Scotland’s national and cultural identity is defined by our sense of place, our sense of history and our sense of self. It is defined by what it means to be Scottish and to live in a modern Scotland in a modern world. It is the tie that binds people together.
The Scottish Government has now officially begun its campaign for Independence, and her people will decide their own fate two years from now. Much is at stake, and I believe the motivation of the Scots could not be more profound than when considering national identity and Scotland’s potential new place in the world.
Naysayers declare that independence is a retrograde step on their envisioned road to global connectedness and the blurring of national identities. But the culture of a nation is an integral part of individual identity and sense of belonging - a macrocosm of family. And based on the evidence of natural systems, to deny distinct nationhood and to homogenize would be a backward step, since the modern evolutionary view is toward selective specialism that co-operates with, and adds distinction to, the whole.
Fractal geometry is Nature’s elegant and beautiful signature, as she takes a simple shape and iterates it over and over into the most incredibly beautiful and complex structures. A tree iterates its shape from the macrocosm, the trunk – through the branches and on outward to the smallest twig in almost infinite self same repetitions. A view of a piece of coastline, smaller each time, will repeat the larger view. Highly evolved systems contain ever more complex and distinct expressions and patterns which are nonetheless fully connected and meaningful parts of the whole.
We are distinct expressions, or fractals, of a greater whole – family, community, national culture, species, biosphere, and so on. And we are also the greater whole of a vast conglomeration of trillions of individual cells that have intelligently assembled together and assumed distinct families and ‘nations’ that form the different systems of our living bodies. The cellular nations co-operate and work in full harmony with their neighbouring nations. They remain distinct, fulfilling specialized yet integrated roles within the human biome. As a planetary nation, is Scotland now ready to take her place and fulfil her own unique role within the biosphere?
I found a commonly used ‘date of birth’ for Scotland – the crowning of King Malcolm II at Scone on 25th March 1005 at noon and calculated a chart for Scotland. In this short article I cannot do full justice to a nation and her history – but looking at just the most significant stand out qualities of the chart, her recognisably passionate and proud nature stands out.
A Leo Ascendant denotes a distinct flair, a nation motivated by pride and the need to convince others of her courage. The Ascendant shows vitality, willpower and maybe a slightly exaggerated sense of her own importance. Leo is not naturally a subordinate, but a leader.
With Sun in Aries and Moon in Gemini, Scotland is a restless, argumentative nation that is yet thoughtful and reflective. She is volatile, and her people are quick to make friendships, and also quick to lose interest. A small nation of just over five million, Scotland has generated a disproportionately large number of world-changing inventions, and significant developments in science, medicine, engineering and the arts.
Mars and the Sun in the tenth house indicate a fiery, exuberant confidence that is bold and proud, and this somehow makes Scotland’s wounds seem all the harder to bear. Saturn is rising close to the Ascendant and squared to Mars – a clear indication of her sense of threat from an aggressive oppressing nation. In the thousand years of her history, Scotland has suffered many calculated acts of oppression by England. Her spirit was brutally wounded at Culloden, Glencoe, the Highland Clearances that created the first diaspora of her peoples, the suppression of the Gaelic language and the wearing of traditional dress. And even today, her bright spirit carries the reverberations of impotent rage and pain at the memory of what was done to her.
Although having many friends in the world and an abundance of natural, intellectual and other gifts, Scotland suffers from a frustrating sense of limitation and a lack of confidence. She suffers an inferiority complex and and worries about taking the wrong direction. She is responsible and caring, yet she needs to love herself more and recognise that she underestimates her abilities.
Looking more closely at the Chart, it contains a Yod, with Moon and Mars in sextile, both quincunx Pluto in the fifth house. In addition, Chiron is in the midpoint between Moon and Mars, forming an opposition to Pluto. This is complex indeed, and indicates that Scotland’s great flourishing of inspiration, invention and genius is wrapped up with issues of self-worth and self-esteem. All of her creative outpourings spring from a deep desire to be recognised, safe and accepted in the wider world.
Pluto acts as the engine of invention, generating powerful creative impulses, and her achievements are a source of much pride. There is also great intensity, a kind of all-or-nothing passion about this individualistic nation mother – and in areas of entertainment, the arts and recreation she is rarely light-hearted. Beneath her pride and passion is a jealous, obsessive and controlling heart that fears loss and betrayal.
Scotland’s acquired emotional defences habitually block her emotional expression. She holds her hurts deep, to be remembered forever. However, positively the Moon in Gemini indicates her willingness to reflect deeply on her emotional problems and try to resolve them. Scotland endures a deep seated need for emotional security and acceptance.
Her fundamentally fiery and adventurous nature has abundant drive and ambition, yet she often undermines her own efforts and is puzzled about why. This nation both seeks, and fears, to take ownership of her own power and independence. So often in her history Scotland has had to cut her losses and begin again after expending considerable effort. She must overcome this paradox if she is to take her full place in the wider world.
There is something in the Scottish psyche that appears to be addicted to pain. Struggling with an undefined guilt is part of this, along with a high and clear humanitarian vision. Scotland may feel she cannot overcome her obstacles, but this is not true and the opportunity is now coming for her to learn what she really can do. Scotland, my beloved country, you have been surrounded by energies that have weakened you. You need to stretch up and work for an ideal that is even higher than yourself, an ideal you can idealize and respect.