Birth of a Nation

Australia Great Southern Land

Astrology rests upon the premise that a moment in time has unique qualities that provide a guide to its future potential. In an individual's chart the birth moment is said to be the severance of the umbilical cord and initial first breath. Some astrologers also take note of the conception time. This birthchart acts as a template upon which other moments in his/her life can be judged. The same axiom holds true for a country.

Australia the nation refers to the body politic, the culture and spirit of the peoples and government and the structure of their civilization. The face of the Great South land changed forever with the coming of white settlement. The day when the kingdom of the north, came to claim the land of the south, was the single most defining moment of cultural change. It is something celebrated by white Australia every Australia Day of January 26 – and lamented by the indigenous inhabitants as the rape of Gondawanaland.


On August 18 1786 Lord Sydney penned a letter requesting provision for a convict settlement at Botany Bay NSW. It was agreed to the following day. This decision would lead to one of the epic maritime adventues of all time as eleven tall ships and over 1100 people sailed halfway around the world to begin a new life, and new nation.

On Sunday morning May 13 1787 and a good breeze was up. From the captain’s log. "At 4.00 am fired gun and made the signal to weigh, weigh'd and made sail, in company with the Hyaena frigate, Supply armed tender, six transports and three store ships, at 9 fired a gun and made the signal for the convoy to make more sail".

Not long after the tall ships set sail, Saturn (the foundation planet of terra firma), turned retrograde on June 8 1787. It virtually coincided with their first port of call at Santa Cruz in the Canary Islands. Saturn would not turn direct again until October 26 and the last leg of the arduous journey rounding the Cape of Good Hope. In what seems a remarkable astrological coincidence Saturn would eventually return to the original position it held as the ships set sail, within twenty four hours of the christening of the new settlement at Sydney Cove.

It’s a symbolic custom to raise the flag at sunrise and January 26 1788 was no different. Captain Arthur Phillip hoisted his flag on board the Sirius and weighed anchor at daybreak. The journals and diaries of at least 11 scribes have survived the ravages of time.


From the dairy of Phillip Gidley King of HMS Supply, 'at Daylight the English colours were displayed on shore and possession was taken for His Majesty whose health with the Queens, Prince of Wales and Success to the Colony was drank, a feu de joie was fired by the Party of Marines and the whole gave 3 Cheers which was returned by the Supply.'

An important diary entry is that of Sergeant James Scott who wrote that he landed at ‘half past six to the New town that had been christened this day and four volleys of small arms fired’. This confirms the ceremonial taking of possession which appears to have been in the morning.

Although visual sunrise was 5.15 am., allowing the fact that the rowboat would have to get to the shore, and reasoning it might safer to guarantee some security surrounding a public ceremony in an alien land (with obvious aboriginal presence), I found 5.23 am to be auspiciously justified in the comparison over 60 pivotal national events studied thereafter.


The Settlement horoscope depicts Australia with a multinational Aquarian Sun rising on the Ascendant. Initially this was reflected in the egalitarian nature of the society, and now it effects through its multicultural policies. Australia grew from a penal colony where freedom was a cherished condition. It is one of the select countries to have hosted dual Olympic Games, both in 1956 and 2000. Australia’s great love of sport and recreation - they have produced more sporting champions per capita than any other nation - is depicted via a fifth house Jupiter in square to an eighth house Moon.

The Midheaven of the chart is square to Uranus and semisquare the Moon. It is also trine a close conjunction of Venus and Saturn. Apart from Australia Day the other day of national remembrance for Australians is ANZAC day, April 25. It is celebrated to commemorate the sacrifice and bravery of its youth on the beaches and trenches of Gallipolli from the pre-dawn landing of 1915. ANZAC Day marks Australia’s coming of age in the international sphere, albeit through the horrors of war. The Anzac chart places the natal Suns in square when compared to the Settlement horoscope.


Progressing the settlement chart using secondary progressions (Naiboid in RA) to Anzac Day, the moving Midheaven would land on natal Saturn and Venus, as both also fielded a further quincunx from secondary progressing Venus and Uranus. Such is depictive of loss of loved ones, the saying of goodbye, or even the financial cost of war. The secondary progressed Moon reaches the natal Ic and locks in a T-square with a sixth house (armed forces) Uranus. The secondary progressed Sun for Australia’s involvement in this First World War is conjunct progressed Mercury at 12 degrees of mutable.

These degrees of mutable, (the 10 to 12 degree Gemini/Sagittarius area) seem to be the most volatile, in a comprehensive study of Australian history. They square its Moon. On the 90-degree wheel they form hard aspect to the late degrees of cardinal, and this is in keeping with the angles of the Australian horoscope.


War is a definitive event for rectification as it involves the whole country. At 9.58 am on February 19 1942 Japanese warplanes bombed Darwin. The nations sovereignty was threatened for the first time since Captain Phillip’s landing. Here the progressed Ascendant had made it’s way to where the same degrees of Gemini that the progressing Sun held for the First World War, with transiting Jupiter right on it. The progressed Midheaven quincunxed the natal Midheaven, the progressed Sun quincunxed the natal Sun and Ascendant.

Typical of an ominous presence, transiting Pluto was hovering on the Descendant and opposing the Australian birth Sun. Pluto would also represent the presence of an allied superpower as US troops landed on Australian shores in their hundreds of thousands. The American Supreme Commander of the Pacific was General Douglas Macarthur, perhaps not surprisingly born on Australia Day - January 26. From WWII Australia would identify increasingly with big brother US, and culturally move further from her British roots.


Probably the most significant event to cement the course of the countries future during the first century of white settlement was the discovery of gold on the 12th of February 1851 by Edmund Hargreaves. At the time of discovery there was an exact conjunction of transiting Uranus and Pluto which had gathered at the Ic of the chart with Jupiter was opposing it from to the Midheaven. Ebertins CSI description of Uranus and Pluto as 'the collapse of the old order of things and the process of transformation', could not be more descriptive of what was to come. Hamstrung by the solitude of distance, in an age of risky and arduous travel, immigration up until that time was negligible. These obstacles were countered by the promise of riches and a new life. In the immediate years following the gold strike the population more than doubled.


The other event of national significance was the formation of the six states into one nation, and the adoption of a Federal Parliament. This took place over a series of meetings during the late 1890’s. However we would consider Queen Victoria’s assent to Federation and the swearing in of a government on New Year’s Day 1901 as being the pivotal dates. One might also utilize the opening of Parliament by Prince Albert at 12.30 pm on May 9 1901.

Initially the Constitutional Bill took place as the progressed Midheaven advanced to join the natal Ascendant and Sun, and oppose the progressing Mars. The people were taking action to fulfill the national potential and unite the purposes of the states. Transiting Uranus was hovering about the Midheaven in a triple conjunction state, promising a revolution surrounding the leadership. Typical of homeland change the progressed Moon was square the natal. And illustrative of the seriousness of the whole matter the structural Saturn was conjunct the natal Moon.

With the progressing Moon approaching the Midheaven plans had reached their zenith. As the Moon squared Mercury Queen Victoria put pen to paper. The painstaking research of fellow Australian astrologer Gwen Stoney timed this as approximately 1.35 pm January 01 1901, in Sydney’s Centennial Park. The ceremony concluded with the swearing in of the office bearers of a national government. The progressed Midheaven had reached conjunction point with a first house Pluto. And so the inevitable metamorphosis took place. Terra Australis was born again as one nation under one flag. The structural change was mirrored by the progressing Sun also squaring the regulatory Saturn, as well as progressed Midheaven to Pluto.


Australia has been relatively free of political turmoil but 1975 did present a constitutional crisis as the elected Labor Government under Gough Whitlam was dismissed from office by the Governor General. Such is a good test of the 5.23 am time. If we take the progressed Midheaven, significant of the national direction and leader to be 2Taurus31, then it is in precise square to progressed Uranus. Perhaps one might expect some sudden upheavals. How apt then that transiting Uranus by exact opposition to the progressed Midheaven effectively doubles the surprise factor.

Add to that transiting Saturn which also squares the progressed Midheaven and we have a leader under siege. Ebertin’s prophetic summing up of the Midheaven configured with Saturn and Uranus as ‘the act of separating oneself from others’ was aptly endured by then PM Gough Whitlam. Even the progressing Ascendant was sesquiquadrate the natal Venus/Saturn. In effect Whitlam’s eventful ministry of change and reformation was no surprise as he had been elected three years before under an opposition of the secondary progressed Sun to it’s natal position.


As the war planet Mars progressed through our ninth house of international affairs and squared it’s natal sixth house position of defense forces and civil services Australia found itself being drawn again into battle in the upcoming Iraq invasion. Again the Midheaven would activate the Venus/Saturn combination prominent in so many of our losses and pivotal degrees to the ANZAC legend. With the secondary progressed Moon acting as a timer and the transiting Moon also squaring both Mars positions 88 Australian lives were lost and many more suffered during terrorist bombing attacks on Bali nightclubs. The continued Mars energy reflected military involvement in Iraq. Australia also consolidated its military connection with the US and signed on for the missile defense scheme.


As Australia moves further down destiny road the push toward a republic has gained greater support despite being narrowly beaten at a referendum. A major change in government structure seems a future formality as transiting Pluto (restructure) crosses the Sun/Saturn conjunction in 2012/13 and Uranus (independence) comes to square the same point. Australia can look toward a radical change in the country's administration in years to come.

Ed Tamplin 3 June 2004

© 2004-08











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