Astrology isn't just good for figuring out whether or not you should smash someone: It's extremely useful for other subjects, too, such as figuring out what the hell is going on the world—a question many of us have been asking since Brexit.
Just like your own birth chart (which shows the placement of the planets at the time of your birth) describes potential life experiences and personality traits, the position of the planets during a world event can bring us understanding during confusing times.
The only thing that seems to be certain at this time is the new prime minister Theresa May—and astrologers have some juicy insight about her. "Her birth time is unknown," Bay Area astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo notes, "but we do know some things: She has Saturn at [the 29th degree of] Scorpio [conjuncting] her north node."
In plain English: The suckiest planet is in one of the most intense signs, right next to a point in her chart often associated with destiny. "She is all about restriction, order, and power—for herself, if not for all. Her chart indicates she's calculating and not adverse to back room deals."
May is a Libra, a sign known for diplomacy and justice; however, what's "right" is often subjective. "What comes through about Theresa is tremendous determination and readiness to fight for what she thinks is fair and just, which can be good or bad," observes Victor Olliver, a UK-based astrologer and editor of the Astrological Journal. "Her approach to getting her way won't be brutal but about persistence and practicalities, so she must hope she'll have enough time, because actually fast action is not her forte. You could say she is the snail who might win the race just because she didn't stop."
"She will see herself as the nation's 'savior,' but her main problem might be that she is seen as remote and cold, and after a while, as surprisingly dogmatic and somewhat detached," he adds. "Yet her chart is also highly compassionate and surprisingly open to soft liberal-socialist ideas, which could get her into trouble with the Brexit lot. It's a wonder that she's a Tory."
Time might not be on May's side—after all, the UK is now under pressure to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which would formally kickstart the process of leaving the EU. But what's next for Labour, now consumed by political chaos in the form of a leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn? Based on the political party's birth chart (or rather, its founding date of February 27, 1900), Olliver says the prognosis is "dire."
"The last time the chart looked like this was around the mid-to-late 80s when Tony Benn challenged [incumbent leader] Neil Kinnock. Benn lost, but it shook the leadership. The chart itself shows the immense power struggle—Saturn on Labour's Jupiter, approaching Uranus and a Pluto opposition—and I would say there is a very great risk of the party dividing."
When would this split happen? "I'd say September to November 2016 is a time of possible breakdown if people entrench their position. Corbyn is unusually stubborn, according to his chart," notes Olliver. "Though I've not looked at Angela Eagle's chart, the timing of her challenge is favorable for a popular vote (or for female empowerment) and going it alone. I would put my money on the party breaking up if someone does not stand down and compromise." (Update as of 20 July: The stars were not on Eagle's side—she stood down.)
The outlook for the rest of the country looks as complicated as Labour's astrological difficulties. To get a few hints, we compared its January 1, 1801 birth chart—the date of the first Parliament held after the formation of the UK—with what's currently happening in the sky.
The Midheaven founder and astrologer Amelia Quint sees reason to be optimistic: The planet of good fortune, Jupiter, will soon be sitting with the Uranus, the planet of innovation, and the ascendant (the sector of the chart that describes appearances) of the UK's birth chart. As a result of this, Quint notes, "It's possible that they'll strike a favorable deal on visa regulations, or pull off a surprising public relations transformation."
I do believe they are leaving—but not without a cost. It might come with a fracture to the UK's own unsteady union.
Jupiter enters Libra late this summer on September 9, where it will linger for about a year. But will jovial Jupiter and good PR be enough to save the day? US astrologer Sam Reynolds isn't so sure. "People think Jupiter in Libra will bring peace and harmony. Yeah, more like a peace that comes from the Tarot's two of swords," he says sarcastically. For you non-Tarot readers, this isn't great: The Two of Swords is a card that suggests the avoidance of problems, being afraid to act and repressing one's emotions—definitely not anything that will help a country that fears for its financial and political future.
"We're more likely to want to conserve than fully commit to change, at least for the first two-thirds of Jupiter's transit through Libra," Reynolds continues. "Maybe once Jupiter opposes Uranus in September of 2017, we'll reach a different boiling point. Perhaps that's when Britain will make clearer overtures of their exit from the European Union. But I do believe they are leaving—but not without a cost. It might come with a fracture to the UK's own unsteady union."
Those who voted to remain are hopeful that something—whether it's a parliamentary vote on Brexit or a second referendum—will scupper the UK waving goodbye to the EU for good. But don't hold your breath. "It will leave," Olliver agrees.
On the day of the referendum, the planet of change and revolution, Uranus, connected with the placement of Saturn, the planet of structure. According to Olliver, It's a "standard indicator that something is releasing itself from obligations, for keeps." But, he also notes, "Uranus' involvement makes the path ahead highly volatile, so it would not surprise me if the UK leaves the EU but in effect is only semi-detached, such as trading with the EU single market under special conditions."
The vote to leave took place when Saturn squared Neptune in the skies—the former governs rules and reality, while latter is all about dreams and illusions. Their collision creates anxiety and uncertainty. Nihilist beliefs, like "anything is better than what we have now," are easy to buy into when people are afraid of the future and insecure in the present. That's a dangerous road to go down—and it certainly didn't help that Mars, the planet of war, was retrograde at the time, rendering it impotent and angry.
Good news may be on the way, though, especially since that retrograde is now over. Historian of magic Alexander Cummins is hopeful: "Since Mars has come out of its retrogressive craziness, we will see people rallying to represent the more noble faculties of Mars: defending the oppressed and fighting for genuine social, political, and economic justice."
If you're concerned that the UK's stars will be messed up for years to come, you'll want to look at the day after Jupiter enters Libra on September 10, 2016, when the next and final exact square between Saturn and Neptune occurs. In astrological terms, squares mark key turning points for action—and since this upcoming one is the last in a 37-year cycle, it's sure to be revealing. Once that happens, we may have a better understanding of what Brexit means for the UK and how it will move forward. Until then, your guess is as good as any political commentator's.