We had a flying visit from our Indian friend this week with whom I had our usual discussion about things astrological.
We soon got around to the subject of that great big ring.
The engagement ring Prince William gave Kate Middleton. It’s a large sapphire surrounded by sparkly diamonds. Seen on the finger of a film star, some people might call it vulgar; on the hand of a royal-to-be, some people call it big.
The ring has been bothering me. Let me explain why.
In Indian astrology, sapphires are the gemstones of the planet Saturn, who is regarded with great respect. Their understanding of Saturn is much like ours – a hard taskmaster who deals in retribution and punishment but also, for the lucky ones, helps us to reap rewards.
Saturn is the planet of order, boundaries, rules and restrictions. He is the planet that ensures we follow tradition and remember our ancestry. Saturn helps us maintain order. He is also the Grim Reaper.
So sapphires are (cautiously) prescribed as astrological remedies to strengthen Saturn. The better and bigger the sapphire, the more potent it is. They are used with exceptional carefulness, because it’s believed that they can be the most harmful gemstones if worn by the wrong person. They may bring bad luck, or even an early death.
The last owner of this particular sapphire ring was Prince William’s ill-fated mother, Diana.
A Saturnian Marriage
Now there’s a lot of Saturn about this wedding.
Both Prince William and Kate Middleton are having their Saturn Returns. (This happens once every 29 years for everyone. It’s when Saturn returns to the spot in the sky where it was when you were born.) It’s not a bad time to get married, in fact. It’s the time for settling down, establishing oneself in the world and starting a family. Saturn is about stability and continuity.
Kate Middleton herself is born under the sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, so for her, the planet is already strong. What is more, Saturn is exalted in the sign of Libra in her chart and in the Prince’s too, so extra powerful. Saturn in Libra suggests that they both gain strength from being in a partnership and since Saturn is transiting through Libra it’s an excellent time for everyone to be hooking up. See my previous post on this.
By the way, Diana, also had a strong Saturn: hers was at home in Capricorn.
George I, the founder of this dynasty, was from Hanover, Germany. He never bothered to learn English. Here he is in a full-bottomed wig.
Britain’s Got Bottom
The UK Sun is in Capricorn. In the 1801 chart, it is at the bottom, at the very foundation of the country, rooting us to the past, giving us strength. It also means that the country’s identity is bound up with its sense of continuity. “Bottom” is an old-fashioned term of praise in England. It’s a navy expression describing a vessel with good ballast, balance and depth. A person who has bottom is reliable and experienced. This also exactly describes the Sun in Capricorn at its best.
What gives Britain it’s bottom? Here’s one thing.
Capricorn is the sign of “the Establishment”, by which back in 1955, the journalist Hugh Fairlie famously defined it thus:
“By the ‘Establishment’, I do not only mean the centres of official power—though they are certainly part of it—but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised. The exercise of power in Britain (more specifically, in England) cannot be understood unless it is recognised that it is exercised socially.”
That is the Court, the upper echelons of the Church of England, top bankers and industrialists, the BBC, particular newspaper commentators, certain politicians, top lawyers and civil servants, museum directors, etcetera. You get the picture – and it’s still true.
The Establishment is shorthand for the people who really run the show.
Edward VII marries Alexandra, keeping the dynasty afloat.
The Queen herself, as the still centre of the Establishment and the visible embodiment of the nation, has Capricorn rising, so Saturn rules her chart. And where is it? Right at the top of her chart, exactly conjunct the MC at the point of greatest power.
Kate Middleton’s Sun is just 3 degrees away from the Queen’s ascendant. She has inner power which is similar in flavour to the Queen’s outer power. She is on the threshold now of claiming that power during her Saturn Return.
This Saturnian affair is the Establishment shoring up its power. And the reason for the enduring stablity of the Establishment is its flexibility. It has always absorbed new members effortlessly. Kate Middleton – who may have rich parents but is not from an Establishment background – has spent the last ten years being groomed to join the elite. Now is her time to grab that power.
So what about that ring then?
Prince William slipped the power of the established order onto Kate’s finger that moment in East Africa when he proposed. When she marries the future king of England, she’s not just getting him, she gets the power of th nation too.
But since she already has a strong Saturn, will it all go wrong just as it did with Diana?
Not according to my Indian friend.
And of course, it’s a great way to shift some tat.
You have to adjust the horoscope backwards for Vedic astrological remedies which reduces the whole Capricorn/Saturn strength in Kate Middleton’s chart. Phew. So it’s not disastrous.
But he still doesn’t think the ring’s a good idea. The only person he can think of who successfully wears a blue sapphire is the Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, who’s Saturn happens to rule his Ascendant.
Since we don’t know Kate’s birth time, we can’t know her ascendant, so it’s hard to say.
My feeling? Kate Middleton’s importance is that she will ensure the continuity of the dynasty — and she will do that.
The symbolism of the Royal Wedding for the rest of us, I leave for another post. Meanwhile you might want to read this.