Bruce Kent (1929 – 2022)

“His clarity of thought and deep Christian faith brought light and direction to many people wrestling with the complex arguments around war and peace.”

~ Malcolm McMahon, archbishop of Liverpool

Peace campaigner Bruce Kent died on Wednesday, at the age of 92.  For many years, he was the face of CND.

Birth Chart

I have a particular interest in the charts of Peacemakers, and regularly single them out for treatment here (!), so will create a new category today, in his honour.  The last one I wrote about was Antonio Gutteres on 1st May, and previous to that Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 27 February.

The chart of Bruce Kent bears weight to the fact that in order to be a successful and effective peace campaigner, you also have to have the Warrior Archetype in your chart!  His Sun Sign was Cancer, but he had Chiron/Venus/Descendant/North Node/Part of Fortune in the Venus (peace) ruled sign of Taurus.  His Moon (early life and influences) was in Capricorn: he came from a conservative background, and attended a Jesuit school.  He later stated: “It took me another 20 years at least to realise how effectively I had been processed for English establishment life and values”.

The element of the Warrior Archetype is shown in his chart by Mars in fiery Leo square to the Ascendant, 10th House side of the cusp, thus making activism an important part of his role, and Mars square to the Nodal Axis (the karmic warrior), implying a deep soul requirement to stand up for what he felt to be right (in his case disarmament and peace).  But his Mars also had a deliberate and controlled side (Mars trine Saturn) and a gentle side (Mars conjunct Neptune).

He was intellectually rebellious, with Mercury sextile Uranus, and caused serious controversy within the church by involving himself in politics.  Conflicts and controversies around religion are shown in his chart by Jupiter (religion) square (vs) Neptune (spirituality), and Jupiter square Midheaven (divided loyalties between his career and the religious community).  But he had within himself a good balance between the material and spiritual, as shown by Saturn trine Neptune.  He was also an Agent for Change (Uranus square Pluto), not an easy natal square to fulfil.  Spirituality was very much part of his Persona, through Neptune on his Midheaven, and in this he was a spiritual leader in some ways.  The Guardian obituary by Peter Stanford points out that: “For his admirers – and there were very many more of them than detractors – he was a prophetic and charismatic figure”.  Pluto was exactly trine his Ascendant on the 9th House (Religion) cusp, and Stanford continues by saying that he “almost single-handedly shook English Catholicism out of its complacency, studied moderation and instinctive avoidance of all things political.”  Pluto was his ruling planet from his Ascendant Scorpio, so that may have been a life objective.

This strong association with Pluto is important in the work he was known for in the mainstream, for the heavenly body Pluto (discovered in 1930), represents the bomb, and CND’s slogan and objective was to “ban the bomb”.  As a Plutonian, with his Pluto closely sextile his North Node, he knew the power of the bomb to destroy.

Life and Career

Bruce Kent was born in London, but educated in Canada.  He served in the British army (thus exercising his Inner Warrior) for two years, then took a degree at Oxford in jurisprudence.  He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest (at his first Saturn Return, which often entails a commitment), and became a chairman of charity War on Want.  From 1980 to 1985 he was the general secretary for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, his public profile rose and he revived the popularity of CND.  He became a staunch critic of Margaret Thatcher’s defence policies.

I personally remember this period distinctly.  It was when my children were growing up, and, always admiring of pacifism, I used to say to a family friend who marched with CND: “Have one for me!”  One of my children was born in 1983, when cruise missiles came to Greenham Common (and Pluto entered Scorpio).  Then at the end of the 1980s, I became a fully paid up member of CND with the role of collecting the local subscriptions!

On 11th February 1987 Bruce Kent had to take the difficult decision to leave the church, as he would not have been permitted to take an active role in politics.  He wept making the announcement, and later said it was one of the worst days of his life.  Neptune was on his natal Moon at the time: an ocean of tears.  He subsequently (in 1992) tried to stand for parliament in an Oxford constituency, but failed.

The following year, aged 59, during his second Saturn Return period, he made a second commitment, that of marriage to Valerie Flessati, on 4th July 1988, a commitment he was able to keep.  They did not have children.


Dennis Healey claimed that Bruce Kent “achieved the most impressive victory for single-issue politics in recorded history”.  Stanford, in his obituary, described his stance:

“He argued that the Warsaw Pact countries posed little or no threat to the west, that the Soviet Union was in internal meltdown and therefore unlikely to attack, and that deterrence could never work because it implied the willingness to strike first.”  Stanford goes on to say that since the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) history has proven him right (until now).  The CND movement seemed to cease to be such a hot potato during the intervening years.

It seems fitting that his soul chose this time period to depart.  He had done his bit for the previous generation.  We now need new strategies for this unprecedented crisis posed by Putin’s Russia with the invasion of Ukraine.

His transits this week were dominated by Uranus, an agent of change: Mars on his natal Uranus (sudden change), Uranus sextile his Pluto (deep change) and Uranus opposite his Ascendant (all change).  This gives a sense of him moving to another dimension in order to continue his work on another level.

“He was a huge influence on my life and his commitment to peace and human rights was inspirational.  He wanted a more compassionate and inclusive church and a more decent and just society.  He was one of the finest human beings I have ever met.”

~ Helena Kennedy


Tomorrow (Monday 13th) Mercury enters Gemini.  Mercury, representing our communication, is at home in chatty Gemini, and free to express verbally or in writing whatever comes to mind.  The communication will come thick and fast, but the consequences of the communication is another matter entirely.  You may find yourself gabbling…!  Mercury stays here for a few weeks, and thus communication is the name of the game until 5th July, which is a day on which Mars also changes sign, so that will be a day of shifts and switches.

You may wake on Tuesday (14th) having had a fitful sleep with the approaching Full Moon at 23 degrees Sagittarius; you may experience restlessness, emotion and tension.  The event itself occurs late morning, almost noon, at 11.52 a.m., so these moods may ebb away for the rest of the day.  Be clear in your direction of travel, both physically and metaphorically.  If you have natal planets at that degree, you may be more affected than most.  There is a global flavour to this Full Moon, and strong statements may be made for example about the world response to the invasion of Ukraine.

A more stable atmosphere is created on Thursday (16th) first thing, with the Sun trine Saturn, re-establishing a foothold on reality.  This is a solid and productive aspect.  If you are engaged in creativity, it can help ensure that it works on a practical level.  It is also a good aspect for making plans and laying foundations, counting your chickens, and counting your troops on the ground.  But do so early, for Neptune is lurking…

By lunchtime, you may need to recount your chickens, and troops, for foxy Neptune is squaring the Sun, and all may not be as it seems.  There are new considerations and issues arising, more sensitivity to consider.  You may be feeling a little confused, lost, or even  dizzy.  If you are on a journey, take a moment to stop and reflect, over coffee at a service station on the motorway for instance.  It’s a good moment to surrender to the divine, and ask what you are supposed to be learning from the experience, seeking out where the illusion lies.

There is more heart-searching required on Saturday evening, with a square from Saturn to Venus.  Perhaps you need to contemplate whether it was right or wrong to ban the bomb, or reduce the deterrent.  Or perhaps your concerns are closer to home, about close relationships and money, both of which are ruled by Venus, and under constraint by Saturn.  Maybe you felt let down by someone or you disappointed yourself in some way.  Forgiveness could be a solution, in that case.  We need a great deal of patience in our human interactions, and some may be dealing with rejection or sadness.  We need to acknowledge those feelings before we can move on.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – Communication!
  • Tuesday – emotional high tide
  • Thursday – stability, then uncertainty
  • Saturday – examining love and money