Slavery reparations – righting historical wrongs

Reparations for slavery are becoming a hot topic both in the USA and in Europe, with many Caribbean nations as well as individuals calling for compensation. In the UK a former BBC reporter whose ancestors were plantation owners has joined the campaign and the Guardian is doing a grandstanding mea culpa because their founder John Edward Taylor gained his wealth from the Manchester cotton industry.

  The history of British/English involvement in slavery has danced to the tune of Uranus Pluto with its participation in transatlantic slavery beginning in 1592 under Uranus Pluto in Aries; and taking over the slave trade to South America in 1713 under Uranus Pluto in Virgo.

  Uranus Pluto is more commonly associated with rebellions and revolutions, present during the civil rights unrest in the USA in the 1960s with Uranus Pluto in Virgo in place and over the independence from colonial rule for 12 African states. But that Uranus Pluto conjunction also oversaw Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment as well as Martin Luther King and the Kennedy brothers’ assassinations.

  During the previous Uranus Pluto conjunction in the 1840s and 1850s Natal in eastern South Africa, became a British colony and another Anglo-African War broke out. In the USA Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

  In the eternal war between the forces of total oppression (Pluto) and the will for freedom (Uranus) sometimes one wins, sometimes the other. There is not another hard Pluto Uranus aspect until the 2040s. But it may be that Pluto moving into Aquarius, ruled by Uranus, combining as it does the two conflicting energies raises the same mood.

  The moves to abolish slavery came in stages in the UK, first with a ban internally in the UK and only after 1833 in British overseas territory.

 What is intriguing is that the two key acts – the Slave Trade Act 28 March 1807 and the Slavery Abolition Act 28 August 1833 both had Pluto square the North Node – and the 1833 Act had Uranus in Aquarius. Pluto square the NN is puzzling at first glance but perhaps a hint that the zeitgeist/spirit of the Age was moving against Pluto’s need to control and to project its hatred and contempt towards those who are different and therefore deemed inferior.

John Edward Taylor, 11 September 1791, who founded the Guardian, was for his time a liberally-minded activist. He had a Virgo Sun with a trailblazing Uranus in Leo opposition Pluto in Aquarius; and a wide hope-for-a-better-society Saturn opposition Neptune.  He set up the Manchester Guardian as a direct result of his horror at witnessing the Peterloo Massacre of 16 August 1819 when the cavalry charged a crowd of 60,000 working class protesters who were demonstrating to demand reform of parliamentary representation. [It took nearly a century before universal suffrage was voted in for men over 21 and women over 30.]

  The Peterloo Massacre happened on peculiarly difficult influences with a highly-strung Uranus Neptune in Sagittarius square Saturn Pluto in late Pisces. In the aftermath there was a crackdown on reform with journalists and protest organisers arrested.

  The Manchester Guardian was born on 5 May 1821 with a Uranus Neptune in Capricorn square Pluto in final degree Pisces; with a curiously mixed Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in Aries – outspoken, angry, erratic.

  Whether John Edward Taylor would appreciate being castigated for his commercial connections which were not slave-owning but dependent on the cotton which slaves picked is questionable. His Solar Arc Pluto is conjunct his North Node in Libra now as his liberal credentials are tainted; and tr Uranus is squaring his Uranus opposition Pluto this year, upsetting his reputation.

 The Guardian, like most newspapers, is in for a rough ride over coming years with tr Neptune conjunct its Pluto reducing its influence in 2024/25 and a debilitating tr Neptune Saturn in Aries square its Uranus Neptune in 2025.

  This is a bit of a hotch potch as I try to unscramble my thinking about —— what? Judging the past by present day standards. How do you repair the damage done to generations of slaves with intergenerational trauma still having an effect?  And how far back do you go with historical sins? 

  Colonial is becoming one of those annoying buzz words in circulation.  Genghis Khan and son from the Mongolian steppes ‘colonised’ most of the European continent and all in between in the 13th century. The Arabs/Moors ‘colonised’ Spain between the 8th and 15th centuries. The USA were never really colonialists – get in, destroy, get out – is more their thing. The Brits were territorially greedy for sure but the empire crumbled into dust 70 years ago. Why now?

  Maybe Pluto moving into Aquarius is setting up the Uranus v Pluto battle once more for a two decade tussle ahead.   

27 thoughts on “Slavery reparations – righting historical wrongs

  1. I understand that slavery is as old as time in its various guises, seasons and reasons!! The issue is when did it become a mass produced business model that in that capacity turned into something else beyond human comprehension? Not all races experienced that right up to today’s society.

    Somehow methinks people are missing the point!!!

    Absolutely yes, every culture and race who was disseminatingly affected should make their voice heard, shout if necessary; but remember each race feel their own pain, reenact their trauma differently, and are fighting for the right to be heard.

    Furthermore none of that fight is more or lesser than another’s struggle. It’s just the same struggle with different hats. Some just shout louder and some fight harder. Nothing is lesser than.

    Those outside looking in can make all the assumptions they care to do, but that is not valid. Who feels it knows it?

    I am very sure that all so called un-superior races and cultures are very grateful for the help and support so called ‘superior’ nation countries and their population give them.

    Its very striking for me as i read the comments what comes across is that there is on one hand an understanding of the human condition and astrological correlations therein, yet on the other hand some reasonings and justifications that only seem to appease the souls that don’t want to choose their poison. Because either way you lose too.

    One love

    • Jennifer, It is an excruciatingly difficult subject to discuss especially if you have first hand experience of the damage caused.
      I would have thought that slavery was always done for commercial reasons and that those who were forced into servitude were always regarded as ‘inferior.’
      But if you look at the history of the Middle East for example where empires rose to become top dog and then crumbled to become ashes under foot – the inferior/superior thing is very much a pendulum swing. Syria is now regarded as the dregs and yet at one point they were at the peak of culture and power.
      I agree the Brits, well if I am being partisan, the English were arrogant overlords in India/Africa and elsewhere and certainly racist. Though the Scots did not exactly cover themselves in glory in Kenya.
      There have been appalling injustices. But I think a couple of things are in play with what can seem like ambivalence in condemning in one particular area. I can’t remember what it is called in psychology but it is the phenomenon that says if people can help they will be sympathetic. But if the situation is such they can’t do anything to change it, they start to dislike the victims – sometimes to blame them or just avert their eyes.
      The other is that there are too many injustices fighting to be heard. I discovered that in fighting in a different cause for those victimized by life and was enraged by the indifference of the great mass of people I came across. Eventually I became resigned to the fact that people can only cope with so much, usually issues closer to their own experience, and everything else gets shut out.
      Understandably everyone’s injustice is the most important thing to them and they feel it should be to others or at least they should be heard. But with so many competing injustices it is difficult to know how to embrace them all without sinking into a mud pit of despair.

      • Odd thoughts about inferior/superior. I tend to see history in pendulum swings or as the I Ching has it – what goes up must come down and vice versa. Empires rise and then crumble into dust.
        I was in Southern Rhodesia briefly decades ago before it became Zimbabwe and was appalled at the treatment of the locals who were fed food the whites wouldn’t give to their dogs and kept closeted in huts at the bottom of the garden and not allowed back to their families. The old colonial families who had been there for a century were OK-ish, admittedly paternalistic, but relatively decent and got on well with the Africans. It was what I called the white trash who were ghastly and they obviously came into the country because it gave them a false sense of superiority – they had someone they could tramp underfoot.
        What struck me was there were ruins in Zimbabwe of a great civilization which was in existence circa 1200 to 1500 AD with evidence of a flourishing trade with China. None of that was promoted, then or now as far as I know. Yet it is one way of getting out of the ‘inferior’ identity. There was a time when Zimbabweans were a proud people and they can be again. Well not under this lot of gangster rulers but it could happen. It is what the movie Black Panther was getting at and why it was so successful – because it portrayed a powerful and successful African civilization (albeit in sci-fi land).
        I’ve also visited India several times and a few years back when India was booming economically you could see a distinct change in the Indians who held their heads high and exuded confidence. The Brits had spent a century making them feel inferior but they were coming into their own again.
        It is tough I grant you if you happen to be on the wrong side of history in one of the down swings and for that I don’t have any answers.

  2. I do hope the most wronged of all, Indian nations in the US rise up for reparations and restorations of lands. Friends in Santa Fe have said they have been leafleted about how their home is on ‘stolen native land’. High time the awful ‘reservations’ are disbanded and total lands at current value calculated and restituted somehow.Overall reassessment of property taxes should reflect this.The governor of NM should set an example.

    • The Catholic Church more than played its part in the perpetration of cruelty against the First Nation people. Recently I watched ‘1923’, part of the ‘Yellowstone’ franchise which includes a storyline about a young First Nation girl who escapes on of the horrendous institutions. ‘Their god burns and tortures them’ one of her relatives says of the Catholics.

      Incidentally, the actor Vincent Price did tremendous work on behalf of the First Nations people. He founded museums to promote the Indigenous Arts and integrated the into his curated collection for Sears so that these works could be shown alongside Picasso, Monet, Dali, etc.

      • Pres Andrew Jackson in his annual address to Congress in 1833 denounced Indians, stating, “They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race…they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere [before] long disappear.”. The 5 million survivors need restitution.

  3. For what’s it’s worth, Pluto transits in the national UK chart seem to be a reliable indicator of the periodic ‘race riots’ which spring up, seemingly randomly, in inner city England.

  4. Thank you Marjorie for covering a thorny subject, that’s for sure. A universal human condition until the British empire transformed the world by example and then enforcement.

    Further to what Hugh added, on the West coast of Canada most of the many first nations practiced slavery. Effigies of slaves were often carved onto totem poles to commemorate potlatches.

  5. Thanks Marjorie. A vast and complex subject, considering slavery’s equally vast and complex history across numerous cultures and nations. And hoping, personally, humanity is able to acknowledge the widespread horrors of modern slavery, and the vital need to address it.

    Re Britain’s historical involvement – the very first English voyage to capture African slaves and take them to the West Indies was made by Sir John Hawkins in 1562. It was a commercial undertaking, financed by a group of London merchants. It’s interesting to see that the Moon’s Nodes begin 1562 at 15 Aquarius, entering 29 Capricorn in October that year. Their path aspects the Neptune in Capricorn and the Uranus in Aquarius for the Abolition Act in 1833. Uranus begins 1562 in Pluto’s house, Scorpio, entering Sagittarius in November to begin the opposition to Neptune in early Gemini. Uranus is now moving from Taurus to Gemini to oppose 1562’s positions in the next few years. Pluto was in Pisces, as it was in 1807 – the Act VF mentions here.

    Also curious is the start of the Ottoman Empire. A vast empire, dependant on slavery for 600 years, it began in 1299. That year sees Pluto at 18 Aquarius, forming an opposition to Saturn in Leo that’s exact in 1300 at 20 degrees. Ottoman slaves came from Europe, Middle East, and Africa. About 5 – 20,000 Afro-Turks, descendants of the African slaves, still live in Turkey today. The Ottoman Empire is often overlooked in general popular history culture in the West – but it played a huge part in shaping our history for centuries, which is why I mention it here.

  6. Hi Marjorie, I seem to remember to have read that 1519 was an important starting point for slavery. There was a Saturn Pluto conjunction in Capricorn that year. This combination to me seemed particularly fitting for the theme of slavery. Saturn and Pluto together represent enchainment. The dark side of Capricorn is of course the most extreme materialism, to the point of making a business out of selling humans. As we have another Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn just behind us, it would be logical for the theme to recur

    • I read the following online: ‘In 1518, Fernando and Isabel’s grandson, Emperor Charles V, abolished the provision requiring slaves to be born under Christian dominion, and issued a charter allowing four thousand Africans to be purchased directly from Portuguese traders in the Cape Verde Islands and transported to the New World’. The fact that slaves no longer needed to be Christians to be sold, freed the way for the slave trade to escalate

      • “The fact that slaves no longer needed to be Christians to be sold, freed the way for the slave trade to escalate”

        Wouldn’t take it to that extent but it certainly removed some inhibitions.

  7. Thank you Marjorie for this – just a thought, but may be way out. Pluto was not discovered until 13 February 1930 – at 17 degrees 14′ of Cancer, (upset to family life amongst other things?)I tend to think and feel that the full resonance of Pluto only then came into our collective consciousness from that date – am not sure when the modern slavery requests for reparation etc, came about but, Pluto was at 17 degrees Capricorn (requests for financial reparation?) opposition to the degree it was first ‘discovered’ in March 2016 and seems to have gained momentum from then. In March 2016 Uranus was in Aries at 18 degrees, trined by Saturn in Sag. Jupiter 18 degrees Virgo, Sun 18 degrees Pisces, whilst Mars had just moved into, but not quite conjunct Saturn also in Sag. On 9th March 2016 their was an eclipse at 18 degrees Pisces, opposite Jupiter. Strewth!

  8. Thank you Marjorie. I notice Aries – outer planets in Aries seem to be connected in some way to the history of Slavery, so it’s interesting that transatlantic slavery begins under Uranus/Pluto in the sign. Also, I’ve looked at the natal charts of the Civil Rights luminaries with marked Cardinal emphasis as one would expect with those who drive progressive movements in history.

    The 13th Amendment on 31/1/1865 has Moon conjunct Neptune in Aries and Sun in Aquarius 11 degrees. Its North Node is at 4 degrees of Scorpio, the same degree as the South Node is currently. So transit Pluto will be squaring the 13th Amendment chart’s nodal axis and moving towards a conjunction with the 13th Amendment’s Sun in the coming Pluto in Aqua era. Meanwhile the 13th Amendment is due for its Neptune return in the coming years and as Neptune ingresses into Aries it will conjunction the 13th’s Moon.

    • The British Slave Trade Act 28 March 1807 I notice has 3 planets in Aries, Sun, Mercury and Venus with Venus making an opposition to Uranus in the final degree of Libra. I also note that apart from its square to the nodes in Sag/Gemini, Pluto in Pisces is conjunct BML.

    • Slavery existed in nearly all preindustrial civilisations to a greater or lesser extent. In the Roman Empire slaves made up anything between 10-30% of the population at any time. In the early medieval period the Vikings ran a very extensive slave trade in the peoples of the British Isles and Eastern Europe who were sold into Scandinavian, Byzantine and Islamic markets. Recent excavations have found hundreds of thousands of gold and silver Islamic coins turning up in Scandinavia which suggest the trade was on a very large scale. Bristol was shipping Anglo Saxon and Welsh slaves to the big Viking slave market in Dublin more than 700 years before it became involved in the Atlantic Slave Trade. One of the lesser known aspects of the Norman Conquest is that it ended that traffic. The change began at the Council of London held on 29 September 1102 jul. Interestingly that occurred with Uranus at 23 Taurus opposing Saturn at 21 Scorpio and Pluto at 13 Aries.

      One thing to note is that the Atlantic slave trade largely predated large scale formal European colonial expansion in Africa which really did not begin until the mid 19th century. In fact the driving force for the trade was the colonisation of the Americas which is where the market for slave labour existed. This was because the indigenous population had been decimated by contact with European diseases and there was insufficient surplus population in Europe to supply the demand for workers.

      The whole concept of reparations needless to say raises issues about the biggest victims of European expansion who were probably not Africans but the native peoples of the Americas and places like Australia whose entire cultures were eradicated. Strangely they seem to be largely forgotten.

      • Thank you Hugh for this – you are so right in what you say, especially in regard to those cultures which have been all but eradicated. Those shouting the loudest for reparations to be made, ignore the facts and act as if slavery did not exist before their time.

        • ‘Those shouting the loudest for reparations to be made, ignore the facts and act as if slavery did not exist before their time.’

          False statements as this are not helpful.

          • To reply with your own comment, Jennifer E
            ‘Furthermore none of that fight is more or lesser than another’s struggle. It’s just the same struggle with different hats. Some just shout louder and some fight harder. Nothing is lesser than. ‘

      • Very interesting Hugh, thank you. Indeed the ancient world was built on slavery, though one’s experience of hardship as a slave could vary. If you worked for a household you may have had better treatment than someone who was put to work in a mine for example, where you would be worked to death. There’s a fragment from 5th BCE century Athens where a man is being berated for appearing in the Agora with his slave who was observed to be better dressed than his master.

        Historically however, the transatlantic slave trade is much more recent and the ripple effect of the trauma it caused in the collective is still in evidence, particularly in the USA where the legacy of racism is all too visible. As recently as the 1960s, segregation, discrimination and poverty were rife and some institutions such as the Police openly racist. Old attitudes do not disappear overnight.

        • Thanks Hugh, and everyone. Yes the First Nations have been treated horribly in the US, Canada and Australia – and the terrible wrongs that were done to their children in these countries are simply unbearable to think about. Doubtless there are many other locations where similar things happened, in the name of politics and religion.
          Meanwhile, in the world today, forms of slavery remain. Possibly, Pluto in Aquarius will serve to highlight this, but generally people are reluctant to rock various symbolic boats. It’s about money, yes, but something deeper runs beneath in human society and needs exposing somehow. Perhaps Pluto will shine a light into that particularly dark place.

          One contemporary example is the kafala system in the Middle East, where there are millions of foreign female domestic workers living in unacceptable conditions. African and Asian women are often very badly treated, and have no real rights.

          “Many African and Asian countries have banned the recruitment of domestic workers for countries in the Middle East who subscribe to the “kafala” system.

          Under the system, foreign maids are legally bound to their employer and have limited rights.”
          BBC website

        • One of the key distinctions about the Atlantic slave trade is that the commerce was documented in great detail. There are records of the individual ships voyages, the number of slaves transported, the mortality among the both the African cargo and the ships crews, the receipts from sales etc. No other historical slave trade in the world has records remotely comparable. The probable nearest equivalent is the Ottoman Empire which ran its own slave trade parallel to the European one from the 15th to 19th Centuries. Ottoman customs records show about 2.5 million slaves being shipped through from the areas bordering Black Sea between 1453 and 1700 but the Sultanate was also importing slaves from Africa and elsewhere throughout that period. Both systems operated on an international scale and impacted millions of people. The main difference was that the Ottoman system was a continuation of a trade that went back to the early Middle Ages and continued in some form until the 20th century while the Atlantic slave trade was essentially created for one purpose which was to feed servile labour into the developing colonial exploitation of the Americas. The other distinction was that the European basically drew all their slaves from Africa so one racial group was victims whereas the Islamic world largely drew its supply from people of different faiths such as Christians, Jews and Pagans. In the west slavery largely collapsed in the 19th century because industrial economies found it cheaper to have a lumpen proletariat who could be engaged and laid off at will. At the end of the day if an individual ended up as a chattel slave then there experience was often similar no matter where they come from in that they lost their liberty, their family and their culture becoming someone else’s property to be bought, sold and transported across the globe.

          • i have it from an irish friend;
            Cromwell seems to have sold irish as slaves.
            But going historically much further back, egypt, greece and roman empire also had the use of slaves.

      • you are very right hugh. Slavery is so old as the world. And started probably with war ‘ s prisoners, but also around coast lines with razzia’s.
        Don t think slavery has disappeard. It still exists in different guises perhaps, but is still slavery

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: