Sunday, April 28, 2019


The EU began as a response to the trauma of 2 World Wars - and probably further back too, to Napoleon. The founding idea was that Europe would unite politically - in an 'ever closer union' - so that these wars could not occur again. My contention is that, to a degree, this was trauma speaking, rather than 'emotion recollected in tranquillity'. It was only 13 years after the end of WWII, which is no time at all for a collective to process the past. Hence the rush we have seen towards political union, a process that should take centuries for such old and distinct cultures. That rush, and the rigidity around it, seems to me to be the voice of unprocessed historical trauma.

The UK has not been subject to the same trauma: we have not been invaded at any point. So many of us look on quizzically, wondering what all the rush is about, and feeling uncomfortable with the encroachments on our sovereignty, which are not happening organically. In this respect I think the UK, with its vote to leave, is acting as a mirror to Europe, as a brake that may give pause for reflection. Our history with the EU is probably far from over. We may, over time, be part of a reformed EU, one that is no longer afraid of the individual sovereignty of its member states.

The chart for the EU (or EEC as it then was) has Sun in Capricorn, an ambitious leadership. The Moon, the 'people' - or maybe, the member states - is in Taurus, showing that economics is at the heart of this project. 

The Moon being in Scorpio's House and square to Chiron describes the traumatic shared history that is at the root of the project. Chiron is also conjunct Venus, which is the EU's relations with its member states. And, as Brexit has shown, those relations are troubled - irremediably so, Chiron would suggest. And with Uranus forming a t square with Moon-Venus-Chiron, there will be rebellion if you force the issue of union.


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Now here is what is interesting - the UK Venus at 16 Aquarius is conjunct the EU Venus-Chiron at 15 Aquarius. So the role of the UK has always been to stir up this trauma, probably just by being the awkward squad (Aquarius). 

And here is something else: the EU's Angles are at 29 of the Mutable signs: this is the worst time to begin something. You need Cardinal signs to initiate effectively. Beginning under Mutables is not a true beginning: rather, it is going with the flow of something already there, which was the trauma of the wars, a reaction to it.

In the coming years, with the UK refusing to be part of the EU under its current structure, and with Neptune moving ever closer to those Mutable Angles, we may see a softening, the EU feeling it can drop its guard a bit and allow individual countries their own relationships with the EU. And, with the generations passing, the EU's leaders will be more remote from the wars out of which it arose, and less compelled to force the issue of union.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


This is a painting from Jung's Red Book. I have it on my wall. The Red Book is the product of the WWI years, when Jung was being initiated into the spirit world at a deeper level. It would be called the shaman's illness in a Siberian culture, when the spirits make you an offer you cannot refuse - not, at any rate, if you want your life back. What is required, in a way, is a commitment to your own soul. And the Red Book is largely an account of Jung's conversations with a spirit guide, Philemon. That is why it was not published until recently, after his son, who was concerned for his father's scientific reputation, had died.

The painting depicts the solar voyage of consciousness towards its goal. But accompanying the ship, unseen, is a sea monster. Coming to terms with those depths - with Pluto, if you like - is the real purpose of the journey. There is no goal, nowhere to travel to, that is just a delusion of rational ego-consciousness, what is nowadays called 'spiritual bypass'.

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There is only the ever-closer approach to the centre, to who we always were. And this is a theme of the 2nd Saturn Return, when we can let go of the striving, and trust in what emerges from within. And we can trust it because, instead of judging and fighting him, we have formed a relationship with the sea monster.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


In London, Big Ben went silent in 2017, and will remain so until at least 2021. In Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral has been partially burnt down. For both countries, national symbols have been damaged or suspended. In the UK, we have Brexit. In France, there is a level of protest unseen since the 60s.

Both countries are subject to major Pluto transits - in the case of the UK, in opposition to the Moon (the people). In France, in opposition to the Moon-ruled Ascendant (using the horoscope that Nick Campion suggests.) For the UK, Pluto has finished his crossings, and it seems that Brexit as we knew it, that rude struggle between 2 opposing and equally matched forces in the population, is just about dead. The eventual outcome is far from clear, and will probably not be so until the autumn/winter, when both Pluto and Saturn move away definitively from their opposition to the UK Moon.


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As for France, Pluto will be exactly opposing her Asc all of next year, so it would seem the protests are far from over. And with the burning of Notre Dame, that they go to the heart of who France is, just as Brexit does for the UK. But I don't know the ins and outs of French politics, so I will leave it there.
Next year's Saturn-Pluto conjunction will no doubt play a major part in giving new direction, a new story, for both countries.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

The Second Half of Life

Jung: “I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life - that is to say, over 35 - there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given their followers, and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook.”

This process of finding a 'religious' outlook in the second half of life is described by the series of outer planet transits that everyone has in their forties. It is a time when - archetypally - we move from the received and extraverted values of society to listening to the voice within. Of course, some of us may have done that from a much younger age, but there is usually still a struggle between who we feel we are expected to be, and the direction in which that mysterious voice within is taking us.

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This period begins with Uranus opposition Uranus, which has the function of breaking up the landscape of the received values that have given us our sense of acceptance and identity, and opening up fissures, abysses that may be terrifying to peer into, but which reveal the voice of our deeper self that has always been there.
Now the picture gets confusing as to what happens when. But it is often a long, confusing period anyway, because the paradigm shift, the re-orientation is so radical. For many of us, the period will have begun with Pluto square Pluto rather than the Uranus Opposition, because of Pluto's elliptical orbit; for anyone born now, the Pluto square will occur after all the other outer planet transits.


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So it is best to see this period as a bunch of influences, and create a story dependent on the order in which they occurred for you. And put it all together as a Creation Myth, much as we can see the Big Bang as a creation myth described by the outer planets: Uranus lit the touch paper for this utterly unpredictable event, of everything suddenly coming out of nothing; Pluto was the enormous creative power in that tiny singularity; Neptune was the Primordial Imagination that contained the vision of a Universe; and Saturn put all the pieces together.

So we can see all these influences running alongside each other as we are born into the second half of life. Pluto square Pluto will be the time when we are made an offer we cannot refuse, of that seed of new and more authentic life that is trying to push through, and which can make us ill if we deny it; Neptune square Neptune is the whisper, the longing for the life we have always secretly wanted to lead, the magical thread of Self that has followed us since childhood; and Saturn opposite Saturn is a re-assessment in this reality of what has value for us, the perhaps painful realisation that what we had strived for over a long period now means little to us.

As we approach 50, the Chiron Return presents itself. Chiron, as the bridge to the outer planets, is telling us to listen to their drumbeat from now on, or our life will not work, it will be 'wounded'. Chiron is also a teacher, and having been through this long initiation, we will have learnt something important that we can impart.

Monday, April 01, 2019


The below chart for Northern Ireland (based on the UK 1922 chart, under which a separate Northern Ireland came into existence) was hugely sensitive to transits around the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. At the time, Neptune was conjoining the Midheaven and Pluto the Desc. It doesn't get stronger than that. 

At the moment, Neptune is squaring the NI Sun, and Pluto is opposite its Moon. So there is huge inner change going on, even though it looks outwardly the same. And these inner changes are setting the scene for Pluto crossing the Capricorn MC in a few years time. The emphasis with Angles, as our points of connection to the world, is outward. Capricorn concerns boundaries, and these were made more porous (with Eire) in 1998 as Neptune crossed.

Pluto crossing (exactly in 2023) sounds to me like an irrevocable and permanent change. And Catholics could be in the majority as soon as 2021 ( So this looks to me like a United Ireland sooner than we think, currently being energised by the issue around the Brexit backstop and the DUP fears around anything which might lead to unification.

And then there is the EU. I use the EEC (see below) chart for when the organisation came into practical existence. For the people/individual countries (Moon), the EU is essentially a shared (8th House) economic (Taurus) institution. It is the political aims that have caused the problem, with their threat to national sovereignties. I am NOT criticising those aims, just trying to observe. In 2020, Uranus will conjoin the EU Moon. Brexit has electrified and unsettled EU countries, and this theme will continue for 2 more years. Uranus breaks up the landscape, the old certainties, allowing for deeper changes to follow in its wake.

In 5 years time, Neptune will hard aspect all the Angles of the EU. You cannot hang on rigidly to old ways of doing things under Neptune, for they dissolve beneath your feet. It will be an issue of the soul (Neptune) of the EU and how it manifests practically (Angles). It seems to me that because the individual countries regard the union as essentially economic (Moon in Taurus in the 8th), we will see a dissolving, or a limit, to the aspiration for political union (which is unlimited, 'ever closer', in the founding document, the Treaty of Rome). 


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This will allow the UK to normalise its relations to the EU, particularly as the hard border in Ireland will no longer be an issue, Ireland being in the process of re-uniting.

The UK, as the 2nd biggest economy in the EU, and Germany's biggest EU trading partner, is too big too ignore. Historically, I think Brexit will be seen as the hugely disruptive event that triggered a limit to the EU's political aspirations, in the interests of economic partnerships.