Dominic Raab – stressed Pluto + Mars in Taurus ++ UK Civil Service

Dominic Raab, UK Deputy Prime Minister, has been forced to resign after an inquiry found he had acted with “unreasonably and persistently aggressive conduct” in one of his previous posts. Despite accepting that he had to go, in a typically bull-necked response he attacked the inquiry as “Kafkaesque”, suggested certain civil servants were snowflakes who couldn’t stand the pressure and sulkily stomped off.

  He does have form for bull-dozing around, once describing some feminists as “obnoxious bigots” and claiming men were getting “a raw deal”. More recently he was branded “offensive” after saying “the typical user of a food bank is not someone that’s languishing in poverty; it’s someone who has a cash flow problem”.

  He was a fervent Brexiteer, supported Boris Johnson, who made him foreign secretary and the government’s de-facto second-in-command. As Brexit secretary, he came under fire for saying he “hadn’t quite understood” how reliant UK trade in goods was on the Dover-Calais crossing. As foreign secretary, he was heavily criticized for his handling of the aftermath of the fall of Afghanistan, remaining on holiday in Crete while the Taliban took over.

  In a decade plus of a political career he has been sacked, demoted or resigned from three government jobs.

  Born 25 February 1974 in Buckinghamshire, he is the son of a Czech-born Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis in 1938. He studied law at Oxford and Cambridge, was a lawyer in the commercial sector before entering politics in 2006 as an aide to Brexit-supporting Conservative MP David Davis, and then Remain-backing Dominic Grieve. He is also a karate black-belt.

   His chart is notable for three separate strands in the light of the bullying complaints.  Firstly he has a Pisces Sun Mercury square Neptune inconjunct Pluto, so will have an erratic approach to wielding power and find it difficult to modulate his behaviour in situations where he is in charge. A stressed Pluto is often given to pouring contempt on those they regard as weaker or have made mistakes.

  Secondly he has an Air Grand Trine of Jupiter in Aquarius trine Saturn and South Node in Gemini trine Uranus in Libra – this makes him emotionally detached to the point of chilly, certainly lacking in empathy, overly focused on ideology and theories.

  Most significant of all is probably his Mars in heavyweight Taurus which is not explosively angry – though in his case it is inconjunct his Uranus which might be – but it gives a scary impression of someone you don’t want to cross. His Mars is trine Venus in Capricorn and in an opportunistic square to Jupiter.  

  At the moment his Progressed Mars is conjunct his Saturn on one leg of the Grand Trine for a setback of major proportions with SA Neptune conjunct his Venus making him feel his popularity slipping away. Plus tr Neptune is squaring his Saturn within a few days, bringing deep uncertainty for the rest of this year into 2024; having just finished squaring his Nodal axis.

  There’s nothing much ahead over the next three years for him that looks anything other than stuck and discouraged.

  Rishi Sunak’s PM chart, 25 October 2022 11.15am always was due for a sharp elbow in the ribs now with tr Uranus square the Saturn at 18 degrees Aquarius. With SA Uranus continuing the disruptive, unsettled mood for the next few months as it closes the square to Saturn to exact. Yesterday’s Eclipse was also opposition the Term Moon, Sun, Venus in early Scorpio for a considerable crisis. The sinking-failure tr Neptune square Mars, around recently in March, returns for an extended period effectively hanging over this October to February 2024.

ADD ON: The UK Civil Service has its origins in the  Northcote–Trevelyan Report which recommended a permanent, unified, politically neutral civil service, with appointments made on merit. The date on the report was 23 November 1853 though it was not implemented until 1870 (no date) when Prime Minister Gladstone made an Order in Council.

 The 1853 chart has a Sagittarius Sun opposition Saturn in earthy, obstinate Taurus and widely opposition a Gemini North Node, square Mars in Virgo opposition Neptune. It has a Grand Trine of Jupiter in late Sagittarius in a confident trine to Pluto trine Mars – talented, confident, pushy, go-ahead though also scattered and argumentative.

 It does seem to fit the Raab scenario with his Mars in Taurus exactly conjunct the Saturn for a chemistry of irritability and hostility. The relationship chart is even more stark with a composite Sun Venus opposition Pluto Mars in Cancer – which would give rise to a bitter power struggle and ruthless oneupmanship on one side or the other.

  He’s howling and yowling but frankly I’d have fired him for the Afghanistan debacle which was outrageous and unforgiveable.

Further Add: The Civil Service 1870 chart is just as relevant to Raab since it has Mars in Taurus close to his. A clash of bulls. Plus tr Uranus conjunct the Pluto. All seems likely.

34 thoughts on “Dominic Raab – stressed Pluto + Mars in Taurus ++ UK Civil Service

  1. Totally agree Marjorie, the Afghanistan debacle was unforgiveable. However the top Foreign Office civil servants all stayed on holiday as well. All of them should have been fired, but as Tom Bower’s book on Boris Johnson had shown, the Foreign Office grandees are a law unto themselves, aided and abetted in that case by Theresa May. Presumably it’s the same in other departments.
    In this case, it seems to be a clash of current cultures. Dominic Raab with his mighty, but unempathetic meritorial work ethic, the Civil Service grandees acting as if they’re still in the 19th Century and snowflakes who not only seem to take offence at anything, but don’t seem to understand what work entails.
    As Hugh has shown, astrologically, this is likely have repercussions. As he said, Tony Blair introduced SPADs to counter what he perceived as the Tory Civil Service. Today there are countless, extremely expensive advisors and management consultants employed without discernable improvement. It’s getting messier and messier adding to existing institutional obsolence. Fit for purpose seems an unobtainable goal.

    • The Guardian on Saturday carried an interesting piece about the upcoming review by Francis Maude about the Civil Service with particular emphasis on Ministers being able to bring political nominees into a sub set of positions. In the USA I believe 10% of senior posts are filled in this manner. One wonders if this might be the real issue that the senior civil service is worried about and that Raab is actually just a bit part player in a wider conflict. Certainly, that would fit in with the astrology. I think it would be a mistake to see the matter just as a Tory party problem as Labour has historically had as many difficulties in this area so I don’t think a change of government will make the matter disappear.

      • Re SpAds – they were first appointed by Harold Wilson’s Labour government in 1964. They are temporary civil servants. The astrological themes for this are very interesting, in light of this discussion here.

        I don’t have a specific date for their appointments in 1964. The General Election was in October, ending 13 years of Conservative government. Hmmn. However:

        January 1964 has Saturn 20 Aquarius – entering Pisces in March, and moving back and forth between Aquarius and Pisces that year. So the presence of special advisors is having, or has had, a Saturn return recently. Saturn in 1964 was also triggering the UK Yod – Jupiter – law and leaders, Uranus – change, Pluto – deep in the watery Pisces depths of a historically maritime nation. ‘Brittania rules the waves’ themes? The slippery nature of bureaucracy?

        January 1964 has Neptune, 17 Scorpio. By December, Neptune is 18 Scorpio. The UK’s Neptune return. 1964 was the year of pirate radio stations broadcasting offshore from ships. Also discussions about the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France.

        Jupiter is in Aries in January 1964. It enters Taurus in April. By December, 1964, Jupiter is 18 Taurus, opposing Neptune, 18 Scorpio. The degrees and signs that just keep on giving! So the idea of special advisors is also having a Jupiter return this year, perhaps less significant since that’s every 12 years.

        I agree with Hugh that Dominic Raab is just a bit part player in this current situation. A ‘useful idiot’ for the Cosmic Joker perhaps?

  2. One of the charges that stuck was that he didn’t shake hands with one of his staff having shook hands with the others. I mean, how pathetic! Maybe in future government ministers need to protect themselves more from those who are supposed to implement policy, not decide it!

  3. Dominic Raab’s Sun/Mercury conjunction is in Pisces and could also been seen as a man with a mission to lead in another direction to his colleague. As the Pisces image is of two fishes swimming in opposite directions. He also has his Aquarius Jupiter conjunct a Pisces Mercury and his Jupiter in trine to his Libra Uranus in conjunction to Libra Pluto. That is a combination of predominantly water and air – no earth – just mist! The only Earth planets signs connection is a Venus trine Mars in Capricorn and Taurus, this could could be the impetus for a “ bull (Taurus) in a China shop ( Capricorn – Earth, Saturn rule) approach with people. In his Secondary Progressed Chart there is no earth planets. I have a feeling his frustration comes mainly from within himself, as he is unable to voice (Taurus throat) himself very well. I actually feel a little sorry for him, as reading articles about his work ethic, he obviously has talent and is intelligent. As Marjorie points out he is of Czech/Jewish descent. Eastern Europeans can be abrupt. We give a wide margin for some minority groups , yet expect Eastern European’s to act like the British.

  4. I am not an astrologer, but I have always taken an interest in military, mainly naval, matters and the affect of the Civil Service on the ability of the armed forces to carry out their duties.

    In the 1970’s the Ministry of Defence began looking at producing a new ‘small arm’ weapon for the Army. It took them nearly ten years to produce such a weapon and it was named the SA80.

    It was far from being a perfect weapon and during the Gulf War its faults really became apparent. The unfortunate front line troops who had to depend on this weapon christened it the ‘Civil Servant’ on the basis that it didn’t work and couldn’t be fired.

    It finally became a very reliable and effective weapon after it was allowed to be examined by a private sector German arms producer who identified the problems, designed replacements for some of the parts and rebuilt all the weapons.

    If the Civil Service is so efficient, why do departments such as the MOD and Department of Transport (DfT), known as DafT by the private sector companies who have to deal with it, need to employ over 300 Press Officers each?

  5. The other major landmark in the history of the Civil Service was the Haldane Report published in late November 1918. It would have had Saturn at 27 Leo in opposition to Uranus at 23 Aquarius. Those planets are going to impacted by the upcoming Uranus transits as well.

    • Without detracting from Hugh’s post. The first fully open competition for civil service posts came in 1870 – brought in by an Order in Council made on 4 June- a Saturday. Interestingly we have Pluto at 18 Taurus and Uranus and North Node at 19 Cancer. Mars is at 24 Taurus and the Moon is at around 12 Leo.

      So on this chart there is change on the way with transitting Uranus.

      • Very interesting.

        There does seem to be a theme of planets at those degrees of fixed signs, something which comes a lot in certain U.K. related horoscopes.

  6. The modern Civil Service dates back to the Trevelyan-Northcote Report commissioned by Gladstone on 12 April 1853, produced on 23 November 1853 and adopted in February 1854.

    Pluto was at 1 Taurus in April 1853, 1 Taurus retrograde in November 1853 and 1 Taurus in February 1854. That degree is currently conjunct the Sun and is is being squared by transiting Pluto at 0 Aquarius. I would surmise that current events are suggesting that the current set up of the Civil Service is likely to be seriously challenged over the next year or two with it being forced to abandon old habits and patterns of behaviour. It is occurring in fixed signs so this process is likely to be painful as the institution is not easily able to handle change.

    Saturn was at 17 Taurus in April 1853, 28 Taurus retrograde in November 1853 and 25 Taurus in 1854. Uranus is currently at 17 Taurus exactly conjunct the April 1853 Saturn. It will be tracking over the November 1853 and February 1854 Saturn points in 2024-25. It would seem to signify that the Civil Service apple cart looks as if it is well and truly going to be upended.

    Looking at Dominic Raab his Mars at 28 Taurus is conjunct the November 1853 Saturn so I would imagine his anger at the way he was treated by the Civil Service is unlikely to diminish and may be activated when Uranus hits that degree particular as the degree squares his Jupiter at 27 degrees Aquarius amplifying everything. Raab’s retrograde Saturn at 27 Gemini opposes the Civil Service Jupiter that November 1853 Jupiter at 27 Sagittarius that suggests the ex Deputy PM rather cold and logical communication style is going to have a major chilling on the Civil Service idealised view of itself. It might be an idea to watch

    From charts I think this event is going have ramifications way beyond the career of a single politician.

    • Thanks so much Hugh, this is really fascinating. I agree, some changes and challenges are well overdue. The Taurus/Scorpio theme is more than likely to be ‘hooves firmly braced in the mud’, plus Scorpio’s resistance and machinations – UK Neptune, and UK Mars and fixed Venus chime with this too.

      The eclipses of 1854 may be relevant – May 12th, Lunar, 21 Scorpio; November 4th Lunar 12 Taurus; November 20th, Solar, 27 Scorpio. Uranus in Taurus, Neptune in Pisces, Pluto early Taurus.

      By the time Dickens’ novel Little Dorrit was published, in 1857, Jupiter had entered Taurus on 15th or 16th May of that year. It enters Taurus this May on the 16th. Uranus in Taurus, Neptune in Pisces, Pluto early Taurus. I cannot help but think of his description of the Circumlocution Office when looking at this current situation:

      “The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office.”

  7. Many of us laughed at Yes Minister and Yes Prime minister, assuming that the unelected controlling the elected was simply satire/parody. Clearly not so. And it’s interesting to note that one of the complainants against Raab was the UK Ambassador to Spain, who suggested that to keep Madrid and Brussels happy, Spanish forces could be based on Gibraltar. He was, apparently, surprised at Raab’s less than enthusiastic response!

  8. The report on Raab was also careful to note that, quote

    “The DPM is highly intelligent, pays close attention to detail and seeks to make decisions based on evidence. He has strong principles and is guided by them in practice. He works assiduously and typically from about 0730 until about 2200, Monday to Thursday”.

    Fridays spent in his constituency, doing political surgeries.

    I’d say tiredness played a part in his behaviour. Hard not to get cross when you are slogging away but staff are not delivering. That’s the Saturn close to the ascendant combined with Mars in the 11th.

    The calibre of staff in the civil service has been dropping too. Probably because public sector pay has been falling behind. If you are clever and ambitious, and living in London, you can earn way more working for the law, accountancy and consultancy firms who are the backbone of The City.

    • Mars in Taurus is usually a hard worker. Lots of endurance, especially for simple tasks.

      But let’s not forget the flipside to Raab – he refused to read documents until they were formatted to his preferred requirements. That particularly became an issue during the Afghanistan withdrawal where people died as a result of him not knowing the information. And of course, he was on holiday at the time and refusing to deal with the crisis. Maybe too much decision-making on the fly required for a Mercury in Pisces/Mars in Taurus?

      So while he may be highly intelligent in some ways, his emotional or social intelligence and ability to see the trees for the forest is not so good.

    • The calibre of staff really doesn’t matter any more. All govt depts use management consultants which keeps staff numbers cosmetically low whilst depriving the brightest of opportunities when the consultant gannets take over. Cookie cutter solutions deployed across everything is leading to mediocrity first and later total failure-all in waves. the use of consultants by the uk govt has gone up by a factor of 70 times since 65.

    • I read online this evening an extract from a book shortly to be publish about the turmoil and total incompetence of Johnson’s Covid Government. In that article , Dominic Raab is praised for his time he stepped up to cover for Johnson’s hospital stay. He was particularly praised for his diligence.

  9. All I know about British Ministries comes from having listened to truly countless seasons of “Men from the Ministry” translations and watched “Yes Mr. (Prime) Minister” as a kid, but I would say being accused of being a bully by people with 40 year track record with varying Governments is bad.

  10. The Ministry of Justice was created 9 July 2007. The Ministry’s Venus at 27 Leo and Saturn at 23 Leo squares Raab’s Mars at 28 Taurus and opposes his Jupiter at 27 Aquarius. Its retrograde Pluto at 27 Sagittarius opposes Raab’s retrograde Saturn at 27 Gemini. Both charts have Mercury retrograde.

    Pluto Saturn opposition in synastry is a sign of an intense and potentially explosive relationship. Venus and Saturn square Mars would compound any conflict while the Mercury retrogrades in both charts would muddy any communications. Hardly surprising it has ended in tears.

    Raab clearly is not the easiest of characters to handle but dealing with difficult Ministers and managing their expectations is also part of a senior civil servants job. There are questions to be asked about the Civil Services handling of the matter, particularly as some of the accusations against Raab seem to date back to the past. One wonders why they have taken so long to be raised. Unelected officials directly being involved in a Minister to losing his job is not a great advertisement for British Parliamentary democracy and the ramifications may come back to haunt both the Civil Service and future governments of whatever party is in power

    • Thanks Hugh, very interesting. I agree about the ramifications of this event. How would we look, astrologically, at the Civil Service as a whole – is that possible?

      I also remember the bullying claims against Priti Patel, 29th March 1972. Her Mars is conjunct Saturn in early Gemini, opposing Neptune and trine Pluto at 0 Libra. So she connects with the UK yod. I read that she once went out into her outer office and yelled “why is everybody so effing useless!”. Having personally worked for, and with, a number of individuals who were prone to shouting, chucking things, and so on, I can say it is alarming. Yet I would never call it bullying, which I tend to feel is a more personally targeted kind of behaviour rather than having to deal with someone who has a terrible temper and makes ridiculous demands of everyone around them.

      By the standards of today, Gordon Brown would almost certainly have lost his job. As would Presidents Nixon, Truman, and numerous other world leaders and CEOs.

      • In the distant past I have worked as a Civil Servant though not at Ministerial level. As I recall there were plenty of shouty managers in my area of the Civil Service. My usual response was simply to ignore them and to concentrate on the job but sometimes the temptation to laugh out loud was simply was too much. None of the managers who showed the traits were what I would consider bullies in the conventional sense as their rage was generally directed at the world in general not individuals. Nor can I recall them ever victimising or scapegoating staff.

        What is worrying about the Raab case is that it is clear from the report that the bulk of the complaints made by the civil servants in the MOJ case were not made individually through the normal channels but were drafted by a committee of staff coordinating the various allegations. Looking at the report this was deemed inadmissible by the lawyer carrying out the inquiry for that reason. However, it opened the door for more damaging incidents at the FCO which might have normally been considered time expired to be included. This raises the question of at what point does legitimate complaints tip over into conspiracy. In this case it should be noted that Raab appears from the report to have been a particularly hard working Minister spending as much as 15 hours a day to his government duties so it is not as though he was using the Civil Servants to cover his lack of diligence. The whole affair seems to have been poorly managed by all parties and I suspect before it is finished it will not only be Raab’s career that has been wrecked.

        I suppose one other factor to consider is that it is quite possible for Ministers themselves to be bullied and intimidated by their Civil Servants and that they need to be defended from that activity and to be offered means of redress themselves. Perhaps time for Ministers and MPs to have their own Union or Counsel in such matters.

        Despite the attempts to construct this case as a party political matter it actually has far wider ramifications that will impact any future government. In that respect your example of Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister is well chosen as had a pretty explosive temper and was known to throw objects like telephones about the room. There have been similar issues with other Ministers of all parties down the years. For all their faults politicians are the elected representatives of the people and Civil Servants are not. For British democracy to work it is therefore essential that the former are recognised as having primacy and control of the executive even if the latter can apply checks at times. I am not sure how this is resolved but if we are not careful we might see politicians deciding to adopt the US system where the President populates the upper reaches of the Civil Service with his own nominated officials. This is something the Sir Humphrey’s of the world will be keen to avoid.

      • One other point to add is that the current concept of an apolitical civil service as envisaged by the Northcote-Trevelyan report published in February 1854 is not set in stone. In some democracies such as the US the role of senior civil servants at Department of State level is usually filled by political nominees brought in by an incoming President who normally only retain the job while an administration is in office. The modern British Civil service with its small elite of First Division Senior civil servants lording it over toiling Departmental bureaucracies run by Grade 6 and below could easily be transformed into that model without unduly requiring massive changes at the lower Departmental level. Tony Blair with his SPADs and Dominic Cummings wanting to bring in specialist outsiders shows that politics was already moving in that direction. The manner of Raab’s ousting might prompt the politicians in Parliament consider taking that process further. I am pretty sure that the Head of the Civil Service will be keen to avoid that outcome. In the process I expect that the civil service will be offering up sacrificial victims from its own staff to appease the angry political gods. That will probably not be good news for Raab’s accusers wgpho I expect to be sidelined into oblivion.

  11. Oh, I guessed wrong when I thought he might be strongly Scorpio, but the Mars Pluto signature was similar with the Taurus also a fixed sign. Thanks for showing us his chart, Marjorie, though.

  12. Three strands of why Raab is a bully and they didn’t even touch on the Aries moon which must be in opposition to Pluto or Uranus or both!!

    From his resignation letter, he states the enquiry found he had never sworn or shouted at anyone, thrown anything or physcially intimidated anyone. Suggests to me it’s closer to the Pluto opposition (tight-lipped and strategic) than Uranus (explosive).

    • Another very bad tempered Pisces is Gordon Brown, 20th February, 1951. His temper has been called ‘volcanic’, and he was apparently warned by the Civil Service because his frequent outbursts, tantrums, and tendency to throw things, such as phones, were very ‘frightening’.

      He has Mercury in Aquarius, trine Neptune, opposing Pluto (18) and the Moon (12) in Leo. Idealism meets intense and possibly controlling tendencies with that Moon/Pluto? His Pisces Sun is trine Uranus in Cancer which may add a level of impatient volatility, as well as vision and creativity. Both the bubbling Sun/Uranus and the fiery Moon/Pluto suggest the word ‘volcanic’ too.

      Pisces seems to be a complex sign, and certainly isn’t all sweetness and light. Nobody is! Both Jupiter and Neptune wield thunderbolts in mythology after all.

      • From what I’ve seen Pisces just doesn’t know what it wants or what to do with itself – it is overwhelmed and drowning in the information / events that come at it. It ends up letting itself be swayed by the currents of the world. In personalities like Brown or Raab, I guess the fixed mercury, moons, mars take over and dominate matters.

        It’s interesting that Raab resigned, quitting is a very Pisces thing to do to avoid dealing with stuff and he’s portrayed it as a noble act of keeping his word – which I suspect is more self-delusion. Of course, the most notable astrological thing about Raab’s situation is transit Saturn is about to hit his Sun/Mercury – he’s got to define who he is. His mercury is actually retrograde and finishes the day at about the spot where transiting Saturn currently is!

        • “Suggests to me it’s closer to the Pluto opposition (tight-lipped and strategic) than Uranus (explosive).”
          I look at his face.Its there.

  13. All the Pisces individuals I know are highly empathic, some perhaps too much so. Makes it interesting to read about one who definitely is not. I often wonder if those who come on too strong in professional situations are not trying to hide deep insecurities about their own competence. Or maybe that was how they spoke to each other in his home, growing up, although you might have expected him to notice that this is not how people behave elsewhere. I also wonder why co-workers don’t push back more. There are only two ways to deal with a bully: ignore them or stand up to them. And certainly never take their insults personally. Projection, I used to say to my daughter. Says more about them than about you. But people are often afraid of “rocking the boat” or ending up paying the price themselves (whistleblower problem). So it’s great to see that there was a proper inquiry and its results made public, with consequences, for once!

    • Rupert Murdoch is Pisces sun too

      I agree there is usually (always?) a lot of compensation going on for insecurities. If you’ve got yourself sorted on the mental health front then you know how far to push people or not.

        • Raab is not the first to be accused of bullying either. Not so long ago there was also an inquiry into the behaviour of Priti Patel towards her staff at the Home Office. It should also be mentioned that these sorts of revelations are happening elsewhere too. Here in the Netherlands there have been a number of high profile political figures who have been forced to step down because of inapproriate behaviour towards party workers or other staff.

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