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Michael Howard, Former Leader of the Conservative Party
Michael Howard was born in Wales where his father, who had sought asylum in the UK to escape Nazi persecution, lived with Howard's mother. In the 1960s he qualified as a barrister within the English legal system, and in the 1980s he became a QC. He stood for election as an MP in the late 1960s and 1970s but did not win. He went on to win his first seat in 1983 and subsequently became a key figure in Margaret Thatcher's government.
In 1997 he contested the leadership of the Conservative party, but lost. In 2003 he was successfully elected as party leader, and he is now fighting the forthcoming general election of 5th May '05 in that role [Note: This article was written in May 2005, and Howard has now resigned as party leader. David Cameron is the new party leader.].
Howard's political career therefore spans a period of over 35 years, which sometimes stands in his favour and sometimes works against him; his associations with 'the poll tax' and the Thatcher government attacks on trade unions, for instance, are not easily forgotten by the general public whose lives were affected by those Conservative policies.
In campaigning to be returned to government, Michael Howard and the Conservative party are striving to re-invent themselves while retaining true to the principles of Conservativism. In less than a month we will find out whether or not that process is working.
Michael Howard's birth time is not available so we can't be certain exactly what degree his Moon occupies, nor can we calculate his Ascendant, Midheaven, or other house positions. On the day of his birth, the Moon changed signs from Sagittarius to Capricorn at around 7:20pm, so we can't be certain of the sign it was in when he was born either. Anyone studying his chart will need to keep this in mind. Some may suggest that the Moon in Capricorn may be a better fit for being conservative by instinct, but the issue is open to question.
Oriented to goals
On the day Howard was born, the Sun in Cancer was in septile aspect to Mars in Aries. This is indicative of someone who sees themselves as a tough and heroic battler, a champion for a cause, a knight in shining armour. It is also the hallmark of someone who naturally sees themselves as a leader, born to be at the forefront of the action and determined to push themselves forwards. Whilst Cancer is the sign of bonding and dependency, the fact that the Sun is septile to Mars in Aries shows that it is independence and self-sufficiency that fires up Michael Howard and captures his imagination.
It also shows a strong will and an orientation towards goals and results. This is someone who sees himself as a 'mover and shaker,' not someone who sits back and lets things happen. Michael Howard is therefore a person who thrives in a competitive environment where he can aim for something, where a deadline can be met or exceeded, where there is focus and direction and activity.
Tenacious and firm
With Saturn also in septile to Mars, this sense of driving ambition and impulse towards complete self-sufficiency is even greater. Tenacity and self-discipline are the watchwords here, backed up by Saturn being on the Sun/Mars midpoint. This is the signature of a hard taskmaster - in a sense, these are sado-masochistic aspects - and an example of this is Michael's reputation as a Home Secretary where he was known for being tough on crime. His slogan was 'prison works.' Depending on the time of birth, the Sun could also be in septile to Saturn, which would make this a triple septile pattern, and this configuration would then be an even more dominant feature of his chart.
With a triple conjunction of Venus, Pluto and the planetoid Chiron in Leo, Michael Howard is a proud and passionate individual, but his ego is his Achilles heel. Vanity and stubborn pride are his weak points, and combined with his drive and persistence, as well as his capacity to be unyielding and uncompromising, described above, clearly point to the less constructive side of Howard's nature. It is easy to see where and how these qualities translate into party policies.
UK Election - 5th May 2005
On 5th May the UK's general election will be held and Michael will either become the new Prime Minister, the pinnacle of a multi-decade political career, or he will be defeated which may well then bring his leadership of the party to a close. His transits for the period are a mixed bag, and there is only space to pick out a few highlights here. With Jupiter trine Jupiter one of the transits, lending itself to Howard moving onwards and upwards if he takes advantage of the opportunity.
Highlighting career changes is Pluto quincunx Saturn, an aspect traditionally associated with restructuring one's life both personally and professionally. The aspect is within 1 degree of orb between February and May, but a more reasonable orb shows an extended period of career review and direction assessment going on. We can expect that Howard is doing a lot of soul-searching on the subject of his ambitions and achievements during this time.
In August Saturn will exactly conjoin his Pluto which may indicate a tricky time if he wants to hold onto power. If we use an orb larger than one degree - and experience suggests that around 3 degrees is about right - the aspect is within orb from July until September.
Finally, transitting Saturn in sextile to Howard's natal Saturn during May and June is another indicator of a gear change in his life. Saturn will actually be halfway between his natal Saturn and his natal Neptune, in sextile to them both. This reflects a time when all that is hoped for either comes to fruition or crumbles to dust. The 5th of May will no doubt be part of that process.
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