Asteroid-World Spring 1997
Mark Pottenger and Zip Dobyns
We will start this issue on an astronomical note. There has been considerable e-mail recently about two asteroids.
(3753) 1986 TO (not yet named) is a close-in body with an orbit reported to be in 1:1 resonance with the orbit of Earth (meaning it completes one orbit in the same time Earth completes one orbit—one year). There have been a number of asteroids with orbital resonances to Jupiter observed before, but this is the first noticed with resonance to Earth. Due to the resonance, a geocentric view of the orbit of 3753 looks kidney shaped. The material I read suggests that the resonance requires long-term calculations—that Earth pulls the asteroid when the asteroid’s orbit starts to change too much. In the 1500-2099 interval in my standard asteroid ephemerides there were several stretches where the asteroid did return to approximately the same longitude each year, but there were also long stretches when it moved through the zodiac each solar return date. I don’t know how long a period the astronomers tested to see the reported resonance. Planetary mandalas with a geocentric view of 3753 for four 25-year periods are included following this page. The first period had 3753 at almost the same longitude on the same date each year, and the other three periods had it moving.
1996 TL66, discovered last October by Jane Luu and Dave Jewitt, has not yet been numbered or named. It is a Transneptunian object with an extremely large and highly eccentric (very elliptical) orbit with a perihelion of 35AU and an aphelion of 130 AU. This means its closest approach to the Sun is a little outside the orbit of Neptune, but its greatest distance is 4 times as far out! With the current values for its orbit (subject to change as astronomers get more observations), 1996 TL66 takes longer to complete one orbit than the 600-year period I normally calculate for an asteroid (it looks like about 150 years more would be needed for one orbit). I am including a mandala between 1996 TL66 and Neptune with lines drawn at one-year intervals to give an idea of the orbit. The circle toward the upper right inside the much larger ellipse is Neptune’s orbit. The gap along the top left of the figure is the portion of the orbit of 1996 TL66 not completed in the 600-year period printed. Astronomers are still guessing whether this body is working its way in from the Oort cloud to the Centaur region (Chiron’s neighborhood between Saturn and Uranus) or going the other way from Centaur out to the Oort cloud, but it definitely is the first of a new class of orbits.
Cancer Ingress 1997
One of the traditional techniques used by mundane astrology as it seeks to understand the world is the calculation of charts for the Sun’s entry into the cardinal signs. These charts, with the transiting Sun in zero degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, are calculated for the capital cities of countries as keys to the situation in the countries, or for local areas of interest to the astrologer. Each charts is used for three months until the next cardinal ingress, though some astrologers use the Aries ingress as a key to a whole year until the next Aries ingress. I have been writing about ingress charts for a different astrological journal, but their new editor decided to return to a previous writer after I had done the following article for them, so I decided to include the article in our current Asteroid-World.
The coming three months are likely to include the usual quota of crises in the world with Mars in Libra exactly square the ingress Sun and the Capricorn Moon forming a wide T-square. In Washington, DC, the Moon is closely quincunx the Ascendant from the 8th house, suggesting changes involving the public and other joint resources. I call the quincunx the “closet-cleaning” aspect. It usually involves a sense of dissatisfaction and attempts to change and improve the situation. We may make small changes or experience major ones. Separations are common, whether carried out voluntarily or produced by events outside our control if we want change but do not take action ourselves. Since the subconscious normally wins, when we want change but do nothing, the universe responds by kicking us out of our rut. The Moon points to the public and homeland as extensions of its meaning symbolizing the basic desire for emotional security which seeks a home and family. Capricorn relates to laws and authority figures, and the consequences of the past. The 8th house can signify shared resources such as debts, taxes, return on investments, inheritance, public funds, etc. The suggested changes during this period could include implementing plans for a balanced budget for the U.S. by continuing cuts in welfare, Medicare, social security, etc., tax cuts including on inheritances and capital gains, and other legal changes.
The strong planetary air trines which include the Ascendant and MC in Washington support positive opportunities for bright and educated individuals. Uranus in its own sign and in the natural house of Jupiter, which includes higher education, is exactly trine the Ascendant, while Mars and Pallas form a wide grand trine to the Ascendant in air signs for the intellect and fire houses for the ability to get what we want. Pluto in the sign of Jupiter sextiles Mars, Pallas, and Uranus to further encourage the educated workers, and as the planetary form of letter eight in our astrological alphabet, it fits further gains for those who already have resources such as investments. Jupiter in the 10th house holds a grand trine to Mercury and Chiron, with the Sun more widely involved, repeating the likelihood of benefits for those in power along with the educated.
One of the potentially challenging aspects in the chart is the close Vesta-Saturn conjunction in Aries. Saturn symbolizes the “rules of the game,” the authorities who enforce the laws, the conscience as an inner law, and feedback from the world on how we are handling the rules. When its principle is handled effectively, we are practical, realistic, productive, careful in our roles in society. Vesta is the “super-Virgo” asteroid, focused on effective functioning in one’s job and body. Saturn and Vesta together can indicate an extreme workaholic, someone with tunnel vision, totally focused on immediate accomplishments. We have recently seen one of the negative potentials of that kind of intensity in the mass suicide of the followers of Marshall Applewhite in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. Applewhite was born four days after Jim Jones, who led a group into mass suicide some years ago. Both men had Vesta conjunct Saturn in Capricorn. Other prominent men who shared that configuration and who made an impact on the world include Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Ram Dass. Astrology shows psychological drives. There are always many possible ways to try to satisfy our drives. Results can be constructive, destructive, or very mixed.
The network of aspects connected to the Vesta-Saturn conjunction includes a very close trioctile to Pluto and squares to Venus and Juno, which carries the meaning of Pluto. Bringing Pluto and Juno into the configuration, plus the placement of Vesta and Saturn in Aries, produces a potential for incredible power and ruthlessness. Though Venus in Cancer and Ceres in Pisces could bring in some compassion, their house positions will tend to counteract it, so the budget may be balanced by producing more homeless, hungry, and ill individuals while the rich continue to get richer. The Part of Death in Washington (with Placidus houses) is in 1 Gemini 49, so it is within a one-degree octile to Vesta. Major power struggles are possible with this mixture of the power “letters” including one (Aries), eight (Pluto and Juno), and ten (Saturn). When Vesta (Virgo) is added, both jobs and health can be part of the battleground.
In mundane charts such as the cardinal ingress when the Sun enters the cardinal signs, the planetary positions are the same for all of earth. The house placements of the planets and the intersections of great circles which we call the “angles” of the chart change in different regions, providing a unique picture for each area. The Ascendant and the MC are the most important chart angles, but I also use the East Point and the Antivertex as auxiliary Ascendants, as keys to natural self-expression. The Washington Antivertex in 3 Taurus 33 is strongly aspected with an exact square to Pallas, a Libra asteroid which is often a key to issues involving politics, social justice, and social causes. The Antivertex is also exactly quincunx Pluto, so it repeats the emphasis on the Taurus-Scorpio sides of life, reinforcing the focus on possible changes involving finances, possessions, pleasures, and power. Mars is more widely quincunx the Antivertex to form a yod, a double quincunx that increases the likelihood of change.
The changes will not come without protests and struggles. The Washington MC, a key to the laws and executive power, is exactly trioctile the Sun on the cusp of the Taurus house and Mars in the natural house of the Sun. The Sun’s position in Cancer calls for empathy and compassion, but the second house is focused on personal possessions and pleasure. Mars is always a key to personal will and power, but its sign of Libra points to the rights and power of others. Conflict aspects involving a mixture of cardinal and fixed factors always signal a need for integration between personal needs and rights versus the needs and rights of others. In our current climate with major planets in the signs of freedom, Saturn in Aries, Uranus in Aquarius, and Pluto in Sagittarius, we are experiencing the consequences of a tilt toward individual freedom. The core urge of life is the desire to do more than we have done before but also to enjoy it. The drive for more of anything tends to lead to excesses which produce pain which warns us to pull back, to remember the other parts of life which are being denied when one or a few are overdone. Life is a balancing act and astrology offers a symbolic picture of the psychological drives of life, helping us to understand ourselves and others and, through mundane astrology, our current world.
All of the planets have nodes where their orbits intersect the plane of the earth’s orbit when it is extended into space, but most astrologers just use the nodes of the Moon. Nodes offer us an additional place where we are seeking to satisfy the desires of the planet which is their source, so the nodes of the Moon are like two more moons in the chart, symbolizing the desire for emotional security. Most people look to close relationships for that security, though we may also cling to a home or a pet or food. Any opposition in astrology represents a natural partnership: two ends of a polarity which need each other. If we deny any part of ourselves, we have problems. More often that not, the south lunar node is the more challenging end, but we may have lessons at either or both ends until we learn to integrate, to work out a cooperative way to satisfy both ends of the opposition. In this ingress, the nodes call for compromise between efficient functioning (Virgo) and empathy/compassion (Pisces). Should the single mothers of small children be forced to work or their children left homeless and hungry? When the single parent or both parents are working at minimum wage jobs to survive, should their children be left with gangs as their only companionship or would supervised recreation after school forestall juvenile delinquency? What does the worship of competition as the answer to all problems and the increasing disparity of wealth do to a society? Mercury’s square to the lunar nodes asks such questions along with the Sun’s quincunx to Neptune in the 9th house and Jupiter’s square to the East Point in the 12th house. The mutable planets, signs, and houses bring in ethical issues. They call for us to integrate our ability to deal with the world around us, the Mercury sides of life, with our beliefs, values, goals, and morals based on our beliefs, the Jupiter sides of life.
There is always more that could be said about any chart, especially now that we have thousands of asteroids, the minor planets which are mostly orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. I watch a few hundred of the asteroids in mundane charts, selecting those named for geographic regions, those named for relevant mythical figures, and those with the personal names of current public figures. Work with the asteroids remains explorative and tentative, but so far, they fit the names given to them by their discoverers. Even if we lacked any additional evidence, that dramatic observation shows that the world is inherently meaningful, not based on chance.
As usual, the asteroids in this ingress chart reinforce the messages given by the traditional factors. Saturn-Vesta in Aries are also conjunct Achilles, one of the most brutal of the warriors in the Trojan war, to repeat the danger of a ruthless, self-oriented will being carried too far. They are also conjunct Hooveria, the asteroid named for the U.S. president who presided over the start of the great depression of the 1930s, which grew out of an expanding wealth gap between the rich and the poor and was partly due to the government trying to reduce its deficit by favoring the rich. The picture is amplified by the asteroids Gingerich in 18 Capricorn and Washingtonia and Rockefellia in early 19 Cancer forming a T-square to Saturn. The names seem to “work” even when there are minor variations like the extra “e” in Gingerich which I am using for the current Speaker of the House of Representatives. The extra “a” or “ia” was formerly added to the end of asteroids with “ordinary” orbits when they were named for men. Protests by feminists ended the practice. Since astrology shows psychological issues, many possible details could fit these patterns. The power of Gingrich might be challenged. Or his power over joint resources of the U.S. might be increased through his cooperation with the wealthy elite who control Washington, as symbolized by the conjunction of the asteroid named for the Rockefellers to the asteroid named for our first president, who provided the name for our capital. The government could produce laws which will repeat the 1920s and lead in time to another major depression. The House of Representatives has power over taxes and the budget. Saturn represents authority figures, while Vesta, like Virgo, represents ordinary work and workers who keep the wheels going around. The 2nd and 8th houses point to the polarity of personal versus shared money and possessions. The 11th house, like Aquarius, can lead the revolution if reasonable compromises cannot be worked out.
Anything important in a chart will be said repeatedly through a variety of factors and techniques, so it is important to look for themes. I mentioned above that the Arabic Part of Death is octile Vesta and it also aspects Hooveria and Achilles, hinting at death in Washington or resulting from actions taken in our capital. That potential is repeated by the asteroid Columbia, which can refer to the District of Columbia, the location of our capital, being on Juno, which carries all of the potentials of Pluto. Columbia and Juno are also octile Hel, which was named for a Norse goddess of death and is in 28 Taurus 50. The asteroid Hela was named for the same goddess and it is in 20 Leo 5 opposite Libitina, the Roman goddess of death in 20 Aquarius 35, with both square the Washington East Point, an auxiliary Ascendant for personal action in our capital. Pluto itself is on Potomac, which was named for the river running through Washington, and both the planet and the asteroid square Williams in 3 Virgo 57, the asteroid I am using as a reference to Bill Clinton.
Clinton’s P Sun was conjunct his local Part of Death for two years of his first term of office, but the aspect ended in the spring of 1997. There were several threatening episodes including a plane crashing into the White House and men shooting or brandishing a gun or a knife outside the fence, but I have not heard of any real threat to Clinton’s life. He has also been accused of being complicit in the deaths of others, including Foster who might have been murdered rather than committing suicide. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates remain under siege, subject to a variety of ongoing investigations. The square of Williams to Pluto and its trioctile to Saturn and Gingerich plus octiles to Washingtonia and Rockefellia plus a quincunx to Siva, Hindu god of destruction in 4 Aquarius, look like more of the same during the three month duration of this chart. However, the Jupiter trines, especially to Mercury in the first house and ruler of the Ascendant, look like more talk and media attention than drastic action. The asteroid Hillary is in 24 Gemini 36, with conjunctions to Mercury, Armisticia, and Fidelio which are in the same degree. Hillary’s faith is being tested. She would certainly like a truce in the war of nerves. But the squares to the lunar nodes and oppositions to Eunomia (law and order) show the issues will not go away. I limit the orbs of aspects to the new asteroids to one degree, but allow wider orbs for the traditional planets, so Mercury’s trioctile to Uranus in the house that includes law courts in its meanings brings in the potential for legal surprises.
Much more could be said about the chart, but we need to look at least briefly at some of the other major countries. I will just mention one other small theme – the idea of overreach which is carried by Icarus, Phaethon, and Hybris. Icarus is in 23 Cancer octile the Washington Ascendant and trioctile Hybris (hubris) in 9 Pisces. Phaethon is in 6 Gemini, not quite in the one-degree orb for a conjunction with the Ascendant, but square the Asteroid America in 5 Virgo and Nemesis in 6 Virgo. Richter, an asteroid with the same name as the originator of the famous scale to measure the magnitude of earthquakes, is also in 6 Virgo, so we will look at this ingress chart for the west coast to see if the angles there are connected. Mason-Dixon, with its association to race relations, is in 7 Virgo, square the Ascendant, quincunx Uranus, and octile Anacostia, named for another river in Washington. That configuration points to another issue that will not go away This article was written in early May, but before it reached the printer, Clinton announced that he planned a personal campaign to improve race relationships.
Calculating the ingress chart for the west coast of the U.S. puts early Capricorn on the MC, with Aries rising. The chart changes very little in the stretch from San Francisco to Seattle, but Aries is a fast Ascendant in the northern hemisphere, so southern California has higher degrees, including the East Point square the Moon in both Los Angeles and San Diego, while the MC and Ascendant form a closer grand cross to the Sun and Mars in the north. Based on a different mundane chart, I had expected floods in the north and fires in the south, but the prominence of the Mars aspects to the angles in the north in this chart could also be a warning for that area. Alternately, there could be issues involving jobs with Mars in the 6th house and attention centered on home and family with the Sun close to the IC. The asteroid San Diego and Angelina, which I am testing as a key to Los Angeles, are both in 14 Virgo with trioctiles to Neptune. With earth signs and houses emphasized, they also point to job problems. The government unemployment figures are questionable since they stop counting individuals who have given up looking for work and also do not count those with part-time jobs who want full-time work. Another possibility would be new militia confrontations. The midpoints of Saturn and the lunar nodes are major keys to lesson areas. They carry the meanings of the Moon and Saturn and signal issues of power versus dependency, authorities versus ordinary people, career versus home and family, etc. These midpoints form a T-square to the Moon, showing challenges for all of earth during this ingress period. It is always the children who suffer most when adults do their power struggles as in Zaire, Rwanda, etc. I have not calculated the chart for Texas, where a small group is currently trying to declare independence from the federal government. Some months back, a group in Montana also tried and lost. (The Texas group also lost in the interval between early May and mid-June.) In southern coastal California, this T-square falls on the MC, East Point, and IC. Abundantia is also in 6 Cancer on the midpoint of Saturn/north node. I can’t rule out an earthquake, but it looks more like humans needing to learn to compromise with and help each other. The asteroid ARA is conjunct Mars within two minutes of longitude. It was named for a U.S. program which helped mitigate a famine in Europe. The asteroid California in 3 Gemini 53 is sextile some of the west coast angles, trine Pallas, and opposite Pluto. When people cooperate and share for mutual pleasure, life flourishes.
When this ingress chart is calculated for the Near East, we get 11 Gemini on the MC in Jerusalem and 12 Virgo rising. The Damascus, Syria, and Beirut, Lebanon angles are relatively close. Ceres, the nurturing side of Virgo, is in Pisces near the Descendant and the major angles are octile or trioctile Chiron and Neptune. The mutables are associated with idealism. Letter twelve, including Pisces, Neptune, and Chiron which can be manifested as either the Sagittarius or the Pisces side of Jupiter, marks the need for empathy, compassion, and healing. Charts points to principles, but they may indicate that the quality is present or that it is needed. There may be a lack of empathy and healing, active saviors and/or helpless victims. The Jerusalem East Point in 8 Virgo is on Mason-Dixon, the asteroid which reminds us of the struggle over slavery in the pre-Civil war U.S. Slavery is not an issue in Israel, but equality and freedom are. Paradise opposes the East Point as Jews and Moslems confront each other with both laying claim to the land that both consider holy. Victoria in 7 Gemini makes a T-square and reminds us that some of the current turmoil in the Near East stems from the political manipulations by British and U.S. oil companies in past years. There are no easy answers, but major compromise is essential for any progress.
When the ingress chart is calculated for Baghdad, the MC is just under 20 Gemini and the Ascendant is 20 Virgo, conjunct Moira, one of the Fates, and Niobe, whose arrogance led to having all of her children killed by Apollo. In opposition in Pisces are Amnestia and Harmonia, the goals which seem so remote. Repeating the threat of the country to its own children, Medea, who killed her own children, is in 21 Sagittarius square Niobe, Amnestia, and Harmonia. The ancient region of Sumeria covered much of what is now Iraq. The asteroid with that name is in 9 Aquarius in an octile and trioctile to the lunar nodes and Mercury. Chaldaea, another former culture in the region, is in 5 Pisces trioctile Venus. The Baghdad Antivertex in 27 Leo is on Asmodeus, the “demon of lust” as a description of Saddam Hussein’s greed for power, and it squares Hestia, the Greek name for Vesta, with its single-minded focus which can ignore other important parts of life. We can pity and pray for the people suffering from a pitiless ruler.
Teheran, Iran has a 26 Gemini MC and 26 Virgo rising, so Chiron is trine the MC and semisextile the Ascendant from the 2nd house. Recent news reports state that Europe and especially Germany are rejecting the U.S. attempt to ostracize Iran as a terrorist nation. Europe needs the income from trade with them. The Teheran angles also include a wider trine from Jupiter to the MC and from Neptune to the Ascendant and East Point. They are not likely to stop their covert support of Islamic militants, but outwardly they are shoring up their relationships with the rest of the world.
Moving north, Sarajevo, Bosnia has 25 Taurus on the MC and 1 Virgo rising. The former Yugoslavia has maintained its truce more effectively than I expected, partly thanks to the extended presence of NATO troops under U.S. command. I don’t know how long those troops will stay, but Bosnia is not out of the woods. Columbia conjunct the midpoint of the Ascendant/MC fits our protective role. The East Point trines Saturn and Vesta, allowing wider orbs for the planets, and its opposition to Jupiter can be a sign of help from partners which are symbolized by the West Point as another Descendant. Neptune on the other auxiliary Descendant, the Vertex, could also mean help from others or could mean hope for it but disappointment if the ideals are unrealistic. Prometheus on the Antivertex shows their hope for the future, but the Vertex axis square to Winchester, the asteroid of guns, repeats the need for continued vigilance. Prudentia on the Ascendant offers the hope that personal action will be prudent, but the Ascendant is also trioctile Saturn and Vesta to repeat the call for realism and a warning against extremism. The war goddess, Belisana, in 26 Taurus is more than one degree past the MC, but it would be on the MC in the area of the Serb Republic just east of Sarajevo. The two “Serbias” would like to unite, as is shown by the asteroid Srbija which was named for Serbia conjunct the asteroid Union in 5 Pisces, but their trioctile to Venus fits the refusal of Europe to allow this. The continued tension between Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, and Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is suggested by the Sarajevo Antivertex being quincunx Beograd, which was named for Belgrade. They still need our help.
Looking still farther north, the ingress MC in Moscow is 13 Gemini and the Ascendant is 18 Virgo. The exact quincunx of Saturn and Vesta to the Ascendant fits Russia’s crisis involving finances and jobs. To repeat the message, the Moscow Antivertex is trioctile Saturn and Vesta, and the East Point is exactly square Pluto and quincunx Pallas. Other indications of their tragic situation include the Moscow Part of Death opposing Venus and the asteroid Moskva, named for their capital, squaring the lunar nodes and trioctile Uranus from 22 Gemini. Moskva is also trine Jupiter, describing the wealth and lavish life of the ruling elite, many of them former KGB members and their Mafia associates, while the public struggles to survive – the Moon octile Jupiter. The trioctile of Neptune in Capricorn in the 5th house to the MC also points to issues involving the use of power and questions about ethics. The asteroid Russia presents a similar picture, trining Saturn and Vesta from 17 Leo for the power of the elite but octile the asteroid Ate in 2 Cancer. Ate was named for the only goddess in the Greek pantheon who was considered almost totally evil. While workers in mines and factories and teachers and other government employees wait months for their pay, the legislators have granted themselves a large salary increase
Looking to the far East, the MC is 28 Leo in Beijing, 8 Virgo in Pyong Yang, and 23 Virgo in Tokyo. China will be feeling its power with its MC sextile the Sun, and forming a yod (double quincunx) to Neptune for the major change of taking power in Hong Kong. The Beijing East Point is also exactly conjunct Pluto and sextile Pallas, with Dike, one of the Fates, completing another yod in 4 Cancer. The power message comes again with the Beijing Antivertex in 2 Capricorn to form a T-square with the Sun and Mars. Ate is on the Vertex. The asteroid China in 21 Gemini is closely trine Jupiter to add to their confidence, and Peking, named for the earlier spelling of their capital, is in 11 Aries, on the midpoint of the Ascendant/MC in Washington, DC. Putting a factor on that midpoint is similar in meaning to having it on both of those primary angles. We have to deal with China but will need to be wary. The pressure on Tibet will remain with the Beijing Ascendant in 18 Scorpio square the asteroid Xizang, which was named for Tibet in 18 Aquarius.
Pyong Yang’s MC in 8 Virgo is quincunx Uranus for continued tension and potential changes, but its trine to the Moon offers some hope of food being supplied to its starving people. However, the North Korea leaders are not likely to concede much with Hybris on the Descendant and the MC octile Icarus. The country’s relationship with Japan is also likely to stay tense with their MC square the ingress Ascendant in Tokyo. Pyong Yang’s Ascendant of 26 Scorpio is also not encouraging for reconciliation with others since it puts the war goddess Belisana on the Descendant. As in so many other countries, the elite cling to power and the people suffer.
The ingress in Tokyo puts the lunar nodes on the MC-IC axis. Though Japan is genuinely democratic, this pattern still suggests the benefits will go mainly to the power people at the top and the public in the 4th house will be dealing with questions involving faith and ethics. The ingress chart in Tokyo has a grand cross in the mutable signs completed by Mercury and the East Point in 24 Sagittarius. As previously discussed, the mutables call for the integration of our capacity to handle the world immediately around us with our beliefs and goals and expectations. As is so often the case, the new asteroids keep repeating the same issues. Utopia, representing an ideal goal, is on the practical Virgo MC. Eunomia, for law and order, is on the idealistic Sagittarian Ascendant. Justitia in 25 Pisces is just past the IC but connected by squares to Mercury and the East Point. Fidelio, signifying trust, is on Mercury. Japan’s government has been struggling with charges of corruption for years, and this ingress highlights the issue. The asteroids named for the country and its capital, Nipponia and Tokio, are both in Taurus, just over one degree apart but connected by the asteroid Wisdom, which is conjunct both. Tokio in 9 Taurus is quincunx the Ascendant and octile/trioctile the mutable cross, so the focus on finances (Taurus), power (5th house), and ethical issues is reinforced. The situation may not change. The power elite of the world are not easily dislodged or persuaded to change, but if the media keeps a measure of freedom, hope will remain. In summary, these three months look mostly like more of what is already happening. No polar flips or continents being submerged, but a need for humans to learn moderation and empathy.
Unlike the United States, elections in England are not scheduled at invariable intervals, and the Prime Minister is always the leader of the political party which wins a majority of the votes. The President and Congress are elected separately in the U.S., so we can have government gridlock when they are from different political parties. On May 1, 1997, the Labor Party won a majority for the first time in years, and Tony Blair, the Labor leader, replaced the Conservative leader, John Major. England does not record birth times on birth certificates, but fortunately, Blair was born in Edinburgh, Scotland which does record times. He was born on May 6, 1953 at 6:10 A.M., BST (British Summer Time—daylight time in zone 0, variously called GMT or UT).
Blair’s chart fits the Gauquelin research results and challenges traditional astrology’s belief that the 12th house is always negative. In the Gauquelin vocational studies, politicians had Jupiter significantly often in the “power zones” which included the 9th house and ten degrees into the 10 house plus the 12th house and ten degrees into the first house. I do not know whether Blair was athletic in his younger days, but if so, his Mars in the 12th house would also fit the Gauquelin findings. In a study of marital satisfaction within couples, the researchers found the partners of individuals with Venus in the 12th house tended to feel more satisfied with the relationship than the partners of individuals who had Jupiter in the 12th house. Blair has both Venus and Jupiter there, along with almost half of his chart, so his wife could fall in either camp. From what little I have read about Blair, he and his wife have a solid marriage and a basically happy family. She is a successful lawyer.
We can make sense of the Gauquelin results when we understand the psychological principles involved. Letter 12, whether Neptune, Pisces, or the 12th house, symbolizes the subconscious search for infinite love and beauty, the potential for the mystical experience of oneness with the Whole. Individuals who have experienced the connectedness of life tend to have a secure subconscious faith and may live very protected lives. With Mars in the 12th house it is also possible to have supreme faith in one’s own power. Such people are the successful sports champions, doctors, or military leaders found by the Gauquelins. Those with Jupiter in the 12th house may have faith that their own values and goals are universally right for all of society, so they go after public roles. In addition to politicians, actors were found to have Jupiter in the 12th house significantly often. Venus is our potential for pleasure, so those with faith that life will provide pleasure for them will tend to be mellow and easy-going, with more satisfied partners as a result. Of course, the individuals who lack faith in a benign higher power will tend to be anxious or depressed so they seek help from counselors, including astrologers, who than assume that everyone else will be similar. Those who mainly have faith in themselves or who think that their values are final truth, which is most common with fire planets in the 12th house, run the risk of being arrogant and less flexible and accommodating in their personal relationships.
I have often referred to Pallas as our most political asteroid, so it is very appropriate to find it closely conjunct Blair’s Sun, a key to ambition. The strong Aries-Taurus emphasis in Blair’s chart could have produced a very self-absorbed person, especially since he has two of our major fire factors there and all three in the 12th house. However, he has devoted his life to the Labor Party and certainly talks of compassion and helping ordinary people. We will have to wait for results to discover whether he is successfully integrating the fire confidence which led him to reach for political power with the broad compassion that is a potential 12th house expression.
The air emphasis in Blair’s chart is encouraging, since it symbolizes the potential for a good intellect and the capacity for peer relationships. In addition to factors in all of the air signs, a third house Uranus reinforces the mental ability. Blair is certainly verbally fluent, a hallmark of air, but can also be practical since the air is mixed with earth. Except for Vesta, the occupied air signs are in earth houses. Vesta provides its own earth (Virgo) nature in an air sign and house, while Saturn, our major earth planet, is in an air sign and an earth house. The trine between Vesta and Saturn, and more widely, Ceres, repeats the theme. Ceres seems to be a Virgo-Cancer mixture, and, like Saturn, it is in an air sign in an earth house. The air-earth combinations are the most effective in dealing with the material world, while fire and water provide the emotional warmth that is needed to relate to living beings. Blair’s loaded 12th house, rising Jupiter, 9th house Chiron, and strong Neptune are hopeful signs of idealism to complement the air logic and earth realism. He faces daunting problems in today’s world, but he may provide some of the leadership which is badly needed.
I have not had much time to work on Blair’s asteroids, but did check to see the location of Brita, which was named for England, and looked for conjunctions with the traditional astrological factors. N Brita was in 12 Sagittarius and P Brita at the election had retrograded back to 3 Sagittarius. Blair’s London MC is just under 3 degrees higher than his MC in Edinburgh, so N Brita was octile the midpoint of the two MCs. Blair’s London Ascendant is nearly 4 degrees earlier than Edinburgh and P Brita is currently opposite the midpoint of the two Ascendants! As with the new asteroids, aspects to midpoints are limited to a one-degree orb. I don’t know what the odds would be to have the asteroid named for a country aspecting the midpoints of both of the major angles of the person elected as leader of the country. To add to the theme of Blair’s confrontation with executive power, the midpoint of Saturn/north lunar node remains on his N Brita for much of his life. P Saturn/south lunar node squares Brita from 12 Virgo, and P London MC in Pisces just reached the one-degree square to P Brita at the election. Reading the Saturn/node midpoints as keys to karmic lessons and the MC as equivalent to Saturn, this combination tells a dramatic story. P East Point in 11 Gemini completed a mutable grand cross. N Moon, N Juno, and P Venus were also connected to the network with a mixture of mostly more harmonious aspects.
Many other aspects could be mentioned which fit Blair’s dramatic win and major change in his life. His local P Antivertex was on N Jupiter and his birthplace P Antivertex was just minutes short of the one-degree orb but connected by the local angle. Blair’s P Ascendant had been moving over Uranus for about two years and will soon reach P Uranus. Some of the asteroids named for countries point to regions with which Blair will have to deal. America is on his London IC within 5 minutes of longitude. The U.S. will certainly affect his homeland. P Ireland is conjunct Pluto and Blair has to deal with the increasing threat of violence in northern Ireland. P Elizabeth, England’s queen, is retrograding on Blair’s N Moon in his tenth house. P Europa (Europe) on his P Vesta fits the challenges he will face in his job as the European Union struggles with birth pains, and both are on N Germania, the European heavyweight. N Gallia (France), the other member of the EU with the most clout, is on the midpoint of his two MCs. I never lose the sense of awe when I see patterns like this. Can anyone still believe in chance?