As I write, a birthday seems to have gone by largely unnoticed. Although the Easter Rising was a pivotal event in the splitting up of Ireland – the centenary was celebrated in 2016 – the formal agreements were only finalised in 1922. This was partly due to WWI occurring in the intervening period. Although agreements had been made earlier, the ‘Irish Free State’ was given independence as a dominion on December 6th, 1922. On December 7th, the members of the northern parliament made their address to the king to remain within the United Kingdom. This led to the current name ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’. An astrologer at the time estimated that the vote in Westminster took place shortly before 3:30pm. So it could be argued that this date and time is the start of both the UK and Northern Ireland as they are now. The remaining 26 counties of Ireland didn’t formally become the ‘Republic of Ireland’ until 1949, thereby achieving total separation from Great Britain.
Most astrologers I know (including me!) use a chart from 1801 for the UK (The union of Great Britain with Ireland and hence the name United Kingdom). However, with the dilemmas that the UK is now facing with Brexit, it seems to me that this 1922 chart is one worth examining, especially during Sagittarius time as it of course means that NI and the UK are Sagittarians! Northern Ireland has become an important player in the Brexit negotiations, and had scuppered Theresa May’s plans for furthering EU negotiations, at least temporarily. However, as I write, they are on to the next phase. The Irish border will remain a sticking point though so …
What does this chart say?
Although this chart describes the same moment for NI and London, there is a difference due to the place. The MC – or mid-heaven – is the point due North at a particular place and moment. I use this to describe the goal, reputation or mission of (in this case) a country. London (UK) is heading in a direction described by Aquarius – a logical, innovative goal. But it can give a reputation of ‘we are right and we know best’. The UK can be unorthodox and a bit rebellious. It has always had the role of the ‘outsider’ within the EU.
Northern Ireland, however, has this MC point in the last degree of Capricorn – a very strong degree in any sign. Capricorn here can mean having a very ambitious goal but also being a stickler for rules, tradition and ‘punishment’. It is a sign that loves to have authority. It is clear that these two different missions can cause disagreement. The UK wants a solution based on logic, while NI wants to keep their traditions and stick to past deals.
Both styles of leadership (the Sun) are shown as Sagittarius, the political, visionary sign. The big picture is important but there can be an arrogant stance as to ‘my beliefs are correct’. Sagittarius is the sign that rules religion. A religious split started with Henry VIII and we are still dealing with the fallout from his arguments with the Pope and the start of the Catholic vs. Protestant wars. The two sides in both parts of Ireland still have very strong support and no-one wants to change or drop their beliefs – beliefs which have gone on so long that I would see them as very stable morphic fields of culture, which are very difficult to change. The approach of both these countries is to hang on to control. Theresa May and Arlene Foster are the current representatives of these charts and both are strong negotiators – not people to easily give up their standpoints.
Republic of Ireland
Enter the Republic which is staying in the EU. This of course creates a land border with Northern Ireland which is part of the UK and is thus Brexiting – is that a verb? Because of earlier agreements, such as the Good Friday one, how to deal with this border for Brexit is very complicated – even, I would say, impossible! Something incredibly ‘out-of-the box’ will be needed. Northern Ireland and the UK (using either this chart or the one from 1801) have the potential for innovative solutions, but can this energy (Uranus leadership) work positively? Or will it just mean more digging in of heels?
So who are they up against? The main player, apart from Scotland and Wales who insist on having the same rules as NI gets with Brexit, is of course the Republic of Ireland. The EU is supporting what they want, as the Republic of Ireland is still one of their flock. So what does this chart say?
Lots of Aries in the leadership. Although the Sun and Venus are close together – showing a need for partnership, harmony and peace – these planets are in Aries. Leaders are ready to fight – nicely – for what they want. Aries is a sign that initiates and pioneers. Hopefully that might help. But with Mars in Aries as well, picking up Pluto, the Republic is absolutely no pushover. Ceres is next to Pluto too – a powerful negotiator. Their approach to any deal will be to keep control and they have the willpower to get what they want. That has been clearly shown by the Easter Rising and the merciless fighting in the past. The Sagittarius rising shows an entrepreneurial image and this has been evident recently, Ireland is now doing very well development-wise. But religion and beliefs still play a role in this part of Ireland, and this is a fiery, reactive country!
I always use the Moon in a country chart to see what ‘the people’, as opposed to leaders, want. In NI and this UK chart, the Moon is in Cancer, as it is in the 1801 UK chart. Emotional, clan or family-oriented, with a need to protect children and keep historical traditions. This can be over-patriotic, which we see evidence of sometimes. The annual parades in NI are always a cause of tension. Cancer is a sign that looks to the past, for better or worse.
The Republic chart has the Moon in Capricorn. Interesting then, that the current Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is a Capricorn. He fits with the needs of the people. An earth sign, Capricorn is very practical and goal-oriented. A hard-working sign, but this could lead to some of the population having tunnel-vision or being ready to blame. At its best – a very responsible and reliable people and leader – but a deal is a deal!
History plays a big part in everything. The UK sometimes appears to have the idea that it is still a major empire and a big player on the world stage. The Republic want to keep their fiery, enterprising spirit and are hell-bent on not giving up on what they have fought for. NI are in fact very divided about being members of the UK, hence their non-active parliament at the moment. The ‘British’ Northern Irelanders seem to be more British than the UK Brits! And the EU has always found the UK difficult. Even though I don’t believe the EU is in ‘punishment mode’ as has been suggested, it can’t be seen to give a non-EU country too many favours as that defeats the purpose of the EU, which, as I have written about before, is mostly about control and money. Stalemate – even though decisions have been put off for now.
Advice of a sort
It really is impossible to solve the border problem if everyone sticks to their demands. NI doesn’t want to be a special case within the UK – but of course it is, as it will be the only one with a land border with the EU. The UK and part of NI don’t want to give up NI so that Ireland could become one – an obvious solution if there was no history! The Republic wants an open border and a good deal with the UK re trading – difficult for EU rules. And many of course think Brexit is a farce. I have written before on why the referendum was the wrong tool to decide on Brexit.
The problem as I see it is that money and protectionism have the upper hand. There seem to be two main fears; immigrants getting into the UK or Europe easily by crossing a land border, and losing money. Clearly, sharing lots of things with Europe is a good idea, like crime information, and rules that are good for health issues. I know there are many sticking points but a lot of them – like the European Court issues – are about who’s the boss. The way the world is now it seems to me that we need to join together to get things done – not become overly patriotic and protectionist.
What about some grown-up leadership? Sometimes bulls need to be taken by horns. Of course compromise is needed, but what could these countries and organisations be if they got over themselves, were practical and generous and reached their conscious potential? And what if it wasn’t all about money for a change? Next year Uranus will go into the sign of Taurus. The potential here is for a massive change and innovation in financial systems. (Bitcoin is a symbol of the start of this I think.) But will we do that? I fear not, with the level of consciousness as it is in the world today. But I still have hope and want to offer my ideas on what the EU, UK, NI and RoI could be.
In an ideal world …
I gave a description of potential for the EU in my earlier post – dear European Union. If the EU changed its levels of control, it might be possible for the UK to stay and many other countries would have welcomed the change. I don’t know enough to know if it is possible and I imagine it would be difficult, but that option seems to have been a no-go area.
If the UK managed to get parliament all ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ – well it is Christmas! – and agreed on what they want, that would be a start. The country is divided and large parts, such as London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay within the EU. Parliament is supposed to have taken the referendum as advice and of course going against it is not wise politically. But parliament is also supposed to do what is best for the country as a whole. When the Brexit vote was taken, there wasn’t enough information to see what was best – and anyway, how do you measure that? The UK could have a role to initiate change on the world stage and especially within the EU. At its best it is a very innovative, responsible country. Change is happening, but it is like pulling teeth. It may make the EU better in the long term, but it’s a pity the EU couldn’t make innovative changes needed for the UK and others to accept being part of something bigger. Or can the UK do something unorthodox to solve problems for London, Scotland and NI (and therefore Ireland)?
Arlene Foster is now in a position of power as not only is NI an important player in Brexit because of the geography, but also because her party is part of Theresa May’s support for the Tories to be the UK leaders. Foster has influence, but as usual that needs to be used wisely. Power can be tricky. As NI shares a chart with the UK, if we use this start date, they could be good partners. NI also has the potential to offer unusual solutions. Both countries could be leaders in a visionary, responsible, innovative and healing way. Compassion is also a possibility, however I fear that due to the norms that leaders usually abide by, it makes that difficult, as compassion tends to be seen as weak.
The Republic of Ireland
Ireland could lead the negotiations and take brave decisions. The chart shows potential for visionary, responsible, healing solutions, with a desire for a fair deal. They have a leading role in the EU within Brexit. I hope they can bring parties together.
So I guess even though we haven’t a clue what these statements mean:
- “We will have regulatory alignment.”
- “Brexit means Brexit.”
- “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
all will be well! If only all the parties could deliver on potential! But how to get countries into therapy?
The Solstice this year is a very special one, as on December 21st at 17:27:53 my time (CET) both the Sun (hence the solstice) and Saturn are at 0 degrees of Capricorn. I wrote about Capricorn on Steroids last year. As Saturn is the Capricorn planet, and is egging on the Sun on the 21st, and into the new year, 2018 might be Capricorn on steroids and body builders! More on this in my Capricorn 2018 post. In the meantime, enjoy the end of year festivities when we welcome back the Sun here in the North. Happy Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah, holidays and whatever else you celebrate!
Interesting Websites of the Month
On Ireland – a Wake Up Call
Ireland a hundred years on – on gender.
And a nice article on the soltice: At the Soltice, in praise of darkness by Mark Vanhoenacker.
Quote of the Month
“When you shift the conversation from ‘what’ to ‘why,’ you often find more ways of resolving the dispute, resolving the conflict, resolving the deadline.” Deepak Malhotra – author of ‘Negotiating the Impossible.’
From Nicholas Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes.
Vote at Westminster admitting NI to UK: 7 Dec 1922, book uses 15:28, London or Belfast.
Republic of Ireland: 18 Apr 1949, 0:00, Dublin, Ireland.