Prince Philip, consort of Queen Elizabeth for 73 years, died on Friday at a time of great upheaval in the monarchy. I have big plans for a series on the House of Windsor inspired by the Crown television show which I’m sure was not nearly as fascinating as the reality itself. We don’t have a reliable birth time for the Duke since he was born on a kitchen table in Corfu – his father made a note of 10 am, but the nanny apparently said the sun was setting (astro.com source notes). I do like the time of 10 am, because that means that Uranus, planet of sudden change, crossed his Midheaven at the time of his death which is an appropriate symbol for the Great Transition.
This is an important time for the Queen as well. Transiting Saturn (hardship) opposes her natal Moon, and transiting Pluto (transformation) conjoins her progressed Moon. At her birthday coming up in two weeks, the Solar Return Ascendant aligns exactly with the South Node of the past in her natal chart and the Solar Return Midheaven (life path) conjoins her natal Saturn (purpose). Has she completed her life’s work? It’s not unusual for partners who have been married as long as she has (73 years!!) to die soon after the death of a spouse, and the world is rapidly changing. The abdication of Prince Harry from the pressures of life in the royal family has exposed fissures which were previously only rumored, and it will be difficult to put things back together again.
There are many astrological charts that are used for England because England is part of a United Kingdom. In 1603, Ireland and Scotland were brought together in an attempt to form the first version of the UK although this wasn’t codified as the Kingdom of Great Britain until 1706 after a series of civil wars. The official date for the United Kingdom is 1801 when the union was codified by both England and (English-ruled) Ireland. The 1801 chart is most commonly used for the United Kingdom, and now some astrologers are using the Brexit date as the birth of a New Great Britain. However, for today I am using the 1066 William the Conqueror chart for the birth of England. This chart has 22 degrees Aries on the ascendant, the exact degree of our Aries New Moon on Sunday.
Any New Moon is a sign of new beginnings, but the New Moon in Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is a new beginning of a different kind. We have swept through the twelve archetypes of human experience over the past year and are beginning a new cycle under Aries. This New Moon (April 11 at 10:31 pm EDT/ April 12 2:30 am GMT) includes four planets in Aries plus Chiron and Ceres – a dramatic stellium marking an infusion of fire, motivation and inspiration. On top of all of this fire is a challenging square from Pluto which suggests the necessity for something which is no longer needed to break down so that something new can be built in its place.
The ruler of all of these Aries planets plus, most importantly, the New Moon, is Mars. Mars is the planet of fire and drive, motivation, action, courage, protection. It’s critical in human life that Mars be expressed in a healthy manner, and this weekend Mars is challenged in a difficult square aspect to Neptune, the planet that blurs the boundaries and encourages a softer approach to life. This can erode our confidence and bring out feelings of weakness. This Mars aspect would typically last only a day or two but because it is locked into the New Moon chart it becomes more potent.
The message of this New Moon is that in the midst of motivation and inspiration to begin anew, we must mind the lesson of Neptune and remember that there is a guiding force within us that is wiser and possesses greater awareness and perspective. Under Neptune’s guidance we sometimes have to let go of the reins and let the greater wisdom prevail.