Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party’s election to a majority government on Monday, has inspired me to post some work I’ve done on Canadian history over the years.
Transiting Mars made a conjunction to Jupiter in tropical Virgotwo days prior to the Canadian federal election on Monday, October 19, 2015.
Out of forty-two Canadian federal elections, four have occurred during Mars–Jupiter conjunctions, and two during Mars–Jupiter oppositions.
As it happens, Mars–Jupiter conjunctions and oppositions play a recurring role in Canadian history, and I wanted to take this opportunity to take you through an interesting timeline using this cycle.
The Trudeau Legacy
Justin Trudeau was born while his father, Pierre Trudeau, was Prime Minister. The elder Trudeau held the second-longest reign in Canadian history, serving all but nine months of a sixteen year span from 1968-1984.
The oldest of three sons, Trudeau first captured the public’s attention when he delivered a passionate eulogy at his father’s state funeral in October 2000. Broadcast live on national television, the speech made him an instant celebrity.
Trudeau was first elected as a Member of Parliament in Montreal’s Papineau riding, in the 40th General Election on October 14, 2008. After being re-elected as an MP in 2011, he was elected leader of the Liberal Party on April 14, 2013.
Trudeau was born with Jupiter in Sagittarius square Mars inPisces. As I already mentioned, his recent election occurred two days following a transiting Mars–Jupiter conjunction in Virgo.
Interestingly, this was the first time Mars and Jupiter had been conjunct in Virgo since the time of his father’s meteoric return to power just before the first Quebec referendum in 1980. More on that later.
The combination of Mars–Jupiter, astrologically speaking, signifies division over matters of principle and ideology. From the beginning, the Canadian political landscape has been a battleground for the legacies of competing European dynasties and their respective cultural values. Canada is where the Hundred Years’ War continues to be fought, in seeming perpetuity.
By virtue of his full name, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Montreal-born son of a francophone father and anglophone mother, was in his era a symbolic manifestation of the French-English divide that defined that city, and the federation as a whole.
Justin Trudeau, son of a Montreal-born father and Vancouver-born mother, embodies a broader, more geographically inclusive vision of the east-west factions that contribute to shaping Canada’s complex cultural mosaic.
Mars and Jupiter Synodic Cycles
The Sun–Mars synodic cycle last about twenty-six months, and the Sun–Jupiter synodic cycle lasts about thirteen months.
Consequently, Mars–Jupiter conjunctions and oppositions each occur once every twenty-six months, except in cases where the configuration occurs during a Mars retrograde phase, in which case there can be three conjunctions or oppositions over the period of a few months. There are two such examples in the following timeline, and I will discuss them further when we get there.
Samuel de Champlain Founds Place Royale
Samuel de Champlain, founder of what would become Quebec City, also built the first European-made construct on the Hochelaga islands, what would one day be known as the city of Montreal.
Building a square wall by the meeting of the St. Laurent and St. Pierre rivers, he founded Place Royale on May 28, 1611.
Mars was six days prior to a conjunction with Jupiter in Cancer.
De Maisonneuve Founds Ville-Marie
A few decades later, on May 18, 1642, Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve brought a small settlement to the Place Royale and established Ville-Marie, which would soon become known as Montreal.
The new community built a chapel and, under the leadership of a nurse named Jeanne Mance, a hospital, the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal.
Transiting Mars was six day prior to a conjunction with Jupiterin Pisces.
Montgomery Army Occupies Montreal
Jumping ahead over a century, Montreal is now part of a British colony. During the American Revolutionary War, the city was occupied without resistance by American forces led by GeneralRichard Montgomery on November 13, 1775.
Having withstood an attempted invasion by Ethan Allen‘s forces on September 24th, the city was unprepared to defend itself against Montgomery, after his army took Fort St. Jean on November 3rd.
Transiting Mars in Sagittarius was five days following an opposition to Jupiter in Gemini.
British Soldiers Kill Three Montreal Voters
In 1832, the same year the city of Montreal was incorporated, and in the midst of a growing cholera epidemic, street fights broke out over a hotly contested election for a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, resulting in the shooting deaths of three French Canadian men.
With the ruling class represented by Stanley Bagg — a Tory merchant likely to lose the vote to Irish Catholic front runnerDaniel Tracey — soldiers fired into a crowd of Tracey supporters outside a polling station at 5:05 pm on May 21, 1832.
Transiting Mars was five days prior to a conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces.
Lord Russell’s Ten Resolutions on Lower Canada
Following the turmoil of 1832, French Canadian representative Louis-Joseph Papineau and his associates on the Lower Canada Legislative Assembly drafted the Ninety-Two Resolutions in 1834. The resolutions aired grievances against abuse made by past governments, and demanded a series of political reforms.
After going ignored for three years, British parliament rejected the Legislative Assembly’s demands. Colonial Secretary Lord John Russell issued his own Ten Resolutions, allowing for the continued power of unelected parties against that of the Assembly. British parliament passed the Ten Resolutions on March 6, 1837.
News of the resolutions sparked the Rebellions of 1837-1838 in both Lower and Upper Canada. (A topic I will explore in more depth in a future article).
When parliament passed the Ten Resolutions, transiting Mars retrograde was nine days following a conjunction with Jupiter in Leo.
Dominion of Canada Established
The Dominion of Canada, otherwise known as the Canadian Confederation, was established at midnight on July 1, 1867, turning three British colonies into four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
The new federation was designed by the Fathers of Confederation, led by John A. MacDonald and Georges-Étienne Cartier, to break political gridlock amidst the colonies, and to protect British territory against the American Manifest Destiny doctrine by establishing a cross-country railroad.
Transiting Mars in Virgo was four days prior to opposition with Jupiter in Pisces.
First Train Leaves from Montreal for Vancouver
Scandal ridden and long overdue, the first Canadian Pacific Railway passenger train left Dalhousie Station in Montreal at 8 pm on June 28, 1886, and arrived in Port Moody, British Columbia, near Vancouver, on July 4th.
Montreal mayor Honoré Beaugrand officiated at the departure ceremony.
Transiting Mars was two days following its conjunction withJupiter in Virgo.
Wilfrid Laurier and Henri Bourassa Debate Boer War
In 1899, war broke out between Great Britain and the Boer settlers of South Africa. The question of Canadian participation in British foreign wars became, and would continue to be, a bitterly divisive matter in the country, particularly in the French Canadian community.
Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, Canada’s first French Canadian leader, found himself debating members of his own party, including the outspoken Quebec nationalist, Henri Bourassa.
On October 12, 1899, the day debates began between Laurier and Bourassa, transiting Mars was three days following a conjunction with Jupiter in Scorpio, which was also Laurier’s Sun sign.
William Lyon Mackenzie King Elected Prime Minister of Canada
On December 6, 1921, William Lyon Mackenzie King of the Liberal Party was elected Prime Minister of Canada in the 14th General Election. Apart from a brief interruption in 1926, and then a five-year period out of office from 1930-35, Mackenzie King would serve as the country’s leader until 1949, the longest-serving in its history.
In this instance, I have posted a bi-wheel chart, to include King’s natal chart, which occupies the inner wheel. When he was elected, transiting Mars was ten days following a conjunction with Jupiter in Libra.
In addition, King, who was born sometime in the evening on December 17, 1874, in Kitchener, Ontario, was himself born two days following a Mars–Jupiter conjunction in Libra. You can’t make this stuff up.
Duplessis Bridge Collapses in Trois-Rivières
At least four people (possibly eight) plunged to their deaths in the icy waters of the St. Maurice river, when four concrete and steel spans of the Duplessis bridge between Trois-Rivières and Cap-de-la-Madeleine suddenly collapsed at 2:55 am on January 31, 1951.
The bridge, named after the father of Quebec’s incumbent, long-governing premier, Maurice Duplessis, had only opened in 1948. Although he insisted the collapse was an act of sabotage, it was more likely due to the use of poor quality materials during construction.
Transiting Mars was eight days prior to conjunction with Jupiter in Pisces.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elected Member of Parliament
Prime Minister Lester Pearson was elected to a second term in the 27th General Election on November 8, 1965, bringing with him some fresh faces from Quebec.
Dubbed the “three wise men” by the English language press (and the “three doves” by the French language press), union leaderJean Marchand, journalist Gérard Pelletier, and law professorPierre Trudeau were recruited by the federal Liberal Party to serve as a counter-weight to the growing tide of Quebec nationalism.
As the Liberal Party maintained a tradition of alternating between English and French speaking leaders, it was assumed that one of the three would replace Pearson as the party’s leader when he stepped down. Trudeau, the least well-known of the three, was first appointed Pearson’s parliamentary secretary, and then Justice Minister in 1967.
When Pearson unexpectedly announced his resignation from politics in April 1968, Trudeau was elected to replace him as acting Prime Minister. He soon called an election, and was elected to his first proper term on June 25, 1968.
Transiting Mars in Sagittarius was six days prior to an opposition with Jupiter in Cancer, when Trudeau was elected as a Member of Parliament, by the end of which term he would already be serving as Prime Minister of Canada.
Gens du Pays Song Public Debut
Quebec nationalism entered the 1970s with a literal bang, as theFront de Libération du Québec (FLQ), a loose association of separatist terrorist cells, went from their standard bombings of the 60s, to full-on kidnapping and murder in October 1970 (there is fascinating astrology in this story, involving Venus cycles, which I will also be covering in a future article).
With separatist sentiments continuing to flourish in the province,Gens du Pays, a song sung by pop singer Gilles Vigneault on June 24, 1975, before an audience gathered on Mont-Royal during a St. Jean Baptiste celebration (the Quebec national holiday) would grow to become the movement’s national anthem.
Transiting Mars was nine days following a conjunction with Jupiter in Aries.
René Lévesque and Parti Québécois Elected
With Quebec nationalism now at a fever pitch, René Lévesqueand his separatist party, the Parti Québécois (PQ), took Canada by surprise by winning the provincial election on November 15, 1976.
A former journalist and member of the provincial Liberal party during the early 1960s, Lévesque formed the PQ in 1968, and was first elected to a seat under their banner in 1970. With the PQ now in power, Quebec separation became a real possibility.
Transiting Mars in Scorpio was two days following an opposition to Jupiter in Taurus.
Bill 101 Language Laws Adopted
Nine months after the PQ ascent to power, Quebec’s Charter of the French Language, otherwise known as Bill 101, was passed by the provincial government on August 26, 1977.
Designed to preserve and protect French in the province, the new language laws were primarily aimed at the city of Montreal, where the largest non-francophone population lived.
Ranging from the use of French on commercial signs, to restrictions on admission to English language schools, the new charter was both popular and controversial.
Transiting Mars in Gemini was ten days prior to conjunction with Jupiter in Cancer.
Pépin-Robarts Commission on Canadian Unity
The federal government responded to the election of the PQ in 1976, by forming the Pépin-Robarts Task Force to investigate the question of Canadian unity.
Jean-Luc Pépin, a former cabinet minister in the Trudeau government, and John Robarts, former Conservative Premier of Ontario, were paired for the commission, presenting their report on the morning of January 25, 1979.
Their recommendations included granting further powers to provincial governments, abolishing the Senate, and expanding the Canadian Supreme Court to eleven members, with five members from Quebec.
Prime Minister Trudeau was defeated four months later in the 31st General Election on May 22nd, by Conservative leader Joe Clark, who won a minority government.
The report was published on the same day that transiting Mars in Aquarius was opposite Jupiter in Leo.
Bill 101 Ruled Unconstitutional by Canadian Supreme Court
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the Quebec Charter of the French Language to be unconstitutional. The ruling added to the resolve of the PQ government to hold a referendum on Quebec separation from Canada the following spring.
Interestingly, on the same day, Prime Minister Joe Clark‘s Conservative minority government, just six months in power, was unexpectedly given a vote of no confidence due to a defeated budget, making a new election necessary.
Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who had only just announced his decision to retire, was soon coaxed into running for another term.
Transiting Mars was three days prior to a conjunction with Jupiter in Virgo. However, Mars was also thirty-three days away from its retrograde station in Virgo.
In a follow-up article, I will outline the history of Mars retrograde in Virgo in Canadian history, which is equally striking as the Mars–Jupiter cycle. For the time being, note that the Mars retrograde coinciding with its close proximity to Jupiter meant that, this time around, this was only the first of three Mars–Jupiterconjunctions that would occur in the next few months.
Pierre Trudeau Re-Elected Prime Minister of Canada
In a stunning reversal, Liberal leader Pierre Trudeau waselected back to office in the 32nd General Election on February 18, 1980, after being out of office for only nine months.
With the Quebec separation referendum looming, the stakes were high, and Trudeau’s re-election pitted one Quebec leader against another.
Trudeau and Réne Lévesque, who had known each other since the 1950s, sharing many mutual friends and associates, formed the opposing columns at this crucial juncture in Canadian history.
Transiting Mars retrograde was nine days prior to its second of three conjunctions with Jupiter in Virgo.
Quebec Separatist Referendum Defeated
A tense campaign that often divided family and friends, the Quebec referendum on sovereignty from Canada was defeated by a 60% vote on May 20, 1980.
Canada had come to the edge of being split apart. Non-francophone Montrealers had fled, and were continuing to leave the city in large numbers.
Prime Minister Trudeau, in his best conciliatory tone, indicated that he wanted to heal wounds by finally patriating Canada’s constitution, which at the time was still composed of British laws, and for which amendments required assent from British parliament.
However, the creation of a new Canadian constitution, which was passed on April 17, 1982, resulted in deepening the country’s schism with Quebec, and to this day the province has not signed it.
On the day of the referendum’s defeat, transiting Mars post-retrograde was sixteen days following its third conjunction with Jupiter in Virgo.
Bloc Québécois Federal Party Officially Created
Adding to Quebec’s continued isolation from the patriated Canadian Constitution of 1982, was the failure of a package of proposed Quebec-approved amendments called the Meech Lake Accord in May 1990.
The Bloc Québécois (BQ), initially a loose association of disgruntled Quebec MPs from the Conservative and Liberal parties, had their first candidate in office before they were even a federally registered party. Gilles Duceppe, a union leader, waselected to a parliamentary seat as an independent on August 13, 1990.
However, the BQ was formally created and registered as a federal party the following year, on June 15, 1991. Quebec sovereigntists now had a voice on the federal platform.
Transiting Mars was two days following a conjunction with Jupiter in Leo.
Second Quebec Sovereignty Referendum Defeated
The failure of both the Meech Lake Accord in 1990, and the Charlottetown Accord in 1992, resulted in a second sovereignty referendum in Quebec, led by Premier Jacques Parizeau, on October 30, 1995.
The vote was much closer this time, nearly straight down the middle, with the sovereigntist side receiving 49.42% of the vote.
Transiting Mars was sixteen days prior to conjunction withJupiter in Sagittarius.
Paul Martin Defeated with No Confidence Vote
Paul Martin took over as Liberal leader and Prime Minister when three-term incumbent Jean Chrétien retired in 2004. On June 28, 2004, he was elected with a minority government in the 38th General Election.
However, trouble was already brewing in the Liberal Party, due to the exposure of a sponsorship scandal, in which the federal government was found to be misusing public funds to promote its role in Quebec.
Defeated in a parliamentary vote of no confidence on November 28, 2005, the first winter election in twenty-five years was called for the following January 23rd.
Transiting Mars retrograde in Taurus was six days prior to opposition with Jupiter in Scorpio when the government was defeated.
Stephen Harper Elected Prime Minister of Canada
With Paul Martin‘s Liberal Party tainted by the sponsorship scandal, Stephen Harper‘s Conservative Party won, by proportion of seats, the smallest minority government in Canadian history in the 39th General Election on January 23, 2006.
Despite its size, Harper’s first term leading a minority government was the longest in Canadian history, lasting a few months shy of three years. Most minority governments last about a year and a half.
As Mars had been retrograde two months earlier, when the Liberal government fell, transiting Mars post–retrograde in Taurus was now five days following its last opposition with Jupiter in Scorpio.
Stephen Harper Re-Elected Prime Minister of Canada
Having led two successive minority governments for over five years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally won a majority government in the 41st General Election on May 2, 2011.
The election had a number of unique outcomes. The Liberal Party won the fewest seats in its long history, and new party leader Michael Ignatieff lost his own seat in the election. The Bloc Québécois lost official party status due to losing 43 of its 47 seats.
Conversely, the left-leaning NDP Party, led by the charismaticJack Layton, stole much of the Liberal and BQ thunder, coming in second place and becoming the official opposition. The Green Party’s Elizabeth May became their first candidate to win a seat.
Transiting Mars was two days following a conjunction with Jupiter in Aries.
Justin Trudeau and Saturn-Neptune
Justin Trudeau was also born with Saturn in Gemini oppositeNeptune in Sagittarius, close to the MC-IC axis.
With his election, transiting Saturn in Sagittarius is approaching a square configuration to Neptune in Pisces.
Since he has those two planets tightly configured in his natal chart, I anticipate that his impending term as Canada’s leader will resonate strongly with the transiting square.
The last time Saturn and Neptune were square, in 1998, the Trudeau family met tragedy when Justin’s youngest brother, Michel, was killed by an avalanche while skiing in the Kootenay Mountains on November 13th that year.
In Canadian politics, the Saturn–Neptune square can be equally devastating.
John A. MacDonald, Canada’s founding father and first prime minister, was forced to resign due to a scandal involving bribery for railroad construction contracts on November 5, 1873 (he was elected back to power five years later), while Saturn in Capricorn was square Neptune in Aries.
The Manitoba School Act, passed on March 31, 1890, while Saturn regressing from Virgo to Leo was squareNeptune in Gemini, abolished French as an official language in that province, instigating a bitter legacy that continues to resonate in present-day francophone Canada.
Wilfrid Laurier‘s Naval Service Bill, introduced on January 12, 1910, as Saturn in Aries was square Neptunein Cancer, marked the beginning of the end of his reign, and he was voted out of office the following year.
William Lyon MacKenzie King‘s government fell to a customs scandal on June 27, 1926, while Neptune inLeo was square Saturn in Scorpio, although he was voted back to power two months later.
The FLQ began their bombing campaigns in Montreal in 1963, as Neptune in Scorpio was square Saturn inAquarius.
Even Pierre Trudeau‘s election in 1980, occurring during a Saturn–Neptune square in Virgo–Sagittarius, coincided with an era that was fraught with political fracture.
Even if he is ultimately facing a successful and popular reign as Canada’s new leader, Justin Trudeau‘s oft-quoted phrase from his acceptance speech, “we beat fear with hope, we beat cynicism with hard work,” will likely echo with ominous tones.