The Astrology of the Rudd-Gillard’s saga

Despite rumors going around for some time about a possible leadership challenge from Kevin Rudd, Australian ex Prime Minister, the news of his resignation from his post as Foreign Minister and his now open challenge to the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, have taken many by surprise. These are tough times for the Australian Labor party and this latest shock is destabilizing the party even more.

The next Federal elections are due before the end of November 2013. A ballot to solve the leadership issue will be held in Canberra on Monday, February 27, at 10 am, Australian Eastern Day Light Saving Time (11 hours east of Greenwich). Here are the Natal Charts of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, the Transits Charts for both, calculated for the time and location of the ballot. Also their Transits Charts for the time of the recent New Moon in Pisces (February 22), the New Moon being always a good indicator of the trends active in the coming month.  Also Gillard and Rudd’s Secondary Progressed Charts for the day of the ballot. And finally the Synastry (two-wheel Chart) between their respective Birth Charts.

Click the thumbnails to view larger images.

Both individuals are obviously under a lot of stress from the cosmos, but, in my eyes, Gillard has some crucial advantages over Rudd, fact that seems to be confirmed, at this stage, by the general belief that she has more support from the Labor caucus to win the ballot and lead the party to the next elections.

Kevin Rudd’s Transits and Progressions

The transits involving Pluto and Jupiter in Rudd’s Charts

Let’s start with Rudd. The transit closer to exactness for him is the square (90 degrees right angle) between Pluto and his Natal Jupiter which happens to be very close to his Mid-Heaven, area concerned with his career and reputation. Transiting Pluto has been in fact, on and off, at right angle to this Mid-Heaven for the last two years, showing clearly the intense frustration his being divested of the Prime Minister-ship, on June 24 2010, had caused him; as well as the compulsion to redress the ‘wrong’ done to him by his colleagues. His Natal Jupiter so prominent in Libra gives him also a very strong  sense of justice. While Natal Venus in Scorpio, in T square to Chiron and Uranus, and Natal Moon in the Eight House (the Scorpio House) will have made the whole dismissal episode even more painful and personal.

The square Pluto-Mid-Heaven was exact at the time of the Gillard’s coup. The fact that this transit is still active and augmented by the Pluto-Jupiter’s square is not promising for Rudd. To add even more clout to this configuration, Rudd’s progressed Venus is in Capricorn, in conjunction to the transiting Pluto and therefore also in square aspect to his Natal Jupiter on the cusp of the Tenth House. And, very significant, I feel, short lived transits often triggering the slower ones, the transiting Venus in Aries will be actually in perfect opposition to his Progressed Jupiter in Libra 24 hours before the ballot! Astrologically speaking these aspects shows a bad time to become involved in any sort of legal battle, because one is likely to get into some serious, even dangerous power struggle, that, due to the prominent position of Jupiter on the career cusp, could negatively impact on the individual’s goals and ambitions.

In Rudd’s favor is a positive sextile (60 degrees angle) between the transiting Pluto in Capricorn and his Natal Venus in Scorpio (remember how the same Pluto happens also to be conjunct his Progressed Venus in Capricorn?). This transit could give him more grit and determination, helping him to find the emotional resourcefulness he needs to challenge the Australian leadership, risking all in the process. On the other hand, Julia Gillard can match that with a trine from the transiting Pluto to her Natal Venus and Pluto’s conjunction in Virgo.

Mars’ Transits in Kevin Rudd’s Chart

I noticed with great interest that Mars, an important planet in Rudd’s Birth Chart (due to the conjunction to his Sun in Virgo) is also transiting Virgo now, in retrograde motion, as he was at the time of the 2010 event. The day he lost his battle with Gillard and her political allies the transiting Mars was in fact conjunct his Birth Mercury in Virgo. History seems to repeat, as now Mars, moving backward, is also applying to a conjunction to Rudd’s Birth Mercury (exact on March 9, but already close) and due to be repeated because of Mars’ Retrogradation!

The transiting Mars is also preparing to form a 90 degrees angle with Rudd’s Natal Saturn in Sagittarius, aspect that will become exact on March 3. This transit can indicate a difficult time of frustrated actions and desires. Considering that the transiting Saturn, Retrograde in Libra, will also be in semi-square to his own Natal position in Sagittarius (aspect exact on March 5) it seem that tough times are in store for Kevin Rudd. The semi-square aspect in the 30 years cycle of Saturn indicates in fact also a sort of critical time, when it becomes necessary to give a honest look at one’s achievements and failures and take stock of one’s life. The Transiting Nodes of the Moon are also highlighting the Natal Saturn by conjunction and opposition respectively, another aspect stressing the importance of the present events in the unfolding of Rudd’s personal destiny and career.

Kevin’s Neptune and Pisces

What also strikes me as non auspicious for him are the numerous Neptune’s transits active in his Chart at this time, because they tend to confuse and create false impressions and expectations that life may not be able to fulfill: see the opposition of transiting Neptune to Natal Pluto, showing great emotional vulnerability and the need to somehow relinquish one’s desire for personal power; also the semi-square of transiting Mars to his Natal Neptune, exact just on the day of the ballot, a weakening transit that could stress and confuse him, also making him more vulnerable to underhanded attacks from unforeseen fronts. At the same time transiting Saturn in Libra is separating from a conjunction to his Natal Neptune in early Scorpio, another debilitating combination, if not too strong due to the separation. To add to all this, Rudd’s Progressed Mars in Scorpio (conjunct the Sun in Virgo at birth) is still in orb of conjunction to the Progressed Neptune (0°42′), a strange combination of energies, that could drive him to act in erratic and ineffectual ways, driven by false perceptions of the situation.

Even more significant than all the above to me is the fact that the Progressed Ascendant will, in early April, move into the Sign of Pisces (the Neptune’s Sign). Kevin Rudd was born when Capricorn was rising. His Progressed Ascendant moved into Aquarius long ago, in 1976, when Rudd was still a high school student. As we can gather from these dates the progression of the Ascendant is a slow affairs and therefore any change of the Ascending Sign should be regarded as extremely important in the life of the individual, creating a new outlook in life. This Sign on the rise will provide Rudd with greater intuition and sensitivity, but also diminish his staying power and ambitious drive.

Kevin’s Transits of Uranus

The Transiting Uranus is also active in Kevin Rudd’s Chart, close to the cusp of the Lower-Heaven (IC), the Natal Chart’s taproot and its foundation. Uranus, one of the major destiny makers of the solar system, is the facilitator of psychological turns and important event that can change our outlook and orientation in life in a real big way. Uranus was just tentatively in the Sign of Aries during Rudd’s dismissal in June 2010 (entered, first time, on May 28, 2010), shaking then the very foundations of his sense of personal security and belonging (IC,) as well as giving a sudden and unexpected turn to his career (opposing the MC). Even closer now to the actual Lower-Heaven’s cusp, Uranus has not finished providing many opportunities for major changes in his personal and professional life.The exact conjunction will occur on March 31 2012, very close indeed for a transit that can occur only every 84 years or so!

From September 2010, when he became Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd has lived abroad more than at home, fact that seems to fit well with Uranus in this unsettling but exciting position. To add to Uranus’ influence is a forming sesqui-square aspect (135 degrees) between the Transiting Uranus and Rudd’s Natal Moon in Leo. This is an important contact, in my eyes, because the Natal Moon was separating from a conjunction to Uranus at birth, strengthening everything Uranian, quirky and unpredictable, nervous and emotional energy in his life and temperament.

Kevin’s Progressed Moon

Kevin Rudd’s Progressed Moon is in Leo,  a positive, optimistic Sign, the same the Moon was when he was born. This will help to boost his popularity, also encouraging him to embrace the pride and self-centered temperament of his Natal Moon. The progressed Moon returned to the place she held at birth around two and half months ago, his second Progressed Moon Return, the beginning of a new phase in his emotional development. Significant is the fact that the Moon is waning, close now to the Last Quarter phase (90 degrees angle with the Progressed Sun in Scorpio) that will be exact on July 19 2012. This is a critical phase in the Progressed Moon-Sun’s cycle, one associated with inner turmoil and searching for answers to one’s life big questions. It is not however the ideal phase for moving forward with worldly plans because it indicates rather the beginning of a journey of inner discovery that will end at the next Progressed New Moon. That phase will happen at the very end of the progression of both Sun and Moon in Scorpio (on the 29th degree), in about seven years time (April 25, 2019).

Kevin Rudd’s aspects around ballot’s time

Apart from the Pluto sextile Venus discussed above, there are other positive transits active at the time of the ballot. The transiting Mercury in Pisces is in trine (120 degrees angle) to Rudd’s Progressed Sun in Scorpio, aspect that will help him to communicate his plans with the public and his colleagues more fluently and convincingly; while the transiting Sun in Pisces will be in trine with is Progressed North Node of the Moon and sextile with is Progressed South Node of the Moon, showing some positive developments in his self esteem that will help his future career. I feel that the decision to challenge the leadership, attempting to regain the position of power that he once had, is giving Kevin Rudd a great psychological boost, no matter what the outcome will be.  He is coming clean with the Australian public and his party about his true feelings about the present leadership and the way he was hoisted out in June 2010. With all the aspects of Pluto around I say he has been waiting for an opportunity to do just that for a long time. If he loses, as I think he will, he’ll lose with dignity, a very important point for someone born with a proud Leo Moon, an ambitious Capricorn rising and the compelling Scorpio’s need to pass judgement and address wrongs.

A last observation on the transiting Moon on the day of the ballot. The Moon will be in Taurus, close to a conjunction to Jupiter in Taurus, just below the eastern horizon in Canberra, Australian capital, with feminine Venus the closest planet to the Aries Ascendant. The two feminine planets are then both rising around that time, a plus for women and generally feminine energies. The transiting Moon, like Jupiter, will be then applying to an opposition to Rudd’s Natal Venus and Neptune in Scorpio, while forming a harmonious trine with Gillard’s Venus-Pluto’s conjunction in Virgo.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time on Rudd’s Transits and Progressions, because they are so fascinating, reflecting the situation in uncanny ways. Because of that I will not be able to write as much on Julia Gillard’s aspects, or I would risk to be late for the ballot. I’ll do my best to share my discoveries in a more succinct way, because her Astrology is as fascinating as Rudd’s, and as complicated.

Julia Gillard’s Transits and Progressions

Saturn and Mars in Julia Gillard’s Natal Chart

Turning my attention to Julia Gillard’s Transits and Progressions it is easy enough to see that this is a difficult and critical period for her too, having been so for a long time. Some rather positive aspects and progressed indications seem to balance well the challenges in her case. The transit that first would attract any astrologer’s attention is the ongoing conjunction of Saturn to her Natal Mars in Libra, in the Eleventh House of friends, collective concerns and aspirations. The first pass of this transit became exact on January 2, 2012, and the second Retrograde pass, usually the most crucial, will occur on March 15, and is already very active now (only one degree apart)).  The third and last pass of the same aspect will be exact only on September 21, 2012. Even if she was to win the ballot on Monday morning, this transit will be more or less on her back for a while longer, making it harder for her to gain the popularity she needs with the general public and the authority she ought to have as the head of her party and the minority government. This leadership challenge has put another weapon in the hands of the Liberal/National opposition and its feisty leader (to see Tony Abbot’s Natal Chart visit this early post) that they will surely use until the next Federal Elections in 2013.

Saturn-Mars’ mutual transits, especially when long lasting due to Retrogradation, are aspects of consolidation, and also many frustrations and setbacks. During those transits it may become necessary to take on added responsibilities, adhering to a more serious, rigid but highly efficient discipline in action, as a foundation for the achievement of  future goals. All the hard work is in fact not usually attracting immediate rewards when this aspect is around. Even more than any other aspect between Mars and Saturn the conjunction is well known for its character building effect on the individual who is forced to grow up by facing squarely his/her difficulties, with the choice of making them into stepping stones for future achievements or the cause of crushing defeats.

The Retrograde Mars is also very much highlighted in transit, separating from Gillard’s Virgo Mid-Heaven (aspect exact on February 19), over which he will return in Direct motion on June 10. 2012. The first pass of this transit occurred on December 26, 2011. This is a time then, again not only limited to tomorrow’s ballot, to fight bravely and with Virgonian cunning (Mars) to defend and save her political career and reputation (MC). The transiting Mars was also in Virgo in June 2010, that time conjunct her Natal Venus and Pluto’s conjunction, during the cabinet rebellion she lead against the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Returning to Saturn, the transiting Mercury in Pisces forms a harmonious and dynamic sextile (60 degrees) with her Natal Saturn in Capricorn, exact on the day of the ballot. This will help Julia Gillard to stay level headed and to communicate her mind with maturity and self-control. Active also at this time (exact on three occasions, in January, March and September 2012) is the sextile between the Transiting Saturn and the Natal Uranus in Sagittarius (in sextile to Natal Mars at birth), another long lasting transit, showing opportunities to embrace changes (Uranus) without losing sight of practical considerations and the limitations of the situation in hand. This is an aspect fostering steady growth and changes that may last the test of time.

Julia’s Chiron’s Return

Julia Gillard has just finished with her Chiron’s Return, when the last pass of this significant coming of age transit occurred on January 18, 2012. In 2011 the transiting Chiron became conjunct her Natal Chiron two more times, in March and September. The Return of Chiron represents a time for everyone (age 50 to 51) when we need to acknowledge our human vulnerabilities, when, becoming obviously older, we need to look at our life’s successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses, learning to accept it as it is/was, with all the unavoidable pains and disappointments. The sort of hopes and dreams that now we know cannot be fully realized will have to discarded or will otherwise forever haunt us as unfinished business or unrequited longings. Growing up, after turning 50, we are given the opportunity to realize that we can begin to heal the wounds of the past and find real fulfillment in the life we have rather than the life we wished we had. If the maturity that Chiron demands to accomplish this difficult passage is not there the future could look bleak indeed at this point, wrecked by disillusions and regrets, with no healthy physical and psychological prospects to look forward to.

If Julia Gillard has accomplished this passage well she will be now more mature and pragmatic, to take on further challenges. Her struggle has been a very public one indeed.

Julia and Pluto

The active transits of Pluto at this time are the strongest signatures of a Julia Gillard’s victory in Monday ballot. Pluto in Capricorn is in fact just separating from a harmonious trine with her Natal Venus-Pluto’s conjunction in Virgo (c0mpare these with the square Pluto-Jupiter Kevin Rudd is experiencing). At the same time the transiting Moon and Jupiter in Taurus, in forming trine to transiting Pluto, are also forming a trine to the Natal Venus-Pluto.  The Pluto-Pluto and Pluto-Venus’ transits have been with her since February 2011 and will remain with her until the end of this year. The fact that the transiting Moon is also involved is important because the Moon always works as a trigger of the slower moving transits, activating them big time.

The whole configuration can provide great resourcefulness and moral strength, giving Julia Gillard the hard edge she needs to win the hardest battle of her political career so far. Because Gillard was born with Scorpio on the Ascendant and Pluto rising any aspect involving Pluto are very significant for her, bringing up the resolve, stubbornness and personal power of this intensely willful Sign.

Julia and Neptune

Neptune plays also a part in Julia Gillard’s present astrological tale, forming contacts with both Mercury and Venus. The Progressed Mercury is this year conjunct her Progressed Neptune in Scorpio (very very close now, but slow moving. Exact in May/June 2012), helping her to make choices based on right intuitions and a deeper understanding of the undercurrents of any situation. This aspect could also space her out, but, I feel, Saturn in charge of Mars and Mars on the Mid-Heaven will help to curb the more dreamy and unreliable effects of the Mercury-Neptune’s contact.

Strange, but true, the Progressed Venus, this year as well, will instead become conjunct the Natal Neptune in Scorpio (so both Natal and Progressed Neptune will be activated), exactly on May 1, 2012. I hope for her sake and for the stability of the government, that, if she wins the ballot, she will get in touch with some feminine magic to counteract the rather hard-masculine exterior she feels she has to wear like an armor to defend herself from the ferocious attacks of the Scorpio Sun, Mercury, Mars, and Aries Moon opposition leader Tony Abbot, and a startling chauvinistic press.

Venus-Neptune is the feminine that enchants and soothe. It has very spiritual connotations, hopefully inspiring Julia Gillard to embrace more unifying and inclusive view of life and politics. I feel that what many Australian people would be glad to see is a more spontaneous, vulnerable, compassionate Prime Minister. Otherwise, give us a bloke anytime. As a woman she has the sacred duty to do things in a more feminine, less antagonistic way, more cooperative and sympathetic. This aspect, if lived through right, could inspire Julia to greater human achievements than political strategy. It is also personally a very romantic aspect (once in a lifetime stuff) that could perhaps produce wedding bells for her and her partner.

To top the above the Transiting Neptune in early Pisces will remain in harmonious trine to her Natal Mercury in early Scorpio for the whole of 2012. This aspect is a sort of auspicious double of the Progression of Mercury over the Progressed Neptune described earlier.

Julia and the Transiting Lunar Nodes

Notable for me is the close conjunction (exact on February 2, 2012) between the Transiting South Lunar Node (Dragon’s Tail) and Julia Gillard’s Natal Moon in Gemini. It is very easy to see in this aspect that the past has come to emotionally haunt Julia Gillard’s life at this point; that she is now paying the fee for past errors of judgement. And it is certainly true, the South Node always referring to the past, in this lifetime and beyond. When on the Moon like this unfinished business will come up and clamor recognition and closure. Great time to do that, but also to let go of that past as one acknowledge it. Hanging onto it will be instead very detrimental, bringing us back to face emotional situations we have avoided and to re-live the past in rather negative ways.

In itself, without giving a positive or negative judgement on this, this conjunction tells that a significant time in this person’s emotional history has come, when, faced with the past, she needs to decide what to do with it in order to move forward.

Julia’s Progressed Horoscope

Julia’s Progressed Moon, like Rudd’s, is in a Fire Sign, Julia’s Aries versus Kevin’s Leo, respectively the Warrior and the King/Queen Moon. Her Aries Progressed Moon is just now entering the Third Natal House, area of communication, travel and learning.  While Kevin’s Progressed Moon is waning, close to Last Quarter, Julia’s Moon is instead waxing, very soon to become Gibbous (exact phase on March 20, 2012, very close), a dynamic Moon phase, when her creative power is at its highest and so can be employed to further the individual’s career. One is working, more or less consciously, toward the goal and peak experiences represented by the future Full Moon (happening for Julia on the very last degree of Scorpio in September 2015). According to the Sign and phase of her Progressed Moon Julia still has a lot of energy to make an impact on the world. The Moon in Aries will provide the initiative, courage and vision she will need many battles. The Progressed Moon is also meaningfully connected now to her Progressed Venus-Mercury and Mid-heaven in Scorpio and her Progressed Pluto in Virgo, forming a quincunx (150 degrees) with Venus-Mercury and Pluto, while Venus-Mercury-Mid-Heaven form a sextile (60 degrees) with Pluto. This configuration is known as a Yod, Finger of Fate or Finger of God, the Moon the apex of this cosmic triangle and it supposedly can bring greater awareness in the areas (Houses) and the Signs occupied by the planets involved, in this case to Julia’s career (Mid-Heaven) and expression of her personal power (Eighth House Pluto).

Last observation about Julia’s Progressions: significant is that her Progressed Sun in Capricorn is this year becoming conjunct her Natal Ascendant in Capricorn, aspect that was exact at the end of November 2011, but is still very active, due to the slow motion of the Progressed Sun. This aspect, a once in a lifetime event, could bring success and recognition to Julia Gillard, as well as a renewed sense of confidence in her goals and vision. The Sun over the Ascendant represents a symbolical sunrise, the beginning of a brand new day or epoch in her life. It is certainly no coincidence that this sunrise was becoming active around the time she was elected Australia’s Prime Minister.

Strange but true, Kevin Rudd is also experiencing a sort of astrological sunrise, in a different way. The present Transiting Sun in early Pisces is close to his Progressed Ascendant (a once in a year transit) on the last degree of Aquarius. The New Moon on the 22nd was also close to his Progressed Ascendant.  This period and the events happening now are marking a new beginning in his life too.

Julia’s Transits on the day of the ballot

Julia has some tough transits to go through on Monday. Some may even read in them signs of defeat. I still feel she will win the ballot, but she still has a long way to go to win the hearts of the Australian people, and her difficulties are perhaps just beginning. I am referring here to the opposition (180 degrees) of the Transiting Sun to her Natal Venus-Pluto’s conjunction, and the semi-square (45 degrees) of the Transiting Sun to her Natal Saturn in Capricorn, all tough aspects showing that she is confronting a worthy opponent (Venus-Pluto, sort of Nemesis) and struggling with some serious inner doubts and fears. Only natural.

Let’ no forget though that Julia has also a trine between the Transiting Jupiter in Taurus and her Venus-Pluto’s conjunction in Virgo. That should help, and so too the perfect sextile Mercury-Saturn, the trine Pluto-Pluto, the sextile Saturn-Uranus, and the trine Neptune-Mercury.

The Pisces New Moon in Kevin and Julia’s Charts

In brief: at the time of the Pisces New Moon on February 22. 2012, the Sun and Moon transited exactly over Julia’s Natal Chiron in Pisces, while applying also to a conjunction to the transiting Chiron, and opposition to her Natal Venus-Pluto in Virgo. The Sun and Moon were also in trine to her Natal Mercury in Scorpio.

The same Pisces New Moon was also in opposition to Kevin’s Natal Pluto in early Virgo and applying to a square to Natal Saturn in Sagittarius.

To check my previous posts on Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbot and the 2010 Australian Prime Minister-ship challenge and Federal Elections, please visit my Australiana Page HERE.

Julia Gillard and the Descending Node Eclipses Season, June/July 2011

It is not too late to discuss again the Gemini Solar Eclipse that has just happened (June 2, 7.02, NSW time), because Eclipses work somehow as the transits of slow moving planets, their effect extending backward and forward in time, now and again triggered by the transits of faster moving bodies, or by Lunations (Moon Phases). This Eclipse is also only one of three for the months of June and July, this being the Descending Node Eclipses Season.

The Descending Node partakes of the past, bringing up unresolved issues or karma acquired in the past. It has a descending, inward energy, that may not be propitious for initiating something, but rather to repair the past and look inward. When the South Node is highlighted old habits may prove irresistible, but they should be seen as detrimental to the unfolding of future possibilities.

As I explained in my previous post on Eclipses’ Doors of Perception’ the effect of an Eclipse, when found close to the Sun, Moon, Ascendant ,or any of the Chart’s Angles, Planets and/or the Lunar Nodes, can last for months and, in fact, can turn into a life changing event.

While it is true that an Eclipse will have some effect on everyone, according to the relative position in the Birth Chart, a very tight ‘orb’ of one degree or less to a sensitive point will guarantee an important outer or inner manifestation in the life of the individual.

I have spent some time in the past week searching my data base for Charts somewhat aligned to this Eclipses Season. I have found a few that could be of interest to my readers. My intention is not to forecast specific events for these individuals, but to simply observe how Eclipses, together with major Transits and Progressions, are apt to explain a lot of what goes on in our lives.

I have used throughout a tight orb of one degree or less, and only conjunctions, oppositions and squares between the Eclipses’ degree and Natal points. In each case I have cast the Eclipses Charts for the coordinates of the place more relevant to the person, like Canberra for our Australian Prime Minister, and London for Camilla Parker Bowles. The Natal Chart is always in the inner wheel, while the Eclipse in the outer wheel.

In this post I begin with Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister, whose Natal Chart is closely linked to the two June’s Eclipses, Solar and Lunar.

Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister

Julia Gillard is traversing at present a very difficult stretch of her political career, struggling with passing the controversial carbon tax and challenged from many quarters for her party’s proposal to implement the so called Malaysian solution, to ‘solve’ refugees’ problems. Her approval ratings and that of the Labor party she leads are at their lowest.

Astrologically there are some striking correspondences between the degrees activated by the June Solar and Lunar Eclipses and Julia Gillard’s Natal Chart.

I have used the Midday Chart for Gillard because it is the only approximate time available.

~ Julia Gillard and the Gemini Solar Eclipse, June 2 New Moon ~ Click to enlarge ~

On June 2, the Sun and Moon were exactly conjunct Julia Gillard’s 11º Gemini Moon in the VII House of relationships and open enemies, while the Sun became partially eclipsed by the Moon.

This is promising an emotional time for our Prime Minister, the Moon  representing the seat of emotions, the weaver of feelings in a person’s life, also the home life and the sense of belonging. All her relationship will be touched by this Eclipse, her public image as well as her personal life.

An Eclipse on the Natal Moon might, in some cases, bring heartache and domestic troubles or make unsolved issues from the past to surface (South Node Eclipse). This particular instance may not be an exception to that. With the Moon ruling the Natal VIII House, with the Sign of Cancer intercepted there, a death in the family cannot be ruled out, or some emotional loss.

There are also some positive aspects to consider.  One of them is from Saturn, turning Direct in June, at the time of the Solar Eclipse forming a positive aspect with the Eclipse degree and Julia’s Natal Moon, a configuration that should help to stabilize her life, in the relationship and career areas. Perhaps the much talked marriage proposal from her partner Tim Mathieson may become a reality, Saturn always working to make things more permanent and secure.

A forming Earth Grand Trine between the transiting Jupiter in Taurus (Natal V House of romance), the Natal Venus-Pluto’s conjunction (IX House of distant travel and dreams), and the transiting Pluto (in the II House of financial and emotional security) will remain active between July 2011 and April 2012. This harmonious configuration seems also to point out to an opportunity for change and improvement in the area of close relationships, a greater degree of intimacy, possible liaison or marriage. If the Prime Minister were a younger woman one may even suggest the possibility of children!

An important turning point in her love and social life is in the cards, considering that Venus and Pluto were conjunct at birth, and that, for the next two years or so, Pluto will be forming a trine with Natal Venus, a positive station of her Venus-Pluto’s journey. Because the original conjunction happened in the IX Natal House there is also the potential for a change of mind, a philosophical rebirth, a Saul on the way to Damascus’ type of experience, that could transform her into an all together better, more in touch person, reviving her Scorpio empathy and emotional intensity and integrity. Often this journey is completed at a grievous cost to the ego (Pluto’s stuff).

Politically the same Saturn’s aspect could help Julia Gillard to regain some of the sense of authority and leadership that is essential to her present role. Seemingly leading in the same direction is her Secondary Progressed Moon, by a great example of synchronicity, leaving the Water Sign of Pisces and entering Fiery Aries on June 2, the same day of the Solar Eclipse!

Aries is a Sign of action and initiative, with a well developed fighting spirit. With the Moon progressing through Aries she might be able to fight back her opponents more successfully, while still having to struggle for a while with some powerful personal demons (Sun square Pluto).

Pluto’s transits of this magnitude happen once in a life-time.  Pluto is manifesting outwardly in the barrage of enmity she has recently attracted from both ends of the political spectrum; a power struggle that could even worsen in future months, because Pluto will continue squaring her Sun degree until the end of 2012, while Uranus will get closer to his opposition to her Natal Sun (exact from April 2012 to April 2013). Positively these transits could give the Prime Minister the will and resolution to hold on into her position, or, better, challenge her to a  deep soul-search about her public role and the way she has been  handling the authority she has been given. The Natal Sun, symbol of self-identity, is in the X House of career and accomplishments, transiting Pluto, symbol of personal power, in the II House of security and values, and transiting Uranus, the urge to individuate, in the IV House, the foundation of being and home sector.

A way to utilize a major Pluto’s transit and learn from it is to embrace integrity, the honesty that comes from within, when one is able to challenge oneself.  Pluto-Sun’s Transits demand a profound change of attitudes, to surface from the crisis with a sense of identity one can honestly live with.

We should not forget, while talking about the transits of Pluto on the Australian Prime Minister’s Chart, that, at the same time, Pluto is also very close to Australia’s own Natal Saturn and not that far from Australia’s Natal Sun in Capricorn (in the so called Australian Federation Chart of January 1, 1901, 1.35 pm). These transits indicating a rather trying time ahead for Australia, up to the end of 2013, when the use or abuse of natural resources and political power will be put to the test, the first such Plutonian test in the nation’s history. It is indeed a great responsibility to run the country in times like these.

Other significant transits of this period are those of Venus and Mars, both in the Sign of Taurus at the time of the first Solar Eclipse (June 2), while later, by the the time of the Lunar Eclipse (June 16), Venus will be transiting Gemini, very close to Julia Gillard’s Natal Moon, that she will conjunct on June 19.

At the same time Mars will be still transiting Taurus, right on her Natal Descendant, the Cusp of relationship and marriage, on the Fixed Star Algol, an intense and even dangerous stellar influence. Both close relationships and open enemies can become very relevant under a transit like this. The applying conjunction of the transiting Venus to Natal Moon may soften the impact to a great extent. Marriage or engagement possibilities under these circumstances too.

The harmonious aspect of Neptune to her Natal Mars in Libra and opposition to her Natal Uranus in Leo will return for a while after Neptune will move back to Aquarius, between August 2011 and February 2012. These were some of the most significant aspects at the time of her Election to the Prime Minister-ship, and could still help her to revive her tarnished image, if she could project a more humanitarian and inclusive image of leadership.

A last thought, before moving onto the Total Lunar Eclipse of June 16, something that in fact connects the two Eclipses together and both with Julia Gillard’s Natal Chart.

The Gemini Solar Eclipse occurred soon after sunrise in Canberra, Australia’s national capital. The Rising Sign of the moment was therefore also Gemini, conjunct the Eclipse’s degree and Julia Gillard’s Natal Moon. This meaningful coincidence of the sunrise in the nation’s capital, at the exact time of an Eclipse, being close to the Prime Minister’s Natal Moon, is surprisingly reenacted at the Lunar Eclipse, on June 16, when the sunrise in Canberra, at the time of the Eclipse, will be also conjunct the Prime Minister’s Moon!

~ Julia Gillard and the Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse, June 16 Full Moon ~ Click to enlarge ~

Apart from the meaningful transits of Venus and Mars, at the time of this Lunar Eclipse, that I discussed earlier, the other major connection between this Eclipse and Julia Gillard’s Natal Chart was already active at the previous Eclipse, and it is that of her Natal Lunar Nodes and the transiting Nodes. At the time of the Total Lunar Eclipse the Sun joins the transiting North Node and the Moon the transiting South Node. The mutual connection of the transiting Sun, Moon and Nodes, at the time of an Eclipse, to the Natal Lunar Nodes in the Chart of an individual got to be significant.

The transiting Lunar Nodes, North Node in Sagittarius and South Node in Gemini, are in harmonious aspects (trine and sextile) with Gillard’s Natal Lunar Nodes in Leo and Aquarius respectively. These transits highlight the relationship area and the philosophy and ideals area of her Natal Chart. I believe that these harmonious angles could help the Prime Minister to find new inspiration in the sort of political and moral principles that could restore some of her tainted relationship with the Australian people. The fact that the Natal North Node was at her birth in the IX House shows how important, for the making or breaking of her own humanitarian principles and perhaps political career, would be the asylum seekers question and, in general, the government’s foreign affairs policies, including the selling of Uranium and the war in Afghanistan.

To conclude, just for curiosity sake, the next Solar Eclipse, a New Moon on the 9th degree of Cancer, on July 1, will fall in Julia Gillard’s VIII House of transformation and regeneration, right on her Vertex, a spiritual rising  degree, eager to emerge into the individual’s life, but often obfuscated by the more ego-driven personality.

VIRGO NEW MOON on September 8: final end to the electoral deadlock?

We have been waiting very long to know the results of these cliffhanger elections. Perhaps not too long though, considering that until 8.29 pm on Wednesday (Eastern Australian Time), September 8, the Moon will still be waning, decreasing in light and therefore in power,  releasing proper energy to end things, not to start them.  A New Moon ready to wax into life indicates instead a better time to open a new page in our political book. Hopefully.

At the time of writing, midday on Monday September 6, uncertainty still dominates the news, with Labor somewhat the favorite today. New gossips and suppositions are coming up all the time. Mercury is in the middle of its Retro period, turning Direct only on September 14. This is the most troubling factor, suggesting perhaps that a decision may not be made at all at this time, and that new elections could be the result of the hung parliament.

Today I would like to share some observations I have made looking at the transits active in the Birth Chats of the two contending leaders, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, at the moment of the Virgo New Moon, starting point of the coming lunar month. New Moons always set the trend for the month ahead and readings of New Moon’s transits are often used by astrologers to make predictions.

Here they are, Julia Gillard’s Birth Chart in the inner circle, Tony Abbott’s in the middle circle and the New Moon’s transits in the outer circle. On the left is a list of Julia’s transits on the day, and, on the right, the same list for Tony Abbott. I remind my readers again that, while Gillard’s time of birth is now known (around noon) the time of birth of Tony Abbott is still an unknown factor, making the reading for him less specific.

The time I have used for Julia Gillard in this post and some of the preceding ones is the rectified one of 11.52 am, as suggested by astrologer Alice Portman.

Click to enlarge

What is immediately apparent is the conjunction of the Sun and Moon (together at New Moon) with Julia Gillard’s rectified Mid-Heaven, a good sign for our Prime Minister, the tenth House cusp indicating ambitions and achievements. This New Moon appears to be in most ‘elevated’ place in her whole Horoscope. This indication alone would convince me that she will come out the winner. Of course, not knowing Tony Abbott’s time of birth, we may be overlooking something important happening for him. The same New Moon may well be on his Mid-heaven or Ascendant, who knows?

Continuing with Gillard’s transits I also found that transiting Mercury retrograde in Virgo happens to be conjunct Julia’s Natal Venus few hours before New Moon (12.30 pm on the same day), another positive for the Prime Minister, Mercury ruling her Mid-heaven in Virgo and her Moon Sign in Gemini, and Venus dispositing of her Sun in Libra.

New Moon day will also see the last transit of Venus in Libra, our sister planet entering Scorpio very early on September 9, thus becoming conjunct Gillard’s Natal Mercury in Scorpio. We call this in Astrology a double whammy, meaning two aspects similar to each other and occurring around the same time, so reinforcing each other: transiting Mercury is conjunct Natal Venus in Virgo while transiting Venus is conjunct Natal Mercury in Scorpio.

The transiting Nodes will be in positive aspects to her Natal Nodes, Venus and Neptune, while transiting Mars will be in positive aspect to her Natal Nodes too, all transits showing a positive turn in her destiny.

There are more transits active, of course, but not many obviously negative ones.

To finish with Julia Gillard I feel like sharing a little discovery I made. The transiting Mercury on New Moon day will be conjunct a star called Thuban, belonging to the northern Constellation Draco, the Celestial Dragon guarding the treasure at the North Pole. Now the Dragon is the symbol of Wales, where Gillard was born, and the same star happened to be conjunct Venus at her birth; nice little coincidences.

In Tony Abbott’s Chart we find that transiting Mars has nearly reached the conjunction to his Natal Mars in Libra (exact on September 10). This is what we call a Mars’ Return, an astrological event occurring every two years or so.  The old Mars’ cycle is ending for Abbott and a new one beginning.  Julia Gillard’s Mars, also in Libra, will reach its own Retrun on September 12, so they are pretty close in that. The other transits active in Tony Abbott’s Birth Chart are a mix bag, the best one of the lot being the trine between transiting Neptune and Natal Mars, a ‘dream come true’ type of aspect that has been active throughout elections’ time. Often though this is also a deceiving transit, a sort of mirage that could well turn up to be just an illusion, feeding on excessive confidence and unfounded optimism.

Well, as you know by now,  I am definitely biased in Gillard’s favor, but the transits seem also to be on her side. Tony Abbott, on the other hand, is also going through generally positive transits, nothing too obviously negative for him; the proof is that he has given the Prime Minister so far a good run for her money!

Let’s hope Mercury retrograde (and the imminent retrogradation of Venus on October 8) will not prove to be the spoke in the wheel of the three Independents’ decision making, because, transit-wise, we cannot yet exclude that Australians will not have to go to another Election.

MERCURY RETROGRADE AND THE AUSTRALIAN HUNG PARLIAMENT

I finally sit down at my computer and find time to write a few words, after spending two days glued to the television screen to get news of the Australian cliffhanger elections. I am more relaxed now: apparently it could take days and even weeks before an outcome is known.

The positive transits in Tony Abbott’s Birth Chart have certainly paid off for him and the Coalition, while Julia Gillard is already under the growing pressure of Saturn, squaring Pluto and opposing Jupiter, advancing over her Sun in Libra. Bob Browns and the Greens are the new rising stars of this election that has also put a handful of Independents in a very prominent position.

The possibility of an hung parliament, due to the retrogadation of Mercury beginning just before sunrise on the day of the elections,  has become a reality. I have explained this in a previous post and it was also suggested by few notable Australian astrologers, Ed Tamplin and Rob Tillett amongst them. The retrogradation of Mercury often causes enterprises to be inconclusive, decision making more difficult and less clear-cut.  The solution to the quandary of Mercury retrograde is often time and patience, with some re-thinking and soul searching necessary to end the deadlock when Mercury will turn direct again. This simple astrological ‘formula’ will serve well whoever of the political parties involved want to end up in power.

The two major parties have gained just about the same numbers of seats, with one Green and three to four Independents now holding the balance of power.

During retrogradation Mercury will form his Inferior Conjunction with the Sun (with the planet laying between Earth and Sun) on September 3 (close to Gillard’s natal Pluto and squaring her Moon). This type of Mercury-Sun’s conjunction is said to bring new insight and to make conscious things that were overlooked in the past.

Mercury’s backward motion will last until September 12, when it will turn Direct on the 5th degree of Virgo. We should remember that on September 17 Julia Gillard will experience the one and only pass of transiting Saturn over her natal Sun, so the two events seem tied up together for her.

Despite a lot of odds against Julia Gillard being reinstated as Prime Minister of Australia, in these uncertain Mercury retrograde times, I’m still putting my money on her. I cannot get over the brightness of feminine Venus in the evening sky and the fact that, even while conjunct masculine Mars, she is queen of the night, transiting her own Tropical Sign of Libra, against the backdrop of Virgo Constellation, another feminine symbol (her natal Venus was in Tropical Virgo as well).

It may be my own personal preference for a woman Prime Minister, or perhaps the hazy effect of the Sun in opposition to Neptune that I may be confusing with feminine intuition, but I am still siding with Harry, Darwin’s psychic croc who picked Gillard’s chicken carcass over Abbott’s.

A Birth Chart’s Analysis of Bob Brown, the unsung hero of these strange elections, will be posted as soon as possible. Apart from causing havoc in the polling booths, Mercury retrograde has also flatten our solar batteries, leaving very little power-time in my laptop.

JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIAN FIRST FEMALE PRIME MINISTER

Many Australians are curious about Julia Gillard, astrologers included. After working diligently in the shadow of our former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, without attracting undue attention to herself  (in true Virgo fashion, read below) she has now instead chosen to take front stage. With the Federal Elections looming close (August 21 2010) and the recent dramatic changes in the Labor Party’s leadership, it is interesting to look at the astrological portrait of the woman who has taken up the challenge in these difficult political and economic times.

The following is not an attempt to predict if Labor will win the elections, but rather an astrologically educated guess about this lady character and the planetary environment she is moving through at the present time.

Julia’s time of birth is, at the moment, unknown. This is a handicap for astrologers, because the time provides us with the basic orientation of the Chart and the all important Rising Sign, symbol of the early experiences that shaped the individual’s psychology and outlook on life, and also her physical temperament. A fairly good reading of a Birth Chart can be done however without the time, relying on the positions of Sun, Moon and Planets on the sunrise of the day of birth. This is the method I adopted in this case.

Here is Julia Gillard’s Sunrise Chart, born in Barry, United Kingdom, on September 29 1961. Sunrise time: 7.15.20 am.

Click to enlarge

In Gillard’s Sunrise Chart Sun and Mars are in Libra, an astrological confirmation of her gift for diplomacy, her desire to cooperate with others and natural refinement. Librans make the best mediators, as they are ready to find the middle ground in any situation (remember she has been the Minister for Workplace Relations and formally an industrial lawyer). The downturn of these placements is the tendency to compromise too much at times,  in order to achieve peace and agreement at every cost. Other factors in this Horoscope, in particular the emphasis on Scorpio, will help to curb the more indecisive and wishy-washy traits sometimes displayed by Librans.

Because of the Libra emphasis Venus, Libra’s Ruling Planet, acquires great importance in her life and character. Venus was in Virgo at the time of her birth, accounting for her perfectionism and practical logic, a genuine desire to serve and lead a useful life, and also a natural modesty that could incline her to shy away from the limelight and also from public scrutiny. Venus in Virgo makes her a matter of fact and no-nonsense type, also readily critical and with a keen analytical sense that would have helped Julia in her study and career.

One aspect that changes the colour of Venus quite a lot is the close conjunction to Pluto, making her more resourceful and more inclined to seek positions of power and control, despite the natural Virgonian timidity (some astrologers suggested that she may even have the Ascendant in Virgo, because of  her physical appearance).  To add to these more resilient and assertive traits Mercury, Ruling Planet of Virgo, is found in Scorpio, Pluto’s Sign, indicating a shrewd mind and the will to carry on with her agenda, sometimes in overt ways, and even against fierce opposition. In this Water Sign of Scorpio Mercury, planet of the intellect and communication,  greatly increases her intuition. Despite all her pragmatism (Earth Signs strong) she is not relying on reason and logic alone.

No other Sign can boast the resolve and depth of Scorpio or the desire of Pluto to be in control. We should not forget that Mercury in Scorpio influences also the Moon in Gemini, because this Air Sign, like the Earth Sign of Virgo, comes under the tutelage of Mercury. Furthermore, if the above wasn’t enough, the Moon herself is in close contact to Pluto in Virgo (square or 90 degrees angle), adding depth of emotional understanding and even stronger Plutonian traits, very useful for a person who seek to hold positions of power, also however making her more prone to get entangled in serious power struggles and to attract severe opposition at times.

The Moon is in Gemini, another Air Signs (the best in the area of communication and social graces) confirms her wit, inquisitive mind, adaptability, mental flexibility and multi-tasking ability. Gemini is also the Sign of learning, so it is not surprise that she is interested in the improvement of Australian education standards. She talks more slowly than one expects a Moon in Gemini person to do, suggesting the prominence of Capricorn (Jupiter-Saturn) and Scorpio (Mercury and the numerous aspect to Pluto). Gemini represents the lighter traits of her character, her sense of humour and ability to see the funny side of things. She is emotionally independent and would resent too tight and binding relationships. This Moon could account for her choice of not getting married.

At the time of her birth Jupiter and Saturn, the giant Time Keepers of our Solar System, were conjunct in the Sign of leadership, ambition and hard work, Capricorn, a 20 years events, and an aspect under which leaders and important figures are often born (see Obama’s Birth Chart, born just a couple of months earlier, with Jupiter conjunct Saturn on the cusp Capricorn-Aquarius). Under this transit one pursues aspirations (Jupiter) with tenacity and self-discipline. Progress is proverbially slow but sure. The conjunction denotes a person with conservative values, perhaps too cautious at times, Saturn (caution) being stronger in Capricorn than Jupiter (confidence, hope).

A near perfect harmonious angle between Mars and Uranus fortunately injects some passion for innovations and changes, a bit of a revolutionary streak, but all in good taste (Mars in Libra), and a certain defiance of authority, with the ability to conceive original, innovative ideas, despite her generally conservative views;  also a bit of an autocratic streak. There is also an honest desire to help and love of people as can be deduced by the harmonious angle between Venus, the Goddess of personal love, and Neptune, the God of universal love and compassion. So Julia Gillard is personally investing a lot of her love-energy  into collective channels. She loves (Venus) to help the needy masses  and feels genuinely sorry for them (Neptune). But she is, first and foremost, a realist and a diplomatic person, so she will have to achieve her dream within the boundaries of the possible, and perhaps the ordinary. The planetary contacts of all the trans-Saturnians  with her personal planets (Venus conjunct Pluto; Moon square Pluto; Venus sextile Neptune; Mars sextile Uranus) will ensure her  openness to the varied and especially the less conservative cultural currents of our times.

There is an apparent lack of the Fire element that could account for the fact that Julia Gillard seems to find it hard to be just spontaneous, but tries always to remain in control, due to the strength of Capricorn, Virgo and Scorpio in her Chart. This trait could make her less appealing to the public, but does not derives, I feel, from lack of warmth or sincerity, rather from an innate shyness and sense of propriety. Because the time of birth is not known, there may be a Fire Sign on her Ascendant, so it is too early to pass judgement. A fiery Ascendant could in fact explain many things about her and her raise to power, including her red hair!

Julia Gillard became Prime Minister on June 24 2010, after a sudden, and controversial, leadership challenge that favoured her ascension to the post. The most exact transit on that day for her was an opposition of transiting Neptune in Aquarius to her Birth Uranus in Leo, indicating she has been struggling with her desire to merge with others and be part of a group (Neptune) and her more independent and self-sufficient inclinations (Uranus). On the same day transiting Mars in Virgo was also conjunct her Birth Pluto, indicating strong challenges ahead and fierce opposition. In a recent interview she described this campaign as the fight of her life. Her Astrology certainly confirms this. Part of her will relish the challenge very much (Scorpio, Pluto, Capricorn), while her amicable Libran traits would perhaps wish to do without it.

I will provide more details about the major transits and progressions active for Julia Gillard during this electoral campaign in another post, also pointing out the numerous connections of her Birth Chart to Australia own Birth Chaart. I just want to observe here that Venus, the all important Ruler of Julia’s Mars and Sun Signs, has nearly ended her transit through Virgo and will enter our Prime Minister’s own Sign of Libra on August 7, perhaps a symbol of an easier and fairer ride for her in this campaign in the near future.

If interested please follow my next posts on the upcoming elections. These will also include analysis of the Birth Charts of the other two major players: Liberal leader Tony Abbott (Sun in Scorpio, Moon in Aries) and Greens’ leader Bob Brown (Sun in Capricorn, Moon in Gemini, like Gillard, and Ascendant in Taurus). ‘Til then, enjoy your transits!