The Hong Kong Handover

© 1997 Hamish Saunders
Hong Kong has been part of the territory of China for centuries. It was occupied by the British after the Opium War in 1840, and taken by Britain on the 25th January 1841.1

A chart cast for 12pm on that day places the Sun at 5° Aquarius, exactly conjunct the Moon and Ascendant in the chart of the People's Republic of China. 

The restoration of Chinese rule to Hong Kong at 00hrs, 1st of July 1997, (the "long cherished aspiration of the people of China"), is preceded by the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction in Aquarius on this chart's Sun and the Moon/Asc. conjunction in Aquarius on the People's Republic of China chart, suggesting a continuation of free-market policies after the handover. 

The fourteen year Jupiter/Uranus conjunction cycle is, according to French astrologer, Andre Barbault, one of the predominently capitalist-oriented cycles. He sees it also as an important factor for rebellion against the status quo, whatever that may be at the time. He says: "This gives rise to power, ambition, audacity, risk-taking, excessively extremist behaviour. In a constructive phase it is a most powerful agent for change and progress. In a society in crisis it can cause highly volatile situations to erupt without warning and an atmosphere of acute tension. In this state it has a particularly dangerous 'war mongering' potential."2

It is also interesting to note that the Full Moon in June, immediately prior to the hand over, falls on the Gemini Saturn placement of the 25 January 1841 chart, suggesting an end to British occupation. 

On the 19th of December 1984, the Chinese and British governments signed the Joint Declaration in Beijing, affirming that the People's Republic of China will resume sovereignty of Hong Kong. After July the 1st Hong Kong becomes known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (S.A.R.), and will function under the principle of "one country, two systems". Hong Kong's current capitalist way of life will continue and the Mainland's socialist system will not be practiced. This is the foundation of 'The Basic Law' of the Hong Kong S.A.R., which is to hold effect until 2047. The general principles of 'The Basic Law' are to ensure that the region maintains a high degree of autonomy and legislative and judicial power, and the rights and freedom of its citizens are safeguarded. Civil liberties will be guaranteed, however, foreign policy and defence matters will be determined by Beijing.

The Astrological Perspective.

The United Kingdom:

The chart I have primarily used for Britain is the January 1st, 1801, Foundation of the United Kingdom chart, set at 00hrs LMT for Westminster, though also of interest is the Battle of Hastings chart of 1066. 

Britain took control of Hong Kong in 1841 with transiting Pluto aspecting both the 1801 and 1066 charts' natal Plutos, and it relinquishes control on July the 1st with Pluto again transiting the natal Plutos. Also of significance is transiting Saturn squaring the 1801 Moon and the 1066 Midheaven. So as you can see this is a major loss to the United Kingdom. 

By secondary progression, the 1801 retrograde Saturn is now direct and conjunct its natal position and conjunct the AS/MC midpoint; indicators of a loss and departure. Solar Arc directed Moon triggers theSaturn/Moon's Node midpoint and reinforces the potential for separation. 

At the midnight hour the Sun conjuncts the natal Midheaven, opposes its own natal position and semi-squares natal Saturn. The Sun at Midheaven is symbolic of sovereignty and Sun opposition Sun is loss of power. Transiting Mars conjuncts the UK's Ascendant indicating a decisive moment, and the Ascendant, relocated for London, conjoins the natal Neptune suggests all is not as it seems from the British perspective. The Moon comes into opposition with natal Neptune, implying the telling of untruths and deception, and Mercury squares the Moon's Node, which is appropriate for a negotiated activity. A fortunate trine from Uranus (though retrograde) is made to the Ascendant suggesting the changeover goes smoothly. 


China, of course, has everything to gain and nothing to lose. So, obviously this is shown in her chart, which is set for 1 October 1949 at 3:15pm CCT, Beijing. This chart, representing communist rule and modern China, has been very accurate over the years for reflecting China's major events since 1949. From it, it has been possible to recognise The Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the death of Mao, the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the current Hong Kong handover. 

On July 1st the principal transit has to be Uranus to the natal Ascendant by conjunction; change doesn't come much clearer than this. In addition, Uranus aspects the Venus/Jupiter midpoint indicating joyous excitement and the quick fulfilment of wishes. Transiting Mars conjoins China's Sun, which is a bit worrying as it implies militant inclinations. Venus opposes the Moon and the Moon opposes Venus, which has its positive and negative possibilities. Positively, there is hope for a peaceful integration of cultures, negatively, the rights of the citizens (particularly free-thinking women) may be compromised. The Moon's Node contacts the Moon's Node/Midheaven midpoint, which roughly translates to a unification of like-minded people.

Most alarming, however, is the transit of Neptune over China's Mercury/Mars midpoint: "Speaking without acting, not keeping promises, the tendency to harm others through falsehood or underhanded behaviour, the process of undermining another person's position" COSI 3

The implications of this midpoint are enormous, and are not made less by the following Solar Arcs: Solar Arc Mars semi-squares Pluto = AS/MC; Solar Arc Uranus semi-squares Sun = Pluto/Midheaven (a sudden attainment of one's aim or aspiration with irresistable power); Solar Arc Neptune = Mercury/Jupiter, "the tendency to bamboozle or mislead other people, a person successful in deception" (COSI); and the Midheaven directed to Neptune and Mars/Saturn which suggests undermining forces (if China should renege on its promises the backlash will be destablising internationally).

The Hong Kong Handover Chart:

There is friction in this chart! Mars, the Ascendant ruler, is in the 7th House, in poor zodiacal state in Libra, and its dispositor, Saturn, is in the 1st in its fall in Aries; both are peregrine. Applying the medieval rule that the good or bad of a house is signified by the ruler of the house, doesn't fill one with great optimism in this case; Mars and Saturn are angular, making their ability to wreak havoc strong in partnerships and alliances. 

Social issues will be contentious: Jupiter and Uranus are retrograde in Aquarius, and Jupiter is peregrine. Democracy will be weakened. The Sun and Mercury are combust in Cancer in the 4th. Domestic matters will be a constant issue and a certain lack of objectivity will prevail - the new Hong Kong will not be able to see itself as others see it. 

The best feature of the chart is, appropriately, the 2nd house. The foundation stone of Hong Kong, its 4th house, has its ruler, the Moon, here in the 2nd and in Taurus, conjunct the Part of Fortune. The Moon is the strongest planet in the chart, and the chart Almutem as well. Hong Kong will continue to be a major financial centre despite its internal conflicts. This will be the case for at least the first nine years under the Moon's Firdaria. However expect restrictions to come into effect after this period which will last for about 11 years as Hong Kong enters its Saturn Firdaria (and remember Saturn is destructive in this chart). 

By midpoint, Neptune sits on the Sun/Moon and Pluto on the Mars/Neptune. The former will be triggered by directed Saturn during the Saturn Firdaria at the same time as the latter is activated by the directed Sun in 2007, on the 10th anniversary of the handover. Should be interesting to watch.

1 "Mundane Astrology" by Baigent, Campion & Harvey, pp 466. 
2 Andre Barbault, "Mundane Astrology" by Baigent, Campion & Harvey, pp 187. 
3 COSI is an abbreviation for The Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin