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Australian Cabinet Profile: Looking at the government team's mix of zodiac signs

In October 2004 John Howard and the Coalition of the Liberal and National parties won a fourth consecutive term in government. The only other Prime Minister in Australia's history to serve more terms than Howard was Robert Menzies.

Shortly after being returned to power, Howard announced his Cabinet team of Ministers. Using some very simple astrology, we can find out some interesting things about this group of senior politicians at the heart of the Australian decision-making process.

The list of Cabinet Ministers as at 6th July 2005 is as follows:

  • John Howard
  • Ian Campbell
  • Mark Vaile
  • Helen Coonan
  • Alexander Downer
  • Peter McGauran
  • Peter Costello
  • Amanda Vanstone
  • Warren Truss
  • Brendan Nelson
  • Robert Hill
  • Kay Patterson
  • Nick Minchin
  • Ian Macfarlane
  • Tony Abbott
  • Kevin Andrews
  • Philip Ruddock
Total: 17

Source: Official ministry list at

This doesn't include the various and sundry other people who may attend these meetings. What we're looking at here is just the official Cabinet members, to get a picture of the astrological mix. Seventeen people is plenty for that purpose.

Sun Signs in the Cabinet

The diagram below shows the distribution of the Sun through the signs of the zodiac in the Cabinet team. As is immediately apparent, there is a predominance of people who were born when the Sun was in Scorpio.

Sun Signs in the Australian Federal Cabinet 2005
The horizontal dotted line shows the average. This makes it clear that Aries and Leo are also represented in this team above the average. This tells us that there is likely to be a lot of 'personality clashes' and ego battles going on between them; the signs that are represented above the average level all have strong wills.

John Howard has the Sun in Leo, conjunct Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio; one may wonder whether he may be falling prey to the common recruitment habit of selecting people who are similar to him.

There is a complete absence of people with the Sun in Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Capricorn, and Aquarius. That is almost half the zodiac. To make up for this lack and balance the team, the other inner planets - Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars - need to fill in these gaps. So let's look at the distribution of those.

Inner planets in the Cabinet

Here is the bar graph for the inner planets - excluding the Moon, because for around half a dozen of the Cabinet members the Moon changed signs on the day they were born, and their birth times aren't available, therefore we cannot be certain which sign the Moon was in at their birth:

Inner Planets in the Australian Cabinet 2005
This fleshes out the picture considerably. As you can see, the shortfalls in Taurus, Virgo, and Sagittarius have been made up for, however the Leo and especially Scorpio dominance is exacerbated.

Leo and Scorpio are 'fixed' signs, meaning that they have a tendency to dig their heels in, refuse to compromise, negotiate, back down, or alter their course. They can have closed minds and hearts. Stubborn pride is their vice, power is their obsession, and using their energy creatively rather than destructively is their constant challenge.

The Cabinet's emphasis on Virgo shows that there is some hope for reigning in the egos and eating some humble pie. Issues around the right way to do things are likely to be frequent topics of conversation. Designing and observing appropriate rules and procedures is the theme.

The problem is, mixed with the power-hungry Leo-Scorpio themes, it's more likely to be a question of 'how do we make the rules fit what we insist must happen' rather than the other way around. How this group of people maintains or betrays their integrity is the real litmus test of success or failure.

How they deal with feedback from the electorate is important: arrogantly dismissing it with a haughty 'know-it-all' approach is living out the darker side of this blend of signs, as is bullying and attacking, turning defence into offence. The presence or absence of humility, and the willingness or unwillingness to reflect with unflinching honesty on the team's use or misuse of power, are the key issues in this team's operation. They need to learn to use power in order to truly serve.

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