The wave of left-wing emotion that’s swept through Europe from Greece to Spain and Italy has finally found a focus on these islands in the unlikely person of Jeremy Corbyn, a softly spoken Labour backbencher. It’s been a feeling in search of a leader.
Corbyn is a slight, earnest, rather rumpled figure, not an especially gifted public speaker, and he’s been beavering away on the lefty edges of politics for so long that mainstream politicos have simply ignored him for a couple of decades. Not any more.
After electoral defeat this spring and the snap departure of its leader, Britain’s Labour party, the official opposition, is choosing a top person. There are four candidates, three of whom are tainted by previous association with New Labour. The fact that Jeremy Corbyn was on the list of candidates at all was greeted with a certain amount of eye-rolling and sneering by the Westminster village. However, proving yet again how out of touch they are, the latest poll puts Corbyn well in the lead. Suddenly, the fact that he has never held power or even had the ear of anyone in power is in his favour.
We are in a period of Venus retrograde — a re-evaluation of values, or, in this case, a return to old values. Corbyn is an old-fashioned leftie. He’s no breath of fresh air like Tsipras in Greece or Italy’s Matteo Renzi or the founder of Spain’s Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias. He’s old enough to be their dad, and if you’re old enough you can remember him from the 1980s. He was active during the miner’s strike, anti-apartheid, fighting for justice for the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four, and Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, and for the extradition of Chilean ex-dictator General Pinochet — not to mention against the infamous Poll tax. He also failed to help the child abuse victims in his own constituency, Islington North, during that decade and in the early 90s.
In fact, Corbyn’s career as an MP began in 1982, when Saturn was at the very start of Scorpio and end of Libra. Saturn is now a the end of Scorpio — for the last time for another 30 years. Saturn was in this part of Scorpio in 1985, last time Corbyn’s profile was high. After the election of a Labour government in 1997 though, his voice was heard less, even though he was just as exercised about just as many causes.
In fact, you name a left-wing cause, and you’ll find that Corbyn has been campaigning about if for years: animal rights, nuclear disarmament, Palestine, Chechnya, Stop The War, anti-austerity, the Chagos Islands. He’s also rebelled against the Labour party whip more than any other MP — 500 plus times. (The “whip” is brought in when the party leaders want you to vote along party lines about a particular issue.) Specifically, since 2000 he has voted against the war in Iraq, against austerity, PFIs (an exceptionally stupid Brownian idea) and against the hated university tuition fees.
(These fees, introduced by Cameron’s last cabinet, are locking generations into debt, or out of higher education. And consequently radicalising them.)
What Corbyn is saying now is pretty much what he has always said — and that’s one of the reasons people like him. He’s consistent. With Moon and Mars in the fixed earth of Taurus, and Jupiter in fixed air Aquarius, you’d expect him to be that — and stubborn. That Jupiter also makes him an idealist and an optimist, building better worlds.
What is really interesting is how Corbyn’s chart is working now. Keep in mind that we don’t have a birth time. I have cast this chart for sunrise, so disregard the houses.
The most obvious and striking transit to hit his chart was the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus Rx in the first week of August, right on his Saturn at 29° Leo. That’s a once in a lifetime lucky strike. And look at the other natal planet which is at 29°: Uranus in Gemini. So he has both Aquarian planets in perfect sextile. (It wouldn’t surprise me if he also had Aquarius Rising.) Not only that, they are making an out-of-sign Yod to Jupiter in Aquarius.
This pattern exactly describes the stubborn, old (Saturn) rebel (Uranus) optimist (Jupiter). And this is the pattern that’s been activated by that lucky conjunction in Leo this summer. A Yod breaks things open. This one may split the Labour Party for good, and for sure it has broken open the debate about the politico-economic model to which successive British governments have been wedded for three decades – an entire Saturn cycle.
Jupiter shifted into Virgo yesterday, so the heat is going out of the aspect. But Venus, now at 25° Leo, will be back in early October to 29°. Meanwhile, the election takes place on September 12, a few days after Saturn shifts into Sagittarius. In short, nothing is certain yet. And the fact that Corbyn has been in politics so long means there are plenty of stories for left and rightwing media to dig up about him.