Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The London Riots: The Breaking of the Shell

One of my favourite writers, Kahlil Gibran, once wrote: “Your pain is but the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." I dislike catastrophe just as much as anyone else. And yet a crisis, whether for an individual or a country, gives us an opportunity to let go of things that are no longer working and embrace newer ideas, no matter how painful it may be to let go of the past (there is rarely a choice to do anything else!).

With this in mind and with the feelings about the London riots running so highly, it’s hard to pitch an astrological commentary of the event. As I am feeling well rested after a much need holiday, I thought I’d give it a shot.

The time I’ve used is the BBC’s reported time for when the violence started. In my opinion, this time is important because up until this point, the protest was a peaceful one whose nature was only to obtain information about the shooting of a loved one. At 20:20 however, police cars were burned and things started getting ugly very quickly. The chart from this time will help shed some light on the astrological circumstances surrounding the riot. It is a mundane chart so the rules are slightly different to ones used for people.


The first thing to catch my eye about this chart is that Neptune and Jupiter are the ruling planets. Over the next few hours, as the violence escalated and the media interest intensified, their importance becomes clearer. There is also an opposition along the ascendant/descendant axis involving Chiron, Neptune and Mercury, all retrograde. An opposition shows tangible challenge and tension that cannot sit ignored or unresolved. Planets along the ascendant/descendant axis become a characteristic of the event. It will become what the public will understand happened and most likely how the media will report how it happened to the rest of the world. There are no surprises here: in the simplest terms, Neptune and Chiron in the 12th represent the collective wounded and their hope for a perfect society. These hopes are challenged, through the opposition to Mercury, by delayed information or the state’s insistence on perceived red tape.

There is a T-square involving a Pluto opposition to Mars, both square to Uranus. This is serious conflict. On its own, a Pluto-Mars opposition is a severe challenge to authority, and running through Cancer and Capricorn, reputation and family ideals are at stake. Uranus, the planet of rebellion (amongst other things), metaphorically kicks these ideals in the goolies. Of course, no one is going to take that so what to do?

What is interesting is how the rest of the astrological story continues to play out. Over short periods of time, (hours rather than days or months, for example), the ascendant changes, thus altering the emphasis of the astrological influences at work. In the next hour of the conflict, Uranus moved to the ascendant position, making him king of the show. Now the protest has become mob rule with individuals impatiently demanding their rights and using their high tech mobile phones to out-fox those in authority.

By the time the Tottenham post office catches on fire at 22:15, Jupiter has moved to be ruler of the chart and the flavour of the riot has changed again. In astrology, Jupiter is usually seen as “the Good Guy”, the benevolent god who calls on our higher morals to behave ourselves. And it’s a damn good thing he and Pluto, god of the underworld are on the same team (in trine) in this chart. However, Jupiter is also the god of opportunity and a square to the Venus/Sun conjunction in Leo shows that anything glittering and belonging to “the leaders” looks like it might be up for grabs. Think of the things that got nicked: status symbols, such as designer clothes/shoes and high tech gadgets such as phones or flat screen televisions.

By 1:00 am, Mars has taken pole position. Astrologically, Mars rules fires, weapons and impulsive fighting. Mars’ position in Cancer means that there is an element of tenacity in the battle and a strong need to protect the family or one’s home ground. By this time, the riots had the attention of the media. Pluto was also sitting on the descendant, therefore making its themes the very first thing reported by the mass media (Neptune was conjunct the MC and Uranus remained as the apex of the T-Square between Uranus and Mars) reported to the rest of the world. And boy, did England look like stinking mess.

Pluto gives us a chance to have a look at what isn’t right about our society and bring it to the light to be healed. As I’ve written in a previous post, when Hercules met the Hydra, he had to learn the hard way that chopping off heads wasn’t the way forward. The answer he found was that confronting his greatest fears by grabbing the beast and having a good look at what lies beneath.

The last time Pluto was in Capricorn (and Uranus was in Aries), during the 1760s, there was some mighty strong talk in America about certain revolutionary changes involving England that would bring about a better society. . .

3 comments:

Holiday Goddess said...

Fascinating blog. Would you talk on this for The Astrology Show (podcast on iTunes) or be interviewed?

nicholas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Sure! Would love to do something!