On Wednesday, Westminster Bridge was the scene of a terrorist incident and Parliament and its surrounding buildings were in lockdown. A British born man, Khalid Masood, drove into passersby then tried to enter the gates of Parliament, and stabbed a policeman to death. Five people died in total, including the perpetrator, and fifty people were injured. Though many potential attacks have been foiled since, this was the first attack of its scale in London since 7/7/05. There are many questions yet to be answered and issues raised, such as whether he was acting alone, what were his motives, and how far he was influenced by radicalization by ISIS, whether police in the City should be armed, and how far the police can keep tabs on all suspects. I will have a brief look at the charts of some of those involved, though crucially some important dates are currently missing, such as the birth date of the brave and heroic policeman who lost his life, Keith Palmer.
Chart of the Attack
The attack happened at 2.40 pm. in the centre of political life in London, with 14 degrees Leo rising, and 27 degrees Aries at the Midheaven, exactly trine Saturn at the Galactic Centre. The chart is dominated by a T-square between Jupiter in Libra, opposing Mercury/Uranus in Aries and squaring onto Pluto/Moon in Capricorn. It was two days before the Mercury-Pluto-Jupiter T-square was to become exact. Themes of travel (Mercury) and destruction (Pluto) are involved, and Jupiter may represent the many tourists who were caught up in the incident (there were said to be 12 countries involved). The Moon in Capricorn (the sign of government) was exactly square Uranus (planet of disruption).
The birth date of the killer, Khalid Masood, was clearly announced on the evening news on Thursday as 25th December 1964. His age of 52 was remarkable as being untypical of the usual young radicalized Moslem involved in incidents of this type. So far they have not established that he was working with a team, and there may be a strong element of mental illness involved. These rogue factors make it difficult for the police to identify who constitutes a strong risk. Over the last year or two, there has been a pattern of cars or lorries on the continent driving into pedestrians, a method of killing which does not require sophisticated planning. There was a copycat such incident the next day in Antwerp.
Masood’s planets show 6 in the Earth element, 0 planets in Air (tending to work on instinct), and 7 out of his 10 planets in Mutable signs (perhaps indicating a rudderless existence). He had Mercury square Mars, which often exhibits a quick temper; Mercury square Pluto (some morbidity of thought, and an aspect he shares with Martin McGuinness); and Mercury square Uranus (mental unpredictability). Pluto, Uranus and Mars were conjunct in Virgo, which of all triple conjunctions creates the most explosive cocktail of planets. He had a few convictions in the past, where he had lashed out at people, and spent short bursts of time in prison. But these were not serious enough to be within the police radar for potential terrorist offences. Mercury was conjunct the South Node in his chart in Sagittarius, and this fits his sporadic profession as a language tutor, particularly abroad in Saudi Arabia. The North Node in Gemini, indicating a path of language teaching. But Mars (conflict) is exactly square the Nodal Axis, so violence is likely to be a pattern brought in from past lives. With Mars trine Jupiter, he is often portrayed by people who knew him in the past as jolly, so he could have a deceptive exterior; others picked up that he could suddenly change and reveal a dark side. His Jupiter has interesting aspects: it trines Uranus (also like Martin McGuinness), so he has an opportunistic streak; Jupiter opposes Neptune, so there is confusion or delusion in relation to religious matters (it is not clear when he was radicalized); and Jupiter was exactly trine Pluto, so there was a great deal of latent power in his make up. He may have seen his last act as an ultimate power trip. His first criminal offence took place in November 1983, when Pluto (the planet of power) was exactly trine his natal Saturn (Sun ruler), pushing at the boundaries of his inner sense of self.
On Wednesday, at the time of the attack and also when he died, Pluto was sextile his Neptune (also pushing him, this time concerning spiritual boundaries), and Jupiter was sextile his Mercury (he was said to be cheerful coming up to the event, by those who met him at the hotel he stayed at in Brighton the night before). In his own mind, he may have been convinced of the rightness of what he was doing, especially if he was sold on the doctrine of the rewards of jihad.
Theresa May transits
We do not have Theresa May’s birthtime, but it appears that the North Node in early Virgo may have been close to her natal Moon, karma requiring her to step up to the plate, and bring out her Inner Statesman/woman. It was certainly her greatest challenge so far since taking over her role as Prime Minister.
Sadiq Khan transits
As London Mayor, the challenges of the event do show up in his chart. Saturn squares his Pluto, which describes the seriousness of the occasion. Sadiq has significant links with the charts of London (of which there are at least three), and the U.K. charts, and has certainly been a very involved Mayor, much more hands on, I would venture to say, than his predecessor.
There are heartening features surrounding the response to this attack: the speed at which the police responded, and the many people who tried to help. One such was the Conservative M.P. Tobias Ellwood, who had formerly served with the Royal Green Jackets. He sat quietly in the House of Commons the next day, as described by John Crace in the Guardian:
“All the while, Ellwood stood at the back of the chamber, arms crossed, holding his feelings in, as colleagues praised his actions. he looked in pain; as if he would much rather be anywhere else but knew he couldn’t not be there. As MPs drifted away, many, including Jeremy Corbyn, stopped to touch his arm and thank him for what he had done. Ellwood half-smiled, but gave little away. Whatever he was thinking and feeling was for him and him alone.”
He has in his chart a helpful conjunction of Mars exactly conjunct Jupiter in Cancer, and a compassionate Neptune on the South Node. He tried, as did others, to help Keith Palmer, but his efforts were sadly in vain. Chiron was exactly conjunct his natal Chiron at this time, i.e. he had his Chiron Return in Pisces. This experience will stay with him, and shape his Inner Healer in the future.
This week the South Node (karma) was conjunct the Pluto (destructiveness) in the 1801 Union chart. Khalid Masood’s Mercury is conjunct the Mercury in this chart, and his Neptune (confusion) is exactly conjunct its Neptune.
Khalid Masood also has interesting links with the 1066 chart of the coronation of William I. He has the same birthday (Christmas Day), so the Suns are conjunct. Uranus (disruption) was square the Venus of this chart on Wednesday, and in the transits of this chart Saturn was conjunct Saturn (i.e. a Saturn Return was being experienced), i.e. a challenge to the structures of society.
“Upon Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
This poem was written in a moment of inspiration when Wordsworth stood on that bridge, Venus touching his own inner healer, Chiron. It is a vision of Westminster Bridge at its most serene. Time will never erase what happened there this week, and there are mothers on this Mother’s Day who will be missing their loved ones as a result of what happened, as well as the children missing their mother who died at the scene, but it is good to remember that place in a spirit of healing.
To read also about Martin McGuinness, please click the link to the right or read below
Happy Mother’s Day to you all! Mercury conjuncts Uranus today, which could make it a day of surprises and inventive ideas. You may have been inspired to an unusual turn of phrase when writing your card(s). Meetings could bring some lightning flashes of wit. Telepathy between mothers and children, or between siblings, may occur, e.g. identical gifts could be offered!
Tomorrow Mars sextiles Neptune, starting the working week with the opportunity to combine physicality and spirituality. Time to organize that lunchtime office tai chi, quijong or Yoga group you’ve had in mind lately… If you need to put your point across or assert yourself in the workplace, you can find a way to do it sensitively but authentically.
The New Moon at 7 degrees Aries on Tuesday (28th) is another new beginning along the lines of last week’s Spring Equinox, very much getting down to the basics of what you would like to create in your life, with the Spring energy. Practical tasks are now easier to envisage, initiate and formulate. You have permission to concentrate on your own needs from the Universe; pleasing yourself may also create pleasure for others.
Mercury trines Saturn on Wednesday (29th), good for continuing practical projects and planning the detail. It is an aspect of concentration and precision, so mental faculties are efficient. Travel is slow but sure. It is the day Theresa May is planning to press the Brexit button, so that pressing may be O.K. but…
The next day, Thursday (30th) brings a recurrence of the Jupiter-Pluto square, and although that does not occur on the actual day, it is a far weightier measure of the energies that will be unleashed by the triggering of Brexit, being a major aspect. Difficult power struggles in a nutshell, and that is likely to be the long term characteristic of this endeavour, so very relevant. It will be two years of tough negotiation, so at some point I will look at the two year mark astrologically to see how the planetary land lies.
On Friday (31st) Mercury enters into Taurus. It leaves Aries and the initiatory mental energy it displayed in that sign, so you may be expected to put some work into projects you initiated on the earlier days of the week. Projects need to be sustained and supported (Taurus), not just initiated (Aries). This work may literally fall to the Taureans, whom many describe as their “rock”. Virgoans and Capricorns are also good at following through, and honouring the practicalities of work, and so you may also see them on the coal face. It’s also a good time to get arty, such as in music, pottery or sculpture. Ideas that come while Mercury in Taurus are likely to be realistic and realizable. Mercury retrogrades on 9th April, then re-enters Aries on 20th, so make good productive use of this window.
The week in bullet points:
- Today – wit and surprise
- Tomorrow – physicality with spirituality
- Tuesday – new beginning
- Wednesday – look at the small print
- Thursday – power struggles
- Friday – practical mental directions