Even before the Duke of Sussex’s autobiography, Spare hit the bookshelves, the chatter around it has been deafening. It is useful to take a step back and understand exactly what this means for Harry personally and for the Royal Family as a whole.
The world has been held in trance for the last three years as first the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision to step back from Royal duties followed by their incendiary claims and comments in a tell-all interview with Oprah and subsequent interviews and ‘truth’ bombs. The latest installment of this Royal tell-all is the Duke’s revelatory memoir, Spare publicly released on the 10th January 2023.
We may never be privy to the real reasons for Harry’s tell-all revelations but we can consider astrologically what the publication of this book reveals. This article will explore the Duke’s chart as well as the chart of the book’s publication and consider how it perhaps reveals some of his motivations and most especially the impact it will have on him personally as well as on his relationship with the Royal Family.
Looking at the chart of the book’s publication on 10 January 2023, set for London at midnight.[i] Libra is on the Ascendant, with the ruler, Venus ‘at the bends’ i.e. squaring the Nodal axis as well as trining a retrograde and out-of-bounds Mars. There is also a Moon-Saturn opposition straddling the Fifth-Eleventh house axis. Adding to this is Uranus trining a retrograde and combust Mercury which is conjunct the Capricorn Sun. Unpacking each of these statements will help in shedding light on the book and what it holds.
The Moon-Saturn opposition is probably one of the strongest indicators that this book centres on Harry’s pain with regard to his mother, Diana. The Moon’s position high in the chart suggests that she is prominent in his thoughts and underlies much of his pain. It also signifies how he identifies with her battles of isolation and low self-respect as well as feelings of abandonment.
It also describes Harry’s own grief at her death and his final separation from his beloved mother. The Moon rules the chart’s MC and underscores yet again her importance in his life and her influence which resonates throughout the material in the book. The Duke even acknowledges that his own battles with the British tabloid mirror his Mother’s experiences.
Saturn’s rulership of the Capricorn Fourth house reflects Harry’s focus on the Royal Family’s lack of emotional connection, its focus on collective tradition rather than personal connection and what he sees as reluctance to change. All these issues were the same concerns his mother raised in her public denouncements of the royal institution. This is not to say that they are not legitimate concerns but what is interesting is the repetition of issues from one generation to the next.
The ruler of the Libra Ascendant, Venus sits at 8 Aquarius in the Fourth house, squaring the Nodal axis, reinforcing the issues of family and tradition as well as highlighting the role of a ‘woman or women’ who are the catalyst of this crisis. The Nodal axis sitting across the Second-Eighth house axis with the North Node in the Eighth, in Taurus disposited by Venus emphasises this.
The book’s narrative highlights the role of the tabloid press as being instrumental in Harry’s decision to leave the UK and Royal duties. The book also outlines the Duke’s concerns for his family’s security and justifies the move away from the UK as an attempt to protect his family, especially his wife Meghan, who like his mother, had been at the centre of detrimental tabloid stories.
Venus also rules the Eighth house again reiterating the role of a woman/women as the source of the crisis or drama which has come to the fore and various situations are highlighted in the book.
The Libra Ascendant demarcates the beginning of the endeavour and Harry has repeatedly said he wants to ‘set the record straight’ and tell ‘his side of things’. In doing so, the realization of the actions causes difficulties for the family (Venus, lord of the First house, is in the Fourth house squaring the Nodal axis). However, the long-term outcome is signified by the Cancer MC whose ruler, the Moon in Leo is opposed by a powerful Saturn in Aquarius, in rulership. Saturn also rules the Fourth, reinforcing the role and impact of the family in this matter. Harry’s feelings of isolation and estrangement from them, his pain and grief at the loss of his mother, and his search for recognition based on ‘his story’ rather than the inherited narrative of his Royal birth as the ‘spare’ are crystallized in the Moon’s position and aspects.
Mars in Gemini is retrograde, out-of-bounds and in the Eighth house bringing a sense of danger and unpredictability. The effects of this Mars especially with its trine to the lord of the Ascendant suggests that the many ‘bombs’ being released create drama, crisis and even ‘death’. Mars’s rulership of the Second and Seventh houses also suggests that the effect on both his relationships and finances will probably be more difficult than imagined. The supposed revenue generated by the book may come at a higher cost as what has been revealed taints past, present and future relationships especially those with commercial connections. This can be seen reflected in talk in the USA that certain individuals named in the book, whose private correspondence or comments have been quoted, are now keeping their distance believing that their confidentiality has been compromised.
The Astrological Story
Placing the publication chart on the Duke of Sussex’s natal chart, the first thing we see is Uranus on the natal IC heralding the unexpected, tumultuous, disruptive and undermining influence it has on his relationships with the family and his heritage. The book is the physical manifestation of the Uranus ‘wrecking ball’ aimed at the Royal Family as it travels to conjunct the IC again as it turned direct shortly after Spare’s publication.
The Mars of the publication chart opposes Harry’s natal Uranus again stressing the anger and frustration which underscores the sometimes explosive revelations. Mars also has an underlying combative air of defiance, challenging anyone to dispute the matters revealed. Mars sits in the Duke’s Fifth house and is the lord of the Third house of siblings describing the competitiveness and also the closeness of their early years. William, heir to the throne is portrayed as both confidante and nemesis; a brother in arms and yet, the reason that Harry is brought into the world as the ‘spare’ who, in his own words:
“Willy was the Heir, whereas I was the Spare….I was the shadow, the support, the plan B. I was brought into the world in case something happened to Willy, …..Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow.”[ii]
Mars also describes the friction that the book has caused or the fact that it has stirred up the animosity that was supposedly simmering between Harry and William as a consequence of the women in their lives.
Transiting Neptune in the publication chart opposes Harry’s natal Sun, perhaps describing the nature of what has been disclosed: the personal, idealized and or imagined images of love and hurt, the loss and grief of the person behind the words, the revelations of deception and duplicitous actions that he believes he has been subjected to by others.
The publication chart Mercury conjuncts the Duke’s Ascendant reflecting the fact that the publication is an autobiography, “in his own words” the Duke lays out his life in three acts; childhood, the military and married life. Harry’s Saturn on the MC describes his social position and status as part of the Royal family. Saturn is the lord of the Capricorn Ascendant responsible for the realization of his primary motivation – a desire for physical and material security expressed through his position, career or status. In his book, the Duke expresses his frustration with his lack of a defined role and the absence of any direction as the ‘spare’. Mercury sextiles Harry’s natal Saturn and gives voice to the Duke’s concerns of being controlled or stifled by the structures and authorities that have surrounded his entire life as well as always being the ‘second fiddle’ to his brother.
The publication’s Ascendant at 13 Libra sits in the Duke’s Eighth house conjunct Venus, again echoing the role of women in his life: his mother, Camilla, Kate and Meghan. All three are/were powerful women who, in one way or another serve as major figures at the turning points in his struggle for relevancy.
The publication’s MC sits in Harry’s Seventh house echoing the rifts with others that have come or are coming. As the Seventh house is also the house of contentions and open enemies, there may be others who take umbrage at the revelations or simply what the book stands for: an individual revealing his pain, standing up to perceived manipulation or a merely a swipe at entrenched institutions and positions.
In conclusion, this article is a short exploration of the astrology behind the publication of Spare. It is an interesting insight into one person’s experience of the Royal family, their grief and hurt at the loss of a beloved parent as well as a seeming lack of support for his wife and life direction. What the astrology does tell us is that every action we take is mirrored in the heavens and if we really want to understand the motivations that underpin the book, then look at the charts.