Last summer, I predicted a royal wedding this year. That was partly on the basis of how alarmingly these times in Great Britain resemble that watershed year 1981 – brutal financial restrictions from the government, blood on the streets, looming unemployment and an uneasy Liberal coalition (back then it was with a party called the SDP, today it’s with the Conservative government).
It’s all to do with Saturn crossing the UK’s early Libra Ascendant. We’re on a 29-year Saturn cycle. If you want to read what I said, click here. It was mainly about the economy. I did suggest there would be belt-tightening all round. And news broke just today that average income fell for the first time this year since, you guessed it, 1981.
One thing to ponder as I look at the chart is this: how do the common people – that’s you and me, guv – feel about their relationship with the monarchy now and is it different from then?
People like to say the age of deference is over, but believe me, if you had to listen to the breathlessly sycophantic commentary we’re hearing on the radio here, you would know that’s not true.
Yet attitudes have changed. The royals have been through the mill over the last 30 years. Divorce, death and dishonour have shown us that they are rubbish at relationships. Why is this important? After all, isn’t philandering what princes are supposed to do? Look at Henry VIII, the Prince Regent, Louis XV, Suleiman the Magnficent… Camilla’s granny, Mrs Fitzherbert, Mme de Pompadour…
Not this lot. The concept is that they are a Royal Family with a capital F, sort of cosy and strangely middle class, with a penchant for corgis not greyhounds, tweeds not diamonds, a handbag. The Queen is the nation’s granny with her specs and her gem-encrusted crown. This reflects something we want to believe about ourselves. Interestingly, although it looked for a bit as if the tide of public opinion might go against them, all that public mess has done the Royals a favour. We got to feel kind of sorry for them – and so eventually we liked them more. On the whole, people are less republican now than they were in the 1990s.
The other side of the Family’s role, is much less talked up and discussed, but all there in the iconography and the actualité. All the boys (uncles, grandpa, dad, princes) are in the armed forces and are often photographed in uniform. Britain is still a profoundly militant nation. We have the biggest spending on the military of any country after China and the USA. Take a look at a map of the world and you’ll see how incredible that is.
|Prince William and his uniforms: navy, army and airforce.|
The Windsors have had to create a modern monarchy that combines tradition (however recent) and pomp with the new “classless” and rabidly consumerist Britain. The Family (smacks of the mafia) has had to reinvent itself for each new generation.
Thirty years ago we had punk, Thatcher, unemployment and race riots. We were coming out of the 70s, when Britain was labelled the “sick man of Europe”. So they gave us Charles and Diana – which turned out to be a total sham.
Today we have a recession, two endless, on-going wars, raging consumerism with all its woes, including envy and self-loathing, “celebrity culture”, fear – of China, of Islam, of the future – and the dawning realisation that we are not as solvent as we thought we were. We’ve come to the end of 20 years of a booming economy, vibrant cultural production and the celebration of mulitculturalism. So we’re getting a love match between the heir to the throne and “middle class” Kate.
The transits on the wedding day to the UK chart are interesting. Looking at the closest contacts:
tr Pluto exactly squares the Ascendant
For 60 years the Queen has set the style for what it means to be a sovereign. Are we about to see that transformed? The Britain represented at this wedding is going to somehow, perhaps not obviously at first, be quite different. One thing that immediately springs to mind is the guests at the wedding, who are from a truly broad sweep of society.
Natal Pisces Pluto is on the midpoint of tr Neptune-Chiron and semisextiled by Uranus in Aries. This is in the fifth house of children and creativity and on the point of a powerful Yod in the natal chart. The natal Pluto tells us something about British attitudes to children, which have a streak of cruelty (boarding school, early schooling, corporal punishment (illegal now of course) children seen and not heard) but possibly as a result stimulated wonderful creative output. Think of all the greatest children’s literature – most of it born in Blighty. This transit surely suggests some kind of healing in this respect.
tr Venus exactly on the Descendant in her fall in Aries. It’s a celebration of love, yes, but also a big occasion for the military. Check out the marching.
tr Venus conjunct natal Pallas. tr Pallas conjunct natal Venus.
I’ve never looked at Pallas before in the UK chart, so I was chuffed to find that she’s exactly on the descendant. Why? Because Pallas equals Britannia. Look at this image. Britannia is the personification of Britain, very popular in the 19th century: Britannia rules the waves and all that. She is a symbol of British naval might in particular, and of course, Prince William is in the Royal Navy. I’d suggest we’ll see an outpouring of nationalist feeling. Pallas in Aries is not always pleasant; there’s a bullying quality to this placement of the warrior goddess. Let’s hope this is ameliorated by Venus, who is the queen of peace, and not sentimentalised.
A big marriage celebration for the nation with love, the media, the military and the nation’s rulers all thrown in. The fact that it’s in Aries may make it groundbreaking in some way. But…
Saturn is about commitment and keeping the established order. Jupiter is doing stuff in a big way. The message is plus ça change plus c’est la meme chose. Charles and Diana’s wedding day had a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the 12th.
|Queen Victoria marrying Prince Albert
– another royal love match
But what about us, I hear you say, the commoners. Well, I’m afraid that we (the Moon) are being squared by transiting Jupiter and Mars; the establishment and the military. So we are spectators, managed at a suitable distance at home (in Cancer) and cosy, but we may be identifying with “Family” but we are not participating. This is a show for us to watch and wonder at, a big do for the people in charge of the nation, the happy couple and the girls and boys in uniform. It’s a display of power. It’s a story constructed to entertain, awe and impress brand Britain on the rest of the world. That brand is about continuity and stability (Saturn) and pomp and pageantry (Jupiter). At the heart of the razzmatazz, two real people are getting married, bless them.
There’s enough going on with these wedding transits to suggest this wedding is part of the story of the series of big outer planet moves that have caused such change since 2008. But the story is not over, nor is this a pivotal event.
We’re on a journey now anyway, with Pluto coming up to conjunct the UK Sun and the IC next year and Uranus due to cross the UK descendant at the same time. More change, real change is to come.
I’d suggest we might all make a point of voting for a change in the electoral system – that’s something in which we do have a tiny say – and change is coming whether we like it or not, so better to embrace it.