Commonwealth – a relic of the past, revisioning the future

The Commonwealth Games look to be in jeopardy with Australia’s hosting of the 2026 event now being cancelled because of rising costs. Increasing hostility to colonialism, empire and the like and the passing of Queen Elizabeth may ring the death knell for the entire Commonwealth edifice before the end of the decade.

  The Commonwealth was first mooted in the Balfour Declaration of 15 November 1926 mainly in regard to the dominions of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa – it referred to autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, united by a common allegiance to the Crown. It was put into statute on 11 December 1931. The London Declaration of 28 April 1949 allowed for India’s continued membership after  transition to a republican constitution and established a precedent that republicanism was compatible with membership of the Commonwealth.

   The 1926 chart is certainly in a turbulent phase with tr Uranus opposing the Venus, Sun and Saturn in Scorpio and squaring the Jupiter and Neptune through 2023/24; with a grind-to-a-halt tr Pluto square the Mars in 2027/28.

  The 1931 chart will be undermined by tr Neptune Saturn in Aries square the Mars in 2025/26; with significant disruption in 2027 as the Solar Arc Uranus is conjunct the Pluto and opposition the Saturn.

  The 1949 chart indicates paralysis this year with tr Pluto square the Mars and hitches and glitches until a perhaps terminal blockage with Solar Arc Pluto conjunct Mars in 2027.

  Maybe it is time for what was a legacy of the past to move on. Though as in all things that the wokery decry in outrage, it did good in its way and may well be missed.

15 thoughts on “Commonwealth – a relic of the past, revisioning the future

  1. I am in New Zealand and love the Commonwealth Games far more than the Olympics. However if it is becoming to expensive than that has to be faced. Countries are still recovering from Covid.

  2. The commonwealth is a highly regarded symbol of togetherness and peacefulness. It is a shining example, in my opinion, of how nations can come together, under one name, and co-operate with each other. The reason being that politics is not involved anywhere in it. I am pro EU, and I think Brexit was and is just wrong on every way, but if the EU parliament looked to how the commomwealth of nations gets along with each other, they could learn something.

    • I agree, I think the commonwealth is a fantastic example of countries voluntarily working together with shared positive goals & values. I’d actually hoped that when QE2 passed on, that the leadership of the commonwealth would be shared more, so that each of the countries took it in turn to head it for a year, similar to how the EU presidency rotates through member countries.

      Lets ditch the games & see if there is a way to spend the money for something brilliant to uplift commonwealth countries. Maybe a charity endevour to reduce poverty or improve access to healthcare & education. Do well by doing good.

  3. ‘That said the Commonwealth Games is one of the few competitions that allows smaller nations and amateurs a chance of a medal ……..’

    Not to mention the exposure on an international stage they would not get!? For many participants of small countries.

    I hear the so logically presented comments but people are inherently tribalist, so they want to represent whoever they choose their tribe to be, individually and collectively /self and country whatever that looks like to them

    These types of events bring that spirit and, those who congregate to experience and/or cheer on, take part and celebrate that spirit. So it’s a win win on a human level ; competition, teamwork, commaraderie, networking, socialising, health and the list goes on.

    Also to be clear, most who see this connection do not even consider for a second the history or ideology of how it started. Even out of adversity a thing can and has evolved and now serves a completely different function that can be beneficial to some degree.

    Maybe the thinking /model around hosting it can evolve too without continuing to shackle it to the old Empire. In any event this is still a great platform that needs to be modernised and preserved in its spirit but not its politics.

    Just my thoughts of course.

  4. Hugh
    Totally agree with everything that’s been said, having volunteered at last year’s commonwealth games I noticed how friendly the athletes were and really enjoyed representing their nation no matter how small.

  5. I’m old enough to remember the change that happened in the UK in 1992 when the Maastricht treaty came in & we went full Europe. Previously a lot of food & goods came from the Commonwealth, then things changed to be more Europe focused. Even the news used to report lots of Commonwealth news, but then it changed to Europe.

    I always thought the UK neglected the Commonwealth from then on, and now post-Brexit we are back knocking on the Commonwealth’s door, like an errant spouse begging to reconciled in the marriage after we had a mid-life crisis and cheated with a younger model of the EU. But after the messy break up, we want to try again.

  6. Beyond the colonialism aspects, there are issues around the Commonwealth Games place in the sporting calendar. With Olympics and World Championships, the best athletes no longer necessary have the time or inclination to attend. This is an issue with the professionalisation of sport.

    One interesting aspect of the Commonwealth Games is that sports like badminton, bowls, netball, hockey need them for profile. But the sports themselves are a relic of colonialism – they are mainly played in the countries of the empire.

    The issue of the cost of hosting games has always been there in the background. Edinburgh struggled in 1986 because the Thatcher government refused to contribute. The Olympics struggled to find a bidder after 1976 Montreal went overbudget. That was solved by the Americans commercialising the games in 1984 which led to where we are now, but the IOC take almost all the sponsor’s cash.

    Finding hosts willing to bear the costs has become problematic in recent years. Not just Commonwealths – winter and summer Olympics have struggled to find hosts. While soccer’s World Cup has been willing to go for the money (e.g. Saudi Arabia and Russia). UEFA’s European Championship’s and Rugby and cricket world cups tend to get multiple host countries to spread the costs.

    In many ways this is an extension of neo-liberalism – getting public funds used on vanity projects while the rich organisations behind them take all the cash. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see all these big events come crashing down during Pluto in Aquarius – sport after all is a Leo thing. All these events have wanted to get bigger, better and more spectacular. You can’t just put people up in the college dorms like they did in LA Olympics 1984. Most importantly though it’s about keeping the gravy train going – not the sports.

    • You’ve summed it all up, GnarlyDude. Every event bigger and more spectacular culminating in flying too close to the sun.

    • “Maybe it is time for what was a legacy of the past to move on. Though as in all things that the wokery decry in outrage, it did good in its way and may well be missed.” Marjorie

      “You can’t just put people up in the college dorms like they did in LA Olympics 1984. Most importantly though it’s about keeping the gravy train going – not the sports.” GnarlyDude

      I agree it looks very much as if the Commonwealth itself will cease to exist pretty soon – and with it, the Games. Also, it’s interesting to think about the vast sporting industry we now have, and how much has changed because of ‘the gravy train’. The idea of different nations coming together at a sporting event is one of unity, as well as competition. Perhaps Pluto in Aquarius will emphasise people, rather than wealth? I am a little dubious about that, despite hoping for – at the very least – more balance in sport, and a deflation of the financial side of it. In terms of the environment, too, these huge international events may become unsustainable.

      It’s also interesting to see that the IOC, 23 June, 1894, has tr Uranus currently on their financial Venus in Taurus, and Neptune approaching their Mars at 29 Pisces. Saturn squares their Pluto/Neptune in Gemini next year.

      • As someone with an Aquarius mindset, I’ve queried what place nationalism has in Commonwealth or Olympic Games medal tables. Especially in individual sports like running, but to a lesser extent some team sports. National boundaries are very much a construct and that’s before you even consider how many sportspeople transfer to represent countries purely because it is advantageous for them to do so.

        Another issue important to the Aquarians are those of the minorities e.g. disability, transgender, DSD (intersex) and being inclusive for all of them.

        Your point about environmental sustainability is also important.

        Will be interesting to see how it all evolves.

    • Oddly Birmingham was the original selection for the Commonwealth Games in 2026 but had to hold the 2022 event because Durban dropped out. It was a a modest success coming in at an about £1 billion in costs but was well attended and generated almost that amount in revenue. I think it is understandable that hosts are wary of using public money funding events that essentially promote professional sports. That said the Commonwealth Games is one of the few competitions that allows smaller nations and amateurs a chance of a medal while letting places like Wales, Scotland etc escape from the umbrella of GB sport.

      Astrologically the Commonwealth Games can be traced back to the British Empire Games held in Hamilton Ontario from 16 August 1930. The chart has the Sun at 22 Leo which is currently being squared by Uranus at 22 Taurus so the very identity of the event is facing sudden upsets and possible radical change.

      The Commonwealth itself is something of a political anachronism, very much on a par with the U.K.s honour system with its ludicrous CBE, OBE, MBE etc celebrating an Empire that no longer exits. The term Commonwealth has Republican connotations in Britain as it was the formal title of the constitutional structure that replaced the monarchy on 16 May 1649 during the Interregnum. The word has even earlier antecedents in the idea of a Commonweal or common good that dates back to the late Middle Ages.

    • I am not sure that sport is a Leo thing, although Leo loves the attention, medals and trophies. Each sign perhaps brings its’ own approach to sport and different sports seem to attract certain signs, like Gemini and tennis. If I were to pick one sign that is most sporting it would be Sagittarius.

      • It’s a good thing to question whether it is a Leo thing or not. I’m fairly certain that’s what I’ve always read and with Leo it’s not just about the attention or medals – they are seen as playful and of course, re-creation is etymologically apt. I agree, all signs have their specialities.

        Re: Sag – I think there’s a case that all three fire signs like the running around to burn off energy for sports. Aries probably prefers the combat sports and winning/losing is everything. I always thought golf was a Sag sport, wandering around in the open, trying to hit a small target. Sags like sport but they tend to be philosophical about its results and not so bothered about whether they win or lose. Quite often they win because of that lack of attachment to results avoiding getting tense. But I’d question whether archetypally Sag has the stamina and perseverance to push itself to the limit in a contest. I think they may be more interested by what they can learn *from* sport rather than the actual benefits or outcomes.

        • It’s funny, I kind of thought of it as a Jupiter thing, but I always look at the extensive astrological artwork of the Middle Ages to understand the traditional meanings of the signs and planets. The ‘Master of the Housebook’ from the late 15th century is helpful for this, containing as it does some beautifully lavish illustrations of how the signs and planets manifest in the daily life of the average medieval nobleperson. ‘The Sun and His Children’ depicts the Sun as a monarch on horseback, with Leo the Lion at his feet. In the background are young men taking part in competitive sports of various types, wrestling, sword fighting as well as falconry and fighting with staffs. So undoubtedly the traditionalist astrologers associated sport as an activity ruled by Leo/Sun.

          • Regarding Sagittarius and Jupiter. I would imagine the sign and planet would most likely be associated with horsemanship as well as the sport of hunting.

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