I started looking into Fixed Stars a week ago, and I’ve worked out much of how it works technically; however, I haven’t tried any interpretation. So I thought I’d inflict a bit on the blogosphere, using the chart of Gordon Brown, the UK Prime Minister.
I’m just going to look at the stars that are active through the MC, the prime of life, when your ‘career’ is at its height. Gordon Brown has been in this phase for many years now, arguably since he became an MP in 1983, and certainly since he became Shadow Chancellor in 1992. It was during his time as Chancellor from 1997 to 2007 that we came to know him: a man who on the one hand is highly competent, driven, with deeply held ideals; and who on the other hand is authoritarian, ruthless, vengeful and socially ill-at-ease.
Brown has, as one might expect, several of the great stars guiding the prime of his life: Aldebaran (one of the 4 Royal Stars) and Rigel and Bellatrix (from the constellation Orion).
ALDEBARAN gives glory and success linked to integrity and honour. It is linked to Jupiter in his Chart, which would seem to be a happy aspect. The link to integrity is the test of this star, and I think that is why Brown was so popular when he was first PM: here was someone who, unlike Blair, had not lied to us, who made a point of standing on his integrity. In September it fell apart to a great extent when he made a shamelessly political visit to Iraq, and was equally shameless about deciding not to have an election because it didn’t suit his party. In a way he was behaving like any politician would, but he was seen to be doing so, and after Blair it didn’t go down well. But I think that success linked to integrity has been a keynote of Brown’s career: he has always been dedicated to his work, out of a genuine desire to improve the country and help those in an unfortunate position, and he has had personal success for many years now.
BELLATRIX also gives success, but only through personal growth, only if personal weaknesses are addressed. This star is linked to Venus in Brown’s chart, suggesting it is his relationships with other people that he needs to look at (or money: but in his case I think it is people). This area has always been his undoing, not so much because of his social awkwardness, but because of his reputation for authoritarianism, for not taking the views of others seriously, for plotting, for endlessly coveting Blair’s job and for holding grudges. Bellatrix linked to Venus is saying that in Brown’s case his success will always be limited unless he can transform his relationships with other people.
RIGEL gives the desire to teach, to bring knowledge to others, and it does not have a problematic side. While Brown was Chancellor, a lot more money went into education, and higher education was expanded. Rigel is connected to Mars in Brown’s chart, suggesting that education is something he will fight for. In 2000, Brown started a political row about higher education when he accused the University of Oxford of elitism in its admissions procedures, describing its decision not to offer a place to state school pupil Laura Spence as "absolutely outrageous". (Lord Jenkins, then Oxford Chancellor, said "nearly every fact he used was false.”)
There are 5 stars that are particularly difficult, and Brown has 2 of them, Algol and Zosma, affecting the prime of his life. What makes them even more difficult is that both have ‘curtailed passage’ i.e. he was born at a place/time where neither of them rose or set, so they do not have any contact with the earth, with human affairs, and are therefore more likely to manifest in a fated sort of way.
This is even more the case with ALGOL, because it is linked to his Sun, his very identity. Early writers all viewed Algol as the most malefic star in the heavens. This star contains immense female passion and power, but easily manifests in its outraged, demonic form. She represents “a strong consuming passion that may devour you with anger and rage.” We certainly saw this in the case of Brown’s ongoing lust to be Prime Minister while Blair had the job, a lust which was at the heart of the Blair government for 10 years, and which led to endless feuding. (I’ve always thought it was to Blair’s credit that he managed to work with Gordon Brown, who could so easily have destroyed the New Labour government under Blair.) Now that he at last has the job, the government may not be subject to this side of Brown – until he is thwarted. Gordon Brown is also passionate in a more positive way about people who are disadvantaged, whether in the UK or abroad, and this could also be seen as the influence of Algol. But with the star having curtailed passage, it is very difficult for Brown to work with or contain his lust for power, as we have seen. And it can cause a LOT of trouble, not just for him, but for the government and for the country.
Finally we have ZOSMA, which is linked to Brown’s Jupiter. This star is connected to those who are victims, who have been made powerless by society, as well as the compassion to help them. Being linked to Jupiter, I think that it generally comes out favourably for him, and it repeats the theme of his desire to help the disadvantaged. Zosma in its compassionate form does not seek fame or recognition, it just quietly gets on with helping, and I have heard that Brown also has this aspect to him: he will take the time to lend his personal support to certain compassionate causes, but you never read about it in the papers.
But Zosma also has its victim side, and it seems easy for people to feel sorry for Brown, like he is struggling, and you sense that in some ways he is wounded, he can’t quite pull it off. And it may be that after a lifetime’s struggle to become PM, he ends up the victim of the political cycle, managing just a couple of years in the job before the electorate tire of New Labour after 12 years in office.
So that is a snapshot of some of the Fixed Stars affecting Brown’s prime. There are other, more minor, stars which would round out the picture, as well as considerations such as the Heliacal Rising Star (which rules the day he was born). RIGEL is stronger than it appears because it is also tied in with another star, Diadem, which rose at the moment Rigel culminated (i.e. was on the MC). Similarly, ALDEBARAN is linked with Antares, one of the Royal Stars, which was on the Nadir when Aldebaran culminated, emphasising the success that has come to him. BETELGEUSE, the star which has the most unobstructed success, had a strong influence over his youth, via Jupiter, and his early life was broadly one of steady, even precocious ascent.
It would also be possible to predict the course of his later years through the setting stars. And we do find 2 of the major stars here: Regulus and Spica. The Royal Star Regulus – “success if revenge is avoided” – is in Parans to his Sun, so this is a very strong position for his later life, and seems quite appropriate given what he’s like now. Yes, he will be a sort of Grand Old Man of British politics, as long as he doesn’t spoil it by taking against whoever causes his downfall, which was the story of Ted Heath. In Heath's case, he had Zosma influencing his later years: he saw himself as the 'victim' of Thatcher, who he never forgave for ousting him from the leadership of the Tory party.