POLITICAL ASTROLOGY MUNDANE MUSINGS

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Every column this year lies below. Scroll down for different mundane articles

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.

May 17

KING OF THE BLUES

Dictionaries struggle with a definition of music. It is commonly called organized sound. Some people organize it extremely well. On September 16 1925 the god of music must have been paying a visit to earth. On that day two guitar giants were born. One of them was Riley B King born September 16 1925 on a cotton farm in rural Mississippi.

Fame would come looking for the man later known as the king of the blues. It has a habit of doing that with extraordinary people. King’s earliest blues initiation was via the songs of the people working the cotton fields. He claimed he always heard those sounds in his playing thereafter.

At twenty King moved to Memphis, began working as a disc jockey and savored the legendary music of Beale St and the jazz giants of his time. All would form part of the mix of his unique style. His initial break came in 1948 on Sonny Boy Williamson’s Memphis radio program as the Blues Boy from Beale Street. The moniker stuck as B.B.

3 O Clock Blues

In 1951 B.B. King had his first hit singing and playing ‘3 O Clock Blues’ that spent 17 weeks number one on the R&B charts. It featured Ike Turner - later to marry Tina - on keyboards. Click here for the song link. This hit changed his life. No longer would he have to drive tractors to supplement his playing. All of a sudden King could earn up to $500 a gig, employ a band and a driver.

King’s hectic traveling blues career consisted of playing upwards of 300 gigs a year. Perhaps it was the vitality of his Sun tightly conjunct energetic Mars in the hard working sign of Virgo and opposite the electric energy of Uranus. He was Uranus unique and he never lost that quality, nor the connection with his black audience.

King’s career spanned years when racial segregation was widespread. His popularity with white audiences did much to break those attitudes. Yet King never attempted to be a crossover artist nor crack the commercial pop market. He claimed that was due to a manager’s early and non-compromising advice, that he forever followed. No-one is as good at being you as you are.

DISCOVERING THE GENIUS

By the mid-60’s B.B. King’s style was paying off. Unique Uranus was crossing B.B.’s vibrant Sun Mars combination. For King this also signalled his Uranus opposition phase. It’s an astrological truism that this is a time of finding your original genius. But for B.B. other people were finding it too.

In 1965 King, now a polished performer, recorded what many consider his seminal album ‘Live At The Regal’ in Chicago. It contained what were to become his signature tunes. The fluency of his blues phrasing was in full evidence between the honeysweet vibrato trills and raw power chops, of tracks like “Sweet Angel”, showcasing B.B. at his finest.

Live At The Regal became King’s best selling album. His reputation was crossing the Atlantic, finding a new appreciation with white British musicians. In 1967 King was booked to play at The Fillmore in San Francisco before an audience of predominantly white hippies. He said he would need a scotch for this one. He took the stage to a standing ovation.

By 1967 King’s progressed Venus, the planet of popular appeal, had reached the supportive sextile to progressing Mars. The principle transit of the time was game changing Pluto transiting across his birth Sun and Mars. King was playing the biggest gigs of his life and becoming known as the king of the blues.

It was a title he earned, as the ultimate autodidact. Sharecropping at 14, with his father and mother gone, he had done it all. He’d worked the cheapest dives to the Royal Albert Hall – his last concert there being June 2011. The one time Memphis disc jockey who decided he’d rather make records than play them.

The ultimate autodidact is the self-taught master. The irony is that every one else tries to imitate. There will only be one B.B. King. One who thankfully stuck to his manager’s advice. The best you can be - is yourself. And it’s the only way you can make a difference.

A BYRD NAMED CHARLIE

Charlie Lee Byrd was born on September 16 1925, but in Suffolk Virginia. His father was a musician playing the guitar and mandolin. By age ten young Charlie was playing a steel guitar. The famed gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt heavily influenced Byrd. By his twenties he had moved to Manhattan and was studying jazz composition.

Byrd began to play his jazz on a classical guitar. For a while was a pupil of the legendary Andres Segovia, rated the finest exponent in the world. Born with the same planetary aspects as B.B. King, Charlie Byrd had limitless energy and enthusiasm. His tight Sun/Mars opposition to Uranus gifted him speed and touch that would define his flawless technique. Click for Charlie Byrd.

Like King, Byrd would begin to find fame during the 60’s, playing to an entirely different audience. By this time he had become fascinated by South American music. During the Aquarian line up of February 1962 – Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all in Aquarius – he recorded the album ‘Jazz Samba’ with saxophonist Stan Getz. It created a bossa-nova craze across the US.

In the mid-sixties, as B.B. King found worldwide fame for his blues licks with his signature Gibson 355 Lucille, Byrd was being acknowledged as a leading jazz exponent. He was touring worldwide and combining various cultural musical roots – from Brazil to Nepal - to contemporary jazz played on the classical guitar.

Byrd teamed with the greats from Ella Fitzgerald to his renowned guitar trio with Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel. He also frequently paired with Tal Farlow. By the time of his death on December 2 1999 he had stamped himself as one of the most influential musicians of his time.

So it was that in September of 1925, the god of music must have been passing by planet earth. For only three days before the birth of these two guitar icons was born a singer, Mel Torme, who would also be ranked one of the finest jazz-scat singers of all. He also co-wrote the lyrics for the ‘Christmas Song’ – the one that begins ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’. Here he is jazz/scat singing with Ella Fitzgerald, and bringing the house down, at the 1976 Grammy's. Click here for the link.

May 10

DAVID CAMERON A CLEAR WINNER

British Prime Minister and Conservative leader, David Cameron, was born at 6 am on October 9 1966 in London. His horoscope exhibits a strong Libran flavor. It is both his Sun and Ascendant sign, plus he has congenial Venus in Libra. This all endows Cameron with a natural charm that translates into a stylish public persona.

Cameron was initially sworn in as British Prime Minister on May 11 2010. This was after Venus, a planet associated with popular appeal, had been progressing in a supportive trine angle to jubilant Jupiter, fortunately placed in his tenth house of career. This same Jupiter naturally trines his seventh house cusp, delivering opportune growth through associations.

It is the Jupiter factor that has played such a prominent astrological role in Cameron’s success. Progressing Venus went on to trine progressing Jupiter by 2012. Later the same year his progressing Sun would also trine his birth Jupiter. These ongoing supportive alignments, involving the planet associated with triumph, ensured that Cameron expanded his leadership role. Click here for his birth and progressed charts showing the Jupiter action.

As the May 7 2015 election unfolded, Cameron’s progressing Sun was forming its final trine with the progressing Jupiter. This will perfect throughout July, August and September. As one of the most powerful of all aspects, the Jupiter factor delivered him a victory exceeding that anticipated by the pundits and the polls. But, by the end of the current year, the jovial Jupiter effect will be easing off.

SATURN’S TESTS

Another planet has also been playing a major role in Cameron’s assumption of the highest elected office in the land. Saturn is the planet associated with administration, the establishment and positions of seniority. In 2010, the year he first became Prime Minister, Saturn was traveling through Libra and crossing over his Ascendant. By the end of the year it had reached his Libran Sun.

Saturn has also played its role in curtailing Cameron’s objectives. On the evening of August 29 2013, he was defeated on the parliamentary floor by 285 votes to 272 on a motion to join the US in sending warplanes to Syria. On that occasion Saturn was squaring his Moon, the ruler of his career Midheaven and also negatively affected his public image. Some likened it to Blair's acquiescence to Bush.

Saturn, now in the early degrees of Sagittarius, had been moving across Cameron’s progressed Sun early in 2015. It had some people thinking he faced an uphill battle in holding onto power. But shortly before the election Saturn began to retrograde back off Cameron’s progressed Sun. Yet Saturn is not done with yet. It will return in the November of 2015.

Cameron has achieved much during the successful Jupiter progressions and the responsible Saturn transits. He became the youngest ever British Prime Minister. And although being forced into a coalition government initially with Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg, due to a hung parliament after the 2010 vote, the duo stuck firm throughout Cameron’s first term.

Now, as a result of last week’s clear win, he governs in his own right. And this is where his troubles may begin – in the aftermath of his greatest victory. In Cameron’s first term of office, his problems came not from his forced coalition, but more from the right wing radicals of his own party. Now having a secured a clear majority, the right is sure to pressure their popular leader.

Cameron’s victory proved the political adage that it’s the leader who carries the battle. The result may have been no surprise to astute astrologers. But it was still considered a great shock by the British press and confounded the pollsters. Yet the poll closing time of 10 pm had Conservative Saturn (and Cameron’s progressed Sun) positioned firmly at the Ascendant.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

The British election provided plenty of political headlines. Labour Leader Ed Miliband fell on his sword in the wake of the worst result in thirty years. Miliband, born December 24 1969 @ 2 pm in London was experiencing a Pluto transit across his Midheaven. Extreme Pluto, at this point, delivers either great coups or devastating defeats. Uranus erratically squaring the same Midheaven favored the latter and decimated Miliband’s aspirations.

Liberal Democrat, Nick Clegg, born January 7 1967 @ 5.30 am at Chantfort St Gile, had purgative Pluto coming to his Sun and fast change Uranus in square. Even his public Moon was experiencing the sad reality of a Saturn conjunction. Nick’s coalition party was routed. Along with Independence Party leader Nick Farage, Clegg exited the political stage in a triumvirate of leadership resignations.

Nick Clegg was unsparing in his observation of the outcome, saying, "Liberalism is not faring well against the politics of fear." It was a poignant parting shot from the man who once partnered Cameron in government. But the biggest change came north of the border.

INDEPENDENCE THAT WON'T GO AWAY

Last year, on September 18 2014, Scotland held a referendum on national independence. As the independence movement gained ground the English political parties moved to counter. The final result was a 55% to 45% vote against cutting British ties. But in the May 7 2015 election the Scottish National Party won 56 of a possible 59 seats.

This was the most resounding swing of all. It begs the question of whether the party will press for another referendum. The Scottish National Party is the largest growing party in the United Kingdom. Membership has more than quadrupled since their defeat at the independence referendum. They are bound to be a thorn in Cameron’s side.

Leader Nicola Sturgeon was born @ 15.16 hours BST on July 19 1970 in Irvine, Scotland. Her patriotic Cancer Sun is positioned square ambitious Jupiter and in unison with feisty Mars. By the second half of 2016 Sturgeon will have her progressing Venus move to join the success planet of Jupiter. Even this year, from mid July, Sturgeon will also have expansive Jupiter move into her career house. And in a symbolic yet realistic display of their homeland preferences, Sturgeon's independent Aquarian Moon closely opposes Cameron's British Leonian one.

Cameron’s silky Libran placements make him a smooth operator with accomplished negotiating and diplomatic skills. Having a clear majority he can govern purely by numbers. But this doesn’t mean the road ahead is smooth. And it’s something that will become increasingly evident by the time 2015 draws to a close.

May 3

SOMETHING ABOUT APRIL

April 19 has a history of changing America. It was the day, in 1775, that the first shot was fired at Lexington beginning the American Revolutionary War. It was the day of the first fatality of the US Civil War. It was the day of Abraham Lincoln’s White House funeral. It was the day of the Oklahoma City bombing. And two years ago, it was the day of the Boston Marathon bombing.

This year on April 19, Freddie Gray took his last breath. The manner of his death would create riots in Baltimore. Fred Gray is a legendary name in the African/American civil rights movement. Fred Gray was the black lawyer who represented Rosa Parks for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery Bus. The case created the bus boycott that would eventually led to desegregation. In 2001 Fred Gray became the first African-American President of the Alabama State Bar.

But Baltimore knows a different Freddie Gray. A young troubled black youth, whose inexplicable death while in police custody, may have just as big an impact on US civil rights. Between his arrest at 8.40 am on April 12 2015 and arrival at the police station at 9.24 am, he mysteriously contracted three fractured vertebra and a crushed voice box. The lack of credible answers for another black death from a police arrest, pushed a city to the brink. It came at a bad time.

There is a clear astrological reason why the third week of April contains more US disasters than other weeks. You can add in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, or the Deepwater Horizon ecological disaster, or the Texas City industrial accident. Not the fertilizer fire of April 16 2013 that killed 15, but the explosions of April 16 1947 that took 581. You can throw in the mass shootings at Columbine High or Virginia Tech.

It’s at this April time that the Sun moves through the later degrees of Aries and squares off to the USA’s birth Pluto, the lord of death. As it does this, it also squares the newsworthy Mercury in the US eighth house of death. That’s the celestial causality behind this collection of curious coincidences. The transformative manner of the eighth house, and cathartic Pluto, usually mean that they will have a lasting effect.

The truth that we have learned from Freddie Gray’s death is the agenda of certain mainstream news outlets and the convenience of official ‘leaks’ they broadcast. False rumors of a prior neck injury to explain a spinal cord nearly severed. Bogus claims that a second man in the police van said that Gray was self-harming. Even medical experts cast severe doubts on the theory that his injuries occurred as a result of falling. And the video of Gray's arrest differs markedly from the official report. They all added up to riots.

THE ORIGIN AND CHART OF BALTIMORE

On June 20 1632, Cecil Calvert the 2nd Baron of Baltimore, became the first Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland, decreed royal charter. On July 14, 1729 the Maryland governance discussed a petition from Baltimore County residents for a township, passing this act on July 30, 1729. It was approved by Governor Benedict Calvert on August 8 1729, his grandfather’s birthday, and widely considered the Baltimore formation date.

Astrologically the Baltimore city chart ties in with the nature of the current events. The formation date of August 8 1729 gives Baltimore a Leo Sun with an Aquarius Moon. Freddie Gray, born August 8 1989, was also born with a Leo Sun and an Aquarius Moon. Baltimore’s progressed Sun now opposes Uranus, the planet of rebellion and revolution. Baltimore’s progressed Sun is also in hard aspect to its birth Mars, the planet of violence and also armed forces or police. Click here for the full charts and astro explanation.

On Friday morning, Baltimore's State's Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, declared Gray’s death a homicide and filed criminal charges against all six officers involved. Her swift decision - a mere day after the case was handed over to her office - has some experts considering she may have compelling evidence. The announcement was met with celebration in the streets. As it happened Mosby’s progressed Sun came to meet her birth Venus, positioned in peaceful Pisces.

Marilyn Mosby was born January 22 1980 with a community conscious Aquarian Sun linked to communicative Mercury. Her birth Sun is also positioned sesquisquare direct action Mars, a planet also noted for military and police connections. Both her parents were police officers, as was her grandfather. Currently Mosby’s progressed Mars joins Jupiter the planet of judicial process. Her decision has calmed a city that could have exploded. It may well have calmed a nation. All they want is justice and the truth.

April 26

In Turkey, France and many parts of Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, the centenary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) first major battle was commemorated. This was the military invasion begun before sunrise on April 25 1915, from the beaches of Gallipoli that officially ended on January 9 1916. The battle was a military disaster for the British command and a memorable victory for the Ottoman Empire.

It was one of the most lethal battles of WWI. Over eight hundred thousand soldiers were involved and the casualties and losses topped half a million. The Allied campaign was marred by military incompetence, which led to enormous political fallout, and an eventual change of leadership, in Great Britain. For Australians the campaign would be remembered more for the sacrifice of war than its glory.

The time of the Anzac’s landing differs according to the various sources. The war diary of the 12th Battalion notes 04:10 am, but the Royal Navy records 04:20 am, and the corps headquarters made it 04:32 am. These times are extremely symbolic. They place Mars, the military planet of battle, as gradually rising in the pre-dawn glow, crossing the horizon by 4.20 am. See chart here.

And as the red planet rose in Aries, also the sign of war - the bullets rained down from the cliff tops onto landing parties. The Anzac legend was christened in blood. Captain William Annear was the first to fall, shot through the head after an arduous climb, a week short of his 40th birthday. Six hundred and twenty fellow Australians shared his fate before the day was done.

THE TRUTH - ALWAYS THE VICTIM OF WAR

The next victim of the war was truth. The war correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, wrote in frustration, “I thought there were limits to human stupidity but now I know there are none. The censorship has now passed beyond all reason. They wont let you give expression to the mildest opinions on any subjects.”

Ashmead-Barlett finally got a letter to the British Prime Minister, Lord Asquith that pulled no punches. Dated September 15 1915, it states, “I have the chance of sending this letter through by hand and I consider it absolutely necessary that you should know the true state of affairs out here. Our last great effort to achieve some definite success against the Turks was the most ghastly and costly fiasco in our history since the Battle of Bannockburn.”

The Australian journalist Keith Murdoch did the same in correspondence with the Australian Prime Minister Andrew Fisher. These revelations played a significant role in the Gallipoli withdrawal, enacted without a single loss of life and the most successful part of the whole campaign.

THE WAR THAT DIVIDED A NATION

World War One divided Australia down the center. There were those who saw it as a territorial war of the old European nations, of no real consequence to the newly created Commonwealth of Australia. Yet many Australians were British born, including the leading businessmen and politicians. The majority of the press and government were behind the war.

To fight for the might of the British Empire was seen as a national honor and many were quick to volunteer. But as the war dragged on and the casualties mounted, the opposition movement gained momentum. With thousands having already enlisted and serving overseas, new volunteers began to thin. But Britain kept up its demand for Australian troops – over 5000 every month.

The media played its part. The government sponsored the war drive. Beach posters pleaded, “It’s nice in the surf, but what about the men in the trenches. Go and help”. Others depicted a map of Australia renamed as New Germany and substituting Germanic names for Australian capital cities. Melbourne was named Zeppelinburg and Tasmania became Kaisermania. Other posters displayed a country farmer beside his water tank, surrounded by German soldiers.

Against this obvious propaganda backdrop, the newly installed British born Australian Prime Minister, Billy Hughes, called for referendum on national conscription. He was shocked at the result, albeit by a narrow margin. Even after a concerted media blitz, most Australians rejected his conscription proposal. Hughes’ war zeal split his Labor Party and he crossed the floor to form a coalition government.

THE COOEE MARCH

Hughes put the conscription proposal before the public yet again. The second time he was defeated by an even larger margin. Instead it was left to individuals to fuel the war effort. One such was Bill Hitchens, captain of the Gilgandra Rifle Club. Hitchens organized a recruitment march from the country town, three hundred and twenty miles to Sydney, calling through other country towns along the way.

At 10 am on October 10 1915 twenty-six volunteers began the walk along the dusty bush roads leading to the Big Smoke. Along the way they swelled their ranks to 263 in what was thereafter known as the ‘Cooee March’, after the famous Australian bush call. The Gilgandra initiative was one of many volunteer recruitment marches begun from country towns with government encouragement. See chart here.

The horoscope of the initial “Cooee March” aptly describes the mood of the times. The Sun is in exact square to obligatory Saturn, in the homeland sign of Cancer. The Moon has just entered Scorpio, sign of birth and death and is also in exact square to Mars, the planet of war. Mars is positioned with sacrificial Neptune, also describing the glory of such sacrifice. Today when you pass through Australian rural towns from that time war monuments are a prominent feature.

The progressed Australian horoscope of the day reflected a similar theme. The progressed Sun was with Mercury in Gemini and both squared traditionalist Saturn in Virgo. Mars, the planet of battle was in an opposition to lethal Pluto. Australia, the newest country in the world at the time, would lose many of its youth – and sacrifice much of its future – to the European fields of war. Click here for Australian natal and progressed horoscopes.

Australia’s losses of World War One far outweighed those of World War Two. On July 16 1916 alone, five and a half thousand perished in a single night at Fromelles. The death toll of the two wars is 61,720 for WWI against 27,073 for WWII. Incredible, when you think that the Second World War was actually a desperate fight for the country’s sovereignty and survival following the Japanese invasion. The first was a fight for the British Empire.

It may be hard to imagine today how Australia would be so subject to British influence. But not so when one considers that Australian citizenship didn’t become a reality until January 26 1949. Up until that time an Australian citizen had the single nationality of ‘British subject’. And up until then it was all about Empire.

Australia has won more significant battles. They were the first to defeat the German advances of WWII at Tobruk, and the first to defeat the advancing Japanese at Kokoda. But it is the loss of innocence and the baptism of fire for the new nation at Gallipoli that has become the day the nation honours the sacrifice and remembers the human cost of war.

April 19

HILLARY CLINTON

Hillary Clinton was born October 26 1947 in Chicago Illinois. A report in the Chicago Sun Times quotes her mother stating she was born in time for breakfast and a time of 08.02 am is widely circulated. The time of around 8 am seems to fit adequately with the principle events of her life.

It makes Hillary a Scorpio with a secretive, but charitable twelfth house Sun. Communicative Mercury is rising at birth, along with appealing Venus. Her Moon is in the fellow water sign of Pisces. The strong water element supports emotional empathy and the Scorpionic drive denotes the determined fighter.

Hillary will not give in easily, something that was evident during the last Democratic presidential nomination contest against Barack Obama. Clinton also has a powerful Mars Pluto conjunction. Potentially that can lead to intense competition and even an explosive temper. The Mars Pluto is in Leo (husband Bill’s sun-sign) and in a testing square angle to her Venus.

The Mars in Leo is the standout feature of US Presidential horoscopes, with ten having this placement. Conversely, Hillary will also have to contend with none of them having a Pisces Moons. While the bookies consider Hillary the hot favorite for the White House, there are certain planetary indications that say it may not be without a controversy or scandal.

On Sunday April 12 at 14.33 hours an email correspondence from John Podesta, the Chairman of the 2016 Hillary for President campaign announced the start of her run. This was confirmed by an Internet video released at 15.07 hours, in which she officially declared her bid for the presidency. Twenty minutes later, as popular Venus reached the Midheaven over Washington, her Twitter account relayed 'I am running for President!' It was on.

BATTLE OF DYNASTIES?

The betting markets are showing Clinton the clear favourite with Jeb Bush the likely nominee for the Republicans second best. Already it is being called the battle of the Clinton and Bush dynasties. The two families have held a grip on US power since George Bush was elected President on November 9 1988. George Senior lasted four years in the position. He was defeated by Bill Clinton who governed for another eight years.

The 2000 election was controversially awarded to George W. Bush, who subsequently served two terms. This pattern was broken by the election of Barack Obama, although Hillary Clinton became his first Secretary of State. Clinton then stepped down in 2013 to plan her current bid for the nation's highest position. If everything goes to plan, it will be a Clinton/Bush showdown come November 1 2016.

A MORTGAGE ON THE WHITE HOUSE

The ruling plutocracies and the influence of money on the campaigns is clearly shown by the Clinton launch charts. Here, Venus the planet of popularity, is in hard aspect to the more individualist Uranus and Pluto, the planet of the plutocracies. With election campaign funds tipped to soar to $6 billion, it's virtually a race to buy the White House. But Venus in hard aspect to Uranus and Pluto also plainly shows that financial reform is a must, in order to safeguard democratic elections.

I will further analyse the launch charts, along with Hillary in future columns. But one thing immediately stands out. The campaign was launched on a day that the Sun formed a challenging semisquare with the king of spin – Neptune. It would also suggest that Hillary will be linked more with social reforms and the political idealism that Neptune exudes.

Neptune can also represent subterfuge, scandals and rumor. This influence is not only contained in the campaign launch date – it also appears in Hillary's secondary progressed horoscope for next year. Clinton's progressed Sun will square her natal Neptune, exact in January of 2016. Further in September, the same progressed Sun will square progressed Neptune. September 2016 will also see the progressed Sun of her campaign launch semisquare Neptune.

Neptune is not easy to precisely define, but it may operate via an avent throwing a cloud of confusion or 'smoke and mirrors' over the proceedings. The Sun is traditionally male figures, which potentially brings husband Bill into the picture. Inadvertently controversial statements from Bill dogged her last nomination campaign. There may even be health concerns, or the rumors of the same that play an undermining role. This doesn't rule out a Clinton victory. But it places a definite detour on the road to the White House.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN 150

April 15 last week represented the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The American Presidency has a high mortality rate that would deter most life insurance brokers. One if five die in office. And the event seems to occur with some regularity. Enough to give astrologers reason to examine it for planetary significance. Much has been written about this but the research is miniscule in comparison with what is a truly principal event.

In looking for an initial pattern America's leading astrologer of the 19th century Dr L. Broughton linked presidential death in office to the Jupiter/Saturn alignments in the earth signs. When these two planetary heavyweights come together every twenty years, they usually occupy the same element (fire, earth, air or water) for a whole two hundred and forty years. Therefore when Ronald Reagan survived the assassin's bullet in March of 1981 most astrologers attributed this to the fact that the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred in the air sign of Libra. Reagan's life, and Broughton's theory, were spared.

Allowing for an eerie ring of truth regarding Broughton's hypothesis, determining the volatile time window eludes most astrologers. The Presidents in question had been sworn in at the cycles commencement, but often died well into it - and in Roosevelt's case, nearly five years. A more accurate astrological timing measure will be required for any useful predictive application of danger to the leader.

Two planets stand out. The first is a planet barely used in Broughton's time, the distant gas giant Neptune. Singularly the Neptune factor is the greatest planetary influence concurrent with Presidential demise. In six out of eight cases of a President dying in office, Neptune was forming a hard aspect to the same point.

The odds of this happening exceeded three thousand to one. In fact every time Neptune has been in the middle degrees, 16 to 17, of a fixed sign a President had died in office until George Bush survived a bomb thrown in his direction in May 2005. Not so lucky were.

William Harrison died April 4 1841 Neptune 16Aquarius30

James Garfield died September 19 1881 Neptune 15Taurus58

Warren Harding died August 2 1923 Neptune 16Leo40

John F. Kennedy died November 22 1963 Neptune 15Scorpio55

If we are to use the Sibley chart for the USA (July 4 1776 @ 5.10 p.m.) this whole finding may make some sense. The Midheaven of this chart is the second degree of Libra. Astrologically the Midheaven represents the leader and administration. Each time a planet reached the middle degrees of a fixed sign it would automatically form a hard aspect to this Libran Midheaven.

The widest orb for any of these aspects was for F.D. Roosevelt who suddenly died of a brain hemorrhage when Neptune had moved three degrees past the conjunction to the Midheaven.

While the recurrence of Neptune is interesting, planets do not work in isolation, but rather as an orchestration of energies. The next planet in from Neptune is Uranus. It's the 'jack in the box' of startle and surprise. It could be associated with sudden death, or assassination. Uranus exhibited a definite pattern.

It was mostly in mutable signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces, at the ratio of seven out of eight times, during a Presidential death in office. Remarkable enough, even with such a small sample, but more notable was the degree areas occupied. For Presidents Garfield and Kennedy, both gunned down, Uranus returned to within the same degree of the 360 degree zodiac, and was in exact aspect to this degree for the deaths of both McKinley and Roosevelt.

James Garfield shot July 2 1881 Uranus 10Virgo33

William McKinley shot Sep 6 1901 Uranus 12Sagittarius59

F.D. Roosevelt died April 12 1945 Uranus 10Gemini24

John F. Kennedy died November 22 1963 Uranus 9Virgo49

Again the survivor was George W Bush when the planet headed through Pisces in 2005 and 2006. Mysteriously a film entitled 'Death Of A President' was released depicting his assassination in the same time frame. These factors may be merely coincidental and it may be folly to believe that the stars dictate the precise fate of the kings today. But we may be even greater fools to be ignorant to their influence altogether.

April 12

DECODING THE URANUS PLUTO CYCLE

The global mood is determined, astrologically speaking, by the predominant planetary cycles of the time. The one currently calling the shots is the Uranus Pluto square; still merely a departing degree from exactness. The square depicts some sort of conflict to be resolved between planets in elemental signs analogous to each other. That’s why the current mood is one of friction. Uranus in fire and Pluto in earth, are akin to scorched earth energy. At times that’s the way the world appears.

The nature of the Uranus Pluto amalgamation is concisely described in Reinhold Ebertin’s astrological classic - Combination of Stellar Influences. His succinct words are “the process of transformation. The collapse of an old order of things, the construction of the new. Revolution.” That’s a simple and direct description. It’s all that is needed to conceptualize the two planets’ core essence. The daily proof comes via the associated headlines.

We’ve had seven exact squares since June 2012, although the planets came within a degree of exactness a full year before. They are now technically departing, but will not fully clear until the midway through the first quarter of 2016. The Uranus Pluto conjunction that began the current cycle initially appeared in the northern fall of 1965. It’s illuminating to examine the global mindset of the time.

THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION?

Number one on the Billboard Top 100, from September 22 1965 was Barry Maguire’s haunting protest cry, ‘Eve Of Destruction’, penned by P F Sloan. It reached number 3 in the UK. The song began with lyrics literally describing the Middle East exploding. It then referenced racial intolerance and the Selma, Alabama march. It contemplates the futility of the Vietnam War and the lethal prospect of a future nuclear one.

Eve of Destruction was banned in some US states on the basis that it was aiding the enemy. What is important in the astrological sense is that the song, and its sentiment, peaked at the same time as the planetary aspect. Thoughts are as real as actions. They are part of an inseparable unity. Art imitates life and life imitates art. The 60’s revolutionary messages resonated through its counter-culture artists. Even the blues music of an oppressed race was finding a new and appreciative audience.

No decade split the 20th century into a before and after consciousness change more than did the sixties. Even two World Wars and a Great Depression did not have the same effect. Sloan's ‘Eve Of Destruction’ was one of a series of protest songs like ‘Universal Soldier’ or ‘Blowing In The Wind’ that outlined the global division in the 20th century. A senseless drive for supremacy had outlined the spiritual paucity of being. The sixties heralded a pursuit of new ‘meaning’.

Civil rights and racial oppression was a prevalent theme. 1965 – the year of the Uranus Pluto conjunction was a standout. The early part of the year witnessed the assassination of the Muslim black rights activist Malcolm X. The sacrifices made on the Selma to Montgomery freedom marches, championed by the charismatic Martin Luther King, were to become a defining part of US history. By August 1965, as the aspect moved toward exactness, the Watts Riots of Los Angeles rocked the nation.

This racial theme might have been expected. The previous Uranus Pluto cycle had also played a pivotal role in the rights of the African Americans. That cycle had started in 1850. This was the beginning of the anti-slavery movement and Henry Clay’s compromise resolutions to the US Senate. But it wasn’t only in the USA where civil rights were the primary issue. In the world’s most populous nation the 1850 Taiping Rebellion initiated a long lasting civil war. Even established religion faced the threat of a new emerging thought known as ‘Evolution’.

THE TURNING POINTS

The first important aspect of Uranus and Pluto, after their mid-60’s conjunction, was when the two planets came into semisquare by March 1986. It didn’t seem a very destructive time…unless you want to factor in the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown beginning at 1.23 am April 1986 in the Ukraine. It remains the world’s worst nuclear accident involving a clean up requiring 500,000 people and coming at an expense of 18 billion rubles. Who knows the full fallout of Chernobyl?

But something else was taking place with the 1986 semisquare. On February 25 in Moscow, only a couple of weeks before the Uranus Pluto semisquare perfected, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced two new terms to the Communist Party Congress - Glasnost and Perestroika. They would lead to exactly what Ebertin deduced – “The collapse of an old order of things and the construction of the new.” It was literally the start of the deconstruction of an empire. The entire Soviet Union would crumble within a few short years.

January 19 1986 also saw the invention of the first computer virus by two brothers in Lahore Pakistan. This was probably a fitting event for the square, as Uranus represents technology and Pluto is also known as the destroyer. It is even more appropriate for computers as the first ever PC – the Olivetti Programma 101 was unveiled at the World’s Fair of 1965 in October – right at the start of the Uranus Pluto cycle.

THE CURRENT CYCLE

The recent series of squares have certainly seen national revolutions, not only in the Middle East, but also the Ukraine, the scene of Chernobyl at the last semisquare. Racial unrest and inequality has resurfaced in a big way across the USA, following a series of controversial police shootings. And computer viruses are no longer a local affair. Governments are snooping on individuals’ privacy via the Internet and cyber warfare has the potential to cripple the energy supply of nations.

The energy threat is very real when considering that at the 1965 conjunction, a malfunction in an Ontario relay switch on November 9, at the beginning of the current cycle, meant the entire northeastern US and parts of Canada were blacked out. But perhaps blackouts are also symbolic of power structures failing through inefficiency in the system. And when it's failing, the important thing is to act.

Uranus squaring Pluto is always about the fight for individual rights within the controlling global bureaucracy. Like Glasnost and Perestroika, transparency and restructuring become inevitabilities within empires, be they overt or covert. Who would have suspected that a young NSA operative, at his discerning Saturn return, would blow the lid on his own organization’s bid for global control. That’s the kind of jack in the box surprise that Uranus lands on Pluto during these times.

But one important thing to remember and honor here is - the power of one. It only takes one person to begin to change the system. It may be Henry Clay, it may be Martin Luther King, it may be Mikhail Gorbachev and it may be Edward Snowden. Or as we discovered last week, it may be a man covertly filming a police shooting in a park. They are all ordinary people who became extraordinary because when they saw that the Emperor really had no clothes – they actually said so.

The one given with Uranus Pluto is that it is unwise to shoot the messenger, or jail the whistleblower. Instead it's wiser to acknowledge the winds of change, and set sails for a different future. That’s a truth available to each and every one of us that will always avert the eve of destruction and turn it instead into a dawn of hope.

April 5

IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS – THE JUPITER TWEETS

When the resourceful Sun trines joyful Jupiter, hope usually springs eternal. This time it did so via Twitter. On April 2 2015 a tweet with a Universal Time of 16.43 revealed “Final Ministerial Plenary of these #Iran Talks. Now going to meet the press with @JZarif. Good news.” It was from Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs.

The good news was the framework of a breakthrough nuclear agreement about to be announced involving the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, China, the European Union and Iran. Javid Zarif, the Foreign Minister of Iran then tweeted at 16.49.59 UT, “Found solutions, ready to start drafting immediately.” Iran would forgo developing nuclear weaponry in exchange for economic inclusiveness.

Finally the Iranian President, Hasan Rouhini, @ 16.56.32 tweeted "Solutions on key parameters of Iran #nuclear case reached. Drafting to start immediately, to finish by June 30th." That was final confirmation that the world had been waiting for, after eight days of exhaustive negotiations. Rouhini's acknowledgment of the deal came one day after the 35th birthday of the proclamation of the Iranian Republic at 3 pm April 1 1979. Click here for chart overlays.

At the time of these positive messages, bountiful Jupiter was passing directly across the Midheaven over Tehran, the Iranian capital. The announcement was greeted with people celebrating, car horns honking loudly, the streets were alive with fresh hope on a new future. Iran television even took the unedited live broadcast of the US President Barack Obama announcing the agreement from Washington.

FREEING UP GLOBAL TRADE

For the Islamic Republic, the deal represented the potential end to over thirty years of crippling financial and trade sanctions, began in 1979 when the US backed Shah was removed from power. The sanctions were increased markedly in recent years and over $100 billion of Iran’s money was frozen in foreign banks. The US sanctions were also extra territorial, punishing other countries for dealing with Iran.

The European Union, still struggling economically, welcomes the deal. It was hit twice as hard as the USA by the sanctions. Germany alone lost around $50 billion between 2010 and 2012 through restricted business. The negative reactions were predictable. The sole Middle East nuclear-armed nation, Israel, is opposed to the agreement and hasn’t ruled out a military solution. Saudi Arabia also sees Iran purely as a regional and religious rival and would prefer their own nuclear weapons. Cognitive dissonance abounds in Middle East politics.

In analyzing the astrological aspects of the historic peace deal, the Arian Sun has reached the exact trine to Jupiter and approaches the techno planet (yes it even sounds like uranium) Uranus. Mercury is in a close trine to responsible and limiting Saturn. The Sun and Mercury’s dual trine to the two gas giants does act as a virtual timer for the day the deal was announced. The exact time of the first tweet also connects the Ascendant and Midheaven at Lausane, Switzerland, where the negotiations took place, to hopeful Jupiter.

DIPLOMATIC VICTORY

Also on April 2, at 14.25 hours local time in Washington DC, the US President Barack Obama, addressed the nation on details of the deal. As he began his speech Jupiter was rising, closely conjunct a Leo Ascendant. Both were also conjunct Obama’s Leo birth Sun. Having Jupiter spot on one's Sun is a potent signal of success. For the Obama administration this deal was a decisive diplomatic victory against spirited opposition. See chart overlay here.

But the planet on the Midheaven in Washington, as Obama began his speech, was warmonger Mars in intractable Taurus. The President knows he faces a hostile Republican dominated Congress and Senate. Congress are also subject to the powerful Israel lobby. But would they dare derail a deal that virtually the entire international community and even 60% of the polled US public support? Or would such a radical move result in their own alienation? Obama has clearly outlined the alternative – another Middle East war. Any hope is better than none - but there looks to be trouble in July/August.

GERMANWINGS FLIGHT 9525

Any remaining mystery surrounding the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps is finally being put to rest. Analysis of the second black box confirms the earlier evidence that the plane was deliberately flown into a mountain at 700 kph. The horrendous sacrifice of 150 lives is bound to create operational changes for the entire airline industry.

The New York Times reported the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, as being born December 18 1987 in Montabau Germany. He began flying at age fourteen and it became his dream job. Aviation was definitely written n his chart. It could hardly be more obvious. To see why check the charts displayed here.

With that kind of horoscope, matching the very beginnings of modern aircraft travel it’s no surprise why he wanted to be a pilot – nor why he made such an impact on aviation. Lubitz also brought newsworthy Mercury and sombre Saturn to the mix.

They are two planets that can potentially identify with depression, something Lubitz had already experienced, delaying his flight training. Illness notes dating to the day of the crash illustrate that all was not well in his world. His computer searches on suicide back that up.

Lubitz suicidal plunge came coincident with his progressed Moon return in Scorpio – a sign where he also had a potentially violent combination of Mars and Pluto. The Moon is the emotional barometer of the horoscope and the “27 Club” an astrological reality. But Lubitz had another combination that identified negatively with flight.

SATURN AND URANUS

He was born at the end of 1987, coinciding with a new cycle of Saturn and Uranus, the latter planet associated with flight. Throughout 1988, Saturn and Uranus would travel through the skies together in the late degrees of Sagittarius, connected again with the first mechanical flight. Their union coincided with an unprecedented number of airplane crashes and tragedies.

The year had only just begun when on January 18 an oil leak on China Southwest Airlines Flight 4146 led to a fire and crashed claiming 13 lives. On July 3 Iranian Air Flight 655, and 290 civilians were taken out of the skies by a guided missile from the USS Vincennes.

In August an air show disaster unfolded at the US Ramstein Air Base in West Germany. Three aircraft collided, instantly killing the pilots and 67 spectators. Another 346 were injured in the worst air show accident in history. The same month the Prime Minster of Pakistan and US ambassador were killed when their Hercules crashed.

In Texas, Ethiopian airlines Flight 604 hit a flock of pigeons and the plane was forced to belly land resulting in 35 fatalities. An Indian flight 113 hit electrical wires in Gujurat fog, taking another 130 lives. The year ended with Pan Am Flight 103 being blown out of the skies and taking 270 lives at Lockerbie. It was an aviation year to remember and one better forgotten.

The previous time that Saturn and Uranus had been together was 1941/42. Planes were then falling out of the sky in their thousands, for a very different reason. The whole world was at war and kamikaze pilots were all the go.

MARCH 29

THE CRISIS OF YEMEN

It was March 25 2015 and 11 pm local time in Sanaa. While most of the world was engrossed in the mystery of a plane crash in the French Alps, Saudi Arabia had begun bombing Yemen. It wasn’t quite as big a story – but it would become bigger by the day.

Trying to figure out the political playing field of the Middle East and its multiplicity of covert allegiances can be harder than cracking the Rubik cube. The balance of power is constantly changing. Yemen is the latest country to experience revolution in the fast derailed Arab Spring.

Yemen lies to the south west of Saudi Arabia. With a population of just over 24 million, Yemen is an Islamic country operating under sharia law. The sectarian divide is approximately 55% Sunni and 45% Shia. Its capital, Sanaa, is one of the oldest cities in the world, supposedly founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

Yemen, racked by civil wars, was divided North and South. Both united into a single state – the Republic of Yemen - on May 22 1990. A new constitution was enforced, along with power sharing agreements. Fittingly this horoscope featured a Gemini – the sign of duality – Sun. Symbolically, the chart still represented two sides, and as Saturn opposed the Yemen Sun in January this year, an armed Houthi revolution replaced the government.

RAMPANT INSURGENCIES

You never got much of Yemen in the news, apart from the occasional US drone strike. It was the birthplace of Osama bin Laden’s father and the Al Qaeda leader also spent many years here. On October 12 2000, insurgents attacked the USS Cole in the port of Aden. A huge 36-foot hole was blown in the side of the ship and the attack claimed the lives of seventeen US sailors.

The Yemeni government have fought an ongoing war against Al-Qaeda with the help of Saudi Arabia and the USA. But it is not only the Sunni Al-Qaeda network that threatens the Yemen’s government. Since June 18 2004, there has also been a Shia revolution. That was the day the government cracked down on the rebel, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

Al-Houthi was a young religious leader and former parliamentarian. He led an anti-western movement. On June 18 2004, the Yemeni government arrested 640 of his followers. A bounty was put on al-Houthi’s head. On September 10 2004 he was killed by government forces. The movement grew stronger for his martyrdom.

It was the Shia Houthi insurgency that finally toppled the Yemen government forces. During 2015 on January 22, the rebels displaced the pro-western government. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah tendered their resignations to parliament. The President is now in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

THE GREAT DIVIDE

In their comparable numbers of both Islamic sects, Yemen represents a microcosm of the ideological battle for supremacy between Sunni and Shia. It’s a major concern for the border Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It's one reason they have been spending record amounts on US warplanes and armaments. Armed to the back teeth, the Saudis have entered the battle. But they have also gathered together a coalition of other Sunni Arab kingdoms in support.

‘Operation Decisive Storm’ began at 11 pm Wednesday March 25 local time, when the first Saudi bombs fell on the Yemen capital of Sanaa. Uranus, the planet of flight and also rebellion, was at the Sun Mars midpoint and square to lethal Pluto. The upcoming lunar eclipse of April 4 will also oppose Uranus and square Pluto.

The battle could have much wider ramifications. If Yemen becomes a totally failed state, it will be an even greater breeding ground for al-Qeada operatives and their offspring, the Islamic State. The Houthis have also vowed to begin suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia, in retaliation for the bombing raids. And there are other Middle East countries already being drawn into taking sides.

If a major sectarian war broke out it could easily threaten western energy supplies and derail dependent economies. The biggest problem, is that there are too many fingers in the pie. The Saudis are surrounded by a predominantly Shi-ite Iraq to the north and now a Shi-ite rebellion in the south. The USA in the midst of delicate nuclear negotiations with Iran, and also with budgetary limitations, can hardly afford another land war.

The Libran lunar eclipse of April 4 will fall upon the USA’s Saturn in the tenth house of government and square the US Sun. It re-activates the recurring Uranus Pluto square to the July 4 1776 USA Sun. It’s hard to see the USA, and her western allies, not being somehow drawn into this one. Astute observers view the core of the battle as the Saudis versus Iran. And that’s why it could be one of the biggest stories of 2015.

MALCOLM FRASER

On Friday March 27, Australians said their final farewell to the country’s fourth longest serving Prime Minister. Malcolm Fraser was born during the Depression years on May 21 1930 @ 07.45 in Melbourne. He is best known for being part of the most discordant political event in the nation’s history – the November 11 1975 dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. It bitterly divided the country. But as a mark of character, the one-time combatants became firm friends in later years.

Fraser was a staid Taurean, born with Saturn rising and ruling his ambitious Capricorn Ascendant. He grew up on the land and was educated initially at rural Moss vale in NSW, before heading for Melbourne Grammar and finally gaining degrees at Oxford. He became the youngest Liberal sitting Member for Wannon at just twenty-five years of age. By 1975 he was the party leader and set for an ideological showdown with the reformatory Whitlam.

That came as transiting Pluto – often indicative of a power struggle – squared his Ascendant/Saturn during 1975. In the acrimonious lead up to the December 13 1975 vote, Fraser was sent a letter bomb, which was intercepted and diffused.

With his progressed Mercury conjunct the opportune progressed Jupiter and his Midheaven supportively trining the public Moon, he won the election in a landslide, on an economic platform. He remained Prime Minister for over seven years. Like Whitlam, Fraser too had trouble managing the economy, allowing Labor’s Bob Hawke to sweep to power on March 11 1983.

Post politics, Fraser, who had a compassionate Pisces Moon, became more interested in humanitarian works. As his party moved increasingly to the right, he eventually quit the Liberal party in 2009, claiming they had become more conservative than liberal. In recent years, as Pluto reached his Ascendant, Fraser transformed into the spokesperson for a stronger national voice and critic of Australia’s fawning dependence on the US.

He left this world in the early hours of March 20, as Mars rejoined his Mars, Uranus had returned to its birth position and his progressed Moon also was exactly on his birth Uranus. After a short illness his passing came as a surprise, despite his advancing years.

March 22

HITLER - A MAN OF PEACE?

In the prelude to World War Two, many leading British astrologers made the classic faux pas of adjudging Adolf Hitler’s horoscope to depict a man of peace. It’s the kind of thinking that would recommend a Tyrannosaurus Rex as a perfectly safe house pet.

The corker of them all was the newspaper astrologer Leonardo Blake. In his 1939 hardcover ‘Hitler’s Last Year Of Power’ assured, “there will be no world war in the 1914 sense” and that, “the French people have nothing to fear”. Blake could have stopped there, but went on to forecast a German revolution leading to Hitler’s downfall by the fall of 1940.

For good measure Blake added that Japan would realize their futility of war and make peace with China. The print run sold out and a second edition of the book was released in September of 1939 – the beginning of WWII. That must have been a publisher’s PR nightmare! But Blake was not alone. Other astrologers such as Richard Naylor had predicted no war for Europe, and even the eminent Charles Carter was perplexed by Hitler’s horoscope.

ONE DIMENSIONAL THINKING

One reason for the erroneous judgment was that many of the astrologers merely examined Hitler’s birth chart. Looking ‘only’ at a birth horoscope is simplistic astrology, and in the case of Hitler, proved incompetent. A birth horoscope is the metaphorical cover jacket of a book containing many chapters.

Knowing the content of those chapters is found by examining the horoscope’s dynamic evolution. That’s measurable by progressions, including the turning points of the progressed lunar cycle. Other methods such as solar arcing and return charts add to the mix.

Church records reveal Adolf Hitler was born on April 20 1889, at 18.30 hours in Braunau am Inn, Austria. This makes him a Taurus, although some astrologers insisted he must be a late Aries, being more warlike. The recorded birth time works perfectly. Several powerful fixed stars are rising at Hitler’s birth – Spica, Vega and Deneb Adige. They clearly hint at what a charismatic, yet strong willed, individual he could be. Click here for his birth chart.

Hitler’s birth chart shows 26 degrees of Libra rising. The horoscope time seemed justified when Hitler instigated a failed a revolution on the evening of November 8 1923, known as the Munich Beer Hall Putsch. Saturn had just arrived at his Ascendant. Typical to responsible Saturn, Hitler was jailed for his efforts when Saturn returned to station on his Ascendant in 1924. He spent the prison time writing Mein Kampf. Saturn would spend fifteen years on the underside of his birth horoscope rising to the surface again in 1939, coinciding with his invasion of Poland.

HITLER’S MARS PROGRESSIONS

In April of 1928, Hitler’s horoscope advanced to a progressed New Moon, positioned closely between military Mars and Pluto the planet of extremism. The Midheaven degree, indicative of his worldly ambition, was exactly square Mars. This lunar cycle would culminate in a Full Moon by 1943 when his progressed Sun would be joined to Mars and his progressed Ascendant exactly opposite Pluto. Hardly peaceful progressions! Click here for his lunar cycle charts.

Hitler’s phenomenal rise was a product of the times. In the 1930’s, a crippled Germany desperate to restore national pride began a nationalistic agenda. It was coupled with the general mood that the world was against them. Hitler’s agenda evoked pure racism. He believed in the superiority of the Aryan race as the chosen people. Under this propaganda he was able to commit some of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century.

MARS MEANS WAR

George W Bush could hardly be considered a man of peace. Yet his birth chart of July 6 1946 @ 7.26 am New Haven, Connecticut does not look overly aggressive. His Virgo Mars sesquisquare to his career conscious Midheaven may give a hint to what he would bring – but his progressed horoscope delivers the full bottle.

George’s progressed New Moon came at the end of 1997. It was in Virgo and near his Mars. It was a sign of things to come. By September 11 2001 progressed Mars was squaring George’s Sun and by 2003 the progressed Sun was within the degree of his birth Mars. These progressions, by circumstance and choice, will forever have George W Bush remembered for war – not peace.

Tony Blair, George’s strongest ally, has a birth chart more suggestive of combat. Blair was born May 6 1953 @ 06.10 hours Edinburgh, Scotland, with Mars rising closely conjunct his Ascendant. Ironically, after their disastrous intervention into Iraq Tony Blair was later appointed as a Middle East peace envoy - at the insistence of George W Bush. With the Middle East in turmoil and ISIL on the march, Blair is stepping down from that role. It’s just as well as his progressed Sun is now coming to join progressed Mars.

IT’S JUST A STEP TO THE RIGHT

Over the last week political opportunism took a step to the right akin to the Rocky Horror Show. Facing possible defeat in an election that he had initiated, Israeli Prime Minister Bin Netanyahu played the ultimate scaremonger hand.

On election day he broadcast in clearly racist tones, “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are going en masse to the polls. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them on buses…With your help and God’s help, we will form a nationalist government that will protect the State of Israel.”

Leading into the election, to garner hardliner votes, Netanyahu trashed years of international peace talks. He ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state as long as he remained Prime Minister. It suddenly made sense that his March 3 US Congress address never mentioned the word Palestine. He was also stating what his actions have always defined - a rejection of the Oslo Peace accords and relentless illegal land grabbing, as an international community impotently observes.

Benjamin Netanyahu was born mid morning on October 21 1949 in Tel Aviv. The time of 10.18am seems to consistently coincide with the principle events of his life. His father, Benzion, was a Revisionist Zionist. This movement believes all Arabs should vacate their Palestinian homeland and fiercely rejected the 1947 United Nations partition plan. Apart from his father’s animosity of Arabs, Netanyahu was further scarred by the death of his brother in an anti-terrorist operation.

From the planetary perspective Mars provides key. Netanyahu was born near a New Moon with his Sun sextile to Mars. That meant his first progressed New Moon aspected Mars in his opening year of life. Netanyahu’s second progressed New Moon came near his thirtieth birthday in 1979. It would square his natal Mars. This was only a couple of years after the death of his brother.

His third and last New Moon occurred in mid April 2009, a mere two weeks after he regained the leadership of Israel. The New Moon squared progressed Mars exactly and trined his birth Mars. Netanyahu is unique, in that every one of his progressed lunar cycles have commenced under the influence of the war planet Mars. It may be one reason why he has never been part of the solution, but always part of the problem. Click here for the natal and progressed charts.

The planetary parallels of the last Uranus Pluto square with today are remarkable, if not actually frightening. Uncertainty and fear led to more nationalistic agendas. Extreme right wing politics produced militaristic leaders. There’s a lesson there to be learned for all the political leaders of today who believe their country is greater than the peace of the global community.

These words echo eerily through history. “What we have to fight for is the necessary security for the existence and increase of our race and people, the subsistence of its children and the maintenance of our racial stock unmixed, the freedom and independence of the Fatherland; so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator.” They were written during a 264 days internment at Landsberg Prison.

March 20 Solar Eclipse

On Friday March 20 2015 @ 09.36 hours Universal Time the Moon will cross the face of the Sun over northern Europe, creating the first Solar Eclipse of 2015. Eclipse visibility will vary according to northern location but the northern half of Europe along to Russia’s St Petersburg will experience more than 75% visibility. Weather permitting virtually all of the Europe and much of northern Africa, will experience above 50% visibility.

It is the most important eclipse viewing for this area of the world since the Grand Cross of 1999. It is also what astrologer Richard Nolle, dubbed a Supermoon. This occurs when a New or Full Moon fall on or close by the Moon’s perigee – meaning closest approach to earth. Such occasions increase the gravitational pull and tend to exacerbate weather conditions and even earthquake potential.

THE FINAL DEGREE OF THE ZODIAC

The eclipse occurs at the very end of Pisces, being the last degree of the zodiac. This gives it a sense of finality. It is extremely important to analyze the horoscopes of countries and/or international events that also have this degree prominent. Often this will reveal an ongoing pattern that may be historically relevant. With this in mind the Eclipse/Supermoon falls with the Sun conjunct the degree of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Perhaps, not surprisingly, the same Piscean degree was the horoscopic Midheaven of the then US Secretary of State, Henry Donald Rumsfeld. The Midheaven degree represents public image. Rumsfeld was one of the public faces of the Iraq invasion. His encouragement of enhanced torture techniques and the exposure of the Abu Ghraib prison affair, eventually led to his resignation.

Rumsfeld left office on December 18 2006. This was almost exactly three months before another Solar Eclipse also at the final degree of Pisces, on March 19 2007. Were there events around the eclipse of 2007, in the same Piscean degree, that hold a further clue to the promise of this one? There were, but this time involving Iran. The eclipse axis is an important one for these two neighbouring nations.

On December 20 1983, Donald Rumsfeld, was in Baghdad as a special envoy of the US President Ronald Reagan. Here he was famously pictured smiling and shaking hands with the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The reason for his visit was that the US was supplying the Iraqi army with weaponry intended to crush the People’s Revolution of Iran.

The Iran Iraq war became the longest conventional land war of the 20th century. It began on the afternoon of September 22 1980, when Iraq launched a series of air strikes invading the Iranian border port city of Khorramshahr. The moment that Iraq began this attack, the Sun was in the exact opposite position of the upcoming Pisces eclipse – at 29 degrees of Virgo and heading toward a Full Moon. The war would end in 1988, the year of a Solar Eclipse again at the end of Pisces. So what does this astrological axis – now being reactivated – offer on the future? Plenty when you study the past.

THE SEEDS OF REVOLUTION

The 1979 Iranian Revolution sent a shudder through the dictator states of the Middle East and their western financiers. The Shah had ruled over Iran since 1941. He came to power after his father declared Iran a neutral country in World War Two. A combined British and Soviet invasion forced his father’s abdication. The new Shah was crowned on September 18 1941, just prior to a New Moon - again at the end of Virgo and this time conjunct Neptune – the planet of oil.

The Shah’s rule was interrupted once, when he fled his country in 1953. This was when the British M17 and the US CIA organized the overthrow and jailing of Iran’s Prime Minister. His government had voted unanimously to nationalize Iran’s oil industry. This was initially supported by the Truman US administration, but the incoming Republicans, in collaboration with the CIA, financed the successful coup.

The Shah remained in power until 1.24 pm January 16 1979 when he fled Iran for the last time, permanently changing the power structure of the Middle East. The Shah was seen as a puppet of ‘big oil’. When he arrived in New York for medical treatment in late October 1979, Iranian’s were convinced he was really there planning a counter revolutionary movement with the US. Irate students stormed the US Embassy and so began the Iranian hostage crisis.

Iran detained US diplomats for a period of 444 days. They released only the African/Americans and females back to the USA, but kept 52 others, demanding the Shah be returned home to face charges of treason. The USA applied economic sanctions and even an abortive rescue attempt before budding up with Saddam Hussein to derail the Iranian Revolution via war.

IRAN IRAQ WAR

The plan began well. The new Iranian government had stripped their army bare of those considered national traitors, including most of the military top brass. This left a relatively inexperienced command and greatly depleted forces. There was also little hope of getting the US to service their American bought military equipment. The conditions were ideal for Hussein, with one of the strongest armies in the Middle East, to conduct a successful invasion.

What Hussein, his larger military and his western backers had not factored in, was the Iranian unity and resolve. Wave after human wave of martyrs marched to the front, sacrificing themselves over minefields, allowing their troops to continue forward. After eight years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of deaths, on the 8th of the 8th 1988 all hostilities ceased. The economic cost of the war crippled both Iraq and Iran, with each country losing close to $600 billion.

DUPICATE ECLIPSE

On March 19 2007 a Solar Eclipse appeared in the last degree of Pisces. Days after, on March 23 at 11 am the naval forces of Iran's Revolutionary Guard seized 15 British Royal Navy personnel near the Shatt al-Arab waterway. They were detained for illegal entry in Iranian waters. What followed was a two-week international stand off. Iran eventually announced their release on the afternoon of April 4, supposedly as a good will gesture for Easter.

On March 19 2011 @ 18.45 Libyan time, with the Sun again positioned in the final degree of Pisces, a multi-nation coalition began their military intervention of Libya. These astro coincidences are a concern. This degree axis seems to recur with forced regime change in Middle Eastern states, or conflict with the west. What follows from the invasions, always politically spun as attempts at democratization, is the destruction of national infrastructure creating a new haven for terrorist activities. But all are profitable for increased weapon sales before and after.

This time it’s the United Nations - Iran nuclear negotiations that the war hawks are out to scuttle. That began with Israeli Prime Minister Bin Netanyahu’s controversial pre-election anti-Iran address to Congress, conveniently beamed to a prime time Israel audience. Days later, Tom Cotton, a freshman Republican Senator penned a controversial letter to Iran. It warned of the temporal nature of any deal signed with the current US administration.

Cotton, a soldier of the Iraq war is well aware of a military chain of command. A junior Senator and 46 Republican mates trying to derail international negotiations with another sovereign nation, shows how the US political schism is affecting the world at large. For the war hawks, the fear of peace and concord actually becomes a threat. The fact that all of this is being enacted near an eclipse degree axis, with its associated history, has to be of global concern. But the eclipse also falls on the Sun degree of the foundation of the Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin on March 20 1854.

March 8

An unusual event happened in US Congress last week - for some. The leader of another nation was advising the US on how it should conduct foreign policy on nuclear power. The President wasn’t there to hear it - but he'd heard it before. There were plenty of standing ovations. The rest of the world did take notice. Notice of how much influence Israel has on the people who run the USA. It’s an influence dating back to Harry S. Truman.

At a showdown in the Oval Office shortly after 4 pm on May 12 of 1948 the US Secretary of State George Marshall warned his President, "If you (recognize the state of Israel) and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you.” Marshall saw Truman’s decision as blatantly courting the Jewish vote in the 1948 election. For in 1947 and 1948, the White House was bombarded with 48,600 telegrams, 81,200 mails, and 790,575 cards on the Palestine issue

Truman’s plans ran counter to the partition plan decided upon by the United Nations. Marshall considered it would eventually isolate the USA, and could not reconcile endorsing a Jewish state while not recognizing a Palestinian one. Truman made an immediate press announcement endorsing Israel, eleven minutes after their proclamation. His State Dept representatives and United Nations delegates were angered at being left right out of the loop.

Harry S. Truman went on to win the presidential elections on the 2nd of November 1948. To this day that election is considered to be the greatest upset result in American history with the Gallup polls out by an amazing 14%. George Marshall retired six months later. Since then Israel and the USA have been as Benjamin Netanyahu recently described – just like family. But it hasn’t always been such a Brady bunch affair.

THE NUCLEAR ISSUE

Since the formation of the Jewish state on May 14 1948, Israel’s Prime Minister Ben Gurion reasoned that a nuclear bomb would be the best insurance for national defense. Meantime the United States was trying to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons – at least by other countries. The Soviets succeeded in developing a bomb equal to the USA’s Trinity by August 29 1949, which they exploded in remote Kazakhstan.

The British followed on October 3 1952 on the Montebello Islands and France was exploding atomic bombs in Algeria, from February 13 1960. Up until this time nuclear weaponry had been kept out of the volatile Middle East. But France had acquired a secret nuclear partner - Israel. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalizing of the Suez Canal propelled Israel’s nuclear ambitions.

France and England concocted a plan whereupon Israel would invade the Sinai and then ‘allied forces’ would invade Egypt as ‘peacemakers’. The objective was to retake the Suez. In return France would supply Israel with a nuclear reactor. Israel’s Defense Minister Shimon Peres jumped at the chance. A tentative agreement was signed on September 17 1956 in Paris. On October the 3rd it was formalized. By October 29, Israel invaded the Sinai and France and Britain landed paratroopers as planned.

The ruse between the three was soon uncovered. A furious US President, Dwight Eisenhower, threatened economic mayhem to Britain if it did not back off. Israel baulked at relinquishing the Sinai, to which Eisenhower proposed economic sanctions. Israel finally relented when the Soviets threatened war, which Eisenhower feared could easily spiral out of control. But Israel had achieved co-operation for their clandestine nuclear program.

WHO’S HIDING A BOMB?

A reactor was secretly built at Dimona with Britain covertly shipping heavy water to Israel via Norway in 1959 and 1960 to begin the processing. Peres claimed that the cost of the initial operation was around $80 million, half of which was donated by foreign Jewish donors, including many Americans. The USA’s stealth aircraft surveillance soon uncovered Israel’s nuclear Dimona plant. Declassified documents from the 60’s tell the story.

On June 15 1963, US President John F Kennedy, having been assured Dimona was only operating for peaceful purposes, wrote to the Israel Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. He requested “that our scientists have access to all areas of the Dimona site and to any related part of the complex, such as fuel fabrication facilities or plutonium separation plant, and that sufficient time be allotted for a thorough examination.”

The US visits, in a scaled down form, took place on January 18 1964, after Kennedy's death. According to Avner Cohen’s book, 'Israel and The Bomb', it was during this visit the USA learned that Dimona had gone critical on December 26 1963. The final report was that the reactor has no weapon making capability, but continuing periodic inspections be recommended. The horoscope for this criticality date is quite revealing, particularly in light of today’s planetary positions.

DUCKS AND DRAKES

It soon became evident that the Israelis were really playing cover up on the whole nuclear issue. The visits were always limited to one day. The team was not allowed to bring their own radiation measuring devices, nor remove samples for further analysis. Neither were they shown the hidden lower sections of the reactor. Whereas Kennedy was willing to play hardball via a lack of US military support, his successor Lyndon Johnson was compliant to Israel’s conditions.

On July 19 1969 the US National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, sent an important memo to his President Richard Nixon. It stated “There is circumstantial evidence that some fissionable material available for Israel’s weapons development was illegally obtained from the United States about 1965.”

The memo acknowledged the impossibility in persuading Israel to halt its nuclear program, conceding that inspections would be useless for, “we could never cover all conceivable Israeli hiding places.” Kissinger admitted that, “This is one program on which the Israelis have persistently deceived us, and may even have stolen from us.”

More disturbingly he added, “The Israelis, who are one of the few peoples whose survival is genuinely threatened, are probably more likely than almost any other country to actually use their nuclear weapons.” And it was the last line that has heavily shaped US Middle East policy ever since. For the US, protection of Israel is paramount, for the alternative should they start losing a war, is unthinkable.

PUBLICLY OUTED

By September 1986 Mordechai Vanunu, an engineer who had worked at the Dimona plant, became the public whistleblower on Israel’s nuclear program. His story, and smuggled photos, appeared on the front page of the Britain’s Sunday Times on October 5 of 1986. Vannuu was drugged and captured by Mossad in Rome and transported home to face trial. He was jailed for treason on March 28 1988 and placed in solitary confinement for 11 of an 18-year sentence.

It was Israel’s own Prime Minister who really spilled the beans. On December 12 2006, Ehud Olmert made the startling admission during a German TV appearance, "Iran, openly, explicitly and publicly, threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia?" Suddenly the elephant in the room was trumpeting when it came to a nuclear free Middle East. Official denials typically followed - it was a slip of the tongue.

The same complicit world powers are currently negotiating to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. They must know, from the Israeli experience, that they are working against a future inevitability. And perhaps there are telling signals in the horoscope of Israel’s criticality, reached on December 26 1963. By February 2016 Pluto, the planet of inevitability, will move across the Capricorn Mars of the criticality horoscope. The progressed Sun will meet the progressed Mars. And we may all be wishing Kennedy had lived a whole lot longer.

March 1

STAR TREK

Uranus is the planetary god of the skies. When the Wright Bros first lifted precariously from the earth for the first powered flight at 10.35 am, December 17 1903, in Kitty Hawk, the Sun aligned with Uranus. The breaking story hit the news headlines the next day, as a New Moon came to meet Uranus in exploratory Sagittarius.

Uranus would be with the Sun again, along with newsworthy Mercury and mass media Pluto, on September 8 1966. That evening from 8.30 pm, the Starship Enterprise, led by Captain James Tiberius Kirk, would boldly go where none had gone before, seeking new life and civilizations. Its first port of call was the television sets of millions of Americans.

The 60’s was the space race decade, featuring a fresh Uranus and Pluto cycle. It would end with man walking on the Moon. It was a time when the Jetsons superseded the Flintstones and everybody was getting caught up – even ‘Lost’ In Space. And while the space family Robinson, and bumbling Dr Smith, may have started a craze, it was Star Trek and the wry Mr Spock that truly embodied it.

TREKKING THE STARS

Star Trek, the original series, was a true sleeper. Creator Gene Rodenberry, was born with his imaginative Pisces Moon joined to sky bound Uranus in the ninth house of long distance travel. He sold the idea of a space age Wagon Train to NBC to be packaged as Star Trek. Underlying the story outlines were subtle subplots of moral messages, reflecting the issues of the times.

This is illustrated in the horoscope of Star Trek’s public birth. It came at the beginning of the current Uranus and Pluto renewal cycle. The simplest way of describing the Uranus Pluto connection comes via Reinhold Ebertin’s sociological correspondences, “pioneers, explorers, reformers, people who are very much out of the ordinary or endowed with universal genius.” Star Trek was a product of its time, yet also ahead of its time.

Whether by design or cosmic coincidence Star Trek debuted with the Moon placed to within a degree of conjunction of the guiding North Star - Polaris. The Moon was also what is known as ‘out of bounds’ an astrological term that adds to its eccentricity. The show began as Pluto was exactly setting over the USA’s East Coast. Note that even though the attached horoscope displays Pluto lower, it is a compromise to reflect its zodiacal longitude, rather than position to horizon. Click here for the chart.

Starship Enterprise was immune to any oil crisis and made today’s rockets look like Model T’s. It traveled by warp engine, powered by commingling particles of matter and anti-matter synchronized by a dilithium crystal. Despite this whizbang motor, it didn’t quite make its scheduled five-year mission. It was canned after three seasons and 79 episodes. But it had covertly gathered devotees, thereafter known as ‘Trekkies’. And it would return a bigger cult than ever.

THE STAR CULT

Star Trek’s first major convention was held on the 18th floor of the Statler Hilton Hotel near Penn St Station, Manhattan between January 21 and 23rd 1972. The organizers planned for 500 and got 3000. It was in the days before social media or crowd sourcing. Yet it was the public and their protests that led to the concept’s revival and the Star Trek legend. TV execs also learned that it’s not so much how many people are watching – it’s whether they are paying attention.

It wasn’t the only lesson for the bean counters. Before the second episode NBC advised Gene Rodenberry to get rid of the guy with the pointy ears – he looks too Satanic. They also wanted him to remove a woman from being second in command. Rodenberry always joked that he solved the problem by marrying the woman but keeping the alien, and that it would have never worked the other way around.

The guy with the pointy ears was the enigmatic Mr Spock. He is half human, half Vulcan – a race known for living by logic rather than emotion. Thanks to Vulcans, humanity survived WWIII and so Spock is a good guy at heart. He is also the ship’s science officer and the lynchpin of the series. And in real life - Leonard Nimoy, born March 26. 1931 between 8 and 9 am in Boston MA. That's according to astrologer Mary McKenzie quoting a letter from his mother.

Leonard passed away on Friday morning at his Californian home, as the Moon again passed the zodiacal degree of the North Pole guide star Polaris. Only days before his death he had posted on his Twitter account parting words, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.” He leaves plenty of magical petals.

LEONARD NIMOY

Nimoy originally worked as a cab driver, behind a soda fountain, and as an usher, all while studying his craft. Although he was forever known as Spock, he also directed the biggest box office success of its time. ‘Three Men and A Baby’. Like most creative spirits his interests ran to photography, writing and poetry. The Spock character was ever present, as evidenced in his 1975 autobiography entitled, ‘I Am Not Spock’. But when your progressed Venus comes to meet your birth Sun, as it did when the Spock character was created the popular character can be hard to shake.

He wrote, “I went through a definite identity crisis. The question was whether to embrace Mr. Spock or to fight the onslaught of public interest. I realize now that I really had no choice in the matter. Spock and Star Trek were very much alive and there wasn't anything that I could do to change that.” He later wrote his second book ‘I Am Spock’ one Uranus square later in 1995.

Leonard was a pioneering Aries Sun. Communicative Mercury is also in Aries, alongside the highly original skylord, Uranus. They were joined by the Lunar North Node, associated with one’s higher calling. He was born as Uranus was squaring Pluto and he leaves at the current square – which is his own Uranus return. The Star Trek connection also lies in his Moon. At his birth it was positioned in late Gemini – just as it was for his passing – just as it was for the first Star Trek episode. With the north star guide Polaris. When Leonard passed his progressed Sun was on his birth Moon.

One man with multiple matching planetary positions to Nimoy was also an extremely close acting buddy, born just four days earlier on March 22 1931 @ 4 am in Montreal, Canada. He too would have trouble shaking off his TV image, despite multiple subsequent starring roles. The Star Trek legend never went away for Captain Kirk either… make that William Shatner. As in the series, Spock left first. Happy trekking Leonard Nimoy! You can activate both of their charts here.

February 22

GREECE – DEBT IS THE WORD

On April 23 2010 debt was the word for Greece. It was just after midday when their finance minister sent a one-sentence email to the EU authorities asking for help. Three days later Standard and Poors reduced Greek bonds to junk status. The combination of a government living beyond its means and a global recession had sent Greece spiraling toward bankruptcy.

On Sunday May 2 2010 in Brussels, the Eurozone, along with the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, agreed to a $110 billion euro bailout to prevent debt contagion. Greece would pay the price. Pensions and wages were to undergo a three-year freeze; sales tax would increase from 21% to 23%. Greece would be required to cut their 14% budgetary shortfall back to Eurozone requirement of 3% or less.

The news of Greece’s financial woes and the bailout package plunged the US Dow Jones and German DAX markets (they were putting up more than a quarter of the money) down 8% in the following week. The bailout was unprecedented. At stake, the unity of the Euro and the solidarity of the Eurozone. The horoscope of Greek’s bailout request perfectly illustrated the situation. Click here for the chart.

Venus, the planet of value, was at the zodiacal degree of the most malefic fixed star in the heavens – Algol. It’s one well known to the Greeks. Algol represents the severed head of the mythical monster Gorgon Medusa. You cut one and two grow back. Another bailout would follow the first. Enough said! But Venus was also square to nebulous Neptune in the eighth house of debt with the public Moon in the second house of earning capacity.

The bailout came at the time of an exact opposition of establishment Saturn facing off to rebellious Uranus. It’s no coincidence that the March 19, 2015, Solar Eclipse is falling right on the Uranus and Greeks are today rising up to reclaim their independence. The eclipse also opposes status quo Saturn. So the fireworks are certainly not finished with.

AND DEBT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD

The first bailout chart was as promising as the Great Plague, and the proposal was greeted the same way in Greece. But in Germany, France and Belgium, where the more generous Jupiter was overhead at midday April 23 2010 when the original request was sent – hope sprang eternal. At least that’s what their press releases claimed.

Homeland reaction was almost immediate. Over 60% of the Greek population opposed the bailout conditions. On May 4, with the Sun squaring incitory Mars, communist party members broke into the Acropolis brandishing banners with he words, ‘People’s of Europe – Rise Up’. From midnight of the 5th strikes paralyzed the transport networks and there were attacks on banks and financial institutions resulting in two deaths.

In Greece, the nefarious relationship between the professional class, bankers and politicians had taken its toll. It was a country where tax evasion and backhanders were commonplace. Creative accounting at government levels had advanced to the stage where a budget deficit of 3.7%, in 2009, was revised to 12.5% two weeks later. This was Lehman Bros and Enron on a national level.

As the planetary conditions promised, the bailout package was a band-aid without the balm. Further austerity measures were then passed by a vote of 155 to 138 against at 12.08 pm June 29 2011. That happened during a difficult planetary Grand Cross involving the Sun, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. Riot police surrounded government house. The scenes were chaotic and the brutal police crackdown went viral. It would be the first of many austerity cuts.

A second bailout of $130 billion was approved early Tuesday morning, February 21 2012. This time it was preceding a Pisces New Moon on Neptune, which meant further dissolving of assets. Greek bondholders would be taking a proposed 53% haircut to prevent Greece defaulting on its debt. But the deal was almost derailed months earlier when it was originally offerred. The Greek Prime Minister Georges Papandreou requested that the conditions be put to a referendum of his people. Check here for this chart with the original bail out request.

DEATH TO A REFERENDUM

A vote of eleven million people could decide the future of the Euro? Eurozone leaders were furious. Papanderou was called a madman by French President Nikolas Sarkozy. In the wee hours, at Cannes, on November 2 at ten minutes to 2, he was hurried into wrapping up a deal before the Japanese markets opened for trading. He dropped the referendum idea and resigned. What the Greek crisis was showing, ironically in the original home of democracy, was a widening disconnect between the politicians and the people.

Top down corruption meant that the poor and lower middle class bore the brunt of the austerity measures. Major cuts were made to pensions, health, defense and the minimum wage. Governments can always cap a minimum wage yet won’t go near a maximum one. So it was little surprise that in the wash up of Greece’s economic spiral the people elected a different approach. On the 26th of January at 16.03 hours in Athens, Alexis Tsipras, of the SYRIZA anti-austerity party, was sworn in as prime minister. Click here for swearing in horoscope.

WHERE TO FROM HERE

The swearing in horoscope has the value planet Venus semisquare and at the midpoint of the revolutionary planets of Uranus and Pluto. Venus continues a repeating pattern tracing back to the first bailout request, second bailout offer and now the new government. Venus has been successively near the end of fixed signs Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius at each juncture. So where does this take us?

By July 14 2015, Venus, along with a retrograde Saturn, will come to powerfully reactivate this pattern. Venus will also enter a retrograde cycle during July. Across the first week of August it will then return for a second swipe. Saturn will still be there and Jupiter will advance toward the end of the fixed sign Leo and join the pattern. This combination of this law and order duo will bring enormous pressures on old agreements and the new government.

The election of SYRIZA was the last thing that the EU, or for that matter the US, wanted. But it was the necessary progression of a ‘selective’ austerity program, which did not deliver real administrative change. The growing concentration of power and wealth is the antithesis of democracy. Greece is symptomatic of a global problem and an experiment in a new democracy.

Greece was admitted to the Eurozone on June 19 2000. Neptune was at 6 degrees of Aquarius. The Sun reached 6 degrees of Aquarius on the day that Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Prime Minister. Greece began using the Euro from January 1 2001. Throughout this year purgative Pluto will be moving across the Mercury of that currency being adopted. Saturn will join the fray in July.

Another outside factor to keep in mind, particularly for the more astrologically savvy, is that the rebel planet Uranus is also moving across the degree that Saturn occupied back when Greece broke free from the Ottoman Empire. So it’s to be expected that a new wave of nationalism and independence should be sweeping the country. One, which could easily lead to an exit from the Eurozone.

THE MAASTRICHT TREATY

The economic, political and judicial pillars that comprise the European Union became a reality at midnight on November 1 1993, as the Maastricht Treaty took effect. This horoscope works well in practice. From the end of 2008 through to 2012 the progressed EU Sun was firstly in square to contracting Saturn and then moved through a conjunction with reformatory Pluto. So it’s worth examining this horoscope in light of today.

Again Venus is the key, as the European Union began with a tight square between Venus in Libra square to Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn. This year, jack-in-the-box Uranus will oppose the EU Venus. There are surprises ahead and especially in the second half of the year as the leadership Midheaven will progress to encounter restructuring Saturn. The progressing Sun of the EU will also change sign from Scorpio to Sagittarius. It’s hard to imagine all of this not changing the make up of the European Union.

February 15

BAD MOON RISING

The lunar cycle can be a potent prophetic signature when it occurs on, or activates, a powerful planetary aspect. Such was the case with the January 5 Full Moon that fell just days before the Charlie Hebdo terrorist shootings in Paris. They came two days after the Full Moon spotlighted the insurgent Uranus Pluto square. That Capricorn Moon fell right on Pluto. The upcoming New Moon is just as volatile.

The next New Moon is due February 18 @ 23.47 hours universal time, but corresponding to the 19th for most of the global population. It is also closely semisquares both Uranus and Pluto, thereby activating the two. Already there have been two shootings in Copenhagen at 4 pm Saturday and a second at a synagogue after midnight Sunday. Early reports classify them as terrorist attacks.

Those attacks come just days before the New Moon activating the same Uranus Pluto square. When this square is under activation it is a time of high alert. Terror related incidents, aviation accidents, market volatility and even power outages are associated with these two planets in hard aspect. The New Moon acts as a trigger. The Copenhagen shootings took place as the Sun was reaching the degree that Mars occupied during the Charlie Hebdo attacks, such is the celestial symmetry.

But the upcoming New Moon makes Wednesday February the 19th and the next seven days as it moves to square Neptune certainly a time when the terrestrial events mirror the celestial signals as described. Two charts re-activated by the Neptune square will be OPEC and mysterious disappearance of the MH370. Meanwhile, back in the Ukraine....

UKRAINE - A HOUSE DIVIDED

In March of 1648 a potent planetary Grand Cross formed in the heavens between the planets Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. Although Mars the god of war and Jupiter the planet of increase, considerably enhanced the potential of conflict, astrologers weren’t really prepared to what extent. Back then nobody factored in revolutionary Uranus or extremist Pluto, because they hadn’t been discovered.

The Ukrainian Revolution, led by Cossack Bhodan Khmelnitsky began at the 1648 Grand Cross. It became the largest European land battle of the 17th century. The conflict to liberate the Ukraine from foreign yoke was a tug of war between East and West. It ended with the Ukraine joining with Russia under the Tsar of Muscovy, one of the most autocratic leaders of the time. Sounding familiar?

Khmelnystky was later lauded as the founder of the Ukrainian nation. His image appears on national banknotes and a thirty feet high statue is prominent in St Sophia Square, next to the Kiev cathedral. Yet the 19th century artist, writer and poet Taras Shevchenko, admired as the father of modern Ukranian literature, considered this time to be the beginning of Russian enslavement.

THE RETURN OF THE CROSS

From January of 2014, and exact by late April, the first Grand Cross, involving Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto, since 1648 appeared. Another revolution took place in the Ukraine. The seeds were fully sown from November 21 2013. That’s when the Ukrainian parliament rejected an economic and political arrangement with the European Union. Starting December public protests rocked Kiev as government buildings were seized.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, offered to buy $15 billion dollars worth of Ukrainian bonds and proposed a new gas deal to ease the tension. But the protests grew. By February 20 2014 – the Sun now squaring the position it occupied at the rejection of the EU proposal – the riots reached a crescendo. Over 70 people were killed in a brutal government crackdown. The following day the Ukrainian President Yanokovich fled the country and protestors took control of the capital. Kiev’s smoldering city square was now a battleground.

DREAMS OF INDEPENDENCE

Ukrainian independence has been an elusive dream ever since the 17th century and Khmelnitsky’s heroic deeds. Sandwiched between Russia to the east and Europe to the west, the country has been victim of historical divisions varying from Polish to Austrian and Russian rule. There were three declarations of independence during the 20th century.

The Kiev Uprising of November 1917 led to the defeat of the Russian imperial forces and the fleeting establishment the ‘Ukrainian People’s Republic’ on January 22 1918. It was short lived as the Bolsheviks eventually prevailed and the Ukraine was absorbed into the states of the Soviet Union. This original independence movement chart is interesting when examining recent developments between the Ukraine and Russia.

The Sun position of the January 22 1918 horoscope is in the second degree of Aquarius and in Grand Trine with Mars and Jupiter. On January 22 2015 the anniversary of the independence proclamation, Mercury, the planet of communication and negotiation turned retrograde. January accompanied significant escalation in the Ukraine civil war with valuable gains by the Russian backed rebels.

Growing war clouds and the threat of the US further arming the Ukraine, forced urgent peace talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkyl, French President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poreshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin. They agreed to a ceasefire, operational from midnight Sunday February the 15th.

The deal was clinched coincident with Mercury, the planet of negotiation and contracts changing direction after a 22-day retro period. It was turning forward precisely on the degree of the Ukraine’s January 22 1918 Sun position. This may appear good news but it’s hardly likely to last. Progressing the 1918 chart to today sees the Sun square to restrictive Saturn and Mercury square to deceptive Neptune.

UKRAINE MODERN INDEPENDENCE

During WWII, on June 30 1941 at 6 pm at Lviv, Ukrainians again pronounced independence. This was even less successful and resulted in the nationalist leaders being interred in a German concentration camp. Finally, in the shadows of the collapsing Soviet Union and hastened by a Communist attempted coup on Mikhail Gorbachev, the Ukraine parliament declared full autonomy on August 24 1991. The time is given as 17.31 hours in Kiev from Nick Campion’s studious Book of World Horoscopes.

As this horoscope is symbolic of a genuine break from central Russian rule, it can also be used to examine the events that have led to the current break. For starters it clearly showed the people’s dissatisfaction with their government when the progressed Moon (public) squared the Sun (leader) from December of 2013. That’s when over a hundred thousand people protested in Kiev. The square aspect became exact the same day the President, but not the public, accepted Putin’s loan offer on December 17.

What followed was a progressing Mars, the planet of violence, squaring Uranus, the planet of revolution. This was operational right throughout 2014. The planetary transits of the same period, and especially the Grand Cross, impacted unfavourably on the Venus and Neptune of the Ukraine 1991 Independence chart, creating chaos with the economy. The Ukraine is bankrupt and its bonds were listed at junk status just days ago.

One bright spot was progressing Jupiter advancing to the Ukraine Independence Sun bringing foreign aid and support packages such as a proposed European Union $15 billion dollar rescue plan. But it’s the combative Mars aspects that look likely to trigger trouble. They are prominent the June period of 2015 as the progressing Moon moves through the combustible combination of Mars and Uranus.

If history is the judge this could be a long drawn out campaign. By 2016, becoming exact mid year, the progressing Sun will progress to the Ukraine's Mars - planet of war. Earlier, in March of 2016 progressing Mars will also be hard angled to Mercury and Jupiter, escalating the likelihood of war. Transiting Mars will also move retrograde in 2016. During 2016 the retro cycle Mars will square the Ukraine Sun, again prominent mostly mid-year, and beginning in March.

ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE

As the April Grand Cross came to exactness on April 22 2014 the USA’s Vice President Joe Biden was back on one of his multiple trips to the Ukraine. He was urging the Ukrainian government to reduce their dependence on Russian gas. Four days earlier Biden’s son Hunter, in a break with US protocol, had been appointed to the board of the Ukraine’s largest gas company. The White House denied any hint of nepotism. There are plenty of interests in this fight, which is why it’s likely to be a long one. The Grand Cross also fell upon the Sun of the USA horoscope. The wintry winds of a new Cold War were suddenly thrust upon us and the Ukraine was back in a tug of war. Just like 1648.

February 8

AUSTRALIAN LEADERSHIP CRISIS

This week the Australian government will hold a crisis meeting addressing internal leadership problems. The emergency has been accelerated via Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s record low public polling. The challenge to Abbott underlines the recurring instability of Australian government at all levels from 2010 onward. All of this resonates with the Australian Federation horoscope.

The first swearing in of an Australian Federal government took place under the blazing hot January Sun on New Year’s Day 1901. Festivities began from 10.30 a.m. as a procession of the separate colonies, nationalities and organizations paraded through the Sydney streets finally assembling in Centennial Park. The official ceremonies began from 12.30 pm.

Here, in the early afternoon, Edmund Barton was sworn in as the first national Prime Minister. The Melbourne Argus had run a story claiming 2 p.m. although an accompanying film of the occasion shows shadows depicting an earlier time. Research astrologer, Gwynne Stoney, spent countless hours in the State Library coming up with the rectified time of 13.36 – click here for chart.

A NATION OF CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT

Australian federal government began with a leadership Sun united to traditional Saturn and both in establishment Capricorn. It’s been a formula for mostly conservative governments ever since. The lone Prime Minister whose homeland Cancer birth Sun opposed the Federation Sun was summarily dismissed on November 11 1975.

Reformative Pluto was part of the picture. For the dismissal it was transiting at 10 degrees of Libra, posing a challenging exact, square to Australia’s Capricorn Sun. That’s why some astrologers eagerly anticipated the recent Pluto transit across the same Sun which became exact in 2013. The distant dynamo duly delivered. Australia had three different Prime Minister’s during the one year. Pluto ruled – third time proved it. The third PM was Tony Abbott, the first ever Scorpio.

THE KARMIC GRAND CROSS

Tony Abbott had waged a destructive plutonic campaign from the moment he was unexpectedly announced Liberal leader at 9.50 am December 1 2009. Combined with a Labor government imploding, it worked to perfection. At 10.12 pm on September 7 2013 Abbott claimed an election victory before cheering Liberals. There was only one problem – a big one. His victory speech was made as the Moon squared Pluto and both were part of a Grand Cross. Not so good!

Just over three years earlier, at 9.35 am June 24 2010, on an exact Grand Cross, deputy Julia Gillard had overthrown her party leader in a party room coup. Her tenure thereafter was strewn with strife and troubles that tore the Labor Party asunder. Abbott’s victory speech delivered at a Grand Cross, although not quite as precise as Gillard’s, could prove perilously prophetic?

There were further astrological signals undermining the Prime Minister’s authority. When Tony Abbott was sworn in at 10.29.53 in Canberra on September 18 2013, dissipating Neptune was at the foundational nadir of the chart for the moment. Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto were all in Grand Cross. There’s no way an astute astrologer would select such a time to begin an enterprise.

WRITING ON THE WALL

By late November through December 2014, Tony Abbott’s own personal horoscope was fielding arduous aspects from the outer planets. The reformatory Uranus-Pluto square was pounding his authoritative Midheaven and accountable Saturn was also weighing in. Saturn ultimately reveals when we’re not living in reality. It coincided with a particularly inauspicious performance at Australia’s G20 meeting of world leaders. Abbott seemed out of touch on the big issues.

By Australia Day January 26, with Mercury just entering retro motion, even his own supporters began to have a rethink. Abbott, a British born monarchist had re-introduced knighthoods and was awarding one to Prince Phillip. The puzzled and angry reaction opened the door for his political rival Malcolm Turnbull. Only once in their history had the Liberal’s replaced a Prime Minister - and that was secured via his own vote. Yet now the dogs were barking.

As this political scenario unfolded, Mercury, was retracing steps through Australia’s tenth house of government. It will stop and turn direct – this week – on Australia’s Aquarian Midheaven – representing the government. It will do the same on Malcolm Turnbull’s Mars. Turnbull has a very strong connection with the Australian horoscope. His 1954 October 24 birthdate has an even greater connection with Federation history.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

October 24 was the date in 1889 when elder statesman, Henry Parkes, delivered his famed 1889 Tenterfield Oration. The classic address laid out the vision for a new united Australia. Coincidentally, Turnbull also chaired a movement for a new Australia – an Australian Republic. In his way stood monarchists such as Tony Abbott. And it was Abbott who wrested Liberal leadership from Turnbull at 9.50 am December 1 2009.

That time of year wasn’t good for Turnbull. He’d also been narrowly beaten on November 29 2007 for the party leadership. But times are very different now. Neptune is squaring the Sagittarian Sun positioning of those days – dissolving his prior defeats. Neptune is also impacting negatively on Tony Abbott’s swearing in chart. It’s crossing the Moon and eroding his public support.

Turnbull has by far the greater connection with Gwen Stoney’s Australian horoscope. His competitive Mars sits right at the Midheaven. His lucky break Jupiter and Uranus union are positioned at the foot of the chart. His Sun is right on the horoscope’s Descendant. These powerful angular connections bid well for Turnbull’s political career. Click for chart overlay here.

STOP THE VOTES

Abbott has hit the PR defense button with numerous quotes about a more collegial and consultative government. A national press club address pounded out his trademark themes of stop the boats, no carbon tax, no mining tax, and the previous government’s indiscretions. But Mercury was now heading backward and the message – now an old one – wasn’t working second time around. What Abbott was really saying was stop the votes!

Every astrological indication is that Tony Abbott will not see out 2015 as leader. Neptune has now transited to the position of the Moon when Abbott was sworn in and by March will be squaring the Sun position of when he initially became the Liberal leader. The progressed IC is meeting Neptune. Even Mercury’s current retro transit will take it back over the Ascendant of his original Liberal leadership position.

In the Federation of Australian Astrologer’s Quarterly Journal I wrote an article on Abbott’s probable shorter tenure. I compared his chart with a similar surf loving Liberal Prime Minister – Harold Holt. There were numerous astrological match ups. Holt did not complete his term. Abbott was also born with a Sun square to Uranus. Only one other Australian PM had that. Frank Forde, Australia’s shortest serving leader.

Yet if I were Turnbull’s astrologer I would advise a later challenge. There will be multiple opportunities. Abbott’s chart does not improve in time. Three months from now the Liberal Party will be forced to deliver another austerity budget. The PM’s polling will take another hit. Only a massive security scare could possibly improve his rating.

By the second half of the year the Liberal leadership would be there for the taking, and provide a honeymoon period prior to a future election. But the temptation may prove too great, and Mercury’s station on the Australian Midheaven brilliantly depicts why this subject is so much ‘in the news’ and how Abbott is unwittingly doing more for the Republican debate than even Turnbull could ever hope for.

February 1

AMERICAN SNIPER AND THE US MARS

When ‘American Sniper’ became the most watched movie in USA, it just had to be something to do with Mars. After all Mars is the god of war. It’s the gung-ho planet of violence and hostilities. Sure enough by repetitive coincidence, it is something about Mars. Chris Kyle, born April 8 1974 in Odessa Texas, is the Army Seal, on whose life the blockbuster is based. He was born with his Mars – excuse the pun - bang on the Gemini Mars of the USA. Kyle killed over 160 people fighting for his country.

Arnold Schwarznegger, born July 30 1947 @ 04.10 in Graz Austria, knows all about playing a Terminator. He was born with not only his Mars, but also his Uranus, conjunct the USA’s Mars at the 22nd degree of Gemini. Arnie’s quintessential character was a programmable cyborg assassin - a combination of Uranian technology mixed with Mars mayhem. The Terminator was a killing machine. But his catchphrase of ‘I’ll be back’ was stolen from a real life assassin, also born with his Mars joined to the USA Mars.

David Berkowitz, born June 1 1952 @ 4.52 pm in Brooklyn was better known as Son of Sam. A not so decorated sniper, he terrorized New Yorkers as a shadowy .44 caliber serial killer. Berkowitz kept a lot of people off the streets by leaving plenty on them. Weekends and late at night were his dedicated business hours. After his first kill Berkowitz left a taunting note for the NYPD with the words, ‘I’ll be back! – I’ll be back’.

Hauntingly, he kept his promise. Six kills and seven woundings later, stretching just over a year, Berkowitz was captured. He claimed that a demon spoke to him through a neighbor’s dog. The dog got off but Berkowitz is serving six life sentences and claiming that society has to rethink the glory of guns.

FIFTEEN SECONDS OF FAME

Another who’s had plenty of time for a rethink about glory is Mark David Chapman, born May 10 1955 @ 7.30 pm in Fort Worth, Texas. He’s yet another Mars match with the Mars of the USA. Chapman’s ‘American sniping’ consisted of waiting in hiding and firing five shots that took the life of John Lennon. John had crossed Chapman’s line by saying that the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus. So much for ‘Give Peace A Chance’. But that’s not a Mars thing.

But perhaps America’s Mars would not be so lethal without the actions of William Conant Church. He may not be as famous but he’s helped plenty of others achieve notoriety. Entrepreneurial Church was born August 11 1836 in Rochester, New York. He made his fortune publishing the New York Sun and New York Chronicle. But he’s better remembered for founding the National Rifle Association and serving as its second President. And yes his Mars was ‘bang on’ the USA Mars.

The prevalence of Mars in the late Gemini position is not only represented in the July 4 1776 @ 17.10 hours @ Pennsylvania, USA birthday horoscope, when the Declaration of Independence propelled the nation into war. It was also at the same position when John Smith settled Jamestown, the original British colony in the Americas on May 14 1607 (OS). But Mars is not exclusively outlining the antagonist.

Civil rights champion, Martin Luther King, had his Mars here too. Angles from other planets play a pivotal role. King’s life was surrounded with violence – and ended through it. But King was refused an application to carry a concealed weapon, even after constant death threats. Restrictive and responsible Saturn opposed King’s Mars and he embraced non-violent resistance.

On June 11 this year Mars will return to its birth position. It will come back with the Sun. Around that period may be important re violence and the gun culture. But perhaps a more dangerous date ahead will be on or near May 22 2017 when there is a repeat pattern of the 1929 Valentine’s Day massacre when Mars opposed Saturn, again from 22 degrees of Gemini.

CAPTAIN PHILLIP

I have written in this column before that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott would eventually be clearly recognised for his ‘my way or the highway’ approach. Also in my recent article World Predictions 2015 that his position would be under severe threat well before the next election. The demise of the Liberal's in the Queensland State election now compounds the PM's woes.

Abbott was elected to parliament with a solar eclipse on his Sun. Nineteen years later he was elected to the position of Prime Minister following another solar eclipse on his birth Sun. But last year it was former Liberal leader, and now Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull with the solar eclipse impacting his Sun.

Eclipses are not the sole reason for change – there are other factors involved. Abbott’s popularity has sunk to the lowest recorded level for an Australian Prime Minister. His party now trails in the polls having never experienced a honeymoon period from taking office. Broken promises, unfair budgets and a lack of consultation have dogged Abbott’s tenure.

With Pluto undermining his Midheaven, via its opposition, Abbott as PM of the host country, tried desperately to keep climate change off the November G20 agenda. Instead, he was upstaged on the same by US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi JinPing. His end of year trails and tribulations were forecast a year before in World Predictions 2014.

But it was Abbott’s 2015 Australia Day knighthood to Prince Phillip that has cooled his colleagues. Abbott has described it as a captain’s call and himself as a good captain. But there are plenty who think his captaincy is leading the Liberal’s rapidly toward Gilligan’s Island, and that the skipper has to change tack fast. When Tony Abbott was sworn in at 10.28.53 am on September 18 2013, Neptune was opposing the leadership Midheaven. It was the precursor of ‘all at sea’ and potentially walking the plank. Check World Predictions 2015 for more.

Jan 25

ANYTHING FOR THE CAUSE

The sacrifice of young children for a political or religious ideology is normally associated with bloodthirsty terrorists or firebrand clerics. It’s incredible to imagine over a thousand evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, warmly applauding such deadly sentiments. They did on March 8 1983. The speaker may not have realized the inhumane import of his words, but the text went exactly like this.

“A number of years ago, I heard a young father, a very prominent young man in the entertainment world, addressing a tremendous gathering in California. It was during the time of the cold war, and communism and our own way of life were very much on people’s minds. And he was speaking to that subject.”

“Suddenly, though, I heard him saying, ‘I love my little girls more than anything…’ And I said to myself, ‘Oh, no, don’t. You can’t - don’t say that!’ But I had underestimated him. He went on: “I would rather see my little girls die now; still believing in God, than have them grow up under communism and one day die no longer believing in God.”

“There were thousands of young people in that audience. They came to their feet with shouts of joy. They had instantly recognized the profound truth in what he had said, with regard to the physical and the soul and what was truly important.”

The Californian speaker was never revealed, but the man telling the story to an appreciative audience was Ronald Reagan – then US President and zealous anti-communist. Reagan’s ‘profound truth’ was a death before dishonor vow, even for innocent children too young to choose. It was this ideological extremism that received a spontaneous fifteen second round of applause.

He went on, “let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.” Reagan’s speech went on to become famous worldwide as the ‘evil empire’ speech.

WHERE DID THE EVIL GO?

It would be interesting how Reagan would view today’s big brother mass surveillance society. At the heart of what he was saying was the classic us and them divide – the black hat/white hat syndrome. It was a prelude to a carefully crafted televised address later the same month, unveiling an ambitious Star Wars military initiative. Reagan even used the Hollywood words of evil empire to introduce it.

Reagan's Star Wars proved a much more expensive fantasy than the movie with little return. Nuclear armaments actually increased. Hundreds of billions of tax dollars later it was abandoned. By the time nineteen terrorists with box cutters showed what damage could be done without a bomb, Star Wars had been confined to the dustbin of reality.

But as the President worked the Orlando evangelicals, combative Mars was at 9 degrees of Aries, the sign of war. Militaristic Mars in Aries aligning with remarkably righteous Jupiter and intractable Uranus, would prove prophetic many years later, under another Republican president. Click here for the timed chart of the 'Evil Empire'.

THE AXIS OF EVIL

Fast forward to January 29 2002. The time was 9.15 pm and the then US President began addressing Congress for the annual State of the Union address. This one was not your usual speech. The terrorists may have left the building…but so too had the buildings. Mars was back at 8 degrees of Aries and was squaring Jupiter and semisquare Uranus. The astrological scene was set for some authentic ‘evil’ speak. George W didn’t disappoint.

He began, “As we gather tonight our nation is at war, our economy is in recession and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers…yet the State of our Union has never been stronger.” This was Bush’s finest hour. Congress rose to applaud for a good thirty seconds. Prominent were the military and Secretary of State – Colin Powell.

As the Congress clock moved to 9.28 pm Bush moved into his real objective. One planned well in advance; the invasion of Iraq. The children got a mention again, “this is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mother’s huddled over their dead children.” His eyes moved to survey the reaction.

Bush was building the emotional response, “this is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.” Bush was making clear distinctions between a civilized and uncivilized world. “States like these, and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world by seeking weapons of mass destruction.” Axis was a key word with obvious WWII overtones.

Bush upped the ante, "I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons!" A Broadway musical couldn’t have got a bigger standing ovation than Bush got from Congress with this crescendo. Click here for the Axis of Evil chart.

Bush presided over the biggest military budget since Reagan. Unfortunately George W left office with the economy in a much bigger recession, no weapons of mass destruction, a very uncivilized Iraq and America’s international reputation in tatters. Came in wearing the white hat – went out wearing the black one. On the day of his speech the expressive Sun and communicative Mercury were with the planet of heightened imagination and sometimes downright deception – Neptune. It also rules oil.

COMETH THE HOUR

On March 3 2015 Mars will be back in Aries. It will be moving toward the trine to Jupiter and square to Uranus. There is a speech scheduled before Congress – but not one by an American politician. This one will be from an Israel Prime Minister eager to shore up his election prospects. It’s a first. You don’t find Canadian PM’s doing that, or Australian, or Japanese…ad infinitum. So what has all that to do with the business of the American people and why was he invited to address Congress?

The truth is the same astrological players are returning for act three. The last time Netanyahu gave a major speech he was carrying a cartoon of a bomb before a bemused United Nations. Are we about to witness another world divided up into black and white – good and evil – civilized and uncivilized. If so then how come all the ‘civilized guys’ seem to covet the bombs and have so many of them?

Netanyahu will gleefully advise the US on its foreign policy. he always does. It’s one place where he might find a willing ear, providing he leaves 'children' out of the equation. Surely Bibi isn't out to out to shock the world by abandoning his ever expanding illegal settlements and finally offering a plan for a Palestinian state. That's a longshot. The short priced favourite is another ‘Axis of Evil’ speech with Iranian targets and frequent breaks for acquiescent applause.

If we’re lucky there may even be an obligatory tear from the eyes of House Speaker John Boehner. Surely part of his American dream would be to install another Shah and solve the problem. One amenable to the occasional lobbyist donation. With the covert control of Pluto opposing the American Sun - makes you seriously wonder, who's really running the country? Click here for chart.

Jan 18

THE SAUDI US CONNECTION

September 11 is a memorable date for both the USA and Saudi Arabia. It was on September 11 2014 that the US Secretary of State John Kerry paid an evening visit to the Jeddah palace of Saudi Arabia's aging King Abdullah. The subject was said to be combating the Islamic State, hence the symbolic date. It probably was. Some people have also reasoned that they might have mentioned the price of oil.

To understand the US-Saudi relationship, astrologically speaking, is to know the planet Pluto. This is the deity of dominant power and also ruler of underground wealth. A comparison of the horoscopes of Saudi Arabia with the USA brings Pluto unmistakably into the picture.

For the July 4 1776 17.10 hours Philadelphia horoscope of the USA, Pluto is positioned in the second house of finance and closely aspects the Ascendant/Descendant relating axis of the chart, depicting national allies and enemies. One country that has had an immeasurable effect on the USA and their power, from the 20th into the 21st century, is Saudi Arabia. It works both ways.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates to the sunrise capture of Riyadh on January 15 1902 by Ibn Saud’s army on his 26th birthday. The Saudi Arabian horoscope has the rising Capricorn Sun adjoined to royal Jupiter and controlling Saturn. This powerful triple conjunction symbolically describes the kingdom – a country named after one family. It also falls precisely on the USA’s Pluto in their second house of wealth and power. Despite their national ideologies being virtually opposed, money changes everything. Check the two horoscopes here.

Their current Saudi King Abdullah ibn Abdilaziz is ranked the 8th most influential person in the world by Forbes magazine. His birth Pluto, in the 13th degree of Cancer, falls right uponthe USA's Sun. With the Saudi Arabian national horoscope now in a New Moon phase a change to the leadership would seem to be imminent.

SAUDI ARAMCO

The key to Saudi power is Saudi Aramco. It’s the largest company on the face of the planet. If you weren’t aware that it totally dwarfs Exxon or BP, that’s because it’s state owned and not on the regular stock reports. Saudi Aramco manages over 100 oil and gas fields and the world’s largest onshore and also offshore oil field. It is the Saudi Arabian economy.

The company began with an agreement between Standard Oil of California and the Saudi royal family on May 29 1933. The oil fields were bigger than any other. Enough for the US President Franklin D Roosevelt to declare, '"the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States".

In 1950 the Saudi King threatened to nationalize the oil industry and thereafter received a 50% share of the profits. Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and US support for Israel, the Saudi’s enacted an oil embargo, rising the crude price. They also bought into the company. They had acquired 60% by 1974 and by 1980 it was totally Saudi controlled.

Today’s oil price ‘anomaly’ can be best understood astrologically, by analyzing the original deal. On May 29 1933 the Sun was conjunct contractual Mercury at 8 degrees of Gemini and also square to Neptune in the 8th degree of Virgo. Neptune is the planet of oil. This was also the time of the last Uranus Pluto square during the depths of the Great Depression and is astrologically significant today.

Astrologers will note that the Sun of that day was positioned close to the USA’s Uranus, a planet that when activated has often featured in US wars. The first Uranus return synched in with the Civil War and the second return signaled the massive D-day invasion, and so it goes. But, back to the original oil deal and the current price spiral.

On November 27 2014 OPEC met in Vienna. The Sun was in Sagittarius and squaring Neptune. The significance being that both the Sun and Neptune of this OPEC meeting were opposed their original positions of the US/Saudi oil agreement in 1933. At that November meeting the Saudis, along with Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates pushed production in the face of falling prices. Venezuela and Iran rivals to the Sunni gulf states, were outvoted. Oil opened 2015 at less than half its price from six months prior. Click here for the two charts.

CUT PRICE WAR

The oil war is like any price war. Lowering prices puts your competitors out of business. If you’ve got sufficient money in the bank and enough reserves to sell, it then becomes a waiting game. Already countries such as Russia, whose budget is so reliant on oil exports, plus Iran, Venezuela and Nigeria are feeling the pinch. But the move will also impact on the USA, who on the evening of July 30 sent their first oil export tanker from Houston to South Korea since the 70’s, and the last OPEC crisis.

That one also involved Neptune. In 1973/74 it squared its original position and opposed the Sun/Mercury of the first US-Saudi Aramco oil deal. What resulted was an Arab oil embargo. This led to oil rationing and shortages throughout the western world. Then followed a quadrupling of prices, a western recession and a much richer House of Saud. This time it’s working the other way around - a power play to pressure US oil and to blast away the opposition such as Russia.

The future significance is that from March of 2015 transiting Neptune will oppose the Neptune of the US/Saudi 1933 oil deal and also square the Sun and Mercury. All of which should make March 2015 a very interesting time regarding the price of crude and the global economy. Additionally, on May 30th this year the Sun and Mercury will together return to the position they held when the Saudi Aramco company began. It’s highly significant for the USA, Saudi Arabia and the price of oil. You’ve heard that what goes up must come down, well in economics it can also work the other way around.

January 11

SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE

When the January 5 Full Moon surfaced as part of a celestial Grand Cross with radical Uranus and extremist Pluto, something just had to give. The last Grand Cross, featuring this duo, synched with the Crimean crisis and the US sanctions on Russia. This one didn’t take long. At 11.30 am January 7 the crisis occurred in the Paris offices of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ magazine, as a multiple murder. Religious zealots would attempt to terrorize France. But the country is much too strong for that. See here for the biwheel.

France has had more than its share of religious extremism. It began on the fields of Claremont on November 27 1095 when Pope Urban II made the most history changing speech of the Middle Ages. It was also the most deadly. Hundreds of thousands would die and families would split asunder in the cruel crucible of the Crusades. The final objective - the capture of a few iconic miles of land called Jerusalem.

Urban’s speech bore a similar rhetoric that we hear today. It was a solemn duty to help brothers in foreign lands. Crusaders, rich or poor, would receive full remission of sin and reserve a place in heaven. Accompanied with the spoils of conquest it seemed a deal too good to pass up. The unified battle cry was it was the Will of God. The church had become an army and the pulpit a recruiting ground.

The zealous Crusaders retook Jerusalem on July 15 1099. The story of Raymond of Aguilers walking over corpses, knee deep in blood is what qualifies their mission as one of the more dubious of human history. They slaughtered every man woman and child. Pope Urban died a fortnight later without hearing of the conquest. But ‘his will’ had been done.

URANUS AND PLUTO – THE VERY BEGINNING

Astrologically the 1090’s were bound to usher dramatic change as the reformatory Uranus Pluto cycle had occurred in the starting degree of the tropical zodiac. See chart wheel here. This was a spectacularly rare alignment and the ‘beginning’ Uranus Pluto cycle. By the balsamic or closing phase of this cycle, on October 2 1187, Jerusalem fell back into Arab hands. This time it was Urban III who died the very same month.

France’s next great religious divide happened on the evening of March 18 1314. An aging Jacques Molay, Grand Master of the Knight’s Templar, was released from a seven-year incarceration. French King Phillip IV, substantially in debt to the Order, had confiscated their wealth and property and had their leaders jailed and tortured.

At sunset, a small island in the Seine, Molay and three fellow Knights were burned at the stake for not confessing their sins. Instead the Templar leader fearlessly cursed the King and Pope Clement, from his execution pyre. Both King and Pope were also dead within the year. Uranus and Pluto were in square. In this black hat/white hat divide, France’s next big religious revolution would be a national one.

THE DE-CHRISTIANIZATION OF FRANCE

During the French Revolution’s ‘reign of terror’ the Catholic hierarchy paid the ultimate price of supporting the elitist monarchy. The de-Christianization of France arrived at a Uranus Pluto opposition. Crosses and church bells were confiscated, religious iconography destroyed, and priests put to the sword as the Ancient Regime capitulated. This climaxed from September 2 1792, beginning the infamous week of the September massacres.

Against this historic backdrop it is not surprising that France has today evolved to be a more secular society, with little trust in fundamentalist or subjugating beliefs. Belief in God, or any higher deity, comprises only 54% of the French populace. A full 40% are atheist. And that’s now a growing trend in Europe and Canada.

That differs markedly from the USA where 92% are true believers and almost all - 98% - of conservatives or Republicans swear a belief in God. The rogue group, for the US at least, is the National Academy of Sciences. Here only 7% believe in God with over 70% disbelievers. The irony being that atheists are also the most distrusted minority in the US.

In many Middle Eastern countries insulting the Prophet equates to death and atheism to exile. France's secularism and sometimes satire of the sacred is part of their national character. For Charlie Hedbo it was a mission. Some people were not so amused.

BROTHERS IN ARMS

Cherif Kouachi, born November 29 1982 @ 10.20 pm in Paris, France (CET) has the chart of a warrior. He has an overload of five planets, including all the personal ones in Sagittarius, a sign strong on belief systems. Its symbol was originally modeled on a warrior in the days when arrows were the weapons of choice.

Sagittarius is Latin for Archer. The Babylonians associated the sign with the god of war, Nergal. The Greek astronomer, Eratosthenes, unlike some of his contemporaries, also identified Sagittarius in military terms. Modern astrology sanitizes this image. But Cherif’s Sagittarian overload, although not the key factor, is essential in defining his astrological portrait.

Cherif’s Sun and Mercury fall near the zodiacal degree of the supergiant red war star, Antares, also known for obsessive attitudes. More importantly his Sun is adjoined to the planet of insurgency Uranus. All of this paints him as potentially the rebel with a ‘cause’. And critically, his Sun semisquares aggressive Mars, exact within the degree.

With the potential to act rapidly on his motives one would hope that Cherif’s ‘cause’ was honorable. He thought it was. Avenging the victims of Abu Ghraib torture. But it was this obsession that radicalized and possessed him until he became the paranoid predator. Click here for both brother's horoscopes.

Said Kouachi, was born September 7 1980 in Paris, France @ 01.40 hours (CET). His horoscope although not as volatile as younger brother Cherif, possibly had a puritan streak. Said’s chart concentrated all of the planets in less than half of the zodiac. It was a virtual bundle pattern. However, Said’s planetary focus was in the sometimes literal and fundamentalist sign of Virgo. This sign housed his expressive Sun and communicative Mercury along with righteous Jupiter and traditionalist Saturn.

Moral crusaders Martin Luther and Joseph McCarthy had the Jupiter in Virgo link. But Said was also born with Mars, the planet of aggressive impulse, in potentially vengeful Scorpio. It was simultaneously at the midpoint of the revolutionary Uranus Pluto and the midpoint of the devout Jupiter Neptune. At the time of the shooting his progressed Ascendant was squaring this Mars. It would have been simmering there all year.

CHARB – MORE FAMOUS THAN EVER

Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was born August 21 1967 @ 18.30 hours in Conflans Ste Honorin, France. His expressive Leo Sun is conjoined to Mercury and Jupiter, a combination of humor with a wealth of ideas. His communicative Mercury also aspects Saturn, a planet of satire and black humour. Charb’s Mars squared Jupiter – a fighter for his cause. But his Mars was joined to Neptune and he chose the subtler medium of art and satire for his often irreverent message.

In recent years righteous Jupiter had progressed to conjunct his birth Sun. Charb was unrestrained in is expression and belief. This was despite the Charlie Hebdo offices being firebombed in November 2011 after declaring the Prophet Muhammad as "editor-in-chief" for the next issue. All of that happened as Charb’s progressed Sun opposed traditionalist Saturn. He declared that he would rather die on his feet that live in his knees – but was under police guard.

On January 7 2015 the inflammatory Uranus and Pluto square aligned precisely on Charb’s progressed Sun as the eclipsing Node was passing over it. Hostile Mars was transiting opposite his birth Sun, and progressing Mars closely squaring his birth Pluto. The dangerous astrological list goes on and on and Charb is no more. Click here for the triple wheel. And yet he is ever present. Now known around the world, along with his fellow victims. The next edition of Charlie Hebdo is set for a print run of one million copies.

For many French people the ‘carpe diem’ or ‘seize the day’ philosophy is what life is all about. It’s why the film ‘Dead Poets Society’ was such an enormous hit in France winning best foreign film at the Cesar Awards. And it’s why dead cartoonists will inspire the nation even in sorrow. For when you lose your humor you also forfeit your humanity.

January 4

A GROUNDBREAKING DAY

It was a Friday August 5 1966. It was a sunny 85 degrees in New York. The record topping the US charts was the Loving Spoonfuls ‘Summer In The City’. It featured the sound of a jackhammer mid-song. Downtown at Lower Manhattan the real jackhammers had just begun working toward bedrock 65 feet below. It was ‘groundbreaking day’ for the ambitious buildings, yet to be named - the World Trade Towers.

August the 5th had also been the foundation day for the most famous of all New York icons back in 1884. That was when William A. Brodie, the Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, laid the cornerstone for the platform of the Statue Of Liberty, on Ellis Island. She would become an international symbol of America and an enduring memory of many of its new arrivals.

Planetwise, August 5 1884 was a very auspicious occasion. The Leo Sun was joined to Jupiter – the largest planet in the solar system, whose name is the origin of the word justice. Artistic Venus was also joining the Cancerian Sun of the July 4 1776 American Independence horoscope. Venus, the feminine archetype, well describes the Statue of Liberty, named after Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom.

DEFENSE OF LIBERTY – FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

August the 5th also had another unique historical relevance. On this day in 1735 Alexander Hamilton championed freedom of the press with a landmark court victory. Hamilton’s eloquent defense of liberty which both exposed and opposed tyrannical power, by speaking and writing truth, had him many years later referred to as the “day-star of the American Revolution.” He also designed Independence Hall and was the source of the phrase - Philadelphia lawyer.

Ironically it was the press, and another lawyer come publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, who would play the final, decisive role in financing the Statue of Liberty’s platform. The colossal sculpture lay in storage crates until Pulitzer promised everyone who donated toward its pedestal would have their name printed in his publication, ‘The New York World’.

Pulitzer wrote of the statue as “not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America, but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America." He shamed wealthy New Yorkers who “would expend thousands on a foreign singer or ballet dancer and pour out their money lavishly in aping aristocratic follies,” but cannot fund a public monument. His crowd funding method raised the needed capital in just three short months.

A TALE OF TWO ICONS

In stark contrast to the 19th century Statue of Liberty, the 20th century World Trade Towers were conceived as an edifice to global capitalism and an emerging new order. It was championed by international financiers, Nelson and David Rockefeller. New Yorkers even nicknamed the two towers Nelson and David. Nelson was the long time Governor of New York and brother David was the President of Chase Manhattan, one of the most powerful global banks.

The project created a storm of publicity and protest from the moment New York’s Port Authority agreed to take on the job. On July 13 1962, New York merchants carried a black draped coffin along Liberty Street symbolizing the death of ‘Mr Small Businessman’. Over 1300 locals took their case all the way to the Supreme Court to prevent a plan they said was only for the ‘benefit of banks, insurance companies, brokers, people dealing in international trade.’ When the progressed Sun came to the Uranus position of this protest in September 2001 the project would suddenly be no more.

The American Institute of Architects criticized the proposed towers for lack of aesthetics. Minoru Yamasaki’s designs were branded everything from steel and glass filing cabinets to Manhattan’s own Tower of Babel. But perhaps the most prophetic critique came from the New York Times architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable. On May 29 1966 she wrote…

“Who’s afraid of the big, bad buildings? Everyone, because there are so many things about gigantism that we just don’t know. The gamble of triumph or tragedy at this scale — and ultimately it is a gamble — demands an extraordinary payoff. The trade center towers could be the start of a new skyscraper age or the biggest tombstones in the world.”

On February 15 1964 the New York Times ran a headline ‘Critics Impugned On Trade Center’. In defense of the building’s safety the article quoted an analysis from the construction firm Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson, ‘if a tower were hit by an airliner at 600 miles an hour, the damage to the tower would only be local and its occupants outside the immediate area of impact would not be damaged.’

On the day that story was published the Sun was in a tight triple conjunction with the traditional planetary bad guys, Mars and Saturn. All three were passing over the USA Moon – meaning the public – in the July 4 1776 US horoscope. Not good! There was a real and symbolic connection with flight on that very day. The North Viet Cong achieved their first aerial victory, shooting down an American plane. Sarah Palin was born just four days before too but that’s another story…

THE PROPHETIC CHARTS

August 5 1966 presented a foundation chart far different than the Lady of Liberty. The reformatory duo of Uranus and Pluto were conjunct within the degree. The astrological textbook ‘Combination of Stellar Influences’ is clear on their meaning. “The collapse of the old order of things, the construction of the new’. The Sun on this day was forty-five degrees away from the union. On September 11 2001 as the Sun had progressed right to Uranus and Pluto the buildings collapsed. See the foundation and progressed charts here.

The World Trade Towers were dedicated on a windswept rainy morning of April 4 1973 by the New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and New Jersey, Governor William T. Cahill. The guest of honor, US Secretary of Labor Peter Brennan was a no show. Missing also was the New York Mayor, John Lindsay. Most notable absentee was the former executive director of the Port Authority of New York, Austin Tobin. When asked why he didn’t attend, he replied, ‘It was raining’. The plaza was posthumously named after him.

In the same year Richard Stern’s novel ‘The Tower’ was published. It told of the grand opening of a World Tower building in New York that soon becomes an inferno trapping the people inside. Warner Bros bought the film rights. They released the all-star disaster classic, ‘The Towering Inferno’. It became highest grossing film produced in 1974 winning three Academy awards. Not surprisingly the Twin Towers remained half empty.

REALITY IGNITES

At 11.45 pm February 13 1975, a real fire broke out on the 11th floor. Over 125 fire fighters, some describing it as like fighting a blowtorch, subdued the blaze across six floors. The red planet Mars, indicator of fire, was squaring the Aries Sun of the official opening chart. Saturn was also squaring the same Sun. These were the same planets involved in mid February years earlier when the tower was declared safe from a plane crash.

The fire can also be easily seen in the official groundbreaking chart as a precise Mars opposition exact to the day. February was proving an unlucky month. On February 26 1993 at 12.17.37 pm the World Trade Centre North Tower was bombed. A 606-kilo nitrate-hydrogen bomb was intended to bring both towers down – one crashing into the other.

Although the explosion blew over a hundred foot hole in four floors of the building and there were over one thousand injuries, miraculously only six people died. Letters were sent to US radio stations and newspapers demanding an end to US aid to Israel. The Trade Towers had become a target for Middle East terrorists. They would be back.

The shock of the first bombing can be seen when comparing the WTC opening chart to the moment of the explosion. Both rebellious Uranus and covert Neptune each form a hard aspect to each other. The same Uranus Neptune combination also closely opposes the Venus, Mars and Jupiter of the August 5 1966 groundbreaking horoscope. In all these instances both charts will be highly activated.

THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW

Finality for the Twin Towers came on September 11 2001, between 8.46 a.m. when the first terrorist plane hit the North Tower and 10.28 am when the same tower collapsed. In between the South Tower was no more. This was the Saturn return of the 1973 official opening horoscope. There were multiple planetary connections. Dissolving Neptune was opposite the opening's Mars. The transiting Sun was opposite the opening Mercury and transiting Mercury was opposite the opening Sun. See opening chart with 911 here.

The foundation horoscope had lived its purpose. The progressed Sun had met Uranus and Pluto, and the order had collapsed. In the eerie stillness across the Hudson, as the smoke plumes shrouded the great city, one monumental figure stood out through the background of chaos. Her foundation date was as strong as her symbolism. The Statue Of Liberty remained the enduring icon of New York. The birth of a new building would come from the ruins of the old. But New Yorkers prefer to call it Freedom Tower.

Dec 28

SATURN IN SAGITTARIUS

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 the day before Christmas 2015 (UT) the beautiful multi-ringed Saturn, entered 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 ADDRESSED

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 2015 and 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.

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. Today New Horizons is on target for the first close up shots of Pluto in July of 2015. Sagittarius is still 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 ones begin to form. Religious 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 vision.

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