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Here in the UK, we open the week under the pall of Prince Philip’s death. Pluto is suitably in charge – Venus is square Pluto (Monday), the Sun square Pluto (Friday) and Mercury square Pluto (Saturday). And even if the death of such a revered figure is of no concern to much of the world, such powerful Pluto influences will have a bearing on events of a collective and individual kind.

Under Pluto, we make a journey into the darkness; we look to solve mysteries, find what lies at the core of issues, and in the process, we make discoveries about ourselves. So, for each one of us, a minor or major development offers us the ability to transform an aspect of our existence, and in so doing change ourselves at core level.

Pluto is also about elimination, so, during the week, a good practice for all of us would be to get rid of something that has done its day, thereby clearing the way for new growth. Toxic situations of all kinds need to be recognized and ways to get out of them explored.

And here’s where the new moon (Monday) comes in handy! New beginnings, new chapters and a fresh outlook are all inspired by this new moon in the pioneering sign of Aries. Aries is renowned for never looking back and kicking over the traces of the past in order to reach new destinations, and as quickly as possible. And that new moon is somewhere in our charts, regardless of our sun sign, urging us onward and upward.

Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces

Friday Bite

Friday, 9 April 2021

I have just placed my original Friday Bite in the repository of Maybe Laters, the reason being that at 12:51 this afternoon I discovered that Prince Philip had died earlier this morning. The end of an era is a much-overused phrase, but not on this occasion. With the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at 99 years of age, the royal ship has lost its lodestar.

With hindsight, I must have sensed that something would happen at the eleventh hour since I had no inclination to make notes for my Friday Bite during the week, which is my habit. Plus, I wondered why in a dream on Wednesday night I was wandering through the empty corridors of a castle. Now, it all makes sense.

Before I look at the astrology of Prince Philip’s life, I should mention that Neptune is a prime-mover at the moment. Following on from the Mercury-Neptune conjunction of March 30th comes today’s Mars-Neptune square and the Moon-Neptune conjunction. It has been a week of mysteries and muddles, not least, further doubt and confusion over the AstraZeneca vaccine – the Cinderella of the vaccines – and, you may remember, my theory is that the coronavirus bears the signature of Neptune since almost all the key parts of the Covid-19 story so far have been presided over by this planet.

Loss, sacrifice and suffering also resonate with Neptune, and it is hard to imagine how Her Majesty must feel at this time. She fell in love with the Prince when she was thirteen years old, and they have been married over seventy-three years. He was her “strength and her stay”, a husband for all seasons.

prince phillip natal chart

There is doubt and confusion over Prince Philip’s time of birth. What we know for sure is that his mother, Princess Alice, gave birth on the dining room table of a large villa in Corfu. According to his father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, Philip entered the world at ten in the morning, but this account is not borne out by the nanny who attended his birth and maintained the young prince was born “as the sun was setting”. A time of 21:46 is most often cited as the birth moment, which yields Capricorn rising; a 10 am birth places a Moon-Neptune conjunction in Leo just above the Leo Ascendant.

We have had decades to observe the Duke of Edinburgh, and a Moon-Neptune conjunction rising from a Leo Ascendant doesn’t quite fit this no-nonsense, gruff, hardy individual. In private, the Prince could be irascible and demanding, cold and domineering. He was, of course, charming, debonair and amusing too, although his off-the-cuff remarks were a source of frequent embarrassment. He was once heard to say to a black politician, “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?” And he famously referred to a Chinese delegation as “slitty-eyed people”.

So, Capricorn rising at sunset is a much better fit, although what degree of Capricorn remains a mystery. 21:46 puts 13 Capricorn on the Ascendant, but another half an hour would bring his Ascendant to 21 of Capricorn, and precisely conjunct the Queen’s Ascendant.

queen elizabeth natal chart

A Moon-Neptune conjunction tells of a childhood and an upbringing that was both idyllic and turbulent. As a young boy, he was smuggled out of Greece in a fruit crate as his father, under threat of execution, had escaped to Paris. The family reunited, thereafter lived in gentile poverty. After his parents’ separation, he was sent to Cheam school in England and then to Gordonstoun in Scotland, famed for its spartan regime. In five years no one in his family came to visit him. Nonetheless, Dickensian as this may seem, Philip thrived at Gordonstoun, and years later sent Charles there too. Charles’ experience of his father’s alma mater, of course, was vastly different…

Curiously enough, or not if you specialize in synastry (the astrology of relationships) Queen Elizabeth also has a Moon-Neptune conjunction in Leo; in fact, her Moon is Philip’s Neptune and his Moon her Neptune. Similar astrological patterns, aspects and degree areas are commonly found in the charts of couples. You can think of this phenomenon as mirroring and matching. In the Queen’s case her idyllic childhood was interrupted by her Uncle Edward’s abdication, which meant her father became King and she the future Queen.

A Moon-Neptune conjunction was not the only indication of an instinctive bond between Philip and Elizabeth; his Venus (his anima) was conjunct the Queen’s Sun, which in turn connected to his MC-IC axis. Also worthy of note is Philip’s north node in Libra, which suggests his destiny was to become a foil for his partner, and to relinquish his independence.

Philip gave up the life as a naval officer that he loved in order to marry Elizabeth. And from the moment she became Queen he became her loyal servant – not easy for an alpha male.

There is not enough time to cover all the remarkable aspects of Prince Philip’s life through an astrological lens, although I may do so at a future date; what I want to do in this Friday Bite is point out the significance of the transits at the time of his death.

prince philip death chart

The Palace has not given a time of death, only “this morning”, so I have set up a chart for 5:30 am, simply so that we can clearly see the Moon-Neptune conjunction squaring Mars. The Prince, of course, had a natal Moon-Neptune conjunction, so it seems particularly fitting that he should leave us on the same aspect. Mars, at 21 degrees of Gemini, was at the mid-point of his natal Sun-Mars conjunction, and therefore squared by Neptune and the Moon. Transiting Uranus was hovering over his IC, suggesting death was sudden and quick, and relatively unexpected. Yet it was the right time for him to go Home. Saturn, at 11 degrees of Aquarius, was precisely opposed to his Neptune while Jupiter at 24 degrees of Aquarius was opposed to his Moon. While we could see some poetry here in that Saturn’s opposition to Neptune signalled the end of the dream, that Jupiter was also in the mix suggests this was indeed a happy ending. The conclusion of a long and distinguished – and eventful – life.

Earlier, I used the term, the end of an era – one of the great themes of the Saturn-Uranus square, which will be exact on three occasions in 2021, and loosely in play until 2023. So, there will be more than one institution, death or event that will mark the end of an era. Prince Philip lived almost one hundred years, and during that time he oversaw many great changes to the monarchy. He was both a traditionalist and a reformer. He may have retired from public life in 2017, but he remained at the helm of the firm. Without him, the monarchy is considerably reduced, and the Queen, without her strength and stay, bereft and diminished.

In my Friday Bite after the Sussexes interview with Oprah Winfrey, I suggested that at the very least their disclosures could turn out to be seriously bad timing, and sadly this is the case. We have to hope that there are no more losses or upsets to come in the next eighteen months, otherwise the end of an era may have even greater consequences for the future of the Royal Family. 

Reading the characteristics that our co-workers display and learning how to cooperate with them successfully lies at the heart of Astrology in the Workplace.

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