To Brexit or not to Brexit, that is question…

Brexit astrol RFSIn less than 10 days, the UK population will go the polls to decide whether or not they want to be a part of the European Union or not. This is a fairly landmark vote, and one that has massive implications, not only for the fate of Britain, but also potentially for the rest of the world.

So, will British voters choose to stay a part of Europe, or make a swift Brexit?

At this juncture, I thought it might be worth looking at the astrology around the day of the vote to see if we might be able to make some predictions…

BREXIT VOTE – EVENT CHART

Below is an event chart set for noon on 23 June 2016, the day of the Brexit election.

Brexit horary

This map is interesting for several reasons, not least of which is the T-square involving Saturn, Neptune, Mercury and the Midheaven – could this be the signature of a vote in favour of Brexit? Let’s find out…

Beginning where most horary astrologers would, we note what is happening around the area around the horizon. Here, we have a Virgo Ascendant and Jupiter rising. On first appearance, it seems reassuring that the major benefic is sitting on this most important of angles.

In this chart, Jupiter rules the 4th house (which has a Sagittarius cusp). In political astrology, this house signifies the mood/will/mindset/actions of the populace/common people i.e.voters, which seems very appropriate  – after all, 23 June is when they get their opportunity to have a say on the UK’s future in Europe by casting their ballot. Jupiter is also conjunct the North Node, adding a sense of collective destiny to what Jupiter represents – in this case, a group effort  or vote cast by the British people which could potentially alter the course of destiny/history. This seems to be a positive signal – that the people will make the right decision for the UK. However, one can’t help but note that Jupiter is also in detriment in Virgo, which could weaken its potentially fortunate influence on the outcome of the vote.

Getting back to basics, though, our next port of call is the chart ruler. Given the Virgo AS, the chart ruler of this map is Mercury in Gemini, which is conjunct Midheaven from the 9th house of foreign policy and international relations – again, this seems very appropriate. Gemini rules politics, negotiation and the political process; Mercury, decision-making, and the Midheaven represents public goals/future aspirations or direction, which together pretty much sum the Brexit election: clearly, this horoscope is all about an important  vote/decision (Mercury) – one that determines the political future of the UK (midheaven). Radical? Tick!

Mercury is also conjunct the fixed star, Rigel, which forms the foot in the constellation of Orion. According to Ptolemy and William Lilly, this star has the combined nature of Jupiter and Saturn, suggesting lasting honours, a dignified reputation and wise decisions. Hopefully this is a good omen that sense will prevail and people will cast their votes carefully and after deep consideration of what they think is best for Britain long term, so that the country can continue to command respect politically and enjoy a high profile in the world.

Taurus is on the 9th house cusp, and as we have already pointed out, this house governs foreign policy and relations. Venus rules Taurus but also the sign of Libra, which is interesting because Libra (and therefore Venus) rules the 2nd house cusp, which represents the UK economy. Clearly, then, this points to a link between the economic growth and prosperity of the UK and that of foreign trade and policy, which is the number one  argument being made by ‘Remain’ campaigners. It may be worth remarking here that Taurus is quite a conservative sign that doesn’t like change or radical action, which may hint at the status quo being the safer economic option, which is certainly  the line that the government and bank of England are taking.

Now, Venus happens to be situated in the 10th house, close to a conjunction with the Sun and in the sign of Cancer. This tells us that the vote is taking place in high summer, close to the solstice as well as just after the Full Moon. Astrologically, these are all signs of culminations or climaxes and indeed, many see this vote as being the conclusion or denouement of decisions made in the 1970s and 1980’s when Britain first joined the European Union, which at that point, was simply an economic area of trade known as the EEA. The sign of Cancer here may also be significant – Moon-ruled, this is very much a sign that represents home, family, emotions, and the need for nurturing and security, all of which suggests that voters will be thinking about the future of their loved ones when they make their decision at the polls.

Now, in mundane astrology, the Sun usually symbolises leaders, and in this map, it is positioned close to Venus in the 10th house of political leadership, so this looks to me as though it might represent the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who also happens to be Venus-ruled (natally, he has the Sun and AS in Libra). Many see his political future as being strongly linked to the results of the vote, so the condition of the Sun here is likely to be an important indicator of his fate, and, interestingly, this Venus will be transiting over Cameron’s Cancer Midheaven, which does seem to confirm this view.

Furthermore, the Sun rules the 12th house cusp, which does often represent self-undoing or secret enemies, and certainly many in politics believe that Cameron was foolish to call this referendum because it could potentially undermine his position as leader of the Tory party. Certainly, many think that Boris Johnson chose to campaign against him because of his ambitions to take over from the Prime Minister, so this seems radical.

Both the Sun and Venus are conjunct the Part of Nobility and Honour. Could this mean that Cameron’s position will be vindicated as a result of this vote and with it, his standing as leader of the Tory party? We’ll have to wait for our examination of the aspects in this map to find out….Needless  to say, it certainly does suggest that his intentions are honourable and that he has the best interests of Britain at heart when he campaigns for an ‘In’ vote.

And what of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage – the two most prominent Brexit campaigners? We’ll take a look at their charts in another blog when we consider the potential consequences of voting results. There are some strange anomalies in there which I need to get my head around…

As the lesser benefic, Venus’ prominent position in the 10th house looks positive. However, Venus is combust (that is, within 8 degrees of a conjunction to the Sun) which does weaken its influence somewhat. I can’t also help but wonder if this Venus might also somehow represent Jo Cox, the murdered Labour MP, whose tragic death may perhaps sway some voters’ opinions? Not only did David Cameron call her a bright star, but her natal Sun sits at zero degrees Cancer – the solstice point – and is within 2 degrees of an exact conjunct to the Sun in this map (so very close to Cameron). On top of this, her natal Saturn is conjunct this Venus, and both the Sun and Venus are square to her natal Pluto in Libra, which does seem quite spooky.

Other angular chart points that stand out include:

  • Chiron on the Descendant – this suggests a certain vulnerability or potential wound that has been re-opened as a result of  issues surrounding this vote. The 7th house is important for a number of reasons – not only is it considered to be the house of political and trade relations but it is also the house of enemies, and it’s possible that the UK may have made a few just by holding this election. Certainly Chiron’s presence here suggests a longstanding hang-up or feeling of vulnerability that seems to dovetail with the Brexiteers’ arguments about sovereignty, as well as a feeling of loss of control over who they can and can’t relate to when it comes to encounters with other people.
  • The 7th house Pisces cusp is ruled by Neptune, which is conjunct the south node from the 6th house but is very close to the Descendant. In mundane terms, this is the house of work/labour/jobs – so are jobs at risk if the Brexiteers succeed? Thsi is certainly a fear of some citizens, rightly or wrongly. Neptune is a very porous sign, with no boundaries and as ruler of the sea, which surrounds the British Isles, this could point towards many citizens’ fears about immigration policies: open borders and the inability to control the flow of people with EU passports into the country, because of the potential threat that this appears to pose to local jobs. But is this fear justified? As Lord Sugar has pointed out, many EU migrants take the low-paid jobs that the majority of locals don’t want to do such as cleaning, fruit picking etc. Furthermore, the Brexit vote does not actually have a bearing on the status of people to claim asylum as political refugees, so the crisis caused by wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan will not actually be affected by this vote at all. What’s more, this feeling of  being flooded or besieged by foreigners/the ‘other’ also neglects something very fundamental – that freedom of movement works both ways – British citizens are just as free to study, travel, work or move to the continent as those economic migrants who arrive on British shores looking for opportunities to improve their lives.
  • And this is perhaps where the south node comes into the equation – it suggests that, as long as UK citizens remain stuck in an island mentality, bewitched by nostalgic, purist notions about what Britain represents, and in love with the past, they will never grow as a nation or a society. AA Gill summed it up very well when he wrote about Brexit in a column for the Sunday Times magazine:

We all know what “getting our country back” means. It’s snorting a line of that pernicious and debilitating Little English drug, nostalgia. The warm, crumbly, honey-coloured collective ‘yesterday’ with its fond belief that everything was better back then, that Britain is a worse place now than at some foggy point in the past where we achieved peak Blighty.

Elsewhere in the same article, he writes:

The dream of Brexit isn’t that we might be able to make a brighter, new, energetic tomorrow; it’s a desire to shuffle back to a regret-curdled inward-looking yesterday.

Notice all the Neptunian words: drug, nostalgia, foggy, dream. Elsewhere he talks about ‘fantasy’. And then there are all the south node words: ‘shuffle back’, ‘past’, ‘yesterday’, ‘inward-looking’ etc. Neptune becomes very important in this reading if we consider it’s involvement in the T-square with Mercury and Saturn, so let’s have a look at that next.

  • Saturn in Sagittarius is also close to the cusp of the IC from the 3rd house. Given that Saturn rules the 5th house cusp of children, it is possible that Saturn here stands for the older generation of UK voters, who have to weigh up the potential consequences for their children/the next generation if they get this decision wrong. Demographic breakdowns of opinion polls tell us that senior voters are much more likely to be pro-Brexit than their children. Could Saturn here point to this demographic as holding the key to which way the voting will go? Or could it simply be pointing to a crushing sense of moral responsibility to the younger generation of Britons that may be weighing on the minds of many older voters ? It’s third house position certainly points to intellectual processes and decision-making. The ethical question about loss of control over UK borders and immigration policy may also play into this, given Saturn’s square to Neptune, ruler of the 7th house.
  • On this last point, it may be worth mentioning that the Moon, ruler of the 11th house of friendly foreign relations, is in the 5th house of children and gambling. If we consider these two symbols together, it does seem to reinforce the notion of legacy and the fact that it is the younger generation is most likely to be affected by the outcome of the Brexit vote – something voters certainly need to bear in mind because it could well sway Brexiteers to change their minds at the last-minute.

ASPECTS & OUTCOMES

So what is likely to happen, based on this chart?

Well, if Jupiter represents voters (4th house = the public and also the end of the matter) – and Mercury represents the Brexit campaign – and the outcome of polling results, given its 10th house position – then we have to consider the separating aspects between these two planets as providing some context to what may happen next.

Mercury is in fact, separating  from a square to Jupiter  – a difficult aspect which suggests intellectual conflicts, differences of opinion and difficult decisions. It also suggests that the campaign as a whole has been beset with challenges – many voters have complained about a lack of precise facts on which to base decisions, which is reflected in Jupiter’s detrimented position in Virgo in the 12th house and its rulership of the 4th house – people feel as though they are ‘in the dark’ and so don’t know what to decide for the best. On the other hand, the media and politicians have made the whole issue sound very simple, when in fact, neither side can predict with any real degree of certainty what could happen based on economic analyses etc. This is why Gemini as the thief and the salesman can get a bit of a bad rap – while politicians and the media (both Mercury-ruled professions) might suggest that the choices are easy and clear, the truth is that they are anything but!

On a slightly different note, this square could also been seen  in another light: perhaps this election process could also be seen as a catalyst for bringing a difficult issue to light, allowing it to be debated openly and then finally resolved, thereby bringing to an end any hidden animosity or behind-the-scenes carping about the UK’s position in relation to Europe. In other words, by giving the British people a say, politicians can hopefully put an end to the constant carping and complaining about the European question that might otherwise continue to plague party politics and provide fuel to divisive forces within British society such as UKIP.

Mercury is also sitting at the tip of a challenging T-square involving Saturn and Neptune, (the Saturn-Neptune square peaks just before polling day on June the 18th.) This suggests that the factors represented by these two planets will play a key role in deciding how the vote goes on the day. It does certainly point to people’s thinking as being torn between idealism and pragmatism, between fantasy and reality.

But of course, this doesn’t tell us what the outcome of the vote is likely to be. For that, we need to consider applying aspects, as well as the movements of the Moon.

So, what about the Moon? This is situated in Aquarius in the 5th house – and the Moon in Aquarius does have a ring of the ‘feelings of the people’ about it. Placed in the 5th house, it may well point to factors such as younger voters (children), as well as things like holidays (not being able to travel freely abroad anyone?) and the arts (which are transitory in nature and require heavy subsidization), all of which stand to be heavily affected by a Brexit vote.

So what does the Moon do? Firstly, it sextiles Saturn in the 3rd, suggesting that voters may well be factoring these things into their decision-making processes. It also affirms the notion that people are trying to think long-term – beyond the circumstances of the current generation. After that, it trines Mercury in Gemini (and the Midheaven), which may well constitute ‘perfection’ – the people speak from a collective standpoint (Cancer = ruler of 11th house). As with the last general election, it may well be that the youth vote could prove to be decisive. It is worth noting that both aspects are positive – a sextile and trine, which suggests that the decision will not only be carefully considered by the general public (sextile to Saturn) but could also be in the best interests of the country (trine to Mercury conjunct Midheaven).

This suggests a positive outcome from the vote – one that will lead to improvements long-term for the UK. That said, we do need to consider what other aspects the Moon makes before changing signs  – the matter doesn’t end until the Moon becomes void of course. Here is where things get a little more heated/complicated. Firstly, the Moon will square Mars, which retrograde in the 3rd house and ruler of the 8th house of taxes and shared resources. This suggests possible negative financial repercussions resulting from investor uncertainty or market reactions to the outcome of the vote, as well as some possible whingeing, moaning or doom and gloom predictions from certain quarters within British society – clearly, one side has to lose and not everyone is going to like the outcome, whatever it is, so this is not entirely surprising.

Finally, the Moon sextiles Uranus, ruler of the 6th house, situated in the 8th house. This suggests a last-minute twist or surprise – perhaps in a similar vein to last year’s general election, where the results appear to be going one way and then, at the last minute, take a different turn. Give that Uranus is generally an independent planet that favours separation and radical change, does this possible signal a Yes vote for Brexit? It’s position in the 8th, a house which could be seen to represent treaties and joint financial arrangements, as well as loans, mortgages and taxes, could well indicate some form of  economic severance or repercussions. Again, it is positive, so shouldn’t indicate a break-up of the UK but rather something more upbeat such as positive reactions from investors, or announcements that stand to affect jobs or the job market, or the healthcare sector, positively (Uranus rules 6th).

However, for the final say on what this chart could foretell, let’s cross back to Jupiter. With its conjunction to the north node (the hand of fate) and its position so close to the AS, it certainly holds a lot of sway in this matter. Let’s also not forget that it rules the 4th house cusp, which in horary astrology, often signals the end of the matter.

Jupiter is approaching a rather rare trine to Pluto, located in the 4th house, very close to the 5th house cusp. In and of itself, this suggests an appetite for reform, possibly even a dramatic shift in perspective – amongst the British electorate: Scorpio rules the 3rd house cusp, after all.

This rather momentous aspect is interesting for a number of reasons. For one thing, it seems to echo the Sun-Pluto trine that occurred  the day before the UK General Election, which led to sweeping changes amongst political party leadership and also seemed to dramatically transform the political landscape for all involved.  Will something similar happen now? Certainly, the vote seems to be empowering for the populace, who may be feeling more in control of their political destiny than they have in a while.

What’s more, it suggests a seismic shift in beliefs  – a wake-up call, if you like, for the establishment and indeed, for the people of the United Kingdom – perhaps about their relationship and attitude to the rest of the world, and indeed, its future course as a nation. Tony Blair made some interesting predictions in a speech on the future of Europe back in June 2014, which might prove to be portentous:

As for the future, in a world becoming dominated not only by the power of America, but of China, soon no doubt India, not to mention Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and in time the big nations of Africa; and where GDP and population will increasingly be correlatedthere is no question that the rationale for Europe is stronger than ever. Together the nations of Europe can wield genuine influence and weight. Alone, they will over time decline in relative importance. The 21st century world order will be dramatically different from that of the 20th century. The rationale for Europe today is not peace; it is power. 1

Here, the words that stand out are ‘power’ (Pluto) and ‘influence and weight’ (Jupiter). Perhaps public sentiment will begin to register the massive implications of globalisation and the urgent need for collaboration that is required in order to succeed in such an environment?

So, will the consequences of the Brexit vote deliver jobs, and confer more power, influence and weight on the UK as a country? It would certainly seem that way. Of course, with Pluto involved, it is also possible that, whatever the outcome of the vote, that sweeping reform of the European project is needed. Again, Blair puts this very eloquently:

Europe has disturbed and divided British politics for years. One of my first votes was in the 1975 referendum on Britain’s membership. That followed years of indecision and frustration. Since then the turmoil it has caused in our politics has rarely abated….

The reasons for this resurgent hostility/scepticism are not hard to fathom. Europe is in crisis. The Euro’s design flaw – an economic union motivated by politics but expressed in economics – has become manifest….

What the Euro zone crisis has done is to expose the need for Europe to reform. But it hasn’t created it. It has accelerated this need, but the need was there anyway.

His solution? Radical reform of the European project and a ‘Grand Bargain’ approach  – dramatic and sweeping reforms, all terms that have Jupiter and Pluto written all over them.

First, take a big step back from crisis and ask: what is the long-term rationale for Europe today? If there isn’t one, of course, then why would we want to be part of it? However, the truth is the rationale for Europe today is stronger, not weaker than it was back 66 years ago when the project began. But it is different. Then the rationale was peace. Today it is power.2

So, perhaps Blair will turn out to be the real soothsayer in this matter!

My prediction then? A yes to remain, which will vindicate Cameron and secure Britain’s economic future and political place in the world, which will be reflected in the return of the flow of investment back into Britain’s financial sector.

However, the long-term consequences of the vote will be to trigger a desire for sweeping changes to the European project (Jupiter-Pluto trine), leading to improvements in all sorts of organisations and institutions long term, changes that in turn, stand to increase the prosperity of all European citizens and give Britain more power and standing in the world. Whatever happens, the Jupiter-Pluto trine certainly suggests a bright future for the British people, provided they are prepared to be brave and stand up for what they really believe in.

REFERENCES:

  1. The Future of Europe – a speech by Tony Blair delivered at The Confederation of British Industry at the London Business School on Monday 2 June 2014. See: http://www.tonyblairoffice.org/news/entry/the-future-of-europe-a-speech-by-tony-blair/
  2. Speech delivered by Tony Blair at the Business for New Europe event, ‘Europe, Britain and Business – Beyond the Crisis’ at Chatham House on Wednesday 28th November 2012. See: http://www.tonyblairoffice.org/news/entry/tony-blair-urges-uk-to-shape-the-future-of-europe/

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