Andy Burnham

Cometh the man, cometh the hour, so they say.  Andy Burnham, Mayor of  Greater Manchester, emerged as initiator of the Northern Rebellion this week, like liberty leading the people.

Birth Chart

I originally wrote about Andy during his second leadership bid for his party, in 2015, in which he came second to Jeremy Corbyn:

” He comes across as a competent and sincere man, but has not captured the public imagination – perhaps he is a little safe and dull?  He was born on a New Moon (Sun conjunct Moon) in the prosaic sign of Capricorn, which is strongly politically motivated.  He is a decent chap, with Venus conjunct this combination, and his heart is no doubt in a good place.  He also has his Mercury in Capricorn: a methodical, practical, systematic type of thinker.  6 of his 10 planets are in Earth signs, so he is grounded and realistic.

He does have an imaginative side, with North Node conjunct Mars in Pisces, normally the Warrior Archetype conjunction but softened by its appearance in Pisces.  He is a Warrior, but does not like to confront directly…  His Mars also sextiles his Sun exactly, and he has 5 of his 10 planets in Cardinal signs, so he has energy and would see himself as a leader.

The Piscean sensitivity also extends to his mental faculties, as his Capricorn mind (Mercury) sextiles closely Neptune, the planet of imagination.  So this is a balance in his make up, between the practical and the imaginative.  His Mercury also trines closely his natal Pluto, giving him depth of thought as well.”

To that I would add that his 6 Earth planets give him a deep connection with his Northern roots (he was born in Liverpool), and Moon conjunct Venus lends a quality of gentleness to his character.

When all the unsuccessful candidates (the other two were Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper) slinked off after that election, I remember  wondering what they would do with their lives and ambitions. Yvette Cooper made a successfully strident critic in opposition, and Liz Kendall continued to successfully serve as an MP in Leicester.  But I was intrigued when Andy Burnham made a bid for the Mayoralty of Manchester – I felt that he was making a choice from the heart.  And he has shown heart in his role.

Life and Career

Andy joined the Labour party at the age of 14 (so socialism is ingrained in him like the letters in a stick of rock!).  It was a response to the miner’s strike of 1984/5.  He gained a degree in English at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.  He gave his maiden speech in parliament in 2001, at the age of 31.  He took various roles in government under Blair and Brown, notably Minister of State at the Department of Health, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State of Health.  In his first challenge for the leadership of the party in 2010 (standing on the philosophy of “aspirational socialism”), he must have felt ready to lead, but came fourth to Ed Milliband.

Mayor of Greater Manchester

Andy Burnham was elected Mayor on 5th May 2017, with 65% of the vote.  He stated at the time:

” politics] has been too London-centric for too long … Greater Manchester is going to take control. We are going to change politics and make it work better for people.”

It was a new role, and one which he had to carve and create for himself.  Since then, he has notably attempted to tackle homelessness in his city, though he pledged to eradicate it and later admitted he would not quite achieve that aim.  Another aim was to overhaul the disjointed bus network, and in this aim he has met with delays and frustrations too.  The same is true for his desire to tackle pollution…the wheels of government grind slowly, and some of the delays have been down to Brexit legislations.

He was called upon to show his mettle as a leader in  the handling of the Manchester Arena bombing disaster.  He made an effective speech at the time, and provided support in various ways.  The aftermath and repercussions left may issues for him to deal with.  But it is as a voice for the North that he has been most visible.

This Week

So his great love for his territory and role as defender of Manchester came out this week when he stood up to Boris Johnson and declared that Manchester would not go willingly into Tier 3 despite the rising coronavirus numbers.  Matt Hancock immediately accused him of playing party politics, but his party leader Keir Starmer had earlier in the week challenged Boris to enforce a circuit breaker.  For Andy, the economic support that the government would provide in such an eventuality were not enough for his citizens to live on.  In fact, Burnham felt that a circuit breaker would be fairer than a Tier 3 category enforcement.  He stated that he would not let  his region become “the sacrificial lamb for an ill-thought-through Downing Street policy which doesn’t make sense in the real world”.  Venus transiting his South Node and opposing his North Node and Mars at the moment is making very much a defending karmic role.  On 18th November he may be taking a very strong stance, when Saturn exactly trines his natal Pluto in Virgo.

Currently, Boris’ response is to say he may override the Mayoral stance.  Of course the health vs economics tightrope walk is a fine line.  But Andy Burnham has drawn a line.  The populace of Manchester are currently awaiting clarification, amid talk of talks being held.

The Chart of Manchester

Astrologically, it is an extremely interesting time for the chart of Manchester, pivotal and crucial, with Pluto exactly trine its Sun on the day Andy Burnham made his stand.  Pluto was also conjunct the Chiron of Manchester: a make or break moment.  No wonder he felt such a compulsion to act on behalf of its citizens.


Saturn squares the Sun at lunchtime today, so you may be excused for feeling a little flat today.  Perhaps you live in a Tier 2 or 3 area, and are feeling the screw tightening, and your options dwindling.   We are all in it together, but some of us are more in it than others.

And then, just after lunch, Neptune opposes Venus, which is uncomfortable but in a different way, that you may not be able to put your finger on.  There may be some deception or illusion going on, especially in relationships or with money, so be cautious.  Don’t answer any cold calls or scam emails.  This aspect, like the previous, one, is fairly subdued.

A change of energy tomorrow (Monday 19th) with the more vibrant aspect of Mars square Jupiter: sheer over the top enthusiasm allied with energy. This aspect can bring spirited exchanges or sporting achievements, but there is a possible hint of danger – the last time it surfaced was in August, when there was a huge explosion in Beirut.

However, Venus trines Jupiter tomorrow, which is one of the best aspects of the year, and may go some way to mitigating some of the more reckless features of Mars square Jupiter.  The male energy may be running riot, but the female energy may temper that and make it more useful.  Venus with Jupiter is so very social, and can be romantic too.  It’s an aspect to savour and enjoy.

Tuesday (20th) brings a return of the recent opposition between Mercury and Uranus, last seen on Wednesday 7th when Mercury was still Direct.  Now that Mercury is Retrograde, there is even more possibility of experiencing the spanner in the works.  But if you are tuned into a higher mental wavelength, e.g. that of telepathy, you can achieve progress and flow.

The Sun enters Scorpio late on Thursday (22nd).  Under the Sun in Libra, we were going for negotiation, but now we need to confront the deeper issues and find more lasting solutions which treat the causes and not just the symptoms of a situation.  For this we need more insight, resolve and conviction, qualities of this sign.  The Scorpio gig is a grittier requirement.  You may see two sides becoming more entrenched in a stand off.

There is hope, on Saturday (24th), of more coming together, and more commitment and loyalty, with Venus trine Saturn.  Here again, Venus can provide a softening role to a hard line stance.  It’s not the celebratory relationship of Venus and Jupiter that we saw on Monday, but it is conciliatory, which may be just what is needed at that time.  Relationships need serious resolving, and Venus trine Saturn can help, whether on a personal level, or between the North and South.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – flatness; intrigue
  • Tomorrow – high jinks; celebration
  • Tuesday – the spanner in the works
  • Thursday – taking a stronger stance
  • Saturday – calling a truce