UK PM Boris Johnson issues Brexit ultimatum

(2 September 2019)  The long Brexit melodrama seems to have entered its final act.   Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued an ultimatum to rebel Tory members to either support him or face a snap election.  Faced with the precarious economic prospect of a no-deal Brexit, a group of Conservative Party members want to block Johnson's risky do-or-die approach to final negotiations with the EU.  If the EU rebuffs him and Johnson fails to secure a new deal, the UK will crash out of the EU on October 31 with nothing at all.  Most economists have predicted some fairly dire consequences for the UK if this worst-case scenario comes to pass.

The ongoing political uncertainty comes as no surprise to students of astrology.  As I wrote back in March, the planets looked very unhelpful for a quick or decisive resolution to the Brexit crisis under then-Prime Minister Theresa May.  Indeed, I suggested that things could intensify in September when Saturn was due to station exactly conjunct the Sun in the UK horoscope (1 January 1801; 00.00).  And with Ketu (South Lunar Node) also involved in the conjunction, there was the possibility of loss or disruption involving the sitting government.  While the Conservatives are still in power, Theresa May is gone and Johnson is now PM.  That's classic Saturn in action. 

Well, here we are in September with retrograde Saturn bearing down on that Sun (19 Sagittarius).  Saturn (now at 20 Sagittarius) is basically conjunct although it will station and reverse direction on 18 September.  The negative effects of Saturn are likely to manifest for a few weeks after the station and seem likely to make the month of October also tense and difficult for the UK. 

There are a few possible scenarios to consider.  Will the rebel Tories manage to block the no-deal Brexit option?  And will Johnson then carry out his threat for a a snap election?  And if there is an election, will Johnson's Conservatives win?  And finally, will there be a Brexit on October 31, deal or no-deal?

To be honest, there are too many moving parts here for me to even begin to answer all of these questions.  In my March post, I wondered if there would be an election in September given the extent of affliction to the UK's Sun.  Afflictions to the Sun in a national horoscope often coincide with the loss of power of a ruling party.  This isn't a hard and fast rule but I have observed it many times.  The resignation of Theresa May in July should be seen as a partial manifestation of this harsh Saturn influence.  But with Saturn still close at hand to the UK's Sun, PM Johnson is likely to remain under extreme stress in the coming weeks, even if he doesn't end up losing power, through an election or some other means (e.g. vote of non-confidence). 

The problem with the election scenario is that Johnson's personal horoscope (19 June 1964 2.00 p.m.) may not be sufficiently afflicted to correspond with a job loss.   Yes, Saturn and Ketu are sitting on his 4th house cusp squaring his Ascendant.  That is not a good placement at all.  It's pretty terrible actually.  And mid-September will see Sun, Venus and Mars aligning with that Saturn/Ketu on his Ascendant.  That will likely be a period of extreme stress and obstacles.   But is it enough for him to lose control of the government?  I don't know. 

One thing in his favour is that Jupiter (21 Scorpio) is opposite his Mercury (26 Taurus).  Mercury rules Virgo and Gemini which happen to be his 1st and 10th houses.  These are key houses for success and status.  Moreover, at the time of a proposed election on 14 October, Jupiter will be exactly opposite his Mercury at 26 Scorpio.  That's a very nice transit to have at a time of possible election since Jupiter generally acts in our favour.  So I'm less convinced that the Conservatives will lose an election in the coming weeks.  The Jupiter-Mercury configuration makes me wonder if Johnson will retain power and will end up with a no-deal Brexit. 

We can see the horoscope cast at the time of his appointment as PM by the Queen (24 July 2019; 3.40 p.m.) is heavily stressed at the end of October.  Mars (23 Virgo) will be square the Saturn-Ketu in that chart indicating intense conflict and frustration. 

The UK chart will also be quite tense as Mars conjoins natal Ketu (22 Virgo).  Also, as (bad) luck would have it, Mercury is due to turn retrograde on Brexit Day, 31 October, and will also be in a close square aspect with Saturn.  Mercury-Saturn aspects normally mark times of disappointment, confusion and broken communication.  This transit suggests that Brexit in whatever form it takes won't be smooth or orderly at all. 

It all adds up to several more weeks of conflict and uncertainty, even if the final outcome is less clear.  While I wouldn't be surprised if there was a snap election, I tend to think it won't happen, Saturn-to-Sun notwithstanding.  The UK chart is in rough shape to be sure, but the country is in rough shape now already.  It is hard to know how much worse it could get.  I think it is more likely that the 31 October date will still be decisive here, and my guess is it will probably signal a no-deal Brexit.  But I'll revisit this question if circumstances change and an election is called.

Weekly Market Forecast

Meanwhile, stocks generally rose last week as hopes for a US-China trade deal were rekindled once again.  While I thought markets would be choppy, the extent of the positive sentiment was a bit surprising given the potentially troublesome Sun-Mars conjunction.  Gold did come off its highs a bit, perhaps as a reflection of this affliction of the Sun by Mars.

This week has an elevated risk of some downside.  The main culprit is the triple conjunction of the Sun, Mars and Mercury which is exact on Tuesday and Wednesday.  This alignment is quite unusual and doesn't always coincide in declines but it does loosely align with the Saturn-Ketu conjunction so there is a somewhat greater risk of some downside this week.  The Venus-Neptune alignment on Wednesday could inject some optimism at some point, but the late week seems bearish. 

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