Denmark – a country of paradoxes, sweet and sour

The Denmark of Hans Christian Andersen, with the Tivoli amusement park and the iconic “Little Mermaid” statue, redolent of cobbled streets and half-timbered houses has in modern times become a beacon for progressive policies. It was the first country to grant legal recognition to same-sex unions in 1989, has supported women’s rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights. All university and college (tertiary) education in Denmark is free of charges.

  So far, so enlightened. Yet it has a draconian approach to asylum seekers aiming for a zero intake. Because of an opt out it is not bound by EU mandates on refugees though it has relented slightly over Ukraine. Last year the Danish  parliament passed a law enabling the deportation of asylum seekers to countries outside Europe in the face of heavy criticism from NGOs and the United Nations.

  The Denmark chart has always intrigued me since it never squared with its open-minded, libertarian, sedate reputation – 5 June 1849 12.15pm Copenhagen. A prominent, driving-planet Sun in Gemini opposes a Sagittarius Moon which forms one leg of a Fire Grand Trine to Jupiter in Leo trine a hard-edged, unsentimental Mars Saturn In Aries. Fire Grand Trines tend to be attention-seeking, inspirational, entrepreneurial. A Gemini Sun often coincides with a split country – a la South Africa 1910.  There’s also a chaotic, contradictory, unsettled Uranus Pluto in Aries in the 8th.

  Like New Zealand, founded four years later, it emerged from the ferment of the mid 19th century triple conjunction of Pluto, Uranus, Saturn – in Aries for Denmark and mainly Taurus for New Zealand. And the sober New Zealand image like Denmark doesn’t quite fit its chart. And yet both charts track later events well so seem to be sound.

  Much must bubble below the surface in both countries.

20 thoughts on “Denmark – a country of paradoxes, sweet and sour

  1. Wendy, I am surprised as I thought Norway was one of the most humane places in the world. As well as extremely beautiful!

  2. I wonder about the Denmark of Hans Christian Andersen. I have read that travel away was essential to his existence and productivity.

  3. University education was ‘free’ in the UK – even under that hard line monetarist Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

    It was that great ‘progressive’ and ‘lefty’ Tony Blair who instituted fees, thus discouraging those of humble parentage.

    • Yes you are correct Jonathan, but remember Tony Blair opened up higher education making it accessible to more young people. Easier to fund tuition fees from taxation when only a few young people are fortunate to go to university, much more difficult with the large number of students attending now.

  4. I am Norwegian, with the bluntness of speech that goes with that country’s character. Within the Scandinavian countries, Denmark is the “fun” country. In a very generalised way, The Danes are regarded as the most light-hearted of all the Scandi countries – at least by the Norwegians. “Everyone loves the Danes.”

    Similar to your take on Denmark in your article, the appearance of Norway does not gel with the reality. My experience: The international impression is not the reality. Intolerance, impatience and lack of compassion and understanding runs deep towards non Aryan types or those who fall outside of mainstream. My son, born in Norway, was autistic (now high functioning aspergers). The answer to those types in Norway is to lock away. Real treatment, unlike in the UK, really did not exist – possibly that has changed now over time.

    The move to the UK, with its compassion and far more openness to those less fortunate in all kinds of ways, changed the world. My son who the Norwegian government health system wished to hide is now doing marvellously well in his second year of university. He is “quirky” for sure but accepted in the Uk for his quirkiness. Where else in the world would this be celebrated, accepted, embraced? One small story certainly, but I am continuously amazed at the compassion in general demonstrated in the Uk versus what I saw in general living in Norway.

    A digression, but my point is it sounds very scandic to me from my 20 plus years of living in Norway and many visits to Denmark, The Norway stories I tell friends in the Uk always surprise them; their take on Norway is very different from what I saw when I was living there. (For balance – Norway has a lot of positives too – but they are best enjoyed if you fall within the mainstream)

  5. With all that fire and air it doesn’t surprise me that Denmark is progressive. Fire and air enables the realisation of ideas and the ability to put them into practice. On the other hand New Zealand is earth and fire with Pluto in Aries sq. Sun and Mars in Cap. creating considerable tension between ideas and action. New Zealand may currently have a progressive government but it is a deeply conservative country (I’ve spent a bit of time there – I married a Kiwi girl), which is saying something coming from Australia which isn’t exactly the poster child for radicalism.

    This raises the question: which of the elements – fire, earth or air is most conservative or progressive? My instinctive answer is that earth is the most conservative, with Taurus and Capricorn always striking me as operating best within established power structures. But perhaps they can all go either way.

  6. The constraints of covid resulting in border closures has shown New Zealand’s dependence on thousands of low wage temporary workers. Essential export fruit crops, grape harvests, the tourism, dairy and aged care sectors are all dependent on overseas seasonal labour, primarily Pacific Islanders and the Filipinos.

    There are also issues that arise from the country shifting rapidly from a predominantly bicultural country to a distinctly multicultural country. As a result, race relations is an increasingly complicated political and cultural issue in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    Yes, and there is always the possibility of The Big One (earthquake) ripping along the major fault line running north to south.

  7. I find that most fascinating thing about Astrology is the way country’s on the same planet, obviously have different event patterns and destinies. Like individual counties or states in a country, along with different dialects and languages; perhaps the Earth is meant to teach us something. Can we judge them? Everyone judges by their own individual minds (natal chart) and has an opinion. Yet can we really judge anyone? I do to a certain extent, equally I know I can’t change what motivates or influences countries though. Also would we ask our neighbours to give up their house for the world to live in it? Denmark’s Sun/Moon opposition will always push for balance between the communication of the people and a philosophical way of life. Whereas, Saturn/Venus midpoint on Uranus, will keep rocking that quest and with the pragmatic Saturn ruling the economy challenged their prudence with a willing to fight for what they with Mars/Saturn in Aries. The stellium of planets in Aries will always look to the motherland first.

  8. “Much must bubble below the surface in both countries”
    Auckland sits on top of a volcano which blows every 2,000 years or so and only Japan is more earthquake prone.

  9. I have Danish friends and have learned to avoid certain topics. They seem very open to ideas but not to people they see as outsiders ‘invading’ their small country and benefitting from their costly welfare state. It’s the same thinking as drove a large part of the Brexit vote, really. “We pay for it, they take it”. The fear promoted by populists and the sensation-seeking media that there is not enough to go round. Hopefully Pluto in Aquarius will see a shift in attitudes, although I wouldn’t bank on it just yet.
    @Liz: Syrian refugees in Germany are often astounded when they see pictures of what Germany looked like at the end of WWII. They say it gives them hope that they can rebuild their country just as spectacularly when the time comes. All of them when asked state that it is their intention to return to Syria as soon as the war there really ends. And who can blame them? The revoking of residence permits is shameless posturing on the part of the Danish government. People don’t flee their country by choice on the whole. To take away their safety in that way and tar all with the same brush is scandalous, IMO.

    • “People don’t flee their country by choice on the whole”

      I agree we have to distinguish between asylum seekers who flee an ‘unsafe’ country, and illegal economic migrants who flee to the West/Europe in the hope of a better standard of living. It is the latter group which causes resentment and which the UK wants to deport to Rwanda.

      Maybe the UN should determine which countries are safe and which countries are unsafe.

  10. I believe the Gemini split refers to Denmark’s complicated relationship with Greenland. Denmark is part of the EU but Greenland is not. Greenland was the first exit from the EU.

  11. Not particular to Denmark myself, though they’ve always topped various rankings. But New Zealand always fascinated me. There seems to be a general collective wisdom amongst a significant majority. They didn’t jump at the vaccines against Covid at first, but when they educated themselves on the merits, they now have one of the highest vaccination rates per capita. Not to mention their stance on guns and choice of Leaders.
    Only thing that concerns me is that they’re earthquake prone because they sit on the “ring of fire”. I’d rather take my chances with hurricanes. But I’ve always admired this country from afar. Speaking of far, good lord! I’d probably be jetlagged for a whole week Lol.

  12. So interesting to see these charts, NZ with that tough Sun/Mars in Capricorn and Denmark with Saturn/Mars in Aries. No messing around with either of those is there?

    I was curious about the role of Neptune in both charts. Denmark has fishy Neptune in Pisces with the South Node – quite introverted, reclusive even, and a past tied to the sea.
    NZ has an intriguing Mercury/Chiron sextile Neptune in Pisces – visionary and idealistic, possibly quite confused too. I associate Neptune with refugees in particular, and possibly with people smugglers too.

    New Zealand’s refugee quota is 1,500 places a year from July 2020. But there are 13,000 – 14,000 ‘overstayers or undocumented migrants’ there as of February 2022 according to it’s government website. These numbers seem tiny when compared with what is happening in Europe.

    Also, the whole migration situation, and people smuggling in particular, has been going on much longer than I realised. More Neptune, confusing everything?! I came across this thought provoking quote from a book by Bharati Mukherjee, published in 1989 (Saturn conjunct Neptune in Capricorn year), which I’m sharing in full.

    “Mr. Venkatesan threw himself into the planning. He didn’t trust the man with the
    cauliflower ears. Routes circuitous enough to fool border guards had to be figured
    out. He could fly to Frankfurt via Malta, for instance, then hole up in a ship’s cargo
    hold for the long bouncy passage on Canadian seas. Or he could take the more
    predictable (and therefore, cheaper but with more surveillance) detours through the
    Gulf Emirates.
    The go-between or travel agent took his time. Fake travel documents and work
    permits had to be printed up. Costs, commissions, bribes had to be calculated. On
    each visit the man helped himself to a double peg of Mr. Venkatesan’s whisky.
    In early September, three weeks after Mr. Venkatesan had paid in full for a
    roundabout one-way ticket to Hamburg and for a passport impressive with fake visas,
    the travel agent stowed him in the damp smelly bottom of a fisherman’s dinghy and
    had him ferried across the Palk Strait to Tuticorin in the palm-green tip of mainland
    From Bharati Mukherjee, “Buried Lives,” in The Middleman and Other Stories,
    London: Virago, 1989.

    • Full details on patterns of immigration can be found at:

      Immigration as a political issue is summarised at the end of the article:

      “Immigration and asylum gained increasing political salience in the 1990s and 2000s. Prior to the 1980s, immigration was not an issue that was included in political party manifestos. Immigration was first mentioned in political party agendas in 1981, when less than 1% of political agenda content was devoted to the issue…………..When Danes were surveyed in 2001 about the most important issues politicians should address in the coming election, 51% of respondents listed immigrant and refugee populations……… In March 2021, the Danish government has stated that it will revoke the residency permits for Syrian refugees and deport them back to Syria, becoming the first European country and EU member state to initiate the transition as they revoked 94 Syrians of residency permits. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the areas of Damascus are safe, and is pursuing the goal of having ‘zero asylum seekers’. Although, they are not forced to leave, they are obliged to be at deportation camps.”

      In other words, as in the UK, the prevalent view is that many ‘asylum seekers’ are not fleeing unsafe countries but are in fact economic migrants seeking a better life in the West. Mass immigration such as this is causing major social problems – not least in the provision of housing, medical faciities, educational opportunities, public services, public utilities etc etc. Governments can’t keep up – and why should they? It is the job of Governments to put the interests of their own citizens first and, where and when illegal immigrants would not be in danger in their home countries, they should return.

      It might sound harsh but I think young people abandoning their own communities is harsh. Who will look after their elderly and sick: who will rebuild their houses and provide the infrastructure: who will provide their public services?

      Are we in the West not guilty of keeping illegal immigrants from fulfilling their responsibilites to their homelands; of using them as cheap labour to prop up our societies? It is a moral dilemma and the most important one of our time.

      • “Are we in the West not guilty of keeping illegal immigrants from fulfilling their responsibilites to their homelands; of using them as cheap labour to prop up our societies? It is a moral dilemma and the most important one of our time.”

        No – you in the west are guilty for converting Afghanistan and Iran – countries where women wore skirts in the 1950s into hellholes where girls are now sold to old men so that the west could have cheap oil.

        Go read up on how the Taliban was created by the West to counter Russia.

        After destroying nations the least your societies can do is provide a safe living place to the people’s who nations you have either actively (supporting Saudis, silent on Yemen, eyars in Kuwait Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran) or passively (the west continues to try and get cheap oil from Russia paying for it’s war machine) participated in destroying.

        • You didn’t watch the Invictus games? Many young men were killed or maimed trying to keep the Taliban at bay.

          The UK trades with Saudi Arabia, it has no historic ties with the Yemen, it supported Kuwait when Iraq invaded, it tried to provide a much needed infrastructure in Afghanistan (which the Taliban kept blowing up), it gave educational opportunities for many thousands of Iranian and Iraqi students (who then refused to return ‘home’). The list goes on.

          Of course we should provide all the aid we can to ensure our neighbours thrive – but much does seem to end up in the hands of the rich and powerful rather than the people they should serve. We can’t open our doors to everyone who wants to come and live here. We fought for our rights and our survival (through the Chartists, the Suffragettes and two World Wars). We are still fighting for them, though through parliamentary democracy these days.

          Nothing comes for nothing. There is no big brother to oversee the world. As in the Ukraine now, people have to take power into their own hands. I pray for the Ukraine daily.

      • It’s always interesting to me to see people grip so tightly to the idea of nationhood when it’s a relatively new form of political existence. Migration is as natural to our species as it is to many others. Without it, the world wouldn’t look the way it does. (DNA continues to trace the origins of homo sapiens’ to Africa.) You likely wouldn’t exist without that migration. And culture and community change with the makeup of those who embrace them.

        What if your were in a domestic-violence situation and are continually forced to go back to the same unsafe environment because the abuser is a psychopath who can put on a socially acceptable appearance and may even be a successful member of society? Who has a better perspective of the danger you find yourself in? You or those who solely depend on data that’s more descriptive of trends and averages than your individual situation? How would you feel if someone told you that a murder you witnessed is statistically impossible because data shows that the neighborhood is extremely safe?

        Also, while I applaud your desire to reunite people with their inherited cultures, if you choose to migrate to another country, would you feel comforted or insulted that the refusal to your entry request stems from someone’s desire of not keeping you from fulfilling your responsibilities to your homelands? (Also, “responsibilities to their homelands” as determined by whom? You? Would you be happy with someone else determining your “responsibilities to your homelands?”)

        • Aside from genetics (, I’d love to hear peoples’ views about the ways in which Venus sign and house placement (in cancer in the 4th house, for instance) correspond to their views about immigration. (Might the Venus placement given above show up in the chart of someone who tends to value one’s own family/compatriots?)

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