On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, shocked the Royal Family and the rest of the world by announcing their intention to “step back” from royal duties and retreat into a more private life. The couple plan to divide their time between Britain and North America, most likely Canada, as they work toward building a new life and becoming “financially independent”.
Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, was reportedly given just ten minutes’ warning before the couple announced this intention in an Instagram posting: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”
Rumors of discontent as she settles into her new status as a royal and a mother, leaving Meghan harried and frazzled, have circulated throughout 2019. The British tabloid press has been hard on her, with allegations of dog-whistle racism, prompting Harry to comment, ”I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
Just how the couple will support themselves is an issue, with the British taxpayer currently funding their security and living expenses in return for the performance of official duties. The Sussexes contemplate a sort of hybrid life, where they would step away from the public but retain a connection to the Royal Family.
Coming so close to the imminent Saturn/Pluto conjunction on January 12th, one suspects that this dynamic duo may have something to do with the timing of this announcement.
And one would be right. Saturn/Pluto can be read as “transformation (Pluto) of official roles (Saturn)”, and also as “loss (Saturn) of personal power (Pluto)”, even “scandal (Pluto) involving responsibilities (Saturn)”. That this combination affects Harry very personally is confirmed by asteroid Henry, Harry’s given name, at 23 Capricorn, close beside the transit pairing of Saturn and Pluto at 22 Cap, and the degree at which their actual conjunction will come off in a few days’ time. Harry’s in the thick of it, all right.
Mercury and the Sun fast approaching from 16 and 17 Capricorn brings the situation to light (Sun) and lands it in the news (Mercury); their conjunction with asteroid Rip (for the acronym “RIP”, “Rest In Peace”) at 12 Cap and square to asteroid Atropos (named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death) at 13 Aries signals an ending or transformation in circumstance, while the square to asteroid Prinz (German for “prince”) at 20 Aries also ties Harry firmly to events.
The couple is also represented by asteroid Duke, which at 14 Scorpio conjoins TNO Typhon at 12 and asteroid Meghanshea at 19 Scorpio, one of two PNA referents for the duchess. Typhon, named for a mythic sea monster from which we derive our word “typhoon”, represents storms, trials and tribulations, being caught in the whirlwind or maelstrom of troubles. This can indicate both the issues that brought them to this decision, and the fallout from it.
These square asteroid Lachesis at 19 Leo, signaling a termination of some sort (Lachesis is named for the Greek Fate who determines the span of life), and forms a loose T-Square with a cluster of late-Aquarius points, including Regina at 21, Venus at 23, Damocles at 24 and a precise pairing of asteroids Achilles and Meghanarao at 27 Aquarius (the alternate PNA for Meghan Markle). This depicts a weakness or vulnerability (Achilles) focused on the duchess (Meghanarao), based in how the couple relates or interacts with others (Venus), which constitutes a doom hanging overhead (Damocles) involving the Queen (Regina). Regina squared Duke/Meghanshea indicates antipathy between the couple and monarch, though Regina’s conjunction with Meghanarao suggests the Queen may have some sympathy for the duchess’ position.
Royalty in general is represented by Jupiter, and here we find the King of the Gods at 8 Capricorn, surrounded by Requiem (named for the funeral mass for the dead) at 6 and Rip at 12 Cap, squared Atropos, making three change/transformation/ending indicators in all interacting with royal Jupiter, which also rules publicity. These and the Sun/Mercury conjunction also oppose asteroid Elisabetha at 12 Cancer, once again putting the Queen at odds with the decision (Mercury) and its public revelation (Sun).
The Saturn/Pluto conjunction makes a very emphatic statement in the charts of both royals as well, particularly for Meghan, where it falls close upon the 24 Capricorn Descendant, strongly affecting relationships in ways which limit, restrict (Saturn) or transform, not to say devastate (Pluto). Meghan (born 4 August 1981, 4:46 AM PDT, Canoga Park, CA; Rodden Rating AA) is also enduring her first square of Pluto to its natal degree of 21 Libra, a time of claiming one’s power, but which can also feel traumatic and overwhelming. Also here is asteroid Atlantis, in exact square from 23 Libra, adding to the sense of being deluged, flooded, or “underwater” by responsibilities or duties (Saturn) which are crushing or overpowering (Pluto).
Saturn/Pluto is also exactly semisquare Meghan’s natal asteroid Henry at 8 Sagittarius, with natal Meghanarao close beside at 6 Sag, and sesquiquadrate a grouping of natal asteroids Requiem, Panacea and Asclepius at 6, 9 and 10 Gemini. The Duke and Duchess (Henry, Meghanarao) seek a quick fix (Panacea) to end (Requiem) their perceived ills (Asclepius).
Oddly, the conjunction activates both Harry and Meghan’s natal asteroid Eurydike (Meghan’s in opposition from 21 Cancer, Harry’s conjoined from 21 Capricorn). Eurydike represents a desire to return to a prior time, viewed as a golden age, and incorporates elements of nostalgia; but that time is passed, irretrievable, and cannot be regained. For Meghan the situation is exacerbated by natal asteroid Nemesis conjoined Eurydike from 25 Cancer, on the 24 Cancer Ascendant; she feels opposed or threatened from every quarter (Nemesis) as she tries to enact her new image (Ascendant), and so retreats into the past (Eurydike).
For Harry (born 15 September 1984, 4:20 PM GDT, Paddington, England; Rodden Rating A), in addition to the Eurydike connection, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction closely trines his Sun at 22 Virgo, with natal Atropos and Meghanarao at 23 Virgo, suggesting that the duchess (Meghanarao) is the root cause of the change (Atropos) to his self-image (Sun). That’s confirmed by the transit Sun at 17 Capricorn exactly squaring his exact Venus/Meghanshea conjunction at 17 Libra; Harry is making this break for those he loves, who are his main focus (Sun). Saturn/Pluto in trine to his Sun gives him the strength (Pluto) and endurance (Saturn) to enact the change (Atropos) impelled by his wife (Meghanarao).
The recent Solar Eclipse at 4 Capricorn on December 26th fell on his stellium of asteroid Icarus, Jupiter and Anubis at 2, 3 and 8 Capricorn, all conjoined his 11 Cap Ascendant, bringing matters to a head. This indicates a crisis point (eclipse) has been reached, resulting in a rash decision without due reflection on the consequences (Icarus), regarding a termination or change (Anubis, named for the ancient Egyptian deity governing funerary rites) in his status as a royal (Jupiter), which affects how others see him (Ascendant). Transit Jupiter was inflating the situation from 8 Cap, exactly conjoined Anubis, prompting the severing of ties.
The ground for this change was likely prepared months ago, when transit Neptune came to its retrograde station at 18 Pisces on June 20th, exactly conjoined both Harry’s natal TNO Albion, a former name for Britain, and his Lachesis. Harry has been feeling disillusioned and disappointed (Neptune) by his life in the UK (Albion), and chose to bring an end to this period of his life (Lachesis) via self-exile and isolation (Neptune). Transit Albion has been traveling with Uranus for most of the year (now at 7 and 2 Taurus respectively), reflecting the numerous shocks (Uranus) to the British (Albion) body politic which have shaken the country to its core, of which Megxit is just the latest.
What’s next for Harry and Meghan? Probably an attempt to focus on their nascent brand “Sussex Royal” and its budding line of endorsed products, and a bit of house-hunting on two continents, if their decision to “step back” means they lose the lease on Frogmore Cottage, recently refurbished with public funds for their use. Canada has been mooted, and is a likely destination, with Harry’s natal asteroid Canada-Assandri at 27 Leo in square to his 21 Taurus Moon, and Megan’s 4 Libra Moon conjunct her Canada-Assandri at 12 Libra.