Spain In The Midst Of A Nervous Breakdown

Monday October 2nd 2017
Juan Gatti’s original poster for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

Juan Gatti’s original poster for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988). Pedro Almodovar’s fabulous movies epitomise Spain’s wacky, outrageous, potty-mouthed Uranus-Venus conjunction in Scorpio in the third house.

A lot of people don’t speak Spanish as a first language in Spain. They speak Euskari in the Basque country, Catalan in Catalonia, Gallego in Galicia, and rich, juicy dialects in the south. Spanish itself is called Castellano by Spaniards, because it comes from the county of Castile, in central Spain.

The citizens of certain parts of Spain feel as if they have been under occupation (off and on) by Castilians since the late 15th century, when Ferdinand and Isabella unified the country. Indeed some would argue that conquistadors were not only oppressing the natives of central and south America, but also those of the Iberian Peninsula itself. This feeling erupted occasionally into violence during the following centuries — most recently in the Basque separatist terror campaign of the 1970s-1990s.

During the Civil War of the 1930s, Nationalists and Republicans fought along partially nationalist lines — but both sides found adherents across Spain. General Franco’s troops smashed the Republicans at the Battle of the Ebro in Catalonia in 1938. It was the turning point of the Civil War, and would lead to more than 40 years of Fascist dictatorship.

One of Franco’s first acts was to ban languages other than Spanish. They couldn’t be taught or printed. When Franco finally died in 1975, King Juan Carlos led the country back to democracy, and three years later the modern Spanish Constitution was ratified, which, crucially, gave the separate states of Spain autonomy.  In Catalonia, of their first acts was to start teaching, writing and publishing in Catalan, a language with a rich, romantic heritage.

That constitution came into effect on 1 January, 1979. Other astrologers have chosen the inauguration of Juan Carlos in 1975 to date their charts, however, that is not really legally correct, and if you look at the chart below, you will see it is powerfully transited right now, as Catalonia makes a bid for independence. Dates for the founding of Catalonia are too fuzzy to pinpoint — sometime maybe in the 12th century or maybe even in Roman times.

Some of you may recall that last time Saturn was in these later degrees of Sagittarius going across the nadir of Spain’s chart in 1987, the Basque separatist movement was in the midst of a major terrorist campaign. That year, they blew up a huge bomb killing civilians in Barcelona, which turned out to be their biggest attack.

This nadir of the national chart does seem to be important — it speaks of the very soil itself. Saturn is shaking Spain’s foundations.

What is more, Spain, like many countries born on January 1, has toiled under the pressure of Pluto’s transit to the country’s Sun over the past few years, plus a square from disruptive Uranus. This recent trouble erupted just as Pluto turned direct on September 28 — and while transiting Jupiter is opposing transiting Uranus.

Spain’s Pluto in Libra has also received an opposition from transiting Uranus and will take the square from Pluto next year. The situation looks as if it could turn violent.

This is all happening while Neptune, the planet of idealism and confusion, opposes Spain’s practical Saturn in Virgo. This is not in full effect until next year, but that is certainly a transit which dissolves boundaries, rules and institutions. You might choose to see the autonomous regions as the children in the family — maybe represented by the 5th house, ruled by Saturn, and the Moon in Aquarius, which could say something about the forward-looking governments of many of the autonomous regions. The Basques and Catalans in particular feel themselves to be way ahead of other regions when it comes to living in the 21st century.

By progression that Moon is now in emotional, irrational Cancer, a sign devoted to its homeland and at its worst very nationalistic, so it’s likely that this regionalism is being felt all over Spain. Of course, nationalism and its discontents are in the air across the globe. Also, by progression that Moon will oppose Pluto in a few months time.

It’s not just Spain’s nadir that has had a Saturn transit, but also it’s third house of communications, and its powerful Neptune-Mercury conjunction, which may be a contributor to Spain’s marvellous diversity.

Its diversity is, of course, what makes Spain such a stimulating country in which to travel. On the coast, dark, dramatic Cadiz, just a few hours sail from Africa, is wildly different from chic Barcelona, a city right in the cross-currents of North Mediterranean culture or Bilbao, that rusting industrial hulk which stares out across the Atlantic to Cuba and Mexico.

Dissipating its youth (Neptune-Mercury) is a core problem for Spain, while at the same time the cultural output (Neptune-Mercury) is like a bottomless well. Since the death of Franco, Spain has culturally burgeoned — design, fashion, films, books seem to pour out of the country in a stream of colour and cleverness. But youth unemployment is shocking. The problem has been made very real with this Saturn transit, and it’s also clear that communications (Neptune-Mercury, third house) have broken down.

What’s going on now is a tussle between that proud Jupiter in Leo versus the youthful crowd, Moon in Aquarius, the bosses versus the people. This conflict is exacerbated by the current crop of eclipses which are stimulating this axis. What is more, Chiron in the 8th House creates a T-square to these two. There is real potential for self-harm here — as evidenced by the governments deployment of the police yesterday.

Let’s hope that the coming Mars-Venus conjunction on Spain’s North Node betokens some compromise. Venus needs to get to work fast.

Saturn will be leaving Sagittarius in December — and having some strong words with Spain’s Sun-Mars conjunction perhaps. None of this is going away, because at the same time Jupiter, by transit, takes that Uranian rebellious power now, and then ignites Spain’s Jupiter-Chiron-Moon T-square over the coming months.


Chart for Spain drawn up for the moment the Constitution took effect.

Drawn up for the moment the Constitution took effect.


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  1. AB says:

    I once gave a lecture in Castilian at the university in Barcelona. When I saw the faces of the students I switched to a few words of Catalan and delivered my lecture in English 1978.

  2. mike says:

    I was astonished by the authoritarian, aggressive, attempted shut-down of Catalonia’s referendum, coming on the heels of the high court’s rendering their interpretation of the constitution. Similar dismay with Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar and the Rohingya crisis. And of course, I have tremendous dismay right here in my USA, with our despot-in-chief. Nasty Vegas shooting for us to contend.

    Spain’s natal chart has numerous synastry aspects with both USA’s Sibly chart and Donald Trump’s chart. It would be difficult to imagine either being enmeshed with Spain’s affairs, but we are in strange times. Maybe Trump will have some fascist words to tweet toward Catalonia.

    BTW – I never see your last two posts when I go to your website. They do appear when I refresh the screen. It might be a browser issue…I use Firefox with uBlock. No biggie for me, as I know to refresh.

    • Michael says:

      In the interests of impartiality, plaease watch the link below, which shows the Catalan police (the Mossos d’Escuadra) violently evicting peaceful protestors from Barcelona’s Plaça Catalunya in 2011. Few people abroad saw this footage, but thanks to smart use of social media and news by the Catalan government, everyone saw the awful footage of October 1st.

    • Christina says:

      Thank you for that tech update Mike. I’ve had terrible issues today!

      The site has gone a bit weird for most people unless you empty your browser’s cache. Then it seems to go OK.

      As for Spain — yes. I was looking at the old chart and couldn’t really see any big stuff. Then I figured out this one…

      I wish there was one for Catalonia itself.

      • The chart for Barcelona has had some pretty heavy transits of late. Transiting Uranus recently passed over the Sun, and will do so again later in December, I believe. Also, transiting Pluto is now conjunct Barcelona’s Jupiter, which smacks of authoritarian control, and egalitarian beliefs being violently suppressed. I will have to look at that Uranus transit again, and see what was happening during the summer’s terror attack on Las Ramblas. As I write this, my neighbors are banging their pots and pans from balconies in what has become a nightly protest. Two separatists have just been arrested. I, too, feel uneasy about the possibility of more unrest and violent state crackdowns. In any case, it’s so interesting to see the transits on the January 1st chart. I was poring over the 1975 Spanish chart, and was surprised not to see anything out of the ordinary, but this second chart shows it all. Great post!

  3. soab says:

    A new paradigm has been coined right inside the lofty European Union, self-described home/patronizing dispenser of human rights to lesser regions across the planet: “In the name of democracy, refrain from voting, or else.”

    • soab says:

      Having now looked at the inauguration chart, I would say the 1975 chart is the one. Chiron retrograde @ 24 degrees with transiting Saturn @ 22 degrees. Also transiting Jupiter @ 28 degrees with the natal sun @ 29 degrees – although this former aspect would cause little trouble – but the latter wow what a time to have the referendum!!

    • soab says:

      Why isn’t NATO bombing Madrid for 78 days? – fmr British diplomat

      Spanish authorities continue to say they see the vote on Sunday as illegal and unconstitutional, while the EU gave its backing to the Spanish prime minister to resolve the crisis.

      The move has been criticized by the president of Serbia, who has accused the EU of double standards regarding Kosovo.

      Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic did not mince his words when he voiced a rather obvious question: “How did you proclaim the secession of Kosovo to be legal, even without a referendum, and how did 22 European Union countries legalize this secession, while destroying European law and the foundations of European law, on which the European policy and EU policy are based?”

      Marko Gasic, an international affairs commentator, said Kosovo’s vote was recognized because it’s not part of the union.

      “Some say the EU has double standards on this matter. I would say that they just have very low standards on this matter, in terms of international law and their consistency in obeying it. Because the EU opposes Catalan secession in Spain and it supports Kosovo secession in Serbia,” Gasic told RT.

      He added, “this is clearly a schizophrenic position the EU has.”

      Gasic provided some historical insight into the EU’s past stance on Kosovo secession.

      “While opposing the referendum in Spain, it was insisting and organizing referenda in Yugoslavia,” he reminded. “In Yugoslavia they were saying that it didn’t matter what the constitution said; in Spain it is saying the constitution is all important. In Yugoslavia they said you have two weeks to decide whether you want independence for parts of Yugoslavia and we will decide within a week for you – this was in 1992.”

      Gasic expressed doubt that the EU has learned any lessons from its past experience in Yugoslavia since “it never admitted any mistakes” there.

      “I believe the EU would behave in exactly the same way again because [Kosovo] is not an area that belongs to the club, the rich man’s club, as Spain does,” he added.

  4. Esther says:

    Thanks so much Christina!! we are going under so much pressure, things are getting worst by the minute and now finally tuesday this president from Cataluña has to decide if he wants to become a martyr or else…. make martyrs of a series of peoples… Catalan head of Police called Mossos is already being judged for “sedition” its all very very Kafkian actually!

  5. Vesta says:

    One of the best posts on Spain right now. I’ve kept it in mind watching events unfold.
    I’m not sure which side to take, especially in light of Brexit. I want to support the people of Catalan and I celebrate their news today, but I’m anxious what this means for everyone concerned. I feel like a hypocrite because I don’t want us to Brexit, I want us to Remain in the EU, I want Scotland to stay and not separate, and of course I want peace in Ireland. So I don’t really know what to think.
    I saw a news article recently saying there’s a long list of countries/peoples watching Brexit, Scotland and Catalonia very closely because they too want to separate. It’s not unique or isolated, it’s worldwide. I don’t see it as anarchic, I see it as maybe righting old wrongs. Some borders were imposed without anyone’s say so. What’s unsettling is that everything should happen all at once. Everything is collapsing around our ears. But some of it is in a good way, e.g. patriarchy, maybe capitalism too, society. The world as we know it is being transformed.
    Just thinking, perhaps it’s wrong to conflate Scotland’s desire for independence with Brexit. It’s Scotland that seems to be inspiring people around the world, not the stupidity of Brexit.
    1979, pluto in Libra – that’s millennials. This generation is already becoming the singlemost powerful force right now, challenging what baby boomers took for themselves, not to mention everything else. Have you written anything on this generation? I really like them. Millennials are no-nonsense, although they are polarised left/right. The (alt) right seem to be authoritarian, they want a powerful leader to protect them. The (radical) left (who I admire) are taking ownership, standing together and driving change. There’s a clash right there, on top of the clash between people and country in Spain/Catalonia.
    Just looked at Twitter. Catalonia’s Cabinet have been fired. Everyone’s anxious right now. Me too. 🙁

    • Christina says:

      I know what you mean. I feel sorry for everyone.

      On the whole, I think nationalism is dangerous, and leads down some scary byways. But then I can’t help feeling that the Kurds, for example, have a point. What this really shows is that nation-states, and borders are imaginative constructs. (Note Saturn coming to the end of his transit through Sagittarius)
      Nations are built on stories. We need to change those stories.
      I notice this very much at the moment listening to the news churning out the same old mythos about this country — and failing to tell our European story.

  6. Michael says:

    Sacked Catalan president Puigdemont has fled to Belgium, fearing a legal backlash in Spain. Looking at his chart, Sun/Jupiter conjunct are still transiting his third house (overblown, badly-thought out plans leading to impending hubris) while Mars has just left his first house – all the fight has gone out of him. A crazy adventure nearing its end.

    • Christina says:

      Thought on looking at chart for the time Catalonia declared independence — 27 Oct 2017, 15.17, Barcelona — who *really* benefits?

  7. 44 and counting says:

    For what it’s worth, noting that we’re coming up to the Uranus return of the Spanish Civil War in the next couple of years. That began 17 July 1936 with Uranus at 9 Taurus and also Neptune half-return (14Virgo).

    The main feature of the chart is the stellium in Cancer with Sun at 24degs, Pluto at 27, Venus 29 while approaching New Moon conjunct Mercury at 16, Mars at 14. All of that is sensitive to the current Uranus-Pluto transits.

  8. Lynne says:

    I recently put Espana in and looking at the free yearly forecast aspects for the country, there is big trouble and angst brewing for quite a few years yet. For me (a past unbeliever) of astrology, it really does make me wonder if everything is already written by the planets. How can they know.? Does that mean everything is meant and cannot be stopped in world situations, it would appear that individual and national identities cannot be kept down forever no matter what.