Second Battle of Homs, 1281.
What strange times we live in.
I never thought I’d see the day when Republicans oppose Democrats clamoring for war, or when a United States president says he can do whatever he wants regardless of disapproval by Congress and an overwhelming majority of the American public – ironically, in a bid to punish a dictator. It would be funny if it weren’t for the possibility it could lead to a world war.
So much for Hope and Change. Then again, you can be certain that big change is on the way. And while it may not be what you had in mind, there is no stopping global geopolitical cycles. Even the superpowers can’t control the outcome. Fortunately, astrology can help us understand the underlying forces at work.
The “Arab Spring” uprisings began in late 2010 and rapidly spread throughout the Arab world, including Syria, as Uranus approached a square to Pluto. By August 2011, the square was close to exact, but then Uranus turned retrograde. Uranus represents rebellion, so it was predictable that the protests quieted somewhat (to the extent that one can predict anything when Uranus is involved). In Syria, however, President Bashar al-Assad maintained that the protests were instigated by foreigners, and he took swift and ruthless action to crack down on the opposition – a classic manifestation of Pluto in Capricorn. In July 2012, not long after the first exact Uranus-Pluto square, the Red Cross declared that the Syrian uprising had escalated to a civil war. A few days later, opposition forces bombed the National Security headquarters in Damascus, killing several high-level officials. Assad’s brother reportedly lost his left leg and use of his left arm.
Assad’s claim that foreign interests instigated the protests is doubtful. There was legitimate protest against his government’s repressive policies. Still, it didn’t take long for the opposition to be hijacked by outside forces, so he wasn’t entirely wrong. It’s no secret that the CIA was involved, along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which is financing the rebel coalition and sending arms. We also know that there are more sinister groups fighting with the rebels, including al-Qaeda mercenaries. They are said to be far more effective than the army of the official opposition, due to their brutality. What we don’t know for sure is whether they, too, are supported by the CIA and the Saudis. The possible reasons for CIA involvement are complicated and beyond the scope of this article, but I’ll provide some links below (and, as usual, invite you all to add to the list).
We don’t know Assad’s birth time, but even without it, one clearly sees a Plutonian personality, complicated by a stubborn refusal to compromise, especially not with those who are a threat to his survival, real or imagined. In another bit of irony – uncanny, actually – Assad was seen as the Hope and Change president when he inherited the notoriously repressive government of his father in 2000. But the people were quickly disappointed when the new boss turned out to be not much different than the old boss.
What I find particularly interesting about Assad’s chart is how it fits into the current astrological pattern. He was born during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the mid-1960s (on September 11, no less). As I’ve noted several times, that was the beginning of the cycle that is now reaching a crisis point with the Uranus-Pluto square, which is exact seven times between 2012 and 2015. Not only does Assad have Uranus and Pluto conjunct, but both conjoin his Sun. A Sun-Pluto personality is controlling, to say the least. Assad’s militant anti-West, anti-imperialist stance can be attributed to this triple conjunction. Virgo is an astute political observer and gets his facts straight, but controlling information is part of Sun-Pluto’s power play.
Click on image to enlarge
Opposite this grouping, we find a conjunction of Saturn, Chiron, and the Moon in Pisces (without a birth time, we don’t know the exact degree). There are many ways to interpret this, but the first thing that comes to my mind is his family heritage, with karmic wounds of being a persecuted religious minority. Although both groupings have an out in the Mars-Neptune conjunction, this is a somewhat dark aspect, possibly accounting for his paranoid need for secrecy and control of the media. He does have a nice trine from Venus in Libra to Jupiter in Gemini – a good bit of luck and perhaps the one ray of hope that he is willing and able to compromise. But it’s very clear, with a chart like this, that he will not even consider negotiating with the current opposition coalition, which is demanding that he step down as a precondition to attending peace talks in Geneva.
President Obama is overall more likely to compromise, but not now, given current transits to his natal chart. Obama is right in the thick of Monday’s Mars-Saturn square. As he prepares to make his case to the nation in a speech on Tuesday, Saturn is approaching a square with his Sun, a marker for obstacles and constraints, which is indeed what we’re seeing. Mars, meanwhile, is about to conjoin his Sun, and the Sun is conjunct his natal Mars at the same time – a double Sun-Mars conjunction. There’s no doubt that he’ll speak forcefully, but this is a hot-headed transit with an inflated sense of confidence. Saturn is transiting Obama’s ninth house, a favorable placement provided that one remains in learning mode and doesn’t assume he has all the answers before completing the curriculum. To do so can bring one’s downfall, and the ninth house has legal implications. Note also that Saturn and the lunar North Node are conjunct Obama’s natal Neptune. There is an opportunity here for him to return to his ideals. It is often the case that when we stray too far from our purpose in life, we run into roadblocks that force us to reset our inner compass, and usually not in a manner that is convenient or comfortable. A defeat in Congress could be the best thing to happen to Obama. It just might save him from himself.
In last week’s forecast, I mentioned that the New Moon chart for Washington indicated an animated debate among the public. That indeed has been the case. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see record numbers of people calling and writing to their elected officials. For many, it’s a question of tending to our own pressing needs first. But many of us don’t want to cause further suffering for the Syrian people, and we don’t buy the twisted argument that bombing their country will advance the cause of freedom and democracy. People aren’t buying the same old lies anymore, and an astonishing number realize this is a proxy war. The backlash has been so furious that we may be heading for our own American Spring.
The national conversation continues, but with Mercury in Libra as of Monday. Facts and details will be less important than a sense of justice. Obama and his advisers have been seeking to convince the public that Assad should be punished for his crimes, but others are calling for a fair and impartial court to determine who used chemical weapons and what should be done about it. Mercury in Libra will cover every pro and con before weighing the evidence.
Venus, ruler of Libra, remains in her home sign until Wednesday and then enters Scorpio. Whatever we may be talking about publicly, there will be a lot of backroom deals being made – not that you need an astrologer to tell you that, but it bears repeating that those with ulterior motives are going to a whole lot of trouble to divert attention and keep the populace under control.
Mercury squares Pluto on Saturday and opposes Uranus on Sunday (September 14-15). Lies can be repeated over and over, and eventually people will believe them. But that’s not a given in this new, untested environment of an informed and irate public. People aren’t relying on the mainstream media anymore, either, because they know they’re being handed rewritten press releases. Searching for reliable information is taking us to some strange and unfamiliar places. Last week, for the first time, I visited the Russian Times website. I grew up in the Cold War, when we dove under the desk for air-raid drills. Everyone knew Pravda was the Soviet propaganda machine. How times have changed. Not that RT is any less biased than The Washington Post or Fox News, but it’s a place to read stories you won’t find in the Western media. Mercury in a T-square with Uranus and Pluto speaks truth to power. Under a trine from Mars in Leo to Uranus on Saturday, we can find the courage to speak up and do things we might never have imagined we were capable of.
Mars-Uranus connections also can signal unexpected developments, especially with Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries. And with Mars squaring Saturn, Uranus provides the “outlet,” so impulsive actions in response to being boxed in are possible. This could be the case for Obama, considering that his Sun is being transited by Mars, Saturn, and Uranus at the same time.
In our personal lives, the Mars-Saturn square could manifest as a certain amount of frustration. This will be particularly true if you’re being overpowered by someone else. Hauling off and telling the boss to go to hell probably isn’t a good idea. Mercury in Libra reminds us to stop, count to ten, and think the situation through. If you do need to address a slight or injustice, bring it up, but don’t push until next week. The same goes for personal relationships. Sometimes getting everything out of your system is a good strategy, but this week it’s not likely to get you anything but more heartache.
The only other aspect this week I haven’t mentioned is the trine from Venus to Neptune on Saturday, late Friday in Western time zones. This is a good aspect for sexual intimacy and breaking down the emotional boundaries that prevent spiritual bonding. Friendships can benefit, too. I can’t think of a better aspect for going out for drinks with a best friend and sharing your deepest secrets.
Looking ahead, we’re steadily moving toward the next Uranus-Pluto square, which is exact on November 1 – two days before a solar eclipse conjunct Saturn in Scorpio. Developments in Syria are a run-up to this turbulent time period. Whether or not Obama calls for air strikes on Syria, the next two months are likely to be nerve-wracking. I do believe that widespread public protests will change the course of history, but not necessarily by preventing our government from military aggression against a country that has not attacked us. That train has left the station, and it seems to me that the powers involved have too much at stake to just drop their toys and go home. From an astrologer’s perspective, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll sail through a Uranus-Pluto square without incident.
Comet ISON, April 10, 2013. NASA, ESA, J.-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute)
There’s another interesting phenomenon coming up that could provide a hint of things to come. Comet ISON is now within view in the Northern Hemisphere. You need a telescope to see it, and early observers
say it isn’t exhibiting any of the “comet of the century” dazzle they were hoping for. That might change, though, and it’s even possible ISON will be visible during the day in late November.
Ray Merriman made some interesting comments in his forecast this week about comets as harbingers of the fall of a leader or shift in power. We will see both if Assad is forced out, and I think it’s possible he will be, given the “signs in the sky.” ISON currently is close to Mars, planet of war. By the end of the month, they will be even closer as they move in unison into the constellation of Leo. Asad, also spelled Assad, means “lion” in Arabic. President Assad’s grandfather earned the nickname for his activities during the French occupation and adopted it as his family surname.
In October, ISON and Mars begin moving toward conjunction with Regulus, a bright star in Leo. Regulus, the “heart of the lion,” is one of the four royal stars of Persia and considered since ancient times to be a sign of the king. The conjunction is closest on October 17, the day before a lunar eclipse in Mars-ruled Aries. Even though ISON probably won’t be visible, an eclipse with a comet conjunct Mars and Regulus seems to be an overwhelming message that someone’s going down. I suppose it could Obama, who’s a Leo. ISON was discovered in Russia, home to the president’s nemesis Vladimir Putin. Still, I sense something bigger. Pluto currently is conjunct the Sun in Syria’s chart by exact degree, where it will come out of retrograde next week. A Pluto-Sun conjunction strongly suggests destruction in order to be transformed, and the Sun in a country chart represents the leader. It’s hard to imagine at this point how such a transformation could take place without a change of leadership.
Here are some of my favorite links for this week:
This site was started by a former Associated Press reporter who broke many Iran-Contra stories. There are several good stories on Syria. Take your pick.
Saudi intelligence chief with ties to CIA and Bush works to build support to topple Assad
Syrian officials worried more than a year ago that rebels would stage a chemical weapons attack and pin it on the government
Much love and courage to you all,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.