Graham Ibell – Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister of the UK – some astrological thoughts

I cannot profess to understanding all the idiosyncrasies and ritual of British politics – nor am I particularly interested – but I’ve found the election of Boris Johnson by members of the UK Conservative party to replace outgoing leader Theresa May, making him Prime Minister of the UK, as disturbingly compelling as the bewildering election of Donald Trump as US President in 2016. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Trump has referred to him as ‘Britain’s Trump’. Twins – how cosy. And how apt – they’re both Geminis!

Whilst the announcement of his winning the election against rival candidate Jeremy Hunt isn’t the moment he becomes Prime Minister – for that he has to receive the formal invitation from the Queen at Buckingham Palace sometime in mid-afternoon tomorrow – this moment is a highly significant one, producing an astrological map deserving of study as an image of his role and destiny as the leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister of the UK. We may also glean from this something of the tumultuous fortunes of Brexit.

Here’s the chart here, calculated for the moment the result was announced (time taken from a Guardian live feed), and a short, and at times unconventional or speculative, analysis. The presence of the Saturn-South Node-Pluto conjunction, tightly angular in the 4thhouse, connects this event and its ramifications with the current (2019-20) global crisis of extremism, authoritarianism, obsessive defensiveness and scapegoating. Most significant, yes, but let’s look a bit more specifically and symbolically at the planets in this map.

I locate Johnson the candidateas Venus, ruler of the 1st(note his natal Ascendant is also 11º Libra). In Cancer she has minor dignity (term), elevated and empowered in the 10thhouse of leadership.

Hunt, his unsuccessful rival, is Mars in Leo (apt given his name, and that he’s Sun Scorpio), ruler of the 7thhouse of the competitor, also in the house of leadership yet much further from the galvanising Midheaven and in a different sign, in which he falls (Mars falls in Cancer), as well as being peregrine (no dignities).

On these placements alone we can see who has the (slight) upper hand. However both planets are going into combustion (conjunction with the Sun), one (Johnson/Venus) drawn like a moth to the flame of supreme power (Sun, very strong in his own sign, Leo), the other (Hunt/Mars) mowed down by it (Venus is moving towards Sun; Sun is moving towards Mars).

It’s of relevance, I believe, that Venus catches Sun before they leave Leo, whereas Sun doesn’t catch up to Mars until they’re well into Virgo, the next sign. Johnson is shown here as very likely to be increasingly burnt in the early days of his premiership as he positions himself in relation to his role and power. That Mars (Hunt) is not well received by Venus (Johnson) – Mars falls in Venus’ sign of Cancer – suggests there’s little chance Johnson will be holding a place for Hunt in his new cabinet.

Whilst it may initially make sense to locate current PM May as Moon, ruler of the 10thhouse of leadership, I prefer to see this as Johnson the soon-to-be leader. Moon is in Aries, sign of new beginnings, but peregrine. A planet peregrine is often considered as a wanderer, someone outside of normal society, often considered suspect and unpredictable; many would say this describes him well. I suspect we may well find military style and metaphor abounds in his premiership. The Moon is also out of sect, about to set, and decreasing in light – symbols of misplacement and decline.

The aspects this Moon moves on to make could give an indication as to how things may evolve in the coming period. Given Moon’s cardinal and highly angular position indicates great speed and agency, it seems reasonable to equate each degree with one day.  Thus, in less than 4 days (4º) he comes up in conflict against the people (square Saturn, ruler of the 4thhouse),  and in little more than a week (9º) must confront the enormity of a hidden force (square Pluto) that may well refuse to let him past unscathed. Given the inexperience, naivety and sapping strength of this waning, setting Aries Moon, the first two weeks could take Johnson right to the edge of his political life – perhaps beyond. Fortunately for him his chart affords him the qualities of evasion (Gemini) and indefatigable resilience (Scorpio).

So then where is May? Is the outgoing PM Saturn, ruler of the 4th, dignified but retrograde (=resigned), retreating swiftly and imminently towards the IC, the “end of the matter”. But perhaps she is Mercury in the 10th, again retrograde, mute in Cancer, relieved to be backing away from the heat of the Sun and the lonely visibility and responsibility of power. That Mercury backs into a swift, forward-moving Venus (Johnson) in the early hours of the morning of the 25thJuly, only hours after May and Johnson swap the keys for 10 Downing Street, could be seen as supporting this take.

Taking Saturn as The People (ruler of the 4th), empowered (essential and accidental dignity) but reactive (retrograde) we can then see the significance of the mutual debilitation between them and Johnson (Moon)  (Saturn falls in Aries, Moon’s sign, whilst Moon is in exile in Capricorn, Saturn’s sign). This conveys their mutual distrust at the very least, further highlighted by the square, which is in mutual application, suggesting something coming quickly to a head (see above).

And so who is the EU in this map? I would think it’s the Sun, ruler of the 11thhouse of friendships and allies. This, then, makes new sense of Venus’ (Johnson) applying conjunction with the Sun, which it meets on the 14thAugust. We have here, the Sun being fixed and strong in its own sign, an image of the sovereign and uncompromising confidence of the EC, no match to Johnson’s weak dignity.

I would speculate that the Saturn-Pluto conjunction makes a fairly good symbol of Brexit, linking it with the comment above on this two-year transit. Without wanting to oversimplify this complex phenomenon gripping the British people – the sort of collective psychotic episode one might connect with a Saturn-Pluto conjunction – I’m tempted to locate the Brexiters with Saturn (reasserting the delimiting boundaries of independence. This take is supported by Sun’s difficult reception by Saturn; The EU dislike the Brexiters), and the Remainers with Pluto (obsessively defending collective power structures), but as with many polarities these extreme positions are unstable, often appearing to swap, and what is surface often belies the opposite at core. So, given I could easily make an argument for these being reversed, it’s probably more useful to see this configuration as Brexit as a whole.

That this conjunction falls in the hidden yet foundational 4thhouse shows how much this contest is at core about Brexit. That the Moon (Johnson) must negotiate past the square of this conjunction supports this perspective even further. Even if Johnson insists he will take the UK out of Europe “do or die”, that this conjunction doesn’t come properly together until mid-January 2020 strongly indicates what an uphill – impossible – battle this will be.

There is no doubt a lot more one could do with this chart, and I welcome comments and suggestions. I suspect time will help me make new sense of the symbols, their positions and interactions, as guides on interpreting this important political event in an intense and crazy moment in world history.


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