The answer to my own question is I don’t know. Yes feels like stepping over a line between what is known into something not yet known, something more inclusive, more participatory, more involving. Yes is active, a step across a threshold, choosing possibility, paying homage to Chance. Yes is not without pain or suffering, yet neither is No.
On October 14, 2023, Australians are being asked to vote Yes or No on “A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.” The question we are asked to respond Yes or No to is: “Do you approve this proposed alteration?” This referendum has arisen out of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, an invitation from First Nations people to all Australians to help realise and heal the pain of the past by establishing an indigenous Voice to Parliament and a Makarrata Commission. “Makarrata” is an Aboriginal word envisaging the coming together after a struggle. Voice, Treaty, Truth are the three pillars of the proposal which includes the recognition of sovereign land rights and telling the truth about what happened in the process of colonization. Voice, Treaty, Truth. (1)
I am voting Yes.
I am highly emotional about this and am not sure why. Probably because I am voting for a statement from the heart, a declaration of inclusivity, an intention of healing, an invitation for truth telling and hope. I am voting Yes in respect of all aboriginal rights, not just culturally and racially, but psychologically — a vote Yes for our aboriginal soul, not for an administrative, political or governmental outcome. Yes to each living being’s indigeneity. Yes to ancestral and indigenous values. Yes to the diversity of the human spirit.
What will happen if we say Yes. As an astrologer I wonder, not about whether the outcome is Yes or No, but what are we being asked to participate with collectively. What is possible in this moment of time?
When using an astrological lens to reflect on events in time, each astrologer looks through their own beliefs and biases. For me, each horoscope is a moment in time, not a prediction, but an archetypal arrangement that invites amplification and reflection, not imposition.
Under the Eclipse
The polls open and close within a 24 hour-period before a solar eclipse. This astrological image umbrellas the referendum. Solar eclipses occur at least twice every year, yet their symbol and history has always evoked mystery and awe. This New Moon eclipse occurs in Libra, the sign of choice, equality, debate, fairness and arbitration. Libra personifies the anxiety of choice, as it is equally aware of what is not being chosen.
At a solar eclipse the Moon obscures the Sun; symbolically instinct obscures reason, feelings arise, the dark enters the day. The collective felt sense, the mood, seems changeable and reactive. Eclipses occur nearby the intersection of the Moon’s path with that of the Sun, two points or portals known as the lunar nodes. This eclipse at 21°07′ Libra is near the South Node at 24°52′; the southern intersection implies that a collective atmosphere from the past could be resourceful if consciously and courageously focused. Metaphorically, it is like a door opening onto destiny; but, does the collective have the consciousness to seize this moment of Chance? The eclipse and nodal axis are also intertwined with Chiron and Pluto, archetypal images of healing and transforming.
Mercury-Chiron and the Indigenous Voice
Mercury joins the Sun and the Moon in the Libra stellium. During the polling Mercury is applying to its opposition to Chiron. By the time of the eclipse, it forms a close opposition. In this context Chiron-Mercury reflects the “indigenous voice,” talking about healing, thinking about diversity, the idea of reconciliation as well as the announcement of the result.
Chiron and Mercury are conjunct in Sagittarius in the natal chart for the Proclamation of the Australian Constitution (2). Jupiter, ruler of the Sagittarian conjunction is also in Sagittarius in the 8th house. Deep in the Australian psyche is an encounter with the “truth” and integrity of our beliefs. The rhetoric of disenfranchisement, of native title and of indigenous culture is embedded in our constitution, which was created on the heels of a Jupiter–Chiron conjunction. The referendum this year was also announced under the emergence of a new Jupiter–Chiron cycle — the synchrony of these Jupiter–Chiron cycles brings the issue of the privileged and the disenfranchised, the foreigner and the local to the surface. Understanding collective wounding, including racial, ancestral and generational trauma is necessary for healing and fundamental to mental wellbeing. This concept is being edified and advocated. (3)
Uranus awakens the Moon
The current transit of Uranus to the constitutional Moon is notable. During the debates concerning the vote, Uranus has been in its retrograde approach to the natal Moon in Taurus; the transit is astrologically alive until mid-next year. The mood of the people is being churned; issues of safety and security, land and ownership are being politicised. Whatever way we might see through this image, change is afoot. Whatever outcome is determined, it will be towards reforming the collective security and stability of our nation. Neither result will change the process that is in motion since the momentum for altering our past to secure our future is already underway. But, with consciousness and participation in the times, imagine what could happen.
Change is undeniable. Transformation of the nation’s direction is underway; we only need look at the degree on the Midheaven as Pluto approaches this pinnacle.
Angles on the Day
The next two charts, set for the capital Canberra, show the polls opening and closing on the day. While this is the official opening, postal votes and pre-polling have already begun. And the polls in South and Western Australia will still be open. Nonetheless, we might think of these charts as the atmospheric conditions of the day that we exercise our right to say yes or no to the Voice.
Looking through an astrological lens reveals interconnected moments in the continuity of time. For instance, note Uranus is the exact degree of the Descendant as polls open. Therefore our natal Moon aligns with the horizon, just below the Descendant of the opening chart. Comparing the two charts, the natal Moon is positioned below the transiting horizon all day. Yet in “real” time the Moon is above the horizon as voting occurs: are we able to feel the depth of our feeling response to the Statement from the Heart in the light of day and reason? Venus, a declaration from the heart, rules the natal and transiting Moon, highest in the heavens as polls open.
The Midheaven of the Proclamation chart is the IC of the Opening of the Polls chart. A reversal or an interchange? Their MC rulers, Sun and Saturn, are conjunct in the natal chart: can we bring the foundational issues of the day (Saturn ruling IC) into the open (Sun ruling MC)? Or is the fear and anxiety of change best left in the dark?
The other nodal points, the angle of the Vertex–Antivertex and the axis of the nodes align in the chart. (4) While its “meaning” is difficult to imagine, it brings up images of destiny and direction as well as unconscious agendas affecting the outcome. The Sun sits at the southern pole of the axis; Chiron near the northern. Dane Rudhyar suggested the line of nodes is like a “line of cleavage;” that is, a sharp division or a split, in this case perhaps between the centre (the Sun) and the periphery (Chiron). (5) All the axes and angles of destiny and direction are highlighted.
The luminaries are in their Balsamic phase, with Mercury in between. All are in the 12th house. Ascendant ruler Mars in Scorpio is also in the 12th. So while we might recognise the luminaries in their closing phase and Mars in a sign of endings, they inhabit the 12th, having just risen, yet perhaps not totally awakened as the dreams and dramas of the night have not fully vanished. But throughout the day the stellium travels across the sky and — by the closing of the polls — settles into the 7th house.
As the polls close, the angles are all in cardinal signs. Mars still rules the Ascendant in Aries, but is now in the 7th house. Saturn now rules the MC, not the IC. The IC has become the terrain of the Moon. Seems appropriate the IC, often referred to as the end of the matter, is ruled by the Moon at the end of the day. The question is about our homeland, our home, hearth, safety, family, kinship, security, belonging. The Moon in Libra is applying to Mercury in the 7th — hopefully we have had the right counsel to make a fair and just choice, and use our vote for what we perceive is unbiased and connective.
Yes or No
Astrologers can often feel pressured to make a prediction. In a sense, predictions can be superfluous as the planets still continue on their path — we still live under the same astrological influences, no matter the outcome. I guess prediction might ease some anxiety when we are uncertain or unsafe. Amplifying and reflecting on astrological images of transition can hopefully help us make safer and more conscious choices.
I don’t know what will happen after I vote Yes. I just know that I will feel more authentic, voting for inclusivity, equality and diversity.
Illustration: The Uluru Statement
1. Beloved Australian icon, John Farnham has agreed that his song You’re the Voice can be used as an anthem for Yes. The song begins:
“We have the chance to turn the pages over.
We can write what we want to write”
2. Like many nations, there are varying charts ranging from founding to constitutional reform — this chart was suggested by Gwen Stoney, who timed the ceremony using the notes from Australia’s Heritage about how the constitution was formally declared.
3. See my article on the Jupiter-Chiron cycle.
4. As the angles are intersections of the ecliptic with great circles, these can also be defined as nodes, although we tend to use the word axes to describe the polarity of the angles.
5. Dane Rudhyar, The Astrology of Personality, Servire/Wassenaar, 1963, pp. 317
Brian Clark has been an astrological student, counsellor and educator for over 50 years. His astrological work has always been informed by the ambiguous, yet multi-layered nature of its symbols, a focus of one of his books Soul, Symbol and Imagination. Over the years, Brian has taught at international workshops and retreats in Australia, Asia, North America and Europe. He continues his consulting and tutoring practice, administrating his distance learning program, as well as teaching, and writing for astrological and psychological journals. Brian has his MA in Classics and Archaeology from the University of Melbourne and has been honoured with lifetime membership from the state, national and professional astrological organizations in Australia. AstroSynthesis.com.au