On June 23, the people of United Kingdom will go to the polls to make the most important collective decision of a lifetime. Should we stay in the European Union or should we go?
The decision taken now could change the country’s future absolutely — probably not in the ways predicted by any politician — and set our course for the coming decades.
You could look at a whole host of charts for clues to the outcome of the referendum: the Aries Ingress, the opening of the polls, the closing of the polls, the official start of the campaign, the announcement of the referendum, the UK’s entry into the Union, the Union chart itself, David Cameron’s chart, leader of the Brexiteers Boris Johnson’s chart, the UK charts 1801 or 1066. All are relevant in some way or another. My fellow astrologers have all chosen different charts or combinations of charts. It can all become rather confusing — and quite easy to choose a chart that buttresses your own convictions.
One astrological event that is clearly relevant to the whole debate is the current retrograde of Mars. Mars went into the shadow of retrograde when Prime Minister David Cameron announced the referendum in February. It went retrograde three days after the campaign officially started in April, and it will station at 23° Scorpio when we go to the polls, exactly quincunx the UK Saturn in the chart most commonly used (1801) and opposite the UK Ceres in the 8th House (Yes it is about finance/agriculture). Mars turns direct on June 30, one week after the poll. It comes out of the shadow in August — and that may be when the s***t really hits the swirly thing.
One effect of Mars Rx is to bring up old arguments. Anyone who has listened to the news in Britain over the last few weeks — or watched the TV debates — can see and hear Mars Rx in action. This row has been rumbling in the Conservative Party since the days of Thatcher in the 1980s.
The level of discussion has been pathetic, which has highlighted (again) a real flaw in the means of public discourse in this country and in much of the West. The adversarial system — used in law courts and in parliaments — does not always allow for a nuanced, reasoned analysis. In this case, the two sides are so caught up in dissing each other that serious questions are not addressed, and worse, facts are distorted, and outright lies promulgated — on both sides. Media outlets, including the BBC, also suffer from this polarised way of presenting situations. It means that in the interest of balance, they end up giving weight to counterarguments that may actually be fallacious.
The best approach during Mars Rx is yin, to be yielding, a peacemaker. The rules of war are not the same as usual. Barack Obama’s peace trip to Japan and Vietnam demonstrated this beautifully. Sadly, neither side in the Brexit debate is showing much of the peacemaking or yin-ness, but interestingly both sides have marshalled cross-party teams to fight their cause. In other words, traditional alliances along party are not relevant, and new ones have had to be forged. The rules are being bent as both Saturn (boundaries) and Mars retrograde. On last night’s TV debate, we watched Boris Johnson, ex-Mayor of London and deep-dyed conservative, standing shoulder to shoulder with the redoubtable Labour stalwart Gisela Stuart, and Tory minister Andrea Leadsom on the Brexit team. They were opposed by Labour’s Angela Eagle, Tory minister Amber Rudd and Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon, all clearly singing from the same beat-up BoJo sheet. You may notice something else about this line-up: five women and one man. Mars is definitely on the back foot.
Mars Rx is also about internal warfare — and the main opponents in this fight are within the governing Conservative Party. Most of the Brexiteers are Tories, many of them have been fighting for this moment for a quarter of a century; this is their moment. The Tory Party seems to be tearing itself apart in public. After the polls close, there will be blood on the floor no matter who wins.
Whatever astrologer was advising Cameron on dates should be sacked. This was no time to gamble with the future of the whole country because of Tory party internal power struggles. Under Mars Rx, things don’t turn out how you expect. If he really wanted to secure this vote, he should have chosen his birthday for poll day as Tony Blair used to.
Complacent as ever, the Labour Party (fairly pro-EU) appears to have just woken up to the fact that the Leave campaign appeals to a lot of grassroots Labour voters, and the issue of immigration is live. They are scrambling to get the Remain message across.
It’s too easy, though, to sit on the fence and say, “a plague on both your houses”. A decision needs to be made, by creating confrontation we ought to reach a conclusion (any Libran will tell you that). And it’s everyone’s duty to go out and vote on this one, even if you spoil your ballot.
The truth about the EU is complex. It’s a vast bureaucracy, corrupted by corporate lobbyists and political apparatchiks, most of whom are unelected. In the past two years alone, it has failed to deal with the refugee crisis, it has failed to deal with the economic crisis, it has castrated Greece.
On the other hand, the EU binds Europe together, keeping the peace, encouraging justice and human rights, protecting families and workers, making this a decent place to live and work. It’s the biggest common market in the world; an economic powerhouse even when it’s on its knees as it is now. Refugees choose to come here — not walk the other directions to, say, Saudi Arabia or Russia — because it is safe, and there’s a chance at making a comfortable life free of fear.
Speaking personally, I don’t like the EU, but I will be voting Remain because I believe in the idea of Europe and the values that we share — tolerance, egalitarianism, personal freedom, communal responsibility. There are forces in the world that seek to destroy the peace here, which was so hard fought for in the 20th century. Like many people, I’m only 66% in favour. But then I realised that the British government is also a vast bureaucracy, corrupted by lobbyists and political apparatchiks, with an unelected chamber…
I also believe that a Brexit would jeopardise the United Kingdom. The UK chart is in a period of enormous change right now, with Pluto, the planet of transformation, moving between a conjunction with the Sun and an opposition to the Moon. The worst case scenario with this astrology is a break up of the United Kingdom, which could well follow if Britain left the EU. The Eurosceptics are based in England; Scotland is strongly pro-Europe. Scotland would likely walk…
Here is what Michael Heseltine, an old warhorse in the Conservative Party, said this week on the difference between power and sovereignty at the Oxford Union Brexit debate:
“I know something about sovereignty and what it is to be alone. I was there in 1940.
“We were desperate for the Americans to come. The convoys across the Atlantic were being sunk and our allies in North Africa were relying on our ability to keep supply lines in the Mediterranean open…
“The man in the desert is sovereign. He is free and can do what he likes. But he has no power. Unless you can do something then you are powerless, however sovereign you may be.
“In the shrinking world… we have to adjust the human organisation to the scale of the challenge. 60 million of us with a massive 500 million cohort.
“I want this government of today to leave to this generation the corridors of power, the seats of influence and a place at the table, so that the self interests of this country are as important in the generations to come as they have been in the generations of which I have been privileged to be a part of.”
I want to be open about the way I’m voting because I am sure it colours my interpretation of the charts.
This brings me to an important philosophical question. What is the point of astrology in this kind of debate? We astrologers have a 50% chance of getting it right if we make a prediction — but what is the use of that exactly? It would be helpful to speculators, I suppose.
Roy Gillett, the head of the British Astrological Association, wrote a nice piece about the Brexit campaign back in March.
“Predicting mundane events is sometimes possible, but more often outcomes are decided by the use the parties make of the astro-cycles, rather than those cycles alone.”
He thought it could go either way then.
I would suggest, looking at the charts, that an emotional appeal to international brotherhood/sisterhood would be a better tactic for Remain than hurling statistics at us. The Leave camp is already working on the nationalistic emotion seam, which should work for them.
Unfortunately, most astrologers think we’re going out — and I can see where they are coming from.
One chart that must be relevant is the one for the Close of Polls at 10pm on June 23. This shows a rather shocking Pluto Rx on the Ascendant and Mars Rx on the MC — that smells a bit zombie apocalypse — yikes. The bloodshed certainly won’t be over within the ruling Conservative Party: it’ll be a mess. David Cameron’s Libra Sun is squared by Pluto several times this year — nasty. All the Rxes suggest a backward step — or more accurately a failure to step into the future. It’s really not the moment to be making a big decision, but hey ho. Of course, it is the moment to be readjusting your course.
The fact that this all happens under a Mars Rx, without the red planet moving forward, does suggest that nothing will come of the matter. By July, we might be back where we were in February — still in the EU. This could all have been sound and fury signifying nothing. The real story is that all our three main political parties are in meltdown — and they are having to co-operate across party lines.
The chart ruler, steady Saturn, is Rx in the 11th house of alliances. This suggests Remain. The Moon, representing the people, is in Aquarius, although the sign is stuck in the middle of the house, between a fog of lies and the power elite perhaps. Yet in the first house the people are in control (sort of) and they are feeling cool, friendly and wise: that’s also Remain to me. Aquarius is the sign of international co-operation. The Moon’s next aspect will be a trine to Mercury in Gemini — also friendly. (The Euro 2016, a huge football tournament, is concurrent with this debate, and surely will be relevant to how some people feel when they step into the poll booth.)
On the other hand, Mars Rx (no change) and Uranus (change) in Aries are both making powerful precise aspects to the UK Saturn in the 11th and Ceres in the 8th, that could mean Out.
Here is what other astrologers have said. You can click the links to go to most of these articles.
Sharon Knight, an excellent horary astrologer, wrote a piece in the Astrological Association newsletter, also used the Aries Ingress and thought Out.
“ I think there will be a last ditch effort by the Government and Brussels to cause a distraction and instill fear in the common people that to leave would be suicide. But I think “others” in the middle ground will see through the smoke and mirrors and elect to leave to preserve Sovereignty, laws of the land and finances. Saturn representing those in authority but not controlling the country. The Mars conjunct the MC indicates rebellion from overseas and possibly from the Forces.
Horary astrologer, Nina Gryphon, hedged her bet more, predicting deep fissures within the EU no matter which way the vote goes. I think this latter is also evident from the EU chart, as discussed last month.
Peter Stockinger, a traditonal astrologer who’s made some correct predictions in the past, looked at the Aries Ingress, and thought Out.
“In seven years time Saturn and Neptune will begin a new cycle: the way aspects of our existence appear now under the second and last Saturn-Neptune square will look very different by 2025. Hindsight is 20-20, as they say. And I suspect we will regret the decision we are about to make.
We might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.” (I think she means vote Out.)
Barry Goddard over at Astrotabletalk looks at David Cameron’s chart vs. Boris Johnson’s and thinks we stay In.
Marjorie Orr — pithy as ever — thinks In.
Using the Huber system, Joyce Hopewell thinks Out.
My colleague Anton D’Abreu on this website thinks Out.
Jessica Adams predicts Out on her website and makes important points about 23° and the action of Ceres.
Capricorn Research as usual takes a thorough look at the question and thinks we stay In.
Paul Saunders at Solaris Astrology does a good job explaining why this decision is so important.
Vedic astrologer Chris Kevill thinks unequivocally Out.
Vedic astrologer Juliana Swanson thinks In, on the other hand, but with some interesting observations about the medium term outlook. She has also explained exactly how she reached this conclusion in some detail.
… and lastly all the way from Ladbroke Grove in 1984 (I think)