Anthony Blunt – The Art of Espionage

Anthony Blunt was a British art expert who was exposed as a Soviet spy. He was known as the Fourth Man and attended Cambridge with Donald MacLean and Kim Philby, who, along with Guy Burgess formed a spy ring in the 1940s, turning over thousands of documents to the Russians.

Anthony Blunt

The first thing that comes to mind is the extraordinary similarities in terms of house positions and aspects to the chart of double agent George Blake

George Blake

The Sun is in exactly the same place in both charts, in the 7th house but moving towards the cusp of the 8th. Blake’s chart showed how the combination of intensity and secrecy of the 8th sign Scorpio with the fine balancing act of the 7th house set the scene for a life as a double agent.

This is only the start, however. Its quite unusual for a chart to have two T Squares and it usually accounts for an extremely busy and volatile life. Blake and Blunt have two T Squares and both incredibly with Mercury and Pluto as the apex planets.

Of course Mercury is particularly important in the chart of a spy because it rules intelligence. In Blake’s chart Mercury is in the 8th sign and the 7th house, for Blunt its in the 7th sign and the 8th house. Both T Squares include the deceptive Neptune in opposition to planets in the ideological 11th house.

Pluto is the planet of the insurgent revolutionary, often operating underground but to have powerful explosive impact. Blunt and Blake both have Pluto as an apex planet in T Squares involving an opposition between Saturn and one of the three most important points in the chart, in Blake’s case the Ascendant and for Blunt, the Sun.

Blake’s Mars and Blunt’s Uranus mirror each other in house positions.

It seems we have uncovered the astrological signature of the Cold War spy.

There are of course differences between the characters of the two men and these would be indicated by the signs. Planets basically are life energies, signs are how they express themselves, houses are what areas of life they will act in and aspects are how these energies will work together. So Anthony Blunt and George Blake have their principle energies operating in the same fields and working in the same ways, their only difference is in their characters. Their personalities couldn’t have been more different.

Blake was an operational spy, a kind of James Bond figure out there in the field. He was imprisoned by both sides and staged a remarkable escape to the Soviet Union. The Sun / Moon / Ascendant combination of Scorpio, Leo and Aries summed him up perfectly. This fiery combination is Action Man.

Anthony Blunt had all the major personality significators in Air signs, the Sun in Libra, Moon in Gemini and Aquarius rising. Air is the element of intellect, it has an aesthetic lightness of touch and is centred around communication of information rather than action.

Blunt was a Royal courtier, a third cousin of the Queen Mother and a full-time participant in the establishment. He was aloof and dignified with a cool head, his major life work was that of expertise in French art and architecture. He was at one time “the most powerful and influential man in British art history “.

The Sun and Venus in Libra conveys artistic taste and sensibility, it gives a love of all things beautiful. Venus’ position at the apex of a Tsquare would ensure a prominent place in the art world.

Venus also rules relationships, particularly when its in Libra and in the 8th house of sex. Blunt’s Venus is the focus of an opposition between the two most unconventional planets, Uranus and Neptune. Blunt was homosexual ( Venus in Libra in the 8th square Uranus ), a fact that was a closely guarded secret ( square Neptune ) even from his older brother Wilfrid, who was also gay.

Some people knew of Blunt’s role long before his public exposure. In 1948, George VI’s private secretary, told an ex army officer when passing Blunt in a corridor in Buckingham Palace,  “That’s our Russian spy.” Remarkably, under the circumstances Blunt continued to live in England until his death in 1983 without ever being imprisoned as a traitor. In fact, with Pluto square his Moon in 1956, he was even knighted for his contribution to the arts.

In 1963, MI5 learned of Blunt’s espionage from an American, Michael Straight, whom he had recruited. Blunt confessed in  April 1964, and the Queen was informed. In return for Blunt’s full confession, the British government agreed to keep his spying career an official secret for fifteen years, and granted him full immunity from prosecution. Interestingly, Uranus and Saturn formed a T Square to Blunt’s Gemini Moon at the time, a perfect astrological symbol of sudden ( Uranus ) confession ( Moon in Gemini ) of one’s crimes ( Saturn ).

When George Blake was discovered he was sentenced to 42 years in prison. He had a difficult square aspect between the Sun and Moon. The Sun rules the self and the Moon governs the responses of other people, when they are in square aspect the individual will frequently find themselves in an unsupportive environment. Anthony Blunt had the Sun and Moon in a easy, harmonious trine aspect showing a natural sympathy between his life and the responses of others. So for the same offence as Blake, Blunt got away scott free and was allowed to keep his knighthood. But even with a Sun / Moon trine in Air signs his good fortune could not last for ever.

Blunt’s two potent apex planets were Mercury and Pluto. When they came together in 1979, his treachery ( Pluto ) would be communicated through a book ( Mercury ). Blunt’s role was represented under the name Maurice in Andrew Boyle’s book, Climate of Treason in 1979.  Blunt tried to prevent the book’s publication, which was reported in the magazine Private Eye.  Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher revealed Blunt’s wartime role in Parliament and appropriately Thatcher’s Sun was conjunct Blunt’s Mercury. He was finally stripped of his knighthood and lived the last 4 years of his life in seclusion trying to avoid the media.

Anthony Blunt was an art historian but his greatest skill was how to get away with espionage.


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