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It's all here... the 2016 Yearly  Predictions plus Pluto In Capricorn

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JAN 31

THE GREAT CHRONOCRATORS

Prior to the discovery of the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the cycles of Jupiter and Saturn provided the key to astrological political prediction. The ancient stargazers had for years plotted the movements of these two gas giants – the largest planets of the solar system. They were uniquely referred to and revered as the Great Chronocrators.

This term is derived from the Greek language and literally refers to a time lord, or planets ruling a specific period. Saturn was the slowest moving visible planet with a cycle of thirty years. This seemed to key in with the New Moon period of thirty days. Such correlation may have led to Saturn’s acknowledgement as Chronos, or Father Time.

Jupiter circumnavigated the heavens over a twelve-year span. The two planetar cycles would synchronise once every twenty years. Over a longer period of 60 years they would also mmet at a similar position in the skies. The 60-year cycle formed the basis of the twelve Chinese astrological signs and elements. There is also a larger 794-year time frame when the whole cycle repeats.

THE 60 YEAR SIGNIFICANCE

The current Jupiter Saturn cycle began back in May of 2000 and was part of a planetary line up in Taurus. That month every visible planet, plus the Sun and Moon moved through the sign of the Bull. Therefore it is important to look back at the year 2000 in determining the prospects of 2016. The reason for that is that both Jupiter and Saturn are at a critical turning point of their cycle this year, called the closing square.

The intermediate 60 years cycle is also useful to revisit. That takes us back to 1940/41 when WWII and European Jewish incarceration was in full swing. The war atrocities became a vital factor in the formation of modern Israel. It accelerated Jewish emigration into Palestine. At the time the British attempted to control this human wave via a parliamentary act, known as the White Paper.

Britain’s White Paper stipulated an independent Palestine, jointly run by Arabs and Jews. The Jewish immigration was to be limited to 75,000 people over five years. Following that would depend upon Arab consent. In response to the British decision the Jewish Zionist movement formed activist cells such as Irgun, who would later commit terrorist attacks upon British installations. The platform was being laid for the great divide of today between Israel, Palestine and the Arab community.

Fast-forward to year 2000 and the Jupiter Saturn conjunction occurs at 23 degrees of Taurus. This is the degree of the Sun position at the creation of the modern State of Israel on May 14 1948 at 4 pm in Tel Aviv. It is also opposing the Sun degree of the Palestinian Independence Proclamation, made at 01.38 am on November 15 1988 at Algiers. This Jupiter Saturn conjunction occurred square to rebellious Uranus. Something had to give. Click here for the biwheel.

During the millennial year of the conjunction, the leaders of both countries were meeting with the then US President Bill Clinton, to hammer out a peace plan to end decades of hostilities. The square to unpredictable Uranus was a signal that this wasn’t going to go as planned. Neither side could agree to the other’s conditions. This diplomatic failure and the subsequent frustrations felt by the Palestinians led to the Second Intifada or uprising in September that year.

THE CURRENT CYCLE

This Jupiter Saturn cycle would act as a potent timer to subsequent developments in the differences between Israel, Palestine and its Arab allies. A key is the position of the Taurean Sun in the horoscope of Israel. It lies in the eighth house of death, transformation and other people’s possessions. The deaths are naturally war related, the transformation involves the need to change. The other people's possessions involve illegal land settlements.

The cycle works as well today as it did for the prophets of old. The Jupiter Saturn square of 2006 immediately brought new developments. The paramilitary organization Hamas claimed a surprising victory in the Palestinian elections. It also uniquely timed the beginning of a major Israel Lebanon war. This conflict claimed hundreds of casualties on both sides, destroying vital infrastructures. The bombing of a Lebanese oil terminal created the worst oil spillage ever in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Jupiter Saturn opposition of May 2010 was bound to provide another critical turning point and it did. In the early hours of May 31, Israeli commandos raided an international aid flotilla bringing supplies to Palestinians living along the Gaza Strip. Ships were detained, all media information confiscated and nine protestors were killed. The incident brought Israel international condemnation and created worldwide protests. But it also put the deplorable living conditions of Gaza into the global spotlight.

THE JUPITER AND SATURN SQUARE

The Jupiter Saturn closing square is about to reform in late March and will remain active until June 2016. The tensions between Israel and Palestine are once again building to a new climax. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, last week condemned Israel settlements on Palestinian land. He declared, “the settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to destroy the two state solution.” He continued to condemn the stifling polices of fifty years of occupation.

Response was swift and expected from Israel’s Prime Minister Bin Netanyahu. He claimed the United Nations had “long ago lost its neutrality and moral power". Netanyahu’s government has recently approved another 150 new homes to be built on the Palestinian farmlands of Jericho. The relentless land grabs and the attack on the UN chief, has forced France to take a stand.

The French Foreign Affairs Minister, Laurent Fabius, has pledged to renew efforts to resolve the Israel Palestine differences with an international peace summit. He has also promised to officially recognize a Palestinian state should such talks should fail. In the last 4 months, Israeli forces have killed 165 Palestinians and at least 25 Israelis have also been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians.

The Jupiter Saturn cycle again seems to be tracking the trends. The upcoming square is synchronistically bringing this ongoing saga into the international arena. Already governments in Britain, Spain and France have voted for the recognition of a Palestinian state in a two state solution. Israel and the US have long resisted, but now even the USA are coming on board.

As time goes on with little progress, trust and hope evaporates. Yet the coming square may be a critical turning point and one that requires courage and vision from both sides. The Jupiter Saturn cycle dictates that this is one of the most important conflicts of all to be resolved. It lies at the base of many others throughout the Middle East and even the world. It is important not only to the future of Palestine but also the long term security of Israel.

JAN 24

CHINA

In World Predictions for 2014 I anticipated a tightening of the Chinese economy in 2015 and an expanding potential for international incidents. This was partly based on the progressing Sun of the People’s Republic of China horoscope (October 1 1949 @ 15.01 hours Beijing) squaring contracting Saturn. The tightening is necessary as Saturn also represents responsible – and necessary – restraint.

China’s economic restructuring continues through 2016, although one also must keep in mind that their progressing Venus also is yet to meet progressed Jupiter, so all is not lost. As for the ringed planet representing structure, China's construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea is triggering international concern. There are historical and planetary parallels to what may lie ahead in 2016 in the maritime realm.

Little known in the west, one of the greatest naval battles of all time took place on China’s largest freshwater lake, from the morning of August 30 1363. All told over 850,000 combatants were involved and over a thousand wooden vessels. This decisive conflict led to the Mongol Yuan Dynasty being displaced by the rising Ming Dynasty, who governed for the next three centuries.

The epic naval encounter occurred as expansive Jupiter in Virgo opposed king of the seas Neptune in Pisces and Mars moved through Scorpio. It’s a planetary pattern that recurs this year. In late May 2016, the T-Square of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune will overlay the Jupiter/Neptune positioning of the Battle of Poyang. The early June Grand Cross will also highlight the same degrees – which may mirror the mood of those times.

POWER IN THE CHINA SEA

The US, for starters, is claiming Chinese island construction threatens established trade routes. Interestingly, the first US commercial boat to the then exclusive trade port of Canton, was the Empress of China. It berthed on August 30 1784, the same calendar date that the Battle of Poyang began. Venus and Mars were then occupying the middle degrees of Virgo, where this year's mutable T-Square will return from late May.

The Chinese say they are just reclaiming old ancestral territory, stolen during the Sino-Japanese Wars and fortifying national defenses. Over 2016, combative Mars in Scorpio will duplicate its movement of 1937, the beginning year of the Second Sino-Japanese war. The imperialist Japanese army had already staged a false flag bombing, known as the Manchurian Incident at 10 am on September 18 1931 as a pretext for earlier invasion, again with Mars in Scorpio.

The modern economic juggernaut China is no longer divided, impoverished, or economically exploited. They are beginning to reassert and reverse historical roles. Beginning at 10.09 am on September 3 2015, China held a display of military might with a Victory Day parade through Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has now declared Victory over Japan Day, a national holiday.

XI JINGPING

Xi Jinping, was born June 15 1953, in Beijing with militant Mars at the Vernal Point. His Gemini Sun at 24 degrees falls right upon the Mars of the horoscope of the USA. Last year the President’s birthday horoscope – his solar return – arrived as a New Moon joined to Mars. Coincidentally, this was the same time period that both Donald Trump and Jeb Bush launched their presidential campaigns. China will feature strongly in their policy dictates.

Xi is quoted as saying that any major confrontation with the USA, “would surely spell disaster for both countries". Last years military parade coincided with the Mars return in the horoscope of the People’s Republic of China. The planet of war lies in their seventh house of allies and enemies together with lethal Pluto. It was at their Mars return of October 16 1964 @ 7 am that they detonated their first nuclear weapon.

All of this suggests the battle for the South China seas is getting closer to producing an international incident. This may tie in with the lead up to the Grand Cross New Moon but other dates when Mars is active are early to mid February, around the end of June and also in mid-September. Whether or not this results in naval encounters, the mood is being set via these important transits.

Jan 17

FAME

Terry Sylvester was born January 8 1947 in Liverpool, home of the Beatles. He liked music – enough to play the opener for the Beatles last gig at the Cavern. Enough to be in a successful group called the Swinging Blue Jeans. Then in December of 1968 he got a promotion into the ‘Hollies’ and was suddenly playing internationally.

The Hollies went on to record multiple hits - ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’, ‘Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress’ and the ‘Air That I Breathe’. It was sufficient to get Sylvester inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by 2010. But fourteen years earlier another Englishman, also born on January 8 1947, received the same honor. Madonna accepted it for him.

The first concert that Madonna experienced was David Bowie. She had been waiting for months, snuck out the window while her parents slept and hitchhiked to the gig. In her words, ‘here was this beautiful androgynous man singing so perverse, so unconventional, defying logic and basically blowing my mind’. It was the greatest show that she had ever seen and forever changed her life.

Madonna wasn’t the only performer heavily influenced by David Bowie. Nor was she the only human inspired by his dramatic difference and diverse talents. Like the universality of his Aquarian Ascendant he was many things to many people. Above all he was the power of being himself. He regretted his only mistakes came from second guessing and playing to please others. Click here for his 9 am Brixton birth chart.

DAVID BOWIE

Bowie’s stark ‘difference’ was astrologically mirrored with the eccentric, freedom loving sky-god Uranus actively aspecting both his Moon and Ascendant. In 1969 as the genius duo of Jupiter and Uranus both supportively angled to his career focused Midheaven and artistic Venus, and simultaneously trined his Ascendant and Moon, Bowie struck the big time.

His single ‘Space Oddity’, recorded June 20 1969 and released days before the first humans walked on the Moon, provided the countdown that launched his career. It was the same time frame that Terry Sylvester was making good, but Bowie, cut from an entirely different cloth and background, was going to make it far bigger. He was about doing his ‘own thing’.

By 1971/72, David’s progressed Sun was opposing his Pluto – the critical transformer. He found a Starman waiting in the sky. Bowie’s transformation became alter-ego Ziggy Stardust; a bi-sexual rock star acting as the extra-terrestrial messenger. The character was born as eccentric Uranus transited square to Bowie’s birth Sun and ethereal Neptune moved across his Venus and Midheaven.

This time was critical. Not only was the stellar concept a commercial hit, but Bowie had earlier released the critically acclaimed 'Honky Dory' album and was writing songs like 'Rebel, Rebel', which would appear on later releases. As the eclipsing Nodes moved across his Ascendant he took Ziggy and the Spiders From Mars on tour. The album sold 7.5 million copies, making it the second biggest of his entire career.

JUPITER RETURNS

By 1983, Bowie’s progressed Venus, the planet of art and aesthetics, was meeting his birth Mercury – the writer. On March 17, the single ‘Let’s Dance’ was released. By April the progressing Moon would meet his birth Venus and soar to his Midheaven, as the album followed. ‘Let’s Dance’ cracked number one in the US, UK and Canada. The album sold over ten million copies. It was his greatest commercial success, reviving his career and introducing a whole new audience.

Jupiter was returning to the same place it held when Ziggy Stardust was born. Bowie’s musical highs had arrived twelve years apart, tied into the expansionary Jupiter cycle. The Jupiter cycle was always important to him. He was gifted his first saxophone at 12, his first Jupiter return. He told his teacher he was going to be a rock star. The Let’s Dance album was released the year of a Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, the same conjunction that had timed ‘Space Oddity’. But something else took off in 1983.

Bowie’s genius came in many guises and his acting career was picking up pace with three films including the lead role in ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’ and by 1986 another magical persona, Jareth the classic Goblin King of ‘Labyrinth’ would surface. While old rockers were cashing in on revival tours and releasing greatest hits CD’s, Bowie was forever moving onward.

He would parody the banality of the rock world, pre-empting clichéd questions by calling himself the chameleon of rock, “self-invention is my middle name. You know my motto Ch..Ch..Ch..Ch…Changes”. He was forever living in the moment. A knighthood, which was offered and refused with the reasoning, “it’s not what I spent my life working for.” His final work came with the album ‘Black Star’. Producer Tony Visconti claimed it was his final parting gift.

BLACKSTAR

Blackstar was also the title of an old Elvis Presley track and there are parallels between the man who eventually became the portly King of Rock and the one who will forever be remembered as the Thin White Duke. Presley was also born on January 8 – twelve years prior. They not only share the same Sun sign and position, but also the same Jupiter.

Astrologically, the black star has traditionally been Saturn, with Pluto a close contender. In 2015, as Bowie battled liver cancer with chemotherapy, the black star Saturn was uppermost in his horoscope. It sat at his Midheaven and across his Venus. He poured his heart into his art. When the album was complete, Saturn returned to his Midheaven and he was told the cancer had returned and was terminal.

Blackstar was released on January 8, Bowies’s 69th birthday. He died two days after. When his progressed Sun had moved opposite Pluto in 1971/72 a starman was born. Now, as Pluto was transiting to his Sun, Bowie was returning to the stars - albeit with a constellation named after him. As he’d seen everything else coming, he certainly saw this. And his death has many reflecting on, not just on his incredible diverse volume of work, but also refecting on their own lives. That’s what great artists do. They are part of your history.

As I was writing this astro-analysis I was listening to Bowie hosting a BBC radio program. Prior to one track he advised to listen to some numbers spoken early in the song. He added that if you are listening in stereo they will be coming out of the left speaker…or if you’ve wired it wrong they will come out of the right. The black star had become a binary, and I was too busy laughing to check. Shine on - David Bowie. Shine on us all.

Jan 10

IT STARTED WITH A BANG

Well 2016 started with a bang – especially in North Korea. And so it should have. The Sun joined extremist Pluto a day before squaring radical Uranus. It was always going to be a rocky ride. Mercury decided to do a back flip right as it squared inflammatory Mars and the world markets flipped with it. And to finish the week Venus ran into cold hard Saturn, which contracted the markets even more.

While Kim Jong II was playing with bombs, Saudi Arabia was after one. Relations with Iran have fallen down a few notches. It could have been worse. The Sun with Pluto and Uranus can be volcanic. Luckily warrior Mars wasn’t part of that picture. But the start of 2016 has reminded everyone astrologically minded or not, that we’re not through this Uranus Pluto social earthquake yet. The aspect is still hovering around and not easing until March.

This year the planets move from cardinal crisis to mutable momentum. Cardinal is initiating - it gets the ball rolling. The first week of January had a cardinal emphasis. This week continues it. The Sun and Moon will meet in Capricorn where reformative Pluto lurks. Jack in the box Uranus still squares from impulsive Aries. This is all about fast change when the roller coaster feels like its about to go off the rails.

We are still dealing with the products of the immediate past. The climax period of the cardinal crisis was the Grand Cross of 2014, where the real seismic geopolitical shift occurred. It’s when the Ukraine imploded, when Putin annexed Crimea and the US placed economic sanctions on Russia. It was a new Cold War and it hasn’t even begun to defrost.

When planets clash so do ideologies – people take sides. Last week the planets clashed again. While economists were counting dwindling stocks Americans were stocking up on guns in the wake of Obama’s initiatives on weapon controls. As lethal Pluto opposes the US Sun death becomes an issue. And as uncontrollable Uranus squares the same, individual rights become the counter issue. The national divide starts to look like the Grand Canyon.

Perhaps Abraham Lincoln said it best when in his famous June 16 1858 speech when he declared, ‘a house divided itself cannot stand’. But it’s not only in America that the sides are opposed like a civil war. It’s around the world. The Saudis celebrated the New Year with 47 beheadings. It must have pleased Britain no end, after the UK swapped votes to get them on to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Let’s take a look at the chart of Saudi Arabia.

THE MILITANT BILLIONAIRES

This year Saudi Arabia is expected to shell out $80 billion dollars on ‘security’, an amount that even exceeds the Russian military budget. The Saudi arms expenditure since the pro-democracy demonstrations of the Arab spring has snowballed. Saudi armies helped fellow monarchies such as Bahrain quell civilian uprisings, when it would have been too embarrassing for western backers to intervene and protect financial interests.

The House of Saud welcomed in the New Year of 2016 with 47 beheadings. They have an unenviable human rights record, in a country where women are still not permitted to drive. But due to their oil partnerships the monarchal autocracy is protected species. The Western allies love affair with the Sauds began on May 4 1938, when King Ibn Saud turned the valve that allowed Saudi oil to flow to the first oil tanker off the new port of Ras Tanura.

By 1943 it would have Franklin D Roosevelt proclaiming, "defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States". On February 14 1945, Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud and formalized the US-Saudi bond. The horoscope of that meeting will be rigorously tested in the coming years as the progressing Sun moves to square Pluto. Look for rising tensions in the US Saudi alliance.

The horoscope of the opening of the oil fields is also under severe pressure from the middle of 2016. This may react adversely on oil prices or mean that the fields are subject to an attack, or that the flow is interrupted by the geopolitical situation. The horoscope of King Salman, born December 21 1935, also suggests a more aggressive approach as his progressed Sun moves from Pisces to assertive Aries.

The birth chart of Saudi Arabia, timed at 03.45 am January 15 1902 in Riyadh is also squared by insurgent Uranus and semisquared by Saturn in August 2016. The opposition of the Sun around July 16 may trigger ongoing events and insurgencies. The September 1 Solar Eclipse is also in hard angle here. Throughout the year dissipating Neptune will semisquare the same Sun. This can bring great challenge to the leadership.

But possibly the most worrying aspect of the Saudi Arabia horoscope is how it fits in with critical nuclear horoscopes, such as the first ever US nuclear bomb test in Almogordo, New Mexico, the first Russian nuclear bomb and the largest weapon of all time – the Tsar Bomb, equal to all the explosives used in WWII. The worry is that the Saudis are now talking about a nuclear bomb. And with that chart they may get it.

There is a valid reason that the Saudis are shelling out on weaponry. It is to preserve the status quo. But with oil prices low and all that military hardware their budget will be running into the red. The Sauds are dipping into their substantial cash reserves. Raising the price of petrol and cutting back on social services is on the cards. They are rumours that the Aramco oilfields may be privatised, floating the first trillionaire company. That's one way of increasing security - by getting investors to protect their investment.

But eventually the transformative power of Pluto will reach the Saudi Capricorn Sun. And when it comes it will come with Saturn. The House of Saud have four years to radically change their country. The adage is that time waits for no man – royal or otherwise. Neither do planets. We will begin to see this in 2016. The big mistake is to believe that the enemy is without, when it really may be within.

As for stocks…with all that global turmoil they could hardly be heading up. The square is easing and hopefully the downward pressure will too. The closing Moon phase will pass with the New Moon of January 10. And as they say – tomorrow is a brand new day.

Jan 3

OBAMA VERSUS THE GUN LOBBY

On Monday January 4 2016, the Sun at the 14th degree of Capricorn will directly oppose the birth Sun of the USA. In this first week of the New Year the Sun will join reformative Pluto and square rebellious Uranus. The stage is set for both, as US President Barack Obama attacks the polarizing issue of gun control.

Pluto is the planet of dark forces, the ruler of the underworld and doyen of death. It’s opposition to the life-giving Sun of the USA over the past couple of years has made mass shootings a recurring headline. Pluto also describes the hidden power brokers. In taking on the gun lobby and its influential and sometimes crazed supporters, Obama faces his most testing and definitely most dangerous foe.

POLITICS OF PARALYSIS

The National Rifle Association wields a hypnotic influence over Congress. Even when one of their own members; Gabrielle Giffords; was shot in the head – they did nothing. Six others were killed and nineteen wounded that day in Tucson. The obligatory mass shooting was becoming an increasing part of the American social scene.

Gabrielle Giffords returned to Congress on January 25 2012. Her brain injury had forced her resignation. Congress stood as one and roundly applauded her as she embraced the President. And then their collective inertia returned. But if any more proof was needed of the paralysis of politics, it came after the Sandy Hook school massacre of December 14 2012.

Numerous polls were revealing that close to 90% of Americans favored extended background checks for gun ownership. Yet on April 17 2013, families of the Sandy Hook victims gazed helplessly from the Senate gallery as Republicans, and four dissenting Democrats, led a successful effort to filibuster bills designed to rein in the gun tragedies.

History showed they could hardly have picked a worse time for the vote. The Sun and Mars were together in Aries. Besides, the third week of April is famous for creating US disasters, not solving them. Virginia Tech, Columbine High, WACO Texas, the Oklahoma City bombing or the first shots of Lexington, all occurred in the third week of April. Only two days prior to the vote, the Boston Marathon bombing had occurred.

The third week of April is when the Sun, in its yearly journey around the zodiac, squares the USA’s Pluto – the death and destruction planet. Obama’s frustrated address branded April 17, “a shameful day for Washington”. He was referring to self-serving Senators putting personal ambition ahead of national duty. Courage and conviction were noticeable by their absence.

GUN LORE MEANS NO GUN LAW

On the day that the Founding Fathers began distributing the Declaration of Independence, war planet Mars was in square to dreamtime Neptune. The Neptune narrative is enshrouded with mythical layers. The more advanced astrologers may also note that in the heliocentric US chart, Mars sits with revolutionary Uranus.

Gun lore is unique to the American story. Weapons sales make up a sizeable portion of their internal and external revenue. Whether it’s via the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, or Billy the Kid – power at the end of a barrel has played a big part in paving the country’s path.

But Neptune also means sacrifice. When the Mars Neptune square has been activated by significant transits famous murders have taken place. JFK was killed as both Venus and together opposed the US Mars and squared its Neptune. His brother Bobby fell to the assassin’s gun at the US Mars return, with lethal Pluto on the Neptune. Sandy Hook came as the Sun opposed the US Mars and square the Neptune.

At the heart of the gun debate has been the Second Amendment, adopted on December 15 1791. On that day the Sun opposed the US Mars and appropriately – at least for all the spin and convoluted debate surrounding it - the Second Amendment’s Mars was right on the USA's Neptune.

Even the founder of the National Rifle Association, William Conant Church, born August 11 1836 has his Gemini Mars astride the USA’s Mars. The first president of the NRA, Captain Ambrose Burnside, born May 23 1824, has his Mars square the US Mars and right on its Neptune. And so the myth perpetuates. But it wasn’t always just about supporting guns.

A COMPLIANT NRA

On June 26 1934 the NRA actually supported gun control legislation in America. This was well before the development of a military industrial complex. It was in the gangster days when the Thompson sub-machine gun terrorized America. They were championed by another fabled character who placed his Neptune precisely on the USA Mars and had his Saturn oppose it – Al Capone.

Capone’s most infamous operation occurred February 14 1929 from 10.30 am in a warehouse at Lincoln Park, Chicago. His cronies had concocted a deadly plan to lure rival Bugsy Malone’s gang to a garage, with a promise of a hot whisky shipment.

Capone’s men, some dressed as police, then raided the garage, lined them against a wall and shot them in the back. The USA was having its Mars return and the day would forever be remembered in book and film as the ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’. I could go on but column space is limited.

A FOCAL CAMPAIGN ISSUE

There are plenty who will buy into the pro-gun side in 2016. Donald Trump was born with his Sun on the US Mars; Jeb Bush has his Midheaven there. Both began their campaigns around the New Moon right on the US Mars return in June 2015. Readers might recall I wrote back then, that both would be war candidates. Last week Trump actually branded his campaign a war.

As for Obama, he was born with his Virgo Mars semisquare to his birth Neptune. Obama’s Mars is right on the US Neptune. Obama’s Mars is also right on the Mars of the Second Amendment chart. Obama’s Mars is in the same position as the now deceased film star and five-term president of the NRA, Charlton Heston. But Obama is operating off a totally different script. Click here for the charts.

Later this month Jupiter, the planet of law, returns to meet Obama’s Mars and Mars will come to square his Sun by January 26. The Sun and Mars together also square his Ascendant around the New Moon of February 7 2016. That’s why guns are so important to Obama now. Mars also involves the courage of one’s convictions and facing danger head on. Only then can one become part of the enduring Mars Neptune story.

Dec 20

CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN - NONE

The strangest thing about the upcoming US Presidential election is that the candidates getting most of the public support – Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump run counter to their party platforms. They are rebels. The other anomaly is that the mainstream press rate neither a chance to receive a nomination. All of which makes one wonder – what is democracy really about?

Did the 2008 Obama campaign slogan of 'change you can believe in' actually mean no change at all? Was the only realistic change - short-changing? That might appear the case in a system where companies are too big to fail and individuals too big to jail. But what of the right of the people to choose their elected leader - how real is it? Or are there only two hamburgers on this menu?

Revolutionaries make a social impact but they mostly do it outside the system. Martin Luther King has a memorial day for his work, but he never ran for office. Unless you are in charge of a 'well armed militia', ala Fidel Castro, then you can count on political life protecting business as usual.

The last revolutions in the UK and US happened centuries ago. These days they're more interested in fermenting them in foreign lands. Of course all of this is why we see national leaders now surrounded by contingents of bodyguards, and travelling in bomb proof cars. The days of the ticker tape parade are well gone and saved for sporting heroes.

The system anoints its political leaders. What is troubling the system is that the people aren't buying what they're trying to sell. But with Pluto back in Capricorn for the first time since the American Revolution, is another one building?

THE ANOINTED ONE

Back in 1824 Pluto was at the very base of the USA horoscope of July 4 1776 @ 17.10 hours Philadelphia. Rebellious Uranus opposed the US Cancer Sun the same year. The 1824 election voting took place from Tuesday, October 26, to Thursday, December 2. It wasn't that it took them that long to make up their minds, or resharpen pencils. Life moved a lot slower way back when the entire population of the USA barely exceeded ten million.

A leading candidate was John Quincy Adams. He was the son of John Adams, the second President of the USA after Washington. Quincy was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, close to American Independence Day on July 11 1767. You may recall another son of a former President, also born close to Independence Day who won a disputed election, only that was a lot more recently.

Unlike George W, John Quincy Adams was a scholar. Accompanying his father on numerous overseas voyages also led to him mastering several languages. A devotee of classical oratory, he left a professorship at Brown's University to serve as the first US Ambassador in Russia. Adams success saw him appointed as Secretary of State from 1817 until the 1824 election.

His main opponent was Andrew Jackson, a war hero famous for his victory over the British in the 1812 Battle of New Orleans. Jackson had also defeated a Spanish garrison in Florida, leading to that state coming under US jurisdiction. This was the first international takeover in the expansionary American ideal termed 'Manifest Destiny'. There were two other contestants in 1824, but neither with such popularity.

DISPUTED DECISION

When the final votes were tallied, Jackson had secured 151,271 to Adam's 113,122. Of the other two contenders, House Speaker Henry Clay and William H Crawford, neither had accrued more than 50,000 votes.

Jackson had clearly won the popular vote and also took the Electoral College vote by 99 to 84 over Adams. Yet as no candidate had secured an absolute majority, it was left up to the House of Representatives to pick their President.

Jackson's horoscope showed his Mercury had progressed to the sudden surprise planet of Uranus. His progressing Sun was also about to meet warrior Mars, appropriate for the result. To Jackson's disbelief it was the well connected Adams who got the gig.

Henry Clay, and his supporters, had sided with John Quincy Adams, who subsequently appointed Clay to Secretary of State. Jackson fumed that it was the conniving of the aristocracy. He branded it a 'corrupt bargain', a term that would thereafter dog Adam's single term presidency.

WE THE PEOPLE

The election had proved one thing. It's not the people who decide. The whole system of popular vote, then dependent upon an electoral college filter of 'wiser heads', finally demurring to Congress showed that even in 1824 true democracy was a constitutional sham.

But wait! What about that Pluto sitting on home base in the US horoscope in 1824 and Uranus opposing the Sun. Revolutionary seeds were sown and in time they spouted. By 1828 Jackson's followers had formed the Democratic Party.

The old soldier had his revenge in the 1828 election, winning 56% of the people's vote and taking the electoral college by 178 to 83 over Adams. It was an irresistible landslide victory. Jackson's inauguration attracted the largest crowd of the times to the White House, with over twenty thousand followers coming from near and far.

Jackson had become the people's hero. His new party opposed a national bank, monopolies and the ruling aristocracy. Jackson went on to win his second term also by a landslide. On January 1 1835 the USA became the first major nation to be totally free of national debt.

That was once the modern Democratic Party. Compare that with the inequality since 2008 and both party's political inaction. Consider too that Uranus and Pluto have been doing their job on the US Cancer Sun as the country heads for its first Pluto return. The seeds are again being sown, and they can hardly be delivered in SuperPacs.

Dec 13

THE PUBLICITY MACHINE

If hope springs eternal, then politics is her constant bedfellow; unfortunately often with an aborted outcome. So many presidential hopefuls, initially feted as messianic Second Comings, often dissolve into the Great Disappointment of October 1844.

Campaigns can be as predictably boring as perpetually polishing doorknobs. Candidates are married to market research stats. Political correctness keeps sponsors onside. And while London, Paris, Berlin or Beijing are unlikely pit stops on the presidential pilgrimage – Jerusalem inevitably is. This week one man cancelled his planned visit to the Holy Lands.

There are several ways to take the contentious Donald Trump campaign. You may write it off as an expensive exercise in applied narcissism. You can take it deadly serious – which many evidently do. You might suspect ulterior motives afoot; that his run is really meant to surreptitiously benefit another in the race.

You may even envisage the whole media circus as an attempt, by one of the one-percenters, to divert attention away from the financial inequality platform of Bernie Sanders. But whatever you deduce, the one sure thing the Trump operation has developed into, is a fascinating social science study.

ACCIDENT OR DESIGN

Trump, the human headline, is capturing a compliant media even more than a major disaster. His outrageous quotes have demanded immediate reactionary positional statements from rivals. By accident or design Trump has regularly dictated the pace, pricking bubbling issues and conjuring US demons before a global audience.

Neither South Park nor the Simpsons could further parody what already is. And some people must be wondering where all this is headed. But an examination of the exact time Trump began his endeavors may help explain exactly why, and when, they incite such madness and mayhem.

At 11.21 am on June 16 2015 Donald Trump announced in New York that he was running for President. It was the time of a New Moon joined to incitatory Mars, the planetary lord of the battle. Having all this in the information home of Gemini has helped create the war of words that has earmarked his campaign. Click here for launch horoscope.

Atop the Midheaven of his campaign launch horoscope is media orientated Mercury, again in communicative Gemini. Mercury squares the planet of smoke and mirrors – deceptive Neptune. Mercury is also semisquare the jack in the box of shock and surprise – Uranus. This underpins the highly independent and eccentric statements of Trump.

Mercury also opposes establishment Saturn, which lies at the very base of the launch horoscope. While the messenger Mercury is the most aspected planet of the entire chart, it is the subjective New Moon conjunct combustible Mars that best describes both Trump the candidate and the reaction he inevitably provokes.

TRUMP AND THE US MARS

In an earlier column click here and scroll down to August 9 I have pointed to the fact that the New Moon with Mars for his campaign launch just happened to be days after the July 4 1776 horoscope of the USA experienced its Mars return. Trumps own birth Sun is also on the US Mars.

To say June 16 2015 was a dangerous time to start an enterprise is stating the obvious. It would have been more suited to a declaration of war. And the Donald seems to be utilizing that war strategy, with Barnum and Bailey publicity.

This week marks six months since his June 16 launch. It means the Sun is now moving to oppose the Sun/Moon/Mars union of the start of his initial launch. The solar opposition phase is why Trump is literally generating so much real opposition at this point in time.

THE CULTURAL DIVIDE

Exaggerating Jupiter is also moving to square the Sun/Moon/Mars triple conjunction that began his presidential bid. Judicial Jupiter concerns itself with matters of law, religion and cultural awareness. Trump’s recent statement calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States brings all of this into the play.

Polling on Trump’s anti Muslim statements reveals 25% American support, with more Republicans approving than disapproving. But what he is really tapping into, with the volatile Mars effect, is anger. A UK poll, to ban Trump from entering the country, has now attracted over a half a million signatures. All of this plays right into the Trump tactic of creating an ‘us and them’ theme.

Although his campaign began on a highly subjective New Moon, Trump was born at a more objective Full Moon at 10.54 June 14 1946 in New York. The implication being that he knows exactly what he is doing with this deliberate divisiveness. But starting a venture near your birthday with a New Moon on Mars is as dangerous for Trump as anyone else.

The last time that a New Moon conjunct Mars appeared in virtually the same Gemini degrees as Trump's presidential bid, was on June 10 1936. Nine days before a book was released. Titled ‘Gone With The Wind’, it was a story set against the backdrop of the US Civil War. As such it could hardly have been released at a more opportune time.

As recently as 2014, in a Harris poll, ‘Gone With The Wind’ ranked as the second most popular American book title – second only to the Bible. It has sold 30 million copies worldwide. If you’re wondering why the Trump campaign is a virtual publicity magnet, look no further than that same Gemini New Moon on Mars, with Mercury also similarly positioned in Gemini.

Dec 6

This week as even Mt Etna blows her top and the Syrian war goes to another level, it’s time for a little Howard Beale. You must remember Howard Beale? Peter Finch…Network…the mad prophet newscaster? Here’s a prompt, direct from the script, to jog your memory.

“I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window! Open it! And stick your head out and yell…I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

In the movie that’s exactly what happens, all the way from Baton Rouge to New York. In reality, ‘Network' scooped the Best Actor Award for Peter Finch and Best Actress for Faye Dunaway. Finch never lived to accept it. Like his character Howard Beale, he died, becoming the first person to win an Oscar posthumously.

MARS REIGNS

The day that Network was released - Saturday November 27 1976 - the Sun was united with the planet of angst and anger – raging Mars. The film could not have had a better release date. Beale’s fuming rants culminate with him being assassinated on air. But not before educating his audience.

“You people think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you…you dress like the tube, you eat like the tube….this is mass madness you maniacs! On God’s name, you people are the real thing. WE are the illusion!” Network was a film both real to, and yet also way ahead, of its time.

MARS IS BACK

This week caustic Mars reigns in the skies. It is squaring extremist Pluto; it will oppose radical Uranus. The entire globe experiences the planet of aggression riding the raging rapids. That’s when the 'humaneness' in each of us must counter the division that Mars can so easily foster.

The great temptation, under Mars Uranus and Pluto, is to throw another match on the fire in the vain hope that it will make a difference. More of the same is not what’s needed.

Yet for the zealous fundamentalist, Mars will always be a blame game planet, a further reason to incite. If Mars is a useful call to action at all, let it mobilize a raised consciousness regarding such division.

POUTING PUTIN

Last week I wrote about Mars and the horoscope of Vladimir Putin. Over the next few days the war planet is passing over his Libran birth Sun. Mercury will also come to his Mars. All this occurs as his progressed Mars trines his birth Sun. It has put the Russian President on the warpath. His targets are not only ISIL, but Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan.

Russia has released satellite images of tankers loading oil at ISIL installations before purportedly heading for the Turkish border. Russia’s deputy defense minister claims, “In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president's son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed energy minister. What a marvelous family business.”

It’s a far cry from two months ago when Erdogan toured Moscow for the inauguration of that city’s Grand Mosque. Putin has made the shooting down of a Russian plane by the Turks, a personal vendetta. Putin’s annual parliamentary address (the Russian State of the Union) also left little to the imagination last Thursday for his western neighbours.

”We know who wanted to change inconvenient regimes, and crudely impose their rules. And what was the result? They made a mess, ruined the states, turned different peoples against each other and then, as we say in Russia, washed their hands of the places, opening the road for radicals, extremists and terrorists.”

TERRORISM ON HOME SOIL

The horoscope of the USA is simultaneously fielding the fiery Mars influence, as the red planet passes over the US Saturn and squares its Sun. All that happens as fanatical Pluto also opposes the US Sun. This combination coincides with the FBI investigating the worst mass shooting since Sandy Hook. It’s now being treated as a terrorist attack. Click here for the attack chart.

At 10.59 am December 2 2015, the husband and wife team of Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people and injured 21 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. Despite being described as a quiet shy man, Farook’s chart places all the appropriate signals of hostility onto the birth horoscope of the USA.

Farook’s warrior Mars joins the USA’s Cancer Sun. Farook’s birth Sun also joins the USA’s Gemini Mars. Farook’s shock and awe Uranus directly opposes the USA’s Mars. These multiple Mars connections make tragic astrological sense. Click here for the combined charts.

A WELL ARMED MILITIA

But the USA is not the only horoscope that Farook’s chart ignites. He was born on June 14 1987 in Chicago and has an explosive connection with the USA Second Amendment chart of December 15 1791. Here his volatile Mars-Uranus-Pluto combination is hard angled to the USA Second Amendment Sun and Mars. It’s like an accident waiting to happen. Click here for the two charts

The New York Times editorial is finally saying what the rest of the world knows – that the current gun laws are a disgrace and in urgent need of an overhaul. They effectively make it a terrorist's paradise. But it’s a headline that will also ferment the typical fundamentalist backlash. Already opportunist, self-centered politicians are whipping up a frenzy. Yes, it’s Mars time in the USA.

The last time Mars was at this same zodiacal degree was April 23 2014. Georgian Governor Nathan Deal signed the Safe Carry Protection Act into law. Branded the ‘guns everywhere bill’ it was celebrated by the NRA for allowing gun owners to openly carry firearms in public locations. The Baptist Church was alone in supporting it. 59% of Georgians polled were against it.

This year in mid June two Presidential campaigns were launched right at the Mars return of the USA – Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. Trump also places his birth Sun and Uranus on the US Mars. It’s a powder keg combination. Bush’s birth Sun and Pluto opposition is a recipe for disaster in the current global climate. Jeb would make fear the primary objective. Both are playing on division.

This backward inflammatory thinking is perpetuating a problem, not solving it. It’s throwing a whole can of petrol on the fire. There is a better way. Martin Luther King had his Mars on the USA Mars. He used it to denounce the great divide and the violence that he ultimately became a victim of.

A silent majority of Americans might now be relating to the words of Network's Howard Beale. It's time to take their country back from the brink. They’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take this anymore. And that could be the best possible use of Mars.

Nov 29

SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

It’s a fact. The last three closing squares between Saturn and Neptune have found Russia at war. As the current Saturn Neptune square came to exactness in the final week of November 2015 a Russian jet was blown out of the skies over Syria. Islamic State were not involved. It was NATO member state Turkey, in prior possession of the Russian flight plans, that conducted the whole operation.

The shooting down of a Russian plane by a NATO state was purely a matter of time. The Russian air force is unwelcome in the so-called war on Islamic State. Their involvement allows Vladimir Putin an exposing voice on the world stage, supports the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and blows the cover off Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s expansionary ambitions.

AMBITIOUS ERDOGAN

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was born in Istanbul on February 26 1954, with an unverified time of 04.25 hours according to AstroDatabank. His chart features a Piscean Sun in a close square to his fiery Sagittarian Moon-Mars combination. This reveals Erdogan as a ferocious fighter, something obvious in his early career.

Erdogan also has his Sun in sesquisquare to intransigent Uranus, a sign common to the dictator. Erdogan did manage to temper his manner when he initially became Prime Minister, but signs of his dogmatic authoritarianism have resurfaced since, leading to massive anti-government protests of 2013. At the time his progressed Sun was opposing progressed Saturn. It will return to oppose his birth Saturn by 2017. Expect these protests to return.

Running on a platform of economic stability in uncertain times, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party have held power since 2002. They came closest to losing grip in the June 7 2015 elections producing a hung parliament. They defied opinion polls to clearly win the November 1 election. Erdogan now wields more influence than any Turkish politician since the country’s founder. In this respect he has a lot in common with his current adversary, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

TERRORISM IN TURKEY

Despite Turkey’s economic solidity, democracy, civil rights and freedom of the press have taken serious hits, along with social media platforms under Erdogan. Terrorist bombings have now come to Turkey, targeting opposition socialist parties and Kurdish rebels. Major attacks at midday in Suruc on July 20 and again at 10.04 October 10 2015 outside Ankara Central Station, killed 33 and 102 people respectively. In this atmosphere of fear and uncertainty Erdogan’s party prevailed.

But as the Russian Sukhoi Su was shot from the skies at 9.24 am on November 24, deceptive Neptune was moving across Erdogan’s Piscean Sun and cold controlling Saturn came to meet his Moon Mars. Click here for his horoscope. Erdogan was unapologetic, quickly claiming he was defending Turkish sovereignty. US President Barack Obama and British PM David Cameron concurred, drawing clear lines in the sand against Russia. Click here for the horoscope of the jet being taken down.

OLD EMPIRES CLASH

The deepest lines are drawn between Russia and Turkey, with Russian President Vladimir Putin refusing to take Erdogan’s calls and demanding an apology. But Putin has gone further claiming that the attack was preplanned and that Turkey is assisting ISIL distribute their oil. Such would suit clandestine and illusory Neptune moving across the birth Sun of Recep Tiyyap Erdogan. Neptune also rules oil.

For Putin, fury remains unabated. Aggressive Mars is now in Libra and will be moving across his birth Sun in early December as extreme Pluto also squares it. The last time Mars was on Putin’s birth Sun, he annexed the Crimean peninsula. Right now he’s having trouble there too with Crimea completely blacked out at 00.30 hours Sunday December 22, when power lines in the Ukraine were cut by Tartar rebels and Ukrainian natonalists.

The Putin-Erdogan rivalry is being billed as the Tsar against the Sultan – an overhang from the ancient Russian and Ottoman Empires. Ironic as that might seem it contains more than an ounce of truth. National pride and heritage are on the line for both leaders. And both countries are fighting for a different side in the Syrian war.

A century after World War One, old enemies are again butting heads. It's why some analysts have likened the downing of the Russian jet to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. If you click here for the two charts you will see the obvious Sun to Mars connections. I

NOV 29

THE ASTROLOGY OF ISLAMIC STATE

On the opening day of Ramadan 2014 – Sunday June 29 2014 – the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a worldwide caliphate. Already his rebel army had gained a foothold over vast swathes of northern Iraq and Syria. The exact time of the public declaration is a subject of contention, although from YouTube and Twitter, it appears to be late afternoon.

Regardless of the precise moment, its announcement was preceded by rebuttals of the WWI Sykes-Picot Agreement, between England, France and Russia concerning the then future division of the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire. Such plans were originally 'top secret' from the Arabs, who the Allies were relying upon for militant support in defeating the Turks. For that they had been promised a self ruled kingdom with the capital of Damascus.

This betrayal has been a divisive issue between the western civilization and the Arab world for nigh on a century. In effect, the countries were arranging a carving up of the territory that would allow each to “establish direct or indirect administration or control as they desire”. The deal allowed England and France the freedom of significant ports and secured trade routes. The Sykes-Picot Agreement was concluded on May 16 1916.

THE LOST KINGDOM

When Prince Faisal and his Arab army marched into Damascus on October 3 1918, British General Allenby informed him that the promised kingdom of all Arab lands would not become a reality. Instead France was to rule greater Syria and Lebanon and the UK would take Iraq and Palestine, the latter to become a homeland for the Jews. Faisal was granted the governorship of the city of Damascus.

On March 8 1920, Faisal had himself crowned King of Syria. His kingdom was short lived. The coronation led to the Franco/Syrian War and the capture of Damascus by the French military on July 24. The King fled to London. At this stage the British troops, numbering 100,000, mostly from India, were having trouble containing tribal revolts throughout Iraq. Faisal would prove handy for the British.

AERIAL ATTACKS

In similar scenes to today, Britain relied on targeted aerial bombardment to demoralize Arab opposition to colonial rule. The 1920’s bombing campaign was censored from the British public, but is still a subject of Arab discussion to this day. A letter, dated August 29 1920, from Winston Churchill to Lord Tenchard the Father of the Royal Air Force, provides good reasons why.

Churchill writes, "I think you should certainly proceed with the experimental work on gas bombs, especially mustard gas, which would inflict punishment on recalcitrant natives without inflicting grave injury on them." It’s still a matter of contention amongst historians as to whether or not it was deployed. Certainly it was made available and Indian troops were supplied with training and gas masks.

However, a blitzkrieg of bombing raids achieved Churchill’s goal as evidenced by squadron commanderArthur ‘Bomber’ Harris. “The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means, in casualties and damage: They know that within 45 minutes a full-sized village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.”

All was kept from the public. Churchill’s bombing idea was to save money and to prevent British casualties. By August 23 1921 at sunrise Faisal was crowned King of Iraq in an attempt to unify the new nation. Meantime France had established control of the state of Syria.

This historical background, of enforced subjection, is often invoked to stir up militant uprisings. And in the light of the 2003 demolition of Iraq and western financial and arms support for a Syrian civil war, it wasn’t all that hard to do.

THE OBVIOUS ASTRO-CONNECTION

In past columns I have written on the obvious connections between oil and the so called Islamic State. But for recent readers the abridged version goes like this.

Iraq’s first oil gusher exploded into the night skies at 3 am on October 15 1927 at Barbar Gurgur, in the northern oilfields of Kirkuk. The Sun was joined to Mars at 21 and 22 degrees of Libra respectively.

Following the 2003 US invasion, an insurgent group was formed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, named the Islamic State of Iraq on October 15 2006. The Sun was 22 and Mars 24 of Libra. The Mercury of the two dates was also conjunct as they dovetailed into a 79-year predictive recurrence cycle.

This planetary synchronicity connects the Islamic State of Iraq directly to controlling Iraq’s northern oil reserves, regardless of any further theories. That’s what they have done and profited handsomely.

The unanswered question being - how did they do it so easily? It brings to mind the 2003 promise of Bin Netanyahu to London financiers that oil would soon be flowing from Mosul to the Mediterranean. Words that greatly displeased Bush, Blair and their connections in Iraq at the time. Netanyahu was told to button it up.

The Islamic State of Iraq evolved to include the Levant. ISIS became ISIL. This was on April 8 2013. This time we have the Sun and Mars in the opposite positions in Aries but in very similar degrees. The Sun is 18 degrees of Aries; Mars is 21 degrees of Aries, thereby creating a symmetrical opposition axis to the first oil strike and the formation of ISIS. Astrologically this becomes the important axis to watch.

As rebellious Uranus moves around these degrees the activities of ISIL have dramatically increased, as have the aerial bombing raids upon their positions. Keep in mind that astrologically Uranus also governs aircraft and technology. So where is it all leading?

The New Moon of April 7 2016 may have the answer on that one. It lands right on the ISIL formation horoscope and of course Uranus will also reach their Sun position at that time. That’s when this battle should climax. And we will have further confirmation that it’s less about religion, and more about the rich resources of gas and oil.

THE JUPITER SATURN CYCLE

A surefire ancient technique for forecasting big picture trends is to check out the Jupiter and Saturn conjunctions. The two heavyweights are considered to influence a twenty-year political and generational cycle. The last Jupiter Saturn conjunction occurred May 28 2000 at 16.04 hours GMT. The planets came together at 23 degrees of Taurus. Have a look at how they sit with the Sykes-Picot agreement. Click here for the two charts.

The Jupiter and Saturn came to the Sun of the Sykes-Picot Agreement horoscope, which was also fielding its Uranus return. The original 1916 agreement was made with a T-Square of Sun, militant Mars and insurgent Uranus – a virtual guarantee of future rebellion.

It’s what happened in mid-2000, coinciding with this conjunction that would connect the dots. Bashar al-Assad would control Syria upon his father’s death and Vladimir Putin would be sworn in as President of Russia. These events may have seemed unrelated at the time. Now they are making a lot of sense.

Nov 15

It’s very difficult running any commentary on the Friday 13 events of Paris. It’s difficult dissecting any human tragedy. Life is not supposed to be the theatre of war. Neither was the Bataclan Concert Hall. In an instant it became one. A series of six co-ordinated attacks from 9.16 pm brought the horrors of the Middle East reigning down upon the City of Lights. Paris became a war zone.

The evening before, similar events rocked Lebanon. At approximately 6 pm on Thursday, twin blasts claimed forty three lives and injured over two hundred and fifty others in a predominantly Shia area of Beirut. The blasts came shortly after sunset prayers. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for both catastrophes.

For the second time this year, France and Lebanon experienced an unwelcome synchronicity. From 11.30 am on January 7 2015 Paris was shocked by the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, with further killings continuing until the 9th. At 7.30 pm on 10 January, two suicide bombers killed nine people and wounded thirty others in a crowded café at Tripoli, Lebanon.

The current surge of terror comes as Mars, the lord of the battle, unites with the nodal axis and moves across the birth Sun of France’s First Republic horoscope. As it does, the Sun is likewise transiting towards the First Republic’s Mars. As President Hollande correctly claims, ‘this is an act of war.’ And war is the function of Mars.

THE VOICES OF REASON

At the start of the century, France was spared from major terrorist attacks. They, along with the United Nations Security Council were the voices of reason as the USA and the UK led the chorus for the subsequent unauthorized invasion of Iraq that has since become a Gorgon’s head. Australians and Indonesians fielded the first attacks via the October 2002 Bali bombing, the day after the US Senate gave the Bush administration permission to use military force against Iraq.

Spain was next to feel the blowback from Iraq, with the March 11 2004 Madrid railway bombings occurring in peak hour. From 7.37 am, one hundred and ninety one lives were lost, and over two thousand injured in the short space of two minutes. Spaniards overwhelmingly opposed the Iraq war. It produced the largest street demonstration ever seen in the country. Their government unwittingly supported it.

The Spanish government was thrown out of office in a national election three days later. Today their former Prime Minister sits on the board of NewsCorp. Rupert Murdoch welcomed him aboard lauding, “his unflinching stand against domestic and international terrorism. His impressive grasp of world politics and the realities of globalisation.”

LONDON CALLING

The following year, on July 7 2005, terrorism came to the London Metro. The London bombings came the day after the city celebrated winning the 2012 Olympics. Like the Spanish attacks, they were unquestionably linked to the warrior zeal of the then British PM, Tony Blair. But a disturbing pattern was emerging. The London bombings were no longer acts of overseas operatives. They were committed by home-grown terrorists.

Suddenly Europe was becoming a target. In the past it was primarily US military installations and embassies on the hit list for Middle East political rebellion. By February 26 1993 those attacks had also reached US home soil, with the first bombing of the World Trade Center. This culminated with the final attacks of September 11 2001.

The economic image of the World Trade Centre and globalization could hardly be more obvious. But it wasn’t the only symbolism being evoked on 911 day. Eleven years to the day, on September 11 1990, President George Bush Snr had delivered his famous ‘New World Order’ address to Congress.

FRANCE ENTERS THE FRAY

Energy wars are bringing jihadists increasingly into western capitals. Now Paris has become a prime target. France stepped up their military involvement when their foreign minister moved a ‘No Fly Resolution’ over Libya at the United Nations at 18.34 hours on March 17 2011 in New York.

Two days later, Nicolas Sarkozy then President of France, boasted that France ‘would assume its role, its role before history.’ On March 19 NATO began flying bombing missions over Libya. France flew more sorties than any other country.

That same month Libyan leader Mahmoud Gaddafi, in an interview with the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche, predicted an immigration problem for Europe if he was deposed. "You will have immigration. Thousands of people from Libya will invade Europe. There will be no-one to stop them any more."

The solar eclipse of March 19 2015 fell on the fourth anniversary of the Libyan War. But France was now well ensconced in bombing missions over the rich northern oilfields of Iraq and by September Syria too. President Hollande announced bombing missions for Syria, days after the photo of a dead three-year-old refugee hit the headlines.

TRACKING THE TRANSITS AND PROGRESSIONS

The First Republic horoscope of France is dated September 21 1792 at approximately 15.30 hours. It too represented a ‘reign of terror’ as the country experienced a revolution. The horoscope shows warrior Mars strong in lethal Scorpio at the Midheaven and being the most elevated planet.

Centuries later this horoscope clearly depicted World War One as the Sun progressed to square dissipating Neptune and the solar arc directed Mars exactly opposed the Sun throughout 1914/15. The German occupation of WWII was plainly evident as controlling Saturn solar arced to join the Sun and combative Mars arced to square the Ascendant coincident with the events.

THE FUTURE

In examining 2015, the horoscope of the First Republic Of France also clearly shows the January 7 Charlie Hebdo attacks. Click here for the January attacks. The same horoscope also shows the Mars factor at work, among others in the Friday the 13th attacks. Click here for the biwheel and explanation.

The First Republic horoscope shows a triple conjunction of Mars to itself on February 24, June 9 and July 20 of 2016. So it seems that warlike conditions are not about to go away in a hurry. The same indications are evident in the more recent France 5th Republic horoscope of October 6 1958 at 18.30 hours in Paris. That chart sees Mars progressing to oppose Jupiter by 2016 and a difficult Mars transit around December 5 this year.

While the Mars Jupiter can indicate enacting difficult legislation and the potential of cultural or religious differences, in the bigger picture the military focus of France seems a formality. The First Republic Sun is slowly progressing toward Mars and revolutionary Uranus. Although that union is years into the future the astrological signals are as unmistakable as the current re-armament of Japan.

The Paris bombings are horrific. As were the bombings of Lebanon, Turkey and
worst of all the destabilisation and unbridled violence of Syria. War begets war and only cool heads and objective reason can end it.

Nov 8

This week Australians will remember the 40th anniversary of the most tumultuous day in their political history. The heavyweight showdown between the two giants of Australian politics produced a constitutional crisis. The events would change forever the way Australians thought about the system. And they would inspire the two combatants to become pioneers for a new Australian Republic, devoid of fawning dependencies.

IN THE BLUE CORNER

He entered politics on November 11 1953, but could hardly have imagined how important November 11 would become twenty-two years later. He was Malcolm Fraser - born May 21 1930, at 07.45 hours in Melbourne. Fraser was a stable Taurean with conservative Saturn rising in ambitious Capricorn.

Fraser’s ever so practical Saturn was opposed by the nemesis Pluto in his seventh house of allies and enemies. Both squared battle scarred Mars. His opponent's Sun/Saturn would fall on his seventh house Pluto.

That planetary combination described a titanic struggle between two literal giants of Australian politics. Plus it encapsulated the famous Fraser catchphrase of ‘life wasn’t meant to be easy’.

Fraser’s Taurean Sun squared Neptune. Combined with his Piscean Moon they revealed an inner empathy, later exemplified through his humanitarian works. But in those early years, the also devious Neptune was more attached to the events of November 11 1975.

IN THE RED CORNER

Gough Whitlam was born July 11 1916 in Kew Melbourne, with Mercury, Venus, Sun, Saturn and Pluto, all in patriotic Cancer. Whitlam had grand plans for a big country rich in natural resources. They centered on buying back the farm to fund an ambitious social agenda.

For twenty-three continuous years a conservative Liberal-Country Party coalition had governed virtually unopposed. Whitlam’s election slogan, ‘It’s Time’, was a reflection of an isolated country stuck in a time warp and overdue for change. On the evening of December 2 1972 Australians celebrated that change.

The new Prime Minister was officially sworn in at 15.30 hours December 5 in Canberra. The horoscope of the moment showed the Midheaven – indicative of the leader – squaring the shock factor Uranus by approximately three degrees. His government would run for just under three years, before being abruptly dismissed.

On Whitlam’s swearing in date, the Sun was opposing traditional Saturn in the media sign of Gemini. It was the conservative Murdoch and Packer press that would mount a relentless media campaign against his ideals. Yet during his roller-coaster ride of reform, the Whitlam government made more changes to the Australian way of life than any before or since.

Gough was a man in a hurry. He initially governed only with his deputy Lance Barnard, until the full Labor ministry was unveiled to the press at 11.10 am on December 20. This time the Midheaven was three degrees from dissolving and deceptive Neptune. It was another astrological indication of a one-term government. Plenty of other signs would follow.

THE 1970’S RECESSION AND OIL CRISIS

Whitlam was barely into office when the US stock market crashed in the January of 1973. It would remain negative for two years, losing 45% of its value and severely affecting western economies. Before his first year of government was out, an Arab – Israel war would also trigger an oil embargo on the US for their invariable support of Israel.

The price of oil quadrupled over the year, compounding the worst recession since the Great Depression years. It meant that Whitlam was pushing through an ambitious reform agenda during a time of turmoil and economic uncertainty in a country accustomed to growth from the end of WWII.

The Murdoch and Packer media machines seized on this insecurity, with a globally distant and politically naïve Australian public. They claimed the financial malaise was all of the government’s doing, despite the fact that the London Stock Exchange plummeted 73% during the same period. Whitlam imperiously soldiered on as the conservative forces even broke convention in senatorial replacements, desperate to derail his agenda.

FRASER’S FIRST SPEECH SAYS IT ALL

By March 21 1975, Whitlam would face a fresh challenger in Malcolm Fraser. Fraser’s first speech as Opposition leader, said it all. “I genuinely believe that if a government is elected to power in the lower house, and has the numbers and can maintain the numbers in the lower house, it is entitled to expect that it will govern for the three year term unless..eer.. quite extraordinary events..eer..intervene.”

He continued, “If we do make up our minds at some stage that the government is so reprehensible that the opposition must use whatever power is available to it. Then I’d want to find the situation in which we made that decision, which Mr Whitlam woke up one morning finding the decision had been made, and finding that he’d been caught with his pants well and truly down.”

It was the second time that Fraser had publicly used the phrase of catching the PM with his pants down, suggestive of a covert plan. Indeed this curious comment would later return to haunt Fraser. He was literally and mysteriously caught without his own pants, after being allegedly drugged and robbed in a Memphis motel.

As Fraser made his initial March 21 threat, the Sun was in tight conjunction with judicial Jupiter. By October 15, with the Sun then opposing the same planet of law, he would carry it out. A controversial loans plan to fund an ambitious energy project in Arab petrodollars, rather than via traditional banking channels, provided a key to the Liberal Senators blocking the government’s money supply.

The drama that followed produced the most controversial day in Australian political history, the dismissal of an elected Prime Minister by the very Governor General that he had appointed. From 1 pm on November 11 1975 Sir John Kerr removed Whitlam's commission to govern. He would never regain it, losing two subsequent elections.

THE CERTAINTY OF CHANGE

The astrological certainty of the Prime Minister’s removal could hardly be more evident. Pluto was precisely squaring the Australian Federal Government (January 1 1901) Sun. Saturn was opposing the Australian government Midheaven as shock factor Uranus exactly squared it. Even covert Neptune squared the Australian Mars. Click here for the horoscope.

The public villain in the whole affair was Governor General Sir John Kerr. At no time did he give his Prime Minister any warning of his intentions, whilst meanwhile convening meetings with Fraser. The plain evidence now is that there were many forces arranged against Whitlam, including the CIA. But it was a joking dinner remark of Whitlam to Kerr, about a race to sack each other, that triggered the Governor-General’s paranoia.

The ego games of Remembrance Day 1975 are now etched indelibly in Australian political history and shattered Australian’s political naivety. This week will mark the 40th anniversary of the Dismissal. But there is also something lesser-known and written more in the heavens than the history books, which curiously coincides.

THE REMARKABLE ECLIPSES

The Dismissal of November 11 1975 was wedged exactly between a Solar Eclipse on the 4th and a Lunar Eclipse on the 19th. That alone would not be so remarkable had not further solar eclipses also marked the more recent deaths of the political protagonists involved.

Four days prior to the October 24 2014 Solar Eclipse, Gough Whitlam passed away. He was two years short of his centenary. It saved him any further regal correspondence. Death was something Gough was prepared for. When asked what he would do when meeting his maker, Gough could hardly help but reply, “I will treat him as my equal.”

The following Solar Eclipse fell on March 20 2015. In the early morning hours of March 19, Malcolm Fraser breathed his last. He had been planning a new ‘green republican’ party. Just as they marked the darkest days of Australian politics, solar eclipses had signalled the final departure of the combatants. Even the serving Australian Prime Minister was to feel the 2015 eclipse influence.

The final Solar Eclipse of 2015 fell on September 13. The following evening of September 14, saw the sitting Prime Minister Tony Abbott replaced in a party spill by his nemesis Malcolm Turnbull. It’s a pattern that makes the next Solar Eclipse of March 9 2016 a potentially ominous time for Australian political leaders. But it may also be making the old foes aspiration of an Australian Republic, a future political certainty.


Nov 1

THE POLITICAL VACUUM

For those masochists who flagellated their eardrums through the US Republican debates. To the insomniacs who steadfastly remain awake during Australia’s parliamentary question time. To those in possession of the mysterious Rosetta stone that interprets the double speak of the modern western politician where allied rebels are ‘moderate’ and coups depend upon the perpetrator. Consider this.

There is always hope. Somewhere in the distant Oort clouds an advanced civilization may spot a drifting New Horizons spacecraft and wonder from whence it came. And if miracles be, they may just offer some sagely advice to the global leaders of the twenty first century, possibly beginning with ‘why not just come clean with the facts and learn to value the truth?’

Therefore imagine, if you will, the man some consider the ethical father of America, Benjamin Franklin, transported into the present. Although Franklin promised that he would return as a much-improved model, there’s a chance he might not appreciate the current timing. Things have changed a lot since his day – especially in the USA. The colony has become the empire. And Franklin always had good advice for empires.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

Franklin wasn’t a career politician. He possessed more than a modicum of intelligence. Most historians class him as a polymath – the sort genius that turns talents to multiple causes. His schooling finished at the age of ten when his self-education began. He could hardly suffer the imposition of fools in the same way that nature abhors a vacuum.

Franklin was also a celebrity in a pre-Hollywood age when celebrity culture meant something vastly different than it does today. He dined with royalty, influenced heads of state and became a driving force in the eventual formation of the USA. He also founded the first independent newspaper in the colony.

Franklin sought great truths in life. He was devoted to a pragmatic and experimental scientific approach. He was not overly religious, evidenced by his quote, “That people so often believe themselves to be right is no proof that they are; the only difference between the Church of Rome and the Church of England is that the former is infallible while the latter is never wrong.”

THE HOROSCOPE

He was born January 17 1706, in Boston at an unspecified time, according to AstroDatabank to be in the morning. This chiefly comes from a 1950 reference from the astrologer Grant Lewi stating, “records found at Old south church state that he was baptized the Sunday morning of his birth.” But a lot can be inferred without the time from the planetary positioning.

Franklin’s ambitious Capricorn Sun closely opposes adventurous and philosophical Jupiter. It inclined him to publishing, travel and encouraged his expansionary intellect. Mercury, the planet of the mind, was in ‘new order’ Aquarius and opposing innovative Uranus. The Mercury Uranus combination is often found with independent and original thinkers. Franklin ticked all the boxes in that category.

Uranus is also the planet aligned with flight and electricity. He had a fascination with both, via his famous electric kite experiments and interest in the future of ballooning. It was during his Uranus opposition – at age forty-two that he pursued the scientific career.

Franklin’s Mercury was also positioned in a tight square to realistic Saturn. He was extremely disciplined and organized in his thoughts, exemplified by twenty-five years of publishing ‘Poor Richard’s Alamanc’. This sold up to ten thousand copies annually and was a major source of his financial success. The almanac had astrological features, along with important calendar dates, planting, weather and anecdotal information.

FRANKLIN THE PROPHET

Appearing in Franklin’s almanac were the words, “Astrology is one of the most ancient Sciences, held in high esteem of old, by the Wise and the Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight in Battle, in short, no important affair was undertaken without first consulting an Astrologer.” He was well acquainted with astrology.

There was also that touch of the supernatural around Franklin - like the seer ahead of his time. In many ways that is precisely what he was. And this is contained not simply by his intuitive Pisces Moon, but primarily in his Grand Fire Trine linking Mars in visionary Sagittarius to mystical Neptune in Aries, and both with reformatory Pluto.

Although he was all of seventy and the oldest of the 56 signatories to the US Declaration of Independence, he was pivotal to its creation. On that day powerful Pluto was moving across his Sun and contractual Mercury was moving over his judicial Jupiter. Courageous Mars was opposing his own Mars and activating his visionary Grand Trine. The comparison of Franklin’s horoscope with the birthchart of the USA is an eye-opener. Click here for Franklin's horoscope with that of the USA.

A MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Years before US independence, Franklin was posted in England. His mission was to present the case of the Massachusetts Assembly in the days of the iniquitous Tea Act. It was a case of a multi-national corporation – the East India Company - imposing unfair levies via the British Crown. It was backed by British military might. But it would have disastrous consequences. Franklin wrote home, suggesting the colonies form a Continental Congress.

In the days that followed he wrote a powerful letter to the London ‘Public Advertiser’ under the initials of Q.E.D. Franklin’s article was scathing in its sarcasm. His title and the contents have a prophetic relevance to today’s politicians. It was titled "Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One." And it was published on September 11 1773. Here are some quotes from his text.

“Send Armies into their Country under Pretence of protecting the Inhabitants.…If you can find Prodigals who have ruined their Fortunes, broken Gamesters or Stock-Jobbers, these may do well as Governors; for they will probably be rapacious, and provoke the People by their Extortions."

"Whenever the Injured come to the Capital with Complaints of Mal-administration, Oppression, or Injustice, punish such Suitors with long Delay, enormous Expence, and a final Judgment in Favour of the Oppressor. This will have an admirable Effect every Way. The Trouble of future Complaints will be prevented, and Governors and Judges will be encouraged to farther Acts of Oppression and Injustice; and thence the People may become more disaffected, and at length desperate."

"Redress no Grievance, lest they should be encouraged to demand the Redress of some other Grievance. Suppose all their Complaints to be invented and promoted by a few factious Demagogues, whom if you could catch and hang, all would be quiet. Catch and hang a few of them accordingly; and the Blood of the Martyrs shall work Miracles in favour of your Purpose.”

Franklin's sarcastic September 11 letter was published and widely read. But his prophetic message was never addressed. It fell on deaf ears and the empire’s fall would eventually follow. Certainly we could use the revolutionary genius of Benjamin Franklin in politics today. Even the old model would suffice.

Oct 25

THE BELLS OF MIDNIGHT

"There was the dark and then there was the light of a candle... then there was the opening of the great door, and the rush of cool, fresh air, and the deep darkness. 'Oh, Look!' said a voice. The sky was suddenly full of shooting stars. There were fountains of stars, coloured red and green and blue.”

"This is the First of July, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty seven,' (my) father said, 'always remember this day, and this night. You are a very lucky little girl, to be a child in Canada, today.". Such were the memories of a young girl from Hamilton Ontario on the formation of the nation.

On May 22 1867, Queen Victoria had signed a proclamation formally stating. “We do Ordain, Declare and Command that on and after the first day of July One, one thousand eight hundred and sixty seven, the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick shall form and be one dominion under the name of Canada.”

The royal proclamation came into effect from midnight of June 30, occasioning bell ringing from church towers across the land to welcome confederation. Montreal boomed a royal salute at 4am. Confederation was enacted at noon in Ottawa. The Toronto Globe also carried a brief article mentioning a local parade of Her Majesty’s troops beginning at 10 am.

Not everyone was ecstatic. The Nova Scotia Morning Chronicle headline read, “DIED”. The article claimed that the province had deceased at midnight and that the official funeral would be effected at 9 am that morning. An effigy of one of the founding fathers of Canada was burned along with a rat. Regardless, most Canadian’s today recognize July 1 as the national birthday.

CANADIAN HOROSCOPE

The defining factor of July 1 1867 is the homeland Cancer Sun’s precise connection to independent Uranus. The planet of ‘difference’ also appears with one of Canada’s first constitutional acts, a Royal Proclamation of October 7 1763 concerning land rights, following England taking control of previously French held territory. That chart features a close Sun opposition to Uranus.

The irony of Canada’s independence, unlike the USA’s revolutionary war, is that Canada is the neighbor of the world’s most powerful nation. Despite sharing a birth calendar date uncannily close to the US, joining forces is not something on the bucket list of most Canadians. That’s one way the autonomous Uranus works through the national birth horoscope and simultaneously when compared with the USA’s Cancer Sun.

Canada’s Gemini Moon, in the third house of the midnight horoscope, well describes the bilingual nature of the country, its dual culture and the ongoing Quebec question. When the French dominated province conducted an independence referendum on October 30 1995, it came within a whisker of passing. But Canada’s progressed Sun was just departing from the trine to progressed Uranus. Had the vote been held months earlier, Quebec may well have seceded.

Change is again in the air for Canada. The national chart is currently experiencing a progressed New Moon in visionary Sagittarius, which began in the lead up to the latest election. Holding on to established positions of power would prove to be increasingly difficult. The ultra-conservative policies of Steven Harper had become the antithesis of Canada’s Uranus. The country was looking for a breath of fresh air. It has come in the shape of the youthful Justin Trudeau.

CANADA’S NEW LEADER

According to AstroDatabank, Justin Trudeau was born at 21.27 hours on Christmas Day 1971. His ambitious Capricorn Sun squares Pluto, the powerbroker of his birth horoscope. Justin’s father, Pierre, was the fifteenth Canadian Prime Minister and held the post a total of fifteen years from 1968 to 1984, with a brief intermission. Pierre played a pivotal role in Canadian nationalism, although true to the divided Canadian Gemini Moon, he was either loved or reviled.

Pierre Trudeau was born October 18 1919, sometime around 7 am, a time cited from his mother according to astrologer Brian Clark. This gave him a sometimes divisive and liberal Libran Sun in trine to Uranus. Son Justin has his Arian Moon closely opposed to Uranus. In many ways the son’s horoscope looks even stronger than the father’s. Both were born with a strong Uranus that resonated with the Canadian national chart.

Justin has responsible Saturn as the most elevated planet in his horoscope, accidentally exalted in the tenth house of government, status and public life. His Saturn figures in a Grand Air Grand Trine, featuring the power planet of Pluto in Libra and the popularity planet of Venus in Aquarius. Offsetting this is an opposition of Saturn to Neptune, which may aid in areas of social consciousness and the arts. Click here for his natal birthchart. He takes the leadership mantle as Saturn opposes its birth position.

WALKING THE PATH

His father’s death (Sun square Pluto) brought Justin to national prominence with a moving eulogy that curiously opened in Shakespearean tones, "Friends, Roman’s countrymen.”. It was moving. It was dramatic. But most of all it was hopeful. Justin intoned. “He taught us to believe in ourselves, stand up for ourselves, to know ourselves and to accept responsibility for ourselves. It was something that we would have to spend the rest of our lives to live up to.”

On April 27 2007, Justin began his political career in earnest. He was thirty-five and on his third Jupiter return, when he gained the Liberal nomination for Papineau. At the following elections of October 14 2008, Trudeau won the seat for the Canadian Liberals. His progressed Midheaven was squaring Pluto and activating his opportune Grand Trine. Trudeau’s life was truly transformed. He had become the career politician.

Justin’s narrow victory had him described by the editor in chief of the Globe and Mail as “a potential future prime minister" in an article titled ‘The Son Also Rises’. Trudeau’s Sun Pluto square birth aspect (the father) would cut through even more when Pluto headed into governing Capricorn. All of which was making Richard Nixon’s 1972 political gaffe, of introducing his father as Justin Trudeau Canadian PM, appear a prophetic probability.

TAKING THE BATON

When I added Justin Trudeau to my database I accidentally titled it as Justin Trudeau Canadian PM. That was also based on the excellent aspects of his birth chart relative to the future. But it was the Uranian factor that was the big decider when the October 19 2015 election was announced. Justin was experiencing his progressed Sun in trine to his Uranus – the planet essential to Canadian identity. His progressed Sun was also at the strong three quarter phase.

There were other strong astrological signals. His solar arcing Moon had reached his tenth house Saturn, fitting him for public responsibility and activating the opportunities of his communicative Grand Air Trine. Trudeau displayed this during the electoral debates. There were numerous other factors, such as the March Solar Eclipse on his Mars earlier in the year. Multiple hits like this are common to major career change. Click here for the solar arcs to natal.

How will the rock star politician cope with national responsibility? He was born within 24 hours of Ricky Martin and he has pledged to legalize marijuana. But Trudeau is a lot tougher than surface appearance. His Capricorn Sun is not only square intense Pluto but also squares assertive Mars. The grunt in Trudeau showed in his much-publicized charity fight against an opponent expected to knock him out. Instead it was Trudeau who easily prevailed.

Canada’s New Moon is symptomatic of its fresh direction. The older heads of Harper and Mulcair held less voter appeal. The future is in Trudeau’s hands and the world will be watching. He will need time. Uranus opposition periods – and he’s right in the thick of one – are about establishing your own rules. Saturn will also soon transit across his birth Mercury. Neptune will eventually square it. There’s a lot of serious thinking and planning ahead. In the coming years Trudeau’s Mars will progress to trine Jupiter. And with that lies his hope of another election victory.

Oct 18

THE END IS NIGH….OH NO, NOT AGAIN!

It was the year 2000, signaling the end of the second millennium. Typically the apocalyptic preachers were pushing another ‘second coming’. Meantime computer programmers preferred to make their financial killing from the Y2K scare. 2000 was the opportune time to sell chaos to the gullible, despite the Nostradamus fans bumming out in 1999.

By March 20, some people really did believe their end was nigh. The dotcom bubble burst. An insane period of uncontrolled avarice that saw the NASDAQ index balloon to 11 times its value in five years was inevitably deflating. In two months it would drop 33% . In two years the index shares had shrunk to a quarter of their former high. But not all was glum in the East.

May 2000 at the Kremlin heralded a grand affair. A former KGB operative on a meteoric rise, was to be sworn in as President of Russia. The inauguration would begin at noon and last just under an hour. It had been shifted to the gilded grandeur of St Andrews Hall, palace of the opulent tsars. It would coincide with a particularly auspicious planetary line up

On May 7 2000 the commanding Sun united with the royal planet of Jupiter. Joining Jupiter was authoritative Saturn, with all three squaring defiant Uranus. To the astute astrologer of ancient times, the three largest bodies of the solar system gathering together in the enduring sign of Taurus, would have been a particularly potent sign. The occasion was not lost on the incoming leader. Click here for the chart.

He declared, “Our country's history has been shaped here, inside the Kremlin walls, over centuries. And we do not have the right to be heedless of our past. We must not forget anything. We must know our history, know it as it really is, draw lessons from it and always remember those who created the Russian state, championed its dignity and made it a great, powerful and mighty state.”

THE STUNNING ECLIPSE OF 1999

The world hadn’t heard of Vladimir Putin, prior to August of 1999. He was nominated the acting Prime Minister of Russia on August 9 that year, by President Boris Yeltsin. Most people were far more interested in a spectacular Solar Eclipse of August 11 1999, which would darken the UK and Europe after tracing a path through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India. Interest in the eclipse viewing had reached fever pitch.

Forming a Grand Cross with Mars, Saturn and Uranus the eclipse had garnered great interest among the astrological community. 1999 was a year that had brought warplanes over Europe for the first time since WWII, as NATO bypassed the UN Security Council and bombed Yugoslavia. But the dire ‘end time’ predictions of 1999 were another false alarm.

The major war from August 1999 began in Chechnya. From August 26 Russia unleashed its military might to forge a significant victory. On the final day of 1999, the Russian President Boris Yeltsin surprisingly resigned, placing Vladimir Putin in complete control. The career steps of the political newbie would uncannily synchronise with the most important planetary line-ups in the heavens.

Putin’s first two terms as President revived Russia as a world power. At the December 2007 Duma elections he headed the United Russian Party. The elections took place as Jupiter and Pluto joined in the degree of the Galactic Centre. Putin’s party won a resounding victory with 60% of the vote. Although he stepped down as President, he would return as the Prime Minister on May 7 2008.

THIRD TIME PROVES IT

From noon May 7 2012 Putin would be sworn in for the third time as Russia's President. Again the stable Taurean Sun would form a conjunction to the royal planet of Jupiter, with both meeting his own Jupiter. But in reality he had always been the power behind the throne, since the original inauguration twelve years prior. But now relations with the west had notably soured.

Putin’s co-operation with the USA – he had been the first leader to offer assistance in the wake of 911 – deteriorated following the forced regime change in Iraq. Putin, along with the leaders of Germany and France opposed the US invasion. He began to positon himself as an opponent of what he called a US dominated unipolar world.

On June 23 2013, on a revealing Full Moon with Sun again positioned with Jupiter, the perfect public relations opportunity fell into his lap. Putin provided political protection to the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. If anyone was unveiling the secret corridors of power and control it was Snowden. His spying revelations had even staunch patriots questioning the honesty and morality of their own goverment

The battle lines were clearly drawn. The US threw support behind uprisings in the Ukraine. All of which led in to the April Grand Cross of 2014, impacting directly on the July 4 birth Sun of the USA and Putin’s own natal Sun. When it hit, Obama imposed economic sanctions on Russia.

But Putin had already made his move – he’d annexed the Crimean peninsula. Three passes of Mars over his Libran birth Sun in the opening months of 2014 had put Vladimir Putin on the warpath. Click here for the cosmo dial of Putin and the Grand Cross.

THE PUTIN BIRTH CHART

Vladimir Putin was born October 7 1952 in St Petersburg. The time of 09.30 hours was supplied by his website administrator, quoting a birth certificate. However as there has been no sighting of the actual birth record, the accuracy must remain in question. Yet given the date, there are several outstanding features to his chart.

Putin’s Mars is positioned at 26 degrees of Sagittarius, which means it is aligned it with the Galactic Centre. The Galactic Centre is a supermassive black hole around which our entire Milky Way revolves. Mars is the confrontational planet. Putin excels at combative sports such as judo, which uses an opponent’s force against himself. He seems to adroitly accomplish the same politically.

Putin’s Mars is also technically out of bounds. This takes it out of the ecliptic co-ordinates, meaning that the planet is placed in high focus and tends to act more independently. Putin is an extremely tough negotiator. His Mercury lies at the direct midpoint of Mars and penetrating Pluto, whilst in sextile to both. Military success may also be linked to Jupiter being at his Sun/Mars midpoint.

Putin belies the Libran diplomat. His Sun is positioned with the more pragmatic Saturn. He mixes defensive caution and stark realism with his reasoned analysis. Yet his Libra stellium – he has the Sun, Mercury, Saturn and Neptune here – allow him to weigh up both sides of the equation. His ascension really began with his last Progressed New Moon.

PUTIN'S LUNAR CYCLE

Putin’s progressed New Moon occurred at the beginning of 1994 in Scorpio. It closely squared the power planet of Pluto and was supportively sextile to progressed Mars, which was reaching its most exalted Capricorn degree. Just prior to the First Quarter Moon phase of 2000 Putin had risen to the Presidency. He is now moving to the Third Quarter Moon phase from the beginning of 2016. This can be the most powerful lunar period.

Putin now has the war planet of Mars progressing in supportive trine to his birth Sun. All of this would help him gravitate toward military solutions. His birth Sun now nicely sextiles his birth Saturn. His entry into the Syrian civil war embarrasses the west. He is fighting a problem entirely of their creation. He is also the first leader to resist the machinations of ongoing regime change.

It’s known that political leaders have used astrologers to time important moves. And we’re not talking only Babylonian kings or Roman Emperors. Ronald Reagan was one who seemed to find great success with stellar guidance. In stark contrast Adolf Hitler imprisoned astrologers. Does Putin seek astrological counsel? That, we’re not to know. Whether by coincidence of design, his global impact has been unmistakably aligned to higher forces.

October 11

LIFE ON MARS

As we approach a New Moon, opposite the mythical sky god of Uranus, NASA has released comprehensive plans for colonizing Mars by the 2030’s. That’s the kind of headline we might expect when the techno whiz Uranus faces off to an initiatory New Moon and even Mars itself moves toward a union with expansive Jupiter.

Mars is planet most similar to Earth. Due to its axial tilt toward the Sun of approximately 25 degrees - ours is 23 – Mars has seasons. The day on Mars is a mere 40 minutes longer than its earth equivalent. The Martian year is nearly doubly long though, due to its greater solar distance. And that’s where similarities end and sacrifices begin.

A colony on Mars would be an indoor affair, with the surface temperature slightly below the minimum ever recorded on the Earth’s frigid South Pole. With little atmosphere to block the Sun’s ultraviolet rays and a low atmospheric pressure, protective space suits become essential fashion.

And totally forget sunset beach walks gazing at the romantic night sky on this frontier excursion. All of which becomes plainly obvious in the newly released film, ‘The Martian’. NASA’s ambitious Mars press release neatly segues into the popularity of the box office winner, which began its US run from October 2.

And this New Moon is uncannily close to the Sun degree of October 12 1979. That’s when the whole subject of space travel, and human existence, was brilliantly satirized in the late Douglas Adams classic sci-fi ‘Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’. But New Moons, in aspect to Uranus, are about more than space adventures.

Uranus is also the planet of shock and surprise. It brings unexpected and unfamiliar twists to the storyline. And this week’s New Moon occurring at 02.05 hours Universal Time on October 13 will be no different. Applying some astrological and historical analysis to the plot may help unravel some of the surprise areas.

Part of the Uranian direction is that it inevitably runs against the grain – hence the rebel tag. And one country stands out in the historical sense - Iraq.

REPETITIVE IRAQI CONNECTION

At 00.50 hours EDT, on October 11 2002, the US Senate voted 77-23 for the Iraq War Resolution. The ramifications of that decision were monumental and almost immediate. At 11.08 pm the very next evening, on a once peaceful Indonesian island, the Bali bombings took place. The targets were the US consulate building and two tourist nightclubs. There were over 202 casualties– 88 were Australian.

Bali would experience further October bombings three years on. But it is the middle area of the month, where the current New Moon is due, that shows a repetitive pattern. On October 12 2000, at 11.18 am, in the Yemen port of Aden, the USS Cole was bombed. Seventeen sailors were killed and thirty-nine others injured in the blast that blew a 40 by 60 foot hole in the missile destroyer.

The blast occurred a day before the navy's 225th anniversary. The US Navy holds the key to its global power. It was originally formed on October 13 1775 as the Continental Navy, during the Revolutionary War. And as the New Moon falls on their birth date, opposite jack-in-the-box Uranus, it pays to check them out.

Over the next two weeks – from New Moon to Full Moon – the US Navy is reportedly preparing to send ships toward the disputed islands of the South China Sea. Pentagon heads are growing increasingly concerned with China building island defense zones. The sign of ships being sent to within the twelve-mile exclusion zone of the disputed Spratley group, so soon after the summit meeting of their two heads of state, does not augur well for the superpowers.

THE CREATION OF
ISLAMIC STATE

But it’s Iraq that seems to feature when it comes to important dates that fall close to the coming New Moon. Iraq’s first significant oil strike occurred at 3 am on October 15 1927 as the Libran Sun joined warlike Mars. It was just north of Kirkuk at the famous Baba Gurgur site, known as the Eternal Fire.

That singular event led to four companies, comprising the US Standard Oil, today’s British Petroleum, Dutch Shell and France’s Total each agreeing on splitting an equal 23.75% share. In violation of the post WWI San Remo Agreement, negotiated by the same nations, the Iraqis were kept out of the action.

Coincidentally from the 13th to 15th of October 2006 as the Libran Sun again joined military Mars, the Islamic State of Iraq was born. The mixture of insurgent Sunni factional groups from the Iraqi army, were led by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. They would eventually expand into ISIL. Say no more.

Regarding the middle of October there is a clear astrological, connection from the original oil monopolies, to the 2003 Iraq War, onto the formation of ISIL. Click here for the overlaid charts of the first Iraq oil strike and the Islamic State of Iraq.

PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENCE

There are other calendric connections peculiar to the Middle East and the looming October New Moon. The formation of the Jewish B’nai B’rith lodge took place in New York on October 13 1843. They were originally a support and lobby group. Although they remain primarily US based they now have 50 branches in countries worldwide.

B’nai B’rith were for many years the only Jewish group with full time representation at the United Nations. On September 30 2015 at 13.16 hours the flag of the proposed Palestine nation was raised from the United Nations building in New York. It was a sign of the changing times and shifting global alliances – Uranus opposing the birth Sun of B’nai Brith. And happening in the city of their formation.

From all of this we can draw the conclusion that this New Moon, opposing the insurgent Uranus, is the seed of some important shifts in the global perception of the Middle East. It may also mark the beginning of the US/China playing dangerous military games in the Pacific.

And the likelihood of shock attacks – like the Saturday morning 10 am deadly bombings in Ankara, claiming nearly 100 lives – are exacerbated. For it is not only a New Moon opposing shock factor Uranus, but also the conjunction of expansive Jupiter and militant Mars.

Click here for the similarities between the 2002 Bali Bombings and the Saturday October 10 Anakara terrorist blasts

Last week it was a Doctors Without Borders hospital that was indiscriminatel;y bombed. All of which makes me wonder that if Martians really did exist...would they be inclined to welcome the earthlings on board at all?

October 4

PLUTO POLARITY

Much of the current US divide is associated with the transit of Pluto opposing the nation's birth Sun, challenging its evolving identity, and bringing enormous pressures upon the leader. Pluto opposing the Sun elicits some core meanings that can be best described by signature events that define its nature.

Around forty years ago a young astrologer, Robert Hand, characterized Pluto as the magma beneath the volcano. He described it, under immense pressure, inevitably forcing its way to the surface in a cataclysmic explosion that forever changed the landscape. The immediate effects can be devastating to the existing structures.

The catastrophic Chernobyl meltdown was a typical Sun opposite Pluto event. A lethal combination of an ineffectively regulated nuclear industry, a flawed reactor design and the human error factor produced the Soviet’s greatest nuclear disaster. Pluto is the accident – and the unforgettable incident – just waiting to happen.

When the US Embassy in Bayrut was bombed at 13.03 hours on April 18 1983, the Sun and Pluto were in close opposition. They both squared the Pluto of the USA July 4 1776 17.10 hours birth horoscope. The explosion took out the entire US Middle East CIA team.

Six months later, at the Sun Pluto conjunction another explosion claimed 242 US lives at Bayrut airport. The lethal bombings were connected to unwelcome involvement in Middle East politics. It was a situation that was inevitably going to have explosive consequences. And the covert underground operations of the CIA were the perfect Pluto backdrop.

THE MEN IN BLACK

The formation of the CIA took place in January 1946. The appointment of their first chief was dutifully recorded in the diary of Admiral William Leary, President Truman’s military advisor on January 24. The Sun opposed Pluto and trined an equally covert Neptune. He wrote…

“At lunch today in the White House, with only members of the Staff present, Rear Admiral Sidney Souers and I were presented [by President Truman] with black cloaks, black hats, and wooden daggers, and the President read an amusing directive to us outlining some of our duties in the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Sun Pluto oppositions usually play out as critical turning points in power struggles. And like Chernobyl, they also frequently spiral way out of control. The Stuxnet worm, released by Israel and the US, to sabotage Iran’s nuclear plants was unleashed on June 23 2010 as the Sun opposed Pluto. But eventually contaminted over 100,000 computers worldwide.

Sun Pluto events bring things to a climax. If they are simmering beneath the bedrock they explode onto the surface. So as Pluto now opposes the USA’s birth Sun, the country has reached that stage of deep regeneration, typical of the Pluto demand for change.

To add to the intrigue, the Libran Sun is also moving to square the Capricorn Pluto by the 6th of October, when Mars and Neptune also oppose. We’re going to get a lot of ‘plutonic’ events, making headlines. And there will be some Mars/Neptune spin involved, concerning warfare and guns plus oil and gas in general. Let’s look at why.

PLUTONIC PUTIN

Life might have been a lot different in Syria had President Bashar al-Assad given the go-ahead for a natural gas pipeline from Qatar and Saudi Arabia to run through his country. Instead he opted to sign on for the Iran-Iraq-Syria option, which would be the largest pipeline in the Middle East. And although he’d been in power since June 2000, life hasn’t been the same since.

The geographic situation of Syria, with its Mediterranean coastline, creates the ideal conduit for European energy consumption. The Gulf States and their western allies would need to remove al-Assad to take advantage of that. And the countries with the largest gas reserves in the world, Russia and Iran would suffer.

All of which may help explain why al-Assad, has found himself embroiled in a catastrophic civil war, openly fuelled by western interests. When Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan could not convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop support for al-Assad, the battle escalated.

The Sauds became the biggest buyer of US weapons. The CIA trained Syrian rebel insurgents and of course Islamic State have gone from strength to strength. They are additionally funded by illegal oil sales – but ‘strangely’ no economic sanctions have even been suggested for their customers.

One has to be enslaved to mainstream ‘mediacrity’ to escape the hypocrisy of all of this, or the appalling Syrian refugee aftermath. Middle East energy markets are a plutonic power struggle of the highest order. And on the afternoon of September 30 they took a major turn, as Russia finally entered the fray.

All typical of a simmering situation reaching boiling point. And as Pluto opposes the US Sun, it also moves to square the Libran Sun of Vladimir Putin, the thorn in their side. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, western policy has been to enforce regime change in countries of choice such as Iraq or Libya. Even the Egyptian coup was enacted on July 3 2013, as the Sun opposed Pluto. But Syria is now a proxy war.

ENTER MARS - GUNS AND WAR

These are external manifestations of Pluto opposing the US Sun, but the internal national issues are just as polarizing. For decades the country has watched, as successive governments fail to curb a recurring pattern of lethal shootings. With the recent Umpqua Community College mass murders the situation is now reaching breaking point.

Multiple excuses are advanced by a cashed up right wing gun lobby, exposing the underbelly of money and corruption in US politics. The founding father James Madison could hardly have envisaged his patriotic Second Amendment being used centuries later to justify and promote an entire culture of gun worship.

The US is unique in that it has now proliferated the social misfit come mass murderer character. Such is the deadly side of Pluto. The gun lobby even promotes the purely plutonic slogan of, “I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

Pluto is certainly obsessive control that's needing to be released. A build up of pressure that's ready to explode. Perhaps the cumulative number of gun related deaths, and the collective community anger, will be the irresistable force that changes the immovable attitudes of so many America. Only then will the lives of thousands of unnecessary victims not have passed in vain.

Click here to view the current transits and progressions to the horoscope of the USA, with explanation.

Meanwhile...

ODE TO IDIOCY

Our thoughts and prayers are with you
Those grieving dads and mums
We deeply sense your heartfelt loss
Don’t regulate our guns!

What we can do to stop the cull
To drive away this sadness
Is the same that we did yesterday
The definition of madness

More guns to keep the children safe
And make the men stand tall
More guns will keep the country great
The envy of them all

No need to change the status quo
No cause to rock the nation
If militia keep on shooting schools
We’ll just ban education

Sep 27

WASHINGTON TRIUMVIRATE

Is it a coincidence that two of the most powerful men on the planet are in Washington at the same time? Pope Francis is the head of the world’s largest religion, with over 1.2 billion followers. Xi Jinping is the leader of the world’s second biggest economy with close to 1.4 billion people. Completing the triumvirate is Barack Obama, the man originally elected to 'change' Washington.

As these meetings take place Pluto, the planet of deep regeneration, stations opposite the USA's July 4 Cancer Sun. The opposition is an aspect offering the choice of either competition or committed co-operation. It inevitably brings the influence of significant others into your life. For a country, there are deeper ramifications.

THE PLUTO FUNCTION

To extract the meaning of Pluto opposing the USA Sun, it is essential to understand what was happening wayback when it joined the USA Sun. That period was the mid 1920’s and Pluto was exact from late 1924 through to mid 1926. Pluto exerts and centralizes control. It is absolutism. As Pluto moved across the US Sun, New York superseded London as the largest city in the world.

Pluto is the wealth ruler. Then President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed, "the business of America is business." These were the opulent days when Scott Fitzgerald penned his magnum opus ‘The Great Gatsby’. It’s a story renowned for its ostentatious display of wealth, but has also been characterized as the decadent downside of the American dream.

Pluto to the Sun was the Roaring Twenties, when the stock market soared to such dizzying heights that it plunged the capitalist world off a fiscal cliff and into the abyss of a Great Depression. America climbed out of its Pluto prefaced breakdown to rise to even greater power and now the cathartic planet is back like the proverbial terminator that it is.

WIDENING THE PERSPECTIVE

The opposition phase brings greater objectivity. It is when we see things from the other person’s perspective and how we stand in relation to them. Pluto oppositions are the most profound of all. They mark where we confront the mortality of our own dark side. Also where we may encounter the lethal enemy. Pluto brings to bear the power to change, but the opposition brings this change via our allies and/or enemies.

Pluto began to oppose the USA Sun early in 2014. It did so as the US played a pivotal role in the Ukrainian Revolution. The reaction was immediate. The Pluto opposition triggered a rapid revival of the Cold War. The nuclear nemesis of Russia was reignited. As Pluto’s opposition reached exactness in April 2014, the US launched economic sanctions – their own fiscal war – on Russia. Next week it will be Vladimir Putin arriving in Washington.

Pluto’s connection with wealth and power then evolved as new political economic alliances began to form, with the potential to challenge the global hegemony of the US dollar. On July 15 2014, Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa opened the New Development Bank as an alternative to the US dominated IMF and World Banks.

INEQUALITY THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

At 08.28 UT on April 28 2014 Pope Francis famously Tweeted ‘Inequality is the root of social evil’. Click here for the horoscope. This Tweet appeared precisely as a planetary Grand Cross impacted on the horoscope of the USA. The Pope had waded into the political malaise of the modern world and become an inadvertent icon. But the biblical reminder that the love of money is the root of all evil did not sit well with the status quo. It never does.

The Pope was unrelenting. He criticized the naivety of those who “continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.” He prayed for “more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

Archetypal Pluto figures will appear right on time. Those who live for power and wealth – such as Donald Trump for President. As the Sun in the national horoscope also represents the leader, the Pluto opposition brings great tests to the position. Is the Presidency becoming something to be sold to the highest bidder? Does political leadership capitulate to corporate coercion? These are Pluto concerns for the US.

TOO BIG TO FAIL

The competitive aspect also comes through the economic juggernaut that is modern China. When Pluto last squared the US Sun through 1976-78, Deng Xiaoping began his economic reforms following the death of Mao Zedong. So this is now a turning point for China as well as the USA. The Chinese/US economic co-dependency is now so intertwined that both can be termed too big to fail. The fate of both lies in the co-operation of their alliance.

Pluto’s hard aspects to the Sun have also produced a more fervent nationalism that threatens international alliances. When it first squared the US Sun back in the 1830’s the protectionist Whig Party were formed. The signs of current political schism synchronize with Pluto’s reappearance. And the sudden resignation of the Speaker of the House, Catholic John Boehner, may be a prelude to a government shutdown.

The bottom line for Pluto is that things cannot stay the same. These dual international visits are not coincidental. Neither was Boehner’s resignation as the Sun and eclipsing North Node also passed over the US administrative Midheaven. At least not in the astrological sense. They are typical of the symbolism of Pluto addressing issues of subversive power and control. They are also calling for a new form of leadership and change to the national identity. Mark mid November and the 4th to 14th of December as the important dates to watch.


September 20

A STUDY OF ECLIPSES

September 13 2015. It was the day of a Solar eclipse. Ancient kings might have been concerned about such an omen. Today’s politicians would hardly give it a second thought, if they were even aware of an eclipse. After all, such beliefs are largely superstition – aren’t they? Why should an eclipse affect a king? Maybe we should ask the former NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, whose position spectacularly imploded on the eve of one in April last year.

The religious Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott might have had reason for concern. At five minutes to midday the following day, his deputy walked into his office and announced that there would be a leadership challenge. Abbott was about to become aware of just how effective eclipse’s can be. And it’s not just superstition. They have timed his rise, top and fall.

Tony Abbott was born at 4 am on November 4 1957 in London. He entered federal parliament via a by-election in 1994. That year there was a Solar Eclipse on November 4 – his 37th birthday. It fell right upon his birth Sun. Eclipses are springboards for important new initiatives but also for saying a fast goodbye to yesterday.

ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP

Abbott’s life would never be the same. A focused Scorpio with intransigent Uranus square his Sun, he had always been ambitious. Although addicted to the conservative cause, Abbott operated by his own rules. Secret schemes eliminated enemies, at one stage leading to the controversial jailing of Pauline Hanson. To his own party he became known as the head kicker and to the opposition, the wrecking ball.

Abbott polarized. But the increasingly acrimonious division of global politics became his battleground. In 2013 Tony Abbott would have another Solar Eclipse on his Sun - the first since 1994. Again life would never be the same. On September 18, that year, at 10.29 am, he was sworn in as Australia’s 28th Prime Minister. Were these eclipses coincident with status change? Or was something deeper at work?

It wasn’t difficult to foresee Abbott becoming Prime Minister in 2013. Historically, the once proud Labor party had never rated lower. In serious damage control they reincarnated the the man they had deposed, Kevin Rudd, but he could not pull back the numbers. Liberals were in and Labor was routed. But the Australian public never warmed to leader Tony Abbott.

SYDNEY ASTROLOGICAL RESEARCH SOCIETY

Shortly after Abbott’s victory I was due to deliver a lecture for the Sydney Astrological Research Society. This is Australia’s oldest astrology group; meeting monthly at the Sydney Mechanics School in Pitt St. Part of my talk would be on eclipses.

Labor had elected a new leader. One of the contenders had fielded an eclipse on his birth Sun in 2013. His name was Bill Shorten and he would win the leadership by October 13 that year. Shorten had also experienced another eclipse of his Sun in 1994 – the same year he became a union organizer. The rise of Shorten and Abbott was uniquely parallel by eclipses.

During this lecture, I pointed to the eclipse cycle as part of the predictive techniques I had used to forecast these events before the year had begun. But it was the next slide that caught the audience’s eye. It featured Malcolm Turnbull and a cartoon blurb promising that he would not mount a challenge. We all laughed at the incongruity of that sarcasm.

The next slide showed the October 24 2014 Solar Eclipse falling on Turnbull’s birth Sun. It would be up to Malcolm Turnbull to make his leadership bid within a year of the Solar Eclipse – meaning he had to challenge before October 24 2015, which of course he eventually did.

NO BIRTH TIME BUT NO WORRIES

I had previous communication with Turnbull, via email enquiring about his birth time. He genuinely didn’t know and mentioned that both parents had passed. But Malcolm has what I would deem a lucky chart. His Sun is closely square the fortunate combination of Jupiter and Uranus, and square the warrior Mars. The eclipse would have a fortunate outcome, just as the one nineteen years before had produced, when he made a fortune through Internet investments.

Malcolm Turnbull, born October 24 1954 in Sydney, has his birth Sun at the cusp of Libra and Scorpio. But this is not as important as the fact that his Sun progressed through the intense rebirthing Scorpio sign during his developing years. Over the last year it has advanced into administrative Capricorn. Public polling has continually shown him as preferred as Prime Minister.

By chance factor the challenger chose the day after a Solar Eclipse to make his bid for the national leadership. His timing was immaculate. At 21:49 on September 14 2015, the announcement came that he had carried the day by a party room vote of 54-44. The Governor General swore Malcolm Turnbull in as Australian Prime Minister on Tuesday September 14 at 13:34 in Canberra.

Click here for the horoscopes.

HAROLD HOLT AND TONY ABBOTT

Since 2007 it has been my privilege to write a political astrology column for the quarterly journal of the Federation of Australian Astrologers. The column centers more on the Australian political scene. And being a magazine specifically aimed at members of an astrology organization I can be more technical than I might be for other publications.

Last year I compared the horoscopes of Tony Abbott with another Australian Prime Minister – Harold Holt. Their charts had some uncanny connections. The Suns of both were exactly square, Holt’s Mars precisely squared Abbott’s Mercury and Abbott’s Mercury did the same to Holt’s Mars. Holt was known for his love of scuba diving; Abbott became famous for his budgie smugglers.

Both also had hard aspects between their Suns and the shock factor - Uranus. Abbot had the square and Holt had the uncomfortable inconjunct – a 150 degree angle. My thoughts were that Abbott would suddenly depart, just as Holt had, but that the sharks of Canberra would be the ones to devour the PM. The Solar Eclipse of September 13 2015 had the Sun inconjunct Uranus – the same as in Holt’s chart. But the former lifeguard Abbott didn’t spot the fins in time.

Harold Holt was Prime Minister for 22 months - Abbott almost made 24. My latest article for the September FAA quarterly journal forecast Abbott’s imminent removal based on his progressed horoscope and the Moon opposing his birth Sun during September. Each time the progressed Moon’s hard aspects to his Sun had produced significant status change. His swearing in horoscope also supported that prognosis.

As for Turnbull – has fate played its part? Is it something about mid September, eclipses, or the planet Uranus? Turnbull originally became the leader of the Liberal party on September 16 2008 – with the Sun opposing the planet of changeable Uranus. A day short of seven years later he was sworn in as Prime Minister on September 15 with the Sun inconjunct the unpredictable Uranus. But maybe it’s not so unpredictable after all.

To hear a past prediction of an Australian election broadcast live on the Chris Smith show click here.

Sep 13

Every column this year lies below. Scroll down for different mundane articles
On Sunday morning August 2 2015, the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, announced a national election for October 19. The extraordinarily long campaign time of 78 days was known to favour Tory parties. Harper, the leader of the Conservative Party, was initially asked to form government at 18.45 hours on January 24 2006. He was sworn in on February 6 2006 and is seeking his fourth consecutive election victory.

Stephen Harper, was born April 30 1959 in Toronto. The last time I reviewed him was before the May 2011 poll, where I thought he’d have too many planetary guns for the opposition. Powerful Pluto was forming the opportune trine angle to his Taurean Sun as Jupiter also moved through Taurus. Progressing Mars was also nicely trine to Harper’s communicative Mercury. He duly increased his vote.

Election 2015 is a complete reversal of 2011 for Stephen Harper. Now his progressed Sun is moving to oppose Saturn, implying past karma is coming to haunt and that his hard-line control will turn against him. Popularity planet Venus is also in a difficult sesquisquare to Saturn, further suggesting dwindling support.

Harper has called this election with the transiting Sun moving toward the opposition to his birth Sun. Although that may not perfect by October 19, it gives a good idea of the way the trend is heading. His solar arcs are also indicating positional change as groundbreaking Uranus throws a testing square to conservative Saturn and Saturn arcs to oppose Pluto. My observation is that Harper’s vote and office fall with it.

Harper’s original acceptance speech was one of the most pro monarchy ever recorded. In this way he parallels with the Australian conservative leader Tony Abbott, a renowned royalist. The horoscopes of both Harper and Abbott also feature fixed squares between the Sun and intransigent Uranus. It’s this contempt for advice and lack of co-operation, especially with the media, that threatens to bring both undone.

Another remarkable coincidence exists between the Australian and Canadian Prime Minister. Their dual nemeses are both born on the same day. Australian Liberal Malcolm Turnbull and Canada’s New Democrats leader Thomas Mulcair share the birthday of October 24 1954. And each will be hoping that October brings their opportunities to roost.

SATURN IN SAGITTARIUS

This week Saturn heads back into Sagittarius for the next two years and here’s a reminder of those trends.

Sagittarius is one of the brightest areas of the night sky. The numerous nebulae and star clusters of the Milky Way are at their densest and the Galactic Center is at 27 degrees of Sagittarius. On September 18 (UT) the beautiful multi-ringed Saturn, re-enters the tropical sign of the Archer. It will remain there until December 20 2017, excepting a brief three-month return into Scorpio from June 15 until September 18 2015.

Sagittarius, Latin for the Archer, has its arrow pointed metaphorically at a heavenly target, representing big picture visions. It’s no coincidence that when a German priest named Martin Luther nailed 95 thesis on a Wittenberg church door, to protest the commercialization of Christianity, that critical Saturn would be in Sagittarius. Back on October 31 1517 that triggered a religious Reformation.

The Reformation is a perfect example of pragmatic Saturn’s method of stripping something back to its bare essentials. In decreeing that the paying of capital could absolve sin, the materialism of the Catholic Church was distancing it from its spiritual beginnings and purpose. Instead it had become a financial and political powerhouse. The Reformation divided Christianity and split Europe along ideological lines. But it also unites when there is a common cause.

THE EUROPEAN AND SOVIET UNIONS

Saturn was in Sagittarius both for the March 23 1956 signing of the Treaty Of Rome, laying the foundation of the European Economic Community and its institution on January 1 1958. The first major revision of the 1957 treaty came when Saturn returned to Sagittarius, and the Single European Act was signed in February 1986 coming into effect on July 1 1987. Saturn’s return cycle is setting the scene for a further economic revision of Europe?

It wasn’t only Europe that was ‘rebuilt’ at the last sojourn of Saturn through Sagittarius. On February 25 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced two decisive concepts to the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Glasnost meant openness and transparency involving government activities and institutions. Perestroika was the quintessential Saturn word, meaning restructuring. While the European Union expanded, the Soviet Union diminished.

When Saturn enters Sagittarius people are changing their belief systems. And as they do – the world changes. The change becomes fully effective as Saturn moves into the succeeding sign of Capricorn. For it is here that Saturn will soon join cathartic Pluto, which has been steadily unveiling the underbelly of the establishment. This was exactly what transpired in 1518 as Luther’s Reformation gained overpowering traction. And this is the first time since, that Saturn has followed Pluto through Sagittarius only to meet up with it again in Capricorn.

EMPIRES DISSOLVE

The fall of the Soviet Union seemed unfeasible to many in the early 80’s. Yet the warning signs are not merely in the skies. The Soviet empire imploded through over-reach, extravagant military expenditure and compulsive control. Like the medieval church, their systemic values collapsed, dissolving with it people’s faith and belief. They lost sight of their initial objective.

Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, thrives off futuristic endeavor. When its dream is found wanting by the critical rationale of Saturn, upheaval is inevitable. This results in a weakening of the corrupt ‘central command’. Vassal states detach from the empire as the human costs outweigh the financial benefits. New and different allegiances are formed. Religious and economic oppression or inequality is countered and might is once again proven not to be right.

WEALTH INEQUALITY

The fall of the Soviets, whilst ending a Cold War, also signaled the rise of unbridled capitalism and centralized wealth. Wealth inequality is now at the heart of humanity’s problems, stemming from the Reagan years of deregulation as Saturn last moved through Sagittarius. In the spiritual sense the world has made little to no progress. Humankind’s biblical belief of ‘subduing the earth’ is instead producing catastrophic results.

In the same way that the radioactive fallout of Chernobyl crippled the soviet states, so the economic fallout of the Global Financial Collapse casts a shadow over the longevity of modern capitalism and its military solutions to political or humanitarian problems. Saturn was in Sagittarius at the Galactic Centre for the Wall St Crash of October 28 1929. Saturn was also in Sagittarius when the Dow fell 22% in a single day on October 19 1987. Economies floating on titanic debt may yet hit the iceberg of cold reality.

THE MIDDLE EAST

When Saturn last transited Sagittarius the first Palestinian Intifada began on December 8, 1987. As Saturn returns, the cultural and religious divide still persists, yet world opinion has radically changed and is now demanding a solution. The prior cycle to that also accompanied Arab unrest with the 1956 Suez crisis leading to the formation of the United Arab Republic and Arab Federation.

The Israel/Palestinian developments are effectively timed by the current Jupiter Saturn cycle, which began on the degree of the birth Sun of Israel. The opposition point in the sequence came when Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza aid flotilla taking eight lives and creating a global backlash. The cycle will form three closing squares marking August of of late March and May of 2016 as the next crucial stages in resolving the conflict.

Control of the seas will be an issue as Saturn squares Neptune three times, in November of 2015 and again in June and September 11 2016. The latter two of these squares seem to be more potent as they bring Saturn to the Ascendant of the USA Sibly horoscope. Although Saturn in Sagittarius has sometime favored the USA – it timed the imperial expansion of the US/Spanish War - Neptune presents a mixed bag.

Neptune is mythically related to the sea, and its forays with the USA Ascendant have coincided with naval growth, especially into South East Asia. The Pacific pivot, a significant shift in US foreign policy, would appear to be a feature of these coming Saturn Neptune squares. This policy is seen as a containment of China’s growing power, and the same Saturn Neptune squares will impact on China’s progressed Sun. Not only control of waterways, but water shortages can be a manifestation of Saturn’s containment mixed with Neptune.

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS

Travel is a feature of exploratory and farsighted Sagittarius and Saturn’s entry here previously coincided with the launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnick 1, on October 24 1957 @ 19.29 UT. This led to the reactionary creation of NASA – the space race and the US and world’s first communications satellite SCORE on December 18 1958 @ 23.02 UT just over a year later. Saturn’s return to Sagittarius in the mid 80’s witnessed Russia launching the first modular ‘space station’ in Mir, available to astronauts of all countries. New Horizons recent close up shots of Pluto have encouraged this Sagittarian energy of shooting for the skies.

Such is but a brief synopsis of what to expect as Saturn reanimates the tropical realm of Sagittarius. Established power blocs will begin to falter as new allegiances begin to form. Religious turmoil and hypocrisy will produce major blowback, and economic restructure is inevitable, as the current system proves unworkable. As in the past, the world demands a new Glasnost (transparency) and Perestroika (political restructure). It’s a Saturn reality.

September 6

At 06.46 August 26 2015 television reporters Alison Parker and Adam Ward were gunned down in the Bridgewater Plaza, Franklin County, Virginia. It happened live on air. Their killer later shot himself. At the time of writing they were 3 of the 8,783 US gun deaths so far this year. It’s a social cancer peculiar to the US, in stark contrast to most other western nations. This article examines the astrological reasons why.

In examining the planetary components behind social phenomena, it’s essential to understand they usually embody the national myth. In the USA this comes directly from the birthday horoscope of July 4 1776 at 17.10 hours LMT in Philadelphia. On that day Mars was closely squaring Neptune. The nature of that planetary combination, and the history of those two planets in square, is an eye-opener.

MARS & NEPTUNE

Ask any astrologer about Mars and they will inevitably answer that it’s the planet of war. It’s the origin of the word ‘mar’ and mundanely linked with storms and tempests. Even the renowned Gauquelin vocational studies confirmed the stellar status of Mars. The fiery red planet performed way above chance factor in a comparative analysis of famous military persons, athletes and surgeons.

Neptune has a totally different agenda. It forgoes critical analysis in favor of idealized perception. Neptune’s escapism from everyday reality connects it to everything from spiritual sacrifice down to drug addiction or being duped by the nearest snake oil salesman. So when volatile Mars angles to dreamy Neptune, war and weaponry can assume virtual religious reverence.

THE GLORY OF WAR

The United States Army was formed on June 14 1775 with Mars and Neptune together. Later that year, on November 10, as Mars squared Neptune, the US Marines were created. But the planetary aspect knows no particular allegiance. On August 11 1988 as Mars squared Neptune, Osama bin-Laden formed Al-Qaeda at a meeting in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The last year that Neptune formed a hard aspect to the USA’s Mars/Neptune square was in the second half of 2001. And by that time Al-Qaeda operatives were clearly recognized as the number one enemies for the US military. The same aspect has occasioned great human loss.

Australia's WWI recruiting marches began from the outback Australia on October 10 1915 as Mars and Neptune came together. Their first semisquare of July 1 1916 began the Battle of the Somme. It would conclude at the sesquisquare of November 18 that year, claiming 794,000 Allied lives and 537,00 Germans.

LOSING ONE’S HEAD

When King Charles I lost his head – literally to the executioner’s axe - on January 30 1649 (OS) Mars was square Neptune. When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at the Ford Theatre on April 14 1865 – Mars was square Neptune. The same aspect was in play on October 13 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt’s steel spectacle case and his 50-page speech notes prevented a bullet from entering his heart.

As Roosevelt reached inside his coat and felt a trickle of blood, the realization dawned on him that he had been shot. He promptly told the crowd and then went on to complete a 90-minute speech before heading off to hospital. The bullet was to forever remain lodged in his chest and his lucky escape became the stuff of legend.

Roosevelt’s would-be assassin, John Schrank, was born with Mars and Neptune together. In Neptunian delusion, he claimed to have been advised to kill Roosevelt by the ghost of former President William McKinley. That is taking the Neptune delusion to another level again. McKinley was also born with an exact square from Mars to Neptune. It was McKinley's assassination that suddenly gave Roosevelt his first term.

NEPTUNE KILLERS

England’s infamous Kray Twins, Reggie and Ronnie, were born on October 24 1933 when Mars was squaring Neptune. Their crime syndicate, the Firm, terrorized London for decades. The Neptune factor drew them into nightclub management and celebrity hobnobbing. It also glamorized the Kray’s life of violence via films, books and newspaper articles.

Australia’s renowned celebrity conservationist, the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, was born with his Mars squaring Neptune. He was constantly dicing with danger but met his premature end via a stingray barb in the seas of the Great Barrier Reef. At the time the nautical Neptune was transiting over his Mars and Jupiter had arrived at his Neptune.

Hurricane Katrina was a Mars tempest that subjected New Orleans to the inundation of the surging seas of Neptune. Usually they will come as a costly catastrophe, due to the Neptune loss factor. On October 19 1987 the Dow Jones also went into meltdown – 22% wiped off share values in a single day under a similar Mars Neptune square.

The melt down at Three Mile Island was the worst nuclear accident in US history. It came not only with Mars and Neptune in square, but also squaring the USA’s birth Mars and Neptune – therefore forming a Grand Cross. It could have been much worse, but was a wake up call for the nuclear industry. But back to conventional Mars weaponry and the gun issue.

DIFFERENT WORLDS

The political polarity between Australia and America, when it comes to gun laws could not be more diverse. Two events marked the differing national reactions. Australia’s gun crisis climaxed on April 28 1996 with the single largest killing spree of its time. The Port Arthur massacre claimed 35 lives with 37 others wounded.

Port Arthur was the culmination of a twelve-year trend of increasing gun violence in Australia. Mass murder had occurred in Melbourne’s Hoddle and Queen Streets and the Sydney suburbs of Strathfield and Surry Hills. The political reaction after Port Arthur was fast and decisive - tougher gun registration laws accompanied a national buy-back scheme. Polling showed 85% public support. To date there have been no further mass gun massacres.

Three years later, on April 20 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took 13 lives and injured 24 others in the USA’s Columbine High School massacre. Again the provocative Mars was closely squaring Neptune. Typical to Neptune, a film based on the pervasive influence of the gun lobby gun won Best Documentary Feature at the 2002 Academy Awards.

The event has stuck in the American psyche, but little has changed since. If anything Columbine has inspired further misfits hoping to gain permanent glory with a gun. Enthusiastic gun merchants even market fun guns to children. The case of one five year old killing his two year old sister with his birthday gun is tragically not uncommon.

There are always over one thousand gun deaths under 18 years of age annually in the US. Guns kill more kids than cancer. Yet Mars and Neptune do not have to always operate on such a robotic and fatalistic level. Awareness is the first and primary mechanism of change.

Planets are always acting as potential guides, pointing out the developmental challenges on an individual or collective level. When the Neptunian victim’s rights are respected as much as those of the Mars perpetrators, even a national consciousness can change. Tightening legislation would be a start. It may require a Neptunian style ‘sacrifice’, but surely there has been enough lambs to the slaughter already.

August 30

THE CYCLE OF VENUS AND MARS

Recurrence cycles are part of the mundane astrologers toolbox. That's because what happens celestially is so often mirrored terrestrially. This year features an important recurrence cycle of Earth's closest planetary neighbours, Venus and Mars.

Venus and Mars represent the polarity of love and conflict. They are the archetypes of war and peace. They come together three times in 2015. This triple union is part of a longer 32-year cycle dating back to 1983. That cycle began on February 19 and ended October 26. This triple play began on February 22 and will end November 3. Time traveling back to 1983 should bring some interesting correspondences.

It was 1983 when Americans became a lot more aware of the existence of Australia. It came through the competition of Mars, with the crew of Australia II wresting the America’s Cup away from the Newport Yacht club for the first time in 132 years. It was preceded by arty Venus and Men At Work hitting number one twice on the US Billboard charts with Who Can It Be Now and Down Under, the fourth biggest selling record of 1983.

So perhaps it's not so much of a surprise that an Aussie athlete called Jarryd Hayne should be turning heads on the Gridiron fields, less than a year after Iggy Azalea's Venusian 'Fancy' topped the Billboard charts. Iggy became the only artist since the Beatles to have number one and two simultaneously. But beauty and the beast Venus and Mars played an even more important role when it came to war and peace in 1983.

A WORLD ON THE BRINK

In 1983 the Cold War reached its worst red alert since the 1962 showdown between Khrushchev and Kennedy. It began on the evening of March 25 with a nationwide televised address by the US President Ronald Reagan. He was unveiling an ambitious antimissile plan code named the Strategic Defense Initiative. The press coined it 'Star Wars'.

Missile shields had been off the table in the nuclear race. The logic being that the nuclear deterrent itself was sufficient to scare either side from pressing the button. MAD, or mutually assured destruction, was an unspoken understanding. Reagan's move was dangerously changing the balance. The Soviet leader Yuri Andropov , sped up the arms race, fearing the American leader was engineering a pre-emptive strike. All which led to a tragic accident and a narrow escape from a global holocaust.

FLIGHT 007

The accident came when Korean Airline Flight 007 drifted hundreds of miles off course, well into Russian airspace. It happened at the same time that American surveillance planes were conducting reconnaissance missions on the border of Russian airspace. Flight 007 was en route from Anchorage to Seoul but faulty controls saw it drift hundreds of miles off course, toward the Kamchatka Peninsula. At 15.51 UT, on September 1 the plane, with 269 on board, entered restricted airspace.

The Soviets scrambled interceptor jets when it seemed to be ignoring repeated warnings to leave. When Flight 007 again re-entered the no fly zone, Soviet commanders ordered it be taken out of the skies. The first missile detonated at 18.26.02 UT followed by a second and minutes later the aircraft began a slow descent, finally crashing into the sea.

There were no survivors. The Soviets were uncooperative in the international search, preferring to launch their own investigation, and blocking their territorial waters. The tensions between the nations ratcheted up another notch. What followed could have been mutually assured destruction.

It was three weeks later and tensions still on a knife edge when Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov began his midnight watch. He had been summoned at the last minute to replace a sick comrade. Petrov was situated in an underground bunker, in a forest one hundred miles from Moscow. He was monitoring a missile radar system.

It was the command centre of the Soviet early warning satellite network. The officer was barely minutes into his shift when the red alert siren sounded. Petrov startled, stared at his screen. An intercontinental missile was heading to the Soviet Union from the USA. The response was to be an immediate counter attack, as time was of the essence.

With the Cold war tensions at breaking point, he waited. Petrov sensed something was wrong. He reasoned that if the US were to strike they would have to do so with a hundred missiles. The warning siren sounded again and the radar signaled another four missiles. With 120 waiting men for his command Petrov held fast that there was a mysterious malfunction. He was right.

That moment – that human judgement – shortly after midnight on September 26 1983, averted a nuclear holocaust. It wasn't the only near thing that day. Russian cosmonauts escaped what would have been certain death by fleeing from the Soyuz rocket pad seconds before the entire launch complex exploded. Australians wouldn't have known much about either. They awoke celebrating an historic victory in the America’s Cup. Prime Minister Bob Hawke called for a national holiday.

That was 32 years ago and the whole world should have been celebrating the near miss. Venus and Mars were conjunct in Leo. They will be again this Tuesday - September 1. Back then lucky Jupiter joined the aerial planet of Uranus – god of the skies. The conjunction was right to the minute when Stanislsav Petrov got it right. In his 1941 classic Combination of Stellar Influences astrologer Reinhold Ebertin sums the Jupiter/Uranus combination up in three words. He called it the 'thank god position'.

This year Malaysian MH-17 was shot from the skies, flying over a war zone, by a Russian built BUK missile system. The tensions between Russia and the USA have brought another Cold War. Provocative military exercises are carried out by both sides.

In 1983 it took an ordinary officer and extraordinary man, to diffuse the tension. He considered himself the right person at the right time. Should we thank the lord that neither Reagan or Andropov were at the controls? How might they have reacted? Or how would today's leaders Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin, Bin Netanyahu, General Sisi, Stephen Harper or even Tony Abbott react? I could go on...but surely Donald Trump already has enough publicity.

August 23

FOR EVERYTHING A SEASON

In the days when Babylonian Kings employed astrologers, timing was everything. They lived by the eventual Ecclesiastes code that, ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens’. Cycles of change were measurable and whatever is, had been done before. The election of a time to begin an enterprise was therefore considered critical to its success.

Some years ago I studied the inauguration charts of US Presidents, looking for clues to their tenure. The precise moment that they are sworn into the position represents the beginning of their ‘reign’. The results were promising enough. When George W. Bush was sworn in at 12.01 pm on January 20 2001, the horoscope cast for the moment was fitting for what followed.

The war planet of Mars sat strong in its own sign of Scorpio and was setting in the traditional house of allies and enemies. Mars was also fielding a precise square from Mercury, the messenger and also sudden shock Uranus, both positioned in the house of administration. These aspects, along with the Sun semisquare to Pluto were sufficient for seasoned astrologers to anticipate a war presidency for George W.

US Presidents are sworn in around midday on January 20th. But this was not always the case. The founding fathers operated by an astrological principle of arranging the Presidential year according to the trine aspect – or division by three – starting from the nation’s July 4 birthdate. Elections would take place 4 months later on the first Tuesday in November and the presidential swearing in would be another four months away on March 4.

F D Roosevelt made January 20 the new swearing in day from 1937. On this day the Sun enters Aquarius. Fittingly, Roosevelt was an Aquarian and is the longest serving President, having been elected four times. Saturn exactly on his birth Sun for his initial 1933 inauguration showed not only Roosevelt’s great responsibility during Depression years, but also hinted at his extended longevity.

John F Kennedy’s swearing in was late, at 12.51 pm on a bitterly cold January 20 1961. Loquacious Mercury was at the Midheaven. Kennedy, a Gemini, gave one of the most memorable orations. The Sun was also in a close and difficult inconjunct to gun toting Mars. When his successor Lyndon Johnson was sworn in unexpectedly at 2.37 pm on November 22 1963, the Sun was eerily transiting the setting point of Kennedy’s inauguration horoscope.

HAVING AN ABBOTT MOMENT

Only a couple of weeks ago I wrote here how Donald Trump's presidential campaign, announced on a New Moon conjunct fiery Mars, would be like a war zone and play on the national anger. That has indeed been the case. So it is interesting now, in the light of the Australian political developments, to examine the swearing in moment of the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott took the oath as Australian Prime Minister on September 18 2013 at 10.29 am in Canberra ACT. Click here for the swearing in horoscope. The first thing to notice on this chart is the closeness of Neptune to the base of the chart, technically termed the IC. The Moon – representing the public – is also connected to Neptune. In this position the planet would tend to undermine or dissolve foundations. Politically it correlates with socialism and social services.

The extremely right wing Abbott is anything but a socialist. His anti-unionism has been a characteristic from his university days. The opening lines of Abbott’s election victory speech were addressing not what he would do for the country. Instead, he boasted that his victory had kept the Labor vote to its lowest of the century. So having Neptune at the very bottom of his eventual swearing in, is symbolic for this fixation.

Fresh into the job, on February 10 2014, Abbott took the step of announcing a Royal Commission into trade unions. He obviously didn’t consult an astrologer for this initiative, choosing a day when Mercury was retrograding and conjunct Neptune. Appropriately the Sun was in a close square to conservative Saturn but Jupiter, the planet of law was in all sorts of trouble. It was opposed by Pluto and squared by surprise factor Uranus.

THE BEST LAID PLANS

Over the last week Abbott’s objectives were thrown into disarray as the Royal Commissioner, Dyson Heydon, has now had his own authority questioned. Heydon, also a noted conservative, was advertised to speak at a Liberal fund-raising event, thereby compromising the objectivity of his position. I should clarify for overseas readers that Liberal, at least in Australian politics, represents the conservative party.

The timing of this shock, comes as judicial Jupiter now in Virgo, reaches the apex of Abbott’s swearing in horoscope. As it does, it opposes socialistic Neptune. Having this opposition of Jupiter to Neptune is wonderfully symbolic of the current events unfolding. If it is not actually bringing the Commission undone, it is certainly revealing Abbott’s political appointments for what they are. As I write, Justice Heydon is pondering on whether he can continue in his role.

The Sun position of the Abbott swearing in horoscope designates the leader. Back on September 18 2013 that Sun was in a challenging semisquare to Venus, Mars and Saturn. As Venus is the planet of popular appeal, it’s square to Mars and conjunction to Saturn does not augur well. Abbott’s polling since his election victory has consistently been on the negative side. His is the only government to not have enjoyed a honeymoon period but do get a popularity boost whenever terrorism is in the news.

The Sun’s position may hold a vital clue to the longevity of Abbott’s tenure. Its location is at 25 degrees of Virgo. On September the 18th this year the Sun will return to that point. The following day there will be an important by-election in the Federal seat of Canning in Western Australia. The result could well decide the future of the Prime Minister. Having a well aspected Sun would be an advantage, but such is not the case. You see…it’s all in the timing.

MARKET TIMING

If you're concerned about the current market choas maybe it's time to check out what's already been forecast on this in the July 26 weekly commentary. Astrologically - it's no surprise. The Sun Jupirer combination can reverse the trend in the short term...but there's more ahead in the long term. Click here and scroll down to the July 26 date.

August 16

THE SANDERS STORM

Bernie Sanders was born on Monday, September 8 1941, in Brooklyn New York. Right now he has something going for him that few of his political opponents possess. People actually seem to like him...and moreso they trust him. Of all the presidential hopefuls, it is this 73-year-old political veteran, who is pulling the biggest crowds and getting the best reception.

Bernie was born with an analytical Virgo Sun in wide conjunction to Neptune, the planet of social idealism. He calls himself a social democrat. For Sanders, empathetic Neptune nicely trines pragmatic Saturn in ever so practical Taurus. It’s helped him tap into the two most divisive issues threatening America today – social and economic inequality.

Bernie isn’t backed by the Super PACS, which he rightly claims amount to legalized bribery. And he was critical of the Federal Reserve and Alan Greenspan's economic policies way before the global meltdown. Sanders fronts at rallies in a shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Ready for work instead of the make-up room and relying on grass roots supporters. He's certainly no elitist.

Unlike the other candidates, Sanders actually voted 'against' the invasion of Iraq. And in a similar manner to the Republican renegade, Donald Trump, he is sucking support from the anointed establishment picks. At an age when most people are retiring, Bernie is still battling to make a difference.

BERNIE AND THE FIXED STARS

Sander’s horoscope has three planets attached to important fixed stars. William Lilly, the most famous of English astrologers wrote in his masterwork, Christian Astrology that, "The fixed stars give great gifts, and elevate even from poverty to an extreme height of fortune, the seven planets do not do so."

Venus, a natural benefic, is the planet of popularity. Bernie’s Venus is powerfully positioned in its home sign of Libra. As the strongest planet in his chart, it is conjunct Spica, the bright and close to the ecliptic fixed star. Spica has the potential for brilliance, excels at bringing new knowledge and has a reputation for providing help from friends and associates.

Sander’s visionary Jupiter, in loquacious Gemini, is positioned on the longitude of the bright fixed star Bellatrix. This star, one of the most important in the constellation of the mighty warrior Orion, is reputed to bring success following a hard struggle or gruelling initiation. It represents wisdom born of experience.

Bernie’s Saturn is positioned on the zodiacal longitude of Alcyone, the brightest star of the Pleiades star cluster. This blue star is associated with the feminine principle, mystical vision and in the modern usage has been associated with gay rights. Sander’s Saturn here could be interpreted as his establishment support, going back to at least 1996, for gay marriage. Click here for Sander's untimed solar chart.

BATTLING THE ESTABLISHMENT

Sanders was an unlikely candidate, written off early by the media. His progressing Sun was opposing the 'powers that be' Saturn. But as his progressing Venus also trined his birth Sun, burgeoning people power began turning heads. And with Jupiter now heading through Virgo, Sanders is sure to feel the benefit late October this year and late March and mid June in 2016.

But it is not only Jupiter giving strength to his Virgo birth Sun. Pluto is also moving into trine with it. Pluto is a planet aligned with the strength of the masses. This power player also benefits Sander’s birth Sun for most of 2016. So it is not by accident, astrologically speaking, that Sander’s is now finding great support and could ride a wave of it. His time has come, as he is a politician of the times.

The popularity of Sanders, and to a large extent Trump, who are rebels in their party structure, is a measure of the immense public disatisfaction with how the mainstream candidates are ducking too many of the real issues. The renegades are throwing the dirt on the table, and forcing their party to react. In the long run it can only be a good thing.

August 9

For many Americans the 2016 US Presidential race of the Clinton’s and the Bush’s was more of the same - a replay of Dynasty on permanent playback. As predictable and inspirational as an arranged marriage with both partners asleep on the honeymoon. But suddenly – at 11.21 am on June 16 2015 – that all changed.

The political circus welcomed a new ringmaster. A self-confessed Barnum and Bailey figure, who could at least add entertainment and unpredictability to the mix. With the American political stage as polarizing as the goodies and baddies of a professional wrestling match and equally believable, Donald Trump was in his element.

Trump’s declaration day, of June 16 2015, also featured a New Moon conjunct fiery Mars. The red planet is a combative influence and in communicative Gemini, verbally so. At 11.21 am New York time, when he officially made the announcement, Mercury, the planet of media was at the top of the skies conjunct the Gemini Midheaven. The press would have a field day on Trump's outrageous quips, along with his disdain of political correctness and homogenized political debate.

Trump’s announcement had come only two days after his birthday. Had he waited right until the moment that the initiatory power of a New Moon arrived? Did Donald, like the ancient Roman Emperors, have an astrologer advising? His political model, Ronald Reagan certainly did. Contrived or by coincidence, Trump had selected a New Moon that also fell upon the Mars of the July 4 1776 birthchart of the USA.

There are some immediate inferences. One is that if Trump were ever to succeed, he would definitely be a military president. The same applies to his Republican opponent, Jeb Bush, who declared at 4.17 pm the day before. The other conclusion is that Trump’s rebel rousing campaign will either create a riot or actually be one. He will surely dice with danger. But will his candidacy also ‘mar’ the Republican cause?

THE TRUMP STORY

Donald Trump was born June 14 1946 @ 10.54 hours in Queens New York. That he is the wild card of the Republican movement is instantly obvious via his voluble Gemini Sun combined with iconoclastic and eccentric Uranus. This wilful and innovative union, positioned in a supportive trine to entrepreneurial Jupiter, has also delivered enough success to make him a billionaire.

Jupiter and Uranus, well aligned, are considered the planets of extreme luck. Trump believes in it. He is quoted as saying that everything in life is luck. He was lucky enough to be born into money. His father Fred made millions from New York property development. And Donald's birth chart is locked right into his father's. See their two horoscopes here.

THE FORTUNATE TRINES

Fred Trump was born October 11 1905 in New York. His Libran Sun and mercenary Mercury were providentially angled – by close trine - to Saturn the planet of real-estate and Pluto the money ruler. In astrology it’s called a lucky Grand Trine. Fred left an estate worth close to $300 million. Taking a chance on life ran in the family bloodlines.

The original grandpa Trump, emigrated to America under his German name of Friedrich Drumpf, as a sixteen year old. He made his fortune through restaurants and hotels, in the days of the Klondike gold strike. Friedrich was born March 14 1869. His horoscope also sported a risk taking Grand Fire Trine, linking pro-active Mars to big thinking Jupiter and realistic Saturn.

With a family background of ongoing business ventures and financial growth, Trump admits he doesn’t hire number crunchers nor concern himself with market surveys. He relies more on a focused instinct and believes in living in the moment. In many ways he represents the spirit of capitalistic enterprise and certainly the brashness of his hometown New York.

Trump’s New Moon declaration of June 16, also occurred with Jupiter again aligned in a trine to Uranus – the same fortunate feature of his own birth chart. In fact optimistic Jupiter was heading for his big hair Leo Ascendant. And if you saw his Scottish mother Mary, you'd know exactly where he got those big red waves from. Both Jupiter and Uranus were also making a Grand Trine to his Sagittarian Moon. And the Moon also represents the public. Trump would lead the field.

BREAKING RATINGS RECORDS

On Thursday August 6 2015, from 9 pm EDT, the Republican Candidate's Debate was televised live from Cleveland Ohio. It would be the highest rating program in the history of Fox News. Over 24 million tuned in – almost double the audience of David Letterman’s final show. It didn’t take Einstein insight to reason why. The controversial Trump factor was at work.

At the time of the debate, a triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter had gathered at 28 and 29 degrees of Leo right to his self-projecting Ascendant. Trump’s progressed Sun had also moved to 29 degrees of Leo. It’s heading for a conjunction with the royal star of Regulus. His timing could not have been better. Most polled respondents thought he won the debate. But Saturn, the planet of the system squares his progressed Sun. And the political establishment is not amused.

MONEY IS THE BOTTOM LINE

The irony of Trump’s unlikely success is that it happens at a time when inequality is the greatest crisis facing the country. Inequality sows the seeds of revolution. Even ex Presidents are now calling the USA – like Russia - an oligarchy. Normally Trump would be shunned as one of the elite ‘one per centers’ who run the planet. So why his sudden popularity?

The reality is that Trump’s connection with the American Mars isn’t only about military – it’s also stirring the national anger and disillusionment with career politicians. Some people are thinking that if money buys politicians why not just cut out the middleman and vote for the guy who makes money. An 18 trillion national debt has eroded national confidence. Trump's financial success is his real selling point.

Born at a Full Moon, he finds little difficulty in attracting attention and his Gemini Sun trine Jupiter laps up the media. But as his optimistic progressed Jupiter squares the establishment Saturn in the first quarter of 2016, and simultaneously his progressed Mars squares Mercury, much tougher times lie ahead. They could loom from the upcoming debates as Trump’s Solar Arcing Ascendant squares that establishment Saturn.

Conspiracy theorists believe that Trump’s candidacy is actually to benefit Hillary Clinton. Conversely, his bellicose rhetoric may also make some Republicans look genuine moderates. It’s hard to believe that Trump is really in this for the nation. Like George W Bush, all but one of Trump’s planets lie in the self-serving eastern side of his horoscope. And there is enough in his planets to say that after the election of November 2016 he will have gained whatever real objective he has in mind.

August 2

INSTANT INTERNET INFAMY

There is an old showbiz maxim – any publicity is good publicity. Legend says it originated from the showman P T Barnum. Walter Palmer may beg to differ. It’s hard to imagine how one could be propelled into instant Internet infamy. But for the bespectacled Minnesota dentist, his hunting safari became the holiday from hell, beginning 10 pm July 1 2015.

Under the exposure of a Full Moon opposing aggressive Mars and heading for lethal Pluto, that was the time Palmer cross-bowed a lion. Synchronistically and symbolically, Venus the planet of affection and regal Jupiter had come together in Leo – the sign of the lion. Cecil was no ordinary big cat.

According to court evidence, the next morning at 9 am as Venus and Jupiter rose together, the wounded lion was killed and decapitated. Palmer paid $50,000 for the pleasure. He then requested to kill a large bull elephant, but his hunting guides could not accommodate.

They were in trouble. The lion was protected species and had been wearing a tracking collar. In a safari of sadism, it had been illegally lured from its reserve. Somehow these deadeye dicks had missed spotting the unusually large tracking collar? Was that meant to be?

VENUS STATIONARY ON REGULUS

By July 25 the media was awash with the story of Cecil the Lion. It became a social networking tsunami. The story went viral as Venus stood stationary retrograde on the royal star of Regulus in the heart of the Leo constellation. Venus is heading back into Leo to deal with this unfinished business. Jupiter the planet of justice is heading to meet it again.

Fate has its reasons. According to National Geographic, the African lion population has dwindled to between 20 and 30 thousand, from almost a half a million in the middle of the 20th century. When does enough become enough? Is this a sign of an incensed world halting privileged white men with guns decimating species for their hedonistic hubris? Cecil’s death is highly symbolic.

Had it been another lion, instead of well loved Cecil, this publicity could not have been generated. It’s a wake up call. Whether it is also Walter Palmer’s road to Damascus moment remains to be seen. Nobody could be in a better position now to reverse his 'thrill kill' fascination to instead become a spokesperson for the sanctity of life.

The sad story of Cecil the Lion is not the only lesson involving famous African animals. Jumbo, is now a term that describes large objects, especially airplanes. He was once the world’s most famous elephant.

THE PRIDE OF LONDON

Jumbo was captured as a baby in the Sudan. He was then all of four feet tall and weighed about 500 lbs or 230 kilograms. The young elephant was transported thousands of miles to reside at the Jardin des Plantes, the main botanical garden in Paris. He would eventually move to the London Zoological Gardens in a swap for a rhinoceros.

Jumbo was in poor health on arrival and put into the care of animal keeper, Matthew Scott. Under Scott’s nurturance his condition remarkably improved and the two forged a powerful bond. Jumbo grew into a massive bull and proved the most popular attraction at the zoo.

The royal family rode on his back, as did a young Winston Churchill. Jumbo was taken into the London streets and played by the Thames, sometimes squirting water from his trunk onto his handler. Matthew Scott was pocketing today’s equivalent of over 62,000 pounds annually from Jumbo’s rides.

JUNIOR TO JUMBO

By 1882 Jumbo had grown to 3.7 metres tall and weighed over 5400 kilograms. He was the largest elephant in captivity. But a change was coming into Jumbo’s life, which again he would have no control over. American entrepreneur, P.T. Barnum, with an obsession for the biggest and the best and the money to back it, made an offer to buy the bull and the zoo directors complied.

The English public was shocked and heartbroken. Their children’s favorite animal was being sold off to a US showman. The public petitioned newspapers and politicians, even Queen Victoria herself, to intervene and reverse the sale. A committee of concerned citizens formed the ‘Jumbo Retention Fund’ and the matter was taken to the Old Bailey.

The court ruled that Barnum, who had paid $10,000 (today a quarter of a million) for the massive elephant was the legal owner. But it seemed that Jumbo was reading the public mood. He refused to enter his shipping crate. He lay down in the street instead. Cheering crowds gathered in support.

Jumbo stayed there for a week and wouldn’t budge. As for Barnum, who was now the subject of death threats, it was all great publicity for his coming attraction. Newspapers around the world were running the story.

On March 22 1882 sometime between 1.30 and 2 am on a cold morning the elephant was chained inside the crate and carted onto the London docks. By 10 am the next day the adoring public waved goodbye and Jumbo was New York bound.

BARNUM'S PAYCHECK ARRIVES

He came ashore at 7 pm April 9 to a packed audience of over 10,000 onlookers and reporters. In all Barnum had paid today’s equivalent of three quarters of a million to get Jumbo onto dry land. He recouped his outlay in the first fortnight. Across the world Jumbo products sold, people flocked and the elephant and his keeper had their own railway boxcar. But it was a railway accident that would tragically take his life after only three and a half years on US soil.

At 9.30 pm on September 15 1885, while being walked across tracks at St Thomas Ontario, the elephant was hit by a freight rain. He was carried 91 metres down the track and died within minutes. Even then the souvenir hunters were at work. Barnum was little different. The next day he sent the remains to a taxidermist.

Prior to displaying the new Jumbo, the circus entrepreneur invited the press to a high society dinner. Here he would display the stuffed hide and the massive skeleton, prior to touring with now two displays. Guests were served a gelatin dish including ground tusks of the most loved animal in the world. To Barnum – this was all business.

It was the capitalist exploitation of magnificent creatures like Jumbo that led to the creation of Animal Preservation Societies. Animal heads on walls are nowadays considered a strange reflection on the owner. Just as decapitated human heads don’t go down quite as well for winning friends and influencing people, as they did in primitive times.

The publicity surrounding Cecil the Lion has an archetypal resonance of a changing worldview. It’s about exposing exploitation on all levels. The privileged doing what they will – destroying to 'possess' - simply because they can, regardless of the consequences. Trophy hunting is anything but sporting.

Some people were more advanced. Abraham Lincoln said, "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being." Cecil’s death is not in vain and humanity is responding en masse. It is a wake up call about the sanctity of life.

I leave you this week with the words of Ellen DeGeneres.

“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”

July 26

BAD MOON RISING

The Dow Jones experienced its worst week since January. This sudden drop reiterated the value of the lunar cycle in analyzing potential market fluctuations. The current lunar cycle began with the New Moon of July 15 @ 21.24 hours in New York. The following day the Dow reached its top of 18120 points. Then it got the wobbles. But that was no surprise.

The New Moon was hard angled to dissipating Neptune. This planet does not inspire market confidence unless accompanied by supportive angles to other beneficial planets such as Jupiter. Such was not forthcoming. Neptune tends to erode confidence and inflate rumor through a lack of clear definition and direction. Information is replaced by hearsay.

The New Moon horoscope shows the value planet Venus in a testing square to contracting Saturn. Both Venus and Saturn are in a difficult placement with the trading planet of Mercury, which also opposes Pluto. As expansive Jupiter is also moving in to square hardliner Saturn, there is not a saving grace in the July 15 New Moon chart. Click here for the July New Moon horoscope.

But it’s not the New Moon that has most financial astrologers concerned in the big picture scenario. It’s the looming Saturn factor. The ringed planet has an unenviable reputation when it comes to denting investor confidence. With the Chinese economy under tighter controls and the Eurozone still struggling is Saturn ready to strike?

SATURN - THE BOA-CONSTRICTOR

Saturn is the planet of contraction – the boa constrictor of market growth. Its first port of call is a square with Jupiter, the planet of expansion, in early August. That will begin a cycle of Saturn making difficult aspects to other outers, mainly Neptune by late November 2015 and continuing the Neptune square, June through September 2016. But it’s the area of the zodiac that Saturn is moving into that is the cause of concern.

From September 18 onward, Saturn will be again moving through the mutable sign of Sagittarius. The ringed planet's record when moving through mutable signs – Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces - has too often for comfort, coincided with market meltdown. The Dow's largest ever percentage fall occurred on October 19 1987. A whopping 22% was wiped off stock values in one day.

The freefall began in Hong Kong and spread to Europe, before hitting the US markets. By the end of October, Hong Kong was down 45%, Australia 42% and the US still 23% down. Although the Dow recovered well, it took two years to fully regain the losses. For that dramatic fall, Saturn was positioned at 17 degrees of Sagittarius.

Saturn’s return to the middle degrees of a mutable sign occurred around seven years later. The result was nowhere near as catastrophic. Regardless, Saturn still coincided with a definite slowdown and a sideways market from mid 1994 until March of 1995. But it was sombre Saturn's last two appearances in mutable signs that sends a haunting chill through investors – much like 1987. Here's why.

SEPTEMBER 11 & LEHMAN BROS COLLAPSE

In 2001 Saturn had entered Gemini. It was the first year of George W Bush's presidency. The Dow had gained 5% the previous year, but by early March was struggling. In the fortnight from March 8, it took a 14% tumble. Although it bounced back, this was a sign of things to come. In that period Saturn was in its retrograde period and had re-entered late Taurus.

By the August of 2001 Saturn was reaching the middle degrees of Gemini and had formed a challenging opposition with the power planet Pluto, that would continue until May 2002. It coincided with the September 11 terrorist attacks that closed the New York Stock Exchange for four days as stocks plummeted. The Dow reversed a 5% gain in 2000 into a 5% loss in 2001, before suffering a dramatic 15% drop over 2002.

Saturn returned to mutable in 2008. When Lehman Bros collapsed on September 15 2008, the planet of contraction was 13 degrees through Virgo and would move into square with the fellow outer gas giant, Uranus, before the year was out. Saturn’s appearance in a mutable sign would once again wreak havoc with the US economy. The shock waves of that financial tsunami travelled across the globe.

A HISTORY OF MARKET CORRECTIONS

Saturn’s dismal economic record in mutable signs is something that has plagued the USA since their first financial panic in 1819, when the austere planet was traveling through Pisces. That chaotic period of bank collapses, so early in the country’s history, led to a new nationalism under President Andrew Jackson.

Saturn was again moving through Pisces, coinciding with the financial panic of 1907. That collapse led to the creation of the Federal Reserve. Saturn was in Sagittarius for the initial Black Monday of October 1929, the prelude of the Great Depression. Such recurrences are a prime reason why students of astro-economics will be keeping a close watch on the boa constrictor of market corrections in the coming months.

After a bumper year in 2013, skyrocketing the DJIA up 23%, 2014 recorded a more modest 8½ % gain. After a rocky start in January and a high in mid-May, this year remains in the red, a pattern similar to 2008. Saturn moves back into Sagittarius by September 18, where it's initially in hard aspect to transactional Mercury and then Venus. Saturn will next semisquare unstable Uranus by October 22. But it's the late November period, and the problematic square to Neptune that really holds the key.

EVERY DAY A MASS MURDER

The July 23 7.30 pm mass shootings, in a Lafayette theatre, brought the annual total of mass murders in the USA to 204 - one for every day of the year. Always a 'male with a gun'. It came exactly a week after the Chattanooga drive by murders that claimed five servicemen, at 10.45 am on July 16 . They were killed as Mars, the planet of both weaponry and military moved across the Cancerian Sun of the July 4 1776 national horoscope, with deadly Pluto in oppositon.

A mass murder for every day of the year is a problem that won't go away until it is responsibly addressed. Last month the US national horoscope fielded its Mars return. The Mars return came coincident with a New Moon also on the US Mars. It puts a fresh focus on the whole gun culture. The planets are providing a powerful sign to do something about it. But who will heed the message? Or will it be as Bob Dylan wrote - 'the answer is blowing in the wind.'

July 19

PLUTO - IT'S A LONG WAY FROM KANSAS

Clyde Tombaugh, was born February 4 1906 in Streator Illinois. His move to a Kansas farm enhanced a childhood love of the skies, inspired via an uncle’s astronomy book. At age twenty he ground the mirrors and lens for his own 9-inch reflector telescope. Longing for a paid position studying astronomy, Tombaugh sent hand drawings of Mars and Jupiter observations to the Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

The observatory was dedicated by its founder Percy Lowell, to finding a planet beyond Neptune. Nights of painstaking observation in sometimes sub zero temperature required resilience and fitness as well as a knowledge of the skies. When Tombaugh’s ambitious correspondence received an answer, it also enquired about his physical condition.

The farmer/astronomer left Kansas in January 1929 for his dream job. Just like Dorothy, from the Wizard Of Oz, life was never going to be the same thereafter. He had been there for just over a year and had celebrated his twenty fourth birthday a fortnight before. He recalls the afternoon of February 18.

”A terrific thrill came over me. I switched the shutter back and forth studying the images. Oh! I had better look at my watch and note the time. This would be a historic discovery. For the next forty five minutes or so, I was in the most excited state of mind in my life.” Click here for the discovery chart of Pluto.

Tombaugh had noticed a faint but clear object on comparison sky plates taken January 23 and 29 1930. The light spot appeared to be moving backwards against the sky. Tombaugh knew what that retrograde movement really meant. It had to be an object of the solar system. It wasn’t a star. But planets move retrograde.

THE MERCURY RETURN

Tombaugh was experiencing his Mercury return. Mercury is the planet of information and learning. It is also the conveyor of news. Tombaugh’s discovery would make world headlines when officially announced on March 13. It had been eighty-four years since a planet was discovered. Tombaugh had been advised, by a visiting astronomer, that he was simply wasting his time.

Now, eighty-five years later Clyde Tombaugh’s ashes have come within twelve and a half thousand miles of the remote icy dwarf planet that he discovered. Revealing images of Pluto and its rapidly circling Moon Charon, have been beamed around the world from the New Horizons space probe at July 14 11.49 am Universal time. Fittingly the planet’s full face is finally revealed at the approximate opposition point of Pluto’s original discovery.

NAME EQUALS MEANING - NO COINCIDENCE

The entry of a new planet into human consciousness and the naming of the object leave little to accident. There is an uncanny correlation between a planet’s naming and the prevailing global conditions of its discovery. Uranus, the sky god, was discovered between 10 and 11 pm, on March 13 1781, by the English astronomer William Herschel. Herscehel initially named it ‘George’s Star’ after King George III.

The German born astronomer, Johann Bode had a different idea, proposing the name of Uranus, after the mythical father of Saturn. In 1789, a colleague of Bode’s, Martin Klaproth named his newly discovered element ‘uranium’ in support of Bode’s concept. The name of Uranus would eventually stick.

The discovery of Uranus, the Greek god of the sky, appropriately coincided with flight innovation. On the 19th of September 1783, the Montgolfier Brothers staged an ambitious demonstration of a hot air balloon before King Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette. The unwitting passengers on the two-mile flight, were a sheep, duck and rooster. The first human flights were occurring before the year was out.

Unruly Uranus also represented the revolutionary principle. At its discovery the US were fiercely battling for independence from Great Britain. In 1789, with the new planetary name gaining acceptance, the July 14 storming of the Bastille would ignite the French Revolution. Uranus was overturning the established order and James Watt’s rotary engine would soon empower the most important change of all – the Industrial Revolution.

THE DECEPTIVE NEPTUNE

Neptune, named after the Roman king of the seas, was originally spotted back on December 28 1612 through the primitive telescope of Galileo. But true to its nebulous nature Neptune was mistaken for a fixed star. Other prominent astronomers also saw, but didn’t recognize, the planet. It wasn’t until near midnight on September 23 1846 in Berlin that Johann Galle confirmed its existence.

Even then Neptune’s discovery was shrouded in controversy with more than one claimant. Galle’s discovery was based on the theories of both the French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier and his English equivalent John Couch Adams. For years the honors were disputed between the two men, each who had predicted the approximate orbit. Obscurity has remained a Neptune quality.

Neptune has also been linked to social idealism, labour unions and welfare. Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto was written during the Neptune discovery phase and published on the 21st of February with the Sun and Neptune together at the beginning of charitable Pisces. Just as the Uranus discovery had coincided with geopolitical change, Neptune did the same.

THE DEITY OF HIDDEN WEALTH

Pluto's discovery also wrought a time of change. Pluto was named after the Roman god of wealth and was about to change the world’s concept of it. The equivalent of the Greek Hades, lord of the underworld, Pluto represents the hidden wealth and power of the plutocrat. The Great Depression accompanied Pluto’s naming. It also represented a meltdown of global trade and capitalism.

Pluto is also considered the most powerful planet for total transformation. Such was the case for pioneering Einar Wegener who underwent sex reassignment surgery on March 5 1930 re-emerging as Lile Elbe. At the time it created a sensation in Europe and her marriage was annulled. Interesting to compare the publicity now surrounding Bruce come Caitlin Jenner, with Pluto at the opposition point of its discovery.

But it is in the pressing issue of global inequality that Pluto may prove the most powerful agent of change. The revelation that a mere one percent of the population share over half the world’s wealth stands in stark moral contrast to last week’s celebration of our incredible technological advances. On the level of humanity…have we advanced at all?

The GFC has so benefited the wealthy that it beggars the question of whether it was engineered by them? In the world’s leading capitalist country, the USA, the wealthiest one percenters have garnered 95% of the post financial crisis growth. Meantime countries like Greece are now actually worse off than the US was during the 1930’s Great Depression, with hardly the government resources or national ownership to recover.

The worship of money is now less a class factor now than it is a moral one. As ordinary Australian’s are urged to tighten their belts, a Speaker of the House charters a $5000 helicopter flight in place of a one-hour drive. The sense of entitlement has gone off the rails. The absurdity of a Donald Trump run for the White House is an ugly reflection of what a narcissistic celebrity culture has produced.

Yet perhaps all is not in vain. Pluto’s discovery also synchronized with one of the great resistance movements of the 20th century. It was led by a man to who the trappings of wealth meant nothing, but human dignity meant all. On March 12 1930, Mahatma Ghandi began the famous Salt March against the pecuniary interests of the powerful British Empire. It began with 78 followers, but thousands upon thousands would join.

Ghandi’s power to the people ideals, would liberate his nation and set the example for many others to follow. He would conquer empire and entitlement. One of his most quoted thoughts is, "A nations culture lies in the hearts and souls of its people.". Such things cannot be measured by wealth. At its highest manifestation Pluto is the cold truth that leads to the death of an injustice. And by its exact opposition in 2017, it may help generate a new financial system, supplanting the malfunctioning one we have today.

July 12

July 16 brings a New Moon hard angled to the 'Alice in Wonderland' planet of Neptune. That’s where the collective imagination is loosed and people imagine their own ghosts and goblins interspersed with pollyanna fantasies. Feast on Strawberry Fields where nothing is real. Confusion reigns, markets shudder, treaties are abrogated. Well we hope not...but it's happened before. One person who is getting the New Moon right on her birth Sun is the lady at the heart of it all - German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Click here to view the horoscope biwheel.

THE REAL QUEEN OF EUROPE

Angela Merkel was born on July 17 1954 @ 18.00 hours in Hamburg, Germany. She has a stellium of planets in tribal Cancer, beginning with her cerebral Mercury Jupiter combination and ending with her independent Sun Uranus union. Her childhood idol was Madame Curie and she completed her PhD in quantam chemistry in 1986.

Merkel's Sun also squares Neptune, a planet not only connected to chemicals but also socialism. Having her Sun joined to free enterprise Uranus and yet square the socialist Neptune describes her life. It has been spent on both sides of the Berlin Wall.

She speaks fluent Russian and is considered the western politician who most understands the enigmatic Vladimir Putin. But it is the democratic Uranus that provides her political motivation. Merkel's birth horoscope has many similarities to the July 4 1776 birth chart of the USA.

Both are Cancer Suns and Aquarian Moons with Sagittarius rising. Both also have Jupiter in Cancer – Merkel's Jupiter virtually overlay's the USA Sun. Merkel has been a strong US supporter in Europe, even backing the Iraq war.

LET'S STICK TOGETHER

Cancer is the patriot and its tribal nature strives to create a family unit. The USA has done this via its combination of 50 states under one federal umbrella. Merkel shares a similar vision for Europe. She has long been considered the defacto ruler of the EEU. In the coming days the fate of the Union is in the hands of the leader rated the most powerful woman in the world.

Angela Merkel now has progressed Jupiter – the royal planet - on her birth Sun. It could not be more apt. She is the genuine monarch of Europe. Merkel is at the pinnacle of her game. Back in 1977 she also had a New Moon on her Sun. It was a year of marriage - meaning unity. Does that favour unity?

Angela also has progressed Neptune within minutes of the exact square to her Sun. Jupiter and Neptune together can signify a generous sacrifice or even a great deception. Either way they are a dream (Neptune) to believe in (Jupiter).

DEEPER THAN DEBT

The Greek crisis runs a lot deeper than debt, as serious as that might be. It also involves the political and military ramifications of Greece leaving the Eurozone. It may only seem one country of fourteen million people. But the Greek connection to the western political system goes back to their 17th century fight for independence.

Greece nationalists were supported in their war against the Ottoman Empire by England, France and Russia. In subduing the Ottomans, there were ideological religious differences involved, along with valuable Mediterranean territory to be controlled. Each of these countries sent their navy's to support the Greek uprising. The Greek revolutionaries were given substantial loans from England. It is a fact that London funding backed the 1820's Greek War of Independence.

On February 3rd 1830, with the signing of the London Protocol, the Great Powers gave official recognition to modern Greece. The significance of this date is that it represents European acknowledgement of Greek independence. It is not a national horoscope as such, but that recognition bears particular relevance for today. For once again it is the Great Powers that will ultimately influence the country's future.

The February 3 1830 agreement provides a horoscope with an Aquarian Sun directly opposite Saturn and also ruled by the same planet. The implication is that traditional outside influences – the establishment – will constantly play a role in the political fortunes of Greece. But would the horoscope prove it's veracity in the ensuing years? A vital time would be 1920. That's when this Greek horoscope squared itself using the predictive technique of solar arc direction.

1920 – THE GREEK YEAR TO REMEMBER

1920 was an incredible year of political turmoil and critical events. It was following the end of WWI and Greece had been one of the real beneficiaries. The Allies had granted added territory to Greece, including Thrace from Bulgaria, along with additional Black Sea coastline. The gains were in no small portion due to the excellent negotiations of the Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos, who had taken Greece to war. But tragedy, of Greek proportion, would soon strike.

The Greek King Alexander died following a freak accident. In attempting to interrupt a fight between his pet dog and monkey, the king was bitten by the primate and later died from blood poisoning. Alexander's son refused the throne, believing his grandfather, the exiled King Constantine to be the real monarch. To complicate matters a parliamentary election was due and support was building for the opposition party.

To the surprise of Great Britain and her European Allies, Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, and his liberal government, were swept out of office. The new government conducted a referendum on whether Constantine should reclaim the throne. The Greeks overwhelmingly supported it. All of this was disconcerting to the Allied Powers as Constantine had not backed their war efforts. The Allied Powers refused to play ball when the King returned and withdrew all Greek subsidies. 1920 was certainly a year to remember in Greece.

2014-2015 THE OPPOSITION POINT

The same technique of solar arc directing would see the Greek London Protocol horoscope oppose itself by the end of 2014. And what happens at the solar arc opposition point? Although they have been subject to austerity budgets, Greece had been granted billion dollar bailout packages from today's Great Powers of Europe. These are the modern Allies they call the European Economic Union. Suddenly there is a change of government. The coalition of the radical left, Syriza, sweep to power.

It was exactly the 'opposite' of what the Eurozone wanted. Furthermore, Syriza conducts a surprise referendum and the Greek populace reject the bail out conditions. It's not about an exiled King, but it is certainly about Greek nationalism. The result is overwhelming and something that is highly disconcerting to the Great Powers of Europe. So they decide to cut the Greek subsidies. If history isn't repeating exactly – there's no dogs or monkeys involved at this point – the parallels between Greece and Europe are certainly uncanny.

The opposition point is as far away from the original intent as possible. This stand off is not merely about money. It's about a western union forged from the 1830 London Protocol. Greece, and its territory, are strategically important to western NATO allies. Even moreso in the current political climate of a renewed Cold War. That's why the USA and IMF are pressuring Angela Merkel to strike a deal and why the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, is attempting to play both sides. The real objective of the west will be leadership change, regardless of the outcome. In the long run it could affect both.

July 5

THE GREEK ECONOMIC CRISIS

The most obvious fact evolving from the July 2015 financial crisis facing the European Economic Community is that it was always going to happen. The European Union is a monetary solution imposed on a political problem. It was a globalization idea of creating a European economic version of the United States. And whilst there were undoubted financial benefits attached, there were also cultural differences to be overcome.

The groundwork for the European Economic Union collaboration came with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, at the city of the same name on February 7 1992. The agreement became a reality from midnight Monday, November 1 1993. The Maastricht Treaty is referred to as the pillar structure of the European Union. But an examination of the planetary positioning on both signing and enactment reveals structural faults – astrologically speaking.

When the treaty was signed off, on February 7 1992, the values planet of Venus was closely wedged between unstable Uranus and idealistic Neptune. There was some relief in that all three were in trine with Jupiter, but still there were financial alarm bells attached to that formation. By midnight November 1 1993, when the treaty became official, the planets had aligned in a much more challenging formation.

By then the Moon – a significator of the public – would be closely opposing Mercury, Mars and Pluto and also square to restrictive Saturn. All of these planets involved were placed in fixed signs. While they may have aided stability, they were also showing an intransigence to future challenges. Venus had also moved to be in square to both fluctuating Uranus and deceptive Neptune. This was bound to be problematic.

TIMING THE CRISIS

Timing the major challenges of the European Economic Union would be relatively easy. They would arrive when the slower moving outer planets activated the difficult squares. This was bound to happen from 2008-2009 as first Neptune, and then Jupiter and Neptune together, came to the Saturn of the Maastricht Treaty horoscope. It corresponded with the global economic crisis and Europe’s attempts to deal with the fallout.

Greece, a country whose budget deficit was running well above the limits set by the EEU, had their international credit ratings downgraded by late 2009. Greece had adopted the EURO on January 1 2001. That year saw Saturn transiting across the Moon of the European Union horoscope. It would be reasonable to assume that by the time Saturn opposed the Moon – around fourteen years later - that their membership could be under threat.

Saturn is the arbiter of reality. It is the planet signifying accountability and responsibility. In the relationship between Greece and the EEU, it became the planet of austerity and control. Saturn opposed the European Union’s Moon by late 2014. For five long years the Greek populace had undergone seven austerity packages and two bailout agreements, but debt still plagued the divided nation. Something had to give.

WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN

By May 2015, unpredictable Uranus loomed into the picture. It was opposing the Maastricht Treaty’s Venus and squaring itself. Almost as if to time the Greek crisis to the exact dates, a Venus Jupiter conjunction would arrive in Leo and create a Grand Cross from the Maastricht Treaty’s fixed T-Square. The intransigent stand-off had arrived. Venus would time this to July 5 – the day of a Greek referendum on a third bailout package.

Will the European crisis go away? That's hardly likely! Instead this is where it gets really serious. Venus will enter a retrograde cycle and continue to create a Grand Cross on the horoscope of the European Union on August 13 and October 1 2015. In the immediate future the transiting Sun will join unstable Uranus in making hard aspects to the EEU’s Venus by mid July. The outer planets have arrived and they're here for the long haul. See chart overlay and explanations here.

THE BUSH FAMILY CONNECTION AND THE US MARS

Way back on June 12 1796 in Norwich, Vermont was born a one George Bush. A distant relative of the current Bush clan, he was a biblical scholar and an avowed Zionist. He believed in the return of the Jews to the Promised Land, where they could eventually be converted to Christianity. His mid June Gemini birthdate would continue a recurring pattern for generations to come.

Tracing the lineage of the Bush dynasty continues to produce prevalent themes. They highlight a strong religious ideology, business and banking connections and the obvious political ambitions. But it’s the family’s repetitive astrological connection with the USA's war planet of Mars at 21 degrees of Gemini, that simply will not go away.

The Reverend James Smith Bush was born Rochester New York, on June 15 1825. He was an attorney and an Episcopal priest who also wrote several religious books and pamphlets. The first of the Bush Yale graduates, he would establish a long family trend.

Reverend James Bush was born with his Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and South Node in Gemini. He was the great grandfather of another Gemini, born close to his own date, who would become the first US President bearing the Bush surname.

President George Herbert Walker Bush was born June 14 1924 @ 11.45 am in Milton Massachusetts. He was married to Barbara Bush, also a Gemini, born June 8 1925. Barbara’s father was Marvin Pierce, a publisher and President of the McCall’s corporation – and another Gemini born June 17.

President George H W Bush was named after his maternal grandfather, the influential banker and business mogul George Herbert Walker. This George was born June 11 1875 in St Louis. Walker was a chief organizer of the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair. And his future grandson’s horoscope was a remarkable overlay of his own. See the charts here.

JEB’S GEMINI CONNECTION

When John Ellis Bush – otherwise known as Jeb – launched his presidential campaign at 16.07 hours on ‘June 15 2015’, it was right on the Gemini connection. Jeb Bush, is an Aquarian born Feb 11 1953 @ 8.50 pm in Midland Texas. But his Midheaven – the career point of the horoscope – is 23 degrees of Gemini. So for the campaign launch both the Sun and Mars were positioned at his Midheaven. They were also on the USA's Mars. Click here for overlay

Jeb Bush’s horoscope has a remarkable bond with his father’s chart. Both have Grand Air Trines that overlay. They connect back to George Herbert Walker, the St Louis entrepreneur and financier. This shows a family theme of power and money. It also gifts the Gemini aptitude to communicate with the masses and tap into a national narrative. Click here for George Snr and Jeb's charts

The perpetuity of having the Sun, or in Jeb’s case the Midheaven, at 23 degrees of Gemini also locks into the USA’s Mars. The Bush family has so far delivered two war presidents, both taking the American military directly into the Middle East.

George W Bush, born July 6 1946 @ 07.26 New Haven Connecticut, was the wildcard of the family with rebellious Uranus at the appropriate Gemini degrees. Being born close to Independence Day aligned his Sun to the July 4 1776 USA birth Sun. But George W’s Uranus and North Node at 19 and 21 respectively of Gemini also locked in with the USA’s Mars, positioned at 21 Gemini.

Jeb Bush is trying desperately to distance from his brother’s disastrous militant presidency, that also left the US in economic meltdown. But Jeb’s stated policy that ‘more military spending will encourage peace’, is proof positive that the Bush USA military connection is not about to go away in a hurry. The planets don't play politics - they unveil it instead.

June 28

THE VOLATILE CANCER INGRESS

June 21 @ 17.38 Universal Time signaled an important pivot point of the year – the solstice – or astrologically, the solar ingress into Cancer. Ingress horoscopes to cardinal signs were among the traditional tools and techniques for the predictive astrologer to analyze forthcoming global trends. They become much more significant when the ingress also falls in tight aspect to a superior planet. The Cancer Ingress of 2015 qualified on this count.

It arrived with combative Mars and in hard aspect to lethal Pluto. The Ingress also found the public Moon squaring austere Saturn, with both also in a testing angle to Pluto. As Pluto represents the principle of cathartic change on long simmering issues, inevitabilities are reaching their day of reckoning. Interesting that Pluto now opposes the birth Sun of the USA.

CATHARSIS AND CELEBRATION

While most of the news centered on the senseless murder of nine black worshipers in an historic Charleston Church, the plutonic undertones of racism resurfaced. And with it the history of the Confederate Flag, not to mention the growing concerns of gun availability in the US, an issue that is not going away in a hurry. This is typical of Pluto forcing a transformational and generational change of attitude.

On a totally different level, at 10 am June 26, the US Supreme Court officially legalized gay marriage. How powerfully the winds of change were blowing across America. Since the Netherlands original sanctioning of the gay marriage act on April 1 2001 twenty-one other countries such as Spain, France, Canada, Mexico Brazil, Argentina, the UK and New Zealand have come on board.

Despite being a court ruling, this is a quantum shift for the USA, with the public's overwhelming acceptance reflecting the generational shift. The Supreme Court’s decision came as relationship Venus joined to judicial Jupiter. That alone was highly symbolic but even more revealing is that both Venus and Jupiter were in an accommodating trine to the liberal and iconoclastic Uranus - the planet of freedom and difference.

This landmark ruling coincides with obvious connections to the July 4 1776, USA Independence birth chart. The transiting Sun and Mars in Cancer were joined to the US seventh (marriage) house Venus. Astrologers who utilize asteroids in their analysis would have delighted to note the close opposition of groundbreaking Uranus to Juno, long renowned as the ‘marriage’ asteroid. Judicial Jupiter was also in an exact and supportive sextile with its mythical partner of Juno. Click here for the relevant charts.

Did the Cancer Ingress horoscope imply this possibility? With Jupiter at the exact midpoint of Venus and Juno the answer is probably yes. But the Cancer Ingress was also suggesting more violent confrontations via its Mars Pluto emphasis. And when read in combination with the upcoming July 2 Full Moon – also stressing Mars and Pluto – it came to pass.

THE MARS PLUTO CONNECTIONS

Mars and Pluto have been starkly described in Reinhold Ebertin’s publication ‘The Combination of Stellar Influences’, as putting a gun to one’s head. It would imply that the June Cancer Ingress of 2015 could have more than its fair share of violence and that wasn’t confined to Charleston.

The terrorist beach massacre that has so far claimed forty victims at the beach resort of Port El Kantaoui, Tunisia took place on June 26 shortly before midday. Tweets seem to suggest a time of 11.25 with most mainstream press sources reporting a time of just prior to noon.

The Tunisian attack synched with the suicide bombing of a Shia Islamic Mosque in Kuwait taking at least twenty-seven lives. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both operations. Meantime at 10 am on the same day, in the small village of St.-Quentin-Fallavier in southern France, another Islamic extremist, Yassine Salhi, decapitated his boss and attempted to blow up a chemical factory. The following deals with Tunisia.

TUNISIAN TERROR

Tunisia is a small country on the coast of North Africa, wedged between Algeria to the west and Libya to the east. It has a population of just under eleven million people, of which 98% are Muslim and largely of the Sunni sect. In more recent time Tunisia has become famous as the home of the ‘Arab Spring’.

The history of Tunisia is one of foreign occupation and domination, from the Roman Empire to the Ottomans, and in the twentieth century, the French. But from March 20 1956, Tunisia negotiated their independence from France, which was officially signed over at 5 pm on June 15 1956, according to Nick Campion’s reference in World Horoscopes.

The horoscope of modern Tunisia is one of political activism featuring an intense union of Jupiter and Pluto. The renowned mundane astrologer Andre Barbault, considered this combination the key cycle of international terrorism. His opinion is to be highly respected. Barbault has successfully forecast many international events from the changing fortunes of WWII to the Vietnam War, and Soviet break up.

Tunisia’s Jupiter/Pluto combination in Leo is also closely square to their Saturn in the latter degrees of extreme Scorpio. Tunisia is experiencing their second Saturn return in a time when instability has dogged the country. The country’s economy relies heavily on tourism (16% of the GDP) and this is the second attack this year that has resulted in multiple tourist fatalities.

On March 18 2015, at 12.30 pm, three gunmen killed twenty-four people and injured fifty others during an attack on Tunisia’s famed Bardo Museum. The Islamic State claimed responsibility. Both attacks occurred with the planet Pluto receiving major mundane aspects. The March 18 massacre came as Uranus completed its square to Pluto. The current attack occurred precisely as Saturn semisquared Pluto.

Now, and over the next year, Tunisia has aggressive Mars squaring its Sun by progression. The last Solar Return - the annual birthday chart of the nation - also occurred with Mars on the Sun. Cick here for these charts.

Hopefully the authorities will contain further attacks in Tunisia, as the national horoscope is red hot. But if there is another terrorist hit, the triple combination of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in early August may point to the time window.

GREECE AND THE EURO

Lastly a quick word on Greece and the Eurozone. When Greece originally requested a bailout from the European Union on April 23 2010, Venus was in square to Neptune. If an astrologer sees that in a client’s chart and the question is about finance, the advice is not to take the risk.

When valuable Venus faces off with deceptive Neptune the high risk of loss is on the cards. When the conditional bailout was granted by May 10, excessive Jupiter was also in opposition to austere Saturn. The predictable reaction of the Greek populace was almost revolutionary.

For five years, throughout changing leadership and mounting civil unrest, Greece have remained in the European Union and been subject to ongoing bailout negotiations. On January 26 2015 @ 16.08 hours in Athens, Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as the new Prime Minister. As he took the oath the value planet Venus was in a testy alignment to the revolutionary duo of Uranus and Pluto. Things haven’t been the same since.

On Saturday morning, June 27, at the highly unusual time of 1 am, Prime Minister Tsipras publicly announced a referendum to take place on July 5 describing the latest bailout terms as representing national ‘humiliation and blackmail’. This is a different sort of 'gun to the head' volatility. As ordinary Greeks are drawing down on their national banks, the EU have withdrawn their offer from the table. Would the EU would prefer a leader of Greece who doesn't represent the people?

The deadline for Greece at the moment is June 30. That's when all assistance is off the table. It's certainly leading to an interesting July ahead on the international money markets.

June 21

THE USA & THE MARS RETURN

The birth horoscope of the USA - July 4 1776 @ 17.10 hours Philadelphia – has been experiencing its Mars return. That's the time when Mars comes back to the position it held at the birth of the nation. This time Mars returned accompanied by the Sun making it even more volatile. Mars is the planet of weaponry and war. The immediate period surrounding US Mars returns often correlates with the nation reflecting on the attitudes of unrestrained aggression.

When Mars returned in May 2002, an Alabama jury finally convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry for racist murders committed during the civil rights struggle of the sixties. The Sunday morning bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church was an act of white supremist terrorism that claimed the lives of four young black girls and injured twenty-two others. It has echoes reverberating the events of today.

The next Mars return of April 2004 saw the revelation of the internationally infamous Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse and torture by the US military. Multiple investigations showed that this was not isolated to Abu Ghraib, and was systematically sanctioned from the highest levels of military command, prior to the Iraq invasion.

The following Mars return of March 2006 witnessed the Capital Hill massacre of Seattle. Kyle Huff’s killing rampage claimed six lives, before turning the gun on himself. The 2009 Mars return was synonymous with Georgia’s worst mass murder as Guy Heinze, Jr claimed eight victims, largely family, at Glynn County. The previous Mars return of July 2013 coincided with the George Zimmerman acquittal following the controversial killing of Trayvon Martin.

The 2015 June Mars return – accompanied by the Sun – was proving problematic. On June 7, Augustine Bournes killed his wife and three children before taking his own life in a remote Montana cabin. Seven days later a 16 year old, Jordyn D Wade, was arrested for quadruple homicide in Columbus, Ohio. But the worst was yet to come.

CHARLESTON CHURCH SHOOTING

At 08.17 pm, on Wednesday, June 17 2015, exactly as the Sun and Mars set over the western horizon of Charleston South Carolina, the figure of Dylann Roof was captured on security cameras entering the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Shortly after 9 pm, the 21-year-old had murdered nine black worshippers, in a racist crime that sent shock waves through the nation. Click here for the event and national horoscope.

The killer, Dylann Roof was born April 3 1994. He was experiencing the Sun/Mars transit in square to his own Mars. It potentially turned his simmering paranoia into a race hate crime, in a church symbolic for black civil rights. It’s claimed Roof wanted to start a civil war. But at 5 foot 9 and weighing only 120 lbs his anger would have been easy to subdue. Except that Roof had a gun.

THE GLORY OF THE GUN

The horoscope of the USA has a Gemini Mars square Neptune. It’s one reason why the glory of the gun holds an almost religious reverence. And why Neptunian Hollywood floods the global collective psyche with so many films lionizing guns and violence that it’s considered part of a national culture. Not everybody in the USA shares such disrespect for human life or worship of the weapon.

US President Barack Obama’s reaction to the latest mass shooting was more to the point. "I refuse to act as if this is the new normal or to pretend that it's simply sufficient to grieve and that any mention of us doing something to stop it is somehow politicizing the problem," he said. Obama’s Virgo Mars squares America’s Gemini Mars. It draws him right into the gun debate. He sees it as abnormal.

Neptune square to Mars also ensures that misinformation clouds reason in solving the problem. More than half of America’s mass killings – those that involve four or more victims – involve family. A simple breakup is the trigger for one in four of these events. This makes a mockery of the belief that having a gun in the home makes the USA a safer place. Males commit 94% of multiple killings.

The rate of gun-related homicides, per 100,000 in the USA, far exceeds those in similarly developed countries such as Canada, Japan, France, Germany or England. But it seems to be an accepted condition, despite the all too often candlelight grieving and public lament. Nothing is done and gun sales usually spike. Is America addicted to the gun like an addict to a drug?

The NRA is proof positive that if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. Their idea of arming America's churches and schools, runs against all the objective research. The Harvard Injury Control Research Center found overwhelming evidence to indicate that more guns means more murders. But it’s deeper than guns alone – the problem is in the mindset. It’s an attitude that the power begins at the end of a barrel. Dwight Eisenhower called it the military industrial complex and warned it could hijack the moral fibre of the country.

THE SLOW BOILING FROG

The box office success of 2015 was ‘American Sniper’, based on the life of the decorated war hero Chris Kyle, who reputedly took 160 lives. Chris’s funeral procession, stretching over 200 miles, was one of the biggest in America. He is honored in Texas with state remembrance day and a highway named after him. It’s reflective of the martial culture than is central to the economy and pervasive in the media and entertainment

By contrast Don Ritchie was an Australian ex-serviceman, who lived across the road from the ocean clifftop known as the ‘Gap’. It’s the most popular suicide spot in Sydney, Australia. Whenever Don spotted anyone hovering too long he would walk across and strike up a conversation. Over the years Don was estimated to have saved 164 lives. Who’s the real hero? It’s a matter of perspective. Meanwhile the gun debate continues like the slow boiling frog.

The object of any planetary return, in the evolutionary sense, is to learn something and progress from the previous cycle. Especially when it’s costing innocent lives. The alternative is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That’s the colloquial definition of madness. It’s also symptomatic of the vacuous clichés bound to be robotically repeated, such as guns don’t kill. Mars says they do.

On April 28 1996, as Mars came to exactly square Neptune, Martin Bryant took thirty five lives and wounded twenty three others in the horrific Port Arthur massacre. It remains one of the biggest civilian mass murders committed by a single gunman. The Port Arthur catastrophe was the culmination of a ten-year period where mass shootings were starting to occur with menacing frequency Down Under.

They began with the 1984 Milperra Massacre, a bikie shootout that killed seven in a hotel carpark. They multiplied with Melbourne’s Hoddle St and then Queen St mass murders, and then to Sydney’s Strathfield Mall shooting spree. There were eight mass murders, taking a total of seventy lives over twelve years. It was the signal to act against the shootist mindset. Australian politicians did act decisively…the public backed them...and the frog boiled no more.

June 14

September 11 2001 is a date infamous in the annals of American history. It changed the conditions under which many of us live today. It drove a deeper wedge between the world’s dominant religions and invoked the word ‘crusades’ from a ‘reborn’ US President. Yet September 11 is also noted for a not so well documented religious slaughter.

It concerned a marginalized group of religious zealots, whose belief in polygamy was ridiculed, along with their founding prophet. The Mountain Meadows Massacre made big news in the days when the west was young. The victims comprised a wagon train of Arkansas emigrants, bound for a fresh start in California. Their new world never came – being terminated by old world beliefs.

ALIENS IN UNWELCOME TERRITORY

The travelers, numbering around 150, with six times that in cattle, were known as the Baker-Fancher party. Being refused supplies in Salt Lake City, they took the Old Spanish Trail heading south. During this route they decided to rest on the grassy plains of Mountain Meadows. But they were in Mormon territory, in a time when the defiant religion was at war with the US government.

In the mid nineteenth century, Utah was a theocratic state, under the rule of the apocalyptic preacher, Brigham Young. The Mormons had built a powerful, well-armed militia and co-opted the local Paiute Indians to band against the gentile ‘Americans’. Young had led his brethren to the promised ‘land of the Messiah’, now Salt Lake City. And they didn’t take kindly to strangers in their midst.

On August 5 1857, Brigham Young had declared martial law, unbeknown to the wagon train leaders. He was storing grain and supplies in preparation for a final showdown against government troops, that he believed would be sent to depose his theocracy. The unsuspecting settlers could not have picked a more inopportune time to travel. They could not replenish supplies and rumors were spread that the aliens were poisoning waterways along the trail.

Even wilder claims were made that President James ‘Buchanan's whole army was coming right behind them, and would kill every God Damn Mormon in Utah!’ Newspaper reports of Mormon meetings quote fire and brimstone from the pulpit: “1 have preached to the brethren to live their religion and trust in God and keep their powder dry. I borrowed it from Cromwell. Be ready to defend Israel and when we have done all we can the Lord will do the balance!”

THE DEVIOUS PLOT

The Mormon militia ambush began on September 7, disguised as Native Americans, mixed with a few genuine Paiutes attacking the pilgrims. Seven travelers were killed and sixteen wounded. The settlers formed their wagons in a circle, reinforced barriers of soil underneath and dug trenches to survive. For the next five days, without access to food and water supplies, they proved impenetrable. But the Mormon militia men were worried that their disguises had been unveiled.

On September 11 two militiamen approached waving a white flag. They claimed to have negotiated a truce with the Paiutes. If the settlers turned over their cattle and supplies they would escort them to safety. Under the false promise of protection the exhausted survivors complied. The men were first separated from the women and children and each accompanied by a militia guide. On a given signal the men were murdered. The militia then turned upon the women and children.

On September 11 1857, between 120-140 were killed in the Massacre of Mountain Meadows. Only 17 of the youngest survived, to be adopted by nearby families. Brigham Young’s following investigation continued the cover up, blaming it solely on the Native Americans. It was carnage in the name of religion.

It is a curious Biblical coincidence that exactly 144 years later brings us to September 11 2001. The number appears in the final book of Revelation and even the beginning verses of Psalm 144 exhort war.
“Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.”

THE CYCLE OF RELIGIOUS ZEALOTRY

Major religious movements trace their beginnings to the conjunction of the outer gas giants Uranus and Neptune – a once in 172 year phenomena. Modern Christianity arose from the formation of the Catholic Church, a word first used to describe the universal movement in 110 AD, when Uranus and Neptune met in Cancer.

The Islamic religion began in 622 AD with the migration from Mecca to Medina of Mohammad, as Uranus and Neptune joined for the next two years, between 8 and 9 degrees of Virgo. The maniacally moralistic Spanish Inquisition followed the ‘righteous’ Sagittarian conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in 1479. The list goes on.

The Mormon movement – or Latter Day Saints – began with the visions of self-proclaimed prophet Joseph Smith in the 1820’s, as Uranus and Neptune again came together, in the beginning degrees of Capricorn. Smith, born December 23 1805, with an early Capricorn Sun, was an obvious target for this transit.

Neptune is the planet aligned to imagery and altered states, often spiritually based. Uranus is the traditional sky god, also known as the Great Awakener. It’s astrologically feasible that Smith would have had some sort of religious ‘epiphany’ right around this time, as he claimed. He certainly managed to convince others of his moral mission. And he wasn’t alone in this phenomenon.

Historian Milton V Blackman documented that, ‘Church records, newspapers, religious journals, and other contemporary sources clearly reveal that great awakenings occurred in more than fifty western New York towns or villages during the revival period of 1819-20’. When Joseph Smith was martyred after his followers destroyed an opposition newspaper, the Mormon’s military resolve steeled.

THE CHOSEN ONES

Mormons had already marginalized themselves by believing that they were the chosen ones who would eventually inherit the world. Their economic unity meant they could dictate local economies. They voted in blocs therefore becoming a potent political force. Entire communities had already rallied against the new group they felt was a threat. This division planted the hateful seeds for the Meadows Mountain massacre.

Uranus and Neptune last met in the early 1990’s. Again it featured a revival of religious fundamentalism, this time stemming from the Middle East. The Desert Storm invasion of Iraq, and the stationing of planes on Saudi soil began a blowback from a former ally in Osama bin Laden. The rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan following the mujaheedan war against the Soviets also began at this time.

Perhaps it is mirrored in astrological symbolism that the 1990’s Capricorn conjunction occurred directly opposite the Cancerian conjunction of 110 AD, which marked the beginning of the Catholic Church. The division of East/West was similarly mirrored in religious ideology. If there is any lesson of the September 11 experiences, it’s that whenever religion is used as a basis to destroy lives, then somehow it loses its validity for any human progress.

June 7

THE NAPALM GIRL

There is an old Chinese saying that a picture is worth one thousand words. On June 8 1972, an Associated Press photographer would grab a frame that gave credence to the adage. It showed children and adults running in terrified flight from US napalm bombing of Vietnam. The central figure was a 9-year-old naked girl, whose clothes were burnt from her back.

The photographer, Vietnamese Nick Ut, had already lost his brother, also an AP photojournalist to the atrocities of war. His brother took many haunting images and according to Nick, vowed to one-day capture the shot that would halt the war in Vietnam. The moment he snapped his Pulitzer prizewinning photo, Ut felt that his deceased brother’s work may have been been accomplished.

The 9-year-old victim was Kim Phuc. Subsequent shots showed the skin burnt from her back and arms. Nick Ut accompanied her to Saigon hospital. Kim was so badly burned that she was not expected to survive. But she toughed it out with the help of a Finnish plastic surgeon. After 17 surgical procedures, numerous skin grafts and a 14-month stay, she returned home. The iconic photo that appeared in the New York Times almost never made it to print.

In 1972 newspaper editors baulked at frontal nudity. But newsworthiness eventually trumped editorial prudence. The ‘Napalm Girl’, as the photo became known, won worldwide recognition and numerous awards, despite US President Nixon’s doubts that it was ‘fixed’. It did more to change public perception of the war than words had ever accomplished. And it’s timing was relevant to the horoscope of the USA. Click here for the horoscopes.

MERCURY MEETS MARS

Mercury is traditionally the messenger. That’s one reason that so many newspapers are directly named after the planet known as the conveyor of information. Mars is the lord of war, weaponry and fire. On June 8 1972, when Nick Ut snapped his classic shot, Mercury had come to join the birth Mars of the USA. It sat exactly upon it. Meantime Mars was heading toward a meeting with the USA’s Mercury.

They weren’t the only connections affecting the July 4 1776 horoscope of the USA. To effect a sudden change there has to be a Uranian connection. Astrologer Alan Oken once dubbed Uranus the ‘Great Awakener’. Uranus had also arrived to meet the USA’s administrative Saturn and squared the USA’s Sun. These monumental transits are important again today. The Mars return and the Uranus opposition of the time photo was taken.

VIETNAM ESCALATION

The mid sixties US escalation of the Vietnam War, occurred at the beginning of the current Uranus Pluto cycle. It involved not only the USA but also meant the introduction of Australian conscripts on the ideology of the Asian Domino theory. This was based on the fear of communist expansion through South East Asia. It fostered western backed military dictatorships in Indonesia (Suharto) and the Philippines (Marcos) and direct military intervention in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Vietnamese independence had been originally declared by nationalist leader Ho Chi Minh on September 2 1945. Minh had pleaded his case as far back as the Treaty of Versailles and the then US President Woodrow Wilson. His final declaration followed the defeat of the occupying Japanese at the end of WWII. The western Allies did not recognize Vietnamese independence. They gave control of the southern portion below the 16-degree parallel, over to Admiral Louis Mountbatten.

Less than two weeks after Minh’s independence proclamation a combined British/Indian and French campaign sought to suppress his national agenda. Code-named Operation Masterdom, by the British, this might be considered the beginning of the Vietnamese postwar resistance. A guerilla war ensued with the Vietnamese nationals fighting back from the hills and surrounding countryside. Mountbatten signed off security to the French, as Vietnam had been a French colony.

FRENCH WITHDRAWAL

French involvement in Vietnam wound down aftter the decisive Battle of Dien Bien Phu from March 13 to May 7 1954. It resulted in a comprehensive victory for Ho Chi Minh. Military historian Martin Weindrow wrote of it being "the first time that a non-European colonial independence movement had evolved through all the stages from guerrilla bands to a conventionally organized and equipped army able to defeat a modern Western occupier in pitched battle.”

Despite Minh’s victory, Vietnam remained divided, with capitalist support of a South Vietnamese government under Ngo Dinh Diem. His brutal rule was characterized by nepotism and a crackdown and arrests of the local Buddhist monks with destruction of their pagodas. This led to another iconic moment – the self-immolation of a Buddhist monk in the main street of Saigon.

Thich Quang Duc poured petrol on himself and sat aflame meditating in the lotus position until death. Like the Napalm Girl that followed, the photo of the Burning Monk made headlines around the world. The monk’s martyrdom against the western backed South Vietnamese government took place on June 11 1963. The Sun was positioned at 20 degrees of Gemini conjunct the US Mars.

On September 2 1969, the 24th anniversary of his declaration of Vietnamese independence Ho Chi Minh died of a heart attack in his home in Hanoi. By then the war was raging with thousands of US troops and Australian allies carpet-bombing the paddy fields and defoliating the jungles. But Minh's independence dream would prevail. By April 30 1975 Saigon fell along with the imperialist hold on Vietnam. Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam was united.

MARS RETURN

On Thursday June 11 2015 the USA will experience its Gemini Mars return. Mars will return accompanied by the Sun. It places a military focus again on the country with the greatest armaments on the planet. In light of Chinese expansion and the US Asian pivot, Vietnam again assumes strategic importance. Last Monday the US Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, landed in Hanoi for talks with the Vietnamese Defense Ministry.

The Mars return for the USA precedes the Mars return for Vietnam. Their September 2 1965 horoscope also has Mars in Gemini. The red planet will return accompanied by the Sun on June 19. Much has changed and many lessons learnt since the Vietnam War. The united country of 90 million people, now has one of the best performing economies in Indochina. Their main trading partner is their wartime ally - China.

This week represents forty two years - or one Uranus opposition - since the famous Napalm Girl photo played its role in changing public perception of the Vietnam War. Kim Phuc now lives in Toronto Canada with her husband and two children. She serves as a good will ambassador for UNESCO and gives 20 talks a year. Her scars remain but her heart has forgiven. She now supports child war victims around the world.

Kim writes 'Napalm is very powerful, but faith, forgiveness, and love are much more powerful. We would not have war at all if everyone could learn how to live with true love, hope, and forgiveness. If that little girl in the picture can do it, ask yourself: Can you?' She still keeps a copy of her famous photo hidden between bookpages. One thing she knows for sure. Vietnam could do without another Asian war.

May 31

THE PLUTO NEMESIS

The hottest issue of the upcoming US Presidential election is wealth inequality. The country considered the heart of capitalism is in dire need of a transplant. That was obvious from the fall of 2008 but they called it too big to fail and put it on life support. That was when Pluto, the ancient Roman ruler of wealth and power, first went into Capricorn. Pluto also rules death.

Pluto is currently opposing the USA Sun and moving to exact opposition between August and November of 2015. Last week’s column dealt with this Pluto opposition on the international stage with the economic rise and rivalry of China. This week examines the internal challenges and reorganization that Pluto brings, as the US also heads toward its Pluto return.

FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL

First, some Pluto facts. Although the dwarf planet correlates with the riches and control, it is the planet of the underworld, the secret counsel and hidden forces. Pluto could be described also as the power behind the throne. In Roman mythology he wore a cap of invisibility whenever he surfaced to disguise its movements and motives. The easiest way to identify them is to follow Pluto’s historical footprints.

Pluto has been in its current position before. Back in 1768. That’s before the USA was born, but it’s when it was experiencing its birth pangs. Something happened on February 11 1768, which offers a clue for today. Samuel Adams distributed his rebellious Circular Letter to the Thirteen Colonies. Patriotic Adams was about to become one of the founding fathers of the American Revolution. The obvious inference today being – is another revolution around the corner?

When Pluto was last transiting its current Capricorn degrees, those who would create the USA, were concerned with a lack of representation and what they considered unfair taxes. The fire of revolution was kindled by dissatisfaction with the economy. The establishment reacted as establishments do, with gunboat diplomacy. The British military took control of Boston. But the suppression would lead to a revolution. Is the USA about to recreate itself?

TESTING THE THEORY

The cycle of Pluto is 248 years. It’s a slow train coming. So it’s also worth checking in the longer history of modern America’s forefathers, England. The political organization of England began when William The Conqueror defeated the Saxons and the Danes to unite and literally rebuild the country. William, was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066. Pluto then was at 3 degrees of Pisces.

In 1311, when Pluto returned to 3 degrees of Pisces, there was revolution afoot. Twenty-one barons delivered King Edward II a list of ordinances, restricting his power. Financial management was part of the problem. One of the new regulations was that money was not to go direct to the King’s household but instead to the Exchequer. Like the Sam Adams letter, these ordinances were published widely and had the people’s approval. And Edward had little choice but to begrudgingly obey.

Each time Pluto returned to the starting degree from 1066 onward, important changes to the British power structure would follow. The last occasion was on January 1 1801 when the Irish parliament was dissolved and the legal union of Great Britain and Ireland was established. The UK Union is the current political structure of the United Kingdom. So clearly the Pluto returns are a sign of seismic power shifts and political and economic re-organization. The first Pluto return for the USA is due in 2022. It’s not that far away.

FINE TUNING THE CYCLES

A shorter cycle, that has a lot to do with control of global finances, is the Lunar Nodal cycle. It operates on an 18.6 year repeat sequence. When it approaches and moves through Aquarius is the time to watch. Aquarius is the sign of the common collective and the nodal cycle underpins eclipses, which are very descriptive of its effect.

The North Node moved into Aquarius in 1914, after the collapse of international liquidity, in the wake of World War One. Just prior to its entry global stock markets closed and were still shut when the Node moved into Aquarius. This effectively killed the first experiment with globalization. By 1914 multiple undersea cables meant that traders could enact transactions within minutes.

The North Node would head back into Aquarius in 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt delivered his New Deal economic plan. Roosevelt was only in office a week when he began his regular fireside chats. Here’s a quote from his first one. “We had a bad banking situation. Some of our bankers had shown themselves either incompetent or dishonest in their handling of the people's funds. They had used the money entrusted to them in speculations and unwise loans.” Sound familiar?

With the North Node in Aquarius on June 5 1933 Roosevelt stopped American bank customers trading dollars for gold. He also recalled gold denominations above $100. Pluto was playing its part too at this time. The early Roosevelt years were the USA’s Pluto opposition. Remember it’s about money and control and the bankers behind the scenes who call the shots.

THE NIXON SHOCK AND FIAT ECONOMY

In 1971, with the North Node back in Aquarius, the global economic scene changed forever when US President Richard Nixon pulled the USA off the gold standard. It was to counter falling US gold reserves. Nixon curried a deal with the financial elite to have Middle East oil traded exclusively in US dollars. While ensuring global hegemony for the US dollar, Nixon had unleashed the fiat economy. Iraq, Iran and Libya eventually dropped the dollar and paid the price.

When the North Node next entered Aquarius in 1989. It was the year that the Berlin Wall fell. Such was symbolic of the disintegration of the Soviet Union’s eastern empire. It opened abundant western investment opportunities. The Soviets were heading for bankruptcy and the people had lost faith in the system. The leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, became an agent of that change.

Gorbachev had instituted a program dubbed perestroika and glasnost; or restructuring and openness. They are words now echoing hauntingly through the halls of western government, but especially the USA. There was necessary pain in this enormous transformation, but it was the only logical choice.

CAPITALIST CHAOS

Move forward to 2008. The north node returned to the humanitarian sign of Aquarius. A corrupt capitalist system imploded, just as the communist one did in the previous cycle. Riding the same winds, a young political hopeful, Barack Obama, promised to deliver ‘change you can believe in'. On the eve of his election, the US economy tanked and took the rest of the world for the same slippery dip ride.

Obama’s promised change never came. The bankrupt institutions, deemed too big to fail were bailed out. The system hierarchy remained as it was. Glasnost and perestroika were noticable by their absence. Instead we got PRISM; the biggest surveillance operation ever undertaken to maintain global control. The transformation was on interminable hold as the rich got immensely richer. But you can’t keep changing the rules to win the game. Eventually the house of cards will fall.

Today the US is considered an oligarchy? Since the 1988 election – apart from the Obama phenomena – two families have dominated the political spectrum like the Martins and the Coys. For the Republicans it is the ubiquitous Bush family and for the Democrats the Clintons. Even the political culture has become dynastic. So how does change come? It happens when it has to and when someone has the political courage to see it through. Samuel Adams proved that no entity is really too big to fail when he took on an Empire and won.

May 24

NO WELCOME ON FANTASY ISLAND

Most of us were awaiting an inevitable encounter between the superpowers. The US is expanding its military pivot into Asia and China is adding to its territorial sovereignty. The war of words began last Wednesday, May 20, as the Chinese navy issued eight warnings to a US spyplane, flying too close for comfort. The Defense Department anticipating the scenario had issued an exclusive invitation to CNN for immediate exposure. That’s when you know things are getting serious - when the PR guys are part of the action.

It's not the first US-China spyplane drama. Back on April 1 2001, at 9.33 am, a US intelligence aircraft made a forced landing on Hainin Island in the South China Sea. On their way the crew destroyed sensitive data and equipment, following a fatal collision with a tailing Chinese jet fighter. Twenty-four US crew members were detained and interrogated, as China demanded an official apology. Each side blamed the other for the accident.

This happened as combative Mars and lethal Pluto, in exploratory Sagittarius, supportively trined the Mars Pluto conjunction of the Chinese birth horoscope. It’s a combination that regularly features when Chinese tensions escalate. Mars was joined to Pluto in the seventh house of war when the People’s Republic of China was officially proclaimed at 15.02 hours on October 1 1949, in Beijing. Planets activating that volatile union uncannily time moments of conflict.

CHINA’S EMBASSY BOMBED

In 1999, as US warplanes blitzed Belgrade, five bombs targeted the Chinese Embassy, killing three reporters and injuring twenty others. In a televised address, the Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, branded it a ‘barbarian act’ criticizing what he called ‘the criminal conduct’ of NATO. After compensation agreements and an official US apology, the diplomatic crisis eventually eased.

The incident took place 17.45 hours EET on May 7 1999. Uranus, the planet of technology and flight was transiting directly opposite China’s Mars/Pluto combination. On the day in question the Sun also squared the Chinese Mars/Pluto, triggering the action. Covert Neptune was also moving across the Chinese Moon representing the public. Click here for the chart.

The official investigations into this CIA targeted bombing revealed “the very basic information needed to prevent this mistake was publicly and widely available". The generally accepted rationalization of the bombing is that it was done to prevent the Chinese, who diplomatically opposed the NATO intervention, from providing any information to the enemy.

THE FOG OF WAR - US-CHINA & VIETNAM

The negative side of Neptune is misinformation. Nowhere was this more evident than the Gulf Of Tonkin incident, known as the lie that launched the Vietnam War. Declassified information and subsequent admissions by the former US Secretary of State, Robert McNamara, leave little doubt about who started the confrontation. The USS Maddox was conducting aggressive surveillance, firing on North Vietnamese craft at 15.05 China Coast time on August 2 1964. There was no retaliatory attack on August 4.

In a televised national address, just before midnight on August 4 1964, President Johnson announced an escalation of air strikes against North Vietnam as a result of provocative attacks. Gullibility to government propaganda wasn’t lost on the New York Times or Washington Post, both reporting alleged Vietnamese aggression as factual. The provocative attacks never happened. The dramatic escalation of the Vietnam War had begun via a deception.

Back then, Neptune was squaring China’s Mars, a combination that aptly fits war at sea. On October 16 the same year, as aggressive Mars joined their Mars/Pluto, China exploded its first nuclear bomb. Vietnam eventually became a communist country with substantial help from China.

LET'S BE FRIENDS

It took a groundbreaking Richard Nixon visit, on the back of a Sino-Soviet split, to formalize US-Sino relations. It wasn’t all that long ago that we were thinking we were a long way from the Cold War of the mid-60’s. But just as the Vietnam War began at the starting point of the current Uranus Pluto cycle, the square of the same planets in 2012-15 invoked rising tensions. China’s looming economic ascendancy was posing a direct challenge to US global control.

China now holds vastly more foreign currency reserves than any other nation. Their ongoing budget surpluses have fueled a US debt addiction. As the challenging Uranus Pluto squares played out, China proposed an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. To date there are 57 international signatories, with the USA a notable omission. China has also become the major investor in emerging countries such as Brazil and is rapidly expanding its defense budget.

US ASIAN PIVOT

The US Asian pivot is an exercise in political containment, much the same as the Vietnam War. And it is just as predictable. Last year on August 19 2014, a combination of Mars and Saturn in Scorpio squared the Chinese Mars/Pluto. A Chinese fighter jet played chicken with a US spy plane, approaching so close that the pilots could see each other clearly with wingtips at twenty feet. The Pentagon issued a formal complaint and diplomatic tensions rose - much like today.

Why the standoff is escalating again is because Jupiter has been moving through Leo and across China’s Mars and Pluto, exaggerating these activities. China’s progressed horoscope also displays an aggravating square between communicative Mercury and combative Mars, inciting a war of words. The period from mid June through August will be vital in addressing the differences.

From the US point of view, since April 2014, the dark nemesis of Pluto has been opposing their birth Sun. It has conjured the simmering cultural differences now bubbling in this political cauldron. They began with the Ukrainian revolution and the breakdown of western relations with Russia. But the economic juggernaut of China with a Russian alliance, may be seen as the bigger threat.

Where to now? Mars is transiting also into the US seventh house of allies and enemies. By June 10-12 the US will experience their militaristic Mars return, simultaneous with the Sun also moving across their birth Mars. Look particularly at that time window along with the mid July and early August. When Pluto last joined the US Sun, it was the opulent Roaring Twenties when New York replaced London as the world’s financial capital. Is the opposition aspect now timing the symbiotic passing of the baton? If so, let's hope it happens minus the fireworks.

 

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