Kim Philby – treachery, disloyalty and Algol + St John Philby

Brazen betrayal is the theme of “A Spy Among Friends” a new TV drama series about Kim Philby, who not only deceived and double-crossed his country as a soviet agent, but also his closest friend Nick Elliott as well as the service they both worked for. It takes a special kind of amoral and unscrupulous personality to live that kind of a lie for decades. Elliott served in MI6 with Philby, having come up through similar upper-class Cambridge-educated backgrounds and stood by him against all accusations after MacLean and Burgess defected in 1951.

  Writer Ben Macintyre said Elliott could no more believe that Philby could be a Soviet spy than that he could fly to the moon. This was “the inner circle of Britain’s ruling class where mutual trust was so absolute and so unquestioned that there was no need for elaborate security precautions. They were all part of the same family.” Philby was ousted from the service and Elliott still supported him until 1963 when Philby confessed and fled to Moscow.

  Philby was born in Ambala India on 1 January 1912 at 2.30pm (unverified bt) and became persuaded by communism when at Cambridge. He sold secrets to the Soviets for 26 years before defecting.

  He had a Capricorn Sun, possibly in the secretive 8th, which makes sense; and an intense, also secretive Mercury in the 8th opposition Pluto. But more significantly he had his Mars in Taurus conjunct Algol and possibly his Moon as well opposition a charming Venus in Scorpio. The ultra-powerful and can-be-destructive Algol wreaking havoc behind the scenes.  He also had the can-be-fanatical Uranus opposition Neptune of the time square a stand-alone North Node in Aries. The 25 years he spent in Moscow after his defection were unhappy and disillusioning.

  Nick Elliott, born 15 November 1916, played in the drama by Damien Lewis, had his Scorpio Sun conjunct Philby’s Venus for a friendly connection and opposition Philby’s Mars (Moon) – he selected the charm and ignored the ruthlessness. Elliott’s Jupiter was conjunct Philby’s North Node so arguably providing a naïve cover for his illicit activities; and Philby’s Neptune was conjunct Elliott’s South Node for the most devastating of triple betrayals – of friendship, country and MI6.

 Their relationship chart had an emotionally-loaded and risky composite Grand Trine of Pluto trine Venus trine Mars and North Node, which would in part be soaked up in the joint secret service work they shared. But was blown apart in the early 1960s by tr Uranus and Pluto in Virgo opposing the composite Mars.

  When Elliott was finally forced to accept the truth, his chart showed clearly the extent to which he was shattered – Solar Arc Mars opposed his Neptune for panicky-failure. His Solar Arc Saturn squared his Mars for a major setback. His Solar Arc Mercury opposed his Pluto provoking the gloomiest of thoughts. And tr Saturn then in Aquarius was conjunct his Uranus and moving to square his Sun – jolting, discouraging and a sharp reality check.

The Nodal cross overs are interesting since they were at the heart of the most damaging events in the history of British espionage.

As a further thought, looking at Philby’s chart against the UK, it puts his Sun within less than a degree of the UK Sun for a strong connection but his duplicitous Neptune fell in the UK 10th; and his Saturn in Taurus was in a hostile conjunction to the UK 8th house Mars. Philby’s Mars Moon in Taurus was also in the UK 8th square the UK Saturn. He was certainly suited to work behind in the scenes in the realm of dirty secrets but his Algol square the UK Saturn, ruling the country’s legislature and his Neptune would put him at cross purposes to the UK’s interests.

Add on: Have added chart for St John Philby, his father. His wiki entry worth reading. Pro-Arabist, anti-semitic, thought to have handed over info to the Saudis – so had slightly the same leanings as his son, though how he squared his ‘socialist’ views with the House of Saud isn’t clear. Makes it all the more astonishing that Philby Jnr was welcomed into M16 with no questions asked.

6 thoughts on “Kim Philby – treachery, disloyalty and Algol + St John Philby

  1. Kim Philby’s father, St. John Philby, is an extraordinary figure – Arabist, intelligence officer, writer, explorer…and certainly instrumental in his son’s early career. His involvement with the House of Saud, and international oil interests and knotty behind-the-scenes negotiations and convoluted betrayals prompts numerous questions and “what ifs”. So much of what we are dealing with today seems to be rooted in that period leading up to the Second World War. Some of this. I think, is reflected in the Uranus in Taurus transit that links these time periods.

    I had a quick look at St. John Philby’s planets. He’s 3rd April, 1885. I noticed an interesting pattern – StJP has the Moon’s NN at 4 Libra, conjunct disruptive Uranus at 0 Libra. His South Node is conjunct Venus and Mars in Aries. It suggests some volatility in his alliances and partnerships. And there’s Kim Philby, with his own Nodes in Aries (NN) and Libra (SN), squaring onto Uranus in Capricorn. The UK’s own Moon’s Nodes are also in Aries (NN) and Libra (SN). At a basic level, here are broad themes of partnership and self-sufficiency – with Philby father and son somehow “destined” to disrupt or challenge those themes?

      • Thanks Marjorie! Yes, I hadn’t known much about him until I read the Wiki and my mind boggled! That period of history is so anarchic and chaotic. I learned nothing much of the wider background at school, and feel I’m still piecing it all together. I’ve seen a couple of documentaries on Kim Philby, both fascinating, but little mention of the bigger picture or the apple not falling far from the paternal tree!

  2. I can understand having communist ideals in the 20s and 30s when there was economic collapse in the west and the spectre of fascism rose in the world, but as an intelligence operative, by the 50s Philby would have known about the millions who died in both Stalin’s and Mao’s purges. Perhaps by then he was trapped with no way out.

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