The Hon. Julia Gillard, Australia's First Female PM
A Pattern of Political Change in Australia
the Power of the Dragon's Head
Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having overthrown the previous PM Kevin Rudd in a palace coup on 24th July 2010, has called a federal election on August 21, just as Mercury turns retrograde in Virgo. Evidently she did not consult an astrologer for the timing of this! In this article leading Australian astrologer, Ed Tamplin, supplies some background information about the historical patterns of political change in Australia, with particular attention to the power of the Moon's North Node, the mighty Dragon's Head. Will she survive? Time will tell.
June 24 2010 will go down in history as introducing Australia's first female Prime Minister. All at the expense of the leader Kevin Rudd being extraordinarily replaced during his first term of office. Yet history reveals Australian political change accentuated under the Cancer/Capricorn eclipse cycle. The North Node travelling through Capricorn is a potent sign of power shifts within the ranks of the Australian Labor Party!
On November 14 1916 Australia was two years into WWI. Enlistment was voluntary. Britain had introduced conscription from January 6 that year. English-born Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes, having returned from London, was vigorously campaigning for the same. His Labor colleagues opposed it. Hughes' blind imperialism eventually forced a national referendum on the issue. Hughes was defeated. A closely divided nation had voted down conscription.
The serving soldiers voted 72,399 for and 58,894 against—interesting considering the pressure they would have been under to support the motion. Hughes refused to accept the public's will. He was to present the referendum again, and he would be defeated a second time. But not before he was expelled from the Labor Party on November 14 1916. The North Node was moving through Capricorn as Hughes crossed the floor and formed a governing coalition with the Liberals.
When the North Node returned to Capricorn during 1935/36 Labor leader and former Prime Minister, James Scullin, resigned at the relatively young age of fifty-nine years, due to ill health. It was expected that Francis Forde would succeed him, but the Victorian unionist John Curtin prevailed in a shock victory. Curtin went on to become one of the great Labor leaders, in what was a relatively painless handover compared with the following eclipse cycle.
The Petrov Affair
Labor Divided – Birth of the DLP
The return of the North Node in 1953/54 occasioned the most damaging divide in Labor history. The Korean War had concluded, with Australia under the Liberal leadership of Robert Menzies. The cagey Menzies was brilliantly utilising 'red menace' and 'domino theory' fear tactics on a susceptible nation, still recovering from the ravages of WWII. Menzies attempted to ban communism altogether, but like Hughes was beaten in a national referendum. With an election looming he needed a new political card to play. Enter the infamous 'Petrov' affair.
The Petrov case involved two Russian diplomats, whose time had expired in Australia, being offered political asylum in exchange for information on the KGB. Menzies ordered Mrs Petrov's plane grounded at Darwin, as she was dramatically rescued by the Federal Police. It made for perfect political theatre a month before the election. May 1954 saw Labor gain 52% of the vote, yet still lose out due to an uneven distribution of electoral boundaries.
But the Petrov affair lit the fire for the right wing faction of the Labor Party to make a decisive move—a move that was to fracture Labor unity. With the North Node well in Capricorn on October 13 1954, rebel member Bob Santamaria led a breakaway center-right group against the Labor leader Dr Evatt. This eventually led to the formation of the DLP
. It had immediate repercussions: Liberal Henry Bolte becoming Premier of Victoria for the next seventeen years and Labor in the federal wilderness for the same period.
, featuring Labor leader, later PM, Gough Whitlam
When the North Node bounced back for 1972/1973 it was Liberals who would fall from grace. On the back of an appropriate “It's Time” campaign, reformist Labor leader Gough Whitlam swept into power. His stay was to be short-lived.
The North Node last appeared in Capricorn from November 1990 to August 1992. A clue to its effect lay in the prior resignation of popular Victorian Labor Premier John Cain in the year of the ingress. Australia was in the grip of a recession, but on March 25 that year the Hawke government had been re-elected for a fourth term, and Treasurer Paul Keating elevated to Deputy PM.
During 1991 splits were soon to appear in the leadership ranks as Keating launched an internal challenge, claiming Hawke had reneged on a smooth succession deal. Keating was initially beaten 66-44 in a June 1991 ballot, and immediately moved to the backbench. With the recession dragging on, Keating resurrected with numbers 56-51 to oust Hawke from Australian leadership on December 19. The North Node in Capricorn had done its job yet again!
The Dragon's Head Changes Sign
There is a simple explanation for this predictive tool. At the birth of Australian Federation on January 1 1901, the leadership Sun was married to bureaucratic Saturn in the sign of Capricorn. Each time the North Node (eclipse cycle) moves across this area we see genuine political upheaval—and leaders are part of the eclipse process.
Moving Forward to Another Election
As the North Node returned to Capricorn from August 2009 the scene was set for further political upheaval. It started with Tony Abbott wresting the Liberal leadership from Malcolm Turnbull. Kevin Rudd would surely not welcome this influence—as he already had his own planetary crosses to bear.
In 2010 throughout April, May and June PM Kevin Rudd had been suffering a stationary Saturn, a planet that traditionally brings detours, blockages and lack of support on his Virgo Sun/Mars placement. Rudd had the 'three times proves it' aspect of Saturn. Adding to that the unpredictable transiting Uranus in opposition to the same Sun/Mars suggested he could not depend upon others' commitment.
At 10.22 pm on June 23 Kevin Rudd appeared before the Canberra press to announce a factional challenge to his leadership of the Labor Party. The writing was on the wall. At 9.35 am June 24 Julia Gillard was pronounced the new Prime Minister and by 11.25 that day Rudd was mournfully announcing his resignation. Julia Gillard was officially sworn in as PM by the Governor General at 1.02 p.m.
The two Australian horoscopes reflect the moment. The First Settlement horoscope of January 26 1788 @ 5.23 a.m. in Sydney had its secondary progressing Sun (a mark of the evolving leadership) joining its Moon—the symbol of femininity. The authoritative Sun merging with the feminine archetype of the Moon is was a striking symbolic representation of the significance of the moment
The Australian Federation' horoscope is timed at 1.35 p.m. on January 1 1901 in Sydney. From midnight that day Australia had the right to self-govern. The June 26 Capricorn eclipse was part of a Grand Cross formation pitting the outer planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto gathering around the Sun/Saturn conjunction of the Australian horoscope. It reinforced the eclipse energy so aligned to leadership change.
Holding an election with such perilous aspects for change is not such a great strategy. It could result in the government losing seats. The change factor—that Australians will also be voting for their first female Prime Minister—and the likelihood of a strong protest vote for the rebellious Greens may be the deciding factors that allow the government to carry the day.
This is the end of the article.