Labour Leadership Contest

The contenders for the Labour leadership have been announced, and will be further shortlisted on 14th February, before a leader is finally chosen on 4th April.  This will not be an easy job, to take the party to unity, successful opposition and hopes for a win in the future which now looks like stretching out for at least five years.  I take a brief look at the five (four of whom are women!), and their prospects.

Keir Starmer

I wrote in 2017:

“Keir Starmer, the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has been a solid presence by Jeremy Corbyn’s side since 6 October 2016, having previously established his integrity in the role as Director of Public Prosecutions.  With Sun exactly conjunct Pluto in Virgo, he has great depth of character …Keir Starmer has a quiet but determined air about him which conveys confidence.  One of the greatest assets he has in his chart is Mars exactly trine Jupiter, action combined with confidence and enthusiasm…Starmer also has a Grand Trine in the Water element, of Mars, Neptune and Jupiter/Chiron, which can bring healing to situations.  Pluto on the Sun is not easy, however, and Saturn on the South Node means he has brought some difficult karma in with this incarnation, but so far in his career he has performed well and overcome obstacles.”

Transits for 14 February

After a good start in the race, Keir has been overtaken by Momentum’s choice, Rebecca Long-Bailey.  His transits for 14th February are: the Nodal Axis square his natal Mercury, an aspect which becomes exact on 2nd March (Mean North Node) and 26/7th  March (True North Node).  This very week (Friday/Saturday 24th5th) the Mean North Node transits his natal Mars in Cancer.  The True North Node transits his natal Mars on 22nd/23rd February.  So this whole period is a fateful time for him, and not necessarily easy.  He will be having to watch his words, and stand up for himself, for the Nodal Axis will be very exacting in terms of his words (Mercury) and actions (Mars), testing his natal Mercury-Mars square.  I believe he has the character and maturity to negotiate these hurdles, but around 14th February he also has Saturn square his natal Venus, which may be deflating on a personal level, though it may be symbolic of him taking on extra responsibilities.  He seems a likely steady tiller on the wheel, but some say he is not flamboyant enough.  The odds are at the moment that he will get through this round.

Transits for 4 April

His transits for the final count are quite daunting, and involve three squares!  Jupiter squares his natal Venus (out of his comfort zone socially), Uranus square his natal Saturn (out of his comfort zone controlwise) and Pluto square his natal Venus (deep changes in his personal circumstances).  This may mean he does not win, or it may mean that he wins and is faced with enormous hurdles.

Rebecca Long-Bailey

Like Keir, Rebecca Long-Bailey has the Sun in Virgo, and on Newsnight this week a former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn described her as having a good eye for detail.  Much has been said about her being groomed for the future leadership role by Corbyn and McDonnell, but of course she is a different personality altogether.  I must confess I am not sure what to make of her chart, as it is very sparse on aspects.  That makes her even more enigmatic than her political profile, which sees her as a mere mouthpiece for Corbynism.  It will win her votes, but may keep the Labour party out of power for longer.  She has the Moon exactly conjunct Venus in Libra, and in the future could have a writing career.  The Sun exactly sextile Mars gives her the Warrior Archetype, and she has been capable of fighting talk.  She may also have a healing role in the future, with the North Node trine Chiron.  But her birthchart does not emphasize leadership, as much as scholarship.  Like Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips, she is relying on her Northern credentials to win support, in a country in need of unity.  There is a current battle too, between some of the contenders, to prove their working class roots, and her father was a Salford docker and a trade union representative.  She has also come under fire for her strict views on abortion, which may stem from her Roman Catholic faith.

Transits for 14 February

Her transits for this round are not a lot better than Keir’s, with Mars square her natal Sun, and the Nodal Axis (like Keir) squaring her natal Mercury.  But she has Mars exactly trine her Jupiter to the day, very helpful to her in moving on her ambitions, and Neptune trine her Uranus.  She is probably guaranteed a pass to the final round, but Neptune square her natal Neptune at that point may mean she feels unsure of herself deep down (a bit thrown in the deep end).

Transits for 4 April

While Keir has three squares at the final denouement, Rebecca has two oppositions, which are easier, but not easy by any means: Chiron opposes her Mercury/Venus at that point, and Neptune opposes her Saturn.  She may feel conflicted.

Lisa Nandy

Of all the charts, Lisa Nandy’s inspires me the most.  She is a strong willed Leo, a sign known for leadership.  She was born a month before Rebecca Long-Bailey in the same year. Whenever I have watched her, say on Question Time, she has seemed eminently sensible, and just nice (and that’s her Sun conjunct Venus).  I hadn’t thought of her as leadership material, until looking at her chart. With the Sun conjunct Jupiter, she could get lucky.  She has certainly surprised many with her success in impressing MPs in the initial weeks of her campaign.  Another surprise is that she has the Sun square exactly Uranus – The Rebel Archetype.  Lisa resigned in the wake of the 2016 referendum, in protest of Jeremy Corbyn’s ineffective campaign: she felt that Labour should have united around a softer Brexit at that point.   With the Sun trine closely Neptune, she has good spiritual attunement and instincts.  With an unaspected Mercury in Leo, she is an independent thinker.  She has Jupiter square Uranus, so is someone willing to take risks; and her Jupiter is trine closely with Neptune, giving her a good relationship between religion and spirituality.  Jupiter also has a very positive sextile with Pluto, indicating a good attitude to power.  Saturn conjunct her North Node means she is willing to take responsibility, and takes her karmic mission seriously, a karmic mission linked with politics.

Transits for 14 February

Very mixed transits for this phase: on the positive side, Chiron trine her natal Mercury, Jupiter sextile her natal Uranus (usually associated with success) and Neptune trine her natal Uranus.  More difficult, Uranus square her natal Mercury, Jupiter square her natal Pluto, and Neptune square her Neptune (like Rebecca Long-Bailey).  It might be enough for her to scrape through that round…

Transits for 4 April

But with Mars opposite her natal Mercury at the final, this does not seem momentous or  helpful enough to indicate a win.

Jess Phillips

“The fear I cannot control, that eats me up with every passing day, is the fear of appeasement.  The fear that people can be controlled by those who are more powerful, more aggressive and with a bigger voice.”

~ from “Truth to Power” 2019

Jess Phillips, born in 1981, is the youngest of the five contenders.   With Sun in Libra, she has a strong drive for justice.  She has great energy allied with enthusiasm (Mars sextile Jupiter), the sign of a Motivator Archetype.  Her second book, from which the quotation is taken, is very much a motivational, self-help book.  The Moon in Aquarius gives her future vision, especially about society matters, caring about the underdog.  Mercury in Scorpio adds a forensic mind.  Venus conjunct Uranus makes for a social reformer, and her Uranus trines her North Node exactly, giving her a karmic mission as a Reformer.  Her Mars sextiles exactly Pluto, giving her a storehouse of energy which can move mountains, but her Mars is quite complex, as it squares Uranus and Chiron!  Her verbal clash with Diane Abbott on 14th September 2015 reveals that her Mars complexity was activated, as she had an exact Mars return at the time.  She is a bit of a firebrand, but she does call a spade a spade, which as she points out is very refreshing in politics, and in many ways is what people want.  She has spoken up against anti-semitism in the Labour party.

Transits for 14 February

The transits for the next phase do not look hopeful for Jess:  though Jupiter squares her Sun (which may not be too detrimental), at the same time Uranus opposes her natal Mercury (controversy) and Pluto squares her natal Pluto, which can spell disempowerment.  But her childhood dream was to be Prime Minister, and she is young yet…

Transits for 4 April

The planetary positions continue to make life difficult by the end of the game: Pluto still squares her Pluto (which may spell conflict), and Jupiter also squares her natal Pluto, which is unhelpful in seeking power.

Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry, the eldest candidate, styles herself as the one with experience.  With 0 planets in Air signs, she operates very much instinctively.  Like Lisa, she is a Leo and loves to lead.  But her Sun closely squares Neptune, so she can unwittingly get into hot water, or even self-deception.  With Mercury sextile the North Node, she may regard herself as a Teacher, and like Jess Phillips she has Venus conjunct Uranus (the Reformer).   She  has a beneficial Jupiter trine Uranus (the Entrepreneur Archetype), and karmic mission within politics (Saturn trine North Node).  One of her most controversial moments, and one which led her to resign from her shadow cabinet post on 20th November 2014, was when she inferred the inferiority of the “white van man”.  At the time, Saturn was opposite her natal Mars in Taurus exact to the day (a damaging action), with the added complications of Uranus square her natal Saturn and Neptune opposite her natal Pluto exact  to the day.  But even to this day, her reputation for looking down at people is letting her down.  She has served under Jeremy Corbyn in his shadow cabinet, but spoke up against his policies on Brexit and in favour of a second referendum.  She is right in saying she has more experience than the other candidates, and also has performed well when standing in for Jeremy Corbyn in PMs Questions in parliament.  However, she remains the least likely candidate to succeed.

Transits for 14 February

Her transits at this stage seem unremarkable: a trine from Saturn to her natal Mars (constructive) and Neptune on her South Node in Pisces (having to show sensitivity and humility).

Transits for 4 April

Here’s a surprise.  Having looked at four unpromising sets of final outcomes, Emily has the best of the five.  So when the winner is called, Uranus will be trine her natal Pluto in Virgo (a positive change in her life), and Neptune will be trine her natal Mercury in Cancer (also on the U.K. Moon) – she may make a higher mental shift.  My guess is that she will be out on 14th February, but may land a plum role in the newly formed Shadow Cabinet.

Being a card-carrying Labour member, I do have a vote, and Keir Starmer would be my choice, as I like the sensible option.  However, we are split in our household because hubby would like Jess Phillips, someone he feels could make a feisty counterargument to Boris Johnson at PMs Questions.  All the front runners have difficult final transits, and I am not going to predict the winner, but the way ahead looks difficult for whoever wins, at least initially.  Whoever wins will need to make a mark quickly, put their own stamp on the party, and bring unity.


A fresh start tomorrow (Monday 20th), with the Sun entering Aquarius.  We become more aware of the needs of the collective, and more inclined to act on behalf of the underdog.  We are open to more futuristic avenues of expression.

Venus trines the North Node on the same day, and karmic links may warm the cockles of the heart.  Make love your goal.  Harmonious karma rules.

Wednesday (22nd) brings a sextile between the Sun and Chiron.  This continues the harmony and the healing, and the beneficial input from other worlds and planes.

Thursday (23rd) is more challenging, with Uranus squaring the Sun.  Be prepared for the element of the unexpected, or the Trickster Archetype.  In the outcomes of the day, you may find that the least likely option wins.

But the same day brings a sextile between Venus and Jupiter, so there may be swings and roundabouts to the day’s proceedings.  Venus sextile Jupiter is one of the best aspects of the year, combining luck and love.  Romance could be in the air.

Another new beginning arrives on Friday (24th) in the shape of the New Moon in Aquarius, the newest of the new.   Any forward looking projects you are engaged with receive the blessing of the Universe.  Science, technology, invention and future vision may also be a significant part of the way forward.  Set your intentions with confidence and hope.  If the Uranian spanner in the works is still operating from the day before, be confident that you can invent new strategies to deal with loopholes.

The last aspect of the week, on Saturday (25th), is Mercury sextile Mars, a nice straightforward aspect under which you can get things done (we are approaching the Brexit deadline…).  Accomplish some outstanding tasks, with a whizz. You may find shortcuts to your usual way of doing things.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – a fresh start; the power of love
  • Wednesday – healing
  • Thursday – surprise/shock; love/luck
  • Friday – new beginning
  • Saturday – brisk and breezy