Martin McGuinness (1950 – 2017)

“Martin was also a deeply committed Irish republican activist who in his youth was confronted by the naked sectarianism and injustice of the British state in Ireland, and stood strong against it. As a result he was imprisoned and spent long periods on the run”. ~ Gerry Adams


The theme of this week was terrorism.  From the beginning of the week people were evaluating Martin McGuinness not only as a peacemaker, but in his original profession as a terrorist.  Then in the second half of the week, we saw a terrorist attack in the heart of London.  In the days of the IRA attacks in England, most notably in the early 1970s, the chosen weapons were bombs.

Martin McGuinness Birth Chart

Martin McGuinness was a complex man.  Not only was his life one of two halves, but in looking at his birth chart, we are also looking for the Warrior and the Peacemaker.  As we do not have a birth time, we might be missing a crucial piece of information in this quest, in relation to a planet on an angle of the chart.

His Sun in Gemini weakly trines Mars in Virgo, which indicates some warriorship, but is not a major factor.  His Sun squared Jupiter, indicating the passion and enthusiasm with which he embraced his cause.   The Sun also sextiled his North Node, showing karmic leadership.  He had Mercury trine Mars, giving him quick mental reactions, and Mercury square Pluto which can give rise to dark, brooding thought.  Venus in his chart opposed Neptune (which some might equate with personal deception) but trined his Pluto (showing also the deep loyalty he showed his Catholic compatriots), in a constructive Fire Grand Trine with Chiron.  Venus was also exactly trine his Chiron, showing the potential for reconciliation and healing, and Chiron sometimes takes time and maturity to show in a person’s life and psyche.  Jupiter was  trine Uranus, making him an opportunist.

Northern Ireland

Martin McGuinness’ roots lay in the Bogside area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland.  His life path, first as a terrorist, and then as a peacemaker, mirrored the history of “The Troubles” as the Irish revolutionary period came to be called.  Born in 1950, he was 18 when one of the significant early events occurred, the civil rights march in Derry on 5th October 1968, which ended in violence.  Pluto was conjunct exactly Martin’s natal Mars at the time, and may well have ignited a taste for a violent way of proceeding with the causes he cared about.  It was a call for greater equality on behalf of the Catholic minority against the predominant Protestant population in the area, and the Ulster Unionist Party.  By 1969 he had been appointed second-in-command of the Derry brigade of the Irish Republican Army.

Political violence in Northern Ireland escalated over the next three years, and reached a peak in 1972.  That year Jupiter formed a trigger-happy opposition to Martin’s natal Uranus.  The newly formed Provisional I.R.A. was more committed to armed struggle against British rule.  On 30th January 1972 thirteen unarmed male civilians were shot dead by the British Army at an anti-internment rally in Derry, and this event came to be known as “Bloody Sunday”.

In 1973 Martin McGuinness was imprisoned for six months, after being arrested near a car carrying explosives and ammunition.  After his release, he married Bernadette Canning, and claims to have withdrawn from an active IRA role, though he was implicated in later events.  Some soul-searching may have taken place at that time, with transiting Pluto on his South Node.  Around that time, he also became more involved in the political activities of Sinn Fein.

On 27th 1979 Lord Mountbatten was killed by the I.R.A. by a bomb on his boat, at a time when Martin McGuinness was their chief of staff.  Transiting Pluto was exactly lined up with both Martin’s natal Pluto and Mountbatten’s natal Pluto, a huge event which was bigger than both of them.  In some ways, this event was the apotheosis of the violence, as there was a waning throughout the 1980s, and by 1983 McGuinness’ buddy Gerry Adams was beginning to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict.  Adams says of their relationship:

” He and I first met over 45 years ago behind the barricades in Free Derry and we have been friends and comrades since that time.”

At some point during this period, then, Martin McGuinness must have had a change of heart, though Gerry Adams himself denies that this could be pinpointed:

“Reading and watching some of the media reporting of his life and death, one could be forgiven for believing that Martin, at some undefined point in his life, had a road to Damascus conversion and abandoned his republican principles, his former comrades in the IRA and joined the political establishment.”

Would that we had a date or time for this change, to see what was going on for him astrologically…[sigh].  By 1993, McGuinness himself was said to be involved in secret talks with the government, trying to effect change in a different way.  In that year, Jupiter was transiting his South Node, which would have been a time of looking to more positive ways to move karma on.

Many had been affected by the violence of the I.R.A in its heyday, including the Conservative M.P. Norman Tebbit, whose wife had been paralysed after the Brighton bombing of a hotel in 1984.  Controversially, Tebbit claims that McGuinness’ change of heart was due to cowardice.  He  believed McGuinness became a man of peace because he feared being taken to account for a “number of murders which he had personally committed”.

The Omagh bombing of mid-1998 however was the single worst incident in Northern Ireland, and for McGuinness Pluto squaring his Jupiter will have showed him the worst extremes of the use of power.  But he had by all accounts by then embarked on a new pathway.

The process bore fruit in December 1998 with the Good Friday agreement, when Neptune was exactly trine his natal Sun in Gemini, a significant spiritual development for him personally. Self-government was granted to Northern Ireland on the basis of power sharing. U.S. President Bill Clinton had played a negotiating role in this agreement, and Pluto trine Bill’s Mercury at the time pays testament to this.

Alistair Campbell provided an insight into the roles of McGuinness and Adams in negotiations: “Adams and McGuinness made an interesting double act.  Adams would often talk in grand terms, and then McGuinness would come in with an absolutely chiselling point about what they wanted right there, right then and why they needed it right there, right then.  They were difficult to deal with, but also somehow very straightforward.”  In their synastry, Gerry’s Mercury (communication) trines exactly Martin’s Jupiter (positivity and philosophy).

However the transformation came about, from terrorist to peacemaker (as others, such as Martin Luther King, had taken that path before him), it is often said that great strength is needed in that role, and it is undeniable that his strong links with the I.R.A. and their trust of him played a huge part in his unique role as a go-between.  It has been said that no one else would have been in a position to achieve this.

“There was not a bad Martin McGuinness or a good Martin McGuinness.  Martin believed in freedom and equality. He resisted those who withheld these by military means, and then he helped shape conditions in which it was possible to advocate for these by unarmed strategies”

 ~ Gerry Adams

On 8th May 2007 Martin McGuinness took up a true power-sharing role with the Democratic Unionist Party leader Rev Ian Paisley.  Martin became deputy first minister.  The two, from being adversaries, became firm friends, known as the “Chuckle Brothers”, as exemplified by Ian’s Jupiter sextile exactly Martin’s Venus.  The transits at the time were quite healing for Ian Paisley: Chiron sextile his natal Sun, and the North Node trine his Pluto.

On 8 December 2007, McGuinness stated: “Up until the 26 March this year, Ian Paisley and I never had a conversation about anything—not even about the weather—and now we have worked very closely together over the last seven months and there’s been no angry words between us…. This shows we are set for a new course”.

Martin McGuinness  has in recent years worked tirelessly on behalf of Northern Irish communities to achieve reconciliation, and took a special interest in educational reforms.  In a startling event of 2012, he shook hands with the Queen, telling her their meeting was a “powerful signal that peace building requires leadership.”  Neptune (reconciliation) was trine his natal Uranus (surprise) at the time.  How was it for the Queen?:  there were positive transits from her Saturn (duty), and Mars opposite her natal Uranus portrayed the element of controversy and risk involved.


In December 2016, McGuinness was found to have a rare degenerative disease amyloidosis, which affects the heart and other organs.  With Uranus trine his Chiron (change linked with health factors), he resigned his political roles.  He was hospitalized on 6th March 2017 and died on 21st March, loved by many but also resented by many.

Karmic Thoughts

Though he spent many years working on the peace process, the bloodshed he was involved with earlier in his life obviously bears a great deal of karma, and there are many who will not forgive him in this lifetime.  From an evolutionary point of view, he probably has spent lifetimes as a warrior, and has just in this lifetime realized that violence does not work, and started the evolutionary climb upwards from violence.  What is interesting is that his karmic Nodal Axis runs along Aries and Libra (War and Peace) and is almost exactly squared by Uranus, the Rebel and the Disruptor, showing what a fine and skilful line of balance needed to be trodden in the years he was trying to please both sides of the conflict.

Bill Clinton speaking at his funeral:

“If you want to continue his legacy, go and finish the work he has started.”

Final quote from Martin McGuinness:

“The lesson from the conflict here is the same for everywhere else.  There are no military solutions – dialogue and diplomacy are the only guarantee of lasting peace.”