The Astrology of Austerity


Here is the birth chart of British austerity, as announced by David Cameron in Cheltenham in April 2009. (26/04/09 22:00 Cheltenham, UK) The chart contains several outstanding markers for difficulty. The austerity chart evinces two tee-squares, a Grand Trine and a few other remarkable features.

The first tee-square then:

  • Venus, archetype of the good times is in detriment, precisely conjunct the Aries’ point, conjunct Mars in his sign and square Pluto. This is a Venus under maximal stress, and unable to make any headway against a supercharged Mars who:
  • Is much better able to cope with a Pluto square, because Mars is in a sympathy with Pluto, where Venus is not. Furthermore a planet exalted or otherwise strengthened is better able to endure stressful aspect.
  • Although not a mainstream marker, the transneptunian Kronos is at 3° Cancer, and represents lofty ideals, expertise and intellectual authority. Kronos opposes Pluto, and in general terms economic experts (Kronos in the 8th) argue that austerity doesn’t work. Pluto in the 2nd, the agenda characterised by the more simplistic ‘money in the hand’ narrative of the Conservative government, holds sway.

Why should this be?

  • Pluto is working for Saturn (by rulership). Saturn is in the Midheaven, so therefore it’s all anyone can “see”. Pluto also rules the chart. Note the language that presaged the advent of this new policy: “The age of irresponsibility is giving way to the age of austerity.” David Cameron has perfectly leveraged the style of Saturn (responsibility) in Virgo (accounting) in the zenith.
  • And bear in mind that the current Pluto-Kronos cycle began with the American War of Independence where Britain lost huge revenues over a tax dispute with its American colonies. Since planetary cycles – no matter how antediluvian in nature – retain a common thread, we can suggest a learning process that involves an element of hubris, and the challenging consequences thereof. Any ruling class (British or other) that seeks to impose austerity through taxation, removal of direct or indirect supporting measures, or through simple authoritarian diktat, is going to tweak this planetary cycle.
  • Saturn is also peregrine, or singleton. This has a tendency to overshadow all other considerations. Saturn squares Ixion, a Plutino in the Hadean triumvirate with Orcus and Pluto, forming a matrix of drives and compulsions that give the raw domination material of the human ego. The great challenge for the adept to overcome. Ixion is the basest of the three Hadean styles, but also the most covert. When Saturn squares Ixion there’s an uncomfortable compulsion to impose harsh, authoritarian measures and thereby get one’s own needs met. Those needs are usually quite unsophisticated too.

But wait! There’s a second tee-square:

  • At its apex we have a Moon that is strong by sign but is at the anaretic degree of Taurus. The 30th degree of any sign creates a great sense of urgency, and here the stressing nature of the critical degree is informed by the most material sign of the zodiac. Great pressure in economic matters.
  • Further the Moon is square to Neptune (also Jupiter and Chiron) This narrow stellium has the flavour of what I would call “flawed idealism” and in Aquarius has a humanitarian, universal application. So it represents quite clearly the ideals of social care, of providing support and benefits (Jupiter) for the unfortunate (Neptune) and disabled (Chiron). This is creating a stress for the Moon’s urgent concern (money). The Aquarius stellium is opposed by Orcus who has just moved into the anaretic degree of Leo. So there’s an implacable force at work, opposed to the ideals of social care, and it’s a privileged force too, Orcus is conjunct Regulus, one of the four Royal Stars, whose interests align with kings, rulers and elites.
  • Moon is also conjunct Mercury who is precisely conjunct Algol, the most unfortunate star in the heavens. Here it gives a tendency to strategisation and stealthy enactment of agendas. It gives an amoral cast to Mercury, who is already innately ambiguous.
  • Overall the Tee-Square to Moon/Mercury/Algol is quite potent. It describes a struggle between an elite and the prevailing social policy of our time.
David Cameron: tough times ahead.
David Cameron: tough times ahead.

But the gloss over all of this is a Grand Trine between Sun, Pluto and Orcus.

  • Yikes! Yes, that’s right. Yikes indeed.
  • Bear in mind that the Sun is the public face of any chart, and here we have a Sun applying to the cusp of the 6th in Taurus. And don’t hardworking people deserve to enjoy the rewards of their hard work? Well, don’t they? You’d have to be some kind of leftie lunatic to disagree with that!
  • A Grand Trine is a ‘safe place’ in the chart, a place that one can fall back into when the going gets tough – for better or worse. So here there’s a sense of being in easy control, a single-minded determination to get things done to one’s satisfaction. It’s smooth and very determined.
  • And the Grand Trine lies in the 2nd the 6th, and the 9th Money, philosophy and the working public.

Looking forward, we can say that 2016 is a critical year for austerity. Since Saturn has run away with the chart we look with interest to February 2016 as the first Saturn square for austerity. The first Saturn square is always a time of profound testing, where motives, usefulness and reliability are all under serious scrutiny. Ten days later, the Conservative Party chart experiences the first of three Pluto – Moon oppositions.

This is even more noteworthy because on 12th January, David Cameron weathers the middle pass of Pluto square Sun. A profound challenge to leadership and personal authority. Since his Sun squares Orcus natally, his integrity is also undergoing a withering examination at this time. The Conservative Party chart (18/12/1834, 00:00 Tamworth, UK) undergoes a Uranus square to natal Moon two days beforehand and then Pluto opposes the Tory Mars in April, which when viewed together, constitute one of the most fundamental challenges to Conservative politics, probably for many years. Pluto squares the UK’s lunar axis for the last time in ten days from now. The destiny of this nation is being forged as we speak.

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9 thoughts on “The Astrology of Austerity

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  1. Excellent analysis, though I’m wondering how thoroughly the measures will ‘stick’ with the Moon Void. Can’t say I have much confidence either of our governments know what to do.

    1. That’s a good point Julie, although I’d argue that since 10pm was the time that Cameron walked on stage to deliver his speech, Moon was probably already in Gemini by the time he started talking. Having said that, it might not stick much longer. Fingers crossed.

    2. Actually, on second thought, I’m with you. Austerity was born the moment he stepped up to speak it. VoC Moon yes. Now do we get to argue about how relevant that is in a natal chart 😉

  2. Jem – just curious about your definition of peregrine. My understanding is that this means it has no dignity, and not, as Noel Tyl would have it, that it is has no aspects. I see that Saturn is making an aspect to Ixion and that it is a single planet in the 4th quadrant. If we did not use Ixion, then this Saturn would be feral (having no aspects) and a singleton. Any comment on the strength based on sect? I have recently learned that Saturn is stronger in a day chart (traditional interpretation). I have only recently begun to study other schools of astrologer apart from the modern, psychological and it is really coming more to life for me. Thank you – JEllen

    1. No, I mean it as Tyl intended, since – at this stage – I wouldn’t count aspects from Ixion, not until it is more firmly embedded in the human psyche. It’s not out there fully as an archetype yet, or at least I’m not good enough at seeing it if it is.

      In any case, even if not singleton Saturn is very strong and right ‘up there’ in the chart as can be seen.

  3. Im late here. But was fascinated to see this ‘austerity’ chart.
    I personally cant speak about Orcus as I have done no research on it, but the first thing that jumps out for me is the Jupiter Chiron Neptune in Aquarius conjunction square the Mercury Moon in Taurus.
    Huge societal deception about money and available resources.
    Jupiter even more than Neptune when square the moon is about inflated mistruths and propoganda, Neptune and Mercury involved as well, just emphasises the masses being decieved and the vulnerable targeted [chiron/neptune].
    Look at how they have used the Neptunian propoganda of Austerity to go after the disabled…

    And then we have that utterly ruthless Mars in Aires in exact square to Pluto -Its a Land grab! Robber barons exploiting the populace to maintain the status quo of the ‘haves’, Sun Mercury in Taurus and as you say with that anaeretic degree, fixatedly greedy and grabbing at any cost to others.
    This chart confirms the profound dishonesty of all these years where the bankers and vested interests have literally robbed the populace blind, and through the media, encouraged us to turn on and victimise ourselves.

    I wish I wish in our little Hobbit Isle we could develope a bit more backbone and stop kowtowing and bending over, while moaning impotently at home and stuffing down our our completely justified anger with cake and booze and kicking our spouse/scapegoat.

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