Arabia... when Mars attacks
On Monday May 12, 2003 at 11:15pm, terrorists in Riyadh shot their way through into three compounds housing western visitors. Three car bombs were ignited. A fourth exploded in the early hours of Tuesday morning. This attack occurred hours prior to a visit by US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
A few days before this incident, on May 7, the Saudis foiled an alleged terrorist plot against their government, seizing a cache of weapons including five suitcases filled with explosives. Despite the ensuing vigilance, the May 12 terrorist attack claimed 34 lives.
Saudi Arabia, the desert kingdom of the Persian Gulf, is the birthplace of prophet Muhammad (born in Mecca, 570AD). When Muhammad captured the city of Mecca for Islam in 630AD, it profoundly changed forever the political and religious foundations of the Middle East.
Currently the oil-rich House of Saud rules the largely urban population of 20 million, most of whom are Arab Sunni Moslems. The arid country is the world's largest oil exporter, its economy driven by the Western world’s energy demands.
Despite its vast potential wealth, Saudi Arabia is a classic dichotomy of materialism and spirituality, globalisation and indigenous culture.
There have been three Saudi states, at approximately 80 year intervals in 1744, 1824, and 1902. In 1982, implying another new era, the current King Fahd assumed the throne. But an incapacitating stroke cut short his rule, leadership then entrusted with Crown Prince Abdullah. Illness however hasn’t cut the ailing King from Forbes magazine’s roster of the rich, where he’s named the world's richest monarch, estimated worth: US$20 billion.
Yet the House of Saud is a house divided. A cavernous schism has developed between the Saud royal family and the general populace. Massive protests in the streets of Riyadh preceded the US invasion of Iraq this year, and the kingdom was reserved regarding commitment to US objectives. With the government under severe strain already from 15 per cent unemployment and massive foreign debt, US military presence on the 'sacred' soil of Islam made matters worse. And despite Prince Abdullah's widespread condemnation of Islamic terrorist acts, their funding leaves money trails back to Saudi Arabia.
In light of recent events, 2004 may well escalate such tensions.
Historically, Modern Saudi Arabia began about 3:45pm (local time) January 15 1902, when Sultan Abdul Azziz (Ibn Saud) captured the capital, Riyadh. A birthchart based on this event, then superimposed by the planets at the time of the Riyadh bombing, shows ominous connections.
First, the chart when Riyadh was initially captured, experienced a Mars return – where Mars, the planet most identified with violence and war, returns to the part of the sky it previously occupied. This corresponds exactly with the Bali bombing on October 12, 2002 when a bomb ripped through a Kuta nightclub killing more than 200 people. Indonesia experienced a Mars return that same day.
In the case of the terrorist attack in Riyadh on May 12 2003, Jupiter, Mercury and Neptune accompanied Mars, intensifying its energy. So much so, the attack was not surprisingly 'jihad'-style. Jupiter and Neptune (exactly opposed currently in the sky) pits religion against monarchy. In a national chart, the Moon usually rules the public and here Saturn challenges, coinciding with public mourning or loss.
The Saudi nation was born with Uranus (rebellion) opposing Pluto (power) and as the current Pluto opposes itself and joins Uranus (exact to within five minutes of arc), the terrorists struck.
Looking to the future, this same area is highly activated in October and November, 2003, a time when increased terrorist activities might be expected. Mid-2004 may also be significant, as the second half of that year sees considerable pressure on the Royal family.
The Riyadh chart works well historically. For example, the death of King Abdul Azziz on February 9, 1953 featured a Saturn/Neptune square (illness) to the Sun (leader) and Jupiter (royalty).
On May 23, 1994, the Riyadh horoscope had a conjunction of Uranus and Neptune fall across the Sun/Jupiter union. That day 270 pilgrims died in an accidental stampede at Mecca.
Symbolically, the chart squared itself in the 1990s, implying tremendous tension and change. On January 3, 1992, King Fahd made sweeping changes to government institutions, from federal to provincial. That change corresponded with Operation Desert Storm in which Saudi Arabia backed the US-led assault on neighbouring Iraq, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
After that war, the US insisted on Saudi Arabia paying $US51 billion in repatriation. Continued presence of US (known as ‘the infidel’ to many fundamentalist Saudis) troops on holy soil has incited public rebellion and terrorist activity.
Because of his militant opposition to the US and the Saudi Royal family, the Saudis eventually stripped wealthy Saudi businessman Osama Bin laden of his citizenship. This escalated underground terrorist activity and development of the Al Queda network.
Of the 19 terrorists considered responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Towers, 15 were Saudi nationals.
From approximately 9pm on Friday May 16, 2003, another series of four terrorist bombings in Casablanca, Morocco, left even greater carnage. Normally a moderate Muslim country, more than 200,000 Moroccans marched in protest against US involvement in Iraq. Morocco experiences the May 31 Solar Eclipse right across its birth Sun. A Solar Eclipse is considered an ominous warning for leaders.
It's probably no coincidence that on the day Amrozi, the smiling assassin of Bali, stood trial for his crime, elsewhere around the world co-ordinated terrorist activity was revived.
Footnote: Another decisive moment in Saudi Arabia's history is the formal proclamation of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom, said to have taken place 22 to 23 September 1932. The Saudis declare September 21 (beginning of the Autumn Equinox) their national day. This chart, instead of a Uranus/Pluto opposition, has the planets in square, re-iterating the same powerful theme of rebellious undertones. On the day of the Riyadh bombing, Saturn squared the Sun in this chart.
© Ed Tamplin May 17 2003