A Referendum to amend the Australian Constitution in 2023 will enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. There is a strong possibility that it will occur on a Saturday in October 2023. This article examines the potential outcome of the Referendum. It considers selecting a particular October Saturday. It also investigates the events leading up to this historical event from an astrological perspective. In so doing, it illuminates First Nations peoples’ fight for justice and healing.
Announcing the Referendum
The first step proposed wording for the Referendum to amend the Australian Constitution. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced this on 29 July 2022. The pattern in the chart for this day reflects the underlying tension of this complex situation.
The announcement occurred a few hours after the Leo New Moon. It tapped into the positive healing energy of Moon/Sun trine Jupiter/Chiron in Aries. This pattern advocates for the voice of the dispossessed. A fixed cross of stability and determination led by Leo Mercury opposite Aquarius Saturn suggests dramatic reform. The square to Taurus Mars applying Uranus/North Node hints at unexpected twists in path ahead. Further complications are evident in the opposing Scorpio South Node, which brings passion and compassion. This is due to the trine from the node to Venus in Cancer and Neptune in Pisces. Venus sextile Mars/Uranus suggests a creative edge, Pluto sextile Neptune coming off the South Node trine also adds to the unpredictable quality of this energy.
What is the Voice and how will it work?
The proposed wording for the Referendum contains three parts:
“There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.”
“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to Parliament and the Executive Government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.”
“The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.”
The Voice will be a 24-member panel, with gender parity.
- two members from each state (12)
- two members from the ACT, Northern Territory and Torres Strait (6)
- five members representing remote communities (5).
- one member representing Torres Strait Islanders living on the mainland (1).
Major historical events leading up to the Referendum
Several representative bodies, political protests, petitions, and unkept promises preceded the Voice Referendum
26 January 1938
The Aboriginal Progressive Association holds a Day of Mourning in Sydney. They protest the callous treatment of Aboriginal Australians and demand full citizen status and equality.
In this chart, a Mars/Chiron/Neptune T-square shows the wounds articulated through this action. A vocal Sagittarius Moon/North Node trines Pluto at the end of Cancer. This taps into Saturn in the first minute of Aries. The malefic undertone of this chart speaks of anger and suppression (Mars/Saturn). Uranus is in Taurus square Aquarius Jupiter and trine Mercury in Capricorn. These signs are both traditionally ruled by Saturn. This is a good foundation for structural reform.
16 February 1958
Aboriginal lobby groups form the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement, the first united national body for Aboriginal interests. They begin a 10-year campaign to change the constitution.
On this day, a Sun/Saturn sextile brings hope for reform while Sun applying trine Jupiter in Scorpio indicates emotional strength. Pluto opposite the Sun quincunx Venus suggests hidden forces. But there is support for ending old patterns and hope for collective renewal as Jupiter sextiles Pluto trine South Node. Futuristic Mercury opposite dramatic Uranus energises the Council.
18 June 1962
Australian Parliament passes a landmark Act. The Act will give all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the option to enrol and vote in Federal elections. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were first treated like other voters in 1984. They had to to enrol and vote in elections.
12 February 1965
Charles Perkins and a group of 30 students travel to towns in New South Wales. They protest discrimination and poor living conditions. Known as the Freedom Ride, this unprecedented protest demonstrated that Aboriginal people could stand up for themselves.
27 May 1967
Over 90 per cent of Australians vote “Yes” in a referendum. This allows the Federal government to make laws for Aboriginal people and enables their inclusion in the national census. The Act took effect on 10 August 1967.
There is an exact Yod with apex Aries Saturn, Virgo Venus and Scorpio Mars. This clearly defined an important landmark in the fight for Indigenous emancipation. Jupiter/Sun in Leo reinforced the dramatic change in opportunity that the legislation represented. The energy of this union comes into apex Aries Saturn via a trine. Libra Moon opposition Aries Saturn is indicative of the tense balancing act. Making progress with new structures and rules will be tricky.
26 January 1972
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra began with four men crouched under a large beach umbrella in the rain. They are protesting the Liberal Party’s policy on land rights. The Tent Embassy fights for Aboriginal Sovereignty. The Australian Black Sovereignty movement is against the Referendum. They argue that the Voice does not recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty.
12 June 1988
Prime Minister Bob Hawke receives the Barunga Statement. This is a painted declaration of Aboriginal aspirations on a 1.2-metre-square sheet of wood. He calls for a treaty.
A powerful trine between Pisces Mars and Scorpio Pluto shows the strong feelings associated with this event. There is an award-winning song ‘Treaty’ by Yolgnu band Yothu Yindi. Saturn and Uranus are at the end of their conjunction in Sagittarius. This day carried spiritual significance as depicted by the arrow shaped aspect pattern. A tight stellium of Sun, Mercury, Venus in Gemini is perfect for the presentation of a written statement. Moon/Jupiter in Taurus represents the festive atmosphere in which the event took place.
5 March 1990
The Government establishes the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) as a legislated body. It aims to represent Indigenous people, elected by Indigenous people.
Pisces Sun sextile Capricorn Neptune form a Yod with apex Leo South Node, indicating leadership issues around fraud or addiction. Pisces Mercury trine Cancer Jupiter prioritises community and family connections and Sun trine Chiron supports emotional healing. Chiron opposite Uranus/Neptune in Capricorn shows the inherent tension. This is between increasing business enterprise versus day-to-day management of difficult social issues arising from old wounds to family. Pluto square the Nodes rang the death knell for this plan.
15 April 1991
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody presents its report . It recommends a formal process of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia.
3 June 1992
The High Court’s Mabo decision rejects ‘terra nullius’ and recognises the existence of native title. The decision led to the passing of the Native Title Act 1993. This provides the framework for all Australian Indigenous people to make claims of native title. The Bill passes the Senate at 11:58pm on 22 December 1993.
Chiron rising in Earth-bound Virgo trine Scorpio Jupiter shows the pathway to healing loss and restoring health. Saturn square Pluto indicates that this is a serious challenge to core structures of the State. Aries Moon applying Mercury/Venus in Sagittarius invokes the powerful warrior energy behind the Mabo case. Spiritual and ethical rights upheld through a new approach depicted by the sextile to Aquarius Saturn. Sun/Mars in his own sign of Capricorn ensured that Prime Minister Keating’s party was victorious in the Senate. However, Moon applying square Uranus/Neptune signifies political resistance to this change.
6 February 1995
The ATSIC report Recognition, Rights and Reform says constitutional reform is a priority. It finds overwhelming support for recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution.
27-28 May 2000
A gathering of Indigenous people presents Prime Minister John Howard and the Governor-General with a Roadmap for Reconciliation. The next day, over 250,000 people walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They show support for reconciliation in the largest political demonstration held in Australia.
24 March 2005
The government abolishes ATSIC due to corruption investigations. Virgo Moon sextile Cancer Saturn puts the spotlight on problems in the family structure of the organisation.
In this chart, Virgo Moon square Sagittarius Pluto suggests upheaval. Retrograde Mercury opposite Jupiter retrograde shows a decreasing ability to fight for justice and communicate with conviction. There is a sense of loss and wounding from debilitated Venus applying to the exalted Sun. Themes of separation, frustration, and exhaustion are apparent in sextile Chiron applying to Mars in Aquarius. Pluto in the Twelfth House reflects the deep and painful memories of institutional racism that ultimately underpinned this action.
21 June 2007
Mal Brough, Minister for Indigenous Affairs announces The Northern Territory Intervention. It restricts the consumption of alcohol and pornography (including complete bans on both at some communities). It also brings a change to welfare payments. And change to the delivery and management of education, employment and health services for Indigenous people in the Northern Territory.
On this day, malefic planets Mars, Saturn, and Pluto formed a Grand Trine. This enabled the Government to control the lives of Indigenous people. While some women and children benefited, there was resentment. The use of military force and the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act generated opposition. This is evident in the Moon/Node/Jupiter T-square, which stunted communication and hope. Chiron opposite Venus shows the heart-breaking loss of freedom and autonomy. Saturn opposing Neptune suggests a heavy-handed approach to charitable action. Sun at 29 Gemini is conjunct the Fixed Star Betelguese. This indicates “success which is not blocked”. Pluto opposite to this star seals the fate of this blatantly racist intervention.
16 October 2007
Prime Minister Howard pledges to hold a referendum on constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians. Labor leader Kevin Rudd promises bipartisan support.
13 February 2008
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Sorry to the Stolen Generations for damage caused by government policies.
This emotional event has Pisces rising. The modern chart ruler Neptune is conjunct Sun and Chiron in Aquarius in the people’s 11th house. The reformist language of Rudd’s speech seeks to inspire and activate change. Pluto is only a few days into Capricorn. It is in a powerful position on the Midheaven and opposed by Mars in Gemini. This signifies a defining moment in Australian politics with enormous healing intent as shown by Capricorn Pluto trine Virgo Saturn.
8 November 2010
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announces plans for a referendum to acknowledge Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
7 December 2015
The Referendum Council jointly appointed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten. It’s task is to advise on next steps for a referendum.
26 May 2017
Uluru Statement from the Heart released. This historic consensus position on Indigenous constitutional recognition crafted by over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates.
Gemini New Moon trine Jupiter in Libra inspires the generous and optimistic tone of this announcement. A vibrant push for new and innovative work to bring about change is evident in Saturn/Uranus/Node Grand Fire Trine. Chiron apex T-square Mars Saturn indicates a willingness to be flexible and compassionate in the context of strong opposing forces. However, Venus is separating from a square to Pluto. This is bringing tension to the relationships, which is playing out in the lead up to the Referendum.
Probable outcomes if the Referendum is held on a Saturday in October 2023
Saturday 7 October 2023 is not a favourable option for several reasons.
Jupiter is quincunx the Sun, which decreases the opportunity for expansion and growth. A Cardinal Grand Cross between Moon, Mars, Pluto, and the Nodes suggests intense anxiety. This could be what many Indigenous people are experiencing about the Referendum. Confusion and deception could prevail on this day. This is due to Neptune rising when the polls close at 6pm. Voters may hold back on expressing their feelings due to Venus opposite Saturn. Or voters may be confused about the the power implications due to Venus quincunx Pluto. Mars in the 8th house suggests the loss of a fight for justice. Uranus trine Pluto could start rebellious or destructive events.
The second Saturday
Saturday 14 October 2023 is a potentially positive choice. With Jupiter unaspected, this important planet of growth and success will not have a strong influence. A Solar eclipse and Libra New Moon at 4:55am the next day (15 October 2023) may complicate the result. Mercury’s involvement in the eclipse suggests that messages about equality, justice and harmony will be vitally important. The eclipse coincides with the tally of votes. Brady’s description has a haunting tone. This day ought to be avoided.
The immense power, anger and force of the Mars square Pluto is channelled into this family of eclipses via the trine. The individual experiencing this series will find that huge obstacles will suddenly and easily clear or, on the negative side, a pending potential crisis will suddenly manifest and move through his or her life very rapidly. Either way the individual will feel that everything is moving at a great speed. Brady (1992:318)
Saturday 21 October 2023 is the most favourable date for the Yes vote. The Moon trines Venus and Jupiter in Earth signs benefits the people, shows a caring attitude, and has practical values.
Chiron Aries rising when voting closes at 6pm heralds a new era of relations between the State and Indigenous peoples. Issues of power and equality are evident with the Sun square Pluto. This harnesses the energy of the Nodes signifying a transformative event. The Sun applying to Saturn in Pisces and the South Node quincunx Neptune in Pisces suggest compassion and empathy. These are key elements in a campaign for the Yes vote to triumph.
Saturday 28 October 2023 at 6pm in Canberra shows Aries Ascendant conjunct Chiron quincunx Venus in Virgo. This dynamic suggests healing old wounds and caring for others.
Mars energy fires up the T-square apex Pluto in 10th house square Aries Moon opposite Scorpio Sun. This is good for restructuring relations between the people and the government. However, the applying square from the Moon to Pluto signifies a battle. This could be between impulsive action and government reform, which could produce an angry response. Mars/Jupiter opposition in fixed signs reinforces conflict. This could evoke deep rooted feelings. The messaging could be too emotional under the Scorpio Sun. A Lunar eclipse at 5am and a Taurus Full Moon at 7:24am on Sunday 29 October 2023 suggest conservation of the status quo rather than reform.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have battled against prejudice and genocide. They had their children stolen and their land, rivers, seas, and mountains over run. Despite attempted annihilation, Indigenous people produced the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which proposes three steps: Voice, Treaty, Truth. This Referendum represents an attempt to claim a space in the national psyche for a First Nations voice. A Yes vote in the Referendum could change the nation’s destiny. From an astrological perspective, the most favourable date to hold the Referendum is Saturday 21 October 2023. The chart for this day taps into the energy of this struggle and supports a new era of power relations.