Benedetto Cairoli – A Short Stay in High Office

Benedetto Cairoli was an Italian left wing politician who began life as a volunteer in the revolutionary forces of Giuseppe Garibaldi in the struggle for Italian unity. He went on to become Prime Minister of the united Italy twice but only held office for 2 and a half years in total.

Benedetto Cairoli

In Capricorn Research’s collection of 1473 charts of politicians, the most common Sun sign is Aquarius with a score of 152 against an expected average of 123. It would be interesting to note how many of them were left wingers, but this research has not been done because it would require subjective judgements in some cases. As Aquarius is the most politically radical sign, its appropriate that Benedetto Cairoli had the Sun there.

Its also quite common for left wing politicians to have the 6th sign, Virgo strong in their charts. Virgoans are not personally rebellious in the way that Aquarians usually are but they do have a natural tendency to support and work on behalf of the have nots in society. Benedtto’s Sun is also in the 6th house reinforcing this theme. The Sun in Aquarius in the 6th house with Virgo rising would be a natural fit for someone who was both an activist and a left wing politician.

Politicians in high office also score highest with the Sun in Aquarius which is reflected in the sample of 299 Political Leaders giving them 128% of the average figure. Virgoans are generally more content to work hard behind the scenes and not to take the credit for their efforts, leaving the pursuit of the limelight to others and the Leaders group do not have Virgo or the 6th house strong.

Benedetto has the Sun in opposition to Jupiter, an aspect that occurs 37 times rather than the expected score of 29 in the politicians sample. Jupiter will always expand whatever it touches so any aspect with the Sun would be useful in a political career. The opposition, however does not help to take you to the very top scoring only 78% in the leaders sample compared with the very significant figure of 144% for the Sun / Jupiter conjunction.

The part of the chart to look for in terms of the career is the very top of it. Benedetto has the Moon exactly conjunct the Midheaven. The Moon is an auspicious planet to have here but it does indicate that there will be change. The Sun by house would generally point to an area of life that the individual feels most comfortable and at home in. Unless other planets intervene by aspecting the Sun, you would expect a certain consistency of behaviour in that area. When the Moon is in a house, the view is that experience tends to be more changeable, to go through phases is the common interpretation.

Benedetto has the Moon in Taurus, which does add some stability, but the feeling is with the Sun in the 6th opposite Jupiter and Virgo rising that he would be more comfortable in the ranks than in the lead.

The other problem is that the Moon is conjunct Saturn so anything that the Taurus Moon gives him would be taken away fairly quickly.

Another important point is that this Moon / Saturn / Midheaven conjunction is the apex of a T square from an opposition between his Ascendant and Mars in Pisces in the 7th house. So Benedetto would be thrust ( apex T Square ) towards high office ( Moon conjunct Midheaven ) by his support for the workers / underdogs ( Virgo rising ) and his military achievements ( Mars ).

The problem is that the same symbols in opposition would also bring about his downfall ( apex Saturn ).

Benedetto commanded a volunteer company under Garibaldi in 1860 and was severely wounded at Palermo with Pluto creating a T square to his Sun / Jupiter opposition. He continued to fight on and conducted the negotiations with German chancellor, Bismarck in 1870 that helped pave the way for Italian unity.

Benedetto’s rise to political power is a perfect example of the T Square at work. Mars is in Pisces and this sign is often linked with personal sacrifice. The prestige personally acquired by Benedetto Cairoli was augmented by that of his four brothers, who fell during the wars, ( Mars in Pisces ) and by the heroic conduct of their mother ( Moon in Taurus at the very top of the chart ).

His refusal of all compensation or distinction ( Virgo rising ) further endeared him to the Italian people. When the Left came into power, Cairoli, became parliamentary leader of his party, and, formed his first cabinet in March 1878 so the result was the apex Moon / Midheaven conjunction. Naturally Pluto was transiting conjunct his Moon and Midheaven in 1878.

He did not last long as Premier. After the unification there were areas with Italian-speaking communities within the borders of several surrounding countries. Benedetto  pursued an Irredentist policy seeking to annex all those areas particularly the Austrian controlled Trentino as he had just married the countess Elena Sizeo of Trent. He allowed the Irredentist agitation to carry the country to the verge of a war with Austria.

This resulted in failure at the Berlin Congress, where Italy obtained nothing, while Austria-Hungary secured a European mandate to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In December 1878 an attempt by an anarchist to assassinate Italy’s King Humbert at Naples caused Benedetto’s downfall, in spite of the courage displayed and the severe wound received by him in protecting the king.

Really you could not make this up. He married ( Mars in the 7th house ) a countess from a dispersed community ( Mars in Pisces ) which prompted him to wage war ( Mars ) on behalf of the dispossessed ( opposite Virgo rising ). The result was failure ( very close T Square apex to Saturn ). The assassination attempt ( more Mars ) involved personal sacrifice and wounding ( in Pisces ) but still resulted in his downfall ( Mars square Saturn in the 10th house).

In July 1879, with Pluto still conjunct his Moon, Cairoli returned to power. He was a natural Francophile and was naively confident ( again Mars in Pisces ) in French assurances, and the belief that Britain would never permit the extension of French influence in North Africa. This prevented him from foreseeing the French occupation of Tunis  and as a result in 1881 he resigned from office and disappeared from political life ( Mars square Saturn in the 10th ).

It is widely recognised by historians that Benedetto Cairoli attained high office having  fought for a generation in the cause of national unity, but was not up to the responsibility of political leadership due mainly to an ignorance of foreign affairs which unwittingly impeded the political development of his country.

But we could have told them that by looking at his chart.

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