October in its beauty carries a message of constant change. Everything that starts is, in the end, going to be replaced by something new. There are two things for certain: change and death. Death releases space and resources for a new generation of life. Time keeps going, even if we have stopped. Merciless ticking and […]2020 — Figuretry
The contention hurts
whichever side we’ve taken
Bells of joy and doom
copyright Francis Barker 2020
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
If you would like your own astrological report, or one creating for someone else, please contact me on email@example.com
Brexit or no Brexit: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
the sins of outrageous politicians,
Or to pull the plug on that swamp of filth,
And by opposing drain it?
copyright Francis Barker 2019
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
When King John of England lost Normandy, Anjou and Brittany in northern France in 1204 AD to King Philip II Augustus of France, it was to have great repercussions back home in England.
The territories of Normandy and Anjou had been at the very heart of the great Angevin Empire, which at its zenith during the reign of John’s father, Henry II (1154 – 1189 AD), stretched from the Scottish borders to the Pyrenees.
Although John retained Gascony and Aquitaine in the south west of France after 1204, lands that had come into the possession of his family through his father’s marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, the loss of Normandy and Anjou seemed symbolic of a catastrophic failure.
Normandy of course was the dukedom brought into the fold of the English crown with William the Conqueror’s victory at Hastings in 1066. John’s father, Henry II, was from Anjou, meaning that this dukedom also became a crown possession when he acceded to the throne, even though Kings of England still had to swear fealty to the Kings of France for their possession of the dukedoms of Normandy and Anjou.
A sudden sense of separation?
So there was definitely a great sense of sudden separation felt, not merely with John, but also among the vast majority of the ruling aristocracy of England, who were overwhelmingly of Anglo Norman or Anglo Angevin descent, and who had lands and familial ties to these French dukedoms.
Now these barons and other aristocrats had to make a choice: Were they English or French? Whilst the ties between England and northern France remained to some degree, there began to grow a sense of English nationhood from this point in history.
Anglo Normans began to feel increasingly English, often marrying English spouses. Those left in Normandy and Anjou became truly French once more. From 1066 to 1204, the English Channel was a connection between two areas essentially of the same realm: Now it was a great divide between two kingdoms growing apart, who would within a hundred and fifty years embark upon the Hundred Years’ War.
Magna Carta and civil war
Nevertheless, despite the loss of Normandy, for over ten years King John, perhaps foolishly, persisted in trying to regain his lost French territories, causing crippling taxation and making powerful enemies at home and abroad.
This would eventually lead to Magna Carta in 1215, where the barons tried to curtail the power of the king against them.
However, when John began to refuse to follow the new ‘rules’, civil war broke out, ultimately leading to the baron’s inviting Prince Louis, the son of King Philip Augustus, to England with an army of several hundred ships.
A new French conquest
By 1216, much of England was in the control of Prince Louis and the barons and it seemed very likely for a while that the ties between the two kingdoms were about to be even more strongly cemented by this new conquest, exactly one hundred and fifty years since the first one.
Then, in October 1216, King John suddenly died. The English barons who had not supported Louis began to resist and gain more support and the French barons were finally defeated as support for Prince Louis began to slip away.
The barons probably realised that they now had John’s young son, Henry III, to control and get what they wanted without trying to justify the arrival of a young French king and all his staff and the unpopularity that this would undeniably bring.
England’s ‘in out’ relationship with the continent
So within twelve short years, England had effectively been cut off from the continent with the loss of Normandy and Anjou, notwithstanding the retention of distant lands in south west France, then came with a hair’s breadth of being fully subsumed within the sphere of influence of kingdom of France, and then finally reneged on the latter idea altogether, ultimately choosing ‘independence’.
Once more England found itself essentially alone, cut off, though independent and with a growing sense of nationhood, perhaps a little bit like Brexit Britain might be?
copyright Francis Barker 2019
The period of Roman rule of Britain is quite clearly defined. Although Julius Caesar had attempted invasion twice a century before, it was the Emperor Claudius who successfully invaded Britain in 43 AD, marking the beginning of the province of Britannia, which, interestingly, did not permanently include what we now call Scotland.
The provincial borders came to be defined by Hadrian’s Wall in the north, created in the early 2nd century AD, and then quite fleetingly by the Antonine Wall in the Scottish midlands.
Boudicca had attempted to destroy the Roman power in the land with her rebellion of 60 – 61AD, but it ultimately failed, although it was a clear sign that Britons were not so easily assimilated into the empire, nor keen on the notion of being ruled by a distant dictator.
A crumbling empire in the west
By the late 4th century, however, several legions had already been withdrawn, leaving the province more open to attack from the Picts to the north and by Germanic raiders, the Anglo Saxons, along the eastern and southern seaboard.
By 410 AD the situation had got so serious that British leaders requested help from the then Roman emperor Honorius. However, due to his ongoing struggles nearer home in Italy and the western empire in general, trying to repulse invasions by other Germanic tribes, he sent his ‘Rescript of Honorius’ back to the Britons, basically telling them that they had to look after themselves, because he was in no position to do so.
Although subsequent Roman leaders probably wanted to re-establish proper links to this far flung province, they never did because the empire in the west was slowly falling apart, finally ending in 476 AD.
So Britain, or at least most of it, had been under Roman rule for over 350 years, a significant time. Now it was cast adrift and largely at the mercy of invasions from the east and north.
The beginnings of England
The Romano British warlords, ‘King’ Arthur quite likely being one of them, did their best to defend the country. However, gradually, as more Angles, Saxons and Jutes (and others) who had been living to the north of the empire, settled over the next two centuries, the foundations of the country we now call England began to take hold, in the form of petty kingdoms ruled by Germanic warlord aristocrats.
Of course, we can’t compare this history too much to what is happening now. For one thing, the Romans left Britain, whereas today’s Brexit is the other way round, Britain leaving the EU, allegedly. And then there’s the duration factor too. For example, the United Kingdom has only been in the Common Market/European Economic Union/European Union since January 1 1973 – not 350 years.
Britain may leave the EU but Romans abandoned Britain
And of course, the Roman takeover was largely hostile, whereas Britain’s deferring of powers to the EU has been granted peaceably, albeit foolishly according to a growing number of British patriots.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting comparison and another example of the island of Great Britain being a part of Europe but always likely to be either less well thought of by central Europeans, abandoned, forgotten, or even seeking to go its own way, looking beyond with an independent spirit.
One can imagine the uneasy feeling of the people of Britain 1600 years ago, knowing that the protection they had known for so long had been withdrawn.
Do those who want to remain in the EU today feel the same? And do Brexiteers, like some of the populace back at the end of Roman Britain, feel more of a sense of opportunity, the chance to create something freer?
copyright Francis Barker 2019
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 positive change 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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In the immediate hours preceding the opening of the polls on the morning of the British election at 7 am, December 12 2019, a full Moon occurs in Gemini.
I find this extraordinary, considering all that the country has been through already over the past three and a half years. What might this mean, other than the fact that it seems to symbolise the huge dichotomy, the split within the nation(s) and the people of the United Kingdom?
The time of the full Moon is a time of tension, opposition between contrary forces: the sun versus the Moon, masculine and feminine, yin and yang, the government (sun) and the people (Moon). There is a huge public distrust of political institutions in general at the moment.
Change in the air
The time of the full Moon is a time of culmination, of change, especially I feel along a mutable (changeful) axis like Sagittarius and Gemini, which are all about knowledge, dissemination and communication. Something has to give.
Equally intriguing is that this sun/Moon opposition occurs along the 1st/7th house axis, which in mundane astrology is to do with the nation as a whole (1st) and agreements, diplomacy and treaties with other nations (7th). Nothing better could encapsulate (at this point in time on election morning) the ongoing impasse, stand off even, there has been between the interests of the nation and the dispute over the nature of the deal or treaty with which the UK finally leaves the EU – if it does at all.
The time of the full Moon each month can also be a strange time; animals’ and people’s behaviour can be more unpredictable and unusual, which is a well known fact. The result itself might be difficult to predict.
All of this considered, holding an election at the time of the full Moon is perhaps not ideal, although one thing is clear I think – it will be tense, there will be some kind of surprise, a shock even.
The surprise might be that the opposition parties do much better than expected. At the moment the government has a significant lead in the polls but a lot can change over a long campaign.
A shock result?
Conversely, the ‘shock’ might be that the Conservative government has a landslide, perhaps with the aid of the Brexit party in some kind of electoral pact.
Perhaps the least likely result, because the full Moon in Gemini indicates change, would be another hung parliament, which would essentially mean no change from where we are now, except that Labour, Liberal Democrats and even the Scottish Nationalists could form some kind of coalition government if the Conservatives were not the biggest party. This could, effectively, cancel Brexit entirely.
Could the weather intervene?
It could even be the weather. The full Moon often occurs at the time of a break in the weather. This is the first December election for nearly a century, so what happens if there is significant snowfall, for example? The polls in the cities and towns may well cope, but what about the country areas? Will people be able to vote? Will they want to go out and vote? Will the vote have to be cancelled?
Either way this is going to be very interesting, tense and fraught, especially as the nature of ‘Brexit’ is at stake – even whether there is to be Brexit at all.
I will look more fully into the astrology of polling day 2019 in other posts.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019
If you would like your own astrological report creating please contact me at email@example.com
Whatever did Britons (and others) do for news stories before Brexit?
When this long running political and parliamentary shenanigans is finally sorted (if) – will we actually, in some strange way – miss it?
Now that ‘the can has been kicked down the road’ once more, as they say, there is still no end in sight, not even with a ‘flextension’, where the United Kingdom could leave at any time before January 31 2020. But don’t hold your breath, expect the unexpected might be a good statement to keep in mind.
The whole issue of Brexit reminded me of the people of Great Britain’s long running in/out relationship with the continent of Europe, not merely historically, politically and economically, but geographically.
When the ice sheets melted at the end of the last ice age, roughly 10 to 11000 years ago, what is now the island of Great Britain was, for a time, connected to the continent by an ever diminishing land bridge, which eventually disappeared.
It would appear this separation was wholly and permanently defining for the people of Great Britain, wherever they came from, and remains so right up until the present day. Britain is part of Europe, yet it is clearly a very distinct part of it, symbolised by its island status and the fractured relationship it has had, and still has, with Europe’s varying political institutions.
In the next piece I will look at other examples of ‘Brexit’ from the past.
copyright Francis Barker 2019
When PM Johnson and EU President both tweeted at 10:35 am this morning, claiming they had secured a deal in the interests of both sides, I couldn’t resist having a look at the chart of that time set for Brussels.
Fascinatingly, a well aspected Mercury planet of communication was found exactly conjunct the ascending degree (AC) in Scorpio. A very apt time to make a communication or statement in the sign of secrecy (which has been a characteristic of these talks), especially considering all the cloak and dagger machinations that have been going on for days, if not weeks.
Mercury is ruler of the 11th and 8th houses, hinting at more positivity in regard to aims, legislation and further financial arrangements. Jupiter in its own sign in the 2nd house too, encourages economic growth through free trade deals (Sagittarius).
However, I also note that Uranus, planet of disruption and change is in the 7th house (using whole signs) of deals, treaties, diplomacy – not a good sign and may indicate the continuing combustible nature of these protracted negotiations, where the PM is trying to keep all sides on board, a nigh on impossible task.
Financial arrangements are also going to continue to be very volatile, especially in regard to settlements (Taurus is the major money sign). Uranus is also in difficult aspect to Venus in the first house, Taurus’ ruler, a further indication of fallouts about money and security.
Only a quick look and few insights but clearly this is far from over – but I guess we already knew that.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019
*If you would like your own personal astrology report please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org