The big topic in Britain now is all about Brexit – will it happen, will in not, what it will mean for the British public and international relations, and on and on. Commentators on all sides are throwing in their two pence, and much of what I have seen is either pro or con, with very little in between. So, I may as well throw in my few cents on the issue as well. Speaking as an American, but also an Australian, seeing that both Trump and Brexit happened in the same year, there may be some common ground here.
I also have my opinions on the Brexit vote, but I will do my best to reserve them here, and instead focus on what I see and have seen for the UK, and then offer a perspective as someone who has seen political theater on the other side of the Atlantic. The US election and Brexit are also related, too, as it turns out. This is a very important period for the British public and also the West in general. There are many powerful players behind the scene of this drama, and all is not what it seems.
We hear quite a lot about the sovereignty of nations in many political discussions these days, with a common theme of other nations impinging on our native cultures, traditions and the like. These themes are used to great effect in election cycles and referendums and they strongly engage the public mood, stirring the pot of race relations, class struggles and so forth. The closer we look at these things, though, the more we realize that much of what is presented in political campaigning is actually false and meant to distract from the real issues at hand. One such distraction, especially in Britain and the US is this talk of Russian interference and ‘Russian aggression’, for example. This trope is one that has no real basis in fact. It can perhaps best be summarized in a recent comment I read on another blog, off topic to our discussion here but related as follows:
It is the British government, more desperate even, than Poroshenko [speaking on the recent Sea of Azov incident] to hold onto power, who are backing all these anti-Russian provocations in the hope that they will be able to save themselves from electoral oblivion – and their backers, who include the greediest of the Russian oligarchs, from the dire prospect of a mildly socialist government after 40 years of neo-liberal attacks on the living standards of the people.
Here we begin to get to the real reasons for the Brexit vote, and it is something that is now deeply ingrained in public discourse, to the point of being subconscious. Those ‘neo-liberal attacks’ mentioned in the comment are at the root of much of what is truly eroding the sovereignty of the British public, known by another name in the UK – ‘Thatcherism’. This is also another name for the neo-liberal economic order introduced into the UK 40 years ago – the free-market, competition-based economy with small government, much like what we see in the US. Reagan was the champion of that in the US. We won’t go into the arguments for and against that here.
The results speak loud and clear as to what Thatcherism and Reagonomics does for the populace over time. We see it in de-industrialization, rising costs for utilities, stagnation of wages, loss of public services, etc. You can see the effect it had on Britain clear as day by looking at a graph over time of the Gini coefficient, which is a measure of income inequality:
The higher the number, the worse the inequality. As to the rest of the comment, you might ask, “What in the world has Russia to do with Brexit, other than their interfering in the vote? That’s a bunch of conspiracy nonsense.” Is it? Who stands to gain the most from Brexit?
To lay this to rest, yes, Russians are interfering in British politics, but it is not the Russian government. A few Russians are living quite well in London, and they have more than a little influence in the British Parliament, especially among conservatives. But the Russian connection is not the real issue, concerning enough as it is. There is also undue influence from Saudi and Israeli interests, probably more so than Russians. The real problem, which no one is talking about in the Brexit sideshow – which is really what it is – revolves around those 40 years of neo-liberal policy, mentioned in the comment. And Both Russia and Brexit are distractions, much like Trump is a distraction from the real problems in American politics. And for Britain, the EU has been made the scapegoat. There is a reason for that which will become apparent shortly. This is not to say the EU is without its problems, which it has, but leaving the EU will not solve the UK’s problems. What to do, then? Let’s backtrack a little.
Why Brexit, why now? What was the real reason behind it? Neoliberalism was introduced into the mainstream, meaning primarily by governments of the US, UK and eventually the EU, starting in the latter half of the 1970s. It is a system that cuts taxes for the rich and corporations, cuts social services and governmental departments, induces austerity measures, moves production offshore for cheaper labor costs, minimizes regulations (another word for public protections), encourages competition and inequality and rewards the very successful while denigrating those who are not. It is neo-liberal ideology that has gutted trade unions and collective bargaining and is causing the collapse of infrastructure in nations like the US, UK and Italy, to name just a few. Common sense says that if taxes are cut and wealthier people and corporations are not paying their fair share, then there is a downward spiral and there will be little left to support infrastructure or entitlements. We would have to rely on the beneficence of the wealthy. The advocates of this system use the word ‘freedom’ as a catch-call, whereas for the average person it tends to create debt slavery and a meaner society.
The people who came up with the Brexit scheme were a group of financiers and corporatists along with thinkers in shallow tanks centered in the heart of the City of London who have pushed the scheme since 2011. Most of these people were disaffected back-benchers who in reality were pushing a “far-right ideology designed to deliver a low-tax, small state, deregulated economy that will have a detrimental effect on the lives of the very UK citizens they coerced into believing they were voting Leave for reasons other than to negatively impact the NHS, public services, schools and the day-to-day lives of the vast majority of the people of the UK.” (see linked article). Enter David Cameron.
Cameron was PM starting in 2010 until he resigned after the Brexit vote. He is a member of the Conservatives, but was opposed to the Brexit idea, preferring instead to stay in the EU and work to change the regulations from within. This was just after the Lisbon Treaty of 2009, which allowed for freedom of movement between EU member states. From the Eurozone financial crisis of 2011, the Greek debt crisis of 2013 to the migrant crisis of 2015, he had his hands full with the conservatives and a conservative press that was constantly harping on the evils of the EU. To cut a long story short, Cameron called the Brexit vote, but he did so to calm divisions within his own party, not because he thought it was good for Britain. It was a play for domestic politics. Instead, what he got was the UK leaving the EU and his own fall from power. He simply wanted his own party to stop ‘banging on about the EU’.
The tipping point for the British public was the Lisbon Treaty, which allowed for freedom of movement in the EU, even to people from outside the EU. They also saw what happened to the Greeks in 2013. The migrant problem was especially driven home with an influx of Eastern Europeans and the migration crisis brought on by the war in Syria. This was used to great effect by the Leave campaign to sway public opinion. One of the big factors magnified in the Brexit vote by the Leave campaign was xenophobia, not about real issues. For the most part the British public was more concerned about the NHS and home-grown issues than they were about foreigners, but the campaign by the Leave group swung just enough voters by that meme to clinch the Brexit vote. Thus, when it came to the actual vote, it was won by a campaign of intense nationalism, wild untrue claims about both potential immigrants and finances, sloganeering about British exceptionalism and Tory claims about bringing back British sovereignty, when most of the British public had little idea what that term really meant. It should be noted here that neither Brexit nor Article 50 are binding, i.e., they can be rescinded by a vote of Parliament. There would be no need for another referendum should the British decide they wanted to stay.
The directions to the chart of the UK (1 Jan 1801 at midnight, London) on the day of the vote show the directed Vertex and Pluto both aspecting Neptune (governing plebiscites), showing the dubious nature of the vote. Transiting Mars was two minutes away from a square to the natal Saturn, and retrograde at that, a harbinger of bad decision-making coupled with over-confidence and even hubris. Transiting Venus was square the Kingdom’s horizon, showing the split nature of the vote and just behind the MC in the 9th house, showing the possibility of foreign influence in the vote, which there was, from the US (and here) and from Russian oligarchs living in London. And, transiting Pluto, itself retrograde, had just passed its square the natal Vertex axis, bringing up all the subconscious elements that were manipulated in the lead-up to the vote. We should add that the Vertex in the UK chart is conjunct the north node in the 7th house, representing the public in general as a partnership, along with enemies of the state, litigation and conflicts. But perhaps the most revealing direction was that of Neptune to the Pluto/Ascendant midpoint, from the 9th house (again, foreign influence): “The experiencing of a most awkward and unfortunate situation”, as well as “the misfortune to suffer the ill effects of…malicious and deceitful people in one’s environment”.[i] The chart (bigger) is below:
I have heard many people say that the Brexit vote was the ‘will of the people’, in the same vein that Trump’s election was. Neither outcome reflected a decisive will of the populace. Instead, what we had was confusion, protest votes and manipulation on both sides of the Atlantic. They were typical referendums on hot-topic issues, in other words. It is emotions that win referendums, not truth in most cases. Where does that leave us, then? There is debate ongoing in Parliament, with a vote due on the 11th of December. Accompanying that, there is a powerful astrological influence we want to consider here, which began to affect the UK in September.
The particular astrological direction that points to the problems that beset British politics today, and thus the health and well-being of the populace, is of Pluto with its hard aspects, including the semisquare and sesquisquare, to the horizon of any chart. As it happens, Pluto has just entered with a degree of orb approaching its conjunction with the Ascendant of the United Kingdom, the latter being the current political structure under which the UK operates. Pluto entered that one degree of orb, which is the usual orb allowed for a solar arc, around the middle of September this year. I have personal experience with that solar arc, having gone through it some years ago. And I can tell you it is not an easy experience. But when the dust settles, it leaves one on a new course in life. It has been called a ‘major life milestone’ among the solar arcs. There are several such, but we’ll limit our view to this particular one here.
The solar arc of Pluto to the horizon can refer to many things, but in particular it can relate to relationship breakups, particularly ones where a person is duped or manipulated somehow (Pluto), possible legal troubles, identity crises, deep inner searching and the like (horizon). Perhaps the idea is clear enough. Now, before we get too far into this and jump to the conclusion that this somehow marks the split of the UK from the EU – it may or may not – this does mark the public upheaval we are seeing, the facts from under the covers coming to light, the influence of big money showing through and deep inner questioning about the place of Britain in the world, Pluto themes one and all. Other than breakups, that solar arc can also simply mean a profound inner searching. Pluto governs the subconscious, the underworld, hidden agendas, subterfuge, the mass subconscious and also regeneration, new growth (as in pruning a plant, for example) and in general, getting rid of the ‘dead wood’. I have heard many people say that there is plenty of dead wood in politics to cut away.
For me, the Pluto solar arc marked a relationship breakup, as well as a big decision to make. I was living in Australia at the time and I could have returned to the US. But I decided to stay. The relationship ended with the single person, but my relationships to Australia and Australians continued. It continues to this day, even though I no longer live there. My reason for leaving was marked by another Pluto incident, a transit to a meridian axis ruler. So, with the arc there was a breakup, a decision about legal status, deep inner searching as to causes and into myself, and the start of a new phase of life. Pluto marks major separations and the end of situations. It goes along with its native 8th house rulership of death and regeneration. If something needs to end at that point, then it will, and a new door will open.
The British thus have many decisions before them, and this period over the next year will mark the end of an old phase and the start of a new one. The progressed Moon of the UK is also balsamic now, marking the ending of a phases of British life and generally a darker public mood. Many people reading this will say that means Brexit will definitely take place. I wouldn’t be so certain. The UK has partnerships with many nations, and one of the more significant besides the EU is with the US. The UK is also a partnership itself – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are several partnerships that can end here, if need be. I can see reasons for any of them, and also reasons to stay. But the main question before us now is what this particular solar arc might portend.
There have been four such solar arcs since the UK was formed in 1801. The arcs do not have to be exact to have effect. What did we see with these successive solar arcs of Pluto to the UK horizon?
- November 1833 – 1834 (conjunct the Descendant): In August presaging this solar arc, Saturn crossed the Ascendant, bringing the Slavery Abolition Act and the Factory Act. The latter outlawed children under 9 years of age from working in cotton mills and limited the number of hours children between 9 and 13 could work to 9 hours a day. For the solar arc South Australia was created; Parliament and the Palace of Westminster burned (the progressed Ascendant was opposite the UK Mars) and were destroyed, watched by large crowds throughout the night. The fire was caused by poor storage procedures of flammable materials. It led to a re-evaluation of British weights and measures due to the destruction of the old measures.
- September 1878 – 1879 (semisquare the horizon): the Anglo-Zulu war; the 2nd Afghan War; the Afghan state is formed by a treaty signed with Russia; there were also some very significant disasters affecting the public; the establishment of the Public Health (Water) Act
- August 1924 – 1925 (square the horizon): Britain returns to the gold standard; acceptance of the Dawes Plan for German war reparations; the Zinoviev Letter – a forgery that discredited the Labour Party (echoes of current-day Russo-phobia), which was actually part of a smear campaign against the Labour Party; the arrest and jailing of Subhas Chandra Bose in India; The Labour Party formed government for the first time in January, just prior to the solar arc (it was a minority government). Pluto was conjunct the Midheaven the next couple years after.
- July 1971 – 1972 (semisquare the horizon): The beginning of an internment without trial policy in Northern Ireland, followed by the Ballymurphy Massacre; House of Commons voted to join the EEC; Qatar left the UK; 90 Russian diplomats were expelled for spying; Bloody Sunday (there was a spike in political violence in Northern Ireland in this period); Parliament of Northern Ireland was suspended; the Pound Sterling was floated with the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system. This followed closely on the formation of the petro-dollar (US and Saudis).
Probably the most significant solar arc of the preceding was the 1833 arc, which was on the UK Descendant. But there were common themes with all of them, and all of them brought about reconsideration of various public policies. The period from the formation of the UK to 1914 was called Britain’s Imperial Century. It was the era of Pax Britannica and its role as the world’s policeman, much as we see with the US today. The World Wars thereafter brought about the collapse of the British Empire, its indebtedness (literally) to the US, and the rise of the American empire and Pax Americana. In that context, what do we see?
There is a ‘hundred year’ rule, esoterically, which appears to coincide roughly with the 15th year of every century in terms of events working themselves out, at least recently. 1815 marked the beginning of the end of the Napoleonic empire. 1915 marked the beginning of the end for the British Empire. 2015 marked the beginning of the end of the American empire. The latter was initiated by two events: the Russian intervention in Syria and China’s preparation for its Belt and Road Initiative. There was a lesser mark, too, with the Maidan Coup in Kiev (2014) and the Russian annexation of Crimea. And then a year after 2015 we had the election of Trump in the US and the Brexit vote. All of these events are quickly putting the West on the back foot. These events are not coincidental. They apply to this cycle, which is roughly a Saturn opposition from its place at the turning of each century, the former being a period of reevaluation and often a difficult period. These are technical points but they go toward our discussion here. What is really at threat here with Brexit and the wider world is the financial empire and control of the world’s resources the West has enjoyed for centuries, with power shifting now to the East. Both Wall Street and the City of London are losing their grip, and thus we are seeing all sorts of strange phenomena like Trump and Brexit.
What is normally indicated by these solar arcs for the UK can be listed as follows:
- Changes in finances
- Legislation for those less advantaged and reactionary actions against them in the years that follow.
- Warfare, violence or disasters
- Loss of colonies (this involves contracts or treaties)
I said it was not an easy solar arc. This present one was quickly accompanied by a transit of Saturn square the horizon at the middle of November, which was when Theresa May’s deal was being put forward, and as of now Parliament is burning again, this time with outrage. The exact square to the Pluto (chart below, bigger) arc took place on the 15th, which saw a defection of Tories from May’s efforts and a letter seeking a leadership challenge to May by the Tories. That has yet to eventuate.
On the 25th, when May had her special summit with the EU and they accepted her deal, transiting Saturn was almost exactly square the horizon. May was told there would be no further deals and the status of Gibraltar was called into question, as were Britain’s fishing rights. So again, we see it is all about litigation, treaties, contracts and the like. And Parliament will vote on the deal on the 11th of December. Saturn will then be on the UK IC (opposition parties) and it is quite likely that her deal would be rejected. What then? No deal, no Brexit? Not so fast.
Whether May’s deal is accepted or not is immaterial as to whether the UK leaves the EU. There is huge money and power pulling the strings for the UK to leave. The powers behind the scenes would be quite happy for the UK to leave without a deal – a ‘hard Brexit’. Up until very recently we have heard little to no talk of a 2nd vote or of striking off Article 50. Those things are only now entering the public debate. And both of the major parties are in favor of Brexit to varying degrees and factions in between. What would appear to be needed instead is a shakeup of the British government from the top down, which may also happen. Opposition to government policy is building, and quickly. What is acutely needed is public pressure, especially for the government to tend to troubles at home instead of worrying about the EU, as Cameron was advocating from the beginning. Change that way can come whether or not the UK stays in the EU. But one thing that is coming a few days after Parliament speaks its mind is the conjunction of Saturn with the UK Sun. That represents the will of the people (Sun ruling the 11th house). Around the middle of December we will know definitively the direction of the political winds in the UK, whether May will survive and the trending of the Brexit fandango.
I know people who argue passionately on both sides of the Brexit debate, but it needs to be further emphasized that Brexit or not, the growing woes of the average British citizen will not improve so long as market-based, neo-liberal economic policy remains. The Brexit vote was not the ‘will of the people’. The gloss is quickly coming off the idea that deregulation, privatization and tax cuts for the wealthy are the way out of the UK’s troubles. The British economy has among the lowest public finances in the developed world. That has little to do with Europe. It has everything to do with government mismanagement, selfish interests within the UK and so forth. From their side, the British would be well advised to better educate themselves, speaking as an American who voted in the last US election. People voted their feelings there, the mood there was not salubrious, to say the least and Trump was the result. If the American public had studied Trump’s life and connections he would have lost the election, more than likely. I can empathize with the British. The American public was had, but it would have been the same no matter which of the two major candidates won. That’s another discussion.
Americans also experienced Pluto on the Ascendant, a transit, and it was a pivotal event in the life of the nation. That was in effect on 11 Sep 2001 with the last ‘hit’ of Pluto, just after its direct station, and was in effect for many months that year leading up to the event. Yes, the infamous day. What it meant for Americans was two very costly wars – one of which is still ongoing – greater public indebtedness, a loss of security and living standards, a loss of freedom, greater surveillance and the resulting loss of privacy, greater censorship of speech and media, more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations…do we need to go on? Oh, don’t forget the ‘war on terror’. And…what it meant in the longer term was the loss of American prestige and influence. So, when did that transit come into effect? Right at the turn of the century. When “W” Bush was elected, via the scandal that was that Florida vote recount, Pluto had just come within orb of its last hit on the US Ascendant. You can read into all that what you will, but there is a point here for the British.
None of what has been stated here is meant in the way of scaremongering, but rather in the sense of a word to the wise. For those people who advocate for Britain to leave the EU, it may well be a case of being careful what you wish for. For those hoping to stay in, be ready for a fight, because the conservatives will be out in force, the EU will be going through its changes, too, and the British public is facing real internal divisions. The real reason for the Brexit vote at the time it came was not as it was portrayed. It was not about sovereignty for the British people. That was a furphy, used as a meme to stir the populace. The real reason was about ‘freedom’ for corporate and financial interests in the neo-liberal economic mold – to be free of any sort of regulation on their activities. Period. That’s my take, and many readers will no doubt disagree. All I can say to that is to do your own deeper research on the matter. Thatcherite conservatives and the conservative British press have been portraying EU membership as bad for Britain for a long time.
Yes, the EU needs fundamental changes. It has become too political, and was originally meant as an economic union, not a political one. But if Brexit goes through, and especially if the conservatives stay in power, watch what happens to Britain’s social welfare. If you start hearing calls for ‘shock therapy’, further cuts to entitlements, government programs and the like, then you will know that Brexit was not about the EU. There are many arguments for and against. But one thing stands clear from my own analysis is that this is indeed a major life milestone for the UK. Great changes are coming over the next few years, starting now. Those can come from within, which is very likely, and they can also mark a departure.
Whatever happens, the UK will be fundamentally changed as a result. It will not go the way the Brexiteers would have hoped. I see changes in leadership, changes in partnerships and most importantly, changes in public perceptions – and quite a lot of ‘conversations’ with many secret things coming to light as the coming months unfold. The directed Ascendant is conjunct the UK Mars this year, too, so it will not be a calm period. But change is definitely needed. If you are British reading this, stay aware, get involved, call your officials to account. Don’t let Brexit, or not, be the undoing of the British public, as 9/11 was for the US. Your opportunity is great, but the need for clarity, transparency and truth is greater still.
[i] Ebertin, The Combination of Stellar Influences
Featured pic from New Statesman