The Miliband Brothers

This week on the Mars-Pluto square, David Miliband announced that he is taking up a position in New York to work for a charity, the International Rescue Committee.  This is the latest twist in the sibling rivalry saga with his brother Ed.  I thought I would have a look at the family history.

Ralph Miliband

The story begins with their father, Ralph Miliband, whose chart we have (without a birth time); we do not have a chart for their mother Marion Kozak.  The family of Ralph Miliband originally came from the Jewish quarter of Warsaw, but moved to Belgium, where Ralph was born in 1924.  He came to England with his father in 1940 to avoid persecution by the Nazis.

He studied at the London School of Economics, and became a devotee of the philosophy of Karl Marx, and visited his grave in Highgate Cemetery.  At his death in 1994 he was buried there, close to Karl Marx.  In the 1960s he was involved with the movement of the New Left, and published the book Parliamentary Socialism in 1961.

Ralph Miliband had Sun in Capricorn, and Moon conjunct Mercury in Capricorn, the sign associated with politics, and indeed both his sons followed those interests and became politicians, possibly fulfilling some of his aspirations.

David Miliband

David Miliband is the older of the two brothers (born in 1965), Cancerian to Ed’s opposite sign of Capricorn.

In an Observer Profile of the brothers 1/7/07 by Andrew Anthony, at the outset of their Cabinet careers, but long before the leadership contest between them, we are treated to an interesting picture of their upbringing.

“The Miliband house in Primrose Hill in north London was a meeting place of the ‘new left’, the group of intellectuals that formed around the New Left Review, as well as more traditionalist Labourites and communists.  Tariq Ali and Tony Benn, for example, were regular visitors…

“Benn (also) writes in his diaries that Miliband senior, who was a close friend, confided that his sons complained to him about his idealism: ‘Oh, Dad, how would you do that? Would it work? What are your positive proposals?’ “

Both brothers studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford.  Around the time of his Saturn Return, David Miliband became Head of Policy for Tony Blair in 1994, and thus became associated with the development of New Labour leading up to Tony’s election and in this period the father died.  New Labour was going in a completely different direction from Ralph Miliband’s ideals, and Ralph Miliband bowed out of incarnation.  At that point, David Miliband’s Nodal Axis (the direction of his destiny) was squaring his father’s Saturn, and their politics were diverging.  It would be Ed who would carry some semblance of a torch for socialism and Old Labour.

In his new appointment at this time, David is following his destiny.  Natally, he has Jupiter conjunct his North Node in Gemini (a sign often associated with the U.S., and sometimes used as its rising sign), and Jupiter is now conjunct with his North Node, hence the beckoning horizons across the pond.

Hillary and Bill Clinton

When Tony Blair left the office of Prime Minister, and New Labour was beginning to die, the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed David as Foreign Secretary.  His period in the office was not as distinguished as possibly expected in comparison to the potential and hope invested in him, neither was it disastrous.  There were controversies, but no more than average for a Foreign Secretary.

He notably formed a warm friendship with Hillary Clinton, and it is interesting that David’s Neptune is conjunct her Venus.  This is the opposite way round from her conjunction with Bill Clinton: Bill’s Venus being conjunct with Hillary’s Neptune.  It is a conjunction in synastry which can produce fascination, or at least dazzlement in the early stages of a relationship.

Bill Clinton’s comment on David Miliband’s new appointment is “I congratulate the IBC on the appointment of David Miliband as its president.  I have known David almost 20 years.  He is one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time.”

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband was born in 1969, and in his relationship comparison with David includes a combustible Uranus-Mars conjunction (Ed’s Uranus conjunct David’s Mars).

When Ed pulled a surprise win in the Labour leadership contest in September 2010, Pluto was conjunct Ed’s natal Sun, and Mars was square to David’s Sun.  It may therefore have been as much of a shock to Ed as it was to David.  It was one of those moments that their mother “couldn’t look”.  Many saw it as a betrayal, that Ed had snatched David’s birthright (not even for a mess of potage), and those who thought New Labour would go forward were disappointed in the direction of the party.

But there is an interesting legacy from father Ralph.  Both Ed Miliband and his father have Sun in Capricorn (politics) square exactly Chiron (their wound) in Aries, so Ed Miliband is carrying an exact astrological gene from his father.

There is a small possibility that Ed could fulfil the true socialist ideals of his father, but with his charisma only marginally appealing to the British population and only incrementally increasing, it remains largely improbable.  Those who hanker after Old Labour know that you cannot bring it back now, any more than you can rehabilitate the beloved NHS in the current political and economic climate, but with Ed’s karmic mission (North Node) conjunct his father’s Uranus (Vision) a glimmer of his father’s light remains in the political domain.


Today, Easter Sunday, Venus makes two aspects, a death and a resurrection.  The first is a square with Pluto, the sweeping away of old attachments.  The second is a sextile with Jupiter in the early afternoon: a taking up of enthusiastic new attachments.  So there is the possibility of hearts broken and hearts made today, and they may or may not be the same hearts.

Tomorrow, April Fool’s Day, follows a similar pattern, but substituting the Sun for Venus.  First, in the early hours, the Sun squares Pluto.  The theme of the cycle of birth/death/rebirth is revisited, on a more creative level than the emotional focus of Sunday.

At lunchtime, we have the Sun sextile Jupiter, bringing new enthusiastic energy, life and vitality.  Thus you may have themes of creation/construction/destruction/recycling, with perhaps more to show for it than Sunday which can act as a rehearsal in some respects.  It will be like a twice baked soufflé for this week, or twice baked chips (I have been watching too much of the current series of Masterchef).

On Thursday, Pluto will be sextile Chiron.  This will bring through more healing, and more understanding of the cycle of regeneration.  Pluto (psychological health) will balance with Chiron (spiritual health), and you may be able to produce a much more wholesome Excel spreadsheet  of your physical health, psychological well being, and future goals (or centring in the Now if that is preferred).  The lessons and rollercoaster of the early week will come to fruition in this planetary combination.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – emotional roller coaster
  • Tomorrow – creative balancing and understanding
  • Thursday – bringing it all together