2 Jul 2008

Our valuable National Health Service

The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain was 60 years old this week. It was first rolled out as a service on 5th July 1948 at Park Hospital, Manchester. The chart is set up for noon; there's no way of knowing when the NHS was actually "switched on"! The BBC are featuring different aspects of the growth and development of the NHS in their news bulletins all week.

The NHS is said to be the envy of the world, yet it has also come in for much criticism over the past few years. My own experience of it as a patient and parent is mixed - very good in parts, somewhat lacking in others, but taken overall, a highly professional service which we should celebrate and cherish. It was created by Clement Atlee's Labour government after the Second World War; up until then, all health services had to be paid for. You can read about its history here.

What clues does the chart give about the NHS? The shaping/motivation is Dynamic, indicating a flexibility, the urge to change and move on and the ability to adapt to changes along the way. This is true beyond doubt. The NHS has embraced technology and the life-saving tec
hniques now available in hospitals and health care would probably seem like pure sci-fi to the nurses and doctors of the early days.

The colour balance in the chart is 4 red: 1 green: 3 blue. Red dominates, in the form of the Efficiency triangle, suggesting the NHS has always been an active, hard-working entity. This could be reflected in the long hours that junior doctors work, and the long shifts worked by nurses. If this were the chart of a person, I'd be wanting to explore the lack of green aspects. These bring awareness, the gathering of information and ability to think, ponder and use ideas. The chart is short changed here, with the emphasis on red/blue aspects. These together give a more either/or approach - things tend to be seen in black and white with few shades of grey, and it may be that the NHS has had to tread water furiously at times, just to keep going. The introduction of performance targets doesn't allow much space or time to be "green". Patient care and quality people time can suffer here.

The stellium of Moon, Mercury, Venus and Uranus are all part of both the red Efficiency triangle and the red/blue Ambivalence figure and suggest a blend of creative ideas laced with a need to care. In the Efficiency triangle these planets oppose Jupiter, holding in tension the active "doing" energy ready to be released by Mars at the apex. Mars will deliver the goods in the form of the service itself and the hard work that is required to maintain high standards. Jupiter is the somewhat lonely tension ruler of the chart, but is an important significator of the ability to learn and gather wisdom through first hand experience.

There is one linear aspect, the one-way red square between Sun and Neptune. This speaks to me of the ideals of the NHS, the original premise on which it was founded - to offer health care free for all with there no longer being the need to pay. Yet Neptune is comparatively isolated and relies on the caring Cancerian Sun being awake and aware, always with an ear open to heed the selfless and compassionate ideals of which Neptune might whisper.

With no time of "birth" to work with, it's impossible to say exactly what might be taking place in the NHS chart's Age Progression. However, in general terms we do know that age 60 puts the hand of the LifeClock slap bang on the 11th cusp. In terms of planetary cycles, age 60 heralds the 5th Jupiter return, when transitting Jupiter is conjunct natal Jupiter, so a re-evaluation of all that has been learned and experienced to date, together with moving forward into a new cycle of growth could be possible. Age Point entering the 11th House signals a more discriminatory approach to contacts, friends made, and ideals shared. The harvest of all that has gone before can be enjoyed, but the way forward is with greater sensitivity and a more refined choice of the contacts made.

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