The Lonely Sun of Theresa May
Theresa May became Britain’s second woman Prime Minister last summer, because there was no alternative. The rest of them had done each other in. She was the last woman standing, and the country breathed a collective sigh of relief when she stepped into the breach. She seemed capable, calm, reliable — and strangely familiar. The latter not just because of a faint resemblance to the last female PM, Mrs Thatcher (another Libran with Saturn in Scorpio), but because she appeared to embody a kind of British everywoman: the vicar, the headteacher, the local librarian, memsahib, head girl, a good sort, a brick. May’s Sun at 8° Libra conjoins the UK’s national Ascendant, so she undoubtedly represents one image of the UK to itself.
There’s no birth time for Ms. May, which is a great pity, because it would tell us a lot about her real intentions and motivations. Still we can find some stories in this chart.
If you take out the modern planets, May’s Sun does not receive any strong aspects. An unaspected Sun is quite a thing to find in a career politician. Normally, politicians need allies — but perhaps not Mrs. May — and indeed colleagues have described her as “the cat who walks alone”. Maybe she has succeeded so well by not doing what other politicians do. She’s been described as “unclubbable” — tricky in Westminster world, but unsurprising when you think of what that word implies — a load of men sitting around, drinking port and smoking cigars and talking about cricket or rugby, perhaps. Louis the XVI, the Sun King, also had a lonely Sun like this. He probably wasn’t “one of the boys” either, and he did rather well.
What are unaspected planets?
No major aspects (trine, sextile, opposition, conjunction, square) from planets Saturn through Mercury or the Lights. In the case of May’s Sun, Mercury is applying and almost within orb but this is out of sign. If it were within Libra and 10° away, I’d consider it a wide conjunction. However, it’s not.
A Sun such as this one is said to potentialise fame and success, perhaps because it can shine unhindered. (Look at pop-divas Taylor Swift and Beyoncé Knowles for two current examples.) This ego needs to be recognised in the world. This can make that Sun extraordinarily creative — indeed the word genius springs to mind with these examples: Van Gogh in Aries, and JK Rowling in Leo.
However, this could also be an ego that’s not working with the rest of the psyche very well, so it might flip over to the shadow side of this Sun quite easily*. In May’s case that would be the downside of Aries — competitive, aggressive, single-minded. Indeed this Sun might flip back and forth between indecision (Libra) — especially with all those planets in Virgo (a need to know all the details) — and rashness (Aries).
An unaspected planet is said to have exaggerated strengths and weaknesses — and when transited it may react extremely, or be paralysed. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining the choices Mrs May has made since last summer. At first she seemed unable to do anything except say, “Brexit means Brexit” — a reflexive zero (an unaspected word), now she seems to be gambling the entire future of the United Kingdom on a battle of wills with Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, and the hard Brexit very few of her MPs wanted. While paralysed, Jupiter, the planet which exaggerates, was actually transiting that Sun. It made her very famous, but unable to act. Now Jupiter has moved on and Mrs. May’s Sun is free to act. Viewed in the light of this Sun, her hurried trip to Washington makes some sense.
According to some, the unaspected Sun can be extraordinarily high-handed, yet unaware that it is riding roughshod over other people. Furthermore, woe betide anyone who challenges that Sun. This is because of the difficulty integrating the whole psyche.
An interesting example of another unaspected Libra Sun is John Lennon, the most irascible Beatle, who displayed in all his interviews a rather Arien eagerness to lock horns — and in his output, genius.
There are two planets that make close contacts to May’s Sun — Uranus and Chiron — two of the most maverick planets on the block, which comes as a bit of a surprise when you look at the seemingly ultra-conventional Ms. May, conservative with both small and capital Cs. (These two do not fall within the defining principle of “unaspected” because they are not among the traditional planets.) It’s appropriate then, that a Sun energised by Uranus in Leo (revolutionary specialness) and Chiron in Aquarius (wounded everyman) is leading Brexit — a revolution which at first was sold as a remedy for a feeling of powerlessness among certain sectors of the public.
May, the daughter of a vicar who went to state school, has spent her career in the often misogynistic atmosphere of the Tory party, which recently was dominated by a cabal of public-school boys. She was an outsider working on the inside — very successfully. And that too feels like Chiron, the maverick, the wounded one, working within a hierarchy, Aquarius. But all the time, that Leo Uranus disposited by that powerful Sun was waiting for the opportunity to come out — and bring revolution.
May voted to Remain, yet her embracing of Brexit seems to have been absolute — a Uranian switcheroo.
Now Theresa May does seem to be an avatar of Saturn. She is physically awkward, a little stooped, her voice is a little crackly; she appears steady, capable, grown up, sad sometimes, and maybe lonely; she has gained wisdom through experience, her face is lived in. She is going for a “hard Brexit”. Hard is a Saturn word. (Indeed she may have Saturn, or its traditional sign Aquarius, rising.)
And there is her Saturn (the planet of ambition) conjunct the North Node (destiny), so tightly that the two would swap places within a few days of her birth. She is destined to be a parent (but not of children — Lilith conjunct Chiron); she is a parent to the nation. But May is no cosy mother figure. She’s the Daddy. With Saturn in Scorpio, she may turn out to be a vengeful Daddy. She certainly dispatched her adversaries in the government quickly and efficiently, and anyone who dares to disagree with her — Lord Heseltine being just the latest — is shown the door.
When May became Prime Minister, transiting Saturn conjoined her progressed Sun — a lifetime’s ambition was achieved.
May’s ascent to power came as a result of a tremendous stroke of luck — in fact several. First of all, David Cameron called a referendum on Brexit, a move which even at the time seemed unnecessarily foolhardy, then he lost it, but even more luckily for May, the “winners” all stabbed each other in the back within days of the result, leaving the coast clear for an outsider who had stayed out of the debate, to step neatly through the doors of 10 Downing Street.
May was having a Jupiter Return, a lucky once-a-decade event, and the North Node was also on her own Jupiter, a lucky once-every-18-years event. Furthermore, by progression, May’s Sun sextiled her natal Sun, also considered a lucky time; and progressed Venus had come to 6° Scorpio, activating her Chiron-Uranus opposition. The whole thing must have come as a surprise, but the timing was perfect.
Now it’s interesting to note the action of Lilith in this. The Black Moon is a mathematical point in the sky that moves through the signs with the regularity of the Sun and Moon. Lilith does not seem to work on everyone’s chart. But May has already proved that she is to some degree a Lilith-type; she is a staunch feminist, in deed as well as word; she is childless; and again, she is an outsider. Natally, her Lilith closely conjuncts Chiron in Aquarius. Perhaps she feels herself to be the underdog, an outcast. On the day she stepped into power Lilith conjoined her progressed Venus in Scorpio.
Notice that her progressed Moon will be in Scorpio (revenge, power, secrets, and cloak and dagger) for just a few more months. (It’s not quite certain how many because we don’t have her birth time.) Venus has been there for about six years — most of her time in government. Perhaps she has come to love power for its own sake.
In the nine months that she has been Prime Minister, Theresa May has had virtually zero opposition. This may have something to do with Neptune’s current transit through Pisces — although it’s hard to say — but certainly there is no there there. The opposition has dissolved — another incredible stroke of luck.
A standout feature of her chart is the way most of the planets are clustered on one side opposing that Mars Rx in Pisces. I suspect that Mars Rx opposing Jupiter in Virgo shows a woman driven by some deep emotions, who is liable to get lost in detail. Either you’re in with May, part of a tight-knit inner circle — or you’re way over there with Mars in Pisces in outer space. Unfortunately, that puts almost everyone in the enemy camp — you’re an enemy if you’re in the Labour party but even more so if you’re the wrong kind of Tory.
May has a problem seeing the big picture and understanding consequences (Jupiter and probably Moon in Virgo). With all that Virgo and Saturn in Scorpio, her analysis of problems is likely to be accurate. However, she not good at solutions or even long-term repercussions. In the words of George Bush Sr, she’s not so good at the “vision thing”.
The approaching transit of Neptune to her Mars Rx is very important, especially since the planet of vitality and physical energy sits solo on one side of her chart. It may have health implications for May as early as April. This transit takes place three times between now and February 2018, suggesting that May could have an exhausting year ahead. She may also be losing her momentum, although without an opposition she can dither and hesitate as much as she likes. It’s also possible that the fabled “negotiations” with the EU will fizzle out, since, of course, the EU need only wait for the two years after Article 50 is triggered, and then the UK must automatically leave the Union. From the point of view of Europe this would be a reasonably hassle-free Brexit. With no battle to join, how will May find anything to get a grip on?
And speaking of a slippery, clever adversary, Ms Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, is having a nodal half-return right now (NN 3° Pisces). She too is at a pivotal point in her career. Her Nodes are square to Mrs May’s. Note that the transiting Nodes will exactly square Theresa May’s own Nodes at 0° Sagittarius in May and June this year, and then conjunct her natal Pluto at 29° Leo, triggering all her planets at that degree — see below. This is a pivotal moment for her personally.
Brexit, of course, is a seismic change for this country. If it continues on its current course, the break up of the realm is not unlikely — after 300 years of union. No matter what cheerleaders for Brexit say or believe, these islands are in stormy seas. Pluto, the solar system’s own Lord Voldemort, is today opposite Britain’s 19° Cancer Moon, which represents the people of this country. This opposition will take place five times between now and the end of 2018, overshadowing the entire period. A Pluto opposition is not an easy thing. It correlates to poverty and disillusionment — or a bullet in the eye. It’s hard to think of an easy way this could manifest. What is certain is that by the final opposition, the Queen’s subjects will be somehow transformed. Let’s hope it’s not from riches to rags.
Historical note. This UK chart has never taken this transit since it is dated 1801, and last time Pluto was at this point was 1771-2. Pluto’s transits through Capricorn do consistently correlate with major transformations in capitalism though, including the creation of UK plc. Click here for more.
When Saturn moves into Capricorn in December 2017, we will see all the power games and bluster start to bring (even more concrete) real results in this country. Saturn crossing the IC at 9° Capricorn will be critical. That first crossing is in April 2018.
You can also see that May has Neptune, Saturn and Pluto all at 29°. It’s true that these are slow-moving, generational planets, so there would have been a couple of weeks when these three planets were in these positions, before Saturn moved on, but nevertheless it’s a very tight formation at an interesting degree — a degree of change, of endings. It’s hard not to see those planets as rather ominous. Could she be the last Prime Minister of this iteration of the United Kingdom? Watch what happens around October 5 when Jupiter makes a conjunction to May’s Neptune in Libra for signs of things to come.
*The idea for the shadow of the Sun being its opposite sign was posited by Clare Martin in a recent workshop here in Oxford on the astrological Sun.