It’s often not possible to have a final answer as to the correct chart for a country, and there may be more than one valid chart that describes different aspects of the nation. For the USA, one of the classic cases is that of the 2nd July vs 4th July charts: the first being that of the legal declaration of independence, and therefore describing the first working of an independent US government; the second being the public declaration of independence, which therefore relates more to the country as a whole and its ideals. Both charts can be seen to work in their own way.
The UK has a number of charts as well. For example, for the monarchy, we can use the 1066 chart for the coronation of William I, or the 1801 chart for the proclamation of George III as the first king of the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland.
For the country itself, the two most recent charts are for 1801 and 1922. In 1801 Britain became united with Ireland, and in 1922 the South of Ireland seceded. So was the 1922 event just a re-organisation of the UK, or was it a whole new incarnation, which therefore gives us the most recent chart for the UK? You can take your pick.
For now, I’m going to look at some aspects of the 1801 chart, based on the Act of Union between Britain and Ireland which came into effect at 00.00 hours on 1st Jan 1801.
What is immediately noticeable is just how Cardinal this chart is: Sun, Moon and Angles are all Cardinal. This gives a nation that likes to act, to take initiative and to be in control, a very good chart for the successful empire-building that was going on at the time and subsequently. And an unaspected Pluto in Pisces. Unaspected planets aren’t that easy to interpret, but Britain did build the largest empire in world history: an unrestrained Pluto (power and riches)? And Britain ruled the seas: Pluto in Pisces. Jupiter (expansion) in the 10th (world stage) also helps, as does Moon in Cancer in the 10th - at home on the world stage.
Uranus Rising: the individualistic, even eccentric Englishman, and the country that never quite fits in with the European Union. This is also partly due to the UK’s allegiance to the US, its outsized offspring. The UK has Moon at 19 Cancer and MC at 9 Cancer, so it feels at home on the world stage with the US, which has Sun at 13 Cancer, on the UK Moon-MC midpoint.
Libra Rising: the British sense of fair play. Britain is also known for treachery (‘perfidious Albion’, say the French), but the British don’t see this. Maybe it’s the unaspected Pluto again.
This Pluto was Direct by Progression from 1755 to 1957. This corresponds pretty well with the rise of what was called the second British Empire, after the loss of the American colonies, but including the acquisition of India and much of Africa, South East Asia and other territories, so that by 1921 it included a quarter of the world’s population. Prog Pluto began to slow down to go retrograde during World War II, and in the years after the war most of the Empire was dismantled. Prog Pluto has been Direct since 1957, as Britain has built a new, albeit diminished power-base in the world.
The Sun, Moon and Angles run from 7 to 19 degrees of the Cardinal Signs, and the last 2 transits of Pluto to these points have proved very significant politically. The first of these sweeps of Pluto through these points was from 1919 to 1931, and this was a period of rising power for the Labour movement, firstly through industrial action in search of better conditions, which resulted in the General Strike of 1926; this failed, but then the first proper Labour government was elected in 1929, and lasted until 1935 (they had been briefly in power, as a small minority government, in 1924).
The next sweep of Pluto through these points was from 1974 to 1980, and again we see the same power struggle going on. In 1974 the miners managed to oust the Conservatives from power through strike action, and the years that followed were ones in which there was a lot of industrial unrest and strike action, in which Britain was seen as ‘the sick man of Europe’. In 1979 Margaret Thatcher was elected to power, and there was a sea-change in British politics (just as there had been in 1930, at the end of the previous series of Pluto transits). Rightly or wrongly, Thatcher broke the power of the unions and got Britain back on the road to economic health.
You could see these 2 periods as struggles between left and right wings of politics, with first the left gaining power and setting in motion a much more compassionate society, that resulted after the war in the creation of the welfare state. But Labour did not have a good economic record, and eventually a corrective in the other direction was needed, which Thatcher provided.
There is another of these Pluto periods coming up, between 2011 and 2018, as Pluto moves from 7 to 19 Capricorn. It is not clear to me what this struggle might be about, as the old imbalances are no longer there. We no longer have the old polarity of the Tories trashing the public services, or Labour trashing the economy. This has been Blair’s great achievement, to manage both the economy and the public services fairly well at the same time. And there is no sign of this changing.
So this next Pluto series of transits may not be about a struggle between political polarities. But there is no shortage of wider issues to be faced: environmental degradation, energy resources, nuclear proliferation – all of these are becoming pressing, they are global issues, and furthermore Pluto (and Uranus) will also be impacting on the charts of the major powers. If there is a political struggle, it may be about which party can deal most effectively with these problems.