“Holy Terror series: Happy Birthday, Sir Winston Churchill”
I might have missed the day were it not for a recent airing of the CBS-TV Stephen Colbert Late Show. But leave it to Ted Koppell to have said just the thing to have caught my attention, and I knew I had to have a look at the chart of this man–Winston, not Ted, or rather not Ted at this time.
There’s little point, really, in writing his bio since I’m expecting most of us will know the name. But in case you don’t know much about him, you might enjoy reading both the AstroDataBank (ADB) biography and the longer version (which I scoured in an effort to find a particular quote I couldn’t find anyway!) from Wikipedia. If anything, my decision to wish Winston Churchill “Happy Birthday” was, in part, related to the Wikipedia bio which not only pulled together so much of his life in sections that take the reader through his public career, it helped to link Churchill to my own Holy Terror series!
But even before I decided to write about Churchill today, I remember calling Mugsy, the dog (shhh!) who makes his home with some members of my family, “Winston Churchill” because he seems to resemble Churchill. Now I realize that Mugsy’s shot isn’t as clear as Winston Churchill’s is, but I’m sure you can see the resemblance here. I deliberately didn’t use one of Churchill with his famous hat since Mugsy didn’t have one on his head. For me, I thought if Mugsy had had such a hat, it merely would have served to enhance the similarity between the two.
ADB, quoting Churchill’s “exacting and stirring rhetoric,” offered his 1940 call for “victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard that road may be” as an example reflecting his political stand in the days “after Hitler began to march on Holland, Belgium and France.”
Wikipedia notes, “Churchill was also a prolific writer of books, under the pen name “Winston S. Churchill”, which he used by agreement with the American novelist of the same name to avoid confusion between their works. His output included a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs, and several histories. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”. Two of his most famous works, published after his first premiership brought his international fame to new heights, were his six-volume memoir The Second World War and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples; a four-volume history covering the period from Caesar’s invasions of Britain (55 BC) to the beginning of the First World War (1914). A number of volumes of Churchill’s speeches were also published. the first of which, Into Battle, was published in the United States under the title Blood, Sweat and Tears, and was included in Life Magazine’s list of the 100 outstanding books of 1924–1944.”
But the roles he played in what was the Sudan in 1898 led to his _The River War_ two-volume work on “the reconquest of the Sudan” (Wikipedia) “warned against what he considered to be the dangers of the influence of Islam: ‘Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it (Islam) has vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.'”
Remember, however, this is the same period–and the same African continent that was being carved out by various European nations like France and Great Britain, bringing to my own mind at least part of the region connected to trouble in Africa today. Not that Great Britain and France had done it all. Of course they hadn’t, but their presence was a dominant influence in the region known as East Africa. His perspectives apparently were heavily colored by what some might consider the same xenophobic thought some politicians seem to espouse even today.
This side of him also seemed to come out even at home in Great Britain. Wikipedia notes, “In early January 1911, Churchill made a controversial visit to the Siege of Sidney Street in London. There is some uncertainty as to whether he attempted to give operational commands, and his presence attracted much criticism. After an inquest, Arthur Balfour remarked, ‘he [Churchill] and a photographer were both risking valuable lives. I understand what the photographer was doing, but what was the right honourable gentleman doing?' A biographer, Roy Jenkins, suggests that he went simply because ‘he could not resist going to see the fun himself’ and that he did not issue commands. Another account said the police had the miscreants—Latvian anarchists wanted for murder—surrounded in a house, but Churchill called in the Scots Guards from the Tower of London and, dressed in top hat and astrakhan collar greatcoat, directed operations. The house caught fire and Churchill prevented the fire brigade from dousing the flames so that the men inside were burned to death. ‘I thought it better to let the house burn down rather than spend good British lives in rescuing those ferocious rascals.'”
Churchill’s similar views on India won him no favor there either, and that was all too apparent in some of the description Wikipedia offered here either: “Churchill opposed Gandhi’s peaceful disobedience revolt and the Indian Independence movement in the 1920s and 30s, arguing that the Round Table Conference ‘was a frightful prospect’.
“In response to Gandhi’s civil disobedience campaign, Churchill proclaimed in 1920 that Gandhi ‘ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back.' Later reports indicate that Churchill favoured letting Gandhi die if he went on a hunger strike. During the first half of the 1930s, Churchill was outspoken in his opposition to granting Dominion status to India. He was a founder of the India Defence League, a group dedicated to the preservation of British power in India. Churchill brooked no moderation. ‘The truth is,’ he declared in 1930, ‘that Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed.' In speeches and press articles in this period, he forecast widespread unemployment in Britain and civil strife in India should independence be granted.
“The Viceroy Lord Irwin, who had been appointed by the prior Conservative Government, engaged in the Round Table Conference in early 1931 and then announced the Government’s policy that India should be granted Dominion Status. In this the Government was supported by the Liberal Party and, officially at least, by the Conservative Party. Churchill denounced the Round Table Conference.
“At a meeting of the West Essex Conservative Association, specially convened so that Churchill could explain his position, he said ‘It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace … to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.' He called the Indian National Congress leaders ‘Brahmins who mouth and patter principles of Western Liberalism’.” (Wikipedia)
And regardless of which century to which we refer, certainly xenophobia should never be welcome. On the other hand, there was a humorous side to him. “Near the end of [Churchill’s] life, a new MP asked the former prime minister if he would like some tea. Churchill replied, ‘No. Don’t be a bloody fool. I want a large glass of whisky!')” (Wikipedia)
Take note that his chart validation indicates “from memory,” curiously so since 29 Virgo 56 points to the North Node (NN) placement from the Paris attacks at 29 Virgo 42 Rx and the 29 Virgo 28 Sun in the Republic of Mali chart, which brings in the discussions in the Holy Terror series, Part 1a that I’m still writing! And of course, no surprise with the Mali hotel attack taking place just a week after the Paris attacks, you know that NN won’t have moved very much, and sure enough it’s at 29 Virgo 14, still partile to the Churchill Ascendant. And yes, in case you think I didn’t notice the 29 Gemni 55 Midheaven, think again, I did catch that too. Did you, btw, happen to notice that Churchill’s Ascendant makes a 29-minute partile opposition to the placement of the March 20, 2015 Solar Eclipse?
Even if he wasn’t born at 1:30 am on the dot, he was an historian who excelled in writing, probably editing and philosophy–all of which points to his 9th house. Now here’s where things get interesting with his chart. Mind you, the 9th house is not empty: Pluto in Venus-ruled Taurus sits on the 9th house cusp, pointing to the power he held as an historian, philosopher, statesman and published author. Meanwhile Jupiter in Venus-ruled Libra makes a 9-minute partile conjunction to the 2nd house cusp in sextile to and in mutual reception with 3rd house Venus in Sagittarius!
With his Eastern 1st quadrant below-the-horizon dominance, he most likely had an independent nature with more focus on himself and his own will than whether he was actually pleasing others. For him, it would seem he concentrated on being true to himself. But Mars rising in the 1st house could also point to a person with an irascible air that spoke more about his being highly self-confident and perhaps self-possessed.
On the other hand, he apparently started out as a stutterer, so I’m really not surprised to see his Mercury involved in a Fixed T-square with Pluto in opposition and in square to Uranus. Of course the contemporary Cardinal square between Uranus and Pluto is in a Fixed state in Churchill’s chart , While his own challenge to overcome a speech impediment seems to parallel the story line from The King’s Speech (starring Colin Firth) in which King George VI possessed the same or similar speech impediment, it should not be mistaken as Churchill’s story instead. Churchill and King George VI lived in the same time period.
Although he had a pair of undecaquartisextiles (single UQSXT, not the more pronounced ones) in his chart, it would seem that his drive to achieve some point of recognition in his life through the Mars-Neptune UQSXT propelled him to overcome the stutter that may have shown itself through the T-square. But his Sun formed another UQSXT to Pluto, and that served as the necessary drive and desire to get through it. Seems like he did at that!
If Winston Churchill had his own focus to the point even of selfishness–an easily understood complaint about those with this Eastern 1st quadrant emphasis and Mars in the 1st house–he seemed to be a mixed bag of energy, garnering the respect of just as many as those who despised him for his views. Perhaps he didn’t care. Today, people laugh at the comments he made. Perhaps his Moon-Neptune fiery trine had something to do with it. Certainly the whiskey loosened his tongue. I suppose his having come from a well-to-do family might have as well since he seemed to adopt a privileged air rather than one focused on doing what was right for everyone.
But we can learn all the same from the legacy he gave us through his published works. If we can just keep in mind now the African proverb that warns we’ll never know what really happened until we hear the lion’s tale, we can learn something about this period. Hopefully the Holy Terror series will provide an avenue for some of that process to take place.
Consider the quote Ted Koppell mentioned on the CBS-TV Stephen Colbert Late Show that night not long ago. It fits Winston Churchill’s style to speak from his truth whether or not it fits what “truth” is for the rest of us. “The Americans always end up doing the right thing, but only after they’ve exhausted every other possibility.” That much, you’ve “gotta” love!
Happy 141st Birthday indeed, Sir Winston Churchill. In your honor, I offer you the gift of the album released on your birthday, this day in 1979.