Last night I watched The South Bank Show, and this week Melvyn Bragg was taking us through Shakespeare’s Macbeth and relating it to modern political life. One politician was talking about how people can get obsessed with becoming Prime Minister and come to feel they have a right to it, like Macbeth, and there are no prizes for guessing who he was talking about: our very own Gordon Brown.
I christened him The Invisible Man a few weeks ago, because that was the first thing that happened to him when he began his campaign to be PM: he was filmed talking, but hidden behind an autocue. No half-aware politician would let that happen, but he did, and it fits with his Sun (and Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Node) being in the 12th House and in Pisces. But now I have another epithet, and this time it’s for his Moon-Pluto conjunction in Leo: it’s his Macbeth aspect!
Gordon Brown: 20 Feb 1951 8.40am Giffnock Scotland
Dick Cheney was also mentioned as the real mover behind George W Bush, so in his case his Sun opposite Pluto becomes his Lady Macbeth aspect! And with Moon in Pisces opposite Neptune, he is also The Invisible Woman. Mind you, like Cheney I also have Sun in Aquarius opposite Pluto and Virgo ASC, which is why I always maintain you have to have a sense of the actual person to do an accurate reading for them. Or be psychic.
But it is actually the case that Gordon Brown became obsessed with becoming PM, and felt he had a right to it. Just as Macbeth became obsessed with becoming king, having had it prophesied by the 3 witches, so too was Gordon Brown promised by Blair that the job would one day be his, back in 1994 at the Granta restaurant. So though things are quiet at the moment, with Brown only having been in the job less than 2 weeks, the pattern as laid out by Shakespeare is very clear.
Of course any politician who is determined to become PM – or President – will fit the Macbeth pattern to some extent. But I think Brown fits it more clearly and strongly than most, and I think there will be a lot of trouble sooner or later. Ominously, not enough Labour MPs dared support anyone to stand against him in the election to be leader, so there was no contest, and before long I think we will start seeing the demotion of anyone who Brown feels is a threat to his power.
As one theatre director was commenting, leaders often start out with some ideals, but the position corrupts them, and you see it happening again and again. Mugabe was seen as a new start for post-colonial Africa, but now he’s as bad as they come. Brown has a feeling for a fairer society, and for helping Africa, but I think all that will eventually get lost in the paranoid and divided mess he will create around himself.
Like Macbeth, Brown lacks the killer instinct – it was Lady Macbeth who drove him onwards. Brown has had no Lady Macbeth, and his Mars in 12th House Pisces reflects his irresolution. He lacks direct aggression, a quality a leader needs, and which Blair, with Mars-Jupiter Rising in Gemini, had no shortage of.
We’ve recently had a load of flooding in the North of England, with thousands of houses affected, but Brown hasn’t learned the lessons of Katrina: the government was not seen to be involved for a long time afterwards, and people end up feeling the government doesn’t care. And they’re right. For a PM with all that 12th House Pisces, it is interesting there should be flooding so soon after he becomes PM. As is repeated often, it is not policies that determine the success of a government, it is the response to unexpected events, which Blair was so good at, and which The Invisible Man is not. Though he did OK with the failed terrorist attacks, which happened 2 days after he became PM.
Pisces is noted for being hopelessly disorganised. Brown is a control freak. This often seems to be the way of it with people who have strong Neptune/Pisces: it’s as if the creative chaos is too much for them, so they hold everything down and just let a little out at a time. It has a different flavour to the person who is strongly Saturnian/Capricornian and whose desire to achieve and control is a genuine, if limiting, expression of who they are. With Neptune/Pisces control you feel the person is (unconsciously) shutting something out, which is why they tend to be extreme. And Brown is extreme, extreme in his ambition, in his determination and in his attempts (usually successful) to control those around him. It’s like King Canute. Just wait until Neptune passes over his Sun in 4 years time.