Below is Boris Johnson’s horoscope, as we look at what kind of Brexit we’ll be getting. Left-leaning journalists have been beside themselves lately over the prospect of Johnson as P.M. of the United Kingdom. I have discussed the new U.K. Prime Minister elsewhere on astro.nu, but in this article I look at what kind of Brexit Boris Johnson will preside over (and the indications from his birth chart). The main questions right now are: will we leave without a deal on October 31st? And, more generally: just how easy will he find it as PM? “Dude, we’re going to energise the country!,” he proclaimed on his victory. Some commentators are not so sure, like the Guardian’s Andrew Rawnsley who wrote, ‘Boris Johnson’s braggadocio will soon come back to haunt him at Number 10’:
‘The schoolboy who wanted to be “world king” has spent many years lusting after the job, but that is entirely different to doing it … Whitehall is preparing for the Johnson premiership by adopting the brace position. Is this because he is infamously cavalier about detail, bored by complexity, known to react peevishly and sometimes with a ferocious temper when frustrated or contradicted, and has a notoriously casual relationship with the truth?’
At first I did a double take at this quote – Rawnsley could just as easily have been talking about Donald Trump. The astrological parallels with Trump are significant, too, and I don’t just mean the fact that both leaders are populist, outspoken sun Geminians. I have written elsewhere on this site that Trump’s continued weathering of political storms in Washington is down to progressed Jupiter on his ascendant. Jupiter has a supportive, protective quality that often ensures one’s luck holds good – whilst its astrological influence is operative, of course. Later we will find this Jupiter aspect significant on Boris Johnson’s horoscope, too.
First, let’s look at the astrological context for why we have, along with the USA, shifted to the right of the political spectrum. The transit of Pluto through Capricorn has ended up with the UK in a political and constitutional crisis. Pluto is the Great Destroyer, it is Death and Rebirth for entities that have outlived their purpose; Capricorn (in mundane astrology) is the Establishment, the System, the powers that be. No wonder that in the UK we’re going through what one commentator described as a ‘political nervous breakdown’.
In short, politicians have lost the trust of the electorate, as naked capitalism is allowed to run rampant, what with private (profit-based) companies overseeing the distribution of benefits, public education spending cut whilst private education fees are increased, and where even homelessness can be considered a crime. This is why we’re in the age of the demagogue, the populist who fills the vacuum when we’ve lost faith in mainstream political parties. But we’re a divided country because of it.
Saturn will also make an exact conjunction with Pluto in January 2020. We’re likely to see a further hardening and increase in authoritarian control as the powers that be lash out. (What the US astrologer and philosopher Richard Tarnas discreetly called ‘conservative empowerment’.) The cold unforgiving hand of Authority is already with us, take the example of the recent shameful arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. If, in the UK, it seems we’ve reached crisis point in our daily politics, you haven’t seen nothing yet; I believe the authoritarianism we’re seeing will increase in 2020.
To get a flavour of what happens worldwide when Saturn makes a hard angle to Pluto, consider these two events from recent world history. Often there is some some kind of power grab by politically motivated opportunists, such as on September 11th 1973, when an exact Saturn-Pluto square manifested in the coup d’etat in Chile, and the murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet began his reign of terror. Or ten years later, in August 1983 during a Saturn-Pluto conjunction, when Manuela Noriega rose to power. He was ‘one of the Central Intelligence Agency’s most valued intelligence sources, as well as one of the primary conduits for illicit weapons, military equipment and cash destined for U.S.-backed counter-insurgency forces throughout Latin America.’ (Wikipedia)
During any creeping shift to the right, well meaning liberals continue to warn us that true democracy is a precious thing and we should not let authoritarian leaders undermine it. In the case Boris Johnson, Guardian journalists have already noted how he has actually hardened his stance on Brexit, asking if he could close down shut down (prorogue) Parliament to stop it legislating against No Deal:
‘The legal default position is that if there is no deal, and the UK has not asked to revoke article 50 or been granted a further extension, then we leave on 31 October with no deal. But MPs of all parties have already flexed their muscles to prevent the prorogation of parliament to get no deal. Earlier this month they passed an amendment to a Northern Ireland bill by a majority of 41 to make prorogation more difficult; 315 MPs backed it and 274 were opposed. The anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller is also planning legal action to prevent prorogation.’
Boris Johnson’s Horoscope
Let’s get an idea of the man himself – above is Boris Johnson’s horoscope, and with the sun (conjunct Venus) in Gemini and Libra rising, he has that charismatic, easy-going appeal to the public, that plain-speaking, ‘blokey’ sense of humour. In short, the Libran ascendant provides charm, and Gemini the light touch. Of course, it isn’t quite as simple as this: he also has vociferous Mars in Gemini, providing fuel for his outspoken, attention-seeking quips. Johnson’s fan club like him for this perceived directness and honesty; his detractors point out that such quips are often racist, like describing Muslim women wearing a full veil as “letterboxes”.
But these situations stem from deeper, more serious elements. For one, on Boris Johnson’s horoscope we see Mercury square Pluto. Not only are there strong opinions to voice, but a range of entrenched, stubborn ideas. “You’re not going to change him,” commented one senior Tory aide. Then there is Mars square Saturn, which can mean difficulty expressing anger: Mars-Saturn bottles up reserves of aggressive ego, whether its reacting to annoying regulations, annoying people, or just the slow pace of everyday, mortal life. One wonders how much he’s suppressed over the years and how much he’ll want to get his own back on those who stood in his way. His moon is in subtle, tight lipped, opportunistic, manipulative Scorpio, after all. Here is someone motivated by the need for power. Not only that, he has the passion and determination to see his plans through to the bitter end. Now he’s Leader he’ll want to show just who is in charge.
Johnson’s much mentioned ‘buffoonish’ image is simply a part of a grand strategy: to appear funny, likeable and most of all ‘ordinary’. Who can resist someone that makes them laugh? But even the verbal gaffes are mostly deliberate – there’s little suggestion from the birth chart that he’s unaware of what he’s saying, or is unconscious of the offence he causes. His appearance on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You panel show was gold dust for this carefully contrived ‘clownish’ image. But Johnson is no fool – he knows that the accident prone, bumbling, tongue-tied, public schoolboy is a smokescreen, whilst he slowly and surely gets closer to fulfilling his ambitions and manoeuvres himself into a position of power. Job done!
An anecdote from BBC presenter Jeremy Vine reminds us that much of this buffoonery is carefully stage managed. Vine was set to do an interview as Johnson arrived, reaching for a pen to hastily scribble something on a piece of paper. So Vine was treated to the likeable, ill-organised class clown on that occasion – hair askew, falling over his own feet and then his own words. But about a year after, as Vine recalled, it was during another interview that Johnson went through the exact same repertoire, using the exact same lines: ‘as if it had been scripted’.
Brexit – the Astrological Outlook
The UK Chart
Let’s have a look at the predictive material: first the national charts and then for Boris personally. First, the progressions to the United Kingdom chart (set for 1801 January 1st) on Oct 31, 2019 provide the background scenery for British politics. Here, there’s a heavy concentration of planets in the 4th house which, on a mundane chart, is about our heritage, our ‘patriotism’, our collective identity as a country, or at least a version of it. Mercury, Sun, Jupiter Mars and Saturn are all present here – an emphasis on roots, the past and tradition. This suggests the scene is set for strong nationalistic fervour at this time in our history, one where the familiar, knee-jerk stereotypes of ‘what it means to be British’ (or English) are invoked.
The Brexit Chart
The chart set for the exit poll on referendum day (10.00 pm, June 23rd, 2016) can be progressed to show the Midheaven (‘career’/public image) within one degree of a conjunction with Mars (in late 2018 and early 2019) This right away suggests the ongoing rifts, short fuses and in-fighting surrounding all aspects of Brexit. In brief – divisiveness. With obstructive Saturn in the 11th house we might well expect that lack of resolution/agreement in Parliament, too. (This house on a mundane chart is the ‘Parliament’ of a country’s birth chart, in the case of the UK, not merely the government but the entire House of Commons.)
Also, transits to the Brexit chart show Neptune opposite natal Jupiter (exactly to the minute) on October 29th, 2019, only two days before the supposed time we exit the EU. On a birth chart this opposition means impractical, over-idealistic and ballooning expectations. Any type of concrete limitation or systemic problem is the enemy. This represents the Brexit voters’ attitude to the EU – the material reality is inconvenient. Stop standing in our way!
The Article 50 chart
This is set for 13.20 p.m. March 29th, 2017 in Brussels, when the EU’s Article 50 for leaving the union was activated. This brings into play the European Union and is a chart about the negotiations – as such, it is somewhat different. Though Venus is on the M.C., a Mercury/moon/Uranus conjunction is prominent in the 10th (rules and authorities). This stellium is one of instability: ‘emotional’ and erratic behaviour, wilfulness and sudden whim hold sway. If both sides take this approach you can guess at the result! The urge for self-interest and trying to get one’s own way (and the determination to do this) is shown by the Pluto square to Uranus. The only conciliatory factor is Venus on the M.C. – we did at least get an extension when Theresa May was in power, and there was talk of an even longer one if required. But it’s a chart which bodes ill for harmonious negotiations and talks.
So far we have a combination of aggressive ‘I want’, and a strongly idealistic/nationalistic attitude that just may be self-deluding. But how is Johnson likely to cope? The Guardian’s Andrew Rawnsley wrote that:
‘the best educated guess about where he will get to in the autumn [of 2019] is this. There will be no better deal with the EU and parliament will prevent him from leaving without one. There would then be three avenues forward. One: he could seek another extension to the deadline for withdrawal. This would be a humiliating betrayal of his solemn pledge to his party that Britain is leaving “come what may” on Halloween … Two: he could seek to resolve the deadlock by calling a fresh referendum [or Three] he could call an election.’
The Solar return chart for Boris Johnson’s horoscope – from 20 June 2019 – has Saturn/Pluto conjunct in the 1st house. This forms an opposition to Mars and Mercury in the 7th (relationships), suggesting he’s assumed the office of Prime Minister with enemies already waiting in the wings. It’s indicative of major disagreement, but will ‘they’ be powerful enough to stop a no-deal Brexit? (The Saturn-Pluto conjunction also is widely conjunct the moon, suggesting Johnson has some emotional commitment to all of this.) It certainly suggests little in the way of compromise – and as we have seen lately, the signs are already there. Johnson will be moving heaven and earth to get Britain out of the EU by Halloween – we’re going to see more of his true Moon in Scorpio colours!
When we look at Oct 31, 2019, the progressed M.C. (‘career’) on Boris Johnson’s horoscope is exactly conjunct to natal Uranus. This is another indication of the potential tension and challenge we’ve already seen – it signifies a kind of angry revolt against stuffy authority, for this is how Johnson will see (and does see) the EU’s officials and negotiators. He’s cast himself in the role of the freedom fighter; they are the intransigent oppressors. But when it comes to enemies, ‘they’ may also be Parliament, another bunch of potential oppressors who seek to prevent a no deal Brexit. So, he has plenty of conflict to look forward to. The question is: will he get his own way?
Remember Trump’s fortunate placing of progressed Jupiter on his ascendant? Boris has this same protective phenomenon on his progressed chart for 2019, as Jupiter is in close conjunction to the descendant, and whose astrological meaning is not so different from a conjunction with the rising degree. This suggests there are powerful friends looking out for him, that he’s well placed to receive support and assistance from important sources. One of those will be Trump himself, but I think that without progressed Jupiter in close conjunction to the descendant, Johnson would be sunk by Parliament or would lose in a General Election in September. However, look at how many people wrote off Trump’s chances of even being the Republican candidate in 2016, let alone winning the election. And now look.
Don’t make the same mistake with Boris Johnson. He may be in No 10 for quite a while. Remainers, brace yourself! Like Trump, he has lucky Jupiter protecting him for now. The astrological picture for the next few months show he may weather the storm, beat his opponents and come good in any conflict. And conflict there will be! Just wait until it all kicks off in early 2020.
Interestingly, in the Article 50 birth chart – the chart for the negotiations involving the EU – certain talks over Brexit are likely to break down in rancour, though things do look brighter on the negotiating front around 12th Jan, 2020, as transiting Jupiter moves into the fourth house (home). Even with a no deal Brexit, Britain still has to negotiate some kind of trading arrangement with Europe (and commentators have pointed out that this will be more difficult when we’re not members). Saturn crossing the Tory party’s ascendant early December signifies a new phase in their development, one (as we can see already) which is yet more hardline and authoritarian. It fits the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, January 2020, a phase of right-wing empowerment and narrow self interest from world leaders (which will happen elsewhere on the globe, too). Watch this space!
Image: Beyond Brexit: A Global Britain (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)/License: Creative Commons