Pat Arrowsmith (1930 – 2023)

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

War and Peace

“In plain words: now that Britain has told the world she has the H-bomb she should announce as early as possible that she has done with it, that she proposes to reject, in all circumstances, nuclear warfare.”

~ J.B. Priestley, 1957

Peace campaigner, a co-founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (C.N.D.), Pat Arrowsmith, died this week at the age of 93. I am constantly researching the charts of peace campaigners, diplomats and negotiators, as it is a subject that fascinates me.  Last year I wrote an astro-obituary about Bruce Kent, also a co-founder of C.N.D., and will draw upon his chart for clues about what makes a good peace campaigner. I wrote “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!”  Today is an appropriate moment to write about such matters, as we have a warmongering square between Mars and Pluto peaking in the early hours of tomorrow morning, and a dramatic escalation of Middle Eastern tensions between Israel and Gaza, coming at the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

Birth Chart

Pat Arrowsmith had her Elements nicely balanced (a 2-2-3-3 distribution), which may be advantageous for a Peace campaigner, though I am not putting it forward as a necessary requirement!  She had the Sun in Pisces, which can be a gentle and peace-loving sign, with the Sun conjunct Venus, which can also be known as peace-loving.  Sun trine Pluto depicts a deep character, and Pluto provides a link with the concept of “ban the bomb”, because Pluto represents the bomb.  The Sun closely sextile Chiron provides a problem-solving mentality.  Mercury in Aquarius exactly conjunct Mars, is surprising in a peacemaker, and more likely to be found in a verbal warrior, but it does incline towards activism, and Mars in Aquarius itself can signify The Activist Archetype.  But Mars is not strongly featured, other than the conjunction with Mercury, unlike in Bruce Kent’s chart, so his chart more typically showed the Warrior Archetype.  Bruce’s Peace credentials to some extent lay in his conjunction of Venus and the North Node in Taurus opposite his Ascendant.  Venus in her chart was exactly trine Pluto, which can give a strong moral compass.  Jupiter was closely sextile Uranus, giving her The Entrepreneur Archetype, and she helped to found something new.  Jupiter was square Neptune, so she may have been confused about religion and spirituality.  Though her father was a Reverend, she herself was an atheist.  Her deep convictions may have stemmed from a humanistic aspect of her sensibility, too.  Interestingly, I wrote about Bruce Kent that “Conflicts and controversies around religion are shown in his chart by Jupiter (religion) square (vs) Neptune (spirituality)” and he himself was a priest. Saturn exactly square Uranus speaks of an iconoclastic and uncompromising side of her nature – she never thought of risks to herself in relation to imprisonment if she believed in the truth of her cause(s).

There were more comparisons to be made with Bruce Kent’s chart, considering they were born within a year of each other.  They may have been among a wave or vanguard of souls wishing to work on the issue of disarmament.  They both had the North Node (karmic mission) in Taurus: armic Missions to stabilize the world after the First and Second World Wars and the invention of the bomb and to engender a feeling of safety, although not everyone would be of that persuasion: some feel safer with more armaments. They both also had their Chiron (healing mode) in the same sign of Taurus, both working towards solutions for stability in the world.  Pat’s Chiron and North Node were conjunct, so her karmic mission allied with her healing mission, and they were mutually strengthening.  Chiron is currently in Aries, so perhaps when it enters Taurus a new generation of peacemakers will be born, or a new climate of fostering peace could arise, but even if that is the case it would not be until June 2026, so we may need to look elsewhere for signs of peace in the meantime.

Life and Career

Pat Arrowsmith was a very different character than Bruce Kent, even though their zeal for Peace was equally strong.  She was born in Leamington Spa, and was the youngest of three children.  Her father, as mentioned, was a Reverend.  She was brought up for a few years in Torquay, and Cheltenham, then studied history at Newnham College Cambridge.  She completed her education at Liverpool University and Ohio U.S.A.

As well as being a peace campaigner in the context of the C.N.D. movement, she was also an anti-Vietnam War activist, campaigned for the removal of British troops from Northern Ireland, an end to the Gulf War, and also stood up for feminist and lesbian issues.

Pat was one of the main organizers of the First Aldermaston March, which took place from the 4th to 7th April 1958.  At the time, Venus and Mercury were exactly conjunct Pat Arrowsmith’s Sun and Venus conjunction in Pisces, an expression of her desire for peace.

Pat was also a signatory at the founding of the Committee of 100 by Bertrand Russell in 1960.  Its supporters used mass nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience in the pursuits of their cause. This has an interesting contemporary parallel, as environmentalist Chris Packham has been examining the necessity (or otherwise) for civil disobedience in relation to the government’s failure to act on the environment, and in relation to the Just Stop Oil and similar movements.

In her life, she served 11 prison sentences, on one occasion breaking out, in 1974, when Mars was sextile her Sun (symbolic of a breakout moment!). She also worked for Amnesty International, and ran unsuccessfully for Parliament.  And she published novels and poetry (poetry being especially associated with Pisces).


The above quoted words by J.B. Priestley in November 1957 were a motivating force for the establishing of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.  A public meeting was arranged, headed by Bertrand Russell (who had Sun in Taurus), at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, on 17 February 1958.  This date can be taken as the chart inception for this institution.  The chart has the forward thinking Sun in Aquarius, with Venus, the Moon, Mercury and Chiron also in that sign.  Mercury conjoins with Chiron, signifying an attempt at a solution.  The North Node is exactly conjunct Neptune in Scorpio (an idealistic attempt to deal with the threat of the bomb).  The transits to Bertrand Russell’s chart are also very significant: the C.N.D. exact North Node/Neptune idealistic conjunction fell exactly on Bertrand Russell’s Ascendant, possibly embodying an important part of his personal philosophy.

Pat Arrowsmith and Bruce Kent brought different relationships, strengths, weaknesses and experiences to the movement.  For Pat, Uranus was trine her Uranus (a vehicle for her activism) and Pluto was on her Neptune (plumbing the depths of her sensitivies).  The connection for Bruce Kent is even deeper, showing great involvement and power, with his Neptune opposite its Sun, his Sun trine its Jupiter, his Midheaven sextile its Neptune, and his Sun sextile its Pluto.  There is more of a spiritual theme than for Pat, but spirituality was his “profession”.

Other Peacemakers

Yitzhak Rabin had the Sun in Pisces conjunct Venus.

Antonio Guterres has the Sun in Taurus conjunct Venus

Kofi Annan had Mercury conjunct Venus in Taurus

Recurring themes for peacemakers seem to be the signs of Pisces and Taurus, and the Sun conjunct Venus.

Many have tried…!


Simmering tensions may be occurring today, prior to a square between Mars and Pluto (the two warmongerers squaring up to each other) in the early hours of tomorrow morning (1.05 a.m. in the U.K., to be precise).  I consider it to be one of the most difficult aspects of the year.  It’s a volatile combination, which can give way to riots or situations which can get out of hand.  Prepare your stock of peaceful vibes beforehand so that you can send out a blast of soothing comfort wherever you go.  You may need all your conflict resolution skills.  When this aspect occurred two years ago, the Film Director Alec Baldwin accidentally shot Halyna Hutchens.

Just six minutes later, Venus enters Virgo, from its recent sojourn in Leo.  So maybe you may find yourself laying the foundation for next term’s educational or working schedules now.  We may also be discriminating about the company we keep (if we subscribe to such a philosophy), and be exercising caution.  Someone criticized Keir Starmer this morning to me, for his lack of enthusiasm – I pointed out that he is a Virgo!  They tend to try not to get too excitable, but he did show great joy at the by-election win in Scotland this week.  Hopefully, Venus will bring him harmony and confidence for his Party Conference this week.  We choose the catering (in a healthful, Virgoan or Vegan way), and we tailor our practices to ecological ways under this placement.  Virgo entering Pisces at the same time as Mars square Pluto may help to tone things down.

Saturn opposes Venus on Tuesday (10th) in the morning. This could be emotionally deflating (e.g. a prominent, well-loved public figure could pass after a long and worthwhile life). It is time to value those around you, and to renew bonds of love and loyalty.

On Wednesday (11th) Pluto is Stationary prior to turning Direct, in the very early hours of the morning.  This may ease the path a little, and bring relief that the deep issues are being tackled.  We may feel we are coming through a transition, or at least on a more salubrious path.  The ruminations of the entire retrograde period (since 1st May) bear fruit.  Breakthroughs can take place at this juncture, e.g. reunions where perhaps people have not been speaking to each other.

But progress may be slow at first, as Chiron opposing the Sun highlights certain issues or crises which are ongoing and in need of healing.  That may be an opportunity to work on your Inner Healer and your Inner Problem Solver, and find intuitive answers to problems.

The path to peace itself may be difficult this week, as in the early hours of Thursday (12th) Mars enters Scorpio, a notoriously belligerent placement.  It is a signal to work on your constructive strategies.  Scorpio can be skilful in peace when evolved.  If you are a pacifist, just observe.  If you are a warrior, your power may be heightened.  If you are a diplomat, be ready.  Mars will be in the battle zone until 24th November, so take your position, and may everyone do their best in the effort to express the best of this dynamism.

So we come to Friday 13th, lucky for some.  May four leafed clovers be strewn in your path, if you are superstitious.  Remember that it is a collective astral thoughtform, even if like me you do not subscribe to the fear.  However, we are collectively, in luck, because we have the best aspect of the week, Mars trine Saturn, which, despite being a connection between the two traditional astrological “malefics” can be very constructive, in a non-dramatic way.  It does mean that hard work can pay off.  Think through what you want to achieve, and set about steadily allowing it to unfold, with some concrete or physical input or ignition on your part.  A trine not to be sniffed at.

Saturday (14th) is an important day, being an Eclipse and a New Moon, at 21 degrees Libra.  Some of the artistic, musical and relationship issues you have been grappling with could receive new impetus and a more confident direction.  Where there has been struggle, there could be more harmony.  Where there has been vacillation, there may be more balance.  But whether or not you are conscious of beneficial changes or shifts in these matters, they may still be progressing and bear fruit over the next month.  Relationships, too, may be assisted.  As an eclipse, these new moon opportunities are heightened, and the consequences can prove a turning point (with effects possible up to six months).

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – warmongering;
  • Tuesday – ecology and detailed artistry
  • Wednesday – psychological progress; issues needing healing
  • Thursday – strength of purpose
  • Friday – constructive moves
  • Saturday – new beginnings; turning points