John Hume (1937 – 2020)

“Blessed are the peacemakers.  I remember John Hume and his vision.  Let’s sing for him tonight.”

~ Bono, 2018

Nobel Peace prize winner John Hume died last Monday.  I always love to study the charts of peacemakers; they can potentially change the world.

Birth Chart

John Hume had half his planets (5) in Earth, so was very grounded; he had the same number in the Cardinal signs, showing leadership; and he had 0 planets in Air signs, so relied on instinct a great deal.  His face and demeanour bore all the gravitas and earnestness of a good solid Sun in Capricorn.  That Sun in Capricorn was exactly opposite Pluto, so he looked life’s difficulties and the challenges of his society directly in the face.  We would expect to see Libra prominent in the chart of a peacemaker, but that sign is empty (it may be more prominent if we had his birth time).  He does have Mars, his warrior planet, in the battling sign of Scorpio, and that contributes even more perseverance to the naturally persevering Capricorn nature.  Though he had no Air signs, his Mercury (mental makeup) is well-aspected, being both practical (Mercury closely sextile Saturn) and inspirational and visionary (Mercury closely trine Neptune).  With Venus sextile Jupiter, he was able to establish good relationships and powerful alliances, one of the keys to his success in shaping a peace plan for Ireland.  But his feeling-sense (Venus, the ruling planet of Libra) has much more of a repertoire, being conjunct Saturn (loyalty) Venus conjunct Saturn, opposite Neptune (aware of nuance in relationship) and square Chiron (aware of his own wounds and those of others).  There were other challenges within his chart, too: Mars opposite Uranus (an awareness of volatile energies), Saturn exactly opposite Neptune (an awareness of the sadness in the human condition), forming a T-square with Chiron (the complexities of reaching solutions between people). He knew too of the sometimes uncompromising nature of fate (Saturn and Neptune squaring his Nodal Axis).  These qualities enabled him to tackle conflict resolution with courage.  Helpful features of his chart also included the Entrepreneur Archetype (Jupiter trine Uranus) and past life expertise in negotiation (Chiron conjunct the South Node in Gemini).


The Northern Irish “Troubles” lasted  approximately 30 years (1968 – 1998), and Hume was preoccupied with their solution throughout, aged around 30 when they started.  The Good Friday Agreement which he was largely responsible for has lasted 20 plus years, though frayed at the edges.  It has been a lasting achievement, and he jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for this.  He also won the Martin Luther King prize (another Capricornian) and the Gandhi prize, both originating from the ideology of non-violent resistance.  The ruling planet of Capricorn, Saturn, in itself represents resistance, and self-control.  He had from an early age been interested in civil rights, and his declared philosophy was that “Politics is the alternative to war.”  Politics being the province of Capricorn, he was finding a distinctly Capricornian solution to war.  For him, the continuation of violence delayed a possible peace.

Peace Process

As the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Hume decided that in order to achieve real peace, he needed to talk to Sinn Fein, a step frowned upon by many, and considered risky.  This is where, among other qualities, the Inner Entrepreneur (his Jupiter trine Uranus) could step into an opportunity.  The result was a ceasefire called by the IRA in August 1994.  He was able to build on this, leading to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, together with various other interested parties both in the U.K. and in America.  Such a vast undertaking needed the co-operation of other players.  Trina Vargo, Edward Kennedy’s foreign policy adviser during the process, wrote:  “the outcome so depended on the timing being right and the right people being in the right places at the right time”.

Co-Creators in Peace

David Trimble

David Trimble was the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, and shared the Nobel Peace prize with Hume.  He was born under the sign of peace, with the Sun in Libra.  He became the First Minister for Northern Ireland in 1998.  There seems to have been a karmic link for these two joint prizewinners (indication that their roles were planned before birth): Trimble’s Sun was exactly sextile Hume’s North Node.  In addition, Trimble’s Mercury was trine Hume’s Chiron, Trimble’s Jupiter was square to Hume’s Chiron, and Trimble’s Saturn was opposite Hume’s Jupiter.  Trimble described his relationship with Hume as “businesslike”.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair’s reputation was sullied by the later Iraq War, but he still feels justifiably proud of the Good Friday Agreement.  Tony Blair’s difficult Saturn/Neptune conjunction sextiles Hume’s North Node, signifying a serious contract or commitment between them.

Edward Kennedy

Edward Kennedy had a passionate interest in the Irish cause through his ancestry, and was a great admirer of John Hume, playing a valuable role in encouraging the peace process.  Kennedy’s Moon sextiles Hume’s Mars and trines Hume’s Uranus, a dynamic, “get things done” vibe between them.  In addition, Kennedy’s ruling planet Neptune (his sensitivities) sextiled Hume’s Mars (his urge to action), creating a shared passion.  Hume’s Jupiter was conjunct Kennedy’s Ascendant, leading to fulfilment and success (we have a birth time for Kennedy, though not for Hume).

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton was the U.S. President at the time of the Good Friday Agreement.  Bill Clinton’s astrological contribution was his Jupiter (uplift) sextile Hume’s North Node (karmic mission).  At the 20th anniversary of the event in 2008, he declared that the Good Friday Agreement was a “work of genius” which helped to preserve the concept of democracy.

Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams also had a Jupiter link with Hume’s North Node, in this case an exact conjunction.  His Mercury (talks) opposed Hume’s Uranus (risk-taking).  Like Hume, Adams has Mars in Scorpio (the warrior), but his Mars is conjunct Chiron (wounding).  Hume was able to help turn a man of war into a man of peace (wounds turned into healing).  Adams saluted Hume’s “courage to take real risks for peace”.

John Major

John Major paved the way for the work which Tony Blair brought to fruition with Hume.  His Pluto squared Hume’s Uranus, a testament to the ground-breaking nature of the work they did together.

Mo Mowlam

Mo Mowlam went into the prisons in order to talk to Loyalist prisoners, working at the coal face for Tony Blair.  She said: “I have listened and it’s a difficult balance, but I don’t want to leave a stone unturned. I want to be sure we did everything we could to keep the process moving forward.”  Her Mars squared that of Hume (engaged in battle), but her Saturn trined his Jupiter (more power to his elbow) and her Uranus sextiled his Uranus (shared vision for change), plus her Pluto sextiled his Chiron (an enabler for his Healer).

Martin McGuinness

I wrote an astro-obituary for Martin McGuinness in March 2017, with his contribution to the Irish peace process, and his relationship with Gerry Adams.  I noted “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… By 1993, McGuinness himself was said to be involved in secret talks with the government, trying to effect change in a different way.”  In his dealings with Hume, their Mercuries were trine with each other which helped communication, and change was effected through a sextile between Martin’s Jupiter and John Hume’s Uranus.

Pat Hume

John Hume’s wife Pat was a strong support for him throughout his career, often facing danger.  According to the Irish Times: “And still she held out her hand and not a fist, holding on to the belief that there was, and still is, a non-violent way to resolve the conflict. She accompanied her peace-building work with justice.”  Her principles were as strong as his, and she nursed him with his later condition of dementia.  We do not have a birth time for her.

Good Friday Agreement

The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10th April 1998, and became effective on 2nd December 1999.  This was the culmination of John’s work.  At the time of the signing, Mars was forming a T-square to his Sun opposite Pluto, a symbol of the danger he had faced with such courage to get to that point.  Saturn was also trine his natal North Node, signifying an important karmic achievement.  At the time the Agreement became effective, the danger was also highlighted, in Mars squaring his natal Uranus.

Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace prize was awarded to Hume and Trimble in October 1998.  The transits for Hume were Mars trine his natal Uranus,  Jupiter sextile his natal Mercury (an award), Jupiter on his Saturn, and Jupiter opposite his natal Neptune.  For Trimble, Solar Return (on his birthday), fitting for a Libran Sun sign, and Saturn opposite his Mars (which might be seen as symbolic of his struggle against war).


It was as though in his long and painstaking efforts of hard work on peace in Ireland, John Hume had sadly worn himself out, or had achieved what he was destined to do, for shortly after (in 1999) he began to show symptoms of dementia.  At his death, Venus (peace) was exactly conjunct the North Node opposite the Galactic Centre: a fitting astrological tribute.

“His vision was decades ahead of everyone else.  His commitment never wavered; he just had to wait for everyone else to catch up with him.”

~ Trina Vargo

“He understood that when there are only two alternatives – in this case, of justice, but with force and violence on one side and on the other an unjust status quo – there will be no resolution. But in finding a third way, he helped people see that there was a different way forward altogether.”

~ Tony Blair       


With Mercury trine Chiron today, the brief is all about finding solutions, especially in health matters.  Mercury trine Chiron describes healing on a mental level (positive thinking, writing and affirmations), and helps to combine conventional and alternative or complementary healing approaches.   This is a good aspect to set up good practices for the week ahead, for what promises to be a bumpy ride (most Astrologers would agree).

The spanner in the works is a feature of tomorrow’s dynamic (Monday 10th), with Mercury square to Uranus.  Back up your computer files, and consider I.T. loopholes, as this is a time when you may experience glitches in this area.  Use your intuition to be one step ahead – the Universe may be trying to show you new pathways, and possible new perspectives.

Thursday (13th) brings the very explosive square between Mars and Pluto, so get ready to plaster your red “caution” stickers everywhere.  If you found last week’s Mars square Jupiter explosive (it occurred on the day of the explosion in Beirut) be aware that this square is even more volatile.  You may need all your conflict resolution skills.  Take a leaf out of John Hume’s book.

Lastly, on Saturday (15th), Uranus is Stationary, prior to turning retrograde, and recent strategies may start to let you down.  You need to review the way you do things, and the way you think about things, and find new types of solutions suited to future working.  A helpful book on the subject is “Future Vision Your Working Life” by Anne Jirsch, which was published in April this year, in the middle of lockdown.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – finding solutions
  • Tomorrow – finding glitches
  • Thursday – finding your inner peacemaker
  • Saturday – revisioning