Charles Kennedy (1959 – 2015)

Several years ago, I attended a Lib Dem rally in Cambridge (2005 election campaign), while Charles Kennedy was still leader of the Party.  Seemed like a nice chap…And so say all of us, it seems.

I wrote about him prior to the election, in March:

“The Ashcroft poll this week identified Charles Kennedy’s seat as one of those which was in danger of falling to the S.N.P.  As former leader of the Lib Dem Party, he is a veteran politician.  He is the M.P. for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.  He’s a Sagittarian, and arguably drink was his downfall, leading to him standing down as leader of his party…  He also has a very heavyweight exact trine between Saturn and Pluto, so if it were not for his addiction or frailty, he could have been an outstanding statesman.  As it is, he seems much more comfortable these days in the less demanding role.  On polling day, sadly, Saturn is transiting his natal Sun in Sagittarius, and it looks as though the pollsters may be right, he could well lose his seat.  If he does not lose his seat, he may be heavy hearted at the state of his political party.”


 “I am a fully paid-up member of the human race”

Charles Kennedy had his Ascendant conjunct his North Node in Libra, depicting his geniality, but also the North Node in that position making him a mover and shaker in life.  Libra also very symbolic of Liberalism and the Middle Way of politics.  To add even greater charm, he had Venus in Libra in his 1st House of personality.  He was that rare breed, a cuddly politician, untouched by the prevailing public cynicism towards his profession.

Political achievement

Nick Clegg has said he was always modest about his political achievements, modesty being an attribute of his Moon in Virgo.   He started very young, becoming the youngest Member of Parliament in 1983, aged 23.  It has been commented that he went into his profession too early, which may have caused some of his personal problems.  But he was following his karmic mission (North Node conjunct the Ascendant in Libra), his joy (Part of Fortune in the 10th House of Politics) and the foundation set for his life (Saturn exactly on his I.C.) – a path that was meant to be.


He became leader of the Liberal Democrat Party on 9th August 1999, when Jupiter by transit was trine his natal Saturn (a responsibility undertaken joyfully).  He was much in tune spiritually with his task, too, with Neptune at the time trine his natal Ascendant and sextile his Sun: a fulfillment of his true nature.  In two elections, he led his Party to victory obtaining the highest number of Lib Dem seats.

He Woz Right

 “The point never to lose sight of is to be guided by the correct thing, as you see it.  It’s the only way to approach such profound matters and retain your integrity.”

He was vindicated on many issues, most notably:

2003,  against Iraq War

He was the most prominent British politician to take part in the anti-war march in London, in protest against the impending war against Iraq, and argued that the change of regime had not been thought through, which was very prescient.

Vince Cable, writing in the Guardian, wrote this week: “He was bombarded with advice from outside and inside the party to support the Blair government; it was said in particular that a party leader  would never be forgiven by the public for criticizing a military intervention in which British service personnel were being killed in action…But he was unpersuaded and constantly said: ‘the case has not been made’. “

Could Tony Blair have listened to him…?   Many things in the world would have turned out differently.

2010, against going into Coalition with the Tories

Charles was quite categoric about not joining the Tories in Coalition in 2010, and the current parlous state of the Lib Dem Party has proved his fears to be well-founded.  Neither did he approve of the course that direction took over the five years of government.

Vince Cable continued: “Charles retained a set of beliefs which has enduring value but are no longer fashionable: a strong commitment to progressive taxation and redistribution of income and wealth and a belief that the country deserved good public serves and, unapologetically, should be asked to pay for them through taxation.  It was clear for those reasons that he did not like the direction of travel that the coalition was taking, and in some respects I shared his concerns.”

What if his instinctive opposition to the formation of the coalition had been heeded?


If you were to describe me as teetotal, on behalf of my constituency I’d have to sue; that would lose me every vote in the Highlands” 

Sun in Sagittarius is the sign most often associated with alcoholism, as part of the excess of this sign and its ruler Jupiter, and its lifestyle as a bon viveur.  Physically, he had the red hair often associated with the early degrees of Sagittarius (he was born on 25 November).  In addition Jupiter (his ruling planet) was overbalanced by a square to Pluto.

His most active period in politics, just after his second Election win for his party, ended in early 2006 when his drinking problem was about to be revealed by the media, and subsequently his fellow Lib Dems urged him to stand down.

On 5/1/2006 he admitted that he had a problem, publicly.  Neptune (drink) was exactly trine his natal Venus, and Uranus was exactly trine his natal Neptune, both aspects of revelation and indicative of a time of transparency and honesty.  Subsequently 25 MPs signed a petition for him to resign, and he did so two days later.

Locked away in his 12th House of Unconscious and Secrets is his Moon (emotions) in Virgo (a private sign), which no one had complete access to, least of all the public.  Who knows the anguish which caused his alcoholism?

Gaby Hinsliff, who had interviewed him a few times, wrote in the Guardian:

“The voice was calm, the arguments fluent, the judgement sharp as a knife.  Charles Kennedy was a more far-sighted politician, even in drink, than many will ever be sober”

Alistair Campbell, a close friend,  has implied that highlighting the plight of alcoholism, seeing the waste of his potential, is a valuable lesson for our society.


He married Sarah Gurling at the age of 43, the sister of a friend, at a time when his progressed Sun was square his natal Venus in the 1st House.  Their son Donald was born three years later, in April 2005, but they were not able to work out the relationship, and in 2010 he separated from his wife and subsequently divorced.  At the time of their separation, Saturn was transiting his Ascendant.

His bond with his son was very strong, and his ex-wife brought him to Parliament this week to hear tributes from all sides of the House.

European Referendum

 “Immigrants provide skills that we simply cannot afford to do without.  They have contributed hugely to Britain’s success”

It has been reported that Charles Kennedy was looking forward to taking a prominent role in the campaign to stay in Europe during the referendum debate.

We could have done with his clarity, for that pitch.  It would have been very helpful.


He was found by his current partner, Carole MacDonald.  His death has been found to be caused by haemorrhage, directly related to his alcoholism. Saturn was sextile his North Node/Ascendant, and conjunct his natal Mercury.

As a Soul, let alone as a human, it must have been so hard to leave behind the son to whom he was devoted.

Quotations in italics by Charles Kennedy


There’s a brilliant start to the week tomorrow with a sextile between the Sun and Jupiter.  You can forge ahead with confidence, as most of the week has a clear path of four sextiles – though there are a few stumbling blocks right at the end of the week on Friday.  So trust your luck early in the week, and you can gain some ground.

On Tuesday (9th) Mars is sextile Uranus, which can bring a great deal of excitement.  Sparks can fly, but mostly positive ones.  The approach of this Mars/Uranus connection has brought some thunderstorms here in the U.K., but they were short and sharp and cleared the air, light summer storms.  If heated words are exchanged, they may be surprisingly enlightening, and pave the way for new understanding.  Engineering interests are favoured by this aspect.

Mercury sextiles Venus at lunchtime on Wednesday (10th) favouring the café culture, the writers, artists and philosophers ruminating the meaning of life in cafes or, at this time of year in a sunny spot outside.  Apparently, Andrew Marr and Kate Moss were seen vying for such a spot last week.  It’s a fertile creative space for the birth of your next novel or painting.

In the evening, the Sun sextiles Uranus, and brainstorming can produce some brilliant ideas, especially for inventors or futuristic artists.  All in all, it could be a momentous and feelgood day.

Some of you may have been patiently waiting for Thursday (11th), holding off important communications for Mercury to go direct. Thursday is the day if you don’t like doing anything while Mercury is retrograde, but technically you may have to wait for Friday for results to bear fruit, as Mercury stations (stands still before turning) late on Thursday, and won’t start moving until at least Friday.  But, you can have your pen poised on Thursday, arrive at the station, be ready to start negotiations, have your foot ready on the accelerator, waiting for the go signal.  You’ll know when it arrives.

However, don’t confuse it with some of the complex influences which are occurring on Friday.  Early Friday (12th) brings a square between Mars and Chiron, which could be incident-prone, and may distract you from the documentation you were holding in your hand ready for the Mercury turnaround.  This will be a separate issue, and you need to recognize what is not healing in your environment, and may set you back.  It is a good day to de-tox, for instance, and not an advisable day for botox.

In the morning, too, another planet turns around, this time Neptune, and this time it is turning the other way, i.e. retrograde.  Neptune can be a tricky planet even when sailing smoothly forward, but in retrograde you really have to look for the illusionary haze of glamour on your path before taking the next step, if you don’t want to take a detour.  At the same time, there is no sense in panicking because Neptune doesn’t turn direct again until November 18th.  It is going to be a long process of sifting the wheat from the chaff spiritually.  Take a course in meditation if it is something you can’t settle to on your own, as that will be perfect for taking a long look at what you need to stay true on your path.

Later in the day the Sun squares Chiron, and an issue could come up for healing.  It may be unrelated to the spiritual fog of Neptune retrograde, but the two together could be working to help bring something to light which you need to be dealing with.  Healing modalities are present, but the right ones for the job may need trial and error to find.  There may be an awkward fit initially, e.g. you may be feeling like a square peg in a round hole, but if you persevere you’ll be guided to more comfortable outcomes.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – a stroke of luck
  • Tuesday – electricity
  • Wednesday – culture, and originality
  • Thursday – turning point for communication
  • Friday – complexity and wound healing