You can tell the school-term has begun because suddenly I'm blogging more! I hadn't quite realised how much the lack of peace and quiet interfered with interesting ideas occurring to me. I thought I was just getting old and boring. What a long haul that summer holiday was!
Before I go further, I just want to mention Annabel Herriott, who does a sterling job getting hold of British politicians' birth data. She does a great service to the astrology world! She seems to favour the direct method, which involves attending the Tory Party conference, going to meetings, and then buttonholing the politician present and asking him when he was born. As a method, it yields some good results. What we need is an astrologer doing the same at the Labour Party conference.
Anyway, on to business:
Tony Blair: 6 May 1953, 6.10am, Edinburgh, Scotland
It is fascinating watching power gradually draining away from a leader until he is forced, 'voluntarily' or otherwise, to step down. It is not usually in a leader's nature to go of his/her own free will - even Wilson's resignation was, according to a recent TV programme, due to the onset of Alzheimer's. So I think we need to be quite skeptical about the voluntary nature of Tony Blair's declared wish to stand down after 3 full terms in office.
Until the Iraq issue arose in late 2002/early 2003, Tony Blair was riding high, with 2 landslide election wins behind him. This was the point at which the long seepage of power away from him began. In his natal chart, we see a fixed Sun-Moon-Pluto t-Square (wide in places.) These hard aspects describe his psychological need for power as well as, by transit, where he stands in his ability to hang onto it.
And it has been Neptune transits to this t-Square that have presided over his gradual fall from power. Neptune first crossed his Moon (at 11.30 Aquarius) in early 2003, as the Iraq issue divided both his party and the country, and set in motion a lasting opposition to Blair. The squares from transiting Neptune to his natal Taurean Sun took place from mid 2004 to late 2005, and during that period another decisive loss of power took place, as he declared he would only serve one more term, and as he won a general election with a much reduced majority, followed by a clamour from many of his his MPs for him to resign.
The next decisive series of events will occur around the opposition from Neptune to the final point of his t-Square, Pluto, and as I have said in a previous blog (When Will Tony Blair Go?), I think that this period will see the final draining of his power. For some time now, it hasn't taken much for clamours for him to resign to be heard from the ranks of his MPs. As I write (Sept 2006), Blair has just returned from his annual holiday, and this has been seen as an opportunity for a fresh round of calls from his MPs for him either to set a date for his departure or to quit now. And this time, more MPs than ever are behind the calls. The seepage of power is gathering pace.
The Labour Party Conference is in late Sept this year, just a month before Neptune turns round to move towards making its first opposition to Blair's natal Pluto in mid-March next year. So I think we are almost certain to see the next stage in his gradual fall from power over this 6-month period. He will probably have to set an exit date during that time, and he may have to do it against his will. In Jan 2008, Neptune makes its final opposition to Blair's natal Pluto, so we should see him gone by then, well short of a 'full third term' in office.
There is another chart worth looking at, which is the chart for the moment Labour was declared to have won the 1997 election, at 3.17am, on 2nd May 1997, in London. This is a chart, I think, for the whole continous period of government by Labour that will carry on, at least for a while, after Blair. It is a chart for New Labour in power.
In this chart I am taking the Sun as the leader, the Moon as the party members (much as the Moon in a country's chart is the people) and the MC as the mission, the overall direction, of the government. The Sun is in Taurus, like Tony Blair's Sun, so that is all well and good. The Moon is in Pisces, opposite Mars in Virgo. This does not suggest a party at peace with itself while in power. It suggests a lot of in-fighting, and a membership that can be pushed around (Pisces) but which will fight back (Mars.) Gordon Brown is a Pisces, which suggests that some of the infighting just might have something to do with him.
The Moon is at 8 Pisces, and Mars at 17 Virgo. (I use 10 degree orbs for Sun or Moon aspects). Uranus began conjoining the Moon in March 2005, and will be opposing Mars right through next year. So Tony Blair can expect continual, and unpredictable, opposition from within his party until he leaves.
It is interesting that one of the 2 charts for the Labour Party - Feb 27 1900 - has the Sun at 8 Pisces (near the Moon of the present government)and the Moon around 10 Aquarius (near Tony Blair's Moon). So it's as if the current conflict in the Labour Party is not fortuitous, as both Blair and his opponents have very basic astrological links with the original party. Pisces, if you like, is the compassionate element in Labour, but which can be hopeless at governing; and Aquarius is the modernising and ideological tendency, which we see in Blair (though he is not without the compassionate element, if we look at the money he has put into public services).
Back to the chart for the present government. The MC is at 15 Sag, and as Pluto crossed this point in 2001/2, we saw a lurch to the right as Tony Blair threw in his foreign (Sag) policy lot with George Bush, firstly over 9/11 and the revenge invasion of Afghanistan, which his membership was able to accept, and then over Iraq, which many could not accept. But both were part of the same Pluto transit to the MC, so both were part of the same change in policy direction. With hindsight, and using astrology, the party membership should perhaps have been more mistrustful than they were about Blair's motives around 9/11 and Afghanistan.
So on to the next change in direction, when Uranus squares the Labour Government's MC, from March 2007 through to Jan 2008. This suggests to me that, though he may well be leader through most of next year, Blair will not be able to maintain a strong sense of direction within the government - not surprisingly, given that he is on his way out. We should expect to see an unsettled government right through next year, with a firmer sense of direction only re-establishing itself as the transit winds up in 2008.
But a hard transit from Uranus is not just about being unsettled. It is also about surprises! Blair is already trying to control policy after he has gone, and the astrology is saying that he won't be able to do this. None of us, at this stage and with Uranus coming in, can have much idea of where the government is going to head post-Blair.
Which suggests that Brown may not be leader after all! With his Sun at 1 Pisces, he certainly has a following among the membership through the government's Moon at 8 Pisces. But that Moon is opposite Mars. He also faces a lot of opposition from within the party.
The natural leader for the New Labour Government, which has Sun in Taurus, is a Taurean, like Tony Blair, and like.... John Reid! (8th May 1947, Bellshill, Scotland, 23:00). Like Blair, he also has Sun square to Pluto, so he certainly wants the top job. And he has the transits for it (assuming his birth time is accurate). This year and next year, Pluto is squaring his MC at 26 Virgo, and next year and the year after Pluto is conjoining his Moon at 28.33 Sagittarius (and remember Labour's MC is in Sag). So we can certainly make out an astrological case for him being the next leader. If he isn't, his Pluto transits probably describe a fall from power. Now Alan Johnson (17th May 1950) is another Taurean with Sun square (just) to Pluto... Tony and his astro-cronies!
What we probably can say from the astrology is that, though we may well end up with Brown (who I admit I am not in favour of, due to his prolonged and childish sulk at not having the top job), we cannot be at all sure of it, and if he does become leader, we can expect a surprising new policy direction.