Hong Kong vibrates with people power: people working, thinking, talking, praying, eating, walking, haggling, hawking, kissing, cooking, spitting, stealing, fighting, laughing, buying and selling. Standing on the Star Ferry coming into Central earlier this year, I swear I could feel the straight energy lines of intelligence, money, chatter pouring out of the city and across the harbour like a million laser beams.
This extraordinary, palpable energy is noted by most visitors to the city. With the wild mountains at its back and the harbour and its feet, the city is nestled between two implacable natural forces. Practitioners of Feng Shui say it has the best “wind and water” in the world for wealth creation.
And Hong Kong people know Hong Kong is special, but it’s a fearful time for the island. Millions of people have taken to the streets week after week this summer in an effort to persuade the government to let Hong Kong keep its special status.
Until 1997, Hong Kong was not part of the People’s Republic of China. It was a British protectorate, leased to the crown for 99 years. When it was handed back with great pomp and razzmatazz, it was agreed that for the next 50 years, Hong Kong would be given special treatment with particular freedoms for its citizens.
The People’s Republic acquired a commercial powerhouse at the Handover. Money gushed in and out of Hong Kong, like blood pumping into and out of a heart. And burgeoning China benefited hugely from Hong Kong’s capitalist savvy.
There are several charts to choose from for Hong Kong. I looked at three. An early one is 26 June 1843, when the first treaty between Britain and China was ratified; another is when the agreement to hand over was ratified in 1984 and the final one is the date of the handover in 1997.
All three charts have Jupiter in Aquarius: big city, independence, the rule of law. But to avoid confusion, I’m focusing on the latest one — for which we have a precise time — the day of the handover in 1997, which became official at midnight on June 30.
Since 2008, this chart has had Pluto, dressed in jackboots, stomping through the area of authority. In 2014, when students staged the Umbrella Revolution, Uranus, the planet of rebellion was squaring that Pluto from the first house.
Hong Kong’s identity has been changing while Uranus transited through that first house since 2011. Gradually, the rebellion against China has become more and more open.
But this latest rebellion has flared up when Uranus moved into Taurus, and began to make a square to its own natal position. Uranus is the planet of revolution, independence, freedom. This time the demonstrations have been HUGE. In June a million people turned out, and then two million. That’s the equivalent of about a seventh of the entire population. This past weekend, it was 1.7m. Everyone who could, was on the streets. That’s incredible. This passion to protect Hong Kong’s special freedoms and laws is not going to go away.
Those freedoms are also a manifestation of Jupiter in Aquarius, a sign which is about the civitas, the common people, equality. Jupiter is, of course, the judge and guru, so we’re talking about civil rights.
The demonstrators come from all age groups it seems, but the main organisers are very young, apparently students between 14 and 20. This is Gen Z — (Pluto in Sagittarius 1995-2008)– the generation that has already given us Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, Joshua Wong and the kids from Parkland. Many of the American and French revolutionaries of the 18th century were born with Pluto in Sagittarius. Many of this generation have the added power of Uranus in Pisces/Neptune in Aquarius/Uranus in Aquarius. These are the true digital natives, and the Hong Kong rebels have used that expertise.
China has two choices: brutal suppression as it has done in Tibet and to the Uigurs, or negotiation. Is China about to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?
About 70% of foreign investment still comes through Hong Kong, and the amount of money flowing out of the mainland, through Hong Kong island and to the rest of the world is incalculably enormous.
It’s all in the optics. China cannot be seen to bow down to Hong Kong demands, especially since, on October 1, China will be celebrating the 70th birthday of the People’s Republic. China will want this cleared up by then. On the other hand, we are remembering the massacre in Tiananmen Square which took place exactly 30 years ago this month — not something that needs to be repeated across the world’s TV screens.
Having spent a very brief time in Hong Kong, I think one of the worries for the Chinese must be the flight of capital. Hong Kong is an outward-looking, international place. Just about everyone I spoke with had family in KL, Singapore, Vancouver, or Bangkok — not to mention New York, San Francisco and London. These international kinship networks could turn out to be extraordinarily useful to China in the 21st century — but not if the People’s Republic squashes Hong Kong. These are networks of trust — again Jupiter in Aquarius — something money and threats alone cannot guarantee.
But all that real estate being bought up by the Chinese takes money out of their economy and locks it away in the West. And most of that flows through Hong Kong. One assumes that party officials investing abroad use Hong Kong financial services, too. Hong Kong truly is Venus in Leo — a golden girl. But look, HK’s Venus is on China’s Descendant — beautiful, alluring, glamorous in Leo, and maybe the perfect partner.
There’s a lot more to see in these charts, but I want to cut to what’s happening now.
• The first thing to notice is that tr Jupiter has been stationing on China’s Mars — the military — and turned direct on August 11. Jupiter is still at 14° but will shortly begin to accelerate forwards across that ruthless natal Mars-Pluto conjunction. This looks quite scary, so it’s likely the situation may escalate further. What is more that Mars-Pluto makes a neat trine to Lilith and NN in Aries. That’s a moment when the gloves may come off.
• Transiting Saturn and Pluto are both making a tough square to HK’s own Saturn in feisty, brave Aries at 19°. How apposite for this young generation on the streets, who seem to be so old before their time. It’s a battle of wills, and Saturn in Capricorn has the advantage. Tr Pluto-Saturn look very tough to me.
These two are also opposing HK’s Juno at 19° Cancer — the original contract is being tested to its limits or even broken.
• People I’ve spoken to keep on talking about the civility and loving-kindness of the demonstrators, about how much people are caring for each other and the environment. I wondered about this — and then I progressed the HK chart. Progressed Moon is at 7° Pisces, the sign of sacrifice and universal love. The Moon in this kind of chart represents the people. Moon will stay in Pisces for the next two years, and entered Pisces seven months ago. There may be more sacrifice and suffering to come. In a few months, this Moon will make an exact conjunction to tr Lilith — the outcast, rebel — but already these two are walking in synch.
• Also by progression, HK’s ASC is at 3° Taurus, so Uranus is right on the ASC. The rebellion.
• By transit Saturn-Pluto have been going back and forth over China’s 12H Jupiter in Capricorn. These two will make their profoundly important conjunction at this degree of the Zodiac — 22° Capricorn — in January 2020. But we have already been in that zone for a while. This is the house of self-undoing, and the People’s Republic has had two notorious periods of self-harm: the Great Leap forward (1958-1960) during which some 18m people died, and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). It’s worth noting that Saturn was in Capricorn both for the Great Leap Forward and the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
• A full discussion of China’s chart is for another post. But, this is emphatically an 8th house chart: it’s about power and money. The Lunar nodes by transit have just squared China’s lunar nodes in that 8th house of shared resources and debt, and they will go on to square the whole Libran stellium. This summer is some kind of turning point in China’s financial cycle. The People’s Republic is Libra and what it seeks is harmony — ruthlessly.
The situation in Hong Kong is not going to be resolved over night. Both sides would be better off taking a long-term strategic view — and one thing that the young protestors say consistently is that they are fighting for their future, their deep future, to ensure that they retain their freedoms after 2047, when Hong Kong is due to be integrated with the rest of China. But they need to understand that they won’t be getting help from abroad. No one wants to make an enemy of the People’s Republic.
They have shown they have popular support, now they need a way for China to give them what they want but save face. The way forward may not be clear until December 2020, but right now there needs to be dialogue.
On the other hand, China needs to understand that Hong Kong’s freedoms and laws are beyond price. They should be the model for the rest of China — not the other way around. Instead of seeing Hong Kong as a problem, the Chinese government could see it as an experimental future city for the rest of China to follow. This is not in terms, say of technical innovations — which are already way ahead in other parts of China — but in terms of the mix of people from all over China and East Asia, the financial knowhow, the spirit of place and that most elusive, but important Dao concept: flow.
Break Hong Kong and all that powerful energy will dissipate across the globe. Hong Kong — and its special Dao — could vanish back into the wind and water, and become just another city in China.
That important conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn at 0° Aquarius in December 2020, which is potentially so beneficial for China, could also be good for Hong Kong. It takes place right on that remarkable opposition in the Hong Kong chart between Pallas in Aquarius and Venus in Leo (the golden child). Note that HK’s Pallas-Uranus conjunction rides on China’s Moon. The place disrupts China — and its identity (ASC). And China’s Uranus rides on the HK Sun.
If Hong Kong and China could face the future together, they could create a revolution that ripples across the globe. But right now, things look scary. It all really depends on China’s willingness to change — and maybe relinquish some small power in order to retain greater control.
Keep an eye on the Full Moon in September and the following week, when the square between Neptune and Jupiter becomes exact again. That could be when the dam breaks.