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The Observer Observed part 3, page 5
The Northern Ireland Chart Activated
The focus of conflict was for the most part restricted to the 6 counties in Northern Ireland. It is not surprising therefore that the horoscope associated with the birth of that State should now enter the frame. Similarly, the horoscope for the Irish Free State is activated too, because it is so close in time to the Northern Ireland chart and therefore has a lot in common astrologically. In the real world situation, the Irish government and a portion of the Irish people south of the border were politically and psychologically invested in the turbulent situation unfolding up north. Apart from anything else, this is confirmed by Articles 2 and 3 of the Republic's Constitution, which voice a territorial claim to the 6 counties.
To cut a long story short, the key pattern in both the and horoscopes is a tight hard aspect pattern between Venus, Mars and Pluto. Venus lies at 25Sc51 in the N.Ireland chart, and 26Sc10 in the Free State chart. These positions lie square to Mars in both charts, which inhabit 26Aq27 (Free State) and 27Aq08 (N.Ireland). Both Venus and Mars lie sesquisquare Pluto at 10Ca40.
When the troops hit the streets, Neptune was at 25Sc57, picking up this hard aspect pattern in both charts by transit. In the North, a near anarchy broke out, maturing into a particularly nebulous kind of guerrilla war. In the south, nationalist idealism re-awakened for many. This is reinforced astrologically by an added nuance of the Irish Free State chart, whose Moon lies just 1' from a conjunction with that Pluto in Cancer, and thereby also forming part of that hard aspect configuration with Venus and Mars. This suggests a potentially latent (or otherwise) obsessive patriotism. Evidence of this can be seen in the speech broadcast by the Irish Prime Minister the day before the troops entered Derry, which was ablaze and in the midst of a pogrom-like attack from Protestant rioters. Thousands of Catholics were fleeing south of the border in fear of their lives. On TV, he said "the Irish Government can no longer stand idly by and see innocent people injured", calling for an end to partition, and sending troops and field hospitals to the border. This somewhat crazy, deluded and provocative act (effectively threatening to invade the North) reflects the Neptune transit to Mars, Pluto and the Moon in the Free State horoscope.
Moving Towards the Endgame
The shift within the republican movement from armed struggle to the use of political means to achieve it's ends has been a slow process. It started with 'doves' (such as Gerry Adams) trying to convince 'hawks' in the mid 1980s to change track. If the 1791 eclipse horoscope represents republican aspirations, this evolution in approach should be astrologically visible. The period from 1991 - 93 is especially significant in this regard. In 1991, Pluto by transit moved to square the Mars-Uranus-Pluto opposition axis in that chart. A very heavy transit, but also a potentially transforming one. If one is in the middle of a war, there are only two ways such a transformation could go - towards an ending or a major escalation. During 1992 and into 1993, the following transits to the 1791 eclipse chart occurred.
- transit UR squ SA,
- transit PL squ AS,
- transit NE squ SU & MO,
- transit SA opp UR,
- transit UR squ SU & MO,
- progressed VE con SA
This is a massive piece of astrological weather, whichever way one looks at it. Things could not possibly stay the same. In February 1993, when pVE was conjunct Saturn, the IRA sent the Northern Ireland Office a note stating that as far as they were concerned the war was over but they needed assistance in bringing it to a close. This effectively was a statement saying that if appropriate frameworks were put in place - a peace dividend for nationalists - then the war could end. They wanted to talk, but in the meantime the war on the ground would continue, which it did with a vengeance. Unfortunately, political dithering contributed to prolonging the conflict.
Note that due to structural coupling, the transit of Pluto to the 1791 Ascendant necessarily coincided with a transit square the 1801 UK Saturn and AS/MC midpoint. Similarly, the Saturn transit opposing Uranus coincided with a square to 1801 UK Neptune. One would expect ramifications for the UK in the wake of these transits relating to possible structural transformation themes, and also a re-balancing between the ideal and the real. And that somehow the Irish question would be involved. The implications were to become evident in 1999 (see below).
Peace Breaks Out
By August 1994, the political consensus regarding peace was universally pessimistic, all talks having come to nothing. Then, out of the blue and to the surprise of almost everyone (I was one of the exceptions) the IRA declared an end to their military campaign. Astrologically, Pluto was conjunct Venus in the charts for Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State at 25-26 Scorpio - the rebirth of peace. The combination of transits and the progressed Venus for the 1791 chart between 1991-93, along with the transits to the Northern Ireland horoscope in 1993-94, indicated strongly that the end game was genuinely in play. However, mistrust and frustration led to a breakdown of the IRA cease-fire in 1996. It was reinstated in 1997, and much good news has flowed since then.
Devolution of Power to Northern Ireland and the UK Regions
A key factor in this turn of events has been the change of government in the UK from Conservative to Labour. Interestingly, the Labour government had an agenda to devolve power from Westminster back to the capitals of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland - a reform of the United Kingdom. In order to achieve this goal, the Northern Ireland situation had to be resolved, and the political will was there to do so.
Power was finally devolved back to a Northern Ireland Assembly in 1999 as part of this process, and republican political representatives found themselves in ministerial positions for the first time ever. Amazingly, 1801 UK Saturn had progressed to 23Le22, which is exactly the position it held (though retrograde) when it came into being - the Saturn Return of the UK chart. This position also lies conjunct the AS/MC midpoint at 23Le15. In other words, this highly significant and unique restructuring of the UK, affecting all its regions, happened during its progressed Saturn return. As mentioned above, this occurred a few years after a highly significant transit of Pluto to the 1801 UK Saturn. In the same way that the UK's birth was prompted by 'the republican Irish problem', so too was its reform linked to a necessary resolution of the same.
As part of the deal which led to this devolution of power to a Northern Ireland Assembly, the Republic of Ireland government held a referendum regarding Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. An overwhelming majority voted to strike out all territorial claims to Northern Ireland. This is symptomatic of a slowing down of the vortices in the collective signified by the 1791 eclipse chart and the 1922 Irish Free State chart.
Is the 1791 Vortex Dying?
In terms of micro-astrology, one wonders what might unfold in 2008 for the republican aspiration set in motion in 1791. For then, the progressed Ascendant at 23Aq32 moves to oppose its own position, while Pluto lies applying a minute of arc to the same position. Perhaps the vortex will start to fade due to contextual irrelevance, the Anglo-Irish collective stream having moved towards a gentle uniform flow. Demographic considerations will almost certainly lead to a united Ireland in the future, and when it does happen, it will be on the back of a democratic vote in favour of that motion. In the light of an increasingly federal Europe and its parallel dilution of the meaning or relevance of nationalism, it's only a matter of time.
Solo national horoscopes?
So - is there such a thing as a one true national horoscope? From my experience of working with Irish mundane charts, the answer is no, not really. I think that those which have masqueraded as national horoscopes each represent facets of an overall picture. Let's look again at the three horoscopes included in Campion's Book of World Horoscopes: the 1916 Easter Rising chart, the 1922 Irish Free State chart, and the 1949 Republic of Ireland chart.