performances spanning over two months.
However, the Proms do have their detractors. For instance, I have heard it said more than once that they are too English. Whilst there is certainly a great deal of flag waving, a cursory look at the famous ‘Last Night of the Proms’, will reveal flags from all over the world.
What is more, much time and energy has been put in to diversifying the content, with the inclusion of world music, as well as folk music from all over Great Britain and Ireland.
Astrological charts can be cast for events as well as people, otherwise called Mundane astrology.
Having failed to win an overall majority to the surprise of many, PM May went to Buckingham Palace to form a minority government at 12:30 PM on June 9 2017.
I cast this chart at the time and it was pretty obvious that the making of clear cut decisions was going to be difficult, if not impossible. Minority governments always have to tread carefully anyway.
For a start, the chart has the angles, that is the rising sign and midheaven, in mutable signs. Change, uncertainty, constant flux – these are all the qualities of this present administration. Not good if you want to finalise decisions, come to agreements in regard to Brexit.
Also, at almost the exact time the government was formed, there was a full moon in mutable signs once more, the Sun opposing from Gemini. Again, mutable means constant movement, fluidity.
This full moon seems to symbolise the ongoing, constantly changing, yet ultimately intransigent relations between the government and the opposition, and the establishment against the people, as it has come to be seen.
What is more, we have Neptune in Pisces (mutable) very close to the descendant, which is all about how the government relates to the outside world. Neptune has been negatively associated with impressionability, confusion, perhaps even deceit with this placing; think of a thick sea mist preventing you being able to see where you are going in a boat.
I think this pretty much describes the events over the passed two years. The endless confusion, rumours of behind the scene deals, the complete lack of clear progress – in anything. It might be argued that we also see here the befuddled nature of the ‘deal or no deal’ Brexit negotiations, which, at times have descended into complete farce at Westminster, with the UK and EU literally talking a different language.
The Good News?
On a more positive note, Jupiter is in the second house of financial affairs, in a wide trine aspect to the Sun. To me this shows that despite the political chaos, UK PLC has continued to do financially well, relatively better than most other European countries, at any rate, despite warnings of Brexit.
There is also a nicely positive aspect between Venus in Taurus 9th house, and Mars in Cancer in the 11th. There may well have been financial opportunities, helping hands from abroad, like that free trade deal with the USA, which has never materialised – at least not yet.
On the whole though, I think we can see that this was not a good time to form a government, to put it mildly.
Unless you are a mole (no offence, moles), or have somehow managed to insulate yourself from the news over the last three years or so, you must have heard of Brexit – even in the USA.
Well, astrological charts can be cast for nations as well as people. It’s called Mundane Astrology and has a long history. Can it reveal anything?
Well, one method of prognostication is to cast a ‘birth’ chart for a nation (or can be an event) at an important juncture, such as the Norman Conquest of 1066, in England’s case. This, arguably, was the last time England was conquered by military force, so one would think it has to be very significant astrologically speaking, a time when the country was reborn, for good for ill, with a hostile takeover.
Coronation of the Conqueror
To do this, normally the date and time of William the First’s coronation on Christmas Day 1066 at 12 Noon, is taken, bearing in mind that the old Julian calendar was in operation at that time. Adjustments must be made.
Over many years it’s often been said that this chart still ‘resonates’, still represents the character of the nation even and its sensitivity to the movements of the planets today, their positions, including the three ‘outer planets’. These are called transits.
In this chart the sun is in Capricorn and Aries is rising, two signs which represent the tradition, business and enterprising, often belligerent and warlike nature of England over the past 950 years.
What I find most interesting however, is at the present time we have Uranus and Pluto in the earth signs of Taurus and Capricorn. Saturn is also in Capricorn, which it rules. So, with almost equal measure, you could say that the forces for change vie with the power of the establishment. Who will win?
Force for Change
Looking beyond England for a minute, even for the world as a whole the presence of these two forces for change, Uranus and Pluto, in two earth signs, represents political and financial intrigue, change and chaos, most particularly since Uranus’ entry into Taurus last year. Saturn in Capricorn, however, represents authority, the need to keep things established the way they are.
And right now transiting Pluto is in square (difficult, challenging) aspect from the 10th house to the Ascending (and thereby descending also) degree of the 1066 chart.
I think this represents the fundamental intransigence of the political situation right now. Pluto is stirring up the mud, perhaps slowly ‘draining the swamp’ in the political situation in England, bringing existential questions to the fore about the nation itself, about what it is, where it is going, how it relates to the world. Saturn in Capricorn however wants to resist any such change.
The intransigence is of course between the forces of those who wish to implement the referendum result right now, and those who do not, or if at all, symbolised by Saturn in Capricorn. It is not as straightforward as saying this is radicalism versus conservatism.
Either way, however, drastic, lasting political change is definite, I think. We may see a glimpse of what is to come today, Thursday May 23, when the EU (including the UK) votes in the new European elections.
Mars the driving force?
Pluto has been in Capricorn for some time but Uranus has been turning things over a bit in Aries (England’s rising sign), passing over England’s 1066 ascendant, and now in early Taurus, both sensitive areas of the 1066 chart.
Uranus moving into Taurus hints of sudden financial changes, which might well be to do with whatever deal the UK finally gets, if any.
What is more, when I cast the chart for the moment the polls open at 7 am on May 23 (set for Westminster, London, UK), astonishingly I found Mars closely conjunct a Cancer ascendant, exactly sextile Uranus. I also found the waning Moon just passing the Saturn Pluto conjunction in Capricorn.
What does this mean? One interpretation is that the forceful, emotionally patriotic stance of the people, who wish to embrace positive change (Mars conjunct Cancer ascendant in good aspect to Uranus) will be very evident in the character of the poll, its driving force if you will.
The Moon conjunct Saturn Pluto in Capricorn in the 7th or 8th house (depending on which house system you use) in the electional chart, might indicate the triggering of the fundamental political change, the beginning of manifest constitutional change which will alter forever England’s and the United Kingdom’s stance in the world and how it relates to it.
These are musings only, but I shall be very interested to see what picture begins to emerge with the counting on Friday.
And we may not see the full fallout, that is, what kind of country England finally emerges as, until Pluto leaves Capricorn in 2023 and Uranus leaves Taurus in 2025.
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