What was the Devil wearing when he offered Tony Blair a sackful of cash for his immortal soul? Was he in a sharp Armani suit, did he don stilettos and shades, or was it a dishdasha and a stetson? Was the approach made in Granita, the Islington restaurant made famous by New Labour, or was it at a cocktail party at Number 10, or was it just an inner voice whispering and whispering. And when was it? Did Tony make a pact with Satan before or after he became Prime Minister?
In folk tradition, the Devil appears in a cloud of brimstone and offers something wonderful — fabulous musicianship, knowledge, power — in return for a person’s soul. It’s hard not to think that the UK’s world famous living ex-Prime Minister has not made such a pact, selling his soul for money.
Since leaving office in 2007, Tony Blair has become a multi-multi millionaire. Like Satan himself he has become a fixer, middle-man, adviser to the international .001% — dictators, autocrats and tyrants — from Kazakhstan to Abu Dhabi to Manhattan.
Incredibly, Blair holds the title of “Middle East Peace Envoy” bestowed on him by the self-styled Quartet — US, UN, EU and Russia – seven years ago. Is this a like a peerage? Does he get to be called that for life? Because it’s certainly got nothing to do with performance. In fact, the devil speaks with forked tongue, as we know from legend. He calls white, black and black, white, and in this case he calls war, peace. Because the Middle East is far, far worse since Blair was sent on his mission of mercy. In fact, his appointment has allowed the peace process between Israel and Palestine to grind to a total halt.
Yesterday, it emerged that Tony Blair is now advising Egyptian General Sisi on “business opportunities”. His old press secretary Alastair Campbell is advising Sisi on PR. More than 2,500 civilians have been murdered by security forces since Sisi seized power last year, journalists are in jail, people are frightened.
So were we deceived back in 1997, when it seemed like a lovely new dawn was breaking in Britain with the Tories finally defeated and that nice Mr Blair and his young family were in Downing Street at last. The morning Blair came to power in the UK was euphoric. He was smart, idealistic and squeaky clean, with his clever middle-class wife and gang of chums who were going to bring on “Cool Britannia”and rid us of “sleaze”.
This how his ex-friend Robert Harris described what’s happened to Blair in an interview with Total Politics.
“I find it tragic…. that a relatively young man in political terms should cut himself off from British democracy in the way that he has, because he could have had one of those 19th-century careers and come back, as foreign secretary or maybe even as party leader, but he turned his back on it and walked out of the place. I cannot understand someone who tasted that kind of role and fought for it, turning their back on it.”
“Who knew that he would become a great friend of George Bush and would want to keep bombing people and would be so passionately interested in making money and live this strange life with the billionaire super-rich on yachts and private jets?
“I mean maybe someone more perceptive than I would have seen it, but I never saw that at the time, nor – knowing a lot of the people who know him very well – did they.
“It’s a cliche to say that most politicians go mad if they are in office for more than about six or seven years and they become a member of a club and you become quite disconnected from reality, and I think there were in Tony things we perhaps didn’t realise at the time – of narcissism, a messiah complex, that had merely accelerated this impulse in him.”
Looking for signs of the Prince of Lies in Blair’s chart, you’ll notice that he has a huge stellium in the 12th house of self-undoing. This includes his Taurus Sun, Mercury and Venus in Aries, Mars in Gemini, and Jupiter in Taurus. He also has Gemini, the sign of speaking with forked tongue, rising. Jupiter here gives him great gifts of communication, yet still in Taurus: a nice voice.
Mars in Gemini is also in mutual reception with Mercury in Aries. That means these two planet reinforce each other. He has the perfect politician’s ability to think on his feet, to avoid answering questions without seeming to. Yet when he speaks, he seems to be so straightforward, to use his own phrase “a regular guy”. That’s the Mars in Gemini combined with the wonderful politician’s Moon in Aquarius.
Moon in Aquarius gives the common touch. This is someone who can be an everyman. This combined with Gemini Rising is an immensely charming and affable combination.
Mercury in Aries is the chart ruler. It has an overlay Pisces, of course, since its in the mundane 12th house. Pisces energy can be deeply spiritual, but it can also be underhanded, dissimulating and slippery. What is more, this Mercury, which of course rules communications, is opposite Neptune, Pisces modern ruler.
A Mercury-Neptune opposition can make a very good liar, or film-maker, or actor, or singer because this combination is inspired; in Blair’s case maybe inspired by the Devil, who is sitting right there in the form of Saturnus himself conjuncting Neptune. The Neptune opposition also creates a pall of glamour, in the fairy sense of the word. It confuses the senses of speech and hearing. It waves a wand of fairy dust. What you hear is not what you get.
When Tony Blair became Prime Minister on May 2 1997, the planet of illusion was at 29° Capricorn, right at the top of Blair’s chart. It was also opposing the UK’s natal Jupiter at 1° Leo. We weren’t so much dazzled by him as seduced, and so was the British establishment. That Jupiter is in the UK’s 10th house of government.
During his premiership, Neptune transited through Aquarius, Blair’s own 10th house of government and worldly achievement. Was he sitting in 10 Downing Street think, “Gosh this is the best acting job I’ll ever get”? Because that is what this transit suggests: it’s all an illusion — he never took himself seriously as Prime Minister. Neptune reached the end of Blair’s 10th house in 2006, and indeed it was time for him to move on.
But when does the Devil walk in? On the day that Blair won the election, Pluto, the dark lord, master of our darkest desires, tempter, transformer, was smack on Blair’s descendant, the angle of partnership, of contracts. If we were going to be entirely metaphysical, which we are, we might surmise that he made a pact with the devil when he crossed the threshold of Number 10.
Every sign has its Achilles heel and for Taurus it’s greed. Tony Blair’s is huge and insatiable. He has Jupiter in Taurus as well as the Sun. And Jupiter exaggerates, especially when it’s just about to leave a sign — look it’s at 29° Taurus. Of course, it must have had the Pluto opposition just a little while before Blair went into Downing Street.
Speaking of Achilles’ heel, another place to look for weakness in a person’s chart is Chiron. Chiron can show us where we have leverage over someone. When Blair was 11, his father was disabled by a stroke. So Blair had a Chironic figure, a wounded teacher (his father was in fact a lecturer at Durham), at the head of his family. Chiron is close to his parental axis, and Blair has Capricorn/Cancer, the father/mother signs on this axis anyway. It’s as if his father let him down somehow, and with all the planets in the 12th he feels like he has a task to complete in this life for the sake of his ancestors. In other words, he was born with a burden.
But that Chiron also speaks of his father’s “militant atheism” (according to Blair); the 9th is the house of religion. Contrast this with the heavy 12th house of personal spirituality. In the 12th we have our own encounter with God, in the 9th it is mediated through religion.
Blair’s big “thing” along with being a “peace envoy” is his faith foundation, which is certainly a 12th house enterprise. Contrast his father’s militant atheism with his own militant religiosity (Mars in the 12th). Of course, for most of his adult life he kept his faith secret. As soon as he stopped being PM, he converted to Catholicism officially — presumably he doesn’t get the irony.
Robert Harris is not the first person to accuse Blair of having a “messiah complex”. Perhaps with that Sun in the 12th, on some level, Blair wants to be martyred or he sees himself as a martyr.
The truth is that the 12th house is a very big place to have your Sun, it’s oh about the size of the whole universe, and you can get completely lost in there. If you lose your core identity, the Sun, who are you? Well, you might need to bolster your identity with the things your Sun naturally craves. And in the case of Taurus, that’s material comforts. But if you take that route, your needs will never be satisfied. The Devil, of course, knows that.
And one more point about Blair’s earnings. Look at the Part of Fortune in the 11th House of networking, contacts and friends in high places. That exactly describes how he earns his living, peddling influence. In March 2003 — the year of the dodgy dossier and the war in Iraq — that Part of Fortune was transited by Uranus. In 2011, Neptune swept up to that same sweet spot. Neptune rules oil, and some of Blair’s biggest financial backers are Kazkhstan and various Gulf oil kingdoms.
This year Blair’s Venus has been picked up by the Uranus-Pluto square. That’ll be his money, which is constantly being reported on in the UK press, and his wife, who must be pretty cross with him if he’s been shagging Rupert Murdoch’s ex Wendi Deng.
The upcoming Full Moon in Capricorn on July 12 has his chart in a vice. Take a look. The Devil is never kind to his followers. At some point, Blair will probably be sacrificed, which will suit the Piscean flavour of his chart. Faust got rescued in the end, at least in some versions of the tale, but this looks more likely to have a Dorian Gray ending. Blair’s conscience may wake up and devour him.