Tom Watson

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, resigned last week, leaving a gaping hole at its centre.  Since his appointment, he has held together hopes from the moderates in his party, and acted as a reminder to the hard left that other points of view exist.  This has come at a crucial time for the Party, at the start of the election campaign.

Birth Chart

I wrote about his birth chart in 2015 when he was appointed to the post:

“Tom Watson, the front runner, has the politician’s Sun Sign, Capricorn.  He could be strident, with Sun exactly square Mars, and may need to polish up his people skills. Venus opposite Jupiter also points to possible social gaucheness. Saturn conjunct Chiron in Pisces could point to health weaknesses, which hopefully may not interfere with his career path…His natal Saturn opposes Uranus (the personal earthquake aspect) so he does not have an easy chart, and therefore not an easy path in life or easy relationships particularly.  If he has overcome all these obstacles in his personality, he may have acquired unique skills.  His strengths do lie in an exact sextile between Uranus and Neptune – the ability to grasp and work with complexity and subtlety, and Saturn exactly trine Neptune (the ability to harmoniously bring together practicality and spiritual values).  He too has the Teacher Archetype (Mercury closely trine his natal North Node), and some healing qualities (Chiron closely trine Neptune).”

I would add that Jupiter trine Saturn in his chart provides balance (needed in the role he played), and that the exact Saturn-Uranus opposition illustrates the great difficulty he had trying to bring the different sides together.

Chequered Career

Tom Watson began working for the Labour Party in 1993, and subsequently worked on the 1997 campaign.  In 2006 he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence.  A few months after his appointment, he signed a letter to Tony Blair urging his resignation.  In the event, it was Tom who resigned.  His transits at that resignation were Uranus sextile his natal North Node (a necessary karmic break), and Pluto square his natal Uranus (drastic change).

In 2011 he was a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and as such he played a role in the questioning at the Committee session about the News International phone hacking scandal.  His transits at that time were confrontational: Mars square his natal Pluto, and Saturn square his natal Mercury.

When Labour lost the election in May 2015, Tom immediately announced his resolve to stand for the post of Deputy Leader. Among other transits, Jupiter was square his Nodal Axis (a competition), Mars was trine his Uranus (igniting a spark), and Uranus was square his Sun (a strong desire for change).

Tom was elected Deputy Leader on 12th September 2015, at the same time that Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader, and they have been uneasy partners.  Under Jeremy Corbyn, the Party has leaned significantly to the left, while Tom tried to represent the moderates. At the time of their election, Tom’s transits were not markedly strong, save that Pluto was trine exactly his North Node of karma (a stormy but necessary path).  Jeremy Corbyn’s own transits were difficult, with three significant exact squares.


Tom is reported to have lost 7 stones in weight in order to bring his diabetic condition into remission.  At the time he started his diet, in the summer of 2017, Pluto was on his natal Sun (urging transformation) and Saturn was square his natal Chiron (anxiety about a health condition).  I don’t think he publicized his efforts, but by the time he did (in September 2019), I hardly recognized him.  He has been evangelical since about the effects of healthy eating and exercise in ameliorating this prevalent condition.  Uranus was square to his natal Venus, completely changing his image (a drastic change to his form).


Tom was directly affected this year by the outcome of the trial of Carl Beech, who was found to have lied about sexual crimes by certain high profile politicians.  In earlier years, Tom had supported the investigation, believing there was some truth to Carl Beech’s allegations.  Tom was severely criticized for this, and the left wing of the party continued to clamour for his resignation.  At the time Carl Beech was found guilty, Neptune was sextile Tom’s natal Sun, and Pluto was sextile his natal Chiron.  He survived the scandal politically, but it must have shaken him, and been a factor in his decision to resign now.  With the Sun exactly square Mars in his chart, he does not shirk confrontation.


His transits for the announcement of his leaving this week include the Sun on his South Node (a karmic need), and Jupiter square his natal Saturn and Uranus opposition (a liberation).  The opposition in his natal chart may be seen as symbolic of the balancing role he had to play – the Old Labour (Saturn) versus the New (Uranus), or ironically New Labour (Uranus) versus Old Socialism (Saturn).  There might be other permutations of that…!  He is releasing himself from a yoke around his neck.  But even more to the point, Pluto is trine his natal Pluto (self-empowerment!)  There are so many things he wants to do in his life at this juncture, leaving for “personal reasons”.  He is a gym instructor, he has written a book, he wants to support the Labour Party in a different capacity, he wants to help diabetics (the fulfilment of his Neptune-Chiron trine).

I am not sure who is going to fill the vacuum left by Tom Watson’s departure, or what the effect on the party will be, or the effect on the upcoming election.  But like so many weary politicians at this time, he is deciding to try and live a more normal life.


In the early hours of this morning, Mercury was sextile Pluto.  This, combined with yesterday’s Saturn-Neptune sextile, should make for profound gains in your life.  Mercury sextile Pluto is particularly suited to deep study and communication.  Mercury of course is currently retrograde, and I note that the last time it was sextile with Pluto was the day the Commons sat on a Saturday for an all-day discussion on Brexit.  I am not sure much was achieved, but a lot of views were aired, and a lot of those views were heartfelt.

Tomorrow (Monday 11th), as today, there will be all sorts of events to commemorate war veterans.  The Sun will be conjunct Mercury at 18 degrees Scorpio, which concentrates the mind forensically.  93-year old veteran Harry Billinge sat on the BBC breakfast sofa the other morning, summing up what he thought was wrong with the world, in the light of his war experiences and the wisdom of his age.  It must seem bizarre to these war veterans, the state of the world that we are in now.  The Sun conjunct Mercury brings clarity whatever sign it is in, but in Scorpio that clarity goes deeper than most.  Conversations may produce revelations.

All this Scorpio energy may be stirring up the feelings, and awareness from your unconscious mind, and this may combine with Tuesday’s (12th) Full Moon in Taurus to stir your emotions, and possibly also bring about resolve in an issue you care passionately about (Taurus and Scorpio are Fixed signs).  If you are of an artistic bent, you can plough this feeling into your creativity.

In the early evening, Mars will be sextile Jupiter, a more straightforward combination  of energy and enthusiasm, so a good way to employ excess feeling in an absorbing leisure activity of your choice.  You’ll be able to find that extra drive, for what you are wanting to achieve, or go that extra mile even after a demanding day at work.  Boris Johnson may be able to whack a microwave meal in his oven… (a reference to one of his recent speeches).

Wednesday (13th) brings an opportunity for dedication, focus and precision in our mental work or documentation, with a sextile between Mercury and Saturn.  This is a constructive aspect, but may be a little dry; you might want to put some music on in the background, something soothing and non-intrusive, such as Simply Red or Leonard Cohen (suitably serious).  Perhaps Ravel’s Bolero, on replay.  Let me know your own suggestions.  This aspect is also good for planning.

In the early evening, the Sun sextiles Pluto (the fourth sextile of the week, which is helpful).  This continues the theme of delving deep into our psyche and into the issues which need solving in our world, and finding holistic solutions.  It is a profound aspect which may help to show us the direction we need to solve our collective problems, and understanding the meaning behind our dilemmas.

Very late that evening, we have a gift, in the form of Mercury trine Neptune.  All the deep searching of the week may result in some mental inspiration, going forward.  It might be as you are drifting off to sleep, that your mind lights on a problem-solving space which brings transcendent wisdom (you never know!).  This may be a way to bring harmony in relationships, or special artistry to your creations.   You may go on a spiritual journey.   Write down any precious insights that come to you…

For on Thursday (14th) Venus squares Neptune and relationships and art may be thrown into confusion.  You may misread someone’s motives, or someone may misread yours.  Be as clear as you can emotionally, and seek to look through illusions.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – deep study
  • Tomorrow – crystal clarity; energy + enthusiasm
  • Wednesday – concentration; delving deep; transcendence
  • Thursday – confused feelings