Not the Monthly Post

An Astrological Interlude: Brexit

The noise and bustle generated by the ongoing three-ring circus of US politics in the era of Trump can make it hard sometimes to notice that performances just as colorful, and sometimes as absurd, are under way in other countries as well. One example that’s been on my mind of late is Brexit: the impending departure of Great Britain from the European Union, which—whether or not a deal is signed between London and Brussels—will occur on March 29th of next year.

Various pundits and politicians are insisting at the top of their lungs that should Brexit happen without some kind of negotiated arrangement that more or less nullifies its effects, the results will be catastrophic. This sort of rhetoric isn’t new; all through the campaign leading up to the Brexit vote in 2016, the Remain faction made so much use of doleful predictions of this kind that headlines saying BREXIT WILL GIVE YOU CANCER and the like were all over British humor websites. Even so, the drumbeat of dire predictions has been constant enough that some of my British readers have asked me in worried tones if I can offer some insight into what’s likely to happen.

One traditional way to do this is to use mundane astrology—the branch of astrology that deals with the lives of nations. I’ve been doing that on this blog at intervals for a while now, with tolerably good results. The essential tool of classical mundane astrology is the ingress chart, a chart cast for the political capital of a nation for the moment of one of the solstices or equinoxes. The Aries ingress, which occurs at the spring equinox around March 21 each year, is the most important of the four ingresses, and since the 2019 Aries ingress will occur just a few days before Brexit, it’s the chart we need to assess.

Before we go on, it’s probably necessary to deal with one of the standard questions that people ask astrologers: why? Why do the positions of the planets relative to the 30° wedges of the ecliptic that astrologers call the zodiacal signs, and the position of these relative to another set of wedges of space, the mundane houses, which are calculated from the point of view of the observer, predict the future? Why do those 30° wedges have the effects they do, even though the stars that occupied those wedges in Babylonian times have moved on due to the precession of the equinoxes?  And why should the chart cast at the moment of the spring equinox of 2019 in London provide insight into how Britain will fare through Brexit?

There’s a simple answer to this, which is that nobody knows. Astrology didn’t come into being because somebody decided to cook up an elaborate theory about planetary influence. It came into being because people who watched the skies in various parts of the world in ancient times noticed that certain relationships among those little bright dots in the night sky provided reliable advance warning of certain events down here on Earth. Fast forward through five thousand years of observation, recordkeeping, and increasingly exact mathematics, and you’ve got today’s astrology. Just as Isaac Newton famously refused to speculate about why gravity works, and restricted himself to talking about how it worked, modern astrologers by and large frame no hypotheses as to why their art works; all we know is that it works.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the chart. Those of my readers who don’t know their way around an astrological chart will want to know that the inner circle is the notional earth; the outer circle with the numbers and squiggles on it is the notional heavens; the twelve compartments of the space between are the twelve houses, with the planets distributed in them. The horizontal lines marked 10° Scorpio 22’ and 10° Taurus 22’ mark the horizon; the one on the left marks the point of the ecliptic (the sun’s track against the heavens) that’s rising at the moment for which this chart is cast, and the one on the right marks the point that’s setting. The arrow pointing not quite straight up, ending at 25° Leo 16’, marks the point of the ecliptic furthest north of the celestial equator at that same moment. The point that’s rising is called, reasonably enough, the ascendant; the point that’s furthest north is called the midheaven. Keep these in mind.

In reading an ingress chart, the first thing you do is figure out how long the chart will be effective. That depends on the sign of the Zodiac on the ascendant. In this chart, it’s Scorpio, which is a fixed sign—all signs are either cardinal, fixed, or mutable—and that means the chart will be effective for an entire year. Why? Nobody knows. It just works that way.

Once that’s settled, you look for the Moon and the planet that rules the ascendant, which represent the ordinary people of the country, and the Sun and the planet that rules the midheaven, which represent the government. Those, their positions in the chart, and the aspects they make to other planets, give you an effective overview of what’s going to happen during the period when the ingress chart is effective.

The Moon in this ingress chart is in Virgo, in the eleventh house, and it’s troubled by three hostile aspects and strengthened by one beneficial aspect. Every planet has certain places in the zodiac where it’s strong, others where it’s weak, and still others where it receives no influence either way; Virgo gives the Moon a modest boost, and then only when the Sun is below the horizon, as it is in this chart. (The technical phrase here is that Virgo is the nocturnal triplicity of the Moon.)

All told, the ordinary people of Britain are in for a moderately rough ride over the course of the year—but it’s safe to say they’ll give as good as they get. The eleventh house is the house that rules Parliament; the Moon in the eleventh house, especially with one of the aspects we’ll be discussing shortly, predicts turmoil in Parliament, public disagreement among members of the Cabinet, probable changes in Cabinet personnel, and movements to increase the power of the voters over the political system.

The ascendant in this chart is in Scorpio, and that’s ruled by Mars. The red planet in many ways dominates this ingress chart; it’s in an angular house, which strengthens it, and it has a flurry of aspects relating it to other planets in the chart. In the seventh house, it predicts disputes and disagreements with other nations. Relations with other countries will be broken off, and the nation will lose friends abroad and be criticized harshly by foreign politicians.

If Mars was strong by sign and heavily afflicted by square aspects, there would be a real risk of war. Fortunately Mars is in his detriment in Taurus, thus weaker than usual, and so it’s safe to say the disputes will stop short of missiles and bombs. The only square aspect, furthermore, is with Venus in the fourth house; this is—I’m quoting directly from H.S. Green’s textbook on mundane astrology—“unfortunate for the exchequer, taxation, and financial questions affecting foreign relations.” That is to say, Mars in this chart is the planet of Brexit.

We can confirm this by certain traditional indicators. When Mars is in the seventh house, you can get some sense of the country or countries on the other side of the disagreement in two ways. First of all, each of the zodiacal signs represents a compass direction, with Aries standing for due east, Cancer for sue south, Libra for due west, and Capricorn for due north. Taurus stands for a direction somewhat south of due east. What’s south of due east from London? Why, Brussels, of course, and Europe more generally.

Second, each of the world’s nations is traditionally assigned to one of the signs of the zodiac. The United States, for example, is a Gemini nation; England is Aries; France is Leo, China is Libra, Russia Aquarius, and so on. When Mars is in the seventh house, the sign he’s in will be the sign of one of the nations with whom disputes can be expected. And Taurus? That’s the sign traditionally assigned to Ireland—and those of my readers who’ve been following the news know that the Irish government has been almost frantic in its demands that the border with Britain must be kept open at all costs. (There’s good reason for this, as Ireland’s wealthy classes have profited handsomely from the free trade and open borders mandated by the EU.)

Mars, as the ruler of the ascendant, is also one of the two significators of the common people; what’s more, it’s in trine aspect, the most favorable aspect, to the other significator of the common people, the Moon. This can be read in two ways, and both of them are most likely valid. The first is that, while large swaths of Britain’s privileged classes are aghast at the prospect of Brexit—what about our holidays in Spain? What about our Jeremy’s prospects for attending a German university?—by and large, the English masses are in favor of it. The second is that they are right to do so, as Britain’s departure from the EU will by and large benefit the ordinary working class Briton. The logic here is simply a matter of supply and demand:  by increasing the labor supply and the population, schemes for free trade and the free movement of laborers drive down wages and working conditions, and drive up joblessness and rents.

What’s more, these effects aren’t accidental; they’re the main reasons—the actual reasons, that is, not the ones bandied about by the media and the pundits for mass consumption—why free trade and open borders are pushed so enthusiastically by the well-to-do. In computer-geek jargon, the mass unemployment, stagnant job market, and soaring rents that have driven so many working class Britons into destitution and misery since Thatcher’s time aren’t bugs, they’re features, meant to increase the wealth of those who benefit from lower labor costs and higher real estate values. In turn, the outcome of the Brexit vote and the resurgence of traditional socialism within the Labour Party are part of the blowback from those policies.

Notice, by the way, that the Moon is all by herself in one half of the chart—the half that extends from the eighth to the first house—and that all the other planets form an arc that fills the other half of the chart. That arrangement of planets shows that the people are on one side of the issues dominating this chart, and all the institutions of British public life are on the other side. Since the Moon is elevated (i.e., closer to the midheaven) than the other planets, and increasing in light (i.e., in the half of her cycle before her opposition to the Sun), it’s a safe bet that the people are going to win this one.

Now let’s look at the other side of the equation. The Sun and the planet ruling the midheaven, as already noted, stand for the government, and since the midheaven is in Leo, which is ruled by the Sun, it’s the same in either case. The Sun is in Aries in the fifth house; since the Sun is always in Aries in an Aries ingress chart, we can disregard that, but the fifth house is important. In a mundane chart, this is the house of the leisured classes. In that house, and in a hard opposition to the Moon, the Sun shows that the government during the period of this ingress will be seen as solely concerned with the interests of the privileged classes and opposed to the interests of the common people.

That’s a dangerous place for a government to be in a society where governments have to rely from time to time on the will of the voters. I don’t see any sign that there will be a general election called during the year covered by this chart, but there could well be a change of prime ministers; there will certainly be turmoil in the Cabinet; and if there’s a bye-election, the govenrment will not be happy with the results. We’ll have to wait for another chart to see how the election works out, but unless the Tories suffer a sudden, serious attack of basic common sense, the outlook from this chart is not in their favor.

Let’s move on to the other planets. The most important of these and, I suspect, the most startling to my readers, is Jupiter in the second house. He’s in Sagittarius, thus very strong—Sagittarius is both ruled by Jupiter and Jupiter’s night triplicity—and though he’s afflicted by squares with the Moon and Mercury and an inconjunct aspect with Mars, he’s strengthened by a sextile aspect from Venus conjunct the fourth house cusp. In mundane astrology, a strong Jupiter in the second house has a clear and straightforward meaning; it predicts a significant economic boom.

Yes, I know, that’s not what the pundits are predicting, but the pundits’ other predictions haven’t exactly stood the test of time very well, have they? The economic logic we’ve already discussed explains the coming boom readily enough. A modern economy depends on consumer expenditures for prosperity. When most consumers don’t have enough money to meet the ordinary requirements of life, much less the occasional luxury, the economy falters.

What’s more, you can’t balance this out by handouts to the already comfortable, because the rich are by and large much less efficient consumers than the working classes and the poor.  If you give a rich man a million pounds, he’s probably going to squirrel it away in an investment offshore, where it does no good to anyone.  If you give ten thousand working class families a hundred pounds each,  on the other hand, you know as well as I do that they’re going to spend it, and since their expenditures are someone else’s income, the whole economy benefits.

That’s the howling logical fallacy at the heart of the austerity policies so dear to neoliberal economists and the kleptocratic rich.  As Henry Ford pointed out a very long time ago, the prosperity of the whole economy depends on the prosperity of the working classes. Policies that beggar the working classes for the temporary enrichment of the privileged thus always turn out to be a bad idea in the end.

So the end of EU policies that permit foreign workers to flood British labor markets, and foreign products to do the same thing in British shops, will bring about a significant improvement in the British economy. This doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing. Jupiter square the Moon predicts financial scandals and extravagance, which will put a sharper edge on the backlash from the public. Jupiter square Mercury means that overseas travel and foreign trade will be disrupted.

This and Jupiter inconjunct Mars also predict that scandals relating to religion will be much in the news, though it doesn’t say which religion or religions will be affected. A big juicy scandal in the Church of England? A bunch of mosques caught red-handed spreading jihadi propaganda? We’ll just have to wait and see. Jupiter sextile Venus on the fourth house cusp, on the other hand, predicts a good year for agriculture, though it also warns of heavy rains during the year.

Let’s move on. Saturn in his own sign of Capricorn in the third house, trine Mars and sextile Mercury, shows that transport and communications (ruled by the third house) won’t be anything like as badly affected by Brexit as the pundits currently insist. There will be extensive delays and bureaucratic snafus, to be sure, but Saturn is a stabilizing influence, and things will sort themselves out in due time.

Mercury and Neptune conjunct in Pisces, the sign Neptune rules, in the fourth house makes for interesting times in the media. Mercury is retrograde, which weakens him, and in Pisces, the sign of his fall, which weakens him far more drastically; he and Neptune are both applying to the conjunction (Mercury backing up, Neptune moving forward) so Neptune’s powers of confusion, delusion, frantic excitement and mental vagueness will be exercised to the full in the British media in the year ahead.

As Brexit nears, expect a torrent of scare stories from pundits who have convinced themselves that Britain’s departure from the EU means the end of the world, aided and abetted by European officials who still haven’t reconciled themselves to losing one of their nascent empire’s richest provinces. Once Brexit happens and life goes on, expect things to get even weirder. Some of my readers may be old enough, as I am, to remember the very public nervous breakdowns suffered by arch-conservative newspaper columnists such as George Will when the collapse of the Soviet Union robbed them of the enemy around which they’d built their entire public lives. I expect to see more of the same thing this time, with columnists in the Guardian and the Independent solemnly announcing that as a result of Brexit, Britain will shortly sink into the Atlantic or be invaded by an all-conquering army of rabid Australian sheep.

Uranus, finally, is over there by himself in the sixth house, at the very beginning of Taurus. The sixth house in mundane astrology governs public health, and also work conditions and the status of employees. Uranus in Taurus in that house warns of a potential epidemic affecting the neck and throat, which are ruled by Taurus; since he’s inconjunct the Moon and semisquare Neptune, this position also warns of labor unrest and the threat of strikes.

All in all, it’s going to be a lively time, and the British political scene will be shaken good and hard by it. All things considered, though, a great many Britons will be better off once the dust settles and Britain resumes its normal state of wary isolation from Europe’s vagaries and closer ties to its former colonies than to its immediate neighbors. How long it will take the privileged classes and the media to come to terms with that reality is another matter—but the privileged classes and the meida are less important than they imagine, and Brexit is among other things a cogent demonstration of that fact.


  1. This is not directly related to Brexit, but given the importance of the Ireland question there is a connection. Do you think that the weakening influence of the Catholic Church in Ireland may eventually open the way for unification?

  2. John–

    I don’t know to what degree this chart would address this issue, but I’ve often used Britain as an example of a dissolving empire: the loss of its extended colonies, the loss of its nearer “provinces” (Ireland, for example), then the weakening of its core (a semi-autonomous Scotland, for example). One wonders where Wales, Cornwall, and the like begin to fit into the mix.

    Anyway, I’m wondering if there is anything that might speak to the internal relations among the various constituent parts of Great Britain or the United Kingdom. I realize these are technically different things, but being a Yank, I’m less up on the specifics. (If I recall correctly, the UK includes GB, NI, Scotland, while Great Britain itself is England, Wales, Cornwall, etc.?)

    My interest is not only in the fate of GB itself, but also as an indicator of how our core on this side of the pond may similarly fragment under similar stresses.

  3. Dear JMG. Thank you for this analysis. One question I have is does the chart suggest either, what the British media describe as, a ‘hard Brexit’ or a ‘Soft Brexit’? Is the UK likely to crash out of the EU with no deal next March or will some sort of mutually face-saving compromise be reached? Due to how Brexit has so polarised the UK population I can imagine much of what you predict happening under either option.

  4. Queen Liz still seems to be in good health, but she’s also somewhat elderly now – and therefore unlikely to remain with us for more than a couple more years. What happens now when her progeny is called upon to step up in her place? Sixty-someodd years ago when she took over from her dad, political correctness wasn’t the issue it is today – so it didn’t matter to anyone that she had to accuse His Holiness The Pope of being an idolatrous devil-worshipping heretic apostate from Our Lord’s Truth, etc., etc. As sovereign head of the Church of England, she was expected to say exactly that – and it was considered normal decent rhetoric. But the law that forbids the Archbishop from crowning the new monarch before such a statement is uttered is still enforceable… Could this be the religious scandal we’re in for?

  5. From my Perch here in the U.S. it seems as though the elites in Britain have lost their minds with regards to the Brexit Preparations. There are many examples of this but one that seems most insane is their maniacal gyrations with regard to Russia. Instead of kicking sand in Putins face with the bizzare Skirple affair you would think that they would cozy up to Russia as a hedge against their Brexit Rift with the EU. Energy, food and investments in Londons financial casino could be shored up by building ties with Russia instead of fighting with them at the same time as the EU. My guess is that their position as the junior partner in the U.S. empire is too hard wired in to their psyche’s to shake, though now would be a wise time to do so.

  6. Rita, between that and the UK government’s clumsy handling of Brexit, it’s a real possibility. I certainly hope to see that happen in my lifetime.

    David, that’s not shown in this chart. It would require some careful study of the foundation chart of the United Kingdom, working through primary or secondary directions to get a sense of what happens over the decades ahead.

    Mr. O, I’d expect to see an agreement indicated by an aspect connecting the Sun, the significator of the UK government, with Venus, the ruler of the seventh house and thus the significator of the EU. Since no such aspect exists, it doesn’t look like an agreement will be in place, or if an agreement is reached it may not be worth much (and may not be followed). I’d have to study the ingress charts for the second half of this astrological year (the Libra ingress in September and the Capricorn ingress in December) to be sure, but my impression is that it’s going to be a hard Brexit — not least because the EU, in its inimitable fashion, continues to act as though the only possible compromise is one that gives it everything it wants.

    Steve, hmm! Yes, I suppose that would do it. I wonder if Parliament would be willing to tone that down, or not…

    Clay, I ain’t arguing. The Monty Python sketch about the Upper Class Twit of the Year award seems even more on target than usual, when I look at the current government of the UK…

  7. I foresee Great Britain, itself, disassembling into its components: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. What scares me more, is the possibility that England might then become a Republic, with the “British Royal Family” fleeing, with all their money, to either Canada or Australia or New Zealand.

  8. Well it’s a bit of a stretch, but the current leader of Labour – Jeremy Corbyn – is much beset by tales of anti-semitism. Stories about senior and famous Labour members have been circulating for years but it has reached new heights recently and shows no signs of diminishing. This is a sectarian rather than religious scandal but there’s clearly a link.

  9. With regards to mars, does whether the planet is near its closest, or near its furthest difference from earth make any difference in its astrological effects? I’m wondering since it is so close in astronomical terms, plus it has such a great difference in brightness depending on its distance. I’ve been watching it grow, then begin to shrink in the night sky over the past few months, and it has been really interesting. Now, if it only hadn’t been covered by dust storms, I might have seen the polar caps, but that was not to be.

    Has anyone seriously tried to find a basis for astrology? I take it from your comments that if there have been attempts, they’ve come up empty.

  10. John,

    Does the chart suggest how the citizens of other EU countries living in Britain will fare? I am one of them myself, and in theory the UK government promised that we will be able to stay provided that we meet certain criteria which I exceed by a comfortable margin. But would they keep that promise?

    Fortunately, judging by my British neighbors’ attitudes, there will be no mobs with pitchforks trying to chase us out of the country. And I live in a working class part of a northern city populated mostly by the native British, who of course were supposed to be the xenophobic ones.

    Migrant Worker

  11. Thanks for this, JMG. It does accord with my own sense of what is going to happen. I think a lot of the more prominent Remainers are going to lose it quite spectacularly.

    Watching Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) and Brexit Anxiety Disorder (BAD), I’m reminded of the old saw that “those whom the Gods want to destroy, they first drive mad.” It has occurred to me that liberals have been insulting and denigrating the gods (especially the Abrahamic gods) for a long time now, and I do wonder if the deities have all got together to give them a good thrashing. It’s also the case that the liberals have no god to come to their aid, so it’s not as though they would have any useful defence against such an event.

  12. Hi John

    Fascinating post.

    I have been predicting that the most likely outcome would be a UK-EU deal based on May’s Chequers plan, a semi-soft Brexit, by the end of the year.

    This is based on the assumption that the EU would follow their own economic self-interest and compromise with the UK on the deal to avoid the disruption to trade and political relations that a hard Brexit would follow.

    Your post has thrown that tentative assumption of mine into disarray!

    As you rightly point out, the EU don’t have a great record of compromising in their own self-interest. A good example is their total contempt for the then UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempt to reshape Britain’s relationship with the EU. If the EU had agreed to Britain regaining control over our borders I’m fairly certain that the UK would have voted to remain in the EU.

    Another good example is the contempt shown by the bulk of European leaders at the repeated pleas by American presidents to increase their defense spending over the decades. Even after President Trump threatened to withdraw from NATO, European leaders STILL refuse to increase their defense spending! I wrote about this in my FI blog recently…

    I think next month will be key. The EU national leaders will be meeting to discuss May’s proposals and whether they will authorise the Commission to progress with talks based on her proposals. If they reject her proposals we will be heading towards a hard Brexit.

  13. I’ve been watching the Brexit affair from across the Atlantic with a good deal of interest and some worry, not least because almost all of my relatives are in Britain. The whole Brexit affair looks from my point of view like an incredible example of bungled execution. I get the impression a lot of the people charged with carrying it out want it to get called off, or failing that, to cause as much disruption as possible so that they can tell those who wanted it ‘I told you so’. It is also true that Brussels’ attitude isn’t helping the attempt to remove Britain from the EU in an orderly manner. I get the impression that some of those in power there want to make an example of Britain to deter other countries from leaving. And that to that end, they want Brexit to occur in a way that causes maximum disruption and discomfort to those in Britain.

    Regarding the media, there’s a good deal of talk about more recent polls that suggest Brexit has lost a good deal of support. The Brexit vote was very close, and it would not take huge numbers of people changing their minds to give a different result. Given that polls before Brexit didn’t expect Brexit to succeed, I’m not sure how much credence to give these new polls. It is plausible that the bungling and ill-will surrounding the execution of Brexit are making some of the people who wanted it regret their decision, but short of actually holding another referendum, I don’t think we can know for sure. Of course, that is what the pollsters and the media reporting said polls are asking for. The die looks like it is cast at this point, so I don’t think they’re going to get what they want.

    As for what Brexit brings Britain, I guess we’ll all find out, won’t we?

  14. Hello Mr. Archdruid

    I normally like Naked Capitalism but on the topics of Brexit they seem convinced there will be food shortages. I ran into some pro-Brexit folks at a trade show and all the issues Yves Smith is freaking out about are benefits to them. Things like SW1 losing as finance jobs are transferred to Frankfurt are a feature not a bug of Brexit. No one from SW1 cared when Newcastle lost their industry, so SW1 should not expect any help or sympathy.

    You did not mention Tommy Robinson which is the big elephant in the room politically. Just when you thought the Republicans and Democrats can sink no lower look to the Labour and Conservative parties in the UK for a new definition of vile. One big advantage the pro-Brexit forces have is they are down and are willing to take casualties. The Snowflakes in SW1 seem to only want casualties when the casualty is young man from say Newcastle fighting a foreign war on behalf of the City. Someone like Tommy Robinson would make a great Labour leader and would take Labour back to their roots. Instead Corbyn is shown to be a gutless coward, unable to take advantage of the pathetic Conservative leadership.

    More importantly what does astrology tell us about Football this year? Will United fire Mourinho or will he turn it around before the sack? Will City walk away with the title or will it be a two horse race with Liverpool? While you might not take this seriously the whole Premier League dynamics and structure are a fascinating example of what is wrong with the UK today. While Brexit kill the PL or make it stronger?

  15. Dear Mr Greer

    Sorry that this is so long.

    Interesting post. I have to admit that all this astrological stuff is a foreign language to me. I have enough trouble getting my mind around the Kabala so I think I’ll leave astrology to another life. The predictions you make are quite close to what I think is the likely outcome of Brexit. The basic dynamic at work in this country is the the majority of people want to leave the EU while most of the establishment want to stay. It is a classic case of the irresistible force meeting an object that doesn’t want to move and if the establishment don’t move they are going to be dragged.

    The problem for the establishment is that they think that all you have to do to persuade people to change their mind on Brexit is to show that the leaving the EU is going to damage us economically. They seem to think that all human decisions are based on economics. There are two flaws with this approach.

    The first one that you have already mentioned is that their predictions of a recession and emergency budget if we voted for Brexit turned out to be false.

    The second one is that many people voted Brexit over issues that had nothing to do with economics. I was sure that there is a good possibility that we could take an economic hit and be worse off by leaving the EU. However I went ahead and voted Brexit because I didn’t want to be ruled by people who I couldn’t kick out every 5 years. I was afraid that if we stayed in the EU our democracy would be undermined, because more and more of our laws would be made by an unelected EU commission. I have read enough Toynbee to know that this would lead to alienation between the internal proletariat and the dominant minority that plays such a fundamental role is undermining whole societies and civilisations. To my mind that is a prize well worth taking an economic hit for.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know there is a lot wrong with our democratic system, but I would point out that if it wasn’t for our ability to kick our rulers out every 5 years, we wouldn’t have an NHS, a welfare state and a lot of other things that help to make life bearable. I remember saying to someone once that if we stay in the EU we are going to be ruled by a bunch of rich, globalist, neoliberal scumbags and if we leave the EU we will still be ruled by a bunch of rich globalist, neoliberal scumbags. But if we leave we at least have the opportunity to kick the scumbags out.

    If you look at what has been happening onto European political scene since 2016 you can see that extream right wing parties are becoming more popular. If Europes elite want fascism then all they have to do is carry on alienating their internal proletariates and that is what they will get. As someone who is liberal this is the last thing I want to see.

    A word to any remainers out there. I know that Brexit was not a black and white issue and that there were good reasons for staying in the EU. If the referendum had happened 10 years ago I might have voted to stay in. One of the reasons for setting up the EU was to preserve peace in Europe and that was something that really gave me pause for thought when contemplating voting leave. The thing that finally tipped me over was watching the Euro disaster, the way the Greek economy was eviscerated and the unwillingness of the EU to reform. It seemed to me that if you wanted fascism and war then these were the policies that would lead to it.

  16. > Is the UK likely to crash out of the EU with no deal next March or will some sort of mutually face-saving compromise be reached?

    Given the force and fierceness of the Bremain elites (in the UK and EU), there’s no way UK will crash out without a deal.

    This way, when Brexit doesn’t bring the end of the world, contrary to their prophecies, they will say “yeah, but that’s just because we closed a deal and kept these UK-EU arrangements in place”.

  17. Dear David by the Lake

    Interesting question. I would draw to your attention that relations between the internal parts of the United Kingdom have changed quite a bit in the last 25 years. Both Scotland and Wales now have devolved government and we had the independence referendum in Scotland in 2014. I don’t know whether Scotland will eventually become independent. Its not something I want to see. However that is something for the people of Scotland to decide. We’re a democracy and in a democracy you don’t always get what you want

  18. Migrant Worker,

    While it is probably true and even normal for a population to have a limit to its patience with large numbers of immigrants, I suspect that both here in the US and also in Europe, that the idea of the working classes’ racism or xenophobia are partly empty, manipulative rhetoric by the elites in control of the narrative and partly a projection of the elites’ own feelings.

  19. @ Jasmine

    Thank you. I wasn’t aware that Wales was also a semi-autonomous region. (My impression from state-side was that one of the deciding factors in the Scottish referendum was the willingness of the British government to grant substantially more regional authority to Scotland, but I could easily be mistaken on that.) In any event, the slow dissolution of a once-highly centralized governance is the thing that I am making note of — comparing the British Empire circa 1900 to the state of affairs today, for example. How will the trajectory of the US Empire parallel this? (Indeed, will it parallel at all?) If it does, what are the analogues; that is, what portion of the US “homeland” corresponds to England herself? (My first-thought estimate would be something along the lines of the original US states or perhaps even just the northeastern “power corridor” representing the “core,” with the remainder of the states being in some varying degree “close colonies” similar in status to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, etc.)

    The long-term unfolding is fascinating to watch and Brexit is one particularly exciting segment within that broader span. I do see the whole thing as something of a leading indicator of what may be in store for us over here.

  20. All very interesting. Thank you JMG for taking the trouble to devote this week’s blog to my country’s fate. And thanks to all the contributors so far.

    Over two years after the referendum I still haven’t recovered from the joyous shock of the result. It seemed like a political miracle. All the country’s institutions, and the media except for two of the newspapers, supported Remain. Most of the forces of Good did likewise, which taught me how far Good is over-rated. Sometimes it seemed that only bad people like me and Boris Johnson (and Donald Trump, for that matter) supported our right to self-government.

    In my Puddleglum-like moments I still wonder if the Remainers might yet win by some trick coinciding with a weary public unable to sustain its new-found patriotism and relapsing into that quisling torpor which is far more characteristic of the past fifty years. But even if that does happen, at least we’ll be left with the memory of hope.

    And maybe things are a lot brighter than that. Here’s an analogy with landscape heritage. For decades I’ve come across writings which bemoan the destruction of Britain’s countryside through over-development, destruction of hedgerows, Forestry Commission monocultural plantations, motorways, etc, etc… and yet a journey by car, bus or train always leaves me awed at the beauty around me. Perhaps there is just too much good around (real good – I’m not being sarcastic now) for the quislings to win.

    I also wonder if Brexit might have a salutary effect on the EU itself. Being part-Belgian, I am a Belgian patriot as well as a British one, and from my hobby of Italian I have a love of Italy… and all the nations of Europe, in fact, to me are like primary colours in the palette of the imagination. Would it not be great if the moronic one-size-fits-all EU mentality took a knock.

  21. I decided to take a look at how this looks from Brussels, the informal capital of the EU. Since the EU isn’t that far away, it doesn’t change the chart all that much, but it does make two highly significant changes.

    The Moon moves from the 11th house to the 10th house, and Saturn moves from the 3rd house to the 2nd house.

    Since I don’t usually do mundane astrology, I’m not certain what the 10th house means. If this was a natal chart I’d delineate it as the standing in the community, so this might mean a significant shift in the public’s standing within the EU. Or at least bring this into focus.

    Saturn is more interesting: it strongly suggests significant financial problems once Britain leaves the EU. This suggests that Britain leaving might be a net financial loss for the EU budget.

  22. Mr. Greer,

    What do you make of well heeled, pro-Brexit Tories like Jacob Rees-Mogg & co?

  23. JMG
    Yep, pretty much anything could happen.
    Though as you say major war for UK is unlikely. (We are involved of course to some degree with wars propagate at least initially by USA foreign policy. Some of these might resolve, others could get even nastier.) I would also rate civil unrest at home as unlikely. I rather expect trends in any one direction, economy, politics in the semi-devolved countries and Northern Ireland, and etc. to cancel one another out, i.e. to combine a mixture of ‘all-over-the-place’, and stasis. I guess UK will remain united by ‘fudge’ but mainly because nobody can do anything else. We remain of course within the orbit of the US and EU financial systems, and particularly if the US trips up, so do we. Financial ‘industry’ here is about 10% of our GDP, about the same as our manufacturing. But anything major in the next 12 months? Probably not.

    The creeps who run our present minority government could well be still in place – its been a Tory in-fight so far – Brussels has barely had a look-in – with Ulster Unionists propping up the parliamentary thing. ‘Austerity’? Can the creeps still sell it politically? Since 2010 it has been probably the most successful political lie that I have seen in my lifetime since I first became aware of these things when Sir Anthony Eden led us into the Suez debacle in the 50s.

    I agree with Phil K that the Guardian could go mad – in some ways it already has – and I have read the paper for well over 50 years, whatever that says about me. The paper is not reliable on EU/Brexit, Trump, Putin, Russia (and US foreign policy more generally), Israel, the Monarchy, or Jeremy Corbyn. The Economics Editor however is a bit more laid-back and tones down the trend in Brexit panic. The Gods though? Nothing so edifying, I’m afraid.

    Phil H

  24. Jasmine,

    I think it might better be stated as ‘In a democracy you don’t always get what you want; unless you have a LOT of money – and then it is not guaranteed!’ 🙂

  25. Hello JMG,
    It’s interesting you say that Taurus is the sign most associated with Ireland. The famous early Irish tale, the Táin Bo Culaigne is considered to be amongst the very oldest surviving narratives in western Europe. It is known as a ‘window into the Iron Age’ passed down orally for many centuries and then recorded by monks onto illuminated manuscripts in early Medieval times. It tells the story of a cattle raid – Queen Maeve of Connaght invades Ulster to steal a prize bull. The Ulstermen are laid low by an ancient curse and the province is defended single-handedly by the young semi-divine warrior Cú Chullain – the Hound of Ulster. Your recent posts made me think of archetypes and old gods and how they form and influence the development of our nations. The symbol of the bull is strong here, and that’s why I was surprised to read your comments about Taurus representing Ireland astrologically.
    During the 20th century the figure of Cú Chullain was used in Ireland as a symbol of nationhood and the Republican struggle against British imperialism. The rebels of 1916 in their magical act known as the Easter Rising summoned him, and a statue stands in the GPO in Dublin (HQ of the rebels) showing the warrior at his death, on his feet and strapped to a standing stone. He is mortally wounded and the war goddess Badb in the form of a raven picks at him. This is a potent symbol and has been used more recently by both republican and loyalist paramilitry groups during the ‘Troubles’ – by republicans to symbolise unrelenting struggle and sacrifice; by loyalists to represent the defense of Ulster against ‘Irish’ aggression. An example if there ever was of the currents of war unleashed on a national psyche by powerful archetypes deeply embedded in the soil.
    Now as we face this Brexit phase in history, old uncertainties rise again. The border between Ulster and the rest of Ireland gives cause for concern to many, not least the cattle farmers who trade their produce freely across it and benefit from EU farming subsidies. Most of the population of Northern Ireland voted against Brexit, as the influence of the EU and its funds has helped to end the Troubles and stablise life here. Scotland and Ireland have historically felt closer links to Europe than England has, and we were content to stay within the union.
    It will be interesting to see which aspects of the rich mythological heritage belonging to this land come to the fore in the time ahead. The Catholic Church’s hold wanes rapidly and into the vacuum surely older forms will enter. Hopefully they will be subtler and kinder than the Hound, the Bull and the Raven.

  26. Very interesting. In fact, I had picked up on nearly all the points you make in my own analysis, but I didn’t manage to turn it into anything like the flowing narrative you did.

    The governing but debilitated Mars in the 7th had been bothering me, but eventually I came to a similar conclusion as you, that there would be strong tensions with other nations stopping short of open hostilities.

    I certainly struggled with the well-aspected Jupiter in the 2nd, too, since I couldn’t see how there could be good short-term economic prospects for the UK following a (hard) Brexit.

    I also missed the neck and throat disease – are you sure it’s not actually an epidemic of foot in mouth? 😉

  27. JMG
    Post script for my previous comment. Some of the 3 million legal EU citizens living in UK will go home – there is a ‘churn rate’ anyway and no great change seen so far (September 2017; see below) with net immigration of EU citizens continuing. Some of the 300,000 UK ‘subjects’ living on their pensions on the Continent might come home. The 2.8 million Muslims in UK (2011 census) are of course here for keeps. A lot of people will continue to come and go.
    Quotes from Office for National Statistics (GB) for 2017
    “EU net migration continues to add to the UK population with around 100,000 more EU citizens coming to the UK than leaving.”
    “Underlying this, [a broadly stable pattern; the increases seen in 2015 and 2016, reverting to 2014 levels in 2017] immigration has remained broadly stable at around 630,000 and emigration has shown a gradual increase since 2015 and is currently around 350,000.”

    For American readers, multiply our numbers by 5 to get an idea of comparative proportion.

    Phil H

  28. I’m sure somebody else has already said it, but it is the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) that is leaving the EU, ****NOT**** Great Britain (which is the large island containing most of England, Wales and Scotland. This is not some minor detail, if you are paying attention!

  29. Twin Ruler, a great many English conservatives would love to see Wales and Scotland go their own way, as both nations tend to vote much further to the left than England itself does. They may get their wish, too. A republic, for that very reason, seems unlikely to me — republican sentiment is much stronger on the left than on the right. It’s quite possible that William V will be king of England rather than of the United Kingdom, and his son George won’t be Prince of Wales because Wales won’t have princes any more, but I’d put my money on the House of Windsor remaining on the throne for a long time to come.

    Andy, no question, that’s a possibility, though “antisemitism” seems like an extreme label for what looks to me like disagreement with the policies of the Israeli government.

    Pygmycory, no, the closeness or distance of Mars seems to have no effect on his astrological influence. As for finding a basis for astrology, there have been plenty of attempts, but nothing conclusive has come out of them — and of course getting funding for a serious research program on the subject isn’t exactly easy just now!

    Thesseli, thank you.

    Migrant Worker, that’s an excellent point, and one I should have included. Foreign nationals are indicated by the ruler of the seventh house, which in this case is Venus. She’s in Aquarius, where she has no particular strength, in the third house of communication and transport but conjunct the fourth house of land and real estate — appropriately for people who’ve come to stay in Britain from abroad! She’s square the Mars of Brexit but sextile the Jupiter of the economic boom. A lot of foreign nationals in Britain will likely leave, and some of those that stay will be adversely affected by Brexit, but the improvement in the economy will take the pressure off. My guess is that those who qualify to stay, as you do, will be fine.

    Phil K., you know, that might explain a thing or two!

    Forecastingintelligence, my take is that the EU leadership is far more interested in punishing Britain for voting for Brexit than it is in its own immediate economic interests. The thing Brussels has to fear more than anything else is that if Britain comes through Brexit in good shape, and especially if it’s seen to benefit as a result, other countries could head for the exit, and still others could start treating the threat of a referendum as a useful bargaining chip in their disputes with the EU. Thus I’ll predict that the EU leaders will either reject the Chequers plan outright, or accept it but with demands for alteration that will be politically unacceptable in Britain.

    Pygmycory, true enough! It’s a vast jungle of spin doctoring and handwaving out there, which is one reason I thought astrology might offer some clarity.

    A1, I don’t think there will be food shortages. Every nation outside the EU that exports food has got to be looking at the substantial British market and realizing that if the EU stops shipping food, that just means more business for American, Canadian, Australian, etc. farmers and food manufacturers. In fact, if I were in the food export business, I’d have salespeople over in Britain right now talking to the buyers at Sainsbury’s, Tesco, et al., offering US flour, sugar, potatoes, and so on, on credit, with really good terms and a 100% guarantee that their orders won’t be inconvenienced or delayed no matter how Brexit turns out. Since the UK ports that typically receive shipping from North America are on the other side of the country from the ports that trade with the EU, the problems being predicted won’t be an issue.

    As for football, er, sports bore me to tears, so I’ve never studied the astrology of sports and have no idea how to respond to your questions. Sorry!

    Jasmine, thank you for this. None of that surprises me. What may surprise you, once Brexit happens, is that there probably won’t be an economic hit at all. My guess, for what it’s worth, is that the British economy has been artificially depressed by the effects of EU membership, and a drop in rental prices, an upsurge in working class jobs, and the departure of a fair number of foreign nationals from the British workforce, seems likely to drive a lively little economic boom down at the grassroots — though you’ll be able to read every issue of the big papers and never, but never, hear it mentioned.

    Fkarian, for what it’s worth, I think you’re wrong, I think the EU won’t be willing to offer any terms that the British government can take, and a great many Remainers on both sides of the Channel are thinking mostly of punishing the British voters; thus they’ll take a hard Brexit, hoping that it will be a disaster and that Britain will come crawling back to the EU. If this reading is anything to go by, they’re in for a shock…

    Robert, it’s precisely the individual national and regional character of the nations of Europe, and the world more generally, that to my mind offers the most hope for a constructive response to the crisis of our age. The one-size-fits-all mentality of the EU, and of the managerial aristocracy across the developed world, simply does not work. That’s why I poured a glass of whiskey and raised it in salute to the British voters when Brexit passed; we need a diversity of ideas, approaches, and ways of living in the world, not the faux-diversity of the establishment, in which people of every nation and ethnicity are welcome so long as they think and act exactly the way they’re told.

  30. Hey, this thread is bringing all the Brits on Ecosophia out of cover and posting!

    @philsharris – not sure if you saw my comment a couple of weeks ago saying I tried to email you a couple of times (from my Gmail account) re proposed meetup of Ecosophia readers in London but the email bounced 2-3 times saying “no such account exists” at yahoo uk?

    I wanted to write something because my quick read through suggests I’m probably the only Brit here who voted to Remain. Also I suspect I’m one of the younger posters here (just under 40, so not “young”, just a little “younger”). I should also add that I’m very much one of the “salary class” that benefit from the EU integration with the UK etc and live in one of the Central London areas which went overwhelmingly for Remain.

    Having said all that, the main reason I voted Remain is that I just didn’t see any coherent alternative or vision for Leave. I’m actually no particular fan of the EU and while I think it has made substantive positive contributions (the longest continuous period of peace in Europe in a thousand years – actually I think in recorded history), I think it has significant flaws and many of the criticisms (the empire building, the continuous push towards a unified state, the lack of democracy etc) are completely justified. But what was the alternative?

    The only coherent Leave vision I’ve seen is the basis articulated by JMG here and in previous posts and that may have persuaded me to vote Leave but I read that later (and I seem to recall listening to JMG on a podcast just before the Brexit vote where he said Nigel Farage would end up as Prime Minister if the vote went Remain).

    But at the time we had a bunch of clowns in the Leave campaign mouthing empty slogans, fear-mongering about immigrants, promising us the moon on a stick (£350m more per week for the NHS – yeah right) and generally appealing (successfully as it turned out) to a nostalgia about Britain As It Used To Be. I knew the EU had flaws, but the Leave campaign just screamed “snake oil salesmen” and the lack of any kind of coherent alternative presented (other than rosy promises and slogans) was what made me personally vote Remain.

    Now if someone had presented a coherent vision and plan for Leave, based on a sound argument (like JMG’s reasoning), I may well have voted Leave, but then we come to the second issue: the current crop of politicians in the UK are incompetent overpromoted clowns on an epic scale (across all parties although we are mostly seeing the Tories’ incompetence and factionalism right now).

    Once we voted Leave, an actually competent politician (Thatcher, or Blair, for example from different sides of the political aisle) could have made it work and steered the country through a successful negotiation with the EU and got a decent deal. But May is so far out of her depth she can’t even see the sunlight above her head – and if that’s the calibre of politician we have, it’s better to stay with the status quo)

  31. Venus = foreign nationals. Any connection with the Greek term “Aphrodite the Stranger?”

    What you said about the reaction of the media brought up Alfred Bester’s infamous (and ineradicable) earworm in The Demolished Man: “Tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun.”

    Yes, am curious about the signs of Australia, Scotland, and Canada, which Brexit might affect one way or the other.

  32. Dear JMG, many thanks for this! I wonder whether there would be much difference if the chart was cast from the point of view of Scotland (Edinburgh). I know next to nothing about astrology but, as a Spaniard who has lived and worked in Scotland for over 15 years, I know there are many differences between Scotland and its southern neighbour. Beside historic, cultural and legal differences, a sizeable majority (62%) of the people of Scotland (including the working class) voted to remain in the EU. Although the 2014 Independence Referendum was lost, the margins weren’t as wide as in the Brexit vote (44.7% for independence from UK as opposed to 38% for independence from EU). The prospect of another Scottish independence referendum happening sooner than later is pretty possible, and was wondering whether astrology could cast some light on its potential outcome.
    Also, regarding the effect of immigrants on the economy, may I speak as one? Like every other immigrant I know (and I don’t know many since most of my co-workers are or have been Scots or British) I get paid exactly the same as a Scots/UK citizen and pay the same state contributions so I don’t understand how we can drive wages down… (all European citizens are legal emigrants) It’s true that employment is not necessarily buoyant but Scotland is in a different position than England with low demographics making the country more receptive to foreign workers. Also it seems to me that technology and its robots are more dangerous to employment opportunities than human beings from abroad (jobs in many sectors are being replaced by more ‘efficient’ – and cheaper – machines or software).
    As a European citizen living in Scotland, I was granted a vote in the Scottish Independence referendum by the Scottish Government but denied a vote about my future in the country by the British government (Brexit referendum). England and Wales have decided to leave the EU, I only hope that sooner rather than later Scotland could also be in a position to decide its own future and as for Ireland, re-unification sound a logical outcome, albeit not an easy one, for sure.
    Sorry for the rant!

  33. Nobody who understands the logistics thinks that other countries won’t want to trade with Britain after Brexit. The concern over food shortages relates to the period immediately after Brexit, if there are no trade agreements in place: goods have to move according to the rules of trade agreements and the tariffs set out in them. Just in time supply chain arrangements and other infrastructure aren’t set up for the longer customs processing periods involved, as they have had too short a time to prepare properly. There would be very large penalties mandated under WTO regs for any country that decided just to ignore the WTO tariff arrangements and wave everything through to speed it up. In the longer term, the higher tariffs on imported goods will make quite a lot of food more expensive.

    A great deal of international cargo shipping takes goods to Rotterdam, and from Rotterdam it is divided into smaller loads and imported to individual countries because this is more cost effective. Dover and other ports in the SE take a greater proportion of goods imported to the UK than used to be the case in the past. Ports on the west coast may have better prospects after Brexit, but they are not currently the major players they were decades ago.

    Wales does not have the appetite for independence Scotland has. Its language community is stronger, but support for Welsh independence as seen in polls and votes for Plaid Cymru is nothing like it is in Scotland. Scottish independence or Irish reunification have support from significant parts of the areas’ electorates, but an independent Wales is much less likely.

  34. @Twin Ruler,
    I can certainly see Canada accepting the royal family. If any nation right now is, in the words of Wm. F Buckley, “standing athwart history, yelling ‘Stop'”, it is Canada…

  35. this bit…
    Uranus in Taurus in that house warns of a potential epidemic affecting the neck and throat
    …made me wonder immediately about an affliction of speech or ability to express or, perhaps, an affliction of the mechanisms by which the citizens’ thoughts are made public. this is a longstanding/perennial issue, to my mind, but perhaps the stars thought it worth an extra mention at this point – perhaps the force or mechanisms affecting ordinary citizens’ ability to express meaningfully (pro or con Brexit, or whatever, really) will undergo a transformation to the citizens’ detriment. anyway, it is always possible that health of the neck means health of the neck, and Britons should brace for an outbreak of strep.
    thanks much for the mundane astrology post – they are always thought provoking 🙂

  36. pygmycory – For what little it’s worth, here’s my rationalization of astrology. First, the sun-signs stuff that we see in the newspaper (not at all like this essay): I think it’s entirely plausible that babies born in different seasons tend to have persistent differences in outlook and temperment, based on seasonal variations in food resources (before and after birth), and the outdoor environment in which they go through developmental milestones. Turning two years old at the beach is a different life experience than turning two by January’s hearth.

    On a longer time scale, no one objects to grouping our population into “generations”: baby boomers, millenials, etc. It would be easy (for a competent astrologer) to relabel those groups in accordance with the positions of the outer planets; the “Neptune in Pisces” generation, for example.

    As for this week’s essay, this form of analysis may “work” because it provides a structure for considering many different aspects of the problem, in a way that forces the astrologer to pick his way patiently through the charts while his subconscious mind is churning furiously through the data. When I have a great flash of insight in the shower, it’s not because the warm flowing water gives me new information, but because my conscious mind is distracted enough that the subconscious can make creative connections.

    Now, one might be tempted to say “if that’s all it is, then we can dispense with all of that stars and planets stuff, and get right down to the task more efficiently”, but that would entirely miss my point. We NEED the structure and the time to get good results.

    Those who argue from a “scientific” perspective that the gravitational effects of non-Earth planets are totally insignificant, and therefore astrology can only be nonsense, are like looking at the world through a microscope, and missing both the forest and the trees.

  37. Hi JMG,
    I think it’s unfair of you to characterise modern politics as a circus.
    Circuses have ringmasters, acrobats, lion tamers, elephants, trained dogs and all sorts of variety.
    When all you have is clowns, it ain’t no circus…

  38. John, that makes a great deal of sense. You’re quite right that Saturn in the 2nd is a sign of economic contraction, though since Saturn participates in two favorable aspects, it won’t be severe. The Moon in the 10th, afflicted by the opposition to the Sun, predicts more political turmoil in the EU — I suspect the Sun opposition points to certain national heads of state in EU countries taking on an even more adversarial stance to the EU than now.

    J.L.Mc12, according to H.S. Green, it’s Sagittarius.

    Millennial, remember that the British upper classes are divided between the managerial classes and the old moneyed classes, and these do not necessarily share the same interest. Rees-Mogg seems to be positioning himself as the voice of the old moneyed classes, and since the managerial classes have made such prats of themselves of late, his chances of ending up leading the Tories are fairly high.

    Phil, that seems reasonable enough. The Guardian really does seem to have lost its last fingernail grip on the real world of late, hasn’t it?

    Daniel, hah! Thank you. The typo gods seem to have blessed me.

    James, yes, I’m familiar with the Tain, though only in translation. The association of Ireland with Taurus is found in the standard books on mundane astrology; whether the legends had anything to do with the attribution is an interesting question.

    Reloaded15, it’s hard to see anything that Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 2nd could mean other than significant economic improvement, so I’m going to stand by my prediction. (Sagittarius also suggests that foreign trade and/or investment will be heavily involved. As for the throat disease, sixth house is always the house of public health, a malefic there means an epidemic, and you can tell the body part most affected by the correspondence to the sign in which the malefic is located.

    Dave, history always repeats itself.

    Phil, my guess is that a fair number will go home, and that’s another factor that will drive up wages and thus benefit the working classes.

    Geoffdan, astrologically they’re the same thing, since they’re ruled by the same government from the same city. Still, so noted.

  39. I don’t claim to know what goes on in the mind of Corbyn, but he certainly seems very amicable towards avowed anti-semites and terrorists. Calling Hamas and Hezbollah friends/brothers, saying the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy, laying a wreath for the Munich terrorists… If it were just one instance I might rationalize it as a fluke, but there seems to be a repetitive pattern. With the UK already turning into a police state (at least in London), Corbyn vying for control of government is some seriously scary S-word.

  40. Patricia, definitely a keeper. Also ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision! As already noted, Australia is a Sagittarius country; Scotland is ruled by Cancer, and Canada isn’t listed in the books on mundane astrology I have. My guess, given what I know of Canada, is that it’s another Cancer nation.

    Manuel, since Scotland isn’t an independent nation, it doesn’t get its own mundane horoscope. As for immigration and wages, it’s a simple matter of supply and demand: if you increase the supply of any good (including labor) and the demand doesn’t rise accordingly, the result is downward pressure on costs — thus on wages. It doesn’t matter that you’re being paid the same wage as your Scots coworkers; if the labor pool was smaller, all other things being equal wages would be driven up by supply and demand.

    Antonomasia, of course — but food exporters in the US, Canada, et al. are already used to dealing with customs and the various delays involved, and they’d have to be idiots not to be preparing to expand their market share in a post-Brexit Britain. My guess is that extensive preparations are already under way.

    Jen, quite possibly, but one thing to remember is that astrological factors also express themselves in straightforward ways. To my mind, one of the flaws of many forms of modern astrology is precisely the tendency to go to complex psychological metaphors when, in fact, an epidemic of strep throat may be in the offing!

    Les, duly noted, and I apologize to the tightrope walkers and dancing bears. 😉

    Spice, remember that you can always use the words “frack” and “shale” as profanities here. Oh, and “borehole.”

  41. Guess I could’ve been more creative there. How about some seriously scary scabbeldigook?

  42. There are various different charts used for England, Britain, and the UK. For comparisons between England, and the UK that incorporates Scotland, the 1066 chart, with 1603 or especially 1707 would be common ones to use. I’ve read that others have seen some interesting interplay between these and Brexit.

    (I don’t set much store by astrology these days, but still look at mundane and political astrology a couple of times a year. It’s been interesting to see just now that the opinions about Brexit are more similar than predictions often are on different sites. A pugnacious mood and likelihood of hard Brexit seem to show up whether the blogger is for or against.)

  43. As someone who’s followed the Brexit situation for a while now from here in NZ, I’ll mull out a few thoughts.

    I was convinced by forecastingintelligence and his prediction of a semi soft brexit due to the EU seeing the need to compromise because of the size of Britain, though I’ll retract that if the EU are more interested in punishing Britain than in their own economic advantage. My prediction was, the whole thing might be difficult in the short term, though beneficial in the long run for the UK. That seems to be roughly what has happened and what the chart predicts.

    I also reckon Theresa May might cling to power until the UK leaves, then either step down or be forced out in a leadership coup. the Tories know she isn’t popular its just no one wants the stigma of being the leader who lead as the party bumbled though the negotiations. they could do worse the Ress Mogg, who doesn’t seem totally stupid (he might see the need to compromise on for example, renationalisation- even Thatcher was in favour of some state ownership of key assets!). The Tories will try and stay in government as long as they can, as they, and the British establishment know perfectly well that at this point in time another election will almost certainly land Jeremy Corbyn in No10 Downing street.

    As for Corbyn himself, I tend to see the media handwaving about him being a terrorist sympathiser, anti-semite etc as at worst a desperately blown out of proportion smear, based on cherry picking of things he said out of context. (who was it that said, “take six things any man says out of context and you’ve got enough evidence to get him hung!”) Still the thing is, even assuming he really is bad bad bad, the media being so obviously blatantly biased against him are destroying any credibility they have on him (or indeed on any subject matter)

    Finally two other quotes

    “a great many Britons will be better off once the dust settles and Britain resumes its normal state of wary isolation from Europe’s vagaries and closer ties to its former colonies than to its immediate neighbors”

    Exactly what I though would happen! this will good for New Zealand 🙂

    “but I’d put my money on the House of Windsor remaining on the throne for a long time to come.”

    Haven’t you seen ‘The Crown’ (oh of course you don’t watch television), they’re lapping this up!

  44. “The rabid sheep from New Zealand would, I think, be too polite to be world-conquering…”

    Ohhh I dunno, maybe not world conquering but as for ‘polite’ you clearly haven’t seen the 2007 film ‘Black Sheep’ have you…

  45. Regarding the potential economics of Brexit, I think that two cities that will come out of it particularly well are Glasgow and Liverpool, which were both ruined by the bulk of trade switching from the Atlantic to the European continent. I’m a bit sceptical about the “rift with Scotland” predictions largely because I suspect that Scotland might particularly economically benefit from Brexit, which is something that no-one has foreseen.

    As for Ireland, I think that Varadkar and Coveney have played Brexit very badly. This was an excellent moment for the Irish to play their cards close to their chests and await what developed, but instead they went in feet first. I think that they found themselves in a rare position where they could exert power and leverage over Britain, and simply couldn’t resist the opportunity of doing so. That’s understandable given Ireland’s history, but I think it will backfire on them quite severely.

  46. @BXN
    Glad to see you posting.
    Sorry I missed your attempts to get in touch and for duff email directions.
    I posted a better lightly disguised email address a week or so ago.
    See below.
    A meeting in London looks definitely on.
    No date as yet.
    There is a small gang of us and a private list for mutual comment if you want to join in.

    Hope this one works out
    philsharris2002 followed by usual at uk

    Phil H

  47. Dear John,
    Alas, since Scotland is not an independent nation it doesn’t get much at all! Nevermind, we just have to wait (not too long hopefully!) until it becomes one and we can then get a chart besides many more things! 😉
    Thanks again,

  48. JMG, as self-appointed PC Brigade (surely an warmly regarded occupation on this web page, I am sure), I’d just like to point out in case it was let through in error or lack of comprehension, that the word “Paki” as it was used in Chestnut’s comment above is widely regarded as a hurtful racist term, particularly by the people who it is intended to denote. I would move that, at least in the kind of casual usage it appeared in above, it be held to the same usage standards as other racial epithets.

    Beyond that, please carry on. A fascinating forecast and an excellent discussion so far.

    SpiceIsNice, even if you disagree with the man on matters of policy, are you being careful that you are not merely imbibing received wisdom on Corbyn? Although I have only read the details of these kinds of attacks on Jeremy Corbyn in the Guardian and Independent, which are the two UK newspapers I browse regularly online, it seemed to me that in each case, even uncritically accepting the reporting as factually correct, it has always been accompanied by gaps in the what is mentioned and what is not that make me suspect that they are smear attempts. I hadn’t heard about the Osama Bin Laden one yet, but as soon as I read it I thought to myself “is that taken out of context?” and looking it up on line, lo and behold it was. In fact I find that I quite agree with Corbyn’s assessment of the matter.

  49. Sometimes it is hard not get sucked up into the arrogant, loud vortex of American exceptionalism.

    For example, Americans believe their politicians are the most incompetent, corrupt, disgraceful sea turds to ever gerrymander their way into service of the American People. Calm down. I can assure you that Americans are not special. On behalf of the rest of both the western and non-western world, I hereby declare non-Americans are also equally capable of excreting equally disgraceful politicians.

    While astrology has developed over 5000 years, there is another successful method for making predictions and it is almost as old. It has been suggested already above, but to state explicitly, it involves getting a professional economist to make a prediction. The correct prediction is then the exact opposite of whatever the professional economist predicted. Try it! It works every time (unless an economist predicts it will work).

    For example, if I wish to place a few quid on a horse, I’ll ask around to see who the economists in the room think’ll win. But the other day, there weren’t any around, and so I settled on the prediction of a journalist. This is a little trickier to interpret, since all you have to work with are a flood of lies, propaganda, out-of-context statistics, irrelevant factoids, and invented anecdotes (how horrible).

    Obvious, but London is already invaded by an all-conquering army of rabid Australian sheep.

  50. There could be many mechanisms, as space — perhaps filled with “dark matter” or its cousin dark energy — may not be empty at all, but have extremely subtle variations in density and character that cause an electrical or other long-range influence depending on where in the galaxy we swing, or where the sun is in relation to these outside fields (summer or winter), and what sort of protection or amplification we get from the fields of giants like Jupiter.

    But really, the most sensible explanation is that planets aren’t just dead rocks in space but have the charge of an “electric universe”, adding electrons and energy from solar winds, releasing them, interfering with each other like a static charge when they’re close, and pushing on the magnetic field we’re all susceptible to, even as anyone can tell you of the behavior and emergency room visits of the full moon. It’s not impossible that modern science, which changes its mind on issues like a weathercock of fashion, has misread physics altogether and that’s why there’s no grand unifying theory or other breakthroughs in 50 years. Maybe gravity waves have large effects, maybe the planets are made of plasma coated with a candy shell, or some other truly unexpected fact.

    The only thing for certain is that they don’t hypothesize a mechanism because they don’t feel like it. They don’t want there to be one so they can make fun of what everyone knows it real, but they don’t understand, and so remain safe in the tower of the expert: saying everything, knowing nothing. As you can see, I can create 10 theories in 10 minutes, while they deny the measurable evidence. Note: denying measurable evidence is. not. science. After a while, being fake, incurious scientists, wagging fingers at me while denying evidence, bugs me. Quack.

  51. Great post John. I was a Brexit voter, the key reason, as others above, the need to improve democracy by maintaining sovereignty. The way the EU has treated Greece just to preserve the disaster that is the Euro said it all for me. With regard to Corbyn and all the anti-semitic stuff, much of it is fake news (particularly the story of him laying a wreath at the graves of the Munich terrorists) , supported by the right leaning labour MPs desperate to do anything to ruin Corbyn’s popularity amongst the grass roots to get rid of him. But it wont work. I look forward to seeing how your predictions pan out. Much obliged.

  52. Dear JMG,

    If I understand the setup here with nations having their assigned sign:

    How do astrological charts take note on say classical empires (Austria-Hungary, Ottomans etc) which contain/ed scores of nations? Or say a state like Switzerland with its German/French/Italian/Raetoromanian nations?

    Most of the world’s population lived in “empires” rather than nation-states until quite recently (you could say that President Wilsons fourteen points after World War 1 was the beginning of the ideal of a nation state on a global level).

    The classical monarchies around the world wanted you to pay service to the monarch, not to a nation-state itself and often contained scores of nations within themselves. To use one quite typical example here, the Danish monarch was until 1864 also the monarch of Schleswig-Holstein (The area between Hamburg and the Belts on the Jutland peninsula). As the area was mostly traditionally German all legislation was passed in both Danish and German. Many who spoke German at home identified themselves as Danes as they allieged themseves to the Danish king and not to a German nation state ideal of Prussia and Bismarck (which won out in the end after military conquest the Danish-Prussian-Austrian war of 1864).

    Even today Denmark and its monarch still rules over Faroe Islands and Greenland as a part of the common realm; nowadays it has been restricted to common defense, foreign policy and currency.

    And how do astrological charts take note if the “nation” itself dissolves, mutates and/or merges into some other “tribe”? No one has ever met a Visigoth in my living experience though I am sure their DNA have passed on to current generations around the globe.

  53. With respect, the situation regarding Eire and Northern Ireland is rather more complex than the standard cissue class war you have described. In particular, millions of ordinary people on both sides of the border worry that Brexit may lead to a return to violence, and to restrictions on people’s lives that have been eased since the Good Friday Agreement.

    Overall, this has been an interesting read. It’s something I have encountered only obliquely. I read Philip K Dick’s novel, The Man in the High Castle, a good few years ago, and I recall that one of the main characters used the I-Ching to aid his analysis and decision making.

  54. Dear JMG,

    I’ve been a silent reader of this blog since its onset, but there’s something that has been itching me to write for a long time, and I guess the time has finally come. 🙂

    Though I find your analysis of the crisis of our time very cogent, there is a point about which I cannot agree: it is your obsession with the disgruntled working class as the most significant driver behind the populist waves that have been shaking the world in the last few years. In my view, the working class of the West is no longer the important political force it was during Henry Ford’s time, for a very simple reason: the basic things wich are at the crux of a typical western life are now manufactured beyond our borders. What industries remain at home need to export in order to stay alive. And in effect, our working class is no longer composed of citizens of the countries we live in. Our working class is foreign (China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, etc. Make your pick). As a result, the people voting for the populist parties on both sides of the pond are essentially middle class (even though the remaining working class votes overwhelmingly in favor of those parties, I’ll grant you that).
    I am thus far from convinced that tariffs and protectionism are a solution: the class which would benefit the most from them has become a tiny fraction of the general population, and the middle class (which focuses on services) will just see the prices of the goods it consumes spike.
    Relocalisation is necessary and has to happen. Yet it will be a painful process, and I doubt anybody will benefit from it, except of course our descendants in a few centuries.

  55. “Uranus in Taurus in that house warns of a potential epidemic affecting the neck and throat, which are ruled by Taurus; since he’s inconjunct the Moon and semisquare Neptune, this position also warns of labor unrest and the threat of strikes.”

    Perhaps the (temporary) shortage of medicine that is threatening hospital even now stockpiling essential medication? Not as severe as the pro-remain media say it will be, but still capable of being acutely felt?

  56. I voted to remain.


    1000 years of war followed by 70 years (more or less of peace). Socially and culturally I would like the UK to stay on an even keel with our European brethren. I don’t want the NHS monetised by US corporate interests. I don’t want to open the door to GM crops, privatized prisons and other abhorrent US imports. We’ve open that door far enough in the last 30 years (and I take your point about foreign labour etc) with globalisation policies but it just makes sense to be in with the locals rather than at their throats.

    The whole thing is a remarkable example of mismanagement.

  57. I thought there was something a bit weird about the technique, but it didn’t dawn on me until 4 this morning, when I suddenly thought about the thoroughly debunked “Sibley chart” for the US.

    There’s a bit of a story for why that’s important. Ebinezer Sibley was the major British astrologer in the late 18th century, and wrote a very influential textbook. In the 4th edition (IIRC) he decided to illustrate a mundane technique with the US independence. That technique involves placing the planets for the event in the houses of the preceding ingress chart for the location where one wants to see the effect, in this case the Summer Solstice chart for London. (Remember he was British, and so was most of his audience. He wanted to see how it worked out for his country.)

    To digress a bit, sometime in the 19th century someone, in the full flush of ignorance, decided that it was a natal chart and Sibley had been awfully careless with his calculations. He reverse engineered it, getting the 5 pm and change time that’s confused generations of astrologers who assumed it was the real chart, and not incidentally generating a lot of “instant history” for how Sibley could have known the exact time the Declaration was voted on.

    The key point here is that the technique works with the known date of an event, which means it’s mostly useful for analysis after the fact. In this case, though, we know the date of the upcoming event: March 29, 11:00pm UTC (midnight CET). So I cranked up my astrology program (command line Astrolog) and had at it.

    Body Locat. Ret. Lati. Rul.House
    Sun : 8Ari57 + 0:00′ (X) 5th
    Moon: 28Cap38 – 0:25′ (d) 2nd
    Merc: 16Pis11 + 0:13′ (d) 4th
    Venu: 3Pis46 – 0:49′ (X) 4th
    Mars: 29Tau08 + 0:54′ (d) 7th
    Jupi: 24Sag08 + 0:37′ (R) 2nd
    Satu: 19Cap44 + 0:24′ (R) 3rd
    Uran: 1Tau10 – 0:29′ (f) 6th
    Nept: 17Pis00 – 0:58′ (R) 4th
    Plut: 22Cap59 – 0:14′ (-) 3rd

    The big news here is that the Moon has moved from the 11th house to the 3rd house, where it is in its detriment. It’s also trine Mars, which may or may not be a good thing. The ruler of the 3rd is Saturn (the greater malefic), which is in its rulership, so the third house, in general, is a bit meh. The third rules transit and communications. The people (Moon) are probably going to have significant problems with transit as the customs barriers rise.

    Mercury has moved past Neptune and gone direct applying to Neptune. While it’s in the 4th house, it still rules communications, so the media will be churning out its usual swill, most of it delusional. Also, Mercury and Neptune are sextile Saturn in the third, which suggests a great deal of FUD and other negativity, although it is possible that at least some of them will exert some self-restraint (Saturn again).

    Venus has moved from the third house to the fourth house and is sextile Uranus, which is still in the 6th house. Venus generally rules valuable things. It’s also got an inherent link to the second house, so its presence in the 4th indicates that the financial issues will play out at home.

    Mars is still in the 7th house (ruled by Venus in the 4th), and is trine the Moon, which suggests that foreign affairs will work out for the common people, although there will be a lot of work to make it happen.

    Mars is no longer quincunx Jupiter, so we can forget the religious aspects.

    The Sun is still in the 5th house, but it doesn’t make any aspects to anything. This strongly suggests that the government is out to lunch and consequently not doing anything effective.

    Uranus is still in the 6th house (ruled by Mars in the 7th) of public health. This suggests that there is going to be something significant (and unexpected) with public health (possibly the Health Service, or whatever it’s called) that has a foreign connection.

    Well, that wraps this up. Thanks for listening.

  58. I’d appreciate if someone could link to a brief but basically complete explanation of why BrExit had to (has to) be so difficult? Or perhaps someone can simply explain the difficulty?

    What was the EU going to do if UK has simply said “Well, we are leaving; we are not going to pay you ANYTHING unless it is a clear exchange of valuable assets you have invested in our country.” or something to that effect.

    I’ve been to Switzerland and it is pretty clear they had a heck of a lot more brain cells (or wisdom, or cunning, or whatever) than any of the surrounding countries. They’ve got their autonomy and they’ve got market and currency flexibility when they want it.

    Also, it seems like the Third Reich lost WW2 but have won WW3…they, or their Nazi analogues basically rule the continent now. Of course, I admitted already I don’t understand. So maybe someone from the EU can straighten me out as to how all the other countries were convinced to go along with this racket? How in the world did the the PEOPLE in these countries possibly think this was going to turn out except with them being politically subjugated and, ultimately, culturally and nationally and linguistically annihilated?

    There is stupid and then there is stupid…wasn’t what happened to the American Indians lesson enough about how these matters go?

    Thanks for any attempt to straighten me out; I’d actually like to understand the conundrum better. Yeah, I get it that the people could go along with a common trade zone and easier movement between countries. But if you are – say – Italian or Greek and you were not dominant going in, how did you possibly think it was going to be better after you had dropped your pants and bent over? Did anyone really think the German overlords were going to bend over instead or suddenly give up millennia of rigidity and become kind, gentle souls once they were enshrined in dominance?

  59. Yes, indeed, your British readership is putting their heads above the parapet today!
    With regard to your reply to Manuel, of course, supply and demand is a basic point. What you and your other readers may not realise is that the Scottish Government does not have control over immigration, trade and industry, or employment. Those are “reserved” matters about which only the UK Parliament can legislate, and so the normal forces of supply and demand do not operate as they should. Scotland desperately needs inward migration; there are jobs, not all glamorous or highly paid to be sure, but not enough workers to fill them. Neither the Scottish Government nor Scottish employers have a free hand to raise wages to attract as many new people as could be employed, for example. Nor can the Scottish government legislate for non-EU migrant quotas to suit its own needs. Does this stop EU migrants like Manuel from coming to Scotland to work and live? Luckily, no, it doesn’t. So why is there a problem?
    Simple demographics mean that Scotland (as the saying goes) generally gets the government England votes for. Since 1945, three or possibly four elections have been decided by the Scottish vote (1951, 1964, 1974 and 2010). The black hole of London and the southeast of England sucks all the jobs and infrastructure projects into itself, and is the One Thing that most British people outwith those areas generally can agree to hate. The Scottish government are spending millions trying to mitigate the worst of the Conservative’s austerity measures in those areas where they have some flexibility (mostly via health and social services). This takes money away from other areas, of course. If the EU Withdrawal Bill is passed in its current form, Scotland will lose control for seven years over agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as about 21 other areas – all currently devolved – with the fatuous excuse of ‘agreeing common rules’. There are many who wonder whether those devolved powers will be completely restored at the end of that time.
    The outcome of the ‘advisory’ referendum to leave or remain in the EU in 2016 was a howl of pain from many quarters. In Scotland it was different. We’ve done well out of the EU, although it’s not been without problems, too, of course. Of course, back in 2014, we were promised the only way to stay in the EU was to remain part of the UK. Two years later… not so much. And now we have the perverse situation where the Prime Minister voted to Remain but is leading the country to Brexit. Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition – who is an internationalist and therefore ought to be pro-EU – allegedly voted to Leave. The marvellously named Department for Exiting the EU, or DexEU for short (and how many of us say Deus Ex by mistake?), is currently working to about Plan Q, since the Government neglected to take the time either before or after the referendum to formulate a strategy simply because they never in their worst nightmare believed that the country would vote Leave. They couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery. Clowns aren’t in it.
    But is the world going to end. No, it’s not. Is it going to be a difficult transition? I suspect so. For how long? No idea. I have already done the planning for expanding my very productive vegetable beds and will be planting apples later in the season. All part of quiet preparations; I have been reading your blogs almost since the beginning, and the thin and sour Scottish soil has taken some work to sweeten.
    Whether in or out of the EU, whether republican or parliamentary democracy with a monarch as head of state – all these are questions (with many others) which will be settled following an independence referendum in Scotland, should one be held and the vote be ‘yes’. But really, is it any wonder given how we have been governed that many in Scotland reckon the country might well be better off sailing its own boat?

  60. “Jupiter square Mercury means that overseas travel and foreign trade will be disrupted.

    This and Jupiter inconjunct Mars also predict that scandals relating to religion will be much in the news, though it doesn’t say which religion or religions will be affected. A big juicy scandal in the Church of England? A bunch of mosques caught red-handed spreading jihadi propaganda? We’ll just have to wait and see.”

    Could this relate to the escalation of the islamic child grooming and human trafficking scandals coming to light? Tommy Robinson getting martyred for real this time perhaps?

  61. Interesting read using the Aries ingress chart. Barry Goddard has used the time of Brexit itself 11pm on 29/03/19 and he has a different take on Brexit (needless to say). I quote below:

    “There will be a lot of Mars around: Mars conjunct the Desc in the Brexit chart; and Brexit Sun in Aries conjunct the UK Desc. And we will have recently emerged from a Mars Return, Mars being the ruler of the UK Desc. This gives a threefold message of a strong new start in foreign relationships, which if we are doing this thing, is what is needed.

    Then look at the natal UK Moon, the people, at 19 Cancer: conjoining it will be the North Node, opposite will be the Moon, Saturn and Pluto. This a historic turning point. The UK will be starting to emerge from the dark tunnel she is currently in, as Pluto opposes her Moon, in which we no longer know who we are.

    Moon-Saturn-Pluto are in the 2nd House of the Brexit chart, suggesting our sense of who we are becoming will have an economic base to it. Scorpio Rising, along with Brexit Moon conjunct Brexit Pluto, and UK Moon opp Brexit Pluto give a threefold message of power. A claiming of a new power to live, which will be necessary. ”

    I interpret this Brexit chart as a massive ‘F— You’ to the chattering classes, the Brussels bureaucrats and the doom-mongers. Mars is “Me, myself and I” and sometimes that is very necessary. Also Moon-Saturn-Pluto has a ruthless quality to it and is prepared to be the ‘bad guy’ to get what it wants in the 2nd house of values and money.

    Martin Armstrong, the economist, says that “the Euro is really in danger of bringing the entire world economy down”. Britain was wise to stay out of the Euro and is wise to be quitting the EU altogether.

  62. On the subject of the epidemic prediction, we are just coming up to flu season in the Uk.The training slide pack defines it as a viral infection of the nose, mouth, and throat, as well as the lungs so it fits.

    We’ve had some quite dangerous flu outbreaks a decade ago here but its been quiet for the last little while; it seems inevitable that sooner or later another aggressive strain will appear and cause deaths, perhaps this is the year.

    The vaccination is freely available to those who are at risk (heart patients, diabetics and so forth) but last year it was not supposed to have been very effective. It’s only a tenner for the rest of us and in the light of what JMG has written here I’ll be getting mine ASAP. It’s better than nothing. I’ve had proper flu and it’s the worst I’ve ever felt without being in hospital.

    I find that I’m now curious on the whole subject of Mundane Astrology. I see that H. S. Green has a few books still in print but I suspect that would be way over my had as a know nothing beginner. Is there any book you could recommend as an introductory text ?

  63. Lathechuck – as a winter baby myself in both senses (Capricorn, 1939) I can relate to that observation! It has its compensations – when my ex turned 65 the kids took him to Alaska. They took me to Mexico when I did. And I loved it.

    And yes – I’m of the Leo in Pluto subgeneration of the Silents, a.k.a. “wannabe Boomers.” [Insert nastygrams here, you-know-who-you-are. I refuse to put a period to my existence….]

    And the you-know-who-you-are’s will be getting theirs from my grandchildren any day now, if it hasn’t already started. The rule is “I will not make my parents’ mistakes.” By this refusal I end up making those of my grandparents. And my children, making the same vow, end up making those of my parents, and so the wheel keeps turning.

    And the circus is amusing in a sardonic sort of a way. Everyone from Petronius to Tom Lehrer can give you chapter and verse.

  64. Hi JMG “And Taurus? That’s the sign traditionally assigned to Ireland—and those of my readers who’ve been following the news know that the Irish government has been almost frantic in its demands that the border with Britain must be kept open at all costs. (There’s good reason for this, as Ireland’s wealthy classes have profited handsomely from the free trade and open borders mandated by the EU.)”

    While I agree our government’s frantic demands are easily explained, as you say, by the profits they and their wealthy patrons have made from free trade and open borders (and also, incidentally, from the austerity policies the Euro currency promotes and the rentier type profits which the EU bureaucracy enables) I think it is important to point out that there are also some genuine worries exercising very ordinary people who live just either side of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland (the ONLY actual land-based border the UK has).

    The first is the prospect of a return to internal violence and militarisation. I myself lived in Belfast during the 80’s, when a lot of quite ordinary offices and pubs still had to wear full armour as their sole outward decoration, and a person might have to undergo searches as a hazard of any ordinary shopping excursion or outing.

    The second is the perilous state of the county of Donegal, which I now live in, and its geographical connection (or lack of it) to the rest of Ireland. Most Donegal people who have any reason to travel to another part of Ireland do so via Northern Ireland – often on a twice daily basis. If a hard border were to transpire, and by this I mean military style inspections making border crossings difficult and dangerous, as they were within living memory, Donegal would, in effect, be once more virtually cut off from the rest of the nation it belongs to, a position which keeps it economically marginal and makes its children hard to hold on to.

    I do think it possible (in the longer term) that the prospect of a hard border may be able to accomplish what Sinn Fein never could – either militarily or politically – and bring about a unification of the two parts of the island. Which would be ironic, if it happened that way.

  65. Greetings all.

    JMG wrote: ” In the seventh house, it predicts disputes and disagreements with other nations”

    Some of you might be interested in knowing that Mauritius is currently dragging the UK to the International Court of Justice at the Hague over the illegal detachment of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritian territories that happened in 1965 just before independence and deported the chagossian natives to main land Mauritius and the Seychelles. Indeed public hearings are due to begin next week. monday 3rd of September till thursday.

    Diego Garcia is the largest island of the Chagos Archipelago where the US and UK have a major naval and air base there. JMG’s novel “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” happens in part on Diego Garcia, Mauritian territory under US and UK military occupation!

    I can only conclude that your ingress chart, Mr JMG, was amazingly accurate on the issue of international disputes. Congratulations Sir!

    For some background information


  66. Dear Mr Greer

    I hope you don’t mind if I ask a question. You said the following in your response to Robert

    “it’s precisely the individual national and regional character of the nations of Europe, and the world more generally, that to my mind offers the most hope for a constructive response to the crisis of our age. The one-size-fits-all mentality of the EU, and of the managerial aristocracy across the developed world, simply does not work. That’s why I poured a glass of whiskey and raised it in salute to the British voters when Brexit passed; we need a diversity of ideas, approaches, and ways of living in the world, not the faux-diversity of the establishment, in which people of every nation and ethnicity are welcome so long as they think and act exactly the way they’re told.”

    Toynbee thinks that there is a general tendency towards a Universal State in civilisations and that this marks the point where that civilisation goes into decline and is no longer creative. I was wondering if the reason for this is because a universal state leads to the end of what you call dissensus and you no longer have different groups trying out different ways of dealing with crisis that gets thrown at that civilisation?

    It would be interesting to hear you thoughts on this.

    One of the problems with a Universal State is that is very attractive to people as it normally happens after a period of the warring states. Europe certainly got its warring state period with a vengeance during the first half of the 20th century, so it is easy to see why the people of Europe where so keen to set up a EU. However one of the biggest problems with the way that the EU was set up is that it ignored the fact that the different nations of Europe have cultures, histories, laws etc that are very different from one another. Therefore it overlooks the fact that trying to put Germany and Greece in the same currency would run into disaster, because the two countries are so different to each. The Greek economy was so weak compared to the German economy that the euro became a wealth pump that helped Germany to destroy the Greek economy. If Greece had its own currency then this would have helped to protect it from the superior German economy when the economic crisis came after 2008. The problem is that Greece was never going to become Germany, because their cultures and histories are so different from each other. Germans are always going to be good at paying taxes and the Greeks aren’t

    This is a pity because I think a sort of looser EU that encouraged the nations of Europe to cooperate, but allowed the individual countries to retain a reasonable degree of internal sovereignty, which would allow dissensus to occur, could have helped to keep peace and would have been flexible enough to survive a financial crash like 2008 with out wrecking the economies of its weaker nations. That is a kind of EU I would have been happy to stay in.

  67. Quin,

    ” that the word “Paki” as it was used in Chestnut’s comment above is widely regarded as a hurtful racist term, particularly by the people who it is intended to denote. I would move that, at least in the kind of casual usage it appeared in above, it be held to the same usage standards as other racial epithets.”

    How can that be since the term has nothing to do with race and denotes a nationality?

    Paki is short for Pakistani, a completely neutral term, it would seem to me. But there are those who go around making perfectly neutral terms unacceptable, so that the folk must constantly upgrade their vocabulary as the acceptable terms become unacceptable.

    It makes me sigh.

  68. Re the rather fantastical and unbelievable news about Corbyn and Trump, I am continually gobsmacked by the way the same games with the same tactics are being played out on both sides of the Atlantic. This is a clue, folks.

  69. Hi JMG

    Thank you for the analysis (although I’m not sure that we need astrology to predict that “the British political scene will be shaken good and hard”…).

    As someone who lives in a part of the UK which will be hardest hit in the first few months (Kent being the key border with the EU), I can tell you that there are interesting local discussions about the impacts happening.

    Firstly, the rubbish that has been spouted about taking control of our borders. Being in the EU simply allows the EU migrants who are shoring up the UK economy to live and work here – for the most part these are great people who like the country – unlike the “ex-pats” who live in the EU and do not work and in some instances refuse to learn the language of the country they live in. Post Brexit we are likely to need to deal with the UK border in Calais disappearing and the refugees being allowed to cross the Channel, i.e. we lose control of our key border in France. There are around 6000 camped in Calais who are prevented from crossing to us. I, for one, would welcome them – a large proportion are children who are keen to live and work here once they reach adulthood. However, I suspect many Brexiteers will be horrified at them arriving on our shores.

    Secondly, Kent often grinds to a halt when even a minor problem happens at the port. Lorries ‘stack’ up the motorway for up to 50 miles. With increased border checks this will severely disrupt transport in the county and beyond. This is also a key reason for the drugs and food worries.

    Finally, I have to take issue with Jasmine who claims that the EU is undemocratic. It is far more democratic than the UK. The UK has an antiquated voting system that puts governments into power with around 25% of the vote, an unelected upper chamber, a voting system that ensures that the vast majority of people are not represented by people they vote for and it treated an “advisory” vote on EU membership by 17m of the 65m population as a requirement to leave the EU. The EU, on the other hand, has a proportionally elected parliament who pass laws – some of which we don’t like but that is a feature of democracy.


  70. Hi John

    The behaviour of the EU/Brussels would certainly indicate that punishing Britain and preserving the logic of the EU single market (the internal edifice of the empire really) is more important then the economic self-interest of the member-states.

    This politico article makes that quite clear…

    “The Commission quoted an internal study, which estimated that if the U.K. is freed from just seven unspecified EU regulations, it would provide savings for British businesses of €6 billion a year, according to two EU officials.”

    The idea that Britain could actually benefit from May’s semi-soft Brexit proposals makes the proposals a “non-starter” in the eyes of the Brussels elite and the majority of the member-states.

    This article is also illuminating in showing that President Macron sees a economically impoverished Britain as an necessity if the forces of populist nationalism are to be defeated in Europe. Macron is probably one of the few European leaders who has any kind of strategic grasp, and he does appear to understand the huge risks of forcing a no-deal Brexit, but on balance, appears to choose the EU over a future relationship with the UK.

    I happen to think that this hard-line thinking is strategically inept and is putting at huge risk the future of the EU at a time of serious international tensions.

    I now think that this could go either way, with Britain either accepting a Chequers-minus Barnier package or we crash out with a hard Brexit in March 2019 if what the EU offers is unacceptable.

    The fact that a no-deal/hard Brexit is considered “unthinkable” is interesting. The same mentality was present in Europe prior to the Brexit referendum vote and the US presidential elections. Both times the European elites considered a Leave/Trump victory literally thinkable.

    Its looking increasingly possible that history is going to repeat itself, with a aggressive EU humiliating UK, leading to Britain exiting in a hard Brexit. I will see how the looming EU leaders meeting goes on 20th September and review and revise my forecast accordingly.

    This was my last commentary on Brexit.

    p.s. in regard to Corbyn, whilst some of the media coverage has been hostile, unfair and taken out of context, I do think that his comments on British Zionists and his tendency to only meet with extremists on the Palestinian side are worrying. If he was meeting the more militant/extreme end of the Israeli divide then his claim that he was doing it for peace would make more sense as he would be trying to bridge the divides between the two camps.

    Also, British Jews, given the horrific history of the Holocaust, are naturally sensitive to any claims that they don’t belong in Britain or are somehow collectively tarred for the excesses of the Israeli state. I think Corbyn has handled this badly, not shown sufficient awareness of the concerns of ordinary Jewish people and needs to be more robust with the more extreme end within the Labour party.

    At the end of the day, you can agree that Corbyn’s policies represent an alternative to the status quo, accept that he does get a hostile reaction from the media/elites and still acknowledge that some of his actions, associations and in some cases, lack of action, are aspects of a flawed, complex socialist leader who brings a fair amount of baggage with him.

  71. Spice, that’ll do just as well! I don’t permit profanity on this blog, but creative outbursts that get the same point across? Always welcome.

    Antonomasia, that aspect of mundane astrology is one I’m still studying, and since the UK in its current form has so many potentially valid foundation charts, it’s an especially complex case.

    BB, I think you’re probably right that nobody in the Tory leadership wants to be holding the bag when Brexit happens; May’s the designated scapegoat, and I suspect they’re hoping that a change in leadership afterwards and some policy changes will stave off Corbyn. (I think they’re wrong, but we’ll see.) No question, though, New Zealand stands to benefit greatly by Britain’s reorientation toward her former colonies after Brexit; it’s mutton for dinner in a lot of British households thereafter!

    Phil K., two very good points.

    Manuel, I’m Scots on my father’s side, and when Scotland becomes an independent nation again, I plan on raising a glass of whisky and belting out “O Flower of Scotland” off key — thus echoing what’ll be going on at that moment in a thousand Scottish pubs!

    Quin, thanks for this; I wasn’t aware of that. The comment in question has gone the way of other comments that violate this blog’s comment policies.

    Thecrowandsheep, funny. Your method of using economists as a source of divination seems very sensible to me; I’ve certainly used it a few time with good results!

    Jasper, true enough! As an occultist, which of course I am, I tend to fall back on the endlessly denounced and scientifically unacceptable thesis of vitalism; the existence of “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” That is to say, since I don’t have to worry about whether a theory is acceptable to scientists, I can pay attention to the evidence of my senses, and the teachings of a vast amount of traditional lore — some of which, of course, George Lucas borrowed for that film of his.

    Averagejoe, I’m definitely going to have some popcorn popped and buttered when Brexit happens.

    Herbert, since astrology is an empirical science, rather than a dogmatic system of thought in which every question has a logically deducible answer, I don’t have straightforward answers to your questions. Mundane astrology hasn’t received anything like the attention given to natal-chart astrology in the last couple of centuries; the community of mundane astrologers hasn’t even really finished the process of recovering what was known by medieval and Renaissance astrologers, much less begun to break new ground — but as study and research proceeds, it’ll be interesting to see what answers to your questions emerge.

    Paul, of course it’s more complex; unfortunately I was writing a blog post rather than a book, so a lot of the details couldn’t find space. That is to say, you’re right, of course.

    Quos Ego, well, there we disagree. I consider the revolt of the working (and would-be-working-if-there-were-jobs) classes to be the most important political fact in the Anglo-American and European blocs today, and the frantic efforts by the mainstream parties and their tame media to insist that this isn’t happening, to me, simply underscores how crucial a political reality it is.

    Pamouna, that seems very sensible to me. Glad to hear from an Austrian reader!

    Changeling, that’s certainly a possibility.

    Dan, nobody’s saying that you’re wrong — just that you lost.

    John, it would also be interesting to study the chart for the time, date, and place when the Brexit process was formally started — IIRC that was 29 March 2017 in London, though I don’t know the time. I’ve found from repeated experience, though, that the relevant ingress chart gives a better overview of events in a nation than the chart for some specific event. As for the Sibly chart, by calling it “thoroughly debunked” you’re displaying a fair amount of partisanship, you know; a great many astrologers — perhaps the majority who deal in such things — use the Sibly ascendant. I’ll do a post here one of these days explaining why I do.

    Um, Gnat, you’re really pushing the limits of polite language here, you know. You can criticize other points of view without that sort of crude stereotyping…

    Serinde, no argument there. The future of Scotland is up to the Scots, but if I lived there — as my umpty-great grandparents on my father’s side did — I’d be backing independence.

    Synthase, good question. The chart doesn’t say.

    Bridgeofsighs, it actually doesn’t seem that different to me. Of course he’s focusing on the specific event, while I’m using an ingress chart to gauge the overall condition of the country.

    Andy, remember that this chart doesn’t come into effect until March of next year; the current flu season is subject to an earlier chart. As for mundane astrology, H.S. Green’s book by that title is a very good introduction.

    Scotlyn, for what it’s worth, my guess is that a hard Brexit — together with the rapidly waning influence of the Catholic church in the Republic of Ireland, and the hamhanded incompetence of the Tory government in London — is more likely to bring about Irish reunification in the near future than anything else I can imagine. It is (or ought to be) up to the people who live there, but I hope to see it.

    Karim, thanks for this! I knew about the UK’s act of piracy regarding Diego Garcia; I didn’t know that the case was headed for the International Court of Justice. Here’s hoping…

    Jasmine, the insistence on a Universal State as the endpoint of the historical cycle is to my mind one of the places where both Spengler and Toynbee were misled by too much reliance on classical antiquity. It’s common but not universal, and geography seems to be the crucial factor. Europe, being divided internally by so many geographical barriers, just isn’t suited for a Universal State, which is one of the reasons why the EU has turned into such a mess. I think you’re right that something less centralized and more accountable to the voters could have succeeded, but the drive toward a United States of Europe run by unelected bureaucrats has guaranteed a blowback that will likely tear the EU apart.

  72. Hi JMG,

    ‘gnat’ is some borehole’s attempt at parody. Your Kek series has spread pretty far around the internet so you’re probably going to see a lot more hamfisted attempts at trolling. (And lot of the professionals behind these accounts absolute loathe Brexit or anything else that represents freedom, independence, or personal autonomy.)

  73. @Onething:

    Words derive their meaning from how they are used.

    “Paki” is certainly an abbreviation for “Pakistani”, but in practice in the UK it has been used as a term of racist abuse for decades and it has a meaning here that it does not have in other English speaking countries.

    It is a racist term (and not just a simple reference to nationality) because it is used that way in the UK. The people using the term do not exactly enquire about a brown person’s ancestry and which part of South Asia their family comes from before using it. It’s essentially the brown person equivalent of calling a black person a “nigger”.

    It is emphatically not in the same category as politically correct changes to language – like how my grandparents’ generation would have used the term “coloured” to describe what we would call “ethnic minorities” today and you might get a raised eyebrow if some old dear calls someone “coloured” (or calling someone “black” instead of “African American” in the US or whatever). Those are not terms of abuse.

    I know people from Australia and New Zealand (where the term “Paki” has no such baggage and is used the same way as calling Americans “yanks”) who’ve used it in the UK and had to learn very very quickly that it has a different meaning in the UK.

  74. @ Onething: congratulations for pointing out,

    “Paki is short for Pakistani, a completely neutral term, it would seem to me. But there are those who go around making perfectly neutral terms unacceptable, so that the folk must constantly upgrade their vocabulary as the acceptable terms become unacceptable.”

    I myself was accused of racism for using the word “Paki” once in the early 1990s. I had used it (in referring to someone I liked) because I thought it was an abbreviation for Pakistani. Just as “Aussie” is an abbreviation for “Australian”, only even milder, since Paki is actually only the first four letters of Pakistani.

    The onset of new verbal taboos is a topic for psychiatry. Doubtless the justification for them is that the terms which are objected to have acquired connotations. But – connotations be blowed; no way can it be right for a culture to allow “Brit” for “British” and ban “Paki” for “Pakistani”.

    Mind you, so impressionable am I, so easily brainwashed, that now I would actually feel genuinely guilty if I used “Paki”. Though rationally I know the term is utterly innocuous in meaning, emotionally I have been bamboozled by the thought police. That’s how it works, I suppose, by stealth-flying below one’s intellectual radar, followed by the sly installation of a censor inside one’s own head.

    Another case in point is the word “negro”, Spanish for “black”, which is now verboten. Question for any of you who know Spanish: what do politically correct Spanish-speakers call blacks? “Los negros”? If so, here’s magic: the same combination of letters, n-e-g-r-o, can mean something terriblly bad in English but OK in Spanish. Connotations again, I suppose. Meanwhile if any blacks wish to call me a “blanco” (Spanish for “white”) they are most welcome to do so. I don’t mind at all.

    I don’t know whether Brexit can be made the occasion for the re-introduction of free speech; that may be too much to hope for. One revolution at a time may be the most that we can manage.

  75. A1,

    After my Gunners had to come from behind to nick their first 3 pts against lowly Watford last weekend, I’m gonna go ahead and predict that it won’t be Arsenal hoisting the league silverware in April. With a new skipper let’s call it a rebuilding year…

    Of course, I’m a Yank, so even the idea that they’re “my” Gooners is pretty suspect! Even if I have been an fan for almost 30 years.

    But I too am curious what will become of the PL over the course of my lifetime. And, closer to home, NASCAR, a sport that seems to exist solely to burn off the remaining crude a bit faster.

    At least football/soccer can be played on a fairly low energy budget when it comes to it.

  76. Patricia Matthews,

    I have a special respect for ANY Boomer, or wannabe Boomer for that matter, who hangs out in an environment like this, where they are likely to be blamed for the hard future their cohort has done plenty to create. I certainly wasn’t old enough to vote in 1980 when America turned its back on the promising start of the 70s, and instead iced down the keg once more.

    I get frustrated with Boomers all the time, for being so arrogant, for being so rich, for owning everything, for thinking that the world my generation (X) inhabits is just like theirs, only that we’re lazy and they weren’t, that if we’d just get on board with their programs it’ll all work the way it’s supposed to. It’s a difficult relationship to say the least.

    But what my wife and I have to remind each other on the regular is that our duty is not to the past or its players, but to the future and its inheritors. It does no one any good to dwell on might-have-beens. That energy is far better spent figuring out how to ease the pain for the generations to come.

    After all, there’s a fairly good chance you will be among them. 🙂

  77. Hi Jasmine. You said: “I remember saying to someone once that if we stay in the EU we are going to be ruled by a bunch of rich, globalist, neoliberal scumbags and if we leave the EU we will still be ruled by a bunch of rich globalist, neoliberal scumbags. But if we leave we at least have the opportunity to kick the scumbags out.” I thoroughly agree with this, and I have never been able to figure what are the benefits EU membership has supposedly brought Ireland. I remember voting against Maastricht and against Nice, and actually knocking on doors with some friends to canvass against the Lisbon Treaty (there was not very much organised activity on the No side of that referendum, so we just started knocking and talking). That referendum had to be run twice (we, the electorate, got it “wrong” the first time). The argument my friends and I were making at doors was essentially that every EU Treaty referendum ended up putting another rider in “Bunreacht na hEireann” (the Irish Constitution) to the effect that “nothing in this constitution will override a provision of X EU treaty”, and that this was too much sovereignty to be giving away to a faceless bureaucracy so far away. The EU has not been our friend, especially during the bank bailouts aimed at keeping the Euro afloat. I have no idea where any of this is going to end up, but I wish both yourselves, and ourselves, better self-determination in future – hopefully without overt bloodshed.

  78. JMG and All

    Just a data point.
    Like Dan and BXN I voted remain.
    I voted the other way in 1975.
    I could see pro and con both times.

    I wasn’t that surprised to lose. It was interesting though to see Northern Ireland and Scotland vote remain with a committed Sinn Fein and Scottish Nationalist Parties. I was more impressed generally by younger people voting for remain with a convincing enough majority. I am not surprised either that we are still led by a Tory party; it was one of the outcomes I feared. This is neoliberal / neocon ‘Atlanticist’ continuity, and ‘austerity’ for a while yet, unless ‘we’ get lucky.

    My reaction at the time was that the vote must stand. However, with the younger vote the way it is the result might not last in perpetuity. The Tories will have to get very lucky, or the EU run out of luck faster than I guess at the moment, for the demographics not to influence a new British approach to the Continent. The place is not going to go away.

    Economics? Looking ahead 5 or 10 years from now I couldn’t begin to call that one, nor the likelihood of continuing success for ‘blame propaganda’.

    Phil H

  79. Onething – with respect, and speaking as another British reader, that word has much the same impact over here as ‘N___’ has in the US when used to refer to African Americans. It was always used as a racist insult, aimed at pretty much anyone from the subcontinent with brown skin. It’s regarded these days as beyond the pale, and rightly so. It’s never been anything other than a racist term, and it’s not ‘politically correct’ not to use it. Just human decency.

  80. JMG

    The reason I said the Sibley chart was “thoroughly debunked” is that it is not the chart that Ebinezer Sibley created. He used a time of 12 noon at Philadelphia for his chart, which means either that he didn’t know a time, or by some chance 12 noon was the correct time. I prefer the first, as it doesn’t require me to believe fairy tales about the time being passed on in secret via sea-going Masonic Lodges and similar.

    It was also not created by a consideration of evidence: it’s simply a mistake. Whether the majority of astrologers use the Sibley ascendent with good effect is, to me, irrelevant. Back when I was investigating the US chart, I found well-known and well-respected astrologers using a wide variety of charts, on various principles ranging from historical to pragmatic.

    For example, the late Richard Houck used 6/19/1776 at 11:53:50 at Philadelphia with good success. He said that, as far as he can tell, it means nothing historically. He derived it using his own eccentric combination of western and Hindu techniques. I suspect it’s the midpoint in time between the introduction of the Lee-Adams resolution and the final vote on independence. That makes sense to me, although I use the start of the 2nd Continental Congress to reasonable effect.

    I agree with your point about the ingress chart; any event chart will be subordinate to it, and needs to be interpreted in the context of the ingress chart. Nonetheless, it will give more detailed information, and may very well show things that the ingress chart doesn’t.

    The same is true of mundane charts for subordinate political units like US states – they work, but they have to be interpreted in the context of the national chart.

  81. Onething,

    How can that be since the term has nothing to do with race and denotes a nationality?

    As far as logic goes, you are correct. However, in terms of real-world usage going back to the late 60s, “Paki” has been used as an umbrella epithet in the UK which gets applied to anyone of apparent South Asian origin. It first arose in the national consciousness in the form of “Paki-bashing”, wherein a gang with anti-immigrant sentiments would target “pakis” to violently assault them. I hope you can see how anyone– Pakistani or not– might have bad associations with the word, and have a negative reaction were anyone to use it to refer to them in their presence.

    That said, it’s not a term Americans like us are generally familiar with– it doesn’t tend to show up in the sort of media that gets imported to the states, due to it being a hot button word– and I’d never even heard it before I went to study in London about 15 years ago. So I certainly don’t blame you for assuming it’s just another one of these terms that the SJW brigade seems to regularly and arbitrarily add to the list of banned vocabulary.

  82. About the Universal State, I have always thought that the specter which haunts Europe is not Communism but the ghost of the Roman Empire.

    Would an independent Scotland be a republic or would it seek to reestablish a constitutional monarchy, as happened in Spain?

  83. @Quin
    I actually don’t disagree that much with him on matters of policy. Up until recently I was a pretty hardcore leftist. Maybe you’re right, maybe all these stories are intentionally being taken out of context. But honestly, the last thing the world needs right now is a British Obama. I dread the possibility that Corbyn may end up being the “least bad” candidate in the next UK elections.

    Re:British-Pakistani-related troubles
    I don’t want to paint with a broad brush, but it’s hard to avoid that there are some very troubling trends in the UK tied to Pakistani immigrants.

    It’s as if a Venn diagram of problematic Muslim subcultures converges in Pakistan. I honestly have no idea why this should be the case. Is there something special/unique about Pakistan? Maybe an ingress chart of Pakistan could give us a clue. Sigh, sometimes the world can be a really vexing place.

  84. On straightforward interpretations and the throat: one thing that does occur to me is that global warming means, among other things, more and worse attacks of hay fever. I don’t know how it is in the UK, but the past few years here on my side of the pond have been bad enough to send me from a non-sufferer into bad enough that I regularly mistake the symptoms well into the second day of a cold. Bleah.

  85. On slurs: I mostly know that one from the Dark Is Rising series, where a skinhead uses it while beating up a schoolboy, and from the Awkwardness that arises every so often when UK and New England slang collide. Around here, you see, due to Puritans, for a while you could only buy liquor at a “package store,” and the local tendency is to abbreviate and add “ie” to the end of things at times (“Dunkies” for Dunkin’ Donuts, for example). The Last Ex, of British extraction, had a few “…you’re going to the *what* now?” moments, though not with me because I’m a transplant and q.v. Dark is Rising.

  86. Stuart, thanks for this. I quite understand that that’s the view from Kent; I trust you realize that the view from points further north or west is rather different.

    Forecastingintelligence, many thanks for the links. That accords with my sense of the situation. I have to say that there’s a fine and trenchant irony in the fact that a socialist like Jeremy Corbyn seems to be shaping up nicely to be Britain’s Donald Trump.

    Bori, one of the downsides of my Aspergers syndrome is that attempts at humor and parody routinely go right over my head, I’m glad to hear that the Kek Wars series has gotten some play on the internet — and if it attracts trolls, why, that’ll simply make my inbox a little more entertaining, and give my delete key a little more of a workout.

    Phil H., thanks for this.

    John, um, no, that’s inaccurate. You can find an image of Sibly’s actual chart here; as you’ll see it’s calculated for 10:10 pm London time, which works out to 5:12 pm Philadelphia local time. His chart isn’t actually the foundation chart — it puts the planets as they were in Philadelphia into the relevant London ingress chart to show the effect of the Declaration of Independence on Britain, a subtle mundane astrology technique too often misunderstood by those who don’t know the mundane branch of the art — but since he gives the time of the Declaration, it’s an easy process (and would have been almost as easy in his time) for his readers to cast it themselves.

    Since his book was published in 1806, furthermore, there’s no need to wave around any fairy tales at all, and it’s a bit disingenuous to invoke them. I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but there was postal service between the colonies and Britain well before the Revolutionary War, carried by sailing ships; once the war ended, ordinary commerce resumed; and since plenty of people were in Philadelphia at the time of the signing, it’s not exactly hard to explain how the news got to Sibly in London thirty years later…

    Nastarana, a case could be made!

  87. @ Tripp: I appreciate the kind words you had above for Patricia Matthews and, by extension, the Boomers who post here. I’m one of these. The way I had remembered the 1980 election was that every age group had a large majority vote for Reagan. However, that’s not correct.

    The oldest Boomers would’ve been about 34. Wikipedia breaks down the age demographics here:,_1980#Voter_demographics
    In a nutshell, the 18-21 year old group, 6% of the voters, gave a slight majority to Carter. The 22-29 age a group, 17% of the voters, were about 50-50 Carter/Reagan. Ages 30-44 were 31% of the voters and gave Reagan a huge margin, as did the remaining 46% of the voters who were 45 and older. I wish there were a separate breakdown of the 30-34 year old Boomers! My conclusion is that it was NOT the Boomers who elected Reagan in 1980, but the Silents and the Greatest Generation.

    However, that said, once the excesses started, the Boomers as a whole (some not at all and some to a lesser degree) took those excesses to unimaginable heights. Every job I’ve ever had went to Hades in a handbasket as soon as Boomers got into upper management.

    I’m sure there’s an explanation for why my fingers keep typing “Bummers” and I have to correct it to “Boomers”.


  88. @Robert,
    I wouldn’t mind being called an Occidental, either. I was told that a lot of Asian people are somewhat puzzled that “Oriental” is verboten, as it just refers to a direction. We are Occidentals living in the Occident, aren’t we?

  89. “Would you use the term “Chink”?”

    No, but I see no reason to stop using the term ‘oriental’ which has apparently become taboo, and is to be replaced by ‘Asian’ which amounts to the same thing.

  90. Isabel, that’s certainly a possibility. As for The Dark Is Rising, is that in the final book, Silver on the Tree? If so, that’d explain why I didn’t remember it; I found the conclusion of the series such a wretched flop that I had to make myself finish it, and never read the final volume again.

    Gnat, trust me, if I’d wanted to do that, I would have! 😉

    Shane, Algeria, Morocco, Israel, Syria, and South Africa are all Scorpio nations. (BTW, offlist: enough with the Boomer bashing. You’re starting to sound like a broken record.)

  91. Onething,

    Why use such vague terms as Asian or oriental?

    That puts people from Yemen and Vladivostok in the same bag.

    I’m a Pacific Rimmer with African and Central American neighbors. I try to tell what culture a person is from by their appearance and actions. I just spent awhile sitting with a neighbor on a park bench listening to him speak Oromo with a friend and agreeing with him that the new government in Ethiopia (Abiy Ahmed his family!) and the new friendliness with Eritrea is very good. He feels it is safe to go visit now, not the case a few months ago. In his weak English he told me that Ethiopians use the word “ferengi” (soft g) for europeans. He has teased me by calling me kafir (infidel).

    I enjoy talking to a woman wearing a Nikab (Veil Face Cover), it makes me really pay attention to what she is saying. If I see someone wearing a Nikab I will throw a cheery greeting her way.

    In Seattle Dialect I don’t believe that Black is a bad word.
    I don’t like it because it divides people into two categories.
    I don’t like being called White in a racial sense. I don’t care about the color of skin, I care about attitude. It isn’t at all accurate anyway, shades of brown and ruddy (for me) is more like it.

    That is what works for me. Labels that divide I avoid.

    Impropriety is a tough one. If you were to call me crazy I might say “thank you”. If you were to call me “verruckt” I would assume you meant harm. Different cultures, essentially the same word.

    With some words it is more tricky. Gringo, for example can be neutral or a put down.

    Do as you wish. You are at risk of being seen as rude.

  92. @Nastarana The last time anyone asked the Scots, my understanding is that the poll indicated that about 75% would prefer to retain a constitutional monarchy. Certainly this was a selling point in 2014. There are many, particularly on the left, who would like to see a republic, and that’s certainly a respectable point of view. It’s one of the many details that Scots would need to decide for themselves, once the main argument of independence was won.

    And to remove doubt for other readers, independence is not just the purview of the Scottish National Party; voices for self-determination for Scotland can be found in all the political strains, with the possible exception of the Conservatives. And even there, I expect there are those who would rather be an old-fashioned Scottish Conservative in an independent country where they would be rid of the worst excesses of their “Head Office” and have a chance once again to play a sensible part in the country’s future.

    @JMG You are in good company. It is wonderfully ironic that the Brexiteers are making the argument for Scottish independence almost single-handedly. I occasionally wonder if this is a feature rather than a bug!

  93. @Nastarana

    The Scottish Independence movement is a very wide movement, including Royalists and radical republicans. During the last referendum the Scottish Government indicated a desire to keep the present Queen in a similar fashion as Australians or other Commonwealth countries do. Others will like an Eire-style republic. I quite like the idea of bringing back the Bruce house… (Tilda Swinton is a descendant and will make a great Queen – a la White Witch!) 😉


  94. Robert Gibson, the same phenomenon of replacing words because they have become political incorrect exists in other languages, too. In German, the word “Flüchtling” (refugee) has become replaced recently in some circles with “Geflüchteter” (one who has fleed), a grammatically awkward term which doesn’t really fit the spirit of the German language well.

  95. It’s interesting that Phil Harris wasn’t surprised that Leave won the referendum, because as a Leave voter myself I was pretty sure that Remain would win. This was to the extent that I didn’t even bother to watch the result – I went home from the pub and straight to bed thinking “well, I’ve done my bit”, and was amazed the next morning when I found out that Leave had won.

    I’m actually hoping that Britain, or its constituent parts, has a fairly antagonistic relationship with Europe. I don’t understand this binary idea that every country has to get on simperingly well with every other country all of the time and if not it’s WAR. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of assertiveness every now and again, and if that upsets people, so be it. Endless niceness just indicates servility, and this is a particularly pathetic trait of contemporary Britons. Indeed the general servile patheticness of modern Britons is the primary reason why we have such pathetic politicians – as George Carlin pointed out, our leaders don’t come from Mars.

    I agree that Corbyn is very likely to win the next election, although he is really taking far too long to clear out the Blairite deadwood. One of the things I am looking out for is if and when he invites back George Galloway, which will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the “moderates”. Galloway is aggressively pro-Brexit and equally aggressively anti-identity politics, so he could have a big affect on the direction of the Labour Party. He also upsets people, which is a GOOD THING.

  96. Once again JMG and I concur. I was always sure that the Brexit vote would win and had a sneaking suspicion the Trump would win too. Thanks to your blogs you managed to correctly crystallise the underlying reasons why. Up until the beginning of this century I was a big fan of the EU and benefited greatly from the UK’s membership of its predecessor, the EC, with two spells as an expat (from which I learned a lot and enjoyed myself immensely). However, the post-Masstricht settlement showed its true colours fairly quickly as being against the workers and in favour of high finance and big business with national governments barely clinging to the notion of sovereignty.
    By the time the Lisbon votes had been had and ignored, and the GFC had shown the EU’s dark and vicious side it was game over. Ms Merkel’s unilateral ‘come one, come all’ invitation to the world’s refugees kind of sealed the Brexit vote long before it took place.
    Here in the UK there are a crowd of Remainers who simply do not understand why they lost, and rather like the Hilarycrats, can offer no viable attractive alternative but continue to voice their hysterical opposition nonteheless.
    On the Brexit side, many of the political figures who have hitched their wagon to the Leave cause likewise have no real idea why the working classes revolted and I suspect their political fortunes will quickly take a nose dive.
    Left leaning Brexiteers are the only ones who really seem to have a clue what is going on politically at street level and the only ones who have any kind of coherent plan for the future.
    My own feeling (once more confirmed by this blog) is that there will be some turbulence initially, much less than predicted and that the usual spivs and scammers will emerge briefly from the woodwork to gouge a few shillings ‘because Brexit’.
    After that things should improve immensely. Once again the UK will be forced to stand on its own two feet and its government will be forced to respond to the needs of the nation and its people.
    Corbyn as a Trump figure? Yes, I think that quite likely.
    In fact it is already happening, deep beneath the media waves…
    Oh, and BTW anti-EU sentiment is far stronger in Europe than the media dare ever admit.

  97. I found your analysis fascinating, but the sceptic in me said that with so many European capitals so close, they would surely have very similar ingress charts. This would mean that the Ascendant would most likely still be in Scorpio for each, Mars in the 7th house and Jupiter in the 2nd, resulting in similar predictions for each country.

    However, before posting a comment along those lines, I thought I ought to check my hypothesis. Well, for the Ascendant and Mars my theory holds (albeit with subtle differences), but for EU capitals to the west of London, starting with – ahem – Brussels, Saturn slips into the 2nd house, which presumably does not bode (as) well for those countries economies. Also, since Brussels is at one and the same time both the capital of Belgium and the capital of the EU, it suggests that Brexit will be less beneficial economically to the EU as a whole, than to the UK.

    As for the capitals to the west of London – Madrid, Dublin and Lisbon – they have a similar positioning of Jupiter in the 2nd, so presumably their economies will fare well. The Dublin Jupiter even has a trine with the midheaven, but I know too little about MA to interpret that.

  98. Hi JMG, I confess to know zero about mundane astrology (other than what I’ve read in your posts)—I take it from this interpretation that mundane astrology does not consider the “dual rulership” of planets? In this case it would not consider Pluto in addition to Mars as ruling Scorpio? And, well, while. I’m at it….what do you think in general of dual rulerships? Do you find them useful in non-mundane interpretations? Thanks.

  99. A random realization, but taking mundane astrology seriously has led me to see the universe as spatial directions being piano keys played by the planets. Kind of mind-blowing. And the ingress charts are the musical notation. If we could extrapolate this method to every point in space, we’d basically have a universal theory of everything. Imagine all the stunned faces of materialist scientists! 😉

    Credit goes to this video for inspiring my thought.

  100. @JMG: It is, and I agree! “The magic goes away and everyone forgets about it,” is one of my least favorite tropes (and my main gripe with optimistic Stephen King, which I otherwise quite enjoy) and seems to be *everywhere* in any pre-1990s fantasy set in “our world.” It always seems like cheating the characters.

    My memory is mostly because I got those books when I was living in the middle of nowhere during early adolescence, and I think I re-read anything remotely fantasy-esque upwards of ten times when I could get my hands on it (including atrocious D&D tie-in novels and Conan “continuations”).

    I do give Cooper credit for being one of about a dozen post-Tolkien fantasy authors whose poetry isn’t wretched. (People more thoughtful than I am say that the troubling things introduced by Tolkien are a black-and-white worldview or racial whatever; I myself think the main problem is that he made a lot of fantasy writers think they could write poems, and they can’t. Or shouldn’t, anyhow.)

  101. Also on changing usage and slurs: I’m going to language-nerd a little and note that many of the words I avoid using on this blog, in job interviews, or around my grandfather and my friends’ young children were perfectly respectable terms to the Anglo-Saxons before 1066. The acceptability of different words drifts with the rest of language, so I figure I might as well call people what they want to be called, in the same way that I try to say “fudge” when my nephew’s around.

    The acceptable terms do seem to differ by country, though: last I heard, “Oriental” was a perfectly fine term in the UK, but not the US, and for a while that was the case with “black”. That, too, parallels general cursing–the best example I can think of is a certain term for female genitalia. Interesting from a linguistic geek perspective; on a practical level, hey, when in Rome, wear togas and eat grapes.

  102. Hi Chestnut, Quin, Onething & all who have chimed in on the business of slurs. Our host operates a no-tolerance policy on certain words, and it is among the things which makes this space refreshingly clean for the exchange of ideas. However there are differences in words and what they mean and how people use them.

    For myself, having grown up in an evangelical household where quite a lot of curse words were forbidden, I find myself resorting in speech, often with great pleasure, to some of the great Anglo-Saxon lexicon which help a sense of emphatic vehemence like nothing else, and of course has that extra frisson that a sense of transgression brings.

    As far as I can tell, this lexicon built of erotica and scatologica contains no harm to anyone, except their shock value. (Obviously, I do not indulge this pleasure here, out of respect for our host, and his excellently functioning project of conversation).

    On the other hand, a slur of the kind brought into discussion here today is very often an ordinary word, which has been conscripted for different uses. (Consider the history of the formerly innocent words “gay” and “fairy” for example. Who could possibly object to the use of words that mean nothing more sinister than, say, jolly or a helpful garden spirit? Still, these words acquired a history and a use, and it is this specific use that is worth considering here – precisely because “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. What I am referring to was mentioned in one comment as “Paki-bashing”. “Gay-bashing” and “fairy-bashing” also became things in their time… Of course there have been further layers of meaning added when those terms were rehabilitated and worn, literally, with Pride, as a way of countering violence with visibility.

    Personally, I don’t think such slurs are cast in stone, as language is constantly evolving. However, I personally will always think it worth the effort to avoid words that associate the people named by them (however categorised) with tacit licence to bash. ie – a word that contains a stick or a stone just a step behind it.

    I’d like to point out that, as our host has frequently pointed out, words like “racist” or “fascist” are beginning to acquire this sense of an associated licence to bash, and I am therefore increasingly reluctant to use that kind of word as well.

    Anyway, lines have to be drawn somewhere, and lines that encourage civil conversation are all good with me. So long as we also realise that what harms is never a word, it is the way a word can deliver a person to the pack wielding sticks and stones – a moveable feast by its very nature.

  103. Sorry for OT comment, but this seems just so absolutely to the blogs’ main thrust:

    Global carbon intensity of crude oil production

    First sentence: “Producing, transporting, and refining crude oil into fuels such as gasoline and diesel accounts for ∼15 to 40% of the “well-to-wheels” life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of transport fuels”.

  104. Dear Inohuri, you may not be aware that among most WASPish Americans it is considered rude to ask people “What are you?”, meaning what is your national or cultural origin. There is also a practical matter of how is one to know the nuances of behavior of tens of different ethnic groups. Black cashiers, in general, want you to put money into their hands, showing that you don’t flinch from touching dark skin, while the cashiers from (some, but it is every? who knows?) East Asian countries want the cash to be placed on the counter. Not everyone is empathic and not everyone has automatic insight into the thinking of others.

    And then there the host of personal dislikes. I dislike the term ‘Caucasian’ because I doubt my English, Dutch and Scandinavian ancestors ever went near the Caucasus Mts. within the last 20 generations or so. However, it is not important enough to make a fuss about.

    Eritrea is the little country that could, the country which kicked out a host of NGOs. Good for Eritrea. Eritrea was also on the Hilary Clinton hit list for regime change, yet one more reason for believing we dodged a bullet when she lost the last election.

    Dear Manuel, Hmm. One of the descendants of Edward Bruce has fairly recently published a novel about the events of the Scottish War of Independence; the events are interesting and dramatic and have captivated generations of readers, but unfortunately this particular author is not much of a prose stylist.

  105. Some points on various comments:

    @ Manuel: good for you! I never knew there was a potential Bruce claimant around! I want Scotland to be independent if it can be done properly – i.e. with a Scots King or Queen reigning in Holyrood or (going back a bit) in Perth or (going back further still) at Scone… I don’t want some miserable half-way house with a “sovereign” Scotland sharing a Head of State with England. Rather than that, I’d prefer a unitary Britain, which is another good thing in its own way.

    For that matter, I’d love it if the Irish were to choose a High King to reign at Tara. These symbols are mightily important.

    That brings me to the subject of the Welsh. While we have a united Britain the Welsh don’t need their own nationalism – because they have won. The point of being Welsh is that they are the real Britons. From that perspective, Great Britain (1603-present) is Arthur’s revenge on the Saxon invaders.

    Finally on that topic, why not an elective monarch? The Poles used to elect their kings, and came up with at least a couple of good ones – Stephen Batory and John Sobieski. In British history, the greatest kings tended to be the ones who weren’t the candidates by primogeniture – e.g. Alfred the Great, Robert the Bruce. And the toughest, longest-lasting, most successful political structure in history is an elective monarchy – namely, the Papacy.

    @Booklover: very interesting what you say about the current German euphemism for refugee. Reminds me of an EU regulatory term for a certain type of wine with high sugar content: not wanting to call it wine, they call it “fermented grape juice”. Ah, good old EU…

    @BXN: “But at the time we had a bunch of clowns in the Leave campaign mouthing empty slogans, fear-mongering about immigrants, promising us the moon on a stick (£350m more per week for the NHS – yeah right)”

    The £350m for the NHS is an interesting example of the Leave campaign understating its own case. While they (and their opponents) were arguing about how much could be saved by avoiding the budgetary burden of EU membership, they tended to ignore the far higher regulatory cost, which – because it’s harder to calculate – is harder to bandy about. If you do take that into account, though, the putative gain of £350m shrinks to insignificance.

    Re the discussions about “slurs”: my main gripe about newfangled verbal taboos is that somebody must be deciding these things, and whoever it is, or whoever they are, are being given too much power. They haven’t been elected or even appointed. Nobody knows who they are. Talk about the “gnomes of Zurich”… the gnomes of PC are invisible, nameless, totally unaccountable. Let them at least step forward and explain what they believe has given them the right to declare that “Oriental” or “Paki” has a bad meaning. And let them inform us of the logic behind their arguments.

    Meanwhile, if anyone dares call me a Limey, I’ll….. quirk my left eyebrow an eighth of an inch.

  106. I must say, JMG, that I am sorely disappointed in your Brexit ingress chart predictions. What – no hordes of Brits (rich and poor alike) dying in the streets from starvation? No anarchy and unending civil war? No mass exodus of British refugees to the continent? And no sinking of Albion, Atlantis-style, into the North Sea? According to the voice of globalist “reason” all this woe shall come to pass – and much, much more – if Brexit happens, for the Brits have sinned against the God of Globalism and must be severely punished for their transgressions! Surely you can get on board with some of the pop-astrologers and deal out some doom and gloom nice and thick? 😊

    I suppose if one must deal with boring old reality, your reading pretty much confirms much of what you have said in so many thousands of words of posts and books over the past decade plus. Were you surprised by any of your own predictions?

    I would have thought that during most or all of the first year post-Brexit, Britain would take an economic ‘hit’ as it has to reconfigure trade relations with the rest of the world, beef up its West coast ports, wind down its East coast ports, and crank up its own domestic manufacturing capacity and that in Year 2 the British economy would roar. Surely, not everyone will “win” during this transition – but hopefully more of the wage-class workers will benefit. However, based on how fast the US manufacturing-based economy has been picking up lately, perhaps domestic economies are more nimble on their feet than I imagine.

  107. SpiceIsNice,

    If you’re worried about Corbyn being UK’s Obama, I think you can lay those worries to rest. I have a tough time thinking of two ways that they are similar.

    As for “British-Pakistani-related troubles”, I really wasn’t trying to start a conversation about that in any way, shape, or form. Somebody who does know that it’s a casually racist term used said casually racist term. I pointed it out. You’ve then somewhat craftily slid right past that conversation straight to three cherry picked articles painting the group from which the racist term derives its name in as negative a light as possible, in an apparent attempt to, I’m not sure, somehow intimate that said group might have its racism coming, I guess?

    Since you’ve asked me directly, though, here’s my reaction to the three articles you linked.

    Re: the grooming gangs article. First of all, par for the course, but the headline is misleading. It’s not that “84% of grooming gang members are Asian”, but that 84% of grooming gang members convicted since 2005 are Asian, according to a particular think tank whose literal mandate is to find ways to be critical of what it considers to be Islamic extremism in the UK. (And by the way, please note that this is referring to Asians, not Pakistanis.) But the validity of this report is seriously questioned even by the Independent itself, by the time you read to the end of the article: “In an inquiry by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in 2012, 36 per cent of victims of group or gang child abuse identified their attackers as white, 27 per cent as Asian, 16 per cent as black, with 16 per cent unspecified.” If one takes both sets of numbers at face value, the obvious conclusion is that whereas more whites engage in group grooming, more Asians get convicted for it. Note that I don’t claim to actually understand this situation well; at the very least, though, it looks as though it has clearly been established that group grooming in the UK is hardly a problem that comes purely from Asians.

    Re: the female genital mutilation article, I trust you realize that you were linking an editorial from a Pakistani newspaper? In other words, it is apparently a fringe enough activity in Pakistan that even there, to quote this opinion piece written for Pakistanis, “most people are unaware that this brutal practice is in Pakistan too”. I don’t approve of FGM by any means; but if it’s not even common knowledge in Pakistan, well, I fail to see how this is a “British Pakistani related trouble”.

    Re: forced marriages, I don’t have a quick and ready response; it’s indeed terrible, and it does affect UK citizens (albeit ones whose families belong to the subcultures that feel so strongly about arranged marriage as to enforce it through violent coercion). All I can say is that historically it’s not as though this never existed in other cultures– as the phrase “shotgun wedding” clearly suggests. And it’s probably just as easy to find similarly awful things in just about any society, from another’s perspective. “How can Americans allow such rampant alcohol and drug abuse?”, the teetotaling Pakistanis are probably thinking, horrified by the way it destroys families.

    Just my two cents. JMG, apologies if this is getting too off topic, I’m happy to rein it in.

  108. Regarding Mars in Taurus,

    I’ve been under the impression that having essential debility would mean that less pleasant outcomes were more likely to manifest (I.e., war being more likely), while a well dignified mars would be associated with less painful outcomes. Basically, that essential dignity meant that Mars’ malefic nature was toned down, while essential debility increased the malefic nature and added a touch of nastiness.

    It sounds to me like what you’re saying here is that Mars is a malefic either way, but that being debilitated makes it less capable of manifesting dramatic expressions of its nature. Is this correct?

  109. Isabel, your comment on language usage matches my own opinion best (though I did like others’ comments as well). Word origins really don’t matter when it comes to slur words. Common current usage is everything. If a critical mass of people in any particular group personally find a particular term hurtful, once you know this, you’re being a pretty shaley borehole to keep on using it on the grounds that its etymology is logical.

    JMG, I apologise, I didn’t mean to set off a million comments about sensitive language usage. Though I guess that’s just what self-appointed PC brigades are supposed to do, so hey, good job me… 🙁

  110. “Diego Garcia” was brought up just now in the comments section. It’s actually “Diogo Garcia,” since Diego in Portuguese is spelled Diogo. The Spanish Empire never had much of a presence in the Indian Ocean, but the Portuguese Empire did.

    I don’t mean to sound like an ass, but I took an interest in the Portuguese language when I was young… it’s very similar to Spanish, but not identical .

  111. The really silly thing about all these prognostications of doom is that the UK is the premier market for German luxury cars and luxury goods in general. Cutting off trade with Britain would throw Germany into depression and so will not happen.

  112. Quin,

    “If a critical mass of people in any particular group personally find a particular term hurtful, once you know this, you’re being a pretty shaley borehole to keep on using it on the grounds that its etymology is logical.”

    I see your point of course, but I find the PC game tiresome and I hate being obliged to play. In the case of Paki, I’m taking your word for it.

    A couple of years ago I was giving report on my patients to the oncoming nurse, and told her one of her patients was mentally retarded. She told me I should not say that and I told her it was the correct medical term. What did she suggest? I believe she said challenged or something like that. That sort of euphemism is silly and unprofessional. What balderdash. Some people in this world have a defect that results in being slow mentally, which is what retardation means. I always see a deep and undeclared put down in such careful usage in which one tries very hard not to say what something is. Is it so bad, then?

    I’m not inclined to make the switch to African American. Mostly because it has 7 syllables!
    I found it jarring to switch from negro to black. Once is enough.
    But I also find it obsequious. Key and Peele have a hilarious skit about whites who are very uncomfortable around blacks. If we go out of our way to create a long and cumbersome term that is supposed to be more respectful – what are we hiding?

    Besides, my ancestors for the most part came to this country around 1900, whereas most blacks have been here for 200-400 years. When will they be just Americans?
    I don’t know that this term came from black people.I think a lot of them find it cumbersome too. I think it came from the PC brigade, and as someone said up above, who are they? Do they have a life?

  113. Robert Gibson, who decides these things? Why, the minority group which is referred to by that language, of course, by the normal gradual forms of social consensus that slowly shift the meanings of all words. I suspect that all words that refer ethnicities, subcultures, or other group smaller than the entire society that the group exists in will tend to change its symbolic charge and polarity faster than many other kinds of words, due to how they exist at the center of that group’s ever shifting place in that society. It follows that this would happen even faster in cases where the word is one that primarily is used by outsiders to the group.

    As far as the word “Paki” goes in particular, considering that its use as a slur extends back 50 years, it is hardly a “newfangled verbal taboo”. Take a trip in a time machine back to 1968 and your assessment might hold some water.

    Otherwise, well, it’s certainly your own choice to refuse to accept the naturally changing nuances of language in the society you live in. Just bear in mind that you’ll always all but guarantee that you’ll remain at odds with the people you persist in referring to with names they don’t want to hear, just because you can’t let go of that small thing. But perhaps it’s that you’re not interested in connection and dialogue with them, and your real purpose in persisting in using these words is to maintain a social distance from them? (Or if using it to their faces, assert social dominance over them?) As well as signal to others of like mind to you that you certainly won’t have anything to do with those Others.

    And “limey”… seriously? Are you just trying to goad someone into saying “your privilege is showing” so you can declare that you’ve won a game of SJW bingo? Oh, fine, whatever, I’ll be the one. Careful, your privilege is showing.

  114. Nastarana,

    I would never ask “What are you?”.

    If a person is of the right sort I might ask “Where are you guys from?”. Some are quite proud of their heritage. I haven’t needed to ask for a very long time, I know enough. The only time I have felt stumped recently was some idiot kids playing with fire in the forest. It wasn’t the time to ask, it was time to call 911.

    The neighbor kids will tell me especially if they find our new neighbors to be exotic. The last time they were from Nigeria. Maybe 1/3 of the people in our 45 apartments are from the Horn of Africa, mostly Muslim. It is great to see such a mix of kids dressed so differently and from such different cultures play together. Some of the girls wear long sleeve floor length dresses with trousers underneath, very modest, even when it is hot. Hijab optional for some of the youngest. Some drift away from religious costume as they drift away from religion.

    There is a family very near that I suspect is from Syria and I would love to know. But the vibes are wrong so I don’t ask.

    It is a matter of appropriate (not ‘good’) manners.

    I don’t like ‘Caucasian’ either. Euro, even though it sounds like money away from here, is about right.

    I see opinions of only two types about Eritrea, very very good or very very bad.

  115. I don’t have enough knowledge to intelligently comment on the topic at hand. I don’t know enough about either astrology or the British economy to add much to the discussion. I will say though that it seems somewhat odd that the prediction is for a near instant improvement in standards of living: I would expect some disruptions, at least in the short term.

    With regards to the “change language and it’s not offensive, so it can’t be offensive”, by that logic even the mighty “f-bomb” (I’m using a euphemism since I suspect our host would throw out the comment otherwise) can’t be offensive, since the French word for seal, phoque, is pronounced close to the same as it. Indeed, according to one of my friends from the UK who moved to Quebec, the Quebec pronunciation of the word is exactly the same as how her friends back home pronounce the swear word in their dialect of English.

    I thus think, like in all things, context matters here.

  116. Hi Robert – of course, the word “limey” would not NOW be associating you with someone’s “license to bash” – on the other hand, if you were an ex-pat British schoolboy, you might have found a stick or a stone lurking in the young Bruce Lee’s use of the word.

    Of course, languages evolve – and, incidentally, who decided that “evolve” means change? who decided that “language” means the system of sounds we organise to convey meaning to each other? We learn from each other, and likewise, are each a potential model and example to others when we strike out and make innovative uses of old words and phrases, and even new words, in a way that “sounds right” to other speakers of our language – a language is a continual negotiation to which everyone can make a contribution.

    Words that now set people up for a bashing may not always do so, may not always have done so, and words that used to set people up for a bashing may no longer do, and sometimes, the people being set up by a word, will go and do something ornery, like reclaim the word for themselves as a matter of pride.

    Speak as you will, Robert, you will always be in negotiation with everyone else over the meanings of what you say and of what you hear them say. Your own contribution is as good as anyone’s. But no better than anyone’s. And the language itself will continue to be everybody’s and nobody’s. As useful to each of us as our continued negotiations make it.

    Where I agree absolutely with you is that there is nothing special about the act of memorising a list of words and simply learning to avoid them, if that is the extent of your respect for the freedom and autonomy of others.

    Leslie Feinberg, an early self-styled “Transgender Liberation” activist who died in 2014, once said:

    “I care which pronoun is used, but people have been respectful to me with the wrong pronoun and disrespectful with the right one.”

    Respect for another person CAN shine through the shadiest, most un-PC, most non-respectable of language, and that is a truth worth remembering, in the midst of all the policing.

  117. Hello JMG

    Does the chart say anything about the UK’s future relationship with China and/or Russia?


  118. @Onething, thank you. I wasn’t lobbying to police any language here except for that one word; as for the particular terms you have brought up– “oriental”, “black”, and “mentally retarded”– none of them have any kind of history of being used to hurt people who belong to those categories, as far as I’m aware. I for one would support you on it if you used any of those terms and somebody then complained about it. And thanks to you (and also to Robert Gibson) for helping me to clarify my own opinion on the matter to myself.

    All right, well I feel like by indulging in my small bit of language policing I may have sucked some of the oxygen right out of the room. I really was just trying to point out one problematic usage of a particular word, not bog everyone down in same dull discussion that bogs down many a blog’s comment page. I will now attempt to bow out of further such conversations, at least this week. (;^_^)

  119. Is it fair to say that astrology is, at least in major part, an art of interpretation?
    If so, I would love to read a mundane chart from someone with different political views of Brexit or the Trump presidency, just to compare.
    How would the chart read to someone convinced that Brexit is fundamentally not a people’s movement, but rather one driven by nationalist/ conservative elites opposing liberal elites? Farage and Banks are from the City. The (supposedly ‘liberal’) BBC long promoted UKIP out of all proportion to the party’s popularity. Cambridge Analytica trace back to a company called SCL – one steeped in UK elite interests. The political forces forming round the pro-Brexit camp are not representatives of the interests of the working classes, in Britain or anywhere (neither are most of the Remainers).

    Maybe the religious controversy suggested by Jupiter and Mars inconjunct could involve the emerging adversarial atmosphere between Jewish religious leaders and organisations and the resurgent universalism of Jeremy Corbyn? Worth a mention surely.

  120. @ Phil Knight
    Well … I said I was not that surprised … but I would not have put any money either way. There was quite a lot of visible feeling in some places and some social momentum. Reminded me of St George flags coming out before England played in any recent football cup.

    Upset people? Depends which pub you’re in. I can remember the sound of breaking glass behind me and the roaring as of bulls before I had managed much further than out and across the road.

    Phil H

  121. About terms,
    it seems that terms that were acceptable and in use before the Civil Rights Act fell out of favor afterward. So, “oriental, Negro, colo(u)red” became outdated, particularly “colo(u)red”, as everyone thinks of those old segregated “colored” signs. Now, as far as I know, these terms are not necessarily offensive, just outdated–they get an eye roll at most, and more leeway is given to the 70-80+ crowd if they use them. Black, as far as I know, is not even as out of favor as “colored”. In Canada, the equivalent to African American, “African Canadian”, is rarely used, as most of the black community is from the Caribbean and not (directly) from Africa–so black is preferred in Canada, AFAIK. “Homosexual” fell out of favor b/c of the insistence of evangelicals of using homosexual instead of gay, therefore, “homosexual” became associated w/antigay evangelical fundamentalists. Also, it came into use with the old, discarded Freudian psychology whereby homosexuality was considered a disease. Gay has a much older pedigree of use w/queerfolk than the much more recent, clinical “homosexual”.
    Oriental–I read where a lot of people who were into Oriental medicine were somewhat miffed at attempts to recatagorize it as “Asian medicine”–they felt it was totally unnecessary. I also recall watching a Margaret Cho gig where she said “white people tell Asians how to feel about race because they’re too afraid to tell black people,” or some such. So, I don’t know how much of the disfavor of “Oriental” is driven more by white SJW’s instead of actual Asian persons. My understanding is that a lot of Asian people, especially non-Westernized/assimilated/immigrant people, are indifferent about “Oriental”.

  122. Wow, JMG, i never thought of that until you mentioned it, but any conflict based on a Protestant/Catholic divide is bound to fade as Christianity fades. I never even thought about the Northern Ireland conflict collapsing as Christianity collapses in the West, but it makes perfect sense. I just had a distant cousin get in touch w/me, and found out that the descendants of our ancestors from County Cork meet regularly in a restaurant in Louisville. I’ve never bought Bushmills b/c it’s not “really” Irish whisky from Ireland proper, even though I’m sure I have just as many Scots Irish ancestors from Northern Ireland as I do from Ireland proper. As someone w/a lot of Scottish, Scots Irish, and Irish blood, I’d raise a glass of (Scotch, Irish whisky) to Irish reunification and Scottish independence…

  123. Sigh, it’s so fascinating watching Trudeau and his ministers becoming so frazzled and haggard dealing w/Trump. Even the ageless, gorgeous Trudeau has aged since becoming Prime Minister. You can so tell every time he and one of his ministers opens their mouths that this is not what they signed up for–it’s like “I was supposed to be doing photo ops w/Hillary and competing w/Peña Nieto for most photogenic North American leader, not dealing w/this Trump crap!”

  124. Dear Inohuri, May I ask, I am genuinely curious, what is your objection to good manners, the point of which, I have always understood, is to avoid hurting the feelings of others and to facilitate communication among people who all have their various interests and backgrounds. For example, rather than scream in someone’s face “You’re full of ***”,– not that I think you would ever do such a thing, it is a pretty common RW ploy to establish dominance when logic fails, which it usually does among rightists–one can say something along the lines of “Sure, I can see your point, but I am looking at this as…”. I hasten to add that I think manners among the upwardly striving office fauna types are often lacking, and appalling among the rich, see for example almost any interview with or appearance by Mme. Clinton. My favorite example here is the clumsy and cumbersome locutions which are employed by snobs to avoid having to use the “P word” (please) to those whom they consider their social inferiors.

    As for “appropriate” manners, not everyone is going to be culturally adept and sensitive and I think maybe allowances need to be made in all directions. Clueless insensitivity, while annoying, is not deliberate malice. One reason for working class WASP resentment of immigration is that most of us cannot afford to travel even across the country to visit relatives, let alone to another country, nor would we be able to plop ourselves down in some other country and demand that we be accommodated there,.

    What I read about Eritrea, especially in 2016, was enough to convince me that it was on a designated hit list.

  125. Words get their meaning by the way they’re used. No one and everyone decides it. Yes, it’s odd when someone finds a word you find inoffensive offensive (and even weirder when people use a word you find inoffensive in an offensive manner), but you’ll get along better with people if you avoid using words they find offensive.

  126. @SMJ – if you email Phil at the address he describes above, he will ask for you to be added to the list (I am waiting to be added). Not everyone is in London, but I believe there are discussions about a meetup and potential dates going on.

  127. Although I generally avoid identity politics as I think it is THE most tedious subject on Planet Earth, one of the amusing things I remember is how BBC news readers used to pronounce the word “homosexual”. It was kind of like homma-seck-shull, the pronunciation being clearly designed so that this distasteful word could be evacuated out of the mouth and forgotten as quickly as possible. The planet Uranus was also pronounced as Uhrr-in-us, to prevent it having any rectal connotations.

    Happy days.

  128. Serinde, I’ve been told that a lot of Tories would love to see Scotland and Wales become independent, because they so reliably vote for the leftward end of the political spectrum; a Disunited Kingdom consisting only of England would be a far more conservative nation. It’s occurred to me more than once that the Tory end of the pro-Brexit faction may see Brexit as their chance to achieve that goal.

    Phil K, true enough. What’s more, European history is bulging with examples that show that policies fixated on preventing wars very often end up causing them. It wouldn’t surprise me if that turns out to be the case with the EU as well.

    DomesticExtremist, that makes perfect sense to me.

    Hereward, excellent! Yes, you do get some similarities, but as the example of Brussels shows, it rarely takes too much movement east or west before planets pop into different houses and important cusps change signs, resulting in different predictions. The Brussels chart shows that Brexit is going to be a huge issue there too (Scorpio rising, thus Mars rules), but Saturn’s in the 2nd house, the Sun has shifted into the 4th, and the Moon is in the 10th instead of the 11th, which implies a very different political landscape — during the period covered by this ingress the EU will be under severe strain due to conflicts between pro- and anti-EU factions within the Union itself, and there will be national leaders and large population blocs on both sides. Also, crucially, the midheaven has moved to the last few minutes of Leo, on the cusp of intercepted Virgo; this suggests to me that as a result of the events of the astrological year following Brexit, the EU may lose much of its power to rule over nations (Leo, ruled by the Sun) and transition instead to an advisory and consultative body not always heeded by national governments (Virgo ruled by a retrograde Mercury). But we’ll see…

    Wendy, I’m a bit of an oddball when it comes to planetary rulerships. I don’t consider Pluto to be a planet; it’s a minor body, like Ceres and Chiron, useful for certain specialized kinds of astrology but massively overemphasized during the period when it was believed to be a planet. (I’ve got a book in very rough draft on what I’ve termed “post-Plutonian astrology” which I’ll have to finish one of these days.) I consider Uranus to be the ruler of Aquarius and Neptune the ruler of Pisces; leaving Jupiter and Saturn one sign each, like the Moon and Sun; the inner planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars, in my view, have their traditional two signs each. An odd system, but it works quite well in practice.

    SpiceisNice, excellent. When Pythagoras talked about “the music of the spheres,” that’s what he was discussing — a pattern of harmonic relationships, most easily understood by us human beings in terms of music, that affects everything in the solar system.

    Isabel, I adored the earlier volumes; The Grey King came out when I was in the middle of my English fantasy mania, and I devoured it…and then Silver on the Tree came lumbering along, squatted, and left the whole thing a steaming mess. You’re right, though, that Cooper’s poetry was good; I find in reflection that I still have both the prophecies (“When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back…” and “On the day of the dead, when the year too dies…”) down cold in memory.

    It occurs to me just now that there’s a very real sense in which The Weird of Hali is my counterblast to The Dark is Rising and its prequel and sequels; there’s no small similarity between my Nyarlathotep and Great-uncle Merry, of course, and the inversion between her set of villains and mine is doubtless not an accident. Of course the conclusion of the Weird, when “four join their hands where gray rock meets gray tide,” will not involve magic going away and everyone forgetting about it. Au contraire… 😉

    Matthias, thank you for this. Since greenhouse gas emissions correspond precisely to combustion, this would seem to imply that out of every 100 barrels of oil produced, 15 to 40 barrels have to be burnt to cover the energy needed to produce, transport, and refine those 100 barrels. If so, that’s huge — not least because, as the quality of deposits declines, those numbers will keep rising, with catastrophic impacts on net energy availability.

    Ron, thank you for the vote of confidence! 😉 We’ll see what happens, but I’m beginning to think that globalist economic policies are like heavy weights piled on the backs of national economies; shake them off, and the formerly burdened economy seems to straighten up, breathe a sigh of relief, and proceed almost at once at a much livelier pace. My landlord mentioned the other day that he can’t find anybody to mow the lawn for pay — there are too many better-paying jobs available, so the supply of people willing to mow lawns has fallen sharply. If this is a bellwether — and it seems to be — Britain may be in for quite the lively little boom once the burdens imposed by the EU fall away.

    Yucca, my take is that it depends on the type of debility. As I understand it, a planet in its house is stronger for good or ill, a planet in its detriment is weaker for good or ill, a planet in its exaltation is biased toward the benefic end of things, and a planet in its fall is biased toward the malefic end of things. Mars in Cancer in the seventh house would be a ghastly omen, predicting the kind of international dispute that has a high body count; Mars in Aries or Scorpio in the seventh house could very well bring war, depending on other factors, because a strong Mars leads to belligerence; Mars in Capricorn in the seventh house would be the kind of international dispute that leads to constructive outcomes for everyone; and Mars in Taurus or Libra in the seventh is weak, and means international disputes that involve shouting, blustering, and inept political gamesmanship, but not war.

    Quin, no need to apologize, I’m pleased to see that despite sharp differences of opinion over a loaded issue, everyone kept their cool and argued their point of view in a polite and reasoned manner. That’s something I like to see, for obvious reasons!

    Ray the Second, in Portuguese, sure. Equally, in German, the country we call Germany is called Deutschland, but you know, it still appears as “Germany” on maps in the English language; in exactly the same way, if you look at an American atlas, you’ll find the island named “Diego Garcia” with an I.

    Putrid, that’s an excellent point. If May’s government really wanted to get the EU to come to heel, they could draw up plans to slap a hefty tariff on German cars in the event of a no-deal Brexit!

    Will, I didn’t expect joblessness to slide so far so fast in the US, either. It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out once Brexit happens.

    SMJ, nope. That’s a much more complex matter, and would probably require multiple charts, including the progressed foundation charts of all three nations.

    Mog, there’s certainly interpretation involved in reading an astrological chart, but there’s also a lot that’s fairly cut and dried. My suggestion, if you’re interested, is that you find a copy of H.S. Green’s very good introductory book Mundane Astrology, take the chart, and go through each planet’s placement and aspects yourself, noting down the meanings, and synthesizing them yourself. That way you can get a clear sense of what’s my interpretation and what’s standard mundane astrology.

    Shane, it’s more complex than that, of course, but the collapsing prestige of the Catholic Church in Ireland is removing one of the main barriers in the way of reunification. If Taoiseach Varadkar follows through on his comment about removing the Catholic church from the center of Irish society, I suspect a lot of the younger generation in Northern Ireland would be willing to back reunification if it means staying in (or, rather, returning to) the EU.

    As for Canada, well, yes. I think of Justin Trudeau as Canada’s Barack Obama — the same smile, the same empty promises, the same business-as-usual policies. It’s entirely possible that he’ll be followed in due time by a precise Canadian equivalent of Donald Trump.

  129. Hi John,

    I’m curious to know what you think the Tories could do to win the next ge.

    You noted that you didn’t think a change of leader and a different set of policies will help, but it did work in 1992.

    The Tories removed Thatcher in a Soviet style coup, placed a fresh face, John Major in, who got rid of the hated poll tax and won the next ge. Not a bad achievement considering the Tories had been in power since 1979.

    I’m sure as a student of British history you are aware that the Tories are a ruthless political machine that has largely ran Britain in the 20th century. I wouldn’t put it pass them pulling of a Major in 2022.

    My own view is that it could go either way, although right now Corbyn has the edge as they have a positive and reformist set of policies on bread and butter issues. The Tories are too distracted by Brexit right now to focus on these issues which are going to be key to the next ge.

  130. Phil K, funny. I remember how people in the Seattle astrological scene used to flounder between “your-anus” and “urine-us” as pronunciations for the planet in question, before finally settling on “your-annus” as a suitable dodge.

    Forecastingintelligence, for the Tories to win the 2022 general election, they’d have to terminate May’s government with extreme prejudice once the initial confusion around Brexit is over, and hit the ground running with a set of effective policy changes that would succeed in addressing the serious problems that are driving people into the Corbyn camp. Can they do that? It’s possible, but it’s going to take a flexibility and a willingness to change course I haven’t seen much of in Torydom of late. Major had the advantage that much of the opposition to Thatcher had crystallized around a single issue — the poll tax — and that could be eliminated at a stroke. In the present case, there’s a gallimaufry of neoliberal policies that have produced widespread resentment, and Rees-Mogg (who seems the most likely candidate for next Tory PM) would have to be able and willing to force a series of reforms through Parliament. That and the post-Brexit economic boom might between them make it possible for the Tories to come out ahead in 2022, but Corbyn’s not a fool; he’s patient, and he’s doing quite a solid job of positioning himself and his end of Labour to take advantage of every Tory blunder. Unless the Tories play their cards very well they’re unlikely to stop him.

  131. Nastarana,

    “As for “appropriate” manners, not everyone is going to be culturally adept and sensitive…”

    Does this mean I must follow rules because others lack empathy?

    I learned the hard way by being embarrassed many times. That didn’t damp my curiosity or delight in differences. Where I grew up, Everett, WA 1950s there were only “people like me”. At least until a black girl showed up at church when I was 13 and we really liked one another. Maybe that is why we stopped going to church.

    I only object to “good” or “nice” manners when they are inappropriate. What works in Indonesia might not work in Ghana. SE Asians might be offended if you gesture “come here” with your fingers pointing up. A gf told me her mom was dumped horrified by “friends” after she pushed an elevator button with her middle finger. I have watched this American middle finger obsession become internationalized, it had not arrived in Europe in the early 1960s when I lived there. So where in the world is it still polite to point with the forbidden digit?

    You seem to be holding back on a set of universal rules that I am supposed to follow regardless. What are they? A link would do. I bet it won’t be the common sense “Miss Manners”.

    Yes, Eritrea is at times on a designated hit list. Currently they are hosting the “correct” military so maybe off The List. But there is much more going on there. Do a WWW search “canada mining eritrea” or “why eritrean refugees”.

  132. I think these-days-unacceptable slurs fall into two main categories. The first is words which imply that what they describe is a negative quality, when it shouldn’t be. I *think* most racial slurs fall here (the ones comparing people of color to animals perhaps less so, even with an enlightened attitude toward animals), and certainly most sexuality and gender-based ones do. (I’m proud of being two of the three top pejorative terms for women, for instance–though, alas, I’ve never been paid–and once mentioned that calling me a b***h was like walking up to the Bank of America and yelling “CAPITALISTS!” Top marks for identification, and yet…)

    The second is words that describe a definite impediment to living, but meanly. And this one is harder, because, as with the “mentally retarded” example, you get a cycle: you start out with a clinical, neutral term. Kids use it as an insult. You change the term. Kids pick up on that. (“You’re special…Special Ed! Har de har har!” was relatively common when I was in middle school, for instance.) I’m not sure what can be done about that long-term, except changing the nature of adolescents, which…good luck with that.

    @JMG: Me too re: the poetry! And the rest of the books are amazing. Even Silver has its moments, except…then that ending. I wish I knew what made authors of the time feel they needed to end their books with that trope–some idea that audiences wouldn’t suspend disbelief if the world of the story kept on being different than the “real world”? Feh. It wasn’t quite up there with Last Battle in terms of wretched endings to otherwise-great series, but it was quite close.

    Also, absolutely, and yay! Nyarlathotep definitely struck me that way–that and Gandalf, natch–and I’m really looking forward to seeing more parallels as the series goes on.

  133. In Re: “Limey”

    This is an old seafaring term, dating back to the era of the old sea-dogs like Drake and Hawkins. Back in sailing ship days, voyages could last from months to several years. A constant problem at sea was scurvy, a debilitating disease cased by lack of Vitamin C. Of course, in an era without refrigeration the sailors’ diets must have been atrocious, as no veggies would keep.

    Somehow, even though they didn’t know about Vitamin C as we do now, early on, the British found that eating citrus fruit prevented scurvy. Limes keep well and don’t need to be refrigerated. So the solution to the scurvy problem was simple; just roll a few barrels of limes on a ship before it sailed, then issue each sailor a lime every day.

    Somehow the British were able to keep this secret for a hundred years or so, and it gave them a great advantage in the early days of exploration. In any maritime conflict, the ship with a relatively health crew will have a huge advantage over an opponent half of whose crew is laid low by scurvy.

    Of course the secret couldn’t be kept forever, and when it became generally known, the British sailors were tagged with the term “Limeys.” And while the secret lasted, the British mariners came up with their own put-down of the sailors of the other nations; these were referred to as “Scurvy Dogs.”

    Antoinetta III

  134. @Ray the Second
    If you find that annoying, you should see how every historical figure named Jacob is renamed James in English. 😉

  135. @Quin Thanks for the reasoned post; I found it helpful. Personally I support immigration WHEN IT BENEFITS THE COUNTRY INVOLVED. Importing the dregs of humanity into your “club” (which is what a country is) by proxy and on someone elses’ dime and neighborhood is cultural suicide or genocide (depending on whether you support it directly). It may not be “evilly evil” but it is dumber than a doorknob and NOT “virtuous”. To the extent evil stems from and grows in ignorance and lack of thinking things through the golden rule, current immigration practices of almost all WASP countries qualify.

    The current situation, in case anyone doesn’t know, is that the BEST QUALIFIED (engineers; scientists; successful business people who hire lots of other people; higher education; willing to assimilate into the existing culture and usually speak the native language already; proven record of being law abiding) have to wait in line for literally years and generally pay $500K to $15Million to get a residency toward citizenship in a 1st class country. But if you demonstrate that you are generally pathetic, have done nothing much with your life to date, will likely require welfare, can’t speak the language and have NO desire to adopt the exiting culture and ethics and philosophy….well, in that case, you are fast-tracked. I am not writing this from ignorance; I’ve done quite a bit of research into 2nd citizenship and have personally helped two medical doctors seeking residence in the US in their struggle to traverse the expense and blockades enforced by the US government by anyone who tries to get here by following the rules.

    Anyway, I’ve been trying to understand why the majority of any country would go along with such an obviously counter-productive system as importing the dregs of humanity on a fast track while pushing away those who most likely would be a net asset. I suspect politicians and multi-national businesses CEOs generally feel little loyalty to their own country – but are only looking at short term, personal/corporate profit. Why voters go along with this? Well, most people don’t actually know what their own values and beliefs are and fewer still have made any attempt to reconcile their emotions with any sort of rationality or logic. If anyone has a better theory I’d like to hear it.

    “I have come to realize that men are not born to be free. Liberty is a need felt by a small class of men people whom nature endowed [with] minds [higher] than the mass of men.” -Napolean

    I’ll go further. Forced eugenics is obviously wrong. However, humans need to figure out how to get the Eloi (reliance upon an overlord/government) and the Morlock (psychopathy/lack on conscience) out of the human genome. That is certainly not a PC thing to say, but I’ll say it. Napolean wasn’t so much rationalizing when he made the above statement but simply saying what he had learned the hard way. Most people (Eloi) have a burning need to kneel and subordinate any real thinking or self examination to those they are kneeling to (usually Morlocks).

    @Ray, the Second Portuguese is a fascinating language. As you say it is very similar to Spanish (which makes sense as the two countries are contiguous) but it SOUNDS BIZARRE….well, actually it sounds very, very much like Russian in terms of accent and intonation.

  136. JMG,

    “Since greenhouse gas emissions correspond precisely to combustion”

    Might no longer be true with the methane release from thawing permafrost and warming oceans.

    I think the worst of the petroleum production inefficiency would be the tar sands. The tar is melted out of the sand. I believe they are using natural gas for the heat.

  137. Hi John Michael,

    Yes, it is wise to be concerned about rabid Australian sheep! 🙂 We do them on the cheap down here, but the naughty animals not only compact the soil with their hard hoofs, they also survive on marginal land by consuming not only a wide variety of plant life, they also manage the trick of digging up the roots and eating those too. It is an impressive effort. I hope they remember to leave some seeds, but they probably get those too.

    Interestingly, when Australia and the US signed a free trade agreement, I note that we get Ford Mustangs (albeit in a more sensible right hand drive format) but you guys decided to protect your sheep industry. Very curious and not quite as free as first promised. Also we no longer have a car manufacturing industry, part of the country is in a mind boggling drought (not where I am) so the rabid sheep have taken a bit of a body blow, but at least we have mustangs. I’m not really sure what that all means, but it probably means something.

    We tend to sign free trade agreements with any other country that shows a remote flicker of interest – that displays a lack of discernment on our part. But on topic, if the UK doesn’t look to her colonies for support, when her new European BFF’s no longer want to speak to her, then more fool her.

    The Queen is still the head of Parliament down here (and sacked Parliament in 1975, so it is no mere sinecure like your politicians tend to want to seek out), and there are still mildly warm feelings down this way despite the nice folks over in the UK doing their very best to strip the very soils here to bare bones and leading us into all sorts of stupid, ineffective, and pointless military adventures.

    Mind you at least they’re consistent over in the UK, because they too are using sheep to strip their very soils down to the bare bones. It is an impressive achievement – and also one I would back away from while there remains enough time to do so. Not that anyone listens to me.



  138. In regard to the discussion on descriptive words:semantic shift or change always happens as language adapts to new meanings and also in reaction to any negative connotations that develop around a word. Many of the terms concerning racial or ethnic groups and people with mental disabilities fit this description, and of course what words are used vary with different nations and cultures. Most of us know the shift in word meanings but not always the reason behind them; for example, I assume the word Negro was dropped because of the other N-word which obviously was adapted from it, and used in such a negative and damaging way. Some of you might know that the descriptor “Mentally Retarded” was a replacement term for idiot, imbecile, and moron, which used to describe different levels of mental disability but became tarnished when people started using them in insulting ways. Of course, then “retarded” became used as an insult because we changed words instead of attitudes, which is much more difficult. Some now even refer to the word retarded as the r-word. This change has been called the euphemism treadmill. In the nineties I worked in a group home for people that had what used to be called mental retardation; we referred to them as having developmental disabilities. This was in the nineties, so I don’t know if that’s still used, or if other terms have replaced it. Here’s a good article explaining what I just tried to express in more detail:

    And, as to those wonderful old Anglo-Saxon words that so many love to fling about, I am sure we all know a respectful few who drop a “Gosh darn it”, “Shoot!”, or “Fudge” now and then; we know what they really mean, don’t we? 😉

    Joy Marie

  139. JMG,
    I second SMJ’s request–if the former colonies (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, US) are going to exploit Brexit to their advantage, I certainly wonder how Russia and China will respond. Of course, the biggest ex-colony yet mentioned is India–how will they react?

  140. JMG, how does a country get its sign? It’s not based on the founding date of the country, as both Canada and the US share close founding dates (July 1 & 4th, respectively) but not signs…

  141. @Quin:
    Thanks for your reply. You say re verbal taboos:

    “As far as the word “Paki” goes in particular, considering that its use as a slur extends back 50 years, it is hardly a “newfangled verbal taboo”. Take a trip in a time machine back to 1968 and your assessment might hold some water.

    “Otherwise, well, it’s certainly your own choice to refuse to accept the naturally changing nuances of language in the society you live in. Just bear in mind that you’ll always all but guarantee that you’ll remain at odds with the people you persist in referring to with names they don’t want to hear, just because you can’t let go of that small thing. But perhaps it’s that you’re not interested in connection and dialogue with them, and your real purpose in persisting in using these words is to maintain a social distance from them? (Or if using it to their faces, assert social dominance over them?) As well as signal to others of like mind to you that you certainly won’t have anything to do with those Others.

    “And “limey”… seriously? Are you just trying to goad someone into saying “your privilege is showing” so you can declare that you’ve won a game of SJW bingo? Oh, fine, whatever, I’ll be the one. Careful, your privilege is showing.”

    Much of this is well put, but re the timing of “Paki” I’d just like to say that the reason I used the term (once) in about 1992 is that I remembered the term used on TV in a comedy programme some time in the 1970s when someone humorously referred (casually, naturally, with no sniggers or laughter) to a mixed-race Irish-Pakistani as a “Paki-paddy”, and so I thought it was acceptable. Since then I haven’t watched much TV so I’m out of touch – thank God.

    I don’t really understand your last paragraph; don’t know what SJW bingo is; but am willing to learn.

    As soon as I get the message that a word is now forbidden, I, like the timid conformist I am, refrain from speaking it. I therefore never “persist in referring” to people “with names they don’t want to hear” if I can help it. But in view of how serious the charge of racism is, I feel justified in pointing out how the term is cheapened by being hurled illogically around.

    As for respect… I respect individuals. But you’re asking a lot if you wish me to respect 21st century culture.

    My soul has continued to live in the present, i.e. around 1964-1966, despite my body being projected into the weird and fetid future of the year 2018, so you must make allowances if I get confused as to what’s normal.

  142. @gnat – re Eloi and Morlocks – a little rule of thumb I came up with a few years ago has stood me in good stead since. It came to me during martial arts training when I was younger and realised I was being taught that I did not have to be EITHER a victim OR an aggressor – that there was a third way. I realised that both are corrupting to the soul. My little rule of thumb is this – “Show neither contempt, nor deference – be human, get human”.

  143. Dear Inohari, I believe what I said was that we all need to be making allowances in all directions. What I mean by good manners is that you say please and thank you, give a cheerful greeting to people you know, (unless they make it clear they would rather you not) don’t indulge in malicious gossip, and mind your own business. It is easy to confuse the inherited condition of limited empathy with the deliberate moral choice of not paying attention. There are times, such as when one is involved in some complicated craft, when total focus is needed, but when you are among other people, you need to be aware of what is happening around you. I agree, I like Miss Manners. What I do think is that all of us, in all communities, need to be respecting other people’s emotional privacy, or in other words, respecting boundaries.

    I assure you I have no intention of and no interest in telling you or anyone else how they must behave in the common and ordinary round of daily life and I appreciate a similar forbearance from others. I have been far too often on the receiving end of bossy cow “well meaning” (not) interventionism to ever want to inflict it on others.

    I do think that one of the least attractive aspects of the WASP culture in which I grew up is the inveterate habit of nicknaming, as if it were an intolerable affront to be expected to pronounce words longer than two syllables. If someone wants to be called, for example, William or Katherine, then their name IS NOT Bill or Katie unless they explicitly give permission for that familiarity.

    I think, my personal view, that what is called “calling out” is in most ordinary circumstances extremely rude, but I have no problem with what other folks angrily denounce as “shunning”. If someone does not want, for their own reasons, to talk with me, I don’t need to talk with them.

  144. Re: offensive words. I was taught to call people what they wanted to be called, just as you would wish them a good whatever holiday they happened to celebrate.

    To “gnat” – your post, if not meant satirically, drew a sharp line between upper-class professionals with lots of money =good immigrants and “scum of the earth” poor people, whom you refer to as “eloi” – don’t you have that backwards*? = bad immigrants. May I suggest a third category I consider to be extremely valuable? People who know how to work, to do much with little, and still retain old-fashioned family values. a.k.a. “most of the refugees I’ve seen around here.”

    That is, I’ll see your ten lawyers and financiers and raise you fifteen working-class folks.

    *In The Time Machine, the eloi were descendants of the idle rich, remember?

  145. Gnat,

    Hoo boy. If truth were hot sauce…

    As to the genome, I do consider the Sitchin theory a lot, that we were genetically engineered at some point as many legends tell, and that we are a domesticated and not a wild species. Domestication is an interesting phenomenon. Not that easy to pull off. You can’t tame a zebra (they say). One of the hallmarks of domestication is subservience.

  146. Joy Marie – “Gosh darn”, “shoot”, and “fudge”… what do they really mean? There are vulgar forms of each, of course, but those forms are no more meant to be taken literally than these euphemisms are. It seems to me that they all mean roughly the same thing: “I’m too agitated to use descriptive vocabulary.” What is often refered to as “explicit language” is anything but explicit; it’s slang that requires prior experience within the subculture.

    I saw an essay in today’s Washington Post about “dog whistle” language, as perceived by a Liberal coming from a Conservative. As an example, it is now racist to observe “articulate” speech from a person of color. The Liberal argument goes like this: there’s an unspoken coda to the phrase. What they’re allegedly saying is “articulate, for a person of color.” Is that what our “Liberal” audience hears? Why does he hear this, when it is not actually spoken? Is this, perhaps, an indication of implicit racism, not in the speaker, but in the listener? The term “dog whistle”, by the way, refers to speech which is purported to convey an offensive message to a bigoted audience, when the offensive component of the speech does not appear in the transcript. “Only dogs can hear it”?

    Another example is the recent flap about “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.” To the partisan listener, “monkey” has a racial component… but again, that reveals more about the person hearing it than the speaker. (“Don’t monkey it up” was a hazard I was warned against as a child in the 1960s, with no racial undertone.)

  147. Hi JMG,

    I can’t really make any comment about astrology, but I think some of your analysis of Brexit suffers from discussing it almost exclusively through the lens of elites and privilege vs. ordinary people, and perhaps also the realities of the current US political scene.

    One telling if fairly trivial example is the comments about our privileged classes holidaying in Spain. It may be that, in the US, holding a passport and holidaying in a foreign country is an indicator of privilege, but that is hardly the case in the UK.

    Another is the claim (made explicitly by one of the commenters above) that the UK mainstream media was almost exclusively pro-Remain. Here’s how the newspapers split (circulation figures from May 2017):
    – The Sun (1,576K) – leave
    – Daily Mail (1,443K) – leave
    – Daily Mirror (647K) – remain
    – Daily Telegraph (479K) – leave
    – The Times (457K) – remain
    – Daily Star (429K) – leave
    – Daily Express (382K) – leave
    – Financial Times (195K) – remain
    – The Guardian (153K) – remain

    The Leave campaigns certainly connected with a number of people who had not recently voted (if ever) and the staunch establishment figures at the top of Leave also did a good job of presenting themselves as outsiders and anti-establishment.

    There’s no reason I can see to suppose that the elites who favoured Leave are any more likely to help the interests of the UK’s working class as the elites who favour Remain.



  148. @ Shane W and others regarding Varadkar’s policies and potential re-unification. I doubt that Varadkar’s attempts to ‘de-throne’ the Catholic Church from the Republic’s consciousness is going to help the prospect of re-unification: The Irish wider north (including Donegal in addition to the British counties) feels very differently from the southern middle class view regarding issues like abortion, gay marriage or the role of the Church(s) in society: a strong anti-traditionalist stance from the south could only re-inforce a separate identity of Northern Ireland, even beyond the traditional catholic/protestant antagonism. For those of us with sympathies to the pre-christian faiths of Europe (or our perception/interpretation of them), the idea of Ireland leaving behind the Christian faith and embracing her ancient gods again might sound attractive (those were after all the un-materialised wishes of people like AE and Yeats) but it’s not going to happen: instead I suspect another ‘enlightened’ rupture with tradition in search of trademarked Progress, where Ireland becomes just another globalised western secularist country… 🙁

  149. Onething–explorer Ose Johnson domesticated a zebra; there is a phot of her riding it in one of her books “I Married Adventure” I think. Probably the exception that proves the rule.

    As for ‘dog whistle’ language, the phrase has been around for at least a decade. And it really a thing–analyze the rhetoric of right wing politicians sometime and it starts to stand out. They hate Trump because he doesn’t obey the ‘not in front of the servants’ rule of the upper class.

  150. Dear Lathethechuck, the comments to which you refer, discussed in the WP, were made by the Republican candidate for Governor of Florida during a discussion about the policies of his Democratic opponent, the young Black mayor of I forgot which Florida city. My take is that I think the “dog whistle” language was intended to be deliberately provocative, that is to provoke the mayor and or his supporters to say something intemperate which can then be used against him. And this campaign only just got started!

    Dear Scotlyn, “Show neither contempt or deference.” I love that. Thank you for that phrase.

    Most people (Eloi) have a burning need to kneel and subordinate any real thinking or self examination to those they are kneeling to

    That is unsubstantiated personal opinion presented as if it were fact. Do I understand the author of that statement to mean that ganglords should rule, because of being meaner and tougher than anyone else? Even though said ganglords leave destruction behind them because they haven’t the faintest idea how to build anything.

    My observation and experience have led me to the conclusion that, usually, the more overbearing the personality, the more incompetent the person.

  151. @Joy,
    I think the “n-word” was derived from “nigra”, which is a Latin word meaning black, and is often a part of Latin names, as in (so and so genus) nigra…

  152. @Joy,
    let’s not forget the derivative “retard”… Also, things like syphilis went from being “venereal disease” (VD) in the 70s to “sexually transmitted diseases” (STD’s) to now “sexually transmitted infections” (STI’s)…

  153. Nastarana,

    The concept of stranger eludes me. I have met others who obviously feel the same joy I do in holding a short conversation while waiting to cross the street.

    I read a story about a place in Africa where if you managed to get a seat on over crowded transport you were likely to find a baby in your lap. The guy who wrote it was a yovo (euro in parts of W Africa). Maybe that’s where I should live.

    I have excessive empathy but no sympathy. It is automatic for me to help, I forget to hold back. I walked into a supermarket / department store and there was a woman leaving with two kids and bags of stuff. The little boy was cranky and didn’t want to move. I scooped him up and said “Where’s your car?”. She looked a little surprised but happy. She got her car loaded and we parted ways never to see one another again. Did I break rules? Of course I did and it was fun.

    If you were walking the other way on a trail and we had never formally met would you be offended if I threw you a cheery greeting? I will do it (if at all appropriate) just to see what I get back.

    Shunning works good. Double cross me twice and watch me cross the street when I see you come the other way. But I will do it with respect.

    I never even imagined disrespect until I moved in here with Cholo kids. Imagine psychic brothers who could project hate or disrespect. Fortunately the hadn’t figured out how to do it beyond eyeball to eyeball.

    So I lost the Miss Manners bet. What do I owe?

  154. @Robert,
    we’re still basically in the late 20th century. Things haven’t really changed much since the 90s, and some things have culturally stayed the same since the 60s and 70s. We probably won’t REALLY, truly be in the 21st century till at least the next 20s, same as we were still in 19th century Victorian times until the last 20s.

  155. @Coop Janitor:
    You said “I think it might better be stated as ‘In a democracy you don’t always get what you want; unless you have a LOT of money – and then it is not guaranteed!’

    I might add, as Bobby Dylan sang “Steal a little and they put you in jail, steal a lot and they make you King” -but even then you might loose your head.

  156. Shane W,

    One of the reasons why northern Protestants generally didn’t want to be ruled by Dublin is because they worried it would be rule by the Pope. They had a point too as Ireland post-independence was a pretty heavily cleric-influenced place and Protestants were attacked and their houses burnt down for their religion (and therefore presumed political allegiances).

    But anyone who thinks the decline of Catholicism will resolve that objection is mistaken. A majority of Irish people have simply adopted the attitude that whatever annoys the Church must be good, modern and progressive. The Protestants who opposed Rome rule are now vastly more socially conservative than the majority of people in the south. They will oppose reunification on the grounds that they do not want to follow the south in becoming the next Sweden. I’ve heard many of them say exactly that. They may be a minority but that will be irrelevant as they will have the support of their paramilitaries.

    What might grease the wheels of reunification is the same thing that enabled the peace process to succeed – bribery. If the EU offers more money than the UK, a majority in the north might well switch allegiances. The EU would frame this as some kind of ‘social solidarity’ transfer to ensure the continued success of the peace process post-Brexit.

    By the way the prime minister is half-Indian, half-Irish.

  157. It’s important to remember that the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend – something I think many Leave voters are going to be forcefully reminded of in the coming months.

    Whilst it’s certainly true that a very large part of the Leave vote was motivated by valid concerns about the EU’s dedication to free-market neoliberalism and the effects of migration from lower-wage economies elsewhere in Europe, those are emphatically not the concerns of the pro-Brexit political leadership or its financial backers. On the contrary, they object to the EU on the grounds that it’s not nearly neo-liberal enough for their tastes, and that those low-wage migrant workers enjoy equal rights and Europe-wide employment protections. The political discussion now is entirely about how we can maintain free trade with Europe – unilaterally, if need be – whilst engaging in even more radical free-trade arrangements with even more powerful economies such as the US and China. There is also a great deal of attention being paid (although rather more quietly) to the question of how to maintain the inflow of cheap foreign labour, but unencumbered by those pesky equal rights and employment protections.

    The pro-Brexit political leadership’s vision for the future of Britain does not involve a resurgent manufacturing economy. Instead, it involves turning London into a colder, damper version of Dubai: a low-tax, free-trade playground for the global oligarchy, where all of the actual work is done by an explicitly second-class tier of migrant workers on terms barely better than indentured servitude. As for the rest of the country, they don’t give a tinker’s damn about anything outside the M25 other than their country estates and their grouse moors.

    Now, you may be inclined to respond that pursuing such policies in light the views of their supporters is, at best, foolish and short-sighted, and I’d be inclined to agree. But I trust you’re familiar with the tale of the frog and the scorpion… Remember, these are people who keep shrines to Margaret Thatcher, but would denounce her as a Marxist if she actually came back and tried to return the country to the position it was at the end of her term. Anyway, once they’ve all cashed out their short positions on Sterling and UK assets, they’ll mostly probably follow the lead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe (one of Brexit’s most significant financial backers) and emigrate to Monaco.

    As for the idea that senior Tories might support high tariffs on German luxury cars… Don’t be ridiculous! What do you think they all drive? (Or, more likely, have driven for them, by an Eastern European immigrant…)

  158. @Matt
    Glad you pointed out the British newspaper numbers re Remain / Leave.
    I tried something similar last year.
    Recently I noted that Sinn Fein, SNP & Plaid Cymru were all Remain advocates.
    There is a whole lot one could say about why.

    I worked for EU Commission on and off in ‘candidate’ countries from 1997 – 2006.
    The seriously small EU Civil Service was not up to the task.
    Political direction of course trumped the technocratic / legal details of the huge ‘book of rules for members’.
    Bulgaria and Romania were ‘in’ whether ‘ready’ or not. And so were the Baltic States. Latvia was delayed EU entry for a while because of their failure to deal properly with the Russian-speaking inhabitants as proper citizens; despite most of them having been born and/or spent their working lives there. In winter 1999 the situation especially for elderly Russian-speakers was dire.

    Gradually I realised that the Common Market conceived during the Cold War, which had been a success as the Petroleum Age got up speed, was up against existential problems. (Portugal, Spain, Greece with dictatorship behind them were in modern terms a thundering success.) Firstly, the ‘frontier’ for people & goods; secondly, the lack of a proper internal fiscal / currency union – the Eurozone was an accident waiting to happen; thirdly corporate dominance across both internal and the external frontiers, and probably the most important, the failure to include Russia in a proper rapprochement. If the lack of Russia gets too serious it makes ‘Europe’ unworkable. For that, I think we have to mostly thank US policy. What was the old saying: ‘keep Germany down and Russia out’?

    Finally, the EU like everybody faces the ragged future of industrialisation – may the Gods have mercy.

    I followed Corbyn as a reluctant Remainer.

    Phil H

  159. I really ought to give mundane astrology a try. As you say, it’s not like the pundits have done any better. Insider knowledge might be a superior alternative, at least for certain aspects (what our rulers will try – not what results they’ll get), but I don’t have it and neither do most people who claim to possess it.

    With that in mind, I recall you mentioning foundation charts before. Could you please clarify whether a foundation chart for Russia would be one for the modern day Russian Federation, or any of its predecessors?

    On the political side, I certainly hope that Britain’s population benefits from this in the end, and I can see how rejecting free trade and mass immigration would benefit the working class, or what still remains of it. I am not sure that Brexit will automatically lead to such a shift. It’d reduce one major external source of pressure in favour of free trade and mass immigration, but it won’t change the elite or its economic (non)thinking.

  160. My impression of the contemporary Republic of Ireland is that they clung on to Roman Catholicism long after it became unfashionable everywhere else, and now they’ve adopted social liberalism just as it’s becoming unfashionable everywhere else. It seems to be that the best way to tell whether a religion or ideology is dying is to check whether the Irish are enthusiastic about it.

    Regarding the fervour of the politics around Brexit, and in the West generally at the moment, there’s a strange dynamic playing out in which there is a “liberal” imaginal-media assault on “traditional” hierarchies (in favour of ethnic and sexual minorities etc.) at the same time that liberalism is being viscerally undermined by reactionary populism. Just the other day I read about how Thomas the Tank Engine was getting a host of new “diverse” friends including female, Asian and African trains; and then I read about how Syrian migrants were being held down and whipped in the streets of Chemnitz. There is something very bizarre about all of this, as though liberals think they are engaged purely in a war of symbols, and what happens on the ground doesn’t really matter.

    One thing that is very characteristic of Remainers is that there tends to be an enormous gulf between their conception of Europe (liberal, unified, progressive) and the reality (basically a countdown to the next major genocide). I think this is also why after the referendum result they became obsessed with the message on the side of a bus (a symbol) rather than the underlying causes. Whether this is the ultimate legacy of post-modernism or not, I don’t know, but what is clear is that the university-educated urban bourgeoisie have a frighteningly detached way of understanding the world, and one that is in danger of proving (literally) fatal for them.

  161. @ philharris

    “Portugal, Spain, Greece with dictatorship behind them were in modern terms a thundering success”.

    Sure? For who? Ok the official narrative….

    I have not the occasion to vote against the CE membership (now UE) of Spain, nor to the Euro, those were the kind of “obvious”, “rational”, “common sense” consensus defended by all the political parties in Spain (left and right), and whoever oppose must be a fascist or a lunatic (probably both), because at the end “we will be europeans…”(???), so a referendum is, obviously, not requiered

    I have only the possibility to vote against the NATO memebrship when the PSOE (socialist party) who was always against this organization, suddenly became the more ardent defendant of the bloc (lefward people started to talk about the need for a “nuclear umbrella” against the soviets and all that s***t), so the “socialist” Mr Solana, who was leading some marchs against the NATO membership in the begining of the 80’s, and even he had written a pamphlet called “50 Reasons to say no to NATO”, but at the end he became one of the more hawkish famous NATO general secretary, and he lead the NATO “humanitarian” attack on Serbia in 1999 (the anger of the convert…)

    The result of the spanish membership in the UE was the immediate dismantling of almost all of our heavy industries (iron and steel industries, shipyards, etc… in the “reconversión industrial), the destruction of all the textile industry, and the quota system for the agriculture with the integration in the global markets/competition, the privatisation of the utilities and energy companies all due to the removal of the tariffs, and Maastricht policies, and you cannot have an industrial policy without tariffs unless you have slave labor. In fact you cannot have almost any “policy” in an open market

    Now Spain is a country of waiters and bricklayers with a unemployment in the range of 20% and young unemployment in the range of 40% with a NIIP (net international investment position) of almost 100% of the GDP so a country “bought” by foreigners, and with a money controlled by Germany in the new division of labour in the UE, where the core countries have an strong industry an current account surplus and the south have only low wage services jobs and huge deficits; the case of Italy is even worse after the Euro, where his industry have been obliterated, and now people argue against the “populist revolt”?

    The only reason for the resilience of the spanish society under this very bad socio-economic situation is the strength of our extended family safety net, in a good part, I think, because our catholic roots, and not too distant agrarian past

    The access to the UE was a myth, a tale, and in the mid to longterm, was a huge mistake; it was merely a political dream of “acceptance” in Europe, because they were much more “developed”, “moderns”, “advanced”, etc… than us, the poor spaniards. Was, in a good part, a consequence of the inferiority complex of our elites, and may be it was unavoidable, but at the end it was not good for the future of the country

    And now it is much more complex to get out


  162. Dear Inohuri, You can easily discharge the Miss Manners debt by graciously accepting my apology for misspelling your internet name.

    Of course I am not offended by a cheery greeting, but neither do I feel myself obliged to then answer up to a series of intrusive queries regarding my political views, religious identity and mode of worship, private life and personal history, and I ask you to believe that that is the voice of painful personal experience.

    Dear Matt, In the USA, foreign, or more recently, any, travel is very much an indicator of privilege. That is one reason why targeted sanctions, much ridiculed by the rest of the world, are popular with the American public, especially Trump’s base, among whom the sanctions are seen as curtailing rich guy privilege. Oh, so some richies don’t get to walk down Fifth Ave., well isn’t that just too bad.

  163. A hard Brexit will lead to tariffs (based on WTO – 4%) and will end freedom of movement as one of the consequences of exiting the EU without a deal. So not sure where you got the idea that a post-Brexit Britain will turn into a neo-liberal dystopia – quite the opposite in fact.

    As John has written already, this will benefit the working classes. The May government has shown no inclination to unilaterally drop tariffs as this would devastate the farming industry which traditionally votes Conservative. Those who fantasize of a free-trading utopia have no electoral base within the country and the government knows it.

    This report discussses the implications of a no-deal exit and assumes that no arrangements are made between the EU and UK to mitigate the disruption, something that is highly unlikely in the real world. Of course, once you factor in a degree of interim arrangements, much of the worse case scenarios fade away, leaving a degree of disruption which will be manageable within a certain degree of flexibility on both sides.

    Interestingly the report, which is clearly written by those hostile to Brexit, think that Britain economy could boom due to the stockpiling by British companies on the run-up to the exit. Oddly, it thinks that a reduced supply of foreign labour, including EU workers returning home, will not lead to wage inflation among the rest of the working population.

    As John notes, this is rather unlikely. A reduced supply of labour, within the context of low unemployment and a growing economy will lead to real wage rises which will boost consumer confidence and spending. The fall in sterling will help manufacturing take the hit from tariffs (which are relatively modest at 4%) and will drive the FTSE 100 share index higher. I have read that some analysts are predicting the FTSE hitting 8000 on the back on Hard Brexit.

    For those who find that difficult to believe, we saw a surge in the UK stock market within days of the Brexit vote and a similar thing happened after Trump’s victory in America(and making many economists look stupid in the process).

    Overall, the more I read about no-deal Brexit, or more accurately, bare-bones no deal Brexit, the less scary it looks. A few months modest disruption strikes me as not a bad deal for saving on tens of billions to the EU and bringing back control to our borders and economy.

    John – regarding Corbyn, I thought you might find this article interesting…

    This chap is the brains behind John McDonnell’s, Corbyns economic chief, and the plans to re-balance the economy if Labour get to power. What strikes me in his article is how mainstream his approach is. Fiscal discipline, adhering to Tory rules on deficit reduction and making noises about how re-nationalisation may not happen after all.

    “Despite being close to Mr McDonnell, whom he has advised since 2004, Mr Turner, 55, is neither a Labour Party member nor a paid adviser. He is sceptical about plans to nationalise the railways, utility companies and the Royal Mail and believes that the Silicon Valley technology giants that Labour wants to hit with higher taxes are a force for good.”

    The full report, which is essentially McDonnell’s white paper if they plan on coming to power is reformist, has some good ideas on productivity, industrial strategy and investing in tech but is hardly the revolutionary change from neo-liberalism.

    Looking at Labour’s policies, there are some continuities, and more then you realise I think, with the direction of travel of the current Tory government. May has authorized a huge increase in spending in the NHS (against the opposition of the Treasury) and there is growing pressure to pump money into other parts of government as well by many within the cabinet.

    “Philip Hammond has warned the cabinet that he has no more money for other policies after being forced to find £25 billion for the NHS.

    The chancellor used a presentation to senior ministers before Theresa May’s speech on the health service yesterday to rule out extra spending on areas including schools, defence, prisons and police.”

    May also pushed though a relatively decent industrial policy as well – hardly neo-liberalism in action! (I think it could be much more radical but it is a decent start).

    Of course, there are clear differences as well. A Labour government would raise taxes in a way the Tories haven’t and have a set of policies that would move away from the neo-liberal consensus of the preceding 30 years in a way which the Tores have failed to do decisively or strategically.

    Yet… I can’t feel a bit under-whelmed when reading the brains behind McDonnell talk in the Times. My sense is that Corbyn will turn out to be a British Bernie Sanders, not Donald Trump. He sounds good, will move away from the status quo but the signals are that this is going to be evolutionary not revolutionary and will build on what is already happening, in part, within the existing Conservative administration.

    I would be curious to know your feedback to my comments and links.

  164. OT, but I just got an email from Calexit/Yes, California that, following the 1869 Supreme Court ruling, they’re now organizing nationwide by encouraging people outside California, particularly red staters, to get their legislator to sponsor a “Consent to Secede” resolution for California. They noted in the email that Republicans are most likely to support California’s secession, so they’re focusing their efforts in the 31 states w/legislatures controlled by Republicans. Very exciting!!!

  165. JMG:

    I’ve located two online copies of Ebenezer Sibly’s book. One is from the Internet Archive digitized from a copy at the University of Toronto, printed in 1826. The second is from a private compendium of astrology texts, digitized from a copy at UCLA. It appears to have been pieced together from at least three different printings of the four books, and is completely missing the front matter. Regardless, they appear to have the same text for Sibly’s discussion of American independence, which begins on p. 1051 and ends Book 3.

    Sibly’s discussion proceeds in four parts. The first part is a delineation of the Aries Ingress at London for 1776. The second part attempts to determine the date of independence using primary directions, and arrives at the correct date (I think – I have not attempted to follow his arithmetic in detail). The third part delineates the chart so derived (but see below for a caveat), and the fourth has some discussion of the Cancer Ingress chart.

    The caveat has to do with the accuracy of the method of primary directions. He is using a degree a week, for reasons I presume he’s discussed earlier in the work. This means that the 60 minutes of one degree has to cover the entire week. In turn, this means that each minute has to cover 2.8 hours, meaning that it is not possible to get an exact time by this method. It is possible to narrow the sign on the Asc and MC to two (or possibly three) adjacent signs.

    So where does the 10:10 time come from? He doesn’t say. So that time is of unknown provenance: it has the same validity as any time that comes from someone who says “trust me.” Rodden Rating: D.

    Note: Book 3 was published in 1787, and seems to be the first evidence of the 10:10 PM time. Its position at the end of the book suggests that it was a late addition.

    The best (or at least most voluminous at 22 pages) treatment of Sibly I’ve seen is referenced in the skeletal Wikipedia article. It seems to give what’s known.

    Note 2: It’s likely that the 1826 edition was the last edition. At least Debus says it’s the last one he’s seen referenced.

    Note 3: I’m not sure where the idea that he put the planets for the declaration in the ingress chart comes from; while I certainly believed it as received, it’s not in the part of Sibly’s text I examined. Both versions I located are the second edition (1794) and it’s possible that he did that in the first edition. I’d be happy to find an available digitized PDF that shows this.

  166. @Manuel,
    I understand your point, but I wonder if opposition, at least on some issues, won’t dissipate pretty quickly. For example, the equivalent conservative area in the US is the South/Confederacy and associated areas. Opposition to gay marriage imploded pretty quickly after the Supreme Court decision legalizing it, and even states totally controlled by Republicans like KY have deemphasized social issues. Of course, different continent, different country, but conservatism often just means the pace of change is slower, not that change doesn’t happen at all.

  167. @Manuel,
    but I’m sure that the same Protestants of Northern Ireland are also vastly more socially conservative that England and London, as well, if not more so…

  168. Nastarana – Re: “dog whistle” language. If you have to know WHO said it, and to WHOM it was said, to judge whether or not the language embodies racism, then I maintain that it is not the language (or the speaker) which is racist, but the listener. This listener may not agree with the “dog-whistle racist” statements that they hear, but it is a race-conscious perspective that they project onto the speaker when the spoken word does not contain race-specific language. And we know that “race” is a fictional classification of genetic diversity.

    On a recent radio program (“On Being”? probably), I heard an academic from American University (of Washington DC) explain a different history of racism than I had ever heard before. In this version, European slavery originally involved south-eastern Europeans; in a word “slavs”. That’s not a coincidence. But escaped slavs could easily blend in with the local population, so the slave traders looked to Africa for people that they could enslave, who had distinguishing physical characteristics that would make them easier to recapture. Dark skin was ideal. But it wasn’t sufficient to simply grab them and force them to labor. The traders needed a moral justification (“immoral”, of course), so they promoted the idea that their dark-skinned laborers were inherently sub-human and thus naturally subject to domination by light-skinned slave-holders (with superior weapons). From these corporate elites, the racist ideology was pushed down to the lower classes.

    Here’s a lengthy description of medieval slave trade: It’s about European economics; That makes it relevant to this week’s post!

  169. @Patricia Mathews I don’t think of it is a matter of “class”; I think it is a matter of soul…and the essence of humanity going forward.

    Eloi, Morlock, and … Time Travelers. HG Wells allegory is complete.

    Which is it going to be? Earth requires a 9/10ths human population drop over the next 100 years or so – we continue on the track for that to be a bloody (starving) exit instead of one more skillfully chosen.

    I don’t think Eloi and Morlocks are actually human; genetics notwithstanding. The Eloi aren’t happy unless they have a Morlock to worship and lay down their lives for. The Morlocks are only doing what the Eloi keep asking for.

    Quite a conundrum. How do you think it ought to be resolved?

  170. OT for this week, so I understand if you don’t put it through. I picked up a copy of Sunday’s NYT, as I do once in a while when my craving for bad crossword puns rears its head, and I stumbled on this article, front page of the op-ed section above the fold:

    Not the place I expected to read about how fracking companies generally haven’t turned a profit on fracking in the last decade.

  171. Dear JMG,
    I was informed, from a reliable source, that the Brexit would happen (just a couple o years before the poll).
    The same source informed of Trump election, before He even declared to run in the Rep’s primary elections… It was at least WEIRD to see him going to take his office, and knowing it beforehand… I couldn’t just believe that all things said this source would come true…

    ANd now to the future: the same source warned that the EU is going to break up, and that the first country to start this process (exiting in a more disruptive way ) will be Germany.

    Do your astrological charts hint of this happening in the future? I yes, can the (most probable) year be estabilished?

    Thank you for the eventual answers

  172. Manuel,

    I think your analysis is spot on. And it’s a good point that rural northern Catholics outside the 6 counties are now much more distant culturally from the southern liberal middle classes than they used to be, and therefore closer by default to northern Protestant.

    Sadly I think the transformation of Ireland as you describe is a done deal. Dublin in particular has accurately been described as a branch of Silicon Valley, complete with its ‘progressive’ social mores. Ireland’s like an adult child rebelling against an authoritarian parent by basing every decision on the ‘Shock your Mom’ factor. Add in the wealth that globalization and EU funds undoubtedly brought us and I don’t see any chance of a change of course. And I say that as someone who supports a secular state, gay marriage and abortion rights.

    Varadkar will make all the usual noises about kicking the Church (short of actually shelling out the money to buy the schools they own of course…), replace our unenforced blasphemy law with very much enforced hate speech laws, then smile for photos at Clonskeagh mosque with the Muslim Brotherhood. And the Gutmenschen of ‘liberal’ Ireland will be happy.

  173. Hi John Michael,

    Many thanks for the consideration. I don’t know either and I felt an echo.

    Hi Tripp,

    Haha! Thanks for the suggestion of the seeds. They would not survive customs which are surprisingly good at stopping seeds coming into the country. But you have given me some hope that the tea camellia will get stronger. It survived the frost having only lost a few leaves, so fingers crossed. 🙂



  174. My instinct is the same as a couple of other commentators: everything else equal, I’d have expected short-terms disruptions from Brexit resulting in economic slowdown (followed by benefits in the intermediate and long term). This chart suggests otherwise. Assuming it pans out, that means either my expectations were wrong or all else isn’t equal and something is swamping the short-term negative effects.

    Is there an obvious reason why conditions would improve immediately? I’d already noted that there was likely to be some benefit just from hiring people to beef up customs, but didn’t think that would be enough. Hmm… I hadn’t thought about the possibility of refurbishing some of the western ports such as Liverpool, though, and that just might do it. You’d have to hire quite a few people for the job, and since IIRC most of the western British ports are close to the old industrial/coal region trade shifting to use those ports would redirect trade revenue towards those relatively impoverished parts of the country.

    Of course, it could also just be the wealth effect – people thinking they’re going to get money soon and spending more because of it. Neptune’s position here might actually be an indicator of that – in the fourth, ruling the fifth of speculation and leisure.

    (Note to self: There’s one indicator here that might push against this ingress being great for the UK – namely, the very fact that the ascendant ruler is detrimented.)

    As for possible things that could swamp negative Brexit effects? Given Britain’s longstanding reputation as a banking center and Sagittarius’s association with foreign investment, the obvious candidate is capital flight, probably from a crisis in a developing country. (AIUI banks are traditionally a second house matter, though these days the fifth is probably also involved, so this might well be a good year for bankers.) That… is possible; Mercury ruling the eighth is a point against it, but I’m not sure whether that applies to individual foreign investors and at any rate that might be pointing more to the effects of Uranus in the sixth. So I checked the charts of all of the BRICS (was going to do that anyways, I’ve been looking to see if I can find the start of the next recession); all of them look at least somewhat concerning. I’d be surprised if Russia was the source of capital flight given recent UK-Russian relations, but I think they’re in the Capricorn-ruling-the-second bucket. South Africa has Saturn rising ruling the ascendant, Moon conjunct midheaven, Mars and Uranus in the fifth, and Neptune in the third ruling the fourth, which looks to my eyes like an indicator that land seizures will proceed. Brazil has Mars in the eighth ruling the second,which might indicate economic trouble, though I think that chart is emphasizing other issues (I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s indicating a coup). India has Mercury ruling the fifth and eighth, Moon in the eighth, and both Sun and Mercury-Neptune in the second. Beijing is probably the most noteworthy; it’s got Mars in Taurus in the second (which I’ve seen noted before as an indicator of overspending coming home to roost) ruling the eighth and Mercury-Neptune in the twelfth conjunct the ascendant! Also Moon in the seventh ruling the fifth and Pisces ascendant – sounds like the Trade Wars are going to be on people’s brains, and that might be consistent with people who can do so (i.e, the kind of people covered by the fifth house) getting their money out of the country. All of those look like plausible candidates for capital flight to me. (The US chart might also be relevant: my read is that it’s mostly concerned with politics, but it does have Uranus present in the Mars-ruled eighth house.)

    Other thoughts:
    – I’ve heard some rumblings about the possibility of medical supply shortages in the immediate aftermath of Brexit; that’s another possible manifestation of Uranus in the sixth of this chart.
    – Is the EU itself or any of its major countries other than Ireland associated with Taurus? (Germany? I’d expect them to be either a Taurus or Capricorn nation…) Ireland shares a land border with the UK; as such, I would think UK-Irish relations would be covered by the third house instead of the seventh, in which case somebody else should be involved. (Alternately, what’s Argentina’s sign?)
    – Given Uranus in Taurus in the sixth of the armed services and Venus ruling both the seventh and twelfth I wonder about the possibility of the IRA doing something. I could see Uranus in the house of soldiers indicating paramilitary and/or terrorist forces, though I’d need a better handle on both planet conjunct nadir and Venus-Uranus in mutual reception to make any firm predictions.
    – I wonder if the religious scandal is just the Catholic Church’s… issues (*wrinkles face in disgust*) continuing to get exposed to sunshine, especially with Mars in the seventh and Jupiter in Sagittarius in the second. Maybe something concerning the Vatican bank? I’ve heard rumblings about corruption there for quite a while now…

  175. @inohuri: This really brings home how some people “belong” to various cultures: despite not being born or (mostly) raised in New England, I clearly have a Yankee soul, because the concept of having a conversation with a stranger while waiting to cross the street *horrifies* me. Why is this person talking to me? Do they want money? If they do, I wish they’d ask for it already. What *do* they want? Oh, God, are they hitting on me? Or about to tell me about Jesus or Xenu? What agenda do they have that didn’t include “leave this random chick alone with her thoughts” and how long are they going to continue it and do I need to pretend that I have an errand Over There?

    I’m glad to help people in distress, but the idea of *conversation* with strangers leaves me aghast. (I have seriously thought about learning to embroider just so I can make a dust jacket with “This Book Is More Interesting Than You” for subway-riding purposes.*) And asking *questions* of strangers, other than the “does this bus go to Green Street?” variety–oh Lord no. Among my people, you don’t ask personal questions until you’ve known someone for at least a year or five (unless they bring it up–“I have to pick my daughter up from camp today,” is an opening for polite how-old-is-she, is-she-your-only-kid questions) and even then it’s extremely dangerous territory. 🙂

    On the other hand, I’m California-influenced (some might say “tainted”) enough that cheerful greetings are great, and I cheerfully return them–as long as I’m sure I’m not letting myself in for further interaction by doing so.

    *Occasionally some Subway Guy will try to open conversation by asking what I’m reading, and I will generally reply, “A book,” which seems to make matters very clear.

  176. Nastarana,

    Apology accepted. I copy and paste to avoid name errors which I am sure to make.

    I have always avoided using names as my weak memory makes it hard to get it right and people get soooo upset when I get it wrong.

    Now I avoid gender pronouns because I am likely to get that “wrong” too.

    If I am called “Sir” it is quite often with a dose of patronizing disrespect.

  177. @forecastingintelligence:

    “A hard Brexit will lead to tariffs (based on WTO – 4%) and will end freedom of movement as one of the consequences of exiting the EU without a deal.”

    That’s on the European side. On the UK side, we are not compelled to impose tariffs or to end freedom of movement – we can choose not to. That was the whole point of Brexit, after all: to take back our right to make these choices for ourselves. I’m not sure what John’s policy on links is, but you can read all about it simply by searching for “Brexit unilateral free trade”.

    As for where I got the idea that “a post-Brexit Britain will turn into a neo-liberal dystopia”, that’s very simple: by actually listening to the people designing it. For example, Dominic Raab has recently promised “unilateral action” to maintain frictionless trade and transport with the EU if need be, and there’s been endless talk of new free trade deals (primarily with the US) as one of the main benefits.

    “For those who find that difficult to believe, we saw a surge in the UK stock market within days of the Brexit vote”

    The reason for that is perfectly straight-forward: the FTSE100 is dominated by companies which primarily operate in foreign currencies, and the value of the pound sank significantly.

  178. David,

    That description of the elite inferiority complex behind adherence to the EU is remarkably similar to Ireland, another ‘backward’ Catholic country. Although I would say here it’s not at all limited to the elites. A huge part of it is like the politics of teenage girls – the poor wallflowers on the edge striving to be accepted into the gang of rich, successful, confident girls.

    Ireland did better from the bargain than Spain for many reasons. But for the same reasons our economy is also much more fragile and reliant on globalisation. We need a free flow of international capital to run our tax haven economy, deregulated finance to run our casino finance sector and free movement of labour to enable our US multinationals to import their labour force of IT whizz kids from across the planet.

  179. Dear Lathechuck, I suggest that you might want to consider that “racism” is very much beside the point in the FL. governor’s race. First, many of us are depressingly familiar with the say something outrageous so as to provoke a reaction ploy. Second, the Democratic National Committee is not at all pleased by the outcome of its’ gubernatorial primary. In the New South, rising Black stars are expected to go to congress and take orders from the Congressional Black Caucus. They are not to aspire to the senate or to governorships, or at least, not too many at one time. There already is a designated Black candidate for a Southern governorship, in Georgia, who will probably loose, and then Dem apparatchiks can all sigh and write columns about ignorant red necks and so on. The DNC got caught flatfooted because of being too busy engineering the permanent departure from politics of Alan Grayson and Tim Canova to pay much attention to the governor’s race. Which is why the young mayor was summoned to appear on MSNBC to (they hoped) make a fool of himself either denouncing “racism” of the remarks and offend white voters, or fail to denounce and offend his base. Though clearly unused to the national spotlight, the Mayor didn’t do too badly, but, unfortunately he seemed to be unaware that MSNBC is where the establishment kills candidates it doesn’t like.

  180. Phil Knight, the events in Chemnitz last week are a superb example of the detachment of the liberal elites. After a stabbing by an Iraqi, who should have been expelled two years ago, but wasn’t, there was political unrest in the streets of Chemnitz; Neo-Nazis, people sympathizing with the AfD /Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) and people sympathizing with the left took spontaneously to the streets, and the police had difficulty to keep the contrahents from going at each other’s throats. Ultimately, the only answer the liberal elite came up with was a big peace-concert with the usual kitschy platitudes about peace, diversity and multiculturalism on the one hand, and condemning right-extremist violence on the other.
    I don’t necessarily think there will be a catastrophe, but the conflicts here mentioned will get more acerbic and have consequences. An opinion poll in Germany already showed that the SPD (the Social Democrats), one of the oldest parties in Germany, would have less votes than the AfD in a Bundestag election; the succession in number of votes would be CDU (Christian Democrats) – AfD – SPD – others.

  181. If Ireland is a Taurus nation, what date is considered their founding? Ireland having been through so many changes over the millennia. Likewise, would France start it’s calendar with the French Revolution? And what about England? 1066 and all that?

  182. I know I’m quite late to this post and on the tangent topic, but for what it’s worth….

    Regarding Robert Gibson’s “gripe about newfangled verbal taboos is that somebody must be deciding these things, and whoever it is, or whoever they are, are being given too much power. They haven’t been elected or even appointed. Nobody knows who they are,” and Quinn’s response “the minority group which is referred to by that language, of course, by the normal gradual forms of social consensus that slowly shift the meanings of all words.”

    I am dubious about not all, but at least some, of this.

    Ever head the term “the jig is up”?

    According to almost every – as in “all but one, and not a reliable one” – source I can find, it’s an English-language term dating to the Middle Ages. “Jig” means something akin to game (jest, trick, deception), and the jig being “up” means it’s over – e.g., “the game of deception is over, you’ve been caught/found out.” I’ve heard and read and used “the jig is up” that way all my life.

    And then I used the phrase, and someone got quite offended and informed me that “the jig is up” is a horrible, racist thing to say, and I need to stop using it, because it refers to the lynching of African Americans (a.k.a. blacks) in the American south. It was explained to me that “jig” was a euphemism for the racial slur “nigger” and that “is up” meant that the victim was literally hung up, and that the phase was some kind of secret KKK code for a successful lynching.

    Well, one, I’d never heard such a thing, and two, was pretty darn sure that “the jig is up” phrase was far older than American racial lynching, so I went looking for the documentation.

    All but one, single, blog said exactly what I thought – it was an old phrase dating to Shakespeare’s time at least, and meant exactly what I thought it did. But one individual who seemed to be some sort of self-professed expert on the “real” meaning of the term had made a blog post featuring an enraged rant about the use of this “racist” term – and now random people are apparently going around repeating the news that “the jig is up” is a racist thing to say. (If they heard is someplace else more reliable, I can’t find it; all reliable sources I can find say the phrase means exactly what I think it means and nothing more.)

    So what’s going on here?

    Does a phrase dating to Shakespeare’s time at the latest have some sort of secret racist connotation that is documented literally nowhere that I can find other than one blog post? Or did some trouble-maker just get it into his or her head to create a problem where there wasn’t one for some mystery reason of their own?

    While I don’t support the use of racial epitaphs and agree that yes, definitely, some words are obvious slurs intended as such (and/or have evolved by wide consensus to be slurs), I also wonder – how much of this is “gradual social consensus” and how much is just a euphemism treadmill designed by self-proclaimed “experts” as a form of self-congratulatory PC one-upmanship and classist virtue-signaling?. (“Oh, don’t you know? That word/phrase is now taboo! We’ve decided it’s to be replaced with this word! Clearly you haven’t been keeping up with the latest elite language fashions! [disdainful sniff] You must be one of *those people*!”)

    And yes, this was a post on astrology, but we’ve touched on the language issue before and I do think it’s both very complicated and relevant to some of the other discussion about class (and class-signalling, and exclusion) that go on here.

  183. Dear JMG,

    How does the process of assigning countires to Zodiacs happen? Is it done arbitrarily by the astrologer? Also what is the sign of Turkey?

    As for Brexit, as someone from outside of both US and UK, Brexit is a very foolish thing that shouldn’t have been done at all. There is no positive outcome for it and going through it will be just getting diminished.

    “If you give ten thousand working class families a hundred pounds each, on the other hand, you know as well as I do that they’re going to spend it, and since their expenditures are someone else’s income, the whole economy benefits.”

    And that is why the Universal Basic Income is needed.

    “So the end of EU policies that permit foreign workers to flood British labor markets, and foreign products to do the same thing in British shops, will bring about a significant improvement in the British economy.”

    Sadly not exactly in both cases. Without the foreign workers, the employers either have to increase the prices so that maybe the wages might interest the Britons that don’t want to do jobs, have close business due to labor shortage and/or being unprofitable, or have to go the way of automation. And without foreign products British products will be fleecing British consumers, becuaes they have no reason to not fleecing the consumers.

    Have a nice day


  184. @DFC

    Hope it is not too late for you to see this. Thanks for your insights into Spain’s entry to the EU. l mean it. I actually agree / acknowledge your points. I intended my use of ‘in modern terms’ as a ‘qualifier’.

    UK really only took off from the ‘coal age’ when I was in my teens when we started to use cheap petroleum for anything we could think of – following where we could the American model. Mass motoring and then mass flying for example were slower to grow in UK but still kept on growing through the 70s – 90s even through de-industrialisation and periods of high unemployment. Health, morbidity patterns, fertility rates and life expectancy and etc. continued to ‘modernise’. However, I emphasise that I still consider Thatcher’s accelerated gutting of UK industry and manufacture as a social catastrophe with dire ongoing results we have not come to terms with. Like Spain we are not ready for any next ‘downturn’.

    In my view we could afford to continue to ‘modernise’ from 1980s onwards because of the high returns still available from the use of petroleum and then NG, and from the existing legacy infrastructure. The increasing efficiencies of high volume manufacture and bulk transport (containers and vast carriers globally) and the logistics enabled by digital technology also were key technical means to utilise the energy base both here and of course more widely in ‘advanced economies’. Something similar happened to agriculture even in UK which had long ago lost all but a tiny fraction of the population actually engaged in farming. In my view ‘mass tourism’ was another example of getting a ‘return’ on the petroleum resource. Spain as a destination started off in Franco’s day very cheap by British standards.

    Spain Portugal and Greece came late to the party and got caught badly by the downturn. The earlier Greece when I was there in the 60s was not a ‘modern’ place. The rural exodus had accelerated and in some remote areas there were very few people under the age of 40. The young men were in Germany as ‘guest workers’ and the young women in Italy in domestic service – I simplify somewhat, Athens had grown huge. Rural life in Southern Italy also was pretty much stranded – also with large numbers of ‘guest workers’ both in Northern Italy’s back then pretty vigorous manufacturing zone, and elsewhere, though somewhat ameliorated probably compared with the post-war conditions described by Danilo Dolci.

    Next moves? Parts of Eastern and Central Europe appear to be growing economically following the previous EU standard model. How long this can go on, and whether it is at somebody else’s expense, I cannot guess. I agree wholeheartedly that in Southern Europe (140 million?) particularly with very high youth unemployment, the existing economic model is unsustainable. What next, goodness alone knows? If ‘you’ go down, then Britain is also at very high risk, even if we think we are moored off-shore.

    and very good luck
    Phil H

  185. Isabel, oh, granted, The Last Battle set a very high standard for rancid tomato-surprise endings, and not much rises (or sinks) to its level. On the other hand, I owe a certain debt of gratitude to CS Lewis for writing it; it was when I read it the first and only time that it really sank in how much of the apocalypse myth — not just the Christian version of it, the whole kit and caboodle of it — is an attempt to explain away the failures and contradictions in a dogmatic ideology. Sure, nothing works the way we say it should, but just wait, the Great Pumpkin will arrive any day now and then our dogmas will start making sense! I think it was when Aslan was prattling about how the Pevensies weren’t yet as blissfully happy as he wanted them to be that I thought, “and exactly how does God show the least concern with making human beings happy here and now?”

    Inohuri, that I know of, those aren’t being measured yet in any way that counts. Still, I could certainly be wrong.

    Chris, I look forward to seeing the Queen riding a galloping horse, leading an army of rabid sheep into battle. It would certainly improve the otherwise boring quality of British politics!

    Shane, as I noted in response to the request, that’s a hugely complex issue to analyze via mundane astrology. As for signs, most of them have been traditional since ancient times, and were derived via complex methods nobody really understands any more.

    Matt, I remain convinced that the revolt of the working (and would-be-working-if-there-were-jobs) classes against the managerial classes is the most important political fact of our time, and I see no reason to exclude Britain from that analysis. When I talk about the privileged classes, please note, I’m not talking about the uppermost 1%; correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe that permanently unemployed families in the vast urban slums of the Midlands are spending a lot of time vacationing in Spain. It’s precisely the middle classes, the upper 20% or so by income, who have been both the major proponents and the major beneficiaries of the policies that have destroyed the working classes.

    With regard to your final point about the elites, I’m reminded of something I heard over and over again during the 2016 election over here. A lot of people who voted for Trump cheerfully admitted that they were buying a pig in a poke, and that he might disappoint them profoundly. What made them support Trump was that voting for him, at least they had a chance of getting some of their grievances addressed; voting for Clinton, on the other hand, guaranteed four or eight more years of the same policies that had destroyed their communities and driven many of them into destitution and misery. I’ve heard much the same thing from people who voted for Brexit: sure, it’s a gamble, but voting for Remain would guarantee that an intolerable situation was just going to keep on getting worse.

    Dunc, see my last comment to Matt above. It’s not as though the Remain side was offering anything but more misery and impoverishment for the working classes, you know…

    Chris, it is indeed. Heh heh heh…

    Daniil, you’d use the founding date, time, and place of the current, post-Soviet government as the basis of your foundation chart. The data I could find pointed to December 25, 1991, 5:19 Pm GMT, in Moscow. It’s an interesting and generally favorable chart, with Leo rising, Taurus at midheaven, and Jupiter in the second house of wealth.

    Phil K, I’m very much afraid that you’re going to turn out to be right — and it’s precisely the tendency of the liberal intelligentsia to fixate on emotionally appealing symbolism and ignore the actual impact of their policies on the ground that will lead to the next round of really ugly European politics-cum-warfare.

    Forecastingintelligence, fascinating. If that’s the game Corbyn means to play, he’s even smarter than I thought: incremental changes directed at the most unpopular policies of the existing system, thus giving his supporters some obvious wins while not galvanizing the other side into all-out opposition. We’ll see, but that could very well be a winning strategy.

    John, duly noted! Historical astrology very often requires reliance on shaky data; before the modern period, in particular, it’s usually the case that we have to get by on someone’s unsourced comment, approximately confirmed by the recollections of others who were there at the time. Thomas Jefferson and Elbridge Gerry, who were both there, said that the Declaration was signed on the 4th late in the afternoon, after a day of debates; July 4 celebrations in Philadelphia during the Revolution began promptly at 5 pm; and the copy of Raphael’s Ephemeris for 1776 owned by contemporary astrologer John B. Earley has written into the margin in Earley’s hand, next to July 4, “Declaration signed 10:10 PM” — that’s GMT, of course, so roughly 5:12 PM Philadelphia local time. For an eighteenth-century historical event, that’s a pretty good data set.

    Steve, true enough, but they don’t have to. One of the things I only realized in retrospect, watching the vagaries of the fracking industry, is that this is one of the places where politics supplants economics; it’s important enough for the US to produce much of its own oil that the money is going to be made available for fracking even if it’s not economical.

    Phitio, hmm. I’d have to look into that, starting with the foundation chart for the EU.

    Username, it’s a good question why the chart shows an economic improvement so clearly. Is the economic burden of EU regulations on small businesses so onerous that once it’s removed, they’ll be able to expand and hire new employees at a significantly greater rate/ Is it simply that the end of free movement will force labor costs up, transferring more wealth to the working classes and thus generating a bigger wealth effect? To some extent we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Patricia, the proper foundation chart for Ireland has been a matter of some dispute, since there are many possible dates! On the principle that the formal legal declaration of full independence is the date that matters, the relevant event would be the signing of the Republic of Ireland Act, 11:25 am local time, December 21, 1948, in Dublin. This was the act that formally repudiated Britain’s status as Ireland’s overlord and made the President of the Republic of Ireland, rather than the British monarch, Ireland’s head of state. The relation between Ireland and Taurus doesn’t derive from the foundation chart; it’s a bit of traditional lore relying on ancient astrological principles not well understood these days.

    The birthdate of Germany is the proclamation of the German Empire, 1:00 pm local time, 18 January 1871, Versailles, France. Before then Germany wasn’t a single country.

    Berke, Turkey is traditionally associated with Virgo. As for your other points, obviously I disagree; we’ll just have to see who turns out to be correct.

  186. RE: Historical astrology and the signing of the Declaration of Independence: I’m guessing, not knowing much about astrology, that the whole thing is even more confounded because lack of standardization in clocks; until the advent of the railroad and ‘railway time’, the telegraph, starting in the mid-1840s (see Wikipedia article ). Any thoughts on this?

  187. Oh, God, Isabel, that’s why Southerners hate Yankees–we’re the exact polar opposite. No wonder we shouldn’t be sharing a country!

  188. JMG – Your reference to the political importance of US domestic oil production invites me to share a tiny story from the Wash. Post of some day in the last week. There was cheerful celebration that US oil production has reached an all-time high, over 10 million barrels per day! It was not reported (though quickly researched on-line) that US oil consumption is nearly 20 million barrels per day. Woo-whoo! We produced more than we imported… just barely. We produced more than half of what we consumed… just barely.

  189. EI–your comment about “the jig is up” reminds me of the repeated assertion that “rule of thumb” derived from an actual law that allowed a man to beat his wife so long as he didn’t use a stick thicker than his thumb. That law never existed–but that didn’t keep people from being lambasted for their insensitivity in using the phrase. There was also a case in which a government official either lost or resigned from his job after being assailed for using the term niggardly. His opponents assumed erroneously that the term was related to the ‘N’ word. Even appeals to the dictionary could not save him because such a word choice, even if used accurately denoted a lack of awareness.

    On the demise of the English industrial regions British comic Caitlin Moran has a scathing essay in _Moranifesto_ about refusing to mourn the death of Margaret Thatcher, contrasting the busy, employed industrial town in which she grew up to the unemployed, empty except for discount stores and lines for the dole, shell that it became. I recommend listening to the audiobook for the full effect.


  190. Hmm, this got me wondering… What would be the best time and place to found a country in the near future? 😉

  191. JMG:

    “Dunc, see my last comment to Matt above. It’s not as though the Remain side was offering anything but more misery and impoverishment for the working classes, you know…”

    Oh, I absolutely agree, and I don’t see anything in my comment that implies that they did. However, I believe most Leave voters have been persuaded a pig in a poke from a bunch of liars and swindlers who are absolutely committed to making all of those problems worse. In the hope of freeing themselves, they have also released the bonds which held these monsters at least somewhat in check – and it’s the monsters who are running the show now.

    Unfortunately, I do not believe that the option of following policies which might actually improve matters was ever really on the table.

    I guess all we can do now is to wait and see…

  192. OT, again,
    but the Calexit national “Consent to Secede” effort is pretty well organized, combined w/state chapters, links to web legislator lookups for each state, form letters and emails to modify and send. Successful secession here we come!

  193. Have not kept up with the comments this week, but fwiw after just a few days in London this past summer and chatting with a few people who grew up there, my sense is people just want the craziness to end. Londoners don’t strike me as rebels and aren’t going to go against the majority for the greater good. For me the greater good is the UK being independent of the rest of Europe.

    I came across this podcast with Jocko Wilink who has made a name for himself as a veteran Navy Seal who teaches leadership. He came up with his four fundamental laws of combat based on his experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is such a perfect description of Trump’s tactics:

    Cover and Move 
    * Lay down, cover fire (keep the enemy distracted), and then maneuver to a better position where you can flank

    Keep thing simple
    * Have simple plans
    * Communicate in a concise manner that your team understands

    Prioritize and execute
    * You’ll always have lots of problems, don’t try to solve them all at once – just solve the biggest first, then move on to the next

    Decentralized Command
    * Everybody leads on a team
    * “Who knows better what maneuver to make in the front lines, than the person that’s in the front lines?”

    As we go through another week of another book promising to bring down Trump. Lost track of how many its been now – 4? 6? Feeling like the White House staff tells outrageous stories off the record in a secret competition to see whose story could get published. “I’ll tell them he watches the gorilla channel every night”. “I’m going to them we drug him and hide newspapers from him.”

  194. Hello again JMG,

    don’t know if we are still running on this thread, but…

    At risk of beating this to death, I wasn’t confining my definition of privilege to the top 1%, and I think the whole holidaying-in-Spain thing may suggest some element of misreading the UK. You may have to hold your nose at the academic language (I did!) but this link I found has some interesting stats about Brits holidaying in Spain, which makes it clear that there is a very strong, even predominant, working class component to it.

    I suspect many of these 13 million holidaymakers would have cheerfully voted for Brexit – it would be good to see that study done. I also personally know people who don’t work, or live very precariously on part-time jobs, who manage to get away for foreign holidays. The more middle class elements (within which I would count myself, by current status but not in origin) split between those who head for more exotic climes, or who make a point of ‘staycationing’ in the UK.

    On your other point, I am coming with you on the journey of the significance of the working-class revolt. My biggest challenge is probably that, after nearly two decades of political activity that centred on the idea of working-class revolt (now in my past) it’s like Obi Wan Kenobi: ‘this is not the working-class revolt you are looking for’.

    The ‘newness’ of Trump is an interesting angle. In the UK, I think it was Brexit as a realistic, available possibility that was new, but what certainly wasn’t new was the collection of politicians that promoted it or, like Boris Johnson, jumped on the bandwagon late in the day. For my entire adult life the Tory party has been at war over the EU, and even those who supported the EU would cynically play the EU-bashing game (“they won’t let us have bent bananas” etc. etc.) to divert attention from their own failures. What I’m trying to say is that these people have form, we know them, in our blood, and any benefits to the workers that are imaginable out of Brexit can only be, for these characters, unintended consequences. You wrote a while back about interests vs. values in politics – by their fruits we know that these staunch advocates of Leave don’t have the interests of workers at heart.

    One increasingly obvious factor is that the main leaders of Brexit also only seem to be comfortable in the position of opposition, and now it’s actually happening they don’t seem to know, as one of my old comrades used to say, whether to have a sh*t or a haircut.

    We’re in interesting times. Just as with Trump, attempts to reverse the outcome of the vote by administrative means would be a political disaster, but at the same time there does seem to be some shift in sentiment. I don’t think most Leave voters will feel they got what they were hoping for, and sometimes I worry about where they will turn.

    All the best,


  195. Tragedy Can Be Beautiful Too
    September 5, 2018 Posted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

    “I’ve had a few comments lately wondering why I’m against Brexit, while before the referendum I was not. Someone even remembered I had been talking about Beautiful Brexit back in 2016. It’s real simple. Brexit could be, or could have been, a good idea. There’s a lot wrong with the way the European Union is set up. There’s nothing democratic about Germany always having the last say when it comes to important decisions. Slaughtering the entire nation of Greece on the altar of saving Deutsche and Commerzbank says it all.

    “But Brexit today is not the same -anymore- as it was before or during the June 23 2016 vote. What happened is that nothing happened. The Brits wasted two whole years and change, and the complexity of the process never allowed for that kind of delay.”

  196. Horoscope Theresa May.

    Progressive aspects.

    4-March-2019 029°,32’58 Scorpio Moon 90 Plu
    17-March-2019 000°,00’00 Sagittarius Moon Nw
    22-March-2019 002°,32’48 Scorpio C–2 * PRINCEPS (MERC – SAT )
    30-March-2019 000°,27’20 Sagittarius Moon 90 mutual Plu
    31-March-2019 009°,22’33 Sagittarius Sun 60 C—3

    29-March-2019 +20°,50’10 Mars // C-12
    29-March-2019 029°,07’08 Taurus Mars 180 Sat
    30-March-2019 029°,32’58 Taurus Mars 90 Plu
    30-March-2019 006°,32’24 Aquarius Moon 0 Chiron
    30-March-2019 001°,13’14 Taurus Ura 90 AR12 (arabic part)

  197. Just discovered.
    Terrific site.
    One question for you and Sara.

    How do you read the recent Venus in Scorpio retrograde conjunct this Brexit chart’s ascendant playing out in regard to ongoing negotiations about the Irish border ?

    A concerned NYC born, London raised, Anglo- Irish resident of County Antrim.

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