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The Observer Observed part 3, page 6
The Relevance of the 1949 Horoscope
In my opinion, the for the current Republic is the odd one out of the three. Astrologically, it seems to be a spin-off from the family of horoscopes which are associated with the 1791 lunar eclipse chart (as indicated by progressions), but with which it is not structurally coupled. It shows a strong emphasis on the Fire element (ASC in Sag; Sun, Venus, Mars and N. Node in Aries; Saturn and Pluto in Leo). This indicates a pronounced assertive self-centredness, amplified by Jupiter's square to the Sun from the first degree of Aquarius. The Moon is in Capricorn opposing Uranus, with no elemental emphasis on Water signs at all.
In fact, Ireland has changed almost out of recognition in the last five to ten years. During the 1980's its economy was in such dire straits that it almost achieved Third World status. Massive unemployment, poverty and a hemorrhaging of educated young people to the US and elsewhere was a chronic feature in Irish life. A collective inferiority was the norm. At the same time, crime figures were low, latch-keys were left in doors, and the country was perceived as 'Ireland of the Welcomes' by those visitors who enjoyed a genuine hospitality as they rambled around a land that seemed to have retained an innocence long since lost elsewhere.Today, it has been transformed into the Celtic Tiger. There is a newfound affluence for some, and certainly a new confidence. The economy is the fastest growing in Europe. One of the major social problems, unaffordable housing in a seller's market, is due to net immigration by returning Irish ex-pats and the impact of high wages in the flourishing electronic technology sector. Adding to this is the ever increasing numbers of economic refugees and asylum seekers from abroad, which given the Irish experience of enforced exile, is ironic to say the least.
It is this facet of the modern Ireland which the 1949 chart represents. It is no longer the Ireland of the Welcomes (ask any of those refugees), the sense of community is evaporating, and a virtue has been made of greed and individualism. The fairies have left in droves.
The Relevance of the 1922 Horoscope
Though it is to some extent drowned out by the 1949 chart, the 1922 horoscope is still active. This is especially true in relation to Northern Ireland, about which the 1949 chart has never had anything to say, even during a 30-year war. Between 1922 and just a few years ago, this horoscope was hopping when it came to matching transits to events. Even after the Republic came into being in 1949 Republic chart remained dormant for decades while the 1922 chart continued to sing. It still resonates within the social community in certain respects.
The Irish Free State chart contains symbolism which speaks of a strong sense of community, but also hardship (MO con PL in Cancer in the 1st, squared by Saturn in the 5th). At its root lies Neptune on the IC - a misty island in the ocean, musical, poetic, self-sacrificing, Guinness-ridden, a country victimized by its past, a projection screen for the green-tinted idealism of outsiders seeking heavenly refuge from Saturnian concrete and straight lines. The Irish diaspora bleeding away from its base in a chronic diffusion. Mars on the MC speaks of Ireland's other primary image on the public stage - the myth of the belligerent fighting Irish, a dangerous land of bombs and bullets. Priests and nuns, missionaries and overseas aid workers spill out from the Sagittarian Sun in the 6th. Until recently, no divorce and no contraception (abortion is still illegal) - Pluto sesquisquare Venus in Scorpio, and Mars; all or nothing. But lots of babies - Jupiter trine Moon in Cancer. And so on.
This is the 'old Ireland'. It co-exists with the new, and is represented by the 1922 horoscope. For many, its departure is good riddance. For others there is a sense that something is being lost in the transition which we should hold onto, while being thankful for the positive aspects of the evolution. There is a lot of confusion within the society. Whatever, this vortex is still spinning. In my opinion, the qualities it reflects, and which are still mirrored significantly within the character of the people, come from the landscape and the elements. However, its political importance is slowly diminishing, and it is noteworthy that Pluto is currently hovering in conjunction with the 1922 Sagittarian Sun. In this respect, there are currently a number of long running Tribunals happening in Dublin's courts concerning the political and planning corruption that characterized the 1970s and 80s. This is very much the bursting of old Ireland's boils, with crotchety politicians and civil servants from a bygone era being judged according to the newfound standards of modern Ireland. The once invincible moral authority of the Church has disappeared in the wake of revelations about sexual abuse and the institutionalized torture, which was the lot of Irish school children during the first 60 years of Irish independence. This has been an un-edifying spectacle, but no doubt part of a healing process of some sort.
Ireland has moved beyond its post-colonial phase, and the relevance of the 1922 horoscope is shifting accordingly.
The Relevance of the 1916 Horoscope
To understand a people one has to understand its history. Unlike the 1922 horoscope, the 1949 chart does not speak of Ireland's history. It points from the present towards the future, like a seedling growing towards the sun. The also illuminates the past. It is a difficult chart, with the desperate Moon in Capricorn opposing Neptune in the 12th, with the Sun squaring that axis, while Saturn languishes in Cancer. The submerged Mars in Leo in the 12th echoing the blood sacrifice of the proud but dead patriotic idealists who shouted the horoscope alive from the steps of the General Post Office that April 24th day. As regards the present, this horoscope is relevant primarily for fundamentalist republicans still at war with the British (the breakaway Real IRA faction), their political wing, and their supporters. For these people, the goal is the full implementation of the words from the Proclamation of Independence in 1916. In other words, a 32 county Republic completely divorced from British influence. Their actions correspond to transits to this chart. They first came to prominence in the wake of the bombing in Omagh, which killed 31 people, mostly Catholics, in a monumentally tragic 'own goal.' Saturn was in the same degree as the 1916 Sun at the time.
The 1916 vortex turns very slowly today, primarily but significantly in abstract collective memory.
A Family of National Horoscopes
I believe that each of these horoscopes has its place in a family of national horoscopes. I also believe that their relevance is contextually based. One looks to the 1949 chart today for economic indicators, for example, or the evolution of novelty. For changes in the law on abortion, for example, I'd look at the 1922 chart. It is noteworthy that there are currently great concerns being expressed about the potential damage to Ireland's newfound prosperity due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease on the island. This threatens the hugely important agricultural and tourism sectors, particular stalwarts of the 'old' Ireland economic plan. Very many ordinary hard working people (as opposed to the nouveau riche of the electronics sector) are staring disaster in the face. Neptune is currently square 1922 Jupiter in Scorpio, while Saturn opposed Venus in Scorpio as the bad news arrived. Progressed Venus in the 8th is square Saturn in the 5th. Apart from loss of livelihood fears, many sporting and pleasure activities are being cancelled daily.
There are no significant transits to the 1949 horoscope, although one cannot ignore the progressed Mars in the 6th square to Saturn in the 9th, signifying blockage and frustration to the new Ireland master plan. Interestingly, mirroring this astrology, the major industrial unrest at the moment concerns a 5-month on/off teacher's strike for a 30% pay rise. This threatens to blow apart the partnership agreement between unions, management and the government which is largely responsible for allowing the Celtic Tiger to roar at all. One has to look at both charts to see the big picture. Also echoing this symbolism is the bizarre act of censure emanating from the EU headquarters in Brussels (Saturn in the 9th) because the Irish economy is being too successful!
Lastly, if I'm still alive when a united Ireland seems to be on the cards, I'd expect the 1916 chart to be activated (as well as the mother of them all, the 1791 lunar eclipse horoscope).
Studying the mundane astrology of nations forces one to see astrology in terms of process rather than structure. If a natal astrology attitude prevailed, then one would expect in Ireland's case that the structure of the 1949 chart would tell the story of what's happening in the country. After all, this is when the Republic of Ireland was born. It is simply not the case, even though it glaringly reflects the nature of Ireland's current Celtic Tiger clothing. Apart from anything else, the fact that this chart lay dormant for almost 50 years while a theoretically redundant 'old' chart held sway should alert us to the fact that the situation is more complicated.
Structural coupling helps to define the lineage which important horoscopes can share, allowing an astrological visualization of historical process captured as in frames of a movie - separate, but connected in time. Remove all the frames but one, and you lose the plot. Remove the historical context from any of the astrological frames, and you also lose the plot. Astrologically, it is clear that the destiny of the UK and aspiration for an Irish Republic are coupled together. Historically, one can see how the former came into being because of the latter. We might surmise that if or when the majority of people in Northern Ireland vote to unite with the Republic, then the people of Scotland will take serious note and feel driven to pursue full independence. Wales will not be far behind.
This is the way I see it. Others would create their own picture, identify different moments and events of significance, and take a different journey from the past through to the present. If relying on just one unique horoscope, the picture will be two-dimensional and without perspective. Broad perhaps, but lacking in depth. In my opinion, the desire to isolate is understandable but flawed. It supports the illusion of a supposed and desired simplicity. And life ain't like that.