From just across the water, I always keep my eye when I can on how Ireland are doing. In the recent elections for the Presidency, Michael Higgins came out of nowhere to sweep to victory. He is the 9th president of the Republic of Ireland and having discovered a birth time for him, I today look at his horoscope and also his Presidency chart as he was inaugurated at 12.30 on 11th November.
Michael D Higgins was born in Limerick, Ireland on 18th April 1941 at 15.51 (unverified time). This gives him a Aries Sun combined with a late Capricorn Moon and a Virgo ascendant, the sign of the writer. Most of the planets on Michael’s chart lie in the Western hemisphere, so he will be someone who instinctively thinks of others ahead of himself. His chart is also notable for having no planets in water signs and just one in mutable ones. What he lacks in outward emotion and flexibility, he more than makes up with fiery enthusiasm and dogged staying power, although when faced with a problem, he will stick his heels in and refuse to budge. One suspects he will be holding the Enda Kenny government firmly to task.
Michael’s Sun Moon combination shows that he is a winner, someone who likes to initiate things and make things happen. This he does in a cool detached administrative way. When he has plans, he sees them through to completion. Michael’ s Sun sits in conjunction with Venus in a friendly, yet sparky conjunction in a packed 9th house. Michael is full of life and enthusiasm, he is one who will never let the grass grow under his feet. Also in this 9th house we find Jupiter Saturn and Uranus. Always on the go, he will always have had a passion for learning, education, knowledge personal faith and travel.
Now out of this 9th house we find Sun/Venus at the point of t-square and Jupiter/Uranus as part of a grand earth trine. Looking at the t-square first, we see the motivation which he used to get to where he is now. The Sun and Venus is squared by a Moon Pluto opposition. This opposition shows that Michael by joining party politics, shown by 11th house where Pluto sits went in to change Irish society as he saw it. Of course, Pluto also likes to control and the overriding feeling will be to reform and to change and to be a person of note in the process. This he does with deep controlled emotion. The Moon in Capricorn refuses to hides one’s feelings, and so Michael will be expressive, passionate, coming from deep within. Sometimes the Moon in the 5th house is dramatic, even childlike in it’s enthusiasm, and one can get carried away with taking things a touch too far.
The Pluto Moon opposition can create stormy relationships as well as intense ones. This t-square says so much about Michael’s upbringing. Transformational, difficult, close to his mother through the opposition yet there were problems between her and her husband shown through the Moon Sun square. Michael’s father had drink problems and these are shown on the chart too. The 10th house cusp (part of the parental axis 4th/10 houses)has Gemini sitting there and Mercury Gemini’s ruler is afflicted by a quindecile from Neptune, the planet that rules escapism and alcohol. It is all there if you look hard enough.
Mercury connections to Neptune for all you budding astrologers out there always signify creativity of some sort. The mind (Mercury) can drift off into far away places, imagine fantastic thoughts and dream incredible dreams. There are no restrictions on the mental faculties. You often find exceptional musical ability, creative urges or even psychic ability when these two planets combine, dependent on the rest of the chart. With Michael having a critical and precise Virgo ascendant as well as a Gemini Midheaven, both ruled by Mercury, the power of communication and especially of writing were always going to accentuated in his life. Michael grew up to be a poet, a creative writer and broadcaster, all three so typical of a Neptune Mercury aspect. That he stood out from the crowd is due to his grand earth trine, connecting Neptune Uranus and the Moon. Here we have the cool emotion of the Capricorn moon sitting in the creative 5th house combined with the unpredictability of Uranus in Taurus (the sign of construction and creation) in the 9th house of learning, of wisdom and language and of course Neptune in analytical Virgo.
A poet and writer not only has to have ideas but also needs to construct the rhythm of the words and phrases so that they flow out in the delivery of the piece. Grand trines show not only a store of talent, but provide a barrier against the outside world. Michael as a youngster would have been very shy and rather disorientated. Neptune in the first house softens the character immensely and with Virgo so prominent he would have worried and fretted about any disturbance in his life. The creative grand trine is where his mind would drift off to through those creative urges and thoughts in the darker times in his life. Of course even as an adult he still has this grand earth trine to fall back on. All trines do need an outlet for the talent to flow and here the outlets are through the quindecile to Mercury (writing and communication) and secondly through the t-square for self recognition, power and control through knowledge, travel and through groups and associations (party politics).
A couple of other things of note. Mars in the fifth house is very high spirited and loves sport, games and competition and Michael is an avid fan of his football team Galway United. With Mars in the fifth I can imagine he would not be shy in loving a bet too, and I understand is a regular attendee for the Galway races, Ireland’s premiere summer horse racing festival. Michael has stamina and determination with this Mars square to Saturn in the 9th house. That Saturn reflects his work as a lecturer in sociology before he got into politics and the seriousness (Saturn) of his human rights work (shown by Uranus in the 9th as well as Mars in Uranus’ sign Aquarius).
His natal chart sits very nicely with the Irish natal chart with his Sun Mercury and Venus conjunct the same three Irish natal planets which are square to his natal Moon. His Saturn is also trine the Irish natal Sun, so he will be well liked and his leadership will be conciliatory and not authoritarian, yet he will at the same time challenge the Irish people emotionally.
His presidency chart for 12.30 on 10th November shows a 9th house Sun opposite the Moon which does reflect this. What is the nature of this challenge? Well making up a grand cross with the Sun and Moon is Neptune and Mars in opposition. This to me says “be creative!!”. Interestingly the North Node sits in close conjunction to both Mercury and Venus, another creative signature. We also have a grand trine of epic proportions, Pluto, Jupiter and Mars and quindeciles from Moon to Venus Mercury and from Jupiter in the 3rd to the Sun in the 9th house. Here is an extreme outreach of interest in foreign relations and trade with the wider world. Saturn does sit in the 8th house of taxes and other peoples’ money, so there will be a serious note of upholding one’s obligations to pay back what Ireland owes.
Ok, let’s put all this together. I think that Michael Higgins coming from such a creative and humanitarian background will want to this opportunity he has been given to bring some humility back to Ireland. The country was obsessed by making money and got itself into huge debt and a proper mess under previous leaders. I see Michael Higgins as someone who will want to get back to older gentler values. Making a place where religion is truly valued, a place where creativity alongside business can thrive, a country where competition and sport is loved and language is important including Gaelic which Michael speaks fluently. It would not surprise me to see an Irish cultural renaissance reasserting itself, as Ireland goes back to it’s older traditions, ones which it will export around the world through song, through writing and communication, through action and deeds, and maybe the odd pint of Guinness. Gentler times lie ahead, reflecting the man and I think truly reflecting Ireland’s soul, something I think that was lost in the Celtic tiger phase the country went through. I think Ireland under his tenure will slowly but surely start to get herself back on track.