Friday Bite 13 May 2022
Black Holes, Black Rod and Black Thursday
It is Friday the thirteenth, and if you’re superstitious, a seriously unlucky day. As far as the astrology is concerned, this Friday has no scary alignments to speak of, but we are a handful of days from a total lunar eclipse, which has the added kudos of being 90 degrees away from Saturn. Indeed, the period between the solar eclipse (April 30th) and the total lunar eclipse (May 15th/16th) has been packed with unprecedented developments, not least the release yesterday of images of a black hole at the centre of our galaxy.
Sagittarius A*, as it is known, is located near the borders of the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpio, 27,000 light years away. The first-ever image of the black hole — a result of a supernova that occurred over 10,000 years ago – was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, using observatories from a worldwide network of radio telescopes. This ground-breaking development proves Einstein’s general theory of relativity that stars leave behind a small dense core when they collapse.
What might conceivably fit the profile of a Friday the thirteenth disaster is what is going on in the cryptocurrency world. The near-total collapse of the “stablecoin” Terra followed on Thursday by Tether, another key “stablecoin” in the digital asset ecosystem, has sent panic waves across the cryptocurrency market. Indeed, what happened this week has been compared to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. A year ago, the market’s total value was more than a trillion dollars: it is now worth $250 billion. My advice to investors would be to get out while you can.
We are living at a time of great change. History is being made almost daily. In this period alone, between the two eclipses, we have witnessed the almost certain reversal of the Roe versus Wade ruling in the United States, which will illegalize abortion and so disenfranchise women, we have seen seen Sinn Fein win the greatest number of seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, plunging Northern Ireland into a crisis over the Protocol, which in turn could trigger the break-up of the United Kingdom, and we have watched Prince Charles take over from the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament. Also, on the list of historic developments, on Wednesday, Boris Johnson signed a treaty with Finland and Sweden agreeing to “come to each other’s assistance, including military assistance” in the event of a disaster or attack. The following day, Finland announced its intention on Sunday (15th to officially apply to join NATO – Sweden is expected to follow suit.
The prospect of an 810-mile border between Finland and Russia clearly does not amuse Mr Putin, one of whose stated intentions behind the invasion of Ukraine was to fracture NATO, not increase and strengthen the alliance. It remains to be seen quite what the “retaliatory steps” Russia has threatened will turn out to be, but the fact that Finland and Sweden will apply to join NATO at the time of the total lunar eclipse suggests there will indeed be consequences.
Anyone watching the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday (10th) could not fail to take in the symbolism of the empty space usually occupied by the sovereign’s throne and in its place, the Imperial Crown resting on a cushion. For the first time since 1963, due to continuing “mobility issues”, the Queen was unable to deliver the annual speech laying out her government’s plans for the coming year. Instead that task was handed to Prince Charles, with Prince William also in attendance, both in their official roles as Counsellors of State. However, the tableau presented in that most illustrious of settings – two future kings and a Queen Consort in waiting – was, as The Guardian newspaper put it, “the most public and formal manifestation of Operation Transition, which has been going on inside Buckingham Palace for several years”. (An operation not lost on your astrologer, who has been writing about the changes taking place in the corridors of royal power since 2015.)
The last-moment decision that put Charles in the monarch’s role inspired a flurry of speculation about the likelihood of his becoming Prince Regent. Certainly, such an announcement in the coming days would not be out of place with the transits to the charts below, but it would take a lot more than “mobility issues” to inspire a regency.
A regency requires three out of five dignitaries – the Prince of Wales, the lord chancellor, the Speaker of the Commons, the lord chief justice and the master of the rolls – to certify the Queen is permanently incapable of carrying out her duties. Since this is patently not the case and the Queen herself has long maintained hers is a job for life – she will never abdicate – a regency is unlikely. However, given Monday’s total lunar eclipse and the part it plays in members of the royal family’s charts, we can expect some transformational developments in the royal House of Windsor in the near future.
The four angles of the Opening of Parliament chart connect with Prince Charles’s Ascendant-Descendant-MC-IC axis, which reflects the importance of the occasion in terms of his role and future role. This might well be the most significant moment of his life so far, but it is the nodal axis that has the most to say about the magnitude of the moment.
The nodal axis (22 degrees Taurus-Scorpio) is aligned with Charles’ Sun (22 degrees Scorpio), the Queen’s Jupiter-Neptune opposition (22 degrees Aquarius-Leo), her Saturn-Midheaven conjunction (25 Scorpio) and Great Britain’s Neptune (22 degrees of Taurus). Since eclipses only take place at the nodes, the total lunar eclipse of May 16th is the trigger and the herald of a changing of the guard.
Which brings us on to the prospect of King Charles III, which is not a happy one for a large swathe of Great Britain. I will leave that discussion for another time, but the presence of Neptune on his IC has always concerned me, given its inference of loss, sacrifice and confusion. (We only have to look at what happened to Biden when he won the 2020 election with Neptune on his IC and Neptune opposing the USA’s natal Neptune: a large part of America still believes he should not be president and that the election was “stolen”.)
We are roughly two weeks away from the Platinum Jubilee, and Great Britain is getting geared up to celebrate the 70-year reign of our beloved Queen. Hopes are high that she will be present at many of the events in her honour, but we are also bracing ourselves for the possibility that she may be forced to take only a virtual part.
It’s looking increasingly as though the event will be a kind of last hoorah. We are losing our Queen inch by inch, occasion by occasion, and it is terribly sad.
Friday Bite 6 May 2022
Revelations and Revolutions
So, here we are in the middle of a short eclipse season with revolutionary Uranus dominating the astrological proceedings. Indeed, the past seven days have been a proverbial hymn to this volatile planet. Here are just a handful of developments redolent of Uranus.
Both the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an attempt to stem the rise and rise of inflation and stave off a near-inevitable recession. While this may be a tried-and-trusted strategy for galloping inflation, in a growing cost-of-living crisis, it may turn out to be counter-productive and certainly the last straw for 99 percent of the ordinary people of the United States and Great Britain.
A leaked Supreme Court draft ruling overturning Roe v Wade – the 1973 case that guaranteed the right to abortion – sent a seismic wave across America. This ruling, which should become law in June, reverses a woman’s right to choose, and allows states to declare abortion illegal.
The White House announced it would have a new Press Secretary once Jen Paski leaves in mid-May. Karine Jean-Pierre has made history by becoming the first Black woman and LGBTQ person in the role.
In the United Kingdom local elections, the Conservatives lost control of three flagship London councils – Westminster (Tory since its inception in 1964), Wandsworth (Tory for 44 years, and Margaret Thatcher’s favourite council) and Barnet. But these shocks pale in comparison with the anticipated result of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections…
Sinn Fein (Republic of Ireland) is set to become the largest party in the power-sharing executive. The Good Friday Agreement (1998) ended three decades of violence between the largely catholic nationalists and the mostly protestant unionists. This historic power shift could do one of two things: it could be the first step towards a united Ireland or it may prove to be a return to the bad old days of the troubles.
I’m going to start with Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland came into being on April 17th 1949. At 11 o’clock that night, Scorpio was rising, placing Pluto, the ruler in the ninth house, trining Mars in Aries and in sympathy with the Sun and Venus also in Aries. An elevated Saturn at 29 of Leo dominates the chart. The Moon (representative of the peoples of the Republic) is opposed to Uranus and forms the apex of a Kite configuration: Saturn trine the Moon trine the Sun and Venus: Saturn and the Sun and Venus sextiling Uranus – the latter opposing the Moon. Here we see the quest for the unity of Ireland (Grand Trine), yet also the bloody battle to achieve it (Moon opposition Uranus).
The Good Friday Agreement, which brought an official end to the troubles has an uncanny echo of the influences in play at the time of Ireland’s independence: four celestial bodies in Aries – Mercury, the Sun, Saturn and Mars at the opposite point in the zodiac from the Moon in Libra. Here we find the independence of Aries at odds with Libra’s desire for peace and partnership, but, as with all oppositions, the potential for unity is in there too.
As the Island of Ireland reaches this historic point, Pluto is squaring the Sun and Venus in the chart of the Republic and the Mars of the Good Friday agreement. Pluto is none too far from Neptune in the Good Friday chart and Jupiter in the horoscope of the Republic, which in turn is squaring Mercury, the ruler of the Republic’s Midheaven. Uranus and the solar eclipse of the 30th have just squared its ruling planet, Pluto, which we can interpret as a release and as an awakening but also as having put the cat among the pigeons. So, the country is at the beginning of a journey. It may be that that journey is to peace and a united Ireland – and it will almost certainly be a journey to a new constitution — but there will surely be turmoil along the way.
Transiting Pluto is also a prime-mover in the horoscope of the USA. America’s natal Pluto is 27 degrees 33 minutes of Capricorn so it is currently undergoing its first Pluto return. Already the wagons are gathering. Already the foundations of the country are beginning to tremble. Ukraine will be a factor in America’s transformation, the economy another, but the prospect of a change in the law, reversing a woman’s right to choose, is the first clear sign that America will radically change its constitution over the course of the next two years. And there will be turmoil. At this point in time the forthcoming eclipse (25 degrees of Scorpio-Taurus) will square the US Moon, reflecting the magnitude of this step to disenfranchise women. And if we think this event has sent a seismic wave across America, it may be a drop in the ocean compared to events on or near the mid-term elections.
And finally, the new White House Press Officer, Karine Jean-Pierre. We do not have a time of birth for Ms Jean-Pierre but even without the benefit of the four angles, we can see she is no pushover. An exact Sun-Saturn conjunction in Leo gives her staying power and strength of purpose while a Mars-Neptune opposition reveals idealism and compassion – a perfect counterbalance to all that Saturnian control and pragmatism. However, there is a powerful theme of sacrifice in her chart too, which may relate to all the things she gave up in order to live her truth but it does not rule out the potential for her to become a scapegoat at some point in her life.
I also want to point out that at this “historic moment”, transiting Saturn is opposing her natal Sun-Saturn conjunction. While she may be experiencing some personal struggles that we do not know about, what we can see is that on this occasion Saturn is inspiring gravitas and a reward for years of struggle.
You see, Saturn isn’t all bad.