Democracy strikes back

Virgo 2019

This month I am suffering from information overload – a typical Virgo problem. Yes, I know –  we always have too much information. But this month I have so many charts I want to share with you on the extraordinary events taking place, particularly in the UK, that I am having trouble deciding how to sift wood from trees! So I hope you will bear with me because democracy may be at stake.

I am attempting to cover three things:

  • How astrology can be used to analyse events
  • Why I think the Ceres planetary archetype can be used for issues associated with democracy
  • How amazing (still, to me) the timing of events can be when aligned with astrological symbolism.
democracy parliament

Hong Kong Protests 2019 – photo Flickr. Studio Incendo

Country democracy

Two places stand out because they are in what I would call ‘democracy strikes back’ mode. They are Hong Kong, and of course the UK, brought about by the Brexit saga. In Hong Kong there have been three months of civil unrest with protests against the ruling body. Carrie Lam, as Chief Executive, has been the focus of these protests. After she announced a proposal for a new law in April, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, protests grew stronger until she was finally forced to withdraw the bill this month. The sometimes violent protests, but mostly in the form of blockades, in the name of democracy, had an effect.

More than a bill

As Lam herself says, she realises it’s about much more than a bill. It’s a struggle for Hong Kong to keep its special democratic status and not be taken over by China. However, it is about even more than that. Lam mentions housing, lack of land, and the economy – to name but a few issues. To tackle this problem, just this week as I write, she has set up a means for all types of people to be in dialogue with the government. Perfect timing, as it starts next week – Libra time! A time for dialogue and peace building. She is trying to give the people a voice, a democratic principle.

Ceres, democracy and the will of the people

If you read my blog, you will know I have been keeping an eye on Ceres since she was upgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006. I started looking at her in terms of food and ‘green’ issues, then went on to include women’s (and others, including animals) rights. However, more and more I am convinced she has a role to play in politics. A couple of things led me along this particular path. The first is her astronomical position.

Ceres Jupiter Mars

Between Will and Law

Ceres spends most of her time between Mars and Jupiter. Mars is considered in astrology to be a personal planet representing the will of an individual, whereas Jupiter and Saturn are considered to be social planets, representing society’s vision, politics, and laws (Jupiter) and rules, structures and the upholding of laws (Saturn). By being the go-between, Ceres negotiates between the will of each individual and the law-makers – i.e. parliament – in a democracy. As I have written often about Ceres, she is a tough negotiator. Michel Barnier, the EU Brexit negotiator, is a case in point – he has Ceres strongly featured in his horoscope!

Saviour of the plebs

Another reason I argue for her to be the planet of all things democratic, is that in Rome, her temple served the plebeian classes, not only as a grain distribution centre (Ceres as goddess of grain), but also as a sanctuary. The tribune of the plebs was protected by Ceres, and as such, the tribune could impede actions of patrician magistrates and protect the plebs by taking a stand for commoners. My 2017 post on the Grenfell tower referred to Ceres’ role for the plebs too, as well as to Michel Barnier.

Hong Kong

We have a chart for Hong Kong – the UK handed it back to China with great pomp and ceremony on July 1, 1997. The new administration took effect at midnight.

hong kong end of UK

Hong Kong is returned to China

horoscope Hong Kong

Hong Kong back to China – 1st July 1997

Background triggers in Hong Kong

Ceres moves relatively quickly, so when she triggers a chart point it does not last for years, as it can with slower moving bodies like the outer planets. There are always longer transits going on around her, so her actions take place within the context of other important and longer-lasting events. In Hong Kong’s case, Saturn has been acting on the Moon all year. Like all planets, Saturn has a range of ways of working. In this case – a country chart, where the Moon represents the general populace or the people – Saturn seems to be creating hard times for them. But the lesson is to take responsibility. Certainly, Hong Kong residents have put up borders and boundaries – literally and figuratively – on what they are prepared to accept. Saturn’s last attempt to help the people reach their goals is in December this year.

Anger and revolt

And the people of Hong Kong are angry. Uranus, the planet of disruption has been urging Mars – the planet of anger –  to revolt and come out fighting. He doesn’t finish doing this until April next year, having started in earnest in June this year. So I suspect the anger is far from over.

Ceres in Hong Kong

Democracy against power

Ceres was exactly on Pluto on February 5, June 17 and August 18, 2019.

 

So what has Ceres been up to in Hong Kong? –  I hear you ask. What I found fascinating is that Ceres has been crossing Pluto in the Hong Kong chart. The piece of the chart here shows June 17th with Ceres on the outside of the Hong Kong chart, right on Pluto. The day before that, the largest protest up to that point occurred, with an estimated 2 million people taking to the street. Carrie Lam issued an apology to the people but refused to step down.

Of note is that the first pass of Ceres to this point was in February, when the original bill was triggered following a murder case in Taiwan. At Ceres’ last pass, in August, a march was called to condemn police brutality. This struggle is not over yet, but the trigger is clear to see. Pluto is about power and can be about brutality. Ceres, in her role of wanting democracy, did not back down and stood up to those in power. With her help, the people took on the police and the politically powerful. Lam had to back down. Perhaps the point about democracy has been made for now, but the anger and difficulties still remain.

Ceres on another mission

So now I come to the UK and Brexit. Here four charts are of interest. I won’t claim to know what will happen next, but I think the charts definitely highlight a few things. The ones I will discuss are the UK, which I have discussed before, Boris Johnson, likewise, and two making their first appearance in my blog. One is for John Bercow, the UK parliament Speaker of the House, who has become a bit of celebrity in his own right.

The Supreme Court

The last is one I checked while watching the extraordinary case in the UK Supreme Court, which has to decide whether Boris Johnson acted illegally in proroguing (i.e. shutting down) parliament for five weeks. Scottish courts ruled that it was unlawful, English courts said it was a political matter and the courts had no business deciding. So it has gone to the Supreme Court, with one case being brought by Sir John Major – a previous Tory Prime Minister. Yes, the same as Boris Johnson! His case states that Boris lied to the Queen. She has to give permission for proroguing, but is not allowed an opinion and takes advice from her PM.

The poor Queen has been dragged into another upset this week too, as yet another Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has heavily criticised Boris in his memoires, also let some information slip about the Queen, who was very ‘displeased’. As an aside, the Queen has not only Pluto hitting her ascendant – how much power does she have? (and many other questions not for now) – she also has Saturn (troubles from outside) triggering Ceres which is at 14 Leo.  The two events raise questions about her role in democracy and parliament. I think with Ceres in Leo she sees parliament as having sovereignty.

lord pannick parliament

Uk judges on Supreme Court prorogation case. from BBC

Bundlegate

With lawyers called Lord Pannick and Lord Keen, and the presiding judge called Lady Hale, I think you can imagine a truly British scene! All we needed was a Lady Hearty to make up the set! Much of the three days of evidence was spent attempting to find pages in the ‘bundles’, as the page numbers were different for the eleven judges from those for the rest of the participants. Riveting viewing! A link below sums it up far better than I could. A fun read. And the arguments could have been stated in half a day – tops! But in all seriousness, it is a very difficult case as it will set a precedent for future prorogation. The court was formed for just this sort of thorny problem on October 1st 2009. I hadn’t realised how recent this was.

supreme UK prorogation

The UK Supreme Court 1st October 2009. Currently led by Lady Hale.

The Supreme Court chart

The chart has interesting links to the UK chart. Its Sun at 7 Libra – the scales of justice!  – is exactly on the UK ascendant, showing the UK’s wish to be seen as a reasonable, fair and decent country. Boris also has Libra ascending. He would like to have this image too, but sadly the rest of his chart is coming to the fore! See my Gemini 2019 post for a bit more on him. The Mars-Uranus links on the Ascendant and the MC of the SC chart highlight their ‘branding’ – their knowledge (Uranus) will be sought in conflicts (Mars). Saturn at the very bottom of the chart shows that authority and responsibility are the basis of everything they do. A serious body.

Ceres Supreme?

When the case started, the Sun was at 24 degrees of Virgo. This is only for a day, but it sets the tone. The Sun (spotlight) picks up Ceres and Neptune in the SC chart which are also at 24 degrees. It was also near Saturn. Expectations about their authority are high. Mars nearby on Mercury means they are not going to mince words. But the Ceres-Neptune aspect in the chart might suggest a lack of clarity or even confusion when it comes to matters of democracy. They will want fair play (Ceres in Libra) and compassion (Neptune) in politics. The ruling will be very interesting – I am sure there will be huge dilemmas for the eleven judges.

Supreme Court v. Boris

However, the most interesting connection to me is that Pluto of the SC (the power they have), sits exactly on Ceres in Boris’s chart. I think their Pluto will overrule his type of politics as they have all the power in this case. In the myth, Ceres struck back and negotiated, so it will be interesting to see what Boris does!

The UK

There has been so much happening astrologically in the UK that I am not even going to attempt to go there. Many people have written on this. I will just say that the confusion in terms of contracts, lies, misinformation and agreements is far from over. Neptune is having his confusing way with Mercury, so expect the soap opera to last at least till February next year (the last pass is on Feb 15) and probably a bit longer.

And so to John Bercow

Here’s a taste of John Bercow as Speaker of the House – a supposedly neutral but powerful position.

He has become known for his cries of ‘Order – Order’ and for his ties! A colourful character of whom David Cameron said:  “I used to wake up each morning wondering how Bercow would make my life hell!” Bercow has been accused of being very biased when it comes to Brexit, however looking at his chart, although he enjoys a dramatic flourish (Mars in Leo), I think he really believes in the rule of law and fair democracy. He is a strong Capricorn, born just before the Sun moved into Aquarius, making him extremely ‘goatlike’ in my view. Perfect for someone who needs to give structure, set an agenda and call ‘order’!

parliament house of commons

John Bercow – the Speaker of the UK House of Commons – I don’t have a birth time for him.

Politics that serve the people

He has Ceres in our sign of the month Virgo, denoting a view that politics or parliament should serve. He has been accused of bullying and Ceres next to Pluto sometimes can signify this. However, one way I think this works for him is to make him a powerful presence in the House of Commons. After promising his wife he would step down earlier, he held out until after the 2017 elections. Now, he has given a tearful resignation speech and will leave on October 31st, which is the current Brexit deadline. I’m sure he wants to be there for those last fireworks.

The astrology of his resignation speech also convinced me that Ceres is important in parliamentary matters. The Sun in Virgo was on Ceres in his chart on the day he resigned. A spotlight on his role. And not only that, Neptune – the planet of letting go, giving up, tears and dreams – was directly opposite the Sun in the sky, implying a giving up of what has likely been a dream role for him. Perfect timing.

Last but not least – a planetary cycle

Above I mentioned the patricians – the ruling classes in Rome. Jupiter would be my significator for them, and, as I have said, Ceres is the symbol for us – the plebs. So when these two bodies meet in the sky it’s like Ceres, who was overruled by Jupiter when he agreed to their daughter being taken by Pluto, meets Jupiter, her brother and also father of her child. It’s when politicians meet democracy or the Prime Minister meets parliament. Depending on where we are up to in the myth (in my view, how consciously we can use these energies) Jupiter overrules – in this scenario Boris gets his way – or Ceres confronts and negotiates – i.e. parliament (for the plebs) steps in to thwart the ‘patricians’.

The last time these two bodies met was during the very successful London Olympics when Johnson was Mayor of London. He was figuratively and literally flying high. The conjunction of Ceres and Jupiter was in Gemini and this was very good for Boris, who is a Gemini.

Boris zipline

The famous image of Boris stuck on a zipwire during the London Olympics. This image inspired some fun memes – see links below.

‘No! Boris’

Fascinatingly, the next meeting of these two on October 25th this year is just days before the Brexit deadline! However, this time it will be in Sagittarius – the sign opposite Gemini. I think Parliament is in a very strong position to say a resounding ‘No’ to Boris, but both will have to compromise – as happens in the myth. Ceres gets her daughter Persephone back, but only for some months each year.

I would say – watch this date. I tried to find what happened last time these two met in the same sign to look at that pattern, but even though Ceres and Jupiter meet around every 7 years, the last time they were together in Sagittarius was in 1876! And the history of events in this period is far more sketchy – at least on internet.

Compromises

Last time they met, in 2012, there was a ‘compromise’ government – a coalition of the Tories and the Liberal Democrats in the UK.  Here’s a quote from a UK newspaper on the exact day of the start of this cycle that we are in now: “The British PM has come under increasing pressure from MPs over whether he will give Britain the opportunity for an EU referendum. Tories have called on Cameron to start talks on a referendum and have drawn up a five-year plan demanding powers be returned to Westminster from Brussels.”

In February 2016, David Cameron announced the Brexit referendum. In March the cycle was at its mid point when preparations were underway for the June voting. Ceres was opposing Jupiter. A fruition point when an issue long discussed came to pass. It is clear from this that, one way or the other, October will be the end of this cycle that began in 2012. Boris might get a deal. However, a new form of government is needed. The end of what is effectively a two-party system? The UK is not used to coalition governments really, but looking at this I think compromise and working together must be embraced. And of course – this meeting of planets also acts globally. Here’s hoping!

Faye Blake

Websites of the month

The wonderful article on the Supreme Court proceedings.

A good timeline of the Hong Kong protests.

And a very interesting watch (30 minutes) – an interview with Daniel Schmachtenberger – it’s wide ranging and he talks about democracy as well as important global issues and value systems. How do we make sense of what we know and don’t know and make decisions? The part about systems of governance and democracy starts at around 7 minutes.

And just for fun some memes of Boris and the zipwire

Quote of the month

“We don’t know how to do civilization without war…we’re really talking about getting off win-lose game theory completely. It’s unprecedented. But unprecedented shit is actually the precedent of the universe, if you have a very long view.”  Daniel Schmachtenberger.

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