Frank Field (1942 -2024)

“Frank had integrity, intelligence and deep commitment to the causes he believed in.  He was an independent thinker never constrained by conventional wisdom but always pushing at the frontier of new ideas”.

~ Tony Blair

Labour MP Frank Field died this week at the age of 81.  He was strong in his individuality, and that very much comes across in his birth chart.  Although he was a Labour MP for forty years, he had some markedly conservative values, and was involved in cross party initiatives.  He was also known for specializing on matters of welfare, poverty

Birth Chart

The fact that his Sun was unaspected set the tone of his uncompromising character, and his lone path in life.  His remarkable individuality, often transcending the lines of party politics, epitomises an unaspected Sun.  He was a Cancerian, a sign often interested in matters of human welfare.  Mercury conjunct Jupiter gave him mental resilience, accounting for his long years of service, remaining mentally engaged in politics until the end of his life, despite a long illness.  His North Node in Virgo indicates his conscientiousness and strong sense of service as part of his karmic mission, strengthened by a sextile to the Mercury/Jupiter conjunction.

Life and Career

Frank was born in Edmonton, London.  His parents were Conservatives.  He was educated at St. Clement Danes School, Hammersmith, then Hull University where he read Economics.  He left the Conservative Party in 1960, objecting to apartheid in South Africa, and joined the Labour Party.  He began his working life in 1964 working as a teacher in London.  In the same year, he was made a Councillor in Turnham Green.  1969 saw him engaging on what was to be a lifelong passion, welfare: he became Director of the Child Poverty Action Group – note that this is a particularly Cancerian area of interest.  After an unsuccessful bid to become an MP in 1966, he finally climbed on to the parliamentary ladder in 1979 in Birkenhead, where he would stay as an MP for the next forty years.  Working briefly under Michael Foot in Education, he was then appointed by Neil Kinnock to work in Health and Social Security.

When Tony Blair was appointed Prime Minister in 1997, Frank was made Minister of Welfare Reform, a post on the surface of it tailor made for him being close to his heart.  However, all did not run smoothly.  He did not get on well with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and even Harriet Harman personally, and disagreed with their outlook on this area.  Tony Blair had given him a brief to “think the unthinkable”, but did not like the strategies which Frank Field came up with.  Here we see the extreme individuality of Frank’s unaspected Sun at work.  His stance on this issue was that the state should only play a small role in the provision of welfare, disliking means-testing and non-contributory entitlement to benefits.  Gordon Brown, on the other hand, favoured the poor being entitled to benefits without having paid National Insurance contributions.  As a result, Field resigned in July 1998.

As a backbencher, he  felt free to criticise the government, and in particular the Working Families Tax Credit which was put into place in 1999.  He publicly described Gordon Brown as “unhappy in his own body”.  He applied to become Speaker of the House of Commons in  2009, but withdrew his candidacy and John Bercow was elected to the post.  When David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party, became Prime Minister in June 2010, he appointed him to lead an independent review into poverty.  Not only did this prove to be a continuation of his work along those lines, but he was by then establishing a pattern of working along cross-party lines.  He took another such role in October 2013, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty. In 2015 he went on to  be elected chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.  But during Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, Frank was not happy with the growing anti-semitism within the party, and resigned on 30th August 2018, describing a “culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation”.  Transiting Mars at the time was trine his natal Neptune, inflaming his sensitivities, and Jupiter squaring his natal Chiron (an overwhelming need to address a wound).  He also sided with the Tory government supporting their pro-Brexit efforts.  Disaffected, he sat as an independent and formed his own party on 2nd August 2019, the Birkenhead Social Justice Party, again that unaspected Sun marking out his individuality. Though the party did not make a great impact politically, personally it was an expression of his own needs: he had a Mars Return on that date, Jupiter was trine his Chiron (satisfactorily addressing the wound which occurred under the square), and Uranus trined his natal North Node (taking charge of his karma). He took a life peerage in 2020 and sat in the House of Lords.

Personal Life

Frank Field did not marry, and was a staunch Christian (Church of England) in his beliefs.  He was a strong supporter of work that combated climate change, and founded a charity in this respect.  Food critic Jay Rayner commented that his unmarried status had caused Field to describe himself as “incomplete”, but he nevertheless led a full social life.  Field wrote an autobiography just last year in 2023, entitled “Politics, Poverty and Belief” – three themes that were strong in his life.  Though he clashed in his opinions and personality with several politicians, mainly from his own party, he was generally well-respected for his integrity, and was able in many instances to work with MPs from other parties. Tony Blair commented: “Even when we disagreed, I had the utmost respect for him as a colleague and a character.” He endured several years of prostate cancer, and three years of extreme ill-health at the end of his life, and supported assisted dying, but departed with a sextile of transiting Jupiter to his natal Sun, often indicating a release.  He certainly served the causes of welfare and the attempt to alleviate poverty in his lifetime – a caring Cancerian.

“Frank dedicated his life to being a voice for the most vulnerable and marginalised people in the country.  He was principled, courageous and independent minded.”

~ Keir Starmer


Tomorrow, Monday (29th) starts with a conjunction of Mars and Neptune at 28 degrees Pisces, a position which conjures up idealistic crusades.  Mars conjunct Neptune may empower the spirit, but for some it may serve to confuse, especially if they are dashing like headless chickens.  Chilling out would give a better outcome.  More meditative activities such as Tai Chi, Yoga and Qijong will achieve a greater sense of balance and serenity.  It is difficult to have one foot in the material world and one foot in the spiritual world, but some can do it.  It is also important to attend for the care of the feet around this time.

By late morning, there is an ingress of Venus into her own sign of Taurus. Within yourself, and in your relationship with nature (weather permitting), you are capable of feeling much more settled and harmonious.  This placement of Venus in her home sign continues right through to 23rd May.  Those born under the Venusian signs of Taurus and Libra will especially feel its benefit, their normal sense of steadiness and balance.

Tuesday (30th) brings another ingress, that of Mars into its own sign of Aries, so both Venus and Mars will be happy bunnies/cows/rams (substitute appropriate animals according to your own judgement and preference).  This may contribute to a sense of well being, a sense of “all’s right with the world”, on some levels (although clearly not on wider levels).  Mars storming into Aries brings an influx of energy, a purer quality of physical energy, especially for those born under Aries.

A square between Venus and Pluto on Wednesday (1st May) may disrupt relationships and  be psychologically discombobulating.  On the world stage, there may be more unedifying examples of man’s inhumanity to man, and the vagaries of global finance.  Deep feeling issues may be preying on your mind.  These will require some psychological soul-searching for a true interpretation, and may spur on honest-as-you-can-be interpersonal communication.

Thursday (2nd) brings more inner focus, with Pluto Stationary prior to turning Retrograde.  This too may be tricky.  Put your psychological house in order, e.g. with a spot of re-aligning meditation, ready for the challenges of this retrograde period.  There may be practical inconveniences, or contentious subjects arising.  The challenges may be more wearying than acute, but you need to keep up your vitality and reserves.  Alternatively, if you find yourself in overwhelm, surrender is equally effective as a spiritual strategy towards a sense of peace and acceptance, and new insight to inform your next steps.

And finally, Mars sextiles Pluto on Friday (3rd) bringing a more constructive end to the week, though these energies together are not guaranteed to be comfortable.  Pluto at its most positive is an aspect of self-mastery and empowerment, whatever that means for you.  This sextile will give you extra physical and emotional energy (especially with Mars being in Aries), so you may find yourself spontaneously clearing clutter.  You might be motivated to do some extra exercise. This could involve very vigorous discussion and perhaps some decisiveness.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – idealistic crusades; harmony with nature
  • Tuesday – intensifying physical energy
  • Wednesday – relationship and money challenges
  • Thursday – psychological soul-searching
  • Friday – constructive and dynamic action