John Hume, widely credited with crafting the Irish peace process which culminated in the Good Friday Agreement, is regarded as one of the most important figures in the recent political history of Ireland. He has sadly died having battled dementia for some years. A recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Martin Luther King Award, he campaigned tirelessly across the EU, in London, and Washington where Senator Edward Kennedy became one of his most powerful patrons.
Over three turbulent decades he influenced the way successive British and Irish administrations handled their common Northern Ireland problem as he pushed for an all-Ireland solution. His guiding principle was that violence compromised the cause and only delayed peace. “Politics,” he once said, “is the alternative to war.” He was widely criticised for holding talks with Sinn Fein but it led ultimately to the ceasefire in 1994, when the IRA and loyalist combatants agreed to a cessation of violence.
He had an extraordinarily strong and enduring chart with a determined Capricorn Sun opposition Pluto in Cancer squaring onto Uranus in Taurus opposition Mars in Scorpio. That would give him, grit, courage, stamina and stubbornness. He did have a self-willed streak from Mars Uranus and a desire to control situations. But what softened down what could have been an almost ruthless chart was his Neptune in Virgo opposition Saturn Venus in Pisces – which gave him hope for a better society.
What’s interesting are the three central oppositions in his chart. Oppositions can be difficult since they lead to a going-in-two-directions tendency or a see-saw wobble between extremes.
Edward Kennedy shared that astro-trait and for all his personal failings, he was an adept at cross-party negotiation. The ability to see the other point of view and walk in their shoes was an invaluable asset for both men and Hume especially, rooted as he was in a tragically divided Northern Ireland.
When the Good Friday Agreement was finally signed on 10 April 1998 5pm Belfast, tr Jupiter in Pisces was moving across his Saturn in Pisces opposition Neptune; and tr Pluto had moved on two signs to trine his Sun and sextile his natal Pluto.